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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday's Irish Independent article

Another good day on the favourites strategy yesterday with Minella Class winning at a decent enough price.  One bet on that today which turns out to be Long Run. That's fine with me as I've tipped him in my Indo column for today (see below).

The price of gold shot to the moon yesterday too which was fantastic for my open trade. As always, I wish I had bought more but sure I can't complain. As mentioned on here, I bought at $1707 an ounce and as I type it is now $1752.

Today's Irish Independent article:

WITH Imperial Commander ruled out of the Betfair Chase (3.05 Haydock) due to injury, one would have expected Long Run to be red-hot in the betting - but that just hasn’t been the case and punters have deserted Nicky Henderson’s seven-year-old this week in favour of the new kid on the block; Paul Nicholls' Silviniaco Conti. While Long Run is still most likely to go off as favourite, it seems quite bizarre to see his price as big as 13/8 in places considering he’s 10lbs clear of the field on official ratings and 13lbs clear according to Timeform. In my eyes, that price is huge and I’ve yet to hear a strong reason from his opponents as to why he should be avoided. I wouldn’t say it’s a case of getting the wheelbarrow out, but I'll definitely take a trip to the nearest automatic teller machine to have a decent sized punt if he goes off anywhere near those odds. Perhaps I’m being a little naive here; after all, the market is the collective voice of the people and it’s surprisingly accurate at assessing a horse’s chance in a race. When it goes cold on a horse, it's usually with good reason. Yet the arguments put forward for opposing him have been quite weak and mainly focus on the fact that he won just one race last season, the Denman Chase at Newbury. But let’s not forget that he won the King George and Gold Cup in 2010/2011 and while Kauto Star put him firmly in his place this time last year, he’s still relatively young and should not be written off after one or two questionable performances. It’s been pointed out that he doesn’t have a great record when fresh but the word from the yard is that they are getting a different feel for him this time around and as long as he keeps his jumping mistakes to a minimum, he’ll almost certainly be thereabouts. Looking at his more recent races, his style seems to be getting closer to a stayer as he matures - so three miles in soft to heavy ground might actually prove advantageous. His owner, Robert Waley-Cohen, has admitted that they enter unknown territory if the ground comes up heavy – although it must be noted that he has faced poor ground in France in the past. If I were in charge, I’d get amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen to hunt him around the sharp course as best he can and let him take his time approaching the fences. Silviniaco Conti put in a fantastic round of jumping in the Charlie Hall Chase and it’s important that Long Run doesn’t lose too much ground by crashing through any obstacles. Nicholls’ horse is fairly unexposed and on his novice form, he looks extremely promising. But even considering Long Run’s flaws, Silviniaco Conti still has a good lot to make up and I think he needs some more big-race experience before we see him hit the big time. The rest of the field make it an intriguing race; The Giant Bolster finished ahead of Long Run in this year's Gold Cup, while Donald McCain's Weird Al has been kept rested with this race in mind.

*Last week's winners: Al Ferof (8/1), Money Spider (4/6), Far West (15/8).

American Spin defied a 7lb rise to win an eighteen-runner handicap in May and I'm still not convinced the handicapper has him in his grip. He finished mid-division in a similar race at Cheltenham last month but it was his first run of the season and it will have helped get him back in shape. He's as tough as nails and odds of 12/1 for the Betfair 'Fixed Brush' Handicap Hurdle (2.30 Haydock) appear a little generous.

* Last week's each-way selection, Cross Kennon, was second at 16/1.

Horseracing: He didn't get the trip in the World Hurdle but Oscar Whisky will be right at home in the Ascot Hurdle (2.45) and the extra cut in the ground will give him an advantage. With eleven wins from fifteen races, he's remarkably consistent and can justify his odds-on price of 8/11 with yet another victory this afternoon.
Soccer: QPR have lost twelve of their last thirteen away matches and that figure looks set to increase today as they face Manchester United at Old Trafford. Back the Red Devils to keep a clean sheet at 5/6 in what's likely to be an extremely lob-sided affair.

* Last week's double was successful on both legs at an overall price of 6/4

11.40 Lingfield: Dream About You
2.30 Haydock: American Spin (e/w)
2.45 Ascot: Oscar Whisky
3.05 Haydock: Long Run

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