Just one race today:

Ludlow 3-50
Pretty Star 2 7/2
Major Malarkey 9 6
Iron Man 10 14
Down’s Folly 11 7
Hermano Cordobes 11 5

Only Pretty Star qualifies on the ‘6/1 or shorter’ rule – a case of what Mark Cramer calls the ‘short-priced overlay’ category. I have backed it at 4/1 early.

Of the others, some class horses on previous form; Major Malarkey tipped in the Racing Post on his chasing debut but too short in my book; Iron Man is interesting at the early 14/1 (positive trainer quote, previous class wins) and Hermano Cordobes has highest Topspeed figures. None of these qualify simply because there are too many others with similar doubts and virtues to make any of them a value price. If I did have to go for one it would be Iron Man at these prices.

The change to good ground from recent weeks of mud is also a factor and may see horses return to form on a better surface. I am sure that was a factor in yesterday’s Never So Blue win.

Incidentally, Huckleberry came 4th albeit by a long way so my fears were not totally groundless – one to watch?

Pre-race: Distance is a doubt in Iron Lord’s case though he is now 10/1 at Ladbrokes from 14s. Pretty Star now 7/2 from 4s.

Post-race: Pretty Star came 2nd, beaten by Kilcrea Asla, a horse I hadn’t reckoned on. A good run and bet though – nicely against the rail in 3rd then off the rail and clear to challenge the leader towards the home turn, unfortunately not finding enough and almost losing 2nd place to 33/1 Super Chief. I’m happy with both the assessment and the bet though make a note of Pretty Star’s being caught for the win on a couple of occasions now. The heavily backed Hermano Cordobes looked to be running well in midfield but then faded to a distant 4th, never a challenge to the leaders. Iron Man never got into the race.

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