I didn’t fancy anything on Saturday, and the two I did consider putting up didn’t figure. It was a bullet dodged, and hopefully Sunday’s selection is worth the wait. Driftwood Haze didn’t run well at Cheltenham on Friday, and as soon as I saw him racing prominently I knew it wasn’t going to be our day. He is a horse that is best when held up, and watch out for him when he heads back to Ffos Las.
Floresco ran a huge race at odds of 40/1, just missing out on 3rd by an ever diminishing 3/4L. He put in one or two slow jumps at a crucial stage, and with a cleaner round he might have gone even closer. He is a useful horse and he is capable of doing damage off his current mark for Richard Woollacott. Sunday’s selection goes in the 2.40 at Carlisle, a 20f class 3 handicap chase, and there are some promising types in the field.
|Captain Redbeard is the apple of Coltherd’s eye.
The one I like is Captain Redbeard, for father and son combo Sam and Stuart Coltherd. This 7yo son of Bach was a more than useful handicap hurdler last season, He won 3 of his last 4 starts, starting out with an 8L stroll over 20f (gd/sft) at Sedgefield in January. After a poor run at Carlisle (17f hvy), when the trip and ground were valid excuses, he bounced back to form at the same track back up at 19.5f, hosing up by 8L off 114 in a class 4.
He saved the best until last, with a 7L demolition job in a class 3 contest off 124 at Kelso (21.5f (gd/sft). The 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th from that race have all gone on to win races since, and afterwards Coltherd described him ‘as potentially the best we ever had’ and ‘he is a chaser for the future without a doubt’. He was put away for his summer break after that last win, and he made his reappearance in a novice chase at Kelso (23f gd/sft) in October.
He was badly in need of the run that day, and he made a few mistakes early on. He was handed a mark of 130 for his chase handicap debut, again at Kelso, and he jumped slow early on but improved as the race wore on. He was detached by a good 15-20L at one stage, but as his jumping warmed up he made ground easily and looked a big danger behind the front two as they turned into the straight. However, the exertions of closing the gap took their toll, and he ended up a well held 3rd, beaten 26L.
He will have learned loads from those two first outings over the bigger obstacles, and the handicapper has also dropped him to a mark of 128. I am hoping that he is ridden more aggressively tomorrow, especially over the first couple of fences. If he can get a good rhythm going early on he has the engine to run a massive race, and he is only 4lb above his last winning hurdle mark. Soft ground will be fine, he is a previous course winner and he should be at peak fitness after his last couple of runs. If he puts in a good round of jumping, he could hit the frame at odds of 16/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: 2.40 CARLISLE: CAPTAIN REDBEARD E/W 16/1