Diary: February 27 2010

 

Sadly Newcastle’s Eider meeting has already fallen by the wayside but hopefully Kempton will go ahead. The big betting race at Kempton is the Racing Post Chase at 3.05. Last season’s winner Nacarat lines up again and with Tony McCoy on board will no doubt have his supporters. He is 11 lbs higher in the weights than last year but comes here on the back of a 4th to Kauto Star in the King George. He did have a very hard race that day and that might be a factor against him. Madison Du Berlais was second in the King George and is a course and distance winner. In a race that has favoured those at the higher end of the weights Nacarat and Madison Du Berlais both look worth serious consideration. Philip Hobbs has a good record in the race and he saddles Private Be who has been runner up in 4 of his last 5 starts. He actually beat Nacarat back in December 2008 off level weights and now gets a load of weight from that rival. He seems to act on any ground and is interesting. Atouchbetweenacara is the other one that I quite like. He has returned to Venetia Williams’ yard after a spell with Tim Vaughan. He beat Private Be by 24 lengths at Cheltenham at the end of last season and although worse off at the weights that performance puts him in with a chance. As always this is a tough looking handicap but with the first time blinkers on I will take Madison Du Berlais to give David Pipe another big race win.

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Punjabi is yet to win since his success in the Champion Hurdle. He has his Festival prep run in the 1.00 where he will be long odds on.

The 1.30 is more of a betting proposition. Numide looks quite attractively weighted while the consistent Clova Island is another I like the look of.

The 2.00 is quite an open race. Vino Griego won in heavy ground at Wincanton and given the right conditions he would be dangerous. Frascati Park on the other hand would prefer a better surface. If the ground is soft or worse I will go with Vino Griego otherwise Frascati Park is the selection.

The Nightingale will be hot favourite in the 2.30 but after only 1 chase start behind him the price looks to skinny and I would be looking to take him on with either Red Admiral or Viking Rebel. The latter is slowly coming back to form after a long absence and he gets the nod.

Mille Chief should be too good for the opposition in the 3.40.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Elizabeth Barrett.

Diary: February 25 2010

Hidden Keel gave us a winner today and I really should have had another with Chief Dan George who was certainly “findable” in the veteran’s chase at Doncaster. These races bring together plenty of old favourites and are a really nice idea. In the Doncaster race today were Trabolgan (winner of an RSA Chase and a Hessessy), Tamerinbleu (Boylesports Gold Cup), Rambling Minster (Blue Square Gold Cup and Border’s National), No Refuge (Royal and Sun Alliance Hurdle) and Pretty Star (2nd in Kim Muir). Chief Dan George was a Grade 1 winner over hurdles himself back in 2007 when he beat Wichita Lineman and Imperial Commander at Aintree.

If you have never invested in any of Marten Julian’s excellent publications I would strongly recommend that you give them a try. I will just quote you briefly from his comments on Cool Mission in the 2009/10 jumps guide. “Sure to be placed to win over hurdles.” Today Cool Mission did just that, coming in at 22/1.

Ex flat horse Lap of Honour probably needs 2 miles and good ground to be seen at his best over hurdles and may well get conditions to suit in the 3.55 at Ayr tomorrow.

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Alan King has his team in good form now which might enable Mille Chief to improve on his string of seconds in the Huntingdon 2.00.

Barry Geraghty has chosen to ride You’re The Top in the 3.05 rather than the other Henderson runner which could be a tip in itself.

My only selection at Thurles is Ad Idem in the 2.35.

Today’s picture is by kind permission of the artist Katy Sodeau.

Diary: February 24 2010

Both my selections today finished second, Dansimar at 14/1 and Pennek at 9/4.

Former bumper winner Premier Sagas got off the mark over hurdles at Market Rasen last month and seems to be going the right way. At around 5/1 he looks worth a small interest in the 1.30 at Doncaster tomorrow. The other horse that interests me at the Town Moor is Hidden Keel in the 2.00 for trainer Charlie Longsden.

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At Ludlow Marchand D’Argent has dropped a few pounds in the handicap and this should enable him to be competitive in the 3.30.

Diary: February 22 2010

 

Most of my selections ran well on Saturday and we had  a few decent winners.

There are just a couple of horses to watch out for up at Carlisle if the meeting gets the go ahead. Premier Sagas in the 2.00 and the unraced  Rocks Rule in the bumper at 5.15.