Betfair Chase

After a crackingweek at Cheltenham last week the National Hunt bandwagon rolls on with the showpiece chase of the day : The Betfair Chase. I always remember how awesome Kauto Star was in this when he won it for the final time, he murdered them in a performance that will always stay with me, he was magnificent that day! Only one winner for the blog last week in COPPER KAY, but she looks like one to follow this year. A few nice handicaps today to watch aswell as the big event. Good luck if you're having a flutter!
 
MIJHAAR 1425 HAYDOCK (nap)

I've kept saying that this fella has a race like this in him. He's still on a very attractive mark for me and ran ok last time at Cheltenham. He travels really well but they seem to just get away from him. I think this softer ground and the track will suit him and stop that happening. These fixed brush hurdles will test their jumping but my guy is due to go chasing soon and should be able to cope. He is a huge price but is a smart horse and I think today is the day. I also like the chances of DEFINITLY RED, who has decent track form and looked a smart type last year, he made need the run.
 
ROCK ON RUBY 1440 ASCOT (nb)

Didnt do bad in his reappearance and this drop back down in trip won't cause any issues. He has to give 8lbs to Brother Tedd but he is used to doing this and the stiff turn for home will suit my guy better. It's a shame the ground is soft for the returning to form COURT MINSTREL, but I don't think he will go in ground this tacky.
 
HOLYWELL 1500 HAYDOCK (treble)

This is my heart speaking over my head, however he needed the run big time in the Charlie Hall and he is too big a price for me to ignore. He was second in this race the other year and we all know how much he stays in at times in these marathon trips. He doesnt like it too soft but his heart and battling qualities will give him a sniff over the final couple of fences. If his jumping is fluid he will be there at the end.
 
FAGO 1515 ASCOT

This horse looked decent as a novice a few years agobut his jumping let him down. He has got better with that and I'm interested to see how he runs dropped back in trip on this stiffer track. He will appreciate the ground and could do this very easily, or balls it up and fall.
 
My Dad's selections are :
 
BEAU LAKE 1210 HAYDOCK
GUNNER FIFTEEN 1315 HAYDOCK
TEA FOR TWO 1425 HAYDOCK
ROYAL PALLADIUM 1535 HAYDOCK
 
PLACINGS
FATHER 1-1 SON
PROFIT/LOSS
Father – £9.39
Son -£4.07
 
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Aintree Day Two

What a great first day of the festival that was. Thrills and spills a plenty! I was staggered to read on twitter that people were questioning Ruby Walsh's ability and also that there may be some wrong doings going on due to Annie Power and Arctic Fire falling at the last. I was flabbergasted to be honest, how can anyone who follows racing think that anyone would make a horse fall on purpose and risk the lives of the jockeys and horses, please! Give us a break and stop talking through your pocket! It's the name of the game and sometimes horses fall! It put a sour taste in my mouth after a great first day! That's enough of that now, it's off my chest and done…we move on. It was a decent day on the blog with CLARCAM (5-1) winning, photo above courtesy of Fran (@Riosrider2) and then some good runs for HOLYWELL, PACHA DU POLDER and ROCK ON RUBY. I called the lifeguards out to come and get me when I fell off the cliff with KATGARY in the last!!
 
On to today, ladies day and god knows what sights we'll see!! Some cracking racing again though and I'm down to three for the big one tomorrow – MON PARRAIN, ROCKY CREEK and FIRST LIEUTENANT. Whatever you're on today good luck!
 
Alder Hey Children's Charity Hurdle 1340
Another cracking handicap to try and solve on day two. THEINVAL won very well last time and despit a 10lb rise I'm sure he will be there again. I have put a few shillings on DELL' ARCA this year but he just hasn't just got going properly, if he does he has a chance. PEARL SWAN has been well supported and Nicholls continues to persevere with him. I'm opting for MIJHAAR (treble) (Unplaced) though, he ran well here over course and distance and got caught a little wide at Cheltenham. This flatter track and better ground will brimg out his falt racing attributes and he has been dropped another 2lbs to a mark of OR137. He has to run well today!
 
E-Lites Top Novices Hurdle 1415
Now this is a cracking contest. You can make a strong arguement for a lot of these. CARDINAL WATER has looked very good so far and was only geaten by QEWY but he was giving him 6lbs that day, level weights today so I can see those two switching order and despite QEWY bringing possibly the best form to the race I don't think either will win. GLINGERBURN has done nothing but improve this year, he beat BRISTOL DE MAI easily last time and he ran well yesterday. He's fresh and could run a big race. I'm opting for VAGO COLLONGES (nap)(2nd – 7-1) though, this looked his optimum trip last time and he has run consistently well all year. He will be suited by a strongly run race to come from off the pace and he will surely get that today. The better ground will also be in his favour to. I expect a big run and to come and swoop late after the last.
 
Mildmay Novices Chase 1450
This is not the best renewal in my eyes. Firstly SAPHIR DU RHEU is a smart staying hurdler and if he jumps, which there are doubts about, he will win. He is very short though. Jumping needs to be a premium in this and at the pace it will be run. I'm opting for CAROLE'S DESTRIER (unplaced) to win. He has some pretty solid form coming into this and was raised 10lbs for a good win in Listed company at Ascot. He since went out and won without breaking sweat and is a progressive sort who should be thereabouts.
 
MELLING CHASE 1525
Now this is more like it! What a fantastic race this is on paper! SIRE DE GRUGY (Fell) hasn't shown his best yet this year but there were signs of him coming back at Cheltenham. I really think this extended trip for him willnow be his distance and he may not be able to go with the young guns over two miles. He has bags of class and I think he'll show that today and take this. AL FEROF is a real danger and goes so well fresh, he was very impressive last time and he has the ability to kick on. If BALDER SUCCES turns up he also has a sniff. Sit back and enjoy the best race of the day!
 
Topham Chase 1605
The warm up for the big one! It's always run at a hectic pace and as we saw yesterday some of them go too quick and fall at the first, plus you need that bit of luck. HUNT BALL will love this and he has slipped to a pretty decent mark and should run well. BENNY'S MIST really impressed me with his jumping last time when just getting collared by SOUND INVESTMENT and a repeat of that gives him a chance. I'm selecting RUBEN COTTER (unplaced) though, he was very good last time after a mamoth lay off and cruised to the front. He has been raised 10lbs for that but he had heaps in hand that day and Nicholls has trained him for this and is very bullish about his chances. I expect another big run, he could make a mockery out of this.
 
Doom Bar Sefton Novices Hurdle 1640
THOMAS BROWN (nb) (unplaced) really disappointed me at Cheltenham. He has sime superb form in the book. He beat VAGO COLLONGES at Exeter in November and then followed that up by a close second to OUT SAM and he had TEA FOR TWO behind that day who destroyed the field in the Lanzarote. Before his festival disappointment he beat ROBINSFIRTH at Cheltenham and had AS DE MEE miles behind him. This trip is still an unknown but he's git bags of ability I think and something could have been amiss last time. I'm willing to give him another go based on this smart form. This flatter track may well suit too. MINELLA ROCCO has been ultra impressive so far and he could be anything, I'm happy to watch him in this contest today at his price, but he's one for the future. BLAKLION has a chance if he returns to earlier form he has shown.
 
Weatherby's NH Flat Race 1715
I don't really follow these races much. I'm opting for Mullins' best placed horse from the festival BELLSHILL (2nd – 7-1) to run a little closer today.
 

Cheltenham Day Two

What a cracking first day treat that was for all of us! Fair play to DOUVAN who I thought wouldn't win and I didnt think ANNIE POWER would win either and she would have but for THAT fall – thank god she was alright! On the selection front my nap nearly did it in the Mares race as POLLY PEACHUM was just pipped at 9-1. Other than that FAUGHEEN (4-5) won and PERFECT GENTLEMAN came fourth. All in all not that great but the entertainment and races more than made up for some of my disappointments. We move on to day two! The twitter gamble boys have their selections below :
 
@Tonythetyke – Toutancarmont 1600
@DazGilbert1 – All Yours 1640
@Fernando_RFC2 – DON POLI 1405
@LiamKenniford – LAC FONTANA 1440
 
My selections are :
 
NEPTUNE INVESTMENT HURDLE 1330

NICHOLS CANYON (3rd – 7-2 = £2.18) was a very smart horse for John Gosden with a highest rating of OR111. He was second in a Group 3 at Newbury and has looked very smart over these obstacles so far. Last time out he defeated WINDSOR PARK by 3 and a half lengths at Leopardstown. This is another step up and despite his old foe returning one pound better off, I can't see the placings being reversed. PARLOUR GAMES is the best of the rest and has not done much wrong so far and he will appreciate any further drying of the ground.
My Dad's selection –
 
RSA CHASE 1405

What a cracking race this is! As always you need a top class staying type to get anywhere near winning this. DON POLI has been very impressive so far and he is a worthy favourite with a Grade 1 success already in the bag. However, SOUTHFIELD THEATRE (2nd – 13-2 = £4.06) has what I consider to have more scope for improvement. He has gone from strength to strength this year over these bigger obstacles. I like the way he has beennurtured into his races with a gradual increase in challenge and I think he has huge potential! He also has top class hurdling form in the book, getting beaten narrowly by FINGAL BAY in last year's Pertempts. He has beat POLLY PEACHUM by a short head after that. I'm hopeful of a big run. THE YOUNG MASTER has been very good too and the Mullholland/Geraghty partnership can't be underestimated, he has a great chance too.
My Dad's selection –
 
CORAL CUP 1440

LAC FONTANA beat ARCTIC FIRE last year here at the festival and has always been a decent horse. He has been playing with the big boys like FAUGHEEN and ROCK ON RUBY recently and this is easier. Sean Bowen takes a valuable 5lbs off and he has to have a decent each way chance. HISABAAT ran a cracker in defeat three years ago in the Triumph and he is a full 7lbs lower in the ratings than that day, with better ground he is also worthy of an each way punt! My main play though is MIJHAAR (nap) (unplaced = -£5.00) who was a smart flat horse and I have always fancied him winning a big handicap like this. He doesnt come without risk, he's a pain to ride and sometimes does too much but I think the better ground and the track will suit him. Even more suitable for me is his weight, he's only got 10st 7lbs on his back and he has been shouldering the likes of 11st 11lbs and 11st 12lbs in some Listed races. He ran in the Greatwood hurdle off a similar weight to this but on much softer ground. The shrewd Dickie Johnson is steering and I think I've found a big priced winner here!
My Dad's selection –
 
QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE 1520

Another awesome race! We have two former champs returning with question marks against them; a young pretender to the throne; a classy ex-festival winner and a transformed rogue! Can you pick? I've opted for the best horse I've seen in a long time who I think will be back to his old self. SPRINTER SACRE (treble) (unplaced = -£5.00) is and always will be a legend, tomorrow he becomes immortalised! I thought his comeback run was good and he was sensibly ridden. At his best none of these would get close and I think they will be close-by tomorrow but I think he has that little bit of extra class to see him home.
My Dad's selection –
 
CROSS COUNTRY RACE 1600
This is something I'm never that fussed about but reckon DUKE OF LUCCA (unplaced = -£5.00) will get the better of his rivals in this.
My Dad's selection –
 
FRED WINTER JUVENILE HURDLE 1640

ARABIAN REVOLUTION (nb) (unplaced = -£5.00) is the horse for me in this race! He looked smart when beating RATHEALY on his debut, who has since franked the form. The next piece of form is key, he was 2 and a half lengths behind BELTOR at Ludlow on soft, and we saw what he did last time! His last outing was a good defeat of MATORICO, a decent French import, who he beat quite comfortably. A mark of OR 137 is fair and he could be a very smart horse for the future. His breeding suggests the drying of the ground will help a little more too.
My Dad's selection –
 
WEATHERBY'S CHAMPION BUMPER 1715

Another race that I dont get too involved in, although I did select the winner last year! This year I'm opting for GENERAL PRINCIPLE (unplaced = -£5.00) who trounced his rivals on his first run and he could be anything!
My Dad's selection –
 
Good luck everyone!
 

Aintree Day Two

myWPEdit Image

Well the first day wasn’t too bad for the blog with the nap SILVINIACO CONTI winning at 9-4 and places for ROCK ON RUBY (10-1) and OSCAR WHISKY (7-4). How good was it to see Rock on Ruby run so close, he really is better over hurdles and for me should stay in that sphere.

On to Day Two and Ladies Day, god only knows what sights will be on show tomorrow!!!!

TOP NOVICES HURDLE 1400

This is a cracking little race and the good ground will certainly suit a few of them. Nicky Henderson has an awesome record in this race in recent years and JOSSES HILL ran very well and caught the eye at the festival and I also have liked the attitude of AMORE ALATO this year an due should be thereabouts. However, I’m opting for MIJHAAR (NB) (unplaced) who was a decent horse on the flat off a rating of 105 and he produced some good displays on good ground. He won smoothly on his debut at Doncaster and this track should suit his flat speed. Decent price too!

MILMAY NOVICES CHASE 1430

HOLYWELL (WON -7-2) ran another cracker at the festival and proved that he could be a stayer of real class. The blinkers are kept on and despite a hefty 12lb rise he can run another cracker here. I’ve always thought he was a smart horse and to compete at this level he needs a mark like this. My only niggle is will McCoy’s style suit him? I think Richie McLernon rides him beautifully and maybe they should have stuck to that.

MELLING CHASE 1505

This really is a highlight for me on this card, it always produces a damn good race and there are several that have great chances. It should be a real feast! RAJDHANI EXPRESS has a great chance based on his progressive profile and his run at the festival, I don’t think he’s this level though. BALLYNAGOUR was very good at Cheltenham but 15lbs is a hell of a rise in the ratings. However, I’m opting for ROLLING ACES (NAP) (2nd – 16-1) who is also a progressive horse and who put in some very good displays last year. He is now back on a mark that saw him run a close second to OPENING BATSMAN on good ground and then followed that up with a win on soft in Ireland. I think he is suited to better ground and the pace will of the race will suit him too.

TOPHAM CHASE 1540

There are about seven I could pick here and after seven runnings there would be seven different winners! A cracking race. I have two selections in this but am also intrigued to see how little MA FILLEULE runs up against these fences. She ran a stormer behind HOLYWELL last time and should be thereabouts. Firstly I raved on bait about DOESLESSTHANME (FELL) earlier in the year and he obliged last time. He is back up to a mark of 144 that he has won off before, and interestingly is stepped back up in trip, the better ground will help him see it out and is will place at least. My second selection in this has to be CEDRE BLEU (unplaced) he is a realm monkey but has a touch of class! He won a decent race this tome last year and last time ran poorly due to ulcers. A alb drop from the handicapper further boosts his chances, another to be placed!

SEFTON NOVICES HURDLE 1615

RACING PULSE (TREBLE) (unplaced) was a horse I followed this year and he has some solid form in the book and 10-1 is a big price for his chances. He has run well behind SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT and AUBUSSON after a string of victories. Again I feel the better ground will suit him and I’m quietly confident he can reverse places with his victor due to the ground.

HANDICAP HURDLE 1650

CHELTENIAN (4th – 8-1) can show his true colours today. He ran well at the festival but was pulled up sharply towards the finish after being in a prominent position. He was far too keen that day and if switched off in this, with the previous form in his book including the bumper and the fine fourth to SPLASH OF GINGE he has a real chance.

NH FLAT RACE 1725

Not really a fan of these but will try my luck with THE GOVANESS (unplaced)

Good luck if you’re having a flutter!