Charlie Hall Chase and Ascot

Today really sees the National Hunt season kick off in earnest with the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby plus a decent supporting card at Ascot. Most trainers will be happy with the rain that arrived over the past few days although I'm not sure it will have done my old favourite Holywell any favours in the big race. Lots of old favourites are running today and as always at this time of the season most of them need a run in them.
As before I'll have a head to head battle with my dad over the NH season, him being a jumping fan like me.
 
Sit back and enjoy the action today.
 
SAM WINNER 1505 WETHERBY (nap)
This horse goes really well fresh and will love the ground. He ran some cracking races last year; winning the Murphy Chase at Cheltenham carrying 11st 10lbs on soft ground. He then beat MEDERMIT and MA FILLEULE at Aintree off a mark of OR156. He proved (to me at least!) that he was a top class staying chaser in the Lexus when he just didnt quite get the trip that day. I'm hoping Sean Bowen will bounce him out from the front here at Wetherby, he may need a sterner test than this three miles. Eight year olds have a decent record in this and I'm hoping of a big run. HOLYWELL knows it's the Autumn and would prefer better ground, I think DYNASTE is the danger.
 
SIGN OF VICTORY 1450 ASCOT (nb)
Will love this ground and won this easily last year. He is carrying a stone more in weight but he's a high class hurdler in this ground. I'm expecting another dominant run and 5-1 is huge for me!
 
BABY MIX 1415 ASCOT (treble)
This guy has been knocking recently and again the ground is key. My only doubt is the trip but he did start his novice chasing career over this distance and won a few. He ran well last time and I thought the jockey should have gotten him nearer but saying that he probably needed the run. Today is his day.
 
ROCK ON RUBY 1400 WETHERBY
The old favourite returns! The question mark against him today is his stamina. I don't think this will be an issue; he has been caught for pace recently in the hot races he used to win and non of these plodders will have that change of gear. Class is class and I think he'll stay and win this well. Staying hurdles will be his arena this year if he does.
 
My Dad's selections
 
AQALIM 1400 WETHERBY
NABUCCO 1450 ASCOT
WHAT A WARRIOR 1525 ASCOT
GM HOPKINS 1545 NEWMARKET
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Scottish National and Newbury

We start with another fab photo courtesy of Fran (@Riosrider)
 
Last week was a disaster for the blog with not one of my selections placed. You win some you lose more is what I think in this game! I was chuffed with how Mon Parrain ran in the National and I think he has a big handicap in him next year. The best news for all of us connected to racing was that the old stalwart BALTHAZARS KING got up ok and being clattered when falling. Fantastic work by all at Aintree who looked after him and treated him. On to today and a cracking Saturday with the Scottish National and Champion Hurdle and some super flat racing from Newbury. Sit back and enjoy today it should be ace!
The twitter gamble this week is :
@Fernando_RFC2 ROMSDAL 1345 NEWBURY
@LiamKenniford SEGO SUCCESS 1545 AYR
@Tonythetyke UEUETEOTL 1625 AYR
@DazGilbert1 HARWOODS VOLANTE 1815 THIRSK
Here are my selections for today :
 
RAZ DE MAREE 1545 AYR (nap) EW (PU = -£5.00)
This guy ran a cracker last time in the Midlands National and went straight into my notebook. He was beaten 9l by GOONYELLA that day and he will stay this trip again today. He was giving GOONYELLA 5lbs in weight that day and he has also been dropped two pounds in the ratings to a mark of OR136 and is now in receipt of 7lbs from GOONYELLA, effectively making him 12lbs better off. This is a better race but I think it was decent form in the Midlands National. Bryan Cooper gets on well with him and has won 5 times on him and he is just 4lbs higher thsn his last winning mark now and only needs a little improvement to run a cracker here. With five places being offered I have to make him an each way selection – although I do think he has a really good winning chance too! I also like the chance of SEGO SUCCESS too, he has a similar prodile to GODSMEJUDGE and ran really well at Warwick earlier in the year. He could bounce back from a disappointing run at the festival.
 
IRVING 1435 AYR (nb) (PU = -£5.00)
This is another cracking race. SIGN OF VICTORY looked a smart horse when destroying the field on the bridle in Ascot back in November and the ground hasn't helped him since. He has the ground today but he looked very subdued at Wincanton last time. GASSIN GOLF almost gave us a big priced win on the blog in the Imperial Cup and he has since won; this I think is too hard though. IRVING has always been a smart horse and showed this when winning the Fighting Fifth and having ARCTIC FIRE 4 lengths behind is smart form. They missed the champion hurdle for this and he has a great chance.
 
DICK WHITTINGTON 1450 NEWBURY (treble) (unplaced = -£5.00)
He has some very smart form from last year and has won on this ground today and soft. His best bit of form which will put him in good stead for today is when he beat KOOL KOMPANY last August in the Group 1 Pheonix Stakes. KOOL KOMPANY won the Craven on Thursday off a mark two pounds lower than my selections today. He has to have a big chance and I think he's overpriced!
 
HIGHLAND COLORI 1525 NEWBURY (unplaced = – £5.00)
He has been dropped to a very nice mark and is now 9lbs lower thsn his last winning mark and 2lbs lower than his last winning mark in a handicap class like this when he beat LOUIS THE PIOUS. He has been running in better races than this and his form has suffered because of that. He's back in a class that truely reflects his ability and he has form on ground like todays. He could run a cracker at a big price – each way selection too!
 
My Dad's selections are :
 
Standings
Father 10-9 Son
Profit
Father -£62.13
Son £111.71
 

Newbury and Warwick

Good evening everyone! Yep I'm doing the blog on Friday night as tomorrow I am at my school again doing the final dress rehearsal for our performance of Our Day Out next week. I'm hoping Warwick survives the chill as I have two selections there tomorrow! It has been a tough week for the Bandit and the family this week. On Sunday I had to take our beloved cocker spaniel Freddie to the vet to be put down. It came so quick, on Saturday he had started to breath a little funny and cough as if he had something stuck in his throat. It got worse on Sunday and we found a large tumour in his mouth/throat. The vet thought it was cancerous and he was struggling to breath. Broke my heart doing it but I couldn't let him be in pain. Rest in peace little fella!
 
The photo for the blog is courtesy of Fran @Riosrider2 again. Give her a follow!
Last week was a complete shocker for my selections too, I was quietly confident of a few of them and couldn't believe how poorly they ran. To be fair the ground was shocking but I can't make excuses my horses just weren't good enough. Saturday is a cracking card at Newbury and the racing at Warwick is decent too. The festival beckons everyone! Whatever you are backing tomorrow with your well earned cash – good luck! Lets hope we take a step closer to beating the old foe!
 
The twitter gamble boys have opted for the following tomorrow – their big gamble will land soon!
 
@Tonythetyke Nightline 1300 Warwick
@DazGilbert1 Barters Hill 1640 Newbury
@Fernando_RFC2 Vibrato Valtat 1405 Warwick
@LiamKenniford Milan bound 1350 Newbury
 
Here are my selections :
 
SIGN OF VICTORY 1535 NEWBURY (nap)
Won first time out this year at Ascot more or less on the bridle and he looked very smart. He was then pitched in a little too deep amd was put in his place, but finished a creditable fourth, to FAUGHEEN. He has to carry alot of weight in the race, but he has that because of what he has shown. The form of his Ascot race has swung it for me. He beat DAWALAN that day who has since gone on and won twice and looks decent. BARADARI finished third that day and he obliged the other week. You can even go further down the field at Ascot that day day and find KILCOOLEY who rompted home at Haydock too. I like to find a decent priced horse in a competitive race and I think I have found it for tomorrow. He's probably better than this and will shown it tomorrow for my money.
 
BALGARRY 1535 NEWBURY
With Sign of Victory now a non-runner I will go for this fella to come up trumps in this race. He ran so well last time after such a long lay off last time and he may now step up today.
 
CONEYGREE 1425 NEWBURY (nb)
This fella just keeps impressing me, and he seems to get better and better. He has been raised a further 6lbs for his last success to a mark of OR153. That is still a little less than some of his rivals in this and he needs to improve again to trouble HOUBLON DES OBEAUX and UNIONISTE. My guy travels so well in his races though and hasn't put a foot wrong. My question against the other two is whether the ground is soft enough for them. I'm hoping my guy jumps with the same zest and enthusiasm again and he'll give them a good run. Cracking little race.
 
UNCLE JIMMY 1335 WARWICK (treble)
On of my old favourites! He won the Pertempts Qualifier here last year when I napped him on the blog beating GRAND VISION. He returned this season with an impressive defeat of SOUND INVESTMENT at Newton Abbott and followed that up with a second to PECKHAMECHO at Aintree. Interestingly ROLLING MAUL was well down the field that day and he went on to win well at Cheltenham on New Year's Day. He will like te ground and should make the transition to the bigger obstacles. He ran a stinker last time in November over hurdles and I find it really interesting that they have used that time to prep him for fences and not stick to hurdling.
 
DORMOUSE 1625 WARWICK
He has won 3 out of 6 here at Warwick and put in a grand show when defeating REGGIN PERRIN at Lingfield in November. Has flattered to deceive a little since but his marked has dropped back to OR118 and the jockey booking of Paul Townend really catches my eye. His mark has fluctuated between OR115 to OR120 over the past year and his mark is doable and he has carried big weight to success in the past.
 
My Dad's selections are :
 
Standings
Father 6-6 Son
Profit
Father -£42.32
Son £159.49