Week 25

Week 25

06/09- Selection 1: For the first time in a while it’ll be a double week. I’ve added in the second pick because one of them is only available at the advised price with Paddy Power and Betfair, being much shorter elsewhere.

I’ve been having a watch back through some of the top novice races last year, and obviously, Bob Olinger was phenomenal. He’s a worthy favourite for the Marsh on the back of his Ballymore performance, but I’m actually going to be backing him for the Festival Novices chase. He’s 20/1 for that (on Paddy Power and Betfair), whilst being as short as 8/1 in places and 10/1 generally. The 20/1 is huge considering he would barely be 2/1 if turning up there on the day. He’s not stepped up to the three miles yet but won his point to point at that trip easily, and on pedigree, he should absolutely get the trip.

His sire produced Don Cossack who won the Gold Cup, and his Mares’ sire was a stayer on the flat whose best form came over 2 miles, being group placed. So there’s plenty of stamina there and with a few of the 2 milers such as Appreciate It potentially stepping up to the 2 miles 4, we quite plausibly could see him end up here instead.

There’s no point in an each way play here despite the price because if he turns up I think he wins, the risk is him going for the Marsh!

Selection 2: Off the back of this pick and hoping that we may see Bob Olinger stepped up to the Festival Novices chase, I decided to have another look at the Marsh in case there’s some value further down the market.

The one who interested me the most is one who I actually shortlisted for this race all the way back in April but have held off putting up until now. Dusart for Nicky Henderson is the one who I’m going for, he has only had two runs but I think still there is a decent amount of form to get stuck into.

His first start was in a novice that he won by just over two lengths from subsequent Betfair Hurdle winner, Soaring Glory. The manner in which he won was impressive as he appeared to do it with ease, going away after the last. His next start wasn’t until over 5 months later which does raise slight concerns, but Nicky does often run his horses sparingly so maybe not something to read into too much. He was stepped up to grade one company in the Top Novices hurdle at Aintree, he went off just 5/2 as joint favourite but could only manage 3rd. I found a lot of comments on Twitter surprising afterwards as he was almost written off as a dud or a hype job, but I was actually impressed with that run. To my eye, he just got a little outpaced by two match fit rivals that both have shown excellent form. The winner that day, Belfast Banter, won the County at Cheltenham and arrived in full confidence and with a recent run. Do Your Job, the second placed horse, had previously finished second to My Drogo in the Grade Two novice hurdle at Kelso just a month before. To confirm the depth of this race, the two horses behind him were Third Time Lucki; who was very well backed for the County and finished sixth there, as well as placing at grade two level; and Supreme third For Pleasure. He was 12 and 17 lengths clear of them respectively.

He actually started to stay on again after the last and I think he would suit a step up to two and a half miles. On pedigree, he’s extremely well related and seems to confirm his potential over further. Sired by Flemensfirth who has sired some very notable horses, Gold Cup and Ryanair winner Imperial Commander, Lostintranslation and also Colreevy who not only won at this year's festival but then beat both Envoi Allen and Monkfish. He’s also well related on the Mares’ side with him being a half brother to Ballymore and Arkle winner Simonsig.

At 25/1 he’s a decent price and I think especially if the market principles don’t go here he’ll be much shorter priced and even if they do turn up he would be a live each way chance, as long as he takes to chasing well.