Sunday

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Doncaster was a cracking day yesterday, but I only got a little bit back with TULLIUS coming second. There are a few decent races today and a few horses I fancy. Here’s a little Sunday blog.

GASSIN GOLF 1400 ASCOT (NAP) – ran a cracking race when second in the Imperial Cup and the ground is most certainly key for him. A reproduction of that on this ground will see him take this.

AALIM 1500 ASCOT (NB) – won comfortably twice at Catterick on soft ground, blinkers applied today to sharpen him up a bit more. Good chance.

AHYAKNOWYERSELF (TREBLE) – ran a cracking race at the Festival over a distance that is a bit far for him. Returns to 17f today and on good ground can reproduce his previous smart form, has to have another good chance today.

I’m also going to have a little flutter on the old boy GAUVAIN 1610 ASCOT who has a race like this in him and has dropped down the weights.

Doncaster has another cracking card and there are several horses that I fancy to run well there today at bog prices so I have done a little each way Lucky 15 on :

MON BRAV 1340

HESKETH BANK 1445

LASTCHANCELUCAS 1520

MAVEN 1700

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The Lincoln

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So we welcome the flat season back again! The best news this year is that for the first time ever I’m off to the Lincoln meeting courtesy of winning some tickets from the guys @Raceclear. Thank you very much and I’m looking forward to a top day out. It was a decent week last week on the blog with winners for ROALCO DE FARGES (7-2), GEORGE GURU (4-1) and STEPPER POINT (16-1). That put me firmly back in the race with my old man!

On to Saturday, here are my selections for the blog and also all my selections for Doncaster! The forecast ground is soft but there hasn’t been much rain up here today and the forecast is the be pretty decent tomorrow so I predict Good to soft ground.



TULIUS 1550 DONCASTER (NAP) – (2nd – 7-1 = £4.38) was a very smart horse in 2012 with some smooth victories on ground on the softer side. He rattled up three straight victories on this type of ground beating the likes of MEMORY CLOTH, SKILFUL and SOVEREIGN DEBT. After a couple of sub-standard runs especially when I really fancied him at Newmarket he has dropped to an official rating of 109, three pounds below that when he last run. The rain has helped, he has the top young jockey aboard and must have a great chance.



GLOBAL VILLAGE 1515 DONCASTER (NB) – (unplaced = -£5.00) was second in the Lincoln last year of a mark of 94, returns here two pounds lower in the ratings and off top weight. Has always seemed at his best on softer than good and from stall 13 he could be perfectly placed to run a big race.



ES QUE LOVE 1440 DONCASTER (TREBLE) – (NR) my old favourite returns! He has changed yards after a monstrous season last year. He hasn’t run over 6 furlongs for a while but if he runs as he did last year going from the front and aggressive they may not get to him. He has some solid form in the bag at 6 furlongs too, with narrow defeats to MIRZA (off 106!!) and SLADE POWER. A decent outside chance I reckon! I think he will get a place but my win money in this race has to be on MAUREEN who has a great record first time out and was a Guineas horse last year, with weight allowance too she has to have a great chance.



MONSIEUR JIMMY 1330 DONCASTER – (unplaced = -£5.00) this horse comes from the stable I always follow, that of Declan Carroll. They had an impressive record last year with two year olds and this one has a good sprinting pedigree by Monsieur Bond, however, these race can be a lottery but I’m certainly willing to give him a fair shout.



My other Doncaster selections are :

TALES OF GRIMM 1405

INCA DRUM 1625

MY DESTINATION 1700

ZAFRANAGAR 1735



My Dad’s selections :

MAUREEN 1440 DONCASTER (unplaced = -£5.00)

SHAVANSKY 1455 KEMPTON (unplaced = -£5.00)

LANCELOT DU LAC 1530 KEMPTON (unplaced = -£5.00)

CONSIGN 1550 DONCASTER (unplaced = -£5.00)

Result

Father -£20.00

Son -£5.62



Current Standings

Father 6-6 Son

Profit :

Father £52.42

Son £66.80


Saturday Selections

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So after the exploits of Cheltenham and after a few Saturday’s off because of weddings and shopping its time to get back to the old blog. Today see’s the kick start of the flat season really, the winter derby at Lingfield, then its full steam ahead to the Lincoln next Saturday at Donny! Sandwiched in between we have the Grand National of course and I’m going to start my rain dancing for Tidal Bay’s chances over the next few weeks!

On to today and I’ve picked the normal four I fancy plus a few others who have caught my eye. The current standings in the Father v Son battle is :

FATHER 6-4 SON

Father = £81.48 profit

Son = £58.98 profit

Time for me to close the gap today!

Good luck if you’re having a flutter!

ALUTIQ 1515 LINGFIELD (NAP) – (unplaced – = -£5.00) this filly could be one to watch this year. She ran well in some decent races when she hit the racecourse proper last year and then she produced a decent performance when finishing 7th in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot. She won recently and goes today of the same mark as that win, the weight allowance she gets today will help her too and she has the potential to run a big race today. I just hope she doesn’t get Frank Spencer’d!

ROALCO DE FARGES 1530 NEWBURY (NB) – (WON 7-2 = £10.94) He has won over course and distance before, and most importantly on good ground. He is only albs higher in the official ratings than that victory. He ran off a rating of OR134 recently finishing second to both TEAFORTHREE and TIDAL BAY on ground that wasn’t the best for him. Dropped to a very nice mark judged on that form and his last run at Ludlow was much better and he has to have a great chance today.

GRANDADS HORSE 1420 NEWBURY (TREBLE) – (unplaced = -£5.00) this horse loves good ground, his races this year have been few and far between because of this. He was running, and did run, a cracker at the Festival but he got a whack about three from home that scuppered his chances. He is a normally a smart jumper and should be thereabouts today, I’m expecting him to be at the very least placed.

GEORGE GURU 1700 LINGFIELD – (WON 4-1 = £12.50) has some smart form in the book from his last couple of runs. He beat TELLOVOI two runs ago, and that horse nearly got up to beat the Lincoln favourite WHISPERING WARRIOR last time. Last time he finished second to the smart GREY MIRAGE and with conditions ideal again today and only a pound rise in the ratings he has a cracking chance.

Here are my Dad’s selections:

ADDICTIVE DREAM 1440 LINGFIELD (unplaced = -£5.00)

FARRAAJ 1550 LINGFIELD (unplaced = -£5.00)

MIDNIGHT CATARIA 1455 NEWBURY (unplaced = -£5.00)

ROALCO DE FARGES 1530 NEWBURY (WON 7-2 = £10.94)

Those are my selections for the blog and for the father v son competition, but I’ve also picked these out as worthy of an each way punt.

LUCI DI MEZZANOTTE 1455 NEWBURY – (unplaced) she had a decent go last time at Doncaster in a class 1 race and has a good record on decent ground. Was beaten by PIRATES QUEEN in a bumper at Taunton last year and she is 9lbs better off with that horse today in the weights for a head defeat. Has to have a sniff.

STEPPER POINT 1440 LINGFIELD – (WON 16-1 – what a price that was!) has been tried in some got races and has a 3lb penalty for it, but he has faced much better rivals than these and despite maybe needing the run, class is class and he could run a big race.

PREMIO LOCO 1550 LINGFIELD – (unplaced) his is an excellent each way bet, prior to his fifth in this last year, his record at Lingfield reads 1,1,2,1 – including a win and a second in this race. He’s a little long in the tooth but still retains his ability and his prep run will have helped to sharpen him up for this today.

SEA HERE 1625 LINGFIELD – (3rd – 8-1) very well bred colt through LOOK HERE and SEA THE STARS. Was a little small last year and could be one to watch this year, has shown glimpses of ability and if he has filled out bait over the winter he could be a 3 y o to watch this year.

Result

Father = -£4.06

Son = +£13.44

Totals

Father 6 v 5 Son

Profit

Father = £77.42

Son = £72.42

Wednesday selections

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I thought I would do a bonus weekday blog after looking at Wednesday’s cards a few jumped out at me that are of interest.

POLLY PEACHUM 1630 WARWICK (nap) – (WON 3-1) I have been waiting for this horse to run again for a while. I first saw her win her at Warwick in a bumper that she took very easily and looked a smart prospect. The key to her is good ground. She ran a great race when winning at Kempton last year beating the likes of MICKIE and CALL ME A STAR in a class 1 novice hurdle. She then disappointed a little on soft ground last time. In this class 4 on good ground with the very good Nico de Boinville taking 5 off her back she has a great chance.

COULDHAVEHADITALL 1420 WARWICK (NB) – (unplaced) this horse has only run once on good ground and he won well at Wetherby until the champ. He returns to good ground here after falling behind ANDY KELLY early on Saturday. ULZANA’S RAID will be all the rage because of the form however I think this one has a really good shout.

LISAHANE BOG 1940 KEMPTON (TREBLE) – (unplaced) this horse is due a win soon, based on the second and third to last starts you would think it is soon. He hasn’t won for a long time yet I find it intriguing that Adam Kirby gets the ride after finishing second on him here a few rides ago. Good chance.

ANNOUNCEMENT 2010 KEMPTON – (unplaced) this horse won on his solitary start last year at Thirsk, the form of that race is pretty solid with the second and third winning and the likes of FIRECRUISE who finished down the order that day winning a couple of decent races since and now on a mark of 80 which is up near the top two in the betting for this. Could run well in this contest at a decent price.

Cheltenham – Gold Cup Day

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Unfortunately I haven’t had a lot of time to do the blog. Had quite a bit of work to do last night so am patching something together this morning. One winner yesterday on the blog TAQUIN DE SEUIL (7-1) which takes me to win winners this week, not too bad. Whata shame it was about BIG BUCKS, I really thought he would run better than that, but hey ho let the new ones come through, and I hope he has a happy retirement,

Triumph Hurdle

My selection in this race is ROYAL IRISH HUSSAR, up until last time has done everything right including on decent ground and the way he finished at Doncaster suggests to me he will relish the Cheltenham hill. Tough race to win this though and CALIPTO looks a very good horse, and GUITAR PETE has to have a sniff after an impressive win last time.

SELECTION – ROYAL IRISH HUSSAR

DAD’S SELECTION – RUTHERGLEN



VINCENT O’BRIEN HURDLE

CINDERS AND ASHES can overcome a long absence to take this. Was a very smart horse prior to his injury and took the Supreme here very nicely, the ground has come good for him too and I expect him to have a bold show. LYVIUS has an chance too prior to his disappointing Musselburgh run and you can’t discount CHELTENIAN either.

SELECTION – CINDERS AND ASHES

DAD’S SELECTION – CHELTENIAN



ALBERT BARTLETT NOVICES HURDLE

BRIAR HILL showed his class last year in the champion bumper and has gone on from that this season with impressive victories. I think he will take all the beating here, and is a worthy favourite. On softer ground DEPUTY DAN would have a right sniff. The outsider I like is URBN HYMN who was a good wine rod a grade 2 last time.

SELECTION – BRIAR HILL



BETFRED GOLD CUP

BOBS WORTH is another worthy favourite and he showed he is back to his old form with a good victory at Leopardstown last time. The ground will suit, he’s been here before and has every chance. I thought SILVINIACO CONTI may have a chance but the ground and Nicholls’ form this week puts me off. ON HIS OWN has been supplemented for this after a smooth win at Fairyhouse, he has a bit of class about him and I would;t be surprised to see him run very well.

SELECTION – BOBS WORTH

DAD’S SELECTION – BOBS WORTH



FOXHUNTERS

Again not one I get really bothered about but have opted for PEARLYSTEPS who when on song can produce an excellent round of jumping and that will be needed here.

SELECTION – PEARLYSTEPS



MARTIN PIPE HURDLE

Tough race this and competitive as ever. My money lies on JUNCTION FOURTEEN was improving well in the season and ran some superb races before failing in the Lanzarote. He can bounce back today.THOMAS CRAPPER has good course form and could run well at a big price too.

SELECTION – JUNCTION FOURTEEN

DAD’S SELECTION – THE SKYFARMER



GRAND ANNUAL

The curtain comes down for another year and hopefully some shekels will be deposited in my account when DARE ME wins. He was so impressive last tome at Warwick and has been raised 15 lbs for it. I don;t think that will stop him, he’s on the up and should take this today in a finish with MR MOLE.

SELECTION – DARE ME

Cheltenham Day 3

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Day two was a good one. Firstly I take my hat off to SIRE DE GRUGY as I didn’t think he was good enough, boy did he prove me wrong. Brilliant for all the connections too. The blog went well on day two with wins for FAUGHEEN (6-4), BALTHAZAR KING (4-1) and SILVER CONCORDE (16-1). Hope you got on a few of them.

Here are Thursday’s selections – good luck if you’re having a flutter!

JLT NOVICES CHASE

FELIX YONGER is a worthy favourite and he should like the ground despite some of his victories coming on softer ground. The way Walsh and Mullins have started the last two days you wouldn’t be surprised to see him go in. DOUBLE ROSS has put some gallant performances in here and should be thereabouts turning in. WONDERFUL CHARM will be in with a shout and his trainer will be wanting to get off the mark. OSCAR WHISKY and TAQUIN DE SEUIL have had a few ding-dongs this year with the former getting the best last time on softer ground and level weights. I’ve opted for TAQUIN though as I think he will come on for the dryer ground and will out battle Henderson’s charge towards the line.

SELECTION – TAQUIN DE SEUIL (WON 7-1)

DAD’S SELECTION – FELIX YONGER (unplaced)



PERTEMPS NETWORK FINAL

This was the scene of HOLYWELL’s victory last year and I’ve got a similar horse with a similar profile and the same mark. UNCLE JIMMY ran very well behind THOMAS CRAPPER here in November in a race that’s form is pretty strong. He then went on to win the race that HOLYWELL was second in last year of a two pound lower mark. He has been raised another 7 lb to an official rating of 140. The same mark HOLYWELL won this off last year. He is a similar traveller to HOLYWELL and is game too and will be staying on all the way to the line. The extra distance really helped him at Warwick and I think the better ground will suit him too. I’m very hopeful of this one running a very good race! Of the others FINGAL BAY obviously oozes class but has a big weight to carry, MICKIE would need it softer. GRAND VISION came second to UNCLE JIMMY and was ten pounds worse off at Warwick. He’s only two pounds worse off in this and could be my selections biggest threat! I will also put a little shout in for SO FINE, who’s course and distance run behind SUNNYHILLBOY here earlier in the year caught my eye. Mr Hobbs is mob handed here!

SELECTION – UNCLE JIMMY (NB) (unplaced)



RYANAIR CHASE

This race is always a cracker and it should be again! AL FEROF has bags of class and has a good record here so should run well. BENEFFICIENT will go over favourite based on his victory last year and reposes with DYNASTE. MEDERMIT was going places the other year before getting injured and if back to his best he could be a real threat at a big price. I’m opting for BOSTON BOB though. He was running a big race last year when falling in the RSA chase and he ran well in behind BRINDISI BREEZE a couple of years ago on good ground. Today will be his day!

SELECTION – BOSTON BOB (unplaced)

DAD’S SELECTION – BENEFFICIENT (PU)



LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE

I cannot believe I have just got 4-1 for BIG BUCK’S. Now I know he has been injured but think about it people. A train wouldn’t have beat him before the injury and I thought he ran a brilliant race last time when just being pipped by KNOCKARA BEAU and AT FISHERS CROSS on ground not ideal on his first run in ages! He just got tired, it would have been like running in treacle for him. Slap all your cash on him, he’s still the best and will put ANNIE POWER in her placer tomorrow. He will love the better ground, loves the hill and just get ready for the crowd to roar! Come on a bring home the BUCKS!

SELECTION – BIG BUCKS (NAP) (unplaced)

DAD’S SELECTION – ANNIE POWER (2nd – 11-8)



BYRNE GROUP PLATE

COLOUR SQUADRON could finally run a big race at the festival and should be thereabouts. JOHNS SPIRIT has had on hell of a season and Richie McLernon knows him inside out, but has he had too many tough races? FIRTH OF THE CLYDE could give the north another big success and SHANGANI has hit form at the right time. I’m opting for BLESS THE WINGS though. He’s on a cracking mark and is 5 lbs lower in the ratings than his last success and a full 9 lbs lower than his run at the festival last year. With the better ground suiting and the addition of first time bilkers to sharpen him up he is a very appealing each way proposition.



SELECTION – BLESS THE WINGS (unplaced)

DAD’S SELECTION – JOHNS SPIRIT (4th – 9-1)



FULKE WALWYN KIM MUIR CUP

The amateur riders get their turn in the lime light as the curtain comes down on day three. TWIRLING MAGNET has caught my eye, goes well fresh and must have a big chance. There are several horses that are particularly well handicapped based on old form. QUINZ being one of them! NIGHT ALLIANCE has been excellent this year but pulled up last ti e at Haydock in a better race, has he the class? Not sure, but if he puts that run behind him he could worry a few over the last. I’m opting for another well handicapped horse PROBLEMA TIC has shown he has some class, particularly on better ground. He bounced away at Perth last summer beating the likes of MERRION SQUARE and BLACK MULLIGAN. Of his 8 wins 4 of them have come in good ground and he is now a pound lower in the ratings than the Perth success. With the ground likely to dry out a little more he has a great chance in my opinion. Or he will show his other side, not go at all and be pulled up! Let the equine gods decide!

SELECTION – PROBLEMA TIC (unplaced)



Good luck if you’re having a flutter again, enjoy the spectacle and lets hope we fleece the bookies!

Cheltenham Day Two

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Well what a cracking first day that was. Despite only having a little wager on Holywell I was so pleased to see the little horse get up and win, I also gave a positive pointer to the second in the race too. It was a day of hitting the crossbar with TRIFOLIUM, MYTENTORYOURS and AHYAKONWYERSELF all placing. Really sad to see that Our Connor had to be put down to, such a sad sight. Thoughts go to all his connections. Lets hope there are no casualties on day two.



Neptune Investment Novices Hurdle



The race can only go one way for me, although how many times have we said that! FAUGHEEN has been nothing but impressive this year and seems to get better with every run and the more I look at the race the more I can’t see any horse beating it. David Pipe reckons RED SHERLOCK was his best chance of the week prior to day one, and he has down nothing wrong so far. I think FENNELL BAY may also run on for a place after two steady introductions from a decent flat performer. For me though its Mullins and Walsh again here.



SELECTION – FAUGHEEN (NB) (WON 6-4)

DAD’S SELECTION – FAUGHEEN (WON 6-4)



RSA Chase



This looks a really competitive race as ever. CORRIN WOOD was one I was really impressed with earlier this year, but I think the ground has seriously scuppered his chances. BLACK THUNDER at a big price could run a cracker back on ground he will prefer but there are doubts about whether he has the class for me. MORNING ASSEMBLY could be the real dark horse in the race, he has looked very good but again the ground is an unknown, if he handles it he could well take this. I’m opting for GEVREY CHAMBERTIN he really needed the run last time and just petered out tamely after putting himself in a good position. He was a smart hurdler and for me the improved ground will be the telling factor. I think he is a bit of a forgotten horse because of his last run and a few poor ones before that. With good ground forecast though I can see him running a big race at a big price.



SELECTION – GEVREY CHAMBERTIN (unplaced)

DAD’S SELECTION – MORNING ASSEMBLY (3rd – 9-1)



CORAL CUP



As always this is an ultra competitive affair and if you get get the winner of this you will have down well and have a decent priced horse. DELL ARCA seems to be one of the favourites and he has solid form, as did CLONDAW KAEMPER before some low key efforts this season, however he did seem to return to form last time out. My selection though is COTTON MILL, again something of a forgotten horse because of what was a bit of a mysterious season last year. He ran nowhere near his best and remember this guy was travelling just as well as SIMONSIG a couple of festivals ago before unseating Denis at one of the last few flights. Again for me the key here is the ground, he is a really smart mover and on good ground has a good turn of foot which is so important in the race. It’s good to see him try this distance again to, the 2m and 2m1f he’s been competing in is too short for him in my opinion. He’ll run a big race I’m sure and I can’t believe he’s 25-1 as I type this. He has run decent races behinds MYTENTORYOURS and MELODIC RENDEZVOUS and I think he is a much better horse than his current mark.



SELECTION – COTTON MILL (NAP) (unplaced)



QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE



This is one of my favourite races of the week, class horses travelling so quickly and jumping so big and brave. What a spectacle it is. Mullins and Walsh are fancied again, but I don’t think the track will suit. CAPTAIN CONAN has the ability but I think will be found out for pace and while SIRE DE GRUGY has done nothing wrong for connections, this is the Queen Mother Champion Chase and for me he’s not good enough. My selection is HINTERLAND, I was really impressed with how he travelled and jumped last time and put him straight in my book for this race. I think he’ll fly around and take this race.



SELECTION – HINTERLAND (UR)

DAD’S SELECTION – CAPTAIN CONAN (PU)



CROSS COUNTRY CHASE



Never really bother about this race, but if I was forced to to pick one, on the forecast ground and on the back of impressive funds in similar races BALTHAZAR KING gets the vote.



SELECTION – BALTHAZAR KING (WON 4-1)

DAD’S SELECTION – BIG SHU (3rd 3-1)



FRED WINTER JUVENILE HURDLE



IVAN GROZNY was a smart performer in France and he brought that form over with him when winning a Naas. He then ran very below par last time out behind GUITAR PETE. The ground tomorrow should suit him better and I think My Wylie has another class horse on his hands here. CLARCAM interests me at a decent price and GOODWOOD MIRAGE could run a big race for the champ.



SELECTION – IVAN GROZNY (unplaced)



WEATHERBY’S CHAMPION BUMPER



Again not really a race I bet on as I don’t really get involved with bumpers. Mr Mullins has one hell of a record in this and he is mob handed here again, but I’m opting for SILVER CONCORDE (WON 16-1)to take this.



Good luck on day two!


Cheltenham Day One

It is here at last! The greatest week on Earth! Or so I think anyway! Time to sit back and watch a feast of racing over the next few days that will make you yearn for more once it's over! Whatever happens this week, lets hope all the horses return safe, jockeys too and we have a festival that will be talked about for years to come.
 
On to my selections :
 
Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle

What a race this is to kick the Festival off. I love this race as it signals the begininig of the week but it's also a bloody tough race to call the winner of. There are several of these that have really good chances. GILGAMBOA is an improver and he won the big Irish Handicap the other week and comes here as a horse that could really be anything, I'm not sure the ground will paly to his strengths though. VANITEUX has always been touted as a good thing but the thing that sticks in my mind is his defeat by AMORE ALATO, a reproduction of that would see him well beaten. I've backed WILDE BLUE YONDER every race this year and if he stays on four legs he has an each way sneak. VAUTOUR comes here with obvious credentials and looked good last time when defeated The Tullow Tank in the same race CHAMPAGNE FEVER won last year. My selection though has to be IRVING, he has been nothing but impressive in each race and looked very good last time when easing away with the race and having AMORE ALATO a distant second. He has form on better ground in Germany and for me looks to be a very decent horse. Hope he gets me off to a good start.
 
SELECTION – IRVING (nb) (unplaced)
DAD'S SELECTION – WICKLOW BRAVE (unplaced)

Racing Post Arkle Chase

God I love this race as well! I have had a few goods wins too, including CONTRABAND and of course who can forget the mighty TIDAL BAY trouncing NOLAND and the others in 2008. This is a tight little contest and a lot can be made for all the leading contenders. VALDEZ has impressed me with every run and he could run a big race at a decent price, he will surely go on to bigger things no matter what happens. We all saw what CHAMPAGNE FEVER did last year although his Boxing Day defeat sits badly with me and that's why I have written off his chances. For me TRIFOLIUM is the best Irish contender. He beat FELIX YONGER last time, on that horse's preferred ground and at level weights after previously being beaten by him giving him 4lbs. My selection also finished second behind DEFY LOGIC when they both beat CHAMPAGNE FEVER. DODGING BULLETS could run a big race with his Chletenham form in mind and he has really improved since the operation he had on his palate. I still havent mentioned ROCK ON RUBY who brings the best hurdle form to the table!! What a race, sit back and enjoy!
 
SELECTION – TRIFOLIUM (nap) (3rd – 11-4)
DAD'S SELECTION – ROCK ON RUBY (unplaced)
Baylis and Harding Handicap Chase

Jesus wept! This is a right old handicap with several horses close to my heart! This is what NH racing is all about, finding the winning horse in a race like this!
HOLYWELL, my star horse of last year, that I napped at 25-1 to win the Pertemps goes. I've got to put a little on him but I don't think he has the expereicne of a big, classy chase like this yet. He's getting better but will be one for next season for me. MA FILLEULE I backed last time when she won at Kempton, she is a decent horse and was due a race like that, however a 6lb rise and the slightly better grpound put me off her. Over recent years horses aged 8 or 7 have had a great record in this, and also horses with a light weight! I'm hoping my horse beats the weight voodoo. My selection is one of the horses I follow and for me two things make me opt for him. The better ground and a great record when fresh. My selection is PACHA DU POLDER, he's always had a bit of class, and finally showed it when winning at Newbury last year. He has rran over 3 miles before and that was on soft ground which he hated and he finished second. The extra distance I think will improve him further. He will bowl along near the front and with being fresh will be up with the pace and will hopefully stay up the hill. 33-1 is huge and Paul Nicholls reported him to have had an eye catching racecourse gallop! He could be my big handicap winner this year!
 
SELECTION – PACHA DU POLDER (unplaced)
DAD'S SELECTION – HOLYWELL (WON 10-1)
 
Stan James Champion Hurdle

These races just keep getting better and better! Right, I may get egg on my face but I'm saying the Fly will lose! Firstly no 10 year old has won this race since SEA PIGEON in 1980, secondly I think THE NEW ONE, MELODIC RENDEZVOUS and MYTENTORYOURS will run him out of it. I would be placing all of my money on MELODIC RENDEZVOUS if the ground were softer and despite his jockey claiming it won't matter, I think it will, especially when the other contenders will enjoy it more! MYTENTORYOURS is my selection and I thought he was impressive when beating THE NEW ONE at Kempton and despite everyone saying TNO will be better I don't think he will reverse the placings. I even think he may take this race after the last flight and up the run in, coming off the bridle neaer the finish! Although, that may be a fairytale! Regardless though it will be a cracker and I can't wait!
 
SELECTION – MYTENTORYOURS (2nd – 3-1)
DAD'S SELECTION – THE NEW ONE (3rd – 100/30)

OLBG Mares Hurdle

QUEVEGA has made a mockery of this over the past few years and there is strong evidence she may do it again! However, I'm going for an upset. HIGHLAND RETREAT may have what it takes to finally knock her off her perch! She has done nothing wrong this year and while she has not knocked any trees down she has gone about her business in a very classy way. Not much more to be said, QUEVEGA is the best mare on show but she may get turned over, hopefully by my selection.
 
SELECTION – HIGHLAND RETREAT (unplaced)
 
Terry Biddlecombe Amateur Rider Chase

Old Terry will be looking down ansd be honoured to have this race named afer him and I'm sure the amateurs will give him a good show! If the ground were softer I would be all over MERLIN'S WISH, unfortunately I think it's dried out too much for him. My selection is BEEVES he gave SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR 5lbs at Aintree in October for a 1/2 length defeat and then finished a gallant second to ELY BROWN at Leicester in December. He is now 8lbs lower in the ratings than that 1/2 length defeat and with better ground and level weights, he may well run a cracker!
 
SELECTION – BEEVES (unplaced)

Rewards4Racing Novice Chase

The first comes to a close with another cracker! PENDRA will probably be all the rage and rightly so judged on previous form. ERICHT has been put up as a big chance for the Henderson team by a few shrewdies. However, the way AHYAKNOWYERSELF won a Market Rasen in the summer really caught my eye, he then ran well in behind MELODIC RENDEZVOUS at Wincanton and that is smart form. He has doen pretty well over the bigger obstacles and he is effectively 5lb well in judged on his last suucess when beaing BIN END at Leicester. He's my main option in the race but I also have to have a little on GRANDADS HORSE, who will enjoy the better ground and you cannot rule out BABY MIX either.
 
SELECTION – AHYAKNOWYERSELF (4th – 33-1)