Tanya's Blog - Saturday 16th February 2013
My Tent Or Yours was simply breath-taking in the Betfair Hurdle. It’s meant to be a competitive handicap hurdle of the highest quality and it was turned into a procession. There was no surprise when Ladbrokes thrust a quote for the Champion Hurdle into my eye line. I know there’s a supplementary fee but as I said on Channel 4’s afternoon programme, I wonder?
On Sunday Melodic Rendezvous and Harry Topper showed their respective worth ahead of the four days in March.
In Ireland Our Conor, Boston Bob and Sir Des Champs did the business, but I find it sad that Flemenstar will miss the Festival.
It has been a hell of a week but the loss of Flemenstar is an indication that it’s time to ready yourself for ante-post heartbreak and shattered dreams with only just over three weeks to go.
On Tuesday I was at the John Smith’s Grand National weights lunch at the Savoy.
My immediate idea of the winner was for Tidal Bay, The Rainbow Hunter and Quito De La Roque. Then I was inundated by various people asking me how I feel about covering my first Grand National, try about my 30th!! I don’t wish to be rude but I’ve been going to Aintree for the Grand National meeting since 1977.
I even appeared on a couple of Grand National Morning Line’s live from the course then went to clerk for a bookmaker on the day in 2001 and 2002.
It’s a shame that I’m not standing as a bookmaker or working for one at the meeting this year, but what a thrill and a privilege to be covering the betting ring over the three days. Some wonderful memories are sure to come rushing back.
As it happens it’s lucky that I never converted my thoughts into a cash bet on Tidal Bay. Paul Nicholls was far from feeling the love on Valentine’s Day. The trainer has had a torrid time with injuries to his stars this season and I wonder when it will stop! It’s damaging too, to an ever decreasing ante-post market, but that’s another story.
Some of Saturday’s action will have relevance to the Grand National. The Rainbow Hunter and some of his rivals at Ascot is one such race, while the Grand National Trial itself at Haydock Park will provide some clues. The market for that Haydock race has been influenced by the form of Venetia Williams.
Rigadin De Beauchene has steadily moved into favouritism. His competitors are course specialists or on the up themselves. The ground will be testing.
Teaforthree has all the credentials needed for the trial and a race of this nature.
He was mugged by Monbeg Dude and a bit of genius from Paul Carberry in the Welsh National. It was for me one of the spectacles of the season.
In this instance I think it will be advantage Teaforthree but he’ll have to stave off the challenge of Rigadin De Beauchene. I’m sure Mac Aeda will be on the premises for a place.
However my hard-earned will be going on in Haydock’s first race and Valco De Touzaine is the subject of my interest. He was etched in my Nagme account after his sixth to Lord Of House at Sandown in January and I’ve been waiting ever since.
The other is The Bear Trap. It’s not often A P McCoy goes down to 10st-4lbs and when he does it’s for good reason. His strike-rate when teaming up with Rebecca Curtis hurdlers is 46 per cent. Enough said.
In the Neptune, Pont Alexandre is very strong, while there is a momentum behind Hadrian’s Approach. His run behind Unioniste last Saturday did his claims in the RSA Chase no harm. African Gold is one to watch in the Albert Bartlett.
1.45 Haydock Valco De Touzaine
3.15 Ascot The Bear Trap
Nine of the last ten favourites were beaten in the Grand National Trial at Haydock
Nine of the last ten winners of the Grand National Trial finished in the first three on their previous start
Cannington Brook has won three of his four starts at Haydock Park
Recent winners of Haydock’s 3.25 include 2012 Brindisi Breeze, 2010 Wymott, 2008 Tazbar, 2007 Chief Dan George, 2006 Neptune Collonges, 2003 Iris’s Gift
Cloudy Lane has won five of his ten races at Haydock. He runs in the 5.10 at Haydock
Nine of the last ten winners of the Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle came from the first two in the betting
Six of the last seven favourites have won the Betfair Ascot Chase
Barry Geraghty is attempting a fourth straight win in the Betfair Ascot Chase
Barry Geraghty has won on Finian’s Rainbow on nine of his 15 rides
From 11 rides on Somersby Dominic Elsworth has won on him three times, second three times and third three times
Nine of the last ten winners of the Reynoldstown Chase came from the first three in the betting
Five of the last ten favourites of the Reynoldstown Chase have won
Eight of the last ten Reynoldstown Chase winners were priced 3-1 or shorter
Kim Bailey has had three winners from his last six chasers to run at Ascot
Nicky Henderson has had four winners from his last seven chasers to run at Ascot
Paul Nicholls has a 39% strike rate with his novice chasers
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