2013 – The Bandit’s review

I figured as it was the last day of the year that I should look back on my blogging exploits of 2013. Firstly can I say a huge thank you for all you guys and gals that take time to read my blog every week. I really enjoy sharing my views on a sport we all love and I've really enjoyed interacting with some of you over Twitter this past year. I've been able to join #Teamchoochoo and get a share in a race horse! Cheers @ianmallard. I've also had over 11,000 views of the blog this year – awesome stuff. Another big thank you to those of you who RT the blog on Twitter.
 
So here are my blogging highlights this past year!
 
HOLYWELL

I tracked this horse all last season and knew it had a big race in it! I mentioned it as one of my strongest bets at Cheltenham of the week here. He only went and obliged at 25-1 – I napped him that day and it was great to get some responses on twitter from people who had read my piece and thought they would have a go too. Cheltenham was quite a good festival for the blog as I also had BACK IN FOCUS, LORD WINDERMERE, CHAMPAGNE FEVER, HURRICANE FLY, AT FISHERS CROSS AND BOBS WORTH that won for me. Took some money off the bookies that week.
 
OPENING BATSMAN

I napped this fella on the blog just before Cheltenham when he beat Rolling Aces at Kempton. Was great to as thr race panned out just like I thought and I also had a top treble that day with my nb IRISH SAINT and my treble horse GRANDIOSO also landing. Read the blog here
 
PACHA DU POLDER

My form was pretty hot in and around this time and I napped this horse at Newbury. It was always rated highly by Paul Nicholls but never seemed to get his ground. It did this day at romped in at 18-1. Another huge winning nap! Read the blog here
 
TIDAL BAY

I have mention this old boy! He's my favourite horse in training and what a year it has been for him, his Lexus techincally came in 2012 but what a turnaround Paul Nicholls has made with this horse! It makes you wonder what he could have achieved had he been there all his career and how poor Howard Johnson really was! His performance in the Hennessey giving Bob's Worth 6lbs and only just being beaten was ace and also what a brave fight he gave in the Welsh National just last week. He for me is already a National Hunt legend!
 
That was the end of the jumps season really except for the Aintree festival, this always seems to elude me and I never quite get the winners there! I'm still waiting for a National winner too – getting a bit like AP did before his success – just cant seem to pick the winner! Tidal Bay this year? Who knows!
 
I'm not as good on the flat with my selections as I seem to be over the jumps and to be fair I love the jumps more! The flat season revolved around these blog highlights for me
 
KINGSGATE NATIVE

An old favourite of mine and I put him up on the blog to win the Temple Stakes at Haydock and he obliged at 14-1 that day.
 
DECLAN CARROLL

Now Mr Carroll is a northern trainer I've followed for a few years and he is good to watch around York, Catterick and Beverley. Particularly with sprinters on their first or second run. Last year he sent out LASTCHANCELUCAS to win at 100-1 at York. This year I selected TWEETY PIE of his on the blog and it romped in at 66-1! Keep your eye on him, he sends a few big priced winners out every year. Read the Tweet Pie blog here
 
We of course cant forget the passing of one of the greatest horsemen of all time in Sir Henry Cecil. What a man he was – a privelege to have seen him train. We were also treated the the likes of TORONADO, DAWN APPROACH, DANK, and of course the blistering display from TREVE in the Arc.
 
It's been quite a year and I've loved every minute of it, I look forward to blogging more this year and maybe sharing a few more winners with you.
 
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The Welsh National

This photo was one of my favourite racing moments, when the amazing Tidal Bay was given a peach of a ride by Ruby Walsh in last year's Lexus Chase. He's my favourite horse in racing and is a legend before today. Could he do the impossible today? Yesterday was a cracking day on the blog for me and my old man with MICKIE (5-2), ELY BROWN (13-8) and PEPITE ROSE, the nap, going in at 4-1. My old man still made more profit than me though with IPSOS DU BERLAIS getting placed in the big chase at Leopardstown.
He's 2-0 up now and way in front of me on profit, time to claw some back today! Each selection is a £2.50 each way.
 
TIDAL BAY 1435 CHEPSTOW (nap) – (3rd – 10-1 = £6.25) everyone I listen to is doubting this old boy, not me! He is the class horse in the race, as judged on the weights and so many horses running from out the handicap. He could have gone anywhere over the Xmas period but they have opted for this, he will relish the ground, trust me. He won the BET365 Gold Cup the other year on soft ground, but it was a right slog and he cruised through it. That is the same trip as this and he carried 11-12 that day too. This track will suit him and he will be able to come from off the pace late as other horses are stopping. Remember he was second to Bob's Worth in the Hennessey last year, giving him 6lbs. He is great in these handicaps! He will need to use all his class to win this, but he is a legend and this will write him into the history books! I believe! Do you?
 
PATEESE 1450 NEWBURY (nb) – (2nd – 9-2 = £2.81) ran back to form last time behind Mickie at track. He has been raised 5lbs for that, but that form is strong, especially after Mickie outstaying them all yesterday again. He should run another cracker!
 
FRONTIER SPIRIT 1510 CHEPSTOW (treble) – (unplaced = -£5.00) has been dropped to mark just 2lbs higher than when winning at Newbury on heavy ground over 2m6f. He will relish the ground and his first two runs need a line through as for me he was pitched too high. This race is more his level and he is on an appealing mark as mentioned. The ground will really come into play and with MAIL DE BIEVRE making all it should play into his strengths as this is over slightly shorter. Chance!
 
SOLAR IMPULSE 1400 CHEPSTOW – (unplaced = -£5.00) has been snapped upby top connections that you have to take note of. He could be anything, but for me he has won on heavy ground in France. When it is heavy over there it is bottomless and that will surely play into his hamds today with the forecast going at Chepstow. He has good breeding and is out of the same sire as GRANDIOSO another one of these connections horses. Has a big chance to open his account
 
Those are my four for my blog purposes, I also fancy GLEN COUNTES 1245 Newbury,RESTLESS HARRY 1315 Newbury and MOORLANDS MIST 1330 Chepstow.
 
Here are my old man's four for today :
 
BRACKLOON HIGH 1330 CHEPSTOW (unplaced = -£5.00)
RENARD 1510 CHEPSTOW (WON – 7-1 = £21.88)
VINTAGE STAR 1435 CHEPSTOW (unplaced = -£5.00)
HOWARDS LEGACY 1315 NEWBURY (unplaced = -£5.00)
 
Running totals – FATHER 2 SON 0

Father = £64.68 profit
Son = £20.39 profit
 
 
Result
Father = £6.88
Son = – £0.96.
FATHER 3 SON 0
Totals
Father = £71.54 profit
Son = £19.43 profit

Kempton and a few others

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and the man with the big white beard brought you everything you wished for! I'm staying with my family in Burnley at the moment so can get the old man to give us four horses again for the blog today. I need to see if I can beat him after last time. Each selection will be bet with a £2.50 each way stake.
 
Current standings FATHER 1 (+£38.44) SON 0 (-£7.50)
 
My four for today are below :
 
PEPITE ROSE 1415 WETHERBY (nap) – (WON – 4-1 = +£12.50) ran some very good races last year, notably at Ascot and Haydock when running in defeat. She was also running a cracker in behind PACHA DU POLDER at Newbury when she fell. Looks good at these weights and has some form on soft and heavy ground. The stable won this race last year.
 
ELY BROWN 1445 LEICESTER (nb) – (WON – 13-8 = +£5.08) this boy has crept up the weights and rightly so. Defeated HOLYWELL last year at Warwick on soft before HOLYWELL went on and won at the festival. Needs to jump more fluently but has a real chance and the stable are doing well too.
 
GLENS BOY 1340 LEICESTER (treble) – (unplaced -£5.00) is coming back after a long lay off but was pretty decent before that. Won at Newbury over three miles defeating IKODORU ROAD. If fit, has a chance on that form.
 
MICKIE 1400 KEMPTON – (WON – 5-2 = +£7.81) she really showed she has bags of stamina when winning last time beating PATEESE. She is up 8lbs for that but with the ground being so testing today all her stamina will come to pay and she is worth another crack.
 
My old man's selections :
 
MICKIE 1400 KEMPTON – WON (5-2) = + £7.81
DEFINITE LADY 1450 WETHERBY – 2nd (5-1) = + £3.12
VALOROSO 1505 KEMPTON – 2nd (9-2) = + £2.81
IPSOS DU BERLAIS 1455 LEOPARDSTOWN – 3rd (20-1) = +£12.50

Result
FATHER = £26.24 profit
SON = £20.39 profit

Running total =
Father = + £64.68
Son = + £12.89

Father 2 Son 0

The Ladbroke Hurdle Day

As I write the blog today the relief of knowing I have two weeks holiday to recharge the batteries is comforting. It's been a bloody long haul this term. Really looking forward to the Christmas break and it's even better when you have got two little children like I have, brings all the special memories back. Anyway enough of the mushy nonsense on to the horses, after the weather that we have had here in the lofty heights of Sheffield there is only one horse I could pick today! Enjoy the racing today and if you're having a flutter – good luck! Can I also wish a big Merry Christmas to you all and a prosperous 2014 too.
 
PINEAU DE RE 1515 HAYDOCK (NAP) – (unplaced) is a solid jumper and has decent form over fences. Reverts to hurdles today and is on the same mark as when second at Carlisle last time out. That was a very good run behind an unexposed horse and today the soft ground will really suit too, big chance!
 
STORM SURVIVOR 1500 ACSOT (NB) – (unplaced) really fancied this horse for the Becher chase the other week when he fell at the first fence. Going to give him another go as he is a dour stayer and will relish the conditions underfoot. He has most definitely got a race like this in him.
 
EMPEROR'S CHOICE 1405 HAYDOCK (TREBLE) – (unplaced) has some really cracking form in the locker from last year beating the likes of SYDNEY PAGET and BIG OCCASION and he ran decent enough behind BACK IN FOCUS at the festival. This trip is a little shorter than normal but with the stiff Haydock run in it will feel like three and a half miles on this ground. He will love the soft ground too.
 
CHRIS PEA GREEN 1535 ASCOT – ran a cracker when just pipped over course and distance behind PINE CREEK earlier in the season. He then ran a cracker behind CHATTERBOX last time out and yet seems to be double the price of that horse? He loves it here and will love the softer ground. Big chance to run another solid race – each way selection.
 
I want to add a new section to my blog FATHER V SON
 
I have got my old man to pick his four best for the day against my best four. We will go for a £2.50 each way selection on each and see who wins on profit each week.
 
SON
PINEAU DE RE = – £5.00
STORM SURVIVOR = -£5.00
EMPERORS CHOICE = – £5.00
CHRIS PEA GREEN = £7.50.
Total = -£7.50
 
FATHER
LANCETTO WON 14-1 = £43.75
TARTAK UNPLACED = – £5.00
HOUBLON DES OBEAUX WON 6-4 = £4.69
DELL ARCA -£5.00
Total = £38.44

Father 1 Son 0
 

Cheltenham and Donny

Was great to see one of my favourite horses, GLEN COUNTESS, win again this week. Love that horse! Some decent action again today and I'm hoping my nap runs a big race, was gutted last week as I really fancied STORM SURVIVOR, and falling at the first gave me bloody no chance. Was really impressed with Hinterland too. Big things from him this year I reckon. I've picked a few out today who should have their optimum ground. Enjoy the racing and good luck!
 
GRANDIOSO 1425 CHELTENHAM (nap) – fancy this one to keep up the yard's impressive form in this race. I thought he ran a cracker first time out at Newbury and despite a couple of pounds rise I think that spin will have done him the world of good. Decent ground today and I do think this horse has a big race in him.
 
RANJAAN 1335 DONCASTER (nb) – this horse really frustrated last year yet he has bags of class. A breathing operation may have helped judged on his win at Kempton last time. He's been raised 5lbs for that which Harry Derham negates today. The ground is absolutely key for him and it could be relatively quick at Donny today. Has a great chance.
 
HARRY THE VIKING 1515 DONCASTER (treble) – another one who has bags of class and hasnt yet got it right. The ground will really suit today and if he shows an ounce of his true class he has the beating of these.
 
NADIYA DEVLA VEGA 1440 DONCASTER – drops in class and she tends to run some good races on slightly softer ground, however, she has form on better ground over two miles and she may go at them today, she has the class and should beat these.
 
MILAN BOUND 1350 CHELTENHAM – worth taking a chance here I reckon. This is a big step up but the last two wins showed this horse has potential, he has a three pound pull at the weights and I think he could give the top two a run for their money!
 

Sandown and Aintree

What a belting day of racing ahead of us. With the Tingle Creek to look forward to and the big fences of Aintree. I write this blog this morning nursing a bit of a dull head following a brief forray into the night lights of Sheffield last night! There is nothing better to stem the pounding than focussing on the nags! I'm looking forward to seeing the horses fly over the burch at Sandown, reminising the awesome Kauto Star! Then travel a few hundred miles north and the horses face a wall of fences, and we can remember the great story of Hello Bud last year. Whatever happens it will be a day of entertainment! Good luck if you're having a flutter and enjoy these fine animals doing what they do best.
 
STORM SURVIVOR 1405 AINTREE (nap) – this horse has been running consistently well over trips like this and his light weight in this race will surely help. The form of his win at Uttoxeter isnt that strong but there is a lot to like about this horse's stamina and effort and he always sems to find a little more which will certainly suit here.
 
HINTERLAND 1350 SANDOWN (nb) – (WON 13-2) was impressive last time here and had Gradouet already beaten. Has the pace for a race like this and is a sound jumper. I've always thought he was a smart horse.

SOUND INVESTMENT 1300 AINTREE (treble) – (unplaced) won well over 2m4f last year and should be fit and ready for this. Is potentially a smart horse and interesting to see him pitched in here.

CAPTAIN CONAN 1500 SANDOWN – was a dual Grade 1 winner last year and always looked to be a horse that was full of potential. A sound jumper and smart mover he has all the traits to win this.

FORGOTTEN GOLD 1515 AINTREE – has some decent form and is a horse I have followed closely. He course form which I think counts for so much here and he is a cracking price. Is also closely related to previous winners of this. Interesting runner!

VULCANITE 1425 SANDOWN – this horse has always ben touted as a smart one, yet has flatterd to decieve at times. He is on an interesting mark here and could go very well.