PADDOCKS PATENT (THURSDAY)
My first selection comes in a handicap chase run over two miles.
At the head of the market is Gizzit who is trained by Seamus Mullins and is seeking his second win on the trot. While there is not a great deal of depth to this race and Gizzit looks feasibly handicapped, that was only his second win in thirty five starts. For that reason, the gelding is not a horse you would be entirely confident in following up with another win here.
Harriett Bethell’s nine year old Tri Nations is on a competitive mark and did go close to gaining a second chase win over course and distance, on his last start. The gelding does not look the same force over the larger obstacles as he does over hurdles and may just find one too good again here.
The one that I like in this is Table Bluff, despite the horse being still a maiden after fourteen career starts. While his run last time out was not great, I think he should appreciate the step back to a more suitable trip here. The run before that was a lot more encouraging as the gelding was not that far behind two horses who are in the 130+ region. He was only in receipt of 8lbs from one of them and gave weight to the other so can surely be competitive off a mark of 90 here.
Table Bluff (WIN)
My second selection comes at Carlisle in a handicap chase over a trip of two miles and four furlongs. With the ground riding on the soft side, I think fitness will be key.
Heading the betting is Montoya’s Son from the Keith Dalgleish yard who arrives here on the back of a convincing win. The gelding carries a seven pound penalty for that victory but is essentially 3lbs well in, as he is due to get a 10lbs rise from the handicapper. While fitness is ensured, there is a concern over the ground as his record on soft or worse does not read too well. For that reason, I would be prepared to look towards one of the others in the lineup for a bit of each way value.
The one that fits the bill is Malcolm Jefferson’s The Magic Bishop who should be stripping much fitter after his seasonal return, twenty day’s ago. While you have to go back to October 2012 to find his last win, that victory came off a thirteen pound higher mark. That victory also came at this venue and the gelding has good form on ground with plenty of cut. With fitness assured and now been given a chance by the handicapper, he is sure to have a say in the finish with a clear round.
Of the remainder Brother Scott was looking the likely winner when falling two out at Hexham, but this does look a tougher assignment. One that could run well at a big price here is My Friend George but you would to be worried about his fitness, returning from a 382 day break.
The Magic Bishop (E/W if 5/1+)
For my final selection we stay at Carlisle for a a handicap chase run over a marathon trip of three miles and two furlongs. All horses arrive here on a level playing field as all are having their seasonal debuts today.
The Donald McCain trained Lively Baron heads the betting here and has an extremely good record fresh. In fact he has won twice on seasonal debut and was only beaten a nose on another occasion. The son of Presenting also has a liking for this track as he is one win here and was only beaten a nose and a head on two other occasions. While he is going to have to improve on what he has previously shown to take this, I often find that staying chasers don’t hit their peak until they are nine or ten years of age.
Shouldavbroughtgold is the one that will give the favourite most to think about here but is returning from a 290 day absence. The Classic Cliche gelding is unlucky to have not got off the mark over fences as he has only been narrowly beaten, in all three chase starts. Providing he is fit enough on return the gelding should have a say in the finish today but may just need it after a lengthy break.
The e/w value in the race is probably Richard Lee’s 11yo, Incentivise who is currently on a competitive mark while course specialist Whats Up Woody also has place claims.
Lively Baron (WIN)
by Edward Leahy