Ah yes, who can forget the phrase immortalised by Blockbusters, fronted by Bob Holness, who’s other claim to fame was being the second actor to play James Bond*. (Yes, really!)
Our headline refers, of course, to our very own horse Bob Mahler and its attempt to repeat the dramatic win in Musselburgh‘s Edinburgh National Handicap Chase at 3.45.
Bob‘s recent form figures of PPP do not exactly inspire confidence, but the 9-y-o got stuck in the mud first time out and suffered a slipping saddle the next twice. These trials and tribulations have resulted in a mark just 2lbs higher than last year and, in the hope that Warren‘s staff have had intensive training in how to do up a buckle, we suggest a modest each way investment at 11-1.
The other televised race at the Scottish venue is the Scottish County Hurdle at 2.05, which has a field of 10.
Worthy, but backable, fav for this is the Paul Nicholls‘ trained Christopher Wood, which returned to form last time out when second at Kempton.
A CD winner on its only previous visit and with the stable Conditional taking off a very handy 7lbs, Chris should be backed with a degree of confidence at 7-2.
If there is a danger, it might be in the shape of Blakeney Point, raised just 2lbs for its New Year’s Day victory, also over CD and this 94 rated Flat horse may be on the improve. We’ll add an each way bet on this one at 15-2.
The rest of the televised action comes from Sandown, which, with the hurdles track virtually under water, is an all chase card.
The Virgin Bet Handicap Chase at 1.15 kicks off the fun and sees Dolos attempt to make it a three-peat in this race, this time from a lofty perch of 158. Giving lumps of weight away all round won’t be easy and we will take a chance on Mr One More.
Harry Fry‘s lightly raced 9-y-o finished second on chase debut, with the 140+ rated Lieutenant Rocco over 3 lengths behind and patently failed to get home over a longer trip next time. A return to 2 miles and a mark of 134 could be just the ticket, so back it each way at 7-1.
Grade 1 action follows at 1.50 with the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase and this race features one of our ‘follow ’til beaten’ horses, Shan Blue.
This is undoubtedly SB‘s toughest task to date, but we must keep the faith and recommend a win bet at 5-2.
The Grade 2 Cotswold Chase at 2.20 is next up, with the favourite, Bristol De Mai going ‘the wrong way round’ and not running at Haydock.
We give one more chance to Santini, which should relish a slog in the mud and has new jockey Aiden Coleman on board for the first time. Have a win bet at 11-4.
The Warriors Handicap Chase at 2.55 looks a competitive affair but we are going to row in with the sprightly 12-y-o Doitforthevillage, which sprang back to life a month ago over CD, putting in a storming finish to win going away. The assessor has raised Village just 2lbs for that, leaving it on a mark still nearly a stone below its highest winning rating, so if Dear Dickie can get the best out of the golden oldie, 12-1 might look very big come 3.05pm.
Proceedings end with the Masters Handicap Chase at 3.30 and this race looks at the mercy of Ask Me Early.
Another Harry Fry inmate, this 7-y-o has won both chase starts with consummate ease and an extra 7lbs today is unlikely to halt its progress.
Have a decent poke at 6-4.
Let’s hope we have a Gold Run of results.
Bob Mahler 3.45 Musselburgh 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (5 places SkyBet)
Christopher Wood 2.05 Musselburgh 4pts win @ 7-2
Blakeney Point 2.05 Musselburgh 1pt e/w @ 15-2
Mr One More 1.15 Sandown 1pt e/w @ 7-1 (2 places)
Shan Blue 1.50 Sandown 4pts win @ 5-2
Santini 2.20 Sandown 2pts win @ 11-4
Doitforthevillage 2.55 Sandown 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (4 places SkyBet)
Ask Me Early 3.30 Sandown 6pts win @ 6-4
* ‘Moonraker’ – radio production 1956