Diary: December 30 2010


I will be taking a break for a couple of weeks so the site will not be updated for a little while. It was nice to go out on a decent winner though with First Lieutenant coming in at 16/1 at Leopardstown. The racing at Newbury was not much of a spectacle either for race goers or armchair critics such as myself as thick fog replaced the ice and snow. We did have a winner in Pride of Dulcote though at 7/2 beating an odds on favourite.

Mizzurka, 3 times a winner in bumpers is a horse from my list to follow who runs at Taunton tomorrow in the 2.25. Tony McCoy has the ride which is a plus although the form, or lack of it, of the stable is a concern.

In the 3.00 George Nympton and Superius are outsiders worth a second look but for my selection I am going for Super Kenny. Decent on the flat in France he was 3rd to Via Galilei at Newbury when he clattered the final fence rather spoiling his chance. He looks on a reasonable mark and once again McCoy is in the saddle.

Olafi and Monetary Fund are consistent types that should go well in the 3.30 where Westlin’ Winds is an outsider to consider. His trainer has been in the doldrums for a while but has had a couple of winners recently and the yard may be about to strike form.

I may not be back in time to preview some of the big races coming up in the next couple of weeks so I will have a quick look at those now.

Kauto Star aims to make history with a 5th King George victory. If Kauto Star turns up in the same form as previous years then he will win. Planet of Sound is a Grade 1 winner over 3 miles. Sizing Europe was well beaten by Kauto Star at Down Royal where he didn’t appreciate the soft ground. Giving better going he could be interesting. Another particularly suited by good ground is Alberta’s Run and he could at least run into a place given his favoured conditions. Lastly Nacarat would come into the equation on good ground. The track suits him too.


Kyber Kim is my idea of the winner in the rescheduled Christmas Hurdle.

The Coral Welsh National was another victim of the freeze and will now be run on January 8. My short list for this consists of Ballyfitz, Synchronised, Giles Cross, Maktu and Bluesea Cracker. If pushed to narrow it down my two against the field would be Maktu and Synchronised although both will need soft or heavy ground.

I hope you find some winners in the coming week or two and I will all being well be back before the end of the month.

Bye for now and a happy and prosperous new year to all my readers.

Picture of Kauto Star courtesy of the artist Lisa Miller.

Diary: December 29 2010

Captain Chris is a horse with plenty of ability but he has not quite fulfilled his potential so far this season. He has recently had a breathing operation though and I think he is one to look out for at Newbury tomorrow in the 12.00.

Grandouet was runner up at Cheltenham last month to a horse that has won again since and looks a worthy favourite for the 12.30. A Media Luz, 6th in the French Oaks, failed to settle when disappointing on her hurdles debut. She has something to prove now but it is too early to write her off and she looks the main danger to the favourite.

Punchestowns will be an odds on favourite in the 1.00. He may well win but at the odds it may be worth taking a chance with Pride of Dulcote. A smart staying hurdler he won on his chase bow at Worcester over a year ago but came back lame and has been off the track since.

Glencove marina

Kid Cassidy and Megastar look the pair to concentrate on in the 1.35 while Al Ferof, a faller when going well at Cheltenham is my selection in the 2.10. In the latter race a small saver on Court in Motion may not go amiss.

Big Bucks looks unbeatable in the staying hurdle division and looks to have the 3.20 at his mercy. The previous winners Accordingtojodie and Battonier look set to dominate in the bumper at 3.50.

At Leopardstown my selections are First Lieutenant (12.50), Golden Silver (1.20), Hurricane Fly (1.55) and Becauseicouldntsee (2.30).

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Nick Fegan

Diary: December 28 2010


We do have some racing today after all the abandonments. The main attraction is at Leopardstown where the feature is the Grade 1 Lexus Chase at 2.35. Money Trix travels over from Nicky Richards stable and has strong claims. He was runner up in the race last season, goes particularly well fresh and is suited by plenty of give in the ground. Joncol is another that will relish the conditions. He was 3rd last season and is a course and distance winner. Pandorama has 9 wins from 12 starts and can probably be forgiven his run at Newbury last time when he was pulled up as he was badly hampered. The Listener has been off the track since November 2009 but won this back in 2006 when defeating Beef or Salmon (pictured below).


Cooldine won the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in 2009/10 and although a little disappointing last season but was 3rd to Planet of Sound in the Guinness Gold Cup at Punchestown in April. He should strip fitter for his outing at Fairyhouse earlier this month over an inadequate trip. Cooldine would be my selection with Joncol and Money Trix to fill the minor placings.

Picture courtesy of the artist Jenny Lupton

The jungle of houses

The jungle of houses
In a semicircle;
Some next to others,
Some behind others,
Some on top of others,
Some in front of others,
All of them far from each other.

With the same toy shop windows,
The same russet coloured roof terraces,
The same dun-coloured domes,
The same faded facades,
The same dismal window grilles,
The same red mailboxes,
The same yellow lights.

Beneath the roofs,
Another jungle,
A human jungle,
Must be moving,
But not in a straight line.

Alfonsina Storni

Diary: December 17 2010

Tomorrow both Ascot and Uttoxeter are subject to morning inspections so we are very much at the mercy of the weather.

In the Ascot 11.55 Poungach, Fiddlededee, Easter Meteor and Gorgehous Lliege look the quartet to concentrate on. Poungach could well be the pick although his price will reflect the “Nicholls factor.” Fiddlededee looks over priced.

Paul Nicholls holds a strong hand in the 1.35 but I am inclined to take him on with Frascati Park and Kid Cassidy. When Frascati Park won at Ascot last month he has Poungach and Easter Meteor in 3rd and 4th respectively so the result of the 1.55 could be a good pointer to the outcome of this race. Kid Cassidy has won 2 of his 3 starts and is respected.


Paul Nicholls could be on the mark in the 2.45 with Rivaliste.

At Uttoxeter Predictive looks worth an interest in the 1.20. He has run 11 times at Uttoxeter winning 3 and finishing runner up on 4 occasions. All his wins have come on soft or heavy ground.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Sue Malkin.

Selvas de ciudad


Selvas de ciudad

En semicírculo
se abre
la selva de casas:
unas al lado de otras,
unas detrás de otras,
unas encima de otras,
unas delante de otras,
todas lejos de todas.

Con las mismas ventanas
de juguetería.
Las mismas azoteas rojizas
Las mismas cúpulas pardas.
Los mismos frentes desteñidos.
Las mismas rejas sombrías.
Los mismos buzones rojos.
Las mismas columnas negras.
Los mismos focos amarillos.
Debajo de los techos,
otra selva,
una selva humana,
debe moverse :.
Pero no en línea recta.

Alfonsina Storni

Diary: December 16 2010


Today’s racing was marred by the fatal injury to Twist Magic when holding a winning chance in the Peterborough Chase. Twist Magic, unpredictable but certainly talented won 10 of his 29 starts including 23 Tingle Creeks.  He is pictured below with Ruby Walsh in the saddle. Photo courtesy of Kate Tann.

Ruby Walsh & Twist Magic

Selections for Thursday;


12.50 Mizzurka; 1.50 Royal Charm: 3.20 Wymott; 3.50 Spot the Ball and Royal Chatelier


1.40 Mac Aeda and Requin

Diary: December 15 2010


The main meeting tomorrow is at Fairyhouse where Solwhit and Hurricane Fly clash in the 12.50. When the pair met at Punchestown in April Hurricane Fly prevailed by a neck. The soft ground and extra half mile tomorrow may just enable Solwhit to reverse the placings.

Former start novice hurdler Mikael D’Haguenet can make a winning debut over fences in the 2.30. Golden Silver made an encouraging return when runner up to Big Zeb at Navan and he looks the one to beat in the 3.00.

Bangor stage a good card where there is plenty of interest in the opening race at 12.15. Mister Stickler is a big, strapping individual who has always looked at embryo chaser and he got his career over fences off to a winning start at Plumpton last month. He is my selection although I also like the look of Gus Macrae who is another with the right credentials to make a chaser. I think that Lord Villez has a race in him this season but may need a bit further.

Glencove marina

I am going to try an outsider in the 1.50. Takamaru should be better for his run at Wincanton last month and has an each way chance.

At Newbury Mostly Bob is an interesting runner in the 12.25. He looks well handicapped over hurdles but his canny trainer runs him here over fences. Ohio Gold sets a reasonable standard in the 3.20.

Master Medic is an improving sort and will handle the ground in the 3.10. He could pull off a surprise at big odds.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Nick Fegan

Diary: December 13 2010

With the meeting at Ayr the latest victim of the cold spell Plumpton is left to fly the flag for turf racing tomorrow.

The likely winner of the first race is Comedy Act, a winner 3 times on the flat last season when trained by Sir Mark Prescott. He makes his hurdles bow for Philip Hobbs tomorrow. In the past horses trained on the flat by Sir Mark Prescott have done pretty well over hurdles with the prime example being Inglis Drever.

The 1.35 is an interesting race. Medermit is the clear pick on hurdles form but he refused at Huntingdon on his last outing over fences so has something to prove here. The Nicky Henderson runner Rackham Lerouge could be a danger. He is a half brother to Punchestowns and won over hurdles at Bangor last season having also won 3 flat races in France.


In the 2.35 I quite like the chances of Rebel Melody from the in form stable of Charlie Mann. Another to consider is Arnold Layne who is named after a Pink Floyd song that was something of a rebel melody itself in the 60s as the Beeb thought the lyrics were not quite the thing and banned the song!

My selection in the 3.40 is Fleur de Vassy who should improve for her run at Hereford.

Today’s picture is by the artist Katy Sodeau.