Tip Idol III

tipidol3

FINAL RESULT

ARMCHAIR PUNTER +23.12pts £100 + Trophy
THE HANDICAP KING +12.05pts £50
CC RACING +4.60pts £25

The Final – Saturday 16th April

THEMAXWECAN WIN 3-14 Muss 15/2
Shot myself in the foot again last week, giving the winner but not tipping it because of my forecast price of 9/4 The horse duly won at 9/1 ? My crystal ball obviously needs a good polish. So, onto the Final Se7en. This is one tough race to work out, except for the Emmet Mullins fans, who have backed Zero Ten into 7/2 from an available 8/1 not too many hours ago. Well this is not a 2m novice hurdle at Chelt and being as I have come up with 5 different choices during the last few days, I have decided to stick with the old saying ( If it ain`t broke - Don`t fix it ) My selection got up by a neck in this race last season running off the same OR of 98 and has the same jockey on board and has is running after a long lay off. As usual the trainer has 2 or 3 runners in case of off days for his main chance. At around 9/1 and will probably shorten, it just falls out of my ew tipping price, so win it is.
OH THIS IS US EW 3-35 Nby 40/1
Anotjher giant puzzle of a race, I have selected this horse previously in this competition and will not let it win at a big price without tipping / backing him. So, here we go again, I am going to tell you what will probably win at around 7/1 ( IRISH ADMIRAL ) but still tip OH THIS IS US at hopefully around 33/1. Don`t get me wrong, the selection is well handicapped, won`t mind the ground and should handle the track ( Only one course winner the field ). The only negative for me is the jockey who just doesn`t seem to get on with OTIU. The most successful jockey on this horse is Tom Marquand ( who is riding IRISH ADMIRAL ) If he were on board my selection I would be more confident !
PERFECT POWER WIN 3-00 Nby 7/4
Having watched the selections most recent performance over and over again, I will be very surprised if the 7th furlong does not suit. A beautiful ride by Mr Soumillon ( which I hope he can repeat ) the selection was going away. I studied FLAMING RIB, for an ew squeak, but found the opposite and that 6f is ideal for him. None of the other outsiders appeal, Angel Bleu needs soft and LUSAIL`s 7f win was a slow time. So long as something goes on, PP should be able to bide his time and pounce half a furlong out at around 5/2 ( well 3pm but you know what I mean ).
ADELAISE EW 2-25 Nby 50/1
Not my kind of race to be honest. I don`t mind a filly taking on the boys and usually rubbing their noses in the mud. A race full of them though is not my idea of fun. I finally came down on a presently priced 33/1 selection which doesn`t seem to fit the profile of the rest of the field ( all of which are coming off of a long lay off ) I get the feeling that Mr Meade was pleasantly surprised by the horses lto performance and decided to let her take her chance at getting some black type. A wild ew tip in a field of uninteresting fillies for me.
RAYMOND TUSK WIN 1-50 Nby 7/1
If it rains at Newbury, I`m stuffed, especially in this race. I am trusting the weather forecast and think the going will end up Good to Firm. Only two horses interest me in this race, which are RED VERDON and RAYMOND TUSK. I think that RV needs further nowadays and that only leaves me with the selection. I believe the rest of the field prefer some give in the ground and after a mile and a half on firmer, will not relish a battle. I can see the two I have mentioned fighting out the finish and hopefully RAYMOND TUSK will just prevail.
ONE NIGHT IN MILAN EW 4-29 Hay 22/1
At last, another handicap to get my teeth into ! Unfortunately the best handicapped horses need Good to Soft or softer. Yes I know they will probably water, but I still think it could end up Good going. The selection will handle Good, is not terribly handicapped and has form at around the distance. Having to qualify usually means that your horse will be carrying just too much weight to win. The lower weights have taken more of a chance at qualifying but are most probably Well In ! At around 16/1 this Milan will do for me ew.
THE UNIT WIN 2-44 Hay 25/1
This is more like it, a handicap that actually has a couple of well weighted animals running. The two I like are DEYRAN DE CARJAC and THE UNIT, the latter being my selection. Once again I have turned to the ground conditions to determine which of the two to select. THE UNIT has won five races on Good and once on Good to firm and finished 2nd six times on Good ! Well handicapped, will love the ground ( so long as they don`t leave the taps on too long ) and has a so called top jockey on board. Again at around 9/1 and this being the final, it has to be a win selection. Finally, thank you to Gavin for all his hard work and Good Luck to the other finalists.
Newbury 150 Ilaraab 2pt win. 10/3
Well here we finals day and five races on the flat too choose from , so going on stable form and best when fresh scenario for this one. Backed it last year first time out so hoping he's pretty straight for today. Haggis going along at 27% strike rate at mo so in decent form ,surely must go close but this is a tricky opener.
Newbury 225 Wild Beauty 2pt win. 5/2
Well talking off stables in form this yard operating at a strike rate of 50% at moment. I also backed this one on its first run last season in a maiden ,it was sent off 5/2 fav and was beaten into 6th but not knocked about. After that run his season really took of culminating in a Grade 1 win in Canada, then came back to Newmarket but ran a bit flat so I think the journey and long season took its toll there,but confident of big run today.
Haydock 244 Deyran De Carjac 1pt ew. 9/1
Now jumps for this and another tricky affair here, he's a bit too find with the current fav here but I do think there is a race in him A couple of years ago he was running a big race in Greatwood hurdle only too come too grief at 2nd last, was off for a while then went novice chasing and he won a couple ,goes on any ground and I just think tomorrow could be the day he runs a Biggie, reason why I have followed this horse he's Aberdeen owned where I live and really he's due one for his patient owners.
Newbury 300 Perfect Power 2pt win 7/4
Now if this one is too run in 2000 Guineas surely has too win this well, finished off last season with two group 1 wins and looks like he will relish step up in trip, soullimon booked for this one as well is another tick in the box , his nearest challenger in the market looks like it needs a lot of cut in ground and with current weather at moment not going to get it. Confident of big run here.
Musselburgh 314 Zero Ten 2pt win. 3/1
When I see declaration's for this earlier in week ,this stuck out at me just because E Mullins has sent this across, now he has a cracking record when he sends across jumpers ,but noticed while looking into this race he is 0/12 with his flat runners. I like the booking of this apprentice ,he looked top notch last year but he was a naughty boy and banned for a year so surely will be trying to make up for lost time,this horse also went close in a French group 1 last season if he's fully wound up and jockey gets him into a prominent position which is crucial at this track he again must go close in a real competitive heat.
Newbury 335 Rogue Bear 2pt win. 7/2
Now it normally pays too follow Lincoln form in this race. There's a few at top of the market here who ran in it, but I've chosen this one as was a wee bit unlucky ,slow at start and not clearest of runs at crucial stage and managed too snatch 3rd on line. Now he is a hold up performer so again will need luck in running but just feel he will get it tomorrow,and Lincoln form took a wee boost with Brunch running well the other day.
Haydock 429 Imphal 1pt ew. 12/1
Well the finale and boy I had a selection dilemma in this race, I've followed 3 in this race for a season of two now ( kaizer , Sultans Pride) but cane down on this one due too the drying ground. He really needs good ground and it looks like he will get it tomorrow,forget his last run as too soft at Doncaster. He's ran some blinders this season especially one at Ascot where he made a horrendous error at one but still got placed He will be held up I expect kaizer too go from front and I'm hoping mines picks him up jumping the last .
Like to say good luck too other two finalists tomorrow and a real big thank you too Gavin for running this.
NEWBURY 1:50 - ILARAAB (WIN) 10/3
Siding with the course specialist here. Has never been unplaced in 3 runs at Newbury. In addition goes well fresh (winner first time up last season) Couldn't really ask for better than Tom Marquand to take him round either & ground won't be an issue. About as solid as you can get at a shortish price. Thunderous the main danger but if he doesn't tlet that one have a soft lead he should have enough.
NEWBURY 2:25 - MAJESTIC GLORY (E/W) 9/1
You have to take a fair bit on trust here. Wild Beauty will be everyone's idea of a sure thing but Majestic Glory has a victory over her last season to look back on. Admittedly her season tailed off somewhat but if back to that Newmarket form she has a shout here. In any case the price is probably too big & makes the e/w play the way to go. We'll play for the place & hope for the win.
HAYDOCK 2:44 - DEYRANN DE CARJAC (WIN) 9/1
I've been backing this bloody horse all winter with no reward. One of those who runs well & ends up missing out on the places (we've all been there) last time out was the best we've seen though & I'm taking him to come good when most needed. There's nothing much to be afraid of here in what looks an unremarkable end of season affair. So if he isn't over the top I reckon he has enough to see these off. Numitor the main danger but I'll go win only in the hope of finally making a profit from him before he ends his season.
NEWBURY 3:00 - LUSAIL (WIN) 4/1
Taking a chance against the market leaders here. Lusail was a consistent performer last season & i don't think there's much between the top 2 & the rest here. Will be happy to track the pace wherever it comes from & barring any trouble in running I'm expecting a strong finishing effort which hopefully will prove to be enough. Anywhere near the front 2 out & a run for your money is guaranteed.
MUSSELBURGH 3:14 - ZERO TEN (WIN) 3/1
Emmet Mullins tries to follow up the national win by taking a prize on the flat a week later. The story writes itself doesn't it? Horse is a smart performer, has a could-be-vital 7lbs taken off for La Sayette's claim & should be in the mix going for home. He's not bringing this horse over for a holiday & I'm making this my bet of the day.
Strong traveller & will kick for home & hopefully be gone before they know it.
NEWBURY 3:35 - IRISH ADMIRAL (WIN) 9/1
Haggas must have sleepless nights over this horse. Promises so much but has so far delivered little. I'm sure the key to him is in there somewhere, just a case of finding it. Headgear goes on this time & maybe that'll be it? I'm willing to pay to find out. For competition purposes I'm going win only but he's an e/w price for anyone with a conservative nature.
HAYDOCK 4:29 - WHO DARES WINS (E/W) 16/1
One more admirable run from the old man of the field is the plan here. A wonderfully consistent horse over the years & hopefully there's one more in the tank. Last 2 runs have been solid & at an e/w price I'll take him to finish his season off well. Hopefully both he & I can go out on a high :-) Trip & ground both no problem & he just needs to do what he does.

– – – –

Got off to a good start and stayed just behind the leaders for the entire competition. Sneaked into third place at week 15 but despite final day winning bets and a healthy final profit figure he just misses out on a place in the final. Unlucky.
Slowly away but swept from last to first at week 5. Stayed prominent for next couple of weeks before regaining the lead after Cheltenham week. Stayed in top 3 until lost two places on the last day. Fantastic performance and looked a little unlucky with his last day tactics (an each-way bet instead of win only on Santini would have seen him finish third).
Broke well before being steadied into midfield for most of the competition. Started to find his form and good headway at week 15. Going on at finish. Too much to do. Finished 6th.
Missed break but rapid headway at week 3 to take the lead. Stayed in top 4 and consistently pressed leaders for many weeks. Lost momentum final two Saturday's to finish 7th (better for experience)
Raced in midfield throughout. Never quite able to get a clear run at the leaders but stuck on well to end in profit and put in another good Tip Idol performance. Finished 8th
Got away well and chased leaders for first 9 weeks without being able to quite get to the front. No extra and lost 5 places in last two weeks. Finished 9th (promising)
Broke smartly and led at week 2. Headed and fell away quickly to race towards the rear of midfield subsequently. Stayed hovering at the back until some good late headway on the final weekend. Finished 10th. (One to note)
Midfield early before headway at week 4 to sit just off the pace. Stayed chasing leaders until dropped back at week 10. Unable to make any further progress. Finished 11th
Towards rear of midfield throughout. Always able to avoid elimination although unable to trouble leaders. Finished 12th
Great start and led early. Headed at week 3 but remained close up until steadily weakened and dropped to rear at week 14. Last when eliminated at week 16.
Started brightly but never really able to recapture previous Tip Idol form and dropped backwards at week 6. Unable to improve position and eliminated at week 15.
Raced in the rear group and dropped steadily back to the last few at week 4. Small forward progress at week 6 but never really out of the rear group and eliminated at week 15
Always towards rear. Slight headway at weeks 5 and 8 but no real progress and tailed off and Pulled Up week 15
Raced in midfield early before dropping back slightly at week 7. Going forward again at week 10 when pulled up suddenly at week 14
Set early pace and well there for first four weeks. Weakened quickly after week five and heading towards the back markers when pulled himself up at week 14
Always rear and no headway until eliminated at week 14
Broke smartly and close up early. Dropped away quickly and soon raced in rear. Detached at week 8 and eliminated.
Slowly away and never in contention. Short lived effort at week 4 but soon dropped to rear and eliminated at week 7.
Broke smartly into mid-field early but dropped away quickly and passed in week 6 to be the back marker. Eliminated
Always rear. No progress and eliminated at Week 5
Always rear. No progress and eliminated at Week 4
Always in rear. No real progress and tailed off last when eliminated at Week 4
Very fast away to lead early. Stayed prominent until weakened at week 4. Missed out weeks 8 and 9. DISQUALIFIED and placed last

Week 17 – Saturday 9th April

BLACKLION EW 5-15 Ain 66/1
Backed my first National winner in 1968 ( Red Aligator ) when I was 9yr old and for many, many years was mesmerised by the race. Unfortunately it is not the same spectacle due to safety changes and most of the drama has been lost. If it wasn`t for the commentator screaming " AND THEY CROSS THE MELLING ROAD " it could be just another big field handicap. Blacklion was in my final 4 after studying trends and is the only one of those that has, albeit a long time ago, won on Good ground, which is now forecast. I`m pretty sure one of the `fancied` horses will win, but with the trainer in great form and having just had a winner ( Langer Dan ) I am hoping for a place with this selection at around 100/1. DINGO DOLLAR is a big danger to all.
NINE ELMS WIN 7-00 Wol 11/2
Struggling to find anything that I really fancy at my usual BIG prices. So NINE ELMS, two time course and distance winner, is closely matched with the probable favourite AMALFI SALSA and is double the price at time of typing. If I am going for the Bonus this week, a 6/1 second does not qualify. So a win bet, hoping that a 2lb pull is not enough for AS and that a new jockey may make a difference to my selection.
BATCHELOR BOY EW 5-30 Wol 18/1
A three time course winner, twice at the distance, has had a recent pipe opener for the season and is quite well handicapped. Another selection with a new to him jockey on board who I am hoping will make a positive difference as he is in very good form at the moment and the confidence may just trickle down the reins. I am worried about Mr Dixons horse ( nearly tipped it ) and I think INTERVENTION will probably win, but will get backed in to around 9/4 So I`m a BATCHELOR BOY today and hope he at least gets placed.
AINTREE 1:45 - PARTY BUSINESS (E/W) 11/2
This horse is somewhat baffling overpriced as far as I'm concerned. Ran better than the result at Cheltenham after being blocked in the run twice at either end of the race. Remove those incidents & his finishing effort gets him a hell of a lot closer. The extra distance here should play to his strengths & I expect him to finish well again. If he can keep out of trouble he's a big player & still an e/w price.
AINTREE 2:25 - GOOD RISK AT ALL (E/W) 13/2
Having missed Cheltenham should be bang on for this. despite a step up in class this should suit him well. Track, trip & ground all appeal & the fact that he's still an e/w price seals the deal for me. Strong traveller & sound jumper who should relish everything about this test & could well attrcat support on the day, although I clearly hope not as the price might go ! he's the e/w play of the day though at current prices.
AINTREE 5:15 - ECLAIR SURF (EW) 14/1
this is the form line through Win My Wings that appeals. He can admittedly throw in a bad jump & thats obviously not great in the National but on form it's a risk worth taking. If he's there or thereabouts 3 out I take him to finish strongly & be in the mix at the elbow. Was going to go all in but in the end e/w makes more sense. good luck everyone !
5.15 aintree SANTINI 1pt win 50/1
Before i say anything about this lottery i'm wishing everybody good luck.Now having said that not too much.Right on to the race i went through this race with a degree of trepidation but i think i may have a couple of sporting selections the first is SANTINI he maybe ten now but i still think he has enough class to see this lot off if he stays.And that is probably the biggest stumbling block to his chances if he stays he wins.Now the second selection is also in the same boat he is a dubious stayer but at 50/1 i'm willing to take a chance TWO FOR GOLD is the name. Now for the purposes of this competition i'm coming down on the side of SANTINI but i shall be backing both.
2.25 aintree THREE STRIPE LIFE 1pt win 10/3
Now i don't like tipping up favorites as you all know by now but when they are too good a price to ignore you have to back them so to me THREE STRIPE LIFE should be closer to evens than the 5/2 on offer as i write.There is no SIR GERHARD in this race and i think elliot is sending him here as an easier assignment than taking him on again at punchestown.So i think this has to be a max bet.
4.15 aintree SHAN BLUE 1pt win 3/1
Now this race is virtually a one horse race SHAN BLUE is 5/2 at time of writing he is a graded horse in a handicap for the first time and he is not top weight i can't believe it either the handicapper is an idiot or i am.So i know i've told you i don't do favorites but this is actually printing money if there is a danger it might just be his jumping but a clear round and you will be collecting.
1425 Aintree - THREE STRIPE LIFE (WIN) 10/3
Finishing runner up in three consecutive Grade 1 novice races, THREE STRIPE LIFE has a great opportunity to finally get his head in front here. There’s no disgrace at all in being touched off by Sir Gerhard twice and on both occasions the front two have been well clear of the field. Colonel Mustard reopposes here and whilst I’m a fan of that horse he’s not quite up to the favourites level ( I do however think he’s a cracking bet in the w/o market, 13/2 at time of writing). The Henderson runner was impressive on debut but that form really hasn’t amounted to much at all. Stage Star was impressive in the Challow but again that form hasn’t really been franked since. Gordon Elliott has had a quiet time at Aintree so far but this could be the start of a very good final day.
1535 Aintree FLOORING PORTER ( WIN) 13/8
FLOORING PORTER confirmed his status as the leader in the staying hurdler division at Cheltenham and I see no reason why he wouldn’t follow up against essentially the same competition today. The fact Klassical Dream isn’t lining up is also a plus as chances are FLOORING PORTER will face less competition for an easy lead. Molly Ollys Wishes and Ashdale Bob could try to go forward but they have a lot to find on official ratings. I fully expect FLOORING PORTER to show his class here.
1715 Aintree DELTA WORK ( EACH WAY) 11/1
DELTA WORK has been somewhat of an enigma over recent seasons. At times he’s been excellent, winning multiple Grade 1’s and going off as short as 5/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. However his form has really taken a nose dive over the past couple of years and until late he looked like a horse well past his best. That was until this season’s Cross Country race where he took to it like a duck to water and upset the entire population when getting the better of Tiger Roll. Gordon Elliott has retained his faith in this horse and I can’t help but feel that with this prep he has the hallmarks of being Tiger Roll version 2. DELTA WORK has shown a far higher level of form than Tiger Roll ever did and with a clear run I think DELTA WORK will at least go very close.
3:15 Thirsk - Live In The Dream 7/1
Won his first race of his career at 20/1 at Wolverhampton last August. Connections own his half brother Live In The Moment and just like his half brother it appears this horse excels over the 5 furlong trip and 6 furlongs just stretches him to far. His first run back for the season was at Lingfield over 6 furlongs and it is likely that was used to get him ready for this race, I am sure this horse will progress during the season and it would not surprise me to see him run in some of the big sprints. 0.5pt each way
3:00 Aintree - Edwardstone 4/7
A very good hurdler having reached a mark of 150 he has simply exceled himself over fences this season and is currently rated 161 over the larger obstacles. His first 2 starts over fences didn't go to plan but since then he has won his last 5 starts by an average of 8 lengths including wining the Arkle by 4 1/4 lengths. Whilst this is no gimme I do expect him to be difficult to beat. 1pt win
5:15 Aintree - Any Second Now 11/1
Last years third in the Grand National was a good result giving that he endured a rough trip including to be badly hampered at the 12th fence, so to stay on and be beaten by 8 1/4 lengths suggests that he may have been involved in the finish. Beaten on his first two races this season he stayed on well to win the Bobbyjo. 0.5pt ew
5.15 Aintree (Grand National) - Fiddlerontheroof 1pt win 16/1
I believe this horse has a big chance in this race, for all that the usual various elements of luck will also need to go his way. He reminds me a bit of both Many Clouds and last year’s winner Minella Times, the former due to his route here in running in the 3m grade 1 as a novice at the festival and the Mildmay Novices Chase at this meeting, then running a cracker in the old Hennessy having won the Colin Parker chase over the intermediate trip at the start of the season. The latter’s resemblance for me comes in the fact he started the season with a win over the intermediate trip which I sense is something more National type horses are taking in during the same season, before running well and going close in a couple more races, the last of them in February, setting them up for a big run here. Fiddlerontheroof was talked of before his last run as potentially running in the Gold Cup this season but I think it’s worked out well they didn’t as he would likely have had a hard race in competing for places there. Instead, he’s skipped that and comes here a fresh and in-form horse who should travel well on good to soft ground (hopefully it’s no softer as wouldn’t like his chances as much), is a good jumper and the trip shouldn’t be a problem as his run in the Ladbrokes Trophy looked as if the further the race the better. He’s got an element of class for this and I think he’s well handicapped enough on his official mark compared to RPR’s and think he’ll go very close if he gets a clear round.
4.15 Aintree - Espoir De Romay 1pt win 9/1
I tipped him on his last run at Kelso where he was favoured by the weights but ran as if needing the race after a break. He still ran ok to finish a 3 length third on soft ground and this return to better ground on a track that he ran a great race at this meeting a year ago, where he was out in front before tipping up two out in a grade 1. Without that fall he could be a grade 1 winner and although not quite in the same form at present his mark of 155 still looks favourable in terms of some of the RPR’s he’s posted. Hopefully his last run has brought him on for fitness and although Shan Blue may also be well handicapped, he was was way behind the selection before he fell at Aintree last year and hopefully Kim Bailey has him right today.
1.45 Aintree - Serious Charges 1pt win 9/1
An impressive winner last time out at Uttoxeter, moving well through the race and winning going away in the closing stages with the look of a an improving horse with more to come. He looks a similar type to the stable’s previous winner of this in 2017 in Fountains Windfall in that he came into this race on the back of a win in lower class, showing he was well handicapped on the day and went on to be a good chaser, which is what connections expect of this one when he does go over fences. They’ve also stated they would look to the Punchestown festival for a handicap hurdle and hopefully they feel he’s well handicapped to go well here first.
Aintree 5.15 KILDISART. eachway 40/1
. Trained by Ben Pauling and has James Bowen in the saddle. Has a Chase career record of three wins and two places from12 runs over the larger obstacles. All of the horses victories have come on similar ground to that forecasted. Won a 3 Mile 1 furlong Handicap Chase at this meeting in 2019. Finished a good second in a Cheltenham Festival Handicap in 2020. Since then has been lightly raced. Had a 15 month break before returning at Newbury last time out,finishing fourth of 10 in the Grade 3 Greatwood Chase.
Aintree 1.45. DANS LE VENT. each way. 12/1
In form Evan Williams sends this horse to Aintree for a Class 1 Handicap Hurdle. Isabel Williams takes the ride,and has two wins and three places from 11 rides on the horse. Won a Class One Handicap at Haydock in November. Ran well at this meeting last year,finishing second of 22 in a Class 1 Handicap Hurdle,ran on well in the closing stages. Last time out finished 10th of 23 in a Handicap at the Cheltenham Festival,and prior to that ran on to claim third place in a 17 runner Grade 3 Sandown Handicap Hurdle.
Wolv.5.30. BATCHELOR BOY. each way. 18/1
Trained by the in form J.Gallagher and ridden by Neil Callan,who has ridden three winners from 10 rides in the last 14 days. Winner off of a handicap mark of 77,and has been put in this handicap with a mark of 72. Lowest handicap mark the horse has been given in the last seven races. Generally does well at this grade,four wins and another place from eight runs in Class Five. Winner of three races on this surface. Three wins and two more places from 14 at the distance. Good Wolverhampton record - two wins from three course and distance efforts,and three wins from seven at the track overall.
Aintree 13.45 - Emiton E/W 40/1
Emiton is a steal at the prices, first time in a handicap, Blackmore booked and it wasn't that long ago in the Sefton (2019) it was 2nd to Champ over CD pulled up in the Liverpool hurdle last year rated 154 now rated 135, the handicap bow is a long time coming and its PU lto on far from ideal ground can be ruled out. The cheek pieces have been dropped only worn twice and PU in both.
Aintree 14.25 - Nells Son E/W 28/1
Keeping with the theory I have to go big to get in the top three, I think Nells Son in the novice hurdle is overpriced and could run a big race, was only 8.5l behind Jonbon back in January and lto he looked perfect for the step up in trip to 2.4, after a head win from fellow entry North Lodge who is half the price for this. everyone will be mad on Three Stripe Life again, but his run at Cheltenham was not good and Elliot is hardly on fire this year.
Grand National - Lost in Translation E/W 80/1
Will be in a summer climate when the race is off & to have a chance at the top three in the competition, I will stick my neck out with the unusual entry of Lost in Translation, was a 1.25l 3rd in the Gold Cup two years back rated 175 and although lost its way since PU in 2021 & never raced further than the GC distance but if retuning to something near his best, the mark of 157 may seem lenient. Could be something of nothing but the entry could be a tip in its self. Delta Work looks a bet for sure, but I would be not so quick after a tough race 3 weeks ago.
515 Aintree Longhouse Poet 1pt win 16/1
Well I could look at this race 40 times and come with 40 different picks do gone with my first look. Was impressed with this one when it won Thystes at Gowran finishing powerfully over 3m, can't see a problem with the trip ,jumps well so if gets luck in running will be bang there, hes at the right age as well being 8 year old and gets in off a nice weight .
225 Aintree Stage Star 1pt win. 12/1
I always forgive a horse a bad run and this one defo had that last time out. Ran far too freely at Cheltenham and I think ground was against him as well, I see Nicholls has reached for the hood for the 1st time so let's hope he settles with that on, he looked real impressive when hacking up at Newbury before Cheltenham so here's hoping he's back on form.
335 Aintree Sire du Berlais 1pt win. 22/1
Well its last chance saloon in comp so got to go big all day, I think this one's run in the Pertemps can be marked up, almost wiped out by a faller and did well to recover momentum to finish where he did, he might have to go some to beat fav, but he has a touch of class will get the distance no problem and really I think he's overpriced here.
145 Saint D'Oroux - win 25/1 - rolling the dice at a price and hoping the trip brings about some improvement. By virtue of the jockeys claim he has a good racing weight and he is worth his seven lbs. The form of his last race is good and was franked on Friday, albeit over a different trip. There isn't loads of pace on and he won't be far away from the front and that could pay, based on Fridays races.
343 Harry Du Berlais - win 3/1 - short enough but was struggling to find enough three big prices I liked. Its always interesting when connections let a horse take its handicap debut over fences, especially when coming from a PTP background. That PTP win came in the best time on the card and this horse is really well related.
515 Commodore EW 33/1 - I need a big priced horse here and I was stuck between the selection and Domain de L'Isle but I've been sweet on Commodore. The key to him is freshness and the form his last race has worked out well. He'll be up near the front so should avoid the chaos and jumps as though these fences will really suit. He has a lovely raving weight and a good jockey so I've come down on him.
1.45 Aintree - Grade 3 Handicap Hurdle Selection - Jai Froid (win) 22/1
JAI FROID last ran over hurdles in this corresponding race last season finishing 2nd off todays mark where he was beaten just 3 lengths by Hometown Boy. This season he has run just three times over fences finishing 3rd at Hexham on chase debut behind doyen breed. He then wasn’t beaten far at Cheltenham in a novice handicap won by ultima handicap winner corach rambler and last time out at Ascot he stayed on late for 4th behind does he know. Back over hurdles will suit today and he should go well
4.15 Aintree - Betway Handicap Chase Selection - Mint Condition (win) 33/1
MINT CONDITION has been running well since switching to chasing this season winning at Haydock on New Year’s Eve beating ashtown lad by 2 1/2 lengths. Since then he has finished 4th in a grade 2 novice chase at Warwick behind threeunderthrufive but then pulled up on his next start at Haydock upped in trip to 3m4f. Last time out he ran a cracker in the kim muir handicap at the Cheltenham festival holding every chance turning in but fading after jumping the last into 5th behind chambard. Back down to 3m on a flatter track today should suit.
5.15 Aintree - Grand National Selection - School Boy Hours (win) 28/1
SCHOOL BOY HOURS has managed to get into the grand national field at the last minute thanks to the defection of owners JP McManus owned easysland to allow this one to run. He won a competitive 3m handicap at leopardstown over Christmas beating Ben Dundee by 1/2 length. He too ran in the kim muir handicap at the Cheltenham festival and was backed into 5/1 fav on the day and after making ground to stalk the leaders 4 out he made a mistake and was pulled up with his chance gone. He looks well handicapped off a mark of 142 and carrying just 10st5lbs at the time of writing he looks overpriced at 25/1. Granted a bit of luck he should go well.
Aintree 5:15 Grand National DINGO DOLLAR – 1pt WIN 50/1
It can be difficult to find an angle in many a big field handicap, but the Grand National takes it to a whole new level. Not only is it a field of 40 runners but there are the unique national style fences to contend with too. Snow Leopardess, Éclair Surf and Any Second Now all interest me, but I have been drawn to one at a bigger price in DINGO DOLLAR. 3 average showings this year has his mark dropped down to 148, and whilst his form isn’t much to go on, he had a very good showing in last years Scottish National finishing 2nd after racing prominently. The way he finished after making a mistake at Kelso last time out looked as though once the chance had gone to win Ryan Mania didn’t push too hard, potentially to not take too much more out of him before a stint at the big one here. He has the profile for a good showing here; 10 years old, carrying 10 stone 11, had his last run less than 55 days ago and his showing in last year’s Scottish National shows the trip should be of no issue and I’d like nothing more than to see Ryan Mania pick up the National on board him this year.
Aintree 1:45 PARTY BUSINESS – 1pt WIN 11/2
PARTY BUSINESS stayed on very eye-catchingly in this year’s Martin Pipe, finishing 5th in a race which heavily favoured the prominent runners after coming from way off the pace. He was off the bridle a long way out but managed to come through the pack in very convincing fashion, and the step up to 3 miles here may pay dividends. Also at only the 2nd hurdle he had a horse fall in front of him, which made him lose all momentum and almost come to a stand still, which makes his final position and finishing effort that much more impressive. With consistent form on both good and softer ground the conditions shouldn’t be any issue here and he gets to race here off a low mark which could be a catalyst for a good showing.
Thirsk 2:40 SYMBOLIZE – 1pt WIN 9/4
A small field but a good-looking race here, and due to the small field, that should negate any draw bias from playing too much of an edge here. Mutasaabeq looks to be a horse who could improve now as a 4-year-old, and whilst his form, especially off a break looks strong, I think SYMBOLIZE could be the one to side with here. Coming 2nd after a break in a handicap at Newmarket to Double Or Bubble who went on to win a listed event, as well as challenge in Group races and go close later in the season. His Last 2 starts he came 2nd to Aldaary who I believe will be giving a good showing in some top races this season. David Probert gets the ride for Andrew Balding, who’s horses whilst maybe not winning have been running well as of late.

Week 16 – Saturday 2nd April

EL PASSO WOOD EW 3-35 AYR 25/1
Should have stuck to my instincts last week and I would have had the 28/1 Lincoln winner ( annoying ! ). Been studying this lottery for days, whittled it down to about ten and am now down to four that I can`t split. My other three were, Hill Sixteen, The Ferry Master and Streets Of Doyen, but having studied the last 6 runs of my selection, I couldn`t help but admire a horse that has raced over more than 20 miles in under 3 months and only once not finished in the first 4 ( pulled up on heavy ground ). These runs included the Midlands National, where he led 2 out and Cl3 chases for good prize money. This race is 2f shorter than the Uttoxeter effort, which may just be ideal and the ground should be no worse than soft if the weather forecast is correct. David Pipe is no fool and I doubt he would run the horse over another marathon trip if it was showing signs of exhaustion. How it is 33/1 at time of writing is simply ridiculous, I make this a 16/1 shot.
VOIX DU REVE EW 2-25 AYR 18/1
The Scottish Champion Hurdle and I think I have found a well handicapped horse that is probably not up to this class, but if the going remains at worst, Good to Soft and maybe, just maybe turns Good, then has an outsider`s chance. The trainer is in fine fettle, the horse welcomed a return to 2mile last time out, after being tried over 2m4f+ and the successful 5lb claimer is retained for this crack at good place money. The 18/1 at time of writing would be very welcome, anything below 12/1 and I may have made a mistake.
CRYSTAL CASQUE EW 3-05 LING 22/1
I was tempted by Mr Dixons runners at Lingfield but didn`t like the set up of either race ( he does have the right jockey on board , except one is an unraced 3yr old and the other just doesn`t like this jockey ? ). Anyway, I happened upon this race, which is a lovely set up for an outsider with a small chance of winning and a good chance of placing ( even more so if one drops out ). The selection is the only one to have won off it`s current mark and the jockey is 33% wins to rides at this track for the current season. I just can`t believe that the 25/1 available at the moment will still be around tomorrow morning, but here`s hoping.
2.25 ayr SOCIALIST AGENDA 1pt win 12/1
Now this horse i tipped up the last time he ran and he duly obliged but in this race he has a lot to overcome he is 6lb out of the handicap having already been put up 6lb.He is going up in class as well.So why am i still tipping him up for this i hear you ask.Well in my opinion this horse is improving everytime he has seen a race course and i think there is still more to come and at 16/1 at time of writing i'm willing to take a chance that he will improve enough to make the handicapper look a bit silly.
3.35 ayr ASK A HONEY BEE 1pt win 33/1
This race is a bit of a lottery because you have horses in form going into this and you have horses out of form which the trainer has purposely tried to get a low weight.So you have to try and read between the lines.So having said that i have a short list of three ASK A HONEY BEE down to consistancy THE FERRY MASTER down to scottish trainer and ran well in this last year and COOL MIX also down to scottish trainer and ran well in this last year.SO i've come down on the side of ASK A HONEY BEE for no other reason than he shouldn't even be in this he has never even come close to running at this trip so why has o'brien entered him.It smells of a plot to me.
3.00 ayr KILTEALY BRIGGS 1pt win 8/1
On the betting forecast for this race they have KILTEALY BRIGGS as the outsider of the field now in my opinion he should be closer to favorite.So if you can get anywhere near the 13/2 they are forcasting then fill your boots.This is his trip and a small field is right up his street so max bet for me.
1535 Ayr – THE FERRY MASTER (EACH WAY) 12/1
Scotland may not have many representatives in their Grand National this year but I think THE FERRY MASTER has a cracking chance of improving on his 4th place in the race last season. He’s now rated 5 lbs lower after some quiet runs this year.Trainer Sandy Thomson revealed this week he was ‘delighted’ with THE FERRY MASTER and he looks to be the yard’s main hope after Hill Sixteen took a hike in the weights when finishing runner up in listed company. This has been the target all season and Sandy revealed he is much happier with his prep this time around. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that this will be his second start after a wind op, and at a double figure price at time of writing I think he’s a cracking value bet.
1410 Newbury – LA CAVSA NOSTRA (EACH WAY) NR
LA CAVSA NOSTRA looked a progressive chaser before missing over 2 years of action due to injury. He was pulled up when badly hampered on reappearance in February but showed he still has ability when winning a Veteran’s Handicap at Hereford off of top weight. Conditions will suit him here running in Veteran’s company again, albeit in a higher class. Whilst he might not reach the heights he once would have, he’s still unexposed and may well be better than a mark of 123. I think it would be mad to look away from that fact as these veterans races by their very nature are contested by well-exposed horses. Neil Mulholland has done extremely well to get him back after such a lay off, and whilst it would be a step up to repeat the feat in Class 2 company, he could still be ahead of his mark so I’m happy to take a chance.
1425 Ayr – BARRICHELLO (EACH WAY) 7/1
BARRICHELLO is a progressive 6 year old who I fancy to show why a mark of 134 is underestimating him. He had a season of hitting the crossbar last year when he finished runner up on all of his 5 runs over hurdles. However he has 4 wins from 5 runs this year with his only defeat coming at Bangor when he whipped around and blew his chance at the start. He still ran creditably given the circumstances and probably learned a lot more that day than he would of if he would have won comfortably as was expected at odds of 1/5. This is his second start in a handicap, in his first start in December he finished ahead of Good Risk At All giving him 6 lbs. That horse then followed up with a comfortable win at Ascot after missing out on the Betfair Hurdle down to ‘trainer error’. He was antepost favourite for that race at one point and was also very well fancied for the Coral Cup before just missing out. Connections seem to think he’s very well in on a mark of 137. Following that same logic a horse rated 134 that beat him giving nearly half a stone in weight should be even more so. It goes without saying that the McCain / Hughes combination are having an outstanding season and they don’t send many to Ayr without a chance.
1.50 Ayr – Doyen Breed – 1pt win 13/2
A course winner who stays the trip and back on better ground should see him improve. He ran a couple of decent races in graded chases the last twice on soft ground and has some form in the spring months and was running among what has proved to be some very good chasers last year at Aintree in a grade 1 hurdle.
2.45 Newbury - Nina The Terrier - 1pt win 10/3
This horse has some close similarities with her trainer Alan King’s previous winner of this in 2012. She achieved a very similar best RPR in NH flat races and also over hurdles, with this one posting a better rating at the same point in time. These ratings are also well in line with other previous winners of this race and on this decent surface with a good 3lb claimer on board hopefully she will find more improvement. She has to find a bit extra with the current favourite on their grade 2 run on heavy ground at Sandown behind a recent Cheltenham festival winner, which looks the best form on offer and this course and distance winner, back on better ground might well go close.
3.35 Ayr – Via Dolorosa – 1pt win 25/1
This in-form chaser has a good 1141 record on good to soft ground and I think he might get into a nice rhythm from the front or close to it such is his strong travelling, good jumping nature. He was a big eyecatcher in both the Grand Sefton and Beecher chases a few months ago, jumping and travelling well in both races and unlucky to unseat when badly hampered in the latter. He is entered in the Topham over the National fences next week (and the National itself but wouldn’t get in that) and it might be interesting that they come here for this race rather than back over the National fences where he’s run so well so far. A big price to find out.
15.35 Ayr - Jersey Bean E/W 25/1
I am always amazed this is sandwiched between Cheltenham & Aintree and think Ayr should consider a date change but I digress, between the two for me, Jersey Bean & One More Flurrie, who both have a line with McTottie (my hunch) who scoots this for Aintree. JB, 1st time out this season was a decent 6th to Definite Plan in a decent time, followed that up with a win over 3m5 also in a fast ran race on G & G/S. OMF has won before at Ayr, a novice chase on the same card last year and beating MacTottie in the process, the dryer it gets the better & I have a feeling this has been laid out for this, as well as having a few pounds in hand on JB. The pace will be decent tomorrow and both these have won from the front, Ayr not a great course for closers as they get to the final bend before the home straight. But who stays the 4 ??? I'll plump with JB the length of break worries me a little, but hoping its speed will prevail. The rest from the notebook as been down with the dreaded bug :(
14.45 Newbury - Holly Hartingo E/W 11/2
Progressive Irish pointer who won its 1st two starts & then a short break to run 4th over an inadequate 2m given a mark of 120 which looks lenient so surprised not gone handicapping they obviously think it's better hence coming to this grade 2. Back to 2m4, drops the claimer and previous winning jockey Burke back on board
13.50 Ayr - Duesart WIN 2/1
Should win this, after a respectable fifth behind L’Homme Presse in the Grade 1 Brown Advisory at the Cheltenham Festival now makes his handicap debut & Henderson's lightly raced 7yo can defy top weight – won 2 from 3 over fences from just five outings looks very strong here.
Ayr 335 Major Dundee 1pt win 10/1
I've looked at this long and hard and came down too two runners, novices have a cracking record in this race recently so that's what swayed me too go for the king horse. He knows what it takes to win this race as he won it 2013 with a seven year old just like my selection. Gets in here on a nice mark and weight and I think this has been the plan for a while, so hopefully rain stays away and we get a cracking run from this, the other one I liked was The Wolf ,he stays longer than the mother n law but does take some fences by the roots which surely he won't get away with today .
Ayr 445 Castletown 0.5 pts ew. 28/1
I have followed this horse for years and he really has cost me a small fortune, he flatters to deceive most occasions but he can pop up now and again. Won at this meeting a couple of years ago over this course & distance, has now changed yards and gone to Lucinda Russell yard, I'm hoping the change of scenery perks this one up, I'm taking a chance on this as comp coming to a close so going for it a wee bit.
Ayr 515 Idem 1pt win 7/2
A bumper too close the day off, watched a replay of the race this one ran in Aintree in October, was absolutely cruising 2f out there but the petrol gauge quickly emptied. Now he hasn't ran since then so I'm hoping there's been nothing wrong or is it simply been given time by his trainer to mature and grow a bit ,let's hope it's the latter as really do fancy this one.
Ayr 3.35. FIDUX. each way 80/1
FIDUX is a French bred 9 year old,set to carry 11 stone & 7 lbs. Trained by Alan King and ridden by Darryl Jacob. Trainer is in good recent form. When combining the trainer and jockey have a 34% strike rate. Winner of four chases and placed three more times from 16 runs. Winner in Class One company. All victories have come on similar ground, good to soft or good. Career earnings of £182,000,which is the second highest in this race. Won off a handicap mark of 140, and looks weighted to go well in this race.
Ayr 4.45 COULD BE TROUBLE. Win. 9/1
A 7 year old bay mare,sired by Yeats. Trained by Donald McCain jar and ridden by Peter Kavanagh. Trainer has been in prolific form all season. Has a 33% strike rate in the last 14 days,whilst Kavanaghs record in the past fortnight stands at a 25% win rate. Trainer and jockey when combining have an impressive 25% strike rate over the past year. Improving hurdler who has three wins from six runs since moving to this yard. One win from one run over course and distance. Three wins from four runs over this distance.
Ling. 5.20 VITESSE DU SON. Win. 6/1
Beaten favourite last time out,finishing fourth of 11, at Wolverhampton. That was the first run for new connections. Trained by Alice Haynes and ridden by Kieran O’Neill. Both trainer and jockey have strong track records,and are both in good recent form. Two wins from four runs at this course. Both wins came at 7 furlongs. Won from a 7 lb higher handicap mark. Three wins and a place from higher official handicap marks.
1:50 Ayr - Dusart 2/1
Finished a gallant 5th in the Grade 1 Brown Advisory at Cheltenham. This race represents a significant drop in grade as it is a listed race. Nico has a profitable 29% win rate over fences at Ayr along with a profitable 26% in listed races over fences. Dusart didn't start his season till January this year. For a 7year old Dusart is very lightly races having had only 5 rules races so their is still potential for improvement. 1pt Win
2:25 Ayr - West Cork 7/2
Finished 4th in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival beaten by 5 1/4 lengths by the well handicapped State Man from the Willie Mullins yard who could do no wrong on Gold Cup day. His hold up style of running may not assist but Dan and Harry Skelton could not have started the Ayr festival in better form with 2 winners and a place from 4 runners. 1pt win
3:35 Ayr - Wing my Wings 8/1
The winner of the Eider Chase in very taking fashion for Christian Williams who also had an across the card big race chase double on the day. A horse who is rated 12lbs higher than his hurdle. The only concern is the inexperience of the jockey but the positive is that the jockey takes off what could be a very valuable 7lbs. The horse is 2 from 2 when running in the month of April. 0.5pt ew
AYR 3:35 - CHIRICO VALLIS (E/W) 28/1
Big price alert ! It can pay to look for a proven performer in these sorts of races that has been forgotten by most & i think thats what we have here. You mostly need to be a sound jumper & be up with the pace to run well at Ayr & he ticks both boxes. Also he has form in some impressive company this season having finished close to Kitty's Light, Gericault Roque, Corach Rambler & Eclair Surf. Barring an unexpected downpour he should get his ground too. 33s was available at time of writing so hopefully it still will be. Overpiced.
NEWBURY 2:45 - LARGY G (E/W) 16/1
Consistent runner, only unplaced once this season & this is by no means a strong race. I had to blink when I saw the price to be honest. I'm pretty sure this is a targeting job & the season for her hinges on this run. Ground & trip will suit fine & I sense a plan coming together. Take a big price & go E/W.
NEWBURY 3:55 - LALOR (WIN) 4/1
Looks way too big a price to ignore with just the 4 going to post.Despite being possibly the most disappointing horse in training. Down to a mark of 145 this should be winnable. last chance saloon for me with him.Decent ground will be key & he should get that here. If it alld rops perfectly the price will look silly just after 4 o clock. Lets hope so. WIN.
115 Ayr - Some Reign EW 12/1 - if you think you can get a fav beaten, it's a good place to start. Sebastopol is short enough. He has his ground and I'm sure he will run his race but 5/2 to get his head in front isnt right for me. He finds one too good too often at that price and his best form is right handed. An 8lb and a class hike is off putting. I had this down to Some Reign and Gold Des Bois and I'll settle on the former, although neither are totally reliable. SR dealt with a few in this field with ease in October and his price tonight, even considering the weight swing with GDB, is too big. He should get a pace to aim at with GDB and Ardera Cross likely to go at it. Decent ground on a flat track is perfect and we just have to hope he doesn't do anything daft in the prelims or at the start.
252 Chepstow - Brandy Cove EW 14/1 - I need big wins so I'm having to go for edgier selections. There have been a couple of times I've thought this horse was being ridden conservatively but I could be reading it wrong. He finished second to the 129 rated Honneur D'Ajonc and it looked like the jockey didn't want to get too close to a well regarded horse that day. Last time out he was mostly kept wide and I wouldn't say the kitchen sink was thrown at him in the last 3/4 furlongs. His brother won here and good ground seems preferable so hopefully today is the day and the price doesn't go overnight.
335 Ayr - Kitty's Light 13/2 - I gave a mention to Kitty's Light a few weeks ago at Kempton and said I thought he would be going for the Midlands National. He didn't, but I can't ignore him here. I was going to go for Jersey Bean based on price and how gutsy that horse is but KL is back out to something acceptable price wise this evening. Marathon trip, good ground and a good pace set up means he looks a decent shout. Win only on the basis I'm miles off the pace in the competition.
2.25 Ayr - Scottish Champion Hurdle Selection - Barrichello (ew) 15/2
BARRICHELLO won a novice listed hurdle at Haydock in November beating its good to laugh by nearly 5 lengths. He disappointed at Bangor when slowly away next time out but the form of his win at Warwick next time out has been highly advertised with second good risk at all bolting up on his next run in a competitive handicap at Ascot. He made it 3/4 for the season last time out beating Fringill dike by 1 1/2 lengths. This form has also been upgraded with the 2nd winning next time out. Off a decent handicap mark he should go close
2.45 Newbury - EBF Novices Mares Hurdle Selection - Corey’s Courage (ew) NR
COREYS COURAGE is 3/3 over hurdles and unbeaten this season with wins at Bangor beating Prime Time Lady by 8 lengths then following up just as impressively at Uttoxeter on her next run beating my girl lollipop by 9 lengths. Last time out upped in trip to 2m3f at Doncaster she again won well beating the same rival my girl lollipop by 3 3/4 lengths. Has a couple of todays rivals back in 4th and 5th and is better off at the weights even though he’s finished in front of them.
3.35 Ayr - Scottish Grand National Selection - Chirico Vallis (ew) 28/1
CHIRICO VALLIS beat todays favourite Kitty’s Light by a head at chepstow on reappearance in October with the pair reopposing today off the same weights. With the fav priced at 9/2 and the selection priced currently at 33/1 at time of writing he looks overpriced. On his next run he ran a good race on soft ground upped to 3m5f in the classic chase at Warwick where he was beaten 14 lengths by eclair surf. Last time out at Doncaster he was beaten just 1 1/4 lengths by Up Helly Aa King also on soft ground. Back on better ground today he looks to have a good ew chance.
Scottish National 3:35 Ayr INNISFREE LAD – 0.5pt e/w 28/1
Win My Wings looks to have loved every inch of the marathon trip over at Newcastle in the Eider chase last time out and could well go in again here however another horse caught my eye in the race and could play a part in the finish. That would be INNISFREE LAD who finished third that day and has been dropped 1 lb for that which I find incredible, which tied together with the 8 lb rise of Win My Wings puts him 9 lb better off here. Carries 10 stone 13 here due to his mark which is a nice weight to be at for the race based on the trends, and that last race coming 35 days ago matches another trend of being no more than 57 days since last run. It’s also worth noting that the second in that race, Eclair Surf, was also on a nice mark that day which boosts the form that bit more. Brian Hughes gets the ride and is operating at an 18.75% strike rate (9-48) in the last fortnight with the trainer David Dennis having 36.4% (4-11) throughout March, their form couldn’t be better right now, and with the ground looking like it could dry out a bit, although against INNISFREE LAD slightly it wouldn’t worry me all too much, and I still think he’s a cracking shot to at least hit the frame.
2:25 Ayr MILKWOOD – 1pt WIN 6/1
Last years winner MILKWOOD is the one who I think we should be on here, and although carrying top weight I think this is very much his for the taking. They tried chasing with him this season, and after a poor start to the larger obstacles in October they have kept him away from the track, either due to a setback or because they were waiting for the better ground to come, and this has clearly been the main target for him. This is a huge positive seeing as the fancied West Cork ran at the Cheltenham Festival only 2 weeks ago and as a horse that goes better after a break that would be of concern to me. After winning last years renewal they sent him across the sea to Galway, where he took on the Irish who if running in the UK would have had higher marks to contend with. Even with this being the case he ran a great race only being beaten by Saldier who was given a peach of a ride by Mullins, who then went on to win a Grade 3 in his next race.
3:10 Leopardstown AGARTHA – 1pt WIN 13/2
This Caravaggio filly had a strong juvenile season placing no worse than 4th in her 8 races, including a win in a Group 2 and 3, as well as a ¾ length 2nd in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes to Discoveries who she beat the previous time. Discoveries is a filly I think will be better than she showed last season going into the 2022 flat season and based on that the form ties with AGARTHA means that she should have a top chance here today. Her 3 Group race runs in Ireland at the end of the seasons posted some really consistent high speed figures and back on a track that she is proven to go well on I think she is definitely overpriced compared to the top 2 in the market, who have yet to prove themselves over todays trip. A win here today would put here in the talk for the 1000 Guineas on May 1st as well as bolster the form with Discoveries and given the general 5/1 (11/2 with some) that she is currently I think she’s worth siding with here.
15:35 Ayr .5pt e/w Stormy Judge 7/1
The selection has won 1/2 in this class of race which shows some element of form but what is most appealing about this horse is that it has raced exclusively in Ireland before being sent over for a race of this calibre. It’s finished 1st or 2nd in 3 of the last 5 races and handed out a 2l beating to Enjoy D’allen in March 2021 which also gives an indication óf the potential.
16:15 Lingfield .5pt e/w Menai Bridge 10/3
The selection has won on its last three visits to Lingfield and finished 2nd prior to the hat-trick so course form stands up to scrutiny. There’s no discernible pace bias to this race and Menai Bridge is only 2lbs higher than its last winning mark. Hopefully a solid selection and a young horse firmly on the upgrade.
16:45 Ayr .5pt e/w Floating Rock 6/1
The short-priced favourite Platinumcard runs Friday so I am taking a chance it does not run in this race which would leave a fairly competitive, open race. Floating Rock is top weight, up 2 in class and has form figures of 1131-. Trained by M Walford whose horses are in fine form, a decent run is expected.

Week 15 – Saturday 26th March

REVICH EW - 3-35 DON 40/1
As stated previously, The Lincoln is one of my favourite races of the season. I am a big fan of S De Sousa and believe he may have a go for the Champion Jockey this season and was tempted to simply select his three mounts at Doncaster. Having studied though, I am not going to tip any of them but will be backing them in small ew dbls / trbls. So, why Revich. Well having fluffed the start last year, he went on to run a fine race, finishing a creditable 6th at a massive 100/1. He is 1lb lower, not taking into account last years claiming jockey. Well drawn, ideal ground and an up and coming jockey on board. Oh and he is 40/1 at time of typing. I tend to follow horses that have contested this race previously and have aquitted themselves well and yet are discounted by the bookies. BRUNCH was a contender for being selected and JOHANS form ties in well with that one. So my three against the field are, REVICH, JOHAN and BRUNCH, with REVICH being my ew selection.
INVINCIBLY EW - 2-25 DON 10/1
The Spring Mile, a consolation race and info gathering race for the Lincoln. Two horses fit the bill regarding trends and unfortunately one of them is not SDSs mount. The two are my selection and EMPIRESTATEOFMIND ( who has a great chance ). The deciding factor is the ground, which I believe will be Good - Good to Firm which suits INVINCIBLY. The price is annoyingly too big for a win pick, but too low for my normal ew picks. EW it is though and if it holds the current 12/1 fine, if it shortens, it could be a wasted win.
KNOWWHATIMEANHARRY EW - 1-15 DON 14/1
Now this is a real conundrum for me. Being a Doncaster lad, I grew up loving this opening flat meeting and this race was always a special opener to the new season. I soon latched onto Mr Bill Turner and his winners paid for the rest of the meeting on at least four occasions, probably more if we include his placed entrants. There has been a massive move for JIFFY BOY ( 40s into 5/1 ) who must be flying at home and there are a couple of top trainers with fancied runners. No form to go on, no handicap marks to study etc, etc. What we have though is Mr Turner with a horse, that I hope some relation of his owns, by a new Sire ( HAVANA GREY ) who is in turn by HAVANA GOLD who is proving very successful at the mating game. My conundrum is Sylvester De Sousa`s mount ( CONFEDERATION ), there has to be a reason why he has chosen this horse. Both, my selection and CONFED are circa 40/1 and I have come down on the side of history, meaning Mr Turner. As stated earlier though, I will be backing all 3 of SDSs mounts today.
1.15 doncaster KISS N CUDDLE 1pt win 17/2
I love this race you could say it is a lottery but i have a system that i use and it is normally very good with no form to go by it comes down to breeding and finding the right bloodlines.So having said that i have narrowed this down to three possibles i could give you all three but that defeats the purpose of this competition.So after taking into account the trainer and jockey i have decided on KISS N CUDDLE the draw i don't think matters so a fairly confident selection.
3.35 doncaster DARKNESS 1pt win 8/1
Now this race is a lottery there is normally some horse in this that is miles ahead of the handicapper and trying to find it is virtually impossible.So having said that i have gone through this race with a fine tooth comb and i might just have found one in the shape of DARKNESS he is having his first run in a handicap having contested mostly group races in france.He is also having his first run for D o'meara. Now in my opinion he must be showing bundles at home otherwise why is o'meara putting him straight in here so at a double figure price i'm willing to take a chance that he is miles ahead of the handicapper.
4.38 stratford GRAND SANCY 1pt win 4/1
I could be following this horse off a cliff but i refuse to believe that he has completely lost all ability.But having said that if he doesn't win this race with his head in his chest then he will never see another penny of my hard earned cash.The horse i'm referring to is GRAND SANCY at one point in his career i thought he was going to be a very special horse but then the wheels came off.He won a novice chase off a rating of 149 in 2020 and hasn't won a race since. Today he is running off a rating of 132 so if he doesn't win then i think it is time for mr nicholls to get shot of him so a very very confident win i hope.
1.30 Kempton – Sarangani – 1pt win 7/2
Not much to go on here with this being a 3-year-old early season novice race with little form. What is interesting is Charlie Appleby’s record with both 1st time gelded runners and with 1st time cheekpieces. He has a 20% and 26% strike rate respectively and most of the runners in either category often run a good race and beat a good number of rivals. Charlie Appleby is in some good form in the last month, does well at the track and is a very good trainer all round so I would expect this one to be ready to run a good race.
2.25 Doncaster – Empirestateofmind - 1pt win 7/2
This horse ran a good race on final start of last season, finishing 2nd to the current well fancied Lincoln runner Mujtaba. I think that horse will win or go very close in that race so the chances of this one in this slightly weaker consolation race seem obvious. Hopefully he can follow up his last run with a good run here and he should really be going close in this race on that form.
3.35 Doncaster – Mujtaba – 1pt win 9/2
This horse should really be going very close in this if the expectations that he’s better than a handicapper turn out to be true. He’s trained by William Haggas who knows the type of horse to target for this race and Mujtaba has the right sort of improving profile and characteristics of previous form and preparation coming into this. Hopefully his very low draw won’t hinder but some of the other similarly unexposed and improving horses are drawn low so he should be racing among good company throughout. Would probably only be about a fair price but the last few winners were similar in profile and price.
Doncaster 15.35 - Notre Belle Bete WIN 12/1
Always a tough race to call & the stats for the Lincoln do not bode well for the Haggis trained favourite Mujtaba coming from stall 2 (History tells us 9 and above) with Haggis saddling 3 & the switching of jockeys today, with Fallon moving ride to Mujatba (Claimer, broken foot) now carrying 7lb more than planned and Doyle now booked on Ametist, so avoiding these, I will plump for Notre Belle Bete won the Lincoln trial at Wolvs lto from a bad draw and if trainer Balding can start this season as last then this ex Irish trained gelding (1st race since the Op) even under a 5lb penalty can take this. Rated 104 in Ireland as a maiden 3yo but unbeaten for Balding in its 2 runs over the AW this winter at 4 and off just 87 + the 5, still looks a decent bet.
Kelso 13.35 - Son Of Somme WIN 5/2
This lightly raced 7yo can get back to winning ways after a neck defeat lto (soft) when odds on, 3lb up for that defeat, Its very comfy win by 7.5l between another neck defeat shows this has improved steadily. Hughes rides again and with the ground more in his favour this time can go in again.
Doncaster 14.25 - Motswaa WIN 4/1
Motswaa can go two places better this year after a good third in this race 12 months ago. (a running on 3rd to Artistic Rifles in a fast paced race) Now 5lbs lower, De Sousa back on board and its last run 48 days ago was a decent midfield finish to blow the cobwebs away.
Doncaster 335 Brunch 0.5pts ew 16/1
Had a long hard look at the first cavalry charge of the season and honestly have changed my mind everytime I go back to it. But decided this one will go close only 4lbs higher than when second in this last year,still on his last winning mark and I like the booking of Jason Hart who rides Doncaster well.
Curragh 416 Star of Cashel 0.5pts ew 12/1
In for a penny in for a pound is my motto so let's have a go at the Irish equivalent of our Lincoln. Again I have gone for a horse that ran in the race last year ,on that occasion he finished 4th of a mark of 89 ,he's down now to his last winning mark of 84 today and with useful claimer on top taking off 3lb, expecting a big run ,and hope I have picked the less obvious one of the trainer's few darts in this race.
Wolverhampton 730 Abduction 0.5pts ew 12/1.
Now this fellow was a very useful one for Richard Fahey running in class 1 and 2 races ,but obviously something must have happened and was sold out of Fahey yard back end of 2021, on his debut he won well at lingfield at juicy 33/1 ( I was on) and next time out at Wolves ran no sort of race. I'm prepared to give him another go as I do forgive horses for the odd bad run, and he's an Aberdeen owned horse so a soft spot for it being that I live in the city.
1535 Doncaster – REVICH (EACH WAY) 40/1 Chances can be argued for most of the field here so I’m going to take a swing at REVICH at a big price for Richard Spencer. He finished 6th in this race last year at odds of 100/1 after completely blowing the start, given the circumstances he ended up doing extremely well. He was a shade disappointing thereafter until he won his last start in a Handicap at Ayr. That moved him back up to a mark of 95 which is pound lower than what he ran off in last year’s renewal. Good ground will be no problem for him and if he can stay out of trouble this time there is no reason why he can’t run a big race. 1410 Kelso – INSTANT REPLAY (WIN) 11/4 At time of writing INSTANT REPLAY is the outsider of three and that in itself is a sign……Brian Hughes is booked for the ride and was on board the last time INSTANT REPLAY got his head in front. All 3 horses in this contest have been extremely inconsistent this season however our selection is the only one that has won a chase on good ground. He’s also been freshened up after a disappointing run last time and he’s back below his last winning mark. Most of INSTANT REPLAY’s wins have come in small fields so hopefully he should be able to get back to winning ways here. 1638 Stratford - KAP AUTEUIL (WIN) 10/1 KAP AUTEUIL is 2 from 2 at Stratford and I fancy him to win here again despite carrying top weight in this handicap. He didn’t jump well enough on his last chase start at Kempton and he will need to brush up here. He was given a spin over hurdles last time to keep him ticking over so he should arrive here fit and ready. He’s been generally very consistent since going chasing and I think there’s still some further improvement in him. The trip is no problem and the slower pace will probably help his jumping as it shouldn’t be put under too much pressure. I’d suggest that his main market rivals have far more to prove and KAP AUTEUIL can get back to winning ways.
Doncaster.3.35. MODERN NEWS win. 4/1
Trained by Charlie Appleby and has the promising young 7lb claimer Harry Davies in the saddle. This 4 year old by Shamardal finished third on seasonal debut in a Listed event at Meydan over a distance of 7 furlongs. Finished strongly in the final furlong . Winner of three races in handicaps at 7 furlongs from just three attempts last season. Seems ideally suited to the extra furlong of this race. Trainer has saddled the winner of this race twice from only three runners,in the last six years. Four year olds tend to dominate this race,having won it in each of the previous six runnings. Improving type who could go on to win Group races.
Doncaster 3.00. ROYAL CHAMPION. win. 9/2
Trained at Newmarket by Roger Varian. He has won this race three times in the last five years. Varian has had five winners from 12 runners at this meeting in the last seven years. He is in good current form with 3 winners from 8 in the last two weeks. David Egan rides,and he is also in fine form ,with a 40% strike rate in the last 14 days. Lightly raced,having had just the three outings. Won on debut in a Newmarket Maiden in September 2020. Made headway two furlongs out to deliver a strong finishing burst. Form from the race has worked out well. Finished third of eight on second outing,in the Listed Fielden Stakes at Newmarket,having been backed into 2/1 favourite. Last run was in the Dante Stakes at York last season.
Stratford 5.10. KRACKA NUT. win. 11/4
Five year old gelding by Blue Bresil who now stands at the Glenview Stud in Ireland. Trainer Dan Skelton has had the winner of this race on two previous occasions. On board is Harry Skelton. The Skeltons have had several Bumper winners this season,and are both in good current form. They are also the leading trainer and jockey at Stratford in recent times. Has had one run,easily winning a Class 5 Bumper at Catterick. Justified strong market support. That success came on similar ground to that forecasted for this race. Looks open to plenty of improvement.
DONCASTER 2:25 - MOSTAWAA 4/1
Third in this race last year & runs off 5lb lower this time around. Ok he's not exactly a winning machine but is admirably consistent & hopefully today will be the day. Renews a partnership with Sylvestre de Sousa who knows him well & they've been a winning combination before. Granted this looks like being competitive but I see him as well handicapped & a nice enough price. I was toying with going e/w but at the current price that's not realistic (for me at least) so win only it is.
KELSO 3:15 - ALIOMAANA (WIN) 11/4
Theatre Glory will be a short priced fav here but I'm willing to look elsewhere. I'm reasonably sure a stiffer track & longer trip would be a better fit & therefore willing to ignore a skinny price. Aliomaana on the other hand should find this to her liking. There's only one way she can run, bombing along from the front & looking to get them all at it. Whether it'll work or not is the question but at the available price against a too short fav I'm happy to pay to find out. Gets a 10lb allowance too & that could be crucial. Win.
DONCASTER 3:35 - DARKNESS (E/W) 8/1
I know this won't inspire too much confidence but I've never once picked the winner of the Lincoln. However, I have had a fair few placed at nice prices so I usually look for an e/w play. David O'Meara targets this race & knows how to get one ready early. He's had 3 placed & one winner since 2015 so is always a good starting point & this year I don't feel the need to go any further. Recent recruit, from France, saved for this race. Fits the profile of others who have run well for him here & extra places are on offer so in we go. Of course he's drawn 20 so if that turns out on the day to be the wrong side we'll be done but the price makes it worth the risk.
143 Stratford - Court Royale 5/2 - quick ground on a sharp track looks perfect and his last run points to him being ready to strike off a reduced mark. The yard are going well and he’s won at the track before. This was my third choice pick and I was torn between this and Dynakite 516 but I’ve played safe with a view to staying in the game.
218 Stratford - Ballybeen 15/8 - Looks ready to strike following an eye catching handicap debut last time. He was stepped up in trip significantly on his last run and that would seem to suit based on his point to point background. He was trapped wide that day and still managed to finish in the frame but was really well backed all day so connections think a mark of 100 is workable.
335 Doncaster - Saleymm 7/1 - Tough race to pick apart but the selection ticks a lot of boxes in terms of his profile for this type of race. He’s progressive, unexposed and bred to make it to a higher level than this. His wins on the all weather were bloodless and he showed enough to think he’s more than a handicapper. In terms of the draw I’d rather he had been drawn high but being drawn on either wing should be fine so box 3 is fine. Connections have won this race before and given Saleymm a wind op over the winter in readiness for this race.
1.35 Kelso - Go North Handicap Hurdle Selection - Headscarf Lil (ew) 9/1
HEADSCARF LIL has won a couple of times this season on good ground beating brickadank at carlisle in October before finishing 3rd back there on his next run upped in trip over 3m. She then won a challenger Series mares hurdle at Newcastle beating off the hook by 3 lengths and ran a decent race last time out at Doncaster off her revised mark finishing 4th in a big field behind Jay Jay Reilly. Drops 1lb today and should go well.
2.25 Doncaster - Spring Mile Handicap Selection - Mostawaa (ew) 4/1
MOSTAWAA finished 3rd in this corresponding race last season when a field of 20 went to post where he was beaten just over 1/2 length by artistic rifles. He went on to finish 2nd at Ascot and 4th at York in the early part of the season. His form dipped after that and his mark is now 5lbs lower than when he finished 3rd last year. Has had a recent run on the all weather and should be spot on for this today.
3.35 Doncaster - Lincoln Handicap Selection - Notre Belle Bete (ew) 12/1
NOTRE BELLE BETE was given a mark of 102 in Ireland last season after a debut run finishing 2 lengths 4th behind poetic Force and 4th in a listed event at the Curragh. After a few more runs in Ireland he switched hands and has twice won for new trainer Andrew balding including the Lincoln trial at Wolverhampton last time out off a mark of 87 getting up late to beat Baldomero by a head. Up 5lbs he has a decent high draw and can follow up that trial win.
Doncaster 3:35 (Lincoln Handicap) MARIE’S DIAMOND – 0.5pt e/w 50/1
After what has been a rocky start to 2022 the flat has finally returned to hopefully salvage me and my betting. I find the flat somewhat better to make a return on than the jumps and I do like having a poke or 2 in the big field handicaps such as this. I’m not one for going shorter odds in these races and thankfully for me some of the market principles were given some hard draws to overcome based on the trends. Talking of the trends that was my process in finding the selection here and MARIE’S DIAMOND matched too many to be untouched at the current price (a general 40/1 at the time of writing – 7pm Friday evening) Key trends being drawn in stall 10 or higher with 12-16 being an even more solid range, 4 year olds being ideal but 5 or 6 year olds are still in with a chance and carrying a weight of 9 stone to 9 stone 4 being ideal. MARIE’S ROCK is drawn in 16, is a 6-year-old and carries 9 stone 4. The horse has also run over a mile before which is preferable as well as having run at Doncaster previously. Another stat that may be a throwaway but still intrigued me was winning on it’s 5th start last season, and this is the 5th start of the current season. Hasn’t disgraced in runs over at Meydan this winter being only ½ a length second in a listed race over 10 furlongs and not being far away in 5th in a Group 3 over the same trip, which evidently was too far and return to the mile will be perfect. Good to soft ground currently and drying all the while the potential good ground will be perfect here, and whilst there are some potential improvers in the field, I’m happy to throw a dart at a bigger priced one.
Doncaster 2:25 EMPIRESTATEOFMIND – 1pt WIN 7/2
I was going to use similar trends for the Lincoln in this race, but with only 9 runners most of the trends will be negligible such as the draw. Drawn lower isn’t ideal but there won’t be much traffic in finding the right part of the track to be on and the previously mentioned potential for good ground will not be a hinderance either, having solid form on either good or soft ground. He had 10 races last year and won 3 of them, placing in another 4. The best form came in the second half of the season and based on a less than impressive juvenile season, it seems he is a horse that is really improving as he matures through his career, and if he comes into this season with a similar trajectory he could be very hard to beat here, especially when you look at the fact his final run of the season he was 2nd to the current joint favourite for the Lincoln itself in Mujtaba.
Kempton 2:05 FANCY MAN – 1pt WIN 15/8
I tend not to bet too much on horses that are shorter than 2/1 but I can’t see a world that if FANCY MAN runs his race, he doesn’t win the contest. Form figures of 113 since running on the all-weather he has really shown an aptitude for the artificial surface, none more so than when winning the Winter Derby Trial where he had Al Zaraqaan, King of The South and Living Legend all behind him that day, all of which reoppose today. He then went on to the Winter Derby where he was valiant in defeat, coming 3rd to Alenquer and Lord North who are huge Group 1 & 2 horses, both of which are contesting in separate Group 1 races over at Meydan this weekend. Richard Hannon’s coly should have too much class for the others here and should be a solid bet.
3:35 Doncaster - Notre Belle Bete 12/1
The Lincoln is always a tough flat race and with a full field of 22 runners makes it even harder. Over the flat mile course at Doncaster it does seem that being drawn middle to high is favored so draw 21 should suit this horse and whilst he is yet to win on the turf he could be involved at the business end. 0.5pt each way
3:15 Kelso - Theatre Glory 2/1
An interesting runner for Nicky Henderson and even more interesting given the distance from the yard. Nicky Henderson has a 40% win rate at Kelso over hurdles. This horse has had 4 races under rules having won 3 out of the 4, her only defeat was in a Listed Mares Hurdle race at Newbury 27 November 21 when finishing 3rd to the highly regarded Elle Est Belle, in her first hurdle race she won by 4 1/2 lengths. Whilst having to give weight away I don't expect this to be a problem. 1pt win
4:21 Kelso - Bold Reaction 2/1
Nicky Hendersons second and final runner at Kelso for the day. James Bowe have a healthy 27% win rate when teaming up in National Hunt Flat races. Bold Reaction was unlucky in his first run under rules to be defeated by Prairie Wolf that race looks good form with the 4th having come out and won. 1pt Win
14:40 Kempton 0.5 e/w Moliwood 6/1
The already short-priced favourite has already seen early money and the selection has been pushed out to 11/2 (as of 6pm) but with 2 wins from 2 on the surface, a course and distance win and 1/3 in this class of race, I fancy a good run for the places at least.
15:35 Doncaster 0.5 e/w Notre Belle Bete 12/1
In a race where the trends are informative, I have opted for Notre Belle Bete to run at a decent price. Following a change of trainer, the selection is 2/2 and has won in this class of race before. Unraced at the course but successful at the distance, there looks to be a bit of juice in the price.
15:55 Kempton 1pt win Royal Crusade 9/4
My original selection for this was Tommy De Vito until I saw the appalling stats for horses who are held up or run in mid-division. Losses of £266 and £112 does not for a confident back make so I have opted for the top-weight, Royal Crusade. The selection runs prominently which returns £18.78 to level stakes, has won at the course and distance, and is 1/1 (surface) and 1/2 in this class of race.
BRUNCH 3:35 Doncaster 16/1
An ultra tough race to begin the flat season and there are a number of unexposed runners who would initially catch the eye for powerful yards but a busy rac such as this may not suit and I like the look of BRUNCH who has plenty of big race experience including when finishing runner up in this race last year. That was behind the highly thought of Haqeeqy who was winning his 4th race in 5 starts and was widely thought of as a group horse in waiting.
CASANOVA 4:16 Curragh 33/1
I'm going to make things even tougher for myself for my second selection by choosing a puzzle even harder to solve than the Lincoln, and that is the Irish Lincolnshire. The race currently stands at 30 runners and all bar one runner is priced 10/1 or bigger. Aiden McGuinness is responsible for 7 runners in the field and a few of them look well fancied in the market, although im going to chance one of his outsiders performing better than the odds suggest. CASANOVA has been running well and keep good company since a couple of wins last September, mainly in listed and group 3 races. 33/1 at time of writing is big enough for me to give him a chance.
ELLAND ROAD BOY 6:30 Wolverhampton 17/2
I have opted for this horse and I can't understand the price at all and think it is far too big for his chances. His penultimate run was when finishing 2nd here behind an improving horse who has won again since, and he returns today 1lb lower and a much stronger jockey booking in Franny Norton, particularly as he does ride winner for this trainer. I am confident he should outrun this price.
335 - Doncaster - Darkness 0.50 ew 8/1
Applying some key trends of being aged 4, winning between 2 and 4 times and over a mile before with a first run of the season leaves 4. If you aslo apply the high draw bias then that takes out the 2 favourites and leaves you with Darkness and Rogue Bear. I will be backing both each way but for the selction I side with David O Meara's horse, the trainer targets this race with a lively one every year and i think this can go well at a double figure price.
341 Curragh - Insinuendo 1 pt win 4/1
It's pretty rare Aidan has them fit first time out and Mother Earth will come on for the run. She may have the class to win this but I am siding with the 2nd fav who's trainer often starts off the flat season well and the horse has some decent back form beating Angel Power comfortably last summer.
150 Diligent Harry 1 pt win 2/1
Ran several good races last year before not liking the ground and possibly being over the top in his final outing, has Garrus to beat but is only 1lb behind him on ratings and Clive Cox knows how to ready one first time out.

Week 14 – Saturday 19th March

CAPTAIN DRAKE EW - 3-35 UTT
Finally, some points on the board at Cheltenham, now a case of After The Lord Mayors Show. Have been trying to find a BIG priced selection for this race that has actually got a chance of winning. Have had to settle on Captain Drake at a present price of 14/1 which is not really big enough for ew, but is not a confident win selection. What it is though is a well handicapped horse that is closer to its` mark of 2 years ago ( OR 138 and a 5lb claimer ) when finishing 2nd in this race than it is to last years` mark ( OR 140 with a 3lb claimer ) when finishing 13th. Also, 2yr ago the going was HY, whereas last year was GS . To summarise, not badly handicapped, prefers soft ground ( which is forecast ) and has been round here twice before. I hope it is around the 16/1 mark and will tip it EW.
STEINKRAUS WIN - 3-43 NEW
Struggling to find anything that I really fancy. So, Brian Hughes has not had a winner for 3 days. He is going to be champion jockey, but not with championship race winners. He is a journeyman jockey that will try his hardest to win any race ( no matter the class ). This selection is more exposed than its` adversaries but is fairly handicapped, has a hungry jockey that has won on it before and a trainer who knows the time of day. Four runners, so obviously a win bet.
SIGURD EW - 4-18 NEW
Another one of the four mounts that Mr Hughes is riding. This one though is a very different proposition. Admittedly it is also very exposed, but it is ridiculously well handicapped ( this jockey has helped getting it so ). The ground is, or should be suitable and once again the jockey will be wanting to get back on the winning trail. The selections last chase win was March 2021 with this jockey on board and off a eating of 100. Probably my only bet of the day. Available at 18/1 now and I hope it holds at around 14/1 for the comp`n.
3.35 uttoxeter GWENCILY BERBAS 1pt win
I have tipped up 2 horses in this race in the last few weeks one is WHOLESTONE who did me a big favour when winning and the other is GWENCILY BERBAS who didn't.I don't think WHOLESTONE'S jumping will be up to this so i'm going to give GWENCILY BERBAS another chance since going up in trip he has threatened to win a big one so i'm hoping it's this one.
2.40 kempton DORKING BOY 1pt win
Lots of runners in this race so we should get a decent price on my selection namely DORKING BOY he has been very consistent this season and is only 5lb higher than his last winning mark the extra distance should eke out the improvement needed to win this race so max bet for me.
5.00 kempton KALEB 1pt win
I think i mentioned a few weeks back about sir percy bred nh flat runners well we have another one today.This one has already had a run and showed he has some sort of ability when finishing third not beaten far he started favourite in that race so connections where expecting a win.So hopefully that run has put him right for this one and i'm going max again.
335 uttoxter 1pt win Hewick
Backed this one when it absolutely hacked up at Sedgefield away back in November. Trainer the shark said it would be put away till early spring to come back and have a go at these extreme distance races Is back today on drying ground even though racing post says it's not, must go close just hope I haven't picked wrong Irish raider.
225 uttoxeter Docpickedme ,1pt win
Well this one seems to like it here winning the last couple of times at decent prices, another new set of head gear on today and looking at the field they look a motley lot ,if agrees to new headgear on him surely must go close.
300 uttoxeter 1pt win panic attack.
Well again reading what racing post had too say seemingly this one needs soft going,not having that , pipe has been playing around with this one a little bit ,but back over which I think it's favourite distance and ground it will enjoy looks a good to give us a very good run at price at moment.
14.25 Uttox - Panic Attack - E/W
Nice looking 6yo from the Pipe yard, arrives here off bottom weight and drops back to the 20f after a decent run at Cheltenham in a Cl2 back in October, coming a 4l 4th to Kansas City Chief, finding the 3miles a furlong or two too far.. Won at Uttox as a 4yo, Pipe has won this twice in the past 3 years, the drying ground will help too.
14.40 Kempton - Jay Bee Why E/W
Lightly raced 7yo, who has been chasing this season with no aplomb but returns to the sticks here for Alan King, last time this went hurdling it was in a Grade 1 Novice at the National festival last year, so they did hold it in some regard, has a 50% strike rate over hurdles stable Jock onboard and should go well.
15.35 Uttox - Young Dev E/W
8yo Irish raider that has not gone further than 3m and has only raced over hurdles so far this season, and you need to go back to May last year when his only crack at 4miles where he pulled up, has a decent strike over fences 22% and comes here off a fly weight, would ideally need the ground to be worse, but trainer wouldn't be wasting time imo sending this over, so a speculative punt, if he stays & they obviously think he does, may surprise.
Uttoxeter 3.35. CAPTAIN DRAKE. each way.
Trained by Harry Fry and ridden by Bryan Carver,who claims 3 lbs. Trainer is in good recent form and also has a strong course record. He holds a 27% strike rate at the course. Trainer and jockey combination has a good record together. Three wins and three places from 11 rides in the past 12 months. Finished second in this race in 2020 behind Truckers Lodge. Won the Devon National at Exeter last time out. That was over a trip of 3 miles 7 furlongs on soft ground. Looks well in at the weights.
Uttoxeter 1.50. SILVA ECLIPSE win.
Finished third last time out in a Class 2 at Doncaster in soft ground ,over a distance of 3 miles. Won well in February at Doncaster on soft ground. Came with a strong finish to lead after the final flight and won going away from the field. Form is starting to work out well ,with the second winning since. Has a record of two wins and three more places from eight runs in Class 3 races at left handed tracks. Trainer Mrs.Sue Smith has three wins from 12 runners in the last year at Uttoxeter.
Wolverhampton 5.30. NINE ELMS. win.
Trained by S. Bowring who does well on the all weather. He has a 24% strike rate . The experienced Robert Winston takes the ride . This trainer and jockey partnership has three wins from six rides when combining in the last 12 years. Two wins and a place from six runs over course and distance. Finished fourth of 11 last time out in a course and distance handicap. Has won off of a 9 lbs higher mark
3.00 Uttoxeter – Boothill – 1pt Win
Chasing hasn’t appeared to have worked out so far for this one, returning to hurdles last time with a decent enough run in the Betfair hurdle. Down in class today and also stepping up in trip where his in-form trainer Harry Fry has a good record when doing so. Hopefully he returns to form of first run of season where he travelled very well at Ascot where he didn’t really get enough cover and faded towards the end. This he’s a fair price to run well here.
3.15 Kempton – Manofthemountain – 1pt Win
Was 2nd in this race last year and then went on to win his next race and seems to go well in the spring and on good ground. Ran well for quite a way last time out back in November in a good handicap at Cheltenham and this perhaps a little easier. Has had a good break since then, likely waiting for this time of year and better ground, all of which suit this horse.
3.35 Uttoxeter – Screaming Colours 1pt Win
A really consistent horse in these staying handicaps and should run a good race again today. He was 4th in this last year, and although higher in the weights today, he’s had a different prep where he’s been off since the end of October, kept fresh for this by the looks of it with ground conditions no issue either and with his record off a break of 80 days or more 212 there's good reason to expect a big run here.
1535 Uttoxeter - WHOLESTONE EW
WHOLESTONE recently returned to the track after over a year off to win a Grade 2 Hurdle on absolutely bottomless ground. That was a great training performance given the circumstances and I’m happy to take a chance on him here on bad ground over a mammoth trip. The form of that race has also been boosted this week with Third Wind winning the Pertemps at Cheltenham. He was rated 151 over fences before his lay off and races off 148 today. The Twiston-Davies yard are in good form and there’s no reason why WHOLESTONE can’t go well here.
1515 Kempton - ESPOIR DE GUYE EW
The quick ground is the only concern with ESPOIR DE GUYE who made a winning return after wind surgery at Warwick last month. Venetia Williams has had a cracking Cheltenham despite concerns her yard may have been suffering with a bit of a bug. This looks a great opportunity for her and Charlie Deutsch to grab another Saturday winner.
1405 Kempton - SEBASTOPOL Win
I’m going to keep the faith once more with SEBASTOPOL despite the fact he’s failed to get his head in front in his last 12 attempts. He unbelievably then came second on 7 consecutive occasions before falling at the last fence whilst leading on his penultimate run. I quite fancied him to go well here again on Boxing Day but the ground just went against him that day. He’ll get good ground here so I’m backing him to finally end his barren spell.
1:30 KEMPTON - CERTAINLY RED (WIN)
Decent run over course & distance last month coming home 4th behind Killer Kane who has won well again at a higher level since. Some less than adequate jumping cost him a place or two that day potentially & if he can iron that out should have a decent chance here. Winner over hurdles over this distance so really it is all about the jumping for me. Fingers crossed for improvement & if it comes he's a live chance.
1:50 UTTOXETER - SERIOUS CHARGES (WIN)
Finding their way with this horse as he steps up in trip for the second time. Has won both previous starts & goes for the hat-trick here. The form of the latest win at Fontwell looks solid & a mark of 120 could well be a touch on the lenient side I think. Will hopefully bounce out & try to do them from the front in the manner of a proper stayer, which is clearly what they think they've got. I think they're right & happy to pay to find out.
3:35 UTTOXETER - ACHILLE (E/W)
Ran well in the Welsh National for a place & despite being less than stellar since has come down the weights to a workable mark. Useful claimer takes off another 3 pounds & I take him to bounce back to form here with conditions likely to suit. Venetia Williams is having a great season & off the back of a good Cheltenham festival (nice to know that someone had one !) I take the run to continue here & take home another nice pot.
Uttoxeter 3:35 Midlands Grand National CAPTAIN DRAKE – 0.5pt e/w
Won well 3 weeks ago at Exeter when running over an extended 3 miles 6 furlongs on soft ground and provided that this race doesn’t come too soon, he can play a big part in proceedings here. The Two Amigos has boosted that form since when coming 2nd in his next race and whilst CAPTAIN DRAKE is up 7 lb to 134 here that shouldn’t cause any issue. He has run well before off a higher mark of 140 when 6 lengths behind Secret Reprieve in 4th in the delayed 2020 Welsh National in January of last year, and I hold out the belief that the step up in trip won’t be an issue here.
Uttoxeter 2:25 SAINT PALAIS – 1pt WIN
SAINT PALAIS has improved markedly for his first season over fences having won 3 of his 4 starts over the bigger obstacles. His run last time out can have a line put through it as he never seemed to want to pick up when asked a question, and he clearly wasn’t on a going day. He’s been kept off for a bit of an extended break since and should come into this race fresh. His win at Newbury over Christmas in a competitive race has been boosted extremely well since; Gericault Rock who was 2nd was touched off in the Ultima at Cheltenham on Tuesday, Nestor Park who was 3rd won a class 3 novice next time and Run To Milan who was 4th came 2nd and 1st in his subsequent 2 starts afterwards.
Kempton 2:40 CARYS’ COMMODITY – 0.5pt e/w
I backed this horse in his last race over course and distance last time out when he was only just touched off at a big price (40/1) and I think it would be wise to stick with him here. I thought that would be the race where he would run well this season based on prior form (needs a run or 2 off a break and Jonjo Jr was back on board) and he duly obliged, and he usually has another 1 or 2 good runs in him before his level drops back off again. He was travelling strongly last time which is a staple of his and even though Jonjo Jr jumps off him again for Richie McLernon I don’t think that should be a worry at all. Flashing Glance does look an interesting contender too at a price, but I don’t think the 3 lb swing in his favour with the selection here will be able to reverse the result between them this time out.
15:35 Uttoxeter 1pt win Time to Get Up
The winner of this last year, Time To Get Up seeks to break the trend and become the first horse to win the race twice. A consistent prep run in February sets the selection up well and this is a win bet despite the number of runners who have live chances.
14:05 Kempton 1pt win Rockstar Ronnie
A tight affair in which I am sticking with Rockstar Ronnie to continue the excellent form shown before winter. 2/2 at this course and 3/4 in this class of race, the ground, field size and trip should hold no fears. At the current price, the selection offers a smidgin of value.
18:30 Wolverhampton 1pt win Tone the Barone
A horse I have overlooked for the last three weeks can now finally come into its own in a smallish field affair under the Wolverhampton floodlights. 1/1 in this class of race and 10/20 at this distance, it is taken to be victorious against the reopposing Lord Riddiford and Highfield Princess.
1:20 Uttoxeter - Nothin To Ask
A lovely loooking 7th old who is yet to finish out the first 4. This race doesn’t to look that strong and this horse sitting just of the leaders could be the right place to be. The ground is likely to tacky sticky ground so will take some getting. The form of this horses last race looks good with the winner and second either winning or placing. 0.5pt each way
3:00 Uttoxeter - Beauport
This is tricky looking 0-150 hurdle race over 2miles 4f but I like Beauport. He won the EBF Final last year at Sandown and whilst he has not won this season he has been slightly unlucky and has placed second in all 3 races, a 6yr old who is lightly raced. Beauport has won on soft ground and seems to get on well with his jockey Jordan Nailor who also takes off a handy 3lbs. 1pt win
3:35 Kempton - Wholestone
Defied a long absence to get up and win in the mud at Haydock, the ground as it is will play into this horses strengths. Whilst the last race was over hurdles his child’s form reads 1-2-1. A really consistent type who should rewards it’s each way backer’s providing the Haydock race hasn’t taken anything out of him. 0.5pt each way
2.40 Kempton Virgin Bet Handicap Hurdle Selection - Art Approval (ew)
ART APPROVAL won a decent 20 runner handicap at the start of the season at Cheltenham beating Paricolor by just under 3 lengths. Back at Cheltenham upped in trip to 3m he ran respectably finishing 5th behind dolphin square where he was beaten just over 7 lengths. Last time out at Exeter he was only beaten 4 lengths into 3rd by emmpressive lady. Better ground will suit today and off the same mark as his last run he should go well
3.15 Kempton Virgin Bet Handicap Chase Selection - Diego Du Charmil (ew)
DIEGO DU CHARMIL finished down the field on reappearance over hurdles before running a decent race back over fences at Ascot where he finished 5th but was only beaten 7 lengths behind before midnight. Upped in trip on his last start back at Ascot over 2m3f he bumped into a well handicapped rival in palmers hill. Another one who will be suited by the better ground. He has dropped a further 1lb in the handicap today and can go one better.
3.35 Uttoxeter - Midlands Grand National Selection - Screaming Colours (ew)
SCREAMING COLOURS finished 4th in this race last season behind time to get up on ground that was better than ideal having won a couple of times before on softer ground. He was only beaten 5 lengths. He warmed up for this by staying on well to finish 2nd in the cork national on his only start this season behind Braeside. Seems to have been kept aside since then for this and he should be in the mix again today.
SILVA ECLIPSE 1:50 Uttoxeter
This one looks a nice price having won over C&D and off a 10lb higher mark in the past. He will carry a low weight here, and has ground to suit, whilst also having the services of talented young jockey Jordan Gainford on his back who can claim 3lb. The race he won on penultimate start off 4lb lower has seen the form boosted by the 2nd place horse who has since won over slightly further.
BEAUPORT 3:00 Uttoxeter
Form figures of 3131222 shows Beauport has been running very consistently lately and despite a 20lb rise in the weights since his last win I think he can still defy this kind of mark. In his last race he was beaten by Green Book, who ran a stormer at Cheltenham yesterday to finish 5th in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle. That was off a 7lb higher mark than when just 0.75 lengths ahead of Beauport. In the context of this race I think that gives Beauport a great shout here. He was also just 0.5 lengths behind Dashel Drasher on penultimate start, who is a 149 rated hurdler.
TIME TO GET UP 3:35 Uttoxeter
Won the race last year and only 4lb higher. Will carry less weight physically due to the presence of Yala Enki at the head of the weights. He looks to have been lightly campaigned in preparation for this again, and at the weights I think he has every chance again. A couple of these were close in behind him last year, but he is a younger horse than that pair and may have more to give again.
335 Uttoxeter - young dev 0.5 ew
Applying some key trends of being no older than 9, winning over at least 3 miles over fences and no more than 4 times cuts the field down significantly and a recent run in last 8 weeks. Leaves just a handful of qualifiers. It is the Irish trained young dev that makes most appeal of the remainder and I can see the Irish dominance of yesterday continuing here as he looks well weighted to go extremely close in this marathon test.
315 Diego du charmil 0.5 ew
This horse does struggle to get his head in front but the form behind palmers hill last time out reads well. The break will have freshened him up and I’d expect him to be bang there at the finish.
150 Grace a vous enki 0.5 ew
This half brother to Yala Enki looks to be a dour stayer for the future. He showed improved form last time out and hoping he can continue that upward curve in what looks a winnable race. The testing conditions at uttoxeter should suit and represents good each way value.

Day 10 – 13 Cheltenham Festival

2.50 cheltenham STAG HORN 1pt win
Well now i'm beginning to think i know nothing about horses.Still i will keep trying so the tip is STAG HORN a winning 103 rated horse on the flat and has taken to hurdles really well he has won both starts over hurdles and could be absolutely anything and when i saw his price for this race 16/1 at time of writing it's a no brainer for me.

3.30 cheltenham KLASSICAL DREAM 1pt win
Firstly apologies for no tip yesterday i had my first pint in two years and had to many. So to the tip in my opinion this is a one horse race. KLASSICAL DREAM has had 3 3m hurdle starts he won the first at punchestown without coming off the bridle the second he beat the reigning world hurdle champion as he liked and the third i reckon he was trying to get a bigger price for this race today.So in my opinion fill your boots and take the price because he is going to be hammered.

Wednesday - No selection -1pt

2.50 cheltenham FRODON 1pt win

I don't know if i have this well wrong or the bookies have. How on earth can FRODON be 12/1 for this he is not only head and shoulders better than this lot he is a grade1 winner in a field of handicappers.He could give this bunch 2 stone and still beat them silly i may have rose tinted glasses for this horse but if he doesn't win this with his head in his chest then i'm going to have a very bad cheltenham.So in my eyes he is not only my nap for the day but the entire festival.He will go out in front and never see another horse so max bet on this one.
PINK LEGEND EW 4-50 Chelt
Another NR yesterday, rather annoying. I am taking a risk that the weather will hold out and that the new course will be, at worst good to soft and maybe even good in places and that all EIGHT entries turn up with their saddle. This horse is one of the few that Mrs Williams trains that actually thrives on Good ground ( particularly over the bigger obstacles ) yet strangely has won on Heavy and Soft over Hurdles. She has a C/D win to her name, has beaten Vienna Court ( who is only a quarter the price of PL ) and is only 2lb worse off with that horse. I realise that she needs a career best to win this, but could pinch a place at a huge price if she runs up to her last run. Looking forward to a great final day and hopefully a winner or two.

MISTER FISHER EW - 2-50 CHELT
What a shame about yesterdays` weather. It certainly put paid to my selection, which needed good ground and was thankfully pulled. Let`s hope the ground doesn`t end up ` dead ` or ` tacky ` neither of which many horses perform to their best on. So, MR FISHER, an old favourite of many punters, most of which probably lay him more than support him. Well, he is one of only 2 CD winners, the field is a dead 8 ( hoping it stays that way ) and he is just too big at the current 40/1. The trainer has had a mixed 2 days but has at least hit the win trail again. I`m guessing MF will end up at around 20/1 and if on a going day can certainly grab a place, maybe even an unexpected win if the favourite has a mishap. Tried to find an ew outsider in one of the big field handicaps but the ground is just too much of an unknown.

HANG IN THERE EW - 2-50 CHELT
Just about impossible to pick out a confident selection today. Almost went for ENVOI ALLEN in the Champion Chase but think it will get backed into around 12/1 because of the jockey booking and is probably chasing a place. So here we have another complete outsider ( available at 80/1 at the moment ). Has won on the ground, which I believe will be against most of this large field, Is a course winner and the trainer must surely think it can stay the 2m4f ? It is rated in the 140s even with the jockeys allowance ( which is a massive trend ). The trainer has two runners today and I will be backing both ew.

SILENT REVOLUTION EW 1-30 CHELT
Bit of a disaster on Saturday and I could play safe and tip something like Honeysuckle etc. That`s not my style and I have been looking for a long shot that may just surprise! Like thousands of other people, I love the opener at Chelt Festival and normally do very well with it. Must have won lto, must be Irish trained, must have ran within last 45 days, must not be in first 4 in betting, pref have a bumper background. So, KILCRUIT wins ? Well he may, but I found 2 that I like more at an ew price. BRING ON THE NIGHT at around 20s at the moment and is W Mullins sneaky one, which apart from the bumper angle, fits the bill ( has a similar profile to Mullins 40/1 winner EBAZIYAN. However SILENT REVOLUTION has caught my eye at a very very juicy looking 100/1. Alright, it isn`t Irish trained, hasn`t ran for 131 days ( had a 243 day break before winning it`s hurdle debut ) and is discounted by the professionals. Well it won it`s only hurdle race with ease and finished in front of a now 134 rated horse and the third subsequently finished 3rd to JONBON. I did wonder if the owner was just after a good day out, with great food and a fabulous view. This owner has a strike record of 24% both over the last 5yr and for the current season and counts SILVER FOREVER and SHAN BLUE as just two of many other well rated animals. So, SILENT REVOLUTION hanging on by a sh hd for 3rd place at 100/1 will please me and the owner !
210 Cheltenham Surprise Package 1pt win
Got to stick with this one after it hacked up for me on Saturday. Only went up 5lb for that which I consider is very lenient. The stable/ jock won this race last year and trainer says he has come out of this race very well from Saturday. Must surely go close.

Cheltenham 210 Sassy yet Classy 0.5pts ew.
Again I'm playing in the 210 race at the festival, had two placed in last two days at double figure prices and hoping to get into winners enclosure with this one. Again another I have followed for a couple of seasons and he's really improved for being stepped up too 3 mile. Won is qualifier back in November very well next time out got no further than the first ,then last time out in a hot HCP was a fast finishing 2nd. Now he's 5lb higher over here than he is back in Ireland but as we seen on Saturday with surprise package the hcps over there are far deeper and form a lot stronger, been put away since December by Elliott ,so will be fresh ,will handle any ground and will be staying on strongly up the hill ,solid ew bet this

Cheltenham 210 Galliard du Mesnil 0.5pts ew.
Oh boy a bit unlucky with my tip yesterday, and what's annoying is I had a saver on the winner. But on to today ,the master trainer didint have one of his good days at this meeting today but write off at your peril. This one in my opinion has been crying out for a step up too 3 miles, as been staying on over 2m4f the last 3 times, I just wander of that was the plan too get him in here off 148, his hurdle mark was 155 so he's a bit too play with here. Hugely overpriced here looks outstanding ew value and I'm still not overly convinced the current fav bravesmangame is that good. So hoping for Townend too creep round at the back and pounce coming round the corner.

Cheltenham 250 Gericault Toque 0.5 pts ew.
Now this fellow has been running consistently well all season with three runner up spots. Not surprised too see him in either even though he is 5lbs out of the handicap proper. David Pipe and his father know how too win this race I think it's 7 times between them. Looks a real competitive affair but I'm sure Pipe has this one bang on for the day.
15.30 - Minella Indo - WIN
4th time lucky I hope and after trying to figure the handicaps out, over the past 3 days, time to get the winner in the big one, & Minella Indo can make it back to back wins. His 2nd to Conflated (faller today) in the Irish Gold Cup looked good on a sharp track and a much better prep than last year, the PU in the King George previous, well, the course was more to blame and just didnt fit & can be discounted. The more the ground dries the better. Minella's Cheltenham form reads 121. Robbie Power has not had a winner at the festival yet and after his injury, this will be a fitting win. Stable mate A Plus Tard is the danger and it could come down to as simple as, who suits the ground better.

17.30 - Cat Tiger E/W
A lot to like about Owner/Jockey David Maxwell's Cat Tiger and looks like he can continue his steady progress here, 6lb higher for its latest cl3 win at Ascot back in January staying on and winning on the nod over 3m, won off 142 (todays mark) March 2020, lightly raced with a 40% strike rate over the fences, french bred so acts on soft or heavy if the clerk waters again hahaha. Maxwell is an experienced jockey among these amatuers although only riden Cheltenham once but a 100% record winning at 28-1. Main danger Smoking Gun

14.50 McFabulous E/W
All though the Irish are mob handed here, I think this can go to Nicholls, McFabulous, lto over the 3m here, was in touch till about 2 out and go back one and a good 2.5l 2nd to Stormy Ireland (7lb in hand) who ran well today for the most part in the Close Brothers. Now 4lb lower than his last winning mark won a few big field events, likes it here and if the ground quickens wont be a problem.

14.50 Ultima - Vintage Clouds E/W
1lb higher than when surprise winner last year after 5 attempts, trainer following a very similar path to last year. 2nd run after 2nd win op etc etc. Hopefully up with the pace and its lto looked a good prep. So fingers crossed the veteran surprises again.
130 Il Etait Temps - 0.5 pt ew
I'm needing a decent priced winner so having to go slightly against the market but I was massively impressed by his hurdling debut. He was a bit clumsy in the first third of the race but the penny looked to drop and he would have learnt a huge amount. Given a normal level of improvement he would look to have a veey decent chance.

1730 Come On Teddy - 0.5 pt ew - conditions were grim by the end of Wednesday but Come On Teddy handles deep ground and should stay. I think his racing weight should be of assistance in the ground and over this trip. He was beaten by the reopposing Omar Maretti but gets a healthy swing in the weights and my guess is he was being prepped for this race. He's usually ridden cold which I like here given the race is usually run at a decent pace. His third in the pertemps last year and win at the track in 2020 are a nice positive too.

Wednesday - No selection -1pt

130 Mighty Potter Ew - a good each way shape to this race and I fancy the early pace to suit the selection. Dysart Dynamo and Kilcruit should be at the front with a couple of others who like to get on with things. That should lend itself to Mighty Potter who should be ridden with a bit more restraint. Over the years graded experience is key here and his grade one form is definitely close to being best on show yet he's fourth in on the current prices. Dysart dynamo will go off favourite but he's not beaten as much and the selection has huge scope to improve
1.30 – Il Etait Temps
Ran a very good race on hurdles and Irish debut last time finishing 3rd behind the front two in today’s market, but good reason to think he can improve today. He was held up further back than the other two the last day and stayed on well to be a never nearer 6l or so behind Vauban having been a big price. He’s the Mullins second string but that wouldn’t be enough to be put off and the current double figure price looks good enough to take in the hope he improves past the others ahead of him in the betting especially if he’s closer to the pace throughout and not given too much to do too late on.

4.10 Cheltenham – Adrimel 1pt Win
Backing another Tom Lacey chaser here after Tea Clipper’s good run in the Ultima on Tuesday. Adrimel loves heavy ground, is unexposed over the trip, retains the headgear that has seen recent improvement, and although last two wins were in small fields, this big field may help toe him into the race. He is a grade 2 hurdle winner on heavy and this ground will suit even if dries out a little, and this will be his second run in a handicap where Tom Lacey has a very good record as he also does with last time out winners and his horses are running very well at the moment which are all positives.

2.50 Cheltenham – Ganapathi 1pt win
An interesting Willie Mullins runner at a big price currently, particularly when considering some of the angles into this one. Firstly, he’s fitted with a first-time tongue tie today where his trainer does very well when reaching for this for the first time, going 18 wins from 57 runners in the last two years returning a good SP profit in the process. Willie Mullins also has a better record with his 2nd time handicap starters compared to all handicap runners and the near year-long break for the horse is of no real concern with Mullins record also good off a break as is the horse who won on first start for Mullins after a break from his point-to-point win first time. In addition to this, the trainer also does well at the festival with horses with this sort of profile in handicaps, with the layoff and not having won a handicap before. This horse was sent off at 6/1 for the County hurdle last year but finished 12l down the field but that hopefully indicates he’s a good horse and the fact he returns after nearly a year off in such a competitive race might suggest they still believe he’s a good horse.

2.50 Cheltenham – Tea Clipper 1pt win
Probably silly going against the Irish horses as they’ll likely have a few well handicapped and ready for this. They haven’t had the best record in this race and wanted to go with what seems an interesting runner in Tea Clipper. He started his chasing career in fine style, really jumping well at Chepstow, before the wheels seem to have fallen off the last twice in graded races, however those runs were on ground softer than ideal in small fields in company that was probably too strong at the time. He’s had a wind op and break since then, whilst also sports first time cheekpieces where his trainer has an excellent 5 from 10 record in last two years when doing so. Trainer is also in form, the horse ran a great race at last year’s festival in the Coral Cup, finishing 3rd. He also ran another good race in a handicap at Aintree last spring and he seems suited by big fields. Hopefully he can another big race, especially if the ground dries out a little more by off time.
1730 Cheltenham - LANGER DAN Each-Way
LANGER DAN looks an Each-Way bet to nothing here in the race he finished runner up in at last year’s festival. He’s missed most of this season due to injury and made his reappearance last month at Warwick. He travelled through the race that day well enough and just tired badly through lack of fitness. This was plain for everyone to see but amazingly the handicapper has decided to drop him 3lbs. Consequently he’s racing off a mark just 2lbs higher than in last year’s renewal. The winner that day Galopin Des Champs has proven to be an absolute monster this season and could soon be rated around 170. If there’s anything lurking here that is anywhere near as good as he is then so be it, but given how far clear the front two pulled away last year I’d be surprised if LANGER DAN didn’t go close at least.

1530 Cheltenham - KOSHARI E/W
I’m going to take a swing at one at one here in a race which looks wide open. Koshari has been put away since winning a Pertemps qualifier for new trainer David Christie. Connections have decided carrying against top weight in the Pertemps and will take their chance here instead. Bad ground will not be an issue and he’s won after returning from a break previously. I think people have written this horse off because he’s left the Mullins yard but I really wouldn’t be surprised if he hit the frame today at a massive price.

1410 Cheltenham - Bravemansgame
This horse has not put a foot wrong all season and I fully believe he can put any doubts over whether he likes Cheltenham behind him here. He was very impressive beating Ahoy Senior in the Kauto Star and I think he’ll confirm the form here. L’Homme Presse is also 4/4 over fences but hasn’t tried 3 miles yet. Next season’s King George is the target for BRAVEMANSGAME but a comprehensive win here would also put him into the frame for the Gold Cup.

1450 Ultima Handicap Chase - FRODON EW
There was some doubt in the lead up to this race whether FRODON would run but he looks set to take his chance with drying conditions forecasted for Day 1. This will be a tough ask under top weight but he absolutely thrives at Cheltenham and is running over his ideal trip. I think you can put a line through his last 2 runs where conditions and stable form were against him. He’s a Grade 1 winner in Ireland this season, finishing ahead of Gold Cup fancies Galvin and Minella Indo. If he can replicate that level of form at a course he loves then it’s going to take a very well handicapped sort to beat him.
Cheltenham 4.10. BOB AND CO. eachway Trained by Paul Nicholls ,who has a good past record in this race. On board is the owner Mr.D.Maxwell. This French bred 11 year old has won eight chases and placed in three more from 20 runs over the larger obstacles. Those wins have come on a wide range of going. Has finished second on each of two runs this season. Ran in this race last year,and was going well with a big chance of winning before unseating the rider three out. Winner of the Punchestown Champion Hunters Chase last April. Stayed on well in final stages to claim victory. Form from that race has worked out well with four other horses going on to win at least once since.

Chelt.4.50. LOVE ENVOI. each way.
A 6 year old mare by Westerner, trained by Harry Fry and ridden by JJ Burke. Trainer has his runners in fine current form,and has a 23% strike rate in the past 14 days. This trainer/ jockey combination does well together. They have a healthy strike rate of 35%. Burke has ridden the mare on three previous occasions,winning all three. Won a Wexford Bumper before changing stables. Has won all four runs over hurdles for the Fry yard. Acts well on soft -heavy ground,all five victories came on similar going. Won a Grade 2 Hurdle at Sandown last time out,and before that a Class 2 at Lingfield. Carries a 5 lb penalty but looks an improving type.

Cheltenham 4.50. BEFORE MIDNIGHT. each way.
Trained by the excellent young handler Sam Thomas,who has been amongst the winners in recent times. In the saddle will be Sam Twiston Davies. Sam has a great record when riding this horse. Progressive chaser,who has been running consistently well this season. Has four wins and a place from last six runs. Course and distance winner back in October, made all and drew clear . Stayed on strongly in closing stages and comfortably beat Sky Pirate who reopposes in this race. Ran well to finish second on latest run,at Doncaster. With the going expected to be on the good side this horse has a good record in the conditions. Three wins and three places from six chases on good going.

Cheltenham 2.50. DOES HE KNOW. each way.
A 7 year old gelding by Alkaasad. Trained by Kim Bailey and ridden by David Bass. Trainer has a good record with his chasers in recent years. Has had four runs this season all over the larger obstacles, winning three and finishing second in the other. Won at Ascot last time out some 24 days ago,winning comfortably on soft ground. Two wins from 4 races in Class 1 company. Acts well on the forecasted going,with 5 wins and 3 places from 10 runs on similar ground. Trainer has had four runners in this race in past years. One win and two more places. Currently around the second favourite in the race.

2:10 PERTEMPS FINAL - WINTER FOG (E/W)
Emmet Mullins specialises in improving other trainer's horses & I take that to be the case here. Paul Townend takes over which is interesting in itself & they go for headgear to improve his focus. Often reaching for blinkers, visors & hoods can be an act of desperation when all other ideas have been exhausted. Other times it's a considered option to address a specific issue. I'm taking this to be the latter. He ran well last time out only to not look as if he gave it everything at the finish. The headgear may help with that along with a more restrained ride. Should be played late, hopefully for at least a place. I don't see him to be overly ground dependent either which is a blessing following todays disaster. It seems the Cheltenham obsession with watering will continue to ruin meetings despite the departure of the Head Gardener.

2:50 CORAL CUP - DROP THE ANCHOR (E/W)
Did all of his best work late at Leopardstown last time & i expect him to come on for that run & even more so for the extra 5F. Basically he may as well have had "I need further" printed on his saddlecloth. If it wasn't for a mistake early in the race that cost him momentum & rhythm he would surely have finished closer. Not given any sort of a hard time when his chance had gone & was making up ground in the home straight. He went off 33/1 that day & everything he showed made a mockery of that price. Looks laid out for this & with bookies chucking extra places at this race in an unseemly fashion It's my e/w play of the week.

3:30 CHAMPION HURDLE - ADAGIO (E/W)
Yes. Why not start the week by taking on one of the bankers of the meeting ? Well, technically I'm not as I'm essentially playing here for place money & then holding out that if Honeysuckle has any issues Adagio will be the one to profit. Otherwise, well he's simply overpriced & therefore value. last time out he was up against it taking on Goshen in more or less perfect conditions, off a layoff 7 an injury. Still turned in a high class performance. I expect him to come on for it & improve. He'll need to obviously. but in an unspectacular field I'm taking him not to be out of the frame at a nice price.
2:50 Cheltenham - Hillcrest
Henry Daly has already come out and said that this horse is better than anything we have had and the way he powered through his race on New Years Day would suggest he is a good horse. Hillcrest had to give weight away to the others last time and won in impressive fashion. A chaser for the future I feel this horse has all the attributes needed to win a like this. The trainer and jockey have an impressive 39% win-place rate. 1pt win

2:10 Cheltenham - Tullybeg
This is a race I am not the biggest fan off given that you can win a qualifier and still not make the main race. This horse ran in a qualifier at Cheltenham 23 October and turning in on the Old course I thought this horse was gong to win going away however he never went through with it, maybe because connections were trying to protect the horses mark for the main race. 0.5 Each Way

Wednesday - No selection -1pt

1:30 Cheltenham - Jonbon
A horse who I have followed since his expensive purchase by JP for 570k in November 20. Having won at Ascot, Newbury and Haydock he shows he handles all types of tracks, the going won’t be a problem. A slightly buzzy sort who can get worked up in the prelims he has shown that this doesn’t effect his races. The jockey has a 28% win/place over course and 47% over the distance. The trainer and jockey have a 52% win/place rate. I think they’ll be a lot of pace in the race and this will suit him. 0.5pt each way
3:30 Gold Cup GALVIN - 1pt WIN
GALVIN has gone from strength to strength over fences winning 7 of his 8 races since the 2020 Cheltenham festival, with the loss being a 3/4 length 2nd to Frodon in a Grade 1. One of his wins was the Grade 1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas where he was squeezed out when turning in and rallied incredibly to beat A Plus Tard on the line. Last years festival he won the National Hunt Novice Chase which is over 3 miles and 6 furlongs, which shows he has the stamina to be able to stay the trip of the Gold Cup (3 miles 2 furlongs) and he also has the speed to keep up with the pace set. I think GALVIN can show himself to be one of the best staying chasers in the division and has a brilliant chance of winning another festival race here.

3:30 Stayers Hurdle THYME HILL - 1pt WIN
I think THYME HILL has a very solid chance in the Stayers Hurdle this year and at his current price I think there is a lot of value to be had. He ran a huge race at Ascot last time out in December being only 1 3/4 lengths behind Champ that day. What was strong about it was that Champ was over 2 lengths in front of him turning for home whilst his rider was almost motionless, and THYME HILL managed to reduce that deficit by the end. He stayed on strongly to challenge Champ at the final few hurdles that day after not seemingly having the running pace to his strengths which shows his talent. A stronger run race will suit him very well and he is likely to get that here with the presence of both Flooring Porter and Klassical Dream likely to go strongly from the front, and the potential good, good to soft ground will give him the better chance of winning over Royal Kahala. He has shown his ability to match Paisley Park before and he has some tremendous Cheltenham festival form on the new course which is shown in his 1 1/2 length 4th behind Monkfish in the 2020 Albert Bartlett, and he is the one I’m putting up for this race.

2:50 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle MCFABULOUS – 0.5pt e/w
A Grade 2 performer over hurdles and in bumpers I have personally wanted Nicholls to send MCFABULOUS to this race for a while. He has been tried over 3 miles twice, once last season and the other in his last run at Trials Day in the Cleeve Hurdle. I wasn’t ready to write him off as a stayer after that first try but after coming 24 lengths behind Paisley Park last time, I was really keen for him to be tried over a middle distance again, especially as the time before he was 2 ½ lengths 2nd to Stormy Ireland over 2 miles 4 furlong at Cheltenham. His 3-mile runs show he definitely stays further than the 2 mile 4 but not enough for the full 3 miles, and a drop back to 2-mile 5 furlong here puts him back at a suitable trip. Albeit on the new course as opposed to the old course he faces here; he has track experience and Stormy Ireland wasn’t a far away 4th in the Mares Hurdle yesterday which has given the form a boost. It was further boosted by Brewinupastorm who if he hadn’t of fallen, would have challenged Stormy Ireland if not beaten her, and he has subsequently won a top class 2 race beating Goshen and Darver Star, and then was only narrowly held off by Botox Has in a Grade 2 last time out. In the previous 20 runnings of this race the winners have had between 40 and 60 days off since their last race and have also not been fancied too highly in the betting with an average price of 16/1 between them. McFabulous comes here off a 46-day break and is currently available at 16/1 himself which makes me want to side with him here.

2:10 Arkle Challenge Trophy Novice Chase RIVIERE D’ETEL – 1pt WIN
I tipped this girl back at the Dublin Racing Festival in the Irish Arkle and I could see the win coming until she made the mistake at the last fence, handing the race to Blue Lord. She had jumped incredibly well and that 1 mistake at the last stunted her momentum and allowed the Willie Mullins charge to take the lead and grind it out to pick up the victory. She battled back strongly to make up the lost distance after her mistake but couldn’t get on top again before the line, however I’m keeping my faith this time and believe RIVIERE D’ETEL will win this race. She is 2 lb worse off with the reopposing Blue Lord here but I think she will still have too much ability based on that last run for him to finish ahead of her here. The Arkle is usually a strongly ran contest and Jack Kennedy’s mount likes to be near the front of the group which will pay dividends, and she has clocked consistently good figures in her races, and I believe she will be too much for the rest of the field to handle. Haut En Couleurs didn’t get to run his race last time due to falling and I think could be one at a slightly higher price to give a good challenge, albeit not one to beat my selection here.
15:30 Galvin .5 pts e.w
The conqueror of A Plus Tard last time out in a ferocious staying finish, the selection is taken as a solid each-way punt. It's hoped that the staying on in the previous run means this distance is able to be dealt with and given experience at both the course and the ground, Galvin should present a good run for the money.

Thursday - No Selection

14:10 Ahoy Senor .5 pts e/w
The selection has won 1/1 on this surface and 3/5 in this class of race. In a competitive field, it has won at the distance and assuming it handles the Cheltenham surface, should give a good account of itself. It resumes the rivalry with Bravemansgame and newcomer L’Homme Presse but I am hopeful of a place at least.

14:30 Cheltenham Frodon .5 pts e/w
A seasoned campaigner and familiar face around Cheltenham, the free and front running Frodon is taken for today’s selection. Top weight, as you’d expect for a horse this quality but given the level of the previous opposition it has faced, the selection should have an excellent chance. Acts on the ground (4/10), acts on the course (6/14) and 12/30 in this class of race.
2.10 Cheltenham County Hurdle Handicap Selection - My Mate Mozzie (ew)
MY MATE MOZZIE started the season looking like a leading candidate for the supreme novice hurdle with a victory early season beating Barbados at Punchestown by 8 lengths then following up at Navan beating chemical energy by 10 lengths. He was headed on the line in the grade 1 royal bond novice hurdle at Fairyhouse by statuaire. He then didn’t run until the Dublin racing festival where he was beaten a long way into 4th by Ballymore winner Sir Gerhard. Has a decent 5lbs claimer aboard and based on his graded form he should run well at a good price off this mark.

2.10 Cheltenham - Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Selection - Dunboyne (ew)
DUNBOYNE caught the eye when qualifying for this Pertemps final when staying on for 5th at Leopardstown behind panda boy in December. He ran at the Dublin racing festival and was hampered when making his challenge in the straight eventually finishing midfield. He has crept in at the bottom of the weights and on the new course today with a long run in expected to suit

4.50 Cheltenham - Grand Annual Handicap Selection - Amarillo Sky (ew)
AMARILLO SKY chased home Brave Seasca at Ascot in December and that one runs earlier on in the day in the champion chase. He was beaten 3 lengths giving that one 3lbs on the day. He went to Newbury and looked to be cruising into the lead 2 out when falling. He made up for that back at Newbury last month when bolting up beating shakemup’arry by 10 lengths. Up 8lbs for that win and he can go close today.

1.30 Cheltenham - Supreme Novice Hurdle Selection - Dysart Dynamo (win)
DYSART DYNAMO impressed in two bumpers last season winning at the Punchestown festival beating Gordon Dai Dai by 7 1/2 lengths. Making his hurdle debut in December at cork he beat Lucky Tenner by 19 lengths. He followed up in a grade 2 at Punchestown again bolting up making all in a canter beating Gringo D’aubrelle by 19 lengths also. He will I’m sure be looking to run them all ragged today

14:10 Cheltenham SIRE DU BERLAIS WIN
SdB has a cracking Festival record winning this race twice and a second in the stayers. His last win in this race was off of a mark of 152- 11st 12lb. This time he is again off to weight 11st 12lb but has a decent 7lb claimer on board . The form coming into his last win in this race was patchy to say the least - 8494, which looks like he was laid out for the race, this time the figures are 22PU4 and another big race is on the cards.

15:30 Cheltenham Envoi Allen 0.5E/W
Envoi Allen has lost its way of late, but you don't win two festival races without having a bit of class. The talk has all been about Shishkin and Energumene, and the renewal of their battle at ascot where it looked for a while Energumene would prevail. But shishkin showed his class to power home, but needed every yard of the 2m1f.This is over a shorter trip and it may have taken it out of both of them (I'm hoping!) This in my view opens the door to envoi allen who has had a wind op since the last race. I'm hoping for a big race from Envoi and another win for Rachael

16:50 Cheltenham TOO FRIENDLY 0.5E/W
This is a race that has thrown up some big price winners in the past few years. Especially last years winner Jeff Kidder @ 80/1 off of 10st 8lb. 7 of the last 10 winners has returned at over 25/1. As with all Cheltenham races there are plenty in with a chance, and I just cant get around the fact that a horse unraced in Britain/ireland and hasnt ran in 283 days is favourite. Albeit that Willie Mullins says hes well in! Too Friendly is running off 10st 11lbs and has a good overall profile, winning 2 of his 3 hurdles races, and has had wind surgery after his last run. Harry Skelton has a 41% strike rat
Cheltenham 3.30 - Minella Indo 1pt win
A wide open renewal of the gold cup and I fancy the chances of last year’s winner to retain his crown. Minella Indo has almost the perfect festival profile, winning the Albert Bartlett, placing in the RSA and winning the gold cup last year. There is a growing suspicion that this horse is very much one who comes into his own in early spring and the signals from the De Bromhead yard have been increasingly encouraging over the past few weeks. Robbie Power in the saddle is no negative and I think the current price of around 9/2 is a fair one.

Cheltenham 2.10 - Ballyandy 0.5 e/w
Veteran now but has some solid festival form, including a bumper win and a Coral Cup third. The 11yo gelding seems to have had a new lease of life recently when upped to staying trips. Jockey Finn Lambert claims a handy 10lbs and being proven on soft going, has a good e/w chance.

Cheltenham 1.30 - I am Maximus 0.5 e/w
Trainer Nicky Henderson has bounced back to form in style and this gelding seems to be overlooked at the current prices. I am Maximus has solid course form in the book, beating top class My Drogo in a bumper here last season and going down narrowly to high class Hillcrest this season. Looks a solid e/w bet.

Cheltenham 4.10 - Heaven Help Us 0.5 e/w
Brings strong festival form to the table being the winner of the Coral Cup last year on what seems set to be similar going. Had favourite for this race, Tellmesomethinggirl, behind in a race at Leopardstown in December and although in receipt of weight on that occasion, it still shows she can mix it at this level. I think the mare could be primed for a big run at a decent price.

Thursday - No Selection

Wednesday - No selection -1pt

Cheltenham .5pt Each way Tommy's Oscar 3.30
My selection for the day is Tommy's Oscar. Hard to oppose Honeysuckle but on a wide open first day, i think there will be some upsets, i'm going for an overpriced each way shout. Firstly, TO would find this race hard to win, no doubt about it, but i think TO could get really close to place and the current 40/50-1 is appealing with that in mind. You just never know what will happen, horses do special things at Cheltenham, disasters occur for heavy favs (Enovi Allan last year!) and Ann Hamilton always has her horses in fine form.
130 Cheltenham knight salute ew
We were on last time he won and I see no reason to oppose him again. He’s done nothing wrong all season and is by far the best of the British and look forward to him mixing it with the best of the Irish in this to see where he stands. I am very hopeful of a place and as we have seen this week already in the Arkle it hasn’t been the blood bath predicted for British runners. Milton Harris continues to be in good form and looks a good each way bet.

410 Cheltenham Adrimel ew
This horse will have loved the rain that fell today and I think the ground should still be testing come race time. All of his good form is with give in the ground and after a slow start to the season on unsuitably dry ground he has won his last two which would put him bang in contention for this. I can’t understand his current price of 16/1 unfortunately I can see it not lasting once the form judges take note of his liking for mud.

450 Cheltenham for pleasure ew
I love the way this horse attacks his fences with no fear. He’s run against Edwardstone and Third Time Lucki and fallen short. But after Edwardstone has just won the arkle this test should be more attainable and gives the form a boost. He’s won at the course before over hurdles and I’m hoping can be an all the way winner from the front at a large price.

130 Cheltenham - Mighty Potter 0.5 ew
Previous winners of this race have usually taken on a Grade 1 on route showing there class at the highest level is proven. Mighty Potter is one of only a few that has. He’s Gordon Elliot’s strongest chance and I expect the stamina required to get up the hill to play to his strengths. Any of the front 3 could feasibly be superstars but you are betting on an unknown and I prefer the proven form when placing a bet not speculation, the Hendo pair will certainly need to improve on what they have done to date to win this and I think mighty potter represent a strong ew pick.
PIED PIPER 1:30 Cheltenham
There are a few races that look very tough to call on the final day of the festival and so the race I felt I could narrow the field down best was the Triumph hurdle. Having studied the form book, a number of the Irish horses towards the top of the market have been beaten by Vauban last time out (Fil Dor, Il Etait Temps & Icare Allan) and based on how Vauban won the race I don't see much to suggest they have outstanding claims off reversing the form. I am also not convinced the British form will stand up to the Irish runners, although one exception to that is Teddy Blue, who was actually unlucky to be beaten by Knight Salute last time out after a mistake at the last. That was only Teddy Blue's second hurdle start whilst Knight Salute was making it 5 from 5, so with expected improvement given his unexposed status, I think Teddy Blue can improve past that one to be the leading British hope. However, the ground has brought me back to the Irish contingent and to PIED PIPER, who has proven to handle heavy going when beating the favourite Vauban on his debut run, and has since followed up in a Grade 2 race. That may well turn out to be much stronger than the British equivalents and at the prices, particularly compared with Vauban, PIED PIPER looks a better value win bet.

KANSAS CITY CHIEF E/W 2:10 Cheltenham A disappointment yesterday with the influx of rain meaning Bravemansgame was withdrawn so we didn’t get a run. I have one at much bigger odds today though in the shape of Kansas City Chief. This one would have missed out on this race, falling just outside of the weights, but for what looks like it may have been some shrewd planning by his trainer. Kansas City Chief ran just three days ago, winning at Plumpton and the 5lb penalty he receives for that win means he scrapes into the race at the very bottom of the handicap, allowing him to carry 21lb less weight that the top weight. He is 13 years old now but hasn’t put a foot wrong this season with form figures of 131221. This is the toughest race of his season but at the bottom of the handicap he could run a big race at a very big price.
BRAVEMANSGAME 2:10 Cheltenham Great to get Cheltenham off to the best start with a winner yesterday, and on day two there is only one horse I want to be giving. I have been very sweet on Bravemansgame for this race for a long time and a late decision from Willie Mullins to send Galopin Des Champs to the Turners means he has dodged what would have been his toughest opponent. Bravemansgame ran a decent race here at the Festival last year behind Bob Olinger but Paul Nicholls had always stated he would be a better chaser and since going chasing he is a perfect 4 from 4. L'Homme Presse poses an interesting challenge given how he has also run a perfect 4 from 4 chasing but at the current 3/1 available for Bravemansgame I am very keen to recommend him as my selection.
STATTLER 5:30 Cheltenham Some competitive looking races on the opening day and I can’t wait for the action to start but we will be waiting until the last race of the day for my opening Cheltenham Festival selection. Pats Fancy comes into this off the back of a good second behind Bravemansgame but Vanillier was well beaten by STATTLER over 3m 1f last time out and was also beaten 10 lengths by Run Wild Fred on penultimate start, so my attention turn firmly to the head of the market. STATTLER was 19 lengths ahead of Vanillier last time out but is also far less exposed over fences than RWF, having had just two runs and winning both. STATTLER looks to be a horse going places and at the prices he is my confident selection.

Week 9 – Saturday 12th March

LEBOWSKI EW - 2-25 SAN 22/1
What a race, one of my favourite of the calendar, along with the Lincoln and the Nov Handicap. Between 2003 / 2010 we had 5 winning favs, quite an impressive strike rate. That`s all changed and we have had 6 double fig winners since 2011 which is basically a 50% strike rate with the last one being 2018, so one is due and no winning favs ! Using some trends and specific analysis of the 2015 winner, I have come down on the side of LEBOWSKI, whom I have already backed at 33/1 with 365. His profile is right, his handicap mark is perfect, in fact I can`t see any negatives...... Oh Yes! The weather on Friday, forecast lots of rain and his last run ( supposedly lost his action ). If the heavens open and it turns to Heavy going, then CALICO would be my ew banker ( not entered at Chelt though ? ). HYDROPLANE should also run well at a price if the going gets Heavy. So I`m hoping that the going gets no worse than soft and Lebowski continues his upward curve.
FOX POWER EW - 2-05 WOL 16/1
I have already mentioned that the Lincoln is one of my favourite races and here we have a Lincoln Trial ( Brill ). The selection is probably handicapped to its hilt, but it has the best course record, finishing 112344 in 6 attempts and is one of only 2 in the race to have won at the distance ( MYKONOS ST JOHN is the other ). MSJ is now trained by Mr Dixon who has done me some favours recently, and was considered, but I don`t think that Wolv is his best surface, having only won a Cl6 race here. He has better form at other AW tracks. So, It`s FOX POWER for me and again, I have already backed him at 16/1 with 365 ( Could be quite a day )
BOWMAN EW - 3-31 LING 22/1
Last week I tipped a horse at a big price in a small field, hoping it would get 2nd ( I said EL CABALLO would win easily and he did ). Unfortunately my outsider finished 5th ( which I also kinda predicted ). Well I`m going out on a limb again here. I just can`t find another selection that I am as keen on as the two above. So, we have a 5 runner race and believe it or not I think it is a shootout between INTUITIVE and TADREEB ( I slightly prefer the latter ). I believe BOWMAN is competing for 3rd place ( which is no good for this comp ) but I just have a sneaky feeling that he may snatch 2nd. Likes the course, not up to this class but is handicapped to get within a length or two of TADREEB and hopefully that will be good enough for 2nd. Currently 28/1 in a 5 horse race.
Sandown 14.25 - Current Mood E/W 10/1
You can make a case for alot of these and I will be impressed with whoever finds the winner, Nicholls comes here mob handed and saddles three, Skelton won this last year with Langer Dan and just got touched off for the big bonus win at Cheltenham the following week, this time he has Lucky One, ex Nicholls horse that is only have its 4th run for Skelton and looked like its primed after a good 3rd at Ascot lto. Also decent Irish raider, Surprise Package (rated 128 in Ireland) & Moores first time out in UK ex French horse, Transatlantic (ground an issue you would imagine) is also in here with probably a win needed to get in the Martin Pipe, outsider Zambezi Fix is a good e/w price too. This all being said I am going to follow the big Saturday handicap trainer in Evan Williams and his entry Current Mood, running off the same mark of 127 as its lto win at Chepstow, winning comfortably goes on good, so the firmer ground not a problem, doesnt have a Cheltenham entry, won over further so should keep on going up the rise at Sandown. Isobel Williams back on board and will only claim the 3 this time, so you could say its up 2lbs for a 4.5l win, will be up with the pace and out of trouble in this massive field and could win pillar to post. Plenty in here with chances and as I said a tough one to call.
Sandown 15.00 - Mullenbeg WIN 6/4
Looks a class above the rest, this unbeaten mare can get the hat trick here. Now not decleared for the Champion bumper entry and trainer thought it could place in that, but sees an opportunity here, which makes it better than anyting else on show. Hidden Beauty is a bit unknown and could bounce back from PU lto but cant find a reported exscuse anywhere for that run though.
Navan 16.35 - Mercury Lane E/W 4/1
A lightly raced notebook horse that has not shown its promise from last year, which included a decent 2nd to Dunboyne (well touted for the Pertemps), not set the world alight over the bigger fences this season, but finally gets the step up to 3miles over fences which looks like it will suit. Big plus the Cheekpieces and Tongue tie are both on as per its win at back of last season, think this bottom weight could surprise at a decent price if he has been set for this.
2.25 Sandown – Monviel 1pt win 33/1
Looks like an improving unexposed horse who will be carrying a low weight. He won over the course and distance last time out, albeit on heavy ground but also won the time before on good to soft ground so there should be no concerns there. Has an unexposed profile similar to other winners of this race and he’s having his first run in a handicap today where his trainer has a decent record in the past year with 7 winners and 9 further placed from 36 runners. This should be a competitive big field handicap with many other unexposed and improvers in the race so will take a good run to win this and at the current double figure price it looks worth taking.
4.10 Sandown – Powerstown Park 1pt win 4/1
This one interests me due to the fact that he was a non-runner for last week’s class 2 Grimthorpe Chase due to the soft ground. He won on soft over hurdles last year so has proved he could run on it but maybe it was felt the ground would be too soft at that level, particularly in light of his good ground wins this season which he’s likely to get or close to today in class 3 company. This was his only entry this week and running right-handed on decent ground has seen him improve this season with what could be further improvement given today’s conditions. Trained by the excellent Sam Thomas who has done very well this season and has a good record with his last time out winners.
2.40 Wolverhampton – Amilcar 1pt win 9/1
I’ll admit to knowing nothing about this French runner but it’s more the circumstances and fact he runs here that seems interesting enough to tip here. An all-weather winner in France, the horse won last time out in December in the same Listed class as today and was a non-runner for a conditions race 12 days ago in a race with decent prize money as is usually the norm for French racing so the fact she comes over to race here for what is a good prize seems interesting, as is the booking of Andrea Atzeni who has won on other European horses in black type races over here and also won for the trainer in a conditions race at Chelmsford 3 years ago on their only link up I can see. Furthermore, the trainer has had 2 winners, a 2nd and 3rd from his 4 runners in Britain so hopefully they have a runner to compete here and not just for the day out.
2.25 sandown
There is a lurker in this race the problem is trying to find it.The Hobbs trained MONVIEL seems to be improving at a rate of knots and having his handicap debut the handicapper may not have his measure yet.He has won his last two races granted at class 4 so is going up in class but the way he is improving i'm willing to take a chance and he is joint bottom weight oh and at 16/1 whats not to like.
MONVIEL 1 pt win 33/1
4.0 navan
This is a good race just before cheltenham but having said that these horses are not the best of the best.So you have to try and find the horse that has been running against the best and just getting beat so to my eyes that seems to be NOTEBOOK the mullins horse will most likely go off favorite so that means we will get a better price on our one MASTER MCSHEE has been running against novices so he would have to improve bundles to win this so a confident selection is NOTEBOOK.
NOTEBOOK 1pt win 7/2
1.50 sandown
Paul nicholls has the top weight and favorite in this but i am leaning toward his other horse in the shape of COMPLETE UNKNOWN he is having his first run in a handicap and is very consistant never been out of the first three in five races under rules.There may be horses in here with better form but i still feel we have not seen the best of this horse yet and there is always the chance that the handicapper has got this badly wrong.Let's hope i'm as clever as i think i am so it's win for me even though he is an e/w price.
COMPLETE UNKNOWN 1pt win 18/1
100 Ayr - Mega Yeats - 0.5 PTS E/W 13/2- this race has a nice each way shape to it and I think Mega Yeats will handle conditions well and I make her overpriced. Her current price is largely due to her last run, but given the break since we can guess there was an issue that day. Notwithstanding that she went off joint favourite over too short a trip so must have shown a bit at home. Before that she ran well last Feb/March, with her run at Kelso in particular being of interest. She finished amongst some good horses that day and has since dropped 9lbs. The yard and jockey are in good nick and the trip and ground should be ideal.
225 Sandown - Hystery Bere - 0.5 PTS E /W 7/1 - His last run is now looking well advertised by the first and second home winning and running well respectively in the Morebattle. The form has some depth to it, with the 6th and 7th also winning since. Any rain will help and a big field should ensure a decent clip, which is going to be essential given he seemed to hit a flat spot last time. I was very tempted by Suprise Package but felt the selection had more scope for improvement having not had many goes under rules in the UK.
410 Sandown - Musical Slave - 1PT win 17/2 - Musical Slave's last two runs have been good and he looks like he's on a competitive mark. At Exeter he was in the process of running a cracker but was hampered by a faller and still managed to finish third. The winner that day has since won the Eider and the runner up won next time out. His Sandown run wasn't bad and the jockey didn't give him a hard time once the front two got away. The winner is progressive and ran well on Friday and the second that day won earlier this week. We've had some rain on Friday so it should be soft enough and I'd have him a lot shorter than he is given I am not sure many in the field want these conditions.
1350 Sandown – KNAPPERS HILL (WIN) 4/1
This looks a competitive Novice Handicap but one horse that could end up being too good if he turns up is KNAPPERS HILL. It’s a big if as he is entered for the Martin Pipe next week, however it is touch and go as to whether he will get in and connections may decide to take their chance here instead. He’s up in trip today which I think is what he needs after his Betfair Hurdle run. He twice beat stablemate Stage Star in Bumpers last season who is now a Grade 1 winning Novice. He also ran a competitive third behind Jonbon and Colonel Mustard on his penultimate run which is rock solid form. Despite carrying top weight I fancy KNAPPERS HILL to show his class here.
1425 Sandown – LIVELY CITIZEN (EACH WAY) 28/1
LIVELY CITIZEN looks set to take his chance in the Imperial Cup as he’s far too low in the ratings to get a run in the County Hurdle next week. He’ll be running off of bottom weight here with Archie Bellamy taking off a further 7 lbs. Archie has already won on him twice this season, and was well fancied when his saddle slipped at Cheltenham on Trials Day. Horses near the bottom of the handicap have a good record in this contest, and trainer David Jeffreys has reported that he’s in tremendous form at home. Today’s the day for LIVELY CITIZEN to prove he can mix it away from Cheltenham and hopefully set himself up for a run at the Aintree in a few weeks time.
1610 Sandown – POWERSTOWN PARK (WIN) 4/1
POWERSTOWN PARK was a NR for us last week due to the ground being softer than ideal, and I’m hoping that the better ground will allow him to take his chance here. This strong traveller has shown bundles of improvement since being stepped up in trip, and Sam Thomas is extremely careful with where he places his horses. He’s entered in both the Ultima and the Kim Muir but certainly won’t get a run in the former and it’s touch and go for the latter. Ground conditions may also suit him better here instead of Cheltenham where you would expect softer ground. If he shows up I would expect him to go close in a far less competitive contest.
SANDOWN 1:50 - KNAPPERS HILL (WIN) 4/1
Just a question of going with class here really. Good bumper horse who has done nothing wrong over hurdles apart from bump into quicker horses in the Betfair Hurdle since. The step up in trip will sort that out & I just think he has too m uch class for these albeint it's a decent quality field. 135 is as lenient as it gets & I expect a big run.
SANDOWN 2:25 - BALKO COASTAL (WIN) 9/2
I'm having to ignore the abysmal stable form here obviously. Worse even than the usual February dip. But close inspection reveals that the Henderson horses running in the last months have been, to be kind, the ones who are stabled nest to the bins by the gate. balko Coastal is a much higher level than that. On a form line through North Lodge who frustarted me with a head-up-head=down defeat last week he should have enough for a big chance here. It's a competitive race & no mistake but he'll do for me for the win.
SANDOWN 3:00 - MULLENBEG (WIN) 6/4
Short horse of the week & i make no apologies as a win is a win. Impressive at Cheltenham last time & even at 6/4 here is value. Should pick these up & carry them. Simple win bet.
Sandown 225 Surprise Package 0.5pts ew. 14/1
I have followed this one last few races and seems to thrive in big fields, his last race was at Dublin Festival ,yup only finished 9th but he had a lot more behind than in front, that was a deep handicap that will throw out heaps of winners. He won't mind the ground whichever way it goes and reading what trainer has been saying this week, he's expecting a big run and is looking already at the county hurdle at Cheltenham next week.
Hereford 341 Duc De Beauchene. 0.5pts ew 8/1.
Now at time of writing this is the outsider of the 5, but he has some useful back form and usually wins a race a season. He's 2lbs below his last winning mark, yes he has too put a couple of poor runs behind him, but he seems to that ,then boom pops up at a price . This doesn't look a hot race on paper so I'm hoping the McManus millions doesn't go on this and we get a good price ,stable form is patchy but when they are winning they are coming in at rewarding odds.
Ayr 355 Strong Economy 1pt win. 3/1
Now I'm hoping the heavens open a bit more at the track ,the going on Friday evening is soft with rain about. This one cannot get it deep enough, loves the course won here twice last season was runner up last time out and more importantly is down to his last winning mark . It all adds up too a big run and hopefully a winning one.
Sandown 2.25. HYDROPLANE each way. 40/1
Trained by Ian Williams and ridden by 3 lb claimer Charlie Todd. Jockey is in good recent form with a 22% strike rate in the last 14 days,and has ridden this horse to four wins in six rides. Runs off of a handicap mark of 122,& has won off 121. Five wins from 13 at this distance. One win from only one run over course and distance. Last time out finished ninth in a Class 2 Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham. Was reported to have been struck into. Prior to that run won over course and distance in January. Has a career record of 13 runs over hurdles,winning four and two more places. Big price but good each way chance.
Wolv. 2.40 TINKER TOY each way 10/1
A 5 year old War Front gelding,trained at Newmarket by Roger Varian . Both trainer and jockey are in fine recent form. Finished a decent second of eight on seasonal reappearance in a Class 2 Handicap at Lingfield over 7 furlongs. Was backed into favourite but ended up beaten by 3/4 length. Ran on inside the final furlong. Two wins and two places from five runs over this distance. One win and a place from two runs on the all weather. Winner off a handicap mark of 91.
Wolv.3.16. HOW IMPRESSIVE win 5/2
A 3 year old colt by Starspangledbanner. Trained by H.Palmer and ridden by James Doyle. Both trainer and jockey have been in good recent form. Fifth last time out at Newcastle over 6 furlongs. This was probably too short a trip for the horse. On only previous run won at Newcastle on debut in January. Slowly away and headway two furlongs out,ran on well inside the final furlong. In a race involving several lightly raced horses How Impressive has a great chance of adding to his one success.
14:25 Sandown .5 pt e/w Samarrive 16/1
The selection has won 1/2 in this class of race and is a course and distance winner. Having pulled up last time out, Samarrive returns to the scene of its last victory (4th December 2021). A consistent sort in terms of place winnings, albeit against many unexposed rivals this time, a good run is hoped for.
15:41 Hereford 1pt win Prince Escalus 11/10
A winner last time out at Hereford when defeating Monsieur Lecoq, the selection returns after 6 weeks off and seeks to continue the consistent run of form. Has been in the first 3 for the last 5 starts and has all the hallmarks of another decent run. Moonlighter rates the obvious danger, down in class.
15:51 Wolverhampton .5 pt e/w Daheer 6/1
The selection is top weight and well treated on historic form. 30% strike rate in this class of race and a course and distance winner, this is familiar territory. Top rated on speed which could ensure a decent break and good positional advantage over 1m1f, David Probert takes the ride. Hopeful of a place at least.
1.50 Sandown - Novice Handicap Hurdle Selection - Dubrovnik Harry (ew) 10/1
DUBROVNIK HARRY ran well on debut catching the eye at Exeter in December keeping on well into 3rd where he was beaten just under 3 lengths by Hermes boy. He got off the mark upped to 2m2f at Exeter on New Year’s Day where he bolted up beating American Gerry by 25 lengths. Last time out at leicester he maybe should have followed up and maybe would have done but for a mistake at the last when in front. He was beaten just 1/2 length by anglers crag. He is unexposed and should be more to come.
2.25 Sandown - Imperial Cup Selection - Hystery Bere (ew) 7/1
HYSTERY BERE won on his reappearance at fontwell on Boxing Day on soft ground beating smurphy enki by just under 4 lengths. On festival trials day at Cheltenham last time out he stayed on well for 3rd in a 2m1f handicap where he was beaten just over a length by Cormier. Cormier won a good handicap at Kelso last weekend boosting the form. 5yo have a decent record recently in this race and he has a good ew chance today
2.40 Wolverhampton - Lady Wulfruna Stakes Selection - Highfield Princess (ew) 13/2
HIGHFIELD PRINCESS wasn’t beaten far in listed company at Ascot last October finishing 3rd beaten just over a length behind with thanks. Back at Ascot on champions day she kept on into 6th in group 1 company finishing about 3 lengths behind creative force. Has had one run on the all weather at Chelmsford last month finishing 3rd behind Fauvette which should have put her spot on for this today
2:25 Sandown - Lively Citizen 28/1
A lovely horse who has been having a great season and clearly loves hurdling in fact his stats are really good for a horse rated 117, aside from the saddle slipping when he was pulled up he last finished out the top 3 September 2020. His last run at Leicester he won beating Presuming Ed by 1/2lgth but that horse has been out since and was only beaten by 2 1/2lgths by a 135 rated horse who is entered in what used to be called the Fred Winter. The trainer and jockey have a profitable win strike rate off 18% Lurking towards to the bottom of the weights I think this horse has a great chance to increase his impressive strike rate. 0.5pt each way
3:00 Sandown - Mullenbeg Newbury 6/4
A lovely 5yr old mate who is 2 from 2 in National Hunt Flat Races. She won easily on Trials day at Cheltenham winning by 5 1/2lgths It is interesting connections have opted for this race as opposed to the champion bumper however I expect her to take this race on route to the Grade 2 at Aintree. The jockey and trainer have an impressive win percentage of 26% when teaming up having won 5 from 19. The trainer has been having a very good season operating a win percentage of 21% and a running to form of 54%. 1pt win
3:35 Sandown - Frenchy Du Large 5/1
A horse that I followed from his bumper days expecting to be a better chaser than he was bumper or hurdler and I think he has proved that this season. He is 12lb’s better on rating over fences than hurdles. Beaten last time by 14 lengths by Movethechains who is entered for the Midlands National and likely to develop into a National horse I’m not sure he stayed the distance so the drop down in distance is sure to suit.0.5pt each way
Sandown 2:25 (Imperial Cup) BALCO COASTAL - 1pt WIN 9/2
Out of the last 19 runnings of the Imperial Cup 7 winners have carried a weight between 10-10 and 11-1, and another 8 have carried between 10 and 10-4, which shows you would be well off looking towards the lower end of the weights, or the middle section of the weights. 13 of the last 19 runnings were won by a 5 or 6 year old and only 1 winner had won the time before, compared to 4 who came in the placings on their last runs. BALCO COASTAL looks like he fits the mould well here, carrying a weight of 11 stone, being aged 6 and having come 2nd in his previous run. That 2nd was in a Grade 2, 2 mile 4 furlong novice at Cheltenham on trials day where he was 2 1/2 lengths 2nd to North Lodge that day, who went on last week to boost the form when only narrowly denied a subsequent Grade 2 win at Kelso whilst carrying a penalty. Nicky Henderson hasn’t been in the best form of late but I feel like this is a horse that has a lot of potential, and when he was entered in the Sidney Banks at Huntingdon (wasn’t declared) I thought he could be aimed at a Festival novice hurdle, similar to Shishkin in 2020. Having being given a break rather than take up that engagement the plan could be to win this lucrative prize, and make use of his handy mark to land the bonus for winning at the Festival next week, having currently been entered in both the County Hurdle and the Martin Pipe. I’m confident that BALCO COASTAL can start off a good week ahead for Nicky Henderson.
Wolverhampton 2:40 HIGHFIELD PRINCESS - 0.5pt e/w 13/2
A listed winner during last season and back racing at that level again here today, she is getting weight from some good horses here which puts her in good stead. Standout form from last year had to be when 1 1/2 lengths 2nd to Space Blues in the Group 2 City Of York stakes in August, and any form that ties in with him will get me excited. Stall 8 isn’t the best of draws here but seeing as some of the opposition drawn near her won’t want to go forward with the pace, it should suit her being able to push on from wide to get near the front of the pack without much contesting from others. I think there has definitely been a bit of an over reaction to her last run when beaten at odds on, especially when Arousing has come out and won this week to frank the form. Looking at last year she came 3rd on her reappearance after a break and then bolted up on her next start. This was albeit in lower company but she has definitely showed big progression last year and after the run last time to blow away any cobwebs I think the prices around HIGHFIELD PRINCESS are very generous.
Kempton 5:30 NIGHT ON EARTH - 1pt WIN 5/2
NIGHT ON EARTH has performed very well recently in some tough class 2 and class 3 events, he was just under 2 lengths behind the well backed Existent in 2nd 4 runs ago, and a run up to that standard will take this race I believe. Across the opposition they could be a bit below the selection here and will find it difficult to beat him, with Show Yourself being the main danger in my view although being drawn on the wide outside is a difficult task to overcome. We have bagged an inside draw in stall 2 here which over the sprint distances at Kempton is very favourable and puts us in a strong position to win this one. Mick Appleby is rocking a 21% strike rate (7-33) in the last fortnight and he could round his Saturdays runners off with a win here.
Wolverhampton 1.31 - Zarzyni 1pt win 5/2
A 5yo gelding who has looked a winner in waiting for the last three runs - second each time. He has edged up the handicap subsequently by 2lbs but I think this is very manageable. Ridden with restraint recently, he has no better jockey than Jamie Spencer to execute a waiting ride. Back up to 6f should suit this strong finisher and being drawn close to the likely pace should give him a nice tow into the race.
Sandown 2.25 - Samarrive 0.5 e/w 16/1
This unexposed 5yo gelding from Paul Nicholls‘ yard has been freshened up since his disappointing run last time out, when by the trainer’s own admission he was probably backing up too soon. An impressive course, distance and likely ground winner back in December, I think a mark of 139 is workable and at a nice each way price at the time of writing, is worth siding with.
Hereford 5.21 - Sure touch 1pt win 9/2
Half sister to gold cup winner Long Run, this is her second start in a handicap and I think she is well in off a mark of 105. A close up third in her first handicap, she has since had a wind op and with Fergus Gregory in the saddle, I can see her going close here. This better ground should be fine.
2.25 sandown 0.5pt each way. 40/1
My selection for this race is MICK MAESTRO who has been targetted for this race. Two convincing wins at Catterick in decent company have came this season and he runs off the exact same mark as he did last year, when his race was ended by a freak equipment issue. The ground is the big one for me, very versatile and will appreciate it. Currently 40-1, which i can't see lasting, and i hoping for anything above 25-1 come morning.
1.31 Wolves 1pt win
My selection is full authority 14/1 for a win only. The problem with doing these night before is the price... i got this one earlier at 20-1 which is an unbelievable price, but it is already 12-1 and dropping. Hoping for a price holding but i can't see it. That said, and for the purpose of this competition, i think it is a fairly solid win bet. Robert Tart has a decent record for Jane Chappell Hyam and this horse has been in fine stables. Two wins for Sir Michael Stoute before going to Richard Fahey. Didn't work out there however there were only 3 races and two of those were really good races. It has been gelded and should be okay fresh.
1.46 Lingfield 1pt win
My final selection is the old timer MURHIB. 20/1 Rab Havlin takes the ride in a tricky little race which could be ran perfectly for Murhib to pounce. He was in cracking form last year, albeit winning over slightly further, and i think this race will suit. The pace will be slow which means he can get away with slightly dropping in trip.... i can see a mad dash round the bend and, if Murhib gets a decent position, he should go close
225 Sandown - Kihavah 0.5ew 20/1
Applying the key trends leaves us with 3. We are looking for a horse with no more than 2 wins over hurdles but got at least one win, raced in the last 42 days and carrying 10-13 or lower but rated at least 124 being no older than 6. That leaves 3 horses: Kihavah, Hacker Des Places and Hystery Bere. The one I like is Kihavah who also ticks all of some of the weaker trends. He won well at Musselburgh last time out and looks unexposed and could improve further to take this competitive renewal at a double figure price.
300 Sandown - Mullenbeg 1pt win 6/4
Skipping Cheltenham next Wednesday to run here instead, won going away the last day at festival trials day and with Luccia the main danger getting a stone as a 4 year old, but from the out of form Henderson yard I can see this horse winning well before going on to hurdles next season. Milton Harris is having a cracking season and looks to have two lovely bumper horses to go to war with next year, (the other being Rosy Redrum who runs Wednesday).
131 Wolverhampton - Mighty Gurka 0.5ew 8/1
Archie Watson knows the time of day and I think he's found this horse a winnable opportunity, he's got place form over course and distance and can hopefully go one better today with Adam McNamara steering him home. He's 9lb below his last winning mark and today could be the day.
14:25 Sandown ONEMOREFORTHEROAD 0.5E/W 11/1
A large field with some quality horses there are seven last time out winners! Onemorefortheroad is in great form having rattled off a hat trick before a close up second in a Grade 3.With 4 wins and 2 places from 6 distance runs. He likes the forecast ground, with 6 wins and 2 places from 11 runs.
16:06 Lingfield SOYOUNIQUE 0.5E/W 5/1
Soyounique has been in good form placing 3 out of the last 5 runs. He is still 3 lb higher than for the last win (Lingfield 7f 28 Jan) but on that occasion Luke Catton could only claim 3 lb (apprentice handicap) He can claim his full allowance today effectively 1lb better of today. I decided to go each way on this just because of the price at the time of writing.I do feel that this will be winning though.
17:30 Kempton AIRSHOW 0.5E/W 15/2
I think that this is a weak class 3 race, Airshow has a great Course record of 3 wins and 2 places from 6 runs. He is rated 81 and has previously won off of 83, albeit in Jan 2020. His last win on 16th Jan was with R Coakley which made it three wins in total for the combination - I can see this being four after today. The outsider of the race Corinthia Knight -is to be feared as is no 13lb lower than his last win and has won me a few £ in the past.
Hystery Bere 2:25 Sandown 7/1
A very difficult race and not easy to rule out many of the runners although Hystery Bere looks like he could still be well in at the weights here having been close up behind Cormier on his last run. That one won the Morebattle last week off a 4lb higher mark, and more improvement isn't out of the question here for my selection.
Mashaan 4:06 Lingfield 13/8
Beat a typical Michael Appleby & Horse Watchers improver last time out in Intervention, who was chasing a four-timer. While that one was running under a penalty, he was probably still expected to get his head in front returning to the track only hours after completing the hatrick, so the fact Mashaan got 2 lengths clear in front looks strong form and I would expect another big run up 5lb.
Earlofthecotswolds 7:30 Kempton 15/8
Nayef Road is clear of these at the weights but Earlofthecotswolds has made a cracking start on the flat in just 3 runs and mixing in and around good and proven company. He finished only 1.5 lengths behind the 105 rated Rainbow Dreamer on his flat debut and he finished just ahead of Nayef Road when beaten no further in a Fast Track AW Champs Qualifier next time out. He took full advantage of a drop into significantly calmer waters next time, but could well be up to beating Nayef Road again here.
2:25 Sandown Lebowski (Each Way) 22/1
In these kind of races I like to look for something unexposed and falls into “Could be anything’ bracket and I am taking a chance on Lebowski in this race. First time in a handicap running off 125 and only carrying 10-4. Looking through the field looks like quite a few of these want soft ground and by race day, ground should be more good/good to soft in my opinion which should suit our selection. Last time out was pulled up but jockey reported lost his action and was keen throughout the race. 2 races before then won both races by 6 lengths and 3 lengths. Not sure how good this form is but more than happy to take a chance. The Henderson horse looks the worthy Fav again unexposed and has some decent form. I am hoping our selection is involved in the finish and that he can take advantage of the low weight.
Potential Picks 1:46 Lingfield - Noble Peace (Win) 16/1
Taking a chance with horse here in a decent looking 0-70 but looks well handicapped on old form. Horse has done majority of winning at Lingfield my only small concern is running over 12f today (Has done majority of winning over 10f). Horse now rated 71 but has a 5 pound claimer on today so effectively running off 66. Looking through race, fav won 2 on the bounce but will be a short price and the other horse which caught my eye was the Alan King one looks unexposed and has the booking of Buick on. Our selection has proven course form and should have a strong gallop to aim at.
1:31 Wolverhampton Mighty Gurkha (Win) 8/1
Should be a decent price and has a lot of class about him compared to the rest of the field. Last few starts hasn’t shown much but I am hoping the break has freshened horse up. Has previously ran at group level as a 3 year old and now drops into a class 2 handicap. Jockey is 1/1 on horse. Horse seems to go well fresh showing form of 1,1,2 after a break. Can see horse breaking well and making the running hopefully has the class to get head in front. Has ran once at Wolverhampton finishing 2nd. Looking through the field doesn’t look strong for the grade top of market will likely be Zarzyni who doesn’t want to win his races or Exhalted angel who has similar profile too Zarzyni. Fancy our selection to be bang there in the finish.
No Selections offered for 2nd week running - DISQUALIFIED

Week 8 – Saturday 5th March

AMBER DEW EW - 4-19 LING 18/1
Power Girl Hollie Doyle did me proud last week, following my instructions to the tee ( I`m assuming she reads TIP IDOL ). That horse turns out again in the previous race to this and may win again, not with Hollie on board though. So I am intrigued that she has another mount for the trainer Mr Dixon, which from all angles has not got a cat in hells chance in this Listed Race ! At the time of writing the selection is 33/1 with Billy Hills.
The race will be won by the favourite, which opened 7/4 about 4 hours ago and is already 11/8. I forsee EL CABALLO will be evens fav by tomorrow morning and will win as he wants ( Congratulations to Grange Park Racing, who I have been involved with in years gone by ). The quandry I have is, is an evens fav winner better than a 25/1 place ? Obviously not, but with only 2 places being paid and 1 already spoken for, I am taking a big chance. I can only imagine the trainer is chasing Black Type and expected 8 or more runners. He may pull her, she may finish well behind, but she may just grab the place required. On the plus side, she is 2nd top rated in speed figs. My main worry is the prize money for 5th place, ( it`s basically a day out for free ). No instructions for the jockey this time.......... lol
WRATH OF HECTOR EW - 6-00 Southwell 10/1
I am not a fan of this trainer at all, but for some reason I think he will have a good day. With 4 entries ( one at Lingfield and 3 at Southwell ). The one at Lingfield actually ran today and just got nailed in the last 20yd. If it turns out again tomorrow, it may well be worth backing, but I would rather have definite runners. That leaves the three at Southwell. This selection is very very well handicapped and I am hoping that the recent dismal performances have been the plan all along. WRATH OF HECTOR is down to a mark of 61 ( winning off that mark in Dec 20 ) and won off of 68 in Mar 21. He is entered at Newcastle in 5 days time and I am hoping that the plan is for a win today, resulting in a 6lb penalty and another bold bid at Newcastle. Available at 28/1 as I type, it`s worth the risk.
MINESBIGGERTHANURS - 6-30 Southwell 9/1
Another runner for the trainer of the above with same claimer on board. This outsider of 4 is available at 12/1 with 365 and that is just too big. It has the best RPR rating as well as the best TS rating. I am hoping that with a feather weight ( including the jockeys 3lb claim ) this outsider can spring a surprise, either by making all or coming from off the pace. There is not enough evidence ( with only 15 races between the 4 runners ) to discount any of these. So at the price, I will take a chance on the bookies having it wrong ! By the way, this jockey seems to have been claiming 3lb for years, maybe the BHA are getting confused due to his surname......
1.45 Doncaster - Byzantine Empire 1pt Win 7/2
Was entered in the class 3 0-140 handicap over this trip at Newbury where he would likely have been ridden by Paddy Brennan but they have chosen to come here for this class 4 0-120 off top weight, which is a drop in class from a good run at Cheltenham last time in a class 2. Today’s jockey has won on him before and he’s a course and distance winner in this class 4 and likes flat tracks. He’s won on good to soft but as yet is unproven on this soft ground but his sire Golden Horn’s progeny have a very good record on soft ground so wouldn’t be too concerned and think he should go well here.
2.40 Kelso - Espoir De Romay 1pt Win 11/8
Returns from a four month break after a decent reappearance behind Fiddlerontheroff and could possibly have expected more seeing as he was sent off favourite and a similar price to today at the time of writing. He ran very well the time before in a grade 1 at Aintree and May we’ll have gone on to win that having tipped up when clear two out. This looks a good bit of placement from trainer Kim Bailey as he’s top rated here and well in at the weights in comparison to the rest of the field, especially for one who looks graded class and possibly grade 1 class. Has gone well off a break before and ground versatile and unexposed over the trip.
3.30 Doncaster - Legends Gold 1pt Win 10/1
Taking a bit of a flyer here with the current outsider of the field and with the trainer not in the best of form. However, the horse has shown some good form this season, will like the ground and stay the trip. Has to bounce back from a pulled up effort last time but easily excused as was too soon after a good penultimate run and has had a good six weeks to recover now. She ran a very good race on first start this season in third behind Snow Leopardess who won again since in the Beecher Chase, with the second that day Windsor Avenue then winning the Sky Bet Handicap chase at this course five weeks ago and think she’s a price to take a chance on.
Newbury 13.50 - Amoola Gold E/W 14/1
The step up in trip for Amoola Gold lto looked promising and its 6l 3rd keeping on & giving over a stone to the both in front of him confirmed his ability over this further distance. Its dropped a further 3lbs for that run and trainer Skelton has 5lb claimer booked. Should outrun its odds.
Newbury 15.37 - Kateson WIN 6/1
5th run for new trainer & dropping down in class could see a win for Kateson here, lto was a much tougher race beaten by some very progressive horses, Fils D'oudairies & Garry Clermont to name a couple, he wasnt disgraced coming 5th. Another 3lb down in the weights & a 10lb clamier aboard makes this a featherweight in a much much weaker race. Dorking Boy should go off favorite, but he will want dryer ground imo, so Kateson should be a decent price.
Southwell 17.00 - Bavardages E/W 12/1 (30p R4)
One from the notebook, bit of an exposed 5yo having its 3rd run on the new surface at Southwell (5th & 6th) lto back after a short break running over the inferior 7 looked like he needed further & plugged on finishing a 3.5l 6th. The step back up in trip and a decent aw jockey booked in Beasley (19% strike rate at Southwell in past 12 months) and with the first time visor applied, should go off double figures.
1.50 newbury
This horse hasn't won for 3yrs april 2019 but it has taken the handicapper that long to drop him to his last winning mark which is some kind of tip in itself.The first time i saw this horse run he went straight in to my notebook i had a vision of him going on to be a grade one winner but alas that never happened.He is 20/1 at time of writing so you could do him each way but as iv'e said before i don't do each way so it's win for me. KILDISART 1pt win 20/1
3.37 newbury
I was originally going to tip up KATESON for this one but having looked at all the runners i have decided to go for NIETZSCHE he is 11 pound lower than his last winning mark granted that was a chase but he is still 5 pound lower than his last hurdles win.He showed up well in his last race before being out speeded over the minimum trip so this extra 4 furlongs should be right up his street so win for me. NIETZSCHE 1pt win NR
5.15 doncaster
Now this horse i don't have a clue about but i noticed over the last couple of seasons that there has been one sire that has been showing up regularly in nh bumpers his name is SIR PERCY out of about 20 nh flat races he has produced maybe seven or eight winners so with that kind of strike rate i'm all over KENTANDOVER so a bit speculative but it's only 1pt and we might get a decent price. KENTANDOVER 1pt win 4/1
227 Newbury - Madiba Passion – 0.5 PT E/W 14/1 – Madiba Passion makes his handicap debut here off a mark of 110, which on the balance of his form looks lenient. His P-t-P debut saw him beat Ontheropes (151) and Presentandcounting (143) and marks him our as potentially decent. His debut under rules also saw him mixing it with decent horses. That was at Kempton over this trip in a bumper and the horses in front of him that day are rated in their 140s. This was back in 2019 and he raced twice more that year, once in a listed bumper before he had his winter break and then returned with a decent 4th in a Kempton novice. An 800 day break followed which indicates he has had his problems but he showcased his wellbeing in February with a good third on return. The winner that day didn’t disgrace himself in a Grade 2 on his next run and the second placed horse has since placed again. My concern is all his best form, under rules and in P-t-Ps, is going right handed but given how lenient his mark is I will take a chance that he will take a step forward from his comeback run.
302 Newbury – Lord Baddesley – 1 PT win 9/4 – There isn’t much magic to this selection or to his price, but I was struggling for a third pick and this looks a solid if uninspiring selection. I quite like following horses that have been laid out for big handicap races and not won. Again, not exactly revolutionary but if connections think the horses mark was good enough to go well in a Betfair hurdle then he should be up to winning this lesser contest. He clearly enjoys this track, the yard is going well and they’ve put Tom Cannon on a good few winners in the last fortnight. The concern for me would be around the pace set up and the small field, given he was seen to good effect coming off a strong pace last time. A similar scenario is not guaranteed here but I struggled to warm to his rivals so Lord Baddesley is the selection.
337 Newbury – Kateson – 0.5 PT E/W 6/1 – I’m hoping Kateson can get a reasonably easy time of it in the lead in this race and exploit what is now a decent mark, having come down 7lbs following his last three runs for what I thought were decent performances. His Aintree run was in soft ground, similar to what he will face today, and I thought he did well to maintain what looked a strong gallop. The horses that sat close to him in the early stages were the last two to finish, whereas Kateson clung on for third. He then went to Chepstow and stepped up to 3miles, again front running but not seeing out the trip and finishing second. His most run was at Ascot and I think that looks like it was a decent race and I thought the front three looked smart. The jockey claims ten and he might be okay value for that claim, especially when teaming up with Alastair Ralph for whom he has ridden 3 winners in 18 rides. To provide some context, he’s ridden 4 winners in the last year so this yard clearly trust him to ride horses with a decent chance and this drop in class at a track he’s run well at before could see Kateson run a big race.
1440 Kelso – ESPOIR DE ROMAY WIN 11/8
I’m finding it very difficult to see past ESPOIR DE ROMAY here. He was an unlucky faller 2 out whilst leading in last season’s Mildmay Novice Chase, and whilst we’ll never know if he would have managed to hold off Chantry House that level of run is far beyond what any of his rivals have achieved. It’s also worth mentioning that he wasn’t beaten all that far by Royal Pagielle last season and was giving him weight that day. A repeat of that level of form should be plenty to see off his rivals here. There are big question marks over the rest of the field. Itchy Feet whilst talented struggles to get his head in front and I’m not sure 3 miles on soft is really what he wants. Windsor Avenue was a very game winner LTO but this is a step up and he is conceding weight to our selection. The Ellison yard is also going through a very slow time of things. I like Nuts Well but have him at a non-stayer at 3 miles, and course specialist Big River is right up against it in tougher company than what he’s used to. Dingo Dollar wants quicker ground and Hill Sixteen should also be outclassed in this company. I’m backing ESPOIR DE ROMAY to show his class here.
1530 Doncaster – POWERSTOWN PARK EACH WAY NR
There are a couple of interesting runners here, but if all 8 stand their ground then POWERSTOWN PARK for the inform Sam Thomas looks an each-way bet at the prices. It took him a couple of runs over fences to find his feet, but he’s 2 from 3 now and was extremely game beating a highly regarded Oscar Robertson last time despite a bad error 2 from home. Jack Tudor claims a valuable 3lbs which will come in handy if the ground gets very testing. Le Milos has good claims on form but the Vaughan yard are having a very quiet time of things with a recent RTF of just 27% so I’m happy to look elsewhere. Of the others Mister Malarky is just too unreliable and I’d want more of a price despite his attractive mark. I think Cloth Cap is possibly in the grip of the handicapper and Storm Control can probably count himself unlucky to have been raised 4 lbs for a second place LTO getting over a stone from the winner.
1612 Newbury –MONT DES AVALOIRS EACH WAY 12/1
When looking through this race I could not believe that MONT DES AVALOIRS is running off of a mark of 133 and I’m more than happy to take a chance on him. He was off the track since October 2020 before his reappearance back in January where it was clear that he badly needed the run. He was dropped 4 lbs for his efforts that day and that’s following being dropped 5 lbs for a late fall at Chepstow in a race won by Pink Eyed Pedro. MONT DES AVALOIRS was giving away 16 lbs that day against a horse now rated 135 over fences. Going back further he was only beaten 8 lengths by Champ in a Novice Chase off level weights. He’s been given every chance by the handicapper to be competitive here and I’d be disappointed if he didn’t put up a good show.
KELSO 1:32 - NORTH LODGE (WIN) 5/2
Did well at Cheltenham in January where he overcame a touch of greenness to register his win. I'd expect him to improve for the run & I don't think the penalty he carries will inconvenience him unduly. Looks a very nice prospect & I fully expect bigger & better things await in the enar future. Hopefully he proves that today with an assured performance. If he can avoid the novicey waywardness at the finish from last time he should be too good for these.
KELSO 3:15 - BALKO SAINT (E/W) 8/1
Won in listed company at Kempton in October & only been seen once (in France) since. Repeat of the Kempton run should be enough for him to be involved here & the current double figure odds are too big if that's the case. has run well of an extended absence before so I have no concerns there & looks to be well handicapped on that winning form. Ground should be no issue & I toyed with the idea of going win only. In the end though, conservative is probably the way to go so e/w it is.
DONCASTER 3:30 - CLOTH CAP (E/W) 7/1
Still just about an e/w price for the old boy & i'll stick with it despite the withdrawal scuppering the dead eight :-( Tom Scudamore comes back to do the steering & he definitely gets the best out of the horse. This will obviously be his prep for the National but with the weights already out he can happily win it without fear of retribution. Has winning course form from last season & is a big enough price to merit a bet.
12:49 Lingfield Reticent 1pt win 11/4
The selection is a course and distance winner and is 50% (1/2) at this class of race and on this surface. There’s no discernible draw bias on the race and Reticent has been dropped 2 classes so the trainer expects a decent run. With place form being the best indicator for the remainder of the runners and there being 7 runners, this is a win bet.
13:50 Newbury Farinet .5pt e/w 5/1
In an ultra-competitive Greatwood Gold Cup, the selection is taken to run well following its 5th place in February. Up in class and acting on this surface (2/3) and distance (2/4), it’s hoped that Farinet converts the potential into a successful result. No run at the course before but that shouldn’t be an impediment.
17:00 Southwell Back from Dubai 1pt win 3/1
The selection is an experienced campaigner, winning 4/7 at the course (and, consequently, the surface) and 3/7 at the distance. 3lbs higher than the previous winning mark and with a 30% strike rate in this class of a race, a bold showing is hoped. The only drawback is that prominent racers have a slightly poorer ROI than mid-division.
Lingfield 1.24. CAFE SYDNEY. eachway. 7/1
Trained by A.W. Carroll and ridden by the experienced Luke Morris. Jockey has already been successful twice on board this horse. Has two course and distance handicap wins from two attempts, including a Class 5 in January. Set a steady pace for this four runner handicap and went on to win comfortably. Generally prefers to produce a strong late finish. Good track record ,with 5 wins from 9 runs. Has had seven races in Class 6 company,winning four times. Winner of a handicap from 5 lbs higher in the weights,and is the only runner in this race to have won from a higher handicap mark than their allotted weight for this race.
Kelso 2.05. WILDE ABOUT OSCAR. each way 13/2
Seven year old gelding by Oscar,who is set to carry 11 stone 12 lbs. Trained by Dan Skelton and has Harry in the saddle. Both trainer and jockey are in good current form,and have decent course records. Fitted with cheek pieces for the first time,and having second run after wind surgery. Winner of a Class 2 Handicap at Uttoxeter over 2moles 4 furlongs on soft ground. Clearly relishes the going on the heavier side,and will be suited by the trip and going for this race.
Newbury 4.47. COLLECTORS ITEM each way 11/2
Five year old Flemensfirth gelding ,trained by JJ O’Neill and ridden by JJ Junior. Trainer has a 23% strike rate with his runners in Bumpers in the last 12 months. Cost 45,000 euros as a 3 year old and was sold on as a 4 year old for £115,000. Finished second of 10 at Kildorrery in a Points race when starting as favourite,beaten only 2 1/2 lengths. Well bred ,being a brother to three winners,including Royal Kamala who won a Group 2. Each way chance on debut for connections.
Doncaster 255 The Big Bite 1pt win. 5/2
I've followed this one for a good few years now, and always seems to run his best races here at Doncaster. Last time out I thought it wasn't given the best of rides from Brian Hughes , and not really knocked about either,gets to go off same mark here today so must have a good chance.
Navan 505 All Class 1pt win. 6/4
This one could not have won his last two races anymore smoothly than he did, but handicapper has bunged him a whopping 22lbs,but I still think is still ahead of him. This small trainer is adverse too running up a sequence with his horses and placing them really well. And this looks a fairly weak affair tomorrow so hopeful of big run today.
Doncaster 405 Sultans Pride 1pt win. 5/2
Another one who seems to run all his best races at Doncaster. Remarkably this horse has won 6 of his last 9 races, has only gone up 3lb for his last win and will handle the underfoot conditions. He is a 10 year old but a very lightly raced one so I think there is still a bit of improvement left in this one.
Newbury 1:50 FARINET - 1pt WIN 5/1
Is currently 2 wins from 5 runs in the U.K. with cases to be made that 2 of those runs can be written off. Those 2 races were on good to soft ground which he had shown plenty before that he likes real cut in the ground in order to be seen to best effect. This was most notably shown 2 races ago where he won well over the intermediate trip that he faces here. Comes off an unchanged mark of 137 which gets him near bottom weight here which has him nicely treated with a few of them higher in the weights. The Venetia Williams yard are currently in a bit of a down trend due to as she says “dirty noses” in the yard, however if FARINET has avoided these he’s the one to be sided with.
Kelso 1:00 LIGHTENING COMPANY - 1pt WIN 10/3
Genuflex brings some strong form to the table here after being 3 3/4 lengths behind Porticello back in October, but the preference here is for the newcomer LIGHTENING COMPANY. I’m a big fan of looking into horses coming from the flat and switching codes, and after looking into the Fast Company gelding I’m willing to give him my chances. Rated 81 on the flat he falls into my bracket of being 80+ on the flat before switching over to hurdling, with some faith in his ability to jump being put to the test (see Doctor Parnassus). Ben Haslam is operating at a 29% strike rate (2-7) in the last 14 days and should have his horse primed for hurdling debut and ground conditions should suit too.
Lingfield 1:59 PILOT WINGS - 1pt WIN 7/2
Placed on turf running over 1 mile 2 furlongs last year when on a mark of 59, PILOT WINGS has been tried over the shorter mile trip this year before running 10 furlongs again last time out. The mile runs showed absolutely nothing for the horse but when stepped back up last time he finished 3rd off 52 after needing to switch in the home straight and finishing strongest of the front group. Has raced slightly free on occasions this year but being tucked in mid division or thereabouts like last time should have him able to travel smoothly, and the step up to a mile and a half I think will bring out further progress for this gelding. Cieren Fallon is jocked up here and his 23% strike rate (3-13) in the last 14 days puts him in good stead to finish this race in front. PILOT WINGS if running to his previous turf form should have his head in front here.
1.50 Newbury Greatwood Gold Cup Selection - Amour De Nuit (ew) 12/1
AMOUR DE NUIT is the pick in this race which Paul Nicholls generally does well in and he has started to have a few winners this week so is maybe coming back to a little form at the right time. He finished 3rd over hurdles on reappearance at chepstow in the silver trophy where he was beaten 6 lengths by orbys legend. He ran over todays c&d on his next start keeping on well behind fanion destruval. He won at musselburgh on his latest start beating nietzsche by 8 lengths over 2m4f. Up 7lbs for that win but appears to have been kept for this race that his trainer has won a number of times.
3.30 Doncaster Grimthorpe Chase Selection - Storm Control (ew) 4/1
STORM CONTROL bounced back to form in January after two pulled up efforts prior to Christmas where he won at Newbury beating Tango Boy by 1/2 length. Over 3m here at Doncaster last time out in the skybet chase he led late on but was collared by Windsor avenue inside the final 100yds. He has the same 10lbs claimer aboard who won on him at Newbury and finished 2nd last time so he clearly gets on well with him. He can go one better
3.37 Newbury Seniors Handicap Hurdle Selection - Stormy Flight (ew) 11/2
STORMY FLIGHT could only finish 7th when making his seasonal reappearance and chasing debut at chepstow in October. He reverted back to hurdles for his next start at wincanton but was unluckily brought down at the 1st. He found some form last time out at Uttoxeter where he chased home hart of steel where he was beaten just 2 lengths. He can go one better today.
1.59 Lingfield 1pt win 40/1
My first selection is GO ON GAL at Lingfield. This horse goes really well fresh so more than happy to take a punt despite a 6 month break. That run was over hurdles and this switch back to the flat is interesting having won twice of this trip on fibresand.GOG should race prominently and see out the trip well so i have no doubt it should be up there come the end. Normally i'd go each way but, after a disasterous few weeks, i need points and i am going for the straight win!
12.49 Lingfield 1pt win 16/1
My second selection is also from Lingfield and is Magnetic Field. This one hasn't shown much so far but prepared to draw a big fat line through that as it was simply to get a competitive mark. The talented Oliver Stammers is on and i think this is a weak race to start handicapping in. The 4-1 on offer is a bit skinny imo but should drift (hoping for around 6/7 in the morning) and i think a big show is on the cards. I think it will be MF and Salonica fighting it out at the end and i hope i come out on the right side!
3.09 Lingfield 1pt win 20/1
My third and final selection also comes from Lingfield and is a bit left field. VICENTO COCCOTTI is my selection. VC hasn't ran over 5f since 2016 but i think it could be just what it needs for a mini revival. I don't think the horse stays that well these days and a short, slowly run race might be just what it needs. I'm hoping for a slow pace which develops into a 1f sprint as i'm confident VC can beat any of this rivals if that happens. Probably needed the run last time so the drop from 7f into 5f shouldn't be a worry. The excellent Rhys Clutterbuck is on which is a bonus.
No Selections offered -3pts
3:09 Lingfield - Big Time Maybe 5/1
A relatively consistent horse at this low level from a place perspective and I would be surprised if he is not involved in the finish again. Back done to a mark of 54 of when he finished 2nd beaten by a nose. The trainer is back in some good form and I always find Epsom based trainers interesting during the months of January - March on the All Weather at Lingfield. The concern is that the horse hasn't won on the All Weather since May 2019 but he does operate at a 60% win/place rate over the course and 52% win/place over the distance. 0.5pt each way
2:27 Newbury - Irish Hill 5/1
Finished a slightly disappointing third of four when last seen in a Juvenile Hurdle at Ascot when soundly beaten by Doctor Parnassus, the trainer was woefully out of form then, the winner has since come out and won at Taunton again and is entered for the JCB Triumph hurdle. Being a 4 year old Irish Hill will get the weight allowance which could come in very handy. The trainer is also in much better form having had 4 winners from his last 8 runners 0.5pt each way
4:47 Newbury - Captain Destiny NR
Having his first run in January when just like Irish Hill the yard were struggling for form he ran a nice race to finish 2nd beaten 10 lengths by Authorised Speed who is held in high regard by the Gary Moore Yard. That first run will certainly have brought the horse on and it wouldn't be a surprise for him to make a massive step forward. 1pt win
No Selections offered -3pts
Doncaster 330 storm control 0.5pt ew 4/1
Ran a cracking race in the big race here at the end of January and just idled in front. If the jockey holds on to him a bit longer I can see him taking all the beating here. The 10lb claimer helps with the weight burden and Kerry Lee’s stayer can go one better today.
Kelso 132 North Lodge 1pt win 5/2
This horse benefitted the last day from Hillcrest’s unfortunate take out on the same day as storm control idled and I’m not sure he would have beat the future Gold Cup candidate had he not unseated. I was there that day and Hillcrest is the biggest racehorse I’ve ever seen he looks a beast. North lodge did however pick up the pieces well and his turn of foot coming away up the hill would suggest he’d have too much for these beating a decent yardstick Balko Coastal . The northern form on offer is not comparable and wide margin wins are often overstated although I do respect the Laura Morgan stable and cracking form currently. In addition Alan King ventures north of the border to his native land for a first ever runner at Kelso. I’m expecting the long journey to be worthwhile with victory here.
150 Newbury Tamaroc Du Mathan 0.5 ew 9/2
Looks well treated after running well behind stable mate when the yard wasn’t firing, tiring late on. Looks to have Farinet as it’s main danger who will relish the drop back in trip but expect Nicholls to continue his resurgence with another win taking his tally to 10 in the last 14 days.
Kelso 2.40 - Espoir De Romay 1pt win 11/8
Lightly raced 8yo who looks the class act in this field. Trainer Kim Bailey can ready one first time out after a break and this gelding looks well treated at the weights by the conditions of the race. Soft ground no concern and hopeful he can take this before moving onto better things.
Southwell 5.00 - Admodum 1pt win 10/3
A Gelding who is getting on in years but also being eased in the handicap and race grade accordingly . His current rating of 63 looks very tempting given his last two solid outings. Now in a class 6 and with the help of Daniel Muscutt in the the saddle, I can see this race being run to suit for his late closing style.
Southwell 7.00 - Man of Riddles 1pt win 7/2
Somewhat of an underachiever thus far considering his £195k price tag as a 2yo. This now 4yo gelding is still lightly raced at 7 career starts, with his solitary win coming on an AW surface. I feel he is leniently treated off a mark of 71 and under the expert guidance of David Simcock should progress from here over this 2m trip. Southwell specialist Daniel Muscutt is in the saddle and with conditions of the race in his favour, I expect a big run.
BACK FROM DUBAI - 5:00 Southwell 11/4
A quick look at the recent form figures of 1111 and you might think I’ve gotten lazy with my picking, but the reality is I have been following this one since the first of his four wins. He set the quicker time of the two divisions of a classified race at Southwell, so it was no surprise that he confirmed that form next time out against a number of the horses who ran in the slower division. He has since won handicaps off marks of 55 and 58, the latter was over 7f but he was noted running on and winning readily so the return to 1m, the distance of his 3 previous wins looks a positive one and he is only up 3lb.
CUSTARD THE DRAGON - 6:00 Southwell 11/4
Daafy looks the wrong favourite in my eyes in this race; he may have won over C&D last time but in the race previous he was behind Custard The Dragon (granted only narrowly) but the latter is also 1lb better off so it is a surprise to see him available at twice the price. Love Your Work finished just between the pair in that race and was escaping a penalty for a win 5 days previous. That one has since won again since off a 5lb higher mark so that really gives substance to this form and Custard The Dragon can record a tenth victory over C&D!
IDOAPOLOGISE - 7:30 Southwell 10/1
I have had this one in the tracker since he was a very impressive 4th at Wolverhampton on 30th December last year. It was a 0-97 Class 3 handicap he contested that day over 6 furlongs, and he was only beaten less than a length by the winner. The three horses ahead of him that day were rated 88, 95 & 90, whilst Idoapologise was running from a mark of 78. His next run was over 5f, which even pre-race I thought would not be suitable as he had stayed on to be closest at the finish in the previously mentioned race. He stayed on well from rear to finish 4th again but ultimately everything happened to soon for him. Last time out, back to 6 furlongs, better would have therefore been expected than a 7th place finish but when we note the two who deadheatted for 1st and also the 4th place finisher all won next time out, the form looks like it carries substance. Idoapologise had been dropped 2lb for that and if adopting his usual tactics I expect a massive run from this one at 12/1.
12:49 Lingfield Reticent (Win) 3/1
Horse won over course and distance in Jan and form has been franked with the 2nd in that race winning next time out. Last time out, race only had 4 runners and race did not suit. Today’s race, it is the Jockey only ride of the day. Stable seem to be in good nick with landing a double at Newcastle on Thursday. Going back to horse last run, this was handicap debut and been dropped 2 pounds for that. Horse has won over course and distance. Last time, looked like the horse did not get the trip and drops down to 10f. That was a class 4 0-85 this is a class 6 46-65. Hopefully be more involved today.
13:24 Lingfield Cafe Sydney (Win) 7/1
2 starts ago, won over course and distance and on last two starts, horse been dropped in trip which looks like it did not suit. Now back up over 12f and only 2 pounds above last win. This race is a 0-55 handicap last win was in a 0-70 handicap. Has 5 course wins to name so acts on track. Couple runners in this race who won last time out but not convinced the form of Surrey Princess is great and Hammy End is 0/5 at Lingfield.
13:59 Lingfield Sir Joseph Swain (Win) 7/4
Horse was well backed last time out and come 2nd as the market suggests horse should of won but I feel it wasn’t a great ride by jockey. Hoping they can make amends here! Horse will be running off the same mark and trainer sends just the one and jockey only ride of the day. Horse steps up in trip for this race. Pilot wings only entered in this race and our selection beat him into 2nd last time out. Bound to be a shortish price but looks a confident selection.
1.32 Kelso – NORTH LODGE (win) 5/2
Glad to see the back of February and hope the change of the month brings a change of fortune. Selections all top rated in my race analysis and trying not to over-complicate this week in an attempt to stay in the competition. I value the form of the last two wins of North Lodge, most recently at Cheltenham at the end of January over a longer distance. Needs to defy a 5lb penalty but, with ground no issue, I believe that it can. Needs to improve to beat the favourite and Alan King’s form has not been ideal, but a winner on Friday has helped that negative.
2.20 Doncaster – HOLLY HARTINGO (win) NR
Strong form and speed ratings on my system and a value price at time of writing, no doubt helped by a more unfashionable trainer. Back up in distance but will appreciate the soft ground. Improving type, which is always a positive in my books. Back to back wins leading up to today’s race in differing styles. Seems to have a good galloping engine and sure to go well here.
3.37 Newbury – DORKING BOY (win) 7/2
Clear on all of my rating categories. Multi-discipline runner who has been running over hurdles this season with some positive performances. First and second in his last two races, both in Class 2 handicaps, and back to class 3 here. Has a win over course and distance back in late 2019 and three wins over the distance in the last two years. 2 pounds up since the last run but I expect a strong performance and to be there and thereabouts at the finish.

Week 6 – Saturday 26th February

kempton 3.37 Well you would be hard pressed to find a worse race than this for a compulsory tip in my opinion these are mostly donkey's.Having said that GOOD BOY BOBBY looks head and shoulders better than the rest.There is a couple of 6yr olds in this that could maybe improve but they would have to improve massively.So if i must have a selection it has to be GOOD BOY BOBBY and at 11/1 at time of writing he would be a fairly confident one. GOOD BOY BOBBY 1pt win 16/1
kempton 3.00
This horse i had pencilled in for the triumph hurdle until his last race he was absolutely useless in that. Granted it was against PIED PIPER who is now joint favorite for the triumph but in my eyes that was too bad to be true.The horse i'm referring to is ICEO 9/2 he looked absolutely outstanding in his first race for nicholls but nicholls stable is now running under a bit of a cloud so hopefully that is the excuse why ICEO ran so poorly.So if nicholls stable is to get out from under that cloud i'm hoping it will start on saturday with a nice 6/1 winner in ICEO. ICEO 1pt win
newcastle 3.15
This horse has never run over this kind of extreme distance before but i have a feeling it is only going to improve him since going to pipes yard he has become very consistent.This is his 6th race for pipe in his 5 previous runs he was in the places in 4 of them a bit of a blip in his last run.He won one of those 4 and that was when he was put up in distance to 3m6.1/2f so i'm thinking this extra trip will hold no fears so at 20/1 at time of writing you could go E/W but as i've stated before i don't do E/W so for me it is a confident win bet.
GWENCILY BERBAS 1pt win 33/1
3.37 Kempton – Zanza 1pt Win 10/1
Has to bounce back from a pulled up effort last time out, but has run quite well in other races at Cheltenham over the intermediate trip and this step-up in trip looks like it will suit as he’s often seen finishing well and this 3m trip should help with his jumping and ability to stay on at the end. Horses stepping up in trip for the first time to today’s 3m have seen some recent winners of this race and hopefully Zanza will be another. His run first time out in the Haldon Gold Cup is good with runners winning and placing at graded level, albeit at shorter trips shows the level he can potentially run at and that could make him well handicapped here, with his trainer in decent form an added bonus.
3.15 Newcastle – Danilo D’Airy 1pt Win 9/1
9-year-olds have a good record in this race and this horse is a very good jumper from the front and if he gets into the same jumping rhythm today, he could go very close to retaining his unbeaten record over fences. He was poor last time out over hurdles, but the trainer has said it was a mistake running in a higher grade over hurdles where he’s simply not as good as over fences. That hurdles run was to protect his chase mark to exploit for a good prize and hopefully that can be today. Has won on various ground, including the current good-to-soft but wouldn’t want it to dry out any more.
1.50 Kempton – Knight Salute 1pt Win 7/4
Favourites have a good record in this race and I was thinking this horse would be shorter than 2/1 at the time of writing. Has the best form in the race, twice a grade 2 winner this season and looks to be improving still. Had a break since last run with this being his target for a trainer having a great season, particularly with his juvenile hurdlers and they must be hoping for a good showing on the way to a run in the Triumph Hurdle. Imagine there will be improvers lurking in the field and some horses with as yet unknown ability and potential over hurdles but they will have to be good to beat Knight Salute.
Kempton 15.37 - Ansam WIN 15/2
The compulsory race this week, is a very decent 3m G2 Handicap, Ansam looks a worthy favourite, originally entered in the Ultima, with that not happening & the prize money here worth more than that race, this could of been the target all along. Its return to fences after a couple of sitcks races was in the Silver Cup at Ascot beating the decent Phoenix Way who franked that form at the end of January winning the B365 comfortably and now 3lb better off with that one, Williams and Wedge not adverse to a big Saturday handicap and this one can go in again. Hughes booking on Kitty's Light is worth a mention and should outrun its 25/1 odds staying on at the end.
Kempton 13.50 - Knight Salute WIN 7/4
Yet to be beaten over hurdles and can keep progressing by taking the Adonis. beaten a few of these comfortably before has won over CD, acts on the ground, won after a break & with entries in both the Triumph and Boodles at Cheltenham, if he wins comfortably tomorrow should seem him line up in the Triumph come March.
Chepstow 14.18 Bells of Peterboro WIN 11/4
Disappointing last time out after a decent win time before over CD, qualified for the Pertemps at HQ, but would need to get a decent run in to get up the ratings, the rest although not Qualified for the Cheltenham race, there marks would be sufficient getting in the top 6 to get in. Has won over CD twice, goes on any ground & connection stats are good, took the 11/2 last night.
ONE NIGHT STAND EW 12/1 - 1-30 Ling
If allowed, all my 3 selections would be at Lingfield today. Now I have to pick 2 of the 4 races where for a change all the runners will be trying ( great prize money on offer ). I have been following Mr Dixon for a while now and thought I had sussed him out, backing him blindly at Southwell when K O`Neil or J Fisher on board ! Then `WALLOP` in goes a 25/1 shot with J Duern up top ( Thursday ). That horse will back up the effort too, so watch out for it. So, here we have an outsider in a really tight 6 runner race, with very good prize money, where the usual jockey ( K O`Neil ) has abandoned the selection for another runner in the race. On the plus side, we have Hollie Doyle on board ! If this was a 6f affair then, firstly, I don`t think it would be available at the current 16/1 and secondly, O`Neil would be on board. I`m hoping that Holly rushes the selection to the front, or at least in the van and doesn`t let up in the final furlong, holding on by a nose from Mr O`Neil, how sweet would that be !
OH THIS IS US EW 18/1 - 2-40 Ling
After writing the above, I went looking at which of the remaining 3 races that I had to choose from. I never normally care who owns the horse but when I saw that this old friend of mine belongs to TEAM WALLOP and the fact that I have gone to the Well so many times with this horse that I need a new bucket, I just could not let this win not having selected it, especially anywhere near the current 20/1 available. Two time course and distance winner with the best `Top Speed` rating at this course, he will do for me.
OUR POWER EW 12/1 - 3-37 Kemp
Forced into making a selection in this race, ( would not attempt this kind of puzzle normally ) I have come down on the side of a horse that seems reasonably handicapped, has a trainer in red hot form and a jockey that is also in very good form and is only available because the only Williams missing from the race is Venetia. The selection is very lightly raced over the bigger obstacles and is 2 from 4 in that sphere. Also a course winner, albeit not over the distance, seems to act on most going and would appreciate good going tomorrow, currently available at 18/1 it is my speculative choice. I have another old friend running here, the seemingly regressive LALOR is the horse that I will be backing but only with the heart ( and my money of course ).
1537 Kempton – THE BIG BREAKAWAY (Each Way) 8/1
It’s been a strange 18 months or so for the Tizzards and THE BIG BREAKAWAY. Costing £360,000 and once touted as a potential Gold Cup Horse, he’s largely frustrated since bolting up in a Novice chase at Cheltenham in November 2020. After a couple of disappointing runs in the first half of 2021, he returned this season by falling at the last fence in an Intermediate Chase won by Bravemansgame. It was a creditable run given the weight he was conceding and the fact that he wouldn’t have been beaten that far by a horse that surely will be rated 170+ before too long. He was beaten out of sight on his next start by Chantry House in a match but he had his excuses as a wind issue came to light post-race. After a short break and a wind operation he returned with a far more encouraging effort in a handicap hurdle giving over a stone to the rest of the field. That was an ideal prep run for this and he should have no excuses on the day. His best piece of form also came at Kempton behind Shan Blue and that was also after a relatively quick turnaround. This race has been the target for a while and I’m confident of a big run, I’d be very disappointed if he didn’t at least hit the frame. EACH WAY.
1425 Kempton – PIC D’OHRY (WIN) 2/1
PIC D’OHRY has already picked up a Grade 2 in novice company this season and I fancy him to repeat the feat again here. He would have had a second Grade 2 to his name should he have stayed on his feet when clear at Newbury in November. He was giving 9 lbs to Nassalam that day who most recently pushed Elixir De Nutz close so that’s good form. PIC D’OHRY was extremely disappointing last time but that was during the height of the Nicholls stable struggles, they have definitely started to turn a corner now. On ratings PIC D’OHRY is well clear of the competition here and I think still has some improvement in him. WIN
1515 Newcastle – POTTERS CORNER ( Each Way) 22/1
I’m willing to give another chance to POTTERS CORNER despite some very patchy looking form since winning the Welsh National back in 2019. The horse had his issues and trainer Christian Williams admitted they just couldn’t get him right last season. He badly needed the run on his seasonal reappearance but has posted 2 encouraging efforts in Cross Country races at Cheltenham since. This horse clearly cannot afford to be turned out again quickly and his poor performances this season have come after returning to soon. Christian Williams acknowledged this after his disappointing run in the Welsh National and said the plan would be to go straight to Cheltenham unless an obvious opportunity presented itself…. And yet here we are with less than 3 weeks to go until the festival. The yards chasers are in good form ( 4 winners from the last 10 runners). They’ve only ever sent one horse to Newcastle before, which was actually POTTERS CORNER in this race back in 2019. He was well in contention that day until making a mistake and falling 2 out. They’ve waited a long time to make amends and this looks like a great opportunity to do so and at a nice price. EACH WAY
143 Chepstow - Tile Tapper – 1 PT win 7/2 – The balance of Tile Tappers form makes his current mark look very lenient. His 20/21 season had various highlights and started with him finishing 7L behind I Am Maximus (probably runs in the Ballymore, rated 134) and My Drogo (155) in a Cheltenham bumper. He followed that up with a good run behind Metier (148) at Ascot and then finished third in the Grade 1 Tolworth. All of those runs were on soft going so today’s heavy going should be okay. He went on to run in a decent novice at Taunton and then finished the season by finishing midfield in a Grade 3, albeit running poorly that day. His come back run this season was in the Persian War, where he was fairly trounced but that is a Grade 2 race with no prep run so I won’t judge him too harshly on that. His next run might look disappointing at first look, but those in front of him have all run to a good level since. Last time he was poor but bled and so that can be forgiven and him going off favourite tells you he was otherwise fancied. In view of the company he has been keeping, the owners and trainer must rate him and this class 4 contest should be much easier and a mark of 115 can be taken advantage of.
337 Kempton – Beakstown – 0.5 PT E/W 20/1– I put this horse up a few weeks ago when he finished a respectable second to Imperial Alcazar at Cheltenham. A summary of my reasoning for putting him up that day was that he wants good ground and his run behind Erne River, where he gave the victor 3lbs, was good form. Erne River has since won again and is rated 144, whereas Beakstown runs off 130 today and they were only 6L apart at Doncaster. The run at Cheltenham last time was on going that was officially good but the times being returned that day were soft ground times and he went from the front on a day where no horse managed to hang on to a lead so I’d be inclined to mark up his performance. The big question mark is the new trip, which I am undecided on but the aforementioned reasons to mark his last run up give you confidence he can see out three miles around a flat track on ground that is good in places. He definitely wasn’t letting Imperial Alcazar get further ahead after the last at Cheltenham and the price compensates for any doubts about the trip. I thought Kitty’s Light was interesting but thought his overall target might be the Midlands National and although Cap Du Nord has strong claims his price has now gone.
410 Kempton – Dargiannini – 0.5 PT E/W 6/1 – Another horse that wants good ground and I am hoping those conditions will prompt a revival after a disappointing run at Ascot last time. His novice season was with Harry Whittington and saw some wide distance wins against trees. Given the quality of opposition there is no point in over analysing those runs. This season he is with Paul Nicholls and his seasonal debut was poor. He pulled up on ground he should like but he did go off 100/30 favourite in a 17 runner field in what was a Grade 3 race, so there was some confidence behind him that day. The run that marks him out as interesting to me is his Taunton run in November, which was on good ground on a sharp right handed track. Those conditions will be replicated on Saturday and a repeat should be enough to take this. The winner, 3rd and 4th from that Taunton race have all placed in decent races since and his subsequent run at Ascot was on ground that was officially good to soft but soft based on the times. The trainer says the horse looks impressive at home and the tongue tie goes on and suggests some intent today so he is the tentative final selection.
13:30 Lingfield Lord Riddiford 1pt win 9/2
The selection is back up in class for this race and has won 1/2 at Lingfield and 5/15 on this type of ground. The most experienced horse in the race, it should be competitive at this distance and given it returns from a 178 day break, if firing on all cylinders, a good run is expected.
14:18 Chepstow Bells of Peterboro .5 pt e/w 11/4
The selection is on the upgrade with 2 wins and 2 places from the last 6 runs. Having been raised to 8lbs from its last winning mark, Bells of Peterboro is a course and distance winner and handles the ground. It’s already won in this class of race and looks a danger to the favourite as well as the more experienced horses in the race.
15:37 Kempton Good Boy Bobby .5 pt e/w 16/1
The selection is top weight and is 4lbs higher than the previous winning mark. With a 50% strike rate on the ground, 30% in this class of race and 50% at this distance, if adapting to the quirks of the course then a decent run is expected. The price has taken a walk since Thursday night but hopefully this represents some value in a very competitive race.
3.37 Kempton 1pt win
My selection for the feature race is OUR POWER 12/1. Charlie Deutsch is riding out his skin at the moment and it is interesting he takes the ride on this one. The step up in trip doesn't worry me, think it will suit, but the rise in grade does. Being honest, this could go wrong really easily but the current 16-1 (which i think will hold until morning) is the best value in the race. Providing it gets a clear run around, i think it must be going close. In both of OP's victories, the horses in behind (2nd and 2nd) have both gone onto win decent races, so he hasn't beat trees in the past. It's a risky pick but i think you have to go for it in such an open race... Might even get bigger come morning as i think a couple may be backed in.
7.45 Wolverhampton 1pt win
My next selection is CENTRAL CITY. Currently 20-1, this horse is one of the most well handicapped horses i've ever seen. The problem is the jockey. I'm not one to slag jockeys off but the inexperienced claimer is just that, inexperienced. He seems unable to get this one home and i have gave up backing this one until a pro jockey is on. For the purpose of this competition, i'm taking a punt as eventually CC will fly in at a huge price. The 5 previous runs have seen CC travel into the race like a dream but be weak in the finish. Prepared to take a straight win bet as it's s**t or bust with this one.
1.30 Lingfield 1pt win
My last selection is in a great little race at Lingfield and i am going for Lord Riddiford 9/2. This has definitely been the target and LR ran a great race two weeks to open up the lungs. LR is never going to win fresh so they had to get that run in and he actually ran a lot better than i thought so is clearly in great shape for this. The current price is a bit skinny, think Exalted Angel and Tone the Barone will get backed overnight so hoping for a drift, but LR has to go close in a race like this. The top of the market looks weak to me and i actually think One Night Stand could be in with a chance but i simply can't not go for Lord Riddiford
KEMPTON 1:15 - DEYRANN DE CARJAC (WIN) 7/2
Simple really. Has been crying out for decent ground & a flat track all season & will get both here. Has run with credit in all his previous starts in unsuitable conditions & battling against undulations. No big secret about any of this so I expect him to be well backed & frankly not much of a price. But I'm offsetting that against my confidence of a big run. A winner is a winner after all & it's not as if he'll go off odds-on ! Anything around & about 3/1 is still acceptable & he's the nap of the day for me.
KEMPTON 3:37 - KITTY'S LIGHT (E/W) 20/1
Same applies here as to the earliier runner in that ground could be the key. Disappointing last time out to say the least but I'm prepared to forgive it as it was too far below form to be true. Better ground will suit & Brian Hughes makes a rare foray South to try to pick up a big Saturday winner on the telly for a change. Williams horses are running well & although the selection is the outsider of his three entered (not to mention of the entire field !) I certainly don't see the gap between them as being as big as the market currently does. 25/1 at time of writing is impossible to ignore & goes down as the e/w bet of the day for me.
NEWCASTLE 3:15 - WIN MY WINGS (E/W) 6/1
Here we go. Time to strap in for the annual slogfest that is the Eider Chase ! What you want here is a horse with all the natural speed of an oil tanker with a hole below the waterline that stays longer than a tax inspector in a bad mood. Step forward Win My Wings. Takes her first shot at a true marathon test & you get the impression that the prevous tries at 3 miles have been preps for this. I'm putting a lot of faith in Christian Williams this week I know but this has all the hallmarks of a plan coming together. Lets hope so ! She's still an e/w price at time of writing so I hope that lasts.
Chepstow 108 Hacker des Places 1pt win. 13/8
This one has been in my notebook for a while, looked a highly progressive horse last season only to go and get an injury. Now he's back after a year out and had two runs back .. First time obviously in need of it and last time at lingfield in a hot little race,he looked like he was coming to the boil. Hopefully today is the day,he is proven in conditions so hoping for a massive run only slight concern he is giving a fair bit of weight away.
Kempton 338 Beakstown 0.5pts ew. 20/1
Another I've been following for a few years ,he looked to be exciting when he won decent race at Warwick in 2019, but things not quite gone too plan I'm no racehorse trainer but I'm convinced this horse needs good ground and on a flat course. Hopefully with drying conditions at Kempton he will get both ,just think that he does not like undulating tracks again hoping for a big run.
Newcastle 350 Soft Risk. 1pt win. 6/5
A typical Nicky Richards job this ,quietly picking up little pots up here in the north , and winning them in grand style. He takes a big step in class today but it's not the hottest class 2 race that I've ever seen. One danger is obviously the McCain horse but I'm sure Soft Risk is a lot better than we have seen and I expect this one too coast in.
3:50 Newcastle - Lively Citizen 4/1
Unlucky when his saddle slipped on Trials day but he then went to Leicester and ran a nice race beating another improver in Presuming Ed who ran the other day and was beaten by 2 1/2 lengths by a 135 rated hurdler. Connections are trying to get this horse in the County Hurdle at the Festival and to have a chance he is going to need to be involved in the finish and it looks like the trainer has found a lovely looking race. Lively Citizen has not been out the first 3 (from 3) when running on Good-Soft and has an 82% win/place over the distance. 0.5pt each way
1:50 Kempton - Pleasant Man 9/2
Brought out of Roger Charlton's stable for 175,00Gns at the October sales this horse rates a solid each way chance, Rated 95 on the flat this horse is the highest rated flat bred horse in the field, adding 46 to the flat mark makes this horse very interesting and their is no reason why he should not be competitive and involved in the finish. The horse has form on flat type tracks. Pleasant Man also has a Triumph Hurdle entry. 0.5pt each way
3:37 Kempton - Five Star Getaway 9/1
A lovely horse who has left his hurdle mark well behind (40lbs better). A winner over course and distance 27 December 2021 in which he beat Fortescue by 1 length the form of that racing reads very well and ran a nice race to finish 3rd at Sandown last time out. Never out the first 3 when going right handed and has solid form on flat tracks. Horse and jockey have a 50% win place rate and 100% win place rate on Good-Soft. 0.5pt each way
12:35 Chepstow GIRANDOLE 0.5E/W 10/1
Girandole looks to have a good profile, twice finishing second in Class 4 hurdles runs over 2m 1/2F the step up in trip also looks positive. His age/ weight allowance could be the key especially in the forecast heavy going, going off 10st 7lb only Mothill carries the same and has no form to speak of, all the others are carrying 11st 7lb. At the time of writing he is 4th fav but I expect that to shorten in the morning.
15:37 Kempton THE BIG BREAKAWAY 0.5E/W 8/1
This feature race looks quite open with a few in with a chance, I have sided with the big breakaway to come out on top. He has been in some tough races and ran creditably. His last time out close up (1 length) 3rd to the brimming water reads well, this came after wInd surgery. He may need it a little softer but looks to have a big run in him so im backing it e/w.
14:40 Lingfield SHOOT TO KILL 0.5E/W 15/4
Shoot to kill's profile is very good since moving to Robyn Brisland, recording 3 wins and a place in first 4 runs. The place being less than a length third over a shorter distance (7f). He likes it at Lingfield scoring twice and placing from 4 starts here. Hafeet alain is a danger to the selection but hasn't won for his new yard yet (5 runs).
Kempton 3:37 (Coral Trophy Handicap Chase) ANNSAM - 1pt WIN 15/2
Evan Williams stepped his gelding up in trip to 3 miles last time out for only the second time, with the first attempt having fallen, and he seemed to relish the increased distance at Ascot. Going from the front he managed to take control of the race from the turn into the straight on the first circuit and managed to find himself in the lead when they hit the finish line. Front runners tend to fair well at Kempton in big fields which bolsters his chances. He beat the reopposing Phoenix Way in that Ascot race by 4 1/4 lengths and being put up 6lb for that, he finds himself on the same terms with that rival after he subsequently won over a shorter trip and was put up 6lb too. Some of the stronger rivals in this field all can be opposed for varying reasons, with The Big Breakaway having a strong case but can sometimes be let down by his jumping. Good Boy Bobby arrives here with some strong form for the season with his form of 121 in class 1 events so far, however he must give 10 lb to the selection here. Five Star Getaway's last win came over C&D 2 runs ago where he beat Fortescue who has since come 3rd in the Peter Marsh Chase and then won the Listed Swinley Chase last weekend in strong style, however I would say he would prefer a bit more cut in the ground to be fully effective. He has won on good, good to soft before but that was off a mark 29lb lower than he is currently rated in a much weaker race. Jockey Adam Wedge is operating at a 21% strike rate (5-24) in the last 14 days, and I believe there is still a load of improvement to come from ANNSAM.
Kempton 1:15 FOXBORO - 0.5pt e/w 8/1
8 runs since his last win in 2019 he remains a maiden over fences all whilst performing admirably in some decent strength races. He ran with credit in his last run here at Kempton where he finished 1 1/2 length 3rd behind Falco Blitz and Champagne Court who are both class 2/3 calibre horses, the former winning this off a mark of 139. The run before he was 1/2 length 2nd to Native Robin who was racing off 114 and has since won his 2 subsequent starts and is rated 129 after these successes. He was 2nd behind Le Cameleon who reopposes here but he is 2lb better off in this race with that rival, and the current good to soft conditions with no forecasted rain should leave the ground in his favour. Stan Sheppard has been operating at an 18% strike rate (32-179) this season and is currently at £67.28 profit to a £1 stake too.
Kempton 1:50 KNIGHT SALUTE - 1pt WIN 7/4
KNIGHT SALUTE has taken to hurdling like a fish to water winning all 4 of his starts including a Grade 2 victory at Doncaster last time out. The collateral form of that race has panned out extremely well since. The 2nd place Porticello has since won a Grade 1 by 8 1/2 lengths, and a Class 2 by 17 lengths to a handy hurdler in Skycutter. The 3rd place Impulsive One who he reopposes here has since won a Listed contest by 4 lengths after taking off the hood that he had been wearing previously. The 5th place Sacre Pierre won a Class 4 contest by 6 lengths, after being 17 lengths behind at Doncaster in the Summit. Impulsive One does look a danger here, especially how his price has been drifting all week which makes him a nice each way chance, however KNIGHT SALUTE has beaten him twice now both when in receipt of 7lb and giving away 5lb, and I see no reason why he can't make it a third beating to extend his unbeaten run over hurdles to 5. Paddy Brennan has had a phenomenal season thus far operating at a 22% strike rate (72-332) and should be adding another win to his season here.
1.50 Kempton - Adonis Juvenile Hurdle Selection - Knight Salute (win) 7/4
KNIGHT SALUTE is currently 4/4 over hurdles this season and has turned into possibly the best of the British runners entered into the triumph hurdle at the Cheltenham festival. He won his maiden at sedgefield beating ramure by 9 lengths before winning a juvenile hurdle over c&d beating one of todays rivals impulsive one by 2 lengths albeit in receipt of 7lbs from that rival. He stepped up in grade winning a grade 2 at Cheltenham showing a decent turn of foot Saint riquier by 2 3/4 lengths. He proved this was no fluke beating porticello at Doncaster in a grade 2 by 3/4 length with impulsive one again back in third. He can book his place in the triumph hurdle with a win today.
3.15 Newcastle - Eider Chase Selection - Court Master (ew) 10/1
COURT MASTER chased home Kapcorse at Newbury at their ladbrokes trophy meeting in November where he was beaten 5 1/2 lengths. Stepping up in trip to 3m2f at Cheltenham he finished 3rd albeit beaten a long way by commodore. Last time out he won a 3 runner race here at Newcastle over 2m7f easily beating geryville by 6 1/2 lengths. Steps up considerably in trip today but trainer Michael Scudamore has a decent recent record in this race and is sure to run well
3.37 Kempton - Coral Trophy Handicap Chase Selection - Zanza (ew) 10/1
ZANZA ran well in two of the most competitive handicaps at Cheltenham in November at the paddy power meeting where he stayed on strongly over 2m4f where he was beaten just 6 lengths behind the midnight shadow. In December back at Cheltenham in the racing post gold cup he again finished well over 2m4 1/2f to chase home front runner coole Cody who led from start to finish. He was beaten 2 lengths. He ran again at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day but made early mistakes and was pulled up. It’s his first time over 3m today and I can see him improving for this step up in distance.
Kempton 3.37. FIVE STAR GETAWAY. eachway. 9/1
An 8 year old Getaway gelding. Trained by Christian Williams and has Nick Schofield in the saddle. Trainer is in form and has a 50% strike rate with his chasers in the last 14 days. Jockey has already been successful twice on board this horse. Consistent type with three wins and a place in last six races. Goes especially well at right handed tracks. Three wins from only four runs in chases at r-handed tracks. That includes a victory over course and distance in December. Form from that race has started to work out well,with the second and third from the race going on to win since.
Kempton 4.10. STORM DENNIS. each way. 7/1
This 6 year old races of only 10 stone 6 lbs. Trained by C.Gordon and ridden by Tom Cannon. Jockey has a27% strike rate in the last two weeks. Won last time out in a hurdle at Huntingdon. That was the horses first attempt at 2 mile 5 furlongs,and clearly relished the step up in trip. Stayed on well,winning the race readily. Winner of a Warwick National Hunt Flat race in 2021. Lightly raced and likely to improve further now that connections have found the ideal trip.
Kempton 4.45. SPAGO. win. 4/1
Trainer Paul Nicholls is in good current form and has trained the winner of this race twice in the last four years. Harry. O den rides,and he also is in fine form with a 24% win rate in the last 14 days. This will be the racecourse debut for this horse and has already had wind surgery. Sired by Sageburg,the son of Johannesburg,who spent half of his career in France before moving to the Garryrichard Stud in Ireland. Sired Ch’tibello who won at the Cheltenham Festival plus the excellent Rouge Vif. Owner Mr. Malcolm Denmark has a top record with his runners trained by the Nicholls yard, a 30% strike rate over the years. Harry Cobden has done even better as he has a34% win record when riding for these owners. Obviously highly thought of by connections ,and can go on to bigger and better things.
3.37 Kempton - Our Power (0.5pt e/w) 12/1
Charlie Deutsch is in the form of this life at the moment and takes a rare ride for Sam Thomas in this handicap contest. Our Power is the least unexposed chaser in the field along with Zhiugli, both having had just the four starts over fences so far. Our Power's record reads 51-F1, his initial start having been over an inadequate trip of 2m2f, but he has improved since then. His last victory over Dorking Lad has been franked with the second winning his subsequent two starts. He's also a horse who has proven to like Kempton, if discounting his debut over fences, he has form figures of 331 in some very competitive hurdles, and Kempton is not the easiest track to master so that should play into his hands. Overall, I think his price is a little big in this field, and there are some question marks over the market principles, and I think he could represent value as an unexposed improver.
3.15 Newcastle - Eclair Surf (0.5pt e/w) 13/2
My second selection comes in the form of another unexposed horse. Eclair Surf took his first step beyond 3 miles last time out, when demolishing a field over a trip of 3m5f. He had some smart horses in behind him that day, including Corach Rambler who was sent off favourite for a Grade 2 context next time out. There are some equally unexposed horses in the context like the likes of Danilo D'airy who has won all 3 starts over fences so far, but I think the form of Eclair Surf is strong, and could be a major player at these staying trips this season.
2.40 Lingfield - Shoot To Kill (1pt win) 4/1
A horse who has already done enough for me this season regardless of how he performs tomorrow but I think there is still plenty to come from this horse over the mile trip. If they want to get him involved in some of the bigger handicaps he will need to be climbing the weights slightly. Still unexposed over the mile trip and a winner twice at this course in his last four starts I think he should be involved once more
Kempton 3.37 - Beakstown 0.5 e/w 20/1
I think Dan Skelton’s gelding hovers on an exploitable mark of 130. A solid run in second last time out at Cheltenham over half a mile shorter displayed his well-being. It’s fair to say today’s trip of 3m poses some stamina questions but if he were to get the trip at any track, Kempton would be it. The forecast decent ground will also help on that score and with Skelton having a good record around here, an e/w chance is taken.
Fairyhouse 3.08 - Capilano Bridge 0.5 e/w 33/1
After a fruitful campaign last season, Conor O’Dwyer’s charge has failed to fire in two runs this season. However, there are valid excuses in that his first run back came after 6 months off in a competitive Cheltenham handicap and last time out he was subsequently found to have a kidney infection. All this means that the gelding’s handicap mark has dropped to 127, which on last year’s displays would be workable. The forecast heavy going will play to his strengths as he stays further than this 2m 3f.
Lingfield 4.55 - Bluenose Belle 0.5 e/w 7/1
First time in a handicap for this Marco Botti filly and exactly the type this trainer excels with - especially at this track. Three pretty solid career runs to date, including a win over this distance at Newcastle, where the subsequent form is working out well. An opening mark of 76 looks well within reach and with the help of Hollie Doyle in the saddle, looks a good value bet.
ACHILLE - WIN 3:15 Newcastle 18/1
This horse looks a crazy price at 20/1 as I write, providing we forgive the last run. Prior to that run he has finished 4th 5th and 6th in far tougher races than today’s. They were 0-154, 0-162 and 0-166 events and all were Class 1 events so today’s 0-144 Class 2 should mean significantly less talented opponents, which should give him the opportunity to close out the race as one of the class performers in this contest. His mark now 6lb-7lb lower than for those previous three races he has been given a real chance now.
GOOD BOY BOBBY - WIN 3:37 Kempton 16/1
A wide open event here and after some indecision my eye is drawn to GBB and I struggle to understand why he is as big as 16/1 when his form for the past 12 months reads 323121. His runs this season producing 2 wins and a runner up finish has seen his mark rise 12lb which does make life harder, but the last time out win was off 146 and he goes off 150 today so only 4lb higher. That represents the best recent form in the book of any of these today with all 3 being Class 1 Listed and Grade 3 contests. He appears to be in the form of his life and at the price his consistency means he is well worth having on side here.
LYDFORD - WIN - 4:10 Kempton 10/1
Probably disappointing last time after making such a good start over hurdles - his current record standing at 2114 - but that was behind a winner who looks to be a real talent and as I write is priced up as low a 1/6 favourite for a race earlier today! The runner up has also won their only start since, and that was upped in class coming away from a strung out field 9 lengths clear of the runner up with the rest beaten a distance. As such there is every reason to believe that was a solid and competitive race, and although this isn’t necessarily any easier, Lydford remains not fully exposed, especially at this new trip.
13:50 Kempton Impulsive One (Win) 6/1
Backed Impulsive One LTO and bolted up on a similar track it`ll be racing on today. Trainer has an excellent record with 2-mile runners over hurdles at Kempton. Looking through the Kempton card I can see Nicky Henderson having a good day. Looking at the fav (Unbeaten in 4) looks worth taking on due to the ground expecting to be soft. Impulsive One won on soft LTO. At the prices, I am happy to chance Impulsive one as a win selection.
15:37 Kempton Five Star Getaway (Win) 8/1
I was impressed with win over C&D 2 starts ago and I fell LTO at Sandown, horse didn’t quite get up the hill. Back at Kempton today on a flatter track, Five Star Getaway should appreciate. Only up 4 pounds since that win, I expect Five Star Getaway to be involved in the finish. Expected to be soft ground at Kempton in which horse won on 2 starts ago. Horse only carrying 10-10 too which should be a big benefit. I would say the biggest danger is Annsam who has been raised 7 pounds for latest win, looks the improver but happy to chance Five Star Getaway due to carrying less weight.
16:25 Newcastle Fire Away (Win) 13/2
Trainer only runner on the card, I fancy Fire Away to make a positive reappearance from 7-month return. The horse goes well fresh and has improved massively since joining the Laura Morgan yard. Trainer is in red hot form too most notably having a treble last Sunday. Fire away currently has an entry in the Paddy Power Plate at Cheltenham and will need to run well here to get in that race. I expect the jockey to sit off the pace and produce a late run to be involved come the finish. There should be enough pace on with Ascot De Bruyere expected to go forward. Long way for the trainer to send one and I am hopeful horse can go close.
337 Kempton Phoenix Way 0.50pts each way 17/2
When applying the trends of a fancied runner who had a top 5 finish last time out, aged 9 or younger, rated 139+ and had a recent race in the last 7 weeks, winning at least a class 2 chase before leaves just 2 qualifiers: The Big Breakaway and Phoenix Way, I will also have a small go on the forecast as I can see them both running well. The Big Breakaway ran well last time out and is big gelding that is likely to take a few runs to get hard fit. The Tizzards have had 2 winners in recent years and had 3 in this at the 5 day stage and The Big Breakaway as the only one to stand their ground looks sure to run a decent race. It is the latter however for the selection, Phoenix Way looks progressive after beating Fanion D'estruval last time out who has since placed 3rd in a Grade one and at double figure odds represents a great each way bet. 315 Newcastle Eclair Surf 0.50pts each way 13/2
When applying the trends in this race again we have two left Eclair Surf who won the Classic Chase last time out and looks sure to go well again, and Checkitout. Checkitout won last time out at Fontwell and with Jordan Nailor taking off 3lbs looks weighted to go close but, Eclair Surf has rock solid staying form and with Emma Lavelle's yard operating at 40% at the moment edges the selection. 150 Kempton Knight Salute 1pt win 7/4
This horse continues to be underestimated in the betting every time he races. His form is rock solid and I would like to see him take this on route to the Triumph Hurdle where he will represent Britains best hope against the Irish. Pleasant Man has been a talking horse but with Nicholls form questionable you wouldn't be surprised if that horse's best days were ahead. Milton is having a cracking season and I expect it to continue in this race. He has beaten Henderson, Nicholls, and Moore hot pots this season and is the right favourite for this race, representing a solid win bet.
3.00 Kempton – FRERE D’ARMES (win) 8/1
Time to get drastic! No mentions of other horses this week, just three straight win selections from Kempton (where I will be going along to see my Tip Idol prospects recover or die!) The first is Frere D’Armes who is very highly regarded in the Skelton team and has run three very promising, lower class races since transferring form the point-to-point world. Top on my rating system, fits the trends profile for the race and hopefully the step up in class will be no trouble and there is more to come. I think the race has a weak favourite and I’m hoping for a good start to the day.
3.37 Kempton – ZANZA (win) 10/1
Very open race and I have looked at both my ratings and the trends profile of past winners to come up with the selection. Irish bred, 7-9 year olds with more than 6 chase runs is the key and all boxes are ticked here. Solid recent form with good finishes up the Cheltenham hill in recent runs. Up in trip which I think will suit and after not liking the soft ground last time, I think the better ground will also suit. The trainer is a bit of a confliction as his recent form is excellent but his course form is poor – 25% strike rate in the last 14 days but no win at Kempton for over a year.
4.10 Kempton – HERBIERS (win) 6/1
Ratings and trends are the key to the next selection – as is a value price. Irish bred, right age and coming from a class 3 race last time are all parts of the necessary profile here. In my rating system he is clear and strong on form and speed and is certainly a value bet at the current prices. Paddy Brennan won twice on the horse last year and is re-united here. One from one at the distance and the decent ground is a big positive. Last chance saloon!
1.50 Kempton Impulsive One 1 point win 6/1
After winning two juvenile hurdles in the Autumn I wasn’t sure how good Impulsive One was but the manner of his victory in a listed race at Musselburgh three weeks ago has convinced me that he’s pretty decent and I’m optimistic of a good showing here for trainer Nicky Henderson. I don’t think the favourite, Knight Salute is as good as his figures look and the Paul Nicholls newcomer may well not be up to the standard of this race.
3.15 Newcastle Achille 1 point win 18/1
There is no way I am going to let Achille go unbacked today. He has shaped like a well-handicapped horse for much of this season and especially when fifth in the Becher at Aintree and it was a similar story when fourth in Welsh National. He has disappointed at Warwick since but he can get back on track here with Hugh Nugent on board for Venetia Williams instead of Charlie Deutsch..
3.37 Kempton Galahad Quest 1 point win 14/1
There are three horses that interest me in this race and it’s not been easy deciding between them. Beakstown always threatens to win races but ultimately seems to find one or two too good and I suspect (and hope) that this will be the case again today. He just doesn’t seem able to finish his races off. Cap Du Nord seems to be coming back to his best and may well give my selection the most to do. I am going for Galahad Quest. Nick Williams’ gelding finished 2nd last time out at Cheltenham and the step-up in trip today will suit him.

Week 5 – Saturday 19th February

2.40 Haydock – Secret Reprieve 1pt win
Winner of the Welsh National a little over a year ago and still not rated much higher than that and looks like he will be a similar or bigger price to that big race win. Hasn’t had enough opportunities in his favoured conditions this season but looks to have them in his favour here with the trip and ground and will need to go up in the ratings to have any sort of chance to get in the Grand National this year which his current ante-post odds suggest he’s quite fancied for it, although I don’t think connections would necessarily be worried about trying to get in this year, instead just waiting to see if it happens or not and finding other suitable races and trying to get his rating up for next year instead, hopefully starting today. Possibly a slight concern is his record here at Haydock, but has run very well 3 times since falling when still going ok behind the likes of Snow Leopardess and Commodore who have both gone on to win good races this season and now rated 12 to 20lbs higher than that day (Secret Reprieve 8lbs higher since so should realistically have more in hand), with one of those races when lacking race fitness last time out, where he should have come on a lot for that run and be ready for today.
3.15 Haydock – Small Present 1pt Win
A winner last time out over course and distance on soft ground, and appears to have a good chance today with many conditions in his favour. A winner on heavy ground before so should cope with today’s underfoot conditions especially as he seems to be a strong stayer, with this sort of trip showing all his previous winning form. He’s 2 from 2 over course and distance, has backed up a last time out win previously and goes well at the turn of the year into the spring with 4 wins from 5 runs.
Ascot 3.38 - Dashel Drasher 1pt Win
Looks overpriced in this race for one who loves these conditions of trip, track and ground and looking to repeat last year’s win. Ran a good race last time out, battling to a very narrow defeat giving weight to Two For Gold over a little bit further and seems to have been a little overlooked especially with these conditions in mind. You’d have to respect the favourite who has run well in multiple grade one chases, but providing there are no ill effects of his previous run and likely this race would have been targeted since last year’s win so would assume he’s ready to run a good race again.
Haydock 14.40 - ENQUARDE 1pt Win
Shooting at these before we know what may befall the meeting and the non-runners tomorrow is not going to be fun, but lets be positive, tomorrow won't be for the faint hearted or the inexperienced chasers. And will those that have the figures, (probably 142 needed to get into the National by my reckoning) & even with a 7 week break will not want to slog it out. So with the top lot (1st six on the card) probably not going to give it their all & confident in their mark for the National, leaves us, Secret Reprieve & he would need a decent win to get in & even though his run in the Welsh Nat was disappointing, if they want the entry they will be trying. Galloping Bear, this is a big step up in class and not sure he's there yet, Mint Condition & Pipes runner could shock us all, but I'm pointing to last years beaten fav. Harry Frys "Enquarde" no national aspirations, a year on & will have a little more in the tank and the Tommy Whittle win was impressive.
Wincanton 15.20 - GOSHEN 1pt Win
Probably between the two, Adagio & Goshen and I will side with my frustrating cliff horse Goshen to repeat last years win off the same mark, the fact that Jamie has chosen to ride Goshen rather than the fancied Larry over at Ascot & Porticello at Haydock gives the nod for me, Adagio was unlucky giving weight away all-round lto but turning into the horse that wont win even though running credibly every time. The ground is not in favour of Faivoir & Llandinabo Lad is a handicapper at best.
Wincanton 15.58 - MR GLASS 1pt Win
Mr Glass can get back to winning ways in his 1st handicap off a reasonable mark of 127 in a CL3 , Nicholls never the fountain of enthusiasm of late but his 3rd in the Tolwarth was a decent run & with the 4th Shallwehaveonemore franking the form 2 weeks ago, confident of a good show. Has won over 22f so distance not a worry and acts on all grounds.
2.40 Haydock LORD DU MESNIL 1pt win
My selection for the compulsory races is LORD DU MESNIL. Fairly easy dart for me in a very competitive field. Ignore the run here last month, it was simply a prep run for this in my opinion. His record at Haydock is superb with a 1st and 2nd in this race alone (2021/2020) so this race has clearly been targetted again. He needs it to be a slog in tough conditions, which it obviously will be so the race looks set up for him. The 10-1 currently on offer won't be there come the off time i suspect, hopefully it lasts until morning! I was tempted to go each way but i think LDM is one of the very proven to stay this far, especially in the conditions, so it's a pretty confident win bet.
12.50 Lingfield RIKONA .5pt each way
This looks a really interesting runner.. i hit the crossbar with a big each way shout at Lingfield last time and i think this could go one better. The horse had one run for Roger Charlton, which was okay without being superb, and has been sold to Simon Dow. That race was a class 4, so this drop into class 5 should help and the jockey booking of Rab Havlin really caught my eye. The issue may be that it needs the run, that last run was in October, but i can't see it being too much of a problem. The 20-1 is an absolute crazy price in what should be a trappy little race, possibly being overpriced due to Gosden/Haggas having fancied runners. Should go close for a place and could nick it.
7.30 Newcastle SAMS CALL 1pt win
My final selection is actually a horse i backed a few days ago, SAMS CALL for the Easterby's. Interesting they have chucked this one straight back out, with the same jockey in Joanna Mason. It ran extremely well at huge odds (33-1 SP) despite not being in an ideal spot, finishing a close 5th (behind Tathmeen who i fancy to underperform again). This is a class 5 again but is a 5f instead of a 6f, which SAMS CALL is a lot better over. Should appreciate the run last time and be fit for this. The 8-1 on offer now is really skinny in my opinion and i'm hoping for better come morning.
13:25 Lingfield 1pt win Kissininthebackrow
The selection runs without a penalty and has won 1 from 3 at this class of race. It handles the track and has won 1/1 from at the course. Unproven at the distance but with the booking of Ryan Moore seen as a positive, it’s hoped that the selection proves a value bet against the favourite.
14:05 Haydock 1pt win Molly Olly’s Wishes
The selection carries bottom weight and is firmly on the upgrade. There is an advantage for horses which run prominently or lead (12/54 for £51.08 profit). A winner of 5 from its last 7 races, and having won 50% of the races in this field size, if the selection adapts to the course then it should go close.
14:40 Haydock .5 pt e/w Time to Get Up
The selection has already been supported at the early prices and has won in this class of race. Whilst it remains to be seen whether the distance is suitable, the ground should hold no fears. Last year it needed its first couple of races to hit form and a decent run is expected.
205 Haydock – Top Ville Ben – 1 PT win – On ratings, this looks a strange pick but I think he is way over priced. Thomas Darby is taking up a good chunk of the market but I wouldn’t want to back him in this ground. Third Wind is badly off at the weights given he is a carrying a penalty and Emitom was turned over by the selection last time and I can’t see that being reversed. Wholestone was a good performer a few years ago but he is 11 now and hasn’t been seen in 455 days and you’d think an older horse would benefit from a run, especially in the conditions. That leaves the selection and Molly Ollys Wishes, the latter being respected but unproven over 3 miles in a bog. Her mares allowance is almost completely negated by a penalty so I’m going Top Ville Ben to see out what will be a brutal test.
240 Haydock – Sam Brown – 0.5 PT EW - A tricky race where I could back a few of them but the selection is Sam Brown. If the meeting goes ahead, you will need a someone who stays and handles the ground. Sam Brown’s best form is on deep ground and he has a Grand National entry, which gives you hope he will stay the 28f. Anthony Honeyball has long regarded him as a class horse but his 11 runs under rules at the age of ten shows he has had his problems. However, the trainer stated yesterday he’s never had him such good shape so you’d think he can build on his last performance. That run saw him Royal Pagaille all the way in the Peter Marsh at this track, albeit in receipt of a lot of weight. That was a good run against a Gold Cup contender, who in turn ran well last week on ground that wouldn’t have suited. I was close to going with The Galloping Bear but felt the selection has a class edge.
338 Ascot – Fakir D’Oudairies – 1 PT win – This is a Grade 1 but all of the runners look like Grade 2 performers to me, save for the selection who has the closest to genuine Grade 1 form. He chased home Allaho in last year’s Ryanair Chase and did the same in his last run, despite making a very bad mistake at the first fence. Although he was soundly beaten on both occasions, Allaho is one of the best National Hunt horses in training so a 12 length defeat to him is no disgrace. Three of the field ran in the King George but that form isn’t particularly working out. Waiting Patiently would need a huge return to form. Two For Gold and Fanion D’Estruval form that shows they’re up to performing at this level, with the former’s win being largely due to the other runners going too hard up front in the conditions. That pace scenario put paid to Dashel Drasher, who would be a threat if getting a free hit in the lead.
1440 Haydock – TIME TO GET UP (E/W)
There’s a couple of interesting runners in this Grand National Trial but the one I’ve landed on is TIME TO GET UP for Jonjo O’Neill. This lightly raced 9 year old has had his issues and consequently missed the qualification criteria for this year’s race. However he is 2 from 2 over staying trips including last season’s Midlands National. He finished ahead of Mighty Thunder that day who went on to win the Scottish National on his next start. He’s also only ever finished behind one horse when the going has been classed as heavy, that horse being Monkfish. I’m happy to put a line through his one run this season as it was clearly an insufficient trip. His current mark of 144 wouldn’t have guaranteed him a run in this year’s National. Given how difficult he’s been to get to the track this looks the perfect opportunity to move up the handicap so there would be no such concerns next year. Connections have been extremely careful with this horse and I’m confident he wouldn’t show up here if he wasn’t ready to run a big race.
1538 – Ascot – LOSTINTRANSLATION ( E/W)
This is a competitive looking Grade 1 if perhaps not the strongest. Joseph O’Brien sends over Fakir D’Oudairies and you would expect him to go close - he won’t get many good Grade 1 opportunities in Ireland now with Allaho beating him up every opportunity he gets. He did take the Melling Chase very comfortably last season and is definitely the right favourite in my eyes. But at 5/2 at time of writing I want to look for a bit of value elsewhere and the one I have landed is LOSTINTRANSLATION. I wouldn’t quite go as far to say the Tizzard stable is flying at the moment like you are hearing in some quarters but they are having a much better season than they did last. Their RTF for the past 2 weeks is 59% which is very respectable and is always something I take into account when I’m thinking of backing one of theirs. LOSTINTRANSLATION was very disappointing in the King George last time, however I think it may just be a case that he just really doesn’t like Kempton. We do know that he does like Ascot and he won here well on his reappearance this season. Last year was a disaster for him but I’m happy to put a line through it as it’s well documented how poor the yard performed all season. Prior to that he had shown some serious form, beating Topofthegame , Defi Du Seuil and Bristol De Mai in Grade 1 races. I don’t think it’s any coincidence he’s been seen to best effect on galloping tracks and if he turns up here he could well gallop his rivals into the ground. There’s no doubt this horse is extremely talented on his day and was considered a Gold Cup contender previously. He’s the yards main hope for this years renewal and a good performance here could cement him as a definite dark horse in an open looking race.
1530 – Gowran Park – MELON (WIN)
Melon is a shade of odds on at time of writing and I would be amazed if is anywhere near that price at post time. He’s dropping back into Grade 2 company here and it looks the perfect opportunity for him to get his head back in front for the first time in over 2 years. He win record may read a modest 4 from 29 but he has been regularly running well at the highest level and has gone painfully close on more than one occasion (the 2020 Marsh Chase immediately springs to mind). He’s getting weight from Chatham Street Lad here and of the other runners there doesn’t look to be anything lurking that would push Melon should he run to his level. Whilst he’s not run at Gowran Park before everything else looks to be in his favour. If he can’t win this then I really don’t know where they go with this horse next.
No selections provided -3pts
THE GALLOPING BEAR EW - 2-40 Hay
What a tricky race we have here. I have narrowed it down to 7 lol, using trends / handicap mark / GOING * / DISTANCE * The Going and Distance are in my opinion, going to be major factors ( even more so with the current weather conditions ). From the 7, I have come down on 2. LORD DU MESNIL will probably win and at the moment is 12/1..... now 11/1... and that is my problem. By tomorrow morning I think 6/1 will be its price. Therefore I am backing him now at 11s and tipping THE GALLOPING BEAR, who is very lightly raced, still improving and I believe will drift a couple of points from the 10/1 available now. Also, take note of the last line line from RP LTO notes, " jockey dropped reins but kept on strongly run-in "
MISS ELSA EW - 2-35 Ling
I have absolutely no idea why this horse is still in training ! And there lies the intrigue. I chose the race as I believe it will end up being an 8 runner affair. The selection should be around 100/1 ( no prices available as I type ) so in the unlikely event that it wins, I should win this competition ? In all seriousness though, either Mr John Joseph Smith the owner has money to burn ( costs circa £25k to keep a horse in training ) or he really does think this thing can win a race at sometime. Being in the first 3 will do me.
PIRATE KING WIN - 3-45 Ling
Now for the other end of the spectrum from my previous selection. Why is Ryan Moore at Lingfield ? Let me enlighten you, there are two Class 2 races, he has a mount in only one of those ( this one ). He has a couple of mounts prior to winning this ( I believe to see how the land lies ). The selection is 4/7 on the going, 5/15 at the distance and 4/7 at the course. I don`t think the current 3/1 available will last but I am hoping for a 2/1 winner.
Haydock 240 Sidi Ismael 0.5pts ew.
I have changed my mind several times with this race,but have decided to go with this one as one of the trends on this race is that you have won over 26f and he has. He's taking a huge rise in class granted, but given a clear round and with no weight on his back I'm hoping Noonan plods round and as they drop away one by one, he's handily placed to take advantage and possibly win race,but I'm being honest see him as more of a sound ew chance.
Gowran Park 330 Chatham Street Lad 1pt win.
I'm a huge fan of this one have been for years, love the trainer and when this lad won the big race at the Cheltenham December meeting in 2020 he gave me a nice win at 16s. Now three months later at Cheltenham festival he was cruising coming down the hill and got squeezed up for room lost all momentum but still finished 4th convinced he would have won that. Tomorrow's conditions are his favourite should be heavy going there which he thrives in got Melon to beat giving that one 3lb but if he's back on song I would not swap him for anything.
Gowran Park 515 Walk in the Brise 1pt win.
Nothing original about the selection here from the master trainer in Eire. At the moment he's farming these bumper races,this one is half sister to vroom vroom mag, there's only one real danger in the race coming from Elliott stable but if this one half as good as vroom then surely will take this and I see Patrick Mullins last 14 days is operating at 60% win ratio. I'm just hoping he doesn't go odds on .
2.25 Ascot - Swinley Handicap Chase Selection - Fiddlerontheroof (Win)
FIDDLERONTHEROOF ran well in the grade 1 novice chases at last years festivals even though the stable form was struggling. He chased home Monkfish in the brown advisory at the Cheltenham festival then finished a distant third at Aintree behind chantry house. This season he won first time up at carlisle beating pay the piper by just over a length. He went close to winning the ladbrokes trophy at Newbury when going down by 1/2 a length giving 10lbs to cloudy Glen. This looks a bit easier today and he should be tough to beat.
2.40 Haydock - Grand National Trial Selection - Blaklion (ew)
BLAKLION has proven himself over the course and distance and the ability to cope with underfoot conditions this season with two wins this season both coming at Haydock. One over 3m1 1/2f where he beat Aso by 3 3/4 lengths. Up 5lbs on that run he then bolted up over todays c&d and also again on heavy ground beating stayer the two amigos by 28 lengths. He is up 9lbs today we know he stays further than todays trip he can use his stamina to outstay his rivals today.
3.15 Haydock - Pertemps Hurdle Qualifier Selection - Tokyo Getaway (ew)
TOKYO GETAWAY has some decent form on heavy ground when running in Ireland for Gavin Cromwell in the last couple of years. Running for a new stable this season she has run twice over todays c&d finishing second on both occasions. She stayed on well on first run for new connections on soft ground finishing 5 1/2 lengths behind jesuitique. She filled the same position last time out when she was collared late on by Small Present who won by 1/2 length. She is 2lbs better off with that rival today. The form was boosted last weekend with the brimming water who finished 3rd in that race winning at Newbury. She can go one better today.
Haydock 2.40. BLAKLION. each way.
A 13 year old Kayf Tara gelding. Trained by the in form Dan Skelton and ridden by Harry Skelton. Now in the veteran stage of his career but is in great recent form with two wins in last couple of races. Both victories were at this course,and last time out was over course and distance. Won the race by 28 lengths,staying on well in the final stages. Has seven wins and four more places from 16 runs in similar ground. A winner at an 8 lbs higher mark than for this event. Will relish the trip and going.
Ascot 2.25. LARRY. each way.
Larry is a relatively lightly raced nine year old gelding by Midnight Legend. Has had just four runs in the last 15 months. Acts on the forecasted going,with five wins on soft-heavy ground. All three Chase victories came at right handed tracks. Winner over course and distance in October,with the second and fourth winning since. Finished third of 7 on last outing when fitted with first time cheek pieces. Keeps them on today.
Newcastle 5.30. EYDON. win.
Trained at Newmarket by Roger Varian ,and has the excellent Rossa Ryan in the saddle. Trainer has saddled three winners from only six runners in the past fortnight. Has a good course strike rate. Jockey and trainer combining forces has seen a decent 23% strike rate. Sired by Olden Times and the Dam is Moon Mountain. Moon Mountains sire is the great Frankel. Owned by Prince Faisal who has had several successes with his runners when trained by Varian. Has had just one racecourse outing,finishing third over course and distance. Was left with too much to do after being short of room a couple of furlongs out,finished strongly in the final half furlong. This jockey will be primed to ensure that the horse gets a clear run. Could be a horse to follow.
2.40 Haydock - Blaklion (1pt win)
This 13yo has been in the form of his life this season. He's hoping to complete a Haydock hattrick for this Grand National Trial, and whilst he is facing tougher opposition today I hope this legend of the sport can put himself into the ring for the national with a big performance. He will relish the heavy ground, easily stays the trip and will hopefully give a good showing.
15.50 Haydock - Green Book (1pt win)
I'm sure many people will be siding with favourite Hillcrest, even after his disappointing unseat at Cheltenham last time out. I'm a big fan of this Venetia Williams trained 5yo and think he has the biggest scope in the field. An above average performer on the flat, Williams has brought the best out of him over hurdles, and a very commanding performance in a handicap off 130 last time out certainly gives him leading claims.
3.38 Ascot - Mister Fisher (1pt win)
This horse is the main danger to Allaho in the Ryanair in my opinion, he was travelling strongly enough in the same race last year when a horrible mistake ended all his chances. He beat subsequent Grade 2 scorer Eldarado Allen last time out, and I think if he runs true he has every chance of making it two in a row and stamping his claims on the Ryanair.
Haydock 2.40 Secret Reprieve 1pt win
Proven over marathon trips on bottomless ground, this 8yo gelding makes appeal not only on what he has achieved so far but also due to the fact that he is still relatively unexposed versus the rest of this field. Last time out was a fair return at Chepstow considering it was his first run for almost a year. Can be expected to come on for that run and has been eased 2lbs by the handicapper. Some of the other principals here have fair questions to answer over how much ability they still retain and whether they will truly see out this stamina sapping trip.
Lingfield 4.20 Tinker Toy 1pt win
This newly gelded Roger Varian charge has the potential to be a cut above his rivals here. Only his seventh career run and replicates the conditions of his best run to date - off the back of a break and on an all weather surface. Varian can ready one from a time off and teams up with top jockey Jack Mitchell - a partnership that has proven to be very effective.
Lingfield 4.55 Julie Johnston 0.5 e/w
This 4yo filly has now gradually worked her way down to her lowest rating of 50. However, her last run with the aid of first time cheekpieces, retained here, offered reason for optimism. This drop down in class and step back in trip will suit and the additional help of Christian’s Howarth’s claim should put her bang in the picture here.
2:40 Haydock - Sam Brown
A lovely horse who ran Royale Pagaille close last time out in the Peter Marsh. This represents a step up in trip but I don't see that being an issue, we know the horse handles Haydock well as he has ran there twice and come in the first two. Ground isn't an issue either as he has not finished out the first three from 4 attempts on heavy ground. Aiden Coleman get on well with the horse also having ridden him 6 times and finishing in the first 3 5 times. The jockey and trainer have a 26% win rate when teaming up. 0.5pt each way
3:50 Haydock - Hillcrest
Henry Daly has already come out and said that this horse is better than anything we have had and the way he powered through his race on New Years Day would suggest he is a good horse. Granted Hillcrest has to give weight away to the others I am not worried by this as he is a big horse and is going to be a chaser for the future. I felt that the unseat on Trials day was soft and providing he is none the worst then Hillcrest should take this race. Unraced on Heavy ground I do not think this will be a problem as his knee action did not suggest he was dependent on a particular ground. 1pt win
3:20 Wincanton - Goshen
If the real Goshen turns up then he could become the first back to back winner of the Kingwell Hurdle since Valfinet who won the race in 1993 and 1994. Strangely the horse seems to go better going right handed and certainly prefers softer ground and is unbeaten during the month of February. Jamie Moore is his usual jockey and given the horses quirks you'd want some like Jamie aboard as he is a strong jockey who I don't feel always gets the credit he deserves. 1pt win
14:40 Haydock Secret Reprieve (Win)
Ran a fantastic race LTO in the Welsh National but coming into the home straight SR WAS looking like he was getting tired off a 352-day layoff eventually finishing 5th. I believe he is still very progressive and should relish in these conditions. Looking at his second time record which is 1,2,1 I am expecting a good run here. He is only carrying 10-5 too unlike the top-rated Bristol De Mai who is carrying 11-12. With this race being a National Trial, I am hoping this is a confidence booster for SP and a win here would do this ready for him to take on the National fences in April. Will be a shortish price but will be a worthy fav.
16:25 Haydock Overworkdunderpaid (Win)
Not a race I normally get involved in put must chance this horse. The conditions should suit him, and this big galloping track should also suit. Horse has gone P2P most recently where he has done well to win 2/2 under Kelly Morgan (Trainers Sister). Laura Morgan is a trainer in good form she had a double at Leicester on Thursday, and she sends just the 1 runner to Haydock. Of course, the big danger is Bob and Co who is the clear pick on form and won this race last year but being only 4 runners, I am willing to take a chance on our selection.
13:50 Ascot J`Ai Friod (Win)
Again, I find myself backing one of Laura`s horses but I feel this has an excellent chance. This is her only runner on the card, the ground should not be a problem for JF and has been lightly raced this season. Although JF hasn’t shown the form of last season, the two runs were on good to soft and good where I feel JF will want soft/heavy which it should be at Ascot. JF likes to ride forward which I can’t see there will be loads of pace on so should get an easy lead. JF has a entry in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham so I assume this race will be a prep and a confidence booster towards Cheltenham. He is also 1/1 at Ascot too although this was over hurdles, shows that he handles the track well.
THOMAS DARBY 2:05 Haydock
Thomas Darby is building up quite a reputation as a very good stayer with form figures of 3413 since going over 3m+. Given all those races have been in Grade 1 and 2 races, he brings in far superior recent form to any of his opponents. Third Wind won this race last year, and Emitom the year before so their are certainly horse with the ability in their back form, but TD's last piece of form in behind 3 of the market leaders for the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham looks very strong form, and as such means this Grade 2 represents a drop in grade. He faces nothing of their quality here and should take this on route to also outrunning his current 20/1 odds for the Cheltenham Stayers hurdle.
SAM BROWN 2:40 Haydock
A wide open race with a number of decent staying horses in here who will have an eye on the Grand National at Aintree come April. Bristol De Mai absolutely loves Haydock but his recent form will leave him requiring a significant improvement on the last 12 months of form. So I have settled on another who has shown a liking for Haydock and that is Sam Brown. 2 runs here have resulted in a win and a second place, the latter last time out behind Gold Cup bound Royale Pagaille.
BUSHYPARK 3:15 Haydock
Bushypark is of interest here as he won this race last year by 8.5 lengths. Granted he was running from a 12lb lower mark that day so it certainly won't be an easy task, but that was the completion of a five-timer over hurdles and he hasn't been seen over the smaller obstacles since. Another point of interest is that he was due to take in a race at Kelso yesterday, but connections withdrew from that in favour of running here. 2 out of 2 in Haydock hurdle races.
2.40 Haydock – BLAKLION (win)
Hoping that Haydock survives the inspection tomorrow but with heavy ground and more rain, if it does, there won’t be many finishers in this one. In the likely conditions I am looking for a horse with wins at the course, on the going and at the distance and BLAKLION fits the bill. Running as well as ever this season and two course and going wins in December is good enough for me. With the Skelton team in form as well, it is all positive.
3.38 Ascot – DASHEL DRASHER (win)
Another race where I am looking for a horse that will relish the conditions, and with multiple wins over the distance, at the course and on soft going, DASHEL DRASHER is the one for me here. Six pounds better off with Two For Gold (who I would have been interested in if I was sure all eight horses would stand their ground) after the narrow defeat at Lingfield in January. I have more confidence in the horse running its race than some others in the field and the trainer has the horses running well.
4.20 Lingfield – WHITTLE LE WOODS (win)
Splitting my selections across three different tracks today with the uncertain weather conditions and number three is on the all-weather. A string of top three runs and a horse very much in form is WHITTLE LE WOODS. Lingfield is often a course for the late finisher sweeping down the outside and, despite the number one draw, I think this one will be held up to do the same here. Has found his form on the all-weather after failing to score on turf and even though it is a wide open race, a bottom weight in top form is always appealing and this one has a great chance.
2:40 Haydock Grand National Trial BLAKLION – 1pt WIN
Since the running of this race in 2003 horses which have come off a 40-55 day break roughly have done incredibly well, winning 11 times. BLAKLION comes here after a 51-day layoff which puts him in that bracket, and whilst he is at the ripe old age of 13, he seems to be showing no signs of stopping so far this season with 2 wins in his 3 races including a 28-length victory over course and distance last time on heavy ground. Last season he was tried over 3 miles and 2 ½ miles before being given a run in the Grand National, which whilst he was 37 lengths behind Minella Times in 6th, it showed that he could at least last over a longer trip than 3 miles. The Skelton’s have seemingly taken that on board this season with the longer trips being aimed at with the Grand National potentially being their main target this year, in which a strong run in the trial here would give them the confidence boost to send him to Aintree in the spring. Bottomless ground has already been shown to give no troubles to BLAKLION and with the inclusion of Bristol De Mai in this race, he only has to saddle 10 stone 12 in his attempt to complete his 3 timer.
1:15 Ascot UNANSWERED PRAYERS 0.5pt e/w
The 3-mile trip last time out at Doncaster didn’t seem to suit UNANSWERED PRAYERS so it is a welcome return to this intermediate trip. He has taken extremely well to hurdles this season, winning 2 of his 5 starts and placing in 2 more, including a 7 ½ length 2nd to the highly impressive Challow Hurdle winner Stage Star. He saw his win out at Wincanton very well when the official going description that day was Soft (Heavy in places) meaning the ground at Ascot shouldn’t be an issue or unknown like a few he has up against him in the field. The pace of the race was slower that day forcing him to be pushed along before finally taken the race in his grasp and putting it to bed. A stronger run race is likely to suit him better over this trip in these conditions and he is most likely going to get that here. His jockey Tom Cannon is riding well at the moment with a 25% strike rate (4-16) in the last 14 days and he could look to add another win to his list in the opener here at Ascot.
2:25 Ascot FORTESCUE 0.5pt e/w
A strong handicapper last year FORTESCUE has been tried in higher company this year including the Grade 3 Ladbrokes Trophy and the Grade 2 Peter Marsh and has done no damage to his form in either race. His last start in the Peter Marsh had him finishing 3 ¼ lengths 3rd behind the well touted Royale Pagaille, who went on to boost the form slightly when finishing 2nd in the Denman Chase to Eldorado Allen last weekend on supposedly unfavourable ground conditions. Empire Steel who was pulled up in the Peter Marsh went on to score at Kelso on the 18th by 16 lengths in heavy ground, albeit over a shorter trip of 2 miles 5 ½ furlongs. Highly rated opposition such as Fiddlerontheroof who is carrying top weight allows FORTESCUE to carry 10 stone 12 here and in conditions that he is well suited too, the extra weight could come into play turning for home after a gruelling stamina test. Ask Me Early is unlikely to take up this contest with his main preference being over at Wincanton and most of the field here will have to reproduce a past best effort in order to finish this race in a better position than Henry Daly’s gelding.
2.40 haydock
I tipped up SAM BROWN last time because if he was ever going to win again it was going to be that race so having said that i don't fancy him for this at all.In my opinion the class in this race is undoubtedly BRISTOL DE MAI he is definately not the horse he once was on this seasons form but i am willing to give him one more chance he has top weight but i don't think that will stop him there are a couple of front runners in this field but i can't see handicappers staying with bristol for to long so this is a confident selection to jump out make all and never see another horse. BRISTOL DE MAI 1pt win
3.38 ascot
I don't normally tip up favorites but sometimes one comes along around the 2/1 mark that seems to good to be true i'm talking about FAKIR D'OUDAIRIES for one he is irish for two there is no ALLAHO in this race and for three he will love the ground and joseph o'brien wouldn't take him to england just to get a sun tan.So another confident selection. FAKIR D'OUDAIRIES 1pt win
2.05 haydock

In my opinion MOLLY OLLYS WISHES should be favorite for this but i'm going for one out of left field in WHOLESTONE he is getting older now so it's more in hope than any logic.He is good first time out and won't mind the ground a couple of seasons ago he was mixing with grade one horses so if he can get back to anything like he used to be we may well get a good run for our money.
WHOLESTONE 1pt win
15:45 Lingfield PIRATE KING
A case can be made for quite a few of these, with Pirate King taking the eye, with Ryan Moore booked. He is a three time C&D winner and now back down to his last winning mark.He was 1 1/4l 4th last time out over C&D, and is now 2lb better off with the winner that day Cetic Art and 4 lb better off with the 2nd Protected Guest, so a reversal is on the cards.
14:40 Haydock GALLOPING BEAR 0.5E/W
With the weather hugely disrupting racing, I am hoping that Haydock passes the early inspection and racing goes ahead - this is a cracking race with some class horses, some old timers and some unexposed types. With the forecast heavy ground I've chosen a horse towards the bottom of the weights (getting an amazing 19lb from Bristol De Mai). Galloping Bear has good form on similar going, and has won 3 out of 3 at 3m+. The Jockey (Ben Jones) and stable are in terrific form, Ben Jones last 14 days is 15runs 4wins and 4 places with a double on Thursday. (6/5 & 18/1) Trainer Ben CLarke is also on fire last 14 days is 5 runs 3 wins and a place. Im hoping the relative light weight of 10st 7lb will see Galloping Bear in the winners enclosure.
14:35 Lingfield MISS ELSA 0.5E/W
A real low grade affair with a couple of last time out winners to note, Henley Park was winning for the first time in 15 flat races, but does have Ryan Moore booked to ride, the other being Miss Sligo. who hasn't won off of a mark this high. My selection Miss Elsa has previously won off of a mark of 66 albeit over 2 years ago, she has 3 C&D wins from 6 runs . At the time of writing she is the outsider of the 9 but I feel a good run is on the cards with a good chance of a place and may even challenge for the win!
2.40 Haydock Lord Du Mesnil 1 point win
The ground is going to be bottomless for this race and I definitely want a horse on my side that is proven on this type of surface. Not only does Lord Du Mesnil fit the bill perfectly but he won this event last year and carried 6lb more than he has today. The selection was pulled up at the beginning of December when making his seasonal debut but was back with a bang when finishing 2nd at Wetherby on Boxing Day. The likely favourite, Secret Reprieve, will be all the rage here, but whether or not he handles this type of going is the great unknown and I’m happy to take him on.
3.38 Ascot Mister Fisher 1 point win
If Mister Fisher can put in a clear round of jumping here then he has every chance of beating the Irish raider, Fakir D’Oudairies who is likely to start as favourite. My selection is a top-class chaser who regained winning ways in the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton (20.5f) by 1¾l from Eldorado Allen. The big question is will his jumping hold up, especially when the pressure is on. I’m thinking that Nicky Henderson would have put a lot of work into getting this right and I’m taking the 8-year-old to win what is a very competitive event.
3.58 Wincanton Stellar Magic 1 point win
The Phillip Hobbs trained Stellar Magic would be a lot shorter here had it not been for his pulling up last time out at Ascot and if you look at his best form then he’s very capable of winning this. Admittedly it’s over two furlongs further than he has won before, but he has competed over this distance on one previous occasion, admittedly pulling up on that occasion as well. Nevertheless the selection has decent winning form and hopefully can both finish and win today.
Haydock Park 14.40 - 1 pt win Enqarde
Backed this lad last when a very convincing winner of the Tommy Whittle here back in December, beating the well fancied Remastered by a very easy 10 lengths. He's up 9lbs in a better race but he did it very easily the last day, & didn't look to me like he won't stay the extra couple of furlongs here. He ticks a lot of the trends boxes like a number of his rivals. He'll be ridden prominently just behind the pace setting Sam Brown & will be cruising away from his rivals in the las t couple of furlongs. One slight concern would be if the ground deteriorates after Storm Eunice as this lad unseated on his last run on heavy back in 2020, but I think his jumping has improved with age so it wouldn't put me off.
Ascot 13.15 - 1 pt win Hecouldbetheone
Winner of 2 novice hurdles & a distant 2nd to a Henderson odd on shot in between & he could be up against another hot pot here against the Dai Walters owned Skytastic. I liked the look of his latest win where he led the field & quickened in the last half mile & strode clear to come home on his own. I'm looking for him to jump & run, running the finish out of the favourite, who's not had much racing, so hopefully the more hardened Hecouldbetheone, will be too strong in the finish.
Ascot 14.25 - 1 pt win Larry
Another Gary Moore pick for me here - Larry comfortably won a G3 over 3 miles here back in October. Since then he's had 2 runs over the wrong trips (3 1/2 M - didn't stay & 2 1/2 M - didn't have the pace of the 1st 2). Now back over what looks his optimum trip, at a course he likes, he could stay this trip better then his rivals. He does have a tendency to get behind early but then usually stays on to good effect & he could be better than these. Should Wincanton go ahead one of his main rivals - Ask Me Early - will probably not run & the 23lb pull with Fiddlerontheroof should be enough to see Larry charging home on the rain softened ground.
240 Haydock – The Galloping Bear 0.50pts ew
When applying some key trends for this national trial in name only you are looking for a horse who has run well (1st or 2nd) in the last 49 days, aged 9 or younger that has proven form they stay 3+ miles this leaves The Galloping Bear and Enqarde. The latter has run twice on Heavy going coming 5th to Lord Du Mesnil in this last year tiring late on and Pulling up in the Scottish National so the likely heavy Haydock ground has to be a doubt. That leaves me with Galloping Bear who is off a nice weight winning on Heavy at Lingfield last time out. This lightly raced gelding looks like an improver and with the trainers form currently operating at 60% with 3 winners from the last 5 runners rates a very strong each way pick at around double figures.
150 Ascot – Fern Hill 0.50pts ew
This horse was due to give Bravesmangame most to think about it in my opinion last Saturday. He was taken out on the account of the ground, and I think that was great choice. The expected soft going will be help which can’t be said about the rest of the field. He has run on soft or worse going 5 times, winning 2 and placing in a further 2 from 4 runs. He looks a great each way bet here where the favourites look to want better ground.
300 Ascot – Saint Calvados 0.50pt ew
Finishing 3rd last time out in the King George when Gavin Sheehan lost his job for the owners with a questionable ride, he now drops back in trip to 2 and a half miles which appears to be his optimum trip. He has only run at the distance twice but finished 2nd both times to Min in the RyanAir two years ago and was a nose 2nd on New Years Day that same season. The horse has found it hard to get it’s head in front but is always there or thereabouts and I think this could be his big day.

Week 4 – Sunday 6th February

2.25 Leopardstown – Birchdale 11/2
He ran well last time out at the track over 3 miles in first time cheekpieces which looked to have helped his improved form and jumping and they are retained today back down in trip. A number of the recent past winners ran over 3m last time out and it looks like the trip will suit having run well off higher hurdles marks in two Coral Cups at the Cheltenham festival over the trip, particularly if he races prominently and his jumping is as good as last time as he appeared to be going well getting to the front at the business end before weakening into 6th of 28. The horse is 4lbs out of the handicap which isn’t ideal but is offset to a degree by the 7lb claim of what looks to be a good claimer in form with a few big priced horses going close in big fields in recent weeks.
4.10 Leopardstown – Suprise Package 18/1
In form in the last three races, with last two in handicaps and although has won over further, he does have some good form over this trip and on this sort of ground that he appears to like, hopefully the race will be run at a good pace to be in with a chance at the line.
Kempton 4.00 – La Tihaty Evs
Unexposed, in-form horse who is a recent course and distance winner who looks to have scope for further improvement and can defy 5lb raise in his rating. There doesn’t look to be a whole lot of pace in this race and this horse is versatile as to how he’s ridden having won from the front and from a hold-up run last time out. With the lack of overall pace, he could benefit from getting to the front and making the rest pass him and if he’s as well handicapped and improving as it looks, he should be hard to pass.
3.25 Kempton win bet My first selection comes on a fairly poor Kempton card. Nothing much caught my eye (Sunday's are generally poor on the AW) but i think PRINCE OF HARTS 3/1 looks a decent bet for Rod Millman. The six year old actually won over this course and distance last time out but it is the overall form that attracts me. POH always seems to be there or thereabouts and this looks a very winnable race. Rod Millman has a small string that he sends to AW and he places them well in my opinion. OLD PORT is a ridiculous price (5-4 at time of writing) and i'm hoping the 7-2 holds, or maybe even a little drift come morning. Ross Coakley has been flying lately and i think he can guide this one home, although PRECISELY worries me going up in trip.
2.40 Musselburgh each way

This is an easy pick for me. CAPILANO BRIDGE is a huge price (14-1 currently) imo and is well worth an each way shout. Put a big black line through the last run at Cheltenham. CP lost a shoe and was slightly hurt, though nothing serious. The distance is the big draw for me, CP's best run came over 3m at Punchestown last year and i think this race has been targeted with the distance/conditions sure to suit. I don't think the race last time was one to win anyway, and i ideally would have liked another run before this, but should go well enough after a break. I do think the Irish raiders will be scrapping for this, and i'm hoping it is Capilano Bridge who comes home in front.
1.40 Kempton win
To be honest, i struggled to land on a third selection. For the purposes of the competition, i am chancing BLUEBIRD 8/1. The race is really poor, and Bluebird ran fairly green last time so hopefully the run will have blown that away. I like James Fanshawe as a trainer and i think he has placed this nicely. Take out KING OF JUNGLE (who could be anything) and the race is there for the taking. Hollie Doyle is always a positive booking so my final selection is going on BLUEBIRD. Although i do have to say this is very much a 'forced' selection and my other two are my main bets!
PRINCE OF HARTS 3-25 Kemp 3/1
Staying at Kempton today but it is really tough. This selection simply has the best form at the track, is still fairly handicapped and in my opinion only has the Alan King horse to really worry about. I wish the price was better but you can`t have everything. Anybody looking for an outsidercould do worse than backing ANYTHINGTODAY.
OH THIS IS US EW - 4-00 Kemp 28/1
OH THIS IS US is very well handicapped and is one of only two in the field that have won at the distance. I am put off slightly with the jockey booking but will take a chance. Hannon can get them ready after a break. I think the main danger is SOAR ABOVE who has course credentials and a good jockey booking. If it had won over the distance it would have been my selection.
PINNATA EW - 4-30 Kemp 22/1
A course and distance winner who is just too big a price ( 25/1 at the moment ) Has a very good jockey booking and is not far above it`s winning handicap mark. There are plenty with course form in this race and this is my selection mainly because of it`s outstanding price . UZINCSO is in my opinion a danger and would probably have been my selection if it had a jockey on board who didn`t look like he is going to fall off in a fightinf finish.
13:00 Musselburgh 1pt win Broadway Joe 10/11
The selection is down in class and has won 3 of the last 4 outings, finished 2nd last time. 3 wins from 5 make this something of a course specialist and having been successful at this class and distance, it’s no surprise to see the preferred jockey back on board.
14:40 Musselburgh .5pt e/w Ratfacemcdougall 11/1
The selection is up in class following finishes of 2nd and 4th in the last 2 races. There were 3 wins in a row before switching to current trainer Fergal O’Brien and with horses racing prominently returning £55 profit (10/51) in this race, I am hopeful of a place at least.
15:35 Leopardstown Sir Gerhard 1pt win 4/5
Doubtlessly a popular selection, Sir Gerhard is fancied to win. Data tells us that runners who ‘led’ in their racing style have a 2/11 strike rate for £8.63 and the selection has adapted to hurdles following a strong showing last time out in December. A winner at this class and distance, as well as acting on the ground, a bold showing is hoped for.
Selection 1 - Blackbow 14.25 Leopardstown (0.5pt e/w) 13/2
There's quite a few unexposed horses in this big handicap but Blackbow is a horse who has always promised plenty and could have the class to take home this prize. He has some solid form on his CV, including a Grade 2 bumper win, 5th in the champion bumper and some nice showings behind Energumene in his novice chase season. He made a solid start in his first handicap start when second to the improving Dunvegan. Dunvegan is contesting the Dublin chase tomorrow on the same card, and was in receipt of 5lbs for Blackbow that day. Despite not winning Blackbow has been raised 5lbs but I hope that won't be enough to stop him.
Selection 2 - Annie G 12.45 Leopardstown (0.5pt e/w) 20/1
This will be her first start in handicap company and she could be well treated off 127. She wasn't at her best when finishing last in a Grade 3 last time out, but they have given her a decent break and entered her into a handicap here. She demolished the now 130 rated Surprise Package back in July of last year and a nice second behind the fragile but extremely talented Gypsy Island is another strong piece of form. If the tongue tie and break brings her back to her best she will be extremely well treated off a mark of 127.
Selection 3 - Statuaire 15.35 Leopardstown (0.5pt e/w) 14/1
Statuaire had My Mate Mozzie and subsequent Grade 1 scorer Mighty Potter in behind her last time out and she could be overpriced to go well again. The credentials of the favourite Sir Gerhard are obvious and he will be tricky to beat but I think the value in this race comes from Statuaire. This lightly raced mare has won all 3 of her starts over hurdles so far, and demonstrated her class when stepping up in grade in her previous race. She always looked to be travelling well that day and I think she could go close again in receipt of the 7lbs mare allowance. The only worry for me is the addition of the first time hood but if that brings out even more improvement it would aid her chances.
Kempton 140 Bluebird 1pt win. 8/1
Now the trainer is not known for first time out winners but his horses normally come on leaps for there first race. This one is a well related nag to Deacon Blues and The tin Man. Not given a hard time in his first race showed some promise and Holly Doyle booked sure too go well.
Leopardstown 120 Galopin Des Champs 1pt win. 1/2
I never been so impressed with a horse who had his first try over fences as this one. Absolutely demolished his field never out of first gear ,infact I could have won on him. Only thing that will stop him today is the fences,but if he goes like he did last time will coast in.
Leopardstown 410 Surprise Package 0.5pts ew. 18/1
Done this fellow twice this season and has ran really well in defeat, especially last time out, in a big field at this course. Could not live with winner but beat other 18 or so runners easily. Now up another 2lb for that will make it tougher but he's a consistent sort who will run his usual good race.
Leopardstown 3.35. THREE STRIPE LIFE. eachway 6/1
Trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Davy Russell. Russell is in top current form ,with four winners from 12 rides in the past two weeks. Ran twice in NH Flat races,winning once,at Navan in January 2021 . Went clear of field in closing stages,winning readily by 9 lengths. Finished fourth of 14 in the Cheltenham Champion Bumper. Has entries for the Supreme Novices and the Ballymore Novices,at this years Cheltenham Festival. One win and a second place from two hurdles runs. Has a racing post rating of 144 and looks the main danger to the short priced favourite.
Muss.2.40. SEDDON. each way. 14/1
Trained by the in form Harry Whittington,who has a 28% strike rate with his runners in the past fortnight. On board is Adrian Heskin who has ridden the horse on ten occasions,winning four times. This 9 year old Stowaway gelding has one win at this course from only one run. Winner of a 2mile4 furlong Handicap Hurdle at Lingfield in November. Stayed on strongly in the closing stages. Form from that race is working out well. Will appreciate the longer distance for this race.
Muss. 3.15. LUCKY FLIGHT. each way. 11/2
Was going well when unseated rider two out and looked nailed on for at least second place. That was only three days ago,so connections clearly think that the horse will be ready to run well again. Has won off a handicap mark of 116,& in this race has been given a mark of 111. This is the lowest handicap mark in the last six runs. Trainer Miss Lucinda Russell has a useful record at the course ,with a 15% strike rate in the last 12 months.
Leopardstown 12.45 Say Goodbye 0.5pt E/W 33/1
Think this is 5/6lb in, and first time in handicap not unheard of to step up first time, she wouldn't want any rain overnight and her jumping is patchy at best and you have to go back 3 to find a decent run over distance. Just a bit of a feeling that if Elliot wanted to win its first handicap run, he could of found easier races.
Leopardstown 13.20 Galopin Des Champs 1pt WIN 1/2
This looks a class horse in the making and I have heard that people are backing it for the GC in 2023, it was a smart win back at Christmas and should follow up here, Fury Road is a danger, even tho dropping back, he gave a good account of himself 2 back over 20f coming 3rd to the other Gigginstown runner today Beacon Edge (16's too big) who won lto well & will be thereabouts, sadly no price to speak of with Galopin, but after a poor Saturday, a win is a win.(Hopefully)
Musselburgh 14.40 The Big Galloper 0.5pt E/W 9/1
This Irish raider off bottom weight and up in trip and until last time out, had been facing the bigger obstacles, coming back to the sticks in what was a poor effort after a 60+ day break, cant see them sending it over for nothing and it had an entry in yesterdays Hero's G3 handicap at Sandown, but didn't get in off 122, decent jockey booking in Adam wedge, it may need a few others to run below par, to win, but a place should be attainable.
2.15 Kempton Tyler Bay 0.5 e/w 9/2
Consistent gelding who has won over course, distance and on this slower than standard surface. Jockey Martin Dwyer knows his mount well and trainer Conrad Allen has been in great form recently. There should be enough pace on here to allow Dwyer to lay up just off the lead and strike late on.
3.25 Kempton Anythingtoday 0.5 e/w 13/2
An 8yo Gelding who has now dropped to a rating of just 1lb above his last winning one. Although now getting on in years, Anythingtoday is still relatively unexposed on all weather surfaces - running only 8 times and winning 3 of those. Jockey Harry Davies claims a very useful 7lbs and with trainer George Boughey having a strong record at the track, I am hopeful of at least hitting the frame here.
4.30 Kempton Dingle 1pt win 11/4
Got me off to a good start in this competition a couple of weeks ago and I fancy him to follow up here. Hung on over 1m 2f then and that was stretching his stamina to the limit so the drop back to 1m shouldn’t be a problem. The 3lbs raise is manageable and with both Hannon and Levey in fine form recently, this still relatively unexposed gelding can do the business again.
Capodanno - 1:20 Leopardstown 7/1
This horse offers a cracking each way angle. The favorite is worthy but I can't back a 4/7 shot. In his first run over fences Capodanno beat the highly thought off Gaillard Du Mesil (4/11) by 2 lengths. The going won't be a problem and he gets on very well with Mark Walsh the jockey as they are operating at a 75% win/place. The biggest danger to this horse not finishing in the places is if their is a non runner. Willie Mullins is already quoted as saying this horse will be a better chaser than hurdler and so it appears. 0.5 pt each way
Captain Guiness - 1:50 Leopardstown 13/2
A hardy sort who is very lightly raced for a 7 year old having run only 11 times ( 3 hurdles and 8 chases). The favorite has something to prove after his Sandown run which Greaneteen won and Captain Guiness finishing 3rd beaten 5 3/4lgths, Paul Nicholls is having his customary flat spot and this race could easily fall the way off Captain Guiness. If they can get the horse to settle along with solid jumping then he is a worthy each way bet. 0.5 pt each way
Zanahiyr - 3:00 Leopardstown 6/1
Yet to get his head in front in a Grade one this season his current price of 9/2 looks cracking each way value. Having had 8 hurdle races he has only finished out the first 3 once and that was at last years Cheltenham Festival. Jack Kennedy has a good strike rate with the horse and I always thing a good understanding between the two is key. Last time out he was beaten by a course specialist by a neck and had the current third favorite for this race back in third a further 4 3/4 lengths back. 0.5 pt each way
Since Day One 2:05 Musselburgh 2/1
3/3 since starting out over hurdles, last time out beating Stokes by 7 lengths. That one was unlucky not to win his only start since when pulling clear with another to be 15 lengths infront of third. He carried a double penalty to that win last time so it looks a very decent performance.
The Shunter 2:25 Leopardstown 8/1
One of the big stories of last season and a tidy sum if money changed hands for Jonjo O'Neil to get hold of this one. Capped of his season by winning the Paddy Power Plate at the Cheltenham Festival before respectable defeats on his last 3 starts in good company. This race represents, on the whole, an easier task but he will need to be wary of those lurking at the bottom of the handicap. Has the class thought to be right there.
Brorson 2:40 Musselburgh 5/2
A winner of his last 2 races, the latter of those when stepped up to this trip at Southwell. Its not my MO to side with horses that have already won their recent starts (although I have given two today) but I do believe this one has plenty more to give now he has found the winning thread. He came clear and was eased down to win by 16 lengths last time and despite a stern rise in the weights, he remains unexposed at this staying trip.
1332 Musselburgh - IMPULSIVE ONE - WIN 15/8
There are a couple of interesting sorts here but the more I look at the race the more I think IMPULSIVE ONE is going to take all the beating. His 3rd in a Grade 2 last time over hurdles is the strongest form on show, beaten less than a length by rapidly improving Knight Salute and Porticello. Those 2 are the best of British according to the current betting for the Triumph Hurdle. Course and conditions will be also be right up his street. Inca Street is the main danger and he was a comfortable course and distance winner LTO. However despite the third that day coming out and winning this week I think Inca Street will need a big step forward to push IMPULSIVE ONE close. Connections think a lot of this horse and I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t win for Nicky Henderson for what is his only runner of the day.
1350 Leopardstown - CHACUN POUR SOI - WIN 8/13
It pains me to put up an odds on shot but as the old saying goes ‘ don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’…. CHACUN POUR SOI misfired so badly in the Tingle Creek and I think it was just too bad to be true. I’ll always forgive a horse one bad race and it was only a couple of runs ago this horse was being talked of as if he was unbeatable. He’s back on home turf today and his two main market rivals, who could put up somewhat of a test on their best day, are from yards who are out of form. CHACUN POUR SOI has won the previous 2 runnings of this race with RPR’s of 177 and 175, anything within 10lbs of that should be plenty enough here. He’s got a point to prove and I’m fully expecting a big performance that puts him back into the conversation as a serious Champion Chase contender.
1535 Leopardstown - COLONEL MUSTARD EACH WAY 20/1
I’m surprised at the price of COLONEL MUSTARD here (16/1 at time of writing) and I’m happy to take an each way swing on a horse who really hasn’t done an awful lot wrong in his young career. He was last seen finishing the best of the rest behind Jonbon in what was a competitive looking Grade 2 at Ascot. He was second in a novice Grade 1 last season behind Echoes of Rain giving 7lbs away. Whilst Echoes of Rain hasn’t quite scaled the heights expected yet this season, she’s still being pitched in at the highest level this season and is far from disgracing herself. Also back in third that day was Blue Lord who is now antepost favourite for the Arkle. There are a few runners today without many runs under their belts. With the experience of being a second season novice and having some good form in the book already I think COLONEL MUSTARD has every chance of contesting at least a place here.
2.40 Musselburgh – WAKOOL (win) 9/4
Ran an eye-catching race in victory last time on ground that was expected to be too soft. Tomorrow’s ground is far more suitable and this is not true of many others in the race. As ever I look for a horse that it likely to run its race with a string of solid performances. Nick Alexander’s course form is strong and the horse is a two time course winner. Top rate by me and sure to go close.
3.15 Musselburgh – SARASOTA STAR (win) 5/2
Another with a string of solid runs albeit not many wins. Unlucky to not quite ping the last fence last time out and up a couple of pounds for that. However still weighted well enough and think today may be the day to get across the line. Good going is a positive, as is Martin Keighley’s trainer form in chases. Form and speed ratings are clear of the field. His prominent race style is also a positive at Musselburgh.
4.10 Leopardstown – WOULDN’T YOU AGREE (ew) 16/1
Unusually in big handicaps my ratings system has thrown up a shortlist of just one. Unfashionable trainer also means that the price is a good one and even though it looks a competitive race, I think this is a solid each way bet. Five top three places in the last six races is another sign of an honest and therefore, for me, a likeable type. The 135 day break is a small worry and there is faith in the trainer to get him back in the form he was in the Autumn, but I think this is a risk worth taking here. Place likely, win a possibility would be my summary.
Musselburgh 1:32 INCA PRINCE 1pt WIN 15/8
4 of the last 6 runnings of this race have been won by last time out winners, with the average days since last run being 42 days, however horses with a shorter time in between runs seem to do the best. Both stats boost the credentials of INCA PRINCE who comes seeking his hattrick here. His run last time out over C&D clocks the fastest speed figure in the race which is a huge plus over a sharp track such as this. Brian Hughes picks up the ride here from the injured Jamie Hamilton and he boasts a 25.86% strike rate (15-58) at this course over the last 12 months. Impulsive One has the graded form in the race but I feel INCA PRINCE will be able to come out on top.
Musselburgh 3:15 SARASOTA STAR 1pt WIN 5/2
This bold grey has jumped superbly in his last 3 races over fences, with the only fault coming at the last fence last time out, which ended up costing him the chance of going closer to winning. I have full faith that he will come out swinging again with another solid round of jumping and that paired with his front running tactics should be enough to give him the edge over the rest of this field around the sharp track. 2 starts ago he was beaten by Hardy Du Seuil who came from the clouds to pick him off late, although that form isn’t anything to scoff at when the winner went on to come 9 ½ lengths 2nd to Minella Drama in a grade 2 next time out at Haydock. In what could be a competitive affair this assured jumper is the one to be siding with.
Kempton 2:15 TYGER BAY 1pt WIN 9/2
In a race with a few possible angles, the strongest must be TYGER BAY at the prices. 3 wins in 9 runs at Kempton over 6 furlongs, he is 6 lb higher than his last winning mark over C&D. That win came in a class 4 event, and whilst he has been winless since in lower class company, he has run 2 solid races in his last 2 starts. Last time out he came 2nd only picked off late by the strong travelling Patsy Fagan with the form being given a boost when Zapper Cass, who was just over a length behind in 6th that day, won next time out. The surface didn’t seem to play to his favour at Southwell but when at Kempton the time before, he was travelling the strongest in the race for a long time before failing to beat Airshow who went on to win again in his next start. If he travels as well as he did in that race and manages to hit top speed at the right time, he will be sure to go close.
1.32 Musselburgh - Scottish Triumph Hurdle Selection - Impulsive One (win) 15/8
IMPULSIVE ONE easily won on juvenile hurdle debut at plumpton beating the yellow mini by 12 lengths. He followed up just as easily beating aggagio by 10 lengths. He is unfortunate to have bumped into the same horse twice upped in grade at Kempton when second to knight salute then the same rival got the better of him where he finished third in a grade 2 juvenile race at Doncaster with porticello in second. Porticello has since won the grade 1 finale juvenile hurdle at chepstow boosting the form. He should be tough to beat today
2.25 Leopardstown - Leopardstown Handicap Chase Selection - Max Flamingo (ew) 6/1
MAX FLAMINGO ended last season in good form over hurdles winning a competitive handicap at Fairyhouse before placing in a handicap at the Punchestown festival. Made his chase debut in a beginners chase at Listowel in September finishing 5th behind bleu berry. He was only beaten just over 2 lengths in a good beginners chase at Fairyhouse behind Gabynako on his next run. He was then 2nd behind lieutenant command back at Fairyhouse then ran a cracker to finish 4th in a grade 1 chase over Christmas stepped up to 3m behind fury road. In handicap company today with a good 7lbs claimer aboard he looks well handicapped
3.35 Leopardstown - Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle Selection - Sir Gerhard (win) 4/5
SIR GERHARD very quickly became one of the top bumper horses last season beating the banger Doyle on racecourse debut by 14 lengths. He followed up by beating letsbeclearaboutit at Naas by 4 1/2 lengths. He won the champion bumper at the Cheltenham festival beating kilcruit by 1/2 length. He lost his unbeaten tag at the Punchestown festival with Kilcruit gaining revenge. He made his hurdling debut at leopardstown impressively beating highland charge by 8 lengths on Boxing Day. This looks a good renewal and he could well be favourite for the supreme novice after this today.
3.35 leopardstown
In my opinion this is the best novice hurdle held in ireland or england this season and if SIR GERHARD wins this in a canter then he will be a certainty for the supreme.But having said that i have always liked THREE STRIPED LIFE and if SIR GERHARD is not fully fit then THREE STRIPED LIFE will take all the beating. THREE STRIPED LIFE 1pt win 6/1
1.20 leopardstown
If GALOPIN DES CHAMPS is as good as he looked in his first run then everyone is playing for second place.I don't like doing E/W bets.So for me i have to go for BEACON EDGE he is an E/W price but i love this horse and i'm going for a win.It could be a case of heart ruling head but never mind it's only 1 pt and GALOPIN DES CHAMPS could fall it is a novice chase after all.
BEACON EDGE 1pt win 12/1 1.50 leopardstown
This race revolves around CHACUN POUR SOI if he is back to his best then this will be a walkover but if not then the nicholls runner GREANETEEN looks like the second best horse.So if we have to have a bet then GREANETEEN has to be the speculative choice hopefully. GREANETEEN 1pt win 9/2
1:00 Musselburgh Rafferty (Win) 10/3
Last time out, Rafferty bolted up at Southwell winning very cosily and I feel the horse is still well handicapped despite a 7pound rise and as found a good race to add another win to form. Adam Wedge takes the ride again. It’s run before at Huntingdon; I feel this came a bit too quick from its debut win for the Yard at Market Rasen. The only danger I see is Broadway Joe who is top weight here. Broadway Joe has a very good course record. Fingers crossed Rafferty can keep progressing and give the Morgan team another win to her excellent season so far.
1:32 Musselburgh Impulsive One (Win) 7/4
It is not often Nicky Henderson brings one up to Scotland, this speaks for itself. His only runner on the card, Impulsive One. The Munir horses are running well recently strike rate of 17% in the last 14 days and James Bowen takes the ride who has a strike rate of 24% in the last 14 days. I have put a line through IO last run as was on the AW over 1m 6f but looking back to the run in December, the form is already speaking for itself, the winner has an entry for the Triumph Hurdle & th2 2nd won at Chepstow on the 27/12 by 8 lengths with IO back in 3rd.
4:20 Musselburgh First Angel (Win) 4/1
First Angel has been running consistent and now steps up to 2m4f which should suit. Horse should really appreciate to decent ground and horse goes in first time tongue strap and cheekpieces. Trainer had a winner on course yesterday so let’s hope the good form continues in to today. The danger is the top weight who has strong course and distance form and is a course regular but I am hoping Laura Morgan form continues into today.
1332 Musselburgh – Calvados – 1 pt win 6/1 – Calvados has had five runs over hurdles and has kept good company. His first two hurdles runs this season saw him twice finish in reasonable proximity to the decent Bell Ex One. He followed that up with a good run in a listed contest at Aintree on soft ground, which is encouraging as conditions won’t be dissimilar today. The horses that finished first, third and fourth that day gave the form a consistent and solid look by filling the first three places in a similar race at Doncaster last week, finishing well clear of the horse in fourth. His most recent run was on Boxing Day at Grade 2 level and he was far from disgraced. The winner that day was Fil Dor and Calvados was only 16 lengths behind. He faces nothing of that calibre today and those ahead of him in the market are short enough for me when you look at what they’ve beaten. Sean Bowen takes the ride today and he and the trainer are six wins and nine places from 20 races in the last year.
240 Musselburgh – Brorson – 1 pt win 5/2 – Brorson looks progressive and I fancy he is still ahead of the handicapper. His 2nd at Cheltenham reads well, given the winner and the horse back in third have since won twice since. Jetoile was the horse in third and his most recent run was in the Tolworth where he came second to Constitution Hill (albeit a decent way behind him). His next run was less impressive but it looked like by this point he needed stepping up in trip. The trainer obliged in the next two runs, where Brorson won easily against lesser opposition. Sean Bowen is in the plate and he and the trainer, as with my first pick, have a great record (50 runs, 15 wins, 23 places in the last year). The overnight rain means conditions may be an unknown in so far as his form under rules is concerned, but he came second in a point over in Ireland on soft ground.
420 Musselburgh – I’m To Blame – 1 pt win 9/1 – The ground could be more testing than it was at Musselburgh yesterday and that won’t be to the liking of a few in this field, whereas I’m To Blame shouldn’t be overly inconvenienced by it. He’s won at the track and runs today off a mark of 112, having been rated as high as 135. The lack of a run since June is no worry, given he’s won when fresh twice. Brian Hughes rides, which is eyecatching given you’d expect him to be riding for Donald McCain who saddles Zafar. Zafar is near the top of the market and should have no concerns with the ground either, which makes the jockey booking even more interesting. Hughes and Dalgleish when combining at Musselburgh in the last five years are 49 runs with 17 wins and 29 places, which translates to a massive 71% of runners beaten. He’s ridden I’m To Blame to all but one of his wins so he looks primed for a big run and looks way overpriced.
Samcro - Leopardstown 2.25. .5pt ew 25/1
Crazy selection from the Escape Lounge at Terminal 2, Manchester. The talking horse of the last 5 years being the "new Arkle" or "the Messiah". Not really lived up to the hype but today's the day now handicapping. Last time out Samcro ran pretty well in the Savills Chase before being outclassed & looking in need of the run. Today's the day with the master, Davy Russell on his back.
Fanzio - Musselburgh 3.15. 1pt win. 11/2
Still sat with limited resources to pick something for tomorrow lol. So I like the top weight here, Fanzio. Champion jockey on board this time, last time out clearly didn't stay the 2miles 4 furlong trip. Dropped back to 2 miles today I have a sneaky little feeling that his young trainer fancies this, hence the Brian Hughes booking.
Wakool - Musselburgh 2.40. 1pt win. 9/4
Gate open now so really need to knock on - horrendous queues here btw. If you flying ex Manchester soon I would advise to book fast track through security. Enough of that waffle - Wakool - improving young horse will sit quietly at the rear before cruising past the field. Likes it here, course & distance winner twice, his trainer Nick Alexander will want to keep this prize close to home.
14:15 Kempton - Dewey Road 0.5 pts e/w 13/2
LTO ran at Kempton over 7f & travelled extremely well until getting headed inside the final furlong, today’s drop back in trip to 6f is sure suit Dewey Road & with Ryan Rossa keeping the ride the selection won’t be too far away at the end. Richard Hannon has his horses in great form so far this year which is another big positive.
14:40 Musselburgh - Ratfacemcdougall 0.5 pts e.w 12/1
Fergal OBrien Gelding will travel 335 miles to try and win this C2 over 3m. The selection is 2/2 at the track and likes the conditions. Has won 1/4 over this trip and won at this class before. Fergal looks to have found a great opportunity for Ratfacemcdougall, so I’m hoping for a big run.
16:30 Kempton - Uzincso 0.5 pts e.w 9/1
Uzincso raced over 1m2f LTO at Lingfield in C4 off 87 & finished 1.8L behind the winner, only getting tired in the later stages of the race. Drops back in trip to 1m off 86 but has Luke Morris on board who has a great record on the Gelding winning 2/6 rides and placing 3/6. With conditions to suit a big run is expected.
16:00 Kempton REVOLUTIONISE 0.5e/w 12/1
On the face of it having not won since Feb lat year Revolutionise's form doesn't look too special. But he has flirted with the winners enclosure a few times since having been placed three times. He is a course winner and the booking of the red hot Marco Ghiani is a big plus.
16:30 Kempton UZINCSO 0.5e/w 9/1
Uzincso usually runs a good race at Kempton having won 6 and placed tice out of 12 runs here over course and distance, his last few runs have been a little underwhelming but he is only a lb higher than his last win. The last time out result was a close up (2 length) 6th of 10, he may need things to go right for him but a good run is likely.
12:45 Leopardstown PARTY CENTRAL 9/4
Party central has a great overall record of 4 wins and 2 places from 7 runs. The application of the tongue strap lto seem to have helped after a below par 4th of 7, Davy Russel is again the jockey who has a cracking 30% strike rate over the last 14 days. It is a big field but three of his wins have come in races of over 11 runners.
335 leapordstown 0.5 ew three stripe life 6/1
Davy gave this a lot to do last time out, and kept getting stuck in various pockets. I think that run can be upgraded and I don’t think he has as much to fjnd with the Jollie as the odds suggest. That being said he looks certain to hit the frame on the form of his run the last day and looks a decent each way bet to nothing if all 9 stand.
440 leapordstown 1 pt win pink in the park 5/4
This horse was very impressive on debut and looks sure to continue the sharp upward trend. I really like the sire Walk in the park and as facile vega showed on Saturday they can stamp there authority on this fairly weak renewal which is absolutely dominated by the big two. Odds against looks a fair price for pink in the park to take this before moving over the sticks in the autumn perhaps with a stop at Aintree along the way. One to watch beyond tomorrow an exciting prospect.
250 kempton 1 pt win Teumessias Fox 5/2
He looks to have one to beat in this race and Andrew baldings mount could well do that. The fav is from the Appleby yard but I think there is further improvement to come from the Fox in this. He shaped promising at Southwell over 7f on debut in early December and given a couple of months off to freshen him up, looks sure to go close for a yard that tends to hit the flat season running and represents some value against the fav.
1:20 LEOPARDSTOWN - FURY ROAD (E/W) 10/1
Yes. Despite neeeding the points I'm taking on an odds on shot ! Well, you either believe or you don't so here goes. There's nothing to particularly oppose Galopin Des Champs with, other than the fact he's making the jump from a maiden chase to a grade 1 I think that may be significant. He's unlikely to get a soft lead as he did last time out & with proven grade 1 horses in the field I'm prepared to take on the odds. I've landed on Fury Road. Last time out winner when beating the highly rated Run Wild Fred. To me thats the best recent form on offer in this race. He's an e/w price & if things fall right he could cop the lot but we'll go for the place just in case Galopin Des Champs actually is a superstar.
2:25 LEOPARDSTOWN - BIRCHDALE (WIN) 11/2
I think I'm carrying more weight than this horse does tomorrow ! Didn't quite get home last time over 3 miles but shaped well & jumped well. Down to 2m 5f this time out should suit perfectly. As mentioned he'll be carrying next to nothing as the jockey's claim drops him to 122. If he repeats the solid jumping display from last time out & is ridden up with the pace he has every chance. Was techinically an e/w price at time of writing but I'm only interested in the win here.
2:05 MUSSELBURGH - KIHAVAH (WIN) 5/1
Got found out by the hill at Cheltenham last time out but ran well at a big price up until then. Clearly needs a sharper track & Musselburgh will suit him much better & give him the chance to shine. Seems to be versatile when it comes to ground & with the speedier track & no leg killing uphill finish to blunt him I'll go for the win here. Admittedly he's out again quickly but on balance he's still a bet with the other factors in his favour.
Kempton 4:30 Pinnata 0.5pt e/w 22/1
Won twice at course and distance. Should lead from the outset and hold on. Trainer has won 7 in 19. Jockey has won 8 in 30. Draw is favourable. There hasn't been much form recently but the first time hood may help and all the above factors make this one look somewhat overpriced.
Kempton 4:00 La Thiaty Evs
Roger Varian has won 2 of the last 5 in the last two weeks. He also has a 21% record with his 2nd time handicappers, which is exemplary compared to many others. Jack Mitchell has won 5 of his last 17. The horse looks to have a favourable draw, is unexposed, and should hopefully win for a 4th time in a row.
Musselburgh 1:32 Inca Prince 15/8
In what looks to be a promising day for Brian Hughes, he has a good chance with Inca Prince in this one. Both Jefferson and Hughes have a good record at Musselburgh. Showed well here last time out and should sit at the front and never be headed. With good speed ratings there is plenty to like about this one.
Musselburgh 2.05 Since Day One 1 pt win 2/1
The McCain and Hughes combo are in great form and do very well here with the trainer 4 from 8 and jockey 4 from 10 in novice hurdles in the last 2 years, the 6 year old gelding as won his last 3 on the bounce on good through to soft ground, this is a step up but the same for all in this, he stayed on well LTO 29 days back winning by 7 length's on the same mark here should make it a 4 timer.
Musselburgh 3.15 Glajou 1/2pt e/way NR
As stated yesterday Paul Nicholls doesn't send them this far north for nothing and having won this race 3 times from 4 starts its hard to ignore this one, the 6 year old gelding as a win under his belt at the distance and a bit of rain shouldn't spoil his chances having won on good to soft that win was off a mark of 124 now on 123, the trends suggest 6 year old do well in this and other trends are looking fine, I can see him running a big race.
Kempton 4.00 La Tihaty 1pt win Evs
Another one that's won 3 on the trot this 4 year old colt a course and distance winner won going away here LTO steps up in class but still looks well capable to take this, both trainer and jockey are in decent form and have good records here Jack Mitchell as won on board before and this one could take some pulling back if he gets his head in front.
3.00 Leopardstown Zanahiyr 1 point win 6/1
It may seem the height of madness to oppose the massively odds on mare Honeysuckle but it’s only when we take little risks like this that we can profit on occasions. Zanahiyr is progressing with each run and made Sharjah work hard here at Christmas. He can again confirm places with Saint Roi and Echoes In Rain and with a bit of luck can down the favourite.
3.35 Leopardstown Sir Gerhard 1 point win 4/5
Sir Gerhard was absolute class in bumpers last year scoring three times including at the Cheltenham Festival and did little wrong when switched to hurdles here at Christmas. The Jeremy gelding made all in that 18-runner maiden taking command in the straight and I’m expecting him to progress again. Stablemate El Fabiolo was really impressive on his Irish debut in a Tramore maiden on New Year's Day and while this represents a sharp step up in class, he looks an exciting prospect, but I can’t see him winning this. My Mate Mozzie was just touched off by Statuaire in the Grade 1 Royal Bond at Fairyhouse. The Champion Hurdle entry has been given a break since by Gavin Cromwell and rates an obvious threat, while Three Stripe Life ran well in a Grade 1 here at Christmas and is preferred to the more experienced Colonel Mustard
.4.10 Leopardstown Lucky Max 1 point win 40/1
Huge odds are available for Lucky Max in this race but don’t let them put you off. He has won three hurdle races from 2m to 2m 1f on soft and heavy ground. Although well beaten at 13-2 behind Metier when eighth of 12 on his latest outing in a hurdle race at Lingfield over 2m (heavy) last month, I think if you disregard that race then the selection would be trading in single figures. I know I’m taking a risk here but if I’m right then the reward is pretty decent, to say the least.

Week 3 – Saturday 5th February

14.40 Musselburgh 1pt win Fiveandtwenty 7/2
The selection has dropped down the weights to a dangerous mark, 4 lbs lower than the previous win, and has had 2 wind operations which may alleviate performance concerns. Won three races in a row between Dec 2020 and Feb 2021 and by no means disgraced in defeat since. Should be in the mix.
15:30 Sandown Park 0.5pt e/w Five Star Getaway 5/1
The selection is 2/4 in this class of race and 1/1 at the course. Last seen winning tenaciously at Kempton in December 2021, runners ridden prominently in this race have won 7/35 for a £3.25 profit. There are numerous dangers in the field but this should be worthy of a place at least.
18:30 Kempton 1pt win Rainbow Dreamer 3/1
From a data perspective, horses who are run in mid-division have an 18.29% strike rate (15/82) for £15.08 profit which suggests that advantage is factored into the selection’s price. Rainbow Dreamer is returning at the same mark as its last win and is 4/4 at the course. The opposition is not taken likely but Nayef Road and Roberto Escobarr are unraced on this surface.
Selection 1 - Fil Dor (13.35 Leopardstown) 1pt win 11/8
Whilst people are getting very hyped about Vauban's reappearance given the way in which Pied Piper demolished at Cheltenham last weekend, he will have it all to do to beat the favourite here. Fil Dor is still very much the strongest juvenile we have seen this season. His debut performance saw him beat Sea Sessions by 16 lengths, who has subsequently won at Aintree and placed at Doncaster. His other two starts saw him beat Lunar Power on both occasions, although it felt like he was never really out of second gear in either race. The biggest danger in this race is Icare Allen, this JP McManus owned gelding has only had one start but won convincingly over Christmas in a large field. His french flat form also holds some sway, having Iroko (another JP bought juvenile) a long way in behind. I think if any horse is going to serve it up to Fil Dor it will be Icare Allen, but I'm confident the favourite will put his experience to good use and win another race.
Selection 2 - Miss Lamb (13.58 Wetherby) 1pt win 4/5
This mare by far holds all the cards on her bumper form. She had Grangee and now 132 rated Dragon Bones behind her when finishing second on her third bumper start behind the well regarded Eileendover. She reversed that form in the mares Aintree bumper in April, but was seen off by the impressive Elle Est Belle and Me Too Please. Tweed Skirt who was a long way back in 6th that day has franked the form this season with some nice performances and demonstrates the ability Miss Lamb must possess. In 8th in the same race was Finest View for Alan King who finished ahead of second favourite Prime Time Lady in a listed bumper at Cheltenham. The main danger in this race has to be the unraced Minelladestination for the McCain / Hughes combo, but unless she is of significant class then she will struggle to beat this star mare for Jedd O'Keefe. I think Miss Lamb will have no trouble getting off the mark over hurdles here, and would expect her to run out a wide margin victory.
Selection 3 - Dolphin Square (2.55 Sandown) 0.5pt e/w 25/1
A horse and jockey combination it's hard not to love. Whilst David Maxwell has his critics I think he does wonders for the sport and I'm more than happy to back Dolphin Square to make it a three timer at Sandown this Saturday. The main dangers in the field come in the form of Green Book for Venetia Williams, this French flat recruit has been thoroughly impressive so far and he definitely has room to improve off his mark, the ground however may be slightly against him. Ree Okka is another who is extremely unexposed and could go well for Harry Fry. I think Dolphin Square however has been in terrific form since returning to hurdles and another 5lbs rise in the weights should not be beyond him. I think the market often overlooks Maxwell horses and so he is a massive price to complete his treble.
Leopardstown 14.10 Riviere D'Etel 1pt WIN 2/1
Plenty of short price winners to be had over at the Dublin Festival but I like the look of Elliots, Rivere D'Eteal to get back to winning ways & over turn the well touted Mullens fav. Blue Lord. lto RDE's 2nd to Ferny Hollow (who beat Bob Olinger a while back) over C/D was a good run & given a rating of 150, that race may of come a little too soon but with entries in the Arkle & Turners, today could decide where he heads in March I imagine.
Sandown 14.55 Onegatheringstorm 0.5pt E/W 20/1
Great e/w opportunity here and surely overpriced at 20's as I write this, two back at a listed event at Cheltenham in November he was only a 2.5L 2nd to Sporting John, who has won again since & now rated 151 and also has an entry for the stayers at Cheltenham. The third that day by a neck was Kansas City Chief who when the 3 re-opposed lto, KCC won off a flyweight, with SJ 8.5l 4th and Onegatherstorm a further 6 back (too many mistakes. can be forgiven) Would of preferred if he had a bit of course form at Sandown & there is plenty in here with chances but with lifetime figures of 211325 he's great e/w value IMO.
Leopardstown 15.15 Kemboy 1pt WIN 7/2
Well best to have a crack at the big one, GC winner Minella Indo is full of doubts & Robbie Power getting the ride after only being back a few days is more than likely to get a feel for the GC this year, with usual jockey Blackmore unlikely to ride him at Cheltenham. Both Janidil & Cialos Emery are both doubtful stayers and Asterion Forlonge has lost its way and in its last two he seems to hang right, going left handed wont help get its confidence back. Elliots pair are not good enough, although first time cheekpieces for Delta Work e/w may spring a surprise, but unlikely, so KEMBOY gets the nod to win back to back Irish GC's
5.55 Kempton 1pt win
My first selection is a bit of a risky one and requires a lot of luck. LITTLE HUSTLE 50/1 is a three year old out of the Andrew Balding yard and makes it's debut in this race. The risks attached to newcomers are obvious, they can fall out of the stalls, run green, refuse to even go in the stalls etc but AB has a decent record with newcomers, and the jockey booking of David Probert is eyecatching. The pedigree is superb, the dam is from Frankel and LITTLE HUSTLE is a half sister to TIMEPIECE, a group one winner. That win came over shorter than today (1m and today is 1m3f) but this trip should be no problem. Another group one win came for PASSAGE OF TIME over 1m2f and a group two success came for FATHER TIME over 1m4f. This trip should suit perfectly and, providing everything goes okay, LITTLE HUSTLE should be going close. I think NAHANNI is too short in the market purely due to connections and having a run (6-5 time of writing) and i can't see many other dangers in the field. MHAJIM can run a big race for the Gosden yard but i'm prepared to take the price on LITTLE HUSTLE. I hope the 12-1 sticks but i can see this one being backed in, so fingers crossed for a decent price come the morning!
1.58 Wetherby 1pt win
This could be the week of the newcomers! My next selection is MINELLADESTINATION 6/1 for Donald McCain. The stable has been in fine form and i think DM could have a really horse on his hands here. I always look to get the favourite beat and MISS LAMB (10-11 at time of writing) is far too short and i don't think she will appreciate hurdles as much as the market expects. Theo Gillard is booked for the ride, which is handy for the 3lb he takes off, but also he is 5/13 over the past 14 days which goes hand in hand with DM's 30% strike rate over the same period. This horse looks a picture and is related to a bumper winner and horses that have won over hurdles and on the flat. I think the plan would be to up the distance but this should be great for an opener and the price looks attractive.
1.45 Lingfield 0.5pt EW
My last pick this week is, you guessed it, a newcomer! It is MOHASSANA 33/1 for the Adam West yard. I must confess, i normally leave this yard well alone but this one caught my eye in a pretty competitive race. Firstly, the jockey booking of Hollie Doyle, which is a bonus on any horse. This horse was highly thought of by Shadwell but failed to make it to track. This happens a bit with horses there, my guess is they just have too much to cope with and some get left behind! My thinking is, there is a reason someone is willing to pay for it and Adam West forked out five grand in August for it. The horse is quite well bred and a class 5 over this distance should be a good place to start. The 25-1 on offer now (think it will be bigger come morning) is far too big to ignore and, while this is a speculative punt, i think it should go close to placing in a race like this. OBSIDIAN KNIGHT is probably the likely winner but tough at the top of the market and worth looking a bit further down.
150 Sandown – SONG FOR SOMEONE - WIN 2/1
I’m a fan of this horse and think he has a great chance to pick up his first win of the season. He’s the highest rated in the field despite being dropped 5 lbs for two encouraging efforts so far this campaign. He reopposes his conqueror on the last day in Guard Your Dreams, however he won’t be giving away 6 lbs like he was then. Whilst that horse is improving I don’t think he is quite up to SONG FOR SOMEONE’s level, who not so long ago was being talked up as a dark horse for the Champion Hurdle. I think a lot of people wrote this horse off after a poor run at Aintree last April, however I think you can put a line through that form as I suspect he was just over the top like many horses are at that stage of the season. Other than that he has been consistent and has some strong form in the book. I do like Goshen and would like to see him return to the winners enclosure but as a betting proposition he is too unreliable for me. Whilst he will prefer going right handed, at time of writing the going is officially Good to Soft and I just can’t have him unless the ground is completely bottomless. It is also only 2 weeks since his run on heavy at Lingfield and I’d be surprised if he is fully over that already. I fully expect Global Citizen to tear off in front here like he usually does, and whilst employing those tactics was enough to pick up a place on his last run, he’s against a better field today and I think that’ll set the race up nicely for SONG FOR SOMEONE to take the win.
1257 Musselburgh – PAY THE PIPER - WIN 5/4
This looks a nice opportunity for Hamiltons to get another Saturday winner with PAY THE PIPER. This looks quite a weak affair with just the 4 runners. Paul Nicholls runs Friend or Foe but the yard are having a very quiet time of things at the moment, which is fairness is expected from them at this time of year. Kiltealy Briggs is a nice second season Novice but I think he ideally wants softer ground and I don’t think he’s got too much left up his sleeve. The John McConnell runner is interesting, however he was well beaten LTO and the yard isn’t going particularly well with 2 winners from 48 runners. Despite those two winners coming over obstacles, the yard RTF is 36% so I’m happy to leave alone. PAY THE PIPER hasn’t been beaten all that far by far by Fiddlerontheroof and Bravemansgame this season, a repeat of that level of form should be plenty enough here.
1530 Sandown - FARINET - EACH WAY 4/1
Farinet was a late withdrawal at Cheltenham last week due to the quick ground and looks set to take his chance here. They have been watering all week at Sandown and there is a small amount of rain due so hopefully it will be enough for him to run. He was well fancied last week and I’m surprised at his price today given he is 2/2 at Sandown and it is a weaker looking field. He steps up to 3 miles for the first time and I’m sure he’ll improve again for the further trip. A couple of Venetia Williams short priced favourites have disappointed this week but with a couple of high profile runners today she has every chance of having another big Saturday.
4.35 Lingfield He’s a Latchico 1pt win 11/10
Ryan Moore takes the reins for his Father Gary here, on board this unexposed gelding. He’s a Latchico has only had 5 career starts to date, showing enough over shorter distances to believe that a current rating of 61 is manageable. A step up to 1m 2f looks set to bring about improvement and the booking of course specialist Ryan suggests today could be the day.
7.00 Kempton Closing Bell 0.5 e/w 6/1
This Ed Walker filly put in her best display to date last time out when fitted with first time blinkers, closing to the line but running out of time and just failing to get a blow in to the principals. The step up in trip to 7f today looks set to suit and the blinkers remain on. She has been eased a generous 2lbs in the ratings for that encouraging performance and only a touch of improvement is required to hit the frame here.
2.05 Musselburgh Cool Mix 1pt win 7/2
A consistent gelding who deserves his day in the sun. The handicapper has finally given him a chance, easing him 3lbs after finishing third at Doncaster last time out. Alan Doyle rides and takes a further 3lbs off which effectively puts Cool Mix below his last winning rating. Good ground will not be an issue and the slight drop back in trip should be a further positive. A run in a similar vein to that of any of his in the last 18 months should be enough to get his head in front here.
Leopardstown 210 Blue Lord 1pt win 2/1
This one has been very impressive in his two novice chases too date, not so much the last race but the one before. Travelled supremely well and hasn't touched a twig in any of his chases . No doubt this is stiffest task too date ,but I think he has too much class for these and with luck in running ie no fallers in front of him he should win cosily.
Wetherby 338 Le Breuil 1pt win 4/1.
Now I was surprised to see this one running in a hunter chase, only a couple of weeks ago was running at Ascot in a class 3 handicap where he ran okay to a point, was eventually beat 13 lengths but dropping down here too a class 6 hunter chase, I presume the aim now with him is too get him qualified too run in hunters race at festival. A couple of good pointers too beat here but if he sets off in front and jumping holds surely a bit too much class for these.
Musselburgh 345 The Wolf 1pt win 5/2
I've backed this one twice already this season and both times I feel he has thrown it away with sloppy jumping. Now upped in distance again tomorrow where emphasis will be more on stamina than jumping ,they won't be going fast here surely which will hopefully help his jumping. I think will definitely stay and if like last two runs he will be held up for late run as I don't think does a lot when he gets in front. He is only 2lbs above his last winning mark ,unexposed at the distance solid chance.
1.05 Leopardstown – ERIC BLOODAXE (win) 8/1
Memo to self – stick to the first thought and don’t obsess with value! This week a lot of possibles, but a few stand out for me on my own ratings. Eric Bloodaxe is the first. Two wins and a second in the last three runs and the trainer currently in fine form. I rate his form ahead of any other runner and is also top of my own speed rating so a clear bet. I would have liked a little more juice in the ground but if softer then the price would be a lot shorter and, at current prices, I think this is a value bet.
2.10 Leopardstown – RIVIERE D’ETEL (win) 2/1
Another well clear of the field on my ratings system. Second last time out to Ferny Hollow which I rate as excellent form. Conditions to suit and a mares allowance to boost the chances a little further. Gordon Elliott has been a little quiet by his own standards in the last month, but I think he has been waiting for the two day festival and I expect him to have a good weekend.
3.25 Lingfield – KING OF THE SOUTH (win) 4/1
I did not expect to be looking at the all-weather for a bet this weekend with the rest of the quality on offer, but in analysing this race this one jumped out. Three consecutive wins always worth a second glance and I rate this as the best form in the race. Callum Shepherd had ridden the horse beautifully in the three wins and he seems to get the very best out of him, generally coming from off the pace. At time of writing the price is an excellent one and I expect a strong performance tomorrow.
Sandown 2.55. ASK DILLON. eachway. 33/1
Trained by Fergal O’Brien and ridden by Peter Kavanagh. Trainer has a healthy 16% strike rate at this track. Winner off a handicap mark of 144. Runs in this race off 140. All three victories have come in similar ground to the forecasted going. Ran well to finish third at Cheltenham in December. Pulled up on latest run but is now fitted with blinkers for the first time. Has a good record when running at Right Handed tracks. Two wins and three placed efforts from six runs,including a second placed finish at this course in February 2020, a race where the form has worked out exceptionally well. Ten different horses have come out of that race to win. Ask Dillon looks to have a decent each way chance in a wide open affair.
Wetherby 4.10. DON HOLLOW eachway. 7/2
Sired by champion German sire Soldier Hollow,who specialised in good quality mid to long distance horses. Cost 50,000 euros as a 3 year old. Has had wind surgery,and trainer Dan Skelton will have him fit to go close on racecourse debut. He is in good current form and is the leading trainer at Wetherby with a 29% win rate. Could be one to follow in future months.
Kempton 8.00. AGENT OF FORTUNE. each way 15/2
Trained by Anthony Carson and ridden by Marco Ghiani. Jockey has been in top recent form with a 25% strike rate in the last 14 days,and you would have made a 18.5 points level stake profit on his rides. He has had one ride on board this horse and one victory. Winner of eight races on the poly track surface,and six at this distance. Finished fourth of 9 at the course 10 days ago,and is well drawn for this race. Ran on Friday but was handled gently when any chance of winning was gone.
Leopardstown 2:10 RIVIERE D’ETEL 1pt WIN 2/1
With Ferny Hollow suffering a setback the 2-mile novice chase division has been shaken up. Blue Lord has moved into Ante-post favourite for the Arkle at the festival and as such is the current favourite here. I can’t say I’m as impressed by his performances over fences as others, even with the large margin victory last time. RIVIERE D’ETEL has only 1 loss this season over fences, being the grade 1, 1 ½ length second to Ferny Hollow. This form is by far the strongest in the race and in my opinion should have her favourite for the Cheltenham festival, let alone this race. On top of that the mare’s allowance which has her carrying 7 lb less than the rest (9 lb less than Blue Lord) should be too much for the others to overcome unless performing way above what we have seen so far.
Sandown 2:55 REE OKKA 0.5pt e/w 5/1
The handicapper has been very lenient only putting REE OKKA up 2 lb for his last win which was very impressive at Kempton. The jumping was overall very smooth last time, although the 2 jumps in the home straight when they turned in looked very novicey, which you can forgive seeing as it was only his 3rd start over hurdles. With this experience under his belt, I feel like sitting behind a strong pace allowing him to travel strongly throughout will see him to best effect with another patient ride from Sean Bowen. Having his first start here in a handicap in graded company coming off a low mark which looks very exploitable, he could be the one to take the race and continue his rapid improvement through the ranks.
Lingfield 4:00 GOOD EFFORT 1pt WIN 15/8
An old favourite on the All-weather tracks boasting a record of 7 wins in 15 runs, 3 being in listed company, GOOD EFFORT should be set for another win here. 4 wins out of 4 at Lingfield this track will suit better than Newcastle did last time when he was not seen to best effect. The nature of the straight track there didn’t allow him to utilise his early speed as much as Lingfield does, where he naturally sprints on from the front of the field using the bend to really put some distance between himself and the pursuing pack. Drawn in stall 3 he should be able to get a comfortable lead from the low draw leading to having the rest of the field struggling turning for home to find enough pace to catch him before he gets to the line.
1.15 Sandown – Dolos 15/2
Has been 2nd, 1st, 1st and 2nd in this race in the last 4 years off marks of 144, 149, 157 and 158. Back down to a mark of 143 for today and although recent form suggests that’s probably about right, it looks as though this has been the plan all season and those runs have simply helped him back down to a good mark for another crack at this. He goes well on decent ground, at the track and trip and at this time of year and with stable jockey Harry Cobden on this one rather than their other in the race all look to be positives for Dolos.
3.30 Sandown – Linelee King 4/1
This race over 3m has been chosen instead of what looks a weaker race at Wetherby (1.22) over a shorter trip that he has good form over. He has had a couple of runs over this sort of trip over hurdles and having shown good form in his last two runs over the shorter trip, was unlucky last time out to sprawl on landing but still made a good recovery to finish well and choosing a potentially tougher race today shows faith in the horse to step up in trip and improve further on what he’s done so far. Looks well handicapped on recent RPR’s and hopefully with further improvement he’ll go well.
2.45 Leopardstown – Rightplacerightime 13/2
He was entered in the 3m handicap at Sandown as well and having raced last time out at Haydock, with trainer Emmet Mullins seemingly happy to bring them over for winnable races here, it looks interesting that he’s decided to go for this race instead, particularly also being 3lb out of the handicap. He was a well backed favourite at Haydock last time but didn’t run so well finishing in mid division in a race where there has been some form shown. He will need to improve on that but his RPR’s over this trip so far suggests he could be well handicapped. In addition to taking in this race from out of the handicap, the excellent Rachael Blackmore is booked to ride having only had 1 other ride for the trainer and could possibly have ridden the top-weight in this for her main trainer Henry De Bromhead having ridden that one on its last 5 runs.
GOSHEN 1:50 Sandown 9/4
For a runner who finished in last place last time out, there are an enormous amount of postives that the run brings. I say last, of course it was only a 3 runner race he contested last time, and he was just a neck behind 2nd and a further 1.25 lengths behind the winner. When you consider the weight to handicap marks he was 9lb wrong with the winner, and 13lb wrong with the 2nd place horse Darver Star. This already upgrades his performance for me, but possibly even more noteworthy is the fact he was going left handed at Lingfield that day, and he is a real right hand track specialist. If he can run to the same level as that tomorrow, where official ratings he is only 1lb inferior to Song For Someone, I'm confident he will take some stopping!
FARINET 3:30 Sandown 7/2
I tipped this one last week but unfortunately it was made a non runner due to the going. With tomorrow looking to be softer going I am recommending this one again. I was very impressed with the way Farinet went through the last race and he looked to always be on top without being asked for full effort. Won his last two races at this venue and can complete the course hatrick.
ROHAAN 4:00 Lingfield 4/1
Twice a C&D winner, albeit the most recent of those was 11 months ago when rated 91, a whopping 22lb lower than his current rating! That due to his unbelievable ascension thru the ranks last year which saw his last four runs all competing in Group 1 company. As such this is a significant drop down to listed company and gives him every chance of coming home in front again.
Facile Vega - 4:25 Leopardstown 8/11
He's a lovely big horse with a long stride. The jockey was keen to let him use his stride from early in his first race. The ground is not a concern and whilst this looks a deeper race as you would expect for the meet I think this is horse could have a nice future. He won his first race by 6 length but was a good deal better than the finishing distance. I expect this horse to win before before turning up at the big spring festivals and it would be no surprise should he feature at Cheltenham and doing well just like his Dam. 1pt win
Riviere D'Etel - 2:10 Leopardstown 2/1
This lovely looking mare has a great chance of beating the current Arkle favorite as she has the mares allowance getting 9lbs from the top weighted Blue Lord. Rated 133 as a hurdle she is obviously a better chaser and got within 1 1/2 lengths of Ferny Hollow who is now out for the season, that form puts her bang there for this race. The going of yielding will not be an issue as she is 2 from 2 on the ground and has an 83% win/place rate over the distance and 83% win/place rate with the jockey aboard. 1pt win
L'Homme Presse - 2:20 Sandown 8/11
Another horse who has benefited from going chasing and is progressing all the time. Won his last race at Cheltenham by a comfortable 10 lengths. This horse is so versatile trip and groundwise so I do not see any issues their. I think this is a weaker race than his last, the main danger is Pic D'Orhy but his jumping has sometimes let him down further we Paul Nicholls horses tend to struggle at this time of year due to flu jabs etc. 1pt win
FOSTERS ISLAND - WETHERBY 3pm 13/2-
Prior to being upped in class on his last run in the listed Lanzarote Hurdle over 2M5F, this horse ran up a pre Christmas hat trick at C5/C4/C3 over 2M4F. Now back to a more realistic class 3, the 5lb rise is negated by the young conditional jockey's claim so he may have enough to land the spoils here especially with likely favourite No Risk Des Flos having never won beyond 2 miles. Hopefully Fosters Island will be staying on at the finish.
FIVEANDTWENTY - MUSSELBURGH 2.40pm 7/2-
This mare won the Scottish Triumph Hurdle on this weekend last year which rounded off a hat trick of wins over course & distance. Relatively highly tried since with a 3rd (behind Monmiral & Adagio) in the Doom Bar at Aintree, listed & G3 runs so she is obviously well thought of. Can go off a bit too quick but hopefully some rain forecast tomorrow will help to slow him down. The race looks competitive on paper but her main rivals haven't been in super recent form recently & with the mare's allowance she may be able to hold for the win.
REE OKKA - SANDOWN PARK 2.55pm 5/1-
Another competitive race on offer here but Ree Okka looks like a horse on the up against other unexposed horses & some good old staying handicappers. A lot of horses here that have previously carried my money but the way Ree Okka won his last race (class 3, very easily), suggests Harry Fry may be hoping for big things from this handicap debutant. Hopefully he gets a strong pace to aim at & a nice win to justify connections faith in giving him an Albert Barlett entry at Cheltenham.
310 Chuvelo - 1pt win 6/1 - Chuvelo's recent form isn't the best but his back form is decent and the pick of it would have him well in. I can put his last run down to it being a fitness run given the drift before the off. His rules debut in Ireland reads really well, as does his second over this C&D in Jan 20. Course form over this sharp right handed track is no bad thing. The trainer has been in blinding form all season and I expected him to be much closer to the top of the market.
330 Linelee King - 1pt win 7/2 - 3rd in an average race at Ayr last time doesn't look great on the face of it but he made a terrible mistake four out and still made up the ground as all four runners finished in a bunch. His run prior to that at Aintree saw him beat Kiltealy Briggs and Beakstown. Those two horses have run well in good races since so I fancy Linelee King is well handicapped.
405 Spike Jones - 0.5 pts EW 15/2 - bit left field and praying all 8 run. The trainer and jockey have a fine record when teaming up in the last year (4 wins from 17 runs, with 9 places). He's been consistent so far and his last run is starting to look good. The winner won a grade 2 last week and the horse in fourth won next time out. He steps in to handicap company for the first time for a yard who does well with handicap debutants and looks the value in a race full of unexposed types.
17:25 Kempton YORKTOWN 7/2
This is a very modest race, and only a couple stand out Star of Epsom has a live chance, but Im siding with Yorktown to finally break his duck. The booking of Tom Marquand is a positive. This is the lowest mark he has been on and looks set for a good run.
18:30 Kempton RAINBOW DREAMER 3/1
Rainbow dreamer has a cracking record here with 4 Course and distance wins from 4 runs. Having won this race for the past two years a good run is a certainty. Also having 9 wins out of 30 runs is nothing to be sniffed at. A Kirby is running at 25% strike rate over the last 14 days
20:00 Kempton WIN WIN POWER 5/1
WIn Win Power looks to have a good chance here running off a mark of 59 and dropping down a grade, his last win was off a mark of 72, albeit being just over a year ago. He has a modest overall record on the all weather of 2 wins and 3 places in 15 starts, but at kempton the record looks a whole lot better with 1 win and a place from 3 runs, the last run (a hd 2nd was with Joanna MAson on board who partners him tonight.
1.15 Sandown 1pt win Gunsight Ridge 3/1
This horse had been unlucky the last two days prior to his previous run and he finally got his head in front again last time out. He looked to have plenty in hand that day when everything came together and I think the Sandown test over course and distance really suits this horse and don't think the 6lb rise will stop him going in again and sure to give you a run for your money.
1.50 Sandown 1pt win Song For Someone 2/1
This horse just failed to beat Guard Your Dreams at Cheltenham in the International in December and after looking like he would run no sort of race stormed up the hill to be just denied. It does look to want further nowadays but the competition in this is average. You have the nutcase Goshen who if returns to form would win comfortably but he's shown no sign of that for sometime now. GuardYourDreams is the danger but is 6lb worse off at the weights this time to SongForSomeone and I think that will make the difference. I can't have the aged horses Hunters call and Global Citizen who look past their best now. SongForSomeone looks a reasonable bet and is the best of these still on official ratings.
3.50 Leopardstown 0.5pt ew Stansfield 33/1
The rag of the field at the time of writing but not a forlorn hope altthough he does have more letters by his name than numbers he looks far too big a price too me. He has won on Heavy ground at 2 miles and Leapordstown have been watering for some time only for the rain to come the last day or so, with further expected. I can see this being a test he could relish and at bottom weight would have a shout at a huge price. The talented and underutilised Sam Ewing also takes the ride and with a few of these looking exposed can see him hitting the frame and if the qwerky Mt Leinster doesnt put it all in which is a possibility can see him springing the upset of the day for the bumper payout!
1:15 SANDOWN - FRERO BANBOU (WIN) 11/4
This horse has winning form on everything from good to soft to heavy. The win on heavy coming last time out at Lingfield. If that hasn't left a mark then he's the bet here in what looks to be a competitive race. He's run well on every start this season & having got the win last time I take him to follow up. Conditions tomorrow look to be good / good to soft, just as they were for his last win at the course. On a day when I've mostly gone looking for each way prices he'll do for the straight win bet.
3:15 LEOPARDSTOWN - DELTA WORK (E/W) 11/1
More or less the forgotten horse in this field but is a 3 time grade 1 winner at this track. Showed enough in the Savills Chase to suggest that he'd have been involved in the finish if not for a horrendous error 2 out. Take out that mistake & you can mark up the run massively. Granted this is a ridiculously competitive race but that's all the more reason to try to find something at a price. Currently double figures on offer & that will do for me for an each way bet, particularly with the persistent doubts about Minella Indo.
3:30 SANDOWN - REAL STEEL (E/W) 16/1
A bit of a blast from the past. Ex Mullins horses don't get a lot of love from the markets & that can be an angle in itself at times. I think that might be the case here. He runs here off a mark of 145 & the jockey's claim takes that down to 140. Any flash of his old form makes him thrown in off a mark like that. The key will probably be the ground. He needs it good & he'll get it today. With all of that in his favour you're hoping it inspires something like his historical form. Admittedly that's not a given by any means but at 16/1 at time of writing the price compensates for the risk.
14:55 Sandown - Ask Dillon 0.5 pts e/w 33/1
Has previously placed at the track and is 1/6 on the going with 4 of those runs placing. The selection has not won over this trip but has placed 3/4 times when taking on the distance. Today tries 1st time blinkers which should concentrate the selection at his hurdle after not jumping that well LTO. The gelding is too well handicapped to ignore and with a sound round of jumping I can’t see Ask Dillon not making the frame.
15:10 Musselburgh - Blooriedotcom 0.5 pts e/w 8/1
The selection has won 2/4 at the track and placed 3/4 of those runs. Has won twice over this trip and never been out of the frame on each run over this trip. Won in the class and comes into form this time of year. The trainer has found a great race for the selection and if the rain comes, which is forecasted, then Blooriedotcom chances will further improve.
20:00 Kempton - Divine Messenger 0.5 pts e/w 10/1
The selection raced well LTO at Lingfield finishing 3.7L behind the winner. Today has Adam Kirby as jockey in which he has a great record on this gelding, winning 2/6 and places 5 of those 6 runs. The selection is too well handicapped to ignore racing off 60, especially when placing in a C4 off 74 back in March 21, today races in C4 at a more suitable trip. The trainer is in need of a winner and let’s hope she gets off the mark this year with Divine Messenger.
1.05 Leopardstown Nathaniel Lacy and Partners Novice Hurdle Selection - Minella Crooner (win) 10/3
MINELLA CROONER won his bumper on racecourse debut eased down over 2m2f at Sligo beating State Of Honor by 3 1/2 lengths. He made it 2/2 at Punchestown easily beating Mister Beeton by 6 1/2 lengths. He suffered his only defeat at leopardstown over 2m4f staying on well for 2nd behind Journey With Me with Kilcruit back in 3rd. That form was boosted during the last week with Kilcruit bolting up at Punchestown on Monday. He returned to winning ways on his last run beating eye van by 11 lengths. The step up to 2m6f should be ideal for him today
2.10 Leopardstown Irish Arkle Selection - Blue Lord (win) 2/1
BLUE LORD was a decent novice hurdler last season looking booked for 2nd behind runaway winner Appreciate It in the supreme novice hurdle at the festival before coming down at the last. Looks a much improved horse over fences this season winning twice from two runs to date. He won on debut beating El Barra by 5 1/2 lengths at Punchestown then following up at Naas easily beating lifetime ambition by 20 lengths. He finds himself current favourite for the Arkle at the Cheltenham festival in March with Ferny Hollow now injured and he can further cement his chances today.
2.55 Sandown Virgin Bet Heroes Handicap Hurdle Selection - Dans Le Vent (ew) 9/1
DANS LE VENT won at Haydock in November when upped to 3m beating Riggs by a length and a quarter. Dropping in trip at Cheltenham on his next run in the grade 2 relkeel hurdle over 2m4f where he was only beaten 6 lengths into 4th in a race won by guard your dreams. He caught the eye staying on strongly in the grade 3 Lanzarote hurdle at Kempton. He was nearest at finish 5th behind cobblers dream where he was beaten 7 lengths. The return to 3m will suit today as he is unexposed at this sort of staying trip
2:55 Sandown Beauport 13/2
Two wins and three places in the last five races shows this one can mix it with the best. Included in the wins is an impressive class 1 win at this course. The same trainer and jockey team up with Jordan Nailor still taking 3lb off. He seems to ride this track very well with 5 places in his 7 races.
3:10 Musselburgh Wor Verge 10/1
Only Wor Verge and Gemologist have any sort of record on good ground, but the latter is a 39 run maiden, so that just left the former. Nathan Mouscrop has had a decent start to the year and knows the horse well having won at the same distance as today. Expect to come up through the field and challenge late on.
2:51 Lingfield Impeach 4/1
Having been in Lincoln last weekend I was torn between Impeach and Lincoln Gamble in the 7pm but this looks better odds. Both should lead from the front and hopefully never be headed. Ok, I was also swayed by Martin Dwyer's excellent recent form and good record for Conrad Allen, the 2/2 at this course for the horse, and the preferred draw.
Musselburgh 12.57 Friend or Foe 1pt win 10/3
Paul Nicholls does not send his horses all the way up here for nothing so when he does we should take note, I expect there is more to come from the 7 year old gelding now chasing he as won a beginners chase off this mark on good going and class 2 over hurdles on soft, a step up in trip should suit, the only negative i can see on the trends is the days since last run 128 days when previous winners were all under 65 days, Nicholls is 2 wins from 6 chase starts in the last year here and as won this race twice I think he can take this.
Wetherby 2.30 Ashtown Lad 1pt win 11/1
Trainer Dan Skelton as a fantastic record here with his novice chases 4 wins from 5 starts in the last 2 years with jockey Harry Skelton on board all 4 winners, the 8 year old gelding as to step up in class but in his favour as won 2 out of 3 starts here on soft and good to soft at the time of writing the going is good so that is an unknown, he ran a decent race LTO at Haydock on heavy which probably didn't suit, the distance won't be a problem and with the Skelton's record and a bit of improvement he could go well here.
Leopardstown 3.15 Kemboy 1pt win 7/2
Course & distance winner who won this race last year is now 2lb better off this time, the 10 year old record here speaks for it self as won 3 from 7 starts and placed in another 3 in grade 1 chases, apart from 10 year olds not doing to well 2 wins from 32 starts all the other trends are looking good add to that Willie Mullins as won this race 11 times from 32 starts, I am hopeful Kemboy as another grade 1 win in him.
HOLD FAST EW - 4-55 Kemp 8/1
Three time course winner, two time course and distance winner, hooded for the first time, well handicapped even without the jockeys 7lb claim and to top it all is currently offered by William Hill at 9/1 ( thus the ew advice ). Last win came off of a mark of 69 over course and distance and runs off of 59 if you take into account the riders claim. What`s not to like ? Well actually, the jockey ! If D Probert was on board ( and he is at the meeting ) I would advise a win bet. Never heard of the young man on board today but he has at least ridden a winner or two.
SLEEPING LION EW - 6-30 Kemp 10/1
This is rather a strange race which has one of my favourite horses entered. The horse in question is Leoncavallo, who at the time of typing is a massive 22/1 and I probably will have to have a couple of quid on ( just in case ). He has struggled recently though and may just be beginning to show his age. My selection does not have too many miles on the clock, is a two time course winner, with one of those being a course and distance win. Recently back from a try in a £50k race in France, finishing a creditable 3rd at a distance that was a couple of furlongs too short, I am hoping the return to a track he obviously likes and a new jockey on board, will do the trick.
DIVINE MESSENGER EW - 8-00 Kemp 10/1
So, a Class 6 handicap at 8pm on a Saturday night, WHY ? That`s exactly what I thought when I saw A Kirby jocked up on a 20/1 outsider ( has already been nibbled at, now 16/1 ). The horse has course form, albeit very little ( but more than others ) and is actually very well handicapped. There are a couple of others that almost made it to my dreaded number one tip. Firstly, MARCHETTI, the best handicapped donkey in the race but who does not have any positive course form and AGENT OF FORTUNE, who does have course form and has history of running on consecutive days and winning on the second day attempt. She may not run though and I don`t want to survive the competition with non runners. So I am heavily reliant on Kempton and I hope the joskeys on my selections have NOT taken their bucket and spades along.
2.40 musselburgh
This horse was unbeaten in three bumpers last season so i couldn't wait for him to go hurdling in his first hurdle didn't have a clue what to do second one much the same but finally came good on third go. This is a horse i can see running up a sequence of wins now gone handicapping and with bottom weight what's not to like. SOCIALIST AGENDA 1pt win 5/1
1.35 leopardstown
This is a horse i have only seen run once but he absolutely blew me away.I'm expecting plenty of improvement from his first run in ireland.He is up against an elliot so called good thing in FIL DOR but that means we get a better price on our one.I think the market is well wrong with this one you can get 7/1 at time of writing so go and fill your boots. ICARE ALLEN 1pt win 5/1
3.15 leopardstown
On this seasons form this horse should be 20/1 for this but is in fact 7/2 at time of writing that is because if he returns to last seasons form he would pick these up and carry them having said that this requires a leap of faith.There are excuses for his two bad runs in his first race he looked like he had ate all the pies so to be in challenging with two fences left and against two race fit rivals in frodon and galvin was quite remarkable.Now before the king george some shrewdy's where saying he can't go right handed i'm hoping they where right.So max bet at whatever price you can get MINELLA INDO. MINELLA INDO 1pt win 4/1
1.05 Leopardstown Hollow Games 1 point win 2/1
If there’s one thing that Gordon Elliott’s Hollow Games seems to possess then it’s stamina, which is why I think the extra two furlongs he is being asked to run since 3rd last time out, is right up his street. Grand Jury finished ahead of him last time but this extra distance should benefit my selection.
1.15 Sandown Rikoboy 1 point win 9/1
A winner over 17f at Market Rasen last winter, Rikoboy ran well after 10 months off when second at Wincanton 4 weeks ago. I’m expecting him to improve for that run and the six-year-old gelding will appreciate better underfoot conditions than he experienced at Wincanton. Trainer Dr. Richard Newland has obtained the services of Sam Twiston-Davies to ride the selection.
2.05 Musselburgh Cool Mix 1 point win 7/2
Trainer Iain Jardine has got Cool Mix back to his previous winning mark and he looks to have a great chance here. Calipso Collonges often runs in better company than this and rates the main danger following his good third in the Tommy Whittle at Haydock, while Glen Forsa is also on a decent mark and the drop back in trip will suit. However, although Cool Mix doesn’t win as often as he probably should, I’m taking him to get his head in front here.
2:40 Musselburgh Socialist Agenda (Win) 5/1
A competitive Scottish County Hurdle but a confident selection with Socialist Agenda who I am hoping he can get his reputation further enhanced with a win here. He won his first 3 starts in bumpers which were all on good ground. The going is predicted to be `Good` on Saturday. We did not see him for 415 days where a reappearance, he ran a excellent race in which he just ran out of steam 2 out. The start after that, he ran at Cheltenham in a class 3 novice hurdle, and he looked to be in with a chance but did not quite get up the hill. That race included JRP ONE who finished 2nd that day but has since won by 6 ½ lengths. On his last start, Socialist Agenda won by just under 1 length but was well clear 2 from home and got a little lonely out in front which allowed the 2nd to get on terms. However, SA battled back to get his head in front ½ furlong from home. This is a yard local to me and they have really taken their time with him as they have high hopes for SA. He has a lot in his favour today and I expect him to be bang there come the finish.
4:00 Lingfield Good Effort (Win) 15/8
Good Effort should be a class against his rivals here and I will expect him to win the Kachy Stakes at a track he has an excellent record at. He is 4/4 from Lingfield. Last time out at Newcastle, the straight course did not suit him at all, and it was a very slow runner 5 runner race. We can put a line through this. There should be plenty of pace here which will suit GE and he is drawn in stall 3. The trainer had a winner on Thursday at Chelmsford so trainer form is not a worry. Furthermore, it is the trainers only runner on the card today. The obvious danger is Rohaan under Ryan Moore but he has not run since October so I feel GE with the recent run in January can get the win here.
5:55 Kempton Santanic Moon (Win) 33/1
I closely follow Sea The Moon progeny and we have another one here under Santanic Moon who I feel will be more of a handicapper over time. However, I fully expect SA to come over from debut run. On debut, SA was very slowly away and that was the race over for SA. He ran very green after that and was given an education around Wolves in which he eventually finished 3rd 14 lengths behind the 2nd. I am hoping he comes on for his debut run. This race today is another novice and ran over 1m4f, but I expect SA to be ridden more prominently with Kingscote taking the ride, I can see him breaking better today and trying to make all from stall 1.

Week 2 – Saturday 29th January

13:55 Cheltenham .5 pt e/w Farinet 13/2
Farinet has won twice in his last 4 races and has been successful in this class of race before. The selection is going 2 grades up in class and, following a 5.5 length win last time out is 6lbs higher. The only question mark in my mind is whether the ground is suitable.
15:20 Doncaster .5 pt e/w Fusil Raffles 6/1
This is Fusil Raffles’ second start in a handicap race and it is 1lb lower than the previous winning mark. Consistency is the watchword – the selection has finished in the top 2 6 times from the last 9 runs and is a previous winner in this class of race. The surface and distance should hold no fear but this is a step away from the more familiar environment of Cheltenham.
15:40 Cheltenham 1pt win Hillcrest 6/5
Hillcrest was imperious when winning the previous race and has won 3 of the last 4 inclusive. The selection handles both course and distance and has been successful in this class of race before. Officially rated 7lbs higher than A Different Kind, the nearest rival, and with Balco Coastal looking the main danger, Hillcrest looks a solid selection to continue this fine run of form.
Feature Race - Whatmore (0.5pt e/w) 9/1
The two I was initially really undecided between in this race was Farinet and Jacamar. At the time of writing Farinet is 6/1 and I think that is just a little bit too big, whilst Jacamar has been backed in from a double figure price and I think he is on the short side now. Farinet was sent off favourite at Cheltenham in December, in a race which the reopposing Coole Cody was victorious. In truth he was never travelling that day, and I think conditions will be similar tomorrow and will struggle on the quicker ground. One who I think will be at home over this trip on quick ground is Whatmore for Henry Daly. He has been a conistent performer as of late and this surface might see him to best effect, his third in a grade 3 over hurdles on true good ground is a solid piece of form and his fourth at the festival last year shows his aptitude at the track, fourth behind Imperial Aura, Galvin and Hold The Note is a nice yardstick. I'm hopeful a few won't handle this quick ground on such an undulating course, and Whatmore will be there to pick up the pieces from off the pace.
4.08 Uttoxeter - Akkapenko (0.5pt e/w) 16/1
He was victorious over this C+D in November off a mark of 86 on good ground. He ran at Taunton on good ground on his subsequent start where he struggled off a mark of 93, and struggled again last time out but that was on heavy. He comes into this race now 4lbs higher than his November victory and the track should be in a similar condition. He made all last time, but might struggle for such an easy lead with Classic Tune in this race, I just hope they don't go too hard out in front because he should have the beating of the 12 year old should they make it to the business end with energy left in the tank. At the current price of 20/1 he is incredible value to repeat his November C+D success.
4.23 Lingfield - Igotatext (1pt win) 10/1
This Archie Watson trained gelding is returning to the scene of his debut win off a reduced mark. He has struggled since an early handicap victory off a mark of 77 and now comes here 14 months later off a far reduced mark of 70. I don't think the field is particularly deep and so it won't take much to win this one, the main danger for me is Camachess who has been mightily consistent. The only other threat is if Rebel Redemption picks up an uncontested lead but I think a return to this track should suit Hollie Doyle's mount and he definitely has scope to be winning of this mark.
12.15 Cheltenham – MASTER’S LEGACY (each way)9/1
Tough day to pick the right races and so concentrating on horses that are most likely to run their races. Master’s Legacy has always seemed an honest type who, now back over a shorter trip, I expect to finish the race very strongly. Slight worries about the quick ground but first-time tongue-tie is I think a positive. Clear on my ratings system in what looks an open race with strong form and speed ratings. At the prices, certainly some each way value.
1.55 Cheltenham – JACAMAR (win) 8/1
As expected with the compulsory race, this can go to almost any of them. Jacamar is another which I expect to run his race and the Trainer and Jockey are both in fine form at the moment. Strong in the ratings and a value price. I expect to be held up for the strong finish and hoping that Brennan can keep him close enough on ground that may not suit many in the field. I’ll be honest, I had expected to be tipping Torn and Frayed each way when I saw that it was 14/1 but that price has collapsed dramatically and I’m not sure that 9/2 is value on that one.
3.40 Cheltenham – HILLCREST (win)5/4
Another race where faster ground may find some weaknesses in the field but I’m keeping is simple and looking for proven class at the distance. Multiple winners are always attractive, and I’m not convinced the main opposition will stay. Top rated horse on the day for me and I must stick to the principles and include it in my selections. Henry Daly has an amazing strike rate with last time winners, and I expect this to continue here.
Cheltenham 1.55 Win bet.
My selection for this race is WHATMORE for a straight win. This is a very competitive race and i think JACAMAR could easily take this but i have to side with WHATMORE 9/1. The obvious worry is that the horse has been off the track for 15 months, but i don't think Henry Daly would send it to such a big race if he didn't feel it could perform after such a long break. It's last run over this distance was actually at Cheltenham and the three infront were Hold the Note, Galvin and Imperial Aura. Imperial Aura has largely dissapointed in recent runs but has beaten Itchy Feet at Ascot since that race. To run such a great race behind Galvin, who has went on to become a potential superstar, really makes me think that this horse can run a big race today. WHATMORE also ran creditable races at both Newcastle and Ascot, in this grade albeit over greater distances before the long absence. I think it can run fresh and can really put in a show against some very good animals. I'm hoping the 10-1 holds until morning as that is a cracking price and a good 3-4 points above what i would have the true price as.
Cheltenham 1.20 Win bet.
My next selection is also at Cheltenham and is YOUR DARLING 6/1. This is a step up in class, which is always a risk, but i think this horse can handle it. YOUR DARLING seems a progressive type to me and can go really well if the ground stays good. YD finished third behind JACAMAR on boxing day and i really think JACAMAR could run a stormer in the 1.55, which is a much better race than this one. I think YOUR DARLING will be underestimated in the market and i can it going off 7/8-1 which is a terrific price in my opinion. The mark remains the same as boxing day which i think is a huge plus, anywhere near that level of performance would see YD take this comfortably. OSCAR ELITE has really impressed me this season but i'm prepared to take a chance elsewhere.
Kempton 5.00 Each way.
My final selection is a horse i backed on debut. TWO TEMPTING 18/1 is back for it's second start after finishing 8th at Wolves 3 weeks ago. Now you could look at that 8th and think it was a poor run, it wasn't. A bit of greenness leaving the stalls meant Ghiani had to play catch up, which he did. He then met trouble on the rails and didn't really get a run. TWO TEMPTING probably wasn't winning that race but it was going close with a clear run, in my opinion. Interesting Ghiani is booked again as he did seem to settle the horse after the initial blown start. Portman has been steady this season, the performances tend to be better than the results and i think TWO TEMPTING will be a very attractive price come off the off. I'm not happy to go win only so doing this one each way in a very open looking race
 1355 Cheltenham – Whatmore EACH WAY 9/1
This is a competitive race and cases can be made for a few here. Farinet is the stand out for me and is clearly improving, however his run over C&D last month was extremely disappointing. Course form is crucial at Cheltenham, and whilst it might be premature to write him off I’d want a bigger price for a horse who possibly may not enjoy running here. Coole Cody on the other hand is a Cheltenham specialist who will certainly give his running and try to make it from the front. However he is now on a career high mark after some strong performances this season. My fear is that he’ll be carrying too much weight to play a part in the finish. Better ground will suit him but it will also suit my selection in the race, WHATMORE. This consistent sort is returning from a long lay-off which is a slight concern. However trainer Henry Daly said earlier this week that the horse is bouncing at home, is extremely fresh and desperate for a run . With this in mind I can see this usual hold-up horse adopting more positive tactics and the drop in trip may actually be a plus. Whilst these days he may be more suited to 3 miles, he ran a creditable fourth over 2 ½ miles on his last Cheltenham appearance behind Imperial Aura and Galvin. Whatmore was outpaced that day turning for home but he won’t be facing anything of their level today. He also has the best place percentage on good ground of any of today’s runners (6 from 8) so I’m happy to take a chance on his fitness at the prices.
1430 Cheltenham – Santini EACH WAY 14/1
I wouldn’t usually look at a five runner affair and think there is an each way angle but I cannot believe SANTINI is a double figure price at time of writing. He is the class act of the field and I don’t think anyone should be fooled by his lowly mark of 154. He won this race well back in 2020 and was then unlucky not to win the Gold Cup, only beaten a neck by Al Boum Photo after a storming finish. Last season never went to plan and he was extremely disappointing on his last 3 starts for Nicky Henderson. A change of yards followed and it looked as though the change of scenery helped when shaping well for a long time on debut for Polly Gundry. Vibes from the yard were that he badly needed the run and whilst he did tire quickly, he travelled and jumped well all whilst giving 20lbs plus to all that finished in front of him. Whilst he’s ultimately being aimed at another tilt at the Gold Cup, this is a much more realistic target and would also be the biggest win of Polly’s training career. She knows the horse well after having him in her care before he went to Nicky Henderson so I believe she has every chance of getting him back near his best. Of the other runners, Chantry House has a lot of questions to answer after his poor showing in the King George. It’s his first season in open company and he could still be top class, but at a shade of odds on I am more than happy to leave him alone. I don’t think Simply the Betts really wants 3 miles although to be fair the ground would not have suited on his only previous attempt at the trip. He ran very well on New Years Day but I have a feeling this may come a bit soon for him. Kauto Riko you would think should be outclassed here and in reality would want softer ground. Aye Right is interesting, but he certainly isn’t a Grade 1 horse and I’m happy to take him on with a proven Grade 1 performer at more than twice the price.
1520 Doncaster – Nuts Well EACH WAY 28/1
I’m very interested in NUTS WELL here stepping up to 3 miles for the first time. The Hamiltons may only have a small yard but they are extremely shrewd with their placing and I don’t believe he would be pitched in here without a good chance. He may be carrying top weight but he is now rated 2 lbs lower than when winning on his seasonal reappearance. He’s ran creditably since but hasn’t quite had the pace to go with some real class horses when the taps have been turned on. The step up could suit him today and I don’t think there would be a single person who’d begrudge the Hamilton’s having another big Saturday winner. There are a few horses here who are either out of form or don’t really want 3 miles. Doncaster have also been watering the course this week due to the unseasonably quick ground, however this shouldn’t be an issue for Nuts Well who has won on good previously. Fusil Raffles is in my view the clear danger and it’s interesting that he shows up here rather than go to Cheltenham where he had a couple of entries. However he’s 7/2 at the time of writing and cannot be recommended as a win only bet in a race that’s thrown up so many big price winners in recent years.
12:15 Cheltenham
Lively Citizen 9/2 - A lovely horse who has been having a great season and clearly loves Cheltenham having won twice and coming second from three runs, in fact his stats are really good for a horse rated 117 which makes me think he is still improving even if he has had 10 hurdle races as he is operating at 90% win/place over the obstacles along with 88% win/place over the distance. The second from his last run has raced since and won by an impressive 10 lengths. The trainer and jockey have a profitable strike rate off 42% ( 2 wins, 3 places from 12 runs). Lurking towards to the bottom of the weights I think this horse has a great chance to increase his impressive Cheltenham strike rate. 1pt win
1:55 Cheltenham
Coole Cody 7/1- This tough 11yr old has had a great season and deserves to get another course win on the board (3 wins - 2 places from 11 runs). Looking at the pace it could be that Coole Cody will get his own way upfront as their appears very little pace, the Venetia Williams horse is likely to be the tracker. Granted Coole Cody is at his highest mark over the fences and is a veteran in the game yet he rates good each way value. The Jockey and Trainer have good course form along with a 39% win/place rate when teaming up. This grade 3 contest does not look the deepest. 0.5pts each way
3:40 Cheltenham
Hillcrest 5/4- Henry Daly has already come out and said that this horse is better than anything we have had and the way he powered through his race on New Years Day over course and Distance would suggest he is a good horse. Granted Hillcrest has to give weight away to the others I am not worried by this as he is a big horse and is clearly going to be a chaser for the future. Hillcrest is likely to set his own pace without being challenged. Unraced on good ground I do not think this will be a problem as his knee action did not suggest he was dependent on soft ground. 1pt win
1.55 Cheltenham Spiritofthegames 0.5 e/w 10/1
A stalwart of these kind of handicaps, who rarely runs a bad race at Cheltenham but admittedly struggles to get his head in front. He is now down to a tempting mark of 137 with the further help of Jack Andrews’ 5lb claim on top. The forecast good ground should not be a hinderance and with question marks around some of the principles in this race regarding fitness, jumping and going, I feel it may well pay to side with the tried and trusted option here.
1.20 Cheltenham Beakstown 0.5 e/w 6/1
Sticking with a similar thought process as the 1.55, Beakstown has proven himself to be a generally solid performer from the Skelton stable. More experienced over fences than nearly all of his rivals here and should relish the better ground. Jack Andrews again claims a valuable 5lbs and from a relenting mark, he could get very competitive.
12.08 Uttoxeter Subway Surf 1pt win 11/2
Subway Surf has now dropped to a very tempting mark of 106 and after returning to form on her last outing around here in December, could now be ripe to strike. Trainer Kim Bailey has a decent track record and has enlisted one of the more experienced conditional jockeys in the field to provide the steering. Good ground is a plus and she should really be going close here.
13.55 Cheltenham.
Really open race and plenty in here with chances, but I am going for the Pipe trained bottom weight 130 rated Eden Du Houx 0.5p e/w 14/1 to be in the frame. Had two races since its third win op and won first time up over 2m after a 236 day break, followed up with a good second 12 days ago in a small field of 4 over the 20f. So the wind ops appear to have revitalised. Not much form at Cheltenham but strangely ran at the festival last year over 3m5f (last, off 125) in National Hunt Novice chase ?? never won at anything over 2m. The Pipe & Scu combo & its weird journey is worth taking an e/w punt at.
16.08 Uttoexter
One from the notebook & the lucky last here at Uttox is a trappy looking low class 2.5m Handicap Hurdle to finish the day and the 5yo French bred handicap newcomer Hipop Des Ongrais 5/1, Can get off the mark here. Given a really low mark (88) & should take advantage. lto travelled well for most of the way and showed some reasonable ability and the step up in trip should serve well. Trainer nor Jockey on fire and more cut would probably suit, but off this mark against this field & the fav being an 8yo ex Irish horse coming back after 450+ days off, has every chance.
16.15 Cheltenham
Following a trend and the last at Chelt's is the listed Mares flat race and you shouldn't look much further than the sole entry for Mullins, Nos Na Gaoithe 7/2. Mullins had 5/6 declared for this beginning of the week and sends just the one & with the Irish 4yo's being a cut above the English at the moment could take this. lto at Navan can be forgiven, again the ground with some cut looks like it may help but happy to run it on Good lto, so I do not think connections are concerned.
Cheltenham 1.55 - JACAMAR 8/1
Won well at Kempton on Boxing Day. Upped in class now for an inform jockey / trainer combo. Will hopefully find the extra to land this prize. The 2 front runners will lead the field a merry dance leaving JACAMAR to steal it on the hill.
Doncaster 3.20 - CAP DU NORD 8/1
Comes into this race on a 20lb lower mark than when a well backed 3rd last year. A mistake at the 2nd last maybe cost him the main prize last year. He's not been in such good form this season but maybe tomorrow will see it all come together.
Doncaster 2.45 - NOT AT PRESENT 8/1
Been in excellent form this season with 3 consecutive wins, albeit in a lower grade. 6 of the field are also stepping up in class but to my eyes this lad will show a bit more improvement to nick this. Ben Pauling has had a couple of wins in the last 2 weeks so is hopefully starting to hit a bit of form.
Cheltenham 1:55 (Paddy Power Handicap Chase) SPIRITOFTHEGAMES – 0.5pt e/w 10/1
Only ½ a length 2nd in this race 2 years ago off 149 his current mark of 137 with a 5 lb claim on top should have him winning if running to his best. Tried mainly over 3 miles this season his 1 start over this trip was a respectable 7 length 9th in the Paddy Power Gold Cup. With the likes of Coole Cody and Torn and Frayed likely to set the pace and make the running SPIRITOFTHEGAMES should revert to his patiently ridden held up style, enabling him to power on late to go close as he has done throughout his career.
Cheltenham 12:45 ICEO – 1pt WIN 2/1
In a race which will have implications on the Triumph hurdle market for the festival it is ICEO who stands out here. His 17-length demolition job at Kempton last month was run in a time 3.67 seconds faster than when Pied Piper beat Vauban in Ireland. With the good ground at Cheltenham, I would say ICEO is favoured over Pied Piper due to the latter only having wins on heavy ground in his career on the flat and his 1 hurdle start. ICEO’s pedigree should allow the good ground to be no issue through the damsire and Nicholls boasts a 22.62% strike rate (19-84) with his 4-year-olds in the last 12 months.
Lingfield 12:52 PRINCE ROCK – 0.5pt e/w 11/1
PRINCE ROCK is back at his favourite track with 5 wins and 9 places in his 22 starts on Lingfield’s all-weather track and should give another good account for himself here. Won 2 starts ago off a mark of 63 and made all under Luke Morris, his next start is stronger than the bare result of 5th says. Racing off 67 he was only 2 ½ lengths off the winner with the subsequent form of those in the race not being anything to scoff at either. 3rd place Enfranchise who was a length up on the selection was only a length 2nd in a class 2 next time out and then ran out a good winner of a class 4 on the 28th off the same mark of 75, albeit over 2 furlongs longer. Being the most likely runner to lead this should negate the wide draw, dropped back down 1 lb to 66 and down into a class 6 with Luke Morris back on-board PRINCE ROCK is a solid runner in this affair.
BACARDYS 12:00 Fairyhouse 2/1
Willie Mullins has won all four runnings of this race and I would be confident he will be targeting the race again this year. He has the two favourites in the market but Paul Townend chooses the smart Bacardys, and that would be my choice too. Although he has yes to win a chase, his recent foray into this discipline has given strong belief he will be winning a race like this.
FARINET 1:55 Cheltenham 13/2
I was very impressed with the way Farinet went through the last race and he looked to always be on top without being asked for full effort. He will need to do better than his penultimate run which was around here but that looks entirely likely. Yards decent young 7lb claimer is up to negate the rise in the weights.
NUTS WELL EW 3:20 Doncaster 28/1
A big price selection in this race, but its a horse I would be happy to back at much shorter than this. Nuts Well is the best horse in the race on ratings and has carried top/big weights to victory on numerous occasions I'm the past. This is a new trip, but one we can be optimistic about as he has been noted staying on over 2m 4f in the past.
1.00 Doncaster – Tide Times – 1 PT win 11/4 – Ian Williams is lethal at Doncaster (+61 if backed blind over the last five years, from a big sample size) and this is his only runner there today. He and Charlie Todd are 5 wins from 16 rides over that same period when teaming up here, again showing a profit. That’s all pointless if the horse is no good, but Tide Times has some good back form to his name. He beat Enqarde (now a 137 rated chaser) back in late 2020 and then lost his way. He has only had three runs over fences, two of which were good. The other one was easily forgivable (jockey lost irons and pulled up stumps). He made a mistake when tiring last time in terrible ground but travelled well up to that point. His second to the decent Hunny Moon this season came on good ground, so he should handle conditions.
1.20 Cheltenham – Beakstown – 1PT win 5/1– I don’t think many in the field want quick ground over 2.5 miles, whereas Beakstown as a Grade 2 win in those conditions (albeit over hurdles). His chase form isn’t too shabby and he came 5th at the Cheltenham Festival back in 2020 off a mark of 139. He wasn’t seen for 18 months thereafter, but two of his three runs since have been promising. At Aintree, he wasn’t far behind subsequent winner Kiltealy Briggs. That horse didn’t disgrace himself on Boxing Day behind top class opposition. His latest run at Doncaster was behind Erne River, who looked really well handicapped. Beakstown made the running that day and they set a quick tempo so you could upgrade that run. Jack Andrews is riding well and takes off a useful 5lbs, meaning he is effectively running off 125 today.
1.55 Cheltenham – Magic Saint 1 PT win 15/2- You could pick holes in all of the runners, so I will. The ground isn’t ideal for Farinet, Spiritofthegames and Eden Du Houx. Jacamar, She’sasupermack, Gaelik Coast will possibly be caught out in Grade 3 company. I’ve no idea if Whatmore needs the run after 15 months off. Torn and Frayed is tempting but last time was pulled up (forgivable in the ground) and is short enough as I type. Coole Cody is great but he’s high enough in the weights, might get hassled for the lead and was beaten by two of these last time out. Those two are Magic Saint and Galahad Quest. The latter backed out of things quickly enough in their December clash so Magic Saint it is. He was further back than GQ last time off what looked a steady gallop so he is the selection.
Chelt. 1.55. JACAMAR. each way. 8/1
Trained by the in form Milton Harris and ridden by the experienced Paddy Brennan. Winner of a Class 2 Handicap Hurdle at Aintree in Oct.2020. Stayed on well to lead in closing stages. Form of that race has worked out well with four other horses winning since. Has had four races over the larger obstacles,winning once and placing once. Won at Kempton last time out,and prior to that was beaten a head at Wincanton over 2 mile 4 furlongs. Made a mistake at the last otherwise would probably have won.
Doncaster. 3.20. STORM CONTROL. eachway. 9/1
Winner at Newbury on latest run,on good to soft. Only won by a half length,but looked comfortable. Jumps well and likes to be up with the lead from the early stages of a race. Finished a decent fifth in last years Kim Muir at Cheltenham. Form from that race has worked out really well with the first,second,sixth,seventh and eighth all winning. Has won three times on the forecast going,and has a victory in Class One races. Trained by Miss Kerrie Lee and has the promising Mr.DJ McCondile in the saddle.
Chelt.4.15. NOTNOWLINDA. each way 33/1
This race looks tricky to pick a winner,but with nine previous winners in the field it could turn out to be a race to follow ,in terms of horses that run well. My selection is trained by the in form Dan Skelton,who has a 22% strike rate in the last two weeks. He has an excellent record in Bumpers. Winner of a Point To Point in Ireland over 3 miles before changing hands for £85,000 . Sired by Notnowcato,and is a half sister to Mollyking. Could go close at a decent each way price.
12:25 Doncaster - Le Musee 0.5 pts e.w 14/1
The selection raced in a C3 LTO over 3m and finished 4/11, only finishing 6L behind the winner. Today drops back to C4 and races over 2m 3f which the gelding has a fine record of 2/2. It’s also interesting to see the visor back on again with the selection winning 50 % of its races with it on. The jockey is 2/4 and with conditions to suit I can see the selection finishing in prize money.
12:52 Lingfield - Dutugamunu 0.5 pts e.w 14/1
The selection has won 2/4 over CD & has won 2/6 in the class. The Gelding raced over 6f LTO after 226 days off, finishing 8/9. The step back up in trip to 1m is sure to suit & only being 1lb above its LWM I’m sure the Gelding will show an improved effort.
13:55 Cheltenham - She’sasupermack 0.5 pts e.w 28/1
This Mare is clearly on the upgrade and today moves up in class to take on the Geldings. The trainer has travelled 272 miles with the selection being the only runner at the meeting. With conditions to suit and the stamina testing Cheltenham hill likely to suit as well, I can see a big run.
CHELTENHAM 1.20 - BEAKSTOWN (WIN) 5/1
2nd bet of the day inspired by the good ground. Beakstown runs here off 130 but with the 5lb claimer on board he'll be bouncing off the turf. 2 decent runs already this season have him primed nicely for this after the thick end of 2 years off the track left him a bit of a forgotten horse. Expect him to travel well & be in touch all the way around. We'll probably know 2 out whether to carry on watching or put the kettle on but hopefully he'll come surging through to win it.
CHELTENHAM 1.55 - JACAMAR (E/W) 8/1
I'm expecting improvement on the back of an impressive performance winning at Kempton last time out. Up only 3lbs for that. He's a solid jumper for a novice & given he should come on for the run I was going to go win only but decided on the each way play in case his inexperience catches him out. Jockey change is of no concern as Paddy Brennan is hardly a downgrade. He needs good ground & will get it here. Expect him to gallop along enthusistically & be driven for a finish. If it all comes together it's my best bet of the day.
DONCASTER 3:20 - STORM CONTROL (E/W) 9/1
OK, here's the risky one. A winner at Newbury just the other week & the turnaround may be too much. But I can't ignore him at the current odds. He won that race from the front & will try to do so again here. He showed battling qualities when challenged in that Newbury race & I actually think he looked better than the bare form. This will be harder but if he retains fitness he should go close. It's not the most confident of the days selections but it's a decent E/W price & I couldn't leave him unbacked after being impressed with the last run.
LIVELY CITIZEN 12:15 Cheltenham WIN 9/2
Being born and bred Cheltenham I have been to a fair few meetings, but HQ being HQ and the competitiveness of the races normally means it's always hard to come away with big profits. But i think I have found some jems. Lively citizen has a cracking course record which is important around HQ. Out of three runs he has 2 wins and a place. The last time win was with the very good 7lb claiming jockey so it all looks like a good run is in order.
SANTINI 14 30 Cheltenham 0.5E/W 14/1
Chantry House is just too short odds for me to back. So I'm going to for a left field choice of Santini. He has a good record at Cheltenham age might have now caught up with him but for a value for money bet, why not!
HILLCREST 15:40 Cheltenham WIN 6/5
I normally don't like backing favourites but I think Hillcrest has a cracking chance! In this. He has a good course and distance record and had won 2 out 2 over the distance. He does have to concede weight all round but a win is predicted.
135 Doncaster For Pleasure 1 pt win 4/1
Alex Hales front running charge stormed up the Cheltenham Hill to beat Third Time Lucki in a festival trial race and finished a gallant albeit fortuitous 3rd in last years supreme. His chasing career has been somewhat stop start bringing down Edwardstone on debut before being well beaten in a confidence builder next time out against the same opponent. He then completed the comeback with an all the way success at Plumpton beating Nassalam in a match by 37 lengths powering away in the home straight. If he can get into a rhythm around Doncaster then I can see him stealing a march and putting himself in the picture as a lively outsider for this years Arkle. I really enjoy watching this horse race and he reminds me of a similar front running horse Fair Along and at just 6 years old I’m hoping his best racing is yet to come and he will certainly give you a run for your money as the outsider of 3.
155 Cheltenham Jacamar 0.5pt ew 8/1
I like three in this race Jacamar, Galahad Quest and She’sasupermack. Just 3 mares have run in this race before but all 3 have impressively placed and I think Iain Jardine could pick up some decent prize money and fill one of the places with his mare. Nick Williams’ horses seem to thrive at the turn of the year and his record is fantastic in January and six year olds have a good record in this race and I rate him as the main danger to the selection. Milton Harris has had a fantastic season and this horse won well last time out on Boxing Day at Kempton. His yard is going from strength to strength and Jacamar can continue his upward trajectory getting a stone from Magic Saint and Coole Cody who should give him a nice toe in to the race.
230 Cheltenham Santini 0.5pt ew 14/1
Santini changed stables to Polly Gundry in the summer and ran a respectable race on it’s comeback travelling well for a long time before clearly needing the run. The horse also needs a marathon trip and is a bit of an old boat but it was just 2 years ago he was 2nd in a Gold Cup and won this beating Bristol De Mai. With question marks over all the runners I think it’s worth siding with Santini at hopefully a double figure price. He is getting 4lbs from the top 2 and Kauto Riko is running off the same weight rated 15lb lower. Simply the Betts is yet to prove it stays at this extended 3 mile trip leaving the favourite to beat. Chantry House also has questions to answer and can be opposed at odds on after flopping in the King George and head gear being applied suggesting connections have no explanation for the poor run last time out. A weak renewal of the Cotswold Chase and Santini can take the opportunity to pick up the pieces and get his 2nd win in the race before one last tilt at the Gold Cup in March.
1:55pm Cheltenham Jacamer (Win) 8/1
Has took well to fences with last 2 starts finishing 2nd then 1st. Last time out, Jacamer didn’t jump too well but still managed to win. This run was in first time cheekpieces which are retained here. Jacamer has been raised 3 pounds here, but I expect him to been bang there at the finish. Ground expected to the good which Jacamer should be ok with. This is a competitive race, but I expect Coole Cody to set a good pace and I anticipate Jacamer to sit well off it hoping for a late challenge coming round the final bend.
2:22pm Uttoxeter Cabot Cliffs (Win) 10/1
Last time out, Cabot Cliffs did not enjoy the heavy ground being never involved at the back of the field eventually finishing 10th. Back on better ground today which should suit, and being 1/1 at Uttoxeter, I expect Cabot Cliffs to be more involved this time. Trainer is bang in form operating a 22% strike rate in the last 14 days, so I am hopeful of a good run.
3:20pm Doncaster Hurricane Harvey (Each Way) 12/1
Taking a chance with HH but still think he’s well handicapped since his last win which was at Doncaster. He’s 1/1 here and believe there’s enough pace here for HH so it could set up nicely for him. He’s been running consistently this season. The ground should be a problem and Connor Brace takes the ride who is 1,1,P and in a competitive listed race, I am happy to take a chance on
1:55 Cheltenham Farinet 13/2
Venetia Williams is still showing good form with 30% winners in the last two weeks (at time of writing). We were on her horse with Lucy Turner for the main race last week and after being narrowly pipped for second, I'm happy to stick with that formula this week, the 7lb claimer being a helpful factor. Should run near or at the front throughout and be a real threat.
3:20 Doncaster 0.5pt ew Cloudy Glen 22/1
I'll stick with Venetia for my second pick, this time with Charlie Deutsch on board. He is winning more than 1 in 3 in the last 2 weeks. There's questions surrounding the horse after not finishing three of the last five, but in the other two, secured a win and a second so each way is the option for this one.
12:45 Cheltenham Iceo 2/1
Unbeaten and clear on speed ratings. Good sire history suggests there's more to come from this one. Should lead or run prominently and hopefully dominate from the front. Being French bred is a positive in this race in the past. Paul Nichols wins over 30% of the time with horses running in their second races under rules, as the selection does here.
Doncaster 12.25 Inishbiggle 1pt win 11/2
This lightly raced 7 year old as won 2 from 6 over hurdles and looks to have more to come, won staying on well 18 days ago over C/D same class same jockey Kevin Brogan today, the 8lb rise in the weights may not be enough to stop him going in again, the trainer is in decent form having 2 wins from 4 in the last 2 weeks.
Cheltenham 1.55 Magic Saint 1pt win 15/2
This Paul Nicholls trained 8 year old is only 1 of 3 here with course wins, winning a class 2 chase off a mark of 152 but the better form maybe a 2nd in a grade 2 chase here in April on good ground off a mark of 157 now down to 147. a repeat of that form should be good enough to take this. Tom Buckley a good 5lb claimer is on board this should not be a problem as 3 of the last 5 winners of this race were claimers.
Doncaster 3.20 Nuts Well 1/2pt Each way 28/1
The way in for me is the jockey's Daniel McMenamin terrific record when on board this one in chase starts 6 out of 10 wins add to that the stable form of 3 out 3 wins this year, although Nuts Well is now an 11 year old he does have some class form in the book winning at grade 2 level, his record in chases is 35% win and 48% place I think there is still a decent race in him hopefully it's this one.
Cheltenham 155 She'sasupermack 0.5pts ew 28/1
Had a real hard look at this race, and really struggled to pick anything with great confidence hence playing each way Going on trends my selection does not fit the criteria but most of them don't in this race, so going for She'sasupermack, has form on good ground which a lot of these don't,can stay further than this so I'm hoping they go fast up front which I expect with Coole Cody in race .
Cheltenham 415 Nos Na Gaoithe 1pt win 7/2
Now I'm sure this race was meant to be run at Market Rasen over a week ago but was lost too frost . Now W Mullins has had runners in the last two runnings of this ,so must target the race for some reason, his winner of it was Panic Attack who was later sold to pipe and finished down the field in festival bumper. Clearly this one is better than his last run when denied a clear run about 5f out ,lost a bit of momentum and stayed on into 5th not beaten far.
257Uttoxeter. Burrows Diamond 1pt win 6/1
Won very easily last time out at Newcastle in a small field but was very impressive, will like the forecast ground and if still in same form should go very close and I think is good value at price forecast at moment.
QUEST FOR LIFE EW - 12-25 Don 33/1
I should really leave this race alone as there are 3 that I fancy and all at a working mans price ( at the time of writing ). So the 3 are CREATIVE CONTROL, who is a double fig price at the moment but will surely shorten. LE MUSEE, who is the best handicapped horse in the race and has other positives and is an even tastier price. But the one I have plumped for is QUEST FOR LIFE who is back down to a winning mark, has the required ground and although not a course winner has finished 3rd on both hurdle attempts here at my local course. I do think that CREATIVE CONTROL will win the race but his price must surely contract from the 12s available at the moment. The other 2 mentioned should be there abouts and the 33s available on my selection is just too tempting. I will be backing CC to win and the other 2 ew as well as having combination forecasts, all aboard.
SHESASUPERMACK EW - 1-55 Chel 28/1
MAGIC SAINT is the best handicapped horse in this race and would have been my win selection except for the distance, where he is 0 from 6. The rest are very close as far as their handicap mark goes but the selection is placed 7 from 9 over the bigger obstacles and a win record of 3 from 9. He shouldn`t have a problem with the ground and is the kind of price I like. Admittedly he is stepping up in class but I am hopeful of a good run.
KINGS ADVICE WIN - 6-30 Kem 8/1
I have landed on this selection because it is by far the best handicapped horse in the race, has the magical Fanning / Johnston combination and only has to ride the other 3 to sleep. The Big Negative is the distance of 2m, but if as I think, the horse is so well in, I can`t resist the double digit price for a Johnston horse in a 4 horse race. It either wins, or runs down the field to take another couple of pounds off, ready for the day to collect.
1.55 cheltenham
this field wouldn't be out of place down the beach there is only 1 horse that i would be sick if he won and i hadn't had a bet on so here it is SPIRITOFTHEGAMES i have followed this horse for years and he pops up every so often hopefully this will be one of those times.
1pt win SPIRITOFTHEGAMES 10/1

2.15 fairyhouse
this is a speculative one as well. i backed him last time out and he ran like a donkey it was too bad to be true his breeding is impeccable. if he doesn't win this race then i can see a lot of gloomy faces. 1pt win FISTON DES ISSARDS 18/1

3.20 doncaster
nothing speculative about this one this horse is too good to be a handicapper he should pick these up and carry them. 1pt win FUSIL RAFFLES 6/1
12.15 Cheltenham - SSS Super Alloys Handicap Hurdle Selection - Lively Citizen (ew) 9/2
LIVELY CITIZEN has a very good c&d record with 2 wins and a second from 3 starts here at Cheltenham. He won a competitive big field handicap in Nov 2020 off a mark of 107 then went close to following up in a similar race a month later. On his latest run here in December he won off a mark of 112 beating Broomfield burg by 1/2 a length. Up 5lbs for that win but again is at the right end of the handicap and can follow up
1.55 Cheltenham Paddy Power Handicap Chase Selection - Spiritofthegames (ew) 10/1 10pR4
SPIRITOFTHEGAMES has been a regular in these competitive 2m4f handicaps at Cheltenham over the years and just over a year ago he went close in the paddy power gold cup over c&d chasing home coole Cody off a mark of 148 giving that rival 11lbs that day. Today he gets 15lbs from that rival. He spent the rest of last season over hurdles stepping up to 3m qualifying and running in the Pertemps qualifier at the festival where he stayed on for 9th. He also finished 9th in this years renewal of the paddy power gold cup and back over hurdles last time out he weakened late on after leading two out. After these disappointing runs he has dropped to a mark of 137 which makes him look well handicapped on his form last season. The better ground will suit today as well
3.20 Doncaster - Skybet Chase Selection - Hurricane Harvey (ew) 12/1
HURRICANE HARVEY won a grade 2 novice chase over todays c&d in his novice season at the back end of 2020. He has been in consistent form this season finishing 4th on reappearance at chepstow before staying on well in the badger ales listed handicap at wincanton in November where he was third behind one of todays rivals Rocco off a mark of 136. He finished 5th at Cheltenham on his last run behind commodore and runs here off a 3lbs lower mark. From the bottom end of the weights he can run a big race.
1.20 Cheltenham Beakstown 1 point win 5/1
This is quite a competitive event but I am hopeful of a bold showing from Beakstown. The Dan Skelton horse was somewhere near back to his best last month when 2nd at Doncaster and is on a good mark here, especially with Jack Andrews taking a further 5 lb off his back. I’m absolutely certain he’ll be on the premises here and hopefully can get our day off to a nice start.
1.55 Cheltenham Galahad Quest 1 point win 13/2
Only 11 runners but another really competitive handicap and cases can be made out for quite a number of the runners. At a big price, I have reluctantly passed over the David Pipe Eden Du Houx in favour of the Nick Williams trained Galahad Quest. He won At Haydock at the end of last season and has not disgraced himself this time around with his 6th of 16 last time out looking good form. If he jumps well and can keep handy, I think he has every chance.
3.20 Doncaster Demachine 1 point win 6/1
Had he not fallen at the first fence in his last race at Ludlow I’m pretty certain that Demachine would be a lot shorter here. He was a smart novice chaser last season and ran better than the result shows when a well-held fifth of 21 in Ladbrokes Trophy on Newbury on his return. He’s worth another chance here and at the odds s the value in the race.
12.15 Cheltenham – Geromino 20/1
His form behind Tommy’s Oscar two starts ago where he battled all the way to the line with him is good in light of that one winning well again last week and doesn’t look flattered by the run. Likes good ground and is potentially well handicapped on that run back on this favourable ground today. Can ignore the run last time, heavily eased over further and back to more suitable trip today.
1.55 Cheltenham – Torn And Frayed 5/1
Has run well in some good races, including against some good novice chasers and at this track. He also finished ahead of War Lord over hurdles and he rates close to the 150 mark over fences now so hoping there is scop in this one’s mark of 131 today on the good ground he likes with a prominent run style should suit in this. His last run wasn’t a good one over a trip further than this on Haydock’s heavy ground and he does need to bounce back. Was given the option of the novice handicap chase over the same trip in the preceding race on the card but connections have chosen this instead which hopefully suggests a good run is expected particularly as the trainer’s runner in that is currently the outside of the field.
3.20 Doncaster - Fusil Raffles 6/1
Loves this better ground, has the class and the step back up to 3m should see further improvement as he looks well handicapped, travels well and is unexposed over the trip and on recent runs over intermediate trips has looked a bit short of pace. Hopefully he will travel well enough close to the pace back on his favoured ground for an in-form trainer with a decent record in this with the limited runners he’s had in the race over the past 10 years or so and he’s the right age and rating for this race.

Tip Idol III – Week 1 Saturday January 22nd

2:35 Haydock
Remastered - 1pt win 9/2- Has proven himself to be very competitive off his current mark of 146 with a solid 2nd in the Tommy Whittle chase here before Christmas. Conditions again look set to suit and I am hoping Tom Scudamore can get this gelding into a good rhythm at the head of affairs. Slight concern around Trainer David Pipe’s recent form but a stable winner this past Thursday gives reason for optimism of an upturn on that front.
12:45 Lingfield
Dingle - 0.5 e/w 6/1- Has been campaigned at a higher level than this in the past and had been quite well regarded by trainer Richard Hannon. The step up to 1m 2f is a slight unknown but has seen out 1m well on previous runs and the switch back to all weather promises to suit - being one from one on artificial surface. Hannon can ready them first time after a break and a mark of 84 looks workable.
4:10 Lingfield
Insomnia - 1pt win 3/1- Hovers on a potentially lenient mark of 78 after only 4 career starts. Highly tried in a Group 3 as a 3yo and although never in contention during that race, it does show that there were much bigger aspirations in mind for this gelding than this class 4 handicap. Insomnia has hit the frame the last twice and the addition of cheek pieces could eek out that bit more required to get his head in front.
12.50 Haydock – Minella Drama (win) 85/40
Hoping to start off the competition with a proven class 1 winner in the first race at Haydock. The McCain-Hughes combination is a strong one on the Northern tracks and I believe that Minella Drama is the value bet in the race at current prices. I hope that he runs close enough to the pace as it is not easy to win from too far back on softened Haydock ground, but Hughes is too good to be caught out like that. The form to my eye, is the strongest in the race and on my ranking system it is an obvious bet.
2.35 Haydock – Royale Pagaille (win) 11/4
Sometimes it just pays to keep it simple and look for the class in a race. Royale Pagaille was the winner of the race under top weight last year, and at Haydock, where past form is often key, particularly on soft ground, there can be a danger of over-analysing the form. The favourite it may be, but a winner is a winner and it is entirely possible that he will outclass the field once more. Venetia Williams on soft ground in January is also always a positive. I cannot see any Gold Cup runners elsewhere in the field and I think this is a straightforward choice.
2.43 Taunton – Leoncavallo (win) 9/2
My personal rating system relies on a combination of past form, race conditions, a pace map and relative merits leading to a value measurement. Leoncavallo ticks all of the boxes and is comfortably clear of the other runners in the race. I would like the trainer form to be a little better over the last 60 days but think that this is a great chance to return to the winning circle. The ground looks ideal and I think Trans Express will make it a properly run race with Leoncavallo running up with the pace.
LORD DU MESNIL EW - Hay 2-35 12/1
Not a great renewal of the Peter Marsh. Best handicapped horse is actually Lake View Lad who is down 16ib from 6 runs ago. Unfortunately he is now a veteran and his best showing in last 6 runs was the veterans race. Therefore I am going for a proven course specialist ( 3 wins and a 2nd from 4 runs ) I just wish the jockey had more experience of the horse ( whatever happened to Paul O`Brien ? ) The fav will take a lot of beating so I have had to go EW at a price that may tumble before Sat am.
ALBA ROSE EW - Ling 3-40 16/1
Great initiative by Lingfield with the 3 day meeting with decent prize money ! As far as well handicapped horses go though, they are few and far between. Taking a bit of a chance here, as the selection seems to be a tricky ride or not in love with the game. Having said that, she is one of the better handicapped horses in the race / at the meeting. Has the benefit of Joe Fanning on board, has the hood retained and is two 2nds from two course runs. Again I am hoping the price holds up ( double figures at the moment ).
LARRY EW - Ascot 2-55 16/1
Lovely set up for an ew steal. Eight runners and two well handicapped horses at decent prices. My two to choose from are LARRY and KNIGHT IN DUBAI both with family `trainer / jockey connections` ( another plus ). So, they both have a negative ( otherwise they would not be the attractive prices they are at the time of writing ). I believe that LARRY is taking too much of a drop in distance and KNIGHT IN DUBAI is taking a hike in class. At the prices I have sided with LARRY but wouldn`t be surprised if the other sluiced in.
1435 Haydock – Remastered EACH WAY 9/2
My selection for the Peter Marsh Chase is Remastered for David Pipe. He’s been extremely consistent since going chasing and will be getting over a stone from the favourite today. His mark is unchanged after his past 2 starts - he suffered an unlucky fall whilst travelling well in the Ladbrokes Trophy and then finished a creditable 2nd carrying top weight over C&D. The favourite Royale Pagaille has an obvious chance but I think the weight advantage Remastered will receive may well tip the balance into his favour. Whilst Royale Pagaille’s performance in this race last season was good enough to put him into the Gold Cup picture, in hindsight it was a very weak renewal. Remastered meanwhile ran very well for a long way in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham behind subsequent Savills Chase winner amd now Gold Cup second favourite Galvin. I think Remastered has shown that he still has a few lbs in hand over the handicapper and everything should be in his favour today. Whilst the yard form on paper doesn’t look great, they are hopefully turning the corner with a few running nice races this week and then a very impressive winner at Taunton on Thursday.
1455 Ascot – Fanion D’Estruval EACH WAY 3/1
Venetia Williams has been having a cracking season and I think Fanion D’Estruval has a strong chance in this. There’s a few in here that are coming off the back of good wins but I think my selection will have the class edge over the field. Lucy Turner will take off a valuable 7lbs and she is good value for that. Since the 22nd December she’s had five rides for Venetia, winning three and finishing runner-up on the other two occasions. Whilst Fanion D’Estruval has ran some good races over 2 miles, he’s shown real promise over slightly further. If it wasn’t for a mistake late on he would have gone very close in last season’s Peterborough Chase. The eventual winner that day went on to run Frodon very close at Sandown last season and then win the Silviniaco Conte Chase last week. Fanion D’Estruval is basically running here off a mark of 152 so I would be very disappointed should he not go close.
1420 Ascot – Molly Ollys Wishes WIN ONLY 3/1
Today’s race was described as this horse’s Gold Cup by Dan Skelton after her reappearance win at Warwick in October. The trip that day was less than ideal, but she was still good enough to win comfortably and the 2nd , 3rd and 4th have all gone on to win since. This mare has been ultra consistent and has only come up short when running in open company against far better opposition than she’ll face today. Back against her own sex and over an ideal trip I would be very disappointed if she didn’t win this.
13.45 Ascot - Stella Magic 9/2
Unexposed 7yo, ran a creditable 2nd after 306 days off, beaten that day by "Up for Parol" (decent 6th in the Lanzarote last week) Hobbs trains with some current good form.Entitled to improve. "Gary Clermont" the main danger on the back of its G3 run lto, back up in trip, but sneaking up the weights dropping back into a Cl2 handicap the weight may tell.
14.25 Haydock - Royale Pagaille 11/4
Very impressive winner of this last year, technically 7lb higher today, but conditions will be even better this time around, loves Haydock, has the GC entry again this year & Venetia Williams is at the top of her game. Remastered looked good in the Tommy Whittle until having nothing left after 2 out. Empire Steel & Kalooki should go well at a price but hands and heels for Pagaille. Worth an e/w ante post for the GC at 33's before the off.
16.10 Lingfield - Radetsky 5/2
Decent little cl4 handicap which should be fought out by the top 3 in the market, Insomnia for Richard Spencer with the eye catching and unusual booking of Tom Marquand. Lto at Lingfield over the mile caught on the line, but looked like it needed all of a mile in only its 4th lifetime start so very unexposed. Algheed 2nd in a weak cl5 up at Wolverhampton 12 days ago, previous form at Lingfield in a stakes race 3 back 2.5l to decent horse Arriviste who won again next time out. That all being said Radetsky's last race a slightly deeper cl5 than Algheed, won over c/d in only 2nd start after 141 day break & 2nd wind op, showed a nice turn of foot and should strip fitter again even though 6lb higher. Hollie Doyle is up again and hopefully top weight Sir Titan will give Radetsky the toe into the race and back to back wins, with Insomnia snapping at his heels.
Haydock 14:35. Royal Pagaille - 1pt win 11/4
Classiest horse in the race running against solid handicappers. LTO thrashed by A Plus Tard but ran 2nd thrashing some good horses. Course & distance form, trainer 29% in last fortnight, won the race last year off top weight - can't see any reason why it won't do so again. I would normally be looking for a bit of value but can only see one outcome.
Lingfield 14:30. Apache Star - 1pt win 13/2
1st run in C3 HC 11 days ago, drops a grade for 2nd HC start. Well drawn if trying to race prominently as he did for his novice win. Jockey Willam Carver has a win %age of 26% riding for Simon Hodgson. Trainer Simon Hodgson has 3 from 8 in last month.
Taunton 14:43. Reserve Tank - 1pt win 9/1
He's 13lbs lower than his last victory BUT - he reverts back to hurdles after clearly not enjoying life as a fledgling staying chaser. Was highly tried as staying hurdler in graded races last year but best performances throughout his career have been at 2 1/2 miles (2 time G1 winner back in 2019). Reverts back to hurdles & 2M 3F for an in form trainer (almost 20% win rate in last fortnight). Could carry these if back to form & enthusiasm is rekindled.
14:00 Haydock Tommy’s Oscar 1pt win 4/6
Tommy’s Oscar carries bottom weight in this Grade 2 following 3 wins in a row. A horse who is firmly on the upgrade and up in class, it has won at both course and distance so a 61b rise should not be a deterrent and the quirks of the course hold no fear.
14:25 Haydock Royal Pagaille 1pt win 11/4
Royal Pagaille won this in 2021 and returns 7lb higher having suffered defeats to Minella Indo and A Plus Tard at Cheltenham and Haydock respectively. The manner of his victory last year (16 lengths) suggests that the raise may not be sufficient to prevent a second success. Royal Pagaille is rated 11 higher than the nearest challenger, Lord du Mesnil.
14:55 Ascot Phoenix Way 0.5 pts e/w 7/1
JP McManus runs two in this race and the selection is Phoenix Way. Down in class following a ¼ length 2nd place at Ascot on December 18th and trained by Harry Fry whose yard is in form, the selection has won in this class of race before and acts on the ground.
2.35pm Haydock - Sam Brown (0.5pt e/w) 9/1
Whilst Royal Pagaille is a very worthy favourite, I think he is a little short in the market. Sam Brown seems to be the best alternative from an each-way perspective. The lightly raced 10 year old, started his chasing career with two successive victories by a combined total of 37 lengths. Since then he has been inconsistent, finishing a decent third in a listed contest and a well beaten third in a Grade 2 contest last time out. This will be his first handicap start in England over, having finished 7th / 20 in his only other handicap start in Ireland last season. I think he could be fairly well suited off this mark of 147, and will handle both the track and the surface.
Selection 1 1.55pm Lingfield - Shoot To Kill (0.5pt e/w) 14/1
This is a fairly competitive handicap over one mile, and the standard is set by Diderot and Mobashr who lead the market. The former has beaten 95% of his rivals home on the AW so far, with form figures of 3/1-1, and Mobashr is very similar having also won twice out of three starts. Shoot To Kill however is very unexposed over the mile distance today. He was bought in the sales recently having never started over a distance further than 7f. He has won his first two starts for new trainer Robyn Brisland, and last time out ventured beyond a mile. I think he will continue to excel at this distance and will be thereabouts once again.
Selection 2 2.00pm Haydock - Navajo Pass (1pt win) 16/1
This is somewhat of a cliff horse for me. He sprung an upset when winning this race twelve month earlier in a 3 runner contest, beating Buveur D'Air and Ballyandy. He face a similar contest this year coming into this graded race as a relative outsider given his rating of 140. The favourite Tommy's Oscar has been a solid improver and heads the market at the time of writing. I'm hoping Navajo Pass can repeat the trick of last year and cause another upset. Whilst he has been out of form since his victory last year, he returns to a track where he has shown good form, on ground he will appreciate under champion jockey Brian Hughes, with the application of first time blinkers which could spark the improvement needed to see him in the winning enclosure once more.
235 Haydock. Remastered. 9/2
A real tricky affair with Royale pagaille heading the weights and there for compressing the handicap. I think the one to be on is Remastered ,he's gets in here with only 10st 7lb and has ran well in his last two races ,really unfortunate in Hennessy, and last time shouldering almost 12st ,surely must go close on ground he loves.
155 lingfield Diderot 7/4
I was hugely impressed with this ones debut success for the Ferguson stable last Saturday at Chelmsford in a class 4 event. Up to class 3 the day and not like his stable too turn him out so quickly, so he must be really well and looking at his old form in Ireland this one could be very useful
243 Taunton Leoncavallo 4/1
Another one turned out rather quickly and he's been banging on the door more times than my local postie. Ultra consistent dropped a 1lb and Fergus Hillard taking of 3 ,must run well just hope as per usual there isn't one in here who will deny him a win he deserves
Haydock 12.50 I have this down to the top 2 in the market I have sided with Papa Tango Charly 1pt win 2/1 7 winners out of 13 races had a rating between 142 - 148 only 2 here meet that Charly is on 145. This is a step up in class but the 7 year old looks like there is more to come from him, he won nicely LTO in a H/cap chase class 2 on soft over 2m5f, Jockey Nick Schofield as ridden him on all 7 starts winning 3 and only being out of the frame twice, must have a good chance if he can step up in class.

Haydock 2.35 Lord Du Mesnil 1/2pt each way 12/1 this 9 year old coarse winner hits lots of trends as won 3 out of 4 chase starts at this track ran a good race at Wetherby LTO finishing 2nd getting beat by under 2 length's same jockey rides here, horses who ran at Wetherby LTO do very well in this producing 7 previous winners, going and distance are to suit and he looks to be off a nice weight as placed in grade 2 and won at grade 3, I am hoping for a good run.

Ascot 4.05 The trends suggest to look at the top of the market here but I am taking a punt on Goudhurst Star 1/2pt each way 40/1 with the excellent young jockey Kevin Brogan on board and taking a handy 3lb off, the trainer Harry Fry as had 2 wins from 5 starts in the last week so he looks to becoming into some decent form, the 6 year old won 2 starts back at Warwick on good to soft over 2m3f if the jockey can get a prominent position in this he could pull off an upset, hopefully.
12:45 - Lingfield - Songkran 1/2 pt e.w 12/1
Won a C3 in March 2021 off 85 & today races off 13 lb lower & down in class to C4. The Gelding has placed 2/5 runs at the track & has won 4/7 over this trip. LTO the selection raced over 1m 1 f & and looked in need of this step back in trip to 1m 2f. Promising claimer Harry Davies take a further 7lb off.
14:35 Haydock - Sam Brown 1/2 pt e.w 9/1
Won a Novice Chase at Haydock back in Jan 2021 off 148 and today races off 147 which is 1 lb below it’s LWM, in addition to this the selection is 2/2 when racing in January & 4/2 when racing on Soft ground. A J Honeyball is in great form with a winning strike rate of over 30 % in past 30 days.
15:10 Haydock - Potter Hedger 1/2 e.w 14/1
Won this race 12 months ago off 2lb heavier than todays mark of 125 & this will be its first run since undergoing a Wind Op. Todays return of blinkers & favoured ground conditions should see an improved effort than its run LTO. The trainer & jockey are in great form the past 30 days.
Haydock 2:35 (Peter Marsh Chase) ROYALE PAGAILLE 1pt WIN 11/4
Last years winner is 7 lb higher for this renewal, albeit in a deeper race, but is still the one to beat. 16 lengths was the winning margin last year with Scudamore barely moving an inch as he coasted to victory, and with the inform Charlie Deutsch on board it should be more of the same here. He boasts a 29.63% strike rate in the last 14 days, 41.18% solely in chases and partners with Venetia Williams who herself has a 31.03% strike rate in the last fortnight. With the heavy conditions tomorrow being a massive positive and ROYALE PAGAILLE being Deutsch’s only ride tomorrow he should want to make it count and the others will have to improve markedly to best him.
Ascot 2:55 PALMERS HILL 1pt WIN 3/1
Successful in both starts this season including a 9 ½ length victory at Ascot last time where he powered home looking stronger the closer he got to the line. Step up in trip should suit based on that showing and the 8 lb rise from that victory shouldn’t halt further progress. Jonjo O’Neill Jnr on board is a positive as he is 4/21 (19.05% strike rate) with 5 places on top of that when riding for his dad. The soft ground is a relative unknown, but he should be able to go well in the ground and would be suited if it were to dry slightly with no further rain forecast and looks the most likely winner.
Lingfield 1:20 MARCH LAW 1pt WIN 13/2
Beaten by 2 lengths on first try over 12 furlongs, the winner has gone on to win 2 further class 2 handicaps with the most recent being off a mark of 101 (9 lb higher than when ahead of MARCH LAW). Being drawn in stall 2 will allow him to jump out and be prominent on the inside rail, and the sharp nature of the bends around Lingfield should enable him to stretch the pace around the final turn taking some lengths out of the field and kicking on strongly from the front to win.
2.35 haydock
This is Royale Pagailles race to lose and if he does then i can see SAM BROWN winning he is an ew price but i would do him to win he is 10 now but lightly raced if his chance has gone at any stage in the race i can see him being pulled up hence win only.
TIP SAM BROWN 1pt win 9/1
2.50 navan
The De Bromhead horse should go off favorite for this race but that means a better price for my selection CAVALLINO fell on first chase but it was much better last time if mullins has ironed out the odd mistake this horse should take all the beating.
TIP CAVALLINO 1pt win 4/1
3.35 ascot
This is a match between the best 2miler in england versus the best 2miler in ireland in my opinion there is no question who is going to win ENERGUMENE.Shishkin has been beating up inferior opposition for awhile now but he is just going to get a lesson in jumping at speed this horse is awesome anything higher than evens is printing money.I can only have 1pt win but in my opinion this is mortgage time. ps hope im not homeless after this one.
TIP ENERGUMENE 1pt win 6/4
1.45 Ascot - SBK Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle Selection - N’golo (ew) 16/1
N’GOLO was a grade 3 novice hurdle winner just over a year ago at Navan and he spent the back end of his Novice Season in Grade 1 company finishing 9th only weakening late on in the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival then at the Punchestown Festival finishing a well beaten 3rd behind Gaillard Du Mesnil and Ashdale Bob. He has subsequently left Willie Mullins and was having his first run for new connections over 2m3f at Haydock where he finished 4th behind Up For Parol off a mark of 139. Second that day Stellar Magic reoppposes with N’golo running off a mark of 135 today and is 8lbs better off with that rival on todays terms.
2.35 Haydock - Peter Marsh Chase Selection - Empire Steel (ew) 4/1
Royal Pagaille is a good place to start having won this race off a mark of 156 last season on heavy ground but he is giving weight to some improving horses including EMPIRE STEEL who beat a gold cup fancy in Protektorat at Kelso on soft ground last February. This season he was an eyecatcher on reappearance over today’s c&d off today’s mark of 140 in a class 2 handicap finishing 2nd attempting to give 21lbs to Strictlyadancer who was following up a win the previous week at Cheltenham. Last time out he ran in the Rowland Meyrick Chase Grade 3 Handicap at Wetherby. He tanked his way into the race and was disputing the lead going best of all when falling 4 out. He is allowed to run off a 1lb lower mark of 140 today getting 23lbs from last years winner Royal Pagaille. He looks very well handicapped
2.55 Ascot - Bet365 Handicap Chase Selection - Knight In Dubai (ew) 11/2
KNIGHT IN DUBAI had been off the course for 18 months when he made his comeback at Aintree in November finishing 5th in a 2m handicap won by darling du large. He ran here at Ascot over 2m3f on his latest run finishing 3rd behind Palmers Hill who won by 9 lengths. The selection was backed into 7/2 joint favourite with palmers hill and has been dropped 3lbs after that run and meets the winner on 11lbs better terms today. Zhiguli finished 4th that day and boosted the form by winning at Lingfield easily.
145 @ Ascot – Stellar Magic – 1 PT win 9/2 - Stellar Magic’s novice campaign saw him win two races at Taunton against decent opposition, most notably beating the now 140 rated Alphaphilippe who went on to win a Grade 2 at Haydock. Prior to that his point-to-point form stacks up well, with him having beaten Pay The Piper (now rated 143 over fences). His come back run at Haydock last month was very solid despite the market suggesting he might need the run (opened on the show at 11/4 with an SP of 9/2). He finished a close second to Up For Parol, who has since finished a reasonable 6th in the Lanzarote. That was his first run for 10 months and you’d therefore expect him to come on from that and I reckon he’s better than a mark of 137.
235 @ Haydock – Empire Steel – 1 PT win 4/1 – Empire Steel showed some good form last year, including a win over Protektorat and culminating in him taking his chance in Grade 1 at Aintree. He ran a creditable race here in November when the chase course was good to soft so I think he should be okay even if it dries up a touch. He was giving the in-from and well-backed Strictlyadancer 21lbs that day and only narrowly went down to his race fit rival. Four weeks later he looked the winner all over before falling on Boxing Day in a Grade 3. Remastered ran well here last time out but I can see him and Lord Du Mesnil getting in to a battle on the front end, which should suit Empire Steel. Royale Pagaille is the class horse in the race and hacked up in this last year but that wasn’t a good renewal. He did run well enough in the Betfair Chase but on a few occasions got in close to his fences and now finds himself back in a handicap giving lumps of weight away. He missed the King George due to injury so has fitness to prove and this could be a stepping stone to other targets later in the season.
415 @ Haydock – The Grey Falco – 1 PT win 3/1 20pR4 - There is a decent chance I am over complicating this race, given Sacre Pierre is getting a very healthy weight for age allowance, ran a good race in a Grade 2 Juvenile race at Doncaster and probably would have won last time out had he not fallen at the last. However, The Grey Falco has a lot in his favour and I think he is well handicapped. I’m largely basing this on his runs last season at Bangor and Ludlow. At Bangor he finished close to Ballybegg (currently rated 135 over hurdles) and was giving him 7lb that day. At Ludlow, he was easily beaten four lengths by Calico but that was a decent run in view of him conceding 6lbs (Calico now rated 132). This season he ran well enough at Bangor on his comeback when not much was expected (12s out to 20s before the off). He then went to Cheltenham and finished some way behind the principles but that looks a decent race for the grade. Broomfield Burg has since hosed up on Boxing day, Rouyame Uni & Mengli Khan ran solid races in the same Saturday handicap at Kempton last week and Quinta Do Mar was in the process of running a belter before falling in the Lanzarote. He drops in grade to class 4, has had a wind op and races off 116 so he’ll do for me.
Peter Marsh
Royal Pagaille has a great chance to make it two from two in this race. The horse will enjoy the soft ground and clearly goes well at Haydock. The yard are in good form with the Venetia Williams yard currently operating at a 28% strike rate. At Haydock in the last 5yrs the trainer has a profitable strike rate off 19% the same percentage when Charlie Deutsch takes the ride this is 95 winners from 488 rides. Whilst the horse carries top weight and giving near a stone to the next in his win last year shows he can shoulder such a weight. Win 1pt 11/4

Hayedo NR in the first at Ascot has a great each way chance. The horse has improved for each run and whilst he made a few jumping errors at Hereford he won in a manner of a horse who could develop into a nice sort. The yard are in good form operating at a 31% win strike rate. 1/2pt each way

In the first at Haydock I really like Papa Tango. Charly. 2/1This horse was rated 128 over hurdles but since going to chasing his form has hit new heights and his chase mark is 145 some 17lbs higher. In all fairness he always looked like a horse who would do better over fences. Brought out to the Aintree sales for £440,00 it could be considered he hasn’t matched his price tag but the horse doesn’t know that and is progressing nicely and this is not the strongest of races for a grade 2. 1pt win
PROTECTED GUEST 1:20 Lingfield 10/1
PG has been the model of consistency in the past few months with form figures of 333232 in his last 6 starts. He has run into some well weighted rivals recently, as both of his runner up finishes the winners have gone on to win their next starts. Both of those runs were off today’s mark, and those form boosts do suggest there is scope for a win from this mark. He travels powerfully into the race which is a big positive, although the negative to note is he doesn’t always manage to find for much when push comes to shove!
ROYALE PAGAILLE 2:35 Haydock 11/4
Like many I was really taken by RP last year, winning 3 from 3 last season with the latter of those when raised to Grade 2 company and travelling all over the field to win by 16 lengths. That quickly brought him into the Gold Cup picture although he didn’t run his race that day, finishing a distance sixth. That of course is a far tougher field than he will face today, and he returned this season with a fine effort here in the betfair chase, but simply unable to go with the 172 rated A Plus Tard. That rival is 20lb better than any he will face here and must have a great chance to win this race again.
FANION D’ESTRUVAL 2:55 Ascot 3/1
I was a keen admirer of this horse last year, and was surprised a win was never forthcoming. In two runs this season he has put up two very good performances with a close up 4th in the Old Roan at Aintree and then getting his nose in-front for the first time in two years at Newbury. That was a good weight carrying performance, carrying the same 11st 12lb he will carry today.
12.50 Haydock Papa Tango Charly 1 point win 2/1
Although Papa Tango Charly has been stepped up in class here there is every reason to believe he can win this. He is unbeaten in two chases, both at Carlisle, but it is the manner of those successes that impressed me. His jumping has been quite superb and that alone is worth many lengths in a race such as this. It’s a couple of furlongs shorter than his first victory but the heavy ground here is going to take it’s toll and I can see the selection winning this quite comfortably.
1.45 Ascot Sonigino 1 point win 16/1
It’s not often you see a Paul Nicholl’s horse at such big odds as this, but Sonigino has been a little disappointing since arriving in England from France, where he was pretty successful. He was 3rd on his racing debut in this country at Haydock but followed this with a really disappointing run at Doncaster. I’m taking him to show his true colours today.
2.35 Haydock Remastered 1 point win 9/2
Remastered turned out to be a very smart novice last season and may well have won the Ladbroke Trophy at Newbury at the end of November before falling four out. Last time out he finished 2nd in the Tommy Whittle over this course and distance just before Christmas and I am certain he is capable of winning a big race such as this. There are a number of dangers such as Royale Pagaille and Empire Steel and Lord Du Mesnil wouldn’t be without a shout but I’m pretty confident in my selection winning for the David Pipe/Tom Scudamore combination.
Haydock 2.35 Peter Marsh Chase Alnadam 1pt Win 11/1
A competitive looking race with the class horse Royale Pagaille looking to repeat last year’s win. He has a big weight but has the form and likes Haydock but has to have recovered from the injury he picked up last time out. Alnadam is my selection in this race, looks well handicapped on his recent form despite being 2lbs out of the handicap today, particularly his run at the Cheltenham Festival last March off 145 on his first run at 3m+. Although he faded a little up the hill, he was in contention jumping the last two fences, alongside the likes of Happy Go Lucky and Aye Right who didn’t finish very far in front that day and have won good handicaps since, now rated 157 and 159 respectively. A mark of 143 with the long handicap today still looks a nice mark having run some good races himself since without winning and back on softer ground that his form shows he likes. Also unexposed over this trip where two recent winners and strong stayers in Bristol De Mai and The Dutchman hadn’t won over the trip prior to their wins in this, so despite needing to prove he stays the trip hopefully he can run a good race today.
Ascot 1.10 Cobolobo 1pt Win 9/1
Right-handed, 3m, soft/heavy ground suits very well and these are conditions he returns to today back on his last winning mark of 128. He was a good 3.5l second in this race last year off 136, just behind Enqarde, who won very well at Haydock last month of a mark of 128 and has gone up to 137. That Ascot race saw Cobolobo give Enqarde 12lbs, so the form reads well and back in what appears to be favourable conditions on a good mark, hopefully he can bounce back to form today.
Ascot 1.45 Garry Clermont 1pt Win 3/1
Didn’t have the pace at the business end of his last race over the 2m trip in a good handicap but stayed on really well only 3 ¼ lengths off Tritonic. He travelled well for a long way last time out and looks to be an improving horse on RPRs in the last year and this drop in class should also help. He also finished ahead of Metier last time and that one has now come out and won yesterday in a good handicap at Lingfield. This step back up to 2m3f looks like a good move and he won the last time he ran over the trip, also on soft ground.
2:35 Haydock Empire Steel 4/1
Empire Steel looked strong last time out before falling four from the finish. With Brian Hughes now on board it is worth giving this one another chance. Hughes has an over 25% for the last fortnight and month and on horses trained by Thomson. The horse has won on 3 out of 4 trips on soft ground so that should not pose a problem.
2:55 Ascot Fanion D'Estruval 3/1
The best horse in the race by far on official ratings has a useful 7lbs taken off with the excellent Lucy Turner on board. Her form around Christmas and New Year has given her a chance at Ascot. Venetia is also in excellent form and they have won 5/15 when they have teamed up. Fanion should run prominently and hopefully take the spoils.
4:10 Lingfield Swiss Pride 16/1
A course specialist having won 5/12 round Lingfield, this one looks worth a shout. Should run prominently and keep on strong in the final furlong. Roger Teal is in fine form with three wins from his last five starts. Laura Coughlan had a win on her last trip to Lingfield riding another from Teal's stable at this distance showing she can be relied upon with the 5lb claim.
ASCOT 1:45 - GARRY CLERMONT (WIN) 3/1
Quite simply this horse is dropping in class. Will presumably go off fav but at time of writing represents value. The performance last time out when third to Tritonic at this track reads well & despite mostly being tried at 2m he should get further. In fact he has a cosy win to his name at this distance (2m 3f) at Warwick last May. Admittedly this is a better race & on different ground but he's also an improved horse since that day. This race could well see a late pace collapse with any from Smurphy Enki, Sonigino, Stoner's Choice & Kateson likely to get into a push & shove on the front end. If more than two of them do so then all the better. Either way I expect Garry Clermont to be the most likely to benefit & be played late to win.
HAYDOCK 2:35 - LORD DU MESNIL (E/W) 12/1
Royale Pagaille is the clear & obvious fav here & on a going day he picks these up & carries them. Gold Cup level at his best & running in a handicap. But at the skinny price I can leave him alone. I prefer to go looking to steal something at a price. Lord Du Mesnil's Boxing day run was his best effort for almost a year & I'm risking that he won't bounce. He goes well in the mud as he showed last month & although it'll be Haydock soft/heavy rather than Wetherby soft he has winning form at this track over further. Stamina is his prime asset & on his day he's a solid & dependable jumper. If the fav comes unstuck we could be in luck. Otherwise I'm looking at Lord Du Mesnil to be best of the rest.
ASCOT 2:55 - GOLDEN WHISKY (E/W) 12/1
In stark contrast to the 1:45 there looks to be no appreciable pace here outside of the selection. More hold ups than a burlesque show. If he can get free on the front end here & the fractions are right he should be able to dictate & hopefully make all. Last months win at Chepstow was impressive enough, particularly his jumping. A repeat of that should be enough to give him a solid chance here & a 4lb rise shouldn't be an issue. If he does get hauled in I'm taking him to hang on to a place so I'll go E/W
2.35 Haydock
It is very hard to look beyond ROYAL PAGAILLE in this but i'm going to do just that. This is taking a bit of risk and relying on some old form but i think SAM BROWN 9/1 is a cracking each way selection for the Honeyball yard. The trip should suit, a very respectable third at Aintree over this distance last time out followed a solid seventh over slightly shorter at Punchestown prior. One negative could be the ground, ideally would have liked soft/heavy, and it doesn't look like rain is coming. However, i don't have major doubts about SAM BROWN'S ability to act on better ground so prepared to take the chance. Worth noting the Honeyball yard has a 38% strike rate over the last fourteen days and will fancy their runner to go well.
3.10 Haydock
Sticking with Haydock, a win bet on SMALL PRESENT 4/1 is my next selection. This horse flatters to deceive at times. It's one of those that has been capable of winning every race it's been entered in, but never quite matched the optimism. Barring a disappointing run at Carlisle, the runs have been respectable since a win over this C&D. That was in a class two and now the horse is being dropped into a class 3. That was on good ground and i think good ground is needed for this horse to get it's nose back in front. Thomas Willmot takes off 5lb which increases my confidence and i think we should be close come the end of the race.
8.00 Wolverhampton
My final selection comes in a rather dire race. Normally, i'd steer well clear of this type of race but INDIAN AFFAIR caught my eye. A huge negative is that it hasn't got it's head in front since January 2019 but that doesn't put me off in these low grade affairs. INDIAN AFFAIR returned from a three month break to finish a decent 6th over this distance at Wolverhampton just before xmas and followed that up with a very encouraging third, also over 6f, at Chelmsford last week. AXEL JACKLIN is the main worry after going so close last time but i think the price is a bit false so prepared to take a chance on INDIAN AFFAIR 7/1 for the win.
2:35pm Haydock – Lord Du Mesnil (Win) 12/1
Lord Du Mesnil has excellent course form at Haydock (Form reads 1,1,2,1) in which is a very competitive Peter Marsh Handicap Chase. He comes here off a very good 2nd to Good Boy Bobby at Wetherby in which he was always staying on. Hopefully, he comes on for that run and can go one better today. The obvious danger is the favourite Royale Pagaille but Lord Du Mesnil has 11 pounds on him so at the prices, I am happy to take him on with our selection due to his impressive course form.
4:15pm Haydock – Sacre Pierre (Win) 15/8
This horse has been in my tracker since I was on course at Doncaster where Sacre Pierre suffered a final flight fall when looking the very likely winner. He was very well backed that day and providing there are no scares today, he should make full use of this handicap mark. He has Brian Hughes on board who is 2/3 on him. The ground should not be a worry. He has been highly tried so far running in a listed race & a grade 2 race so fingers crossed we can get a clear round of jumping for Sacre Pierre.
3:40 Lingfield – Virgin Snow (Win) 14/1
Last time out at Southwell, Virgin Snow was having her fist run for 424 days in what looks like a pipe opener for this race. Virgin Snow is making her second start on Polytrack but her first start at Lingfield. Her Polytrack debut was at Kempton where she came 3rd which shows she can handle this type of surface. Jim Crowley takes the ride today who was on board during her only win to date. Since her win, she has run well in listed races, so she is more than proven at this level. Virgin Snow has even been placed at Group 3 level on the turf. Fingers crossed Virgin Snow can get her second career win today!
235 Haydock – LORD DU MESNIL 12/1

Applying some key trends of:

A run in the last 36 days
At least 8 previous chase starts and 2 chase wins
At least 2 runs this season
A winning previous run at Haydock
At least 6 runs between 2 ¾ miles and 3 and ¼ miles

Leaves just 2 horses from the 10 strong field, Sam’s Adventure and Lord Du Mesnil. It is the latter who I think has a great chance in this race, bouncing back to form in the Rowland Meyrick on Boxing Day at Wetherby this test of stamina is sure to be right up his street and as a previous Course and Distance winner which is so important at Haydock, I think will take all the beating. Trainer Richard Hobson and Jockey Kielan Woods are in red hot form operating at 25% and 40% respectively in the last 2 weeks and that strengthens the bet further. With the class act Royal Pagaille leaving 4 of the other runners out of the handicap; assuming he completes I can’t see him out of the frame.
0.5 e/w.

145 Ascot – STELLAR MAGIC 9/2
I was on this horse the last day each way and just missed out on collecting. The horse that beat it has since run well enough in the Lanzarote last week and he looks sure to go close again here. Had an excellent campaign last season before being over the top at Warwick when Hobbs yard was woefully out of form, and he was one of the few shining lights for the stable. May have needed that first run back and with the Hobbs yard in much better form of late looks a good bet that I can’t see out the frame.
0.5 e/w

200 Haydock – NAVAJO PASS 14/1
Tommy’s Oscar should take the world of beating in this but at around 8/11 I can’t be recommending it although I can see it going off much shorter and hosing up as this could be its big day. I can’t have the 12-year-old Hunters Call in opposition as the 2nd favourite and therefore think there is some value on Navajo Pass to pick up the pieces. With Course and Distance form winning this last year beating the dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’air he can bounce back after two poor runs at Sandown and looks most likely to ask Tommy’s Oscar the biggest questions.
0.5 e/w
Haydock 2.35. SAM BROWN. each way. 9/1
Trained by Anthony Honeyball, who has his runners in fine current form. Saddled four winners from 13 runners in the last 14 days. Has a decent course record. Jockey on board will be Aiden Coleman who is in scintillating form of late. Ridden eight winners in the last two weeks ,with a 42% strike rate. Sam Brown won a Grade 2 Chase at this meeting in 2020. Has a career record of 5 wins and one place from ten runs. Over the larger obstacles that record reads : 2 wins and a place from 6 outings. Coleman has had just five rides on board,winning three of them. Finished third in a Grade 2 at Aintree last time out in a 3 mile Chase. Drops in class for this race. Each way chance at a big price.
Ling.2.30. SASSY RASCAL. eachway 5/1
A three year old bay filly by Mehmas. Trainer George Boughey has a 30% win rate in the past couple of weeks. On board is the useful 7 lb claimer Harry Davies,who has ridden a couple of recent winners. Winner of one race on the all weather,placing twice from five runs. Third of ten on seasonal debut in a Newcastle Handicap over 5 furlongs. Ran on well at Wolves in December to finish third. Likes to be held up and finish with a flourish.
Haydock 1.25. MIGHT I. eachway 5/1
Looks the chief threat to the long odds on favourite. Trainer Harry Fry has sent just the one stable representative to this meeting,and he has a decent course record. Beaten favourite last time out when finishing second to the top Henderson hurdler Constitution Hill. Has had just four races,winning two and placing once, all wins coming on heavier ground. Won on seasonal reappearance at Newton Abbot,pulling clear of the field. Form from that race is starting to work out well.
15:25 Haydock LORD DU MESNIL 0.5E/W 12/1
Royale Pagaille will likely start the favourite but im siding with LDM who has a lot of stamina which will be needed over this distance and predicted going. He loves it at haydock with 3 wins and a place from 4 runs here.
13:45 Ascot KATESON 0.5E/W 11/1
There are quite a few in with a chance here but Kateson is the one for me, he had a good third in this race last year and although not setting the world alight since he is 8lb lower than last year. His lto 22l second was over a trip which is too long (3m) for him and this 2 m3f is much more to his liking.
13:20 Lingfield ACED IT 0.5E/W 7/1
Aced it is a very consistent runner in handicaps placing 8 out of 9 times. The lto result was probably to be expected as it was a Class 1 listed race but he is very much of note running back in a handicap over the optimum distance.The penultimate run over 1m3f at Kempton was a very close affair with aced it coming from the rear coming a very close (shd) 2nd from way off the pace.

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