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Friday’s racing

I have a rare Friday off and I’m looking forward to some really good jumps racing.

No time for a detailed analysis so here are my selections.

Down Royal

1.05 2m 6f Maiden Hurdle

This should be between horses with familiar variations on names. Express du Berlais was an easy Points winner and Sizing Coal was another Point winner, bought as a 3-y-o for €340,000. I’ll hope that the money was well spent.

1.35 2m 6f Handicap Hurdle

A hard race so I will focus on the top of the handicap. I find it hard to believe that I’m going for a Wolverhampton run but I’m with Street Runner, perhaps more significantly a prior Downpatrick winner, so proven on an undulating and weird course!

2.05 2m Grade 3 Hurdle

This is my first confident choice. Que Pasa has form at this level and should be an easy winner against her own sex.

2.35 2m Grade 2 Hurdle

I was a fan of Jezki all last season and there is no reason why he will not win this. Caid du Berlais will come second. A confident Exacta/forecast.

3.10 2m 4f Beginners’ Chase

Gold Bullet will win this at what I hope is a good price. I haven’t checked the prices in this forecast to keep it real! Ruby Walsh on board is significant.

3.45 Handicap Chase

Good luck! Follow the market!

Uttoxeter (selected)

12.50 2m 4f Hurdle

I’ll just watch this one! Loads of reasons not to like all the main players!

1.20 2m Maiden Hurdle

I’d love the delightfully named “Buxom” (33/1 – about my chances) to win but I’m very interested in David Pipe’s Centasia (another one the owners will be pissed off with if he doesn’t win given what he cost).

1.50 2m Handicap Hurdle

I agree with Timeform: Wintered Well

2.20 2m Beginners’ Chase

This is one of my highlights of the day. I’m taking the view that Raya Star will be the best chaser but who knows?

2.55 3m Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

Vinnieslittle Lamb Terrible name. Nothing more to say.

3.30 2m 4f Handicap Chase

Marie des Anges will win.


The card is excellent and I could have gone into depth for the runners but I’m just going to choose some winners (that’s the prerogative of someone who doesn’t get paid for their views!). They are no less lacking in conviction!

12.40 2m 4f Novices’ Hurdle

If Oscar Rock doesn’t win this then, at 12.45, this will be a bad day!

1.10 2m 4f Novices’ Hurdle

I’m going to be bold and select Vivaldi Collonges, anther with an associative name but not in Nicholls’ yard to make up the numbers.I’m going to have a bit of a go on this one. If it doesn’t work, don’t blame me!!

1.40 2m Handicap Hurdle

If you have to go with Tidal Way but I’d swerve this one.

2.10 2m 4f Handicap Chase

Mon Parrain on the basis that he’s a very good horse and had a bit of a tough run last year.

2.45 Listed 2m 110 y Hurdle

Getting bored now if I tell the truth but it’s a great race. I think that now is the day to lump on Royal Irish Hussar .

3.20 3m 1f Handicap Chase

No view but if you have to choose one then it should be Palos Conti.

Great National Hunt racing day tomorrow (Saturday 19 November)

The National Hunt season takes a while to get going with decent races at Chepstow, Wetherby, Huntingdon, Cheltenham and then, all of a sudden, it’s a feast of racing with lots of clues for championship races and tomorrow is that day with excellent cards at Ascot and Haydock. The dynamic has changed with the introduction of the Betfair Chase (formerly the Lancashire Chase) which now has much more significance with the excellent prize money on offer. Many people knock Betfair in terms of their investment in racing but this feature race is one of many examples of their support for this most wonderful sport.

Just decisions tonight because there will be little time available to cogitate between the races. I’ve missed out the races about which I don’t have a strong view.

12.25 Confident selection is Mush Mir, ahead of Daeireadh De (will be better later) and Bowntobebad, a chaser in the making.

2.10 Master Minded will probably win this if over his modest return at Aintree. Should be much better than the rest. The only challenge is from Medermit and if Master Minded is on form he’s in a different league.

2.45 Oscar Whisky is a confident choice and good value, even if Overturn turns in his best. Although the form is inconclusive I have in my mind that Overturn is a spring horse.

3.20 I like Takeroc, particularly with Harry Derham taking off 7lbs.


12.15 Grandouet is a confident selection to return to winning ways. First Fandango is interesting at a good price.

12.50 Wyse Hill Teabags is a tentative selection in this one.

1.20 Strange to see a bumper at this point in the card (presumably because of TV and early dusk). Anyway, Balinroab is the selection for no other reasons than the connections, breeding and prior P2P form.

2.30 This is a properly challenging handicap hurdle so it’s time for a reverse exacta! Robinson Collonges and Sa Suffit in either order. If that works I’ll have had a good day!

3.05 Race of the day and therefore deserving of a little more analysis. My followers know that I’m not a fan of Diamond Harry and Time for Rupert so we’ll get them out of the way to start off with. That takes it down to Kauto Star, Long Run and Weird Al. No-one can seriously go with Kauto Star after a fading last season and substandard Gold Cup and Long Run is generally not good on his first outing. Weird Al is the form horse but I attach a lot of importance to the change of yard for Long Run. I think that he will go through the season unbeaten and I’ll be having a win bet plus an exacta with him and Weird Al.

3.40 Back to regular racing and I’ve been a follower and supporter of Cappa Bleu. However, this is a long break and another with almost as long a break, Tamarinbleu makes more appeal. Can’t ignore Chief Dan George but he had his moment and best days are behind.


12.05 Can’t necessarily explain why but I can’t ignore Louxor de Mottes in an easy race. I suppose it’s because he’s the type of horse I’d have liked to have an interest in!

12.40 I’m not normally one for laying but I can’t have Kauto the Roc. Just to confirm, that’s not one to go with.


12.35 There’s no reason why Scotsirish shouldn’t win this but, for goodness sake, don’t go shorter than evens and be guided by the market at this time of the season.

1.05 I can’t be done for favouring WP Mullins (which I normally do) in this one because I prefer his chasing debutant Skorcher (a chasing type) over Raptor, even though the stable jockey favours the latter.

2.05 I like the highly regarded (before his break) Aranleigh (A Mullins / JP / D Casey) to make a winning return after nearly two years but I’ll be hoping for some paddock views from ATR in the midst of all else that is going on.

So there we have it. An excellent day of racing which, win or lose, I’m going to thoroughly enjoy.

Good luck everyone!

National Hunt racing is back!

Well, here I am, back at my my much neglected website and what’s brought me back? Two decent prizes at Market Razen tomorrow for a hurdle and a chase. It’s a frustrating time of year because the advent of autumn makes me yearn for decent jumps racing and we have all those end of the season flat races to put up with. I’m really looking forward to this season, not just to see some of last season’s hurdling stars go jumping, but because my horse is about to start a new campaign in France, but more of that later.

Our first port of call is the Prelude Hurdle at 2.20. Viva Colonia is all the rage but my preference is for King In Waiting (currently 8.2/1 on Betfair). This is a late summer race (as demonstrated by the days since last raced) and this one has had a decent break since a win on the same course in late July. With a record of 5 from 48 and career winnings of nearly £43K this would be his biggest single win by some margin but this is a very winnable race and he’s a confident selection.

Next is the 2.50 £50K chase. We’re on good, good to firm ground, so summer runners have to be respected. Ostland is a decent horse and Neptune Equester is a popular selection but I’m with Tim Vaughan’s My Moment at an attractive 15/1. The horse is fit, as shown by his Stratford outing 20 days ago, and the current Betfair price is very appealing by comparison with the overnight betting forecasts.

Both races are on Channel 4.

In the 5.10 bumper there is no point in looking beyond odds-on Magnifique Etoile by Kayf Tara out of Star Diva. This is clearly an outing he is expected to collect on the way to much more challenging races. One of those early season bankers.

I’ll let you know what a treble would earn you when I get the prices tomorrow (no price yet for the bumper).

Quatre Heures has not been out since February 2008 and is now back in his national home with Francois Cottin in France. He’s fit and ready to run. We’re eyeing a claiming hurdle race at Auteuil in France in a couple of weeks’ time and then, if all goes well, a decent race again at Auteuil in late October. His previous visits to Auteuil were disappointing but he hit the practice fence on the first try and was unsettled by false ground on the second. We’re optimistic about his renaissaince and I’ll add posts here to let you know how he gets on.

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