The first of a couple of novice chase matches with more experienced horses taking on Nicholls' hot-shots. Chris Pea Green has started well over fences and should give Irish Saint a decent race here. I priced them pretty much the same as each other.
Chris Pea Green 10pts win 13/8 (7/4 if you can get it).
Irish Saint did the job nicely, but happy with bet.
Nicholls seems to have been sending his big novice hope here of late. The betting suggests the same again. Horizontal Speed has a sporting chance of giving him a race at the weights. Again, I have them closer on my prices.
Horizontal Speed 10pts win at 5/2
Southfield Theatre looks likely to take high order, Horizontal Speed disappointing, but bet was okay.
Can't stop myself from playing these big handicaps - although I have managed to duck the one at Sandown. Still, this is supposed to be fun and I love these big Saturday chases. Any number of them have chances. With Geraghty booked I thought The Young Master would be favourite, and the claimer on Benvolio is an eye-catcher after last week. I'm also a sucker for horses owned by the race sponsor. These two are a shade shorter on my tissue, but I'm hardly betting value here.
The Young Master 4pts win at 8/1
Benvolio 4pts win at 11/1
Dare to Endeavour 2pts win at 16/1
Pretty easy for Geraghty. The race I probably shouldn't have played rescues the day - them's the cards. Saved money for sure by missing out the Sandown race.
Irving takes a huge chunk out of the market. Too huge? We'll see, but I'll play that way. If you also doubt the trip round here for Rock on Ruby these days, and are happy to let Forgotten Voice go unbacked on worsening ground, you find yourself in the land of maybes. Bertimont and Hint of Mint both seemed to be mighty flattered on their reappearances, something more than accounted for in the market. If you take their form more at face value they have much better chances. That's my land of make believe for the day, anyway.
Bertimont 6pts win at 8/1
Hint of Mint 3pts win at 11/1
Fergall 1pt win at 25/1
I think Irving's all right as I write this. Good run by Bertimont at a remarkable 14/1 (18s late on betfair). Best odds guaranteed could have been nice there and would have gone each way at that price this morning! Fergall was backed into something like 12s.
Ok on the day, 4pts down.