Grim up North!!

Not a great deal of success last week I'm afraid and I was gutted at how poorly LANDSCAPE ran when I was so confident of a big run! The only liitle bit of success was WOODFORD COUNTY'S third in the Eider! We win some, we lose some. As I'm sure all of you are, I'm counting the days down to the festival – bring it on! Had such a busy week this week with work and I'm looking forward to kicking back and watching this sport we all love today. Whatever your we earned dosh is on, good luck and I hope you get a shout and win some back of the old foe.
 
The twitter gamble boys have opted for these four today – give them a follow again and I hope today is the day their four timer comes in.
@Tonythetyke –
@Fernando_RFC2 – FILFIL 1555 MEYDAN
@LiamKenniford – SOUND INVESTMENT 1525 NEWBURY
@DazGilbert1 – KAI BROON 1535 KELSO
 
Here are my selections :
 
MON PARRAIN 1545 DONCASTER (nap) (Unplaced = -£5.00)
Showed his true class when winning for the blog at 25-1 on New Years Day at Cheltenham. I was really confident of him that day and I know some of you were on him too! I'm even more confident he can take this today! He has been raised 6lbs for his win, but I still think he is a better horse than he new mark and there is more to come. These types of races over longer distances that need him to be bold and brave bring out the best in him. There are other front runners who will push him too today. Sean Bowen returns and takes 5lbs off to help our cause more yet for me the biggrst factor is the ground, he loves good ground! Sit back and enjoy!
 
SOUND INVESTMENT 1525 NEWBURY (nb) (WON 7-2 = £12.25)
Paul Nicholls has won 6 of the last 9 runnings of this and today my selection can make it 7. I backed him last night at 5-1 and as I type this he is 11-4 in places – the money is coming! He is a smart horse and has some decent form in the bag; beating DOLATULO at Sandown and running well in fifth beihnd THE YOUNG MASTER over a distance too long. He drops back in trip today and the ground will help, he has a big weight to carry but is the best horse in the race for me.
 
ROALCO DES FARGES 1415 NEWBURY (treble) (unplaced = -£5.00)
He is two from two here, and if he reproduces that or his Cheltenham run back in October he will win is easily in my opinion. The concern is his last two runs which have been a little poor to be honest. He's been dropped 2lbs by the handicapper to OR140 and that is still a mark he hasn't won off. However, the opposition are the key; there Re no young upstarts here! Horses his own age or older are there to be taken! Horses for courses – he should run well today!
 
KELVINGROVE 1510 DONCASTER (unplaced = -£5.00)
BATAVIR is a decent horse but can he win three on the bounce after a 13lb hike form win one, I dont think so. My selection ran well when beaten by a short head by PULL THE CHORD in January and was then upped in trip at Haydock and ran well in a good race. The key for me here again is the ground. I think he will improve loads for the better ground, having won on good to firm on the flat!
 
My Dad's selections are :
KINGS GREY 1400 DONCASTER (UR = -£5.00)
BALLYOLIVER 1415 NEWBURY (unplaced = -£5.00)
BENNYS MIST 1525 NEWBURY (2nd -9-1 = £5.62)
DROP OUT JOE 1545 DONCASTER (2nd – 9-2 = £2.81)
 
Standings
Father 7-7 Son
Profit
Father -£52.64
Son £150.49
 

Kempton and Newcastle

So, the blog returns after an unscheduled week off. I cannot put into words how dreadful I felt last week after a night on the town. It took me until about 6pm to come around! It really is devil’s brew! So onto the horses with the magnificent festival getting ever closer on the horizon. I will do a blog everyday for the festival and do a piece on every race. The superb photo above is courtesy of Fran, give her a follow @Riosrider2. I’ve had a good study of the races today and hopefully have found a few little beauties who I think have a great chance. I have to apologise to one of the #twittergamble boys – @Tonythetyke tipped a winner last week and of course with me being incapacitated it didnt get on here! Sorry mate – hopefully you’ll win today. The #twittergamble is below :
 
@Tonythetyke – FILL THE POWER 1455 NEWCASTLE
@Fernando_RFC2 – LONG JOHN 1645 CHEPSTOW
@LiamKenniford – LE REVE 1545 KEMPTON
@DazGilbert1 – FOGGYS WALL 1620 KEMPTON
 
Here are my selections for today
 
LANDSCAPE 1620 KEMPTON (nap) (PU = -£5.00)
As always I try and find a decent priced nap. This guy was one of my horses to follow a couple of seasons ago when with Paul Nicholls. I put him up here on the blog when he ran at Haydock in March 2013 off a mark of OR130. He coasted up that day in a class 2 with 11 stone 4lb on his back and fell at the last flight when he would have won easily. I was surprised he got sold by the Nicholls team and he had a long absence before pulling up and then came back after another absence in January and needed the run badly. He is running off a very appealing mark today of OR125 he won’t mind the ground at all and if he’s fit, which I think he will be, rhe should run a cracker! I’ve been waiting for this guy to come back for ages! Today is the day!
 
WOODFORD COUNTY 1455 NEWCASTLE (nb) (3rd – 14–1 = £8.75)
Won well for this rider at Newbury in November of a mark of OR125 and then travelled ok when fancied for the Coral Welsh National. That ground really was terrible that day and it really took it toll on horses, my guy included. To say he finished and kept going shows he has stamina and with a return to better ground off the same mark he ran off in the Welsh National he has to have a great chance. He was touted as a smart horse and that’s not going to have changed after one ropey run. The claimers allowance will really help over this distance too and I expect him to be staying on when others a faultering. I hope ALPHA VICTOR decides to have an off day as I think he could be the main danger after a promising run behind JOIN THE CLAN at Wetherby last time.
 
TAP NIGHT 1545 KEMPTON (treble) (UR = -£5.00)
This fella hasnt won for ages and ran at Aintree a couple of seasons ago off a mark of OR145. He has slowly come down the handicap and runs today off the same mark (OR130) when he ran eye catching well behind ANNACOTTY and my selection that day BIG FELLA THANKS. I watched him and thought next time! He here is off a feather weight with Dickie Johnson on board. He could make a mockery of this today, I just hope he reproduces what he did at Cheltenham last time, if he does he has a great chance!

TOP OF THE GLAS 1400 KEMPTON (unplaced = -£5.00)
This fellawasnt too bad on the flat and beat the likes of COULSTY last year and also INTRANSIGENT. He has been a little unlucky in his races and his trainers rates him as a good prospect. This is a big step up but I give him a squeak and he could be one to watch.
 
My Dad’s selections are :
 
MELODIC RENDEZVOUS 1435 KEMPTON (unplaced = -£5.00)
RENARD 1545 KEMPTON (unplaced = -£5.00)
KNOCKANRAWLEY 1455 NEWCASTLE (4th – 10-1 = £6.25)
AWAYTHEGREYS 1610 CHEPSTOW (unplaced = -£5.00)
 
Standings
Father 6-7 Son
Profit
Father -£51.07
Son £153.24
 

Newbury and Warwick

Good evening everyone! Yep I'm doing the blog on Friday night as tomorrow I am at my school again doing the final dress rehearsal for our performance of Our Day Out next week. I'm hoping Warwick survives the chill as I have two selections there tomorrow! It has been a tough week for the Bandit and the family this week. On Sunday I had to take our beloved cocker spaniel Freddie to the vet to be put down. It came so quick, on Saturday he had started to breath a little funny and cough as if he had something stuck in his throat. It got worse on Sunday and we found a large tumour in his mouth/throat. The vet thought it was cancerous and he was struggling to breath. Broke my heart doing it but I couldn't let him be in pain. Rest in peace little fella!
 
The photo for the blog is courtesy of Fran @Riosrider2 again. Give her a follow!
Last week was a complete shocker for my selections too, I was quietly confident of a few of them and couldn't believe how poorly they ran. To be fair the ground was shocking but I can't make excuses my horses just weren't good enough. Saturday is a cracking card at Newbury and the racing at Warwick is decent too. The festival beckons everyone! Whatever you are backing tomorrow with your well earned cash – good luck! Lets hope we take a step closer to beating the old foe!
 
The twitter gamble boys have opted for the following tomorrow – their big gamble will land soon!
 
@Tonythetyke Nightline 1300 Warwick
@DazGilbert1 Barters Hill 1640 Newbury
@Fernando_RFC2 Vibrato Valtat 1405 Warwick
@LiamKenniford Milan bound 1350 Newbury
 
Here are my selections :
 
SIGN OF VICTORY 1535 NEWBURY (nap)
Won first time out this year at Ascot more or less on the bridle and he looked very smart. He was then pitched in a little too deep amd was put in his place, but finished a creditable fourth, to FAUGHEEN. He has to carry alot of weight in the race, but he has that because of what he has shown. The form of his Ascot race has swung it for me. He beat DAWALAN that day who has since gone on and won twice and looks decent. BARADARI finished third that day and he obliged the other week. You can even go further down the field at Ascot that day day and find KILCOOLEY who rompted home at Haydock too. I like to find a decent priced horse in a competitive race and I think I have found it for tomorrow. He's probably better than this and will shown it tomorrow for my money.
 
BALGARRY 1535 NEWBURY
With Sign of Victory now a non-runner I will go for this fella to come up trumps in this race. He ran so well last time after such a long lay off last time and he may now step up today.
 
CONEYGREE 1425 NEWBURY (nb)
This fella just keeps impressing me, and he seems to get better and better. He has been raised a further 6lbs for his last success to a mark of OR153. That is still a little less than some of his rivals in this and he needs to improve again to trouble HOUBLON DES OBEAUX and UNIONISTE. My guy travels so well in his races though and hasn't put a foot wrong. My question against the other two is whether the ground is soft enough for them. I'm hoping my guy jumps with the same zest and enthusiasm again and he'll give them a good run. Cracking little race.
 
UNCLE JIMMY 1335 WARWICK (treble)
On of my old favourites! He won the Pertempts Qualifier here last year when I napped him on the blog beating GRAND VISION. He returned this season with an impressive defeat of SOUND INVESTMENT at Newton Abbott and followed that up with a second to PECKHAMECHO at Aintree. Interestingly ROLLING MAUL was well down the field that day and he went on to win well at Cheltenham on New Year's Day. He will like te ground and should make the transition to the bigger obstacles. He ran a stinker last time in November over hurdles and I find it really interesting that they have used that time to prep him for fences and not stick to hurdling.
 
DORMOUSE 1625 WARWICK
He has won 3 out of 6 here at Warwick and put in a grand show when defeating REGGIN PERRIN at Lingfield in November. Has flattered to deceive a little since but his marked has dropped back to OR118 and the jockey booking of Paul Townend really catches my eye. His mark has fluctuated between OR115 to OR120 over the past year and his mark is doable and he has carried big weight to success in the past.
 
My Dad's selections are :
 
Standings
Father 6-6 Son
Profit
Father -£42.32
Son £159.49