Hennessy Gold Cup

Photo by PA (The Telegraph)

Last week’s first blog for a while proved to be a cracker with one of the advised two, KRUZHLININ going in at 9-1. A nice £56.25 profit! I’m hoping for a continuation of that luck today. The Hennessy is one of my favourite Gold Cup races, you need quality, stamina, speed and generally to be a handy horse.

NATIVE RIVER is a worthy favourite and he could certainly show the improvement needed to win this. He’s ridden handy, his stable are confident and has the champ on board (yet to win the race). Is he genuinely up to this class? I think he is and he could be the next rising star from the Tizzard yard. Previous winners of this fab race do include MANY CLOUDS, BOBS WORTH, DENMAN (twice), TRABOLGAN etc. Let’s see!! I had VICENTE in the Scottish National and he is another rising star but I think he needs further than this trip. I’ve had TRIOLO D’ALENE on my watch list for ages, if the ground gets even better he has a cracking chance. He’s on his last winning mark an carries 5lb less than when winning this a few years ago – could he repeat Denman and win it twice? He’s worth an each way bet! Readers of my blog will know my love affair with HOLYWELL, since napping him to win the Pertempts at the festival I’ve always followed him. Last time out was purely a pipe opener for this. He isnt really a horse for this time of year, however a three mile trip, on goodish ground, with a quick pace is right up his street. Blinkers are on, he carries 10lb less than his second to UN TEMPS POUR TOUT at Cheltenham and he is in effect 7lbs better off with that rival today. The pace of the race is key and if Richie gets him jumping up near the pace his speedy jumping and stamina will come in to play. He’s a monkey and it all depends on his mood. I’ve always thought he was a high class horse and should have been rated at 160+. A couple of plays in a cracking race!

GASSIN GOLF is an interesting contender in the 1405 at Newbury. He has ran a couple of crackimg races in the past in better standard races than this. Narrowly beatentwice in the Imperial Cup at Sandown off OR121 and OR132. He’s running off 3lbs higher in this and on the same mark as his encouraging return at Fontwell. That was his first run for over a year and this increased distance could well suit too. The drying ground will certainly play to his strengths and I think he’s a much smarter horse than he’s shown. Big run expected.

Selections £5 e/w HOLYWELL 1510 NEWBURY -£10

£5 win NATIVE RIVER 1510 NEWBURY (6-1 when blog went live) + £30

£5 win GASSIN GOLF 1405 NEWBURY -£5

Total staked £30

Returns (including stake) £101.25

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Scottish National and Newbury

We start with another fab photo courtesy of Fran (@Riosrider)
 
Last week was a disaster for the blog with not one of my selections placed. You win some you lose more is what I think in this game! I was chuffed with how Mon Parrain ran in the National and I think he has a big handicap in him next year. The best news for all of us connected to racing was that the old stalwart BALTHAZARS KING got up ok and being clattered when falling. Fantastic work by all at Aintree who looked after him and treated him. On to today and a cracking Saturday with the Scottish National and Champion Hurdle and some super flat racing from Newbury. Sit back and enjoy today it should be ace!
The twitter gamble this week is :
@Fernando_RFC2 ROMSDAL 1345 NEWBURY
@LiamKenniford SEGO SUCCESS 1545 AYR
@Tonythetyke UEUETEOTL 1625 AYR
@DazGilbert1 HARWOODS VOLANTE 1815 THIRSK
Here are my selections for today :
 
RAZ DE MAREE 1545 AYR (nap) EW (PU = -£5.00)
This guy ran a cracker last time in the Midlands National and went straight into my notebook. He was beaten 9l by GOONYELLA that day and he will stay this trip again today. He was giving GOONYELLA 5lbs in weight that day and he has also been dropped two pounds in the ratings to a mark of OR136 and is now in receipt of 7lbs from GOONYELLA, effectively making him 12lbs better off. This is a better race but I think it was decent form in the Midlands National. Bryan Cooper gets on well with him and has won 5 times on him and he is just 4lbs higher thsn his last winning mark now and only needs a little improvement to run a cracker here. With five places being offered I have to make him an each way selection – although I do think he has a really good winning chance too! I also like the chance of SEGO SUCCESS too, he has a similar prodile to GODSMEJUDGE and ran really well at Warwick earlier in the year. He could bounce back from a disappointing run at the festival.
 
IRVING 1435 AYR (nb) (PU = -£5.00)
This is another cracking race. SIGN OF VICTORY looked a smart horse when destroying the field on the bridle in Ascot back in November and the ground hasn't helped him since. He has the ground today but he looked very subdued at Wincanton last time. GASSIN GOLF almost gave us a big priced win on the blog in the Imperial Cup and he has since won; this I think is too hard though. IRVING has always been a smart horse and showed this when winning the Fighting Fifth and having ARCTIC FIRE 4 lengths behind is smart form. They missed the champion hurdle for this and he has a great chance.
 
DICK WHITTINGTON 1450 NEWBURY (treble) (unplaced = -£5.00)
He has some very smart form from last year and has won on this ground today and soft. His best bit of form which will put him in good stead for today is when he beat KOOL KOMPANY last August in the Group 1 Pheonix Stakes. KOOL KOMPANY won the Craven on Thursday off a mark two pounds lower than my selections today. He has to have a big chance and I think he's overpriced!
 
HIGHLAND COLORI 1525 NEWBURY (unplaced = – £5.00)
He has been dropped to a very nice mark and is now 9lbs lower thsn his last winning mark and 2lbs lower than his last winning mark in a handicap class like this when he beat LOUIS THE PIOUS. He has been running in better races than this and his form has suffered because of that. He's back in a class that truely reflects his ability and he has form on ground like todays. He could run a cracker at a big price – each way selection too!
 
My Dad's selections are :
 
Standings
Father 10-9 Son
Profit
Father -£62.13
Son £111.71
 

Sandown

So, the final blog before the festival! Cant wait for Tuesday and I will be doing a blog every day for the festival. I will make sure I post the blog the night before for everyone to have a read – I hopeful of a few winners. I've picked out a few who I fancy – HOLYWELL (of course!), POLLY PEACHUM, MA FILLUELE being a couple. Before I start the serious study we have the Imperial Cup to tackle today and a few decent races at Wolverhampton. If my four come in today I will have a right kitty for the week, they are decent prices and I expect good runs! Thanks to Fran (@Riosrider) for the photo for the blog again. Below is the #twittergamble for the boys, we'll do one of these for each day of the festival too.
 
#Twittergamble
@Tonythetyke – WHISTLE DIXIE 1545 SANDOWN
@Liamkenniford – AIGLE DE LA SEE 1400 SANDOWN
@Fernando_RFC2 – CHOOKIE ROYALE 1415 WOLVES
@DazGilbert1 – BALLYHEIGUE BAY 1435 SANDOWN
 
Here are my selections :
GASSIN GOLF 1510 SANDOWN (nap) (3rd – 25-1 = £15.62)
Came second in this last year and is 11lbs higher than that today. I'm putting a line through his last run at Ascot in the Ladbroke, he never got in the race and was rightly pulled up. Interestingly despite how terrible that run was the handicapper hasn't reduced his mark, he knows he's a better horse than that as do I! Dickie Johnson rides him and he wouldn't be on him if he didn't think he had a sniff. Dickie's record on him is 2,2,3,4,2,2. He was a decent horse on the flat for Sir Mark Prescott and he's a horse I've tracked. He has a race like this in him! He has yet to score over hurdles but I do think he's smart and the better ground will help today. I'm expecting a big run!

CHIDSWELL 1400 SANDOWN (nb) (unplaced = -£5.00)
Has been performing consistently well and is very interesting on his handicap debut. His trainer also has a decent record with handicap debutants. He has been beaten twice in novice events, the last one was a decent contest and he was beaten by a smart sort in CLEAN SHEET. Who on the back of that has beengiven a mark of OR135. He could run a big race at a good price.

AL THAKIRA 1415 WOLVERHAMPTON (treble) (3rd – 4-1 = £2.50)
She has decent form at 7f and ran well on a few occasions last year. She needs to be ridden patiently and she may need a bit of luck. She has the proven class in the race and has a good record fresh. I think she will have too much for these today.

COPPER KAY 1545 SANDOWN (Unplaced = -£5.00)
This is hot little race and a lot of money is going on the top two. My selection justified favouritism last time at Warwick in a nice little contest and there will be more to come from her. The form hasn't been franked but I liked what I saw that day and think she will run well at a decent price.
 
My Dad's selections are:
AS DE MEE 1400 SANDOWN (WON 8-1 = £25.00)
FASCINO RUSTICO 1510 SANDOWN (PU = -£5.00)
WHISTLE DIXIE 1545 SANDOWN (unplaced = -£5.00)
MELVIN THE GRATE 1450 WOLVERHAMPTON (unplaced = -£5.00)
 
Standings
Father 8-7 Son
Profit
Father -£42.64
Son £158.61
 

Ladbroke Hurdle

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So the Bandit has finally broken up for his christmas holiday yay! It’s been a hell of a busy one, with the old foe Ofsted making a visit, although I’m pleased to say it was the news we wanted from their visit. The Bandit is very happy and proud of the work of my colleagues and our awesome children. Our team had put our celebrations for this until Thursday gone and boy did we celebrate!!!!

As this is the last blog before our jolly friend pops down our chimneys can I wish all of you who reads and puts up with my ramblings a very merry christmas and a prosperous New Year and I am really grateful for all of you who take the time each week to read and retweet this blog, means a lot! My twitters gamble friends have selected their best bets for today and they’re hoping for a profitable day! Good luck with whatever you’re selecting today and lets hope we all win a bit of our old enemy to line our wallets for the Christmas shenanigans!

The Twitter Gamble bet :

@TonyTheTyke Absolutely Bygones 1245 Ascot

@DazGilbert1 Sound Investment 1500 Ascot

@Fernando_RFC2 Puffin Billy 1315 Ascot

@LiamKenniford Zarkandar 1425 Ascot

Here are my best four for today :

FIREBIRD FLYER 1405 HAYDOCK (NAP) – (unplaced – £5.00) I backed this guy first time out over hurdles the other week and he didn’t disappoint on ground similar to today. It’s going to be pretty bad ground at Haydock and this guy will sluice through it. His mark is pretty good and hasn’t shifted after his hurdles success so he could still be well in. He normally takes a while to get going and to win first timeout was unusual so there is possibly more to come, I hopeful of a very big run!

RUN RUNCTIONS RUN 1440 HAYDOCK (NB) – (2nd – 100-30 = £2.08) this guy impressed me loads last time here at Haydock over the distance today and only ON TOUR got near him then and he had some pretty smart horses well behind. The ground will be fine and his 3lb rise is fair and I think he will run a big race again today.

GASSIN GOLF 1530 ASCOT (TREBLE) – (PU = -£5.00) this horse has always had a race like this in him. He always seems to come second and never quite wins! He has yet to win a hurdle race but I think he has been targeted specifically at this and then the future races after. He has lots of great form in the bag with the likes of VIBRATO VOLTAT and others being behind him in his races. He could be on a very winnable mark and the ground shouldn’t be a problem. I love a big handicap and trying to solve it and I’m hoping I have found a nice priced solution!

ZARKANDAR 1425 ASCOT – (2nd – 4-6 = £0.41) is a smart horse and won well last time France with REVE DE SIVOLA behind. I can’t see that form being reversed and I think he is also too good for AUBUSSON. Should be a straightforward success.

My Dad’s selections are :

LAST SHOT 1350 ASCOT (unplaced = -£5.00)

FILL THE POWER 1405 HAYDOCK (3rd 5-1 = £3.12)

RIVER DEEP 1440 HAYDOCK (unplaced = -£5.00)

PINE CREEK 1530 ASCOT (2nd 10-1 = £6.25)

Standings

Father 4-2 Son

Profit

Father -£21.99

Son £1.39

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

Hennesey Gold Cup

One of my favourite races hits our screens tomorrow with the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury. Some of the horses that have won this race truely are greats, ONE MAN, SUNY BAY, TEETON MILL and of course the awesome machine that is DENMAN! Bobs Worth won it last year before his Gold Cup success. Who will it be come quarter past three on Saturday! I think I've picked the winner!
 
PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE 1500 NEWBURY (nap) – this horse will habe to produce a career best to take this and buckle trends for the race but I reckon he can! He was favourite for the Grand National last year and has always had a touch of class. Horses high in the handicap have done pretty well over recent years and he has been primed for this in my opinion. I backed him last time at Down Royal and he was always thereabouts but was never asked too much. After the race I said to my old man that they kept him off the pace for a reason, he could have challenged but never did! For me it was a pipe opener for this, he travels and jumps well and will enjoy the track. I also have to have a saver on OPENING BATSMAN who has run too bad to be true the ladt twice and 33-1 as I write this is ridiculous considering his run when beating ROLLING ACES last year.
 
VIOLIN DAVIS 1320 NEWBURY (nb) – was a smart novice last year and hasn't produced since. Dropped back to class three level here and a slight drop in trip could be all in his favour. Still on the same mark as that last win could prove to be the key, big price, big chance.
 
GASSIN GOLF 1350 NEWBURY (treble) – the trip will bring out the best in this horse tomorrow I'm convinced. He was a stayer on the flat and was pitched in at a high level on his hurdles debut. Has always been classy and this race could be his turn to shine.
 
Whatever you opt for tomorrow – enjoy the racing and good luck!