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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Saturday's horseracing tips

A good day was had yesterday with Artful Lady winning at a price of 3.59.

I've had so many horses trade at short odds in-running and get beat lately but this was the opposite and hit 139/1 in-running at one stage. I thought my goose was cooked but somehow, the Excellent Art filly pulled it out of the bag.  More of those please!

One bet on the favourites strategy today (although it does clash with my e/w selection in today's Irish Independent).

2.05 Ffos Las - Oscara Dara
Useful in bumpers and better still over hurdles, winning twice last spring and taking Lanzarote Hurdle last month, value for more than 3½ length margin. Handicapper has had his say, though

Today's Indo article:

I COME from a family which has a long history of ticker trouble so I don't want to make light of the subject. But did you know that the rate of heart attacks among passionate sports fans is significantly higher than that of the regular population?  When faced with acute stress, humans have the in-built 'fight or flight' mechanism whereby the heart-rate is increased and adrenaline is released to prepare the body for violent muscular action in the form of fighting or running away from danger. This mechanism served its purpose for our ancestors who faced aggression on a regular basis but these days, our body gets confused when we get ourselves worked-up over things like sport and the stress response is invoked far too often which can actually be damaging to the heart. Penalty shoot-outs in football are particular culprits and researchers at Munich University Clinic found that heart attacks more than doubled in Germany during the 2006 World Cup. English researchers confirmed the findings and statistics show above average cardiovascular complaints during the summer months of 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006 and 2012; all of which saw England involved in a penalty shoot-out in a major tournament. I dread to think what the highs and lows of horseracing are doing to my own heart each day and last week's equine action certainly didn't help. Imperial Commander, which was the main bet of the day, was trading at 1/100 on Betfair in-running as he came up the hill at Cheltenham but my hopes of collecting a big payout from the bookies were quickly dashed as Cape Tribulation battled back to take it on the line. As if that wasn't hard enough to take, my next selection (The New One) traded at 1/50 in-running before getting beaten by a neck. Such agonising highs and lows in the space of an hour can leave you feeling dizzy so here's hoping that Fourjacks can give me a stress-free win in the Grade Two Towton Novices' Chase at Wetherby today (3.20). A useful novice hurdler, he comes to chasing relatively late in the day (aged eight) but he put in his best career performance to date when winning a novice chase at Wetherby three weeks ago which his first race over fences. While we don't have a lot to judge him by, Tim Easterby's gelding displayed all the attributes that make up a good chaser; he jumped well, travelled fluently throughout and found plenty at the finish. While he's yet to prove his stamina over the trip, his racing style suggests he can stay and he looks a solid enough selection, priced around 4/1.  Super Duty, which won the Shloer Novices' Chase at Cheltenham last time, won't let him have it all his own way however, and is likely to prove a significant danger to the bet.     

THE Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Double Ross looks set to go off at a double figure price in the William Hill Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las (2.05) and that's a fair deal considering how well he raced in the competitive Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot back in December. The two-mile distance was not ideal that day so he had to force the pace which probably cost him in the end, but he shaped better than the bare result which seen him finish fourth. The handicapper leaves him in with a chance and the front-runner should prove dangerous back at the two and-a-half mile trip on heavy ground. 

Gaelic Football: FOLLOWING their All-Ireland win in 2011, the Dublin football team got cocky last year and it finally caught up with them in the semi-final when they let Mayo take a lead that couldn't be reeled in. This year, the fight for squad places will be fierce and manager Jim Gavin has named a fairly fresh side to meet Cork in tonight's league opener at HQ. The Rebels are looking to secure their fourth league title on the trot so it's bound to be close - but Dublin have a new sense of urgency, and a number of 'home' games at Croke Park this season can only help their cause. Back the Liffeysiders get their league campaign off to a positive start, priced at even money.
Horseracing: HE'S sure to go off at a very short price but Captain Conan is impossible to impose in the Grade One Betfred Mobile Lotto Challengers Novices' Chase (2.25 Sandown). Unbeaten over fences, Nicky Henderson will be hoping he steps up to two and-a-half miles with ease, and victory today will surely temp connections to skip the Arkle and head straight to the Jewson Novices' Chase at Cheltenham. 

2.05 Ffos Las: Double Ross (e/w)
2.25 Sandown: Captain Conan
2.40 Ffos Las: Alfie Spinner
3.20 Wetherby: Fourjacks

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