With one outclassed, and another too prominent in a topsy-turvy market, Jack Houghton thinks he has a couple of value lays on day two of the Aintree Festival...
"He might have untapped potential, but Precious Cargo yet to record a fast time..."
Only a slight loss on day one of the Aintree Festival. I couldn't have got things more spectacularly wrong in the Betfair Bowl, with Kemboy and Clan Des Obeaux filling the top two spots, but the advantage of laying co-favourites is that you always have some money coming in from the loser to cover your losses on the winner. Check out our guide to laying to find out why.
In the Aintree Hurdle, Buveur D'Air put in another sketchy jump or two, confirming our pre-race doubts, and bringing us back to near-even on the day, ready to attack a couple on day two...
Grade One is no place for Precious Cargo
With powerful connections and double-ones at the end of his form line, it's no great surprise that Precious Cargo is among the main contenders, at around 5.709/2, in the Top Novices' Hurdle at 14:40. Those wins came in a lowlier grade than his fellow co-favourites have experienced, though. And that shows on the clock, with Precious Cargo yet to record a fast time. He might have untapped potential, of course, and this more competitive field may bring out that potential, but I'd be loathed to support a horse at 2.001/1 to podium in a race where all but one of his competitors have run faster than him in the past, so a place lay it is.
Backers may have to wait very patiently for return in Melling
Except for Woodland Opera, who would seem to be outclassed in this based on what we have seen of his form so far, there is little between the others, meaning a valid case can be made for any of them winning. As a backer, I'd be particularly interested in Top Notch, Hell's Kitchen and God's Own as a result, as all of them are generously priced in the market on my ratings; however, with my laying hat on (a brown fedora), I'll certainly be getting stuck in to Waiting Patiently at 2.9015/8.
It's not that he can't win - a repeat of the form of his Ascot win would make him hard to beat - but he's been unimpressive since, that run is an outlier in his speed ratings, and he is being tried in first-time cheekpieces. Those are three negatives that make his odds poor value.
Lay Precious Cargo at 2.001/1 in Top Novices' Hurdle Place Market
Lay Waiting Patiently at 2.9015/8 in Melling Chase