Previous Write Ups - 2016 to 2018


2.30 - ANGEL'S HIDEAWAY - 1pt Win @ 14/1
2.30 - LE PELOSA - 1pt Win @ 12/1
3.05 - WELLS FARHH GO - 1pt Win @ 10/1
3.05 - GUISEPPE GARIBALDI - 1pt Win @ 8/1
3.40 - EQUILATERAL - 2pts Win @ 9/2
4.20 - ALPHA CENTAURI - 1pt Win @ 7/2
4.20 - BILLESDON BROOK - 1pt Win @ 13/2
5.00 - QAZYNA - 0.75pt Win @ 10/1
5.00 - GANAYEM - 0.75pt Win @ 12/1
5.00 - BROADWAY - 0.5pt Win @ 18/1
5.35 - DASH OF SPICE - 1pt Win @ 11/2
5.35 - EYNHOLLOW - 1pt Win @ 12/1

Two winners yesterday were not enough to yield a profit but at 0.5pts (0.25 advised prices) it wasn't a bad day on what could have been so much worse, I know a few who lost a fair chunk.
Day Four starts with the Albany Stakes (2.30) and what a puzzle it is to try to solve (as most Ascot races have been).  With the limited form to review all I can do is try to pick out the best form and potential.  The favourite for this race is Just Wonderful and rightly so given how well the form of her sole run to date has worked out.  Lethal Promise (mentioned earlier this week) bolted up at Naas last week and Gossamer Wings finished 2nd at Ascot a couple of days ago.  She is likely to have the usual improvement with the Aidan O'Brien horses but I think her price is plenty short enough to play away.  Fairyland's form hasn't worked out as well as it looked when she won last time out although Land Force did do it justice yesterday, she could be anything but there's not enough in the form to back her ahead of some others or even her stablemate.  I may live to regret it but i'll be playing a couple at bigger prices.  Firstly ANGEL'S HIDEAWAY for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori.  Her debut run was very good where the form has been franked by the front two that day whilst she won with ease on her latest start in what is the quickest time set over six furlongs in this field.  That day she travelled smoothly and won without the accellerator being pushed too much, it was also at Haydock and although it states good to firm, it's probable that it was more good than firm.  I think she has a great chance and based on form and what i've seen on replays she's the main one I want to be with.  My saver in this race will be LE PELOSA.  This horse made a telling debut on the all weather beating a horse who has subsequently won a maiden with ease.  She is lacking the experience of Angel's Hideaway but looked impressive on the eye on debut winning in a quick time on ground that was described as standard to slow.  She could be anything and at her price she's worth a little bet along with Angel's Hideaway to get the O'Brien horses beat.  I have to note that Paddy Power are giving a free bet up to £10 if Just Wonderful or Fairyland win the Albany.  I'm happy to play with them at those prices.

I will be playing two in the King Edward VII Stakes (3.05) also.  Again I may regret going against the O'Brien horses at the head of the market however my main selection will be WELLS FARHH GO.  Tim Easterby's horse was unbeaten last season and I thought he ran a cracker on his return over 1m2f for the first time in a race won by Roaring Lion, that race was full of quality and for his first time at the trip and first time out it was a real top display.  Now we know he stays and with the probability that he'll strip fitter for that run I think he has the potential to be a real top middle distance horse.  He looks a very big price given that run was arguably just two pounds behind the favourite's mark (which looks his level) and I'd be very surprised if he doesn't end up much better than his mark of 108.  Of the O'Brien horses the one I prefer is the outsider of the three GUISEPPE GARIBALDI.  This horse had a huge reputation last season and with that i've been taking a real interest in his performances. He has looked a right baby of a horse and I can imagine he would be a bit of a handful to train, however he is improving with every run and last time out his win can be marked up as once he hit the front he wandered around and didn't seem to appreciate being on his own.  He will have to be played late to get the best out of him I would feel but i'm more than happy to have Seamie Heffernan back on board here.  I'm sure he's been riding out plenty at home and I don't think the apparent 3rd choice jockey being on board is a negative.  He should go well.

The 3.40 is the Commonwealth Cup and although it doesn't have the profile of the race it has been in past years it looks a more interesting renewal with plenty with cases to be made.  I have listened to interviews and podcasts with the majority being keen on Sioux Nation and playing down EQUILATERAL's form.  However having watched the video of his last race and given the form of the runner up Foxtrot Lady since you can't help but be impressed with him.  His turn of foot was lightning and you have to envisage that there will be plenty more to come from him.  His time was quick and I really have to go with potential over the experience on this occasion.  Emblazoned and Main Desire are interesting horses in opposition, the latter could be anything over this added furlong but on what i've seen and my analysis I have to put it all on the line with Equilateral.
The Coronation Stakes (4.20) is another tough race to assess.  I loved Clemmie last season and whilst having her at big odds for the 1000 Guineas this season, seeing her as short as 3/1 favourite before her injury I personally think if you're willing to back her here you are putting an awful lot of hope on O'Brien improving her to quite some extent.  She looked fit enough to me when finishing well behind Alpha Centauri last time out and she didn't travel with her usual zest.  We don't know how her injury has fully affected her and I think her price is ridiculous, i'm more than happy to let her win at that price and play elsewhere.  I can't split the Guineas winners ALPHA CENTAURI and BILLESDON BROOK.  Alpha Centauri looked a real monster last time out, the best she looked in any of her runs and I was made up for her to live up to the hype that surrounded her last season.  She was so strong in the finish and travelled powerfully throughout, this ground should be perfect for her large frame and she should go well.  Billesdon Brook should be at the head of the market in my opinion.  The 1000 Guineas is such strong form and she won with such authority that i'm stunned to see such a big price about her.  The form line through Soliloquy puts her on similar terms to Alpha Centauri whilst the fact she beat Laurens and Wild Illusion puts her slightly in front in my opinion.  So to see her nearly double the price of the favourite I'm more than happy to play.

The start of the big handicaps is the 5.00, Sandringham Stakes.  Another tough race to assess and one that I will be playing three horses in.  My selections are QAZYNA, GANAYEM and BROADWAY.  The way I've played the Sandringham before and strangely it's a race i've done well in is looking for horses who have won easily and give an impression of potentially having ten pounds up their sleeve, obviously that's not easy to do but I'll give it a go.  Qazyna's Newmarket run in April was one that looked visually very impressive and the form has been franked since.  Last time out she didn't seem to see out the trip strongly although even that form is fairly strong considering things weren't ideal.  Back to a mile here and on ideal ground she has plenty of potential and if you ignore her last run a mark of 94 seems low, she has to have a chance.  Ganayem is a horse I really like, not afraid to make the running and looks to have a lionheart about her.  She stays all day and will be tough to peg back providing Jim Crowley can get her out in front.  The form of Broadway's last run has worked out exceptionally well and it was the first time she met with 1m over good to firm ground.  She won with plenty of conviction and could be an underestimated O'Brien horse (not often I say that).  She could improve amples on these conditions.

I will be playing two in the final race of day four, the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (5.35).  The two I like are DASH OF SPICE and EYNHOLLOW.  Dash Of Spice's latest run was visually very impressive and has been franked slightly by the second that day Golden Wolf finishing 3l second to Amazing Red last time out who is now rated 102.  Dash Of Spice hammered Golden Wolf with the minimum of fuss and it since transpired he burst a blood vessel too.  If he continues to improve he could be very dangerous.  Eynhollow has a bit to find with Walton Street based on their latest clash at Meydan however Eynhollow was very unlucky that day and granted he'll need some luck in running the likely fast pace here should suit and he will be doing his best work at the finish.  He's an interesting runner at a price.


2.30 - SHANG SHANG SHANG - 1pt Win @ 4/1
2.30 - LAND FORCE - 0.5pt Win @ 8/1
2.30 - RUMBLE INTHEJUNGLE - 0.5pt Win @ 12/1
3.05 - WADILSAFA - 1pt Win @ 7/1
3.05 - MAIN STREET - 1pt Win @ 16/1
3.40 - WILD ILLUSION - 2pts Win @ 3/1
4.20 - STRADIVARIUS - 2pts Win @ 15/8
5.00 - CRACK ON CRACK ON - 1pt Win @ 8/1
5.00 - IL PRIMO SOLE - 1pt Win @ 16/1
5.35 - DOWNDRAFT - 1pt Win @ 15/2
5.35 - COMMUNIQUE - 1pt Win @ 8/1

The Royal Ascot bookies beat us on day one but they were well and truly hammered yesterday with 3 winners in the shape of Aljazzi, Settle For Bay and Expert Eye.  If only Gossamer Wings had managed to get up it could have been a very special day.  We finished with a 24.12pts Profit (32.12pts at advised prices) and I would take that any day.  Lets' see if we can keep the run going today.
The Jersey Stakes (2.30) kicks off day three of Royal Ascot.  It is a very tricky race to assess!  Most people won't like how I approach this race but as it is not as straight forward as looking at form given the lack of experience I will be playing three.  Firstly Wesley Ward's horse SHANG SHANG SHANG.  This horse ran a belter on debut to beat a subsequent winner and the vibes i'm picking up on is that this is Ward's best chance for the week.  I am made up Joel Rosario is on board, I think that is a major boost in itself and I'm expecting this horse to burst out of the stalls and take some pegging back.  Although she ran on fast ground, it was on the dirt so there would have been some give and providing she handles the grass here she should go well.  I will be playing two small savers on LAND FORCE and RUMBLE INTHEJUNGLE.  Land Force drops back to five furlongs for top connections with Ryan Moore on board.  He finished behind two stablemates last time out but he travelled as good as either of them that day before fading final furlong, this trip looks his ideal and the No Nay Never horses do tend to improve with running.  Rumble Inthejungle is my form pick.  He ran a quick time on debut ahead of a subsequent winner Well Done Fox who since won in a very good time on good to soft ground.  Richard Spencer's horses are universally underrated but I think he's a trainer going places and it would not surprise me if this horse turned out to be very good.
The Hampton Court Stakes (3.05) is a big puzzle and one where you can make cases for pretty much all the horses, there is not much between them and you're relying on the improvement factor.  I have therefore gone for significant factors in my selections.  Firstly WADILSAFA is arguably the horse with most scope despite least experience.  Owen Burrows' horse reversed the form with Herculean on his return to action this year over a mile but the step up in trip did not look like it would be a problem on that occasion as he cruised to the front and won with his head in his hands.  The form of that race looks strong and if I was a handicapper i'd have given him a mark in the 95-98 region on that run which is strong enough on just his second start, he'd probably need to improve 15 pounds to take this which is a big ask but given how he won and the expectation the trip will suit that is within the realms of possibility.  I will be also playing MAIN STREET.  My main reason behind this one is that Frankie Dettori has decided to ride him rather than Crossed Baton who is a horse I really like.  The form of his previous run is good and you'd expect a large amount of improvement from that run.  It is not what I usually look for but I can't help but feel that Frankie has jumped on him for a reason.

I will be having a nice play on WILD ILLUSION in the Ribblesdale (3.40).  Having watched interviews with Charlie Appleby recently he talks with surprise about the fact this horse was beaten on her last two races, those races were the 1000 Guineas and The Oaks.  She improved for the step up in trip last time out and I can't help but feel the ground wasn't ideal for her given her debut and Guineas run.  This race looks much easier than those two on paper and I don't see any reason why Magic Wand would reverse the form.  I don't have a huge amount of positives in opposition to her and thats enough for me to steam in on her a little bit.

The feature on day three is the Ascot Gold Cup (4.20).  This looks a race between the front three in the market and although I think Order Of St George is going to be tough to beat there are two factors behind the reason I will be backing STRADIVARIUS.  Firstly this horse keeps improving.  His return to action looked high class and he beat Desert Skyline with the minimum of fuss whom expectations were high for.  The step up in trip in my opinion should bring out the best of him.  For me his career has been set up for this race this year.  Although he's won at 2 miles he was slightly outpaced in both his attempts at the trip, I don't see that being a worry over 2m4f.  He's going to have to put in a career best clearly but today is a big day for him and I can see him becoming a real long distance star.

The Brittania Stakes (5.00) looks tough!  I am going to play two in the race.  Firstly CRACK ON CRACK ON for Clive Cox and David Probert.  This horse bolted up last time out and was only put up seven pounds for that win.  I don't think that over estimates him and he can continue the improvement.  I will also be backing IL PRIMO SOLE.  This horse was thrown in at the deep end last time out at Longchamp in a group one and wasn't disgraced behind the likes of Wootton and US Navy Flag.  He would be my slightly better choice at the prices and I think he has a good chance here given his scope for improvement.

Day Three finishes with another tricky handicap (5.35 King George V Stakes).  I will be playing two in the race again without getting too heavily involved.  DOWNDRAFT looked a horse going places last time out when winning going away, this step up in trip should be right up his street and he's an interesting entry for Joseph O'Brien.  COMMUNIQUE loved the firmer ground last time out and the form of that run is very strong.  He was another who stayed on strongly at the finish and should relish the 1m4f trip.


2.30 - CHELSEA CLOISTERS - 1pt Win @ 
2.30 - FOREVER IN WORDS - 0.5pt Win @ 16/1
2.30 - GOSSAMER WINGS - 0.5pt Win @ 33/1
3.05 - NELSON - 2pts Win @ 9/2
3.40 - ALJAZZI - 1pt E/W @ 9/2
5.00 - AFAAK - 1pt Win @
5.00 - SETTLE FOR BAY - 0.5pt Win @
5.00 - RAISING SAND - 0.5pt Win @
5.35 - EXPERT EYE - 2pts Win @ 

A tough day one for most punters yesterday including myself with just the one winner.  That winner however is a very exciting prospect as Calyx won the Coventry Stakes.  It was a performance oozing class given that the race was not run to suit, i've played him ante post for the 2000 Guineas next year and I think he has the potential to be a great.  Calyx was Frankie Dettori's first winner of three yesterday once again proving my point that Frankie turns up for the big meetings.  He frustrates me on a normal Saturday as I'm convinced he gives up if there's no chance of winning, at the big meetings and when he wants to there is no one better.
Day Two begins with a huge puzzle in the shape of the Queen Mary Stakes (2.30).  I've decided to have a decent enough play on CHELSEA CLOISTERS and a couple of savers on FOREVER IN WORDS and GOSSAMER WINGS.  Wesley Ward has brought a battalion of horses over from the United States again to his favourite meeting and this one is arguably the most exciting of the lot.  Having burst out of the stalls on debut this filly destroyed a small field.  As always that form is tough to assess.  However, I compare this horse to Lady Aurelia who made her debut in the same race under the same conditions back in 2016.  Lady Aurelia clocked a time of 50.85s before bolting up at Royal Ascot in this race on her second appearance.  Chelsea Cloisters recorded a time of 51.70s with a takingly similar display on the eye as Lady Aurelia.  If she can put in a performance even close to her stablemate did over in the UK then she will take some pegging back.  I have decided there is enough juice elsewhere to have small saver bets.  Forever in Words is a very interesting proposition.  I have ignored her last outing even though she won well over six furlongs and concentrated on her debut where she won as easy as you like in a time of 1.008s on soft ground carrying 8 stone 13 pounds, that display is not far off the pace of second favourite Shades of Blue's debut run which was on good to firm ground.  Given that analysis I feel she is overprice at 16/1 and she'll be getting a fiver of my money.  The final saver is Gossamer Wings, regular readers of my posts will know that I was very keen on this horse on her second run given how her jockey on her debut gave her an "easy" ride.  She failed to win that day before winning last time out at a very short price.  Both of her last two runs have had the form franked through Lethal Promise and Fantasy, the former of which bolted up at Naas a couple of days ago in a very quick time.  I do like this horse and think she has a bright future.  At 33s I can't let her go unbacked.

 I will be playing Donnacha O'Brien again in race two, the Queen's Vase (3.05) in the shape of NELSON.  The Frankel colt was given a ride I did not enjoy last time out when having his form reversed with Delano Roosevelt and The Pentagon and i'm hoping Donnacha has learned from that and rides him in a prominent position (probably behind Kew Gardens) here rather than attempting to make all.  In my opinion he needs a toe in to the race and will have to be produced at the right time to be make use of perfectly.  His 2 year old form is excellent and i'm hopeful he can regain the winning thread here.  Stream of Stars may chase him home but has to improve somewhat here.

The 3.40 Duke of Cambridge Stakes is an interesting race with the market being lead by Hydrangea.  There's no doubt that she is the class act in the race and should be set up nicely for a big run here following her return.  At the price I think she is short enough however to search for a "safer" option.  Therefore I will be playing ALJAZZI each way.  Marco Botti's mount gave Qemah a run for her money last year in this race when runner up at a big price and looked every bit as good on her return at the back end of April.  She will have no doubt come on for that run and still has scope for improvement.  It's a bit of a scumbag way of betting but I will be very disappointed if she didn't make the frame and the each way option seems a safe enough bet.  I will give a little word for Promising Run however at a bigger price as this horse has a big form line with Hydrangea through Opal Tiara whom she beat twice over in Meydan.  I will throw a saver on her.

The big race of the day (4.20 Prince of Wales' Stakes) is all about CRACKSMAN.  I don't even think it's a race worth going in to a great amount of discussion for, if he's on peak form which I suspect he will be he wins.

The Royal Hunt Cup (5.00) is traditionally the toughest race to find the winner in the whole of Ascot and today is no different.  Having reviewed as much as I can I'm going to play three against the field.  AFAAK will be my main selection.  The form of his final start of last season couldn't be working out any better behind Addeybb and despite a poor return he proved that was just a warm up run when putting in a professional performance to beat Love Dreams last time out.  I was impressed with him that day and I think there may still be plenty left in the tank.  My two savers will be SETTLE FOR BAY and RAISING SAND.  Settle For Bay put in an eyecatching performance last time out on his return when staying on strongly from an impossible position to finish 4th with a big weight.  He's off the same mark here and granted this will be much tougher he looks one who is still finding his feet and progress is highly likely.  Raising Sand was almost going to be my main selection for this race and I think he will outrun his odds for Jamie Spencer.  He ran a cracker of a race over the round course in the Shergar Cup last season when being trapped out wide and has since followed up with two solid runs here also.  His return to action was reasonable and he will no doubt be primed for this.  I think he is tailormade for Jamie Spencer and although he'll need luck in running I really do think he has a good chance.

The final race of day two is the Jersey Stakes (5.35) and I'm leaning towards EXPERT EYE.  For my sins I cannot forget his debut run, it was as impressive a performance as I'd seen for years from a colt and he followed it up with a telling display at Goodwood.  He has not hit the heights I hoped he would and put in a poor display in the Guineas when he failed to settle.  However, I was happy with his reappearance behind James Garfield prior to that and the drop back to seven furlongs here is the correct move.  Providing he settles (which he should at the quicker pace) I think he will still prove to be a good quality horse and at the prices i'm happy to play him.


2.30 - BENBATL - 2pts Win @ 4/1
3.05 - CALYX - 2pts Win @ 11/4
3.40 - LADY AURELIA - 2pts Win @ 2/1
4.20 - TIP TWO WIN - 2pts Win @ 11/2
5.00 - DANNYDAY - 1pt Win @ 11/1
5.00 - WHITE DESERT - 1pt Win @ 12/1
5.35 - LARAAIB - 1pt Win @ 7/1
5.35 - FABRICATE - 1pt Win @ 18/1

Race one (Queen Anne - 2.30) has a look of a rematch of the Lockinge where Rhododendron came home in front beating Lightning Spear by the narrowest of margins after a sublime Ryan Moore ride.  She's the 11/4 favourite here and looks sure to give her usual good account.  Personally I feel she is better over ten furlongs and this is her minimum trip, she will need things to fall perfectly again and with stiffer opposition here I can see her falling just short.  The horse I will be siding with is BENBATL.  The Godolphin horse had a very successful time over at Meydan in March culminating in three wins and a 2nd including the large Dubai Turf purse.  He is a top class horse who has improved markedly on last season.  He'll love the ground here and given how he has travelled through his most recent races I can see him coming to two furlongs out swinging, it'll then be a case of being able to use his turn of foot towards the finish given he is another who a mile trip would be his minimum.  He will however be doing his best work at the finish and although I don't think there's a huge amount between him and Rhododendron I do think he'll be better placed to make the most of his stamina late on.  At the prices I think he's excellent value!

The 3.05 Coventry Stakes is the race I'm really looking forward to most.  Frustratingly I had several ante post bets leading up to this week on Legends of War who in my opinion put in the best 2yo display in the past couple of years.  To see him not be entered was devastating.  However after placing my bets I witnessed the debut of a horse called CALYX a couple of weekends back.  This John Gosden horse impressed me massively given that he pulled like a train for Robert Havlin and despite running green still put in a performance of a top class horse.  He pulled his way to the front and showed a special turn of foot when niggled (not hard ridden).  Given quote's of 10/1 for the Coventry I thought to myself I need to have a saver on him.  Typically I left it and Legends of War was pulled out, Calyx left in and dropped to a quarter of that price.  That however is not stopping me having a play here.  The favourite is the expensive Sergei Prokofiev who's latest win has worked out well non the formbook however a lot of his low price I feel is down to the profile of the horse, the trainer and jockey combination and the expectation.  For me his form is good but not special thus far.  Now, he may well prove me wrong and bolt up over the added furlong here but for me to back a short price like him in a race like this he would need to have put in a Calyx style performance and for me he hasn't yet done so.

The King's Stand Stakes (3.40) looks a beauty of a race and one that hopefully becomes a match up between the two market principles Battaash and LADY AURELIA.  The former has progressed to a very high class level and comes here off the back of a top drawer weight carrying victory at Haydock in the Temple Stakes especially given a poor start.  He'll have come on for that run i'm sure and looks set to go close.  I will be playing Lady Aurelia however against him.  I actually really do like Battaash and can't fault his performances however I have been very excited by Lady Aurelia at Ascot in the past and the way she powered clear of the likes of Profitable and Marsha last season in this race was unbelievable.  She will be primed for this and I'm hoping she puts in another scintilating display.
The St James's Palace Stakes (4.20) is an interesting contest with the top four from the Irish 2000 Guineas coming together again.  In my opinion the form of that race is sketchy and I don't want to entertain either of them until I see proof that the form stacks up.  The favourite Without Parole has done little wrong in his career to date but the horse I will be playing is TIP TWO WIN.  Roger Teal's horse surprised some in the English 2000 Guineas when recording a fast finishing second behind Saxon Warrior.  I watched his performance closely on the day having played him ante post at 66s (sour pill to swallow that day).  He travelled smartly that day and quickened when asked the question.  I don't see that performance being a fluke and he had shown smart form in Dubai prior to the big race.  That form is the strongest in the book and if this horse was under Aidan O'Brien he'd be a short price, Roger Teal is a good trainer and I will be cheering him on tomorrow.
The Ascot Stakes (5.00) looks a bloody hard race to assess.  Willie Mullins is mob-handed and has the big guns jockeying on his mounts, trying to work out which ones of those are the main selections is not easy.  I look for two types of horse in these kind of big races, ones that have dropped markedly in the ratings and have had a prep run or a horse who is lightly raced and looks set to continue improving.  Therefore I will be playing two against the field, DANNYDAY and WHITE DESERT.  Dannyday was off the track for nearly two years before returning to action last month and he proved that he holds plenty of his previous ability when finishing a good fourth to Platitude.  That day for me he ran to his handicap mark of 95 and given the likelihood that he would come on for the run suggests that 95 may underestimate his potential slightly.  Sir Michael Stoute tends to have his mounts in peak form for Royal Ascot and there's no doubt in my mind that Dannyday has been set up for this.  He's worth a play.  White Desert is an interesting entrant who won an easy enough race at Wolverhampton last time out.  The added couple of furlongs played to his strengths that day and he finished very strongly that day suggesting a step up in trip shouldn't be an issue.  He has to improve a fair amount and prove he's as effective on turf as he was last time out on the all weather however he's with the right trainer and at the prices he's worth a play.
Day One ends with the Wolverton Stakes (5.35) which looks another cracking affair.  I will be playing two in the race in the shape of LARAAIB and FABRICATE.  Both these horses finished behind Poet's Word last time out in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown.  I was impressed with Laraaib who stuck to his task well despite going off quickly in front and his lack of a run seemed to tell late on.  He looks certain to come on for that run and he has to go close here.  As far as Fabricate is concerned I'm inclined to ignore the form of that race as the five runner field did not suit him one bit, he wasn't given a tough time and with conditions absolutely perfect for him here I'm expecting him to be much more competitive here.

​3.15 @ Chelmsford - AGUEROOO - 1pt Win @ 9/2

Following on from a frustrating Saturday with all three selections placing but given as win bets then the less said about the Champions League final the better I will be having a play on AGUEROOO in the 3.15 @ Chelmsford.  ​I'm pretty reluctant to back handicappers on the flat at the moment however I can't help but see the boxes ticked with this one today.  Down to a mark of 69 on the all weather and dropped in class to a class 6 claimer from plum draw.  He receives weight from the market principles and gets a further three pounds thanks to the services of useful claimer George Wood.  He showed last month at Lingfield that he retains ability and a repeat of that run in this company off these terms would make him very hard to beat.

​1.50 @ Curragh - GOSSAMER WINGS - 1pt Win @ 12/1
2.30 @ Goodwood - EMARAATY - 1pt Win @ 8/1
4.35 @ Haydock - DIFFERENT LEAGUE - 1pt Win @ 10/3

​The horse racing takes the back stage for me today as my excitement builds to tonights Champions League final.  Being a Liverpool supporter has been difficult at times but it does make you appreciate what big occasions mean.  I have taken in this season as much as any in the past and i've loved watching our team play football, Jurgen Klopp has brought something special to Anfield and win, lose or draw tonight I will be soaking in every second of the build up, the match and the aftermath (which could be very messy).  You never know if or when days like these will occur in future so you have to make the most of it whilst its here.

It's been an interesting start to the flat season and one that I haven't dabbled in much to date whilst it takes shape.  One horse I have noted from what i've seen is Scat Daddy's colt LEGENDS OF WAR who in my opinion put in the most impressive debut that i've seen in years, keep an eye on that horse!
I will be having a play on the 1.50 @ Curragh.  I took note of GOSSAMER WINGS on debut due to her profile being another out of Scat Daddy and her high cost.  The Racing Post says this about her this morning "$500,000Y was a disappointing favourite when seventh of ten-runners on her debut here", I couldn't disagree more.  I watched that race and to say she was handled tenderly by Donnacha O'Brien would be an understatement.  Having left the stalls slowly she was pulled back in to the rear and was never allowed to become involved in the race.  My notes that day say this "Given tentative ride (clever).  Well in rear, ridden and found but then jockey held off as no chance with leading group.  Will improve for that, typical O'Brien horse on debut.  There are a couple of O'Brien horses in this race today on debut but I feel this horse will have come on bundles for that run.  The better ground will be up her street and i'm expecting a bold bid.  I think she's a big price.

I will be playing EMARAATY in the 2.30 @ Goodwood.  This horse looked to be heading for the top last season on his first two starts before failing on his final start of the season.  He came out and won as expected on his reappearance at Newcastle and I think today is an interesting move in to handicap company.  I'm firmly of the belief that connections feel he is a group horse and he keeps big group one entries.  If he is going to live up to those expectations he has to win this even off top weight.  Based on his two wins last term and his turn of foot on reappearance I think he will.

I am doing my best not to back too many at the moment however my third selection of today comes in the 4.35 @ Haydock where I will be playing DIFFERENT LEAGUE.  This horse has joined Aidan O'Brien but is yet to show the form that put her up as one of the best of her gender at the time last season.  I'm not convinced that O'Brien had her primed last time out especially given that Actress finished just in behind and she too comes to Haydock to race today, I feel today is their targets.  Different League gets age allowance and has the form in the bag, if she can replicate her displays from last term she should win this easily, I doubt she's lost her way so i'm going with her.

​Chester Selections
1.50 - MAYLEAF SHINE - 11/1
2.25 - RASTRELLI - 4/1
3.00 - ANOTHER BATT - 7/1

Other Selections

3.20 @ Worcester - WINTOUR LEAP - 13/2
4.55 @ Worcester - FRANKIE RAPPER - 9/2
2.00 @ Huntingdon - HELLO BERTIE - 17/2
2.35 @ Huntingdon - POTTERMAN - 5/2

Multiple plays;

​Lucky 15 - Wintour Leap/Rastrelli/Christopher Robin/Potterman
Lucky 15 - Wintour Leap/Frankie Rapper/Hello Bertie/Potterman
Double - Rastrelli/Christopher Robin

Despite only half way through my flat studying after watching Chester yesterday and really enjoying it I can't help but have a play today.
The opening race (1.50), like every race at Chester is a tricky one to assess and i've gone for one I think has the potential to run a good race at a decent price.  Drawn in 7, MAYLEAF SHINE won't mind that one bit as she's likely to be ridden from the rear.  Those tactics are not usually great at Chester given the stiffness however this horse tends to finish her races with aplomb and having watched her last run against horses superior to her I think she has plenty in hand off her current mark.  She has gone well at Chester before and providing things drop right she can go well.

I may regret going against the O'Brien batallion in race two (2.25) however I'm going to play the Godolphin horse RASTRELLI here.  Kenya is the danger for me, he's entered in the Derby and was given the usual "easy" reappearance last time when well behind Gustav Klint, he could be anything.  However I was very impressed with how Rastrelli despatched his rivals carrying top weight and if you look in to more depth of that race in behind was Tigre De Terre who was 3 lengths down at the finish.  This horse finished 1/2 length 2nd to Crossed Baton who beat My Lord and Master by a head.  There is not much between the favourite and my selection on that form but Rastrelli looked a horse who has improved and is likely to continue doing so, I really like this horse.

I will be playing ANOTHER BATT in the 3.00.  A tough handicap that in essence could go to any horse in the race.  I won't be backing the favourite due to the draw and given a lack of a run so he's a no go for me.  Another Batt however ran a great race in a listed handicap at Newmarket latest and a repeat of that run would have him right there even off top weight.  He's got a good draw and is the solid option in the race for me.

I will be leaving the next two races and moving on to the 4.35 where I really like CHRISTOPHER ROBIN.  This expensive purchase came with a huge reputation but has yet to build on that.  However he looked a typical O'Brien job when given a very easy ride on reappearance.  I was impressed with how he finished the race given Ryan Moore only niggled his reins when the race was over for him and I expect significant improvement.  A tough draw to overcome from stall 7 but I expect him to prove well above his mark and this looks an ideal run in preparation for the Derby.

Away from Chester I will be playing plenty who I think have good chances, there's too much to write about in such a small space of time I have however please see above how I will be playing.

​Punchestown Day Four Selections
4.20 - A SIZING NETWORK - 0.5pt E/W @ 11/1
4.20 - DE PLOTTING SHED - 0.5pt E/W @ 16/1
4.55 - SLOWMOTION - 1pt Win @ 11/2
5.30 - MELON - 1pt Win @ 3/1
7.10 - SHADY OPERATOR - 1pt Win @ 4/1
7.45 - LONE WOLF - 1pt Win @ 6/1
7.45 - DORRELLS PIERJI - 1pt Win @ 14/1

After yesterday's disastrous day and me seeing my backside I said to myself last night that I won't be playing today.........then after a good sleep I stopped being a bore and decided to go again.  Bad days happen in racing and you have to take them with a pinch of salt.
The opening race is a bit of a farcical one although the winner has in the past been easy to pick out, last year was a surprise to me and there are cases that can be made for a few today.  I think Alpha Male stands out on past form but the fact he was beaten by Enniskillen (a horse well beaten in this race last year) in a recent point is worrying.  Potentially however on this ground he could hose up, at the price i'm happy to leave him alone and watch........actually i'm not even sure i'll watch that one.

The second race of the day (4.20) is another classic Punchestown trappy handicap with Willie Mullins throwing a fair few at it.  I'm going to play two against the field and neither involve the top two Irish trainers.  Jessica Harrington's form does not give you much encouragement however she has had a couple of runners run decent races this week in defeat.  I feel A SIZING NETWORK  can continue his progress here after pulling up last time out.  That day he was given ten pounds for an easy win over Static Jack off top weight.  The distance was his undoing that day as he weakened in the latter stages of the race.  If you ignore that run there's plenty of reason to think that he would progress above his enhanced mark.  He has course form on this ground and i'm happy to have a little play.  The second horse for my sins is DE PLOTTING SHED.  This horse looks very well handicapped on paper and I can make excuses for his recent failures.  At Cheltenham he looked to me like he simply did not like the hill, as soon as he seen it he gave up the ghost and that was race over, that can happen to horses and they soon recover.  Last time out should have been a penalty kick but having hit the front travelling well he didn't have enough speed at the finish to control the race.  I feel he is a one paced horse who travels well through his races, he will need a good ride by Davy Russell but this distance should suit on a flatter surface and I'm hopeful he can still prove better than his handicap chase mark.

Despite my lack of reliance in both the McManus silks and Barry Geraghty I can't help but play SLOWMOTION in the 4.55.  The form of his 3rd at Galway last August is well ahead of anything in the field and providing he can repeat that effort he will go well.  The usual stuff applies, he may be ridden with plenty of restraint if they have plans in the future but surely this will have been the plan for a while and he looks on a good enough mark to make it count.

I'm looking forward to the prospect of Samcro taking on some proper two milers in the Champion Hurdle (5.30).  This race is crucial now for Gordon Elliott who has slipped well behind Willie Mullins and his aspirations of claiming his first trainers' championship are fading away fast.  I have to admit that at the prices I have to be on MELON.  This horse gave Labaik a run for his money in his Novice season and proved at Cheltenham that he has continued his improvement.  A reproduction of his Champion Hurdle effort at Cheltenham will be tough for even a hype horse of Samcro's ability given his experience.  I am a huge Samcro fan and love seeing Superstars so I hope to see him continue his unbeaten record, I'm just a bit worried that Melon's experience may tell here.  At 3/1 he will be my play.

PALLASATOR will be my play in the 6.05.  Gordon Elliott has been very keen on this horse and I was gutted to see him left out of the Cheltenham Supreme Novices' Hurdle.  He has won his last two races over 2m4f so my assumptions is that Elliott didn't want to take on Samcro with him but wanted to have him at the intermediate trip.  He holds the form line over most of the runners here and he looks a tough horse to beat here.

I will be leaving the Foxhunters race and playing another McManus/Geraghty horse in the 7.10.  Joseph O'Brien thinks a lot of SHADY OPERATOR and I have been keen to see him on a slightly better surface than he has encountered this season.  This will be the best ground he's had for a while and hasn't been disgraced on soft/heavy.  He holds the cards on Roaring Bull and with Deal D'Estruval having to prove himself at this level I think he's well worth a play.

In the final race of the day 7.45 I will be playing two against the field, not from what they've shown on the track but from what I've heard/read.  Both LONE WOLF and DORRELLS PIERJI are highly rated by their powerful connections.  Lone Wolf is back in a bumper after running well in a good hurdle race last time out whereas Dorrells Pierji's last run was nowhere near run to suit as the pace that day was awful early on and the race turned in to a sprint.  He must be better than that and a truer run race should bring out a more realistic display.

​Punchestown Day Three Selections
3.40 - APPARITION - 1pt E/W @ 14/1
4.15 - TOWNSEND - 0.5pt E/W @ 20/1
4.15 - TYCOON PRINCE - 0.5pt E/W @ 20/1
5.30 - PENHILL - 1pt Win @ 9/4
6.05 - MINELLA AWARDS - 0.5pt E/W @ 16/1
6.05 - AINSI VA LA VIE - 0.5pt E/W @ 12/1
7.15 - REDHOTFILLYPEPPERS - 2pts Win @ 7/1

Willie Mullins continued to defy belief yesterday as he sent out a six timer at Punchestown and now amazingly has the lead in the Irish Trainers Championship.  It was a much better day for me yesterday too with a winner and two runners up from the three selections, it could have been so much better too.
The opener on day three (3.40) is another tricky high volumed handicap.  This 2m hurdle has a Mullins and Elliott horse to the forefront of the market and there will be plenty of people jumping that bandwagon here.  The horse I will be playing is APPARITION of Joseph O'Brien's.  Having raced to a level of 88 on the flat and having recently ran a good 3rd in a flat warmup for this I feel this horses hurdle mark of 115 is there to be exploited.  His best form on the flat came on good ground and better and he put in his best display over hurdles on today's ground when beating Mitchouka in a maiden (now rated 136).  Apparition looked to have hated the ground in his two runs since then over the obstacles but back on his favoured ground he has to be feared off his rating.  Based on his maiden and the ground variance I feel he is a good bet for this today.

The second race of the day (4.15) is another big handicap and I will this time be playing the two big stables.  I like the claims of TOWNSHEND and TYCOON PRINCE.  Townshend has dropped to his last winning mark of 142 and the better ground will suit him much more than others in the race.  David Mullins' booking is certainly no negative and providing he can brush up his jumping there are plenty of reasons to think that he can be involved at the finish.  Tycoon Prince beat Bunk Off Early and Le Martalin at Christmas on this ground before flopping on soft and heavy since.  Back on this ground he can be a much more tempting proposition.

The 5.30 Stayers Hurdle is my next port of call and I find it hard to get away from PENHILL.  The Cheltenham Stayers' Hurdle Champion returned from an 11 month absence to defy the odds and take the big prize last month.  By all accounts Willie Mullins was hoping to get a run in to him beforehand but didn't quite manage it so to think he may not have been 100% against fitter opposition and still win makes me think he has more to give at these conditions.  He's likely to get a strong pace from the likes of Faugheen here which will suit him down to the ground and granted luck in running he has to be the one to beat.

The 6.05 is a 3m handicap hurdle and I will again be playing two against the field.  MINELLA AWARDS won this race last season for Harry Fry and there's no doubt his trainer will have had this race in mind for a while.  He hated the ground at Haydock in November and the lack of a run since shows that he needs good ground or better.  He gets that here and I'm certain he'll have improved from last season.  The second horse I will be backing is AINSI VA LA VIE.  This horse is 8 years old but very lightly raced.  She would have been much closer when tackling 3m on her penultimate start but for a bad mistake and the way she stayed last time out proved that she needs a trip.  This could be set up for a big run here and she looks well in at the weights.

One of my big bets of the day comes in the 7.15 in the shape of REDHOTFILLYPEPPERS.  This horse has been ridden by her owner all her career under rules and the fact she's won twice including impressively beating Castafiore Park giving weight away proves that she has plenty of ability.  This is her biggest test to date however this is also the first time a professional jockey is aboard her.  Having won a point on yielding ground shows that she shouldn't have issues on the ground and I'm convinced she will prove an excellent horse under proper guidance.  She'll arguably be better over a longer trip and in time over fences however I feel Willie Mullins has taken full advantage of being able to have a top jockey on board here and the fact she's racing over 2m doesn't worry me.  She has to go well for me and i'll be having a nice play.

​Punchestown Day Two Selections
4.55 - NEXT DESTINATION - 2pts Win @ 15/8
5.30 - DJAKADAM - 1pt E/W @ 15/2
6.05 - BLACKBOW - 1pt Win @ 4/1

A tough first day of the Punchestown Festival which saw a mesmerising performance from Un De Sceaux in the Champion Chase, another Willie Mullins 4th string lead home his novice hurdlers and a bad day at the office for Paul Townend........and me.

The stand out bet in the 4.55 for me is NEXT DESTINATION.  This horse won his first three starts of the season like a proper horse before finishing a staying on 3rd in the Ballymore Hurdle at Cheltenham.  3 miles looks set to eek out more improvement in him given how he stayed on that day and given how he won his point over the distance fills me with plenty of confidence that he will see the trip out.  He jumps well and I feel the strong Cheltenham pace didn't suit him early in the Ballymore, with the longer distance he'd have been a right player in the Albert Bartlett.  Anyway, for me he holds all the aces here and at 15/8 is more than reasonable here.
The big race of the day is the Punchestown Gold Cup (5.30).  You can make cases for plenty in the field and i'm going to take a chance with DJAKADAM.  Willie Mullins' horse always runs credibly (bar Christmas where he ran too soon after his previous run) and I feel he will be primed for this today given what's at stake.  This ground and trip look ideal for him and if Patrick can get him in close order up top I feel he has the ability to out stay his rivals here.  He's certainly no banker but it would be great to see him have his day, he is however a solid option.

I'm back on board BLACKBOW in the 6.05 Bumper.  This horse raced to keenly for my liking at Cheltenham and the fact he was still close up at the finish proved to me that he is a very talented horse.  I expect Patrick to have him in closer order in running and utilise his turn of foot off the final bend.  Ignoring his Cheltenham run he has the strongest performance in the field to my mind and on better terms and providing he doesn't pull then I expect him to reverse form with Relegate.

​Punchestown Day One Selections
4.20 - PALOMA BLUE - 1pt E/W @ 11/2
4.55 - BALLYOISIN - 1pt Win @ 7/1

The final real jumps festival of the season begins today over in Ireland at Punchestown and what a Festival we have ahead.  Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins are sending all their batallions to the course to take this seasons Irish Trainers' Championship.  Currently Elliott holds a lead of 517,289euros but Mullins managed to turn a 400k deficit this time last year in to a 200k victory.  Both trainers have won more than they finished up with last year which is another phenominal achievement from both.  They are the best in our sport and this week needs to be admired for proper sportsmanship.
The first proper race of the day is the 4.20 Champion Novice Hurdle where Getabird heads the market at even money.  Putting his Cheltenham effort aside this horse has looked the real deal and showed he had no ill effects last time out when bolting up at Fairyhouse.  He's the one to beat but at the price I won't be playing.  The change in ground does add a different dimension to this race.  Getabird has won on this ground in the past so although it's not a negative to him it is a big positive to PALOMA BLUE.  His performance when beating Impact Factor on this ground was his best display to date and although he's not been disgraced in other big races he's not had his favoured conditions.  That day he completed the course in less than four minutes carrying 11 stone 12 pounds, that is ahead of most of the times in the field (granted the heavy ground form is tough to assess).  I think he's a very good each way bet today and that is how I will be playing the race.

The first big handicap of the day is the 4.55 where the race looks all about the favourite BALLYOISIN.  There is no surprise that connections have returned to hurdles given that his hurdle mark is 25 pounds lower than his chase mark.  Now, it doesn't always happen how it looks to on paper however there is encouragement that he will prove better than his mark.  Firstly he does handle hurdles, he won his maiden with his head in his chest and granted the opposition wasn't much that day he wasn't too far behind Limini the year before.  Secondly, he was rated 144 over fences this time last year when finishing 3rd in a handicap hurdle off 130, he has no doubt improved since and to come here just one pound up you have to expect an improvement over the smaller obstacles.  If he runs his race he wins this, there are question marks and it's a big field but he will be my one play in the race, he's still a nice price even though he's favourite.

The Champion Chase (5.30) is all about Douvan.  On his day he wins this and we were robbed of seeing a potential mamoth clash between him and Altior at Cheltenham when he came down.  I personally think he looked better than ever until his fall and I was devastated not to see how the race panned out.  He is the one to beat and he'll be part of a few accas and doubles.

Having gone through the whole field in the 6.40 I literally cannot come up with a conclusive reason to back any of them.  The lack of runs over the ground and/or the trip add a huge amount of doubt to many of the runners then tough campaigns etc make it even more difficult.  I will happily watch this race without having a play.


1.45 - MR BIG SHOT - 1pt Win @ 8/1
1.45 - FIXE LE KAP - 1pt Win @ 16/1
2.25 - BLACK OP - 2pts Win @ 3/1
3.40 - IBIS DU RHEU - 1pt Win @ 8/1
3.40 - PEARL SWAN - 1pt Win @ 16/1
5.15 - ANIBALE FLY - 1pt Win @ 14/1
5.15 - ALPHA DES OBEAUX - 0.5pt E/W @ 40/1
5.15 - GAS LINE BOY - 0.5pt E/W @ 25/1
6.20 - MICHAEL'S MOUNT - 1pt Win @ 5/1
6.20 - HAVANA BEAT - 1pt Win @ 22/1

Well Ladies Day once again eluded me.  I really fancied my selections yesterday and to come out with just one winner has confused the life out of me.  The day itself was superb however, the busiest I can remember a Ladies Day but the atmosphere was outstanding and plenty of beer was had by all, if you have never been to Aintree before I suggest you do your utmost to get it on the bucket list, it really is a special place!
As always Saturday starts with a tricky 3m handicap (1.45) where I will be playing two horses, MR BIG SHOT and FIXE LE KAP.  Mr Big Shot looked the real deal last season but has obviously had a set back and not been seen until Cheltenham where he looked in desperate need of the run.  He will be primed for this now and the step up in trip is an interesting move.  Tom Scudamore returns to the saddle and he has the potential to make a mockery of his mark providing he stays the trip.  Fixe Le Kap is a frustrating horse to me.  He has plenty of ability but hasn't hit the heights I expected for him.  He won a listed hurdle over in France last year and this time of year brings the best out of him.  He's well regarded by Nicky Henderson and with headgear and a step up in trip he could surprise at a nice price.

The 2.25 looks a match up to me between the front two in the market and it's a race i'm really looking forward to.  On The Blind Side has looked a top drawer horse this season having won on all three of his starts under rules.  He hasn't been seen since December though and his lack of fitness is a worry in my mind.  BLACK OP is clearly a top drawer horse having given Samcro a run for his money at Cheltenham last month.  He ticks all the boxes and has a very bright future.  I don't think there is much between OTBS and Black Op I have to go with the latter given confidence in his fitness and the bigger value.

There's no price value in the 3.00 but I fully expect Petit Mouchoir to hose up here, it will be a major shock if he doesn't.

I will be playing two in the 3.40 3m1f handicap.  IBIS DU RHEU's mark continues to drop slightly and he now runs off 140 and on his day he's much better than that, the issue is getting him back on his day.  The encouragement i'm taking is his previous run at Cheltenham was much more like the real Ibis Du Rheu and but for a big mistake at the last he'd have been much closer.  He meets Rocklander again but on better terms and if he can eradicate his mistakes he will have a good chance.  The second horse I'll be playing is PEARL SWAN.  Peter Bowen's horse has had his issues but his return to action last month will have him ripe here.  He's another that is better than his mark on his day and I'm convinced he's been set up to have a real go at this race.

The Stayers Hurdle (4.20) is a race that I won't be selecting in.  I like the claims of Sam Spinner but at the price i'm happy to leave him alone.

The big race of the day is obviously the Grand National.  I debated this race with the lads yesterday and we all came to the same conclusion that you can make cases for pretty much all the runners.  I will be playing plenty and have already had ante post bets but I will state my three main selections.  Starting off with ANIBALE FLY.  This horse ran a cracker in the gold cup to finish third, jumps well, stays well, is officially nine pounds ahead of the handicapper and providing he doesn't have interference (likely to be ridden in the pack and will need luck) he should go very well.  I will be playing ALPHA DES OBEAUX at a big price.  This horse was touted as a gold cup horse a few years back and granted he's not lived up to his trainers' expectations on his day he is a very good horse.  He stays, jumps well and his mark of 155 seems to me to be below his true ability.  Rachael Blackmore takes the ride which is certainly no negative.  He's a big price and hopefully will give us a run for our money.  My final bet of the Grand National is GAS LINE BOY.  This horse was so unlucky in this race last year having been hampered on several occasions before staying on to finish fifth, despite being 12 he has shown this year that he's as good as ever and if he can get a clean run I can see him outrunning his odds.

The final race of the Aintree Grand National Festival is the 6.20 handicap hurdle and again i'll be playing two.  MICHAEL'S MOUNT has took to hurdles very well since switching codes and he's continuing to improve.  He ticks the boxes for me.  At a bigger price I think there is scope for HAVANA BEAT to prove better than his mark.  He peaked at a rating of 112 on the flat and having now broken his duck over hurdles he has the potential to be much better than 124 over obstacles.  Tony Carroll is in hot form and he can go well at a big price.


1.45 - BRAIN POWER - 2pts Win @ 3/1
2.20 - LES ARCEAUX - 1pt E/W @ 40/1
3.25 - L'AMI SERGE - 1pt Win @ 13/2
3.25 - THE NEW ONE - 1pt Win @ 13/2
4.40 - VOSNE ROMANEE - 1pt Win @ 25/1
4.40 - TOMMY SILVER - 1pt Win @ 10/1
5.15 - DUHALLOW GESTURE - 1pt Win @ 12/1

The racing since Cheltenham has left something to be desired however as the National Hunt season draws to a close we have Punchestown to look forward to and the Grand National Festival at Aintree which begins today.  I look forward to going to this meeting more than any other meeting in the calendar including Cheltenham.  Granted the quality of racing isn't the same but the course, atmosphere etc is much better, it's a proper "let your hair down" festival and I love it.  I am going today and tomorrow and if I can get a few winners along the way then happy days!  Having tried my best to believe and fight the weather predictions including compiling my write up yesterday based on good to soft ground I have given up and i'm now committed to the fact the ground is likely to be soft.  I live just up the road from Aintree and although yesterday was dry the sun did not appear once then last night it lashed down and overnight it rained too, the weather this National Hunt season has been unbelievable, even by British standards it's been poor.

By the way, one of my tips for visiting the races - Don't be afraid to ask oncourse bookies for a point or two more on a price as they are negotiable.  If you are likely to place bets with the same bookie all day use that as a tool to negotiate your prices ;-)
The opening race is the 1.45 Big Buck's Celebration Manifesto Novices' Chase grade One over 2m4f and I cannot see past BRAIN POWER.  I will not be making a habit of backing Cheltenham runners as you will have probably seen many horses haven't made the Festival due to injuries, niggles etc and the races there did take a lot out of the horses.  This horse however has been lightly campaigned since Christmas and his run at Cheltenham was enough to guarantee that his previous fall hadn't left its mark on him.  He ran a cracker at Cheltenham and providing that race doesn't take it out of him then he is a class above this field.  I'm more than happy with 3/1.  Soft ground isn't ideal but he's ran well on it this season including at Cheltenham where I feel his performance has been given unjustified criticism.

The 2nd race (2.20) is a more trickier affair to get stuck in to.  Apple's Shakira is a horse I have loved to watch this season but I can't help but feel disappointed at Cheltenham last month, she didn't show the same zest as previously.  At the price I cannot back her in this type of race.  We Have A Dream is worth a play here for me, his win at Musselburgh was highly impressive and given he missed Cheltenham I think he's the bet at the top of the market.  However there are plenty of unknowns in this race, I do like LES ARCEAUX at a huge price.  This Gigginstown horse came 4th on his last race but i'm happy to put a line through that given how bad the ground was that day.  Before then he had some good solid form finishing runner up and not far behind Sayo (3rd in Triumph) and Veneer Of Charm (Fred Winter winner).  He shapes as though the slightly better ground (all his runs this season had heavy in the going) will be fine and given his shrewd Irish connections are coming over in their droves to take advantage of the lack of Mullins/Elliott runners I think this horse can outrun his odds.

The 2.50 Betway Bowl Chase is all about Might Bite.  If he runs his race he wins, he did however have a very tough race at Cheltenham in gruelling conditions that he isn't at his best on.  I hope he wins and wins well as he's a horse I have a lot of time for but at the price I can't play him unfortunately.  If he touches evens I will have a play at the course, in fact i'll try and talk a bookie in to giving me evens.

The Aintree Hurdle (3.25) is a really interesting grade one with Stayers Hurdle runner up Supasundae heading the market and rightly so given his performances this season over an array of distances.  Last year proved that he is likely to run his race here after Cheltenham and he is going to be a tough nut to crack, I'm not interested at evens although I may double him up with Might Bite.  I'm going to have two bullets to fire in this race.  L'AMI SERGE and THE NEW ONE.  L'Ami Serge for me is ideal at 2m4f.  He's a frustrating horse who clearly has plenty of ability but must be on a giving day to finish out his races to full capacity.  The flatter track should suit his needs and I thought he travelled very well in to the Stayers Hurdle before fading late on.  He should be in the mix and if Nicky Henderson can get this horse at peak fitness he could prove a nice price.  The New One drops back in trip to what I think is now perfect for him.  He travelled excellently through the Stayers but didn't see the trip out.  My Tent Or Yours finished ahead of him last season but I think he was forced to run a certain way due to Buveur D'Air being in the race and I don't rate that as a real performance.  He is a hearty horse who will relish every part of this race and I think he has a live chance in more realistic company.

The Foxhunters Chase does not interest me from a betting point of view.  I'll be cheering on On The Fringe for sentimental reasons with no money on whilst I may have a cheeky fiver on Barrakilla and Wonderful Charm.

The 4.40 is the first proper handicap of the Festival, the Grade Three Red Rum Handicap Chase.  These races I try and find horses with potential to improve whilst this time around the slightly better ground puts another little twist in the tale given we've not seen much good to soft since October.  VOSNE ROMANEE is very interesting to me.  Having been to Dr Newland's yard a few years back it was obvious as he ran through his horses that this one he thought an awful lot of.  He since improved race by race over fences.  On his last chase start he won quite impressively at Worcester giving plenty of weight away to the 2nd that day Lord Ben during the autumn.  He has been given two spins over hurdles and in a bumper in the past couple of months to get him primed for a spin in this and with Brian Hughes booked I think he has plenty of scope to continue his improvement over the larger obstacles.  The ground and trip will be fine and I really do like his claims.  The other horse I like in this race is TOMMY SILVER.  Although annoying this horse has ran some decent races this season with low volume runners only winning one at ridiculous odds.  He had a recent spin at Kempton proving his well being and I think this big field will suit this horse.  Last season this horse put in his best efforts at this time of year and as a 6 year old I think there will be improvement to come.  He may go a little under the radar given how he's lost at odds on three times and I like his chances.

To finish the day off and hopefully in the Champagne Tent I'll be having a little play on DUHALLOW GESTURE in the 5.15 Mares' Bumper.  This horse impressed me on her British debut in December when destroying her rivals.  That day she showed an excellent turn of foot when the reigns were shook, she has mounds of potential and providing she's fully wound up for this and she settles she could be a tough horse to beat.

3.05 @ Kempton - BACH DE CLERMONT - 1pt Win @ 4/1
4.10 @ Kempton - LONGTOWN - 1pt Win @ 4/1
4.45 @ Kempton - TIMEFORBEN - 0.5pt E/W @ 20/1
5.50 @ Kempton - TIMETOBENEFIT - 0.5pt E/W @ 28/1

Finally we have some nice weather!!!  I have to say I have not known a winter like it for rain, I can't remember many days since October where the ground didn't have the words soft or heavy in it.  It's still not perfect today but there is an improvement and with that the racing isn't bad either.
My first selection today is BACH DE CLERMONT in the 3.05 @ Kempton.  Evan William's horse has showed glimpses of potential over fences this season but hasn't pulled out extra when it really mattered.  Last time out I'm convinced he would have won had he not blundered two from home.  He has stayed on every start this season and I think three miles will be right up his street.  He was very impressive in his point over three miles and i'd like to think he can show improvement over the distance.  He's a nice enough price and given a break this looks a good opportunity for him to break his duck over fences.

My second selection is LONGTOWN in the 4.10 @ Kempton.  Whilst I was doing my research last year I made a note that Philip Hobbs really likes this horse and expected him to do well over hurdles.  I was a little bit surprised that he was then sent chasing.  I did not back him on either of his starts this season but watched closely, I was happy with his jumping in both starts despite a couple of novicey mistakes and at Chepstow I was convinced he had breathing issues given how he emptied quickly when niggled (not heavily ridden).  To hear that he's had a wind operation is music to my ears.  The better ground will suit him too and his mark looks far too low not to get involved.  He is six pounds lower than his hurdles mark and given how his trainer has campaigned him he will surely prove better over fences.

My third selection for Kempton today is TIMEFORBEN in the 4.45.  This Mares' Only Handicap Hurdle does not look the strongest in terms of depth and I'm taken by the jockey booking here for David Pipe in Daryl Jacob.  This horse impressed in her point but has yet to live up to any expectations under rules.  There is plenty of reason to think however she's been waiting for a nice handicap mark to exploit.  Again ground looks imperative to her given how she won her point on good ground.  She should handle the distance no problem.  Money has come already which seems significant and there are a few signs that today could be the day for this Pipe handicapper.

Finally, the completion of my Kempton Lucky 15 comes in the last where I like the looks of another potential handicap plot in TIMETOBENEFIT for Richard Phillips.  This trainer does have another horse in the race ridden by Richard Johnson but Daniel Hiskett has ridden each of his three winners this season so that wouldn't put me off my selection.  Time To Benefit has competed in unrealistic races this season on ground that won't have been to her benefit.  She now takes on a low level handicap on nice ground off a light weight.  Hiskett rode her last time out and will have a gauge of how to get the best out of her and she looks a big price.  If the other Phillips horse wasn't in the race ridden by Johnson I think she'd be a 16/1 shot so there is value in her price.

2.45 @ Fairyhouse - HARDLINE - 1pt E/W @ 10/1
3.50 @ Fairyhouse - AUGUSTA KATE - 1pt E/W @ 14/1
5.00 - MALL DINI - 1pt Win @ 9/1
5.00 - SNOW FALCON - 0.5pt E/W @ 25/1
A disappointing Easter Monday as the UK has had six of its seven racecards wiped out due to bad weather.  I'm not one to moan however I can honestly say that I cannot remember such a long term of bad weather.  I can't actually remember much of good in any going since October, it really has been a tough period for horse racing and hopefully it picks up for Aintree in less than two weeks, good ground could really produce some surprises.
Ireland has managed to survive the weather however the ground is likely very heavy so I suggest that if you are going to have a play you reduce your stakes.

I'm going to have an each way play in the 2.45 @ Fairyhouse.  Getabird is rightly favourite here having ruined his chances at Cheltenham early on by pulling hard, he still has the best form in the race and providing he settles he will be tough to beat.  I would be tempted by Sharjah but I've a feeling he'd have a better chance on better ground.  Sayar looked a very good horse early on in the season but it'll be a tough ask here on his return from injury.  The horse I'm going to side with is Gordon Elliott's HARDLINE.  This horse looks a proper improver having carried top weight to victory on his previous two starts.  He seems to relish this ground, gets on well with Davy Russell and has the added bonus of not having a tough race at Cheltenham to contend with.  At 10/1 I think he is a good each way player.

The next race I'll be having an each way play in is the 3.50 Strawberry Hurdle and the horse I'm interested in is AUGUSTA KATE.  The Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park on her penultimate start was her best performance of the season by far and a repeat of that over this shorter trip will be tough to beat.  The favourite in this race Diamond Cauchois was behind Augusta Kate that day and has the burden of an extra five pounds here compared to the mare.  This is the time of year Augusta Kate thrives on and although I feel better ground would give her a better chance she's too big a price to ignore here.  She's an underestimated horse in my eyes.

The big race of the day is ofcourse the Irish Grand National (5.00).  With such good terms available i'll be playing a couple.  Starting at the head of the market I will be siding with MALL DINI.  A frustrating horse who has had his chances of recording well backed handicap wins at the last two Cheltenham festivals, especially his most recent effort in the Kim Muir where he travelled like the best horse in the race but couldn't match the winner at the finish.  He looked to me like he was tired late on and he will strip fitter for that.  In the past he has handled quick turn outs well and Mark Walsh back on board is a big plus to me.  He's still well handicapped off 143 in my opinion and I hope he can finally make his mark on the big stage.  I really like SNOW FALCON at a big price.  This horse peaked at 159 over hurdles and was a good stayer over three miles in that discipline.  Granted he's not shown the same form over fences however his most recent display was much better and the break between races looks perfect for him.  He shouldn't be underestimated and 25/1 looks again too big to me.


2.10 - CHESTERFIELD - 1pt E/W @ 18/1
2.50 - SANTINI - 2pts Win @ 7/2
3.30 - MIGHT BITE - 2pts Win @ 9/2


4.50 - CARTER MCKAY - 16/1
4.50 - DIESE DES BIEFFES - 8/1
4.50 - MR BIG SHOT - 16/1
4.50 - LOUGH DERG SPIRIT - 25/1

​Apologies for the lack of a write up yesterday, with going the races and running the comp I simply couldn't get the time to get one done.
On to the final day of the Cheltenham Festival and starting with the Triumph Hurdle.  It is not a race that I will be having a huge play in.  I have Apple's Shakira backed ante post at a nice price and i'm more than happy with that selection as she looks a top class horse and has Cheltenham form in the bag.  There are many unknowns in opposition and for that reason I will not be tipping in this race.  I know there are good offers about and i'd suggest if you're going to have a bet on this race you play Apple's Shakira for a small profit if she wins but don't go heavy incase there is a vast improver in the line up.

The County Hurdle (2.10) is a tricky puzzle but I hope to have found one that looks well in.  CHESTERFIELD for me stands out a fair amount here.  Having been running in graded races this year and peaked at 148 he comes off a mark of 140 and this is his time of year.  The ground is no issue, has won at Cheltenham in the past, gets on really well with his claimer and he rates as a good each way play in this for me.  So much so I will not be having another play in the race.

Another stand out horse comes in the 2.50 where SANTINI's recent run got a huge boost on Wednesday through Black Op.  Nicky Henderson rates this horse immensely and so far he hasn't disappointed on course.  He's a chaser in the making and could eventually make a Gold Cup horse.  Chef Des Obeaux has improved since he was beaten by Santini but he'd have to improve a lot to reverse the form and i'm happy to play Santini.

The Gold Cup (3.30) has been a tough puzzle that i've been keeping a close eye on since October.  I would have been more than happy to play Sizing John and his exclusion puts a bit of a dampener on things however I think MIGHT BITE has to be the one to be on here.  He has his quirks and more than enough doubters but I really like the horse, I like that he idles in front as that puts people off him and increases his price more than it should be.  He always does enough and has immense ability.  He improved his jumping from his first run this season where he was airy, goes on the ground, has course form obviously and hasn't done anything wrong this season.  He's not one to go mad on as he may find himself in the bar again after the final fence which if he does he won't get away with it like he did last year but there's no doubting his talent and I hope he can prove his doubters wrong.

The Foxhunters (4.10) is a race i'm happy to miss out on the tipping front, it's a puzzle that has too many unknowns and although I will be playing On The Fringe for a sentimental bet I will not be going mad.

I'm being boring today but the Martin Pipe (4.50) is another I can't put a tip up for.  You can literally take a dart at anything in this.  I'll have a small play on four horses in this, CARTER MCKAY, DIESE DES BIEFFES, MR BIG SHOT and LOUGH DERG SPIRIT.  Largely because they have ability, can improve and have decent enough jockeys on board.  Neither of them are bullish shouts though.

The final race of the day is another tough tough race, The Grand Annual (5.30).  I do like the claims of the favourite in this NORTH HILL HARVEY.  Not an original pick but this horse has been competing in top novice chases this season and he may be underestimated by the handicapper off 150.  He has course form in the bag and is very talented.  I will be playing BOUVREUIL also.  Paul Nicholls' horse has ran very well at Cheltenham in the past and looks to have a few pounds in hand if he can come back to something like his best off just 142.


1.30 - SAMCRO - 2pts Win @ 4/5
2.10 - PRESENTING PERCY - 2pts Win @ 11/4
2.50 - LE BREUIL - 1pt Win @ 12/1
2.50 - FIXE LE KAP - 1pt Win @ 16/1
4.10 - CAUSE OF CAUSES - 1pt Win @ 10/3
4.10 - TIGER ROLL - 1pt Win @ 6/1
4.50 - NUBE NEGRA - 1.5pt Win @ 10/1
4.50 - SOLO SAXOPHONE - 0.5pt Win @ 40/1
5.30 - BLACKBOW - 1pt Win @ 5/1
5.30 - ACEY MILAN - 1pt Win @ 7/1
​Day Two starts with one of the most exciting horses in training in SAMCRO (1.30) in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle.  Gordon Elliott's mount comes to Cheltenham with huge hype, as big a hype I can remember and he's done everything right so far, this is the day where he can really make his mark however.  He looks versatile both ground and trip wise and it's going to take a good one to get close to him if he's at peak form like you would expect him to be.  He has plenty of good quality opposition however it's all about Samcro for me.  Our sport needs superstars and i'm hoping this horse really is the next big thing.
The RSA Chase (2.10) is a very interesting affair and a tricky little puzzle to solve.  I'm going to side with the favourite PRESENTING PERCY, simply because I think this horse is something special.  His most recent run is the best form in the race for me finishing 2nd behind Our Duke.  When I watched this race back I think Davy Russell gave him a considered ride and I feel he had more to give.  He's proven stamina, proven on the ground, a generally decent jumper of fences and he has the class and potential to take this race.  He could be very special.  There are plenty of alternatives in the opposition with the likes of Monalee, Black Corton and Al Boum Photo in attendance plus others but I think a lot of this horse and he should be in next years' Gold Cup line up off the back of this.

The Coral Cup (2.50) is a right handicap hurdle and one I like to get stuck in to.  I will be having a few savers but i've concentrated my main bets on two, LE BREUIL and FIXE LE KAP.  Le Breuil has been highly rated by Ben Pauling for the last couple of years and I was highly impressed with his run behind Black Ivory last time out giving nearly a stone and a half to the winner but stayed on all day long on tough ground.  If he doesn't turn out better than 139 I will eat my hat, he's a lot of potential and ticks the boxes for me here.  Fixe Le Kap is an interesting one, i'm completely ignoring his latest run at Ascot as he was held up right out the back of the field and never allowed to get in to the race.  He finished 2nd at Plumpton on his return (had excuses) and won a listed hurdle in France last year having made all and I think Daryl Jacob will employ much more aggressive tactics here than were adopted last time out.  He's a nice price and has plenty of scope.

The big race of the day is a belter, the Champion Chase (3.30).  Altior v Douvan v Min v Politologue, four top class speed horses whom I like a lot.  This will be a true test with Special Tiara likely to make the running at a strong pace and it really could go any way.  I'm happy to leave a punt, sit back and enjoy the contest for what it is.  Finally we have a top class Champion Chase in the offing.

The Cross Country Chase (4.10) is about two horses for me, CAUSE OF CAUSES and TIGER ROLL.  Cause of Causes came home for me last season under a measured ride by Jamie Codd and there's every reason to think he will be tough to beat here again.  He's made for Cheltenham and I really don't need to say much more about him, he's a cracking horse.  Tiger Roll is the interesting one in the line up, having won at Cheltenham twice in the past.  He has schooled well by all accounts and cannot be underestimated.  I'll be going decent on Cause of Causes whilst having a little bet on Tiger Roll for a small profit if he came home in front.

The Fred Winter (4.50) is a race I will not be getting heavily involved in, it's a nightmare of a race to delve in to given the lack of form available and being a handicap for young horses, I will play NUBE NEGRA and SOLO SAXOPHONE as I think both have excellent form in the bag, huge amounts of potential and soft ground form.  They are not bullish shouts but I think they hold every chance.

The final race of the day is the Champion Bumper (5.30).  I have been so impressed with BLACKBOW and have backed him at a nice price ante post.  He's the pick for Patrick Mullins (who has the pick of all the Mullins horses for bumpers, not Ruby) and the change in pace he shown when beating Rhinestone was outstanding, you need a lot of luck in this race but I think he's a massive prospect.  I will also play ACEY MILAN who recorded a very quick time on heavy ground at Cheltenham in January and followed it up with a more professional display last time out.  He gets the age allowance and shouldn't be underestimated.  It will be tough at his age but he's done nothing wrong so far.


1.30 - GETABIRD - 2pts Win @ 15/8
1.30 - WESTERN RYDER - E/W without Getabird @ 18/1
2.10 - FOOTPAD - 2pts Win @ 6/5
2.50 - SHANTOU FLYER - 0.5pts E/W @ 20/1
2.50 - COGRY - 0.5pts E/W @ 16/1
3.30 - FAUGHEEN - 1pt Win @ 13/2
4.10 - LA BAGUE AU ROI - 1pt E/W @ 13/2
4.50 - KEEPER'S HILL - 1pt Win @ 12/1
4.50 - SIZING TENNESSEE - 1pt Win @ 10/1
5.30 - DE PLOTTING SHED - 2pts Win @ 13/2

​Well, the day is finally here!!!  The wait is over and now the fun begins!
The opening race of Cheltenham 2018 is the Supreme Novices' Hurdle (1.30) and having looked at this race throughout the winter I've finally made my decisions.  I've been trying to get GETABIRD beat for months now however when really getting stuck in to the studying I can't get past him.  I have liked Mengli Khan for a while now but having watched his defeat to Getabird back I can't find an excuse for him, he jumped as good as he has in any race, travelled nicely but simply didn't have an answer for the winner who pulled away impressively.  Getabird is a smooth traveller who looks versatile as far as positioning goes although I expect him to lead and play catch me if you can, those tactics can prove deadly for him in my opinion and he will be tough to beat although i'm not liking the price.  I will be playing WESTERN RYDER in the without Getabird market.  This horse has Cheltenham form in the bag and despite being disappointing on his last two runs his win at Cheltenham ahead of Summerville Boy and Lalor was very impressive and if Warren Greatrex, who is in better form at the moment, can get him at peak level then he wouldn't be without a squeak, he's a good horse with a decent engine, I just hope his attitude returns for the big occasion.

The race that I'm most looking forward to for the day whilst being very disappointed in the lack of numbers is the Arkle (2.10).  I can see this race being a tactical affair with Footpad, Petit Mouchoir and Saint Calvados all potentially wanting to lead the way.  Personally if I was Davy Russell i'd be doing all I can to get my head in front of Footpad from the off.  In my opinion Petit Mouchoir has a bigger engine over two miles than Footpad however he doesn't have anywhere near the quality in the jumping department so the only way I can see him winning this is by making it a test of stamina and hoping his jumping passes the tests, that is a big worry for me.  Saint Calvados has done little wrong since coming over the Harry Whittington from France.  He jumps quickly and seems to thrive on a high cruising pace.  He's only 5 years old and has improved with each run.  Whether he can match the front two in this market with their experience is a big worry for me.  I think the Irish Arkle holds the key to this race, if Petit Mouchoir can improve his jumping he could be lethal, I doubt he will cope with the quick pace in the jumping department and therefore although boring again I think FOOTPAD is the solid bet.

The Ultima (2.50) is the first tough handicap to get stuck in to on day one and I'll be playing two against the field at big odds.  I really like the chances of SHANTOU FLYER and COGRY.  Shantou Flyer has plenty of past Cheltenham form having won here on two occasions and although a mark of 152 is high he has dropped a few pounds since the start of the season and has been consistent of late.  The trip should be fine, he's ground versatile and James Bowen on board is a big bonus, he's a decent price.  Cogry finished behind Casse Tete on his most recent outing however that was over 2m4f and he was putting in his best work at the finish.  He's another with good Cheltenham form in the bag and if he can reproduce his reappearance performance when beating Singlefarmpayment he'd hold every chance here.  He's another who can go well at a big price.

The Champion Hurdle (3.30) is an interesting race although the likely winner is the favourite.  He's not a bet at the price unless you're going to put him in some acca's.  The only horse in this race who I believe can beat Buveur D'Air is FAUGHEEN.  On his day he was the best two mile hurdler around and he shown a glimpse of that old quality on his return from injury when taking apart Jezki at Punchestown.  He hasn't been able to reproduce that form since but I have a couple of reasons as to why I hope he can bounce back.  First and most importantly is Ruby Walsh returns in the saddle.  One of the big negatives for Yorkhill is the fact that Ruby isn't riding him as he needs a powerful jockey on board and unfortunately Yorkhill and Paul Townend simply don't see eye to eye, I'm glad David Mullins is on board him but he will have his work cut out to keep get the best out of him.  Ruby being on board Faugheen is so important.  In my opinion Ruby will need to bomb Faugheen out well in front and make it a real test from the off, i'm sure Faugheen enjoys himself on his own whereas he struggles under pressure and company.  The simple fact is I want to play this race but can't play Buveur D'Air at the price so i'm clutching on to the fact that Faugheen is the only real horse that can beat Buveur in this line up, everything would need to be perfect but this is Cheltenham, anything is possible!
The Mares Hurdle (4.10) is unfortunately another race where the likely winner is a short price in the shape of Apple's Jade.  She is a superstar mare and I can't see past her here.  The only slight worry i'd have is the break she's had as she's not gone at her best in the past when fresh, it would take a special horse to beat her.  There is only one horse who for me has shown the quality to test Apple's if she's not her 100% self and that is LA BAGUE AU ROI.  This mare of Warren Greatrex's has done everything right, carried big weights in victory this season over a variety of trips and grounds, she's special and an each way bet to nothing in my opinion.

The National Hunt Chase (4.50) is the race on day one that i've probably spent the least time on studying, it is near impossible to pick your way through given that the 4m trip hasn't been tackled by any of the participants.  The way I approach it is to find horses that jump well and stay well and have the potential to improve.  I've picked out KEEPER HILL and SIZING TENNESSEE as two that fit the bill and at double figure prices I think they're worth their chance here.  Keeper Hill's best display this season came over 3m where he stayed on very strongly at the finish having travelled the best horse from a long way out, last time out he'd have arguably beat Barney Dwan which is up there with the very best form amongst any of his rivals here, he has sound chances.  Sizing Tennessee has Barry O'Neill in the saddle which I think is a positive and has course form in the bag, the ground won't be an issue no matter what it is and his experience could prove very crucial here.

The final race of the day is the Close Brothers Novices' Chase and although i'm not one to usually back favourites in handicaps I really like the look of DE PLOTTING SHED.  This horse is rated 9 pounds lower over fences than his best over hurdles.  He has ran some solid races this season but looks to have been ridden expertly by Davy Russell preserving his mark.  He looks well in to me and he'll be getting a fair chunk of a bet from me.

3.35 @ Wetherby - PISTOL PARK - 1pt Win @ 5/2

An unusual midweek bet for me but I really like the claims of PISTOL PARK in the 3.35 @ Wetherby.  This horse loves heavy ground and has been given a bit of leeway from the handicapper having dropped four pounds down to 132 which looks very much within his compass.  He looked a horse going places last season and had plenty of excuses in his performances this term.  His reappearance he looked all over the winner before an uncharacteristic mistake unseated his rider, the form of that race was ungraded last week.  His second outing he was giving away 7 pounds to a horse who is now rated 128 and looked like a recovery mission from his earlier fall and his last run was only two weeks after his previous outing which is simply not enough time to recover for a horse on heavy ground putting in a big effort.  He's since had his wind operated on which although didn't seem like an obvious issue can only be a positive thing for him.  I fear nothing in opposition and I will be disappointed if Pistol Park isn't on the premises at the finish.

1.50 @ Ascot - MOUNT MEWS - 1pt Win @ 7/2

Interest Bets;

2.00 @ Gowran - OUR DUKE - 2/1
3.00 @ Ascot - FIXE LE KAP - 7/1
3.00 @ Ascot - LE PATRIOTE - 11/2
​3.35 @ Ascot - WAITING PATIENTLY - 9/4 (Coney Island stake saver)
4.40 @ Lingfield - SEASEARCH - 25/1
Some excellent racing today across the UK and Ireland.
Over at Ascot the race i'll start in is the 1.50 @ Ascot where Black Corton heads the market.  Paul Nicholls' mount has built up a great rapport with Bryony Frost and with that a novice rating of 155.  He's been impressive and his 5 pounds extra weight against his rivals here might not be enough to stop his progress.  However the horse I will be playing here is Ruth Jefferson's MOUNT MEWS.  This horse had an impressive season over hurdles last season and make a blistering chase debut in December over 2m3f at Doncaster.  Last time out he was very novicey over his fences and was given a tentative ride by Brian Hughes, it looked like a schooling ride early on in the contest.  The fact he was still competing at the business end is a testament to the horse and I wouldn't dismiss the form as I think Wotzizname is an excellent horse.  Mount Mews would have to improve on his jumping here but if he jumps like his debut here I think he will take some beating.

I am very interested in the 3.00 @ Ascot and there is two horses i'll be dutching, FIXE LE KAP and LE PATRIOTE.  Fixe Le Kap was highly regarded by Nicky Henderson at the beginning of the season but failed to live up to those expectations on his return to action when long odds on.  His wind was subsequently operated on and given his hurdle form if he can show improvement for his op then he wouldn't be without a chance, I wouldn't look too much in to Daryl Jacob riding Kildisart, he's ridden a lot for Ben Pauling this season.  Le Patriote ran a cracking race last time out on just his second start for Dr Newland and this longer trip will suit for sure.  He's off too light a weight to dismiss given how he stayed on and Dr Newland is a genius when placing his handicappers.

The Betfair Chase (3.35) is a belter and arguably the best race seen this season in the UK to date.  I'm disappointed in the price of WAITING PATIENTLY given the depth of the race but he will be my main selection in this race as I think he is a serious animal.  Regular readers of my write ups will know how much I rate this horse and I love how he has been campaigned, the name says it all.  He ticks every box, jumps, stays, travels, finishes.  He is bullet proof to me.  My one nagging doubt in my mind is the inclusion of CONEY ISLAND.  I watched this horse last time out and thought Barry Geraghty was giving him a light race having him well at the back for most of the contest.  It has to be said that the way he closed on Adrien Du Pont was quite scintiliating and I thought it must have took a lot out of a horse to close so quickly but he just kept finding and pulled well clear when asked the question.  It was a quality display and great to see, whether he has enough ability to beat Waiting Patiently over this distance I'm not sure, for me they are up there with the best second season chasers from both sides of the sea.  The opposition is obviously top class but I can't speak higher of the two mentioned so it'll be a nice bet on Waiting Patiently and a stake saver on Coney Island for me.
The big race over at Gowran (2.00 Red Mills Chase) sees Presenting Percy take on OUR DUKE and I think the market has things the wrong way around.  Presenting Percey looks on hell of a horse and a possible future Gold Cup contender however this trip is a bit on the short side for him in my opinion.  Our Duke is a proven horse and would have put it up to the winner last month in the Irish Gold Cup had he not have made a shuddering mistake (I'm convinced he would have won that day but for that).  I was just happy to see him show that zest that he had last season having disappointed on his return.  If he can show the same attitude here and jump as efficient as he normally does then I can't see anything that will beat him, 2m4f should be no problem for him on this ground.

One race away from the main action i'm interested in is the last at Lingfield (4.40) where Andrew Balding saddles SEASEARCH.  I read on his last appearance that Balding feels this horse is more than capable of defying his mark but that day a bad start put paid to his chances and he was cannily brought home well behind.  He has a good draw today and a low mark of just 51 to overcome, Balding is the sort of trainer who always goes to win races and i'm happy to be taking the 25/1 available on this one.

Interest Bets;

3.35 @ Newbury - LALOR - 14/1
3.35 @ Newbury - MISTERTON - 20/1

Having watched yesterdays' racing with interest I suggest the front 4 in the 4.05 Bumper, namely Commanche Red, Beakstown, Imperial Aura and Getaway Trump, the winner won well having stripped fitter than the others whilst the three in behind were gallant in defeat and looking in need of runs, I suspect there won't be much between them on their day and it looked a hot bumper.
There was some devastating news to come out yesterday that Fountains Windfall had a freak accident and had to be put down, he was a top horse and all my thoughts go to all involved.

Some quality racing for Saturday with the return of Altior at the top of the interest pile, the fact he takes on Politologue makes it even more interesting.  Barters Hill and Native River also return to the track following long absences and I'm looking forwards to watching all of their returns, I will not be having a bet however.

I've had a good look at the 3.35 @ Newbury (Betfair Hurdle).  It looks a cracking race and without boring you with all my science (like I normally do), i'll quickly run through the reasons for my two selections.  With the late Richard Woollacott passing recently there is no doubt that Daryl Jacob will be putting everything on the line to get the most out of LALOR who his wife Kayley takes over training.  This consistent horse travels like the best horse in all his races but has struggled to see his last couple out and it's no surprise to see connections having worked on his wind, now with the break I assume he's been set up for this race and this will be his gold cup for the season.  His form is strong having finished ahead of Summerville Boy who has since come out and beat Kalashnikov (although granted on ground not to his liking) and I feel he is more than capable of proving better than his current mark, the wind surgery will hopefully have the desired effect.  MISTERTON is my second selection at a big price.  He has ran in some cracking handicaps and put in very good performances, especially when finishing second in the Greatwood to Elgin.  I thought he looked tired that day at the finish and showed amazing courage to fight til the end of a tough race.  Given plenty of time I feel there is improvement in him and he looks a big price here for such a consistent performer who has plenty of scope.  I like him.

3.00 @ Southwell - BOREHAM BILL - 1pt Win @ 3/1

My selection for today's racing is BOREHAM BILL in the 3.00 @ Southwell.  Ben Pauling's horse looks to have found a nice opportunity here to break his maiden tag over hurdles.  He contested some hot bumpers last season without disgracing himself and the form of his 4th behind Santini on his penultimate start has worked out very well.  I didn't understand the decision to send him out at Huntingdon last time out on a right handed track given that he had jumped a few early hurdles left at Newbury plus the ground played a little bit worse than the good to soft suggests.  Based on his Newbury run where he was sent out in front and went at a good clip he jumped soundly on the whole after a slow first leap and looked all over the winner approaching 2 out only to wrap the top of it and weaken after the final flight.  It was still a very good performance and a repeat of that will see him tough to beat here in a lesser contest.  I think the favourite Don L'Ami will be better over further and I personally would not be dropping him back in trip here whereas the 3rd favourite Monbeg Oscar i'd say the opposite, he doesn't look to me like he needs a step up in trip so i'd be happy to take them on.  I think Boreham Bill has a great chance today.


Dublin Festival at Leopardstown;

1.10 - DORTMUND PARK - 15/8
1.45 - YORKHILL - 1/1
2.20 - FOOTPAD - 1/2
2.55 - TOWNSHEND - 16/1
2.55 - BEL AMI DE SIVOLA - 12/1
3.30 - MELON - 3/1
4.05 - MASTER OF IRONY - E/W @ 25/1
4.05 - MIDNIGHT STROLL - E/W @ 11/1
4.05 - KARALEE - E/W @ 40/1
4.40 - BLACKBOW - 11/4

Interest Bets;

12.50 @ Lingfield - PAPARAZZI - 15/8
1.25 @ Lingfield - CITY DREAMER - 15/8
2.25 @ Sandown - NO COMMENT - 18/1
3.00 @ Sandown - TOPOFTHEGAME - 11/2
3.00 @ Sandown - DASHING PERK - 10/1

My write up this week will be concentrated on an excellent card over at Leopardstown which hosts the new Irish Dublin Festival and it's safe for me to say that today is a welcome return of some very good jumps racing.  January was shocking in terms of quality but this weekend is very much how racing should be.

The card gets off to a great start with this intruiging 2m6f grade one Novice Hurdle (1.10) and i've sided with favourite DORTMUND PARK.  I am interested to see how Carter Mackay gets on now upped in trip however the selection proved last time out what a top quality horse he looks capable of becoming having beaten some highly regarded horses with his head in his chest.  He can continue his improvement here and it will take a very good one to beat him.

The Dublin Chase (1.45) is a a cracker and Willie Mullins is pitching favourite YORKHILL back over 2m over fences.  I have great respect for Kevin Blake (ATR journalist) and he has wished for these terms for this horse.  He has made a very strong case for this horse over 2m and I cannot disagree with him.  He clearly has an immense amount of talent and in my opinion jumps soundly over fences when given a good gallop.  He is likely to get that here and that will be crucial.  I cannot wait to see him run here and given the respect I have for Min he has a very worthy opponent and gauge on the level.

The 2.20 is a race I'm most eagerly awaiting given I think this is a preview of the Arkle.  I am a big fan of FOOTPAD and I have backed him at good odds ante post for the race next month.  His jumping is exceptional and I seriously don't think i've seen a better jumper of fences over recent years including the other Mullins hotpots.  He is so slick and takes lengths out of his opponents.  Petit Mouchoir made a sparkling debut over fences too and jumped effortlessly, based on that display he's likely to be Footpad's biggest challenger at Cheltenham but his setback since may put him out of putting in a big effort here today, if he can get within 5 lengths of Footpad I would think that connections would be happy with that en route to the big one.  I will have a little saver on him for Cheltenham just incase but for me Footpad looks top class.

The real puzzles begin in the 2.55 where the 2m1f Coral Sandyford Handicap Chase takes place.  Having looked through the form and as a process of elimination i've opted to go with BEL AMI DE SIVOLA and TOWNSHEND.  The former ran a cracker last time out when just touched off by Tisamystery but that race came within 4 weeks of a tough race at Fairyhouse and I think his break since then will see him well.  He's consitent, jumps well, travels well and enjoys soft ground, his finishing pace does worry me but if produced at the right time he can just get his head in front.  Townshend I think is a big price.  His runs this season have been very odd and what i'd class as "not trying" given that he has been held up in the field.  His 3 chase wins came when either making all or chasing the leaders.  That makes me think he's being laid out for one.  Willie Mullins has clearly been a big admirer of this Festival given that he has put out so many of his best horses (and against eachother) and with him £600k behind in the Irish Championship he can make up some ground this weekend, he is likely to have readied Townshend for this.

The Irish Champion Hurdle (3.30) is about one horse Faugheen.  If he's back to his best then he wins, if he puts in the same performance as last time then he'll bomb out and surely be retired.  I have watched his last run back a few times to see if there was anything that stands out as to why he ran so poorly and I cannot see anything at all.  The only thing I can think of is that he was pressed for the lead and didn't like it.  I know that sounds very far out there but when he lost to Nichols Canyon he was unable to make the running that day and despite his best efforts he didn't reel in a horse who although brilliant on his day was not the class of Faugheen.  When he got amongst the other horses he was pulled up sharply and nothing was found to be wrong.  This makes me wonder that he doesn't have the quick natural speed that he once had and although his time on his reappearance was very good he was given an easy time up top and that race lacked depth.  Now honestly I could be talking nonsense but I'm trying to find a reason, it could be that he had an off day however given that he has always been a consistent horse and the fact he's had injuries plus his age I'm not sure he's as good as he was.  I hope he is but i'm not convinced.  Therefore I'll be siding away from him and playing his stablemate MELON.  I have backed him ante post for the Champion Hurdle and if Buveur D'Air and the real Faugheen are at their best then he won't win however I think he is an improving horse who impressed me with the way he travelled last time out.  Granted he didn't see that race out how I would have liked but he's clearly a good horse and with expected improvement continuing I'm hopeful he can prove better than the remainder here, therefore it's simple in my mind, if Faugheen is as good as he was then he wins and I'll happily admire him come home and look forward to a showdown in March with Buveur D'Air, if he isn't as good as he was and pulls up again I hope Melon is the 2nd best option.  At the price I think he's worth a chance.

The 4.05 is one of the toughest handicaps to unpick that I can remember and there is literally angles you can take with any of the runners.  I have decided to play MASTER OF IRONY, KARALEE and MIDNIGHT STROLL each way.  Literally anything can win this but I feel the three named are the strongest in the line up.

The card finishes with a very interesting bumper and one that could have an affect on the market for Cheltenham.  Again this is a bit of a tough race to unpick given the limited amount of evidence to hand however I really liked the display put up by BLACKBOW last time out beating The Holy One by upwards of 3 lengths, now some will say the favourite beat him by 4 lengths previously however in my opinion Blackbow did it with more authoritive and with the runner up having improved for the run against Rapid Escape.  He also clocked up a time less than 4 minutes carrying 11 stone 9 pounds whereas Rapid Escape ran in 4 minutes 13 seconds carrying 11 stone 2 pounds.  It isn't all about times but that does look significant.  Don't get me wrong I think the favourite is going to be very good but I think you'll see the best out of him when he goes jumping.  I will also be backing him now for the Champion Bumper at 20/1.

I am interested in NO COMMENT in the 2.25 @ Sandown.  Philip Hobbs' gelding was a decent horse over hurdles last season having finished second in a grade two however he looked a real chaser in the making.  I find the entry more than interesting as he makes his chasing debut in a grade one.  I'll be very surprised if he can win today given he hasn't been seen since April 17 however I will be having a small play as he could be pretty special and if he is as good as his entry suggests he could be a very big price.
I will be playing two horses in the big handicap at Sandown today (3.00 - Betfred Heroes Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)).  I feel TOPOFTHEGAME and DASHING PERK are worth siding with in what looks set to be a testing affair.  Regular readers of my articles will know that I think a lot of Topofthegame and thought he would be a force over fences this season, his debut run looked to be going according to plan before coming crashing down at Newbury.  Although I still think he will be better as a chaser that looks unlikely to happen now until next season however he proved last time out in the Lanzarote that he can still be a player in the top staying handicap hurdles this season.  The added trip here will suit and he will strip fitter for his last run.  He is a solid jumper and he will guarantee a good run for your money.  Dashing Perk proved last time out what his trainer feels about him.  Dr Newland said "Dashing Perk is an interesting prospect who will go for staying novice hurdles initially but could prove above average", he certainly is that based on his last display and a mark of 127 looks more than acheivable for this son of Kayf Tara.

I'm going to play a couple of short priced horses at Lingfield and i'll briefly give my reasons.  PAPARAZZI (12.50) has been entered up for this 1m handicap and looks an improving sort.  The most important factor is that Joseph O'Brien sends him over from Ireland and is his only runner on the card.  He does well with his horses at Lingfield and this horse looks like he can continue his improvement here.  CITY DREAMER (1.25) is a 134 rated hurdler and 65 rated flat horse, those ratings do not add up.  Having been part of a syndicate previously I noted that horse was rated 75 on the flat and went on to be as big as 125 over hurdles.  Obviously flat racing is different to jumps however the variance looks too big on paper and with Ryan Moore booked he ticks the boxes to me for a handicap.

3.30 @ Uttoxeter - SECRET DOOR - 2pts Win @ 4/1 (NAP)
3.50 @ Doncaster - FOREST BIHAN - 1pt Win @ 7/1
7.45 @ Kempton - DRAGON MALL - 1pt Win @ 11/4

Interest Bets;

1.50 @ Cheltenham - CASSE TETE - E/W @ 33/1
3.35 @ Cheltenham - FINIAN'S OSCAR - 3/1
3.35 @ Cheltenham - BEER GOGGLES - 15/2

My first main selection of today is SECRET DOOR in the 3.30 @ Uttoxeter.  Harry Fry's mare made her chase debut less than three weeks ago which would normally put me off putting up a horse however she ran that day off top weight in a novice handicap which had a lot of depth and she was not given a tough time at all.  I think she will have learnt a lot from that experience and off a mark of 115 she should be very very competitive.  This smaller field will suit and I don't see an issue with heavy ground, in fact she's one of a few in this field who should appreciate it.  Her best hurdles form is of much better standard than this and I feel she will improve for chasing.  Her point to point form has turned out to be very strong and I'll be surprised and very disappointed if she can't cope with this level.  I think she could be a good thing today.  In opposition the favour Kayfleur has the ability to take a contest like this but I feel the ground will play against her and her jumping can be very hit and miss.  I don't fear anything else in the race.

I'm going to have a nice bet on FOREST BIHAN in the 3.50 @ Doncaster.  This horse ran a belter on his return this season when giving weight away at Kelso.  He has to do the same again here today after two disappointing runs in graded company.  I still think this horse is graded quality but to do so will need good ground.  At this level I think he's good enough on a softer surface providing it isn't heavy.  With little rain expected I'm hoping conditions will improve in his favour.  Even in his last two runs he's jumped well on the whole is a horse I hold in high regard.  With the exception of Gino's Trail I don't see any other horse that really suits soft ground either which is a boost.  This will be tough for him but I think he's a class apart from this company so even giving weight away he should be a real force here.

My final main selection today comes tonight in the 7.45 @ Kempton where David Simcock sends out DRAGON MALL on the all weather.  Things did not go to plan at all last time out at Lingfield and the gaps opened too late for Stevie Donoghue before his mount stayed on strongly to just miss out on a win.  Dragon Mall runs off the same mark here but has Jamie Spencer on board and I think it could be a match made in heaven.  The outside draw will put many off him however I don't see an issue with an outside draw at Kempton and for a hold up horse I kind of like it.  Spencer won't need to ask much coming out of the stalls to drop him in behind and providing he can weave his way in to contention turning in the long straight at Kempton should give him plenty of time to get to the leaders.  There are obvious risks with this type of horse as he will need some luck in running but he's a good quality horse and he's good enough to take a contest like this.

In the 1.50 @ Cheltenham I really like the claims of CASSE TETE at a big price.  If ever there was a horse unsuited by a track it was Gary Moore's horse last time out at Ascot.  From the very first fence when literally wiping out Theo's Charm the writing was on the wall as he jumped violently out to his left.  He was very fresh and that was not anything like his capability.  I was very impressed with his previous effort at Sandown where he jumped much more efficiently and looked as fit as he ever had.  He came over to Moore with a bit of a reputation and i'm happy to put a line right through that last run, this test should suit him and I think he's underestimated here due to his last run.  Off a mark of 137 I will be very disappointed if he can't be competitive.
The BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (2.25 @ Cheltenham) is an interesting affair and one i'll have my eyes on rather than my wallet.  If I was to have a bet I would be laying Bristol De Mai.  He was given a ridiculous mark by the handicapper following an easy win at Haydock in the Betfair Chase however if you look at the form with Blacklion at Wetherby which I think will be more the form on proper ground I'm not convinced that he's a real grade one horse.  That may sound harsh but I refuse to think that Haydock race was a real race, it was gruelling and he's a machine on near unraceable ground but that is not what he'll encounter today.  He would never be a reliable short price favourite for me.  I would probably dutch The Last Samuri and Tea For Two.  The Last Samuri has had to give weight away on numerous occasions in top handicaps but he receives weight today and I think this will be his Gold Cup this season.  He's 10 years old now and I think his Grand National dream is over now given his handicap mark.  He's a good quality horse however and over 3m on this ground in this company I feel he's a player.  One thing for sure is you will get a run for your money and arguably he's an each way play to nothing as I would be surprised if he wasn't in the first 3 home.  I would wait near the start of the race however if you want to play each way as with only 8 runners, 1 non runner would mess up any morning bets.  Tea For Two has not shown anything like his real form this season although last time out was encouraging.  Nick Williams tends to find something out of this horse once a season and it may be a case that this is a stepping stone to another crack at Aintree.  However on his day he has the class to beat all these, the question is, is today the day.  He's interesting but I couldn't be confident.
The 3.35 Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham looks a belter on paper and one that I'm going to have a couple of plays in, one with my head and one with my heart.  FINIAN'S OSCAR has been (in my opinion) confusingly campaigned by Colin Tizzard in his last couple of races and this race continues that trend.  He ran two good races in October and November on his first two chase starts but then was oddly dropped back to two miles at Sandown in December before running less than two weeks later (risky for one of your best horses) at Ascot giving weight away to the improving Benatar, that form isn't bad at all although his jumping wasn't ideal.  I think 3 miles is his trip so for that there's a tick in the box but I find it weird that he's gone back over hurdles.  I think he's a real chaser and would have been a decent bet of mine for the RSA this season.  His campaign now looks geared towards the Stayers Hurdle and if he's going to be a contender there he has to win this.  Colin Tizzard is back in ok form which he wasn't back in December and I think he can be force over hurdles.  I will be having a play on him as I do think on his day he's a class above these and I like the 3 miles trip.  I will be chearing on BEER GOGGLES.  His trainer Richard Woollacott tragically lost his life this week and his wife Kayley has decided to take up the mantle today in what will be a highly emotional time at Cheltenham.  It would be amazing to see him win and there won't be a dry eye in the house if he can prove that last time out wasn't a fluke.  Richard Johnson is likely to make the running once again and he'll be doing all he can to get his mount in front.

Interest Bets;

1.50 @ Gowran Park - ALPHA DES OBEAUX - 8/1
3.00 @ Gowran Park - A GENIE IN ABOTTLE - 9/1

There is some welcomed good quality racing at Gowran Park today and I feel there are a few races worth interest bets in.

The 1.50 is an intruiging contest with Presenting Percy, Bacardys and Alpha Des Obeaux reverting back to hurdles following stints over fences.  The favourite Presenting Percy looks all set for a go at the RSA Chase in March and no doubt has ability over hurdles too.  This will be his last run until March i'm sure and there's no reason to think he won't be trying hard today, he comes here with every chance.  Willie Mullins holds the next two in the market with Let's Dance and Bacardys both of whom have top class form over hurdles, the latter failed over fences disappointingly and this now looks like the code he will stick too.  The former is an excellent mare who bolted up last time out whilst the stable wasn't in the greatest of form, she doesn't have much leeway in the weights however and this may be a step too far for her today.  At the weights I think ALPHA DES OBEAUX is the bet.  This horse won this race at a canter two years ago before finishing an impressive 2nd to the unstoppable (at the time) Thistlecrack at Cheltenham.  He obviously has his quirks but in my opinion he has the best form of these over hurdles and he's shown enough lately to think he can still be very competitive over the smaller obstacles.  He looks a big price @ 8/1.

The 3.00 @ Gowran (Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase) is another interesting affair with Gordon Elliott six handed in the race and you couldn't rule any of them out of having a chance.  However, I'm going to side with Noel Meade's A GENIE IN ABOTTLE.  In my opinion he ticks a lot of boxes, ground - perfect, trip - ideal, form - fine.  I don't think it was a coincidence that this horse was held up last time out in a big field given that he won his two races prior by making all.  I think this race is his big day for the season and he'll be ridden towards the front, if he can get his head in front from 3 out then he will be tough to peg back.  He's a nice price.


2.25 @ Ascot - CROSSED MY MIND - 1pt Win @ 4/1
3.00 @ Ascot - KILCREA VALE - 1pt Win @ 7/1

I'm expecting the quality of racing to improve in the next 2/3 weeks with Cheltenham just over 7 weeks away however there is very little on offer today from a betting point of view some trappy handicaps and short priced favourites.
I have however picked out a couple of bets in the handicaps at Ascot that I feel have excellent chances;

CROSSED MY MIND runs in the 2.25 @ Ascot and I think these are his ideal conditions here.  His last race at Sandown was a good run and he shaped like a step up in trip would be a key to him with a stiff test of stamina.  He gets soft ground today over 2m3f and Jonjo O'Neill takes seven pounds off his back.  His jockey is up and coming and i've been pretty impressed with him on several occasions, granted he's made mistakes along the way but he's learning his trade and i've seen more seasoned jockeys make many more than him.  This is a big race for him today and the perfect stage to get himself in to the limelight.  Back to the horse I feel there is much more to come and I think he's on an excellent mark.  Jenkins could continue his progress with the additional trip and hot jockey James Bowen taking 5 pounds off his back however there are plenty of doubts about him and he finished behind the selection at Sandown.  Regular readers will know that I don't put up many JP McManus horses as you never know when they're trying but I don't fear any of the opposition at the weights so for me he's worth a 1 point selection.

I will be having a little play on KILCREA VALE in the 3.00 @ Ascot.  I feel this horse has much more to come and I believe (although his trainer probably doesn't) that he needs soft ground to be shown to best effect.  Today he carries the lightest weight of his career to date and drops back to a more suitable trip than last time out.  His 3 career wins came under Jeremiah McGrath and I feel this opposition today is there for the taking.  The more I look at the race the more I think this horse has the potential to bolt up.  I feel he's worth a 1 point pick too.

2.05 @ Kempton - WAITING PATIENTLY - 2pts Win @ 7/4 (NAP)
2.50 @ Wetherby - WESTEND STORY - 1pt Win @ 11/4

Interest Bets (Handicaps)

2.25 @ Warwick - THE ORGANIST - 6/1
2.25 @ Warwick - FLY CAMP - 16/1
2.40 @ Kempton - DIESE DES BIEFFES - 5/1
2.40 @ Kempton - TOPOFTHEGAME - 9/1
3.35 @ Warwick - CRESSWELL BREEZE - E/W - 9/1

The next few weeks should give us a guide towards the big Spring handicaps and today there are a couple of watch with open eyes.  These big Saturday handicaps in particularly at this time of year are even tougher than normal as you are almost second guessing what the trainers' are thinking.  Some of whom will have one eye on Cheltenham/Aintree and a lower handicap mark whereas others may capitalise on the better horses' plans and have today's race set up as a big target.  I'm going to have a couple of interest plays.
Before cracking on with the handicaps i'm going to go through my picks in the more prestige races starting with the 2.05 @ Kempton, the 32Red Casino Chase over 2m4f.  I will not be putting in an original selection however I feel WAITING PATIENTLY is one hell of a horse and will be very tough to beat in this listed event.  He is unbeaten over fences and although lightly raced he already has some high profile scalps to his name including the likes of Politologue, Forest Bihan and Belami Des Pictons (giving six pounds).  He's a sound jumper of a fence, has a high cruising speed, finds when asked a question and is versatile both in ground and tactics.  He has a huge amount of potential and it's no surprise to see why his trainer is taking his time with him.  This is a major test taking on a previous grade one winner and two grade two winners.  He has to give weight to the grade one winner God's Own and that will be no easy task against an admirable horse.  However I think Waiting Patiently is a grade one horse in waiting and with youth on his side he's going to take some beating here.  7/4 is a reasonable price.

I will be watching the Moscow Flyer (2.10 @ Punchestown) with eager eyes with Mengli Khan taking on Getabird and Carter Mackay amongst others.  I have made a case for Mengli Khan in my ante post write up and I'm going to stick by it, i've listened to a couple of podcasts this week and he's been slated without any real reason, I think he's good and haven't seen any evidence (bar running out last time out) to have a real negative view on him.  I am not convinced 2m will get the best out of Getabird however he is clearly a horse of great ability and potential so I may be proved wrong whereas Carter Mackay couldn't have been more impressive on his first hurdle run.  This is a huge step up on that though for him although the form has been franked since.  It's a very interesting race which if Mengli wins he may well get to the head of the Supreme market again.

I will be having a play on WESTEND STORY in the 2.50 @ Wetherby today.  This horse had a really big reputation last season for Philip Hobbs and after a good start in bumpers including finishing 5th in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in 2016 he has yet to show that level of potential over hurdles.  However last time out he looked to have filled his frame a little bit and if any horse was sure to come on for the run it was him.  A mark of 124 looks very achievable and I'm expecting significant improvement today.  He's dropped in class too which should help and a confidence boosting win here could see him compete in the spring handicaps.  If he's going to be the horse he was expected to be today should be the start.

The first big handicap of the day is the 2.25 @ Warwick (Pertemps Network Handicap Qualifier).  I'll be having a couple of small bets, THE ORGANIST and FLY CAMP.  Oliver Sherwood is in need of a bit of fortune with him having a lean season and The Organist could provide him with a much needed boost before the festival.  Her form over 3m on soft ground is 11.  Her mark of 139 looks surmountable and a few pounds extra wouldn't do her any harm towards March.  I was impressed with her return to form last time out and she was putting in her best work at the finish suggesting the extra furlong won't be an issue.  She could be very tough to beat in this.  One horse who may go under the radar despite being from a big yard is Fly Camp.  His form last season in novice company is excellent and his reappearance looked much needed to dust off the cobwebs.  He is unexposed and could run a big race at a nice price.

As usual with these big handicaps I like trying my hand at a couple as the prices allow for it.  In the 2.40 @ Kempton (Lanzarote Hurdle) I will be playing DIESE DES BIEFFES and TOPOFTHEGAME.  The former has started his novice hurdle career well and the form of his most recent defeat is one of high quality as I think a lot of If The Cap Fits.  He didn't have the run of the race that day and was staying on well at the finish so the step up in trip could suit.  He has plenty of speed and is on an upward curve, he is the unexposed potential type in the race and could be a good price.  Topofthegame I'm sticking with although I'll be playing as a saver to Diese.  I was hopeful that this horse would be a real force over fences this season and was going well enough on his return to the track earlier this season before taking a tumble.  I find his entry here very interesting as he must be showing plenty at home to be thrown in here rather than a confidence boosting midweek low number of runner race and based on his hurdling ability from last year plus potential improvement he has a great chance, my worry would be that his confidence may have been dented, i'll play before the race to a small stake and if he jumps the first couple of hurdles well i'll go in again.

The final handicap of the day that i'll be playing is the 3.35 @ Warwick (Betfred Classic Handicap Chase Grade 3).  This race is going to take some getting with the soft terrain and long distance so I tend to look for in form horses who have had a 4-5 week break.  Having gone through the whole card the only horse that stands out to me is CRESSWELL BREEZE.  She ran an excellent race last time out behind Benbens given she was running after a tough victory just 3 three weeks later.  Given a more reasonable break now she is on the improve and she looks a different horse this season.  This is clearly her toughest assignment but given the doubts about all the runners she ticks the most boxes in my eyes so i'll be playing each way.

1.00 @ Catterick - ARAMIST - 1pt Win @ 9/2
3.10 @ Catterick - CRACKDELOUST - 2pts Win @ 9/2 (NAP)

Today is the first day in a fair while that the racing looks worth getting stuck in to.
Today's bets start at Catterick in the 1.00 where I feel ARAMIST is well handicapped for this 3 miles hurdle.  I thought he ran a cracking race over this course and distance last month and providing he's fit and well I'd expect him to come on a bundle for that run given it was his first time over that distance.  This is his easiest assignment to date over hurdles and i'd be surprised given his flat background if he isn't a 105+ horse on his day so he should have a few pound in hand here and he's a nice enough price in a small field.
Finally Brian Ellison is upping CRACKDELOUST up in trip in the 3.10 @ Catterick.  He was given one attempt last year over 2m4f when finishing 5th in a class 2 handicap off 115.  That was a very good run in a good race.  Since then he has ran over inadequate trips and it's pretty apparent he doesn't have the pace to compete over hurdles at two miles (this may be different if and when he reverts to chasing).  He's shaped better than his rating in my opinion and over this distance and further I feel he has scope for significant improvement.  I've been waiting for this step up and I'll be disappointed if it doesn't have the desired affect.

1.20 @ Ludlow - SHALL WE GO NOW - 1pt Win @ 8/1

​My first selection of 2018 comes in the 1.20 @ Ludlow where Harry Fry sends SHALL WE GO NOW out to make his hurdles debut.  He has ran twice already this season in bumpers and shaped like he would appreciate a stiff test.  Here he encounters soft ground for the first time and with a slower pace than he would have faced in his bumpers I think he will be seen in a different light.  This horse was mentioned as an unraced horse to look out for in my interview with Michael Legg at the beginning of the season and i've seen enough in his two bumpers to see that he has ability and i'm confident that this test today will play to his strengths.

1.45 @ Naas - BLOW BY BLOW - 16/1
1.45 @ Naas - DUC DES GENIEVRES - 25/1
2.05 @ Plumpton - CLONDAW WESTIE - 4/1

All eyes will be at Naas today as the Irish racecourse hosts the Lawlor's of Naas Grade One Novice Hurdle (1.45).  Gordon Elliott's Samcro didn't make the declarations for the race however there are still some top quality horses on display.  Willie Mullins' Next Destination heads the market and rightly so having won the grade two novice hurdle at Navan last time out beating Cracking Smart by five lengths.  He found under pressure admirably that day having looked in trouble three fences from home and he seems to revel in the soft/heavy ground.  He will be tough to beat but at 8/13 I'm happy to play elsewhere in this given he has had two tough races and with just a 3 week break from that tough novice hurdle he will need to show true grit to get through this test.  Cracking Smart is back to have another crack at his Navan victor and I feel he could be a different proposition to that day.  He struggled to stay up with the pace that day and he had to put in a lot of effort early on to keep with them, a more patient approach could be adopted here and he'll be doing his best work at the finish.  He also has to overcome a short break but I do feel he is better than what he showed last time out, he interests me.  Speak Easy won impressively on debut and is well regarded for his big connections and trainer.  He receives 3 pounds from the market principles and he can't be ignored but he is taking a big step up here.  With Jack Kennedy having ridden both Cracking Smart and Blow By Blow on their runs this season i'm interested to see him on BLOW BY BLOW and not the former.  My assumption would be that Jack would have had the choice (although with Gigginstown that is only a theory) and therefore I think he may be underestimated at this level.  A real stayer he broke his maiden last time out when defeating As You Were at long odds on.  That form doesn't look much on paper but I liked his attitude at the finish having made a few mistakes in the jumping department on his way around.  He will need to improve a lot to compete with the big three in the market but that isn't out of the question.  At 16/1 he's worth a small wager.  The other horse i'll be having a small dabble on is the Willie Mullins trained DUC DES GENIEVRES.  The Sullivan Bloodstock Limited owners have invested a lot of money during the summer/winter and this horse was purchased off the back of a victory in a 3 horse races at Moulins in May.  I find it very interesting that Willie has decided to start this horses' career in Ireland in such a high profile race, this suggests to me that he has a fair amount of ability given that Willie would normally place his Sullivan owned horses in maidens or ungraded races.  He has to have shown something at home and at his price he's worth a small bet given that he could be anything.

The horse i'll be having bit more of a wager on today is CLONDAW WESTIE in the 2.05 @ Plumpton.  Given this horses Point to Point form I find it near impossible that he has developed in to just a 96 rated hurdler.  Granted his future will lie over fences and that is when we'll see the best of him but surely he has to be better than this mark over the smaller obstacles.  He looked like beating Robin Roe before falling in his 2nd point to point then beat Carter Mackay well on his final attempt before switching to Lawney Hill.  He has first time headgear today suggesting he may lose concentration in his races and with Aidan Coleman on board for the first time he is looking an attractive proposition in a low quality handicap.  Stolberg is the one in the race that is putting me off tipping up Clondaw Westie.  He takes a marked step back in grade here and although he has a lot to prove he may just find this his grade.  If Clondaw shows anything like his old form though he will be a tough nut to crack.

3.15 @ Ascot - ANTONY - 1pt Win @ 3/1
3.50 @ Ascot - MIDNIGHT MAESTRO - 1pt Win @ 4/1

Interest Bets (Lucky 15 & 31 additional selections);

2.40 @ Ascot - KILCREA VALE - 9/4
2.15 @ Ffos Las - STAR TACKLE - 9/4
1.40 @ Ffos Las - NOBLE ROBIN - 3/1 

​I have five selections for this Friday's racing action that I have a keen interest in.  I'll start with my two main selections;
ANTONY runs in the 3.15 @ Ascot for Gary and Jamie Moore.  He was well backed earlier in the month in a Saturday handicap won by Go Conquer.  That day his jumping let him down and he was never really able to get in to the race.  He is better than that performance and to see him dropped a couple of pounds is pleasing.  He takes on lesser opposition here and I feel there is plenty of scope within his mark.  Providing his jockey can get him in to a nice rhythm I think he could win this by several lengths.

For my sins I've decided to throw this JP McManus horse in.  MIDNIGHT MAESTRO (3.50 @ Ascot) is your typical JP type of horse who clearly has ability but doesn't seem to show any ability at all when it suits.  My opinion is that if he races prominently or nearer the front he is trying, if midfield or rear he isn't so perhaps the betting in play option at a shorter price would be a worthwhile strategy.  However he has had a pipe-opener now and looked fit enough in a race where the form has received a major boost just last weekend (Elgin).  Barry Geraghty takes the ride which if they are trying is a major positive and although he comes with a risk I'm happy enough that the signs are there to suggest today could be the day.

I will be playing a lucky 15 with my next 2 selections and then a lucky 31 with my final pick.  KILCREA VALE (2.40 @ Ascot) is a horse who I know connections think a lot of.  I went out with Mike Spence a couple of years ago after this horse had won his 2nd bumper by a wide margin and he couldn't hide his excitement about this horse.  He looked destined for big things before an injury hit him following a fall at Ascot on his next start and he hasn't quite hit the level he was expected to.  He has been nurtured since and has shown signs that he retains plenty of ability.  This is his easiest task for a while and although he probably won't reach the top level he should be capable of mixing it in the good handicaps this season.

STAR TACKLE runs in the 2.15 @ Ffos Las.  From my horses to follow list from last season this horse always looked like a chaser in the making and he would have arguably made a winning reappearance had he have stayed on his feet.  Unfortunately he unseated his rider when just in front having jumped well up to that point.  This former Irish Point winner should enjoy the ground and should go close.

Finally, NOBLE ROBIN (1.40) has a tough task with the favourite a recent maiden second however this expensive purchase (again JP McManus, sorry) revelled in the mud on his point and he is well thought of by his trainer.  Jonjo O'Neill is no longer a trainer you could rely on and his form isn't anything to write home about at the moment however from my research I believe this horse could become one of his leading lights and if he is as good as they believe then I really hope they don't go down the old "handicapping" route and go for it from the off.  This looks winnable if he's good enough so at 3/1 i'm happy to have a play.

3.00 @ Southwell - VADO FORTE - 1pt Win @ 9/2
​It's been a very slow couple of months whilst the jumps season hits its stride but I'm expecting things to start picking up from a punting point of view.
Today I really like the look of Tom Lacey's VADO FORTE in the 3.00 @ Southwell.  He lost any chance of winning his most recent maiden run when pulling Robert Dunne's arms out early in the contest at Chepstow.  When he finally settled in front he travelled at a nice pace and jumped cleverly despite not approaching his hurdles on the right stride.  Turning in to the straight he looked to me like the second best horse in travelling behind the winner The Last Day but his early exertions told late on and he weakened away to only finish 8th.  He has been given a handicap mark of just 100 and that looks exploitable.  He has a top conditional jockey on board today in Ciaran Gethings and I would hope he would make the running here today whilst not allowing him to exert himself too much.  I personally think a similar performance to his recent defeat would put him bang there in this company therefore if they can get him to settle he would be a different animal and a mark of 100 should be well short of his capabilities.  This horse obviously comes with a risk attached but I think it could be a risk worth taking.
No Main Selection
Interest Bets;

12.40 @ Cheltenham - APPLE'S SHAKIRA - 13/8
1.15 @ Cheltenham - BALLYOPTIC - 11/8
1.50 @ Cheltenham - THREE FACES WEST (7/2) / MINELLA ROCCO (5/1)
2.25 @ Cheltenham - KYLEMORE LOUGH (13/2) / TULLY EAST (8/1) / ROMAIN DE SENAM (10/1) / AQUA DUDE (16/1)​

The jumps season is now coming in to its own with initial runs being put in to most of the top horses.  I am trying to get to grips with it all too at the moment and a watching brief has been my perspective on racing of late whilst the trainers prepare to play their hands.
At Cheltenham today I have a few interests.  In the opening race @ 12.40 I am very interested in APPLE'S SHAKIRA whom I have already had an ante post play on for the Triumph Hurdle (25/1, now available at 16s).  Nicky Henderson has plenty of talent on his books once again and JP McManus has put his faith in Nicky to bring the best out of this full sister to Apple’s Jade who burst on to the scene with an impressive display at Vichy in May (same race won previously by Apple’s Jade).  This is a decent little test with the favourite Gumball improving with each run.  If what i've heard is true then she should be able to make use of the weight allowance and win this race however as always with horses having their first runs i'd be taking the cautious approach.  It will be interesting to see how she does.
I feel BALLYOPTIC will take some beating in the 1.15 @ Cheltenham.  Both him and West Approach come here off the back of nice chase debuts whilst Black Corton isn't a bad horse in his own right.  However I was very impressed with Ballyoptic's display against a couple of horses that I like (Elegant Escape & Barney Dwan), he jumped efficiently and travelled like the best horse throughout the race, having backed both horses in brackets I knew I was in trouble a long way from home and if near a pc i'd have lumped on inplay.  These races can be tactical which is always a worry however I feel Ballyoptic is the one they have to beat and if we can get anywhere near 6/4 at any point today I feel that price is decent.
I will be surprised if the winner of the 1.50 doesn't come from either THREE FACES WEST or MINELLA ROCCO.  The former has thrived since being allowed to bowl along in front.  He comes here with plenty of scope to improve and at the weights he looks nicely handicapped.  Minella Rocco has a tougher test off top weight but he was given a "quiet" ride in the Irish Daily Star Grade 3 Chase recently (which by all accounts was a strange entry) and he will be primed for this.  He has gone well off big weights in the past and he has course form in the bag.
I could seriously back half the field (and probably will to small stakes lol) in the 2.25 @ Cheltenham.  In brief;
KYLEMORE LOUGH - Moved to Harry Fry from Kerry Lee suggesting the owners want more, Harry has apparently been pretty impressed with him and he could be anything.
TULLY EAST - Course, distance and ground, ticks.  Nice introduction at Punchestown, this is likely to have been his early season target and he should go well.
ROMAIN DE SENAM - Impressed me on chase debut, jumped well and won well despite a tactical race.  Last time out I think he was the best horse by some way, I wasn't impressed with Sam that day although he still got the job done.  He's better than his mark.
AQUA DUDE - Finally shedded that maiden tag after almost becoming my cliff horse.  He jumped strongly that day after finally being ridden more positively, that should bring him on well and he has scope for improvement.
That is where my interest comes to an end for today's racing.  It looks a day for some nice small bets on the big handicaps and a view to doubling Ballyoptic up with something.  Happy punting!

8.15 @ Newcastle - BORN TO REASON - 2pts Win @ 6/4 (NAP)

I made a big note of BORN TO REASON a few days ago when watching his run at Wolverhampton.  PJ McDonald was on board for the first time and it wasn't his finest moment as he had him ill-positioned throughout and despite cruising in behind all the way until the final furlong he had nowhere to go and he was nursed home to finish 7th.  With a clear passage he would have won comfortably in my opinion and to see him turned out quickly, off the same mark with regular jockey Dougie Costello on board i'm confident that connections feel he should win this race.  The straight course here should alleviate any traffic issues and whilst he's in good form he's worth siding with in what looks a pretty weak contest.
No main selection

Interest Bets;
DOUBLE @ 2.65/1;
2.45 @ Newbury - TOPOFTHEGAME
4.10 @ Thurles - THE BIG LENSE

WIN Single @ 25/1;
​3.00 @ Thurles - ALE AMBROSIO

An excellent racing on the cards today across the UK and Ireland as the National Hunt season starts to take proper shape.  I'll start my write up today at Newbury where I have interest in several short prices.
The main horse I will be watching today will be TOPOFTHEGAME in the 2.45.  Paul Nicholls seems pretty excited to send this horse over the larger obstacles this season.  He has shown enough under rules to suggest he has an engine and a high cruising speed but has lacked that extra punch near the finish.  The slickness he shown in his point gave me the impression that he will be a different beast over fences and I would be very surprised if he didn’t make it in to graded level whilst he could be one horse that propels his trainer back to the summit of the big festivals in years to come.  I hope he starts his new career here with an impressive display.

In the 4.10 @ Thurles I am looking forward to seeing THE BIG LENSE make his debut.  Another potential high class horse out of Court Cave is this bay gelding purchased privately for Gordon Elliott.  The Big Lense has a fine pedigree and looked a horse with a big engine in his point win as he powered clear after the third last and never looked back as he bolted up by 20 lengths (slightly overwhelming as his nearest rival fell that day).  The runner up that day has since come out and franked the form but even without that it was a telling display that oozed quality and it’s no surprise that Elliott managed to get this individual before he went under the hammer for a sizeable chunk.  He has lots going for him including plenty of speed and it would be a surprise should The Big Lense not make a big impact in the novice ranks this season.  

Finally i'll leave you with a potential huge price over at Thurles.  In the 3.00 Jessica Harrington sends ALE AMBROSIO in to handicap company off a mark of 105.  Now, first and foremost today may not be the day, however, this horse was very highly regarded in her bumpers and went off a short price favourite at Naas in what turned out to be a very hot bumper won by the ill-fated Fayonagh.  She has since failed to fire in any of her hurdle runs where in reality she hasn't been put in to any of those races.  She looks tailormade for a handicap plot and I feel based on her bumper runs she has plenty of ability and once winning a handicap she will follow up.  At 25/1 with Sky Bet she's well worth a play.
No selection

Trixie suggestion;
1.30 @ Carlisle - JUST MINDED - 7/2
1.45 @ Huntingdon - EL PRESENTE - 7/4
3.05 @ Carlisle - WESTEND STORY - 7/4

It looked a tricky day yesterday and so it proved with a fair amount of short priced favourites being turned over and the big two in the Charlie Hall failing to complete.  Molineaux almost provided us with a 16/1 repreive but idled when he hit the front and was caught close home.  I decided to have a play last night on the Breeders Cup which has never been a good meeting for my bank balance and once again it proved to be an absolute minefield.  I doubt I will ever have a bet on that meeting in future, it's literally impossible to work out.
Today's racing looks pretty decent for a Sunday. Starting at Huntingdon in the 1.45 I read the comments on Racing Post this morning about El Presente saying "El Presente is penalised for winning an ordinary race", I think those comments are a mile away from the truth having mentioned the race he won the other day when tipping up Carlos Du Fruitier.  For me that race was high quality and the fact the runner up came out and produced a fine display to win on Friday makes me even more confident in my views.  He was available at 9/4 last night but has been found in the betting this morning and he's more realistic now at 7/4 best price.  I won't tip him up today because I'm not sure what will be expected of Equus Secretus who bolted up impressively in his point to point before being transferred to Ben Pauling.  He could be anything and therefore I can't make El Presente a selection although if Equus fails or needs the run i'm expecting him to win this.
I have head good reviews of JUST MINDED who returns in the 1.30 @ Carlisle today.  Sue Smith's horse has apparently done very well during the summer and looks a picture.  He looks made to be a chaser and i'm looking forward to seeing him run.  If he's fit and ready he should go very close and that's without potential improvement.
Philip Hobbs sends WESTEND STORY out today in the 3.05 @ Carlisle and it has to be said that he has been a disappointment over hurdles so far.  He has always been highly regarded and his bumper form showed nothing but quality.  His debut over hurdles wasn't a bad performance given that the winner has turned out to be top class and the runner up rated over 135 but his next run was too bad to be true before coming to grief on his last appearance.  He still looked a little weak to me last season and i'm hoping he's grown in to himself during the summer.  He gets a fair chunk of weight here which could prove crucial and if he can recreate his form over hurdles from his bumpers he should take all the beating on these terms.
No selection

Interest Bets;
3.15 @ Wetherby - CUE CARD - 11/4
12.40 @ Ascot - DESIREMOI D'AUTHIE - 7/4
2.10 @ Ayr - HELLO GEORGE - 5/2
1.15 @ Ascot - MOLINEAUX - 16/1
Carlos Du Fruitier lost his maiden tag yesterday defeating Jammin Masters by a length.  He didn't jump as well as his reappearance however he stayed on strongly and despite trying to nip off track for a quick pint he held on well at the finish.  I really do think he's a potential graded performer and I recommend putting him in your trackers.
Some excellent racing across the cards today, the majority of which however are watching briefs for me with a lot of reappearance runs.  The big race at Wetherby today is the Charlie Hall Chase and although the race for me has more questions than answers with just two runners having a run this season I'm going to have a little play on CUE CARD.  He has won this race three times in his career and this is likely to be one of his big targets for the season given that he is now 11 years old and unlikely to go for a Gold Cup.  I suspect he will be as fit as he could possibly be for it and for sentimental purposes I really hope the old horse can pull off a remarkable win here.  Racing needs its' heroes and Cue Card has been a superb horse for connections, he may not be done with yet despite his aging years.
I literally have a list of about 20 horses that I'm going to watch with interest today however I have only had a play on 4 horses including Cue Card, they are noted above if you fancy a little flutter.
3.45 @ Wetherby - CARLOS DU FRUITIER - 2pts Win @ 7/4 (NAP)
Interest Bets;
2.25 @ Down Royal - PACK YOUR BAGS (12/1) - watch closely if he gets a run (currently a reserve)
Watching brief;

12.40 @ Down Royal - POLI ROI
1.50 @ Down Royal - MELON
4.10 @ Down Royal - FELIX DESJY
It's been a little while since my last selection largely because it's such a hard time to be confident about a lot of horses that are having their first runs of the season or even on the track as a whole.  However there is one that ticks the boxes for me today and although he's not a great price I'm expecting CARLOS DU FRUITIER to go very very close.  His reappearance was a reasonable one, he travelled like the best horse in the race and jumped efficiently whilst he didn't have the pace at the finish as El Presente who I feel is a good horse in his own right.  I think the form of the front two in that race is very good with the gap to third upwards of 24 lengths, that horse Amanto is rated 119.  The favourite here is Rose Dobbin's Planet Nine who comes here off the back of a good bumper win last season, for me although the horses second and third that day are well regarded, the form is yet to be fully tested and Rose's horses tend to improve for a run.  Ben Pauling's string are in good form and for me Carlos Du Fruitier has a massive chance of breaking his hurdle duck today and it wouldn't surprise me if he was graded class in future.
There are some short priced horses today to look out for across the cards today whom i'm looking forward to seeing.  POLI ROI (12.40 @ Down Royal) made a reasonable reappearance, he jumped well but weakened late on when not given a tough time of things, he will be sharper today and should win.  MELON (1.50 @ Down Royal) is an exciting prospect having come so close in the Supreme Novices Hurdle last season, I've had an ante post play on him for the Champion Hurdle at 16/1 in March.  FELIX DESJY (4.10 @ Down Royal) made a successful debut bolting up at Punchestown the other week, he has a tougher assignment here with a penalty but should be able to overcome that.  I suggest you keep a close eye on PACK YOUR BAGS who is entered in the 2.25 @ Down Royal today, he's currently a reserve but i've seen it before when unsurprisingly non runners jump out and reserves come in and bolt up, he looks a suitable candidate for a McManus punt.
Interest Bets;
12.55 @ Bangor - DOSTAL PHIL (10/11)
1.15 - OUT OF STYLE (7/1) / POLYDORA (33/1) 

​The final day of October and with just five selections this month we have still managed a five points profit.  It is always a difficult time of year with the flat season coming to a close and the jumps season in it's early stages so to air on the side of caution has been the correct methodology in my opinion.
There is some interesting racing again today as the jumps season is now starting to pick up pace.  The opener at Bangor today (12.55) sees DOSTAL PHIL make his debut for Philip Hobbs.  This big money purchase of JP McManus, there is a hope that connections feel he could be their next Defi Du Seuil.  He out fought Demou D’Aunou (also bought by McManus) on his debut at Deauville.  It was a performance that oozed quality and unsurprisingly brought about some heavy bidding at the Arqana Sale the following month.  McManus took the gelding for a whopping 295,000 euros and he will be hoping he pays his way this season before going on to bigger and better things in future, another exciting horse for the McManus team.

The opening race at Chepstow (1.15) is another cracking novice hurdle where I have two horses of interest.  OUT OF STYLE and POLYDORA.  Out of Style is a horse that bolted up in his point to point and showed far too much inexperience on debut to trouble the winner Clondaw Castle.  He is highly regarded and shouldn't be underestimated.  Polydora may be one for handicaps and this may be just a run out towards his next run however he is another who is well regarded and should be able to pay his way over hurdles this season.  Apparently his homework has been very good but he has to put it on the track now.

Cheltenham Picks;
2.00 - ROBINSFIRTH - 8/1
2.00 - DOING FINE - 8/1
3.10 - COBRA DE MAI - 8/1
4.20 - TWO TAFFS - 9/4
4.55 - DASHING PERK - 7/1

​After being told that I should apparently be putting my wife and baby girl first now and again I've gone away for this weekend however I could not help but get up early this morning and have a right good study with Cheltenham on the cards.

The opening race on the card is the 2.00 class 2 handicap chase which is a trappy affair given that many of these horses haven't run this season but given how good a meeting it is today I will be having a play on two horses.  DOING FINE has the advantage of a recent spin over hurdles which is sure to have been a warm up for this race.  He will need for things to fall right for him given he usually rewards a patient ride but he jumps well on the whole and has course form in the bag, he's an interesting horse in this race.  I will also be playing ROBINSFIRTH.  Colin Tizzard has started the season in blistering form and has two in this race.  He has been patient with this horse in the past and I assume he needs to be spot on in his racing therefore I'm assuming he is in good form at home otherwise he wouldn't be running here.  There's no doubt that this horse is very talented and he started his chasing career well last term, I would expect further improvement from him this season and hopefully today could be a good place to start.
The next big handicap is the 3.10 where I will be playing COBRA DE MAI.  I think you can mark up his recent chase victory.  He was giving ten pounds to Jack's Last Hope who was fit and had a successful summer over hurdles.  The way he jumped and stayed on was impressive and given the race went completely against him made the performance even more outstanding.  He should easily reach the 140 mark over fences and could be very underated.  I like him.

I will be having a play in the 4.20 simply because I think the favourite is beatable.  Alcala is the favourite for Paul Nicholls and has been given a rating of 152 having mopped up some summer chases.  There's no doubt he has talent however I don't feel he is worth his rating.  Summer racing is much easier on the whole than winter racing and coming up against TWO TAFFS today on level weights will be a much stiffer task than he's faced since last winter where he failed at most levels.  Yes he's improved and he may prove me wrong but I feel there are holes in his rating and therefore he is way too short a price.  Two Taffs on the other hand has always been well regarded by Dan Skelton, goes well fresh and has scope for further improvement this season.  The race at the Cheltenham Festival in March was a disaster for him but he still ran a cracker to finish third, although he's a short price I think he should be even shorter and therefore I think he's value, I'll be playing him.

The 4.55 is an interesting little novice hurdle and I'll be siding with Dr Newland's DASHING PERK.  Dr Newland gave him a good mention in my interview with him a couple of months back and based on his point form he should have no problem winning a novice hurdle.  This is a tough assignment for his reappearance but he receives weight and given his trainers' record I'm willing to take a chance on him at the price.
1.40 @ Wincanton - MOLINEAUX - 1pt Win @ 10/1
I'm putting up MOLINEAUX (1.40 @ Wincanton) as a tentative selection today but one who I feel is better than his bare form suggests.  Although he finished fourth on his return I was impressed with the way he skipped over his hurdles that day and the way he weakened suggested he needed the run.  There are some boxes that need ticking, firstly he pulled quite hard so he needs to settle better here today, he should get a good toe in to the race with the likes of Gibbes Bay, War on the Rocks and Amadoue likely to set a nice pace.  He needs to prove his fitness which I'm hoping will be fine following his recent run.  I feel he is much better than his handicap mark and soft ground should be to his liking.  Although there are some improvements required he is a big price and in my opinion he's capable of taking a race like this.
2.45 @ Wetherby - CYRIUS MORIVIERE - 1pt Win @ 2/1
3.15 @ Wetherby - HELLO BERTIE - 1pt Win @ 5/2

There are a couple of negatives for my first selection today CYRIUS MORIVIERE (2.45 @ Wetherby) so I can only put him up as a one point selection however I feel there is enough to suggest he has a very good chance of breaking his duck over fences here today.  I'll start with the positives, despite unseating twice and falling once last year this horse is actually a very good jumper of a fence when he gets it right and i'm sure with a full season worth of experience behind him he will shape up much better this time around.  He had a high cruising speed over hurdles and in the race won by Querry Horse at Doncaster he was all over the winner that day before he unseated (which wasn't entirely his fault given his saddle had slipped) he displayed some high class form without getting the 1 in the form line that he deserved.  Ben Pauling likes him and feels he's better than his form figures suggest and today could be the perfect time to catch him in a race that lacks real depth.  My worries are that he has performed to his best when fresh and he could arguably do with a little ease in the ground.  However I feel he has the potential to be much better than his handicap rating and therefore providing he's fit and well he should go close.

HELLO BERTIE is my second selection for the day in the 3.15 @ Wetherby.  His return to action was satisfactory at Perth where he was no match for a clear cut winner in Golden Jeffrey.  He jumped his hurdles well enough to suggest that this sphere should suit him fine.  The going that day was heavy and would not have suited him at all so back on good ground will be to his benefit.  He gets an extra few furlongs today too which based on his bumper form will be ideal for him.  These look ideal conditions in what looks an ordinary novice hurdle and I'm confident he can break his duck.
8.45 @ Kempton - TROPICAL ROCK - 1pt Win @ 11/2
Cesarewitch Selections (3.40 @ Newmarket)


A cracking days' racing today once again plus the Premier League is back, throw in a day on the beer and it has the potential for being a great day.  All I need now is to find some winners and a Liverpool victory :)
I cannot wait to watch the Dewhurst today (3.00 @ Newmarket), i've played Expert Eye ante post for the Guineas and his last performance was arguably the best 2 year old performance of the season, everything went wrong for him but to beat three subsequent winners with such ease was hugely impressive.  Emaraaty and US Navy Flag give the race big credentials and I can't wait to see who comes out on top, I hope it's Expert Eye.
The Cesarewitch (3.40 @ Newmarket) is the kind of race I like to get stuck in to with 34 runners and with many of them laid out for this race it's a challenge but if you get it right it can be very rewarding.  I've done my usual and decided to play 3 against the field.  First on the cards is WITHHOLD.  Roger Charlton's 4 year old made a return to action a few weeks back and for me it was nothing more than a prep run for this.  I feel he has plenty of room for menouvre in his mark and he is likely to be up with the pace so he has less chance of things going wrong than many.  Paul Mulrennan is a jockey who has impressed me recently (see his Mabs Cross ride last week for example) and today he rides EUCHEN GLEN who is the only horse I will be picking who is likely to come off the pace.  The extra couple of furlongs looks ideal for Euchen given how he finished at York behind Magic Circle.  One thing for certain is that he's going to need a lot of luck in running but if I could guarantee a clear passage I feel he would be a great bet at 18/1.  My final bet is going to be Willie Mullins' LAWS OF SPIN.  The booking of Andrea Atzeni looks significant and this horse and I think the extra couple of furlongs could be perfect for him.  He's versatile in terms of positioning and with Atzeni on board I can see him being placed atleast.
I have looked hard to try and find a selection for today's racing but i've had to leave it until tonight for a main bet.  In the 8.45 @ Kempton I feel TROPICAL ROCK has a great chance.  Dropped back to class 4 handicap company on the all weather I feel he is still unexposed, has a perfect draw for him to get a bit of cover and this drop in class looks ideal.  Ralph Beckett's horses are in good form and I like this horse, he's a decent price at 11/2
Over jumps I have a lot of interest but no major bets.  I've said it before, this time of year is tough to gauge with horses coming out for the first time of the season and who knows if they are fit or even if they are just using it as a prep run for something bigger in future.  Here are the horses i'll be watching closely;
1.55 @ Chepstow - NATTER JACK CROAK
2.50 @ Hexham - ALPINE SECRET
3.05 @ Chepstow - FINIAN'S OSCAR
4.45 @ Chepstow - BALLYKAN
No Selection
Interest Bets;

2.25 @ Galway - TRAINWRECK - E/W @ 7/1

Mabs Cross managed to get his head in front yesterday for interest bet followers after a cracking ride by Paul Mulrennan.  He had plenty to do a furlong out but got his head in front and he looks a cracking prospect.
I've decided not to put a selection up on site today as I can't give the quality time I was hoping to on todays' racing.  However POLI ROI runs in the 2.25 @ Galway maiden hurdle today, he's a very short price but is going to be on my horses to follow list so thought i'd send a message out if you wish to watch the race and see how he does.  I wouldn't suggest going in on him at his short price on debut as this is a trappy affair and in all likelihood he won't be at 100% condition.  If 80% fit I would say he wins this however I wouldn't rule out TRAINWRECK who may slip under the radar because of the favourite.  He was never expected to win a bumper last season and he is expected to be much better over timber this term.  Henry De Bromhead said at the beginning of last season that he was "a real staying chaser in the making but could be a graded hurdler in a year or so over 2m4f".  He shouldn't be underestimated and I've had a small each way play at 7/1.

It's a cracking card at Galway today and one i'm looking forward to catching up on tonight.
Don't forget my Horses to Follow sections go live tomorrow morning

Interest Bet;
5.10 @ Musselburgh - MABS CROSS - 11/2

FOREST BIHAN came home for tip followers yesterday at Kelso at a healthy 9/2.  Having settled nicely towards the rear of the field he jumped effortlessly and hit the front two from home.  Having popped the last fence well he was chased hard but the victory never looked in doubt as he kept on galloping to the line.  It was another great performance and I think he's a serious horse.  He forms part of my upcoming Horses to Follow section which will be published early morning on Wednesday.
I'll be having one play today and one play only and that comes in the 5.10 @ Musselburgh in the shape of MABS CROSS.  Michael Dods' horse has kept improving with every run and looks based on his last performance which was very impressive I feel he is atleast up to listed level.  My one concern would be the ground as he's won recently on good to firm so I won't tip him up but he looks a horse going places and at 11/2 he's worth a few quid.


4.20 @ Kelso - FOREST BIHAN - 2pts Win @ 3/1 (NAP)
Irish Cesarewitch Bets;

WESTERN BOY - E/W @ 33/1
SNOW FALCON - E/W @ 12/1

  FOREST BIHAN improved markedly last season once switching to the larger obstacles.  Highly talented and hugely regarded it was great to see the level he got to last term and more can be expected with another summer on his back.  I was impressed with him last season, in particular when beating Cloudy Dream at Doncaster which was a mighty display.  He couldn't recreate that at Cheltenham but I am tempted to put a line through that as his jumping fell apart early on and he wasn't his usual fluent self.  That was the only real blot on his form book last season and I have high hopes for him this term.  He starts off here in this class 2 handicap chase where I feel he should have the measure of his opponents providing he is fit.  He carries the same weight as Simply Ned who I feel isn't the same class as Forest Bihan, granted he has done well in this race in the past but he hasn't come across a horse of the quality of Forest Bihan in it before, he's exposed and I'll be surprised if he beats the favourite.  Double W's is a good horse in his own right and won a good handicap chase at Aintree last season before a long season caught up with him.  He gets ten pounds from the selection today but if Forest is fit then I feel he will have to improve somewhat to serve it up to him.  He does go well fresh however and I see him as the biggest danger.  Wisty has been hosing up in summer handicaps, this is much tougher and I would be very surprised if he can cope with this level in real winter jumping.  I am sceptical to nap a horse at this time of year without proving their fitness however this is a good opportunity for Forest Bihan to prove his quality and I feel he is the only horse in the field who will be a genuine graded performer over fences now out of novice status.

I'll do a brief write up for the Irish Cesarewitch where i'm having a play on 3 horses given the great each way terms with (6 places 1/4 odds).  I've gone for two who I feel are well handicapped and laid out for this race and one that has everything in his favour.  Firstly the handicappers, ARTFUL ARTIST and WESTERN BOY.  The former finished fourth last year in this race off the same mark as this and clearly has ability.  I prefer him this year to last as he had a poor preparation last year having issues with coughing prior to his effort at the Curragh, this year he comes here off the back of a really good run at Leopardstown just a month ago, that will set him up perfectly for this.  His trainer is always feared in these types of races too.  Western Boy on the other hand was slightly disappointing behind Snow Falcon at Killarney however he meets him here on nine pounds better terms and in my opinion he wasn't given the optimum ride.  His trainer is shrewd and connections are always interesting in these big handicaps.  I feel he's better than his mark and is capable of taking one of these big race handicaps.  He's a huge price in my opinion.  Saying that I do like SNOW FALCON.  Colin Keane is back on board which is a huge plus and I don't feel he was there to win last time out.  The race which he won at Killarney was impressive and he is one to be sure to be chasing the leaders from the off and he has the ability to make his class pay at the finish.
2.45 @ Warwick - MOLINEAUX - 1pt Win @ 8/1
Interest Bets;

4.25 @ Warwick - SEGO SUCCESS - 7/2
9.15 @ Chelmsford - WHALEWEIGH STATION - 11/1

Whilst compiling my Horses to Follow sections for this years' National Hunt season one horse is due to run in the 2.45 @ Warwick today in the shape of MOLINEAUX.  This race looks a decent enough maiden for this time of year but I have to put him up as a 1pt Win contender.  Here is the extract from my upcoming Dark Horses to Follow section;
"This full brother to Voler La Vedette has started his career slowly however I can’t help but feel we have not seen the best of him by far.  He is still a novice and looked very raw last season.  Colin is the perfect trainer to get the required improvement to make his mark and I would be surprised if he didn’t reward level stakes bets this season"
Hopefully he can begin to show on the course what he's been showing at home.
I will also be having an interest play on SEGO SUCCESS today in the 4.25 @ Warwick.  Alan King believes this horse still has a bit of mileage in his handicap mark and this race looks winnable.  Fitness is on trust but he's worth a small play as if he is fit he should go very close on form alone.
WHALEWEIGH STATION was very close to being tipped up on his return to the all weather in the last at Chelmsford tonight (9.15).  He is down to a low mark having not shown much in his past few runs however he would have been sure to come on for his last run and has the perfect trip tonight to return to form.  His trainer is shrewd and this horse is capable.  He's worth a play at the price.

The Jumps is back!!!

It's great to see the jumps back and beginning to get in to its' flow.  I won't be getting too heavily involved in tipping in the first few weeks due to the unknown quantities of preparations, conditioning etc however I've will be throwing up some interest bets who should provide us with some winter funds.

My Horses to Follow sections are coming along nicely and should be finalised in the next week or two, I aim to have it on site before a week on Saturday and will include the following four sections;
Horses to Follow
Unraced Horses to Follow
Dark Horses to Follow
Handicappers to Follow

I have put a lot of time in so far and there is still so much to do but I'm very hopeful it will prove a worthwhile and profitable part of the website.

I'm starting my National Hunt Interest bets in the 3.35 @ Sedgefield today where Brian Ellison runs BORDEAUX BILL.  This horse burst on to the scene at this course winning two novice hurdles without breaking sweat before being thrown in to the deep end in the grade one novices' hurdle at Aintree in April.  If this race was over 2m4f I would have tipped him up but the reduced distance does put a doubt in my mind here today.  However, having read an interview with Brian Ellison recently he said this horse has schooled well and should win races this season.  He does have a nice weight and on his hurdles rating he has every chance.  I will be having a small interest play and will be keeping a close eye on his jumping with a view to playing him more seriously when stepped up in trip.

3.40 @ Chester - GABRIAL'S KAKA - 1pt E/W @ 8/1
I have kept a close eye on Richard Fahey's horse this season and have refrained from backing him on each of his last five appearances due to the simple fact that he's been unlucky with his draw in all of those races.  The positive about that issue is that his mark has dropped quite alarmingly whilst he hasn't ran terribly at all.  His last race at Chester when finishing fourth behind today's favourite Bahama Moon over course and distance is what i've concentrating my views upon and i'll compare him to the favourite.  Bahama Moon was drawn in stall 7 whilst Gabrial's Kaka was drawn in stall 11, I feel that's worth atleast a length, today they are both well drawn with Bahama in stall 3, Gabrial's in stall 1, that pulls them level.  That day Bahama gave Gabrial's one pound in weight, today he gives him 7 pounds naturally with an extra 7 pounds for a useful stable claimer Connor Murtagh taking the ride on Gabrial's.  Thats a lot of change to make up four lengths.  Gabrial's is now off a 19 pound mark below his last winning mark, goes on the ground, goes at the course and has much more in his favour than he's had for most of this season.  He's no banker by any means but this is by far the best chance he's had for a while and I feel he's worth taking a chance on at his price.


5.15 @ Lingfield - PROMINNA - 1pt E/W @ 7/1
Tony Carroll and David Probert team up tonight with Prominna who returns to the all weather off a mark of just 56 which looks very workable.  He's been tackling a better class of race on his past two outings including when not disgraced at Bath last time out off a mark of 66.  He likes the all weather and I had him down on my analysis to get on next time he races on the surface.  The fact he's off such a low mark makes him an attractive proposition back in class 6 handicap company.  The opposition look exposed to the majority although the fly in the ointment could be the Silvestre De Sousa ridden Entertaining Ben who also looks ready for this level however I think Prominna be trying tonight and he is worth an each way play at 7/1.


3.10 @ Newmarket - WHO DARES WINS - 1pt Win @ 8/1

Some excellent interesting racing on the cards today across the board really, particularly at Newbury.  Having been through the cards there are a few in each of the main races that I could go with so i've decided to swerve them and watch with interest.  The one race i've concentrated on today is the 3.10 @ Newmarket where I like the claims of WHO DARES WINS.  Alan King's horse was well backed last time out at Chester but failed to land a blow against listed opposition.  The trip that day was a bit shy of his capability these days and I feel he wasn't able to show his true colours.  Back over a more suitable distance on a less stiffer track should see him to better effect and based on his two races prior he has a great chance if he can repeat those efforts against superior opposition in my opinion, in particular the form of the Ascot Stakes.  I don't think we've seen the best of him on the flat and he should go well.
I am currently working hard on my Horses to Follow section for the Jumps season and already i'm getting quite excited by the work i've done so far.  Still plenty of work to do but lots to look forward to, bring on October!

Tony Carroll Day @ Brighton or another dip in to the overdraft???
There are just three race meetings left at Brighton this season and regular readers will know that I have followed Tony Carroll slightly off a cliff this season and unfortunately it has led to a few awkward couple of conversations with the wife when the bank balance has taken a hit in doing so.

He has had a poor season in general and there is no doubt that he has had issues getting his horses right.  I have compiled a full analysis of all his horses and believe over 80% of them are genuinely well handicapped so providing he can get them right I would be surprised if those horses cannot prove my theory correct, I just hope he has a pay day this season otherwise I'll be cliff following again next season.

Today Tony has four runners at Brighton and I've had a play in two trixie's.  Here is my analysis of the horses involved;

Came close to mopping up at Brighton just over a year ago off a mark of 67, he appears here off a mark of just 60, goes well on good ground and looks for all the world that he will be trying.  Ran more encouragingly last time out on ground that wasn't ideal and he looks capable to break his duck in class 6 company.  Potential plot rating - 9/10


Won at Brighton 11 months ago with plenty in hand over six furlongs before following up on the all weather soon after before her mark increased.  She has things slightly tougher now off a mark of 50 but showed encouraging signs last time out and is capable of turning in a performance.  She would need to be at peak fitness to take this.  Potential plot rating - 7/10

4.15 - ALTAIRA

Dotted up last time out when stepped up in trip at Bath.  The ground there is predominently quicker than the suggested going and i'm not sure he'll appreciate the rise in trip again here on genuine good ground.  I would rate his chances less than the other Tony Carroll horses out today but you never know with his trainer.  Potential plot rating - 5/10


Yet to win under rules and looks a tough horse to get right given the amount of non runner entries he has had.  However, he is down to a basement mark of 46 having once races off a mark of 74, has been punted on several occasions and looks the typical Carroll type to come from the doldrums to claim a low level prize when well backed.  Based on form to date he has no chance, if money comes I'd be tempted to ignore all that and jump on.  Potential plot rating - 8/10

Obviously there are many doubts with the stable firing poor enough to give Liverpool's defence a clean sheet but we all know he's capable of turning the tables for a big pay day so for a few quid it's worth taking a little chance.

3.35 @ Doncaster - CRYSTAL OCEAN - 1pt Win @ 9/2
3.35 @ Doncaster - CORONET - 1pt Win @ 6/1
4.20 @ Gowran Park - ALLURINGLY - 1pt Win @ 7/1

Twilight Spirit managed to come through a troubled passage to claim victory at Salisbury yesterday for tip followers for a neat 6/1 return (advised 13/2).

Today I've concentrated my attentions on the big race of the day, the William Hill St Leger (3.35 @ Doncaster).  The favourite Capri holds solid claims for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore.  O'Brien has four entries in the race and appears to be going all out to land the big prize.  Capri's Irish derby win oozed class and he will be very tough to beat.  The extended trip has potential to bring more out of the colt but that is not a certainty and for that reason I'm going elsewhere with my bets.  I will be playing both CRYSTAL OCEAN and CORONET.  The former improved last time out for Sir Michael Stoute to win the Gordon Stakes with little trouble.  His trainer consistently gets the best out of his horses at this time of the year and he is on the upgrade.  The way he shaped at Goodwood suggests that this extra couple of furlongs won't be an issue and he looks a horse going places.  He looks a nice price now at 9/2.  Frankie Dettori's mount Coronet has been crying out for this trip in my opinion and she's a horse that shouldn't be underestimtaed with her allowance.  She doesn't have Enable to face in this lineup and for the in form John Gosden I can see her going close.

I will be playing ALLURINGLY in the 4.20 @ Gowran Park today too.  Aidan O'Brien's filly has conditions that will be fine, back to a trip she's won at twice, receives weight from the market principles and I think she's way too big a price at 7/1

5.30 @ Salisbury - TWILIGHT SPIRIT - 1pt Win @ 13/2
The St Leger meeting at Doncaster has taken plenty of attention of the racing world this week however although i've found some of the racing interesting so far it has not hit my attention in a betting sense and looking at the results I'm glad i've not got involved just yet.  I will be playing Talaayeb and Tomyris in the 1.50 today but apart from that for another day I do not fancy playing in these conditions in these races.  I'm happy to sit back and enjoy the watch instead.
For my sins however I cannot help but put up TWILIGHT SPIRIT in the 5.30 @ Salisbury.  Tony Carroll has had the worst season I can remember and it has hit my bank account pretty hard in the last month or so given I am convinced he has many "well handicapped" sorts amongst his team.  He will come good at some point but it may be next year now.  Tonight he runs Twilight Spirit.  She's dropped to a mark of just 57 and returns to a class 6 six furlong handicap which she's been crying out for.  Her last run on genuine soft ground was at Ripon three starts ago where she was there to win and but for a bit of misfortune I feel she would have.  Sean Levey takes the ride tonight which looks a significant one having ran well for Tony in the past and given the way she has been running and this entry (drop in class and trip) I feel she has everything in her favour and it looks like she's here to be competitive.  I can never NAP a Tony Carroll horse but she is the most confident pick i've had of his for a little while.

3.55 @ Ascot - SPEEDO BOY - 1pt E/W @ 14/1

2.25 @ Haydock - TASLEET - E/W @ 5/1

A cracking days' racing today across the UK and Ireland however with the weather the way it is it will be a very cautious day for me.

I'll start my write up in the 2.25 @ Haydock Sprint Cup where Harry Angel heads the market.  You can make cases for the top two in the market starting with Harry Angel who is a high class colt having beaten Limato amongst others last time out in the July Cup at Newmarket.  He is the one to beat here for me but there is a niggling doubt as to how he will cope with the Haydock soft ground which will be deep.  If he does then he should win but it's enough of a doubt for me to look elsewhere.  Brando has won at Haydock on soft in the past and has improved ten fold this season and deservedly got his group one success last time out at Deauville having arguably have been unlucky in the July Cup.  My slight concern with him is that he may just need a tiny bit further than six furlongs.  I'm trying to find negatives with him but I can't really.  If Harry Angel handles the ground I feel he is a slight better quality than Brando but he's not a bad price on this ground today.  TASLEET will be the horse I play each way today for an interest bet.  He bolted up on soft ground at York in May and was very unlucky at Ascot.  Things didn't go right last time out but the worry about that race has been reflected in the price and I will be very surprised if he can't feature in the first three.
In the 3.55 @ Ascot I really like the claims of SPEEDO BOY.  He has been well backed in his past two races but failed to trouble the judges.  He has looked limited in ability in those races and has not improved as expected.  However the way he shaped at Fontainebleau in March makes me feel he will be a different proposition on soft ground.  He has competed in some excellent races this season and in my opinion he has been very consistent at a mark of 100.  He's been dropped two pounds based on his last appearance which will help but i'm expecting a performance in the region of 102-105 on this ground.  That gives him a fair few pounds to play with and yes, there are other improvers in this line up but at the prices and given the change in circumstances I feel he has gone under the radar.  I'm going to have a nice play each way at 14/1.

Over at Leopardstown it's Irish Champion Stakes Day with some cracking racing on the cards.  It's a very competitive day and the only bet I will be having to a decent level will be the double on WINTER (5.35) and CHURCHILL (6.45).  You can get 3.2/1 for the two and that's not bad value in my opinion.


August finished with an SP loss of £7.12 but another advised price profit of £10.67.  It wasn't the best of months for tip followers but once again the big race meetings have proved worthwhile so I'll continue putting the majority of my efforts in to these races in order to find value.

I am currently working on my Horses to Follow section for the upcoming Jumps season, this was arguably my best section on the site to date last year and I've had numerous emails about it so I want to ensure I put in as much time and effort (if not more) than last year to ensure it is a worthwhile read and every aspect has been covered so the next month or so may be slow with regards to selections.
Over the next few weeks/months you will notice a few things changing on the site and more effort being put in to make it as informative as possible for you guys, the features will include;

Horses to Follow for the Jumps season 17-18
Regular Blog Posts
More humerous posts on site
More consistency with selections and less "could be plots" tips
Trainer Interviews - i'm working hard to get these sorted but it's not as easy as it seems

I hope everyone has enjoyed the site and it has been worth following or atleast you've found it informative.  Thanks again for all your support, I really appreciate the feedback I've received (whether positive or negative) and hopefully I can keep improving things in future.

1.55 - SPEEDO BOY - 0.75pt Win @ 14/1
1.55 - AL NEKSH - 0.75pt Win @ 10/1
1.55 - FIDAAWY - 0.5pt Win @ 14/1
2.25 - DARTMOUTH - 2pts Win @ 4/1
3.00 - DABAN - 1pt Win @ 6/1
3.00 - TALAAYEB - 1pt Win @ 12/1
3.35 - MARSHA - 1pt E/W @ 10/1

FINALLY A WINNER!!!!  Day Two at York found our first winner in a while as Flaming Spear came home in the big handicap at 10/1.  It was a most welcome winner and hopefully the beginning of a new phase.  Day Three looks an absolute brilliant day of racing at York, I seriously wish I was there and can't believe i've allowed myself to get submerged in the rigmorole of work whilst all this is going on, I need to take note for next year as I don't want to miss out on this spectacle again.
The first race of the day is a tricky handicap to assess with plenty of horses coming in good form entered at the front of the market.  I'm not one who tends to go with those sorts in these types of races and therefore I'll be plaing three tentatively against the market.  Firstly SPEEDO BOY who was one of my Royal Ascot eyecatchers.  He ran a belter at Ascot from an impossible draw and automatically went in to the notebook.  He didn't follow up at Newmarket last time which was a little disappointing but he stayed on well enough to suggest this extended trip would be to his liking.  I'm convinced he's going to prove better than his rating and hopefully he can make it pay today at 14/1.  The second horse I'll be dabbling is AL NEKSH.  Frankie Dettori regains the ride after this horse blobbed under Ryan Moore last time out.  He broke a blood vessel in that race and that is a worry however William Haggas is a top class trainer and wouldn't be running his mount if he thought that event would re-occur.  He's been given plenty of rest and goes well fresh, I can see him running a big race and he can continue his progress, he looks nicely handicapped.  My final bet is the most tentative of the lot but I can't help but feel he has a big race in him.  FIDAAWY had a horrible run at Ascot where nothing went right for him so i'm happy to put a line through that.  Epsom is a strange track too and can cause the downfall of many horses so you could put a line through his run there too which sees his run at Doncaster where he stayed on well to justify favouritism.  Obviously there are doubts that my views are correct on his past couple of runs however I suggest he's an improver and I wouldn't rule him out.
The Lonsdale Cup (2.25) is a cracking race in my opinion where you can make cases for every horse.  The one i'm going to side with is DARTMOUTH.  Sir Michael Stoute's horse is rightly top weight and has to carry three pounds more than his rivals.  However I feel he is plenty good enough to do such and on his day he's a force to be reckoned with at the top level long distances.  He has course form, goes on the ground, the best jockey on board and for me the market has him at a point or two too high.  He should be favourite in my opinion so i'm willing to take a chance on the queens horse and hope he can get back in to the winners' enclosure here.
The City of York Stakes (3.00) is another great race with plenty of group one entrants dropping in grade in search of group victory.  I have to say I could have sided with plenty of horses here but have decided to go from a potential observation rather than exposed types.  Therefore the three i'm concentrating on are DABAN and TALAAYEB.  Daban has continued her improvement this year culminating in her putting in a really good effort in defeat to Le Brivido at Royal Ascot.  John Gosden has been very patient with her and I feel that patience could well pay off here today, she has a lot of potential and is highly regarded hence this entry in a tough race.  She's short enough in the market and it's not a bullish shout but she comes here with a more than average chance of improving and that may well be good enough.  Talaayeb is an interesting horse.  I was on her quite heavily at the Guineas but in hindsight she was never going to beat Winter.  She did however run a very credible race to finish fourth having had her run checked at a crucial stage.  She then bombed at odds on last time out however that looked an experiment that she failed being upped in trip.  Back down to a suitable trip she's another who has great potential and although she has to find more than Daban in terrms of improvement it is not beyond the realm of possibility and I'm hoping she can get her career back on track today.
The Nunthorpe Stakes (3.35) is another top class race at York with Battaash and Lady Aurelia rightly heading the market.  The former is an improving young horse who has stormed on to the scene this season improving with each run and he could continue that trend here.  Lady Aurelia is a top class horse in her own right and her performance at Royal Ascot was breathtaking, she looked a more professional horse than last season and wow was she impressive.  They're both great horses and I can't wait to see them take eachother on.  However, I'm not interested in 13/8's and therefore i'm going to try and find an each way angle.  That angle results in MARSHA.  A horse I feel is better than her placings suggest behind the two aforementioned this season.  Firstly I'm not going to slate her jockey much more, he's not my cup of tea and his riding style in my opinion is not one that will get the best of his horses 9 times out of 10.  However he knows this horse inside out having (somehow) kept the ride for Sir Mark Prescott.  I personally would have had a load of class 5 or 6 handicappers running at Ffos Las today that Mr Morris could have gone to ride and gone gung ho to get one of the top jocks to ride Marsha.  Seriously though I hope he can his horse every chance today and a clear passage would atleast give me an answer to the question "is she really a top top class sprinter?".  If she does get a clear passage and is produced at the right point I feel she is not a million miles away from the front two in the market therefore at more than six times their price I feel she could be value at 10/1.  Either way it's a quality race and i'm really looking forward to watching it.
That's where my interest at York ends today with a maiden and a lottery handicap to finish the day.
Without falling in to the trap of tipping up some potential plots I'll just mention that I've done this lucky 15 today, just incase you fancy a small play;
6.35 @ Hamilton - FLEETFOOT JACK - 5/1
6.45 @ Goodwood - KOZIER - 7/1
7.40 @ Killarney - AFTER RAIN - 14/1
7.45 @ Goodwood - MISTER MUSIC - 11/2
Good Luck!

1.55 - DE BRUYNE HORSE - 1pt E/W @ 6/1
2.25 - HAPPY LIKE A FOOL - 1pt E/W @ 5/1
3.00 - FLAMING SPEAR - 1pt Win @ 11/1
3.00 - ONE MORE WORD - 1pt Win @ 11/1
4.15 - ALJEZEERA - 1pt Win @ 8/1
4.15 - SERENADA - 1pt Win @ 10/1

Day One was a case of close but no cigar with Edward Lewis and Churchill finishing their races as runners up so we hope to improve upon things on day two at York.
The second day kicks off with a race I haven't got a huge amount of interest in with the race looking like a tough one to unravel however one horse does stand out in my mind in DE BRUYNE HORSE (1.55).  Ryan Moore is back in the saddle having ridden him to victory at Epsom in the Woodcote.  It was great to see this horse gain some black type over in France last time out and regain the winning thread and I hope he can put his experience to good use here.  He's not one to rely on heavily but if he's on song it will take a good one to beat him.
The 2nd race of the day (2.25) is the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes and again it's a tough race to assess given the limited experience the horses have to date however I'm going to take a chance on HAPPY LIKE A FOOL for Wesley Ward.  This horse came over to Royal Ascot with a huge vibe but found Heartache too good on the day.  The form of that race hasn't been franked too much unlike the other Ascot races but that makes me feel that the market may price her too high.  It's obviously hard to gauge how good she is off two starts but you can't ignore a big word from a trainer who is renouned for bringing his best horses over to the UK, the fact that he's kept her over here after Ascot makes me feel he's been looking for an opportunity to get her in the winners' enclosure at a big meeting and with the weather forecast set to be dry she is worth an each way play in this sort of race.
The first big handicap of the day is the Class 2 affair at 3.00.  The horse that is a big handicap winner waiting to happen for me is FLAMING SPEAR.  This was the talking horse early in his career but it looked as though his promise wouldn't come to fruition on the track until the end of last year where he began a brace of victories culminating with an impressive seven furlong victory at Newcastle with the race almost falling apart at the seams for him.  The fact he got up that day from a near impossible position showed that this horse has some class about him.  Unfortunately the yards' issues stalled his return to action and he couldn't put his best foot forward at Ascot last time out.  I'm willing to completely forgive that given that he would have almost certainly have needed the run and i'd be disappointed if he can't get back to the form he showed at Newcastle.  I will also be having a play on ONE MORE WORD who was a fast finishing 5th at Goodwood last time out.  Tim Easterby's horse looks well handicapped on that showing and if he's in the same form here then he will go close.
I'll sit back and enjoy ENABLE in the Yorkshire Oaks.  She has been so impressive so far and a defeat would be devastating for the horse and the sport.
The 4.15 is a Listed race over one mile four furlongs and Mori heads the market having finished just behind Coronet at Ascot.  I would much rather back Enable at 1/3 than Mori at 5/6, she's good but wow, surely she's not a banker in a race like this.  The odds are good enough for me to have a play on two horses to oppose her and they are both interesting.  Firstly the lightly raced ALJEZEERA is an eyecatching entry.  She finished third on her reappearance in May and the fact connections have kept her to Listed company shows that she is well regarded.  Luca Cumani is in good form and I feel she cannot be underestimated.  Given the intrigue I will be playing.  I will also be playing SERENADA.  She ran at Salisbury just a week back where she looked in great trouble from a long way out however the way she stayed on that day and the fact her shrewd connections have decided to come here for another listed contest so quickly makes me think that they fancy her.  Mori may well hose up here and I could be wrong (again) but she's plenty short enough and I'm looking to get her beat.

1.55 - EDWARD LEWIS - 1pt Win @ 8/1
1.55 - HOOF IT - 0.5pt Win @ 16/1
1.55 - ROBOT BOY - 0.5pt Win @ 22/1
3.00 - MIRAGE DANCER - 1pt E/W @ 11/2 (providing 8 runners)
3.35 - CHURCHILL - 1pt Win @ 4/1
4.15 - THEYDON GREY - 0.5pt Win @ 15/2
4.15 - SHREWD - 0.5pt Win @ 16/1
4.15 - STAR RIDE - 0.5pt Win @ 20/1
4.15 - SUEGIOO - 0.5pt Win @ 20/1

Well after the last few weeks it has finally dawned on me that Flat Racing and I don't seem to agree with eachother.  I've changed strategy on plenty of occasions and continually fail to meet the standard that I expect of myself and therefore going forward I'll be concentrating on big races during the flat season and only selecting if I really feel one is worth backing.  Putting it bluntly, I've been shite this season and can only apologise for that.  I've done ok at the big meetings and I hope you've found some level of interest in the write ups but I have to do what's best for you and our bank accounts.
The York Ebor Meeting gets under way today on the Knavesmire.  The opening race (1.55) typifies the week with a big field handicap over five and a half furlongs, Sky Bet are running their money back as a free bet offer if your horse comes 2nd, 3rd or 4th so I've taken advantage of that.  I wil be dutching a few selections as normal to try and find the winner.  I really like EDWARD LEWIS here.  I have highlighted this horse before as one with a lot of potential and his connections have thrown him in the deep end pretty much all this season.  He's ground versatile, highly regarded and looks certain to have a few big race handicaps in him.  He will rock up at some point and hopefully it can be today.  HOOF IT looked to be coming back in to form at Goodwood and can get involved here having dropped a couple of pounds and with course form in the bag, he looks worth a play.  My final bet at a big price will be ROBOT BOY.  This horse won off this mark at York less than a year ago and is always worth a crack in these big field handicaps.  He could be one to surprise at a nice price.
I fancy Cracksman to win the Great Voltigeur Stakes (3.00) and hope he can get the group win that he deserves under his belt however he's not a betting proposition at 10/11.  I will be leaving my bet to near the race and providing there are still eight left at post time i'll be playing MIRAGE DANCER each way.  He looks tailormade for the step up in trip and should improve further.  Sir Michael Stoute has been patient with him and given the appearance of his Royal Ascot run I feel he will be the main one to throw it down to the favourite.
The Juddmonte International (3.35) is an absolute belter and not one for me to get too heavily involved in betting-wise.  For more interest than confidence I feel CHURCHILL is now a backable price at 4/1.  There has been plenty of talk about Cliffs of Moher being entered in to the race with plenty saying that connections must think Churchill isn't firing, I have tried to second guess Ballydoyle before and come off second best and I think that Churchill does have potential to see out this trip and give a good account of himself.  He settles well in his races and with exception of his last race he's looked top top class.  There are doubts but now he's a decent enough price I'm willing to have a play.
The next big handicap is the 4.15 over two miles.  Magic Circle ran best of those with a high draw at Royal Ascot and is a worthy favourite but 4/1 in this type of race makes me go in search of value.  York specialist THEYDON GREY keeps winning races and the way he runs his race I feel he has plenty of improvement in him despite his winning distances.  He just seems to find enough and outbattle his rivals which I think is a huge plus here and providing his jockey can get his head in front at the right time he could be very tough to pass.  Another horse who likes York and is a big price is SHREWD.  Iain Jardine is a good trainer who knows how to ready one and he will have this horse bang on here today.  I expect a better showing than in recent starts.  I'll be playing two at an even bigger price too, STAR RIDER and SUEGIOO.  My reasoning for both is similar, both have marks that have dropped well below their best forms, both have trainers who like their big field handicaps and both horses have jockeys that look ideal to suit their style.  They both need to show improvement than more recent runs but are more than capable of mixing it up.
That's me for today, some great racing to look forward to and hopefully a couple of winners in there.  Good luck!

3.50 @ Salisbury - COCONUT CREME - 1pt Win @ 5/1
One of my Royal Ascot Eyecatchers, Coconut Crème (3.50 @ Salisbury) I feel may be underestimated from her performance at Ascot.  She travelled very well and looked like she would be involved in the finish three furlongs out before the tank emptied like the distance was not to her liking.  I noted that she would be very interesting back to twelve furlongs or less and with a more positive ride.  I feel she is a nice price and well worth keeping a close eye on today with conditions in her favour, she is better than she showed last time out.  This is a tough assignment but I think she is up to the task.

2.40 @ Redcar - NINJAGO - 1pt Win @ 9/1
3.05 @ Newmarket - EDDYSTONE ROCK - 1pt Win @ 5/1
4.35 @ Newmarket - LATHOM - 1pt Win @ 13/2
4.50 @ Newmarket - COLIBRI - 1pt Win @ 10/3
7.20 @ Ayr - GAMESOME - 1pt Win @ 13/2

A tough week to take this week at Brighton as my hopeful Tony Carroll gambles didn't come in to fruition.  I fully believe Tony was there this week for two horses to come home in front, De Vegas Kid on Wednesday and Pour La Victoire yesterday, neither of whom were George Downing's greatest rides, I have a feeling he may well be in for a bit of a telling off from his trainer.
I'm going to play five horses today whom I feel are worth a cheeky dabble.

Firstly in the 2.40, Paul Midgley saddles NINJAGO in this class 4 handicap over six furlongs.  This horse hasn't won since joining Midgley back in May 16 however he has dropped alarmingly in the weights and runs off a mark of just 81.  He's ran plenty of times and i'm sure many people will have followed him off a cliff which is horribly frustrating, I feel today he may well reward his backers.  He had a run just last week but that was after his biggest break for a few months and he wasn't given a tough time.  He doesn't mind the ground at all and he simply cannot be ignored off this kind of mark.  His trainer can be pretty shrewd (i've played his four in a small lucky 15 today) and he enjoys his Saturday horses, he's interesting without being one to rely on.

John Best has acquired the services of Silvestre De Sousa to ride EDDYSTONE ROCK in the 3.05 @ Newmarket today.  This horse is due his day in the sun having ran well in plenty of the big race handicaps but without much luck.  His last race was only 11 days ago which is a slight concern however that day just did not go right for him at all and with a clear passage he'd have given the winner something to think about.  He goes on any ground and in this lower runner handicap and given another couple of pounds he could be very tough to beat today.  I fear the favourite who could be anything for Josephine Gordon but I feel Eddy is plenty good enough to win a race like this so at his odds i'm happy to go with him.

My "cliff" horse LATHOM runs in the 4.35 @ Haydock today.  A frustrating horse who clearly has ability but either has hard luck stories or simply doesn't put in the effort.  Today there are plenty of reasons to feel he could go in at a decent enough price.  Firstly and most important he's up to six furlongs which he has been crying out for on soft ground.  He's finished his most recent races very strongly but got going all too late, for me he doesn't quite have the pace for five furlongs but can sustain his pace much more than most which is why on this going he should be at home.  His trainer is gradually coming to some sort of form with a few winners recently and I feel a mark of 81 (dropped another pound recently) gives him a good bit of leeway.

Josephine Gordon decided not to take part in the Shergar Cup today as she had engagements elsewhere.  Those engagements are at Newmarket where she has four rides for Hugo Palmer and all have chances.  The one i'm particularly keen on is COLIBRI in the 4.50.  This horse has ability!  His recent runs do not look good in terms of finishing position but he has not looked at ease on the fast surfaces.  Back on soft ground today this horse can get his season back on track.  Ground looks key to him and there is a nice pot to play for here today.

Part of my Paul Midgley double I really like the look of GAMESOME tonight in the 7.20 @ Ayr.  Like Ninjago, this horses mark is dropping rapidly and he's now too dangerous to ignore.  He's runs well for Graham Lee who is booked to ride this evening, has ran in much better races than this this season and I feel if he's ready he has a favourites' chance.

I've had a play in singles, a small each way lucky 31 and the two Midgley horses in an each way double.  Good luck!

Suggested Trixie (i've done £15 trixie - £60 total stake)
2.00 @ Brighton - TIME MEDICEAN - 1pt Win @ 5/1
2.30 @ Brighton - UPAVON - 7/2
2.50 @ Haydock - TWILIGHT SPIRIT - 4/1

What a frustrating day yesterday, firstly Henry Did It got going all too late in the day and could only manage 4th but the big bet of the De Vegas Kid frustratingly had to come widest of all to mount his challenge and having finished like a train just couldn't reel in Whiteley and lost out by a neck.  Whiteley had the inside rail and probably gained in the region of six lengths from De Vegas Kid in doing so, annoying but we're getting closer.
I've gone for a patent today in an attempt to try and fathom out Mr Carroll and Mr Williams.
These are all potential plot horses who I have picked out from their respective runners due to being well in at the weights, have course form and big potential to take advantage of their marks.  The only IF is that they may not be set up for today, if they are however then we're quids in.

Brighton Festival
4.20 - HENRY DID IT - 1pt Win @ 11/1
4.50 - DE VEGAS KID - 2pts Win @ 7/1

Well it's been an up and down flat season in 2017 and after a very slow start we've picked it up again more recently and luckily done ok without breaking the bank in the big meetings.  One meeting me and a few of the lads (including the Plot Seeker) have been waiting for is the Brighton Festival which starts today and the big focus is on Tony Carroll.  He's had an absolute shocking season so far and thankfully i've been disciplined enough to not follow blindly up to now.  Today however I have to play his horses in some form of lucky bet, permed acca's etc as in all fairness, he has the ability to take this meeting by storm like he has done in the past.  I did some analysis a month or so back to try and gauge which horses would be aimed at this meeting and two of the top potential horses run today.
Firstly DE VEGAS KID in the 4.50.  This horse is down to a mark of just 50 having run off a mark of 75 less than twelve months ago.  He was bumped at the start of his latest outing and immediately sent to the rails where he had little room until the final furlong pole, he travelled like the best horse that day to show that he has the ability to deal with this low level.  He has the potential to bolt up in this grade and I really hope Mr C has him in top order.
HENRY DID IT (4.20) has conditions to suit and is another whose mark continues to drop.  His best performance this season came at this course and distance a couple of months ago and the ground he made up that suggests he's a very capable horse on his day.  Mr C has another in this race so I suggest a saver on Nouvelle Ere too however he strikes me as an all weather plot at some point.  I'm happy to have a play on Henry Did It at 11/1.
He has others at the meeting too that have the ability to take their races so I've just picked out two that I feel have the potential to be big plot horses.  Watch the market closely today as that does seem to tell a story on these Tony Carroll days.  Good luck!

​5.30 @ Carlisle - A J COOK - 2pts Win @ 5/1 (NAP)

I really like the look of A J COOK today in the 5.30 @ Carlisle.  Dropped back to five furlongs Ron Barr has called upon the services of Rachel Richardson for a race this horse won just over twelve months ago.  He runs today off a five pounds lower mark and comes in to the race in a similar vein of form having shown a bit of improvement most recently over six furlongs.  Some would say a drop to five furlongs would be the wrong move however it's a stiff uphill finish at Carlisle and will take a bit of staying.  Mr Barr can certainly ready one when required and it's worth following the market when the time comes, A J Cook is as short as 4/1 today which he hasn't been close too this season which suggests he'll be trying and with Rachel back on board he can go well at a decent enough price with the ticks in the boxes.

​Glorious Goodwood Bets;
3.35 - RAUCOUS - £20 Win (1pt) @ 18/1
3.35 - SIR DANCEALOT - £15 Win (0.75pt) @ 10/1
3.35 - EDWARD LEWIS - £5 Win (0.25pt) @ 25/1

AL JAZI came home yesterday for tip followers for a 2 point win.  It's been another great weeks' racing with plenty of ups and downs at Glorious Goodwood.  The first two days the bookies well and truly won however the punters got some back over the last couple of days.
Today is a very tough day at Goodwood and the race that is arugably the toughest of the lot is the only one i'll be playing today as I simply can't help but get involved :).  In the 3.35 I'm going to play three horses.  My main selection for the race is RAUCOUS.  William Haggas' horse looked to be coming in to form last time out with a very respectible run behind Magical Memory.  He goes on the ground and with Jim Crowley back on board he looks a big price to me at 18/1.  SIR DANCEALOT is on a very dangerous mark here back at six furlongs and can't be disregarded lightly given his potential.  Ryan Moore's booking is a massive positive but he'll have to be at his very best to get his mount involved as he tends to start slowly and in this big handicap he'll need things to go right.  The fact he has so much in hand could get him away with a certain amount of traffic.  I'll be having a small saver on EDWARD LEWIS.  This horse is a six furlong horse all day long and has had a hard campaign this season.  He does however go on soft ground and has more ability than he's shown in his last couple of races.  With luck in running he can outrun his price.

​Glorious Goodwood Bets;
2.25 - ZAINHOM - £20 Win (1pt) @ 11/2
3.00 - BLAIR HOUSE - £20 Win (1pt) @ 11/2
3.00 - GK CHESTERTON - £20 Win (1pt) @ 9/1
3.35 - MARSHA - £20 Win (1pt) @ 7/1
3.35 - ARDAD - £20 Win (1pt) @ 20/1
4.40 - AL JAZI - £40 Win (2pts) @ 7/2

Well it looked like another typical day was on the cards yesterday as Frontispiece (advised 11/1) and Addeybb (11/2) finished the opening race in 2nd and 3rd at Goodwood however finally we scored in the following race as nap of the day Endless Time came home in front after an excellent William Buick ride.  Barraquero then followed that up for tip followers in the 3.00 (advised at 9/1).  It was a welcome couple of wins and nice to get on the board.
I'm working away in Scotland today so my write up is going to be a bit shorter than usual.
I'm going to start off in the 2.25 where i'll be having a play on ZAINHOM.  This highly regarded colt finished 3rd behind Barney Roy and Dream Castle on his return to action which turned out to be very good form before finishing 3rd last time out where the race didn't go to plan at all.  His best performance to date came on good to soft ground last season at York and he's worth taking a chance that he's better than what he showed last time out.  Beat The Bank is the obvious danger but he had a tough race at Newmarket and a fresh Zainhom with possible improvement could be dangerous to overlook.
In the Betfred Mile Handicap (3.00) I will be playing both the Charlie Appleby horses BLAIR HOUSE and GK CHESTERTON.  Both horses ran credible races at Ascot behind Zhui Feng on ground that wasn't their ideal conditions.  The track and ground should be fine here and provided the draw doesn't cause too many issues and they get some luck in running they should run very well.
In the feature race of the day (3.35) i'm going to take my chances on MARSHA and ARDAD.  Profitable is the one to beat in my opinion given the form of his two runner ups this season however if Marsha had been given a better ride at Ascot she would have beaten Profitable in my opinion and she for me is the better horse.  She needs to prove that she goes on soft ground which is the worry and probably why she's drifted but i'm willing to take the risk given she is 7/1 and the fav is 5/2 and on good or firmer she'd be a much shorter price, we simply don't know if she goes on soft.  Ardad is a massive price given that these are his conditions, Frankie Dettori back on board and the way he finished the race at Sandown last time out.
AL JAZI is the one they all have to beat in the 4.40.  He ran a grand race at Ascot without being given a tough time and was doing his best work at the finish.  He won this race last year and goes in these conditions.  Frankie is booked for the ride and he will take some stopping.

​Glorious Goodwood Bets;
1.50 - FRONTISPIECE - £20 Win (1pt) @ 11/1
1.50 - ADDEYBB - £20 Win (1pt) @ 5/1
2.25 - ENDLESS TIME - £40 Win (2pts) @ 10/3
3.00 - CARDSHARP - £20 Win (1pt) @ 10/3
3.00 - BARRAQUERO - £20 Win (1pt) @ 9/1
3.35 - SOBETSU - £20 Win (1pt) @ 6/1
4.10 - POETIC STEPS - £20 Win (1pt) @ 6/1

Another very tough day at Glorious Goodwood yesterday, in fact, I'm just going to call it Goodwood from now on until it decides to play ball :).  The ground changed dramatically yesterday with a day full of heavy rain which lead to both Happy Like A Fool and Churchill being pulled from their engagements.  On To Victory very nearly put a notch in the win column but for Londinium outstaying him at the finish making use of his lessor weight.  Ribchester lost out to Here Comes When of Andrew Balding in the feature race after attempting to make all he came under pressure and was quickly swamped, he found himself in all sorts of bother at a crucial point and stayed on strongly all too late in the day.  The same situatioon landed with Titi Makfi who stayed on strongly but found the finish line come just too late.  We're getting closer!
Day Three starts off with another Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap (1.50).  I'll be playing two horses.  The first one that caught my eye is FRONTISPIECE.  He holds some excellent form that was franked yesterday by the aforementioned On To Victory whom he beat at Sandown the time before last.  He failed to back that up when an odds on favourite last time beaten by Archetype however he didn't look to have the same zest as the race prior.  I'm willing to forgive that run as he is highly regarded and the impression he gave the race before.  David Egan takes five pounds off but is riding with the big boys today so he may well need it.  The fact that Ryan Moore is riding ADDEYBB makes me sway that way.  The extra couple of furlongs didn't strike me as something Addeybb required based on his wins so far however i'm intruiged that connections have decided to go down that route.  He looks ground versatile and clearly has ability, if he improves for the step up in trip he should go close.
I'll be having a nice bet on ENDLESS TIME in the 2.25 @ Goodwood.  She goes well on soft ground and drops back to a more suitable trip after trying her hand in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.  For me her best form is a standard above what the remainder have shown so far and I think with conditions back in her favour she will be very tough to beat.
The 3.00 Richmond Stakes is another tricky one to approach and I'll be taking on two against the market here aswell.  The favourite CARDSHARP won very well at Newmarket on his latest start beating US Navy Flag whom he takes on again here.  His run at Royal Ascot proved the five furlongs was not quite his trip and he was a different animal over six last time.  Softer ground will probably help him rather than hinder him and I don't think three pounds will be enough for the O'Brien horse to reverse the form.  He looks a worthwhile favourite for this.  At a bigger price I feel BARRAQUERO warrants a bet.  He's only ran twice starting off in what now looks a very hot maiden finishing three lengths behind Expert Eye before demolishing his opponents on his latest start where the third has since come out and won.  He is the least exposed horse in the field and looks a horse going places for Brian Meehan.
The feature race on day three is the Nassau Stakes (3.35) and what a race it is.  The rain has unfortunately accounted for Wuheida, Nezwaah and Shutter Speed however it still contains some top class fillies and Blond Me who is no slouch.  I think this is probably one of the toughest races of the day to weigh up.  I remember watching Aidan O'Brien talking about Winter as a middle distance filly at the beginning of the season.  She is clearly the best miler in her grade, she's shaped completely fine to suggest this distance won't be too much of an issue and gets weight from the older horses.  At the price I'm going to go in search of some value.  My heart would be all over So Mi Dar, she's a horse I love and i'm gutted that she's had so many problems as she really could have been the best horse at her level, she still may become that but given that we don't know how her injuries have affected her plus the break since her last run I feel she will need this run.  Queen's Trust was one of my Royal Ascot eyecatchers and if the ground was good or better i'd have played her, the soft ground however makes me put a line through her.  The horse i'll be playing is SOBETSU.  She won The Prix Saint-Alary on her penultimate run with ease on soft ground before flopping in the Oaks.  I'm convinced now that she goes best on good or soft ground and that brings her in to the equation here.  She clearly has ability and gets the age allowance.  She stays the trip and for me has the most ticks in boxes.  She's not a confident shout given the quality of opposition but she will be the one I play.
Mark Johnston's horses are in excellent form and one horse that looks the sort that can take advantage of an early low mark is POETIC STEPS in the 4.10.  This filly won her debut easily on soft ground before following up with a dominant display over this distance at Carlisle.  Carlisle is a track with a stiff uphill finish so she shouldn't have much of an issue with the hill at the beginning here.  She is well drawn to shoot out in front and she could take some stopping.

​Glorious Goodwood Bets;
1.50 - TAWS - £15 Win (0.75pt) @ 12/1
1.50 - RED RANNAGH - £15 Win (0.75pt) @ 20/1
1.50 - PERCY VEER - £10 Win (0.5pt) @ 22/1
2.25 - ON TO VICTORY - £30 Win (1.5pt) @ 15/2
2.25 - NEVER SURRENDER - £10 Win (0.5pt) @ 28/1
3.00 - HAPPY LIKE A FOOL - £40 Win (2pts) @ 11/4
4.45 - TITI MAKFI - £20 E/W (1pt E/W) @ 8/1
5.50 - CENOTAPH - £30 Win (1.5pt) @ 10/1
5.50 - MEDIEVAL - £10 Win (0.5pt) @ 20/1

Well, what can be said about day one of the Glorious Goodwood Festival, it wasn't very glorious to me at all.  There were plenty of big priced winners and it was certainly the bookmakers who on the whole were celebrating.  We did get to witness however a potential 2000 Guineas horse in Expert Eye who won in emphatic style for Sir Michael Stoute in the Vintake Stakes despite travelling green early on, he looks a horse of some ability and i've jumped on the Guineas double for next year with Clemmie (1000 Guineas).  As for my selections yesterday, Khairaat ran a decent third in the opener but found two just too strong for him at the finish.  Big Orange in hindsight ran a cracker in 2nd place in the Goodwood Cup with Stradivarius continuing his improvement although for Big Orange to give near a stone away was in the end an impossible task.  

Boom The Groom and Dark Shot were simply awful but the one that really hit my hard yesterday was Librisa Breeze.  I'm not one to moan about jockeys but this is not the first time Robert Winston has given this horse a shocker and if i'd had make so many mistakes in my job I wouldn't be here.  I simply cannot understand the thought process, he deliberately pulls his mount to the inside behind the front cluster of horses from his wide draw just after the start, that move cost his horse any chance of getting in to the race.  As they came round the bend he was boxed in with nowhere to go and despite his best efforts there was no chance he was going to be able to get out of that pocket of horses.  We simply don't know how good Librisa Breeze actually is, I believe he is up there with the best in terms of ability, however he does to be allowed to show it soon!
I hope you listened to me on Silvestre De Sousa who had a four timer at Yarmouth, it would have been a small win on an otherwise bad day.
The opener (1.50) on day two is a tough two mile four furlong handicap.  Having trawled through the field i'm going to play a few at big prices.  I feel the front of the market is vulnerable and there isn't a strong case in my opinion for any of them, therefore the first horse i'll be playing is TAWS.  This horse has been dropped to a mark of 83 but showed that she had improved for his debut for Rod Millman which looked just a run out to me when she won over two miles at Worcester recently over hurdles.  She was running to a mark of the early 90's in 2015 on the flat and I feel she may be able to get to something near that level now she's found his feet again for his new trainer.  She is very interesting and shouldn't be underestimated.  I've gone for the potential for improvement now upped in trip on RED RANNAGH.  This horse has improved since being gelded and has been tried over increasing distances.  The best performance came on his latest run at Windsor where he was doing his best work at the finish carrying plenty of weight.  The handicapper has dropped him two pounds for that run which is a surprise as he's clearly better than that.  It is an unknown as to whether he'll stay the trip but if he does, and David Simcock does know how to place these horses, then he could be a very big price.  PERCY VEER is the next that i'll be playing.  This horse looked set to win this race last year but after finding a bit of trouble in running he couldn't reel in the leader.  Looking at that race the winner comes here off a nine pound higher mark than he had last year, Percy Veer has a four pound lower mark, the winner is 10/1, Percy Veer is 22/1.  The market is wrong in my opinion.  Granted Percy Veer has a break to contend with but he does go well fresh and there's no doubt that he's been readied for this.  He is interesting.
I will be playing two in the 2.25 Class 2 Handicap.  ON TO VICTORY didn't look suited by the fast ground at Newbury last time out giving weight away but still ran a respectible race in 3rd.  Prior to that he destroyed a horse called Stone The Crows whom I think is a decent enough horse and made Frontispiece pull out all the stops the time before.  He's a horse going places and he should continue his improvement back on good ground.  At a big price I like the look of NEVER SURRENDER.  He ran a cracking race in a Derby trial back in April when seven lengths behind Cracksman.  Since then he dotted up at Chester before two poor efforts at Ascot and Haydock.  The ground on both of those days were good to firm and the ease in the ground should aid his chances too.  I feel he is very ground dependant but has the ability to make the most of his eased mark.
Wesley Ward brings HAPPY LIKE A FOOL over for the 3.00 Group 3 race over five furlongs.  This horse was well touted prior to the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot before finding Heartache too good on the day.  Since then I have read columns and listened to podcasts and the horse has been given a bit of a tough time for it.  The form hasn't been franked since which is a concern however I didn't think it was a bad run given she hadn't run for a couple of months, had to make the trip over from the states inexperienced and had to make the running.  I think she'll come on plenty for that run at Royal Ascot and if she lives up to the hype she can take this.  The fact Wesley has decided to run her in itself is a sign that he feels there is much more to come.
I really hope the Feature race, the 3.35 Sussex Stakes lives up to what looks an exciting match up between Ribchester and Churchill.  Both horses are clearly top class and the best milers in Britain.  I won't be having a bet in the race due to the short prices but if I had to choose any the safer bet for me is Ribchester but I will enjoy watching without a play.
I have no interest in the 4.10.
Although not a strong pick I think TITI MAKFI has a good chance in the 4.45.  The way in which she beat White Chocolate at Chester the race before last was hugely impressive although she did disappoint last time out.  Arguably the better form horses finished behind her that day rather than in front of her which suggests the race wasn't necessarily a truly run race.  I feel she ran ok that day but didn't give her best.  If she can improve from or even return to something like her form from Chester she will take some stopping.  I feel the market has her double the price that she should be and White Chocolate will take some to reverse the form if she's on song.
I'll be playing two in the last (5.50).  Firstly CENOTAPH looks a big price for me given his connections.  He bombed out on his first three outings this season but they were over inadequate trips and ran much better back at seven furlongs last time out.  He's more than likely had this race set for him prior to his last run and therefore he will be sent here primed.  Aidan O'Brien should never be underestimated in the market and I feel Cenotaph may be one overlooked here due to failers at the wrong trip.  The second horse I will be having a play on is MEDIEVAL.  This horse has dropped right down the ratings without really running a bad race.  He was badly drawn at Ascot and as mentioned for Titi Makfi I feel his latest run was in a falsely run race.  He clearly has to show more on the track than he has but with favourable conditions here today I feel he may be a big price at 20/1.

​Glorious Goodwood Bets;
1.50 - KHAIRAAT - £20 Win @ 15/2 (1pt)
1.50 - OASIS FANTASY - £10 Win @ 12/1 (0.5pt)
1.50 - BAYDAR - £10 Win @ 20/1 (0.5pt)
3.00 - LIBRISA BREEZE - £20 E/W @ 5/1 (1pt E/W)
3.35 - BIG ORANGE - £40 Win @ Evs (2pts)
4.45 - BOOM THE GROOM - £20 Win @ 13/2 (1pt)
4.45 - DARK SHOT - £20 Win @ 7/1 (1pt)

​It's day one of Glorious Goodwood and what a great days' racing to get our teeth stuck in to.  July came to a close yesterday and we finished the month is a starting price profit of 8.75 points and an advised price profit of 14.00 points.  It was a welcome return after two poor months and the more selective approach appears to have paid dividends.  The Plot Seeker had his first losing month with a loss of 16 points.  He was without a winner in the month but surely that cannot last long, he has posted a selection up for today's racing.
The opening race on the card (1.50) is Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Class 2 event over ten furlongs and it's a peach of a race to start the festival.  This is a Sky Bet "Money Back if you Lose" race up to £20 stake so it's well worth taking advantage of that offer.  You can seriously make a case for any of these, it is a proper handicap!  The three i've gone with against the field are KHAIRAAT, OASIS FANTASY and BAYDAR.  Khairaat looked a horse going places on his first start this season when despatching the likes of Brorocco and Mistiroc at Chester.  He was drawn well that day but he more than made the most of it to coast home by upwards of four lengths to some hardened handicappers.  He went off favourite at Royal Ascot but didn't have the most made out of him and he was allowed to come home in his own time in the end.  He is much better than that and i'm happy to draw a line through it.  If he hadn't had run that day he would be a much shorter price here therefore the 15/2 on offer for him looks worth it in my eyes.  I think Oasis Fantasy has a great chance back to conditions that suit.  He's drop rapidly to a mark of just 93 now and back on good ground at ten furlongs I can see him running a big race.  This horse had a cracking 5 year old season and I doubt very much if he's lost his ability, I just don't think he likes firm ground so the ease in the ground here will be fine for him, the headgear is applied again too which suggests he may be ready today.  I'm not Jamie Spencer's greatest fan however in my opinion this season is the best i've seen him in the bigger meetings and these big handicaps at Goodwood do seem to suit a horse coming from behind.  I think he's well worth a shout at 12/1.  My final selection for the race is Baydar.  He's another horse who hasn't performed when the ground has been better than good but has 3 wins to his name on Good to soft.  Granted today may just be a bit better than that however it's unlikely to be riding fast therefore if he can return to anything like his true form I think he has a good chance at a nice price.
The 2.25 is not a race i'm going to get involved in as there's little form to analyse.  I've heard some good things about Seahenge of Aidan O'Brien's however I suspect that Sir Michael Stoute could have a very good horse in Expert Eye also.  It's not a betting event for me although i'll enjoy watching it.

The 3.00 Lennox Stakes looks a cracker.  I have the utmost respect for Limato at the head of the market but 3/1 is pretty tight in this kind of race.  The horse I will be punting all my money on will be LIBRISA BREEZE.  One of my eyecatchers from Royal Ascot he was doing his best work yet again at the finish of a six furlong race.  For me he is one of the best 7 furlong horses out there and I'm delighted to see him back at this trip.  He will have to be produced late by Robert Winston so will need things to fall right for him however I think he's good enough to take this.
I'm going to have a play in the Feature race on day one, the3.35 Goodwood Cup and although not very original i'm going to try and double my money on BIG ORANGE.  I've tried to get him beat and search for value but having been through the whole field I just cannot see what horse will trouble him.  He's a true class act and I feel even money is actually a pretty good price for him here.
I won't be playing in the 4.10 either as that maiden looks too tough to get stuck in to.
The 4.45 is another nice handicap to get involved in with plenty of chances for most.  The two I will be playing are BOOM THE GROOM and DARK SHOT.  Boom The Groom is back down to his last winning mark and there would be no surprise to me if he was to return to form in a race he won last year given his connections.  Good ground is perfect for him, Adam Kirby is on board again which is a big plus as he knows him very well and there are a lot of plus' in his favour today.  Dark Shot was well fancied last time out by Andrew Balding but couldn't quite land a blow.  For me he is not as effective on anything firmer than good so today's conditions should bring out the best in him.  If he is in the same form as the Epsom Dash he will be a player.
That's the end of today's betting at Goodwood.  It may well be worth following Silvestre De Sousa over at Yarmouth today, I find it very interesting that he's not at Goodwood suggesting he may have a decent book of rides there.

No Selection
Interest Bets;
3.00 @ Ascot - FASTNET TEMPEST - 7/1
3.00 @ Ascot - YUFTEN - 18/1
3.00 @ Ascot - HEAVEN'S GUEST - 25/1
3.35 @ Ascot - JACK HOBBS - 5/1 E/W
3.35 @ Ascot - HIGHLAND REEL - 11/2 E/W

There is some excellent racing on the cards today which leads us perfectly in to Glorious Goodwood and The Galway Festival.  I'm away on a golfing trip at the moment so time is a little limited so i've concentrated my write up on the big races.

The first race i'm going to get stuck in to is the 3.00 Gigaset International Stakes Handicap over seven furlongs at Ascot.  As usual i'm going to play a few in the race in an attempt to find the winner.  FASTNET TEMPEST was very unlucky at Royal Ascot when he had his run checked on a couple of occasions before finishing off the race like a train but all too late.  He's kept his mark and looks a big player here with Ryan Moore booked for the ride.  Like all these runners he'll need the race to fall for him but he looks capable of taking this.  YUFTEN looks a big price to me at 18/1.  He was drawn on the wrong side at Royal Ascot and ran better than his finishing position suggests.  He should strip fitter for that run and having been given an extra pound he has the potential to make the most of the handicappers leniency, he's a player.  Finally i'll be having a saver on HEAVEN'S GUEST.  Richard Fahey knows how to ready one for a big race handicap and this 7 year old is down to a very attractive mark.  The ground should help his cause and if he can rekindle some of his old form he could be an interesting runner.
The King George (3.35 @ Ascot) looks a cracking race and Enable is going to be a very tough nut to crack with her age and weight allowance.  She is a top class filly and looks a major Arc contender going forward.  At her price I won't be having a play on her however.  The ground has come good for JACK HOBBS and he is one of two that i'll be having an each way scumbag play on.  He is a top class horse on his day and he is very ground dependant.  He never showed anything like what he's capable of at Royal Ascot but i'd expect to see a different horse here with conditions to suit and that run under his belt.  I'd be disappointed if he doesn't finish in the top three.  I'll also be having an each way play on HIGHLAND REEL.  I find it amazing that this horse still gets talked down by some of the top pundits, what does he have to do to get the recognition he deserves?  He is at the peak of his career based on his two top drawer wins this season and the way he battles shows real heart.  The slower ground isn't great for him however he has run well on soft in the past, the fact that he's better than ever now makes me think that he'll be able to cope with the conditions.  Should Enable falter for whatever reason i'd expect Highland Reel and Jack Hobbs to be there to mop up.

No Selection
Interest Bets;
8.00 @ York - KHARBETATION - 5/1

Well, Fleetfoot Jack continues to be an enigma to me.  Once again he was hammered in the betting moving from 11/1 in to 5/1, this time that was sustained with constant money coming and my confidence grew.  Unfortunately the horse didn't live up to my expectations.  Having pulled his way through the first few furlongs he travelled in to the race well three furlongs out and was one of the last off the bridle.  Once again however he was very one paced and couldn't go with the leading trio.  It will be interesting what connections do with him now as one mile two furlongs doesn't look like a trip to suit and the soft ground didn't aid his cause like I expected it too, a longer trip may be worth trying but for now he's a experimental one.
I woke up this morning and seen Ascot, Newmarket, Chepstow, York........surely some excellent racing on the cards and plenty to get stuck into, I was bitterly disappointed.  There are a few very interesting maidens especially at Ascot but they are not betting mediums for me.  One horse i'm very interested in tonight at York is KHARBETATION (8.00 @ York).  He is a horse I have tipped up twice this season and on both occasions he has failed to load and been withdrawn.  I'm sure connections will have been working on this issue hence the delay in him returning to the track.  He bolted up on debut last year beating Ehtiraas by five lengths and his connections think he's group class, the issue is, will he load?  Even if he does there cannot be confidence behind his fitness levels having been off the track for so long.  If he's fit, loads and shows his ability I think he'll bolt up in this 0-95 handicap.  I suspect if he's sorted his issues that he'll be a 105+ rated horse in no time so I'll be watching very closely how he goes.


8.55 @ Doncaster - FLEETFOOT JACK - 1pt Win @ 11/1
Interest Bets;
3.05 @ Sandown - CAPE BUNTING - 11/4

The racing today is much better than it has been for a couple of weeks now and I have a couple of horses that I will be playing.
Firstly there is a very interesting seven furlong fillies listed race at Sandown (3.05) today and I really like the favourite CAPE BUNTING for Mark Johnston and William Buick.  She won well on debut at Newmarket last month against the colts and followed that up with a convincing win a couple of weeks ago at Musselburgh.  That day I was really taken with her as she took the widest course of the five runners and didn't look the easiest of rides however the way she quickened once she hit the front was very impressive.  She lugged in to the leader that day which is a little concern but on the proviso that she will have learned from that experience she comes here with a real chance.  She's highly regarded by the yard and being a half sister to Buratino she may well continue her two year old progress here.

The final race of the evening at Doncaster (8.55) is where I will be having my decent bet for the day.  David O'Meara's FLEETFOOT JACK has been tipped up by me a couple of times in the past including last time out and that performance had me scratching my head both on the track and off it.  He was battered in the betting during the day from 14/1 in to 6/1 but as race time approached he switfly drifted markedly out to 20/1.  That didn't fill me confidence and his run was a very strange one with his jockey deciding not to go with the leaders despite a level break.  Having re-watched the race a few times he didn't have much luck in running but didn't find a great deal under pressure on the good ground (the ground was described as good to firm by some of the jockeys that day).  In my opinion he stayed the trip well enough at the one pace.  His best performance to date came on good to soft ground last season and that fills me with a bit of confidence given that Doncaster's going tonight looks to be soft or good to soft.  I feel that ground will be ideal for him and given the way he stays he should be continuing to do his best work at the finish.  He looks overpriced to me on his second start at this trip with favourable conditions.

Interest Bets;

2.25 @ Newbury - BEST OF DAYS - 7/2
2.40 @ Newmarket - SERENADA - 15/2
3.35 @ Newbury - PURSUING THE DREAM - 20/1

Good morning everyone, sadly I start off on a sour note as there was some really bad news out of Haydock last night where Stephen Yarborough (RaceTech stalls handler) lost his life after an accident at the course.  Stalls Handlers are the unsung heroes of our sport and put themselves at risk every day dealing with horses with all sorts of temperaments all for our entertainment but this freak accident highlights the dangers they face even before the horses go down to the start of a race.  My condolenses go out to Steve's friends and family.
After being spoilt for quality for a couple of months, the racing in the past week or so has been of a very poor standard in my opinion and today is no different with even the jumps racing pretty substandard.
I'm interested in a few horses today but they come off the back of poor runs and have it all to prove.  Firstly BEST OF DAYS in the 2.25 @ Newbury.  This horse looked a top drawer prospect last season and had reportedly thrived during the summer.  However he returned to the track later than was anticipated and failed to land a blow having been thrown right in at the deep end in the King Edward VII stakes.  Dropped back in distance here and in grade he may well push on from his return.  He's an interesting prospect and hopefully he can show his true colours here, softer ground is an unknown.
In the 2.40 @ Newmarket, SERENADA looks decent value in my opinion.  She has taken on the favourite Apphia twice this season winning first time out but fading behind her at Royal Ascot.  I feel she is better than she proved at Ascot and the track didn't appear to suit her.  Good ground suits both horses and I wouldn't be surprised if the finish wasn't fought out between the two, therefore to see Serenada near double the price of the fav she looks value.  Roger's horses are in better form now than a few weeks ago too and providing the trip isn't too far she should continue her progress.
PURSUING THE DREAM (3.35 @ Newbury) ran a cracker in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot without much luck and I thought she would bolt up at Bath last time out where she bombed out.  I'm willing to forgive her that run as it was too bad to be true and at 20/1 I'm happy to have another crack at her here.  She's no banker and this race will be tough to win but if she can recapture that Ascot form and with a clear passage she would win this therefore at such a big price i'm interested.
That's it i'm afraid from me today, poor days racing and small stakes advised if you're going to have a play.  Good luck!

No main selection

Interest Bets;

2.15 @ Newmarket - TROPICAL ROCK - 8/1
2.50 @ Newmarket - MOUNTAIN ANGEL - E/W @ 9/2
3.05 @ York - CENTRAL SQUARE - E/W @ 20/1
3.05 @ York - DRAGON MALL - E/W @ 25/1
3.25 @ Newmarket - FLAMING SPEAR - E/W @ 7/1
4.35 @ Newmarket - LIMATO - 9/2
5.20 @ Newmarket - NIBLAWI - 14/1

The July Newmarket Festival continued in a strong vein yesterday for tip followers as both Parfait and Clemmie (NAP) made their rivals look very amateur in their respected races.  Both horses are very exciting and I hope you took the 16/1 on offer for Clemmie in next years' 1000 Guineas as advised, she's a general 8/1 shot now.  Wuheida and Mainstream finished runner up in their respected races whilst I would suggest you make a note of Speedo Boy who once again led a troubled path in his race.  He was well backed on the day and that should be noted next time out.  The Plot Seeker almost polished the day off with a 16/1 winner but Compton Poppy was just outbattled at the finish to end the race as a runner up, he won't be far away with another winner.  It's a tricky days' racing today but there is plenty of quality on offer and although I've no real strong selection I do like a lot of horses today who have solid chances.

The first race I'll be playing on the final day of the Newmarket July Festival will be TROPICAL ROCK in the 2.15.  Ralph says in his interview that she would be aimed at a listed race in May, she failed to live up to expectations then however given that she hasn't run since suggests that something hasn't been right with her.  The fact that Ralph has such a high opinion of her and now she encounters firmer ground she may well surprise a few here.  She's 8/1 which I think is a fair price and providing she is fit (which you would expect she would be) she could continue her progress.

In the 2.50 Mile Handicap I will be having a play on MOUNTAIN ANGEL.  This horse is massively unexposed and comes here without having a a tough race at Royal Ascot like many of his rivals have.  He looked frighteningly good when despatching Liquid Gold before being outbattled by Afaak last time out.  He meets that rival off two pounds better terms, better ground and more scope to progress.  He looks a decent each way proposition here on favourable terms for his in form trainer and i'll be having a little play.

I'll be having another small each way play in the 3.25 @ Newmarket where Kevin Ryan saddles FLAMING SPEAR.  This horse has been an enigma to me since his early career having been well touted but failing to deliver on his promise.  He now looks to have picked up the winning habit and there were plenty of big vibes for him for Royal Ascot even whilst the Ryan yard was going through the mire.  He could continue on the right path here but it's not one for the big stakes.

​The race i'm really looking forward to is the July Cup, 4.35 @ Newmarket.  It really is an absolute cracker where the top 3 year olds Caravaggio and Harry Angel take on the top crop of the older generation The Tin Man, Limato and Tasleet.  You can understand why Caravaggio is a short price favourite given that the 3 year olds get a six pound allowance here and their arguably isn't a huge amount between them, you could actually say that the value is with Harry Angel given there wasn't much between them at Ascot and Caravaggio will have to find a path again here.  That 3 year old allowance is not going to be easy to contend with.  However I really hope LIMATO wins this for Harry Bentley.  The jockey was harshly ousted by Henry Candy after a poor performance in Meydan and when Ryan Moore was obviously taken up to ride Caravaggio for Aidan O'Brien Henry has rightly put Harry back on board the horse that is so close to his heart.  It would be a great story and I don't think I need to delve through the form to enjoy this one, i'll be having an interest bet on the horse I believe to be the best and will sit back with a beer enjoying this one.

Another little pay i'll be having in the last race of the Festival will be on NIBLAWI in the 5.05 for Neil Mulholland.  This horse was top weight on his return to action and that run looked a huge prep run for a decent Saturday handicap.  That may well be today for shrewd connections.  He won two races on the spin last year and progressed to run a nice race in behind Wild Hacked which now looks good form.  If he is set up by connections he is the one in the line up who has the potential to beat his mark by a few pound.  The Godolphin favourite could be anything and can't be taken lightly but I feel Niblawi is worth a nibble (see what I did there) at 14/1.

Over at York there is a cracking John Smiths' Cup Handicap (3.05) to take place today.  Honestly I could pick five or six of these runners.  Victory Bond has had this race as his target for a while and the fact money has come is encouraging however he's now plenty short enough in the betting.  I'm going to stick by my Ascot Eyecatchers given how well they have done and go with CENTRAL SQUARE and DRAGON MALL.  Dragon Mall ran a blinder in the Wolferton to finish 9th from an impossible position.  He dropped many lengths at the start and exerted plenty of energy to attach himself to the main pack.  Turning the corner he had to come widest of all making his journey even longer but looked like he may well get involved until the final furlong where he struggled to make up the ground.  He is better than the bare form.  Central Square is similar to Dragon Mall in that he lost plenty of ground up at the start of his race.  As he approached a furlong from home he looked like he may well give the leaders something to think about before his passage was swiftly blocked and he had nowhere to go.  This horse has plenty of ability and if he can sort his start out he will be dangerous in this Saturday afternoon handicap.

1.50 @ Newmarket - PARFAIT - 1pt Win @ 5/2
2.25 @ Newmarket - CLEMMIE - 1pts Win @ 2/1 (NAP)

Interest Bets;

2.40 @ York - MAINSTREAM - 5/2
3.00 @ Newmarket - COLIBRI - 12/1
3.00 @ Newmarket - SPEEDO BOY - 14/1
3.35 @ Newmarket - WUHEIDA - 4/1

A decent first day of the July Festival at Newmarket as yesterday's selection Desert Skyline finished a fast finishing second to Raheen House.  The winner was well deserved and was my worry but it was good to see Desert Skyline continue the trend for the Royal Ascot Eyecatchers, even better to see him return 11/1.  Ekhtiyaar came home in the 3.00 to provide us with a nice 13/2 winner (advised 10/1), I hope some of you got on.

As i've got a free bet to play with on the first race today (1.50 @ Newmarket) I've decided to have a real look at it despite at first glance it looking like a bit of a minefield.  To be honest going through the form although it's not original I can't get away from PARFAIT.  His run in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot was a massive step up on what he'd achieved previously.  The form of the race has been well and truly franked with Beat The Bank and True Valour winning since and if he's in the same form with his three year old allowance he looks the one to beat.

Again in the 2.25 I'm not going with an original choice but I hope it's the right one.  I feel CLEMMIE will prove a class apart from her rivals here in this Group 2 event over six furlongs.  I was very impressed with this sister to Churchill last time out as she put in a very professional performance having looking like not coping with the undulations of Ascot the time before.  She proved she is a horse to be on the right side of however last time out and she looks some horse for next season.  I wouldn't put anyone off having a little play on her for the 1000 Guineas at this stage either, I feel she will prove better than her stablemate September.

The 3.00 @ Newmarket is a tight affair with many unexposed horses in the line up.  There are cases to be made for most and the majority have form over the distance.  I've decided there's enough doubt on any of them being hugely progressive at this stage to take the head of the market on with a couple of bigger prices, those horses are COLIBRI and SPEEDO BOY.  Hugo Palmer's horses are now bang in form to where they have been and I'm tempted to put a line through Colibri's Ascot run where he didn't seem to have the pace to handle that level of competition of a mile, I'm not convinced he handled the track either in all fairness.  That takes me to his run at Sandown behind Atty Persse.  Giving weight away he travelled nicely in to the race and put in his best work at the finish.  He's plenty of scope for improvement and given how he finished that race off plus the line i've drawn through his last run I feel he's worth a play based on his potential for improvement up in trip.  He comes with doubts but at the price i'll be playing.  The Hampton Court Stakes was the typical kind of race where horses drawn on the inside had a distinct advantage however one horse who impressed with his run in this race was Speedo Boy.  Drawn in stall 16 he was never really going to win this race unless he was a group one horse atleast. He had to take the widest course of all and was still there fighting at the finish. It was a game effort and showed a true character.  His sixth place can be very much upgraded and the fact he finished ahead of the likes of Tamleek and Bay of Poets despite the race not being run to suit shows that he is a high quality horse.  He's a big price.

The big race of the day is the 3.35 Falmouth Stakes, Group One race over a mile.  Roly Poly will be a popular favourite given her connections and the fact she's chased home Winter in both the Irish 1000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes.  I feel that she is pretty exposed and although consistent isn't one to be heavily relied upon with potential improvers in the race.  There is a horse I will be having a play on that has a form line to Roly Poly but has a big risk attached.  WUHEIDA is a highly regarded filly for Charlie Appleby and has been off the track since October, that is my worry, the fact her trainer had a first time out winner yesterday here at Newmarket does however give me hope that he will have her at peak fitness.  Her form is matched through Dabyah whom finished behind Roly Poly last time out and the same distance behind Wuheida last term.  I don't think Dabyah has improved massively so there's not a major amount to find on bare form.  If Wuheida comes out with the improvement you would expect at this level and lives up to her reputation she could be very good, it is a risk but i'm not willing to play the favourite at 9/4 in this kind of race.

That ends my interest in Newmarket today as the last few races on the card are tricky ones that I am not going to get involved in.  Over at York I like the look of MAINSTREAM in the 2.40.  Sir Michael Stoute's horse was well backed at Ascot but was never able to get involved having travelled a long way from the front.  The way he finished the race was promising and he finished ahead of some higher rated horses to suggest he's better than his current mark.  This race is much easier and I expect him to go close here.

1.50 @ Newmarket - DESERT SKYLINE - 1pt E/W @ 8/1

Interest Bets;

2.25 @ Newmarket - INVINCIBLE ARMY - E/W @ 11/2
3.00 @ Newmarket - EKHTIYAAR - E/W @ 10/1
3.00 @ Newmarket - BRIAN THE SNAIL - E/W @ 25/1
3.35 @ Newmarket - WINGS OF DESIRE - 4/1
4.35 @ Newmarket - MONSIEUR JOE - E/W @ 16/1

It's day one of the Newmarket July Festival today and a cracking start to it it is aswell with two group twos, a group three and a listed contest plus a couple of handicaps to get your teeth in to.

My first selection for the day comes in the 1.50 @ Newmarket in the shape of David Elsworth's DESERT SKYLINE.  In what was a very messy Queens Vase I thought Desert Skyline was the one who may defy the odds next time out.  Held up in last place he was still travelling powerfully for Fran Berry but had a wall of horses to make his way through, twice his run was checked by horses cutting across him and but for that he may well have been involved at the finish.  He ended the race in sixth place and there’s no doubt he’s a better horse than that position suggests.  I feel he is a cracking each way bet in this race with him not being ground dependant, a drop back in class and his trainer in excellent form.  In opposition the favourite is Atty Persse who won the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot, that day he beat First Nation by three lengths receiving three pounds from him in doing so, the runner up hasn't won anything but his maiden and the form looks very dubious to me.  The line through Drochaid (whom beat Desert Skyline 2 starts ago) is quashed too as that horse had a poor path through the race and was unable to get involved.  Desert Skyline lost to that horse giving ten pounds.  I am more than happy to oppose the fav.  The second favourite Raheen House would be the danger in my opinion who has contested some pretty hot races this season and has ran consistently well and with that given a rating of 110 which I think is fair.  That rating would mean Desert Skyline would have to find a few pounds but I believe that is within the realms of possibility given potential improvement.  It's a cracking race to kick off the festival.

I'm going to have a small each way interest bet on the 2.25 on INVINCIBLE ARMY for James Tate and Silvestre De Sousa.  This colt improved markedly last time out over this course and distance three weeks ago and it was a taking performance to lose his maiden tag.  He was eased down in the closing stages and still clocked up a pretty quick time having been well backed beforehand.  The fourth in that race has since come out and won convincingly and given the support in the market in both his races to date (first was a hot maiden when beaten by Masar who was subsequently third to September at Ascot) I believe connections must be pretty keen on this horse and he'll be the one i'll be playing each way.  I wouldn't put anyone off Rajasinghe and if he wins for connections then i'll be happy enough but conceding three pounds to some potential improvers here will be tough so he's short enough for me to oppose.

I'll be playing two in the 3.00 Handicap @ Newmarket.  The two I like are EKHTIYAAR and BRIAN THE SNAIL.  Ekhtiyaar ran a good race in defeat at York last time out when not having the clearest of runs and he could continue his improvement here for the in form Roger Varian yard.  Brian The Snail is clearly held in some regard given his SP's for his first four races.  He's been thrown in to a couple of hot races on his last two starts, the former of which was over five furlongs which I think is short of his trip at the top levels whereas the latter was a very hot Sandy Lane Stakes.  He's been given a little break and now returns in handicap company off a mark of 101.  It will be disappointing if he doesn't turn out to be better than that mark, it may be next year but at his current price he may be value for Richard Fahey.

I was made up to see WINGS OF DESIRE (3.35 @ Newmarket) return at Ascot and I thought he ran a pretty satisfactory race on return finishing fifth behind Idaho in a race that wasn't ran to suit.  He's a top class horse and for the Gosden/Dettori combination you cannot underestimate him.  A repeat of his run behind Highland Reel twelve months ago would put him bang there and at the prices I feel he is the value at the head of the market at 4/1.  

The John Deere Handicap (4.35) is a tight affair and not one to go mad over.  The horse that caught my eye was King Of Rooks whom I really liked as a two year old but he dropped off a cliff last year and has subsequently been sold to a yard that isn't renouned for their top horses, there will be a handicap to be won with him i'm sure but i'll be surprised if it's not until he's rated 90 or lower.  I do however like the claims of MONSIEUR JOE here who has dropped to a rating of 100.  He has been contesting some decent listed events of late and running creditably.  He's top weight here but this is a drop in level and he won at this meeting last year in a conditions race therefore he does come right at this time of year and I wouldn't underestimate him at 16/1.

Interest Bet;
7.30 @ Chelmsford - VIA SERENDIPITY - 8/1

It was a good day for tip followers yesterday as Nap Hey Gaman won as a nap should do with plenty in hand whilst Cherry Kool won with ease in her handicap race, unfortunately the number of non runners hit her price with a 75p rule 4 deduction but if you took the 11/1 in the morning you would have still received a 11/4 return which for a 7/4 favourite in the end isn't bad at all.  Let's hope that's the start of things to come.  I've decided to revert back to not tipping up on a daily basis going forward as although I enjoy it, it is very difficult to pick winners out day by day and I don't feel i'm offering value to you or myself putting up horses that come with risk attached.  I will put up daily interest bets if you fancy a flutter but my main selections will come as and when I really like something.
I will be having one small play today as the racing is not very enticing i'm afraid.  I think VIA SERENDIPITY however could be well handicapped for Hugo Palmer in the 7.30 @ Chelmsford.  This horse has taken part in some of the hot maidens last year and put in a respectible display in the Greenham earlier this season.  His last run came at a time where the yard were in very bad form so I'd put a line through that but not his stable are flying and if he's improved for being gelded he could be well in here, he's worth a little play at 8/1.
A couple to look out for tomorrow if they run are MOJITO (1.20 @ Sandown), MUTHMIR (1.50 @ Sandown), UPTOWN FUNK (3.40 @ Leicester) and AELIUS (8.45 @ Nottingham)
On that note I'm away this weekend so I won't be online until Monday at the earliest.  Have a great weekend!


1.50 @ Yarmouth - HEY GAMAN - 2pts Win @ 9/4 (NAP)
3.50 @ Yarmouth - CHERRY KOOL - 1pt Win @ 11/1
4.50 @ Yarmouth - JEREMY'S JET - 1pt Win @ 11/1

I really fancy HEY GAMAN in the 1.50 @ Yarmouth today.  Flagged up in my eyecatchers section from Royal Ascot this horse was never given much of a chance in the Chesham having followed September through the race Andrea Atzeni took a different path to her and found plenty of trouble before Andrea coasted his mount home when no chance.  I am convinced that this horse is a good colt given the way he travelled through his debut race and he was unlucky not to beat the more experienced Westerland.  He takes on a nice prospect here in Arbalet for the in form Hugo Palmer and he cannot be underestimated however I feel Hey Gaman would have tested the leaders in the Chesham with a clear path and that form puts him in the top bracket.  He will be a tough nut to crack here.

Down to a career low mark and dropped to a 0-60, CHERRY KOOL takes on a class 6 handicap in the 3.50 @ Yarmouth where there is potential for a big handicap winner here.  She does come with risks as she hasn't shown much on the track this season but her mark has dipped markedly and her trainer is known for a good gamble.  The big reason for me selecting her today is that Andrea Atzeni has been booked for the ride, now he has ridden twice for Williams this season without success but it's rare to see him ride for these connections in such a low grade race.  The opposition look pretty exposed and at 11/1 I feel she is worth a cheeky bet as she has the capability of winning this with her head in her chest.  She struck in July last year too so it is her time of year. 

In the last race of the day at Yarmouth (4.50) I feel today could be the day for JEREMY'S JET.  I wouldn't normally pick one Carroll horse out like this but there are three reasons for me taking a chance on him today.  Firstly he has been struggling on soft ground this season, this could be deliberate to hinder his chances and the revertion to good to firm ground is enticing.  Secondly this is a low runner race and if he was going to be held back i'm not sure why they would do it in this kind of race.  Lastly Aled Beech is a regular rider for Carroll and today he goes up against some low level apprentices in a hands and heels race, I'm not a great fan of him but i'd say he was better than most of these jockeys.  I could be completely wrong as I have been with Tony Carroll's horses in the past however I'm going with my gut and having a play.


Interest Bets;

2.15 @ Brighton - PROVOKING - 13/2
2.30 @ Hamilton - AHUNDREDNOTOUT - 3/1​
4.00 @ Hamilton - WORDSEARCH - 9/2
4.30 @ Hamilton - ANOTHER WISE KID - 6/1
8.30 @ Gowran Park - JIGSAW - 7/1
I'm away with work today so things have been a bit rushed however i've picked out five horses that I'll be playing today;
PROVOKING - David Evans rarely acquires Silvestre De Sousa so it's usually worthwhile to follow connections when gaining such a high profile jockey.  The horse looks well handicapped and the big drop in trip is very interesting.
AHUNDREDNOTOUT - Looks a stone wall handicap plot for a shrewd Irish yard making the trip over to Hamilton.  Money came last night and if continues today it will be very significant.
WORDSEARCH - Trainer and jockey combination in hot form, horse is well regarded although not shown much to date, now on turf he could be a different proposition.
ANOTHER WISE KID - Mark keeps dropping but his last run was a step in the right direction.  Down in class and trainer has been amongst the winners of late.
JIGSAW - Aidan O'Brien has one horse out today, that's enough for me to have a small play at a decent price.


Interest Bets;

2.15 @ Wolverhampton - WHITELEY - 20/1
3.00 @ Pontefract - PARTITIA - 11/4

Sir Michael Stoute saddles PARTITIA in the 3.00 @ Pontefract today in a class 3 Fillies Handicap.  This horse has ran some credible efforts in defeat prior to disappointing last time out at Carlisle when going off favourite.  That day were the ground was soft and that factor seemed to affect her stamina.  I would have tipped her up today back on good ground however I'm a little bit worried that the stiff finish at Carlisle may have also have been a factor and if so she may struggle late on with the stiff finish at Pontefract too.  If it was just the ground however I would fancy her to regain the winning thread on this mark here today.  At 11/4 she is worth an interest bet.
Another horse who looks worth an interest bet at a nice price is WHITELEY in the 2.15 @ Wolverhampton.  Mick Channon's mount is down to his lowest handicap mark of just 59 and makes his all weather debut here today.  He likes good to firm ground so the Wolves track shouldn't inconvenience him.  He's back to six furlongs which will suit given how he has ran over further recently weakening late on.  I think at this level and at his price he is more than capable of making an impact.  I'll be having a play.


6.50 @ Newbury - SHE BELIEVES - 1pt Win @ 8/1

My selection today comes in the 6.50 @ Newbury, SHE BELIEVES.  This horse was well backed last time out in what was a pretty hot novice affair where the 3rd and 4th have since franked the form.  The runner up that day took on September at Royal Ascot last week and didn't disgrace himself.  Sylvester Kirk really likes his filly and was confident of She Believes winning last time out but that day the selection was never allowed in to the race as Liam Keniry dropped his mount right out the back and all chance from there had gone.  She stayed on admirably to finish fifth and I immediately added her to my notebook as a horse who may be value next time out.  I like the fact her trainer has opted to go up a furlong in trip as that will help both horse and jockey and I think she is good value at 8/1 in a race that could have some good horses in.  I reckon She Believes will turn in to a really good filly and she should continue her progress here today.


4.00 @ Carlisle - BLETCHLEY - 2pts Win @ 7/4 (NAP)

Good Luck Charm ran in to one yesterday for tip followers, he came there looking full of running but was out battled by a well backed favourite.  His time won't be far away.
I've gone for a short price today simply because I feel this horse is a step ahead of her rivals.  BLETCHLEY in the 4.00 @ Carlisle for Ralph Beckett is a horse with a lot of potential and steps up in to Listed company here off the back of winning a conditions event a few weeks back on her first appearance over seven furlongs.  She seemed to relish the step up in trip that day and beat some highly rated horses in the process.  The fact it was her first outing of the season also bodes well as you would expect her to improve for the run.  She may well be group class and I don't see any horses of the calibre of those whom she disposed off last time out in the line up.  I will be very surprised if she were beaten here today.


2.45 @ Brighton - GOOD LUCK CHARM - 1pt Win @ 13/2

Chicago Star prevailed for tip followers yesterday at 7/2 (advised 9/2) whilst The Plot Seeker was at it again as Super Julius obliged at 3/1.
My selection for today is GOOD LUCK CHARM in the 2.45 @ Brighton.  Gary Moore's gelding was extremely unlucky last week when finishing last of four.  If you get a chance to watch the race Hector Crouch had to ride his mount in to the race early on to keep pace with the early pace-setters.  When push came to shove Good Luck Charm moved in to the lead as they entered the final furlong before favourite Fast Dancer and eventual winner Honiara smashed in to Good Luck Charm forcing him out of the race.  He'd have certainly gone close without it and that race is decent form.  He's kept the same mark but dropped in class here and I feel he has a great chance if returning to the same level to take the race here.


5.00 @ Chepstow - CHICAGO STAR - 1pt E/W @ 9/2

After a tough week at Ascot tip followers would have finished with a loss of 5.87 points for the week to SP prices and a loss of 1.62 points to advised prices.  It was our worst performance at a big festival since starting the website but considering the results I don't think it was as bad a performance as it looks.  We still managed some nice priced winners with Snoano (25/1 advised 28/1), Sioux Nation (14/1 advised 20/1) and Coronet (9/1) the pick of them.
Back to the lower class of races today and I hope to have found one in a class 6 handicap at Chepstow.  In the 5.00 Mick Channon saddles CHICAGO STAR.  This horse didn't have the run of the race last time out at Lingfield but had shown plenty of promise on her run behing Heir of Excitement in a class 5.  He's top weight here but I feel there is movement in her rating if things go her way.  This drop in class should help and Love and Be Loved should provide plenty of pace up front which will suit her tactics.  John Egan takes the ride and he's a jockey I quite like.  Of the opposition I would be mostly concerned about Belgravian on his handicap debut however he needs to prove better over this trip.  I feel Chicago Star is the one to beat and she's a nice price at 9/2.


2.30 - MASAR - £25 Win @ 6/1 (1.25pt Win)
2.30 - WESTERLAND - £15 Win @ 12/1 (0.75pt Win)
3.05 - CENTRAL SQUARE - £20 Win @ 15/2 (1pt Win)
3.05 - KHAIRAAT - £17.50 Win @ 4/1 (0.75pt Win)
3.05 - SNOANO - £2.50 Win @ 28/1 (0.25pt Win)
3.40 - DARTMOUTH - £30 Win @ 9/4 (1.5pt Win)
3.40 - IDAHO - £10 Win @ 11/2 (0.5pt Win)
4.20 - TASLEET - £40 Win @ 8/1 (2pts Win)
​5.00 - OUTBACK TRAVELLER - £15 Win @ 9/1 (0.75pt Win) 
5.00 - EDWARD LEWIS - £15 Win @ 16/1 (0.75pt Win)
5.00 - DANZENO - £10 Win @ 25/1 (0.5pt Win)

​A tricky day yesterday but we hit the bar with Blue Point (6/1) and Star Storm (18/1) finishing 3rd in their respective races.  Luckily the Caravaggio/Winter double came in so I hope you got some money back from that.
The final day of Royal Ascot is upon us and I'm making my debut appearance here which I cannot wait for.
The racing begins with the Chesham Stakes (2.30), a Listed race over seven furlongs.  This is another tough race to assess and another where Aidan O'Brien holds a strong hand with the favourite September.  For me she is a risky favourite, the way in which she won was pretty impressive granted, however the form line is fractious with no other runners in the race winning since and the time of the race wasn't too quick although she did quicken well when required, a faster run race here may not be suited to her, she may well hose up being from her connections but she's not value to me at 6/5.  One piece of form that has had subsequent winners is MASAR's where the 2nd and 4th coming out since and winning well.  He travelled nicely in a race that didn't exactly go according to plan where his jockey had to be very patient waiting for a gap to appear but when it did he showed an electric turn of foot for half a furlong which could be lethal given his high cruising speed.  I can see his being rode prominently and using that turn of foot approaching the final furlong, I think the trip shouldn't be an issue, it's all about positioning for him.  The prices are high enough to have a little saver in this on a horse who has potential for improvement on both this ground and this trip in WESTERLAND.  The son of Frankel held off the challenge of Hey Gaman gamely last time out to lose his maiden tag, that race could have fell apart for him given he was stuck in a pocket for a good furlong or so when the race was unfolding, Frankie ended up barging his way out in to the clear and he stayed on strongly to deny the runner up close home.  He is well regarded and should have learned a lot from his two appearances, I wouldn't underestimate the runner up that day given that was his debut and he'll improve however he has an attractive pedigree and I feel the step up in trip will suit him more than the runner up.
The 3.05 Wolferton Handicap is an excellent puzzle to try and solve.  This for me is the hardest race of the week to try and find the winner of due to the draw affecting the horses I'd normally back and the lack of a run behind some of those with a good draw.  I've decided to have three throws of the dice, firstly CENTRAL SQUARE.  He ran a nice race at Newmarket on reappearance and was staying on well at the finish showing that this extra furlong may well suit him.  He's well drawn in stall 13, his trainer had been amongst the winners before Ascot and judging on his last run there could be plenty more to come from this gelding.  I will be playing two smaller bets on a pair with tough draws.  KHAIRAAT created a huge impression where destroying some hardened handicappers at Chester on his reappearance.  He led from a good draw that day and when the cavalry were under pressure Jim Crowley pushed him out hands and heels to make a mockery of his rivals.  I'm not one to take Chester as a course I have a lot of form interest in however he was a horse already on my radar from last year and he couldn't have won a tough race any easier.  He looked a group horse in the making after that race and that puts him in a strong position here.  If he was drawn better I would have tipped him up alone in this race as I do think he is that good however the fact he's drawn in stall 3 worries me.  I will still have a nice play as he potentially could have enough in hand to pull out a performance from the very top drawer.  I will be having an outside saver on SNOANO.  He too hasn't been given the kindest of draws from stall 5 but he hasn't disgraced himself at all in two tough races on his latest starts.  Tim Easterby is in good form and he could be a bit of a surprise package at a big price.
The Hardwicke Stakes (3.40) is a great twelve furlong race.  I've spent plenty of time going through the race to try and find something to beat the favourite however the more I look at it the more I like DARTMOUTH.  The Queen's horse has no Highland Reel here this year which makes things easier, won this race last year albeit on softer ground than he'll get today, proved his wellbeing on reappearance and for Sir Michael Stoute you can always be positive about his fitness.  He has won or run well on firmer ground so that's no issue for me and providing he overcomes a tricky draw he will be very tough to beat.  I will however have a saver on IDAHO who I feel is slightly bigger priced than he should be.  He had a tough time travelling over from Ireland before the Coronation Cup and that would have affected him therefore I'll gladly put a line through that race and suggest that would have him cherry-ripe for this.  He's a horse that you couldn't ever be confident on but on a going day he's very capable of putting it up to the best of them, he'll need to be at his very best to take this but if he is he is interesting.
The feature race of the day is the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at 4.20 and what a race it is.  Limato is the big name and rightly heads the market given his history.  Henry Candy has Ryan Moore on board now which is obviously a huge positive and he looks set to go well.  My only concern was that his last display was not encouraging and he was beaten a long way from home, now there could be allsorts of reasons for that, travel issues, illness, anything so you could put a line through it, I'm just saying it is worrying and at 5/2 I'm going to back against him.  TASLEET is the horse that takes the eye.  His reappearance was hugely impressive given that the pace was strong from the off and he's travelled in to the race like a top class horse before moving to the front and staying on strongly.  The ground was soft that day but the time was very impressive and the firmer ground shouldn't cause any issues whatsoever.  He's still progressive and I would be happier to have a play on him than taking a chance on the favourite at the prices.
The Wokingham (5.00) is a belter of a race and one to really get your teeth in to.  Due to the prices and the toughness of the race I'll be playing a few options.  Firstly Robert Cowell is a shrewd operator and he throws last years' winner OUTBACK TRAVELLER in here off a mark of 104.  His reappearance loss does not worry me one bit as he came in to the race last year off the back of a shocking run, I believe Mr Cowell does use certain races as prep runs for some of his good handicappers and I would suggest that his previous race is looked at as a training session rather than anything else.  He won this race impressively last year hitting the front at the perfect time and always holding on.  I feel his mark is back to a winnable and realistic one and he cannot be underestimated here.  EDWARD LEWIS is a horse I like and is probably coming to the head of his mark over five furlongs, I do however feel he could improve for this trip.  The ground will be fine for him and he's finished his races recently like an extra furlong will be right up his street.  He's interesting and a big price.  DANZENO has the ability to make a mockery of his current mark having ran well in group one company in the past.  His reappearance looked all the world like a prep run for this and he was dropped a further pound for it which is a bonus.  Michael Appleby is another shrewd trainer and I've no doubt this race has been the plan for him for a while.  If running to his top ability he wins this so at 25/1 he looks massively overpriced.
The final race of Royal Ascot at 5.35 only has one banker for me, I will 100% be drunk by then!  However racewise, Thomas Hobson is the favourite for this having won the Ascot Stakes with plenty in hand the other day.  He wasn't given too tough a race however to win two races like this over the distance it would take a mamoth effort and I'm happy for him to win at his price, I'll be against him however.  US Army Ranger worries me as I don't see the step up in trip suiting him whatsoever, the fact his connections are who they are and they've decided to come here makes me intrigued and nervous that he may well improve and take this.  One horse that I feel this trip will definitely suit is MOTHERLAND of Joseph O'Brien.  He stayed on one pace last time at Leopardstown to finish third behind Order of St George, he's been dropped a pound for that and is open to improvement.  He's an interesting one and with doubts on pretty much all these horses he'll be the one I'll be cheering home in the lucky last.  I will be having a couple of big priced savers on FIRST MOHICAN and PARIS PROTOCOL.  First Mohican is down to a mark of 98 which is the mark he was on when he was competing well in the better handicaps last year.  He should get the trip no problems and has Josephine Gordon on board who is always worth cheering on whether she's winning or losing.  I feel he's gone a little under the radar and 33/1 seems too high.  Paris Protocol was a horse I took note of last time out when he stayed on at the same pace over two miles to London Prize.  I thought he looked tailormade for jumps that day over two miles four or even three miles but I'm interested to see connections send him here instead.  He will definitely get the trip, my worry would be he might not have the pace of these horses however he's well handicapped if the trip brings about improvement i'd expect so he's interesting at a huge price.


2.30 - FAIRYLAND - £20 Win @ 6/1 (1pt Win)
2.30 - ALPHA CENTAURI - £20 Win @ 5/2 (1pt Win)
3.05 - CRYSTAL OCEAN - £40 Win @ 11/4 (2pts Win)
3.40 - BLUE POINT - £20 E/W @ 6/1 (1pt E/W)
5.00 - DESERT SKYLINE - £20 Win @ 8/1 (1pt Win)
5.00 - FIERCE IMPACT - £20 Win @ 20/1 (1pt Win)
5.35 - MAINSTREAM - £20 Win @ 11/2 (1pt Win)
5.35 - STAR STORM - £20 Win @ 18/1 (1pt Win)

Finally the tide turned yesterday as we had the first three winners of the day in Sioux Nation (advised 20/1), Benbatl (advised 5/1) and Coronet (9/1).  It was a welcomed change in fortune and long may it last.  The Plot Seeker also had a great day with his first 3 points max bet Saved My Bacon winning with his head in his chest at Chelmsford advised at 6/1.
Day Four of Royal Ascot starts off with one of the most anticipated fillies races of the week, the Albany Stakes (2.30).  There are plenty of potentially top draw fillies in this race but I am very excited about the top two in the market.  The Wesley Ward trained FAIRYLAND takes her chance and comes over with a big reputation.  She won on her debut in a very quick time with the minimum of fuss.  I have read and listened to glowing reports about her and according to some Amercian experts the six furlong trip will bring the best out of her.  She could be anything but given the week Wesley is having, what I have heard, her speed rating over four and a half furlongs on debut and the way she finished off her debut race suggesting this six furlong trip should be fine she would be my main selection.  Jessica Harrington's ALPHA CENTAURI has been a hugely exciting horse on her two starts to date and she comes here with the best form by some distance.  She won her listed race over this distance at Naas in a good time but the way she moved that she day was like a horse from the top order.  She is a powerful horse and hugely regarded.  It would be disappointing if the finish wasn't fought out between these two and I can't hide my excitement about the race, I cannot wait.
The King Edward VII Stakes (3.05) is all about CRYSTAL OCEAN for me.  He ran a stormer in the Dante on just his third appearance on ground that didn't appear to suit his running style and without being given much of a ride.  He bounced off the ground on his second outing where beating Okool without breaking a sweat.  Granted he will need to reverse the form with Permian here and that will be no easy task but Permian had a tough race in the Derby and Crystal Ocean comes here fresh with a little bit more scope for improvement.  He is highly regarded by Sir Michael Stoute and I feel he will improve for the break, he's not a great amount of value but we will definitely get a good run for our money.
The Commonwealth Cup (3.40) is a hugely exciting spectacle with four top 3 year old sprinters taking each other on.  Caravaggio is a fine specimen of a horse and one of Aidan O'Brien's top horses which says a lot.  He destroyed a good horse in Psychedelic Funk last time out by over four lengths giving three pounds away, it was a top class performance and he has the potential to take this race.  I'm going to be a little bit of an each way scumbag and go in search of some value in BLUE POINT.  He beat Harry Angel on return in a good time answering his jockeys' callings nicely when needed.  He's 6/1 and given that he has proved he has trained on he may well actually find a bit more improvement.  He's a top horse and I feel the market has slightly underestimated him here and for that reason I'm happy to play him each way.
Given Caravaggio's price I will be throwing my £40 on Winter's race (3.40) on the O'Brien double.  It would pay £116 with so that'll do for me with the 3.40 a non-betting heat for me.
The Queens Vase (5.00) is a trappy little affair and not one to get heavily involved in.  However I will be playing two in the market.  The first will be DESERT SKYLINE who has the potential to improve for this step up in trip.  His latest third behind Drochaid was a high level and the way he finished his race suggested this step up should be right up his street.  He seems ground versatile and Fran Berry knows him well and deserves a bit of luck.  I feel he has a very good chance.  FIERCE IMPACT will be my saver in the race.  I feel he is overpriced for a horse finished infront of Raheen House and Monarchs Glen last time out.  He finished the race nicely that day and has plenty of scope for improvement.  He has a nice enough draw and 20/1 does look big to me.
The final race on day 4 (5.35) is the first handicap, the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes and it's another tight affair with plenty of chances.  It would be fitting for the Queen to have a winner of this race and she may have a very good chance in MAINSTREAM.  He looks to have been trained for this race and made a very telling impression on his reappearance when finishing a staying on third behind Frontiersman.  He was receiving two pounds from Top Tug that day and this time gets seven pounds so I expect the form to be reversed with him and the extra distance will help.  He has the type of credentials I like for this sort of race and could be dangerous.  My saver in this race will be STAR STORM.  He runs off a mark of 103 here and receives a further three pound allowance for a very capable claimer being on board.  He ran a cracker on return when beaten by Desert Encounter but he should strip fitter for that run and he may well be underestimated slightly at a nice price.


2.30 - HAVANA GREY - £15 Win @ 8/1 (0.75pt Win)
2.30 - KODITIME - £15 Win @ 22/1 (0.75pt Win)
2.30 - SIOUX NATION - £10 Win @ 20/1 (0.5pt Win)
3.05 - BENBATL - £20 Win @ 5/1 (1pt Win)
3.05 - TAMLEEK - £20 Win @ 9/1 (1pt Win)
3.40 - CORONET - £25 Win @ 15/2 (1.25pt Win)
3.40 - ALLURINGLY - £15 Win @ 10/3 (0.75pt Win)
4.20 - ORDER OF ST GEORGE - £40 Win @ 1/1 (2pts Win)
5.00 - KEYSEY SOZE - £30 Win @ 11/1 (1.5pts Win)
5.00 - MATHS PRIZE - £10 Win @ 22/1 (0.5pt Win)
5.35 - MASTER SINGER - £20 Win @ 8/1 (1pt Win)
5.35 - SOFIA'S ROCK - £20 Win @ 9/1 (1pt Win)

Day Three at Royal Ascot starts with the Norfolk Stakes (2.30).  I have once again played a few against the field.  McErin could be anything and again he may take all the beating but his form is impossible for me to gauge so i'm playing elsewhere.  First and foremost HAVANA GREY comes to mind.  He won a decent enough listed race at Sandown last time out and whilst Frozen Angel was closing at the finish Havana looked much more of an easier ride than the second that day.  He settled nicely in front, travelled smoothly and made daylight between himself and the field when needed.  He has a nice enough draw and he's well regarded from his more than capable trainer.  His time at Sandown was decent too.  At bigger prices I like KODITIME and SIOUX NATION.  The former was well backed on debut and obliged after a bit of a bumpy passage but he showed a neat turn of foot to come through and beat subsequent winner Dahik.  He returned over six furlongs when beaten by Denaar however he travelled like much the best horse during the race before weakening late on.  The fact he didn't show the same turn of foot than his debut says that he didn't handle the softer surface but he travelled like a quality horse and he may be underestimated at a nice price.  Sioux Nation is interesting dropped back to five furlongs for top connections.  The distance wouldn't naturally appear to be to his liking however his top connections seem to be confident that this trip should suit and he's been ridden tentatively on the past couple of occasions.  There could be more to come from him.

The second race of the day is the 3.05 former Tercentenary Stakes now Hampton Court Stakes Group 3 over ten furlongs.  I'm concentrating my efforts on the two Saeed Bin Suroor horses BENBATL and TAMLEEK.  Benbatl comes in to the race with arguably the best form over this distance when second to Permian at York.  He backed that form up in the Derby when finishing best away from the main group in fifth place and he looked a group winner in the making.  This group 3 contest will take some winning but his form can't be faulted and with this trip and ground to his liking he looks sure to go very well.  Tamleek didn't seem to enjoy running at Chester last time out and I tend to dismiss Chester form quite lightly when coming to the big meetings as it is a significantly different track to most.  The race before he won with his head in his chest at Newmarket and he travelled like a group horse that day and won without really breaking sweat.  It was an excellent performance and with Jim Crowley on board he may prove a tough nut to crack.

CORONET didn't handle Epsom very well at all in the Oaks, that race went down as good ground however on watching the race you could see that the rain had got in to the ground and it was on the softer side of that.  She returns here in the 3.40 Ribblesdale Stakes on Good to Firm ground and on a flatter track I feel she will be a very different proposition.  Her trainer thinks she's a top class filly and has improved from last season whilst Frankie Dettori got off her last year and called her a "Quality horse".  Unfortunately he isn't here to ride her however Olivier Peslier is more than an able replacement.  I will be having a saver on ALLURINGLY.  I feel the Oaks form is going to prove dominant here and if Coronet doesn't improve like i'm expecting I would like to think Alluringly will reap the rewards.  I like Mori but i'm not convinced the trip will suit her, she was all out last time out over ten furlongs.

I cannot see past ORDER OF ST GEORGE in the feature race of the day the Gold Cup (4.20).  He won with plenty in hand last season and proved his wellbeing last time out with a hands and heels display.  If on his A game he will win this.
The Brittania Stakes (5.00) is a typical tough handicap but I made a note of one horse in the field who I felt was a group horse waiting to happen in KEYSER SOZE.  I remember watching his last race at Kempton having jumped on Gymnaste who finished runner up.  Keyser was held up at the rear of the field and moved from last to the leaders on the bridle before Stevie Donohue pushed the button and he was gone, hosing up cosily at 16/1.  It was a hugely impressive display from a position at Kempton that not many horses can make ground up from let alone do so on the bridle in a decent race.  He proved he handled good to firm ground on his seasonal reappearance with an easy victory and I don't think a mile will be an issue.  He has some ability and if he was at a bigger yard he'd be favourite for this.  I think he is very good and at 11/1 he looks value in my eyes.  I hope he can provide his trainer with his second winner of the week.  I will be playing a saver on MATHS PRIZE who is unexposed, had a tough race to reappear in and may well have needed the run.  He could be a big price for a horse who may well improve markedly.
The final race for day three is the King George V stakes and what a tough race it is.  I've had a look at all the horses and have concluded that two horses whom won comfortably last time out is the way to go.  Therefore I'll be splitting my stakes between MASTER SINGER and SOFIA'S ROCK.  Both horses have scope for improvement, are in great form and come from top stables.  They will be my final plays for the day


2.30 - DREAM CASTLE - £20 Win @ 4/1 (1pt Win)
2.30 - DABAN - £20 Win @ 7/1 (1pt Win)
3.05 - NEOLA - £10 E/W @ 14/1 (0.5pt E/W)
3.05 - MRS GALLAGHER - £10 E/W @ 16/1 (0.5pt E/W)
3.40 - SMART CALL - £35 Win @ 8/1 (1.75pts Win)
3.40 - MIX AND MINGLE - £5 Win @ 12/1 (0.25pts Win)
4.20 - JACK HOBBS - £30 Win @ 10/3 (1.5pts Win)
4.20 - HIGHLAND REEL - £10 Win @ 11/4 (0.5pt Win)
5.00 - FASTNET TEMPEST - £15 Win @ 10/1 (0.75pts Win)
5.00 - G K CHESTERTON - £10 Win @ 16/1 (0.5pt Win)
5.00 - BLAIR HOUSE - £10 Win @ 25/1 (0.5pt Win)
5.00 - CASTLE HARBOUR - £5 Win @ 28/1 (0.25pts Win)
5.35 - QUEEN OF TIME - £20 Win @ 11/1 (1pt Win)
5.35 - RAIN GODDESS - £10 Win @ 11/1 (0.5pt Win)
5.35 - PRESENT TENSE - £10 Win @ 16/1 (0.5pt Win)

Day One of Ascot started well with Ribchester staying on strongly despite drifting across the track holding off the challenge of Mutakayyef.  Richard Fahey's horse proved many wrong and looked top class as he broke the course record.  Unfortunately the winners ended there for the day but money came for the majority and I'm confident things will turn around.
Day Two gets underway with the Jersey Stakes (2.30).  I'm siding with two towards the head of the market in the shape of DREAM CASTLE and DABAN.  Dream Castle had a nightmare run in the 2000 Guineas and was never able to challenge but his run prior to that now looks even stronger than it did then with Barney Roy winning on day one.  He tried to make all that day but didn't quite have the class of the winner.  He did make him think however and this drop in class looks well within him.  Josephine Gordon is on board whom I am becoming more and more impressed with both on horses and off them.  Daban beat Unforgettable Filly on her second run over seven furlongs on good to firm ground.  That performance was mighty impressive and she made Winter think about things in the 1000 Guineas before weakening late on.  This drop back to seven furlongs will suit just fine and she could be very interesting.

The Queen Mary Stakes (3.05) has the bar set at the head of the market with Happy Like A Fool who is a short price and may well oblige in a race where Wesley Ward has done so well in the past however there is no value in him for me so i'm going elsewhere with my 40 notes to try and get some each way value.  The two i'm going to back at decent enough prices are NEOLA and MRS GALLAGHER  Neola put in a very quick time on good ground on just her second appearance beating Lexington Grace by seven lengths eased down.  She then gave Main Desire something to think about last time out when arguably finding the soft ground that day just a little too taxing late on as she was collared close home.  Main Desire if in this race would be vying for favouritism with the favourite and therefore 14/1 looks plenty value for me on ground she may well thrive upon.  My second smaller bet will be Mrs
#Gallagher who put in a very game performance on her only appearance rallying to regain the lead close home after being passed leading in to the final furlong by Out of the Flames and held off the late challenge of Ertiyad.  I really liked her attitude that day and she looked like a horse to keep on the right side of.  I suspect she may need a bit of company but she won't enjoy being passed, she may be underestimated.
The Duke of Cambridge Stakes (3.40) has plenty of interesting horses taking eachother on and there are cases to be made with most.  My main bet will be SMART CALL.  I tipped her up on her British debut where she looked massively in need of the run having been off the track since January 2016.  She put in a nice display but was not given a tough time by Jim Crowley.  She will now have acclimatised and Michael Stoute will surely have her in tip top shape for this.  She had excellent form in South Africa including giving Legal Eagle his biggest defeat.  She looks a big price at 8/1 and she may well take all the beating with Ryan Moore in the saddle.  I'll be having a small play on MIX AND MINGLE largely due to the fact I think she's progressive and although a few people have knocked her win over Qemah she certainly wasn't stopping and yes Qemah may have been given a tentative ride but Mix and Mingle wasn't on her favoured firm surface.  I think she may be very underestimated although I think if Smart Call is on her A game she will be tough to beat.
The feature race of the day is the Prince of Wales Stakes (4.20) and the race looks to me to be between the top two in the market.  I've been putting myself off backing JACK HOBBS for weeks however looking at the race now I feel he comes here with the best chance.  Arguably both Jack Hobbs and Highland Reel want good or softer ground to be at their best however both have high quality form on good to firm in the past.  Highland Reel hasn't got much form over twelve furlongs and to compete with Jack Hobbs he will have to be at his very best.  The fact Jack Hobbs is fresh too is quite enticing.  I've decided to put Highland Reel as a saver with Jack Hobbs as my main selection simply because I will be very surprised if the race is not between the two.
The Royal Hunt Cup (5.00) is like finding a needle in a haystack.  I've decided to approach my main selections based on a high draw with a progressive profile.  I will be playing FASTNET TEMPEST as my main bet whom has progressed nicely to a mark of 99 and based on his Chester performance there may well still be more to come.  Not many horses in good sized fields come from the rear at Chester and granted he was given a super ride by Franny Norton that day the way he moved once the gap appeared showed that he has a wicked turn of foot.  He was beaten over a mile by Banksea on his first outing this season but he's clearly come on for that and it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was still room for a bit more improvement off his mark.  I would have been very keen on George William however drawn in stall 1 makes things very difficult for him.  G K CHESTERTON is my second selection for the race.  The Godolphin gelding was hugely impressive at Epsom a few weeks ago and looked another who was progressive just nicely.  Front runners don't necessarily have a good record in this race however I like his profile and I was very taken with his run last time out, he could continue his progress and if allowed to dictate could have his rivals in trouble.  Mickael Barzalona rides BLAIR HOUSE and he is an interesting contender at a big price.  He was a very progressive horse last season and finished the season off finishing just behind What About Carlo over one mile two furlongs.  He has been gelded and the lay off would be a worry however if he's fit then this trip could play to his strengths, Charlie Appleby can ready one on return and he cannot be underestimated.  He's very unexposed and if he continues improvement he could be very dangerous.  One i'm looking at away from my theory is CASTLE HARBOUR.  He's probably a little more exposed that most in the race however he has been running in some big races and hasn't disgraced himself over trips and ground that might not necessarily suit.  I've a feeling a mile over good to firm could bring the best out of him and if that's the case he comes here off a very winnable mark.  John Gosden is very shrewd and shouldn't be underestimated in these handicaps whilst Pat Smullen is not a bad man in the saddle.  He looks a big price.
The final race on day two is the 5.35 Sandringham Handicap Listed Race over the straight mile.  Another tough race to assess however I've picked out a couple i'll be having a play on.  QUEEN OF TIME is a very progressive horse and she comes here off the back of a very comfortable win at Goodwood beating a horse of Michael Stoute's called Panova who is well regarded.  It was a very impressive display and very pleasing on the eye and if she continues that progress she has the potential of making a mockery of her mark.  Her draw is nice enough and she looks to go very well.  You can make cases for plenty of these horses, the two i've picked as my next selections are both from strong connections and both look to have been trained with this race in mind.  RAIN GODDESS has the O'Brien/Moore combination on board and although she has to carry top weight she may well yet improve on this surface over a mile.  It's no guarantee but she has shaped like a mile is to be her trip but she didn't seem to handle the ground last time out, she gets her chance here.  PRESENT TENSE is my other pick.  John Gosden's horse put in a nice enough display behind Bletchley last time out at Leicester on ground that she seemed to hate.  The race she won at Yarmouth was won with Robert Tart on board and in all fairness he's not a jockey i'd trust on a horse and that day I thought at one point he was strangling her.  She stayed on well to repel her rival well and her run against Bletchley proved she had progressed, with ground and trip looking ideal she could go well at a nice price.


2.30 - RIBCHESTER - £40 WIN @ 1/1 (2pts Win)
3.05 - DE BRUYNE HORSE - £20 WIN @ 13/2 (1pt Win)
3.05 - ROMANISED - £10 WIN @ 16/1 (0.5pt Win)
3.05 - AQABAH - £10 WIN @ 25/1 (0.5pt Win)
3.40 - MARSHA - £40 WIN @ 10/3 (2pts Win)
5.00 - MAGIC CIRCLE - £15 Win @ 11/1 (0.75pt Win)
5.00 - WHO DARES WINS - £10 Win 11/2 @ (0.5pt Win)
5.00 - HIGH SECRET - £5 Win @ 25/1 (0.25pt Win)
5.00 - MOORSIDE - £10 Win @ 33/1 (0.5pt Win)
5.35 - DECLARATIONOFPEACE - £20 Win @ 7/2 (1pt Win)
5.35 - NOOTKA SOUND - £20 Win @ 6/1 (1pt Win)

My poor form continued yesterday and it was another frustrating selection.  Danot was well backed during the day before drifting towards the start of the race.  He was never given much of a chance and once again stayed on well.  I'm convinced his time is not far away but it wasn't to be yesterday.

Hopefully today will be the day that fortunes start to turn and with plenty of work put in over the past couple of weeks I'm confident of turning the form around this week.  Personally I've put away £40 for each race this week so the bets I put up will be the bets I will be placing.
The opening race is the 2.30 Queen Anne Stakes where RIBCHESTER is an even money favourite.  There have been plenty of talk about Mutakayyef turning the form around with the favourite now on good to firm ground however I was hugely impressed with Ribchester last time out when making all at Newbury where he drifted all over the shop and still came home a comfortable winner.  Richard Fahey doesn't give much away about his horses however he has been bullish about this horse for the past couple of years and with two group one's to his name now he's the one they all clearly have to beat.  His last start on good to firm ground he finished 1/2 length behind The Gurkha in the Sussex Stakes so he handles the ground and I think it will take a mighty performance for him to be beaten today.  It's not an original selection but I don't see much beating him and with Sky Bet offering money back as a free bet if you lose the first race (£20 max stake) it could be a simple way of a risk free double your money bet.
The 3.05 Coventry Stakes over six furlongs is a tricky affair and the first one where i'll be playing a few in the race.  This is a tough race to assess due to the majority of horses only having one or two runs so I've taken visual impression alongside times as my guide.  That leads me to DE BRUYNE HORSE for Richard Hannon who clocked a pretty impressive time at Epsom at the beginning of this month beating subsequent winner Carpsharp by two lengths.
That day he clocked just under one minute nine seconds which is clear of any other times in clocked from his competitors here granted most are tough to weigh up due to ground or distance but I was very impressed with how he answered his jockeys' callings that day.  He was pretty much niggled along for the first three furlongs from his wide draw to keep up with Cardsharp and then ridden for the final three furlongs but he just kept finding and finding like a very good horse.  The two i'll be playing at bigger prices are ROMANISED and AQABAH.  The former won a hot Irish contest at Navan when the race pretty much fell apart for him from the start but he showed a great turn of foot to beat some well regarded horses whilst the latter was very impressive on debut here over five furlongs on good to firm ground before finishing fourth behind Brother Bear last time out on a softer surface.  It will take something to reverse that form however he may be ground dependant and I can't get his debut win out of my head, he looks a big price.
The 3.40 King Stand Stakes is an absolute belter and a case can be made for so many.  However MARSHA's win at Newmarket on her return was up there with the best sprint displays i've seen.  For a filly to give weight away to the quality of horses like she did (a lot of which she faces on better terms today) and in the manner in which she won the race is no mean feat.  She travelled smoothy, quickened when asked and dominated a race which on paper she shouldn't have been allowed to win.  For me she is very solid and it will take a mamoth performance from any horse to beat her.
I won't be putting up a selection in the 4.20 simply due to the fact it looks a match between the top two in the market and not one that's worthwhile from a betting perspective.  I've done an ante post double with Ribchester and Churchill and I'll happily sit back and watch this one with interest rather than playing any such part in any more bets.

The first handicap to get our teeth's in to is the 5.00 Ascot Stakes over two miles and four furlongs.  All the jumps big guns are here with the likes of Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls and more all willing to take their chances and get involved in the big week.  I've reviewed the chances of all the horses in the race and wow is it a tough task to try and divulge what a horses chances are in this type of race, it really is a great handicap spectacle and if you pick the winner you know you're doing something right.  I've gone with four in the field as I literally think anything could win this.  My main selections will be MAGIC CIRCLE and WHO DARES WINS.  I have based these selections on their runs at Chester in the Chester Cup where the former was probably the moral victor in the race having come from stall 18 which virtually means having no chance at Chester and finishing a closest at the finish fifth.  Ralph Beckett now has Silvestre De Sousa in the saddle after cutting ties with Fran Berry and you couldn't ask for a better jockey in this type of gruelling race.  He comes here in good form, off the same mark as last time and although the draw isn't perfect here there is a lot less emphasis on it being an issue at Ascot than at Chester.  Who Dares Wins had a bad passage at Chester before staying on at the death and he'd have finished much closer without his trouble in running.  He has been raised a pound which is fair and it would be no surprise with a clear run that he will be involved at the finish.  I actually really like Paul Nicholls' horse HIGH SECRET and feel this distance will be right up his street.  He ran a cracker at Goodwood last time out when beaten by the improving Top Tug.  Megan Nicholls rode him that day and retains the ride here, he'll need plenty to go his way as will all these horses but he looks a nice price at 25/1.  At a bigger price I think MOORSIDE wouldn't be without a squeak either for Charles Hills and Pat Smullen.  She's on a nice mark and has found the one mile four furlong trips too sharp.  This step up in trip could be right up her street and he may well be underestimated.

The final race for day one is the Windsor Castle Stakes (5.35) and i'm finishing the day off with a very boring couple of selections in DECLARATIONOFPEACE and NOOTKA SOUND.  The Aidan O'Brien colt cost 2.6 million dollars and was hugely impressive last time out at Dundalk walking all over Treasuring who has since franked the form.  It's hard to know just how good he'll be but he's clearly talented and with the expected improvement he could be very very good.  Nootka Sound is highly regarded by Wesley Ward and he firmly believes his filly who gets seven pounds allowance has a massive chance.  She made her debut at Keeneland which is a track that Ward runs his better horses on debut and she hosed up in a very quick time over four and a half furlongs.  Ward's horses do tend to leave the stalls quickly and over this trip and on today's ground she may be tough to peg back.

4.15 @ Wetherby - DANOT - 1pt Win @ 14/1

Just one more sleep before Royal Ascot and all systems are go towards studying for the big week.  I will be putting up selections for every race, every day so hopefully we can make some good money from this flat season.
I wasn't going to select today however having looked at the racing this morning there is one horse that stands out to me as a horse ready to pounce on his mark, that horse is DANOT in the 4.15 @ Wetherby.  I have been watching Jedd O'Keefe's horse closely over the past couple of months and his performances have gradually been getting better.  His latest run at Beverley behind Talent Scout for me was his best display for a while and with some luck in running I feel he would have gone very close to taking the class 5 handicap.  That was the first time he had good to firm ground for a while and he seemed to relish it.  He's dropped back to class 6 company today and his mark has reduced a further three pounds to just 59.  He is yet to win for his trainer and in handicap company however his mark has dropped to a very attractive one and based on his previous race he looks ready to pounce.  He's not one to go gung ho on however if things go his way he could be a big price.

4.30 @ Doncaster - AEOLUS - 1pt E/W @ 12/1

Aeolus was unlucky not to be involved at Nottingham the race before last and last time out he travelled with menace but appeared to find the trip a little too sharp.  That day he did his best work at the finish suggesting a mile will be his perfect trip.  He was backed sustainably that day and money came overnight for him.  Michael Easterby hasn't been in the best of form at all however looking at the history it does appear significant when money comes for his horses.  I feel Aeolus will be here to win today looking at the field with ground in his favour and he can certainly prove himself better than his current 65 rating.  If money continues to come today I will be going in further later on.

4.05 @ York - QUEEN IN WAITING - 1pt Win @ 5/1

Well it was a strange betting pattern for Fleetfoot Jack yesterday, having been put up at 14/1 yesterday morning he was backed in to as short as 6/1 by lunch time and then gradually drifted out to 20/1 by the off, i've not seen much of a swing like that before and the run was just as confusing, he started well and looked like he would be ridden in the front three before David Nolan dropped him back in to midfield, he stayed on well enough but was a little short of room and had no chance of reaching the leaders.  That run I will have to spend a fair amount of time to assess.
My selection today comes in the 4.05 @ York where Mark Johnston's QUEEN IN WAITING has a great chance of recording her first win on turf.  She has ran some cracking races in defeat against the boys on her last three starts and now up against her own sex she can certainly hold her own.  The RPR's show that her performances have been very consistent and the fact her mark has reduced slightly to 88 is a bonus.  She arguably went off too quick last time out considering the winner and runner up came from off the pace and the fact she stayed on well shows the distance isn't a problem.  I suspect she may be ridden slightly more patiently today, maybe prominently but even if she does take up the running a repeat of her last race here could be good enough.  She looks good value at 5/1.

That's me done now until Royal Ascot unless there's something very special over the weekend.  I'm at a wedding today and i'll be far too hungover to be able to put my full concentrating in to making worthwhile selections (you'll probably think i've got more chance that way given my recent form :)).  I'll try and get a blog post up on site over the weekend but if not I will have a full update Tuesday morning.  Good luck all!

8.40 @ Haydock - FLEETFOOT JACK - 1pt Win @ 14/1

I've gone in search for a bit of value today and feel I have found one that may have gone under the radar.  In the last at Haydock (8.40) I really like the claims of FLEETFOOT JACK for David O'Meara.  He weakened like he needed the run on his reappearance and has since been gelded which should hopefully help him settle better.  I've put a line through his last run which sends me back to last years' maiden form.  His last race of the season when finishing 4th to Pirate Look was a nice performance, he was staying on at the finish with the race having plenty of pace upfront and the horses around him who have ran since have proved to be 70+ rated.  I thought he was the best horse in that race and finished like a horse going places.  This step up in trip has the potential to bring out more improvement as he shaped like he would be a ten furlong + horse that day.  I feel there is plenty of lee-way off his mark of 66 and although this is a tricky race, he is overpriced in my opinion at 14/1.

2.20 @ Nottingham - SPIRITOFTOMINTOUL - 2pts Win @ 5/1 (NAP)

Yesterday was a Saturday to forget and a day that typified my current form.  I had a lot of confidence in all three selections yesterday and they ticked a lot of boxes.  All three were well backed in the betting but all three finished nearer to last than first.  I'm not sure what more I can say other than things can only get better.
My first selection for today's racing does come with the usual risks attached to selecting a Tony Carroll runner however there are plenty of reasons to think that SPIRITOFTOMINTOUL in the 2.20 @ Nottingham can reverse the placings with the favourite here Incus.  I was convinced that last time out he was ready to win at Doncaster but was given far too much to do by George Downing that day.  He flew during the final couple of furlongs but the winner had gone so he just couldn't bridge the gap.  Today he meets the favourite on massively different terms.  Firstly he's been dropped a further pound in the handicap to a mark of 62 and Incus being raised six pounds to 57.  David Egan rode Incus that day taking a further seven pounds off, today Andrea Atzeni takes the ride with no allowance.  Spirit was ridden by George Downing last time out with no allowance, today Clifford Lee takes the ride taking off a further five pounds.  That gives Spirit a whopping 19 pound swing!!!  Given that variance I think 5/1 is massive value.  This shouldn't be as much of a tactical affair with just five runners.  Second favourite Halstatt hasn't handled soft ground in the past so there are doubts on him.  Aumerle and Marshall Aid have poor records on the turf and I can't see any reason why they can turn the tables here.  This looks an ideal opportunity for Spiritoftomintoul and I'll be hugely disappointed if he can't make the most of these conditions.


3.25 @ Catterick - BARON BOLT - 1pt Win @ 9/4
4.05 @ Haydock - BRETON ROCK - 1pt Win @ 3/1
5.20 @ Curragh - SIR EDWIN LANDSEER - 1pt Win @ 4/1

In the 3.25 @ Catterick I like the claims of BARON BOLT and there's no surprise that he's favourite in this seven furlong handicap.  The ground is likely to be on the soft side today and those conditions will not inconvenience Baron.  He loves Catterick having won on all three appearances at the course.  His trainer is in good form with his better horses and a slight ease in the handicap will help his cause.  In opposition today you have Luis Vas De Torres who has ran ok on soft ground before but clearly prefers good to firm to be seen at his best.  Intense Style would be the danger having ran a blinder at Doncaster on soft ground last time out but he's been raised in the handicap two pounds for that run whilst Shouranour handles the course, distance and ground but is plenty high enough in the handicap.  There will be no excuses if Baron can't win on his ideal conditions here today.

It has bucketed down overnight here and I will be very surprised if Haydock doesn't ride heavy today.  Those conditions will not inconvenience BRETON ROCK in the 4.05.  This group 3 event over seven furlongs will be right up his street given he has won over course and distance before on soft ground.  The fact he has won on heavy ground in the past shows he handles any ground and I feel he will take all the beating.  There are plenty of good quality horses in opposition however ground, form and distance concerns apply to the majority so with less to prove and hopefully stripping fitter for his reappearance I'll be having a nice bet on Breton.

Over in Ireland I really like the claims of SIR EDWIN LANDSEER in the 5.20 @ Curragh.  He was very well backed on his reappearance when he travelled nicely through the race before weakening late on like he needed the run.  Now on ground that he's proven on and with the advantage of that run i'd fully expect him to reverse the placings with Eagle Spirit and with stamina doubts over the favourite I feel at 4/1 Sir Edwin is overpriced in this five runner field.  I can't see him going off at that price and I'll be having a nice play on him for top connections.


3.00 @ Ripon - MARAAKIB - 2pts Win @ 3/1 (NAP) (Will Hill)
3.30 @ Ripon - KHARBETATION - 1pt Win @ 7/2 (Coral)
7.00 @ Sandown - PIVOINE - 1pt Win @ 7/2 (Will Hill)
7.35 @ Sandown - FRONTISPIECE - 1pt Win @ 9/

Four bets for today's racing.  I'll be doing singles and a lucky 15.  Here's hoping we can turn the tide on enigma that is flat racing tipping right now.
In the 3.00 @ Ripon today David O'Meara saddles MARAAKIB in this one mile two furlongs class 4 handicap.  He needs a return to form but is down to a low mark of just 83 and he has had excuses for his recent poor runs.  Last time out he was running a nice rice until his stamina gave out and he weakened out of contention late in the day.  This drop back to a trip where he has won three times previous is ideal but the crucial thing for me is the ground.  He failed on three runs before his last due to not handling the ground but that has helped reduce his handicap mark.  He is back on good to soft and there will be no excuses.  His trainer is in excellent form and his number one jockey Danny Tudhope is back on board.  Everything is in his favour today and given the positives I've had a good bet on him today.

My second selection for today comes from the same trainer/jockey combination from above but is a slightly more tentative selection.  In the 4.00 @ Ripon David O'Meara saddles KHARBETATION who won on his only appearance last season by five lengths beating a horse who bolted up the race following.  He is hugely regarded by his trainer and he has the potential to be group class.  I had previously tipped the horse up but he refused to go in to the stalls.  On top of that he hasn't raced since his maiden win which was almost a year ago so there are doubts on his wellbeing.  That being said he beat some very experienced horses that day fresh and given that he was het up before the start then started very slowly to win pulling away by five lengths was massively pleasing on the eye.  Surely his trainer would have worked on getting him in to the stalls so given his potential and his trainers' views of him I must tip him up.  Whether he wins here today or not he is one to follow for the rest of this season.

Tonight at Sandown I'll be playing two Michael Stoute horses.  The first in the 7.00 in the shape of PIVOINE.  Given a gental re-introduction last time out this horse is highly regarded by connections and it would be hugely disappointing should he not prove to be well above this level.  This drop in grade and step up slightly in trip will work in his favour and providing he shows on the track what apparently he has been at home he should take the world of beating here.

In the following race, the 7.35 Michael Stoute sends another of his well regarded horses handicapping in the shape of FRONTISPIECE.  He showed an excellent game attitude to get up late in the day on his debut in September at Ascot.  That performance oosed class and is the sort of performance that makes me take note.  He takes on some useful improvers on his return to the track so you can never be 100% confident in this type of race however the manner in which he won on his only start makes me think that he could be a step above this level and we may get some value in his price.  Looking through the form of that race and it actually looked a pretty hot affair with the majority of the horses he defeated that day coming out since and performing to a high level.  Again I'm looking at potential and Frontispiece looks the perfect horse to improve markedly.


2.50 @ Wolverhampton - SECRET LOOK - 1pt Win @ 10/1 (Betfred)

I managed to get over to Southwell last night to watch Trafalgar Rock win for the third time for our syndicate.  Richard Johnson took the ride for the first time and didn't disappoint having controlled the race from the front Traffy made a mistake two out losing 3 lengths on the favourite but battled back to win by a length going away.  It was a great evening and brill to see our great group again.

My selection for today's racing comes in the 2.50 @ Wolverhampton where SECRET LOOK seems dangerously handicapped back on the all weather.  Richard Phillips' horse has yet to shine since making the transition from Ed McMahon however he has been running to a handicap mark that he hasn't been able to cope with.  When he last ran on the all weather he showed that he doesn't handle seven furlongs as he weakened out of contention.  The last time he ran over this course and distance he won a class 5 handicap off a mark of 68.  He now drops in to a class 6 handicap over six furlongs on the all weather which is his prime conditions these days.  Tom Marquand's booking is positive and there are plenty of reasons to suggest he's here to make his mark.  At 10/1 he's worth a play.

3.30 @ Thirsk - ETIENNE GERARD - 1pt Win @ 7/1 (Betfred)
5.25 @ Leicester - FLYBOY - 1pt Win @ 7/2

Interest Bets;

2.35 @ Gowran Park - BEAUTIFUL DREAM - 7/1
3.35 @ Gowran Park - GOLD ELIZA - 14/1
4.40 @ Gowran Park - GOLD SATCHEL - 13/2

I feel today could be the day for ETIENNE GERARD in the 3.30 @ Thirsk.  Nigel Tinkler has acquired Silvestre De Sousa for the ride and Etienne is back down to his last winning mark of 69.  That day he won a class 5 handicap by 3 lengths and with the rain coming down conditions look ideal for him to regain the winning thread.   He has been racing in less than ideal conditions so a return to good or good to soft ground in this class of race should be perfect.  The race doesn't look that strong with the two at the front of the markets going up in the handicap whilst the main dangers would come from Pomme De Terre and Buccaneers Vault, the former has to carry top weight and I'd assume he may be a race or two away from a nice plot and the latter not ideally suited to six furlongs.  I feel 7/1 is good value and Etienne is worth taking a chance upon today.
My second selection for today is FLYBOY in the 5.25 @ Leicester.  He's kept to the same mark as his last effort of 75 and for me he is capable of much better than that.  He had a troubled passage last time out and finished just two lengths off Forever A Lady who was well handicapped and was raised six pounds for that win and has since ran to a mark five pounds worse off so based on that judgement alone Flyboy could be well in.  I thought he was set up for that race and theres no reason to think that Richard Fahey won't have him here to go for the win.  The forecasted rain won't be an issue to him as he's ground versatile and he looks a step up from this lot.  At 7/2 he's definitely worth a few quid.

5.40 @ Doncaster - MOJITO - 1pt Win @ 3/1

Epsom Derby - 4.30;
CRACKSMAN - £20 @ 9/2
EMINENT - £15 @ 15/2
REKINDLING - £5 @ 25/1

Interest Bets;

1.55 @ Doncaster - SPIRITOFTOMINTOUL - 12/1
2.00 @ Epsom - DESERT SKYLINE - 7/2
2.30 @ Doncaster - SENSORY - 11/2
2.35 @ Epsom - EPSOM ICON - 12/1
3.10 @ Epsom - BALLET CONCERTO - 9/1
3.45 @ Epsom - EDUARD LEWIS - 12/1 / BOOM THE GROOM - 12/1
5.15 @ Epsom - EDDYSTONE ROCK - 11/1

The big race of the day is obviously The Derby (4.30 @ Epsom) and it is the race i'm concentrating my efforts on with a ruck of tricky and trappy races at Epsom that I will be having a small play.  I'm going to do a bit of dutching and play three against the field.  CRACKSMAN won a derby trial here beating Permian over one mile two furlongs last time out.  I was mighty impressed with that display having had a torrid run throughout the race, my opinion is that a clear run and he would have hosed up by upwards of five lengths and if that was the case he'd be in the region of 2/1 or even shorter here.  Therefore at 5/1 over this longer trip I feel he's pretty decent value.  This will be a step up and he'd need to improve however he showed me enough in the trial to suggest he was on the upgrade and he cried out "Derby" to me.  He's the most exciting of Frankel's offspring in my opinion and he has the ability to take what looks like a sub-standard Derby.  Sticking with the Frankel theme (but as coincidence) my second bet and first saver is EMINENT.  He's another who had a bad passage on his last run, this time in the 2000 Guineas but stayed on well at the death suggesting extra distance would be to his advantage.  He wasn't given a tough time by Jim Crowley that day but he has the ride again and has a fitter and wiser horse on his hands this time around.  It's hard to assess this horses ability but the potential is undeniable.  His win against Rivet last year is still one of the standout performances from a Frankel 2 year old last year and if he can progress on he could be excellent.  My outsider in the race is REKINDLING who will relish the extra couple of furlongs.  Joseph O'Brien's horse has decent form but looked in need of the extra distance last time out when staying on all too late in the day behind Permian.  I would suggest with the added distance that I'm expecting a turnaround with the winner that day so at more than double the price he looks decent enough value for me to have a small saver.  Of the other horses Cliffs of Moher would be the big and obvious danger.  His run at Chester was pretty decent given that he wasn't exactly ideally placed two furlongs out but he showed great character to hold on and his time on the tight Chester track isn't shabby either.  I'm just not sure if he has the class to match the Frankel pair.

Over at Doncaster in the opener (1.55) there is a Tony Carroll horse whom is very dangerously handicapped in the shape of SPIRITOFTOMINTOUL.  Just twelve months ago the horse was running off a mark of 81, now down to a mark off 63 it is a matter of time before Tony Carroll has him primed for a handicap plot.  He hasn't shown much of late which is always a worry with this type of horse however just incase today is the day I thought I must give him a mention.  There was a little bit of overnight money which is not a surprise for any Carroll horse but it will be interesting how the market plays this morning.

Keep an eye out for SENSORY in the 2.30 @ Doncaster.  This horse out of Dream Ahead ran an interesting race on debut, held up in last place by Robert Tart she had to take the long way around Kempton as she was taken wide around the bend, she travelled nicely until two furlongs out when pushed for an effort, she showed a nice turn of foot for 100 yards or so before her run flattened out.  My suggestion would be that she definitely needed the run and got tired late on.  A straighter track should work to her advantage and she may prove worth a small interest bet in what looks a decent novice race.   
In the 5.40 @ Doncaster I like the claims of MOJITO.  I thought he ran a cracker behind Chessman and Silent Echo on his return to action.  He was awkward out of the stalls and didn't seem to enjoy the bends at Haydock having taken them very wide.  Even with that he stayed on like a good horse to stick with the winner despite how well he travelled that day.  I think all three horses are smart and although he received weight that day it was a nice return from Mojito and to keep his mark of 83 I think he's capable of much more with that experience behind him.  The straight mile should suit him here and having won over the distance on the all weather last year the trip should suit just fine.  I will be disappointed if he can't make his presence felt here.


2.35 @ Epsom - REMARKABLE - 1pt Win @ 7/2
Interest Bets;

3.10 @ Epsom - JOURNEY - 5/1
4.30 @ Epsom - SOBETSU - 10/1

A good start to June as Amabilis bolted up last night at Chelmsford.  Ralph Beckett's 3 year old wasn't even given a tough time by Josephine Gordon as she pushed out to win by a comfortable 3 1/2 lengths.  She looks very very exciting and has improved markedly.  It will be interesting to see where connections go next with her, surely listed/group races await.

Today is Oaks Day at Epsom although it's not a day that I will be getting heavily involved in.  I do however feel REMARKABLE is worth a bet in the 2.35.  He has had a fair amount of troublesome runs in his short career and that was highlighted last time out in the Victoria Cup where he was hampered at the start and showed his best work at the finish of the stiff seven furlong contest.  Back up to a mile today with the added bonus of Frankie on board with some lessor opposition I feel he could defy top weight.  The Victoria Cup to me showed that he may still have a bit of improvement to come and with a clear run he will be competitive.  He's ground versatile and John Gosden knows where to place his horses.  Plenty of ticks in the boxes.

I've scoured through the Coronation Cup to find the winner and it is not easy!  I have decided to have a small interest bet on the race as you can make cases for the majority.  Highland Reel has the best form in the race and is clearly a pretty special horse however he's a bit short for me at 13/8, if he touches 2/1 then I may have a play.  The horse I will be playing is JOURNEY.  John Gosden's mare has been kept in training which is an unusual thing considering she has already won a big group one.  That suggests that John feels she is capable of winning some big races this season.  She improved with every race last year and her most impressive win came in the toughest of races she ran.  If she can eek out a little more improvement she could be very dangerous this season.  Frankie knows her well and with the race pretty wide open she certainly has a chance.  At 5/1 I'll be playing.

In the Oaks itself I'm expecting Rhododendron to run away with this.  She is a big imposing filly who didn't have the run of the race in the 1000 Guineas however she stayed on very strongly at the finish.  She probably wouldn't have beaten Winter that day but at this trip it will take a very good horse to beat her.  I will be playing SOBETSU as an each way play should the favourite not perform.  Her group one win over at Deauville was highly impressive and with Coronet well behind the form looks pretty strong.  That was her first run of the season so improvement should come naturally and at 10/1+ she looks worth an each way play.


7.40 @ Chelmsford - AMABILIS - 1pt Win @ 3/1

May was the worst month in the website's history with a loss of 16.75 points (14 points at advised odds) however it will be a month that I will learn from.  It has always been a tough time of the year with the end of the jumps and beginning of the flat however it has predominently been a month where I've had some good priced winners, unfortunately this year has been a mix of close calls and shocking runs.  Onwards and upwards though, June looks a big month in the flat season with Royal Ascot around the corner, hopefully we can build up some funds ready for the big week.

AMABILIS (7.40 @ Chelmsford) went in to the notebook last year after running on all to late in a class 2 handicap at Newmarket on her final run.  She looked all over a miler in the making and I'm delighted to see Mr Beckett decide to throw her in the deep end on her return.  She takes on a progressive filly in Spacial who will be all the rage having competed in the Fillies Mile.  There are question marks for me as to whether she is a genuine miler as she weakened quite tamely that day.  There is no doubting the form of her maiden win and she may well turn in to an exciting horse this season.  However it looks a very tough ask to me giving away 11 pounds to a horse that has the capability to not only improve at the distance but improve for the break.  I will be hugely disappointed if these two horses don't finish in the top two and at the weights I can't help but think Amabilis will be tough to beat.

I've picked out a few potential handicap blots today who arguably if you backed them all and had one winner you'd get your money back, these are the ones of note;

2.50 @ Wolverhampton - FRANK'S LEGACY - 5/2
4.30 @ Hamilton - ARCHIPELIGO - 9/1
4.40 @ Lingfield - ABOUT GLORY - 7/1
4.50 @ Wolverhampton - LIFE OF LUXURY - 6/1
7.15 @ Fairyhouse - IMBUCATO - 10/1

I've also had a little double on two horses at Hamilton that run simultaneously for an owner who rarely has runners at the same track, may be nothing but just incase;

3.30 @ Hamilton - MY BROTHER - 15/2
4.00 @ Hamilton - BLACK AGNES - 12/1 


4.30 @ Beverley - KING OF THE CELTS - 1pt Win @ 11/2

I give a squeak to KING OF THE CELTS in the 4.30 @ Beverley today.  Down to below his last winning mark, good to firm ground, in a class 5 handicap and money arriving last night.  The signs are there that connections are eyeing victory today.  He has won before following a bad run of form suggesting that he has been handicapping out of victory but down to such a low mark I can't see why Tim Easterby wouldn't be here to win with him.  He's no banker but given the signs and the ticks in the boxes I will be having a nice bet at 11/2


No Selection

Fair Cop broke her duck yesterday for NAP followers.  She was a most welcome winner given my recent poor form and she made no mistake at the third time of asking, she looks a nice filly in the making.  I was a bit gutted about my outside selection Ventura Secret.  He was ridden leaving the stalls and never looked happy until the final furlong or so where he stayed on strongly in to 6th place.  I would suggest adding him to a tracker next time out assuming connections go back over six furlongs in a class 6 handicap or worse, i'd expect him to be competitive.

There is no selection today however If you fancy a bet at a nice price I wouldn't put you off backing JULE IN THE CROWN in the 3.20 @ Leicester.  The race itself is a cracking Fillies Handicap where there is not a huge amount between the lot of them however I firmly believe there is more to come from Mick Channon's horse and this is a big drop in grade.  At 33/1 I can't help but throw a fiver on.

2.20 @ Windsor - FAIR COP - 2pts Win @ 9/4 (Paddy Power) (NAP)
2.25 @ Redcar - VENTURA SECRET - 1pt Win @ 12/1 (Will Hill)

My Nap of the day is FAIR COP in the 2.20 @ Windsor.  He was a big odds on shot last time out when failing to hold on to her lead in the final half a furlong at Bath.  She is down to the minimum trip here which will suit and she has looked a winner waiting to happen in both her runs.  The fact she hit the front two furlongs out may have been a tad too soon but that was a four runner race so tactics may not have suited.  She has plenty of speed and may be a horse that will need to be produced in front at the end of the race but David Probert will know what to expect now and i'll be surprised if she isn't good enough to win a maiden like this.
In the 2.25 @ Redcar I feel VENTURA SECRET is a big price.  Having been gelded back in November I thought his return to action at Catterick a month ago was a satisfactory one, he would have certainly needed that run and is capable of better.  The handicapper has dropped him a pound lower and I'd expect improvement for that run.  He faces a couple of unexposed types in this race which is always a worry but at 12/1 I can't help but think there could be value in that price.
I will be also having a £2 Lucky 15 on the following;
2.05 @ Leicester - MESHAYKH - 9/4
2.20 @ Windsor - FAIR COP - 2/1
2.30 @ Chelmsford - PEARL ACCLAIM - 2/1
2.55 @ Windsor - APRES MIDI - 4/1

2.20 @ Curragh - SOMEHOW - 1pt Win @ 5/1
3.25 @ Curragh - ANEEN - 1pt Win @ 12/1

It was another poor day for me yesterday and I may need to have a re-think about my selections on the flat.  My flat form doesn't come close to my jumps form i'm afraid so I must be doing something wrong.  However, The Plot Seeker has made an electric start for the site and pulled off a 38/1 double yesterday with both Energia Fox and Top Tug coming home for tip followers.  That puts him 15.35pts in profit this month to SP prices (21.25pts advised prices) and long may that level of form continue.  He's back today with one selection -
On to today's racing.  My first selection comes in the Curragh Tattersalls Gold Cup (2.20) where I feel today could be the da SOMEHOW takes her first group one.  I thought she ran a great race in the Lockinge last week when finishing fourth behind Ribchester.  She stayed on well that day but didn't have the class of the leaders.  I feel this trip may bring the best out of her and I don't see Seamie Heffernan riding as a negative with the jockey having rode her to three victories in her career.  The yielding ground won't be an issue as she's very ground versatile and if she continues her improvement she should be bang there at the finish.  This is obviously a tough race with some high quality but none of the opposition are unbeatable.  She offers each way value should you wish to go that route however I'll be going for the win with her at 5/1.
With the favourite for the Irish 1000 Guineas (3.25) being a very short price in Winter I've tried to take her on.  The horse i'm going to take her on with is ANEEN at a nice price.  My big worry with this horse is that she hasn't been seen since her maiden victory in October.  However she ran well on her debut suggesting she can go fresh and I was very taken by her second appearance when routing the field over seven furlongs.  She has huge potential and this is not the strongest of renewals so to see 12/1 about her this morning I feel she is well worth a bet at that price.  Her jockey Chris Hayes will be full of confidence following Gordon Lord Byron's win yesterday and with plenty of pace available up front her hold up tactics may pay dividends.

2.10 @ York - DANZENO - 1pt Win @ 11/2
3.05 @ Chester - GABRIAL'S KAKA - 0.5pt Win @ 20/1
3.15 @ York - HAVANA BEAT - 0.5pt Win @ 22/1

The less said about yesterday the better, the chips were down for Dagonet after the first two furlongs as the horse just didn't travel, it was a bitterly disappointing effort whereas Mysterial read the script and bolted to the front but couldn't sustain his effort, a drop in class will surely be needed next.
My first selection today is one that doesn't tick all the boxes but is a horse I feel can outrun his price.  GABRIAL'S KAKA runs for Richard Fahey in the 3.05 @ Chester.  A frustrating horse who has a lot of natural ability but rarely shows it on the track.  However, his mark is moving towards a very attractive one and to add to that here today he has a capable apprentice on board whom takes seven pounds off so in essence he runs today off 84 which is 9 pounds lighter than last time out over course and distance.  Granted there is a lot for him to prove and he may well have just lost his love for the game but watching his last race back he did stay on at the finish and his shrewd connections are worth having a couple of quid on at this course.  At 20/1 i'll be having a small play.

Over at York an interesting entrant DANZENO runs in the 2.10 @ York.  The step up in trip is the interesting factor in his drop to a handicap as he's looked in need of a step up in trip on many occasions.  His last run wasn't a bad one behind Scrutineer at the end of last season but the handicapper has dropped him four pounds from that run, add to that his apprentice jockey taking three pounds off he runs today off just 102.  On his reappearance last season he ran a good third behind Magical Memory which was rated 113.  If he is fit and sees out the seven furlongs he would win this so at 11/2 he's the value bet in the race.  The opposition is decent so he's no banker and there has been money for the favourite however i'm not sure that seven furlongs is his trip as he's needed the mile in his victories.  There are plenty of questions on all these horses so I see this as an opportunity for Danzeno to get back in to the winners' enclosure.

When I browsed over the cards yesterday the horse that stuck out in my mind was HAVANA BEAT in the 3.15 @ York.  Regular readers will know that I do like the challenge of reading Tony Carroll (and often failing).  This horse may be being kept back for a big gamble along the way and with a little bit of money coming overnight today just may be the day.  He's dropped to a mark of just 89 (once rated 112) and dropped back in trip which may be significant.  He's no confident selection and like I say it may just be a case that this is another "bomb out" race to decrease his mark however at the price, with the money coming and his connections I can't help but put him up as a tentative selection.


3.30 @ Haydock - DAGONET - 1pt Win @ 9/1
7.00 @ Pontefract - MYSTERIAL - 1pt Win @ 6/1

For the second day running my selection agonisingly found one just too good.  Black Bubba looked all over the winner even when Searanger came to challenge he looked to have repelled it until the very last stride to lose out in a photo finish.

In the 3.30 @ Haydock today there is a very interesting contender in the shape of Roger Charlton's DAGONET who broke his duck in a six furlong sprint at Kempton back in October.  Gelded since and given a break he returns to the track in this class 4 handicap off a mark of 82.  There were plenty of reasons to feel impressed with the character he displayed with that win, he travelled like a good horse throughout the race and clearly learnt from his experience, he was then pushed out hands and heels for a comfortable win under George Baker.  Charlton has acquired the services of Jim Crowley for his return which is a big plus and it would be disappointing if Dagonet doesn't improve to become a 90+ rated horse this season.  My slight concern is that he may need this run however that's reflected in the price and worth taking a chance on.

My second selection for today comes later on this evening in the 7.00 @ Pontefract where MYSTERIAL takes the eye now off a mark of just 71.  My favourite young jockey Louis Edmunds takes the ride and with that takes a further five pounds off and the drop in trip should be perfect given his last three wins came at this distance.  I thought he ran a cracker last time out leading until two furlongs from home and he could prove tough to pass with the same tactics employed here.  It's a step up in class in terms of opposition here but he receives a fair amount of weight from most but the race is not too dis-similar to the last race he won over course and distance.  He looks like a win is close by.  At 6/1 he'll be having a decent amount of my money.

I will be playing a £1 each way lucky 31 today too as follows;

3.30 @ Haydock - DAGONET - 15/2
4.55 @ Goodwood - MAZZINI - 11/2
5.10 @ Haydock - FLEETWOOD JACK - 13/2
7.00 @ Pontefract - MYSTERIAL - 6/1
8.40 @ Musselburgh - AEOLUS - 8/1


2.55 @ Catterick - BLACK BUBBA - 1pt Win @ 3/1

Frustratingly Tyrsal found one too good for the second time on the trot yesterday.  Beaten by a first time handicapper of James Fanshawe's who was well backed it looks like his chance of winning may have to wait for a little while longer.  I'd be very surprised if he doesn't drop back in to a class 6 next time out and hopefully compensation awaits but it's going to be tougher for him.

My first bet of the day comes in the 2.55 @ Catterick where I like the claims of BLACK BUBBA of David Evans.  He drops in to a seller for the second time but this time at six furlongs which for me looks his ideal trip.  He had no chance with the winner last time out when he was held up towards the rear of the field John Egan, when he made his move the winner had already flown and Black Bubba was forced wide.  He stayed on showing good pace until the last 100 yards or so where he weakened and lost second place to his stablemate.  The good thing here is he receives weight from the favourite who is lower rated than him and wasn't as comfortable two races ago over six furlongs than he was last time out over five.  His record on the all weather suggests he should be ok on the firmer surface and he has a lot going for him here.  I think he's worth a 1pt bet.

I'm going to recommend a short price yankee today, i'll be having a £5 yankee on the following that I think have great chances (Prices are with Will Hill);

2.55 @ Catterick - BLACK BUBBA - 11/4
7.05 @ Sandown - BIG ORANGE - 5/4
7.25 @ Chelmsford - ALFARRIS - 11/8
8.10 @ Sandown - ZAINHOM - 1/1


2.30 @ Yarmouth - TYRSAL - 2pts Win @ 3/1 (NAP)

My big bet for today comes in the 2.30 @ Yarmouth.  TYRSAL proved his fitness recently in a class 6 handicap over one mile two furlongs here at Yarmouth and that day I made a note that if he is back out quickly to get on him.  He was extremely unlucky that day where back over 12 furlongs he raced in rear and had a horrible passage having to pull off the rails 5 horses deep before rattling home but winner had already flown.  He would have won by some lengths without the trouble he had.  He now tackles a class 5 handicap off two pounds higher and one furlong further but I'm not put off by this, trying to read through the lines connections want him to run at Yarmouth where he's ran plenty in the past and this is the most suitable race.  He won back in August 2015 and was turned out just eight days later off a six pound higher mark before repeating the dose.  I firmly believe connections are here to win and receiving a stone or more from all bar one opponent here should be enough to secure victory.

​2.10 @ Salisbury - SCORCHING HEAT - 1pt Win @ 7/2 (Coral)

Interest Bets;

2.20 @ York - GAMESOME - £25 Win @ 10/1
2.20 @ York - ROBOT BOY - £8.50 Win @ 10/1
2.20 @ York - MOVE IN TIME - £6.50 Win @ 14/1
2.55 @ York - SMART CALL - £10 Win @ 6/1
3.30 @ York - REKINDLING - £40 Win @ 9/2
4.05 @ York - THIKRIYAAT - £15 WIN @ 15/2
4.05 @ York - CHELSEA LAD - £15 WIN @ 8/1
4.05 @ York - CAN'T CHANGE IT - £10 WIN @ 20/1
5.35 @ York - GAELIC TIGER - £20 E/W @ 7/1

The poor form continued yesterday as George Bowen finished a disappointing 6th given the money was down (14's in to 8's) and he came there with every chance but finished tamely.  I can feel there is a win around the corner, hopefully today will be the day.  The forecast is pretty decent today therefore I expect the ground to firm up a little and be on the good side.

The opening race on day two of York is a trappy little sprint handicap.  I'll be playing 3 in the race.  Firstly GAMESOME.  This horse rarely runs a bad race and seems to be adaptable to different jockeys.  I like Pat Smullen and although he's probably primarily here to ride Donncha I think him taking the ride in the opener is significant.  He's down to a handy mark of 92 which is a career low mark, he's proved his fitness and he looks like a prime candidate for this type of race.  My two savers come in the shape of ROBOT BOY and MOVE IN TIME.  A contrast between these two is that Robot Boy seems to be on the improve and is on a career high mark whereas Move In Time looks on the down grade and races off his lowest mark for three years.  Robot Boy seems to be a five furlong horse and nothing more given he's won at York over five but lost every time he's raced here over five and a half.  He was very unlucky last time out and looks sure to give a good account.  Move In Time is the most risky of the three but looks dangerously handicapped.  He has to prove he still has the love for the game, but if he does he has the potential to blow this field away so I have to have a play.

In the 2.55.  Don't underestimate SMART CALL in this race, she was a very smart mare in South Africa and joins a top yard.  The layoff is a worry but if anyone can ready one it's Sir Michael Stoute.

The big race for the day is the Dante (3.30) and what a race it may prove to be.  It is a tough race to assess and you could make a case for every single runner.  All I can do is make a judgement on what i've seen and for me the value in the race is REKINDLING.  Joseph O'Brien's colt was highly impressive in his return to action in what now looks a very hot race.  That day he beat Douglas Macarthur, Yucatan and Capri.  He commanded the race that day and proved that he had improved ten fold.  For me, on form, he's the one to beat.

The 4.05 is another tricky handicap and one where I'll again be playing 3.  The top two in the market I feel have a great chance here.  THIKRIYAAT looks on a low mark given his potential to improve.  He put it up to some good horses at the back end of last season and is only a four year old so improvement is not out of the question.  CHELSEA LAD was backed off the boards in the Spring Handicap at Newbury before putting in a poor performance.  He came back lame that day and if the assumption is made that he is now sound, he has the potential to be slightly overpriced here.  My final selection is CAN'T CHANGE IT.  David Simcock's horse improved a lot last year and was probably over the top on his last run.  His penultimate run at Doncaster over a mile was very impressive and back on similar terms and conditions here he may outrun his big price.
The next two races don't interest me as a betting perspective although i'm looking forward to seeing Brian The Snail run again, he could be very very good.

The final race of the day (5.35) I feel GAELIC TIGER is a cracking each way bet at 7/1.  Connections looked to have tinkered with him in his two runs this season and i'd say two miles here would be ideal for him.  He's stayed on in all his races and it would be very surprising if he didn't have much more to offer.  He's nicely handicapped and has a lot of potential.

Salisbury is an interesting card today and my tip for today here is SCORCHING HEAT in the 2.10.  Andrew Balding's mount finished the season off last year with a lacklustre performance at Newbury having won the time before at Ffos Las.  He's been given a rating of 76 and with the very capable Joshua O'Brien taking the ride and receiving seven pounds he looks a very good bet to me on his reappearance.  The race at Newbury was a class 3 handicap and he finished in front of a horse called Admirality Arch that day whom has more than franked the form of the race since switching to Richard Hughes.  It would be a surprise should Scorching Heat not improve given connections and his sire so at 7/2 i'll be having a nice play.
I'm away from tonight until Monday.  Until then, happy punting!

​2.55 @ York - GEORGE BOWEN - 1pt Win @ 14/1 (Coral)

Interest Bets;

2.20 @ York - SHABEEB - £15 Win @ 12/1
3.30 @ York - THE TIN MAN - £10 E/W @ 13/2
4.35 @ York - CHESSMAN - £40 Win @ 9/4
5.05 @ York - KNOCKOUT BLOW - £20 Win @ 3/1
5.35 @ York - RICHIE MCCAW - £15 Win @ 9/1

Day one of the York Dante Festival kicks off today, it's a cracking meeting full of tough handicaps but that means there's plenty of strategical thinking required and it's great fun.  I'll be having a few interest bets but nothing major given the toughness of today's racing.  I am really looking forward to seeing Shutter Speed who I have backed ante post for the Oaks.  Although he's likely to go to France instead i'm hoping he bolts up and connections have a change of heart, we shall see.

My one selection today is in the 2.55 where I like the claims of GEORGE BOWEN.  It has to be said that this horse has been mighty frustrating over the past 18 months or so having had a very productive 3 year old campaign.  He's not carried that level of form forward however his mark keeps dropping and his two runs this season haven't been as bad as his placings suggest.  I go back to his run over this course and distance back in October last year in the Coral Sprint.  That day he was running off a mark of 93 and having been slowly in to stride he made some stealthy progress two furlongs out and looked to be in with a great chance before being hampered at the worst possible time.  He finished just 3 lengths behind Intisaab that day.  On his most recent run he finished the same distance behind the same horse suggesting on paper that he's not as good as he was that day and that may well be the case.  However that was only Paul Hanagan's second ride on him and he was asking questions of the horse pretty much as soon as he came out of the stalls which i'm not convinced is the way to ride him.  He's now dropped to a mark of just 88 and you cannot rule any Fahey horse out of a decent pot.  It he can reproduce his last York performance he has to go close.

​5.50 @ Windsor - BUZZ - 1pt E/W @ 14/1 (Coral)

Saturday was a day to forget and one that I was glad to be able to drink through.  I've hit a barron spell since Aintree and more time must be put in to get things back on to the right track.
I've gone for one at a big price today in the 5.50 @ Windsor in the shape of Hughie Morrison's BUZZ.  The 3 year old broke his duck at Kempton over a mile last year and that performance had a little bit of class about it.  The result looked unlikely a furlong from home and it took a bit of time for the horse to reel in the leader but when he did he powered up the straight to win going away.  That race suggested a step up in distance wouldn't be an issue.  His debut run was very likeable having fluffed the start but stayed on strongly at the finish on today's going.  He's been given a mark of just 78 and that looks very generous so it's no surprise that connections have gone down the handicap route.  I would be disappointed if he wasn't able to win a couple of handicaps before taking on listed/graded company.  His trainer has had a few winners of late and he looks a very big price at 14/1.  This is a good race on paper but i'm hopeful Buzz can make his presence felt.

​3.10 @ Haydock - PEACE AND CO - 1pt Win @ 6/1 (Coral)
3.10 @ Haydock - VOSNE ROMANEE - 0.5pt E/W @ 16/1 (Will Hill)
3.10 @ Haydock - ZUBAYR - 0.5pt Win @ 8/1 (Betfred)
3.15 @ Nottingham - THE NEW PHAROAH - 1pt Win @ 10/1

£50 Double - 3.40 @ Lingfield - QEMAH/6.00 @ Warwick - BLACK MISCHIEF - 2.63/1 (Coral)

I'm starting off this Saturday's write up at Haydock and the big race of the day, the 3.10 Swinton Handicap Hurdle over one mile seven and a half furlongs.  The rain has come therefore the ground is likely to be good (maybe a tad on the soft side).  I will be playing three horses in the race.  The Scottish Champion Hurdle holds a lot of form for this race, I'll be playing three horses from that race.  PEACE AND CO was not given a hard time by Daryl Jacob that day and travelled nicely in to the race but wasn't able to get involved in the finish.  That race was his return from a long lay off and he was well looked after by his jockey.  He will improve for that run and it looked to me like he hadn't lost his love for the game, he's dangerously handicapped and although he's favourite, for me he's a worthy one on these terms.  ZUBAYR was very unlucky that day when being pipped at the post by Chesterfield.  He has four pounds extra to carry here but I was impressed with the way he pulled away with the winner from the last to suggest there may be a bit of leeway on his mark.  He jumps well, comes good at this time of year and clearly has ability.  He'll have to run right up to his best here but that's not impossible.  A horse who looked like getting involved two out in that race was VOSNE ROMANEE.  I was disappointed with Aidan Coleman's ride that day (and I don't often say that) however he cruised in to the race but he was still on the bridle jumping two out whilst the other horses had their momentum.  By the time he pushed the button the leading horses had made their move and I feel had he have been ridden leading in to that fence he would have been much closer.  He wasn't far away at the finish and only a pound rise may not be enough to stop him from being involved here.  It's a cracking card at a great course Haydock today, if you can, get down there and enjoy the action.

I like the claims of THE NEW PHAROAH in the 3.15 @ Nottingham today.  Chris Wall's horse returned to the track at Kempton three weeks ago and that was a satisfactory return.  Having had to travel wide around the tight bends at the all weather venue he travelled nicely three furlongs from the finish but looked quite one paced when pushed for his effort.  The all weather potentially didn't suit him however that display cried out for a step up in trip.  He gets that here today and should come on for that run.  If he can repeat his run over this distance at Sandown behind The Graduate last season then he wins this race in my opinion.  Louis Steward is a young jockey who I really like and he would have learned a lot from riding him at Kempton.  His trainer is in good form and there's plenty to like about his chances today so at 10/1 he's worth a punt.
I will be also playing a £50 short price double with 3.40 @ Lingfield - QEMAH and 6.00 @ Warwick - BLACK MISCHIEF.  Both of whom I feel should win their respective races.

​7.05 @ Ripon - LATHOM - 1pt Win @ 4/1 (Coral)

My tip for today is in the 7.05 @ Ripon where David O'Meara saddles LATHOM.  I've been slightly intrigued with this horse on the last couple of races as his mark has tumbled somewhat and money has come, I thought last time out that six furlongs may suit and I'm so glad that connections have decided to try him at the trip.  He's now down to a mark of 87 and drops in to class 4 handicap company.  The ground will suit as he has stayed on well in his last couple of appearances on good to firm.  His trainer knows how to campaign his horses and the increase in trip and drop in grade looks a significant move.  I think he has a great chance and at 4/1 I'll be having a nice bet on him.

By the way if anyone seen the ride on Tamleek yesterday you will know that he's a winner waiting to happen.  He was not given a tough time of things and travelled like the best horse in the race.  He could be very good, do not rule him out!


3.35 @ Chester (Chester Vase) - TAMLEEK - 1pt Win @ 4/1
3.35 @ Chester (Chester Vase) - FINN MCCOOL - 0.5pt Win @ 16/1 (Paddy Power)

Interest Bets;

1.50 @ Chester - KHAIRAAT
2.25 @ Chester - ROYAL ARTILLERY

We won't get much closer to winning than yesterday when the well backed Yorkidding (advised 16/1) just failed to take the Chester Cup.  Mark Johnston's horse was given a great ride by Richard Kingscote and but for a late thrust from Montaly would have taken home to money.  I cannot tell you the frustration I had over the winner whom Andrew Balding had advised earlier in the day that his horse needed soft ground, subsequently taking my eye off the ball on him and seeing him come home in front pipping my selection nearly sent me over the edge.  Ah well, we go again.
I fully expect KHAIRAAT to take the opener at Chester (1.50).  This exciting colt enters his 4 year old flat career off a mark of 91 and given how he beat some experienced rivals who have since franked the form there is plenty to suggest he will improve and it would be no surprise should he turn in to a 100+ performer.  At the price he's not one to get stuck in to but he has plum draw and I don't see him being beaten.

In the 2.25 @ Chester I will be playing ROYAL ARTILLERY whom I feel is a little overpriced here.  Deauville finished ahead of him at Sandown a couple of weeks ago however that looked unlikely a furlong or so out before weakening when a little tired and with that first run of the season behind him I expect him to strip fitter for that and reverse the placings here with that horse.  Poet's Word will be the horse to beat at the head of the market in my opinion.  This well thought of colt continues to improve and put in an excellent display when seeing off Intrude at Chelmsford recently.  For me though at 4/1 I'll be having an interest bet on Royal Artillery.

The feature race of the day The Chester Vase (3.35) looks a cracker on paper and one that's worth taking a small risk or two on.  It is difficult to weigh up the form of the favourite Venice Beach who beat an 84 rated horse over in Ireland last time out with ease.  The runner up has since matched that form and looking at the race I would make the opinion that Venice Beach is a ten pound superior horse to the runner up.  That therefore means he has to improve here to beat his rivals.  There are plenty of reasons to think he will with the trainer being able to work wonders and his top jockey Ryan Moore picking him as his mount however he doesn't offer much value at 9/4 so I'm going in search of something to take him on with.  Cunco is the headline act, being out of Frankel and winning the Sandown Classic Trial but the extra couple of furlongs here is a worry to me as he's not exactly looked in need of further.  He's a very tempting price but I'm going to air on the side of caution.  I think FINN MCCOOL will probably prove the best horse in the race over time having impressed me with his two final starts last season however without a recent run his fitness must be taken on trust.  He travels nicely in his races and I was impressed with the way he beat Harbour Beacon a couple of starts ago, being overtaken but fighting back at the finish to get back on top, that sort of display excites me just as much as a horse winning a group one on the bridle.  I watched an interview with Aidan O'Brien pre season and he was very happy with this horse.  He said that one and a half miles plus will play to his strengths and he's matured mentally during the winter.  At 16/1 I can't let him go unbacked even if he "appears" to be the fourth choice.  The form of TAMLEEK's easy victory at Newmarket recently has been well franked with the second and fourth both coming out and winning since.  That race was ran in nine seconds quicker than Cunco's victory with four pound extra on his back and he did look like he'd improve for a step up in trip.  He's proved he goes on the ground, has a great draw, trainer form in the bag and from a yard that go well at Chester.  He looks a good bet to me at 4/1.


3.35 @ Chester (Chester Cup) - YORKIDDING - 1pt Win @ 16/1
3.35 @ Chester (Chester Cup) - ANGEL GABRIEL - 0.5pt E/W @ 25/1
3.35 @ Chester (Chester Cup) - THE CASHEL MAN - 0.5pt Win @ 10/1

Mystic Sky put in a slightly disappointing display yesterday at Fakenham.  The frustration for me was hearing Lucy Wadham before the race say that she would need the run and they're hopeful rather than confident, it was too late by then so apologies to those who backed her.

My write up is concentrated in one race at Chester, the big race (3.35 - Chester Cup), where the ground (given this weeks weather) is likely to be on the quick side of good.  I've tried to approach this like I do the big race handicaps and pick two main chances and one saver.  The favourite Who Dares Wins won well at Chester last year from the number 8 stall in a nine runner contest.  He likes to be held up and in a race that has 17 entries that type of horse interests me little, he is not value at 5/1 in my opinion.  Blakeney Point is a big improver and has prime position to pop out in front from stall one.  He would need to improve even further to take this class of race and although that's possible it is a big doubt for me so I will be diverting my attention from him too.  Golden Spear will be popular with Ryan Moore riding for the more than capable Tony Martin but he has a tough draw and his mark doesn't look enterprising.  The front three in the market do not look like value to me as they have doubts.  The first horse I will be playing in fact is YORKIDDING who looks on a workable mark, has the experience for this kind of race, a top jockey who knows this course well and has a good draw.  He hasn't won first time out before therefore I'm convinced his reappearance this season was to get him primed for this and the fact he stayed on showed that he's in decent form.  He would be my main bet at 16/1.  Another horse who will improve for their recent run will be ANGEL GABRIAL.  Granted he has a tough draw to contend with however I go back twelve months to this very race.  That day he ran from stall 18, this year 19, not much difference.  He ran that day off eight pounds higher and met a lot of trouble in running.  He finished 8th but was only 4 lengths off the winner.  It was a really good performance if you watch it back and with the Fahey/Hanagan connection at Chester you can never rule them out.  I think he's a massive price at 25/1.  My saver will be The Cashel Man who will need luck in running but if he gets it will be there at the finish.


4.10 @ Fakenham - MYSTIC SKY - 1pt Win @ 11/4 (Paddy Power)

We got our money back on Kharbetation yesterday as he failed to load in to the stalls which was a real shame considering his potential.  I just hope he gets schooled and returns to the track with some presence.
My tip for today is in the 4.10 @ Fakenham in the shape of MYSTIC SKY.  Lucy Wadham's horse is top weight in this class 4 mares only handicap hurdle, that's my only negative.  She drops from a class 2 event last time out where she was found out at the trip, she wasn't disgraced by any stretch of the imagination and her placing doesn't reflect how she travelled through the race.  She won her last race in a class 4 handicap off a mark of 119, she races here today off 118.  Jack Sherwood returns to ride which is a plus.  She's been given a bit of a break which would have been needed and gets her ground.  In this race I think she's a cracking bet at 11/4.


4.30 @ Ayr - KHARBETATION - 1pt Win @ 11/4 (Will Hill)

Somehow gave tip followers an easy time with a convincing win of nine furlong contest at Newmarket yesterday.  She was a much needed win and gets the flat season started.  The "Plot Seeker" almost started his journey with with a winner as Eastern Impact found one just too good on the day.  He was advised each way however so he's started with a small profit.  You can see the Plot Seeker's two tips for today at

My tip for today is a slightly tentative selection however this horse has the potential to absolutely bolt up in this kind of contest.  In the 4.30 @ Ayr David O'Meara saddles KHARBETATION who won on his only appearance by five lengths beating a horse who bolted up the race following.  He is hugely regarded by his trainer and he has the potential to be group class.  My only worry would be that he hasn't been seen since his maiden win which was almost a year ago, his plans haven't gone perfect so far this season either as he was being aimed at the Thirsk Hunt Cup a few days ago so there are doubts on his wellbeing.  That being said he beat some very experienced horses that day fresh and given that he was het up before the start then started very slowly to win pulling away by five lengths was massively pleasing on the eye.  Given his potential and his trainers' views of him I must tip him up.  Whether he wins here today or not he is one to follow for the rest of this season.


2.20 @ Newmarket - SOMEHOW - 2pts Win @ 5/2 (NAP) (Coral)

Well, yesterday was a disaster for tip followers.  It wasn't the day for Spiritoftomintoul to be ready, his time will come but it wasn't to be yesterday.  Bogart was terrible, he seems to have lost his love for the game.  Eminent travelled ok but faded tamely in the 2000 Guineas.  The one that really should have won in my opinion was Washington DC.  Firstly it was a brilliant performance from Marsha giving weight away however I believe if Ryan Moore rode the race again he would have hit the go button earlier.  He cruised on the outside of the field but didn't seem to see the move from the winner on the inside, by the time Moore pushed his mount Marsha had already flown and despite Washington's best efforts he just lost out.  It was a day to forget but that's racing.  On a positive Churchill looks a monster.  He sweated up badly before the big race yesterday and to put in the display he did despite that shows just how good a horse he is.
Firstly "Plot Seekers" first tip is up on site today, please visit

I feel SOMEHOW is a great bet in the 2.20 @ Newmarket today.  She is the highest rated in the field and proved her wellbeing last weekend with a convincing listed victory.  The margin of victory could have been more but for her being checked whilst making her move.  Her last performance last season was mighty impressive and I noted her as one to follow then as I was convinced there would be more improvement.  Her return this year was an excellent display finishing 2nd to Czabo.  She certainly needed that run and the result was never in doubt on her second appearance.  My only worry would be that this is a quick return but she seemed to really enjoy her race last week so that shouldn't be too much of an issue.  The ground should be fine and I don't have any negatives about her whatsoever.  I'll be having a very nice bet on her today.

I have scoured the 1000 Guineas today and cannot find a confident selection at all.  I won't back Rhododendron at the price she is although again similar to Churchill she has the potential to bolt up however it is tough to weigh up the opposition.  Daban won well on her return and if I was to have a bet I would be tempted by her with the advantage of a run this season but she has to improve.  Talayeb could be anything having won on debut easily but who knows how fit she is and what she's capable of.  It really is a tough race to assess so I'll sit back, enjoy and maybe have a small play on Daban.

1.35 @ Goodwood - SPIRITOFTOMINTOUL - 1pt Win @ 10/1 (Coral)
2.20 @ Newmarket - WASHINGTON DC - 1pt Win @ 7/1
2.30 @ Thirsk - BOGART - 1pt Win @ 3/1
3.35 @ Newmarket - EMINENT - 1pt E/W @ 15/2 (Paddy Power)

I'm pleased to announce that we have a new tipster joining the website.  The "Plot Seaker" is a flat specialist and having been trying to get him for the past couple of years I'm delighted that he's agreed to write for the site for the flat season 2017.  You will find his selections at and I for one am looking forward to his first write up.
War Chief left it all too late at Chepstow yesterday when just missing out to Arctic Sea by a neck.  The positive thing was that when the penny finally dropped he picked up strongly and another 10 yards would have seen victory.  I can see him going up in trip another couple of furlongs as it did seem to take a little bit of time to wind the horse up in the rear of the field.  He looks one to follow.
Flat Racing really starts today with the 2000 Guineas the Feature Race at Newmarket, it's a fantastic days' racing.

My first selection for today is in the 2.20 @ Newmarket in the shape of WASHINGTON DC.  The form i've taken for this was the race won by Marsha on 2nd October at Chantilly.  Marsha has an eight pound reversal to cope with here so for me that puts her out of this whilst Washington DC arguably should have won that day under a more aggressive ride.  He also has a couple of recent runs and victory under his belt to prove his wellbeing.  I feel he's better than how he performed in those races too and I expect him to be primed here.  The favourite Profitable is strong but he has it to prove for me having finished seventh at Chantilly.  He also has to prove that he handles good to firm ground having only won once on the ground which was his maiden.

For the big race itself (3.35) I will be playing EMINENT.  Churchill is a very strong favourite and rightly so with being unbeaten.  He's a big strong horse and there appears to be little or no weaknesses.  However, I'm searching for value in this kind of race.  Rivet is a horse hugely regarded at William Haggas' yard and Eminent on just his second start thrown in with the big boys made light work of disposing of the 115 rated colt.  That race will have Eminent primed for a tilt at the big race.  There was a lot to like about that display, it was a very professional performance from an inexperienced horse who pulled out all the stops when asked the question.  For me he's the best horse to have been sired out of Frankel so far and if this horse was in the navy colours of Aidan O'Brien I feel he would be a 3/1 shot.  Therefore to see 15/2 available I will gladly play him each way.

In the 1.35 @ Goodwood one horse that takes the eye is Tony Carroll's SPIRITOFTOMINTOUL.  He is now down to a mark of just 66 which considering he's won in the past off 77 gives him plenty of scope in this class 5 contest.  Carroll has acquired the services of Clifford Lee too which takes a further five pounds off.  Spiritoftomintoul ran a decent race in defeat last time out when getting going all too late so he's in decent form.  As always with a Carroll horse he has the capability to win this, if he's primed for it he could prove a very big price.

My final selection for today is BOGART in the 2.30 @ Thirsk.  He is now down to a mark of 82 in this class 4 handicap contest.  He's not won since 2013 however he showed last time out that he's still capable of putting in a performance when unlucky in a much stronger race than this.  I wasn't impressed with Tom Eaves' ride that day and I'm happy to see the handicapper has dropped him a further pound.  He has to prove he wants to win but if he can't win off this mark in this type of race then there's not much down for him going forward.


3.20 @ Chepstow - WAR CHIEF - 1pt Win @ 2/1

Todays' tip comes in the 3.20 @ Chepstow where WAR CHIEF is available at 2/1.  Alan King's horse won his last maiden with ease having started the race similar to his first, slowly.  What impressed me in his win however was the change of gear that he shown when popped the question.  The race doesn't seem to have amounted to much granted but there was so much in the tank that you can't help but think there will be plenty of improvement to come.  He's been given a rating of 80 which is reasonable and he's well thought of for a predominant jumps yard.  Providing he's fit (which you would expect from a King horse) he should go very close.


8.10 @ Musselburgh - ALSVINDER - 1pt Win @ 4/1

Well not the best of starts to my flat selections 2017 proper.  My worries about Luke Morris were confirmed as at the crucial point of yesterdays' two mile contest Luke had his horse in no mans land and Pallasator was never able to get involved.

Today I wasn't going to select anything until I seen the penultimate race at Musselburgh.  In the 8.10, ALSVINDER returns to the track after near a year's break in this class 4 handicap.  He was hugely regarded by David O'Meara before the start of last season and he looked to be confirming some promise when winning his maiden at Wolverhampton.  He went off a shortish price for a handicap at Doncaster in June where he failed to land a significant blow.  He's clearly had his setbacks but it's great to see him back on a racecourse.  He's a mark of 82 which after a long layoff won't be easy to overcome however I do feel there is scope for a lot of improvement.  He comes with risks as we don't know his wellbeing however on the assumption that O'Meara will have him near peak he may well out run his 4/1 price.


3.10 @ Ascot - PALLASATOR - 1pt Win @ 3/1

I am still currently working on my studying for the flat season so apologies for no recent selections.  I am now hoping to ensure that daily tips will be added to the website for the majority of days.

Today i'm interested in PALLASATOR in the 3.10 @ Ascot.  A previous group 2 winner he doesn't run many bad races on good to firm ground.  He won well on his return last season to suggest he goes well fresh and this is a similar grade to that race which he won by over two lengths.  Luke Morris isn't my favourite jockey on turf however he is capable and will be putting in his very best for Sir Mark Prescott who has had a recent winner.  There are potential improvers in this line up but in these conditions you have to fancy the favourite.  At 3/1 he's decent value.
27/04/2017 - 3.15 @ Beverley - FLEETFOOT JACK - 1pt Win @ 11/4

4.15 - MR FIFTYONE - £10 WIN @ 12/1
4.50 - LOVE RORY - £15 WIN @ 6/1
5.30 - UNOWHATIMEANHARRY - £30 @ 4/1
6.05 - NO COMMENT - £15 E/W @ 15/2 / WOODS WELL - £5 WIN @ 20/1

Tip followers would have been £107.50 in profit yesterday thanks to Cracksman and Sizing John both sneaking wins from tough battles and bringing home yesterday's double whilst Minutestomidnight provided Jamie Codd with his second winner on the day.  It was another great day for Robbie Power who continues to go from strength to strength.  Everything he touches right now seems to turn to gold and from all accounts he deserves all the praise he's receiving.

I'm going to start today's write up with a flat selection in the 3.15 @ Beverley.  FLEETFOOT JACK cost powerful connections 185,000gns and there is expectation that he will improve markedly from last season.  His best performance to date came in his last appearance where Graham Gibbons gave his mount plenty to do from the rear of the 14 runner field.  He goes handicapping today off a low mark of just 67 and surely he will prove much better than that.  Had he have been given a more positive ride last time out i'm convinced he would have won and won well however he seemed to be ridden with handicaps in mind.  From what I've read and watched so far he's well thought of by David O'Meara and he could be very dangerous off this mark.

The first race ay Punchestown that I will be having a small play on is the 4.15 where I like the look of MR FIFTYONE.  The aforementioned Robbie Power takes the ride for Jessica Harrington off the back of his comeback run at Cheltenham.  He has dropped to a mark of 138 and that run should have dusted off the cobwebs.  He enjoys it at Punchestown having won twice over fences here and I feel it is interesting that Robbie takes the ride rather than the Ann and Alan potts owned Sizing Platinum.  At 12/1 he's worth a punt.

In the 4.50 there is every chance that Cantlow will deny top weight in this pretty poor Cross Country field.  However he has to give 21 pounds to a horse that will appreciate this trip, ground and course in LOVE RORY.  He has struggled this season in all fairness so he has to prove he can bounce back however if he can get back to something like his best then he can go very well under a jockey who would have learned a lot from riding him last time out.  The jockey booking does worry me a little and I won't be going in big but with so much weight advantage and at the prices I'm taking a little risk on him.

The Stayers Hurdle (5.30) is a cracking renewal and rematch with the 1,2,3 from Cheltenham all appearing.  At the prices I have to be on UNOWHATIMEANHARRY.  He ran in to a rejuvenated Nichols Canyon however this flatter track will play to his favour and his trainer couldn't be in much better form.  The favourite will have one eye on the 13th May where he's likely to go to America for a $500,000 bonus race so they won't be giving him a touch time and the fact Lil Rockerfeller finished ahead of him at Cheltenham suggests the selection wasn't at his best that day (he beat Lil Rockerfeller by four lengths previous).  He was the talking horse before Cheltenham and if back to his very best he will be tough to beat.

I'm not keen on backing many favourites at the big meetings however I do like the look of NO COMMENT in the 6.05.  He ran a cracking race at Cheltenham having ran in to all sorts of trouble in running but still managed to finish second despite a mistake at the last.  That day the race wasn't run to suit him at all and the fact he still got in to contention gives me great optimism that his two pound rise in the handicap is exploitable.  He will need luck in running again here i'm sure but if he gets upsides around 2 out I think he will take some pegging back.  At the price i'll be playing each way.  At a bigger price WOODS WELL will be my saver bet.  He was just getting going when badly hampered last time out and that was the end of is challenge.  He'll appreciate this ground and could be a big price for Elliott/Cooper.

4.20 - BATTLEFORD - £40 WIN @ 15/8
4.55 - PRESENTING PERCY - £40 WIN @ 11/4
6.05 - CARTER MACKAY - £20 WIN @ 9/1
7.15 - MINUTESTOMIDNIGHT - £30 @ 11/4

Today's £50 Double;

2.45 @ Epsom - CRACKSMAN/5.30 @ Punchestown - SIZING JOHN - £50 WIN @ 2.5/1 (Coral)

Western Boy provided tip followers with a nice 14/1 win yesterday at Punchestown.  He travelled nicely through the race and put the race to bed after jumping the last.  The disappointment from yesterday was Supreme Novice Hurdle winner Labaik who was up to his old tricks again and pretty much refused to race.  Melon and Cilaos Emery fought out a cracking finish where the latter came home in front.
On to day two.  The first race of the day is not a race i'll be getting involved in heavily.  Too many runners at a low level.  I'll be having a small play on the favourite Drumcliff and Danali but with no real strength.

In the 4.20 I will be playing BATTLEFORD.  Willie Mullins' horse was slightly disappointing at Cheltenham in March however I don't feel the big field suited him one bit.  His form behind Monalee the time before has been given a major boost and he looks the stand out horse in this race.  He has won on yielding ground before whereas we don't know if the second fav handles the ground.  I would have said he would be an 11/8 shot so to see 15/8 lights my eyes up a little.  He will take all the beating here in my opinion.

The 4.55 is a cracking Novice Hurdle with two Cheltenham winners taking each other on whilst the horses behind in the market aren't bad either.  I will be siding with PRESENTING PERCY.  This horse ruined one of my big doubles of Cheltenham having defeated Barney Dwan but he did so with such class and ease having travelled wide around a big field.  I was so so impressed with him that I couldn't back against him in a novice race even if I wanted to.  He jumps fast, travels smartly and looks a grade one horse in the making.  At 11/4 I will be backing him today.

The Gold Cup (5.30) is an interesting affair and one that I'll be backing in but not as a single or selection.  I will be cheering on Coneygree however I cannot see past Sizing John.  He has improved markedly this season and I don't think there was any fluke about him winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup.  He jumps strongly, travels nicely and clearly stays.  He'll go on the ground and with doubts about all his opposition he is the solid option.

The Bumper (6.05) is a brilliant little race with the Cheltenham Champion Bumper winner, the favourite for the race that day and the ante post favourite who didn't race all taking each other on.  Throw in the impressive Poli Roi and we really do have a cracking race in prospect.  I will be playing my big ante post Cheltenham fancy CARTER MACKAY who looks potential value at 9/1.  He was very impressive the race before Cheltenham and has won well on yielding ground before.  Again i'm not sure if the big field at Cheltenham played to his strengths and although the competition is tough I'm keeping the faith.

The 6.40 is a very tricky handicap affair with plenty who have claims.  Polidam is the interesting horse in the race and could be anything.  Willie will be going all out for this prize fund and I don't think he would have put this horse in to this race if he didn't feel he could be competitive.  He's a shortish price given that we don't know much about him but I've a feeling his 4/1 may prove a bargain later on tonight.
MINUTESTOMIDNIGHT will be my bet in the 7.15 Mares Flat Race.  She showed a great attitude a couple of weeks ago where she destroyed her rivals at Wexford, the form of which has been given a boost by the runner up winning next time out.  She answered her jockeys callings and powered clear at the finish to win impressively.  She will be a tough nut to crack with Jamie Codd on board.
I'll be doing a lucky 15 with the four selections above and a double with CRACKSMAN and SIZING JOHN which returns 2.5/1

4.55 - WESTERN BOY - £10 E/W @ 14/1
4.55 - CLARA SORRENTO - £5 E/W @ 20/1
6.05 - EARLY DOORS - £30 WIN @ 9/4

Today's £3 Yankee;

1.40 @ Yarmouth - MARINE ONE - 3/1
3.50 @ Yarmouth - FLYING FANTASY - 5/1
5.30 @ Punchestown - UN DE SCEAUX - 1/1
6.40 @ Punchestown - DISKO - 1/1

It was nice to have the Scottish Grand National Winner at the weekend as Vicente gave connections a big race win since he was purchased just a couple of months ago.  I hope you all got on.  Crimean Tatar was given a tender ride on Saturday and was never really allowed to get in to the race, frustratingly having tipped him each way to see him run on for 4th, however he will improve.  You can expect to see improvement from Zainhom too who ran a decent race on reappearance in what looks to have been a pretty hot race.  He did run in to a place however limiting the damage to just one point overall on Saturday.
Today sees the starts of the Punchestown Festival and there are plenty of aspects that can affect the racing and market there today.  Willie Mullins has a significant gap to make up on Gordon Elliott in the trainers' championship over in Ireland however he recorded nearly double that amount more in prize money than Gordon Elliott here last year, for me he has a better chance than Gordon here of securing the big prizes and therefore I wouldn't put anyone off the 10/3 available on Willie pulling out all the stops to retain his title.  Alongside that you have the battle for top amateur jockey which Patrick Mullins has won for the past nine years.  This year however he has two wins to make up with Jamie Codd.  That looks to be some battle and will be very interesting during the week.
Although I have played a few flat horses today (Marine One and Flying Fantasy among them) I have concentrated my main efforts at Punchestown.
I have little interest in race one which is a low level amateur race.  It is likely Jamie Codd has a great chance of moving three clear in the jockeys championship but for me it doesn't look a betting medium.

The second race of the meeting (4.20) is a very intruiging rematch between Labaik and Melon who filled the 1,2 places in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.  The enigma that is Labaik, currently 5/2, could be odds on within seconds of this race should he jump off with the others.  Melon is the solid option and has plenty of class and ability.  I feel the pair are in a different league to their rivals and I hope Labaik does go so we can see a real contest between the pair.  As a punting race it is too tough to call, potentially Labaik is huge value, however the start will make all the difference to the market.  There are too many risks for me so I will happily sit back and enjoy this for what it is.
The first big handicap of the meeting is the 4.55 Killashee Handicap Hurdle over 2 miles.  I mentioned in my blog last week that I like picking a couple atleast in these types of races and I will be doing so once again.  The front three in the market are all well up in the handicaps and despite proving their wellbeings last time out do not really entice me from a punting perspective.  I'm going to play two of the outsiders to small stakes because of the potential to out run their handicap marks.  Firstly WESTERN BOY.  He ran in this race last year off this mark and was going very well when slipping up.  He was once running off a mark of 143 and at 8 years old he's still in his peak time.  He could very much outrun his price.  My second selection is CLARA SORRENTO.  I've been looking at his progress for the past couple of months and feel he is better than his 116 rating.  He won easily in March when beating Without Limites and has had two runs since the latter of which I am convinced was a run to get him fit for this.  He jumped left last time out which is a worry but I hadn't noticed that the two races beforehand.  He's interesting and at 20/1 I will be having a small play.
The 5.30 looks a race at the mercy of Un De Sceaux.  I feel Fox Norton is a cracking horse but I don't like him at two miles up against this class of horse.  At the price I don't see the point in having a play so it is another race i'll happily sit back and watch.
I am excited to see Rapid Escape of Gordon Elliott's who cost £240,000 in the 6.05.  He comes over with a huge reputation and Elliott belives he will become a class act.  He won his point in February will the minimum of fuss and he looks an exciting prospect.  However at the prices I will be having a little play on the second favourite EARLY DOORS.  This is purely because I feel he is more value than the favourite on his debut.  Early Doors won a bumper here in February in telling style having found another gear when asked for his effort.  I would worry that Rapid Escape may need further and given the rules experience of the selection I will play him at 9/4.
The Champion Chase (6.40) is a race dominated by Gigginstown who have four of the seven runners.  I'm finding it hard not to side with the favourite in this race too Disko.  He has the best form in the race which was even more so franked last week by Our Duke.  Another short price so I won't be playing but he would be my choice.

1.55 @ Newbury - CRIMEAN TATAR - 1pt E/W @ 11/2
3.05 @ Newbury - ZAINHOM - 1pt E/W @ 6/1 (Paddy Power)

Scottish Grand National Selections

VICENTE - £15 e/w @ 10/1 (Coral - 6 places)
VINTAGE CLOUDS - £10 e/w @ 16/1
BLAKEMOUNT - £10 e/w @ 33/1 (Paddy Power - 6 places)

Rockportian failed to land a blow for tip followers yesterday.  He travelled quite nicely in the rear of the field but made a big mistake at a crucial point before being nursed home by Richard Johnson, I was convinced he'd have been involved but it wasn't to be.  The search for a winner continues.
Saturday sees the Scottish Grand National (3.55) @ Ayr.  I will be having a small play on three selections.  Paul Nicholls will be going hell to leather in his search for another trainers' title.  He has a lot of ground to make up but winning this would give him a chance.  He saddles VICENTE, a horse I liked for the English version.  Unfortunately he didn't last long as he fell at the first.  I know Paul was keen on him for that and it's no surprise to see him lined up here to try to retain his title.  Conditions will suit, he's back down to last years' winning mark.  He's a top class horse on his day and he'll be primed for today.  I will be also playing two of Sue Smith's horses VINTAGE CLOUDS and BLAKEMOUNT.  Vintage Clouds proved he could stay when third to Vieux Lion Rouge in February.  He normally jumps well and looks off a decent enough mark.  Blakemount looks a big price to me off a nice weight.  A proven stayer he ran a good race in the Midlands National before running out of steam very late on.  He's been dropped another couple of pounds from that and at the price he's well worth taking an each way chance on.

Over at Newbury I will be playing both Midterm and CRIMEAN TATAR in the 1.55.  The lightly raced 4 year old son of Sea The Stars is held in the highest regard by Hugo Palmer who believes he is very special.  He had a set back early in his career but he's caught up on lost time last year with an easy maiden win followed up by a listed success where he made some very impressive headway.  Put away since then he returns in this Group 3 event.  He should have more to give now and given the regard in which he is held he's well worth an each way play here with nine runners going to post.
Another solid each way shot is ZAINHOM in the 3.05 @ Newbury.  This horse has the best form in this race having finished 2nd in a group 3 contest last time out to Best Solution.  He would have been even closer that day but for having been checked two furlongs out.  Zainhom looked to have a bright future that day and he's reportedly wintered well.  At 6/1 he looks excellent value in this ten runner contest.
My each way Lucky 15 for today will be;

1.55 @ Newbury - CRIMEAN TATAR - 5/1
3.05 @ Newbury - ZAINHOM - 5/1
5.20 @ Newbury - KARAWAN - 11/1
6.30 @ Nottingham - PETERPORT - 11/2


3.15 @ Ayr - ROCKPORTIAN - 1pt E/W @ 6/1

A great day yesterday with the £50 double returning £375 and the £2 Yankee returning £35.20, it could so easily have been more.  That's the second day on the bounce we have had two winning selections in the yankee bet, we're getting closer!
Todays' racing doesn't entice me as much as the past couple of days and as it's Friday I won't be staking big money, however I do have one tip for today;

In the 3.15 @ Ayr Warren Greatrex has secured the services of champion jockey Richard Johnson to ride ROCKPORTIAN.  This well regarded horse has ran ok this season without troubling the bookies.  However he shaped like a real three miler last time out and he finished only three lengths behind Snow Leopardess who has franked the form no end.  I feel he will make a 130+ horse in time but to warrant that he should be winning a race like this.  His trainer couldn't be in better form and at the price he looks a great each way bet to me.

My yankee for today will be;

3.05 @ Newbury - SHUTTER SPEED - 6/4 - WON
3.40 @ Newbury - MORI - 9/4 - LOST
4.10 @ Newbury - CHESSMAN - 15/8 - LOST (2ND)
6.00 @ Bath - PRICELESS - 2/1 - WON


Crackdeloust finally put in a display that my previous views had warranted as he led from pillar to post in the two mile one furlong contest.  Typically it's the first time I haven't tipped him up but I hope you all had listened to my previous comments on the horse, he is capable and has plenty of scope for improvement.  Edward Lewis held on at Beverley also at a nice 8/1 to bring up a double in the yankee.  One more would have made a really nice profit.
I will be having a play on a couple of bets today;

- £2 Yankee;

2.25 @ Newmarket - MIX AND MINGLE - 7/1 - WON @ 5/1
3.35 @ Newmarket - RIVET - 3/1 - LOST (2ND)
4.00 @ Ripon - UAE PRINCE - 6/5 - WON @ 2/1
6.50 @ Lingfield - FLYING FANTASY - 7/1 - LOST

- £50 Double;

4.00 @ Ripon - UAE PRINCE 6/5 - WON @ 2/1
5.40 @ Tipperary - VENICE BEACH - 6/4 - WON @ 5/4


I am still getting stuck in to my flat studying for the season however I will be having a £2 yankee on the following today that I feel all have good chances;

4.35 @ Beverley - EDWARD LEWIS - 9/2 - WON @ 8/1
5.20 @ Newmarket - ELUCIDATION - 10/3 - LOST
5.55 @ Sedgefield - CRACKDELOUST - 5/2 - WON @ 5/4
7.15 @ Wolverhampton - NEWSTEAD ABBEY - 11/2 - LOST


1.50 @ Huntingdon - THE BLUE BOMBER - 1pt Win @ 3/1
4.45 @ Plumpton - COR WOT AN APPLE - 1pt Win @ 5/1

There are nine race meetings for this Easter Monday however the lack of quality has slightly disappointed me.  Fairyhouse is the exception but a lot of that racing looks a minefield to me so I've concentrated on a couple of smaller events.
My first bet of the day is in the 1.50 at Huntingdon where THE BLUE BOMBER takes my eye.  I made a note of this horse back in October at Fakenham where he jumped sharply out to his right losing lengths at the majority of his jumps but stayed on to finish an unlucky 2nd.  I thought that day that he was made for Huntingdon, unsurprisingly his next outing was at that track but he bitterly disappointed.  He is better than that and he has found a nice opportunity here to break his duck over hurdles.  He receives weight from those with a penalty or two and he proved his wellbeing last time out when he would have given Paul Nicholls' Dreamcatching something to think about when coming to grief.  Providing he has no ill effects from that fall he will take a fair bit of beating on these terms here.
Neil Mulholland has booked the services of Tom Scudamore in the 4.45 Class 5 Handicap Hurdle on COR WOT AN APPLE.  He has struggled to make any sort of impact since leaving Colin Tizzard however he is now off a mark of just 89 and has a few things in his favour here.  It is a poor race and to be fair to the horse he jumps quite efficiently.  He's back to just over two miles on good to firm ground with Scudamore on board, there are plenty of reasons to feel connections are going all out for a win here.  He's worth a little risk at 5/1

Interest Bets;
1.50 @ Musselburgh - LAT HAWILL - 15/2
2.40 @ Haydock - MONBEG GOLD - 8/1
Due to the amount of racing on today and the time of year it's near impossible to study all the form however i've had a play on three who I feel could offer some value for interest betting.
In the 1.50 @ Musselburgh Keith Dalgleish saddles LAT HAWILL.  He'll appreciate this ground, has been dropped in class and is off his lowest handicap mark.  He looks to have a leading chance if he's in the right frame of mind and although the form figures don't fill you will confidence you have to feel he's better than he's shown on his last few races.

I'm not a regular Jonjo O'Neill backer however I feel MONBEG GOLD in the 2.40 @ Haydock could be worth a dabble today.  Back up in trip on good ground should be right up his street and you get the feeling Jonjo will have him ready for one good race before the season finishes, this could be his last chance and at 8/1 he's worth a bet. 

Saturday 8th April 2017 - Grand National Day
1.45 - FOR GOOD MEASURE - £30 WIN @ 12/1, BRIERY QUEEN - £10 WIN @ 25/1
2.25 - FINIAN'S OSCAR - £40 WIN @ 3/1
3.00 - POLITOLOGUE - £15 WIN @ 11/2, SAN BENEDITO - £25 WIN @ 9/1
3.40 - EMERGING FORCE - £20 WIN @ 6/1, HENRI PARRY MORGAN - £20 WIN @ 10/1
4.20 - YANWORTH - £40 WIN @ 9/4
5.15 - ONE FOR ARTHUR £10 WIN @ 18/1, THE LAST SAMURI - £10 WIN @ 20/1, VICENTE - £5 E/W @ 25/1, HIGHLAND LODGE - £5 E/W @ 28/1
6.15 - BORN SURVIVOR - £30 WIN @ 11/1, VOSNE ROMANEE - £10 WIN @ 20/1
Not the best of days punting i'm afraid yesterday with just one winner at 3/1 in The World's End.  It was however another great day out at Aintree with the lads and if you haven't been to Aintree before I really recommend it.  It's an atmosphere like no other racecourse and such a well organised event, Aintree staff deserve all the credit they get.

Today is the toughest of all three days but again some excellent racing on the cards.  The opening race (1.45) is a trappy 3 mile handicap with 22 runners to pick from.  The favourite No Hassle Hoff looks on a good mark for his handicap debut with his form receiving a boost yesterday by the aforementioned The World's End.  I worry for hold up horses in these sorts of races and although he may very well prove better than his mark I feel he comes with plenty of risk involved to look elsewhere.  Barney Dwan almost brought home a nice pot at Cheltenham for me when finding one too good that day.  He travelled like a dream, jumped very well and was an unlucky second, he had a tough race that day and that worries me in this sort of race.  I will be having a play on FOR GOOD MEASURE who I thought was very unlucky at Cheltenham having been cut up when travelling nicely trying to make his move.  This track will suit him better and in my interview with Philip Hobbs he said that this horse would be the horse he'd back if he had his last £1.  I feel if he can travel and jump like he did at Cheltenham, with a clear passage he would be in the mix up here.  At the price he's the value at the front of the market.  I will be having a saver on BRIERY QUEEN who I feel can eek out some more improvement over three miles.  She wasn;t far behind the big three mares at Cheltenham and if that race hasn't left it's mark a reproduction of that form over this distance would have her bang there.  At 25/1 she looks worth a small bet.

The 2.25 is a terrific race in prospect.  I was very interested in Le Breuil and Messire Des Obeaux when the declarations were made as I feel they are going to be top class however this race is all about FINIAN'S OSCAR.  He has been mighty impressive this season and was a short price for the Neptune at Cheltenham before pulling out with a minor setback.  This therefore will be his big race for the season and he is sure to be primed for it.  He holds the key to the race as if he can continue his improvement he has all the aspects to suggest he will be tough to beat wherever he is campaigned in future.

Many would expect Charbel to win the 3.00 and make amends for falling at Cheltenham when looking to give Altior a challenge.  He may well do so too but it would worry me that when he's been tested by Altior the past two races his jumping hasn't held up, he jumps well in his own time but under pressure he hasn't tackled it well the past two races, that would therefore give me reason to have a bet elsewhere given that he is an odds on favourite.  Paul Nicholls hasn't had a winner yet but he does tend to take his chances across the country on a Saturday.  He is double handed here and I feel both POLITOLOGUE and SAN BENEDITO have chances.  The former ran a good enough race in defeat to Yorkhill at Cheltenham and the return to this flatter track will help his chances, he jumps well and has travelled well in his races, he doesn't look short of speed so this drop in trip is interesting.  San Benedito has been impressive on his last couple of runs and is a bit of an unknown quantity which makes him very dangerous to ignore.  He won as you could expect in a novice handicap chase last time out but that day he was giving over a stone in weight to his rivals and watching the race you'd have thought he was off level weights as he made little work of destroying his rivals.  He could be anything and at 9/1 he will have some of my money.

The 3.40 is another great 3 mile handicap with some good quality from the top to the bottom of the weights.  Those that follow the website will know that i'm a fan of EMERGING FORCE and I think he has a great chance here today.  He's been given plenty of time off and will have ideal conditions to aid his cause here.  He jumps well, travels well and stays all day.  I like his battling qualities and I feel he is a horse that could prove much better than his mark of 142.  I will also have a play on HENRI PARRY MORGAN who now looks dangerously handicapped his off 138.  He's had some tough races this season and hasn't fired on all cylinders.  However this time last year he gave Native River a run for his money at Aintree and will have ground and course in his favour today.  I'm sure his connections can make the most of his mark and it would be no surprise should he feature in the finish here.

The 4.20 sees YANWORTH tackle three miles for the first time as has been many peoples wish this season.  He is a horse of great ability and has been a big talking horse by many and I feel he is definitely a three miler.  He doesn't have the pace to tackle the best two mile hurdlers but when running over two and a half miles he's put in his best displays when staying on strongly at the finish suggesting three miles won't be an issue.  Cole Harden is a three mile specialist and will set the benchmark for the race but there are plenty of reasons to suggest Yanworth will be seen at best effect at this level on these terms.  He's not original neither a great price but he is the big name that we all hope can prove his worth.

The big race is the 5.15 Randox Health Grand National.  It is a great spectacle and brings many people in to the sport that wouldn't normally be involved.  Not necessarily a race that punters get heavily involved in with a lot of luck having to be on your side but you have to search out the value.  The horse i've been keen on for a while is ONE FOR ARTHUR.  He went in to my notebook when behind Vieux Lion Rouge here in December when staying on strongly at the finish.  His win at Warwick following that oozed class and screamed out "National" to me.  I feel with a clear round he will win this!  That is my one worry, he will probably be held up in midfield or near the rear and you need all the luck in the world from there to get involved.  I can't remember the last hold up horse to win the National so that is my worry but there is so much to like about him I will be playing again.  I don't usually back horses who have lost a National again however I feel THE LAST SAMURI has a chance even being on worse terms than last year.  He proved his wellbeing when second behind Definitly Red last time out and he wasn't given a tough time in that race.  He jumps well, stays all day and races prominently.  He has the attributes, he just needs to make it pay now.  Paul Nicholls named VICENTE as his National horse at the start of the season and he was subsequently bought by Trevor Hemmings recently with this race at the forefront of his mind.  He's had plenty of prep runs now and hopefully Brian Hughes has him towards the head of the field.  HIGHLAND LODGE is my final bet, he is a good jumper and a real stayer.  He loves these fences and I feel his mark isn't that unreasonable.  He has a chance.

The final race for Aintree 2017 is the 6.15 conditional jockeys handicap hurdle. The top weight on the card BORN SURVIVOR is a horse I like a lot, he's very genuine and although probably not top class he's not too far behind them.  He will like today's ground and has a useful jockey in Bridget Andrews on board whom will have learned a lot about him at Cheltenham last month.  He has to have a chance on these terms.  The other horse i'll be backing is VOSNE ROMANEE who is surely better than he showed last time out.  Dr Newland likes this horse a lot and his work rider Charlie Hammond rides him today.  He'll know the horse inside out and can get a nice tune out of him.  At a price he could be interesting.
Friday 7th April 2017 - Opening Day
1.40 - NORTH HILL HARVEY - £10 E/W @ 10/1, ZUBAYR - £10 E/W @ 20/1
2.20 - MOUNT MEWS - £40 WIN @ 3/1
2.50 - MIGHT BITE - NO BET - Watching brief
3.25 - UXIZANDRE - £15 WIN @ 8/1, JOSSES HILL - £25 WIN @ 14/1
4.05 - SEEFOOD - £15 WIN @ 11/1, THIRD INTENTION - £15 WIN @ 22/1, AS DE MEE - £10 WIN @ 11/1
4.40 - WEST APPROACH - £20 WIN @ 11/2, THE WORLD'S END - £20 WIN @ 5/2
5.15 - BLACK OP - £20 WIN @ 7/2, RUN TO MILAN - £20 WIN @ 25/1
One winner on day one with Double W's coming home at 8/1 whilst four horses placed for each way money.  Not a bad start to what was a tough day one at the festival.
Day Two of the Festival is Ladies' Day and one of the most looked forward to days of the calendar year for locals.  If you've never been to Aintree before I suggest you do, it is a cracking party type atmosphere that you don't get at many racecourses.  The racing improves year on year and I for one absolutely love it.

Friday is always a tough day to find winners but usually when you do it can pay for your day.  The opening race is a prime example of that with the favourite currently 7/1.  In my opinion NORTH HILL HARVEY is a prime candidate for this kind of race.  He proved he can go to Cheltenham and then perform at Aintree last year.  He wasn't given a tough time in March and will come here as fresh as he can be.  The form of his November win at Cheltenham is top drawer giving weight away to most.  He stayed on very strongly at the finish that day to suggest the added trip shouldn't be a worry.  The slightly softer ground will aid his cause whilst his trainer is in excellent form.  He should go well at a nice price.  I noticed Paul Nicholls' ZUBAYR entered the other day for this race but was very surprised to actually see him feature.  His trainer has some catching up to do if he wants to win the Trainers' Championship with Nicky Henderson pulling further clear yesterday thanks to Buveur D'Air's win and there's no doubts in my mind that he is capable of turning over that deficit.  Zubayr has been competing in some excellent races this season without really landing a blow.  He ran well enough behind Brain Power at Sandown the race before last when carrying top weight then ran well below par on soft ground last time out.  The better ground here will suit and he shouldn't be underestimated now upped in trip.  At 18/1 he's well worth a play.

The 2.20 is a cracking race in prospect with the favourite Moon Racer sure to be popular on the day.  He ran no kind of race at Cheltenham but had been given a big break before that race.  He's a tough horse to get right and he clearly wasn't that day.  He shouldn't be underestimated as he's clearly a horse of ability but for me there are too many risks attached to back him right now.  River Wylde has as good a chance of any here and is arguably the best of British Novice hurdlers having finished 3rd behind Labaik and Melon in the Supreme.  That race may leave it's mark with him however and his price isn't enticing.  The horse I am very keen on is MOUNT MEWS.  Held back for this race he looks a horse with the potential to go to the top of his class.  He seems to have improved race by race, goes on any ground, jumps quickly and accurately and has ticks in all the boxes.  I am hoping he will be a household name this time next year and at the prices he is the only I will be following.

It is hard to see past MIGHT BITE in the 2.50.  He is clearly a quirky horse but a horse of immense ability.  His RSA Chase win will live long in the memory having pulled well in front of his nearest pursuer Whisper but then tried to go in to the stands for a quick pint, realised he was still racing and with Whisper already passed him somehow managed to fight his way to a narrow win.  It just oozed a horse of quality and quirkyness that fans love and I hope to see him win and win well, I wouldn't put you off an ante post bet on the Gold Cup for 2018 at 10/1 as I think he could be a favourite for that race this time next year.  I won't be punting him at the price as I don't like odds on shots at Festivals but there is nothing in the field I would want to take him on with so i'll just keep my pint with me and watch this one.

The 2 mile 4 furlong Melling Chase (3.25) is an interesting affair with two Champion Chase contenders taking on two Ryanair Chase contenders at the head of the market.  The market originally had the Champion Chasers at it's head but is starting to get it right with Sub Lieutenant creeping up in the market.  To be honest there are question marks against all of them in this race so I don't feel it's worth looking at anything around the 3/1 mark or less when there is so much doubt about them and quality at bigger prices.  I will be playing two horses in this race.  UXIZANDRE and JOSSES HILL.  On the former he is a top class horse in his own right but has been very inconsistent throughout his career.  When he is on a going day I believe that he is the best horse in this race, that is an if but at 8/1 he's worth taking a chance on.  Josses Hill is a conundrum to me, I don't understand why his jockey doesn't always send him out in front.  His form figures when making all is 111.  However the majority of the time he tends to be put in behind the leaders and then makes mistakes.  I think he needs to be sent out in front to enjoy himself and if he is this course and ground can play to his strengths at this distance.  He could be very dangerous at a nice price.

The Topham Chase (4.05) is a crowd favourite as it is ran over the National fences and a big field.  I like horses who have ran around Aintree before and therefore I've played two towards the head of the field.  SEEFOOD dusted the cobwebs off in preparation for this race last month and Dr Newland will no doubt have him primed for this off a nice weight.  He ran a cracker when 2nd to As De Mee in December but the latter has to give more weight away here.  This will be Seefood's Gold Cup and there is every reason to think he can be a player here.  THIRD INTENTION likes in around Aintree and has come back off a bad run to win in the past.  He ran too bad to be true at Cheltenham and with the potential to turn that run on it's head here he could be an interesting proposition for a yard who need some good news.  AS DE MEE shouldn't be ruled out either for the aforementioned Paul Nicholls despite the weight advantage for Seefood.  He will be spot on for this race.

The 4.40 Doom Bar Sefton Novices Hurdle is another great race in prospect.  I was disappointed that Le Breuil and Messire Des Obeaux have been re-routed but it is an interesting race nonetheless.  WEST APPROACH has been taking on the big guns this season and ran a great race in defeat in January when third to Uknowhatimeanharry.  He didn't run to that level at Cheltenham in March but he's clearly a better horse than that and returns to novice company here where I believe he can make his mark.  You can't help but to have been impressed with the way WORLD'S END made ground at Cheltenham in the Albert Bartlett before falling and he has to be backed even at his short price.  Both the above horses have bright futures ahead of them.

The finale (5.15) on day two is the NH Flat Race grade 2 event.  Again this is not a race to get too excited about due to the nature of these races and the potential of all the horses however I was very taken with BLACK OP's win at Doncaster for his first race under rules when beating current favourite Claimantakinforgan.  Granted he received seven pounds that day whereas they meet on an even keel here however he travelled very sweetly for his debut and showed real professionalism whilst brushing aside the opposition when answering his jockey's callings.  The finish of that race proved to me that he is a horse that you need to keep on the right side of in future, I like horses who battle and given the quality of opposition that day on debut you can't help but be impressed.  I suspect he was better than that run even looked and he would have improved since, he looks dangerous.  The other horse I will be backing is RUN TO MILAN of Victor Dartnell's.  He was very impressive when beating Lalor in December who has since franked the form and I feel he will have been primed for this race by his trainer.  If this horse was with one of the big trainers I feel he would be a 5/1 or 6/1 shot therefore he looks value.

Thursday 6th April 2017 - Opening Day

1.45 - CLOUDY DREAM - £25 WIN @ 3/1, FRODON - £15 WIN @ 5/1
2.20 - DIVIN BERE - £20 E/W @ 5/1
2.50 - BRISTOL DE MAI - £40 WIN @ 6/1
3.25 - THE NEW ONE - £20 E/W @ 8/1
4.05 - ON THE FRINGE - £40 WIN @ 9/4
4.40 - DOUBLE W's - £20 WIN @ 9/1, BUN DORAN - £10 WIN @ 12/1, ROMAIN DE SENAM - £10 WIN @ 14/1
5.15 - PETITCOAT TAILS - £20 WIN @ 3/1, SHEARLING - £20 WIN @ 10/1

I will be taking £40 per race with me to Aintree therefore my I have shown my stakes for each race above.
The Festival kicks off with a cracking 2 mile 4 furlong Novice Chase (1.45).  The favourite Top Notch is a lovely little horse and a reproduction of his Cheltenham run behind Yorkhill will put him bang there here, it is often seen with Cheltenham horses that come to Aintree that they under-perform and for me there is certainly no value in his short price.  CLOUDY DREAM is an interesting proposition.  Officially he has a few pounds to find with the favourite however his run against Altior in the Arkle was top class novice form and I'd even go as far to say he'd have beaten Charbel had he stayed on his feet.  He left no signs that he was stopping that day and the increase in trip could bring about the improvement needed.  I think he is going to be a household name next season and providing Cheltenham has left no ill effects he has a great chance here.  I can't help but have a saver on FRODON.  The trainers' Championship is coming to a head now with Nicky Henderson ahead of Paul Nicholls by some way however I have seen this before when people have said that Paul has "lost" it when he's not had a great Cheltenham but then he bites back at Aintree.  He will have Frodon primed for this race.  2 mile 4 furlongs is his trip and the flat track will be ideal.  The ground shouldn't be an issue as he's versatile and having had more of a break than the market leaders he is fresh.  He has plenty of ticks in boxes and I'm hoping the winner comes from Cloudy Dream or Frodon.

The 2.20 on the card isn't one to get heavily involved in.  Defi Du Seuil was hugely impressive at Cheltenham and wasn't given that tough a race and I will be disappointed if he doesn't follow up that win here.  I will have an each way bet in this race on DIVIN BERE who I think is a bet to nothing.  He ran a cracker at Cheltenham when giving weight away and on an even keel here he can be shown in a better light.  He should be in the frame and just incase the favourite doesn't perform I will be playing him.

The Betway Bowl (2.50) is a very interesting race.  It would be no surprise if Cue Card shrugged off his Cheltenham fall and bolted up here.  The 11 year old is a crowd favourite and I will be happy to bet elsewhere and see him come home in front.  I was not impressed with how he travelled at Cheltenham however and I worry age may now be catching up with him.  Another horse I wasn't impressed with at Cheltenham was Empire of Dirt.  The horse didn't travel an inch although he did stay on at the finish.  The three mile trip will be right up his street but he'd have to show more enthusiasm before he gets my money.  That therefore brings me to BRISTOL DE MAI.  It's not a confident selection as either of the front two could prove better than last time out here but he is the value in my opinion.  He jumps well on the whole, stays all day and wasn't given a tough time at Cheltenham when his chance had gone.  He'll prefer this flat track and with his trainer's horses running better it adds another positive.  People seem to forget that this horse is still just six years old, he seems to have been around for a long time but he has scope to continue improving and I hope his potential is there for all to see here.

Buveur D'Air should win the 3.25 but is another with no value at 1/2 best price.  As I'm going and will need to have a bet I will play THE NEW ONE each way as the trip and ground will be in his favour and he's a cracking horse if not at the top of his class.
The Foxhunters Chase (4.05) is all about ON THE FRINGE.  He's the only short priced horse I want to back on the day and owes me absolutely nothing.  It wouldn't surprise me if this was his curtain call with the old timer now 12 years old and having legend status.  He was third at Cheltenham where in my opinion Jamie Codd had him too far back to land a blow.  I'm hoping he's learned from that and has him closer to the pace where he can utilise his unique staying prowess.  He's one of my favourite horses and I will be there giving him my full support whether he wins or loses.  I think he's a much better horse than the others and he should turn the tables on Pacha Du Polder.

The 4.40 Red Rum Handicap Chase is a proper handicap where I could pick out plenty.  Without going in to major detail as I could talk about this race forever, I will be having £40 to play on the race and will be playing hedging my bets and hope for a small profit as follows - DOUBLE W's - £20 WIN, BUN DORAN - £10 WIN, ROMAIN DE SENAM - £10 WIN

The Mares' NH Flat Race (5.15) is a lottery as all horses have scope to improve.  I will be playing two that I know are well regarded by their trainers and have the form to be in with a good shout, Warren Greatrex's PETITCOAT TAILS and Brian Ellison's SHEARLING.  I probably won't be able to see the race by then due to the amount of alcohol consumption but hopefully one of them can pay for the continuation of the evening.

Interest Bets;

4.20 @ Huntingdon - HERDSWICK HOLLOA - 1pt Win @ 10/1 (Paddy Power)
One bet for me today and it comes from Huntingdon in the shape of handicap debutant HERDSWICK HOLLOA (4.20).  Neil King said in a pre-season interview that this horse had been pulling up trees at home and he loved him.  He hasn't shown anything like that on the racecourse however he may be a different proposition now handicapping and he shouldn't be underestimated.  He's been given a few months break which i'm assuming has been to get him right and ensure good ground which he gets today.  Given a rating of just 101 if he isn't better than that then I will never listen to anything Neil King says ever again.  To be fair to the horse he hasn't jumped badly in his races and looked in need of 3 miles on a couple of occasions.  I will be disappointed if he can't outstay these off this mark.

Interest Bets;

3.00 @ Doncaster - KOOL KOMPANY - E/W @ 11/1​
5.50 @ Doncaster - DEELEY'S DOUBLE - WIN @ 20/1 (Coral)
5.25 @ Uttoxeter - FARBREAGA - WIN @ 16/1 (Will Hill)

My second £100 to £500 selection from Karalee's win on Thursday is a football accumulator treble.  Starting off in the Championship top of the table Newcastle host a Wigan side languishing second from bottom with chances of survival becoming shorter and shorter as the weeks go on.  The home team will want to keep their top of the table status in tact with Brighton on the hunt.  In League One a similar situation ensues at the Macron Stadium where second placed Bolton play second from bottom Chesterfield.  The away side need to pull off a minor miracle to escape relegation and there confidence would have taken a big dent when beaten all ends up by Rochdale last week.  The home side will want to cement their chances of automatic promotion sooner rather than later.  Rangers still have a realistic chance of finishing the Scottish Premier League as runners up to Celtic and have hit a rich vein of form.  Motherwell have won just one in seven games and are struggling and it will be a real shock should they take anything from this game.
My bet is £150 @ 1.48/1 with WillHill.  Here's hoping we can continue the run this weekend.
​As for the horse racing it is largely a watching brief for me today with the first day of the new flat season starting at Doncaster.  I have a couple of decent price interest bets but nothing to go big on.

Firstly in the 3.00 @ Doncaster I like the looks of KOOL KOMPANY.  He moved over to Australia last year where he failed to acclimatise properly but showed improved form when returning to Britain and Richard Hannon back in October.  I remember him winning a group 3 race in 2015 first time out at Newmarket and given how he goes well fresh and would have appreciated the break he could be one at a decent price to put up a good show.

Regular readers will know I like to try and second guess Tony Carroll's runners and I can't help but be interested in DEELEY'S DOUBLE in the 5.50 @ Doncaster.  Clifford Lee rode him last month at Kempton and will have learned a lot from that ride.  There are plenty of doubts about his chances but I find it interesting that he steps up in trip, interesting that Clifford is booked once again and interesting that Tony Carroll runs him at Doncaster on day one of the new flat season.  He could be there just for a day out however at the price he's worth taking a small chance on.
My final interest bet for today is in the 5.25 @ Uttoxeter and the form figures would normally put plenty of people off this horse bu FARBREAGA could be a different horse this spring for Harry Whittington with Nico De Boinville on board off a decreasing mark.  He is clearly a horse that has been tough to train and he is not one for each way backers as he tends to bomb out or hose up.  Harry feels this horse is well handicapped and if you followed him for the next year I do believe you'll end up with a nice profit.  I'm hoping however today could be a going day with a break behind him and at 16/1 I'll be playing small.

Interest Bets;

4.00 @ Warwick - BALLYCULLA - E/W @ 12/1 (4 places with SkyBet)
3.10 @ Wolverhampton - NINJAGO - E/W @ 8/1 (SkyBet)

Well it was the second time i'd Napped Crackdeloust yesterday and the second time he has failed to return.  He didn't seem to see the trip out yesterday which really surprised me and it may still be a case that he'd need soft ground, but i'm not convinced.  Brian Ellison was crazy about this horse pre-season and he's obviously still tinkering to find his perfect trip etc however I can only apologise for a bitter disappointing nap.  He is still a young horse and I'm convinced he will prove much better than his current rating but it may be next year before we see anything close to his trainers' expectations.
I have brought a new feature to the website today which is the £100 to £500 challenge.  It is something i've been playing around with over the past few weeks and i'm hoping it will prove a lucrative section.  The idea behind it is to build up over a period of time the £100 starting stake using so called "educated bankers" of mine until I hit the £500 mark and then bank that and start again.  My first bet for that challenge is in the 3.15 @ Limerick today - KARALEE at 1/2.  For full details please visit my site
After learning my lesson yesterday i'm going to put my head down over the next few weeks and only tip something up if all the boxes are ticked.  I will still be playing but no major stakes and will be putting in the ground work for the flat season.
Today's interest bet is BALLYCULLA in the 4.00 @ Warwick.  He returned to hurdles last month under Tom Greatrex and ran ok on two occasions without really getting involved.  Gavin Sheehan is back on board here today and the slightly better ground may be in his favour.  He's had a good breakd and is now off a mark of just 125 which is a pound lower than his last hurdles win and he's one who is sure to stay the trip.  He's certainly no banker but he looks overpriced to me at 12/1 and with a few positives back in his favour in this handicap where you can get four places he looks worth an each way play.
My second interest bet for the day is in the 3.10 @ Wolverhampton, NINJAGO.  He was very unlucky last time out when hampered whilst making his move and then running on all too late.  He is off the same mark here and looks a good each way bet.  My main worry would be the draw which isn't ideal but this is a lower grade than usual and I suspect he will be bang there at the finish.

29/03/2017 - 3.40 @ Sedgefield - CRACKDELOUST - 2pts Win (NAP)

Yesterday's email horse was unfortunately pulled out pretty much as soon as I sent the email, I think they knew we were coming to get them!
My tip today is a pretty confident selection and it is CRACKDELOUST in the 3.40 @ Sedgefield.  This horse was featured in my horses to follow section but has slightly disappointed since returning to the track this season.  He was beaten on his last outing by the second favourite here Mr Clarkson however I thought he travelled smartly throughout that race before being found out at the finish.  The ground that day was on the heavy side of soft and seemed to take it's toll on him late on.  On better ground he should be a different proposition and although not the quickest he has shaped like the added trip would aid his cause.  He now has nearly a stone on Mr Clarkson (taking off David Noonan's 3 pound allowance), has been given more time since his last run and there is every reason to think he can reverse that form with him here today.  I'm convinced having watched his races this season that there is a win in him before the season is out and he has a golden opportunity here to break his duck in this country.  His trainer Brian Ellison is in decent form too.  Of the remainder of the opposition Bollin Ace hasn't performed on anything better than soft before and has a big weight to carry.  Dear Sire doesn't jump well and that may find him out.  Reverant Cust has 21 lengths to find with Crackdeloust based on the last time they faced eachother.  Indy Island has ability but she needs to improve a bit more for her last win.  Justforjames should improve for the ground and could go well off a declining mark, I would rate him as the most likely opposition.

Cheltenham Day Four Selections
2.10 - NORTH HILL HARVEY (8/1) / VOSNE ROMANEE E/W (25/1) / WAIT FOR ME (18/1)
2.50 - ANY DRAMA E/W (25/1)
3.30 - CUE CARD (5/1) / MORE OF THAT E/W (14/1)
4.10 - ON THE FRINGE (7/4)
4.50 - BATTLEFORD (8/1) / DADSINTROUBLE E/W (18/1) / BORN SURVIVOR E/W (28/1) / LAC FONTANA E/W (18/1)
A great day yesterday for tip followers with Yorkhill, Un De Sceaux and Road to Respect all coming home in front whilst Jury Duty, Barney Dwan and Bouvreuil all placed at decent enough prices.  Yesterday made my Cheltenham!
Today we start off with the tricky Triumph Hurdle.  The talking horse is Charli Parcs.  I was very impressed with him last time out and I know many weren't.  He clearly wasn't right that day and was ridden early but he responded well to Barry Geraghty's drive and was still in with a chance when coming down and subsequently injuring his jockey.  Would he have beaten Master Blueyes that day, I don't think so however the money has been very strong for him this week and Nicky Henderson thinks he's his best horse.  Today is his chance to prove it.  For me he's now far too short to back with no course form and off the back of a bad fall less than a month ago.  I will be on DEFI DU SEUIL.  It's a boring choice going with the favourite but I really really like him.  He has course form, he has ran on the ground, he has improved with each run, he jumps well, I literally have no negatives with him.  For me he is easily the one they have to beat and granted it is stronger opposition here he is a worthy favourite in this contest.  I will be having a couple of small saver bets on Master Blueyes and Landofhopeandglory.  The former has improved ten fold and the form of his last race is obviously excellent whilst the latter will be primed for the race and the better ground should see him at his best for Joseph O'Brien.
The County Hurdle (2.10) this year is one hell of a puzzle to solve.  There are so many horses in this race who look "well in" and it's nothing but a small bet race for me.  I will be playing one near the head of the market and two bigger prices.  Firstly at the head of the market I can't let NORTH HILL HARVEY go unbacked.  He has course form in the bag (Supreme Novice form of last year extra special), massive potential, unexposed, jumps well and a good trainer for this race.  There are plenty of positives for him, my one worry would be the break since his last run.  At bigger prices I will be backing VOSNE ROMANEE.  At the Trafalgar Rock open day at Dr Newland's yard last year he talked very highly about this horse and unfortunately he met a set back which kept him out of action for a while.  He proved his well being with a nice comeback run on the flat last month and he will be primed for this race here.  He too has course form and at a price he could go under the radar.  WAIT FOR ME will be my final play in the race.  He is a frustrating but talented horse and looks on a very nice weight here.  Four pounds lower than in this race last year where he was fourth he could go very well for the Hobbs and Dicky Johnson team.
The Albert Bartlett (2.50) market has been headed by Death Duty for some time and Gordon Elliott is very coy on his chances.  He looks to have a massive future ahead of him and could be anything.  The short price however on a course he's not run at on drier ground than ideal does not entice me.  I'm happy for him to win at 2/1.  The horse i'm very keen on is ANY DRAMA at 25/1.  Seriously if this horse can get his jumping right and go off in front he will take some pegging back.  He looked like the three mile trip would suit on his last two easy wins as he wasn't stopping at the finish and at the price i'm much happier taking 25/1 on Any Drama than 2/1 on Death Duty.
The Gold Cup (3.30) is a tough race to assess also.  Money and vibes have come for Djakadam and this time a few weeks back i'd have had a play but at 3/1 he's plenty short enough for me to leave in a race of this calibre.  I think the race is hugely open and there is little between the whole field.  Therefore I have gone a little bit with my heart and the story horse of the race CUE CARD.  He was going extremely well this time last year when coming to grief and would have given Don Cossack a run for his money.  He's a year older and that seems to have told earlier in the season however his last run showed he still retains that old ability and if Djakadam didn't have to improve on last years' form to win this then Cue Card surely only has to retain his ability to have a chance.  At 5/1 he is now an attractive proposition and it would be a great story for him to deservedly take the big price and it wouldn't surprise me if connections then retired him on top of the tree.  My each way play is MORE OF THAT.  He is another that has been talked up by connections and would have been in with a chance had he not fallen at the last in the Irish Gold Cup.  Jonjo O'Neill has been pretty coy on this horses chances and he rarely gets excited about one so for that reason I'm going in.
I refuse to tip up anything other than a horse that has made my Cheltenham year on year and in fact saved my Cheltenham once.  If ON THE FRINGE wins the Foxhunters (4.10) today there will be Champagne flowing in our little pub in Widnes.  I love this horse and even at the age of 12 he holds every chance here today.  The opposition is getting tougher and the terms are getting harder but my heart will always be on this horse and I cannot back against him even if I wanted to.
The Martin Pipe Conditionals Handicap Hurdle is another pin sticker job and I will take another view of backing one at the head of the market and two each way prices.  BATTLEFORD will be my one at the head of the market.  He raced a cracker in the Bumper last year and Willie Mullins back in form makes him attractive.  He doesn't run a bad race and looks on a suitable mark.  I will be having a crack with DADSINTROUBLE.  He has improved hugely in his past two wins at Haydock and he was travelling well at Cheltenham the time before when he came down.  He has potential to keep improving and looks a big price to me at 18/1.  I'm actually going to have two small each ways at bigger prices on the two top British trained horses.  BORN SURVIVOR i'm convinced will be a better horse than his mark of 143 whilst LAC FONTANA is the stand out horse for Paul Nicholls if he can find some of his old form.

The final race of Cheltenham is the Grand Annual (5.30).  The banker is that I will be very drunk at the start of this race :)  Seriously though you can make cases for a number of these again so small stakes advised.  I'm going to play ROCK THE WORLD, DODGING BULLETS and THE GAME CHANGER.  They are not strong selections but have potential to perform much better than their current marks if on top of their games and each one will have had their trainers ensuring they are in top shape.

Cheltenham Day Three Selections
1.30 - YORKHILL (11/8)
2.10 - TOBEFAIR (11/1) / JURY DUTY (8/1) / BARNEY DWAN E/W (20/1)
2.50 - UN DE SCEAUX (11/4)
4.10 - BOUVREUIL E/W (12/1) / ROAD TO RESPECT E/W (16/1)
4.50 - LA BAGUE AU ROI E/W (10/1)
5.30 - SQUOUATEUR (11/2)

Two winners again yesterday for tip followers with Might Bite somehow coming home in front whilst Cause Of Causes won with his head in his chest.  Douvan's display put a dampener on preceedings however as I like seeing superstars perform at their best, that was clearly not his best yesterday.
I can't get away from YORKHILL in the opener (1.30) on Thursday.  Willie Mullins has had a nightmare start to the festival so far but has a couple of real live chances today and strangely the two main contenders aren't too dis-similar.  Yorkhill and Un De Sceaux are tough horses to train and generally do their own thing however you cannot diss their ability.  Yorkhill is one of my favourite horses to watch as he literally has no regard for his rider and is sure to give Ruby Walsh some tricky moments however he is so talented that it doesn't seem to make much difference on the big stage.  I will be having a nice bet on him today and would hope that due to Willie's poor form he may drift out a little in the market.
The Pertemps Final is a very interesting and tricky affair today with cases that can be made for many of the runners.  I personally hope TOBEFAIR comes home in front.  It really would be an amazing story for his owners and he is a horse that has gone to my heart this year.  I love the way he fights and although he'll probably never win by lengths he seems to not like being passed once in front, he has more weight but is certainly not without a chance, it will take a good one in a battle to beat him.  I will be having a play on JURY DUTY too today.  Gordon Elliott's horses are flying and one horse that I noted during his Betfair Preview Evening was Jury Duty.  Gordon went in to great detail about the majority of his horses but this one he refused to get in to much discussion, he simply said "he'd be with a chance".  The way he came across made me think that he really fancies this horses chances and his owners didn't want him to say anything to anyone.  He has the form in the bag, a nice weight pull with Gayebury, he jumps well, travels well, he has to have a good chance.  I have a nice ante post bet on BARNEY DWAN.  I think he needed his last run and wouldn't have been fully wound up for it given his race before he unseated.  That day he stayed on very well and this ground should be to his liking.  At a big price he looks worth a play.

I may regret sticking with Willie Mullins given his form over Cheltenham however I think UN DE SCEAUX will take all the beating in the Ryanair Chase (2.50).  Un De Sceaux has been a tricky ride on plenty of occasions but on his day he is top class.  The trip doesn't worry me here although two miles would be preferable but he shown last time out that he has matured a great deal.  His jumping on the whole is excellent and I just hope he doesn't go back to the old horse that was suseptible to a big mistake or two.  Gigginstown will be going all out to win the race the owners sponsor with Empire of Dirt however I feel he needs a three mile trip to be seen at his best and the Gold Cup would have been preferable.  This lesser trip would worry me for him.  He won over this trip last season at the festival but that was not in this quality of race and he gave his backers that day plenty of worry.  He's not attractive to me at 11/4 against Un De Sceaux.
The Stayers Hurdle (3.30) I won't waste a huge amount of time on, I hope to see UNOWHATIMEANHARRY win and win well.
The Brown Advisory Plate (4.10) sees Gordon Elliott once again at the head of the market and Diamond King is another I have backed ante post.  The price now however in this kind of race doesn't attract me now.  Starchitect has an obvious chance too off a light weight and again the price doesn't entice me now.  I'm going to go for a couple of potential winners at bigger prices.  BOUVREUIL has the potential of being much better than his mark and looks to have been laid out for this race by his strong connections.  I will also be playing ROAD TO RESPECT for Gigginstown and Noel Meade.  Lightly raced his form behind Acapella Bourgeois is now looking strong with Haymount coming close the other day and I'm pretty sure with this race in mind Road To Respect wouldn't have been in peak form for that race, he will be for this.
The Mares' Novice Hurdle has two Willie Mullins hotpots at the head of the market and they have to be respected however at the prices I can't have them.  Therefore I will be playing LA BAGUE AU ROI.  Warren Greatrex loves this horse and she has looked magnificant in her wins this season, arguably the best performance coming latest.  She jumps well, travels well and is generally excellent all round.  At 10/1 she will be my each way play.
The Kim Muir (5.30) is not a race I will be getting heavily involved in with it being amateur jockeys but I will be playing SQUOUATEUR.  I watched his race last time out where he was given a shocking ride by JJ Burke.  He stayed on with plenty in the tank there and looks on a good mark here.  Jamie Codd is booked for Gordon Elliott and that looks significant.  Not a great price but I do like his claims here.

Cheltenham Day Two Selections (Main selections in CAPITALS)
2.10 - MIGHT BITE (7/2)
2.50 - TOMBSTONE (4/1) / HARGAM E/W (16/1) / OLD GUARD E/W (25/1)
4.10 - CAUSE OF CAUSES (4/1) / AUVERGNAT (13/2)
4.50 - DIVIN BERE (5/1) / LINGER E/W (33/1)
5.30 - CARTER MACKAY (5/1) / QUICK GRABIM E/W (33/1)

A good day yesterday for tip followers as Buveur D'Air and Apple's Jade won at 5/1 and 7/2 (advised 11/2 & 5/1) respectively whilst Labaik was mentioned as my saver horse in the first which won at 25/1.  Melon (3/1), Cloudy Dream (advised 25/1) and Haymount (33/1) all rewarded each way bets.  More of the same today would be welcomed.
The opening race for day two is an interesting Neptune Novices' Hurdle (1.30).  The horse i've liked for this for a long time is MESSIRE DES OBEAUX.  The form of his grade one and two wins this season is very strong and he travelled like a top class horse in the making.  He jumps well and looks to have a massive engine.  He was beaten last time out by Keeper Hill who is a good horse in his own right however Messire was giving eight pounds away that day and was very unlucky not to have won.  He has strong claims and to back him each way should reward a profit.  Neon Wolf is the talking horse for this race and you can see why as he's been very impressive in all his wins to date and is currently unbeaten.  Listening to various reports it is thought he needs genuine soft ground and I hope that to be the case for Messire to test the favourite at the finish.  Neon Wolf has the potential to bolt up here but the price is not enticing given the ground concerns and i'd be happy for him to win at that price.  At a bigger price Consol Du Thaix could be an interesting proposition now upped in trip.  He clearly has speed having finished runner up to Brain Power in his last two outings and I liked the way he closed those races out putting in his best work at the finish to suggest the extra trip could suit.  He's worth an each way play at a decent price.
The second race on the day (2.10) is the RSA Chase.  You can't help but be impressed with favourite MIGHT BITE at Kempton where he was going to win by a mile when coming down at the last on Boxing Day.  If he can reproduce that form here he will win this race hands down.  There is plenty of talk about him requiring a flat track however he has won at Cheltenham in the past and the price is now becoming pretty attractive in the 7/2 region.  There are plenty of horses in this race who have a chance but they all have question marks about them and for me Might Bite could be a steal in this race.  It is an interesting race and probably not one to go in heavily on but I can't help but be impressed with Might Bite to date and this will tell us if he is the real deal or not.
The form of last years' Supreme Novices Hurdle just continues to look stronger and stronger with each horses run.  TOMBSTONE therefore is the favourite for the Coral Cup (2.50).  This trip looks perfect for him in my opinion and i'm not surprised he has come here. He's off a mark of 148 and he certainly has the potential at this trip to made a mockery of that mark.  Ground should be perfect for him, he's a strong jumper and he should be raced prominently which is what will be required to take a race like this.  4/1 looks fair and he would be my main selection.  Peregrine Run is apparently flying at home but his form doesn't look anything special to me and I don't like horses who are normally held up in big runner handicaps.  I couldn't let Tin Soldier go without a small wager, he has started his career with Willie Mullins strongly and is another with potential to progress well above that mark.  The ground however would worry me as he has been campaigned over soft and heavy ground.  HARGAM has dropped to an attractive mark and gets better ground here.  He looks to have been set up for this race and Nicky Henderson knows how to ready one for the big occasion.  The distance is interesting and i'm not sure if that will be a positive or negative.  However at the price I can't let him go unbacked.  At a bigger price OLD GUARD is another who looks a good price and has the potential to shock in a big handicap.  He's been competing some top drawer races this season and hasn't been disgraced.  He's down to a mark of 150 and I think he is a bit better than that.  He's very interesting at the price.
I'll be sitting back and watching the Champion Chase and hoping Douvan romps home as he could be a superstar and racing needs superstars!
The Cross Country Chase (4.10) is an interesting affair this year with the likes of Sausalito Sunrise being thrown in to this discipline.  He has the potential to be involved but I can't back him as he's not jumped around these jumps before.  I normally stick with JP McManus and Enda Bolger in these types of races and I'll give you my one with that combination in a minute however I will be having a good bet on CAUSE OF CAUSES.  This horse is a Cheltenham specialist and there is no doubt in my mind that he's been laid out for this race.  He has come to the festival in the past with zero form and then come home with victory.  I will be surprised if he isn't in prime form and with Jamie Codd on board he has to be backed.  My Enda Bolger horse is going to be AUVERGNAT.  I heard today that Enda is pretty bullish about this one and the rumour is that he races all over Cantlow at home.  He won last time at Punchestown under a jockey who looks as uncomfortable as anyone i've seen so to do that I feel he must be good.
In the Fred Winter (4.50), you simply cannot knock the form shown by DIVIN BERE in his only race in Britain.  He was giving four pounds to Master Blueyes when beating him at Huntingdon in January and Nicky Henderson thinks the world of him.  He's not an amazingly attractive price but 5/1is fair on the form shown and he has to go well.  At a bigger price I will be playing with LINGER at 33/1.  Linger has been mentioned by a few pundits now as a decent price and the in form Rachael Blackmore comes over for the ride which is a plus.  He has the potential to improve, will like the ground and will be racing towards the front of affairs which is a plus to me in this type of race.
I am on CARTER MACKAY ante post at 25/1 and I see no reason to move away from him in a tricky Champion Bumper.  There have been plenty of bullish reports about a few horses in this race and therefore I will not be going in again to a heavy extent.  It is a race where form doesn't mean a huge amount as all horses are prone to improvement but I'm happy with Carter MacKay as things stand.  I will however have a little bet on QUICK GRABIM at a big price.  Noel Fehily has been booked for the ride and I think that is significant.  I think the drying ground will help him and he could go well at a nice price.
Cheltenham Day One Selections (Main selections in CAPITALS)
1.30 - MELON (10/3) / High Bridge (16/1)
2.10 - Cloudy Dream E/W (25/1)
2.50 - HOLYWELL (11/1) / THE DRUIDS NEPHEW (10/1) / A Good Skin E/W (28/1)
3.30 - YANWORTH (3/1) / BUVEUR D'AIR (11/2)
4.10 - APPLE'S JADE E/W (5/1) / Lifeboat Mona E/W (18/1)
4.50 - HAYMOUNT (20/1) / CHAMPERS ON ICE (9/1)
5.30 - FOXTAIL HILL (7/1) / BUN DORAN (16/1) / Last Goodbye (25/1)

The day is finally here!!!  It has been a long time coming since I started my studying back in October however it has arrived and I cannot wait for the action to begin.  It has already been a frustrating time with so many big name horses being pulled out of the festival and it has been a nightmare for ante post players.  I am and have always been a big ante post backer and started my betting for the festival back in November.  I love the feeling of having a 20/1 shot going off favourite for a race on the day but I will never vent my frustrations should a horse get injured or re-routed to another race.  I understand the risks attached with ante post betting however the amount of moaning I have heard from punters about trainers and owners because their horse isn't going to run or hasn't yet been declared really does my head in.  You bet ante post, you take the risks that go with it, stop moaning!

Anyway, rant over.  I have found over the past few years that spreading my stake in the larger field races on a few horses rather than going all in on just one has paid dividends and that is the approach I'm going to use this year too.  I have listened to and watched lots of previews, interviews, tips and it is amazing how the experts are so split on their selections.  I will therefore once again take that information and use it to make my own selections.

The Supreme Novices Hurdle (1.30) is the pipe-opener for day one and I can't wait to hear that Cheltenham roar at the start.  The race has cut up somewhat over the last week and I'm a little bit gutted that it is not as strong a race as it looked.  However there is still plenty of quality on show and a big puzzle to solve.  

I have been on MELON since watching his one racecourse run.  For me he's weirdly underrated by some, overrated by others.  My opinion is that his jumping is outstanding.  Very very quick through his hurdles and although a less than elite field in his race he simply out jumped the lot of them at every fence.  Made his only mistake when clear at the last which is a worry but he gathered himself and kicked on with minimum of fuss.  His form is near impossible to analyse to any real depth but visually to me he is the most impressive jumper of the lot!  Melon ran in that race however in 3 mins 47 seconds on the bridle carrying 11 stone 10 pounds.  Ballyandy ran at Newbury in 3 minutes 57 seconds all out carrying 11 stone 1 pound.  Granted half a furlong further so throw another few seconds off.  Based on that I can't help but be impressed with Melon.  The fact Ruby has picked him also gives him validity and has cheered me up a lot.  Ballyandy Jumps and travels well although not the most fluent jumper.  I didn't think he liked a battle until Newbury where he stayed on well to beat Movewiththetimes.  If he keeps improving like he has he could be a threat.  Bunk Off Early is an interesting selection and arguably has the second piece of hot form in the contest behind Ballyandy when second to Bacardys.  However the fact Ruby has picked Melon would put me off him.  Labaik I am told is a machine however he has been very reluctant to race the past few times.  I will be having a small bet on him at 50/1 just incase he decides he wants to run tomorrow as he may be overpriced.  The other horse I will be having a saver play on will be High Bridge.  He is unbeaten for Ben Pauling this season and clearly has quality.  He has improved for each run and may be underestimated by most here.  I expect him to improve further and he cannot be ignored at 16/1.
I won't waste too much time looking at the Arkle (2.10) as I really do hope we have a superstar on our hands in ALTIOR.  He has looked outstanding so far in his career and there are hopes he will provide a real test to DOUVAN this time next year.  My betting plan will be to play each way with the favourite so playing for 2nd and 3rd, i'm not a fan of betting without the favourite as the odds don't give too much reward for 2nd place than an each way play.  My selection will therefore be CLOUDY DREAM.  He has never been out of the first three in his career and he looks a horse with a very bright future.  Malcolm Jefferson is in good form and the ground shouldn't hinder him too much.  Level weighted with the improved Forest Bihan for a rematch I think he should reverse the placings with him.  At 25/1 he is my each way play in this but small stakes and best to sit back and enjoy the favourite.
The first handicap of the Festival is the Ultima (2.50).  I have spent a lot of time on this race and even now i'm struggling to pick the winner.  I have two names that are slightly ahead of the others in my opinion.  Firstly HOLYWELL.  He was second in this race last year to Un Temps Pour Tout off five pounds heavier with a similar build up to this year.  Jonjo O'Neill has been in the winners of late and I've no doubt he will have Holywell in peak form.  He seems to come good in the Spring and I don't think it is a surprise that the horse performs at Cheltenham time and time again.  He's 10 years old now so age may be starting to catch up with him but the potential to take this race is with this horse more than any other if he turns up at his best.  Another 10 year old I like is THE DRUIDS NEPHEW who won this race two years ago on the same mark as this today.  Neil Mulholland looks to have set him up for this race and there is no doubting his quality when on his game.  Conditions will suit and Noel Fehily on board is a positive.  He looks on too good a mark to overlook.  Finally at a bigger price on a light weight I will be having a small saver on A GOOD SKIN.  Richard Johnson has been booked to ride for Tom George and he's another who has gone well at the Festival in the past.  The jockey booking is eyecatching.
The big race of day one is the Champion Hurdle (3.30).  I'm with the pair at the head of the market here.  YANWORTH would be my main bet.  He is the apple of Alan King's eye, he jumps well and i'm surprised how many people talk about how he's slow.  He is not slow!  He has given his hurdles air in the past and that would be my only worry in this type of race however he thought well last time out when beating Ch'Tibello and Sceau Royal giving them four pounds.  He's ground versatile and has Cheltenham form in the bag having been beaten by Yorkhill last year over a longer distance.  I just think he is the class horse of the race and I'm happy with 3/1 odds about him.  BUVEUR D'AIR would be my other selection.  You cannot help but be impressed with his switch back to hurdles last time out when winning very cheekily and there's no way Nicky Henderson would have put him in to this race or switched back to hurdles if he didn't think he had a chance.  He jumps well and wasn't far behind Altior in the Supreme last year on this ground.  He is tricky to assess but impossible to ignore.  They would be my two against the field with Brain Power and Petit Mouchoir both having to prove they go at the course and Moon Racer, although he'd be a fairytale winner I just cannot see it.
The Mares Hurdle (4.10) is now a very tricky affair.  I'd have been all over Vroum Vroum Mag had Ruby Walsh picked her however he has gone with Limini which makes you wonder if she is showing more than VVM at home.  I cannot be backing Limini at the price as I think it is a more open race than the odds suggest.  She may well bolt up but I won't be playing her.  I will however be playing APPLE'S JADE at her price.  Gordon Elliott has stated that he wouldn't want to take on Limini again however I'm sure he said that because he didn't believe that would happen.  Apple's Jade will be primed for this race and the better ground will be preferable.  At 5/1 I think she will be in the first three and it's worth taking an each way chance on her with the play being if she loses you should get your money back.  The potential fly in the ointment to the Irish would be Lifeboat Mona whom I will be having a small each way play.  She is unexposed and has looked a horse of high quality in her wins this season.  Paul Nicholls is pretty coy on her and she may just have a sniff at a decent price should the market principles take eachother on.
The next tough puzzle to solve is the National Hunt Chase (4.50).  This is an absolute nightmare to pick out of.  Firstly none of the horses competing have completed four miles, secondly the jockeys are amateurs.  It really is a toughy.  Because of that I have tried to steer clear of the market leaders and I will be siding with HAYMOUNT at a nice price.  Patrick and Willie Mullins are in great form together.  This horse has never ran a bad race, the ground shouldn't be an issue and the stamina test looks suitable as he's very one paced but hasn't really looked over-tired in his races to date.  He is not a confident selection but I think he can go well at a price.  I will also be having a bet on CHAMPERS ON ICE.  He is a bit of an enigma of a horse but the cheekpieces are re-applied here which should help him concentrate and the longer trip shouldn't be an issue.  Providing his jumping holds up he has to be there at the finish.
In the final race of the day you can't help but be impressed with FOXTAIL HILL and there's no surprise he's favourite for this.  He was very impressive last time out when beating Saphir Du Rheu.  He was off a light weight that day but the result wasn't in doubt from a long way out.  He is off a mark of just 140 here which based on his last race I think there is some room in that mark.  Nigel Twiston-Davies has been very bullish about him too which should not be ignored.  BUN DORAN will be my second bet.  He is highly regarded and was going very well last time out when making a big mistake three from home which cost him any chance.  The fact he was pulled up has put him a little bit under the radar here and provided he can give a clear round he could go very close.  At a bigger price I like the claims of LAST GOODBYE.  He will like the return to a sounder surface, jumps well on the whole and may have been overlooked due to being from a small stable.  His mark is fair and he's a nice price at 25/1 as he wouldn't be without a chance.

20/02/2017 - 4.45 @ Carlisle - SMOKING DIXIE - 1pt Win @ 5/1

​Aqua Dude frustratingly was outbattled on Saturday and lost out on the nod, another 5 yards and he'd have won but that's racing.
Today I have one selection of interest and that is SMOKING DIXIE in the 4.45 @ Carlisle.  Ben Pauling's horse was one of my horses to follow before the season started having been one of Nico De Boinville's favourite horses in the yard.  He was plumped in to some good quality races where he failed to hit the frame, after the Robin Roe defeat i'm convinced he has been kept back for handicaps.  He is now upped in trip for his handicap debut off a mark of 105 and it would be a surprise should he not prove much better than that mark.  He stayed on last time out pretty well when beaten so this three mile run shouldn't be an issue and what I have noticed is that he does jump pretty well, in fact he seems to improved race by race on that score.  He has to prove he's as good as believed but off these terms he has to be fancied at 5/1.

18/02/2017 - 4.20 @ Haydock - AQUA DUDE - 1pt Win @ 4/1
Interest Bets;

1.50 @ Ascot - FLETCHERS FLYER - 5/1
3.00 @ Ascot - OSCAR HOOF - 16/1 

It's that time of the year where racing gets tricky with plenty of horses out for prep runs with the spring festivals in mind so it's small stakes for me now until March however there is still some interesting affairs with potential value.

I'll start this weeks' write up at Ascot in the 1.50 which is the Skybet money back as a free bet (max £20 stake) if runner up race.  The horse I fancy in this is FLETCHERS FLYER at 5/1.  He's a horse with a lot of ability although some will say his reappearance was disappointing.  For me he hasn't ran too well on his return over the past three seasons and looked in desperate need of the run.  He's bound to strip fitter for that race and will come here in rude health.  He jumps well and stays well.  Goes on soft ground and has course form in the past.  He's highly regarded by Harry Fry and is likely to go to Cheltenham this season for the National Hunt Chase.  This race may be used as a springboard towards that and I feel he has the ability to beat this opposition today.  The favourite Arpege D'Alene is a very useful horse and has the best engine in this line up however I have never been convinced by his jumping.  I am very surprised he's not reverted back to hurdles which makes me think Paul Nicholls still thinks there is improvement to come however I need to see him jump better before I back him again, his win against Wotzizname isn't worth the paper it's written on having missed six flights out and he only won at the finish when the runner up tired late on.  At the price Fletchers Flyer is worth taking a chance on.

I'm very interested in OSCAR HOOF in the 3.00 @ Ascot today.  He's been off the track with injury for nearly three years which is obviously a major concern however Nicky Henderson in an interview last year said that he believed he could still be "top class" providing his injury hadn't affected him.  This race is clearly a big ask but he's on a favourable mark and if he retains his ability he could turn out to be a massive price.  I can't see Nicky sending him out again if he wasn't in good form at home and that gives me some confidence.  I'll be having a play at the price in the hope that he is as good as his trainer hopes.

My main bet for today is AQUA DUDE in the 4.20 @ Haydock.  He hasn't hit the heights expected of him since switching to fences however he shaped with great promise when third to O O Seven, a race which i'm sure was a confidence builder.  Today I feel he can finally break his duck.  I go back to the race where he fell two starts ago in a race won by Belami Des Pictons.  I was convinced that day he would have won had he stayed on his feet.  Up to that point he had jumped well and was travelling extremely well before coming to grief.  Belami Des Pictons is a much better horse than today's opposition and he's still on a lenient mark.  Evan Williams has acquired the services of Sam Twiston-Davies which is a huge boost.  My main worry would be Tony Martin's horse Blackmail however he has to defy a very tough mark and give Aqua Dude over a stone in weight.  If he does that then wow it would be some performance, I just can't see it off a mark of 145.  At 4/1 Aqua Dude looks a good bet.

15/02/2017 - 2.20 @ Newcastle - CRACKDELOUST - 2pts Win @ 5/2 (NAP)

​​Less than four weeks to go now til the Cheltenham Festival, bring it on!  In the lead up to the festival I'm hoping to get some interviews up on the website with the leading trainers so watch this space.

Today's selection CRACKDELOUST blew the cobwebs off eleven days ago at Musselburgh in a pretty strong looking maiden hurdle.  He jumped well on the whole but was outpaced at the finish and looked badly in need of the run.  With that now behind him and providing he doesn't "bounce" I fully expect him to oblige in this fairly average looking novice hurdle.  According to Brian Ellison in a pre-season interview the horse has acclimatised well now and is fully over his niggling injury of last season.  Brian sounded very excited about him and he would have given Henry Brooke instructions not to be hard on him on his reappearance.  The fact he's sent him out so quickly here shows that he's not worried about any recurrence of that injury and he may have some decent spring races in mind for him.  He looks a great bet in this race for me and if he's come on like he would be expected to from his recent run he has to go well.

12/02/2017 - 1.50 @ Exeter - MR BRINKLEY - 0.5pt EW @ 16/1
12/02/2017 - 4.50 @ Exeter - LINENHALL - 1pt Win @ 9/1​​​

Interest Bets;

1.30 @ Leopardstown - WHO'S THAT - 8/1
4.00 @ Leopardstown - DON POLI - 7/2 E/W

An excellent (if not profitable) day's racing yesterday with Native River showing once again he has stamina  in abundance when outstaying Le Mercurey in the Denman Chase, he now looks a serious contender for the Gold Cup which now looks at Colin Tizzard's mercy.  Altior was almost flawless in the Game Spirit when destroying some more experienced horses.  I feel connections should take go all out and take on Douvan at Cheltenham however that clash looks like it will have to wait for another day with the Arkle likely his intended target.  I was delighted with Tobefair's display.  There is usually one horse per season who continues to improve and defy the handicapper and he looks like the one.  He is a true fighter and I doubt he'll ever win by a distance but his tenacity and heart is all out there for everyone to see and he's quickly becoming my favourite horse about at the moment.  I have jumped on him for the Pertemps and should they get him there in one piece he would hold every chance.  Finally Ballyandy and Movewiththetimes put up excellent displays at Newbury and now look all set for the Supreme Novices Hurdle and that race now looks an absolute belter to get the Festival up and running.  I would believe the runner up yesterday would be better on better ground and with expected improvement from both it will be a very interesting re-match in March.  Talking of the Festival we are now just 30 days away, I cannot wait!!!!

On to today's racing and i'll start off with a brief on my views at Leopardstown where I have interest in a few horses.  In the opener 1.30 I have been given news that WHO'S THAT is in good order at home and has been kept for this race today.  Back over hurdles off a mark of 106, Rachel Blackmore partners and takes off five pounds which puts her just 1 pound higher than when winning this last year.  She is definitely trying here today and therefore i've had a each way play at 10/1 (best price 8/1 currently).

The Juvenile and two Novice Hurdle races are excellent races on paper and watching brief's for me although i'm hoping Mari Devie proves that she is a live contender for the Cheltenham Festival here.  The Irish Gold Cup (4.00) is also an excellent race on paper and JP McManus holds a strong hand with both Carlingford Lough and Minella Rocco holding every chance however at 7/2 I've had a decent each way bet on DON POLI.  I think he's the class act in the race (when he wants to be) and Gordon Elliott looked to be getting the best out of him when he was runner up to Outlander last time out.  He's not an easy horse to get right but presuming he will be for this big race (which I reckon will be his assignment for the season) he looks to have a great chance of turning the tides with Carlingford bearing in mind he wasn't himself when he was beaten last year, I think he's good value and an each way bet holds minimal risk.

Now on to Exeter and my first "risky" tip of the day in the 1.50 where Kim Bailey saddles MR BRINKLEY.  Mr Brinkley was one of my unraced horses to follow at the start of the season having heard good things about him in an interview with Kim.  The assumption was that he would need soft ground so that is what I'm putting his poor showing down to on rules debut.  He gets soft ground here and although the trip is a little short of ideal I feel at the price he's worth an each way play.  Kim was very positive about him so i'm keeping the faith.

My second tip of the day is LINENHALL in the 4.50.  I was very disappointed he didn't win at Huntingdon last time out having shown a wealth of promise on his debut however I'm hopeful of a better performance given a little bit of time to improve and mature.  Ben Pauling hasn't been the best of form of late which is a big worry however the promise Linenhall shown on debut cannot be ignored and this looks a winnable contest.  At 9/1 he looks good value and i'm having a play.  He is better than he shown last time out.

10/02/2017 - 1.40 @ Kempton - ALPINE SECRET - 1pt Win @ 7/1
Following Sir Jamie's run the other day I think it's time to cut the Tony Carroll betting for the time being as it was the first time I was completely flumuxed.  Sir Jamie was fit and had been running well, he drifted out like a barge to 8/1 but with five minutes before the off he was hammered back in to 10/3, sounds like connections were after the bigger price.  The horse then ran the worst race he could have ran and finished second to last.  He was so poor even I ran past him!  Anyway that's that on my assumptions for Mr Carroll.

I'm taking a bit of a risk with todays' tip which is ALPINE SECRET in the 1.40 @ Kempton.  From my horses to follow section this is what I put during my pre-season research - Hugely regarded at the yard although he disappointed on debut when 8th at Warwick.  He finished that race off well however after being caught out a little bit during the race and running green.  Ben feels he will be tough to beat on his reappearance in a bumper and once hurdling should have a very productive season ahead of him.  He looks like he's been set up for a handicap and today he makes his handicap debut.  He's been given a mark of 115 which is low and he has been contesting some fairly decent standard maiden and novice hurdle events.  I'm expecting a much improved display now in this company and he should go well on these terms.  My worry would be that Ben Pauling's horses aren't running great at the moment however he has had a winner in the past few days so he is capable of readying one.  Here's hoping Alpine Secret is one of those.

08/02/2017 - 5.20 @ Kempton - SIR JAMIE - 1pt Win @ 10/3
Interest Bets;

2.00 @ Chelmsford - LORD MURPHY - 10/3
Tip followers would have seen a rather spectacular performance from Any Drama yesterday as he sauntered away with the class 3 novice hurdle event.  Despite not being perfect in the jumping department he still came clear without breaking sweat to beat the well regarded Bally Gilbert by 38 lengths.  He looks some horse and he looks to have improved massively during the past few months.

My first horse of interest today comes in the opener at Chelmsford (2.00) where Daniel Loughnane has acquired the services of all weather specialist Adam Kirby to ride LORD MURPHY for this poor class 7 event.  Money came last night and that seems significant for a horse who has been beaten out of sight on his three maidens.  Now handicapping on return he's sure to have been thrown in given the potential of a good winters' break behind him.  My only worry is the draw from stall 12 which isn't ideal however my thoughts would be that this horse is probably significantly better than this level and connections will be expecting a performance from him.  Horses that are well backed for this trainer tend to run well and there is plenty to think that today could be Lord Murphy's day.

I have to tip up SIR JAMIE in the 5.20 @ Kempton today.  Normally I tread carefully with Tony Carroll's runners as it's difficult to assess when they are fit or trying.  However Sir Jamie is one that I have been watching quite closely and the step up to a mile is perfect having stayed on in both his last couple of races.  He ran just a couple of weeks ago therefore fitness should be no issue and I think if his mark got any lower I'd be able to beat him.  This race is the ideal opportunity to start making the most of his handicap mark and maybe get a couple of wins under his belt before getting him set up for a summer handicap tilt.  George Downing rode him last time and should have learned a lot from that experience and he has a decent enough draw.  At 10/3 he's worth taking a chance on.

07/02/2017 - 2.50 @ Market Rasen - ANY DRAMA - 1pt Win @ 3/1
Wotzizname ran a decent enough race in defeat I thought on Sunday bearing in mind that he was hampered by Clondaw Kaempfer when making his move.  The selection did however look in need of the run and stayed on at the one pace.  In my opinion connections were doing just that and will revert him back over fences during the spring.  He remains one to follow.

Mt tip for today is ANY DRAMA in the 2.50 @ Market Rasen.  Harry Fry's horse returned to the track in November with a respectible effort behind Reigning Supreme.  He looked in need of the run out that day having tired late on and i'm hopeful of a better run here today.  He is highly regarded by Fry and made my horses to follow list - “I am really excited about him” are the words used by Harry Fry when describing Any Drama.  He loves soft/heavy ground and galloping tracks.  The tight track at Market Rasen is a worry however with Cheltenham around the corner, if there is any chance he is going in March he has to win today.  He'll be primed for this run and I'm hoping he starts showing what he is truly made of.

05/02/2017 - 4.10 @ Musselburgh - WOTZIZNAME - 2pts Win @ 4/1 (NAP)
My tip today comes in the Pertemps Network qualifier where WOTZIZNAME returns to the fore following his disappointing defeat to Arpege D'Alene.  That day however six flights were omitted and I swore that if i'd have known that on the day Arpege would have been a banker as that horse has an engine but struggles in the jumping department.  Wotzizname lacks pace but jumps well and stays all day.  He's very ground versatile and there is much in his favour here today.  I had him down as an RSA horse at the beginning of the season and I still hold the view that he's a top chaser in the making.  Back over hurdles here, I would be very disappointed if he doesn't win this.

28/01/2017 - 12.50 @ Doncaster - ASUM - 1pt Win @ 9/2
28/01/2017 - 4.15 @ Doncaster - ILOVEMINTS - 1pt Win @ 9/1

Interest Bets:

4.00 @ Cheltenham - KOTKIKOVA - 16/1 (e/w)
4.00 @ Cheltenham - COLE HARDEN - 25/1 (e/w)

King Olav came home for tip followers under an excellent George Downing ride yesterday to secure victory by six lengths.  A lovely drift out to 8/1 was most welcomed.  George has now lost his claim and is a very up and coming jockey.  Tony Carroll and Downing will be worth looking out for this summer.

A tricky Saturday lies ahead however there are plenty of races to watch with interest as Cheltenham grows closer.  The opening race itself is a beauty and i'm expecting a head to head clash between two of the most exciting juveniles clash.  I have an interest in both horses for March, Charli Parcs for the Supreme and Defi Du Seuil for the Triumph.  I feel Charli is the slightly better horse and will probably win this and I wouldn't be surprised if he was thereabouts at Cheltenham.  Defi has the best form so far and more experience however my feelings are that Charli is pretty special and it will take a huge performance to beat him.  No bet for me other than ante post interests and a very exciting watch.

The exciting Thistlecrack returns today in the Cotswold Chase and all expectations are on him to continue his unbeaten run in Chases before a tilt at the feature in March.  I am very happy with my ante post bet on him at this stage and it seems main competition is steering away from the Gold Cup this year which makes me seem more confident that Thistlecrack is special.  The sport needs some heroes and I really hope Thistlecrack proves that he is one of the best.  Today is the perfect opportunity to test him over the Cheltenham fences and I am looking forward to watching with interest once again.
The Cleeve Hurdle looks an absolute belter!  Uknowhatimeanharry has been outstanding so far and will be looking to cement his place at the head of the Stayers' Hurdle market.  He's no value in a race that is going to be very testing.  I'll be having two each way bets in the race.  Firstly COLE HARDEN is far too big a price.  Back over three miles he can't be underestimated, yes he needs to re-find his World Hurdle winning form to come close to the market leader however in this ground and trip that's not beyond the realm of possibility.  At 25/1 i'll be having a little play.  My bigger bet however will be on KOTKIKOVA.  She is a very interesting entry.  She made a disappointing debut for Nicky Henderson in Ireland however having won her races on very soft to heavy ground then facing the yielding going at Leopardstown would have taken a huge shift to have taken place.  The fact she finished less than nine lengths off the winner stands her in good stead however and now with conditions well in her favour I am expecting a much better run.  Nicky is clearly throwing her in against the best horses from the onset and that shows confidence.  I highlighted her as my most exciting horse to follow and I continue to echo that sentiment.  She will have to produce a career best here to win but with a run behind her I'm hopeful she can put it up to the principles receiving weight in her optimum conditions.  At 40/1 I have also had a small ante post bet for the Stayers' Hurdle as if she does win here today I'm sure that will be the ultimate target and 40/1 will swiftly become shorter than that.  It's a long shot but it's a possibility.

I really like the look of ASUM in the 12.50 @ Doncaster.  I am made up Dan Skelton has decided to up him in distance as he looked to be crying out for it on his showings so far.  He brushed up his jumping last time out when shedding his maiden tag and i'm not surprised Skelton has decided to throw him in to handicaps straight away.  This is a 0-120 handicap and I believe he will prove much better than that level over time and the distance should eek out more improvement.  If his trainers' form had been better I would be lumping on but the doubts on their fitness levels at the moment has put me off a little.  If the horse is right however I feel he will win this and win this well.  9/2 is fair value and i'll be having a nice enough bet.

My second selection for today is ILOVEMINTS in the 4.15 @ Doncaster.  Warren Greatrex holds this mare in very high regard and would have been very disappointed in her performance at Aintree.  He had been aiming her at the top bumper races this spring and but she failed to land a blow under Gavin Sheehan.  Something must have been amiss that day and she is now in much shallower waters today.  Warren believes she is atleast listed class and if she can show that level of form this race would be a formality.  There are doubts to her after her last run however I can't get her debut run and Warren's words out of my head and therefore I'm having a nice bet on her.  Bearing in mind I don't bet often in bumpers I hope this time I'm not wrong.

27/01/2017 - 2.10 @ Lingfield - KING OLAV - 1pt Win @ 4/1

My selection today is Tony Carroll's KING OLAV in the 2.10 @ Lingfield.  This veteran won last time out at Chelmsford proving he still retained some of that old ability.  He has been given an extra three pounds to deal with this time round which will be no easy feat giving a fair amount of weight away to the majority of this company however I have a few reasons why I feel he is here to win.  Firstly at 12 years of age it is unlikely Tony will be keeping him back for a handicap mark as this could well be one of his last races.  Secondly he has been given over a month to recover from his last race which should be a prime rest to get him ready again.  Thirdly I watched an interview with George Downing last night on At The Races and although he didn't seem too confident about his ride for Tony in the last at Wolves last night (which unfortunately I was on) he did say he had some nice rides tomorrow to find that elusive last win which will lose his claim and becomes a real professional rider.  From his two rides King Olav looks the most realistic chance he has of doing such.  For those reasons I'm having a nice bet at 4/1

21/01/2017 - No Selection
Interest Bets;

2.40 @ Haydock - THE NEW ONE - 15/8
3.15 @ Haydock - BRISTOL DE MAI - 9/2 E/W

Unfortunately Ascot has succumbed to the weather so we are left with five meetings with Taunton still unsure of going ahead.  I'm going to start my write up at my local track Haydock in the 2.40 where although just a five runner race, a cracking line up take eachother on in this Champion Hurdle trial.  The one that stands out to me is THE NEW ONE.  He has been one of the most underrated horses in my time, he rarely gets tipped up in his races and gets played down when taking on the big guns.  The fact is he is a top class horse with 17 wins from his 27 races on every type of ground including two group ones.  The fact his losses have come in group one's seem to suggest he's not to that standard however he has come up against the likes of Faugheen and Annie Power in their pomp let alone Jezki when he was at his best.  He has to give ten pounds to L'Ami Serge here today which is clearly no easy task however i'm not convinced this drop back in trip is down his avenue.  He travelled strongly last time out but was outbattled by Agrapart and I think he'll be outbattled by the selection here too.  Irving ran a cracker in the Fighting Fifth and cannot be discounted however if I had the pair of them in a canter I would expect The New One to beat Irving every time.  He's good but I don't believe he's as good as The New One.

In the 3.15, Alary makes his British debut for Colin Tizzard and he's been bigged up enough to pop up prominently in the betting for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.  His latest 2nd in France is hot form and he comes here with every chance.  There are doubts about him, how he has acclimatised?  Is he really a 162 rated horse?  Can he carry top weight?  For those reasons I will have a saver on him and an ante post each way bet for the Gold Cup just incase but nothing more.  The horse I do like in the field and at the weights is BRISTOL DE MAI.  I thought his latest outing when beaten by Otago Trail was a superb effort and brought the best out of him at the longer trip.  Otago Trail was primed that day and carried eight pounds less than Bristol, he is a tricky horse to get right and I fancy the tables being turned today.  Bristol didn't jump at his best that day however on the whole for me his is a good jumper of fences and although not the quickest, he's definitely a three miles plus chaser.  This race looks right up his street and at 9/2 he'll be an each way bet for me.

The rest of the days racing is full of tricky affairs and i'm not willing to get involved.

01/01/2017 - No selection
Interest Bets;

12.15 @ Cheltenham - COO STAR SIVOLA (e/w @ 9/2) (saver on Sumkindofking @ 8/1)
1.25 @ Cheltenham - O O SEVEN (£20 max bet, Money back as a free bet if you lose with Sky Bet)
1.40 @ Musselburgh - PAIN AU CHOCOLAT - e/w @ 5/1
2.15 @ Musselburgh - CLONDAW KAEMPFER - e/w @ 6/1
3.10 @ Cheltenham - COLE HARDEN - 6/1
4.00 @ Exeter - CRISTAL DE SIENNE - 15/8 / BALIBOUR - e/w @ 12/1

After a disappointing day with just a couple of places and Robin Roe travelling well in the Challow Hurdle only to fall when making his move the day finished with Marten winning the bumper at Warwick and winning it well.  Ben Pauling's horse travelled well throughout on the outer and made his move on the turn in staying on stronger than his rivals and two furlongs out the win wasn't in doubt.  I'm convinced Robin Roe would have won yesterday and was being ridden with plenty of patience but got the third last all wrong before coming clattering down.  The bad news followed that Roe had cracked a bone in his knee and would be out for the rest of the season, that means my ante post Neptune bet is now dead in the water.  Hopefully he'll return in the autumn stronger and he can re-start his more than promising career.

Tip followers would have enjoyed an SP profit in December of 3.25 points whereas if you managed to get the prices when advised you would have received an 8 point profit for the month.  Maten took me past the 100 point mark to advised stakes for the first time and hopefully the next 12 months can bring another 100 points to the fore and so much more.  I hope you've enjoyed my write ups in 2016, I don't think it has been my best season by any stretch of the imagination however I have learned a lot in that time and this year will surely be much better.

My first 2017 write up ofcourse starts at Cheltenham.  The opener (12.15) is a tricky affair to weigh up and not the strongest of Novice hurdles you'll see at Cheltenham this season.  My initial thought looking at the race was that COO STAR SIVOLA shgould be a 2/1 shot, to see him at 9/2 this morning is a pleasing sight.  Nick Williams' horse has been taking on much higher grade than this including when finishing 3rd at the festival.  He disappointed over in France last time out however that was on heavy ground and I don't think he is a heavy ground performer.  The ground will be on the softer side of good today i'm sure but a bit of cut will be ok and at 9/2 he's worth an each way play in this company.  I will be having a saver on SUMKINDOFKING too whose recent seventh behind the favourite Pingshou was a little disappointing however that run came off just 11 days break.  That would not have been ideal and he may have been a bit over the top, now with a good 3 week break he will be a different horse.

The 1.25 @ Cheltenham is the subject of a free bet if you lose offer from Sky Bet and I'll be throwing my £20 bet on O O SEVEN.  Clan Des Obeaux is going to take the beating, no doubt about it giving his impressive win last time out.  Whisper on his day is arguably the best horse in the race but his day has to be pretty perfect whereas O O Seven looked the part when winning over this distance the race before last.  He underperformed last time out but didn't seem to see out the three mile trip that day.  Back to two mile four he will be a force and at the prices he's worth the little risk that there is.
COLE HARDEN's chasing debut did not go to plan when beaten by It'safreebee however he looks a very big price back hurdling here.  The trip isn't his ideal but in comparison to when he faced Lil Rockerfeller and Camping Ground in this race last year the weights are very much reversed with the named pair having to give Cole Harden eight pounds here.  He is clearly a tough horse to gauge right but on his day he's the world hurdle winner.  If he can get close to that form he will be tough to beat on level weights so at these terms he looks well worth a punt at a nice price.

In the concluding bumper at Exeter two of my unraced horses to follow take eachother on and I hope the winner will come from one of them.  CRISTAL DE SIENNE made a nice looking debut last time out when finishing second to Burbank.  He will be tough to beat if improving upon that form.  BALIBOUR looks a big price to me here.  He disappointed on debut but given he was injured last season he would have certainly needed the run and was tenderly handled.  With that run under his belt i'm expecting a much improved display here.  Emma Lavelle's mount apparently does everything easily at home and a fair amount is expected of him.  At 12/1 he's worth an each way saver.

In the 1.40 @ Musselburgh i'll be having an each way play on PAIN AU CHOCOLAT of Dan Skelton.  This horse looked a novice going places last season but hasn't been able to convert that so far this season.  His last display however was much better and a 12 length defeat to Cloudy Dream is certainly no disgrace.  Now handicapping off a mark of 140 I feel there is a few pound of improvement in that mark and at 5/1 he's worth taking a chance each way.
In the very next race CLONDAW KAEMPFER looks an each way bet worth having at 6/1.  A frustrating horse he has been backed in on several occasions but hasn't got his nose infront since 2014.  Saying that he is a much better horse than his 128 mark on his day and providing he is in good form he looks well in here today.  I'll be having a play and hoping for more than my money back.

My big bet for the day is WHITE ARM in the 3.15 @ Fairyhouse.  A frustrating horse who came close to winning this race last year when looking like the winner but being hampered and making a mistake put paid to his chance.  He then won with ease at Navan the race after when new tactics (racing prominently) paid dividends.  Since then he has had the handbrake firmly on and the hold up tactics once again deployed.  He is much better than he has shown on the course so far and if he gets the chance to prove it then today could be the day to cash in.  There was money overnight and hopefully there will be more today.  He owes me a fair chunk of money as my faith hasn't been repaid barring when far too short at Navan but I'm keeping the faith.  He will probably either win or bomb out again so it's a win only bet for me.

31/12/2016 - 1.50 @ Newbury - ROBIN ROE - 1pt Win @ 15/8
31/12/2016 - 3.20 @ Warwick - MARTEN - 1pt Win @ 7/1

Interest Bets;

12.25 @ Lingfield - PC DIXON - 25/1
12.35 @ Uttoxeter - HERDSWICK HOLLOA - 25/1
12.40 @ Newbury - AQUA DUDE (15/2) /AURILLAC (5/1)  
2.05 @ Lingfield - MAJESTIC MOON - 50/1 - back if 7/1 or less
2.15 @ Uttoxeter - ROCK GONE - 9/1
2.40 @ Lingfield - HAVANA BEAT - 22/1 - (add to tracker even if losing today)
3.00 @ Newbury - BORN SURVIVOR - 8/1
3.35 @ Newbury - CHRISTMAS IN APRIL - 16/1

Plenty of interesting racing today although with a bumper New Years' Day catalogue coming up i'll be treading carefully.

My write up will begin at Lingfield on the all weather and in the very opening race (12.25) where I feel PC DIXON will be a different proposition that he has shown so far for Mick Channon now tackling handicaps.  He races here off a mark of just 67 and I look back on his race on 31st August with great interest.  He beat a horse called Alfredo that day who was given a rating of 55 and he swiftly made a mockery of that rating winning four times since and now races off 82.  PC Dixon was also just one length behind a horse that was rated officially 72 at that point giving away five pounds.  I will tend to ignore the following race as it was a step up in maiden grade and I don't believe for a second he was there to try.  Therefore my calculations would think he is off a winnable mark now and providing he is fit and well I am expecting a better run here.

In the 2.05 @ Lingfield a horse that takes my eye is MAJESTIC MOON who is another who looks well handicapped however I will not be playing at current odds.  Racing off a mark of 97 here he was very unlucky last time out when making his move.  His second to Shyron in March is the best form in the race in my opinion and if he can get back to that level he will take plenty of beating.  The market will be significant here for me as Julia Fielden's horses tend to go well when 7/1 or lower.  If 10's or higher I will not be playing.  Keep an eye on the prices, if it gets backed in, get on.

My old friend Tony Carroll runs HAVANA BEAT in the 2.40 @ Lingfield over a mile and a half.  Havana Beat was a top horse on his day for Andrew Balding rated at his peak at 112, he runs tomorrow off just 93.  His drawer isn't ideal tomorrow but his trainer knows how to win with these horses and even if tomorrow isn't the day, there will be plenty of winning to be done with this horse, trainer and jockey combination in the future.  Get him in the notebooks.

Over at Newbury I'm hoping two of my horses to follow AQUA DUDE and AURILLAC fight out the finish in the 12.40.  Aqua Dude has been disappointing in his first two chases whereas Aurillac has been unlucky.  I'll be having small bets on both but neither with confidence.

The 1.50 @ Newbury has two from my horses to follow section and two from my unraced horses to follow section, all four of them have won their last outings and have plenty of scope to improve.  The one i'll be backing out of the lot of them is ROBIN ROE whose performance at Aintree was up there with the best maiden hurdle displays of the season for me.  The form of that race has also worked out very well with the second (12 length runner up) No Comment since winning twice with an official rating of 133.  If ratings are confirmed that would put Robin Roe off a mark of 145 which would put him two pounds ahead of Messire Des Obeaux and eight ahead of Elegant Escape.  I actually think he'll be more a 150+ horse therefore i'm really hoping he can put in a massive performance here today.  Because of the opposition and hope that he's improved I can't nap him up but there would be no surprise should he bolt up here.

I was a little disappointed in BORN SURVIVOR (3.00 @ Newbury) over course and distance last month when he finished very tired having travelled well in to the race however I'm positive there is more to come from him.  He was top weight that day and faces another set of stiff opposition here however although off the same mark he does have a less weight on his back and i'm hoping he can run in to a place atleast here.  He was very well touted by Dan Skelton last season but has yet to put his best foot forward this season.  I'm worried that he is out-handicapped but if he shows the improvement that I hope he will do he should run well.

I was excited to read about CHRISTMAS IN APRIL who runs in the 3.35 @ Newbury before the season started but he didn't have the best of runs last time out.  He travelled nicely enough however and should improve for that run.  Nicky is looking to get him over hurdles sooner rather than later and i'm sure they want to get a bumper win in to him before venturing down that route.  He's one for the future but today could be the beginning of a very nice season.

Two horses interest me over at Uttoxeter.  Firstly the frustrating HERDSWICK HOLLOA returns in the 12.35.  I would normally think that he wuld be kept back for handicaps however this is a very very weak maiden.  His trainer before the start of the season said in an interview that he loves the horse and he'll beat most in the yard at home.  He clearly hasn't showed that ability on the track thus far but I can't get those interview words out of my head and looking at this race, it is winnable!  If the ground stays soft it may be a case of what the horse needs and I'm hopeful that he can take this.
ROCK GONE returns to action for Dr Newland in the 2.15 @ Uttoxeter and if he is fit he should take all the beating.  He looked a horse with a bright future last year and would have took a nice event at Newbury but for a penultimate fence fall.  He can go well fresh and with him being trained by the doctor he will surely be trying.  Brendan Powell is due a winner for the yard and here's hoping it is today.

I'm finishing off my write up with my second main selection of the day, MARTEN in the 3.20 @ Warwick.  Ben Pauling said before the start of the season that Marten was Nico De Boinville's favourite bumper horse in the yard and expectations are high for his career.  He started in a bumper at Doncaster where he looked desperately in need of the run and weakened away with two furlongs to spare.  He looked to be carrying a little condition that day and will strip fitter for that race here.  There are some good pedigree's in this race however if Marten is going to contest to good bumpers this season he has to win this en route.

29/12/2016 - No Selection
Interest Bets;

12.15 @ Southwell - SIR JACK - 16/1
1.55 @ Leopardstown - ALPHA DES OBEAUX - E/W 9/2
2.25 @ Southwell - FRANK COOL - 16/1
2.05 @ Doncaster - THE ORGANIST - 11/1
3.00 @ Southwell - CROSSE FIRE - 8/1

It was an interesting days' racing yesterday and i'll start off with the negatives on my selections, Rockportian raced far too keenly early on on his hurdles bow and weakened tamely three from home, he is surprisingly entered again today in the 1.30 @ Doncaster which is surely too quick a turn out.  He faces Bardd there too who will be very tough to beat.  The Lexas was a strange race and an outstanding performance from Outlander who stepped back up to three miles and produced a career best to turn the tables on Djakadam.  It was great to see Don Poli return to form too finishing second whilst Djakadam looked outpaced three out before staying on again at the finish.  Valseur Lido came there looking like the winner as Djakadam weakened but couldn't bypass the two leaders and looked tired at the finish.  I really don't know what to make of the form as it seems all over the place but either way it was a great race to watch.  Now on to Kotkikova, hmmm, she was taken around the outside of the field and coming to five out she was ridden along and weakening, she was then tamely ridden by Barry Geraghty when all chance had gone.  However she still stayed on at the finish to get within ten lengths of the winner.  If it wasn't a grade one i'd have said she was being given a run out but again i'm confused by the way she ran.  It's a tricky race to assess on her part with plenty of pro's and con's.  I'm still hopeful she will live up to her reputation but it may only be on soft/heavy ground.
Finishing on a positive Vroum Vroum Mag and Carter MacKay both came home comfortable enough winners of their respective races to give a nice 2.24/1 advised double.  It made for a good finish to what had been a pretty disappointing birthday for me at that point.

My write up today starts at Doncaster in the 2.05 where, for my sins I'm sticking with THE ORGANIST who I believe is firmly better than she has shown so far this season and certainly better than last time out when the tactics simply don't make any sense to me at all.  At Huntingdon she sat just behind the leaders and took up the running with a few fences to go before blundering her chance with the race at her mercy.  Last time out, Geraghty who was sitting on her for the first time held her up right at the back and given a very tender ride suggesting that he knew he had got it wrong from the off or the horse just wasn't right at all.  She certainly has to brush up her jumping but there is no doubting her engine, it may be a case that they are looking to up her to three miles soon and this could be another prep race but on the assumption that she is better than she is showing and at the price she's worth an each way play today.  If she's held up again from the off I would not be confident, if she goes off towards the front she has every chance.

I think ALPHA DES OBEAUX is a cracking bet in the 1.55 @ Leopardstown.  Having been beaten by Coney Island last time out it is no surprise to see him head the market however there are a couple of factors that suggest a reversal of fortunes could be on the cards today.  Firstly Brian Cooper takes the ride having not ridden him since his reappearance, that is a big plus.  Secondly the return to three miles is perfect for him.  He jumps well and stays all day, he didn't seem to have the pace to challenge Coney Island over two miles four but over three miles I'm not convinced Coney will have the stamina the keep up the gallop that Alpha has.  It is an intruiging race and there are no guarantees with Alpha Des Obeaux beating Coney Island but at the odds and with 9/2 (1/4 odds) available with Coral I feel that's an each way bet to nothing.

Three horses on the flat at Southwell I have noted today and will be kept a note of no matter how they perform.  Tony Carroll has two runners there today, the first SIR JACK looks on a great mark and the step up in trip is likely to suit having run on well at this course last time out.  He was a 5/1 shot last night and is now available at 16/1, that is not putting me off having a small bet as there are a few ticks in the boxes there today that suggest he could be there to win.  They don't always get backed in the betting!

His second horse is FRANK COOL in the 2.25 @ Southwell.  His maiden horses don't often come to fruition during the summer however based on Gorgeous' win last week (was 66/1 in the morning of the race) he is very capable of getting one that doesn't look like a winner ready.  This is Frank Cool's first start for the yard and he hasn't been seen in over a year, when he was last seen he looked a right donkey of a horse.  That still hasn't put me off due to the Tony Carroll factor and I was on last night at 50/1, he is now best price 16/1.  Again it is certainly no banker but these types of horses with this trainer are worth following.

My last horse at Southwell that i've had a decent bet on is CROSSE FIRE in the 3.00 @ Southwell.  With form figures of 000000 you wouldn't expect me to put it up as a selection however he is down to a mark of 72 on the all weather, he won on this day over course and distance last year off a mark of 67 before following it up off a mark of 73 (won by three lengths).  If he can find his form there is plenty of leeway in his mark.  He has to start well from the stalls however as this has hampered him when well backed recently.

28/12/2016 - 2.35 @ Leicester - ROCKPORTIAN - 1pt Win @ 2/1

Interest Bets;

3.00 @ Leopardstown - VALSEUR LIDO
Watching Brief - 1.50 @ Leopardstown - KOTKIKOVA

Double - 1.50 @ Leopardstown - VROUM VROUM MAG/3.35 @ Leopardstown - CARTER MACKAY - 2.24/1 (Betfred)

I have now been running the site for little over a year and on the whole it has been a successful one with a 1pt stakes SP profit of 36.48 points.  At advised odds those profits would have been raised to 97.87 points.  There is no doubting (and I have not hidden the fact) that the flat season was a poor one on my part with a SP loss of 8.91 from April to September although to advised odds you would still have been in profit to the tune of 23.22 points.  That being said I will be ensuring plenty of hard study will be going in to the 2017 flat season to improve that performance.

One part of the website that I am most proud of has been the Jumps Horses to Follow section.  I split the section in to three parts and spent hours and hours trawling through interviews, books, videos, basically everything I could get my hands on to try and pick out winners.  My main horses to follow section has yielded a loss of 17.59 points to a level 1pt SP stake however with a strike rate of 33.33% and with better prices available i'm sure you, like me have made plenty of money from it or atleast found it informative.  I'm confident there will be plenty of winners from now until the end of the season.

My Handicappers to Follow section has so far however been a big disappointment with just one winner from 19 selections.  It was always going to be the toughest section to get right and thus far is proving a tough task.  However I still believe all the selections are well handicapped and are capable when ready of winning decent races, I would be surprised if there weren't atleast one big price in there between now and the end of the season.
The Unraced Horses to Follow section has been a god send returning 21.83 points profit to a level 1pt SP stake and a 40% strike rate.  It has also helped unearth some talent that look set for Cheltenham and a bright future.  I'm sure that will continue for the rest of the season and there are plenty more winners to come.

On to today's racing and i'll start my write up off in the 2.35 @ Leicester where one of my Horses to Follow ROCKPORTIAN makes his long anticipated return.  Warren Greatrex stated in a pre-season interview that his mount had improved markedly during the summer and looked in much better shape than when winning his bumper in May.  This looks a pretty ordinary novices' hurdle and one that I hope he should take without breaking much sweat.  My only worry would be that he takes on fitter rivals however his trainer is in decent enough form and can ready one fresh.  At 2/1 in this field I'm happy to have a good bet.

I'm really looking forward to the 1.50 @ Leopardstown.  Vroum Vroum Mag should take all the beating in truth.  Her return was slated by several pundits when losing out to Apple's Jade however I thought it was a credible run on her reappearance given her opponents were far more match fit.  I expect her to put her rivals to the sword today and I would be looking to add her to acca's.  The one horse I really am looking forward to seeing is Nicky Henderson's KOTKIKOVA who makes her debut for the yard.  This expensive purchase is highly exciting having won 11 of her 14 races over in France.  The ground is an unknown here today and I don't think she'll have the fitness on this occasion to match Vroum Vroum Mag however I will be very interested to see how she jumps and how she travels in to the race.  An ideal situation for me would be to see her jump her hurdles quickly throughout and travel like the winner three to two out before weakening due to fitness.  I have backed her ante post for the Mares' Hurdle in March and I expect her to be a force for that race, not so much today.

I'm going to go against the grain in the Lexus Chase (3.00 @ Leopardstown).  I think Djakadam is the best horse in the race however the conditions today will not suit him as much as it will VALSEUR LIDO.  I was very impressed with his display when beating Silviniaco Conti at Down Royal, form ofcourse franked on Saturday.  He jumped excellently throughout and took charge from two out before powering clear.  I won't be going mad on him but at 5/2 I'll be having a small bet.

One horse I'll be doubling up with Vroum Vroum Mag is CARTER MACKAY in the 3.35 @ Leopardstown.  The horse from my unraced horses to follow section, Irish Points Expert Declan Phelan nominated this horse as the horse with the highest cruising speed of the points circuit during 2015/16, I've backed him ante post for the Champion Bumper in March and it would be no surprise should he win this today and push his way towards favourtism for that race.

26/12/2016 - 3.40 @ Huntingdon - LINENHALL - 1pt Win @ 15/8
Interest Bets;

12.05 @ Fontwell - CAFE AU LAIT - 17/2
1.15 @ Leopardstown - MEGA FORTUNE - 3/1
1.30 @ Kempton - TWO TAFFS - 6/1
2.40 @ Kempton - THE NEW ONE - 7/4

Other Bets not highlighted;

12.45 @ Leopardstown - CASTELLO SFORZA 6/4
1.20 @ Huntingdon - CAPRICE D'ANGLAIS 15/8
1.55 @ Huntingdon - WHISPERING STORM 5/2
3.45 @ Kempton - LISHEEN PRINCE 6/1

Firstly Happy Christmas to everyone, I hope it brought you everything you wanted and everyone had a great day!
Now on to business, it's a Boxing Day spectacular once again on the sporting front with a great selection of Football, Darts and ofcourse horse racing amongst other things.

I'm starting my write up over at Leopardstown this weekend and a very interesting Juvenile Grade Two (1.15).  The race is a re-match between Landofhopeandglory, Bapaume and MEGA FORTUNE.  Gordon Elliott is apparently very excited about MEGA FORTUNE this weekend with conditions more in his favour.  The favourite has done nothing wrong so far and rightly holds favouritism for the Triumph Hurdle at this early stage however he has three pounds to give today (he did so last time) on ground that is not his forte having beaten Bapaume by just a length last time out and I'm happy to take him on today.  Bapaume ran a cracker in that race on his first run under rules and up against a fitter opponent.  They meet on the same terms here but I'd be happy to put Bapaume ahead of the favourite in this ground and with the advantage of added fitness here.  That brings me to Mega Fortune who cruised to a crushing 13 length victory over this distance at Down Royal in November before failing to land a blow last time out.  The manner of his victory in November lives in the memory and that was up there with the most impressive displays of the three.  I will be having a small single on him at 3/1 and a tricast, 1.Mega Fortune, 2.Bapaume, 3.Landofhopeandglory.

I have interest in plenty of races over in Ireland but my main attentions focus on this side of the water.  Starting in the 12.05 @ Fontwell and I can't get away from how well handicapped CAFE AU LAIT is.  Sophie Leech's mount is down to a mark of 79 in this very ordinary 0-100 contest at his best he was rated 33 pound superior to his current mark.  He is just a six year old and yes he has disappointed and looks to have had his issues but he has a good jockey aboard today, conditions more to suit than his previous few races and he had a run out back in October to strip him fitter for this.  He's certainly no banker but at 17/2 I'm willing to have a nice punt on the assumption Sophie is out for a Christmas Bonus.  Please do note Leech's other runners today across the cards (12.15 @ Hun - AMERCIAN LIFE, 12.00 @ Mkt - PADDOCKS LOUNGE, 3.05 @ Hun - KAPRICORNE), I've done a ew lucky 15 just in case she's looking to grab a right touch.

I am very keen on LINENHALL in the bumper (3.40 @ Huntingdon).  Ben Pauling's horse ran a credible second on debut at Southwell in November, the winner that day has since finished 4th in a class 1 bumper to frank the form and the softer ground here today will be much in his favour.  He is up against a couple of unknown quantities as there always is in these types of races however the selection is going to take all the beating and i'm happy to have a nice bet at 15/8.

On to the main event over at Kempton, I am really interested in TWO TAFFS in the 1.30.  Dan Skelton's horse disappointed slightly in the Fixed Brush Hurdd  however the ground that day was very heavy and the better ground here today will be much more to his liking.  I'm surprised that Dan has not kept him to hurdling given his previous form however he must be showing something at home to suggest he can tackle the bigger fences.  He jumps hurdles boldly enough and rarely makes a mistake so he could be a natural to the bigger fences.  He certainly has an engine and I can't not have a bet just in case he's been rushed in to his chasing career because they want to take him to Cheltenham.  We shall see.

The Christmas hurdle (2.40) is a very interesting race and you could make cases for all of them.  The most exciting horse in the line up is Yanworth, no doubt about it, Alan King's six year old looked the part as a novice and has continued that progression this term having beat Lil Rockerfeller last time out, if on song he will be tough to beat.  The drop back to two miles would be my worry for him in such a high grade.  THE NEW ONE would be my selection.  He has flattered to deceive on many occasion however there is no doubting his ability.  He has only ever been beaten by top quality horses and the flat track and ground should suit him fine.  Although My Tent Or Yours and Ch'Tibello are high quality horses in their own right, the latter improving, I would be disappointed if this didn't end up a match up between the top two in the market.

It's a similar story in the King George VI Chase (3.15).  The overall line up for the race is very very disappointing with Willie Mullins deciding against running any of his string but even so it is a fascinating contest.  The big applause has to go to Colin Tizzard and the owners of Cue Card and Thistlecrack who have done what the sport and the fans alike want and put two top class horses up against each other.  The aforementioned Mr Mullins refused to do it at Cheltenham last year and fair play to him, his horses won the respective races they raced in however I am a sporting person, not a greed munger and although I love having a bet, I would sacrifice a bet in this race and the Gold Cup to see the best horses take eachother on.  You wouldn't see Usain Bolt turn down racing aainst his mate in the 100 metres to let him win, horse racing is the only sport where it's accepted to not put your best athletes up against eachother.  Anyway, fair play to the Tizzard team, I haven't been the biggest of fans of Tizzard in the past however he is quickly winning me over.  The race itself I find tough to call between, I think THISTLECRACK is this years' Gold Cup winner, a stiff 3 miles at Cheltenham is right up his street, he jumps excellently for a novice and he has a huge engine, he is not your normal novice given that he is 8 years old and has massive experience in the bag including a World Hurdle.  Cue Card however cannot be faulted, he should have won the gold cup last year and wears his heart on his sleeve.  I hope Thistlecrack wins today to prove his doubters wrong but I would also love a tight tough fighting finish between the pair.

14/12/2016 - 1.50 @ Lingfield - JUSTE POUR NOUS - 1pt Win @ 4/1
Interest Bets;

12.55 @ Newbury - CRUISEAWEIGH - 15/8
1.30 @ Newbury - AURILLAC - 13/2
2.50 @ Musselburgh - TAP NIGHT - 8/1

Strong Pursuit provided my Unraced Horses to Follow section with another winner yesterday and a healthy 8/1 return, I hope you are continuing to follow the section as it has been a lucrative section so far this season.

My tip for today is surprisingly on the flat in the 1.50 @ Lingfield where Mark Johnston saddles JUSTE POUR NOUS.  This horse had contested a class one handicap back in June but his form has taken somewhat of a nosedive since.  This however is a marked drop in class and the drop back to ten furlongs should be in his favour.  If he can repeat his second at Ripon back in July he would win this by a distance and although there is risk involved as he may have fell out of love with the game there was enough in his last race to suggest he's not a forgotten hope.  The price has attracted me to play and nothing in the line up I would rate as a big danger.  He just looks too well in.

In the 2.50 @ Musselburgh I feel the race is set up for TAP NIGHT.  He put in a much improved display last time out when staying on like a train.  He was given a lot to do that race and I hope the jockey would have learnt a lot from that experience.  He's a big price in a race he won last year.  The McManus factor has however reduced my stakes and confidence.

I am very interested in CRUISEAWEIGH in the 12.55 @ Newbury today.  I mentioned last time out that if ever there was a "dodgy" ride that was it.  He was backed as if defeat was out of the question last time out then apparently "hung" and wouldn't take the bend, that was debateable to me but I suppose we will never know what truly happened.  Anyway, he takes on a decent field here today going back left handed.  He is highly regarded by Tom George and his performance at Aintree was very eyecatching, easing to victory past a subsequent winner.  He was 4/1 last night and the money is coming again.

My final interest bet is AURILLAC in the 1.30 @ Newbury.  He put in an improved display when just missing out to Definite Outcome the race before last but a blunder 4 out after jumping well last time put paid to his chances on that occasion.  I felt he would be certain to have been involved at the finish but for that error and now receiving a seven pound pull on the winner that day he looks to have a great chance at a big each way price here.

​10/12/2016 - No Selection
Interest Bets;

1.50 @ Cheltenham - ASO/ALOOMOMO (8/1 & 10/1 respectively)
2.20 @ Navan - ROCK ON FRUITY (8/1)
3.35 @ Cheltenham - JESSBER'S DREAM (15/2)

My frustrating time tipping continued yesterday as Emerging Force failed to see both the added trip and hill at Cheltenham.  It was disappointing as I felt he was a better horse than the line up yesterday but it seems he's not quite yet the finished article.  I won't be writing him off just yet but he has it all to prove now.

I'm in need of a change in fortunes and hoping today will be the day.  I'm starting off with two horses i'll be having a play on in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase (1.50 @ Cheltenham), ASO and ALOOMOMO.  These two top novice chasers look unlikely to take rank in the top races this season however I feel they will both be very capable handicappers.  Aso comes here off a mark of 144 and I feel he will prove better than that.  I thought he ran a good race on his return when finishing behind Village Vic however he made some telling mistakes late on and without them he would have surely made a race of it.  He will strip fitter for that race and looks a nice price today.  Aloomomo is a tough horse to assess having improved ten fold as the season progressed last term.  He returned with an ok hurdles run which will have set him up nicely here.  He's off a nice weight and my assumption will be that Gavin Sheehan will have him nearer the pace today than he did that day.

In the 3.35 @ Cheltenham Paul Nicholls saddles JESSBER'S DREAM.  She is dropped back to two and a half miles having not seen out the three miles trip last time out and I feel she is the one to beat here.  She has to give weight away however that is not such a daunting task in mares' races and she looks a class above most of these.  Rain would help her chances and the reason I can't tip her up is because I don't know how she would handle good ground.  If she handles it or if the rain comes however she looks a huge price.

Keep an eye on the 2.20 @ Navan where ROCK ON FRUITY looks to have been set up for this.  He was given absolutely no chance last time out when finishing like a train and i'm convinced when the handbrake is released he will win a good handicap.  That day could be today.  I would say if he starts the race near the front he'll be worth an in play bet.  If in rear then once again he isn't there to win.

​09/12/2016 - 12.20 @ Cheltenham - EMERGING FORCE - 2pts Win @ 9/4 (NAP)
Interest Bets;

12.30 @ Doncaster - Herdswick Holloa - 18/1

Well, what can I say about yesterdays' selection The Organist.  She should have won first time over fences but for falling, that day she was ridden from the front as she has been throughout her career, yesterday Barry Geraghty had his mount in the rear and she never got involved.  I have said it before about McManus horses not trying and although I didn't think The Organist would be one of them I cannot help but question the tactics, it simply didn't make sense and to top it all off Barry held her back when jumping her fences.  I do not trust JP or Barry Geraghty when the two combine at the moment and I think I will only think about tipping them up in future at a big meeting.

Waiting Patiently won his race very impressively again whilst being chased home by the ever improved Forest Bihan.  I feel that race will unearth plenty of winners this season and I wouldn't underestimate Aqua Dude's display, I just think he isn't as good as the front two but they are both very very good.
My tip for today is EMERGING FORCE in the 12.20 @ Cheltenham.  This is his toughest test by far but he has impressed me so far this season, his battling qualities have been there for all to see and his jumping has been excellent so far.  Arpege D'Alene has been well touted in the past by Paul Nicholls as a good quality horse and he certainly has an engine as proved last time out however for me, the more fences in front of him the tougher it will be for him to win.  Last time they missed out six flights of fences due to low sun and I doubt he would have won had they jumped them.  He for me has it all to prove still.  My selection is solid and I feel is a top class horse in the making, he can give weight away here and continue his novice education.
My old mate HERDSWICK HOLLOA makes his hurdles debut today in the 12.30 @ Doncaster.  He's a big price but has it all to prove.  I think he'll be better now upped in trip and I believe he's schooled well.  He's interesting at 18/1 and i'll be having a small bet.

​08/12/2016 - 1.20 @ Warwick - THE ORGANIST - 1pt Win @ 6/1
Interest Bets;

12.40 @ Newcastle - AQUA DUDE - 12/1
3.35 @ Warwick - WHIN PARK - 7/1

River Dart almost gave interest followers a nice winner yesterday when finding one just too good at Lingfield.  There is no doubt he was there to win given the front pair had pulled 9 lengths clear of third and surely compensation awaits, it would be no surprise if he was turned out quickly.
I'm working away now til Sunday evening so my write ups will be brief if I can get on at all.

My tip for today is THE ORGANIST in the 1.20 @ Warwick.  This is a cracking mare's novice chase with some excellent prospects.  The Organist jumped poorly on chase debut however she would have learned a lot from that experience and Oliver Sherwood will be hoping for a better display from his star horse.  If these were running over hurdles I feel The Organist would be a short priced favourite and there's only one reason for me why she won't win this with a clear round of jumping, JP McManus.  However Oliver is not someone I associate with any ounce of dodginess therefore I assume she's sent here to win and head towards some of the better chases this season.  6/1 is too big a price for me.

The 12.50 @ Warwick is a cracker to watch, not for me to bet in.  Westend Story and Willoughby Court are from my horses to follow whereas Dingo Dollar is from my unraced horses.  I can't wait to see them up against eachother here.

WHIN PARK (3.35 @ Warwick) is a horse I noted in my pre-season studying from Ben Pauling's interviews.  He feels he is a top drawer horse in the making and is a potential bargain purchase.  He's doing everything right at home and he looks a nice price at 7/1.  It's a bumper so never go mad but keep a note of this horse for the future.

The 12.40 @ Newcastle is another good race to enjoy from the stands.  Waiting Patiently is a worthy favourite however he won't have everything his own way here with Forest Bihan impressing last time out but the horse i'm hoping will be worth a small dabble is AQUA DUDE.  He is from my horses to follow section and you couldn't hide Evan Williams' excitement about him in his pre-season interview.  He was pulled up on chase debut at Haydock.  That was a tough introduction but this drop back to two miles will be up his street and he should strip fitter for that race.  12/1 is too big a price. 

​07/12/2016 - No selection
Interest Bets;

1.35 @ Lingfield - RIVER DART - 9/2

Saturday turned out to be a decent day with my nap Un De Sceaux winning the Tingle Creek at Sandown even despite a couple of big mistakes at the final few fences, on his day he's very tough to beat.  Charlemar showed once again that he is a horse with a very bright future for Harry Whittington clearing right away after the last from the well backed Minotaur whilst Vieux Lion Rouge won the Becher Chase having outstayed Highland Lodge whom had looked all out the winner after the last.  Unfortunately Cruiseaweigh was pulled up after his jockey lost his tack, if there was a "dodgy" performance over the weekend then that was it having been well backed all day, I'm sure he'll turn out and come home in front next time out.

I have no main selection again today and the racing of late hasn't been of the greatest quality however I have backed one horse quite heavily for today's racing, RIVER DART (1.35 @ Lingfield).  Tony Carroll as some of you may know is one of my favourite trainers to try and work out from a handicap perspective and I feel he has River Dart at Lingfield today to win.  He is off a mark of 75 which is below his last winning mark, makes his debut for the stable today and the biggest factor is George Baker is booked for the ride.  The fact there is only eight runners in the race interests me too as Tony tends to go for 10 plus runner races when he has them below par.  There are lots of ticks in the "well handicapped" boxes today and i'm hoping this is the time to catch him.  Money came last night too which is significant.

​03/12/2016 - 12.20 @ Sandown - CRUISEAWEIGH - 1pt Win @ 11/8
03/12/2016 - 3.00 @ Sandown - UN DE SCEAUX - 2ps Win @ 2/1 (NAP)

Interest Bets;

12.00 @ Aintree - LITTERALE CI - 13/2
12.55 @ Fairyhouse - TURN OVER SIVOLA - 8/1
1.00 @ Aintree - CHARLEMAR - 3/1
1.05 @ Chepstow - YOU SAY WHAT - 10/1
1.35 @ Aintree - SILVERGROVE (14/1)/VIEUX LION ROUGE (9/1)/ROGUE ANGEL (25/1) all E/W
2.25 @ Sandown - INDIETIR (11/2)/ZUBAYR (6/1)
3.50 @ Chepstow - BALIBOUR - 14/1

Well the past few Saturday's I've been very excited and finished the day very disappointed.  Today however has a pretty special vibe about it.

I'm going to start my write up at my favourite race track in Britain, Aintree.  In the 12.00 I have an interest in a horse called LITTERALE CI.  I have recently read excellent reviews about the horse and I feel her debut run was a nice pipe opener for her.  That day she was well beaten by Evening Hush with whom she has to find atleast 2 and a half lengths here however there is reason to believe she may have the scope to do just that.  Firstly, the ground that day at Exeter was very soft, today the firmer ground should suit Litterale Ci whereas the favourite's best flat form was on the soft stuff.  Secondly Evening Hush had the advantage of a more recent run having raced in September with Litterale Ci not having a run since June.  I had heard that Litterale Ci was booming at home, her schooling had gone very well and her trainer had high hopes for her this season.  She needs to improve from her last run and this is a tricky race however with the potential I will be having a play at 13/2.  The McManus factor does bother me so I won't make him a selection but she is certainly of interest.

One of my Horses To Follow CHARLEMAR (1.00) made a telling impression on debut winning his maiden well enough from Orchard Park.  Today he needs to step up from that effort in this enticing Novice Hurdle but I am hopeful he can certainly do that.  He ought to have come on from that run and there's no doubting what his trainer thinks of him having compared him to Arzal.  If he's going to be to that standard in the future then for me he's easily the one they all have to beat here today, in fact on bare form he's the one they have to beat.  My only worry is that Harry Whittington's horses aren't in the greatest of form.  At 3/1 though against an unknown favourite I'm happy to have a play.

Now on to the big race, The Becher Chase (1.35).  Traditionally the race is always a tough puzzle to pick through and today is no exception.  It depends how you want to play the market here with Coral a little less competitive on their prices but with six places up for grabs each way I think it's worth dropping a point to play each way with them.  I will be having three each way plays.  My main bet witll be SILVERGROVE.  My Handicappers to Follow could do with a boost and should he win here today it would be a major coup for the section.  His aim will be the Grand National.  However in order for him to get in to that race Ben says he will have to win a staying handicap then protect his mark.  He jumps as well as any horse and he never made a single mistake in his four races last season.  He may only win one handicap before the National and hopefully today will be the day.  I have had an each way ante post play on him for the Grand National at 80/1 and should he win today that price will not be around for long.  Cheltenham didn't suit last time out but that should have him primed for this.  Secondly, VIEUX LION ROUGE.  His participation in last years' Grand National somewhat surprised me as I never saw him as a Grand National type however I was impressed with the way he jumped that day.  Hold up horses rarely go well in the National and I wasn't convinced with James Reveley's tactics that day but he still stayed on well enough to finish seventh in that race.  I will be hoping Tom Scudamore rides him a bit more to the fore here today and this drop back to three miles will suit him just fine.  At a big price I can't leave Mouse Morris' ROGUE ANGEL alone here.  He's a horse that needs to be perfect to win his race and there will be plenty of doubts.  However Mouse would never put a horse in to a race like this if he felt he wasn't fit.  Rogue Angel is down to a nice mark, jumps well and stays when on his game.  If he's raring to go he could run well at a nice price.

Over to Chepstow, in the 1.05 a horse from my horses to follow section makes his seasonal reappearance, YOU SAY WHAT.  Due to go in to novice chases this former pointer looks ideal for the big fences and is sure to win races.  He won two hurdles last season and showed pretty consistent form throughout.  He seemed to like Exeter and a bit of cut in the ground but I don’t think the course is necessarily a big factor.  He’s not going to be top class but should cut it in middle tier races.  He is of big interest at a nice price on chase debut today.

My unraced horses to follow section have so far this season been in good form and a horse making his debut today really interests me, largely due to the price available.  In the 3.50 @ Chepstow, BALIBOUR makes his racecourse debut for Emma Lavelle.  He missed last season due to an infection and at one stage Emma thought he would not see it through.  However he has come out of it strongly and his schooling has gone to plan.  Emma says he does everything easily at home and she likes him a lot.  He may need a little give in the ground and he is one to look forward to.  Emma's horses are in good form and I think he is overpriced at 14/1.  I'm not one to tip up too many in bumpers but I will be having a nice bet.

Gordon Elliott is in hot form and one horse that really interests me over in Ireland today is TURN OVER SIVOLA in the 12.55 @ Fairyhouse.  Down to a handicap mark of just 126 on chase debut for Elliott and he is sure to have him primed following his recent hurdles run.  If anything like his old self then he would win this eased down therefore at 8/1 I'm willing to take the chance that Gordon has him here to win.

Over at Sandown in the opener (12.20) the favourite CRUISEAWEIGH made a big impression on his return in a bumper for Tom George.  The second that day has since won impressively and there is belief that this horse has a big engine.  Tom's horses couldn't be in better form and he is building a very nice team together at Down Farm.  Cruiseaweigh's performance at Aintree was highly promising and from the onset the result was never really in doubt.  He's a short price but I'm confident he will reward support.

I cannot wait to see ALTIOR again and in the 1.55 @ Sandown Nicky Henderson's horse makes his second appearance over the larger fences having won a two horse contest first time out this season without breaking sweat.  He is a horse that possesses a huge engine and proved he can jump excellently too last time out.  He's clearly not a betting prospect at 1/3 but I would be inclined to add him to a couple of doubles today just to boost your prices a little.

The 2.25 @ Sandown is a very interesting contest and one i'll be having two small plays in.  Firstly, ZUBAYR of Paul Nicholls.  He was running well in behind Sceau Royal last time out when taking a crashing fall.  He probably wouldn't have beaten the winner that day but this is a drop on that level.  He has to give weight away here to his rivals which is not ideal but i'll be having a little play incase he can defy his weight.  Now on to the most interesting of horses in this race.  INDIETIR from my unraced horses to follow section makes his British Debut here today for Dan Skelton.  Dan is very excited to send this former grade one runner up  from France out on the racecourse having got over his small niggling injury issues and he's a very interesting runner here.  It is a race i'll be watching with great interest.

Now on to the big one at Sandown today, the Tingle Creek (3.00).  There is an IF in this race and it's simple to me, IF UN DE SCEAUX is in form, he wins this!  Although it's not going to return a huge amount of money I think he's a huge price at 2/1.  Yes, he's a quirky horse and he does have his flaws however on his day he's second to only one horse at this level, Sprinter Sacre.  There is no Sprinter Sacre in this line up and I see no reason why Sire De Grugy would all of a sudden turn the tides on the favourite.  Ar Mad interests me more than any of his rivals but he has a lot to find to trouble Ruby Walsh's mount.  I think he's worth a good bet today and i'll be putting my money where my mouth is.

That's me done for today, here's hoping we can get a winner or six from all those selections.

29/11/2016 - No Selection
Interest Bets;

1.25 @ Southwell - MR BRINKLEY - 6/1

Not a bad day on Saturday as my nap of the day Spirit of Kayf came home for tip followers whilst Bristol De Mai returned each way money.  Interest bet Native River won the Hennessy Gold Cup too with a true staying display.  Elsewhere Thistlecrack once again showed that he is the one they all have to beat should he make the Gold Cup line up in March.

Many apologies for not being on site much of late, it has been a really busy time both at home and at work however having had a couple of messages regarding such I will ensure that even if i'm not selecting that I will put "No Selection" on site or if i'm going to be away put a message up in this section to advise such.  Therefore no one will have to keep trawling back and to the site to see if i've put anything up.

I have sent out my first email selection for a while today to subscribers so please let me know if you haven't received it.  If you haven't yet signed up and would like to do so please just fill in the form on the homepage, it's free and I hope those that have registered have found the service useful.
With the racing a bit of a poor standard over the past couple of days I have been getting the spreadsheet out and doing a bit of analysis of my horses to follow sections.

The main Horses to Follow section has amassed 23 winners from 67 entries so far at a strike rate of 34%.  The £1 level stake profit however would be a loss of £22.74 at SP prices.  Although that doesn't sound too great please do note that the majority of the winning selections have been backed off the boards so their first shows would have been much more, however for ease of analysis I use SP prices to my detriment.  If you haven't already done so please see my selections here -

My Handicappers to Follow have thus far been a disappointment with only Ch'Tibello entering the Winners' Enclosure and that wasn't even in a handicap.  The handicappers' strike rate is just 8% so far.  Despite this however i'm convinced this section will provide winners and I hope you all stick with them as I will be.  You can find these selections here -

My favourite section so far is the Unraced Horses to Follow where we have had 10 winners from 22 entries at a strike rate of 45%.  A £1 level stake SP profit would be £19.05 from all selections however again I hope you would have got better prices that the SP.  This section has been a great catalyst for my bets in what has been a tough start to the jumps season and I hope you have all found it valuable.  Please see these horses here -

On to todays' racing and with the exception of the tip I will be having a bet on MR BRINKLEY in the 1.25 @ Southwell.  He won his only point (over three miles) well enough and was bought shortly after.  The ground that day was heavy which may mean he may need it on the soft side (was pulled out at Exeter when ground was good/firm).  He jumped well that day and stayed on well at the finish to show he has stamina in abundance.  Kim has a high opinion of him and says he has worked extremely well at home.  The ground is likely to be on the softer side of good but there is a niggling doubt that may not be soft enough.  If it was guaranteed soft I would have definitely gone in a decent stake.  I'll still be having a nice bet but that lack of a tick in the box means I can't tip it up as a main selection.  If there remains eight in the race come off time I don't think EW support would go unrewarded.

​26/11/2016 - 2.15 @ Bangor - BURLINGTON BERT - 1pt Win @ 7/4
26/11/2016 - 1.30 @ Newbury - GENEROUS RANSOM - 1pt Win @ 8/1
26/11/2016 - 2.05 @ Newbury - BORN SURVIVOR - 1pt Win @ 4/1
26/11/2016 - 1.45 @ Newcastle - SPIRIT OF KAYF - 2pts Win @ 5/2 (NAP)
3.30 @ Newcastle - BRISTOL DE MAI - 1pt E/W @ 4/1

Interest Bets;

3.10 @ Newbury - NATIVE RIVER - 6/1 E/W
Apologies for the website being down yesterday, I had stupidly forgotten to update my card details from last year and therefore my automatic renewal of domain had not gone through.  I'm still learning this website game and it's another lesson learned :)

Now on to important matters, today's racing.  I'm starting my write up at Bangor, in the 2.15 Warren Greatrex saddles BURLINGTON BERT.  This bumper winner tackles his first race over hurdles today and he is very excited to see one of the apple's of his eye begin his jumping career.  He has had issues with his wind and other things in the past however they were ironed out before he won his bumper in May very impressively.  Warren said in his pre-season interview that Burlington Bert is up there with the best horses he has and considering the quality at his disposal that is a big statement.  This is a decent enough quality race to test him but the opposition doesn't hold a massive amount of fear, the biggest worry for me would be his fitness however the conditions at Bangor should suit him and I'm looking forward to his hurdles debut today.

Over at Newbury I cannot wait to see THISTLECRACK out again, for me he has been a breath of fresh air in the chasing ranks so far this season and the Gold Cup has the potential to be a cracker once again with the likes of Coneygree making a nice return last week.  He is not a betting proposition but certainly one to watch with March in mind, I'm still very happy with my 7/1 ante post.

A horse from my handicappers to follow who I feel is worth a bet today is GENEROUS RANSOM in the 1.30 @ Newbury.  Moved to the yard from Nick Gifford he was rated 140 a couple of years back and is now off a mark of 123.  He has had a breathing operation which should eek out some improvement and Philip Hobbs knows how to take advantage of a horses mark.  His reappearance was very satisfactory and he should strip fitter for it here today.  This looks winnable.

I thought BORN SURVIVOR (2.05 @ Newbury) ran a cracker on his reappearance at Aintree and he should be worth a bet here today on the back of that run.  He jumps well and has a good engine, he's well thought of for Dan Skelton's yard and the softer ground will suit.  4/1 is a fair price and I feel he will go close.

The Hennessy Gold Cup is a tricky one to assess today.  I think Native River is a horse that could potentially run in the four miler at Cheltenham this year, a horse who jumps well and stays all day.  I feel his run the other week was a fitness prep run for this and you can envisage him winning.  You can make cases for many and but for an each way play on Native I will be watching with interest rather than going in big.

I feel SPIRIT OF KAYF in the 1.45 @ Newcastle is a cracking bet today in this four horse Novice Hurdle.  The favourite Get on the Yager was impressive on rules debut when up against a horse that I think quite a bit about in Willoughby Court.  The ground that day was good and for me the fact he ran two points both on good to soft ground makes me feel his best form will be on good ground.  However, Spirit of Kayf revels in the mud and it is likely to be very soft here today.  He was due to step up in trip last time out when falling and I'm not surprised Sandy Thomson has gained the services of the in form Brian Hughes following that fall, she will not want the same to happen here for one of her stable stars.  I feel this race will be a match up between the two with Wyfield Rose sure to not enjoy the soft ground and i'm more than happy to see 5/2 available for Kayf.

In the 3.30 @ Newcastle I feel BRISTOL DE MAI is the horse to be on.  He has questions to answer after a lacklustre return however he should improve for that run and enjoys heavy ground.  He stays well and has jumped well in the majority of his races.  He is the big name in the line up for me and the one that has the most potential.  He's a nice price and should run in to a place at the very least.

​24/11/2016 - No selection
Interest Bets;

2.20 @ Taunton - FOUBURG - 10/1
2.45 @ Towcester - AYALYA - 9/2
3.15 @ Towcester - TUTCHEC - 8/1
6.55 @ Chelmsford - PAR THREE - 28/1
Not a bad day yesterday as Bold won for advice followers, Stuart Williams' horse was well backed consistently and never looked like losing from the off, I hope you all followed the advice, just wish I'd tipped him up in hindsight.  Tap Night almost provided tip followers with a 14/1 winner.  He stayed on best in the three mile contest yesterday but the winner had already flown, I'm not convinced by the position his rider gave but that's what you get with conditionals and it's the risk that is taken.  I hope you got on each way as the reward for the place was decent.

I like a few today from a potential handicap blot perspective.  Starting off at Taunton in the 2.20 where Harry Whittington sends out FOUBURG.  I can't tip him up because he was very disappointing last time out when I expected him to go well and he was well backed.  His jumping that day cost him the race and i'm sure Harry would have been working hard on him since then to iron out the issues.  He's a big price at 10/1 if he can improve in the jumping department and may be one to have a small play beforehand and see how he jumps the first two fences.  If he jumps them well I'll be going in again in play.

I have two at Towcester I like the look of.  In the 2.45, John Hanlon saddles AYELYA.  Her form figures are not very encouraging however she is still only a four year old and my reasons behind her today stem from a couple of aspects that don't really involve the horses form.  The trainer has an excellent track record with horses that are less than 10/1 in the market, this horse is 9/2 and he has Richie McLernon in the saddle who knows how to win on "well handicapped" horses (hence why he rides for Jonjo so often).  It may be nothing and she may bomb out however i'm willing to take the risk and have a dabble just in case.

In the 3.15 @ Towcester another of Harry Whittington's takes the eye TUTCHEC.  He is off a mark of 94 today, he has been previously rated 130 which if he could get near that form would have him winning this low level race by a distance.  It is a big IF however and therefore I won't be going in big especially after unseating this jockey last time out.  It may be a confidence boosting race however at 8/1 I feel he is worth taking a risk on hoping that he retains some of that old ability.  There is a huge difference between 130 and 94 and surely he's not dropped off a cliff that much, I just hope he hasn't lost his love for the game.

After my all weather advice yesterday came in I'm going for an even bigger one today.  In the 6.55 @ Chelmsford my old mate Tony Carroll saddles PAR THREE.  I have mentioned this horse before and well what can I say, I thought I would have ran quicker than him.  However with a lot of Tony's horses you need to watch the market closely to really know how a horse will perform.  He was 33/1 last night and this morning I woke up to a lot of blue numbers on Oddschecker.  Therefore I have gone in.  I have followed this method with Carroll for a little while now and have a healthy profit from it and although it doesn't come in all the time, when it does i've had a very nice price.  I suggest having a bet and seeing how the market goes, if he consistently gets backed today could be his day.

​23/11/2016 - 1.10 @ Hereford - FULL IRISH - 1pt Win @ 7/2
23/11/2016 - 3.00 @ Wetherby - TAP NIGHT - 1pt Win @ 12/1

Interest Bets;

1.20 @ Wetherby - PITHIVIER - 9/1
6.25 @ Kempton - BOLD - 15/2

The less I say about my tips yesterday the better.  To be fair Herdswick Holloa ran an ok race in fourth but weakened at the death suggesting he didn't like the ground.  Bells 'N' Banjos looks like a horse that has lost his love for the game, he was never interested in the race from the off and I won't be backing him again any time soon.  Warren Greatrex's horses are not in the best of form either so I will be wary when backing his horses at the moment.
Anyway, today is another day and one horse from my horses to follow section returns to action in the 1.10 @ Hereford, FULL IRISH.  He was a little thrown in to the deep end last season which Emma Lavelle rarely does with her bumper horses.  That is a sign to me that she thinks an awful lot of this horse.  He has been given a good break and has come back looking fantastic.  He has schooled well over hurdles and looks to have improved immensely.  Emma seems to really like him and I feel he is going to be worth looking out for.  This is a decent enough class 4 novice hurdle but there is so much potential in this horse that at 7/2 I simply have to have a good bet.
I have had a couple of small plays on horses I feel will win races this season but it may be too soon for them;

1.20 @ Wetherby - PITHIVIER for Ben Pauling is officially handicapped to a rating of 120.  He has had his injury worries but Ben believes if they can keep him right that he will be a mid 140 rated chaser.  I would be surprised if Ben hasn't got him fully fit for today as he would need to be to ensure his injury doesn't come back.  There is a lot of me that wants to tip him up at 9/1 however the small worry that he may be looked after on his return is turning me against it, I have had a bet on him however.
In the 3.00 @ Wetherby I can't let TAP NIGHT go unbacked at 12/1.  This is the first time he has encountered a class 4 handicap since February 2013, that day he won with ease.  He is clearly not the horse he was but is surely better than his current mark of 119.  He enjoys soft ground probably more than good plus His jockey Blair Campbell isn't a bad conditional jockey by any means and will know the horse well, he takes a further seven pounds off which in theory takes him down to a mark of 112 which in my opinion he would win this race off that mark in his sleep.  In fact as I'm writing I have convinced myself that he has to be tipped up, he's too big a price and looks too well in not to have a go.
Kempton is not a track that usually really interests me at this time of year however there is one horse that does interest me for a trainer that is renouned for his "well handicapped" sorts.  BOLD in the 6.25 comes in to this race with form figures of 0006 at prices of 50/1, 12/1, 33/1 & 16/1.  Last night he was backed in from first shows of 12/1 to current best price 15/2.  His shrewd trainer does well around this track when backed and it was no surprise to me to see Tony Carroll pull a horse I thought could have been here to win Oeil De Tigre out of the race this morning.  That makes me think he has spoken to Stuart and that he knows he can't beat Bold......that's what I'm hoping anyway :)

​22/11/2016 - 1.00 @ Lingfield - HERDSWICK HOLLOA - 1pt Win @ 11/1
22/11/2016 - 2.35 @ Lingfield - BELLS 'N' BANJOS - 1pt Win @ 5/1

Altior staked his claim for the Arkle yesterday with a flawless display of jumping as he pulled clear of Black Corton from the off and did nothing but extend that lead throughout.  He jumped the fences with ease and looked an outstanding prospect.

An interesting days' racing today although I suggest small stakes due to the potentially heavy ground across the country.  My write up starts at Lingfield in the 1.00 where Neil King saddles HERDSWICK HOLLOA.  One from my horses to follow you could have got 40/1 last night about him but now 11/1 is the best price available.  He finished eleventh of fifteen on debut and then followed up on his return at Aintree with a never nearer fifth place in the bumper which does not fill you with promise.  However during an interview with Neil King he said that this horse had threw a splint which affected his performance on debut.  Neil went on to say that he loves this horse and he has been pulling up trees at home and he hopes he can show his true quality on the racecourse.  If he does then he may go in at a nice price.  His trainer believes he is capable and who am I to argue with him.

Warren Greatrex's horses haven't been flying so far this season however one of his horses that really interests me today is BELLS 'N' BANJOS in the 2.35 @ Lingfield.  Warren mentioned this horse as his horse to follow last season and he looked a cracking prospect when winning eased down at Fontwell on his return to action, however he failed to replicate that form when harshly treated by the handicapper.  Based on that Fontwell win he looks a 130 rated horse and probably no further although he is only six years' old and is open to progress.  He is now down to a mark of 127 which looks exploitable, he goes well fresh and goes on the ground, plenty of ticks in boxes so he has to be tipped at 5/1.

​20/11/2016 - 1.55 @ Exeter - VIEUX LILLE - 11/2

Well, what can I say about yesterday, I honestly had high hopes for a very profitable day but to only have two winners from my list with most of the others not even coming close was very disappointing.  Luckily Ch'Tibello saved the day otherwise I may have been crying in my tea this morning.  It was however a great day for "the people's horses".  Cue Card out jumped and stayed Coneygree with the two horses clear of anything else.  It was a great race for all to see and a top class performance from the winner.  The second placed horse in hindsight put in a cracking effort in his first effort in 18 months and he will be seen in better light next time out i'm sure.  It was also brilliant to see Sire De Grugy's old spark return as he pulled well away from his rivals at Ascot to return to the winners' enclosure.  Although the two old stooges beat my selections I couldn't have been happier for connections of both horses and i'm sure many would have gone with them anyway.

I like the look of and am looking forward to many today however the majority are too short in the betting to tip up.  From my horses to follow section however is VIEUX LILLE in the 1.55 @ Exeter.  He won three times last season, all coming at Exeter but I’m hoping he is not a one track horse as he has a hell of a lot of potential.  He stepped up in trip on his last appearance and he seemed to thrive on it, staying on all the time.  That suggests three miles could be within his compass over the larger obstacles.  He is highly thought of at the yard and it could be a very exciting jumps career ahead for him.  He is at Exeter today and looks to have a good chance

​19/11/2016 - 12.35 @ Huntingdon - THE BLUE BOMBER - 3/1

Interest Bets;

12.10 @ Haydock - BARATINEUR - 5/1
12.25 @ Ascot - ALOOMOMO - 10/3
12.55 @ Ascot - AURILLAC - 4/1
1.05 @ Huntingdon - THE ORGANIST - 2/1
1.50 @ Haydock - CH'TIBELLO - 8/1
2.05 @ Ascot - DODGING BULLETS - 11/4
2.40 @ Ascot - YANWORTH - evens
3.00 @ Haydock - CONEYGREE - 2/1
3.15 @ Ascot - VANITEUX - 5/2

Two interest bet winners yesterday, Cloudy Dream looks a monster of a horse having destroyed a decent field yesterday in tough conditions at Haydock.  He jumped for fun and looked like he loved every second of the race, he could be special.  Claimantakinforgan won the bumper having been sent to the front two furlongs out and stayed on strongly to beat the better travelling Global Stage when push came to shove, he looks to have a nice career ahead of him.

Today's racing for me is the most exciting one of the jumps season so far and one I am hoping to find plenty of winners from.
I'm going to start my write up at Ascot and begin with the opening race on the card the 12.25.  Warren Greatrex saddles ALOOMOMO in this class 2 Novice Hurdle.  Aloomomo made a bit of a name for himself last season as one of the best handicapped horses about culminating in a trip to Cheltenham for his owners where he finished a respectable sixth.  Today he tackles hurdles again and I'm sure connections will use this outing as a warm up to bigger things however his third to Yala Enki over hurdles here back in February is form that is going to take some beating if he can reproduce close to that display.  Warren's horses are in fine form and i'm sure Aloomomo will be in the region of 90% fit with a little bit of condition that they will hope this race will take off, even so the horse goes on any ground and even at 90% he will be tough to beat.  The slight uncertainty is putting me off tipping him but I have had a nice bet on him either way and added him to my lucky 31.

In the 12.55 one horse from my horses to follow section returns today and is very much of interest.  Rebecca Curtis had a bit of a poor season last term by her standards however one horse that did her proud was Aurillac.  He returned to the track last week and lost by a neck to stablemate Definite Outcome, that was not a bad display on chasing debut given that he was giving six pounds to the eventual winner and still put away some good rivals like Vieux Lille.  Rebecca feels he has improved during the summer and chasing should bring the best out of him.  Based on his chasing debut he will only get better and has wins in him this season that’s for sure.  The softer ground here should suit and this looks an easier assignment and better terms than his last race.

The 2.05 at Ascot is a very interesting race and one which I will be having a small bet but more of an interesting watch with.  I feel DODGING BULLETS will win and that's where my money will be going however it's a top drawer line up.  His latest 3rd on reappearance will be seen by many as a disappointment however he had to give a stone away to most of his rivals that day and he will have improved for the run.  He's the one to beat and at 11/4 I think there's fair value.  One horse I am really interested in is Kylemore Lough.  He improved throughout last season and finished the year off with a polished display beating Outlander, today we will see if he is capable of mixing it with the elite this term.

In the 2.40 I really hope YANWORTH mops up in this grade two contest.  He was the talking novice hurdler of last season before his colours were removed by Yorkhill at Cheltenham however I would hope there would be further improvement from him for this term.  This is a big test for him with the likes of Zarkandar and Garde La Victoire in the line up however he's the least exposed in the group and providing Mr Mcmanus allows him to show his true self he is going to be tough to beat.

I am expecting VANITEUX to be very tough to beat in the 3.15 @ Ascot.  It would be great to see Sire De Grugy pull off a Sprinter Sacre recovery to his career however the ten year old has showed plenty of signs of regression now and his mark will need to drop significantly or he'll have to be back to his best to win off this mark today.  Vaniteux impressed me with his jumped with the exception of Cheltenham and it was no surprise to see Nicky Henderson revert him back over hurdles to get his confidence back.  For me he is a chaser through and through and I would hope Paul Moloney would send him to the front from the onset and make it a true test.

That's Ascot done, over to Haydock and I won't make this as long :)  The ground at Haydock saturates more than most racecourses in the country and with living just twenty minutes away I can tell you that it hasn't stopped raining for the past 24 hours so the ground will be more than testing today.  For that reason however is why I'm siding with BARATINEUR in the 12.10.  Dan Skelton thought a lot of this horse before last season and it was great to see him finally get off the mark when beating Graasten back in February.  For me I didn't expect him to win on debut for Nicky Henderson last time out with ground being on the good side.  However I'm expecting a much better display here today on his second start for Henderson.

I have had a hopeful more than confident bet in the 1.50 on Dan Skelton's CH'TIBELLO.  He was given plenty to do by Harry Skelton that day but even so came there with plenty of a chance before weakening tamely.  I thought he would win that day and quite comfortably but not to be.  However all is not lost with him and the big thing for me today is Dan has decided to step him away from handicaps and in to graded company which makes me think that he is very happy with him at present.  He's a lot to prove but at the prices I've had a dabble.

The Betfair Chase (3.00) looks a cracker with CONEYGREE returning from his injury last season and Cue Card fresh from his recent Charlie Hall 3rd.  I won't be underestimating any of their rivals however my full concentration will be attracted directly at Coneygree for whom i'm hoping hasn't lost his promise.  It's a tough return for him but if he wins this he is going to be a tough nut to crack this year and i'm hoping come March we can see him against Thistlecrack compete against eachother for the Elite prize.

My tip for today comes away from the two big cards at Huntingdon in the 12.35 where THE BLUE BOMBER returns for his third outing of the season.  I was very much taken with his latest second place as he lost many lengths with every jump around the left handed track at Fakenham jumping wildly to his right.  However to get so close stunned me.  If he'd have jumped straight he would have probably won by a distance.  The favourite The Caller will be all the rage i'm sure however I said to myself after The Blue Bomber's last race that if he went to Huntingdon I would be all over him and here he is.  For me I will compare The Caller's recent bumper win with The Blue Bomber's second display last season when not far behind Capeland, I feel those performances were on par with each other and therefore I feel The Blue Bomber's experience and progression since puts him ahead of the favourite.  Bandsman would worry me more as his second to Top Tug looks good form however I can't get away from my pick and he's a good price at 3/1.

Finally my bumper write up finishes with THE ORGANIST in the 1.05 @ Huntingdon.  I was a little bit gutted that she was bought by JP McManus at the end of last season but Million In Mind only keep their horses for a season.  I just hope he doesn't ruin the horse and allows her to perform as she can.  The fact she is still in training with Oliver Sherwood makes me think that will be the case as Oliver is as straight as they come.  When I interviewed Oliver last season he raved about The Organist and when I asked if he thought he could ever win the Gold Cup with a horse he said it would be The Organist.  She impressed me last season and with her trainers' thoughts about her going chasing it is hard to get away from her here today.  

​18/11/2016 - No selection

Interest Bets;

DOUBLE - 1.00 @ Ascot - SECRET INVESTOR - 5/2
12.50 @ Haydock - CAPITAINE/1.25 @ Haydock - CLOUDY DREAM - DOUBLE
2.35 @ Haydock - AQUA DUDE - 6/1
3.45 @ Haydock - CLAIMANTAKINFORGAN - 7/4

I'm working away once again today so going to have to make todays' write up quite brief however there are a few I fancy.

Firstly in the 1.00 @ Ascot, Paul Nicholls saddles SECRET INVESTOR from my unraced horses to follow.  Having won his point to point at Athlacca he was bought by Paul three weeks later at the Cheltenham sales and he is looking forward to running him in novice hurdles.  Paul believes he is open to plenty of improvement and should do well this season.

In the 12.50 @ Haydock Paul Nicholls sends CAPITAINE back out following his easy debut win.  From my horses to follow section, An exciting prospect for novice hurdles this winter. He was runner up on his debut at Taunton last season before making amends to triumph in a bumper at Wincanton by thirteen lengths. He will be aimed at two mile novice hurdles and he is a horse that Paul likes a lot and thinks can go far.  He's a short price but I will be watching with great interest today in this step up in grade but also having a few dabbles in acca's with him.

One horse I will be doubling up with Capitaine is CLOUDY DREAM in the 1.25 @ Haydock.  Another horse from my horses to follow section, Hugely regarded by Malcolm Cloudy Dream was very unlucky when just missing out on the Scottish Champion Hurdle after meeting trouble in running. He is expected to go chasing this season and his trainer says he will be patient with him but would not be surprised if he hit the very top at that level. He is definitely a horse to follow this season and expect plenty of improvement as the season progresses.  He was impressive on chase debut and I am very much looking forward to seeing him out again, he looks quality.

AQUA DUDE faces a tough introduction in to fences in the 2.35 @ Haydock however he is another from my horses to follow section.  Paul Maloney has been looking forward to riding AQUA DUDE over fences after his victory at Southwell in March and it looks like he is going to get his wish this season. Evan Williams’ horse was purchased for 150,000 euros after his point victory and he hasn’t disappointed during his hurdling career having been thrown in to some very high profile races. However it is chasing that he was bought for and his trainer believes he is a “Proper horse”. He’s been handled patiently and that patience should be rewarded this season.  At 6/1 although it's a tough race I have a decent bet as he's got huge potential.

In the concluding bumper at Haydock (3.45) Nicky Henderson saddles CLAIMANTAKINFORGAN.  Won his Point to Point in telling fashion beating some well fancied sorts he was purchased for £110,000 and will be trained at Seven Barrows by Nicky Henderson.  Henderson is looking to reinforce his guard and Claimantakinforgan potentially could be one of the key purchases to the top grade level for his trainer.  He's been well backed and should go well.

​16/11/2016 - 1.35 @ Warwick - TOBERDOWNEY - 1pt EW @ 7/1

Interest Bets;

DOUBLE - 12.30 @ Warwick - ASUM - Evns / 12.50 @ Chepstow - GARO DE JUILLEY - 5/4
2.25 @ Chepstow - FARBREAGA - 14/1
2.50 @ Fairyhouse - ROCK ON FRUITY - 10/1
3.25 @ Fairyhouse - WHITE ARM - 12/1
3.45 @ Warwick - SHEARLING - 15/2

I've been away since last Friday working on a new project with the wife so apologies for no write up however now I'm back.

Oliver Sherwood's horses appear to have come on from their runs so far this season and one horse I feel is an each way bet to nothing is TOBERDOWNEY in the 1.35 @ Warwick.  She beat some more experienced types on debut last season when winning with plenty in hand, even despite the fact that she was quite green.  She has since been bought for Million In Mind and come from Stuart Crawford.  Those two connections along with her new trainer link with The Organist whom an awful lot is expected.  Toberdowney's reappearance was a pleasing one and she should have improved for that run.  This race today is of decent quality and should show us what is expected from this horse but she is well thought of, should have come on for the run and has plenty of scope for improvement.

I fancy a few short prices today that I've done in a double.  The first of which is GARO DE JUILLEY in the 12.50 @ Chepstow.  I noted him down as a horse to look out for on debut after reading Paul Nicholls' pre-season interview as he stated that the horse "clearly has plenty of ability".  His debut was in a tough class 3 maiden hurdle at Cheltenham where he finished 12 lengths behind the winner Thomas Campbell.  He was very green that day and looked in desperate need of the run.  With that run now behind him and nearly a months' break to work on him i'm fully expecting a different proposition today.  Paul is in excellent form and although he's a short price he should find the improvement required to win this lesser event.
My double with Garo De Juilley is ASUM in the 12.30 @ Warwick.  Dan Skelton's mount made a telling impression on his debut when staying on late in the day to just be denied by Clondaw Cracker.  He will improve for that run and is highly regarded by the Skelton team.  It was great to see that his injury that had stopped him from seeing a racetrack last season has gone and it looks like it hasn't had much affect and this year he should kick on with his hurdles career.

In the 2.25 @ Chepstow one horse I'm interested in is FARBREAGA of Harry Whittington.  I made a note of him in my pre-season studies as a horse his trainer thought would be placed to win races.  He makes his reappearance in this low class 4 0-120 event off a mark of just 118, he won his last race off a mark of 126.  According to Harry he has summered really well and he should improve for that.  He looks to me like a horse they have to get spot on to make an impact and based on past form i'm expecting him to win a race or two this season at a nice price.  The worry today would be that he may prefer the ground a tad softer and he may need the run however at 14/1 I can't let him go unbacked.

My least favourite owner for the past two years is JP McManus as I find form means absolutely nothing when it comes to his horses, whether they be at the top level or in handicaps.  On the other hand one of my current favourite jockeys rides for him at present over in Ireland, Mark Walsh, he continues to impress me the more he rides.  He rides a horse that is the bane of my life in ROCK ON FRUITY in the 2.50 @ Fairyhouse.  He is a more than capable horse on his day but I don't feel he has been allowed to show what he is capable of over fences just yet.  I've a feeling last season was a teaching mission and this year could be the one to start making the most of him.  You will probably know from the get go if he is there to win or not, if he is held up towards the rear, I suspect he won't win.  If he is prominent or pushed out in front I suspect he will win.  I will be having a play on the hope JP has picked today for him to really try.

In the very next race at Fairyhouse, the 3.25, there is another "dodgy" Mcmanus horse on show, WHITE ARM.  This horse is of a similar ilk of Rock on Fruity whereas when he is raced with towards the front he looks like winning, when he's at the rear he's not there to win.  It is interesting that he returns to action in an ladies jockey race.  For me White Arm is a mile ahead of his rivals here in terms of ability and if the handbrake is taken off today he could romp away with this.  It's a big IF but at 12/1 I'm taking a chance on him.

Finally in the bumper at Warwick (3.45), one of my unraced horses to follow makes her debut, SHEARLING.  A horse bought at the Newmarket July sales she had been trained by Roger Charlton previously.  She is a great looking filly and a nice career is envisaged for her trainer who “Likes her a lot”.

​12/11/2016 - 1.00 @ Naas - KOSHARI - 1pt Win @ 7/4

Interest Bets;

12.40 @ Cheltenham - DINO VELVET  - 8/1
1.05 @ Uttoxeter - ABBOTSWOOD - 10/1
1.35 @ Naas - PRINCE OF SCARS - 11/10
2.10 @ Naas - BALTAZAR D'ALLIER - 13/8
3.00 @ Cheltenham - OUT SAM - 10/1
4.00 @ Uttoxeter - SEARCHING FOR GOLD - 7/1

Pistol Park won for tip followers yesterday having been very well backed during the day.  I hope you got 10/3 when advised or early on yesterday morning, I know some of you got 7/2 so there should have been some bookie bashing there.  It was a shame Atomix couldn't make it a double.  He jumped well throughout until a mistake at the third last put paid to his chances.  He finished a quiet 3rd although just four lengths back.  I have a feeling connections are biding their time with him.

My first interest bet is in the 12.40 @ Cheltenham where DINO VELVET makes his hurdles debut.  From my Horses to Follow, Alan King has a wealth of talent at his disposal this season and plenty of potential in the juvenile hurdle division. One horse who could be the best of the lot is Dino Velvet. Bought from the same source as Walkon and Mille Chief he has schooled very well having done well for a break in training. He may well be ran on the flat first before going jumping. He is however one to keep the right side of in Juvenile Hurdles this season.  He is 8/1 and looks a nice price.

In the 3.00 @ Cheltenham OUT SAM returns for Dan Skelton.  He is one of my handicappers to follow.  Held in high regard he didn’t produce at the two big spring festivals (well backed for Cheltenham). Lightly raced he is on a good mark and last season would have been a learning curve for him. Connections believe he is a stayer and soft ground should be his forte. He should go well chasing this season and he’s on a good mark.  He may well need the run today and the ground isn't ideal so it's a small bet for me today but either way he's one to follow in handicaps this season.

Over in Naas there are three horses that take my eye.  Firstly in the 1.05 Willie Mullins saddles KOSHARI.  From my horses to follow, I was at Punchestown and was lucky to witness Koshari’s debut victory for Willie. His winning time that day was just 3 seconds slower than Vroom Vroom Mag’s performance on the same day which proved that at this stage in his career Koshari looks ahead of the game. That novice hurdle was won by the likes of Sizing Europe and Un Des Sceaux in the past and I don’t think it is coincidence that Koshari won such a race on debut. He is very much one to follow this season and he may actually be one to look out for in the Supreme Novices Hurdle betting.  Willie could do with a change in fortunes and this horse may be the start of a resurgence.

In the 1.35 Ruby Walsh has the opportunity of a quick double when he rides PRINCE OF SCARS.  From my horses to follow section, reportedly schooled very well he is an exciting prospect for this seasons’ staying novice chases.  He stays well and needs soft ground but Gordon believes he is one to really look forward to and expects him to take the highest rank in his division.  He is definitely a horse to follow.

In the 2.10 @ Naas Gordon Elliott finally sends out BALTAZAR D'ALLIER for his rules debut.  This gelding came to my attention at the beginning of last season as a horse that had the potential to take the national hunt world by storm. Unfortunately injury put paid to his chances last season but he is back in training now and has reportedly done well in his recent training. He is well regarded by his trainer and he hopefully his injury hasn’t hampered his progress too much.

ABBOTSWOOD returns to the track in the 1.05 @ Uttoxeter after his unappealing debut at Aintree a few weeks ago.  The ground that day was good whilst it is a bit softer today which will help plus he may well have needed the run.  He won his second Irish Point at Curraghmore where he stayed on strongly.  That was on soft ground and I think that may be key with him.  He should be a different proposition today and should go close.
In the 4.00 @ Uttoxeter, Charlie Longsdon also saddles SEARCHING FOR GOLD from my Unraced Horses to Follow.  Won his point when beating Monkey Puzzle he is expected to have a big future. He was highly recommended by a reputable point trainer Sean Doyle who believed he was “above average”. He has done well since joining the yard and he is one for the notebook.

​10/11/2016 - 12.30 @ Newcastle - ATOMIX - 1pt Win @ 7/1
10/11/2016 - 1.05 @ Newcastle - PISTOL PARK - 1pt Win @ 10/3

Interest Bets;

2.05 @ Cheltenham - BARTERS HILL (2/1) / O O Seven (6/1)
2.40 @ Cheltenham - BALLY GILBERT (25/1) / PILANSBERG (10/1)

Friday sees Cheltenham return to action.  I'm starting my write up in the 2.05 where I think the race revolves around two horses.  BARTERS HILL and O O SEVEN.  Barters Hill is one of my horses to follow this season, I wrote this in that section - Apparently summered better than any other horse in the yard Ben Pauling can’t hide how excited he is about sending Barters Hill over fences.  He was gutted for him to have lost his unbeaten record at Cheltenham but he was not sound that day so considering he came within five lengths of winning the Albert Bartlett shows just how good this horse can be.  Ben is convinced the track isn’t an issue at Cheltenham so he may well go there before Christmas to prove such but either way he should win races over the larger obstacles.  Ben thinks he is “top drawer”.  O O Seven is another who is highly regarded by his stable and he did nothing but improve over hurdles last season.  I am a bit sceptical about his jumping on his first attempt over the big obstacles under rules and think he may need the run.  He certainly has an engine though so if schooling has gone to plan and he jumps fine he will be in there with a chance at the death.

The 2.40 features two horses from my horses to follow section and I fancy both to run good races.  BALLY GILBERT made his debut last season when beaten by Mount Mews however Ben Pauling was shell-shocked that he lost that day.  Highly regarded and having been beaten in his bumper he could be a nice price going forward and it won’t be long before he’s winning races.  Ben says he’s up there in his two three youngsters.  PILANSBERG on the other hand has the advantage of a run behind him and I expect him to have improved for that run.  The form of it doesn't hold much warranty however the way he stayed on at the death was encouraging and he is well thought of by Paul Nicholls.  He looks a nice price.  An interesting race to watch and i'll be having a couple of small wagers.

A couple of horses really interest me over at Newcastle.  Firstly in the 12.30 Peter Niven saddles ATOMIX for just his second start over hurdles.  Atomix ran a decent enough race on reappearance having not really been allowed to get involved from the outset by Wayne Hutchinson who settled his mount right at the rear.  I'm expecting him to be ridden a little bit more positively tomorrow around the midfield to make his extra fitness pay in the closing stages.  One of the big reasons I think he is better than he showed that day was that he jumped pretty well throughout and the race cried out a schooling session.  I'm expecting a better display tomorrow.

Brian Ellison's PISTOL PARK makes his second appearance in just under two weeks in the 1.05 @ Newcastle.  He travelled for much of the race like the best horse at Carlisle before weakening in to fourth.  He looked in need of that race and although this is a tough novice handicap he looks slightly underestimated off a mark of just 121.  I would be very surprised if he isn't currently when fit a 130+ horse and therefore for me he looks well in.  The drop back to two miles shouldn't be an issue and I'll be disappointed if he isn't in the shake up here.

​09/11/2016 - No selection

Starting off with another moan about the flat racing, yesterday's selection typified my flat season regarding tipping.  El Viento started brightly but then dropped out off the tail as if he couldn't be bothered racing before staying on far too late in the day.  The lowest mark he has raced at for some time but his worst performance to date bar none, I am so happy that the jumps season has arrived!  As for yesterdays' interest bets, Starlight Court travelled like the winner as he jumped 3 from home but a mistake two out put paid to his chances and took the wind from his sails.  There will surely be races won with him but it will be interesting how connections treat him next, do they step him up in trip?  Dingo Dollar ran a cracking race on hurdles debut but as I mentioned yesterday I was worried about Lough Derg Leader and Dingo was no match in the closing stages to the eventual winner.  Again, compensation awaits.  I need to learn to never put JP McManus' horses in to a double unless I fancy it in a big race as you never know when they are trying or not, Passmore simply didn't look fit before or during the race and cost us a nice 3/1 double after Messire Des Obeaux won with plenty in hand.
The racing today is nothing short of shocking so I won't be having a dabble with the exception of RUBAN in the 6.55 @ Chelmsford whose astute trainer is worth following when money comes, it certainly came last night when 11/1 was smashed in to 5/1 in no time.  I will not be putting it up as an interest bet or selection however due to seeing my bum with flat it romp home now!

​09/11/2016 - No selection

Interest Bets;

2.25 @ Starlight Court - 8/1
4.05 @ Bangor - Dingo Dollar - 6/4
4.55 @ Kempton - El Viento - 11/2

Double - 3.00 @ Bangor - Messire Des Obeaux/3.40 @ Exeter - Passmore - 3/1

Yesterday's tip Le Breuil showed his true colours in the 2.10 @ Sedgefield where he romped away on his first attempt at two and a half miles at 2/1.  That's now five winners from my last eight selections and I have to say it is such a relief that the jumps are back.  I need to re-assess my flat tipping however the work put in on the jumps season so far is already paying dividends, long may it continue.

Aux Ptits Soins is a horse I've been looking forward to seeing in an injury-free season to see where he could go.  I added him to my horses to follow section on the hope that he would still fulfil his potential despite his lack of race time.  He makes his anticipated chase debut today in the 2.35 @ Exeter and although he's not a betting prospect I'm hoping to watch him show that he is going to be a top drawer chaser.  I will be having a bet ante post on the RSA and JLT Novices' Chase today at 14/1 apiece and if he wins with some authority I doubt that price would be available for either.

My first interest bet for today is STARLIGHT COURT in the 2.25 @ Bangor.  Dan Skelton's horses have in the main improved for their first runs of the season and I expect the same from this horse today.  The ground today for me is the big factor.  He didn't seem to stay two and a half miles on his reappearance on good ground however the rain that has fallen is likely to make conditions at Bangor pretty testing, I'd be very surprised if it stays good.  He ran on soft ground in his Irish point when falling at the final fence with the race in his grasps.  Bearing in mind six horses pulled up that day showed that he could be a mud-reveller.  However the fact he's been dropped back to two miles would be a plus in either conditions.  If it was going to be genuine soft ground I would have tipped him up but the uncertainty has made me reduce my stake.  I still expect him to go well and an each way bet should return a profit.

Another horse I really want to tip but am keeping as an interest bet only is DINGO DOLLAR in the 4.05 @ Bangor.  Alan King's horse is one of my unraced horses to follow.  His Irish point win came over three miles on soft ground and he should have no issues staying the near three mile trip on rules debut.  My worry is that if the ground is going to be soft Lough Derg Leader wouldn't be without a chance and has race experience on his side.  With that in mind I'm hopeful that Dingo Dollar will win rather than expecting.  Alan likes this horse and is expecting him to go well this season whether he win's or loses today.

I am also having an interest bet in EL VIENTO in the 4.55 @ Kempton.  Although the flat has near ruined my love for horse racing this season I still continue to try and find value and this horse pops up as potentially that.  There was a little bit of money as soon as the prices came out last night which is usually significant and having contested some big field handicaps the drop to a ten runner race off a mark of just 82 seems perfect for him.  Paul Hanagan rarely rides for Richard Fahey these days but the fact the former trusted pair connect with him here also speaks volumes.  I am hopeful that the horse has been set up for this and can make it back in to the winners' enclosure.

Finally I have had good word for two horses this morning, both too short to back singular but I've had a £50 double at near 3/1;

3.00 @ Bangor - MESSIRE DES OBEAUX
3.40 @ Exeter - PASSMORE

08/11/2016 - 2.10 @ Sedgefield - LE BREUIL - 1pt Win @ 6/4

Yesterday's tip Oldgrangewood came home for an easy win at Kempton yesterday.  The race was never in doubt from a long way out and it was a great display from Dan Skelton's mount, he is one to follow this season.

I am having one bet today and it is on LE BREUIL in the 2.10 @ Sedgefield.  Ben Pauling's horse looked in need of the run when tackling a bumper a couple of weeks ago at Bangor.  That day he looked like he lacked a little bit of pace for two miles but this step up in trip on hurdles debut should be right up his street.  He's highly regarded and with the run under his belt he will be tough to beat.

07/11/2016 - 1.30 @ Kempton - OLDGRANGEWOOD - 1pt Win @ 5/2

Firstly, what a sad week it has been for horse racing.  Freddy Tylicki was diagnosed with T7 paralysis following his fall on Nellie Dean.  Four jockeys were involved in the incident with three walking away with minor injuries but the devastating news for Freddy was released just before the weekend.  All our thoughts go out to Freddy and his family at this time.  All jockeys put their bodies on the line for the sport that we love and this incident highlights the dangers involved.  Matt Chapman has set up a fund for him, I have supported and I would encourage anyone reading this to do so, please click here if you would like to donate.

To make matters worse two of the games upcoming talents were lost yesterday, both from the Willie Mullins stable.  Firstly Hennessy Ante Post favourite Avant Tout was pulled up sharply after the first fence on his reappearance with an injury that proved fatal.  Then news broke that Vautour, the three time Cheltenham Festival winner had been involved in a freak accident whilst out in the fields back home and had to be put down.  I can honestly say i've not witnessed a horse at Novice level that has impressed me so much and I was looking forward to seeing him tackle the best in the gold cup next year.  It is not to be unfortunately and my thoughts go to connections of both horses.

Saturday was pretty frustrating although quite enjoyable.  Wotzizname's race was marred by the home straight jumps being omitted due to the sun being too low, that meant they missed six flights of fences and Arpege D'Alene took full advantage, the winner is a horse that has a good engine but does not impress in the jumping department, if I'd have known that six jumps were going to be missed Arpege would have been my banker.  It was frustrating watching a race knowing my selection wasn't going to win and there was nothing I could do about it.  Southfield Theatre on the other hand outjumped his rivals and hit the front approaching the last, he then made his first mistake but it was a crucial one as he came tumbling down with the race at his mercy.  Compensation awaits for that one.

Today my tip comes in the 1.30 @ Kempton where I feel OLDGRANGEWOOD will strip fitter for his reappearance.  That race wasn't ran to suit and he finished the race tired, he jumped well on the whole however and I feel his quality will prove too much for his rivals here.  He is well regarded by Dan Skelton and now is the time for him to start shining.

​05/11/2016 - 1.30 @ Aintree - WOTZIZNAME - 2pts Win @ 6/4 (NAP)
05/11/2016 - 3.20 @ Wincanton - SOUTHFIELD THEATRE - 1pt Win @ 10/3

Interest Bets;

12.55 @ Aintree - WINNINGTRY - 3/1
4.15 @ Aintree - CRUISEAWEIGH - 2/1 & HERDSWICK HOLLOW - 50/1 e/w

Silvergrove was pulled out of his novice hurdle yesterday which was a bit disappointing however Wolfslair (4/1) and Monbeg Notorious (8/11) obliged for interest followers.  The former didn't look a world beater but in this low grade hurdle the win was never in doubt whereas the latter didn't win with much in hand and was arguably lucky that The Storyteller fell when looking the winner but he held on gamely at the finish and i'm sure he will improve to win more races in future.

I'll start off with interest bets for today before I get in to my main selections.  

In the 12.55 @ Aintree Paul Nicholls saddles WINNINGTRY for his first hurdle attempt.  He won his bumper back in April staying on at the finish and Paul believes two miles four furlongs will be his trip.  He has schooled well apparently and Paul likes him.  He is an interesting prospect and looks a decent enough price.

In the 4.15 @ Aintree, CRUISEAWEIGH makes his return in a bumper for Tom George.  He ran a good race on debut when just behind Movewiththetimes and it wouldn't surprise me if he went one better today before going novice hurdling.  In the same race however at a huge price one of my horses to follow run, HERDSWICK HOLLOW.  Probably a bit of a punt on this one, he finished eleventh of fifteen on debut which does not fill you with promise.  However during an interview with Neil King he said that this horse had threw a splint which affected his performance.  Neil went on to say that he loves this horse and he has been pulling up trees at home and he hopes he can show his true quality on the racecourse.  If he does then he may go in at a nice price.  His trainer believes he is capable and who am I to argue with him

CAPITAINE is fully expected to win the 12.30 @ Wincanton today but is priced accordingly.  Although he's too short to bet it'll be interesting to see how he fares.  An exciting prospect for novice hurdles this winter.  He was runner up on his debut at Taunton last season before making amends to triumph in a bumper at Wincanton by thirteen lengths.  He will be aimed at two mile novice hurdles and he is a horse that Paul likes a lot and thinks can go far.
ZUBAYR and SCEAU ROYAL take eachother on in a cracking class two handicap hurdle.  I don't like betting two in the same race therefore I will be watching with great interest.

WOTZIZNAME makes his seasonal debut in the 1.30 @ Aintree and I'm hoping to be dazzled.  He has been set a tough task on his chase debut but Harry Fry said at Uttoxeter that this gelding is a “horse we can dream about” when asked about his expectations for his mount.  Having won his two novice hurdles last term with the minimum of fuss there is plenty of reason to think that Wotzizname could become a household name this season.  Having been from a pointing field it is no surprise that connections have decided to send him chasing this season and he could develop in to an RSA Chase contender come March 2017.  He is an utmost exciting prospect.

In the 3.20 @ Wincanton SOUTHFIELD THEATRE looks to have a great opportunity to make an impression in this listed contest.  A horse that Paul has always thought the world of but injury had hampered his progression.   He finished a respectable 4th in April having been brought down on his return the month previous.  He is rated 147 over fences and Paul is adamant that there is a good three mile plus chase to be won with him.  He doesn’t want it too soft.

​04/11/2016 - 1.25 @ Warwick - SILVERGROVE - 1pt Win @ 6/4

Interest Bets;

2.25 @ Down Royal - WOLFSLAIR - 4/1

Things were brought right back down to earth yesterday after a great few days as Generous Ransom failed to make the most of his low mark.  He looked slightly one paced however a test of stamina on soft ground may be his calling, I wouldn't be putting my money on him in a hurry on good ground but I may wade in on soft to heavy next time out.  Cristal De Sienne ran a promising race in second place behind the impressive Burbank.  He was outpaced at a crucial point but stayed on like a good one, he may need to be upped in trip to see the best of him.

Today I'm starting my write up in Ireland at Down Royal where Gordon Elliott has some interesting contenders.  In the opener @ 12.45 you would expect to see MONBEG NOTORIOUS win his maiden hurdle.  He won his latest bumper by a distance and he will be sharper for that run.  He has apparently schooled well and his hurdles debut is set for exciting viewing.  He's no price to bet but worth a watch and an add to some acca's (particularly if you fancy Apple's Jade as I'd hope they would be go in).

My first interest bet would be in the 2.25 @ Down Royal and an interesting introduction to handicaps by Gordon Elliott for WOLFSLAIR.  He looked like a horse that I could probably outrun last season but I always keep tabs on this kind of horse on their third run especially given a summer's grass.  He was tactically held up well out of the back at Galway and was never allowed to get in to the race.  He jumped ok in the main and stayed on in to sixth at the finish.  I would expect him to be ridden prominently today and I will be surprised if Elliott and Gigginstown have a sub 100 horse on their hands.  At 4/1 I'll be having a nice bet.

My tip for today is SILVERGROVE in the 1.25 @ Warwick.  He is in my handicappers to follow section for this season however it is no surprise to see him reappear over hurdles given he is still a novice over the smaller obstacles.  I suspect he will need the run before tackling a good staying handicap chase to give him a mark for the Grand National which is his aim however he wouldn't need to really get out of third gear to beat his opposition today and I'm expecting him to win this and his next race before it being time to protect his mark ready for April.  He's short enough but I'm happy with 6/4

03/11/2016 - 2.00 @ Newbury - GENEROUS RANSOM - 1pt Win @ 6/4

Interest Bets;

2.10 @ Market Rasen - WILLOUGHBY COURT - 8/11
4.15 @ Newbury - CRISTAL DE SIENNE - 9/2

It was another good day for tip followers as we were two from two, Charlemar scored early on after drifting out nicely in the betting and then Sumkindofking followed that up with an emphatic victory in the last at Chepstow.  Both horses look well worth following, in particular the latter.  Dingo Dollar was withdrawn unfortunately to give it a chance of being a hattrick on the day.  

WILLOUGHBY COURT, from my Horses to Follow section this season, is due to make his seasonal reappearance tomorrow in the 2.10 @ Market Rasen.  Ben Pauling has a wealth of talent available to him this season and one horse who looks top of his list for novice hurdles is Willoughby Court.  He is a brilliant jumper and has a great engine.  He has grown up a lot and has had to but Ben feels he will be “very good”.  He states that he can see him running in a good race by Christmas time.  He is too short up against an unknown Dan Skelton points winner to tip up.

In the 2.00 @ Newbury Philip Hobbs saddles GENEROUS RANSOM out of my handicappers to follow section.  Moved to the yard from Nick Gifford he was rated 140 a couple of years back and is now off a mark of 125.  He has had a breathing operation which should eek out some improvement and Philip Hobbs knows how to take advantage of a horses mark.  A win could be around the corner.

CRISTAL DE SIENNE runs from my unraced horses to follow in a trappy little bumper, the 4.15 @ Newbury.  This gelding has been showing plenty of good form at home according to Harry and he has a lot of speed. He has been held back to ensure he grew physically before hitting a racecourse, he’s done very well in the summer and a bumper win should be a formality. He could be very good however Harry's horses have tended to need their runs this season and with it being a tricky race to assess I will have a small bet and watch with interest.

I have done all three in a £15 trixie and added Milrow in the 2.55 @ Musselburgh in a £3 yankee.

02/11/2016 - 1.10 @ Chepstow - CHARLEMAR - 1pt Win @ 11/4
02/11/2016 - 1.45 @ Chepstow - DINGO DOLLAR - 1pt Win @ 4/1
02/11/2016 - 4.20 @ Chepstow - SUMKINDOFKING - 1pt Win @ 2/1

Yesterdays' NAP Emerging Force continued his unbeaten run this season beating Southfield Vic by two lengths.  Once again he didn't travel like the winner turning for home however the further he goes the more he seems to find.  He looks tailormade for the NH Chase at Cheltenham in March and i'm happy to take the 20/1 ante post price available.  It was great to see the interest bet Resolution Bay come home well also.  Philip Hobbs said he had a good one on his hands and so it proved, the money came and the horse delivered.

I have a few horses out of my Horses to Follow sections today.  The opener at Chepstow (1.10) has CHARLEMAR from my unraced horses section.   Charlemar was bought from France and has been compared to the ill-fated Arzal as Harry Whittington said he gave him a similar feel to him.  Harry is really excited by him and I’m hoping he can make his mark this season in bumpers or novice hurdles before going on to bigger and better things in future.

In the 1.45 DINGO DOLLAR makes his rules debut for Alan King from my unraced horses section..  Acquired after winning his Irish point to point he was tested once purchased before being put away for the summer and Alan was impressed with what he saw.  He will go novice hurdling this winter and is worth looking out for.

SUMKINDOFKING runs in the 4.20 @ Chepstow today out of my unraced horses section.  This gelding won a race at Inch that has produced RSA, Champion Chase and Grand National winners in the past.  This year Sumkindofking won comprehensively from three horses who franked the form after recording their maiden victories.  He looks a potential bargain at £70,000 given some of the money that was flying around at the Aintree sales and he should be able to record plenty of wins in his career.  He is a very interesting prospect.

I have thrown the three above in with Western Hymn in the 7.55 @ Kempton in a lucky 15 too.

​01/11/2016 - 2.50 @ Exeter - EMERGING FORCE - 2pts Win @ 5/4 (NAP)

Interest Bet;

1.50 @ Exeter - RESOLUTION BAY - 5/2

My write up starts today with an interest bet in the 1.50 @ Exeter.  Philip Hobbs runs RESOLUTION BAY.  Diana Whateley rarely owns a bad horse and Resolution Bay's debut run was too bad to be true.  Philip said that he thought they had a good horse on their hands before he ran on his debut but he simply didn't perform.  He was put away after that and given plenty of time to get his head on the game.  He has questions to answer here today however connections feel he is decent and it wouldn't be the first horse of his to bomb out on debut then win with ease on reappearance.

I'm fully expecting EMERGING FORCE to win the 2.50 @ Exeter today.  I hate tipping up such a short price as the weight of expectation becomes so much however he won his debut with such ease against a nice horse of Paul Nicholls and with most of Harry's horses so far this season needing the run you can easily expect improvement this time around.  He was a decent hurdler as it was but chasing was always going to be his forte.  I was impressed the way he jumped when beating Rainy City, the runner up also jumped well throughout but didn't have the class to go with the winner.  The leader for most of that contest jumped violently to the left throughout the race but Emerging Force stuck to his task with a lot of composure and that's a sign of a very good horse.  He was joined by the fitter Rainy City four from home and didn't appear to be travelling as well as the runner up but when Gavin Sheehan asked for an effort Emerging Force pulled his way clear of his rival to win with ease, the further he went the better he got so this added trip should be to his liking.  He looks a proper staying chaser and although he's short enough today it will take a very good horse to beat him.

I have done the following yankee today for a bit of interest;

1.30 @ Wolves - RAPID RANGER - 6/4
1.40 @ Redcar - NONNO GIULIO - 5/4
2.50 @ Exeter - EMERGING FORCE - 6/5
6.40 @ Kempton - CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS 6/4

29/10/2016 - 3.00 @ Ascot - CH'TIBELLO - 1pt Win @ 7/2
29/10/2016 - 3.35 @ Ascot - SAPHIR DU RHEU - 1pt Win @ 4/1

Interest Bets;
[email protected] Newmarket - TEOFONIC
4.45 @ Ascot - PEAK TO PEAK

A mixed day yesterday with the tip Master Blueyes thoroughly disappointing on hurdles debut.  Alan King thinks a huge amount of him and that was bolstered by the fact he was backed in from 2/1 to 11/10 favourite.  However he failed to make an impression and didn't jump with great authority as he couldn't get close to the even more impressive Cliffs of Dover who seems to go from strength to strength.  On the other hand on the interest bets fared a lot better.  La Bague Au Roi looked impressive on her hurdles bow whilst chased home by Cajun Fiddle.  Both should have a bright future and a win is surely around the corner for Cajun Fiddle.  Mr Brinkley was withdrawn but One Forty Seven was disqualified after dead heating with Cracking Find.  It was a strange decision to me but as most will have had first past the post it didn't make a huge amount of difference and you should have collected at 5/1.  Phillip Makin i'm afraid made a right mess of his ride on Nonchalant.  He burst out of the stalls and looked all over the winner three furlongs out whilst Makin was looking in between his legs however he was caught by the pack and reacted all too late with momentum against him.  I still think they have to ride Nonchalant prominently and not from the front but what do I know.
Tomorrow I have several interest bets and a couple of tips.

My first tip of the day comes in the 3.00 @ Ascot in the shape of CH'TIBELLO.  It's is going to be tough to give a stone away to Hint of Mint however Dan Skelton’s horse impressed me when beating Cloudy Dream last year in the Scottish Champion Hurdle.  He followed that up with a decent effort at Newbury.  Dan believes there is still plenty to come from him and he should still be well handicapped.  He doesn’t want the ground too soft so the predicted good conditions look to suit him.  7/2 is a fair price and i'm expected a good run for my money.

I have a great interest in SAPHIR DU RHEU's chances tomorrow in the 3.35 @ Ascot.  Having been aimed at many of the top chases last season there is no doubt he was regarded as top class however he disappointed immensely last term and never featured in any of his races after his reappearance.  In my opinion the Hennessy took a huge amount out of him last year and he was never the same since, I actually thought he ran a decent race that day from top weight.  He goes well fresh and i'm sure Paul and the team would have given him plenty of time to recover from a tough season and he'll be back to something near his best today.  I'm not convinced Tea For Two needs three miles and even if he got the trip if he would be as good as an in form Saphir Du Rheu therefore i'm taking a chance on Paul Nicholls' mount at 4/1.  It's a risk but I feel it is a risk worth taking.
There is a decent looking novice hurdle on the Ascot card at 4.45 and the horse I like the look of is PEAK TO PEAK for Paul Nicholls.  Kept back as a Novice for this season apparently Paul has been very excited to see him run over rules.  He has a good pedigree and made a nice start to his career on the flat over in France last October.  
On the flat in the 2.55 @ Newmarket I have a great interest in TEOFONIC whom I have had a nice ante post bet for the 1000 Guineas.  She has had a nice break since a good third to Bear Valley and I'm expecting plenty of improvement with Mark Johnston having given her an unusual break.  That alone makes me think he thinks a lot of her.  It is a tough race and smallish stakes for me but one race i'll be watching with interest and excitement.

28/10/2016 - 3.55 @ Wetherby - MASTER BLUEYES - 1pt Win @ 2/1 with Sky Bet

Interest Bets;

2.00 @ Uttoxeter - LA BAGUE AU ROI/CAJUN FIDDLE (watching brief)
2.35 @ Uttoxeter - MR BRINKLEY/ONE FORTY SEVEN - small bets on each
4.40 @ Newcastle - NONCHALANT - 7/1 each way
5.45 @ Newcastle - WORDSEARCH - 8/1 each way

Yesterday's tip Fouburg lost all chance of winning with his jumping.  He was low at his fences and you could see that Gavin Sheehan was reluctant with him going towards each fence.  Unless he brushes up in that area he will struggle to make the most of his handicap mark.  On the other hand money came so there must have been some confidence.  He needs to be approached with caution next time out.

The first race at Newcastle (4.40) interests me today with NONCHALANT dropped even further in grade.  I thought he ran a very promising race last time out but the change in tactics didn't quite work out as he done his best work at the start of the race.  He can be very competitive here today and hopefully Phillip Makin rides him prominently rather than up with the pace or held up at the back.  David O'Meara's horses are back in decent form and at 7/1 I will be having a good each way bet.  Makin has just two rides at Newcastle tonight so keep an eye out for Gold Flash in the 7.45 also, big price and for Keith Dalgleish, could be interesting.

Another good each way bet for me today is WORDSEARCH in the 5.45 @ Newcastle.  His debut run at Redcar was run in a good time and he should be a lot sharper for the run.  Josephine Gordon and Hugo Palmer combine once again and I feel in this type of race he should be in the mix.  Mojito will be tough to beat but at 8/1 he's worth an each way bet should the favourite fail to race on from his debut.

The opening race at Uttoxeter (2.00) has two of my horses to follow competing against eachother so it's a watching brief for me today but quite an exciting one, here is what I wrote about them;

LA BAGUE AU ROI – Warren Greatrex

She won a listed bumper before failing in a grade 2 at Aintree in April.  There were excuses for that race and there is no hiding Warren’s admiration for this mare.  She does everything effortlessly at home and has schooled very well.  An exciting novice hurdle season now awaits for her and she will win races.


Thrown right in to the deep end in bumpers Cajun Fiddle she requires the ground to not be too soft but her trainer feels she is “above average”.  She has plenty to prove but will be likely set easier targets early season which will hopefully get her in to the winners’ enclosure and build her experience and confidence.  After that who knows what the future holds but she is one to follow.

The 2.35 @ Uttoxeter has one of my unraced horses to follow MR BRINKLEY but also has ONE FORTY SEVEN whom was tipped to me last week when he unseated at the first (went off 10/11).  I will be having a bet on both but here's what I said about Mr Brinkley;

MR BRINKLEY – Kim Bailey

He won his only point (over three miles) well enough and was bought shortly after.  The ground that day was heavy which may mean he would need it on the soft side (was pulled out at Exeter when ground was good/firm).  He jumped well that day and stayed on well at the finish to show he has stamina in abundance.  Kim has a high opinion of him and says he has worked extremely well at home, I am looking forward to seeing him under rules.

“I Love Him” were the words used when Alan King talked about MASTER BLUEYES who runs in the 3.55 @ Wetherby and he is my tip for today.  He has ran some cracking races on the flat and was unlucky at Glorious Goodwood.  He has been schooled over hurdles and thrives over them.  Rated in the 80’s he looks slightly underrated in that sphere.  He ran a cracker on his reappearance at York three weeks ago and that run should have set him up nicely for his jumps debut.  Still only three years old he will improve and he’s one to look forward to in his new vocation.  The favourite Cliffs of Dover has done extremely well early season however the more you win the tougher these races become and he has eight pounds to give away to the second favourite today and that's enough for me to throw a good bet on.

26/10/2016 - No Selection
Interest Bets;
3.00 @ Chelmsford - LUSORY - 4/1
5.10 @ Fakenham - INSTANT REPLAY - 4/1
6.15 @ Kempton - SMOKY HILL - 16/1
6.45 @ Kempton - GERALDINE - 9/2

Elegant Escape provided tip followers with a welcome 10/1 winner having drifted alarmingly from 7/2 in the morning.  He travelled nicely throughout for Tom O'Brien and despite Persian Delight looking like he was travelling stronger approaching the last the selection outjumped his rival and stayed on best to win narrowly.  Star Tackle and Le Breuil both looked in desperate need of their runs and on tacky ground I thought they both ran promising races.  There are races to be won with both of them i'm sure.

The headline for the day however was THISTLECRACK's chase debut.  He didn't jump all of his fences perfectly as he was a little novicey at a few but that will have been expected and he'll improve markedly for the outing.  It was however quite breathtaking to see that when his reigns were lifted slightly he came away from his pursuers without breaking sweat.  I am very happy with my 7/1 ante post bet after that and he is the first horse since to give me the goosebumps that Kauto Star did.  I can't wait to see him run again.

Unusually i'm going to start today's write up at Chelmsford in the 3.00 where I like the claims of LUSORY.  Adam Kirby has been booked for the ride and I feel he is a lot better than he has shown to date.  I was told that connections think the world of him and I wouldn't underestimate his 3rd place at Doncaster, the form of that race looks very solid indeed.  Money has already come having been 11/2 last night which is another positive.

My next interest bet for today comes in the 5.10 @ Fakenham.  I don't like tipping in national hunt flat races but I do like the claims of INSTANT REPLAY.  Brian Ellison's mount cost £90k at the Doncaster May sales and has had plenty of time to work on his condition.  He done everything right in his point to point except win and the way he jumped suggests that will be a strong point to his game.  However he possessed a decent amount of speed that day and he looked like the type who could take a bumper.  In opposition both Ben Pauling and Harry Whittington's horses seem to need their first runs so I would not be punting either of them in a hurry whilst the favourite The Caller has to be feared I don't think there is much value in his price.  At 4/1 Instant Replay will be my bet.

Later on at Kempton there are two horses that take the eye should money arrive.  Firstly Tony Carroll takes SMOKY HILL on the all weather in the 6.15 for the first time.  It is a course that Mr Carroll does well at and it is interesting that he has just the one runner.  He's currently 16/1.  The second is GERALDINE in the 6.45.  Staying on well over five furlongs last time he has the ideal opportunity to go one better for the astute Stuart Williams.  He was 5/1, now 9/2 and it wouldn't surprise me should he go off favourite tomorrow.

I also have to mention a huge gamble going on over in Ireland as trainer JF Lewins saddles six runners, all of which have been backed in last night.  The final horse needs a horse to pull out which I suspect will happen whilst the others all have chances.  I have done a lucky 15 excluding Bective in the 7.00pm.  I have done a small each way acca on the lot.

5.30 - PALAVICINI RUN - 6/5
6.30 - DEEDS NOT WORDS - 3/1
7.00 - BECTIVE - 7/1
8.00 - RATEEL - 7/2
9.00 - HAVELOCK ELLIS - 4/1

I would normally think this is a bookie ploy however Sky Bet and Paddy Power both limited my bets and stakes last night so you never know there may just be something to it.

25/10/2016 - 1.30 @ Chepstow - STAR TACKLE - 1pt Win @ 14/1 with
25/10/2016 - 4.05 @ Chepstow - ELEGANT ESCAPE - 1pt Win @ 7/2 with Sky Bet
25/10/2016 - 4.45 @ Bangor - LE BREUIL - 1pt Win @ 10/3 with Racebets

Apologies for not being on much lately, I have been having a pretty hectic time of things with work and life in general but I'm hoping to manage my time better going forward to give everyone good value write ups.  

Some of my horses to follow are now coming in to fruition with Pilansberg, Alpha Des Obeaux and Robin Roe already obliging whilst Ravenhill Road scored for the unraced horses.  Hopefully they are the start of many this season.

I'm starting my write up today at Bangor in the 4.45 National Hunt Flat Race and I really like the claims of LE BREUIL.  Ben Pauling's horses haven't made the greatest of starts and his horses do tend to need their runs however during his pre-season interview he named Le Breuil as a horse with a bright future stating that he would be aimed at "Championship" Bumpers should he win his next bumper with ease.  He then goes on to say that if he just wins and battles out a defeat he will be sent novice hurdling but either way he is an exciting prospect.  He seems pretty confident about this one and you can't help but be impressed with his debut performance.  He pulled away with ease from his nearest rival to win by upwards of ten lengths.  The form of that race doesn't look too strong however the way in which he shaped was highly impressive and with a summer under his belt he could be tough to beat here.

The next horse I will be having a nice bet on is STAR TACKLE in the 1.30 @ Chepstow.  Harry Whittington is a trainer going places and he has some nice horses at his disposal this season.  One that I am particularly looking forward to is Star Tackle a former Irish Pointer.  He improved with every one of his points eventually winning well over three miles at Bellurgan Park.  He has apparently grown during the summer and looks a "Proper horse".  Harry said in his pre-season interview that he's quick and doesn't appear to have any weaknesses.  My worry would be that his trainer hasn't had the best of starts to the season however the ground should be to his liking and he is too big a price to let slip today.

My final tip of the day goes in the 4.05 @ Chepstow in the shape of ELEGANT ESCAPE.  Bought after his Irish Point, he finished second that day to Samcro (also mentioned in this piece) who was subsequently sold for £325,000.  The fact Jamie Codd rode him that day suggests there was a lot thought about Elegant Escape before the run.  Colin thinks a lot of him and he looks a quality horse in the making.  Colin Tizzard has been amongst the winners lately and he looks a good price at 7/2.

All eyes today with be on THISTLECRACK who makes his chase debut in the 3.35 @ Chepstow.  Colin Tizzard's 2016 World Hurdle winner is arguably the most exciting horse in training currently and this should in essence be a schooling session towards bigger and better things.  I have had a big ante post Cheltenham Gold Cup bet on him at 7/1 and I'll be very surprised if he wasn't a fair bit shorter than that come 4pm today.  I cannot wait to see him over fences.

22/10/2016 - No selection
Interest Bets;

3.00 @ Cheltenham - SCEAU ROYAL - 11/2

Thursday saw four from five selections victorious however typically the one that lost was the one I selected as my tip.  The frustrating run of form has continued however we are getting closer and it has been an encouraging start to the jumps.

Cloudy Dream's performance inparticular oozed class and he looks to have a huge future over fences.  Alpha Des Obeaux also won a shade cosily to collect his maiden chase.  It wasn't a vintage display but he will only improve and I still rate him as a Cheltenham horse to back come March.
It was devastating to hear that Moscow Flyer had died yesterday at the age of 22.  The two time Champion Chaser won nineteen of his twenty eight chases and provided his trainer Jessica Harrington with some amazing times during his career.  He will be a tough act to follow but his legend will live on.

My first interest bet today comes at Cheltenham where Alan King saddles SCEAU ROYAL in the 3.00.  Sceau was well touted after winning three from his first five races last season before the wheels fell off at the back end of the season.  His last two races were in top company and I'm positive he is going to be better than that this season.  I've a feeling he's best fresh and he gets good ground today which shouldn't be an inconvenience.  Alan thinks the world of him and I hope he has strengthened up this summer as he has massive potential.  He beat the favourite last season (should have been twice but was disqualified first time round) and he almost got the better of Leoncavallo.  I hope the bookies have underestimated him at 11/2.

One horse I am really looking forward to this season is KALANISI CIRCLE who runs in the bumper, 5.15 @ Cheltenham.  In my horses to follow section I stated this; He has impressed in his work at home and although no set plan has yet been made as to whether he goes down the bumper or hurdles route either way he should win races.  He finished second to First Drift on debut at Southwell and the winner that day has franked the form since under a penalty.  Kalanisi Circle is Barters Hill’s brother and Ben states that he is more impressive than his brother in work at home.  That is a big statement.  He is very much one to follow and one I’m pretty excited about seeing.  He has been set a tough assignment here but

20/10/2016 - 4.30 @ Carlisle - OLDGRANGEWOOD - 1pt Win @ 2/1
Interest Bets;

2.05 @ Thurles - ALPHA DES OBEAUX
2.10 @ Carlisle - AINTREE MY DREAM
2.20 @ Newton Abbot - CAPELAND
5.00 @ Carlisle - CLOUDY DREAM

A frustrating day yesterday as board selections found just one too good on their first starts of the season.  Board of Trade was arguably held too far back to challenge the eventual winner who was clearly very well handicapped whilst Churchtown Champ fought gamely at the finish but couldn't repel the challenge of Fayette County.  There are surely races to be won with both of them.

My first pick today is OLDGRANGEWOOD in the 4.30 @ Carlisle.  Up against a few exposed types and a horse of Iain Jardine's who will find the extra weight a hinderance I feel there will be more to come from Oldgrangewood from last season.  In my research pre-season I noted this horse as Dan Skelton really likes him and thinks this will be the season he shows what he's made of.  I thought he ran ok last time out at Ayr but i'm not 100% sure he stayed the trip but this drop back in distance is right up his street.  From his races to date I've only seen him made two mistakes and I like the way he corrects himself if on the wrong foot jumping a hurdle.  He should progress and 2/1 looks a very fair price to me against today's opposition, I thought he'd be even money or less.

I am looking forward to ALPHA DES OBEAUX running again today in the 2.05 @ Thurles and CLOUDY DREAM in the 5.00 @ Carlisle.  Both are out of my horses to follow section.  The former will be better for his seasonal debut run whilst the latter makes his chase debut and I'm seriously looking forward to it.  I've done the following £15 trixie today;

2.05 @ Thurles - ALPHA DES OBEAUX - evens
2.10 @ Carlisle - AINTREE MY DREAM - 6/5
4.30 @ Carlisle - OLDGRANGEWOOD - 2/1

I've also done a separate acca with Capeland and Cloudy Dream.

19/10/2016 - 2.45 @ Fontwell - BOARD OF TRADE - 1pt Win @ 5/1
19/10/2016 - 2.55 @ Worcester - CHURCHTOWN CHAMP - 1pt Win @ 6/1

Interest Bets;

1.40 @ Fontwell - Affaire D'Honneur - 7/4

My Horses to Follow section gets underway today with two selections hitting the racetrack.  

Firstly Affaire D'Honneur runs in the 1.40 @ Fontwell.  He has to carry a winners' penalty which won't be easy to overcome over a couple of interesting rivals however although a few weren't, I was pretty impressed with his first victory over hurdles a couple of weeks ago.  He battled on strongly when put under pressure and fought off all challengers when it mattered.  I have two worries today, firstly that was a tough race for him due to the way it was ran and i'm sure connections would have liked it to have been an easier assignment.  Secondly two weeks is a short space of time for him to recover and then to give weight away to some exposed types for top yards.  I have no doubt that he is the best horse in the race and I really hope he wins this as if he does with things going against him it will prove just how could he may prove to be.  It is a small interest bet for me today and here's hoping he wins.

My tip today is BOARD OF TRADE in the 2.45 @ Fontwell.  Alan King has been happy with him during the summer and apparently he's improved physically.  Alan believes he is well handicapped and today looks a good opportunity to get back in to the winners' enclosure.  He has some good opposition to contend with today but most lack the scope Board of Trade does.  Ignoring his last performance he jumps well on the whole and providing he's fit and ready to go he looks to me to be the one to beat on his novice hurdle form.  At 5/1 he's worth a bet.

CHURCHTOWN CHAMP is my next selection in the 2.55 @ Worcester.  He makes his chasing debut today and based on his point to point exploits this arena may well be his bag.  He wasn't suited by the ground at Haydock and was apparently over the top at Southwell last time out (the race looked a pretty tough assignment too).  He's been given a break and Dan Skelton has his horses in great form and at 11/2 he looks good value to me.

17/10/2016 - No Selection

Tell Us More ran a promising race yesterday at Cork and stayed on well in the closing stages to suggest a step up in trip will be in order.  To say he has been a disappointing horse so far however would be an understatement, all is not yet lost though.  Morgan proved that he has a bright future ahead of him destroying the field to secure his first win under rules.

I am putting the finishing touches on my Jumps Horses to Follow section and it should be available online tomorrow morning all being well so I have not had chance to put a write up together today however I will be having a dabble on the following;

2.10 @ Pontefract - POETIC FORCE - 8/1
(Handicap debut, will be worth backing if the money comes)

2.20 @ Windsor - CANYARI - 13/2
(Needs to show massive improvement but this lowest race he's contested and I can't not back him)

4.30 @ Plumpton - UNANIMITE - 2/1
(pain in my backside horse but giving him one more try)

5.10 @ Pontefract - INVICTUS - 12/1
(New stable, who are hot in form)

5.40 @ Pontefract - ARCTIC FEELING - 4/1
(Price being battered, was 8/1 last night.  Fahey horse back on soft ground which were conditions for last two wins)

16/10/2016 - 3.25 @ Cork - TELL US MORE - 1pt Win @ 11/4 with Paddy Power

Interest Bets;

5.05 @ Cork - MORGAN - 5/2

Well yesterday was a bit of a disaster.  It was a day I really felt confident about but the writing was on the wall from the very first race as my nap One Forty Seven unshipped Ryan Hatch at the first hurdle when his path was blocked slightly.  That result set the tone for the day unfortunately and even in the very last race of the day as Rowlestonerendezvu was backed off the boards from 16/1 when I advised in to 4/1, everything seemed to be going right until the race began and he started a bit too slowly for Luke Morris' liking but by that time it was too late and he was never able to get involved.  He travelled well enough and made some headway so i'm sure a win won't be too far away for him but it'll be a case of catching him at the right time.  All I can do is put yesterday down as "one of those days".  They have come along all too often during the summer and hopefully the turning point will be right around the corner.

My first tip for today is TELL US MORE in the 3.25 @ Cork.  A horse I have always thought a lot of since his novice hurdle days but he hasn't really delivered on that promise just yet.  He is however just a 7 year old and for me he has a race like this one in him.  I personally was made up to see him move over to Gordon Elliott as I don't feel he was particularly well placed or given enough time after injury by Willie Mullins.  The fact he's been brought out so quickly after joining the yard says that he is ready and the drop back in trip should suit.  The ground is a bit of an unknown but he doesn't strike me as a typical mudlark so i'm hoping it shouldn't be an issue, especially first time out.  At 11/4 he looks good value and I feel he has the attributes to win this before going on to better things this season.

I have read good things about MORGAN in the 5.05 @ Cork.  Point to Point expert Declan Phelan said that he was physically the best four year old pointer last season and he is expecting a bright future from him.  He is up against a Willie Mullins hotpot today but does receive weight from her.  Whether he wins or loses today he is one for the notebook for the future.  He shouldn't however be underestimated here.

15/10/2016 - 1.05 @ Market Rasen - ONE FORTY SEVEN - 2pts Win @ 7/4 (NAP)
15/10/2016 - 3.10 @ Ascot - RIBCHESTER - 1pt Win @ 5/2

Interest Bets;

2.00 @ Ascot - SIGNS OF BLESSING - 12/1
9.15 @ Wolverhampton - ROWLESTONERENDEZVU - 16/1

Pilansberg showed that he is going to be a horse to follow this season.  He travelled nicely throughout and out jumped his main market rival.  He idled a bit in front but stayed on again once he had company.  A nice drift in the market was good too.  

Haydock was as always a cracking day out yesterday.  We had Harry's Bistro tickets and would recommend it to anyone, we were well looked after. 
Today is the big day, the start of the jumps' season.  However I'm going to start off my write up at Champions Day at Ascot.  I have quite a bit of money going on to Order of St George and Ribchester today and I think they have great chances of helping my hangover.  The Sprint Stakes looks an absolute cracker with all the top sprinters' taking eachother on.  The one I like at a big price is SIGNS OF BLESSING.  The French raider finished 3rd over course and distance back in June but conditions weren't perfect for him then, they are today and I think 12/1 for this front runner is very reasonable.  I'll be having a small each way play.  

I mentioned earlier that I have RIBCHESTER (3.10 @ Ascot) in a few ante post bets and I feel he is good value still.  Minding's inclusion has allowed his price to stay worthwhile and although the Aidan O'Brien horse is a different prospect over a mile I feel Ribchester is very under-rated.  He should have won the Sussex and he followed that up with a complete performance at Deauville.  He is the apple of Richard Fahey's eye and you can see why.  He's improved since the start of the season and looks the part.  It will take a very good horse to beat him.

My big bet for the day is ONE FORTY SEVEN in the 1.05 @ Market Rasen.  He won his point to point with the minimum of fuss and was subsequently bought for £70k at the Cheltenham sales.  He is well regarded and he should become a horse just below the top grade.  He has conditions to suit today (was pulled out last week due to fast ground) and he should have the beating of his rivals here.  He's a bit short at 7/4 but I've a feeling that could be good value come ten past one today.

Also keep a look out for ROWLESTONERENDEZVU in the last at Wolves tonight.  I can't see Tony Carroll travelling all the way to Wolves so late in the day for a night out and at 16/1 he looks well worth a punt.  I suspect he will either win well or lose by a mile so an each way bet doesn't stand out.

14/10/2016 - No Selection

Well what a day yesterday was, firstly the Tim Vaughan gamble turned out to be a bit of a damp squid however my lucky 31 still returned me a tiny profit due to two non runners and a 7/1 winner.  

The big return however was the Tony Carroll Lucky 15.  My £1 Lucky 15 returned £1,365.40 for three winners.  The one that lost Sir Jamie I suggest you keep a look out for, ridden along from falling out of the stalls he stayed on and looked like winning before his early exersions took their toll, he will win a race, we just have to decipher which one.  Thank you very much to those who emailed me, I really appreciate the kind word, I'm sure there will be more days like that in future.

I'm at Haydock Races today and things have been a bit rushed again so I've not been able to give a proper tip however there is a horse out of my upcoming "Horse to Follow" section that races today (3.50 @ Fakenham), he's not a great price and it looks a pretty decent race for just four runners but please see below what i've written;
PILANSBERG – Paul Nicholls

Placed in a group 2 flat race over in France hopes were high for his debut which came in the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton when finishing last of seven.  He has been gelded and had a wind operation since and the fact he was thrown in to such a high profile race on debut (and well backed) suggests he’s very highly thought of at the yard.  He could be a decent enough price early on and should have improved during the summer.

13/10/2016 - No Selection

Apologies for not being on site much of late.  Firstly it's a tricky time of year and not one I like delving in to too much.  Throw that along with compiling my Jumps Horses to Follow list, working on a year end process at work and indulging in a new business venture with the wife you can see the reasons why I've not been on a huge amount.

Today I have a few to watch out for.  Firstly a couple of potential gambles.  At Brighton Tony Carroll appears to be sending plenty of his "well handicapped" string over to a track he does well at.  He is out of form looking at his recent results however I have seen this trend before with him and he has followed up with a nice few wins and i'm hoping today is a day he is looking to hit the bookies.  I have done the following two lucky 15's just incase;

2.30 - ADMIRABLE ART - 9/2
3.05 - SIR JAMIE - 14/1
4.15 - EVANESCENT - 9/1
4.50 - ODDSOCKS - 33/1 & SUNI DANCER - 12/1

Evanescent has been backed in the betting already so i've had a decent single on him too.

The other gamble is over the jumps with Tim Vaughan whose horses have been very well backed overnight.  Tim is not renowned for his big gambles however his horses tend to perform when they are well backed.  Again I have done the following Lucky 31 just incase;

2.55 - OSKAR'S EVA - 9/4
4.05 - DALAMAN - 3/1
5.10 - KNIGHT'S REWARD - 5/2

10/10/2016 - REBECCA ROCKS - 1pt EW @ 12/1 with

I have been away since Thursday evening doing a property investment course in London so apologies for the lack of write ups.  Dan's tips came good over the weekend with a nice 6/1 NAP winner.  He has a 50% strike rate since joining the site and is a great addition, I hope you have all got on.
Unfortunately I had a sad word yesterday that one of my favourite Dr Newland horses ONE MORE GO had a fatal fall at Chepstow two from home.  He had provided me with a couple of big wins and I'm devastated that he is no longer with us.  My thoughts go out to connections.  It's a great experience being a horse owner and one I would recommend to anyone as the fun and excitement is second to none but the most important thing out of it all is seeing you horse come home safe and sound.

On to today's racing and I'm going for a bit of an outsider in the first at Windsor but there is method in the madness.  REBECCA ROCKS of Henry Candy was backed off the boards when making her debut at Lingfield back in June.  She failed to live up to expectations that day however the ground was bottomless, so much so the rest of the turf racing was abandoned.  She travelled like a good horse for the majority of the race even when bumped slightly before weakening.  Connections feel she is decent and I expect her to put that run behind her on better ground.  She has a good profile and at the price I feel she is worth taking a chance on each way.

My Jumps horses to follow section is coming along well however I may struggle to get it finished this week as time constraints have held me back a little bit.  However if any horses run this week that are a part of that then I will post what I have written so far so you don't miss out.  I am very excited about the piece and hope it will be very useful to use towards this jumps season, watch this space.

05/10/2016 - 8.50 @ Kempton - MAKHFAR - 1pt Win @ 8/1

​My Jumps horses to follow section is taking shape and should hopefully be online this time next week.  I have spent hours and hours trawling through videos, books, data etc and I'm happy with the selections that are currently in my write up.  There is a lot more studying to do though and I really hope this section will provide great insight to the 2016-17 jumps season.

I am very interesting in MAKHFAR tonight in the 8.50 @ Kempton.  Kevin Morgan's mount was given a rating of 80 when beating Royal Connoisseur back in 2014.  He clearly isn't at that level anymore however he is now off a rating of just 53 and if he retains even a smiggen of that ability he has should beat this lot.  He ran well enough over course and distance back in April and he's on six pounds more favourable terms here.  Pat Cosgrave is booked for the ride and he is in hot form and especially at this track.  This race should be well within his compass and at 8/1 he is definitely worth a punt.

02/10/2016 - 3.20 @ Tipperary - HARGAM - 1pt Win @ 11/4 with Sky Bet
02/10/2016 - 3.35 @ Uttoxeter - UNANIMITE - 1pt Win @ 5/1 with Paddy Power

Interest Bets;
4.35 @ Tipperary - CLONARD STREET - 12/1 with Will Hill

Well, I had a lot of confidence in my selections yesterday but to say they all disappointed would be saying the least.  That's it for me and the flat season.  It has been an impossible task all summer and yesterday was the prime example of why, the rain came and up popped winners who had no form at all, if you made money yesterday then well done but my suspicions are that not many would have.  However there are a couple of cracking jumps cards to get the teeth in to today and although it is still a tricky time of the year transitioning between the two codes I am more than happy to turn my attentions to the national hunt scene.

The first tip for today is HARGAM in the 3.20 @ Tipperary.  Ivan Grozny is a short price favourite and will be all the rage for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh after his last couple of wins.  However he has not faced opposition of the quality that he does today.  Hargam is a frustrating horse who has not quite lived up to expectations.  He is only 5 years old however and the fact that he has reached a rating of 157 so far shows that he is a horse of some quality.  He should now be at his peak and I'm expecting more improvement from last season and I feel it's significant that Nicky has decided to race him so early in the season in such a high profile early season race.  This is the season where if he is going to reached the heights hoped he has to show it on course and for me it will take a career best and more from Ivan to beat the second favourite so at 11/4 I have to put my money on Hargam.

In the 4.25 @ Tipperary my interest bet is Tony Martin's CLONARD STREET.  First time handicap with Niall Madden on board.  We've seen it time and time again from his trainer where he should have no right winning a handicap based on form but they run away with these type of events.  At 12/1 he's definitely worth an interest bet.

One horse from my horses to follow list is ALPHA DES OBEAUX who makes his debut over fences in the 5.00 @ Tipperary.  Unsurprisingly an odds on favourite he is one to look out for this season over the larger obstacles.  Connections are likely to be aiming him at the RSA Chase come March which shows just how much they think of him.  I will be taking some of the 8/1 on offer ante post today as he is likely to be shorter come 5.30pm.

In the 3.35 @ Uttoxeter David Pipe sends UNANIMITE out in this class 3 handicap.  At best on good ground he has been contesting some higher grade races than this and running ok without shining his torch too brightly.  That has left him on a nice mark.  I spoke to David Pipe last season and he said that he was aiming Unanimite at the Pertemps Hurdle but that didn't materialise.  He will be tuned up for this today however after having a run in August and I feel there is more to come from him this season and at 5/1 he is very much worth a bet here today.

30/09/2016 - No selection

Interest Bets;

2.50 @ Fontwell - CLEAN SHEET - 10/3
5.50 @ Newcastle - TESTA ROSSA - 8/1

I have returned following my few days in the sun and away from mundane life.  It's the tricky time of the year, the end of the flat season is near and the beginning of the jumps season is around the corner and the bulk of my attention has been set on studying up ready for that.  I've compiled a fair list of horses that I feel will be worth following so far and will be delving in to each one of them further to narrow the list down to hopefully give everyone some real value for money.  The list shall be on the website over the next couple of weeks so please look out for that.

My first race of interest today is the 2.50 @ Fontwell where Nicky Henderson saddles CLEAN SHEET over fences.  Nicky has started his campaign off very well having two winners from his last four runners and he didn't hide his opinions on this horse in his stable interviews last year.  He looked a cracking prospect when winning at Fakenham last year but was unable to continue that form handicapping.  He did however look to be a chaser in the making and this arena looks to be his forte.  He's set a stiff task today for his chase debut but there are plenty of reasons to feel he could be a big price at 10/3.

My second interest bet is TESTA ROSSA in the 5.50 @ Newcastle.  Jim Goldie's horse was unlucky last time at Newcastle when 33/1 in a class 5 handicap.  He drops in to a class 6 today off the same mark and with Lewis Edmunds keeping the ride he would have learned a lot from riding him last time.  Goldie could do with a winner and i've no doubt he's going here today trying.  8/1 looks fair value and I will be having a decent bet.

22/09/2016 - 5.20 @ Newmarket - GREAT ORDER - 1pt Win @ 2/1 with Paddy Power

Interest Bets;

3.30 @ Pontefract - MASS RALLY - 16/1 with Will Hill
5.40 @ Pontefract - CANYARI - 18/1 with Sky Bet
7.15 @ Chelmsford - CHERRY KOOL - 12/1 with Coral
8.45 @ Chelmsford - YORKINDRED SPIRIT - 12/1 with Betfred

My views on Mount Logan yesterday wer proved correct as Sky Hunter and Tullius beat the odds on favourite home and comfortably.  The bookies in my opinion were trying to pull the wool over our eyes and I'm made up I did the reverse forecast.  It was fantastic for all at Value Racing Club yesterday to see Milrow power clear to win by upwards of sixteen lengths without really being asked a question by Sam Twiston-Davies.  He was carrying five pounds more than his rivals and he seemed to relish the good to soft ground.  He looks a horse with a very bright future.  Talking of yesterday if you get a chance I suggest watching Jim Crowley's ride on Sea Shack.  His never say die attitude won the race and in comparison to De Sousa's places at Redcar.  I also love the fact that Crowley is going to the bigger meetings and taking on the better jockeys, I feel he has the edge in the Jockeys' Championship.
My tip for today is GREAT ORDER in the 5.20 @ Newmarket.  Saeed Bin Suroor has endured a torrid summer however one of the glimmers of light in that poor season has been Great Order who won his maiden well from some exciting horses who have since franked that form.  He then beat some interesting horses at Ascot three weeks ago having started the race slowly.  This is clearly his toughest task to date but he looked a horse with huge potential last time out and I'm expecting him to win this before going on to better things in the future.
I have four big priced interest bets today, the first of which is CHERRY KOOL of Stuart Williams who runs in the 7.15 @ Chelmsford.  He has raced twice over five furlongs on the all weather (Lingfield) finishing 1st at 33/1 and 2nd at 10/1.  This is a drop in class to what he has been encountering of late and the booking of Pat Cosgrave bodes well.  You can never count Stuart Williams out of this sort of race no matter what form his horses are in and at 12/1 he's worth a dabble.

Later on this evening in the 8.45 @ Chelmsford Silvestre De Sousa is booked to ride Mark Johnston's YORKINDRED SPIRIT.  His last victory was in a Class 5 handicap off a mark of 70, today he drops back to this class 5 off a mark of 66.  He won at Newcastle on the all weather earlier this year and he looks a big price at 14/1 to put his recent form behind him.

MASS RALLY (3.30 @ Pontefract) has a lot to prove having not won on a course since October 2013.  However he is off a career low mark today, gets his ideal conditions and with trainer and jockey in decent form he could defy the odds at 16/1, he is interesting now.

CANYARI in the 5.40 @ Pontefract is another who is down to a dangerously low mark of 76 and in the hands of a trainer who can ready one he cannot be overlooked at 18/1.  He won at Leicester off a mark of 85 last year and it is interesting that headgear is being applied for the first time today.  If that headgear works then he should win this, that is an IF though.
It's great to see a couple of headline jumps horses take each other on so early in the year at Perth (3.20).  The 2016 Champion Bumper Winner Ballyandy and the 2015 Champion Bumper winner Moon Racer go head to head in this two mile novice hurdle.  I won't be having a bet but I can't wait to watch that race with interest.

One final thing, it should pay to follow Nigel Twiston-Davies for the next few weeks before the jumps season gets going proper.  He has predominently always had his string in top form at this stage of the year and he fires in winners on a regular occurrence.  I will be following and I suggest you do the same.  If you can request a price on 3 winners or more today then I would be having a go.

21/09/2016 - No selection

Interest Bets;

2.00 @ Goodwood - MONARCHS GLEN - 9/4 with Coral
3.45 @ Goodwood - TULLIUS - 6/1 with Betfred

The opener at Goodwood (2.00) has an interesting contender in MONARCH'S GLEN.  The Frankel Colt makes his racecourse debut for John Gosden against a couple of horses who have made decent starts to their young careers.  Monarch's Glen is well thought of and it would be no surprise should he make an impression on his first start.  9/4 is short enough against the more experienced horses but I'll be having a small dabble.
I would be very very tempted to lay Mount Logan in the 3.45.  He was impressive last time out however this is a different ball game altogether.  Sky Hunter has ideal conditions and his trainer is now back in to form following a bad summer whilst the one I really like at a big price is Tullius.  Andrew Balding's mount is a top drawer horse on his day and will be likely tuned up for this.  He is another who goes in the conditions and I feel Mount Logan is plenty short enough in this company.

Sam Twiston-Davies looks to have a good book of rides at Perth today, for interest I've had a Lucky 15 on the following;

2.55 - NORTHANDSOUTH - 2/1
3.30 - NO WIN NO FEE - 13/8
4.05 - KILRONAN HIGH - 7/1
5.15 - MILROW - 3/1

It's also getting towards the business end of the Jockey Championship on the Flat and Silvestre De Sousa has surprisingly gone to Redcar and has one ride in the last at Kempton.  I suggest following him at Redcar today as he's passed up some good rides to go there, I'm assuming today he feels he can push his way in front with a good few wins.

18/09/2016 - No selection

​Yesterdays' NAP Bletchley was never really given a chance in the group 3 race at Ayr.  Fran Berry held his mount up towards the rear but didn't see a clear passage until the leaders had flown then switched her to the wrong side of the track (to be fair that was only realised a race or two later) and she was unable to quicken in the softer side of the course.  She will be back and I wouldn't be deterred by yesterday's finishing position, she is better than that.  My interest bet That Is The Spirit obliged at 6/1 in the 4.55 @ Ayr.  David O'Meara's horse battled hard to rally and regain his lead at the post to record victory, I hope you got on.

In the 3.20 @ Gowran Park DISCIPLINE returns to the track after a break for Dermot Weld and in short, if she's fit she wins.  I have gathered some of the 5/2 available with Paddy Power and I feel that could be excellent value.  The worry is the lay off but like I say if she is firing then this could be a romp.
For a little bit of interest I have done a £2 lucky 15;

2.30 @ Plumpton - ROYAL IRISH HUSSAR - 11/4
3.20 @ Gowran - DISCIPLINE - 9/4
3.50 @ Gowran - MODERN TUTOR - 7/4
5.50 @ Gowran - AMPLE SUFFICIENCY - 6/4

17/09/2016 - 2.00 @ Ayr - BLETCHLEY - 2pts Win @ 5/2 (NAP) (Coral)

Interest Bets;

4.55 @ Ayr - THAT IS THE SPIRIT - 11/2 with Paddy Power

My NAP for today is BLETCHLEY in the 2.00 @ Ayr.  Ralph Beckett's filly drops back down to Group 3 company following a disappointing sixth place in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.  I'm willing to put a line through that performance given that the form line through Kilmah shows that she wasn't at her best that day.  The race before that when second to Brave Anna was a very hot group 3.  That day Bletchley beat Queen Kindly, Create A Dream, Cuff and the aforementioned Kilmah.  The going that day was good to soft which looks like the same conditions today although she seems to go on any ground.  Beckett is in hot form too.  The second favourite Partitia is an improving horse and she can't be taken lightly however the form line between the two comes from Grizzel.  Partitia beat Grizzel by 6 1/4 lengths last time out.  Bletchley beat Grizzel by over 16 lengths at Ascot.  I'm not saying that form should be taken as gospel but it's an indication of what the selection is capable of and I would be very surprised if she is beaten today.  You can also get your money back up to £25 if she finishes 2nd or 3rd with Sky Bet so there is a safety net.

My interest bet of the day is THAT IS THE SPIRIT in the 4.55 @ Ayr.  He has come back to form in the past off the back of poor runs (Haydock last May for example).  Conditions suit today and looks off an enticing mark in this class 3 0-95 handicap where the opposition look in the grip of the handicapper.  Bear in mind he was 106 last season at one point and he's still a young horse.  He doesn't tick all the boxes so I can't tip him up but I will be having a good bet on him at 11/2

12/09/2016 - No Selection

I've done a few today more for interest than anything else and not had chance to put a proper write up on due to work commitments but please see below;

2.00 @ Kempton - THANE OF CAWDOR (back at Kempton, due a win, don't be put off by his latest couple of runs) 13/2 with Coral

4.15 @ Kempton - SATISH (drop back should help​) - 9/4 with Sky Bet

5.15 @ Kempton - SAM MISSILE (back on all weather, has always been well backed, could be a bargain price) - 9/4

5.50 @ Worcester - BARKIS (Watching brief, was given good word about him last year but his time off the track suggests an injury so watch with the future in mind) - 4/1 with Betfred

6.25 @ Wolves - PAR THREE (Carroll rules as always) - 11/1 with Will Hill

6.55 @ Wolves - CAPE PENINSULAR - 15/8 with Betfair

11/09/2016 - No Selection

Bess of Hardwick came home for tip followers yesterday to prove that she is a filly worth following.  She won with plenty of authority and more than the winning distance suggested having hanging to the left in the final furlong.  Following a bit of bad fortune she was a welcome winner.

That bad fortune came in the shape of Idaho whom I had backed ante post at 5/1 in singles, doubles, trebles and a lucky.  Seamie Heffernan was just making his move as Idaho stumbled and unseated his rider.  To say I was devastated is an understatement but that is racing for you.

10/09/2016 - 5.25 @ Doncaster - BESS OF HARDWICK - 1pt Win @ 7/2 with Paddy Power

Viscount Barfield looked the winner a furlong out yesterday only to find Penwortham too strong at the finish at Chester.  Ardad however continued the good form at Doncaster this week having been well backed during the day.  I hope you took the 12/1 available in the morning.

My selection today is BESS OF HARDWICK in the 5.25 @ Doncaster.  Luca Cumani's filly is very lightly race and this years' form figures of 84 don't give you too much confidence at first glance.  However, her two races this term were of a very good standard against some improving horses.  I'm not convinced that good to firm ground suits her running style and the good ground today could bring out the best in her.  Andrea Atzeni has been booked for the ride and he couldn't be in any better form whilst my one worry would be Cumani's form which isn't great.  The opposition today look limited on ability today and I've a feeling there is more to come from the selection.

09/09/2016 - 3.15 @ Chester - VISCOUNT BARFIELD - (11/4 - Paddy Power)

Interest Bets;

2.30 @ Doncaster - ARDAD - 12/1
7.05 @ Down Royal - CASSELLS ROCK - 6/1

Farandine put in a nice display on her return to the track however the drift in the betting suggested that victory was not expected on this occasion.  The race however was well worth the watch and in particular the ride given on Acclio by Martin Harley which was up there with the best I've seen this season.  He caught all the other jockeys by surprise as they made the turn in as he sent his mount to the front as they rounded the bend and by the time they had chance to react Acclio have moved several lengths in front and despite the challenge from the favourite Honorina Acclio had just enough in the tank to hold on, it was a high class ride.

My three selections at Doncaster however almost did a clean sweep.  Starting off with Storm Cry whom I suggested backing each way, I hope you got the 14/1 available as he was backed off the boards and almost held off the challenge of Glitter Girl, finally finishing 2nd.  Rich Legacy and Simple Verse both obliged however at nice prices considering, again I hope you took the 4/1 and 9/2 respectively available at the time of posting.

The website will be undergoing some changes over the next week or so, I will be introducing a banner in the header with some affiliate betting company links whilst I will also be introducing links to my selections should you wish to bet direct from my site to the best-priced bookmaker.  Please note that my main aim is to continue to beat the bookies and nothing will change with regards to how I approach my selections however it is not free to run a website and if I can get something to go towards the costs then I can continue to provide the tips for free going forward.  

There are some new features coming up, the jumps season is not far away and I have already began to conduct my research so I will be putting up my ten to follow for the season, my dark horses for the season and a list of others to watch out for.  I did a brief page for the Flat season which even though it has been a shocking season those selections haven't done too bad.

Until the end of the Jumps season too there will be a new section dedicated to one of the best Flat racing tipsters I know Dan who has agreed to come on board until then.  Dan has a wealth of knowledge and has continuously provided me with both great insight and constant winners.  He has a great knack of picking out big priced horses that get well backed and I'm 100% sure you will find his input both knowledgable and profitable.

Now on to todays' racing.  Although I don't like tipping at Chester I feel I have to select VISCOUNT BARFIELD today who runs in the 3.15.  Andrew Balding's mount ran on from a mile back last time out at York in a Class 2 handicap and his course form is 2/2 which is essential around Chester.  On both those occasions Rob Hornby took the ride and he is back on board here.  He has a nice draw from stall 3 and his trainer is in top form.  He has some decent opposition here today with the likes of Gabrial The Tiger looking to win at his favoured track however he has a wide draw to contend with which is always a big negative at Chester.  Realize has the All Weather form in the bag but isn't as good on turf and I suggest he's being kept for another AW assignment further on down the line.  All in all the boxes are ticked on Viscount Barfield and 11/4 is a fair price, he doesn't want the ground firm and given the forecast it is likely to be good to soft which is the same conditions of his four length victory here to Bell Heather.

Over at Doncaster I cannot wait to watch the 1.55 where Nemoralia, Lumiere, La Rioja, Spangled and Same Jurisdiction take each other on.  Nemoralia will be the popular selection given the way she performed last time out however I would not be backing her at odds on given the quality in opposition.  You can have cases for all of them and although I will not be placing a bet I will be very much interested in seeing how the race pans out.

I'm going to give ARDAD one last try at 12/1 in the 2.30 @ Doncaster.  He is yet to replicate his Royal Ascot victory however he drops back to five furlongs today and any rain will help his cause.  He has the potential, ideal conditions and his trainer is in great form, his price is very reasonable.
You could stick a pin in the others (mainly handicaps) so Ardad will be my only decent bet at Donny today.

Later on tonight at Down Royal I suggest keeping an eye on CASSELLS ROCK in the 7.05.  Tony Martin is renouned for this type of horse and he won a nice flat handicap a couple of years ago off a mark of 78 around this time of the year at Leopardstown.  He proved his fitness last time out and don't be surprised should if he came good today off his mark of 74.

I'm away from now until Sunday evening on a course which starts at 8am each day so if I will be putting selections up it will be very early

08/09/2016 - 7.10 @ Chelmsford - FARANDINE - 1pt Win @ 11/4

Finally the day has come where I can put up a selection.  The racing this week has been nothing short of terrible.

My selection for today is FARANDINE (7.10 @ Chelmsford).  Luca Cumani's mount has been off the track since October last year however that doesn't put me off as she was a late bloomer then having only made her debut in August.  In opposition Honorina is the favourite following her convincing victory at Kempton last month and she will prove tough opposition however the substance to that performance is not yet known.  The third that day Entrench followed up finishing last of nine last time out so it is possible that she didn't beat much.  Acclio currently looks in the grip of the handicapper and looks limited ability-wise whilst Kylla Instinct would be my biggest worry given Silvestre De Sousa takes over and she has good AW form in the bag however I'm not convinced a mile is her trip.  The form of Farandine's last race however has been franked by the majority of runners that day, most of whom are now rated in to the 80's.  Given the potential improvement and the form in the bag I think the odds should be a lot closer between the two at the head of the market and if fitness of the selection was guaranteed I'd expect to see the odds reversed with Honorina.  With that in mind, this may be the right time to catch Farandine as in all likeliness if she wins this she won't be as attractive a price in future.

Doncaster today has a much better card than yesterday and some very exciting races to look forward to.  The opener is a Fillies' Nursery Handicap and hosts some very promising individuals.  Glitter Girl will be very popular given her two wins to date however I won't be backing her at short odds, her two wins have come on good to firm ground, she has to prove she handles the softer ground here plus the form of her last race (although she won with authority) doesn't look that great.  She is opposible in my opinion.  I personally like the Mark Johnston pairing STORM CRY and LA CASA TARIFA.  The former would be my pick each way at a nice price but the race is more for enjoyment purposes rather than potential profit.

In the 2.30 @ Doncaster today I really like the claims of RICH LEGACY.  I thought Oisin Murphy gave her a poor ride having been surprised by the pace last time out when 4th behind Kilmah.  I thought she was the best horse that day and I believe she is the best horse in the race here today.  Ralph Beckett's recent form is a slight worry but this horse looks one with a big future and at 4/1 she's worth a dabble.

Based on form SIMPLE VERSE should be winning the 3.05 @ Doncaster however her two latest runs this term have been below par and there is no surprise that Ralph has given her a little break.  If she is back in the form of her Doncaster performance at this meeting last year (Group One) then she will win this.
The rest of the racing looks trappy so it will be a small stake watching brief for me.

04/09/2016 - No selection

Interest Bets:

3.10 @ York - SCRUTINEER - 10/1

Yesterdays' tip Mass Rally was backed heavily in the betting to as short as 3/1 before being pulled out.  The ground was probably too soft in the end for him but it would be no surprise if he is brought out at some stage over the next week.  The rain came in perfect time for my selection in the Haydock Sprint Cup Quiet Reflection.  She looked the winner two furlongs out as she came to front cruising for Dougie Costello who just had to shake the reins to see her pull a couple of lengths in front and she stayed on well to record a second big group one success.  She has the world at her feet.

My main interest bet today is SCRUTINEER in the 3.10 @ York.  When I interviewed Mick Channon at the beginning of the season he held some big thoughts about his season ahead.  Unfortunately it hasn't gone to plan but he has ran some decent races in defeat.  His most recent race was promising and proved he was in good form.  That day he was held up in rear and was never able to get involved as they were not the right tactics at Chester.  The straight course at York and good to soft ground should suit him and he looks good value.  I suggest if you want to back each way, if there are still 8 runners at post time to do him each way, if not get on at 10's now to win.

03/09/2016 - 6.05 @ Thirsk - MASS RALLY - 1pt EW @ 8/1

Interest Bets:

4.00 @ Haydock - ROBOT BOY - 12/1
4.30 @ Haydock - QUIET REFLECTION - 11/2 EACH WAY

Despite Lord George's victory last night I was very disappointed with yesterday as I had high hopes for my selections.  Yesterdays' tip Equity did as expected so far as heading off in front and tried hard to repel his opposition but found one just too good at the finish.  I'm not sure where connections can go with him now other than back down the handicap route but he now looks class 6 level.  Harba was a second Frankel horse on the bounce to fail and in typical Frankie Dettori fashion when he had no chance of winning he gave Harba a lacklustre ride as he weakened away tamely, has the Frankel bubble burst????  I doubt it, but two of the higher touted horses have now been well beaten.  Maybe the bookies will start giving out ok prices, I doubt that too.

My first race of real interest today is the 4.00 @ Haydock where I keep coming back to ROBOT BOY.  I was at York to see his last run and I'm not quite sure what his jockey was doing that day, I wasn't sure if Graham Gibbons knew where he wanted his mount to be sat and therefore ended up pushing him in to the lead early on.  I'm convinced that move cost him a shot of the race as he weakened in the closing stages.  However he looked in excellent shape that day and is back to the same mark as when an unlucky 2nd at Ascot a few races back.  David Barron today calls upon Fran Berry which looks a significant move.  Robot Boy came in to this race last year in worse form than he has been this season when finishing 4th.  That day he fell out of the stalls and finished very strongly.  He has got that part of his game sorted and if he is fit he looks on too good a mark to ignore at 14/1.  I will be having a play.

The big race at Haydock is the Sprint Cup where I have had a few ante post bets on Quiet Reflection with the hope that Limato would not be running, unfortunately he is entered and that gives my hopes a bad outlook.  My only hope is that rain falls or the race comes too soon from his big run in the Nunthorpe.  I still think however at 11/2 Quiet Reflection is an each way bet to nothing in this opposition.

I've done plenty of studying of todays' racing and have picked out one that I think has the best opportunity he's had to return to the winners' enclosure since he last won in 2013.  MASS RALLY in the 6.05 @ Thirsk comes up against some decent opposition but not to the standard that he has been facing all season let alone the past few years.  Everything has to fall perfectly for him but with just nine runners there is less chance of mistakes than in the big fields that he is used to.  At 8/1 he looks an each way bet in my eyes with so much in his favour.  The favourite is an improver however this is a stiff task against the experience of Mass Rally.  My main concern would be Mon Brav but the more I look at the race and the opposition the more I feel Mass Rally is here to win.  For that reason I'm going to tip him up as an each way bet.

02/09/2016 - 4.50 @ Musselburgh - EQUITY - 2pts Win @ 9/4

Yankee Selection (Will Hill);

2.45 @ Haydock - HARBA - evns
4.50 @ Musselburgh - EQUITY - 2/1
8.00 @ Kempton - LORD GEORGE - 15/8
9.00 @ Kempton - TAGULA NIGHT - 8/1

Interest Bet;

4.20 @ Ascot - VERY TALENTED - 11/2
Well, after a long, boring, poor week of racing I finally have something to get my teeth into.  Firstly looking back over yesterdays' racing it has to be said that it was disappointing to see one of Frankel's foals SWISS STORM fail on his debut at Haydock.  David Elsworth's horse has been highly touted but started slowly and failed to land a blow in the six furlong contest.  I would certainly be adding him to your trackers however as Elsworth's horses are not renouned to win first time out plus he stated before the race that racing over six furlongs is an experiment as he should need further.  That turned out to be the case as he was putting in his best work at the finish.  He could be one for a mile and it would be no surprise that connections go down that distance next time out and he wins hard held.

On to todays' racing and I'll begin my write up in the 4.20 @ Ascot where I feel VERY TALENTED will be tough to beat.  The style in which he brushed aside Linguistic last September was hugely impressive and there must have been major hopes for him this season.  Unfortunately his reappearance at Newmarket in April was too bad to be true but the conditions that day were on the soft side of good whereas today even if the rain falls the course should be a fair bit firmer.  I have not wrote him off and will be having a play although I will not be going in big today largely due to how quiet the yard have been.  He has the potential, he just needs to prove that he has trained on.  He could be a more than welcome winner for Godolphin.

Talking previously about Frankel's offspring there is another out today for the first time called HARBA in the 2.45 @ Haydock.  She has some big race entries and a big run will be expected today.  She's a short price so would be one for your doubles and accas but I'm very excited to see her run.

Later on tonight James Fanshawe saddles LORD GEORGE in the 8.00 @ Kempton.  I was impressed by Lord George's tenacity when beating Sbrasse the race before last and he proved that was no fluke last time out when repeating the feat.  He travelled nicely that day but didn't really find when under pressure, he did however battle and I don't believed he slowed down, he just didnt' quicken.  I feel that is the reason he's giving the all weather another crack today as it will take a bit more stamina here than on good to firm ground.  In my opinion this is the lowest distance he can face but the all weather aspect makes tonight more gettable.  He will be better over further but looks well in enough tonight to put up a bold showing.

TAGULA NIGHT in the 9.00 @ Kempton tends to win one race per year and tonight he looks far too well in for me not to back him.  Now, he is getting on in terms of years however the same pattern has appeared now for the past few years where his form has been poor on the whole and a win comes out of nowhere.  His last victory was in a class 3 handicap off a mark of 83 (also over C&D), he runs tonight in a class 5 handicap off a mark of 70.  He proved his wellbeing last time out when less than three lengths behind Poole Belle and it would be no surprise should he gain his one and only victory for 2016 here.

My tip for today is in a three horse race at Musselburgh.  The opening race (4.50) is not the most enterprising of Maidens however if EQUITY can't shed his maiden tag here today then he will never do so.  David Brown has finally succombed to the fact he needs further so has sent him over seven furlongs for the first time which I feel he is in need of and I was not impressed with either of his opponents' debuts.  He didn't settle last time out which I feel will be Tom Eaves biggest tasks however I wouldn't be adverse to sending him to the front and playing catch me if you can against these two as one thing Equity has proved is that he stays on a decent pace.  He's available at 9/4 and for me this is the perfect opportunity for him to that win David Brown has been looking for.

28/08/2016 - No Selection

Interest Bets;

4.30 @ Yarmouth - COLUMN - 7/1
5.15 @ Beverley - LIMONATA - 9/4
5.30 @ Goodwood - BIGMOUTH STRIKES - 11/1

Yesterdays' tip Muthmir was a tad disappointing having every chance at the finish but being held in a five furlong listed race.  It has to be said however that at the crucial moment he found himself behind a wall of horses and that arguably cost him the race.  
My first interest bet today is in the 5.15 @ Beverley where Henry Candy saddles a half sister to Limato, LIMONATA.  She has had three attempts so far under rules without landing a blow however it would be no surprise if she was a different proposition in her first handicap, a fairly poor one at that, 0-65 class six.  There has been some early money for her too which could be significant.

Another first time handicapper out today that interests me is BIGMOUTH STRIKES in the 5.30 @ Goodwood.  Trainer David Menuisier has won from his last two mounts and it is no surprise that he has decided to drop this gelding back to five furlongs.  He has been looked after in his races so far aith a mix of tactics but I would expect him to come out well from the stalls and if not try to make all chase the leaders.  Martin Dwyer is again booked for the ride and there is a lot to like about his chances.

I think COLUMN is a decent horse and has a good chance of winning the 4.30 @ Yarmouth today.  James Fanshawe's horse returned to form last time out when 3rd behind Foxtrot Romeo.  The 1st and 2nd that day have won since and the form looks strong.  If in a similar vein here today he could be very competitive.

27/08/2016 - 3.10 @ Beverley - MUTHMIR - 2pts Win @ 5/2

My first tip today is in the 3.10 @ Beverley where MUTHMIR returns in this five furlong listed event.  As usual he has been contesting some excellent group races this season.  He has contested two listed events, the first was his return to action where he finished a close third to Lightscameraaction in February.  That day he had second favourite Line of Reason just behind him giving weight away, today he has more favourable terms.  This is by far the easiest race he's contested this season and his sixth to Take Cover last month proved he is in good spirits.  He looks good value in this ten runner field at 5/2 with conditions to suit.

26/08/2016 - No selection

Today is another tricky Friday and there is no selection however I am recommending a lucky 15 and acca that I feel has all possibility of coming in;
4.30 @ Ffos Las - INTERCEPTED - 13/8
5.25 @ Newcastle - CAPE CRYSTAL - 1/1
5.30 @ Newmarket - REPUTATION - 13/8
6.45 @ Down Royal - ROGUE AGENT - 5/2

25/08/2016 - No selection

Interest Bets;

4.45 @ Leicester - THRILLED 3/1
6.45 @ Wolves - EQUITY 5/1

Frustratingly Mr Rock was pulled out by connections after being well back in the betting yesterday.  I still believe he would have won and although I don't know the reason why he was pulled, something doesn't quite seem right about it.  Anyway, we live to fight another day.

There are two interest bets that I like the look of today but they both come with risks.  In the 4.45 @ Leicester David Lanigan saddles THRILLED in her first handicap.  She seems on a really low mark considering the form of her most recent maiden (finished two lengths behind Pirouette who came second, she's now rated above 100, obviously she's improved a lot since then though).  Thrilled makes her handicap debut after a long lay off but given that she started her campaign off last year at the same time makes me feel comfortable that she will be fit and hasn't had an injury, this is just her time of year.  George Baker has been booked for the ride and he's the bets jockey in the field in my opinion on the all weather.  At 3/1 she looks worth a shout.

In the 6.45 @ Wolverhampton David Brown sends EQUITY back out in his second nursery handicap.  His most recent race where 4th to Allux Boy was better than it looked.  That day Equity was taken out at the start by three horses losing a few lengths then went even further left in running losing more ground.  He moved to the front under Silvestre De Sousa's drive but weakened when tired at the end.  He will have improved for that run and I'm expecting more today.

24/08/2016 - 4.40 @ Lingfield - MR ROCK - 1pt Win @ 4/1

Nayyar proved that he is certainly a horse with a bright future last night at Newbury William Buick only had to nudge his mount home as he won with plenty in hand in his opening nursery.  

George Baker is a trainer in the hottest of forms of late and one horse I made a note of last time out was MR ROCK who runs today in the 4.40 @ Lingfield.  He made his return to action in a pretty tough 0-75 handicap where he finished 4th nearest at the finish over todays' distance.  He is a top weight here today however this is a class 6 0-65 and I'm very surprised the handicapper reduced his mark by the extra point to allow him to run in a race like this given it was his first appearance of the season and he was staying on at the death.  He has to improve for that run and it is interesting that Pat Cosgrave has been given the ride for Baker.  He has been held up on his most recent starts on the all weather and stayed on at the end but with the all weather tracks being so tight it's tough to bypass 10 or more runners like he has been encountering, the fact there are only seven in the line up currently today is a plus and although he has questions to answer, I feel he is worthwhile throwing a one point bet on with so much in his favour.

23/08/2016 - 5.10 @ Newbury - NAYYAR - 1pt Win @ 2/1

Todays' tip is in the 5.10 @ Newbury where Charlie Hills saddles NAYYAR.  This is a huge drop in class to the group three he encountered last time out where he struggled in eighth place however he was very impressive on his debut when easily beating a couple of horses who have since won, he was slow away from the stalls that day too.  The time of that race was of a high standard for a debut sprinter and he must have improved since that performance.  I'm willing to draw a line through his last run as it did look a step too far too soon.  Firmer ground should suit his running style and if he came improve his starts he could run away with this race today.

21/08/2016 - No Selection

Interest Bets;

2.15 @ Curragh - AMBIGUITY - 11/4
3.45 @ Curragh - US ARMY RANGER - 6/5
4.15 @ Curragh - RHODODENDRON - 13/8

Well, what a day it was yesterday, both tips came good and won their respective races well although Queen In Waiting did her best to throw her race away running wide around the bend at Chelmsford, the fact she still won with some authority shows she's a horse with serious potential.  South Seas is another who looks to have the world at his feet.  I hope you all took my advice on Tony Martin in the Ebor too as Heartbreak City won with something in hand whilst Quick Jack ran a cracker to give their trainers a 1,3 in the race.

There is no main selection from me today however I have a few horses to keep an eye out for.  Over at The Curragh in the opener there Joseph O'Brien drops Ambiguity in to a Nursery Handicap having contested a Group One and Three on his last two appearances.  With a couple of market principles out of the race i'm still very surprised to see 11/4 available.  I am on and although this isn't the easiest of races for him he should be good enough based on what he's shown to return to the Winners' Enclosure.

Aidan O'Brien saddles US Army Ranger and Rhododendronin a group three and group two later in the afternoon and both although not the greatest of prices look to have great chances.  Win, lose or draw they are two horses with bright futures but I will be surprised if they are beaten today.
I have done a £10 trixie on the three interest bets which pays over £400 if all three come in whilst I've also done a £10 treble separately and a £50 double on the latter two.

20/08/2016 - 6.15 @ Chelmsford - QUEEN IN WAITING - 1pt Win @ 9/4
20/08/2016 - 3.05 @ Sandown - SOUTH SEAS - 1pt Win @ 5/2

Apologies for no write ups the past couple of days, following a great day at York I've been away with work and have not had a chance to get online.  Frustratingly I would have had a tip winner yesterday as Cosmic Storm finally shed her maiden tag.  I hope regular readers would have seen she was running and got on anyway.

The York Festival has been really enjoyable and it's great to see the big races being contested by the best horses.  The highlights for me were seeing Postponed won the Juddmonte in taking fashion, Idaho cemented his St Leger credentials with an eyecatching win in the Great Voltigeur, Nemoralia returned with a breath-taking performance in the City of York and then Mecca's Angel held off a worthy runner up in Limato to claim her second Nunthorpe.  It has been a poor flat season with many "odd" results however this week at York has restored a little bit of faith that not all flat racing is misleading.  The amount of favourites winning lately has also been great to see from a form analyst.  I would however suggest that you tread carefully over the next week or so as the bookies will not be happy with recent results and the past has seen days of favourites followed up by days of outsiders.

I'll kick todays' bumper write up at York.  I'll give my full selections below but will give you a brief write up on my main fancies.  Firstly in the 2.15 the best handicapped horse in the race in my opinion is CUSTOM CUT.  David O'Meara's string have been in a mixed vein of form for the past few weeks but there is no doubting his mount here has the quality to win a race like this.  The conditions today look absolutely ideal for him and although he has finished behind Tulius on a couple of occasions he has things much more in his favour here.  He had to give Tulius 5 pound when beaten by less than half a length by him at Epsom in June on ground softer than ideal.  Today he receives 4 pound from Tulius and has won this in the past.  At 8/1 he looks worth an each way play.

I really like the claims of ARDAD at a nice price in the Gimcrack (3.25).  He looked a horse going places at Ascot before flopping on his first try over this trip last time out.  Six furlongs in my opinion is not an issue based on his first two runs.  I'm going to draw a line through his last race as he had two tough races in the space of a week then was sent out in group company just 3 weeks later.  He has been given a significant break since with this race being targeted and it would be no surprise if he restored his promise here.  

The Ebor is always a tricky affair and there's no surprise that today is no different in the biggest handicap pot in Europe on the line.  You could honestly spend hours analysing the form on this race and still not pick out a winner.  I have done this plenty of times in the past and have found that form doesn't mean a great deal in this race.  It is no surprise to me that Tony Martin has brought in a couple of useful claiming jockeys to ride his two chances HEARTBREAK CITY and QUICK JACK.  The former is my selection for the race.  He is in excellent form having won twice over hurdles, he won at York last season, goes on the ground and looks nicely weighted.  There are worries about him but there are worries about the whole field.  I'm not sure three weeks since his last run is ideal whilst although Adam McNamara is a good jockey he will need a lot of luck in running to take this prize.  Tony Martin however knows how to win big pots and for one of the first times (with such a big prize on offer), he won't be sending his horses over unless he really thought they had a chance.

York's Final Day Selections;

2.50 - SHRAAOH
5.05 - LATHAM

My first tip of the day is in the 6.15 @ Chelmsford where Mark Johnston saddles QUEEN IN WAITING.  I was told she was well thought of before her first run and there was a lot to like about that performance.  Beverley is a slightly right handed track and she had the widest of draws to contend with.  As she started she went a bit more right leaving the stalls but moved towards the front of the field with some good early pace.  She looked all out the winner just over a furlong out before being pipped by a 33/1 shot with third and fourth never looking like getting nearer.  In my opinion she looked to be carrying a little bit of added weight and will have stripped fitter for that outing and with that in mind it makes the performance even more impressive.  Mezah and Wild Approach are also interesting opponents however I feel there is enough scope in the selection plus with the experience from her first race now in the bag she will be tough to beat.

At Sandown I'm hoping Mix and Mingle can get in to the winners' enclosure today.  This is a step up on her recent runners' up performance however that was a step in the right direction and providing the rain doesn't come down she will be a tough proposition here today.

I have had a decent bet on SOUTH SEAS (3.05 @ Sandown) and he is my second 1 point tip of the day.  He has been very impressive on his two displays over six furlongs.  He travelled ominously in both races and a little nudge from his jockey has seen him respond and pull away like a top class horse.  I cannot nap him as he has to prove as effective over this trip and ground however the way he has shaped I would be very surprised if either is a factor to him.  If it was soft ground today the bookies would not be offering 5/2, that is for sure.  If he is as good here which I suspect he is he could make a mockery of that price.

17/08/2016 - 8.10 @ Kempton - AFJAAN - 1pt Win @ 5/2

I was very close to napping AFJAAN in the 8.10 @ Kempton.  Dommersen will be a popular choice given he's won both his starts on the all weather however Afjaan won over seven furlongs with ease on the AW at Wolves and his second to Second Wave over C&D is the best form on offer by some margin.  He was a short price at Goodwood but hung right for the majority of the race which put paid to his chances there, hanging right won't be an issue here.  He is clearly well thought of and Pat Cosgrave, although not my favourite jockey in the world is a positive booking and is in top drawer form when riding for Haggas.  Afjaan could quite easily romp away with this race but his trainers' past weeks' form has put me off a two pointer.  He is more than worth a one point selection however.

Today sees day one of the York Ebor Festival and i'm glad to say that I will be there!  It is a day that I've been to on three previous occasions but it has not been a favourable day for me in the past.  I am due a good day and hopefully it is today.  I've picked out some value bets however I will suggest a short price treble also.  Please see below my selections;

3.05 - IDAHO

I think it may also be worth doing Best of Days/Idaho/Postponed treble which returns 9.61/1 with Will Hill

13/08/2016 - 2.20 @ Ripon - STONEY BROKE - 1pt Win @ 5/2

Todays' Interest Bet;
3.45 @ Doncaster - Lincoln
4.50 @ Doncaster - Fidaawy

Predilection won last night for tip followers and in fitting fashion brought up Frankie Dettori's 3000th Winner.  To be honest I knew from the moment the stalls opened he would win as he burst out and Frankie sent his mount to the front, a tactic not used to date and he didn't look back, sticking on strongly to win by just over a length.

Today sees the return of the Premier League and an end to two months of earning brownie points with the missus, it's time to cash them in!  I will be getting stuck in to a few bets this weekend and I'm going to try out a new theory of doing eight £5 trebles every weekend and seeing how my returns pan out, I would need two bets with all selections at 4/5 to make a profit and I'm convinced that can be done, we shall see :)

My first interest bet today is LINCOLN in the 3.45 @ Doncaster.  Mick Channon's horse looks dangerously handicapped and has conditions to suit here today.  He has been competing some very tough races and although this isn't an easy race on paper it looks much easier than when he was 5th behind Librisa Breeze at Ascot last time out.  The fact that he's been dropped two pounds for that makes todays' odds even more attractive.  His trainer is now in good form and I expect a big run from him.

I expect Fidaawy to win the 4.50 @ Doncaster for Michael Stoute and Graham Lee.  He gave his opposition plenty of lengths from the start last time out at Doncaster, then hit a wall of horses at a crucial point when the leaders had kicked on then made late headway when in the clear.  He is much better than that performance and although the start worries me I would be surprised if he can't claim his second career victory here today.

I am looking forward to seeing STONEY BROKE return to the race track at Ripon in the 2.20.  James Fanshawe's mount won on debut last season beating horses that have proved to be rated in the region of 75.  That performance alone puts her a couple of pound ahead of the handicapper here in my opinion and I would fully expect her to have improved from last season.  Fanshawe has his string in good form and although it is a worry as to why Stoney Broke has not yet ran this season the fact she won on debut shows that she can go well fresh, she was a late starter last season and I'm sure Fanshawe would not be sending such a promising horse out unless she was ready to run.  In opposition she faces some exposed types who similar to Predilection's opponents yesterday have been hit by the handicapper for their last performances.  This race looks within Stoney Broke's compass and providing she is fit she is going to be tough to beat.

12/08/2016 - 8.15 @ Newmarket - PREDILECTION - 2pts Win @ 4/1

Todays' Interest Bet;
3.35 @ Newcastle - BROCTUNE PAPA GIO - 10/1 (former 1 pointer)

Well it was a disappointing day as far as the two group 3 races go as Massaat and Hit It A Bomb both failed to live up to their market expectations, the former bombed out as it something was amiss and hopefully we shall learn more soon.  The latter however will surely go on to win many races.  He came to the front cruising before tiring late on in to third place.  The way he travelled shows he hasn't lost any class and just needed to be fitter.

My first tip in a few days is PREDILECTION (8.15 @ Newmarket).  This is a drop in class from that he has contested this season and his run at York last time out had plenty of positives.  The Racing Post said this about that run at York "Held up, headway to chase leaders over 2f out, soon ridden and weakened".  Firstly, he fell out of the stalls and was quickly nudged along to get in to position, that didn't help his cause.  Secondly, they went a pretty decent gallop and Pat Smullen struggled to get him settled, that shouldn't be the case over the extra furlong today and he should settle a lot better.  Thirdly I completely disagree that he weakened near the finish.  Smullen had began to give him a tender ride home (I'm convinced to save his mark) about two furlongs from home but he continued to stay on and was nearest at the finish, just 3 lengths behind a horse rated 95 off a pound lighter.  He faces an in form horse in Dutch Law who has come on a lot over his past couple of runs however he beat a horse rated 98 last time out receiving over a stone in weight, today he has to give away six pounds to a horse rater 94 in Predilection, he would have to have come on a chunk even since that win to do so.  I look at the opposition and they all have question marks about them and the majority have come off the back of a win and therefore a rise in the handicap.  Predilection simply looks too well in tonight.

In the 3.35 @ Newcastle today a horse that stands out for me is BROCTUNE PAPA GIO.  He returned to form last time out at Redcar over a mile in a class 6 handicap and back up in the handicap to a mark of 65 still looks exploitable over seven furlongs today.  This is the first time he's encountered the all weather track so it remains to be seen whether he will handle it or not however he followed up his return to form last season with a win over seven and it would not surprise me if he got his head in front today at a nice price under Tom Eaves.
The rest of the racing I will not be touching with a bargepole as it looks a tough day on the cards and Friday's are rarely a punters day.

Finally I am running my Fantasy Football League ( again this season if anyone is interested. It is £10 to enter and there are loads of prizes to play for and a good bit of banter.
Join league code - 21484-8076
Payments must be made to me by end of play Friday 12th August 2016. If your money is not in then you will not be accepted so please ensure this gets paid in. You can pay by paypal '[email protected]' or bank transfer (sort code 09-01-26, A/N 51796531).

11/08/2016 - No selection

Todays' Yankee & Acca;
1.50 @ Beverley - BITHYNIA - 5/4
4.10 @ Salisbury - MASSAAT - 5/6
5.35 @ Yarmouth - BROROCCO - 5/4
7.30 @ Leopardstown - HIT IT A BOMB - 11/8

Interest Bet;

​3.40 @ Salisbury - BESS OF HARDWICK - 7/2

Three up on yesterdays' Lucky 31 so a small profit but one more would have been very nice, we're getting closer!!!  

The 3.40 @ Salisbury today has a match up that I am very interested in.  Dubka impressed me when she beat Eyeshine two starts ago and then followed that up with a gritty performance last time out.  The form of that race has not been franked with Shafafya being thrashed next time out but the firm ground may have gone against her on that occasion so I wouldn't be too deterred by that.  The horse I will be backing against her however is BESS OF HARDWICK.  Firstly Luca Cumani couldn't be in much better form firing winners in all over the place.  Sir Michael Stoute isn't in bad form either however he will need to make sure his mount is in tip top shape to cause the selection a problem.  Secondly the jockey of the moment Adam Kirby is on board.  He is on fire at the moment and it would take a brave man to back against him.  Ted Durcan is on Dubka again (rode him when beating Eyeshine), he is not my favourite jockey in the world, in fact far from it and if it came down to a match up in the final furlong I would fully expect Kirby to oblige.  I feel the market should be closer than it is therefore 7/2 looks good value.  The slight doubt from her last race plus up against a rival I like has stopped me from tipping her up but she would have been my one pointer.

Two Group 3 races take place at Salisbury (4.10) and Leopardstown (7.30) and I am expecting both favourites to win.  MASSAAT is a top class horse and proved his well-being in the Guineas before failing in the Derby.  The drop back to a mile is the correct course and if in the same form as the Guineas then he won't be beaten.  It is great to see HIT IT A BOMB return to the track for Aidan O'Brien who is triple handed in the race.  He looked a top class juvenile when winning at Keeneland at the Breeders' Cup and it will take a very good horse to stop him.  My one worry would be that he's not ran for so long however he won first time out well and Aidan surely wouldn't be running him unless he was in great shape at home.

I've done a £3 Yankee & £5 acca today as the four selections I've picked are quite a short price.  The uncertainty of the weather has made the going indifferent and once again there is nothing that ticks all the boxes.

10/08/2016 - No selection

Todays' Lucky 31;

3.40 @ Newton Abbot - FINGERONTHESWITCH - 13/8
3.50 @ Salisbury - SHARJA QUEEN - 11/8
4.30 @ Beverley - SPACE MOUNTAIN - 11/10
7.40 @ Kempton - ARISTOCRATIC - 15/8
7.50 @ Bath - EXOTERIC 5/4

Another poor days' racing today so I've gone for a short price lucky 31 only to see if we can finally boost the coffers.  Trafalgar Rock holds and entry at Market Rasen on Saturday in a Novice Hurdle.  He would go there with a double penalty.  There are few really good horses entered there and it would be an exciting race if he did go however this current rainfall isn't helping his chances of running plus the worry of beating them and going handicapping off a very high mark would make life difficult going forward.  However if he doesn't run then he will more than likely go at Worcester next Wednesday.  That's bad news for me as I'm at the Ebor meeting at York so would miss my first race of his.

09/08/2016 - No selection

Lucky ew 15 and ew acca that I have backed today with Sky Bet;
2.45 @ Chepstow - DEVILISH GUEST 11/2
6.00 @ Nottingham - EQUITY 11/2
7.30 @ Nottingham - STRATH BURN 9/4
7.45 @ Lingfield - CARPE VITA 6/1

Fire Ship was heavily backed yesterday when failing to land a blow.  That result and the past few months has made me question my methods and analyse my selections.  Due to the variances that appear to now occur in flat racing I have not followed the same method that I did in the jumps season where if a horse didn't tick all the boxes (2pt) or atleast 80% (1pt) I wouldn't tip it up however looking at my flat season tips I have changed from doing that at the start to now going with possibility and potential value rather than what I feel is a "tip".  After discussions last night with a friend of mine he made me realise that I needed to go back to how things were.

To prove this I looked at my jumps season which ended at Aintree.  During my spell from December to Grand National Day I had an SP profit of 46.96 points (69.32 to advised prices) with 38 winners from 150 selections yielding a 25.3% return.  My flat season from then til yesterday I have had 28 winners from 133 selections at 21% return however due to the short prices etc a loss of 9.28 points.

Having analysed my naps (2 pointers) during this period I have had 7 winners from 14 selections, giving a 50% return and a profit of 27.13 points.  That proves to me that the only time I am giving a valuable service is when I stick to my original theories.
Therefore going forward I will be reverting back to my original methods and becoming more ruthless with my selections.  This will however mean that there may be periods going forward where I will not be making a selection.  I will however be doing daily interest bets and lucky 15's that I will be doing, these will be my so called current 1 pointers.
At the end of the day I'm here to help you (and Me) make money and looking at my past few months' results I have not been doing that so I hope you can all appreciate that in order to get things back up and running properly I need to be clever and calculated in my approach.
One final thing is that I may not be putting selections up until 12pm in the day.  The reason behind that is that some of my selections that I have put up in the past couple of months in particular I have put up at 9am then at 12pm I look at the market and they have drifted markedly.  This would normally deter me from backing it but it is too late by then and to see it then lose makes me gutted.
I will update my twitter and facebook pages when I have made a selection so please keep an eye on them going forward.

My first interest bet (would have been my previous 1 pointer) is 2.45 @ Chepstow - DEVILISH GUEST.  He took on some big players in a class 2 last time out behind Bear Valley and I like seeing horses who go off on debut at a short price then fail before handicapping.  This is a big drop in class from last time out and Mick Channon's string are currently in excellent form.  He looks value at 11/2.

Another horse that fits the mould of first time handicapper having been well backed first time out is EQUITY (6.00 @ Nottingham).  He has so far ran three very different races, the last of which was probably his worst however the fact Ryan Moore was booked on debut gives you confidence that more has been expected from him and he has the potential in this company.  Silvestre De Sousa today takes the ride which is a big plus and at 11/2 he looks the value.

STRATH BURN's last race when 3rd behind Naadirr was a step in the right direction on debut for his trainer and he was giving weight away that day.  That race shows he is in good form and there are plenty of question marks about the opposition today.  Robert Cowell is in good form of late and he could take some beating.

08/08/2016 - 8.00 @ Ffos Las - FIRE SHIP - 1pt Win @ 9/2

The poor form I'm afraid continued yesterday as both Air Force Blue and Cosmic Storm were ultimately disapointing.  I cannot believe how difficult this flat season has been to pick winners.  It has been a devastating period for tip followers and for that I can only apologise.  I have spent a lot of hours trying to pick out value and using similar methods to that of the jumps season however I have not seen horses performing so inconsistently in one season before.  I have full confidence in my ability to pick winners on a consistent basis and my bank balance over time has always increased but even that has taken a dip of late.  It is time to re-assess and get back on that gravy train!

It's another poor days' racing across the cards today with many class 4-6 handicaps.  There is one horse out of all that which I will be backing.  In the 8.00 at Ffos Las, although Kummiya is Roger Charlton's horse to follow and I am worried about going against it I feel Fire Ship's huge drop in class could prove too much given that his recent displays are much improved and I don't think the softer ground will help the fav.  He obviously has to carry significant weight in comparison to his rival however his last win was a group 3 contest on good to soft ground, given the forecast he may well get those conditions again here and if anywhere near that form he'd win by a distance.  There is risk involved with him but he has been contesting races with much more class than tonights' opposition and at the price he looks the value in the race.

06/08/2016 - 3.10 @ Haydock - MIX AND MINGLE - 1pt Win @ 10/1
06/08/2016 - 4.45 @ Haydock - USTINOV - 1pt Win @ 11/4

My first tip of today is MIX AND MINGLE in the 3.10 @ Haydock.  She may well have needed her last run having been entered a couple of times before but the soft ground meaning she didn't take part.  That day at Ascot she finished four lengths behind Red Box who she takes on again here however today Mix has a five pound weight advantage which is a huge plus.  If Mix can reproduce her 7th in the Guineas then on level weights in my opinion she would win this hands down.  That day she was unlucky not to have finished closer to Minding having been checked twice in running.  There are question marks about the firm ground however she looked in need of her run last time out and the fact she was pulled out when the ground was soft suggests this harder ground will suit.  I was given information a couple of months ago to say that she is highly thought of by Chris Wall, in fact the best he's had and this opposition looks beatable.  At 10/1 she looks a huge price!

Another horse who looked in need of his run last time out was USTINOV.  He returns for David O'Meara in the 4.45 @ Haydock today with top weight in this 0-85 handicap.  He looked a winner in waiting in that race at Catterick and the fact he hasn't been turned around quickly gives me comfort that he has been trained correctly and given a good few weeks to get back to fitness.  It will certainly be no easy task for him today however Danny Tudhope would not have been too happy with his ride last time out and will be hoping to make amends today.  This very much looks winnable.

SPANISH SQUEEZE returns in the 3.50 @ Newmarket.  He was Hugo Palmer's Horse to Follow this season but has failed to live up to expectations so far, last time out was a real tough one to take so approach with caution however it would not surprise me if he turned the tables here today.  He clearly has ability but whether he has the heart to win a race again remains to be seen.  He is a big price today though so may be worth a small bet just in case.

It is the Shergar Cup at Ascot and it is a great day out there today, I like a couple of horses there too, Ninjago (1.15) and Duretto (2.20) however although it is a great spectacle for racing, it is not a betting day for me and my history in the competition is not one of profit so I won't be touching it with a bargepole.

05/08/2016 - 3.30 @ Musselburgh - SYMPOSIUM - 1pt Win @ 5/2

Yesterdays' tip Zeshov was an unlucky runner up in the 5.10 @ Yarmouth as he met a wall of horses just at the time eventual winner Anastazia made her move.  When in the clear he chased hard but it was all too late and had to settle for 2nd place.  The frustrating period continues however personally yesterday was a very good day with Tony Carroll's Monsieur Valentine providing a much needed boost.  Unfortunately I couldn't put that on the site as I had to wait to see if any money came, which it did.  I suggest you keep on the right side of Tony Carroll when the money talks (he has a few out today).

Today is the last chance i'm going to give SYMPOSIUM (3.30 @ Musselburgh).  He has been the pinnacle of this summers' hard luck stories having either been given poor rides or meeting traffic in running and although the step up to seven furlongs doesn't look a natural positive the addition of cheekpieces does and with his trainer in such excellent form he should make the most of this opportunity where he is likely not to face such poor opposition in a 0-80 contest.  The only horse that concerns me in his opponents is Mustique but he has to give weight away to my selection and has more to prove.  Today could well finally be the day for Symposium's first win of the season.

04/08/2016 - 5.10 @ Yarmouth - ZESHOV - 2pts Win @ 5/2 (NAP)

Todays' tip comes in the 5.10 @ Yarmouth in the shape of ZESHOV.  He has been very unlucky the past two races when travelling like a winner but meeting trouble in running.  He shouldn't have that problem today with the lesser amount of runners.  I normally do not like backing horses in apprentice races however Lewis Edmunds takes the ride and he is a more than capable pilot.  The fact he won his only race for Rebecca Bastiman also bodes well.  His mark looks very exploitable and I would be very surprised if today was not his day.

03/08/2016 - 4.00 @ Bath - SUNLIT WATERS - 1pt Win @ 14/1

Al Hamdany tried to make all yesterday at Chelmsford but found Walter Raleigh too strong at the finish although the pair were well clear of the remainder, he looks one to keep on the right side of on that evidence.
In the 4.00 @ Bath Eve Johnson Houghton sends SUNLIT WATERS back out in to class 6 handicap company (0-65).  Sunlit Waters failed last time out when tackling one mile two furlongs for the first time but is back down in trip having weakened tamely at the finish.  She is seven pounds lighter than the last time she raced over this distance where she was never able to get involved following a bad start then given a tender ride home from Paul Hanagan.  She started the last race a lot better last time out which is positive and this trip and the return to turf should suit.  Her trainer is in hot form of late and she now looks a massive price if she is in the same form as her Beverley run.
Talking of Eve Johnson Houghton she saddles four runners today, i'll be doing a lucky 15 with them, she is a hot trainer right now and may be worth keeping an eye on.

02/08/2016 - 6.50 @ Chelmsford - AL HAMDANY - 1pt Win @ 9/2

August didn't get off to the best of starts as Burano finished last of four yesterday at Ripon.  There were no excuses as he left the stalls well and was up with the pace throughout before weakening tamely late on.  Onwards and upwards!

In the 6.50 @ Chelmsford tonight Marco Botti saddles AL HAMDANY.  A debut fourth at the course back in May over six furlongs he should appreciate the step up in trip to a mile having ran very green before doing his best work at the finish.  The form of that maiden has worked out pretty well since and looks stronger than the favourites two pieces of form.  There are two unknown horses in the race who may require the experience therefore I feel Al Hamdany has enough going for him to take a chance on.  Al Hamdany was given to me by Marco in my interview with him at the beginning of the season alongside Bahamas who won at 16/1 so there is plenty of reason to think this horse should have a maiden in him.  

I'm doing a £4 yankee today also;

4.30 @ Salisbury - PRINCE OF CARDAMOM - 13/8
5.40 @ Roscommon - BIRTHPLACE - 11/10
7.25 @ Cork - ROSE DE PIERRE - 6/4
8.25 @ Cork - HARLEQUEEN - 5/4

01/08/2016 - 3.15 @ Ripon - BURANO - 1pt Win @ 7/1

I'm back after a heavy but top quality weekend of golf at Hawkstone Park near Shrewsbury.  It was a cracking couple of days with a great bunch of lads and my liver in particular will not forget about it in a hurry.

Glorious Goodwood finished for another year on Saturday and overall it wasn't a bad week for advice followers who would have had eleven winners over the week with War Decree (6/4), Dutch Connection (9/4), Ulysses (9/2), The Gurkha (11/8), Yalta (8/1), Sagaciously (14/1), Mehmas (7/2), Big Orange (11/4), Franklin D (7/4), Final Reckoning (9/2) and Poet's Word (7/4) all coming home in front.

Saturday's NAP bet Franklin D held on gamely at Goodwood to record a much needed tip winner for me although the price dipped markedly from the 7/2 available the night before to 7/4 at the off so my return was a little less than hoped for, however a win is a win.

An interesting Morning Line was had on Saturday morning on Channel 4 where Mark Johnston briefly discussed the new ITV show due to air next year.  He has aired his views quite publicly about the show saying that it should focus less on the betting side of things.  My opinion on this is quite strong and although I don't particularly like Graham Cunningham I completely agree with his arguement that betting is a major factor in the game and has to form a part of the programme.  At the end of the day if it wasn't for betting then horse racing would not be what it is today and where would the sport be if it wasn't for the sponsorship of betting companies???  I cannot understand why he has come out with such a comment considering how integral betting is to the sport and I find his comments very naive.

Anyway, that kind of brings me on to my next views which is something that kind of links in to the above.  This flat season I have never had the same conversation with so many people and those people agreeing with me.  My opinion is that there are so many ways within flat racing in particular to manipulate the handicap system and there are now so many trainers out there who appear to be doing their upmost to get their horses handicapped off a low mark.  I am forever seeing horses come from nowhere to win races at big prices, horses that have ran in all types of ground, at all sorts of trips and been held up at the back of the field finishing in remote last on majority of occasions but then all of a sudden bolting out of the stalls and winning by ten lengths in a handicap.  So much so that tipping is almost becoming more about being able to pick the race connections are trying to win with a horse rather than sieving through the form book and trying to determine if a horse is good enough to win.  This flat season in particular has been an absolute nightmare from a punting point of view and there appears to be more "Tony Martin's" in the game now than ever before.  I'm sick of seeing the chances of my horse blown from the start when a jockey deliberately pulls their horses lengths behind and not asking questions until too late in the day.

I say flat racing is the main root of the problem because there is less risk than over hurdles or jumps.  You can send a horse out on the flat unfit and to lose a race and chances are he/she will come home safe and sound, in national hunt if you send a horse out unfit there is more chance of them taking a tumble and injuring themselves.  What is to stop a trainer sending a horse out with a belly on him/her???  I don't know what the answer is to fix the issue but I think the handicapper needs to re-think his strategies and perhaps reduce the number of horses handicapped on potential rather than actual ability or maybe even the handicapper needs to look at the connections behind a horse and handicap them on the possibility of them sending a horse out to lose.  I'm sure nothing will change and I suppose it's what makes the sport interesting and provides more discussions amongst punters, trainers, owners etc but I can honestly say the past few months have been the worst of my punting life and here's hoping things sort themselves out sooner rather than later before we lose more and more interested parties.

Anyway, things can only get better and talking of which the first horse of interest for me today is DREAM FREE (5.00 @ Kempton) of David Lanigan's.  It would be of no surprise if this horse out of Oasis Dream bursts out of the stalls today in first time blinkers having fell out of the stalls in his three maiden's.  He is very well bred and although lacking pace in his races to date this step up in trip seems the ideal thing to do and should he fall out of the stalls again he could be able to make amends late on.

My tip of the day is at Ripon in the 3.15 where David O'Meara saddles BURANO.  This step up in trip from his last outing is right up his street and in my opinion his perfect distance.  He is rated 4 pounds lower than his last victory and this opposition today is nowhere near that standard.  Granted, his performances of last don't fill you with confidence however he won last year having finished 9th, 17th and 7th prior so he is certainly capable of reversing his own form and with the lesser class of opposition plus the lower amount of runners things look more in favour now than they have for a while.  You will probably know if he's here to win from the start as his last win came when pressing up front rather than being held up as he has been on his last few starts.  Daniel Tudhope takes the ride which is a positive and he's worth chancing at 7/1

29/07/2016 - 3.10 @ Goodwood - FRANKLIN D - 2pts Win @ 11/4 (NAP)
29/07/2016 - 5.20 @ Newmarket - MAZZINI - 1pt Win @ 5/2

It was another successful day at Goodwood yesterday for advice followers with Mehmas and Big Orange obliging whilst Pallasator, Amabilis and Teofonic all claimed a place.  The latter of which ran a great race in defeat to her stablemates Bear Valley and Montetaire (well, from what we could see due to the weather).  She was ridden more prominently yesterday and battled on to the line without being a match for the winner.  It was a continuation of progress which is positive and I hope she can keep that going in to next year.

Today One More Go returns in a Novice Hurdle at Bangor (3.20) and you won't believe this but I'm not going to tip him up.  He goes there under a double penalty having won two novice hurdles this season and although the race does lack quality in opposition Winterlude didn't finish too far away from another of Dr Newland horses Hassle last time out on similar weights over two miles shaping as if this step up in trip would suit whilst Stamp Your Feet and Hahnenkam have both won bumpers so can't be taken lightly.  One More Go may well continune his progress but giving a stone and more to his rivals is too risky to have a punt.

My first tip of the day comes at Newmarket in the 5.20 where James Fanshawe sends out Mazzini in this class 5 handicap.  He ran a decent race last time out behind Papa Luigi when running on late in the day under todays' jockey.  He ran to his mark that day and the better surface today could eek out more improvement.  Tylicki would have learned a lot from him that day and I'm expecting a big run tonight.  At 5/2 he's the selection.

My second and final tip is FRANKLIN D (3.10 @ Goodwood).  He won at Newmarket with ease last time out and should continue his progress here.  He would only need to put in a similar display here and the prize money will be his.  He is a confident selection.

My Goodwood picks today are;

2.00 - ELITE ARMY/Loving Things
3.45 - GOLDREAM/Muthmir
5.30 - POET'S WORD

I am doing the following lucky 31 today;

2.35 @ Goodwood - EMOTIONLESS 10/3
3.10 @ Goodwood - FRANKLIN D 11/4
3.20 @ Bangor - ONE MORE GO 13/8
5.20 @ Newmarket - MAZZINI 3/1
6.45 @ Musselburgh - SUREWECAN 3/1

I am away playing golf til tomorrow afternoon so it is unlikely I will be around to tip up tomorrow.

28/07/2016 - No Selection, Interest only

What can be said about yesterday???  It was certainly up there with one of my personal low days.  Firstly my Yankee had one winner so zero return from that which I can live with as my luckys and yankee's have been poor of late.  Secondly Clarcam, I advise in my write up that with Paddy Power you get five places, I decided to do him with William Hill as they were offering 14/1 but at the risk of just four places, Clarcam finishes 5th and I get zero return.  Then to top it all off my selections at Goodwood brought about four winners, I had to go in to a meeting after The Gurkha which lasted til 5pm which made me miss the 8/1 Yalta and 14/1 Sagaciously, it did however allow me to throw away my Ulysses winnings on Afjaan.  It was quite simply a day to forget but as they say, things can only get better!

Regarding yesterdays' tips, The Cashel Man was never involved having been camped out in rear and although he receives quite a bit of stick I thought Jamie Spencer did the right thing in not asking too much of his mount after realising he had no chance of getting involved, it looks now that he needs a smaller field but we learned nothing about whether he needs the trip or not.  Clarcam making the turn in to the straight at Galway looked all out the winner to me but was then joined and passed by a line of three after the final fence and although he stuck on gamely didn't have enough in the tank to battle back or even hold on to that elusive fourth place.

First one for today is DREAM FREE in the 7.45 @ Ffos Las, this one matches my handicap theory with form figures of 090, first time handicap and less than 5/1 across the board.  That theory doesn't always pay off but to a level stakes you should make a nice profit.  Dream Free has been slow in to stride every race of his short career however don't be surprised if he bolts out of the stalls tonight.  In the same race I was convinced ROWLESTONERENDEZVU was set up for her handicap last time out at Yarmouth when heavily backed the night before, she went in to as short as 3/1 before drifting back out to 9/2 before the off and failing to land a blow under Paul Hanagan.  I have backed her last night and if there is persistent money for her today I will be going in again later on.

I can't wait for the 4.55 @ Goodwood today which should give us an indication of just how good Teofonic really is.  My ante post 1000 Guineas bet was at her most impressive last time out giving nearly a stone away to her rivals and still coming well clear.  She now has to prove herself against class 2 handicap opposition which is a marked step up from class 5 and we should learn a lot about her today.  She will need to be niggled round the track based on her previous runnings but will be staying on at the finish so providing she can move in to contention I wouldn't back against her at the business end.

My Goodwood picks today are;

2.00 - ABAREEQ/Dwight D
2.35 - MEHMAS
3.10 - PALLASATOR/Big Orange
5.30 - LATHOM/Discreet Hero

27/07/2016 - 5.30 @ Galway - CLARCAM - 1pt E/W @ 12/1
27/07/2016 - 2.00 @ Goodwood - MY CASHEL MAN - 1pt Win @ 13/2

Yesterdays' tip Mime Dance was declared a non runner at Beverley which was a little disappointing however we had two winners at Goodwood although a small loss to level stakes.

The Galway Plate is the feature at the Irish Festival today and Road To Riches heads the market and rightly so although he has a big weight to give away to some useful horses.  The horse I like each way for the in form Gordon Elliott is CLARCAM.  12/1 with Paddy Power for five places looks far too tempting, he's now had a couple of nice runs hurdling and reverts back to fences where he beat The Game Changer.  He is a top grade performer in his own right and despite being around for a couple of years now is still open to improvement.  He has to be backed each way.

My second tip today is at Goodwood in the first (2.00).  MY CASHEL MAN looks in desperate need for this step up in trip.  David Simcock's mount has ran some cracking races in defeat recently however made late headway in both his recent runs to suggest two mile five furlongs wouldn't be an issue and maybe more of a help than a hinderence.  He will need to improve a little bit but that should be the case based on the trip.  He also gets ground to suit.  At 13/2 he's worth chancing.

My Goodwood picks/placepot selections are;

2.35 - ULYSSES/Harrison
3.10 - THE GURKHA/Lightning Spear
3.45 - NAYYAR/Yalta
4.20 - BOUQUET DE FLORES/Bithynia
4.55 - INTIMATION/Sagaciously
5.30 - AFJAAN/Fort Bastion

I have also done this Yankee;

4.20 @ Goodwood - BOUQUET DE FLORES 11/8
4.40 @ Redcar - SPIRIT OF ZEBEDEE 15/8
5.25 @ Goodwood - AFJAAN 5/2
8.40 @ Sandown - YANGTZE 13/8

26/07/2016 - 5.05 @ Beverley - MIME DANCE - 1pt Win @ 9/2

Symposium held every chance at Windsor when the gap appeared a couple of furlongs from hom but couldn't go the pace of the leading pair.  Sarwistan was simply rubbish, apologies.

Glorious Goodwood begins today however it is at Beverley I am starting my write up.

David O'Meara saddles MIME DANCE in the 5.05 @ Beverley.  He has been given a mark of 68 and has been found a straightforward 0-70 class 5 handicap.  His form figures do not give too much comfort however this is a huge drop in class and back over seven furlongs which is his trip.  Josh Doyle is on board which is also a big plus and his trainer has to be feared with this type of horse in this type of race.  There are plenty of potential rivals however with the exception of Gambino if Mime Dance is anywhere near his best he would win this running in the wrong direction.  Gambino however looks very well in but the trip is short of ideal o he is bypassed.

At Goodwood it's a cracking start to the festival with many top drawer but tricky races.  I have based my selections today on the change in ground and the fact that trainers will have their horses in tip top shape so I've ignored soft ground form.  Without delving in to the reasons why please see below my selections, I will be backing one main bet and one saver per race as always;

2.00 - MUTAMAKKIN/Revolutionist
2.35 - WAR DECREE/Thunder Snow
3.10 - GIFTED MASTER/Dutch Connection
3.45 - HAVANA BEAT/Fun Mac
4.20 - DUTCH MASTERPIECE/Confessional
4.55 - MAZYOUN/Swag
5.30 - HAGGLE/Shwaimsa

24/07/2016 - 3.15 @ Carlisle - SENNOCKIAN STAR - 1pt Win @ 3/1

It was not the first time during this flat season that one of my selections was given a tender ride when things didn't go it's way and yesterday was no exception as Predilection fell out of the stalls but when moving through the field his jockey Pat Smullen realised that there was a wall of horses in front of him that he was never going to get through and then cleverley gave him a tender ride home to avoid a rise in the handicap.  Like many he is not a lost cause however the amount of hard luck stories are becoming frustrating to say the least.

LOCAL ARTIST in the 2.10 @ Carlisle looks a nice price attempting five furlongs for the first time.  John Quinn's mount I believe was sent to Ripon to win last time out but he faded away in the final furlong suggesting a drop back in trip would suit.  Unfortunately I cannot tip him up due to my views on his jockey however I will be having a small interest bet.

In the 3.15 @ Carlisle Mark Johnston sends SENNOCKIAN STAR out again in this class 4 0-85 contest.  He ran a promising race the time before last at Ascot when third behind Move Up when looking like victory was around the corner.  He failed to run to expectations last time out at Doncaster however he was given a front running ride that day and that is not tactics that has ever suited him.  He needs to win this to have any chance of running at Goodwood and Johnston has his main man on board today Joe Fanning which is a huge plus.  He is not a straightforward horse and winning with him is not an easy task however he has come off the back of poor runs in the past to win and the stakes are higher today then they have been in a while.  At 3/1 he's worth taking a chance on today.

23/07/2016 - 3.00 @ York - PREDILECTION - 1pt Win @ 5/1

Yesterday's tip Mix and Mingle ran what looked to be a schooling race by Ted Durcan.  She actually came out of the stalls well but was immediately restrained by her jockey, she travelled quite nicely through the race before staying on down the outside after the leaders had flown to finish a never nearer 4th.  She will come on for that run and is one for the notebook next time out.

The opener at Ascot today looks an absolute cracker with a superb 2 year old listed race which is likely to have an affect on next years' 2000 Guineas market.  Bahamas reappears for Marco Botti having won on his belated debut at Doncaster, the odds that day seemed to state that he would need the run however he came through to win well on ground that is likely to have gone against him, he looks interesting.  I'm stunned that Joe Fanning has chosen to ride Monticello over Frankuus.  Granted his mount has won his two races well enough but Frankuus would have likely found the ground at Ascot too soft and with conditions back in his favour here should be seen in a different light.  He will be my fiver interest bet but I can't wait to watch the race.

In the following race you will see the current 1000 Guineas favourite for next year Fair Eva.  She won her debut destroying Nations Alexander.  Given that everything went wrong for her that day for her to win with some authority bodes well and if Frankie can get her settled early then she could prove a real class above this field.  She is no price but I will be adding her to a few doubles to boost some prices.

Despite plenty of racing there is not a huge amount that stands out as value for me today however there is one horse I like and hope is a lot better than showed last time out.  PREDILECTION in the 3.00 @ York is a well thought of horse of John Gosden's and when Gosden thinks a lot of a horse you tend to have to listen.  He ran no sort of race at Ascot however the ground was very soft that day and back on a firmer surface today he should be seen in a different light.  His two year old form is top drawer having finished second behind King of Rooks and destroyed a horse of Hughie Morrison's called Van Dyke.  I am a little bit surprised that connections have opted to drop back in trip however there is a nice prize on offer here today and the race looks a nice opportunity to get Predilection back in to the winners' enclosure.  He has group horses in his pedigree and he is likely to be a lot better than his
mark of 98.

22/07/2016 - 3.30 @ Ascot - MIX AND MINGLE - 1pt Win @ 11/4

I arrived at Worcester just before the Trafficker race (no thanks to the M6) and with money coming in the expectation was high.  Unfortunately he didn't jump well and was pulled up and dismounted with a furlong to go.  Dr Newland said he couldn't get Trafficker any fitter than he had him yesterday and unfortunately it now looks like he's lost his love for the game.  It may be worth seeing him on a softer surface and giving him one last chance but for now he looks one to avoid.  Cosmic Storm looked all round the winner two furlongs from home last night in the 8.25 @ Doncaster but she found a horse even more well handicapped back on a sound surface in Airton too good at the finish.  I'm hoping that last night was not "her chance" as she looked ready for her win yesterday but we shall wait and see what the handicapper does with her.

It was a strange day at Worcester yesterday for Value Racing Club.  The odds had turned to the right direction with Kalondra being backed in to favouritism but then he was withdrawn from the race and the mood of the camp changed as Trafalgar's odds moved to 1/3 on and he was fully expected to oblige.  Trafalgar looked in great shape in the parade ring and once again stood out from the remainder.  The race itself however fell apart.  The front runner Blackdown Hills went off at a nice gallop which suited Trafalgar in the early exchanges as he got in to a nice rhythm however Blackdown started jumping violently off to his right with Trafalgar naturally following him.  The plan was to not hit the front too soon which became a pretty difficult thing to do with Sam Twiston-Davies having to pull Trafalgar back as his natural ability was getting him ahead of the field.  He was unable to get to a rhythm and Sam decided two out to go to the lead with Mere Anarchy alongside, he swiftly moved past him but from nowhere the 100/1 shot Playingwithnumbers moved ominously into Traffy's slipstream and it was the first real time Trafalgar had to be asked a question.  He responded well enough to come home by just over a length.  Although we were all happy with the win there appeared to be a bit of disappointment amongst the syndicate as he was expected to win and to win well.  However for me there were plenty of positives to take.  Firstly, yes, he only just beat a horse that looks poor on paper by a length however he beat Mere Anarchy by 13 lengths who is rated 116.  Secondly, the race was not run to suit and he couldn't get in to his natural cantering rhythm which did not help his cause one bit.  Sam said after the race he gave him a bad ride and I agree but jockeys have to think on the spot when plans go belly up so Sam in my mind made the wrong decision to keep pulling him back and perhaps should have just sent him on at his own pace and seen if any of the others could have kept up, I don't think they would have but hindsight is a wonderful thing.  Thirdly he lost several lengths jumping out to his right following the horse in front.  Despite everything going against him to see him still win and stay on when popped a question is promising and although he may not be Cheltenham Festival material he is certainly a horse going the right way and i'm sure he can win some nice races in his career which is only just beginning.  Things are unfortunately going to get very tough for him next time round whether it be in another Novice with a double penalty or in a handicap.  It is however, exciting times for all involved.

I've been waiting for Mix And Mingle to reappear on a sound surface following her run in the 1000 Guineas where she was stopped on several occasions and she would have been much closer to Minding than her seven lengths deficit that day.  If she had finished second that day she would be very short here and the fact she's 11/4 is attractive.  She still finished in front of Irish 1000 Guineas winner Jet Setting that day.  Chris Wall believes she's the best horse he's had in a long time.  She has a tough horse to beat in the favourite Irish Rookie but gets a valuable eight pounds from her and even on an even keel I'd quite fancy Mix and Mingle so she looks good value at the price providing she is fit and ready to go.
21/07/2016 - 2.20 @ Worcester - TRAFFICKER - 1pt Win @ 12/1
21/07/2016 - 8.25 @ Doncaster - COSMIC STRORM - 1pt Win @ 4/1

My Other bets:

2.40 @ Yarmouth - SOUNDSTRINGS - £50 @ 2/1

£2 Lucky 15:

2.20 @ Worcester - TRAFFICKER - 9/1
4.30 @ Worcester - TRAFALGAR ROCK - 11/10
6.20 @ Doncaster - ACCENTO - 7/1
8.25 @ Doncaster - COSMIC STORM - 5/1

Teofonic provided tip followers with a win yesterday and an exciting performance.  Niggled to keep position by Franny Norton Teofonic got involved two furlongs out and powered through the field to win going away despite carrying almost a stone more than her nearest rival.  A step up in trip looks like it may suit her and that would be the most viable decision in my opinion for connections and hopefully a step towards a tilt at next years' 1000 Guineas.  That's obviously a long way off and a different class to yesterday but I'm happy with my ante post bet right now.

I'm off to Worcester today to see Trafalgar Rock make his 2nd appearance for us in a class 4 Novice Hurdle at Worcester (4.30pm).  He won his maiden by 9 lengths and the natural progression is to race in a novice hurdle with a penalty.  This is a different ball game altogether to his maiden and I was surprised to see him at such a short price with a horse like Neil Mulholland's Kalondra in opposition.  Kalondra ran a decent race the time before last finishing 3rd to One More Go, of whom tip followers will know I think a lot of and then followed that performance up with a victory over Shah of Persia last time out.  Kalondra has been given an official rating of 125 for that victory so he is clearly a step up on what Trafalgar Rock faced last time out.  Despite the opposition I was very impressed with the size and performance of our horse and he will hopefully have improved for his maiden victory so we have to be confident of a good performance.  As long as he comes home safe and sound however that is the main thing.

On the same card a horse I have been waiting for runs in the 2.20 for Dr Newland, TRAFFICKER.  When I visited the stable a couple of months ago we saw Trafficker work and Dr Newland said his mark was way too high for him and it would be time to cash in when his mark goes lower than 105, following two expected lacklustre runs, tomorrow he goes chasing off a mark of 104 so I'm hoping now is the time to get on.  He won off this mark last May over a furlong further at Bangor.  Looking at the opposition there are plenty of rivals that may offer a big challenge however I trust Dr Newland and there is no doubt in his ability to ready a winner.  He is available at 12/1 currently and i've put a decent stake on.

COSMIC STORM (8.25 @ Doncaster) stumbled out of the stalls last time out and collided with the horse next to her which in turn pushed Pat Dobbs' foot out of the irons.  He recovered but in order to get her back with the pack there must have been plenty of energy used up.  She then travelled nice enough whilst having to go round the outside of the group before Dobbs realised she wasn't going to win and "nursed" her home cleverly.  Her tender ride means she keeps her mark and I said last time she ran to mark my words that a win is around the corner with her and not to be fooled by the finishing position.  Hopefully I am proved right tonight.

In the 2.40 @ Yarmouth William Haggas saddles SOUNDSTRINGS.  In an interview at the beginning of the season he said like he likes her and she will be suited by top of the ground.  She gets that today whereas she didn't on debut and was well backed even that day.  She's no great price but i'd be surprised with conditions in her favour, a ran under her belt and in a race where the joint fav is a pretty exposed horse rated 77 if she didn't win today.

20/07/2016 - 3.00 @ Catterick - TEOFONIC - 1pt Win @ 9/4

We'll Shake Hands provided tip followers with a win yesterday for Karl Burke and Clifford Lee, the latter provided a top apprentice ride and showed his quality and a never-say-die attitude having been overtaken a few furlongs out.  His mount responded to his requests and when back in front was never going to be beaten.

Kummiya finally got off the mark for Roger Charlton.  Another apprentice making a name for himself Kieran Shoemark settled his mount early in rear and made progress at the perfect times.  I've found myself doing what I hate recently and giving certain jockeys a roasting however one thing you can guarantee with the apprentices is that they will put their heart and soul in to try and get a winner, top work Clifford and Kieran.

I have grown a soft spot for Mark Johnston's TEOFONIC (3.00 @ Catterick) and I am once again going with her today.  She has been given a juvenile handicap rating of 85 which I think is fair and despite not winning last time out she showed a very willing attitude and given the fact she had to give away four pounds to a couple of nice rivals she ran a great race.  It's tough to gauge the form of that race however based on the form line through Pepita's defeat to Cuff that race will probably end up proving above average.  She has a tough task on her hands today giving weight away again and plenty of it.  I would expect there will be plenty of money for the second favourite Showdance Kid who on paper, based on his debut performance where he finished just half a length behind Teofonic giving her weight you would expect him to turn the tables on the selection but please don't be put off by that.  I was convinced that day was a schooling race for Teofonic with Joe Fanning giving her a tender ride and she beat Showdance Kid comfortably and the margin would have been much more but for a clear path.  She struck me as more of a stayer than Showdance Kid that day and based on the races both have been in since I feel she has plenty going for her ahead of the second favourite.  I'm really hoping that Teofonic will continue her progression today and come home in front to prove what a filly she will be and she couldn't be in better hands on this tight track at Catterick.  I am still hopeful that my 1000 Guineas ante post bet may be worth something with Teofonic.

In the 4.20 @ Lingfield, EXECUTOR looks interesting for the in form Roger Charlton.  Down to a mark of 67 he has been a disappointment over a mile this season after winning his maiden well at Bath last term.  This drop back to seven furlongs looks within his remit based on his handicap races this season where he has weakened late on and I feel the move to the all weather track may also be a benefit.  There are plenty of risks with him but knowing Roger Charlton when he is in form he sends his horses to win and this being his only entry today can't be ignored at 10/1.

My lucky 15 bets haven't been the greatest of late however I'm due a decent one so here's my picks for today;

3.00 @ Catterick - TEOFONIC - 9/4
4.40 @ Bath - GREEDY BOY - 9/4
6.10 @ Leicester - SCIARRA - 13/8
7.25 @ Naas - FORT DEL ORO - 5/4

19/07/2016 - 5.40 @ Nottingham - WE'LL SHAKE HANDS - 1pt Win @ 9/2

Interest Bets;

4.30 @ Ffos Las - JAGANORY - 11/2 each way
4.45 @ Musselburgh - JONNY DELTA - 20/1
7.20 @ Chelmsford - GAMBIT - 12/1
7.40 @ Nottingham - KUMMIYA - 9/4
8.10 @ Nottingham - SIRDAAL - 7/2

Well it was serves myself right yesterday for having a pop at Jason Hart in my write up yesterday only for him to give Archie's Advice a cracking ride to come home in front of my tip Fray at Ayr.  He had him parked right behind the leaders and pulled clear with just over a furlong to go.  Paul Mulrennan on the other hand had Fray settled in rear and made a couple of wrong decisions with her run being blocked on two occasions before he found space on the outside but the winner had already flown well clear.  I will refrain from slating jockeys in future as it seems to come back to bite me on my bum.  As for Great Thoughts, it looked an absolutely shocking race ran at a really slow pace and when it became a sprint late on this hold up horse couldn't quicken enough and only finished fifth, he looks in need of a quick pace upfront to swoop late and last nights' run was certainly not run to suit.

Tom Dascombe has his string in excellent form and one horse that looks a big price and a very interesting entrant returned to the all weather scene is GAMBIT in the 7.20 @ Chelmsford.  He won on the all weather at Wolverhampton back in March by eight lengths in a nice time over one mile four furlongs, today he is thrown in to this class 3 handicap off a mark of 88 over less than half that distance at six furlongs.  It is a very interesting move by connections to tackle this new distance and it would be no surprise based on Dascombe's ability to get the best out of his horses and his current form if Gambit made a mockery of his 12/1 price, he's an interesting contender.
I have to give JAGANORY today in the 4.30 @ Ffos Las as my each way bet to nothing.  He is versatile ground-wise and he has performed well every occasion he has tackled a class 6 0-60 handicap.  He has to prove his wellbeing after two lacklustre runs however he went in to his last class 6 early June after finishing twelfth of thirteen, he finished 2nd that day but deserved to win.  He has to carry the most weight he ever has done but if fit he has to go well.

I have to give a short mention to JONNY DELTA (4.45 @ Musselburgh).  He is off a very low mark on the flat and although he's 20/1 he cannot be discounted off a light weight, back on ground and a course that will suit.  Jim Goldie can ready one and if he retains some of his old ability he could go under the radar today.

I tipped up KUMMIYA last month and he returns to the track today in this one mile class 4 0-80 handicap at Nottingham (7.40).  He travelled nicely last time out before weakened tamely away however the ground that day was soft and it would be no surprise should he leave that run behind on a firmer surface.  He is no real price but the opposition isn't much and I will be on.

In the 8.10 @ Nottingham Owen Burrows has Paul Hanagan booked for SIRDAAL's handicap debut.  He has been competing in some top draw maidens and it would be no surprise firstly if the money came and secondly if he made a mockery of low mark of 58.  The drop in trip is noticeable and he could be a nice price come 8.20 tonight.

My tip for today is WE'LL SHAKE HANDS in the 5.40 @ Nottingham.  I can't help but feel the handicapper has given him a huge chance here and connections are ready to cash in.  He has been given a mark of 62, he won off 70 this time last year.  That mark has been because of the way he ran on soft ground, he has good to firm today for the first time this season, again he won on good to firm last year.  Aswell as being off a decent weight anyway he gets three pounds from a decent claimer Clifford Lee.  He will need to be ridden patiently and providing the breaks come for his apprentice jockey he looks a great bet to me.

18/07/2016 - 4.10 @ Ayr - FRAY - 1pt Win @ 7/2
18/07/2016 - 8.20 @ Windsor - GREAT THOUGHTS - 1pt Win @ 13/2

My first tip of today is FRAY in the 4.10 @ Ayr.  She has ran a couple of excellent races of late without much luck and this extra furlong should suit her down to the ground.  Paul Mulrennan rode her on both occasions and will now know what to expect from her.  She runs off a pound lower than last time in a similar race which will help and the two above her in the weights both have penalties to carry and should find this race more difficult.  I feel that both of those are not as good as the selection on level weights so to receive a few pounds is an added bonus.  Archie's Advice would be my main worry as he too looks on a decent mark however unless he rides a horse like Frankel in a class 6 off level weights I don't think i'll ever back his jockey again.

  My second and final tip of the day is the lightly raced GREAT THOUGHTS (8.20 @ Windsor).  She has been given a mark of 72 from her four maiden appearances and that looks a little bit on the light side for a horse who finished six and seven lengths behind Shraaoh and Wave Reviews, rated both 91 and 84 respectively.  She was given a gentle ride by Freddy Tylicki that day and she then tackled 12 furlongs for the first time at Kempton.  She didn't seem to handle the all weather turf and I will put a line through that run.  She should enjoy the trip and good to firm ground based on her breeding through Iffraaj and there is likely to be more to come, she looks a nice price for her first handicap.

16/07/2016 - 3.55 @ Market Rasen - ONE MORE GO - 1pt Win @ 6/1
16/07/2016 - 2.45 @ Market Rasen - LONG HOUSE HALL - 1pt Win @ 6/1
16/07/2016 - 4.25 @ Newmarket - IN THE CITY - 1pt Win @ 11/4

Interest Bets & my stakes;
5.05 @ Cartmel - DONNA'S PRIDE - £15 @ 13/2
5.45 @ Curragh - EVEN SONG/PRETTY PERFECT - £10 Forecast

Some interesting racing on the cards today with a couple of jumps cards to give us a bit of a break from the battle against the flat.  Over at Cartmel the only horse I'll be backing today is DONNA'S PRIDE in the 5.05.  Keith Reveley gave this horse as one for the future last season and he believed she was "Very Good".  She hasn't shown anything of realy quality on the course thus far however she won her maiden race on the back of a break last season beating some useful opposition and she reappears here after a three month break.  James Reveley takes the ride today and if she is fit she can make the most of her very low mark.

Sticking with the jumps, Dr Newland makes an unusual assault at Market Rasen as he sends five of his string to the Lincolnshire track, four of whom were his last four runners at the beginning of the month.  Value Racing Club saddle Milrow in the opener and I'm hoping for connections he continues his progress in this juvenile hurdle today.  He won impressively first time out and he was higher rated than these on the flat so is definitely the one to beat.

Hassle takes his hurdle career to a new level today in this listed handicap hurdle (2.15), stable jockey Charlie Hammond gets the ride due to Sam Twiston-Davies having to ride for Paul Nicholls and he's a useful rider who knows the horse well.  Hassle beat a couple of well thought of horses in Miss Crick and Ritual of Senses and it would be no surprise if he were to go close again here today.  

I know you will all be thinking that I have some sort of obsession with ONE MORE GO (3.55 @ Market Rasen) having tipped him up on his previous two occasions however I still believe he is better than his official handicap mark of 130.  The fact he has idled in front on his two victories has probably helped him not receive a higher mark and he will have to be given a really good ride.  Sam Twiston-Davies knows him well now and gave him a more patient ride last time out, One More Go's ability still got him to the front probably a bit too early which allowed him to slow down when alone in front.  You can't help however but be impressed with his jumping and the fact that he pulls out more when he has to.  Tip followers will know I hold him in high regard and here's hoping he can continue his career.

My second tip for today is LONG HOUSE HALL (2.45 @ Market Rasen).  He put in a pleasing performance when last seen when finishing 4th at Uttoxeter and I was slightly disappointed with Harry Skelton's ride that day as he was held up a long way off the pace and the leaders didn't really give him a chance to get involved, I'm hoping Harry would have learned a lot from that day and settles him no worse than midfield.  Dan Skelton's string are in hot form and I'm feel the break will have done him the world of good.  There are plenty of decent opposition for him in todays' race however he's a very honest horse who often runs his race and is still open to improvement, you won't find him at 6/1 for many races.

That is my lot on the jumps today although I am really looking forward to watching it today.  Now on to the flat, the feature race at the Curragh is the Irish Oaks (5.45) and EVEN SONG will be all the rage and rightly so.  There are many that believe she would have given Minding a challenge in the English version before she was withdrawn at the eleventh hour.  She returned at Ascot on soft ground and won with some authority to prove that perhaps she may have.  She beat Architecture that day and I can't see her reversing the form here, don't get me wrong she ran a good race at Epsom but Minding wasn't given the best of rides that day and if she had the winning distance would have been much more.  She's five lengths to make up on a potential improving horse here, I just can't see it.  It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if it was a Ballydoyle one-two today as Pretty Perfect looks to have as good a chance as any.  She destroyed a well thought of Shamreen and is likely to make the running here today.  I liked the way she found when she was asked the question and she looks set to run a nice race at a decent price.  With no price on the favourite I'll be doing the forecast with Pretty Perfect.

There are some nice races at Newbury but the two I like are short prices so will be adding them to a Canadian which is at the bottom of this write up.  However at Newmarket I am hoping IN THE CITY can resume his career in this maiden (4.25 @ Newmarket).  His fourth to Emotionless has been franked time and time again and looks top form on paper, the fourth is rated in the high nineties.  He showed inexperience that day before staying on well at the finish.  There are a couple of doubts, he has had issues with his feet which I believe have kept him out so he will need to have overcome that whilst the ground is an unknown.  Pat Cosgrave although not my favourite jockey is in the form of his life which is a huge positive and at 11/4 he's worth putting the faith in.  In opposition the Godolphin horse has it all to prove, having just missed out by short head at Newcastle last month to Marbooh, the winner that day has been given a handicap mark of just 80 and didn't frank that form too well earlier this month.  Song of Namibia likewise was beaten by a horse who was given a mark of just 84.  The form of In The City's fourth gives him a huge chance and providing he's fit he has to be the one they have to beat.

Although things haven't gone too well for my advice bets of late i'm confident things will turn around and i've had another short price Canadian today on the following;

1.35 @ Market Rasen - MILROW - 4/5
3.00 @ Newbury - SCOTTISH - 11/8
4.05 @ Curragh - MECCA'S ANGEL - 15/8
4.45 @ Newbury - DRAGON MALL - 13/8
5.45 @ Curragh - EVEN SONG - 4/5

Interest Bets & my stakes;

4.05 @ Nottingham - TO ETERNITY - No bet - Watching brief
5.35 @ Nottingham - FROZON - £30 @ 3/1
8.15 @ Hamilton - WAJEEZ - £50 @ 13/8

Yesterday we saw another well backed tip run poorly as Mark Johnston's Aleko ran no sort of race whatsoever at Leicester in what looks a pretty ordinary handicap.  He was well out of the stalls and settled nicely enough for James Doyle but weakened tamely when push come to shove.  I really don't know what to say about the performance, for me, everything seemed primed for a good run and the money came like defeat was out of the question.  Whether something was amiss I don't know but it was yet another disappointment in what is becoming a frustrating flat campaign.
However, today is a new day and you cannot dwell on the past.  There are seven meetings today and the variety in ground across the piece shows just how volitile our weather has been of late, soft at Haydock, good to firm at Newbury.  I have no tip selection today as nothing stands out as a low risk bet in my opinion however there are three interest bets and a £2 Canadian I'll be backing.

In the 8.15 @ Hamilton the impressive debut winner Wajeez returns to action for John Gosden.  He was quoted as a potential derby horse following his seven length victory last year however he has not seen a racecourse since.  He suffered with sore shins hence his belated debut appearance and that may be the case with him this season too.  His trainer stated that he may be ground dependant too so if it gets firmer than good it would not surprise me if he was pulled out.  However if he gets to take his chance he is a very interesting contender and I for one certainly hope he has trained on and it would be great to see him win with authority.

I am really interested in the 4.05 @ Nottingham.  I was very close to tipping up TO ETERNITY who hit my notebook on debut when falling out of the stalls and running very green in rear before running on strongly at the finish to come within a nose of Ruscombe in what looks a nice maiden on paper.  She looks a winner in waiting however there are two horses of interest in this race which has stopped me from having a bet and made this an attractive watching brief.  Firstly the favourite Honorina whose two maiden runs last season have been franked in no small terms, especially Nemoralia who she came within two lengths of last time out.  Granted those performances were over seven furlongs and this is her first start of the season however she looked like a step up in trip would suit based on her strong finishing.  I prefer To Eternity to her but Honorina could be anything.  The other horse of interest for me is the very expensive purchase of Al Shaqab Racing, MAQAM.  I like the fact that connections have decided to throw this horse straight in to a decent ten furlong maiden and it would be a surprise given the cost price if this horse out of Dansili couldn't reach a nice level in her career.

In the 5.35 @ Nottingham one horse that meets my Handicap theory is FROZON.  Brian Ellison's horse has encountered tough terrain on all three maiden races so slightly better ground here should help and with form figures of 687 and to see him at 7/2 in this low level handicap attracts interest.
I will also be doing the following short price Canadian with William Hill;

3.05 @ Newbury - RUSCOMBE - 13/8
5.15 @ Newbury - PANDAR - 7/4
7.30 @ Pontefract - GAMESOME - 2/1
7.55 @ Kilbeggan - DAISY'S GIFT - 11/10
8.35 @ Pontefract - SIGNED AND SEALED - 15/8

14/07/2016 - 2.50 @ Leicester - ALEKO - 1pt Win @ 3/1

The struggle against flat racing continued yesterday as the highly regarded and bigged up by his trainer Spanish Squeeze finished last of 7 yesterday evening at Yarmouth.  It wouldn't have helped that the ground changed from Good to Firm to Good to Soft and that may have been his downfall however it is not the first time this season where a well touted horse has been backed off the boards during the day (was 5/4 in places) and failed to land a blow in the actual race.  He may be one that wins next time out on firm ground however based on last nights' performance you'd have to tread very carefully.

I have delved in to todays' racing with quite a lot of depth and despite the unsure ground conditions again one horse who is unlikely to find a change in the ground to his detriment is ALEKO in the 2.50 @ Leicester.  Mark Johnston's horse had a torrid time in running at Haydock last time out and i'd put a line through that run and based on his 3rd to Taurean Star at Ascot he would have a real chance in this field and without the Haydock run would be favourite for this.  He finished just behind Banksea that day who is now a genuine 94 rated horse and was only in receipt of two pounds.  That makes him a very attractive proposition off a rating of just 78 here.  In opposition you do however have two unexposed types in Miss Carbonia and On The Bill.  Miss Carbonia won her maiden over seven furlongs on soft ground.  The horse she beat that day is now rated 74 and she was in receipt of eight pounds so for me she would have to improve quite a bit to test the selection and given that she is untested over distance or ground she has too many question marks to answer.  The form of On The Bill's dead heat last time out is decent and he would be my biggest worry however that race was on the all weather and again over seven furlongs and although he stayed on, he was all out at the finish so to see this mile trip out on grass is a different proposition.  There is enough to suggest ALEKO is the one to beat in this race and he is the selection

13/07/2016 - 6.45 @ Yarmouth - SPANISH SQUEEZE - 2pts Win @ 5/2 (NAP)

It is difficult what to make of Quick March's performance yesterday, she was held up in last by George Baker but travelled like the winner two furlongs out and make neat headway before being bumped by the eventual second at a crucial point of the race when make her move.  Whether she would have reached the winner is doubtful but she'd have been booked for second place I believe and it may be that the handicapper will let her off with being unplaced yesterday.  If she is then she could be worth another chance next time out.  Signed and Sealed almost came home for advice followers after being well backed finishing one length second to Toffee Apple, I hope you took the 11/1 each way when advised to repay the loss on Quick March.

An interesting horse back on decent ground is TOP OF THE ROCKS (2.40 @ Catterick).  His maiden form is not bad and he looked crying out for a step up in trip during his education at that level.  He has ran twice in handicap company but both times on horrendous ground and he is definitely better than those performances.  It looks like ground is key to him and at the prices today he could be massive at 14/1.  Graham Gibbons is booked to ride Tom Dascombe's mount here and he has a good record for the trainer.

It appears that the ground has finally come for Hugo Palmer's SPANISH SQUEEZE (6.45 @ Yarmouth).  Apparently he looks a beast after being gelded and could be a group horse in the making.  If he is then he should take all the beating in this kind of race, he gets his fast ground too which he has been crying out for.  He has had niggling issues however he could be a steal at 5/2.  His return was satisfactory at York when six lengths behind Nayel and the opposition today doesn't look nearly as strong as that day.  He has had plenty of big race entries including the John Smiths Cup at the weekend but has been withdrawn due to the ground so he should be match fit and raring to go.

12/07/2016 - 2.30 @ Bath - QUICK MARCH - 1pt Win @ 5/1

I can only apologise for yesterdays' tip.  I think because I hadn't made a selection the past few days I felt compelled to do so and therefore took a risk on a horse that I had heard good things about.  Unfortunately it is a mystery based on last nights' performance why Roger Varian, given the yard he has, has given her as his selection, it remains to be seen if she will be seen at a better light in better ground but she certainly has it all to prove now.

My selection for today is QUICK MARCH in the 2.30 @ Bath.  Roger Charlton's mount was due to run on a couple of weeks back at Bath when well backed but was withdrawn late on due to ground concerns.  She returns to the track today on good to firm ground and with the weather forecast set to be ok she will hopefully take her chance.  Dropped to his first class 5 0-75 handicap she looks on a nice mark.  She has been really disappointing since her debut win when destroying a relatively decent field.  However her latest run showed a lot more encouragement.  After a bumpy start leaving the stalls she was held up in last and made some progress late on but was never able to get involved.  Although she finished sixth of the eight runners she was only 4 lengths away and that race held plenty of good quality runners.  Favourite and top weight Free to Love will most likely set a decent pace which will suit and I would hope that Quick March can turn out better quality than her.  George Baker is booked for the ride and he has a 27% strike rate at Bath which is positive.

Keep an eye on SIGNED AND SEALED in the 5.35 @ Beverley tonight.  Mark Johnston's horse drops in to this class 6 0-65 handicap off top weight having not fired in his two runs this season.  However he has better ground today and it would be no surprise if his trainer can make the most of his low mark.  At 11/1 I'll be having an each way play.

11/07/2016 - 8.30 @ Windsor - MYTIMEHASCOME - 2pts Win @ 11/8

My tip for today is in the 8.30 @ Windsor in the form of MYTIMEHASCOME.  This horse was noted as Roger Varian's horse to follow for this season and she ran a nice enough race last time out finishing her maiden education and now she moves in to handicap company off a mark of just 78.  She ran on well last time which suggests the extra furlong here should be right up her street.  Andrea Atzeni takes the ride for the first time which is a big positive and she looks set up for this tonight.

10/07/2016 - No selection

Advice followers would have picked up a couple of nice wins yesterday with Von Blucher and Limato obliging however once again it was an unusual array of results with many horses winning races following a poor run of form.  The weather also again didn't help matters.  I can't remember such a sustained period of adverse weather even in England, it has been pretty much full on now for six weeks with no more than one day without rain.  Unfortunately when the sun does arrive it is sure to throw some big priced winners and more horses winning against the form book.

It is another day where no horses stand out so I'm not able to provide a tip.  I will be however having a £2 short price Lucky 15 on the following;

2.25 @ Sligo - CRADLE MOUNTAIN
3.15 @ Southwell - THE OUTLAW
3.40 @ Perth - TAJSEER
4.00 @ Stratford - ON ALBERTS HEAD

09/07/2016 - Advice Only

Yesterday saw a complete turnaround in fortunes from Thursday as there were plenty of big priced winners across the majority of cards.  La Rioja was held up in rear by Martin Harley and although she made some late progress she didn't have the pace to get involved.  Unfortunately it looks like she isn't as good as it was hoped she would be as a 3 year old and a drop to listed or handicap company looks likely.

I'm going to start off todays' write up at Chester.  Chester, although being a great day out and a brilliant racecourse, it is simply a punters nightmare of a track with it's tight turns and short run in.  However, I have been asked by a couple of friends to give them my suggestions for the day and there is one horse that I really like that I think is worth a mention.  SYMPOSIUM in the 2.30 won his maiden in style before finishing not too far behind Mix and Mingle in a class 2 handicap.  She comes here off the back of what looked like a much needed run at Wolverhampton when running on nicely late on.  She made all on her maiden win and it wouldn't surprise me if the same tactics were adopted here from a decent draw.  At 15/2 she looks a great each way bet.

Over at Ascot the feature race is the 3.15 Group 2 Summer Mile.  On paper it looks a cracking card whilst there are uncertainties amongst many of the runners each horse in the race has potential to win this.  The horse I like against the field is KODI BEAR.  This top class three year old hasn't shown his form yet this season, however there is reason to believe he needed his first run this season as he weakened tamely at the finish after travelling nicely whilst last time out the ground was very soft and likely his downfall there although he didn't finish far away.  Today he has favoured conditions, his trainer is in better form and it wouldn't surprise me if he put his past few runs behind him.  He is Clive Cox's best ever horse and the fact he gets weight from Toormore bodes well who is favourite.  If he can't reverse the form with the favourite here then he never will.

Over at York I like the claims and potential of SPANISH SQUEEZE in the 4.15.  Palmer believes he is a Group horse in the making but needs fast ground.  The forecast suggests he may get that today although it should be a minimum good.  He ran a nice race on reappearance when staying on from rear in a similar event and it would be no surprise if he was involved with that run behind him.

In the 4.50 @ York I'll be having a bet on MUTHMIR.  He, similar to Spanish Squeeze looks ground dependant, the quicker the better but he has the form in the bag to take this race and take it well.  It is more a case of what his wellbeing is and the ground at time of racing.  If he is in good form and the ground dries out enough he is going to be very hard to beat so at 5/1 I can't let him go unbacked.

Over at Newmarket, starting off with the 3.25 I think VON BLUCHER has a great chance in this class 2 handicap.  John Gosden's mount looked in desperate need of his reappearance run as he struggled to get settled before Mr Dettori once again gave his horse a tender ride home despite him staying on late.  If Robert Havlin can get him settled early on in no worse than midfield then his turn of foot can stand him in good stead late on over this mile trip.  This ground should also be to his favour.

The big race of the day is the July Cup (4.35).  I have already had a good sized bet on AIR FORCE BLUE at 12/1 the other day in the hope that this return to six furlongs and good to firm ground will bring about the horse that his top class trainer believes he is.  He has been a major disappointment this season over a mile however Aidan O'Brien said on the Morning Line before the Guineas that he had improved and wintered perfectly.  If that is the case and it was the trip and ground that has caused his downfall then he would be the one to beat.  He's risky but I couldn't help but have a bet.  I will also be having a bet on LIMATO for similar reasons to Air Force Blue.  His experiment at a mile wasn't as disappointing as Air Force Blue when not far behind Belardo however his 6 furlong form last season is top drawer and he will be tough to beat.  All in all it is a cracking race on paper and I can't wait to sit back and watch it.

In the last race, 5.45, I have been impressed with LORD GEORGE.  His defeat of Sbraase was better than the winning margin suggests as I was convinced Tom Queally wanted to win the race on the bridle and not bar far to preserve his handicap mark.  Sbraase's strong challenge meant Tom had to use the whip with 100 yards to go and Lord George battled back like a good horse to get back up close home.  The handicapper hasn't messed about giving him a seven pound rise but he looks progressive and his jockey would have learned a lot about him last time out.
I am not making a tipping selection today as although I have a few fancies there are question marks about all of them and the unsurity of the weather worries me for a few of them.  I will be doing an each way lucky 31 however on the following;

2.30 @ Chester - SYMPOSIUM
3.25 @ Newmarket - VON BLUCHER
4.50 @ York - MUTHMIR
5.45 @ Newmarket - LORD GEORGE

08/07/2016 - 4.00 @ York - LA RIOJA - 1pt Win @ 10/3

It was great to see LUMIERE return to the Winners' Enclosure yesterday in the Sir Henry Cecil Stakes.  She bombed out in the 1000 Guineas having shown so much promise at home and there was a worry that she hadn't trained on.  She put paid to those thoughts however yesterday as she came clear of Cymric to win cosily by six lengths.  Unfortunately we just missed out on a nice double as The Grey Gatsby found Big Orange too goo in the Princess of Wales Stakes however I was not the only one based on the Facebook feedback who thought the ride by Jamie Spencer was not his finest moment.  Had he had his mount closer to the pace or made his move earlier the outcome may have been different.  Take nothing away from Big Orange however who won well under another enterprising ride by James McDonald, he is making a bit of a name for himself of late.  It was a cracking days' racing yesterday and to provide the wife a nice profit from Lumiere put the icing on the cake.........and kept me out of the dog house.

I'm going to start todays' advice off in the 4.10 @ Ascot where I'm hoping BESS OF HARDWICK will come home nicely in this Class 3 Handicap.  The form of both her rides last season have been franked and to a high standard and she is well thought of by Luca Cumani.  She has apparently had a couple of niggling issues with splints etc but this is a nice test for her on her return and she will surely come on from this run no matter where she finishes.  Luca has warned however that she may need to run so it's small stakes and watching brief for me today but she is certainly one to look out for.

I recommend a bet on SCUZEME in the 1.50 @ York.  David Barron's mount was backed off the boards on debut when finishing last of five.  Apparently he is highly regarded at home and it would be no surprise should he put his debut effort behind him and come home clear with the experience now in the bag.  I like horses that get backed in on debut and don't impress.  I've seen it time and time again where they win next time out at a nice price.

My tip for today is 4.00 @ York - LA RIOJA.  She was a horse I put in the notebook when beating Greenfyre last year over this distance.  It was an impressive display and then followed it up with an even more impressive performance 3rd time out when powering through in the group 3 contest to win by upwards of four lengths.  This season she has contested a couple of hot races and first time out having travelled strongly, she didn’t quite finish her race off before finishing fifth behind Quiet Reflection.  That same rival beat her last time out but she was a lot closer and this is a big drop in class to that race.  Henry Candy's form is a worry as he's still not firing on all cylinders but I'm hoping the quality of this horse can see her through.  Besharah is my biggest worry but she has been trained for eight furlongs all season, it will be a great training performance if they can get her performing at her best back at six furlongs.

Newmarket today doesn't hold the same quality of racing as yesterday however there are still some nice races to get stuck in to.  If I was going to have a bet in the first I would back HYDE PARK, simply because he has experience and should appreciate this return to a firmer surface however with so many unknowns in that race I'm going to leave it.

In the 2.40 the horse I'll be having a dabble on is COLUMN.  He impressed on his final start last term and his reappearance was a satisfactory one with several horses from that race behind Arcanada coming out and winning since.  That race will set him up for this race quite nicely.  The two Godolphin horses are feared however there is enough to suggest that Column is a decent horse in his own right and given the weight advantage I have to back him.

In the 3.10 I will be all over the favourite ARISTOCRATIC.  Connections were hoping he would be one for Royal Ascot and perhaps forced a maiden on the all weather to try and get his maiden tag dropped and qualify for such a race as he requires a firm surface and the soft ground that has been about early season would have certainly hampered his preparations.  He is surely better than what we have seen so far and off bottom weight here with conditions to suit he looks tailormade for this race.  Joe Fanning has a 50% strike rate this season when racing for Michael Stoute and his booking is a positive one.  He comes with risks but I'm hoping he'll make a mockery of his mark.

At a huge price i'll be taking a chance on SOMEBODY TO LOVE each way in the 3.45.  He was mightily impressive first time out when beating Blue Suede over five furlongs. He finished last of the seven runners behind Nations Alexander however that was non very testing ground and back on good to firm he should be seen in a different light.  At 25/1 he looks a massive price and it's a risk but it's a small stake to take a chance with.

Usherette will find things different here than at Ascot due to the ground.  She has been quite impressive on good and softer but this is a different task and at the price she's worth taking on.  AMAZING MARIA has been beaten by the favourite before but her best form is on Good to Firm ground so she should be better here than then.  She will be a small stake bet for me in this race.

Anything can win the 4.45 with lots of uncertainties in a typical tough handicap but I do like the claims of BATHOS at a nice price.  Back on better ground he could be seen in better light.

The last race on the card doesn't really interest me either although the outsider of the group JACK'S REVENGE could be dangerous back over a distance and ground that he revels at.

As stated previously it is a tough day today so I would recommend not going in big on any race at Newmarket.  I will be having a small each way lucky 15 as follows;

1.50 @ York - SCUZEME
2.40 @ Newmarket - COLUMN
3.10 @ Newmarket - ARISTOCRATIC
4.00 @ York - LA RIOJA

07/07/2016 - 3.15 @ Newmarket - THE GREY GATSBY - 1pt Win @ 3/1
07/07/2016 - 5.30 @ Newmarket - LUMIERE - 1pt Win @ 7/2

My two handicap selections couldn't have gone much worse yesterday as firstly Sunlit Waters ran an absolute shocker and clearly didn't see the trip out at Lingfield whereas yesterdays' tip Rowlestonerendezvu was hammered in the betting early doors yesterday before a slight drift before the start.  She was positioned handily by Paul Hanagan and held every chance with three furlongs to go but she couldn't go with the leaders and weakened pretty tamely even off her light weight.  It was a disappointing day on the back of a pretty good Tuesday.
Today's racing is superb!  I'd go as far to say it's the best day on paper of the flat season this year including Saturday's with the star attraction being Newmarket.  

I'll finish my write up there but i'm going to start my write up at Doncaster in the 5.05 where the favourite SAM MISSILE looks the one to beat.  He was well backed at Goodwood last month when a little one paced so this step up in trip looks suitable.  He travelled like a good horse that day against some useful rivals and providing he's sees out this trip (which looks likely) then he has to go well.  Trainer James Fanshawe is in good form Frederik Tylicki takes the ride for the first time on him.  

In the last race at Epsom SWISS CROSS looks on a nice mark in this 0-85 Class 4 Handicap.  He is not the same horse as he was and that however he is now rated 64 whereas three years ago he was rated 103.  Back on his favourite course that might spark some of the old life back in to him and there are question marks about the majority of this field.  For me this is the best possible entry he could have been given to try and get him back in to the Winners' Enclosure and he has been running well of late without much luck.  He's worth a bet at 11/2.

Now on to the big one and the meeting starts off (2.10) with a cracking 3 year old Group 3 race of 13 furlongs.  Prize Money's second to Hawkbill now looks excellent form giving the winner won the Coral Eclipse.  However at the prices and in a tough race like this he is no value.  HOUSESOFPARLIAMENT looks to have a great chance here having finished strongly in the Kind Edward stakes at Ascot behind and in front of some top drawer horses.  The extra furlong should help and he would be my each way banker for the race.  The horse with the most scope for the race is Shabeeb, this progressive horse clocked up a nice time last time out when improving upon his maiden win and if he continues progressing then he can't be ignored.

The Arqana July Stakes (2.40) is an absolute beauty of a race with Mehmas and Ardad heading the market.  Both those horses have already proved themselves at a very high level and are going to be very tough to pick between.  However there is one horse at a big price i'm hoping can surprise the applecart a bit.  BROKEN STONES of Kevin Ryan was backed off the boards at York in May on debut and although showing a lot of inexperience he came through with a very impressive and strong run to take victory at the death.  It is interesting that Kevin Ryan has held him back for a couple of months and now opts to throw him in at the deep end in a hot race like this.  At 12/1 he's worth a tickle.

In the 3.15 it is hard to get away from THE GREY GATSBY.  He has not won since September 2014 however he has been contesting some of the best Group one races and this is a step below any level he's faced since beating Arod in May 14.  The ground may have gone against him last time out when fourth behind My Dream Boat.  Back on favourable ground and in this lesser class of race I'm very surprised to see him available at 3/1.
The 3.45 is a cracking Heritage Handicap that you could make cases for many.  Without spending too much time on this race I'll be having my main each way bet on BOUNCE but small each way savers on PRICELESS, KING OF ROOKS and SCRUTINEER.  It is a small stakes race and probably one to watch in interest more than investing in it.

The next two races there is no form to compare so i'm going to bypass them which brings me on to the 5.30 and this is all about LUMIERE.  She has been spoke about as one of Mark Johnston's best ever horses who had thrived during the winter.  She was tried over a mile for the first time in the 1000 Guineas when weakening tamely away suggesting the trip had got to her.  However I find it very interesting the Johnston has opted to race her back over a mile in this Listed Race.  The better ground will be in her favour and this opposition in my opinion is there for the taking providing she stays the mile.  Johnston is convinced she will stay.  If she had come in the top five of the Guineas she would be odds on here so to see 4/1 last night (7/2 this morning) I think this could be one of the bets of the season.  It may be worthwhile having a small bet to cover your Lumiere stake should she not stay on Crazy Horse but I'm hoping today is Lumiere's day as we need one of last years' top horses to come through away from Minding.  Having looked at the race last night I even encouraged the wife in to a decent stake on her so if she doesn't win I will be well and truly in the dog house for a change there then :)

06/07/2016 - 3.40 @ Yarmouth - ROWLESTONERENDEZVU - 1pt Win @ 13/2

Yesterday's tip Nigel came home to tip followers at a nice 7/2.  Shane Kelly as expected rode him positively from the front and although the official margin was a neck to Rose Above who was 9 pound lighter than Nigel, Kelly finished hands and heels and was always holding the runner up.  There may be a hattrick around the corner for the selection.  Email subscribers would have had a nice winner to go alongside the selection.  If you haven't already subscribed please do so via my home page, it's free and you will receive any tips I receive from reliable outside sources.

SUNLIT WATERS (3.30 @ Lingfield) ran a better race at the finish than her finishing position suggests last time out.  Paul Hanagan was never happy positioned in the rear of midfield and was pushing her early on without a real response from his mount so he settled her at the back after two furlongs.  From there she was never able to get involved and the final two furlongs Hanagan cleverly moved her in between horses to ensure her handicap mark will remain in tact.  Even with the jockey stepping off the gas she stayed on promisingly without troubling the leaders.  The opposition doesn't look anything special although Cliff Face is an unknown quantity and with only eight runners she shouldn't have the problems she encountered last time.  It is interesting that she is back on the all weather where she put in her best maiden performance back in November when just behind Abingdon (now rated 87).  At the prices she looks well worth a bet each way.

In the 3.40 @ Yarmouth the jockey booking of Paul Hanagan on ROWLESTONERENDEZVU very much takes the eye in her first handicap encounter.  She is a half-sister to the same owner/breeder’s Rowlestone Lass.  She won four times during her career in handicaps over a mile and a half to two miles. The fact she was dropped back to seven furlongs last time out would not have helped her cause however that now looks like a deliberate move to ensure a low handicap mark is achieved.  Back up in trip here she receives a ton of weight from the principals and it would be surprising should she not prove well better than her basement mark.  It will be interesting to see if the money comes for her from her astute connections.

I wasn't going to make a selection for today as there are risks attached to both the handicappers mentioned above however the more I look at the jockey booking and connections of Rowlestonerendezvu the more I think they are here to collect so I'm going to take a chance and hope it is one worth taking.

05/07/2016 - 6.40 @ Brighton - NIGEL - 1pt Win @ 3/1

Sea of Green's withdrawal meant we only had two interest bets and Ingleby Hollow obliged at 9/4 pulling well clear of the remainder whilst Sir Toby travelled well for the majority of his hurdles debut but couldn't quite go with the winner, a step up in trip looks ideal for him as he seemed to lack the pace required but the way he travelled suggested he wasn't tired.  Yesterday's tip Cosmic Storm lost all her chance at the start.  She stumbled out of the stalls and collided with the horse next to her which in turn pushed Pat Dobbs' foot out of the irons.  He recovered but in order to get her back with the pack must have taken quite a bit of energy out of her.  She then travelled nice enough whilst having to go round the outside of the group before Dobbs realised she wasn't going to win and "nursed" her home cleverly.  Her tender ride will surely mean she keeps her mark or has it reduced and mark my words, a win is around the corner with her, don't be fooled by the finishing position.

My tip for today is NIGEL in the 6.40 @ Brighton.  He finally broke his duck last time out under a positive ride from Shane Kelly which is only the second time Nigel has tried to make all (1st time when second at Newbury 12 months ago).  I would hope his jockey will go with the same successful tactics here and use his stamina to repel the challengers.  This is a step up from his recent win which was a class 5 0-75 handicap for which he topped the weights, he gives a little bit more away to his rivals tonight but he still carries the same weight he did that day and the opposition in my opinion is not as handy as the runner up that day Lord Reason whom has since recorded a victory granted over just a mile trip.  The closest rivals to him in the betting have been given a mark of 73 and 72 respectively and that is at their peak form based on their past couple of wins in a class 5 0-70 and a class 6 0-65 handicap, they have to improve markedly to trouble the selection here.  Every Instinct worries me the most on handicap debut having been gelded but he too would have to have improved somewhat from his last turf encounter.  It is going to take a horse to have improved a lot to beat Nigel here and I would hope he can make all against lacklustre opponents here.

04/07/2016 - 9.05 @ Windsor - COSMIC STORM - 1pt Win @ 11/2

Yesterdays' NAP ONE MORE GO came home to win nicely at Market Rasen in the two mile four furlong novice contest.  It was a step up from his maiden win but with Sam Twiston-Davies producing him just before the last he pulled away from his nearest rival to win well.  He once again idled in front but I would suggest he'd have found once again if he was joined.  He looks like producing him late is going to be the key with him as he's idled in front twice now but he's been pretty impressive and travelled beautifully in both races, the future is bright for him.
That was my tenth NAP winner since the website opened in December which has a strike rate of 50% from 20 selections and a SP profit of £17.35.  Frustratingly I didn't win with my first four NAPS therefore taking them out of the equation would leave a strike rate of 62.5% and a profit of £25.35, it is a record I'm hoping to continue improving upon.

SEA OF GREEN goes again today in the 2.15 @ Ayr for Jim Goldie.  He has been a very frustrating horse to follow but this is by far the easiest assignment of his career so far.  He was once rate 73 which was probably over-hiked however he is running today off a mark of 53, a full twenty pounds lower than this time last year.  I can't think for the life of me that he has regressed that much for such a young horse which makes me think his trainer is waiting to get him fit for a specific race.  It will be interesting to see if money comes for him and if it does I suggest having a bet.  At 16/1 i'll be having a fiver either way and if he's gambled then i'll be having a bit more.

David O'Meara is back amongst the winners of late and looks to have found a nice opportunity for INGLEBY HOLLOW to return to the Winners' Enclosure in the 3.15 @ Ayr.  He has been a little frustrating to follow and has been tried and tested over various trips and grounds with his best effort for a while last time out over this distance.  It is a specific distance that doesn't come up too often so I feel O'Meara has been waiting for this opportunity to arise.  He isn't bomb proof so I can't tip him up but I'll be very surprised if he can't make his presence felt here today.

At Worcester, SIR TOBY makes his debut for Dr Newland in the 4.40.  Sir Toby worked alongside Trafalgar Rock when I visited the yard last month and although he couldn't quite keep up with Trafalgar on the gallops Dr Newland feels he is a nice proposition.  This race in my opinion looks tougher than the one Trafalgar won nicely last week with Destiny's Gold making the return to maiden company from handicapping and Sir Toby will have to be very good to take the prize today but given Dr Newland's strike rate and ability at getting one ready first time out I can't let him go unbacked.

My tip for today has to be COSMIC STORM in the 9.05 @ Windsor.  She has been entered and pulled out of races on numerous occasions now due to the soft ground but that should not be an issue tonight at Windsor.  Cosmic Storm looked like a typical Ralph Beckett "to be handicapped" horse where she'd raced three times and the last time especially she had a wide draw and failed to land a blow from a tender ride.  She was ridden by Jamie Spencer first time out when she ran an eyecatching race finishing well late in the day, Jamie was apparently pretty impressed that day and it would be very surprising if she wasn't a lot better than 70 rating. She is out of Sea The Stars and I feel there is a reason Beckett has taken his time finding the right opportunity for her.  I feel favourite Athlon is the standard setter but you would hope that connections would not put Cosmic up against him unless they thought they could beat him.  My main worry would be Maroc as he too makes his handicap debut and could be anything but I've heard good things about Cosmic from connections and it is hoped she can take this at a nice price.

03/07/2016 - 3.40 @ Market Rasen - ONE MORE GO - 2pts Win @ 9/4 (NAP)

Regular readers will know that I'm not one to slate a jockey.  I understand that it's a tough sport and there are many things in one race that can go wrong that is out of the jockey's control.  However I can't help but feel bitterly disappointed with Frankie Dettori's ride on yesterday's tip Snow Moon.  As per my write up I thought he would have his mount in midfield which going in to the bend at Sandown Frankie had her perfectly poised in a line of four just behind the leaders.  Coming out of the bend the other three horses were still in line but Frankie had dropped his mount back in to the rear of the field.  I cannot understand for the life of me why he decided to take this action based on his previous ride on Snow Moon and the drop in trip, it didn't make sense.  Snow Moon then had a mountain to climb up the hill and realistically all chance had gone.  

To top it all off when in with a chance of grabbing a place Frankie stopped riding her when he knew she wasn't going to win.  My viewpoint of Frankie has not changed as I think he is a top class jockey however he does not put in 100% effort when he knows he cannot win, he has lost many chances of a place doing this and although I don't really bet each way I feel it is very unfair on punters that do.

In the 2.35 @ Market Rasen, Dr Newland sends Gran Maestro over fences for the first time.  I was speaking to one of the owners of Gran last weekend who had been discussing the plans for him with Dr Newland.  He said that he has schooled really well and the belief is that he would have won last time out had he have not been brought down.  He is in good form at home and he's expected to go well.  Richard Johnson is an eye taking jockey booking with Sam Twiston-Davies unavailable due to riding Monsieur Gibraltar and that looks significant.  It is a good race for Gran to make his chase debut though and it will take some winning.  Twiston-Davies' mount was well thought of by Paul Nicholls at the beginning of the season and you certainly couldn't rule him out.  As Value Racing Club own Gran Maestro I hope he comes through to win and I'll be having a sentiment bet in a good race.

I haven't hid my thoughts on ONE MORE GO and I feel he has the potential to be very very good.  His maiden win over hurdles was better than the winning margin suggested and I'd expect him to improve like he did on the flat.  Only For Love of Nicky Henderson is favourite and is unbeaten in her two attempts over hurdles and receives her mares' weight allowance however her form doesn't have a huge amount of substance whereas One More Go's form was franked by the second that day Fly Camp (also of Henderson's) and Sporting Milan whom have both won since.  His time over this distance was quicker than Only For Love and I know that doesn't mean a lot over this distance but having been ridden from some way out Only For Love couldn't have gone too much quicker in her win whilst I feel One More Go was only put under the pump late on and I feel would have kept finding if he wasn't isolated for so long (he kicked on again when joined after the last hurdle).  Winning this would open up some nice opportunities and I feel he has an excellent chance of following up his maiden win.

02/07/2016 - 3.10 @ Sandown - SNOW MOON - 1pt Win @ 7/2

July got off to the perfect start as yesterdays' NAP Dubka followed up her defeat of Eyeshine with a convincing win beating Shafafya by over four lengths.  The runner up came to challenge Dubka with two furlongs to go but Dubka pulled out plenty when asked the question and the future looks very bright for her.

I recommended keeping an eye on BIOLOGIST last week at Newbury before she was pulled out.  I'll be having a small dabble on her again today.  
She started off 5/2 favourite in what looked a decent enough maiden behind Simmie before she blew the start and lost ten lengths and her chance.  She's a much bigger price today because of it and no doubt William Haggas would have been working her and he is in good form.

I'd have tipped up LOG OUT ISLAND in the 2.00 @ Sandown however his draw has swayed my decision against it.  He has dropped markedly in class back down to five furlongs from an Ascot group one to a group three.  The five furlongs trip should help rather than hinder but his wide draw makes it tricky to get to the front.

My tip for today is SNOW MOON in the 3,10 @ Sandown.  She makes the return to a mile after slightly disappointing over ten furlongs at Newbury last time out.  I was not convinced by Frankie Dettori's ride that day as I feel he had her badly positioned from the onset.  Her wide draw was not ideal but he tried to keep her prominent for a few furlongs as she was pulling quite hard so he decided to drop her in right at the rear.  Although I can understand that decision I feel it put her out of the race as things would have to go perfectly from there to even get involved.  Abingdon and Beauly had already kicked for home when Frankie began to make his move three furlongs out and he was unable to bridge the gap when settling for third place.  She is better than that display in my opinion and this looks a much weaker race.  I would hope Frankie would have her no further back than midfield and then make her move after five furlongs to get to the front with just under two furlongs to go and let her stamina kick in to play.  John Gosden thinks a lot of her and I hope today she is allowed to show her true colours.

The big race of the day is the Coral Eclipse (3.45 @ Sandown) and I simply cannot see past The Gurkha.  Ryan Moore gave him far too much to do in the St James' Palace Stakes at Ascot when behind Galileo Gold but even if his finishing position that day was accurate (which I think is false) that would give him a great chance here.  Time Test is a cracking horse but he's have to improve from his narrow win to Western Hymn last time out.  That is possible but it's tough to see past the favourite.

I suggest a bet on ORIENTAL FOX in the 4.20 @ Sandown.  He was well backed at Ascot when being given arugably too much to do when staying on in to fourth and I feel he is much better than that.  My only worry is this drop in trip as he's yet to win over the distance but if he is played right he could be a major player.

01/07/2016 - 3.05 @ Doncaster - DUBKA - 2pts Win @ 7/4 (NAP)

Well the end of a disapointing June was capped off with a defeat from Hills of Dubai.  Given a confident front running ride he couldn't keep up his strong gallop and was headed two from home.  He did re-stay on which suggests he may be a three mile horse but his cost price is now looking a very hefty one.

I finished June with a net loss of £7.92 which is the worst month the free tipping service has had so far and although I could make excuses for ground etc I'm not going to.  It has been a frustrating time tipping but I'm glad to get June out of the way and I can go again fresh for July.  Overall the tipping service is still in profit at £49.01 (apologies for the error in calculation over the past week or so) and my aim would be to hit the 75 point mark over a 12 month period based on SP price so if that can be achieved then it would be a very successful first year.  I'm confident that I can reach that mark.

My first piece of advice betting today is the 7.45 @ Beverley.  I have observed a recurring theme about first time handicappers who do well based on how short a price they were on their debut run.  SAYEDAATI SAADATI was an even money favourite on debut in a decent maiden where the winner is now rated 80+.  In opposition Dasheen was 16/1 on debut and hasn't produced a huge amount on the course and the favourite has had plenty of chances to break his duck.  David Simcock is in excellent form and I feel his mount to day is by far the best value in the race at 5/1.

My first tip of the day is a short price but in the 3.05 @ Doncaster Sir Michael Stoute saddles DUBKA.  Ed Dunlop has Shafafya in the race who was pretty impressive last time out however she has only been given a rating of 85 for that attempt.  I've a feeling that Dubka's defeat of Eyeshine is going to work out significantly more than that.  I was given Eyeshine as a horse John Gosden thinks the world of and I couldn't help with be highly impressed with the way Dubka dispatched of her.  Based on her debut run the softer ground shouldn't inconvenience her too much and her trainer is in hot form too.  I have to back her at 7/4.

I'd like to make a special mention to a young lady who is going to be a future star.  Rachel Richardson took my eye on the 1st June for her ride on Stormin Tom where she outrode her jockeys with a positive ride having ridden a lot more positive than her rivals.  She has impressed me more and more with her rides and is one to keep a note on in future.  She could be bigger than Hayley Turner.  Helps that she's not bad looking either :)

30/06/2016 - 2.10 @ Perth - HILLS OF DUBAI - 1pt Win @ 3/1

Frustratingly Quick March was withdrawn last night at Bath after being well backed beforehand.  She could be interesting next time out.

My tip for today is to stay the right side of HILLS OF DUBAI in the 2.10 @ Perth.  He was pulled out of Trafalgar Rock's debut maiden on Sunday which was a class 4 maiden.  Dr Newland said that the horse he feared most was Hills of Dubai which is significant given how Trafalgar won.  He was an expensive purchase and it is very surprising that he has yet to shed his maiden tag however he was unlucky at Aintree last time and is still lightly raced so there should be plenty of improvement in him.  He was going to be a similar price to this last Sunday so in this weaker race he looks good value to me providing his trainer has him in good shape, his form is my only worry.

29/06/2016 - 9.00 @ Bath - QUICK MARCH - 1pt E/W @ 13/2

In the 9.00am at Bath Roger Charlton saddles QUICK MARCH at a nice price.  Dropped to his first class 5 handicap she looks on a nice mark.  She has been really disappointing since her debut win when destroying a relatively decent field.  However her latest run showed a lot more encouragement.  After a bumpy start leaving the stalls she was held up in last and made some progress late on but was never able to get involved.  Although she finished sixth of the eight runners she was only 4 lengths away and that race held plenty of good quality runners.  This race could be run to suit with no real pacesetter in the race so the pace should be steady (she was found well outpaced under a strong pace at both Doncaster and Lingfield.  She comes with risks but may be worth a nice each way bet at the price providing all eight runners stay in.  I will be having a small saver on Willsy who also looks on a nice mark although the form line through Ower Fly gives Quick March the advantage.


I have wanted to be a racehorse owner ever since I got involved in the sport.  In August last year I read on Mark Howard's website that he was an ambassador for Value Racing Club, which provides an easy and cost effective way into horse racing ownership & syndicates, the cost is split evenly across the shareholders and then all you have to pay is the training, insurance costs etc which works out in the region of £150 per month (this is paid upfront), 100% of the winnings are then split evenly across the shareholders too.  

I had some profit left over from Cheltenham and despite my wife being five months pregnant we decided that this was more important and it was something we wanted to get in to.  There are some syndicates that you can pay small money to get in to but I wanted a realistic chance of getting in to the Winners' Enclosure so I spoke to James Couldwell (Syndicate Manager) about the potential purchase of a flat horse to be taken over hurdles at the Newmarket Horses in Training Sales in October.  James spent hours and hours looking in to backgrounds of horses to draw up a shortlist of potential purchases, some of which would be scrubbed off as soon as they were seen at the sales.
On 29th October 2015 at approximately 10pm, TRAFALGAR ROCK was purchased for 30,000 guineas (£31,500) and we (me and the wife) were officially part owners of our first racehorse.  James advised that he would go in to training with Dr Richard Newland and that he would be put away for a while to give him a break.  Trafalgar Rock had gone through a tough season with Mark Johnston on the flat and looked in need of a rest for a few months.  

Unfortunately when he began his first pieces of proper training with Dr Newland he developed a splint which is a lump of tissue that can develop in young horses which although not concerning is sore to touch and eventually develops in to a piece of bone.  He then returned to training in April to begin his career as a hurdler.

A few weeks ago the owners of Trafalgar Rock and another Value Racing Club purchase Milrow were invited to Dr Newland's stables to meet their respective horses and owners and what a great day it was.  Dr Newland and his team were all very accomodating and they put their string through their paces on the gallops.  It was an encouraging piece of quick work by Trafalgar who looked an absolute picture, he had certainly grown in to himself and looked in excellent shape.

Trafalgar Rock was entered in to his first Maiden Hurdle at Uttoxeter yesterday in the first race of the day on one of Uttoxeter's big meetings of the season.  Me and Emma travelled across yesterday morning to get our first taste of real racehorse ownership.  We arrived early and became acquainted with the other owners, James and Dr Newland.  Both James and Dr Newland were very honest of their assessment of Trafalgar and speaking to both of them really was an education in itself.  Trafalgar was then brought in to the parade ring and we also moved in to see him, he looked in excellent condition and stood out from the remainder.  Sam Twiston-Davies was booked for the ride and came over to speak to all the owners.  He spoke in a confident manner having schooled him on several occasions previous and then the nerves really did begin to set in.  Although the most important thing for everyone was to see Trafalgar come home safe and sound their was an air of expectancy now beginning to build as he was backed in to 6/4 favourite.

The group moved in to our viewing area and the race began.  The initial instructions had to be amended as Trafalgar was held up towards the rear on the outside of the nine runner field.  As he jumped the first few hurdles causiously the emotion that was running through me cannot be described, after being best man at my best friends wedding and the birth of my baby girl I didn't think there could be any other emotion that I could feel but this was a completely new experience.  As Trafalgar completed his first lap his jumping had improved and he was continuing to track the leaders from the rear of the field.  As he moved towards the end of the back straight Trafalgar began to make his move under a confident Sam Twiston-Davies.  Coming in to the long home straight at Uttoxeter Sam moved in to the lead towards two from home, this is where Traffy made his first mistake, bunny hopping the hurdle but it was clear from Sam's motion that he had plenty in the tank as he pulled away from his nearest rival.  He was allowed to jump the last in his own stride as he jumped slightly right but he met it well enough and came home by nine lengths without his jockey really having to move.  It was eerie quiet from connections until he jumped the last when the noise level reached a whole new level.  

Thinking that things couldn't get much better we moved back towards the parade ring with high fives and hugs flying everywhere to give Traffy a kiss and listen to Sam's de-brief.  Sam said he had plenty left to give and it was a hugely satisfying debut effort.  We then moved in to the Winners' enclosure to have our pictures taken with Traffy and then collected our trophy.  All the winning connections were invited in to a room where we were given a glass of Champagne and re-watched the race on tele.  The level of emotion in that room was spectacular and it was a fitting way to have a nice celebratory drink with all involved.

Even writing about it gives me goosebumps and with the exception of my wedding day and the birth of my baby girl (I have to say that) it was by the far the best experience of my life.
If owning a racehorse is something you want to get involved in I would highly recommend it.  James Couldwell is an excellent manager who has a wealth of knowledge of the industry and he is proving time and time again that he knows how to find a good quality horse.  With Value Racing Club you are guaranteed to receive a top quality update service as James sends regular emails with how the horse is progressing, even when he was out in the field on a break.  He will gladly answer any questions you ask and the whole point of the club is to become an owner of a racehorse at an affordable price with a realistic chance of getting in to the Winners' Enclosure.  If you would like to get involved please feel free to drop James an email at [email protected]  

As for Trafalgar he is likely to run again in three to four weeks, he is still a young horse and will come on for the run yesterday as he was still a bit green but he couldn't have began his new career in much more convincing style.  Next time out he will have more on his plate than yesterday but expectations have grown and no matter what happens for me, he has already repaid the amount of money we've paid out on him.
As for tipping it has been a bit of a lean spell on my part and I'm having a re-valuation of my selections as I have not been happy with my recent performance.  I believe in my ability but the flat racing has been a minefield of late and due to setting the site up as a daily page I've been trying to find value rather than leaving it if I don't fancy anything and going on to the next day.  Therefore in future I will not be guaranteeing a horse each day.  I will ensure that my page on facebook and twitter will be updated whenever I have put a tip up.  I will also in future be putting the advised price up as at between 9am-10am each day.  I will still put my write ups on early for those who can get on at that time but if the price lowers by 9am I will update the price accordingly as I feel this is fair.  Please bare in mind that my tipping service is aimed for players who have a long term interest in the sport and are not looking for a quick buck.  I will have bad spells and I will have good spells but I believe (and my performances to date prove) that long term I can keep up a steady profit and I hope my knowledge and advice can add a bit of interest in to your betting.

25/06/2016 - 2.30 @ Newcastle - BURATINO - 1pt Win @ 4/1

I have high hopes for Intimation and boy did she disapoint.  Finishing a poor 7th she was never involved before weakening tamely.  The tips are going through a barren spell at the moment but I'm sure as has happened in the past if we keep following the same theories the tides will turn.

As I have been asked to provide my advice for a client at Chester tomorrow I thought it would be rude not to give out my views.  There are a couple of nice Maiden races to start the day.  As I'm a form analyst I tend to shy away from newcomers and with neither of them coming to my mind as hearing much word for them I have decided to swerve the newcomers.  I have picked out LOVE OASIS (1.50) and BILLY SLATER (2.20) against the fields although i've suggested a saver on Mick Channon's Organza who could be anything.  Both have decent enough maiden form without winning and the extra experience can pay dividends in these races.  Both are drawn well too.  Without delving too much in to my reasoning I have gone with ARCANADA (2.55), PERRAULT (3.30), BLYTHE SPIRIT (4.00), DISTANT PAST (4.35) and KELVINGROVE (5.10) in the needle in a haystack handicaps.  If I can get two winners at Chester tomorrow out of them I will be very happy.

The Curragh hosts a very interesting and top quality card with the Irish Derby the highlight of the day.  I'm hoping PEACE ENVOY (4.40) can resume winning ways back at six furlongs having ran very well at Ascot but with favourite for the derby Harzand unbackable at the price I'm going for a huge outsider to run in to a place.  CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI is 66/1 for Aidan O'Brien and Donnacha O'Brien today and that price just looks way too big with three places up for grabs.  His only win came over a mile at Leopardstown when taking the scalp of The Gurkha and he was certainly not disgraced by The Major General earlier this month when tackling the trip for the first time.  Granted he has to improve on that to feature here but at the price I just can't ignore him and I'll be having a few quid each way.

BURATINO takes another drop in class in the 2.30 @ Newcastle and surely has to take all the beating here.  He has been very disappointing since winning the Coventry last year but he has been running well of late without a huge amount of fortune and the fact he finished in front of La Rioja last time out shows he's not in bad form at all.  Connections now look desperate to get a win in to him and with Mark Johnston in good form I can't think of a reason not to back him.  He has ran on Chelmsford's Polytrack which is the closest thing to Newcastle's tapeta on debut and won comfortably by 3 lengths so he should handle the track and it's probably the quickest track he has encountered this season which has to be a positive.  He has a decent enough draw and is versatile position wise.  

24/06/2016 - 7.45 @ Newcastle - INTIMATION - 2pts Win @ 10/3 (NAP)

Kummiya was a bit too keen in her race yesterday but still travelled nicely for the majority before weakening late on.  Dutch Destiny travelled like the winner in his race but was no match for the winner Guishan who won well.  It was a disappointing day with one glimmer of light as Curtain Call came home for advice followers at 5/1, I hope anyone who followed took the 8/1 available yesterday morning.

I'm interested by RED ARTIST in the 3.45 @ Doncaster.  This is a tricky handicap to assess with Hornsby making his belated return to action but at the price and now upped in trip Simon Crisford's mount has the potential to improve and stayed on well last time out all too late sighting this mile trip should suit.  He's interesting at 10/1.

My tip today is INTIMATION in the 7.45 @ Newcastle and I am pretty confident about her chances.  Over this distance last season she beat Mikandy comfortably at Leicester and Mikandy has since gone on to be 80 rated, that performance was impressive and her reappearance was highly satisfactory in my opinion as she slip-streamed Mutamakkin travelling a lot nicer than him (rated 90+) before moving in to contention a furlong out.  Her challenge didn't amount to a serious one in the closing stages however the way she travelled cannot be ignored and given she will have come on for the run she looks in my opinion the one to beat in this race.  Michael Stoute is in very hot form and thinks a lot of this filly.  I don't see anything in the opposition that really scares me.

I think it's funny that Run to the Hills is being backed in the 8.15, is that in light of the EU vote???  Either way, i'll not be having a bet in that race.

23/06/2016 - 4.45 @ Newmarket - KUMMIYA - 1pt Win @ 12/1
23/06/2016 - 5.20 @ Newmarket - DUTCH DESTINY - 1pt Win @ 5/2

I said I may regret tipping Dutch Art Dealer and after seeing the drastic dip in the betting for him I knew the writing was on the cards as he failed to live up to my expectations once again.  I have to admit the flat racing has confused me somewhat of late as so many races are won by horses that, without having inside information, I don't see how anyone could tip them up based on their past performances.  It may just be me but it's becoming increasingly frustrating seeing horses who haven't won for so long and have no ground performance suddenly capture this piece of work that wins them a race off a basement mark after being backed in the betting.  Anyway, rant over, back to business.

Yesterdays' advised bets didn't fare too badly with the yankee having 3 from 4 winners and the one that let us down
Today looks a really good set of meetings across the country although no jumps meeting does put a dampener on it all.  I've plenty of horses I like the look of today and a couple of tips that I feel tick the boxes.

Firstly, over at Hamilton I feel CURTAIN CALL could be a big price in the 8.40.  Richard Fahey's string are in good form and he is due a win at the track.  Adam McNamara takes the ride on this bay filly who gets a handy weight allowance on her drop back in class 4 handicap company.  The ground was too soft for her at Chester whereas she has peak draw here and if showing the form of her run behind Red Artist in April she should go close.

Over at Newbury in the 6.10 BIOLOGIST is one worth keeping an eye on.  She started off 5/2 favourite in what looked a decent enough maiden behind Simmie before she blew the start and lost ten lengths and her chance.  She's a much bigger price today because of it and no doubt William Haggas would have been working her and he is in very hot form.

In the 2.55 @ Newcastle THE THIRD MAN reverts to the all weather tracks after failing on turf last time out.  Back down to his last winning mark and with conditions to suit he looks decent each way value at 10/1 with Paul Mulrennan booked for the ride.

I can't let LUCKY BEGGAR go unbacked in the 4.10 @ Newmarket.  I have tipped him up before and I am convinced he is being held out for a handicap.  There are a couple of significant signs today, despite his poor for he is back in to class 2 company and off a light weight based on his past and Ryan Moore has been booked for the ride.  Based on his current form you couldn't back him however after my observations on handicaps recently he could reverse all that form ten fold.

My first tip for today is in the 4.45 @ Newmarket - KUMMIYA.  Roger Charlton's string have been in impressive form of late and in particular when William Twiston-Davies has ridden for him.  He has been booked for the ride here and I am intruiged with this horse.  He looked in desperate need of his run on his debut when finishing eight of 8 then came out at Lingfield next time out and beat Always Welcome of John Gosden's impressively under this jockey.  Always Welcome has since beat War Glory who has then franked the form too.  It looked like history repeating itself at Ascot as he showed inexperience and gave Fran Berry a bit of a torrid ride.  That run was needed and now he has a basement mark in a class 4 0-85 handicap.  Based on his win on the all weather he would be rated in the 85 region so he certainly has the capability and hopefully he will be a lot fitter and better off for his first run of the season.

My second tip is in the following race, the 5.20 @ Newmarket - DUTCH DESTINY.  Similar to Kummiya she improved for her first run last year and it is interesting why connections have dropped her back to six furlongs.  William Haggas believes she is well handicapped off her mark and could turn in to a Stakes filly in time.  She needs a bit of cut in the ground which she gets today and you can't help but be impressed with her maiden win.  Ryan Moore takes the ride which is a major positive too.  She ticks the boxes.

22/06/2016 - 6.50 @ Kempton - DUTCH ART DEALER - 1pt Win @ 5/1

Sunlit Waters ran a better race at the finish than her resulting position suggests.  Paul Hanagan was never happy positioned in the rear of midfield but couldn't move her up the field so settled her down after two furlongs.  From there she was never able to get involved and the final two furlongs Hanagan cleverly moved her in between horses to ensure her handicap mark will remain in tact.  Even with the jockey stepping off the gas she stayed on promisingly without troubling the leaders, she is one for the notebook.

I may regret this but I was convinced last time out that DUTCH ART DEALER had a win around the corner (6.50 @ Kempton).  He has a tendency to fall out of the stalls which is my biggest concern but even despite things not falling right for him last time out (again) he stayed on stoutly at the finish to get within a length of Mezmaar.  This course does suit him and he arguably ran his best race over C&D back in November when again meeting trouble in running.  Martin Harley will have been buoyed by a Royal Ascot winner at the weekend and takes the ride.  At 5/1 I can't let him go unbacked.
There are a few that take my eye today based on jockey bookings, previous runnings etc so I'm going to have this pair of bets;

£1 Lucky 15 with Bet Victor (prices as at 9.40am);

6.50 @ Kempton - DUTCH ART DEALER 5/1
7.00 @ Naas - SUFOOF 9/2
7.50 @ Kempton - HIGHER POWER 11/4
9.20 @ Kempton - HARRISTOWN 3/1

£3 Yankee with Betfair (prices as at 9.40am);

2.00 @ Carlisle - ALICANTE DAWN 5/4
6.10 @ Bath - RASMIYA 11/10
7.30 @ Naas - DISCIPLINE 5/4
7.40 @ Bath - SEED CORN 11/10

21/06/2016 - 4.30 @ Beverley - SUNLIT WATERS - 1pt Win @ 8/1

Blagapar made a winning debut for Dr Richard Newland yesterday at Southwell as he thought off Echo Brava in a great battle at the finish.  It wasn't a vintage display however the attitude he shown after being headed was very promising and he should progress.  Unfortunately there was a non runner which shot the odds however it would have been a decent enough return had you have been able to get on the 9/4 when advised.

You may have noticed yesterday that there was a whole host of favourites going in so I suggest airing with a bit of caution today as in my experience you very rarely get two days on the bounce full of favourite winners, and if you do, you certainly don't get three so be careful if you have a bet today.

My tip for today is a bit of a risky one but I feel there is enough there to believe she could be worth a dabble at a nice price.  In the 4.30 @ Beverley, SUNLIT WATERS makes her handicap debut for Eve Johnson Houghton.  Her form figures of 550 don't fill you with much confidence however she has been contesting some pretty hot maiden's, the latter of which has resulted in a whole host of winners since and all three runs came with plenty of promise having stayed on well in her first two outings, the extra furlong from those runs and the drop a furlong from her last run seems perfect.  Paul Hanagan has been booked for the ride which seems significant and given he has had a bit of a barron run he will be looking to pick up a winner sooner rather than later.  At 8/1 she looks a risk worth taking.

20/06/2016 - 4.15 @ Southwell - BLAGAPAR - 1pt Win @ 9/4

Tiger Trek almost came home for tip followers yesterday at a nice price.  He set off in front as expected and was headed when making a mistake at the last and although he stayed on at the same pace the leader had moved in front and held his advantage at the finish.  It is surely a matter of time before the tides turn for the tips as although it hasn't been a mad month profit wise there have been too many 2nds and 3rds for my liking.

My tip today is from the same connections as Tiger Trek as BLAGAPAR makes his debut for Dr Newland in the 4.15 @ Southwell.  Blagapar worked alongside Hassle when I went to visit the yard a few weeks back and although he couldn't go the pace of his partner he looked very well in himself and Dr Newland certainly believes he has ability.  He was second on his rules debut at Kilbeggan where he jumped really well and stayed on at the finish.  Dr Newland's strike rate took a hit yesterday but in unfortunate circumstances and I am expecting a big run from Blagapar today under Sam Twiston-Davies.

19/06/2016 - 3.50 @ Worcester - TIGER TREK - 1pt Win @ 6/1

Another frustrating day tip wise yesterday.  After advising three big priced winners at Royal Ascot on the final day my expectations for both King of Rooks and Nisser was high however both disappointed, and to some extent.  King Of Rooks travelled like the winner until asked the question to which he weakened tamely to finish last, he is not the horse he was expected to be and it is going to be tough to win with him based on yesterdays' display.  As for Nisser, it looks like the seven furlong trip was too far for him and I would expect connections to drop him back to six furlongs.  However he has to improve, he started well yesterday and there were no excuses, it was simply a poor performance and he is becoming very costly to follow.

Trafalgar Rock is to make his debut this week for Dr Newland but it's another of his horses I'm tipping up today.  TIGER TREK runs in the 3.50 @ Worcester.  Backed off the boards on debut Dr Newland said when I visited his stable the other week that he didn't understand where that had come from as he was in desperate need of the run.  He did however say that he is a lot fitter now and should go well next time out, that is today.  He isn't necessarily on a good mark looking at the ratings however the whole field look on tough marks and there is no doubting Dr Newland's ability to ready one and at his home track.  I would expect him to head off in front and play catch me if you can today and Tiger Trek certainly jumps well, if he is as fit as I hope he will be tough to beat.

Value Racing Club have Gran Maestro running today in the 4.50 @ Worcester and he looks a very good each way bet but has Curious Carlos to contend with, he is more than capable on his day but has a quirky attitude.  This extended trip may help but the favourite will be tough to beat.  Good luck to connections however!

18/06/2016 - 4.40 @ Newmarket - KING OF ROOKS - 1pt Win @ 3/1
18/06/2016 - 5.55 @ Newmarket - NISSER - 1pt Win @ 7/2

Well after the first three days at Ascot I was due a bad day and it came yesterday.  My picks didn't trouble the places, let alone the winners.  It was a frustraing day but I won't dwell on it and we go again on a big Saturday of racing.

The opener, the Chesham Stakes (2.30) is a bit of a poor betting heat really.  My selection would have been Churchill but to see him at odds on with some bookies is shocking.  In fact i'm not going to spend much time on the race at all.  I'm going to have a small saver on CUNCO just because he made a telling impression on debut and has had a bit of time to get over his debut and get ready for Ascot.

The 3.05 Wolferton Stakes looks all about the favourite BEST OF TIMES.  Back up in trip and with a run behind him he is bound to be ready to roll today under his big trainer.  Word is that he has improved from last year and if so then he holds every chance of mopping up here.  My saver for the race should the favourite flop is SIR ISAAC NEWTON.  His recent second has been franked in no small means by Portage.  He appears to be on a lenient mark here and trainer form can't be beaten.  Jockey Ryan Moore has received a bit of criticism recently but he is a top class jockey and would not have liked his team mates beating him yesterday, he could have a very good day today!

The Hardwicke Stakes (3.40) looks a cracking race in my opinion and although I was impressed with the favourite last time out Exosphere, the price for him looks far too short in a race of this calibre and I have two who I feel have great chances at bigger prices.  Firstly my main bet for the race is EAGLE TOP.  Beaten by Astronereus on reappearance he was never put in to the race and that performance looks more and more to me like a training exercise to get him right for this.  This is a weaker race than last year when he finished 2nd to Snow Sky and a repeat of that performance would see him go very close.  He is ground versatile and he looks a great each way bet atleast.  Exosphere beat SIMPLE VERSE in April however there is now a five pound pull here and the favourite only beat her by four lengths.  Ralph Beckett's horses are in excellent form and I feel she has the ability to be in the shake up.  It is a very interesting race.

The Betfred Sprint Cup back in September had a few of these and is for me the best form line to look through to sieve through the field and try to pick the winner of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (4.20).  I have been a big fan of TWILIGHT SON and I do feel he has the edge over Magical Memory now back on level playing terms.  The ground will no inconvenience him, in fact will suit him more than the others and Henry Candy has booked Ryan Moore for the ride which looks very significant.  With 1/4 odds for 3 places and the likes I think at 4/1 he's a good each way bet.

The Wokingham (5.00) puzzle is another tricky one to disect.  I am looking at trainer/jockey combinations as much as the horses that have not performed this season but have done so last year.  Therefore my main selection is THE HAPPY PRINCE of Aidan O'Brien.  His best performance was to the highly thought of FORT DEL ORO over six furlongs in October last year.  He's been given plenty of chance from the handicapper and providing he's given a positive ride he really could spring a surprise here at a big price.  The second horse I'm going to throw my saver on is DINKUM DIAMOND.  A horse that needs everything to drop right he peaks at this time of year and could be a huge each way price.

The Queen Alexandra Stakes (5.35) closes the week off with another tricky race.  I can't not back ORIENTAL FOX.  He won this race last season and is only 3 pounds worse off here.  This trip seems to bring the best out of him and the ground shouldn't inconvenience him.  The worry is his trainers' form but he did have a winner yesterday.  At a bigger price I like the potential behind COMMISSIONED.  This is an interesting route to have gone down from Gordon Elliott but his flat form is 112.  He has no issue jumping hurdles over this distance so without the obstacles he should see this trip out too whilst the ground shouldn't be a problem either.  His shrewd trainer doesn't mess about so he can't be underestimated.

My first tip of the day comes over at Newmarket in the 4.40.  KING OF ROOKS has had his sights set lower than ever in his first handicap assignment.  He was so impressive over five furlongs early in his career and granted he's not taken that on he's not disgraced himself against the top horses over six furlongs.  Back over five furlongs here he has a chunk of weight to carry however he is a class apart from these and surely retains the ability to carry it.

My second and final trip of the day is 5.55 @ Newmarket - NISSER.  I didn't tip up Rose Eclair yesterday after backing off a cliff first couple of runs this year and regretted it as she won at 10/1, I'm not going to make that mistake again with Nisser.  He has had two torrid runs the last couple of outings and arguably deserved to win both.  He has no surprise been upped in trip here and looks a guaranteed stayer.  He has a couple of pound less on his back and less on his plate in opposition.  He surely has to go close here.

17/06/2016 - 8.45 @ Ayr - GAMESOME - 1pt Win @ 15/2

Strong Steps came home yesterday for tip followers and I hope you took advantage of the 6/1 that was on offer when tipped up as he was hammered in the betting and held on for a narrow victory.  It was a case of what could have been for Sennockian Star who didn't have the best of runs then had to be pulled out widest of all to mount a challenge all too late, if things had fallen right we could be celebrating a nice double on the day.  Ascot-wise Order of St George and Even Song were the highlight performances, the former in particular was extremely impressive and it's hard to see anyone competing against him in the Gold Cup for years to come.

As always Ascot starts today with a tricky one to assess, the 2yr old Albany Stakes.  Aidan O'Brien's Cuff will be all the rage I'm sure given the trainer and jockey form and given that she is the only one in the top four in the betting that has tackled six furlongs.  However I listened to Wesley Ward a few months ago talk about CREATE A DREAM and he couldn't speak higher of her before her narrow victory in April at Ascot.  She wasn't 100% that day and still won showing a very willing attitude.  At the prices she has the potential to be very very good.

The King Edward VII Stakes (3.05) is another trappy affair with plenty of horses not yet tackling the one mile four furlong trip so a lot has to be taken on trust.  The two horses at nice prices that interest me are CHOREOGRAPHER and MUNTAHAA.  Choreographer's run in the Dante was a lot better than his finishing position suggests as he met plenty of trouble in running before running on all too late in the day.  Prior to that run he proved he can tackle a softer surface and the way he stayed on in the Dante shows that this step up in trip shouldn't be too much of a hinderence.  I really like his claims.  Muntahaa was very impressive a couple of weeks ago over this distance at Kempton.  Granted that form lacks substance however the manner in which he won can't be ignored and the trainer/jockey combination is always worth a follow.

The Commonwealth Cup (3.40) looks another needle in the haystack job and there are two I will be having a dabble at here.  The favourite doesn't interest me at her price.  Her time in her last race was quicker than Log Out Island however she has more on her back and case here, she's far too short.  I think LOG OUT ISLAND was a revelation last time out in first time hood and I'd assume he will go gung-ho once again and play Catch Me if you can.  That performance was impressive and he looks underestimated to me here.  The other horse I like is LA RIOJA.  She looked in need of the run out last time and she will be tuned up for this today.  Whether she has trained on remains to be seen but she travelled nicely enough last time before weakening as if tired late on.  She's a big each way price.

Jet Setting will be all the rage in the big race of the day, the Coronation Stakes (4.20).  She won the Irish 1000 Guineas beating Minding.  I'm hoping that tough race has left it's mark and the testing ground that day may have suited her more than most.  She will take all the beating but at the price she looks risky enough to bypass.  I like the claims of NATHRA.  She has been the unlucky one to run in to Minding twice and was even more unlucky in the French 1000 Guineas last time out.  She looks honest enough and is sure to run her race, she looks good each way value.  At a bigger price I will be having a saver on NOW OR NEVER.  Kieran Fallon said she's the nicest filly he has ever ridden when beating Radiantly and granted Jet Setting has beaten her twice this ground should suit and she is another who looks honest enough to run a big race at a big price.

The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (5.00) is a cracking handicap where every horse actually really does have a realistic chance.  I've tried to find a couple of horses that have the potential to upset the apple-cart and may have been set up to improve for this big race.  The two i'm going with are MISSED CALL and IVAN GROZNY.  Missed Call finished third behind the favourite Elite Army on his reappearance and he should improve for that run.  He looks on a good mark and more importantly an exploitable one.  Ivan Grozny had good flat form over in France and has turned out to be an excellent hurdler for Willie Mullins.  Providing he's fit he is an unknown quantity here and could be a nice price.

The last race of the day, the Queen's Vase (5.35) is tough to assess due to a lot of the field tackling the trip for the first time.  The horse I feel has a nice mark given that he hasn't had the clearest of runs last time out but stayed on well is LANDOFHOPEANDGLORY.  The ground shouldn't go against him, trainer and jockey combination can't be ignored and he has been plying his trade in better races than this one.  He looks a nice price in an interesting race.

Elsewhere Paul Midgley looks to have found an ideal opportunity for GAMESOME to get back in to the Winners' Enclosure tonight at Ayr (8.45).  This is a big drop in class and the lowest rating he's had since going handicapping.  He has been competing in some really tough races and hasn't progressed as his trainer might have expected however he hasn't been given much leeway from the handicapper.  Here however is the first realistic time he could be a winner this season.  If he can put in a display the same as last May then he wins this hands down.  He looks too well handicapped here not to back at 15/2

16/06/2016 - 2.55 @ Chelmsford - STRONG STEPS - 1pt Win @ 6/1
16/06/2016 - 3.30 @ Chelmsford - SENNOCKIAN STAR - 1pt Win @ 5/1

Yesterday we witnessed what was arguably the greatest display over five furlongs ever by Lady Aurelia.  She dominated from the front and pushed clear under Frankie Dettori when popped the question to win by upwards of eight lengths and against such an elite field made her performance even more impressive.  Unfortunately yesterday's nap Teofonic had a bit of a torrid trip at Chelmsford as she had to go around the outside of favourite Pepita so to get within 3/4 length behind the winner Island Vision makes that performance better than her finishing position suggests.  My 1000 Guineas bet however now looks like a chance not quite worth taking.  If she was going to be that level she should be winning last night.  Advice followers would have had winners with Ribchester, Lady Aurelia and Usherette whilst Furia Cruzada (20/1) and Mitchum Swagger (14/1) both placed so it wasn't a wasted day.

Day Three at Ascot starts with another tricky 2 year old contest over five furlongs, The Norfolk Stakes (2.30) and I've based my selection on the quickest time on a course so far therefore my main bet is RED LODGE of Wesley Ward's.  He won his last race at Belmont Park in just 55 seconds which is five seconds quicker than favourite Global Applause.  Now there are things to consider, Red Lodge had 11 pound less on his back than Global and it was on very fast ground however his jockey that day didn't have to move a muscle on the winner and had he done so, who knows what time he would have clocked up.  He's a risk on this ground but that's what you have to do in these types of races, take risks.  I will be having a saver on PEACE ENVOY at a bigger price under Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore.

In the 3.05 Tercentenary Stakes the horse I like against the field is ROYAL ARTILLERY at a nice price.  His return wasn't too enterprising however he had problems with his breathing in the winter and had a couple of operations so to see him stay on bodes very well for this step up in trip and there is no doubt he would have needed that run.  The form of his debut win has been franked plenty of times over and he cannot be underestimated.  I can't let LONG ISLAND SOUND go unbacked either for the same combination as Peace Envoy.  He hasn't faced much in opposition however he has won with plenty of authority and the step up in trip looks like it should suit.  He's a nice price.

I'm sticking with the Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore combination in the Ribblesdale Stakes (3.40) with EVEN SONG.  I was on her for the Oaks having been recommended to back her each way and I feel it is significant that she didn't go there but has been saved for this.  Her trainer knew he had the winner in the Oaks with Minding and is a shrewd operator.  He would not be running her here if he didn't think she couldn't win.  I will be having a saver on SOVEREIGN PARADE whose maiden victory was franked by Dubka's victory a couple of weeks back.  She cost a lot of money and won with authority on debut.  This is a big step up but her trainer knows how to transform a maiden winner in to pattern company.  She's interesting.

The big race of the day is the GOLD CUP (4.20) and it is all about the favourite ORDER OF ST GEORGE.  If he gets the trip, which he looks like he will and doesn't meet trouble in running then he will take all the beating.  At even money he doesn't hold much value alone so he will be one for the acca's, lucky 15's etc.  I will be having a saver on MAX DYNAMITE of Willie Mullins'.  He will have him in peak condition and he looks set to go well.

The first big handicap of the day, The Brittania Stakes (5.00) is an intruiging contest and the two I like against the field are OUT AND ABOUT and PREDILECTION.  Out and About won well from Fighting Temeraire on his return and given that he had a wide draw that day made it even more impressive.  The step up to a mile shouldn't inconvenience him and he looks the one to beat.  Predilection I feel is one that will be underestimated.  He has raced twice on the all weather which people tend to ignore the form of however they look now like prep-runs for something bigger........this.  He will need to improve but Gosden would not be throwing him in this unless he thought he had a chance.  He looks a big price to me.

The King George V Stakes (5.35) looks a tough race to disect on paper.  The two I will be backing is PRIMITIVO and HARRISON.  Primitivo has been visually very impressive on his last couple of outings and comes here with a live chance for Alan King.  He won't have a problem with the ground as he is versatile and he looks set to run well whilst I will be backing Harrison as this is a drop in grade and I can't help but think back to my interview with Mick Channon where he couldn't hide his excitement about him.  He could be one at a nice price.

My first tip of today is in the 2.55 @ Chelmsford in the shape of STRONG STEPS.  Hugo Palmer's 3 year old has been competing against some good horses and the form behind Azraff was franked yesterday.  He has course and distance form in the bag, has a good claimer on board and looked well handicapped before taking the claim off.  At 11/2 he looks a big price to me.

My second tip of the day is in the very next race at Chelmsford, the 3.30 in the shape of SENNOCKIAN STAR.  He won a very similar handicap in May last year at Chelmsford under 9 stone 7 pounds.  Today he only has 9 stone on his back and although he has to prove himself based on his recent outings this is a big drop in grade and he went in to that handicap last year with poor form also.  He is more than capable on his day of taking a race like this and I hope that Mark Johnston will have him primed to get back in to the winners' enclosure.

15/06/2016 - 6.10 @ Chelmsford - TEOFONIC - 2pts Win @ 5/2 (NAP)
15/06/2016 - 2.30 @ Ascot - GIFTED MASTER - 1pt Win @ 8/1

Well what a first day at Ascot.  The day began with US Mare Tepin winning the Queen Anne Stakes holding off the game challenge of team bet Belardo to win at 11/2.  Aidan O’Brien’s Caravaggio then put his 2000 Guineas credentials on show as he powered away from Mehmas who ran a cracker in defeat to win the Coventry Stakes despite drifting across the track, an impressive display.  The King Stands’ Stakes was won by Profitable who just seems to keep improving and despite the favourite Mecca’s Angel failing to fire take nothing away from the winner who is a top drawer horse.  The big race of the day the St James’ Palace Stakes was won by the English 2000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold for Hugo Palmer and Frankie Dettori at 6/1.  He had his excuses in Ireland but made no mistake given a positive ride from Dettori as he powered away from two furlongs out.  It has to be said it wasn’t Ryan Moore’s greatest moment as he gave The Gurkha a mountain to climb and he closed to just over a length in defeat.  It will be interesting should they have a rematch along the way.  The big handicap of the day seen an all the way winner in Jennies Jewel.  She had been well backed during the day and was given an enterprising ride by Ronan Whelan to hold off the late challenge from Qewy.  The final race of the day saw John Gosden’s Ardad come of age.  Having won his only race on good to firm he pulled clear of this field by upwards of three lengths and the future looks bright for him.
Day Two opens with the Group 3 Jersey Stakes (2.30) and the horse I like against the field is GIFTED MASTER.  His one appearance over seven furlongs resulted in a 4 1/2 length victory over Waterloo Bridge and his only appearance on softish ground resulted in a 3 length win over the same rival over six furlongs so the distance and ground shouldn't inconvenience him.  He has proven form and even his 3rd last time out although disappointing still looks very strong indeed.  His trainer is rapidly becoming one of the best around whilst his jockey knows him well.  The more I look at the race the more I really like him.  The favourite is Castle Harbour who has looked very good in his two races to date however this is a massive step up on what he's done so far and Gifted Master is certainly the safer option.  Ribchester could be interesting given the 2000 Guineas run getting a huge boost yesterday and he will be my saver bet but Gifted Master for me is the one to be on.

The 3.05 Queen Mary Stakes is all about the favourite LADY AURELIA who has come over from the US with a massive reputation.  After hearing Wesley Ward talking about her earlier this week he said that she is going in to the race "spot on".  "She will run an amazing race and is will take a would be champion to beat her".  Ward has been confident about his horses before and they have come good but I've never heard him so confident about a horse before than Lady Aurelia.  Of the others you could put a pin on them as there is very little form to go through.  You could say Al Johrah has soft ground form in the bag and you could say Roly Poly's defeat to Caravaggio was franked yesterday but in reality I have to go with what i've heard rather than seen and I'm sticking with the favourite.

The Duke of Cambridge Stakes (3.40) has plenty of interest from abroad with the front two in the market making the trip over from France.  Usherette is held in the highest of regards by her trainer Andre Fabre and her credentials look pretty solid given how she beat Arabian Queen last time out and she looks set up for this race today.  Whether soft ground will aid her chances we do not know but it will certainly take a good horse to beat her should she run her race.  Maimara has soft and heavy ground form in the bag and will probably need a bit more rain to put her challenge up to the favourite but she needs to improve on what she has done to date if she is going to take this one.  The one I'll be taking on at a big price is FURIA CRUZADA.  She has soft ground in the bag and ran one unlucky race in behind Usherette at Newmarket last time out.  She gets 3 pound from the favourite today and given a clear run she could be very interesting.  The right trainer and jockey combination is there and at 16/1 she looks worth taking a chance on in a race lacking major depth.

The big race of the day is the Prince of Wales' Stakes (4.20) and I really hope A SHIN HIKARI comes home in front and wins well having a couple of decent ante post trebles riding on him.  Found can't be underestimated and will surely challenge the favourite whilst the others in the race I think have questions to answer so it'll be the top two in the market who fight it out in my eyes and hopefully the favourite will win.  He's not worth putting money on at the price though.

The big handicap of the day is the Royal Hunt Cup (5.00) and best of luck picking your winner out of those 30 runners!!!  I've not spent a major amount of time on the race as it's a minefield however I do think MITCHUM SWAGGER could be well handicapped and will appreciate the soft ground and similar could be said about BALTY BOYS whilst at a big price Spark Plug could be interesting.  Small stakes maximum for me though.
The last race of the day is the Sandringham (5.35) and another tricky handicap.  The two I like are CZABO and PURE DIAMOND.  Both should appreciate the ground and both have trainers in form whilst their marks look workable.  It's small stakes again but I do think the latter is a big big price.

My tip of the day elsewhere is 6.10 @ Chelmsford - TEOFONIC.  She was the last winner I had on the site just over a week ago and I have been nothing but impressed with her.  She still ran pretty green last time out before coming away under a superb Franny Norton ride.  I'm not surprised she's been upped in trip to a mile and that looks sure to suit and i've even backed her at 66/1 with Paddy Power for next years' 1000 Guineas.  Granted that's a long way off but she has plenty of ability and if she learns to settle and progresses she could be very interesting indeed.  I would hope she is a lot better than this field today so to see her at 5/2 put a smile on my face.

14/06/2016 - 5.10 @ Thirsk - HIGHLAND ACCLAIM - 1pt Win @ 10/1

Day One of Royal Ascot begins today and also the start of my Ascot Tipping Competition.  If you are interested in playing please email me at [email protected] and I will send on the information, it is £10 to enter and there are some good prizes up for grabs.
The ground at Ascot is estimated to be soft due to the last couple of days worth of rain which adds another element to the almost impossible task of picking out winners.  It's a great start to the five day festival with such quality on the cards but picking a winner is not going to be easy.

Starting with race one (2.30), the two I like against the field are TEPIN and AMAZING MARIA.  Tepin is an interesting horse having been brought over from the US and with a big rep