Yesterday was a bit of a damp squib, quite literally – it appears the forecast ‘sunny with showers’ was enough to plunge ‘soft’ into ‘heavy’ – at least that’s how it looked but having taken an early price there was not much to do about it. A nice win for Lucy Wadham’s in-from stable, with two outsiders taking the places and fancied horses trailing in a somewhat later. Interestingly, there was on-course money for Serhaaphim, backed down to 9/2. Anyway, moving on….

Sandown 2-45
Busy Isit 2 5/2
Keepthedreamalive 7/2 3
Thedreamstillalive 5 9

Sandown 3-55
Gala Evening 4 9/2

Both these races have a number of less than obvious horses, my odds in the 3-55 having only Gala Evening at less than 6/1, others being 8, 9, 10, 11 and so on. I am happy to take Gala’s early price of 9/2 even if it is not strictly a 50% overlay – it is far enough clear in the odds to make it resonable and may be shorter at the off.

Moncadou would have been interesting at the forecast odds but is a non-runner. This makes 9/1 about Thedreamstillalive a nice bet, value price 5/1.

I suppose some of these races could be passed but I work on the theory that careful form reading and the 6/1 or shorter rule will filter the field and leave potentially sound bets. I tend to avoid anything under a class 3 handicap so that also filters out dodgy plays. I think turn-over is important if you can it but my limit for conscientious form reading is currently three races a day.

Post-race: Thedreamsitillalive came 3rd after pretty much taking the lead throughout. It was a nice run, initially sharing the lead with the classy Black Hills, whose stamina and fitness were proved insufficient after a lay-off, mine looked in with a good chance. This was the more so when the favourite Busy Isit not only stumbled badly at the first but was then steered badly off course by a loose horse. He was well ridden though and proved too much, winning by 3 lengths or so. Borora managed to catch 2nd, a neck ahead of Thedreamistillalive, these three clear of the rest.

Busy opened at 7/2 which was a nice price given my value estimate of 2/1; SP eventually 11/4. Some money for Thedreamistillalive, 15/2 at the off, I took 9/1 early and consider this to have been a good bet.

In the Sandown 3-55, Gala Evening was held up last but one but gradually made ground to be involved in a 3-way finish. Some traffic problems might not have helped his cause and I thought (hoped :-)) that a stewards’ enquiry would take place as the winner, Dont Tell The Wife, came right across to seemingly squeeze the 2nd and 3rd against the rail. No such luck so another close 2nd.

Betting-wise, I had some on at both 9/2 and 5/1 early and was almost tempted by the 13/2 board price (hoping for 7s so I passed), which was surprisingly long in my view. The betting was fairly close between several runners, unlike my ‘value book’.

Two good plays today; at this rate the winners will eventually take care of themselves.

Incidentally, Panama At Once, a bet a couple of weeks ago (stumbled when leading at the last), made good in a four-runner contest at 7/4. I didn’t bet but watched out of interest.