Two feature races to look at this afternoon, both part of Channel 4’s seven race coverage from Ascot and Haydock. Heavy rain is expected in the morning in the south whilst we have a cold but dry day in the north-west. Our races are both at Haydock, their two richest events of the day. Conditions are expected to be on the testing side at both courses.
1.50 Haydock Betfair Price Rush Hurdle
Briefly touched upon Irving a few weeks ago prior to his seasonal outing.
He had a breathing op during the summer and returned to his best when winning at Wincanton. That performance sets a high standard here.
Very testing ground has to be a slight concern but a repeat of that Wincanton run will make him very difficult to beat. I have him in at 11/10 on my provisional tissue.
3.00 Haydock Betfair Chase (Grade 1)
A peak form Silviniaco Conti will be hard to beat. His victory in this race last year was a controlled display in soft ground. Which he then repeated in the King George. The forecast going for this afternoon is similar. Currently quoted in the 5/6 by most firms, he makes no appeal at odds-on.
A case can be made for all of the opposition and I think he may drift in the market. Somewhere around 11/8 to 6/4 wouldn’t surprise me.
Silviniaco Conti is often described by the cricketing phrase: ‘flat track bully’ – an anthropomorphic viewpoint of giving human characteristics to animals, one I find ridiculous. A flat track may suit him because of his running style, nothing to do with being a bully.
As a full-time professional of many years genuine value has always been the dominant factor in my betting. My philosophy is: ‘Everything revolves around value.’
This week has been a prominent example. I price up every race of interest to me (a lot after initial evaluation are not.)
To give three examples: On Thursday Alder Mairi was quoted a best 11/8 in places and a general 5/4. Despite the broken stirrup, won like the long odds-on shot I firmly believed she was.
Yesterday as I explained in this blog, although Minella Rocco is a horse with a promising future; he was never worthy of an 8/13 quote. Despite coming home third in a three horse race, that experience may temper some hype but prove beneficial in the coming months. The other from the day was Winner Massagot who was on a fair mark on his handicap debut. As I told my clients, I rated him as a 4/1 chance and he returned a 7/1 winner.
In evaluating any financial market you must have a line which tells you when to go in and when to stay away. A lot of rubbish is talked by so called racing experts about value, but if you don’t have that dividing line you just become prey to the bookmakers.