#startracking Tuesday December 15th 11.45am


My humblest apologies readers but I’ve just had a senior moment and pushed the delete button in error and 1000+ words have disappeared into thin air!! So the #startracking new additions and a few observations on trainer form won’t be out until 6pm tonight.

Now trying to remember how the blog started!

Just the one meeting today at Catterick but it has attracted entries from Paul Nicholls (Warriors Tale, Rob Robin, Be Daring), Philip Hobbs (Captain Bocelli, Shambougg) and John Ferguson (High Bridge). Sam Twiston-Davies, Richard Johnson and Aiden Coleman all head north to do the steering! The market suggests that Warriors Tale is the one to be on although Shambougg is the subject of strange market moves. Put in last night at 6/1 backed into 4/1, drifted to 7/1 this morning and now supported into 5/1 top price with BetFred and WH but only 7/2 with BetVictor!!

Tilting at windmills?

MORE OF THAT, the promising novice who is as short as 14-1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, will be given an entry in the Timico-backed Grade 1, trainer Jonjo O’Neill confirmed on Tuesday morning. Andrew King 9:38AM 15 DEC 2015 

That’ll be the windmills then!

GORDON ELLIOTT views Vautour as the biggest danger to Don Cossack in the William Hill King George VI Chase next week if last season’s wide-margin JLT Novices’ Chase winner stays the longer trip. The sponsors make Don Cossack their 5-2 favourite, with Vautour next best at 3-1, and Elliott said he is a big admirer of his main market rival.

“I’m a massive fan of Vautour and, if he stays, he’s definitely the one to beat,” the trainer said. “Obviously Coneygree would be a big danger if he was supplemented and Cue Card is having one hell of a season but Vautour is probably the one we all have to beat if he stays.” Elliott issued an upbeat bulletin on Don Cossack, stressing that everything has gone according to script since he won at Down Royal on the last day of October and that he will have his last piece of work ahead of the trip to Kempton this week. David Jennings 7:50AM 15 DEC 2015 

Richard Johnson: Betway Blog

I’m praying Village Vic and Champagne West don’t clash again 14 December 2015

“It was fantastic to win the big handicap on Saturday with Village Vic. Both he and Champagne West were very good and it was a great result for the yard. There was a mixture of joy and relief for me personally that I picked the right one. There wasn’t much between them but, like I said last week, Village Vic just had the race fitness and low weight on his side. You really need to travel at Cheltenham and I was delighted with the way he jumped and travelled. He got into a great rhythm and really put the others under pressure. We’ve always thought a lot of Village Vic and it was nice that he showed it on the track. Champagne West has always been very exciting and he could develop into a Grade One performer. He’d need to win a handicap to get into a race like the Ryanair, though. I’m just praying they don’t clash again as it would be another very hard decision.

I had a long drive up the M6 to Carlisle on Sunday, but the treble certainly made it worth it. Pineau De Re was the obvious highlight and he owed me that one because he beat me in the Grand National when I was second on Balthazar King. It was great to get a win on him. He’s no speed machine but he felt really well. He’s obviously no spring chicken, but I see no reason why he can’t go back to Aintree.

He could still run a big race in the Pertemps Final prior to that.

This week Hopefully Sausalito Sunrise will run in the Graduation Chase at Newbury on Wednesday. He’s one we’re really looking forward to and we’re hoping there’s plenty more to come. Races like this give young horses a chance to get some more experience before they step up against more seasoned professionals.”


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