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Month: November 2013

Racing UK and West Wizard


Just a quick post rather than my usual full (and generally unhelpful!) preview.

No supporters should be worried about West Wizard being beaten by Sgt Reckless at Kempton today. That was a perfectly acceptable introduction to the jumping game and the front two eased well ahead of the remainder. Primarily West Wizard jumped well, particularly when the speed increased and maybe Sgt Reckless is an improving type who could be another player. This is a great opportunity for ante post players to get real value. By comparison why would anyone want to back Annie Power when in receipt of 11lb with no Cheltenham target or, dare I say, even a Cheltenham outing in mind?

I’d expect West Wizard to live up to the expectations of his yard. How many Cheltenham winners have a perfect record?

I watched the race using the Racing UK replay facility. Why wouldn’t you when the Racing Post alternative doesn’t include live racing unless you pay a heavy subscription or bet on the race (let alone their current difficulties)? Much more importantly the Racing UK site has recently got its act together by allowing TV subscribers (like me) to have access to live racing not just on TV but also on my iPad and on the Web. It’s just what I’ve been looking for. Most of the best races covered (and Ascot on its way). Being the saddo I am, as well as accessing races whenever I want to during the day I can now catch up on the day’s racing at bed time using the iPad and Apple TV. No comments please about how I might be making better use of bed time!

Racing UK costs £240 a year for what is now pretty full coverage. If, like me, you’re an aficionado of racing rather than having to bet on every race then selective betting more than covers the subscription and gives you a much better chance! I’m frustrated by their lack of HD broadcasting when it was supposed to happen years ago ( but I suppose it will come in time. It’s no doubt a lot to do with their lack of advert breaks which enables much better build up to the races and I wouldn’t sacrifice that.

I tend to watch RUK on the big days and then switch to Channel 4 HD for the main races.


So, there are my Monday night thoughts. I have to sign off with a call and that is for Invictus to defy 651 days off. Before his extended break he had behind him in the Reynoldstown in February 2012 Bobs Worth, Alfie Spinner, Silviniaco Conti and the then very good Baile Anrai. He’s rising 8 and could be the star in waiting. The Hennessy has a tradition for initiating (as well as confirming) stars and I think he might just be a well named star in the making. I’m very pleased to say that I’ll be there to see whether it happens.

apologies and prognostications – TV competitions

Sorry that I didn’t complete last weekend’s preview but it didn’t take serious analysis to work out that Dave Myers’ time had come at the half way stage of Strictly and Abi (who should never have been there in the first place) was going to exit X Factor (no value there). I was distracted by much more fun than writing a blog post, i.e. dancing rather than commenting on dancers! Getting that out of the way first. Fiona Fullerton (against Mark Benton) will be the next exit from Strictly and Sam Callahan (where’s the “g” in Callaghan) although sadly, and totally unjustifiably (the great British public!) it’s a close call with the superb Hannah Barrett (with two “r”s and two “t”s…) from X Factor. Joey Essex will beat Steve Davis (will come across really well) in IACGMOTH so the forecast is interesting.

Right, on to proper betting and therefore NH racing. I’m about to watch today at Cheltenham but I know the results (very pleased to see Uncle Junior second to the nailed on Balthazar King after the latter’s French success).

I’m confining my views to Cheltenham’s superb card.

12.40 Triumph Hurdle Trial 2m 110y

I’m all over Royal Irish Hussar, having watched his mightily impressive win at Wetherby. This one is a live contender for March and therefore the money is to made by backing him now.

1.15 Novices’ Chase 3m 110y

I’ve got a strong view about this. Sam Winner was, in my view, a horse marking time when over hurdles. I think that this one is serious contender for March and will win at 7/1. For those who follow my political shenanigans on Twitter and elsewhere, I have to note that a horse called Bob Ford is running in this one. My at least dual nationality Canadian friend David Percival ( has his own excoriating views about the Toronto man himself. Incidentally I love (and have made long odds money with) White Star Line who commands serious respect (and a little wager at 10/1).

1.50 Handicap Chase (Gr 3) Handicap 3m 110y

This is all over an opportunity to oppose the favourites. I’m surprised that Burton Port is in this and therefore taking the view that he’s here for a day out. I’m with a speculative Tour Des Champs at 7/1 for local man NTD.

2.30 Paddy Power Gold Cup< (Gr 3) Handicap 2m 4f 110y

AP is effectively obliged to ride Tap Night (will not win). Taking that into account my preference is for Nadiya de la Vega at an appealing 13/1. Perfectly capable of winning this and a winner at that price would be typical.

3.00 Handicap Hurdle 3m 110y (Class 1)

Lots of good horses and a complete lottery (a reason not to do the placepot!). I’m going with Araldur for no other reason than that he just might win, but with no conviction.

3.35 Novices’ Hurdle (Gr 2) 2m 5f

The current odds suggest that no-one knows the answer to this one. I’m all over Indevan at a current 7/1. Why would WP spend the money (about £10,000) on bringing him over here unless he thought he could win? The ownership also suggests that this bay gelding is not just here for a day out. A day out in Ireland would cost a fraction of that and there are numerous options.

4.05 Mares’ INH 2m 110y
I’ll leave that one to you!!

things to watch out for this weekend

I’m providing a slight departure from the usual this weekend to highlight only things to watch out for and selections.

Saturday Racing

2.05 Wincanton

A close run thing between Karinga Dancer and Far West at an appealing 4/1.

2.40 Wincanton

Pantxoa appeals at 11/1.

3.15 Wincanton

Third Intention (after his last run) is great value at 3/1.

12.50 Naas

Diakali is ideally placed for this valuable prize.

1.20 Sandown

Possibly the best watch of the day. Grandouet makes his chasing debut and should win. I thought Hinterland was highly tried last season and proved to be a bit dodgy. Turn Over Sivola should not be ignored.

2.30 Sandown

For my good friend and soon to be married Jim Toole, I’m not with Hector’s Choice but I love why you are following this horse! My selection has to be Kapka de Cerisy at an appealing 7/2.

3.05 Sandown

I’m willing to stick with the previously expensive Saphir du Rheu at a workable 4/1.

Sunday Racing

3.15 Limerick

I’m interested in The Paparrazi Kid for Mullins/Walsh. No price yet but 2/1-3/1 would be interesting.

3.45 Limerick

Themoonandsixpence has been entered and withdrawn from several races. If he runs I’ll be interested but not necessarily betting. Pulled up last time but maybe waiting for suitable ground.

Just been interrupted, in the nicest way!

This will be resumed with reality TV selections!!

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