Ascot

Not much luck last week on the blog. ZIGA BOY was going well for along way but just couldnt match the others. MIA’S STORM was well in with a chance two out but died away, I think better ground and a flatter track will suit her. THOMAS BROWN was just poor, he was never in it! 

So we move on today. A couple of cracking handicaps at Ascot plus a few at Haydock. My first selection is not in one of the televised races. CAPTAIN CONAN has always been a smart horse and he is dropped seriuosly in grade today. He was third three years ago as favourite in the Tingle Creek behind SIRE DE GRUGY and he is a full 20lbs lower than that race today. His rating of OR139 is fair on what he has, or hasnt achieved since, but potentially that is a very low mark for a horse of his ability. He has won on soft ground and won on decent ground so that shouldn’t be an issue. 

The Long Walk hurdle is an intriguing race snd UKNOWWHATIMEANHARRY is worthy favourite and he looked very good last time. I cant see BALLYOPTIC reversing places. The main challengers come through the French Champion Hurdle form. Both PTIT ZIG and ALEX DE LARREDYA come with winning form from it and are the big dangers to the fav. The former got put in his place by the French horse last time, however, I think PTIT ZIG on a right handed track and on better grond will prevail today and an early 8-1 is a great price.

The last race on Ascot’s card was formerly the Ladbroke and both JOLLY’S CRACKED IT and STERNRUBIN return again after their epic battle. Both are now on higher marks and I’m not sure they can repeat last year’s heroics. Especially with the former being off for a year. The race will be frenetic with STERNRUBIN, RAYVIN BLACK and UNISON going from the front. They could set it up for one off the pace, although STERNRUBIN as we’ve seen before could make all. However, I’m opting for DIEGO DU CHARMIL to bounce back from his disappointing run last time behind a few of these. He was sent out too early according to his trainer and he ran much too freely. He is suited by coming off the pace, like he did when he won the Fred Winter. He is 8lbs higher than that today but is on the same mark as his previous poor run. I think he still has bags of improvement in him and could run a big race at a huge price.

I put up CORRIN WOOD the other week, and he is now over timber today and again, based on his previous form, he is on a very appealing mark. He beat BLACK THUNDER who was running off a mark in the mid 150s to win that day. His mark today is OR128 and could prove a real handicap snip. Last chance saloon today though!

Selections

£2.50 e/w CAPTAIN CONAN 1.50 Ascot

£5 win PTIT ZIG 2.25 Ascot

£5 e/w DIEGO DU CHARMIL 3.35 Ascot

£5 win CORRIN WOOD 2.40 Haydock

Blog stats

Staked £80

Returns £101.25

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Cheltenham Day 3

Not a great day on the blog today with only NICHOLS CANYON and SOUTHFIELD THEATRE placed. I thought I had a good few chances today too and I was really disappointed by how the Ferguson pair ran! Heyho, it is the most competitive week of racing ever! We move on to the next day with a heavy heart, the reason being the sad sight of SPRINTER SACRE running like that – something clearly still amiss and its such a shame he has fallen from grace so, he's still a legend in my eyes though.
 
The twitter gamble boys have opted for
@Tonythetyke –
@LiamKenniford – VAUTOUR 1330
@DazGilbert1 –
@Fernando_RFC2 –
 
My selections for Thursday are
 
JLT NOVICES CHASE 1330

PTIT ZIG, other than blotting his note book in his last appearance has done nothing wrong this year. He has gone from strength to strength and looked very good when beating both CHAMPAGNE WEST and JOSSES HILL earlier on. He's a class horse and I think he'll go toe to toe with VAUTOUR but will come out on top.
 
PERTEMPTS FINAL 1405

I have to opt for JOIN THE CLAN (treble) here. Whatever they did to him prior to that Warwick run has worked a treat! He has gone on from that and won again pretty convincingly under the same jockey as today. More impressive was the fact that he beat CLOSING CEREMONY so well and he reopposes today having franked the form. The jockey taking another 10lbs off is again key for me to make his racing weight quite light again. I hope to see him creeping into it and then staying on late.
 
RYANAIR CHASE 1440

Despite me loving MA FILLEULE I'm going to go against her! I think the better ground will really bring out the best of a Cheltenham star. JOHN'S SPIRIT has always been very good and he showed that consistently last year. I just think this race will be set up for him nicely and he'll come out on top.
 
LABROKES WORLD HURDLE 1520

This is a decent race with the biggest field for a while. SAPHIR DE RHEU ran really well last time and will slug it out with his stablemate ZARKANDAR. I'm really interested though by WHISPER returning to the hurdling field after one chase start. He was always smart over these obstacles and the better ground should suit too. I think he will run the two above close and is worth a flutter at his price.
 
BROWN ADVISORY & MERRIBELLE STABLE PLATE CHASE 1600

MONETAIRE has ran very well on both occasions for the Pipe yard and there could be even more to come. However, I have followed CAID DU BERLAIS (nb) all year and cant desert him now. He won the Paddy Power and was a creditable third last time. He's gallant and I think he has more to offer too.
 
FULKE WALWYN CHASE 1640

TAP NIGHT frustrates the hell out of me at times and he will probably go and win this now I havent backed him! It takes a lot to win a handicap off top weight but GRANDADS HORSE (nap) has a bit of class about him, especially on good ground. Other than last time when he hever got into it he has ran really well, especially on ground zi dont think is suitable for him to show his best. He's dropped in class and now has his preferred ground. Crazy price of 25-1 due to one bad run! Get on!
 

Cheltenham Happy New Year

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Happy New Year everyone! I hope you’re ready for the celebrations this evening, I thought I would do the blog on New Year’e Eve as tomorrow morning we all may have a slight headache! Whatever you are doing tonight, enjoy yourselves and immerse yourself with the people you care about. I wish you all a prosperous and healthy 2015, with many a success from our old foe the bookmaker.

Well I hope everyone has had a wonderful festive period with their loved ones. I know it bloody knackered me as always. I thought I would start the new year with a look back at 2014 and my racing highlights. The number one best thing for the Bandit this year was to finally own a very small share in a racehorse. I can only but thank @ianmallard for this and his efforts with #teamchoochoo. It’s a great venture to be part of and to see a horse you have bit in not only run, but win was a great feeling. I know we have got even bigger plans for the future, bring it on! Make sure you give Ian a follow, top fella and knows his racing!

My second highlight has to be HOLYWELL winning again at Cheltenham. The horse has always been close to my heart especially after I napped him to win at Cheltenham the other year on this blog. Here was the write up – Holywell – I hope he has the credentials to compete in the Gold Cup this year but I think his jumping needs to shape up a bit first!

My final thought for the year was that my old mate and favourite horse of all time TIDAL BAY got a happy retirement! What an enigmatic horse he was, I just wish Paul Nicholls would have had him from the start, I’m convinced he would have won a Gold Cup if he had. He won an Arkle, a Maghull Novices Chase, a Cleeve Hurdle, the Bet365 Gold Cup, the West Yorkshire Hurdle twice and not forgetting that awesome late burst in the Lexus Chase two years ago. He will always be a star for me, happy retirement old fella!

As I write the blog we are already looking on the horizon for the Cheltenham Festival, I think it is something like 10 weeks away, can’t bloody wait. One thing is for sure we will have some more racing treats before then.

I’m hoping the change in a year will change my fortune on here, I’ve been shockingly bad recently and can only apologise to my dedicated followers, my old man is currently whooping my arse in our little competition, tipping up EMPERORS CHOICE more recently too. So here’s to a change in fortunes!

The twitter gamble guys have opted for :

@TonytheTyke Arctic Court 1520 Catterick

@Fernando_RFC2 Zeroshadesofgrey 1210 Cheltenham

@LiamKenniford Ptit Zig 1320 Cheltenham

@DazGilbert1 Diocles 1355 Cheltenham

Here are my selections for New Year’s Day :

MON PARRAIN 1245 CHELTENHAM (NAP) (WON 25-1 = £78.12)

This guy ran a creditable race when I tipped him up in the Becher Chase last time. He jumped very well and Ryan Mahon looked after him once the race was over for him. That can be a stepping stone to success for me in this race. He has been dropped another 2 lbs to a mark of OR142. He drops down a grade and off top weight has every chance with the very talented Sean Bowen taking 5lbs off his back. Top weights normally do well in races like this and I think he will run a big race and jump soundly on ground that will be up his street. The one that really worries me is CADEAU GEORGE, he has been raised 12lbs for his defeat of KNOCKANRAWLEY last time. That horse has franked the form too winning at Newbury the other day, he could be a real improver!

PTIT ZIG 1320 CHELTENHAM (NB) (WON Evs = £4.06)

Won so impressively last time, gaining his third chase success in a row! His jumping was quick and immaculate and he put the well touted JOSSES HILL to the sword. His rival today is CHAMPAGNE WEST who conversely didn’t look that great last time and was made to work a bit for his success. My selection is rated 5lbs better off on the ratings with a mark of OR157 yet they meet here on level weights too. Another solid round of jumping should boost his ankle credentials even further!

CAID DU BERLAIS 1355 CHELTENHAM (TREBLE) (3rd – 5-1 = £3.12)

Was running well in behind when he slipped on landing and was pulled up in the Fish Egg Gold Cup. I really fancied him that day as I was so taken aback by how he won the Paddy Power Gold Cup previously. I really think this horse is one to follow and will produce even better displays. Therefore I have to go with him again. I’m interested too in how SPLASH OF GINGE runs, he was just building a challenge in said Fish Egg Gold Cup when falling. ROLLING ACES is one of my horses I always follow and he ran very well when in behind WISHFUL THINKING earlier in the season, a reproduction of that will give him a sniff, but to be honest I think he is handicapped to his best at the moment.

ROCK ON RUBY 1505 CHELTENHAM (WON 5-2 = £7.81)

Now this is a race! Barring HINT OF MINT a case can be made for all of them. BEAT THAT has potentially the best recent form in the locker with his defeat of DON POLI at Punchestown in April. That one has since won two chases inclusion a Grade One at Leopardstown the other day. BEAT THAT must run well. Both SILSOL and VANITEUX are young pretenders to the throne, with the latter never really impressing me as yet. SILSOL however has impressed me with his ability and attitude and like my selection, he likes a fight! However, class is class and what can you not say about my horse, he is rated superior to most of these and showed now that this trip is more up his street as age catches up to him. He still has his smooth hurdling style and his big heart and over a favourite course he could be hard to peg back. All aboard!!!

My Dad’s selections I will add tomorrow before I re-post the blog.

Current standings

Father 5-3 Son

Profit

Father -£2.16

Son £74.50