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These are the write ups of 2019’s winners so far
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.