Saturday, 18 April 2009

1 pt win MERIGO 12/1 ( Betfair and Betdaq)Coral Scottish Grand National
1 pt win 19/1 ( Betfair and Betdaq) and 1pt place only 7/2 (Betfair place only market) WEST END ROCKER Coral Scottish Grand National

Assuming that the watering has worked, Merigo will line up with a serous chance. He arrives here fresher than most after being off the track since his Eider victory in the mud; conditions which are not necessary for him to produce his form. He's a proven stayer, has a rider who inspires confidence in these events, run well around here, and is open to further improvement.

Despite Witchita Lineman and Big Fella Thanks having progressed since being split by West End Rocker earlier in the season; both of them recently reached an official handicap rating of 149. West End Rocker looked at the time as though he'd progress at least as well as the other two and finds himself lining up here of 137. That of course is testament that things could have gone better but armed with the confidence that Alan king has had plenty of success with his marathon chasers and does not usually misread their distance distance requirements ;this sort of trip could be the making of him and and on ground that will not hinder, and over fences that do not take too much jumping, he looks sure to give an excellent account of himself.

West End Rocker lost,Merigo NR - 2 pts

Saturday, 4 April 2009

1.5pts win 37/1(Betfair)and 1.5pts place only 8.2/1 (Betfair place only) WHAT A BUZZ John Smiths Mersey Novices Hdle

On the figs this gelding may have it all to do but he has progressed massively on recent starts, and the staying novice hurdle here yesterday was a reminder of how, at this time of the season, some horses have just gone. It will only take a couple in this field to be off the boil(which is a likely scenario) to give this guy a very,very realistic chance of getting into the shake up.Value wise, he's the bet of the day.

Lost - 3 pts

3pts win JERED 10/1(Generally available) John Smith's Aintree Hdle

Leaving aside the issue of getting suckered into strong finishes trying a longer trip; this animal has the pedigree of one that would have a chance of getting 3m, and surely the reason that he's never tried this trip is that he travels like a class act. He is without doubt the most interesting contender here and is worth smashing into at the odds available.

Lost - 3 pts

1.5pts win THREE MIRRORS 7/1(Generally available) John Smith's H'cap Chase
1.5pts win ACCORDING TO JOHN 8/1 (Generally available) John Smith's H'cap Chase

Three Mirrors ran a blinder here last year and showed enough at Cheltenham to suggest that he is capable of winning off this sort of mark.This race is not as competitive at it appears at first glance and everything is set up for him to run a big race. Nicky Richards has no doubt targeted this race for According To John. He's clearly been hard to train but remains unexposed and could be very well handicapped.

Lost - 3 pts

3/4 pt win 74/1(Betfair and Betdaq) and 3/4 pt place only (Betfair place only SP) CLOUDY LANE John Smith's Grand National
3/4pt win 59/1(Betfair) and 3/4 pt place only (Betfair place only SP) CAN'T BUY TIME John Smith's Grand National

You get the feeling that they had Cloudy Lane at his absolute peak a few weeks too early last season. The fact that he's been targeted again at the race indicates that stamina is not an issue and though he's not the handicap blot of a year past he does have a realistic chance of shoving it up the smug trends guys and must be backed at his present odds. McCoy was always going to choose Butler's Cabin, and that decision should not put off anyone getting involved with Can't But Time who is just the type to run a big race here.

Lost - 3 pts

Friday, 3 April 2009

1.5pts win11/2 (Hills, Ladbrokes and exchanges) and 1.5pts place only 5/4( Betfair place only) RED MOLONEY Highstreetvouchers,com Top Novices Hdle

Red Moloney had been weak in the market on the run up to the Supreme Novices and the give underfoot was a big negative for him – however, in the circumstances he ran an absolute blinder travelling like a winner at one stage and finishing only five lengths behind the winner. A couple of yesterdays results shows that it can be costly to try and get a little cute about track differences, but Aintree on good ground is surely made for Red Moloney and it will be a surprise if he dosen’t reverse the Cheltenham form with Somersby. The only slight worry is the stable form; though the yard has had a couple of winners recently it’s not exactly firing , but again, that’s another issue were it can prove costly to try and be too clever over.

Lost -3 pts

½ pt win 25/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) and ½ pt place only (Betfair place only SP) OODACHEE John Smith’s Topham Chase
½ pt win 41/1(Betfair) and ½ pt place only (Betfair place only SP) BOB BOB BOBBIN John Smith’s Topham Chase
½ pt win 49/1(Betfair) and ½ pt place only (Betfair place only SP) THE HOLLOW BOTTOM Johm Smith’s Topham Chase

Enough room to take three against the field here. Oodachee ran well in this last year, and is ideally suited by this ground. The pull in the weights may not be sufficient alone to turn the form around with Gwanako but the latter is plenty short enough and could be one of those who take to these fences best first time. Bob Bob Bobbin is an extremely likeable individual even though he hasen’t turned into the horse the he once promised to be. His recent victory in one of those veterans races shows that he’s in fair heart and he could just be the type to run a big race here. Like the other two selections, The Hollow Bottom also races from out the handicap. He was pulled up when trying these fences in desperate conditions in the autumn. Todays surface will be more to his liking and he could outrun his price.

Oodachee placed 4.7/1 - 0.2pts

3pts win KARABAK 9/4 (Generally available) Citroen Sefton Novices Hdle

This guy finished runner up in what was perhaps one of the best novice hurdles run in recent years. It will be a surprise if the form of the Albert Bartlett works out stronger, and despite what the trends say, it will be disappointing if he is beaten today. Any worries about the track are offset by the step up in trip and the stables Cheltenham runners are holding their form well. He appeals as the best bet of the meeting.

- 3pts

¾ pt win 11.5/1 (Betfair) and ¾ pt place only (Betfair place only SP) MAMLOOK Totepool Handicap Hdle
¾ pt win 13.5/1(Betfair and Betdaq) and ¾ pt place only (Betfair place only SP) MIRAGE D’OR Totepool Handicap Hdle

It’s surprising that Mamlook hasen’t taken one of these events yet, but it’s too early to label him as disappointing. His run over 2 ½ mile at Royal Ascot suggests that 3m over hurdles around here should be ideal and there can be no excuses today. Mirage D’Or keeps on improving, and 3m around here on this ground should be ideal for him too. He’s proven in this sort of company and in a race where Aigle D’Or, Captain Americo and Giles Cross are perhaps a few points shorter than they should be, the 6lb rise from his last run should not prevent him from figuring in the shake up.

Mamlook placed 2.3/1 + 0.9 pt

Thursday, 2 April 2009

1 ½ pts place only ( Betfair place only SP) HILLS OF ARAN John Smiths Liverpool Hdle
1pt place only ( Betfair place only SP)PETTIFOUR John Smiths Liverpool Hdle
½ pt place only ( Betfair place only SP) FAASEL John Smiths Liverpool Hdle

Despite winning over fences here Big Bucks is best on a more testing track than this over timber. However, he takes his racing well and is clearly the best horse in the field. Mighty Man, is in his element around her but there is no knowing how he’ll perform after reappearing after a two year absence in the World Hurdle. It’s a completely different scenario compared to when he’s lined up here in the past. In the circumstances it may be best to have small stabs at some of the bigger priced animals in the place only markets. Hills of Arran has been on the go since his two year old days and retains his enthusiasm tremendously well. He’s in the form of his life right now and should be suited by the track and going, and figure in the shake up. Pettifour, a winner in novice company at this meeting last year has conditions to suit and could well return to form and run into a place. The enigmatic Faasel appears to retain all of his ability. He was runner up in this last year and coming from a yard that views this meeting as the main target of the year, he is capable of running well at a massive price without winning.

Lost - 3 pts


1.5pts win HEBRIDEAN 3/1(Generally available) Matalan Anniversary Novices Hdle
1.5pts win STARLUCK 5/2(Generally available) Matalan Anniversary Novices Hdle

On an ideal track, on ideal ground, this is the opportunity for Hebridean to show that he is able to transfer his superior class on the level across to this sphere. The form of his last race has been given a boost by the subsequent run of the runner up and it’ll be a let down if he’s not bang in there at the finish. In an any two from three scenario, I’ll take Starluck and leave out Walkon on the basis that though he’s taken his racing well, he’s the more likely of the two to have lost his edge for the season.

Lost - 3 pts


1.5pts win EXOTIC DANCER 3.9/1(Betdaq) Totesport Bowl Chase
¾ pt win 22/1(Betfair)and ¾ pt place only (Betfair place only SP) AIR FORCE ONE Totesport Bowl Chase

Denman must be taken on this sharp track and it’s impossible to ignore the claims of Exotic Dancer who was mighty impressive when winning an albeit ordinary renewal of this two years ago. He lines up here on the back of a similarly top run in the Gold Cup as two years ago; in contrast to his modest run at Cheltenham last year which preceded a below par effort here.
Madison Du Berlais has been a revelation this season and would have been interesting if the ground had been slightly softer. There is also a concern about the form of the yard and in the circumstances the horse that chased him home in the Hennessey, Air Force One, is preferred. He jumps much better on good ground and produced some excellent form last springtime, and an improved performance can be expected here.

Lost - 3 pts


¾ pt win (12/1 generally available) and ¾ pt place only (Betfair place only SP) DISTANT THUNDER John Smith’s Foxhunters
¾ pt win (22/1 Betfair) and ¾ pt place only (5.4/1 Betfair) TAKE THE STAND John Smith’s Foxhunters

Distant Thunder has put up plenty of useful performances in his time and ran two fine races in springtime two years ago when a close third to Joes’s Edge at Cheltenham, and followed up by finishing a close eight in the Irish National.; needless to say he is proven in large fields. He’s a useful addition to this sphere and with a top rider aboard looks set to run a big race. Take The Stand is another who has run his best races on good ground at this time of the year. His retains plenty of enthusiasm, his rider has an impressive record on him, and is one to take on board.

Lost - 3 pts



1pt win 20/1 (Generally available) and 1pt place only I’M SO LUCKY (Betfair place only SP) John Smith’s Red Rum H’cap Chase
1pt place only LORD HENRY (Betfair place only SP) John Smith’s Red Rum H’cap Chase

I’m So Lucky has looked all season one to bear in mind for the festival handicaps and after running moderately on unsuitable ground at Cheltenham he arrives here with the ground in his favour and at a meeting where he went very close to winning a competitive handicap hurdle last season. The one concern is that the yard could be in better form but at his odds there are enough positives to get involved. Lord Henry is only three pounds higher than when he was placed in this last season. His stable are bang in form and he has excellent place prospects.

Lost - 3 pts

2pts win PLANET OF SOUND 7/2(Generally available) John Smith’s Manifesto H’cap Chase
1pt win TARTAK 6.4/1 (Betfair) John Smith’s Manifesto H’cap Chase

There’s enough dangers to make Chapoturgeon worth taking on at his present odds. It seems that Cheltenham had been the plan for some time and reappearing here relatively quickly for an animal who does not appear to take too much racing smacks of an afterthought. The return to this longer trip is ideal for the reliable Planet Of Sound who ran a fine race on the Arkle and provided that the ground does not end up on the fast side of good; which is unlikely, he’s certain to figure in a big way. If the ground had been on the soft side Tartak would have had a massive chance and it is a little worrying that connections have commented in the past the he does require some give. He’s a likeable, reliable type who acts well on this sort of track and is worth a point in the hope that his chance won’t be compromised too much by the ground.

Tartak won + 4.2pts

1pt win PRINCE TAIME 11/1(Betfair) Silver Cross H'cap Hdle
½ pt win 39/1(Betfair) and ½ pt place only (Betfair place only SP) BEDLAM BOY Silver Cross H’cap Hdle
½ pt win 33/1(Betfair) and ½ pt place only ( Betfair place only SP) FRONTIER DANCER Silver Cross H’cap hdle

A nightmare of an event to try and unravel and plenty of room to take a few aboard. Prince Taime has done little wrong. He's genuine,consistent and proven in the hustle and bustle of these events, and open to further improvement. He's the one here who'd you rely on most to run his race. Bedlam Boy has bits and pieces of form that give him a chance and arrives here on the back of a useful run in the County Hurdle. Though the performance in Karabak’s race at Cheltenham in December can’t be taken at face value, Frontier Dancer was still in the process of running a useful race. He’s open to further improvement and is interesting enough to get involved in.

Bedlam Boy placed (7.2/1) +1.1pt