Wednesday 8 July 2020

Stratford July 8

Our cup truly runneth over today with four chase races to examine as racing returns to the home of The Bard.

They've had plenty of rain in recent weeks and although it's only good to soft in places you could envisage it being a little worse than that, but we'll have a much better idea after the first two races.

A very decent novices chase for the time of year with four horses rated in the 130s and another three in the 120s.

Seddon's form has by far the most depth to it and it is little surprise that he has been put in quite short despite this being his first start since the back-end of the 18-19 season.

He was fairly consistent in group company as a novice hurdler while looking rather paceless over the minimum trip and also over further, and he looks sure to benefit from 3m in due course.

I wasn't that taken by his physique or the shape he made over hurdles and while he may have the best engine he's not one to be taking short prices about here.

There are quite a few that are interesting, not just today but going forward, including the mare Diamond Gait, who looks sure to relish this better ground, and Scardura who was highly tried after making a good impression when winning his maiden hurdle.

Leapaway racked up a sequence two summers ago and justified his rating to a point in two defeats the following spring, and he looks like a chaser in the making with plenty of speed on his side.

Longhouse Sale looks speedy but has a problem when coming off the bridle, all his winning coming on a sound surface.

Beat The Judge has had a spin on the Flat but it remains to be seen if this son of Canford Cliffs will take to fences.

All told, it's probably a race to watch for all that I'm tempted to take on the favourite in some way.

Not much interest here as the market has narrowed it down to a couple, neither making much appeal at the odds.

This is a much weaker affair, a basement 0-100 handicap over the minimum trip, and a pretty poor one at that.

Wisecracker heads the market and will be popular after the trainer had a first-time-out winner at Uttoxeter in these colours, but this horse is no win machine having fallen in last time out in a race that took no winning.

Previously second five times over fences, he's more likely to chase one or two home after travelling well for much of the contest.

Peterborough has come in for support despite making little impression in four chase starts last term, his mark having tumbled as a result though and he languishes some 12lb below his winning hurdles number.

The selection here though is My Renaissance, who is generally kept busy throughout the summer months and had a pipe-opener on the level last month.

His four chase wins have come on tight left-handed tracks over the minimum trip, and he requires goodish ground to produce his best form.

He bolted up off a similar mark two years ago, and won from a much higher rating last August. Like most horses of his ability, he needs things to fall into place, but he can generally be relied upon to pay his way at this time of year and at 8/1 is a backable price.

An interesting race where Captain Buck's and Flying Verse head the market, but this looks wide open.
The former will be popular with trainer P Nicholls going strongly after the break, but his chase record reads 0/12 with seven placings albeit from higher marks.

Enthusiasts will point to a victory between the flags in March as the start of a revival and while he's young enough to turn things around I'm not sure beating up a couple of 12 year olds warrants favouritism in a deep race for the grade.

Flying Verse won over C&D in October from this mark, but that was a weaker contest and he's a bit in and out. David Dennis has teamed up with T Symonds so it will be interesting to see if that alliance brings more success than the pair did as individuals...the horse stays further than this but may lack the class of some.

Bold jumping front runner Monbeg River has slipped into a C4 race for the first time in years and he could get several of these off the bridle if he's ready to go, but that would be of concern.  He's been lacking his usual consistency of late hence the drop to a mark of 120.

Montys Award is a bit of a job horse, landing a touch a couple of seasons back before going down by a head 12 months ago having looked to have the race sewn up.

Both those races were at Worcester and he's clearly best suited by a left handed oval, so this should suit and he loves decent ground...if it does turn out to be softer than the official this would count against him.

His record is patchy, so I'm hoping he's best caught fresh and back down to a mark of 118 be should be thereabouts.

Cut The Corner might be competitive from a depleted mark but rather like Monbeg River he's essentially been regressing at the age of 12 and it's difficult to part with the hard-earned having taken a year out.

Monty's Award is the play here in the hope that a sound gallop will see him travel deep into the race.

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