Horse Value Price Early Price Result SP
Red Badge 4/1 11/2 4 7/1
Karaka Jack 5/1, bet 5/1e 14/1 2 9/1
Invincible Soul 13/2 4/1 6 5/2f
Fallen Idol 13/2 3/1 WON 4/1
Huygens 15/2 3/1 3 9/2
Raine’s Cross 8/1 16/1 8 10/1
Blackey’s Boy 12/1 16/1 7 22
Duellist 14/1 8/1 5 11/1

A tentative start to the Flat with this small Class 2 handicap for 3 year olds at Sandown. I will miss tomorrow’s finale meeting there (playing chess at a weekend congress) and that was to have been the end of the Jumps for this year, hence a look at what is to come (my weekly fix, in other words.)

I think pace and draw will play a part here with Karaka Jack as the lone front runner. Hold up horses will are drawn against the rail so, even in a small field, will have to get round the front runner. This plays against Red Badge, ptherwise the form favourite. Jack will be joined by stalls 1 to 4 of which Invincible Soul is the main danger. R Hannon, his trainer, says he will not be totally fit but that is perhaps relative.

Karaka Jack has had a run this season already, prominent till ending 8/16 (Newmarket, class 2) and drops back in distance this time. His fitness edge could tell. and I see it as between these two. At the early prices, Kavaka Jack is a value bet.

I wonder if 3 yr olds might not be a good area to concentrate on this year. Clearly there is less form to go on but then again more possibility for value. My claim to fame in this area is that I picked two 33/1 winners on a single day back in the early 1990s. Cambrian, a jet black front runner, made all to hold on to the line. I had bet him and was so pleased at this big score that I overlooked the other choice, Poker Chip, which ran elsewhere just 5 minutes later. He won as well.

I sometimes dream about what difference a £10 win double would have made to life, the universe, etc. Such big wins are entirely feasible – you just have to look. On that basis, I unapologetically indulge in a good feeling about this coming Flat season.
I had discounted Fallen Idol on going though not really enough evidence to rule him out and could not have been a win bet at the price. I am pleased with this assessment, a promising start to the Flat.