Ran much better than margin beaten suggests last time
Aintree 20:45: Santos Blue 1pt e/w 11/2
Even allowing for the usual rules that apply when point to point bumpers are initially priced up, the market last night was a very surprising one. There were two horses who were put in at 28/1 that are now much shorter and while Fascinating Rhythm now looks about the right price, I think the other one should be shorter still as I made him 7/2 favourite.
Santos Blue was a very comfortable winner of a point to point bumper on debut at Revesby Park and while things haven't gone to plan since in maidens, he's continued to show a good level of ability. On his jumping debut in a race run in thick fog at Larkhill, he was closing on the very heavily backed Yeomen Warder when coming down at 2 out.
He was hampered and unseated rider early on next time before completing for the first time over obstacles when second at Horseheath. He closed up on the leading pair approaching the home straight and looked to be going best at 3 out but he didn't have much left on landing and was left behind by Mr Vango in the very testing conditions.
I think a return to a much sharper test and better ground will suit Santos Blue and I'm not sure this is an overly deep bumper. Good Boy won by a wide margin on debut but the clock suggests he may not be as good as he looked. Intrepide Sud finished alone at Garthorpe on debut but didn't attract much attention at the sales for one from that yard, being led out unsold at £24,000. Macavity has won his last two starts but I'm not sure they were particularly strong races and he would have been miles behind Fascinating Rhythm on debut had that horse not unseated at 3 out.
It may be that some others will improve from what they've shown so far, with Tufton Avenue being a leading candidate in that department, but I think Santos Blue sets the standard so far and any 9/2 or bigger appeals.
Showed plenty of ability on second start
Aintree 20:45: My Virtue 1pt e/w 30/1
There's been a little early market support for My Virtue but I think she certainly shouldn't be the outsider in this field and should be much shorter.
She was tailed off on debut at Bangor but that was in a complete bog and she showed far more ability next time in a maiden at Maisemore. She travelled strongly behind the leading pair turning down the back and jumped into a share of the lead at 4 out. She was joined by Doyen Quest at 3 out and was still in very close contention when that rival angled across on the bend and My Virtue slipped up. Given the way she was travelling, I expect she would have at least gone close to winning. Doyen Quest has since been bought to join Dan Skelton while the winner won again on her next start.
My Virtue beat a sole rival on her latest start when she looked extremely green once alone in front so the visual impression underplays her ability.
While I'm not certain that this track will suit, I think My Virtue has the speed for a point to point bumper and this ground is in her favour. Any 16/1 or bigger appeals.