Saturday, 14 March 2009

1.5 pts win COMPANERO 15.5/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) John Smith's Midlands Grand National
1.5pts win SEA DIVA 20/1(Generally available) John Smith's Midlands Grand National

It's certainly tempting to leave this alone but as everyone's being tackling impossible looking puzzles head on all week and will be doing so again at Aintree in a couple of weeks this one might as well be included. Companero has a pedigree that gives encouragement that he'll get this trip, he's one of only a couple here who has not reached the ceiling of his ability, has a rider who inspires confidence in this sort of event,and is fairly priced. Sea Diva is held by Operation Houdini on Cork November form but arrives here fresher, stays these Marathon trips, and while even by the standards of this field is not the paciest individual around, will be staying on at the finish and should not be far away.

Companero NR, Sea Diva lost - 1.5pts

Thursday, 12 March 2009

3 pts win MASTER OF ARTS 6.2/1(Betfair and Betdaq) JCB Triumph Hurdle

Master of Art's Doncaster success received a massive boost by the run of Copper Bleu on Tuesday, and provided a little ease remains he is going to take the world of beating here. Of his opponents Starluck is the hardest to assess - his form at least now looks a step higher after the Fred Winter; a race which did not do a lot to advertise the quality of the Irish juveniles. Zaynar did not look totally straightforward at Ascot and is now longer than he was after his Newbury victory.

Lost - 3 pts


3 pts win DAVES DREAM 4.7/1(Betfair and Betdaq) Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle

Plenty of penalty carriers who on the book line up with a clear advantage start at prohibitive odds and if this is about Daves Dream winning if reproducing his Sandown form; then a strong argument can be made that he's fairly priced at around the 9/2 mark, and this is one of those situations were piling into him is the prefered option mover taking a few longer priced animals aboard.

Lost - 3 pts


3 pts win PRIDE OF DULCOTE 7/2 ( 2 firms) Albert Barlett Novices Hdle

This guy did not originally look as though he'd be a player in this sort of company but has progressed through the ranks and lines up with plenty of experience under his belt. He's less ground dependent than Cape Tribulation, and the fact that he could well have beat the World Hurdle third in receipt of only 2lb if he'd stood up here in November really does highlight his chance.

Lost - 3 pts


1.5pts win BARBERS SHOP 11/1 ( 2 firms) Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup
1.5pts place only ALBERTAS RUN 4.3/1(Betfair) Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup

Never in a million years would you have thought that you'd be fancying Barbers Shop for the Gold Cup, or a few years ago have considered that a horse in these colours would be lining up in this race with a serious chance. However, as well as being able to pick holes in those ahead of him in the market who could possibly all not run to their optimum, here we have a highly progressive animal who's just sort of arrived on the scene and has every chance of finding the improvement required to win this. I'm already on Alberta's Run Ante-Post and the he's worth supporting again place only with the ground drying - though it's futile pretending that it's not a worry that McCoy has chosen Exotic Dancer.

Lost - 3 pts


3 pts win JUVEIGNEUR 5/1 ( 3 firms and exchanges) Christies Foxhunter Chase

Perhaps the best percentage call would have been to leave this race alone but in what appears to be an ordinary renewal, Juveigneur, who has run consistently well here down the years, appears to have retained plenty of his ability, and with the bonus of having a competent rider aboard he's likely to go very close.

Lost - 3 pts



1.5pt win 64/1 (Betfair) 1.5pt place 9/1 (Betfair) KHACHATURIAN Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys H'cap Hdle

This one ran an absolute cracker at Sandown two outings ago on ground that was perhaps unsuitably soft. At one stage he looked as though he could cause an upset and after a poor run, again on unsuitable ground, last time he has prospects here on the drying ground, and off only a 3lb higher mark than when runner up in a competitive Aintree handicap hurdle last spring.

Lost - 3 pts

1.5pts win FRENCH OPERA 13.5/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase
1.5pts win I'M SO LUCKY 39/1 (Betfair) Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase

Open to plenty more improvement, French Opera has come up against some useful novices ans acquitted himself really well. Not sure who's chosen what and whether Geraghty was given a free choice but My Petra, despite showing improved form this year is 16lb higher than when runner up in this last year, and you also feel that this is perhaps not really her course. I'm So Lucky is a safe conveyance for one so inexperienced for a novice. He's appealed all season as one for the festival handicaps and with the drying ground in his favour should run really well, and certainly outrun his current exchange price which Star of Angels did in the same colours the other day.

Lost - 3 pts

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

2 pts win NAIAD DU MISSELOT 9.5/1(Betfair and Betdaq) Jewson Novices H’cap Chase
1 pt win RING THE BOSS 25/1 (Betfair) Jewson Novices H’cap

An absolute horror to try and sort out. We can rest assured that Naiad Du Misselot , from a good target yard, will line up here in the best shape he’s been in all season in an attempt to follow up his victory here last season. He shaped well in a hot little race at Haydock last time and the blinkers are applied for the first time. When Ring The Boss began his chasing career he looked sure to develop into a force in the valuable events but he’s been a little disappointing and his jumping has been far from perfect. However, there is still time to get his career back on track and he won well last time and is worth a point at the odds available.

Lost - 3 pts

2pts win P’TIT FUTE 12.5/1 (Betfair) Pertemps Final
1pt win KAYF ARAMIS 35/1 (Betfair) Pertemps Final

Listed class on the flat, P’tit Fute has really come to himself over hurdles and put up a lifetime best when beating a large field on the bridle at Leopardstown in January. Already a three time winner at the Galway festival, he has serious prospects of defying top weight and is preferred over the others at the front end of the market . Kayf Aramis, best known for being a standing dish in those staying races at York, has turned into a useful performer and has been visually impressive on his recent two starts. Admittedly, there is a worry about the ground drying too much but at his present odds there has to be some doubts.

Kayf Aramis won + 31.5pts

3 pts place only GWANAKO 2.65/1 (Betfair) Ryanair Chase

With question marks hanging over Our Vic, Tidal Bay, and Imperial Commander, backing Gwanako place only is the preferred option here. He’ll not beat an in form Voy Por Ustedes but scores high on reliability and will be very, very hard to knock out the frame.

Lost - 3 pts

3 pts win PUNCHESTOWNS 3.8/1 (Betdaq) Ladbroke World Hdle

Kasbah Bliss has yet to win here in four attempts and those visually ultra impressive performances are rarely as good as they look. Punchestowns left a might impression himself when winning at Ascot in December and encouragement can be gained by his trainer stating that he wasen’t spot on when failing to give 8lb to Big Bucks last time. He’ll take the world of beating here and is worth getting stuck into.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win THREE MIRRORS 9/1 (Generally available) Freddie Williams Festival Plate
1 pt win SILVERBURN 40/1 ( 3 firms) Freddie Williams Festival Plate

As with his runner in the Jewson, Ferdie Murphy is sure to have Three Mirrors in the best condition he’s been in all season when he lines up here. He’s only 4lb higher than his last winning mark and has given enough encouragement here in the past that he’ll be capable of producing his optimum around here and we can expect a big run from him here. Paul Nichols managed to get New Little Bric back to his best the other week and faces a similar challenge with Silverburn who would undoubtedly have a serious chance if the first time blinds do the trick.


Lost - 3 pts


2pts win AGGIES LAD 10/1 (Generally available) Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase
1 pt win ICE TEA 69/1 (Betfair) Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase

Aggies Lad may well have won here back in December if he’d stayed on his feet. He’ll be spot on after his run at Fairyhouse last month, has one of the better amateurs in the plate, appears more fancied than his stable companion and has all the hallmarks of a Martin plot horse – but available at a half decent price. Ice Tea is irresistible at the exchange odds presently available – though it would be worrying if he never shortened. He has a very realistic chance on his best form and will very likely line up here in fine shape.

Lost - 3 pts
2 pts win CAN'T BUY TIME 9/2 (Betfair and Betdaq) National Hunt Chase
1pt win COE 9/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) National Hunt Chase

It's hard to justify going outside the first half dozen in the betting here and the market leader has very,very strong claims.He's been progressing nicely through the handicapping ranks and looks the type who'll get these marathon trips. The yard is in the best form it's been in for ages and this guy must surely figure in a big way here. Coe is typically likeable proper chasing type that his owner demands. His chasing career appears to be going to plan and he'll have no difficulty staying this trip and given some improvement in the jumping department is a likely Grand National prospect for next season.

Lost - 3 pts


3 pts win KARABAK 3.7/1 (Betfair and Betdaq)Ballymore Novices Hdle

There'll not be a better novice hurdle run anywhere this season. This is an absolute cracker with all of the front four in the forecast worthy of heading the market in a normal running. The drying ground is a slight concern for the Mullins horse while Diamond Harry looked in serious trouble at one stage in his last race. On the other hand, Karabak's progression has been mighty impressive and he's a different horse now than when going down narrowly to Mad Max back in November. He'll take all the beating is worth getting stuck into.

Lost - 3pts


1.5pts win WHAT A FRIEND 6/1 (Generally available) RSA Chase
1.5pts win CARRUTHERS 7.2/1(Betfair) RSA Chase

On the face of it Cooldine has an outstanding chance, his recent form given a mighty boost by Forpaddytheplasterer yesterday.However, he'll need to jump better here to win this and though he ran well a this trip in the World Hurdle he may just be ideally suited by a shorter trip. Carruthers and What a Friend are preferred. The former has developed into an exciting prospect and even if he isn't going to be given a soft time time infront with Ballyfitz and Gone to Lunch in the line up, he'll have most of this field in trouble coming down the hill for the final time. He was beaten by What A Friend earlier in the season when possibly needing the race more and the pair are hard to split again; the Nichols horse being put away after December with this race in mind and it's hard to back one without including the other.

Lost - 3 pts


3pts place only BIG ZEB 1.82/1(Betfair) Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase

It was tempting to just lay off this race but then again, 7/4 about this gelding jumping around appeals, because if he does it will be shocking if he dosen't make the frame. He is a high class individual in his own right and though he's hit the deck three times in his eight races over fences he is normally a safe jumper.

Lost - 3 pts


1pt win PAUSE AND CLAUSE 11/1( 3 firms and exchanges) Coral Cup
1pt win GREAT ENDEAVOUR 13.5/1(Betfair) Coral Cup
1pt win STAR OF ANGELS 69/1(Betfair) Coral Cup

Psycho has been very costly to follow in the last year and though it may not be very logical you just sort of know something is going to happen and he's going to get beat and perhaps appear unlucky. The lightly raced Pause And Clause has no handicapping experience but chased home Mad Max at Newbury in January before comfortably winning a similar race at Kempton last time. He's just the type that the handicapper can't safely assess and is worth support. Great Endeavour and Star Of Angels both have their chances compromised by their stable companion keeping the weights down and putting them out the handicap.Like Pause and Clause,has no handicapping experience but is a promising individual who is probably a good few lengths better than what he's shown and appears to have been up away and specifically trained for this. Star Of angels is worth a point a big odds. He was highly tried here and at Aintree last year without disgracing himself and if there is going to be a shock he's one of the likely one's to cause it.

Lost - 3pts


2pts win MISS SARENE 8/1 ( 2 firms)Fred Winter Novices H'cap
1 pt win AMORE MIO 12/1(Generally available) Fred Winter Novices H'cap

There is no knowing what level of form Miss Sarene will be capable of reaching. She is at least very useful, could be a bit better than her 131 mark, and despite a slight concern that she may be best suited by testing going, she is the most interesting runner in this field and is worth support. Amore Mio came up against Zaynar before beating a useful sort last time. He's from the yard that had the winner if this last year and this target will have been carefully chosen.

Lost - 3 pts

1pt win 14/1(Betfair) 2pts place 3.6/1 (Betfair) SHINROCK PADDY Weatherby's Champion Bumper

Shinrock Paddy won the bumper here that has produced winners of this race in the past. He was then put away with this in mind. His trainer had the winner of the Bumper at Sandown at the weekend and appeared optimistic about the chances of this one. In a 'mare of a race, backing this one win and place appears the most attractive option.

Lost - 3 pts

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

1 pt win MICHAEL FLIPS 14.5/1 ( Betfair) William Hill Supreme Novices Hdle
1pt win AACHEN 17.5/1 (Betfair)William Hill Supreme Novices Hdle
1pt win MEDERMIT 14/1 (Generally available) William Hill Supreme Novices Hdle

This is one of the most open renewals of this event in recent years and with 10 worth serious consideration the front two in the market are now too short to take aboard and in view of the prices available of those outside the front two it ain’t necessarily copping out by splitting stakes on 3 contenders. Michael Flips looked a class act when winning at Kempton on Boxing Day in a race where the form looks reasonably solid. As his future lies over longer distances the nature of this event should be ideal. The form of Aachen’s victories has been boosted recently and although this is going to be different then the plodding steadily run races in the mud that he’s encountered, the forecasted rain will help. He’s very hard to assess and could be anything. Medermit looked a real hardy character when winning at Ascot in an event where there does not appear to contain something that's head and shoulders above it’s contemporaries, he has a serious chance.

Aachen NR, other two lost - 2 pts



1.5pts win FORPADDYTHEPLASTERER 9.5/1 ( Betfair and Betdaq) Irish Independent Arkle Trophy Chase
1,5pts win PLANET OF SOUND 11/1 (2 firms and exchanges) Irish Independent Arkle Trophy Chase

Win or lose, Tatenen lines up here a couple of points shorter than he should be and his market position creates some fair value throughout the field. Forpaddytheplasterer is a consistent, genuine character and very much the type for this race, being one who is proven in this sort of grade over longer trips. He is sure to run his race. Planet of Sound is mighty interesting and has done little wrong in this sphere. He’s another who will be suited by the testing nature of this race and it’s hard not to get involved at over two and a half times the price of Tatenen.

Forpaddytheplasterer won + 12pts


3 pts win WITCHITA LINEMAN 6/1 (Generally available) William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase

A stone lower than his mark over hurdles and with enough reason to believe that he’ll attain the same sort of rating over fences, and with the assurance that he’s been laid out for this, this animal is worth piling into. Despite only three runs under his belt he’s a safe enough conveyance and in a field full of horses with triple questions marks hanging over them, it will be disappointing and surprising if he’s not in the shake up.

won + 18pts


2 pts win OSANA 11/1 (Betfair)Smurfit Kappa Champion Hdle
1 pt place only RIVER LIANE 49/1 (Betfair)Smurfit Kappa Champion Hdle

It could be costly to be tempted being put off by the application of first time blinkers on Osana as this is the one horse who you’d rely on most to run his race. He progressed magnificently throughout last season and started this one looking to be one to have on your side – however, during mid-season he was worryingly easy to back on the exchanges though that might have been to do with the well being of the Pond House inmates; whatever, it was enough to put off getting involved ante-post. Anyway, he lines up here with everything right for him and is sure to be involved in this in a big way. I’m already on River Liane ante-post and it’s a nice surprise that he lines up after the exchanges indicating that he wouldn’t. He travels in his races like a top class animal and if there is to be a massive shock this is probably the one who’d cause it. He’s worth another point, this time in the place only market as it’s not hard to imaging him travelling well on the heels of the leaders coming down the hill.

Lost - 3 pts


2 pt win GARDE CHAMPETRE 3.9/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) Glenfarclas Cross Country H’cap Chase
1 pt win DIX VILLEZ 8.4/1 (Betfair and Betfair) Glenfarclas Cross Country H’cap Chase

The three at the head of the market have exceptionally strong claims between them and are hard to split; therefore the best option is perhaps to take the value angle and leave out L’Ami, despite obvious confidence behind him. Garde Champetre is sure to put in a bold bid to repeat last years success. In his younger days he looked a very unlikely candidate to find his niche in these events but ultra reliable around here and on the book has every chance of upholding the early season form with his stable companion. Despite taking a short cut Dix Villez gave the impression that he was a worthy winner here in November and at his odds he has to be worth at least a point with his form being tied in so closely to the Bolger horses.

Garde Champetre won + 6.5pts



1.5 pts win OSCAR REBEL 12/1 (Generally available) David Nicholson Mares Hdle
1.5pts place only SWEETHEART 8/1 (Betfair) David Nicholson Mares Hdle

This is definitely more open than first looks indicate and after shaping really well when chasing home top class animal, with a very useful sort behind her in third, Oscar Rebel looks set to give a really good account of herself here. Sweetheart, despite lacking physical scope, is getting better with her racing and possesses a real hardy attitude. She has prospects of reaching the frame and makes plenty of appeal in the place only markets.


Lost - 3 pts

Saturday, 7 March 2009

3 pts win MR THRILLER 4.2/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) Paddy Power Imperial Cup

This looks one of those scenarios were the use of imagination isn't going to pay as the front two in the market have very strong credentials. Numide ran a blinder in what probably was one of the hottest handicaps in recent years and has been raised accordingly to a career high, which should not prevent him from figuring. In backing Mr Thriller you risk being had by the class horse in handicap angle. However, these types win their fair share and there is enough substance in this horses French form; in particular running rising star Long Run to two lengths, to suggest that he could be a big player in the big graded races next season. If there are negatives to be found it's lack of experience in the big field scenario, and the fact that most he's raced solely on very soft ground; the former a more genuine concern. Nevertheless, he deserves to be more than a couple of points shorter than his stable companion and considering the prices that some of these types go off he seems fairly priced at 4/1 and above and is worth getting stuck into.

Lost - 3 pts