Diary; December 2, 3 & 4 2006

My Way de Solzen could not have been more impressive on his chase debut at Lingfield and he will take some beating if lining up in the Grade 2 novice chase at Sandown (2.05) on Saturday.  If he is an absentee then Paul Nicholl’s ex French New Little Bric who is apparently well thought of at home and won easily on his UK debut would be my selection.

  

In the Tingle Creek at 2.35 it is impossible to oppose the in form Kauto Star.  He won this last season and is rated well in excess of his rivals.  The interesting one is Arkle winner Voy Por Ustedes who would have been my selection but for the presence of Kauto Star.  Alan King’s up and coming star handles soft ground and if anything is going to give Kauto Star a race he is likely to be the one. 

  In the 12.20 at Wetherby look out for Double Default and Ossmoses.  Double Default won between the flags at Tallow and was promptly snapped up by Sir Robert Ogden.  He is well thought of by connections.  Ossmoses will no doubt be contesting some of the better long distance staying chases but he should go well if taking his chance in this modest looking hurdle race, especially if the conditions are testing.  

Mr Pointment has already made an impressive winning debut over fences and looks very much a horse to follow.  He is entered in the 2.55.

  

Sunday

  

Kelso 1.00 According to John, Ungaru and Mr Pointment, from our list to follow are all entered in this.

  

3.00 Scarvagh Diamond has been running well in bumpers and has recently moved to Nicky Richard’s yard.

  

At Warwick on Sunday I see that Snakebite (2.10) and Sound Accord (3.40) are entered from our list to follow.

  

In the novice hurdle at 1.40 David Pipe’s Scotland Yard looks the type to do well over hurdles.  He won twice on the flat at Ripon.

  

In the Hattan Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse (2.05) I fancy Asian Maze who should find the trip ideal.  Incidentally the race is named after the horse that won the Champion Hurdle in 1949, 1950 and 1951 when trained by Vincent O’Brien.

  

There are a number of horses from our list to follow entered in the Drinmore Novice Chase but without knowing riding plans or ground conditions I do not have any strong views.

  

There is racing at Fakenham on Monday and I would fancy Alan King’s Kandjar D’Allier if he lines up in the 2.20.

  

A few more pointers

  

Carryon on the theme of some old favourites likely to be seen in point to points and hunter chases this season here are a few more names for the notebook.

  

Paul Hogarth, who trains at Lower Withington in Cheshire has acquired a couple of familiar names.  Cordilla looked a possible future star not so long ago when trained by Nicky Richards. He won over both hurdles and fences but tended to have problems with his jumping.  Europa, a winner of 10 races used to be with Ferdy Murphy.  He can boast some smart form on his CV.  For example he was 3rd behind Monkerhostin and Thisthatandtother at Cheltenham a couple of years back, with Armaturk, Fondmort and Impek behind him.

   

Limerick Leader is now with Patrick Hutchinson, having been bought out of Phillip Hobbs yard and looks the type to do well between the flags, while King Eider is with David Kemp who trains in Norfolk.  King Eider is a member of a fairly exclusive club in that he has won on the flat, over hurdles and fences. He has had injury problems so it may be touch and go whether he makes it to the course.

  

Double Honour is another member of that exclusive club, in fact he has a listed contest to his credit on the flat and he has been placed in some of the top staying chases. Marie McGuiness trains Double Honour.  She and her husband run a satellite yard for Phillip Hobbs who trained Double Honour under rules.

  

Spring Grove and Telemoss have both appeared on my lists to follow down the years.  Both had there injury problems over the years. Andy Old, whose wife runs a satellite yard for Robert Alner will be training Spring Grove while Nicky Richards will be aiming Telemoss at the better hunter chases. Telemoss was a useful hurdler with his biggest win coming in the John Smith’s hurdle at Wetherby two years ago.  He won a few novice chases after going chasing quite late in his career but ran into injury problems. Another that will probably be seen in the top hunter chases is Drombeag who is trained by Jonjo O’Neill.

  

Gunther McBride won the Racing Post Chase in 2002.  He will be trained by Mike Tuckey and will be going hunter chasing.

  

Foly Pleasant is now with Karen Waldron.  He was 2nd in the Foxhunters at the 2005 Cheltenham Festival.

   

Lord Atterbury used to be trained by Martin Pipe and was 3rd in the Grand National in 2004 but fell at the first the following year.  He is now trained by Gina Weare and may end up in hunter chases.

  

Barryscourt Lad is another that used to be trained by Martin Pipe.  His biggest win came in the Great Yorkshire Chase in 2003.  Ben Woodhouse trains the 12 year old in Yorkshire.

  The UK point to point season gets under way earlier this season.  The first meeting is at the Black Forest Club in the west country on Sunday.  

I will be back on Monday evening – have a good weekend.

 

Continue reading “Diary; December 2, 3 & 4 2006”

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Diary: December 1 2006

Of the horses mentioned in last night’s update Liberate and Flash Cummins were odds on winners while Conkering was 4th having drifted markedly in the betting.  Reach for the Top was second to the horse pointed out as the main danger.

  

Down at Exeter tomorrow Richard Phillips gives a debut run to Lennie the Blade in the novice hurdle at 1.10.  He is by a Derby runner up out of Limelight, who was a winner over hurdles.  The stable are not in the best of form but I think this could be a horse worth keeping an eye on in the longer term.

  

David Pipe’s horses are in top form and I fancy his Doc Row in the Exeter 2.15. He should be fit after a run 3 weeks ago and will be well suited by the soft ground.

  

Just for Men refused last time at Chepstow and is probably not straightforward.  He has first time blinkers in the 3.20 and might be worth one more chance.

  

A multiple winner in France, Granit Jack was a bit disappointing when only 3rd on his UK debut.  He is apparently held in high regard by connections and gets a chance to atone for his defeat in the 2.05 at Sandown. The 2 horses that finished in front of him on his last outing have both won since.  I see that Paul Nichools has won this race for the last 2 years with Ladalko and Neptune Collonges.

  

Star de Mohaison and The Listener represent our list to follow in the 2.35.  The Listener beat the Paul Nicholls trained chaser twice last season.  However, he has fallen on his last two starts and Star de Mohaison has the benefit of a winning run over hurdles already this season so he gets the selection.

 

On the all weather at Lingfield there is a very strongt whisper for the unraced Sweeney in the 1.55.

 

 

  Good luck  

Continue reading “Diary: December 1 2006”

Diary: November 30 2006

Our 3 list runners ran with credit this afternoon.  Paddy Brennan took no prisoners aboard longs odds on favourite Astarador making all and pulling well clear with the rest in a different parish.

  

Harmony Brig has always looked a chasing sort and apart from ballooning the first few he warmed to the task when tackled by Percussionist and looks a bright prospect.  There was an eyecatching run from King Revo in third.  He jumped bet of all and made late headway to suggest he will be spot on next time.

  

Finally, Sir Boreus Hawk put in a pleasing display when 2nd to an impressive winner in the bumper at Catterick.

  

We have just one list runner tomorrow and that is Reach for the Top in the 3.00 at Leicester.  Reach for the Top, who is trained by Henrietta Knight and a half brother to Rosslea was 4th on his chase debut behind Mr Pointment. That was an encouraging start and he should run well tomorrow.  The main threat is likely to come from David Pipe’s An Accordion who is a half brother to Horus, who has had some big wins over fences for the Pipe team.

  

James Fanshawe does well with a small team of jumpers.  His 3 year old Conkering has his first run over hurdles in the 1.00 at Leicester.  He won on soft ground over a mile on the flat at Ripon so hopefully will handle what are likely to be testing conditions.  Tony McCoy has the ride.

  

Flash Cummins came over from Ireland with a tall reputation but didn’t live up to expectations last season.  He has already registered a win this term and may be finding his feet.  He runs in the 2.00.

  

Liberate won 4 times on the flat for Sir Mark Prescott.  He made a winning debut for new trainer Phillip Hobbs a fortnight ago and seeks to follow up in the 3.40 at Wincanton.  Liberate was a facile winner at Hereford and should be able to defy a penalty. 

 

Continue reading “Diary: November 30 2006”

Diary: November 29 2006

The best jumps racing on Wednesday is at Ayr.

  

Astarador scored on his hurdles debut at Wetherby in the soft and stands a good chance of following up under a penalty in the 1.30.

  

The novice chase at 2.30 is a fascinating contest even though there are only 4 runners.  Harmony Brig is one of our list to follow.  He won three times over hurdles last term.  He may well be ridden from the front here.  Both Percussionist and King Revo were on last season’s list so I have a strong interest in them too. Percussionist was classy on the flat as evidenced by his 4th in the 2004 Derby.  He didn’t seem to take to hurdling but won on his chase debut at Wetherby.  King Revo has recorded 8 wins on the flat and over hurdles.  He won at Cheltenham in December 2004 and that set a record for his trainer, as it meant he had trained a winner at each of the 59 British courses.  Tony McCoy has said he thinks King Revo will make a good chaser.  Needs to defy a long absence here. 

  

I am not totally convinced about Percussionist’s jumping while King Revo must have some fitness doubts so I will go with Harmony Brig.

  

At Catterick in the 3.25 Alan Swinbank runs the highly rated Sir Boreas Hawk.  I do not really like supporting horses running in bumpers with a penalty so I won’t say too much about him.  I feel he will make up into a useful hurdler though, regardless of the result tomorrow.

  

Orange Touch makes his hurdles debut in the 12.30 at Plumpton.  The trainer has a good strike rate at the track.

 

Continue reading “Diary: November 29 2006”

Diary: November 27 2006

Saturday had its successes on the tipping front.

  

v     I fancy Silverburn to come on for his earlier run and win this. (WON)

  

v     [Opera Mundi] and if he is good as people say he will be hard to beat.  (WON)

  

v     Keep an eye also on Saintsaire the change of scenery might just do the trick for him. (WON)

  

v     Strictly speaking our old friend Inglis Drever should prevail here. (WON)

  

v     If pushed for a selection I would go for State of Play and Idle Power. (State of Play WON)

   

v     Our other runner is Afsoun. He gets the nod here. (WON)

  

v     Aces Four won here last time out and the step up to 3 miles in the 1.25 should be in his favour. (WON)

  

v     If the promised rain does materialise this will suit Neptune Collonges.  He stays really well and should have come on for his second to Our Vic in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby. (WON)

  

v     I am going with Straw Bear for my selection. (WON)

  

Sorry about the trumpet blowing – I don’t often get the opportunity!

  

I see that Denman won again this afternoon at Newbury.  He looks a high class chaser and it will be interesting to see where he goes next.  He is by the way a full brother to Silverburn.

  

There is only one runner from our list to follow running on Monday.

  

In 1955 Jimmy Shand recorded the hit single "Bluebell Polka" which reached number 20 in the charts and earned him an appearance on a BBC television "Pop Music" programme.  You live and learn on this site! 

  

Well the horse names after the popular accordionist, Sir Jimmy Shand, runs in the 1.30 at Folkestone.  He won bumpers at Ludlow and Huntingdon before failing in the Aintree Festival bumper.  He is well bred along strong jumping lines and I am hopeful that he will pay his way over hurdles this season.

  

A few pointers

  

I thought readers might be interested in hearing about some of the horses featured in these pages in recent years who are now point to pointing or will be hunter chasing.

  

Arnold Layne was the name of Pink Floyd’s first hit single.  It was actually banned by the BBC because of the “offensive” lyrics.  Pretty harmless stuff viewed from today’s perspective.

  

The horse of the same name, a gelding by Roselier, won a bumper for Richard Phillips in April 2005 and was placed in a couple of hurdles.  He is now trained by Gerald Bailey in Northamptonshire and will be running in point to points.

  

Mouseski, Patches, Whitenzo, and Le Passing were all with Paul Nicholls and are being trained by Richard Barber who actually runs a satellite yard for the champion rules trainer.  They are all likely to go hunter chasing.

  

I seem to remember that Ballylusky was owned by Channel 4 pundit Jim McGrath at one time.  He once won a handicap chase at Aintree a few years back and a handicap hurdle at Haydock later in the same year.  He is now trained by Sheila Crow, an experienced point to pointy trainer from Shropshire.  Go For Bust is also with the same yard.  He won a handicap hurdle at 18/1 when on my list to follow last season, when he was with Nicky Henderson.

  

David Easterby is the son of veteran trainer Mick.  He has Kadarann under his charge.  This horse was pretty decent under rules when he was trained by Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls.  He won a couple of Grade 2 chases.

  

Ivanoph is a horse I had on my list to follow a few years back.  He was a winner at Auteil before moving to Paul Nicholls and he went on to win 3 times in the UK.  He is with Steve Flook now, a former trotting driving champion.  Ivanoph has had a few problems but has always had ability.

  

The website Furlongtogo used to publish an excellent list of horses to follow.  They seem to have stopped doing it now; I think the guy who did a lot of the research may have been ill.  Anyway, I think I got the idea of following a horse called Stamparland Hill fom Furlongtogo. He won a couple of chases and was placed a fair few times.  He probably didn’t live up to his early promise.  He tended to race a bit keen I seem to remember.  He is now trained by Gary Hanmer in Cheshire.

  

We might see a couple of classy types from Nicky Henderson’s yard in hunter chases this season.

  

There were really high hopes for First Love at one time.  He was never out of the first 2 in his first 13 outings and although he has not scaled the heights once envisaged he has won 9 times for his owner who just happens to be The Queen!  Amateur Jamie Snowden has partnered First Love for his last 3 wins and clearly gets on well with the horse.  For obvious reasons he will probably be aimed at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Memorial Hunters' Chase in March, a race he won easily last season.

  

I best remember Scots Grey for a terrific finish he was involved in at Kempton at Christmas time in 2003 when he just pipped Hand Inn Hand by a short head.  Scots Grey has been a decent chaser in his day and his mixed it with some of the best.  He was 3rd in the Mildmay of Flete at the 2003 Cheltenham Festival. Is appears that he may go hunter chasing and should do well in that sphere.

  

I will return to this topic in a day or two.

 

Continue reading “Diary: November 27 2006”