Angus McNae
Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
Saturday 1st March 2014
Racing UK
You can feel the anticipation in the air

A media frenzy is very much underway now that Cheltenham is just 10 days away. The great and the good are dividing themselves between Cheltenham previews and media days at trainers’ yards.

You can almost feel the anticipation in the air at all race meetings prior to the Festival. In essence it cannot come soon enough for all of us in this great game.

Let us just hope we have not all lost our enthusiam by the time the Festival starts.

As I learned in my student days sometimes the anticipation can be better than the actual event.

Let us try to keep a lid on it until the tapes go up on Champion Hurdle day - that way we will all find ourselves distributing our energy evenly and thus enjoy the event to the maximum.

A few things have struck me this week. Firstly Wayne Hutchinson is riding brilliantly. With a strike-rate of 16 per cent this season he continues to outride the majority of his weighing room colleagues on a regular basis, yet his efforts seem to go unnoticed.

I hope you read Ruby Walsh's comments in the Irish Examiner about Hurricane Fly earlier this week. They were intelligent and revealing as you would expect from the great man, but one line summed up why he is so good, why he is better than the rest.

"Racing is about pace, about judgement" - No more needs to be said.

My Tent Or Yours was hugely impressive in the jumpers’ bumper he ran in the other day at Kempton. The rough speed figure that he produced there was a triple-digit one, which suggests he could run well in a Group Three on the Flat over about 12 furlongs.

It also proves that his main asset is speed. I just wonder whether owner JP McManus would be tempted to run him on the Flat. It would be a bold, and probably a profitable move.

This final observation leads me to my selection today, which comes in the 4.35 at Lingfield - Ranjaan. This horse was second to My Tent or Yours at Kempton - in fact he was easily brushed aside.

He still ran a big figure, however, which tells us that he likes a synthetic surface, is in good form and is worth a go in the type of race he races in today.

Paul Nicholls rarely runs a horse on the Flat and I do not suppose that Tom Queally has had may rides for him, but that is the deal tomorrow and I want to get involved. His effort in that jumpers’ bumper may just be overlooked and in this race he could prove to be decent value.

Angus McNae Saturday’s tip:

4.35 Lingfield: Ranjaan at 5-1 with Ladbrokes