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Angus McNae

Captain's Blog - Thursday 19th April 2012

The Craven meeting continues this afternoon and no doubt the pace and far rail bias will remain in play.

Some would say that there has not been enough evidence to deduce that the far rail is the place to be. The trouble in waiting for evidence is that, once the facts are in place, the edge you might have enjoyed as a punter has gone.

So much about punting needs to be instinctive and if you snooze in this game you lose. I would add that over the years it has been best to race prominently and there has always been a rail bias when the stalls are on the far side. We have short memories in this game and in truth need no more evidence than that which we have seen over the past few years.

This does not mean that a horse simply cannot win from off the pace, of course they can, the dynamics of pace dictate that this will happen. For example Telwaar did it yesterday in the Free Handicap and deserves plenty of credit for doing so, but I still maintain that up with the pace close to the far rail is the place to be.

My selection today is Main Sequence in the last at Newmarket. He is an unbeaten colt trained by David Lanigan, who has run two decent figures for a brace of wins and even though he has gone up 10lb for his nursery success last season he still looks well treated. He should go off around 5-2 or 9-4 and that seems fair enough for a horse wo could be a lot better than his mark of 89.

It is a shame that Most Improved is not running in the Craven Stakes. His presence gave us a chance to test the Dewhurst Stakes form and see if all the hype surrounding him is justified.

The field remains a strong one in his absence and will hopefully throw up a live Guineas contender unlike the Nell Gwyn yesterday.
Esentepe was a game and solid winner of the race, but I cannot see her being good enough. In essence she has never run fast enough to suggest she can win a Guineas and that includes her effort yesterday where she was ridden to good advantage, being close to a steady pace near to the far rail. She may win the 1000 Guineas and leave me heading back to the humble pie shop, but at this juncture she does not look good enough.

Many thanks to those of you who emailed the Kempton programme I hosted last night. We received plenty of missives about a variety of topics but unsurprisingly the Grand National was top of the list. To summarise the general feeling, I think, it was that we should leave the race as it is.

Given that Chelsea were playing Barcelona on another channel it was great that we garnered so much interest. Talking about Chelsea, that Didier Drogba needs to man up a bit and stop falling over when people sneeze near him.

The same applies to Frank Ribery who was just as bad in the Bayern Munich v Real Madrid game. Let’s hope that both players are not on the pitch in the Champions League final because they can hardly be said to be a good advert for the game.

Time for me to make my way to the booth for an afternoon of top-class Flat action and of course we must not forget the hedge-hopping at Cheltenham. Join us on air today from 1.00pm.

All the best.


Today’s Selection

5.50 Newmarket - Main Sequence



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