The new flat season gets under way at Doncaster tomorrow.
2.05 Custom Cut should be competitive here. He handles cut in the ground and won at Group 3 level last season.
2.40 Jack Dexter has notched up 3 wins at Doncaster and will be at home on the ground
3.50 Tres Coronas has a good record in big field handicaps and handles the ground.
2.55 Bishops Castle looks well treated.
3.30 Lancelot du Lac has won 3 of his last 65 starts and there could be more to come.
2.55 Special Catch (ew)
3.30 The Romford Pele
3.15 Irish Buccaneer
3.50 Loch Ba (ew)
5.35 Fletchers Flyer
1.30 Tiger Roll, runner up in a Grade 1 in Ireland is open to any amount of improvement and is one for the shortlist. Royal Irish Hussar ran up a hat trick of wins earlier in the season before disappointing when favourite at Doncaster. He has had a break and could recapture that early season form. Broughton won a listed race at Musselburgh where he impressed with his hurdling technique. He is another with scope for improvement.
Calipto has won twice at Newbury and looks a smart prospect. That is my shortlist. I will narrow it down to Tiger Roll and Broughton.
2.05 Minella Foru, Thomas Edison and Cheltenian make the most appeal.
2.40 Briar Hill and Kings Palace set the standard.
3.20 I think that Bob’s Worth has an excellent chance of retaining his title. First Lieutenant is worth an each way saver.
4.00 Tammys Hill and Harbour Court are my two against the field.
4.40 Full Shift is the selection with an each way saver on Princely Player.
5.15 Tanks for That was second in this 2 years ago and recently won a bumper. Barry Geraghty rides. Claret Cloak will relish the drying ground while Viva Colonia is another that will be suited by the ground. Astracad is on a fair mark while Ned Buntline gives the impression he has been laid out for this. Next Sensation looks to be on a lenient mark and is open to improvement.
Claret Cloak, Viva Colonia, Astracad, Next Sensation and Ned Buntline look the ones to concentrate on. Claret Cloak to win from Next Sensation and Ned Buntline!
1.30 Wonderful Charm and Felix Yonger will both appreciate the drying ground and are my main fancies.
2.05 If In Doubt has potential for improvement and is the selection.
2.40 Benefficent won the Jewson here last season and will be suited by the ground. With Bryan Cooper injured Davy Russell takes the ride. Dynaste was runner up to Benefficient in last year’s Jewson and was runner up to Cue Card in the Betfair Chase earlier in the season. Al Ferof is a former Festival winner and he also has a Paddy Power Gold Cup on his CV. It is very difficult to separate this trio but I give a slight edge to Al Ferof.
3.20 Paul Nicholls seems very hopeful for Big Bucks and I am going to stick with him.
If the big two slip up Rule the World, Zarkandar and More of That have each way chances. Big Bucks is the selection with Zarkandar the each way value.
4.00 Fairyhouse winner Sraid Padraig is a good jumper that goes well fresh and looks to have an excellent chance. Third Intention has trip and ground in his favour and should go well. Colour Squadron is a maiden over fences but has run well in Cheltenham handicaps and has AP McCoy in the plate. John’s Spirit, who beat Colour Squadron in the Paddy Power is another for the short list.
Sraid Padraig is the selection with an each way saver on Third Intention.
4.40 Indian Castle is the selection
I was pleased with the way our selections ran today let’s hope our luck continues.
1.30 Willie Mullins has made a good start to the week and his Faugheen can add to his tally here. Rathvinden, Red Sherlock and Cup Final can fill the minor placings.
2.05 I started with a short list of 4 for this. Don Cossack gives the impression that this trip will suit while Le Bec will like the ground. Ballycasey has won both his starts over fences and this trip should bring out the best in him. The other one I like is Morning Assembly who is an accurate jumper and a tough consistent type.
Morning Assembly is my idea of the winner with the other 3 mentioned filling the minor placings.
2.40 Ex French flat winner Renneti looks well handicapped and the other one I like is Clondaw Kempfer trained by Donald McCain who is another that is potentially well treated..
3.20 Sire de Grugy has serious claims here and I would dissuade you from backing him but my selection is course and distance winner Captain Conan.
4.00 The selection is Big Shu.
4.40 Goodwood Mirage looks to have the right profile for this race.
5.15 Selection Black Hercules – danger Modus.
Cheltenham day 1
1.30 This looks an open renewal but I am going to side with a well fancied runner in Vautour. The Irish have a good record in this race and Vautour should be suited by the track and has a nice blend of speed and stamina.
For those looking for something at longer odds Josses Hill, Un Ace and Vaniteur all make some appeal. Un Ace was a winner at Doncaster last month and acts on good ground. Josses Hill is open to improvement but I see that Barry Geraghty has elected to ride Vaniteur who is a winner last time out.
In summary then, Vautour is the selection with Un Ace, Vaniteur and Josses Hill, in that order, the each way picks.
2.05 I find it difficult to choose between Champagne Fever and Rock on Ruby who both have excellent course form but I am going to burden Champagne Fever with my selection, in part because of the “Mullins” factor. A small each way saver on Valdez would be tempting.
2.40 There are concerns over the jumping of Hadrian’s Approach but he looks well handicapped and represents a leading stable. Alfie Sherrin looks the main danger.
3.20 This is very difficult to call. Last season’s Triumph winner Our Conor looks to have a great chance but horses from his age group have a miserable record. The New One is 4 from 4 at Cheltenham and was a winner at the Festival in 2013 while the talented My Tent or Yours was runner up in the Supreme Novices last season. The selection is My Tent or Yours
4.00 Quevega goes for her 6th Festival win and is hard to oppose. Glen’s Melody and Down Ace have each way chances.
4.40 Foxrock is a winner of his last two starts, at Navan and Naas and with Katie Walsh riding looks to have an outstanding chance. Shutthefrontdoor represents a stable that do well in this race and he looks to have the stamina required for this marathon test. The lightly raced Suntiep is a super jumper and could be suited by the trip while Shotgun Paddy is another who scores well in the jumping department.
Foxrock and Shutthefrontdoor are the selections.
5.15 Pendra has an outstanding chance with ground trip and weight looking favourable. Art of Logistics is another I like while Present View is on the upgrade and the drying ground will not inconvenience him.