Small fields on the showground except for the Open Maiden, but still hard for us punters to get a profit (took until the last race for me)
Like a few others, I thought that the French form of the five-year-old Diligent was good enough for a modest five-runner Confined. Studying the French videos, using my schoolboy GCE French, and after paddock inspection, I thought tres bon, we will have the 11-8. So did a few others and in no time the five-year-old was 10-11. Katkolys drifted from 5-4 to 7-4 and the ex-Irish Heaney drifted from 3’s to 5’s. The race is easily summed up; Heaney was always going well and took the measure of Diligent on the bottom bend. Twenty quid down….
The Ladies’ was not much of a betting race. The winner Sobre Tresor opened at 1-8, but was chalked up at 1-5 at the off. His sole opponent De Boitron must have elicited some support (7-4 touched 3’s) but the hot favourite is virtually unbeatable at this track (ninth win here).
The Two Amigos (1-3 from 1-2) has also taken a liking for the showground and clocked up his third success here this season in the Intermediate He was left well clear when High Priority (5-2 to 3’s) overjumped and fell at the 15th. There was no money for the other two.
The 13-runner Open Maiden was more competitive. Punters latched on to the four-year-old filly Missyladie (3’s to 7-4 fav). She had been runner up over hurdles in the French provinces last autumn and was now in receipt of a massive weight allowance. Mountain Las was well backed from 9’s into 4’s, but the ex-Irish pointers Raloo Rocket (5’s out to 7’s) and Minella Rising (5’out to 8’s) were both easy to back. I took a chance with Minella Rising despite his year’s absence, since his two Irish runs looked promising. He could only finish fifth ( vital blunder 15th). Raloo Rocket was kept up to his work by in-form Darren Edwards on the uphill slog to the judge to fend off Missyladie.
Darren was in the winner’s enclosure again after the Men’s Open thanks to the consistent Robin De Souza (7-4 into 11-10fav). As McCririck used to say the favourites had flip flopped, as eventual runner up Kernel Victor drifted from 2’s on to 6-4. Each of these pointers can be followed this year.
Patience is a virtue. I haven’t got much but used some of it to wait for Double Captain (5-2) In the last. He had caught my eye in a strong Restricted here last month following a decent effort behind Broadclyst in December. Ah well, you lose some and you win some.
Sunday 18th February, South Pool Point-To-Point, Buckfastleigh Racecourse TQ11 0LT. First Race 12 noon
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