Grand National Trial Day

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The Grand National weights were out this week and one that immediately caught my eye was SAUSALITO SUNRISE. He is a decent horse and has a good weight off his current mark. He is running today at Ascot where I expect him to run very well in preparation for the big one. Ive taken an ante post bet of 50-1 for him.

On to today’s action and I’ll start with my national tip who runs in the race he won last year at Ascot; the Swinley Chase at 2:25. I really fancied him too run well in the Peter Marsh chase at Haydock last time but he unseated Dickie early. I thought he ran well at Cheltenham earlier in the year behind Theatre Guide and was starting to get going when hampered. After winning this race last year he ran well behind MANY CLOUDS at Kelso off a mark 8lbs higher than today. He is the same racing weight as winning this last year and seems to enjoy this track and I’m expecting a big run today and that will hopefully set him up nicely for the big one at Aintree.

I fancy FLINTHAM in the Reynoldstown to upset the two market leaders as he will go at it from the front and will love the ground. His price has seriously decreased since last night and he should run a big race.

The big handicap hurdle at 3:00 at Ascot is a cracking puzzle. DOESYOURDOGBITE found the pace and the quality of the Lanzarote too hot last time and this drop back down in class  may allow him to revert to his winning ways. TEMPLEROSS ran a cracker in that race but I feel it was a one-off. DIVINE SPEAR catches the eye after staying on well at Cheltenham last time but I’m taking a punt on CYRNAME at a decent price. He was a good horse in France and ran himself out of his British debut way back in November. Nicholls will have been doing lots of work at home with him and I like to look out for horses he puts away fro a while. Sean Bowen sits so quietly on horses and he will hopefully switch him off in behind; he COULD run a big race!

Onto the best race of the day, The Grand National Trial Chase. I have it down to two. BLAKLION really disappointed me when carrying my sheckles at Wetherby, and despite winning the RSA last year, he hasn’t shown me enough yet and I think this is too much for him. VINTAGE CLOUDs showed last time he can mix it with the big boys and despite falling in the Peter Marsh, ran very well. My two though are KRUZHLININ and VICENTE. The former was tipped by me on this blog for the fixed brush here, and horse for course at Haydock is important. He only found OUR KAEMPFER too good on quicker ground last time. My worry is the consistency and bravery of his jumping and whether this extended trip will suit! VICENTE then, I tipped him to win the Scottish National last year and he is only 1lb higher than that victory today. The ground hasn’t been right for him a few times this year and I thought he ran a cracking race behind a rampant ZIGA BOY last time at Donny. He will appreciate the drying ground and the trip and I think he will run a big race to prep him for the big one at Aintree. He gets my nod over KRUZHLININ.

Selections

£5 win SAUSALITO SUNRISE 2:25 Ascot (11/2 – BET365) (3rd)

£2.50 e/w CYRNAME 3:00 Ascot (20-1 – BET365) (UP)

£5 win FLINTHAM 1:50 Ascot (5-1 – BET365) (2nd)

£2.50 e/w VICENTE 3:15 Haydock (9-1 Paddy Power) (UP)

Results

Staked £240

Returns £283.75

Warwick and Kempton

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Last Saturday saw a bog of welcome profit for the blog with the win double of LIFEBOAT MONA and GARDE LA VICTOIRE going in. Let’s hope there is more to come today and I’m hopeful of a big run in a race where I have a cracking record over recent years.

The Lanzarote Hurdle is the feature race of the day at Kempton. What a shocker that was this week with the news of this course’s potential closure. While the investment and ideas of the Jockey Club sound reasonable you can’t close a track with the history Kempton has. Let’s hope the council and arguments from the racing paternity stop it, if it goes through we may see similar issues with NH venues. So, to the race itself. I do think OLD GUARD has another big race in him, possibly at the festival, but not today off this weight! DOESYOURDOGBITE won nicely last time, despite running in snatches but this is his biggest test to date. BENNYS KING doesn’t know how to run a bad race and should be thereabouts but the one who catches my eye is one who meets a lot of then trends for this race. CHESTERFIELD ran a cracker behind BRAIN POWER last time after a long absence, showing me some of his old class and potential remain. He was developing into a decent looking hurdler for John Ferguson before the lay off and indeed he was going well here when falling at the last in his penultimate run. He’s been well supported all morning and the current 8-1 from BETY365 is worth snapping up.

In the 32RED.com chase SANDY BEACH steps up in trip to 3m. He looked very good last time when beating ERICHT at Newbury in November and if he stays he will run a big race. KRUZHLININ went in for me on the blog last time at Haydock and he stayed very well up that hill. He’s a previous winner of this and despite being raised 10lbs to a mark of OR146, I still think that’s short of what he could be. The revert to hurdles was to put some confidence in his jumping after facing the big National fences. I think the hurdles and the confidence of his last win will have sharpened his jumping up. He stays forever and ion he jumps he wins I think.

I have put up the last three winners of the Pertemps Hurdle at Warwick on the blog. FLINTHAM, JOIN THE CLAN and UNCLE JIMMY and it’s also where HOLYWELL caught my eye for his festival win. Warwick is an interesting course, and is generally quite easy to get a rhythm but in this race you tend to need to be up with the pace, a strongly run front end can leave the others caught too far behind, so it pays to go with a pace pusher who can stay. LOUGH DERG LEADER could be very smart and he looked it last time, but he came from off the pace, that puts me off him today and this is his biggest test to date. COGRY came back to form last time, but it was a nothing race and the change in conditions helped him but not his rivals. I’m opting for SAINT JOHN HENRY; he’s a nice weight for a 3m contest and he made all here last time, and course and distance form helps here. He’s been raised 7lbs for that win and I think he has another big race in him. The ground will suit and he needs to win this well for me to have a competitive chance in the final at the festival, so I reckon they’ll go for it with him and hit them hard from the front. Let’s hope he stays if they do that!

The Betfred Classic chase is a beauty. 20 old timers going at time over £3m6f – awesome! SEGO SUCCESS flatters to deceive but the first time blinkers may help, but I doubt it. KNOCKANRAWLEY was developing into a smart stayer before the lay off and I doubt he can be competitive back from a monster break, but his a notebook horse for the next race or two. SHOTGUN PADDY has showed a few glimpses but again he just doesn’t deliver when push comes to shove. I’m opting for HOUBLON DES OBEAUX, he ran a cracker behind NATIVE RIVER in the Welsh National last time, he has got a lot of weight but has carried it before. Charlie Deutch’s 3lbs will help and despite being 6lbs higher than when running in this last year he’s in much better form. He’s won off this mark before, will love the ground and he catches the eye a full 19lb lower than when running behind THE YOUNG MASTER and then CONEYGREE in the Denman Chase. You need a bit of class to win this, he has class and will run a cracker.

Selections

HOUBLON DES OBEAUX 3:35 WARWICK £5 win 14-1 William Hill

SAINT JOHN HENRY 2:25 Warwick £5 e\w 12-1 William Hill

KRUZHLININ 3:15 Kempton £5 win 5-1 Bet365

Blog Stats

Placed £150

Returns £193.75

Cheltenham Festival Day One

Here we are ladies and gents……the greatest sporting spectacle known to man! God I love this week, the anticipation, the excitement, the performances. Sit back, enjoy, shout and scream!!
 
SUPREME NOVICES HURDLE
The race that gets us away is going to be a three way affair in my eyes, with the top three in the market being those. ALTIOR has had a cracking season and has won four on the bounce, including here. His run at Kempton was solid and the form has been franked a few times. MIN could be another Mullins hotpot and has demolished his rivals this season and is understandably the favourite. BUVEUR D'AIR has likewise run very well this year and been equally impressive. He also has solid bumper form behind BARTERS HILL twice. CHARBEL will go off likety-split and could stay on for a place but I am opting for Mullins/Walsh in what has become a benefit race for them in recent years.
SELECTION : MIN EACH WAY : CHARBEL

ARKLE
Short and sweet. Nothing can or will get close to DOUVAN, hence the number of defectees from the line up. It should be simple!
SELECTION : DOUVAN

ULTIMA HANDICAP CHASE
My heart is telling me HOLYWELL. Everyone who reads my blog knows what
I think of this fella and what a treat he gave me when I napped him for the Pertemps three long years ago! Despite his poor form this year, class is class, and so is course form here. I'm just worried a out his last run at Doncaster. Was his trainer playing the game to get his mark reduced or has he really fell out of love with the game? I hope it's the former! His mark has been reduced by a further 6lbs to a mark of OR153. His lowest mark since he won this race off a mark of OR147. KRUZHLININ is lightly raced and has decent form in the book beating LE REVE last time and the form stacks up a little and he is on an eye carching mark for this race. SOUTHFIELD THEATRE hasn't been himself this year but he has possibly been hitting above his weight. He's back to a winning mark and could be very well handicapped on his second to DON POLI last year.
SELECTION : HOLYWELL EACH WAY : KRUZHLININ

CHAMPION HURDLE
Can ANNIE POWER dominate against the boys and she gets a 6lb allowance too! She has a hell of a chance, but personally I think it will all happen too fast for her! With a run I would be very interested in MY TENT OR YOURS but surely he's been absent too long! I love LIL ROCKERFELLER but I feel his owners have listened to their heart rather than their heads – he would have had more of a chance in a 'lesser' race! TOP NOTCH has a cracking chance based on his second to IDENTITY THIEF in the Fighting Fifth. However, I'm opting for an old head in this. THE NEW ONE has been the down the places in the last couple of festivals but I think this is his year, and his trainer is very upbeat too!
SELECTION : THE NEW ONE EACH WAY : LIL ROCKERFELLER

MARES HURDLE
With no Annie Power this is more competitive. For me though there is only one selection, POLLY PEACHUM. I have followed this mare since day two when she ran at Warwick. She has ran some amazing races since, including when just pipped in this last year. She is now 6lbs lower in the ratings and has been very steady since last year's defeat. This will be her last ever outing and I hope she goes out with a bang! I think FLUTE BOWL has a hell of an each way chance based on her last run and we shouldn't forget BITOFAPUZZLE despite two poor efforts.
SELECTION : POLLY PEACHUM EACH WAY : FLUTE BOWL

NATIONAL HUNT CHASE
PONT ALEXANDRE has been a bit of a forgotten horse. He was 6/4 favourite for the Neptune in 2013. Injury forced a long absence yet to be fair he has had two solid efforts since his return and he could trounce this lot at a great price – he's 10-1 in places when I write this. Of the others I think SOUTHFIELD ROYALE has all the credentials to take this and DEFINITLY RED has caught my eye all year.
SELECTION : PONT ALEXANDRE EACH WAY : DEFINITLY RED

NOVICES HANDICAP CHASE
KATGARY has been a horse I've always thought a lot of and am convinced he needs good ground to get the best out of him. He hasnt run for a while and that has been to wait for the better ground. This is one of my best bets of the week and I hope I've found a big festival winner again!! The ground should have dried out even more by the time he races too!! Lump on!!
SELECTION : KATGARY EACH WAY : TWELVE ROSES