#startracking Wednesday February 3rd 7pm

Three runners tomorrow.

Wednesday Wincanton 3.40     STILLETTO This horse has loads of ability but is mentally immature. If he would settle and concentrate properly. He steps back up to 2m4f and is capable of winning this and at 5/1 with Coral he is a two point selection.

Anita Chambers sportinglife.com previews Thursday’s racing and makes Stilletto a strong fancy at Wincanton. She’s got a tip for every UK race. February 3 2016, 12:44 GMT

“Stilletto did himself few favours when taking a keen hold last time out but if he can settle better, he is a forced to be reckoned with in the Dick Hunt Handicap Chase at Wincanton on Thursday. The seven-year-old, who cost £130,000 back in 2014, won one of his three starts over hurdles but shaped with plenty of promise when winning at Catterick on his chasing bow in December. He was very keen that day but had enough in reserve when push came to shove and ran out a length and a quarter winner. However, Stilletto paid for his early enthusiasm when pitted against Violet Dancer at Newbury, running out of gas in the closing stages at Newbury to be second of just two finishers.

Paul Nicholls has given him a bit of a break since then and he is sure to have been working on getting him to relax, which could be the key to fulfilling his evident potential.”

Wednesday Wincanton 3.40     UNIQUE DE COTTE When including this horse I wrote “OR140h Qualified for this years Pertemps final (6th at Newbury is so Pipe-ish!) having been second in the final last year off 135. (20/1 general) A midfield run at the end of January, down a couple of pounds and he’ll be ready to go for JP McManus! #startracking Spring Festivals” Little surprised he’s going chasing off his hurdle mark, so it’s a watching brief tomorrow.

Wednesday Clonmel 3.30         CAPTAIN VON TRAPPE He’s on the list to win one of those big staying handicap chases with one eye on the Irish National so it’s a watching brief in a 2m4f four runner rated chase.

 

If Cheltenham is your thing please try to listen to the Final Furlong Podcast (At The Races) and read Lydia Hislop’s latest Road to Cheltenham article.

 

#startrackingoohthatsinteresting

Rory Delargey has suggested on the fantastic Final Furlong Podcast that Nicky Henderson will run Vaniteux in the JLT and L’Ami Serge in the Arkle. Colin Tizzard’s Native River will be in the 4m NH chase.

 

Thought you might all blog from Ruby Walsh suggesting that Bellshill not Yorkhill runs Saturday before contesting the Neptune.

“Ruby Walsh Racing UK Blog 3 February 2016

Djakadam still on Gold Cup trail

Djakadam travelled and jumped well up to the point he fell at Cheltenham on Saturday. We had just gone past halfway and I couldn’t have been happier. I am not sure why he fell. He was on a very long stride but he shortened himself just before the fence. We went to pop over it and didn’t get that tight, but he got overly high behind and ended up on his head. His jumping had been brilliant since he last fell in the JLT at the Festival two years ago. I didn’t see it coming as he’s normally a very good jumper but I suppose it’s better to fall in the trial than in six weeks’ time.

I wouldn’t put anyone off backing him for the Gold Cup. I was at Willie’s (Mullins) yesterday and his vet was very happy with him and he’s 100% now. I was impressed with Smad Place though. He was a good winner and not doing a pile in front.

‘Unbelievable’ Yanworth 

I thought Yanworth was very good in the Neptune Trial. He travelled with unbelievable ease and jumped relatively well. The way he quickened from the last was eye-catching. He will be difficult to beat in the Neptune. Runner-up Shantou Village ran a sound race for me on ground that was too soft for him. He will appreciate better ground, as his form suggests. He could be a very lively contender for the Albert Bartlett.

Doncaster disappointments

I think two miles was too sharp for Shaneshill at Doncaster. While it’s a big track, it’s quite quick and tight over the fences. Morning Run was disappointing and she hasn’t shown the form of last year yet, but another run under her belt might bring about some improvement. Up For Review was the biggest disappointment. He cried enough quite quickly. The winner Barters Hill gives you the imprssion that you have a chance against him but he’s proved a difficult horse to beat. He will be a very tough horse to get by in the Albert Bartlett.

Felix faster than ever

Felix Yonger put up a good performance to win the Tied Cottage at Punchestown. He showed more pace than he has done before. He travelled very well and showed a really good turn of foot. He idled a bit after the last which he’s done in the past so he doesn’t want to be in front too long. I was surprised how quickly he picked up Flemenstar which left me in front earlier than was ideal. He won over two and a half miles at Navan last March but is a Grade One winner at Punchestown over two miles so I imagine he’ll go for the Queen Mother at the Festival.

The weekend ahead

Bellshill worked well yesterday and goes for the Deloitte at Leopardstown. He will have to be in good form this weekend and even more so in a few weeks’ time to beat Yanworth. Willie has three in the Spring Hurdle. Allblak Des Places won at Fairyhouse and seems in good nick; Let’s Dance will have to improve to overturn form with Ivanovich Gorbatov, who looked very good at Leopardstown, while Footpad disappointed at Christmas but won at Gowran Park since. It will be difficult to pick the right one of Willie’s but whichever one I ride, it’s going to be extremely difficult to beat Ivanovich Gorbatov

There is not much to choose between Valseur Lido, Sir Des Champs and On His Own in the Irish Gold Cup but Road To Riches looks the one to beat. 

Sempre Medici has an entry at Sandown this weekend or the option of the Red Mills at Gowran Park the following week. He was an easy winner at Naas, then second in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham. He seems in good form and will be able to improve when the ground dries.”

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