Skip to main content

The Coral Challenge

Previewing one of Saturday's feature races, the Coral Challenge, is the talented Ronan Groome. You'll find him on Twitter, @ronangroome20

Sandown 2.40 – Coral Challenge Handicap

This is a typically competitive Saturday handicap race and if the 17 runners hold up for the each-way terms, the form is worth getting stuck into. I like to take on horses like Trade Commissioner in these kind of contests because they are often priced up so short because of the connections and breeding aspects. Trade Commissioner looked good previously and with just four runs, is progressive, but is he really a 5/2 shot? I’m not so sure.

The two horses I like are Spa’s Dancer and Captain Bertie. The former is a Sandown specialist of sorts, handles soft ground and comes here off the back of a career best run at the Curragh last time. However Ed de Giles’s gelding is up 13lbs since his last win and the handicapper might just have caught him.

Captain Bertie is my preference at around 10/1. Charles Hills’s runner was gelded prior to this campaign and has come back an improved horse. He would have won the Spring Mile on his first start but for ridiculous luck in running, but he was able to make up for that on his next run in the Spring Cup where he beat two subsequent winners and two classy types in Fury and Global Village. You have to forgive his run in the Hunt Cup (11th beaten 6ls) but that is easily done as he is still progressive as a four-year-old with just 13 starts. The ground was soft when he won the Spring Cup and a return to underfoot conditions could account for the 8lb rise he received for that impressive win.

There are a load of other interesting horses here with Con Artist being the pick of the rest for me. The Godolphin horse has performed admirably and significantly is dropped in trip here. He does however carry top weight on soft ground, and the problem that he has to front run in a highly competitive handicap at this level still remains.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It's all gone Pete Tong at Betfair!

The Christmas Hurdle from Leopardstown, a good Grade 2 race during the holiday period. But now it will go into history as the race which brought Betfair down. Over £21m at odds of 29 available on Voler La Vedette in-running - that's a potential liability of over £500m. You might think that's a bit suspicious, something's fishy, especially with the horse starting at a Betfair SP of 2.96. Well, this wasn't a horse being stopped by a jockey either - the bloody horse won! Look at what was matched at 29. Split that in half and multiply by 28 for the actual liability for the layer(s). (Matched amounts always shown as double the backers' stake, never counts the layers' risk). There's no way a Betfair client would have £600m+ in their account. Maybe £20 or even £50m from the massive syndicates who regard(ed) Betfair as safer than any bank, but not £600m. So the error has to be something technical. However, rumour has it, a helpdesk reply (not gospel, natur

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

hope for investors in the Centaur scandal?

In a breaking story, it has been reported that directors of the failed sports investment fund Centaur have had their assets frozen in order to repay investors. It is believed that managing director Keith Sobey skipped town trying to avoid prosecution however he either naively thought Ireland was a safe enough place to hide or had a lingering feeling of guilt and sat waiting for that knock on the door. Sobey, the name behind Centaur ( read the original story here ), is believed to own four houses, worth more in total than the missing £1.6m. His willingness to sell them to repay investors is likely to keep the matter out of the courts, and at least one other director, Andrew Cork, will apparently follow suit. All this adds weight to anecdotal evidence that the collapse of the fund came down to mismanagement rather than fraudulent deeds. As costs grew (why would you set up a training academy in central London?), margins evaporated and keeping the business afloat went through money like