#startracking Thursday January 28th 6.30pm

GoingStick update @Cheltenham Races Festival Trials Day: Soft, 6.2, on Thursday at 14:00 TurfTrax ‏@TurfTrax  ·

#startracking Friday runners

Huntingdon 2.40        UN ACE Has to be no bet as I still live in hope that Kim Bailey is protecting that chase OR of 149. The three miler on Tues at Cheltenham, the Plate on the Thursday? The Betbright Chase at Kempton, something at Aintree?

Huntingdon 4.20        BAGS GROOVE We have waited a while for this chap who was meant to be a good thing over Christmas at Wincanton but like a lot of Fry’s horses stayed in his box. Has the yard had or indeed still got the sniffles or did Fry simply not want to run his good young horses on this deep winter ground? 24 runners in October, 49 in November, 25 in December and only 13 in January and just one winner. With Doncaster due to race on GOOD (remember that word?) to SOFT ground we’ll be brave and put him up as a two star** win selection @7/4 with Skybet and general on line.

#startracking AntePost update

COOLOGUE Hope you are all clutching your 20/1 e/w voucher as he is one of fifteen left in at final decs. PP are still top price at 12/1 with 10/1 being the general price, that is with three places. We are in again for a one star* each way at 12/1 (1,2,3) with PP. If on Saturday morning we can get 10/1 or better and FOUR places we’ll be in again.

STERNRUBIN Still 16/1 for the Betfair Hurdle but in the Pricewise Preview midweek Philip Hobbs confirmed Sternrubin was an intended runner.

#startracking Monday Results

ONENIGHTINVIENNA             2nd        10/11 Fav No bet. Great run and jumped for Britain, however as I feared he was outpaced from three out before staying on strongly being beaten just a head!

I was gobsmacked to read the following in the much respected Lydia Hislops latest ‘Road to Cheltenham’ article,

“At Kempton on Monday, Local Show was steadily being run down at the end of three miles by the favourite Onenightinvienna but – after an excellent round of jumping from both horses – still held sway by a head at the line.

…… The runner-up had caught my attention as a beautiful old-fashioned chaser when finishing second to Blaklion at Cheltenham last time out. He jumps like a seasoned pro and has stamina in abundance. Here, he was patently unsuited by Kempton’s tight track but kept on trying to rescue the situation all the way to the line.I had been shaping up to recommend him for the NH Chase but could not dismiss the idea that Philip Hobbs, his trainer, might prefer the RSA.

So I rang him to inquire about plans… and learned of a career trajectory 12 months in advance of that which I had envisaged. Hobbs said he sidesteps Cheltenham. Instead, Onenightinvienna will run in this year’s Crabbie’s Grand National as a novice via one more run. “He’s qualified and that’s where we’re going,” he said. “He runs in the West Tip colours, so it would be some story, but that’s not the reason we’re doing it, of course. Some people might be surprised but that’s the plan.”

Ridden by Richard Dunwoody, West Tip won the 1986 Grand National in the silks of Peter Luff, the property-developer and philanthropist who died in September 2014. The horse – famously scarred on his hind quarters due to a life-threatening collision with a vehicle in his youth – was part of Aintree folklore in the 1980s: lining up six times, winning once, making the frame on three other occasions and completing in all bar his first attempt. Onenightinvienna now races for Luff’s widow, Judith, in the knowledge that Hobbs had said this was potentially another Aintree horse. That date with destiny has now been brought forward to this April. Surprising, it is. Attractive, it also is – with bells on. As a rule, I wouldn’t fancy a novice in the National but every case should be judged on its merits and this horse has all the attributes required for the race. I’d mentally penciled him in as a 2017 National type but in handicap terms he’ll never be better treated than this year. So, although this is the Road To Cheltenham, I feel compelled to recommend Onenightinvienna for the Aintree marathon – especially as Sky Bet are offering 50/1. It would be rude not to.”

STELLAR NOTION                         7th        7/2 Fav Two star** win selection at a weak 4/1 Never really travelling but stopped very quickly from the third last and the reason is, “The representative of Paul Nicholls, the trainer of STELLAR NOTION (IRE), unplaced, reported that the gelding bled from the nose.” BHA Stewards report

#startracking Tuesday Results

THE ORGANIST                       2nd        4/6 Fav No bet. Tried to make every yard but was readily outpointed by the more experienced Tara Flow from the second last. The Organist was too keen and needs to learn to settle. Next race will be informative, what level, how she is ridden etc. etc.

NO COMMENT                       2nd        7/4 Fav No bet. Probably a little lucky as didn’t get the smoothest run from the second last and carried left on the run in but no luck in the Stewards room.

“The Hobbs youngster No Comment looked a nice horse but this was no penalty kick with both Fionn Mac Cul and The Dutchman having recorded pretty decent figures on their previous outings.” Adam Norman’s Notebook

#startracking CheltenhamFancies

First of all Onenightinvienna bypasses Cheltenham and now this for handicap fancy Falcon Crest.

“Christy Roche is hoping Falcon Crest can regain full fitness in time for a spring campaign. The six-year-old won his first two outings over hurdles but finished well down the field when upped to Grade One level in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown over Christmas. However, Roche reports Falcon Crest to have suffered a setback and will not be sighted until later in the year. He said: “Falcon Crest came home lame after Leopardstown and he has been lame since. He stood on something firm and bruised the foot. He is out of Cheltenham but I hope to have him right for Punchestown and Fairyhouse.” IrishRacing.com Thu 28th Jan 2016, 13:02

#startracking CheltenhamNews

“Looking at the weather forecast for the next few days I have decided BARTERS HILL will run at @DoncasterRaces for his @cheltenham prep run.” Ben Pauling Racing ‏@benpauling1  · Weds. 1.45pm 

#startracking MullinsWatch

“The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is definitely the plan for Bellshill,” he told the Racing Post as part of a Pricewise ante-post preview of the race in Wednesday’s edition. Bellshill is a general 16-1 for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, while his price ranges from 8-1 to 25-1 for the Albert Bartlett. Mullins, who is also responsible for 9-1 shot Yorkhill, 16-1 hopes A Toi Phil and Long Dog, as well as Petit Mouchoir and Bachasson at 20-1 and 33-1, added: “Yorkhill, Long Dog, A Toi Phil, Petit Mouchoir and Bachasson are all in the mix at this stage. A lot will depend on how they all are closer to the time.” Racing Post Neptune Pricewise Preview

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