Racing UK

Tanya Stevenson

Dawalan can win friends this time at Haydock

21 November 2014

Cue Card, Silviniaco Conti, Dynaste, The New One and Faugheen - what more do you want?  

A fabulous line up across Haydock and Ascot and once I’ve done all the homework needed for my judging responsibility at the Betting Shop Manager of the Year, all roads will lead to Ascot. 

At the same time I can soak up all the build-up for Haydock’s awesome feature at 3pm.  

There are more questions marks hovering over the runners for the Betfair Chase than there are on the Riddler’s spandex green costume.  

It will certainly be a great spectacle, however, and extremely informative for the season that lies ahead.  

I think I will side with Cue Card, but there is nothing to say Menorah will not repeat his Wetherby exploits.

I thought Daryl Jacob had a positive day at Haydock on Friday.  

Katkeau could well consolidate his win at Cheltenham last week in the Betfair 'This Is Play' 'Fixed Brush' Handicap Hurdle. I can not believe how quickly time passes these days, it’s frightening. I digress.

While I was watching Ascot on Racing UK on Friday I thought Arpege D’alene looked pretty special. It certainly gave team Silviniaco Conti a confidence boost.  

Puffin Billy was impeccable in his jumping and was a joy to watch. Through the gloom he caught the eye.

As for selections I like Dawalan, who was friendless in the market at Ascot on his second run of the season. 

He drifted from around 8-1 in the morning to 16-1 at post time, yet despite his weakness in the market ran a cracker to find himself runner-up to stable companion Sign Of A Victory.  

I’d have liked Baradari, the third that day, to have shown up better in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday.  

I will have to go into the contest without the form being franked. I can’t have everything so here’s hoping he puts in a bold run at 1.15 at Haydock.

While at Ascot I like Croco Bay, who I thought showed up really well behind Johns Spirit at Cheltenham’s Showcase meeting in October.  He may slip in under the radar in a Chase such as the 3.15.  

D-Day for Betting Shop manager of the year:

This weekend marks decision time for Betting Shop Manager of the Year and I can’t wait to be part of the judging team.  

Good luck to the eight finalists and the colleague they are bringing to join them for the closing stages. I hope you enjoy every moment, as I know I do.  A full report will be in next week’s blog alongside Hennessy thoughts. I am still leaning towards Fingal Bay and Many Clouds.

Tipstar legends:

Congratulations are in order for Richard Smith, who won the Racing UK “Tipstar” competition. The pressure for the finalists would have been immense and the standard was extremely high. 

The key to punditry is to harness the nerves when you are conveying the methodology and reasoning for coming to your respective conclusions. There is always a danger of losing the key train of thought.  I have the utmost admiration to all who participated - Let us hope both Racing UK and The Sun consent to run it annually as surely interest can only grow, especially with the bar now set so high.   

The Oscars:

Furthering my Oscar betting portfolio I popped into the cinema to watch The Imitation Game during the week and was pleased I didn’t dip into the pocket to wager this runner for Best Film.  

Like Gone Girl it is great piece of cinema but it is no Argo or The Artist.  

Benedict Cumberbatch is sure to run Michael Keaton and Steve Carrell close for Best Actor - that is where it ends.  I can not believe Michael Keaton is so short for his role in Birdman, but I will not have long to wait to find out why.  

I also took in The Hunger Games and Mockingjay Part 1. If anything trawling through the trailers provided better entertainment, which is a shame as the previous two outings for The Hunger Games have done well. 

One of the trailers was The Theory Of Everything, which provides a real value outside bet for Best Film and Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor. Both bets could be hedged back once opposition to Boyhood dissipates further.

Three big films yet to arrive are Birdman due out January 2, Unbroken in our theatres on Boxing Day and Foxcatcher due on January 9.  Despite the odds I suspect this is going to be a very tight contest, I’ll keep you posted.

Finally, get out the bunting, huge celebrations as the Oakland Raiders have finally won at the eleventh time of asking this season! In reality there is some disbelief as preparations had been made for a winless year.  It has been a season known for some bizarre results and I don’t think the head scratching has ended just yet!

Tanya Stevenson's Saturday tips:

1.15 Haydock: Dawalan 9-2 with Ladbrokes

3.15 Ascot: Croco Bay 16-1 with Betfair Sportsbook

Tanya Stevenson's pointers:

3.00 Haydock - Betfair Chase:

The nine runners have won 14 Grade One races between them.

With a little help from Kauto Star Paul Nicholls has won five of the last nine Betfair Chases.

Seven of the last nine winners came from the first three in the betting.

Silviniaco Conti has won four of his six runs in November.

Only three of the last nine winners have run in the previous years race.

Only three of the last nine winners had run at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.

Six of the last eight winners had run in one the Cheltenham Festival Championship races.

1.50 Haydock - Betfair Price Rush Hurdle:

The race contains winners of three Grade Ones, seven Grade Twos and two Cheltenham Festival races.

Nick Scholfield has ridden Melodic Rendezvous 11 times resulting in seven wins and a second.

The New One has won the first two races of each season for the last three years.

2.25 Haydock - Betfair 'This Is Play' 'Fixed Brush' Handicap Hurdle:

David Pipe has won the race three times in the last four years.

Six of the last nine winners came from the first two in the betting.

2.05 Ascot Amlin 1965 Chase:

The oldest winner over the last ten years has been eight.

Four of the last eight favourites have won.

Paul Nicholls has won the race four times since 2006.

2.40 Ascot - Coral Ascot Hurdle:

Faugheen is unbeaten in six starts.

Nine of the last ten winners of the Coral Hurdle have come from the first two in the betting.

The starting price of the last ten Coral Hurdle winners were no bigger than 7-2.

Eight of the last ten winners of the Coral Hurdle won on their most recent start.

Seven of the last ten winners had run earlier in the year at the Cheltenham Festival.

Only two of the last ten winners had previously won at Ascot.

3.15 Ascot - Country Living Handicap Chase:

The eight winners were no bigger than 8-1.

Dan Skelton has had four winners at Ascot from just 11 runners.

Jamie Moore has a great record on Grey Gold; eight rides, three wins, two seconds and two thirds.

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