Ruby poised to whip Tother One into shape
IN a trip to the United States some years back, I saw a bumper sticker on the back of a car which read 'every time I find the meaning of life, they change it'.
I always get a similar feeling at this time of the year as the season changes over from the Flat to the National Hunt, and just when you think you have the form-book figured out, time moves on and a new code begins.
Anyone who is serious about betting should keep good records of their wagers, and my spreadsheets show that I'm most profitable in the autumn, when backing on the Flat. This is probably down to the fact that we've seen most of the runners a couple of times over the summer, the ground is generally okay, and the form can be assessed with a good degree of accuracy.
But as the Flat winds down and the jumps start up, the punter enters a new phase of uncertainty and I like to reduce my stakes for a few weeks until I get a handle on how the season (and the weather) is panning out.
There's always a temptation to back the horses that made you money last season but we've no real idea how well or otherwise these animals have been at home -- so proceed with some caution when backing old favourites.
It's fair to say that most Irish people prefer the jumps to the Flat and we've some good Grade Two action to look forward to today at Wetherby (3.25) with the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase for which Barbers Shop, owned by the Queen, is popular in the betting around 7/2.
I'm not convinced Lizzie's gelding should be so short -- he finished off last season with a whimper when pulled up in the Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup. Previously, he'd let down his backers in the Ryanair Chase and his career best performance when third to Kauto Star and Madison Du Berlais in the King George at Kempton is starting to look like a once-off.
I won't go to town with my stakes but I'm happy to lay the eight-year-old on Betfair with a 3pt liability.
From a backing point of view, the Paul Nicholls- trained The Tother One is worth a chance around 3/1. He is a bit of a lazy sort at times so Ruby Walsh may have his work cut out; but the Ditcheat yard have got off to a good start this season and they've still got high hopes for this one, despite the fact that he hasn't won a race in two years.
The top-weight burden took its toll in the William Hill Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival last time, but he's well treated here and should go close.
It's not too often you get a big price on a Godolphin horse with Frankie Dettori on board; but 9/1 or thereabouts should be available for Emirates Dream in the Casino at Bet365.com Handicap (2.0 Newmarket).
He hadn't got the stamina for the Cambridgeshire earlier this month but he's a better horse than his latest form suggests and should manage a place at the least in this company.
2.00 Newmarket: Emirates Dream
2.35 Newmarket: Secrecy
3.25 Wetherby: The Tother One
3.25 Wetherby: Lay Barbers Shop (3pt liability)