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Showing posts from March, 2022

Cheltenham Day 4 summary preview

13.30 TRIUMPH HURDLE - The Irish juveniles seem to have the edge here and arrive mob-handed. Vauban is supposedly the no.1 seed for Mullins, 'has been working as well as Gaelic Warrior', - but that one couldn't win the handicap on Tuesday. He sets the standard running a close second to Pied Piper on hurdling debut followed by a 3L win over Fil D'Or in the G1 Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival. Third on that day was Il Etait Temps who was thrown into a G1 on jumping debut, starting at 40/1. He tanked along at the rear of the field, looked green at times and worked home well to take third, recording an RPR better than all bar the top three in today's market. A more positive ride should put him right in contention - 12/1 EW all day! The Queen's former horse Pied Piper beat Vauban on debut and followed it up with an 8L win in a canter here on Trials Day. What's in the tank when he lets him go? Porticello was beaten by Knight Salute in December but

Cheltenham Gold Cup preview

BOODLES CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP CHASE Grade 1, £625,000, 3m2f70yds Cheltenham Friday, 1530 GMT, 1630 CET, 0230 Sat AEDST Expected Going: Soft/Good to Soft 1. Al Boum Photo - lost his crown when running on late for third here last year, and only Kauto Star has ever won the Cup, lost it and then come back and won it again. Since that day 12 months ago, he was runner-up in Punchestown's version of the Gold Cup and won his traditional New Year's Day season opener at Tramore, albeit with a lower RPR than in the previous three years. Four 10yos won between 1988 and 1998, but none since. 2. A Plus Tard - sets a high standard, winning or a close-up second in his last four races, all top Grade 1s. Won the Savills Chase 2020, beaten 1.25L in the Gold Cup last year, destroyed the field to win the Betfair Chase in November by 22L (usually builds fitness through the season, this time he was set for the race), and most recently being touched off on the line by Galvin in the Savills of Dec 21.

Cheltenham Day 3 summary preview

13.30 TURNER - A piss-poor turnout of just four runners here for a Grade 1 race at the Festival. Yes the top two are bloody good but it's disappointing few others are prepared to take them on. And yet they want to dilute the programme even further and look at a fifth day... Bob Olinger has been beaten only once, on a heavy track, by Ferny Hollow, who is high class, so I'm not too concerned about that. He has also won a G1 in the heavy and other races in soft and soft/heavy so there's no issue there. Galopin Des champs ran on heavy or soft/heavy three times early in his career and been beaten each time, although he won on debut on 'very soft' in France. Has he matured enough to overcome that? El Barra doesn't mind swimming but is a long way behind on the ratings. A no bet race for me. BOB OLINGER (11/10)  14.10 PERTEMPS FINAL - In difficult territory here with a nightmare of a handicap to unravel and the weather. It appears as though the rain will have ended ov

Stayers Hurdle preview - Day 3

PADDY POWER STAYERS HURDLE Grade 1, £325,000, Three Miles Cheltenham Thursday 1530 local, 1630 CET, 0230 Thurs AEDST Going - Soft to Heavy 1. Champ - went back to hurdling after failing in the Gold Cup last year, and considering his record of six wins and three seconds from nine starts, it's no great surprise. Beat Thyme Hill at Ascot in the Long Walk but then couldn't match Paisley Park up the hill here in the Cleeve. 10yo, gets his chance but probably leaning to younger rivals. 2. Flooring Porter - very consistent stayer who emerged last season to win the Irish Xmas Hurdle and this race, and ran second in the Xmas Hurdle again (2L behind Klassical Dream) this time in. His RPRs have been within 3lbs for his last four completions (pulled up at Punchestown Festival), so he sets a high bar. Goes very close. 3. Home By The Lee - second at big odds behind Royal Kahala at Gowran Park last time (ahead of Klassical Dream). Hasn't had a lot of starts so there's probably stil

Cheltenham Wednesday summary preview

13.30 BALLYMORE - Sir Gerhard sets the standard here. Pointed towards this one because there was no hope of Dysart Dynamo settling to run 2.5 miles, he should have the stamina to run this trip without too much fuss. Has been beaten once in his life, by Kilcruit in the Punchestown Champion Bumper. His main rival might come from this side of the Irish Sea, the Owners Group-owned Stage Star who has been untroubled in his three hurdle runs to date, winning the G1 Challow at Newbury easily over Xmas. All of those wins have been at this trip, so that certainly won't phase him. Three Stripe Life was beaten six lengths last time behind Sir Gerhard, which should see him run a place if he repeats that here. On breeding he certainly should stay all day. The fav should win but odds-on, look on. 8/1 EW on Stage Star is worth a go. SIR GERHARD (4/6), Stage Star (back 8/1 EW), Three Stripe Life (7/1) 14.10 BROWN ADVISORY - see preview here 14.50 CORAL CUP - 26 runners but not a lot of live hop

Brown Advisory Novices Chase preview - day 2

BROWN ADVISORY NOVICES' CHASE Grade 1, £175,000, 3m80y Cheltenham Wednesday, 1410 local, 1510 CET, 0110 AEDST Going - Good, Good to Soft in places. 1. Ahoy Senor - beat Bravemansgame in the G1 Sefton Novices Hurdle at Aintree last season. Since switching to fences, he has unseated, won a G2 by 31L, finished second to Bravemansgame at Kempton after numerous mistakes, and then won the G2 Towton at Wetherby. He goes fast but you'll have your heart in your mouth as he jumps. Take on trust. 2. Beacon Edge - won the G1 Drinmore Novice Chase back in October ahead of Gabynako (second yesterday) and Fury Road, but then fell at the Dublin Racing Festival and ran a narrow second behind Farouk D'Alene (conceding 7lbs) a fortnight later when then obviously needed to run him to get him fitter. One of the many very good Gigginstown horses that are honest but I can't ever see winning a big race. 3. Bravemansgame - four from four over fences, recording some big performance figures al

Cheltenham Tuesday summary preview

13.30  SUPREME - see separate preview 14.10 ARKLE - it's Edwardstone vs the Irish here. Alan King's 8yo would be the first of his age group to win for over a decade but he's lightly raced and flying since he switched to fences. Three G1/G2 wins on the bounce, he has recorded an RPR of 164 each time - so is that his level? He's good but not infallible, so this all comes down to price. I reckon bookies will be prepared to take him on so 11/4 or 3/1 I'm prepared to back him, but 2/1 or 9/4 I'll be against. The Irish contingent are closely matched. In the Irish Arkle last month, there wasn't much between Blue Lord , Riviere d'Etel, Saint Sam and Haut En Couleurs in the betting, and they ran 1st, 2nd (unlucky, beaten 1/2L), third (beaten 4.5L) and fell early. Blue Lord just seems to do enough, Riviere D'Etel is always keen and on an occasion like this I fear she'll get fizzed up before the start, while Saint Sam might have more scope for improvement

Supreme Novices' Hurdle preview

 Get excited, it's time for Cheltenham, and this time the crowds are back! During the Festival, I'll go into detail on one race for the day and a summary preview for all the others, delivered on race morning as I'm not someone who likes to do much of my study before fields are finalised. ================= SKY BET SUPREME NOVICES' HURDLE Grade 1, 2m87y, £135,000 Cheltenham, Tuesday, 1330 local, 1430 CET, 0030 Wed AEDST Going: Good to Soft 1.Bring On The Night - had nearly two years off before his solitary start over hurdles a fortnight ago. Made a couple of mistakes, not massive ones, which I'd put down to greenness more than anything. Third string of the stable but he's also the least exposed. The other pair have had their cards on the table all season, but this one has snuck up late. No winner in the past 10 years had only one previous run that season so lack of experience must be a concern. Tongue tie applied for the first time. Place chances at least. 2. Con

Newmarket Handicap preview 2022

It's Super Saturday at Flemington featuring the G1 Newmarket Handicap and Australian Cup, plus a swathe of G2, G3 and Listed support races. As always, the G1 handicap has drawn a strong field with the cream at the top and some handily-weighted opponents primed to take them on. The 2021 Newmarket finish - Zoutori, Indian Pacific, Amish Boy. ============================= Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap Group 1, AU$1,500,00 Flemington, Saturday, 1540 local, 0440 GMT Expected Going - Good 4 1. Masked Crusader - run-on sprinter with outstanding record over 1200m, five wins and two seconds from seven starts, including a neck second in the Everest three runs back. Didn't do a lot in the G1 Lightning first-up but the 1000m might have been a touch short for him. Faster pace of a big field handicap likely to suit better. 2. Home Affairs - 3yo colt who has won the Coolmore and Lightning, both G1s, down the straight at his last two starts, and seeks to add another big trophy to the pool r