Ceilidh a step ahead of field
SOME readers may have heard of the late Benjamin Graham, an American financial trader considered to be one of the greatest investors of all time. Graham died in 1976, but his legacy lives on and one of his students and biggest fans, Warren Buffett, also went on to become a colossal figure in the trading world -- amassing squillions for himself over the past five decades.
Graham once advised Buffett that, every day, he should try to do something generous, something creative and something foolish.
Unfortunately, this writer has yet to appear on the millionaire rich-list, but it's not a bad philosophy to live by and I reckon I'll tick a couple of those boxes today. The missus wanted a new hairdo for Christmas so 'generous' was covered when I told her I'd fork out the dough for it from last week's winnings.
I'll probably live to regret it when I see the bill, but you've got to keep the fairer sex happy if you want a quiet life.
Creative? Well, I've promised the daughter I'll spend this evening making homemade Christmas crackers, so I'm covered there.
The last one on the list, then, is to do something foolish. I'm well used to horses making an eejit out of me, but hopefully, a bet on Ceilidh House (2.20 Lingfield) won't prove to be the foolish thing I do today and I believe the filly is a fair bit overpriced at 4/1.
Ralph Beckett's four-year-old is yet to score in 2011, but she's proven at this level, having taken a listed contest at Doncaster on her final run of the season last November.
Her latest race at Kempton was her first time trying out the Polytrack surface and she handled it well, although she couldn't get herself into a good enough position to give the eventual winner a credible challenge.
Ceilidh House has been somewhat frustrating to follow and has now been placed in three of her listed races this year, having every chance when coming late at Doncaster in November. She traded down near 1/10 in-running on Betfair on that occasion, but the timing wasn't great and I hope to see Jim Crowley improve on his tactics today.
Circumvent won't go down easy, however, he's been given a slightly worse draw in stall 13 and could have to settle for minor honours.
At Ascot, racegoers are in for a treat as Big Buck's goes for his 14th win in-a-row in the Long Walk Hurdle (2.30).
He's 16lbs clear of the field and I'm sure there will be a few hardy souls that will try to buy some money at 1/4, but this is a race for watching and enjoying without any cash crossing the counter.
HE had a bad year in 2009, but generally speaking, Alan King has his team fit and ready quite early each season and horses from Barbury Castle have proved lucrative to follow around the month of December.
One to note is Raya Star, even though he's up 2lbs for a very credible effort when third at Newbury last time. Previously, he went up 12lbs for a win at Wetherby, which seemed a bit harsh at the time -- but he carried it well and at five years of age, he has a good career ahead.
The Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle (3.35 Ascot) is quite competitive this year and a good case could be made for half a dozen horses, but I reckon the selection may just have another card or two to play before he's raised again. He has strong place claims at the least and is worth taking each-way, priced around 10/1.
12.50 Lingfield: Delft
2.20 Lingfield: Ceilidh House
3.35 Ascot: Raya Star (e/w)
LAST WEEK'S WINNERS
Shieldmaiden (5/2), Oscar Whisky (4/9), Guava (6/4).