West Of The Edge worth a small stake…

March 16th, 2018 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

It seems that Man Of Plenty is destined to miss out in big handicap hurdles and it was particularly galling to see him finish fifth in the Imperial Cup after securing some 42/1 a win and 7/1 a place on Betfair. The bookmakers know all about him, of course, and he would not necessarily win a lesser handicap with more weight to carry.

Cheltenham came and went, leaving a feeling of emptiness. As one who thought Buveur D’Air, Altior and Laurina would take the world of beating, I should have reminded mysef that there really is no need to get involved in the multi-runner handicaps, which are virtually impossible to solve. I saved my one serious error for the end, where Le Prezien had a very good chance, bearing in mind the mistake which stopped him in his tacks in a hot handicap here last time. I think Paul Nicholls tried to help people by mentioning Dolos in this and Wonderful Charm in the Foxhunter and it was just a pity that he won with other horses.

I’m happy enough to move on. The hype surrounding the festival knows no bounds and I much prefer Aintree’s quieter approach. One other thing crossed my mind this week and it concerned the adjusted ratings of horses that did not win. Yes, the Betfair Hurdle is a very competitive handicap and those chasing up Kalashnikov did well, but Bleu Et Rouge, an honourable second, was raised 8lb. Well, this is clearly nonsense. If you can’t win a Betfair off x, how are you going to win a County Hurdle off x + 8lb? Answer: with considerable difficulty. This was an increase both savage and illogical. Needless to say, Bleu Et Rouge finished out of the frame.

ITV is due to screen seven races on Saturday and every single one is a handicap. No further comment. Three weeks is not long enough for a horse which has run well in a marathon to recover but West Of The Edge is worth a small bet in the Midlands Grand National after a splendid second in the Eider.