The high-light of this afternoons racing, was the victory of Relentless Dreamer at Ludlow.
It took me a few days to get my head round what I was trying to achieve with the Lunchtime Naps – but once the penny dropped, there was no looking back !
The Top Picks were always very popular on the Main Service – and I guess the Lunchtime Nap is now their equivalent.
Simply, they are the horse which I think are most likely to win !
And they have been doing just that, recently – with the last 5 coming home in front.
Ofcourse, it won’t last – it never does.
You need a bit of good fortune in order to win – and eventually that will go missing.
Until that point however, I intend to enjoy it !
The other races on the day didn’t go quite as well – though most of the horses mentioned, ran with credit.
Also at Ludlow, Colins Brother won the handicap chase at 1:20.
He was a drifter this morning – but was backed in again, prior to the off.
Vivaccio wasn’t quite as strong in the late market.
He was sent off at 3/1 – but his BSP of 5, tells a more accurate story.
In the race itself, neither of them travelled particularly well.
However, I was struggling to see any of the other 4 win – so ultimately is wasn’t surprising that Colin’s Brother came through to take the race, with Vivaccio a staying on third.
Over at Newbury, Baden ran well, but couldn’t get past Dingo Dollar.
Whilst I thought the latter set the race standard, I also thought he was beatable.
However, he jumped like an old hand and ultimately, that won him the race.
Tacenda ran a fair race in the mares chasing – trying to make all.
However, she was stalked throughout by her stable companion Ms Parfois and she ending up simply setting things up perfectly for her.
Finally, Bally Gilbert also ran a fair race – but he was no match for Lake Field.
I thought that he might struggle to repeat his last time out win – but he was far more impressive today, looking a horse capable of taking much higher order…
I’m afraid that is probably it on the blog, until next year !
From Saturday onwards, Big races dominate the landscape – and I’ll be covering all of the days between then and the New year, via the write-ups for the Main service.
I’ll also be taking a few days off, straight after the new year, to recover from the period !
It’s therefore likely you be the week commencing 8th Jan before I post anything on the blog – it’s a good job I’ve left you with a few winners !
If you want to make sure you don’t miss the next post (whenever it is !), make sure you follow @thevaluebettor via Twitter (there is a button on the right).
Best wishes to you all, for Christmas and the New Year !
By far the most significant market moves this morning, have taken place in the 1:20 at Ludlow…
I did suggests last night, that might be the case – and it certainly has been !
Vivaccio was a general 8/1 shot when I posted yesterday evening – but his price was cut throughout the night.
He was 5/1, first thing this morning – but you now can’t beat 7/2.
If the support is maintained until the off, I would expect him to win.
By contrast, Colins Brother has been quite a drifter.
You couldn’t beat 2/1 last night – but you can now get 3/1 (if you shop around).
It’s never easy to read these kind of markets movements.
I felt both horses were wrongly priced last night – so maybe the market is simple adjusting for that.
I can believe that’s the case with Colin’s Brother – but my guess is that there is more behind the support for Vivaccio…
In the other race of interest on the Ludlow card, Relentless Dreamer remains a 7/1 shot – and that’s too big…
Over at Newbury, Baden has been backed in from 5/1 last night, to 7/2.
Again, I suspect there could be substance to the support (as he has always been a highly regarded animal).
Tacenda is quite weak in the mares chase – and now out to 5/1.
I think that’s a fair price – but it’s an open race, so I couldn’t get carried away with it.
Finally, Bally Gilbert is in to 7/2 in the 2:40 – but that’s on account of a couple of significant non runners – and unfortunately, it is not the horses I would have chosen, who will be absent from the race !
The Lunchtime Nap is quite straight forward, today…
Based on his most recent run, Relentless Dreamer should be favourite to win the 2:30 at Ludlow, not a 7/1 Shot.
Consequently, he has to be the Nap.
Lunchtime Nap: Relentless Dreamer 2:30 Ludlow (Fair Price 7/1)
There are 2 NH meetings tomorrow: at Newbury and Ludlow.
The Newbury/Ludlow mid week combo occurs a few times during the season – and they tend to be my favourite mid week days.
Both courses generally put on very good midweek fixtures – and tomorrow is no exception…
At Newbury, the first race of major interest, is the novice handicap chase at 1:30.
This looks an open contest in which most of the runners can be given a chance.
Dingo Dollar looks the solid option – but he also looks beatable.
If forced, I would probably side with Baden – even though you need a forgiving nature to support him !
Hopefully he’ll improve for the step up to 3 miles – and start to fulfil some of his potential…
Of the others, then Cosmos des Obeaux is impossible to assess – but could well be up to winning: whilst Dads in Trouble could be better than his mark – though he does have a lot of weight to carry…
The mares chase at 2:05 is another tough race to call…
I would expect Morello Royale to run well – but she’s the kind of horse who invariable finds one too good.
Trying to figure out which one it will be, is the tricky part.
A case can be made for all of her rivals, but I’d be inclined to side with Tacenda.
She’s the youngest and least experienced member of the field – but has also shown a decent level of form.
She’ll need to improve again to win – but I’m pretty sure she is capable of doing just that…
The handicap chase at 2:40 looks a bit easier to call, than the 2 races which precede it…
I like the look of Bally Gilbert in this, as he put up a decent effort in a better race than tomorrows, on his most recent outing.
If he can repeat that (and there is no reason why he shouldn’t), then he will go very close to winning.
Lake Field has been installed race favourite – but I’d be a little concerned about him ‘bouncing’ after his most recent run.
Bagging Turf strikes me as more of a danger, particularly with a 10lb claimer in the saddle…
There are a couple of handicap chases on the Ludlow card, which are of particular interest…
The first of them is off at 1:20 – and whilst I was initially drawn to Colins Brother, I was quickly put off by his price !
He won the corresponding race last year - and off a mark just 3lb lower.
However, his 3 subsequent runs have been poor – so it’s hard to justify a price of 2/1…
I guess he may bounce back to form – but Nigel Twiston Davies isn’t a trainer who tend to operates in that kind of way.
Nether does Venetia – but she is more than capable of getting one ready after an absence – and Vivaccio is handicapped to win.
I would rather take a risk on him at 8/1 (particularly with Aiden Coleman in the saddle)…
Outside of those 2, it’s not easy to make a strong case for any of the other 4.
Consequently, with question marks over both Colins Brother and Vivaccio, it can’t be a race for maximum confidence.
It is a valuable contest however, so maybe the market will advise in the morning (as I suspect something will have been targeted at it).
The second race of interest, is off at 2:30.
Superficially, this is much easier to solve, as Relentless Dreamer looks very much the one to beat.
He made the well handicapped Audacious Plan really put up a fight last time – and all of the right horses followed the pair home…
Relentless Dreamer was raised 3lb for the run - but that shouldn’t be insurmountable.
The issue, is simply the form of the Rebecca Curtis stable (which almost seems to be in terminal decline).
If Relentless Dreamer doesn’t perform, then there are plenty of alternatives - most of them at the head of the weights.
That said, the market is wise to them all, and I would be more inclined to take a risk on Will o the West at a really big price.
He has lots to prove (including his ability to jump !) – but on hurdles form, he is well handicapped.
Marcilhac was a TVB eye catcher 2 runs ago – but he didn’t get his preferred soft ground last time – and he won’t again tomorrow.
He probably should be watched…