Cheltenham Day 3

Not a great day on the blog today with only NICHOLS CANYON and SOUTHFIELD THEATRE placed. I thought I had a good few chances today too and I was really disappointed by how the Ferguson pair ran! Heyho, it is the most competitive week of racing ever! We move on to the next day with a heavy heart, the reason being the sad sight of SPRINTER SACRE running like that – something clearly still amiss and its such a shame he has fallen from grace so, he's still a legend in my eyes though.
 
The twitter gamble boys have opted for
@Tonythetyke –
@LiamKenniford – VAUTOUR 1330
@DazGilbert1 –
@Fernando_RFC2 –
 
My selections for Thursday are
 
JLT NOVICES CHASE 1330

PTIT ZIG, other than blotting his note book in his last appearance has done nothing wrong this year. He has gone from strength to strength and looked very good when beating both CHAMPAGNE WEST and JOSSES HILL earlier on. He's a class horse and I think he'll go toe to toe with VAUTOUR but will come out on top.
 
PERTEMPTS FINAL 1405

I have to opt for JOIN THE CLAN (treble) here. Whatever they did to him prior to that Warwick run has worked a treat! He has gone on from that and won again pretty convincingly under the same jockey as today. More impressive was the fact that he beat CLOSING CEREMONY so well and he reopposes today having franked the form. The jockey taking another 10lbs off is again key for me to make his racing weight quite light again. I hope to see him creeping into it and then staying on late.
 
RYANAIR CHASE 1440

Despite me loving MA FILLEULE I'm going to go against her! I think the better ground will really bring out the best of a Cheltenham star. JOHN'S SPIRIT has always been very good and he showed that consistently last year. I just think this race will be set up for him nicely and he'll come out on top.
 
LABROKES WORLD HURDLE 1520

This is a decent race with the biggest field for a while. SAPHIR DE RHEU ran really well last time and will slug it out with his stablemate ZARKANDAR. I'm really interested though by WHISPER returning to the hurdling field after one chase start. He was always smart over these obstacles and the better ground should suit too. I think he will run the two above close and is worth a flutter at his price.
 
BROWN ADVISORY & MERRIBELLE STABLE PLATE CHASE 1600

MONETAIRE has ran very well on both occasions for the Pipe yard and there could be even more to come. However, I have followed CAID DU BERLAIS (nb) all year and cant desert him now. He won the Paddy Power and was a creditable third last time. He's gallant and I think he has more to offer too.
 
FULKE WALWYN CHASE 1640

TAP NIGHT frustrates the hell out of me at times and he will probably go and win this now I havent backed him! It takes a lot to win a handicap off top weight but GRANDADS HORSE (nap) has a bit of class about him, especially on good ground. Other than last time when he hever got into it he has ran really well, especially on ground zi dont think is suitable for him to show his best. He's dropped in class and now has his preferred ground. Crazy price of 25-1 due to one bad run! Get on!
 
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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

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)
 

The Cambridgeshire

Not long now until the 'Rematch', who will conquer who this time?………. More next week on this.
 
On to today one of the most competitive and exciting handicaps hits us, The Cambridgeshire! If you find the winner of this you're a good man, or your lucky pin did well. Some other cracking races to look forward to, including another rematch of the fillies, plus some damn good jumping action.
 
Enjoy the racing and good luck if you're having a flutter!
 
GRANDAD'S HORSE 1450 MARKET RASEN (nap) – (unplaced) this horse should run a cracker today. He will relish the ground and won well here on his chase debut earlier in the summer. That day he defeated PANTXOA, who has gone on to frank the form twice with impressive wins. My guy looks appealing off a mark of 137 and could have a big season ahead.
 
MONT RAS 1750 HAYDOCK (nb) – (unplaced) won well for me on this blog when winning at 25-1 at York from the front. Has been raised 5lbs since but that won't stop him on ground he will love and with a course record that reads 1112. Another great chance today.
 
ELSAFEER 1630 MARKET RASEN (treble) – (3rd – 17-2) has been off the track for ages but is a talented horse. He has been dropped back to a previous winning mark and with COOL BARANACA lumping a penalty today I think my selection will win this easily.
 
JUST THE JUDGE 1510 NEWMARKET – (unplaced) I'm definitely laying SKY LANTERN here (idiot!!), she won't reverse the form with ELUSIVE KATE on this ground. However, I think my selection will defeat them both. She has always been high class and the last run was so bad it should be ignored. She is dropped back to a mile and I think the first two will take each other on too early and my girl will swoop late, that's if Frank doesn't give her too much to do!!!

SAM SHARP 1550 NEWMARKET – (unplaced) what a race this is! If you pick the winner of this you have done a hell of a job, or your pin is very lucky! I've got this down to two. Firstly, THA'IR has his ground and runs off a very appealing mark considering his exploits as a 2 y o. My only doubt is the very low draw. My selection is also low, but I love how progressive this horse has been this year and the way he defeated SENNOCKIAN STAR at York was impressive, as was his run behind SNOWBOARDER prior to that. TRES CORONAS has a sniff, but this might be too short and the connections of ASCRIPTION must be gutted that no rain has fallen this week.

LASTCHANCELUCAS 1430 CHESTER – (unplaced) has the softer ground in his favour and a return to 6f will help, as will the drop to a mark of 84. As always her the draw is key, mine needs to overcome that but has a great chance.

BEAR BEHIND 1530 HAYDOCK – (unplaced) this horse hasn't quite lived up to the standards he set last year when winning off 97 ( then disqualified ) againsy HAMISH MCGONAGALL. Is now back to a mark of 98 and has been overlooked with more focus on his stablemate. He has form on this ground and will be a huge price.

O CROTAIGH 1520 MARKET RASEN – (2nd – 7-2) loves it here and ran well earlier in the year here. He has now dropped to an appealing mark and will run well off it at this distance and class.


BLOG STATS :

Naps 43/209 = 20.5%
Wins 174/1054 = 16.5%
Placed 276/1054 = 26.2%

Win and Placed = 42.3%

@Tweet_Naps overall record. Click the link. All Time Profit/Loss currently +£61.83

Bank Holiday Selections

What a cracking Bank Holiday it has been in terms of weather, not often we get many like this! The racing world is reeling in the news of the formidable Nicholls/Walsh partnership going their seperate ways this morning. My twitter feed has been going bananas, not sure there will be much difference to be honest, Ruby will still ride some of the top stable stars on a Saturday in my opinion.
Saturday's blog showed a little improvement with good old KINGSGATE NATIVE (14-1) winning and CAPO ROSSO (4-1) second. I had a nice winner yesterday with my only bet of the day when MAOI CHINN TIRE came home at 12-1. Hopefully got a couple here today too.
 
Happy punting, and good luck.
 
GRANDADS HORSE 1715 CARTMEL (nap) – (NR) this horse has slipped back to his last winning mark and you need to put a line through his last two runs. Ground is key to this fella and he has two wins on good and three on good to firm ground at this level and above. He's due to go novice chasing soon and could sign off the smaller obstacles in style.
 
TUSSIE MUSSIE 1550 CARLISLE (nb) – (3rd – 6-1) is unexposed at this trip and just failed to peg back Lilac Lace last time. More to come from this horse and she has solid form through a line with CAPO ROSSO, losing by half a length to him last year. On his form this year that is decent, as is her own form in itself.
 
NEPTUNE EQUESTER 1540 CARTMEL (treble) – (3rd – 7-1) ran no real race in the Scottish National when well fancied. This is much easier, and up until the National he was producing good runs. Has won at this level before, I reckon something was amiss at Ayr last time and am hopeful of better today if the ground is ok for him.
 
TROJAN ROCKET 1555 WINDSOR – (WON – 8-1) this horse has a decent strike rate and is Mikael Barzalona's only ride of the day. He has won twice on him already and he goes well fresh. Has form on quicker ground and is a big price.
 
BASFORD BEN 1645 CARTMEL – (NR) this trainer/jockey combo proved successful yesterday on MAOI CHINN TIRE and they can claim another success today. This horse hasn't really progressed from decent NHF races, however all his disappointing runs have come on soft or worse ground. I think the quicker ground will suit. TRADE FAIR, his stallion has produced a few horses that have won on good and quicker ground. Good each way chance.
 
BLOG STATS :

Naps 39/174 = 22.4%
Wins 161/878 = 18.3%
Placed 233/878 = 26.5%

Win and Placed = 44.9%

@Tweet_Naps overall record. Click the link. All Time Profit/Loss currently +£64.33