In my three years since I created the blog, and snatched the Oddspundit URL, I have only once failed to blog for a Saturday afternoon of racing. Not a bad effort really, is it? After considerable rain though over the last week I am bemused over whether we should risk any of our 2012 profits when there is likely to be very little racing going to form.
However I am certain if we look thoroughly we will notice at least one or two will have been priced up incorrectly after their recent efforts. The televised racing this afternoon comes from Chester, Doncaster and Newmarket, but many of the good handicappers and all of the Group runners are now at home awaiting Royal Ascot. I will have a look to see if any gems can be unearthed, but I definitely am not expecting any miracles today!
2.55 - Fly London Southend To Barcelona Handicap (Class 2) 6f
An interesting sprint handicap which revolves around the David Barron trained improver Pearl Ice. A recent winner just three days ago who is entered here to exploit a 6lb penalty before a further rise in the weights ensues. He appears to be short enough in the market at 2-1 however considering the placed horses behind him at Ripon last time out were aged 10, 9 and 9. For sprinters, that is desperately an old age! Therefore on an uneven track, in good to soft ground there is a slight possibility he could have been flattered and whilst he may well go in again under a penalty, it is difficult to see him winning a race in the future when his proper mark is made clear.
Next in the market comes Es Que Love at 8-1 for trainer Mark Johnston. Obviously a capable performer and the youngest entrant in this field at the age of three. However he clearly lacks an ability to truly stay 6f at the best of times and is often seen to be trying to reach for the line in his races. In softer ground, with stamina an issue it could be that he sets this race up for a closer at the death.
MIRZA offers each way backers some promise and has shown himself to be in fine form earlier this season, before a slight setback last time when finishing midfield. There was however a likely reason to forgive that effort as he was made to run on the outside of his slower group from start to finish, with no cover whatsoever. A better run can no doubt be expected today and it is very worthwhile noting that jockey Richard Hughes has won on board this horse twice from their three runs together.
Another outsider with more than a minor claim I would have thought is the rare winner SWISS FRANC. Having only won twice from 24 career outings, it would be foolish to suggest a win only bet on this 16-1 rated horse. We must note though that twice he has won at Newmarket over a furlong shorter, in similar ground to the conditions he is greeted with today. Add to the mix that his trainer has a more appealing record on this July track, compared with the conventional Newmarket circuit and he starts to look value.
Despite only being successful over 5f so far, and being aged 7, he proved his ability to copy with 6f as a juvenile with a succession of solid runs in Group company. With a record of placing in FOUR stakes races, ranging from Listed to Group 2 level, he has always had ability and now racing off a 92 on his favoured good to soft ground, he has very decent claims and looks the main value in the race.
THE BET: *SWISS FRANC @ 22-1 (Betfair)
DANGER: MIRZA @ 10-1 (Bet365)
*Do not get mistaken by Swiss Cross who also runs in the race!! Been there, done that! Haven't we all?
3.45 - Freebets.co.uk Free Bets Handicap (Class 2) 7f
Another fairly decent contest where it is possible to pick holes in the likely race favourite Tariq Too trained by Amy Weaver. The trainer has summoned up 3lb claimer Harry Bentley in an attempt to defy his rising mark, and in a handicap it is all about having a well handicapped horse on your side! With a doubt as to whether Tariq Too will be able to negate his rising mark in this better company, it appeals to look elsewhere.
Grissom has been well advertised by the general mass media tipsters, but with trained Tim Easterby still to reach into his stride it defies logic to pinpoint him as a probable winner. Meanwhile Lord Aeryn steps back down in trip after succumbing to a winless record over a mile, from eight attempts at the distance.
Back down at 7f, Lord Aeryn has a very good record of three wins from five attempts and he looks sure to go well reconvening his old partnership with Champion Jockey Paul Hanagan. There is a slight doubt as to whether the ground will be suitable for him and as a result his 5-1 price looks only fair, rather than good value.
The most interesting contender of the ten strong field comes in the second colours of owner Dr Marwan Koukash in the shape of FATHSTA. This horse comes to life it would seem on courses described as being left handed, and it is interesting therefore that in his three outings this term, he has been greeted with a right handed track on each occasion.
In fact, Fathsta has never tasted victory on turf given a right handed layout, yet has won two races on the Kempton all weather in minor company. Meanwhile when greeted with a left handed track, he has prospered to victory on no less than eight occasions.
Jockey William Buick is one of David Simcock's preferred riders and this partnership should go well on ground that will suit, given the historical performances of the selection. His career best effort came over 6f at York (similar track) when scoring a mammoth RPR of 107 on soft ground. That was some time ago now, but he has the ability to win off his current 88 mark and despite being well backed this morning, can still be rated slight value at his present 6-1 odds to score.
THE BET: FATHSTA @ 6-1 (Bet365)
There is a chance I may find another bet later on, in which case it will be tweeted and re-issued immediately via Facebook also. Keep a look out! I am sure there are still some great winners to be had again, this season!