Supreme Novice Hurdle Preview

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A very warm welcome to the first of my previews of the Cheltenham Festival that is now only six weeks away. I’ll start things off with the Supreme Novice Hurdle which for racing fans is without doubt the most eagerly anticipated four minutes (well on slow ground) of the whole year. Many sports fans look forward to the ashes, fa cup final, world cup, euros or the ryder cup but if you’re a racing fan and especially a national hunt fan, the roar is the most important point of the calender year. It is like that dribble you acquire when you can smell the roast beef in the oven and get a glipmse of the gravy.

As per usual for this contest we have a fairly short priced favourite in the form of Jezki who is currently unbeaten over hurdles with four wins from four starts with his most notable scalp being that of last years bumper winner Champagne Fever who has since disappointed in the Slaney Hurdle. He has since been purchased by JP McManus which wasn’t much of a surprise as he owns Waaheb (and thinks a lot of him) who was second to Jezki at Leopardstown at christmas. He is currently as short as 3/1 favourite and as things stand that is just much too short. Most of this seasons racing has been run on bad ground and come March we may well be racing on a much better surface although this is far from certain. As far as value goes, he certainly doesn’t qualify at this stage.

Currently clear second in the market is Un Atout from the Willie Mullins team. He again just looks too short to me on what he has achieved and I actually have real doubts about him getting up the hill in a fiercely run race. Puffin Billy is next best in at around the 10/1 mark. It was thought that the Neptune would have originally been his target but his trainer Oliver Sherwood stated that he is very much leaning towards the Supreme unless we get quickish ground. You are still running the risk with him that he could go elsewhere so if he is your selection I would be looking to maybe back him non runner no bet. He has looked very good in all of his starts to date but you are slightly stabbing in the dark to a degree as he just hasn’t beaten anything of note. He really impressed me at Ascot though and I think he is a definite player as the hustle and bustle of a quickly run race like this is likely to really suit him. One thing that always sticks in my mind for this race is that you need to stay and he will clearly get further whereas Un Atout might need an oxygen tank over the last.

It’s hard to know what to make of My Tent Or Yours. He was beaten fair and square at Newbury by Chatterbox who we haven’t seen since. His win at Warwick next time was fairly straight forward although impressive to a degree. He is another one that if I was interested in I would be looking at backing him at around 16/1 so the fact that he is 10’s and shorter in places makes him a no go at this stage. River Maigue doesn’t represent any value to me either but I’ll touch on that shortly.

Dodging Bullets is the first one that looks to be slightly overpriced as he has probably achieved more than most of these over hurdles to date. He travelled pretty well in the Christmas Hurdle on Boxing day in ground that I wasn’t sure he really liked. He hung a little bit late on aswell which would be a slight concern. He beat River Maigue fair and square at Cheltenham previous to this in a slowly run race although RM was said to have needed the run. If I’m honest he is a bit of an enigma. I think he could run a big race but form lines behind Grumeti and Countrywide Flame last year don’t scream Supreme winner to me. I’ll sit on the fence but if any of you were going to back him each way at 14/1 I wouldn’t be able to put you off.

So where if anywhere can we find any sort of value? Well my first port of call will be John Ferguson’s New Years Eve who looked smart in bumpers last year before finishing second in the feature at the festival in a race where things didn’t really go his way. You can ignore the run at Punchestown in horrible ground. He should never have run. This years re-appearance at Kempton was more than satisfactory for me. River Maigue had a huge fitness  and experience edge and after clattering the first hurdle he was given a nice enough introduction by Denis O’Regan. The form from that race is actually looking pretty strong to me as the third horse Kings Lad was a very good second at the weekend in a warm race won by the potentially very well handicapped Mr Watson. The fourth horse won a jumpers bumper pretty easily next time and the sixth horse home who was well beaten chased home Valdez at Plumpton on his next start. We would have seen more of him had the weather not been so severe and he is certainly one of the brigade that will be crying out for better ground come March. If the weather eases and we are looking at good ground then I think he could be a huge player and O’Regan is a perfect partner form him. He is as big as 25/1 and as short as 12/1 in places which also shows that the enemy are a little unsure on where to sit with him. I’ve been nibbling him at 30/1 and bigger on Betfair for a while in the hope that we will get good ground.

The second on the list of horses that may represent some value would be Pique Sous. He is another that has been running in ground that he hasn’t looked to enjoy over hurdles so far and better ground will almost certainly suit him better. It will be a shot in the dark slightly as he has only run twice over hurdles to date including getting turned over at 1/3 on his first start in August. He was put away after his win in October and better ground was almost certainly the reason. At 25/1 he possibly represents some decent value and I would expect him to be about half that price come the day.

Of the remainder the only one on the page that stares at me is Waaheb. I’m absolutely certain that he is a bit of a machine and that better ground is likely to suit him much better than the ground he has encountered over hurdles so far. He obviously has six lengths to find with Jezki but there is no way that he was fully tuned up for that and he was given a pretty patient ride by AP that day. The worrying thing about him is that he is as big as 45/1 on Betfair which is never ideal. He has to be part of calculations though as I would never forgive myself if he won.

There has obviously been a lot of talk and reference in this preview to the hope of better ground come the festival. That is no certainty whatsoever given the state of the track at the moment and that Simon Claisse has said on record that the course has been struggling to recover more than ever this year. If the ground did come up on the soft side I think I would be tempted into backing Puffin Billy. but as things stand I’m happy with my book at the moment looking like this………

NEW YEARS EVE 2 pts win @ 28/1 and bigger.

PIQUE SOUS 1 pt win @ 25/1

WAAHEB 0.5 pts win @ 45/1

I will obviously adjust my position the nearer we get to the race but I am more than happy with how things are shaping up.

Six weeks, can’t wait!

MG

Super Saturday 26th January

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Well a very good morning and fantastic news that Cheltenham have managed to bypass most of the bad weather overnight and that we have a green light for festival trials day today. I must tip my hat to Simon Claisse and the team they have done a superb job in the snow shifting department over the last week to ensure we had every chance of racing today and what a feast it promises to be!

It will be a delight again to see the superstar that is SPRINTER SACRE in the rescheduled Victor Chandler Chase. He’s a very short price favourite but certainly deserves to be on what he has achieved to date and this is surely just a stepping stone on to the Champion Chase. That will just be a race to watch and possibly trade.

For me the real betting action gets underway on the second half of the card and that kicks off with The Argento Chase (2.25) where Grand Crus is a pretty warm favourite. The defection of Tidal Bay perhaps takes something away from the race but I am quietly pleased he won’t be running as I think if we have a soft ground festival (which looks like a real possibility) he could be a real player in the Gold Cup. We will save that story for another day. Grand Crus returned to form last time out in the King George on Boxing day finishing a fair third in behind Long Run and Captain Chris. Ultimately though he was well beaten (14.5L) and he needs to show more before I would be ready to back him again. So surely that means there are bits and pieces of value elsewhere? I know he has a massive break to overcome but I cannot get away from IMPERIAL COMMANDER at the weights. Even if he returns 7lbs below his best he will win so he becomes of obvious interest to me and STANJAMES are going a standout 11/2 so that will do very nicely for starters. In forms of dangers I think Hunt Ball is of interest down the bottom of the weights too as is WEIRD AL. He’s a fragile horse, but on his day a very smart one and the 8/1 with BetVictor is too big. I’ve backed IC and had a saver on Hut Ball and Weird AL.

The Neptune Novices Hurdle (3.00) is an absolute cracker. Everyone is raving about The New One and he looks a very good horse indeed but today for the first time he is likely to be seriously tested. I put up Coneygree on all three of his wins this year and he has looked the real deal on all three occasions. I have a feeling conditions will really suit him today as he’s an out-and-out stayer for the future. The two and a half will take some getting and I really am expecting a real battle up the hill between these two. At Fishers Cross is certainly no back number and this is a race that could well grace the festival itself. At the prices I have to favour CONEYGREE and Mattie but I massively respect the favourite.

The Cleeve Hurdle (3.35) is another cracker and I feel the race largely revolves around Oscar Whiskey’s stamina over what is going to be a gruelling three miles! There is nothing in his racing to me that suggests he won’t and I think he represents some real value at around 2.9 on Betfair. He is different class to these in terms of ability and I will play in the hope that it shines through and he sees it out.

On the rest of the card MR WATSON is likely to be very hard to beat in the last as he looks a seriously well handicapped horse. In the Novice Handicap Chase at 12.40 I think VINO GRIEGO looks overpriced at around 18/1 so will throw a few darts there too.

Have a great day today and back some winners!

MG

Thursday 24th January

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A very wintry good morning! It has been a few days since the last post and that has been largely the responsibility of the crazy british weather since the weekend! I’ve had some crazy experiences in the car the last few days. Localised snow in my village has caused carnage and I had to give up my shift on Timeform Radio on Tuesday. I’ve arrived up at Coral TV towers and the weather is not really any better up here. Hotel car park is completely covered in snow still but we firmly have our fingers crossed that we are getting warmer and Cheltenham can go ahead at the weekend!

News has come out this morning that Ladbrokes have acquired Betdaq in a deal worth around £25 million. It is an interesting move and I will be keen to see if they try to integrate it in any way but the reality is that Betfair are still a clear industry leader.

Last night’s football was not exactly thrilling for me but exactly what I expected. The only thing that shocked me is that we scored first. I have a lot of respect for Big Sam. He’s done a job for the club and everyone knows what he is about but why would you go to a game like Arsenal, a London derby and rest your three best players when you have a week off after today? Jarvis, Cole (Joe not beanpole) and Diame all left out. Baffling. We got exactly what we deserved for pathetic defending. I have to send all my best to young Dan Potts. A serious prospect and a hammer through and through. Wish you a speedy recovery mate. Oh yeah there was another game wasn’t there. What on earth was the whole ball boy saga about. First Hazard is an idiot for what he did, secondly the ball boy/man (apparently he is 17) is an idiot for going down like Jordan on a first date.

Fingers crossed as I mentioned that the weather is set to improve and we can get some serious racing back on the agenda! There are a couple of runners today from the hot list but they are both a little shorter in the market than I had hoped. The first of them is BAHRI SHEEN (4.00 Kemp) who was a winner last time out off a dropping mark of 53 in a race where he beat the well fancied Norwegian Reward and pulled five lengths clear of the remainder in the process. A 6lb rise is not that excessive on the back of that considering his back form and provided there is some pace to run at I think he could be a player and is available to back at 6.4 on Betfair.

PASTORAL JET (4.35 Kemp) looked a progressive animal to me last year and actually ran a bit better than the form suggests last time. A mark of 56 doesn’t look impossible to me and a continuation of his progression could see him take this a shade cheekily today under the very capable Thomas Brown. There are some really exposed animals in here and the only one that really concerns me is the top weight Hip Hip Hooray who is on a nice mark and has George Baker in the saddle. I think he is a really solid bet later on and will be playing at around 3/1.

Those of you that read regularly will know just how much I love Mick Appleby’s ART SCHOLAR and he makes his second start over at Meydan today in the opening 11f handicap. His run last time was full of promise as he got checked in the run a couple of times. He is currently favourite and I’m not sure he deserves to be so short but I expect a few sentimental quid will be thrown at him. The yard could do with a winner and I hope it’s him! Come on the Scholar!!

The feature race on the card over at Gowran Park is the GOFFS THEYESTES HANDICAP CHASE (3.25). It really is a bit of a punting minefield as there are several plotted up runners as well as some smart ones. I’ve given the race the once over and the pencil has landed on a couple at relatively big prices and I will split stakes on them each way in the hope of a decent return. The two are MURCHU and IN GREAT FORM. The former actually looks fairly treated and will love the light weight and the latter looks to me like he has been being tee’d up for a tilt at a little punt. They are long shots in a wide open contest on bad ground and the 20’s and 21’s available on Betfair will do me fine!

Fingers crossed that we are going to get the go ahead at Cheltenham at the weekend, it looks a belting card! I have been doing my usual late scramble to get accommodation sorted for the festival……..anyone know of anywhere cheap ish hook me up!!

Enjoy a good day! Be lucky! Let’s have some winners!

MG

Saturday 19th January

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19 days into my 151 day marathon and I’m hurting! Things are starting to take shape at the gym and I feel myself getting into a rhythm but its bloody hard work. 10lbs in the first two weeks though has been a cracking result and is a big incentive to really kick on. Already been to the gym for three hours this morning, I nearly nodded off in the jacuzzi after!

One or two things to pick up on from the week. Firstly the FA have decided to punish Sam Allerdyce for his comments about Phil Dowd after the FA CUP replay at Manchester United in the week. Well I hate to think what my punishment from the FA would have been if they had heard my comments. His performance was nothing short of staggering. Now you may think that I am talking through tinted glasses; well of course I am. I bleed claret and blue, but even the united fans I know agreed. He is weak and scared of Fergie. Rant over. It actually was a real shame as United were there for the taking and we just didn’t take advantage. Players panicked in the final third and not taking advantage of some excellent break aways. Carlton Cole had one of those days where he decided to basically not get out of bed. I understand that the guy has no real interest in football and doesn’t really have a desire to play but it was an FA CUP tie against the biggest club in the world under lights……….I would have given my left knee to start!

Another thing to pick up on was a debate the my old pal Paul Jacobs started on Timeform Radio about the current state of the stewarding on British racing and that he believes we should be using full-time stewards. I have to say I totally agree as there is so much brushed under the carpet under the current regime.

Obviously the weather has played havoc with the racing again this weekend with only Kempton surviving this afternoon. It is very average fare aswell with most of the races being class 6 handicaps. On the whole card I have managed to muster up one bet and that is TOGA TIGER (2.20). Jeremy Gask’s gelding has done nothing but improve over the last 12 months and he did very well to win last time back from a break. He has only been raised 2lbs in the weights which is largely offset by the jockeys claim and I think he is worth backing to continue the progress. Light From Mars is a big danger and has to be respected and I may stick a money back saver on him.

Lots of  stuff coming up over the next couple of days. I will be taking a good look at the Conference Championship games in the NFL tomorrow. I will also start to preview the Cheltenham Festival festival race by race. Everyday my eye seems to be drawn to the festival markets trying to see if there is any obvious value anywhere! I will do my best to eek out the best before posting.

Enjoy today. Wish I was with the other members of the family who have all gone to Upton Park to see the hammers get three points.

I’m on the late show on Coral TV.  Be lucky!

MG

Saturday 12th January

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Well it seems that I am slowly adjusting to this new lifestyle! I’m actually starting to look forward to the odd gym session which is definitely a first! The weather looks like it is going to be setting in over the next few days. Temperatures have dropped rapidly and it looks like there is plenty of snow on the way for various parts of the country. Inspections being called left right and centre for the racing.

Spotted a real hot one on the all-weather the other day, he is entered a couple of times over the next few days so I will keep you posted. Today’s racing is interesting to say the least. The New One is likely to win again in the big novice hurdle at Warwick. I am looking forward to seeing Tetlami over fences (12.55 Kemp) as he always looked to me like he might be a bit better over the larger obstacles.

I’ve had a small interest on CRUCHAIN (2.05 Kemp) as this is generally his time of year. Has been below par on his last few starts including in terrible ground last time. As a result he has tumbled in the weights and is 8lbs lower that when winning this race last year. He has a good track record too and the 5/1 available is a bit too big for such a well handicapped runner.

In the Lanzarote Hurdle (2.40 Kemp) I’ve backed to against the field. The main bet has landed on CAPTAIN SUNSHINE who has looked to me like a horse that is on a lenient mark. He was running ok when the yard weren’t in the best of form but that tide has definitely turned now and he is a really attractive each way price at 14/1. I have had a saver on BLACK THUNDER who really should have won at Haydock last time. You could see from Ruby’s reaction after the race that he was annoyed with himself as he had just been overly patient and the race got away from him. Harry Derham largely offsets the rise in the weights and I expect him to go very close again.

EASTLAKE finally looked last time like the penny was starting to drop over fences and he is potentially still on a pretty nice mark after his win last time. I have thrown a few bullets at him in the hope that he is maturing!

The 2.25 at Warwick is a fascinating race but I have struggled to get away from THE PACKAGE who looks like he will be very hard to beat if he runs to form. I did feel that both OCKAFRANKA and ELY BROWN were both overpriced at 20’s and 24’s on Betfair so I have had a bit on both each way.

My bet of the day though has to come in the feature chase on the card (3.35 Betfred Classic Chase) in the form of PETE THE FEAT. He has been a revelation of fences so far this year winning five from five since joining Charlie Longsdon. The way he travelled through the race last time suggested that he was still very much ahead of his mark. A 9lb rise was understandable but I think that may still underestimate his ability and he is a knocking bet at around 4/1. The each way thieves will be all over it. I have had a small saver on MAJOR MALARKEY who always runs well in these slogs and is available at double figure odds.

It is set to be a really interesting day, wrap up warm!

Be lucky!

MG

Thursday 10th January

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Day 10. Well yesterday produced a really good result. The first weigh in and I’m down 6lbs in the first week. Deep down I suppose I wanted a really big number to kick-start things but I shouldn’t grumble. The maths work out that I have to lose 3lbs a week over the five months to hit the 70lb target. So I already have 3lbs in the savings satchel so to speak!

It was nice to see Charming finally win yesterday. He scrambled home in a messy race but having taken slightly bigger than 4/1 he has more than paid for his previous defeats. There were one or two comedy rides across all the venues yesterday. There was one piece of very questionable riding spotted at Ludlow. I will be keeping a keen eye on the said beast to see where and what he is entered in.

My only selection of the day today is RED SOMERSET (6.45 Kempton). It certainly isn’t a strong pick by any means, I just thought that his price this morning was way out of line. A very consistent ten-year old that hasn’t been out of the first two in any of his last nine starts. He travelled really well on his return from seven months off the track when finishing second a couple of weeks ago. There is every reason to believe he would have come on for that run and better can be expected today. He has to deal with some unexposed youngsters in here but should be cherry ripe and he has won off higher marks in the past so the double figure odds are much too big in my view and we should get a decent run for our money.

I’ll be missing the afternoon action today as I’ll be on the road.

Be lucky!

MG

Wednesday 9th January

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Day 9. Well a full cardio session last night left me in pieces but after 8 days I am starting to get into the rhythm of things and a little more confident. Today is weigh-in day though so that could all change a little later! Fingers crossed.

Really looking forward to seeing Overturn over fences again this afternoon. He jumped beautifully at Sandown and although no sort of betting proposition, it will be fascinating to watch all the same.

I’ve backed PERCYTHEPINTO (1.30 Ling). The 7f at Kempton last time was just all too quick for him last time. This track seems to suit him a little better and the step up in trip may well bring about a bit of improvement.

I have also given another chance to DERWENTWATER (2.40 Ling). He got messed about both at the start and mid race here last time and with a clear run probably would have won. He looks fairly treated on what I have seen so far and I’ve backed him accordingly. Obviously there is always slight concern when money comes for a David Evans runner on the sand and the favourite HANDSOME STRANGER has been very well backed on handicap debut after four lacklustre efforts in maidens. I’m happy to take him on at the prices.

It feels like I am giving several runners last chance saloons at the turn of the year and that is certainly the case with CHARMING (3.45 Ling). He has never been a really strong fancy as he has started at some massive prices. He has shown on a few occasions that he is fairly treated and ready to win and I’ll give him one last chance today. He’s about 4/1 at the moment.

My last bet of the afternoon comes over at Ludlow where I have backed CEEPEEGEE (1.20). It’s a bit of a flyer but he’s back to his last winning mark and there have been a couple of signs the last twice that he is not far from having his turn again. The 10/1 this morning is probably a bit too big!

Nothing stood out for me at Kempton this evening.

Be lucky!

MG

Tuesday 8th January

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Good morning peeps. Still thought I would get today’s interests down before I hit the gym! Had a good look at the Wolverhampton card this morning and there are one or two interesting runners.

ROSSETTI (2.30) looks interesting to me in the opener. The son of Dansili is far from straight forward but in an open looking race he might just be a little bit over priced. He quite clearly didn’t get the 9f last time and the drop back in trip is a definite plus. His last two starts have been in fair races for the grade and he is on a winning mark. The one thing he really needs is a strong pace to run at but with Smalljohn and Mr Knightley in the field, they should go a good clip.

The 3.25 race is very interesting for personal reasons more than anything. Hazza The Jazza is chasing a three timer after two nice wins on the bounce. He has gone up a total of ten pounds for those wins though and that certainly makes life tougher. He probably needs a strong pace to run at too which he is not guaranteed to get in here so he might well be worth taking on. The interesting one for me is Loulou Vuitton. He was beaten only a quarter of a length by the favourite when they clashed at Wolverhampton last time and he gets an 8lb pull in the weights. I’m going to back him and save on the handicap debutant Groove On in an attempt to get the jolly beat.

Rosie’s Lady is very likely to win the last and looks up to defying her new mark but I am going to throw one or two last chance bullets each way on LORD PAGET (5.25) as he is just too tempting a price not too. He is quirky, often misses the break and finds trouble but I am sure in raw ability terms he is better than this mark. The 22/1 available this morning is well worth a tiny interest and fingers crossed he jumps on terms.

Of the two jumps meetings nothing really stood out. Looks a good day for favourite backers in all honesty…

The treadmill is calling. Be lucky today.

MG

Monday 7th January!

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Afternoon campers. Been a very busy day today. Still not really recovered from a weekend of being bashed in the gym and sporting let downs.

Saturday got off to a decent start early on with Brighton bagging the first half of the live TV double. The day then got much better as the bet of the day BIG FELLA THANKS literally tanked his way to victory. This was just about the last bright spot of the day! The second half of the double at Upton Park had to be listened to in the car as I was travelling back south from Coral TV. After 91 minutes on five live Graham Taylor said that RVP had been totally ineffective since his introduction…….30 seconds later his first touch was quality and the finish just as good! 2-2…..despair….an 11/1 double that everyone had mocked me for down the pan and a replay at Old Trafford, balls. Still the one blessing might be that with the fixture congestion Sir Alex is likely to play a weaker side and our better players may well all be fit again. On a sour note, United have decided to charge £45 a ticket for a replay on a Wednesday night. Clueless.

The sporting weekend only really went downhill from there! The Redskins started on fire and quickly went 14-0 up. Then RG3 aggravated his knee injury and the writing was on the wall from the start of the second quarter. There is still an awful lot that the franchise can be proud of this season. With 5/6 quality free agency additions next season there is every reason to be very optimistic of a very bright future. The only team that really impressed me this week were the Packers. I think they will go all the way in the NFC. The AFC is more interesting. Everyone is raving about the Broncos but they fail to look at the bigger picture. The boys from Denver have had a very soft schedule. They have in fact only played four teams with winning records……and they have lost three of those games, so it is not as clear-cut as everyone is making out. I think it will be a Green Bay/New England Superbowl myself.

The training has had a rough start. It’s a hard reality when you think you can do what you used to be able to. Reality is I need to build up to that level again. I’ve had a positive first week though. First weight loss weigh in is on Wednesday. I’m hoping for a big start to kick things off!

You will probably have noticed from the lack of blogging that I have had a small break from the racing since Christmas. I have got two weeks of videos to catch up on over the next couple of days so that the daily racing blog will be up and running.

If you are a racing fan/analyst/gambler of any form then make sure you check out my sponsor’s racing software. Proform are launching the new website in a few days which has tuition videos and lots of new features. It really is an absolute life saver for me and many other of the industry professionals. Click the link on the picture on my blog for a link directly to the website.

OK, videos to get my teeth into!

MG

Saturday 5th January

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Good morning peeps, and a happy new year to you all. Once again sorry for the lack of posting the last few days, it has been nothing but very hectic. The good news is the program is well and truly underway! All my muscles ache like mad and I haven’t touched a drop of Kronenbourg for a good five days (sigh). First session back at the gym was brutal but now that is out the way it is getting easier each time! Thanks to pickles last night who spent the whole evening asking me if I fancied going for a pint on talkback. Git.

I’d forgotten what a pain sponsorship can be! It’s giving me a headache already, but fingers crossed all win pan out great and we will achieve some greatness for some great people.

Do you remember the time when FA CUP 3rd round day was just about the biggest day in football? How much you look forward to the potential giant killings on Match Of The Day? Now it just seems to be another Saturday. Weak teams being fielded left right and centre. I must give a mention to Hastings and the thousand fans travelling from Sussex up to play Middlesborough today. I hope they give a good account of themselves. My heart is also trying to talk me into the live Brighton/West Ham double……….must stop it.

Todays racing is an absolute feast and starts a new era for Channel four racing too. The morning line was certainly an improvement in terms of race analysis, however there are still two or three real weak links in the cog. GC seemed to fit in very well though, he and Jim make a good team but I think the program is poorer with no Francome.

At Lingfield today I thought that COLOURBEARER was interesting in the 1.25. The six furlongs probably didn’t suit him last time at Wolverhampton and he went firmly into the notebook the time before. The way Lingfield races might enable him to see out the six better here as he can freewheel down the hill and I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t in the first three.

I also thought that WHAILEYY (2.35 Ling) represented a rather thick bet if he was an each way price. However upon arriving at Coral Tv I see he has been smashed to pieces and the price has gone! Makes me think he’s a good thing!

My best bet of the day comes at Wincanton in the form of BIG FELLA THANKS (2.40). He was very well backed on his seasonal return before unseating early on before running an absolute blinder in the Becher Chase behind Hello Bud. He travelled like the best horse in that race for a very long way before fitness probably told late on in terrible ground. Everything today points towards a very big run and I think he’ll go well!

I am really looking forward to seeing my favourite mare again today in the form of KENTFORD GREY LADY. I’m hoping she will take this win the minimum of fuss before moving onto bigger things.

The Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown (2.25) is an absolute cracking renewal with the front four in the betting all looking to have bright futures. Poet is particularly interesting given his form on the flat. You can probably pick holes on his hurdle debut form though. Melodic Rendezvouz and Royal Boy face a rematch after the former came out on top at Cheltenham. They should be very closely matched again. At the prices though I am going to back COURT MINSTREL. His from lines are very solid and he arguably should have won last time but for just about everything going wrong for him at Cheltenham. He wouldn’t want a slow pace though as he is a keen going sort and the lack of a front-runner is a slight worry but that is factored into quite a juicy price.

The Coral Welsh National is rescheduled today after being abandoned on the 27th. Conditions will be tough and it should be a real test. It is one of those races where no matter how many times you look at the market, everything just looks about right. Teaforthree is quite rightly the favourite (apparently 5/1 with Hills this morning….cough, cough). Ap is on board who has a cracking record for the yard, he jumps brilliantly and won’t mind conditions. If all goes to plan in all honesty he probably wins. With that in mind, Coral are today doing the offer of money back if your horse finishes 2nd to the jolly, so use that offer wisely and have a few quid on VIKING BLONDE. He has been threatening to win for a while now and if he can get a softish lead and get into a rhythm, it will take a well handicapped horse to get past him, of which the favourite is the only one that fits that profile.

Enjoy a cracking days racing today. Coral TV duties for me this afternoon. Looking forward to the NFL wild card weekend getting underway tonight aswell. I’ll be shooting home to watch! Cannot wait for the skins game tomorrow!

I want to finish by saying welcome home Joey Cole! Make your mark son!

COYI

MG

MASTER Proform Racing  High Res  5 (cropped)