Diary: January 1 2009


With the temperature around the country unlikely to rise much above freezing we might be lucky if we start the year tomorrow with any jumps racing. Cheltenham stage a god card so let’s hope they beat the freeze.

You can buy the CD of Singalongamaxmas on Amazon if such is your taste in seasonal music. Max Bygraves the horse runs in the Cheltenham 12.30. He has already justified his inclusion on my list to follow by winning at Kelso off a mark of 85. He runs off a mark of 96 tomorrow although his jockey can claim 5 lbs. This looks a competitive heat and there are other runners with stronger claims.

Character Building was just a little disappointing when 4th at Cheltenham where he raced a bit too keenly. He was a leading fancy for the Grand National last season but didn’t make the starting line up. If at his best he would be in with a good chance in the handicap chase at 1.05. Noir et Vert stays well and his stable are running into some form so if he gets his favoured good ground he would be very interesting indeed. Merigo comes here in good heart having won well at Doncaster a couple of weeks ago. He is possibly better with some give in the ground. Noir et Vert looks reasonable each way value at around 10/1.


4 of the 5runners in the Dipper Novices Chase are on my list to follow so I am rather spoiled for choice! Kealshore Boy comes from the in form Howard Johnson yard but his form in the book does not look quite good enough in this company. Kicks for Free’s current price of around 11/8 looks too short to represent value for money and I am inclined to go with either Tartak of Calgary Bay. Tartak may need testing conditions to show his best form and therefore Calgary Bay is the selection. I know that Henrietta Knight does not have many winners these days but she has been bringing this horse along carefully since he was second in a Ludlow bumper. Chasing was always going to be his game and with AP McCoy in the saddle he gets my vote.

Three Mirrors ran a sound race when 5th on the Paddy Power. His stable was not really firing at that time and he should be even better now so I am hoping for a big run from him in the 2.10. He should appreciate the ground.

My two against the field in the 2.45 are Ballydub and Tazbar. The former was a runner up to the impressive Punchestowns at Cheltenham before winning in good style at Newbury, while Tazbar ran an encouraging race on his seasonal reappearance when 3rd to United at Haydock.

Franchoek and Five Dream are likely to be the front two in the betting for the 3.20. Franchoek has claims but Five Dream could be a value bet.

How’s Business and Vodka Brook are the two runners from my list to follow in the Exeter 1.20. How’s Business has been pulled up on his last two starts but has since had a wind operation. He looks fairly handicapped if he can find his best from. Vodka Brook tackles handicap company for the first time and looks open to improvement.

I had high hopes for The Pious Prince at the start of the season. He runs in the 3.30 at Exeter but with David Pipe struggling for winners at the moment I couldn’t tip him with any confidence.

At Catterick I like the look of Grizebeck and Honest John in the 12.50. Grizebeck would be my “final answer” as I would hope that his stamina could be made to count at this trip.

Today’s picture is by courtesy of Ann Duffield Racing.

Good luck and Happy New Year.

Diary: December 31 2008


I won’t spend too much time on my preview tonight as both UK meetings are in doubt due to the frost. The following horses from my list to follow are entered;


12.40 Another Display

1.40 Negus de Beaumont


12.50 The Pious Prince

1.20 Wichita Lineman

2.20 Over Sixty

2.50 Song of Songs

3.20 Carrickmines

My selections in Ireland are, at Punchestown Taravada (1.15) and Nataani in the 3.35 at Tramore.

I would like to wish all my readers a happy new year.


Diary: December 30 2008


Today’s tips did OK for me with Planet of Sound, Dave’s Dream and Diamond Harry all winning.

I don’t have much of a view on the racing tomorrow.  It is not a very original selection but my nap of the day is Over Sixty in the Taunton 1.10. She was runner up to the useful Carol’s Legacy at Newbury last time out but the rest well beaten.  She meets nothing of that calibre at Taunton and should prevail.

Diary: December 29 2008


Planet of Sound is the first runner from my list to follow in action tomorrow. He runs in the Newbury 12.30. He has had a slight back problem since running at Sandown where he was 4th. This looks a tough little race where any one of the 5 runners could win. I am hopeful that Planet of Sound will win his share of races over fences. He should be suited by the track at Newbury.

Money Trix has always been held in high regard by trainer Nicky Richards but has been plagued by injuries. He makes a belated first appearance of the season in the 1.35 at Newbury tomorrow. He has gone well fresh before and is my selection. Trigger the Light has been let down by jumping errors in his two races this season but if he can improve in that department he could run well at a decent price.

The 2.10 could go to the unbeaten Dave’s Dream from the in form Nicky Henderson stable, with China Gold the one to chase him home.

newbury small

Nick Williams has brought the exciting prospect Diamond Harry along carefully and he is still unbeaten after 2 starts in bumpers and two runs over hurdles. He faces some stiff opposition tomorrow in the Paul Nicholls runner Massasoit but I fancy him to maintain that unbeaten record. Junior took a while to break his duck over hurdles but that win may have given him confidence and he could surprise a few in this race.

Nom de Guerre and Caldusa Caldera represent my list to follow in the 3.15 and both go into the race with each way chances.

Today’s picture of the parade ring at Newbury is by kind permission of the artist Lisa Miller.

Good luck

Diary: December 28 2008

My list to follow is going through a lean time at the moment although Wind Instrument was a winner this afternoon.

There are 5 runners from the list out tomorrow where my main hope is Neptune Collonges in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown (2.35). Although he makes the odd mistake his jumping is generally sound and he handles soft ground well.

At Leicester the unbeaten Bensalem looks to have a good chance in the 1.05. Twice a winner in bumpers he maintained his 100% record when winning on his hurdles bow at Chepstow and looks on the upgrade.


Course and distance winner Mokum has a good each way chance in the 2.35 particularly if the ground dries out a bit as he won’t want it too soft. Non de Guerre has always looked the type to do well over fences. He has put in a couple of placed efforts and must have a chance of getting his head in front in the 3.05.

My only list runner at Catterick is Orang Outan in the 1.25.

Elsewhere I fancy Trafford Lad in the Leopardstown 1.30 where Drumconvis, ridden by Ruby Walsh could be a lively outsider.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Katie Scorgie.  See links for further examples of this artist’s work.

Horses to follow – 2008/9 jumps season


miller over the last

Here is the main list of horses I will be following over the 2008/9 jumps season. As usual the list is large as I feel it helps to have a ‘core’ of horses to keep an eye on. I will be monitoring the fortunes of this “stable” over the coming months and hopefully giving a few pointers as to their chances in my daily diary.


The list is really intended to cover the full season. I find it pays to start off with a central ‘core’ of horses to watch out for, rather than having to try and remember how a horse has performed.

Most of the horses are from the more successful larger stables. This seems to make sense as they have the majority of the winners! I have also included a smattering of horses from some of the smaller stables.

I will put up a second list of horses that didn’t quite make it onto the main list.

Aigle D’Or (N Henderson)
Albinus (A Balding)
Alfie Sherrin (P Nicholls) – Winner 7/4
American Trilogy (P Nicholls) – A winner at evens
An Accordion (D Pipe)
Andytown (N Henderson) – Winner 11/4
Another Display  (D Pipe)
Ashkazar (D Pipe)
Auroras Encore (Sue Smith) 9/2 winner 
Bakbenscer (A King)) 8/11 & 11/2 
Ballydub (p Hobbs) Winner 5/4
Ballygalley Bob (O Sherwood)
Balzaccio (A King) – Winner at evens
Beat the Boy’s (N Twiston-Davies)
Bene Lad (J Goldie)
Benno’s Boy (N Richards)
Bensalem (A King) – Winner 11/4
Beshabar (P Nicholls)
Bible Lord (A Turnell)
Bid Art (J Snowden)
Binocular (N Hnederson) – winner 1/9 & evens
Big Eared Fran (D Pipe)
Big Fella Thanks (P Nicholls)
Blackpool Billy (F Murphy)
Blue Gun (P Hobbs)
Breakwater House (Lucinda Russell)
Butler’s Cabin (J J O’Neill) 
Cadoudalas (M Jefferson)
Calaficial (A King)
Calgary Bay (H Knight)
Callisto Moon (I Williams) 
Cape Tribulation (M Jefferson)  Winner 7/4

Carole’s Legacy (N Henderson) winner 11/4 & 2/5
Carrickmines (Dr Newland)
Chomba Womba (N Henderson) – Won Elite Hurdle 11/4
Cloudy Times (Sue Smith) – Won 9/4
Cockney Trucker (P Hobbs)
Coe (Sue Smith)
Conflictofinterest (P Nicholls)
Copper Bleu (P Hobbs)
Cornas (N Willaims)
Crack Away Jack (E Lavelle)
Crescent Island (N Twiston-Davies)
Crop Walker (Kate Walton)
Cruising River (J Snowden)
Cryptic (P Hobbs)
Dalmation (C Wall)
Dancing With Bubbles (A King)
Dave’s Dream (N Henderson)
Denman (P Nicholls)
Diablo (N Twiston-Davies)
Diamond Harry (N Williams)
Dolessthanme (H Johnson)
Door Boy (H Johnson)
Duc de Regniere (N Henderson)
Fairoak Lad (P Hobbs)
Fistral Beach (P Nicholls)
Forest Pennant (P Nicholls)
Fourty Acers (D Pipe)
Franchoek (A King)
Front of House (N Henderson)
Gardasee (D Pipe)
Gee Dee Nen (J Best)
General Potter (D McCain)
Glencree (H Johnson)
Gold Award (N Henderson)
Great Approach (N Richards)
Great Endeavour (D Pipe)
Greenbridge (A King)
Grizebeck (N Richards)
Gwanako (P Nicholls)
Gypsy George (T Walford)
High Jack (A Turnell)
Honest John (T Tate)
Hora (N Henderson)
How’s Business (C Mann)
Ignotus (A Swinbank)
I’msingingtheblues (P Nicholls)
Imperial Commander (N Twiston-Davies)
I’m So Lucky (D Pipe)
Island Flyer (T George)
It’s Tough (D Pipe)
Joker’s Legacy (V Dartnall)
Jorveybrook (N Richards) 
Jungleland (D McCain)
Kealshore Boy (H Johnson)
Keki Buku (P Hobbs)
Kicks for Free (P Nicholls)
King Fontaine (P Nicholls)
Kings Euro (T Vaughan)
King’s Revenge (A King)
Kingscape (J Fanshawe)
Knockara Beau (G Charlton)
Krackatara (Mrs S Gardner)
Lead On (P Hobbs)
Lease End (T Easterby)
Letalus (C Llewellyn)
Lindeman (N Henderson)
Lodge Lane (V Dartnall)
Lothian Falcon (P Maddison)
Mad Max (N Henderson)
Mahonia (P Nicholls)
Mamlook (D PIpe)
Mark the Book (P Hobbs)
Marleybow (H Johnson)
Massimo (Angela Davis)
Master Minded (P Nicholls)
Merrydown (N Richards)
Metaphoric (M Bell)
Mewstone (T George)
Micheal Flips (A Turnell)
Middleton Dene (N Richards)
Money Trix (N Richards)
Mous of Men (D Pipe)
Mr Strachan (Sue Smith)
Naiad de Misselot (F Murphy)
Negus de Beaumont (F Murphy)
Nenuphar Collonges (A King)
Neptunes Collonges (P Nicholls)
Netherley (D McCain)
New Alco (F Murphy)
Nicto de Beauchene (R Alner)
Noble Alan (N Richards)
Noir et Vert (F Murphy)
No Panic (P Bowen)
Nudge and Nurdle (N Twiston-Davies)
Oh Crick (A King)
Old Benny (A King)
Openditch (D Pipe)
Osana (D Pipe)
Oscar Gogo (L Corcoran)
Otage de Brion (C Longsden)
Pakineo des Pictons ( F Murphy)
Pasco (P Nicholls)
Pettifour (N Twiston-Davies)
Pierrot Lunaire (P Nicholls)
Planet of Sound (P Hobbs)
Pouvoir (A King)
Prince Taime (P Hobbs)
Pterodactyl (Venetia Willaims)
Punchestowns (N Henderson)
Punjabi (N Henderson)
Putney Bridge (T Vaughan)
Quaddick Lane (D Pipe)
Quail (N Twiston-Davies)
Quality Control (F Murphy)
Quarry Town (D Pipe)
Qozak (P Nicholls)
Quickbeam (Venetia Williams)
Qulinton (D Pipe) Rajeh (J Spearing)
Raysrock (P Monteith)
Razor Royale (N Twiston-Davies)
Ring the Boss (P Ho=bbs)
Ringaroses (H Knight)
Rippling Ring (P Nicholls)
Riverside Theatre (N Henderson)
Rosbay (T Easterby)
Rubipresent (M Jefferson)
Russian Trigger (V Dartnall)
Sangfroid (N Williams)
Schlindler’s Son (P Bowen)
Shalone (A King)
Shoreacres (B Powell)
Silverburn (P Nicholls)
Simply Blue (Burrough)
Sir Winston (V Dartnall)
Snap Tie (P Hobbs)
Solid Silver (K Reveley)

Somersby (H Knight)
Song of Songs (J Fanshawe)
Sporting Rebel (V Dartnall)
Sprosser (O Sherwood)
Squadron (A King)
Steady Tiger (N Richards)
Stellino (N Henderson)

Striking Article (H Johnson)
Sullumo (C Mann)
Superior Wisdom (A Hales)
Supreme Builder (F Murphy)
Takeroc (P Nicholls)
Tartak (C George)
Tatenen (P Nicholls)
Tazbar (K Reveley)
The Apprentice (V Dartnall)
The Good Guy (T Bailey)
The Great Alfie (N Twiston-Davies)
The Jazz Musician (C Tizzard)
The Nightingale (P Nicholls)
The Old Pretender (C Llewellyn)
The Pious Prince (D Pipe)
The Polomoche (N Henderson)
The Portonian (M Jefferson)
The Raglan Road (H Johnson)
The Sliotar (D Pipe)
The Tother One (P Nicholls)
The Whisperer (N Richards)  
Three Mirrors (F Murphy)
Tidal Bay (H Johnson)
Time Bandit (D Pipe)
Tom Knows (D Pipe)
Tot O’Whiskey (M Jefferson)
Touch of Irish (G A Swinbank)
Trigger the Light (A King)
Very Cool (D Pipe)
Viking Rebel (N Henderson)
Voy Por Ustedes (A King)
Whiteoak (D McCain)
Wichita Lineman (J J O’Neill)
Wind Instrument (C Llewellyn) 
Winsley Hill (N Mulholland)
Wishfull Thinking (P Hobbs)
Working Title (N Henderson)

The pictures on this page are courtesy of the artist Lisa Miller.

This is a further list of horses that I will be featuring in my daily racing diary during the jumps season.

miller harchibald

Abou Ben (T Vaughan)

Air Force One (C Mann)

Argento Luna (O Sherwood)

Arrayou (O Sherwood)

Backbord (Lucy Wadham)

Beggars Cap (F Murphy)

Bentons Choice (G Moore)

Black Exit (B De Haan)

Black Jakari (A King)

Blue Bajan (A Turnell)

Bradley Boy (C Llewellyn)

Braybrook Lady (K Bailey)

Buffalo Bob (K Bailey)

Calusa Caldera (B Powell)

Cava Bien (T Vaughan)

Character Building (J Quinn)

Cheating Chance (A Turnell)

China Gold (A King)

Circus of Dreams (O Sherwood)

Classic Cut (J Ewart)

Cloudy Lane (D McCain)

Companero (H Johnson)

Connak (R Alner)

Cornerback (N Richards)

Daldini (Sue Smith)

Den of Iniquity (C Llewellyn)

De Welsh Wizzard (E Lavelle)

Fidelis (B De Haan)

Five Dream (P Nicholls)

Frascati Park (C Llewellyn)

Free World (P Nicholls)

Halcon Generlardais (A King)

Have you seemn me (C Llewellyn)

Heart O’ the West (L Lungo)

Hello Moscow (J Best)

Inghwung (O Sherwood)

It’s a Discovery (D Mccain)

Iwillrememberyou (C Longsden)

Jack the Giant (N Henderson)

Jaunty Flight (O Sherwood)

Junior (A King)

Kalahari King (F Murphy)

Kaldouas (J Snowden)

Kanad (C Mann)

Kangaroo Cour5t (E Lavelle)

Katies Tuitor (C Mann)

Khachaturian (D McCain)

Kilmackilloge (M Todhunter)

King Brex (C Mann)

Kingston Lane (C Llewellyn)

Kitski (F Murphy)

Labelthou (E Lavelle)

Leading Attraction (P Nicholls)

Lester Leaps In (J Snowden)

Lord Generous (T Vaughan)

Lordsbridge (A Turnell)

Manitoba (GA SWinbank)

Marwan (C Longsden)

Master Bulder (F Murphy)

Master Medic (R Alner)

Master Nimbus (J J Quinn)

Matuhi (B De Haan)

Max Bygraves (K Bailey)

Melba Toast (R Alner)

Merigo (A Parker)

Midnight Haze (K Bailey)

Miss Ceka (R Alner

Miss Mitch (R Alner)

Mister McGoldrick (Sue Smith)

Mocha (J Ewart)

Modicum (N Richards)

Mokum (A W Carroll)

Monet’s Garden (N Richards)

Money Order (B Powell)

Moorlands Teri (T Vaughan)

Nadover (C Mann)

Nine de Sivoila (F Murphy)

Nirvana Swing (Sue Smith)

Noble Scholar (GA SWinbank)

Nom de Guerre (B De Haan)

Nulato ( A King)

Omega King (C Longsden)

Oneforfun (C Longsden)

Open de L’Isle (J Ewart)

Orang Outan (J Ewart)

Or D’Oudairies (J Quinn)

Oujamaflip (C Llewellyn)

Overbranch (M Jefferson)

Over Sixty (A King)

Pancake (P Hobbs)

Picture This (P Nicholls)

Pistol Desbois (R Alner)

Prairie Spirit (C Longsden)

Presenting Forever (H Johnson)

Quws Law (Lucinda Russell)

Raining Horse (J Ewart)

Ravello Bay (N Henderson)

Regal Heights (D McCain)

Regal Quote (E Lavelle)

Rightway Star (D McCain)

Romance Dance (L Corcoran)

Safari Run (T Vaughan)

Sarde (K Bailey)

Saveiro (GA Swinbank)

Scotty the Samurai (GA Swinbank)

Seefin Mountain (A Turnell)

Serabad (T Vaughan)

Seymar Lad (E Lavelle)

Shavansky (C Mann)

Sir Peter (H Daly)

Snakebite (C Llewellyn)

Soleil Fix (N Gifford)

Songe (C Longsden)

Son of a Flicka (D McCain)

Special Envoy (T Vaughan)

Super Road Train (Sue Smith)

Supreme Duke (P Hobbs)

Surface to Air (C Bealby)

Tanks for that (N Henderson)

Tara Whale (J Snowden)

The Hollinwell (F Murphy)

The Whisperer (N Richards)

Tomina (Emma Lavelle)

Treasury Counsel (N Henderson)

Twenty Nine Black (GA Swinbank)

Uffa Fox (B De Haan)

Valsad Queen (B Powell)

Van Galen (K Bailey)

Vivona Hill (GA Swinbank)

Vodka Brook (R Alner)

Warne’s Way (B Powell)

West End Rocker (A King)

What a Buzz (D McCain)

Wind Instrument (C Llewellyn)

Workbarrow Bay (R Alner)

Diary: December 27 2008

Despite 3 winners from my list to follow it was not much of a Boxing Day for my tips.

Over the years I have managed to find the winner of the Welsh National on a few occasions so here’s hoping. Halcon Generlardais is a big favourite of mine and has a very consistent record in staying chases, particularly at Chepstow. It is not difficult to see him running another big race and he should finish in the money. Miko de Beauchene won the race last season beating Halcon Generlardais by a head. Although he is set to carry more weight this time around he remains one for the shortlist. King’s Euro has been aimed at this race specifically. He has won 2 of his 4 races over fences and although he is out of the handicap he could be open to further improvement. He handles soft ground and is fit from an outing over hurdles. Nenuphar Collonges is suited to a test of stamina and comes into the race on the back of a win last time out at Bangor. I was most impressed with Beat the Boys when he ran at Cheltenham behind Joe Lively last month. He ran well for a long way on that occasion and looks the right type for this race. Gypsy George won 3 times over fences last season and warmed up for this race with a win over hurdles.

The horses mentioned above form my short list. Over the last 10 years only one horse has carried more than 10 stone 9 to victory and I will therefore concentrate on the lower weighted horses. I have concerns over the form of the Twiston-Davies runners and will pass on Beat the Boys. Of the remaining runners I just prefer Gypsy George to Nunuphar Collonges and King’s Euro.

There are two I like the look of in the Chepstow 2.40. Pepite de Soileil won a listed hurdle in France before moving to Paul Nicholl’s yard. She then won a small race at Wincanton by 51 lengths and she looks potentially smart. At a bigger price Giorgio Quercus might be worth considering. A winner at Hereford in November she was maybe brought out again a bit too soon when failing to follow up at Cheltenham 6 days later.

King Fontaine represents my list to follow in the 3.20. He was 3rd to a useful type in Bensalem over course and distance a month ago and should be in the frame again. Peppertree Lane and Michel Le Bon look big dangers. There are a couple of runners from my list to follow in the 12.20, Wind Instrument and Pancake. Both may find Nakai a tough nut to crack.

Halcon Genelardais

At Kempton Starluck sets the standard in the 1.05. The Alan King runner Balzaccio could run well at a bigger price.

There are 3 runners from my list to follow in the 2.15, Bible Lord, Seymar Lad and Big Fella Thanks. Bible Lord has been disappointing this season with his jumping letting him down. He tackles 3 miles for the first time and that may help his jumping. Seymar Lad won well at Chepstow earlier in the season. He has gone up a fair bit in the weights but has an each way chance. Big Fella Thanks has not lived up to expectations but with the Nicholls horses going so well just now I will give him a rather tentative selection.

Hora won at Aintree in the autumn but has been a shade disappointing on her subsequent starts. I wouldn’t rule her out of the 2.45 though where Theatre Diva looks the danger.

There is a small but select field for the 3.15 where I quite fancy Takeroc who has run well enough in top company on his last two runs.

The following runners from my list to follow are in action at Wetherby where Tot O’Whiskey looks my best chance.

1.20 – Lease Lend; 2.30 – Striking Article and Tot O’Whiskey; 3.00 – Daldini

At Leopardstown Hurricane Fly will take some stopping in the 1.55 with Go Native a possible threat at a bigger price. The lightly raced Dooney’s Gate has an each way shout in the 2.25.

Today’s photo is of Halcon Generlardais.  My thanks to Kate Tann for permission to use it.