I had an early dart at the ante-post column this week – learn my ideas on Barbados Buck’s probabilities in the Albert Bartlett right here – and possibly simply as properly, as this is the lowest-profile weekend I can keep in mind this season.
Or some other season, actually.
Sure, ITV are set to cowl seven races however, with all due respect, the contests at Warwick and Market Rasen wouldn’t even get the friendliest of cats, being tickled underneath the chin, purring.
And I needed to do a double-take when seeing one in every of the seven was a National Hunt Flat race at Market Rasen.
Well, at least it’s assured to draw extra runners than the Grade 2 novices’ chase at Warwick, which has attracted a bumper – you see what I did there? – subject of 9 at the five-day stage (although, to be honest it does promise to be an excellent race if most stand their floor, even when each-way punters shouldn’t get their hopes up).
Anyway, racing wants its class downtime as a lot as the subsequent sport, too – soccer have their tedious FA Cup weekends – and at least there are some meaty handicaps to analyze.
We additionally just about know we shall be coping with heavy floor at each ITV tracks if the climate forecast is simply half proper, as the programs are presently tender with an absolute shedload of rain forecast on Wednesday and Thursday.
And it will not be drying up on Friday and Saturday, both.
Captain Chaos’ value continues to tumble
Mudlarks and marathon runners to the fore it’s then. In the 3m5f54yd Classic Chase at Warwick (3.00pm), and Captain Chaos and Le Breuil appealed most to me at the opening costs, in what’s admittedly a really tough 22-runner handicap to name at this stage.
However, one in every of my golden ante-post guidelines now’s to by no means tip a horse that’s doubly-entered and people who backed Le Breuil into as little as 6/1 on Monday could also be converts to this strategy now, as he’s set to run at Catterick in the North Yorkshire Grand National on Thursday as a substitute (a race during which he has an enormous probability, and I notice he has had a wind op, too).
You should be very cautious earlier than pulling the ante-post set off as of late, and take out as many variables as you possibly can.
At least we may be fairly certain Captain Chaos goes to Warwick on Saturday.
He completed a 10-length second to Kimberlite Candy (he traded 1.62 in working, the truth is) in this race final season, after which he went on to do this column a favour when making most to win by a avenue (simply the 54 lengths) in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster.
Both of these runs got here in blinkers – certainly all of his finest runs have are available in that headgear – they usually have been conspicuously lacking in his three runs this season, two of which have been on floor too fast for him.
I count on them to be again on right here come declaration time on Thursday morning, and for him to be bounced out in entrance.
Dan Skelton is a good long-range plotter and makes use of and re-introduces headgear successfully – as we noticed with Romain de Senam and his reappearing tongue-tie just lately – and Captain Chaos has been dropped one other beneficiant 4lb after his Newbury run on unfavoured good floor final time.
He is now solely 2lb greater for that runaway Doncaster win and this might show one other first rate pot (almost 29k to the winner) for Skelton to plunder.
The query is are they price backing now with the Betfair Sportsbook, or will we wait till the day?
The first agency up on Monday afternoon went 16/1 Captain Chaos and I assumed the 16s was huge.
I admit to getting concerned at 16s and 12s – these costs have been by no means, ever, going to final – and it comes as little shock now that all the double-figures in the market have disappeared, together with with the Sportsbook, who’re 6/1 from a gap 10s (the 15/2 on Tuesday went when Le Breuil was declared for Catterick).
I’m blissful to take a watching temporary with him at his present odds, particularly as each-way punters are more likely to get a fifth place on Saturday if the subject holds up (which isn’t a given, admittedly, as three are entered in that Catterick race for starters).
Come On Teddy worthy favorite in the Pertemps qualifier
There are 27 in the Pertemps qualifier (3.35pm) and these are laborious to decipher at the better of instances – you solely have to complete in the prime six to be eligible for Cheltenham, which isn’t all the time the finest advert for the sport – however I doubt many would quibble with Come On Teddy being the early favorite at 6/1 (the Betfair Sportsbook is paying 5 locations right here).
He was very spectacular at Cheltenham final time and will properly nonetheless be a good method forward of the handicapper regardless of being raised 7lb, as the runner-up, On The Blind Side, ran an excellent race in defeat behind McFabulous at Kempton on Saturday.
Tobefair can be priced in single figures and the 2017 winner (and runner-up in 2018) is one other apparent participant returning to hurdles right here off a falling mark.
However, even with the additional place, I could not see a lot of an angle into the race at this stage. It is just too tight a market at the second.
Aside from the 17-runner bumper, numbers are worryingly skinny on the floor in the different two ITV races at Market Rasen.
Patience is vital this weekend
Just 10 in the 2m125yd handicap hurdle (at 2.05pm) – and a kind of, Oscars Leader, is ready to run at Leicester on Wednesday – and 11 are in the 2m7f circumstances hurdle (2:40pm).
The latter race appears to be like a complete minefield for backers and layers alike as six of the 11 are additionally entered at Warwick on Saturday – they’re Champagne Platinum, Fagan, IK Brunel, Lil Rockerfeller, Mohaayed and Vision Des Flos -so you possibly can’t actually contact them at this stage, as said earlier.
Captain Chaos was the closest I got here to placing up a weekend ante-post wager, however his ante-post value has absolutely hit all-time low at 15/2, and I’m very a lot inclined to sit down tight on Saturday’s motion for now.
Oh, and earlier than I’m going, I’ve to say that the Betfair Sportsbook at the moment are Non Runner No Bet on all races at the Cheltenham Festival. So get digging.
Have an excellent week. Back on Friday.