Diary: November 1 2006

I only have time for a short update tonight.



There are 3 qualifiers from our list to follow in action tomorrow.



Chepstow 1.00 Leading Contender



Nottingham 3.10. With Interest



Kempton 5.20 Zowington



See you tomorrow


Continue reading “Diary: November 1 2006”

Diary: October 31 2006

We are into the last week of the turf flat season but already the jumpers are taking centre stage and there is a very good card in prospect at Exeter tomorrow.


The novice hurdle at 1.40 features Paul Nicholl’s Beau Michel.  He is a full brother to a horse that was placed a couple of times in the Irish National and no doubt will make a chaser himself in time. He won a bumper at Worcester on his only start so far and looks the type to win over hurdles as well although he may need further than today’s trip in time.


Oumeyade is a half brother to the useful chaser Ladalko and is owned by Jim Lewis, who of course owned the great Best Mate.  He was really disappointing when pulled up on his debut at Kempton a couple of weeks back though.  Tony McCoy rides him in the 2.10 where connections will be hoping for an improved showing.


Henrietta Knight, who trains Oumeyade, is double handed in the Haldon Gold Cup at 2.40 where here stable stars Impek and Racing Demon will be competing against each other.  Henrietta had farmed this race in the past with Edredon Bleu and Best Mate.


Racing Demon could only finish 7th in the Arkle last season and I wonder if perhaps he might be seen to best advantage over 2.5 or 3 miles.  He won on this day last season though and certainly should not be ruled out.  Interestingly he has won all his 4 starts at Exeter. Graham Lee rides Racing Demon as Timmy Murphy has been claimed by David Pipe to ride Locksmith. This grey is a little wrong at the weights but the drying ground forecast will suit him as most of his wins have come on good going.  Racing Demon and Locksmith are on our list to follow as is Dempsey who has both trip and ground in his favour.  He was quietly fancied as a live outsider for the Champion Chase last season but was brought down at the third by Kauto Star.


Tough one to call this.  I will just favour Racing Demon based partly on his 100% track record.


Denman looks like being one of Paul Nicholl’s big guns in the novice chase category this season.  He makes his seasonal reappearance in the 3.10 and will take some beating. He has only been beaten under rules once and that was when 2nd at the Cheltenham Festival last March.  His main rival tomorrow may be Penzance who was no match for Lennon on his last outing but should come on for the run and has ability.


In the 3.40 David Pipe’s Doc Row looks nicely handicapped but he will not want the ground to lively.


There is only one runner from our flat list in action and that is Height of Fury in the 2.30 at Catterick.  He has been 2nd on his last 2 outings and should be on the premises again.  There are a couple of interesting runners up against him.  Funny Times has had surgery for a knee problem and has been hurdling.  She has won a couple of bumpers and should not lack for stamina in the testing conditions.  Flame Creek is another best known to jumps fans.  In fact he was once considered a Champion Hurdle prospect.  A horse with plenty of ability his jumping sometimes let him down and I remember him being turned over by a 100/1 shot when an odds on favourite a few years back.


That is all for now.  It does look an interesting days racing in prospect tomorrow.


Continue reading “Diary: October 31 2006”

Diary: October 30 2006

I had mixed fortunes over the weekend but if I concentrate on the positives it doesn’t sound too bad!


Spanish Sun, Captain Marvellous and Measured Tempo were winning 2 year olds that were featured in my preview and Compromiznotension notched up, his 3rd win of the season for our list to follow.  There were also a few winners from the jumps list with Vic Venturi the best priced at 3/1.


Today King Orchisios was a winner for the list to follow but he took me by surprise and I didn’t tip him!  20/1 as well.


On Monday I will have an interest in the 1.10 at Plumpton.  Travolta is one of the Elite Racing Club horses and he will be making his hurdles debut.  Charlie Egerton has booked Tony McCoy so Travolta won’t lack help from the saddle. He should go well.


Urban Tiger was all the rage on his first start over hurdles at Kempton but caught a tartar and was well beaten in second.  He runs in the 1.20 at Warwick.


Good Spirit comes into the 2.50 at Warwick with quite a reputation.  He was a smart hurdler in France and makes his chase debut here for Paul Nicholls. This certainly will not be a tap in though as this looks quite a hot race for the track with ex pattern class hurdler Howle Hill a possible danger having already got off the mark over fences.


Some of the big stables are represented in the 1.00 at Wolverhampton.  Calabash Cove comes from a winning family and is bred to handle the surface.


In the 2.30 I fancy Not another Cat.  He showed promise here on his debut when 5th in a race that has worked out well.

  Be lucky

Continue reading “Diary: October 30 2006”

Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

From Macbeth

William Shakespeare


Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow                   

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more: it is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

Continue reading “Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow”

Diary: October 29 2006

I will look back at today’s racing on Sunday evening.  In the meantime here are my thoughts on tomorrows meetings. Nicky Richard’s popular grey Monet’s Garden makes his reappearance in the 1.20 at Carlisle.  He will be aimed at some of the top prizes as the season unfolds and should make a winning start here.


 In the handicap chase at 2.30 King Killone has a progressive profile and should handle the ground.  Grattan Lodge has been in the doldrums for a while but he is a course specialist and his stable were under a cloud last term but are going well now.  Truckers Tavern does not seem the force of old. 


There are a couple of our horses to follow in the Galway 3.00.  Conna Castle was a useful hurdler last season and as a point to point winner he should have a future over fences.  Vic Venturi won 3 of his 6 races over hurdles last season and was also a points winner.  There is not much to choose between these two. 


At Wolverhampton Intrepid Jack and King Orchisios represent the list to follow.  Intrepid Jack was just a shade unlucky at the midlands track last time when finishing strongly behind Texas Gold.  I am hopeful that he can win this time. 


In the 4.05 Entranced is a course winner and should be suited by the trip.  He has an each way chance. See you tomorrow

Continue reading “Diary: October 29 2006”

Diary: October 28 2006

There were a couple of winners from our flat list to follow today.  Into the Dark (11/47) and Dr Sharp (9/1).  I am afraid I tipped against Into the Dark but at least I gave Dr Sharp a decent write up.  Tidal Bay was a winner fro our jumps list to follow.


There is quite a feast of racing over the weekend.  It is just a pity that Black Jack Ketchum and Racing Demon have both been taken out of their weekend engagements because of the state of the ground.  On the subject of the weather I see that the Ayr programme is subject to an inspection.


I will start tonight’s preview at Ascot where the Berkshire course stages a new race, the United House Gold Cup at 2.10.  Top Weight is the Paul Nicholls trained stalwart Royal Auclair who has run with much credit in most of the top steeplechases in the UK over the years.  He should go on the quickish ground OK and he is a good weight carrier.  He just maybe a little high in the handicap.  Nil Desperandum has finished 6th and 4th in the last two Grand Nationals and you would imagine that the Aintree race will once again be his target.  He has moved over here from Ireland since last season and is now with Venetia Williams.  A Glass in Thyne is a progressive staying chaser that goes well fresh and the track at Ascot should also suit him, although the ground may not.  Joe’s Edge didn’t win last season and as a result has slipped down the ratings.  He acts on fast ground and is very much one for the short list.


Our list to follow is represented by Howard Johnson’s Bewley’s Berry.  This is a horse I have always liked and with the stable in good form could go well.  Our other runner is Oodachee from Ireland. He is still a novice but has won a Grade 3 over fences and handles firm ground.


Cloudy Grey has some fair form over hur5dles and makes his debut over the larger obstacles at the age of 9 in the 3.20. If he handles the ground he is entitled to go close on his hurdles record.


Turning to Wetherby the interesting runner in the 1.45 is Degas Art who makes his hurdles debut having been bought from David Elsworth’s yard for Graham and Andrea Wylie. Degas Art won a listed race on the flat in soft ground beating today’s winner Into the Dark.  If he takes to hurdling he has to be a serious contender.


We have 2 list runners in the handicap chase at 2.20.  Kinburn is another from Howard Johnson’s yard. He has won his last 3 starts and looks to have scope for further improvement.  Although Roman Ark only won once last season he ran some fine races in defeat against top opposition.  He has trip and ground to suit and Fergus King takes 3 lbs off.


I thought that World Hurdle winner My Way de Solzen would go chasing this season, but for the moment anyway he stays over hurdles.  He should win the 2.50 where old favourites Tees Components and No Refuge look like filling the minor places.


Sam Thomas has recently moved to Paul Nicholls stable as number 2 to Ruby Walsh.  Thomas will partner the grey Neptune Collonges in the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase at 3.25.  He won 4 times for me last term and I have kept him on my list and I am hopeful of a bold showing from him here.  Dangers abound though. Robert Alner has two of his stable stars here in Sir Rembrandt and Kingscliffe.  The stable is in form and these two have the ability to land this.  Kingscliffe goes well fresh and is one for the shortlist.  Our Vic has plenty of ability and although most of his wins have been over shorter he has won at this trip as a novice.  Jungle Jinks may not be quite good enough here but he does have 4 course wins to his credit.  Royal Emperor finished last season with a fine 3rd in the Scottish National.  He relishes soft ground.  Take the Stand was 2nd in the 2005 Gold Cup and if the ground dries and his jumping holds up he comes into the reckoning. He warmed up the other week with a win at Plumpton over hurdles.


Cracking race this.  I will stay loyal to Neptune Collonges.


Astarador represents the list to follow in the 4.00.  Another from the Howard Johnson stable he had solid bumper form last season and has reportedly schooled well for his hurdles debut.


Aintree favourite Clan Royal makes his reappearance in the 5.10.  He remains well handicapped over hurdles.


Limbo King was a staying on third on his debut at Newbury and has an each way chance in the 1.00 at Newmarket.


There are some very interesting newcomers in the 1.30.  Hypoteneuse looks one for the notebook although may be better as a 3 yaer old.  Lucy Rebecca is related to juvenile winners.  Measured Tempo has a pedigree that suggests better things next season. 


Rio Riva and Superseus are our list runners in the 3.45.  Both are capable of going close on a good day and both should handle the ground.


Spanish Moon comes into the 4.20 with a bit of a home reputation and could be something special.  Of those that have run Noisy Silence makes some appeal.


Our only list runner at Ayr is Compromiznotension in the 3.35.  He has already won twice this season and should handle the ground.


At Naas Noel Meade’s Leading Run should maintain his 100% record in the 3.25.


Other selections


1.30 Maisons-Lafitte Captain Marvellous

  I will be back tomorrow evening for a look at Sunday’s meetings.

Continue reading “Diary: October 28 2006”

Diary: October 27 2006

The horses from our jumps list have had a successful last two days.  I was impressed with Carl Llewellyn’s Roll Along who kept his 100% record in the miden hurdle.  He travelled strongly and beat a useful rival.  Gungadu tended to jump right but won easily on his chase debut and looks set for further success.  Today’s winner was Don’t Push It who won the beginners chase at Stratford and is another that looks to have a future.


Carl Llewellyn’s old boss Nigel Twiston-Davies has his horses in fine form and a couple of his caught my eye yesterday, especially as both were on my list to follow last season.  Ardaghey and Imperial Commander were both ridden by David England.  I was particularly taken with Imperial Commander who made every yard in the bumper to gallop well clear of his rivals.  He didn’t run last season as a result of injury problems but before that had won his only Irish Point to point in good style.


Of the horses mentioned in last night’s preview Dalvina won the opening maiden at Lingfield for Ed Dunlop at 12/1.


There are quite a few points of interest tomorrow.


In the 1.00 at Newmarket Shmook has some form having finished 3rd last time out.  Both his runs to date have been at Newmarket.  Of the unraced horses I would pick out Woodins Way as one to watch for the future.


There are 2 runners from our list to follow in the 2.40. Kerrimuir Lass has form figures that read 02232212.  Consistent but only one win in there.  She has gone up 4 lbs for a narrow defeat last time out.  Fear to Tread has on the other hand been a very successful member of our flat “team” with wins at 4/1 and 12/1.  She is unproven on soft ground.


Godolphin had a bad day at Limgfield today.  They will be hoping for better things from Into the Dark in the 3.15.  He was 2nd here in a listed race last month and has obvious claims.  He does not look straightforward though and I narrowly prefer Nakheel whose 2 runs this season are better than the bare form figures suggest.


Doctor Sharp loves soft ground and ran well to be 3rd in the Cesarawitch last time out at 100/1.  He has each way claims in the 4.25.


Wooly Bully was an easy winner of a Pontefract maiden but failed to justify favouritism when 4th on his handicap debut.  He is dropped inn trip in the 5.00 and should not be far away.

  Kayceecee is a good sort who I think should do well as the season unfolds.  Perhaps a watching brief at this early stage though.  He runs in the 2.25 at Wetherby.

Continue reading “Diary: October 27 2006”

Diary: October 26 2006

I don’t have time to reflect on today’s racing at the moment so I will try and comment tomorrow evening.  We did have 2 winners, a second and a non runner from our 4 list horses though.


There is action on the AW and over jumps on Thursday. The first 3 races on the Lingfield card are all 2 year old maidens.  In the 1.50 John Gosden’s Nabra has experience under his belt and Gosden won the race in 2004.  Ed Dunlop saddled the winner last season and his entry Dalvina, who will be ridden by Jamie Spencer is well bred.


The pair that catch my eye in the 2.20 are Fabine and Pivotalia. Fabine is ridden by Jamie Spencer.  Her dam was a half sister to a favourite sprinter of mine called Acclamation.  Pivotalia represents last years winning stable and is nicely bred.


In the 2.50 I will be keeping an eye on Tawaagg who is making his debut fro Michael Jarvis.  He is related to the useful Polar Bear.


Ed Dunlop’s Bouboulina represents our list to follow in the 3.50.  She won at this track on this day last season for people who subscribe to that sort of theory.  


We have 2 runners in the 4.50.  Easy Air has won twice at Lingfield and has obvious claims.  Scandal Keeper showed plenty of promise in his 2 runs last season, winning the second of them at Newmarket.  He has not run for over a year however and appears to be the stable’s second string as Frankie is on their other runner.


At Stratford I fancy Don’t Push It who looked a good prospect when winning at Haydock Park last season.  AP McCoy rides for Jonjo O’Neill in the 2.30.


There is one qualifier from our list to follow at Thurles.  Strangely Brown in the 4.25.

  See you tomorrow

Continue reading “Diary: October 26 2006”

Diary: October 25 2006

Some of you will know that I am a member of the Elite Racing Club so no prizes for guessing the highlight of the day for me.  Monolith is one of the unsung heroes of the Elite string and at 8 years old is a very handy dual purpose performer.  In June he won the Pontefract Cup on the flat over 2 and a quarter miles and today’s success in a handicap hurdle at Cheltenham came over 2 miles 5. He always appeared to be going well today and Keith Mercer delivered his challenge to perfection.


There are a few runners from our jumps list to follow in action tomorrow.  Carl Llewellyn is new to the training ranks but obviously has a wealth of experience as a jockey.  He runs Roll Along in the Cheltenham 3.20 and this well related gelding has already won 3 out of 3 in bumpers.  Roll Along will be strongly fancied to make a winning start to his hurdles career.


Paul Nicholls seems to have his horses in good form alrerady and there have been favourable reports about Gungadu who runs for Nicholls in the 5.05.  Gungadu shapes like a stayer and this extended 3 miles should suit.


Snap Tie was apparently purchased for a tidy sum by his current connections after winning a Limerick Bumper.  He makes his UK debut in the bumper at 5.40. It is never easy to win these races under a penalty but regardless of the outcome tomorrow he looks one to follow.


Howard Johnson and his new jockey Paddy Brennan have enjoyed a good spell of late.  The partnership is represented by Astarador in the 1.50 at Sedgefield.  His form in bumpers suggests that a hurdle race or two should come his way.

  I hope that this quartet will give us a run for our money.

Continue reading “Diary: October 25 2006”

Diary: October 24 2006

I started a “hall of fame” section a while back.  It has not progressed too far yet but I am working on it!  One of the rules I have set myself is that the horse must have retired from racing, mainly so I can include their full career record in the write up.  That makes Collier Hill ineligible but he is a certainty for inclusion one day.


Collier Hill is very much an unsung hero but his career record is really quite remarkable.  His career had humble beginnings as his first appearance on a racecourse saw him win a bumper at Catterick in March 2002.  Rather than a career over the jumps Collier Hill went on to run on the flat and 4 further victories followed in small races at Ayr (twice) , Newcastle and Hamilton.  He stepped up on previous efforts when winning the Old Newton Cup at Haydock in 2003 when he beat Waverley, who had won a handicap at Royal Ascot just before, by half a length.


Not unreasonably his connections then sent him over hurdles where he won a maiden at Kelso in quite taking fashion.  Some might have thought that his career on the flat was at an end but this was far from being the case as he was shortly to embark on an amazing World tour!


He won twice in 2004 starting with a competitive 12 furlong handicap at Hamiliton in the spring followed by his first success in Group company in the Stockholm Cup, a Group 3 race in the September.  This was his first win ridden by Deam McKeown, a partnership that was to flourish from then on.


In the winter of 2005 he was off to Dubai, where he won a valuable handicap at Nad Al Sheba in February.  Next stop was Germany where he won a Group 2 race at Cologne on Mayday en route to his first Group 1 success in the Irish St Leger at The Curragh.


How many Group 1 winners have a bumper win at Catterick and a success over hurdles at Kelso on their CV I wonder?


He is 8 years old now and remains in amazing form.  Last month he went back to Sweden where he retained his Stockholm Cup crown and yesterday he took the Group 1 Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine in a thrilling finish, prevailing by a “nose.”  He is some horse and full credit must go to his trainer Alan Swinbank.


The jumps season is getting into full swing now and Paul Nicholls clearly has plenty of ammunition as he seeks to defend his trainer’s title.  Turko, Pepperoni Pete and of course Kauto Star were all impressive winners yesterday.  I see that he has also “signed” Sam Thomas as his number two jockey to Ruby Walsh, and with the horses and jockeys he now has at his disposal he must be hot favourite to head the trainers table at the end of the season.


There is only one runner from our list to follow in action tomorrow and that is Dandy Nicholl’s Fast Heart.  He has not won for some time but is looking increasingly well handicapped.  He runs in the 4.10 at Catterick.

  See you tomorrow

Continue reading “Diary: October 24 2006”