6th January 2017
Good afternoon, friends,
In today’s ATC Extra bulletin….
I’ve been listening to the wrong people. I’ve been hanging out with the wrong crew. It’s been going on for a long time.
A new year offers an opportunity to change. For me that means no more listening to Talksport….
After a decade of abusing myself on a daily basis, I’ve seen the light. The time has come to kick the bad habit.
The time has come to spare myself 10-hours a day of mindless gibber. I have found the strength to ween myself off the empty chatter and the white noise of endless football discussion.
It became tedious and boring. It was rotting my mind and crushing my spirit. I think Talksport was killing me slowly – like a small carbon monoxide leak.
I switched the station off before Christmas. I have not been back. And I won’t be going back. I feel better. Calmer. Quieter. Happier. A weight has lifted.
It is as though I have walked away from something dreadful – like a crap job or a toxic girlfriend or a motorway pile-up.
The sun has come out from behind the clouds. I hadn’t realized just how much damage Mike Parry, Andy Jacobs and Adrian Durham were inflicting on my mental well-being….
So it is farewell to Alan Brazil, to Jim White, to Hawksbee and Jacobs, Durham and Goughie, Micky Quinn, Mike Saggers, Mike Parry, Moose (quit the infuriating false laughter), Sam Matterface and Andy Goldstein….
And it is so long to the many dozens of ex-footballers growing fat on £250-a-day gigs sharing their thoughts (please, please, please stop – you are destroying young minds)….
Thanks for the memories, guys. Thanks for contributing so much to the mood disorder over the years. It’s funny how you all make so much more sense now that I can’t hear you….
Connections have always thought quite a bit of SOME BUCKLE. They were talking about him being a real chasing prospect when he'd done no more than win a maiden hurdle.
That was 2-years ago. Connections haven’t rushed the 8yo. He finally went over fences at the start of last year – earning a rating of 140 and not disgracing himself against some decent opposition in a novice handicap chase at Sandown in April.
This term, on the face of it, the horse has under-whelmed. He pulled-up on his seasonal reappearance. Next time out at Ascot he was well beaten.
But that was in an open handicap against much higher-rated opposition. Tomorrow's assignment in the Bathwick Tyres Handicap Chase at Wincanton (2.05) looks a more realistic proposition at this stage of his development.
His recent form figures don't look great on paper. But this horse has been producing decent performances in defeat. He can come to the fore against lesser opposition tomorrow.
He’s in at 6s generally. That’s not normally our kind of price. But given the shape of the race, I’m delighted with it.
Over at Sandown in the 32Red Handicap Chase (1.15), I'm interested in the prospects of Venetia Williams’s MARCILHAC....
As a 5yo he was good enough to run just a short-head behind Carole’s Destrier over hurdles at Kempton. That was almost 3 years ago – and he’s not run much in the meantime. He’s clearly had problems.
But connections must believe he is worth persevering with and at Ascot last month – off a 9-month break – he produced a pleasing enough return to finish 6th of 15.
He understandably tired towards the end. Nevertheless, his figures were the best he’s put up in Britain to date over fences (7 of his 10 chase runs came in France as a 3- and 4-year-old) and he’s entitled to improve again for the run.
He'd dropped down to a mark of 126 from a high of 135 and he can capitalize on that opportunity. Venetia Williams has sent out a few winners over the last fortnight, the ground will suit and there's plenty to like....
I don’t expect the firms to go up with early prices for this class 3 event. Instead. I’m relying on the industry tissue as my guiding light. Marcilhac is on that at 12s.
I’d be delighted with 12s – anything bigger would be outrageously good. But I’d be happy with 8s, 9s, 10s or 11s too.
Tomorrow’s selections are as follows….
Note: I’m going to back both horses to win. But if you want to play for the place, don’t let me put you off. Your call.
Over on my paid Against the Crowd service the focus is on Sandown….
The G1 Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle (2.25) is the feature. Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls have farmed the race – winning 7 of the last 9 renewals.
Henderson is a no-show this time. Nicholls has the favourite. The market likes Capitaine. Fair enough. He brings the pick of the form.
But he can be turned over – by a progressive sort trading at a more attractive price….
The old boys go for the final of the Veterans’ Handicap Chase series (3.00)….
Dynaste – one time winner of the Ryanair Chase – heads the betting. He’s the class act in the field but he’s shown nothing in his two runs to date this term that encourages me to support him. He’s short enough for me….
I’m going two-against-field – supporting a rejuvenated character somewhere close to his best despite advancing years and one I reckon is weighted to great advantage….
You can get immediate access to these extra bets by taking a FREE 14-day trial of Against the Crowd…. Access the Sandown selections….
That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.