Friday, 24th March 2017
It’s very much a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show this weekend….
Last week at the Festival we were over-loaded with top-quality racing….
Now we’ve got a quiet weekend ahead of the start of the flat season at Doncaster next week, Aintree’s Grand National meeting, the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse, the Punchestown festival…. and all the rest of it….
There’s not a great deal to shoot at on tomorrow’s cards – but we don’t come completely empty-handed….
We do have the Insure With Be Wiser Handicap Chase at Newbury (2.25) where a field of 14 runners goes to post over the 2-mile and 4-furlong trip.
The ground in Berkshire is described as good to soft – but the next 24-hours are going to be dry and things could be closer to good by the time they go to post for this.
There are multiple horses lining up with chances in this. But our remit at ATC is to seek out ‘value’ rather than look for the likely ‘winner’.
I am looking for a horse that has a bigger chance of going in than its price suggests – rather than a horse that has a big chance but which trades at a price reflecting that….
We are, in short, looking for the right horse at the wrong price….
The one that fits the bill this weekend is Oliver Sherwood’s ICING ON THE CAKE at 12s with bet365.
The 7yo is the most-lightly-raced chaser in the field tomorrow having had just 3 races over the bigger obstacles. As such he’s open to plenty of natural progression that will enable him to leave his current mark of 126 behind. And the specifics suggest that some of that progression might materialize tomorrow….
This horse has been crying out for this kind of trip. The first time that he tried the 20-furlong trip at Ludlow last month he managed to unseat Leighton Aspell. Connections sent him out again a week later over 2-miles and he disappointed….
But he can bounce back tomorrow for the step back up. And I suspect the better ground he’ll encounter tomorrow will assist with the job. His best efforts have come on ground better than soft and the best ground he’s encountered to date could well produce his best performance to date….
The track will help too. It was at Newbury where Icing On The Cake impressed on his chasing debut in December. And he ran with credit at the track over hurdles last term on ground that would have been a bit softer than ideal.
He’s up against quite a few exposed rivals here. And he’s just about the best price of the ones you’d expect to be taking steps forward in the handicap sphere. The 12s with bet365 is more an acceptable price.
The Contrarian Bet Box….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….
In the Insure With Be Wiser Handicap Chase (2.25 @ Newbury)....
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 today.
I’ll be back with more next week. We’ve got plenty to look forward to.
I get a special birthday treat to enjoy this year – with the first big flat handicaps of the 2017 flat season – the Lincoln and the Spring Mile – taking place up at Doncaster.
That’s next Saturday – and early next week I’ll bring you all the insight, angles and analysis you need to make sense of the those early-season, big-field events….
We’ve also got the Aintree spring Festival and the Grand National on the horizon. We’ll be getting down to the spadework for that too.
And plenty more besides….
Until then. Stay tuned.