#startracking Thursday December 31st 4.30pm

#startracking has three runners on New Year’s Day, all at Cheltenham and all with a chance.

1.20     THREE MUSKETEERS This is a class horse for whom 2m 5f is his best trip at this stage of his career, he may get further in time. He was good last time at Newbury and he faces a bunch of stamina laden rivals. Surely Seeyouatmidnight, Aubusson and Blaklion all need three miles, Le Mercurey was a lucky winner at Ascot, Volnay de Thaix was no more than workmanlike on chasing debut and the expensive Minella Rocco has questions to answer. The ground is now Heavy which could be an issue, it is Three Musketeers first view of Cheltenham but if he is to give Shaneshill a race at the Festival in the JLT he has to go close here and he is a three star*** selection @ 3/1 general.

1.55     TOP GAMBLE He was due to step up in trip in the Rowland Meryck over 3m at Wetherby over Christmas but it was abandoned. This is an interesting alternative. Top Gamble is an improving chaser who knows how to win, will definitely go on the ground and is up to this grade. There are plenty of dangers most who have course and distance form. Village Vic, Little Jon and Tenor Ninervais all have a shout, Mr Mole is the class act but enigmatic at best, Mon Successeur is only five and improving  but hails from an “under a cloud” Ditcheat and my eye keeps being drawn to Johns Spirit who is starting to look well handicapped and fits the profile of past winners! However the 9/1 available with PP and Skybet for Top Gamble seems generous and he is a two star** selection.

3.05     VIRGILIO After his last win in a C2 handicap trainer Dan Skelton said Virgilio will go to Cheltenham on New Year’s Day for the two-and-a-half-mile conditions race. We thought we may as well give it a try in that sort of race.

He’s been put up 11lb by the handicapper to 149 so that is the reason and we’ll see how he gets on in graded company. We’d thought about going chasing with him, but those plans are on hold now.” He certainly steps in with the big boys here with Festival winners Cole Harden, Bobs Worth and Whisper all in opposition. This is the race that More of That won to announce his arrival at the staying hurdlers top table en route from winning handicaps off OR138 to winning the World Hurdle! Virgilio could be of a similar ilk and he is a two star** selection at 6/1 with PP.

#SimpleSimonSays…

I know many of you like to perm four selections so the fourth selection is …

2.30 BATAVIR When I went to The PP Gold Cup Saturday in November this horse was all the rage, 8/1 to 5/1, for the 3m hurdle won by Ron’s Dream. Like many others I saw Batavir in the Pre-Parade ring and he was just too fresh and was beaten before he left the paddock and on course drifted back to his original price. He ran well and was bang there to two out when his pre-race exertions took their toll. Since then he was a solid third to Baradari in the Fixed Brush at Haydock, he has been dropped two pounds and is almost a stone better off with Ron’s Dream. The cheek-pieces are back on, he’ll handle the ground and it all points to a big run. I simply can’t believe William Hill are offering 14/1 and he is a two star** e/w selection.

 

#startracking Guide to the Best of the Rest of New Years Day

There are very average Bank Holiday jump cards at Catterick, Fakenham, Exeter, Musselburgh in this country and a poor Fairyhouse card in Ireland. The jumpers worth looking at I anticipate will be too short to back and there isn’t much quality about. Southwell race on the sand.

Exeter

2.20 Vieux Lille has looked good in winning his bumper and maiden hurdle and should defy the penalty here.

2.55 Braavos Another Hobbs inmate and a handicap work in progress. Surprised he’s running on this ground!

3.30 Activial Noel Fehily is here not Cheltenham and this one in the beginners chase is why. Second to Three Musketeers on debut.

Catterick

1.40 Definitly Red Makes his much awaited chasing debut in an egg and spoon four runner event.

 

A HAPPY & PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR to you all

 

Next Blog will be Saturday Jan. 2nd 10.30am, looking at Sandown.

#startracking Thursday December 31st 10.00am

To my amazement both Uttoxeter and Warwick have passed inspections and along with Punchestown they will be splashing through heavy ground.

 

#startracking has just the one runner today.

SOLOMN GRUNDY Uttoxeter 12.20 There is a bit of money about for him this morning (8/1-6/1) so we will hope that the heavy ground brings his stamina into play and put him up as a one star* selection to win @ 6/1 general. Here is why I put him in #startracking. “This is the least exposed of the Brookhouse horses I’m putting forward. In his second Irish PtP he was third to Missed Approach (current OR140) and Weststreet (OR119) and he changed hands for just £30K. Off the course for eighteen months he made his British debut in a hot C4 novice hurdle at Taunton behind Vieux Lille. He was given a schooling in public tender, educational ride by Tom Scudamore being held up, making some progress turning for home and coming home a happy fourth. This son of Westerner will probably want further and maybe a fence but showed enough promise on debut to be worth following especially when the Pipe team eventually hits their straps.”

 

#startracking had just the one runner yesterday.

MILES TO MILAN        1st        6/1        We put him up at one star* e/w at 10/1 and that now puts

#startracking a whopping 59 stars in front for December!!

The ground at Taunton was wet but they went through it with jockeys all over the course looking for better ground! Miles to Milan travelled just off the pace, hurdled efficiently, led turning for home , Johnson had a look over his shoulder to check where favourite Modus was, came to the stands side and quickened away well from the last. More to come methinks, another novice hurdle under a penalty then let’s go handicapping off 130-ish?

Favourite Modus looked like another Nicholls horse that didn’t get home but there is a school of thought that suggests he may have been protecting that mark of OR139 for the Betfair hurdle on better ground? He is very much on that radar!!

 

#SimpleSimonSays…

Punchestown 2.05      Grade 2 three mile novice hurdle on heavy ground. Interesting pair of Mullins runners in Up For Review (Ricci/Walsh) and Nambour (Gigginstown/Cooper) with some decent opposition in Jetstream Jack (Whately/Russell) and Cogryhill (Gigginstown/Geraghty) from Gordon Elliott’s yard. I am a fan of Nambour, he could be a real star, but I can see another scenario where Walsh, Geraghty and Russell out-manoeuvre Cooper AGAIN!

I think if Cooper is proactive on Nambour and makes all, whilst attacking his flights, the current price of 9/4 is too big and I’m putting him forward as a #SimpleSimonSays two star** selection @ 9/4.

 

I will send out another post at 4.30pm today which will hopefully cover all the action on New Year’s Day.

Very keen to see the final declarations at Cheltenham and Musselburgh.

#startracking Wednesday December 30th 12noon

Another busy, wet, windswept day in prospect! So we had better start with some weather and going reports.

Today – Haydock Park Races ‏@HAYDOCKRACES · 6.30am

Following an inspection of the track this morning, we’re happy to confirm Racing is ON! Going is Heavy

Today – Taunton Racecourse 30th December-Soft, Heavy in Places

Divided bends. Chase bend at innermost so distances as advertised. Hurdle bends out of home straight moved out by 9yds and out of back straight by 6yds. Races 1,3,5 and 7 adds 63yds. Race 2 adds 90yds.

10mm of rain last Weds. and a further 10mm up to yesterday. 5mm overnight and forecast for a wet and windy day.

Thursday – Racing Post ‏@RacingPost 7.30am Warwick’s meeting is subject to a morning inspection at 8am

Friday – CheltenhamRacecourse ‏@CheltenhamRaces · 9.30am Weds.

The going is currently SOFT, GOOD TO SOFT IN PLACES. Rain forecast for today, dry Thursday and Friday.

Saturday – Ayr Racecourse ‏@ayrracecourse · 10.15am Weds.

Going: HEAVY @ayrracecourse for Sat 2nd Jan @32RedSport raceday,after 21mm. Rain now stopped and looks promising forecast through to racing.

 

We’ll kick off this morning with the last weeks review and I feel the only way to attack it is a la Lydia Hislop.

#startracking Christmas Review Sat.19th Dec.-Tues. 29th Dec.

Gold Cup I covered the King George and the Lexus in the Ante Post piece yesterday. I still feel Vautour wins the Gold Cup but I will add a couple of extra comments.

I agree with many people that Vautour would win the RyanAir and possibly the Champion Chase but he COULD win the Gold Cup and that’s where I think he will go. Interesting that Kevin Blake suggests he wasn’t suited by the longer trip as the slower pace affected his normal fluent jumping but that Julian Muscat in today’s Racing Post echoed much of what I said.

IF Vautour doesn’t stay and goes for the RyanAir I would expect every chaser rated over 150 with winning form over 3m+ at Cheltenham to line up in the Gold Cup. So if I owned Many Clouds, Sausalito Sunrise, The Druids Nephew etc. I would use the Gold Cup as a prep race to nothing en route to what could be the classiest Grand National ever! I could add Don Poli to that group! Djakadam and O’Faolains Boy are due to meet in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham over 3m 2f on January 30th and that could produce a clearer picture.

Finally I must have my tuppence on the “whip” situation. When watching the King George live I never thought “whip issue” but surely if the current rules are there to protect “public image” then breaking the rules must mean disqualification of the horse, jockey et al. There is a parallel in Flat racing where winning at all costs is acceptable, even dangerous. Too many times I mutter to myself “result stands, jockey gets two days”.

Champion Hurdle Recently I wrote that they might as well cancel the race this year and just ask Willie Mullins to hold the contest at home and pass the result on for the history books! It is Faugheen’s race to lose.

Champion Chase Sprinter Sacre edges Sire de Grugy at Kempton and Un de Sceaux falls on seasonal debut. Vibrato Valtat was too close to those feuding past champions for my liking and I will remain of the opinion that if Un de Sceaux stands up, he wins.

RyanAir Chase So Vautour is now 6/4 favourite. Alan King is a trainer who is swimming against the tide when he said that “he would rather win the RyanAir than finish fourth or fifth in the Gold Cup”, re Smad Place. This is definitely a Festival race I will sort out on the day when I know what is going to post.

Novice Chasers The two mile division is simple. Douvan. Ar Mad and Vaniteux running for places only. The stayers are starting to show their hand. No More Heroes is a Grade 1 horse and the Mullins pair Killultagh Vic and Roi des Francs will probably make the Cheltenham team. Is it Ireland or is it Mullins but with his chasers you need to add half mile onto the distance they won at to find their Cheltenham target and with the hurdlers you need to take two furlongs off? In England it seems to be the fashion to win nicely then give half a dozen reasons why you are not going to Cheltenham! So Tea for Two gallops home in the Kauto Star but wants “a flat, right handed track” beating Southfield Royale who is “aimed at Aintree”. Perhaps the third Native River could have a say in the 4m NH chase! Ar Mad gets back up to beat Vaniteux but Gary Moore has said “he got beaten at Plumpton and that’s all you need to know about going left handed!”

Novice Hurdlers A good friend has just pointed out to me that Min is as low as 11/4 to win the Festival opener, the Supreme Hurdle. Did I miss his second outing? No!! Mullins will go at least three handed and Nicky Henderson seems to be being dragged out of the doldrums by his novice hurdlers, Sprinter aside. Altior looks tasty and is still improving and the likes of Buveur D’Air, OO Seven and Premier Bond will give him something to look forward too. The best novice hurdle over Christmas was run in Ireland at Leopardstown over 2m and the Paddy Power Future Champions was won by Long Dog for Mullins/Riici/Walsh whilst Tombstone and Petit Mouchoir remain in the Championship picture. The likes of Bleu et Rouge, Bachasson and Falcon Crest could play a part in the Spring Festival handicaps. I can’t work out Long Dog. He has been on the go since Galway in July and that is his sixth hurdle win on the bounce including two Grade 1’s on ground from Good to Heavy! His handicap mark is just 5lbs higher than his second win at OR147. The stats boys will weep if he wins at Cheltenham!!

Juvenile Hurdlers I don’t normally look at this division until the Adonis has been run at Kempton but it’s been bubbling up nicely over Christmas with the Coolmore boys having a go in the JP green and gold hoops. Their Outspoken would have beaten Allbak des Places (Mullins) if he had been neater at the last and those two looked useful. Ivanovich Gorbatov, rated OR97 on the flat, in the same colours beat the much touted Mullins filly, Let’s Dance, so there’s four 3yo’s worth considering! In Britain it seems Alan King has a strong hand of juveniles with Gibralfaro the latest to impress.

#startracking (2) Tuesday December 29th 7pm

I was going to send this out a week ago;- “Betfair Hurdle Newbury February 13th Early thoughts – MODUS has been given an OR of 139. Just think this could be a JP runner en route to Supreme a la MTOY and Darlan. Will he run at Taunton Jan. 9th-ish C3 novice?”

Taunton 1.45 MILES TO MILAN runs in a C4 novice hurdle over 2m 3f where he comes up against the aforementioned Modus, who carries a double penalty! At 10/1 with Ladbrokes we’ll go one star each way in a race worth watching.

I will try to get my weeks review out on Wednesday morning. I want to write it prior to reading everyone else’s.

The note I sent out this morning with regard to the health of the Paul Nicholls runners was in evidence this afternoon with three runners who all looked like winning running to the last but didn’t get home. Tommy Silver, San Benedeto and sadly our very own #startracking STILLETTO. All the signs of “a low grade virus”!

#startracking Tuesday December 29th 7pm

DECEMBER #startracking Betting History

211=329297229212    15 bets   3 winners   7 seconds

PLUS an amazing 47stars!!!

Thurs. 3rd    Iftiraaq               2 star @ 9/4                        2nd SP 2/1

Sat. 5th      Caroles Destrier      4 star @7/1                         1st SP 5/1

Mon. 7th      Jollys Cracked It    3 star e/w @ 14/1            1st= SP 7/1           (#startracking Ante-Post)

Fri. 11th       Fletchers Flyer        1 star @ 7/2                        3rd SP 3/1

Fri. 11th       Onenightinvienna        2 star @ 5/1                  2nd SP 11/2

Fri. 11th       Fingerontheswitch            2 star @ 6/1                9th SP 5/1

Sat. 12th      Champagne West           3 star @ 9/1                    2nd SP 8/1             (#startracking Ante-Post)

Sat. 12th      Johns Spirit                     1 star @ 14/1                 9th SP 12/1           (#startracking Ante-Post)

Sat. 12th      Art Mauresque                1 star @ 10/1                7th SP 12/1           (#startracking Ante-Post)

Tues.15th    Wuff                                   3 star @ 3/1                        2nd SP 5/2F

Thurs. 17th Solomn Grundy      1 star @ 7/1   Non-runner (9/2 @ withdrawl)

Thurs. 17th A Plein Temps                        2 star @ 11/4                      2nd SP 13/8F

Fri. 18th      Thomas Brown                        No Bet Too short.

Tues. 21st    Haymount                                 No Bet Too short.

Sat. 26th      The Organist                          No Bet Too Short.

Sat. 26th      Top Gamble   2 star @ 6/1     Non-runner Meeting abandoned.

Sun. 27th     Woodland Opera                 1 star @ SP                          9th SP 6/1

Sun. 27th     Tombstone                            2 star @ SP                          2nd SP 3/1

Sun. 27th     De Name Escapes Me       3 star @ SP           Non-runner Meeting abandoned.

Sun. 27th     Sizing Gold             1 star @ 10/1                      Non-runner (loser) (#startracking Ante-Post)

Sun. 27th     Minella Foru          1 star @ 12/1                      1st SP 7/1             (#startracking Ante-Post)           

Sun. 27th     Shotgun Paddy       1 star @ 10/1           Still pending Sat.Jan.9th (#startracking Ante-Post)

Sun. 27th     Capard King             2 star @ SP                          Non-runner Meeting abandoned.

Mon. 28th   Bronco Billy                           No Bet. Too soon.

Mon. 28th   Tippmanboy              No Bet. Too warm/not settled   2nd SP 9/4F

Tues. 29th   Stilletto             2 star @ 11/4                      2nd SP 9/4

Tues. 29th   Vautour                  3 star @ 10/1      Still pending Chelt. Gold Cup (#startracking Ante-Post)

Tues. 29th   Don Poli                 2 star @25/1       Still pending Grand National (#startracking Ante-Post)

 

From time to time this site will recommend bets on a day to day basis on horses that won’t be in the tracker. These will be put under a separate section of #SimpleSimonSays… and will have their own page and button on the top menu.

So far #SimpleSimonSays… has put up four bets.

Sat. 26th      Abricot de L’Oasis           2 star @ 7/2                        Non-runner Meeting abandoned.

Sat. 26th      Gunner Fifteen             2 star @ 13/2                      10th SP 4/1F

Sat. 26th     Money Maid                      1 star @3/1                     2nd SP 3/1

Sat. 26th      Bacardys                          2 star @ 11/8                      1st SP 11/8F         Running Total –O.25 star

 

 

 

#startracking Ante Post Tuesday December 29th 12noon

The 2015 editions of the King George and Lexus chases were billed as “semi-finals” for the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Well they weren’t.

The King George over Kempton’s punishing flat right handed three miles was as good a race as I’ve seen in many a year in terms of quality, quantity, depth and excitement and it answered lots of questions in my mind whilst leaving a couple of imponderables. So let’s start with the easy bits.

Silviniaco Conti’s days at the top table have gone for this flat track bully. He could still be an interesting wildcard in the Grand National but he’s a no-no for the Gold Cup.

Smad Place can’t hack it at the very top and I would still be concerned about him in the RyanAir. His figures in Class 1 Grade 1 read 303UR2332844 and I was amazed how many respected judges put him forward as a king George winner.

Al Ferof would be a world beater if there was a 2m 6f championship race. Shrewdly campaigned by the Skeltons to pick up third but wouldn’t stay the Gold Cup trip in a horsebox!

Cue Card has to be a player in the Gold Cup because £1million says he will be there, even on three legs!! If you take Cue Card on this seasons form as he is now a fit, healthy, happy nine year old back to his scintillating Bumper winning best he has to be favourite.

Don Cossack is the highest rated staying chaser currently in training but he was under the pump fully a mile out before capsizing two out under the hapless Bryan Cooper. Don Cossacks Cheltenham CV is a fall in the RSA and a third to Uxizandre in the RyanAir. Aintree yes, Punchestown yes but I can’t have him at Cheltenham.

Which brings me to VAUTOUR. I think the bookmaking fraternity have got this very wrong and been too quick to earmark him a non-stayer. He was a 6yo novice having his first run at three miles in the very best company and he is beaten a head by a race fit, in form rival who was hit eighteen times in order to get up. In this race alone if Ruby had really kicked two out it would have been race over (something he has since said), if he had a real cut at the last two fences (jumping is his forte) it would have been race over. Add to this Vautour is a spring horse who has whizzed up that hill twice before in Grade One level company.

Now for the controversial bit. I don’t think Vautour will need to stay to win the Gold Cup. If you had asked me two weeks ago I would have been concerned about the trip but since then Smad Place couldn’t even get to the front, Silviniaco Conti led him for a mile and most importantly Conrygree is out for the season which completely changes the complexion of the race. The horse most likely to set the fractions is Vautour ridden by master tactician Ruby Walsh and if he kicked from the final ditch I believe Richard Hoiles will be saying “..the pack are closing but they are not going to get near the new king of Cheltenham, Vautour”.

At a general 10/1 he has to be a three star*** selection. I see the 12/1 with PP has gone! But what about Djakadam I hear you say? Well if Ruby has the choice of rides I am convinced he would pick Vautour. What about Don Poli? He ground out victory in horrible ground in the Lexus and if Coneygree was still in the Gold Cup I would have him down as the one most likely to have picked him up.

In his last two races Don Poli has beaten the winners of the Boylesports Chase, The Grand National, the Hennessey, 3rd in the Hennessey, all handicaps. Don Poli has stamina in abundance, is an efficient fencer who does nothing flashy but beats handicappers albeit good ones! So who can think of a 4mile handicap that will take some jumping?

Exactly. At 25/1 he has to be a two star** selection for the Grand National.

#startracking Tuesday December 29th 11am

Good morning fellow #startrackers. Stand by your in-box because your correspondent has plenty to say! We had a fantastic December and although the Welsh National has been postponed and Sizing Gold was pulled out of the Paddy Power Chase at the eleventh hour, Minella Foru came up trumps at an advised 12/1.

With a bit of luck and a following wind there should be three posts before midday. Firstly todays runner, the last few runners and a heads up for Wednesday and Thursday. Secondly a #startracking Ante Post piece reviewing the fantastic King George and the Lexus chases and putting up selections for the Gold Cup and the Grand National. Thirdly a betting review for December with the introduction of a new button on the top menu of SimpleSimonSays… . All exciting stuff so let’s get on with it!!

 

#startracking Tuesday Dec. 29th

Newbury Racecourse ‏@NewburyRacing · 12.45 Thurs.

After almost 11mm of rain this morning, our going is now soft, heavy in places on both the hurdle and chase courses.

Racing Going Reports ‏@RCAGoingReports · Tues 6.51am

@NewburyRacing is Soft (Heavy in places on the hurdle course). 2.1mm of rain overnight #Newbury

 

STILLETTO Newbury 2.35 In the last post I wrote “Hopefully he ran (and won?) on Sunday! Wouldn’t be surprised if the trainer thinks this is the right race but I’m sure the owner wants Sunday! Little nervous about the stiffer fences but three star*** bet if he runs here.” Well Chepstow was abandoned and I think this was his best option. He could be very well handicapped off OR132. There are two major concerns though. Firstly the current form of Team Ditcheat as highlighted in the Racing Post “CONCERN is growing over the performances of some of the runners from the Paul Nicholls stable after a number of horses produced lacklustre runs over the festive period. That is the view of Nicholls’ nephew and pupil assistant Harry Derham, who said that everyone in the yard would be “doing our absolute best” to get the horses firing again.2:10PM 28 DEC 2015, and secondly the stiffer Newbury fences so we will reduce the bet to two stars** and take the 11/4 on offer.

 

Wednesday December 30th

MILES TO MILAN 30Dec15 1:45 (Four Day) at Taunton, Bet totequadpot Novices’ Hurdle

A very strong field entered, including Modus under a 10lb penalty with Geraghty jocked up!

NITROGEN 30Dec15 3:25 (Four Day) at Taunton, totescoop6 Play New Year’s Day Handicap Chase

Possible.

Thursday December 31st

SOLOMN GRUNDY 31Dec15 12:20 (Four Day) at Uttoxeter, Abacus Decorators Maiden Hurdle. Would prefer further but heavy ground at Uttoxeter may bring his stamina into play.

 

Fridays cards at Cheltenham and in particular Musselburgh look as though they could be fruitful for us #startrackers!

 

#startracking Sat. Dec. 26th – Mon. Dec. 28th

Saturday December 26th

Two star** bets

TOP GAMBLE             Wetherby 1.45 @6/1 WH Non-runner

Sunday December 27th

One star* bets Ante Post (already struck)

SHOTGUN PADDY      Chepstow 2.55 @10/1 Meeting Postponed until Jan.9th Bet Stands.

MINELLA FORU           Leopards. 3.00 @12/1 (7/1 SP) 1st I didn’t anticipate writing this in the near future but Barry Geraghty gave the horse a peach of a ride. Held up off the pace, ridden to get the trip, a mistake three out put him on the back foot but it was steady progress and only fifth jumping the last he had enough horse under him to get up on Leopardstown’s stiff run-in. He did well to pick the right one in the first place as he had EIGHT JP horses to choose from!

SIZING GOLD              Leopards. 3.00 @10/1 Non-runner (losing Ante post). Recurrence of injury.

Two star** bet

TOMBSTONE              Leopards.1.45 @3/1 2nd Quite simply should have won! I have real issues with Bryan Cooper at the moment. He is a talented, brave young jockey but I don’t like him at an obstacle as he lets the horse find a stride and he goes with it and Ireland’s senior jockeys are tactically having him for breakfast!! Tombstone is a very nimble hurdler, who travels, stays at least 2m6f but most of all has gears. Cooper had him in the ruck all race getting buffeted about, tried to come through a gap that wasn’t there on the home turn and when he did get some daylight he hung behind Long Dog. Gigginstown need to wake up, smell the coffee and swallow their pride. Davy Russell would have won on this horse! I still think this horse is a major player in the Neptune at Cheltenham and I have gone in again at 14/1. (Barry, Boylesports have 16/1!!)

CAPARD KING            Chepstow 1.50 @?? Meeting Postponed until Jan.9th

STILLETTO                   Chepstow 3.10 @?? Meeting Postponed until Jan.9th

Three star** bet

DE NAME ESCAPES ME Leopards. 2.20 @?? Non-runner.

Monday December 28th

BRONCO BILLY           Leicester 2.35 15/8F 7th No bet. Too soon. Guess what they said he “bounced”! we will stay with him as I think he has a bit of class and could start handicapping off a gift of a mark.

28Dec15 2:35 (Five Day) at Leicester, Old Year Novices’ Hurdle

Only two weeks since his last race, prefer if he didn’t run. Update Thursday/Saturday am.

TIPPMANBOY                         Catterick 1.35 9/4F (touched 11/4) 2nd No bet. He had two handlers in the paddock and got warm going to the start. Despite that he ran a cracker in what looked an above average Catterick novice hurdle and indeed this first division was run almost 2.5 seconds quicker than division two. Tippmanboy led, hurdled fine but set the race up for Champagne at Tara who finished stronger. We will stick with him despite three seconds and see if he goes handicapping off OR117. I am sure he will deliver over fences.

28Dec15 1:35 (Four Day) at Catterick, Watch On 3 Devices racinguk.com/anywhere Maiden Hurdle

Seems an appropriate race. Would like to see him at the start, if he is playing up= watching brief, if settled two star** bet

#startracking Thursday December 24th 4.30pm

Merry Christmas everybody!

Great ten days racing coming up and hopefully #startracking can help pay for the Christmas ex’s! This will be my last posting until 11am Tuesday morning, the 29th.

 

Going @kemptonparkrace Winter Festival

Good to Soft (Soft in places), GS 6.0, H 5.9 on Wednesday at 14:30 TurfTrax ‏@TurfTrax

 

@Chepstow_Racing   There is a precautionary course inspection at 8am on Boxing Day to assess prospects for Sunday’s @Coral Welsh Grand National. Chepstow Racecourse

Chepstow inspect at 8am on Boxing Day to assess the course for the Welsh National card on Sunday. Currently heavy, waterlogged in places Racing Post ‏@RacingPost 11.45am Thurs. 24th

 

Saturday December 26th

2.20 Wetherby – Abricot de L’OasisI took a chance with him over two miles last time because I thought the race would cut up. In hindsight it did anything but that. The winner of the race has gone and won again. Two miles and five furlongs around Wetherby will be much more to his liking and I would say he has an each way chance.” Dan Skelton Stable Talk Dec. 24th

#startracking bets for Boxing Day

Two star** bets

TOP GAMBLE              Wetherby 1.45 @6/1 WH

ABRICOT de L’OASIS  Wetherby 2.20 @ 7/2 WH

BACARDYS                  Leopardstown 3.25 (IF Odds against!) Trading at 4/6 currently

GUNNER FIFTEEN       Kempton 3.45 @13/2 WH

One star* bets

MONEY MAID             Market Rasen 1.00 @3/1 PP

The more ambitious may like to put them in multiples (Phil!) perhaps excluding Bacardys.

 

 

Sunday December 27th

#startracking bets for Sunday 27th

One star* bets Ante Post (already struck)

SHOTGUN PADDY      Chepstow 2.55 @10/1

MINELLA FORU           Leopards. 3.00 @12/1

SIZING GOLD              Leopards. 3.00 @10/1

Try to get the bets below on Saturday after 1pm as they should be Best Odds Guaranteed on-line.

If on High Street do it Sunday am Corals hold advertised prices from 8.30am (maybe 9am on a Sunday), Hills, Betfred and Ladbrokes from 9am all for about 15mins max and with limits! Or wait until 11am and get Guaranteed Best Odds in the Happy Hour at Paddy Power, Betfred and Ladcrooks.

Paddy Power offer BOG on all singles from the moment they open the door and on multiples in Happy Hour.

One star* bets

SIZING GOLD              Leopards. 2.55 One star* e/w @ best odds offering 5 places (probably PP!)

SHOTGUN PADDY      Chepstow 2.55 One star* e/w @ best odds offering 5 places (probably PP!)

WOODLAND OPERA  Leopards.1.45 @??

Two star** bets

TOMBSTONE              Leopards.1.45 @??

CAPARD KING            Chepstow 1.50 @??

STILLETTO                   Chepstow 3.10 @??

Three star** bet

DE NAME ESCAPES ME Leopards. 2.20 @?? Please about 8/1??

 

 

SIZING GOLD Leopardstown 3.00 Exert from Racing Post Q & A Dec.23rd with David Jennings

Q – If you had £20 quid left after Christmas what would you put it on!

A – “I would stick it on Sizing Gold in the Paddy Power at Leopardstown on Sunday. He’s off 135 and I think he is a better horse than that. By all accounts this has been the plan since the autumn and his return at Punchestown was really encouraging. I think he will go off about 13-2 or shorter to be honest so take the 12s now!” David Jennings 5:16 PM yesterday

JJ Burke on “SIZING GOLD 8yo b g (/22125/126/0-3) Flemensfirth – Mandys Gold Paddy Power Chase

He ran a real good race after a long layoff at Navan and he will go for the Paddy Power Chase. He is in good order and I’d like to think that he has improved for that. It will be a very competitive race, but he gave me a lovely feel a Navan and with a bit of luck, he’ll run a big race. Grand Jesture is in that race too and on his day he is a good horse.”

 

SHOTGUN PADDY Chepstow 2.55 Exert from Racing Post Q & A Dec.23rd with David Jennings

A – “..Shotgun Paddy. I backed him last year and he ran a shocker but I might back him again because I loved his run at Cheltenham last time. He looked back to his old self there. David Jennings 5:14 PM yesterday

 

BRONCO BILLY 27Dec15 12:20 (Five Day) at Chepstow, Download The Coral Mobile App Maiden Hurdle

Only two weeks since his last race, prefer if he didn’t run.

 

CAPARD KING  27Dec15 12:50 (Five Day) at Chepstow, coral.co.uk Money Back If Novices’ Limitd Handicap Chase

Looks a good opportunity off OR139. The downside would be heavy ground and those undulations in the Chepstow straight. Possible bet.

 

DE NAME ESCAPES ME 

27Dec15 2:20 (Five Day) at Leopardstown, Paddy Power “One Account … To Bet” Handicap Hurdle

3Jan16 1:50 (Early closer) at Naas, Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

“If the handicapper puts him up say 10lb at worse he could be interesting in one of the 2m Christmas handicaps..WELL the handicapper has put him up 11lbs but he IS in a Christmas handicap! The jockey who has had the most rides and winners for Noel Meade this season is Ger Fox and he can claim 3lbs. This could be our Christmas Cracker!!

 

STILLETTO  27Dec15 3:10 (Five Day) at Chepstow, coral.co.uk Best Price Guaranteed On Horse Racing Handicap Chase Stilletto has run in and won a solitary C4 beginners chase at Catterick and has been given a mark of OR132. Here’s the rub, the horse he galloped all over at Catterick, Amore Alato, was leading by six lengths when coming down at the last in a C1 G2 novice chase at Ascot last Friday. If he had stood up he would have run to about OR145. Stilletto could be a real handicap snip and there is every chance the handicapper saw the Ascot race the same and Stilletto could be put up for standing in his box. His owner Roger Brookhouse has a history of fast tracking and over facing his youngsters and I reckon he fancies a go at the Chepstow C2 £30K handicap! He would be getting two stone from topweight Mr Mole, also trained by Nicholls, who was 5th in the G1 Tingle Creek for Gods sake! Is this the Christmas Cracker?

 

TOMBSTONE 27Dec15 1:45 (Five Day) at Leopardstown, Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

3Jan16 1:50 (Early closer) at Naas, Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) If he takes the Leopardstown G1 route then my Neptune bet is on the line! Tombstone travels, jumps and has gears but I’m just not sure this real winter ground is ideal.

“Soft ground is key to Tombstone.” Robbie Mac FF Podcast

 

WOODLAND OPERA  27Dec15 1:45 (Five Day) at Leopardstown, PP Future Champions Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

3Jan16 1:50 (Early closer) at Naas, Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

Like Tombstone we could be about to find out if he can hack it at Grade 1 level? Would expect if he lined up against the Mullins batallion’s to get a double figure price.

Jessica Harrington on “WOODLAND OPERA 5yo br g (1-1) Robin Des Champs – Opera Hat

Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

He’ll go for the Grade 1 two-mile novice hurdle. He won well at Navan and I hope that he runs a big race. I see him as a future chaser, but he is unbeaten and we’ll learn a good bit more about him next week. It will be a big step up in class for him, but he seems to be very well so we’ll let him take his chance.” Dave Keena Irish Field 24th Dec

 

Monday December 28th

BRONCO BILLY 28Dec15 2:35 (Five Day) at Leicester, Old Year Novices’ Hurdle

Only two weeks since his last race, prefer if he didn’t run.

TIPPMANBOY 28Dec15 1:35 (Four Day) at Catterick, Watch On 3 Devices racinguk.com/anywhere Maiden Hurdle

Seems an appropriate race. Would like to see him at the start, if he is playing up= watching brief, if settled two star** bet

Tuesday December 29th

Newbury Racecourse ‏@NewburyRacing · 12.45 Thurs.

After almost 11mm of rain this morning, our going is now soft, heavy in places on both the hurdle and chase courses.

 

BALLAGH 29Dec15 2:00 (Four Day) at Newbury, Betfred “Goals Galore” Challow Novices’ Hurdle Grade 1

Big ask. Watching brief. Barters Hill and possible Mullins runners.

CHEF D’OEUVRE 29Dec15 2:00 (Four Day) at Newbury, Betfred “Goals Galore” Challow Novices’ Hurdle Grade 1

Big ask. Watching brief. Barters Hill and possible Mullins runners.

NITROGEN 29Dec15 12:50 (Four Day) at Newbury, Betfred TV Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

Right type of race at a course I think he would enjoy. Two more furlongs would be ideal but as the ground has worsened perhaps it will bring his stamina into play. One star* bet if he runs.

NITROGEN 29Dec15 1:25 (Four Day) at Newbury, Betfred Mandarin Handicap Chase

Slightly better race than the 12.50 but is 3m. Two star** bet if he runs.

STILLETTO 29Dec15 2:35 (Four Day) at Newbury, Betfred “Be Part of the Action” Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

Hopefully he ran (and won?) on Sunday! Wouldn’t be surprised if the trainer thinks this is the right race but I’m sure the owner wants Sunday! Little nervous about the stiffer fences but three star*** bet if he runs here.

Wednesday December 30th

BRONCO BILLY 30Dec15 3:05 (Four Day) at Haydock, P L Betting At 188Bet.co.uk “Fixed Brush” Novices’ Hurdle

Of all of his entries I think this would be a very suitable race and would warrant a two star** bet if he runs.

MILES TO MILAN 30Dec15 1:45 (Four Day) at Taunton, Bet totequadpot Novices’ Hurdle

A very strong field entered. Update Tuesday.

NITROGEN 30Dec15 3:25 (Four Day) at Taunton, totescoop6 Play New Year’s Day Handicap Chase

Possible. Update Tuesday.

#startracking Wednesday December 23rd 1pm

OK I’ve just seen the Boxing Day final declarations and there is quantity as well as quality. As you will see below just the three #startracking runners. The Organist is un-backable at Fontwell 1.30, Bally Beaufort takes a massive leap in grade at Kempton 2.00 and with just seven runners has to be a watching brief but Top Gamble steps up in trip and grade in the Rowland Meryck at Wetherby 1.45 and David Noonan claiming 5lbs rides and Top Gamble is worth a two star** bet.

So here is the #startracking guide to Boxing Days eleven racecards

Down Royal                Of interest – Noble Endeavour/Venitien de Mai in the beginners chase, Marito in the Hunter Chase and Ger Fox has two rides for Noel Meade.

Fontwell                     Poor quality, small fields and The Organist is unbackable.

Huntingdon                     Good fields and Richard Johnson! As for winners you are on your own!

Kempton                    Absolute quality. Of interest – Open Eagle for Mullins Walsh in the first, the three Graded races and I am putting up a two star** bet in the C3 handicap hurdle at 3.45. Gunner Fifteen needs to learn to settle better but he wears a hood for the second time, was fifth last time when sent off 13/8F in a much stronger race won by Rock the Kasbah at Haydock, races off the same mark here and in Messrs Fry and Fehily I have total trust and wouldn’t be surprised if he made every yard. Leopardstown                        Absolute quality. Of interest – Coney Island in the first as he was second to Woodland Opera, the two graded races and in particular Douvan at 2.55. Going to put another two star** bet up in the bumper at 3.25 IF he is odds against. Bacardys represents the Mullins powerhouse but got rave reviews from the Irish PtP community. FUTURE STARS Richard Pugh 08 May 2015An early faller at Rathmorrissey on his debut he hardly put a foot wrong when winning next time. While he won the maiden previously won by Champagne Fever at Quakerstown, this fellow was at this stage of his career even more impressive. He oozes class and everything seems to come very easily to him. He is out of a six-time winning Robin Des Champs mare and is almost impossible to fault at this stage in his career.”

Limerick                             Moderate fare except the Willie Mullins runners ridden by nephews David and Danny and perhaps Whistle Dixie in the mares handicap hurdle.

Market Rasen                 Plenty of runners, competitive racing. I am putting up a one star* bet in the 1.00 in the shape of Money Maid. An Irish PtP winner but an eight race maiden in this country, ran her best race to date last time out, I like the in-form combination of Graeme McPherson and Keilan Woods and I like 100 rated horses in 0-100 handicaps.

Sedgefield                  Plenty of runners, competitive racing. Have a pin handy!

Wincanton                 Plenty of runners, competitive racing. The Pertemps qualifier at 1.40 is of interest despite Scoop The Pot being a non-runner as his trainer Philip Hobbs has got Tom O’Brien on another JP horse, If In Doubt (who I backed in the Pertemps Final in 2014 and Hobbs won the race with Fingal Bay!!) and 7lb claimer Conor Smith on Sadlers Encore who hasn’t run for best part of two years.

Wetherby                   Plenty of runners, competitive racing. I’ve found another two star** bet here in the 2.20 in Abricot de L’Oasis. According to Dan Barber of Timeform he is the best handicapped horse running on Boxing Day, has the clock to match and you have to be with the Dan Skelton/Ian Popham pairing. Back at the right trip and dropped 3lbs he’ll do!

Wolverhampton        A bloody AW meeting as well!! Twitter is terribly excited about Jamie Spencer riding Dove Mountain for Gordon Elliott in the 3.40!!

 

#startracking bets for Boxing Day

Two star** bets

TOP GAMBLE              Wetherby 1.45

ABRICOT de L’OASIS  Wetherby 2.20

BACARDYS                  Leopardstown 3.25 (IF Odds against!)

GUNNER FIFTEEN       Kempton 3.45

One star* bets

MONEY MAID             Market Rasen 1.00

The more ambitious may like to put them in multiples (Phil!) perhaps excluding Bacardys.

 

Before you bet….

Look what I found at the bottom of a Nicky Henderson/Stan James blog 18/12/15 talking about some of his better novice chasers, “…I’d have liked to have run them before now, we’ve just had a few snotty noses and things. That’s why we haven’t had too many runners. But they’re getting a lot better so all those came back into play this morning and there are some pretty smart horses there to be going novice chasing. But you need to be getting them out there quite soon because if they’re going to be meeting targets in March, they’ve got to get experience. You need three runs but it’s bloody nearly January. And then it’ll be February and then, before we know what’s happened, it’s going to be March.” Good to know he’s on the ball calendar-wise!!

 

#startracking Entries Sat. Dec. 26th & Sun. Dec. 27th Update

BALLY BEAUFORT             (Nigel Twiston-Davies)

26Dec15 2:00 (Five Day) at Kempton, Kauto Star Novices’ Chase (formerly the Feltham Novices Chase) (Grade 1)

If he turns up here this will be a big step up in class, C3 handicap to C1 G1!! He’ll be a double figure price and could possibly ruin an excellent official mark of OR144! Have to be a watching brief or 0.5 star e/w. Ryan Hatch (no claim) rides in a field of seven. We’ll watch.

BRONCO BILLY                  (Jonjo O’Neill)

27Dec15 12:20 (Five Day) at Chepstow, Download The Coral Mobile App Maiden Hurdle

28Dec15 2:35 (Five Day) at Leicester, Old Year Novices’ Hurdle

Only two weeks since his last race, prefer if he didn’t run. Update Thursday/Saturday am.

CAPARD KING                  (Jonjo O’Neill)

27Dec15 12:50 (Five Day) at Chepstow, coral.co.uk Money Back If Your Horse Falls Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

Looks a good opportunity off OR139. The downside would be heavy ground and those undulations in the Chepstow straight. Possible bet.

DE NAME ESCAPES ME  (Noel Meade)

27Dec15 2:20 (Five Day) at Leopardstown, Paddy Power “One Account Multiple Ways To Bet” Handicap Hurdle 3Jan16 1:50 (Early closer) at Naas, Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

“If the handicapper puts him up say 10lb at worse he could be interesting in one of the 2m Christmas handicaps..WELL the handicapper has put him up 11lbs but he IS in a Christmas handicap! The jockey who has had the most rides and winners for Noel Meade this season is Ger Fox and he can claim 3lbs. This could be our Christmas Cracker!!

STILLETTO                         (Paul Nicholls)

27Dec15 3:10 (Five Day) at Chepstow, coral.co.uk Best Price Guaranteed On Horse Racing Handicap Chase Stilletto has run in and won a solitary C4 beginners chase at Catterick and has been given a mark of OR132. Here’s the rub, the horse he galloped all over at Catterick, Amore Alato, was leading by six lengths when coming down at the last in a C1 G2 novice chase at Ascot last Friday. If he had stood up he would have run to about OR145. Stilletto could be a real handicap snip and there is every chance the handicapper saw the Ascot race the same and Stilletto could be put up for standing in his box. His owner Roger Brookhouse has a history of fast tracking and over facing his youngsters and I reckon he fancies a go at the Chepstow C2 £30K handicap! He would be getting two stone from topweight Mr Mole, also trained by Nicholls, who was 5th in the G1 Tingle Creek for Gods sake! Is this the Christmas Cracker?

THE ORGANIST                (Oliver Sherwood)

26Dec15 1:30 (Five Day) at Fontwell, Selftrade Stock And Shares ISA Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

She is in the “could be anything” bracket and as a wide margin C & D Huntingdon winner if she did line up can’t think she would be any price. Bigger days ahead. Just three rivals, she’ll be 1/10!!

TOMBSTONE                    (Gordon Elliott)

27Dec15 1:45 (Five Day) at Leopardstown, Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

3Jan16 1:50 (Early closer) at Naas, Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) If he takes the Leopardstown G1 route then my Neptune bet is on the line! Tombstone travels, jumps and has gears but I’m just not sure this real winter ground is ideal.

TOP GAMBLE                   (Kerry Lee)

26Dec15 1:45 (Five Day) at Wetherby, 188Bet Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (Grade 3)   Now rated OR153 he steps up 4f as he moves from handicap to Grade 3 company. As a 7yo son of Presenting out of a Sadlers Wells mare heavy ground may be an issue but he certainly knows where the winning post is. David Noonan claiming 5lbs rides.

WOODLAND OPERA       (Mrs John Harrington)

27Dec15 1:45 (Five Day) at Leopardstown, Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

3Jan16 1:50 (Early closer) at Naas, Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) Like Tombstone we could be about to find out if he can hack it at Grade 1 level? Would expect if he lined up against the Mullins batallion’s to get a double figure price.

 

Cotswold Chase Jan. 30th Cheltenham Trials Day is warming up!!

O’FAOLAINS BOY, a leading ante-post contender for Sunday’s Coral Welsh Grand National, will miss the Chepstow marathon and wait for Cheltenham’s Cotswold Chase next month.

It’s a shame that Djakadam appears likely to side-step the Lexus in favour of the Cotswold Chase (Cheltenham Trial Day, Jan 30)

#startracking Tuesday December 22nd 6.30pm

Just call me Psychic Simon!!

#startracking Ante Post Tuesday 22nd December 11am

I think this tough race is too soon then five hours later

O’Faolains Boy misses Welsh National by Richard Birch 4:13PM 22 DEC 2015

O’FAOLAINS BOY, a leading ante-post contender for Sunday’s Coral Welsh Grand National, will miss the Chepstow marathon and wait for Cheltenham’s Cotswold Chase next month. The Rebecca Curtis-trained eight-year-old, winner of a graduation chase at Newbury last Wednesday, was set to carry only a 4lb penalty for that victory, but connections believe the race will come too soon. “We’re going to run Bob Ford and Red Devil Lads, but not O’Faolains Boy,” Curtis said. “He’s fine, but it’s too soon after Newbury. We’ll aim him at the Cotswold Chase now.”

 

Going @kemptonparkrace Winter Festival

Good to Soft (Soft in places), GS: C: 5.8, H: 5.5 on Tuesday at 15:45 TurfTrax ‏@TurfTrax

 

#startracking Entries Sat. Dec. 26th & Sun. Dec. 27th

BALLY BEAUFORT             (Nigel Twiston-Davies)

26Dec15 2:00 (Five Day) at Kempton, Kauto Star Novices’ Chase (formerly the Feltham Novices Chase) (Grade 1)

If he turns up here this will be a big step up in class, C3 handicap to C1 G1!! He’ll be a double figure price and could possibly ruin an excellent official mark of OR144! Have to be a watching brief or 0.5 star e/w.

BRONCO BILLY                  (Jonjo O’Neill)

27Dec15 12:20 (Five Day) at Chepstow, Download The Coral Mobile App Maiden Hurdle

28Dec15 2:35 (Five Day) at Leicester, Old Year Novices’ Hurdle

Only two weeks since his last race, prefer if he didn’t run. Update Thursday/Saturday am.

CAPARD KING                  (Jonjo O’Neill)

27Dec15 12:50 (Five Day) at Chepstow, coral.co.uk Money Back If Your Horse Falls Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

Looks a good opportunity off OR139. The downside would be heavy ground and those undulations in the Chepstow straight. Possible bet.

DE NAME ESCAPES ME  (Noel Meade)

27Dec15 2:20 (Five Day) at Leopardstown, Paddy Power “One Account Multiple Ways To Bet” Handicap Hurdle 3Jan16 1:50 (Early closer) at Naas, Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

“If the handicapper puts him up say 10lb at worse he could be interesting in one of the 2m Christmas handicaps..WELL the handicapper has put him up 11lbs but he IS in a Christmas handicap! The jockey who has had the most rides and winners for Noel Meade this season is Ger Fox and he can claim 3lbs. This could be our Christmas Cracker!!

NITROGEN                        (Harry Fry)

26Dec15 1:05 (Five Day) at Wincanton, Bathwick Tyres Lord Stalbridge Memorial Cup (A Handicap Chase)

This race looks the right fit for Harry Fry’s upwardly mobile chaser. Could be a two/three star *** bet.

SCOOP THE POT              (Philip Hobbs)

26Dec15 1:40 (Five Day) at Wincanton, Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier)  

Another strong fancy. Put the stylish Ceiran Gethings, claiming 5lbs, in the saddle, extra two furlongs, hack up off OR128 and he is a player in the Pertemps final off OR138!! Is that the plan?

STILLETTO                         (Paul Nicholls)

26Dec15 2:15 (Five Day) at Wincanton, Armishaws Removals Harry Dufosee Novices’ Chase

27Dec15 3:10 (Five Day) at Chepstow, coral.co.uk Best Price Guaranteed On Horse Racing Handicap Chase

Stilletto has run in and won a solitary C4 beginners chase at Catterick and has been given a mark of OR132. Here’s the rub, the horse he galloped all over at Catterick, Amore Alato, was leading by six lengths when coming down at the last in a C1 G2 novice chase at Ascot last Friday. If he had stood up he would have run to about OR145. Stilletto could be a real handicap snip and there is every chance the handicapper saw the Ascot race the same and Stilletto could be put up for standing in his box. His owner Roger Brookhouse has a history of fast tracking and over facing his youngsters and I reckon he fancies a go at the Chepstow C2 £30K handicap! He would be getting two stone from topweight Mr Mole, also trained by Nicholls, who was 5th in the G1 Tingle Creek for Gods sake! Is this the Christmas Cracker?

THE ORGANIST                (Oliver Sherwood)

26Dec15 1:30 (Five Day) at Fontwell, Selftrade Stock And Shares ISA Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

She is in the “could be anything” bracket and as a wide margin C & D winner if she did line up can’t think she would be any price. Bigger days ahead.

TOMBSTONE                    (Gordon Elliott)

26Dec15 1:10 (Five Day) at Limerick, Signplus Hurdle

27Dec15 1:45 (Five Day) at Leopardstown, Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

3Jan16 1:50 (Early closer) at Naas, Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

The Limerick race would be nice as I think he could be odds against and should win it. If he takes the Leopardstown G1 route then my Neptune bet is on the line! Tombstone travels, jumps and has gears but I’m just not sure this real winter ground is ideal.

TOP GAMBLE                   (Kerry Lee)

26Dec15 1:45 (Five Day) at Wetherby, 188Bet Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

Now rated OR153 he steps up 4f as he moves from handicap to Grade 3 company. As a 7yo son of Presenting out of a Sadlers Wells mare heavy ground may be an issue but he certainly knows where the winning post is.

WOODLAND OPERA       (Mrs John Harrington)

27Dec15 1:45 (Five Day) at Leopardstown, Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

3Jan16 1:50 (Early closer) at Naas, Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

Like Tombstone we could be about to find out if he can hack it at Grade 1 level? Would expect if he lined up against the Mullins batallion’s to get a double figure price.