Well the first day wasn’t too bad for the blog with the nap SILVINIACO CONTI winning at 9-4 and places for ROCK ON RUBY (10-1) and OSCAR WHISKY (7-4). How good was it to see Rock on Ruby run so close, he really is better over hurdles and for me should stay in that sphere.
On to Day Two and Ladies Day, god only knows what sights will be on show tomorrow!!!!
TOP NOVICES HURDLE 1400
This is a cracking little race and the good ground will certainly suit a few of them. Nicky Henderson has an awesome record in this race in recent years and JOSSES HILL ran very well and caught the eye at the festival and I also have liked the attitude of AMORE ALATO this year an due should be thereabouts. However, I’m opting for MIJHAAR (NB) (unplaced) who was a decent horse on the flat off a rating of 105 and he produced some good displays on good ground. He won smoothly on his debut at Doncaster and this track should suit his flat speed. Decent price too!
MILMAY NOVICES CHASE 1430
HOLYWELL (WON -7-2) ran another cracker at the festival and proved that he could be a stayer of real class. The blinkers are kept on and despite a hefty 12lb rise he can run another cracker here. I’ve always thought he was a smart horse and to compete at this level he needs a mark like this. My only niggle is will McCoy’s style suit him? I think Richie McLernon rides him beautifully and maybe they should have stuck to that.
MELLING CHASE 1505
This really is a highlight for me on this card, it always produces a damn good race and there are several that have great chances. It should be a real feast! RAJDHANI EXPRESS has a great chance based on his progressive profile and his run at the festival, I don’t think he’s this level though. BALLYNAGOUR was very good at Cheltenham but 15lbs is a hell of a rise in the ratings. However, I’m opting for ROLLING ACES (NAP) (2nd – 16-1) who is also a progressive horse and who put in some very good displays last year. He is now back on a mark that saw him run a close second to OPENING BATSMAN on good ground and then followed that up with a win on soft in Ireland. I think he is suited to better ground and the pace will of the race will suit him too.
TOPHAM CHASE 1540
There are about seven I could pick here and after seven runnings there would be seven different winners! A cracking race. I have two selections in this but am also intrigued to see how little MA FILLEULE runs up against these fences. She ran a stormer behind HOLYWELL last time and should be thereabouts. Firstly I raved on bait about DOESLESSTHANME (FELL) earlier in the year and he obliged last time. He is back up to a mark of 144 that he has won off before, and interestingly is stepped back up in trip, the better ground will help him see it out and is will place at least. My second selection in this has to be CEDRE BLEU (unplaced) he is a realm monkey but has a touch of class! He won a decent race this tome last year and last time ran poorly due to ulcers. A alb drop from the handicapper further boosts his chances, another to be placed!
SEFTON NOVICES HURDLE 1615
RACING PULSE (TREBLE) (unplaced) was a horse I followed this year and he has some solid form in the book and 10-1 is a big price for his chances. He has run well behind SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT and AUBUSSON after a string of victories. Again I feel the better ground will suit him and I’m quietly confident he can reverse places with his victor due to the ground.
HANDICAP HURDLE 1650
CHELTENIAN (4th – 8-1) can show his true colours today. He ran well at the festival but was pulled up sharply towards the finish after being in a prominent position. He was far too keen that day and if switched off in this, with the previous form in his book including the bumper and the fine fourth to SPLASH OF GINGE he has a real chance.
NH FLAT RACE 1725
Not really a fan of these but will try my luck with THE GOVANESS (unplaced)
Good luck if you’re having a flutter!