Talking Horses: second-guessing the Samcro decision plus Wednesday tips

first_imgShare via Email Read more Read more She was a good fifth in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot, racing alone against the far rail. She hasn’t finished strongly in two subsequent efforts over seven furlongs but this drop to six furlongs could help her quite a bit.John Gosden remains among the winners and Frankie Dettori rides this one for the first time. Most of us think of Yarmouth as being reasonably handy for jockeys who live in Newmarket but it’s still a bit of a trek and Dettori does not go there for no reason; his strike-rate there in recent seasons is 47% (16/34). Yes, he has other rides there today and I don’t imagine Perfection is the main reason for his presence but it’s at least interesting that he’s hanging around for two hours after his penultimate ride to be on her in the final race and then get stuck in traffic.Earlier, I like 6-4 about Winter Lightning (3.35) in the Listed race for fillies. She was having her first run since March when staying on into third at the end of a Sandown Group Three and the extra quarter-mile will help. She’s a full sister to Ihtimal, who was beaten less than a length in the Guineas.At Sandown, 8-1 could be too big about Thunderbolt Rocks (4.20), from the Hugo Palmer yard that is ending the season strongly. He won tidily on his handicap debut at Wolverhampton and has more to offer at this distance on turf. Wednesday’s best bets, by Chris CookMoments ago, I became the latest reporter to pester Eddie O’Leary about what Samcro will be doing this winter, a discussion that has been kicking around for half a year. “We’ll decide when we enter him,” was the admirably clear answer. “That’ll stop about four or five weeks of bullshitting,” he added, which is too optimistic, as I shall now prove. Age will be the deciding factor, I believe, when the O’Learys eventually jump one way or the other. Samcro is six. Of course he’s still young but Long Run had already won a Cheltenham Gold Cup at the equivalent stage of his life. Most of the best recent Gold Cup heroes won it for the first time at the age of seven: Best Mate, Kauto Star, Kicking King, Sizing John and of course the O’Leary-owned War Of Attrition.If Samcro takes the orthodox route and spends a full year novice chasing before mounting a Gold Cup campaign, he’ll be eight before he gets to the Cheltenham race. If he spends another full season hurdling, he’d be nine unless he goes to the Gold Cup as a novice. Moreover, there’s a school of thought that it’s harder for a horse to adapt to steeplechasing if they’ve had more than one full season as a hurdler.Who wouldn’t want to own a Champion Hurdle contender? But it’s not absolutely clear that Samcro would be fast enough for that line of work, so in the last analysis I reckon the O’Learys will send him over fences in the next month or so. If he doesn’t take to it, he can always be switched back to hurdles in January, because recent precedent shows that can work well.I should mention that all these thoughts were triggered by reading in this morning’s Racing Post about Samcro’s stablemate Apple’s Jade. O’Leary reckons her two odds-on defeats in the spring were the result of her coming into season repeatedly and he has hope that she’ll be more straightforward this winter. Today’s nap is Wadilsafa for a Listed race at Sandown but the Owen Burrows colt is a lot stronger in the market than I anticipated and I shan’t be taking odds-on. Indeed, I find myself wishing I’d napped Perfection (5.40) in the handicap that closes Yarmouth’s card, as she remains backable at 7-4 despite some evident support. The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Share on Messenger Poet’s Word joins top runners ruled out of action after injury Was this helpful? Share on LinkedIn Thank you for your feedback. Reuse this content Sandown 1.40 Saaheq 2.10 Al Mikdam 2.40 Good Fortune 3.15 Wadilsafa (nap) 3.50 Lush Life 4.20 Thunderbolt Rocks 4.55 Hyperactive 5.25 ArendelleBeverley 1.50 Champagne Clouds 2.20 Mot Juste 2.50 Cavalry Park 3.25 Matewan 4.00 Summer Blossom 4.30 Entertaining Ben 5.05 Ferrier 5.35 MorettiYarmouth 2.00 Princess Keira 2.30 Royal Meeting 3.00 Awe 3.35 Winter Lightning (nb) 4.05 Croque Monsieur 4.40 Piece Of History 5.10 Encore D’Or 5.40 PerfectionKelso 4.10 Falak 4.45 Oighear Dubh 5.15 Rory’s Valentine 5.45 Cubomania 6.15 Go Another One 6.45 Miss Aloud Show Since you’re here… Topics Share on Facebook Horse racing tips Horse racing features Support The Guardian Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Talking Horses Quick guide Wednesday tips … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. 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