Friday, 18th November 2016
Good afternoon, contrarians,
On the menu today….
Not much across the cards for us this weekend. The fields in races I was potentially interested in at Haydock and Ascot have either cut up into small fields that don’t appeal as betting mediums or there’s little in the way of value to be unearthed.
But there is one good betting heat at Haydock to shoot at….
With the ground at Haydock described as soft (heavy in places) this morning and rain forecast later today and deep into race day, it will be testing tomorrow – making the Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle (2.25) a real stamina sapper.
To be fair quite a few of those declared to go to post tomorrow will not mind heavy ground. And you can’t discount too many on underfoot conditions alone.
But weight will be that much harder to hump round the track and those without a prep-run under their belt will need to do it first-time up in conditions that will be unsympathetic to a lack of match-fitness.
KRUZHLININ does not have the typical profile of a winner of this race. That much is clear. Philip Hobbs’s charge is 9-years-old and he’s already appeared in two editions of the Grand National.
But he’s still pretty-much unexposed over hurdles with just 7 runs to his name and, as I highlighted in yesterday’s column, he gets to run tomorrow off a hurdle rating 10lb shy of his chase rating. He’s potentially sweetly-weighted.
He should be fit too. Last time out at Aintree – also over hurdles and with first-time blinkers fitted – he produced an eye-catching display finishing 3rd behind Caid Du Berlais who re-opposes tomorrow but on inferior terms.
Kruzhlinin ran a bit fresh that afternoon – blinkers or not – and that told in the later stages of the race. But that assignment will have taken some of the fizz out of him and he will have come on for the blow. The blinkers are back on tomorrow and the bigger field will assist Richard Johnson in his efforts to switch the horse off early doors.
There’s no question he’ll stay the trip, the ground will not bother him and at this morning’s 16s he’s a fair each-way price in my book.
The Contrarian Bet Box….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….
In the Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle (2.25 Haydock)....
That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.
That’s all from me for now. I’ll be back a little later today with ATC Extra.