The Bandit writes the blog from a very soggy, miserable Sheffield this morning and the ground at nearby Doncaster is going to be very testing. Not the greatest Saturday on the betting front I’ve seen and I know a few of my fellow twitterati are looking to opt pout today. However, jumps is my baby so I’ve had to have a look and hopefully I’ve found a few to whet the appetite ready for the first being meeting at Cheltenham next weekend. I always bet with my heart and have to follow the horses who I know have the class in the bag there are a few of those today, so please as always remember these are my thoughts and my horses that are close to me, so I’m not saying slap all your wages on them! I hope they run a good race and that we get a good cheer, potentially there are four decent winners here!
Sit back and enjoy the best you can on this dreary day!
OPENING BATSMAN 1440 WINCANTON (NAP) – (unplaced = -£5.00) this boy is a cliff horse for me and one I always keep an eye on and follow. To say he had a disaster last season is an understatement, yet here he is at a decent 12-1 in a competitive race, why not be a big outsider based on last year? Easy, he’s a class horse and his mark today is very eye-catching. The handicapper has given him a real chance today. He beat ROLLING ACES in the Racing Plus Chase the other year of a mark of 140 – so now you see! I just hope the rest over the summer and the cheekpieces have rekindled the old fire in his belly. Fehily will stoke him up if so!
JACK DEXTER 1425 DONCASTER (NB) – (unplaced = -£5.00) he won this race last year off a big penalty and comes here in form off the back of a veery good second on horrible ground to GORDON LORD BYRON at Ascot. He is also albs better off today with the second placed horse that day TROPICS. He also loves it here and will love the mud, and boy oh boy has it been raining here this morning! Has to have a super chance!
ROCK ON RUBY 1515 WINCANTON (TREBLE) – (3rd – 4-1 = £2.50) the star is back! A class horse in this sphere and proved that when getting beaten a head by THE NEW ONE at Aintree after a dismal showing when chasing earlier in the year. That form, plus his earlier hurdle form, is by far and away the best of offer here. He has to give lumps of weight away to IRVING but that one needs to prove he has it at this level, and I’m not sure he has it, especially based on his Cheltenham run.
POLLY PEACHUM 1405 WINCANTON – (WON 6-1 = £18.75) this one comes with a warning. She’s one I love and there are a few question marks against her today. That being the ground, she needs decent ground as you saw when she beat L’UNIQUE last year and was just pipped by SOUTHFIELD THEATRE, smart form you’ll agree! The weight she has to give away is the second question against her. However, she is a class mare and I have thought highly of her since I saw her demolish her rivals in a bumper at Warwick. Can she lug the weight? Yes, she’s going to be even better than her current mark suggests in my opinion, the ground is my sticking point today. She’s one for your notebooks though.
My Dad’s selections are :
HAWKEYETHENOO 1350 DONCASTER (NR)
TROPICS 1425 DONCASTER (unplaced = -£5.00)
STANDING OVATION 1450 WINCANTON (PU = -£5.00)
MELVIN THE GRATE 1605 DONCASTER (unplaced = -£5.00)
Standings after Week 2
Father 1-1 Son
The curtain comes down on another fantastic jumps season. My favourite part of the season has to be HOLYWELL winning again at the Cheltenham festival. Love that horse! Probably every man and his dog are having a go at the Scoop6 today with the forecast jackpot, to pick 6 winners in itself is a miracle, never mind with 90 odd runners covering the races, more chance of winning there lottery, but someone has to, I hope its me, my family or one of you twitter friends! Good luck!
I went to Ripon racecourse in the Easter break for the first time, its a beautiful little course and the photo above is of ROUDEE winning the first at that meeting. I’m opting for a few selections again there this afternoon. The weather is key today and there has been a lot of rain, as I type the blog, Ripon reports as being on the slow side of good, Sandown – good to soft, good in places and Haydock good to firm! A right mixed bag! Looking forward to two weeks today as I will be in Warwick for my annual jaunt there!
Here are my selections for today, with my dad’s too, I’m currently whooping his ass! Whatever you select today good luck!
PEARL ICE 1450 RIPON (NAP) – (unplaced -£5.00) Looked a decent horse a few years ago and has disappointed a little bit to be fair. However he is a course and distance winner here on good to soft beating BECKERMET off 90. He also won at Doncaster over this distance on good to soft also off 90. Has raced off a high mark of 98 and has now dropped to an appealing mark of 92. He is well drawn and the visor may sharpen him up. I think he has a cracking chance here! I watched BARKSTON ASH win here the other week and he did it well and he is a danger despite his low draw.
POLLY PEACHUM 1625 SANDOWN (NB) – (2nd – 100/30 = £2.08)this mare ran a cracker again last week at Cheltenham and she has won me a good bit of money from here last two runs. The ground is key to her success so I’m slightly concerned on that front and advise caution here. However, a mare in form is always worth following and she has been raised 15lbs for her win at Cheltenham. I still think she has more to offer to be honest and Barry Geragty was very positive about her chances too in his blog.
CAESAR MILAN 1730 SANDOWN – (TREBLE) (3rd – 4-1 = £2.50) this is a cracking little race and some good horses running. L’UNIQUE may well have had his form boosted if POLLY PEACHUM goes in again and is a worthy top weight. However, my selection has been given some sharp rises by the handicapper and I think rightly so as he is a decent prospect. Two wins on heavy were impressive and the tongues tie really sorted him out. He ran really well back in a Grade 3 at here behind BRAVE VIC. Both DOCTOR HARPER and BROTHER BRIAN have gone on to win again from this race and my selection has been raised another 3 lbs to 134, the same mark BROTHER BRIAMN now has. He has to have a chance although I would have preferred the ground a bit softer.
STIFF UPPER LIP 1405 SANDOWN – (unplaced = -£5.00) won very easily in a novice event at Towcester on Sunday and interestingly is chucked back in here off the same mark. He also won very well at Newbury earlier in the year destroying the field on heavy ground. A versatile horse that could be on the up. Worth a punt at a good price seen as some of the more favoured horses have question marks against them.
As for the BET365 Gold cup I think ROALCO DES FARGES has a great chance, he was second in this to TIDAL BAY two years again off a pound lower and the Scottish National was too far for him. That said I have to chance my arm with my old favourite OPENING BATSMAN, he has ran like a pig all year and the trainer doesn’t know why as he shows all his ability at home. He has been given blinkers to day to hopefully sharpen him up and the increased distance will also help too. This guy has bags of class but hasn’t fancied it, interestingly Nick Scholfield rung up wanting the ride when Fehily got off! IF, and its a big IF he runs to his form when he beat ROLLING ACES last year he has a cracking chance. Co-incidently he is back down to the mark he won that race off!!
My Scoop6 selections are :
Leg 1 – STIFF UPPER LIP
Leg 2 – SIR REGINALD
Leg 3 – PEARL ICE
Leg 4 – YOURARTISONFIRE
Leg 5 – MOIDORE
Leg 6 – OPENING BATSMAN
My Dad’s selections today are :
KELTUS 1405 SANDOWN (unplaced = -£5.00)
ARKDIILY WITNESS 1550 SANDOWN (unplaced = -£5.00)
CAESAR MILAN 1730 SANDOWN (3rd 4-1 = £2.50)
MY KINGDOM 1655 DONCASTER (WON 9-1 = £28.12)
Current standings – FATHER 7-8 SON
Profit – FATHER £68.04 SON £124.24
With a couple of weeks to the Festival stables will be putting the final touches to their hopes. I’m not into ante-post betting so will just wait until the day before finally selecting my horses for each day. It’s a shame Newcastle was off today due to more inclement bloody weather. I can’t remember such a period of cold and wet weather before. I hope we have a few dry weeks up to the festival and get good racing ground. Remember though if that happens that the form book can go as most big races this year have been contested on soft or heavy ground. The ground is good at Kempton today which will help good old NACARAT in what may be his final appearance. I can’t back him today though on recent form.
Here are my selections for today :
OPENING BATSMEN 1550 KEMPTON (nap) – (WON 12-1) ran well in defeat behind ROLLING ACES last time at Wincanton. He has taken well to his fences and is on the upgrade. He will prefer the better ground and is in receipt of an extra 6lbs today from ROLLING ACES, with that concession and better ground he has a great chance in my opinion. That said there are still some other potential winners in this race other than these two.
IRISH SAINT 1405 KEMPTON (nb) – (WON 5-4) won well here on his British debut and then just seemed to get outpaced by ROLLING STAR last time out. Another who I think will benefit from the better ground and he should have too much for the others today.
GRANDIOSO 1440 KEMPTON (treble) – (WON 9-4) has been a bit of a revelation this year and has been progressing well. His run away success at Ludlow was impressive last time and he has every right to have a stab at this level. Paul Nicholls has a cracking record in the race too with six out of the kast seven winners including NATAL and HERECOMESTHETRUTH.
LAC FONTANA 1515 KEMPTON – (3rd – 9-4) got run out of it abit over the final couple of hurdles last week at Newbury. Not saying he would have won bumthe never got the chance, possibly why he is back this week. Another one on better ground should run better, I think he will win easily.
FILBERT 1330 KEMPTON – (4th – 13-2) had a successful introduction to fences at Ludlow and whilst off top weight he is probably least exposed of all these and open to further improvement.
HAND ON BACH 1625 KEMPTON – (unplaced) has been running in some hot maiden and novice hurdles against the likes of PUFFIN BILLY and last week against LAC FONTANA and CHATTERBOX. He is pitched in here for his handicap debut and he could prove to be a good each way snip. The stable won this last year too.
HENRYVILLE 1700 KEMPTON – (unplaced) finished third behind PUFFIN BILLY on his debut and then lost in a jumpers bumper. Hoping the form of the bumper behind Puffin Billy will hold up against these.
PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE 1435 FAIRYHOUSE – (2nd – 8-11) this boy is a monsterof a horse and one I’ve always followed since Graham Wylie acquired him. He won this last year before injuring himself and being ruled out of the National. He should be too good for these and this will put him in good order for the big on in April.
There we are then, these are who my well earned shillings are on today. Lets hope there is a winner or two here. If you are having a flutter do so within your means and good luck!