Back to reality with Jaconet
AFTER months and months of hype, the Cheltenham Festival is over in a flash and I must admit that it feels a little strange to study the form for this afternoon's regular day-to-day meetings again.
We've been spoiled with quality racing throughout this week although that didn't make it any easier to pick the winners and I've spoken to one or two Irish punters who had to throw in the towel and come home after Day Two. But as Tom Waits once sang, 'The world keeps turning' and it's back to business as usual at Ffos Las, Gowran Park, Lingfield, Newcastle and Uttoxeter today.
Fair enough, it's hardly as exciting as a Gold Cup at Prestbury Park but cast your eye over the Listed Sprint at Lingfield (4.45) and I challenge you to see if you can make a case against the David Barron-trained Jaconet, a five-year-old mare looking to claim her 11th win from 25 races.
To me she looks rock-solid and she's fast becoming my bet of the week. She completed back-to-back listed wins here in November and February and it's clear that she loves the Polytrack surface. Indeed, if you look back through her record, almost all of her losses were on the turf so you can ignore those two number sevens in her form figures from late last year.
Those listed wins were over the slightly longer six-furlong distance but, with five wins under the belt, she's equally adept when running over the minimum so there's definitely no worry about the trip.
Not only does she love the Polytrack, she loves Lingfield too and her record at the Surrey venue is a perfect three from three. Some of us like to create our own horse racing ratings and I have her 5lbs clear under today's conditions.
Just to be sure I hadn't missed a trick, I checked out her figure with Timeform and the Halifax firm have her a full 6lbs ahead of the pack which has confirmed my assertion that she'll be very hard to beat.
As for dangers? I suppose a case could be made for last year's winner Arganil, a fellow all-weather specialist who is more than capable of putting in a bold showing. I just have my niggling doubts about his recent form though, and he's become a little inconsistent. He runs a cracker one day then flops the next and he was no match for the selection when the pair met back in November.
The layers have chalked Jaconet up at 11/8 early-doors but surely they'll have to shorten up following the morning trading?
As well as creating ratings, I also like to formulate my own tissue prices and I'd have her down as an even-money shot at best. She's a strong selection and can be backed with a good degree of confidence this afternoon.
Further up north at Uttoxeter, the each-way backers could do worse than spend a few shillings on Mark The Book who seems overpriced in double figures for the John Smith's Midlands Grand National Chase (3.15).
He's a lightly raced sort and it's fair to say that he's yet to fulfil the promises he made when winning his fist race over the larger obstacles back in December.
I'll admit that it didn't look good when he was pulled up last-time-out in the Wincanton Cup Handicap Chase; but it may be worth giving him one more chance as he just couldn't settle that day following a number of mistakes early on.
But all considered, I still think he's doing well to be running off 10st 5lbs and wouldn't be at all surprised if he makes the placings at least.
The likes of Halcon Genelardais, Miko de Beauchene and Le Beau Bai are respected but they may find themselves struggling to carry the lead and I'm happy to stick with Mark The Brook instead.
2.15 Newcastle -- Turbo Island
3.05 Ffos Las -- Adams Island
3.15 Uttoxeter -- Mark The Book (e/w)
4.45 Lingfield -- Jaconet
5.20 Lingfield -- Deauville Post