25 Nov 2017

Christy 1965 Chase & The Ascot Hurdle (Grade 2's)

We usually try to find something at a fair EW price for Pro Tips but the decent ground is at Ascot and both features look likely to be taken by something in the first 3 in the betting.

In the 1965 Chase, Top Gamble is favoured by the weights and might launch a fair bid although the ground is against him. They've tried to compensate by stepping up in trip but that rarely seems to work for horses who just like it properly soft, and in all probability the race will turn into a match between Top Notch and Smad Place.

Both will have their supporters but thanks to a touch of ageism the value lies with SMAD PLACE, who ran superbly in the Old Roan Chase. Even in receipt of 3lbs, Top Notch will need to have come on a fair bit to get the better of the 2015 Hennessy winner who is the better jumper of the pair and a tough nut to crack in peak form

LIL ROCKERFELLA has shed his Grade 2 penalty and is now ripe to collect another decent pot. He ran a blinder in this race last year, giving 4lbs to Yanworth who had to pull out all the stops. This year he receives 6 from L'Ami Serge and 3 from Defi Du Seuil. He also comes here cherry ripe, rather than having a straightener for other targets which is really what this race represents for the others.

The imponderable is how much improvement Defi Du Seuil will find at this trip, but he's still only a 4-y-o and has a long season ahead - he's not fully mature and they will have left something to work on, and at the prices we think the value lies with Lil Rockerfella.

2.05 Ascot, Smad Place 2pt win 7/2 various
2.40 Ascot, Lil Rockerfella 2pt win 11/4 various
Also 1pt EW double

Good luck,

Herbie is one of the pro-gamblers in the ENIGMA forum:

Smad Place, will be a tough nut to crack in the 1965 Chase for Alan King


11 Nov 2017

Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase (Listed)

This year's Badger Ales Trophy chase looks a cracker, with a little spice added by the prospect of properly soft ground as this is a staying chase usually run in faster conditions. There has been 11mm overnight and the forecast says there's more to come. This has changed the complexion of the race into a real test of stamina.

Being a race that attracts front running types, the presence of free-wheelers like Yala Enki and Henllan Harri, suggest the race should set up for a closer with proven stamina, and that looks an ideal combination for the up-and-coming young legs of Mr Mix, ridden by Harry Cobden for Paul Nicholls.

MR MIX arrives on the back of a smooth victory on handicap debut in the Desert Orchid Silver Cup at this venue two weeks ago - a path taken by four previous winners of the Badge Ales Trophy - improving greatly for the step up to an extended trip. He is sure to remain very well treated and as we know, this is a race Paul Nicholl's loves to win.

The yard's other contender, Southfield Theatre, fell at the final fence here when 1/2 length ahead in last year's race. That was on good ground, he's 3lbs higher and the soft ground will stretch his stamina. Given the rain, if he had a choice (which Paul Nicholl's says he doesn't), I would imagine Sam T-D would be high-tailing it over to ride Mr Mix.

Paul Nicholls took this race a few years ago with another unexposed type in The Minack and has gone close with several others. I expect a bold show from Mr Mix, he should be hard to keep out of the first 4 and could well take this with a good ground of jumping.

3.35 Wincanton, Mr Mix 1.5pt EW 9/1 various, 4x1/4

Good luck,

Herbie is one of the pro-gamblers in the ENIGMA forum:


Mr Mix (left), handicapped to turn the tables on Yala Enki in the Badger Ales Trophy