Diary: March 1 2008


Seeing that Cheltenham is just around the corner we have some half decent racing on offer over the jumps tomorrow.

There may be some pointers to the Grand National tomorrow as a few of the leading contenders for the Aintree Spectacle are on show.  Last year’s runner up McKelvey makes his belated seasonal reappearance in the Doncaster 2.25.  Presumably he will need the race after such a long lay off but he is certainly one to have on your short list come the big race in April.

Two more potential major players in the National, Mr Pointment and Cloudy Lane clash in the 3.30.  Mr Pointment has solid Grand National credentials as he won the Becher Chase over the National fences this season.  Cloudy Lane is of course trained by Donald McCain, son of the legendary Ginger.  Cloudy Lane goes for a hat trick of wins but in theory should find Mr Pointment too tough as the Paul Nicholls horse is favoured by the weights.  Ungaro was an early faller last week at Kempton but has earlier run well when runner up in the Sky Bet Chase at here at Doncaster is another to consider as is Alderburn if he gets his favoured good ground.

Top Cloud represents our list to follow in the 4.40.  He has run some decent races this season and with a first time tongue tie gets a tentative selection.  Quite a few of the other horses in the race are from stables struggling for form.


Bywell Beau is my fancy in the 3.10 at Kelso.  His record at the borders track reads 22p1111 which speaks for itself.


Although Mossville hasn’t won this season she hasn’t come down the weights either which is rather a shame.  I see that she has a 7 lbs claimer on board in the Kempton 2.20 where I think that the step up to 3 miles might be in her favour.

In the 3.25 I see that former flat handicapper Jeepstar makes his hurdles bow.  He was a winner 5 times on the flat for Tim Easterby and I see that he is now with Venetia Williams.  He is the sort that could make an impact over timber.

In the 4.00 the well bred Classic Fiddle looks set fair to complete a hat trick of wins.  Pauillac, a winner at Lingfield earlier in the season could be the won to give her most to do.

Gentle John should be suited by the track at Kempton and he should go well in the 4.35.

lille 610

It might be worth taking on the odds on favourite Cryptic in the 1.35 at Newbury as he has a double penalty.  Aux Le Bahnn is stepped up in distance and that may enable him to find some improvement.

There are some real old favourites in the 2.40, Royal Auclair, Royal Emperor, Sir Rembrandt, Tana River, Tango Royal etc.  In fact most of these stalwarts have figured on my lists to follow down the years.  At the odds I would give the bottom weight Hidden Bounty an each way shout.

At around 8/1 Regal Heights would be my each way choice in the 3.15 which looks a very open contest.  The one I would fear most is the Paul Nicholls trained Natal.

In the 3.50 I am interested in Amour Multiple and Corran Ard.  The former ran a couple of very promising races at Ascot earlier in the season.  The worry is that he is just a little high in the weights but he does have a 7 lbs claimer on board.  Corran Ard sustained a leg injury which has kept him off the track for well over a year.  He is a horse of considerable potential but may off course need this run.

Planet of Sound has been running consistently for Philip Hobbs and he should be on the premises in the 4.25.

I will be back tomorrow evening for a look back at some of Saturday’s racing.

Diary: February 28 2008

It hasn’t been the most successful of weeks on here and Accordion Man was the latest sufferer, beaten a neck at Southwell.

There are 2 runners from our list to follow tomorrow, both at Taunton.  Super Nick has sound claims in the 3.30, while Master Overseer represents David Pipe in the 4.30 where he will need to get the better of a hot favourite from the Paul Nicholls stable.

Love’s Philosophy

Love’s Philosophy

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle –
Why not I with thine?

See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea –
What are all these kissings worth
If thou kiss not me?

February 27 2008

Recent selections have not been doing too well.  We didn’t really get a tune out of I Hear a Symphony on Monday and Top Cloud was literally blown away at Catterick this afternoon!

There are two runners from our list to follow on action tomorrow.  Cave Hill has been rather disappointing.  He won a bumper at Hereford last season but has not really cut the mustard over hurdles as yet.  He makes his handicap bow in the 3.40 at Folkestone where Tom Scudamore will ride him for the first time. The longer trip may help and I would give him an each way chance at 9/1.

The other runner from our list is The Accordion Man who runs in the 4.20 at Southwell.  He was an impressive point to point winner and looks one that could be pretty useful under rules.  He trainer has a good record at Southwell so you would think that The Accordion Man would go well.  His form so far has been on a sound surface.

Diary: February 26 2008


Not much to enthuse about at the two jumps meetings tomorrow.  Top Cloud has possibilities in the 4.10 at Catterick if he handles the ground.

At Leicester the booking of a very capable 5 lbs claimer for Northern Quest in the 3.20 caught my eye.  The 3.50 looks to be between Cathedral Rock and Sheriff Roscoe with a slight preference for the latter. Is he named after a character in the Dukes of Hazzard?

Diary: February 25 2008


It was another strikingly successful weekend for Paul Nicholls, something we have become accustomed to this season. Of his winners on Saturday for me one of the best performances came from Kicks for Free who dotted up in the handicap hurdle.  I quite fancied him and gave a positive write up in my preview on Friday night.  He was given a wonderful ride by Ruby Walsh who has him switched off at the back of the field and produced him at just the right moment;  it was a real masterclass from one of the best jockeys around.

There is only one runner from our list to follow in action tomorrow and that is the Limerick bumper winner I Hear a Symphony at Hereford in the 2.30.  He was a faller when going well at Chepstow last time and may well be better suited by the track at Hereford.

Bye for now

Diary: February 23 & 24 2008

Isn’t That Lucky was a winning tip from last night’s preview and at 10/1 as well.  There were a few losers too but let’s not dwell on those.  Isn’t That Lucky looks one to follow in the long term as he should make a chaser next season.

I thought about putting Quartano up as an each way selection in the 2.05 tomorrow at Kempton.  He won a couple of bumpers last season and his most recent run over hurdles when 2nd at Chepstow was quite a promising one.  Incidentally, Isn’t That Lucky was 4thy in that race.  There is a suspicion that Quartano is best with some cut in the ground so maybe the going might be on the quick side for him.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run well at a fair price though.

Hobbs Hill is the obvious choice in the 2.40 but I just wonder if either Lead On or Oslot could pull off a surprise. Oslot is a former winner on the flat in France and a half brother to useful hurdler and chaser Kadount.  He seems to act on any ground and of course comes from the all conquering Paul Nicholls yard.  Lead On was beaten by Hobbs Hill earlier in the season but his jumping has improved since then and at 5/1 looks a value bet to turn the tables.

Simon represents our list to follow in the Racing Post Chase at 3.15.  However he is 8 lbs higher than when he won this race last season and the going this year is likely to be faster than it was then. I was quite impressed with Ungaru when he was 2nd at Doncaster on his last run and he would be my selection in an open contest.  Wee Robbie is not without a chance at a bigger price and for those who like that sort of trivia he is a half brother to Isn’t That Lucky.

Binocular looks the likely winner of the 3.50 with the former flat stayer Furmigadelagiusta worth a small each way investment.

Kicks for Free is an interesting runner in the 4.50.  This is his first appearance of the season so he has presumably had some sort on injury problem.  He does have a good record when fresh though.


Up at Newcastle Shrewd Investor represents our list to follow in the 1.50.  He is a course and distance winner but was disappointing on his last run when pulled up at Kelso.  He is perhaps best watched for now.  The Whisperer has always been highly thought of by his connections and he makes a belated reappearance in this race.   Rose Davidson rides.  She had a winner in the week on board Modicum.

Border Tale is trained by James Moffatt up at Cartmel where the local shop sells a very decent sticky toffee pudding. Border Tale is not the biggest but he doesn’t lack ability and he was a winner earlier in the season at Kelso.  He is now on a career high mark though which I am afraid will make life difficult for him in the 2.25 at Newcastle.

The last 5 winners of the Eider Chase have all carried more than 11 stone.  My two against the field would be Negus de Beaumont and Comply or Die, the latter particularly if the ground rides good.


The Sawyer was beaten by a bit of a good thing last time out in Bible Lord and may find a winning opportunity in the Chepstow 2.50.

Earth Planet started his career by winning a bumper at Chepstow and I fancy him to go well again at the track in the 3.25 where Sam Thomas has the leg up.

There is some interesting racing at Fontwell on Sunday.  In the 2.45 Oscar Park is looking for his 2nd success over fences, having got off the mark at Fakenham last week.  His main rival will be O’Maley who is twice a winner over course and distance.

The Grade 2 hurdle at 3.50 sees a return to the smaller obstacles for My Way de Solzen who is looking to get his career back on track after a couple of disappointing runs.  He is getting weight from his main rivals and only a win will do really if he is to have serious Cheltenham hopes.  This could well be run at a furious pace with confirmed front runners Lough Derg and Ashley Brook in the line up.  A very interesting and informative race in prospect.

That is all for now.  Good luck over the weekend.

Diary: February 22 2008


I was pleased to see a few of the horses featured in last night’s ramblings produce the goods today.  Modicum deserved his win after some consistent displays while I am sure that no one would begrudge The Bajan Bandit his hunter chase success in the gloom and rain up at Ayr.  He looked destined for stardom early in his career but while he didn’t scale the heights quite as he had threatened to do he takes some beating at Ayr.  This was his 8 win in 9 starts at the Scottish track.

My main disappointment was in the novice hurdle won by Hold ’em where my fancy, Junior, was jusr beaten a short head.  That race also say a return to form by Lightning Strike who was giving weight away all round but still finished in 3rd.

The main meeting tomorrow is at Sandown where Hell’s Bay is likely to start favourite in the 2.55. There could be more to come from a couple of horses that finished 4th on their most recent starts, Isn’t That Lucky and Schiehallion. At around 8/1 Isn’t That Lucky looks an each way chance.

Ballyfoy has recorded the biggest odds win from our list to follow this season thus far, 25/1 when bouncing back to form at Newbury on his last start. He has gone up 5 lbs for that win but the extra distance tomorrow should be in his favour and he might just surprise the hot favourite Arnold Layne in the 4.20 at Warwick.

I will be back tomorrow evening for a look at the weekend’s cards.

Diary: February 21 2008

With the weather warming up a bit we should hopefully get racing at both Ayr and Huntingdon tomorrow.

In the bumper at Ayr at 4.50 I quite like Katapult who won well at Catterick on his debut. The last race on the Ayr card is a hunter chase at 5.20 which could well be between a couple of old favourites, Lord of Illusion and The Bajan Bandit.  Lord of Illusion was a strong fancy for the Grand National not so long ago and has won 5 times over fences.  He is a bold jumper who likes to race well up with the pace.  The Bajan Bandit has 13 career wins to his credit and has been a grand servant to his connections.  If you subscribe to the horses for courses theory he’s your man as he has won 7 times at Ayr.

At Huntingdon Brook no Argument, who has been knocking at the door this season could get her head in front in the 2.20.  The stable are not going too well though so I would not get too carried away at a short price.

In the 2.50 Modicum has a similar profile to Brook no Argument in that he alos seems to find one to good.  He has been runner up to a couple of useful types in Cedrus Libani and Hobbs Hill however and this may well be his chance.  Good ground will suit him.

There are 3 runners from our list to follow in the 3.25.  Both Lightning Strike and Crocodiles Rock are seeking to put a recent disappointing run behind them.  In November Lightning Strike beat Tazbar and that horse has won 3 times since.  Crocodiles rock was mighty impressive when beating Laborec, a winner since, at Aintree and has good bumper form last season. Junior could pull a surprise here at a big price.  He was a progressive stayer on the flat, winning twice in 2007 and is now with Alan King.

Wild Ground looks the won to beat in the 3.55 despite a big rise in the weights.

Diary: February 19 2008

Jump racing is suffering as a result of the frosty weather at the moment but it seems as though Taunton has a fair chance of getting the go ahead tomorrow.

I see that David Pipe’s course and distance winner Commander Vic goes in the 3.50, partnered by Timmy Murphy. Commander Vic stays well and should have a good chance of following up.


David Pipe also has a fancied runner in the 4.20 with the dual bumper winner Seven is my Number.  He was a bit disappointing on his last outing when he could only finish 6th here but it could be that the ground didn’t suit him that day.  He is opposed by the well regarded Paul Nicholls runner Woolcombe Folly.  He has shown good form in bumpers, including a 54th at Aintree last May when Tazbar, a 3 time winner over hurdles since was 4th.  This will be Woolcombe Folly’s first run over hurdles and he could well make it a winning debut.