Very Solid Runs Under Good Ground Conditions
Billie Magern is a full brother to that grand campaigner Ollie Magern and has shown plenty of ability himself in the past. He is however very much at home on good ground and nothing like as effective under softer conditions. As such his most recent efforts at Cheltenham since a very creditable 5th in the JT Speciality Handicap chase behind Alfie Sherrin at the festival last year can be forgiven.
As a result of these efforts he lines up tomorrow in the William Hill Grimthorpe Chase off a mark of 129. His performance at the festival was off a mark of 139 and 129 is the lowest rating he has had since switching to fences. The promising Adam Wedge takes a further 3lb off and off this feather weight under ideal conditions on a flat track, he looks to have an outstanding chance of returning to form tomorrow.
His past performances include:
- A win off 133 at Cheltenham in November 2011 on good/firm
- A 5th placing off 144 in the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November 2011 on less than ideal good/soft conditions
- The aforementioned 5th placing in a very competitive JT Speciality Handicap Chase off 139 at the festival last year
- A couple of novice chase wins on good ground in 2010 where he received Racing Post Ratings of 138
A win tomorrow will confirm his wellbeing and also result him incurring a 5lb penalty for the Fulke Walywn Kim Muir on the Thursday of the Cheltenham Festival.
Slight Reservations About His Stamina
There is a slight concern that the 25.5 furlong trip stretches his stamina and he may be found wanting towards the end of the race. However he stayed on well enough off 139 when 5th behind Alfie Sherrin at the festival last year and was just out pointed by some very well handicapped horses.
We get a chance to not only test his form but his stamina tomorrow as while the flat track at Doncaster is not the test that Cheltenham serves up, it is over slightly further and is sure to be run at a good pace. If he is found wanting for stamina he will not win tomorrow, but our bet is not a loser in these circumstances.
Currently 33/1 Will Be Much Shorter If Successful Tomorrow
Billy Magern is as big as 40/1 with some bookmakers for the Kim Muir. However none of these bookmakers are currently offering non-runner no bet and they are no interest as a result. As we have alluded to in the strengths section, if he wins at Doncaster tomorrow he will incur a minimum of a 5lb penalty and this could enable him to creep in at the foot of the handicap off a mark of 134. It must be stressed that the weight range for this contest has narrowed in recent years and it is effectively a limited handicap, so he would be racing from around the 11-0 mark, rather than a feather weight of around 10-0.
What we are getting here is equivalent to buying a dog ahead of a trial and he disappoints, you have a money back offer. Billie Magern has been the subject of heavy support this evening for the 2:55 tomorrow but he has not been replicated in the Cheltenham market. If he secures the win that he needs tomorrow, he will very likely trade at half his current odds for the Kim Muir or possibly shorter.
If he is beaten tomorrow then he will not line up at the festival and Paddy Power will refund your bet. Obviously we feel he has a very solid chance tomorrow but we have missed the early 14/1 about him and the Cheltenham angle makes significantly more appeal.
None At Present As Money Back
Billie Magern currently lies 79th in the weights for the JT Speciality Handicap Chase on the opening day of the festival. A win tomorrow and a likely 5lb penalty would raise him to an effective mark of 134. This would still leave him at 55th in the weights with a group of other horses. He has practically no chance of getting into this race even if successful tomorrow so it can be discounted as an option.
He lies 67th in the weights for the Kim Muir and a 5lb penalty would raise him to the group that are currently 39-42 in the weights. This would give him a very realistic chance of making the race. If he does not win tomorrow, he will not contest, so there is essentially no risk attached to the bet as it stands and the upside potential is quite significant.
In the event that he is running in the Kim Muir on the Thursday of the festival we will revisit the race and provide a comprehensive update.
By Frazzled of @Betswot
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