As a punter, it is dangerous to let sentiment cloud your judgment, and just because you’ve made money backing or laying a horse in the past, it doesn’t mean you need to stay loyal to that policy in future.
Thundering Blue is a horse I backed several times last year, and he helped the bank balance more than once; it would be tempting to back him again today, for old times’ sake, but the analytical part of my make-up tells me that he must be opposed.
David Menuisier’s star was pulled out of a race at Ascot on Saturday due to unsuitably fast ground, and the going at York will be at least as lively today, but a bigger worry is that Menuisier, who made such a big impression with his string last season, has largely struggled this year, with the win of Slunovrat at Nottingham recently something of a relief among a series of poor performances from the yard’s runners. With the handicapper having his say, the worry over stable form, and the quick ground, my head must rule my heart in opposing the Exchange Rate gelding.
In the opening listed event for fillies, there is the possibility of a boilover with so many open to improvement, and the weak link at the top of the market appears to be Carrie’s Vision.
The combination of Ryan Moore and William Haggas is rightly feared, but the oddsmakers have perhaps been too stingy with this Yarmouth winner, who has achieved a fair bit less than some of her rivals, and she may not have the scope of some of them, either.
The Yarmouth contest lacked depth, and while she beat another promising filly into second, that one was beaten in a maiden auction next time, and it wouldn’t do to get too excited by the bare form. On the other hand, Aerosphere beat a pair of subsequent winners in a good time at Beverley and is a 20/1 shot. Nicki’s Angel beat a colt who won next time when she made a winning debut, and No Lippy is another to have beaten colts, so there are clearly others with stronger claims than the Haggas filly, and she will need to find more than an average improvement to gain black type here.
Max Dynamite should have no trouble placing in the Yorkshire Cup based on his efforts in the Melbourne Cup and Hong Kong Vase last November/December, but he has returned from his travels in no form at all, and has failed to beat a solitary rival in two spins over hurdles at Cheltenham and Punchestown.
Hurdling isn’t really his game, I suppose, but those efforts were absolute stinkers, and there must be a chance he is simply struggling for form and/or enthusiasm at present, and it should be remembered that he’s now been placed twice in the Melbourne Cup, and he returned from his first foray with a couple of below-par flat efforts in 2016.
He needs to be on his mettle to be competitive in this contest, and even a marginal lapse in form will see him out of the money.
- 14:20 – Lay Carrie’s Vision for a place @ 2.85 or shorter
- 15:30 – Lay Max Dynamite for a place @ 2.1 or shorter
- 16:05 – Lay Thundering Blue for a place @ 2.2 or shorter