#startracking Monday February 1st 6.15pm

Good evening #startrackers. Sorry there was no blog on Saturday but I was laid up with the flu (Man, Bird or otherwise!) and a computer screen held no appeal! However managed to drag myself down to the betting shop to witness some excellent racing that saw the Brit’s strengthen their Cheltenham hand and Willie Mullins had an off day! I’ve covered the action in the Weekend Review I’ve already posted.

#startracking Ante Post updates

COOLOGUE                 2nd        9/1 one star selection* each way @ 20/1 + one star selection* each way @ 12/1

What a great run from a relative novice. Certainly had a big chance going to two out but just couldn’t get to Ziga Boy who was getting 6lb’s. However a tidy six star profit.

You should hopefully have in your current #startracking Ante Post portfolio

Betfair Hurdle Saturday 13th Feb.

MODUS           one star* win                         @ 8/1

ZARIB              one star* each way   @20/1

STERNRUBIN  two star** each way @ 16/1

Cheltenham Gold Cup Friday 18th March

VAUTOUR       three star** win        @10/1

Grand National Saturday April 9th

DON POLI       two star** win           @ 25/1

#startracking results

Bags Groove win and a double for Harry Fry with Thomas Brown at Huntingdon on Friday was encouraging. On Saturday we had a few runners with Champagne Wests dreadful mistake probably the most costly!

BAGS GROOVE                       1st        7/4 Fav. Two star** win selection Comfortable winner having taken it up turning for home. Harry Fry Latest News “I was delighted to see Bags Groove confirm the form of his fine Ascot debut with a clear cut success at Huntingdon. He is an exciting horse who we felt was bound to improve for that first racecourse experience and we would like to think he will come on again from only the second race of his life. We will be aiming him next at Doncaster Bloodstock Sales’ valuable bumper at Newbury early in March.”

BUVEUR D’AIR                        1st        2/11 Fav happily en route to the Supreme.

CAPTAIN VON TRAPPE          5th        16/1

CHAMPAGNE WEST               PU       7/4 Fav

“Champagne West I was particularly frustrated by the shuddering error that put paid to Champagne West’s chances on Saturday as I’d been really pleased with him right up to that point. The annoying thing was that all the conditions were in his favour and I was convinced he’d have gone very close. We jumped a couple more fences after the error, but once you’ve made a mistake like that on ground as testing, it was only fair to call it a day.

As for where next? Well, the horse seems to have come out of the race fine and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a relatively quick return to the races in the next few weeks ahead of the Festival. As to whether he goes down the handicap route or the Ryanair, we’ll know more after his next start.” Richard Johnson Betway Blog

CHEF D’OEUVRE                     4th        8/1

“Finally, Chef D’Oeuvre ran really well at Cheltenham on Saturday in a top class Novice Hurdle.  He was the youngest in the race and the least experienced with only one hurdle start to his name.  He jumped really well and galloped all the way to the line to finish 4th.  I think he could possibly have been closer if Gavin hadn’t lost his whip going to the last – although this could be a blessing for the future as he would not have had a hard race because of this.” Warren Greatrex blog

FOX NORTON                         3rd        16/1

JOHNS SPIRIT                         3rd        10/1

“Another Jonjo jobber, Johns Spirit was second in the 2014 Paddy Power Gold Cup (having won it the year before), sixth in the King George of the same year, and fifth in last year’s Ryanair Chase. Those last two runs were off a mark of 160, and the nine year old was lining up off just 148 on Saturday. With a known dislike of heavy ground, it is perhaps odd that his last two runs have been on the seriously sodden stuff. Perhaps odd, but probably not, because he’s likely to get dropped at least three for this never nearer plugging on fourth. A rating of 145 would render him eligible for the Kim Muir, though that three and a quarter mile trip is probably on the long side.

More likely is a tilt at the Brown Advisory Plate, in which he’d race off close to eleven stone. He’s quoted for the Plate and the Ryanair, but you surely don’t spend all year managing your mark to run in a level weights Grade 1. As such, the 25/1 available for the Plate looks a gift, albeit one without a refund policy should he fail to line up.” Cheltenham Trials Day: Five Quiet Runs to Note February 1, 2016 in Horse Racing Blog – News & Info | geegeez.co.uk, Horse Racing Tips – Big Race Previews | geegeez.co.uk by Matt Bisogno

WHO DARES WINS                4th        13/8

Saturday’s Triumph Hurdle Trial is a race well worth revisiting and the overriding impression is that the best long-term prospect finished second. Clan Des Obeaux lost his unbeaten record but travelled beautifully and looked to have it sewn up at the last before being picked off by Protek Des Flos close home. The winner seemed to take everyone by surprise given his 25/1 SP, while his stable companion Consul De Thaix, also easy to back, ran quite encouragingly in third. However, the one to take from the race with this year’s Festival in mind could be fourth home Who Dares Wins. Alan King’s son of Jeremy was conceding 7lb to the Henderson duo and 4lb to Clan Des Obeaux so to be beaten just over three lengths has to go down a respectable performance. He was also clearly far from in love with the deep ground, having shown his best Flat form on good to firm, and could yet run a huge race in the Triumph itself. (Matt Brocklebank sportinglife.com)

#startracking entries

Wednesday    Ludlow 3.10                DRUMLEE SUNSET

Wednesday    Leicester 3.00            WUFF

Thursday        Wincanton 2.00         STILLETTO

Thursday        Wincanton 3.40         UNIQUE DE COTTE

Thursday        Wincanton 3.40         STILLETTO

Thursday        Wincanton 3.40         WUFF

Thursday        Clonmel 3.30              CAPTAIN VON TRAPPE

Friday              Chepstow 2.10           UNIQUE DE COTTE

#startracking Mullinswatch

SHANESHILLMarket rival Shaneshill made little appeal on looks, lacking a little in size and scope, and while he made numerous errors here it wouldn’t surprise me if he remains a 155-type horse. Only the Mullins factor sent him off so short.” Adam Norman notebook

UP FOR REVIEW “I couldn’t have the Mullins horse Up For Review at any price. He’s a very thick set horse, a particularly shoulder-y mover who hits the ground hard. I’d be astonished if the beast ever showed his best form on ground as quick as this. Rare for a son of Presenting, I know.” Adam Norman notebook

DJAKADAM “Trainer Willie Mullins remains optimistic Djakadam will line up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup despite the 2015 runner-up needing significant stitching for a cut suffered when falling at Prestbury Park on Saturday. Djakadam’s 10th-fence fall in the Betbright Trial Chase saw him replaced as Gold Cup favourite by stablemate Vautour. He would not be the first horse to fall in this trial and then win the Gold Cup. That’s what happened to Dawn Run (remounted to finish fourth), trained by Mullins’s father Paddy, in 1986. Djakadam could still line up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup despite fall at Prestbury Park on Saturday Mullins stressed, too, that the cut on Djakadam’s chest bone would not keep him out of training, although there are dangers. The trainer said: ‘Djakadam had a few stitches put in at the top of his chest and will be just walking for a few days. As long as the stitches hold he will be fine. ‘The vet had to give him an injection, which rules out running again before Cheltenham. I’ve enough time (to get him fit for the Gold Cup) providing the cut doesn’t get infected.’” Daily Mail on-line

“Vautour has still to confirm his place, but Walsh will know from his fabled association with Kauto Star just how much natural pace and real quality count for in a Gold Cup. Djakadam is a different beast that was in his element in the mud last March. Only six then he has clearly progressed since, but the suspicion remains that he needs soft ground to really excel. He has always had a tendency to get his back-end high over a fence and land steeply, and, when he clipped the 10th hard on Saturday, that habit ensured there would be no comeback.” Richard Forristal Irish Independent

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