Easter Saturday Selections

I thought it was fitting to have the blog photo of the great ALBERTAS RUN who I hope is going to enjoy a long and well deserved retirement, what a horse he was!
 
On to the racing and what a day of racing we have. The re-run Lincoln, Haydock and a super card at Musselburgh with a few old favourites, and then of course we have Meydan and the richest race in the world. I've selected a few from those meetings for you. I'm hoping I can keep the big priced handicap naps going on a Saturday. I have another big priced one that could go very well.
 
LANDSCAPE 1440 HAYDOCK (nap) – (FELL) this horse has always been held in high regard by his yard and he ran well when winning at Exeter beating BILLY TWYFORD. He franked the form a few times too. Landscape then won well at Taunton in really heavy ground before running fourth behind GEVREY CHAMBERTIN at Wincanton. He ran so poorly last time at Chepstow and that should be ignored. He has blinkers on today to sharpen him up and I think he will go enjoy this better ground. If he is focused and reproduces his earlier successes he has a damn good sniff.
 
HAMISH MCGONAGALL 1500 MUSSELBURGH (nb) – (unplaced) this guy is a class horse and has the ability to win this again. He does have to give Tangerine Trees 15lbs however. He has been running Group 1 races creditably remember! His last three runs here have produced three wins – that is solid enough!
 
PROPHESY 1615 DONCASTER (treble) – (unplaced) this guy is returning from a long lay off. He did however win first time out last season off a longer one. He has put some good performances in last season and this distance will suit as will the conditions.
 
CHAPTER SEVEN 1505 DONCASTER – (unplaced) I'm opting for this one in the Lincoln as he is progressive, goes well fresh and will enjoy the ground. Four year olds have a great record this and he is weighted similar to past winners. His run when beating LAHAAG at York was a good one and with luck in running I hope I have the winner. I have to also place some each way money on SWIFTLY DONE who has some decent form in the locker and will also relish the ground.
 
OUR JONATHAN 1430 DONCASTER – (3rd – 4-1) this one goes well fresh and has been running well over further, that stamina will be needed in todays ground and I think he will stay on better than the rest to take this.
 
CLOUDY TOO 1515 HAYDOCK – (3rd – 12-1) this one has some really good form including a course and distance success here. He has also gone in at Wetherby, I always look for that at Haydock as they are both similar tough tracks. He couldn't get close last time at Cheltenham and despite a rise in the ratings he can go well. People are put off him due to the better ground, but he has won on good and on good to soft.
 
TOP NOTCH TONTO 1535 MUSSELBURGH – (unplaced) his win at Ayr was impressive and he ran a good race after that behind WILLIE THE WHIPPER. He has some weight to carry here but I think he has more to offer this year and is a crazy price.
 
MR SPIGGOTT 1355 DONCASTER – (unplaced) this one has a good chance when reflecting on his second at Windsor off the same mark last year. He will enjoy the ground and has a decent draw.
 
I'm also putting a few quid on the following :
 
MONSIEUR CADOU 1405 HAYDOCK (WON 10-1)
BALINROAB 1550 HAYDOCK (unplaced)
EXCEL BOLT 1425 HAYDOCK (unplaced)
RASAMAN 1645 HAYDOCK (unplaced)
HANOVARIAN BARON 1455 KEMPTON (unplaced)
SCIMON TEMPLAR 1400 CARLISLE (withdrawn)
KRYTON FACTOR 1545 MEYDAN (3rd – 9-1)
ANIMAL KINGDOM 1805 MEYDAN (WON 5-1)
 
Enjoy today's action and hopefully I have found a few winners here. Can't wait for next week at Aintree and the big one. Happy punting everyone.
 
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Sunday selections

As I prepare for a house full of three year olds coming to celebrate my daughter's birthday I thought I would think of a strategy to keep me sane. My top idea…..do a short blog. So here we are. I am currently doing battle with a few other top tipsters at the top of the @Tweet_naps monthly league, which you can see here. I'm hoping my nap today can take me to the top and that I can find a few more to be within a chance of winning.
 
To be honest too, I'm bloody sick of this weather – was hoping to do a good indepth blog on the Lincoln yesterday! Oh well, at least we know the flat is back!
 
Here are my top three today :
 
ANTON CHIGURH 16.30 CURRAGH (nap) – (STONE COLD LAST! 6-1) will love the ground and is a horse who is a stand out for a race like this. He ran well last year and his defeat of VITO VOLTERRA and MASTER OF THE ARTS prior to this on tough tracks like HAYDOCK amd CARLISLE may well give him the competitive edge over his market rivals.
 
FENNELL BAY 1540 LINGFIELD (nb) – (unplaced) is very well treated on his return. On a slightly higher mark than when triumphant at Royal Ascot last year. He disappointed after that and has since been gelded. That may have the desired effect and he could take this cosily.
 
MILARROW 1625 WINCANTON (treble) – (FELL) this one is ultra consistent and has been knocking on the door. I thought the return to better ground last time would bring out extra in him but MIDNIGHT SAIL was too good. Today could be his day.
 

Cheltenham 2013 Gold Cup Day

Well what a day that was!!! The nap HOLYWELL rompted in at 25-1. As I said on the blog he was one of my two top bets for the festival, and boy did he prove me right. Good job to be fair, as all my other selectons disappointed. It was great to hear on twitter of a few of you who took my advice, and thanks for your nice comments. I'm on a bit of a run at the moment and hoping it will continue.
 
On to the final day, where has it gone already! Below are my selections for Friday and the second of my big fancies! Enjoy the racing and enjoy the Gold Cup.
 
1.30 TRIUMPH HURDLE

This is always a difficult one to win and it is competitive again. My selection in this is FAR WEST (2nd – 4-1), while the Nicholls string hasn't been firing on all cylinders, this one is a damn good horse. He has won well twice here and that could be his trump card. I'm hoping this gets the Ditcheat team off the mark. I think the slightly better ground will go against ROLLING STAR. I am however having a little each way on SWYNMOR (unplaced) who despite his poor effort last time looked all over the winner before falling at the last before that. He may still run to his capabilities.
 
2.05 VINCENT O'BRIEN COUNTY HURDLE

This is the race for my second big fancy of the week. He is a real favourite of mine, but this is not a case of heart ruling head as he has fantastic ability and the form to boot. COTTON MILL (nap) (FELL) ran exceptionally well at Newbury behind MY TENT OR YOURS and they even thought of entering him in the Champion Hurdle. Next year definitely. Last season he was very impressive at Warwick defeating subsequent impressive winner AMBION WOOD. He was then going just as well as SIMONSIG in last year's Neptune when unseating Denis by going throught the side part of the hurdle. He will appreciate the better ground and will have the pace to run these into the ground up the hill. His was impressive last time and that will have put him right and DENIS O'REGAN did say this was his best ride of the week. For a little each way money HISABAAT (unplaced) is on a very good mark considering his form in the Triumph here last year.
 
2.40 ALBERT BARTLETT NOVICES HURDLE

The winner of this race has to have immense battling qualities. AT FISHER'S CROSS (WON 11-8) has been nothing but impressive this year and showed true grit and determination when holding off THE NEW ONE last time out. How much stronger does that form look now, he also beat MEDINAS by about 12 lengths here on December, further form franked. Whilst this as always is a tough race to win I can't see past this one!
 
3.20 BETFRED GOLD CUP

I have to side with the favourite BOB'S WORTH (nb) (WON 11-4) here. Not only does have have superb course form (4 from 4) but he will stay all day and has been finishing his races off so strongly. If you go back into his form he has beaten the likes of ROCK ON RUBY and CUE CARD and in his last two outings defeated FIRST LIEUTENANT here in the RSA Chase. He then jumped superbly in the Hennessey beating TIDAL BAY, and look what he did since then. He has the class, the form, the engine and is the one for me. SILVINIACO CONTI has done nothing wrong and is a good jumper too but if push comes to shove in the final furlong or two I think he'll struggle. I am going to have a bit each way on CAPE TRIBULATION (unplaced) who has come on so much lately and the forecast rain and the staying slog this is will help him, I just don't think he has the class.
 
4.00 FOXHUNTER CHASE

Again another one that really doesn't interest me, but I will put up TRICKY TRICKSTER (PU) to maintain his comeback from injury. He was a potentially top class horse and did run well in the Grand National a few years back.
 
4.40 MARTIN PIPE CONDITIONAL JOCKEYS HANDICAP

GEVREY CHAMBERTIN is going the right way and was very impressive at Wincanton. However, there are a few with better chances in this at a lower weight. MA FILLEULE (unplaced) is one of those, receiving 11lbs off GEVREY is a lot to get and when you look at her form it makes me fancy her chances more. She won well at Warwick last time in a Grade 2 race, so she drops in class and the second (SWINCOMBE FLAME) franked the form when running well behind QUEVEGA on Tuesday. The third in that race KAUTO SHINY also ran well in the same race behind the supermare! At a big price DOUBLE ROSS (3rd – 14-1) is worth my each way money, he is the only confirmed front runner and may not get pegged back!
 
5.15 GRAND ANNUAL CHASE

The final race of the festival and I'm hoping to go out with a bang. ULCK DU LIN (treble) (PU)has the right profile for this and is a progressive horse. This one has more to offer and ran well beating NOZIC last time in bad conditions, and depending on the weather it may be a slog in this.
 
So those are my selections, I am equally as confident about COTTON MILL as I was with HOLYWELL, but please don't think that what I say is gospel and as I had a 25-1 winner I know it all, I don't! If you are having a flutter, do so at a level you can afford and good luck!
 
Here are my selections in short :
 
1.30 FAR WEST (2nd 4-1) SWYNMOR (ew) (unplaced)

2.05 COTTON MILL (nap) (FELL) HISABAAT (ew) (unplaced)

2.40 AT FISHER'S CROSS (WON 11-8)

3.20 BOBS WORTH (nb) (WON 11-4) CAPE TRIBULATION (ew) (unplaced)

4.00 TRICKY TRICKSTER (PU)

4.40 MA FILLEULE (unplaced) DOUBLE ROSS (ew) (3rd – 14-1)

5.15 ULCK DU LIN (treble) (PU)
 

Cheltenham 2013 Day 3

 
Day two was just as action packed and eventful as the first wasn't it! SPRINTER SACRE has the potential to be one of the all time greats, what a performance that was. How good is it to see jumping gods like him! I felt for BOSTON BOB today but I still think my tip LORD WINDERMERE would have beaten him. I also felt RIVAL D'ESTRUVAL may well have gone on to beat BACK IN FOCUS and I was relieved I had a wager on both!
 
So on to day three and one of my big fancies for the whole week.
 
1.30 JEWSON NOVICES CHASE

DYNASTE is an obvious pick for this race, however I feel a drop back in trip is against him and the stable aren't exactly flying at that moment and 13/8 at the time of writing this is short. CAPTAIN CONAN is an obvious choice too but he had to work hard last time to beat THIRD INTENTION. I'm therefore opting for TEXAS JACK (unplaced) who has some very smart form. He split BOSTON BOB and LORD WINDERMERE last time out and look what they did yesterday. He has also finished behind BACK IN FOCUS when 3 miles looked long for him. Unlike the style of BOSTON BOB and LORD WINDERMERE he is better at this trip and has to have a fantastic chance.
 
2.05 PERTEMPTS FINAL

This is one of my top selections for the festival. HOLYWELL (nap) (WON – 25-1) has performed gamely all year with four gutsy performances. He looked even more effective when being stepped up to three miles. Running in snatches last time cost him the race but he showed immense battling qualities to stay on up the hill behind ELY BROWN. The trip, the speed of the race, the pure test of stamina and more importantly the track will play into his strengths. I can see him being delivered over the last just behind and then bound on up to the line. He's my best bet of the day. I am also having an each way squeak on ACCORDING TO TREV (unplaced) who will appreciate the drying ground and you cannot ignore the win he had here in October.
 
2.40 RYANAIR CHASE

MENORAH (PU) is a favourite of mine and I have to side with him in this despite the worry of the poor form of the stable. In my opinion this distance and this track bring the best out of him. His performance when beating HUNT BALL at Kempton had to be noted as he probably hated the ground. He is impressive here as I said with 3 wins and a place from 6 runs. He has the class and remember he did beat CUE CARD here in the STAN JAMES INTERNATIONAL HURDLE a couple of years ago and despite getting beat in the HALDON GOLD CUP to CUE CARD he did give him 3 lbs that day. I'm hoping what I've stated backs up my gut! With the ground drying I am also having a little nibble at ALBERTAS RUN (PU) his record here speaks volumes and but for the ridiculous winter we've had he would have been our sooner. He's pure class and depending on how much the ground dries he could be a huge price for a horse of his stature.
 
3.20 LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE

A wide open contest in my opinion, the injury to BIG BUCKS gives plenty of these a shout. None more so than REVE DE SIVOLA who was very impressive last time. OSCAR WHISKY proved the doubters wrong last time by staying the distance. However, I'm opting for WONDERFUL CHARM (unplaced) this horse has been kept for this since the forecast was to be dry. He takes his chance here instead of the Coral Cup. Both the trainer and jockey think they potentially have a good one here, I'm happy to go with them judged on their experience of winning this. He has a fair bit to find on the figures, but he coud be anything. Well worth a sniff in a wide open contest!
 
4.00 BYRNE GROUP PLATE

I'm opting for an outsider in this who caught my eye last time out. HECTOR'S CHOICE (unplaced) ran an absolute stormer behind OPENING BATSMAN the other week at Kempton. He only dropped out close home and this drop to 2m5f will help. He won here last year in a Class 1 chase defeating AERIAL after getting nowhere near in this last year off a mark of 147. He's now rated 144 and I just fancy him to run well on better ground and as I say he really caught my eye last time out.
 
4.40 FULKE WALWYN KIM MUIR CHASE

PRINCE OF PIRATES (unplaced) for me is the answer here. He is a progressive horse, who despite a few dodgy jumping rounds produced a good effort at Kempton last time. He is another one that prefers good ground and has won round here before. A talented amateur jockey on board with a few big races successes this year will also help. Bring on the bucks.
 
5.15 CROSS COUNTRY CHASE – re-arranged.
 
I don't really like or pay much attention to these races so am just looking at form briefly for this and suggest taking a chance with the French one, especially if the ground is tacky. So for me SACREE TIEPY (unplaced) is the selection.

After a couple of successful days so far, I'm hoping for another few wins here, especially HOLYWELL. Enjoy the day whatever, I'm n a course all afternoon so will have no idea what's been going on!

Here's a summary of my tips :

1.30 TEXAS JACK (nb)

2.05 HOLYWELL (nap) (WON – 25-1) ACCORDING TO TREV (ew)

2.40 MENORAH (treble) ALBERTAS RUN (ew)

3.20 WONDERFUL CHARM

4.00 HECTORS CHOICE (ew)

4.40 PRINCE OF PIRATES

5.15 SACREE TIEPY
 

Cheltenham 2013 – Day 2

Day one I think was as good as we were all expecting. Superb performances by Hurricane Fly and Quevega going down in history were the highlights for me. I thought TOUR DES CHAMPS ran well and he has a big handicap in him on better ground and I was a bit disappointed by how KENTFORD GREY LADY petered out after moving very menacingly close home. Overall though I was happy with the blog throwing up JEZKI placed and wins for CHAMPAGNE FEVER and HURRICANE FLY. I still think Jezki would have been a bit closer but for that poor jump at the last!
 
On to day two and here are my selections for Wednesday.
 
1.30 John Oaksey National Hunt Chase

With this likely to turn into a slog the battling qualities and sound jumping ability of BACK IN FOCUS (WON 9-4) give him a real chance, he is an out and out stayer and that may be needed tomorrow. My one question mark over him is whether or not the ground will be soft enough. I will have a little bit on him, but fancy RIVAL D'ESTRUVAL (FELL) to possibly get the better of him. This one is another sound jumper who should relish the conditions, which judged on the times, are good to soft. He ran very well behind PACHA DU POLDER at Ayr last year and that form could be strong enough.
 
2.05 Neptune Investment Novice Hurdle

PONT ALEXANDRE (treble) (3rd – 6-4) is a potential superstar! The stable have been exceptionally positive about his chances and his rock solid form. He is the form selection and will have a wedge of my money. I will also be having an each way saver on CHATTERBOX (unplaced) who has been really impressive this year and has done nothing wrong. He defeated MY TENT OR YOURS and then followed that up by defeating LAC FONTANA giving buckets of weight away. What a cracking race this is, and I haven't even mentioned the form and abilIty of THE NEW ONE (WON and how wrong was I!!!!), but I think these two will hold that one up the hill. Sit back and enjoy a cracker.
 
2.40 RSA Chase

This is an entriguing race and BOSTON BOB appears to have the credentials and character for this, he should certainly appreciate the step up in trip. UNIONISTE was very impressive last time but I reckon the ground brought out the best in him that day. So my money is on Jim Culloty's progressive LORD WINDERMERE (WON 8-1). He is another one who looks like he will relish the step up in trip and if anything that was evident when he was defeated by BOSTON BOB by only half a length after nearly destroying a fence in his round of jumping! A great price too for me!
 
3.20 SportingBet Queen Mother Champion Chase

If there was ever a horse racing banker it surely has to be SPRINTER SACRE. He is a joy to watch and I can't wait to see him in action again tomorrow. So, with him to win no questions asked, who is getting place money and finishing second? My each way selection is SANCTUAIRE (unplaced) If he is ridden positively as in previous races I can't see any other of the field getting close to him other than the Aeroplane. I'm staggered that he is 25-1, yes, SS has stuffed him on every occasion but are the others such as WISHFUL THINKING and SIZING EUROPE really that better than him? I beg to differ!
 
4.00 Coral Cup

If you can pick the winner of this, you are either damn good, or having a lucky day! The latter for most. Competitive as hell as always and a case can be made for lots of them! I am putting my each way money on two of them. It sides at times to stick with quality horses at the top of the handicap. I was encouraged to see CRACK AWAY JACK (unplaced) run somewhere near his best when behind TIDAL BAY at Wetherby, and then followed that up with a decent second here behind OSCAR WHISKY. That form is strong and a drop back to 2m5f may help again. My second option is slightly stronger for me. CASH AND GO (nb) (unplaced) is a bit of a forgotten animal. His second here in the Racing Post Hurdle behind OLOFI is impressive and this step up should suit him. He had PROSPECT WELLS way behind that day too. The drying ground will help and he ran pretty well at Newbury last time and I think this extra distance and stiff track will suit.
 
4.40 Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle

I'm putting my money on a decent priced outsider here. MILORD (4th – 16-1) hails from a top yard and one who knows how to pick a race for a horse. He ran well behind CHATTERBOX and LAC FONTANA last time and a return of that effort will see him have a chance and is pretty well weighted. He is one of those handicap hunches I get from time to time as he fits the progressive profile needed to win this and he has a similar profile to WHAT A CHARM when he won a few years ago. I'm also having a saver on BORDONI (unplaced) who looked good at Market Rasen last time and was a decent horse on the flat who apears to have taken well to hurdles.
 
5.15 Weatherbys Champion Bumper

There are times when you watch a horse for the first time and think wow! I remember watching a clip of GOLANTILLA (nap) (3rd – 9-1) winning the race at Cork and thinking he was special. He is out of GOLAN and destroyed some good horses that day and I have been waiting for him to run in this. I think he will run really well.
 
All the best on day two everyone. A summary of my bets are below
 
1.30 RIVAL D'ESTRUVAL (FELL)

2.05 PONT ALEXANDRE (win) (treble) (3rd 6-4) CHATTERBOX (ew) (unplaced)

2.40 LORD WINDERMERE (WON 8-1)

3.20 SANCTUAIRE (ew) (unplaced)

4.00 CASH AND GO (win) (nb) (unplaced) CRACK AWAY JACK (ew) (unplaced)

4.40 MILORD (ew) (4th – 16-1)

5.15 GOLANTILLA (win) (nap) (3rd – 9-1)
 

Cheltenham Festival 2013 Day 1

It's like Christmas Eve, being served your first legal pint and your first kiss all rolled into one. The excitement, the trepidation, the sheer buzz is enough to hook you in for ever! Cheltenham is here again! I can almost hear the roar as the tapes go up for the Supreme tomorrow. Disappointingly, as always, I'm at work – but Sky+ is set and I can't wait!
 
I thought I'd kick off the blog with the memory of two Cheltenham heroes of last year that are tragically no longer with us……..RIP Campbell and Brindisi.
 
Last year at the Festival this blog produced some great results, which are below. I've had a few naps come in in the past few days and weeks and am hopeful of another good week, but it's Cheltenham, so who knows.
 
Balthazar King 11-2
Brindisi Breeze 7-1
Synchronised 8-1
Salsify 7-1

So, onto the action and the first day.

1.30 William Hill Supreme Novices Hurdle

What a cracker to start the festival off again, although the field isn't as big as recent years. This could help MY TENT OR YOURS as favourite's have a terrible record in this. However, justified favourite he is after his demolition job last time. But I can't have him a that price. I have backed JEZKI (treble) (3rd – 5-1) all year and he is four from four over hurdles including 2 Grade 1's to boot. That is enough for me and with the covers on it will be testing and whilst this one needs pace, he also has form on soft ground and that may play to his strengths up the hill. I am also having an each way flutter on CHAMPAGNE FEVER (WON – 5-1) who won well last time, won the bumper here last year and Ruby has opted for him over DODGING BULLETS. To me that is significant enough seen as the Nicholls inmate has a superior rating.

2.05 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy

The race centres around the potential brilliance of SIMONSIG and you cannot argue with how impressive he is. I'm not sure really if anything at these level weights can beat him. OVERTURN hasn't won on soft ground since 2009 and he may use up his stamina with a too bold approach. So, my each way option for the race is MAJALA (unplaced) who has steadily improved all year and may well have defeated FAGO even if that one hadn't have fallen at Warwick. Any horse who gallops away up the Haydock straight on heavy as he did in defeating OHIO GOLD should relish the Cheltenham hill.

2.40 JLT Speciality Handicap Chase

One of the Festival's many trappy handicaps, but to be honest I love trying to find the winner of these. It is pretty wide open to be fair, and the stats lean towards something younger than 11 and rated no more than 143-ish.
I like the chances of THE PACKAGE, who has a decent record in this and now has a tongue tie fitted after disappointing last time. I have also backed HEY BIG SPENDER (PU) all year and he has the class and the form to win this and is huge at 33-1, so he's my each way option and even though he is rated 145 he is on a very dangerous mark considering his illustrious past. My win option in the race if I have have to select one though is TOUR DES CHAMPS (unplaced) he has youth on his side and whilst he has serious risks in terms of his jumping, boy he has a right chance if he jumps well. A mistake last time cost him dearly against ROCKY CREEK at Ascot. He has ran in and against some very good horses in the past and this may be his day!

3.20 Stam James Champion Hurdle

What a tactical affair this could be. I have won well with ZARKANDAR this year and been thoroughly impressed with his attitude and form. GRANDOUET has appeared to be a damn smart horse, but BRIDLE and MONKEY come to mind. ROCK ON RUBY has a real chance again and has done nothing wrong, but I have to go against all the doubters as I think HURRICANE FLY (nb) (WON – 15-8) will take this. Ruby and the stable are very bullish about his chances, with preperation being its best. With little pace in the race forecast I think Ruby will bring the Fly upsides at the last and kick him on.

4.00 Cross Country Chase – postponed

I don't really like or pay much attention to these races so am just looking at form briefly for this and suggest taking a chance with the French one, especially if the ground is tacky. So for me SACREE TIEPY is the selection.

4.40 OLBG Mares' Hurdle

QUEVEGA is going for a five timer in this and looking to equal GOLDEN MILLER's record and go down in Festival Folklore. Who would argue, supremely talented and unbeaten. So my money is each way and it goes on KENTFORD GREY LADY, she has been impressive this year and whilst three miles seems to have brought the best out of her, including a good third to REVE DE SIVOLA, she does however have the pace for this distance too. Whilst she has the same five pounds pull with QUEVEGA she is rated 8lbs better this year off 142 and that could take her closer than the four lengths she lost by last year. The negative is the form of the stable!

5.15 Rewards4Racing Novices Handicap

Again another really close affair. I have got it down to two in my opinion. You can't get away from the strength of HAZY TOM's form in his Warwick defeat of CANTLOW, who went on to defeat both DARE ME and OSCARA DARA since that defeat. He has always been highly regarded and rated by his trainer, and if he has the stamina for this trip he has a great chance, so I'm on him each way. OHIO GOLD could also go well at a big price and I may also back him if MAJALA runs well in the Arkle. My selection of the winner may make me look very stupid, however, I can't get away from the fact that COLOUR SQUADRON (nap) is a handicap snip on his hurdle form of last year. His jumping is sketchy, but judging on his last few runs I reckon the JP bookie bashing hat was played to ensure this very appealing handicap debut mark (139). Especially when you consider CAPTAIN CONAN, who beat him in last year's Tolworth by a short head is rated 152. On those figures, if he jumps, he wins!

In summary, bloody enjoy this first day and here are my selections in black and white. COME ON THE GREATEST SPORTING SPECTACLE ON EARTH!!

1.30 JEZKI (treble) (win) CHAMPAGNE FEVER (ew)

2.05 MAJALA (ew)

2.40 TOUR DES CHAMPS (win) HEY BIG SPENDER (ew)

3.20 HURRICANE FLY (nb) (win)

4.00 SACREE TIEPY (win)

4.40 KENTFORD GREY LADY (ew)

5.15 COLOUR SQUADRON (nap) (win) HAZY TOM (ew)




Imperial Cup Day

I have to start todays blog with the horse that won big for the blog on here last Saturday, PACHA DU POLDER (courtesy of Getty Images). His win made it two big winning Saturday naps on the trot, with OPENING BATSMAN wining the week before. I also had a nice winning nap yesterday with HANOVERIAN BARON. I'm hoping therefore I am getting a good position ready for the festival next week. Lets hope I can keep the Saturday trend going today! To be honest the racing is a bit average today and is obviously playing second fiddle to the events at Prestbury Park next week. I hope I've picked a few out though.
 
ALVARADO 1440 SANDOWN – (nap) (REF) he is only 4lbs higher today than when winning at Wetherby in October. He defeated PIGEON ISLAND that day and had subsequent winner EASTLAKE well behind. I hoping the stiff finish here, similar to Wetherby's finish will play to his strengths.
 
MR MOLE 1515 SANDOWN – (nb) (PU) is still on a good mark and the significance of Paul Nicholls sending him here with the ground turning in his favour is a real plus. He has solid form and he defeated MELODIC RENDEZVOUS back in October. Huge chance!
 
EDMUND KEAN 1405 SANDOWN – (treble) (3rd – 9-2) I napped him on his reappearance when he won easily at Fakenham earlier this year. A facile success followed and he is unexposed and good be a very good horse. Again the ground seems to have gone in his favour. I had a good day in this race last year when tipping AMBION WOOD, this guy won't be the same price as that but he is a similar type.
 
MIAS BOY 1455 WOLVERHAMPTON – (4th – 17-2) has been running well in defeat this season and is now 6lbs better off than when he was third in this last year. George Baker rides him for his only ride of the day and I think the fast paced battle between LOYALTY and GUEST OF HONOUR will set up the right pace for him to attack off.
 
SKYTRAIN 1715 WOLVERHAMPTON – (2nd – 15-8) made all last time over 7 furlongs and it seemed to be the right distance to get the best out of him. More to come and he should take this.
 
MOLLY'S A DIVA 1550 SANDOWN – (WON 17-2) won battling on heavy on her first start on heavy ground and then followed that up with another solid success last time out at Huntingdon. Could be dangerous on this ground.
 
KENNY POWERS 1420 WOLVERHAMPTON – (2nd – 9-4) is a course and distance winner who has been running well at Meydan and should be sharp and fit and should take this.
 
DO IT FOR DALKEY 1525 AYR – (WON 100-30) conditions will be perfect for this one and two recent good runs in second will have set him up nicely for this. His second last,time to COOL OPERATOR is solid form, COOL OPERATOR defeated RIGADIN DU BEAUCHENE prior to that and we know what he did after that!
 
So, those are my selections for today. Hopefully I can keep this good trend going. I will be putting an in-depth blog up every night prior to the Festival days and will do an analysis of each horse I fancy in each race. Can't wait! Good luck today if you're betting and remember to do so within your means.
 

My Best Three for Friday

Just a quick blog as three really stand out for me on Friday. Here's hoping that they come good. Have been a bit quiet on the napping front this week after last Saturday's success. Think I've got a good one here though with a solid form chance.
 
HANOVERIAN BARON 1910 WOLVES (nap) – (WON – 9-2) split Loyalty and ROBIN HOOD'S BAY last time out. Both have since won again, the latter beating SPIFER the other day. He goes well fresh and has had a good break since that run.
 
CHAPEL HOUSE 1610 LEICESTER (nb) – (PU) won this race last year and is another horse in my opinion who has been craving the better ground. With at least ggod to soft ground forecast, has a great chance.
 
EVERAARD 1510 AYR (treble) – (PU) won well the other week when I napped him. Is in a higher grade but is effectively a few pounds well in, normally knocks up a few wins this time of year and this could be another.
 
So, those are my best three. Good luck if you're having a flutter yourself!
 

Grim in Donny?

At last a run of decent weather! With good ground forecast at most tracks now we should see some horses run up to the standard they are capable of. I have a couple of those today! Last weekend's blog was very successful with my best three OPENING BATSMAN (12-1), IRISH SAINT (5-4), and GRANDIOSO (9-4) all winning. I was very impressed with Opening Batsman and the extra 6lb pull he had with ROLLTHEACES certainly helped his cause. He never gave an ounce away around the inside in what was an excellent ride by Noel Fehily. Hopefully there are a few more winners below with the Festival just around the corner! Can't bloody wait!
 
PACHA DU POLDER 1550 NEWBURY (nap) – (WON 18-1) this horse is blooming talented but has really disappointed this year. He is running off a mark of 145 today which potentially is way below his true ability. For me the ground is the key, he has solid form on good ground like when defeating RIVAL D'ESTRUVAL at Ayr last year. Mr Nicholls has a great record in this and in my opinion this boy, IF back to his best could make a mockery of this. He could run a stinker again though too!!
 
CAPTAIN KELLY 1605 DONCASTER (nb) – (3rd – 7-4) he defeated BALLYCASEY in a point to point a few years ago and that one is currently tipped up as a big chance in the Albert Bartlett at the festival. This one ran poorly on soft ground at Chepstow but then followed up when I tipped him in a jumpers bumper. He will love the better ground and I expect him to win this.
 
AAIM TO PROSPER 1530 DONCASTER (treble) – (WON – 13-8) this horse is a very short price for his handicap debut on what he has done so far. However you cannot deny that he could be incredibly well handicapped off 124 considering his Cesarewich win off 107. He should destroy these!
 
CALGARY BAY 1455 DONCASTER – (unplaced) he is two from two in handicaps here at Doncaster and he has a touch of class about him, as shown when winning the Skybet chase here. A return to good ground will bring the best out of him and McCoy gets on well with him.
 
TOUBAB 1420 DONCASTER – (WON – evens) the ground will bring significant improvement in this one and he should win this relatively easy! He was and still is a damn good horse and his mark of 140 is, I think, too generous!
 
BALLYTOBER 1405 NEWBURY – (FELL) he could have more to give and is progressive considering his good second last time at Bangor. The apprentice jockey takes an invaluable 7lbs off and that could be the bit that helps him in this more competitive race.
 
ALL THE ACES 1515 NEWBURY – (unseated) this one has course and distance success and has some good form. He could be very well in judged on his old form including a second to PROSPECT WELLS here. His poor performances really are worrying but again the ground was terrible on his last two runs.
 
HEY BIG SPENDER 1440 NEWBURY – (2nd – 11-2) this is another one who could be well in. He has ran well in snatches this term and his fifth at Warwick behind MOLOTOF is pretty decent form. A return to an extended trip and better ground could play into his strengths. A reproduction of his Warwick run will give him a great chance.
 
Well those are my selections for today. If you liked what you read please give it a retweet in Twitter or sign up to follwo the blog. If you are having a flutter do so with your own means and good luck!