Saturday, 27 April 2013

2pts win QUENTIN COLLONGES 15.5/1 (Betfair) Bet 365 Gold Cup
1pt win MICHELLE LE BON  35/1 (Betfair) Bet 365 Gold Cup

This race takes nowhere near as winning as it use to and if Quentin Collonges is in the sort of form as when he won the Grimthorpe , then he is sure to be thereabouts. He is a real Spring horse suited by good ground and the 8lb rise in his rating for the Doncaster performance is far less important than holding his form at this time of the season.

Michelle Le Bon is very easy to back on the exchanges at the moment but has a chance off topweight if the blinkers work for the second time. He is a fragile sort who only has seven races under his belt over fences, but has plenty of raw ability and similar tactics to last time could see him gradually working his way into this.

Quentin Collonges Won  + 29pts

Saturday, 20 April 2013

3pts win DRUMSHAMBO  14/1 ( 2 firms and exchanges) Aracadia Future Champion Novices Chase

Drumshambo would be in the region of 10lb better off with three of today's rivals if this was a handicap. However, at a time of the season when many have gone over the top, such issues only matter if they run to something near their optimum, and the odds more than compensate for the task Drumshambo faces. He has been in great heart this spring and ran a blinder in the Grand Annual last time and has been showing no signs of going off the boil. The fact that most of his recent form is in soft is just incidental - he'll not be hindered by today's surface and should give a good account of himself.

Lost - 3pts

1.5pts win LIVELY BARON 25/1 ( 4 firms including Hills and Corals) Coral Scottish Grand National
1.5pts TOUR DES CHAMPS 39/1 (Betfair) Coral Scottish Grand National

There are quite a few lively outsiders here in an event that has had it's fair share of turn ups down the years.

The McCain horses are running really well at the moment and Lively Baron has genuine claims here. He is a little quirky but stays these sort of trips, has been running very well lately and will not be affected adversely by the drying ground.

Tour Des Champs has been below form on his last two outings but his trainer has a record second to none of winning valuable staying chases with novices and he will not be lining up here if he was not considered to have any chance of winning this. The yard had a couple of winners at Cheltenham this week and an improved performance can be expected of Tour Des Champs today.

Lost - 3pts

Friday, 5 April 2013

3pts win EDUARD  5.8/1 (Betfair) John Smith's Mersey Novices Hdle

Nicky Richards yard is thin on the ground  for quality horses at the moment but when he does have one under his guidance this meeting is always the main target; not Cheltenham. Eduard is a quality animal who travels particularly well in his races and this track looks absolutely ideal for him. He was turned over at Kelso after looking to have the race sewn up but this event, though much harder to win on paper, should suit him better tactically and he is certain to give a very good account of himself.

Lost - 3pts

1.5pts win SMAD PLACE 6.2/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) John Smith's Liverpool Hdle
1.5pts win AFRICAN GOLD 10/1 ( Hills and Betfair) John Smith's Liverpool Hdle

With the Alan King horses  running really well it would be no surprise if Smad Place reversed the form of the World Hurdle with the first and second. He hasn't much ground to make up and was travelling really well when unseating in this last year.

At Fishers Cross performance today highlighted the task African Gold was faced with at Cheltenham, where he acquitted himself really well after travelling as good as anything at one stage. Twiston-Davies has some smart novice hurdlers under his care at the moment and African Gold could be good enough to make an impact here.

Lost - 3pts

Already selected: JOIN TOGETHER John Smith's Grand National

1.5pts win TARTAK 14/1 (Generally available)  John Smith's Topham Chase
1.5pts win LAST TIME D'ALBAIN 19/1 (Betfair)  John Smith's Topham Chase

Tartak's run at Cheltenham showed there is still life in him yet despite now being in the region of two stone below what he was at his peak. For one of his ability he has been unfortunate not to have a better overall career record but does hold a first rate chance here and it's not hard to see him going really close.

Last Time D'Albain has been absent since finishing third behind Colbert Station in a valuable Leopardstown handicap in December. That was a career best performance, he is proven in the hustle and bustle of the big field scenario, and is worth taking aboard today.

Lost - 3pts

3pts win ROAD TO RICHES 7/1 ( 2 firms and both exchanges) John Smith's Sefton Hdle

Enough live dangers to At Fisher's Cross here to make him worth taking on at the price and Road To Riches has clearly been put away for this. He's won both his races over hurdles in comfortable style and there is some substance to the form - the horse he beat at Punchestown has run Our Vinnie to inches. There is no knowing the true level of his ability but he is at the least very useful and his connections don't usually send over no hopers.

Lost - 3pts

1.5pts win MANYRIVERSTOCROSS 12/1 (Betfair and Betdaq)  John Smiths Daily Mirror Punters Club Hdle
1.5pts win KHYBER KIM 18.5/1 (Betfair) John Smiths Daily Mirror Punters Club Hdle

Absent through injury for over two years, Manyriverstocross looked as good as ever on his second run back when third in the County last time. His yard has won this race recently and the horses are running well at the moment, as advertised by the winner here yesterday. He has as strong a claims as his stable companion and appeals as the likely winner of this.

Khyber Kim has also returned recently from a long absence through injury and though he hasen't won since winning the Aintree Hdle three years ago and will now be a level below that, his run at Wincanton behind Zarkander showed he still retains plenty of ability and a good run looks on the cards here.

Lost - 3pts

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

3pts win ZARKANDER 5.8/1 (Betfair) Aintree Hurdle

Zarkander tries this trip for the first time since falling in this last year. He has long given the impression that this sort of trip will be his optimum , and likewise has given the impression that the application of blinkers will help as he sometimes hits a flat spot at crucial stages in races. He is the most appealing bet at the odds available.

Won + 16.5pts

3pts win CLOUDY LANE 14/1(Betfair) John Smith's Foxhunters Chase

Last year's winner has clearly been prepared for this event all season and is sure to be a much different proposition than when finishing down the field behind Cottage Oak at Haydock last time.He 's 13 years old now but there is every hope that he can return to the same level of form as last year and if that is the case then he'll go very close at double figure odds.

Lost - 3pts

3pts win SILVER ROQUE 12/1 (Generally available) Matalan Red Rum H'cap Chase

This former Henrietta Knight trained gelding has improved over a stone since moving to his new yard at the start of the winter. He's 6lb higher in the ratings for his win last time but looks on a steady upward curve, has Timmy Murphy aboard for the first time, and  looks sure to give a very good account of himself.

Lost -3pts

Monday, 1 April 2013

3pts win JOIN TOGETHER 19/1 (Betfair and Betdaq)  John Smith's Grand National

With all the odds being clipped and anything with half a chance almost certain to start shorter on the day it's probable best getting stuck into the race now and also risking getting a few points more with the risk of a late withdrawal through injury rather than non runner no bet.

Join Together has a cracking chance of following up for last years winning jockey/trainer combination. Though his profile may lack the experience of most winners of this event, the nature of the race is changing and this resilient gelding has already shown his hand over these fences when narrowly beaten in the Becher Chase back in December. He ran as though he'd stay forever that day and though that was in testing ground, he'd previously gave the impression that a sounder surface suited him - thus he can be expected to run his race on almost the full range of surfaces. Another big plus is he races prominently and he appeals as one who will get into a nice comfortable rhythm around here. All in all, taking everything into consideration including his price, he looks the most attractive proposition in the field.

Lost  - 3pts