Diary: January 29 2011


Mostly Bob gave us a 3/1 winner (he opened at 7/2) today but otherwise I am afraid my selections were mostly well beaten. I was interested to see Whispering Death win at Doncaster. Named after the West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding he was winning for the first time over hurdles and no doubt benefitted from the fast ground as his 5 wins on the flat were primarily gained on quick going.

There are meetings at Cheltenham, Doncaster and Uttoxeter tomorrow but all 3 are due morning inspections as temperatures are set to drop sharply up and down the country.

In the 2.00 at Cheltenham The Sawyer is an interesting runner as 6 of his 8 career wins have come in January (the other two were in March) so he clearly comes to hand at this time of year. He is also a course and distance winner so the temptation to go for him at odds of 20/1 is certainly persuasive. A more conservative bet might be Wishfull Thinking who jumped well when second here earlier in the season and has more potential for improvement than many of his rivals.

Grand Crus has won both his races in impressive style this season, he is a course winner and has only once been out of the first two when ridden by Tom Scudamore. He looks one for any shortlist in the Clkeeve Hurdle at 3.35. Spirit River reverts to hurdles after twice falling over fences. He has plenty of ability as shown when winning twice at Cheltenham last season including the Coral Cup. Another to consider is Bensalem who is having his first run since finishing runner up in a Grade 1 hurdle at Punchestown last April. Restless Harry is another with a squeak but for my selection I will side with Grand Crus.


Bob’s Worth has won his last 3 starts and should go well in the 3.05 where the consistent Ohio Gold looks over priced at 40/1. Vino Griego is a horse I had high hopes for at the start of the season but he has failed to live up to expectations over fences. He last run though was his best so far and he could go well at a generous price in the 1.30.

There is a huge field for the 12.40 at Doncaster. I quite like a couple at the top of the weights. The ex French Premier Grand Cru is a winner at Deauville on the flat and at Pau over hurdles while Ballybriggan has “won” twice over hurdles although on the first occasion he was disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance. Alegralil should be too good for the opposition in the 1.15.

William’s Wishes is on a hat trick and will appreciate the ground in the 1.45 while Pepo Simo and Noble Alan are my two against the field in the 2.15.


Buck Mulligan is an improving sort that handles any ground and looks value in the 2.45.

The Sky Bet Chase at 3.20 looks pretty open. In the last 9 years only 2 winners have started at more than 9/1 and no winner has carried more than 11 stone 2. If you use those stats to narrow down the field only Wogan and Fistral Beach remain! Others to consider at bigger price are Chief Dan George although he will need to defy a mark higher that his previous highest winning rating and Door Boy who comes from the same stable as Whispering Death.

Evella pootled over the Market Rasen fences the other week to record a nice win at 14/1. That came after a dismal row of Ps in her form figures and now that she has won it may be worth sticking with her in the 1.35 at Uttoxeter. Royal Chatelier is closely related to Impek and although no superstar he might be able to win off his current low mark in the 4.20.

Today’s pictures are courtesy of the artist Lisa Miller.

Have a good weekend.

Diary: January 28 2011


Rangitoto, the selection from last night’s preview was second beaten half a length at 4/1 in a maiden hurdle at Ffos Las. This former point to point winner should not be too long in getting off the mark over hurdles. Another ex points winner Storming Gale won the other division of the maiden hurdle and like Rangitoto is certainly one to watch.

Nicky Henderson continues in great form and his pair of Brunston (1.55) and Cavite Beta (4.15) are expected to go well at Doncaster tomorrow where Mostly Bob finished well over course and distance earlier this month and should go close in the 2.30.

Diary: January 24 2011


Wetherby is subject to a morning inspection so I won’t spend too much time on tonight’s preview.

The 2.35 looks the most interesting race despite the fact that there are only 3 runners. Glenwood Knight got off the mark over fences at the second attempt when winning at Uttoxeter on the final day of 2010. He made a couple of mistakes on that occasion but is bred for the job as he is out of a half sister to Grand National winner Papillon.


Alfie Sherrin was rated higher over hurdles. He has had one run over fences when he was 4th of 7 behind Glenwood Knight’s stable companion Wymott. The form of that race has worked out very well as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th have all won since. Alfie Sherrin has not run since 10th November but that is a positive point as he seems to perform better after a break. Over this trip I would just about favour Alfie Sherrin as Glenwood Knight may be better over a bit further.

Thanks to Mike Smith for the photo.