Friday, 10 February 2017

Betfair Hurdle Preview

Highlight of the day at Newbury is the Grade 3 Betfair Hurdle, with a quality field engaged for one of the better prize pots of the season. Producing the magnifying glass to cast a close eye over the contenders is Racing UK Tipstar winner and talented writer, Harry Allwood, @H_Allwood1. You can read more of his work here.


Betfair Hurdle
Grade 3, £155,000, 2m69yds
1535 GMT, 0235 AEDT

Nigel Twiston-Davies has always held Ballyandy in high regard and he’s one of three who are currently vying for favouritism. A winner of the Champion Bumper last season, he’s been given a mark of 135 for his handicap debut having posted three respectable efforts in defeat so far this season. Has been given a break since a close second to Messire Des Obeaux who has franked the form since, surely has more progress left in him and this race is likely to have been the plan for some time.

Second to The New One at Haydock last time out was Clyne who is now as short as 4-1 with some firms having been well supported since that run. Is due to go up 5lb in the handicap after this race which means he’s well handicapped on that form. Had previously won twice at the same track, has a progressive profile and the soft ground is sure to suit having raced on easy going throughout his career.

The other horse who is prominent in the betting is Movewiththetimes who has only had four runs to date and was last seen winning a novice hurdle at Wincanton. The form of that race hasn’t worked out too well since and starts life off in handicaps with a mark of 136. Had previously finished just a length behind Ballyandy at Cheltenham giving him 4lb and was hampered at a crucial stage. Although he’s a potential improver now sent handicapping, he looks a short enough price based on his form to date.

Alan King will be represented by William H Bonney who travelled well when winning a competitive handicap at Cheltenham on trials day. Improved plenty for his seasonal debut that day but King reported afterwards that he still felt the horse would have needed another run having had a setback in training at the start of the season and his win at Cheltenham should have put him spot on for this race. Has a 5lb penalty to contend with in a stronger contest but is clearly held in high regard having run in the Supreme Novices Hurdle last season.

Seven-year-old Song Light has some good form to his name in similar races to this one and posted his best effort to date when third in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November. Has been given a 3lb rise for his efforts but the form of that race has worked out well and, although he hasn’t been seen since, this race is likely to have been the plan for a while and should run his race once again.

An impressive winner of the Adonis Hurdle last season was Zubayr whom trainer Paul Nicholls has likened to Zarkandar who won this race back in 2012. He looked held when falling at the last in the Elite Hurdle on his seasonal debut and ran disappointingly at Sandown afterwards. In my opinion, his future lies over further and he also looks a chaser in the making.

Irish raider Veinard has been running consistently this season and went close in a strong handicap at Leopardstown last time. He has 3lb extra to carry in this race compared to the others which will make life tough as he doesn’t look obviously well handicapped and he doesn’t always find as much off the bridle as you might expect looking at the way he travels.

Wait for Me looked the winner for a long way last time at Cheltenham when finishing fifth behind one of today’s rivals William H Bonney. Clearly has plenty of ability and was a good fourth in the County Hurdle at the festival last season but his jumping still isn’t polished and it’s hard to see him reversing the form with that rival today, despite being 5lb better off.

Similar to Veinard, De Name Escapes Me has extra weight to carry compared to his rivals and hasn’t been seen since finishing down the field in a strong handicap at the Punchestown Festival. Has only had five runs to date and was a dual winner over hurdles at the start of last season but he’s clearly had his problems having had substantial breaks in between runs. Also runs without a hood having worn it the last twice and Barry Geraghty has chosen to ride the other McManus-owned runner Movewiththetimes.

Dual performer Beltor beat three of today’s rivals at Kempton last time out when he looked the winner before making a mistake at the last which proved costly. A decent juvenile, he landed a gamble when bouncing back to form on the flat at Kempton in December. A 2lb rise for his latest effort seems fair although two of the rivals he beat that day have progressed since then and will need a fast pace as he tends to race keenly.

Kerry Lee has been in good form of late and runs Gassin Golf who will be wearing a tongue-tie for the first time and will be suited by the drop back to two miles having finished fifth at the course over 2m5f last time out. Has some decent form to his name but looks vulnerable against some unexposed rivals.

Kayf Blanco has some respectable form to his name, most notably when third to Brain Power at Sandown on his second start this season but was disappointing last time over further at Exeter. Capable of out-running his odds if he bounces back to form but looks high enough in the handicap at present judging by his recent form.

Nigel Twiston-Davies also runs Ballyhill who has been kept busy in novice company throughout this season and this will be his first run in a handicap. Starts life off in handicaps with a mark of 136 which looks fair judging by his novice form and Tom Humphries takes a handy 7lb off but has run below par on his last two starts and needs to bounce back.

The handicapper has given Hargam a chance dropping him to a mark of 146 having been rated as high as 157 in the past. Posted a couple of decent efforts in graded company last season and clearly has plenty of class but is hard to recommend on his last two runs.

Another trainer in decent form at present is Warren Greatrex and he runs Boite who wears cheekpieces for the first time. A ready winner at Wetherby on his seasonal debut but disappointed next time at Newbury. The extra trip was potentially the reason for a below-par run that day but needs to progress again even on his best form to be competitive today.

Current outsider of the field is Eddiemaurice who returned to form beating two reappearing rivals when finishing a close fifth in the same handicap Beltor was third in at Kempton. He’s only 4lb above his last winning mark and it wouldn’t surprise me if he did outrun his odds.

Verdict: This year’s renewal lacks the class compared to previous years but is still as competitive as usual and the selection is William H Bonney who travelled well when winning last time out, is progressing nicely and I’m sure Alan King has had this race in mind for a while as he felt his win last time will have put him right for this race. Song Light is sure to run his race again having gone close in the Greatwood Hurdle in November. The well supported Ballyandy should be able to go close off a mark of 135.

1) William H Bonney
2) Song Light
3) Ballyandy

Newbury Bumper 16:45 preview

There's not much left over the next month in National Hunt racing as trainers wrap most of their charges up in cotton wool for the Festival. But there is a decent card tomorrow at Newbury, and concluding the card is an intriguing bumper which might unearth quite a bit of talent. And to preview this race, it's recent addition and NHF specialist, Tony Amato, @mato66.


Betfair Ready? Bumper
Listed, 2m 69y, £20,000
1645 local, 0345 AEDT

A decent card ends with a decent bumper, with top trainers and all have seen the racecourse, these races can sometimes be cut down to trainers that take the races seriously and we have a lot of them in attendance with an Irish raider thrown in the mix. Lots of winners will come out of this race I'm sure and I expect all that I mention will go on to be good horses this season and beyond.

I'll start with the Irish raider.. COSMOS MOON (Robbie McNamara) ran in a Naas bumper where he was disappointing (fifth) his shrewd trainer made no secret of his disappointment that the horse had not shown what they thought he would as the whispers were that the stable thought a fair bit of him. I don't think they would be bringing him over to run here if they thought that was as good as he had in him.

WESTERN RYDER has run in three races and won two of them including a decent Listed contest at Ascot, that's fine form and no matter what, he looks like he'll play a big role in this race. His trainer knows how to win these races and that's always a big plus. However he has to carry a lot of weight and for that reason I'm happy to pass him over here. Giving good horses over a stone will not be easy.

INFINITE SON beat Western Ryder by a nose last November on debut at Market Rasen. The race was a touch messy and Western Ryder pulled hard, the reason I think Fergal O'Brien's 6yr old held off the late challenge from the 8/11 favourite. Fergal's horse was 12/1 for that race so it was a surprise to the yard he ran as he did. They do however know what it takes to win these races so I'm sure a lot of punters may take a chance on this one e/w @14/1.

KAYF MARINER beat a fancied horse at Bangor on debut, I was there and Kildisart (10/11) was well fancied by his yard but this Alan King 5yr old had the excellent W. Featherstone in the saddle with his 5lb claim which made a big difference towards the end of the race. I don't think that form will be good enough here.

MARTEN (Ben Pauling) was a bitter disappointment on debut at Doncaster. His trainer had stated that he had high hopes for his father-in-law's horse but he faded tamely to finish fifth. However he left that run behind him at Warwick on New Year's Eve when staying on well to go away from the field to win a touch cosy.

DAPHNE DU CLOS (Nicky Henderson) was thought good enough to debut at Cheltenham in a Listed mares' bumper, she had been purchased from France and her reputation was the talk of the track. She ran a cracker to go down a neck to the highly regarded mare Cap Soleil (who is Aintree bound). She is obviously a filly of some potential and with the weight concession she receives from this field, it'll take a top performance to lower her colours.

DYNAMITE DOLLARS was third in the listed bumper Cap Soleil won at Cheltenham. That was a big improvement from the Paul Nicholls inmate who was beaten on debut at Taunton in a five-runner affair where the winner has since come out and been beaten. I think a place is the best this 4yr old can expect.



Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Cheltenham ante-post preview

We've had Trials day and the calendar has ticked over to February - it's now only weeks until the Cheltenham Festival!

Getting in early with his ante-post analysis is Racing UK Tipstar winner, Harry Allwood, @H_Allwood1. You can read more of his work here.


Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle

2014 Champion Bumper winner Moon Racer currently heads the betting for the Supreme Novices Hurdle and was a winner over course and distance in November. He won what turned into a tactical race that day and beat horses who look better suited over further. Although he’s three from three at Cheltenham and is still relatively lightly raced for an eight-year-old, I think he will prove vulnerable against some potentially top class horses.

I was seriously impressed with Charli Parcs when he won at Kempton on his UK debut where he jumped and travelled well and won without coming off the bridle. That wasn’t the strongest of races but he had the race won a long way from home that day as well as posting a decent time. Held in high regard, he looks a high-class horse in the making.

Jenkins was ante-post favourite for this race until running disappointingly at Kempton on Boxing Day. Prior to that he had shown some useful bumper form and won in workmanlike fashion at Newbury on his hurdling debut in what looked a strong maiden hurdle. He still remains with plenty of potential but is hard to recommend on the back of that disappointing run and has also had suffered a setback since then.

The Willie Mullins-trained Cilaos Emery won nicely on his hurdles debut at Navan and at the time that looked an uncompetitive race. However, the second that day is now rated 139 but probably found the trip too short when second to Cilaos Emery and Mullins looks to hold stronger claims with Melon who had a lofty reputation before winning easily at Leopardstown at the end of January. The form of that race is questionable but couldn’t have won any easier and is clearly held in high regard.

Although it hasn’t been confirmed, this race is likely to be the target for Charli Parcs and still looks value at 8-1 having been well supported for this race over the last few days. It’s worth having a saver on Melon who Willie Mullins holds in high regard and created a good impression when winning at Leopardstown.

Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices Chase

Won in 2012 by the mighty Sprinter Sacre, Nicky Henderson looks to have another superstar on his hands with Altior who is three from three over fences and looks destined for the top. He’s unbeaten at the course, jumps well for a novice and is a confident selection to continue his winning streak in the Arkle.

Min is currently clear second favourite and is also unbeaten over fences. He raced keenly in his races as a hurdler but has settled better over fences this season. However, he has suffered a setback in training recently and was beaten easily by Altior in last year’s Supreme.

The former Paul Nicholls-trained Some Plan looked unfortunate not to win over course and distance in December but has made amends since then by winning at Navan and Leopardstown. He travels well and his jumping has improved on each of his starts over fences. He will also be suited by the likelihood of a small field.

Altior is a confident selection to win but I wouldn’t put you off having a few quid each-way on Some Plan who is not without hope at 25-1.

Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

This race revolves around current favourite Faugheen who we haven’t seen since winning the Irish Champion Hurdle in January last year. He’s been due to run a couple of times already this season but has once again picked up a couple of injuries. Providing he does make it to the race he will be tough to beat but I wouldn’t want to be taking short odds at this stage on a horse who’s had a disrupted preparation and may not even make it to the race.

The Henry de Bromhead trained Petit Mouchoir put in a brave performance to win this year’s Irish Champion Hurdle, travelling well before holding off the late challenge of Footpad. He’s progressed gradually this season and, providing he handles the track, he has a chance of going close.

Yanworth is currently prominent in the betting and had previously been fancied for the World Hurdle at the start of the season. Having beaten The New One in the Christmas Hurdle over two miles at Kempton, this race is now the plan for him. He didn’t jump too well that day though and I believe he wants further.

Nicky Henderson will be represented by Brain Power who bolted up in a competitive handicap at Ascot in December. When quotes came in for the Champion Hurdle after that win I thought they were a bit optimistic but looking back at the race he was highly impressive indeed carrying almost top weight in one of the strongest handicaps run this season. He defied a 7lb higher mark that day and has now been given a rating of 162 which doesn’t leave him with much to find with those at the head of the market.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Yorkhill was supplemented for the race if Faugheen doesn’t turn up. He’s unbeaten over fences this season but was a good winner of the Neptune last season beating Yanworth and looks to have enough speed for two miles.

Plenty of speculation as to who will actually turn up in this race. If Faugheen does run then he will be tough to beat but that’s looking more and more unlikely and I would rather take a chance on the progressive Brain Power each-way at a general 12-1.

Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase

Seven-year-old Douvan has looked unbeatable in eight career starts over fences to date, easily winning the Arkle last season and completed a hat-trick of wins at the three big festivals. He’s jumped imperiously in each run over fences as well as beating some useful horses along the way. He’s currently best priced 2-5 for the race so will be many people's banker and should duly oblige.

The horse that is most likely to follow him home though is Fox Norton who has a progressive profile, goes well at the course and is likely to go for the race unlike most who have been given an entry. He was beaten just over ten lengths by Douvan in the Arkle last season but has clearly improved this season. With a revised mark of 167, he’s only rated 2lb inferior to Douvan. He’s three from five at the course and has also produced a couple of decent placed efforts.

Douvan really should be winning this race and has done nothing wrong over fences in his career to date. This race is likely to have very few runners with most of the horses entered having other races as preferred targets. Fox Norton is progressing nicely over fences and this race is the intended target for him at the moment so is the most likely to follow the favourite home.

Ryanair Chase

Although the target for Un De Sceaux is currently undecided, he looks likely to go for the Ryanair Chase with stable mate Douvan a short priced favourite for the Champion Chase, a race in which Un De Sceaux was second in last year. He won the rescheduled Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham in good fashion on Trials day and clearly stays the Ryanair trip having won over 2m5f in France last year. He didn’t jump too well at Cheltenham in the Champion Chase but was much better in the Clarence House, travelling well and finding plenty under pressure.

One horse who ran an eye-catcher at Cheltenham on Trials day was Uxizandre who ran a fantastic race to finish second behind Un De Sceaux, his first run since winning this race in 2015. Although he looked pretty fit beforehand, he’s sure to come on for the run and two miles is on the sharp side for him. Providing he can avoid the dreaded bounce factor, he’s sure to go close in this race especially with the likelihood of better ground than he encountered on Trials Day.

As mentioned, although the target is not yet decided for Un De Sceaux, this race looks tailor-made for him in my opinion and should take plenty of beating providing he goes for the race. Uxizandre is the obvious danger having ran so well in defeat behind the selection on his comeback after a long absence.

Sun Bets Stayers Hurdle

The Harry Fry trained Unowhatimeanharry has done nothing wrong all season and made it eight wins on the bounce in the Cleeve Hurdle since winning a Handicap off a mark of 123 in November 2015. That was also his fourth win at the course and I’m surprised he’s not shorter than 15-8 to win this race. He strikes me as a horse who only just does enough and clearly idled up the run in when winning the Cleeve Hurdle.

2015 winner Cole Harden was second to Unowhatimeanharry in the Cleeve and that was his best run for some time having run a few disappointing races. He’s sure to go straight to the stayers hurdle now and looks to be gradually coming back to form so has an each-way chance.

2014 Champion Hurdle winner Jezki won on his return at Navan in January after a long lay-off due to injury. The form of that race is below what some of his rivals have achieved in the run up to this race but he’s a high class horse, has won over three miles in the past and usually shows his best form in the spring. He has the ability to go close providing he can build on that comeback win.

My festival banker is going to be Unowhatimeanharry who has improved nearly 50lb since the start of his winning streak. He enjoys Cheltenham, is versatile ground wise and could have even more improvement left in him. He’s a confident selection but is likely to be an even shorter price than he is now on the day and one for the each-way players is Cole Harden who is a previous winner of this race and showed he was coming back to form with a good run last time out.

JCB Triumph Hurdle

Defi Du Seuil has done nothing wrong all season and deserves to be the current favourite for this race. He won two on the bounce at the track before winning the Future Champions Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow. He didn’t jump so well that day but beat two smart novices easily and was conceding 7lb to a 144 rated rival. He’s been winning on soft ground but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be just as good on better ground and has plenty of speed. He will be going into the race with the best form, already has three wins at Cheltenham under his belt and has plenty of experience for a four-year-old.

I was impressed with Dinaria Des Obeaux when she won at Cork in December. She travelled and jumped well in the main that day and the form has worked out okay since. I thought she deserved to be a shorter price for this race as she looked a high class horse in the making on her Irish debut and is also a likely runner.

Although Defi Du Seuil will prove hard to beat having done nothing wrong all season and will have the strongest form going into the race, the value lies with Dinaria Des Obeaux who bolted up on her first run for Gordon Elliot and I’m surprised she’s still available at 16-1.

Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup

Unfortunately plenty of horses who were fancied for this race at the start of the season are now out of the race. Thistlecrack lost nothing in defeat when second in the Cotswold Chase on trials day and is still the clear ante-post favourite for the race. He was foot perfect in the King George the time before, easily beating stable mate Cue Card. The trip is of course a question mark in the Gold Cup having been outstayed in the Cotswold Chase but I have no doubt he will stay the trip on better ground which he looks better suited by. His jumping around Cheltenham is still questionable but hasn’t done much else wrong this season and deserves to be favourite.

It was confirmed recently that Cue Card is now an intended runner in this race and was deemed an unlucky loser by some last year when falling at the third last. Like Thistlecrack, he will also be suited by better ground but has work to do to beat the favourite having been beaten easily by him in the King George. The Hennessy and Welsh National winner Native River is also due to line up for the Tizzard team. He’s a thorough stayer and is likely to make this a proper test for his rivals having made virtually all to win his last two starts and I can see him running a big race, especially if the ground is soft.

Twice a runner-up in this race is Djakadam who was third in the Lexus Chase last time out. He’s sure to run his race in the Gold Cup again but was beaten by Outlander whom I believe the value lies with having won a competitive renewal of the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas. He clearly improved for the step up in trip that day and looks certain to be suited by the Gold Cup trip judging by the way he won that race. He’s not won at the course before but was going okay when falling in the JLT last year and I expect him to go close.

The value, as mentioned, lies with Outlander who looks a great each-way bet at 12-1 although Thistlecrack will be hard to beat if the ground is good.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Lanzarote Hurdle preview

It's been a big week in racing and particularly for Kempton, scene of tomorrow's Lanzarote Hurdle, a very competitive Listed race amongst a card of smaller fields. Returning to the fray to preview this race and to provide a bit of perspective about the Kempton sale issue is Harry Allwood, @H_Allwood1.


The unexpected news that Kempton Park Racecourse is set to close in the near future has caused plenty of uproar and frustration this week. With the huge heritage that Kempton holds with the likes of Arkle, Desert Orchid and more recently Kauto Star providing some scintillating moments, it’s not surprising that many racing fans are against the idea. Some big names in racing are certain to protest in a bid to change the Jockey Club’s decision but in my opinion, it’s likely to be a false hope. At first I was against the idea but having read up the facts regarding the decision, I can see why the Jockey Club are doing it. Reportedly being £115m in debt, they obviously need to raise capital from somewhere in order to continue investing in and improving their racecourses. This is a decision that clearly hasn’t been made overnight and with an investment plan of £500m, we have to believe this decision will be a positive one in the long run.

Anyway, this is a discussion that will be at the forefront for some time yet and the plan is not scheduled to happen until 2021 at the earliest so let’s enjoy the racing at Kempton while we still can and they stage some good racing this weekend.

32Red Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle Preview
Listed (Class 1), £40,000, 2m5f.
Kempton 14.40 GMT, 0140 AEDST

The 32Red Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle is the feature race at Kempton on Saturday and last year’s winning trainer Venetia Williams has another fancied runner with Bennys King this time round who sneaks in at the bottom of the weights off 10st1lb. He finally got his head in front after a string of seconds with a win over 2m4f at Uttoxeter on his latest start beating the Anthony Honeyball-trained Pure Vision who had bolted up at Lingfield on his previous start. A 6lb rise for that win means more is required now upped in class but this six year old looks progressive and this trip will be ideal for him.

Doesyourdogbite opened up joint favourite in the betting on Thursday with Bennys King but was quickly shortened to 5-1 clear favourite. He was a ready winner on just his third start over Hurdles in a similarly competitive race over course & distance on Boxing Day. With the likelihood of more progress to come, he looks capable of remaining competitive despite a 6lb higher mark.

The best backed horse of the race so far is Jaleo who has already halved in price with some firms. I thought he did well to win last time in a race that wasn’t run to suit. That was over 2m3f and the extra two furlongs is likely to suit judging by the way he stayed on. Although that wasn’t the most competitive race, it was his seasonal debut and he went off favourite for the Fred Winter at the Festival where a bad mistake four out ended his chance. Useful amateur Alex Ferguson gets the leg up and takes a handy 7lb off.

Also well supported is Lord of the Island who was last seen falling when in with a chance at Exeter. Prior to that, he was a respectable third off a revised mark at the same track. He’s still relatively lightly raced for a nine year old with just nine runs to date. The trip and ground will be ideal for him although he will need to step up again to defy his current mark upped in class.

The J P McManus-owned Modus finished seventh in the Wessex Youth Trust Handicap Hurdle at Ascot last time but had previously been runner up in two high class handicaps. He received a 5lb rise for his second in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November and now looks on a high enough mark based on his run last time. The going is currently good to soft so I’m sure connections will be hoping for the forecast snow to stay away as Nicholls has stated in a recent Betfair column that good ground suits him best.

Chesterfield is an interesting runner who ran a respectable race off the back of a two year absence when he finished a place behind Modus in the Wessex Youth Trust Hurdle. Back in 2014 he posted some smart form, most notably when winning a competitive race at the Cheltenham open meeting. If he can avoid the dreaded bounce factor and build on his comeback run then I wouldn’t be surprised if he put up a bold show over this longer trip.

New recruit to the Dan Skelton team is Sam Red who was last seen finishing fourth over fences at Killarney. It looks as though he may have had a few problems along the way judging by the time he’s had off in between runs and doesn’t look that well handicapped based on his form so far. It’s interesting that the Skelton team have chosen to target a race like this on his seasonal debut though.

Champion Jockey Richard Johnson takes the mount on Kalondra, a horse that remained consistent in novice races and since switching to handicaps this season. Patiently ridden to win a conditional jockeys race at Ascot last time, the likelihood of a strong pace looks sure to suit him. An 8lb rise for that win looks harsh though and will need to progress again to be competitive today.

Fountains Windfall was an impressive winner of a weak Maiden Hurdle at Fontwell last time and had previously been runner-up to a 133 rated rival. His current mark of 130 looks fair based on the form he’s shown so far and top conditional David Noonan claims a handy 3lb. The longer trip should suit and there should be plenty more to come from this lightly raced seven year old on his handicap debut.

Sent off a well-backed favourite for a strong handicap at Cheltenham last time, Templeross was ultimately disappointing. He had previously been running consistently, winning two of his three runs in novice races. Needs to put his last run behind him and a mark of 126 looks high enough judging by the form he showed in those novice races.

I thought Will O’The West should have won his seasonal debut when third at Cheltenham in October, kicking on for home soon enough and drifting left up the run in only to be headed close home. Disappointed at the same venue last time but the ground would have been plenty soft enough for him that day so can be forgiven that run. A mark of 130 looks fair despite being 5lb higher than his third at Cheltenham, the trip and ground should suit (providing the ground doesn’t race on the slow side) and he looks overpriced at 25-1.

The Ben Pauling-trained Jaleo looks to be the stable's main hope but he also runs Local Show who was last seen running in the Hennessy Gold Cup where he was pulled up having never jumped with any fluency. Clearly held in high regard, he now reverts back to Hurdles off a 5lb lower mark. Another who is relatively lightly raced for his age, he still remains with potential and it looks as if connections are using this race as a confidence booster having made those errors over fences last time.

Little Boy Boru will be having his third run in this race, previously finishing second and fifth in 2015/2016. Ran a promising race on his seasonal debut behind Splash of Ginge at Haydock last time. This race is likely to have been the target for some time but hasn’t won for over two years and is 6lb wrong.

The other Paul Nicholls-trained runner is Old Guard who is the class horse in the race with a mark of 153 and won the Greatwood and International Hurdle at Cheltenham last season. Had been sent chasing at the start of this season and won a Beginners Chase at Exeter, although struggled to beat a 130 rated horse that day. Has now reverted back to hurdles and improved by 20lb during last season but it will require a big performance if he is to win this race off top weight and hasn’t looked in the same form this time round. The step up in trip is also a big question mark.

Verdict: Plenty you can make a case for but a chance is taken with Will O’The West who needs to put a disappointing run at Cheltenham last time behind him but there’s every reason to believe he can do and is of strong interest based on his third the time before. Bennys King is progressing well and looks the main danger despite a 6lb rise in the handicap for his win last time. Fountains Windfall should still have more to come and looks potentially a well handicapped horse off 130 despite this being his seasonal debut.

1) Will O’The West
2) Bennys King
3) Fountains Windfall

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Relkeel Hurdle preview

The hurdling highlight of the day and the last race on ITV's (modern) debut as FTA racing broadcaster is the Relkeel Hurdle. What state the Prestbury Park track will be by that stage is anyone's guess with plenty of rain forecast. Stepping in to analyse this race in detail is Richard from Bet Catalyst, @betcatalyst.


Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle
Grade 2, £40,000, 2m4f56yds
1510 local, 0210 AEDT

Ratings Key:
Form: Green = last time out finish is a positive trend
Horse: Green = C&D winner, Orange = Course winner
Age: Green = positive age trend
Trainer: Green = won the race before, Orange = placed in the race before
Adjusted OR: Green = positive, Red = negative
Master Rating: is the master speed rating, top three rated are in Yellow in descending order and is the main way they are rated for this race
A + B: is speed indicators, Green = one of the top three on each indicator
MySpeed Rating: is the secondary speed rating, top three rated are in Yellow
W + Y: is the performance indicators, Green = put in a positive performance on my figures last last time
Trainer In Form: Green = positive
Verdict: Red = negative + reason, Orange = unsure plus reason, no colour means they've made the shortlist

Strictly on adjusted ratings only four horses can reasonably win this race: Cole Harden 167, Lil Rockerfeller 160, L'Ami Serge 160 and Camping Ground 157. The rest of the field are at least 4lb or more adrift of Camping Ground and have it all to do.

The big factor for this race is likely to be the ground. It is forecast to rain heavily all morning at Cheltenham on Sunday and that has to at least make the ground soft if not heavier as the forecast has it raining into the afternoon too. This would be a big worry for LIL ROCKERFELLER who on genuine good-to-soft ground would have been the pick. He has good form on soft it's just that all his best form is on faster ground than what he's likely to encounter on Sunday. Throw in the fact he's had three hard races in a short space of time and may be it could pay to look elsewhere for the winner.

The worry for L'AMI SERGE is his stamina on the ground at the trip in a truly run race. He'll love the ground and has won on heavy ground over 2m3.5f at Wetherby in an uncompetitive affair. Wetherby is a flat and sharpish track and a million miles away from 2m4.5f around Cheltenham which in this likely well run race will ride like 2m6f+ on a flatter track. In his most recent races, which provide good form by the way, he has never been one for running on strongly at the finish and the infamous Cheltenham hill might really find him out especially on this ground. Could well be one to trade short in-running before blwoing out up the hill.

COLE HARDEN is 7lb clear on the adjusted ratings but the worry would be from his comeback run over fences is whether or not he's the same horse? Its'afreebee is a decent animal but shouldn't have beaten Cole Harden as well as he did last time at Wetherby and that is a big worry moving forward. He of course won the World Hurdle back in 2015 but he benefitted that day from being an unknown quantity and was allowed an easy lead and was able to capitalise. He was smashed out of sight in this race last year by Camping Ground and was then beaten out of sight in the World Hurdle by Thistlecrack. Right back to his best he'd be in with a shout but his ability to rekindle that form has to be a big question mark. Also a slight worry is the fact that both his Graded wins have come over 3m+ and both on good ground.

That leaves us CAMPING GROUND who strolled through this race last year to beat Lil Rockerfeller (giving 4lb) by 11L and Cole Harden (giving 8lb) by 20L. He should have very similar conditions come Sunday afternoon but this time he meets the improved Lil Rockerfeller on level weights and has to give 8lb to Cole Harden. I cannot see given the conditions either of those horses reversing the form. This season he's been running over fences and ran Josses Hill, who ran so well in the King George, to 9L at his opponent's favoured Kempton Park and on Camping Ground's unfavoured good ground. That performance in light of the conditions suggests to me that he retains all his ability and he looked like winning last time before falling at Newbury over 3m. Back at Cheltenham on this ground he must be banker place material at the very least and the 6-1 for him looks value too. He'll love the ground and stays the trip well in the conditions, is top-rated on Master Ratings and second top-rated on MySpeed Ratings. All in all he must go very close!

Suggested Bets
1 point win Camping Ground @ 6-1 generally bog
0.5 point place only bet @ 2.20 or better as a cover bet

Cheltenham 3.40 preview

Concluding the card at the home of National Hunt racing is the bumper, a race which often turns out a very good one. With only three runners having had more than one race start, there's a big sign saying POTENTIAL over all of them...

Casting a shrewd eye over the field is another blog debutant, Tony Amato, @mato66. Welcome aboard!


EBF Stallions & Cheltenham Pony Club NHF
Listed, £20,000, approx 1m6f (1m5f209yds), New Course
1540 local, 0240 AEDT

Plenty of decent horses have won this race over the years; The New One, Modus and Wishful Dremaing to name just a few, so it's safe to say trainers know what they have when entering for this race. I'm going to concentrate on the ones I think will make the market (I write this Friday evening before markets are available) and the ones I think stand out.

COCKNEY WREN from the Harry Fry yard ran a fair second on debut at Taunton, beaten just a neck by a Henderson 4yr old. You can never discount one from this yard and Nicky Henderson described the winner in his stable tour as a "outstanding individual" so that run may be very good even though the race did look a match.

SHEARLING from the shrewd Brian Ellison yard won a bumper at Warwick showing a fine attitude, rallying to get up close to the line after looking beaten. She then went to Wetherby for a junior bumper and won again. It takes a decent sort to win a bumper with a penalty, so she is certainly one to look for in the betting.

DAPHNE DUE CLOS, from the all powerful Henderson yard won a bumper in France. We don't know how good the form is but it says something that her trainer starts her here. No doubt if the market speaks for her, we need to take note.

My selection for the race is CAP SOLEIL who won on debut at Newbury in a junior fillies race. This Fergal O'Brien inmate was backed like defeat was out of the question on debut and she didn't let her backers down. She cruised into the race and took it up 2f out, putting the race to bed like a nice sort. I don't know how strong that race was but there are very few bad Newbury bumpers, so I'm willing to go with this daughter of Kapgarde as she was visually impressive!

Selection CAP SOLEIL

Cheltenham 2.00 preview

New Year's Day hangovers are best treated with a bit of punting in the brisk, clean air of the Cotswolds - Cheltenham on January 1 means there are only about 10 weeks until the Festival!

And witrh the arrival of the next arbitrary group of 365 days, it's a warm welcome to some new contributors. Firest off the rank making his debut on the blog is Racing UK Tipstar winner, Harry Allwood, @H_Allwood1. And you can read more on his blog (actually he only started it today, but I'm sure there'll be plenty more!) here.


BetBright Best For Festival Betting Handicap Chase £60,000, Grade 3, approx 2m5f (2m4f166yds), New Course 1400 local, 0100 AEDT

The races at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day look set to be highly competitive, none more so than the BetBright Best For Festival Betting Handicap Chase that comes up at 2.00. Won last year by the reappearing Village Vic who showed a game attitude to fend off another reappearing rival Tenor Nivernais to complete a four timer. That was off a mark of 144 and now races off a mark of 158 but has progressed again since that win. Has run two good races at Cheltenham so far this season off marks of 155 and 158 respectively and looks sure to go close again.

Currently heading the betting is the Nicky Henderson-trained Vaniteux who has some very smart form to his name. He’s finished third on both his starts in handicaps this season off a mark of 154 and now steps up in trip. Henderson has stated in his Stan James blog that he feels it’s only a matter of time until he wins a big one. However, I’m not convinced that 2m4f around Cheltenham is going to be ideal for him and he looks high enough in the handicap based on those two runs this season.

Paul Nicholls is represented by the 7 year old As de Mee who disappointed in a similar handicap over course and distance in November but got back on track with a win in the Grand Sefton Chase over the National fences at Aintree last time out. Similar to Vaniteux, As de Mee showed some smart novice form and has won two of his three starts over fences this season. An 8lb rise in the handicap for his last win will make life harder but he’s clearly progressing and the trip and ground will be ideal for him.

Quite by Chance was deemed unlucky by some when finishing a staying on 4th in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup over course and distance last time having been hampered down the back straight by a faller. He eventually stayed on to be beaten only two lengths at the line off a mark of 147. He has a progressive profile and looks sure to be competitive again off the same mark for man of the moment Colin Tizzard.

Visored for the first time is Henri Parry Morgan whose second at Aintree last season behind Native River is the stand out piece of form in this race. On that form he would be the one to beat but hasn’t got off to the best of starts this season having disappointed in the Hennessy and unseating his rider last time out. Trainer Peter Bowen isn’t in great form at the moment either and he looks a horse who is best caught in the spring.

Sent off joint favourite last time for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup was Thomas Brown who was ultimately disappointing in the end and failed to build on a successful seasonal debut at Aintree where he put in his best round of jumping to date. The form of that win hasn’t worked out great and he looks on a high enough mark now.

Another horse who ran in this race last year was Top Gamble who finished third off a mark of 153. He then went on to win a Grade 2 at Newbury and at Fairyhouse. It’s likely he would have needed the run when finishing fifth behind Fox Norton here in November. Kerry Lee has booked Davy Russell for the ride and although he will be running off a 6lb higher mark than last year, there should be plenty more to come from him this season and I can see him running a big race.

As mentioned, Tenor Nivernais was second in this race last year behind Village Vic. He was a good third in a competitive race on his seasonal debut at Ascot last time out off a mark of 150. Has been put up a couple of pounds by the handicapper for that run though so that puts him on a career high mark again and has shown his best form on soft/heavy ground.

Shantou Flyer was last seen running a creditable ninth in the Galway Plate. Has since moved to Rebecca Curtis and although returns from a five month break, this is likely to have been the target for some time. A mark of 149 means more is required having never won off a mark this high before but he’s still only seven and was a course winner in October last year.

Promising 7lb claimer Tom Humphries takes the mount on Foxtail Hill who runs from 9lb out of the handicap. Was an easy winner at Uttoxeter in October and the further trip is likely to suit but lots more required if he is to be involved in the finish.

2014 Irish National winner Shutthefrontdoor has been relatively disappointing since finishing fifth in the 2015 Grand National. That race is likely to be the target again for him this season and this looks to be another stepping stone. The handicapper has given him a chance though but hasn’t looked in love with the game this season.

Cheltenham regular Thomas Crapper has recorded just one win from seventeen chase starts but has been given some impossible tasks. Was sixth in the Bet Victor Gold Cup on his latest run where he wore a tongue tie for the first time. Needs to find more though to be competitive today and looks held by Village Vic on that form.

Last but not least is Solar Impulse who is bidding to give Sam Twiston-Davies his win in this race. Won the Grand Annual at the Festival last season but has been disappointing in two runs so far this season for new stable. Hard to recommend in current form despite the fact he is only 3lb higher than his win in the Grand Annual.

Fiercely competitive as you would expect for a race of this nature. Village Vic is sure to be there at the finish but the selection is Quite by Chance who went close here last month despite being hampered, should still have more progress left in him and can continue Colin Tizzard’s run of good form. Top Gamble looks to have an each way chance too despite having to carry top weight.

1) Quite by Chance
2) Village Vic
3) Top Gamble

Friday, 30 December 2016

Premier League - the New Year fixtures

More great work from William Kedjanyi, keejayOV2, while his Wordpress site is out of action. Manwhile, I'll just chug along with my old Nokia, I mean Blogger, site...


PREMIER LEAGUE previews 30/12 - 1/1

Hull (10/3) v Everton (Evs)
Everton are beginning to turn things around slightly. After a long winless run, they have finally begun to get some results together, taking advantage of a low intensity Arsenal performance to win here a couple of weeks ago and going down in the last seconds to rivals Liverpool. They took advantage again of weak opposition on Boxing Day when winning a poor game at Leicester in with both sides failed to inspire. Hull, however, look headed tor relegation although they were giving Manchester City a hard time until a Yay Tour penalty opened the floodgates, and this could be tight. That said, in Romelu Luaku and Kevin Mirallas they do have forward threats and they should be able to competitive competitively in the midfield. Hull looked good when Robert Snodgrass had the ball on Boxing Day and will try for that again here but they’ve lost four of their last five and this could be the same story.
Advice: No bet

Burnley (29/20) v Sunderland (12/5)
It took a stunning and lucky late winner from Andre Gray to take Burnley above Middlesbrough but it proved how hard they are to beat at home and they have to be worth chancing to beat Sunderland here. That now makes it 19 of their 20 point tally and 15 of their 17 goals that have come at Turf Moor and it’s worth remembering how well they played in one goal defeats at West Ham and Tottenham. Sunderland should find this easier than Old Trafford and have improved in recent weeks but this is a very tough task.
Advice: 1 pt Burnley (29/20 Hills)

Chelsea (1/4) v Stoke (13)
Only Arsenal’s famous Invincibles have gone on a longer consecutive winning streak than this Chelsea aside and based on Stoke’s 4-1 thumping that they received at the hands of fellow contenders Liverpool they can make it 13 here. They coped with the cost of Diego Costa without a bother against Bournemouth as Pedro put in his best performance of the season in tandem with Hazard to take Bournemouth. They should
Advice: No bet.

Leicester (11/10) v West Ham (11/4)
With every single week that passes, Leicester look in more and more danger of relegation and their “performance” against Everton was as bad as we’ve seen. Their 4-2 win against Manchester City appears to be a blip and they’re in serious trouble, still missing Fuchs and Huth in defence. West Ham may not still look like the side of last year but they have gotten the wolves away from their door with three wins in a row over Christmas and they didn’t need much invitation to take apart a dreadful Swansea side on Boxing Day. At times Leicester have looked at least as bad and they are worth chancing for a fourth straight win on the bounce.
Advice: 1 pt West Ham (11/4 general)

Manchester United (1/4) v Middlesbrough (16)
Jose has found the team he likes and it’s now four on the bounce in the league for Manchester United, who moved through the gears with aplomb against Sunderland in what was an easy win. Middlesbrough were unlucky not to take a pint from their trip to Turf Moor but they have won just one game on the road and this will be a different test altogether, with Paul Pogba now operating as he did at Juventus and Zlatan Ibrahimović having scored 50 goals this year and 16 this season. With Henrikh Mikhitaryan now being used to full effect Middlesbrough could be overwhelmed and United can put space between them and the visitors.
Advice: 3 pts Manchester United -1 (4/5 general)

Southampton (3/4) v West Brom (9/2)
Southampton finally got beaten at home when Spurs proved to be far too good for them but that was just their second home defeat of the campaign (the other coming to Chelsea) and it’s more likely the onus will be on them to break down West Brom, who made Arsenal pull out all the stops on Boxing Day. It took Oliver Giroud’s bullet heard to get past Ben Foster that day but Southampton have the height to compete in all areas – Jose Fonte and Virgil Van Dijk being two tall centrebacks – and the overall quality to find away past West Brom, even if they have to work very hard for it. The one goal winning margin might be the best value but the hosts can get back on track.
Advice: 1 pt West Brom to win by 1 goal (5/2 Sky Bet)

Swansea (19/10 v Bournemouth (13/8)
Swansea could well be much improved for having jettisoned Bob Bradley but the fact remains that this is a far simpler assignment for Bournemouth than other of their last two assignments, namely the visit of Southampton and a trip to League leaders Chelsea. Bournemouth were outplayed on both those occasions but here the likes of Jack Wilshere and Benik Afobe have a chance to impose themselves on the game here and Bournemouth are good to enough to take the three points.
Advice: 1 pt win Bournemouth (13/8 Hills)

Liverpool (11/8) v Manchester City (2)
They say to save the best for last and the Premier League has done that by making the last match of 2016 a huge title clash between Liverpool and Manchester City. Liverpool, unbeaten in their last 15 at Anfield, are understandably slight favourites but the individual quality in a City side that has proven clinical and resilient in December to keep on the trails of Chelsea. About the only thing to be expected is goals – the two have scored 159 goals between them in 2016 and Sergio Augero is returned from his suspension. Goal scoring markets are incredibly short already but over 3.5 could be the bet, or an option including both teams to score in the match outcomes.
Advice: No bet.

Watford (5) v Tottenham (8/13)
Tottenham won their first game on the road in five attempts at Southampton but they were deeply impressive in running out 4-1 winners at Southampton, becoming only the second side to do so, the other being Chelsea. Dele Alli was hugely influential that day as they slowly dominated midfield through the second half and they can be too good for Watford. The Hornets have lost four of their last six and were bested in the first half by Crystal Palace.
Advice: 2 pts Tottenham (7/10 Hills, Coral)

Arsenal (1/3) v Crystal Palace (9)
Arsenal have had their December struggles but with Liverpool and Manchester City playing eachother they’ve got a big chance to put themselves on the coattails of Chelsea with victory over Crystal Palace. Based on their home form they should have too much for Palace, although the visitors looks improved for the sacking of Alan Pardew when they drew with Watford and they nicked a point from them last year after being dominated so this has the look of a banana skin. Oliver Giroud’s header has broken past Sunderland and West Brom already this season and he is an interesting goalscorer option.
Advice: No bet.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Boxing Day cricket previews

Boxing Day for an Aussie, even an expat one, means just one thing - CRICKET! Stepping up for possibly the first-ever cricket preview on the blog (can't remember and can't be arsed going back through every post!) is esteemed, prolific and multi-pronged writer, William Kedjanyi. Follow him via @keejayOV2 or his blog... when it works again!


Boxing Day Cricket

What will be the first sign that Christmas Day is over and the feast of sport that will clog our screens over the next week? The first ball bowled in New Zealand as their ODI series against Bangladesh kicks off. The Black Caps swill have their eyes set on yet another home victory but this is a Bangladesh side that is improving all the time and is leaner, fitter and better coached than they’ve ever been, and there should be a good contest.

An hour later, the first ball shall be bowled as Australia clash with Pakistan again, and if this test is anywhere near as exciting as the first – or towards the end of it, at least – then it will be an occasion fit for Christ himself. A test that Australia had taken by the scruff of the neck on one of their favourite stumping grounds – they haven’t lost a test at Brisbane since 1988 – eventually became one of the most thrilling tests of the year, with the hosts escaping with a 39-run victory from a three-hour final session.

At the beginning of the day you could have gotten 600/1 with no restrictions on a Pakistan win, but the magical 137 of Ashad Shafiq, the cornerstone of a much improved second innings performance from the team, took things to the very wire. However, the dominance of Australia’s bowlers - Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, and Josh Bird teaming up for nine of their 10 first innings wickets - in the first innings proved to be too much despite Steve Smith’s much criticised decision to declare instead of enforcing the follow on.

That was the day/night test and now things move to the MCG, where Pakistan may find themselves more at home. There have been four day/night tests played and Australia have been involved in three of them; The Aussies have won all three, each against an opponent playing in the conditions for the first time.

The move back to the red ball should help a Pakistan side that has the players to target the Australian middle order with reverse swing in the shape of Mohammed Amir, Rahat Ali and Wahab Riaz when the conditions are right and the battling lineup had adapted to the conditions with aplomb in the second innings.

Shafiq’s innings took the headlines, but Azhar Ali (71) and Younis Khan (65) made the headlines whilst Mohammed Amir nearly did with his 48; Yasir Shah and Whab Riaz combined for 60. Any number of the Pakistanis could once again be top bat – it’s no surprise that you can get 7/2 for four or five choices.

Australia have lost just 3 matches from 29 played at home over the last five years and two of those came when South Africa visited in the summer, so favouritism is deserved. However, this could be more competitive earlier than the last test, and the 11/2 on Pakistan appeals as being too big if their batsmen can get into the game earlier.

Steve Smith got some flak for his tactics in the last test but he’s scored three half centuries and scored 132 to set up the Australian position in the first test. He’s scored a century at the MCG for the last two years and the 4/1 on him doing do again is of interest along with the 11/10on him making a half century. What might be a better investment than the latter, is the performance points line of 110 that Bet365 offer on him. Smith would have made it with both runs alone in Brisbane but he also took four catches and the last time he failed to take a catch was at the Oval when Australia were being taken apart during the Ashes.

For those of you who prefer to sleep of the excesses of Christmas, South Africa take on Sir Lanka in their Test series at 8am on Boxing Day. The last couple of years have been tough for the Proteas but they have been searching long term replacements to the outgoing heroes like Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith, whilst they must cope with the absences of AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

However, they have found plenty of new faces to take the team forward. Faf Du Plessis is now an established captain, Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma are the second and third leading run-scorers for South Africa in Test cricket this year in what is their breakthrough year as member whilst Kagiso Rabada is the top wicket taker. Rabada, who took 15 wickets in Australia, can repeat the success that other fast bowlers have had against the Sri Lanka, especially back on home soil where he impressed so much against England last year.

This approach reaped rewards when they went to Australia and took a very much deserved 2-1 series win where Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott took 28 wickets between them and Quinton De Kock was the second top combined runscorer. De Kock was nearly 80 clear with his 281 in three tests where batting conditions are tricky and the 8’s that he’s the leading runscorer again appear to be big.

Sri Lanka are entitled to respect, but they have won just four of their 13 away games in the last two years and two of those were the two wins against Zimbabwe in their warm up for this; One other success was against Bangladesh. Their more relevant piece of form would broadly be their visit to England, which ended in a 2-1 home success, and a similar scoreline could be in the office.

There’s still reason to be wary for South Africa – their Boxing Day record is not immaculate – and Sri Lanka have got the confidence from a five-match winning streak, and the rise of rise of Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva in the battling lineup for solidity.

Trying to take 20 South African wickets is probably a bigger question for them, and much will rest on Rangena Herath’s late spinning, especially at Port Elizabeth, and Unwan Pradeep’s fitness, although he’s been exceptional when it’s held, taking 40 wickets at 32.55 since the beginning of 2015. If his legs hold he can lead the way for the visitors.

Australia v Pakistan – 2nd Test
1 pt Steve Smith 1st Innings Century (4/1 general)
3 pts Steve Smith to score over 110 performance points (5/6 Bet365)

South Africa v Sri Lanka – Series
1 pt Quinton De Kock Top South Africa Batsman (8/1 general)
1 pt Unwan Pradeep Top Sri Lanka Bowler (5/1 general)
1 pt Kagiso Rabada Top South Africa Bowler (9/4 general)

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Hurdle preview

For the hurdlers, they get their chance at Grade 1 glory in the Xmas Hurdle in another disappointingly small field. Still, four out of the five are pretty darn good horses...

Back to Jon da Silva, @creamontop, for the preview.


32Red Christmas Hurdle
£100,000, Grade 1, Two Miles
Kempton Boxing Day, 1440 local, 0140 AEDT

We have a fair idea how good The New One is in small fields at park courses at two miles - both losses in this race to be fair. A blunder against My Tent or Yours causing a narrow loss and a mauling by Faugheen - Faugheen dominated him. If it's a crawl Ch'tibello can burn as he showed in the unnecessary Haydock race. My Tent or Yours appears best when finding himself in the lead after everything else has shot their bolt and I hope connections are considering the two mile handicap at Newbury again and off 155 I'd be interested.

Gray Wolf River gives lie to the idea that padding these races with more numbers would make them better races. Indeed whilst he could luck into a lot of prizemoney most likely he repays a couple of months fees which given jumpers don't run that often has an opportunity cost for anyone who wants to win a race and does not own and train a complete no hoper. His main benefit is to encourage EW bettors who want to oppose the top two. Anyone want to price up how many lengths he'll be beaten - under/over 100?

Anyway in future terms this race is about Yanworth or Boaty McBoatface as a public vote I conducted on Twitter concluded. Yanworth has won over two miles in bottomless ground and became favourite for the Neptune off a win over two and a half miles in bottomless ground. He appeared to be out-sprinted at a crucial point in the Neptune by a horse who seemed less suited by subsequent tests of speed at Aintree and Punchestown himself. He looked anything but a speed horse barely getting the better of Lil Rockerfeller receiving four pounds too over two and a half miles last time. He is favourite here.


Cut a long story short The New One could dominate and is almost unbeaten under those conditions. If his pilot is clever this should be a 3 furlong sprint. Maybe Yanworth tries to make it and brings My Tent or Yours into it but even then The New One can sit on him and what pace he could set is interesting for a horse who tries to run out and is ridden wide so he can be unhurried. At the prices The New One is the bet. Like Thistlecrack if Yanworth wins we can get very excited but I can't see any form that makes him favourite here, never mind the distance and race shape might be against him.

The New One win at 6/4 or more
Consider forecast TNO over MTOY Ch'tibello