Diary: February 28 2011


Tomorrow’s racing is low grade stuff as is often the case in the weeks leading up to the Cheltenham Festival.

At Plumpton Evella goes for the hat trick in the 2.50. Alex Merriam should be able to give her another positive ride from the front as this trip is probably a little on the sharp side for her.


In the 3.50 Restezen D’Armor represents a stable in very good form.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Katy Sodeau.

Diary: February 26 2011


The highlight tomorrow at Kempton is the ultra competitive Racing Post Chase which has been won over the years by the likes of Crisp, Pendil and Desert Orchid.

In the last 10 years only 2 favourites have won but the highest priced winner was 11/1 so the trends suggest that this is not a race for outsiders. Eight year olds have won 6 times in the last decade. Fistral Beach and Mostly Bob are a couple of well fancied 8 year olds this time round. Fistral Beach unseated in the race last season when favourite. He comes into the race in good form having won at Wincanton last month where he jumped and travelled well and he seemed to have benefitted from a breathing operation. Although Mostly Bob is not bred to stay, he is by Indian Ridge, he clearly does as he won over 3 miles at Doncaster last month carrying 11 stone 12. Although he won a bumper in Ireland in heavy ground his other 3 career wins have always come on good ground.

Quinz has won twice over fences this season and was 3rd at Cheltenham last time out behind the highly regarded Time for Rupert. He has won at Kempton over hurdles and he stays well. Of those at bigger prices Door Boy looks potentially well handicapped and has always appealed as a horse with a big win in him somewhere. These 4 would form my short list with Quinz the selection if pushed to narrow things down. His atriner has a good record in the race.


Captain Chris should end his run of seconds in the 2.25 (named after the great Pendil) while Sire de Grugy looks the value in the 3.35.

Higgy’s Boy has shaped as though he needs further than 2 miles in his races this season. Upped in trip for the 4.10 he could well come in at a decent price. He would not want the ground too soft. The other one I like in this is Rollwiththepunches. He looks well handicapped and has the leading conditional rider on board taking off 3 lbs.

The main event at Newcastle is the marathon Eider Chase at 3.15. Comply or Die won this in 2008 on his way to Aintree glory. On this occasion though I favour the younger brigade in the shape of the mud loving Minella Boys and the Welsh Nation runner up Giles Cross.

There is also racing at Chepstow where Rangitoto looks good for the 1.50 and on the all weather at Lingfield where I like the look of Brave Prospector in the 3.10.

Picture courtesy of the artist Jane Dunn.

Diary: February 24 2011


Aikman was the one that got away today. Described in a recent interview as a horse best suited by going right handed on a galloping track he duly won at 16/1 at Huntingdon which is a right handed galloping track. Simples!

There are not many betting propositions tomorrow. Kid Cassidy (2.50) and Pepe Simo (3.25) look possible at Sandown but the odds are too short.

At Warwick Stoney’s Treasure looks the one to be on in the 4.25.

Diary: February 22 2011


Qozak has an obvious chance in the 2.00 at Taunton, a track where he has won all 4 of his previous starts. He will be very short though and the value may lie with Shoreacres. The mount of Tony McCoy Shoreacres has not run for over a year but goes well fresh.

Dark Lover should win the 2.30 for champion trainer Paul Nicholls. In the 2.10 at Wetherby I am hopeful of a good run from Humbie in the 2.10.

Diary; February 21 2011


Monday’s racing is run of the mill stuff from Carlisle and Hereford.

The going is likely to be testing at both tracks so stamina and the ability to acts on the ground will count for a lot. At Carlisle in the 2.10 Storming Gale is of interest. He won on his hurdles bow at Ffos Las over 2.5 miles and tackles a quarter of a mile further tomorrow. He won his point to point over 3 miles though. His ability to handle the ground is an unknown but he is an impressive looking individual and a chaser in the making and he may well defy a penalty here. He is in the same ownership at Peddler’s Cross.

follow the leader ruth harris

At Hereford recent course and distance winner Royal Chatelier goes in the 3.50 where he escapes a penalty as his win came in a conditional jockey’s race. According to his trainer soft ground will not be a problem and this progressive type must have a good chance.

Picture is by courtesy of the artist Ruth S Harris