#startracking Tuesday December 15th 6pm

#startracking Wednesday runners

WUFF Newbury 12.40

This horse is huge and tried hard over hurdles but Mr Brookhouse has moved him from Tom George to Paul Nicholls. This son of Beneficial won his Irish Point at 4yo before Mr Brookhouse shelled out £130K. In his three chases last season he kept good company without winning and he could be an earner for Team Ditcheat off 130.

Here’s what I wrote after his first run at Newbury this season, “Moved to Ditcheat in the summer he made his debut for Nicholls in a C3 3m 2f handicap chase for amateur riders and the booking of Mr Will Biddick was eye-catching and the market agreed making him 6/4 favourite from a top price 5/2. He was badly hampered at the last on the back straight and never recovered, indeed he emptied at the top of the home straight but will definitely come on for the run. He has worn a tongue tie for his last two races and it would be no surprise if he has “a small wind op”! As I said he is huge and he is probably still growing into that frame and may take a few runs to reach peak fitness. Wouldn’t shock me if that was in March in the Kim Muir with a certain Mr Biddick on board.”

Dropped 3lbs to 127 and running over three furlongs shorter in another C3 handicap 0-130 over the same course with Sam Twiston-Davies on board

I make him a three star bet *** at 7/2 WH (BOG).

(#startracking is currently 18* in front.)

Ones to watch Wednesday

Clan des Obeaux              Newbury 12.10 Paul Nicholls Open Day “Clan Des Obeaux “Won a French bumper on his only start so far in April. By the same sire as As De Mee, he is big and athletic and a future chasing type. He’s a juvenile hurdler this season but not necessarily a Triumph Hurdle type.”

Wait for Me                       Newbury 1.15 3rd in Cheltenham Festival Bumper, 2nd to Buveur D’Air on hurdling debut when jumping was distinctly hit and miss, kept landing on back legs.

Allow Dallow                     Newbury 1.50 They paid £100K for this Irish PtP winner and had disappointed over hurdles, fences and a trip until last time when pretty good without a tongue tie held up over two miles. Up 9lbs for that win but if they’ve sorted out his breathing and two miles is his trip he could still be well handicapped, or an ordinary animal that got lucky last time?

Charmix                               Newbury 3.00 Won a Wetherby bumper and then made Modus pull out all the stops. Opened at 7/4 with Ladbrokes, surely that’s too big.

Emerging Talent               Newbury 3.00 Apparently this is the horse that gets up and coming trainer Harry Whittington leaping out of bed each morning. No surprise to see Gavin Sheehan on board. Irish pointer that hacked up in a Fontwell maiden hurdle.

Le Prezien                           Ludlow 12.20 impressive on British debut chasing home Yanworth at Warwick. Available at Evens, thank you.

Wadsworth Court            Ludlow 12.55 Old 49SimpleSimonsays… horse who should be a chaser but he is sooo clumsy!

Trainer Neil Mulholland said in his ATR Stable Tour “He should be competitive in a novices’ handicap chase.”

How about It                     Ludlow 12.55 Strong Irish Point form that Costelloe paid 130K euros for on behalf of Carl Hincy. Death Duty is a half-brother. Won at Exeter on chasing debut but was less than fluent at Aintree when stable was under a cloud.

No Comment                     Ludlow 3.40 Philip Hobbs trains for JP McManus but Tom O’Brien rides.


Dreadful News

BARADARI, who was such an impressive winner of last month’s valuable Fixed Brush hurdle at Haydock on his first start for Dan Skelton, has died following a schooling fall. Racing can be so cruel.

Happier News

Philip Hobbs on Facebook “The King is back…….👑”. Balthazar that is!


Before you have a bet…

I can’t back this up with a raft of statistics but I think that three of NH racings leading yards have or had health issues.

Nicky Henderson:- No full interview but a series of “clues”. Since November 1st 2015 Henderson has had 70 runners where you may have expected 120. Too many horses are having the comment “weakened three out” appearing in post-race analysis. In Mondays Racing Post he said he was “checking all his horses as they are not all running 100%. There are some you can’t run”. Then assistant trainer Charlie Morlock tells the press that concerning L’Ami Serge “have been forced to delay his chasing debut after he picked up a chest infection”. Hendersons winner to runner percentage has been a respectable 20% with perhaps nearer 25% the norm. Tread carefully don’t catch a cold!

I have just seen Newburys card for tomorrow and Nicky Henderson has not got a runner!!

David Pipe:- He hasn’t won a decent race all winter. Nothing at the Paddy Power Open meeting. His winners to runner’s % in the core season is about 11%, half of what we have come to expect. Reading the trainers blog it has the air of a man trying to be positive. “nice to be back among the winners”, “keeping the scoreboard ticking over” etc.

Beware there is definitely a blockage in the Pipe system!

Rebecca Curtis:- Didn’t have a runner for a fortnight after struggling with a “bad batch of hay”. Signs are the worst is over but the situation needs monitoring.

JJ O’Neill Update on Shutthefrontdoor-Taquin du Seuil-Minella Rocco

Shutthefrontdoor “The main aim will be to go back for the Grand National. I was a bit disappointed to be honest last year, but he came back home quite sore,” said O’Neill. “He is not the smoothest horse in the world but he is good when he is right. If I can get him back to the form he was before this year’s race I will be happy. I was going to go to Aintree (for the race won by Don Poli) but I decided against it as he was not quite right. I’ve not got a plan yet. Ideally I would like to get a couple of runs into him but it is just getting everything right, which is easier said than done with him. He might have another run over hurdles, but we will see how is when he’s right.”

The Jackdaws Castle handler also had news of Taquin Du Seuil, not seen since disappointing in the Ryanair Chase at last season’s Cheltenham Festival. The eight-year-old is a previous winner at the big March meeting, having landed the 2014 JLT Novices’ Chase, and has had operation to insert a screw into his cannon bone since his last run.

“He has been operated on and he is good,” said O’Neill. “He has been on the walker for a week and has been swimming as well to help get him fit. He is not a horse that takes a lot of work as he is a fairly clean winded horse.

The vets are very happy with the way it is going and he might be back to run at Cheltenham (in March). I’m not going to say it’s a definite but it’s a possibility. The owners have been very patient. If he does run at Cheltenham I would like him to have a run before that.”

For another of O’Neill’s promising inmates, Minella Rocco, it is back to the drawing board after he returned lame when beaten at Cheltenham on Friday “He was lame after the race and we found that he pulled a muscle in his shoulder,” said the trainer. “He is getting physio on that and is still on medication but he has come out of it a lot better than I thought. We haven’t discussed what to do next so anything is a possibility. He needs experience, whether that is hurdling or chasing, as he is very inexperienced.”


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