It’s been about four weeks since I last did a Saturday blog, all the way back to the Stewards Cup! A nice summer holiday in Dorchester and France was the reason for this gap. After lots of vin rouge, croissants and sun, I’m refreshed and ready to go! The National Hunt season is looming upon us now and already I’m getting excited for that. We still have Champions Day, the St Leger, Cambridgeshire to name a few to still tackle though.
A new addition to the blog this time around will be to profile class horses of years gone by. I’m open to suggestions from anyone, so if you’ve got a favourite horse you want me to include on here just give me a shout on twitter and I’ll put it up for you. Today I start with a horse that was my first cliff horse as a teenager getting into racing. He gave me a few good runs for my money and made me start to love the National Hunt game.
Challenger Du Luc – Bay Gelding
Owned by David Johnson Trained by Martin Pipe
40 runs – 7wins, 9 2nds, 3 3rds.
Total Prize money won – £191, 440
Big Race wins
Cathcart Challenge Cup March 1996 – Cheltenham
Murphy’s Gold Cup – Nov 1996 – Cheltenham
He didn’t win anything too major but it was always his battles with Señor El Betrutti that captivated me, he was a brave horse and I had backed him in the National when Earth Summit won, unfortunately he fell that day. A top little horse who got me going in this sport of kings!
On to the blog and today’s selections!
BEAU NASH 1455 CHESTER (NAP) – (3rd – 9-1 = £5.62) excuses last time for the poor run came due to the ground. He is a proven perfumer on ground that is soft. If you look back in the form book over the past few months there are some decent sippers of good runs. One particular run to take note of is his thirds to Wee Jean at Goodwood, it was an eye-catching run and considering how well the winner then went on to run at Royal Ascot in the Sandringham and then just being pipped at Sandown, my selection has to have a great chance today! I think he is better than his current mark and I’m hopeful of a very big run today.
KINGSGATE NATIVE 1425 BEVERLEY (NB) – (unplaced = -£5.00) definitely a heart selection, I love this old guy! He normally these days wins one or two races a season and he’s been unlucky a few times this season. On his A game he would trounce this lot. I think the track will really suit him and Tony Hamilton is a great jockey booking. He’s been dropped 2 lbs in the ratings for the first time in over 15 months, interestingly to a mark he won off! Big chance today!
COCK OF THRE NORTH 14.40 SANDOWN (treble) – (unplaced = -£5.00) the ground is key for me today in this. While AKTABANTAY and FUTURE EMPIRE are clearly smart horses, I’m not so sure about the ground for them. My selection has some smart form in the bag too, I watched his trounce the Brocklesby field on Lincoln day and then he ran second to the very smart TIGGY WIGGY on soft ground, not form to be dismissed. He could run a big race today at a very appealing price.
FIRST POST 1730 SANDOWN – (unplaced = -£5.00) 3 wins here and he is now back to a winning mark and he’s been dropped a further albs from his last winning mark. The ground will also help and he has been running really consistently of late on soft ground with a 2nd and two thirds. Today is his day!
I also reckon GABRIAL 1530 CHESTER could make fools of them today and WHERE THE BOYS ARE 1540 BEVERLEY has a good chance a following up.
My Dad’s selections are :
BALLESTEROS 1410 CHESTER (3rd – 6-1 = £3.75)
APOSTLE 1455 CHESTER (unplaced = -£5.00)
WHIPLASH WILLIE 1530 CHESTER (2nd – 11-4 = £1.71)
FORGOTTEN HERO 1550 SANDOWN (unplaced = -£5.00)
FATHER 11-14 SON
Last week was another decent week for the blog with good place money for the nap CHANCERY and third best ROYAL RASCAL. MIDNITE ANGEL won me an absolute packet and some times its important to follow these horses who drop down a grade or two as they usually romp in as she did last week. I’ve got a rather tidy profit of £194.98 to a £2.50 each way stake – hoping to break through the £200 marker today.
There are some cracking races today and personally I think the races at Haydock are more interesting than at Sandown, but its a good day, so lets sit back and enjoy.
PALLASATOR 1530 HAYDOCK (NAP) – (2nd – 7-1 = £4.37) this horse will be fine with the ground and looked a strong staying type the season before last. The Prescott yard has just got going and he has thrown a couple of winners in this week so the horses seem to be fine after their setback. Sir Mark knows how to prepare one for these big handicaps and this fella could be another good type. I actually think the drop back in trip will suit him, if they ride him handy and look to kick for home from the turn not many will get past. He has guaranteed stamina and may get a soft lead and go on from there. Or that’s what I hope!
TALENT 1455 HAYDOCK (NB) – (3rd – 7-1 = £4.37) she won the Oaks last year in convincing style and was unlucky in the Leger. It looked like she needed the run in the Coronation Cup and she never really got going, this is a much easier contest and with that run in her, she should improve. She will relish the ground and I’m expecting a dominant run. SULTANINA is my danger, she ran very well when stepped up in class last time to Group 3 and battled well to win over course and distance. Great race this.
KINGSGATE NATIVE 1405 SANDOWN (TREBLE) – (2nd – 5-1 = £3.12) I’m a massive fan of this horse and he has run well on both his starts this season, showing the old sparkle is still there. He usually pops up with a win or two each year and after a few defeats in this I think today is his day. The firmer the better for him so I hope any more rain stays away, this old boy has class and at this level he could have too much for his rivals. STEPPER POINT has really returned to form this year and ran a cracker in the Kings Stand and should be thereabouts. STEPS was flying a few runs back and just missed out at Epsom; I think his day has past. EXTORTIONIST has ran two great races recently and could be a big danger to my boy.
TRUE STORY 1550 SANDOWN – (unplaced = -£5.00) Kieren Fallon thinks a lot of this horse, and he’s a good judge for me base don what he has sat on! You cannot doubt the horses ability and with question marks over his last two runs I’m willing to give him another go here. The Epsom undulations didn’t really suit last time and if Fallon can start winding him up in this home straight he may get there at the line. This race will come to soon for The Fugue for me and fillies don’t have a great record in this, nor to 3 year olds for that matter!!! If the rain came I’d be willing to put a few shekels on TULIUS who has been running well this year. To be honest I’m loping forward to just watching this, it’s the best renewal of this race we have had for a good few years.
My cliff horse of the season BURANO goes again in the 1440 at Sandown and I have to give him a go.
There will be no blog next week as I’m in Edinburgh on a stag do! Should be fun but messy!
My dad’s selections are :
STEPS 1405 SANDOWN (unplaced – £5.00)
COMPLICATE 1420 HAYDOCK (unplaced -£5.00)
VELOX 1440 SANDOWN (WON – 11-2 = £17.18)
SALUTATION 1530 HAYDOCK (NR)
Father 9 – 13 Son
Photo by Getty Images
It is here the first classic of the flat season. This is why I love British racing, within a few weeks of it beginning we have two classics, then we’re often for the dante and Chester, awesome stuff! Today is a fantastic renewal and we also have the monstrous Scoop6 hovering above us, I have joined up with the #teamchoochoo team for a combined perm to see if we can win the big prize! Lets hope so! My dad bounced back last week on the blog with an impressive 9-1 selection in MY KINGDOM. Other than that it was a pretty drab affair, lets hope today brings some winners. Whatever happens it will certainly be a day to remember I reckon. I can’t remember a classic like this for a good few years with so much strength in depth and it should be a race to remember, and I think KINGMAN will take all the beating today. There will be no blog next Saturday as I’m at Warwick for the weekend and going to their evening meeting, can;t wait! Be lucky today everyone!
Here are my selections for the blog :
BURANO 1405 NEWMARKET (NAP) – (unplaced = -£5.00) I never really like napping short priced favourites for the blog as I try and find a bit of value! This horse really caught my eye when running behind GABRIEL’S KAKA at Newbury the other week. He came into the race coasting and never got the run he needed and was then eased to the line and finished a 4 and 3/4 length 8th. On the vast open ground at Newmarket if he approaches the last furlong or two with the same gusto he may burst through and score. He is we overdue a win and today could be his day.
KINGMAN 1550 NEWMARKET (NB) – (2nd – 6-4 = £0.93) This fella has to be on the blog. He has been so impressive in everything he has down so far and his victory at Newbury oozed class. I know there are concerns over the ground, but for me it can’t be that quick ands there were concerns from local trainers about them watering earlier in the week as it was good enough ground, especially at the bushes. They are just worried because of his chipped bone injury, but for me its still good ground and he will bound away in those famous silks! I cannot ignore OUTSTRIP who comes here on the back of a Breeders Cup win and is crazily priced at 25-1, he has to have an excellent each way chance.
KINGSGATE NATIVE 1440 NEWMARKET (TREBLE) – (2nd 12-1 = £7.50) this old stalwart returns again in a race I backed him in last year at 25-1. He renews his rvialry with his conqueror that day SOLE POWER and comes here rated a better horse than last year, credit to his trainer Robert Cowell for eking out improvement. He is superb when fresh, and when the ground rides faster, he unlike Kingman, could do with the ground a little faster. However the undulations and the up hill climb really suit his late bursts and he come where with another solid chance.
MAGIC CITY 1455 GOODWOOD – (unplaced = -£5.00) is back on his last winning mark and is unbeaten here at Goodwood and he is also unbeaten on downhill tracks. The style of course is obviously suited to his style and he has another cracking chance here at extending that unbeaten course record.
My Dad’s selections are
MOVIESTA 1440 NEWMARKET (unplaced = -£5.00)
OUR BOY JACK 1500 THIRSK (unplaced = -£5.00)
ABSOLUTELY SO 1455 GOODWOOD (WON = £9.37)
PAL OF THE CAT 1530 GOODWOOD (unplaced = -£5.00)
Father 7-9 Son
Father £62.41 Son £122.67