I’ve decided to bring back the blog on a regular basis. It’s something I enjoy doing, and I think it’s probably the best way to preview a days racing or to give reasons for my bets. Recently I’ve been doing huge threads on Twitter instead of using a blog, which clogs up timelines (and slows my phone down for hours!) so I thought it was time to start the blog again.
The bet here is Kayf Blanco in the Betfair Hurdle at 40/1 EW. I tweeted on Monday night that I was shocked that he was a 50/1 shot, but decided to wait until closer to the time. Fast forward 48 hours and I had to take the price before it went completely. Followers may have seen I put him up on Twitter earlier at 40/1, with reasoning to follow later on, so here are my angles for backing him!
The key piece of form here is his run at Sandown on 3rd December, where he finished 3rd behind Brain Power and Consul De Thaix. He was receiving 5lb from Brain Power and giving 5lb to Consul De Thaix that day, and both have given the form a huge boost since. They both ran in the Wessex Youth Trust at Ascot 2 weeks later where they again filled the top 2 spots in what was a very competitive race, albeit we could only see very little due to the heavy fog. Brain Power is now rated 162 and is a serious Champion Hurdle contender (although he would be the worst winner in history) and Consul De Thaix is up to 140. Kayf Blanco runs off 136 on Saturday, so is weighted to comfortably reverse form with Consul De Thaix. Yes, Consul De Thaix is an unlikely runner, but with Consul De Thaix having been priced up at 5/1 before news filtered through that he probably isn’t going to run, there is no way Kayf Blanco should have been 40/1. And now he isn’t. He’s 28/1 in one place only (Betway). And I still think he’s overpriced. I’d have him as a 14-16/1 shot, so if you’re not on, I’d still recommend backing him now.
Some may be put off by the fact he has finished 4th at Exeter since that run at Sandown, and on face value was disappointing. However, he was severely impeded by a faller in front of him 3 out and was quite badly kicked, which required stitches. I’m more than willing to forgive him that run as it’s a big ask to recover from an incident like that. Incidentally, the horse that fell in front of him, Lord Of The Island won at Sandown last weekend and the winner has won again, so the form of that race looks ok from what we’ve seen so far. His trainer Graeme McPherson has reported that “he’s over that now and seems to be in good order at home.”
Some may argue that after having 22 runs under rules he’s starting to become exposed, but McPherson says he’s always viewed him as a low-140s horse, so if he’s right he’s still got half a stone or so in hand. And experience is never a disadvantage in these competitive big field handicaps.
Hopefully the heavens will open a bit, and with the frost covers down the ground should be a bit tacky, which will suit him, so everything is in place for a big effort. The price implies he’s still a longshot, but I think he’s more than capable of outrunning his price so fingers crossed he can at least make the frame.
Of the others in the race, I think Clyne is probably the most likely winner, being 5lb well in for his cracking run behind The New One at Haydock, so I can’t see him being too far away.
Selection: Kayf Blanco 40/1 EW