saturdays 20th april,s selections

for discussion of other sports

Moderator: moderators

saturdays 20th april,s selections

Postby beaker1 » April 19th, 2013, 9:28 pm

2:40 Ayr – QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle

With ground conditions in her favour I can see UNE ARTISTE running a big race here. Nicky Henderson is the best trainer around with mares and I know he rates her highly. The winner of six of her nine starts over hurdles, she is rated just 142, which means she receives a handy eleven pounds from Grumeti. She ran well for a long way last time out, but for some reason just did not finish her race, but this trip of two miles should suit and she really impressed over two miles at Wetherby earlier in the season. Sametegal looks a big danger and he ran really well to finish third to Our Conor at Cheltenham. He is a horse that I like and has proved very consistent so far over hurdles. He looks sure to run a big race, but it is difficult for a four year old to win these top races and I just prefer Une Artiste in what could be a fascinating race.

3:50 Ayr – Coral Scottish Grand National.

This year’s renewal is something of a special one, given that the winner of Aintree’s Grand National will be attempting to complete a scarce double in the Scottish version. Auroras Encore caused something of a shock when he stormed clear at the elbow to win at odds of around 66/1. In terms of trends, it looks something of a difficult task when you consider that the last horse to complete the double in the same year was Red Rum in 1974. More recently, horses who have run at Aintree and then lined up here have a poor record with no winner of the race in the last decade. It therefore seems best to steer clear of the Grand National winner despite his exploits a fortnight ago.

One of the stronger trends associated with this race is that eight of the last ten winners had fallen or unseated no more than once during their careers to date. The extreme distance that the race is run over often tests the concentration levels of horses and therefore a good jumper can often get themselves out of trouble when required. There are eight members of this year’s field whose previous record may cause some concern with Auroras Encore, Silver By Nature, Always Right, Garleton, Tour Des Champs, Mister Maker, Rigadin De Beauchene, Big Occasion, Fill The Power and Neptune Equester all needing to put in their best rounds to have any chance here.

An equally strong trend is that a first three finish on their most recent start is something that eight of the last ten winners have all had in common. This suggests that horses in form do tend to run well here despite the fact that they may carry a little more weight in this handicap. Auroras Encore, Our Mick, Always Right, Godsmejudge, Big Occasion, Neptune Equester, Monsieur Cadou, Rebeccas Choice and Captain Americo all arrive on the back of solid performances and should therefore be worth a second look.

It may seem obvious given the distance of four miles and half a furlong, that horses with proven stamina are often successful. In fact six of the last ten winners all had a victory over 3m 2f or further to their name prior to running in this race. There are ten horses in this year’s renewal who fall at this particular hurdle with the likes of Knockara Beau, Tour Des Champs and Pentiffic all arriving with question marks over their stamina and if any race is likely to exploit any such weakness, the Scottish Grand National is that race.

A major negative for potential contenders is if a horse is aged seven or younger, as the last seven-year-old to win was Gingembre in 2001. In the last decade, eight, nine and ten-year-olds have accounted for eight of the last ten winners so older horses should definitely be followed. There are seven horses aged seven or younger this time around, the quintet of seven-year-olds is made up of Our Mick, Godsmejudge, Problema Tic, Nuts N Bolts and Fill The Power, whilst the duo of Tour Des Champs and Big Occasion will be bidding to become the first six-year-old winners since Earth Summit in 1994.

A final factor worthy of consideration is the poor record that favourites have in the Scottish Grand National. There have been no winning-favourites in the last decade and only three of the most recent winners went off at single figure SPs. Obviously the market is subject to fluctuations between now and the off but this looks to be a race in which a chance can be taken on a lively outsider.


Monsieur Cadou

Rebeccas Choice

Lively Baron

(Always Right)


MONSIEUR CADOU completed his preparations for this race with an eight-length victory over three-and-a-half miles at Haydock at the end of March. He seemed to stay on well that day suggesting that the extra distance wouldn’t inconvenience him on Saturday. He seems to have learned from his mistake that saw him fall in November and as he is still relatively unexposed, he could be well in with the handicapper.

Rebeccas Choice has shown his aptitude for jumping since the beginning of his career as he has never fallen or unseated in twenty-four starts over hurdles and fences. He seemed to improve when upped in trip to 3m5f at Warwick in February and improved again to finish second to another of today’s rivals Big Occasion in the Midlands Grand National. He looks to be in good form and with these extreme distances seeming to bring out the best in him; he could go close again on Saturday.

The McCain family have long been associated with staying chasers and Lively Baron flies the flag for the yard this in this contest. He won the London National at Sandown in November over 3m6f suggesting that a test of stamina will suit the eight-year-old. Like so many of the McCain clan he jumps very well, in fact he has never failed to finish in twenty-one starts to date so you look set to be given a good run for your money.

The final member on the shortlist Always Right will be looking to buck the trend related to non-completions having fallen or unseated twice in his career to date. It is worth pointing out however that the last time he unseated was in the Grand National behind Neptune Collonges and before that you have to go back to 2009 when he fell on only his second start over fences. He got back to winning ways last month and as long as his jumping holds up, he could have a chance of going close.
Posts: 77
Joined: February 6th, 2013, 11:22 pm

Return to Other Sports

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest