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These are the winning write ups of 2019
13:50 Uttoxeter –
ANY DRAMA 12/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
ANY DRAMA has to overcome top weight here but he is going to relish this very testing ground, whereas others will struggle. A horse who has only run twice since March 2017, so has had his problems but returned at Newbury at the start of November, which should have put him straight for this. Back in 2017 before his problems, he won two races as a novice and earned himself a rating of 144. He went to the Cheltenham Festival and run in the Albert Bartlett but the ground was good that day, totally against him, eventually pulled up. As mentioned above only two runs since but right down the handicap to a mark of 129. Before joining Harry Fry he was a wide margin winner on Heavy Ground and the same happened at Market Rasen on soft ground under the care of Harry Fry. He has not actually run on very heavy testing ground in the UK and I think you are going to see him come alive, as long as he is over his setbacks. A big price and he should easily outrun his odds in favoured conditions. E/W.
14:00 Leopardstown – APPLES JADE 3/1 – 1 POINT WIN
APPLES JADE has won this race for the last two seasons and to me is a horse who needs 3 miles these days. She was a class act on her day but has been dissapointing on her last few starts. She seems to be on the decline but I personally believe she is being trained differently this season, to peak in the spring at the festivals. Often she starts the season well and then runs below par in the spring so I believe she is being built up slowly this season. If my thoughts are correct she would have come on a bit from her first two runs of the season and this 3 miles will be just what she needs. A big price at 3/1 even just on the basis that she has won this race for the last two seasons. WIN.
15:10 Leopardstown – DELTA WORK 6/1 – 1 POINT E/W
I really can’t believe the price of DELTA WORK at 6/1. He finished a close up 3rd in the RSA Chase last season and then went and destroyed a field at Punchestown on his next start. He was 4 from 5 over fences last season and had the world at his feet. His first start of the season was at Down Royal where he finished 4th of 5 but he wasn’t fully wound up that day and Gordon Elliott had bigger plans on the agenda. The reports are that DELTA WORK has been working very well recently and I am sure he still has more improvement to come over the bigger obstacles. A great price at 6/1. E/W.
14:30 Kempton – EPATANTE 5/1 – 1 POINT WIN
It is nice to see a decent size field for this race. In recent years we have only had a few runners with Buveur D’Air scaring others off.
The favourite this year is Fusil Ruffles who is unbeaten in 3 starts for Nicky Henderson. Although he looks talented he did make hard work last time out.
Verdana Blue won this race last year and was a winner of the Scottish Champion Hurdle on her final start over hurdles last season. She can go well again but is having her first start of the season. When she won this race last year, she was fit as had already had 3 runs. She may need the run in my opinion.
The one I am keen on is the other Nicky Henderson trained mare, EPATANTE. I have long been a big fan of this horse and I think she could turn out to be a serious horse. She was a winner on her first two starts last season but was a bit immature on her final start in the Mares Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. She pulled hard and didn’t like being amongst 24 runners. She reappeared this season at Newbury and looked a different horse. She has clearly grown up and jumped very well. She is a horse who loves a fast pace which she is sure to get here. The 7lb Mares Allowance that she gets is going to be massive, come the end of the race. I really think EPATANTE is a dark horse for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. If she can win this race, she will go to that race with a great chance. I think she has all the talent in the world and with outrun her big odds of 5/1. WIN.
13:40 Fakenham – ENCORE CHAMPS 4/1 – 1 POINT WIN
ENCORE CHAMPS threatened to be a decent horse over hurdles last season with two wins, which earned himself a handicap mark of 133. He went on to run in two decent handicaps without getting involved but his future always looked to be over fences. He went for a wind op over the summer and returned at this course for his debut, in October. He came home 2nd to Nube Negra and although he was easily beaten, that horse finished 2nd in a Grade 1 last time out and is now rated 153. He was also beaten on his last start but again it was a very good race with the winner now rated 149. This race looks much easier and is his for the taking. He looks well handicapped on 125 and I fully expect him to be involved in the finish. I actually make him 5/2 fav so the 4/1 looks a decent price. WIN
BOTOX HAS 2/1 – 1 POINT WIN
BOTOX HAS is the one to beat in this race given his excellent form last time out. He finished 2nd at the course to Allmankind and pulled well clear of the 3rd that day. The 3rd was a horse called Repetitio who went and won a decent handicap hurdle at Cheltenham. This gives the form a bigger boost and given how easily BOTOZ HAS won his first start by a huge 18 lengths, combined with this easier looking race compared to his last run, he will be very hard to beat. Trainer Gary Moore horses are also running very well at the moment. WIN.
13:50 Sandown –
ESPRIT DU LARGE 18/1 – 0.375 POINTS E/W
I have covered Summerville Boy with ESPRIT DU LARGE as I think he is way overpriced at 18/1. He looks a proper chaser who has had two starts over fences this season. He won his last race at Exeter last month and travelled smoothly into the race. He probably got to the front a bit too soon but still stayed on to the line. That was over 2m 3f so is back in trip for this but with plenty of pace in the field, he should be able to travel nicely into the race. He is a very solid jumper and these railway fences will suit. I think he is the type of horse who has so much more improvement to come over these bigger obstacles. E/W.
14:25 Newbury – EPATANTE 4/1 – 1 POINT WIN
A horse who I hold in high regard and this season I would like to think we will see the best of EPATANTE. She was a little immature last season and that showed in her performance at the Cheltenham Festival. It was her lack of experience that got her beat in my opinion and not her talent. She still won two races last season very impressively and ended up being sent off 15/8 for the Mares Novice Hurdle. Now she is back after a summer off, she should have grown and matured. Her handicap mark of 137 looks very lenient as she could be very talented. I know connections hold her in high regard. She was a Grade 1 winner before coming across the sea to join Nicky Henderson, which tells you all you need to know. WIN.
13:30 Kempton – MASTER TOMMYTUCKER 3/1 – 1 POINT WIN
All eyes will be on favourite Thomas Darby here. He is a useful horse who finished 2nd in last seasons Supreme Novice Hurdle. He is up in trip here and having his second start fences. He was beaten on his first start and if I am being honest he didn’t look the most natural over a fence. He is entitled to improve for that outing but does look a horse, prone to make mistakes. I am happy to take him on with the Paul Nicholls trained MASTER TOMMYTUCKER. He is an 8 year old who ironically is having just his 4th career start. He won his first two career starts over hurdles and looked every bit a chaser in the making, with plenty of scope. He then made his debut at Chepstow last season over fences and jumped beautifully throughout, but made a mistake and fell, when looking like the winner. That was the last we seen of him but he returns here and can make amends for his fall last season. I know the whole of Dicheat think a lot of this horse and I expect a big run. Paul Nicholls had a great weekend with Cyrname and Capeland winning and MASTER TOMMYTUCKER can keep the winners flowing. WIN.
13:00 Ascot – ANGELS BREATH 11/4 – 1 POINT WIN
ANGELS BREATH makes his debut over fences here and he was always bought to jump fences. Nicky Henderson thinks a lot of this horse and described him as special last season. Thing’s didn’t quite go to plan last season after winning on his debut, at this course last December but his last run was encouraging. He came home 3rd to Reserve Tank and Brewin’upastorm which is decent form given both have started well over fences this season. Angels Breath comes from the point to point scene and was purchased by Dai Walters after hosing up by 12 lengths in April 2018. He clearly goes well fresh as he won first time up last season and it is interesting he starts the season at the same course as where his win came last season. I think this horse still has the potential to go to the top as he looked a bit babyish last season. Over the summer he would have matured and strengthened up. His main danger comes from stable rival, Birchdale. He is a very good horse but I would say 2m 3f is not the most ideal trip for that horse and wants further. I am happy with the 11/4 on offer about ANGELS BREATH and this is going to be a great race. WIN.
14:10 Warwick – TORPILLO 11/4 – 1 POINT WIN
We have been on TORPILLO on both starts this season and I see no reason why we should dessert him here. He is making his debut over fences but given he is only a 4 year old, you would have to think his schooling has been really good, if they happy to send him over fences so young. On his last two starts I have made reference to him reminding me of Bristol De Mai. He has a long way to go to reach his heights but he is the same free going horse as a 4 year old who has plenty of scope. The bigger obstables made Bristol De Mai concentrate that bit extra and I am sure they will for Torpillo. He loves soft ground, the softer the better so all the recent rain will be in his favour. He also gets 4 year old weight allowance of 5lb which could well be the difference come the end of the race. If he can get into a nice rhythm from the front, with his weight advantage, he could be hard to peg back. WIN.
12:35 Fairyhouse – DEBUCHET 4/1 – 1 POINT WIN
DEBUCHET looks a very fair prices at 4/1 on his chasing debut here. This is a horse who was 2nd in the Cheltenham Champion Bumper back in March 2017. After the festival he then followed up with a convincing win at Limerick. He has since had 11 runs over hurdles without winning but a few of those, were Grade 1 Hurdles. He did run some nice races over hurdles finishing 2nd on four other occasions. To me he always looked like a chaser and he has his first start over fences here. I think he will go close.
14:25 Cheltenham – DEFI DU SEUIL 13/8 – 1.5 POINTS WIN
Long term subscribers will know I love this horse and on soft ground he is deadly. He had an amazing season last season which resulted in him winning the JLT Novice Chase as the Cheltenham Festival. His form on soft ground reads 111711 and his form around Cheltenham reads 1111521. From 7 starts he has won 5 races. He stays that bit further so with this race likely to be run like a 2m 4f race, it is ideal. I think this horse can right to the top and at the age of 6 is still not the finished article. WIN.
13:15 Cheltenham – WHOLESTONE 15/8 – 1 POINT WIN
I am not going to go crazy with WHOLESTONE and keep it at 1 point win. His jumping was a little sketchy when beaten a neck at Cheltenham in October. I have tried to take him on but he is just too classy. He is a grade 2 horse running against handicappers. As long as he jumps his class should see him through in this race. Cheltenham is his course and his form around the course reads 121131232952. From 12 starts at the course he has finished in the frame 10 times, with four wins. This looks a weak race by his calibre and although 13/8 seems short, I make him 5/4. WIN.
13:50 Cheltenham – WEST APPROACH 9/2 – 1 POINT WIN
Ramses De Teille is the favourite here and he loves heavy ground. He will be hard to beat but he is on a mark of 153 and carrying 11st 12lb. It is a tough ask over 3m 3f with all that weight and he has to give a decent horse in WEST APPROACH 11lb. Because of that reason I am siding with WEST APPROACH who travelled well last time out, to finish 2nd in a tough handicap. It was the first time Robbie Power has rode the horse so this time around, he will have a better understanding of the horse. I don’t think the trip will be a problem and if anything improve the horse. Given his rating of 150 over hurdles, the 142 over fences still looks very workable. WIN.
15:35 Wincanton – GIVE ME A COPPER 7/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
All I heard from Paul Nicholls last season was how well handicapped GIVE ME A COPPER was and he was also his handicap best chance at the Cheltenham Festival. It did not come off but I know they think a lot of this horse. I really think he will come into his own this season as long as he gets good to soft or better. He was 4th in the Bet 365 Gold Cup at the end of the season and travelled well throughout. He was also travelling sweet at the same course back in February before getting tired late on in bad ground. He is a horse by Presenting whose horses always prefer better ground. Harry Cobden takes the ride and he knows the horse very well. He is rated 142 and I think he could be at least 10lb well in if he puts his best foot forward. E/W.
12:55 Newbury – ZANZA 9/2 – 1 POINT WIN
I am happy to put a line through ZANZA last run at Chepstow as the ground went against him and he hated it. The return to this better ground will be much appreciated ad I am expecting to see a totally different horse here. He won 3 races on todays ground last year including one at this track in March. He clearly likes it around Newbury and he has conditional Sean Houlihan riding who I rate. He does have to carry top weight but this is not the strongest race he has run in. Should go close. WIN.
14:35 Newbury – SILVER FOREVER 7/4 – 2 POINT WIN
I rate SILVER FOREVER very highly and I think she can go to the top in mares races this season. Her biggest asset is going to be her jumping as on her debut at Chepstow last month, she was fast and slick. That jumping is only going to get better. I loved the way she moved stylishly through her last run and Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden are very sweet on this horse. She does have competition in Floresca but that horse has been running in weak races. I think SILVER FOREVER will have the better of her and prove she is a real class act. IN.
14:10 Exeter – JANIKA 7/2 – 1 POINT WIN
Only 6 runners for this years Haldon Gold Cup and straight away I narrowed the race down to 3 horses. I am happy to take on Charbel, Gods Own and Lalor as all three horses much prefer better ground. One may be good enough to get away with it but I am not one for second guessing. A horse who we know will love the ground is JANIKA given his form in France before joining Nicky Henderson. He ran in four races last season for Nicky Henderson and was top weight for each of them. He never put in a bad performance and placed in each of them, including at the Cheltenham Festival and Aintree. JANIKA was only a 6 year old last season who is turning 7 shortly. I feel he has much more improvement to come and we have still not seen the best of him. This trip of 2m 1f is on the short side but with the ground soft it should be run like a 2m 4f race. Great chance at a decent price. WIN.
14:40 Plumpton – DAN MCGRUE 4/1 – 1 POINT WIN
The favorite Acey Milan is short enough here on what he has achieved over hurdles. He is a good horse on his day but at the price of 15/8 he is there to be shot at. I am happy to take him on with the Paul Nicholls trained DAN MCGRUE. He was runner up here two weeks ago, only beaten a short head. He will come on for the run and has only gone up the handicap 1lb. He has always been highly thought of by his trainer and I think this season he will come into his own. On 130 he could still very well handicapped in conditions which will suit. WIN.
14:10 Ascot – DIEGO DU CHARMIL11/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
I remember listening to Paul Nicholls not so long ago and he said ‘the best time to catch DIEGO DU CHARMIL is fresh’. Little snippets like that always stick with me and have proved a useful tool over the years. Trainer comments to one side, he has won twice in 3 years, having his first start of the season. He is also a former grade 1 and has his recent runs have suffered because he bumped into Alitor, on 4 of his last 5 starts. He is back in handicap company and Lorcan Williams claims 3lb. He has also been sent for a Wind Op which should also help on his first start of the season. A great E/W at the price.
15:10 Cheltenham – SAINT CALVADOS 4/1 – 1 POINT WIN
Another absolute mud lark who will relish the conditions. Carries top weight but that is because of his success in much better races than todays. Has had two runs at Cheltenham where he was beaten fair and square. Some will say Cheltenham does not suit him, which could be true but when you bump into a prime Footpad and Altior, I don’t think Cheltenham would suit anyone in those races. This is a Grade 2 winner running in a handicap and looks bulletproof. He is also unbeaten when coming back from over 80 days off the track. He was a winner first run last season when winning a Grade 3 at Nass and he was also a winner on his first start in 2017. He is obviosuly better when fresh and this time around he has even had a wind operation. You would have to be confident that SAINT CALVADOS will be too good for these. WIN.
16:20 Cheltenham – RAMSES DE TEILLE 2/1 – 1.5 POINTS WIN
You would have to think RAMSES DE TEILLE will be to much for The Butcher Said on this ground. The Butcher Said has been on a good run but that has all been on good ground, this will be totally different against a top quality horse in RDT. This is a horse who was 2nd in the Welsh National and 2nd in the Grand National Trial at Haydock. He was pulled up in the Grand National but is a top horse. He is rated 153 over fences and although he looks a much better chaser, he is still rated 146 over hurdles. Just looking through the field, the handicapper has him at least 9lb better than anything else yet he gets weight off those rated lower than him. Tom scudamore has three rides tomorrow, two on outsiders and this ride on RDT. I am sure if he doesn’t win on this one he will leave Cheltenham a tad disappointed. WIN.
15:50 Southwell – OSCAR ROSE 10/3 – 1 POINT WIN
OSCAR ROSE is very well handicapped on a mark of 118. She has to be winning this race as it is a weak race and probably the weakest race she has contested in some time. The best time to catch OSCAR ROSE is first time out as she showed last season on her reappearance when winning off a mark of 122. Trainer Fergal O’Brien horses are running fairly well as is jockey Paddy Brennan. Going through the field as long as OSCAR ROSE is fit and ready, it is her race to lose. WIN.
13:15 Worcester – KNOW THE SCORE 10/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
KNOW THE SCORE cost a massive £380k following his win in a point to point in November 2017. He made an impressive debut under rules when winning a bumper at Towcester and then went on to the Cheltenham Festival for the Cheltenham Bumper. He ran well for a long way but didn’t have the speed to get involved. Last season he had 3 runs over hurdles and won one race but did run well in all three. He was always going to be a better a chaser over a trip and here he is laking his debut over fences, under rules. He is only a 6 year old so has improvement to come and has also had a wind operation. He is rated 124 by the handicapper but I think he is a better horse than that mark. I think he could turn out to be a mid 130 horse so could be up to 10lb well in here. E/W.
1 POINT DOUBLE ON THE BELOW:
15:20 Kempton- PACIFY 6/5
14:25 Kempton – SILVER STREAK
PACIFY joined Jamie Snowden from Ralph Beckett back in June and has won 4 on the bounce over hurdles. He came with a big reputation from the flat with a mark of 100 and has transferred that to hurdles in impressive fashion. He is already rated 140 by the handicapper and the season has not even really started. He is a horse who needs better ground which is why he will only be seen once or twice more before the spring festivals. I think PACIFY is way too good for these and should be 4/6.
SILVER STREAK skipped todays Welsh Champion Hurdle which he won last year, for this race. This is a horse who was 3rd in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and has a touch of class. He is actually the highest rated horse in the race, yet gets weight from his main rivals. Those main rivals are Grand Sancy and Itchy Feet, who were both excellent novices but will have to improve again to worry Silver Streak. Silver Streak is a horse who obviously goes well fresh as he won first time out last season. A good race where I think he will simply be too good for them.
15:20 Wincanton – SEBASTOPOL 3/1 – 1 POINT WIN
Sometimes you just see something which is a massive stand out and that comes in the form of Sebastopol. Trainer Tom Lacey has raved about this horse since he won a bumper at Ayr in April 2018. This was after winning his only point to point by 15 lengths. He had his first start over hurdles at Cheltenham last October, coming home 4th of 13. He was well fancied that day and sent off 15/8 fav for a maiden hurdle. After the race you would have thought he underperformed but now nearly a year on the form of that race looks red hot. The winner of that race was Thomas Darby who went on to finish 2nd in the Supreme Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. The 2nd was Elixir De Nutz who went on to win a Grade 2 and the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle. Sebastopol was 6 lengths off the winner and just 3 lengths off the 2nd. The form of that race is top class and although Sebastopol disappointed on his next start at Ayr in January, when 3rd of 12, he was not seen after, which suggests he had a problem. The fact he did not run again that season could be a blessing in disguise as he has now had time to grow and mature. He is still only a 5 year old with so much more improvement to come. He comes into this race on a tiny mark of 127 and I am sure if you said to Tom Lacey before he made his hurdling debut, this horse will only reach 127 as a rating, he would have laughed. I think he is a much better horse than 127 and potentially a 140+ horse. This is his first start of the season so is entitled to come on for the run but he is literally thrown in on his mark. I expect him to go off around 15/8 and has to be thereabouts.
15:20 Chepstow – BALLYOPTIC 13/2 – 0.75 PTS E/W
BALLYOPTIC is a horse who loves a real test and stays longer than the mother in law. He was 2nd beaten a head in the 2018 Scottish National over 4 miles, confirming just how much he loves a test. Although his form says last season was not a great one you do have to take into consideration that two of those races were over the National Fences and another in the Welsh National. He actually came home 6th of 20 in the Welsh National carrying top weight so for me it was a top class effort. The ground was testing that day and he just plugged on under a monster weight. He does carry top weight here giving other horses weight but this race is no Welsh National and a lot easier task. BALLYOPTIC will love the ground and with trainer Nigel Twiston Davies having a couple of winners the last few days, BALLYOPTIC should be in good health. He is a tough horse and when others have had enough he will be staying all the way to the line. E/W.
16:30 Chepstow – TORPILLO 17/2 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
TORPILLO is going to love the ground here with the rain forecast. He won two races last season at Sandown by 23 lengths and 22 lengths in heavy and soft ground. The horse is a real mud lover who I think could be in a different league to these. His last run came at the Cheltenham Festival in the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle. He had to carry top weight that day so it was really hard. Although he carries top weight here today, it is a big step down in class compared to a Fred Winter. He is only a 4 year old with lots of improvement to come. He reminds me of Bristol De Mai a little in his younger days and he is from the same connections. Big price at 7/1 and should have enough ability to at least hit the frame. E/W.
15:05 Longchamp – WALDGEIST 11/1 (WITHOUT ENABLE) – 1 POINT E/W
WALDGEIST is a massive price at 11/1 and even 9/1, in the market without Enable. This means if WALDGEIST finishes 4th and Enable wins, we still get paid E/W. He finished 4th in this race last year and you could argue he is a better horse this season. I don’t think Enable will lose but i do think WALDGEIST can finish 2nd to Enable. If he does we will get paid out as an 11/1 winner and if 3rd or 4th, we still get E/W money. He was 3rd to Enable in the King George and I thought he ran a nice race that day. He then had a nice warm up at the course last month with an easy win. WALDGEIST loves it around Longchamp with 4 wins from 6 starts at the course. The ground will be no problem and has a nice draw. E/W.
15:10 Warwick – FOR GOOD MEASURE 11/4 – 1 POINT WIN
FOR GOOD MEASURE was a runner at this course last week and I was impressed with how he travelled through the race. He got outstayed over 1 1/2f further so this drop back to 3 miles should be appreciated. It was good to see him travel so well to finish 2nd last week and the fact he runs off the same mark, tells me he is ready to win with. Richard Johnson is back on board and as long as he takes his fences as he did last week, he will be hard to beat. WIN.
15:40 Newmarket – LORD NORTH 8/1 – 1 POINT E/W
I have upped the stake in this race as Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power are offering 7 places, with Sky Bet offering 8 places. I would be surprised if LORD NORTH was not good enough to finish in the top 7. He was a winner of his first two career starts and then looked really unlucky in a listed race at Sandown, when short of room and had to be eased. He then ran at Ascot at the start of the month finishing 2nd to Bless Him who looked very good. He is only had 4 career starts and still has so much un-tapped potential. I expect John Gosden has planned this race for a while and is a solid E/W bet.
15:35 Newmarket – BENBATL 4/1 – 1 POINT WIN
BENBATL is the highest rated horse in the race on a mark of 123. He does have to give todays fav 4lb but is 5lb better according to the ratings. He was 2nd to the gret Winx on his last in 2018. He has had a long lay off which isnot ideal but he could still be good enough to win this weak looking Group 2. He has won three group 3s in his career soon his day he is more than up to the task
14:40 Ayr – PIECE OF PARADISE 10/1- 0.5 POINTS E/W
Another horse we were on last time was PIECE OF PARADISE who came home 4th to Mums Tipple. That was some performance from Mums Tipple who recently was tried to be purchased for over £3 million. I think that form is going to work out very well and with no Mums Tipple in this race, PIECE OF PARADISE can go close at a decent price. E/W.
14:40 Ponterfract – HAMMER GUN 9/4 – 1 POINT WIN
HAMMER GUN should have been winning at Doncaster last week but the gaps did not come. Had they come he was an easy winner. A perfect chance here to make amends for that and if turning up in the same form, will be very hard to beat. WIN.
15:45 Doncaster – A’ ALI 11/8 – 2 POINT WIN
I make A’ALI evens favourite here so I am happy to snap up the 11/8 available. Alligator Alley is obviously the main danger but he did not travel that well last time out and if he don’t travel here, A’ALI will easily put him in his place. Our selection was a Group 2 winner at Royal Ascot and then followed up with another win at Deauville a month later. Ran below par last time out but it was a Group 1 so this step back to Group 2 company will be appreciated. Frankie Dettori is back in saddle and he is two from two on the horse. WIN.
15:00 Doncaster – EQUILATERAL 11/4 – 1 POINT WIN
This is a horse who could be very good if he reached his full pontential. When he won at Doncaster last year he was labelled as the next superstar. He did not reach those heights but a race like this is there for the taking. He has been running in group races all season without winning and has run well at this course twice before, with one win to his name. Ryan Moore is back in the saddle and he seems to get the best out of the horse. A race with only 7 runners should suit him and he has no real superstars to take on here. WIN.
15:30 Newton Abbot – SIZING GRANITE 7/2 – 1 POINT WIN
With the rain that has fallen in Devon this could play to the advantage of SIZING GRANITE. He does not favour soft ground but he has won on it before, unlike most of the field who predominantly rely on good ground. He is more known for his form over fences but on his last start he was a winner over hurdles at this course just 10 days ago. Harry Cobden is back in the saddle and a repeat of that run will surely see him go close here. WIN.
15:40 Salisbury – DARK LADY 8/1 – 1 POINT WIN
Our other selection is DARK LADY who was 2nd on her last start at Goodwood in a Group 3. She travelled really strongly that day and looked winner 2 furlongs out. She closed all the way to the line. She has also run well on her previous two start, both in Group 3 also. This drop back to 6f should suit and I think she has a better chance that her 8/1 suggests. WIN.
13:50 Sandown – JUSTANOTHERBOTTLE 6/1 – 1 POINT WIN
JUSTNANOTHERBOTTLE was subject to a decent size gamble at the York Ebor meeting last week. That gamble did not come off but he did run with credit to come home 9th of 22. On his penultimate start he was also an excellent 5th in the Stewards Cup. That run puts him bang in contention here and it is off a 2lb lower handicap mark. This is an easier race and the booking of William Buick is very eye-catching. I think he will go off shorter than the 6/1/11/2 available. WIN.
17:20 Curragh – LOPE Y FERNANDEZ 11/4 – 1 POINT WIN
I have been following LOPE Y FERNANDEZ since he won on his debut at this course back in June. He then went to Royal Ascot where he was sent off 5/4 fav. He bumped into superstar horse Pinatubo to come home 2nd and then met the same horse again at Goodwood, this time finishing 3rd. Interestingly he is dropped down to 6f for this race and trainer Aiden O’Brien does well when he drops a horse in distance. This horse still has so much un-tapped potential and I do feel he is going to turn out to be very good. I am sticking with him as if he didn’t bump into a superstar horse he would be a Royal Ascot winner and you would be looking at 5/4 for this race. WIN.
17:15 Worcester – HEPIJEU 4/1 – 1 POINT WIN
HEPIJEU is a solid bet as he is a very consistent horse over the jumps. Since September 2018 his form reads 1112223113. In 10 starts he has not finished outside the frame. He was 3rd last time out over hurdles but for me is a better horse over fences which he will encounter today. His last two starts over fences have both been wins and I expect a bold run for him. Ciaran Gethings is taking the ride and he has been on board the last 10 runs, so they have an excellent partnership. This is the only horse trainer and rider have at Worcester tomorrow so I am sure they won’t be wanting a wasted journey. WIN.
16:45 York – FOREST OF DEAN 4/1 – 1 POINT WIN
You have to be impressed with the way FOREST OF DEAN won his last race at Goodwood, Frankie Dettori is also booked to ride taking over from Harry Bentley who was on board last time out. His form this season read 12141 with his 4th being to Headman, who has gone on to win two Group 2s since. He has gone up the handicap to a mark of 100 but still had plenty left in the tank when winning at Goodwood. Another who on previous form, has to be thereabouts.
15:00 York – THREAT 7/4 – 2 POINT WIN
THREAT was my NAP at Glorious Goodwood and he went down by 1/2 length into 2nd. He has only had 3 career starts and is still a horse improving. He has finished 2nd on both his last starts, both in Group 2s. I think this is an easier Group 2 than the previous two and I just can’t see him being beat. WIN.
15:35 York – BATTAASH 9/4 – 1.5 POINTS WIN
BATTAASH is a steal at 9/4. He has been there and seen it and although he has stiff competition in Ten Sovereigns, that horse still has to improve to beat Battaash. He is also not 100% sure to prefer 5f whereas we know our selection is a master over the trip. The only horse he has found too good in his career is Blue Point who is now retired and it is going to take a very good horse to beat our selection. WIN.
19:10 Bangor – MARBLE MOON 6/1 – 1 POINT WIN
MARBLE MOON looks a decent price at 6/1. He carries top weight but that didn’t stop him running a nice race two starts back at Newton Abbot. He came home 2nd that day carrying 11st 12lb and only went down by a head. That tells me he carries weight well and this race is a weak looking race which he can capitalise on. Back in May he was also a winner of a Class 3 at Ludlow and apart fro his penultimate start this season, all his runs have been in Class 3 races. With this being a Class 4 he is down in class and I am sure that will be appreciated. Adam Wedge takes the ride and he has rode the horse 10 times, coming away with 5 wins. That is a 50% strike rate so he clearly gets on well with the horse. WIN.
15:50 Southwell – THEATREBAR 7/2 – 1 POINT WIN
A competitive race but I think THEATREBAR deserves to be fighting for favouritism in this race. I am actually surprised he is as big as 7/2 as trainer Dan Skelton seems to have the horse in a very good place this summer. His last 4 runs have been very good with his form reading 1212. He was 2nd at Uttoxeter last time out, beaten by a horse who was carrying 10st 5lb and rated 112. The weight told in that race but to me there is no ‘well handicapped’ horses in this race. The bottom weight is Mr Mafia but on rating of 117, he is hardly well handicapped on old form. THEATREBAR has been travelling smoothly through his races and under a Harry Skelton ride, has to be thereabouts. Very good value at 7/2 as I make him 9/4 over his previous four runs. WIN.
16:10 Windsor – SPIRIT WARNING 7/4 – 2 POINT WIN
Although 7/4 looks no price I actually make SPIRIT WARNING and evens chance, making the 7/4 look big. He is a 3 year old who gets weight allowance from the older horses so he is already well in on the handicap. He was 3rd here two starts back and then 2nd at Lingfield on his last start. I expect his to be too good for these and be an easy winner. WIN.
19:10 Newmarket – KELLY’S DINO 15/2 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
Massive value in KELLY’S DINO at the price. He was a winner of the Old Newton Cup at Haydock on his penultimate start. He then went to York last month and run in a group 3. I must say he looked the winner 3 furlongs out as was travelling better than anything. He ran out of steam in the last furlong and came home 5th of 8. That was a very good race against the likes of Red Verdon, Gold Mount, Raheem House and Weekender. To be travelling better than all those with 3 furlongs to go is quite impressive. This step back in trip to 1m 4f will be appreciated, as will the step down in class. Not sure why KELLY’S DINO is this price if I am being honest and I am happy with the price. E/W.
14:25 Goodwood – DUKE OF HAZZARD 9/2 – 1 POINT WIN
DUKE OF HAZZARD was really impressive on his last start when winning at Newmarket last time out. He showed a very good turn of foot to beat Momkin by 3 lengths. A repeat of that and he should be winning this. He has been running at this level and better all season and is the highest rated horse by 3lb in the race. The one to beat and I can still see value in the price. WIN.
13:50 Goodwood – FOREST OF DEAN 11/2 – 1 POINT WIN
The reason I have also opted with FOREST OF DEAN is the fact he was 4th behind Headman and Sinjaari on his last start. Today he is 7lb better off with Sinjaari so ought to be much closer than the 4 lengths he was beaten last time. They have been patience with this horse with his last run being back in May. Rated 93 by the handicapper another who could be ahead of the handicapper. Harry Bentley rides for John Gosden and carries a tiny 8st 4lb. WIN.
14:25 Newbury – WITHHOLD 6/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
WITHHOLD is a top class horse who despite having his first run of the season here, he has run well from a lay off previously, when winning the Northumberland Plate back in 2018. He was well fancied for the Melbourne Cup but needed to win a prep race in Australia to get in. He could only manage 8th of 15 over an inadequate trip of 1m 4f. It was a waste of a journey for Roger Charlton but it was always going to be hard to win a race over 1m 4f with him being a proper stayer. At the end of 2017 WITHHOLD also won the Cesarewitch at Newmarket when absolutely annihilating a field of 34 runners. He is back up in trip to 2m 1/2f here and that is what he wants. He has also been for a wind operation which will surely help on his first run of the season. He is priced up accordingly at 6/1 given he is having his first start but I think he still may offer some value. Be interesting to see if he is supported in the betting tomorrow but if he is then confidence will be very high. E/W.
16:20 Yarmouth – RAUCOUS 5/2 – 1 POINT WIN
RAUCOUS run a cracker at Royal Ascot when finishing 4th in the Wokingham behind Cape Byron. That form just looks to strong for these and is clearly a horse much better than his rivals. He does have to carry top weight but Cieren Fallon claims 5lb and he is a jockey worth every bit of that 5lb. He was on board at Royal Ascot where he gave him a peach of a ride. The horse is clearly in very good form and in my opinion, this is a very weak looking Class 2 which he should have not problem winning. WIN.
15:35 Sandown – ENABLE 11/10 – 2 POINT WIN
The 11/10 about ENABLE is just to tempting. She is unbeaten in her last 9 runs and has only even been beaten once in her career. I was expecting her to be 4/6 – 4/7. This is her seasonal reappearance and she is down in trip but this is a weak looking Eclipse. She won easily on her first start of last season and goes well fresh. She is obviously the one to beat and the 11/10 could look a gift after the race. WIN.
15:25 Sandown – ELARQAM 2/1 – 1.5 POINTS WIN
Surprised ELARQAM is not slightly shorter for this as I have him around the 6/4 mark. Royal Line is a big danger but he still has to do it at this level, whereas ELARQAM has done it at this level and higher. He was a winner on his penultimate start and then an excellent 3rd at Royal Ascot behind the impressive Addeybb. This is much much easier and with the fast ground he is going to take all the beating. WIN.
18:45 Tipperary – STRIVE FOR GLORY 4/1 – 1 POINT WIN
I am surprised STRIVE FOR GLORY is as big as 4/1 and behind Air Force Jet in the market. He finished 4th in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and was well ahead of Air Force Jet. The ground was soft and some will say did not suit Air Force Jet but on breeding it should not have suited Strive For Glory. Faster ground will be to his favour for sure. If Robert Cowell is happy to take him over to Ireland for this he must fancy his chances. WIN.
19:15 Windsor – STEALTH FIGHTER 15/2 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
STEALTH FIGHTER is very good value at 15/2. For me that is overpriced off a nice looking mark of 88. I am confident he is a better horse than that rating on his day. If he finds his form from Yarmouth in April or at York in May, he has to go close. Still has improvement to come given he is still only a 4 year old and 7 runs under his belt. Oisin Murphy take the ride which is obviously a massive plus.
15:15 Newmarket – LIMATO 11/4 – 1.5 POINTS WIN
On paper this should be easy work for LIMATO against a field like this. It is a weak looking Group 3 full of handicappers. He was a proper Group 1 horse on his day and although he is passed that level, I can’t really see how he loses this race if I am being honest. Easy Money. WIN.
16:20 Salisbury – DESERT ICON 9/2 – 1 POINT WIN
DESERT ICON looks an exciting 3 year old who is only going to get better the further he goes. He is up to 1m 4f for this race and it is at this sort of distance where he will come into his own. He is bred well and has being running well over the last few months. He was a winner on his penultimate start and then a good 3rd on his last start over an inadequate 1m. He was 3rd to Velorum that day who went to Royal Ascot a fancied runner in the Britannia Stakes, going off 6/1. The booking of Ryan Moore is very eye-catching and has to go close. WIN.
19:10 Newbury – FRONTISPIECE 11/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
FRONTISPIECE looks very well handicapped on a mark of 82. He was a winner off 81 in the past so is only 1lb higher. This new trip of 1m 4f could be answer and given there is no real pace in the field, it won’t be the hardest 1m 4f race to get. Given the lack of pace I think it will suit a horse with a bit more speed than stamina and given he run most of his races over 1m 2f, he will have that finishing kick needed in a solowly run race.
16:20 Diamond Jubilee Stakes – BLUE POINT 9/4 – 2 POINT WIN
Charlie Appleby is a proper shrewdie and kept this one quiet. BLUE POINT is attempting to win two races at Royal Ascot after winning the Kings Stand Stakes on Saturday. He was so impressive and I think this will just be a formality for him. In my opinion he is far superior to any of these and if anything is a better horse over 6 furlongs. Could really make the 9/4 look silly and the drying ground will also be in his favour.
15:40 Ribblesdale Stakes – STAR CATCHER 8/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
Both these horses ran against each other last time out with QUEEN POWER winning with STAR CATCHER back in 3rd. Only 1/2 length separated them so could easily be overturned. I have watched the race back a few times and both look like very good horses. The form of the race looks hot and I am happy to play both in this race. Frankie Dettori has chosen STAR CATCHER over a few other horses while QUEEN POWER will be ridden by Silvestre De Sousa and looks to have so much raw ability.
16:10 Salisbury – ARCHERS DREAM 7/2 – 1 POINT WIN
I think ARCHERS DREAM is a cracking bet at 7/2. She is two from two this year and looked really good when winning last time out. She is massively up in class for this but she does look like she could be a good thing. She gets filly and 3 year old weight allowance and George Wood carries just 8st 7lb. She is also by Dream Ahead who used love soft ground. I think she will go off shorter and I am quietly confident. WIN.
15:00 Newbury – ANTONIA DE VEGA 3/1 – 1 POINT WIN
I am quite keen on filly ANTONIA DE VEGA here as I think at 3/1 she is a very good bet. She was a Group 3 winner last season over 7f and looked to be crying out for a trip. On her final start last season she ran in the Group 1 fillies mile and although she was well beaten, they clearly think a lot of her to put her in a race of that calibre. She is having her first start of the season so she will come on for the run but this is only a Listed race and she has already shown she is a group horse. She runs over an extra trip which as mentioned above, was crying out for last season. She is also sired by Lope De Vega who’s horses generally like soft ground as a rule of thumb. The favourite in this race did look good on her debut but that was a Class 4 Maiden so is stepping up in class here. ANTONIA DE VEGA has to be involved here with so much going for her. WIN.
14:45 Newmarket – RED GALILEO 16/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
RED GALILEO wears first time headgear here and watching his last race that should help him settle that bit better. I think he is a horse who is better than handicap company and a Group 3 horse/Listed horse. The top weight is not ideal but he did carry top weight last time out at York in a much better race than todays and run well enough. That race was also a bit on the short side for him at 1m 4f and this step up to 1m 6f will be much appreciated. The booking of Adam Kirby in an interesting one and I don’t think he will be far away at a nice price. E/W.
16:30 Nottingham – DANZENO 13/2 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
DANZENO may be carrying top weight but his handicap mark has come down to 97 which is his lowest mark since 2014. This is his best chance of a win in a long time. This is also his lowest graded race since September 2015 and he won that race. He is not getting any younger at the age of 8 and I feel if he is not winning this race they might as well retire the horse. On paper this is a weak contest and even with the weight he is giving away, I fail to see how he does not get involved here. E/W.
15:35 Kelso – BEAU SANCY 9/4 – 1 POINT WIN
BEAU SANCY was a very consistent horse last season with his form reading 11124. He is a better horse on better ground so I am happy to put a line through his last two runs which were on heavy and soft ground. His last run was back in December and he has since had wind surgery. He knows how to win a race and a race like this is a perfect start for the summer. He is only a 7 year old so could progress further and has to be involved here. WIN.
14:55 Chester – KAESO 8/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W (3 places, 1/4 odds)
KAESO was 3rd to Cape Byron at Ascot two weeks ago and that form looks top class. Yes he had a stone from the winner but that handicap at Ascot was very competitive. I believe he still has more improvement to come and this race looks a bit weaker today. He has also won on his only visit to Chester and is nicely drawn in 6. I think the 8/1 on offer is an excellent bet. E/W.
15:35 York – UAE PRINCE 2/1 – 1 POINT WIN
This really should just be formality for UAE PRINCE. He was 5th in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket on his penultimate start and that form is head and shoulders above the rest. He even stays on the same handicap mark of 99. I could go on and on but he real has no rights to lose this race in my opinion, the only thing that can beat him is a lack of a recent run which is why we will go in a 1 point win. WIN.
13:50 York – FIRST ELEVEN 11/2 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
FIRST ELEVEN is a horse who I have as ahead of the handicapper on 104. I think he will improve this year and turn into a 110 plus horse. If I am thinking that then he has to close in this race and I am surprised he is not close to favourite or even favourite. He ran some great races last season and was unlucky not to win at Royal Ascot when being repeatedly denied a run. He was an excellent winner at Ascot in Spetember and has run two decent races in two group 3s. I really think he is a group horse running in a handicap here and I am quietly confident he can get us off to a flyer. E/W.
16:00 Ascot – CAPE BYRON 10/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
CAPE BYRON strikes me as a horse who still has a few pounds improvement left in him. He is a smooth traveller through races and was unlucky not to get a win on the board last year. He is rated 103 by the handicapper but I have him as a potential 110 horse and I really think from 4 to 5 he is the type of horse who can improve. He seems to like these sort of races and connections rate him highly. He has run well off a break before and has also won at Ascot as well as finishing 2nd in a hot handicap at Ascot last season. Has to be thereabouts. E/W.
14:25 Chester – FOREST RANGER 3/1 – 1 POINT WIN
FOREST RANGER is a very good bet at 3/1 in my opinion. He won this race easily last year and I don’t think this race is any better this year. He comes here a fit horse after finishing 3rd in a Group 3 a month ago and Richard Fahey will have him primed. Chester clearly suits him and is sure to be involved at an overpriced price of 3/1. WIN.
15:00 Chester – LEODIS DREAM 5/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
I think LEODIS DREAM is a very solid bet at 5/1. He is drawn in 6 of 11 and is fast out of the gates. He likes to front run so I see no reason why he won’t get across and grab the rail. He has won his last 4 starts and just keeps getting better with every run. A track like Chester should suit as he looks a proper 5f horse. Can’t have him out of the frame if I am being honest and if he gets off to a flyer as expected, he will take some beating. E/W.
15:45 Fakenham – HEPIJEU 8/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
I really like the look of HEPIJEU at a decent price. He is a consistent horse who’s form over his last 7 runs reads 1112223. He is a horse who needs good ground to be seen at his best and he obviously gets that ground here. I also think the step up to 3m 5f is going to help as he looks an out and out stayer. He has winning form at the course and his trainer Stuart Edmunds is 5 winners from 9 runners over the last 365 days. Even better stats are when Ciaran Gethings and Stuart Edmunds have teamed up, they are 5 winners from last 7 runners. Both clearly love the course and so does the trainers horses. Everything points to a big run at a tasty price. E/W.
16:20 Punchestown – REAL STEEL 9/2 – 1 POINT WIN
REAL STEEL was a decent 2nd to Voix Du Reve in a Grade 1 last time and that is top class form. He finished a respectable 6th of 10 in the JLT Novice Chase and before that was a wide margin winner at Thurles. All this form is up with the best in the race and puts him right in the mix. Paul Townend takes the ride and can’t have him out of the first 3.
17:30 Punchestown – BUVEUR D’ AIR 15/8 – 2 POINT WIN
I think a return back 2 miles is going to be really appreciated. For me he has and always will only be a 2 miler. He stepped up to 2m 4f in soft ground at Aintree last time out and simply got outstayed. He didn’t stay and that is all I need to know. He was a faller in the Champion Hurdle but previous to that has been very good. He is so fast over a hurdle and a return to good to soft ground will see him at his very best. I just think he will have to much speed for’stayers’ like Apples Jade and Supasundae/ 15/8 to me looks a steal and he is my NAP of the day. WIN.
19:10 Punchestown – GARDENS OF BABYLON 11/4 – 1 POINT WIN
The price of GARDENS OF BABYLON is really good in my opinion as you can’t knock his form this season. 2nd to Sir Eric, 3rd to Pentland Hill in the Triumph Hurdle and then 2nd last time out. I am sure he can improve again and you would have to say this is the easiest race he has contested this season. Mark Walsh rides and he has to go close. WIN.
18:40 Punchestown – DELTA WORK 7/4 – 2 POINT WIN
My NAP of the day is DELTA WORK and I am surprised he is not shorter as I make him 5/4. He finished 3rd in the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival behind Topofthegame and Santini and that form looks top class. He was even sent off 15/8 fav for that race, yet in a race without those two horses is 7/4 which looks generous. He ran with credit to only be beaten by 2 lengths in the RSA and had he jumped the 2nd last fence that bit better, things could have been a bit different. Previous to Cheltenham he won 3 chases and I expect things to continue that way against weaker opposition. WIN.
17:10 Salisbury – ICE GALA 7/2 – 1 POINT WIN
ICE GALA is down in class here after running in a Class 1 last time out. She came home a decent 3rd of 11 and surely at the level is the one they all have to beat. William Haggas horses are running very well at the moment and although we don’t know she has improved from a 2 year old to a 3 year old, she still looked like she had so much un-tapped potential last season. On her penultimate start she was an 11 length winner and that was in a Class 4. Now running in a Class 3 I really can’t look past her. The booking of James Doyle is a massive positive and the fact she will probably get an untested lead is also another positive. WIN.
13:50 Sandown – GETAWAY TRUMP 10/3 – 1 POINT WIN
I have gone over this race in fine detail and as much as I have tried to take on GETAWAY TRUMP it just all keeps coming back to him. He runs off top weight which is never easy but Paul Nicholls is happy for Harry Cobden to ride and does not even want to put a claimer on him to take his weight down. Connections think a lot of this horse and last time out it all seemed to click. He was an easy winner at Ayr over 2 miles and won like a very good horse. The fast ground clearly helped and for me this race is a step down in class. Going to be very hard to beat. WIN.
15:20 Beverley – MOTAFAAWIT 11/4 generally – 1 POINT WIN
Like Bosham, MOTAFAAWIT is likely to get the lead going by his previous runs.. For me he should win this with ease as his form is the strongest in the race. Not only that he has now been gelded and I have seen so many times, 3 years old improving for being gelded. Richard Hannon normally has his horses very fit at the start of the year and as long as this horse has trained on, I can’t have him beaten. WIN.
15:00 Perth – GO ANOTHER ONE 2/1 – 1 POINT WIN
I think this race is a two horse race between GO ANOTHER ONE and Coolanly. I have sided with GO ANOTHER ONE as Coolanly has had a long season while GO ANOTHER ONE has clearly been aimed at this race. He was a Grade 3 winner last time out and is the highest rated horse in the field. He has had multiple entries since his win at Thurles February but the ground has gone against him. They have waited for the right opportunity when the ground is fast and now is the time to strike. The booking of Richard Johnson is also a big positive. WIN.
16:40 Fairyhouse – IVANOVICH GORBATOV 10/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
JEZKI and IVANOVICH last race was at the Leopardstown in February when they finished 2nd and 3rd to Off You Go, That form was boosted today when that horse came home 3rd in a Grade 2. They both need proper good ground to be seen at best and they missed Cheltenham and Aintree ready for this race. Cofident we will have some say in this race at a decent. E/W.
14:50 Fairyhouse – HONEYSUCKLE 15/8 – 1.5 POINTS WIN
HONEYSUCKLE was fighting for favouritism for the Mares Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival but missed it due to a setback. She is unbeaten in 4 starts and has looked very impressive. Connections think a lot of the horse and despite being quite short at 15/8 it will take a good one to beat her in my opinion. WIN.
14:40 Cheltenham – KUPATANA 5/2 – 1 POINT WIN
KUPATANA is going to be hard to beat in this race in my opinion. She was a very good winner in the qualifier last time out at Kelso and although she has had jumping problems in the past, she jumped very well on this day. She switched from Nicky Henderson to Paul Nicholls two starts back and I expect Nicholls has really worked on her jumping. She travels well through races and to be fair jumps well on the whole. She has to give weight away to the field but I don’t see this being a problem. The good ground will also be to her liking. WIN.
14:40 Cheltenham – MISTER WHITAKER 7/2 – 1 POINT WIN
I am going through the field and if I am being honest MISTER WHITAKER just stands out by a mile. Surely he is too good for these. It is not the best and on his day MISTER WHITAKER is a very good horse. He was a Cheltenham Festival winner back in 2018 and was a very good 4th in the Bet Victor Gold Cup back in November. He has to bounce back from a tame effort at the festival last month, but that was over a 3 miles. A return to 2m 5f will be appreciated and he can once again get his head back in front. WIN.
14:25 Newmarket – SHINE SO BRIGHT 3/1 – 1 POINT WIN
I think SHINE SO BRIGHT is a cracking price at 3/1 as I make him 15/8 in my book. He has run in 4 consecutive Group 2 s and in all four has held his own. He was 5th to Calyx at Royal Ascot in the Coventry Stakes and this was followed by three 3rds. His last run at Newbury in September was below par but that was on soft ground, which was against hime. He is now up in trip to 7 furlongs and his breeding suggests it will suit, so will likely improve. Silvestre De Sousa takes the ride and I expect SHINE SO BRIGHT to go close. WIN.
14:25 Ayr – VERDANA BLUE 13/2 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
VERDANA BLUE yes you guessed it needs good ground and she gets it today. Beat Buveur D’Air back in on Boxing Day and that form is obviously top class. She finished 5th in the Champion Hurdle but once again the ground went against her. A return to the ground and around a track like Ayr will really suit her. E/W.
13:45 Aintree – AUX PTITS SOINS 12/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
AUX PTITS SOINS has done most of his running in Graded company and has only ever run in 3 handicaps, winning two of them. He was the winner of the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival back in 2015 and then turned back in clock on New Years Day to win a handicap easily by 7 lengths. He then went back to Cheltenham on Trials Day and run in the Cleeve Hurdle. He came home 7th behind Paisley Park in what now looks a hot hot race given what the winner has done since. He has nothing like the horses he faced that day running in this and the drop back in class is going to be really appreciated. Massively overpriced at 12/1 as they skipped the Cheltenham Festival and waited for this race. He will be nice and fresh and ought to go close. E/W.
16:20 Aintree – KILDISART 7/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
KILDISART is interesting here up to in trip to 3 miles. It could improve him as he does look a stayer and sees his races out well over shorter trips. He finished 4th in the JLT to Defi De Seuil and that form took a boost today as Lostintranslation won the Grade 1 here today. He won his two previous starts at Cheltenham and Ascot and if he appreciates the step up in trip like I think he will, he will go close. E/W.
18:20 Aintree – CHIEF JUSTICE 8/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
CHIEF JUSTICE is rated 137 by the handicapper but because he is a 4 year old he get an allowance. That means he is 6lb well in on the handicap. Gordon Elliott would not send a 4 year old to this race if he didn’t fancy it and the fact he has booked Jamie Codd tells they certainly mean business. E/W.
14:50 Aintree – Mildmay Novice Chase – LOSTINTRANSLATION 7/2 – 1 POINT WIN
Everyone will know how much I rate the favourite Topofthegame but I can see some nice value in LOSTINTRANSLATION at 7/2. Of the two I think Topofthegame hard the harder race as it was over further and all season I have been crying out for LOSTINTRANSLATION to run over 3 miles. He is finally up and trip and it is thetrip that we are going to see the best from him. He has finished 2nd to Defi De Seuil twice this season and that horse looks to be an absolute superstar. He jumps as good as Topofthegame and if that horse is not on top form LOSTINTRANSLATION will be bang there. This is going to be a great race but at 7/2 I have to side with LOSTINTRANSLATION. He was also 2nd to Black Op at the course last season so clearly likes it here. WIN.
16:40 Aintree – Sefton Novice Hurdle – CHAMP 11/4 – 1.5 POINTS WIN
Stepping CHAMP up to 3 miles is very eye-catching. I have no doubt he will stay though as he sees out his races over 2m 5f so well. He was 2nd in the Ballymore Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and on his penultimate start was a winner of the Challow Hurdle. I do think he looks a better horse around flatter tracks as he showed when winning at Newbury twice. Nicky Henderson is clearly confident he stays 3 miles and that is good enough for me. I am looking through the field and I don’t really see many dangers. I just feel he is a class above. WIN.
15:20 Ludlow – COURT ROYALE 3/1 – 1 POINT WIN
COURT ROYALE will take all the beating here. He was 4th in a very good handicap at Taunton last time out and would have been much closer had he not been hampered at the 2nd last hurdle. He remains on the same mark of 121 and I think he is a much better horse than that. The drying ground will be right up his street and I am extremely confident he can get the month off to the best possible start. WIN.
15:45 Doncaster – RED VERDON 9/4 – 1 POINT WIN
RED VERDON will surely take some beating here on the evidence of last years form. He was 2nd in 4 consecutive Group races behind the likes of Defoe, Crystal Ocean and Mirage Dancer. That is top class form in my opinion and better than anything in the field. A repeat of that wins this race. He has since been gelded and often you see horse improve when they have been gelded. I think 9/4 is a decent price with all thing considered and on ratings he is at least 2lb well in. WIN.
15:15 Market Rasen – NIKKI STEEL 13/2 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
NIKKI STEEL was behind another of todays runners last time out but meets Dark Invader on much better terms this time around. I am confident he will turn that form around. NIKKI STEEL has been running consistently well in his last 3 races and is on a winnable mark of 111 as he won off 113 a few starts back. Sam Twiston Davies takes the ride and he has a good partnership when combining with trainer Dr Newland. The trainer also has a great record at Market Rasen with 5 winners from his last 10 runners, over the last 365 days. His only runner tomorrow is Nikki Steel.
13:45 Newbury – DASHEL DRASHER 9/2 – 1 POINT WIN
Morning Vicar is the strong favourite here and will be well fancied by many given he is trained by Nicky Henderson. I do respect him but the two horses he beat last time out have flopped since which does make the form questionable. A horse who stand out at the prices is DASHEL DRASHER at 9/2 who is going for the hat trick here. He was an impressive winner on his penultimate start by 6 lengths at Chepstow and was then stepped up in class and won again, by a short head. He beat Russian Hawk that day who went on to run in a Grade 3 and the form of the race looks decent. He is trained by Jeremy Scott who I believe is an underrated trainer. If this horse was trained by one of the bigger trainers he would not be shorter than 9/2 on what he has achieved so far. He does have to give away weight to the field but on ratings does have a bit in hand on the field. WIN.
16:20 Haydock – KNOCKANRAWLEY 11/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
KNOCKANRAWLEY is another horse who has plummeted down the handicap and his handicap mark of 117 looks tiny. He is not getting any younger at 11 but given he is down 20lb from 137 at best, todays mark he won’t have a better chance of getting in the winners enclosure. Mick Hammill also takes a further 3lb off his back. Trainer Kim Bailey rarely takes horses to Haydock unless he means business and over the last 365 days, he has taken 4 horses to Haydock with 3 of them winning. E/W.
14:30 Huntingdon – LOCKER ROOM TALK 7/2 – 1 POINT WIN
LOCKER ROOM TALK is starting to get the hang of things and I thought he put in a decent effort last time out to finish 4th to Snapdragon Fire (rated 132). A repeat of that run would see him go close here. He cost a fair bit of money (£135K) at the Goff’s Aintree Sales back in 2017 after finishing 2nd in a point to point. I don’t think we have seen the best of this horse and expect him to improve further. Jack Savage takes the ride and he has been on board his last two runs. WIN.
13:30 JLT Novices Chase – DEFI DU SEUIL 3/1 – 1 POINT WIN
DEFI DE SEUIL was behind LOSTINTRANSLATION when the pair met here on New Years Day and on that form you could say LOSTINTRANSLATION holds the edge, although I do believe DEFI DE SEUIL went to the front too soon that day and had they run it again he may have beat LOSTINTRANSLATION. He certainly beat him fair and square at Sandown where both horses pulled clear of Vinddication.
DEFI DE SEUIL is 5 wins from 6 starts on soft ground and is 4 wins from 6 starts the Cheltenham. He is a very good jumper and has really impressed me this season. From what I have seen this season it will take a very good one to beat him and the only one I give a chance to is LOSTINTRANSLATION who has been great form this season. He has already beaten DDS at the course and his form elsewhere is probably the best in the field. He chased home the classy La Bague Au Roi twice and then beat DDS before finishing 2nd on his last start. The rest of the field will struggle against these two horses and I believe they are that far ahead of their rivals the reverse forecast is worth considering.
14:50 Ryanair Chase – FRODON 15/2 – 0.75 POINTS E/W
FRODON has just been amazing this season and has improved so much. He is now a complete horse who just keeps turning up and doing the business. He was a winner of the Old Roan Chase on his first start of the season and was then a very good 2nd in the Bet Victor Gold Cup carrying top weight. He then won the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup off a rating of 164 and was just sublime that day. His last start was again at Cheltenham just over a month ago in the Cotswold Chase over 3m 1 1/2 furlongs and was as game as they come from the front. His jumping is simply amazing and Bryony Frost gets the best out of the horse, the partnership is unreal. He will go from the front and now they no he stays 3 miles, I am sure he will go at some pace. He will makes others make mistakes and we know he loves Cheltenham and the hill. For a horse who has done nothing wrong this season and is trained by Paul Nicholls who horses are running well, the 15/2 on offer is a massive price.E/W.
17:30 Kim Muir Handicap Chase – ANY SECOND NOW 10/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
ANY SECOND NOW has some strong form this season behind the like of Discorama, Mortal, Auvergnat and most recently when stepped up in trip, 3rd to Chris’s Dream. Even a a novice her ran decent races behind Monalee, Invitation Only, Footpad and Mister Whittaker. He is on a handicap mark of 142 which looks very workable. Ted Walsh is master at having them right for the big day and today will be no different. Derek O’Connor takes the ride and along with Codd is the best in the industry. JP McManus does like to line up a horse for the festival and I think this could be the one. E/W.
14:10 RSA Novice Chase – TOPOFTHEGAME 7/2 – 1.5 POINTS WIN
A great race in store with some good horses in Delta Work, Santini, TOPOFTHEGAME and Ontheblindside.
I have been in the Delta Work camp for a while and I may get egg on my face here but I have to go with what I see in front of me, taking everything into consideration from all angles.
I would not be surprised in the slightest to see Delta Work win but just looking at the prices TOPOFTHEGAME at 7/2 is a top class bet. He has already beaten 2nd fav Santini who I just can’t have as he is not the best jumper and has had problems over the last couple of weeks, just about making it to the festival.
TOPOFTHEGAME on the other hand is going to absolutely love the soft ground. He is by Flemensfirth who’s horses love soft and heavy ground and we have not seen the best of him yet. He ran two good races this season, finishing 2nd on both occasions and possibly should have won his last race but got to the front to soon and didn’t jump the last two fences great. He is also a huge horse and described as bigger than Denman which takes some doing. The size on him he is going to love this test and I think he is a future gold cup horse. He was 2nd at the festival last season in the Coral Cup so we know he likes it around here and the the 7/2 on offer is a decent price with massive improvement. WIN.
16:50 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – BAND OF OUTLAWS 6/1 – 1 POINT WIN
I am not one to bet a horse at 6/1 in a huge field but I actually make BAND OF OUTLAWS 3/1 favourite. He is a serious horse who really should be running in the Triumph Hurdle but has sidestepped it to come here. Joseph O’Brien recently said the only horse who could trouble Sir Erec at home is BAND OF OUTLAWS and he runs in the Boodles. Take that as a tip in itself. He was very impressive when beating Maze Runner at Naas last month and didn’t come off the bridle. He would have improved since and it will take a good horse to beat him.
17:30 Champion Bumper – ENVOI ALLEN 7/2 generally – 2 POINT WIN
I think this horse is the real deal and you are looking at a future Gold Cup horse. The rain that has arrived has played to his strengths massively as he clearly wants a bit further and stays all day. He is 3 from 3 this season and has done everything asked of him. He is as tough as they come and for a bumper horse looks ahead of where he should be in his career. Jamie Codd takes the ride and they get on very well. I think he will win with ease if I am being honest and could go on the be a superstar. He cost a whopping £400k after winning a point to point race last year and there is absolutely nothing not to like about him. WIN.
14:50 Ultima Handicap Chase – BEWARE THE BEAR 16/1 – 0.5 PTS E/W
BEWARE THE BEAR was a fast finishing 4th in this race last year and seems to do all his best work at the end of races. He went for a breathing operation in August and has had two runs this season. His first start of the season was in the Hennessy Gold Cup where again he was a fast finishing 4th of 12. It was a decent run but was much the same as what we have seen in the past. He then came to Cheltenham on New Years Day and looked a different horse, fitted with first time blinkers. They worked the oracle and he went from the front that day, jumped amazingly to score by 5 lengths. I was taken with the performance and more so the jumping as that was something he had struggled with in the past. The blinkers are back on and I imagine they will apply the same front running style as it seemed to work last time. He has not run since and I imagine Nicky Henderson has been saving his handicap mark at 151 which is only 1lb higher than last year, and he seems a better horse this time around. The ground will be fine as he has decent form on soft/heavy in the past and Jeremiah McGrath takes the ride and he knows the horse really well. I am expecting a huge run and I am confident he can better his 4th place last year at the very least. E/W.
14:05 Newbury – CAROLE’S DESTRIER 7/1 – 0.5 PTS E/W
CAROLES DESTRIER loves it around Newbury and from 3 starts has finished 2nd in a Hennessy in 2016 and then a winner at the course back in November. He may not be the force of old but on a mark of 137 he can still get involved here. We have to ignore his last run when pulled up at Haydock but on his penultimate start he was a decent 4th to Impulsive Star, at Warwick in a Grade 3. Neil Mullholland horses are running well and back at his favourite course I can see him running well. He was rated 154 at best so the mark of 137 looks decent. E/W.
16:50 Newbury – MCFABULOUS 10/3 – 1 POINT WIN
MCFABULOUS is a decent price here at 10/3. Trainer Paul Nicholls is having winners left right and centre and although he potentially meets a a decent horse in Chantry House, he does have the experience. MCFABULOUS was a winner on his debut at Chepstow and then sent off 13/8 for a listed bumper at Cheltenham in November. He dissapointed that day but I am sure he is better than that. This race also looks weaker so he should be bang there. MCFABULOUS is also a half brother to Waiting Patiently so should appreciate the bit of cut in the ground and the bit of rain forecast. WIN.
14:50 Wincanton – OVERLAND FLYER 15/2 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
OVERLAND FLYER will not get a better opportunity of getting his head in front again than in this race off a handicap mark of just 122. He was rated 135 just two starts back so has come down the handicap 13lbs. Harry Cobden rides Wincanton better than anybody and with him carrying just 10st 13lb you expect a big run. Paul Nicholls is in top form and when the pair team up together at Wincanton, they have a 28% strike rate over the last 365 days from 29 runners. OVERLAND FLYER needs good ground to be seen at his best which he gets here and I am sure with bottom weight he will run a nice race. E/W.
15:30 Leicester – BOAGRIUS 7/2 – 1 POINT WIN
I normally follow Philip Hobbs around Leicester as he has a great record but tomorrow I am happy to take on his horse Master Work. He is the current favourite but is having his first start over fences so could be vulnerable. Combine that with Philip Hobbs being badly out of form (1 win from last 25 runners) and he is there to be shot at. The horse I am happy to take him on with is BOAGRIUS who is trained by Tom George. The trainer is in good form with with 8 winners from his last 31 runners. Jockey Ciaran Gethings is also in good form with 4 winners from his last 17 rides (7 placed). BOAGRIUS come into the race is good form after winning his last start at Taunton. He clearly likes to go right handed as all chase starts have been right handed, which he gets at Leicester. He does have to defy top weight but I think he has the experience over fences to do so. Sure to run a race and has to be involved. WIN.
16:15 Uttoxeter – CRUCIAL ROLE 13/8 – 1 POINT WIN
Not the biggest price but I make him a 5/4 chance so 13/8 to me is value. He is a very good horse who has run in two grade 2s on his last two starts. He was a winner at Uttoxeter on his penultimate start while he finished 3rd behind Castafiore and Jerrysback on his last start. He is a winner of a Grade 2 two starts ago and surely he will have too much for these today. Trainer Dan Skelton and jockey Harry Skelton also have had 36 winners from 69 runners at the course (52% strike rate).WIN.
14:50 Fontwell – VISION DES FLOS 11/2 – 1 POINT WIN
A good looking race but I think VISION DES FLOS is a big price at 11/2. This step up in trip will suit and the decent ground will be appreciated. He was 2nd to Buveur D’Air on his penultimate start and then 3rd just last week to Grand Saucy. For connections to run him just a week later they must feel he is fit and ready to run a big race. The price is very appealing. WIN.
15:30 Lingfield – SPIRIT OF ZEBEDEE 6/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
A decent price for a horse who is 2 from 3 at the course and has placed on all 3 starts. He is the likely front runner of the race and is drawn perfectly in stall 1. Jockey Jason Hart is riding well and although SPIRIT OF ZEBEDEE has gone up the handicap since his last win here, I still expect him to place at the very least with lots of things in his favour. E/W.
15:05 Thurles – GO ANOTHER ONE 9/2 – 1 POINT WIN
I have gone through this field in fine detail and the only horse who wants genuine good ground is GO ANOTHER ONE. The rest want cut in the ground and with only a shower forecast the going should remain good. GO ANOTHER ONE has not been seen since November when finishing 2nd to Tell Me Annie at Fairyhouse. He was running all over the summer and decent ground but as soon as the ground went against him it was time for a rest. Rated 135 by the handicapper with his nearest rival being rated 128. He is rated at least 7lb better than anything in the race yet only concedes 3lb to the field. A decent price considering he has everything in his favour. WIN.
16:10 Southwell – ZYLAN 11/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
I think ZYLAN is a great bet here at a big price. Trainer Roger Fell is in good form and is operating at a 28% win strike rate over the last 30 days. His horse ZYLAN loves it around Southwell with 4 wins from 5 starts and placed in the other start. ZYLAN is drawn in 4 and he likes to be prominent so should get to front from that stall. No other pace is really in the field so this race could fall into his lap. Overpriced given his form at the course and trainer form. E/W.
15:55 Ascot – CRYNAME 7/2 – 1 POINT WIN
I think Waiting Patiently is the best horse in the race but he is there to be shot at on this ground. It is only going to get faster tomorrow which gives me real concern about the horse. They have often pulled him out because ground was too fast so if you are going to get him beat it will be on this ground. As mentioned he is the best horse and his class could easily get him through but I think CYRNAME is a decent price at 7/2. He put in some performance last time out at this course when going from the front and looked a different animal to what we have seen before. Things finally seemed to click and I am sure he is going to go out fast and make them work for it. He will slow down coming to the line but just have done enough and get over the line. A great race which includes Politologue but again I think he wants softer ground. CRYNAME wants good ground and he gets it. WIN.
15:35 Haydock – ROBINSFIRTH 8/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
I am a fan of ROBINSFIRTH who has had an interrupted career. This is his 2nd start of the season and he can build on his 2nd last time out. The way he finished his race last time out tells me this exteneded trip is right up his street. I would be surprised if he wasn’t staying on near the end of the race. E/W.
15:20 Ascot – AL DANCER 11/4 – 1 POINT WIN
Sam Twiston Davies is very bullish about AL DANCER and I can read him like a book when he is keen on a horse. He was impressive last out at Cheltenham and although this is a step up in class, I think the vibes tells me he is a good thing. They have taken Ballyandy to another race which again means confident is high. They firmly believe he is a lively Supreme Novice Hurdle horse and that is enough for me from the Twiston Davies stable. I think Getaway Trump needs further and will be inconvenienced by this trip.
13:25 Haydock – JESTER JET 11/4 – 1 POINT WIN
An interesting race on paper but I think given the experience JESTER JET has she can win this and win it comfortably. She was a good 2nd last time out behind Magic Of Light and it was only back in April that she was winning a Grade 3 over hurdles. The class of the race and should be favourite in my opinion. WIN.
13:50 Sandown – GLEN FORSA 4/1 – 1 POINT WIN
I am taking a chance by taking on Kalashkinov but in my opinion I believe he is overated and secondly I am not sure Sandown will suit him over the railway fences. He is the classiest horse in the race but jumping is the name of the game and he could get caught out by the improving GLEN FORSA. He will relish these fences which come up think and fast and I am sure he will go off from the front and try and force mistakes in behind. GLEN FORSA was very good when winning at Kempton on Boxing Day, particularly in the jumping department. Although he is back in trip here, we know he will force the pace and will stay all the way to the line. WIN.
14:40 Clonmel – ALLAHO 5/1 – 1 POINT WIN
ALLAHO also has an entry in the Albert Bartlett which I find fascinating considering this is his debut over hurdles. He was a runner in a bumper on Boxing Day when 4th and they could’ve have kept him in bumpers. The fact they are happy to potentially give up his novice status, by winning this so late in the season, tells me they like him a lot. He is up in trip massively to 3 miles here and it is a bold move by Willie Mullins. It is the type of move I keep my eyes peeled for from him. He has Ruby Walsh on board which is riding well and has the potential to make this price look big. WIN.
15:25 Market Rasen – EARLOFTHECOTSWOLD 11/2 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
EARLOFTHECOTSWOLDS seems to like it around Market Rasen with his form around the reading 12. I thought he ran a great race last time out in a better race than today, only tiring in the last furlong. This step down in trip to 2m 4f and a drop in class will be appreciated. He has had jumping problems previously but with this now being his 4th start over hurdles he should being get the grip of things. He has been off the track for a month and I imagine he has done plenty of schooling since. He was beaten at this course to another of today’s runners, Seemingly So but get 3lb at the weights this time around. Sam Twiston Davies is back on board and he has won on the horse twice so knows the horse well. Trainer Nigel Twiston Davies comes into the race in very good form with 9 of his last 17 runners at least placing and I am confident this horse will place at the least. E/W.
15:00 Leopardstown – LA BAGUE AU ROI 2/1 – 1 POINT WIN
This was a tough choice to make but I am happy with how I see the race panning out. I really rate the favourite Delta Work and as things stand he is my current bet for the RSA at Cheltenham, but this is over 2m 5f and I think he will be at his best over 3m +. He may get away with it and win as he is a very good horse but as I said yesterday it is all about my eye and thought process going forward. I believe LA BAGUE AU ROI best trip is todays 2m 5f. Yes she won last time out over 3 miles but that was on a flat track at Kempton. She won very well that day and looks a horse with a big future. Warren Greatrex could have easily ran her in todays Scilly Isles Novice Chase but has made the decision to come over to Ireland. I have heard him say many times that a course like Leopardstown is exactly what she wants and she has been foot perfect all season. She jumps very well, she travels well, she finds under pressure and get 7lb from the boys today. She will go from the front and if she gets into a nice rhythm she is going to be so hard to peg back as she has such a high cruising speed. A great race but over distance and what I have seen so far, I am slightly in the LA BAGUE AU ROI camp. We will win on Delta Work at the Cheltenham Festival instead. WIN.
13:50 Leopardstown – KLASSICAL DREAM 3/1 – 1 POINT WIN
KLASSICAL DREAM joined Willie Mullins in November and is a very smart recruit who Mullins can get so much improvement out of. He was 4th to the very classy Master Dino in a Grade 1 before joining Willie Mullins and that form alone should see him win this. He then made his debut for Mullins at Leopardstown on Boxing Day, and was a good winner. He should improve again and in my opinion should be the favourite today. 3/1 is decent value. WIN.
14:25 Sandown – DEFI DE SEUIL 5/2 – 1 POINT WIN
I do think DEFI DE SEUIL should be a bit shorter in the betting. He has impressed me on his last two starts when winning at Exeter and then 2nd at Cheltenham. The hill over 2m 4 1/2 f just tested him stamina, despite travelling better than anything. A return to a flatter track will help and I think the fences which come think and fast will suit. He was impressive at Exeter on his penultimate start and that is a right handed course like Sandown. Should be thereabouts. WIN.
13:25 Leopardstown – APPLE’S JADE 11/10 – 1.5 POINTS WIN
Sometimes you can try too hard to get a horse beat when it is staring you in the face. I have tried to get APPLE’S JADE beat but at 11/10 I think I would rather be on her side than against her. She is 3 from 3 this season and has looked better than ever in those 3 starts winning all three by a combined 56 lengths. they were two Grade 1s and a Grade 2. She beat Supersundae by 20 lengths on her penultimate start so I can’t see how that form is turned around. She then won her last start over 3 miles by 26 lengths. I know this is a step down in trip to 2 miles but I don’t really think it matter with her. She has plenty of speed and she has plenty of stamina. APPLE’S JADE will make the running and play catch me if you can. You could argue that if she does get beat it will be over this trip but I am sure Gordon Elliott has her in such a good place he is running her in this race, to see if they go to the Champion Hurdle or not. I haven’t even mentioned the 7lb mares allowance that she has over the boys. I make her 4/6 favourite and just can’t have her beat. She is only a 7 year old who keeps improving and has won 9 Grade 1s. WIN.
12:50 Leopardstown – COMMANDER OF FLEET 9/2 – 1 POINT WIN
Our 2nd selection is COMMANDER OF FLEET who I am adamant wants a trip to be seen at his best. He made his debut over hurdles at Punchestown in November, over 2m 4f and won easily enough. He was then dropped in trip to 2 miles where he was done for speed. The race was quite hot and won by Quick Grabim, who’s form ties in with a lot of these. Now up 2m 6f I am confident you are going to see the best of this horse as he is from the point to point scene. On his debut he was an impressive winner at the Punchestown Festival in a bumper and Gordon Elliott would have worked hard to get him back to that sort of form. He may have taken a little longer to come to hand and the 2 months he has been off since his last run, should have done him the world of good. I am sure they have one eye on the Albert Bartlett but if he is going to go to the Cheltenham Festival he has to go very close. WIN.
15:10 Warwick – LARCH HILL 12/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
LARCH HILL is still a maiden but in this handicap he can go close to getting off the mark. Sam Twiston Davies takes the ride for his father and he runs here off a tiny mark of 104. They have been playing around with his trip for the last 3 runs when to me he has looked best over the shorter trip of 2 miles. He finished behind Seddon and Nylon Speed who are decent horses and his 3rd behind Nylon Speed was at this course back in September. He was rated 114 just 3 starts back so must and should run a big race off this mark. E/W.
13:15 Punchestown – WINTER ESCAPE 7/1 – 0.5 POINTS E/W
WINTER ESCAPE is a fair price at 7/1 even though he has to give weight away to the field. He switched trainers from Alan King to Aidan Howard over the summer and has been in top form for his new trainer. He has won his last two starts over fences impressively and has is now reaching the potential connections though he would from the start. On his last start he was a 6 length winner of a Grade 3 so we know he can do it at this level. Mark Walsh has been riding him all season and knows him well and at 7/1 he is worth a bet with anyones money. E/W.
14:05 Kempton – TOP NOTCH 13/8 – 1.5 POINTS WIN
I think TOP NOTCH should be clear favourite here and confident he can beat Charbel. He has had 11 starts over fences and won 7. He is a very good jumper of a fence and seems to go better at Right Handed courses where he has won 5 of his races over fences. He has had one start this season which was over hurdles and came home a decent 3rd in the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle. Now back over fences he will take all the beating and I am happy to raise the stake. WIN.
12:35 Leicester – NEW MILLENNIUM 13/2 – 1 POINT WIN
NEW MILLENNIUM is a much better horse on a sounder surface so with the ground described as Good To Firm, it should be right up his street. He has only ran on ground once this quick and that ended with a win at Fontwell back in October. He beat Le Precieux that day who has since gone on to win 3 races on the bounce, making the form look solid. NEW MILLENNIUM likes to front run which should also suit as, 7 races have been run at the course, on good to firm ground with between 6-9 runners, 3 of those 7 races were won by the front runner. There certainly seems to be a pace bias in these conditions. Tom O’Brien takes the ride and he is a jockey who I rate highly. Overpriced on the stats I have found. WIN.
13:50 Naas – BATTLEOVERDOYEN 15/8 – 1.5 POINTS WIN
I was very impressed with BATTLEOVERDOYEN on his two starts this season and he looks like he could be a special horse. He made his debut over hurdles at Navan 3 weeks ago and he done very easily. He is up in trip here but that was always going to bring out improvement. Looks a two horse race with the Willie Mullins trained Tornado Flyer but I think Gordon Elliott will be winning this battle. He can go on and be the new favourite of the Ballymore Hurdle with a win here and I am fairly confident he will do so. WIN.
15:25 Ludlow – SUBWAY SURF 11/4 – 1 POINT WIN
SUBWAY SURF is having his first start under rules for Kim Bailey here. He comes here after winning a point to point in May. Trainer Kim Bailey sends his better bumper horses to Ludlow and is actually 7 wins from his last 13 runners in bumpers at the course. He even started the excellent Vinndication off here in November 2017. Kim Bailey also won this race last year with Sea Story and also had the 3rd in the same race. The trainer comes here in good form and also the partnership with David Bass is in good form, over the last 14 days and also at the course in the last 365 days. Everything points to a big run from this horse and I am happy to get involved at 11/4. WIN.
14:35 Cheltenham – AUX PTITS SOINS 13/2 – 1 POINT E/W
My NAP of the day has to be AUX PTITS SOINS who ran an eye-catching race at Newbury last time out. This was on the back of 601 days off the track. He travelled really well and jumped ok throughout. He was travelling better than anything 2 hurdles out but got tired in the closing stages. That is understandable though as he had been off the course for so long. Now with that run under his belt he should improve massively. He was once described as a Grade 1 horse when with Paul Nicholls so he could be so well handicapped here off a mark of 141. Dan Skelton has taken his time with the horse since he has had him and that could pay dividends. He was a winner at the Cheltenham Festival back in 2015 when winning the Coral Cup off a mark of 139. He seems like he has been around forever but is only an 8 year old who could still have so much more to come. Confident of a big run. E/W.