The weather caught me out a little yesterday, but still a good day with 2 winners from 5 bets at 11/4 and 13/2.
1.45 2m4f Handicap Hurdle Grade 3 – Mont Des Avaloirs 11/1
Some huge novice form last season in the Grade 1 Tolworth behind the eventual Supreme 1-2 Summerville Boy and Kalashnikov, he started this season as a novice chaser when making a good start when 2nd to future listed novice winner Maria’s Benefit. MDA connections was now given options, but significantly decided to revert back to hurdles where he then ran a career best in a very strong listed event, the field gave the eventual winner a easy lead upfront, but MDA travelled very well and looked the winner when coming to challenge after the last fence but hung right and missed out by a half a length, the winner Global Citizen has since boosted the form when winning the grade 2 champion hurdle trial and now rated a huge 13lbs more, over 4 lengths behind was Ballymoy who won his next 2 races and went up 10lbs, another 10 lengths back was Whatwrongwithyou whose won twice since and 6lbs higher and even further back was Gumball whose won his next 2 on the flat, a very strong race to follow. MDA went up 3lb for that close defeat and was a very well backed fav in a strong grade 3 handicap at Ascot where he had a change of tactics and raced up with the pace, freely at that, tactics clearly didn’t suit and backed out the race quickly. He was given another chance again at Ascot and was ridden cold out the back in a very slowly ran race and taken wide around the corners, a suspect non trier, he’s back down to a mark of 139, he’s upped significantly to 2m4f which on pedigree is a huge plus, he’ll love the deep ground and a course winner already.
2.20 2m Top Novices Hurdle Grade 1 – Precious Cargo 7/2
Nicky Henderson certainly targets them for this race, he’s had the winner in this 5 times in the last 10 years and his chance this year comes from ex Lucinda Russell bumper winner Precious Cargo, he made a winning start after a wind surgery for his new trainer the start of the year in a decent form race, he then done as expected when winning as easy as he liked at Sandown, he jumped well and cruised through his race to win by 8 lengths on the bridle hard held, he already has a rating 144 and hasn’t come out of first gear, he’ll love underfoot conditions and looks a future chasing star, but for now this looks a stepping stone until his main aim over fences.
2.50 3m1f Mildmay Novices Chase Grade 1 – Topofthegame / Lostintranslation straight forecast 3/1
Had very strong form even if not winning over a fence before winning the deep RSA in front of Santini and fav Delta Work with the rest of the field no where to be seen. Apparently has come out of that race in great condition, Lostintranslation is a valiant opponent and was a good 2nd over the 2m4f JLT at Cheltenham, the step up in trip looks like it will suit but hard to pass on the potential staying superstar Topofthegame who I would also recommend a little bet on winning next year’s Cheltenham Gold cup at 9/1.
Russell Blair Racing