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

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Scottish National

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Here we go again! The second big National within a week and to go with it a cracking card at Newbury featuring the Greenham. The blog produced a few inners last week with my nb COURT MINSTREL going in at 16-1 and WHISPER at 4-1. Not to let the ship down my dad came good with LAC FONTANA 9-2 and BALDER SUCCES 7-2. Hope you followed. I have opened a bit of a profit gap up with my dad as you can see below due to COURT MINSTREL.

On to today and the selections are below :

JACOB CATS 1530 NEWBURY (NAP) – (unplaced -£5.00) he looked a decent handicapper a few years ago when under the care of Richard Hannon Snr. Judged on that form he has dropped to a very appealing handicap mark and is albs lower than his last handicap success. Has moved yards and from a high draw with Hanagan on board I think he has a cracking chance at a big price.

TIDAL BAY 1550 AYR (NB) – (unplaced -£5.00) I know, I know – he’s not my nap, but that shows how much I fancy my nap today! I was gutted last week when he was effectively brought down. He is chucked in again off this mark making most of the others run out of the handicap. He has to give albs to his nearest rival is rating 19lbs higher too. He’s the class horse, he will stay and the trainer said he was bouncing this week. The ground should be sort enough and even if it fires a little he has success on good to soft! Come on my boy! I’m also throwing a few pence at YES TOM too. He ran out an impressive winner on his debut for the yard and his record at Ayr reads 2,2,2,1,4,1,2,3,3. Mr Carberry comes over to ride and he has to have a cracking chance too.

J WONDER 1420 NEWBURY (TREBLE) – (WON 4-1 = £12.50) this filly really caught my eye last year when drawing away from the field at Newmarket with MIDNITE ANGEL. They demolished that lot and then she ran behind LUCKY KRISTALE in the Lowther and never got into it in conditions that were probably too fast. She is a sister to CHACHAMAIDEE who developed late and this second season could see some real improvement and I’m chancing her to turn over AL THAKHIRA.

KINGMAN 1455 NEWBURY (WON 15-8 = £5.86) this is a cracking Greenham and should be a proper Guineas trial with a lot of the top contenders opposing each other. My selection looked every bit a class horse last year and for me I think there will be even more to come from him in the classic year, starting today. I’m fascinated to see how ASTAIRE runs over 7f as he was very good last year. LAT HAWILL won easily last time and takes a big step up and I may have had a bit on him but for Frank being in the saddle. Knowing him he will leave the horse with too much to do. Sit back and enjoy!

COURT MINSTREL 1440 AYR (2nd – 8-1) did us a favour last week and despite a alb penalty he has to have a chance but MY TENT OR YOURS is similar to the Tidal Bay scenario – he is the class horse, however giving that weight over shorter will effect him more in my opinion and it may set it up for the MINSTREL to come late again!

My Dad’s selections are:

ASTAIRE 1455 NEWBURY (unplaced -£5.00)

MONTBAZON 1440 AYR (unplaced -£5.00)

VALCO DE TOUZAINE 1515 AYR (unplaced -£5.00)

GREEN FLAG 1550 AYR (unplaced -£5.00)

Running totals

FATHER 6-8 SON

Profit

FATHER £47.42

SON £129.66

The Grand National

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The big race day has arrived! First and foremost lets hoe these wonderful creatures all get round safely. Secondly lets enjoy the spectacle! A decent couple of runs on the blog yesterday with HOLYWELL winning for me again. What a horse he is proving to be and now favourite for the Gold Cup!!! My nap also ran a cracker, ROLLING ACES (16-1) was just pipped after running a corker and showing his true form. How impressive was MA FILLEULLE too, I thought she might run a decent race as I said on the blog, but she;s a brave one and oozing a bit of class! On to today, my Dad has a few selections as always and you can see our latest results below. He will be reading this in his hospital bed after having a knee replacement surgery! Hope you’re doing well Dad x

TIDAL BAY 1615 AINTREE (NAP) – (UR = -£5.00) I’m sure if you’ve read my blog a lot you will know how much I love this horse! If he wins today it will most certainly bring down the curtain on a fantastic career. Everyone keeps saying no 13 yo has won it, he’s too old etc. Not me, he’s been dropped a good few pounds by the handicapper to gives him a real go at this and when the weights came out I lumped on ante-post at 25-1. The rain I think has arrived so it could be soft at the off, he has bags of stamina and if he thereabouts at the last fence the run in should bring about all his qualities. If he runs well he may stay in training too! Go on the old boy show ’em what you’re all about! My other selection in the race is the other Wylie horse PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE, he was favourite twice for this before injury and he has been looked after this year. Ruby rode such a gentle arc eon him at Thurles when he had every chance to win, I thought then I wonder what they are saving him for!

COURT MINSTREL 1710 AINTREE (NB) (WON – 16-1 = £50.00) this horse produced two fantastic runs under this jockey last year and is worth another chance. He beat SAMTEGAL easily last year and is dropped a couple of pounds, he has lots of weight to carry but for a reason, he’s the class horse in the race and is rated 8 lbs better than the next horse. If he’s on song he’ll murder them.

HINTERLAND 1405 AINTREE (TREBLE) – (unplaced = -£5.00) was running a cracker in the champion chase before being brought down, he may not of beaten Sire de Grugy but he would have been close. I think he’ll win this today, he looks a different horse this year, jumps smoothly and quickly, and will enjoy the ground. Great chance

WHISPER 1450 AINTREE – (WON – 4-1 = £12.50) we know the likes of At Fisher’s Cross and Zarkandar are very good but this horse has really impressed me this year and he appears to be very progressive. I think he’s got more improvement in him and could be the surprise package here outside the top two.

I also fancy a little flutter on GULLINBURSTI 1525 (3rd – 10-1) who ran an much improved race last time at Kelso of a big weight, with less in then saddle today and another bold show he can take this race too.

My Dad’s selections are :

LAC FONTANA 1330 (WON – 9-2 = £14.06)

BALDER SUCCES 1405 (WON – 7-2 = £10.94)

MELODIC RENDEZVOUS 1450 (unplaced = -£5.00)

RENARD 1525 (unplaced = -£5.00)



His national selections are TIDAL BAY and BALTHAZAR KING.

Current standings : FATHER 6-7 SON

Profit :

Father £67.42

Son £121.30

Good luck if you’re having a flutter!

Sunday blog

I thought I would do a little Sunday blog in homeage to my favourite horse, Tidal Bay. Today sees him returning to the venue of one of his greatest performances. He's teaming up with Ruby again and going up against the horse he pipped in the Lexus. It should be a cracking race and the ground will count in his favour. I have got 3-1 for him this morning, I think he'll go off favourite. This is his penultimate run, his swansong will be at Aintree where I've got a little ante-post bet on him. Whatever happens today I'll enjoy watching him run as I always do and keep my fingers crossed for a wet Aintree.
 
TIDAL BAY 1550 LEOPARDSTOWN (nap) – back to Grade 1 level but he has shown he can hack it. Ruby back up which for me is key as he rides this track so well. The weather will have helped him too. I just think this will be set up for him over the final fence and run in and he is the best horse for me.
 
FINGAL BAY 1455 EXETER (nb) – (WON – 9-2) he is a class horse and despite his 14 months off he will win. He has a good record first time out and I just hope the injury hasn't taken any of his ability away.
 
BLACKLOUGH 1515 LEOPARDSTOWN (treble) – (2nd – 5-1) has a chance on his decent run in the Boylesport, up just a pound in the ratings for that run and he could run a big race today.
 

2013 – The Bandit’s review

I figured as it was the last day of the year that I should look back on my blogging exploits of 2013. Firstly can I say a huge thank you for all you guys and gals that take time to read my blog every week. I really enjoy sharing my views on a sport we all love and I've really enjoyed interacting with some of you over Twitter this past year. I've been able to join #Teamchoochoo and get a share in a race horse! Cheers @ianmallard. I've also had over 11,000 views of the blog this year – awesome stuff. Another big thank you to those of you who RT the blog on Twitter.
 
So here are my blogging highlights this past year!
 
HOLYWELL

I tracked this horse all last season and knew it had a big race in it! I mentioned it as one of my strongest bets at Cheltenham of the week here. He only went and obliged at 25-1 – I napped him that day and it was great to get some responses on twitter from people who had read my piece and thought they would have a go too. Cheltenham was quite a good festival for the blog as I also had BACK IN FOCUS, LORD WINDERMERE, CHAMPAGNE FEVER, HURRICANE FLY, AT FISHERS CROSS AND BOBS WORTH that won for me. Took some money off the bookies that week.
 
OPENING BATSMAN

I napped this fella on the blog just before Cheltenham when he beat Rolling Aces at Kempton. Was great to as thr race panned out just like I thought and I also had a top treble that day with my nb IRISH SAINT and my treble horse GRANDIOSO also landing. Read the blog here
 
PACHA DU POLDER

My form was pretty hot in and around this time and I napped this horse at Newbury. It was always rated highly by Paul Nicholls but never seemed to get his ground. It did this day at romped in at 18-1. Another huge winning nap! Read the blog here
 
TIDAL BAY

I have mention this old boy! He's my favourite horse in training and what a year it has been for him, his Lexus techincally came in 2012 but what a turnaround Paul Nicholls has made with this horse! It makes you wonder what he could have achieved had he been there all his career and how poor Howard Johnson really was! His performance in the Hennessey giving Bob's Worth 6lbs and only just being beaten was ace and also what a brave fight he gave in the Welsh National just last week. He for me is already a National Hunt legend!
 
That was the end of the jumps season really except for the Aintree festival, this always seems to elude me and I never quite get the winners there! I'm still waiting for a National winner too – getting a bit like AP did before his success – just cant seem to pick the winner! Tidal Bay this year? Who knows!
 
I'm not as good on the flat with my selections as I seem to be over the jumps and to be fair I love the jumps more! The flat season revolved around these blog highlights for me
 
KINGSGATE NATIVE

An old favourite of mine and I put him up on the blog to win the Temple Stakes at Haydock and he obliged at 14-1 that day.
 
DECLAN CARROLL

Now Mr Carroll is a northern trainer I've followed for a few years and he is good to watch around York, Catterick and Beverley. Particularly with sprinters on their first or second run. Last year he sent out LASTCHANCELUCAS to win at 100-1 at York. This year I selected TWEETY PIE of his on the blog and it romped in at 66-1! Keep your eye on him, he sends a few big priced winners out every year. Read the Tweet Pie blog here
 
We of course cant forget the passing of one of the greatest horsemen of all time in Sir Henry Cecil. What a man he was – a privelege to have seen him train. We were also treated the the likes of TORONADO, DAWN APPROACH, DANK, and of course the blistering display from TREVE in the Arc.
 
It's been quite a year and I've loved every minute of it, I look forward to blogging more this year and maybe sharing a few more winners with you.
 

The Welsh National

This photo was one of my favourite racing moments, when the amazing Tidal Bay was given a peach of a ride by Ruby Walsh in last year's Lexus Chase. He's my favourite horse in racing and is a legend before today. Could he do the impossible today? Yesterday was a cracking day on the blog for me and my old man with MICKIE (5-2), ELY BROWN (13-8) and PEPITE ROSE, the nap, going in at 4-1. My old man still made more profit than me though with IPSOS DU BERLAIS getting placed in the big chase at Leopardstown.
He's 2-0 up now and way in front of me on profit, time to claw some back today! Each selection is a £2.50 each way.
 
TIDAL BAY 1435 CHEPSTOW (nap) – (3rd – 10-1 = £6.25) everyone I listen to is doubting this old boy, not me! He is the class horse in the race, as judged on the weights and so many horses running from out the handicap. He could have gone anywhere over the Xmas period but they have opted for this, he will relish the ground, trust me. He won the BET365 Gold Cup the other year on soft ground, but it was a right slog and he cruised through it. That is the same trip as this and he carried 11-12 that day too. This track will suit him and he will be able to come from off the pace late as other horses are stopping. Remember he was second to Bob's Worth in the Hennessey last year, giving him 6lbs. He is great in these handicaps! He will need to use all his class to win this, but he is a legend and this will write him into the history books! I believe! Do you?
 
PATEESE 1450 NEWBURY (nb) – (2nd – 9-2 = £2.81) ran back to form last time behind Mickie at track. He has been raised 5lbs for that, but that form is strong, especially after Mickie outstaying them all yesterday again. He should run another cracker!
 
FRONTIER SPIRIT 1510 CHEPSTOW (treble) – (unplaced = -£5.00) has been dropped to mark just 2lbs higher than when winning at Newbury on heavy ground over 2m6f. He will relish the ground and his first two runs need a line through as for me he was pitched too high. This race is more his level and he is on an appealing mark as mentioned. The ground will really come into play and with MAIL DE BIEVRE making all it should play into his strengths as this is over slightly shorter. Chance!
 
SOLAR IMPULSE 1400 CHEPSTOW – (unplaced = -£5.00) has been snapped upby top connections that you have to take note of. He could be anything, but for me he has won on heavy ground in France. When it is heavy over there it is bottomless and that will surely play into his hamds today with the forecast going at Chepstow. He has good breeding and is out of the same sire as GRANDIOSO another one of these connections horses. Has a big chance to open his account
 
Those are my four for my blog purposes, I also fancy GLEN COUNTES 1245 Newbury,RESTLESS HARRY 1315 Newbury and MOORLANDS MIST 1330 Chepstow.
 
Here are my old man's four for today :
 
BRACKLOON HIGH 1330 CHEPSTOW (unplaced = -£5.00)
RENARD 1510 CHEPSTOW (WON – 7-1 = £21.88)
VINTAGE STAR 1435 CHEPSTOW (unplaced = -£5.00)
HOWARDS LEGACY 1315 NEWBURY (unplaced = -£5.00)
 
Running totals – FATHER 2 SON 0

Father = £64.68 profit
Son = £20.39 profit
 
 
Result
Father = £6.88
Son = – £0.96.
FATHER 3 SON 0
Totals
Father = £71.54 profit
Son = £19.43 profit

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