Apr 16 2016 @ 10:05
Morning – There is no let-up at the moment as the top-class racing continues with the Scottish Grand National up at Ayr this Saturday – the C4 cameras are there for four races, including the ‘big one’, plus the Scottish Champion Hurdle.
They are also at Chelmsford as the AW track have stepped in to stage Newbury’s Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Card, with the Berkshire track waterlogged – the Greenham Stakes is their headline race and should give us some early Classic clues ahead of the new turf season.
As always, we’ve got all the main races covered from a trends angle, plus our verdicts on each contest – hopefully they will help point you in the direction of a few free winners this weekend.
Have a good weekend – and enjoy the racing!
SCOTTISH GRAND NATIONAL – Who’ll Triumph North Of The Border?
4.10 – Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) Cl1 4m110y CH4
12/13 – Finished in the top 6 last time out
12/13 – Last ran 57 days or less ago
12/13 – Aged 8 or older
11/13 – Carried 10-9 or less
11/13 – Fallen or unseated no more than once during their careers
10/13 – Finished in the first three last time out
10/13 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
9/13 – Aged between 8-10 years-old
8/13 – Last raced between 30-57 days ago
8/13 – Came from the first 7 in the betting market
8/13 – Had won over 3m2f or further
4/13 – Won last time out
4/13 – Had won over 3m7f or further before
3/13 – Returned 15/2 in the betting
2/13 – Ran in the Grimthorpe Chase (Doncaster) last time out
2/13 – Trained by Ferdy Murphy
2/13 – Trained by Andrew Parker
0/13 – Winning favourites
The average winning SP in the last 13 runnings is 21/1
VERDICT: Plenty of key trends to take into Saturday’s Scottish Grand National, but a good place to start is that 11 of the last 13 winners carried 10-9 or less. This rules out several of the well-fancied runners – like Cause of Causes at the head of the weights – and means the big 30+ field quickly narrows down to around 10. If we add in other key trends like being 8 or older, and having raced in the 57 days then this rules out a few more. Having a safe jumper is another big plus with 11 of the last 13 winners having falling or unseated no more than once during their careers. With the average winning SP in the last 13 runnings being 21/1 then also don’t be too put off if your fancy is one of the more-fancied entries. So, taking all these stats into account the four horses that stand out the most are – BEREA BORU, STRAIDNAHANNA, BALLYCULLA and HEATHFIELD. All are decent each-way prices so there is no harm having dutched interests in them all if you wanted.
Berea Boru has been in the form of its life – winning its last three in decent fashion and despite up again in the ratings still gets in here with just 10-9 and Sean Bowen is one of the best young jockeys around.
Straidnahanna was well beaten into second last time out here, but the really heavy ground wasn’t ideal that day and is worth giving another chance too based on his win at Catterick the time before.
Heathfield comes from the shrewd Tony Martin yard and after a recent win over hurdles could be thrown-in here off just 10-7 and should relish the longer trip.
Ballyculla took a tumble two runs back, but that has been his only fall of his career and has wins sandwiched around that fall. We was an easy 10 length winner last time out at Wetherby in a novice chase and doesn’t look too badly treated back into handicap company, while the first-time blinkers are another interesting addition.
Best Of The Rest this Saturday
3.00 Ayr – QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle (A Limited Handicap) (Grade 2) Cl2 2m CH4
13/13 – Won over at least 2m (hurdles) before
12/13 – Had won between 2-4 times over hurdles before
12/13 – Had raced within the last 5 weeks
12/13 – Carried 10-13 or less
11/13 – Favourites that finished in the top 3
10/13 – Returned 17/2 or shorter in the betting
10/13 – Aged 7 or younger
10/13 – Rated 137 or higher
9/13 – Had won between 2-3 times over hurdles before
7/13 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
7/13 – Finished unplaced last time out
6/13 – Irish bred
4/13 – Won last time out
3/13 – Winning favourites (joint)
3/13 – Ran at Aintree last time out
3/13 – Trained by Philip Hobbs
3/13 – Ridden by Richard Johnson
1/13 – Irish-trained
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 10/1
VERDICT: The Philip Hobbs team took this 12 months ago, so their STERNRUBIN will be looking to follow-up. He was last seen running a decent third in the County Hurdle and off the same mark would have a cracking chance. He’s still lightly-raced with just 10 runs over hurdles (winning 3 of them), and has only finished out of the top three twice from those 10 hurdles starts. Of the rest, the Paul Nicholls team took this in 2011 and runs two – Some Plan and Connetable – while the Malcolm Jefferson-trained Cloudy Dream and the Iain Jardine-trained Shrewd both head here on three-timers so are respected too.
2.40 Chelmsford– Dubai Duty Free Stakes (Registered As The Fred Darling Stakes) (Group 3) (Fillies) Cl1 7f CH4
12/13 – Had won over 6f or 7f before
12/13 – Having their first run of the season
11/13 – Returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
11/13 – Finished in the top three last time out
11/13 – Had won between 1-2 times before
10/13 – Drawn 5 or higher
10/13 – Came from the top three in the betting
8/13 – Raced at Newmarket last time out
6/13 – Won last time out
6/13 – Had won over 7f before
5/13 – Had won at Listed or Group class before
5/13 – Had won at Newbury before
3/13 – Winning favourites
3/13 – Trained by Mick Channon
4/13 – Trained by Ralph Beckett
2/13 – Ridden by Jim Crowley
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 7/1
VERDICT: Really on these terms this should be going to the William Haggas-trained BESHARAH. This 3 year-old had a great 2 year-old campaign last season – winning the Group Two Lowther Stakes at York, but was also only just touched off in the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes and on that running would take all the beating. The yard has made a decent start to the new campaign and on these terms is rated 6lbs clear of his nearest rival – Katie’s Diamond. Of the rest, the Ralph Beckett team took this in 2010, 2012 and 2015 so despite looking to have bundles to find their Nassuvian Pearl might also be worth a small e/w interest at a big price.
3.15 – Chelmsford – JLT Greenham Stakes (Group 3) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 7f CH4
12/13 – Priced 8/1 or shorter in the betting
12/13 – Had won at either 6f or 7f before
11/13 – Having their first run of the season
11/13 – Won at Listed class or better before
10/13 – Won between 2-4 times before
10/13 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
10/13 – Placed favourites
9/13 – Winning distance – 1 length or more
9/13 – Finished in the top two last time out
7/13 – Won last time out
7/13 – Had won over 7f before
7/13 – Had won a Group race before
6/13 – Winning favourites
5/13 – Had won a race at Newbury before
5/13 – Raced at Newmarket last time out
4/13 – Trained by Richard Hannon Snr
2/13 – Irish-trained
0/13 – Winners from stall 1
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 4.2/1
VERDICT: A shame we’ve only got five runners here, but we should still be set for a decent race. The Hannon camp has a good recent record in the race – winning it in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2013, this year they run two – Palawan and Log Out Island. Palawan might just have a bit to find at the weights, but their other runner has a great chance of upholding their record in the race. John Gosden’s Crazy Horse is 2-from-2 and is a CD winner here so that’s a plus, while Frankie rides. However, on these terms this really looks to rest between Godolphin’s Log Out Island and TASLEET. The first-named hails from a yard that love to win this race, but his last race over in France was a tad disappointing and has a bit to prove over this trip. Yes, Tasleet hasn’t won over 7f either but he was a nose second over it at HQ last September and seemed to see it out well. He’s a course winner at the track too and hasn’t finished out of the first two in his last five starts.