Cheltenham Day Three

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A cracking day for the blog on day two with WILLOUGHBY COURT going in at 14-1. Hope you were on it too. He was so brave and deserved his success. The Mullins bubble seems have burst and his horses don’t look to be moving at all – what happened to Douvan. My National tip SAUSALITO SUNRISE went for a day out plain and simple; Ive watched it back and he has a steady race and Dickie never touches him. Bring on the big race. Two more horse were placed DIVIN BERE and DEBUCHET, so overall I was pleased.

On to day three and hopefully a few more good runs and successes.

JLT Novices Chase

This is cracking little race to get us going on day three and there are some good horses going at each other here. TOP NOTCH is the first of these, he has got better as the season has progressed culminating in a very good run in Scilly Isles. He has to have a good chance. YORKHILl has always been ‘potentially’ a smart horse but he really hasn’t beaten much in my opinion this year and reread my previous thoughts about the yard and 5/4 is stupid price. He may ,take a mug of me though. DISKO will have his followers and rightly so, he is another that has got progressively better. I’m opting for POLITOLOGUE though. The Nicholls yard is also a bit hit and miss but this one has always been held in high regard. He again, like the others has got better and better and he just looks a natural chaser and is so smooth and that could be the determining factor here. Get your money on!!!

SELECTION : POLITOLOGUE 13-2 Paddy Power

Pertemps Network Final

Oh this race brings back my fond HOLYWELL memories and hopefully I’ll have another big priced winner. So, straight to it, for me GAYEBURY wins this. He’s top weight and top weight for a reason, he’s potentially very good and top weights do well in this. He was put in his place by WILLOUGHBY COURT at Warwick and that’s where they both went into my notebook. One did the business yesterday and that has seriously franked the form. GAYEBURY went on form his defeat and won the series qualifier at Chepstow very well beating JURY DUTY. He has been raised a massive 15lbs for that showing how good a performance it was and interestingly that is the same mark WILLOUGHBY COURT won off yesterday. He has yet to run on good ground but his sire Overbury was a winner and runner on good and faster ground and it may bring our further improvement in him. TOBEFAIR cannot be discounted as he is so strong and such a battler and JURY DUTY has a 13lb pull on GAYEBURY today and that has to be taken into consideration too but I don’t think he’ll like the ground. A cracking race where MR MIX and  FOR GOOD MEASURE also have strong chances. If you can solve this, you’re a good one – I hope I have!!

SELECTION : GAYEBURY 22-1 Paddy Power

FOR GOOD MEASURE 17-2 Bet365

Ryanair Chase

This is a good race and contains horses who are top class but don’t have enough petrol in the reserves to go in the Gold cup. So for me, it’s always a great spectacle. UN DE SCEAUX has performed very well again this year and he has jumped so much better and he has to have a massive chance. The concern as well as the stable is the ground though, will it be soft enough? He is for me the class horse in the race though! JOSES HILL won the Peterborough and should give everyone a good run for their money but for me he lacks the class for this. EMPIRE OF DIRT could give the owner a winner in his own race. He won well at the festival last year and won the Troytown with ease. He has class and stays, shortlist! What a story it would be for UXIZANDRE rot win after coming back so well after injury and he jumped straight back into everyone’s lists after his comeback run behind UDS last time. A cracking race – sit back and enjoy.

SELECTION : UN DE SCEAUX 11-4 William Hill

Stayers Hurdle

I love this race as it reminds me of INGLIS DREVER, one of my all time favs. Think about the winners of this race recently, the DREVER, BIG BUCKS, THISTLECRACK and I think we will see the next staying star born. UKNOWWHATIMEANHARRY is head and shoulders above these and he won the Cleeve at a canter and I can’t see him getting beat here. I think her’ll go off even money or shorter tomorrow. Get the 6-4 quick!!

SELECTION : UKNOWWHATIMEANHARRY 6-4 BOYLESPORTS

Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable Plate

Another of my favourite competitive handicaps to try and find the winner of!! This is a race where a big priced horse usually wins and if you can find the winner you’ve done a bloody good job; but I like a challenge, so here goes!DIAMOND KING is a worthy favourite but Im not sure he’ll win. He has good form and we saw what he can do last year and little old VILLAGE VIC lets him have a lighter weight to carry. BOUVREIL goes on the shortlist after a great couple of runs. THOMAS CRAPPER creeps in after his success last week and has some solid form. VILLAGE VIC has had another awesome season and he thrives in races like this. He is such a tough cookie and he may appreciate the better ground, if they give him a soft lead then they could be in a lot of trouble. KATACHENKO looked better for stepping up last time in trip and was given a confidence booster and he is on a nice mark and should like the ground. I have to have an each way wager on him at that price.

SELECTIONS : VILLAGE VIC 16-1 Paddy Power

KATACHENKO each way 40-1 Paddy Power

Trull House Stud Mares Hurdle

Not a race I’m spent a lot off time or that I’m a big fan of. The Mullins yard seem to have a good one it LETS DANCE to carry on from last year. Yet AIRLIE BEACH is potentially very good too and could surprise the yard and others and keep her unbeaten run up. To take the Mullins team on then you have to opt for LA BAGUE AU ROI who has some good form ion the bag and has been considered a strong contender for this for a while; the ground will help her chances considerably. She beat DUSKY LEGEND well last time and she has to have the best chance for me here.

SELECTION : LA BAGUE AU ROI 10-1 Paddy Power

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase

This is a tough one to crack and it’s more difficult with the amateurs on them, but you need an experienced amateur that is for sure. The Pipe’s are masters at this and anything of theres needs noting. PREMIER BOND has Sam on board and and has performed nicely in some Novice chases this year. DOCTOR HARPER is off the same mark as running in this last year and has a big race like this in him, his jumping just doesn’t seem to be slick enough for me. SQUOQaaaawhatever you say has been lined up for this and has last year’s winnig jockey on board. Im opting for an old favourite of mine who will absolutely love the ground. If he can get into sa good rhythm of jumping he could be thereabouts at the end. That is LAMB OR COD. Put a line through his last run on soft ground and he has the ability to take this last race.

SELECTION : LAMB OR COD 33-1 Bet365

Selections:

£5 win POLITOLOGUE 1:30 13-2 Paddy Power

£5 each way GAYEBURY 2:10 22-1 Paddy Power

£5 each way VILLAGE VIC 16-1 Paddy Power

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Aintree Day One

Photo by Fran (@Riosrider2)
 
Day one of the Aintree festival. Usually it pays to side with horses who have swerved Cheltenham, however this year we've had a slightly longer break between the two. Whatever happens over the next few days I'm sure we're in for a right treat, there are some great races to watch and a few tricky handicaps to try and solve. We of course then have the biggest puzzle of them all – The Grand National! My record in the big one just isnt great, the last time I won I think I was eight! I'm now 35!!! However, I have an antepost ticket on MON PARRAIN at 50-1 after he won for the blog on New Year's Day. I'm chuffed the ground will be on the better side for him and also chuffed that Sean Bowen rides. He has a great chance and I reckon he'll run a cracking race! I'll probably pick another couple but haven't made my mind up yet!
Here are my selections for Day One. Good luck with whatever you back and I hope you win!
 
Manifesto Novices Chase 1340
A small but distinct field and a few with obvious chances. The main one is VIBRATO VALTAT who should have been UN DE SCEAUX's main rival in the Arkle, but he never ran a true race. I'm not sure whether he will get this trip? JOSSES HILL has flattered to deceive this year and I don't think his jumping will hold up. I'm opting for CLARCAM (WON 5-1), he may also not get the trip but I prefer his chances with Ruby on board. He was put in his place in the Arkle too but he really caught my eye in the Fred Winter last year and was unlucky when falling. He has had a couple of solid runs this year and doesn't have either VAUTOUR or UN DE SCEAUX to overcome.
 
Betfred Juvenile Hurdle 1415
HARGAM will be a short priced favourite for this based on his third in the Triumph. The Nicholls pair really don't do it for me. I'm opting for INTENSE TANGO (unplaced). She struggled against her male counterparts last time but she comes here fresh and will enjoy the better ground. Her weight allowance may also support her speed at these weights and help her overcome her rivals this time. She looked a decent horse when putting PASS THE TIME and ANIFILET in their place at Doncaster.
 
Betfred Bowl Chase 1450
HOLYWELL (nb) (3rd – 5-2) was my tip for the Gold Cup and is my tip here. He ran a cracker at Cheltenham and it was a shame the ground swung to the soft side that day as I really thought he would win the race. SILVINIACO CONTI misfired that day and on this ground I can't see him reversing placings with my tip. MA FILLEULE is a tough mare and she will be there at the finish. HOLYWELL has the class, the jumping ability and the ground to beat all his rivals.
 
Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle 1525
JEZKI comes here with a real chance of giving the champ another victory in his swansong. ARCTIC FIRE has been ultra-consistent this year too and must have a decent chance. However, I have to opt for my old favourite ROCK ON RUBY (2nd 7-2) though. He missed the festival and will be fresh. Despite being 10 years old he can still mix it with the young guns. He has a good record here and produces good efforts on better ground. I think he'll battle up the finishing straight with the other two above and his heart will bring him out on top.
 
Crabbies Fox Hunters Chase 1605
Only one horse here for me. PACHA DU POLDER (nap) (2nd 7-1) is a horse I always followed and has made a brilliant start in this sphere. My selection improves so much on better ground and I'm expecting a big run tomorrow. He started out this year being beaten by TEAFORTHREE on soft ground and he then won easily on good ground at Ludlow. He's a nice mover and a smart jumper. He is closely matched with BIG FELLA THANKS on old form and I expect both of them to be fighting it out up the finish.
 
Betfred Red Rum Chase 1640
CLARET CLOAK will enjoy the better ground and ran well last time behind ULCK DU LIN at Ascot. He runs well fresh but 11st 12lbs is a lot to carry in this. Even a 5lb taken off by Sean Bowen may not be enough. BABY MIX fascinates me; he's been off for a while and was a smart hurdler on good ground. With this break to overcome and a return to form needed he may not do it, but he's well treated on his old form. I'm opting for TED VEALE (treble) (unplaced) he's down to his last winning mark of OR141, which he's won twice at. He has got a nice weight and has good form when the ground is better. He also has a strong form line through CLARCAM and I think he'll run a big race!
 
Injured Jockeys Fund Handicap Hurdle 1715
The last race on day one and it's a cracker to try and solve! DALAWAN is smart yet disappointed last time behind CALL THE COPS, can he recapture his form? CALL THE COPS has been raised another 7lbs for that win and I think he's handicapped to the max now. LAC FONTANA could really improve for the extra distance amd is worth a saver! UNIQUE DE COTTE and my old favourite JOIN THE CLAN deserve praise and should run well. Now this is where I get silly! I have followed KATGARY (unplaced) all year based on his efforts last season and I was and still am convinced he's a smart horse. Good ground I'm sure is key and with a little bit of confidence back in him for winning in a lower class last time I think he'll run well. He is carrying a stone less than he did last time too. My advice here, ignore me, I'd go over the White Cliffs for this one!!