Diary: January 1 2012



1.25 Storming Gale fell on his chase debut but is worth another chance.


12.30 Barbatos has shown a consistent level of form and should appreciate the ground.

1.05 Six decent novices line up for this Grade 2 chase. Invictus has jumped well and shown a turn of foot and I would be inclined to side with him.

2.10 Havingotascoobydo should benefit from this step up in trip and is preferred to the main danger Ghizao.

2.45 The progressive Escargo will be hard to beat here and is the selection. Arctic Court could be worth a small each way saver.

3.20 I think Oscar Whisky will be able to concede weight to his rivals.


12.40 African Broadway looks the one to beat here despite a slight doubt about his being able to handle soft ground.

1.45 Arthurian Legend was the pick of these over hurdles and can get off the mark over the larger obstacles.

2.55 Golden Chieftain commands respect after his win at Uttoxeter and Flying Award is overpriced but I like the chances of Penny Max. He is a good jumper and comes from an in form stable.

3.25 This is quite an open race but Sarika makes most appeal. Molly Round looks next best6.

Musselburgh selections;

1.15 Bourne; 2.25 Desert Cry; 3.00 Phiddipides


2.15 Tranquil Sea is a class act on his day and can bounce back to form here.

From the archives

The 2.15 at Tramore was first run in 2005 when Cloudy Bays was the winner. An added attraction for race goers that day was Beef or Salmon who paraded before the crowds fresh from his defeat of Best Mate in the Lexus Chase a few days earlier.

Diary: December 31 2011



1.30 All the Aces would seem to have the cards stacked in his favour. Group class on the flat he made a pleasing start to his career over timber when runner up to Prospect Wells over course and distance. That horse has since finished 4th in the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot so the form has a solid look. There are a couple of relative dark horses to consider however. Destroyer Deployed has rock solid bumper from having followed up wins at Towcester and Fontwell with a 2nd place in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham. Keep Kicking is a well bred sort that won a bumper at Sedgefield last season. He finished runner up under a penalty at Sandown on his reappearance. All the Aces is likely to be odds on and I am inclined to take a chance with Destroyer Deployed who will appreciate the soft ground.

2.05 All 5 runners come into this race with a chance. Walkon impressed me when winning at Exeter and the form of that race has worked out really well. For Non Stop was only beaten a neck by Al Ferof at Sandown and is a big danger, especially so as the longer trip here should suit him.

2.35 Rey Nacarado was runner up to Giles Cross last time and that horse has since been runner up in the Welsh National.

3.05 Fingal Bay is impossible to oppose in this.

3.40 The Tim Vaughan pair Rigidity and Ruler of all are respected as is recent Haydock winner Tenor Nivernais. The latter is the selection.

newbury small


12.10 Avenging Ace, a beaten odds on favourite on his last two starts, is given one last chance to redeem himself before I cross him off my list to follow!

12.45 Tornado Bob should win this if his jumping holds up.


1.45 Jetnova is my selection here with Kauto Relko the danger.

2.20 Dual point to point winner Glens Boy did enough when 4th at Huntingdon last time to suggest he can win a race like this.

3.20 Lambourn raider Awesome Bella has an each way chance.


12.25 Fully Funded is a tentative selection. A Grade 2 winner over hurdles on soft ground at Navan he should stay the 3 miles.

2.10 A winner on the flat in France Darroun looks an interesting hurdles prospect.

2.40 Capellanus has an each way chance.

From the archives

Cerium, a runner in the Warwick 2.20 has run twice in the Grand National. He was 5th in 2009 and 11th in 2010.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Lisa Miller.

Diary: December 29 2011



12.40 Habbie Simpson has failed to complete on his 2 starts over fences and it might be best to side with Prince of Pirates making his chase bow after winning a Kempton bumper and a maiden hurdle at Cheltenham.

1.45 Lively Baron was behind Harry the Viking here earlier this month but now gets a big pull at the weights.

2.20 A Bridge To Far was 2nd to subsequent winner Laterly at Aintree and is a tough consistent sort.


12.00 Quel Elite returned from a lengthy absence to finish 2nd to Dark Glacier at Wetherby and should be all the better for that outing.

12.30 Only 3 runners but all have recorded wins over fences recently. Lie Forrit would be my selection but Bold Sir Brian looks a big threat.

1.00 Next to Nowhere is an outsider with a chance here.


12.25 Glam Gerry won here over hurdles and has done enough over fences to suggest he can be competitive in this.

12.55 This could be between Hidden Cyclone and Shot from the Hip. Both are exciting prospects but I would just slightly favour Hidden Cyclone.

1.55 Moon Dice and Unaccompanied are respected but Thousand Stars looks the one to beat.

3.35 The selection here is Wandering Aengus.


12.35 Folsom Blue was a fast finishing 2nd at Thurles and the 3rd horse has won since.

Diary: December 28 2011


The best of the racing tomorrow comes from Ireland so we will start there.


1.25 A Cheltenham Festival winner over hurdles First Lieutenant is looking to get his chase career back on track after a fall in the Drinmore. Last Instalment has won both his starts over fences while the Willie Mullins pair of Allee Garde and Raptor both come here on the back of wins. This is a tough call with the aforementioned quartet likeable sort but my slight preference is for Last Instalment.

2.35 Rubi Light and Quito de la Roque are both recent Grade 1 winners. Given the going conditions Rubi Light might be the speedier of the two and gets the selection.


12.45 Bat Masterton

1.15 Best Served Cold

2.45 Medical Card

3.20 Definite Class


1.00 Amaury de Lusignan

2.00 Black Noddy

3.00 Ackertac

Diary: December 27 2011

It proved an historic day for racing thanks to the exploits of Kauto Star at Kempton but a slightly disappointing day for yours truly on the tipping front.  Anyway, on to tomorrow’s racing.

Big race form guide

Chepstow 2.10 – Welsh Grand National

Cappa Bleu is a former winner of the Foxhunters at the Cheltenham Festival. He has had his problems with injury but came back to form last time out winning at Haydock over 3 miles. He has an each way chance. Our Island was runner up at Haydock on his last start in heavy ground. He is a thorough stayer. Galaxy Rock is an improving chaser who has shown a liking for Chepstow. There may be doubts about him handling the ground. Giles Cross is 4 lbs higher in the weights than when he was runner up in the race last season. Formerly 3rd in a Midlands National his last two runs have seen him finish 2nd in the Eider Chase at Newcastle in very testing conditions and gain a win in the Southern National at Fontwell.

Giles Cross and Galaxy Rock are my two against the field.

Chepstow selections

12.30 Alfie Spinner

1.00Rev It Up

1.3.0 Glernwood Knight

2.45 Hollow Tree

3.15 Ambion Wood


12.55 Kie

1.25 Peddlers Cross

2.05 Whoops a Daisy

2.40 Finian’s Rainbow

Big race form guide

Paddy Power Chase – Leopardstown 3.05

Rivage D’Or was a consistent hurdler who won at Thurles (2 miles 6) in October and then finished 3rd to Bog Warrior in the Drinmore. He will appreciate the step up to 3 miles and Davy Russell takes the ride. David Pipe’s horses are running well and his Sona Sasta is a live contender. Lightly raced and progressive over fences he revels in soft ground. Smoking Aces won over 3 miles 5 at the start of the month and is another to consider as are Groody Hill, Ad Idem and Cross Appeal who occupied the first 3 places in the Troytown Chase at Navan.

My two against the field are Rivage D’Or and Sona Sasta.

Leopardstown selections

12.25 Sarabad

1.25 Big Zeb

2.30 Reizovic


12.40 Distant Memories


2.30 Sa Suffit

2.55 Trustan Times

Turf trivia

Earth Summit, winner of the 1997 Welsh Grand National became the first horse to win the English, Scottish and Welsh Grand Nationals.