Duke’s Tips – 18th January 2012

We’ve had a quiet few days on the racing front in regards to betting opportunities, and I’ve taken that time to brush up on my data for Meydan along with finishing off the book I’ve been reading for the last few weeks.

The book is The Winning Horseplayer and was written by Andrew Beyer, and I simply cannot recommend it enough to anyone wanting to find out more about how to beat the races, and if you’re anything like me you will have gained plenty from reading it – you can pick it up from Amazon for around £8.50, and I honestly think it is an absolute bargain.

I’ve flicked through the cards tomorrow and have to say it isn’t the best quality of racing once again, and the only horse that interested me on the all-weather is shorter than ideal at 2-1, and I simply cannot make a case for getting involved at those odds.

The point of my interest tomorrow comes at Newbury in the feature race of the day at (2:35) a handicap chase over three miles. For which there has already been plenty of money around for the frustrating Ikorodu Road, off the back of that narrow second-placing behind the well touted Harry The Viking at Doncaster last time. Going on that form alone you’d have to give him every chance here off just 1lb higher, but the horse is a very complicated individual from what I have seen of him, and has thrown away winning opportunities on many occasion – and simply put, is far too short at generally 11-2.

A good run can be expected from Ballyfoy, who hasn’t been with Gary Moore for long and has some decent back form in his corner – he ran well for a long way in the Southern National at Fontwell before getting tired with the lack of a recent run. Although he has a good ground novice chase win (over Boychuk) to his name, his best form appears to have come on bottomless ground (which he won’t get tomorrow) and although he has slipped another 6lb down the weights, probably isn’t good enough to take this off these terms.

Rear Gunner was revitalised last year when strapped up with cheek-pieces and he will have needed the run on his seasonal return, that will have blown the cobwebs away and it wouldn’t be much of a surprise were he to hit the frame at a rather large 20-1.

Which brings me to my selection Sound Stage who looks handicapped to go exceptionally well here back over the fences for the first time since a good second to Buffalo Bob in late 2010.

His chase form is much better than what he has achieved over hurdles, and you can link him in with Midnight Chase who beat him 9L off level weights (and has now improved 33lb). He was then second to Buffalo Bob at Newbury when the pair met again but Buffalo Bob was entitled to beat him at the weights but Sound Stage challenged him all the way up the run-in with the odd sketchy jump throughout.

If you compare his hurdles and chase form you get a pretty significant picture.

Hurdles: 0340340
Chase: 3212122

He has been kept over hurdles for a reason in his latest few starts and I believe it could be to protect his chasing mark for something like this with a decent pot attached to it. His Newbury form stands up to the closest inspection with 1 win, and a place from just two runs at the track, we know he also gets the distance and has every chance to capitalise on the leniency shown by the official assessor dropping him 4lb since his last chasing run – he gets in tomorrow off a mark of 124.

Tom O’Brien maintains the ride after riding him last time out in what was nothing more than an exercise piece, and he has a 25% record for Caroline Keevil when riding her horses over fences – taking all this into account I think he is a more than fair price at around 10-1 and is worth a bet in an otherwise difficult race.

[notification_box]1pt win Sound Stage @ 10-1 with VCBet, Ladbrokes [/notification_box]


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