Just had a few days off from this blogging lark to try to clear my head before this four day frenzy coming up in March. This wet winter has been really frustrating and when I looked back through the form from Paddy Power day in November it’s all been “Soft and Heavy” ground, small field racing. The word “Good” only appeared at Doncaster, Musselburgh, Huntingdon and Kempton and none of those tracks are very similar to Cheltenham especially Huntingdon!!
In this blog I’m just concentrating on our #startracking horses running/entered in the next few days, a few thoughts on the Betbright and Eider Chases tomorrow and recent #startracking results. I’ll blog again tonight with tomorrows Fab Four plus Cheltenham 2016 “as I see it at the moment”.
Kempton 2.00 Kempton 3.05 OCEANE He has two entries here in the G2 Adonis 4yo hurdle AND in the G2 Dovecote hurdle where he gets 9lb plus from the older horses, both over two miles. He ALSO has similar entries at Cheltenham in the Fred Winter AND the Supreme! Oceane has been on many a shortlist for the Fred Winter, most notably Mark Howard (One Jump Ahead), and trainer Alan King has four useful juveniles and I just wonder whether Sceau Royale and Who Dares Wins will go for the Triumph, Oceane getting weight in the Supreme and Gibralfaro in the Fred Winter?
Kempton 5.20 DRUMCLIFF Priced up for this year’s very open Champion Bumper at just 25/1 top price with SkyBet but none of the High Street Big Four. One of a few JP McManus sent Harry Fry for the first time this season, noteworthy in itself, Drumcliff was green but “in command” on winning debut at Taunton. I have high hopes for this 60K euros, son of Presenting.
FINGERONTHESWITCH 1st 9/4 Fav. (6/1 early with WH!!) Well supported. Travelled well in midfield, moved to challenge two out and saw it out well. Not sure he will defy a penalty but should make a lovely three mile novice chaser next season.
I really want to put up our old friend and #startracking entry CHAMPAGNE WEST as trainer Philip Hobbs has been itching to put him over three miles. However initially at 10/1, Hobbs had a well fancied Kruzhlinin also in the race so I held fire and now Tom O’Brien is jocked up and Richard Johnson does 10st 3lbs to ride Roc D’Aspis for Tom George, which is a Paddy Brennan spare!! Hopefully dear Dicky will reveal all in his Betway blog later. Only other horse of interest was Thomas Brown for Harry Fry who could still be improving and may be best right handed. More news in the 6pm blog.
Another old friend here in the shape of Welsh Grand National 3rd SHOTGUN PADDY. Four miles in the soft at Newcastle is ideal but top weight of 11st 12lbs tempers enthusiasm a tad. He is the best horse in the race and bar a race ending mistake has to go close. Woodford County is another who has ideal conditions and goes well for claimer Cairan Gethings. More news @ 6pm.