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Thoughts and selections


14:40 Not

I've done Plymouth Rock 20/1 and 6.8 BF TBP

He won at Haydock last year for John Quinn with a FT Visor fitted, looking well in command 1f out but in the end hanging on somewhat having been in front a long way out. He didn't sparkle after that and was tailed off on first run for David Loughnane (AW). His often improve greatly after their first run; he often seems to eek out improvement in horses. Rossa Ryan had a 28% strike rate for Loughnane in the 2020/21 AW season (no turf rides yet this season).

Edit: Sorry, as I typed that the 20/1 has gone (was plenty beforehand). 16/1 best now.

Edit 2: Ah, that's because there's a nr and a 10p R4.

Edit 3: Forgot to say, first-time Blinkers fitted today.
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17:20 ChC - Cl5 7f Hcp

Blame Culture is a bit like me, he has a good record of going close but doesn't win that often. However, AFAIK, this is the lowest average OR AW handicap he's run in and I think he should go close tomorrow. He's been arguably unlucky to come up against Freedom & Wheat (12lb well in) and Fred this winter, when pulling 4L clear of the rest in that first race and having some solid yardsticks in behind in the 2nd (7 out of 12 runners having since placed at Class 2-4).

I backed Velvet Vista when she was 2nd last week. This looks much tougher even though she's offically 3lb well in. She is 2-2 when reappearing after 7 days or less though.

1/2pt @ 5/1
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16:30 Lei (8f Cl4 4yo+ Hcp) - Modmin 7.8 BF 0.25pt (7/2 generally)

Modmin made his 3yo debut in a 7f Chep maiden won by Jumaira Bay. 21 days earlier, JB had finished 2nd to Brunch at York, beaten only a sh hd, and rated 89 as a result. Brunch finished last season on an OR of 100 and was 2nd in this year's Lincoln.

In that maiden, Modmin found himself behind three horses at the point when he needed to make his effort, and had to be switched towards the centre of the track. Otherwise, he may have gone close to beating JB. He suffered similarly when 2nd to Crisford's Chance in his final race of 2020 on Heavy ground. Tomorrow's race represents a drop in class from his last race. The selection looks well drawn in stall 2 and my gut feeling is this course will suit.

Modmin's main rival tomorrow is Stoute's Mars Landing. He ran promisingly on his 3yo debut, making up ground after a difficult passage to finish 2nd in a 3yo Nby Hcp, but that form hasn't worked out well, and ML subsequently failed to win both a Wdr maiden (6/4 Fav) and a Chelm Novice race (2/9 Fav). Only problem is, the handicapper has given him a chance, generously dropping his rating from 84 to 78.

I'll be topping up another 0.25pt if we see anything over 6/1 with the books.


Hi P PHS ,
I did look at this race last night and decided against a bet but because of your efforts thought it worthwhile having another look.

Your fancy MODMIN could be unexposed and i certainly wouldtn't put you off him, obviously there is a form connection with SWORD BEACH & MARS LANDING which would very much favour ML but that could be misleading and not to be taken too seriously, however being out of TAMAYUZ and having shown form with give in the ground MODMIN might perform best on soft...maybe ?

My best guess would be JEAN BAPTISTE who has already had a recent run but it to be honest i'm happy to let this race run and wish you well with MODMIN. good luck.
Good luck with Modmin, P PHS

9th April

Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (4:40 Aintree) - Win bet on Midnight River @ 10/1

Midnight River gave weight (3 lbs) and a beating (1 1/2 lengths) to Gallyhill at Ascot, so it’s a bit surprising that he is double the price of that rival today. That race was over 2 and half miles, but horses stepping up in distance have a good record in this race. 4 of the last 6 winners were running beyond 2m 6f for first time, and backing such runners blind in last 23 years would have returned +24 LSP from 125 runners.

3 recent winners of that Ascot race have competed in this, although none won, two of them were big prices - Point Of Principle (7th 66/1), Yala Enki (5th 25/1). Beyond Conceit was a very close 2nd @ 9/1.

Midnight River’s pedigree suggests he will stay, and that’s what I am relying on that step up in trip will see him improve. He is from the family of Grade 1 winning staying hurdler Saint Du Chenet in France.

Cape Gentleman was another I liked in this race, and he would have a chance too if he stays. He is taking a big step up in distance having won the Grade 2 Dovecote Hurdle over 2 miles last time. None of the last 22 Dovecote winners won their next race though, so he has that negative stat to overcome.