Testing ground has come right for Fry's Envoi
Back Love Envoi @ 10/1 in the 16:50 at Cheltenham - Ryanair Mares' Novices' Hurdle
Rain, rain, and more rain is welcome news for Harry Fry's Love Envoi in the Dawn Run, and for a mare who likes it genuinely testing, I like her chances at 10/1.
Willie Mullins trains three of the first four in the betting, so his presence is good news, as it's so often Fry's horses that are overbet in races - going off far too short in the betting than perhaps they should.
Love Envoi won the Grade 2 Jane Seymour last month at Sandown, and she beat a horse I rate in second in Speech Bubble. It was far from a plain-sailing victory, even though she won by nearly 3L. The gallop was hardly true, especially early on in the race, and she was also on her toes in the paddock. That's possibly to be expected as she has been a keen goer in the past, and she also made a late mistake.
In fact that late error could have cost her victory as she smashed into the hurdle and Speech Bubble had a chance, but Love Envoi went up the hill and found plenty for pressure as she does stay strongly.
Jonathan Burke rode her at Sandown and had to kick on very early over the far side, but I think she'll be better with a lead in a bigger field and she rates a good each-way bet as she'll love the heavy conditions. An old racing friend of mine said Wollow loved the mud, knowing full well it was way before my time and had no idea what he was talking about. But Love Envoi goes through the ground well and is a strong stayer. With the way she travelled at Warwick earlier in the season, she represents a cracking back-to-lay play if you are using the Exchange for the single.
She took care of Nurse Susan pretty easily earlier in the season and I am looking forward to seeing her take on the challenge of the crack Mullins' team.
Omar the outside bet for the Kim Muir
Back Omar Moretti @ 11/1 in the 17:30 at Cheltenham - The Kim Muir
Alex Hales' stock as a trainer has been on the ascent in recent seasons, and if he lands the Kim Muir, he'll go in my good books as he trains the very likeable Omar Moretti.
I'm, also a fan of Mister Fogpatches who acts at the track and is consistent, but his jumping can be a bit indifferent. I went for a risky jumper with Doctor Duffy earlier in the week, so once bitten etc.
Omar Moretti is a Fame And Glory, and he's fast becoming number one on my list of jumps' sires who stay well. I like Gold Wells, but I also am a real convert to Mahler and Fame And Glory.
The selection is a completely unexposed runner but he does act in testing conditions and should stay the trip. He looked an interesting novice over hurdles when landing back-to-back Catterick wins last spring, but he's been ultra-progressive this season as Hales wasted little time over hurdles, and following a second over Christmas, he was upped in trip both at Newcastle and Catterick and won both.
His jumping was sound at his favourite Yorkshire venue and he can go from the front like many of the yard's runners too. He beat a strong stayer in Almazhar Garde last time, and going up 5lb to 137 is not too prohibitive for a near-9L win.
March single bet winners:
Lady Alavesa placed 16/1
Merry Secret placed 5/1
Tyche placed 8/1
Gin Coco 9/4
Epsom Faithfull 10/3
Red Showgirl placed 9/1
February single bet winners:
Tim Pat 3/1
Duty Calls 6/1
Hungry Tiger 6/1
Little River Bay 13/8
Fantasy Fighter placed 6/1
Form Of Praise placed 12/1
Summit Star 4/1
Snow Leopardess 6/4
Celebre D'Allen 5/1
Tim Pat 5/2
Jeans Maite 5/2
Author's Dream 7/2
Gipsy Lee Rose placed 9/1