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.
Father 5-3 Son
We I must say I’m a tad disappointed by the racing on offer today. There are some class horses on show but the number of entries really is poor. Other than the big chase at Cheltenham there is not much handicapping which The Bandit loves to try and solve. However, beggars cannot be choosers and we still have the likes of Rock on Ruby, The New One and Caid Du Berlais on offer. One more week of work left to go before the big Xmas break, I’ve managed to get most of the old shopping done so can sit back and relax and enjoy the festivities.
The boys return for a twitter gamble this week, only one winner Lightening Rod me out of last week’s bet, but we remain ever hopeful!
The boys have opted for :
@LiamKenniford ROCK ON RUBY 1545 CHELTENHAM
@Fernando_RFC2 SEWN UP 1845 WOLVERHAMPTON
@DazGilbert1 CYFLYMDER 1425 SOUTHWELL
@TonytheTyke IKORODU ROAD 1340 DONCASTER
Here are my selections for today :
IKORODU ROAD 1340 DONCASTER (NAP) – (3rd – 7-1 = £4.37) has a decent record here and won in 2012 here beating JUNIOR off a mark of 131. Today he runs off 134, this being a previous winning mark and only a pound higher than his last success in October 2013. Hr has also had a couple of near misses here and while he can go better over further I think the ground will be really tacky today and play to his strengths. GRANDDADS HORSE did me a real favour last time at Ascot and gave me a tidy profit but he prefers better ground and I think he will struggle today giving my horse 5lbs.
ROCK ON RUBY 1545 CHELTENHAM (NB) – (WON – 5-4 = £3.90) what an old favourite this guy is. Ran in snatches last time over a trip a bit too sharp for him but he was still there trying to give more at the end. This is his race for the taking today, especially getting 5lbs from LAC FONTANA and he doesn’t have a penalty to carry for the first time in eons!!! Game on!!
SOLAR IMPULSE 1325 CHELTENHAM (TREBLE) – (PU = -£5.00) I have been really impressed with this horse this year, and he’s still only a baby yet! Ran well at Wetherby on good ground beating TURN OVER SIVOLA and then just found MONETAIRE too good last time on ground a little soft. Today he has slightly better ground and despite a 5lb rise I still think he has more to offer.
CAID DU BERLAIS 1400 CHELTENHAM – (PU = -£5.00) I honestly didn’t think he would have enough to win the Paddy Power but the more I look at that performance the more I like it. To beat JOHN’S SPIRIT in that manner and he is a damn good yard stick at Cheltenham was nothing but impressive and I think they have turned him out quickly again because they think they have a smart horse here. I tend to agree, this is very competitive too but he looks like he has more to offer and a 5lb rise may not stop him.
My Dad’s selections are :
NO BUTS 1400 CHELTENHAM (unplaced = -£5.00)
BLAKLION 1435 CHELTENHAM (WON 9-4 = £7.03)
LAC FONTANA 1545 CHELTENHAM (unplaced = -£5.00)
L’AIGLE ROYAL 1415 DONCASTER (3rd – 7-1 = £4.37)
Father 3 – 2 Son
Aintree has come around again faster than you can say AHYAKNOWYERSELF. It should be a cracking few days and I’m even more happy as there has been and should be rain for old Tidal Bay. My each way ante post bet of 25-1 is tucked away ready! I also like the other Wylie horse PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE who has been a favourite for the race the past few years and has snuck in quietly this year under the radar! I backed him when Ruby Walsh hardly moved a muscle on him in his last race at Thurles and he’s worth a saver too. Anyway on to tomorrow!
JUVENILE HURDLE 1400
ACTIVIAL (NB) (unplaced) is my selection, he was put in his place by CALIPTO earlier in the year but was very good last time beating COMMISSIONED and the biggest plus for him is he is fresh! Cheltenham takes a lot out of horses and with him being laid out for this it may just help. I’m not sure CALIPTO would have won even without his irons slipping but its going to be a cracking race whatever.
BETFRED BOWL 1430
SILVINIACO CONTI (NAP) (WON 9-4) has the class in the race and I’m sure if he would have been taken left with the others in the Gold Cup he may have prevailed. Whilst DYNASTE was impressive at the festival I think my selection will have too much and I still think he stays this trip. Lump on!
DOOM BAR AINTREE HURDLE 1505
ROCK ON RUBY (2nd – 10-1) is the horse who will take this returned to hurdles. Doom Bar is one of my favourite ales, and ROCK ON RUBY is one of my favourite horses too. A good match, I’m not worried about his return to hurdles as he has always been class in that sphere and despite his huge blunder at Cheltenham he was looked after once that had happened and he may take this.
FOX HUNTER CHASE
PENTIFFIC (unplaced) is my selection in a race I know not a lot about.
RED RUM HANDICAP
KINGS GREY (unplaced) takes my eye here, her has ran well here in the past and has dropped to his last winning mark. Must run well.
MANIFESTO NOVICES CHASE
OSCAR WHISKY (2nd – 7-4) is the one for me here in what looks like a cracking renewal and early faller last time but he has solid form before that.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC HURDLE
UNCLE JIMMY (TREBLE) (unplaced) was one of my best bets at the festival and he was getting into the race before making a huge blunder two out. He may not have got anywhere near as he was too far off the pace earlier in the race. He’s still on what I think is a reasonable mark of 140 and he should run another good race.