Aintree Day One

Photo by Fran (@Riosrider2)
 
Day one of the Aintree festival. Usually it pays to side with horses who have swerved Cheltenham, however this year we've had a slightly longer break between the two. Whatever happens over the next few days I'm sure we're in for a right treat, there are some great races to watch and a few tricky handicaps to try and solve. We of course then have the biggest puzzle of them all – The Grand National! My record in the big one just isnt great, the last time I won I think I was eight! I'm now 35!!! However, I have an antepost ticket on MON PARRAIN at 50-1 after he won for the blog on New Year's Day. I'm chuffed the ground will be on the better side for him and also chuffed that Sean Bowen rides. He has a great chance and I reckon he'll run a cracking race! I'll probably pick another couple but haven't made my mind up yet!
Here are my selections for Day One. Good luck with whatever you back and I hope you win!
 
Manifesto Novices Chase 1340
A small but distinct field and a few with obvious chances. The main one is VIBRATO VALTAT who should have been UN DE SCEAUX's main rival in the Arkle, but he never ran a true race. I'm not sure whether he will get this trip? JOSSES HILL has flattered to deceive this year and I don't think his jumping will hold up. I'm opting for CLARCAM (WON 5-1), he may also not get the trip but I prefer his chances with Ruby on board. He was put in his place in the Arkle too but he really caught my eye in the Fred Winter last year and was unlucky when falling. He has had a couple of solid runs this year and doesn't have either VAUTOUR or UN DE SCEAUX to overcome.
 
Betfred Juvenile Hurdle 1415
HARGAM will be a short priced favourite for this based on his third in the Triumph. The Nicholls pair really don't do it for me. I'm opting for INTENSE TANGO (unplaced). She struggled against her male counterparts last time but she comes here fresh and will enjoy the better ground. Her weight allowance may also support her speed at these weights and help her overcome her rivals this time. She looked a decent horse when putting PASS THE TIME and ANIFILET in their place at Doncaster.
 
Betfred Bowl Chase 1450
HOLYWELL (nb) (3rd – 5-2) was my tip for the Gold Cup and is my tip here. He ran a cracker at Cheltenham and it was a shame the ground swung to the soft side that day as I really thought he would win the race. SILVINIACO CONTI misfired that day and on this ground I can't see him reversing placings with my tip. MA FILLEULE is a tough mare and she will be there at the finish. HOLYWELL has the class, the jumping ability and the ground to beat all his rivals.
 
Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle 1525
JEZKI comes here with a real chance of giving the champ another victory in his swansong. ARCTIC FIRE has been ultra-consistent this year too and must have a decent chance. However, I have to opt for my old favourite ROCK ON RUBY (2nd 7-2) though. He missed the festival and will be fresh. Despite being 10 years old he can still mix it with the young guns. He has a good record here and produces good efforts on better ground. I think he'll battle up the finishing straight with the other two above and his heart will bring him out on top.
 
Crabbies Fox Hunters Chase 1605
Only one horse here for me. PACHA DU POLDER (nap) (2nd 7-1) is a horse I always followed and has made a brilliant start in this sphere. My selection improves so much on better ground and I'm expecting a big run tomorrow. He started out this year being beaten by TEAFORTHREE on soft ground and he then won easily on good ground at Ludlow. He's a nice mover and a smart jumper. He is closely matched with BIG FELLA THANKS on old form and I expect both of them to be fighting it out up the finish.
 
Betfred Red Rum Chase 1640
CLARET CLOAK will enjoy the better ground and ran well last time behind ULCK DU LIN at Ascot. He runs well fresh but 11st 12lbs is a lot to carry in this. Even a 5lb taken off by Sean Bowen may not be enough. BABY MIX fascinates me; he's been off for a while and was a smart hurdler on good ground. With this break to overcome and a return to form needed he may not do it, but he's well treated on his old form. I'm opting for TED VEALE (treble) (unplaced) he's down to his last winning mark of OR141, which he's won twice at. He has got a nice weight and has good form when the ground is better. He also has a strong form line through CLARCAM and I think he'll run a big race!
 
Injured Jockeys Fund Handicap Hurdle 1715
The last race on day one and it's a cracker to try and solve! DALAWAN is smart yet disappointed last time behind CALL THE COPS, can he recapture his form? CALL THE COPS has been raised another 7lbs for that win and I think he's handicapped to the max now. LAC FONTANA could really improve for the extra distance amd is worth a saver! UNIQUE DE COTTE and my old favourite JOIN THE CLAN deserve praise and should run well. Now this is where I get silly! I have followed KATGARY (unplaced) all year based on his efforts last season and I was and still am convinced he's a smart horse. Good ground I'm sure is key and with a little bit of confidence back in him for winning in a lower class last time I think he'll run well. He is carrying a stone less than he did last time too. My advice here, ignore me, I'd go over the White Cliffs for this one!!
 
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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!
 

Cheltenham Preview

The hours tick by, the anticipation swells, the culmination of the the National Hunt season is upon us. As an avid jumps fan this has to be the pinnacle week on the racing calendar for me. Ascot, Goodwood and The Derby are there too but nothing competes with that cheer as the tapes go up on the Tuesday.
So many hopes and dreams pinned upon these fine creatures as they gallop around this challenging and testing circuit. I’ve had a pretty decent time at the last few festivals with HOLYWELL winning the Pertempts in 2013 and winning me and a few of you a nice little packet!LORD WINDEREMERE winning the RSA in the same year. Previously I have fond memories of selecting BRINDISI BREEZE at 7-1 and SYNCHRONISED in his Gold Cup success. Last year day two proved the best with FAUGHEEN (6-4), BALTHAZAR KING (4-1) and SILVER CONCORDE (16-1) getting their noses up.
I haven’t really pinned my well earned cash on anything yet – although I have HOLYWELL antepost for the Gold Cup to make it a hat-trick of wins – what a moment that would be! Earlier in the week I like the chances of QEWY in the Supreme and POLLY PEACHUM in the Mares. I would love to see JOIN THE CLAN continue his upward curve in the Pertempts Final. I a. Still keen to see where GEVREY CHAMBERTIN goes too – he ran much better last time and I still think he has a big handicap in him. At the moment those are a few I have my eye on. I will put up the blog each night before the day itself and the twitter gamble guys have also opted to join in too. No doubt my old man will offer his pearls of wisdom. So all in all there may be a good few pointers on here for everyone.
Anticipation, excitement and restlessness are the emotions overcoming me at the moment. We are nearly there everyone, load your wallets, take aim at our old foe and here is to four days of entertainment, thrills and not too many spills. Enjoy!
 

Sandown, Ffos Las

Morning all from a very snowy Sheffield! Had a right downpour of the white stuff this week! Bloody hate it. By the kind permission of Fran, who you can all follow on twitter @Riosrider2, I have the wonderful photo of our big price near miss last week, BIG FELLA THANKS, to say I was gutted about that was an understatement – however I was pleased he ran to what I said in my blog. Please give Fran a follow, she has taken some amazing photos and regularly tweets them. She has kindly given me the permission to use them from now on when typing my blog. Thanks Fran! Last week was unlucky as stated above and I thought the nap VAGO COLLONGES was going to walk his race too coming up the straight! Interesting to see where he goes next and over shorter. Have found a couple of horses I really like today and hopefully they will give us another shout for our money. As always I wish you luck with whichever horse carries your well earned coins as we continue to strive to defeat our old foe! Good luck guys!
 
#twiiter gamble. The boys are back for another week, lets hope they bring in the big one! Give them a follow too.
@LiamKenniford – GLOBAL POWER 1440 FFOS LAS
@Fernando_RF2 – CARRIGMOORNA ROCK 1355 FAIRYHOUSE
@DazGilbert1 – WAR SINGER 1510 FFOS LAS
@Tonythetyke – LEWIS 1445 WETHERBY
 
Here are my selections for today :
 
VIA SUNDOWN 1535 SANDOWN (nap) (PU = -£5.00)
He beat BENVOLIO off a one pound higher mark this his mark today last year on heavy ground. That's pretty smart form considering BENVOLIO'S exploits this year and his targets. My guy ran in the Hennessy and then in a Listed race at Ascot behind THE YOUNG MASTER, all of which were too high targets for him and he was found wanting. He is back in a more suitable race today and has a very nice mark and I believe a cracking chance. He was fancied last time at Kempton but unseated and I hope he can jump soundly today! That day when ARKDILLY WITNESS won my guy was a pound higher in the weights than the winner, today he is 7lbs better off with that rival – that could prove key! I am confident of a good run but am mindful of CANTLOW too – he could reproduse today if it's a going day for him.
 
IMPERIAL LEADER 1500 SANDOWN (nb) (PU = -£5.00)
Yet to win a race since his novice hurdle success but he has ran in some very good, competitive races. His second behind IRISH SAINT on unsuitable heavy ground off a mark 4lbs higher than today is pretty decent form. He then ran third behind FINGAL BAY at Exeter off a 5lb higher mark than today. Can you see why he's fancied today? Interestingly the ground is better today which I think will help as will the slight drop back in trip, he has the stamina in the bag and could go at them early. Great chance to get off the mark this season.
 
PUFFIN BILLY 1405 FFOS LAS (treble) (PU = -£5.00)
A smart horse and I like to follow horse who go back over hurdles after being jumping and after a fall. They grow in confidence as the race progreses and this guy could do the same. He is 7lbs lower in the ratings today than when being beaten by MELODIC RENDEZVOUS in heavy ground a couple of years ago. He was also a creditable 5th behind CHAMPAGNE FEVER at the Festival that year, that is much better form than anything else, bar one, see below. The ground will be testing and people are talking about low weights being needed but my guy is use to shouldering big weights and running well. He carried 11st 11lbs when getting beaten by MELODIC RENDEZVOUS and has 9lbs less today. Class is class as I always say and the stable and jockey are going well. My twitter friend @Pirate_B has talked me into a saver on HIDDEN IDENTITY too. She also has smart form and is a crazy price after being not too far behind the likes of QUEVEGA at the festival. Give Darrell a follow here
 
ELY BROWN 1445 WETHERBY (unplaced = -£5.00)
Another one starting out over hurdles for the season after going chasing last. He's top weight and the class horse by a mile for me. He is dropped into class 3 company for this after running in Class 1 chases last season. He beat MILLBOROUGH and GREEN FLAG here off a mark of OR140. Course form is key here! His last hurdle win came at Aintree when he best GAUVAIN on good ground over this trip off a 4lb lower mark. He has also beaten HOLYWELL on soft ground at Warwick and with Charlie Deutsch taking a valuable 7lbs off in weight today he has to have a chance. Our old friend from the other week JOIN THE CLAN goes again but he's been raised a massive 11lbs by the handicapper for that and it wouldnt surprise me that the rise is too much and they take it steady with him with his mark for Cheltenham the priority. Class is class – come on Ely!
 
My Dad's selections are :
POLAMCO 1500 SANDOWN (PU = -£5.00)
LITTLE BOY BORU FFOS LAS 1405 (PU = -£5.00)
THERE'S NO PANIC 1535 SANDOWN (unplaced = -£5.00)
GORGEHOUS LLIEGE 1440 FFOS LAS (2nd 6-1 = £3.75)
Standings
Father 6-6 Son
Profit
Father -£42.32
Son £159.49
 

Lanzarote Day – Kempton and Warwick

myWPEdit Image

Doffing my cap is the order of the day today to my fellow horse racing friends on here. The #twittergamble boys produced a beauty last week with SOMCHINE winning at 10-1 for @Tonythetyke, WALSER winning at 7-2 for @DazGilbert1 and UNIONISTE winning at 5-2 for @Fernando_RFC2 – spot on boys. Their selections for this week are below! As I say every week the boys are worth a follow! If you had put all four selections in a £1 Lucky 15 you would have had a profit return of £281 – great tipping fellas!

#Twittergamble

@DazGilbert1 YOUNG DOTTIE 1540 LINGFIELD

@Fernando_RFC2 WARRANTOR 1440 KEMPTON

@LiamKenniford SEGO SUCCESS 1355 WARWICK

@Tonythetyke CLOSING CEREMONY 1425 WARWICK

As for my own fortunes last week, not great is the best summation. Although TRIOLO D’ALENE ran well on poor ground and with Geraghty hardly touching him or making an effort watch him the next time he runs on good ground. Not a bad spectacle today although this is quiet time as we start to head towards trials day and the build up to the festival. Whatever your well earned money is on today, I wish you all the luck in taking some money of our old foe! Game on!

JOIN THE CLAN 1425 WARWICK (NAP) (WON 8-1 = £25.00)

Now as follows of the blog know I am always partial to trying to find a decent price horse in a handicap as my nap when and where one pops up. I think this fella is the answer today, my only real concern is the form of Jonjo O’Neill’s stable, at least he had a winner yesterday though! So why do I put my money on an outsider with not a win for a while! Well he could be really well handicapped today and he has a feather weight on his back. The last two runs he has shouldered 11st 12lbs and 11st 2lbs. He steps rightly so back up in class today and an apprentice taking 10lbs of in weight, so he’s on racing weight of 10st 2lbs. That weight around here in testing ground over 3m 2f could be crucial! Get on!

DELL ‘ARCA 1440 KEMPTON (NB) (unplaced = -£5.00)

he has lots of smart form in the book and I think the distance last time was far too long. He returns to a better target today and he has always promised to be a good thing and has been beaten by SLASH OF GINGE, LAC FONTANA and more recently CONEYGREE an his mark has always stayed high. WARRANTOR could be the danger but I think my home has all the class today.

MICKIE 1355 WARWICK (TREBLE) (unplaced = -£5.00)

she is back down to her last winning mark and has Dickie Johnson back on board, together they have won 3 out of her 4 success. She’s a good solid yardstick over hurdles and HIGHLAND RETREAT put her in her place last time but off level weights in mares only race. That one franked the form again this week and today my selection gets her 3lb allowance back which could make all the difference.

HAWKES POINT 1535 WARWICK (WON 17-2 = £26.56)

He has been given a real chance today! He is 6lbs better off after his Welsh National shambles but to put that in perspective its a 4lb lower mark today thayhn when he was piped by MOUNTAINOUS in the same race last year, just beating TIDAL BAY too. Interestingly today he is tried in first time blinkers, good old MON PARRAIN was the same last week and we know what happened there. This is his best chance of a big race success for me.

My Dad’s Selections are :

AWAYWITHTHEGREYS 1425 WARWICK (PU = -£5.00)

WARRANTOR 1440 KEMPTON (unplaced = -£5.00)

HOWARDS LEAGACY 1515 KEMPTON (unplaced = -£5.00)

CARRUTHERS 1535 WARWICK (PU = -£5.00)

STANDINGS

FATHER 5-5 SON

PROFIT

FATHER -£24.66

SON £111.06