Saturday, 27 December 2008

3 pts win THYNE AGAIN 4/1 (Generally available) Paddy Power Dial A Bet Chase

This likeable gelding was foot perfect on his comeback run and with conditions ideal today, he can turnaround the Punchestown form with Big Zeb and looks sure to run very close here. For those of us who included him in our bets for the Cheltenham Arkle, one of the lasting memories of that race was how well he was travelling coming down the hill and how sure he looked to be involved in the finish. He'll probably never be a Cheltenham horse due to the ground but during mid-winter he''s going to be very hard to beat in these sort of races over the next couple of years and must be supported today.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win MON MOME 6/1(Generally available) Coral Welsh National
1 pt win HIGH CHIMES 12.5/1(Betfair) Coral Welsh National

Mon Mome has too much going for him to ignore. Firstly, he proved the combination of track,ground and distance are ideal when he was runner up in this event two years ago and off only a 4lb higher mark in the ratings he is fairly in considering that he arrives here in the form of his life. At Haydock two outings ago he travelled eyecatchingly well for most of the race but was momentarily caught for toe when the winner made his move. He gained compensation and reversed the form with the animal that beat him at Haydock when taking a valuable event at Cheltenham last time. There is no strong reason why he will not figure here in a big way and is priced about right considering that there are no real negatives surrounding him.

You often get a group of about half a dozen breaking away from the rest of the field rounding the final bend here and the main worry about High Chimes is that he might just find himself outpaced at a crucial stage as those that win this tend to travel well all the way. However, he hasen't many miles on the clock for a nine year old and is open to further improvement ,will find conditions ideal,and has of course been laid out for this by his local yard. certainly worth a point.

Lost - 3 pts

Friday, 26 December 2008

2 pts win PIERROT LUNAIRE 5.6/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) Stan James Christmas Hurdle
1 pt win BLUE BAJAN 9/1 (Betfair)Stan James Christmas Hurdle

With at least four live dangers facing him Punjabi must be taken on at his restricted odds. Pierrot Lunaire was a revelation when winning at Aintree in the spring and even if a couple ran a few pound off their best the form is still absolutely stonewall solid. He's had time to get over his mishap at the same venue on his comeback run and lines up here on an ideal course, and with underfoot conditions to suit. Will surely put in a bold showing here.

Blue Bajan needs decent ground to produce his optimum and has live prospects of reversing recent form with Punjabi - certainly the gap between the two in the betting is far too big. He gives the impression that given the right scenario he is capable of running to a higher level than he's done so far and surely cannot be so far behind Pierrot Lunaire as the bare form of the Aintree race suggests.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win VOY POR USTEDES 4.4/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) Stan James King George Chase
1 pt win TAMARINBLEU 27/1 (Betfair) Stan James King George Chase

While accepting that Kauto Star at his very best would not be beaten, the truth is that he has been off his very best in three of his five races since winning this last year - with the visual impression in his case being more reliable than the ratings he's been returning. He is worth taking on and the obvious danger, Voy Por Ustedes, is impossible to pass over. A truly likeable sort, he has every chance of getting this trip around here on this ground and the genuine pace on here will help his jumping - in fact there have been horses in the past who have got the trip around here who lined up with bigger doubts on the stamina score than him. With bigger question marks over the rest of the field, his price is fair enough.

Of the remainder Air Force One and Imperial Commander do not look good enough, while Our Vic, though in the form of his life in the spring will surely find one or two too good; the hitherto reliable Alberta's Run has run two stinkers this season and the comments on the back of his last run about where he needs to be placed in a race indicate that he has developed quirks. However, Tamarinbleu, who seems to have been around forever has less negatives than many others and is worth a point at his odds. He was below par at the festivals in the spring thus his run behind Voy Por Ustedes at Aintree can be forgotten. He returned to his best last time when just touched off after doing all of the hard work. The combination of this course and distance should be ideal for him and he'll not be as easy to peg back today and is very likely to give his backers a run for their money.

Lost - 3 pts

Saturday, 20 December 2008

2 pts win FAASEL 17.5/1 ( Betfair and Betdaq)BGC Silver Cup H'cap Chase
1 pt win PIRAYA 20/1( Generally available) BGC Silver Cup H'cap

You'd never have thought that you'd be looking at a good quality 3 mile chase and seriously considering the chances of Faasel but perspectives change and he appeared to show some grit when winning at Carlisle last time when partnered by Condon for the first time. Admittedly, it was a few steps below this race but Faasel is a proven quality performer, stayed this trip over hurdles, and in a race where there are all sorts of doubts over many of the runners, he appeals as the value call and should go really well.

Connections of Piraya were talking up his chances going into the Paddy Power. OK he ran no sort of race at all but with the yard in slightly better form now he is at least worth a point on his second run in this country as he will surely prove himself at least half useful some time during the season.

Lost - 3 pts

3pts win DUC DE REGNIERE 4.3/1 (Betfair) Long Walk Hurdle

Apart from his unexposed stable companion, Duc De Regniere has most of these covered and the negatives put on his last run on account that the race could have been more truly run ignore the fact that he won convincingly, could have more to come, and looked a serious player for all these sort of races including the World Hurdle. Taking all into consideration, he is fairly priced and is sure to go very close.

Lost - 3 pts

3 pts win SENTRY DUTY 13/1 (Betfair) Ladbroke Hdle

Belcantista is the could be anything one here but at bigger odds there are enough reasons to warrant getting stuck into Sentry Duty again. Firstly, there has been sufficient time to freshen him up from his last race that he won with some authority and and two that followed him home ran decent races on their following runs. The 10lb rise is fair and without trying to unduly complicate matters with weights and measures Sentry Duty and Numide have similar chances using Kings Revenge as a marker - however, Numide's best hurdle form has been on softer ground while Sentry Duty is fully proven over this C&D and the ground should be fine for him. All in all a 10lb rise is not over harsh and with his stable flying, and the likelihood that he's not reached his ceiling, he is irresistible at his current odds.

Won + 37 pts

Saturday, 6 December 2008

2pts win SUNNYHILLBOY 7.2/1 ( Betfair and Betdaq) H'cap Hdle
1pt win FIVE DREAM 23/1 (Betfair) H'cap Hdle

Sunnyhillboy has been progressing at a rate of knots and could clearly still be ahead of the handicapper.With todays ground being ideal, and the race likely to be run to suit, the 10lb rise may not be enough to stop him and he must be supported - irrespective of the fact that you'd ideally like the yard to have been having more success than they have done.

Five Dream won a similar race here last winter and he too will not mind the ground. He shaped extremely well on his comeback outing, and though the handicapper may have him he is far too big to ignore as it only takes a couple of better handicapped sorts to run below form to put him in with live chance.

Sunnyhillboy won + 13pts

3pts win SPORTING IDOL 10.5/1 (Betfair) Betinternet London National Chase

An interesting event containing more reliable sorts than is usually the case in this sort of race. The Dartnall yard have produced a few exciting bumpers horses down the years that have not gone on and is not everyone's favourite stable - however, the horses are running well at the moment and this ex point to pointer is likely to be fully tuned up on his seasonal debut and is the most interesting runner in this field. He put in an improved round of jumping in testing ground when last seen on a racecourse, and though further improvement will be necessary to win off his revised mark, he is still very lightly raced over fences and he should still be some way off reaching his ceiling. Worth getting stuck into at his price.

Lost - 3 pts