Saturday 25 January 2014


12:25 Doncaster – Sky Bet Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap Hurdle

SOMEMOTHERSDOHAVEM may be able to continue Venetia Williams’ good run of form in the hands of the forever under-rated Liam Treadwell. A 74 rated stayer on the flat the son of Avonbridge turned his hand to jumping last year for flat based trainer, John Ryan.

He did quite well for Ryan running well on numerous occasions and bagging a handicap here on Town Moor, this day showing a strong ability to stay in a race that may have fallen in his lap a touch.

He was considered for the Triumph Hurdle, going off a 66/1 shot and was totally outclassed. He would finish the year strong at Ascot and Sandwon though with a sound second at the former track and a staying on fourth at the latter venue.

His Ascot effort was sound, quite decent in fact with the winner and the second of that race giving the form a solid look. He got two pounds from the race victor, was beaten a head and his defeater is now rated 136. The third horse Somemothersdohavem beat two-and-a-half lengths giving him nine pounds and that horse is now rated 129.

The selection runs from a mark of 123 today in arguably a race less competitive than his last three starts.

He does have to bounce back from a poor effort at Kempton  29 days ago, but that was on very soft terrain on a track that may not have suited. He was also a drifter in the betting and given his price today I’m willing to take a chance.

The step-up in trip should suit, he has course winning experience, represents in form connections and unexposed five-year-olds have a good record in this race.

Centasia will be tough to beat so I’m going to suggest a bet in the market without her.


1pt each-way SOMEMOTHERSDOHAVEM without Centasia @11/1 (Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power)

1.15 Cheltenham – Timeform Novices´ Handicap Chase

There are signs that the Tizzard yard are running into a bit of form and with that in mind OHIO GOLD looks to hold strong claims in this novices’ handicap chase.

Although still a maiden after eight starts over fences he has come up against some real classy types and now back in novice handicap company he may finally be able to break his duck.

Horse to have beaten him last year include Majala (148), Fago (150), Cloudy Too (157) and Rajdhani Express (155). The figures in brackets are their current ratings. Ohio Gold today runs from a mark of 132 and still against novices.

This season has been a bit of a disaster for the section, but his latest strong staying second at Kempton showed signs of a revival. What’s more interesting, however is he returns to a left-handed track for the first time this season having jumped out to his left on all three starts this campaign.

He also returns to a course where he has plenty of experience and has run well before and that is always a positive at Cheltenham.

Given his experience, mark and recent signs of returning to form he looks to hold sound claims on ground that shouldn’t pose too many problems. Being that year or two older than most in this company, on this ground may also prove decisive late on.


2pts each-way OHIO GOLD @13/2 (Stan James), 6/1 (Ladbrokes, Paddy Power)

2.25 Cheltenham – Argento Chase

He’s hardly a solid proposition, but THE GIANT BOLSTER stands out at the prices in what looks a poor Argento Chase. Not one favourite has won this race in the last ten years and I’m very much willing to take on Rocky Creek at the prices.

He is part of an under achieving crop of novice chasers from the last campaign and has no Cheltenham form. Harry Topper (no Cheltenham form either) and Houblon Des Obeaux are another pair from last season’s novices and with all three having to give The Giant Bolster weight they simply can’t be backed at the prices.

Champion Court has stamina doubts over this trip, but looks a sound back to lay in running opportunity and Restless Harry along with Pigeon Island don’t look good enough.

People must remember The Giant Bolster finished fourth and second in the last two Cheltenham Gold Cups and meets nothing of that calibre here.

He’s not a solid bet, but if he clicks he could easily win this and certainly warrants a bet at the prices. The race may well be run to suit with Champion Court in and it may be a case of stamina winning the day late on.

For basically a point shorter in the betting The Giant Bolster can be backed in the ‘faller insurance’ market. He has had problems in the past in this department and should he fall, unseat or be brought down today we will have our stake returned.


1pt win THE GIANT BOLSTER @6/1 faller insurance market (Bet Victor, Paddy Power)

3.15 Doncaster – Sky Bet Chase

MART LANE looks over-priced in the Sky Bet Chase, Doncaster’s big race on the day. Dr Richard Newland has his string in good form and this son of Stowaway raised his game with the reapplication of blinkers last time out.

It wasn’t a great race, but he won it with authority and showed his liking for Doncaster. There doesn’t look to be a whole pile of pace on today so his prominent racing style should be seen to good effect.

Tom O’Brien takes the ride and given he has plenty going for him he looks a big price.


1pt each-way MART LANE @18/1 (bet365, Ladbrokes, Stan James)

Friday 24 January 2014

3.15 Doncaster – Sky Bet Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap Hurdle

With Toronado Bob, Atlantic Roller and Kayersberg all set to run there may be a decent gallop set and so play into the hands of WAKANDA. Sue Smith’s charge put a sound run together last time out, over course and distance, after disappointing in a strong novice event on his penultimate start.

A former Irish runner this five-year-old son of Westerner may now be showing signs of settling in to his new base up north. His latest effort, in a race I think plenty will under-value, was eye-catching for me.

Having been a little weak in the market he was held-up off a steady pace and took a keen hold throughout. Once settled he then looked a little out of position, caught out by the increase in pace. He stuck on well enough and probably did well to finish as close given how keen he was.

He managed to fend off a 134 rated rival, who in truth maybe wasn’t suited by the way the race was run, but he was two lengths clear and also gave him a pound in weight.

Although he was beaten a fair way by the first three they look pretty useful. The second has since given the form a solid look while the winner is interestingly entered in a Grade Two contest this weekend.

This is the selections first try in handicap company in an open looking race. Toronado Bob in now nine and runs for the first time in 188 days. Atlantic Roller is obviously a horse that has experienced problems and although representing top connections is poor value. Kayersberg returns from a break and is a one-paced horse and there to be shot at late.

Bearing in mind Wakanda finished ahead of a 134 rated runner last time he may get in lightly off 119 here in a race that looks set to be run to suit.


2pts win WAKANDA @6/1 (William Hill), 11/2 (general)

Saturday 18 January 2014


If The Skyfarmer handles today’s ground he’ll take plenty of beating, but at the prices IMPERIAL LEADER seems a better bet now he races on proper soft ground again.

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ six-year-old had some smart form last year before his season tailed off at the end. His beating of Ballyalton along with his sound fourth behind Melodic Rendezvous, Royal Boy and Eduard, under a penalty, at Cheltenham suggests 128 is a workable mark.

The fire still seems to be burning at home as he was well backed last time out in a competitive Newbury handicap. He travelled quite nicely and jumped well in the main before race fitness, or possibly a one-paced ability, saw him drop away late.

His second last hurdle blunder didn’t do his cause any good either.

Today’s stiff course and soft ground may show him in a better light.


1pt each-way IMPERIAL LEADER @12/1 (general)


A return to a right-handed track can see GRANDIOSO run a bit better today. He was well backed for the December Gold Cup at Cheltenham last time out , but he failed to fire. He jumped to his right there so a return to running clockwise can help.

Still only seven he hopefully has more to come. His run at Newbury, which was left-handed mind, was a fine effort after a break. That form has been franked and this race doesn’t look as competitive as his last two.

The ground is a little worry, but his Kempton effort seemed to suggest he stays quite well so hopefully he goes through it today.


1pt win GRANDIOSO @6/1 (bet365, Paddy Power)

3.15 Haydock – PETER MARSH CHASE

A competitive Peter Marsh Chase, but I’m hoping CHANCE DU ROY will handle today’s ground and resume his progression after a disappointing year last season.

He’s been rated higher in the past and has been competitive so his mark of 143 may still have some mileage in it. We know he’s in form as his recent Aintree success saw him return with a bang.

He travelled really well this day, a trait you need at Haydock nowadays, and jumped well. If he’s in the same kind of form he can outrun his price.

He has course form and the Hobbs team continue to bang out winners and the excellent Tom O’Brien rides.

The ground is a worry, but I’m willing to chance it at that price.


1pt each-way CHANCE DU ROY @14/1 (bet365), 12/1 (general)

Thursday 16 January 2014

2.50 Wincanton – Higos Insurance Services Langport Handicap

Not for the first time was QUICK DECISSON backed this season when a weary fourth last time out. Philip Hobbs’ six-year-old looked a blatant non-stayer to me after being a touch keen, made far too much use of and on bad ground.

Given his flat sire and speedy distaff side it wasn’t a surprise to see him go from travelling well to the petrol gauge emptying. Back over two miles today he should be much more at home with the excellent Tom O’Brien up.

Heavy ground is not an issue as he’s shown on a number of occasions throughout his career. In fact his two wins have come on ground described as heavy and both have also come here.

In a race that looks like many will struggle on the terrain I’m surprised to see him such a price given he still remains a young horse with potential. Factor in no ground worries, his liking for the course and an in form trainer that does well here he looks to represent value and may go off shorter.

Hopefully his love affair with Wincanton continues tomorrow.


1pt each-way QUICK DECISSON @8/1 (Coral), 7/1 (general)

4.00 Market Rasen – Calverts Carpets And Flooring Conditional Jockeys´ Handicap Hurdle

A mark of 103 may under estimate IN THE GATE here as the son of King’s Theatre steps into handicap company for the first time. His last two runs, in strong enough novice/maiden affairs have been eye-catching and he warrants a bet off this mark.

A former Irish runner he is now in the care of Charlie Longsdon, a trainer that has done well at this track historically (operates at a 27% strike rate here over the last five seasons). Two of his bumper efforts in Ireland came behind smart sorts; Gilt Shadow and Briar Hill and he wasn’t beaten out of sight by either.

If he can translate that ability on top of his eye-catching hurdling runs he should go close to taking a contest of this nature. He has shown he handles soft terrain already and while the track is a little bit of a worry, as he looks to stay quite well, he can at least hit the frame tomorrow for his in form trainer and solid claiming jockey.


1.5pts each-way IN THE GATE @5/1 (Bet Victor, Paddy Power)

Saturday 11 January 2014

1.35 Kempton – Levy Board Tolworth Hurdle Novices´ Hurdle

Willie Mullins must always be respected when travelling his horses to England, but Upazo looks priced up on his trainer’s reputation and must be taken on. The Liquidator looks the one to beat after his latest victory at Cheltenham.

While that win looked sound to the naked eye it must the said the horse he beat in second didn’t handle the track and made more than his fair share of jumping errors. A rating of 150 was kind to the second horse going into the race, given it was really a summer jumps rating he achieved. Therefore, he looked over rated going in in my opinion.

With that in mind and considering The Liquidator also received three pounds from the runner-up I’m willing to take him on today especially as he reverts to a much more speed favouring track. His good Cheltenham Bumper fourth screamed staying power and I’m willing to take a chance he’ll be tapped for toe today.

The two I like are GARDE LA VICTOIRE and JOSSES HILL and I’m going to suggest a reverse forecast bet. The former impressed me when going down to a good horse last time out, showing a decent turn of foot while also jumping nicely. Those two assets can hopefully see him run well here although the ground is a slight worry. Hopefully his class and good attitude can help with this worry.

Josses Hill also impressed me last time out, again showing decent pace and I got the feeling he won a lot more snuggly than it looked. He was well on top close home and while the second suggests it’s hard to weigh up the form the third home is a pretty useful animal.

It’s an open looking race and hopefully this value approach can get the day off to a good start.



Friday 10 January 2014

4.30 Wolverhampton – Compare Bookmakers At Bookmakers.Co.Uk Handicap

I’ve been waiting for MUHDIQ to return to six furlongs for a while now and he does so at Wolverhampton on Friday. He also reappears on an all-weather surface and this, coupled with a return to a more suitable trip can be deemed as two strong positives.

He also may be ahead of his current mark of 80, but up to now hasn’t been able to show so as the son of Hard Spun hasn’t had his ideal conditions. His last four runs have been good efforts all things considered.

At Ascot four starts back he ran well, but was drawn on the wrong side of the track to get competitive. At Sandown he had a horrific draw while runs over five at Epsom and Nottingham were again sound efforts over trips too sharp. The six furlongs tomorrow will be more suitable.

He also returns from a 100 day break, but has shown on more than one occasion he goes well fresh. His trainer Mike Murphy’s form is a little hard to weigh up at the moment, but he’s a trainer to note at all the all-weather tracks, Southwell maybe an exception.

This will be the sixth running of this race and three of the last five have gone to five-year-olds, which Muhdiq is. Shane Kelly takes the ride and he does well with Murphy and is a jockey who can settle horses nicely. Hopefully he doesn’t allow the selection to get too far out of his ground.

Eight horses have been declared so let’s hope they all run for each-way purposes.


2pts each-way MUHDIQ @5/1 (bet365, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power)

Thursday 9 January 2014

1.05 Catterick – Go Racing At Wetherby This Saturday Novices´

GOLD SHOW can hopefully make use of her mare’s allowance and Tony Kelly’s three pounds claim to run well here. Once rated 86 on the flat she looked to lose her way in that sphere, but a switch to jumping has seen her show some enthusiasm.

She started her hurdling career at Newcastle where her effort was littered with mistakes in the rear. That said she ran on well from the rear to finish an encouraging seventh in a race not run to suit. She still managed to finish half a length in front of today’s rival, Getabuzz, and the pair take each other on again on identical terms.

From here she showed nice improvement, especially in her jumping to finish a sound and staying on third in a mare’s race over course and distance. Having been keen and held-up she ran on nicely at the end suggesting she was very much in form.

Her next outing saw her brought down and while this is a worry she did get up quickly and gallop away.

Gold Show’s second effort saw a much improved effort and with that in mind it’s hard to fathom that she is around four times the price of current joint-favourite, Getabuzz, a horse she beat three runs back.

She had plenty of form in soft on the flat and given how well she was staying on here two runs back today’s ground may aid her cause. The course also looks like it will suit her best too.

The one to beat is Sealous Scout, on form, but he was off the bridle a long way from home at Carlisle’s stiff track on his last start and this speedier outline may not be ideal. That said, the ground can help his cause and he’s got the best form in the book.

Johnny  Og’s form is not exactly standout for the grade and he must bounce back from a disappointing effort last time out. Getabuzz is there to be shot at it too and represents no value where the selection is concerned.

There should be a bit of pace on here and it will suit Gold Show and also bring Sealous Scott’s stamina into play.


2pts win GOLD SHOW @17/2 (Bet Victor), @8/1 (bet365, Ladbrokes)

1pt reverse-forecast Sealous Scout & Gold Show

Tuesday 7 Janaury 2014

2.55 Leicester – Groby Novices´ Handicap Chase

While Massena will prove tough to beat today his price suggests so and he must run within a week of his last effort. This may be enough to suggest he is worth taking on at a now best price of 6/5.

The one I’m going to suggest a bet on is ISLANDMAGEE who went into my notebook after his latest effort at Chepstow. Having made the early running he looked to be going a stride too quick and this coupled with some slow jumps (jumping may have suggested he was schooled over fences) meant he was a sitting duck late on.

He now switches to fences for the first time on a mark of 105. Given he’s only seven-years-old this may be a touch lenient given he has won off 106 over hurdles. Should he improve for jumping these larger obstacles he may hold every chance of going close in today’s race.

It looks a winnable one, too with the favourite having a couple of small questions to answer. Un Anjou may be out stayed on this ground, Moorlands Jack often doesn’t find as much as anticipated, Egypt Mill Spirit runs off a 666 absence and the rest have various questions to answer regards form, ability and the ground.

The ground is also a concern for the selection, but he ran well last time out on heavy and is one that won’t falter in the stamina department. There may be a chance he gets an uncontested lead today too, depending on tactics.

Hopefully eight remain in for each-way purposes.


1pt each-way ISLANDMAGEE @10/1 (Stan James), 9/1 (Paddy Power)

Thursday 26 December 2013

1.20 Towcester – totepool  “National Hunt” Novices´ Hurdle

While My Wigwam Or Yours will be tough to beat it may be worth siding with COME ON LAURIE at four times the price. The Nicky Henderson hotpot favourite is a deserved one, but the fact remains he is winless and has been beaten three times at odds-on. Furthermore, he took a crashing fall last time out and we just don’t know how he’ll react to jumping again.

He’s not a solid bet so the selection can hopefully capitalise on any mistakes. The return to soft ground and running at a testing track may see him get on top late on. He was a sound second to a potentially useful rival last time out, pulling 11 lengths clear of a 115 rated rival.

Lawney Hill trains and the excellent Liam Treadwell rides.


1pt each-way COME ON LAURIE @4/1 (Ladbroke, Paddy Power)

1.45 Wetherby – William Hill Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase

Cloudy Too and Sydney Paget are two of your market leaders here and I’m hoping they take each other on to set this up for NUTS AND BOLTS. The selection won’t have any stamina issues late on and it may be needed if they go quick here.

He won well last time out at Haydock having been held-up. Haydock is not the easiest track to win at coming from off the pace so his performance may be marked up. He’s a young, progressive chaser and despite a couple of mistakes last time out I have few worries about his jumping.

Lucinda Russell has fine record with chasers and has her string in great form so everything points to a big run.


1pt each-way NUTS AND BOLTS @9/2 (general)

2.15 Wincanton – Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle

With Champagne West showing signs he’s better going left-handed and Southfield Theatre not exactly looking well-handicapped, along with a couple of other runners, it may leave the door open for UPSWING to score.

He won with plenty in hand at Carlisle three starts back, but since pitched into better company hasn’t been able to go on. To be fair circumstances haven’t gone his way in the last two runs.  At Cheltenham two runs back he was too far back to get competitive.

At Sandown last time out he was he was wider than ideal, trapped out wide and was one of the main victims of a sudden injection of pace. I thought he did well to get involved in the end and this softer ground can help him.

He did hang late on at Sandown, but I’m hoping it was just a once off.


1pt each-way UPSWING @5/1 (general)

2.45 Fontwell – 32Red Handicap Hurdle

A step up in trip, a return to soft ground and a falling mark can hopefully see EXPANDING UNIVERSE go close here. This son of Galileo has some sound form in the book on ground with plenty of cut in it so today’s heavy ground can help him.

His style of racing should be suited to this track and I’m hoping he’ll outstay his rivals late on.


1pt each-way EXPANDING UNIVERSE @7/1 (Bet Fred, Stan James)

Saturday 21 December 2013

2.05 Haydock – One Stop Energy Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase

While I couldn’t say that SAFRAN DE COTTE is well handicapped to win this he does have plenty in his favour today. The recent rain around Haydock is sure to suit this mud loving son of Dom Alco. He’s a horse that is best with dig in the ground so the more rain the better.

Another positive is his front-running style. Haydock is a track that really suits those that race up with the pace and if young Jake Greenhall can bounce him out nice and positive I think it will increase his chances of running well.

He’s a horse that jumps well in the main and if you can add that to your arsenal around a track like this, while front-running it’s a huge, huge positive. Another positive to take, while not as great as some of the above is the record of seven and eight year olds in this race.

Safran De Cotte is seven, while only one eight year runs, but he’s the only one of his age that likes to race positively while also enjoying soft ground.

Hopefully connections make a bit of use of him today as there are quite a number of hold-up types running.


1pt each-way SAFRAN DE COTTE @7/1 (general)

3.35 Ascot – The Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle

There must be a fair chance of CHATTERBOX taking a huge step forward from his seasonal debut. There are a number of reasons for this. One, Nicky Henderson’s runners have really struggled to score first time out this season, but have subsequently been taking big steps forwards next time out. Two, Chatterbox was said to be held-up in training with a small set-back pre-Newbury and three, he’s a lazy work horse at home.

Given the above three factors I’m hoping he’ll take a significant step forward.  If he can, on what he has shown last season, he may prove to be well-handicapped. He only had three starts last campaign, but he managed to score in two of those and finished his season with a highly creditable fourth in a decent looking Neptune Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

He was 13 lengths behind The New One in said race and given he now returns to handicap company that looks a fair effort. He also beat his stablemate and Betfair Hurdle winner and subsequent Supreme Novices’ Hurdle runner-up, My Tent Or Yours at Newbury.

While that victory probably flatters him it does show him to be a useful horse and it also proved his ability to handle testing ground conditions which he’ll face today. I was disappointed Barry Geraghty didn’t side with him, but there is every chance he may have got it wrong.

Here’s hoping!


1pt each-way CHATTERBOX @9/1 (general)