Betfair Chase Day

This time last year I was recovering from ankle surgery and was brightened up by a magnificent round of jumping by the legend that is Kauto Star wiping the floor with his rivals in the Betfair chase. I love the picture above of one of his awesome jumps that day – just look how extended he is – what a horse. It's fitting that a statue has been cast of him, and why not, he's the best NH horse in my lifetime! Today sadly there is no legend but there is a chance for a new legend to be born, keep reading below for my tip for the race and my other bets.
I'm putting my well earned coins into two Lucky 15's today that incorporate a couple of decent priced outsiders too. The heavy ground (and it's banging it down at Ascot as I type this) is a real leveller of form, especially around a gruelling circuit like Haydock.
Here's the first and main one :
Lamb or Cod 12.55 Haydock (nap) (unplaced) was impressive last time out at Chepstow under this jockey and he has been raised 6lbs for that. He has bags of scope and I reckon will improve again and beat these today. Black Thunder is the danger but I'm not having 3-1 in this competitive field.
Merigo 1400 Haydock (nb) – (unplaced) I love this horse and whilst he seems to be better in the spring he is an out and out stayer and three miles today in this ground will feel like four. He has won on heavy over 3 and 4 miles, and Timmy Murphy rides him so well. He could be the forgotten horse here today and is a great each way chance. Check out this photo of him from last year before his Scottish National success – he's just saying look how good I am
Holywell 1430 Haydock (treble) – (2nd – 10-1) has been crying out for this extended trip and I thought he ran a cracker last time at Aintree if given a little too much to do. I can see him staying on in the last few furlongs and takng this.
Silviniaco Conti 1505 Haydock – (Won 7-4) this horse was ultra impressive in the Charlie Hall and could be the next star out of the Nicholls yard. Any horse that wins at Wetherby is more than able of winning at Haydock as the tracks are so alike. Long Run is not the same horse as his Gold Cup winning year as proved last year and to be frank he never will be with Waley-Cohen on board.
The second Lucky 15 is below :
Petitfour 1540 Haydock – (unplaced) goes very well fresh and will appreciate this slog, has a good engine and should stay well and be involved. Has been backed a bit this morning too. Better over hurdles but I'll take a chance on him.
For Non Stop 1410 Ascot – (2nd 100-30) you couldn't be anything but impressed with his commanding victory in the Old Roan Chase and while Finian's Rainbow has undoubted class, the four pound pull on what will be heavy ground may take its toll
Balbriggan 1310 Ascot – (3rd 9-4) was impressive at Bangor last time and this increased trip shoud help and he is a potential improver. Mick Channon has started off well since taking Henrietta Knight's string.
Drawnfromthepast 1425 Lingfield – (3rd 3–1) one of my old favourites who has won me some big money at big prices. Is ultra consistent at the moment and whilst stall 9 isn't ideal today he will run on to at least a place. He's been really unlucky the last few and just got pipped, I'm hoping his luck will change today.
There will go then, hope I've identified a few winners and if you are having a bet please do so within your means. Kick back and enjoy this great feast of racing today.

Cheltenham Open Meeting Saturday

I really do enjoy this meeting and love the Paddy Power Gold Cup. It kick starts the National Hunt season and there are some great horses on display. I've got a pretty good record in the race too, in the past I've won with EXOTIC DANCER, OUR VIC, CYFOR MALTA and the first race horse I loved CHALLENGER DU LUC. No guesses for who my tip is this year!
1.20 – MASTERS HILL looked very good when winning at Chepstow last time and with the Tizzard stable in full flow he may well have more in hand than the top two in the market.
1.55 – CHICAGO GREY he has been a little disappointing lately but has dropped to a decent mark and I find it interesting that Richard Johnson is riding him. He has a very good knack of switching horses off and letting them creep into a race. That is the tactic that could bear fruit tomorrow. I also must give POKER DE SIVOLA a shout too!
2.35 – GRAND CRUS (nap) I just can't see anything in this field beating this! He was a very class hurdler and gave Big Bucks a scare and don't forget he absolutely smashed SILVINIACO CONTI in the Feltham and look what he has done this year. I hope he keeps my good record going and keeps the Pipe record up too!
3.05 BOUGGLER This one was developing intona smart horse a couple of years ago until getting injured here. He has form and has won class one races. If he overcomes the lay off he could run a big race at a big price!
3.40 ROGER BEANTOWN Makes his handicap debut and was turned over last time out conceding weight to the winner. Could run well here on a good mark.
Little shout to for one of my old favourites MIAS BOY (3.55 Lingfield) who normally runs well this time of year and does ave the ability to beat this field.
Good luck and here's to a cracking days racing.

November Handicap

So here we are, the final flat meeting of another season. What a season it has been too, we have been treated to the fabulous Frankel, an attempt at the Triple Crown with Camelot and a seven win streak in a meeting by Richard Hughes. Hughsie wins the Jockey's title for the first time and deservedly so. Who also can begrudge John Gosden being crowned champion trainer after his impressive season.
Now we move to the jump season, and whilst I really enjoy the flat I really love the jumpers! The form is a little more consistent and there are some fantastic handicaps to look forward to. Today is also my birthday so I'm hoping my tips get me a couple of winners today. I was really stuck between three today for my nap. I really give my best three great chances of success today!
Baby Mix 1450 Wincanton (nap) -(unplaced) is a really classy horse but struggled giving weight to Dodging Bullets at Cheltenham last time. He doesn't seem to perform there either and this track may suit him similar to his success at Kempton last year when he destroyed them.
Diamond Harry 1525 Wincanton (nb) – (PU) this one has all the class in the race and has been dropped something like 16lb for a couple of disappointing runs. He goes well fresh and my only worry is whether he is back to his old self.
Eton Rifles 1510 Doncaster (treble) – (WON 7-1) has ran back into form recently and whilst he is a soft ground horse today's conditions should suit him well. He ran well in defeat last time and I reckon today is the day he will win.
As well as my top three these are the others I fancy today.
Tony Star 1415 Wincanton (4th)
Cubanita 1400 Doncaster (WON 8-1)
Kirthill 1435 Doncaster (unplaced)
Irish Heartbeat 1545 Doncaster (unplaced)
Imperial Circus 1535 Sandown (2nd 5-1)
Merigo 1405 Kelso (unplaced)
Thanks for Coming 1320 Sandown (2nd 11-2)
Chasers Chance 1310 Wincanton (unplaced)
Kartanian 1500 Sandown (unplaced)

Good luck everyone and remember to bet within your means.

Bonfire Treble

Here are my three best bets for Monday's racing. Not a big fan of fireworks and bonfire night to be honest, be glad when it's over and done with. Good to see one of my old favourites Tidal Bay win well on Saturday, he may have just one more big season in him yet.
BOLD CHIEF 1440 KEMPTON (nap) – (PU) talented novice last season, finishing off with a good second at Cheltenham. Handicap debut and I reckon he will take this.
LOCH BA 1545 KEMPTON (nb) – (WON 6-4) ran some good races last season and a few stinkers towards the end. Giving him another chance, has form here and is pretty well treated.
DRAWNFROMTHEPAST 1655 WOLVERHAMPTON (treble) – (2nd 6–1) Is in great form and just got pipped last time. Good draw and will be thereabouts again I'm sure!