Much as I try to ignore this jump racing gear (and succeed for the most part during the week) the magnetic effect of the graded contests and the stars that participate would make a nonsense of my blog’s title if I didn’t even mention them. During the flat season I can write a preview at the 48 hour declaration stage, providing the weather outlook is fair, with the jumps I have to mug up on the morning.
For once Thommo had something enlightened to say on the Morning Line, re Denman:
“We all know he can carry the weight, but can he give it away?”
Well put. If I may borrow from Heaven 17’s Look of Love lyric for a moment:
“I don’t know the answer to that question. If I knew I would tell you…”
Well I would. What I do know is that everyone says Denman is well. What I know as well is that he is the class act in the field. What we know too is that he has not quite re-scaled the heights of the season before last since his heart procedure and that he was not foot perfect when we last saw him at Aintree, which is why his price was around 9/2 this morning.
Barber’s Shop is probably the improving horse to watch for, but I don’t know enough about him to comment so I won’t. I also know that Gone To Lunch comes top in the Timeform weight adjusted ratings and should come home well. I would like Denman to win, but the fact of the matter is that he is giving away absolute lumps of lead to quality horses. For example, State of Play (who was the subject of a midweek gamble from 33s into 16s) who is a former Hennessy winner himself is getting 2lbs shy of 2 stone from the Tank. Even if the weight doesn’t stop Denman winning, it gives some other good horses a good chance of getting nearer him.
Frankly I don’t know what to do! My shortlist consists of Denman, Barber’s Shop, Gone to Lunch and State of Play. State of Play and I go back the furthest and the money and featherweight he carries is encouraging, but I am not keen on backing against Denman. Maybe it is two bets – win and each way. Anyway good luck to all the field.
N.B. If you are betting each way in the race go to Skybet or VC who are the firms offering 1/4 the price for the first 5.
P.S. I really like the look of Solwhit in the Fighting Fifth @ Newcastle and that was before Barry Dennis made Binocular his Bismarck!