Midlands National

So the buzz, delight, drama and anticipation has passed, the festival has gone for another year. We are of course faced with a festival with no champ again, but also faced with the delights of some of those awesome horses moving forward from hurdling to chasing and from novice company to graded races – bring it on. On the selection front I had a Wes Craven, not a single winner! I had such a bonkers day on Thursday too that I had no time for my blog on Friday. Was really chuffed at how my old favourite Holywell ran in the Gold Cup and what a fantastic story for all those connected with Coneygree, John Oaksey will have a right smile on his face looking down on us! The photo used on the blog comes from the pages of Fran @Riosrider2 with her permission – give her a follow for some awesome horse photos.
 
So on to a 'normal' Saturday blog, I'm hoping I can break this barren run today! Let's see! The twitter gamble boys have gone for :
@Tonythetyke – FRIENDLY ROYAL 1710 NEWBURY
@DazGilbert1 – WADSWICK COURT 1420 KEMPTON
@LiamKenniford – CATCHING ON 1550 UTTOXETER
@Fernando_RFC2 – BROD NA HEIREANN 1605 KEMPTON
 
Here are my selections for today –
 
DEPUTY DAN 1440 UTTOXETER (NAP) (UR = -£5.00)
was very good as a novice beating the like of IRISH BUCCANEER, CHAMPAGNE WEST and CAESAR MILAN. He then ran behind both VERY WOOD and VIRAK before beating FAR WEST to get his chasing career off to a start. He has some very smart form in the book! After these runs he was rated at OR145. Today he returns on a mark of OR139. He ran well in snatches last time behind ANSI FILEDES at Ascot giving it 4lbs in weight. That one has since franked the form again. Think he has a cracking chance today so long as that jumping holds up!
 
WOODFORD COUNTY 1550 UTTOXETER (NB) (3rd 11-1 = £6.87)
other than a couple of jumping errors which probably cost him a place or two he ran pretty well in the Eider when I put him up on here. He's off the same mark today and has the same jockey claiming another 7lbs – effectively therefore he is carrying the same racing weight as the Eider. Crucially I think the ground will be much moremin his favour today and that should help him stay on a bit more at the end and hopefully give him a little more time to sort his jumping out. Big chance today!
 
GRANDEUR 1505 LINGFIELD (TREBLE) (3rd – 9-2 = £2.81)
ran well late on but had too much to do coming around the bend last time behind GRENDISAR in the trial. Ryan Moore will have taken that on board and should have him placed better today, although he has a high draw to overcome. I'm pretty sure Ryan will have him closer today and will want this race in his pot for the year. Both my guy and GRENDISAR return on the equal measures today but I think my guy has it today and will reverse the placings!
 
KATGARY 1420 KEMPTON (unplaced = -£5.00)
this is where I need my head checking! I have to go with this guy as I think he has so much to offer but frustratingly just doesnt bloody show it on the track. I'm hoping he will appreciate the better ground today and that will sort him out! Fingers crossed on this one – but if he does shown his potential he will murder these!
 
My Dad's selections are :
STRAIDNAHANNA 1440 UTTOXETER (unplaced = -£5.00)
CAPTAIN CAT 1505 LINGFIELD (unplaced = -£5.00)
DEVIL TO PAY 1515 UTTOXETER (PU = -£5.00)
SUMMERY JUSTICE 1550 UTTOXETER (BD = -£5.00)
Standings
Father 8-8 Son
Profit
Father -£62.64
Son £158.28
 
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Kempton and Newcastle

So, the blog returns after an unscheduled week off. I cannot put into words how dreadful I felt last week after a night on the town. It took me until about 6pm to come around! It really is devil’s brew! So onto the horses with the magnificent festival getting ever closer on the horizon. I will do a blog everyday for the festival and do a piece on every race. The superb photo above is courtesy of Fran, give her a follow @Riosrider2. I’ve had a good study of the races today and hopefully have found a few little beauties who I think have a great chance. I have to apologise to one of the #twittergamble boys – @Tonythetyke tipped a winner last week and of course with me being incapacitated it didnt get on here! Sorry mate – hopefully you’ll win today. The #twittergamble is below :
 
@Tonythetyke – FILL THE POWER 1455 NEWCASTLE
@Fernando_RFC2 – LONG JOHN 1645 CHEPSTOW
@LiamKenniford – LE REVE 1545 KEMPTON
@DazGilbert1 – FOGGYS WALL 1620 KEMPTON
 
Here are my selections for today
 
LANDSCAPE 1620 KEMPTON (nap) (PU = -£5.00)
As always I try and find a decent priced nap. This guy was one of my horses to follow a couple of seasons ago when with Paul Nicholls. I put him up here on the blog when he ran at Haydock in March 2013 off a mark of OR130. He coasted up that day in a class 2 with 11 stone 4lb on his back and fell at the last flight when he would have won easily. I was surprised he got sold by the Nicholls team and he had a long absence before pulling up and then came back after another absence in January and needed the run badly. He is running off a very appealing mark today of OR125 he won’t mind the ground at all and if he’s fit, which I think he will be, rhe should run a cracker! I’ve been waiting for this guy to come back for ages! Today is the day!
 
WOODFORD COUNTY 1455 NEWCASTLE (nb) (3rd – 14–1 = £8.75)
Won well for this rider at Newbury in November of a mark of OR125 and then travelled ok when fancied for the Coral Welsh National. That ground really was terrible that day and it really took it toll on horses, my guy included. To say he finished and kept going shows he has stamina and with a return to better ground off the same mark he ran off in the Welsh National he has to have a great chance. He was touted as a smart horse and that’s not going to have changed after one ropey run. The claimers allowance will really help over this distance too and I expect him to be staying on when others a faultering. I hope ALPHA VICTOR decides to have an off day as I think he could be the main danger after a promising run behind JOIN THE CLAN at Wetherby last time.
 
TAP NIGHT 1545 KEMPTON (treble) (UR = -£5.00)
This fella hasnt won for ages and ran at Aintree a couple of seasons ago off a mark of OR145. He has slowly come down the handicap and runs today off the same mark (OR130) when he ran eye catching well behind ANNACOTTY and my selection that day BIG FELLA THANKS. I watched him and thought next time! He here is off a feather weight with Dickie Johnson on board. He could make a mockery of this today, I just hope he reproduces what he did at Cheltenham last time, if he does he has a great chance!

TOP OF THE GLAS 1400 KEMPTON (unplaced = -£5.00)
This fellawasnt too bad on the flat and beat the likes of COULSTY last year and also INTRANSIGENT. He has been a little unlucky in his races and his trainers rates him as a good prospect. This is a big step up but I give him a squeak and he could be one to watch.
 
My Dad’s selections are :
 
MELODIC RENDEZVOUS 1435 KEMPTON (unplaced = -£5.00)
RENARD 1545 KEMPTON (unplaced = -£5.00)
KNOCKANRAWLEY 1455 NEWCASTLE (4th – 10-1 = £6.25)
AWAYTHEGREYS 1610 CHEPSTOW (unplaced = -£5.00)
 
Standings
Father 6-7 Son
Profit
Father -£51.07
Son £153.24