Midlands National

So the buzz, delight, drama and anticipation has passed, the festival has gone for another year. We are of course faced with a festival with no champ again, but also faced with the delights of some of those awesome horses moving forward from hurdling to chasing and from novice company to graded races – bring it on. On the selection front I had a Wes Craven, not a single winner! I had such a bonkers day on Thursday too that I had no time for my blog on Friday. Was really chuffed at how my old favourite Holywell ran in the Gold Cup and what a fantastic story for all those connected with Coneygree, John Oaksey will have a right smile on his face looking down on us! The photo used on the blog comes from the pages of Fran @Riosrider2 with her permission – give her a follow for some awesome horse photos.
So on to a 'normal' Saturday blog, I'm hoping I can break this barren run today! Let's see! The twitter gamble boys have gone for :
@Tonythetyke – FRIENDLY ROYAL 1710 NEWBURY
@LiamKenniford – CATCHING ON 1550 UTTOXETER
Here are my selections for today –
was very good as a novice beating the like of IRISH BUCCANEER, CHAMPAGNE WEST and CAESAR MILAN. He then ran behind both VERY WOOD and VIRAK before beating FAR WEST to get his chasing career off to a start. He has some very smart form in the book! After these runs he was rated at OR145. Today he returns on a mark of OR139. He ran well in snatches last time behind ANSI FILEDES at Ascot giving it 4lbs in weight. That one has since franked the form again. Think he has a cracking chance today so long as that jumping holds up!
WOODFORD COUNTY 1550 UTTOXETER (NB) (3rd 11-1 = £6.87)
other than a couple of jumping errors which probably cost him a place or two he ran pretty well in the Eider when I put him up on here. He's off the same mark today and has the same jockey claiming another 7lbs – effectively therefore he is carrying the same racing weight as the Eider. Crucially I think the ground will be much moremin his favour today and that should help him stay on a bit more at the end and hopefully give him a little more time to sort his jumping out. Big chance today!
GRANDEUR 1505 LINGFIELD (TREBLE) (3rd – 9-2 = £2.81)
ran well late on but had too much to do coming around the bend last time behind GRENDISAR in the trial. Ryan Moore will have taken that on board and should have him placed better today, although he has a high draw to overcome. I'm pretty sure Ryan will have him closer today and will want this race in his pot for the year. Both my guy and GRENDISAR return on the equal measures today but I think my guy has it today and will reverse the placings!
KATGARY 1420 KEMPTON (unplaced = -£5.00)
this is where I need my head checking! I have to go with this guy as I think he has so much to offer but frustratingly just doesnt bloody show it on the track. I'm hoping he will appreciate the better ground today and that will sort him out! Fingers crossed on this one – but if he does shown his potential he will murder these!
My Dad's selections are :
STRAIDNAHANNA 1440 UTTOXETER (unplaced = -£5.00)
CAPTAIN CAT 1505 LINGFIELD (unplaced = -£5.00)
Father 8-8 Son
Father -£62.64
Son £158.28

Wet Weather Saturday

Well this is certainly going to be a slog today! At least we've got some good racing to engage us though. The picture above is the horse our teamchoochoo syndicate has bought into! Cant wait to see him running later in the year! Will keep you all posted on this and when he's running! My dad is starting to panic after seeing me win four weeks on the bounce, although to be fair the last two weeks neither of us have shone! Lets hope we fair better today! If you're having a flutter today good luck. The festival is on the horizon folks!!
GREY GOLD 1350 SANDOWN (nap) – (WON – 4-1 = £12.50) placed the last twice and has two wins on heavy in the form book. His form is solid this year running behind LANCETTO at Ascot and also behind CLOUDY TOO earlier on at Carlisle. Delve further into his form and he defeated JOHNS SPIRIT over hurdles a few years ago too. He will relish the mud today and is a massive 8lbs in weight better off with DESERT CRY than his defeat by him last time, that will make it considerably closer today.
GRENDISAR 1530 LINGFIELD (nb) – (WON 9-4 = £7.03) ran eyecatchingly well in early January behind CASTILLE DEL DIABLO but then found 2 miles too far. A return to this trip will help and he has Adam Kirby in the saddle today whose record on him reads 1-2-1-2-1

ALFIE SPINNER 1440 FFOS LAS (treble) – (unplaced = -£5.00) ran very well last time out only finding the very impressive MENDIP EXPRESS too good for him. That was a real return to form. The ground today will be fine and he is given another chance off the same mark!
ROALCO DES FARGES 1535 SANDOWN – (PU = -£5.00) off for nearly two years but was pretty decent before that. Started a revival at Newbury and had three solid runs before his lay off behind TEAFORTHREE, MASTER OVERSEER and was a distant second to TIDAL BAY here in similar conditions in the BET365 Gold Cup. Has been dropped three pounds in the ratings for that and I think he is a cracking bet despite his lay off.
My dad has heard a positive whisper for BIG SHU tomorrow at PUNCHESTOWN – he'll probably be favourite but the vibes are he will win! As with all whispers take it as you will – its your risk!
My dad's selections are :
REBEL REBELLION 1350 SANDOWN (3rd – 8-1 = £5.00)
WHISPER 1405 FFOS LAS (2nd – 6-4 = £0.94)
THEATRICAL STAR 1535 SANDOWN (3rd – 10-1 = £6.25)
EMPEROR'S CHOICE 1440 FFOS LAS (WON – 9-2 = £14.06)

May the best man win!
Father + £26.25
Son + £9.53
Current standings are :
Father 4-4 Son
Profit –
SON = £78.82
FATHER = £73.51

Stormy Saturday

Well what a week of weather that has been. A real shame that the Sandown and Wincanton cards have been claimed today. My focus for the blog is on a competitive and interesting Lingfield card that has some cracking races.
My old man has recovered from his New Year hangover to cast his four selections as he bids to maintain his 100% record and go 4-0 up on me! Don't know about anyone else but I could do with these selections landing, the Christmas celebrations have dwindled the Bandit's treasure chest!
So on to my four selections for today :
INDIAN JACK 1545 LINGFIELD (NAP) – (WON 5-1 = £15.63) It looks likely that he bounced last time after an encouraging run here in a class 3 handicap the time before. He stays on the same mark and the step back up to mile should help him here to come late from the bend. He has done all his winning over a mile and is a pound lower in the ratings than his last success. Has to have a good chance.
URAMAZIN 1435 LINGFIELD (NB) – (unplaced = -£5.00) was targetted as a hurdler ealrier in the year but has produced a couple of decent runs on the flat here over shorter. The step up to 12 furlongs should hopefully see further improvements and he should be in the shake up
WHAILEYY 1510 LINGFIELD (TREBLE) – (unplaced = -£5.00) was a head second in this last year off the same mark. He has saved his best for all weather and the booking of Buick is an eye catcher for me. He has the potential to take this and is rated a lot higher than his rivals and I think he will take this.
CHEVISE 1400 LINGFIELD – (WON 20-1 = £52.50) he is back down to his last winning mark today which was here but over 7f. Has the potential to run a good race and goes well here, he's overdue a win and I'm chancing today is the day.
My old man's selections are :
Circus Star 215 Newcastle (2nd – 4-1 = £2.50)
Modernstone 235 Lingfield (2nd – 4-1 = £2.50)
Perfect Pastures 310 Lingfield (WON – 11-4 = £8.59)
Dingo Bay 250 Newcastle (WON 9-4 = £7.91)
Today's result
FATHER = £21.50
SON = £58.13
Running totals
Father = £93.04 profit
Son = £77.56 profit

Tuesday selections

PRINCESS OF ORANGE 1540 YARMOUTH (nap) – (unplaced) as much as it pains me to nap a horse with Frank Spencer on board I really think this one has a real chance. She absolutely flew in over a mile at Newmarket on good to firm and then contested two class one races which were above her. Back in a class 3, despite a 9lb rise she has a sniff.
MIAS BOY 1500 LINGFIELD (nb) – (WON – 8-1) this one now comes with a CLIFF HORSE warning. 21 straight defeats leaves me flumuxed. However, the jockey rode him poorly last time and got him going too late. The same jock is back on today and ai'm hoping now he gets it that he'll ride him off a fast pace and go at the right time!
THE GREY ONE 1715 WORCESTER (treble) – (PU) the ground is key here. He's not been seen for ages and it's not surprising he hasn't been out with the ground. Won well on good last year beating Maizy Missile, and is now a pound higher than when second back in September. Has a pretty decent record around here and is worth a go.

Naps 38/170 = 22.4%
Wins 156/840 = 18.6%
Placed 224/840 = 26.7%

Win and Placed = 45.2%

@Tweet_Naps overall record. Click the link. All Time Profit/Loss currently +£59.33

Wednesday selections

Well abit disappointing today to say the least with only QUARL EGO (9-2) managing a place. On to tomorrow and I've found a couple who will appreciate better ground and one that really caught my eye last time out.
Call Back 1540 WETHERBY (nap) (unplaced) this one really has been waiting for better ground. He has 2 wins on good, and 1 good to soft, and was a promising novice. Wetherby is a firmer track than most and this could be the start of a productive Spring/Summer campaign. He is also 5lbs lower in ratings than when beating Ivan Vasilevich by 15 lengths last year.
Rollin n Tumblin 1600 LINGFIELD (nb) (2nd – 2-1) produced a really excellent effort behind Irene Kennett over a shorter trip last time out and he was eye catching the way he came with a strong run late on. A step back up to a distance that has brought success in the past should help too.
The Panama Kid 1610 WETHERBY (treble) (unplaced) this is another one who should appreciate the better ground. Blinkers are applied to try and revive abit of his old ability. He has dropped alot in ratings and this reduced trip on a stiff track may suit.

Naps 33/147 = 22.4%
Wins 138/744 = 18.4%
Placed 194/744 = 26%

Win and Placed = 44.6%

@Tweet_Naps overall record. Click the link. All Time Profit/Loss currently +£63.33

Sunday selections

As I prepare for a house full of three year olds coming to celebrate my daughter's birthday I thought I would think of a strategy to keep me sane. My top idea…..do a short blog. So here we are. I am currently doing battle with a few other top tipsters at the top of the @Tweet_naps monthly league, which you can see here. I'm hoping my nap today can take me to the top and that I can find a few more to be within a chance of winning.
To be honest too, I'm bloody sick of this weather – was hoping to do a good indepth blog on the Lincoln yesterday! Oh well, at least we know the flat is back!
Here are my top three today :
ANTON CHIGURH 16.30 CURRAGH (nap) – (STONE COLD LAST! 6-1) will love the ground and is a horse who is a stand out for a race like this. He ran well last year and his defeat of VITO VOLTERRA and MASTER OF THE ARTS prior to this on tough tracks like HAYDOCK amd CARLISLE may well give him the competitive edge over his market rivals.
FENNELL BAY 1540 LINGFIELD (nb) – (unplaced) is very well treated on his return. On a slightly higher mark than when triumphant at Royal Ascot last year. He disappointed after that and has since been gelded. That may have the desired effect and he could take this cosily.
MILARROW 1625 WINCANTON (treble) – (FELL) this one is ultra consistent and has been knocking on the door. I thought the return to better ground last time would bring out extra in him but MIDNIGHT SAIL was too good. Today could be his day.

Doncaster tips

There really is a cracking card at Doncaster on Wednesday and thought I'd do a blog and a selection for each race. There are a couple of decent horses going and there is a really good juvenile hurde too. Let's hope I can find us a few winners.
32 Red Novices Chase 1345
SO FINE – (3rd – 3-1) had a decent season last year including a class 4 hurdle success. He won his first chase start at Kempton in November and then was very poor and a different animal last time here at Donny. With a lay off behind him I am willing to give him another go to beat stablemate TALKONTHESTREET
32Red.com Juvenile Hurdle 1420
SWNYMOR – (3rd – 1-2) this is the best race of the day for me so I can see this one and SWNYMOR would have won the Grade 1 hurdle at Chepstow but for the last hurdle fall when he was asked for a big one. He looked impressive that day and is one to watch for the Festival.
32Red Casino Veteran's Handicap 1450
MARUFO – (nap) (2nd – 9-2) won dogedly last time at Aintree in a similar Veterans contest. He has ground he will appreciate and has had a nice rest and I just love his attitude.
SIG INSULATION National Hunt Novices Hurdle 1525
NEW YEARS EVE – (nb) (unplaced) has always been a smart horse and has the potential to be very good. Pipped last year in the Bumper and turned over last time by Ptit Zig at odds-on, however, his form behind River Maigue at Kempton is strong and on better ground I fancy him to take this. The best race of the day!

SIS Live Handicap Hurdle
ENTER PARADISE – (unplaced) has been runner up in all his hurdle starts and was beaten by WOODFORD COUNTY on soft ground. That one is entered in the Albert Bartlett at the festival and could be a good marker. With the ground a bit better I'm hoping he will win at last.
CGA Foxhnter Trial Hunters Chase
POSTMASTER – (unplaced) not got much of a clue with these races. This one has run at class 1 and 2 and done ok in those races so he will do for me here.
32RedPoker.com Standard Open NH Flat Race
SIR TOBY TYLER – (unplaced) you can't ignore a bumper runner from the Honeyball stable and this one cost a bit and has decent pedigree.
A couple of others too. I fancy DRAWNFROMTHEPAST 1400 Lingfield (4th – 9-4) to bounce back from a rare poor effort last time. I'm also interested in seeing how TITUS MILLS 1410 Ludlow (treble) (3rd – 12-1) takes to hurdles. He was a decent two year old on the flat but then he dropped off the scale and the change of codes could work for him.
If you're having a flutter please do so within your means and good luck!

Saturday Chances or Chancers?

The Cheltenham count down is well and truely on. Today gives us another chance to see a few potential contenders and we also have a Grand National Trial. Yesterday my nap EDMUND KEAN was very impressive and surely one to watch for the festival, the runner-up SEEDSMAN is also one to watch. I fancy a couple of David Pipe's today and I'm hoping the old boy above GILES CROSS can repeat last year's success.
Here are todays tips. I've done three Lucky 15's.
Lucky 15 Number 1
THE COCKNEY MACKEM 1515 ASCOT – (5th – 25-1) ran very well at the end of last season in some competitive chases. A superb second at the festival in the Byrne Plate behind Salut Flo shows this one has the ability. He has gone well fresh before and shouldn't be discounted back over hurdles. I've just got 25-1 on BetFred for this one which is a crazy price. Great each way chance!
CUE CARD 1550 ASCOT (nb) – (WON 15-8) this horse has bags of class and despite him stepping up in trip he still has enough ability at this distance to take this. He will never beat SPRINTER SACRE so connections' plan to change distance for me is sensible. Favourites have a cracking record in this race and the drop back in trip will suit and I think he will win comfortably.
MIAS BOY 1600 LINGFIELD – (4th – 7-1) I just can't leave this old favourite of mine and would back it to the death. He just got pipped last week at this course. He is back at a mile so will need a strong pace. I think that is what has resulted in places in the last two races is that he didn't get going soon enough. However, this is a step up in class. Must have a strong each way claim though.
SAOI 1635 LINGFIELD – (2nd – 3-1) bidding for a hat-trick and I was furious with myself for missing the first of those victories as I had backed it twice beforehand. He should appreciate the step up in trip and the form of his last two victories is strong and been franked by the runner up running to a place twice more.
Lucky 15 Number 2

VALCO DE TOUZAINE 1345 HAYDOCK – (3rd – 11-4) ran well in France and has two decent starts to his British career including a good second on his reappearance. He then ran creditably behind LORDOFTHEHOUSE next time out. Those runs should put him in with a smart chance today.
KENTFORD GREY LADY 1420 HAYDOCK (treble) – (4th – 2-1) she is a smart stayer and ran very well in third behind REVE DE SIVOLA in the Cleeve Hurdle last time. On that form she should take this today.
GILES CROSS 1455 HAYDOCK – (PU) he ran a cracker in the Welsh National and just emptied totally in the final few furlongs. At that point the stable had just come from being closed down so it was a damn good show. He won is last year ahead of NEPTUNE COLLONGES and we know what he went on to do. He loves the ground and the track and now that the stable are back with the winners again, he has a great chance to reclaim his crown. I have ran out of words for describing DENIS O'REGAN as a superb jockey and he will get the best out of him again.
SIXTY SOMETHING 1640 HAYDOCK (nap) – (unplaced) is a progressive horse as he showed when winning at Aintree and Bangor this season. He ran a bit under par last time at Doncaster behind STORM SURVIVOR but he still ran on well late in that race. O'REGAN's relaxed style will suit him and he should be crept into the race, fancy him big time to bounce back today.
Lucky 15 Number 3

AMIGO 1430 WINCANTON – (3rd – 13-8) won over 3 miles last time at Chpestow in a dogged style and he has been raised 3lbs for that success. With heavy ground again on the cards he should be thereabouts at the finish up the long Wincanton finish.
DIAMONDS RETURN 1615 WINCANTON – (PU) won three on the bounce at the end of last season including over course and distance and ran well last time out. Returns today and could continue that progressive trend, hopeful of a big run.
REAL MILAN 1405 ASCOT – (PU) whilst ROCKY CREEK is a worthy favourite after his impressive win at Warwick last time my selection has done nothing wrong so far in two novice chases and will revel in the mud. This is a big step up but he looks a smart one.
ASHKAZAR 1440 ASCOT – (LAST!!!!!) this old dog infuriates me! He can be absolutely class and was that at Cheltenham last season. He has so much ability but it depends how he feels. He'll either run well and give them something to think about or he won't be bothered and will be pulled up. I'm hoping for the first one at a pretty decent price.
So, quite a few selections today and I'm more than hopeful of my top three. I just have to say that THE COCKNEY MACKEM has such a good chance in my opinion today and I have put a little extra on him each way!
If you are having a bet, please do so within your means. If you like what you have read please give the blog a retweet or a follow. I do really appreciate people reading the blog as it takes a while to do.
Best of luck everyone and enjoy the racing!

Super Saturday

The Cheltenham festival is getting ever closer and things are hotting up on the NH front. What a cracking day's racing we have in store today, with potential Gold Cup horses having their final runs before the big race. A hot handicap hurdle at Newbury to whet the appetite too. Then there's a decent card at Warwick with some Cheltenham fancies there. All in all I'm really looking forward to today. Hopefully I can put up a few winners for people too. I had a nice one in mid-week with O CROTAIGH winning on his favourite track, what a price he was too.
Anyway, on to today's selections :
VAGO COLLONGES 1640 NEWBURY (nap) – (2nd – 3-1) won two from two in France and the form of the last race is pretty damn good. One of Nicholls' other new recruits was fourth in that race (PTIT ZIG) and he won well on Wednesday at Ludlow defeating the highly thought of New Year's Eve. My selection also defeated one of the top hyped horses in France at the moment. This one could be special!
MIAS BOY 1615 LINGFIELD (nb) – (2nd – 5-1) one of my old favourites and these days needs everything to drop right. Has improved form in recent runs and is still on a good mark. Was trying to get there last time but left it a little late, hopefully he'll pick his way through in the final furlong today.
COTTON MILL (treble) – (2nd – 9-1) I have been waiting for this one to run all season. I was thoroughly impressed with him last year and he was moving just as well as SIMONSIG at the Festival before crashing through the barrier and running out. In a race like this you must be ahead of the handcapper and I think judged on his potential he has a pretty damn good mark. The only doubt for me is the ground, but I don't think it is as soft as everyone thought and he has won on good to soft in the past. Huge each way chance! I'm also going to have an each way dabble on BABY MIX, another one of mine that I follow to the ends of the Earth and he has been terrible this year so far. There must have been something amiss and a break may have helped to rejuvenate him and 33-1 is huge!
MENORAH 1425 NEWBURY – (3rd – 7-1) I think the step up to three miles will really suit him and allow him to get into a rhythm that he needs. He was impressive last time I thought in the Peterborough and whilst SILVINIACO CONTI is a good horse he is giving weight away and has had a couple of tough races, him being odds on is crazy in my opinion. My selection is a smart horse and he MAY just turn into a potential high class stayer.
KNOCK A HAND 1350 NEWBURY – (unplaced) he won this last year and has conditions to suit again. He is potentially dangerous back over hurdles only 5lbs higher than when taking this last year. The concern is his poor form over fences!
SHOOTERS WOOD 1500 NEWBURY – (unplaced) he impressed me last time at Cheltenham and whilst this is a further step up, he seems to be progressive and talented. I loved his attitude and he will need to dig in today to take this, the ground is fine and I'm hopeful of another big performance. EDGARDO SOL is the danger for me, not a lot between them!
I'm also going to spend a penny or two on TEMPLE ROAD 1510 LINGFIELD – (WON 7-2) denied a hattrick last time in better company, todays drop in class should suit again and he should be thereabouts.
Now that one of my favourite little tracks WARWICK has got the go ahead I'm doing a little Lucky 15 there.
DORMOUSE 1255 – (unplaced) has won a few times here and will like the softer ground. Drops back to her preferred level and could run a big race at a big price.
KAFFIE 1330 – (4th – 7-1) another that returns to an optimum trip and has form on heavy ground. Got pipped by KELLES BELLE last year and is 5lbs better off today. Real good chance.
DOESLESSTHANME 1405 – (4th – 7-1) won three on the bounce last year over shorter than this and has been running against hot opposition this year so far. This could be his return to winning ways.
FAULTLESS FEELINGS 1515 – (unplaced) ran very well on his return at Newbury behind AFRICAN GOLD who won well again on Thursday. He stayed on towards the end of his last race on Boxing Day but was too far adrift to catch the front two. Big chance today!
If you are having a bet, please remember these are my selections and my opinions! Everyone has different viewpoints and thats why we love this game so much! Please bet within your means if you're having a flutter.
Best of luck!

Tuesday at Ffos Las

Not a bad day for the blog on Monday with a winner courtesy of CHELLA THRILLER (9-2), then a decent place from TILSTAR (4-1). My selections for Tuesday take us to Ffos Las and a decent one (I think!) at Lingfield.
REGAL APPROACH 1445 FFOS LAS (nap) – (unplaced) showed signs of his old form when returning from a lay off when third at Newbury. The second in that race FAULTLESS FEELINGS ran LOOSE CHIPS close before that one's run in the Lanzarote. On his bare form as a chaser is pretty well in and I hope that will show through!
FULL OF JOY 1340 FFOS LAS (nb) – (unplaced) fell on his return but should be thereabouts again if the confidence hasn't been knocked. Is relatively unexposed and the ground should suit.
THEATRE EVENING 1310 FFOS LAS (treble) – (PU) the McCoy factor for this one. He has had a few rides for Rebecca Curtis here at Ffos Las recently, and while is stable jockey to JP, technically he's not for Jonjo, so his choice here could be a tip. I may of course be completely wrong!
Finally I liked the way that KING ARTHUR 1330 LINGFIELD (2nd 12-1) ran on his debut behind Nicholls/Walsh's IRISH SAINT. He was moving pretty well up until the point where he tipped up, ad that was two classes hgher than this!