Diary: April 1 2009


With the flat season not yet in full swing and the jumpers waiting for Aintree there is not much to comment on tomorrow.  I will just put forward a couple of suggestions.

On the flat it might pay to follow Ben’s Dream in the Kempton 8.20. He ran 4 times as a juvenile, finishing runner up on his last two starts.

workriders1 sally martin

Over the jumps I will stick with the David Pipe trained Quaddick Lake to follow up his recent Taunton success in the 2.40 at Exeter.

Today’s picture is by kind permission of the artist Sally Martin (see links).

Diary: March 30 2009


I have experienced the ups and downs of the tipping game over the weekend. After having a miserable time of it on Saturday there were winners aplenty this afternoon with Palace Moon (6/1) on the flat and Touch of Irish (5/6) , Classic Cut (5/2) and Nearby (6/1) over the sticks.

I just have the one selection tomorrow, Breakwater House each way in the Newcastle 3.10.

Diary: March 29 2009

There is not much that appeals at Doncaster tomorrow, although Palace Moon did catch my eye in the 4.15. He didn’t appear as a juvenile but showed promise in all of his 3 runs last year as a 3 year old. He seems to have more scope than some of his more exposed rivals.

Touch of Irish makes his hurdles debut in the 2.10 at Kelso tomorrow. He ran 5 times in bumpers last season winning twice and running with credit in defeat at the Aintree and Punchestown festivals. He looks an interesting prospect.

Classic Cut has run well on his last two starts and the form of both races has worked out well. He looks the one they all have to beat in the 3.50.


Nearby was runner up at Taunton on his last start and should be suited by the quicker ground at Newton Abbot tomorrow in the 2.50.

At Leopardstown I will go for a bit of an outsider in the 2.30. Gleaming Silver was 2nd on her only start last season from a poor draw and could be each way value at 12/1.

Intense Focus looks the likely winner of the 3.00 but look out for the other Jim Bolger runner Vocalised who will be winning before the end of the season.

In the 4.05 by selection is the course and distance winner Chintz.

Today’s picture is by kind permission of the artist Margaret Barrett.

Diary: March 28 2009

As the new flat season kicks off tomorrow the logical place to begin tonight’s preview is with the Lincoln handicap which is the Doncaster 3.55. My long tern fancies for this, the first big handicap of the new season have been Charm School and Expresso Star, both trained by the in form John Gosden. I will stay faithful to those two although Expresso Star is not certain to run as he needs soft ground. The other one I would consider is Benandonner. He is potentially well drawn, acts of the track, is a distance winner and come from a stable that is in good heart.

Ex Southampton footballer Mick Channon has a few horses with names that are connected with the Hampshire town. He saddles Archer’s Road who takes his name from a street that was adjacent to the old Dell, in the Brocklesby at 2.10. This one has possibilities as does Could It Be Magic who comes from a stable that traditionally does well in this sort of race.


Michael Dods saddles a couple of horses in the 2.45, The Osteopath and Osteopathic Remedy, both believe it or not owned by an Osteopath! They both have each way chances but for my selection, again each way, I will take a chance with Jim Goldie’s Nanton who was runner up in the Cambridgeshire last season and has since dead heated for first place at Wolverhampton.

In the 3.20 my twp against the field are Inxile and Against the Grain, although the latter will only run if there is sufficient rain.

Classically, who runs in the 4.30 is a half brother to the 1,000 Guineas winner Speciosa. He made significant late progress when finishing 2nd in a back end maiden at Newbury last season on his only start as a juvenile. He is one of my fancies in this race while I also like London Bridge who showed promise when runner up in the other division of that Newbury maiden.

Surprise Pension last ran on the flat when 2nd at Catterick. He has since won over hurdles and may be on a handy mark. At around 8/1 he look value in the 5.40.

Lingfield stage a good jumps meeting. The card gets under way with a “national hunt” hurdle at 2.15 where I have a short list of 3. Tanks for That is lightly raced and had his well regarded stable companion Ravello Bay back in 3rd when winning last time out at Sandown. Schindler’s Son, a winner at Uttoxeter in May, was 8th in the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock subsequently and merits respect. Kangaroo Court was well beaten in the Supreme Novice at the festival but had decent form before that. Kangaroo Court may well start favourite here but Tanks for That is a potential improver and gets the selection.


In the 4.00 Lodge Lane is a horse I have always liked and I would normally support him but he has been pulled up on his last two starts and wears first time blinkers. I am a bit reluctant to take a short price about him in the circumstances. Quickbeam would be a possible alternative. He is not without risks as his jumping can be chancy buy he has completed on his last 4 starts and at 11/2 is perhaps better value than Lodge Lane.

The 4.35 sees the return to action of former Arkle and World Hurdle winner My Way de Solzen. He would probably have too many guns for his opponents here if back to his best but he has been well below par for a while now and I prefer the progressive Miss Mitch who beat Something Wells at Ascot on her last start and the runner up has franked the form since by winning at Cheltenham. Another to consider in this race at a bigger price would be the lightly raced Money Order who showed a lot of promise before encountering injury problems.

My selections at Uttoxeter are Putney Bridge (3.10) and Openditch (4.20).

Today’s pictures are by kind permission of the artist Jo Stockdale (see links).

Diary: March 27 2009


Once again there were plenty of winners highlighted in last night’s preview so let’s see if we can continue the good run. Selections for tomorrow are as follows.

Ascot 2.55 Kealshore Boy

Fontwell 4.30 Carrickmines

Wolverhampton 8.50 Northern Bolt

One to look out for tonight at Wolverhampton is Khan Tengri in the 7.20.

Diary: March 26 2009

The steady trickle of winners continued today thanks to Quaddick Lake (9/1) and Rockiteer. There are 3 UK jumps meetings tomorrow to go at with interesting runners at each of the venues.

Hello Moscow gave Tony McCoy his 2,999th winner at Plumpton and the pair are reunited in the Towcester 3.55 where they have an each way chance at around 7/1.

Towcester racecourse

I have been following Pterodactyl all season without success. I will stick with him in the 4.30 as he is sure to win if I desert him.

The well bred Cornerback won at Kelso earlier in the month and if in the same form in the Carlisle 2.25 will take all the beating.

Auroras Encore looks the form pick in the 3.00. I have a sneaking feeling that we haven’t yet seen the best of the fragile Breakwater House who could be worth a small saver in this race.

Open de L’Isle has been running quite well without winning. He is stepped up in trip in the 4.10 which should suit him. Marleybow has been given a chance by the handicapper and has the talent to pose a threat if he doesn’t waste his energy by pulling too hard in the early stages.

At Hereford I am quite interested in Prairie Spirit in the 2.35. He was a winner 5 times on the flat in France.

Paul Nicholls has his share of beaten favourites, with the 1/10 Conflictofinterest a case in point the other day. Rippling Ring, who makes his chase debut in the 3.45 was himself beaten when 8/15 at Aintree at the start of the season. It will be interesting to see how he fares on his chase debut in modest company but he is clearly not a betting proposition.

In the 5.35 Persian Gates has an each way squeak.

the tatling

At Southwell The Tatling goes for his 15th career win at the ripe old age of 12 in the 3.30. He goes well at the track and looks the one to beat.

My thanks to Kate Tann for the photo of Towcester racecourse.

The picture of the Tatling is by kind permission of the artist Lisa Miller (see links)

Diary: March 25 2009

Small fields are the order of the day at Taunton tomorrow where the ground is likely to be on the fast side.

In the 3.00 I am inclined to oppose the Paul Nicholls trained favourite with either Rockiteer or Schindler’s Son. Rockiteer comes into the race on the back of a win at Huntingdon a few weeks ago. The runner up in that race was 3rd behind First Avenue at Plumpton yesterday so the form looks solid enough. Schindler’s Son has not run since he was pulled up at Market Rasen in July. A winner at Uttoxeter last May he finished 8th behind Blue Bajan in the very competitive Swinton Hurdle at Haydock. He has twice been pulled up when running on soft ground which makes me think the prevailing conditions at present should suit him.

City Affair

Peter Pole hacked up at Southwell today and if running again in the 3.30 he will be hard to beat.

Both Winsley Hill’s wins have come on good to firm ground. She rarely runs a bad race and with the very capable Felix de Giles booked to ride she should go well in the 4.00.

David Pipe had a couple of winners yesterday which bodes well for his runners tomorrow. Both Quaddick Lake (4.30) and The Pious Prince (5.00) are worth careful consideration.

Today’s picture is by kind permission of the artist Trudy Redfern.

Diary: March 24 2009


Peter Pole absolutely hacked up at Exeter on his UK debut and it seems unlikely that a 7 lbs penalty will stop him from going in again at Southwell tomorrow in the 2.15. Another horse to keep tabs on in this race is Paradise Regained who has impressed with his jumping and should have a race in him, if not tomorrow then at some stage before the end of the season.

Diary: March 23 2009


Of the horses featured in last night’s preview Glencree ran with credit in second while Joker’s Legacy was a winner at long odds on.  Neither of the Irish selections ran.

Not much of interest tomorrow.  First Avenue should be up to winning over hurdles.  He goes in the Plumpton 2.30.


Today’s featured painting is by the artist Katy Sodeau (see links for more information about this artist.

Diary: March 22 2009

Huntingdon 2.40 – Glencree was an Irish point to point winner and an expensive purchase by Andrea and Graham Wylie. He put a rules debut flop behind him when winning a maiden hurdle at Musselburgh at the end of November. He handles a sound surface and has scope for improvement.


Wincanton 4.00 – Joker’s Legacy is another that should enjoy the drying ground we have at the moment. A dual bumper winner last season, he was a winner last time out at Southwell after filling the runners up spot on his two previous runs.

My selections at Cork are Arc Bleu (3.35) and Nicanor (4.05).

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Margaret Abraham.