Haydock and Ascot

Photo : sportinglife.com
 
Well last week was a good one on the blog and I kept up my record in the hurdle race at Warwick, putting up the winner for the third consecutive year, with FLINTHAM (7-1). Hope you were on aswell as BIG JIM (5-1). It was almost a top day but DEFINITLY RED (9-2) could only manage second behind BLACK HERCULES. Hopefully I'm coming into a bit of form and there's a few I fancy today too. The top two races of the day really are crackers leading us to trials weekend next Saturday.
 
LIL ROCKERFELLER 1425 ASCOT (nap)
What a race this is!! Numerous horses have cracking chances. MONSIEUR GIBRALTAR ran better last time and has far less weight than that run. Today. THEINVAL was very smart last year and returns to hurdles after an average chase debut, and I can't forget ROYAL GUARDSMAN'S last run. I've opted for my guy thoygh based on his class and his very smart form. He reversed places with DEVILMENT when he last won carrying 11st 11lbs. He ran in a much better race at Cheltenham and one was just too good, however he did beat the current World Hurdle champion, COLE HARDEN. Last year he beat Ladbroke Hurdle winner STERNRUBIN twice, giving him 5lbs and 8lbs respectively. He loves a battle, has a big heart and has the class to win this. MONSIEUR GIBRALTAR is his biggest danger.
 
 
OTAGO TRAIL 1330 HAYDOCK (nb)
He has gone up a massive 13lbs in the ratings to a mark of OR154 after his smooth, classy success at Chepstow. The ground was awful that day and it will be very heavy today and that will play to his strengths! I cant believe his price based on BRISTOL DE MAI's entry, he hasnt encountered ground like this yet and I think my guy is a very smart prospect.
 
FINGAL BAY 1515 HAYDOCK (treble)
This guy has jumped really well in his last two runs. Finding SMAD PLACE too good and WAKANDA the same in quite quickly run races. He has the stamina for this and will love the ground and thr stiff finish. You have to jump well here and he does. VIRAK has been very good too but he has gone up another 5lbs in weight here and he's giving my guy 17lbs in weight. That will take its toll up the Haydock hill.
 
CORRIN WOOD 1300 HAYDOCK
This is an old favourite and was previously a smart horse and he could generate a tidy profit for the blog today. He was a good hurdler and was turning into a smart chaser until having a lay off. He was then thrown in off his old form in top races and it was too much. He is now back in a class 3 hurdle, at a track where he has won at and has smart form. He will get the trip and 20-1 is huge!!
 
My Dad's selections are :
 
PLACINGS
FATHER 2-5 SON
PROFIT/LOSS
Father – £79.34
Son +£17.96
 

Warwick

Photo : Sportinglife.com
 
Well it really is a wet weekend and will be a gruelling test for all these horses today. Make sure you select one that loves this ground and has bags of stamina. A pretty quiet weekend of races as we start the Cheltenham build up, with trials day not far away. This pertempts hurdle race has brought me a few successes and pointers in recent years. In 2013 it's where I HOLYWELL jumped into my notebook for when I backed him at the festival when he won at 33-1 on the blog. I have also had the last two winners of the race with UNCLE JIMMY and JOIN THE CLAN. Click the names for each blog on these races and to read my write ups. Let's hope I can keep the run going!!
 
FLINTHAM 1425 WARWICK (nap)
I'm pinning my hopes on this fella keeping my record going in this race! He is a full brother to CARRUTHERS and a half brother to Gold Cup winner CONEYGREE; he will therefore enjoy the ground and the battle. He was developing into a smart proposition last year with wins at Chepstow and Ascot. He has looked a little out of sorts so far but he should be fit and the trainer interestingly has opted for this rather than the novice chase, he must have Cheltenham on hid radar therefore! He has a big weight but is used to carrying well over 11 stone, he is very good hence his weight. My worry is it is too much to carry so I've also had a wager on HOWABOUTNEVER who has 10 stone 9lbs on his back and the apprentice takes a fuurther 10lbs off.
 
RED DEVILS LAD 1535 WARWICK (nb)
I backed this guy last week when he unseated early in the Welsh National. Prior to that he had been a sound jumper and he will love the ground with two wins already on heavy. The question mark is the trip but I think he'll get it. He also has the excellent Sean Bowen on board. A cracking price too.
 
DEFINITLY RED 1350 WARWICK (treble)
 
BLACK HERCULES is a smart horse but he's always run poorly over here and he's never been an odds-on shout. SILSOL ran a cracker behind SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT last time, and with the form franked, plus the ground he has a great chance. My guy though has always looked a top horse in his bumper and hurdle days last year. Interesting how the yard waited for softer ground and a lottle race at Catterick to get his chasing career underway. He ran well there and I think he has a great chance here.
 
BIG JIM 1315 WARWICK
He's been running over a greater trip than this therefore has the required stamina in the bag. He will love the ground and ran well last time with 11stone 12lbs on his back. He carries a full 21lbs less today!! Great chance!
 
My Dad's selections are :
HOWABOUTNEVER 1425 WARWICK
FINAL NUDGE 1500 WARWICK
DIVINE PORT 1440 WETHERBY
FOXBRIDGE 1535 WARWICK
 
PLACINGS
FATHER 2-4 SON
PROFIT/LOSS
Father – £64.34
Son -£29.04
 

Cheltenham

Photo – Sporting life
 
Happy new year to you all! I hope everyone had a great celebration last night and I wish all who read this blog a prosperous 2016! It certainly starts with a cracking meeting; I had TRIOLO D'ALENE pencilled in for this meeting until tbe rain came. I have been waiting for him to run on good ground for ages, he will win a big handicap this year!
This meeting last year was a fruitful one for me, have a read here
 
Lets hope I've picked a few winners again below! It's a shame the ground has turned heavy as it really does lead to unpredictable results.
 
BATAVIR 1430 CHELTENHAM (nap)
This guy went into everyone's notebooks when romping in on his British debut at Ascot in 2014. Since then he's flattered to deceive. He was well fancied when running here in November but never really got competitive and to me he looked like he needed the run. He ran much better in the fixed brush hurdle at Haydock last time in what was a hot race. He has been dropped 2lbs to OR130 and I think we'll see a performance from him today. He did have TEAFORTWO behind that day and we've seen what that horse has done recently, and DEFINITELY RED who was second that day is a smart horse who is odds on at Catterick today. I put SO FINE up on the blog earlier in the season and then blooming missed him winning at 25-1!! He should be thereabouts, but I think it's too soft for him.
 
WHISPER 1505 CHELTENHAM (nb)
This guy is the highest rated in the race and proved his class when beating COLE HARDEN at Aintree. He did nothing last time at Newbury when favourite and I'm putting a line through that. Henderson's horses weren't really firing then and he was never interested. He has won here before and has won on heavy ground. I think we'll see the real Whisper today.
 
A GOOD SKIN 1355 CHELTENHAM (treble)
This fella won well here last year and looked like a horse who would continue to develop and progress this year. He hasnt really fired at all this year, he was running well in the Badger Ales at Wincanton but then got tired near the end. He carried 11 stone that day and only has 10 stone 2lbs today, that reduction of weight on ground like this could prove key!
 
SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT 1320 CHELTENHAM (WON 7-2)
This fella will love this ground and he has always looked a smart horse. He put in some impressive performances last season over hurdles and he got his revenge over SILSOL last time out at Kelso. I think he will be atalented chaser too and this could be a stepping stone to greater things.
 
Staked £1 Lucky 15 = £15
 
My Dad's selections are :
 
TENOR NIVERNAIS 1355 CHELTENHAM
SINGLEFARMPAYMENT 1430 CHELTENHAM
TOP NOTCH 1505 CHELTENHAM
ALWAYTIPSY 1520 MUSSELBURGH
 
PLACINGS
FATHER 1-4 SON
PROFIT/LOSS
Father – £59.39
Son -£21.04
 

Ascot – Ladbroke Day

 
Photo by Mark Cranham (racing post.com/photos)
Time to return to the blog and can I take this opportunity to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous 2016. Work has finished nowfor two weeks so I'm looking forward to a chill and a lovely time. Some decent racing again today and I'm banking on a couple of horses I've already out up on here to get their noses infront today!
 
FINGAL BAY 1500 ASCOT (nap)
I napped him last time when he ran a cracker in the Hennessy. He jumped so well that day and it was only the class of SMAD PLACE and I think the trip, at the pace they went, that caught him out. Dropping back in trip today will help and if he jumps as well as he did last time he has to be up there. I expect him to win today.
 
SAPHIR DE RHEU 1425 ASCOT (nb)
He's the up and coming next big star and the Hennessy, with the weight he carried, was just a step too far. I'm interested in how he runs back over hurdles today, Big Bucks style. He has beaten REVE DE SIVOLA already over hurdles, he's 4lbs worse off today but I reckon he's nowa better horse and it's not soft enough for Reve!
 
STERNRUBIN 1535 ASCOT (treble)
This fella has shown some real improvement and looks to be going places! He won nicely last time and he jumps and travels well. He has been raised 6lbs for that win but this is not a race that is too much for him. You need to travel well and more importantly have a turn of pace to get away from the pack on the run in. He has that and could run a big race!
 
BIG CASINO 1350 ASCOT
I've put this guy up a few times and he jumps so well and I think the distance has caught him out twice now! He's been dropped in trip again today and the track will suit his style and I'm hoping he can keep galloping to the line this time.
 
My Dad's selections are :
 
VOIX D'EAU 1315 ASCOT
MARCHILHAC 1350 ASCOT
PENDRA 1500 ASCOT
GALIZZI 1535 ASCOT
 
PLACINGS
FATHER 1-3 SON
PROFIT/LOSS
Father – £44,39
Son -£15.54
 

Tingle Creek and the Becher

Photo : Getty images
 
A couple of near misses last week on the blog. Fingal Bay ran well I thought but Smad Place was awesome. Can't put as much detail into the blog today as normal as I'm off to play footy shortly in a cup match….early kick off!
 
I've changed the style of bet for the blog too and will be putting a £1 Lucky 15 on our selections and will put the profit/loss up accordingly.
 
Good luck today if you're having a bet!
 
GOONYELLA 1340 AINTREE (nap)
He had a cracking season last year and has been raised alot in terms of his mark since running poorly in this last year. I've opted for him as I think this will take alot of getting today, and the wind will add to it. His jumping has improved and he must have a sniff.
 
SIRE DE GRUGY 1500 SANDOWN (nb)
He is the best rated of these and despite his poor track record since injury he still has the ability to win this. He has a great record here and the yard is in much better form. He has chucked in a couple of bad jumps recently and will need to be on it through the railway fences. I just think he'll do it today.
 
QUALANDO 1445 AINTREE (treble)
Smart horse and the ground will be no issue for him. I think he'll run a big race today and will improve further for the last run. You can't dismiss a horse like this.
 
AWAYWITHTHEGREYS 1400 CHEPSTOW
Has won twice here over course and distance and on heavy ground. He will love this testing run today and had a good few decent runs on the flat. Expecting a big run from him today.
 
My Dad's selections are :
 
 
PLACINGS
FATHER 1-2 SON
PROFIT/LOSS
Father – £29.39
Son -£8.21
 

Hennessy Gold Cup

Photo by Mark Cranham (racing post.com/photos)
 
One winner on the blog last week and it is the last time we'll see ROCK ON RUBY on a racecourse. Sad news to hear about him being retired but if it prolongs his life then it's worth it. What a fabulous horse he is and how much he has given to the cause. It was great to see him back to his best for one last time! Had retirement fella! On to Newbury today and the key early Gold Cup pointer race! I'm looking forward to watching what should be a awesome race!
 
Here are my selections for today :
 
FINGAL BAY 1500 NEWBURY (nap)
He broke a blood vessel in this last year and returns on a mark that is 9lbs lower than last year. He has always been a very smart horse, especially over hurdles. He has lowered the colours of SIMONSIG, DYNASTE and SOUTHFIELD THEATRE. He ran a creditable race behind SMAD PLACE at Kempton last time and is now 8lbs better off with that rival today. Over this extended distance that is alot and he has always enjoyed staying races. I'm sure they will have sorted his jumping out and he is now a 9 year old amd this may be his year as the top chasing horse. You need class to win this race and he has bags of it! SAPHIR DU RHEU is a lovely horse and his trainer thinks lots of him, but to win this with 11st 12lbs and as a six year old? Too much I reckon! BOBS WORTH showed a bit of form last time but I think the old flame for this type of race doesnt burn brightly enough. NED STARK is another that catches my eye.
 
MA FILLUELE 1350 NEWBURY (nb)
This one's price is shortening all the time! She didn't really run a race last time at Wetherby and she may now be better over the bigger obstacles. However, I'm intrigued that they persevere over hurdles and this slightly longer trip will help too. She's a classy mare and her mark has been dropped by a crazy 10lbs because of her Wetherby run. That's a full 23lbs lower than her chase mark where she has been second to the likes of HOLYWELL, BALDER SUCCESS and UXIZANDRE. Interestingly this is a return to a previous winning hurdles mark of OR134 when she beat SWINCOMBE FLAME over this trip at Warwick.
 
BIG CASINO 1315 NEWBURY (treble)
I really fancied this guy when he ran first time out at Cheltenham. He ran well for along way that day and just didn't stay the trip at that pace. He's been dropped 2lbs by the handicapper and also drops in class 2, as well as a three furlong shorter trip. That's a lot of boxes ticked for me, he also has an apprentice taking 5lbs off to give him a great racing weight. If they go positively with him again they not peg him back.
 
KATACHENKO 1355 DONCASTER
Defeated MON SUCCESSEUR at Wetherby on his seasonal debut in a class 3 chase just short of two miles. He steps back up in trip today but he has won at this distance before and he's only been raised one pound by the handicapper for his last win. MON SUCCESSEUR was only just pipped yesterday to boost the form a little and this horse is worth watching!
 
My Dad's selections are :
 
 
PLACINGS
FATHER 1-2 SON
PROFIT/LOSS
Father – £29.39
Son -£8.21
I also like these elsewhere – STAGE ONE 1250 DONCASTER, HARVEY HOPE 1430 DONCASTER and CALIVIGNY 1300 NEWCASTLE
 

Betfair Chase

After a crackingweek at Cheltenham last week the National Hunt bandwagon rolls on with the showpiece chase of the day : The Betfair Chase. I always remember how awesome Kauto Star was in this when he won it for the final time, he murdered them in a performance that will always stay with me, he was magnificent that day! Only one winner for the blog last week in COPPER KAY, but she looks like one to follow this year. A few nice handicaps today to watch aswell as the big event. Good luck if you're having a flutter!
 
MIJHAAR 1425 HAYDOCK (nap)

I've kept saying that this fella has a race like this in him. He's still on a very attractive mark for me and ran ok last time at Cheltenham. He travels really well but they seem to just get away from him. I think this softer ground and the track will suit him and stop that happening. These fixed brush hurdles will test their jumping but my guy is due to go chasing soon and should be able to cope. He is a huge price but is a smart horse and I think today is the day. I also like the chances of DEFINITLY RED, who has decent track form and looked a smart type last year, he made need the run.
 
ROCK ON RUBY 1440 ASCOT (nb)

Didnt do bad in his reappearance and this drop back down in trip won't cause any issues. He has to give 8lbs to Brother Tedd but he is used to doing this and the stiff turn for home will suit my guy better. It's a shame the ground is soft for the returning to form COURT MINSTREL, but I don't think he will go in ground this tacky.
 
HOLYWELL 1500 HAYDOCK (treble)

This is my heart speaking over my head, however he needed the run big time in the Charlie Hall and he is too big a price for me to ignore. He was second in this race the other year and we all know how much he stays in at times in these marathon trips. He doesnt like it too soft but his heart and battling qualities will give him a sniff over the final couple of fences. If his jumping is fluid he will be there at the end.
 
FAGO 1515 ASCOT

This horse looked decent as a novice a few years agobut his jumping let him down. He has got better with that and I'm interested to see how he runs dropped back in trip on this stiffer track. He will appreciate the ground and could do this very easily, or balls it up and fall.
 
My Dad's selections are :
 
BEAU LAKE 1210 HAYDOCK
GUNNER FIFTEEN 1315 HAYDOCK
TEA FOR TWO 1425 HAYDOCK
ROYAL PALLADIUM 1535 HAYDOCK
 
PLACINGS
FATHER 1-1 SON
PROFIT/LOSS
Father – £9.39
Son -£4.07