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3.55 Newbury – Normal Equilibrium
Normal Equilibrium was hugely impressive when winning at Chelmsford on the all-weather over 5f 10 days ago, and despite the tougher competition and contrasting conditions, gets the vote here. Returning from his winter break, Robert Cowell’s runner burst out of the stalls and had such early toe that a number of known front runners could head him early. Turning into the home straight, all of the horses that tried to lay up with the frenetic pace dropped away tamely, with only a late closer getting anyway near the son of Elnadim. Admittedly that performance was achieved on a front runners track, but the way he kept up the gallop all the way to the line was extremely eye catching.
It could have been that the horse was fresh, or it could have been that the switch to the all-weather was beneficial. The third possibility, and the one which is the driving force behind choosing Normal Equilibrium as a selection, is that the horse has improved from 4 to 5. It would, after all, be no surprise to see a Robert Cowell sprinter get significantly better with age. The fact that the master handler also turns him out under a 6lb penalty is intruiging. Cowell’s last time out winners, turned out within 2 weeks of their victory are 27/86 (31%) for £34 LSP, producing an A/E of 1.65 – positive statistics indeed.
Main competition could come from a previous SBO selection, Robot Boy. Disappointed on seasonal reappearance, but should appreciate the much better ground and a stiffer course. Has some of the best form in the line up.
Normal Equilibrium is likely to blast off from the front, with the only likely competition for the early pace coming from Noble Storm. At odds of 6/1 7.00 +600 6.00 6.00 -0.17 , we chance that he can stay there.
5.35 Dundalk – Gealan
A rare foray across the waters for the second selection, which can be found in the form of Gealan. There is an A P O’Brien hotpot debutant in the race, which has helped keep the odds for Jim Bolger’s Intense Focus filly high enough to warrant an each way play in an 8 runner race.
The veteran trainer Bolger does not have many first time out 2 year olds in March or April, but when he does, they are usually primed to go well. From 32 runners, he has had 10 winners and a further 4 places, generating a LSP of £21 and an A/E of 1.66.
Stall 8 isn’t ideal, but is not too much of a problem now that the rail has been moved out in the home straight. Gets a useful 5lbs off the colts, and with a juvenile winner already on the board for the trainer, should hopefully get in the top 3 and could even upset the favourite.
Tips Summary (17th April)
Normal Equilibrium Win – 3.55 Newbury – 6/1 7.00 +600 6.00 6.00 -0.17 – Bet365