Swinton Hurdle – 1.55pm Haydock Here we go! Get it ready!!

Fridays bet was a non runner but the analysis seemed pretty accurate.  Frozen Fire was given a shocking ride to finish 3/3.  I understand Murtagh might have been riding to instruction to hold up but the race was just 18 seconds faster than the Chester Cup run over 1 kilometre further… not his best performances.  Johnny is one of the best though and so I am sure he will bounce back.  It seems incredible though that such basic mistakes were made in several races, it isn’t like the tightness of Chester is unknown!

Saturday Comes!  I love Saturdays, the racing post, eggs and bacon, cup of tea, choosing how to lose your cash and occasionally, just now and again, a bit of money won to pay for the evenings cool beers.

Some fantastic racing awaits and if I had to choose I would go to Haydock for the day.  The combined flat and jumps meeting holds grade three hurdle and group two 6f action… superb stuff.  While the £45 entrance fee seems a bit steep for the Premier Enclosure, £20 tatts is not as bad and £110 for a seat in the Park Suite restaurant seems a bit of a bargain with 4 course meal included.

Swinton Handicap Hurdle – 1.55pm Haydock

I cannot resist taking on the 24 runner conundrum of the Swinton Hurdle so let’s see what we can do.  It is very difficult with so many potential improvers.

Two points to note about the race:

  • I imagine this may be the race Pricewise goes after and so market movers from midnight are to be watched!
  • No doubt, Skybet or Paddy Power will go 5 places a quarter odds, so watch where you get your money down to get the best value.

Let’s start by ruling on trends.  None of the seventy three seven year old and upwards horses have ever won the race and so I choose to ignore half the field and settle on the remaining ten runners.  While this is a sweeping statement and one lesson the Grand National teaches is not to put too much faith in trends that are statistical blips, rather you still have to decide whether the trend is due to a race being suited to a type of horse. 

Massive price winners are unusual too, and this suits my theory that the race is often won by an improver and a horse very much targeted at the race.  Therefore, and Christ I am hanging my head out, the 7 year old trend stands up as reliable.

Here is the market with the seven year olds greyed:



Cockney Trucker


Top Mark






Joe Jo Star




Ellerslie Tom








Khyber Kim


Danehill Willy


I Hear A Symphony




First Point


Secret Tune




Pascha Bere




Hot Diamond


Leamington Lad






Harper Valley



Lets take the remainder apart.  We are looking for a potential class horse hidden away with enough experience not to be put off by the big field….

First Point – The right type of improver, plenty of tasty flat form, even if it is German.  Has won in some big fields, from the powerful Henderson yard and while a stone improvement is likely needed, not ruled out.  Plenty to do from the weight mind.

Secret Tune – Also a likely type – A shrewd trainer who is likely to have one ready for this.  Improved form and probably more to come, has run well held up and prominent which is more likely required, a leading chance.  This one certainly won’t mind the rattling ground either.  The big big downside is the weight, trends say no.. hard call but I rule out.

Fairyland  – The market might be decisive in deciding the chances of another Henderson horse.  The 3lb useful claimer Rhys Flint may well be to help the top horse and money for it would be significant.  Reverting back to February Doncaster form would give it a decent chance.

Pascha Bere – On a career high mark and not shown enough to suggest he will be in the shake up.  The yards superb form is not enough to persuade me.

Caravel – The Johnson yard picked this up with a similar type four years ago – This horse could still be on the upgrade but despite a good strike rate, has not shown enough quality yet but plenty of potential.  Plus it is 11 o colock in the evening and there is plenty of cash stacked up to back this one and Cockney Trucker (are these pricewise horses?)

Hot Diamond – Hobbs who has been in good form and Rhys Flint, who is a fantastic 3lb claim team up with Hot Diamond.  Considerable improvement required but not without a chance.  Probably more faniable runners available

Leamington Lad – Twiston-Davies second string is unlikely to feature in my view

Proper – The trainer certainly knows how to bring a horse to a big race with a protected handicap mark – Didn’t quite make it home in the latest  Kempton show but has experience and likely to prefer this flatter track.  The Kempton run came after the handicapper allotted a mark of 131 which seemed a bit harsh and perhaps in a big field, this one won’t find it as easy.  Not impossible but more likely types.

Kingscape – Champion Jockey booking always catches the eye and AP won’t be eating steak tonight with 10-8 nearer the bottom end of his riding weight!  34% for Fanshawe horses means this is a serious booking.  Current hurdle form doesn’t put him in this and it would be a major surprise to see it feature.

Harper Valley – Would have a job to win this off top weight, something no other horse in the last ten years has done.  Although quite a smart hurdler in his novice season, won’t have what it takes.  Personally I feel for the horse who will be hard to place, not class enough to win a big race but has shown way too much to be an effective handicapper… awkward.

Summary: It is a huge problem sifting through the evidence and looking for the likely type.  This is a decent prize and surely someone has a springer.  I for one will be watching the money tomorrow because it is a race in which certainly place bets could be profitable of fancied runners. 

I would go for Secret Tune, I like the horses profile but think it is just shouldered with a bit too much weight.  Maybe at 2pm I will live to regret it because I believe Secret Tune could be a lot better than his mark just not many horses win off this rating in this race.  Although Tom George knows how to place them…. difficult.

The pin lands on Caravel.  Denis O Regan rides a horse that knows how to win and is potentially well in.

Advice: Caravel £8 win £8 place – priced at 13.5 and 3.7 and I advise bets for the Victoria Cup at Ascot (£3 each), 3 win horses advised Maze, Evens and Odds (who is so well in) and Aeroplane ew who is of definite interest at the price – As always good luck and good night

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s