Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Wednesday 23rd January

I’ll only be previewing one day on the blog, this week…

There was little of interest either yesterday or today: whilst I be covering Thursday on the Main service (it’s Thystes chase day at Gowran Park) - and I tend to opt out of Fridays, as I like to spend the time to preparing for the weekend…

When I looked at tomorrows cards earlier in the week, I was quite optimistic.

There are a couple of class 3 handicaps (which is what I tend to target, during the mid-week) on both the Catterick and Hereford cards.

However the final declarations for 3 of the 4 races, have proved to be disappointing…

The 2 Catterick races have only yielded 7 runners between them: whilst there is only 4 declared for one of the races at Hereford.

There is a decent field for the other Hereford race - but to complete tonights preview, I’ve had to look at a couple of novice events on the Hereford card…

In truth, whilst the 3 races I’ve ended up looking at, are all fair contests, I don’t have a particularly strong view on any of them - so if you do choose to follow the selections, I would suggest keeping stakes to a minimum !!



I’d be disinclined to support Mulcahys Hill at 6/4 in this - the question is, what to take him on with…
Second favourite, Sully D’Oc AA (what a ridiculous name !) is making his UK debut - so it’s all guesswork with him (though the market will probably guide).
Aintree My Dream is the obvious one to side with - though I might be more inclined to take a chance with Wilde Blue Yonder…
He’s been struggling to jump hurdles recently - never mind fences - and hit one early, on his chasing debut last time out.
However that was in a fair race at Newbury - and he did mange to get round..
If he’s learnt from that experience, I could see him running well tomorrow.
I think it adds to his case that he’s already 10 and has had plenty of issue, so connections won’t want to be messing around with him. I suspect that every race he runs in, he’ll be trying to win (and alas, you can’t say that of every runner that steps on a track !).
He’s 13/2 this evening - but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see closer to 8/1, at some point tomorrow…

Selection: Wilde Blue Yonder


This is a really interesting novice hurdle - in which I could give at least half a dozen a chance (which is unusual for a race of this nature).
More than that, I would struggle to choose between the 6 - though that’s mainly because there is limited form to assess.
Morning Vicar, Bold Plan and Diomed des Mottes, have all got a chance - but the market is wise to them.
I’d be more inclined to take a chance on Lord du Mesnil, Talktomenow or Mahari.
The last named would be very interesting, if Kerry Lee was in any kind of form - but she’s not, so he can only be watched.
Talktome now disappointed last time - but has a definite chance on the form of his hurdling debut behind Getaway Trump at Plumpton (that one is now vying for favouritism for the Betfair hurdle).
However, if forced, I would probably side with Lord du Mesnil.
He travelled strongly in a good class handicap last time - but didn’t get home.
He’s subsequently had a wind op - and drops back 3 furlongs tomorrow.
He’s more exposed than most of his rivals - but arguably has just about the best form in the book.
I think he has a very good chance of placing - and a fair chance of winning (though it is quite possible that one of his rivals will improve past him).

Selection: Lord du Mesnil at 8/1


I hoped I might be able to fathom this race - but I’m struggling…
Henryville was an official eye catcher on his most recent start - and I tipped him 10 days ago, when he was due to run at Kelso.
However, he bolted before the start that day - and was thankfully, withdrawn…
After those antics, it would be hard to support him again - even though I’m sure he is very well handicapped.
It also doesn’t add to his case the fact that he will be running tomorrow, over a trip that will stretch him - on ground that’s likely to be a bit too soft.
He is still half tempting at a big price (around 20/1) - but objectively, he should probably just be watched (though he could make a good back to lay in running play - assuming he consents to start !).
The trouble is, I’m struggling to find anything in the race which I can make a solid case for:
Dr Des and Conna Cross could both be interesting, if they stay the trip - but that is far from guaranteed;
Arthur's Gift is also quite interesting - but the ran poorly last time.
And it’s the same story with just about all of the runners - as there is a significant question mark hanging over each of them.
Obviously, one will positively answer their question - it’s just not easy to figure out which one it will be !
Bramble Brook strikes me as maybe the best option.
The issue with him is his most recent outing (last in a 3 horse race) - but prior to that he had run well on his seasonal debut, in a fair contest at Uttoxoter.
He should be fine with the trip and ground - so if his last run is ignored, he can be given a good chance.
He’s 12/1 this evening - but could easily be a bit bigger tomorrow - and maybe worth a small involvement.

Selection: Bramble Brook

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Thursday 17th January

I’ve no idea why, but there is a glut of decent races tomorrow…

Up until yesterday, there had barely been a mid-week race of interest, since New Years Day - but, without exaggeration, I could easily have previewed 10 of tomorrows races.

Ofcourse, that’s not what I do on the mid-week blog - that level of effort is saved for the weekends !
The mid-week is supposed to be a relaxing amble through the following day races - so I’ve restricted the preview to 4 races.

Ofcourse, I still had the issue of deciding which 4 !
However, there are 2 official eye catchers running (and I like the chances of them both) so that was a couple of races taken care of.
I could easily have selected the 2 others from an excellent Market Rasen card - but instead I opted to go to Wincanton…

Here are my relatively brief thoughts !



Whoshotwho was an eye catcher on his most recent outing, at Haydock, behind Daklondike
I tipped the winner that day - but turning for home, I would happily have jumped ship to Whoshotwho !
He was travelling very powerfully - but he didn’t get home in the heavy ground.
He was also running over a trip further than he’d run over previously, so returned to 2m4f on decent ground, I would expect him to run a very big race.
The question is really whether there is anything sufficiently well handicapped to beat him…
The market likes Gortroe Joe - but I prefer Whoshotwho.
Truckers Highway is in good form - but he’s up in the weights, and in class.
More Buck’s and Town Parks would both have a shout on their best of their form - but there are reasons for doubting they will produce that tomorrow…
If you can get 5/2 in the morning (and I think you should be able), then he would strike me as a fair bet…

Selection: Whoshotwho

Market Rasen


Sands Cove was an eye catcher last time, when he ran at Hereford.
He was also a speculative tip that day - and I briefly thought he might provide a big priced win.
Unfortunately that didn’t happen - but he did run well - and I was left with the feeling that we were probably on him a run too soon…
I knew that was a risk when I tipped him - but at the odds, felt it was worth it.
I like the fact that he’s been given a month to recover from that run - and that he’s running at Market Rasen, a course where his trainer does well.
Trip and ground should be ideal for him - and he’s now embarrassingly well handicapped !
The only negatives are that he’s 12 years old - and he has to shoulder 12st7lb.
However, he can be backed at 7/1 this evening, so in a 7 runner race, those negatives are certainly factored into the price.
The race should take very little winning - and if Sands Cove can build on his last run (and handle the weight), I think he will win.

Selection: Sands Cove at 7/1



This doesn’t appear to be a particularly deep race - and I like the look of Highest Sun.
He ran well in what was a slightly better race last time, at Cheltenham.
That was also his handicap debut - and only his second run in the UK, so it’s reasonable to think he should be able to improve a fair bit.
In truth, I don’t think he will need to, in order to win this.
Snapdragon Fire looks his main rival - but he was raised 5lb for finishing second last time, which looks harsh.
The other one worthy of consideration, is Peterborough.
He won last time out - but that was a a weaker race and he’s been raised 6lb.
Highest Sun has been backed a bit tonight - but 5/2 still seems a fair enough price.

Selection: Highest Sun at 5/2


I’ve suggested a couple of shorter priced horses for tomorrow - but the odds available on Skellig Rock are more in line with most TVB selections !
A bit like Ulan Bhute today, the main attraction with him, is his trainer…
Rob Walford has been in great form for a few weeks now - and Skellig Rock is his only runner on the card.
Ex. Irish, the horse made his UK debut over course and distance, back in November and ran a nice race.
He was still travelling strongly jumping the cross fence but he got that wrong and was then under pressure.
Maybe unsurprisingly, he couldn’t make any inroads on the leaders up the home straight - but he ran on well enough and a 5lb drop in the handicap looks generous to me.
He can be backed at 11/1 tonight - and whilst there are a few potential dangers in the race, that strikes me as a fair bet.

Selection: Skellig Rock at 11/1

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Wednesday 16th January

For just about the first time this year, there is some half decent mid-week racing tomorrow…

This time last year, fixtures were being washed (or frozen !) away - but now it’s the lack of rain, that’s the issue.

In truth, even with perfect ground, the mid-week racing in January (and February) tends to be limited - and thats certainly been the case so far this month !

However, they race at Newbury tomorrow - and whilst it’s not a stellar card, there are a couple of interesting handicaps.

Theres also a veterans chase at Plumpton, which is moderately interesting - so at least there is a bit of action to fend off the boredom (or to distract from the Brexit shenanigans !)  



As class 4 handicaps go - this is a pretty good one !
Certainly, a few of the runners have the potential to operate at a higher level - so I would expect the form to hold up.
The 3 horses that head the market are of obvious interest: and I would just side with Ar Mest over En Meme Temps and Maquisard, if forced to choose - mainly because of the 10lb claim of jockey Nial Houlihan (who is exceptionally good value for the allowance).
Beyond the head of the market, the one that interests me most, is Volpone Jelois.
Formerly trained by Paul Nicholls, he transferred in to the care of Chris Gordon, prior to his most recent outing.
He didn’t shape too badly on his stable debut - but I would still expect him to show marked improvement tomorrow.
It also strikes me as very interesting that his new owner, David Maxwell, takes the ride - as he tends not to be active during the mid-week (presumably he also has a proper job that needs attending to !).
In such a relatively strong race, he couldn’t be a confident pick - but I do think he represents a bit of value at 12/1.

Selection: Volpone Jelois at 12/1


Based on form, it’s impossible not to be drawn to Carlos du Fruitier in this…
He finished third on his most recent run, in a very strong novice handicap that took place on the King George under-card.
The form of that race has already been franked in no uncertain terms, by recent winners, Glen Rocco and Dell Oro.
They finished second and fourth in the race, with Carlos du Frutier sandwiched in between them.
He’s been raised 2lb for his efforts, but if he matches that form tomorrow, he will take a bit of beating,..
Mister Malarkky and Quarenta are the obvious dangers - but they are a similar price and it's impossible to make as compelling a case for either.
At a big price, I’ll also be keeping an eye on Chic Name - though he could well need the run after 3 months off the track.

Selection: Carlos du Fruitier at 3/1



There is rain forecast for Plumpton over the next 12 hours, and if it materialises, then Ulan Bhute will take some beating in this…
He’s not badly handicapped - but the big positive with him is the form of his stable.
Venetia has hit one of her purple patches over the past few weeks - and it shows no sign of ending !
When that happens, it’s generally folly to oppose her runners - particularly in lower grade handicaps.
Ignoring that angle, then the race looks relatively open, and it’s possible to make a case - or at least half a case - for most of the runners.
However, if Ulan Bhute is in the same form as most of his stable-mates appear to be, then that is likely to give him the edge required to win.
Enthusiasm would be slightly tempered if the rain doesn’t materialise - but even then, I would nominate him as the most likely race winner.

Selection: Uhlan Bhute at 7/2