Diary: November 1 2009

Last night’s preview yielded a few winners with Master Medic, Secrecy, Revered, You’re the Top and Laaheb all obliging.

There are 4 horses that interest me in the Carlisle 1.00. Turbo Island, Jurisdiction, Kellystown Lad and Wymott all look interesting. Turbo Island won both his bumpers last season and he should have a good season while Wymott representing the McCain stable is another to consider carefully.

Chief Dan George was a decent hurdler and won twice over fences last season. He comes into the reckoning in the 2.05 where the main danger could come from Knockara Beau who won on his chase debut at Cartmel in May.

alisonwilson vale of lune

There is a competitive handicap chase at 3.15. The top weight Jass is a thorough stayer who won twice in January at Ayr and Doncaster. The lightly raced That’s Rhythm was a winner at Bangor last season. He would be in with a chance as long as the ground rides on the firmer side. Tot O’Whiskey is yet to find his form this season is perhaps best watched but Silver By Nature is one for the short list. He has the benefit of a recent run where the ground at Bangor was too quick for him. Rain is forecast and if we get enough of it he would come into the picture. Another wanting some give in the ground is the consistent Rate of Knots who will appreciate this stiff track. This is a tough one to call but Rate of Knots looks the one they all have to beat.

Over in France Border Patrol should appreciate the ground in the Prix Perth at Saint- cloud.

At Cork Catch Me should be too good for his rivals in the 3.25.  Askthemaster might be the one to give him most to think about.

Today’s picture is by kind permission of the artist Alison Wilson.

Diary: October 31 2009

I have just returned from a few days in the sun and I have only had time to give tomorrow’s cards a cursory glance.

The Ascot jumps card looks the pick of the day’s action. Cockney Trucker was 3rd in the County Hurdle last season and looks the type to make a decent novice chaser. He makes his debut over the larger obstacles in the 1.20 tomorrow. The going should be about right for him as he wouldn’t want it too soft.

It is always good to see the small stables mixing it with the major players like Nicholls and Pipe. Gone to Lunch certainly represents one of the smaller outfits. He rarely runs a bad race and won 3 times last season as well as finishing runner up in the Scottish National. He has an each way chance in the 1.50.

The ground should suit dual hurdles winner You’re the Top in the 2.25 and he is just preferred to Pterodactyl who should be fitter for his outing last weekend.

I imagine that Micheal Flips will go novice chasing at some stage this season. He is being kept to hurdles tomorrow though and looks to have a fair chance in the 3.00.

Master Medic is not a certain starter in the 3.25 as he needs rain or the ground won’t be suitable for him. If he does turn out he could well have a bit in hand of the assessor.

At Newmarket the Sir Michael Stoute trained Revered looks the likely winner of the 12.25 A well bred individual she made an encouraging start to her career when 3rd at Salisbury.

In the 2.05 Swop, Secrecy and Lucky Dance are all worth considering. I would just about give Secrecy the edge over Swop. Plum Pudding likes it at Newmarket – he has won their 7 times. Devotees of the horses for courses theory won’t want to miss him in the 2.35.

Godolphin are in good form and their once raced juvenile Bint Almatar runs in the 3.10. A winner at Nottingham this one comes into the “could be anything” category. Michael Jarvis has a chance in the 3.45 with his 3 year old Laaheb.

At Wetherby Pettifour represents an in form stable and is a tentative selection in the 3.25. Lastly, at Wolverhampton there is one runner from my list to follow. Dig Deep has already given us a nice winner this season and to follow him further would probably be pushing our luck so I will not recommend a wager in the 7.20.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Julie Whitwham.

Diary: October 27 2009

I will be away for a few days and the next update will be Friday 30 October.  In the meantime here are a few horses to look out for that are entered in Ireland over the next few days.
Good Fella (IRE)

entered at Clonmel on Thursday 29th Oct

Venalmar (GB)

entered at Punchestown on Tuesday 27th Oct

entered at Punchestown on Wednesday 28th Oct

Pandorama (IRE)

entered at Punchestown on Tuesday 27th Oct

Clan Tara (IRE)

entered at Punchestown on Tuesday 27th Oct

entered at Punchestown on Wednesday 28th Oct

Lenabane (IRE)

entered at Punchestown on Tuesday 27th Oct

entered at Punchestown on Wednesday 28th Oct

China Rock (IRE)

entered at Punchestown on Tuesday 27th Oct

Shinrock Paddy (IRE)

entered at Punchestown on Tuesday 27th Oct

entered at Punchestown on Wednesday 28th Oct

Dunguib (IRE)

entered at Punchestown on Tuesday 27th Oct

Some Present (IRE)

entered at Punchestown on Wednesday 28th Oct

Hugo De Vindecy (FR)

entered at Punchestown on Tuesday 27th Oct

Sweeps Hill (NZ)

entered at Punchestown on Wednesday 28th Oct

Diary: October 25 2009

I am short of time tonight so here are just a few brief thoughts on Sunday’s racing..

Stormy Weather was listed class on the flat and provided he jumps OK he should be up to making a winning debut over hurdles in the Aintree 1.35.

Cappa Bleu won the Foxhunters at Cheltenham in March and looks set for a successful season. He sets the standard in the 2.10. Little Josh could be the one for the forecast.

Lie Forrit was a progressive hurdler last season and displayed a very determined attitude in his races. He stays well and should be in the shake up tomorrow in the 2.45 where any further rain would help his cause.

Sarah Clegg 'Under Orders' - oil on canvas 20x30in 2009sm

Palomar won chases at Kelso and Catterick last season before falling on his last start. He looks a good prospect and is the selection in the 3.20.

Paul Nicholls had a few disappointments today but has a chance to get back to winning ways with bumper winner Bold Addition in the 3.55. Court Red Handed and Tara Royal are tentative suggestions for the bumper at 4.30.

The Ditcheat trainer will be keen to win the 4.10 at Wincanton as the race is named after him. He saddles Pepe Simo who was 9th in the Cheltenham Festival bumper last season. Henry King, Fidelis and Aconitum are others with a chance.

Today’s picture is by kind permission of the artist Sarah Clegg.

Diary: October 24 2009

Emirates Champion was an easy winner for my list to follow this afternoon but otherwise it was a frustrating day with Mubrook (13/2) amd Alrasm (18/1) both finishing 2nd from last night’s selections.

There is plenty of racing to go at tomorrow under both codes.

On the flat the main meeting is at Doncaster where the group 1 Racing Post Trophy tops the bill. The race has in the past thrown up some high quality winners, notably High Chaparral, Motivator and Authorized. Coordinated Cut has been something of a “talking horse” since he won his maiden and he is clearly well thought of by his trainer. He would be my tentative selection here although I note that the last 10 winners of the race have had a Racing Post rating of at least 114 and my selection falls well short on 99.


Judge ‘n Jury won the 2.20 last season and is now on a mark 5 lbs lower so has to be worth considering. The ground should suit him well enough. Captain Gerrard is on a 15 race losing sequence but is very well handicapped on his best form. Cape Vale is holding his form well and has only been out of the first two once in his last 6 starts, while Invincible Lad is another for the short list after some taking displays on the all weather. There is no doubt that Judge ‘n Jury is on an attractive mark and he gets the selection.

I know he is thoroughly exposed after a remarkable 15 starts this season but I quite fancy Archers Road to make the frame under Kieren Fallon in the listed race at 2.55.

Looking for some value in the 4.05 I have drawn up a short list of 3, Magicalmysterytour, Howdigo and Alcalde. Alcalde was a winner at Warwick a couple of runs ago and was not disgraced when 6th at Nottingham on his last start. He handles some give in the ground and tomorrow’s trip should suit him. Magicalmysterytour is a genuine sort that seems to act of any ground and is a course and distance winner. These two are respected but my selection is Howdigo who ran well enough in the Cambridgeshire and will appreciate this longer trip.

karen davies1

Beau Fighter won over 10 furlongs at Newbury back in May and can win again at that distance in the Doncaster 5.15, K Fallon has the ride which is a bonus.

At Aintree course and distance winner Nampour looks to have a solid chance in the 1.05 with a conditional rider taking off a chunk of weight. You could make a case for all 8 runners in the 2.15 but my fancy is for Tartak who has more scope for improvement that the others.

Noble Alan sets the standard in the 3.25 and appears to tick all the right boxes. Isn’t That Lucky rarely runs a bad race and he can land the 4.00 for Jonjo O’Neill.

In the 1.20 at Chepstow I would give 4 of the 6 runners a chance. Pterodactyl won 2 novice hurdles at the end of last season. He is worth a try in this but probably has a bit too much to find with some of his rivals. He will probably go novice chasing sooner rather than later. Aiteen Thirtythree comes here with a tall reputation from his wins in a pointy to point and a Newbury bumper. Reve De Sivola is still a maiden but ran some excellent races in defeat, notably when 6th in the Triumph Hurdle. Finally Frascati Park is well worth a mention. He won 3 of his 4 races in bumpers with the only defeat coming when runner up at the Galway Festival. He may well be better racing right handed however. There are some nice prospects in this but my idea of the value is Reve de Sivola.


I also have a short list of 4 in the 1.55. Mr Thriller, Alfie Sherrin, Bakbenscher and Argento Luna. Bakbenscher won twice from 4 starts last season and is very highly regarded by Alan King. His future will be over fences but he is a very useful hurdler and is capable of further improvement in that sphere. He also goes well fresh. Another exciting prospect for fences is Alfie Sherrin who won a bumper at Chepstow and a novice hurdle at Fontwell last season. He is also likely to be sent chasing soon. Mr Thriller is a half brother to Gaspara won at Bangor and Fontwell last season before finishing 4th in the Imperial Cup. Once again fences are the long term plan. Argento Luna was ultra consistent last season and could well be a danger to some of the more fancied runners as she has a good turn of foot. She would not want the ground too soft. Alfie Sherrin and Bakbenscher look the most likely winner and it is hard to choose between the pair. You can never ignore Paul Nicholls and I will just give the nod to the champion trainer’s runner.

In the 2.25 Brenin Cwmtudu was a course winner over hurdles last season and should go well.

At Kempton my only selection is the course specialist Dvinski each way in the 8.10.

Newbury next where the well bred Latansaa looks the best of the newcomers in the 1.30.

Pastoral Player made an impressive winning debut at Newbury but then refused to enter the stalls next time. If he behaves himself tomorrow who looks to have a good chance in the 2.05.


Harbinger had done nothing wrong prior to his flop at York and maybe there was just something amiss that day. If back to his best he would take all the beating in the 2.35. Chock a Block, another lightly raced sort who won a listed race at Newmarket on his last start could well be the danger.

Newcomer High Ransom is my tentative suggestion in the 4.20. Bab Al Salam represents my list to follow in the 4.55. After a hat trick of wins he was last of 3 at Newmarket. He is perhaps best watched after that run as maybe the handicapper has caught up with him.

I thought about C’Monthehammers in the Stratford 2.10 but the tight track may be against him. He also needs strong handling and I would rather see him ridden by a more experienced jockey.

Today’s pictures are by kind permission of the artist Karen Davies.

Diary: October 23 2009

The emphasis is o0n the flat tomorrow with meetings at Ayr and Doncaster.

Emirates Champion made a winning debut at Great Leighs beatings the highly rated Invisible Man of John Gosdens. That horse ended up with a rating in the 90s so Emirates Champion could be very well treated off 85 in the Ayr 3.55. He disappointed on his only other run back in May but if we forgive him that he has a good tomorrow. Another horse that I have been following, Bagber also runs in this race. He has been consistent all season and has won his last two starts. His most recent success came in a claimer and he was purchased for £30,000 by Peter Monteith.

Woodsley House who runs in thye Ayr 2.45 deserves a mention. He won at 20/1 at Musselburgh back in May off a mark of 68 and although he has failed to win in 9 subsequent efforts he has dropped back to a rating of 63 in the 2.45. Talented apprentice F Tylicki takes off a further 3 lbs and the horse acts on any ground. On the debit side the stable could be in better form.


At Doncaster the well bred Giant’s Play is likely to start favourite in the 2.25. He finished 2nd in a race at Kempton that in truth has not worked out well but he is well regarded as looks the one to beat. At much bigger odds Babycakes and Song to the Moon could run well.

My other selections are;

Doncaster 2.55 Alrasm; 3.30 Hitchens: 4.05 Mubrook: 4.40 Call It On.

Fakenham 3.45 Midnight Chase.

Diary: October 22 2009

The Michael Bell trained Piquante has failed to live up to expectations and despite travelling well in her races has often found little when push comes to shove. She drops back in distance tomorrow in the 4.40 at Brighton and may be worth a small each way interest.

Over the jumps at Carlisle new trainer Rose Dobbin saddles last season’s Coral Cup second Mirage Dore in the Novice Chase at 2.40. Rose rode the horse last season when he was trained by Lucinda Russell but Wilson Renwick is on board tomorrow. The horse goes well fresh and seems to act on any ground.

In the 3.45 I fancy The Whisperer. His trainer has a good strike rate at the track, the horse has run well at Carlisle before and goes well fresh and Tony McCoy rides the horse for the first time.

lille 611

Lochstar looked in for a successful campaign when winning at Lingfield back in May but has done little since. He represents my list to follow but it is difficult to make a case for in the 6.50 at Kempton.

Al Qeddaaf won well at Yarmouth back in June and the form of that race has worked out well. He has run twice since, on the last occasion running on well after getting trapped behind a wall of horses. I think he is worth another chance in the 7.20 at Kempton. The Roger Charlton pair Zero Money (8.50) and Classically (9.20) are worth considering later on the card at Kempton.

At Ludlow William’s Wishes should go close in the 5.30 for Evan Williams.

Diary: October 20 2009

With less than 3 weeks left of the flat season the quality of the jumps meetings is gradually improving and Exeter stage an interesting card tomorrow.

Emma Lavelle runs Superius in the 2.40. Formerly rated 98 on the flat in Ireland when trained by Tommy Stack he looks a promising type for hurdles. He may need some cut in the ground to be seen at his best.

The 3.10 is a beginner’s chase named after the great Best Mate. Paul Nicholls may well take this prize with Tataniano who won 3 times over hurdles last season including a most impressive effort at Cheltenham in April.

miller best mate

Ballydub was another to enjoy a successful hurdles campaign last season although had he jumped with more fluency it would have been even better. It often happens that a horse will concentrate more over fences and hopefully this will be the case with Ballydub who makes his chase bow in the 4.40.

There is flat racing at Yarmouth where I am hoping that Dherghaam can land the 3.20. He may have been a little unlucky when a beaten favourite at Newmarket.

Today’s picture, of Best Mate, is included by kind permission of the artist Lisa Miller.