After an epic battle that went down to the very last race of the competition, the Final Result...
1st: RACINGJACK +17.48pts
2nd: THE EDGE +14.25pts
3rd: TOMPO'S TIPS -2.93pts
THE FINAL – Saturday 6th February
He cost 250000 euros. Has ran in bumpers and is a mile and half winner on the flat. Won his maiden bumper in France. He was much improved when winning a 20 running maiden at Leapordstown last time out. Travelling strongly and cruising well into the lead, clear in the straight. His form is working out well. He looks the type to go on and keep improving
Lingfield – 13.11 - FIZZY FEET- Win 5/1
David Loughmane the trainer has had 14 winners from 92 runners, giving a respectable strike rate of 15.2 percent. Fizzy Feet has course and distance experience having had 4 wins from 7 runs giving a 57% strike rate. She is a useful mare handicapper when last seen out to best advantage winning a 5 runner field at Lingfield, beating Brian the Snail by ¾ of a length. She has a good draw for her in stall 2
He is a smart hurdler, winning a listed handicap at Cheltenham at 7//1 by a neck from Mrs Milner in November. Also with another good effort just failing by 2 ¼ lengths coming second to Mcfabulous in Relkeel Hurdle in January. He then came back just 7 days later to take advantage of a good opportunity at Market Rasen when winning by a neck from Lil Rockefeller. Another good effort when he came fourth in the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot. He usually wears cheekpieces and races prominently and seems to be in good form this season
Christopher Wood was an easy course and distance winner, winning by 11 lengths on his sole previous visit. Better than ever last time out when second at Kempton. He has a good value conditional in Angus Cheleda claiming 7 pounds who takes the reigns this time. He is a strong compact gelding who has had breathing problems but none the less he is a useful handicap hurdler
Musselburgh – 15.45 – LE BREUIL - Win 10/3
He is a useful chaser who seems best over these marathon trips, having finished third in the Becher Chase at Aintree. His last run he was a decent 6 lengths third to Notachance in the classic chase at Warwick last time out. He runs of the same mark as his latest effort. He is usually a good jumper and he will defiantly benefit to going back to 4 miles.
Sandown – 14.20 – SANTINI – Win 3/1
The rescheduled Cotswold Chase from last week looks intriguing, but I will side with Santini. While not having the chance to run up to his best so far this season due to omitted fences at Aintree, on his reappearance and the unsuitable track at Kempton where in the King George he was pushed along, he made a mistake 4 out but he did stay on from the last. He is a top class chaser he won last year’s Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham, impressively when outstaying Bristol De Mai by 3 ½ lengths, he then went on to run second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He acts on heavy going
Sandown – 15.30 – ASK ME EARLY- Win 7/4
He is unbeaten in his 2 outings over fences, winning a novice handicap at Chepstow when making virtually all although not fluent and headed the fourth, he faced a strong challenge from 3 out ridden and went clear after the last stayed on. Chepstow last time out making all to win, he was pushed along when facing a challenge from 5 furlongs out, he was 2 lengths in front, 2 furlongs out , he wasn’t fluent at the last but kept going strongly final 100 yards to win going away. He should continue improving as a chaser. He must be respected
A novice hurdle full of exciting types but it’s hard to get away from the favourite Gaillard Du Mesnil. He was well backed for his Irish debut and ran a good race to finish 2nd behind Holymacapony (who reopposes here but pulled up in disappointing fashion last time). That was Gaillard Du Mesnil’s first run for over a year and it clearly put him spot on for his next run, as he ran away with a strong Leopardstown maiden hurdle next time. The form has been franked by both the 2nd and 3rd winning subsequently so he looks a worthy favourite here.
13:11 Lingfield – Tinto E/W 10/1
A competitive affair but I think Tinto is the value and can take this race now named after the AW legend Kachy. Amanda Perrett had a poor 2020, just with just 8 winners from 236 runners so it’s encouraging that Tinto was of those winners, back in June when beating the reopposing Summerghand. He went onto place in group three company and ran an RPR of 108 when beaten a short head by Desert Doctor in October. The Perrett yard have had two winners already this year so look to be coming back into some sort of form and Tinto couldn’t have been anymore eye-catching on his reappearance. He travelled very nicely but couldn’t get any sort of run in the home straight. Summerghand has a good record fresh and is very much the one to beat at the weights but Tinto has beaten him before. Misty Grey has won his last three races and the form of his latest win couldn’t look any stronger, though all three of them came at Wolverhampton and he makes his polytrack debut here.
13:50 Sandown – Shan Blue 11/4
Another exciting race but I’ll side with superb jumper Shan Blue. His defeat of the now 138 rated Snow Leopardess was stunning and he beat a nice prospect in The Big Breakaway last time out, again showcasing his excellent jumping ability. That form was done no harm when the 3rd, If The Cap Fits, ran well against Yala Enki next time out. Hitman and Messire Des Obeux are respected but I think Shan Blue is the most likely winner.
On The Blind Side has form figures over hurdles of 111621221 and has relished the return to smaller obstacles this campaign. He was very game on his reappearance to beat Mrs Milner and then lost nothing in defeat, firstly against Come On Teddy and then McFabulous over an inadequate trip. He was back in the winner’s enclosure last time out, again showing an excellent attitude to see of Lil Rockerfella. A similar performance would see him hard to beat. Itchy Feet is a fascinating contender. He’s struggled with his jumping over the larger obstacles but still ran well over them including last time behind subsequent winner Dashel Drasher. He’s also shaped like he wants this step up in trip. The worry is that he burst a blood vessel in that run and that’s never ideal.
14:05 Musselburgh – Christopher Wood 7/2
Christopher Wood was a CD winner last February by an easy 11 lengths. After a success on the flat at Pontefract he made his reappearance over hurdles finishing a good 3rd behind Mint Condition who has won since and is +15lbs. He disappointed next time over 2m4.5f at Newbury but shaped very well back at 2m at Kempton last time out. He wore a first time tongue-tie that day and it clearly helped him as he travelled strongly to two out. He was eventually worn down by the impressive Cadzand, but had Torigni held in third. The tongue-tie is retained, and the useful claimer Angus Cheldea takes off 7lbs so he’s only 1lb higher than his win here last year. I like Ashington as well. He was 2nd in this race last year and ran a massive race at Cheltenham when 3rd in October and that form is strong with the 2nd and 4th winning subsequently. The ground must be a worry though for him.
15:30 Sandown – Ask Me Early 7/4
Well handicapped duo Coo Star Sivola and A Toi Phil need to show more, Danny Whizzbang remains on a retrieval mission having disappointed so far this season and Deise Aba has disappointed since winning this race last year, so preference is for Ask Me Early. He’s 2/2 over fences and impressed last time with his round of jumping and won going away from an improving Venetia Williams horse, with the pair pulling nearly 30 lengths clear of the third. This is tougher but he arrives in form, unexposed and he’s likely to prove better than a 135 chaser.
15:45 Musselburgh – Bob Mahler E/W 12/1
Bob Mahler has been pulled up in his last three starts so comes with a wealth warning, but he won this race last year and followed it up with a fine third in the Kim Muir so is capable on a going day. His first start this season came in a strong race at Cheltenham behind Frodon and Cloth Cap, then next time at Haydock the jockey reported his saddle slipped. He made far too many jumping errors at Kelso last time behind Dino Boy so will have to be better here but this may have been the target and he arrives just 2lbs higher than last year’s success. The blinkers, which were last worn when 3rd in the Kim Muir, are back on to replace his regular cheekpieces and that may spark a bit more from him.
There's not much form to go on here with these young horses having just a hanful of hurdle starts between them. The favourite Gaillard Du Mesnil looks a pretty warm order here based on the form of his last time out win. He beat two Henry De Bromhead horses into 2nd and 3rd that day by 9.5 and 18 lengths respectively. Both went on to win their next starts very comfortably so although its early days for these novice hurdlers, it looks like the Willie Mullins trained horse has achieved a bit there. It's easy, therefore, to see why he features at the head of the market but it only takes a quick look at his previous run to get me very excited over a runner who is four times the price of him! On 14th November Holymacapony comprehensively beat Gaillard Du Mesnil by 8 lengths but is priced much bigger than his rival to do the same again. The reason for that is most likely because Holymacapony was pulled up on his only subsequent start but it looked like something was wrong that day rather than it being his ability that let him down, and based on that previous run i'm happy to give him another chance, with connections having given his 7 weeks to recover from any issue he may have had.
MISTY GREY 1:11 Lingfield 11/4
Misty Grey comes into this race off the back of recording a hattrick of wins at Wolverhampton and I wouldn't usually want to get involved with one who has just run up a sequence as, in most cases, each win brings the horse higher up the handicap and closer to an inevitable loss when reaching the ceiling of their ability. However, the form of his last run has been boosted on a number of occasions with the 2nd, 3rd & 4th all winning on their next starts! Tranchee finished 2nd that day and won next time out off a 3lb higher mark in a race that had Aberama Gold back in 5th, and Intuitive finished 3rd and was able to run off an unchanged mark the next time when he scooted up by 3.5 lengths! Based on those subsequent runs, the strength of that race looks to be very strong and as such the 5lb rise for Misty Grey looks like it should be manageable and we can expect another good run. I have reservations about most of the others in the field based on the distance, the course and a potential ceiling to their ability as most runners are significantly more exposed than Misty Grey.
SHAN BLUE 1:50 Sandown 11/4
The front three in the market here have been a model of consistency since running in chases, having recorded six victories in 7 starts. The one defeat was for the favourite here Hitman, but even that was a very respectable second place behind the talented Allmankind. Today's race is over 2m 4f but Hitman so far has been kept to 2 miles for his chases, Shan Blue won over 2m 3f but then recorded two wins at 3 miles and Messire Des Obeaux has had both his chase starts over this trip so this gives us plenty to question going into this race. Will Hitman improve for the step up/will he stay the trip? Will Shan Blue be able too continue his improvement dropping back by half a mile when we know he can stay further? Dame De Compagnie won 3 hurdles at about this trip but started his chase career with a success over the minimum trip. Unfortunately, that race was just a two-runner affair so it's difficult to know how to take that form. Stepping up to his preferred hurdling trip could see him improve again. My money comes down on Shan Blue as I believe it will be a real asset knowing he can stay every yard and more at this track, and in a very competitive races he should still be going strongly when others may be ready to cry enough!
TORIGNI 2:05 Musselburgh 5/1
The favourite Christopher Wood was 1.5 lengths in front of Torigni at Kempton over Christmas and Torigni reopposes 1lb better off today. That was the former's 11th hurdle start (24th career start), whereas Torigni was making just his fourth hurdle & career start, so it would be very fair to say Torigni is potentially still very unexposed and could have the required improvement in him to turn the tables here. The likes of Newtown Boy could interest some given that, although he was beaten 9.5 lengths on his last hurdle start, the winner did go on to beat Buveur D'air next time; and Blakeney Point has taken well to hurdling, but probably faces a tougher task here.
Another tricky contest here, and of the outsiders it would be foolish to dismiss Ramses De Teillee, who despite his advancing years was better than ever over fences at the back end of last year, and was winning a pair of Grade 2 hurdles at this time last year. I don't expect Lake View Lad to run here and Itchy Feet and Ballyoptic are far better over fences than hurdles. Main Fact is weighted to get the better of Third Wind and Ask Dillon based on their run at Haydock in November, however Third Wind finished well ahead of Main Fact at Ascot since on heavy ground. On The Blind Side gave weight to Lil Rockerfeller last time when beating that one by a neck, and his previous run this year was a close 2nd behind McFabulous when giving him 1lb. That looks strong form on the basis of this contest as McFabulous had contested the Long Distance Hurdle prior to that, where he finished a respectable third, ahead of a number of higher rated rivals; higher rated too than anything On The Blind Side will face today.
KILTEALY BRIGGS 3:30 Sandown 6/1 (R4)
Kilteally Briggs has only had two starts over fences but he looks like he has the ability to take a race like this. He faced a particularly tough assignment last time out when facing Allart, a comfortable winner off a rating of 143 (and soon to be higher), and Fiddlerontheroof, rated 148. He will have a much better chance today in a race that lacks a real standout horse, and with many not getting close at the business end in their recent races. Ask Me Early looks to be improving fast, and as such takes his place at the head of the market, but I think Kiltealy Briggs could be the value pick here.
LITTLE BRUCE EW 3:45 Musselburgh 16/1
Saint Xavier hinted at a return to form last time, finishing 4th last time off a mark of 138 in a 0-150. That will read well if he can build on that now in this 0-140 contest, however, being the Edinburgh National, this is an extreme 4 mile trip, and he's never tried over 3m 3f before, and hasn't won beyond 3m 1f. Dino Boy and Classic Escape contested the Scottish Borders National over this trip at the beginning of December, with Dino Boy beating Classic Escape by 15 lengths. Classic Escape is 8lb better off today but that wouldn't ordinarily be enough to bridge that sort of gap. Le Breuil has won over this trip at Cheltenham from 5lb higher so was always going to be fancied in the market, but that price is too short for me in this contest. Little Bruce finished 4th in this race last year, and has proven he excels in these sorts of races, recording wins over 3m 6f and 3m 7f. Although is not showing anything like winning form in his recent races, this could have been a long-term target for him and hopefully we can see a return to form after what could have only been a pipe opener in a jumper's bumper at Newcastle in January.
Week 17 – Saturday 23rd January
Tactical Manoeuvre won this race last year and looks to have every chance of going close a year on. He made a pleasing reappearance effort at Newton Abbott back in October, finishing 6th, splitting subsequent winners in 0-120 company, doing well having challenged wide into the straight. He has been well held at Chepstow and here since but drops into 0-100 company now and Luca Morgan can claim his full 7lb. Galatic Power ran well last time but was a 33/1 chance. He’s not certain to back that up so his price looks skinny. Milreu Has also has a bit to prove after wind surgery.
17:10 Newcastle – Fuwairt 6/1
Fuwairt isn’t one to get too carried away with but he’s very well handicapped these days and I think he’s shown enough in both recent starts for this yard to warrant a play back at 7f. At his pomp he was rated in the 90s but has lost his way, finding himself rated just 48 these days. On stable debut he finished 5th at Kempton but travelled well into the contest before not quite seeing out the one-mile trip. It was a similar tale at the same track next time as he travelled eye-catchingly well into the race, still on the bridle two furlongs out but again failed to find much for pressure. He’s obviously quirky but dropping back to 7f looks the way to go and it’s interesting that his two best AW runs based on RPR came here from just three runs.
19:10 Newcastle – Athollblair Boy E/W 11/1
Athollblair Boy has an excellent record at this track and despite a 129-day absence he should go well off a mark of 75. His latest course success came in February last year off a 7lb higher mark and he was far from disgraced when 5th in 0-92 company here in July beaten under two lengths. His mark fell 6lbs from 81 to 75 due to three runs on turf when he was ridden by an inexperienced 7lb claimer, with two of the runs coming over an inadequate 5f trip. I don’t know much about today’s jockey and she hasn’t ridden for a while, but she caught the eye a few times riding a couple of winners for William Jarvis last year. This looks a weak class four with favourite Jack The Truth on a tough enough looking mark.
Air Horse One has been placed in the last 2 runnings of this race. 2nd, off a mark of 141 2 years ago and 3rd off 136 last year. This year he’s down to 128. He’s ran 5 times at the track, being placed every time, winning 1 of they times. He’s won twice from 9 runs on the forecast soft ground so that won’t be a problem. Harry Fry has a 23% strike rate at the track in the last 5 years.
3:00A Good Boy Bobby 1pt win 9/2
Good Boy Bobby made a couple of mistakes at Cheltemham last time out where he was unusually held up. Today I’m sure he’ll go off closer to the front which suits better round Ascot. He’s never ran here but he’s won on similar tracks. He’s won 4 from 9 on today’s forecast soft ground and was placed in all bar 1 of they runs. He’s dropped 2lb for his last run (every little helps). Darly Jacob has rode 15 times over fences in the last 30 days winning 6 times so he’s bang in form and full of confidence.
6:40N Rockley Point 1pt win 9/2
Katie Scott’s Rockley points has been ultra consistent at getting places and the odd win at Newcastle. Ran from the front last week in a class 5 just getting caught close home. The same happened the week before. He’s down to class 6 this time so hopefully he gets out from a more favourable draw this time and gets far enough in front of this weaker field not to be caught.
With the drop in class, Eton College should find this race a confidence booster before stepping up back in company. With his stablemate poor showing in his last 3 runs he can take advantage of this by racing just off the pace in the middle of the trak
Taunton 16:00 Agent Valdez 6/1
if she can be forgiven for he latest outing at Cheltenham (8 day turnaround is an excuse, then Agent Valdez should be in with a major shout. Although up 9lb for that win at Leicester, that win was authorative and hopefully after the lay-off, her batteries are refreshed and come out on top.
Haydock 14:05 Farrants Way 7/2
Another who needs to be forgiven their last effort (Cheltenham again), his 3rd behind Portrush Ted at Sandown (off 127 still on that mark, can give Venetia, a rare win in a handicap hurdle. As a prominent racer, hopefully he can hold his pitch and mark use of his unmoved rating.
This one, unfortunately, will not be a great price but looks to have a really strong chance in this field. She beat Next Destination by 8.5 lengths on penultimate start and that one has won his next two starts. Roksana was then beaten last time out, but that was at the top level in the Long Walk Hurdle, and was only beaten by Paisley Park and Thyme Hill. Today's assignment represents a drop to Grade 2 and he comes out clear pick at the weights in a small and not the strongest of fields. Eglantine De Seuil steps beyond 2m 5f for the first time in her career and would need to improve some to go with Roksana based on that Paisley Park form. Magic of Light is the main danger, and she has won this race for last two years, but she hasn't faced a rival of the quality of Roksana and she just lacks the quality of that rival.
Royale Pagaille 2:40 Haydock 6/4
This horse has gone from strength to strength this winter winning both starts off marks of 135 and 140. The latter win was in December in a 0-147 handicap and he had Double Shuffle 22 lengths behind in 3rd in that race. Double Shuffle won his next appearance in a 0-150 handicap off just a 2lb lower mark so the rise of Royale Pagaille looks to have a great chance of continuing here. The handicapper has not been light in his reassessment of the horse's mark, raising him by 16lb for that win which certainly does make life harder, but a quick look at the future race entries shows he is entered in three Grade 1 races at Cheltenham Festival including the Gold Cup!
Buveur D'Air 3:15 Haydock 8/13
The price looks short but when you look at the race, im astounded it isn't far, far shorter. The dual Champion hurdler faces just two rivals here who are rated 6lb and 14lb inferior to him; and he gets weight from the both of them. He will receive 6lb from Ballyandy and 3lb from Navajo Pass, which makes him 12lb and 17lb well in with that pair. Ballyandy put up a big performance to win this race last year, but on that occasion he was the one receiving the weight, and his job will be significantly more difficult this time around trying to give the weight away.
2:45 Taunton >> BREWINUPASTORM 4/1 Is a fascinating runner here returning back to hurdles for the first time since a grade one race at Aintree in 2019. OLLY MURPHY really seems to be hitting some decent form of late and this looks an interesting runner. I would ideally prefer RICHARD JOHNSON to be riding this as he has knows it so well but he is over at Ascot so AIDEN COLEMAN is a very capable replacement. With ground that could be ideal I think this has a great chance of winning if he gets round.
7:10 Newcastle >> PORTUGUESEPRINCESS 11/2 A huge tracker ping went off here! JOANNA MASON who has recently turned professional looks to have bagged a real good ride here for me. With a very positive early market move I think this could well dot up here. At just 4 years old I think this has the best chance in the race today. Good luck if you follow :)
He is Strong contender if judged on last season's C&D form but hasn't fired this term But Last seaso his s best efforts were over this C&D, second to Tactical Manoeuvre in February before getting the better of Chinwag in a 9-runner handicap a month later. he is Below par so far this season, though.
17.10 NEWCASTLE EW Detachmen 25/1
Yet to fire for this yard Fourteen runs since last win in 2018. 150/1, eleventh of 13 in handicap at Wolverhampton (9.5f) 17 days ago. Down in trip. Blinkered first time
15.50 HAYDOCK WIN Le Coeur Net 17/2
Looked better than ever in landing back-to-back small-field handicap chases at Plumpton (17f) and here (19.4f) in November. However, beaten a long way at Chepstow last time so needs to bounce back.
Despite being a nine-year old, Paddy’s Motorbike is one of the least exposed in this line-up. Since making the switch to Sam Thomas’ yard, he has only gone forward. He has won his two most recent starts at Uttoxeter and Huntingdon with the minimum of fuss and there should still be more to come with his young jockey able to claim five pounds in this competitive renewal. Two-and-a-half miles is exactly what he needs and with him proven of soft ground, he has to command utmost respect.
2-45 Taunton BREWINUPASTORM 4/1
makes the transition back to hurdles today having been completely outclassed against in listed and Grade One races. This is the first time he has competed over the smaller obstacles since finishing runner-up to Reserve Tank at Aintree back in April 2019. He really should be a class apart from these hence carrying the burden of top-weight. He is still only an eight-year-old so could well have the legs off these older rivals if bouncing back to anywhere near his best. He has won on soft ground before so there are no fears on that score and he can go well for Aidan Coleman.
3-00 Ascot DOMAIN DE L’ISLE 14/1
First time blinkers could work the oracle for last years’ winner who once again has conditions in his favour. The eight-year-old had too much in hand for Benny’s King on that occasion, although he was in better form last term. A step back in trip may make life a little easier on the eight-year-old as too will his plummeting handicap mark. He gets in here off the same mark and gets oodles of weight from the vast majority of his rivals today. A first time tongue tie should also sort out any breathing issues and with David Bass on board for the first time since their last success here, the pair look destined to go close.
A typical competitive Ascot hurdle , I think this one at time of writing is hugely overpriced , his last run was okay on conditions he really doesn't like, but tomorrow the ground will be a lot deeper and he likes to get his toe in, also his last run stable was out of form and they are going much better now. Would normally say ew for this but as last week of comp got to be the win.
Ascot 335 Bun Doran 0.5pts ew 80/1
Now this fellow was beaten by Politolugue 13 lengths in last season Champion Chase so has a wee bit too find, but the ground is a bit deeper today and he acts well on that, also his last run was over 2m 4f and he really doesn't get that distance, if he's on a going day he his an excellent jumper of fences ,this course will suit him better than Cheltenham, he's a big price , again I think too big and got to go ew on him, and he also is a couple of pounds below his last winning mark.
Newcastle 710 Tukhoom 1pt win 18/1
Now this is really going to be the lucky last,the last race of the day so hopefully worth waiting for, this one is at least 12lbs below his last winning mark is back to 6f , visor back on as well, if you look at his last win it was over 6f at York so interesting he's dropped back to this trip ,ignore last run as clearly hated the track.
Winner of this race for the previous two years both on heavy ground and it’s interesting Harrington is sending her over for this race especially has she’s been over fences recently. Perfect last time out at Newbury when only beating 2 over rivals easily. Performs very well on really soft ground especially in the UK. And a hat trick seems highly likely.
315 Haydock Tip NAVAJO PASS ( win ) 11/1
Although he’s the worst rated in the race he’s also the youngest so he’ll have the most progress. Acts very well on soft/heavy ground and with the McCain yard in form this week he’ll stand a chance. He’ll have to hope the other underperform but with the favourite coming back from a injury and the second favourite not acting on heavy ground I think he may just kick it from the front.
205 Haydock Tip CLYNE ( win ) 7/1
He performs very well at Haydock on heavy ground and he’s coming down the weights so becoming well handicapped. Has run some good races with big weights and with the ground likely to be very heavy again he’ll stand a massive chance in his weakest race for a long time.
Week 16 – Saturday 16th January
One of only 2 course winners in this race. Ben Pauling with think this one has underachieved. He once said it’s the best horse he’s trained and he’s not really lived up to the hype. He’s been creeping down the weights. He was last off this mark in 2018 and I’m hoping the recent wind op does the job after a fair effort last time out at Aintree.
3:35W Ardlethen 1pt win 12/1
Ardlethen was fancied last time out when falling at the 2nd fence in listed company. Today he’s in a class 2 but this time over hurdles which I think he’s a different beast. He’s 3 wins from 5 runs over hurdles. Dan and Harry Skelton are in decent form. He’s been placed in 3 or his 6 runs on soft ground winning 1 of them.
2:00L Roman Spinner 1pt win 9/1
Her last win came in December 2019 off a mark of 72. She’s since run up a sequence of 11 losers. Her last run at Lingfield was just after her last win off 75 where she was just beaten over 3L. The same run again will win her this race. This is also her 1st run back at class 6 company since her 2 year old days in 2017 where she’s won 3 from 5 runs. 14/1 at the time of writing this seems very generous given the above.
A tough looking puzzle to solve here. One that I do like the chances of though is Storm Control. Before November, Storm Control had never run over further than 2 mile 5 furlongs. Since November, he has been tried over 3m1f and 3m2f and succeeded on both occasions. He found more when needed last time out when idling late on, and if he can improve again for a further step up in trip, we could see him complete the hatrick.
Recon Mission 3:10 Lingfield 6/1
Recon Mission was rated much higher than in his 3yo days (held a mark of 104 in summer 2019) and capitalised on a nice drop in the weights when getting a long overdue win off 84 on the last day of 2020. He has spent the bulk of 2020 still being rated between 95 and 102 so even now back up to 89, he still looks well weighted to strike again having found that winning feeling again. His win has also been boosted since when Thegreatestshowman, who finished 2nd, went one better the very next day.
Family Fortunes 6:50 Kempton 8/1
Another who has fallen a long way down the weights with a last victory coming in Feb 2019 off a mark of 85. That was nearly two years ago though, so it’s perhaps not a shock that he is now down to a mark of 78. He did go up to a one time mark of 90 after that last win, although could make no impression. He spent the remainder of 2019 rated 84+, and ran only 5 times in 2020 but with three of those runs finishing placed in 3rd of 81, 81 and most recently 78 (all 3 over this C&D). That most recent run was on the back of a 6 month absence from the track, and if that has helped to blow some of the cobwebs away, I think we can see an even better display this time, with Hollie Doyle booked to take the ride.
Although 12lb higher than his last winning, this 8yo mare has not looked back since tackling handicaps. Winning off marks of 87, 92 & 105 now see her tackling 117 and also not humping around 11-10 meaning this is a step up in class but her performance at Fairyhouse showed she could win this. She has a high cruising speed and is a big mare whose style of racing held up & making good headway 3 out. The opposition are either coming back from chasing, untested over this distance or having taken a tumble, except reserve Regina Dracones who could rate a big threat but is a reserve.
Storm Control 15:00 Warwick 8/1
Front runner fluent jumper who does seem to save a bit at the business end, suggesting he can a little faster earlier. They maybe a battle for the lead but his jumping can have him holding his postion at the head of affairs. He put up some big performances at Cheltenham this season which be the only niggle at the back of the mind. There is very few who could be considered dangers except probably Notacchance (won last time out ) & Achille (off for over a year)
Jay Bee Why 14:25 Warwick 11/2
A very impressive winner last time out, what he beat who knows but what he did was a demolition job. Held up off the pace and seen travelling well, his fluent jumping had him holding his position easily. Made up his ground quite easily to just behind the leaders. jumped the last the last and quickened clear. He's stepped up in "class" today but due to his price when making his debut at Newbury can only suggest better to come.
7:50 Kempton >> MARINTEO 7/2 I have been waiting for this to run for quite some time and really hope it runs today. ADAM KIRBY is a very strong booking for the very inform stable of J BUTLER and we will know our fate close to the off if still strong in the market. The last time I punted this horse was at Yarmouth with OISIN MURPHY on board and it won with any amount in hand. I really hope they do not pull this out again.
8:20 Kempton >> STRINGYBARK CREEK 9/2 Is a horse I have followed over the years and looks ready to strike again. ROSSA RYAN is a very positive jockey booking for DAVID LOUGHNANE who can do no wrong at present. I have given up on CHETAN and so the danger and a horse who I really hope does not ruin the party is PLUNGER who I backed last time out. Good luck if you follow :)
Intuitive was a progressive horse for James Tate winning his final two starts for that yard on the all weather in 2019, recording RPR’s of 101 and 106 in the process. He subsequently joined Simon Crisford and disappointed twice in Meydan but he’s shown promise on two starts back in the UK recently after wind surgery. On the first of those he shaped well after an absence when staying on from the rear at Chelmsford. He backed that up with a fine 3rd at Wolverhampton last time shaping well having had to be switched to the inside rail. That form has been nicely boosted by the 2nd and 4th winning their next starts, so in this slightly less competitive looking affair Intuitive should go well.
15:00 Warwick – Achille E/W 14/1
Captain Chaos is the one to beat with the blinkers returning but the price on him has arguably gone so I’ll chance Achille, who was steadily progressive when last seen, albeit that was 427 days ago. In April 2019 he showed a great attitude to beat Ami Desbois, who has placed three times subsequently. When last in action he finished a fine 2nd behind West Approach who went onto run in good races behind Cogry and Frodon. He finished clear of other subsequent winners Potters Legend and Ramses De Teillee and if he can bring that form to the table after a layoff he’s definitely got a chance for a trainer who can ready one.
20:20 Kempton – Evasive Power E/W 5/1
I think this is a very weak race and it could be worth siding with Evasive Power. In 2019 this horse was competitive off marks in the 80s for Denis Hogan. He was very well backed into 11/8f on what happened to be his only start for P Twomey last September finishing 8th, with the jockey reporting he didn’t travel from the top of the hill. He joined Robyn Brisland after that run and went into my tracker after finishing 6th/12 beaten 5l on his debut for the yard. It was a decent 0-75 contest won by the now 99 rated Amniarix and Evasive Power stayed on well under an easy enough looking ride. It was a similar story next time when again held up way off the pace given little chance to get competitive and his last race came in a strong 0-85 contest. This is much weaker and off 66 now I think he’ll pop up sooner or later, hopefully tomorrow.
Clearly had an issue or but Successful in a hurdle race and a point-to-point at 2m 4f and 3m on soft ground. Last of 3 behind Star Gate beaten 12l at 2-1 on his latest outing in a Grade 2 hurdle race in the Group 2 Ballymore Winter Novices' Hurdle at Sandown over 2m 4f (heavy) in December last year
WARWICK 15.00 Ballyoptic EW 25/1
Very smart on his day, winning Charlie Hall Has won four hurdle races, five chases and a point-to-point from 2m 3f to 3m 1f on ground varying from good to heavy. Well beaten at 80-1 when 10th of 18 on his latest outing in a Grade 3 chase in the Group 3 Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury over 3m 2f (good) in November last year
LINGFIELD 13.25 Crownthorpe EW 7/1
Has form figures of 231 since returning to AW Winner of six races from 7f to 1m including 2 wins on the all-weather (1 FB). A winner at 6-1 at Southwell over 1m on his latest outing earlier this month, beating Newbolt by 3/4
The Skelton’s’ have teamed up to win this prize twice since 2015 with the likes of Three Musketeers and more recently with Beakstown. Today they call upon Midnight River to make it three wins from his last four starts. His only defeat this season came after the run possibly came too soon or owing to the fact that he just doesn’t operate as well on good ground. He came unstuck at Cheltenham back in October when chasing home Does He Know over this same trip. A return to softer ground certainly aided his cause when he ended up back in the winners’ enclosure at Leicester on his most recent start towards the end of November. With a good few weeks off the track, it would be of little surprise to see him right back to his very best. The progeny of Midnight Legend have been running extremely well of late and no surprise if this one can make it a hat-trick in this race for Dan and Harry Skelton.
3-00 Warwick BALLYOPTIC 25/1
In a wide open renewal of this grade three race it could well be that Ballyoptic is worth siding with. He was unsighted really when last seen competing in the Ladbrokes Trophy back in November, but the ground had really gone against him that day where he finished tenth in behind Cloth Cap. He is the highest rated horse in this race by quite some margin but carries top-weight as a consequence. Jordan Nailor has been riding winners for fun for Sam Thomas of late and this useful claimer can take off a handy five pounds.
has been placed over longer trips than this in the past, so despite his advancing years, the soft ground may well suit him better than his rivals. Having won on numerous flat tracks in the past, Warwick ought to be well suited to his running style and with fitness on his side now, he can go well.
3-35 Warwick POTTERS CORNER 8/1
Potters Corner made his seasonal reappearance in the Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham back in November. He was far from disgraced when beaten into third by Kingswell Theatre. That was his first run in almost a year and he is sure to improve leaps and bounds for it. The flattish nature of this track will play to his strengths following previous wins at tracks such as Chepstow, Uttoxeter and Wincanton in the past. He loves to get his toe in so the soft ground will certainly be in his favour. He is likely to be targeted towards the Grand National in April having missed the opportunity to do so because of the onset of the pandemic last season. Potters Corner has stamina in abundance and the trainer would not be bringing him all the way here just for the fresh air. He can go extremely close here.
A typical tough Saturday race too get stuck into, a couple at the top of the market no value so time to take a chance on lively outsider, this fellow has ran 3 times this season with 2 unseated riders against his name, but if you look at the last one of them it was last week in Welsh national, was just beginning to make a move and thud loses his jock, interesting that NTD has turned him out quickly, also if you look at the other run which he has completed that was a decent effort in the Hennessy ,STD on board tomorrow so touch wood granted a thud free round got to be in the mix.
335 Warwick Keppage 1pt win. 8/1
I tipped this one last time out at Cheltenham and although he ran okay and finished 4th I was a bit disappointed with that effort. But I did notice he was staying on well up the hill so the extra 3f for him tomorrow are a plus, Pipe has said he's taken a while to recover from that race but has been working well recently , confident of a big run.
225 Warwick Sending Love 0.5pts ew.14/1
First look at this race and I liked the look of the Pipe nag , but when looked a lot closer couldn't believe the price of this one . Granted he was disappointing last time out but trainer has gone on record and said the race was not run too suit, he needs a good gallop to aim at and surely will get that here , going will be testing so will love that,also going left handed the trainer says he will enjoy as trainer feels going right handed he hates. I think at the price at writing 16/1 he represents solid value.
Easy winner last time out and form franked with the second ( lady chuffnell) winning well on Wednesday. After finally getting a win after 14 races this 6 year gelding may follow up. Decent conditional hockey on board with joe Anderson the only slight worry would be trainer Chris down isn’t in form so hopefully he’ll get the yard firing again.
300 Warwick Tip Captain Chaos ( win ) 6/1
Dan skelton’s horse has been quietly backed all week. Stable and jockey in decent form recently, and the re applied blinkers should work a oracle ( excellent record with blinds on ) second last year off 134 now running two points higher at 136 but did start the season off 142 so the handicapper has given him a good chance. Been running at shorter distances so today’s longer trip should be more in his favour l. Big chance in this race.
130 Market Rasen Tip FAWSLEY SPIRIT ( win ) 2/1
Ben Pauling has been in form recently ( 4 from 12 ) in the last two weeks. This runner fell when staying on and 1 length clear at the last fence when well backed In December. Hopefully that fell won’t be a problem and he can leave that fell behind if he can he’ll stand a huge chance.
A nice competitive grade two hurdle race at Warwick that can go the the David Pipe and Tom Scu partnership with MAKE ME A BELIEVER. A winner at Cheltenham last time out showing determination to get up late on, this trip and ground won’t hold any fears and is a confident selection at the current 7/2 price.
WARWICK 15.00 - LE BREUIL - 1 Point Win 9/2
A class horse and a dour stayer, this Cheltenham festival winner has slipped down the handicap and on his best form is thrown In at the weights here. Third in the Beechers chase at Aintree last time out the handicapper somehow dropped him a pound for that brave run, now off 140 he needs to win to get into the Grand National so will be all guns a blazing and looks certain to go close,
WARWICK 15.35 - KEPPAGE - 1 Point win 8/1
Another David Pipe and Tom Scu partnership combination selection in this Pertemps Network Handicap hurdle qualifier, will all know the big prize is at the festival and rated 135 KEPPAGE needs to go close to winning this race to qualify. The horse will appreciate this tough test after his fourth at Cheltenham on his reappearance and will strip a lot fitter.
Week 15 – Saturday 9th January
Tipped this one last when week when made a non runner so the below applies again: This one made its way into my tracker after beating Springfield Fox in January. He has only race twice since and I think there is a lot more to come after just 3 runs under rules. He has been running against horses with much more experience than he has and he can use that to progress further on just his 4th start under rules today.
El Ghazwani 1:05 Lingfield 8/1
A six time winner from 17 AW starts with all of those over this course and distance; it’s fair to say this horse really loves it here! The last time he ran over this trip he won off a mark of 96 (Feb 2020) and returns today off 1lb higher. He had five starts since that win but the first 4 were away from Lingfield, with 3 of them on turf where he is now 0 wins from 6 attempts. Ran over a couple of furlongs further when returning to his favoured Lingfield last time but looked to need that run, and he now drops back to his optimum conditions.
Merhoob 1:29 Chelmsford 5/1
The top rated runner in this 0-86 class 4 handicap, only the second time he has contested a class 4 race in the last two and half years. The other was last time out when things didn’t appear to go to plan and I’m willing to forgive that run as he now sits 9lb below his last winning mark. He is versatile regarding his tracks but is twice a C&D winner. 8 of his 9 wins have been in single digit runner fields, so this 6 runner contest could be right up his street for a bounce back to form.
Sophosc is very well handicapped on some of his old form and could be ready to strike again. He started last summer off a mark of 82, he’s now 20lbs lower. He raced four times on turf and was never sent off shorter than 25/1, with three of the runs coming on unsuitable soft or heavy ground. He returned to this CD after a 70-day absence last month and ran a good race finishing 9th/12. He shaped better than the finishing position that day as he got hampered on the bend into the straight. He’s 7lbs better off with both Subliminal and Goodwood Showman who finished ahead of him and Kingscote is a positive jockey booking as he’s 2/4 for the yard. There’s not much pace on so hopefully from a handy draw they revert to front running tactics and try to make all.
14:34 Chelmsford – Pistoletto E/W 4/1
Pistoletto was a 60,000gns from the Aiden O’Brien yard for these connections at the Tatts sale in August. He was useful for O’Brien, placing in group three company as a two-year-old and even last summer he was listed placed and wasn’t disgraced in the Commonwealth Cup. After a gelding op for this yard he finished 4th/8 at Lingfield beaten a length, shaping well having travelled strongly. He then finished 3rd over this CD behind two progressive types in Mohareb and Ghalyoon. He wasn’t in the same form last time, but it was a race won by five lengths by the improving Count Of Amazonia. This looks the weakest race he’s ran in for a good while and with the step back to 7f set to suit I think he has every chance of striking of a likely strong pace.
14:50 Lingfield – Molivaliente E/W 12/1
Tricky race and a tricky horse but Molivaliente maybe worth a small E/W play. She caught the eye on her reappearance staying on nicely at Kempton October and that form has been franked by the front two since. He was sent off 3/1 fav at Chelmsford next time but he was caught out wide and took a fierce pull so I can forgive that run. He again attracted market support again last time and he looked threatening approaching the final furlong but disappointed by weakening late on, perhaps feeling the pinch having made a big race move approaching the bend. He’s had a break since which may suit him, and this race looks set to be very strongly run so hopefully that should help him settle. Lee Newman is booked, and it looks to be his first ride in the UK for a long time which is interesting.
13.05 LINGFIELD Make It Rain WIN 5/2 A course and distance scorer who added to good record with cosy success at Wolver latest; not taken lightly She has won four times from 1m to 1m 2f on the all-weather (2 PO). Won on her latest outing when 11-8fav at Wolverhampton14 days ago, sticking to task over 1m 1f in December last year,
15.10 CHEPSTOW Springfield Fox EW 8/1 This has reportedly been the long term target for Springfield Fox and that makes sense. He won very easily on heavy ground at this course last season and backed that up with another wide margin success at Exeter, also on bad ground, admittedly those two were off much lower marks than he runs off here but he’s still unexposed as a staying chaser after just 3 runs over fences to date.
Having had 3 spins over the course and once over distance in a handicap could be seen as an advantage with his course experience. Being held off the pace in all his races could be another benefit with the Bailey horse likely to lead. His run in the handicap would suggest he may have a lbs to find but receiving 10 lbs from the main principals could be enough to swing things in his favour.
Ask Me Early 1:58 Chepstow 5/2
The most likely pace angle here who showed stamina and tenacity to see off the challengers last time. This big grey should come on for that race and give this competitive field a jumping lesson.
Younevercall 14:20 Kempton 9/2
My selection, 2/3 at Kempton, who likes to be on the pace showed as much a the favorite did last time out and was unlucky prior to that when done on the line here in his season opener off 154 in a Pertemps handicap. Hopefully can deservedly open his seasonn account here.
This was an easy selection for me. Secret Reprieve Is due to go up 8lb after this but I think he’ll be going up a lot more. He won very easily here last time out making it 2 from 2 at the track and 2 from 2 on heavy going. That was against a good few of today’s opponents and I just can’t see any of them turning the tables today.
1:35C Adagio 1pt win 10/3
I do like Nassalam in this race but looking at the stats he’s worth taking on here’s why. Gary Moore hasn’t had a winner at Chepstow in the last 5 years from 26 runs. Jamie Moore has had 1 winner in that time from 51 runs.
Adagio’s trainer on the other hand is bang in for at the moment and has a great record at the track as does Scudamore. Was 2nd to Duffle Coat in a funny run race then followed up by winning easily a Cheltemham next time. Won easily on heavy in France so the bottomless ground shouldn’t be a problem.
2:20K Thomas Darby 1pt win 8/1
I think there’s a bit of value in the current price of 8/1 about Thomas Darby. He’s joint highest rated in the race. I think he’ll come on more for the run than the 2 that beat him last time out. He’s never been out of the 1st 3 in any of his 11 runs. He’s only got the 2 that beat him last time out in my opinion.
3:40 Chelmsford >> MANDARIN E/W 7/1 I think we can forget the last run over 1 mile at Newcastle and expect an improved performance here today.LAURA PEARSON is arguably the jockey of the moment and the stable form of D LOUGHNANE is pretty decent also.With the step up to 1 mile 2 furlongs likely to suit and the polytrack surface likely to suit I rate this a decent E/W bet.
2:35 Wincanton >> EVANDER 5/4 My tracker went ping ! I really really like this horse and if given a clear round today I think this likely front runner wins.R DUNNE is a positive booking for O GREENALL who in my opinion is a trainer to follow.At 6 years old and up against more experienced and higher rated rivals I think he will lead them a merry dance.Entered up at both meetings I really hope he runs in this one here in this race.Good luck if you follow :)
Keep Rolling is a lightly raced eight-year old son of Mahler who scored on his seasonal reappearance by no fewer than seventeen lengths at Hereford following a year's absence from the track. This is vastly more competitive, but he remains fully unexposed and shapes as though he will improve for this step up to an extended two-and-a-half miles. He receives weight concessions from Take Your Time and Sizable Sam and will appreciate every ounce. Micheal Nolan rides him for the first time and the pair should be capable of making their presence felt.
2-35 Wincanton GALA BALL 4/1
Gala Ball is a remarkably consistent sort and was beaten only a little over two lengths on his seasonal reappearance at Newbury back in November. For the last few seasons Philip Hobbs has conjured further improvement out of him as the season has progressed and he actually won this race last year on what was also his second start of the campaign. He is only a pound higher in the ratings this time around and has proven himself multiple times on the ground and at the trip. Despite his advanciing years, he still retains plenty of ability and he can successfully defend his crown.
3-10 Chepstow TRUCKERS LODGE 11/1
Paul Nicholls loves to target his runners at Chepstow where he has a near 40% strike rate with his runners. He has trained the winner of this race twice with the likes of Silver Birch and L’Aventure winning back in 2005 and 2006 and Truckers Lodge found only Potters Corner too strong last season. He has some excellent form figures around this track that reads 214211. He clearly relishes the challenge that the track presents and although carrying more weight this year, he will be a force to be reckoned with. Paul Nicholls has been sending out winners for fun of late and despite an uncustomary unseating of Lorcan Williams at Kelso last time, this eight-year-old could well prove the pick of the field. He has won over four-and-a-quarter-miles so will be staying on when the others have cried enough and this former Midlands Grand National winner is worthy of a second look.
This one is getting long in the tooth but still retains ability as shown in his first run this season. He has course form but you have to go back too 2015 the last time he ran here , but his course from three runs is 121. He's off his lowest handicap mark since May 2016 and has won with a lot higher handicap marks , big run expected .
310 Chepstow Lord du Mensil 0.5ptsew. 14/1
This chap is and out and out stayer, loves it deep guaranteed that here . He has had two prep runs this season over inadequate trips , I think this has been his target for a while , must go close with a clear round.
330 Kempton Polish 0.5ptsew 20/1
If this one gets his jumping sorted out he has too be well overpriced in this race. Two errors in his last two races at Cheltenham have cost him badly. He's a consistent sort over hurdles and rising slightly in handicap ,but one day it will click and he will dot up let's hope it's today.
With doubts about the weather tips for Tip Idol will be from my all weather tracker system which produces good priced winners and hopefully today when I need a couple or three. First up is BARTAT trained by ex jockey Michael Wigham and to be ridden by Hayley Turner. Formerly trained by Mick Channon this four year old filly had a pipe opener on the fibresand at Southwell recently and will be ready to step up to her former winning ways today.
CHELMSFORD 15.40 - BALLARD DOWN - 0.5 Point Each Way 28/1
This Eight year old gelding trained by Alex Dunn and to be ridden by Rossa Ryan is a much better horse than his form figures show. Down to a mark of 76 having won off 91 in the past this horse would be a good thing if he puts his best foot forward. The price should be decent enough for a nice each way bet so fingers crossed the stable let him run his race.
CHELMSFORD 17.45 - NEW LOOK - 0.5 Point Each Way 14/1
A frustrating horse is NEW LOOK who is due a win and today looks set up for this lowly rated 42 beast to strike gold. Again the form figures don’t tell the true story and Lisa Williamson and Elisha Whittington team up again to eek this win that we know the six year old gelding is capable of. Three selections today which are all on winnable marks and just hoping they are allowed to power home.
Ideally weighted for a race of this nature. Ewan Evans horses are running well recently and the way he won last time on heavy ground staying on well in the welsh national trail makes him have a massive chance. Stable running at 25% over the last two weeks and jockey Adam wedge at 33%. His latest win has meant he’s got a massive rise in his rating. But the way he stuck to the task last time at Haydock I believe he stands a massive chance.
Relkeel hurdle 220 Kempton Tip MCFABULOUS (win) 11/10
Class horse in the race for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden. This up and coming staying horse finished third behind thyme hill and Paisley park last time out at Newbury and there’s only younevercall who finished 4th behind the same two at Ascot with any kind of form but the latter didn’t seem to stay the distance last time when travelling smoothly into the race before making a few mistakes on the run in before fading. MCFABULOUS probably went a little soon last time when he tired to burn the finish out of the other two who finished in front and hopefully Harry can be a little more patient this time. Massive chance
Maiden stakes 410 Chelmsford Tip TRIBUTO (win) 9/4
Didn’t go off in fancied at Newcastle on debut (10/3 2f ) and stuck to the task well before being squeezed out and slightly hampered 1f out before switching left and finished well in 5th about 3 lengths off the winner. Today’s drop in trip would be a slight concern especially in the way he finished but with the previous run behind him and he was quickly away that day. Jockeys is well worth his 5lb allowance and the yard is running at 38% in the last two weeks (5 from 13 ) given a mark of 68 which is the highest in the field and wouldn’t have to run much better than last time to win this.
Need a strong stayer for the Welsh grand national and Christmas in April will stay all day in winter ground. Won in Exeter last year running over the same distance and had a good return run this year behind cloudy Glen which should have him in good form for this
1.45 Kempton coo star sivola 7/1
Now 5lb lower than winning the ultima in Cheltenham a couple of years ago. Hoping he is on a dangerous mark to pounce here and recapture that form from a couple of years ago. Is well able for big field handicaps and didn't go too far at aintree so should be fresh enough for this
2.20 Kempton mcfabulous 11/10
Won well in chepstow to start his year and finished 3rd to paisley Park and thyme Hill in Newbury in November. It appears he just ran out of steam at the end there so the drop back to 2m4f will help. Also finishing 3rd to the 2 favourites for the stayers hurdle is best form on show here
Week 14 – Saturday 2nd January
Gary Moore’s Darebin is the only course winner in this field and has a great record at the track. He’s been placed 8 times out of 14 runs here winning winning 4 of them. Won this race 2 years ago off 119 4lbs higher that today’s mark. The ground is no concern winning 5 out of 16 on the forecast soft ground. My only worry is the confidence of David Noonan who’s not had a winner in 34 days/49 rides.
3:00S Ballydine 0.5pt ew 16/1
Charlie Longsdon’s gelding is the outsider of the field here but could be a bit value here especially if the race is ran at a fast pace. He’ll be held up last so don’t expect to see him till the end. He’s ran once at Sandown and won which was on today’s forecast ground. Tom Buckley takes off a valuable 5lb and I’m hoping the 1st time tongue tie can alway bring a fair bit improvement.
3:35S Totterdown 0.5pt ew 9/1
I’m going to forgive his last run. I think it was just a grade to much for him and was the claimers 1st time on him. Back down in class today and 4lb of his back for his poor last run. He’s been placed 4 times from 6 runs at Sandown winning 2 of them. He has a 60% win rate and 80% placings from 5 runs on today’s forecast ground. He’s rated 135 and today’s claimer means he runs off 128 which is 2lb below his 10L win here in November 2018.
After a gutsy win from Theatre Guide (4lb better off) in November Veterans @ Warwick, Potters went to Cheltenhamn but found Storm Control front running performance too strong that day. He made a few uncharacteristic niggly mistakes which had him on the back foot for most of the contest, if he jumps a little better, the pace of the race should be run to his liking. The consistent Crosspark might be the danger.
Funky Dady 14:13 Cork NR
Ran a race of promise @ Navan when coming on the outside to challenge the Flooring Porter but was obviously in hindsight no match for that one. Faded on the run in to still finish ahead of Bon Retour. Again found this distance stretching his stamina @ Leopardstown. Has much better form at 20f winning twice over the distance. Should go well.
Flowery 14:05 Ayr 5/1
Has developed into a chaser of promise, especially when front-running. Has proved to be a model of consistency and stepping back up to 20f can only help his cause. A possible battle for the lead with Evander will make the others struggle to get in the contest and Flowery's upward progression may be enough to wrestle this contest.
2:20 Lingfield >> SHINING SUCCESS 3/1 Went into my notebook last time out coming from miles back at Chelmsford City to win in the style of a good horse. DAVID SIMCOCK is a master at training horses to come from the back and jockey CALLUM SHEPHERD looked very confident that day also and retains the ride today.The top two are both decent horses but with front runner BRAVADO sure to blast off in front I think this could be set up nicely for SHINING SUCCESS who could be the value bet on his handicap debut.This is my best bet of the day and so my NAP selection.
5:10 Wolverhampton >> NATE THE GREAT 6/1 The step up in trip should suit this horse very well and with WILLIAM CARVER taking a further 5lb looks the bet here for me.He should strip a lot fitter after last run at KEMPTON on the 17th of December and I think should be winning this if anything like back to the form he showed when 4th in the QUEEN ALEXANDRA at ROYAL ASCOT back in June of 2020.Good luck if you follow :)
A particularly good race for the class but it could be worth chancing Starfighter E/W. He’s caught the eye on all three runs since joining this yard, the first coming at Chelmsford in October when he stayed on well over 1m. He finished 6th, 1.5l behind today’s favourite Kendergarten Kop (4th) giving that rival 14lbs. He’s 9lb lower today than KK today, a massive 23lb swing at the weights. He ran a good race at Newcastle next time out against some course specialists (the 1st and 2nd have both won twice since) again shaping as if he wants a return to further. He got that last time out at Wolverhampton when racing over 1m1.5f but his amateur jockey didn’t give him a proper ride at all when seemingly still going well. He drops into a 0-70 now with a more experience claimer on board. It’s a touch concerning that she hasn’t ridden a winner for a long time, but she has a good mount underneath her here and hopefully can assist him home. I think he’s overpriced now against some horses moving up in class.
15:30 Lingfield – Shamshon E/W 8/1
Shamshon was competitive off marks in the low 80s at the beginning of last year and despite never been beaten more than six lengths since, he finds himself off just 63 here. He was a good 2nd behind subsequent winner Pettochside at Goodwood in September before running a fair 5th at Wolverhampton in 0-80 company. He was well backed when dropped into a class five next time but disappointed finishing 6th, though the form has some worth with the 1st and 2nd placing since and the 3rd and 4th winning subsequently. I thought he shaped like his turn was nearing over CD last time when travelling well and doing best of those held up. He found himself racing on the unfavoured stands side rail so it’s a run that can be upgraded further. Super Julius and Equally Fast are both capable, as is Roundabout Magic but that one needs everything to fall right.
16:40 Wolverhampton – Dynamo Walt E/W 5/1
Dynamo Walt is not the horse he once was but this time last year he was winning off a mark of 70 and turns up here off just 55, contesting the first 0-55 handicap of his career. He’s showed glimpses of ability including when 3rd here in November off 6lbs higher behind 79 and 80 rated horses. He hasn’t been quite as good since but his effort when 7th last time in 0-70 company can be upgraded somewhat as he endured a wide trip and got hampered late on. Passional won a weak contest at Southwell last time and steps back into handicap company. She’s unexposed and the one to beat but she’s priced accordingly. Red Allure is unlikely to get an easy time of it up front and Bluella looks best at Southwell. Essaka will have to settle better than he did last time out though will be suited by the likely strong gallop. The Derek Shaw yard had You’re Cool win and Jumira Bridge go close recently so are beginning to hit a bit of form after a long dry spell.
The favourite Rohaan has been raised 30lb in December after recording 3 wins. He beat Andronicus Beau by 1.25 lengths in the most recent of those wins but will have his work cut out to beat that rival again. Rohaan has been raised 12lb while Andronicus Beau has had his mark left unchanged, making my selection fully 12lb better off. He also wears 1st time cheekpieces today.
Illegal Model 2:40 Ayr 9/4
This one made its way into my tracker after beating Springfield Fox in January. He has only race twice since and I think there is a lot more to come after just 3 runs under rules. He has been running against horses with much more experience than he has and he can use that to progress further on just his 4th start under rules today.
Shamshon 3:30 Lingfield 8/1
You could make a case for a few in this, with the likes of Equally Fast and Roundabout Magic who were 1-2 in this race last year, but they didn’t have to face a horse like Shamshon in last years event. Shamshon stands out in this race as he drops into Class 6 company for the first time in his career. He has spent the majority of his career rated in the 80’s but now finds himself off a mark of just 63. His last AW win was in January 2019 off 85 so he is now a huge 22lb below that mark. Since that win, he has also won on turf in 2019 off marks of 78, 80 and 81, with the latter of those wins pushing him back up to a mark of 89. This meant he spent last years AW campaign running in some strong Class 2 & Class 3 handicaps. Another year older now and clearly not the same force as two years ago, but he has run with credit in his last 4 runs and his mark has continued to fall, so this really looks a golden opportunity for him to get a win!
Ibleo has put In a couple of sterling efforts on his two previous runs this season at Ascot and Cheltenham. A return to bottomless ground will suit the Venetia Williams trained eight-year-old. Charlie Deutsch has ridden him to both of his previous successes, so the fact that he is on board again here is certainly confidence boosting. This two mile trip suits Ibleo and it is likely that there is more to come from this improving sort.
2-40 AYR – ILLEGAL MODEL 9/4
Illegal Model is making a 700-mile round trip to compete here on what is his yards only runner on the card. The booking of champion jockey Brian Hughes certainly catches the eye. Illegal Model is extremely lightly raced but he will appreciate the return to near bog-like conditions here. Many of his rivals are taking a step up in class here, but this should be the minimum standard that this one is capable of winning. The trainer will not want to be coming here just for the fresh air, so he has to be of obvious interest.
3-35 SANDOWN – MONSIEUR LECOQ 11/4
Monsieur Lecoq appreciates a flat track and extremely testing conditions, so todays race looks tailor made for him. He was a fair fourth on his seasonal reappearance at Uttoxeter back in October but he ought to be much fresher today, now that the cobwebs have been blown away. His only other attempt at this track resulted in a nine-length win over Our Merlin around this time two years ago. Chester Williams has won on him before and replaces regular partner Lizzie Kelly who is on maternity leave. The combination are worthy of a second look and command respect.
This one has a great record at the track,has won his last two here, he is normally held up at the back and gets going when comes into the home straight. Will love the conditions and looks a solid ew bet.
Sandown 300 Fingerontheswitch 0.5pts ew 11/1
Comes here a fresh horse with only one run under his belt at Haydock early December, goes well for this jockey gets in off a nice weight here and also has the tongue tie applied tomorrow which has been off last few runs.
Sandown 335 Monsieur Lecoq 1pt win. 11/4
This one been out of form last couple of runs but I put that down too a couple of things, stable out of form and been put in hot contests. But recently stable has came back into form and more importantly he's running at his favourite track where he has a solid profile, at time of writing this horse has been backed of the boards so all the signs are there he will run a biggie the day.
13.10 LINGFIELD Kodiac Harbour WIN 3/1 is in top form and he managed to get his head in front last time out when dropped back in trip over this C and D. He was caught quite far back last time out and did well to win all being considered. He is up 2lb but can't complain about a 2lb rise and I feel he's the type that could improve further Luke Morris keeps the ride and the pair are drawn well in stall 3
11.30 LINGFIELD Subliminal EW 13/2 Dual C&D winner last January who was back to those levels latest;He has won four times at 1m 2f on polytrack. should go well again
A classy individual who has won his first two hurdle races can take this valuable Grade one Tolworth hurdle in style. A winner a Ascot last time a track not unlike Sandown, Harry Fry’s gelding should take all the beating here and will not be inconvenienced by the very soft going having won on heavy on his first hurdle win.
LINGFIELD 15.30 - ROUNDABOUT MAGIC - 1 Point Win 8/1
A horse from my tracker system and a selection last time out when second here at Lingfield. This seven time course and distance winner was coming back from a break last time and will be primed to strike here at trainer Simon Dow’s local track. Callum Shepherd takes the ride today and off the same mark of 60 can pounce late to grab the spoils.
WOLVERHAMPTON 17.10 - AUSTRALIS - 1 Point Win 5/6
Trained by Roger Varian and ridden by Jack Mitchell this son on Australia is poised to go one better after his second at Newcastle three weeks ago. He should get the decent pace here that he needs to show his best and is a course winner here at Wolverhampton. Everything is in place for a winning run and is another runner from my tracker system.
Taking a bit of a chance here that Mark Prescott has been lining this one up, he has in horses in fine form with a 1st and 2nd in the last 14 days and with Luke Morris onboard she is sure to get given a chance. The opening mark doesn't seem too harsh either.
Sandown 14:25 - Adrimel 1pt win NR
With none of the field having won in this class before, the rest of the stats point me towards Adrimel. He is 2 from 2 on the going, 1 from 1 over the course and field size and his only defeat came in a Class 1 NHF at Cheltenham, so I am willing to cut some slack there. With Richard Johnson on board, let's hope he can make it 3 from over hurdles
Wolverhampton 16:40 - Dynamo Walt 5/1
Would be nice to see this old timer show them all the way here. He has been slowly sliding down the weights and is now running in a Class 6 field. He won over course and distance around the same time last year and is now 15lbs lower than that. Hopefully this will be his day at a nice price too.
2 wins out of 2 over hurdles for this runner both on very soft ground like he’ll encounter today winning by 5 1/2 and 10 lengths very easily. Harry fry’s form recently has been good in the last 14 days (33%) as well has jockey Sean Bowen (40%) both wins he’s had have been mightily impressive and with ground seemingly in his favour he stands a massive chance.
5 a side football handicap 1200 lingfield Tip SISU (win) 6/1
Sir mark Prescott first time runners in a handicap need to be seriously consider especially when upped in distance. This race won’t take much winning with the other runners in the field not being especially good. Sir mark has had 1 runner in the last 14 days which was a winner and obviously Luke Morris is riding the best he can On the sand. Her last 3 runs she’s been well beaten at long long odds (250/1 33/1 125/1 ) but she did show minor promise first time out in finishing 4th behind some decent horses. Up 2f on her handicap debut and Sir Mark can hopefully work his magic once again.
Betway handicap 440 Wolverhampton Tip PASSIONAL (win) 13/8
Last time out winner at Southwell when seemingly looking like he was gonna throw the race away by hanging left to eventually win going away easily. Jockey claiming 5 should off set her rise in the weights. Has a decent record at 5f (5 runs 1 win and 4 places). Up and coming sprinter against some older and experienced rivals. Joint highest overall rating in the field and she’ll hopefully follow up her win last time out.
Ran a distant second coming off a 621 day break, so may have been in desperate need of the run. Placed twice in December 2018 so tends to go well this time of year on the heavier ground. Has had a breathing operation last month which may also help now.
13.50 Sandown Park Ibleo 2/1
Has been the model of consistency recently, being in the places in the last 5 races. The winner of the first race this year was narrowly touched off First Flow, who has rattled off 5 wins in a row. Being trained by Venetia Williams the ground should be no issue and should stay no problem.
15:00 Sandown Park Crosspark EW 15/2
Ran creditably the last 3 occasions, finishing in the runner up spot. Has lost by less than a length in every one of those races. While the ground may not be as good as hoped, the distance should not be a problem and would be surprised to be out of the places.
Week 13 – Saturday 26th December
This is a very competitive race but I think The Big Breakaway could be the up and coming horse and take his 1st grade 1 before going on to win the RSA at Cheltemham. You can score a line through his last run as it was over an unsuited trip and ended up a tactical affair. His novice chase before that over 3m at Cheltemham couldn’t have been more impressive. Shan Blue & If The Cap Fits are 2 top class rivals so this one could be a Christmas cracker.
3:00K Waiting Patiently 0.5pt ew 14/1
Waiting Patiently is definitely what the owners have had to be doing with this one. A top class horse but clearly very fragile. Not out of the top 3 in any of his races other than when unseating Hughes in this in 2018. He was a 4/1 shot that day. The winner was 12/1 shot clan des obeaux who is fav today. Waiting Patiently never runs a bad race. Was last seen last December finishing very strongly just a length behind Defi Du Seuil & un de sceaux. At 9yo I still don’t think he’s shown his best and can still improve.
3:13W Suggestion .05pt ew 11/1
Won this race in 2018 by 7l off a mark of 104. By the end of that season he was running off 125. Looks to me he’s had a few quiet runs and finds himself back down to 105 for this race. The claimer on board takes off another 3lb He’s won 3 times from 5 runs at Wetherby and Kirby definitely know how to land a gamble. 16/1 at the time of writing this I can’t see him being that price come the race.
4:35 Wolverhampton >> MYSTIFY ME 9/4 I was on DONNY MARLOW last time out who just managed to sneak through and get up to win in a photo finish.He could improve as he obviously acts on the tapeta but I was not impressed enough as to want to back him again here today,especially under a penalty.So with this in mind I think the speedily bred MYSTIFY ME makes most appeal being a half sister to group 3 winner AL RAYA.
5:05 Wolverhampton >> SHIELDED 2/1 This is my strongest fancy of the 3 I have posted here.With sire stats very high for the tapeta surface and the same jockey and trainer combination as above 2 also.With just 2 runs further improvement can expected today and this rates my NAP selection.I really like all 4 runners from this stable running here today and the shortest priced runner MAKE IT RAIN has 33% sire stats on tapeta but perhaps seems a little short to put up as a selection.Trainer states it could be black type material so I have put in a multiple with my 3 selections.Merry Christmas and good luck if you follow :)
A trappy low grade handicap hurdle but Freddie Darling makes some appeal with a first-time tongue-tie fitted for his handicap debut. He was well backed for his hurdles debut in October but he could only finish 5th, though the form of that race has worked out well with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th winning subsequently and are now rated 130, 117 and 123 respectively. He was 4th on his next start finishing well held but again the form has some substance with the second and third winning on their next starts and the winner already had a mark of 126. He ran in a race won by the highly touted and unbeaten Bear Ghylls last time out and he should get more competitive now dropping into 0-110 company for his handicap debut.
14:55 Wolverhampton – Bashful Boy 6/1
Bashful Boy won a Dundalk maiden last December on his final start for John Feane last December and has since performed with credit over hurdles for Suzi Best, including when beating a subsequent winner at Fontwell in September. He caught the eye on his first flat start for these connections last time out when finishing 2nd. He shaped in no uncertain terms like the best horse in that race, travelling strongly into the straight before getting badly hampered on the bend. Once in the clear he raced on the unfavoured inside rail and was collared by the fast-finishing Rafiot. He’s up 3lbs for that run but the way he travelled suggests it will be manageable. Kitzbuhel won impressively in a good time at Southwell last time out though isn’t certain to match that level of performance back on this surface and I’d have them closer together than they currently are in the betting.
15:19 Wincanton – Un Prophete 11/2
Un Prophete should give you a good run for your money given that he’s in form and should handle the testing conditions. He returned from a long absence to finish 3rd at Carlisle last month finishing well despite making a couple of mistakes. He backed that up with another good 3rd behind two, in comparison, unexposed stayers and the trio finished miles clear of the 4th. A repeat of either performance here should see him thereabouts.
I can’t work out how this horse isn’t favourite for this race. Clondaw Secret could be anything at this time but so far all he has done is won a maiden hurdle. Tower Bridge has been over fences since April 2018, bar a recent pipe opener on seasonal debut last month, but that prior hurdle appearance was in a Grade 1 where he was beaten by Santini and Roksana! He was also a winner in a Grade 1 hurdle that year and was 5th in that year’s Albert Bartlett. That represents some serious top level experience, and Diol Ker looks the only serious opposition in my opinion.
Windsor Avenue 2:05 Wetherby 15/2
I gave this one last time out which was just two weeks ago and he disappointed on that occasion but I’m prepared to give him a second chance here. That was the first time this horse had been pulled up in a race, but he has a tremendous record when finishing a race with 11 top two finishes from 13 completed races. I’m mainly persuaded to give him a second chance though based on the strength of his prior run at Carlisle on reappearance, and this is an easier contest than last time (0-148 whereas last time was a 0-157).
Big Country 2:20 Wolverhampton 4/1
This horse was brought massively down the handicap to land a touch at Chelmsford last time. He was rated 109 in March 2019, but found himself down to a mark of 86 just over two weeks ago, when duly obliging after being subject of market support. He had now been raised to a mark of 91 but there could well be plenty of juice still left in that mark if retaining his ability. The favourite, Make It Rain, has been running with real consistency in the second half of 2020 but finds himself on a new career high mark, and he will eventually have to hit a ceiling to his ability. The presence of Red Verdon in the race makes things interesting, as he is rated 108 which is 11lb higher than the next highest rated runner, and 17lb higher than my selection. This means Big Country will receive 17lb from RV and ensures he carries a nice low weight of 8st 10lb. Remember he has been rated as high as Red Verdon in his pomp!
His two runs at Cheltenham this season has shown the son of Shantou open to improvement and as he was unfortunate to be reeled in by Stimulaing Song in November, hopefully he can grabbed this valuable prize.
Minnie Escape 14:10 Wincanton 8/1
Made up ground to join leader 2 out and stayed on well, this was in a race very few made ground from the back. Did jump sketcthily during the race but that did get better so should be able to improve from last run.
Mint Condition 14:40 Wetherby 3/1
A fluent hurdler who ran well last time out at Aintree in a class 2 event. Still should be capable of winning off his present handicap mark especialy with Lily Pinchin taking off 5lbs. This should be run at a good clip which will enable Mint Condition to maintain a handy position.
This looks a good opportunity for this one too get his head in front, ran in what looks like a hot bumper last time out at Ascot leading till inside final furlong ,Nicholls farms races at this track so confident this should be another, and a few big stables in this race so hope we get a decent price.
342 Limerick Ardera Ru 1pt win 2/1.
This looks a real good opportunity again for this one, ran in another hot bumper at Navan and doing his best work late on. Had a good look at rest of field and really I don't think he has any dangers and confident this should do the business.
325 Leopardstown Collins 1pt win. 4/1
A chance is taken on this one as no form too go on , but his stable has won this race twice in last 4 years and looking at it's breeding is bred too go a bit, bought for about £100,000 so will be looking too get some of that back, will get a decent price as two other big stables represented here.
Deserved his recent Chelmsford win but this is tougher and he's up 5lb Course winner. Won 9-runner handicap (10/3) at Chelmsford City (10f) 16 days ago, keeping on well
14.55 BASHFUL BOY WIN 6/1
He is In good form over hurdles prior to making fine return to Flat at Lingfield ten days ago, Good second of 8 in handicap at Lingfield (12f, AW, 9/2) 10 days ago. Makes tapeta debut
17.05 SWEET BERTIE WIN 11/4
Sweet Bertie appeared to benefit from the application of blinkers (worn today) when opening his account over C&D four weeks ago and he should remain competitive off a 5lb higher mark. Shielded, equipped with first-time cheekpieces on his nursery debut, cannot be ruled out either and he is a Lightly-raced winner. ,and had a career best when winning 8-runner nursery should be involved despite the 5lb rise
Still trying to find his feet over fences, but 3 places from 3 runs chasing sits well with me and with my preferred jockey for Fergal O'brien in the saddle, this was an easy pick for me. He is 5 places from 6 runs on the ground and 3 places from 4 at the distance, so the stats back up a good run here.
Skipthescales - Wetherby 2:40 0.5 pts ew 12/1
Was third in this last year and carrying 5lbs less this time round aligned with his form figures at Wetherby reading 314123, this is surely where he feels most comfortable and with the trainer having a 57% place strike rate over the last 14 days, would like to think we should be in with a squeak here.
Apatite - Wolverhampton 5:05 1pt win 20/1
Tried to find one that might be a little ahead of the handicapper for my last selection and think I may have done just that. This will be her first run in a handicap and has also just changed trainers. Mick Appleby has his string in fine form and I think she will be adding to his list of winners in the last two weeks, 22%. She was running well in her last start and only tailed off in the last half a furlong, which I am going to take as keeping under the radar. Here's to a nice priced winner.
Top of my ratings and the favourite. Experience at Class and distance and trainer jockey combo is no issue. Speed should not be an issue, though a few will be valid challengers (Hold the Note and maybe Champagne Well). Better odds than the Skelton horse in the previous race so takes my pennies.
Wetherby 2.05 Beau Bay – EW 11/1
Again, top of my ratings but a tempting each way distance down the odds table. Not the fastest of the group but likes the going and being at the course similar to Guitar Pete. The Trainer & Jockey stats are not too shoddy, breeding is Chase based and a couple of weeks break should see him on the board.
Wetherby 14:40 Skipthescales – EW 12/1
Another Each Way selection that tops my ratings. The going is the crux of the stats for today but Skipthescales manages to get good scores for the ground, class, course experience and distance though only with places. However, if he can repeat getting the frame his price is good for me.
Eagle de Guye steps up to 3m for the first time after a very encouraging running on third at this course over half a mile shorter. He looks like a staying chaser in the making and his stable does well with this kind. The soft ground won’t hold any fears and with just a bit of improvement he should be very competitive off this mark.
1.28 Wetherby - Johnbb 3/1
This lightly raced 6yo looked a horse to follow after a very fluent victory over C&D last month. That day he still showed signs of inexperience but was well on top at the line, and 6lb rise in the ratings shouldn’t prevent a follow up. His stable has been in great form and Stan Sheppard travels up to Wetherby for the ride.
2.05 Wetherby - Springtown Lake (ew) 6/1
We put Springtown Lake up last time out over the National fences, however he didn’t really take to them that day, but he remains a stayer of great potential. Back over the regulation fences, I believe Springtown Lake remains well handicapped and is worth another chance here to prove it. His stable is in top form and with cheekpieces added Springtown Lake should go very close.
A great run at Cheltenham last time out after wins at Uttoxetter and Wetherby puts the Skelton’s horse in the favourites position for this race. Raced in a grade 2 race last time where he was given too such to do as the leader For Pleasure didn’t come back to them. Rated 140 in this novice hurdle he should deal with his rivals before going on to better things.
13.50 KEMPTON - SHAN BLUE - 1 Point Win 15/8
The Kauto Star Novice chase and my selection SHAN BLUE would be a fitting winner after his scintillating display of jumping last time out at Wetherby. The Yorkshire track takes no prisoners with its touch fences and SHAN BLUE was a delight to watch. Three miles round Kempton will be ideal for this horse and is a more than confident selection.
15.50 WINCANTON - KANDOO KID - 1 Point Win 5/6
The concluding bumper on the card and flat jockey Megan Nicholls teams up with her trainer dads horse KANDOO KID. Fourth in an Ascot bumper last time out where the horse looked the winner turning for home, KANDOO KID can make amends here to add to Paul Nicholls incredible record at his local track.
Skelton charge has the most potential in this race winning easily enough last time out at Sandown in another handicap novice chase by 6 1/2 lengths with killer clown who he rans against again this afternoon by 8 lengths. 8lb higher mark this afternoon asks for more but the way he won last time you would like to think he’s well capable of winning this.
Novice handicap Hurdle 1253 Wetherby Tip IMPERIAL ICON (win) 3/1
Kim bailey’s runner stayed on well last time to get up on the line on his second Hamid so start beating kerb line by a shd over this distance at Hereford. Things seem to click right that day grinding out the win when the 2nd ( kerb line ) seemed to have it in the bag. Jockey/trainer combination have been one the follow this season and both are still in decent form hoping he can maintain his upturn form and win again this Boxing Day.
Handicap chase 134 Wincanton Tip NEARLY PERFECT (win) 9/4
5lb rise for his wetherby win is probably underestimating his form last time out. Hasn’t finished out the placing in his last 6 races but has gone up in the weights for doing so. Hopefully jack Andrew’s 5lb will offset his rise but he’s clearly up to winning this on his recent win. He’s 2 from 4 in chases. Has been racing against some decent opposition. A slight step up in trip won’t trouble him and I’m placing all my Xmas money on a win today.
Won a couple of races in dundalk recently, winning 5 of his last 7 runs. Will be fit, has battling qualities and while the mullins runner will be well favoured, think the fitness angle may tell
1.40 Sadies trix Leopardstown 20/1
Has improved for the winter ground, winning the last twice in soft or worse. With a nice low weight in this race and young, still a chance there is more improvement to come
12.40 Kempston third time lucki 6/4
Won first two hurdle runs this year and gave the leader far too much of a head start at Cheltenham last time around. Skeltons years are in good form and exist the win here.
Week 12 – 19th December
Back to the scene of his last win where he was very impressive beating Malaya by 5L. He went up 7lb for that win but I think back at Ascot he can deal with that. He’s ran 5 times on the soft ground winning 3 so no problem there. He went up to 2m 3f last time out and disappointed so the drop in trip will definitely suit. Trainer has a 25% strike rate at the track in the past 5 season with a 50% place strike rate. Pretty impressive. At round about 16/1 he’s a decent price.
1:50A Drumcliff 1pt win 9/1
Drumcliff’s currently running off 9lb bellow his last winning mark, the jockey that day was also today’s jockey who claims 7lb. Her record on Drumcliff is 1-1-F. She’s not been used since and he’s lost his last 7 races dropping him the 9lb. He’s came 1st & 3rd in his 2 runs at Ascot. Only been unplaced twice from 7 runs on soft ground. Harry Fry has 6 wins from his last 18 runners so he’s in fine form.
1:30H Captain Moirette 1:30H 1pt win 11/4
I think Haydock is a proper horses for courses track and Sue Smiths horse is 2 from 2 here. He’s ran once on Heavy ground and won. He’s rated 132 over hurdles but only 125 today over the chase fences. There doesn’t seem to much in the race and the fav is very vulnerable so that can be taken on.
This race looks wide open with the field all 6/1 or above at the time of writing. Malaya is a winner over 2 miles here in the past and has tended to run some big races here including on his recent reappearance when filling the runner up spot. That was behind Kid Commando, but had a 6lb pull with that rival at least, and hasn’t won when fresh before so we could expect to see him improve for that first runs in 9 months.
Sharrabang 5:00 Wolverhampton 8/1
There is a lot of value in the price currently available here. Forgiving the last run, he was runner up on his previous two starts off 1lb lower than today. The first of those he was 1.25 lengths behind Ustath, who won again on his next start off a 5lb higher mark, and has continued to run with credit, most recently beaten just a neck off a 9lb higher mark. The second of Sharrabang’s runner up finishes was against Spring Romance, who has won 3 times more already since that day, with the most recent being off a 15lb higher mark! This seriously upgrades the performances of Sharrabang in those events and he must have a serious chance of taking the spoils tonight!
Deconso 5:30 Wolverhampton 11/2
Deconso ran with credit in a 0-60 race here over the minimum trip last time out and the third place finisher, who was just a head in front him, has boosted the form by winning yesterday. All of Deconso’s wins have come at Wolverhampton, with 2 of those 3 being over today’s 6 furlong trip. The minimum trip last time will have been shorter than ideal with all his previous runs being over 6f and 7f, so this step back up to 6 furlongs looks a plus.
11:45 Lingfield >> MERCERS E/W 12/1 Is long overdue a win and on recent form would be hard to select.But delve a little deeper and I think this has a real chance here especially at Lingfield.Front running A GO GO prefers the tapeta so I am passing that one over and obvious dangers include KATHS LUSTRE and hold up horse ROUNDABOUT MAGIC but at the prices I will take a punt on this.
3:15 Haydock >> CLYNE E/W 7/1 By far the best horse in the race if able to reproduce anything like his best form.He is racing off his lowest mark for quite some time and is more than happy in the mud.ADAM WEDGE is also a plus and knows this horse well.Hopefully this stays double figure odds but I doubt it.This rates as my best bet of the day and so is my NAP bet .Good luck if you follow :)
Winner of 2 recent Novice Hurdles, has showed improved form since being up with the pace. Versatile ground-wise, off 128 must be under radar with King having Harambe on the field. Night Edition is another who could be competitive but for long lay-off
King's Command 14:00 Lingfield 18/1
Has struggled since his Maiden victory, espe ially as he missed his 3yo season. Hopefully, he'll kick on from his October reappearance. and show his true quality
Three Dragons 3:40 7/2
Unlucky last time out, but did look like he would have given those ahead of him something to think about maybe compensation awaits
This seven-year-old seems to have been around for an eternity. Today he makes his debut for Nicky Henderson having been a part of the Gigginstown Stud sell off earlier in the year. This two-and-a-half mile trip is just about as long as he wants. He is a willing type and has mountains of experience to call upon from some top class races in his past. He has won after similar breaks in the past and if he improves for the change of scenery at Seven Barrows, he may well prove too good for some of these even with top-weight on his back. Nico De Boinville ought to get a good spin out of the former Gordon Elliott trained runner and they command respect.
3-00 ASCOT – BEWARE THE BEAR 9/1
The handicapper has certainly given Beware The Bear a great opportunity to land this, He has dropped to a dangerously low mark and he ran well for a long way when chasing home Cloth Cap in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury just a few weeks ago. He was never really put into the race at any stage, having been held up for most of the way. He started to cut his way through beaten rivals and the run certainly caught my eye. He absolutely loves soft ground and is a previous course and distance winner. He has won four times over this extended four miles and hopefully he can get back to winning ways.
3-35 ASCOT – ARRIVEDERCI 7/1
Arrivederci was still going well when coming to grief at Haydock in a decent handicap hurdle last month. Jonjo O’Neill junior will be keen to rectify that and get the confidence back into this talented five-year-old grey. He has won over further, so plenty is likely to made of his proven stamina. His form is stacking up well as the likes of Shang Tang and War Lord have come out to win following his dismissal of them when making his seasonal reappearance at Wetherby on Halloween. He gets weight of plenty of other rivals here and it will be of little surprise to see him go close here.
This one been running over in adequate 2m lately stepped back up in trip to 2m4f today. Stable been in decent nick lately and I think the fav is well worth been taken on here .
300 Ascot Beware the Bear 0.5pts ew. 9/1
Ran well in the Ladbroke for first time out this season so bound too come on for it, has surprisingly only ran once at this course before and won and stable banged in a couple on Friday , sure too run a solid race looks a good ew play.
335 Ascot Night Edition 0.5pts ew 20/1
Looked into this race for ages as going for the big hat-trick of big race wins on a Saturday. This one keeps leaping out at me, keep asking myself why has Pipe went for this for the horses first run of the season , a very competitive hurdle with a big pot, last time out for this one was in Fred Winter at Cheltenham where he finished 2nd ,now unless there's been a small problem with this horse or he's been held back specifically for the race the proof will be in the pudding at about 340 the day, but got to go ew at the price on offer.
Quickly reached a smart level over hurdles, reappearing with C&D listed handicap win in October. Won handicap debut over C&D (soft) but needs to bounce back from a lesser show at Haydock Possibly stretched by a 3f longer trip when only sixth at Haydock since and contender back at 2m
ASCOT 15.00 REGAL ENCORE WIN 8/1
i have to tip our old friend he can never be one to take lightly at his favorite venue He.Landed this race for a second time 12 months ago
LINGFIELD 14.00 JOHNNY DRAMA EW 12/1
Smart gelding. 4 wins from 8 runs this year. 15/8, didn't need to improve to win 9-runner listed race at Kempton (12f) 17 days ago by short head from Sinjaari, this is hotter but he's respected
Happy to take a chance E/W on Lightly Squeeze who progressed nicely over timber last year. He bolted up off 117 and then 120 in handicaps at Plumpton and Taunton and was in the process of running a big race in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury in February where he was in the lead before falling at the final flight. On his hurdle reappearance in the Welsh Champion Hurdle, I thought he shaped better than his finishing position suggest as he was bang there jumping the 2nd last obstacle. The form of that race is obviously very strong and it’s interesting that Lightly Squeeze has had wind surgery since, perhaps suggesting his wasn’t 100% last time so that and a first-time tongue which is now applied could improve him.
16:30 Wolverhampton – Steal The Scene E/W 11/1
Steal The Scene has a nightmare draw here but I still think he looks overpriced. He rattled up a hat-trick at this track this time last year. He beat Reasoned, now 69 (+14lbs) off 53 and then beat Freedom & Wheat, now 74 (+17lbs) off 58 and he completed the hat-trick off 62. His latest two runs suggest he’s returning to form. On his penultimate outing he finished 6th/11, though was beaten less than two lengths and the race has worked out well with the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th all winning subsequently. Last time out he was well held in 4th, but I don’t think he got the best ride, and he endured a fairly wide trip. Off 59 he looks well enough treated to hit the frame at least.
19:30 Wolverhampton – Ballyare 6/1
Ballyare has shaped as if still ahead of his mark and could benefit from a likely strong gallop. He’s developed into a decent tapeta performer since splitting subsequent winners at Newcastle in June. He recorded his first win in October winning very cosily off a mark of 65 and although that was at lower level the second has won and placed since. He hasn’t enjoyed a clear run on either of his last two starts especially over CD last time as he had little racing room on the rail throughout the final furlong. This is competitive but if granted better luck in his run and a strong gallop to chase he should go close.
Didn't see out the trip on his last run and will be much better now back at this distance, his course and distance win were impressive and another good display is on the cards. The ground has fallen good for him too and he has an impressive 60% strike rate on soft. I would imagine that he will lead from the front and don't see anything getting past him.
Lingfield 12:50 - Afraid of Nothing 1pt win 9/4
This filly will indeed be Afraid of Nothing in this race. The favourite has it all to prove here and is 0 from 3 over this distance. Our selection has already won over this distance and has proven her ability on the surface too. With Ralph Beckett having his team on fire, I am hopeful of a relatively easy win.
Haydock 12:55 - Farne 1 pt win 9/4
It was interesting that Paddy Brennan chose Farne over Tequila Blaze on it's last run and I feel that once again he has cherry picked a ride. That race was also on Heavy ground and he has won before at this distance also. The step up in class should be well within his ability and fully expect him to have his nose coming to the line.
Last years winner, Not So Sleepy creeps to the top of my ratings: However there are many other potential winners that this is very tricky to pull apart. Experience makes Malaya stand out. Going, Class, course and distance stats abound. The potential good turn of speed seals the deal for me.
Lingfield 14:00 Bangkok – Win 7/2
Lets keep the Asian link. I think this will be a fast one. A few will keep the pace and I think Bangkok will be in the pack. A sprint will show the form and should outpace Dubai Warrior.
Newcastle 13:40 Knockoura – Win 14/1
No Asian link but there are two “k’s” in this and Bangkok!!. Knockoura is not the fastest of this bunch but if the getaway is crisp I think there is a good chance of holding out to the line. Shesasupermack (only 1 ‘k’) will be the main risk.
The Irish raider has managed to creep in towards the bottom of the weights in this race and looks really interesting. He brings to the table a plethora of decent novice form, and looks well treated off 129. This strong travelling sort could be well suited to the demands of this race, with the soft ground and strong pace ideal, and at the likely prices he looks a solid each way bet.
3.15 Haydock - Silva Eclipse 6/1
No doubt the ground is going to be bottomless at Haydock tomorrow, and this 3m trip will take some getting. On that basis Silva Escape makes plenty of appeal having won in similar conditions over C&D at the beginning of the year. This horse has needed his first two runs of the season and his yard is showing signs of hitting some form, so with question marks over plenty of his rivals he looks a decent bet.
5.00 Wolverhampton - Knockabout Queen 11/2
This filly has dropped in the ratings all year after winning a couple of races on the All-Weather in January, however she was well backed last time and ran her best race for a long while in finishing second at Lingfield. It looks like she's about to strike again with her yard in excellent form and Luke Morris booked. The likely fav, The Mackem Torpedo, is not a horse to trust so I'm more than happy to have this filly running for us.
I Couldn’t have been anymore impressed by his win last time out even though he made a mistake 5 out and was a little behind 4 out. He stayed on well and jumped the last in front and comfortably won by 7 lengths. The 2 runners behind that day have both run really well recently with a winner and a close place effort so the form stacks up. Henderson’s horse has the most potential in the race to be able to win higher graded races in the future so it all stacks up for a massive run today.
Ascot silver cup 300 Ascot Tip THE CONDITIONAL (win) 10/3
Massive run last time out in a hot grade 3 handicap behind a impressive winner staying on well to grab 3rd. Some really good runs last year ended with a win at the festival. Never finished outside the first 4 since coming to England last March all in major handicaps. Always knocking on the door in these type of handicap and it actually stands at a drop in class having been running in graded races and this time being a listed race. Running off a pound lower than last time and the drop in distance maybe in his favour. Expecting a win today.
Betfair novices chase 1220 Haydock Tip ELVIS MALL (win) 5/2
Two good wins over fences in his last two wins. Impressive to win last time out even though he made a few mistakes at a number of the fences. Has gone into my tracker for the season has I think he’s gonna have a nice winning season for the Alexander’s. marown finished 3rd behind him and he gone out and won this week so the form is solid. Hopefully he’s cut out the mistakes and can win again for his hat-trick. Ground shouldn’t be a problem and his only loss last season came behind Eptante over hurdles. Has a massive chance and future.
This horse can be a bit hit and miss, and can definitely take a lot of work to get him right. Had some decent form including winning his last race for Gordon Elliott in Balinrobe. Gone to another good yard and despite carrying top weight I think might be classy enough to be thereabouts today.
3.00 Ascot Flying Angel ew 11/1
Again another horse who can be hit and miss, but hoping he is hitting form now after a really good display in the Grand Sefton at Aintree earlier in the month. hoping that the ground should be no issue and again in with a good ew shout if on form.
3.35 Ascot Belfast Banter ew 9/1
A horse with plenty of runs this year. Nearly always seems to find one to good but finally released the maiden tag 2 starts back. Is nearly always in the places however and with plenty of experience and the trainer obviously expecting a chance on a low enough weight.
Trained by Anthony Honeyball He has a good record at this course,with four wins from eleven runners in the last 12 months. RP McLernon is on board,and has a 25% strike rate for the yard. He has a 50% win record at Ascot. Winner of a Listed Handicap Hurdle over course and distance in October. Disappointing last time out when finishing sixth at Haydock. Possibly the extra 3 furlongs proved too much, and will appreciate the drop back in trip. Has two wins and a place from four hurdles runs. Consistent type who is expected to go close.
1.25 Lingfield. PREMIER POWER win. 6/4
Trained by the excellent Roger Varian,who has his runners in good form. He has a 32% strike rate at Lingfield,and that is significantly improved when his runners start as favourite. Beaten a short head into second last time out behind Brian The Snail,and reopposes on better terms. One win from one run over course and distance. Won the race by almost 4 lengths and was eased down in the closing stages. Two wins and two places from four runs at this distance. Two wins on poly track and is one win from one run in Class 2 races.
7.30 Wolves. AGENT SHIFTWELL. each way. 12/1
Trained by Stuart Williams and has the experienced Joe Fanning in the saddle. Both have been amongst the winners recently. Course and distance winner. Won at Sandown in July before finishing last of 6 at Sandown over 5 furlongs. Does better on the all weather. Stable is in decent form,and the last ten runners that started at 10/1 or under,three won and two were placed. Holds a decent each way chance in what looks a wide open affair.
Tom Marquand has been riding in Medan and Jebel Ali this Thursday and Friday and jets back to ride at Iingfield today and teams up herein the first race with his old partner ROUNDABOUT MAGIC Who is bidding for his 8th course and distance win. Down to his last winning mark of 60 and given a break after his last run at Wolverhampton, everything is in place for a great run from the tough 6 year old.
LINGFIELD 13.25 - BRIAN THE SNAIL - 0.5 Points Each Way 14/1
One of my favourite horses in training and owned by the Good Doctor, this grey gelding a son of Zebedee runs on the same card as ROUNDABOUT MAGIC ( that’s one for the teenagers ). Even at the age of Six BRIAN THE SNAIL is still showing he is as good as ever winning the last two time’s. I thought he won well at Kempton last time out but I suppose I would as I backed him at 14/1. A great chance of the hat-trick today despite a 3lb rise, BRIAN will go close today.
ASCOT 15.35 - MALAYA - 0.5 Points Each Way 11/1
Another of my favourite horses running today and it is in Gavin’s selected race. Another 6 year old selection today, MALAYA won the 2019 Imperial cup of a mark of 136, just 3lbs higher today and with a lovely run under his belt this season here at Ascot, this Paul Nicholls trained Mare must surely go close today at a value price.
Week 11 – 12th December
What a tough little nut to crack this race is! There are a lot of talented horses in this, too many for me to mention! Coole Cody ran a cracker when he last time, and Master Tommytucker continues to progress, but my money is on Windsor Avenue. I thought he ran a cracker last time out when behind Imperial Aura at Carlisle in a listed contest. That winner has gone on to win a Grade 2 since, and he had Sam Brown and Black Op in behind who are rated 152 and 150 so the form looks good. Gets some nice weight from the market leaders and Ellison/Hughes have a lot of success together, I think she has a decent chance if reproducing her form.
Rainbow Dreamer 2:20 Newcastle 4/1
This one really progressed in the past 12 months recording 4 wins in 6 runs and progressing from a rating of 92 to now be rated 111. The two defeats were highly respectable performances too, particularly his 4th in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes at Newcastle behind the likes of Nayef Road, Mildenberger and Prince Of Arran. Aside from Mildenberger, who reopposes today, the rest of today’s opposition rate far inferior to those horses and I’m sure a big run will be expected from him.
Ask A Honey Bee 2:25 Cheltenham 4/1
This horse has made a cracking start to his racing career after 3 wins from 4 NH flat starts, and a win and two seconds over hurdles. The two defeats have been very good performances, the first was behind a horse who has won again since to boost the strength of the form and the second runner up finish was a very narrow defeat by a head two weeks ago where he stayed on strongly through the line but just couldn’t get his head in front. I expect more progress to come and he has already tasted success against the current market leader of the same weights.
Whilst he was no match for Imperial Aura at Carlisle last time, Windsor Avenue stayed on doggedly to grab second in the closing stages over two-and-a-half miles. That was his first run in almost ten months, so he is bound to come on in leaps and bounds for it. Brian Hughes knows this horse inside out and having won on him on five occasions in the past, the pair can make the most of their experience to land this on their handicap debut. Getting weight off the likes of Master Tommytucker, Cepage and Al Dancer certainly brings them right into the thick of it and they command utmost respect.
2-25 Cheltenham ASHTOWN LAD 11/4
This winning Irish pointer is progressing rapidly over hurdles. He recorded the first of two wins under rules by beating Kearney Hill at Wetherby on Halloween. He then upped his game somewhat by decimating a decent field in a competitive handicap at Uttoxeter just last month. He delivered a devastating turn of foot to see off the attention of Duc De Beauchene by no fewer than seven lengths. With the yard firing in winners for fun of late, this lightly raced six-year-old is capable of further improvement.
3-00 Cheltenham STORMY IRELAND 28/1
It is hard to believe that this mare is still only a six-year-old given the amount of top class races she has run in over the years. Whilst she has been beaten as an odds-on favourite in her two most recent starts over fences, this return to the smaller obstacles may well see a sharp improvement in form. She was winning Grade Three hurdles and Naas and Leopardstown for Willie Mullins a little over a year ago and it is of note that Paul Nicholls has re-diverted her back to what she knows best. In a race where she gets weight from her male counterparts, she could well be allowed a particularly soft lead. She wears her heart on her sleeve and Harry Cobden will undoubtedly try and make all over this two mile trip.
NEWCASTLE 13.45 WIN RAVENSCAR 15/2 A winner at 2m on the all-weather. Beaten 3/4l by Rukwa when second of 8 at 15-8fav on her latest outing over this course and distance earlier this month up 3lb but she's strongly respected He is one from four course and distance
NEWCASTLE 14.55 Dublin Pharaoh Evens He has won three times from 1m to 1m 4f including 2 wins on the all-weather . He Won on his latest outing when 10-11fav over this course and distance last month, beating Cloud Thunder by 1 1/4l. Has won 3 times in total this season.So Dublin Pharaoh looks a stand out in this handicap
Looks to be of huge interest here with SUE SMITH being amongst the winners recently.Usual jockey DANNY COOK is unable to ride due to a recent nasty injury but RYAN MANIA is more than capable and is a plus for me.With the last run at Aintree easily passed over as he jumped well and travelled for the main part of the race but faded badly when made a mistake 4 out.With that run under his belt and at a track he seems to relish(50% 2 from 4)I think this has a good chance of a place at least.The danger for me is CEPAGE who also has lots of decent form around Cheltenham.
2:05 Doncaster >> HOUSE ISLAND 9/2
In a race that could easily see yesterdays runner THE MIGHTY DON be pulled out(50/50)for me.I think this fav is worth taking on.Step up GAVIN SHEEHAN who in a small field in my opinion is a huge plus and the trainer P R WEBBER who has suddenly hit some decent form.Won well last time out and in this grade has decent form so rates a good win bet today.
8:15 Wolverhampton >> CHOOKIE DUNEDIN 9/4
Has let me down the last 2 times when tipped but I am giving him one more chance here as I see nothing in this race who can beat him.With all boxes ticked and a decent draw there should be no excuses this time.I rate this as my bet bet of the day and so is my NAP selection.Good luck if you follow :)
Crazy to think this is Windsor Avenue’s handicap debut at 8yo. This is his 1st run at Cheltemham but I really do think it’ll suit him. He’s came on for his 1st run each season and he won’t mind the soft ground at all. He’s won 3 from 5 runs on the soft. He also has 4 wins from 6 runs at the distance. I do think he’s a little under rated and could capitalise here.
2:25c Ashtown Lad 1pt win 11/4
There’s not a more in form combination at the minute than Dan & Harry Skelton. From their last 22 runs they’ve won 9 that’s a cracking 40% strike rate. Ashtown lad here is 2 from 2 on soft ground he’s also the only horse to have run over this trip. He also won that race convincingly.
3:00C Song for Someone 1pt win 5/1
I’m playing this race as i think Goshen may not have trained on from last year so it presents value elsewhere. I could be way wrong. I’m siding with song for someone. He’s unbeaten on soft ground. He won on a flat track over 2m3f last time out so the the 2m round here will be perfect for him with the hill at the end. He should be staying on at the end. The trainer has a 32% strike rate over the past 30 days so he’s bang in form.
The usual tricky, anyone can win Handicap. Many fancied here, including Al Dancer who ran his usual sound race behind Coole Cody LTO but my fancy, who has dropped to 142 in the ratings, can give him a good run for they money. Taking a chance but with the Moore team in tremendous form, it could be the edge to tip the balance in his favour. He's been off for nearly 2 years but shouldn't be that rusty. His form at Cheltenham is there for those to pick.
Vado Forte 12:20 Doncaster 7/1
Didn't enjoy Chepstow's undulations, but can do better here. He has a big weight pull with Defi Sacre. If ridden nearer the pace can grind this out.
Melodic Charm 19:15 Wolverhampton 11/1
Never looks like he's gonna win when running at Kempton but @ Wolverhampton he does. With Ornate in the stall next door, Melodic Charm will be able to be pull along on the outside of this field and pick apart this race.
A very frustrating sort but surely if he gonna win one has too be the day, he's a smart staying flat horse who has been running over 2m over hurdles, stepped up too 2m4f tomorrow and only 2 real dangers in field, he has too go very close tomorrow.
Cheltenham 150 Chatham Street lad. 0.5 PTS ew. 16/1
A typical tough Cheltenham handicap a number of these have been there got the tee shirt, this one has not though looks to be on the up this season , winning is last race easily, gets in here of 137 here so hopefully still ahead of handicapper, he will be held up as is his want, my only slight niggle is the distance he's better at slightly shorter hence going ew.
Fairyhouse 212 Entoucas 1pt win.4/1
This one is a novice chaser who steps into handicap company for the first time, has been beaten in 2 novice chase this season by 2 smart performers, I like the fact his trainer has thrown him in deep here again and I also like novices in handicaps must go close today.
Plenty in with claims, not least the hugely talented Master Tommytucker who could yet prove graded class, but slight preference is for Cepage. He has form figures of 1222 after 100+ days off track for this yard so arriving here after 277-day absence is of no concern. On his seasonal reappearance last season, he was beaten under two lengths by Ridersonthestorm, who ended the campaign 162 rated (+22lbs) and a Grade One winner. Cepage was then a fine 4th in this race last year before winning over course and distance in January off just 1lb lower. He pulled too hard on his first try at 3m1f in Ultima back in March so the return to this trip will suit and he should hit the frame all being well.
16:45 Wolverhampton – Al Ozzdi 5/1
Al Ozzdi has course form here that reads 10334 and he was very unlucky on the latest of those in October as he was twice hampered entering the final furlong. He did well in the circumstances to keep on for 4th. He bumped into the well handicapper Traveller at Newcastle next time and his effort last time in the North East shouldn’t be judged harshly as it was a messy race, and he wasn’t favoured coming out of stall two and racing on the far side. He does have stamina to prove but he kept on well enough over 1m2f in September when 5th in a better race than this.
19:15 Wolverhampton – Merhoob 11/2
I think the handicapper has been extremely lenient with Merhoob and I hope he can capitalise here. He was 5th in this race last year beaten two lengths off a 10lb higher mark and he backed that up with a win in January off a mark of 95. As recently as February he recorded RPRs of 100 and 99 when behind the likes of Good Effort and Harry’s Bar at Lingfield. He had three runs on the turf across October and November when sent off 100/1 or bigger and he didn’t get within six lengths of a winner, but two came over 7f and two came on soft ground. It’s surprising that the handicapper and dropped his AW mark for those, and the horse very nearly cashed in on it when 3rd last time out. He endured a troubled passage in the straight and the form has been franked by the 2nd winning subsequently. Misty Grey is obviously feared having won on stable debut last time out but they should go a decent clip here and hopefully Merhoob can pounce late off a favourable mark.
In such a competitive race, I have opted for what I see as the stand out stat and that is that Bryony Frost has a near 50% strike rate when riding for Paul Nichols in chases. That along with fitting the age profile for recent winners in this race and having previously won here , surely he has to be in with a nice chance here
Hereford 12:47 - Jabulani 1pt win 10/3
After running well on his recent stable debut, albeit that his jumping wasn't the best, I am sure that he will have been schooled further and will surely improve for that. Is also very comfortable on the ground having won 2 from 6 and is 1 from 3 at the distance. Another little bonus is that Sam Thomas's horses have a 60% strike rate in this type of race.
Cheltenham 3.00 - Silver Streak 1pt win 8/1
The obvious choice in this race is Goshen, but I don't feel that having unseated his rider here will be that fluent again over these fences. Silver Streak was second in this race in 2018 and is carrying some good form into this race to boot and was really unlucky in running when taken out latest and I think this will be his compensation for that.
Wheessht really caught my eye last time at Southwell and there are plenty of reasons to expect a big run now. Firstly, the Alastair Ralph trained mare looked badly in need of her run at Southwell but was still noted travelling very strongly and stayed on really well after a bad mistake at the last. The extra trip here should suit, the excellent Sean Bowen takes the ride and at the prices she looks a great each way price.
1.50 Cheltenham - Al Dancer 6/1
Al Dancer looks the standout pick in this year's Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, having finished a great third in the Paddy Power. That day he travelled like much the best horse, but he just got bogged down in the ground before rallying late on. This high-class horse remains attractively weighted and with better ground here, and a more positive ride, Al Dancer should take all the beating.
3.00 Cheltenham - Ch'tibello 9/1
The International Hurdle looks sure to be run at a great gallop this year with Goshen and Song For Someone in the race. If the front runners soften each other up they could be vulnerable late on, and hopefully Ch'tibello can pick up the pieces. Third in this race last season on his seasonal reappearance, he comes here this year on the back of a great run at Aintree, and with conditions ideal, connections are really confident and it's not difficult to see why.
Okay… Noxious November extended into December……..but the ratings are kicking in again now. Top of the board is Kapga De Lily, chase going and distance form but not enough to make me jump on board. The more rounded player for me is Still Believing, all round experience with plenty of places under her belt and that what I am looking for today a nice EW place to boost the pot.
Cheltenham 13:50 Chase Hcp 2m 4f 127y Romain De Senam - EW.20/1
Soft Ground here today, not too cold. Seventeen runners; of which three are flashing up in my ratings when filtered down to Chase; Al Dancer, Cool Cody and Cepage. There are also a couple of interesting Trainer Jockey combos running with Benatar and Romain De Senam. And it is these which really pique my interest. From looking at the stats I am struggling to differentiate the first three: It could be any of them. Whereas the latter two may just come in under the radar. Of them I think the Skelton’s horse has more recent form and has the edge with recent soft/good-soft runs and the milder weather will suit the French invader. At these odds it must be each-way.
Cheltenham 15:35 Hurdle Hcp 2m 4f 56y Indefatigable - EW.NR
Last race at Cheltenham, 10 runners, Class 2 and again the Skeltons have a runner, Aggy With It, though my ratings are pushing me to Indefatigable because of the volume of data. I will probably regret this, but I feel I must go with the data and have a bet on Indefatigable; the odds just manage to make it viable as an each-way punt.
Not a chase career without fault so far falling twice last season when in a good position. Seems to jumping pretty well this season in small fields. This race will demand more in size and the way Cheltenham rides but seemingly he’s jumping is a lot sounder this term. Top weight to contend with but the Nicholls yard do well with horses on these type of races. Has always seemed to be a good horse hopefully he remains blinder free and he’ll have a massive chance.
Betway handicap 145 Newcastle Tip Voix De Reve (win) 9/4
This dual purpose horse is very well handicapped on his jumps form. Ian jardines horses could be in better form but most have been running well without troubling the winner. His latest OR chase rating is 148 and his flat rating is 56 achieved in France on his last flat run in may 2015. He’s been running well in deeper races over hurdles finishing 12 lengths behind Epatante in the fighting fifth last time. Clearly the best horse in the race and if he can transfer his jumps form back to the flat he must surely win.
Albert Bartlett novice hurdle 225 Cheltenham Tip Ashtown Lad 11/4
Can’t have been anymore impressive on his last two runs. Ground won’t be a problem has both his wins have been on pretty soft ground. The Skelton brothers are still in good form. Stepping up in trio and class seems the logical next step and I can’t see a big problem in him winning this. Has won from the front and in behind so race tactics will be in his favour and I expect another win this afternoon.
Trained by Evan Williams and ridden by Adam Wedge. Trainer has been in good recent form,sending out four winners in the last couple of weeks. Since moving to this yard the horse has won two and placed in two from only four chases. Won last time out in the Paddy Power Chase over course and distance. Stayed on well in the closing stages. Looks to have improved over the larger obstacles this season. Good course record,with two wins from four runs. Will act on the forecasted going,and has a couple of wins from only five attempts at this distance.
7.15 Wolverhampton. MISTY GREY. win 5/2.
A 3 year old Dark Angel gelding from the Tom Dascombe yard. Jockey on board will be Richard Kingscote who is in line to become champion jockey. Won last time out on debut for this yard,in a 7 furlong Handicap,having been well supported in the betting markets. One win from two runs in Class 3 races. Winner at both 6 and 7 furlongs,and will not be fazed by this trip.
12.55 Doncaster. NATIVE FIGHTER. each way.9/1
Trained by Jamie Moffat who has his runners in good recent form. Excellent strike rate with his hurdlers and also does well at this course. Charlotte Jones takes the ride ,and her 7 lb claim could prove to be beneficial in what looks a wide open contest. Charlotte has been on the horse on three occasions,winning two and placing in the other. When this trainer and jockey combine forces they have a 20% strike rate. Won last time out at Perth. The form from that race is working out well. Has two wins and two places from four runs at this distance. Is a winner in Class 2 company. Looks a consistent type and could run a big race.
Wild Max has a great chance here to record another victory. An unlucky run at Cheltenham when finishing 4/17 after being hampered he made no mistake next time out at Huntingdon and comes here with maximum confidence. Trained by the master Paul Nicholls and ridden by the find of the season Amateur jockey Mr Angus Cheleda who also claims an invaluable 7lbs.
CHELTENHAM 13.50 - WINDSOR AVENUE 0.5 Point Each Way 8/1
Trained by former jockey Brian Ellison and ridden by Champion jockey Brian Hughes, Windsor Avenue has been laid out for this race, and as we all know Mr Ellison is the master of a coup. A progressive chaser he had a lovely pipe opener at Carlisle 11 days ago to put him cherry ripe for this valuable contest. Distance and ground will be perfect and with SIX places on offer this 8 year old is a bet to nothing.
CHELTENHAM 15.00 - GOSHEN 1 Point Win 7/4
Well not much I can say about this wonder horse that hasn’t been written. Those 14/1 and 16/1Ante post bets for the Triumph Hurdle still hurt and it was just cruel bad luck that they were not paid out last March. GOSHEN will show the public what a great horse he is and Gary and Jamie Moore are convinced of it. Two spins on the flat have put him right and the stable could not be in better form after a Fontwell three timer midweek. With ALLMANKIND well beatenbehond at Cheltenham when the mishap happened that shows how good GOSHEN is.
Al Dancer was third to Coole Cody in the Paddy Power Gold Cup here last month. Coole Cody has gone up by 6lbs for that win so Al Dancer should close the gap this time. Both horses made a few mistakes jumping that day so it might all come down to who jumps best tomorrow between them to see who wins.
Elham Valley – 12.05 Cheltenham 5/1
Elham Valley ran nine times on the flat between October 2019 and October 2020 at distances up to 1 mile 6 furlongs, winning two of them. Made his debut over hurdles last Saturday at Sandown over 2 miles. Should build on that performance here over just a couple of hundred yards further.
Magic Saint – 1.15 Cheltenham 6/1
Ran well here last month winning a nine runner race off a mark of 152. Went up 7 lbs for that win and finished 4th at Ascot next time out running well again. Stays on the same mark here and is tongue tied as well. Expected to run well again.
Looked good winning the grand annual in Cheltenham earlier this year. Ran in a warm up hurdle recently behind Saint Roi and wasn't beaten too far. Hoping he can turn into a potential champion chase contender here
1.50 Cheltenham Cepage ew 7/1
Has a good record fresh, including starting last 2 years with a 2nd place finish, 2 years ago in this race and last year bumping into a well handicapped sort in ridersonthestorm at aintree. Should be thereabouts again
3.00 Cheltenham song for someone 5/1
Turning into a very smart hurdler, only put off the frame Once in the last 2 years. Very impressive the last day dispatching of call me lord and laurina easily and going for more improvement to come
Week 10 – Saturday 5th December
I watched his last race and despite making a few jumping errors he managed to finish in 2nd place, behind a winner who has since followed up carrying a 7lb penalty. I think with that run under his belt, and if he can tidy up those little errors he made, we should see a return to form from this horse and he is undoubtedly on a good mark.
Walk In The Mill 1:30 Aintree 5/1
I love to see this horse going around Aintree, and he sure loves it too! He has won this race on both his previous appearances in it, and his only other go around Aintree was in the Grand National 2019 (the last time COVID allowed it to be run) where he finished 4th. He is just suited to this course and fences and always puts his best foot forward. Also noted cheekpieces return for the first time since winning this race last year!
Mighty Gurkha 5:30 Wolverhampton 11/4
Last win came on the AW at Kempton in a Group 3 race, extending his prefect record on the AW to 2 out of 2. I’ve been hugely impressed with his form this year, 5th in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot and a good 2nd in the listed Rose Bowl to Method. He has a disappointment at Deauville on his CV but lost all chance at the stalls that day so can be forgiven, and not hard to forgive Keeneland disappointment in an ultra competitive Breeders Cup race. Today is a drop into class company abd while he does have to give 7lb to his rivals, he may well be good enough to do just that.
WOLVERHAMPTON 17.30 Zamaani WIN 9/4 Placed in turf Listed last twice; behind Mighty Gurkha in Sirenia but 7lb better off now Useful colt. 2/1, respectable 2 lengths third of 6 to Lipizzaner in listed race at Doncaster (6f, soft) 42 days ago. Can give a good account.
WOLVERHAMPTON 18.30 WIN Araifjan 4/1 In front of three of today's rivals when winning over C&D last time; should go well again. Solid claims again from a handy draw. And he has the inform Hollie Doyle in the saddle
6:30 Wolverhampton >> STEELRIVER E/W 12/1 I really like the chances of this 10 yr old here tonight.With 8 of his 10 career wins coming at Wolverhampton and I am confident of a good run.TOM EAVES is a cracking jockey and knows the horse well winning 3 in a row earlier this year.With stall 3 also a positive if he can hold his position well enough to be in contention I think this is a cracking E/W bet and will place at least.
6:00 Wolverhampton >> CHOOKIE DUNEDIN 4/1 I tipped this horse last time out and thought we had it but just got touched off on the line in a photo finish.At the track he loves and the right trip he attempts to win the race for a second year in a row and I reckon from stall 8 he may well do just that.JOE FANNING takes the ride for the first time and I would expect him to be sat just off the pace and come flying right down the middle of the track hopefully to victory this time.This is my best bet of the day and so rates as my NAP selection.Good luck if you follow :)
Katy Price has her stable star in red hot form and he certainly has an affinity with Aintree. Minellacelebration won by fourteen lengths over this course and distance back in October and saw off a few of today’s rivals in no uncertain terms including Sametegal and Vieux Lion Rouge. Unlike many of this field, he certainly seems to be improving with age and Ben Poste has been on board for all three of his wins around here. Minellacelebration won on soft ground here last time, so that should cause no concerns. He also receives weight from the likes of Yala Enki, Ramses De Teillee and Kimberlite Candy. In what is likely to be a war of attrition, Minellacelebration can give another decent account around his favourite track.
1-50 SANDOWN – ALLMANKIND 5/2
Allmankind got back to winning ways at Warwick last time giving a thrashing to Zanza, who has subsequently come out to boost the form by winning last weekend. This habitual front runner has bags of pace and clearly stamina to burn. The softer the ground, the better for him and there was no doubt that he needed the comeback run when third at Cheltenham back in October. This is a massive step up in grade for Hitman and he will have it all to prove despite a thirty length saunter in the mud at Ffos Las most recently. Eldorado Allen’s goose looked cooked when making the most of Gumball’s departure at Cheltenham last month. Dan Skelton has his yard in rude health and there looks to be better to come from Allmankind.
2-32 CHEPSTOW – ST BARTS NR
Phillip Hobbs looks to have another smart horse on his hands in the shape of St Barts. The six-year-old seems to be particularly versatile having won on both heavy and good ground in the past. He will certainly come on in leaps and bounds from his seasonal reappearance, where he stuck on gamely to finish second to the well regarded Ofalltheginjoints at Exeter. He does have a tendency to jump out to his left a little, so this left handed track should play to those quirks. He looks fairly unexposed compared to most of his rivals here and he has the talented three pound claimer Ben Jones on board to alleviate some of his weight. There should be further progress to come from St Barts and if the ground turns heavy, he will relish the challenge.
Venetia Williams 10 year old clearly needed the run when last seen at Cheltemham. Was staying on finishing 7th beaten 15L. He’s down 3lb for that run. This will be the furthest he’s ran but I really don’t see it being a problem. He’ll love the ground. Venetia has her horses running well 64% rtf in the past 2 weeks.
1:50S Allmankind 1pt win 5/2
This is a short price but I honestly think 9/4-5/2 is a great price. He couldn’t have been more impressive when winning last time out. The ground won’t be a problem. I think he’ll get the led on his own as I don’t think GA Law will have the pace to go and stay with him. He’s also not sure to go on the ground.
12:20A Quoi De Neuf 1pt win 3/1
Evan Williams’s horses have been in poor for but he sprung to light with two good winners yesterday. Ran well enough over course and distance last time. He’ll be fitter for the experience. He’s won here before. There’s not much in the race that can improve other than him.
Having finished 16l 8th to Nuts Well LTO may not seem the ideal selection for this contest but Crievehill has a lot in his favour for once. This is a drop in class compared to his last run not much but a drop. First time since his last win has he been under 150 in official ratings. Many winners of the Sefton, have had their prep run at Aintree last time out where many finished down the field. Aintree is a on the pace course, his style. I do think Might Bite & Modus are the dangers but Crievehill back in trip is the pick.
GA Law 13:50 Sandown 11/2
Probably underestimated but this horse will make things interesting with his style of running. Just like Allmankind, GA Law likes it up front so the two may be hard to peg back but GA Law proven stamina will count for a lot especially up the famous Sandown hill.
Tukhoom 18:30 Wolverhampton 20/1
Pace in stall 1, 2, 4 & 8 may be beneficial for Tukhoom to step up on his recent runs. It's his first run over 6f in awhile well July but the last time he raced off 77 he beat Musicka in a class 3 at York, obviously Araifjan is the danger considering his course record and how he's beaten most of his rivals but maybe Tukhoom can show his class today.
Very competitive but Springtown Lake has solid claims and should go well. He won a handicap in heavy ground at Warwick in February by 20 lengths off just 7lbs lower. I thought he ran well enough on reappearance when 2nd behind Modus. He ran well that day on ground quicker than ideal, at a time when the yard weren’t in top form. He’s 9lbs better off with Modus on these terms and should hit the frame.
18:00 Wolverhampton – The Cruising Lord E/W 12/1
The Cruising Lord is a speculative punt given his recent form but if anywhere near his best he’d have every chance here. He ran some great races on turf earlier in the year finishing 3rd behind Wentworth Falls (89) and Muscika (85) at Doncaster and a sixth at Windsor (RPR 840 in a race won by the now 105 rated Aljady. On his all-weather debut at Kempton in August he caught the eye doing much the best of those held up. He was then tried in headgear, firstly cheekpieces twice and then a visor on unsuitable soft ground and he disappointed but the handicapper did drop him 8lbs for those. He had wind surgery in October and ran a decent enough race at Kempton last month in 0-90 company. He was beaten less than five lengths and the horse who finished just behind him, went close next time when dropping into class four company, which is what The Cruising Lord does here.
18:30 Wolverhampton – Steelriver 12/1
The key to Steelriver is that he needs to be held up off a strong pace and he should get that here with front runners Araifjan, Lezardrieux and A Sure Welcome in the contest as well as Tukhoom and Jackstar, who also have a history of trying to make all. I was impressed with Steelriver’s win here in June and he shaped with promise in both of his runs in October. On the back of those runs I duly tipped him here in November and he ran with great credit to finish 4th, despite meeting trouble after travelling strongly. He had a wide draw on his latest outing and ran another solid race and probably would have placed if not for being hampered late on. Araifjan bossed that race from the front that day but is unlikely to get such an easy time here.
Conditions are going to be extremely testing at Aintree and Mint Condition looks sure to be well suited by them. This improving gelding has won twice round Bangor this season on testing ground and still looks to be ahead of the handicapper. Last time he seemed to idle when hitting the front then re-rallied to get back up, suggesting there was plenty left in the locker. Trainer Jennie Candlish is having a great season firing in winners all over the place and Mint Condition should be able to add to the tally here against plenty of exposed sorts.
2.47 Wetherby - Kings Cave 9/2
Kings Cave was noted staying on really well up Hexham's hill last time out and now makes his handicap debut over half a mile further. A PTP winner on heavy ground over 3m, conditions should be ideal here, and with cheekpieces added, there's lots of reasons to expect more improvement. A mark of 105 certainly looks fair and his stable is hitting top form now with a couple of winners in the last week. I expect this horse will be well backed if connections are having a go.
3.15 Aintree - Springtown Lake (ew) 13/2
This is a typically competitive renewal of the Grand Sefton but Springtown Lake is definitely worth a punt. Firstly, this horse loves soft/heavy ground so conditions are ideal. On his first run of the season, he was just out paced by the well handicapped Modus but he'll be much happier here. Described by Philip Hobbs as "very brave" he's just the sort to take to these fences and I'm excited about seeing him go over them. We put up a Hobbs winner last Saturday and hopefully we've found another here.
Looked in need of the run at Bangor last time out an hopefully with that run under his belt he can run well here
All wins have come in Class 2 and below: 1114511
When racing 16 to 30 days:116
5 from 10 wins on flat or slightly undulating tracks
When racing in Dec and Jan: 4115
13.30 Aintree WALK IN THE MILL (EW) 5/1
Loves these fences and trying to win the race again won on similar ground last year and again looks to have ideal conditions. The Walford stable seems to be hitting top form and that is another plus
Nov and Dec : 2113P2311
Has raced once in cheekpieces and won
15.35 Sandown JOLLYS CRACKED IT (EW) 7/1
I noted that the horse ran well last time on a LH track and he is clearly better in this direction and has ideal conditions. I am hopeful of a decent run today.
RH / Nov to Jan / OR 141 or less / 0 to 1 run last 90 days : 1111103
Phew!! Noxious November is at last over. I don’t know of any of the professional (Newspaper/web based) tipsters who made a good (or any!) return in November. Let’s try to get some profit back in the pockets. From my ratings there 3 of top interest for me on the Soft at Aintree in this one: Kimberlite Candy, Minella Celebration and Walk In The Mill. Also, I would like to add in Aso. The length of break for Kimberlite Candy raises a question though it does give the trainer chance to target the training. I believe Minella Celebration has definite chances to get into the frame at tasty odds; likes the course and LTO winner but up in class. To Aso, the reason to look at this one is the stats for the Trainer Jockey combo (62.5% for places) and could be worth a side bet. However, my choice come down to Walk In The Mill. In form Trainer, Course and distance, last year’s winner should see a return to the winners enclosure.
Aintree 15:15 Chase Hcp 2m 5f 19y Might Bite - EW. 12/1
Let’s stick with the suggested races. The ‘MCH’ Ratings initially flag up 5 of the 19 to scan over; Sir Jack Yeats, Senior Citizen, Samtegal, Modus and Might Bite. I’m going to trust the market with Sir Jack Yeats, recent win but up in class and the ground wont suit. Senior Citizen, distance is Ok, and trainer is competent but by the time we get through the card the ground may be more than soft. So, no. Samtegal likes to place, never seems to get the winning spot here or at the class/distance. Probably a side bet for me. Modus, class and course winner, trainer and jockey in form but the recent win was on Good/Soft and I don’t think he’ll take to it today. That leaves, Might Bite. Not the greatest of performances last time out at Ascot but the step down here may suit. You must go back a little way in the form book to see some of the potential and if Mr O’Neill can guide it right, we should have a nice price place.
Wolverhampton 16:30 Hcp 1m 142y Kendergarten Cop - Win. 3/1
The MCH Ratings (again) show Whatwouldyouknow and Kendergarten Cop as the two to look at. The first has the places here on previous runs but has not had an AW win in the last couple of years. May have the edge draw-wise but ultimately speed may play here and maybe not just enough to get to the front. Whereas, Kendergarten Cop has some speed capability but could be hampered with the lower draw. If it’s a clean run, then the experience of both the horse and jockey can be the difference here.
Alex gales horses are running well at the moment, with the ground likely to be very heavy this will only play into his strengths. Staying on really well when he won at Haydock staying on from well off the pace in what will be the same testing ground this time. Ran well last time out at Sandown with what would have been ground not in his favour. he’s been dropped 2 points since his last run. and with the conditions and test of stamina he stands a decent chance at likely ew odds.
December handicap hurdle 335 Sandown Tip Mister Coffey (win) 7/4
3 wins out of 4 so far in his short career for this 5yr old. His only defeat coming against the very good horse West Cork. His latest run was very eye-catching sweating before hand and very keen on the race , he cruised into the race and jumped into the lead at the last flight. The most progressive horse possibly in the race and looks the one to take out the race for future engagements.
Middle distance handicap chase Aintree 1220 Tip Quio de neuf (win) 3/1
Class horse in the race and has been running well in graded races over hurdles last season. Evan Williams horses are starting to run well. Gave a pleasing chase debut last time when finishing 2nd here behind Canelo who finish 2nd last week in a big handicap. With that pipe opener behind him and his class he’ll so go close today.
This one is a standing dish in this race has ran in it 4 times finishing 1 7 2 9 and he's ran in national 3 times without falling, granted he's getting on a bit but he will go in ground and is also a couple of pounds below his last winning mark so looks a solid ew choice.
Sandown 150 Allmankind 1pt win 5/2
A good hurdler last season and looks like a natural jumper after his very impressive display at Warwick last time out. He will go from the front and if he can get into a good rythim early I'm sure he will get put the other horses in the race under pressure not too make any mistakes.
Sandown 335 Mister Coffey 1pt win. 7/4
This is a very expensive purchase and in typical Henderson style been taken all quietly, last time here he looked in trouble but once the jock went for him he bounded up the hill and is taken again to do the same here again.
The Beechers chase over the Grand National fences will suit my selection ASO who has the envious record of never having failed to complete a race. Trained by the in form Venetia Williams and ridden by the under rated Charlie Deutsch ASO ran in the Paddy Power at Cheltenham and was not disgraced in finishing a running on 7th. That race would have brought ASO onto peak fitness as it was his first race for 247 days. A decent price and with only14 opponents to face and four places on offer ASO looks a cracking value bet.
SANDOWN 13.50 - HITMAN - 1 Point Win 5/2
Paul Nicholls has made no secret of the fact that HITMAN can be his new superstar. A 30l victory at Flos Las last time out showed that this horse could be something special. That victory was on his first race in this country and on his Chase debut and was impressive to the naked eye. A tough test over the Sandown fences will prove how good this french import is and confirm the high regard of the trainer.
WOLVERHAMPTON 19.00 - SAM COOKE - 1 Point Win 3/1
A horse from my tracker system, I am forgiving SAM COOKE his run at Doncaster where in atrocious conditions the four year old gelding finished a disappointing 17/23 despite being well backed into 7/2 favourite. The horse is much better than that as proved with his nose defeat at Ascot in July. With the Ralph Beckett stable in flying form SAM COOKE is expected to show how good he is on the tapeta.
Finished seventh in this race last year. Jumped well in first encounter with the National fences. Now receives a 17lbs turnaround with the winner. Trained by Ben Pauling who is bullish about his horses chances in this race. Made seasonal reappearance in October in a 3mile 2 furlong Class 2 Handicap Chase at Kelso. Kept on after the final fence to finish a decent fourth. That outing will have put the horse right in readiness for this race. Winner of the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019. Prior to going chasing was a good hurdler,winning three times.
1.50 Sandown. ELDORADO ALLEN win. 11/4
Trained by Colin Tizzard and has Robbie Power on board. This looks a high quality race with four of the runners unbeaten over the larger obstacles. My selection is two wins from two in chases. Won at Newton Abbot on Chase debut and then went on to win at Cheltenham last time out in a Class 1 Nivice Chase. Has excellent course form,winning a Maiden Hurdle and a third place finish in the Contenders Hurdle. Both runs were on heavy ground. Jumps well and will be suited by the expected strong pace.
3.35 Sandown. MISTER COFFEY win. 7/4
Trained by Nicky Henderson who has his runners in good form. He do has saddled the winner of this race four times in previous years. Ridden by Nico de Boinville,who is also in good form at the moment. Won over course and distance last time out in a Class 3 Handicap Hurdle. Held up and made smooth headway to pull away on the run in. Impressive victory,and the 5 lengths winning margin could have been much more. Has two wins and a second place from only three hurdles runs. Hurdling debut was at Newbury at the end of December 2019. Form from that race has worked out really well,with nine different horses winning since. Clearly has a big future.
Left a few of these well behind on his last run where he won easily. All the statistics point to a good run here, 3 from 5 here at Aintree and has won 4 times at this distance from 9 attempts. Also been a winner at this level previously and at what seems a very generous price, will be expecting him to be in the shake up.
Sandown 12.05 - Elham Valley 1 pt win 11/1
This is Paddy Brennan's only ride of the day and with a strike rate of 27% in the last 14 days, this would seem a cherry picked ride. Trainer Fergal O'Brien is also 24% for the same period. He has changed hands and been gelded since his last run so hopefully putting all this together we will have a nice priced winner.
Sandown 13.50 - Eldorado Allen 1pt win 11/4
He is 2 from 2 in chases and I'm confident he will be completing his 3 timer here, he left the competition for dead in his last run and was easing down inside the last furlong too. Again the stats point to a good run here. He has won over course and at the distance too, also won at this level. The only concern is the ground, but he has won on heavy, so is capable.
Walk In The Mill goes in search of winning the Becher Chase for a third successive year. Last year Walk In The Park was fitted with cheekpieces and has been declared with them again having raced at Ascot on seasonal reappearance without them. As has been the case, Walk In The Park usually requires a pipe opener before running well on second start, highlighted by his form figures of 21111 racing second-time-out. This race has been won by those prominent in the market with 17 of the last 26 running's being won by those in top five of the market.
Froden 2:40 Aintree 11/4
Race fitness could play a big part in the outcome here. Henderson has gone on record saying Santini is as fit as I can get him at home and will improve for his seasonal debut here. Froden is rated 3lb inferior to Santini but has a big advantage in that he is race fit and I'm sure that Bryony Frost will test the stamina of both Native River and Santini with the customary ride from the front.
Cloudy Glen 3:00 Sandown 9/4
At time of writing Cloudy Glen heads the market and owner Trevor Hemmings will be hoping he can join last weekend's staying handicap chase Cloth Cap in this seasons Grand National. Being a 7 year-old he is open to improvement and should defy an 11lb hike in the weights off the back of an easy win at Fontwell three weeks ago. Cloudy Glen had second favourite Classic Ben behind him (fifth) when finishing second over course back in February. The other five runners are veterans so offer little in the improvement stakes and I have a feeling that Crosspark is being aimed for the Veterans Chase final here in January having finished second in the qualifier.
Had a great run in the Welsh grand national last year, only fading out of it at the very end after being up in the mix throughout. Heavy or soft ground will be no bother to him and think he can run close here
1.30 aintree walk in the mill ew 5/1
Has won this the last 2 years, once from being in the middle of the pack and last year from a prominent position. Well able to handle these fences and escherichia is key. Has had a poor build up the last couple of years so poor showing last time is of no worry
1.08 the bosses Oscar Navan ew 4/1
Gordon Elliott has targeted this race with many good horses over the lay couple of years. He has plenty of runners in this but a chance is taken on the bosses Oscar who has already had a pipe opener and as the race is sponsored by his owners, they may want to take some of that prize money back
Now eleven years old but running better than ever at that age. Won over three and a half miles at Haydock in February on heavy ground and was fifth over a shorter trip, 3 miles, at Sandown last month. The Sandown race was over the shorter three mile trip on good ground so both the distance and conditions should be more to his liking at Aintree.
Captain Tom Cat 6/1– 12.55 Aintree
His form in his last five races since July reads 21113 so he seems in very good form. The last two were both over two miles five furlongs at Cheltenham so the trip should pose no problems for him. He didn’t jump as fluently in his last race as he normally does so if back to his previous jumping ability he should go close again.
Fifth Ball 5/2 - 1.15 Sandown
Fifth ball was bought for 60,000 euros from France after winning two bumpers there last year. He ran well and was placed in two novice races at Fontwell before finally winning at Ascot at the end of October. Looks to be a good purchase and should run well again here.
Week 9 – Saturday 28th November
Winless last season, but not for lack of trying. Put in a number of impressive displays including when 2nd in the Ultima at Cheltenham. It usually takes him a run to get himself spot on (has won on 2nd start of the season in two previous years). His race at Wetherby at the end of last month therefore should ensure he is ready to put his best foot forward here.
Radrizzani 4:30 Wolverhampton 15/8
This newcomer made a real impression when winning on debut. He met trouble in running, well in particularly at the stalls, not only starting from the widest stall but being impeded and forced wider by his neighbour upon exit. Despite that he travelled well and made up impressive ground in the home straight and it might take a big performance to stop him following that up.
Asdaa 7:30 Wolverhampton 9/4
It’s been a few runs since he got his head in front but I was particularly pleased with how he ran last time out, not beaten all that far by a favourite who never looked like being beat. His two handicap wins have come off marks of 81 & 86, but he finds himself running off 78 here after a quick drop through the weights. Clearly very capable in this contest, and a former course winner, he should go well today.
NEWBURY 15.35 MOONLIGHTER WIN 5/2C&D winner; excellent second in Haldon Gold Cup on Exeter return (2m1f, good); big chance and the top weight ran right up to his best form just caught by Greaneteen in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter at the start of the month
WOLVERHAMPTON 16.00 Kick on kick on EW 9/2 was well backed last time out. He was drawn wide and the betting attention he received did surprise me. He caught my eye that day and he has been dropped another 2lb by the handicapper. He has been drawn in stall 6 today which is a much better draw and the drop back to 5f's is a big plus
Donald McCain has his string in good form and this seven-year-old has maintained his consistency all season. He bumped into an a very unexposed Wild Max at Huntingdon last time and the pair pulled some half a dozen lengths clear of the third placed Rowland Ward. Tom Bellamy takes over in the saddle from Brian Hughes (who rides at Newcastle instead) and has ridden a few winners around here in the past. Constancio is the only course and distance winner in the line-up and he can make the most of that experience.
2-53 DONCASTER BYRON FLYER 9/2
Byron Flyer won this race as a five-year-old back in 2016 and returns to attempt to regain his crown. He is certainly well handicapped on the best of his old form now that he is five pounds below his last winning mark. This is a significant drop in grade for the now nine-year-old and a return to genuine good ground will also be in his favour. He ran well in a listed handicap hurdle last time out so is certainly more than capable of making his presence felt here. Ian Williams has his string in decent form and it would come as no surprise if Byron Flyer bounced right back to his best here.
3-00 NEWBURY - LA BAGUE AU ROI 20/1
Warren Greatrex’s mare could well be the forgotten horse here. It wasn’t too long ago that she was winning Grade One Novice Chases for fun. She will most definitely have needed her first run of the season where she finished fourth to Amalfi Doug at Perth back in September. She subsequently had wind surgery and was then raised in grade again to contest the Charlie Hall at Wetherby last month. She ran a fair enough race to finish fifth behind the re-opposing Vinndication and Aye Right. She is undefeated in three previous runs at Newbury, so her running style clearly lends itself well to this track and a return here could well rejuvenate her. Richard Johnson has ridden her to numerous wins in the past and it good to see him back on board this afternoon. As a mare she receives plenty of weight from some of her male counterparts, but definitely looks overpriced on the best of her old form.
This is an exiting horse but is very ground dependent and he’ll get that ground today. He also improved a great deal for a recent wind op. The step up in trip shouldn’t be a problem. Paul Nicholls is definitely the trainer to be with in the big races on a Saturday. He’s bang in form and I know Paul fancies his chances.
1:15N Orchardstown Cross 1pt win 14/1
Jeremy Scott’s Orchardstown Cross is a previous easy course & distance winner on similar ground as today. I’m a huge fan of claimer Rex Dingle who takes off a valuable 3lb. The race should be ran at a fair clip with court master pulling them along. You won’t see Dingle on the scene till late on as he’ll held up out the back.
1:50N Tea Clipper 1pt win 11/4
What a horse this must be to own. Won 4 of his 5 starts. 3 of which were on today’s ground. Back down in grade today after winning a class 1 grade 3 last time out. There could still be so much more to come from this one. Tom Lacey in fine form. Jonathan Burke doesn’t have a great strike rate here but did get a winner yesterday.
3:35 Newbury >> ZANSA 3/1 Takes my eye here as a previous course and distance winner with Richard Johnson booked looks set for a good run after a decent 2nd last timeout.Last win came here at this track in the same class race and the same track conditions.PHILLIP HOBBS is maybe just hitting form and therefore I rate this as my Napoleon hand.
3:15 Newcastle 3/1>> WHATMORE I really like this horse who almost won for us last time out but still ran a fantastic race in defeat only to find one too good in REGAL ENCORE.HENRY DALY is a trainer I follow and when either RICHARD JOHNSON is booked or TOM O BRIAN it usually speaks volumes.The market has been very strong and I think we have the winner right here with optimum conditions.Good luck if you follow :)
A progressive young horse for Kim Bailey, Two For Gold last ran over 19f finishing 2nd behind Huntsman's Son at Wetherby. Was leading when headed going into the last but kept on well to finish a close 2nd. Getting into an early rhythm close to the pace seems essential round Newbury and that is Two For Gold's MO. His previous run showed his pace and having previously run over 3m he should stay this distance. The Conditional is considered a huge danger but he may have ground issues and rustiness. Black Cop, if his jumping improves, is another worth a look, just like Two For Gold stablemate Vinndication.
King Alex 14:46 Fairyhouse 7/2
Seems a solid selection in this 8K handicap hurdle. Having shown improved from on his return this season, King Alex improved again on his next outing when winning the race he finished 8th in last year off a 2lb higher. Up 6lb for that victory, it's possible that King Alex hasn't reached his ceiling yet and can bag the hat-trick.
Next Destination 12:40 Newbury 7/4
Next Destination ran a fine race on his return from an absence of 920 days. Finishing 2nd to Roskanna is no disgrace and not many in this race can even produce that form. Hopefully a more revved up Next Destination can show what he's made of, taking this race as stepping stone to better things.
Milkwood has some nice form to his name and can go well here in this competitive handicap hurdle. He won a maiden hurdle in good style at Hereford in October of last year beating the now 143 rated Does He Know. He ran with credit on his next two starts at Wetherby and Wincanton but has really impressed in his two outings this campaign. On reappearance he won impressively at Ffos Las and the 3rd, Stimulating Song has come out an given the form a boost. He was a fine 4th last time out in the Welsh Champion Hurdle when beaten 5.5l and that form looks incredibly strong. Sceau Royal (1st) won the Elite Hurdle next time, Ballyandy (2nd) finished in that position off top weight in the Greatwood, Buzz (3rd) won an Ascot handicap by seven lengths next time and even the 5th won next time out. Milkwood can run off the same mark here and looks ahead of the assessor on that evidence.
15:00 Newbury – Secret Investor E/W 9/1
Secret Investor has some nice form behind the likes of Native River and Reel Steel from last season and after an impressive success at Chepstow on his reappearance, there’s no reason as to why he won’t go well again here. He beat Potterman by seven lengths on his aforementioned reappearance and that horse ran well to be 2nd in the Badgers Beers at Wincanton next time out. The 3rd placed horse Some Chaos, came out and won next time. This is a much deeper contest, but he may well have more to come on his favoured good ground.
16:00 Wolverhampton – Charming Kid 13/2
Charming Kid has slipped along way in the weights and after a solid effort at Chelmsford last time, he has every chance of going one better here. He was rated in the low 100s for Richard Fahey as recently as January 2019 though hasn’t reached that level of form in a while. He joined Dean Ivory and finally showed some promise again when running well to finish 3rd at Newcastle in February despite racing keenly. He then endured a wide trip at Kempton in June but returned to form with a good 2nd last time out behind Pop Dancer, who has since placed in a class two contest. A repeat of that effort last time could be good enough in this weak enough contest. I also liked Leo Davinci (6pm) on the card, but he’s not a horse I want to take such a short price about.
I was pleased with his last run especially as I did not think he jumped that well. He has won all 6 starts in November to January and has won both starts when racing 16 to 30 days. As long as he jumps a little better today should be in the mix
15.15 Newcastle TAKING RISKS (EW) 25/1
Won this race last year and has had the same prep race in a hurdle race at Ayr, both time he has been well beaten. The ground is not an issue and his record when racing 2m6.5f to 3m reads - 16115
15.35 Newbury MARRACUDJA (EW) 14/1
Has finally dropped down the handicap as when racing off a mark of 141 or more he has yet to win in 15 starts. All wins have come in fields of 11 runners or less and in races worth less than 20k. Could outrun his odds here.
Again, the Jockey and Trainer form for this race throw up a few of real interest. Cedar Hills recent form is my focus and though having no course and distance form, the fact of the rider of the last two wins, Ryan Mania, on board is a good thing. Lowish odds but let’s try to get some points on the table.
Newcastle 14:05 Hurdle 2m 46y Silver Streak - Stake 1pt EW. 5/1
Interesting little race that initially looks to be dominated by Nicky Henderson’s entry Epatante. However, when you look past that there is a good deal to be said for a couple of the others: Ribble Valley has good trnr/Jcky trends and there are a few that have very tasty EW prices if they can make the frame but I’m going with Silver Streak: Course, distance and class experience with a level rating.
Newbury 15:00 Ladbrokes Trophy Chase Hcp 3m 1f 214y Secret Investor - Stake 1pt EW.9/1
The chance of the ground getting softer alters the stats profile a little for this race: If it’s Good I have 2 to choose from for winners. If it moves to Good to Soft, a few more get added in. I’m going to gamble on a dry-ish morning. The Nichols/Cobden alliance is very appealing to me and the market is putting the pair as frame contenders. Secret Investor has yet to win for them at Newbury and I think this might be the day. Class, distance, headgear etc etc all fit the trends, although I’m being slightly cautious with an EW bet mainly due to the large field.
With Paul Nichols team seemingly still in good form a chance is taken on this one. jF last time out in the badger at wincanton jumped left throughout. Jockey Sean Bowen in decent form this week. Can’t get over how badly he ran last time but there was some excuses for it The very soft ground was probably not in his favour 2. Reported to have broke a blood vessel. 3. Jumped left handed throughout. And with the stable in decent form he must stand a good EW chance at likely decent odds.
1210 Newbury Tip Estelle ma belle (win) 7/1
Despite jumping errors on hurdle debut for Paul Nicholls he won the race really well. Should build on that performance and likely there’s more to come. Step Up class here but the way she won well last time I have complete faith.
240 Newcastle Tip Ewood Park (win) 11/4
My happy place ! Two good runs in his career so far and Olly Murphy running on under pressure before falling late on last time out. Looks a stayer after both runs staying on well from a mile back and with the ground at Newcastle likely to be quicker then his two runs before it may play into his strengths. Hopefully won’t get to far behind and he can be staying on late to hopefully snatch the win third time out.
This horse has emerged as the Nicholls number one for this race after Topofthegame was side-lined for the season, but he might be a very good substitute with conditions in his favour. A fluent winner at Chepstow on his reappearance, that form has been franked and this strong travelling sort loves good ground and will appreciate the likely strong pace. There looks to be improvement to come and he represents the best bet at current prices.
1.43 Doncaster - Lunar Jet 4/1
Lunar Jet makes his handicap debut over hurdles having won his last three races on the flat this Autumn. On that evidence he could be well handicapped here, and with the promise of a strong gallop to aim at, and the excellent Kielan Woods taking the ride, nothing other than a big run looks to be on the cards.
3.35 Newbury - Zanza 3/1
Zanza really caught the eye last time, being tenderly handled in a Novice Chase round Warwick. That day, he jumped well but just found things happening a bit quickly. With a great record at this track, and with his yard hitting top form, I think we can expect much better from Zanza here.
Well this one will be held up away at the back unless there is a significant change of tactics,have followed this one for ages often put in races where he just isn't in that class, was booked for second in this last season until falling at last hopefully will go better today.
1255 Newcastle Ask A Honey Bee 1pt win 15/8
This one last time out bumped into a useful one last time out and that horse won Friday at Doncaster,first time out this season he won at Wetherby and the runner up in that race has hacked up the last twice, so must go close in this today.
300 Newbury Mister Malarkey 0.5pts ew 14/1
A typical Saturday handicap so going the ew route with this one, was 6th in this race last year never really getting into it, they have put on first time blinkers tomorrow and ground should be ideal so very hopeful of a big run.
Trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Harry Cobden. Trainer has a good track record. When combining the trainer and jockey have a 27% strike rate. Winner of three hurdles,three chases and a point to point, all on ground between good and good-soft. Won on seasonal reappearance in a Class 2 Handicap Chase at Chepstow,staying on well to win comfortably. That run was following wind surgery. Has two wins,two places from eight runs in Class 1 races. If reproducing the form of last run then holds a strong each way chance.
1.15 Newbury. ORCHARDSTOWN CROSS. Each way.14/1
This 9 year old bay gelding by Westerner,has 3 wins and 2 placed efforts from just 7 chases. Trained by J.Scott and has the talented 3 lb claimer Rex Dingle in the saddle. The jockey already has 3 wins and 2 places from 6 rides on the horse. Finished a decent third of 18 on seasonal debut in a Class 3 Handicap Chase at Exeter,over 3 miles. Goes well on similar ground,and is a course and distance winner.
2.25 Newbury. THYME WHITE. Each way.7/1
Trained by the in form Paul Nicholls. Won a Chepstow Handicap on seasonal return. Travelled well and won by a distance of 3 lengths. Form from that race is working out well with a couple of horses having won since. More is needed today but will have improved for that last run. Has a one win from two runs record in Class 1 races,and has a couple of victories at this distance.
The better the races the easier to tip winners, well let’s put that to the test this week. The inform combinations of Jonathan Burke and Tom Lacey have Tea Clipper in this competitive handicap hurdle and the five year old gelding has a favourites chance of taking this prize. Winner of the first major hurdle race of the season the Silver Trophy at Chepstow last month Tea Clipper will be hard to beat.
NEWBURY 15.00 - SECRET INVESTOR - 0.5 Points Each Way 9/1
The powerful combination of Paul Nicholls of Harry Cobden rely on Secret Investor to take the biggest race of the day and Gavin’s nominated race. A winner at Chepstow, which is always good form with the long finishing straight, Secret Investor comes here with a winning chance especially as the maestro of Ditchcot said this horse is the best chance of a winner this Saturday.
NEWBURY 15.35 - IBLEO - 1 Point Win NR
Another trainer and jockey combination in Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch that are at the top of their game will supply my third winner of the day and the £60 prize. IBLEO a good second last time has all the right credentials to take the finale of the Newbury card In receipt of 10lbs from top weight Moonlighter IBLEO looks a cracking bet to deliver.
I have tried to split all the leading contenders and couldn't decide on any of them, so decide to take my chances with an outsider who has won over both course and distance. Has run well fresh before, so will keep everything crossed for this one.
Bangor-on- Dee 1.22 - Haul Us In 9/1 1pt win
Last run was in March when she was a creditable second. Had been running well up to that point too and hopefully the break will have put a spark back into her. Has won at the distance and is sure to go close.
Wolverhampton 6.30 - The Mackem Torpedo 1pt win 2/1
Finally off the mark, but did so in good style, and I don't think the 4lb rise will be enough to stop him going in again. Brian has his team in good shape and his last flat winner was at Wolverhampton too.
Very consistent horse and is well able for the distance. Came close second to El Presente in the Badger Beers trophy recently. Well able to perform on good ground and is more proven from a stamina perspective than some of the other entrants. Not out of the places in last 4 runs and expecting to be thereabouts again.
2.25 Newbury Maries Rock 15/8
Held in very high regard, as had an entry in the Fighting Fifth if Epatante was unable to go to that race. Is 3 from 3 in all races so far and is expected to be much better than a handicapper. Has had a wind op and think the horse will be fit and ready to go for this test.
1.01 Fairyhouse Minella Melody 9/4
Up against a very tough mare in Concertista here, however Concertistas best form tends to be at Cheltenham, with some lacklustre displays around this time last year. Minella melody has had a pipe opener, finishing second to Beacons Edge which I think should have her fit and ready for this race.
Had wind surgery before returning to the track with an impressive seven length win over Potterman at Chepstow in October. Lead from the start and still had enough in the tank to stretch the field in the last couple of furlongs. Jumped well throughout the race although tends to jump right at times. Would like to see him dictate again from the front but even if he doesn't should still have enough left at the end of the race to come home first.
Estelle Ma Belle - 12.10 Newbury 7/1
A good flat horse when in France then tried over hurdles by Willie Mullins at Galway in 2019 where she was a bit keen in the lead and was caught with a couple of furlongs to go finishing 2nd. Switched to Paul Nicholls and showed more maturity when winning at Ffos Las on her first run for the new stable. Ran strongly in second throughout and quickened significantly to catch and pass the leading horse to win easily.
Milkwood - 2.25 Newbury 4/1
Ran a great race to be 4th in the Welsh Champion Hurdle in October behind Sceau Royal and Ballyandy. Held up throughout he was brought through with a good run in the final stages of the race but the first three were just too good on the day. Horse and jockey will have learnt from that and will go closer this time.
Kalooki made a winning start to his chasing career making all at today's track Newbury. He made a few noticeable errors but he galloped his rivals into the ground winning by a dozen lengths. The form has been boosted and although this is a better class contest, if he irons out his jumping errors, I can see him galloping all over his rivals on a track that suits.
Vindication 3:00 Newbury 7/1
Kim Bailey's stable continues in good form and at time of writing sit on 33 winners (21% SR) for the season. Six wins, four seconds from 17 runners in class 1 and 2 races this term highlight the health of the stable. Vindication ran a stormer on his season debut finishing a 2-length second in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby receiving just 2lb from stone higher rated Cyrname. That's the best form on display here and given that Vindication was doing his best work late on, the increase in distance should see further improvement.
Ibleo 3:30 Newbury NR
Skipped a 2m handicap chase at Ascot last Saturday to take his chance here in a similar race. Venetia Williams stable has just come into form with five winners this past week. Looked winner on return back in October at Ascot only to be collared in the final strides to a race fit rival and bids to gain compensation here. I'm expecting Charlie Deutsch to hold on to him a little longer this time around. Clearly goes well early in the season and this is the time of year to back Williams runners.
Michael Scudamore is in cracking form at the moment and Court Master has improved with each of his three runs this season, all under Brendan Powell who is on him again today. He won here last year over a slightly longer trip on similar going and is ideally suited by ground on the soft side of good.
Potterman– 3.00 Newbury – 1 point win 14/1
This fellow has not been out of the first two on his last four starts. The good to good to soft ground will be ideal for him, which is backed up by both his own performances and that of his sire. He is due to go up 5lb after this race so is technically well in, and he gets on well with his jockey Tom Cannon.
Marracudja – 3.35 Newbury – 1 point win 14/1
This horse probably represents the best form in this race, though his two runs this year have not shown him at his best. Last year he ran some really good races, winning by a comfortable margin at Wetherby, and if he can reproduce that form today he will win well. He gets on particularly well with Bridget Andrews who is in the plate again today, and he could run a cracker at rewarding odds.
2.18 Doncaster - CORRANY 7/2 - Nicky Henderson’s only runner on the card, at a course where he enjoys plenty of success when travelling up here (30% strike-rate from over 300 runners). This is chase debut for his six-year old and if handling the switch to larger obstacles then this mark of 126 looks plenty manageable despite still being a maiden. He’s finished second on his last three starts with his best effort coming over 2m5f at Doncaster when beaten a length by one rated 139 now so looks handicapped to win, I’d be disappointed if he’s not involved at the finish if able to produce a clear round.
3.00 Newbury - MISTER MALARKY 14/1- Ran sixth in this race last year off the same mark on good-to-soft ground and there’s every chance that he can run an even better race this time round on better ground. He won a good handicap (Grade 3) at Kempton back in February off 3lb lower and his pipe-opener this year was better than last when sixth in the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot (well held the year before) and if first-time blinkers help then he’s a nice each-way proposition for a trainer who has won this race twice in the past four years.
Week 8 – Saturday 21st November
I'm taking a bit of a chance with this one here as this looks a decent little race with Master Tommytucker, and in particular Dashel Drasher at the head of the market. But my selection impressed me on a couple of occasions last year and was generally running in stronger company. After winning on his seasonal reappearance, he ran a massive race behind Champ and Black Op at Newbury. They were, and are, rated higher than anything in this field and if he's tidied up his jumping a little, I think my selection will turn out to be very overpriced at 10/1.
Laurina 2:40 Ascot 6/4
This horse doesn't need much introduction, having previously been trained by Willie Mullins and a regular at the top level in mares races. It's fair to say she didn't really take to chasing and it's great to see her back hurdling. She did get one hurdle race in last year, on her final start in February, but wasn't able to land a blow and was then put away for the rest of the season. Laurina goes well fresh and won't need much Nicholls magic to put in a stellar performance here. In fact, it shouldn't need any magic, as she is significantly well in at the weights with both her rivals and she looks a strong bet here.
Magic Saint 3:17 Ascot 4/1
Magic Saint put in a smashing performance last week in the Paddy Power Handicap Chase, where he best Fanion D'estruval by 2.25 lengths. The pair were 9 lengths clear of the field, and it is a popular belief that Fanion D'estruval is on a very lenient mark. If this is the case, this performance from Magic Saint could be upgraded even further, and as it was a particularly impressive display anyway i give him a massive chance of winning again today.
HAYDOCK 14.25 THIRD WIND ,WIN 15/2 Ran in the Pertemps final at the Cheltenham Festival andThird Wind’s 4th was a good effortJonjo O’Neill taking over as jockey looks a plus and Third Wind is lightly raced enough to still be on the up. He looks sure to have a big say in this race.
HAYDOCK 13.50 KID COMMANDO WIN 4/1 He has won two hurdle races, a NH flat race and a point-to-point from 2m to 3m on good and soft ground. Won on his latest outing in a hurdle race when 11-4fav at Ascot over 2m (soft) last month, beating Malaya by 5l.
Ben Pauling’s Shakem Up’Arry couldn’t have been more impressive 13 days ago at Ffos Las. Up just 3lb for that 8l success I still think he’s well ahead of the handicapper. He’s been 2nd to Shishkin & Mister coffee, under 2l by Mister Coffee who is now rated 138 and rising. Arry will take all the beating. Can see it being well backed and tipped up by plenty.
2:25H wholestone 0.5pt ew 28/1
Wholestone ran poorly 3 weeks ago, his 1st run in 350 days so I’m hoping that’s blew away the cobwebs. He’s 9lb below his last winning mark, Won’t mind the soft having won 3 from 11 on it. He could be the only front runner in the race so I’m hoping Daryl Jacob can try and steal an easy lead and get away from them.
1:37N Any Second Now 1pt win 8/1
This could be a shrewd move from Ted taking Any Second Now back over hurdles. He’s 12lb lower over hurdles than over fences where he more than hold his own round about the 150 mark. The ground won’t be a problem and he won at this track back in February. Plenty pace in this race so hopefully he just sits off the pace makers.
Dan Skelton and Bridget Andrews team up with the remarkably consistent Robin Gold here who receives weight from all bar one rival here. She has already found the winners’ enclosure twice so far this season and was desperately unlucky not to add to that tally last time. Despite taking a marked step up in trip at Lingfield, she absolutely tanked through the mud and it seemed only a matter of time before she put her seal on the race. She edged left and her jockey may well of thought the race was in the bag but Storm Arising and Potters Hedger had other ideas. Bridget is likely to want to atone for that effort and with question marks hovering over many of her rivals, she looks sure to run her race again.
2-25 HAYDOCK THE JAM MAN 5/1
The Jam Man is improving at a rate of knots and the style of his win at Navan last time suggested that there was plenty more to come. Put to sleep at the back of the pack last time he made smooth headway under Paul Townend to lead two from home. He stayed on in impressive fashion to win by no fewer than eighteen lengths from Roaring Bull and Scoir Mear in a very competitive Troytown Chase. Bottomless ground seems to bring out the best in him and there will be plenty of that on offer here this afternoon. Maxine O’Sullivan has been booked to ride and she will be remembered for her runaway success aboard It Came To Pass in the Foxhunters at the Cheltenham Festival. They Jam Man is the apple of Ronan McNally’s eye and he can go in again here.
3-17 ASCOT ABBEY MAGIC 11/2
Abbey Magic has met with defeat only once in her last five starts over fences. That came on her seasonal reappearance at Kilbeggan on what was her handicap debut. In that race she was only beaten a head by Visioman and it looks significant that Henry De Bromhead sends her across the Irish Sea to take in this contest. She has won over this afternoon’s trip and over further so Bryony Frost may well try and draw the sting out of all their rivals by making full use of her guaranteed stamina. The pair probably wouldn’t want too much more rain as all of Abbey Magic’s best form is on soft or better going. Despite being a nine-year old, she is still far from exposed and is likely to give a decent account.
3:17 Ascot >> DRUMCONNOR LAD 15/2 Takes my eye here after a good win last timeout this 10 year old is in fine fettle at the moment and could well have the fitness edge on some of the more fancied rivals.A KEATLEY is a trainer to watch especially if the money is down and the jockey K BROGAN has caught my eye on a couple of occasions also takes a handy 7lb off making this a horse of interest.
7:00 Wolverhampton >> GLESGA GIRL 5/1 Ticks the boxes here for me going into a handicap for the first time for H PALMER.The jockey booking is also a huge plus and also the draw has been kind enough.Thought good enough to contest a class 1 race at Newmarket last time out on quite possibly unsuitable heavy ground I think we will see a different horse today at a track which on breeding should suit.Good luck if you follow :)
2018 Cheltenham festival bumper winner Relegate has less to prove than most of these and should go well in this competitive handicap hurdle. She left Willie Mullins in January of this year and caught the eye on both starts for he new yard, particularly when staying on from miles back to be 5th in the Pertemps Final. That race has already been franked by Sire Du Berlais, The Storyteller and Tout Est Permis all running well subsequently. She was beaten over 20 lengths on her reappearance in the Lismullen Hurdle, but she likely needed the run over an inadequate 2m4f trip. That screamed of a prep run and now back at 3m with first time cheekpieces added, off a mark of 137 she should be in the mix.
14:55 Lingfield – True Scarlet 9/2
True Scarlet is a well bred filly out of 107 rated listed winner Lady Pimpernel so off a mark off 77, returning to a CD she already boasts some good from at she should go well. She ran a cracker on her second racecourse appearance last December running on strongly over one mile beaten a neck by subsequent listed winner Indie Angel (103). She finished 2nd on her next start at this track again shaping as if she needed further than one mile and she proved that to be the case when winning when upped to 1m2f next time out. She did that rather cosily and the 2nd has a mark of 81 so it gives the form some substance. She wasn’t disgraced on her reappearance effort on heavy ground at Newbury in October. With that run under her belt and the return to Lingfield set to suit she shouldn’t be far away.
20:30 Wolverhampton – Kick On Kick On E/W 9/1
Kick On Kick On made his debut for this yard last November finishing 5th beaten just two lengths off 89 in 0-105 company. He still hasn’t managed to trouble the judge in his seven subsequent runs for connections but at the same time he has never been disgraced (all RPRs in the 70s). Those runs though mean he has slipped to a career low rating of 74. His only previous attempt in 0-75 company came when finishing 2nd in October behind One Night Stand, who followed up off essentially a 10lb higher mark. Kingscote is an interesting booking as he is 6/20 (further five came 2nd) for the yard this year and 29/132 overall, a 22% strike rate which yields a profit of £83.48 to £1 level stakes.
The horse ran a huge race in the Gold Cup, traveling well into the race but his stamina seemed to give out after the last. Drop back in trip and return to RH track should suit.
Soft or faster / Grade 2 and below / RH / slightly undulating or undulating : 11111
15.00 Haydock CLAN DES OBEAUX 9/4
The ground is more in his favour than when he was fourth in this race in 2018. The trouble is there are not many races that will suit the horse. I hope he is fully wound up here and it is not a prep run for the King George.
Flat or slightly undulating track / GTS or softer / 0 to 2 runs current season : 111111
15.35 Haydock POBBLES BAY 17/2
The horse caught my eye last time when after been a modest 6th 3 out he stayed on well on a track that did not suit (Aintree). The step up in trip here and drop in class should give him a good chance today.
Class 3 and 4 / galloping or slightly galloping / DSLR 26 to 45 days : 1118
Wow! Week 8 already! I’m having an All Weather weekend starting with the first race of the day. Just as I was completing my analysis, I got an email from a well-known ‘horsehorses’ web site with one of their writers giving an in-depth analysis of the same race. My analysis had led me through to 4 contenders with some cross over with the writer’s view. Ultimately, I’m sticking with my own final choice with a horse new to the track but bringing a lot of trainer and jockey form and I think it can win.
Wolverhampton 17:30 Pacino - Stake 1pt Win 5/1.
Over to Wolverhampton and a class 5 over a mile and a bit. They all look quite capable and I think the pack will be fairly tight till the end. Draw for this one won’t be too critical but the turn of speed at the end may provide a challenge and the likes of Pacino may pay off. I’m hoping that he can stay up with them and take it at the post.
Wolverhampton 20:30 Lezardieux - Stake 1pt Win. 7/1
Last of the day and a nice little sprint over 6+f. Looking at the card I think the winner will come from either end of the draw; Lezardrieux or Lilikian. Both have a few runs here under their belts with some places thrown in ultimately, I think Lez will lead and have enough in the tank at the end.
Alan kings charge was well fought of on his second start when sent off the 9/4f but failed to fire on that occasion but that may of been the heavy going. Ran really well on good ground on his hurdle’s debut. Half brother to the warrantor who was pretty useful himself. King’s runners have been running really well this week and the yard seems to be getting into form.
225 Haydock Tip Dolphin Square (ew) 16/1
Philip Hobbs horse comes here after a good race first time out this season at Newbury when running on the finish 2nd. Hobbs horses are running with gusto this week and he seems to be finding his form after a few disappointing seasons. Hasn’t finished out the first 4 since his British debut in March 2019 ( 4 wins in 11 runs ) steadily creeping up the weights but this 6 year old seems to have plenty more in the locker and stands a massive ew value.
1210 Haydock Tip Ewood Park NR
My happy place ! Two good runs in his career so far and Olly Murphy running on under pressure before falling late on last time out. Looks a stayer after both runs staying on well from a mile back and with the ground at Haydock being soft it means it’s really soft. Hopefully won’t get to far behind and he can be staying on late to hopefully snatch a place at the very least.
Winner of his last 8, last 3 on the flat, he has won his races easily. Prefers the sofer going, likes to be ridden off the pace. This is his first attempt at this trip which should be within compass, judging by the way he finishes his races. This step up in class should also not be a problem. In a race where others have to confirm their well-being, consistency and coping with the ground. Main Fact may only have 2 of these attributes but hopefully will confirm the 3rd in my books. A very good chance.
Filou Des Issards 15:08 Huntingdon 5/1
One of the few Hobbs' stable to have shown any form before his resurgence, Filou is a pace pusher who should have the run of the race. The step up in trip should benefit this gelded son of Network where the proposed favourite who blundered his chance away last time, may have every chance but confidence might be knocked
Drumconnor Lad 15:17 Ascot 15/2
Only 5lb up from his victory at Ayr, should be hard to beat in these conditions. Although there are many dangers, his rating of 145 will be reduced to 138 with the excellent Kevin Brogan in the saddle. This race is likely to be setup for a closer where at least 4 of the runners, challenging for the lead. Showing his best form on soft and an ability to stay further than this, challenge on the bridle 2 out and battle on up the hill.
Bit of a chance taken on this one as he hasn't been running well of late, but I think because he has been running at wrong distance, stepped up to a mile tomorrow with SDS booked and think personally this is what it needs.
115 Haydock Deryann de Carjac. 0.5pts ew 10/1
This one runs best when fresh and stable in good nick this week, he's ran a few good races last season and will have no problem coping with the soft ground forecast, he is Aberdeen owned and the owner lives less than half a mile from me but I have not been able too see him, but I have faith this will be ready too go.
225 Haydock The Jam Man 1pt win 5/1
Now I've already tipped this one on here a few weeks ago on the flat where he just got up on the line, he has continued in good form by sluicing up last time out over fences, back over hurdles today and good conditional booked , trainer only has about 5 horses but he certainly knows the time of day if this one still in form must take some beating.
Trained by Tom Lacey and ridden by JJ Burke. Trainer is in good current form and also has a decent track record ,especially with his hurdlers. Winner of a Points race who has been placed on 5 of 6 outings over hurdles. Improving type,who finished a decent third last time out at Hereford. Seems to do better the longer the trip. Fitted with first time cheek pieces for this race,which should prove beneficial.
3.43 Hunt. THE TURTLE SON. Win. 9/4
Trained by Fergal O’Brien and ridden by the promising 3lb claimer Max Kendrick. Trainer is amongst the top handlers in Bumpers with a 28% strike rate. He has a 35% course record and has his runners in good current form. Jockey/trainer combination has a healthy 28% strike rate. Three year old gelding is the son of German sire Manduro,and is a half brother to a couple of winners on the Flat. Should go well on racing debut.
6.00 Wolverhampton. TALBEYAH Each way. 15/2
This 1st April foal is sired by the prolific Lope De Vega,the leading sire of winners on the all weather. Trained by Owen Burrows and ridden by Jim Crowley. Trainer and jockey do well when combining. Cost 310,000 dollars as a yearling,and is a half sister to useful winners at middle distances on the Flat. Owned by Hamadan Al Maktoum who has a 25% win record at Wolverhampton. This looks a decent quality race with several fillies making their debuts,who could go on to bigger things. TALBEYAH has a strong each way chance.
We can expect big improvement from Shang Tang in this 4-runner novices' hurdle, and hopefully this 6yo gelding will represent a bit of value against the Nicholls hotpot. Noted travelling very well last time, the horse blew up with the run needed. Now with the run under the belt, and a second run after a wind-op Shang Tang is fully expected to gain a first victory.
3.17 Ascot - Marracudja (ew) 16/1
This is a typically competitive Ascot Handicap Chase but Marracudja might represent a bit of each way value. The horse ran a cracker here last season behind Defi Du Seuil and Un De Sceaux in the Clarence House Chase, and although handicapped on that performance now, his price more than compensates for that. There have been excuses for his runs this season, and with the Skelton yard in top form, and William Marshall claiming seven, we can expect a big run at fancy odds.
7.00 Wolverhampton -
Global Vision 9/2 makes his Nursery debut after two very promising run and now looks ready to strike. On his last run Global Vision was noted making good late gains over 6 furlongs, and with the extra furlong here to run over we can expect improvement. The James Tate yard do very well with this type and they have been amongst the winners.
Looking for the three timer here following two Novce wins last month. It is a step up in class but there is plenty of scope for improvement here. Charlie Hammond has steered him to both victories and with Dr Newland's record with first time handicappers showing a nice profit, he is sure to be there or thereabouts
Huntingdon 13:58 - Orchestral Rain 1pt win 5/2
Expecting an across the card double here for Dr Newland, this horse fits the same profile as my previous suggestion in respect that it is on a three timer and it is it's first run in a handicap. The ground is ideal and with a course and distance win already, Jockey had a winner at Chepstow yesterday which will help the confidence
Wolverhampton 17:30 Pacino 1pt win 5/1
A much better horse on the all weather with 3 places from 4 runs and the experience of coming second in his last race will surely put him in good stead. The horse placed 8th in that race has since come out and won to boost the form. Richard Fahey has his team in good form, so sure to be there at the finish.
Brian Hughes, Champion Jockey ( which a lot of people forget about ) takes over on DEAR SIRE for this valuable handicap. Trained by local maestro Donald Mcain the horse will not be inconvienced by the good to soft/soft going and the left handed track will be better than the right handed Ascot where he slightly disappointed behind today’s favourite in that Ascot race. A bold bid will be expected and is a value bet at the 22/1 and Five places I have already secured.
HAYDOCK PARK 14.25 - RELEGATE - 0.5 Points EACH WAY 11/2
Irish Raider RELEGATE is a class horse in this stayers handicap hurdle over the extended three mile trip. The talented mare has only Ten stone Eight to carry and has the services of the talented Robbie Power, who has now taken up residency in England for the season. RELEGATE won the Champion Bumper at the 2018 Cheltenham festival and returned to the Cotswold last year to finish 5th in the Pertemps hurdle final. With today’s conditions ideal she should run a grand race for connections.
WOLVERHAMPTON 18.00 - POMELO - 1 Point WIN Evs
Such a shame I can only have one point win on this talented filly. Been in my tracker since her exhilarating debut at Newbury back in July over 7F on good going. Reappeared at Goodwood in August in the Prestige stakes and basically given a pathetic ride that day by the usually brilliant Harry Bentley. The going was soft to heavy that day and as they came into the straight Harry brought her over to the stand sides for a lone passage while the others stayed down the middle. POMELO having given up so much ground finished last and that run can be forgiven.Needless to say it’s “ safe gambling awareness week “ however this is maximum bet territory.
Finished last season well placing in four races between November and March. These included a third at Haydock and another third in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham festival. In between those races he won the Edinburgh National over 4 miles so stamina won’t be an issue for him. He pulled up in his last race in October but has since had a breathing operation so hopefully we can forget that race.
Don Poli – 3.35 Haydock 5/1
Don Poli is now 11 and has had a great career with Gordon Elliott before being sold in April 2019. He has since changed owner again, twice, before making his way to Dan Skelton. After a break of 226 days Harry Skelton rode him to 4th place at Aintree where he ran well and is expected to have another good run in this race.
Young Bull – 12.55 Ascot 10/2
Third to Demachine at Uttoxeter last month going down by 7 ½ lengths. However, that was his first effort over fences and he has a 9 lb pull on that one in this race. Three wins and a second over hurdles before that first effort over fences shows that he has talent and given how well he ran last time out along with his weight advantage over the winner that day puts him in with a great chance of winning this time out.
I thought Deise Aba ran a decent race in the Kim Muir last March and now makes his seasonal debut. Before that festival run, I was taken by the way he stayed on to win by 3 lgths in Masters Handicap at Sandown. Owner Trevor Hemmings kept this one having sold a good few of his horses and given his pedigree and how strong he sees out his trips I'm sure his future lies over the national fences. Phillip Hobbs in a recent stable interview confirmed that the Welsh National is his first target and, in all probability, will need to go up in the ratings to meet his end of season target. Hemmings local track is Haydock and he loves to have a chase winner or two through the season and he won this two years ago with Vintage Clouds.
Relegate 2:25 Haydock 11/2
Former Champion Bumper winner at the Cheltenham festival travels over from Ireland to contest Stayers Hurdle. The day she won the festival bumper she came from last to first and stayed on strongly up the hill displaying that she stays all day. This was further highlighted by her doing all her best work at the end of last season's Pertemps Final, finishing fifth. The first and second that day have given the form a further boost winning Grade 2 hurdle and Grade 1 Chase this season. Her seasonal debut at Naven was all about blowing off the rust and cobwebs having raced over an inadequate 2m4f and that run was all about this race today.
Abbey Magic 3:17 Ascot 5/1
Nicholls saddles two including last year's runaway winner but it's Henry de Bromhead's Abbey Magic that is sent over to contest this 25K race. Since being transferred to Bromhead's from John Berry's she's won four of her five chases, missing out by only a head from having a 100% record. A stable to take strong note of when they cross the Irish sea. A winner five weeks ago at Cork there should still be more to come from her and I doubt for one minute they are coming over just for the run.
3m 1f at Haydock takes some getting, especially with the going as soft as it will be, but Sam’s Adventure won over 3m in bottomless ground at Uttoxeter in March this year, and won’t be found wanting at the end of this gruelling test. He was pulled up on his pipe opener at Carlisle three weeks ago, and should strip a lot fitter today for the improving Brian Ellison stable.
Ivilnoble – 12.55 Ascot – 1 point win 33/1
This horse won well at Hereford in March on soft going and has an excellent chance of winning this Class 3 Chase at Ascot tomorrow off bottom weight. His first run at Market Rasen this year can be ignored, as he lost a shoe during the race and was pulled up. He will strip a lot fitter today, and with the application of a tongue tie and cheek pieces for the first time, he has a good chance of upsetting some of the more fancied horses in this race. He is equal top rated on RPR as well as having the best top speed figure.
Kaizer – 1.50 Haydock – 1 point win 25/1
There is nothing to beat winning form, and this fellow kept on well in testing conditions at Carlisle a month ago to win a Class 3 contest there. This very well bred and improving 5 year old trained by Alistair Whillans, can handle the step up in class today and take this competitive heat.
2.25 Haydock - THIRD WIND 15/2 - Progressive six-year old who won the Grade 3 EBF final at Sandown back in March last year and he’s only 10lb higher here with untapped potential over this 3m trip. He won on Boxing Day at Wincanton on heavy ground off 4lb lower and his two subsequent efforts when tried over this new trip haven’t been too bad, firstly finishing fourth in the Pertemps at the festival he returned to action with a fair fifth of twelve at Newbury (both off this mark of 141) and with that hopefully blowing away the cobwebs I’m hoping he can take a further step forward over staying trips this season. Jonjo O’Neill Jr (operating at a 30% strike-rate in the past fortnight) takes the ride for a trainer he’s 1/1 for. Certainly an each-way player at the least in my opinion.
3.17 Ascot - ABBEY MAGIC 5/1 - Henry De Bromhead sends this one runner over the water and his mare arrives on the back of a victory at Cork off 6lb lower. The front two that day pulled ten-lengths clear of the third so there’s every chance if arriving in the same form that this lightly-raced nine-year old can’t go in again having been beaten only a head on return to action after a 678-day absence. She’d previously landed a hat-trick on her first three starts for this yard back in 2018 (1-1-1-2-1 for HDB) and I believe she’s got a sound chance carrying a nice weight in this ground.
The step up to 1 mile could be the key to LADY ELEANOR in this race. She has been staying on over 7f in recent starts and with her trainer having an excellent course record, today could be the day for a much improved showing. The booking of De Sousa in the saddle should not be overlooked either.
Lingfield 12:35 – selection PRINCE ROCK – 1PT WIN 13/2
This is a horse that takes his racing very well and is taken to bounce back today from a low key run last time. Despite finishing 8th PRINCE ROCK wasn’t beaten too far and if we look at his win before that where he won with ease, he has to be kept on side. De Sousa is booked again (was on board for his last win) and he will go close here.
Wolverhampton 17:30 – selection CONVERTIBLE – 1PT WIN 9/2
CONVERTIBLE is an unexposed 3 year old in a field full of exposed handicappers. He’s not going to have to be a superstar to win this contest for the in form duo of Hugo Palmer and James Doyle, who often team up to significant effect at this time of the year. Connections will be disappointed if he is not better than a class 5 handicapper and he stands out in this poor looking field.
Joseph o brien has a good record in this, winning the last two renewals with horses that looked to be a very good standard with embittered and rhinestone. Against a tough kind in captain kangaroo who won in good fashion on a bumper but feel captain kangaroo could want further than 2m in time
1.02 Naas Notebook 5/2
Can be incredibly wound up before races which led to losing a lot of energy before the Arkle Chase. Before that had very good form, beating every other horse in this race in the previous 2 grade ones. Feel that the lack of crowds should help him stay calm and be a big help to his chances.
3.17 Ascot drumconnor lad ew 15/2
Really taking to fences towards the end of last year, hitting the frame on last 4 runs off the year. Also has a win 3 weeks ago on Ayr on heavy ground as well as soft going last year so the going should be no issue for him today. Up 5lbs for that recent win but in with a squeek of in the same form.
Week 7 – Saturday 14th November
Willie Mullins looks to have a strong hand here but one i've long been keen on is Tornado Flyer. After 3 National Hunt starts, and three runs over hurdles, he was sent chasing where he took well to the discipline winning his first two chase starts. He hasnt been able to add a win in his three starts since but there is no shame in his 3rd place behind better fancied stablemates Faugheen and Easy Game at Leopardstown and his 5th place finish in the Marsh Novices at the Cheltenham Festival, beaten by 4 rivals who were all rated higher than him, including Samcro and Faugheen.
Happy Diva 2:15 Cheltenham 16/1
Has never won when fresh, so i dont think connections will have been disappointed with her 5th place finish at Wetherby two weeks ago, and if anything, will have been using that as an opportunity to get her in perfect nick for this race, which she won last year. She does return off a higher mark this time, but the way she signed off last season, with a 2nd place finish at the Cheltenham Festival in the Brown Advisory, gives her a real chance here and at a more than fair price. She was beaten into 2nd by Simply The Betts by 1.25 lengths, and while he reopposes today and is much shorter in the market, it is Happy Diva who will be 5lb better off at the weights.
You're Cool 8:30 Wolverhampton 14/1
It has been about 18 months since this one last tasted victory, but i can tell you he won't be waiting much longer! That victory was recorded of a mark of 79 in a 0-80 Class 4 handicap, and tomorrow he will go off a mark of 61 in a 0-70 Class 5 handicap. Now its been a case of his mark has been falling for a long time now, but his last two runs, both off a mark of 62, were in 0-80 and 0-82 Class 4 contests. This means that although his mark is only 1lb lower, he will be tackling significantly less talented opposition today, with his highest rated opponent the 69 rated Secretfact. In his penultimate race, he was only a neck and a nose away from victory, beaten into 3rd place, and those rivals were rated 75 and 78. Today represents a good opportunity for a more than capable horse (4 time C&D winner) to take advantage of; and a price of 20/1 at present is far higher than he should be!
He was a bit short of the top novice chasers last season but Scored over 2m5f at Newton Abbot on reappearance; still unexposed at this sort of trip, he is a Winner of four hurdle races, a NH flat race and two chases from 2m to 2m 5f on ground varying from good to soft. A winner at 2-1 in a chase at Newton Abbot over 2m 5f (good to soft) he has a decent record running left handed and has two wins at Cheltenham .
CHELTENHAM 13.05 Kilfilum Cross WIN 9/2
He has won two hurdle races, a chase and a point-to-point from 3m to 3m 1f on good and soft ground. Finished 14l behind Sir Jack Yeats when fourth of 9 at 9-2 on his latest outing in a chase at Fakenham He is a Useful chaser who ended last term with fine second in the Kim Muir Chase here. Looked rusty last time out after a 7 month lay off .cheekpieces back on now and bold showing expected
LINGFIELD 12.45 Oh This Is Us EW 15/2
The facts are 1m around Lingfield seems to suit him really well. Two years back he won the 1m final here and the last time out was the first time he has been back to Lingfield since. His Latest win at Chelmsford City in September he has a top jockey on board and is Currently 2-3 over C&D;
I quietly fancied Robbie Power’s mount to run a big race at last season Cheltemham festival but things didn’t go right for him that day. 3 from 9 at the track. Has won twice coming off big lay offs. I feel he’s under achieved a bit and there is still plenty more to come. I’d be worried if they gave Siruh Du Lac an easy lead.
1:05C What A Moment 1pt win 13/2
David pipes gelding has ran in this race twice and won twice off marks of 127 & 132. All be it that was in 2016 & 2017. Now a 10 year old he runs off 120 which puts him right back in the mix here. 12lb below last winning mark. Ground won’t be a problem. Pipe in decent enough form.
3:25C Captain Tom Cat 1pt win 7/2
Captain Tom Cat rated 127 could still be a fair bit ahead of the handicapper. Ran a cracker last time at Cheltemham. Leonard taking off 7lb and probably the only front runner in the field. This one could be away and gone by the time they are at the bottom of the famous Cheltemham hill.
A winning reappearance at Newton Abbot should have put AL DANCER spot on for this race. He is relatively lightly raced and the form of his most recent run was given a timely boost by Mr Tommytucker franking the form during the week. The good to soft ground should be perfect for him and having won over and extended two-and-a-half miles in the past, this slight step back in trip should not inconvenience him. Sam Twiston-Davies maintains the partnership for his father the combination command utmost respect back on their local track. The yard know exactly what it takes to win this race having done so twice recently with Splash Of Ginge (2017) and Little Josh (2010). Course experience will prove an invaluable tool against this field and this striking grey has the ability to go close.
2-50 CHELTENHAM – DEBESTYMAN 8/1
Last seen out just over three weeks ago, he improved significantly from his seasonal debut to outrun his massive odds in the squareintheair.com handicap hurdle. He was always midfield and enjoyed a charmed run at the right time to deliver a strong challenge to the well regarded Captain Tom Cat. That rival got first run and stayed on strongly in the closing stages but DEBESTYMAN was far from disgraced. He should be able to confirm recent form with the re-opposing Weather Front and last year’s winner Golan Fortune, who were both disappointing last time. The Suzy Smith trained seven-year-old won a point to point race over this same trip so stamina is unlikely to prove his undoing. A return to this sort of trip and a reunion with Micheal Nolan will be in his favour and the pair are capable of going close here.
3-40 LINGFIELD – JUDICIAL 11/2
JUDICIAL looks primed to bid for back-to-back wins in this particular race. He is a model of consistency and despite now being eight-years-old he showed he was better than ever this season by taking competitive races at Newcastle and Chester. Running in the familiar colours of the Elite Racing Club, it will be of little surprise to see him produce another good run at a track he clearly likes. Paul Mulrennan takes over in the saddle this afternoon replacing Callum Rodriguez and that could be a potential game changer. Judicial tends to react positively to such moves, having also won for Joe Fanning and Dougie Costello when they were given the opportunity. A big run is likely now that he returns to the polytrack for the first time this season.
3:40 Lingfield >> GOOD EFFORT WIN 2/1 Best bet of the day for me by a long way.Unless one of the possible dangers runs above average and this one wastes its good draw here I think this is my best chance of a winner today and so rates me NAPOLEON hand.I think this will win if it get out of the gates ok.
2:50 Cheltenham >> GOLAN FORTUNE E/W 11/2 This was a confident selection last week and was also a tad unlucky.Happy to go in again as will only come on from that run and as a CD winner is a very strong E/W BET especially with conditions to suit again.Very unlucky in last weeks run I am looking for payback today.Good luck if you follow.
The trainer has a good record with horses having their first run in cheekpieces, blinkers or a visor. The horse must be aged between 7-y-o to 11-y-o and when these run at Uttoxeter she has had 3 winners from 5 runners
14.15 Cheltenham HAPPY DIVA (EW) 16/1
I think this has been the plan for the stable after its warm up run at Wetherby. Won this race last and was second at the Festival. Has won 3 from 6 when racing 15 days or less after last race and is best at 2m4f plus.
14.50 Cheltenham GOLAN FORTUNE (EW) 11/2
I put this horse up last week and after a good run at Aintree and loathed to desert him. They try the visor today in an effort to liven him up and he did win the corresponding race last year. Has won only time he raced 7 days or less after last race.
Currently Good to Soft with a definite chance of more (Heavy) rain on Saturday morning. Tweaking the rating to accommodate that throws up a few of interest: Siruh Du Lac, Simply The Betts, Aso, AL Dancer & Domaine De L’Isle. The latter’s lower rating puts me off. AL D* has a recent win at lower class and may make the frame. Aso has interesting form and experience and is wide in the betting so maybe a small side bet on that one with extra places on offer! I can see SDL & STB both relishing this and fighting it out but for me Simply The Betts just has the edge today.
Cheltenham 14:50 HcpHurdle 2m 7f 208y Cl1 Tea Clipper - Stake 1pt Win. NR
Staying at Cheltenham for the next race Tea Clipper & To Be Fair are the two catching my eye. Both like the going for hitting the frame, TBF has had some luck at the course but ultimately TC has a better turn of speed and just the edge when looking at previous runs and takes my money today.
Wolverhampton 20:30 Hcp 5f 21y Cl5 Smokey - Stake 1pt Win 4/1
Last race of the day, a short sharp sprint between 11 runners. None of them are particulary fast but 4 of them should live up to their proven speeds so it comes down to a good draw and hopefully a good get away. If it all falls into place Smokey should see her 4th win in a row.
A horse I’ve backed numerous times ! Who clearly processes immense talent and should have made it 4 wins from 6 starts last season in this race last year but for coming down at the second last when seemingly power looked in cruise control. A grade one winner in Boxing Day at kempton last season means he runs off 5lb higher this season and my only concern would be Tizzard’s horses are needing the first run back. Hopefully Tizzard has him primed and I expect a huge run from him.
Triumph hurdle trial 1230 Cheltenham Tip Hell Red (win) Evens
Couldn’t have been more impressive in his British hurdle debut winning by 12 lengths without seeing a rival. Paul nicholls yard couldn’t be in better form this past fortnight (34%). Made a very favourable impression on his run at Chepstow and sits 5th favourite for the triumph it self. Hopefully he’ll be able to rip around Cheltenham like Chepstow and gain another win.
Kardean NH flat race 355 Cheltenham Tip Elle est belle (win) 9/4
Very impressive debut run winning in the brindle in a decent race last time out at Aintree winning by 5 1/2 lengths very easily. Skeletons are still in very good form recently. If the ground gets any softer it shouldn’t be a problem and it was pretty wet first time out. No surprise to see her upped in class and she could easily win again.
Violet’s Lads has dropped to a good mark and despite his best form coming over 7f, he should go well in this 1m 0-55 handicap. Last season he won off 60 then placed twice off 63. He was well backed here in August off a mark off 61 and travelled strongly for a long way but he had taken a keen hold in a first-time hood and didn’t get home. He had a very wide trip throughout on his latest start so did well to finish as close as he did. The handicapper has been extremely generous in dropping him 4lbs for that run and off a mark off 54, with Ray Dawson taking off a further 3lbs he looks dangerously weighted.
14:15 Cheltenham – Al Dancer E/W 8/1
The likes of Saint Sonnet, Mister Fisher and Simply The Betts have all been well supported antepost and while they are all respected, the value has dried up a touch. Therefore, I’m chancing an E/W play on Al Dancer. He was a talented novice last season despite not as winning as much as he probably should have. He did though finish a good 2nd at this meeting last year behind subsequent Arkle winner Put The Kettle On and he also doesn’t have much to find with Mister Fisher based on their Doncaster form from January. He looked better than ever on seasonal reappearance when giving weight and a beating to subsequent winner Master Tommytucker. He relished the longer trip that day and there could be plenty more to come.
19:30 Wolverhampton – Cityzen Serg 5/1
On debut in March he was beaten a nose by The First King over CD and that horse is now rated 87 having won a good handicap at Sandown. He was then 2nd at Kempton behind Yuri Gagarin, and just ahead of Labeebb, who is now 89 rated. On his next start he was 3rd behind Tenbury Wells, who followed up now 90 rated. In 2nd was the now 87 rated Astro King and in 4th was Doubling Dice who won his next two races and is 87 rated. On his turf debut he finished 4th beaten 15 lengths but once again it’s a race that has worked out well. My Oberon is 108 rated, while the 2nd and 3rd both won subsequently and are 84 and 81 rated respectively. Cityzen Serg was held on handicap debut in 0-95 company off 77 and then disappointed on soft ground when last seen, but off a mark of 72 he looks worth chancing on his return to the AW.
This one was very unlucky last season came there travelling like the winner, until knuckling on landing 2 out, has dropped down below last winning mark , and the forecast rain hitting there tomorrow is a plus.
105 Cheltenham What a Moment 1pt win 6/1
Had what I would call a racecourse gallop last time out at Chepstow, never put into the race by Scudamore and finished 8th but not given any sort of ride from him, now it could be the horse who has problems is gone but I feel that was a prep run for this race which he has won twice before, he is also 12lb below his last winning mark.
325 Cheltenham Keppage 1pt win 9/1
Now this one could be anything, won 3 races last season with mud flying all over the place and first time up sluiced up at Chepstow, 2nd time out they went so slow he hardly got over the hurdles but still won nicely and his last win at Doncaster more like it. He will enjoy forecast conditions will go a better pace here so will help his jumping must go close.
Trained by Harry Whittington,who has a 30% strike rate at this course in the last 12 months. On board is G.Sheehan who also has a decent course record. He has been on the horse seven times,winning four and placing once. This 7 year old gelding has four wins from just five starts over the larger obstacles. Won last two runs,both at this course. Won at end of January in a Class 2 Novices Handicap Chase. Form from that race has worked out well with six different horses winning since. Latest outing was in the Class 1 Handicap Plate at the Festival. Stayed on well to win comfortably.
11.52 Uttoxeter. BUTTSBURY LADY. 3/1
Trained by the in form Nicky Henderson and ridden by James McGrath. He do has saddled 11 winners from 36 runners in the last 14 days. Won a Bumper on debut at this course,before finishing fifth last time out when having been backed into favourite. Was ridden by a 10 lb claimer that day,and clearly needs stronger handling. Well bred and will relish the switch to hurdling.
2.50 Cheltenham. DELL ARCA. Each way. NR
Dell ARCA is the mount of 7 lb claimer Fergus Gillard,who has a good record on the horse. He has two wins and a place in four rides. Won a 3 mile Class 2 Handicap Hurdle at Newbury last time out,and prior to that won a Class 3 at Aintree over a similar trip. Trained by David Pipe who has saddled the winner of this race twice in the past eight years. Dell ARCA is now 11 years of age but seems reinvigorated of late. Strong each way chance.
David Pipe has won this race on 3 previous occasions and I fancy that he has another really good chance here with this new recruit. I am sure after it's last two runs that he has schooled him well and won't make the same errors. All the stats seem to point his way and he's surely going to be there at the end.
Uttoxeter 12.57 - Topkapi Star 0.5 pts e.w 12/1
I always think that course form is really important, especially at Uttoxeter which is quite a quirky track, so I think we have found a bit of value in Amy Murphy's young filly. Jack Quinlan has good course form as well, 3 wins from 8. So between the two of them we should see a nice return.
Wetherby 1.48 - Beau Bay 0.5pts e.w 14/1
Couldn't decide which of the two Dr Richard Newland's horses to choose here, but have thrown my hat in with the outsider of the two. He is only 1lb higher than his win last December over course and distance and with Charlie Hammond taking the ride again, should be in the frame at least. He is 2 from 3 at wetherby and if the ground stays soft this will be a bonus. He has a 25% win and 75% place strike rate here too.
No it’s not a greyhound tip from the 11.52 at Romford it’s the UTTOXETER maiden hurdle over 2m 4f that BUTTSBURY LADY should win with her head in her chest. Obvious leading connections you can forget her last run in a bumper as the young jockey had no control of her. She has now been schooled over hurdles and is ready to go. Very confident selection.
CHELTENHAM 14.15 - AL DANCER - 0.5 Points EACH WAY. 8/1
With the sponsors paying SIX places, AL DANCER is a bet to nothing. Even if the maestro Gavin allows FOUR places this horse will go very close especially after it’s superb seasonal debut at Newton Abbott where it won at the amazing odds of 11/4 in a four runner field. Loved the trip last time out which just happens to be today’s distance and it will be nice to see Nigel and Sam in the winners enclosure.
WOLVERHAMPTON 20.30 - ROUNDABOUT MAGIC - 0.5 Points EACH WAY 16/1
A horse from my tracker system and in the last race of the day ROUNDABOUT MAGIC Is due another win after some unlucky runs at “ the difficult track to win at Lingfield Park “ Wolverhampton’s sweeping turn should give Callum Shepherd the chance to use its finishing speed to get up in the final furlong, a feat Tom Marquand produced last time it won albeit at Lingers.
Had problems since twice winning this race in 2016 and 2017. He has dropped 12lb since that later win and with David McIntyre in the plate this year a further 7lb is off his back. If returning to anything like his old form then he is well handicapped to complete a hat trick of wins. Although 10 years old the stable has won this in years past with Swing Bill who was 10 and 11 when successful. His run at Wincanton five weeks ago I hope was a run in prep for what I believe is his season target.
Mister Fisher - 2.15 Cheltenham 5/1
It was a commendable effort put up by Mister Fisher at the festival back in March. Beaten 4 1/4 lgths (9 lghts in front of Saint Bonnet) in fourth behind three horses that have achieved four wins, four seconds and two thirds in previous grade 1 festival races. At present the ground is good-to-soft and that will see Mister Fisher in better light than the soft he raced on at the festival. A winner over C/D is a plus given that 20 of last 28 winners had won at Cheltenham before and course form is important.
Colours Of My Life (EW) - 3.55 Cheltenham 12/1
Alan King’s last two runners in this Listed mare’s bumper that concludes the Saturday card have won at 16/1 and 14/1. Colours Of My Life represents the stable this season and the mare shaped well on her racecourse debut when 5th of 11 at Newbury back in February and could be capable of more improvement.
Having finished an excellent 4th to A Plus Tard in the Close Brothers at the Festival, The Russian Doyen returned to action this season at Fontwell over hurdles. Running behind the pace against the rail, change of tactics (On outside of field, forcing the pace), saw him finish well to finish 3rd. Should have brought nearer to full fitness. A tall horse, who seemed to lose interest last season, if he wasnt front rank. The hurdle race showed a different horse altogether. Many dangers in this race including those to the head of the market. But Happy Diva may prove to be the biggest threat.
Commit Or Quit 15:33 Wetherby 11/2
This 3 mile race may not take a lot of winning on the accounts of their previous runs but with Commit Or Quit being a pace pusher may give the novice an advantage in this field. Hopefully off this weight he can pinch a lead.
Le Patriote 13:40 Cheltenham 12/1
A novice a event where there is not much between the field but if Le Patriote takes another step forward then he'll have a big chance. Hopefully the rain wont get into the ground too much as he hasnt shown his best on the softer thing.
This well-named daughter of Kings Theatre has run most of her best races at Cheltenham. She won this race last year and although she is 8lb higher in the handicap, she can repeat the feat this year. She had a pipe opener at Wetherby a fortnight ago and will strip fitter for that, and Richard Patrick is excellent value for his 3lb claim. The main danger is likely to be Spiritofthegames, who is up in class but also runs really well at Prestbury Park.
Who’s My Jockey – 2.50 Cheltenham – 1 point win 16/1
A wide open race which could well go to the outsider of the field, Who’s My Jockey. He has run some very good races at Cheltenham and here more than anywhere else, course form is critical. Despite changing stables from Philip Hobbs to Richard Hobson in the Spring, he has run some good races for his new trainer and will be fit after a close 5th at Kempton earlier this week, if his exertions then don’t take their toll.
Dagueneau – 3.25 Cheltenham - 1 point win 12/1
With Kepagge and Captain Tom Cat having each won their last 3 races, and with Nicky Henderson’s Son of Camas the likely favourite, this offers some good value for the rest of the field. Dagueneau has been running some good races in defeat, and as a 5 year old is still improving and can build on his two recent runs by taking this race for the Emma Lavelle stable.
1.13 Wetherby - MIAH GRACE 7/2 - This mare enjoyed a good campaign last season with three wins, twice in novice company before ending with a handicap success at Doncaster off 125. She’s 8lb higher now but has been dropped a pound for her comeback sixth over 2m here a month ago, this step up in trip could bring out more improvement and her wins have been on either soft/heavy ground, so the forecast rain will be welcomed.
2.15 Cheltenham - SLATE HOUSE 12/1 - Unlucky in this race last year when coming to grief at the second last having looked like he was going to go very close, now 5lb higher but there’s still room for manoeuvre off this mark I feel, he’s a three time course winner which is always a positive round here and he won the Grade 1 Kauto Star at Kempton on Boxing Day over 3m on soft ground. This drop back in trip isn’t a problem, he’s gone well fresh before and if running to anywhere near his best he’s a player with a clear round, each-way terms mostly five places though they are paying six with some firms.
A horse on a hugely upward trajectory. SIMPLY THE BETTS has excellent course form and the ground which is sure to get softer judging by the weather forecast, will suit well. He is probably a graded performer running in a handicap, which is shown by the weight he has to carry but he ought to be good enough to shrug this off here.
Wolverhampton 18:00 – selection MASHAAN – 1PT WIN 9/4
MASHAAN came a credible 2nd to impressive winner Anatiya over course and distance last time and he had a hot odds on favourite back in 3rd. He has experience on his side here in what looks a fairly weak race on paper. The form of his last race has yet to be tested but it looks a solid enough contest to my eyes and he should be well up to winning this.
Wolverhampton 19:30 – selection CHINESE WHISPERER – 0.5PT EW 16/1
A horse who has ultimately disappointed since winning at Wolverhampton last season, he has yet to hit the frame in low grade handicaps this season. Perhaps for that reason he was pitched into a decent juvenile hurdle at Kempton on his last start where he was well fancied in the betting but again disappointed. Alan King’s record when switching his jumpers back to the all weather at this time of year is impressive however and CHINESE WHISPERER is back at a track he has won at before. Certainly not without hope.
4;05 CHELTENHAM PANIC ATTACK EW This 4 year old filly trained by d pipe, This horse has one won in the hurdles and placed too so has the experience and gone on to win, out if 2 runs on hurdles one won and one placed I feel he can go on to win another form says he can.
12;45 LINGFIELD PISTOLETTO EW 40/1 This 3 year old gelding horse trained by J Ryan On the flat turf out of 11 runs he has won twice and placed twice so not a stranger to the flat, can he make another win? Less weight and age than the other competitors in this race which gives him an advantage.
Lots of these runners have great potential for the season, however the market has found them all, so the one I like at the prices is Coole Cody. No doubt this horse doesn't have the 'sexy' profile of some others, but he is a progressive chaser, with course form and has a great racing weight. Connections believe they are well handicapped, so at the prices he is selected as each way value.
11.40 Lingfield - Headley George (ew) 20/1
This is a bad race, but Headley George has caught my eye in a couple of maidens and now goes handicapping off a lowly mark. This horse is actually a good-looking type, and has undoubtedly needed his runs both for fitness and experience. He showed more last time at Kempton in a hot maiden, indeed all three of his runs have been against decent opposition. Now racing at a realistic level expect to see some big improvement and he should represent decent value.
1.20 Lingfield - Anisoptera 10/3
This horse stayed on really well to win at Kempton last time, and looked like a stayer to follow in this grade. Lightly raced Anisoptera has really found her feet since going handicapping and racing over a trip and still looks ahead of the handicapper. The likely strong pace in this race will suit, and with the excellent Ray Dawson in the saddle, she should take all the beating.
Week 6 – Saturday 7th November
Not a frequent winner by any means, but capable of a big run on his day and is arguably unlucky not to have more wins against his name. The handicapper had cut him a little bit of slack here with a three pound drop in the handicap. This is his ground and I suspect there could be a big run coming.
Brando 1:30 Doncaster 7/2
Brando really bounced back to form last time, running a cracker to finished second beaten only a nose in the Group 1 Champions Sprint Stakes. This is a drop to listed company which he should absolutely be able to capitalise on if running to that form again. Dakota Gold reopposes having beaten Brando almost 5 lengths so rates as his big danger but Brando will be 5lb better off at the weight this time, and has shown he can take his form to another level still.
Present Man 3:35 Wincanton 15/2
It had been 21 months since Present Man had managed to finish a race when he won last time out at Chepstow, and it was his first run in just under a year. It was a welcome return to form for this horse who’s last win had come in this race in 2018, a race he also won in 2017. Given that he shows he retained his zest for racing last time off 2lb lower, and we know this race has likely been the target all along again, i’m happy to back him at the price.
Best effort yet when landing a competitive handicap at Market Rasen (23.9f) in August. Lost little caste in defeat when runner-up at Chepstow next time and another bold show anticipated
DONCASTER 15.15 KINGBROOK WIN 6/1
I'm a fan of Ian Williams and Richard Kingscote and when they team up i take extra notice ,and Ian Williams has two runners in the race .. Kingbrook He was a Fairly useful juvenile for Mark Johnston .One of six 3yr olds in the field and completely unexposed at this distance having had just one start over further than 10f. Ian Williams saddled the 3rd in the latest renewal of this race and the winner the year before. Kingbrook will once again be ridden by Richard Kingscote and has a nice draw in stall 22.
WINCANTON 16.05 MONT SEGUR WIN 7/4
MONT SEGUR has been off the track for 11 months and has undergone wind surgery during that time, but he posted a useful effort when successful at Ludlow and returning for a red-hot yard, he may well be up to conceding a penalt
Portrush Ted has relatively few miles in the clock but in all of his completed starts he has finished inside the first two places. He has won on his seasonal debut for the last three seasons, so Warren Greatrex clearly has no problems getting him fit and ready to race. He has prior experience of winning at this track having landed a Grade 2 bumper where some decent types were well and truly beaten including Amoola Gold, Mister Fisher, Al Dancer and Harambe. Adrian Heskin once again takes the reins and he knows this nine-year-old inside out. Likely to be prominent from the outset and racing in the familiar colours of the McNeill Family, Portrush Ted is likely to make his presence felt.
1-50 WINCANTON CILL ANNA 5/1
Paul Nicholls has won this twice with decent mares in recent years including If You Say Run and Violin Davis. Cill Anna was a little slow to come to hand last season but she eventually found the winning habit when winning a mare’s novice hurdle at Warwick last December. She followed that up with a seven length defeat of Miss Honey Ryder over this course and distance before she was raised in grade to contest a listed race at Doncaster back in February. Harry Cobden was on her that day and despite coming under a ride 2 from home, the pair kept on in game fashion to see off the attentions of Ziggy Rose and Aimee De Sivola. With the promise of further improvement to come, this exciting five year old has stamina in abundance and her rivals will know they have had a race today.
3-35 WINCANTON DANNY WHIZZBANG 4/1
Danny Whizzbang has won on his seasonal reappearance for the last two years since joining Paul Nicholls and this solid three-mile chaser will bid to get off to a wining start here. Genuine good to soft ground seems to suit him perfectly well and following another bout of wind surgery, there should be every reason to expect further improvement today. Paul Nicholls has won this race for the last three years but it is notable that he landed it with an up and coming sort in Give Me A Copper last year. Stablemate Present Man has to lumber top-weight yet again and pulled up in this race last year so that is off putting. This lightly raced seven-year-old is open to further progression and under a very much in-form Harry Coben, the duo look the ones to beat.
1:00 Aintree >> QUOI DE NEUF 7/2 Stands out as a bet here especially with the jockey booking for this stable.BRIAN HUGHES the top northern jockey is riding out of his skin at the moment and with EVAN WILLIAMS stable ticking along nicely I am drawn to this horse.This 6 year old has only had 7 runs to date but looks just the type to make significant progress here with market confidence also a big factor.I rate this as a decent win bet today with a clear round.
1:35 Aintree >> GOLAN FORTUNE E/W 6/1 On first looks this horse was a mystery to me price wise so I looked a little deeper. The jockey I am not familiar with but one thing for sure is the horse is.With a 27% strike rate on all runs to date boasting an impressive 4 wins and 4 places from just 15 runs I am very happy to put this up as a very tasty E/W bet.Good luck if you follow :)
Made modest late headway last time, staying on after the last in a decent race at Cheltenham last time, the horse usually needs his first run and won 2nd time up last season. He is upped in trip today and cheekpieces are reapplied so expect a decent run under ideal conditions 15 runners or less / DSLR 25 days or less / November or December : 1F111
13.07 Kelso COOLE HILL (EW) 8/1
Was not disgraced last time out at Wetherby and has dropped another 2lb so he is now on a very good mark one hopefully he can take advantage of soon. Stable in decent form as well. He goes well at this track : 121 and does seem to go on any ground
15.35 Wincanton PRESENT MAN (EW) 15/2
Has had a run this season unlike last season when he was pulled up in this race. Won last time at Chepstow a track which was not as suitable as here, so expect another good today and yes I keep picking B Frost’s rides so hopefully she can win for us again. October and November in chase races : 11U111P and has won 3 from 6 at this track.
Let’s have an afternoon at Wincanton! Currently small chance of rain but nothing to change the going which is Good with some Good to Soft about. Top of the card is Oleg, Nichols yard, down in class but so far, he has not liked this distance. Under the radar we have Buster Thomas, Keep Moving and Hey Bud with course wins. Hey Bud, is stepping up but with an in form Jockey. Keep moving has some Sire form but the speed of Buster Thomas takes my vote.
Wincanton 13:15 HcpChase 1m 7f 65y Cl3 Lord Baddesley - Stake 1pt Win 11/4.
P.Nichols and H. Cobden: Its hard to see any others getting close for this at first look. But we also have Lord Baddesley (Gordon/Cannon) not so much form and probably a different style of runner to FOV. However a decent speed rating may give us an exciting finish here and my money goes with his lordship.
Wincanton 15:35 HcpChase 3m 1f 30y Cl1 Present Man- Stake 1pt Win 15/2
Looking at the trainer stats for Wincanton, Nicholls horses perform well and with 3 on the card for this race that presents a quandary. Jockey wise, H.Cobden on Danny Whizzbang has the stats edge. However, I’m going to plump for Bryony Frost on Present Man: Won at distance, course and class, so long as the ground stays as it is it’ll suit for a speedy finish.
Paul Nicholls charge has a perfect a record when first run of the season. This 7 year old wouldn’t mind the ground if it stays good as all 3 wins under rules have good in the description. Harry Cobden’s pick is lightly raced and surely has the most room to grow this season and the most potential to become a grade 1 horse this season. Perfect record when running in November under rules ( 2 runs 2 wins ) in the previous 2 seasons one in a grade 2 gives this horse a massive chance.
327 Kelso Tip Elle Est Garnde ( win ) 4/1
Kieth dalgleish’s runner was pulled up last time out when sent off favourite but he was well backed that day and the trainer must of thought he was gonna run a big race. Still yet to win a race in his short career. His overall rating last November was 103 now running off 86 shows how well handicapped he is. Peter Coleman taking another 10lb off his back this afternoon means he’ll be nearly 2 stone lighter then the top weights. Dalgleish is in pretty good form (25%) this last fortnight and with the weight pull he stands a massive chance.
700 Chelmsford Tip Tie A Yellowribbon ( win ) 5/2
Finally broke his maiden tag last time on his 2nd run for his new trainer at this course when taking advantage of his dwindling handicap mark. Raised 2 points on his overall rating for his half length victory makes things a little tougher here but with this horse still being massively down on his highest handicap mark and finally getting his head in front may have given him a confidence boost. Down a furlong Tonight and stands a massive chance.
Look no further than the inform Paul Nicholls horse here. Present man won this in 2017 & 2018 off a 2lb lower mark than today. He’s 4 from 11 at the track. Will be suited by the ground. Bryony frost in fine form and not many ride Wincanton better than her.
1:50W It’s Probably Me 1pt win 11/2
This is a tough race but I think there is a lot more to come from It’s Probably Me. Looking back to her bumper form she was only beaten 3L and giving 5lb to Vegas blue who’s went on to show just how good she is. Off a feather weight here, with Daly & Patrick in great for this 5 year old could take all the beaten.
1:35A Unowhatimeanharry 1pt win 18/1 15pR4
Slowly falling down the weights as this 12 year old is way past his best but I’m going to give this one a chance tomorrow. On his day none of these would get near him. Past it now but with Kevin Brogan taking off 7lb could put him bang there. 7 wins from 14 on soft ground a 1 from 3 at the track.
Well the usual tough Saturday race too get stuck into, a number of these could win this hence reason going ew as its wide open and I think the one I’ve chosen is too big in the market at time of writing ,this one went off at 11/2 last time out in a good race at Cheltenham never really jumped with any great enthusiasm that day but can forgive a horse a bad run there, he’s 4lbs below his last winning mark and 13lbs below his highest mark, stable continue in good form so here’s hoping.
Kelso 142 Exit To Where 1pt win 5/1
This one won well last time out here sent for home along way out last time ,so a slightly harder race it’s in today so hopefully will hold onto it a bit longer, is a young horse so there must still be a little bit of improvement in him, stable remain in reasonable form and the owner does like a winner at this track
Doncaster 345 Get Knotted 0.5pts EW 10/1
Those who follow my tips (not many) will know I picked this one last week ew and it ran a good race in conditions it doesn’t really like, was a big price Friday night and backed all day Saturday down too about 5/1 , now tomorrow with ground drying all the time he will get his preferred ground has dropped another 1lb so fingers crossed last weeks exertions have not taken its toll, and he’s not heavily backed again
A 10 year old Presenting gelding,trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Bryony Frost. Horse has won this race twice in the last three years. Pulled up in this race last year having had a poor prep run. Was an average hurdler with just one win from seven runs,but has become a top class chaser. Seven wins and two places from 18 races over the larger obstacles. Won on seasonal debut in a Class 2 Handicap Chase at Chepstow. Finished strongly to win by a nose. Has four wins from eleven runs in this Class of race. All victories have been on similar going to the forecasted ground for this race. Expect another bold bid .
Aintree 1.35. MR.SCRUMPY win. 5/1
Trained by Jedd O’Keefe,who has a 28% strike rate with his hurdlers over the last 12 months. Has the promising Joe Colliver in the saddle. This trainer/jockey pairing have a 30% win record when combining. Won at Wetherby last time out on seasonal reappearance. Ran on strongly after the final flight. Won final start of last season ,winning a Class 2 Nivices Handicap Hurdle at Newcastle. All wins have been in similar going.
Aintree 2.40 CALL ME LORD 7/2
French bred,being by Slickly. Trained by Nicky Henderson and has James Bowen booked for the ride. Henderson has a 28% strike rate in hurdles over the last year and has his runners in good current form, a one in three win record in the last 14 days. Stable won this race last year. Won the International Hurdle at Cheltenham,with the form working out well. Four horses have since gone on to win. Finished second at Sandown on second last run in a Class 1 Listed Hurdle. Three different horses from that five runner race have gone on to win since.
This November handicap looks set to be run at a frantic gallop with several front runners declared and that pace scenario should suit Sam Cooke. He was very impressive when winning at Chester on soft ground last year, but then missed the rest of the year with a broken bone in his leg. He reappeared after a 428-day absence in the Bet365 Trophy at Newmarket in July and shaped well in 5th. He ran a cracker last time out when beaten a nose by Jeremiah, and that horse would have gone close in a good handicap next time out if he got a run. A 3lb rise for that performance is fair as the front two pulled five lengths clear of the 5th. The subsequent 104-day absence is of no concern as he runs well fresh and the Beckett yard are in flying form.
15:35 Wincanton – Potterman E/W 10/1
A very tricky race to work out but Potterman is my tentative selection. He was impressive at Market Rasen in August when winning by five lengths and that form has been franked by the 2nd winning over hurdles next time and the 3rd, El Presente, winning his next two. He travelled well when 2nd behind the impressive Secret Investor at Chepstow last month and that form was done no harm when the 3rd, Some Chaos, came out and won. He’s 4lbs better off with El Presente and 2lbs better off with Some Chaos on today’s terms so has every chance of confirming form with that duo on ground set to suit.
18:30 Chelmsford – Gumra 2/1
This is a very weak contest and I’m happy to side with last time out winner Gumra. She ran a decent race in 0-70 company on handicap debut at Kempton when never nearer and built on that run when landing a 0-60 handicap at Newcastle last time out. She impressed with her attitude that day when really battling on inside the final furlong. The form has already been franked by the runner-up Great Colaci winning since. I think there’s plenty more to come from this nicely bred half-sister to Sky Defender (104) and she looks well placed to record back-to-back victories. Her nearest two market rivals, Dreamboat Annie and Phoenix Star are thoroughly exposed in comparison.
This race could be between the two Paul Nicholls horses at the top of the weights. Both have a case for the win but I am going to go for Present Man. He won this race in 2017 and 2018 but had a poor showing last year, however, he won at Chepstow last month in a three mile C2 race so looks to be back in form again.
Coole Hall – 1.07 Kelso 7/1
Had a seven month lay off before running seventh at Wetherby last month. Probably needed that run but still ran quite well. He knows how to win round Kelso and that last run should have him in good form for this race. Dropped 2lbs after that race which should help as well.
Raecius Felix – 1.42 Kelso 11/2
Won over course and distance in the middle of September and followed up with a win over a slightly shorter trip at Sedgefield three weeks later. On both occasions he jumped really well and finished both races full of running. Great opportunity here for the hat trick back at the same course and distance as in September.
Paul Nicholls has much success at this November Wincanton meeting and blindly following his runners have proved profitable in recent times. Nicholls has his string in great order and has an excellent record in this race so his unexposed chaser Oleg is taken to make amends for a late fall at Perth on his return when getting his second wind and chasing down the leader before coming to grief at the third last. Winner of two flat races during the summer, Oleg remains unexposed over fences and runs on a course where he won a novice handicap 13 months ago.
It's Probably Me 13:50 Wincanton 6/1
It's Probably Me looks to have been handed a lenient-looking opening handicap mark, and remains open to improvement, so she’s an appealing candidate. Fairly useful bumper winner who needed only to be pushed out to turn the tables with Molly Ollys Wishes from Warwick at Doncaster (19.4f) in February.
Danny Whizzbang 15:35 Wincanton 4/1
Nicholls simply loves to win this race, ten wins in total, five in last ten years, including the last three. All his winners have fit a simple profile, rated 145 or less and 0-1 starts in the current season. That's produced 17 won and placed from 31 runs. From his three entries the unexposed Danny Whizzbang is taken to enhance Paul Nicholls' tremendous record in this race. The 7-y-o makes his handicap debut off a potentially handy mark and a progressive young chaser is a typical sort the trainer targets at the race. Winner of a Grade 2 novice chase on his seasonal return last year and won on seasonal debut the season before so clearly go's well fresh after undergoing a second wind operation.
The Badger Beer should now incorporate Nicholls in the title as he has won last 3 could have been 4 but for a last fence fall. As he has trained the last 4 winners, why makes this complicated. He has Present Man & Danny Whizzbang. Present Man has won this twice in 4 attempts and is a regular at Wincanton having won 3 from 5 chases here, the other two being non-finishes. He is above his highest winning mark of 144, running here off 146, has little room to spare. Normally runs best fresh but comes here after winning a Chepstow Veterans Handicap off 144. Danny Whizzbang has potential to improve pass his current mark of 145, with the word good in the going description. This will be his first ever run out of novice company but I'm sure Nicholls has had this race in mind for quite some time. Whizzy has always looked a chaser from he entered the scene and his win over Reserve Tank & Ardlethen over the Newbury fences shows the potential he has. His next two runs were without the word good, saw him beaten 20l but they were in Graded company against the likes of Copperhead, Black Op, Slate House & Two For Gold. His best performances in his limited appearances have seen him around the pace. He's another who runs best fresh.
Politicise 14:00 Naas 11/1
From the hot McGuiness stable, this ex-Haggas horse has proven a revelation since stepped up in trip on this softer going. Although, this is a fiercely competitive handicap, the draw seems to scupper a lot of previous runners in this race chances as normally high numbers figure well here. Politicise previous winning jockey, Gavin Ryan has been booked to ride last year’s winner, Jukebox Jive but is drawn in 9 which not help him today. The selection can cap a wonderful couple of weeks for McGuiness stable by winning this.
It's Probably Me 13:50 Wincanton 11/2
Henry Daly’s charge has been highly tried in the past and comes into this race running off 121. Making her hurdle debut in grade 1 company is not normally the norm but she did & unseated Richard Patrick at the 2nd. Next time was basically a flat race with only 4 out 9 hurdles jumped but jumped them airy but stayed on well on the run-in to finish 3rd. made favourite next time in novice company but again showed novicey tendencies to finish 2nd. Reversed form next time out with the winner, staying on well. In receipt of a lot weight from the fancy-flavoured horse, she looks well worth a punt in her first foray into handicap company.
Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden Saturday Wincanton horse just had wind operation and I have to explain in fifty words why it will win. Rated 145 in this tight listed Badgers Beers Trophy handicap, a race Paul loves to win at hos local track, DANNY WHIZZBANG should do exactly that and win and bar a fall WILL BE PLACED.
WINCANTON 13.50 - PERFECT MYTH - 0.5 Point Each Way 12/1
An in form Mare who is loving her racing and comes here with a great chance of adding the Richard Barber Memorial Mares Handicap Hurdle to her impressive record. Defied a double penalty last night out under Bryony Frost at Huntingdon and is primed to run a great race at a decent price at Wincanton before going on to better things.
DONCASTER 14.05 - MOLL DAVIS - 0.5 Point Each Way 14/1
This filly really deserves a win. A selection from my tracker system, first time out this season at Newcastle she was so unlucky when Finishing fourth. Ran a good race at Newmarket taking the lead at the furlong pole only to be ran out of the places. Ran a great race at Lingfield last time out in a listed contest and deserves to get her head in front. A nice bonus is she is to be ridden by Andrea Atzeni who rides Doncaster brilliantly.
Although Present Man won this last year, and has a very good chance this, I take the other Course and Distance winner in the field, Some Chaos, to take home the spoils this year. He had a good win 2 weeks ago at Kelso, runs all his best races on going no worse than good, and conditions will be ideal for him this afternoon. He carries only 3lb more than his best winning mark, the Scudamore stable are in excellent form, and I take this fellow to beat the Nicholls pair.
Molls Memory – 12.55 Doncaster – 1 point win 7/1
She has only had 3 runs this season but has improved significantly with each. Last time out she she won a Class 3 7f handicap in heavy ground at Newbury, coming smoothly from last to first, winning a tad comfortably. She ran to this level and better last back end, and can continue to improve and take this competitive race this afternoon. She is drawn high which is where most of the pace is today, and which is generally an advantage when the ground is soft at Donny.
Kingbrook – 3.15 Doncaster – 1 point win 11/2
Ian Williams 3 year old ran his best race ever last time out, beating a field of 17 at Newmarket in a Class 2 handicap, when stepping up to a mile and half for the first time. He is a fast improving 3 year old and a mile and a half, on soft ground, in a big field is clearly right up his street. I take him to continue his improvement and relish the testing conditions on Town Moor tomorrow.
BE MORE is a consistent type who will give his all. Heavy ground did not suit at Newmarket last time so we can put a line through that run. With a good draw, excellent trainer and jockey combination and consistent profile, Be More should be taken seriously at double figure odds.
Doncaster 15:15 – selection HIROSHIMA – 1PT WIN 16/1
HIROSHIMA fits the trends for this race perfectly. He has age, recent form, draw and weight all on his side. He also has no stamina concerns. Despite all this he is sure to go into the race undervalued as his trainer and jockey don’t scream off the page at you. Never mind that, this lad will run his race today.
Wincanton 15:35 – selection SOME CHAOS – 1PT WIN 16/1
A very solid type, SOME CHAOS comes into the race off the back of a comfortable victory at Kelso and this previous course and distance winner looks overpriced to me. He would be more exposed than most, but he jumps well, rarely runs a poor race and his trainer Michael Scudamore is in flying form. Hopefully, he can put his experience to good use here and win.
Not often Willie Mullins sends only one horse over to the uk for a race but we have one here. Won over 3 miles on heavy in Gowran around this time last year and despite having a high enough weight would still think in great hands to have a good chance.
2.00 Naas Politicise ew 11/1
Stayed on well to take a recent handicap over the same distance as Saturday over heavy ground. If the ground comes up similar would exist another solid run. The mcguinness yard is in very good form recently and definitely in with a shout.
3.55 Wincanton present man 15/2
Won this race twice in 2017-2018 so has decent course and distance form. Paul Nicholls is also in great form since the resumption of the jumps racing. Had a good victory in a pipe owner at Chepstow which should have him in to form for this
2.52 Kelso - LEOSTAR 3/1 - This six-year old doesn’t have many miles on the clock and though not yet able to get his head in front I think this is the perfect opportunity for the gelding on the back of an encouraging third at Carlisle when staying-on strongly through the line over 2m4f in a 0-120. He fell on return to action when again staying on late over 2m that time so this step up in trip and drop into a 0-105 makes him the one to beat in my opinion with Billy Garritty claiming 5lb, I’d be shocked if he’s not involved in the finish.
3.35 Wincanton - DANNY WHIZZBANG 4/1 - Paul Nicholls has dominated this the past three year and has two-time winner Present Man in the line-up again but he might struggle to back-up his reappearance win off this mark. I like the look of the Ditcheat-handler’s seven-year old who is making his handicap debut after five career starts which has resulted in three wins already. He’s a previous point winner whose last two starts came in Grade 1 & 2 company and with conditions to suit I think this opening mark of 145 may well be manageable with Harry Cobden in the saddle.
Taken to the statistics for this one, with 14 of the last 17 race having been won by a horse aged 7 - 9 and 13 of the last 17 having won at the course, also 15 of 17 have won at 3m or further and with Michael Scudamore having a 51% paced strike rate in the last 14 days, am very hopeful of a big race.
Unowhatimeanharry 13.35 Aintree 0.5pts e.w. 18/1 15pR4
Carrying top weight should not be a problem for this old timer, appears to run better fresh and with the jockey taking 7lbs off his back as well as having a 44% place strike rate in the last 14 days, we should easily find a place and maybe a little more.
Euchen Glen 15.15 Doncaster 1pt win 8/1
Gone for the top weight horse again expecting a bold bid for the three timer, will relish the ground, winning 2 class 3's on it and has not been penalised for his latest win which will surely help. Is a course and distance winner just to add to the mix.
This 7year old gelding horse trained by P F Nicholls, ran 3 times in a chase and only won once I feel he could win another despite failing twice, ran last time 51 days ago at Ascot on a 3m race, I feel he can win this race if he steps up.
11;50 DONCASTER HARMONY LIL EW 13/2
This 2 year old filly horse trained by tom dascombe, not in bad form despite coming 8th last time out had 6 runs on the flat turf and won twice I feel he can make a third if the ground is soft enough for him, he can make the speed.
12;00 KELSO LORD DU MESNIL EW 5/6
This 7 year old gelding horse trained by Richard hobson, this horse has had no wins so far over the hurdles today, I feel could be his first win came 3rd over the hurdle last time out in Newcastle last year, has he had enough practice for this race? We will see.
Paul Nicholls is usually the man to follow in these Wincanton staying chases, and with three runners he has an excellent chance of winning this race again. I really like Danny Whizzbang who has always been well regarded. He has a great record first time out, plenty of form on right handed tracks and looks just the type that could continue to improve this season. A keen type, he should be well suited by the prospect of a well run race here, and I expect Harry Cobden to deliver him late.
1.07 Kelso - The Distant Lady 7/1
Graeme McPherson sends the selection all the way up to Kelso and the tip should be taken. The Distant Lady arrives in top form and with the drying ground and extreme stamina test to suit and the excellent Lilly Pinchin in the saddle, everything looks in place for a win.
3.15 Doncaster - Torcello 18/1
In a wide open November Handicap the one I like is Torcello. This horse was very progressive last season on soft ground, and comes here on the back of an excellent run at Newbury. That day, Torcello was just edged out by the bang in form Lunar Jet, who won again earlier this week. With a nice light weight, and conditions no problem, we should get a big run for our money.
Week 5 – Saturday 31st October
This one is at his best at this time of year, with all 5 wins coming in October - December. He was in the process of running a big race in this last year when carried out by a stablemate, who he then beat next time out. The three racecourse appearance since have seen him running in stronger company than this and so he should appreciate this easier looking race and put up another big performance.
DEFINITELY RED 3:20 Wetherby 11/1
A real class horse on his day and he won on seasonal debut in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018, and placed 2nd and 3rd in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Last year he reappeared in this race but could only finish 4th, but was carrying top weight and will be 8lb better off this time with the winner that day Ballyoptic. I think he can run a decent race and his price seems too high for me to not have a play.
KIRTLING 7:30 Wolverhampton 11/2
Kirtling was a winner off 2lb lower on penultimate start and his performance last time suggested there is plenty more mileage in him off this mark. It has been a while since he won off a mark this high but I am going to take a chance on him to carry on his good recent run of form. International Law probably rates his biggest danger.
Trincomalee is a progressive seven-year-old who warmed up for this just a few weeks ago when making his seasonal reappearance at Warwick. He was held up at the back and could never truly find a rhythm to get himself involved. This step back up in trip will bring his stamina into play and that may well bring about some further improvement. Bryony Frost retains the ride having partnered him at Warwick last time and with the ground very much in their favour, a big run cannot be ruled out. Lucy Wadham has her yard in decent form and has sent out two winners from her last five runners and there should be more to come given that the combination are set to receive weight from market rivals including Dr Sanderson, Falco Blitz and Smarty Wild.
3-05 Ascot SEBASTOPOL 4/1
Sebastopol is remarkably consistent and from just six starts for Tom Lacey, he has won three of them. The biggest win of his career to date came when he was last seen winning the Scottish County Hurdle at Musselburgh back in February. He likes to attack from off a strong pace and that should be guaranteed given the presence of both Byron Flyer and Caius Marcius. Sebastopol may have to overcome a lengthy absence, but he has done that before given that he won on his first outing at Wincanton last year. Richard Johnson will be keen to get cover for his mount and the combination will likely work their way into contention as the race progresses. This trip looks an absolute minimum for the improving six-year-old and there ought to be more to come on ground that looks ideal.
3-40 Ascot VALTOR 7/1
Valtor has won at the first time of asking for the last couple of seasons so Nicky Henderson is likely to have him primed and ready to go yet again this afternoon. Despite being an eleven-year-old he is clearly showing all the right signs at home to prove he can be competitive at this level and he is running a couple of pounds from below his last winning mark. Any further rain that falls would certainly be in his favour and the booking of Aidan Coleman certainly catches the eye. Valtor has run at Ascot three times in the past and has as yet to finish outside of the first two placings and he looks a more likely to run his true race that his stablemate Might Bite. The yard won this with Roberto Goldback in 2012 and like the selection, he was a veteran when he won this. Running in the familiar all green colours of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede this former French chaser can make his presence felt.
Has a 33% SR on heavy ground and is a better when racing at 2m2f or less. The horse has had a wind op and altough the trainer does not have many runners he has a 20 % with first time win op runners. All wins have come in Class 3 and below and in fields of 11 runners or less. 2m2f or less / soft or heavy / Class 3 and below / Handicaps / DSLR 16 days or more : 1111
15.20 Wetherby VINDICATION 9/4
The stable has be touting this horse as a potential Gold Cup horse so if that is the case I would expect a big run here and looks to have perfect conditions.
121 days or more : 1141
All wins in Grade 2 and below
Flat or slightly undulating track : 111131
November to Jan: 111111 (not raced in Oct yet)
15.40 Ascot BLACK CORTON (EW) 6/1
Just seemed to be coming up short last season and I hope that the wind op helps. The horse finished 3rd in this race last year and hopefully he can go closer this year. 121 day or more : 112 and when racing in October : 1111 P Nicholls first time wind op / Nov Chse, Hndcp Chse / 6-y-o to 9-y-o / Aintree, Ascot, Chepstow, Kempton, Newbury, Stratford and Worcester - 62% SR
I'm a great fan of the A J Honeyball stable , he is not Not the most reliable but goes very well here, runner-up in this race last year before notching a third C&D success in December. he is Well suited by Ascot; and runner-up in this contest 12 months ago; enters the reckoning and is my choice to win.
WETHERBY 14.45 WHOLESTONE EW 11/2
WHOLESTONE goes very well fresh and since 2015 on his first start of the season, his form reads 11411. Only beaten once first time out and is as consistent as they come. WHOLESTONE has won many Grade 2 in his career and generally is as consistent as they come. I simply think he is way overpriced
WETHERBY 15.20 BALLYOPTIC 13/2
HE Won this last year;but has 6lb penalty to defy this time but did it in good style and goes well fresh and he will give it a good go
2:45 Wetherby >> ROKSANA 15/8 Wetherby is a local track to me and I usually follow local jockeys and local trainers and I make a good profit from that what I know.But on the flip side to that you have to respect well respected trainers who send horses up here.This one ticks all the boxes and has not been missed in the early markets.Harry Skelton riding for Dan Skelton on my own doorstep is a stand out bet here.
3:50 Newmarket >> GET KNOTTED E/W 11/2 Local horse who has not quite hit the mark as yet this year but this looks like best chance to date.Has the form to win this on a going day but market likely to be informative closer to the off.Ticks all boxes for me and at likely double figure odds looks a cracking E/W bet here.
Colin Tizzard’s charge is taking a step up in class but the likely very soft ground will suit. His rating of 129 is only 1lb higher than his hurdle form so there’s plenty of scope to improve. His receiving 21lb from the top weight. Has a decent record at Ascot ( 2 runs 2 places ). Hopefully the soft ground and the weight pull will see him go very close.
Ben Marshall stakes 315 Newmarket - Tip Stormy Antarctic (win) 11/2
Ed walker and Tom Marquand are both in hot form, although he’s not been in the best form he’s been contesting better races than these. Softer ground the better and has a lot of stamina in his pedigree. Highest rating in the race and looks sure to go well.
Scottish hurdle trail 327 Ayr - Tip Goobinator (win) 11/4
All 3 hurdles wins last season on very soft ground so today’s ground shouldn’t be a problem. Taking a step up in class but the trainer/jockey combination couldn’t be in better form. A good run first time out this season in ground that wouldn’t have suited finishing 4th by about 6 lengths when backed (10s into 15/2 ) late on. Receiving 10lb from the top weight and last time out should have set him right for a massive run.
Another wet Ascot Saturday. I said after last week that I was going to avoid the higher odds selections and concentrate on a slower steadier progression. But every time I look at the card for this race, I see Azzuri. I also see Capeland and Amoola Gold. Capeland; top rated, top weight, good trainer record, C&D winner but doesn’t like the potential going as much as Amoola Gold who copes better with the Good/Soft. He comes out top in two of my Rating Spreadsheets so I’m hoping that Amoola Golds turn of speed will pay off at the end. (And I may have a small side bet on the longshot!)
Wetherby 15:20 Chase 3m 45y La Bague Au Roi - Stake 0.5pt EW 20/1
Going is currently Good to Soft add some overnight rain and it might just suit La Bague Au Roi. No stranger to the Class the Course and the Distance with a Trainer that performs well here. There is some stiff competition, but I think she can pull it off and hit the frame.
Wolverhampton 17:00 Hcp 7f 36y Rockesbury - Stake 1pt Win 7/2
Let’s end the day at Wolverhampton in a 12 runner. Looking at the card the one that initially jumps out is Frow – hot form for the horse and trainer but those odds looks too low for me when you scan the rest of the card and find Rockesbury – slightly speedier, his good performances have been with today’s rider and overall offers better value for me.
Whatmore caught the eye on more than one occasion last season and I think he’ll take advantage of this mark of 138 before too long. On his reappearance last year he ran a fine third behind Deyrann De Carjac, now 145 and Pym, now 150. He was unlucky not to finish closer when 3rd at Warwick in January when denied a clear run on the final bend and on his next start he was travelling strongly into contention at Kempton but made an error three out. He still stayed on well though, in a race where it suited to be prominent. He was last seen finishing 4th in the Novices’ Chase at the festival, a race which has already been franked by Galvin. The return to three miles will suit and the Henry Daly yard are going fine.
18:00 Wolverhampton – Misu Pete E/W 28/1
Misu Pete is a speculative punt here at a likely big price as he does need to show more to return to winning ways but I think this is a weak contest and he could play a part. He did win off 1lb lower under this jockey when a 40/1 shot in March so he is capable. He ran a good race at Kempton when never nearer over 7f in September in 0-65 company and did show up well for a long time over 1m at the same track next time and that race looks a strong one for the class with the 2nd, 3rd and 5th all winning subsequently. He endured a wide trip here last time out though should get a better position from stall four here. Fivehundredmiles and Parknacilla have their best form at Chelmsford, while Atalanta Queen is best at Southwell. Harlequin Rose and Be Bold are modest and yet to win on the all-weather. Lafontaine with Murphy booked could go well, though he was poor at Kempton last time out.
19:00 Wolverhampton – Beatbybeatbybeat E/W 8/1
Beatbybeatbybeat has shaped with promise of late and looks have a good chance of getting her head in front here for the inform Brittain stable. She’s a three-time course winner with her latest success coming in February off this mark of 61. She finished a good 2nd at this track in September with subsequent winners back in 4th and 5th and then was very unlucky in running when 7th here as she had nowhere to go inside the final furlong and had to be eased. She confirmed her well being with a fine 2nd at Newcastle last time out, travelling strongly and only finding the well handicapped 74 rated Boston George too good. The drop-in class and return to this track will suit.
Can be a bit hit and miss as he showed by unseating Sam Twiston-Davies last time out. But he did win at Ludlow in December last year and I think Charlie Hammond in the saddle will freshen him up a bit. He is the second highest rated horse in the race and at around 7/1 it is a good price for this.
Black Corton – 3.40 Ascot 6/1
Third in this race off 2 lb higher last year. Was behind Mister Malarky over 3m at Kempton in February but has had a wind operation since then and should run a good race. He is rarely out of the frame and I expect him to be close at the finish again.
Mystery Show – 2.05 Newmarket 10/1
Going to take a chance on this two year old who won on her second start at Wolverhampton in September. She went off at 3/1 so was obviously well fancied by connections. Started slowly in that race and should come on well for the race. Hollie Doyle on board again so I expect her to win this.
This one has a decent record when fresh ,has won over course and distance gets in here with a decent weight and his regular amateur jockey not on today but a good booking in Sean Quinlan. Will like the forecast ground and stable has only had one runner in last fortnight and it won so here’s hoping it’s two tomorrow.
Get Knotted 350 Newmarket 0.5pts ew 6/1
I’ve followed this one for years and I honestly think he is running himself back into form, he’s tumbling down the weights as well and as I said his last two runs have been really encouraging ,he likes it soft so don’t want much more rain and this fellow has a remarkable record, he has won a race every season, so tomorrow hopefully is the day he adds to that.
Aye Right 320 Wetherby 0.5pts ew 14/1
Taking a bit of a chance with this gelding as he has officially 22lb to find with Cyrname but I think that one is beatable here, he had a good prep run at Kelso first time out this season and the form of that race cold not have worked out better ,he is unexposed over fences and I hoping that there is a frantic pace up front and this one picks up the pieces late on as the race falls apart.
Trained by the in form Nicky Henderson French bred 11 year old. Goes well after a break of 6 months or more. Has won both races for this yard after having had a six month break,both at Ascot. Was also one win from one run in France in similar circumstances prior to change of connections. Second last time out in February,in a Listed Handicap Chase at Ascot. One win and a place in two runs over course and distance. Has won in Class One so will not be out of his depth.
2.32 Ascot. CAPTAIN MORGS. Win. 9/4
Trained by Nicky Henderson and has Nico de Boinville on board. Trainer has won this race five times in the last 12 years. This Milan four year old gelding finished second on debut in a Bumper at Warwick,having been backed down to short odds favourite. Finished strongly, beaten a neck. Looks almost certain to improve now sent hurdling. The track configuration will also help.
3.05 Ascot. MALAYA. Each way. 7/1
Trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Bryony Frost. Trainer has his runners in fine current form. Nicholls has trained the winner of this race twice in past years. Second of 15 in February in a Class 2 Handicap Hurdle at Ascot. Runs off the same handicap mark in this race. Has two wins and two places from seven runs in Class One races. Three of the four wins came at this distance. Looks to have a good each way chance in this race.
This can go to another top weight, Nicholls. A high--class handicapper, who made headline news when jumping through the wings of the last fence when challenging, only to be disqualified for taking the wrong. He made amends when trouncing his same rivals next time at Ascot off 143 He's likely to have strong pace to aim at and should have enough in hand for a comfy success.
Epic Hero 15:15 Newmarket 7/2
Although he hasn't won this season, the Epic has put in some solid graded performances and wouldn't undeserving of breaking his class 1 duck. His latest run in the Darley Stakes makes him a major form player in this field, with many of these not can't be guaranteed to run their race.
Next Destination 14:45 Wetherby 13/2
The ND missed last season through injury and ended up Nicholls care. A star novice, would be a shorter price if his ability. The others in the field are either unpredictable or lacking the class which the Next has. If he's fit and well, hell go close to winning this.
This filly ran a cracker to be 2nd in a listed race at Pontefract a fortnight ago, running on well at the end. As well as being good form, the race was run in a good time. She clearly like the soft which she will encounter here today and the stiff uphill finish will suit her too. She has been tried at 10 furlongs but is clearly better at 1 mile at the moment and the booking of Frankie Dettori catches the eye.
Black Corton – 3.40 Ascot – 1 point win 6/1
I fully expect Bryony Frost to do the same at Ascot today as she did at Cheltenham this time last week and lead most of the way and have his head still in front on the line. This hardy campaigner has already won over 3 miles at Ascot and this strong galloping type will relish the course and conditions. Although 5lb higher than his last winning mark, he gets on really well with Bryony Frost and they should prevail.
London – 3.50 Newmarket – 1/2 point each way NR
If you look back 2 years to November 2018, he was just 2 lengths 2nd to Presidential. All his best form is on soft and heavy and he used to be rated in the 80s, but due to a drop off in form, he is now off 67. He has clearly had problems but he had a warm up race at Wolverhampton 2 weeks ago and only tired in the final furlong, and if he is back to his old form, he could come in here at a very rewarding price off his current mark.
Find life hard last season running under a Grade 1 penalty for winning the Mares' Hurdle fortuitously after Benie des Dieux fell with the race in her pocket. I feel 3 miles will be her trip this season, supported visually when splitting Apple's Jade and If The Cap Fits at Aintree back in April 2019 only being headed in the final strides. Racing here in receipt of the mares' allowance and the fav Lisnagar Oscar who has the Grade 1 penalty put's her in here with a good opportunity to get off the mark for the season. Beaten a neck on debut last season is evidence she goes well fresh.
3:05 Ascot - Scaramanga (EW) 17/2
Five-year-olds have a good record in this race having won six of the last seven running's. Paul Nicholls has made a good start to the season and he's represented here with two runners and it's his and the only 5 Y-Old in the field Scaramanga who ran on the flat 17 days ago that has my money. That recent spin will have blown away any cobwebs.
3:40 Ascot - Whatmore 9/2
Henry Daly's horses are going ok and Whatmore returns to 3m having finished fourth behind Imperial Aura and Galvin at the festival back in March. He ran a nice race last season as a novice in the Racing Post Chase in a season when he didn't do much wrong. He has a nice racing weight of 10-13 for this 3m trip and there's been money for him Friday afternoon.
A horse I have always liked and who has won on seasonal reappearance every season apart from a close 4th in 2017. In a race which looks on paper to be a starting point for many, WHOLESTONE’s record fresh could swing the scales in his favour. He will likely revert to fences after this, as will a few others in the field but his class and fitness may well be telling.
Ascot 15:40 – selection BLACK CORTON – 1PT WIN 6/1
Ran a blinder in this race last year behind the well handicapped Vinndication who ought to be a graded horse this term. His stablemate Frodon defied top weight last week in a quality handicap and BLACK CORTON can do the same today. We know we’ll get a solid run from the front or just off the pace. A horse that always gives his all.
Wolverhampton 19:00 – selection BELL HEATHER – 1PT WIN 16/1
BELL HEATHER only ever wins around Wolverhampton and mostly at this trip. This mare won 3 starts ago over course and distance and with two turf runs since, returns here with a great chance of winning once more. She holds no secrets from the handicapper but has defied a rating of 60 before and can do this again today.
Decent form at ascot including a win last year off a 2lb lower mark over 2m5f.can be difficult at times but is certainly talented. Carrying over a stone less than black corton which could be the difference in a tough battle like this.
3.55 Wetherby sakhees City ew 14/1
Came second in this last year, and Philip kirby had a good record over the last few years at Wetherby. Has a 34% stroke rate and a 50% place rate. The 2nd in the race last year along with the trainer rate leads to a chance in this
1.50 down Royal hearts are trumps ew 14/1
Got a good spin in the hallway hurdle behind aramon, who had a good summer and looked very good behind Saint roi in Cheltenham (who has since looked good in winning a hurdle since). Should have decent pace to aim at and should be thereabouts
The Bryony Frost and Paul Nicholls combination got us off the mark last Saturday with FRODON and the pair can team up again with BLACK CORTON at Ascot in this tricky handicap. The selection was entered at Wetherby for the Charlie Hall chase and coming here is a tip in its self. This classy chaser was third in this race last year and is now 2lb lower and having undergone wind surgery and the stable in flying form a lovely run is expected.
NEWMARKET 14.40 - HEADMAN - 1 Point WIN Evs
One of my tracker horses - Ryan Moore and Roger Charlton combine in this listed stakes and should take this prize. Top rated 115 after winning two group 2’s in France, this Kingman colt has not run since Royal Ascot however reports are that he is cherry ripe for this contest. Not a big price but a winner is a winner.
NEWMARKET 15.15 - ZAKOUSKI - 1 Point WIN 11/4
Another of my tracker horses, this Shamardal gelding certainly has the form in the book to win this race for William Buick and Trainer Charlie Appleby. Twice successful in Medan he made his comeback earlier in the month however he was slowly away and all chance was gone. Stepped up to a mile he can now win this race before moving on to bigger targets.
1.35 Wetherby - WELL SMITTEN (1pt) 10/1 - Won over track and trip when last seen back in March, a six-and-a-half length success in a lower grade but that was a good win and though up in grade off 7lb higher I think there might still be room for improvement off this mark coming off a summer break. He won first time out last season, as well as back in 2018 and a repeat of his best form would make him overpriced in my opinion, trip/ground fine and hopefully holds each-way claims at the very least.
1.55 Ascot - CAPELAND (1pt) 3/1 - He needs to put his last two runs behind him but to be fair the first came in a Grade 1 won by Defi Du Seuil and having had a break I think the best time to catch him is when he’s a fresher horse. He was very unlucky in this race twelve months ago when knocked out the wing of the fence by his stablemate, he would’ve finished second at the very least. He made amends next time out, bolting up by twelve-lengths, again over C&D, and though 7lb higher here he should be very competitive if showing that same level of form.
Just have a feeling that this one has been thrown in here and can land a win at a nice price. He was second last time out to a subsequent Aintree winner. It would be nice if we could see a bit more rain but will run on the going as it is.. He has won over this distance previously and will be happy being prominent in this size of field.
Touch of Oscar - Down Royal 15:35 1pt win 7/1
Off to Ireland with this selection. Didn't quite see out the 3 miles last time out, but he was against three really good novices who have all come out and won since, ran from the front that day and that experience should stand him in good stead this time round.
Mister Malarkey - Ascot 15:40 1pt win 14/1
Pulled up in it's last two starts on heavier ground, but had a few of these behind on his latest win at Kempton in February where the ground was similar to tomorrow's forecast, has a course and distance win to his name and a 43% win record over this distance in general. Should run well at a decent price.
This 7 yo bay gelding horse trained by miss v Williams, out of the last 5 runs he won twice on the jumps could this be a third time? Came second last time out at Huntington this horse has less weight than he did at Huntington and with 9 runners.
3;40 ASCOT COMMANCHE RED EACH WAY 11/2
This 7 yo gelding horse trained by c Gordon ran 4 times out on the chase and won once I feel this horse can go on to win this race, came 3rd last time at Kempton park with 7 runners in the race, the same weight as he was back in Feb.
1;35 Wetherby GUY WIN 3/1
This 5-year-old gelding horse trained by Nigel Twiston Davies won on the chase came 1st at Huntington on a 2m 3f track, put on a little weight since its last outing in October at Huntington won with 9 runners can he win this race with more runners, I feel he can.
Much like Frodon last week, Black Corton turns up in a handicap off top weight with Bryony Frost in the saddle. This honest and reliable horse has plenty of course form and just looks like the solid option in a race where most of his opponents have questions to answer. The Nicholls team have tinkered with Black Corton’s wind and reportedly have him spot on for this assignment.
12.25 Wetherby - Absolutely Dylan 9/1
Sue Smith’s charge ran in this race last year off an 11lb higher mark. That day he was making his seasonal reappearance and ran as if needing the run. This time round however, Absolutely Dylan turns up with a much needed run under his belt and in receiving weight all round, definitely offers up plenty of value here.
3.05 Ascot - Hang In There 7/1
In a tricky looking handicap a chance is taken with Hang In There. This horse was highly thought of last season before being found out in a higher grade. He has shown his best form when making the running, and with no obvious front runner lining up, it’s hoped connections revert back to those tactics which can often be advantageous on this course. Having had a pipe opener already this season he will have a fitness edge over the principals at the head of the market, and will hopefully provide connections with another Ascot win.
Anthony Honeyball’s sting are in great form at the minute and he knows how to get them ready for their 1st run. Regal Encore is 3 from 9 at the track. The ground will not be a worry winning 4 times on the good/soft and twice on soft. Decent value at around 12/1
3:05 kid Commando 1pt win 3/1
Another Honeyball runner. This is Kid Comandos first run in handicap company. I think his mark of 136 is very generous and should be going into better company after this race. I know connections think very highly of this one and this is not the most competitive of renewals.
2:25D Chris’s Dream 1pt win 3/1
I’m glad Gordon Elliot has the two at the top of the market in this one so it makes Chris’s dream a better price. Both Delta Work and Presenting Percy will need the run. This is a great time of year for backing Henry De Bromhead horses. Chris’s Dream has won his last 4 returns to the track after 80 or more days on the sidelines. He’ll be primed for this.
Week 4 – Saturday 24th October
Sir Maxi has taken very well to racing so far, only beaten into 2nd by a good one on debut, who followed up next time out. His two runs since have reaped two wins and he appears to be a horse firmly on the upgrade, having had just those three runs. This is a much harder race today, up into Class 3 from Class 5, but I expect Beckett to find even more from this young horse.
Frodon 3:50 Cheltenham 6/1
The absolute class act in this field. He does have to give 17lb plus to all of his rivals here but he is more than comfortable carrying the top weight to a win. The partnership of Frodon and Bryony has been well advertised, and I think we can expect another big season from the pair.
Peckinpah 5:20 Newbury 9/1
I gave this horse in the first week of the competition and he didn’t seem to handle the AW as well as I had hoped. Today he gets back in turf and so I can forgive him that last run. If he can show the form of his last few turf runs I expect him to be very competitive and outrun his odds in this contest.
Debra Hamer and Tom Bellamy combined to win this with Tobefair last season. The then nine-year- old defied top-weight to see off the likes of Sunset Showdown and Sykes. Despite his advancing age, he was only seen on the racecourse four times last season. He is far from over-raced. He has won twice at this track in the past and ground conditions are completely in his favour today. Jack Tudor’s five pound claim will be a valuable asset and he has been riding plenty of winners for the likes of Christian Williams and Suzi Best amongst others. Despite carrying the burden of top-weight yet again, he is the only course and distance winner in the field. Whilst potentially vulnerable to an improving type, he has proven he can go well fresh in the past. He is the highest rated horse in this field by some margin and it will be of little surprise to see his class shine through.
3-50 Cheltenham FRODON 6/1
The charismatic eight-year-old is a model of consistency and he has built up a fantastic relationship with Brony Frost who is on board yet again this afternoon. He is back down to a wining mark and being a multiple course and distance winner will do his chances no harm either. He prefers good ground and that appears to be on offer here this afternoon. He knows every blade of grass around Prestbury Park and is another that has gone well fresh in the past. Despite not running since March, Paul Nicholls has made a blistering start to the campaign and Frodon is more than capable of making his presence felt. A big run is likely.
5-00 Cheltenham BALLYMALIN 8/1
Ballymalin hasn’t been seen since chasing home Bafana Blue at Carlisle almost a year ago. He was giving half a stone away to his younger rival that day and ultimately paid the price going down by three lengths in the end over a trip, which in truth, probably stretches his stamina as far as it can go these days. A return to an extended three miles will be more to his liking and his young jockey is no stranger to big race successes having won the Welsh Grand National on board The New One and the Betfair Chase on Benbens for the same yard. Ballymalin wouldn’t mind a drop of rain so if any falls, his chances would certainly increase. He has won after lengthy lay-offs in the past so fitness shouldn’t be an issue. Ballymalin remains well handicapped on the best of his old form and he can go close here.
A horse that loves Cheltenham and this race will be his 5 year in a row he’s ran in it ( first two being under a different name ) and has a very good record in it with a 3rd 2nd and first in the last : years . Loves soft ground and with the twiston Davies team being in decent form lately another likely bold show is guaranteed. Whatever happens win lose or draw he’s likely to involved in the finish up the famous hill.
Fururity trophy stakes G1 255 Doncaster Tip baradar (Ew) 28/1
Both wins on soft ground and with the ground likely to be the same there’s no doubt he’ll handle. Half brother to roseman that also loves the soft ground and he did finish 2nd last time in a group 1 I don’t think the massive step up in class is gonna trouble him. With the combination of soft going and distance I can see him running a great race at likely long odds.
Pertemps network handicap hurdle 315 Cheltenham Tip Speredek (Ew) 40/1
This much loved front runner is Back down to his last winning mark over hurdles going back to nov 17 whilst running so really good races in big handicaps over hurdles and fences. All his last wins have been on soft or heavy ground so today’s ground should hold no fear. His chase mark is 13lb more than his hurdle mark. I likely to believe he’s gonna give a really good run for my money.
More rain on a Saturday! I think we will have softer ground here tomorrow which should suit half the field. Distance wise we have a few ‘D’ winners and similar for the class. My ratings narrow it further to One Ruler and Cobh. Though higher in the prices I think Cobh is good value and should make it home.
Cheltenham 15:15 Hcp Hurd 2m 7f 208y Cl2 I’d Better Go Now - Stake 1pt Win. 11/2
The forecast for Saturday afternoon is heavy rain and a fresh breeze. This may tip the ground more towards the soft from the good of Friday. Looking through the card there were three jockeys who cope well with rides on softer ground, two of them on horses which seem to cope with something a bit stickier. Bringing distance into play, two stand out one needs improvement. The three in my sights at the moment are Nevilles Cross, I’d Better Go Now and Goodbye Dancer. The first in the list lacks the recent trainer and jockey form. I think Goodbye Dancer will have good ew chances but I’m going to go with a straight win for I’d Better Go Now.
Cheltenham 15:50 Hcp Chase 3m 1f Cl2 Manofthemountain - Stake 1pt Win 9/2
Similar analysis to the previous race on the card but smaller field and shade more ground to cover over the bigger obstacles. My various ratings throw up Captain Chaos, Frodon and Bob Mahler. However adjusting for possible ground changes Manofthemountain creeps into the selections. I think if the rain is persistent and the ground gets chewed it may suit him.
Tobefair has an excellent course record which includes victory in this race last year, and while he is vulnerable to an improver, he should run his race once again. He won this contest off 149 last year and is 3lbs higher this year, though connections have booked the excellent Jack Tudor who takes a useful 5lbs off. He went onto run a solid race in the Cleeve Hurdle when 4th behind the likes of Paisley Park and Summerville Boy and then was far from disgraced when 6th in the Stayers Hurdle. The step back into handicap company should suit with conditions in his favour.
15:50 Cheltenham – Cobra De Mai 9/2
Cobra De Mai is starting to look well handicapped now 2lbs lower than his 2019 course and distance romp. The handicapper raised him to 153 for that win and he’s largely struggled since but last season he was mainly ridden by Bridget Andrews and 7lb apprentice William Marshall on softer than ideal ground. He ran a decent race when 6th in the Ultima Handicap Chase and his reappearance effort at Fontwell over an inadequate trip should put him spot on for this. Harry Skelton takes the ride, he gets good ground and the cheekpieces go back on.
17:10 Doncaster – Archaeology E/W 8/1
Archaeology ran a cracker on his reappearance back in August when he travelled strongly and did well to finish 2nd beaten half a length by Scottish Summit, who has won again since and is now 96 rated. He hasn’t run to that level in three subsequent runs but didn’t get a strong enough gallop at Thirsk in 0-90 company and the 1m1f trip at Hamilton next time likely didn’t suit. His latest effort at Redcar can also be excused as he was drawn on the wrong side of the track. There should be enough pace on over 7f for him and he should go well with Oisin Murphy booked.
The horse has had two runs this season which should put him spot on for this. His last run when 3rd at Chepstow was a decent run as he is not at his best on very undulating tracks (0 from 5) He would seem to have ideal conditions at the moment: Good ground / 2m4f or more / OR less than 140 / NOT very undulating track : 11211 He also runs well when he has hd two runs in the last 90 days, as today, as record in chase races reads: 211
15.15 Cheltenham TOBEFAIR (EW) 6/1
Won this race off a 3lb lower mark last year and then acquitted himself with credit in graded races in the second half of the season. Jack Tudor takes a useful 5lb off him today. The horse does seem to be better on faster as on good or faster record as he has won 6 times from 9 starts. All wins have come in Class 2 or below and he does run well fresh.
15.50 Cheltenham FRODON (EW) 6/1
One of my favourite horses and I hope that his slick jumping has a few of these handicap stayers in trouble. He loves good ground winning 7 times from 13 runs. He has won 5 from 12 at this track. runs well fresh 121 days + (1313). He is down to last winning mark and him and Bryony Frost have struck up a good partnership (6 wins from 13 rides)
Good sort who has a fantastic record around Cheltenham here, notably winning Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, Cotswold Chase and Ryanair Chase in 2018/19. Not at very best last season but still won a Grade 2 at Kempton. He is the class act and loves it here so that's my choice.
DONCASTER 16.05 BREANSKI EW 11/2
Breanski loves this C and D and the forecast ground will suit. He shaped really well when 2nd at Ascot to a 3 year old improver and this race will suit better. The stronger the early pace the better and from stall 10 he looks nicely berthed in the middle of the pack. He has been competitive of similar marks all season and the decision to book 5lb claimer Ray Dawson may just be enough to see him back in the winners enclosure.
DONCASTER 13.10 EVERYTHING FOR YOU EW 40/1 NR
He Needs to be at the very top of his game on this first run since January but Ended 2019 campaign on a high, winner of 1½m Ripon handicap before going close over 10.2f here he is by pivotal whose offspring like soft ground the price i will go each way
Anther typical tough handicap to get stuck into here ,I had my eye on 2 since this race was picked and still am but got to plump for only one of them ,so reasons I’ve gone for this one is it has a good record fresh, likes the course and has a decent record in this race and is handicapped to run well, only slight question is why is Robbie Power not on it but no complaints on the jock they have booked.
500 Cheltenham 1pt win Buster Edwards 9/1
This one is a bit of a dodge pot but when he puts it all in there is definitely talent there ,he will no doubt be getting the coal shovelled on at various points during the race but he does respond kindly to that just got too look at a race at Haydock last season when he was nowhere to be seen and he flew home after the last there, decent jock on board in this strictly amateurs race so should go close.
520 Newbury 1pt win Azor Ahai 10/3
This one ran only on Monday and gets too run of same handicap mark here, he was a bit unlucky on Monday when hanging slightly left in closing stages and sure would have won if keeping straight, top amateur jock on board again in Simon Walker this race doesn’t look as competitive so again must go very close.
This race has a lot of ifs feel about it. If Frodon shows his grade race form should go very close but lumping 11-12 round Cheltenham, for a horse who always improves for the run. What if the fragile West Approach, Bob Mahler, Corgy are able to do what they normally don't do. Produce their best first time out? Will Captain Chaos show a liking for Cheltenham. So how do we approach this. The booking of Paddy Brennan on Sensulano takes the eye considering Fergal has a horse in the race. There is a possibility that the distance will bring about an improve effort, to show he's better than his 138 OR. He jumps economically and won't mind the ground. Paddy got on well with him at Ascot in a mares listed race over hurdle.
Megallan 14:55 Doncaster 9/1
This race doesn't look like it will produce next year's 2000 Guineas winner (Saxon Warrior, Magna Grecia & Kameko the last 3 winners of this race) but you'll never know. One Ruler impressed last time out when powering away to win LTO with Megallan running in behind after switching from off the rail around the back of the field to finish running on 5th. Wembley has proven G1 form but that form hasn't produced much with the contenders beating each other. Megallan may not need to improve but get a clean run this time.
Crantock Bay 16:40 Doncaster 25/1
With George Scott in form and Crantock Bay showing improved form LTO, looks of interest. Running off 75 here, he should enjoy the pace & distance here and make his move with Ben Curtis in the saddle. Although he aint won in eight he has shown ability on each occasion, even when 9th here at Doncaster as a 2yo.
This horse was second in this race last year to The Conditional, and in the last 5 seasons has won first time out in 3 of them and come 2nd the other time. He will be fit and ready to race and Tizzard’s team are in reasonable form and Sam Twiston-Davies in first class form. This horse goes on all sorts of going so if it rains significantly before the of he will be just as comfortable as if it stays good.
Mighty Spirit – 2.20 Doncaster 9/2
This improving 3 year old will relish the soft conditions here, having run a good 2nd on similar ground to Muscika at York a fortnight ago. He goes particularly well for Megan Nicholls, whose 3lb claim will only assist. He ran by far his best race at York and there is no reason why he should not go on improving and take this prize.
Capla Berry – 5.10 Doncaster 5/1
This chap ran his best ever race last time in very soft ground at Yarmouth carrying a hefty 10 stone 12 days ago, when he came a close 3rd to True Belief. The ground has turned properly soft at Doncaster now, which will suit him ideally. Most of the pace in this race is likely to be middle to high so he should be ideally placed in stall 12. Rae Guest is in good form at the moment and this horse should prove to be very competitive.
The Irish have won this on four occasions in last nine years and John McConnell who won it with Pearl Of The West two years ago runs the filly Anna Burina this year. Unpenalised and in receipt of the fillies' allowance, she receives 15lb from main protagonists. The booking of the champion jockey shows that today is a going day. Given the similarities to the winner two years ago for the trainer, being in receipt of all the allowances and having raced through the summer months.
Kelso 2:33 - Rocky's Treasure (EW) 5/1
A number of these will be preparing for engagements later in the year, most notably Beecher Chase and Grand National and I doubt many will want their handicap mark to take a hike. Rocky Treasure runs today with first time cheekpieces and first run off a wind op. Runs off an 8lb lower mark than when 3rd of four to OK Corral having won a Grade 2 at Doncaster. If the headgear and wind op have the desired effect, Rocky's Treasure should be bang there coming to the last. Baily is 7 from 14 with chasers running first time after wind op last three years and the stable have been firing in the winners over the last week or two.
Cheltenham 3:50 - Cobra de Mai 9/2
A competitive handicap with six of the eleven runners being priced between 9/2 and 8/1. Four runners find themselves out of the handicap with Froden heading the weights. Cogry reappears having won this three years ago and placed twice since and he goes well at the course. The one that I see running well and could see his price shorten in the morning is Dan Skelton's Cobra de Mai. He looks well handicapped running off 140 having been 153 after winning a valuable handicap chase over 3m 2f here back in April 2019 and wasn’t disgraced when 6th of 23 in the Ultima Handicap Chase at this year's Festival. His best form is on a good surface and if the ground stays on the good side it will be in the 8-year-old’s favour.
A race which could well be a good starting point for many long distance chasers this season. CLAUD AND GOLDIE falls into this bracket but it is his record fresh and his trainer’s form at Kelso which catches my eye here. He is very lightly raced for an 11 year old but seems to be progressive in his later years. Sandy Forster targets Kelso well with her small string, chasers especially and this one could run a big race at tasty odds today.
Doncaster 14:55 – selection WEMBLEY – 1PT WIN 13/8
WEMBLEY brings rock solid form to this year’s Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes. He could and arguably should be a dual Group One winner now, with two highly unlucky runs the last twice having been held up in rear. His stablemate St Mark’s Basilica was given a far better ride in the Dewhurst last time as we all watched Wembley fly home for 2nd. Ryan Moore’s days as Ballydoyle number one look numbered and he will be looking to go out on a high here. With a competent ride, Wembley ought to grab his first Group One here.
Cheltenham 15:15 – selection NEVILLE’S CROSS – 1PT WIN 11/2
I was very taken by NEVILLE’S CROSS’ win in a Hereford handicap hurdle last time and this ultra-progressive 5 year old can take this Pertemps qualifier for the excellent Tom Lacey. With Richard Johnson riding for his boss Philip Hobbs, Lacey could not have got a better replacement in Robbie Power. He is far from the only progressive horse in the line up but the way he jumped and travelled last time gives me big confidence of another huge run here.
Trained by Mrs.D.Hamer and has the useful 5lb claimer Jack Tudor in the saddle. Finished a good sixth in the Stayers Hurdle on latest run at the Festival in March. Winner of this race last year on seasonal reappearance,off an official rating of 149. Runs off a mark of 152 in this years race. Has a good record in Hurdles,with nine wins and four places in 22 runs. Four times a winner in Class 2 from only 8 runs. Will appreciate the forecast going ,and has won six times on similar ground. Should run another big race .
5.00 Chelt. CALL ME VIC each way. 8/1
Trained by Fergal O’Brien ,who has a good record at this meeting. This 13 year old veteran is by Old VIC,and has been a prolific winner in Point To Points. Won at Newton Abbot on similar going ,in July 2018. Has won on five previous occasions in similar going. Makes debut for the O’Brien stable ,and will be well prepared to run a big race . Yard has won this race twice in the last four years.
5.35 Chelt. I AM MAXIMUS each way. 13/2
Four year old bay gelding by Authorized. A half brother to four Flat winners in France. Dam won over a mile. Will have the finishing speed to see off his rivals in the closing stages. Trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Nico de Boinville. Trainer has a 28% strike rate in Bumpers,and is also in good current form. Both jockey and trainer have good course records. Stable has won this race twice in the last 10 years. Both winners were similar to this horse in terms of age and being unraced.
1:45 Doncaster >> JUST FRANK 11/4 Was really really impressive from the front at Newmarket 21 days ago on heavy ground.I was really taken by that run and with rain expected today at Doncaster the going should be about the same. I would expect this horse to blast off and not see another rival and for that reason would be my best bet of the day and my NAP selection.
4:05 Doncaster >> ARBALET 12/1 Looks a stand out bet for me here with the right jockey on board if the race pans out.With conditions to suit and 2lbs lower than a close 2nd in September at Ascot I think I will go for gold with a win bet on the snout ! Tempted to go E/W but with the dead 16 runners I am sure at least one will be pulled making it 3 places so win bet it is.Good luck if you follow :)
Loves running here having won multiple times in the past including 3 big races in 2018/19. Was a bit off par last year but still won a grade 2 race at Kempton in January. The highest rated horse in the race by some way and I think he will take all the beating.
Jens Boy – 5.00 Cheltenham 5/1
Has been knocking on the door lately having finished 2nd in his last four races. He has won in the past so the booking of Sam Waley-Cohen could be a positive move to end this run of second place finishes. Call me Vic could be the favourite but Jens Boy has 7 lbs less to carry and has jumped well in his last races so hopefully should get his head in front this time.
Mighty Spirit – 2.20 Doncaster 9/2
Not a great starter but if on form can come late with a blistering run. Ran well at York a couple of weeks ago coming second on soft ground and had a couple of third place finishes in August and September. Has won over this distance before and should go close again.
2.33 Kelso - SOME CHAOS (1pt) 7/2 - This nine-year old was successful over C&D on good ground back in March last year and is only a pound higher here. He was outclassed in the Ladbroke Trophy last November from 6lb higher but a couple of runs so far this season have hinted that he might be coming to the boil, he was beaten just under two-lengths over hurdles before running a respectable third behind a 153-rated horse back over fences at Chepstow a fortnight ago.He’s been dropped a pound for that and represents a stable which took this prize twelves months ago. Conditions will suit and hopefully he can put up a bold bid.
3.15 Cheltenham (1pt) - FLINCK 15/2 - Landed a double last winter, both over 2m3f on soft ground and he ended the campaign with an underwhelming effort on heavy ground at Uttoxeter when beaten twenty-lengths. His return to action was very encouraging however, when a staying-on third in the Grade 3 Silver Trophy at Chepstow and this step back up to 3m on good ground might well suit now off the same mark as last time out. It’s an open race but there’s plenty more to come from this lightly-raced six-year old and I’m hoping this trip will bring that out of him.
The Dan Skelton team are in flying form and Cobra De Mai is fully expected to go close here. This horse finished an excellent 6th in the Ultima Chase at the Festival, and after a recent pipe opener will be spot on fitness wise now. Any rain that falls will be ok, and with Frodon in the race he has a lovely racing weight.
2.33 Kelso - Rocky’s Treasure 5/1
Things didn’t go right for Rocky’s Treasure last season, but he returns after nearly a year off with his stable in flying form and he gets to race off a very winnable mark. A very good novice chaser, he never got going last season. That can happen to second season chasers, but a wind op, new headgear, and the possibility that he’ll be best caught fresh all point to a big run.
5.00 Cheltenham - Boughtbeforelunch 10/1
looks overpriced here and should represent a bit of value. He needed the run badly on his reappearance at Bangor last month, but he actually travelled and jumped well for a long way. The handicapper has dropped him a few pounds, and with the excellent Jack Savage in the saddle, a big run is expected.
Carrying a lot of weight for this contest, but also has a good record in Cheltenham, including winning Ryanair 2 years ago and coming 4th in Ryanair last year. Not at best last season but hoping to recover form from 2 years ago. Nicholls has been in good form over the last couple of weeks.
Julie's stowaway 3.22 Galway 6/4
Not embarrassed in the champion bumper at the festival finishing 7th behind some very useful looking horses. Has good form bearing a well touted horse in Ballyadam at Navan in race before that. Should have a good chance in this maiden and hoping to kick on from good bumper experience.
Shakespeares word 5.07 Galway 10/3
Still a maiden after 3 races, but had finished 5th in the bumper won by Appreciate It at the Dublin racing Festival, finishing ahead of some handy runners including wide receiver and Eric blood axe. With aine o Connor taking a handy 5lbs off feel it is in with a good shot at course finished second 17 days ago.
Harry Whittington’s gelding steps up to a class 2 today. Most of his runs have been in lower class company but the twice he has stepped into class 2 company he has won. Up 6lb for his last run but the front 2 that day pulled clear of the rest. Ground won’t be an issue as he can go on anything. He’s also won 5 from 9 over this distance.
1:59K Flaming Glory 1pt win 9/2
Katie Scott’s Flaming Glory has some impressive point to point form over 3m. Only beaten 3L by easy run de vassy and run wild Fred now rated 114 & 144. Flaming Glory off 82, upped in trip to 3m this season and over fences, had a run at Hexham to dust off the cobwebs last time out where he ran and jumped very well. Champion jockey on board. I’m very confident this will run a huge race.
2:05C Allmankind 1pt win 15/8
I don’t normally back the shorter priced ones but I just can’t see anything getting close to this and at 15/8 I think it’s a great bet. Highest rated in the field. Won easy as you like off a break last season. Already beat Botox Has easily enough for 4lb to matter. No doubt he’ll scoot away and he won’t be for catching.
Won this race last year off only 3lb lower and with Jack Tudor taking a handy 5lbs off his back, this more than capable apprentice should be able to steer him home to victory. Providing the ground stays Good, which he will appreciate, (last two runs here were on Soft) I can see him being there at the finish.
4.45 Newbury - Torcello - 0.5 pts ew 40/1
Clearly didn't take to hurdling on the last two runs, but this course and distance winner looks massively overpriced for this. He is down in class and is unbeaten over this distance, October seems to be his month and again with a handy 5lbs off his back should go close.
5.35 Cheltenham - Major Robinson 1pt win 17/2
This once raced winner for Stuart Crawford seems like a valuable recruit for the David Pipe stable. He has a 21% strike rate in National Hunt Flat runs and with Tom scudamore up must be in with a good shout.
Well after last weeks Tom and Hollie show I am still devastated, they are part of my systems and didn’t tip any of the four winners so I’m still pointless after three weeks. Right I was at the Racecourse of legends in the Cotswolds when FRODON won for the Frost girl and the horse loves this place. Paul Nicholls is in great form although hit the bar onFriday a bit. We all know what FRODON can do and that is win.
Newbury 15.35 - CHAMPAGNE PIAFF - I point win 22/1
Went into my tracker after it’s first run at Ascot for Hector Crouch at a massive price ( came 4th of course ) went in at Salisbury next time so money lent and owes me nothing, a cracking EW bet in this race at Newbury and that’s what I will be doing, however as I’m out with the washing in this competition it’s a win bet.
Doncaster 14.20 - VICTORY ANGEL - 1 Point Win 20/1
Trainer Rebecca Bastiman deserves better horses, however just like her Dad she certainly can train winners, always on my tracker she produces the goods at big prices and Victory Angel is overpriced here if you know the form. Successful at Musselburgh which is similar to Doncaster except one is left handed and the over is right plus one is by the sea andDoncaster certainly isn’t. This will win.
Week 3 – Saturday 17th October
Looking through the market this horse looks way overpriced here. He beat the rest behind Dream of Dreams last time, only beaten 1.25 lengths by the winner. Considering DoD is the general 5/2 fave for this race as I write, the 16/1 available for Glen Shiel does seem quite a vast difference. Glen Shiel has been running as well as ever lately, and seems to be the rarity of horse who is progressing as a 6 year old after 25 starts. He hasn’t won on ground this soft be he has run with credit a number of times on heavy earlier in his career so I don’t think we should fear the conditions and he’s worth a go at his price here.
Redrosezorro 3:10 Catterick WIN 6/1
Redrosezorro and Red Pike are the only course and distance winners in this field, with the former a 5 time course winner. He seems to save his best for this venue and also for the softer conditions with all but one victory coming with soft in the going description, including a recent win here on heavy over 7f off 75 in a 0-80 handicap. He’s back in another 0-80 today, this time carrying 80, but he was clear of the field by 3.5 lengths for that last win, and I fancy him to have a good chance of making it six course victories.
Three Saints Bay 4:50 Catterick WIN 9/2
Runner up in a Class 2 0-93 handicap last time looking unfortunate to run into one that day, he was 3.25 lengths clear of the rest of the field. Like today, that was over 7f on soft ground, but today he drops into a Class 4 0-86 handicap carrying top weight. That should make his task easier but he is not drawn best for one who likes to lead and he will need to break sharply to find his way to the front from stall 11. I think he will get to the front and run a big race for us.
The last time we looked for selections at Ascot the tipping rain wiped out everyone’s efforts; the forecast is a little more favourable for this weekend. However, the ground remains soft and a light wind won’t make much change to that, so conditions may suit some more than others. Normally I don’t start to look at races until the day before but this week I took an early peek at this one. The one horse that stood out for me from a very quick cursory glance was Nazeef. When I came back to the race on Friday night I added Century Dream, Molatham, Circus Maximus and lastly the probable favourite Palace Pier to the mix. Further viewing shows some possible holes in ability and consistency for CD, M and CM. That leaves me back with PP and N. Ultimately the value in the price for Nazeef sways me on the soft ground.
Ascot 13:55 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes 6f Cape Byron - Stake 0.5pt EW. 14/1
The stats for largish fields over 6f may suggest the middle draws are not favourable and I’m going to follow that tack for this race and exclude Art Power and One Master. Of the higher drawn contenders only Dream Of Dreams piques my interest. At the lower end, Happy Power and Cape Byron keep drawing me in. Ultimately I’m a fan of horses that like the familiar and the ‘CD’ in Cape Byron’s form sways me over the ‘D’ for Happy Power.
Wolverhampton 19:00 Hcp 5f A Go Go - Stake 1pt Win 13/2.
Staying with the theme of ‘familiarity’, A Go Go likes the Wolv course with a 50% win rate and 25% for the distance. The speed of Solar Park may be the downfall of AGG in this race but with a good start I think she can make the most of a tight finish.
David Menuisier top class filly winning on Arc Weekend last time out really well on heavy ground. She’ll be getting all the allowances available meaning she’s 6 pound lower then must of her other rivals. Ground won’t be a problem and with a hot in form William Buick on board I believe she’ll be staying on best in the ground. Officially the highest overall rated in the race she’s stands a massive chance. Menuisier couldn’t be in better form (43%) in the last 14 days and Buick chasing the champion jockey they’ll be giving it there all.
Even keel selling hurdle 218 Stratford Tip ingenuity (win) 10/3
Milton Harris trainer horse is really in bad form but it’s interesting that Richard Johnson takes the ride. Former Gordon Elliott trained horse when In Ireland and showed some decent form without winning only won once when winning over 6f back in 2017 for Jedd O’Keeffe. Run well latest to finish 2nd on the flat at 66/1 at bath just failing to catch the favourite in the final 110yrds. Just have a feeling he’s running into form in obviously what is a weak looking race and fingers crossed that the jockey booking is a positive.
Chamber of commence handicap 455 Wolverhampton Tip laurentia (win) 9/2
All 3 wins to date have been on the all weather with the latest being over course and distance a shade cozily under today’s jockey. The only course and distance winner in the field and seems to be in really good form. The same Jockey retain for today’s ride than last time and looks to have a massive chance for the hat trick tonight. Looks sure to run a massive race.
Dame Malliot was very impressive when landing the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket by over two lengths in June beating some solid types in Communique, Desert Encounter and Enbihaar, all of whom have run solid races since. She was then a fine 3rd in a Group One in Germany staying on strongly to be beaten less than a length with subsequent Group One scorer Barney Roy back in 4th. Her latest third behind Tarnawa and Arc 5th Raabihah also reads well. She had Laburnum, Wonderful Tonight and Even So behind her that day, and while she probably won’t get an easy lead here, I expect her to be right in the mix.
16:50C – Captain Jameson E/W 8/1
Captain Jameson’s course form reads 123 with the 2nd coming in this very race last year off a 6lb higher mark. He hasn’t troubled the judge in five starts this summer, though wasn’t disgraced in 0-95 company at Ripon in June off 82. I thought he ran a nice race in the Ayr Bronze Cup last time when finishing 7th from stall six as high number dominated with horses from stalls 21, 22, 24 and 19 finishing ahead of him. He’s returning to a track he clearly likes and it’s the first time this summer he gets proper soft ground which he will enjoy. The first-time blinkers could also eek out more improvement.
19:30 – Melodic Charm 9/2
The step back to 6f should really suit Melodic Charm and she should go close off 86 in this class four handicap. She was a good winner on debut over CD before being fairly highly tried in group three and listed company. She was too keen after wind surgery and a break over 7f at Kempton in September but was a much better third at this venue last time only getting caught deep inside the final furlong, again over 7f. Restless Rose has all of her AW form at Chelmsford so has a bit to prove on tapeta, likewise Clever Candy has only ever raced at Kempton. Inevitable Outcome was a good 2nd here last time though this looks tougher.
A high class renewal of the Champions Sprint Stakes with several old favourites and unexposed younger horses doing battle. The selection is DREAM OF DREAMS who has often been the bridesmaid in recent seasons but this year it has really come together. He was unlucky not to win the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot but made amends by comfortably winning the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury and somewhat cosily winning the Betfair Sprint Stakes at Haydock. The horse stays 7f no problem so this testing 6f on soft ground will be right up his street. He is in flying form and he can put a quality field to the sword here.
Stratford 14:53 – selection SMUGGLER’S BLUES – 0.5PT E/W 12/1
A competitive class 4 handicap chase here. The selection is SMUGGLER’S BLUES for the Tom George team. This horse is lightly raced in comparison to many of his exposed rivals in this field and whilst he hasn’t set the world alight over fences yet, he did manage a win last season on good ground at Bangor, similar conditions can be anticipated today. It is his trainer’s stats that stand out most however. George has a 24% strike rate at Stratford over the last 5 years. Whilst he has only raced eight handicap chasers at Stratford in October since 2009, he can boast a 50% strike rate and a 31% strike rate for those that have had a lay off longer than 121 days, a category which Smuggler’s Blues falls into. With his relatively lightly raced profile alongside positive trainer stats, this horse is a big player.
Catterick 16:20 – selection BEECHWOOD JUDE – 1PT WIN 7/1
BEECHWOOD JUDE is the selection in this open class 4 event. This is a horse that loves soft and heavy ground and so he’ll have the perfect conditions to run a big race today. Expect to see him ridden from the front or tracking the leader, to make this a real test of stamina for the opposition, many of which are not proven on heavy ground. Beechwood Jude won over course and distance on his return to the track in August, which was run on heavy going. He has run twice more since finishing 4th on both occasions under firmer conditions, these runs will have kept him ticking over nicely for a return to Catterick under perfect conditions today. Trainer Keith Dalgleish also has some strong statistics when running handicappers at Catterick at this time of year. Back Beechwood Jude to see them all off from the front.
The conqueror of the new Arc champion Sottass, Skalleti has proven his ability on a variety of grounds. Normally held up off the pace, Pierre will have him in a position to hopefully get this dual Prix Dollar up in the closing stages.
Jouska 13:55 Ascot 66/1
Henry Candy has had a torrid time of it recently but you can imagine how this filly must of had him beaming at Newmarket. Given her probable optimal conditions last time, she fairly outpaced her rivals in the closing stages in the style of a very smart filly. Should be ultra competitive in this field, not to be underestimated.
Le Patriot 15:56 Market Rasen 7/2
Newlands charge has shown smart form over hurdles (rated 154) and is having his second chase in his career. His 1st saw him pitted against the likes of Mister Fisher & Al Dancer and was far from disgraced in that G2 novice event. Surely primed for his return to the track, this hardy individual is going up against some fragile individuals to put them to the sword.
A real talented performer who has only been placed out of the top 2 once in all his twelve races, in fact has won 9 of his races. Went very close in this race last year and would have maybe finished closer if not slightly hampered close home. Come’s here a fresh horse as only had 1 run this season when winning 2 weeks ago ,he will be held up by PCB and if getting all the breaks and not left too late he must go very close to winning this.
Ascot 415 Raaeq 1pt win 7/2
A typical competitive Ascot handicap but I think this horse is a Group horse in waiting, has been put up 6lbs by the handicapper but is still 5lbs well in, he has proven himself over course and distance and on the forecast ground for today. He will be up with the pace judging by all his previous runs and has a real good turn of foot when asked. There must still be bags of improvement in this one as only had 5 races in his career.
Leopardstown 445 Melburnian 1pt win 9/2
A typical IRISH hcp with a decent sized field and a few familiar names, but the one I opted for here won this race in good style here last season and I think this is his target again for this season, he was very unlucky horse last time out [4th 20/1 i backed} was hampered coming round the corner by a slipping up horse then was coming with a storming run just outside the furlong marker and then got mullered in between two horse’s, finished 4th but i’m pretty sure would have won the race with a bit more luck, handicapper must have thought along same lines as put him up a 1lb, am pretty confident this horse will go very close tomorrow in fact is my best bet out of the 3.
Ran second in this race last season having been against the far rail with no gaps appearing until it was all too late. She attempts to go one better off the back of winning her third Prix de la Foret. A mare very much in form, loves soft ground and is an autumn specialist, runs this track well and at the prices offers value against Dreams Of Dreams who is short in the market despite coming here off a facile win in the Group 1 Sprint Cup over 7f at Haydock.
TEMPUS (EW - 1/5x6 places)- 16:15 Ascot 17/2
I expect Tempus to deliver and prove he’s a potential Group horse. Not disgraced when sixth in Cambridgeshire on ground that was quicker than the described 'good' given it was run in a course record time. Roger Charlton has said all along the colt is better with cut underfoot and now he gets his chance. Those comments are backed upped by his form figures of 111 on good to soft through to heavy. There should be no concerns seeing out a strongly run mile back on a softer surface over course and distance that he won on before the Cambridgeshire. From a trends angle, 3 Y-Olds haven't done well in the past and are 0-20 since race was formed six years ago (that's a huge trend favourite Raaeq will have to overcome). Five winners (from 6) carried between 9-1 and 9-6 and four winners last start was at Newmarket. Tempus fits into those last two trends.
GLENTIES - 16:20 Catterick 11/4
Glenties has run into a few well handicapped and/or improving horses during this season. Found a nice opportunity from a 1lb lower mark than at start of season against a number of rivals who are racing from career high marks. Good effort last time at Leicester in blinkers and the headgear remains on here. With the assistance of Fanning in the plate and the heavy ground should see Glenties get back in the winner's enclosure.
3:40 Ascot >> LORD NORTH E/W 5/1 I have been watching this market all week as I want to oppose the top 2. Having had my eye on the impressive PYLEDRIVER all week I have been swayed towards the GOSDEN trained horse ridden by JAMES DOYLE.With the ground coming up heavy I think this one has a real chance and ticks many boxes and can`t see it out of the first 3.
1:43 Stratford >> A BOOK OF INTRIGUE E/W NR Richard Johnson booked for this ride for a stable who he does well with takes my eye. Dual bumper winner never really showed true potential last year in 3 runs but could be a different proposition here in first handicap especially under Richard Johnson.With conditions to suit I expect to run a big race here.
800 Wolverhampton - Moving light 11/10 1 point winn . Very impressive last time.
135 Ballinrobe - sovereign gold 7/2 1 pt win. Definitely best prospect long term in this field, trainer likes her a lot and Rachel expected to win.
This three-year-old daughter of Le Havre is extremely lightly raced. She has talent in abundance though and a fortnight ago, she made just about all to win the Qatar Prix De Royallieu at Paris Longchamp in testing conditions. She looks all set to encounter similar ground here this afternoon and with trainer David Menusier in excellent form she commands utmost respect. Will Buick takes over in the saddle and given that she has won over longer trips, he will likely make the most of her proven stamina. Wonderful Tonight is set to receive seven pounds from her male counterparts including Antonio De Vega and and Dame Mallot. Every single pound will count on ground this soft and if finding for pressure, she may well be able to grind them into submission. Many of her own sex who line up here are woefully out of form. She still has further improvement to come and she has to be high on any shortlist.
3-40 Ascot ADDEYBB 9/1
A globetrotting winning machine is the best way to describe the William Haggas trained six-year-old. This ten furlong trip certainly brings out the best in him and with three wins from four starts under his belt this year, he is remarkably consistent. Two of those victories came out in Australia in the spring where he picked up wins in the Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill before also scoring at Randwick in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He returned to the UK in time for Royal Ascot and following his exertions abroad, he found only one too strong in Lord North. Given that he probably needed to reacclimatise, that effort had to be marked up. That proved to be the case when on his subsequent start he lined up for the Doonside Cup at Ayr. Despite coming under strong pressure a couple of furlongs out, he fought back bravely and got the better of Lord Glitters by just under a length. The form of that race has already been well advertised at the fourth placed Euchen Glen has come out to win subsequently. Tom Marquand has built up an excellent relationship with this son of Pivotal and they have to rate as massive dangers to all. He has been given a two month break to prepare for this and his trainer can reap the rewards.
4-15 Ascot KEATS 14/1
Last seen out just over a fortnight ago, Keats was given a positive ride by Seamie Heffernan in a listed race at Cork. He came under a drive a couple of furlongs from home but the son of Galileo found plenty for pressure. He readily swept to the front to beat Free Solo by a little over a length. He looks to be another that is improving just at the right time and may be able to take full advantage of many rivals who have just not shown their true form this season. With the ground likely to be just as he likes it and now with Ryan Moore on board, the pair can end the season on a high for all at Ballydoyle.
This improving 3 year old, trained by the in form Ralph Beckett, is likely to outrun his odds. He hosed up in a Group 3 this time last year, and ran well at Longchamp on Arc Trials day a fortnight ago. The old adage of backing an improving 3 year old at this time of year applies to this horse, and with Stradivarius having had a tough race in The Arc, this race could throw up a surprise in the form of Max Vega.
Even So – 2.30 Ascot – 1 point win 7/1
This impressive Irish Oaks Winner was not seen out again until Arc Trials day at Longchamp over 2 weeks ago, where he ran adequately into 6th. He didn’t run at Longchamp last weekend, but has been kept for Ascot today. This filly will love the going and has an outstanding chance in what will be a very competitive renewal.
The Revenant – 3.05 Ascot – 1 point win 11/2
The unbeaten Palace Pier will be an odds on favourite here and must have a very good chance, though is unproven on ground this soft. The Revenant was a good 2nd in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes this time last year and won the Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Longchamp on Arc Trials day a couple of weeks ago in the bottomless ground. He has an excellent chance.
Won the Wildenstein for the second time on its last run under a hand and heels ride, this was an impressive run considering this was his first run sinec finishing second in this race last year. The 2nd to 7th have all won since so the form is solid. This ground and trip are ideal and he looks a solid play against the fav.
15.10 Catterick REDSOEZORRO 6/1
The horse returns to its favourite track where he has won 5 from 13 starts and if you only look at those on GTS and softer this improves to 32311011. His last two runs have been on unsuitable good ground and a return to suitable ground will suit the horse in this veterans race and see him return to the winning enclosure.
15.21 Market Rasen DREAM BERRY (EW) 8/1
The horse is 2 from 2 at this track and does prefer a RH track winning 2 from 6 starts compared to a Lh track where he is 0 from 5. This is the first time that the horse has run in Class 3 hurdle race since winning at this track in 2017 when he won easily. The stable is in decent form and he is worthy of each way support.
4.20 Catterick - GLENTIES (1pt win) 11/4 - A winner back in July at Windsor over this 1m4f trip and as a result of some not so good runs subsequently this three-year old has slipped back to that winning mark of 83. The last day saw him finish a close third in heavy ground at Leicester and if in the same mood here then this colt must hold every chance, the blinkers are kept on as they seemed to have a good effect last time out and hopefully there’s more to come from him.
4.50 Catterick - CAPTAIN JAMESON (1pt win) 8/1 - Unlucky in this race last year when beaten only a neck and this five-year old is now on a 5lb lower mark. He followed that up with another close effort at this course over 6f (beaten just under a length) off a 9lb higher mark so he’s certainly handicapped to go close here if showing that level of form. He hasn’t been on top form so far this season but he has been competing in higher grade handicaps and though eighth at Ripon on second start this term that was still a fair effort from 7lb higher and his two most recent runs have hinted that his time might be coming, beaten four-and-a-half-lengths with the latest coming in the Ayr Bronze Cup. He handles soft ground and is on an attractive mark, so if first-time blinkers perk him up then I think he can outrun his odds and is an each-way player at the least.
Five year old gelding by Dubawi. Won a Group 2 contest at Longchamp two weeks ago,which was his first run since finishing second in this race last year. Acts on testing ground. Five wins and two places in eight runs. All wins have come at this distance. Has contested two Class One races, winning one and placing in the other. Trained by FH Graffard,who is in fine current form. Eight winners from 30 runners in the last two weeks.
2.30 Ascot. DAME MALLIOTT. Each way. 9/2
Trained by Ed Vaughan and ridden by Hollie Doyle. Jockey is two wins from only two rides on board. Has already placed twice in Group Ones this season. Third last time out in the Prix Vermeille. Form of that race is working out well,with three of the contestants going on to win since. Has had just five runs on turf,winning three and placing once. Excels at the distance and on the forecast going. Ultra consistent who looks set to run another big race.
1.55 Ascot. SONAIYLA. Each way 14/1.
Trained by P.Twomey and has WJ Lee in the saddle. Trainer/jockey combination has a healthy 27% strike rate. SONAIYLA has had just four runs for current stable,and has won two and finished in the frame in the other two. Does well at the distance,won two,placed two from seven races. Has won twice in the forecasted ground. Fitted with a tongue strap and visor for this race,and has already won twice when wearing this headgear.
This race has thrown up a shock result for the last two years, and Onassis is chosen to outrun her odds in this years renewal. An improving 3yo filly, she handles the ground and the track. No doubt she’s going to struggle to lay up early, but she’s not devoid of pace and her 7f strength will help her late on in a wide open race.
2.53 Stratford - Everlanes 4/1
Everlanes looked a horse to follow last spring after winning a couple of chases, and she’s expected to take all the beating here. This well bred mare has done nothing wrong over fences, winning a decent race at Kempton when last seen. She is just the type her talented trainer can squeeze more improvement from and this looks like an ideal starting point.
5.15 Leopardstown- The Mouse Doctor 5/1
The Mouse Doctor won very well over hurdles when last seen, and looks a well handicapped horse returned to the flat. Aine O’Connor was on board last time and keeps the ride here, and she’s one of the most experienced jockeys in the race which will count for plenty. When last seen on the flat The Mouse Doctor looked all over the winner but was in front too soon. A shorter trip and more patient ride should reap rewards here.
This 3yo colt horse trained by Ed Walker really loves the flat won twice on flat turf, a definite contender for this race with a good form to back him up this is one to watch out for, Last ran on 6 furlongs same as this race as long it doesn't get stuck in the middle.
1;20 ASCOT FUJAIRA PRINCE 1/2PT EW 12/1
This 6yo gelding horse trained by R Varian last race 14 days won 5 out of 9 races this horse can be able to make it a 6th on the flat, chased leader in 2nd if he doesn't get boxed in I feel he can lead all the way.
;4;15 ASCOT TEMPUS 1PT 15/2
This 4 yo colt horse trained by Roger Charlton, won 3 times out of his 5 outings on flat turf I think this horse can turn around and gain confidence and get another win, ridden over 2 f out, He ran longer races than this one which might give him the upper hand.
Mainly raced over 7f, however worth a shot at this when taking into consideration the more forward tactics used. This has brought out improvement in him after winning three races on the bounce. These have mainly been handicaps but is worth a shot in this group company and am expecting a bold showing.
Hector De Marris 1.50 Leopardstown 7/1
A maiden but had raced with some promise over the first 2 races, finishing third in first 2. not at the races last day, but on handicap debut and with Aidan O Brien running in a couple of maiden winners in Leopardstown yesterday, think there is a good chance that we have not seen the best of this one yet.
Vermillion Cliffs 3.35 Leopardstown 12/1
As outlined above, Aidan O Brien had success yesterday with a in a couple of maidens and I'm hoping that the could fortune continues. There are 2 OBrien runners in the 3.35 but a chance is taken on the unraced Vermillion cliffs at a higher price. Strong pedigree being a Galileo colt out of a Prix de l'Abbaye winning dam, hoping for a bold showing on debut.
Trueshan was headed and looked beat but rallied very strongly to get back up and win against Group horse Hamish last October. That race was run on testing ground and he should handle this deep surface fine. This season the Ebor looked like the target with an acceptable first run followed by another example of his good attitude to win at Haydock but the big day at York never went to plan with Trueshan running well but having no room to race in for much of the home straight.
ASCOT 14.30 Manuela De Vega EW 20/1
Smart filly who made all in Group 3 at Haydock on return and had little trouble landing the odds in Lancashire Oaks there next time Manuela De Vega likely to be up there so ew claims
MARKET RASEN 16.31 Court Master win 9/2
Court Master jumped very well and led just about all the way when winning at Warwick a couple of weeks ago. modest 4 pound rise. He steps up in distance here (almost 2 furlongs after they’ve moved running rails), which will suit well.
Ralph Beckett has made no secret of the fact that he believes this 4 yr old has yet to show us her full potential. She has won 5 of her 8 races , including a class 1 group race at Goodwood as a 2 year old, and as a 3 year old, she won a listed fillies stakes at Newbury over 1m 2f on soft ground. Two runs and two wins this season, starting with winning a listed fillies race at Pontefract in June over today's trip. Won at headquarters last month winning a 4 runner group race again over 1m 4f. She races off a mark of 109 this afternoon which could be several pounds below her eventual rating. She will be well suited to any give in the ground. Came 6th in this race last year but that was her first race after a break. She comes here this year with a run under her belt.
1.43 Stratford Class 5 Handicap Hurdle over 2m 2f Cold Shoulder 1 pt win NR
Won a couple of handicap hurdles when trained by Gordon Elliott including a class 4 event at Ayr over 2m 3f ,off a mark of 106. He joined Tim Vaughan in January 2019, and is yet to show any worthwhile form after 6 races, but was running initially in class 2 and class 3 races off a mark as high as 117. Can take a keen hold, but Micheal Nolan has ridden him before, and if he can get him to settle, he would have a good chance in this Class 5 race off 99, 18 lbs below his last winning mark.
7.30 Wolverhampton Fillies Handicap Class 4 ( 0-85 ) over 6f Bettys Hope 1 pt win 25/1
Betting on flat racing is not my forte, and certainly betting on the flat on AW surface is most unusual to say the least However, this 3 year old filly is trained by Rod Millman and he has his string in good form. There is no doubt that she has seriously lost her way since her two year old days. She finished second in her first 3 races as a two year old, and followed up with a winning hat trick. Wins included a Class 2 Nursery Handicap at Chelmsford, followed by winning the class 2 supersprint stakes at Newbury in July 2019. First prize £ 122,925 ! ! She has been very disappointing as a three year old, albeit starting off a mark of 89 with her first run of the season at headquarters last June. Showed a bit of form at Goodwood later that month, when beaten under 2 lengths in a six runner class 3 race over 5f. Had her first run ever at Wolverhampton a couple of weeks ago where she struggled to finish 5th. That was a 0-80 race over today's trip. She is two pounds lower this evening and apprentice jockey, Stefano Cherchi takes off 5 lbs ( has ridden 17 winners this season ) It is a big ask, but if this filly can show a glimpse of her 2 year old, dropping to a mark of 77, she could be bang in here at a decent price.
Taking a chance here that Frankie has picked the wrong John Gosden horse. Nazeef is 6 wins from 6 runs over a mile, has a course and distance win and also acts on the going. He also has 4 Class 1 wins to top that off. Jim Crowley has been the jockey for all of these and knows how to get a tune out of him.
Ascot 3.40 Skalleti 1pt win 10/1
This French raider has a progressive profile and the way he managed to get out of the traffic in the mud on his last run in group 2 company over this distance was very impressive. He is a horse that likes to be delivered late and hopefully will have the class to pick off a very good field.
Wolverhampton 8.00 1pt win TAFISH 7/2
Richard Hughes has a good record with his horses in this class of race and while his last run was disappointing, both his wins have been on the all weather. In a six horse race, I think there is a lot of value here as the favourite appears to have been handed a stiff opening mark.
I love this horse, he is improving all the time and Tom Marquand is really impressed with him. This is his toughest assignment to date and on ratings he needs to improve 7lbs to be in contention. I feel the underfoot conditions at Ascot will be a great leveller and at the price has a great chance of a surprise. Good draw and the man on board knows the horse well.
ASCOT 14.30 - FRANKLY DARLING - 0.5 Points EW 18/1
This Filly is the forgotten horse of the race in my opinion, second favourite for the Oaks behind Love, she has not yet produced her best this season.Under the care of the master trainer Johnny G she has had a rest since York and comes here fresh and did a nice piece of work in Newmarket recently. Rab Havlin is sweet on her chances and she can out run her odds.
ASCOT 16.15 - ORBAAN - 0.5 Points EW 12/1
This gelding was due to run at the abandoned meeting on the first Saturday of Tip Idol so I’m not going to desert him now, was due to run over 7f now over the mile on ground he won’t mind. lovely drawn in 20 Danny Tudhope can give David O’Meara’s horse a cracking ride coming late on the scene to take this lovely prize.
This Paddy Twomey grey filly should ran a big race. She won’t mind the ground and the step up from 5f last time will definitely suit. It’s a wide open renewal. Dream of dreams the favourite has never won at ascot in 5 attempts. Paddy’s stable is in cracking for as well. His last 8 runs read 3-1-5-2-1-2-2-1. That’s great form going into a group 1.
3:10C Paddy Power 1pt win 4/1
This one been on the free fall in the handicap and has been out of form for all season until Megan Nicholls got on board last time out. Was slowly away but made steady headway and unlucky not to win last time out. Up 4lb for finishing 2nd is tough but I’m happy to take a chance one.
4:50C Captain Jameson 1pt win 8/1
There would be no surprise if this one went in at a decent price. John Quinn & Jason heart both love it a Catterick. Captain Jameson last ran here a year ago on the same ground beaten 1 length off a mark 9lb higher than he is today. If he can reproduce that there will be no stopping him today.
She won two class one races in July in Ireland including the Irish Oaks. They went too fast for her at Longchamp in her latest start and could only manage sixth place. However, if this race is run to suit her she will be in the mix at the finish.
Nazeef EW 11/1 – 3.05 Ascot
She won well at Newmarket two weeks ago staying on well despite being slightly hampered two furlongs out. She looks to be in good form and seems to go well on soft ground. Has a good chance at a decent price. Could win but should at least be in the frame.
Addeybb EW 9/1 – 3.40 Ascot
Although Magical will be hard to beat here I think Addeybb may be the horse to do just that. He is actually rated higher than Magical and has finished in the first two in each of his last six races and won two group one races in Australia earlier in the year. Obviously in good form and will give Magical a race and could possibly win.
Week 2 – Saturday 10th October
Rain in the week will give a soft surface for this long, flat,crowded event. 34 runners gives a lot of data to plough through: Those that keep popping up in my ratings are, Mondain, Vis a Vis, Coltrane and Great White Shark. Mondain has placed on soft, good trainer stats and a mid-draw but maybe doesn’t fit with a big field. Vis a Vis placed at the distance, with big fields and may like the finish. Coltrane all of Class, Course, Trainer and Jockey fit well but the high draw is putting me off. Great White Shark has a mid-position draw which may just play to her experience of winning over similar and greater distances and field sizes.
York 15:45 Novice Stakes 7f Invincibly - Stake 1pt Win. 4/1
Three stand out for me from the nine runners: Baradar, Ballycommon and Invincibly. The first, down in class, with an in-form trainer puts him top of the ratings. Along with Ballycommon, they like the distance. But for me Invincibly has the advantage of an extra run at the distance. Couple that with an in-form jockey and his turn of speed and we may have his first win chalked up.
Newmarket 13:45 Stakes 1m 2f Babindi - Stake 0.5pt EW. 20/1
Two at the almost opposite end of the odds market attract me. The short one, Lone Eagle likes the ground, good in the weights and in-form Trainer Jockey. Next to him in the stalls is the other, Babindi not yet a winner but the places keep drawing me in. I had some luck with a high-priced selection that showed a turn of speed last week. So Babindi is my Each Way choice.
A prolific winner, with ten career successes so far over sprint trips, and six of those have come with soft in the going description so we know he will absolutely delish the conditions tomorrow. 4 times a course winner and twice a course and distance winner, all the boxes are ticked for another big run.
One Ruler 2:20 Newmarket 7/2
Form of his listed third place last time has been boosted with the winner and sixth place horses winning since, and the fifth was a close second in Friday’s Group Three Oh So Sharp Stakes. There would be a question mark about soft ground as he hasn’t tackled that yet, but if he can handle it I think he has a strong chance here.
Cleonte 3:35 Newmarket EW 40/1
A class horse on his day having run some good races, most notably when second you Stradivarius in September last year over today’s trip. The ground was good to firm that day, and he hasn’t won on soft before, but he has run and finished second on both soft and heavy ground. Form has been nothing of that sort since but this could have been his season long target and I am happy to take an each way play on this one at a big price.
This one ticks lots of boxes. With the ground riding soft, or at least on the soft side of good, he will be in his element having won over 2.25 miles in the heavy at Chester and in June this year won The Ascot Stakes at Ascot. He is only 3lb higher than for that win - he will stay forever and will relish the ground.
Millisle- 4.15 pm Newmarket - 1 pt Win 11/4
This filly won The Cheveley Park here last year and Jessica Harrington wouldn’t be bringing her over to Newmarket again without believing she had a very good chance. They tried her over a mile in the 1,000 Guineas but she clearly didn’t stay and has reverted to Sprinting. She has won over course and distance and on the soft and will give a good account of herself here.
Zabeel Prince - 4.50 pm Newmarket - 1 pt win 12/1
This is a specialist distance at 9f and this horse has already won twice over the distance with one of those wins being in a Group 3 at Newmarket last Spring. I am not looking further than a course and distance winner who has won in this class and has won on soft going
Legal Attack overcame inexperience on debut at Newmarket beating a next-time-out winner. Improved on that effort when second in the Group 3 Prix Eclipse at Chantilly 3 weeks ago. More improvement likely and the Crisford stables are in good form at present.
GREAT WHITE SHARK (EW - 1/5 x 6 or 7 places) - 15:35 Newmarket 13/2
Seven of the last 14 Cesarewitch winners had won over hurdles and six of the winners since the turn of the century had been involved at that year’s Cheltenham Festival. 17 of the last 18 winners of the race had won a race over a trip of 2 miles or beyond whatever code of racing. In the last 18 running's, just one winner started the race in a stall higher than 25, so that makes life difficult to those drawn in the highest quarter (stalls 25-36) and that includes two at the head of the market Coltrane (drawn 34) and Leoncavallo (drawn 29). Willie Mullins has won the last two running's of this event which included a 1-2 last year. This time around he sends over the mare Great White Shark who flopped in this last year but had come in for strong market support (7/1). Last seen 71 days ago winning an 18-runner handicap hurdle over just shy of 3m on soft ground. That was off the back of running four days earlier on the flat, finishing 2 1/2 length 7th behind Princess Zoe having finished well over 17f. The winner has since won the Group 1 Prix du Cadran last weekend. Prior to that outing she last raced at the Cheltenham festival in the Martin Pipe finishing third. Rated 144 over hurdles, 60lb above her flat mark, allowing for the standard additional 45lb flat to hurdles, her present mark of 86 could well equate to being a stone 'well-in'. She has shown that she handles racing in large fields, has winning form on testing ground. Despite being around the 8/1 mark in a field of 34 runners, some would say that's not value, I'd disagree as Great White Shark has many positives and she does look likely to go very close in this, she'll be primed to the minute by Mullins who has shown he knows what it takes to win this race.
HIGHEST GROUND - 16:50 Newmarket 2/1
Twice successful, Highest Ground lost his unbeaten status last time out losing by a head in the Dante while still appearing to have some greeness. Sir Michael Stoute's Frankel colt remains open to further improvement and he can land this on his way to better things as a 4 y-old.
Trained in Ireland by Jessica Harrington. Jockey S.Foley has a 15% strike rate for Mrs.Harrington. Jockey has a decent record at the course,with two wins and three places from 12 rides. This 5 year old is a dual purpose horse and has three wins and eight places in 22 runs on turf. A course winner,and has two wins from three runs on similar ground. Had a prep run in a Novice Hurdle at Listowel,finishing second of six. Horse has a habit of finishing down the field after having had a break of two months or more. Looks weighted to run a big race.
Chepstow 2.47. BALLYOPTIC win. 7/1
Trained by Nigel Twiston Davies and has Sam T-D in the saddle. Jockey has a five wins from only ten rides on this horse. Won this race last year and runs off the same weight this time. Consistent type who has won five and placed once in 15 Chases. Last ran in February in a three mile Listed Handicap Chase at Ascot. Won the race comfortably,staying on strongly. Likes to be up with the pace from the early stages of a race. Two wins from four in Class 2 ,and six wins at the distance. Fitted with a tongue strap,and has a three wins from nine runs with the strap fitted. Goes well fresh,and has four wins from six after a break of eight weeks or more.
Chepstow 4.32. THE BAY BIRCH each way. 3/1
Bred for chasing being by Beneficial. Trainer has a decent record with his horses sent chasing. Jockey Stan Shepard has a 30% strike on board the mare. Had a good prep run last time out,at Warwick when finishing third. That came after a 6 month break. Won this race last year,and carries 2 lbs less. Jumped well and stayed on strongly. One win and a place from two runs over course and distance. In Class 2 races has a won two,placed two from 6 races. Acts on the forecast going,and looks a genuine contender.
Willie Mullins looking for a hat trick in this race having won it in the two previous years and it’s interesting he’s got last years winning jockey with Jason Watson on board. Ran well enough last year when Unshipping the jockey before the race to finish 10th running on late in the race through beaten horses. Won well last time out in a big Galway hurdle race which I hope it’s primed him up for this race. Mullins only runner in this race which is a interesting sign has he normally has a few. Only he doesn’t get too far behind and Watson can guide him home first.
322 Chepstow novice listed chase Tip : Fusil Raffles 11/10
Perfect chase debut last time but did get a little flat footed before 3 out before finishing strongly before the last. Rattled up a hat trick of wins early last season before two disappointing runs after but they were in big hurdle races at kempton and Cheltenham. Hopefully the longer distance will suit it seemed to be last time out when staying on best on a hot novice chase. Ground will suit and won’t mind it getting softer. Has only beaten grand sancy last season so I would hope he’d still have the measure over that rival.
310 York coral sprint trophy Tip: Kynren 12/1
Ran really well last time out to finish 5th in the Ayr Gold Cup when racing on the wrong side, on his first time over 6f. Draw could have been worse and he’s drawn with the likely front runners so in theory he should get a good toe into the race. Hoping he’s settled just off the pace and pounces late and fast. Has a good record on going described as soft. I also like horses running 2nd time out after a wind op and he has the joint highest rating in the race with a good jockey claiming 5lb. Think he’s in with a major shout this weekend.
I have had my eye on this horse since his second at Auteil in March. On that occassion he raced wide and covered a lot more ground than most of the runners, but he was still travelling well into the straight and kept the winner up to his work on the run in, showing a very good attitude. What is interesting is the yard has acquired both this horse and the winner of the race.
14.47 Chepstow - POTTERMAN 9/2
The ground seems to have come right for the horse and Saturday looks dry so there should be no issues ground wise. I have his prime conditions as - good ground, 11 runners or less when racing in May to October. Under these conditions his record reads : 1111131121. His last win at Market Rasen has been franked with the second and third winning on their next run
15.35 Newmarket - LYNWOOD GOLD (EW) 14/1
The horse has been in decent form and his third behind Princess Zoe caught my eye as that horse went on to win the Prix Cadran at the Arc meeting. That run was over an inadequate 1m4f trip and I feel that this trip will be ideal today. The soft ground will not hinder his chances either.
I think this one has ben laid our for this race by his very shrewd trainer, he’s a classy individual who was 4th in this race last year off a slightly lower mark, but in this case this season he is a fresh horse with only the one run at Pontefract where he hacked up, is well drawn here as history says its normally low to middle numbers that win this cavalry charge ,he will be held up with a late run in mind and Graham Lee is a fine exponent of that art.
420 York The Jam Man 1pt win. 15/8
This one ran in Ireland last Sunday and went straight into my notebook as a next time out winner, although I wasn’t expecting him too come across to York. His trainer is more than capable of landing a touch and does send a few over but mainly Perth and Ayr. Going back to the race he ran last Sunday I was pretty sure there was more left in the tank and his rider was not overly tough on him once he realised he wasn’t going to catch the leader, pretty confident he can win this.
357 Chepstow Fix Sun 0.5pts ew 8/1
A chance is taken on this one has he is a relatively unexposed one, who has too say the least looks like has been kept under the radar by Nicky Henderson. Has won two small races but then was beat at long odds on in his last race. Has now been given a wind op and really thrown in at the deep end here ,I think Jacob will sit as quiet as a church mouse on him and will pounce very late on him, will handle the ground and surely looks a good ew bet at the price on offer at time of writing.
2:47 Chepstow >> BOLDMERE WIN 9/2 Caroline Bailey has started the season with a bang and is currently running at 33% win ratio in the last 14 days improving to 100% with Richard Johnson Booked. .Last time out looked to be making it another win but fell at the last when 5/2 fav in the group 2 William Hill Towton Novices Chase at Wetherby over 3m(soft) in a grade 2 chase.I really like the chances of this horse winning today.
4:15 Newmarket >> MILLISLE WIN 11/4 .After a frustrating season finally won the Ballyogan Stakes at Naas then ran a real shocker when well fancied 3 weeks later in the Phoenix sprint stakes.I am very confident that today we will see the real MILLISLE and if on song fully expect this horse to trounce this field.We will know our fate early on as likes to be up with the pace.This would be my best selection of the day and so rates as my NAP selection. Good luck if you follow :)
In a wide open race Mondain arrives in peak form and has looked a stayer of great potential this season. Last time he trounced the opposition at Ayr and is officially 3lb “well in” here. Ground and trip look fine and he shouldn’t race too far off the pace which is always a good thing at Newmarket.
1.45 Newmarket - Recovery Run 11/2
A race that looks sure to be run at a decent gallop and as a result will be a war of attrition for these 2yos. Recovery Run showed last time that such a test is right up his street. This colt by Nathaniel stays really well and his experience and toughness are expected to help him see off some unexposed sexier types.
1.25 Hexham - Nortonthorpelegend 4/1
Nottonthorpelegend represents the bang in form Rebecca Menzies yard and looks to hold a big chance here. He’s got two recent C&D runs to his name which have just looked like they’ve been needed. The softer ground, drop in the weights, and his stables form all mean he’s the one to be on now.
Has been off the boil last 2 starts but has a good comeback win this summer in the curragh, and has won over 2m4f over hurdles before that, meaning he should have no issue with the distance. Dermot Weld souls have him in gear for this and hopefully can put up a good showing
Cadillac 2.55 Newmarket e/w 17/2
Very easy victory in a maiden on debut with the 2nd place winning twice since. Beaten half a length on next race by a horse with a group 1 entry and resumed winning ways last time out. Harrington had had a couple of winners recently and foley in good form so expecting a bold run.
Faerie Laws 4.05 Limerick e/w 25/1
But of a flyer here not much recent form and only recent win coming over much shorter, 7f.however had shaped decently on first early hurdle starts this summer without getting the distance. Hoping a couple weeks break and a shorter distance will see in better shape and it with a shout
3.35 Newmarket - LYNWOOD GOLD (0.5pt ew) 14/1 - An interesting Irish-raider for Jessica Harrington who has ran well on three separate occasions so far this season, winning a Curragh handicap over 1m6f and is only 3lb higher here. He was third just before that over 2m at the same track and the form of his third on penultimate start is starting to look very nice as the winner Princess Zoe has since won at listed level as well as a Group 1 at Longchamp last weekend.He’ll like the soft ground and if seeing the trip out then he’ could well be a player with Shane Foley back in the saddle. Plenty of extra each-way spots if you shop around, I’ll be going with seven places at Paddy Power.
4.32 Chepstow - SPIRITOFTHEGAMES (1pt win) 4/1 - This eight-year old was unlucky last season is some of the big handicaps across the Cheltenham season. He was beaten a head in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup off 146 before being beaten half-a-length on trials day off 149 and off the same mark finished a respectable sixth in the Grade 3 Brown Advisory (all over the extended 2m4f on soft ground). He returns to action off a pound lower mark and can go well fresh having won on this card back in 2018 by six-lengths on chasing debut, Dan Skelton has his horses in decent enough form with a winner here on Friday and I’d expect this gelding to go close if completely revved up on return to the course, he deserves to win one of these.
This is the race in which we all have to make a selection. 34 runner handicap is a tipster's nightmare, but at least most bookies are paying ew 6 places for the ew punters. I have tried to find reasons to take on the first three in the betting in this race. Great White Shark winning will give Willie Mullins a three timer , having won with Stratum last year, and with Low Sun in 2018. A tall order, but not impossible. Leoncavallo & Coltrane are drawn in stalls 29 & 34 respectively. Only one winner drawn higher than 25 in the last 20 years. In addition, Coltrane is a 3 year old, and only one of his age group have won in the last 20 years. In the last 20 runnings, only 5 winners have carried more than 9st 2lbs, so I discard Not So Sleepy who carries 9st 4lbs and is currently fourth in the betting. I think Jessica Harrington has laid Lynwood Gold out for this race some time ago. Soft ground, or even on the heavy side, will suit this 5 yr old. He won over 2 miles over Hurdles at Navan last March on heavy ground, and won the Irish Ebor trial over 1m 6f at the Curragh in July. In August he finished 6 l behind Princess Zoe at Galway over 1m 6f on soft giving her 8 lbs. This now looks pretty strong form as Zoe now has a rating of 109 . His recent run was over hurdles at Listowel two weeks ago on soft ground. Finished a well beaten second of six runners , but that was over 2m 4f, and should have put him spot on for this race. Great chance carrying 8st 11lbs and stable jockey , Shane Foley, comes over for the ride ( also takes the ride for the stable on Cadillac in the Dewhurst at 2.55 )
Chepstow 2.12 Handicap Hurdle Class 2 over 2 miles RIVER BRAY 1 pt Win 10/1
This 7 year old has tonnes of ability, but has been troubled with breathing problems throughout his career. Had his first wind op in April 2018, followed by a further op in November of the same year. This is his first race since his most recent wind operation which he had just 6 weeks ago.He came out and won after his last op, winning at Wincanton in February 2019, making all and winning unchallenged over 2 miles. He wore Cheek pieces for the first time on his last run at Stratford last March when he ran a sound race finishing second of 13 in a class 3 handicap over the extended two miles. He has always needed a tongue tie. He finished a remote 6th in this race last year when clearly suffering from breathing problems, as he led until 2 out and then stopped as if shot. This is his first run after his recent wind op, and he retains the cheek pieces that seemed to improve his run last time out. I am hoping he can run a big race carrying just 10st 11lbs and racing off a mark 6 lbs below his last winning mark. A big ask of course, but no doubting he has the ability to win this if the wind op and cheek pieces do their job. Stable ran Dancing Shadow in Veteran's Race at Chepstow this afternoon ( Friday) Made every yard but nabbed on line to be beaten 2 noses into third. So some form from the stable, and they may try front running tactics with River Bray tomorrow ( worked the oracle at Wincanton )
Chepstow 3.57 Grade 3 Handicap Hurdle over 2m 3f SIR PSYCHO 1 pt Win 7/1
To say Paul Nicholls loves Chepstow would be an under statement. ! He is the top trainer here over the last 5 years with 29% of his runners winning and 65% of runners finishing in the frame. He has had four winners there today ! ( Friday) It is interesting to note that Paul also has Saint Sonnet in the race shouldering top weight. I suspect his future may be over fences, but of more interest is the fact that he has got Bryan Carver riding Sir Psycho claiming an invaluable 5 lbs ! Bryan has already won 35 races under rules ( 7 this season ) and is a young jockey destined to be amongst the top dozen riders. He rode a brilliant race from the front on From the Heart to win the last at Chepstow this afternoon( Friday) This 4 year old has won 3 of his 6 hurdle starts, including winning a 12 runner novice hurdle at Exeter on New Year's Day by 31 lengths !. Will certainly get 2m 3f at Chepstow after this performance at Exeter over 2m 1f. Followed up by easily winning a six runner class 2 juvenile hurdle at Haydock on heavy ground. His last run was arguably his best, at the Festival last March, when beaten 4 lengths finishing fifth in the Triumph Hurdle. Has a great chance this afternoon off a mark of 147
Has form figures of 2111 at 2m-2m1f, in the book so the stamina test holds plenty of appeal. Made the most of a good opportunity at Ayr last month, landing a 2m1½f handicap by 5 and a half lengths to extend unbeaten record over 2m or further anr has form figures of 2111 at 2m-2m1f, so the stamina test holds plenty of appeal
15.10 york MR LUPTON EW 11/1
. MR LUPTON, a winner at the Curragh on his penultimate start, can continue his fine form in big handicaps and can go well once more scoring at the Curragh before third of 24 in Ayr Gold Cup 21 days ago, despite missing break He is a . C&D winner here too so he's firmly in the mix despite his 2 lb rise MR LUPTON, , can continue with his fine form.
14.35 YORK GLASSES UP EW 25/1
Glasses up is an Ayr specialist who hasn proved at least as good as ever when fourth in a competitive C&D handicap last month. Remained in form since and consistency is hard to knock but that now puts him career-high mark the trainer has a 23 percent strike rate over the last 14 days
Summer Moon bounced back to form at York over an extended two miles back in August when winning a similar class two handicap. He races just off a four-pound higher mark this afternoon. Despite taking a keen hold and lugging left under Joe Fanning, the four-year-old headed Rajinsky in the closing stages to win by around three quarters of a length. The further they went that day, the better he looked and having been placed in the Ascot Stakes over two and a half miles back in June, there is every reason to believe he will appreciate this step up in trip. Mark Johnston has won this race twice before with Scatter Dice (2013) and Contact Dancer (2004). Despite the burden of top weight, he may well just be coming to the boil at the right time and he commands respect under his evergreen jockey.
2-55 Newmarket POETIC FLARE (0.5PT E/W) 28/1
Poetic Flare could do no more than win like he did when beating Lipizzaner back in March over five furlongs at Naas. He will absolutely relish the underfoot conditions on offer this afternoon. The yard have won this race five times since 2006 including with Poetic Flares’ sire Dawn Approach. They have taken an identical path with their contender this year and despite not having the ammunition of old, Jim Bolger is still well capable of upsetting many an applecart. Kevin Manning takes the ride yet again and it would be foolish to write him off despite being considered a complete outsider given his breeding. Plenty of his rivals have endured a long tough season and he may well take full advantage of that.
2-12 Chepstow FRIEND OR FOE (1PT WIN) 9/4
Friend Or Foe makes his handicap debut for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden this afternoon and sneaks in at the foot of the handicap. He has proven that he can go well fresh in the past so a lay off of almost six hundred days is only a minor concern. The yard have hit the ground running so far this season and having won over the course and distance on his previous start, Friend Or Foe can certainly make his presence known off such a light weight here. This race looks a sensible starting off point and he will progress as the year goes on.
I was looking for a National Hunt trainer to follow on with their good run in this race. Alan King having won this race in 2015 seemed a good choice, my only concern is that he is drawn high, but a place does not seem outside of his scope as a minimum. The ground will suit and stamina will not be a problem.
Fairyhouse 5.35 Quite Incredible 1pt win 9/2
Back to the National Hunt flat and following a trainer with an outstanding record in this type of race and a jockey who is riding well at the moment. He has already had a respectable third in this sphere and that bit of experience might give him the edge over the fancied Gordon Elliot runner.
Chelmsford 8.30 Sheila 1pt win. 15/8
Following on from her win at the second time of asking in a handicap, I don't feel the 6lb penalty will be enough to stop her coming home in easy style this time round either. Her win was over course and distance, so there will be no uncertainties for her here. If I had a NAP this would be it.
Lottery of a race. As Willie Mullins has farmed this race lately, it's obvious to start with his runner. Maybe a Galway specialist but last year winning combination Mullins & Jason Watson from the same stall 20 might be more than coincidence.
Sir Psycho 15:57 Chepstow 7/1
With the Nicholls team in flying form, this 4YO gelding who finished fifth in the Triumph should enjoy the step up in trip. With 5lb claimer Bryan Carver in the saddle, reuniting their partnership with a previous romp at Exeter.
Rockesbury 19:30 Chelmsford 15/2
If this Phil McEntee, who's becoming a Chelmsford specialist, can get on the pace early from stall 9 then there is every chance with Luke Morris in the saddle (2 from 2 on his back) can take this with his mid-pace.
This 8 yo gelding horse trained by h Morrison last out 14 days ago at a lower price than it is today and has won 4 times out of the 12 on the flat can today make it a 5th win? Worth an ew way bet, comfortable win at Pontefract 1m 4 f hcp.let's see if not so sleepy is wide awake for this race and win on to victory.
3;10 YORK CAME FROM THE DARK 1/2PT EW 12/1
This 4 yo grey colt trained by Ed Walker won last time on the flat at 3/1 now gone up to 8/1 is shows promise and won at the same weight has its running today can this horse come out of the dark and run on to victory.
1;45 NEWMARKET RECOVERY RUN 1PT WIN 11/2
This 2yo bay colt trained by A M Balding won last time out with 7 runners in the race, This horse loves the flat, and with 1 extra runner this horse could do well again won at ayr at 1m so will recovery run ride again to victory form shows he can.
Great White Shark wasted energy by running loose on the way to post before enduring quite a rough race in this contest last year so his 10th placed finish should not be judged too harshly. He was sent off 7/1 last year and is a similar price a year on, but there's evidence to suggest he is an improved animal now. He was a fine third in the Martin Pipe in March off 136 & then won a Galway hurdle handicap off 135 in July. Between those two runs he ran an eye-catching race on the flat at Galway under a 7lb apprentice, coming very wide into the home bend. Rated 145 over hurdles now, a mark of 86 on the flat looks appealing and he is trained by the right man in Willie Mullins who has sent out the last two winners of this famous race. Some well fancied three-year-olds such as Ranch Hand & Southern France have not performed to market expectations in recent renewals so that would be a negative for Coltrane. Rock Eagle has stamina to prove and encounters soft ground for the first time, while Mondain, who won impressively last time out, needs to prove he can handle the hustle and bustle of a big field handicap. I liked the chances of Smart Champion who has shaped repeatedly like a horse capable of landing such a prize, but the ground also looks to have gone against him. Leoncavallo is a horse with a similar profile to Great White Shark and rates the chief danger.
19:00 Chelmsford – Dulas Win 4/1
This looks a tricky handicap sprint but Dulas looks a well handicapped horse off 83 and he should be capitalising off this mark soon enough. He made his debut at Newmarket last year finishing 6th/14 behind the likes Al Suhail (now 113), First Receiver (now 108) and Tsar (now 103). He recorded his first win in December last year when making all at Newcastle, finishing over two lengths clear of Nehaall, now 86 rated and five lengths clear of the 3rd Glen Force, now 89 rated. Dulas was next seen when sent off the warm 5/2f fav on handicap debut at Doncaster but he was far too keen and failed to see out the 7f. He shaped with more promise on his latest start at Newmarket travelling strongly before not getting the best run back over 6f. He may not be the easiest horse to train and does not look an easy ride, but he has a nice draw so hopefully Shoemark can get him settled.
20:00 Chelmsford – Power Of States Win 7/2
Power Of States has ran at Chelmsford twice, recording a victory and a second. The win came on debut back in October 2018 (RPR of 80) while the 2nd, beaten a short head, came in handicap company last September off a mark of 76 (RPR 83). That race was won in a good time and worked out reasonably well with the 3rd winning three races subsequently and the 4th winning twice since. Power of States was a good third at Doncaster in July behind Mankayan (since 2nd three times, now 90 rated) & dual subsequently winner Heart Of Soul. He then finished 4th in a strong class three handicap at Ascot, won by the now 99 rated Look Closely. He was denied a clear run at Chester on his penultimate run and was left with too much to do at Lingfield latest. He has dropped to a handy mark of 74, Hollie Doyle is booked, and a visor replaces his regular blinkers so he should be going well.
Darley Dewhurst stakes over the straight Rowley Newmarket course will suit this Wooton Bassett colt perfectly. Impressive in its last victory at Doncaster over 7f, the horse showed its battling qualities and deserves its rating of 115. only one horse rated higher in this race and all racing off 9-1. Richard Hanson’s horse can show its class and land this valuable price.
DALTON HIGHWAY - 15.35 NEWMARKET - 0.5 Point Each Way 25/1
Trained by the Irish Maestro Dermot Weld and ridden by one of my system jockeys Tom Marquand, this horse will go very close to landing this famous second leg of the autumn double. His win at the Curragh over two miles shows he will stay this trip although raised for that victory he has had this race in mind and will be cherry ripe for the day. Let’s hope he can win this prize as DALTON HIGHWAY used to be ridden by the late great PAT SMULLEN.
DROP KICK MURPHI - 16.08 CHELMSFORD CITY - 0.5 Point Each Way 16/1
I have been following this horse and today he has his best chance and could be last chance saloon. Off just 46 today and second lowest weight ( despite a 1lb out the handicap which goes against the grain ), today might well be the day at a price as well. The trainer had a double at Southwell on Thursday night and she loves having runners at the Essex Track.
Won well at Chester in August over just short of 2 miles. That was on good to soft ground and he was full of running coming home so the extra 2 furlongs should be no problem here. Followed up with a 5th of 17 over 1 mile 6 at Haydock but he seems to need further.
Summerghand – 1.00 York 9/2
Won the Stewards Cup in August and has run quite well 3 times since including 3rd place at the Curragh two weeks ago. That was on yielding ground so if the going is soft then he should have no problem with that. With a clear run he should go close again here.
Mr Lupton EW - 3.10 York 11/1
Finished 3rd in Ayr Gold Cup three weeks ago after missing the break which followed a win at the Curragh just a week earlier and another at Ripon in August. The rest will have recharged the batteries and should go well again despite going up 2 lbs in the weights.
34 runners over 2m2f at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course, it doesn’t get much more difficult than that to pick a winner does it!? Having the winner of this race hasn’t been difficult for Irish National Hunt’s main man Willie Mullins in the last couple of years and the fact he only runs one today must speak volumes. This mare is not a left field choice but GREAT WHITE SHARK has the credentials to complete the hat-trick for Mullins here. There are no draw issues, no stamina doubts and no recent form worries. She ran a blinder at the Cheltenham Festival to finish 3rd, this was followed by an unlucky 7th on the flat at Galway (she had a very wide trip under her inexperienced rider) and just four days later she won nicely over hurdles, again at Galway. She is 3lb lower than her 10th place finish in this race last year where she was shuffled back in the pack before running on all too late, which would indicate she is well handicapped. Great White Shark has everything in her favour to run a blinder here and I’ll be disappointed if she doesn’t go very close.
Hexham 12:25 Selection – THE FERRY MASTER 1pt WIN. 13/2
The selection here is THE FERRY MASTER for trainer Sandy Thomson and jockey Ryan Mania. These two are a highly underrated duo when teaming up, especially with chasers. This horse managed to win a maiden hurdle in the stewards room last season but chasing was always going to be his game and he will have been properly schooled during his 209 days off the track. Thomson boasts a 25% strike rate with chasers off the track for 121-365 days over the past 5 years so the layoff is of no concern. Thomson can also boast a 29% strike rate with his chasers in October over the last five years. The fact connections threw this horse into a grade 2 on only his third start under rules surely means they hold him in high regard and he could well be a bit better than a class 4 handicap chaser in time.
Chelmsford 20:30 Selection – SHEILA 1pt WIN 15/8
The selection here is SHEILA who won takingly on all weather handicap debut last month and a 6lb rise shouldn’t stop her going very close again. With Chelmsford reportedly riding slow on Thursday, it may pay to be up with the speed, so it’s encouraging that Sheila was handily placed last time behind the leader, who she picked up with ease in the straight. Being by Australia, she is likely to stay even further in time so if it becomes hard work on the slow surface, stamina is assured. Her trainer Hugo Palmer has a 20% strike rate at Chelmsford over the last year, and her jockey Jason Hart 21%, to add further confidence.
This ex Mark Johnston horse has all the credentials to run a big race here. He’s been placed 4 out of 5 times on the soft and has one win from two runs on the track. Harrington horses are starting to come good but, a huge field so we’ll need some luck in running.
2:35Y chatez 1pt win 20/1
Ran a great race when finishing 5th beaten just under 3 lengths last time out finishing the race off well. At 9 years old he’s not getting any younger but he’s 9lb below his last winning mark and he’ll be winning again soon.
3:10Y Recon mission 1pt win 12/1
Won off 97 last year when making all from the front here at York. Hopefully he can ping out the stalls today off a mark of 92. Harry Russell will be taking off another valuable 5lb. I’d fancy him more if the rain stays away. At a decent price he’s worth a bet.
145 - Lone Eagle 7/2 win bet. Like how Martin Meade has brought this one along slowly, won his last two races, steps up in trip at a stiff track but I think the further he goes he’ll be hard to pass.
255 - Alkumait 9/1 ew. The fact Jim Crowley has jumped off albasheer who he rates very highly to be on Alkumait is hugely telling, if the horse lasts the trip I think he could be better than the front two and win this
Week 1 – Saturday 3rd October
Michael Dod’s talented sprinter has returned as good as ever this year. HE is trying to repeat his win in this race from last year and he actually races off a one pound lower mark today. He bumped into a solid improver in Starman at York a couple of starts ago and then probably ran too quickly when finishing third at Doncaster next time. He has had a month to recuperate and with the soft ground likely to be very much in his favour, he has to have every chance of retaining his crown this afternoon.
3-05 ACOT ROPEY GUEST
Finally got his head in front with a confidence boosting win at Chelmsford last time where he was sent off at prohibitive odds. He was placed in a couple of Group Three races at Newmarket last season including when a solid third to Military March in the Dubai Autumn Stakes. He is still relatively lightly raced and there should be better to come from George Margarson’s three-year-old. Soft ground out to hold no barriers for him and there is every reason to expect a decent run.
3-24 FONTWELL HIJACK 7/2
Hijack was good enough to win back to back novice hurdles over two miles at Ludlow last year. He was allowed to race prominently on both occasions before asserting on the run in on both occasions. Nico De Boinville rode him to victory when he last won and it is a positive sign to see him back on board this afternoon. He is Nicky Henderson’s sole runner on the card and on what is his handicap debut, he has to be feared now that he has had a summer to strengthen up. Racing in the familiar colours of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, another bold bid is expected.
An ultra competitive handicap but Kynren Last year's winner arrives on the back of a good fifth in Ayr Gold Cup 14 days ago when he raced closer to pace than ideal. Can make his presence felt again on second run back since wind op also a positive is to have course form plus the trainer won this race last year
ASCOT 13.55 Dakota Gold WIN
Dakota Gold Has been keeping very busy after re-finding his form at Beverley on soft ground and it looked to have taken the edge of him last time at Doncaster, though he did battle on well as usual. Dakota Gold won this race on soft ground last year and the rain has come for him again now. A stiff 5 furlongs is fine for Dakota Gold as he stays 6 and likes to bowl along up front. His highest of all draw in stall 14
NEWMARKET 13.40 Gift List WIN 7/1
Has followed debut near miss with victories in 7f minor events at Newcastle and Redcar. Gift List likes to bowl along near the speed and she has already shown that she stays 7 furlongs and that soft ground is no issue. She really put her head down in taking fashion to defy a penalty last time. She looks sure to give this a good bash from near the front.
With heavy rain forecast overnight and throughout Saturday morning, the straight 7 furlongs at Ascot will take all the getting and is unlikely to suit front runners. You need courage to back Blown By Wind that's for sure, as he is making a habit of leaving the stalls very slowly and losing several lengths at the start. Clearly he needs to have everything falling in place for him to win here, but he has a lot going for him this afternoon. He is a Course winner, and has won over 7 furlongs. Only 2 lbs higher than his last winning mark when winning at headquarters back in June, but 5 lbs lower than the mark he raced off when second at the same course three weeks later. He is drawn in stall 9 and the middle stalls could be the right place in the prevailing conditions. Won on heavy ground as a 2 year old so conditions should not be a problem. Already had 25 races and is only a 4 year old so he is pretty streetwise. As long as he gets out of the stalls Ok, he can run a big race at a big price.
2.19 Fontwell Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle Class 5 over 3m 2f GOOD NEWS 1 pt win 15/2
Fontwell Park is scheduled to get plenty of rain just like Ascot, so this marathon trip will be a real test. This 8 year old has bags of course experience having run here on nine occasions. Won successive races here last Autumn over 2m 5f , significantly both were run on soft ground. He races off a mark 5lbs higher than his last winning mark,but has the excellent Rex Dingle on board once again. Good News will be better suited to the underfoot conditions than most of his rivals. He will be wearing cheek pieces for the first time, which could help him see out the extended trip of 3m 2f.
3.29 Fontwell Handicap Hurdle Class 2 over 2m 3f MISS TYNTE 1 pt win 25/1
David Pipe has his yard in good form and this 8 year old mare is well worth an interest having had wind surgery a couple of months ago. One can never be sure if they will improve following the operation, but if it has the desired effect she has a decent chance. She had a similar wind op in May 2019, and then came out and won by 14 lengths ! Has won on soft ground, but has been running over longer trips. Back to 2m3f could help her run a big race from the bottom of the handicap. All three selections should handle the prevailing conditions and are tipped to win. You may wish to back them each way. In any event, good luck and enjoy your racing
From the moment I saw the racecard, Raising Sand has been jumping out of the page at me, so rightly or wrongly I have been looking for reasons to select him. He has been given a high draw which can only be beneficial as there is a slight bias towards this and while Jamie's strike rate is only 5% in the last fortnight, Saffie's is 29%. He is also a multiple course and distance winner, including winning this race.
Redcar 4.35 No 10 - Hot Summer 0.5 pt e.w 25/1
If the forecast is correct for tomorrow and the going doesn't change too much, then Hot Summer should be able to put his best foot forward and take this race to his competitors, he likes to race near the front and I am hopeful that having won over this distance and on soft ground before, should be able to hold out come the final furlong.
Fontwell 5.40 No 8 Rebel Rebello 1pt win 5/2
I am a great fan of Paddy Brennan when he rides for Fergal O'Brien in bumpers and as there appears to be no stand out competition in the race, I am happy to take an educated punt on this one. He is the brother of a bumper and jumps winner, so hopefully he can carry on the family colours.
2.30 Ascot - HIGHLAND CHIEF (1pt win) - Logician on his best form should win this but with the ground going to be testing and the possibility of the ‘bounce factor’ I’m willing to take on the odds-on shot with Paul Cole’s three-year old. His colt won the Golden Gates Handicap at the royal meeting over 1m2f on soft ground when carrying top-weight and after a no show in the Derby he’s since posted a couple of solid efforts in defeat. He’s finished second in both Group 2 & 3 company over this 1m4f trip behind Mogul and Pyledriver and they’ve both come out and franked the form since. He’s 2/2 on soft ground and could be the one to upset the favourite.
3.05 Ascot - GREENSIDE (0.5pt each-way) - Tough handicap as usual but it’s last year’s second who, despite a nine-year old now, could outrun his odds. He was beaten half-a-length by the re-opposing Kynren off 7lb lower and he arrives here in good form having won on his penultimate start at Haydock (soft, 7f) before running to a similar level when third at York over 1m and a repeat of those runs should see him involved with him drawn nicely and has conditions to suit (two wins on soft), Marco Ghiani claims 5lb again. Ropey Guest was one I looked at but this opening mark might be beyond the three-year old though I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go well. Each-way for first five places with most of the main bookmakers.
Watching the news and the weather forecasts I struggle to see the ground at Ascot for Saturday being Good to Soft. That takes a few of the runners out of the predication. Those showing up in several of my ratings are; Admiralty, Greenside, Shelir, Revich and River Nymph – Course, Distance and probably going wins add to the in-form Trainer and Jockey Stats. Combined with a higher draw, a good start hopefully flows through to a prominent position in the field and a good turn of speed on the finish. At the time of writing the available odds (7’s) and enhanced places (5 @1/5) make this a viable E/W bet.
Wolverhampton 16:50 1m 1f Handicap (Class6) - Tangramm - Stake 0.5pt EW (1pt) 16/1.
Looking over this race my eye kept getting drawn to 3 contenders with probable place capability and decent odds to follow: Puckle, Brutalab and Tangramm. The first has a good jockey on board, the second recent form and the latter likes the course. All have a good chance of getting in the frame but for me Tangramm offers the best value.
Wolverhampton 20:00 6f Handicap - Lucky Lodge - Stake 0.5pt EW (1pt) 11/2.
Staying with Wolvy, a 12 runner Class5 Handicap over 6 and a bit furlongs. Two selections for me fit the historical ratings for this course/distance/class combination: Chookie Dunedin and Lucky Lodge. Add in a Visor, an in-form Jockey and a quick return to the stalls and I think Lucky Lodge may just have the edge at the finish.
Returns to the scene of his greatest career win, which was this race last year. He is 4lb higher in the weights this time around, but is 3lb better off with his nearest rival last year Greenisde, and the pair were clear of the remainder. Of course a year has passed since that race and the competition will be different but the ground has come soft again which he will love. I also have concerns regarding other market principles like Raising Sand (loves the course but huge lack of runs in the past 12 months and doesn't go well fresh) and King Ottokar (Has raced exclusively over further than this since debut, winning over 3f further) so believe Kynren looks a good bet on second start after wind surgery.
Lezardrieux 8:00 Wolverhampton 9/1
Looks overpriced in this race to me, rock solid form of late. Won at Pontefract over 6f off 4lb lower, beating Penny Pot Lane, who I believe was well in off current mark, in a 0-72 Class 5 event. Has run once more since, at Pontefract over 5f, and finished second off 1lb lower than today's mark. That was a 0-85 Class 4 so today represents a nice drop back to class 5 for this 0-75 handicap and its a step back up to that winning 6f trip. The horse hasn't run at Wolves before, but has won 2 of his 4 starts on the AW and looks like there could still be mileage in this mark.
Peckinpah 8:30 Wolverhampton 11/2
The form of his July third place at Sandown is what made this one stand out to me, with the two who finished ahead of him winning a further 3 races between them since. It was a 0-70 Class 5 handicap and the winner that day was running off 70 and the runner up running off 66, with PECKINPAH running off 67. Jump forward to today and the winner has since won off 76 and was last seen on the flat running in a 0-105 class 2 handicap off 83 where he finished a respectable 4th of 8. The runner up won his next two starts of 70 and 73, and has since finished runner up again twice since off 78 and 79. So with the winner having been raised 13lb and the runner up having been raised 13lb, I can't wait to see Peckinpah run here off 69, just a 2lb higher mark. He was a very unfortunate loser of his only start since the Sandown race, when brought clear 2 furlongs out but just caught under the shadow of the post over 1m 6f. With that also in mind, todays drop back looks like it will suit.
Has a good record in Ascot, where most of career wins have come, including over course and distance. Recent reappearance not as bad as the 8 on the record looks. Was slowly away and may not have been benefited by racing on far side. Should be better after that and in with a good chance in a tricky race.
Estijmaam 2.35 Gowran E/w 10/1
Lightly raced, but has been in good form with a couple of very handy runs. While finishing a good few lengths behind Oscar Thybe and fakir d'alene in kilbeggan, I think at least one of them could end up winning bigger races throughout the year. Closer last time out on better ground in a handicap, going to get a bit closer today.
Put the kettle on 4.55 Gowran 5/2
Winner of the arkle at Cheltenham in March winning determinedly from Fakir Doudaries. Had run very well throughout the year before that and am expecting big things for the coming year potentially leading to racing in the champion chase. Henry de bromhead has targeted this race previously with horses to go onto the champion chase including with sizing Europe.
Off the track since an excellent second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita 11 months, Daahyeh has 8lb in hand on official ratings and her juvenile form is head and shoulders above her rivals. She showed she acts on this course when beating 24 rivals in the 2019 Albany. She narrowly went down to Love in the Moyglare before winning the Rockfel. None of her competitors can boost form of this quality. Daahyeh won on debut last season and then ran well against Love off a break so although this is her seasonal reappearance, it shouldn't be a negative.
Greenside (EW) 3:05 Ascot
Look for books offering 1/5 odds x 5 or 6 places. Past history shows that we should be looking at the forefront of the market and horses that have ran well in a previous Ascot handicap and finally we should be looking towards horses that are officially rated between 100-105. Mark Johnston has had just one placed in last 13 attempts and last time out winners haven't fared well. Greenside catches the eye from stall 17 although running from 16 given the non-runner. There's enough pace from those drawn high to drag Greenside into the race. I do feel high drawn horses are at an advantage here on going which will be riding on the soft side more than good-to-soft by Saturday afternoon given the amount of rain that is about. Greenside scored over 7f at Haydock on his penultimate start and was a staying on strongly inside final furlong last time out finishing third of 9 in handicap at York. Had a nice break of 90 days and has gone well fresh in the past. Second in this event last year to Kynren from a low draw (3) whilst the winner was drawn 17 of 17.
Cape Byron 3:40 Ascot
Cape Byron ran out a comfortablle 2 length winner of this event last year and looks set to repeat on a track that he has good overall form on. This will be his first run on the season but his 350 day absence from the track shouldn't be a hinderence as he won the Victoria Cup here on his 2019 reappearance.
Ropey Guest finally broke his maiden last time eased in grade and this highly tried colt looks primed for a big run here. This has been the aim for a while and with plenty of course form with cut in the ground he still represents a bit of value in a wide open race.
1.20 Ascot - Onassis
Onassis has done nothing wrong all season and remains a very progressive filly. After winning the Sandringham here at the start of the season she has held her own in Group company since, and now back at Ascot with cut in the ground her experience and toughness will see her go very close.
2.15 Redcar - Dragon Glass 14/1
Dragon Glass has caught the eye on more than one occasion this season, and is of definite interest here. Dropped in trip after travelling strongly over further last time, the handicapper has also dropped her a pounds. Connections believe soft ground will suit and from a lowly mark this unexposed filly should run a big race.
This very competitive 7 furlong handicap has possibly become a little easier to resolve since the rain has been falling most of Friday at Ascot and is forecast to rain there for the next 24 hours. The going at the end of racing on Friday was Soft and if the forecast is right it will be Very Soft, and probably Heavy by Saturday. There are a few horses that will be favoured by these conditions, and none more so than Blown By Wind. He won a Class 2 Handicap at Musselburgh on very soft going at this time last year and relishes a lot of cut in the ground, and is excellent value at the price. I fear that Kynren may run his usual sound race but I expect Blown By Wind to catch him in the last half furlong.
Morando – 2.30 Ascot
Can lightening strike twice? This lad hosed up by 6 lengths in this race last year and I think he may well do the same this. The obvious threat is Logician who may well continue his magnificent run, but is unproven on ground this soft. The only other threat is the 3 year old Highland Chief who won here over 10f as a 2 year old and has been backed overnight.
Dakota Gold – 1.55 Ascot
Having won this race last year, Dakota Gold has once again got his conditions. All his best runs come with give in the ground and he will enjoy this testing 5 furlongs and hopefully double up on last year. The main threat should come from Maid in India, who will also enjoy the conditions, but his Trainer is in dire form at the moment and I would not wish to chance my arm at the price.
Hold-up horse back over 7f who has shown he's ability to regularly get involved at the business end of the race. Enough pace on his side, (stablemate Shelir) on his side without having to switch low. Headway on bridle two out and challenge inside final furlong.
Champers Elysees 2:45 Newmarket 7/2
There are enough pace pushers to ensure an even gallop, which should suit the aforementioned, the main dangers are the classic winning milers but this exciting filly should enjoy the uphill finish and seal this with an authoritive win
Lawahed 4:30 Newmarket 9/2
Ran in blinkers for the first time when rushed into the lead early but never built on that lead and was swallowed up to finish near last at Sandown. Surprised connections reached for blinkers, as she's a pace pusher naturally. Should run her natural race stalking pace & pounce.
This 8-year-old bay gelding horse loves the turf runs better on turf and had more wins and places than the all-weather track, his weight has been up and down throughout his career but that won't stop him as he loves the ground, last ran in June with more runners than this race his last outing was 40/1.
4;04 Fontwell AWAY FOR SLATES EW 15/2
This 10-year-old gelding horse is a Three-time chase winner as novice but failed to add to tally last term, though took step back in right direction when third over course and distance on final start. Off 6 months. Came 3rd last time out at font well with a little push I feel this horse good do well today.
1;05 newmarket BOLSHOI BALLET WIN 7/2
This unraced bay gelding horse, I feel has potential to do well here last time out she was 33/1 and sadly pulled up in the race with the jockey Ryan Moore lasted race 14 days ago, I'm sure we can get this horse back to a winning form.
After spending some time looking at this race and with the ground conditions likely to be SOFT/HEAVY I have managed to get a short list down to 6 from the 18 strong field.This one will appreciate the ground more than most and was not knocked about on its last run.Hopefully the odds are decent and I think E/W is the safest option here,hopefully we might get double figure odds but we shall see.Dangers on this ground for me are last years winner for in form stable KYNREN and RAISING SAND ridden by the rising star SAFFIE OSBOURNE but overall I think the best bet is KING OTTOWAR E/W
2:30 Ascot >> MORANDO WIN BET.
With the ground soft/heavy I have been looking for confirmed mudlarks. Last years winner stands out and with the odds on fav being a huge question mark on this ground I am happy to chance this as looks to be the only one that fits the profile and ticks all the boxes for me. S DE SOUSA taking the ride for A BALDING is a plus.I think we can take on this odds on fav. All things considered I rate this horse my best chance of a winner on Saturday and therefore is my NAP selection.
8:00 Wolverhampton >> CHOOKIE DUNEDIN E/W BET 4/1
This is a horse I follow and he loves it here on the tapeta at Wolverhampton.He has been running well of late and can come with his late rattle right down the middle of the track here if fully recovered from his decent run at AYR just a few days ago.October is his month and his record at Wolverhampton is highly impressive.Taking a slight drop in grade I expect this horse to be arriving late on the scene and hopefully swoop late to victory but as an E/W bet I think is good value and hopefully we will get a decent price on the off..Good luck if you follow :)
Blown By Wind has some nice form in the book and I think he can hit the frame here at a price. The ground looks sure to be testing which should not be a problem for him, given he won on heavy on his debut and hacked up at Musselburgh on soft last October, beating the now 110 rated Montatham. On his reappearance in June he won a race at Newmarket that has worked out very well. He had Pogo now 112, Qaysar now 109 and Naharr now 107 all behind him and even the 5th and 6th have landed decent handicaps since. He has been inconsistent since but he ran a monster race off 107 at Newmarket in June when short of room and denied a run on at least two occasions and then at Chester in August he was noted travelling strongly and staying on stoutly. A slowly run contest did not suit on his penultimate run and his effort on all weather at Chelmsford last time out was fair. The return to turf should suit and providing he does not completely miss the break, he can be competitive off this mark of 101.
Venturous – 19:30 Wolverhampton 5/1
There looks to be an awful lot of pace on here with front runners Leodis Dream, Spirit of May, Walk on Walter, Full Authority and prominent racers Katheefa and Spanish Angel all declared. It could well set up for a closer and I like the claims of Venturous. He is a previous course and distance winner and has ran two very good races at the other tapeta track Newcastle this year. The first of those came when winning in good style off 87 in January and the other came in June when 2nd behind subsequent winner Caspian Prince off 89, doing best of those held up. He has shaped with a lot of promise in his last three runs. In the first of those he was an unlucky 6th at Thirsk in a race which has seen the 1st, 2nd and 3rd all win subsequently. At the same track next time he performed much better than his finishing position of 8th suggests as he never had much room and the jockey looked after him. His recent 3rd at Chester confirms that he is in good order and the switch back to tapeta in a strongly run race could see him land another deserved success of a sliding mark.
Barossa Red – 16:35 Redcar E/W 10/1
Barossa Red is a horse I have tracked for a while now and he should go well on ground set to suit on debut for Daniel and Claire Kubler. He won a very good race at Haydock last year on heavy ground beating dual subsequent winner House Of Kings. He ran very well on his next start when 2nd behind the well handicapped Time For A Toot as he had a very bad draw in stall 16 and suffered a wide trip throughout. The time compared favourably to the earlier listed race on the card, won by the now 119 rated Pyledriver. He has run very well on his last two starts, firstly when unlucky when denied a clear run behind Alternative Fact and then a good 3rd not beaten far by unexposed Confide. He has recorded RPR’s of 86, 89, 89 and 91 on his four runs on soft or heavy ground so there is plenty of evidence that a handicap of this nature on such ground will fall his way soon off a mark of 84. He could well get an easy lead here, which in the testing conditions could make him hard to pass.
First selection for the competition and I have been waiting for this lovely horse to run for ages. She went into my tracker on the second day of the resumption of racing, she raced up at Newcastle and came fourth although that does not tell the story as she was denied a clear run of several occasions, in the end Hayley Turner brought her down the stands side and flew home. We all say unlucky losers don’t win, well Berkshire Roco did this afternoon. Next time out at Newbury it was a weird race where the leader played the hare and it was catch up time and Harry Bentley couldn’t get first run on the winner, which wasn’tthe hare, an unlucky loser again. This Afternoon William Buick, who rides Newmarket better than anyone, takes over. The horse has won on soft ground and even with top weight has an outstanding chance of making her seasons form 421.
ORBAAN - 15.05 ASCOT - 1/2 POINT EACH WAY.
Pink and Blues colours, not my favourite Jockey who admitted to the “Boom “ man the other night that he only rides for his mates now. However I think the horse has a great chance on form having run well against the likes of Tempus and Montatham. Has won on soft when trained in France by a little known trainer A.Fabre. The price is decent and the hold up man JPS does win races at this course and the trainer is in superb form. I expect this horse to go very close, it all depends on............
SHARK TWO ONE - 15.25 REDCAR - 1/2 POINT EACH WAY. 8/1
I really like this horse and it will run a cracking race, will it win, I hope so however the horse is drawn 20/23 and the softer it gets at Redcar the more the draw can favour the low numbers, saying that I am a great believer of pace in a race out weighing draw bias. The horse has won a 20 runner race at the Curragh on soft, that was its last run, it is owned by The Blue and White striped cap man, trained by the Northern Mafia and ridden by the Managan christened that by the “Photo” King Thommo. Paul has come back better than ever from a bad injury and can take this prize of Fifty Six grand for the man that doesn’t need it. Everything is in this horses favour EXCEPT........ he might just win “ his side “ and not pick up the trophy - still each way at the price is value I reckon.
This one was second in this corresponding race last year going very close. He has been given a break by his shrewd trainer and I think with this race in mind. Will handle the forecast conditions as a lot of the wet stuff expected at Ascot .So with that in mind and looking on past history of race on these conditions a high draw number looks best ,he’s also well up in stats of the race placed last time out within 10lbs of top rated horse and has previous course form.
Champers Elysee 1pt win 245 Newmarket 7/2
I have followed this horse from last year starting at the Curragh, where she won and she has not looked back since. Will handle the forecast conditions and is Colin Keane only mount at the meeting. Stable continues to bang in the winners so no worries there. There was a strong draw bias here last Saturday so she drawn quite low so hopefully can get up stand side rail and use her explosive turn of foot.
Arecibo 0.5pts ew 415 Ascot.
I have backed this horse so many times that my wallet is crying with the pain of losing more money too this horse. This horse really needs everything to drop right as is a hold up merchant who comes very late and will need luck in running but I simply cant ignore. He ran well in Ayr Gold Cup 2 weeks ago again slow away but flying at finish ,will handle the conditions tomorrow bound to get a good pace to aim at and must go close ,his handicap mark is the lowest he has been for sometime which I think our enemy the bookies have noticed as he favourite at time of writing for this race.
Ran in five C1 races between September last year and July this year placing in four and was 4th in the other. Finally crossed the line first in a C5 race at Chelmsford when going off at 30/100 favourite and now running in a C2 race that should have given the confidence to win again here.
Billesdon Brook EW - 2.45 Newmarket 10/1
Won this last year off a mark of 106 at 16/1. Now rated 113 but has had two recent group races finishing 2nd on both occasions. Beaten a neck by Nazeef at Newmarket in July, with the 5/6 favourite back in 3rd. Then she let Maamora get too far ahead at Sandown in August and went down by ½ length towards the end of August. Looks in good shape to win this again this year.
My Oberon – 2.50 Redcar 2/1
Has only had four races so far and won lost his maiden tag in the 2nd one in a C5 race at York in July. Stepped up to race in two Group 3 races at the end of July and start of September. Finished a decent second in both. Khaloosy was the beaten favourite in both races and should finish behind him again.
Won this race last year and the rain seems to have arrived in time for him again as I do feel he is better on softer ground. Clearly in need of his first run of the season, he then weakened inside the final furlong over a mile. Having had a wind op his next run in Ayr Gold Cup over 6f was clearly better finishing well inside the final furlong. The step back up in trip today shoul be ideal.
15.29 Fontwell HANG IN THERE 5/1
This selection is from a system I created last year. The system looks at Miss E C Lavelle 6-y-o runners that are having their first run in a handicap having last time run in a Novice Hurdle. The horse must be running at Aintree, Doncaster, Exeter, Fontwell, Huntingdon, Ludlow and Wincanton. Under these conditions the trainer has a 47% strike rate and a profit of 34.25 points.
15.40 Ascot CAPE BYRON
The horse I have never felt was quite up to Group 1 company and this is more his grade. The horse runs well fresh and when racing 121 days or more after last race has a record of 141. The horse goes well on GTS and softer as a record of 111701 shows. The horse also seems to run really well at this track - 171110 and if we only look at runs at 6f below Group 1 it reads 11.
The sight of a huge field handicap on an Ascot racecard appeals to many as a solvable puzzle but how we go about doing this and ultimately picking the winner is one of horse racing’s trickiest conundrums. Whilst today’s race isn’t one of Ascot’s biggest handicap fields, we still have 17 runners. The ground is going to be very testing as it will be up and down the country this weekend. My selection is a horse who has placed three times when soft is in description and that horse is BLUE MIST, why?
- - He has won at Ascot twice over 7f and 1m.
- - He is drawn low, where he can track the likes of front runner Jack’s Point and prominent racer Kynren into the race.
- - His trainer Roger Charlton has an excellent record in 7f handicaps, with a 36% win rate in October over the last 5 years being a stand out stat.
- - This is an improving horse and a mark of 100 is not beyond him.
- - Many of the market principles don’t have age on their side. No horse aged 6 or over has won in the last 10 runnings – Blue Mist is 5.
With the ground guaranteed to play a part in all results on turf this weekend, I am playing it safe with two remaining selections on Wolverhampton’s tapeta surface. We begin with the class 6, 1m1f handicap, which in truth is weak to say the least however we know what we’re getting with a few runners in here. My selection is the consistent AMOR FATI who has been threatening to win round here in recent times. I like how Callum Shepherd who has had a terrific season takes over from a 7lb claimer for the ride, the horse is definitely well handicapped and he is sure to win again soon. Hopefully against this standard of opposition, it can be this race. Wolverhampton 20:00 Each Way Extra At bet365 Handicap - DANA FOREVER 0.5 EW 14/1.
A slight rise in class for our next choice of race with this class 5, 6f contest. It is ultra-competitive and again I am going with a horse who has been threatening to win round here for a while now. DANA FOREVER is the selection for jockey Jane Elliott and trainer Tom Dascombe. Dascombe’s yard has been firing in the winners with a 21% win rate over the last 14 days. This horse has run five times at Wolverhampton and has a 100% place strike rate, with 1 ¾ lengths being the biggest distance she has been beaten. The filly clearly loves it here despite not winning yet and has every chance once again of breaking her duck today.
Clive cox’s three year old has shown huge improvement in his last two runs and I think he can continue his rise up the ratings with a bold showing here. Won easily enough over course & distance two runs ago then handled the soft next time out at Newmarket so won’t mind the rain that is forecast.
Newmarket 2:45 Champers Elysees 1pt win 7/2
Colin Keane over from Ireland for this one. Beat peaceful by just over a length last time out at Leopardstown and I can’t see Peaceful reversing the form. Gets the 3lb three year old allowance. She’ll be held up out the back so will come late to scoop another group 1.
Redcar 4:35 So Beloved 1pt win 20/1
This 10 year has been creeping down the weights. 29lb below his last winning mark although it was back in 2016 he’s been placed plenty times. This is his 1st run in a class 4 over a mile. Angus Villiers takes off 5lb and if they run the same race as they did the last time they paired up he’ll be bang there. Worth a bet at a big price.
Ran really well last time out to finish 5th in the Ayr Gold Cup when racing on the wrong side. I like horses running 2nd time out after a wind op and his 7f record is pretty good ( 5 runs 2 wins 2 places ) with a good jockey claiming 5lb. Think he’s in with a major shout this weekend.
Tip 2 140 Newmarket - Mighty Gurkha (win) 3/1
Completely the class act in the race winning a group 3 last time out and a overall rating of 104. Slight concern he’s never won turf but the soft ground could be a big advantage ( both wins on Aw being std-slow) he has been running in far better races than this and hopefully Hollie who can not be in better form can guide him home first.
Tip 3 110 Redcar - Selection Baradar (Win) 4/6
The only previous winner in the race and a grade dropper from his last run. Giving bundles of weight away would be a concern although finishing 4 out of 5 last time out he wasn’t beaten far in a race that is way better than this one and I would be really surprised if he’s beaten. Rossa Ryan back on and Varian has a good strike rate these last 14 days (22%).
Bay colt sired by Cable Bay. Trained by the in form Clive Cox and has Adam Kirby in the saddle. The jockey is two wins and two places from four rides on the horse. Trainer and jockey combination have a healthy strike rate when combining. River Nymph has had seven career runs,winning three and finishing in the places on three occasions. Has two victories from three runs at 7 furlongs. Goes well on the forecast softish going. Two wins and a place from only four runs on soft. Has won last two races,last time out at Newbury and prior to that over course and distance . Won both races with ease,and is clearly an improving type. Form of last win is working out well, with the second,third and seventh home all going on to win. Should be thereabouts at the business end again.
2.10 Newmarket. BE MORE each way 5/1.
Trained by Andrew Balding and ridden by Oisin Murphy. Balding has a 23% strike rate at the course,and the jockey and trainer combining hold a 20% success rate overall. This 4 year old Shamardal filly has run a couple of mediocre races recently. Fifth last time out at Chester,after being slowly away. Lost all chance of getting into the shake up. Time before that finished fifth at Goodwood. Form from that race is working well with several runners going onto win since. Won three races last year,and got off to a win earlier this season,at Sandown. Ran on well inside the final furlong after not getting a clear run at the two furlong pole. Has a good record in Class 2 races. Two from four at this level. Loves soft ground. Three wins and a place from four outings on soft.
5.40 Fontwell REBEL REBELLO each way. 5/2
Trained by Fergal O’Brien and ridden by Paddy Brennan. Top trainer and jockey combo in National hunt racing. Trainer has a great strike rate in National Hunt Flat races, 29%. This unraced 4 year old chestnut gelding is well bred for the jumps game,being by Flemensfirth. Brother to a useful hurdler/chaser. Had wind surgery in August 2019,and wears a tongue strap in this race. Majority of field are making their racing debut, and those runners with previous experience do not appeal as potential winners. Has the potential to go on to bigger challenges in the future.
430 Newmarket - lawahed - 9/2 - William Haggas is a massive fan of this horse, won at haydock in the soft and I think will run a big race today with James Doyle on board. Replaced the blinkers with a a tongue tie and I’m willing to give him another chance.
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