There's still life in the NH season....
*******************It was a rum old day on Saturday. First big meeting of the 2012 flat season and my first decent bet was undone by the width of a fag paper and what looked to be a half decent draw proving to be more of a hindrance than a help.
The writing was on the wall for Mull of Killough after the Spring Mile at 2.05. I had narrowed that race down initially to five contenders (one of which was the 50/1 winner Norse Blues) based on some fairly strong trends. Sadly I had backed only my top 2 which were Shamdarley and Kay Gee Bee. Drawing a blank on the race was only a small part of the disappointment that I felt. My real disappointment stemmed from seeing the first 3 home in the race had resided in the low 3rd of the draw.
Mull of Killough was my main bet in the Lincoln and, with low looking the place to be draw-wise, his berth in 21 of 22 was making me feel decidedly queasy.
And my queasiness was well founded. Mull of Killough finished like a train over the final furlong but just failed to get up. Had he been drawn even a touch lower, I think he would have won comfortably. As it was he failed by a rapidly diminishing short head to the nicely drawn (in 12) Brae Hill. I don't want to take anything away from Brae Hill who has deserved a big handicap win for some time (and was sorely overlooked in the betting markets for a horse who finished 2nd in this last season.)
Those are the margins we live and die by in this game. There will be plenty of winners later in the season where we get the luck of the draw - resulting in a victory that may well not be fully deserved!
The Grand National
A lung bursting 4m4f over gigantic fences, around weird turns, avoiding fallen jockeys, loose horses and general pandemonium.
Just hearing the words themselves conjures up images of sitting excitedly as a boy watching this crazy event unfold before me. It was while watching this race that I caught the bug and it's never gone away.
I will be doing a far more in depth look at the race next week but I thought it might be interesting to make an initial assessment of the race now based solely on value. I've spotted a few that I think will go off shorter than their current prices and I will be taking up positions now with a view to possibly trading out of them later.
My early thoughts are:
Killyglen - looks over priced at 20/1 with Lads and Coral. This one was going well in contention last year when falling 4 from home. He's clearly been aimed at the race and a bit of a gamble is starting to develop. I could see this one going off considerably shorter. For those of you with a slightly more cautious attitude Bet 365 go 16/1 on him with non runner no bet.Chicago Grey - I think you could do a lot worse than have a few quid on this one at 14/1. Hailing from a yard that really knows the time of day when it comes to the National and there's been some decent support for it in recent days.
Giles Cross - I would love to see this ultra- consistent performer win the race but unfortunately I am struggling to see it. I think he will struggle to stay. Everytime he's gone even close to this distance he's finished very tired and I think this might be just a touch too far. I may be tempted into a small bet nearer the day but for now I will be keeping my powder dry.
I'll leave it there for now but I will be keeping a close eye on things as they develop and do a full in depth analysis nearer the race.
Have a great day