February was off to a stinker to those reviewing the Major on Saturday evening. 24 hours later and a whole new complexion was bought to the month as the 22/1 (significant rule 4 applied) and the 11/2 tips (only two put up!) horses won at Musselburgh – Kaboom!
Punchestowns go tomorrow and the Cross Country looks like a shoe in for Garde Champetre. Given the distance and the complexity of obstacles in some of these races, it always surprises me that they are so often run fairly true to form. That said at the likely 4/9, it won’t carry the Majors money.
I am however interested in the 3.45 Carlisle Pertemps Hurdle Qualifier.
The obvious candidate is Knockara Beau, successfully tipped up to run well at the end of January (33/1 advised) when finishing second to Grad Crus. The way the winner went that day, you would have to say that it looked good form. The proximity of the next two which were decent sorts gives you a fair idea of the mark that Knockara ran to. A reproduction of that form would give him every chance of top weight, being upped just three pounds.
I liked this at 33/1 at Cheltenham because I felt a return to hurdles might respark some passion for the game. Glad to see them pursuing this route but I am unsure it is the value bet. 11/4 is plenty short enough given no second good run on the trot is guaranteed.
Sa Suffit is a very interesting runner in the Majors view. Running several pounds lower than when last seen, this horse has only ran on chase courses in all starts in Britain but has won 5 of the 10. This has seen Sa Suffits mark rise to 152 at its height in March last year. This was one race before a fateful Aintree run which was incomplete and we have not seen the horse since. Racing off 141 at Carlisle, if the horse is ready and is as effective over hurdles then it could be a serious danger.
Let’s examine these risks. James Ewart the trainer looks in good touch at the moment. In fact he sent out Vosges, tipped up at a monster price by the Major on Sunday. I feel OK that he could have one ready. This also looks quite a hot contest if Sa Suffit needs a run.
As for the hurdling ability,the French form in his younger days looks OK, winning at Pau.
This one is of interest to the Major and I advise a bet. 6/1 with PAddy Power can be bettered with 13/2 with Victor Chandler. This is one that could drift though and the guaranteed pricing model of Paddy Power might suit. The Majors record will show a win bet advised with Victor Chandler.
Have a tickle and thank me later. Incidentally the translation is ‘it’s just’.
The main risk for me is Diklers Oscar rather than Knockara. Although this is the furthest the horse has tried, the breeding suggests it should get it. I would be all over it but the soft conditions are hardly likely to suit. Although a winner on soft, it strikes me that it prefers the firmer conditions.