Friday, 20 November 2015

Friday Again!!

I was pretty much bang on with my stable horse appraisals yesterday and there are 7 runners today to look at below :

Dan Skelton
Ascot - Soft, good to soft in places. There doesn't appear to be any further rain due.
1.30 - Bon Chic was due to run at Wincanton yesterday but was taken out because of the heavy going and presumably she doesn't want it overly soft and performs better on good so that is a big negative today. The stables early plan is to campaign her with the Listed mares novice chase final at Cheltenham in April in mind. Her jockey Robert Dunne only has a 3% strike rate this season and she is one for another day when the going is more in her favour.

2.40 - Squire Trelawney has been with the stable a while but his first win from 7 starts for them came last time out at Wincanton in a 6 runner Class 4 novices limited handicap chase over 2m 4f on good. He has been off for 557 days prior to that win so there may be a "bounce" factor to consider. He has gone up 6lb for that win and is on a workable mark of 114c which brings him into this Class 3 on bottom weight of 10-1 which is Ryan Mahon's lowest riding weight in last 12 months. The stable thought he would improve for the run pre race last time even though he had done a lot of work. He is a sound jumper who should appreciate the softer going, longer distance and stiffer track. Of his opponents Tenor Nivernais and Garrahalish are back down to their last winning marks,

Haydock - Soft, heavy in places. There are patches of rain in the area at present.
1.55 - Welsh Shadow is another from the stable that is highly thought of being related to Celestial Gold and he won his bumper by 7 lengths beating Duelling Banjo's who won the Class 4 novices hurdle at Kempton recently. He was comprehensively beaten by Champion Bumper 4th Yanworth, who has since won again, on his first run back at Exeter in a Class 3 2m1f novices hurdle on soft going. He remains at a similar distance in this Class 1 Listed race and the stable will be hoping of a better showing here on his second run back as I would imagine they have aspirations of the festival with this horse but odds on ain't for me.

3.05 - Baratineur was a dual bumper winner in France on soft and heavy going. He is said to have a shown a lot of speed and ability at home. Returned at Huntingdon in a Class 5 maiden hurdle over 2m on good going finishing 4th behind Great Hall. He failed to settle and pulled hard and it is hoped the first race has taken out some of the fizz and brought him on too.

Paul Nicholls
1.20 - Solar Impulse has won twice from 13 starts for Paul Nicholls so he doesn't win as regular as some in the stable. That said he is on a fairly stiff chase mark of 149c due to consistent form in good company running with smart novice form with Josses Hill, Three Kingdoms and Monetaire. The stable have chosen to go down the graduation chase route and that works in his favour today as he is favourably weighted with his two opponents - ie Doctor Phoenix would be 13lb better off in a handicap, however his trainer is excited by his potential and that's why he may be prepared to overlook the weight disadvantage. As Solar Impulse is still only 5 he is open to further improvement however Paul Nicholls was saying about 12 days ago that he was "a bit behind the others at present". He has had a breathing operation and will need the run and I personally think the stable are a bit confused as to what his ideal conditions are as he 's back over 2m here on soft against two horses that have a race fitness edge - the cheek pieces are also re employed. The Tizzard stable had the runaway winner in this race last season in Third Intention as I was there and I remember it being a particularly "bad day at the office"for Sam Twiston Davies - so Kings Lad could hand out some more punishment on going that he will like as Doctor Phoenix will try to make this a test.

1.55 - Marracudja had a breathing operation over the summer. After his run at Doncaster last December he was put away. He duly rewarded patience when he made a comfortable winning return at Wincanton on 25th October in a Class 4 national hunt novices hurdle. He then followed up that win at the same course in a Class 3 national hunt novices hurdle over 2m on soft winning by a comfortable 9 lengths He.jumps well, possesses speed and a flat track probably suits, that said he probably doesn't want it too soft so the going may be going against him. He is progressing well and the stable are looking forward to his 2m chasing career already. - NON RUNNER

2.30 - Silsol ran 4 times last season winning twice at Newbury and Ffos Las on soft and heavy so he should have no trouble with conditions here. He is the highest rated hurdler Nicholls has sent chasing this year and the stable think there is more scope for progress in this code, particularly on soft ground. There are no frills with this horse he is solid and dependable and jumps well and the plan has always been to campaign him in the north as the stable are high in the novice chase department. He won on his return at Carlisle beating a couple of good horses and he should have come on a bit for the run. However he faces two decent rivals here in Minella Rocco and Private Malone but Silsol's race fitness should give him the edge on going he likes.


Squire Trelawney 0.50 points ew @ 11/2 with Bet365, BetVictor and William Hill

Silsol 1 point win @ 7/4 with several bookmakers
Baratineur 0.50 points ew @ 7/1 with several bookmakers

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Piling On The Pressure!

A very sad day for racing yesterday with the passing of Pat Eddery who wass one of the best jockeys that I have been fortunate to watch in my lifetime.
A strong jockey he was someone, as a punter, you could have every confidence in to deliver the goods and as a role model he was a racing icon you could aspire to be - he will be greatly missed by many.
He rode in some great races - not least the Bustino(Mercer) v Grundy(Eddery) match which is probably best remembered through the words of another legend Sir Peter O'Sullivan :
"As they race towards the furlong pole it's Bustino and Grundy together, then comes Dahlia and On My Way. Bustino on the far side, Grundy on the near side. The 3yo and the 4yo as they race into the final 150 yards and it's Grundy going on from Bustino and Dahlia and On My Way. Bustino is fighting his way back but Grundy is holding him and as they come to the line Grundy wins it!".

There was no change on the luck front yesterday - I ignored the two Skelton runners at Lingfield and they both won ! - albeit the second of those Arthamint was disqualified because David England, his jockey, weighed in 1.5lbs light. The explanation was that he had gone down to the start early and must have sweated it off - but that said he won well in this small field and he is a winner without a penalty.

Onto today and Bangor with just the two runners for Dan Skelton.
Paul Nicholls had several entered up at Exeter but they have presumably been taken out because of the heavy going.

Bangor - Soft, going stick 6.1 - will probably remain so as showers forecast in the area.
2.00 - What A Good Night would have won three on the trot last season but for falling when well clear at Southwell. His dam was an unraced half sister to 2003 Hennessy winner Strong Flow(OR140). He sounds a bit of a character that needs strong handling but  he is an improving sort. That said he's been let down by his jumping on occasions not least last time out when he fell at the last with the race at his mercy. He's gone up 7lb since that race and therefore he is now 16lb higher than his last win which seems a bit harsh. He also steps up two classes here to Class 2 which is the highest grade he has ever run in and that will no doubt put more pressure on his jumping ability. The stable are testing the water, it would seem, but he has race fitness on most of the the field which paid with the stables Rock Of Leon yesterday. His price is currently between 5/1 and 15/2 so there is a range of thought as to what his prospects are.
4.00 - Mister Kalanisi is returning from a long break and is probably best watched.

No Bets today

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Form or Luck!!

Whilst I appreciate there is a large element of form to horse racing it sometimes falls down to just luck.
I've been putting up bets on the Nicholls and Skelton stables over the last few weeks but things haven't been going too well and that has been compounded over the last few days.
On Saturday I went for Nicholls All Yours only for a deluge of rain to hit the track and for the stables mud loving Irving, who was said to need the run, bounding clear to win. I also went for Skeltons Upepito only for him to fall when seemingly going better than anything.
Yesterday, as a result of that, I did't bother with either of Nicholls runners, although I gave them a good write up, and what happens they both win!!.....when your lucks in its in.

Not to be deterred by mere luck we are back into the fray today as Nick Skelton has five runners. He did have one yesterday but I left it alone as he made little mention of it in several stable tours.

Dan Skelton
Huntingdon - The going has dried up overnight from Soft to Soft - good to soft in places.
1.10 - Herons Heir won a 7 runner bumper in Ireland on his first run and on the back of that was thrown straight into a Listed bumper at Ascot finishing 7th of 9. His next and final run was in a novice hurdle at Newbury when he finished 5th behind Cole Harden but the trainer readily admitted that it was his fault that the horse didn't perform to his capabilities in either race. He drops back to 2m here, which could be his ideal trip, and he must be settling better now as the stable haven't reached for any head gear. Dan Skelton has, a lot of time for this horse and although he's been off for 664 days he could figure prominently against the likes of Camborne and Younevercall and he's worth an ew.

2.10 - Calculated Risk has come from John Quinn's stable and is probably best watched on his stable debut. Having owned a share in Lil Rockerfeller when he was with Middleham Park I am keen to see how he gets on after his promising run last time out as the going and track should be perfect for him.

2.40 - Notnowsam joined the yard earlier in the year from Noel Quinlan and was quickly off the mark at Warwick - being well placed to win a Class 4 Novice Handicap Chase over 2m on Good to Soft. He jumped well that day and won in a respectable time. Having only run 11 races under rules and still being a 4yo he is open to improvement. He returned over fences at Wetherby 4 weeks ago finishing 2nd to Oliver's Gold when he was headed with a 150 yards to go for which he has gone up 2lb to 124c. There are no cheekpieces employed today and the easier going should suit and he has a favourites chance of winning.

1.00 - Rock Of Leon ran three times over the jumps last season winning first time out at Fontwell when scraping home after idling having looked set to win by further. He was tried in a Grade 2 next time out at Haydock but he wasn't up to it. The stable think there is definitely more to come and he was pitched straight into a handicap hurdle off 124h first time out this season at Stratford when he finished 5th of 11 after being unable to quicken between the last two hurdles. The heavy going may be more than he cares for but he has won on soft. He's been dropped 1lb and whilst he has a fitness advantage on a lot of the field he dropped away tamely last time and may need to come down a bit further in the handicap to find a winning opportunity.

3.30 - Arthamint won a maiden bumper at Ludlow last December but then never progressed from there in 3 runs. He returned at Ludlow a few weeks ago where he finished 6th after pulling hard. He is said to be more of a chasing prospect but the stable will look to try and win a hurdle. He has had a breathing operation but it hasn't had any significant effect to his form. He's gone up 2lb for finishing 2nd in a Class 5 last time at Uttoxeter when he kept on to take that position in the last 100 yards. He's not one of the stable stars and although I may be wrong I cant see him winning.

Notnowsam 1 point win @ 11/4 Coral, William Hill and Betvictor
Herons Heir 0.50 points ew @ 8/1 with most firms

I will be having a look at the Paddy Power Chase later this afternoon and I think there is one that's worth a decent ew punt. Plus there's Exeter, Ayr and Bangor tomorrow to look forward to.

Good Luck - we certainly need it !!

Monday, 9 November 2015

Disappointing Weekend ???

I went to Aintree on Saturday and whilst not winning a retirement fortune I did manage to pick up some information once having paid the extortionate £25 to get in!!

It was great to see Bobs Worth and Simonsig dominating the finish of the Class 2 Betfair Hurdle but not so great that there was no depth of entry to make this race more than a "run out" for the Henderson duo - there was after all £18,768.00 to the winner!!
That was compounded by there being not one northern entry - surely someone had something in that rating band that they could have run - it was penalty kick waiting to happen!
After the race I offered my congratulations to Nicky as he couldn't have hoped for a better result. It was clear afterwards that Simonsig wont be contesting a 3m chase any time soon and that was confirmed by Henderson, although had he had a bit more company on the way round he may have been able to reserve more energy for the finish. He had been off  the track for 970 days and you also have to take into account that this was still only his tenth race under rules and off those ten he has only had three races over fences which culminated in his Arkle win in 2013.
Bobs Worth now heads for the Hennessy, although there will be a jockey issue as Nico de Boinville will ride Coneygree.

Venetia Williams was at the track and she enjoyed success through the mare Pepite Rose in the Class 2 Handicap chase over 2m 4f who ran away with the event. It was a top weight carrying effort by the only mare in the line up and this was her "Gold Cup" it would seem. Upepito though was yet to be asked a serious question and the large weight concession would surely have told up the straight and compensation awaits for him.

Broxbourne had been targeted at the mares hurdle on the Wincanton card but missed that to run at Aintree instead and the tip should have been taken, albeit Henderson had warned previously that soft ground wouldn't help her cause - but trainers "what do they know". She didn't appear to mind the soft going and she too won well whilst the stables Caracci Apache, who looked great in the paddock, suffered a mid race injury in his contest.

I'm partial to having a bet in a bumper and I particularly like the festival one. There were some nice lookers on Saturday namely Golden Investment and The Fresh Prince and they should pay their way as the season progresses and once they jump a fence - but they all played second fiddle to the more experienced Mahlerdramatic.

There is a lot to look forward to this week with Cheltenhams three day Open meeting commencing on Friday and the word "soft" looks odds on to figure in the going description. Tomorrow I will try and come up with a couple of long price ew selections for the Paddy Power Gold Cup and Greatwood Hurdle.

Onto today and there are a couple of entries for Paul Nicholls at Carlisle. Dan Skelton withdrew both his runners yesterday as I don't think his horses are running consistently at present. 

Paul Nicholls
The going is heavy, soft in places and the rain continues to pummel the north and I would imagine this very stiff track will take no prisoners today and some odd results may ensue.

1.45 - Silsol ran 4 times last season winning twice at Newbury and Ffos Las on soft and heavy so he should have no trouble with conditions today or staying the distance. Paul Nicholls says he may need the run but he said that last year and he came out and won  - a bit like Irving on Saturday! I believe he is the highest rated hurdler Nicholls sends chasing this year and the stable think there is more scope for progress in this code, particularly on soft ground. There are no frills with this horse he is solid and dependable and jumps well and the plan has always been to come north as the stable are high in the novice chase department. He is up against two similar types here in Seeyouatmidnight and Maximiser and it will be no walk in the park. In addition Sam Twiston Davies may be low on confidence at present as he has only ridden 6 winners in the last 14 days all of which were fav.

2.50 - Salubrious was a Grade 1 performer over hurdles and won the Martin Pipe at the festival in 2013 off a mark of 141h. That said Nicholls wasn't overly impressed with his initial handicap rating of 153c following his Fontwell win on his sole chase start prior to injury last season and that has now been reduced to 148c. He is said to be in good form but given the injury, today's attritional going and the fact that he hasn't run for 402 days you couldn't back him with any confidence and Blakemount's previous run out may swing the balance in his favour.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

It's All Go !!

We went very close to a decent place punt with Crockery at Chepstow on Wednesday but unfortunately it wasn't to be.

Just a couple of runners for the Dan Skelton stable tomorrow and none for team Nicholls now until Saturday. Things seem to have slowed down a bit with the Skelton horses as they are not firing as good as they were a couple of weeks ago but that said they had a winner yesterday in Willows Saviour who was returning from a long lay off.

1.20 - Toby Lerone returns to the fray in a novices hurdle over 2m 4f 217y. He was 4th in a handicap hurdle here on his third start last season off the same mark so I wouldn't expect too much. He was 2nd to Broadway Buffalo in the Tommy Whittle at Haydock and BB went on to finish 2nd to Cause Of Causes off an 8lb higher mark in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham. Toby Lerone missed the cut in the Irish National. He is a lover of soft ground and staying is his forte and I would imagine this is a prelude to other targets as his chase rating is 128c. The early season plan would be to contest a race at Ascot the week before Christmas as he seems to perform better at right handed tracks. There is no head gear on for this and as the going is good he may be tapped for a bit of toe.

2.55 - Beautiful Gem has been given time to mature hence the 565 days off. Although she finished 6th of 8 to Blaklion she has not set the world alight in her two previous runs and it looks as though she will ultimately end up chasing.

There are no bets tomorrow.