Vincent OBrien County Handicap Hurdle

KHACHATURIAN yesterday on the free blog was  speculative
at a massive price but I feel I made a reasonable case for
him at the price. He got into the race but fell short when
it mattered and  finished only 10th. In such a huge field
confidence is impossible but I shortlisted only two and I
found the winner but went for the bigger priced horse as
I didn’t see any great value in Junior. The wrong choice.

One Strong Bet stands out to me today for Full Members.

She will put us ahead for the week if she wins.
It is always a  gruelling week but at least the prices are
good and you only need one winner to rescue Matters.

Aside from that one  I do like a lot today and feel confident in all  my bets.
ALARAZI whom I discuss below is a horse I felt should be backed at 8/1 but he has Far more
to beat than my Full Bet.

The Gold  Cup fascinates me.
LONG RUN and TIDAL BAY stand out to me.
I have backed both of these personally and if Tidal Bay wasnt in the field
I may have gone in much harder on LONG RUN. I’d love to
end with a Grand Annual bet but the ferocious field puts me off any serioius cash
so ANQUETTA is just a Mention for those who feel they have to play the race.

CHELTENHAM 2.05

Vincent OBrien County Handicap Hurdle
Grade 3 (CLASS 1) (5yo+) 2m1f

13/2 Alarazi, 7/1 Alaivan, 8/1 Dirar, 8/1 Ski Sunday
12/1 Blackstairmountain, 12/1 Final Approach
12/1 Snap Tie, 14/1 Get Me Out Of Here, 14/1 Soldatino
16/1 Notus De La Tour, Salden Licht, 16/1 Secret Dancer
20/1 Ciceron, 20/1 Hunterview, Bellvano, 25/1 Zanir
33/1 Cockney Trucker, 33/1 Dee Ee Williams
33/1 Grey Soldier, 33/1 Inventor, 33/1 Praxiteles
33/1 Tarkari, 40/1 Spring Jim, 66/1 Ellerslie Tom
66/1 Gloucester, 66/1 Nearby, 66/1 Premier Dane.

* The County Hurdle is a Handicap over 17f
* There has been 17 renewals since 1992
* The weather in December caused a lot of problems
* I said then it would affect horses fitness in March
* I think this race has been affected by that
* I would want at least 3 runs this season
* SNAP TIE has to go as a seasonal debutant
* The last 18 winners had these runs since September
* 3 4 6 4 7 7 3 5 5 5 4 6 5 7 7 5 5 3 4
* SKI SUNDAY doesnt interest me with 1 run this year
* BELLVANO is out with 1 run this season
* SALDEN LICHT has ran just twice this year
* SOLDATINO  has ran just twice this year
* NOTUS DE LA TOUR has ran just twice this year
* FINAL APPROACH has ran just twice this year
* DIRAR has only raced twice this year
* He has to prove he can act at Cheltenham as well
* ZANIR looks underraced with 2 runs this season
* English horses aged 7 or more were 3-159
* Those with 1-2-3-4 runs that season were 0-95
* SALDEN LICHT fails that
* GET ME OUT OF HERE fails that with 3 runs
* BLACKSTAIRMOUNTAIN also fails that
* ELLERSLIE TOM fails that
* BELLVANO fails that
* Horses with 11st 10lbs or more are 0-18
* SALDEN LICHT fails that
* You want a Horse that ran within the last 56 days.
* Only Sir Talbot (1999) won with a longer absence
* BLACKSTAIRMOUNTAIN also fails that
* SKI SUNDAY also fails that
* INVENTOR has been absent 210 days failing that
* FINAL APPROACH has been absent longer than ideal
* PRAXITELES has a nasty absence as well
* GLOUCESTER fails the absence statistic
* PREMIER DANE fails the absence statistic
* All 56 horses that came from a Grade 1 or Grade 2 Lost
* TARKARI fails that
* NEARBY doesnt look too well handicapped
* He has a lot of weight for an older horse
* I dont think he will give the weight away
* GREY SOLDIER needs abnormal improvement
* On his last run which was his first since October
* No past winners came from Chases
* DEE EE WILLIAMS doesnt look safe doing that

BIG PRICED POSSIBLES

* COCKNEY TRUCKER is older than ideal aged 9
* There were winners his age and his profile looks ok
* Well raced and fit this year I respect him
* I dont think he will win his as a 9 year old
* I see him as vulnerable but he shouldnt be 66/1
* COCKNEY TRUCKER is far too big at that price
* HUNTERVIEW comes out as fine
* I didnt think he would win again off a career high mark
* Not as a 5 year old but 50/1 is too big a price
* CICERON has done enough to shortlist
* The demands of this track will test him
* He has too much form on sharp flat tracks for me
* Statistically fine but with outside flaws

SHORTLIST

* SECRET DANCER has a fine chance
* Not dissimilar to last years winner
* Only in that he has just 3 runs this season
* Not convinced he will be fit enough

* ALAIVAN has to be shortlisted
* Only 1 horse aged 5 had 11st 1lbs or more though
* That horse won the Imperial Cup just 7 days ago

* ALARAZI looks a very strong runner
* His win 6 days ago shortlists him comfortably
* Horses coming from the Imperial Cup are a poor 1-37
* Horses that won the Imperial Cup last time are 1-7
* Thats much better but that winner was a 5yo
* He was lighter raced than ALARAZI as well
* That said off 10st 4lbs he  is a huge runner

SELECTION

ALARAZI looks strongest to me
8/1 at bet 365LadbrokesWilliam Hill

* I also like Alaivan to beat Ski Sunday in a match bet

Posted under Major Horse Races

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