Sunday, 25 November 2018

Monday November 26th

There is some decent racing tomorrow - for a Monday - and in truth, it should probably be even better than it is…

Kempton host the feature meeting - with the high-light, a listed mares hurdle.
However, it’s only attracted 4 runners.
Still, that’s 1 more than in the first 2 races on the card !

Fortunately, the fields have stood up a bit better in the 3 handicaps that close the card…

The days other 2 meetings are at Ludlow and Musselbrough.

Relatively small fields are also the order of the day at Ludlow: and whilst field sizes are better at Mussselburgh, the racing is of a lower standard…



This is the best race of the day - and it contains the days best bet !
Deauville Dancer was due to run at Exeter today, but was pulled out on account of the softening ground.
Assuming it stays quick tomorrow at Kempton, then he looks the one to beat.
There is no disputing the fact he is well handicapped, on a mark 12lb lower than when contesting a similar race over the course, in February.
He ran a good race that day, on ground too soft, over a trip too short - and returning from a break.
He also ran well at Sandown in April, when fourth in a better class contest.
That was from a mark 10lb higher than he races from tomorrow…
He made his seasonal debut at Stratford at the beginning of this month - and again ran with promise.
That run should have put him spot on for tomorrow - and he looks a fair bet at the 8/1 available this evening.

Selection: Deauville Dancer at 8/1


A price of 4/1 is a bit tight - but I like the look of Its got Legs, in this…
He ran well last time, when second in a hot (for the grade) novice handicap hurdle at Ascot.
He had no chance with the well handicapped winner, that day - but still finished ahead of 12 fairly reasonable rivals.
He gets to run from the same mark tomorrow - which is a bonus: and steps up in trip - which I’m sure will help.
The only concern I have is with the fitting of a first time visor.
I have no issue with that itself - but I don’t like it when combined with an increase in distance (as it’s likely to make the horse race more freely).
The answer is probably to put in a low in running lay, in case he doesn’t last home…
I suspect he will be available at 5/1, at some point tomorrow - and I’d be prepared to take a risk on him at that price (laying to get my stake back, at around even money).

Selection: Its Got Legs



Again, I wouldn’t want to get sucked into taking too short a price (and 5/2 this evening is probably too short !) - but I’ll find it hard to resist Hugos Horse in this…
He’s making his chasing debut under rules, having run just twice over hurdles.
However, there is every reason to think he’ll improve for the bigger obstacles, as he’s a PTP winner in Ireland.
Paul Nicholls doesn’t train many horses who are only rated 100 - and Andy Stweart doesn’t own many.
I’d be confident connections expect him to ultimately rate a fair bit higher…
The other slight concern, is that that this could be quite a strong race (relatively speaking).
Balkinstown and The Ogle Gogle Man have both got chances: whilst I would be particularly fearful of Baron du Plesis.
He was backed into favouritism last time, on his seasonal debut, in a stronger race than this.
He was also going well enough, when making a race ending mistake at the third last.
He’s clearly considered well handicapped by connections - so it’s unlikely to be easy for Hugos Horse to make a winning chasing debut…

Selection: Hugos Horse - danger Baron de Plesis


This is another tough race to call - considering there are only 6 runners !
I think the 2 to focus on, are Robinshill and Vivaccio.
The former is 3 from 3 at Ludlow - and is potentially well handicapped.
However, he ran deplorably on his seasonal debut - when drifting like a barge…
That makes me wary: but with 3lb off his mark - and 5lb claimer Zac Baker on his back - returning to his favourite venue, I wouldn’t expect to see that situation repeated !
Assuming he is back to form, then from a mark 2lb lower than the one he was successful from, in the corresponding race 12 months ago, he will take a lot of beating.
Vivaccio is a potential danger, on old form.
If he can return to his best, then he is even better handicapped than Robinshill.
However, he was badly out of form last season - so supporting him would require a bit of an act of faith…

Selection: Robinshill at 9/2

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Friday November 23rd

There are 3 NH meetings tomorrow: at Ascot, Ffos Las and Catterick.

The meetings at Ffos Las and Catterick arent bad - certainly when compared to those on offer at the start of the week !

That said, neither can compare to the action on offer at Ascot.

The 6 race card is varied and of good quality.
In fact, it’s a shame that one or two of the races aren’t being run on Saturday, as I might have fancied tipping in them ! (provided of course, that I could get the prices !)

Instead, Ill just have to content myself with previewing a few of the races - using the info and prices available this evening - and you’ll then have to decide yourselves, whether anything becomes worth a bet tomorrow !



It’s difficult to oppose Wenyerreadyfreddie after his demolition job in a novice handicap at this course, 3 weeks ago.
He really couldn’t have been more impressive that day - and if he runs to the same level of form tomorrow, he will take a bit of beating.
That said, he is taking on potentially better class rivals - and has to give them weight.
So whilst he has an experience and fitness advantage, it might not be a formality for him…

Kildisart strikes me as the one most likely to upset the favourite.
His rating of 143 over hurdles is only 2lb shy of Wenyerreadyfreddies rating of 145 over fences - yet Freddie has to give him 5lb.
There is a question mark over Kildisart’s fitness, so that would temper enthusiasm - but if he is ready to go, then I suspect he will be quite capable of giving the favourite a race.

Selection: Kildisart at 5/1


There is a chance that Royal Regatta might take this race apart…
Rated as high as 158, 2 years ago - he gets to run from a mark of just 145 tomorrow.
The reduction in rating, is because he was disappointing on his 2 runs last season - but that was a case for a lot of the the runners from Philip Hobbs’s stable.
He’s a horse who has run all of his best races at Ascot - and who likes to attack from the front.
If he’s fit enough to do himself justice - and is in the lead over the first fence - I suspect he won’t see a rival !
All this said, he does come with risks…
He’s not run for a year - and doesn’t have a amazing record fresh.
He also wasn’t that keen to set off, the last time he did run !
If you support him, it’s a bit of an act of faith in Philip Hobbs training ability.
The horse is more than capable of winning - but he’s no certainty !
If he does disappoint, then Cobra de Mai may be the one to take advantage.
He’s likely to be overlooked in the betting, as he appears the stable second string, on jockey bookings.
However, William Marshalls 10lb claim more than offsets the rise he got for his last win - and the form of most of his runs prior to that win, would put him right in the mix, under what should be ideal conditions.

Selection: Royal Regatta at 4/1 - value alternative Cobra de Mai


There are fitness or well-being doubts over just about all of the runners in this, which makes it a tricky race to get involved with…
Minella Daddy is handicapped to win - if he returns to action in top form.
The betting is likely to advise on that score.
Battle of Shiloh is also making his seasonal debut - but I’d feel more confident that he will be ready to do himself justice.
He has a good record fresh - and strikes me as a relatively fragile horse, with whom, connections won’t want to waste runs.
He’s not badly handicapped either - and ground/trip should be fine.
Whether there is any value in his current price of 9/2, is debatable - but it might drift a little tomorrow !

Selection: Battle of Shiloh


Off a pound lower mark than when winning the 2017 Fred Winter hurdle at the Cheltenham festival , I think Flying Tiger is the one to beat in this.
I expected that victory to be a spring board for greater things - but it’s not happened.
He ran some fair races over hurdles last season - but was ultimately disappointing: and he’s not really taken to fences this season…
In a way, this is his last chance saloon - but I’m pretty sure that he retains all of his old ability - and I’m hopeful that Dickie will be able to get him to delver.
In fairness, he faces potentially strong opposition, so he’ll need to be close to top form.
Chatez is thrown in on his flat form: Whilst Distingo ran very well on his seasonal debut.
Jolly’s Cracked it is very well handicapped - if he retains his old ability, after 2 years off the track; whilst I expect Scheu Time to run a big race under Jonjo O’Neil Jnr.
As a consequence, you would need a price on Flying Tiger - and 4/1 is tight.
Perhaps he’s another who will drift tomorrow !

Selection: Flying Tiger at 4/1

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Thursday November 22nd

The lack of rain - and consequential quick ground - is really messing up fixtures at the moment - particularly during the mid week.

At Warwick today, the 2 feature chases managed a total of just 6 runners between them.
That’s not a good situation…

Things aren’t great at 2 of tomorrows meetings, either.
Both Wincanton and Thurles have the word ‘firm’ in their going description - and as a result, there are a number of small field, uncompetitive races.

Thankfully, a bit of the wet stuff seems to have fallen at Market Rasen - and their ‘good to soft’ ground has been rewarded by competitive races…

Market Rasen


Martila caught my eye on her most recent outing, staying on into fourth place behind Le Patriote, at Ayr.
She had won the corresponding contest, 12 months earlier - and was well backed to repeat.
However, she hadn’t run for nearly 4 months and I suspect that caught her out.
With the run under her belt, I would expect her to go close this afternoon - and Pauline Robson sends her a long way for the race.
A price of 4/1 is tight against 2 or 3 interesting rivals - but probably about right..

Selection: Martila at 4/1


The Pertemps qualifier is the high-light of the card - and I quite fancy Aaron Lad.
He was progressive last season, before disappointing on his final run at Haydock.
However, he shaped nicely on his return this season, when sixth in a competitive race at Cheltenham.
I would expect that run to have brought him on - in which case, he should go close tomorrow.
Interestingly, he is trained by Dr Newland, who has a decent strike rate at the Lincolnshire venue - and he is the only runner the good Doctor has at the meeting…
The general 7/1 this evening, strikes me as fair.

Selection: Aaron Lad at 7/1


This is a intriguing novice handicap chase - in which the runners have a real range of experience over fences…
At one end of the spectrum, First Drift is making his chasing debut under rules (though he has won a PTP): whilst at the other, Arctic Gold has already run 10 times over fences (without success !).
I like Drovers Hill best - but he is favourite and there is minimal margin in a price of 3/1.
Lisdoonvarna Lad is more interesting, at a price, for Charlie Longsdon.
He made his chasing debut at Warwick last month, in the race won by Kalashnikov.
Unsurprisingly, he never featured that day - but with that experience under his belt - and over an extra half mile, I would expect him to do much better tomorrow.

Selection: Lisdoonvarna Lad at 9/1


As a class 5 event, this is certainly not a race to be going mad with (as it could easily be the subject of a plot !) - however, with a straight bat, I quite like the look of Filemon…
He’s shown ability over fences - but has struggled with his jumping.
It’s therefore interesting that connections put him back over hurdles tomorrow…
The handicapper has dropped him a couple of pounds for his last run, which will help: and he also has the services of one the best jockeys in the race, in the shape of Page Fuller.
I’m a little unsure about the drop in trip, to 2 miles - but he’ll probably get a way with it.
There are very few in the race who you can fancy, based on what they’ve shown on the track - so at 4/1 he strikes me as a fair bet.

Selection: Filemon at 4/1

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Wednesday November 14th

There are 4 NH meetings taking place tomorrow, and whilst there’s not much of note at either Ayr or Fairyhouse (assuming you ignore Sean Bowens 5 rides for Gordon Elliot, at the former venue !), then Exeter and Bangor both put on some decent races - and there is a potential start turn running at each venue…

Marias Benefit has her second run over fences at Bangor; whilst Black Op begins his chasing career at Exeter.
Both horses have the potential to be top class and could easily end up major players in championship races at the big spring festivals.
Needless to say, I would expect them to win tomorrow (even though victory for neither, is a formality).

The best race of the day, is the Anne Duchess of Westminster memorial chase at Bangor (1:50).
It’s attracted a really good class field - and if it was being run on a Saturday or Sunday, would definitely be classed as a TVB ‘Big’ race !

Run on a Wednesday, however, the early market is unlikely to be particularly strong.
That coupled with the fact that it’s a very open looking race, dissuaded me from getting involved with it - ‘officially’ speaking, anyway !



This race certainly wouldn’t look out of place on a Saturday card - and a case of sorts, can be made for all 12 runners…
Sir Mangan won the race 12 months ago - and looks to have been primed for a repeat bid.
He also somehow finds himself running from a mark 7lb lower - so really should have a very good chance.
The only issue is, this looks to be a much more competitive renewal than last years - and whilst I’m sure he will run well, he just might find one or two of his progressive rivals, a bit too good.
There are 5 second season novice chasers in the race - and my feeling is that one of them will win.
The market favours Barney Dwan - and whilst I respect his claims, he usually finds a way to lose and is also plenty short enough in the betting.
Of more interest, are Rolling Dylan and Back to the Thatch.
The former could easily show improvement this campaign, with his stable in such good form; whilst the latter is likely to have been targeted at the race, by his shrewd trainer.
Full Irish and Sparkling River are the 2 others second season novices - and both have also got a chance.
The latter certainly looks over-priced, at 33/1…
It really isn’t an easy race to solve, as non of the 6 remaining runners can be completely dismissed.
At tonight's prices, I’d be inclined to side with Back to the Thatch - and maybe have a small EW play on Sir Mangan, to cover stakes…

Selection: Back to the Thatch at 10/1 - danger Sir Mangan EW at 10/1


This is another very tricky race - and again, a case can be made for most of the runners…
Whatmore and Present Ranger head the market - and whilst that is fair enough, I’m not sure I’d want to be backing anything in the race at 4/1 or under…
If I was to get involved, I’d maybe take a chance on Wilde Blue Yonder.
He’s definitely got the ability to win off his current mark - but he’s had injuries and is also making his seasonal debut.
The market will probably advise on stable expectations - but if he is fit and fancied, then tonights 8/1 would be decent value.
The other one of interest, is Ballyhill.
He reverts to hurdles tomorrow, having lost his way over fences.
He’s potentially well handicapped, running off a mark 1lb lower than when he won over fences, at Cheltenham on New Years day.
Again, the market is likely to advise on whether this is a confidence building exercise - or if he will be really going for it.

Selection: Wilde Blue Yonder at 8/1



I’m not surprised to see Just a Sting installed the short priced favourite for this, after his recent win at Uttoxeter.
He may well be capable of following up - but he’s 6lb higher and it’s a deep race.
Certainly at a best price of 5/2, I’m happy to look elsewhere…
Gunfleet is the obvious alternative - but we are guessing on his fitness, and again , the price isn’t great.
I’d rather take a chance on Vodka all the Way and Merry Milan.
Somewhat oddly, they have the same owner - but different trainers.
The former is trained by Philip Hobbs and has Dickie in the saddle.
I suspect he will do better on his chasing debut than he did on his seasonal debut over hurdles at Newton Abbott, last month.
Merry Milan is making both his seasonal debut and his chasing debut - after just 3 runs over hurdles.
He’s a former PTP winner however, and it’s interesting that connections are keen to get him over fences asap.
He clearly comes with risks - but most 16/1 chances do !

Selection: Merry Milan at 16/1 


Trans Express was an official eye catcher on his seasonal debut at Cheltenham, last month.
He ran perfectly well there, in a better race - and I’m pretty sure the objective that day, was simply to get him spot on for today.
He should certainly strip fitter for the run - and the handicapper also generously dropped him 2lb.
Cheek pieces are reapplied tomorrow - so he must have a very good chance, at a course where he has historically performed well (3 wins and 2 seconds, from 7 runs).
I’m not surprised that he has been well backed - as the early 10/1 was too big.
Even the current 13/2 doesn’t look too bad - as I’ll be a little surprised if he’s out of the frame…
Whether he is good enough to win however, is a different matter.
Sue Gardners few runners haven’t performed particularly well - and he also faces at least a couple of decent rivals, in the form of Nayati and Casterly Rock.
My inclination is to have a small bet on him - possibly EW - but no more than that…

Selection: Trans Express at 13/2

Monday, 12 November 2018

Tuesday November 13th

I had no expectations for tomorrows racing, so It was a very pleasant surprise to look at the overnight declarations and see not 1; not even 2 - but 3 very decent meetings..!

Ofcourse, they are decent by mid week standards - but even so, each meeting has at least an interesting race or two on the card - and whilst I would recommend treading very carefully, there may possibly be one or two bets lurking…

Somewhat surprisingly, the best card is at Hereford - and they also host the best race of the day, in the handicap chase at 3:30.



I do like novice handicap chases (a stroke of genius, by whoever invented them !) - and this is a nice example…
The top 3 look like the ones to focus on (probably) - though choosing between them isn’t easy…
Great things were expected of Brelan Das over fences, last season - but he was a big disappointment and ended the season back over hurdles.
He tries the bigger obstacles again tomorrow - and over a shorter trip.
He’s potentially well handicapped on a mark of 130, as he won a hurdle race off the same mark, 2 years ago.
However, whether he’ll be able to replicate that level of form over fences tomorrow, is a different matter…
Jurby is just about favourite - and I would expect him to run well.
However, he’s already 8 - which is quite old to be making the switch to fences…
I’d rather side with the 5 year old, Irish Prophecy.
He bumped in to Kalashnikov last season - and then, If the Cap Fits.
He wasn’t disgraced either race - and doesn’t face a rival of their calibre tomorrow (please note clever play on words there :) )

Selection: Irish Prophecy at 7/2


Emma Lavelle could be in for a double tomorrow afternoon, as I like her De Rasher Counter in this…
He was a fair novice hurdle last season - but it’s his debut effort over fences, last time, which catches the eye.
That was in a hot novice chase at Uttoxeter, where he finished third behind Lil Rockerfeller and Wenyerreadyfreddie.
Both of those have won good races since and whilst De Rasher Counter was beaten a fair way - he also shaped with a deal of promise…
There’s a chance that his inexperience could catch him out tomorrow against more seasoned rivals - but if his jumping holds, then I think he will take a bit of beating. 
In fairness, he faces plenty of interesting rivals, so it won't be a formality.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see big runs from both Hogans Height and Creep Desbois - whilst Conna Cross and Too Many Diamonds can also both be given a chance…

Selection: De Rasher Counter at 5/1



This is just about the best race on the Huntingdon card - and Banditry looks a worthy favourite.
He is potentially very well handicapped - not based on his hurdles form - but on his more recent runs on the flat.
He’s been competitive off a mark of 102 on the flat - and you can usually add about 40 to that to get an equivalent hurdle mark.
He actually runs tomorrow off a mark of 124 - so could have 20lb in hand.
The only trouble is, on his last run over hurdles (12 months ago), he was beaten off a mark of 125.
Of course he may have improved in the interim - or conversely, he just might not be as good over hurdles !
On balance, at a price of 6/4, I’d be inclined to take him on…
Both Distingo and Embole have plenty of scope for improvement - and I’d be inclined to side with one of them.
Of the 2, I would have a slight preference for Embole - and that would increase, if he’s strong in the betting !

Selection: Embole at 5/1



Evron catches my eye in this, on his second run for Warren Greatrex.
He disappointed on his stable debut at Carlisle - but should be better for that experience.
The handicapper has dropped him 5lb to a mark of 114 - and he is likely to appreciate the softer ground tomorrow.
It would be unusual for Munir/Souede to have a poor horse - and I will be a little surprised if Evron isn’t capable of winning off his current mark (and probably a bit higher !).
Forecast sets the standard for the race - but he may not appreciate the soft ground.
And whilst it’s hard to get handle on most of the others - I’m sure the betting will provide a good guide !

Selection: Evron at 5/1

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Thursday November 8th

The word ‘soft’ appears in the going description at Newbury tomorrow - and what a difference it’s made to the fields !

All 7 races on the card, have attracted plenty of runners - and a decent quality.
It’s quite different from what’s been happening at many of the recent meetings - and hopefully signals a change, which will see the new season move up a gear…

In addition to Newbury, there are also NH meetings at Market Rasen, Sedgefield and Thurles.
And whilst non of the other 3 can match Newbury for quality, they all host reasonable racing - with the mares chase at Market Rasen, a particular high-light.



New Quay was a massively impressive winner at Ascot on Saturday, and it’s no surprise to see him installed an odds on favourite for this, under a 7lb penalty.
The handicapper saw fit to raise him 17lb for that win, so he is effectively 10lb well in tomorrow…
In the circumstances, Dan Skelton had little option other than to run him - and that  concerns me.
The horse is dropping back in trip - and it’s only 5 days since his Ascot win.
He appeared to win with any amount in hand - but we won’t know how much the race took out of him, until it is too late…
In the circumstances, I couldn’t entertain backing him - the trouble is, nothing jumps out to take him on with…
Capitaine is potentially well handicapped back over hurdles - but this looks like a pipe opener, prior to a return to fences; whilst Majestic Touch is probably the most solid option (if a little uninspiring !).
If Rob Walford has shown any form this season, I would be very interested in Our Merlin.
He was a big improver last season - and is not badly handicapped off a mark of 123.
He is likely to lead the field, so should make a decent in-running play.
I would suggest backing him pre-race and then laying off during the race, for either ‘free’ bet or a profit - hopefully !


This is just about the best novice chase run so far this season…
La Bague au Roi, Lostintranslation and Thomas Campbell are all rated 150+ over hurdles - and all 3 make their chasing debuts in this.
We have to guess on their ability to jump a fence - but my guess is that they'll all be pretty good at it !
That being the case, we could be in for a cracking race !
Le Bague au Roi has won on her seasonal debut for the past 4 seasons - and in receipt of the 7lb sex allowance from her rivals, looks the one to beat.
9/4 isn’t a massive price - but I would have her favourite, so she is worth supporting.
The other 3 runners shouldn’t be good enough to feature (though Talkischeap,  isn’t totally out of things).
That said, I’ll be keeping a particularly close eye on Absolute Power, who will be having his first run for a year, having shown distinct promise over hurdles…

Selection: La Bague au Roi at 9/4


A little like with the opening contest, this race has a short price favourite, who won his most recent race impressively - and who is running here before his new mark kicks in.
This time, it is Ready and Able, who won at Aintree, 11 days ago.
Because that was a conditional jockeys race, Ready and Able escapes a penalty tomorrow: he’s also had a week and half to recover - and is running over the same trip as last time.
In short, I think his credentials are stronger than those of New Quay.
On the flip side, he faces stronger opposition - but I guess you can’t have everything !
He is likely to take a bit of beating - helped by the fact that a few of his rivals appear to be running in the race, primarily to gain fitness.
That’s not the case with Clondaw Cian - and I was quite taken by his seasonal debut effort at Newton Abbot, last month.
If I were to take on the favourite, it would probably be him that I would side with…
That said, Pilansberg and Rio Quinto could both be of interest, on their return to action, if they came in for significant market support…


I can understand why Kapcorse is favourite for this - but he looks a bit short in the market to me, at around 5/2.
He won at Bangor on his chasing debut, in the spring - and still has loads of untapped potential.
However, that was a weak race - and he runs off a 12lb higher mark tomorrow.
I’m not saying he can’t win - but based on what we know (and we may not know everything !), he’s no value at tonights price…
I’d rather take a chance on Silverhow.
He won a decent race at Sandown, on the final day of last season - and whilst he never featured on his seasonal debut at Chepstow, he should be better for that run and will appreciation the drop back in distance.
We are guessing on the fitness for most of the others - but I’m sure the market will advise, close to the off !
Selection: Silverhow at 10/1

Monday, 5 November 2018

Tuesday November 6th

It’s Haldon Gold cup day tomorrow - the biggest day of the season at Exeter.

I did originally wonder whether I might be tipping in the race - but having seen the declarations, I then wondered if it was even worth posting on the blog !

There are just 5 runners in the big race - and most of the other races on the card, are equally uncompetitive .

It was a similar story at Ascot and Wetherby (in particular), this weekend - we really need some rain, so that trainers are prepared to run their horses…



It really is a disappointing turn out for a race with a rich history.
However, it’s still not an easy race to call !
A peak form God’s Own would win it, off a mark of 156.
A right hand track and good ground are his ideal conditions - the question is whether he will be sufficiently fit (and to a lesser extent, if he is now in decline).
Diego du Charmil and Ozzie the Oscar dispute favourtism, at around 2/1 - but I’d be prepared to take them both on.
Diego, looks harshly handicapped off a mark of 157, as there must be a chance that he was flattered by his Aintree victory at the end of last season (which saw his mark rise by a stone).
I would be much more tempted by Paul Nichols other runner, San Benedtio.
He finished second in this race 12 months ago - beaten only by Politologue (who went on to win a grade 1 chase on his next outing).
San Benedito gets to run off the same mark tomorrow - and whilst his debut run this season was underwhelming, it was almost certainly just a pipe-opener.
He is the value in the race at 5/1 this evening.
The final runner in the race, is Theo - for Dr Newland - and he also has a chance. That said, I prefer the claims of both San Benedito and Gods Own.

Selection: San Benedito at 5/1 - danger Gods Own


With the main supporting event (the novice chase at 2:40) having only attracted 3 runners, this is the only other race on the card, warranting a preview.

Again, its a tough one to call - with it hard to make a particularly strong case for any of the 8 runners.
Bottom weight, Canyouringmeback is the one I like most.
He was still travelling quite nicely when unseating last time at Wincanton.
He was stepping up in trip that day, so his stamina remains unproven - however, he should enjoy the quick ground and has a progressive profile.
At a bigger price, then Carlos de Fruitier is quite interesting…
Ben Pauling runs 2 in the race - and I would expect David Bass to be riding the stable first string.
It’s therefore interesting that he is partnering Carlos - even though Powerful Symbol is half his price.
In fairness, Carlos has had a bit of an issue with his jumping, so he’s not one you could be confident about.
However, Exeter is a very fair track - and based on his hurdling form he would definitely stand a chance, if his jumping did click.
He can be backed at 14/1 this evening, which strikes me as a bit of value (even if just as a saver).

Selection: Canyouringmeback at 9/2   

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Friday November 2nd

I’ve spent most of this week, getting things ready for the start of the Main TVB season (which happens to begin today !).
Consequently, I’ve not had time to post on the midweek blog - though in truth, only Tuesday offered suitable racing…

However, there is some suitable racing tomorrow - and whilst I tend to shy away from Fridays, I’ll make an exception this week.

The best meeting of the day, takes place at Wetherby - though the best horse, runs at Down Royal…



This is not a race to be going mad on - but it does look to lie between the market principals…
Askari represents Gordon Elliot - and he went close last time, in a similar race at Bangor.
He should appreciate the drop back in trip tomorrow - and looks the one to beat.
However, Ballyhome may well be able to beat him, on his debut for Fergal O’Brien.
He finished second on his final run for Brendan Powell - and whilst he has been rasied 4lb for that, Conor Brace is able to claim 8lb.
3/1 is hardly a generous price in a12 runner handicap - but provided he is ready, I suspect he will prove hard to beat.

Selection: Ballyhome at 3/1


This is the best race of the day, by some margin…
I think the field can be split in 2 - those above 11st and those carrying 11st or less - and I don’t fancy any of the top weights.
The trip won’t be far enough for Delusionofgrandeur or Dingo Dollar; whilst it could be too far for Just Cameron (who also has age to contend with).
The ground is the problem for Kylemour Lough (he wants it soft); whilst Spalsh of Ginge isn’t well handicapped…
Which leaves the bottom 5 to concentrate on.
I’ve no major issue with Born Survivor - and I would expect him to run well. Similarly, if Pain Au Chocolat is fit, he could outrun his odds, as conditions should suit him fine.
However, I suspect the winner will be one of the bottom 3…
Copain de Classe is the one to beat.
He won well on his seasonal debut at Kempton - and even under a 6lb penalty tomorrow, is 4lb well in.
I guess there is a slight possibility that he may ‘bounce’ - but the main issue with him is a price of 7/4…
The 2 to focus on, are therefore Guitar Pete and Cracking Find.
The former won the corresponding race 12 months ago, off a mark 10lb lower.
He followed that up by winning the Caspain Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham in December - and that was from a mark just 3lb lower than he races off tomorrow.
It’s hard to think that he won’t go close - and 9/2 is a fair price.
However, Cracking Find is marginally more interesting…
He is unproven at this level - but is only 7, so has plenty of scope for improvement.
He won 3 races last season, as a novice - and finished the campaign with decent runs in better quality events.
He ran with great promise on his seasonal debut at Wetherby a fortnight ago.
That was over the bare 2 miles - and he will appreciate being stepped back up in trip tomorrow.
Sue Smiths horses tend to improve for their debut run - and I expect Danny Cook will give him a forceful ride.
He’s a general 10/1 shot this evening - and is definitely value at that price.

Selection: Cracking Find at 10/1 - danger Guitar Pete


It’s impossible to look beyond Storm Rising, for the winner in this…
He hacked up in a stronger contest at Cheltenham a week ago - and because that was a conditional jockeys race, doesn’t get a penalty tomorrow.
Assuming that race didn’t bottom him (and it certainly didn’t appear to !) - and there are no accidents along the way - it’s hard to think he won’t win again…
I guess that’s what you’d expect of a 4/7 shot - so the question is what will follow him home..?

That’s a much trickier call - but Blue Hussar looks to have a better chance than his odds imply…
He’s run well at Wetherby in the past - and has been in reasonable form on the flat.
I can’t see him testing Storm Rising - but at 25/1 (5/1 a place), he may well be able to sneak in to the frame…

Selection: Blue Hussar EW at 25/1

Down Royal


The decision has been made: Samcro stays over hurdles this season - and he makes his seasonal debut in this…
He only faces 3 rivals (one of whom has little chance) - but it could still end up quite a test for him…
Sharjah won the Galway hurdle on his most recent outing over obstacles - and on official ratings, in receipt of 8lb from Samcro, he should beat him (and that excludes race fitness advantage, which he also holds).
Of course it is rarely that simple - but suffice to say, Samcro will have to be close to his best, if he is to win.
I suspect he will win - because he looks the real deal - but at odds of 1/3, I’ll be watching, rather than betting on it !