A frustrating weekend with five of six selections finishing second on Saturday and Sunday’s nap an early casualty but we finished the week a healthy +£12.40 to a £1 level stake and our monthly p & l for October stands at +£19.15 as at w/e 16/10.
Fast ground at Exeter and, in the circumstances, the executive will settle for having forty-one runners declared for their seven-race card. There is no rain forecast on ground described as good to firm – firm in places.
Pens Man has improved for the switch to fences and he was brought down early on at Bangor last time off today’s mark. He should enjoy the ground more than most and must have a good chance, but I will be keeping a close eye on the betting with regard to top-weight CREADON GRAE who has dropped to a mark 18lbs lower than when scoring at Perth when trained by Gordon Elliot.
He has been campaigned exclusively over left-handed tracks since joining the yard of Laura Horsfall but all three career wins under rules – all at Perth – were gained going clockwise. He has gone off at SP’s of 66s, 150/1and 80/1 in his last three starts and I thought he ran a decent race in a first-time visor last time over an inadequate two miles.
I suggest we keep a close eye on the market. I will be having a few quid each way on the opening show although with only seven runners we will only get two places.
Recommendation: Creadon Grae each way at 25/1 with Boylesports
Gavin Sheehan is not riding this afternoon which allows Jonathan Burke to take over in the saddle on BRAVEHEART who can break his maiden tag for Jamie Snowden. The selection was given a moderate ride by a confident Sheehan at Fontwell on his chase debut last month when he was given plenty to do although he made significant errors at crucial times.
His best run over timber came on good to firm ground at Taunton back in November and he was very well supported on his chase debut – went off 6/4 market leader. He is bred to make a chaser; the Snowden yard are in excellent shape, and he has been dropped a couple of pounds since his chase debut. This extended 2m 1f trip looks ideal and I would be very disappointed if he didn’t run a big race.
Recommendation: Braveheart at 3/1 with William Hill
AT LIBERTY did us a favour at Leicester last week when making most in an apprentice race and escapes a penalty for that success at Yarmouth this afternoon. Ryan Moore takes over in the saddle for the first time and the forecast soft ground holds no terrors despite the fact that his Oadby win came on good to firm.
That was his first victory in sixteen starts but, now that he has got his head in front, the hope is that he can thrive for Michael Bell’s inform yard.
Mark Johnston is due to run Super Stars but do note that 3-y-old was due to race at Windsor on Monday. He also likes to race prominently but remains a maiden after ten starts
Recommendation: At Liberty at 15/8 with William Hill
Two good flat all-weather cards and SOOGHAN is fitted with blinkers for the first time by Simon Crisford having been fitted with cheekpieces for the first time when third at Newcastle last time when he didn’t convince everyone with his head carriage.
Harry Burns was in the plate at Gosforth Park and keeps the ride this evening. The 3-y-old has been dropped a pound for his last run, has a decent draw in stall seven and he can reverse course form with market leader Miramichi on 6lbs better terms if you include his rider’s claim.
Koeman has a decent course record but is not getting any younger. He heads a long list of dangers but, if the headgear works the oracle, then I do expect to see a big run from the selection.
Recommendation: Sooghan each way at 11/2 with William Hill