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

Tingle Creek Day

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The Bandit hasn’t got the time to write an in-depth blog today. Taking my girls swimming, daddy duties call! Its been a busy old week with no other than OFSTED rolling up to the Bandit’s workplace! We had some positive news however!

The Twiiter gamble from my fellow horse aficionados is below and I will update it later today

@DazGilbert1 GODS OWN 1500 SANDOWN

@TonytheTyke LIGHTENIN ROD 1310 WETHERBY

@LiamKenniford DORMELLO MO 1425 SANDOWN

@Fernando_RFC2 BAILEYS CONCERTO 1300 SANDOWN

My selections today are as follows :

MON PARRAIN 1330 AINTREE (NAP)(unplaced = -£5.00) what a ridiculous price this fella is. Ran really well here when second a couple of years ago and I had him when he won well at Cheltenham. His recent spin will have brought him on loads and I’ve always thought he was a proper horse. The slightly better ground will hep him too.

HINTERLAND 1500 SANDOWN (NB) – (3rd 12-1 = £7.50) this horse I have always liked too and he has been a bit hit and miss lately. Nicholls has a great record in this and Fehily on board is a real plus. He likes it here and I think he will run a big race.

HOLYWELL 1440 AINTREE (TREBLE) – (FELL = -£5.00) my old favourite! His recent spin at Carlisle will have sharpened him up and with Richie back on board he will taker this today despite the stable being a bit quiet.

ROLLING ACES 1515 AINTREE (4th 8-1 = £4.50) ran a cracker last time behind WISHFULL THINKING and I said then to lump on the next time he is out. Drops in class and will take the beating in this today!

My dads selections are :

Dormello Mo 1425 Sandown (unplaced = -£5.00)

Somersby (2nd 8-1 = £4.50)

Rebel Rebellion (unplaced = -£5.00)

Emperors Choice 1535 Sandown (unplaced =-£5.00)

Standings

Father 2-2 Son

Profit

Father -£22.76

Son £10.63

The Flat Finale

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The blog returns after a couple of weeks off due to my busy schedule! My dad has put in a real late burst over the past couple of weeks and he tipped up both INTEGRAL (7-2) and INTRANSIGENT (16-1) – his second big priced winner in a row. Its narrowed the weekly competition to 14-15 as we head into this final week.Profit stands at £170.12 to me compared to £125.06 to him. Another big winner or two will see him possibly win but with the returns of the jumps I’m confident of holding on today! We will start the competent form scratch again next week for the jumps season. We’re both NH lovers so hopefully the blog will produce some good winners for everyone over the winter months! The flat season is brought to a close today with the Racing Post Trophy being the highlight, it’s been another cracker with some real standout performances. My horse of the summer has to be TAGROODHA though, awesome filly!

Enjoy the racing today and hopefully we’ll give you winner or two again on the blog!

CELESTIAL PATH 1550 DONCASTER (NAP) (3rd – 6-1 = £3.75) I have backed this fella on both his runs this year and was wondering where Sir Mark would send him next. It’s unusual to see the Prescott yard send out a horse in a race like this, but hen they do you have to sit up and take notice. Think of CONFIDENTIAL LADY, HOORAY, ALBORADA. This guy has looked a smart proposition and is well bred, running green on both starts but still having the class to see it out in the closing stages.The ground is a bit unknown but his breeding (FOOTSTEPSINTHESAND/HAWKWING) indicates it shouldn’t be a problem. I really excited about this horse, particularly next season as a 3 year old. A big race run I reckon today!

ELUSIVITY 1515 DONCASTER (NB) – (unplaced = -£5.00) I’ve settled for this guy over another two who have recent form but I think their mark will catch them out; those being DUNGANNON and KICKBOXER. I’ve opted for this selection as the ground being truly soft brings his past form more into play and he is now running off a very appealing mark, albs lower than this time last year. He has a high draw, a feather weight and the ground well in his favour. 20-1 as I write this could be a silly price, a great each way chance in my opinion.

ROLLING ACES 1500 AINTREE (TREBLE) – (3rd 8-1 = £5.00) The Nicholls’ string have generally needed a run, but this fella is a class horse and I’m expecting big things from him this season. His second to BOSTON BOB over course and distance join April was a cracking run and with the ground being decent it will allow him to show his true colours. He does have a high mark but I think he will go on to better things this year after this, and will a solid round of jumping he must have a great chance.

THE PIRATES QUEEN 1535 CHEPSTOW – (3rd 7-2 = £2.18) this mare is waiting for her first hurdles win. She has ran well in a few races last year, particularly with a bit of cut in the ground. She was put in her place by As I Am when going off favourite at Cheltenham last time out but the ground wasn’t soft enough that day. Today she has a nice weight allowance and the excellent O’Regan on board. I think she will be really competitive.

My Dad’s selections are :

GLORIOUS PROTECTOR 1420 NEWBURY (unplaced = -£5.00)

EMERAHLDZ 1440 DONCASTER (unplaced = -£5.00)

UXIZANDRE 1500 AINTREE (unplaced = -£5.00)

DUNGANNON 1515 DONCASTER (WON 13-2 = £20.58)

Standings

Father 14-16 Son

Profit

Son £176.05

Father £130.64

Aintree Day Two

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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!

Charlie Hall Chase

Today sees the return of the jumping season. Am I looking forward to it, just a bit! My all time favourite horse, Tidal Bay, goes again aswell. The picture above is of him winning the Lexus Chase last year under an awesome ride from Ruby Walsh. There are some cracking races today and some old favourites and some potential new stars in the offering. This is what racing is all about!
If you're having a bet, good luck, and whatever happens lets hope all these favourites of ours get round in one piece. The Charlie Hall Chase is always the grand curtain raiser, today I'm not having a bet in the race as I think the up and coming horses have alot to find with Long Run, especially on softer ground.
 
CHRIS PEA GREEN 1445 ASCOT (NAP) – (2nd – 8-1) this horse is a potential huge improver this year and he ran very well behind Our Conor in the Triumph at Chletenham, despite not having a smooth run. He is a horse I will follow closely and with the conditions being a bit softer I think it will play to his strengths even more. COURT MINSTREL is a class horse and I backed him both times when winning las year, he is one to follow but I think the ground will be against him today, he needs genuine good ground in my opinion and I don't think he'll get it today.
 
ROLLING ACES 1505 DOWN ROYAL (NB) (WON – 9-4) Paul Nichols has an awesoem record in this race and I think my selection will win again for him. He ran some excellent races last year and his form with OPENING BATSMAN is strong despite him being pipped by his rival at Kempton. He has been targetted for this race and should deliver
 
TIDAL BAY 1500 WETHERBY (TREBLE) – (WON – 11-4) what a horse this guy is, and a real character too. Paul Nicholls has really got the best out of him and he won this race last year off the same mark. He went on to have an incredile season over the timber and compounded my fondness of him. At the weights he would have had a difficult time against AT FISHERS CROSS, however, now that foe is a non runner he has every chance of repeating his success. Win or lose I don't care, he's owes me nothing.
 
OPENING BATSMAN 1520 ASCOT – (PU) another horse that owes me nothing after winning at Kempton last year when I napped him on this blog. That was a smooth performance and there was alot to like. He is another horse with a big future and I think you can forget his run at Aintree towards the end of last year. He was tired, Aintree is a specialist course and BATTLE GROUP made it a ferocious pace which meant my boy had to be niggled along and he son faded. Today should be more smooth and pedestrian and his is a massive price considering ROLLING ACES is 2-1 fav for the Powers Irish Whiskey Chase.
 
FAIRY RAITH 1410 ASCOT – (unplaced) won here and at Haydock towards the end of last season and has very strong form in the book, including a defeat of CONQUISTO who franked the form last week under AP. Has lots of things in his favour and should run a big race.
 
SWIFTLY DONE 1420 NEWMARKET – (4th – 20-1) my old mate Declan Carroll sends a few to headquarters and he has a decent record there. My selection is running a pound below his last winning mark and cries out for soft/heavy ground. He has that today and could run a big race.
 
TULLIUS 1530 NEWMARKET (3rd – 7-2) I was really disappointed with his run when I napped him on here the other week, he obviously needed it. Let's hope today he shows his true colours, SOVEREIGN DEBT helped the form of his last success when running well in defeat the other week at Doncaster. Has to run better today!
 
PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE 1430 DOWN ROYAL – (3rd – 7-1) this guy was favourite for the National before injuring himself and I cannot believe he is 12-1 for this race, yes there are a few others that are well treated, but he has class and 3 miles in yielding ground is right up his street.
 
FINESSE 1600 NEWMARKET (unplaced) I watched this filly win well at Warwick earlier in the year, she has good form on quicker ground but also has won on soft. She was thrown in the deep end last time out in a Listed contest and drops back to Class 4 this time. She may be forgotten, but I haven't!
 
BLOG STATS :

Naps 43/213 = 20.2%
Wins 179/1095 = 16.3%
Placed 284/1095 = 25.9%

Win and Placed = 42.3%

@Tweet_Naps overall record. Click the link. All Time Profit/Loss currently +£61.83