Diary: January 1 2008

Horses running from our main list to follow


Cheltenham 1.00 – Ballyfoy


Cheltenham 1.35 – Lead On & Predateur


Cheltenham 2.10 – Bob Hall


Cheltenham 2.45 – Oscar Park


Cheltenham 3.20 – Gaspara, Afsoun, Wichita Lineman & Blazing Bailey


Exeter 12.40 – Lodge Lane


Exeter 2.25 – The Real Deal


Exeter 3.30 – Oslot


Catterick 1.55 – Shouyldhavehadthat


Catterick 3.35 – Starting Point


Horses running from our “dark horses” list


Cheltenham 1.00 – Always Waining


Catterick 2.30 – Border Tale


Russellform Ramblings


Much has been written elsewhere about the stars of 2007, Dylan Thomas, Authorized, Kauto Star Denman etc.  I thought I would highlight one of the lesser lights that give us just as much pleasure (and sometimes profit).  The handicap chase at Haydock yesterday was aptly named the Last Fling handicap and sponsored by Blackpool Tower and Circus.  It was won in ultra game style by the grey Huka Lodge who epitomizes all that I love about jump racing.  He comes out year after year, is as tough as they come and a grey as well.  This was his 3rd win at the Lancashire track and he again confirmed his liking for a battle in the mud.







Huka Lodge is trained by Kate Walton whose stable is one of my “links.” 

The jumps season has been rather a disappointing one as far as my list to follow is concerned.  There have been few big priced winners with Niaid de Missalot the best so far (11/1) followed by Calgary Bay (9/1).  There have been some muliple winners, notably Tidal Bay who has won his 3 starts, as has his stable companion Cedrus Libani.  There have also been some big race successes from the likes of Kauto Star, Denman, L’Antartique and Twist Magic.  The end of term report must read “could do better” though so here’s hoping for an upturn in fortunes in 2008.


I will start the preview of Tuesday’s racing with the 1.00 at Cheltenham where 2 from our list to follow are in action.  Always Waining finished in mid division in the Hennessy and it is possible that the handicapper has just got his measure.  He ran well on his last visit to Cheltenham however and he does have a squeak here.  Ballyfoy, trained by Tom George is another that is possibly in the grip of the handicapper.  He did show a glimmer of promise when 4th on his last run and another positive is the booking of Timmy Murphy.  Ballyfoy certainly stays well.


There are 3 jumps meetings in the UK on New Years Day with runners from our list to follow represented at all 3.


The 1.35 looks tricky despite there only being 5 runners.  Lead On got off the mark over fences at Exeter last time and the 2nd and 3rd in that race have both won since.  Predateur is yet to win over fences but has run respectively in races won by Tidal Bay and Moon Over Miami. I am going to take a chance with Lead On.


Bob Hall is a consistent sort who goes well at Cheltenham.  He rarely runs a bad race and is likely to be suited by the conditions at Cheltenham.  He has an each way chance in the 2.10 but the indifferent form of the yard is a slight concern.


Star de Mohaison is likely to be all the rage in the 2.45 but has been off for over a year with injury and does not look value.  Oscar Park was in the process of running a big race when coming to grief at Newbury in a race won by Inglis Drever.  He is a course and distance winner and hopefully will give us a run for our money.


Afsoun has ticks in the right boxes in the 3.20 and looks the one to beat.  Blazing Bailey has disappointed so far this season but the stable are going well and I would not be surprised to see him back to something like his best.


Dual bumper winner Lodge Lane also made a successful start over hurdles at Fontwell and with his trainer in good form looks the one to be on in the 12.40 at Exeter.


The Real Deal does not seem to have taken to jumping fences but it is interesting that his trainer perseveres with him in that sphere.  He is well in at the weights potentially compared to his hurdles mark and if his jumping does improve could run well at a big price in the Exeter 2.25. Both trip and going should suit him.


Oslot makes his chasing debut for Paul Nicholls in the 3.30 at Exter.  A multiple winner on the flat in France he won twice over hurdles last season and he could well make a winning start over the larger obstacles.


Starting Point has winning form in bumpers and is with the right trainer to get the best out of him now he goes over hurdles.  As the saying goes, “he could be anything.”

 Happy New Year to all readers and best wishes for a healthy and profitable 2008.  

Nap of the day


Cheltenham 3.20 –Afsoun


Today’s trivia


The record time for the Cheltenham Gold Cup was 6 minutes 30 seconds set by Looks Like Trouble in 2000.


What’s in a name?


Snowy Day who runs in the 12.15 at Catterick maintains a winter/icy tradition as his dam was Snow White, who in turn was sired by Polar Falcon.


Continue reading “Diary: January 1 2008”

Diary: December 31 2007

Horses running from our “dark horses” list


Uttoxeter 1.00 – Oncle Bul


What’s in a name?


Toby Belch (Warwick 2.40) is quite aptly named as his dam was Peptic Lady.  He is also named after Sir Toby Belch, a character in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.


Continue reading “Diary: December 31 2007”

Diary: December 30 2007

Horses running from our main list to follow


Haydock 1.00 – Master Overseer


Haydock 1.30 – Valentine’s Lady


Haydock 3.10 – Dictum


Taunton 2.25 – Pertinent


Taunton 2.55 – Bon Viveur


Horses running from our “dark horses” list


Haydock 2.05 – Ballabriggs


Haydock 3.10 – Labelthou


Haydock 3.40 – Harry Wood


Taunton 3.30 – Opus Cafe


Nap of the day


Taunton 2.25 – Chrysander


Continue reading “Diary: December 30 2007”

Diary: December 29 2007

Horses running from our main list to follow


Bangor 2.15 – Super Nick


Musselburgh 12.15 – Laborec


Newbury 12.30 – Big Bucks


Newbury 1.35 – Dear Villez & Air Force One


Newbury 2.05 – Helens Vision & Theatre Girl


Newbury 2.40 – Lightning Strike


Horses running from our “dark horses” list


Bangor 1.10 – Ordre De Bataille


Newbury 1.00 – Celestial Hero


Newbury 2.05 – Khyber Kim


Russellform Ramblings


Ordre De Boutaill probably needed the run when 3rd at Uttoxeter last month, but he jumped well and the form of the race looks OK.  He looks to have a sound each way chance in the 1.10 at Bangor.


Paul  Nicholls can do no wrong at the moment and Big Bucks and Celestial Hero will be expected to win for him at Newbury.


Helen’s Vision beat subsequent winner Pasco by 27 lengths over course and distance last time out and looks the one to beat in the 2.05 at Newbury.


Lightning Strike goes for the hat trick in the Newbury 2.40.  Tom Scudamore has the ride for trainer Venetia Williams.


Super Nick didn’t jump well when a beaten favourite at Wincanton but he is not short of ability and he can score in the Bangor 2.15 if he can improve on his hurdling.


Nap of the day


Helen’s Vision – Newbury 2.05



Continue reading “Diary: December 29 2007”

Diary: December 28 2007

Horses running from our main list to follow


Catterick 2.20 – Cedrus Libani


Leicester 1.00 – One Gulp & Cave Hill


Leopardstown 2.35 – Denman & L’Antartique


Horses running from our “dark horses” list


Catterick 2.55 – Northern Quest


Russellform Ramblings


Halla San was a decent handicapper on the flat and can make a winning start over hurdles in the 1.50 at Catterick, a track where he won on the flat.


The 1.00 at Leicester looks to be between Orphelin Collinges, Cave Hill and One Gulp.  One Gulp showed abundant stamina when winning at Newbury and had useful form in bumpers.  The other two both fell last time out.  Cave Hill is a winning Pointer while Orphelin Collonges would have won at Hereford had he not crashed out at the last fence.  This is quite a trappy contest but I am going with the Longsden horse Orphelin Collonges with McCoy in the plate.


After such an impressive win in the Hennessy Denman is hard to oppose in the Lexus Chase.


Nap of the day


Leictester 1.00 – Orphelin Collonges


Continue reading “Diary: December 28 2007”

Diary: December 27 2007

Horses running from our main list to follow


Chepstow 12.20 – Mark the Book & Mister Potter

Chepstow 1.30 – Boyastara

Chepstow 2.05 – Not Left Yet

Chepstow 2.40 – Franchoek

Kempton 1.50 – Mossville

Kempton 2.25 – Vor Por Ustedes

Kempton 2.55 – Bible Lord & Caribou

Kempton 3.30 – Ouzbeck

WEtherby 1.25 – Bywell Beau

WEWtherby 3.05 – Lennon & Three Mirrors


Horses running from our “dark horses” list


Chepstow 2.05 – Halcon Generlardais

Chepstow 2.40 – Serabad & Tatenen

Kempton 12.40 – Indicible


Russellform Ramblings


Mark the Book has a tall home reputation but unfortunately his chase debut got no further than the first at Exeter.  He is out again quickly in the 12.20 at Chepstow and is preferred to Mister Potter who is yet to complete in his two chase starts.


Silver Inngot won after 951 days absence from the racecourse at Lingfield.  The longer trip in the Chepstow 12.55 should suit and I would be hopeful of a big run from him.


My 4 against the field in the Welsh National would be Preacher Boy, Gungadu, Homer Wells and Fair Question.  Gungadu seems to be most effective in small fields and I am going with Preacher Boy as my each way selection.  He was 3rd in the Hennessy last season and a repeat of that sort of form would see him in the shake up.


Franchoek has won at Chepstow on the flat and over hurdles and that should stand him in good stead in the 2.40.


The lightly raced Mossville looks reasonably handicapped in the 1.50 at Kempton and the step up to 3 miles could see further improvement in her.


Voy Por Ustedes has to give weight away all round in the 2.25 but may well be up to the task in a race he won last year.


Bible Lord was going as well as anything in the Hennessy until his stamina gave out.  The shorter trip and easier track should be in his favour in the Kempton 2.55. Caribou would have an each way chance but he must have soft ground.


Furmigadelagiusta won trice on the flat over 12 furlongs and looks the type that could do well over timber.  He makes his hurdles bow in the 2.00 at Wetherby.


Lennon blundered away a winning chance at the last fence when a beaten favourite at Kempton in October and looks to gain compensation in the 3.05 at Wetherby. He carries top weight and has to contend with a real Wetherby specialist in the shape of Mister McGoldrick  who has won 8 times at the Yorkshire venue. Another interesting runner is Kilmackilloge who won at Aintree in October and the form of that race has been franked since by the runner up.  Although it is 60 days since his last run Kilmackilloge goes well fresh and could run well at a price.


Nap of the day


Kilmackilloge – Wetherby 3.05.


Today’s trivia


During the 2006/7 season Howard Johnson saddled 54 winners from 399 runners.


What’s in a name?


In 1992, the National was run just a few days before John Major unexpectedly led the Conservative party to victory in the General Election. The winner was the aptly named Party Politics.


Continue reading “Diary: December 27 2007”



Just for a space I met her –
  Just for a day in the train!
It began when she feared it would wet her,
  That tiniest spurtle of rain:
So we tucked a great rug in the sashes,
  And carefully padded the pane;
And I sorrow in sackcloth and ashes,
  Longing to do it again!

Then it grew when she begged me to reach her
  A dressing-case under the seat;
She was “really so tiny a creature,
  That she needed a stool for her feet.!”
Which was promptly arranged to her order
  With a care that was even minute,
And a glimpse – of an open- worked border,
  And a glance – of the fairyest boot.

Then it drooped, and revived at some hovels –
  “Were they houses for men or for pigs?”
Then it shifted to muscular novels,
  With a little digreesion on prigs:
She thought “Wives and Daughters” “so jolly”;
  “Had I read it?” She knew when I had,
Like the rest, I should dote upon “Molly”;
  And “poor Mrs Gaskell – how sad!”

“Loke Browning?” “But so-so.”  His proof lay
  “Too deep for her frivolous mood,
That preferredyour mere metrical souffle
  To the stronger poetical food;
Yet at times he was good – “as a tonic”;
  Was Tennyson writing just now?
And was this new poet Byronic,
  And clever, and naughty, or how?

Then we trifled with concerts and croquet,
  Then she daintily dusted her face;
Then she sprinkled herself with “Ess Bouquet”,
  Fished out from the foregoing case;
And we chattered of Gassier and Grisi,
  And voted Aunt Sally a bore;
Discussed if the tight rope were easy,
  Or Chopin much harder than Spohr.

And oh! The odd things that she quoted,
  With the prettiest possible look,
And the price of two buns that she noted
  In the prettiest possible book;
While her talk like a musical rillet
  Flashed on with the hours that flew,
And the carriage, her smile seemed to fill it
  With just enough summer – for Two.

Till at last in her corner, peeping
  From a nest of rugs and of furs,
With the white shut eyelids sleeping
  On those dangerous looks of hers,
She seemed like a snowdrop breaking,
  Not wholly alive nor dead,
But with one blind impulse making
  To the sounds of the spring overhead;

And I watched in the lamplights’s swerving
  The shade of the down-dropped lid,
And the lip-line’s delicate curving,
  Where a slumbering smile lay hid,
Till I longed that, rather than sever,
  The train should shriek into space,
And carry us onward – for ever –
  Me and that beautiful face.

But she suddenly woke in a fidget,
  With fears she was “nearly at home”,
And talk of a certain Aunt Bridget,
  Whom I mentally wished – well at Rome;
Got out at the very next station,
  Looking back with a merry bon soir,
Adding, too, to my utter vexation,
  A surplus, unkind Au Revoir.

So left me to muse on her graces,
  To doze and to muse, till I dreamed
That we sailed through the sunniest palces
  In a glorified galley, it seemed;
But the cabin was made of a carriage,
  And the ocean was Eau-de-Cologne,
And we split on a rock labelled MARRIAGE,
  And I woke, – as cold as a stone.

And that’s how I lost her – a jewel,
  Incognita – one in a crowd,
Not prudent enough to be cruel,
  Not worldly enough to be proud.
It was just a shut lid and its lashes,
  Just a few hours in a train,
And I sorrow in sackcloth and ashes,
  Longing to see her again.

Austin Dobson

Continue reading “Incognita”

Diary: Boxing Day









Horses running from our main list to follow


Huntingdon 12.25 – Commander Vic


Huntingdon  12.55 – Noble Sham


Huntingdon 2.00 – Smart Street


Huntingdon 2.40 – Amir El Jabal


Kempton 12.45 – Otage de Brion


Kempton 1.20 – Silverburn


Kempton 2.30 – Exotic Dancer, Kauto Star, My Way de Solzen & Taranis


Kempton 3.05 – Benetwood


Towcester 1.25 – The Package & Tot ‘O Whiskey


Towcester 1.55 – Ballyvoge


Towcester 2.25 – Seven is Lucky


Wincanton 12.30 – Cracking Cliché


Wincanton 2.45 – Russian Trigger


Horses running from our “dark horses” list


Huntingdon 12.55 – Proud to Present


Kempton 12.45 – Blue Bajan & Evelith Echo


Market Rasen 1.15 – Custom Design


Russellform Ramblings


Kempton Park


12.45 – Blue Bajan was only beaten a head by Maraahel in a Group 3 race on the flat at Chester and was rated as high as 111.  He has made a very promising start to his hurdling career finishing a close second at Ascot to a horse that has won twice since and following up with a win at Leicester. 


That race at Ascot may well hold the key here as the 3rd and 4th that day, Song of Songs and Polyfast, both re-oppose. Song of Songs had AP McCoy in the plate that day and the champion jockey will be on board once again at Kempton.  Song of Songs was 2nd to Champion Hurdle hopeful Osana last season and has a live chance here.  Polyfast comes from a family of winners and I am sure he has the scope to progress this season.  He also comes from a stable that traditionally does well at this time of year.


Evelth Echo and Otage de Brion are others that add spice to what looks a very interesting contest.  Evelith Echo is a tough little horse who won a bumper at Kempton last season.  He was only beaten a short head by County Zen, who had earlier beaten Blue Bajan at Ascot.  He seems quite versatile as far as ground goes.  Otage de Brion, a big chasing type, was a bit disappointing when 3rd at Plumpton on his seasonal reappearance but may have needed the run.  He had earlier won at Plumpton in a race where the form has since worked out well.  With Font, a Paul Nicholls newcomer from the flat also in the mix this could hardly be more difficult to solve. I am going to stick with the form lines though County Zen which brings in Blue Bajan, Polyfast, Song of Songs and Evelith Echo.  I was impressed with the attitude shown by Evelith Echo at Sandown and at 6/1 he looks each way value.


1.20 – Silverburn is a full brother to Denman and has always looked a chaser in the making.  He was 2nd to Hobbs Hill on his chase debut and that horse has won since.  Silverburn should strip fitter this time and is the selection.


1.55 – The talented Harchibald was back to something like his best when winning the Fighting Fifth and looks the one to beat here.  Acambo reverts to hurdles after falling at the last over fences at Taunton on his last run.  I still think he has a future over fences but I can’t see him getting the better of Harchibald.  I will of course be hoping for a big run form “my horse” the Elite Racing Club’s Penzance.  He stayed on well in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham to nick 3rd but I am not sure that Kempton will suit him as well.


2.30 – four of the last 5 runnings of the King George have gone to the favourite and this year looks like continuing the trend.  It is difficult to find a chink in Kauto Star’s armour.  Exotic Dancer has finished runner up to the Paul Nicholl’s champion 3 times now and Kauto Star does seem to have his rival’s measure.  Kauto Star beat Exotic Dancer by 8 lengths in the King George last season and you would have to think that Kauto Star will come out on top again. Racing Demon was 3rd in last season’s race and is another that seems held on that form, although he does run well on a right handed tarck and is arguably in better fettle thgis time around..  Taranis is a decent horse in his own right but is clearly the Nicholls second string while High Cloy is on a 12 race losing sequence.  If you are looking for something to beat the favourite then my Way de Solzen and Our Vic are being touted by some experts.  My Way de Solzen was well beaten behind Kauto Star and Exotic Dancer at Haydock but may not have been fully would up that day as both the others had the benefit of a recent run.  He has a World Hurdle and an Arkle on his CV and is a particularly good jumper.  If there were 8 runners he would look a reasonable each way bet, as would Racing Demon (but there are now only 7 taking part).  Our Vic is something of an enigma. He is a talented individual and goes well fresh.  In truth though you have to think that if Kauto Star runs up to his best form he will win.


3.05 – Benetwood got off the mark over fences last time at Warwick and can win again here as long as we don’t get too much rain.  He is quite lightly raced, comes from a good jumping family and has been most consistent in his career thus far.



12.25 – Commander Vic is related to two horses that were placed in Grand Nationals but rather let the family honour down when he fell on his chase debut.  He runs over hurdles here and with the David Pipe stable really firing he gets the selection.


12.55 – The Pipe team may well be on another winner here with Noble Sham.  This one showed form in bumpers before winning a novice hurdle at Worcester back in 2005.  He was then on the injured list for over 2 years but has now had a couple of comeback runs and could be spot on for this.  The consistent Proud to Present, who should be suited by the track and going looks the other one of interest in this race.


2.00 – Smart Street has been 3rd in his last two runs, both at Kelso.  He should be better suited by the right handed track at Huntingdon and with the Reveley horses mainly running well he should give a good account.


2.40 – Amir El Jabal ran better than the bare form suggests at Towcester  in April.  A winner over hurdles in France he could well be leniently treated and is one to look out for if supported in the market.


Market Rasen


1.15 – Inherent is a winner of a bumper and over hurdles and makes her chase debut here.  She should do well over the bigger obstacles and is one to watch out for. Custom Design usually runs well at Market Rasen as his form figures of 1310 verify.  He also goes well fresh so could be of interest here at a big price.


2.20 – Victory Gunner goes for a hat trick of wins in this event but I prefer Orki Des Aigles.  He was only beaten a short head last year and showed his well being when runner up at Wetherby earlier this month.




1.05 – Monolith has been a great servant to connections down the years with the Pontefract Cup on the flat and a Cheltenham handicap Hurdle among his successes.  He tackles fences for the first time here so it will be interesting to see how he goes.  The trip would appear to be on the short side for Top Cloud from our list to follow.




12.50 – The Package and Tot o’ Whisky represent our list to follow here.  The Package has tended to race rather keenly which on the face of it could be a worry at Towcester with its very stiff finish.  However, he won a bumper there last season and I am inclined to support him.


1.55 – Seven is Lucky was 3rd at Exeter when the David Pipe horses were not going that well.  With the stable bang in form now I would expect a much better run.




2.35 – Victor Daly can follow up his win at Lingfield last month.




12.30 – Cracking Cliché was well beaten at Newbury earlier this month behind One Gulp but conditions that day were very testing and he deserves another chance.  Owlesbury Dream looks the danger.


2.45 – Russian Trigger looked a progressive sort when winning on his handicap debut at Market Rasen and can improve enough to win again.









Irish selections


Down Royal 1.30 – Northern Alliance


Leopardstown 12.20 – Sizing Africa


Leopardstown 1.20 – Temlett


Leopardstown 2.25 – Perce Rock


Limerick 1.10 – Cooldine


Limerick 2.15 – Arrive Sir Clive (EW)

italyNap of the day


Kempton 2.20 – Kauto Star

Today’s trivia  

The last race ever to be staged at Birmingham was won by a horse called Welshman ridden by Greville Starkey and the last horse home in that race was called Plantation Inn.


What’s in a name?


Russian Trigger’s sire was Double Trigger who won the Goodwood Cup 3 times.


Continue reading “Diary: Boxing Day”

Diary: December 22 2007

A very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to everyone from Russellform. 

Horses running from our main list to follow


Ascot 1.40 – Oscar Park and Special Envoy


Ascot 2.15 – Amour Multiple & Altilhar


Ascot 3.30 – Bertie May &  Shoreacres


Haydock 12.20 – Regal Heights, Khasab & Niaid de Missalot

 Haydock 2.30 – Cloudy Lane 

Horses running from our “dark horses” list


Ascot 1.40 – Chief Dan George


Ascot 3.30 – Uffa Fox & Washango


Haydock 1.30 – Nom de Guerre

 Haydock 2.30 – High Chimes                                                                                           

Russellform Ramblings


Fundamentalist looked a sure fire future star when winning 4 of his first 5 starts, including the Royal and SunAlliance Hurdle at the 2004 Festival when he beat the favourite Inglis Drever.  He has rather lost his way since and is on a 13 race losing sequence.  He looks to break that run in the Ascot 12.30.  It is hard to say how much of his old ability he retains but he should at least have the ground he likes as all his career wins have come on good ground.  He has shown some encouraging signs in his last couple of runs but his jumping does tend to let him down.  I would like to see him back in the winner’s enclosure.


Another horse that should appreciate the Ascot going is Henry Daly’s Alderburn in the 1.05.  He missed the Betfred at the end of last season with a chipped bone in his knee but should be right for this having already had one run this term.  He has his trip and ground, acts well on a right handed track and has a good record with McCoy on board.  He should be there or thereabouts.  Harris Bay won nicely over course and distance last month and goes best on a sound surface so is another to consider.


If ever a horse deserved to land a big prize it is Special Envoy.  He has twice come to grief at the last hurdle with the race in the bag and last time he ran a more than creditable second to the ultra resilient Inglis Drever.  He lines up in the 1.40 which looks a very competitive affair.  Oscar Park was in contention in that race won by Inglis Drever when he crumpled on landing at the penultimate hurdle.  He won the Pertemps Final at the Festival last season getting the better of the one eyed Material World after a mighty battle.  He is each way value.  Hardy Eustace is obviously top class and is as tough as old boots.  He is attempting a distance half a mile further than he has ever won over before and although he may well stay I think he is worth taking on if he is going to be short.


Chief Dan George was a bit disappointing when beaten in that Inglis Drever race but he is almost certainly better than that and he both stays and acts on the prevailing going.  He wears a first time visor and should not be left out of the calculations.  The enigmatic Black Jack Ketchum will no doubt have his supporters but he has appeared not to relish a fight in the past and the winner of this will probably have to dig deep.  This is tricky.  My heart says Special Envoy as he clearly deserves a big win.  I would be inclined to go for something at a bigger price each way with Oscar Park my favoured option.  Lyes Green could also run well at a big price.


Plenty of national hunt horses are more at home when there is plenty of juice in the ground so when the going is likely to be on the firm side it usually pays to look for horses with form on a sound surface.  George Moore likes to target the big handicap hurdles and he runs Altilhar in the Ascot 2.15.  He is high enough in the weights but has a turn of foot and most importantly he has won twice on good to firm on the flat.  He is a course and distance winner and Jamie Moore has a 50% strike rate when riding him.  He is my selection for the 2.15.


The 3.30 looks a decent bumper.  Bertie May won 2 bumpers last season and looks a really nice type.  He is trained by Kevin Bishop who also handles Ashley Brooke.  Although he is penalised for those wins he has a very capable conditional in Darren O’Dwyer taking off 7 lbs.  I am not sure about the horses’ ability to handle a firm surface though.  There is plenty of opposition including Noble Alan who absolutely flew home in a maiden bumper at Newcastle last month.  That was on good to firm as well so he is definitely one to consider.  All About Trigger ran well in third in a bumper at Uttoxeter in November.  He is well related and is likely to come on for his debut run.  This looks a race likely to produce plenty of future winners.


All 3 of our runners in the 12.20 at Haydock have something to prove.  Khasab was a bit of an unlucky loser on his seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham but was then pulled up on his return to Prestbury Park.  The ground was deteriorating that day though and I think he is worth another chance.  Niaid de Missalot was a beaten favourite on his last run but may have failed to get the trip and tomorrow the 20 furlongs could see him in a better light.  Regal Heights is well thought of by connections but his wins have mainly come when the mud was flying so I am more inclined to side with Khasab and Niaid de Missalot.

 There is an interesting line up for the Tommy Whittle Chase at 2.35.  8 of the last 10 winners have carried 11 stone or more so it would be unwise to rule out the top weights.  Rambling Minster heads the weights and comes here on the back of a win in the Borders National at Kelso.  That was only 13 days ago and there is a danger that this race might come a bit soon for him. Jaunty Times is a big horse that takes a bit of getting fit so he should be all the better for his first run of the season at Cheltenham where he was 4th last month.  He has come down the weights a little bit and comes into the reckoning. High Chimes and Cloudy Lane were 4th and 5th respectively over course and distance last month and they may well hold the key to this race.  I would give slight preference to Cloudy Lane on this occasion and he is the selection.   Aztec Warrior is another in this race that commands respect but his win have come in small fields and I wonder if that is the key to him. 

Nap of the day

 Ascot 2.15 – Altilhar  Today’s triviaAround 7.70% of runners fell or unseated their riders over the chase course at Ascot last season. What’s in a name?

Cryptic runs in the 1.30ay Haydock.  Cryptic means “I conceal” in Greek.


Continue reading “Diary: December 22 2007”

Diary: December 17 2007

Horses running from our main list to follow


Ayr  1.00 – Bedlam Boy


Ayr 3.05 – Berwick Law


Plumpton  12.50 – Pauillac


Plumpton 2.25 – Low Delta


Horses running from our “dark horses” list


Plumpton 12.20 – Daltaban


Plumpton 1.20 – Herecomesthetruth


Russellform Ramblings


Much to my surprise some of my nap selections are actually winning and Glencove Marina was another success at Navan this afternoon, albeit with the help of a couple of fallers.  He looks a decent prospect.


Bedlam Boy makes his debut over fences for Nicky Richards in the 1.00 at Ayr tomorrow.  He won twice last season and ended his campaign with a 3rd behind the highly rated Tidal Bay.  He is likely to need further than this 2 miles eventually but he has the speed for the shorter trip and could make a winning start to a career over fences.  Monolith also makes his chase bow.  He is not very big but could well be the sort to pick up a race or two over the larger obstacles.  If he does he will join that “club” of horses that have won over hurdles, fences and on the flat.


Berwick Law was 2nd over two miles at Newcastle last time out.  The extra half miles of the Ayr 3.05 will play more to his strengths and he should go close.


Daltaban, a winner at Chantilly on the flat looks the form pick in the 12.20 at Plumpton.  He is owned by David Johnson.


Pauillac jumped soundly when winning on his chase debut at Lingfield.  With the David Pipe stable in fine form he should be able to follow up in the 12.50 at Plumpton.


Low Delta may well have won when unseating last time at Chepstow and is worth another chance in the 2.25 at Plumpton.


Nap of the day


Plumpton  12.50 – Pauillac


Today’s trivia


Trainer Tim Vaughan won over 120 races as a point to point rider.


What’s in a name?


Sheriff Roscoe was a winner at Leicester the other day.  The name is taken from a character in the old TV series The Dukes of Hazzard.


Continue reading “Diary: December 17 2007”