The Cheltenham festival is getting ever closer and things are hotting up on the NH front. What a cracking day's racing we have in store today, with potential Gold Cup horses having their final runs before the big race. A hot handicap hurdle at Newbury to whet the appetite too. Then there's a decent card at Warwick with some Cheltenham fancies there. All in all I'm really looking forward to today. Hopefully I can put up a few winners for people too. I had a nice one in mid-week with O CROTAIGH winning on his favourite track, what a price he was too.
Anyway, on to today's selections :
VAGO COLLONGES 1640 NEWBURY (nap) – (2nd – 3-1) won two from two in France and the form of the last race is pretty damn good. One of Nicholls' other new recruits was fourth in that race (PTIT ZIG) and he won well on Wednesday at Ludlow defeating the highly thought of New Year's Eve. My selection also defeated one of the top hyped horses in France at the moment. This one could be special!
MIAS BOY 1615 LINGFIELD (nb) – (2nd – 5-1) one of my old favourites and these days needs everything to drop right. Has improved form in recent runs and is still on a good mark. Was trying to get there last time but left it a little late, hopefully he'll pick his way through in the final furlong today.
COTTON MILL (treble) – (2nd – 9-1) I have been waiting for this one to run all season. I was thoroughly impressed with him last year and he was moving just as well as SIMONSIG at the Festival before crashing through the barrier and running out. In a race like this you must be ahead of the handcapper and I think judged on his potential he has a pretty damn good mark. The only doubt for me is the ground, but I don't think it is as soft as everyone thought and he has won on good to soft in the past. Huge each way chance! I'm also going to have an each way dabble on BABY MIX, another one of mine that I follow to the ends of the Earth and he has been terrible this year so far. There must have been something amiss and a break may have helped to rejuvenate him and 33-1 is huge!
MENORAH 1425 NEWBURY – (3rd – 7-1) I think the step up to three miles will really suit him and allow him to get into a rhythm that he needs. He was impressive last time I thought in the Peterborough and whilst SILVINIACO CONTI is a good horse he is giving weight away and has had a couple of tough races, him being odds on is crazy in my opinion. My selection is a smart horse and he MAY just turn into a potential high class stayer.
KNOCK A HAND 1350 NEWBURY – (unplaced) he won this last year and has conditions to suit again. He is potentially dangerous back over hurdles only 5lbs higher than when taking this last year. The concern is his poor form over fences!
SHOOTERS WOOD 1500 NEWBURY – (unplaced) he impressed me last time at Cheltenham and whilst this is a further step up, he seems to be progressive and talented. I loved his attitude and he will need to dig in today to take this, the ground is fine and I'm hopeful of another big performance. EDGARDO SOL is the danger for me, not a lot between them!
I'm also going to spend a penny or two on TEMPLE ROAD 1510 LINGFIELD – (WON 7-2) denied a hattrick last time in better company, todays drop in class should suit again and he should be thereabouts.
Now that one of my favourite little tracks WARWICK has got the go ahead I'm doing a little Lucky 15 there.
DORMOUSE 1255 – (unplaced) has won a few times here and will like the softer ground. Drops back to her preferred level and could run a big race at a big price.
KAFFIE 1330 – (4th – 7-1) another that returns to an optimum trip and has form on heavy ground. Got pipped by KELLES BELLE last year and is 5lbs better off today. Real good chance.
DOESLESSTHANME 1405 – (4th – 7-1) won three on the bounce last year over shorter than this and has been running against hot opposition this year so far. This could be his return to winning ways.
FAULTLESS FEELINGS 1515 – (unplaced) ran very well on his return at Newbury behind AFRICAN GOLD who won well again on Thursday. He stayed on towards the end of his last race on Boxing Day but was too far adrift to catch the front two. Big chance today!
If you are having a bet, please remember these are my selections and my opinions! Everyone has different viewpoints and thats why we love this game so much! Please bet within your means if you're having a flutter.
Best of luck!