Happy Easter! Saturday 30th March Racing!

pro5

A very good morning/afternoon/evening depending on what time you are casting your eyes on today’s ramblings. I hope you are all well and have lots of festivities planned for the weekend. Mine unfortunately will not include any chocolate (well I’ll try) and although I am due to be attending a big night out on Saturday I doubt it will include any alcohol either. Training is still going well, I’ve just had to change things up a little in the last week or so as my weight had plateaued somewhat. Still being incredibly good all round bout I’d only lost 2lbs in the last 3 weeks so a change is required.

A must give a quick mention to Miako who ran really flat on Wednesday. Luke Morris rode him as midge was banned. He is gonna have a month off now and we will look at possible future plans then. There are not many opportunities at Southwell now for him really until the winter so we may give him a go on turf to see how he does.

As we have a day of no racing today I thought I would really get stuck into the card at Doncaster and see if I can find any gems. I’ve just done the usual browsing through the Proform stats for the last two weeks and there are one or two eye catchers.

Trainers win and place strike rates over the last 14 days….

John Gosden 100%

Hans Adielsson 80%

Marco Botti 70%

Richard Fahey 64.71%

Richard Hannon 62.50%

Steve Gollings, Alan Swinbank, Ed Vaughan all 60%

Doncaster 1.20 6f Class 2 William Hill-No 1 Downloaded Betting App Handicap (4yo plus)

A devilishly difficult start to the day at Doncaster. The last 8 running’s of this contest have seen winning SP’s of 33/1, 40/1, 16/1, 16/1 and 66/1, so whatever you find don’t let a price put you off. Fitness will have to be taken on trust as only Thunderball has run within the last 50 days. King of Jazz for Michael Bell is likely to head the betting as he is starting to look attractively handicapped but he hasn’t won since his maiden which is off-putting. Darren Egan will take off a handy 3lbs mind. By far the most interesting one from a handicapping point fo view is David Barron’s COLONEL MAK. He’s on a good mark on some of his old form and with trip and ground ideal the 5lb claim of Luke Mcniff makes him of real interest if he could return to something like his best. You cannot ignore the claims of Richard Fahey’s runners in these early season contests and both FARLOW and ALEJANDRO make some appeal. The former is likely to be towards the head of the betting and the lightly raced five-year old is only a pound higher than his last win. Most of his best form however does come on a firmer surface which would be a slight concern, but if he handles it, he should go close. Jamaican Bolt was progressive last year and bumped into a bang in from Jack Dexter when second on his last start here in October. The ground will hold no fears at all. All his best form is over five so this might stretch him a little but the yards horses are generally running well. There isn’t an awful lot of early speed in here which might play to the strengths of the consistent mare Spinatrix with Connor Beasley taking off 7lbs.

I’ll be backing Colonel Mak with savers on Farlow, Alejandro and Spinatrix on Betfair at inflated prices.

Doncaster 1.55 William Hill Spring Mile (Handicap) (CLASS 2) (4yo+)

A wide open Spring Mile with several potential improvers not least Educate and Nameitwhatyoulike. Dubai Hills has been winning off higher marks around Southwell and comes here in rude health. He does tend to save his best for the fibresand however. This is one fo the races that I like to look for some value and maybe play a few against the field. The first one that jumps off the page at me is PATRIOTIC. Chris Dwyers gelding will be largely ignored in the betting but there is reason to believe that he is a player. Firstly he is fit from the all-weather which includes a win two starts back off a mark of 77. His turf mark is lower than his all-weather mark and he gets in here off 74. The very talented Robert tart will take off a very valuable 5lbs too. His last visit to Doncaster resulted in a win over this course and distance and he has run well on soft ground in the past. The race hasn’t been priced up yet but he’s trading around 32’s on Betfair and I had him in at about 14/1 so that makes him of massive each way interest. I think Extraterrestrial is over priced, as is the race fit Docofthebay. From the front of the market GAUL WOOD makes most appeal. Lightly raced, he is ultra consistent and goes well fresh.

1.5 pts each way Patriotic 33/1, 1 pt win Gaul Wood. 0.5 pts win on Extraterrestrial and Docofthebay.

Doncaster 2.30 William Hill – New iPad App Cammidge Trophy (Listed Race) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)

An interesting renewal with one or two of last years most progressive sprinters. Humidor tends to do most of his winning over 5f and may want a better surface. Captain Ramius and Our Jonathon renew their rivalry and are sure to go well but clear preference is for Jack Dexter who improved leaps and bounds last year and looks set to continue that progress with conditions to suit.

Jack Dexter 1 pt win.

3.05 Doncaster William Hill Lincoln (Heritage Handicap) (CLASS 2) (4yo+)

A fascinating renewal of the first big handicap of the season seven days later than expected. Captain Bertie has been very well backed to continue last years progression and the yard are going very well. I think he’s short enough but he does have a very high strike rate when the ground description includes soft or heavy. Strictly Silver comes here on the back of a deserved victory at Wolverhampton but isn’t sure to go on the ground. By far the most interesting one towards the head of the market for me is LAHAAG. Trip and ground are ideal and the yards horses are running very well indeed (100% win and place strike rate last 14 days). He was beaten by Chapter Seven when last seen at York but he was keen that day and is likely to be bigger and stronger this time around. I like him a lot and think he’ll take some beating. Of the others last years winner BRAE HILL will have very chance again off the same mark with conditions to suit. Chosen Character improved leaps and bounds last year and it will be interesting to see how he fares in this much tougher grade. The two at big prices that look over-priced are DUBAI DYNAMO and BANCNUANAHEIRANN. 65’s and 40’s on Betfair are prices that should be taken. DD always needs a couple of runs to put him right and is feasibly handicapped. Mick Aplleby’s runner was acquired from Jim Bolger last summer and ran some cracking races in defeat in big handicaps. The yard is going great runs at the moment and if he is cherry ripe Bancnuanaheirann could really out run his price.

Lahaag 3 pts win @ 8/1, Dubai Dynao and Bancnuanaheirann 1 pt each way @ 65’s and 40/1.

4.15 Doncaster Harriet Powell Handicap (Div I) (CLASS 4) (4yo+ 0-85)

Nice and straight forward here as I am really keen on the chances of EASTERN DESTINY who ran flat on her last start at the end of last season but has progressed nicely before that. If she’s cherry ripe I think she will go very close!

Eastern Destiny 1pt win.

Away from Doncaster I will be backing PEPITE ROSE over at Haydock (3.15) She still looks on a really attractive mark to me and would surely have won at Newbury last time when falling three out. A recovery mission today.

It is of course DUBAI WORLD CUP night aswell on Saturday and if you are a big fan of your international racing I recorded Timeform Radio’s Dubai World Cup International Racing Podcast alongside Stephen Molyneux which you can listen too via http://www.timeform.com/radio it can also be downloaded from the site and of course through itunes. Stephen had one or two strong fancies on the card and is well worth a listen.

The domestic football action is back and the hammers entertain West Brom at Upton Park tomorrow. Three points is a must to re-establish our mid table position.

Enjoy what is a craking weekend of sporting action.

Be lucky and back plenty of winners.

MG

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Monday 25th March

pro5

Morning campers. Well today feels a bit weird. I was hoping to be celebrating Tiger Woods winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational this morning but a tropical Florida storm meant that he only completed two holes of his final round. Play will continue at around 2.30pm our time. He did manage to extend his lead to three shots with an excellent birdie at the second hole mind. Rickie Fowler looks the only conceivable danger, although having said that the course is likely to play a lot slower today.

Just the one selection yesterday and he was a very easy winner indeed. He got absolutely hammered in the market and was backed from 3/1 into 11/8 before winning very easily. I hope many of you put him in your bets!

Only the one meeting today but I’ve been sifting through Proform all morning and come up with some interesting insights.

The Proform stats for the last 14 days have thrown up two trainers with high win and place strike rates:

Richard Hannon 66.67% (Mysterial 4.10) and Gay Kellaway 60% (Conducting 5.10)

PRINCE OF BURMA has been on my horses to follow list for a while. If he doesn’t win the first today, he will firmly be dropped off it!

By far the most interesting horse on the card for me today is KINDIA (5.10) trained by Michael Attwater. She started her career in France before racing here for the first time in November and she has shown steady pieces of form since whilst not really having the pace to win over a mile. Today she steps up in trip for the first time and she looks sure to improve for it. Her 2nd at Kempton on 28th January has worked out well and today she drops into 0-70 company for the first time. This does look a good race for the grade but the 16/1 about her this morning is far to tempting to leave alone and is a very good each way price. The favourite MUBTADI is very solid however and the form of his last win has worked out incredibly well and he may be up to progressing again.

You will know I have been following POLARITY (4.40) for a while. She is a massive price again today (50’s on betfair) but I have that nagging feeling that she will pop up soon at a massive price off a tumbling mark. Thomas Brown takes off another 5lbs today which will help further and whilst she is likely to finish last, she is certainly going to pop up at some point so I will back her small and throw some darts at the place market too.

By process of elimination with regards handicap marks and trip, ELUSIVE HAWK (3.10) should be very difficult to beat under a penalty. He won incredibly easily at Kempton the other night and is expected to do so again today. The bottom weight Sannibel may be the danger.

So a couple of big priced arrows to fire on a quiet day. Miako is entered on Wednesday and it looks a good race. I’m off to get the kettle on to watch the Tiger bring home the bacon!

Good luck today, be lucky

MG

Sunday 24th March

Proform

Greetings campers. The one big advantage of being on this five month training program is that Sunday mornings are generally greeted with a clear head and a bit of Sunday Brunch on Channel 4. The weather is once again playing havoc with the racing, although remarkably we have two meetings on this afternoon. It was really interesting listening to Nicky Henderson in the studio yesterday. Most of you will know that I’ve been saying from day one that Sprinter Sacre should certainly be upped in trip. After the breeders telling Nicky that they can’t understand why they aren’t running him over three miles it looks like we are going to get a stepping stone at Aintree where it looks like a match against Cue Card and Flemenstar looks fully on the cards. Looks like I’ll be going to Aintree then! What a race that will be…….and who knows maybe the reality that 3 three miles or maybe even further could be a possibility?

A fun week all in all. Shame we lost Donny yesterday. I mentioned some proform stats ahead of racing on Friday. Keep an eye out for Richard Fahey’s handicappers in March/April. This one produced two winners at Doncaster and is a stat to follow. Keep an eye on William Van Gogh’s entries, he won with a ton in hand as expected and will probably rack up a quick sequence. Keep Clapped onside as well. Maybe a drop back to 7f will be ideal. He missed the break on Thursday and was up against it, he should be followed.

Miako seems to be fine on the back of cutting himself earlier in the week. On the face of it he actually ran a blinder considering how slow the track was riding and how quick they went early. Ridden with a tad more restraint he definitely looks up to winning off his revised mark. He is entered this week in a 0-75 where he is likely to carry top weight. The race represents a drop in grade though so we will be hopeful of a good showing. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to Southwell on Wednesday as I’m working on Timeform radio. Due to flu, weather and all sorts I haven’t done a Timeform show for about 8 weeks, will be good to be back in the chair!

Finding a stream to the golf channel before Sky sports went on air last night for the golf paid lovely dividends. I’d noticed Tiger was drifting like Wooders after a heavy night in Punters (5am needs an explanation). So I tuned in to find out what was going on. Tiger although starting only steady looked really focused. Rose and Haas both started on fire which caused the drift on Tiger who was now 6/1 in running and 6 shots off the lead. Needless to say I waded in a bit extra at the 6/1 in the hope that he would have a stormer and get back in the game. I was going out shortly after and had largely forgotten about it until a text came through from Buca at around 9 pm saying “class Tiger”……

Birdie at 15 followed by eagle at 16 had propelled Woods to joint first. Rose then went to pieces by all accounts and Woods ended the day two shots clear. Stake traded out at 1.5 thank you very much indeed. Now finish the job tonight old boy. No smashing it off the tea, take the conservative route and let them chase you. Ta.

Without doubt today the best bet for me and probably the only one is going to be BUY ART (2.40 Lingfield). Gary Moore’s gelding is completely unexposed off a mark of 62 and you are not going to get many weaker opportunity’s than this is a season. He has looked the last twice like he was being teed up for a little race somewhere and this looks ideal. The booking of Ryan is a big plus and he in my opinion will be very hard to beat in this.

People keep asking me what I think about the Olympic Stadium for West Ham. Well my answer is the same as most hammers. We don’t really want it but you can understand the logic. Upton Park holds so many memories for me and there still is no better place in the country for a game under the lights mid-week. When I was there for the Spurs game a couple of Monday’s ago the atmosphere was unreal. I can’t imagine you are ever going to get that at an Olympic style park. David Gold keep’s tweeting all these weird stats about the positives and I don’t agree with all of them. The bigger picture is that as a club under the Gold, Sullivan and Brady regime we are working towards being a debt free football club, which in this day and age is very rare. When we achieve this along with moving to a redeveloped stadium which will hold 54,000 we then have the opportunity to offer big time wages, which will attract the better players and also the potential of challenging for Champions League football which comes with many more obvious benefits. The travel links to Stratford will also make life a damn sight easier for fans. The short-term of losing Upton Park will be tough to swallow but we may end up reaping the rewards within ten years so lets roll with it….. COYI

Have a good day today, cheer on Buy Art and Tiger and if anyone is offering up a Sunday roast then let me know!

Peace out

MG

Friday 22nd March

pro5

Morning, well afternoon actually. A long four days away and work last night meant the once a week customary sleep in this morning! Woke to great news that all of today’s meetings have beaten the weather, fingers crossed the weather relents for tomorrow.

Another great days for the stats yesterday if you follow them on Proform, with Camachoice and Divine Rule both winning at Kempton. I was disapoointed with the way the race panned out for Clapped but after missing the break he was always up against it. William Van Gogh won really easily and was always going to win. A large bet was had by all and a lovely profit for the day! Ta for the thanks.

A devilishly difficult day today all round with ground likely to be very testing. Here are the top four trainers with win & place strike rates over the last 14 days….

Kevin Ryan 61.54%

Richard Hannon 61.54%

Andrew Balding 54.55%

Laura Mongan 50%

That leads me nicely onto the most interesting horse at Newbury for me today in TUSCAN GOLD (5.30). He looks on a winnable mark as he moves into handicaps over obstacles for the first time. Improving with each run so far this year. The yard is going particularly well and this may not actually be as competitive as it looks on paper. For you each way thieves he is a very backable 5/1.

Also at Newbury I think that a seven pound rise will not stop KAYLIF ARAMIS (4.25). He cruised through the race and looks all about stamina. I would be surprised and disappointed if he wasn’t good enough to follow-up this afternoon and he is just about the best bet of the day.

I will be backing ALLNECESSARYFORCE (2.00 Donc). Richard Fahey’s record in early season (March-April) handicaps reads really well on Proform and judged on his 4th in a listed race at the back-end of last season he could be very well handicapped off a mark of just 78.

I won’t be betting in the 2.30 but will of course be cheering on ART SCHOLAR for obvious reasons. Hope Mick’s Mops Angel goes well in the Brocklesby too.

My best bet of the day though comes in the form of HEAVENS GUEST (3.35 Doncaster). He improved with each run last year and finished with a comfortable success in a Catterick maiden. An initial mark of 77 seems fair enough and he may well just improve bundles for this step back up in trip on soft ground with another winter behind him. Any market support would be a big bonus but the 5/1 about him this morning will do lovely.

On other news when Tiger Woods drifted to 7/2 I couldn’t resist. He largely played very well yesterday and provided that Rose doesn’t have another freaky few days then he is bang there on -3. Looks like West Ham will get the Olympic Stdium…bugger. David Gold has been tweeting all the positives this morning. The main one of course being the football clubs worth in a 60,000 seater stadium David…….oh did you miss that one?

Good luck today. Fingers crossed for the weather!

Be lucky!

MG

Thursday 21st March

Proform

Good morning. I hope that everyone is well refreshed after last week. It was an up and down week but a really good Friday made it a nice winning one. Thanks for all your messages regarding Miako on Tuesday. Obviously the initial reaction after the race was disappointment that he had been beaten, but on the face of it he actually ran really well on a surface that was riding much slower than his previous run. He travels like a dream and has the ability to get his rivals off the bridle very quickly. If we just ride him with a tad more restraint he will definitely win off his new mark, hopefully next week!

We have lost Huntingdon today so I have concentrated todays efforts onto the all-weather (no surprises there I hear you shout!) I am so looking forward to the start of the flat season. I do love the jumps but by far my most profitable time of year is the summer! Fingers crossed the horrid snow manages to bypass Doncaster over the next couple of days as it seems the meeting could be in doubt.

I found it hard to pinpoint the best bet of the day today as I fancy three horses quite strong. First one or two interesting stats from Proform. Quite a few trainers with very good win and place strike rates floating about at the moment but by far the most interesting of those are the top four!

Ed Vaughan 83.33% (Clapped 9.00 Kemp)

Marco Botti 68.75% (Camachoice 8.30 Kempton)

James Unett 66.67% (Big Sylv (5.50 Wolverhampton)

Laura Mongan 62.50% (Indy Spirit 6.30 Kempton, Divine Rule 9.00 Kempton)

This leads me on nicely to the first bet of the day which comes right towards the end of the day in the form of CLAPPED (9.00 Kempton). He is a horse that went firmly into the notebook when upped from 6f to a mile and a half on handicap debut last time which he clearly didn’t stay. This may well have been used as an experiment to see how far he would travel as he had been running on strongly over 6. He drops back to a mile tonight for the very in form Ed Vaughan and has been given the first time blinkers to try to eek out a bit of improvement. He definitely looks capable of winning off this mark and looks of real interest at a tasty each way price of 8/1 this evening.

I really like the claims of WILLIAM VAN GOGH (5.50 Wolverhampton). Based on his old form he looks incredibly well handicapped and he has given two clear indications the last twice that he is ready to strike. He wasn’t given the best of rides last time so it may be significant that Graham Gibbons takes over this afternoon. This is a better race than last week but based on his old ability and off such a light weight he is of major interest to me this afternoon and must be backed!

The other one which took my eye today was QUALITY ART (2.30 Wolverhampton). By no means as strong a selection as the first two but he is another one that is very well in on his old turf form to the tune of about 20lbs. He showed a spark last time suggesting that the time is not far away. He is a hold up horse so will need the gaps appear at the right times. The application of first time blinkers are also another factor to eek out a bit of improvement. He is very interesting but has been well found in the market at 7/2 this morning and I wouldn’t be surprised if he went off pretty short!

Tiger Woods looks like a bit of a banker back at Bay Hill this weekend but he is very well found in the market and is generally an 11/4 shot. I hope he wins for everyone that has piled in!

Good luck today! Here is to three winners!!

MG

Proform

 

Cheltenham Festival Day 4!

Proform

Well yesterday was a punters nightmare. If you managed to find a winner at all you probably had a good day. My list of placeditis this week has been horrendous! Check out these bad boys with decent wagers…

My Tent Or Yours 2nd @ 5/2,  Tullamore Dew 4th @33/1, Shangani 4th @ 8/1, Rule The World 2nd @ 7/1, Meister Eckhart 2nd @ 14/1, Regal Encore 2nd @ 7/1, Dynaste 2nd @ 7/4, Captain Sunshine 2nd @ 20/1, Smad Place 3rd @ 12/1, Romanesco 3rd @ 10/1, Alfie Sherrin 4th @ 10/1!

Now if I backed place only this week I would be rich! As it is I’ve left the crossbar in a million pieces on the turf!

Friday is a day to savour though as we head for the gold cup! Todays run down will be brief as I am on the go all day!

In the Triumph at 1.30 I think this will be battled out between OUR CONNOR and ROLLING STAR. I do also really like Far West but the yard’s runners with the exception of Celestial Halo have run poorly all week and that would be a major worry. At a price KASHMIR PEAK could also run a big race! I would probably split my stakes between the front two in the market as I cannot split them.

The County Hurdle at 2.05 looks an absolute minefield! I can see why Cotton Mill is the jolly but I have to recommend a decent each way wager on CLARET CLOAK. The yard have not been in good form but Captain Sunshine gave that a boost yesterday and the booking of Noel Fehily in the absence of Dominic Elseworth is a massive plus. I have no doubt at all that he is much better than 135 and he actually made up a lot of ground from an impossible and stupid starting position in a slowly run Betfair Hurdle behind My Tent Or Yours at Newbury. The drying ground is a massive plus too and I cannot recommend a decent bet on him enough. Probably the best value bet of the whole week at 20/1 but let’s be honest it’s a race full of potential blots.

The Albert Bartlett at 2.40 is another interesting race. AT FISHERS CROSS will be hard to beat. He looks really gutsy but his price reflects that. I’ll be backing two against the field in BALLYCASEY and AFRICAN GOLD who’s yards have both had excellent weeks.

THE CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP @ 3.20 is a fascinating renewal. Last years 2nd and 3rd re-appear in the form of The Giant Bolster and Long Run but I think they may end up playing second fiddle to the young guns here. BOBS WORTH is absolutely rock solid after a superb win in the Hennessy. He stays all day and I think this race is going to suit him down to the ground. Silviniaco Conti comes here on the back of three terrific wins this season and looks an absolute natural over his fences. The yards form this week would be  slight doubt bu the race will suit and he looks sure to be involved in the finish. SIR DES CHAMPS went to the head of the betting for this when winning the Jewson impressively last year. He should stay but I do wonder if he is quick enough against a couple of these? The loss of Davy Russell is a blow too. Of the others the one I would play each way would be CAPE TRIBULATION who has matured massively this season. Denis gets on with him really well and his quietly quietly approach out the back here might pay some big dividends if they take each other on up front. I’ve backed Bobs Worth and had a decent each way bet on Cape Tribulation! Enjoy!

The foxhunter’s rarely entices me into a bet but my experts ensure me that Salsify is a certainty. (ok).

EDEYMI is another one I have been waiting for in the Martin Pipe at 4.40. He has been absolutely plotted up for this by Tony Martin and has been crying out for the step up in trip. He looks on a really good mark and is a cracking bet at 8/1!

The last looks an absolute nightmare as far as get out stakes go but RODY comes here in great form and is improving rapidly over fences and will do for me hopefully at the end of a card where we have already won a fortune and will be sipping champagne!

Enjoy a great day!

MG

Cheltenham Festival Day 3

pro5

Well if you’re in front after the first two days then you’re doing well. The over ten lengths on Sprinter Sacre saved the day for me yesterday after I had plenty more seconditis. We are effectively only at half time and we have reached a really pivotal day as I fancy a few strongly this afternoon. Must just touch on The New One who was mightily impressive in winning yesterday. That puts to bed any worry about NTD horses that are running.

1.30 Cheltenham – Jewson Novices Chase

A real interesting opener and the opportunity for the David Pipe trained DYNASTE to enhance his already tall reputation. He has done nothing wrong to date with his last run being a 9l beating of Hadrian’s Approach in the Feltham at Christmas. On a line of that form you would think that Dynaste would have gone very close to winning the RSA yesterday. This is probably a slightly easier task today. The one worry about him would be that all of his form is generally before Christmas. He was beaten out of sight in the World Hurdle last year, but he looks a more mature horse this time round and if he runs to his ability today I think he will win. The main danger is likely to be CAPTAIN CONAN who also comes into this race unbeaten over fences. He had to really scrap to beat Third Intention at Sandown last time which was far from impressive but conditions here are likely to be more to his liking and although I think he will certainly play a part, I have always had a nagging doubt about him at the highest level.

AUPCHARLIE comes in next and he has some interesting form lines that have already produced the goods this week. It was however very disappointing that he was beaten at Naas last time and the fact that One Cool Shabra wasn’t at all far behind him is off-putting. I think a likely big danger could be TEXAS JACK who has been a model of consistency this season. He beat Lord Windermere at Leopardstown before finishing a nose behind Boston Bob last time which at double figure odds makes him a player and a solid each way proposition.

I’ve backed DYNASTE but I have also had a saver on TEXAS JACK.

2.05 Cheltenham – The Pertemps Final

This is a race I really like mainly down to the fact I’ve had some massive winners in it in the past. Today’s favourite comes here very well backed after two very interesting runs this season. SAM WINNER was 5th at Sandown on the back of a year off and was fairly tenderly handled by Ruby and stayed on quite nicely late on. He then went on to win a jumpers bumper at Kempton and comfortably beat Peddlers Cross in the process. Now it is never wise to try to weigh up the marks of horses in those contests but you have to think that he is starting to look a seriously well handicapped horse off 140. He comes here with every chance and the step up in trip has promised to suit for some time but he is quite short now.

SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR is progressive and has been winning by the smallest of margins. He is up another 9lb in a much better race but more improvement is possible under tha champ. CLOSE HOUSE comes here in rude health on the back of an excellent 2nd behind the well handicapped Double Ross he went on to comfortably dispose of Rangitoto at Wincanton in a race where the front two pulled miles clear. He’s up another 7lb but must be considered. TOPOFTHERANGE improved markedly to win really easily at Sandown last time and is only 5lb higher today. He is another for the short list and BET365 are really sticking their necks out this morning and going 16/1 about him which is too big! HOLLYWELL is up another 5lbs for another solid 2nd last time. He’s now gone up 21lbs in the weights without winning which is incredibly harsh and he is likely to give you another cracking run for your money at a big price.

I have to give one more chance today to CAPTAIN SUNSHINE. Most of you know the bad luck stories we’ve had with this fella and I must admit I would be a lot more comfortable if we had a different jockey. I’m not going to slag off Dominic Elsworth, he is simply just not my cup of tea and this game is all about opinions. He is definitely capable of winning off this mark but sometimes has his own ideas about things. If he jumps off this race could really suit him and I think he’ll go well.

I’ve backed Sam Winner ante-post so I will play up on Captain Sunshine and Close House for a profit.

2.40 Cheltenham – The Ryanair Chase

Really looking forward to this today. Probably the best renewal we have had in my opinion. Several of these would be near the top of the Gold Cup market and would be each way players there. We all know by now how much I love CUE CARD even though he has never really won me any reddies. I’m sure he will run another cracker here today but I do just worry that something may out stay him up the hill in what could be a cracking finish. The rock solid one is FIRST LIETENANT for Mouse Morris. His form in the Hennessy and Lexus is by far the best on offer this season and he would surely have gone to the Gold Cup with a massive chance. If he runs to form here today I think he will be very hard to beat indeed. The market reflects that now as he is a very well backed 9/4 favorite. Last years winner RIVERSIDE THEATRE comes here on the back of only one run this season in the King George. He will need to be cherry ripe to follow-up but you certainly wouldn’t rule him out. Martin Keighley’s horses are running very well and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Champion Court run a big race and on ground he loves ALBERTAS RUN could be very hard to pass.

All in all this is going to be a cracker. My heart wants CUE CARD to win and I will have a sentimental bet on him but on all form I do think that FIRST LIETENANT will be very very hard to beat and should be backed.

3.20 Cheltenham – Ladbrokes World Hurdle

No Big Bucks this year so this makes the World Hurdle a very attractive betting race. Quite clearly the best horse in the race is Oscar Whiskey and by some way in my opinion. the problem for him comes in the form of the trip and if this track actually suits him. If this race was over 2.5 miles he would be odds on. As it is that extra half a mile makes things very different indeed. The better ground will certainly help him in that respect but I’m still not convinced he will see it out in what is likely to be a fastly run race.

REVE DE SIVOLA has blossomed since returning to hurdles and comes here on the back of two solid victories, including beating Oscar Whiskey here last time. He is without doubt a mud lover though so today’s quicker conditions may not be ideal for him. He should run his usual solid race and be in the mix. Similar sentiments go to BOG WARRIOR who has had an excellent season back over hurdles in Ireland. He has never struck me as a grade one winner though and I would worry about him in here. SOLWHIT has been well backed but would need to improve to turn the tables on Bog Warrior from two starts back. The real interesting ones are SMAD PLACE and WONDERFUL CHARM. Smad Place is very good on his day but has largely had a disappointing season. Both his poor efforts this year have been on bad ground however and he is definitely a horse that appreciates a firmer surface. If he reproduced his form from this race last year he will be bang in the mix. Wonderful Charm is completely unexposed having only had one start in this country when bolting up in the Persian War at Chepstow. He would still need to find something on paper to get involved but there is no knowing how good he could be and is a fascinating runner. Get Me Out Of Here goes well here and if he sees out the three miles has to be a player too.

A cracking race. I have backed Smad Place and Wonderful Charm. If RDS continues to drift I may have a bit on him too.

4.00 Cheltenham – Byrne Group Plate

At last time to let the shoulders go with my best bet of the week. I have been waiting for CANTLOW to go over three miles for some time and he has been absolutely teed up for a big handicap. All three starts over fences have come over much shorter and as a result he gets in here off 143. Paul Webber’s charge was a very good third in the Pertempts final last year so brings festival form to the table. He is a bigger, stronger horse this year and his chase rating completely underestimates his ability. I’m sure he is going to be an out-and-out stayer and this has been the plan for some time. The presence of HUNT BALL means he only has to carry 10-12 which is probably why this race was chosen as his option. I think he will run a massive race and I’ve had 5 pts on each way.

I do massively respect HUNT BALL who travelled very well for a long way in ground he would have hated last time. He is a massive player back on decent ground and will surely trade quite short in running so is an obvious back to lay proposition. I will have to save on him and will look to green up in running. It is just pure guess-work when trying to work out how good BALLYNAGOUR could be. He has a 20lb penalty to deal with on the back of his facile victory at Warwick. That may underestimate his ability but it is pure guess-work and he is a massive player for sure.

VINO GRIEGO has gone up 17lb for his two easy wins and comes here in rude health. Although his is likely to run his race again he may find this a little tougher. Poquelin always runs his race on this course and is a big price.

This is a race that revolves around the front of the market. I am a massive Cantlow fan and he is just about my strongest opinion of the week. I will be looking to play on Hunt Ball and Ballynagour in various ways to ensure a profit. COME ON CANTLOW!!!!

4.40 Cheltenham – Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase

Wide open.  A race that is fiendishly difficult to win. No surprise that I like the look of ALFIE SHERRIN. He did me a massive turn in the JLT last year and he has been running on ground that wouldn’t have suited so far this year. This will be much more his cup of tea and he can take this on route to winning the Grand National! (We can dream being on at ridiculous prices). Two big dangers though in this race could be the improving ROMANESCO under the excellent Nina Carberry and NO SECRETS off bottom weight for David Pipe and Katie Walsh who is a real eye-catching booking!

I’ll be cheering on Alfie Sherrin with side bets on Romanesco and No Secrets.

My thoughts about the Cross Country if it goes ahead are exactly the same as Tuesday and I will be cheering on Alex Hammond in the charity race aboard Mica Mika!

Hopefully the day today where we fly into a big profit! Be lucky, back plenty of winners and come on CANTLOW!!

MG

Proform

Cheltenham Festival Day 2

Proform

What a thrilling start to the week yesterday with Hurricane Fly taking the feature and regaining the Champion Hurdle crown to ecstatic scenes in the stands as the well backed favorite flew up the Cheltenham hill.It wasn’t all plain sailing as Ruby looked far from happy as they reached the top of the hill after a good pace had been set by Rock On Ruby. I was surprised to see on reflection that the Champion was 4 seconds slower than the Supreme Novice Hurdle won by Champagne Fever earlier on the card. Similar scenes also followed 35 minutes later when Quevega overcame tripping and nearly losing Ruby Walsh at the top of the hill to power through the field and win her 5th mares hurdle on the bounce. She is remarkable but I can’t help but think about what if…………World Hurdle?

Simonsig was a fairly comfortable winner of the Arkle in a much less impressive fashion than was anticipated. It is the least fluent I’ve seen him jump but I just think this was down to how quick they went. He looks a surefire Gold Cup horse of the future for me.

We move onto day two and a day that looks like a winnable card.

JOHN OAKSEY NATIONAL HUNT CHASE – 1.30 Cheltenham

Judging by the state of the ground today this is really going to take some getting and could be a real slog. Don’t be surprised if there aren’t many finishers. I have to confess to think that the two horses at the front of the market are absolutely bomb proof and are the likely winners. Both BACK IN FOCUS and BUDDY BOLERO come here with solid credentials. Both strong travelers that jump and stay well they come here with all the right attributes  and I’m sure one or the other will win.

It’s not highly original as they are best priced 3/1 and 9/2 but I will be splitting stakes on them in a hope to get a flyer on day two.

NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES´ HURDLE – 2.05 Cheltenham

A fascinating renewal for the staying novices and a potential high-class one too. Must start with a horse I am very fond of in the form of PONT ALEXANDRE for the Mullins/Walsh combination that had three winners on day one. He comes here with a tall reputation, but that is a reputation that has been backed up thus far. He has been beating horses rated in the high 130’s+ with consummate ease and he is surely going to be very difficult to beat here with conditions and the track likely to suit. The way Ruby talks about him reminds me of the way he used to talk about Kauto in the early days. He could be very good indeed and I think he is a worthy and solid favorite.

Although I think Pont Alexandre will win I have to say that I am also very interested in RULE THE WORLD who has looked every bit a high-class hurdler himself to date. If your after a solid each way bet in the race then he is definitely it at about 7/1 as I write this on Tuesday evening. His form was given a real boost yesterday when Champagne Fever won the Supreme as he gave him a pasting last time out. On that evidence he should be second favorite and therefore must represent plenty of each way value at 7/1. The shrewdies will be out in force to mop this price up overnight I’m sure.

TAQUIN DE SEUIL comes here with every chance after a bloodless win in the Challow last time. His form was also given a boost when My Tent Or Yours ran so well in the Supreme yesterday. On that line of form though you would say on balance that Rule The World may have his measure. THE NEW ONE will have plenty of supporters again tomorrow but he was put in his place by At Fishers Cross last time and the health of the yard would have to be a major worry.

I think that Pont Alexandre will be very hard to beat and I will be having 4 points on him but also must back Rule The World  each way as a saver tonight at 7/1 as I’m convinced he should be second fav.

RSA CHASE – 2.40 Cheltenham

Just about my best bet of the day today will come in the form of Paul Nicholls UNIONISTE in the RSA. He was a very impressive winner of a grade 3 handicap before Christmas off a mark of 143. He followed that up by beating Hadrian’s Approach at Newbury and is better off with that rival at the weights today being the only five-year old in the race. Having only had four starts over fences in this country there is untold potential there and I think he will be very hard to beat.

Boston Bob is a viable alternative for the Irish Challenge but i think the fact Ruby opts for Unioniste is significant. Boston Bob has looked like a dour stayer in the making and so conditions will be up his street. I just worry that there maybe one or two that have too much speed for him at the business end. He looks nailed on to be a Grand National horse to me.

Clear preference is for UNIONISTE and I will be having 5 pts win @ around 7/2.

QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE – 3.20 Cheltenham

Not too much to report here other than to sit back with a cup of tea and watch one of the most exciting jumpers you will ever see be crowned champion. I was lucky enough to be there the day MASTER MINDED thrashed his field in 2008 and I think you might see something similar today. If there are any “how far” markets I will be very interested in the overs as I think today might be the day we see the hand brake taken off. On a side note I am interested to see how Mail De Bierve goes.

THE CORAL CUP – 4.00 Cheltenham

An absolute minefield for punters and we are likely to see 7 or 8/1 the field. There are plenty of concessions available though and most firms are going 5 places so there is lots of scope for some value.

We’ll start at the obvious point of PENDRA who has been at the top of the betting for this since his very good second to Melodic Rendezvous at Sandown last time. Unfortunately the winner didn’t take his place in the Supreme yesterday so we don’t know the strength of the form. The other line through Puffin Billy now looks just fair and you can pick holes in his Plumpton win. ABBEY LANE has been very well backed on the back of the Mullins/Walsh three timer yesterday and will come here with an obvious chance after a convincing win in the Boylesports Hurdle last time. He is up a stone for that win in a better race which means I would be inclined to look elsewhere.

Not being overly convinced by the front of the market means that there must be some value elsewhere (we hope). Cash and Go has been disappointing for me and he needs to improve markedly to be considered. Master Of The Sea is up another 12lbs (52 in total) on his quest for a five timer. This could be a step too far and I would be worried about the yard so that means we have ruled out the top four in the market, which could be very shrewd or very stupid.

As always I will be throwing several arrows at this race in the hope of picking up a tidy profit. The first of those darts is the Irish raider UN BEAU MATIN who is a general 16/1 chance. He is a lightly raced five-year old that ran a cracker in a grade 2 last time that suggests to me that he might be on a feasible mark. Conditions should suit and he will form the first part of my profile. Second dart at the treble twenty is ERICHT who seems to be a new horse all of a sudden. His win off 122 last time was impressive and was greeted with a 12lb handshake from Sir Handicapper. Gary Derwin’s excellent 10lb claim largely offsets that rise in the weights and he must be of major interest in here and is a whopping 16/1. The more I look at this race the more I fancy him. He does have his quirks and may well throw in a stinker, but he looked like a horse at Kempton that had turned a corner and he is much too big a price.

I’m not sure who the man with the mic is tomorrow but I’m sure they have prepared a line for BONDAGE. He will need to have improved since he was last seen to be winning off 145 but the break of three months may well have been just what he needed. I think Carberry will be a good partner too and also at 16/1 he has to be part of the portfolio.

The last one I am going to add is BLACK THUNDER who is definitely capable of winning off this mark and I think the undulations of Prestbury Park are perfect for him. He’s a strong stayer as we saw at Haydock when Ruby was livid with himself for letting the leaders get away. He was messed about last time at Kempton and Harry Derham was not overly hard on him. Daryl Jacob takes over and the 35/1 available on Betfair is as Dizzee Rascal would say……B B B B B  B BONKERS.

A four pronged attack.

ERICHT @ 16/1, UN BEAU MATIN @ 16/1, Bondage @ 16/1, Black Thunder 1 pt e/w @ 33/1!

FRED WINTER JUVENILE HANDICAP HURDLE – 4.40 Cheltenham

This looks an absolute punting minefield unless you have a strong view on a particular runner. There are many unexposed runners in this race. The two that I liked the look of the most were COUNSEL and MEGALYPOS with slight preference for the latter who looks completely unexposed having only had one start in this country on terrible ground at Chepstow. He could be very interesting indeed and would be my overall selection.

WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER – 5.15

It is very rare that I come into this race with a strong opinion but I have to say I was just about the most taken I have ever been with a bumper horse when I watched in amazement how easily REGAL ENCORE won at Chepstow back in October. He looks like a bit of a machine and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th from that race all have so fair form in the book since that race. He’s about a 9/1 chance tonight and will be my only bet in the race.

Another cracking day in prospect and hopefully loads of winners along the way!

Enjoy and be lucky!

MG

Proform

Cheltenham Festival Day One

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Well yesterday was one of the worst days of my life! I left Coral TV Towers in Milton Keynes at 5.30pm full of anticipation and excitement for today and went on to endure an epic 12 and a half hour drive back to Brighton! I had no idea there had  been any snow let alone the amount that had fallen. I slept for about 3 hours through the night on the M23 completely stranded with thousands of other drivers. The ploughs finally got through at about 4am and I made it home just after 6am. This is one start to a festival I will never forget!

 The time has finally arrived for the best week of the calendar year! Good luck to everyone and hopefully we can top last year which was our best festival yet!

1.30 CHELTENHAM – WILLIAM HILL SUPREME NOVICES´ HURDLE

The roar will greet us at 1.30 with the usual tough punting opener to get the festival underway. My Tent Or Yours is the obvious starting point and is currently trading at around 6/4. I think you just have to take a view on him and stick to it. There is no doubt that he was incredibly impressive in the Betfair Hurdle last time, winning easily off 149. The right horses were in behind him that day too as the 2nd, 3rd and 4th will all end up much better than their current marks. He’s a strong traveller and I have no doubt he will get to the bottom of the hill tanking along, the question will be will he get up it?

The second favourite is the unbeaten Irish raider Jezki who now also races in the colours of JP McManus. He has done nothing wrong at all in beating Waaheb (who has been disappointing) and Champagne Fever in his last two starts but I do just have a nagging doubt about him against top quality opposition. There is an interesting stat that goes against him too. Everyone of the last ten winners of this race had raced in the last 53 days. Jezki last raced 75 days ago. He is a sure-fire 3mile plus chaser of the future and at 4/1 I am happy to let him go. MELODIC RENDEZVOUS has today been confirmed as a non-runner. A major blow for the yard as he would have come here with every chance. Un Atout is next in the market and he is also unbeaten. On all of his starts to date he has done everything on the bridle and has looked potentially a little one paced. He will certainly need further than this in time and I can see him getting readily outpaced before staying on, I think the bird may have flown though so I am happy to let him run.

Champagne Fever will probably make the running but looks to lack a gear and is likely to be a sitting duck up the hill. Are you seeing a theme here? Yes I don’t like the Irish raiders who are 2nd,3rd and 4th favourites. This means there must be some value elsewhere! Dodging Bullets has course form, conditions will suit and has probably gone overlooked after his run in the Christmas Hurdle. That was a messy race however and there was no disgrace in being beaten by Darlan who in my opinion would have won the Champion Hurdle. He is currently about a 11/1 chance and must have very solid each way credentials. River Maigue hasn’t done much wrong but has had his limitations exposed by both Dodging Bullets and Far West. Puffin Billy should get a truly run race and has every chance of being involved in the finish. Cause of Causes will need a miracle to turn the form around with My Tent Or Yours. PIQUE SOUS would have been of major interest to me had we ended up with better ground. As most of you will now I backed him ante-post on Betfair at a ridiculous price so I have that voucher running for me. Cheltenian could surprise a lot of people and is probably over priced at 33/1.

So to sum up I do think that MY TENT OR YOURS will be incredibly hard to beat and if he is anywhere near 9/4 this morning I will back him. Of the others Dodging Bullets probably represents the best each way value and I believe William Hill are paying five places.

MY TENT OR YOURS 3pts win @ 9/4 or better

DODGING BULLETS 1 pt each way @ 11/1 with William Hill

2.05 CHELTENHAM – RACING POST ARKLE CHALLENGE TROPHY CHASE

In my eyes one of the races I am looking forward to the most over the four days. SIMONSIG is one of my favorite horses in training and he is a jumping machine. He will get a true test over fences for the first time tomorrow with the challenge of the very smart OVERTURN who brings plenty of very good credentials to the table. I’m convinced that Simonsig is a future Gold Cup horse. He is absolutely electric over his fences and I think we might see something very special here. the presence of Overturn if anything will help Simonsig as he has such a high cruising speed. I think he will win comfortably and although the price is pretty prohibitive there will be plenty of interesting markets to play on this race.

I’m not sure I’ll be playing a single at 8/13 but he will definitely be going in a couple of doubles/trebles through the week.

SIMONSIG 5 pts win @ 8/13

2.40 CHELTENHAM – JLT SPECIALTY HANDICAP CHASE

One of my favorite races of the whole week and the race that I peaked very early on day one last year after telling everyone that I though Alfie Sherrin would win last year at 33/1 in the days leading up to the race. I took a massive bow to the crowd in the parade ring after the race and did a little dance after he hacked up.

My biggest opinion on this race has just been thrown a curve ball as I thought it was absolutely ideal for CANTLOW. He has been completely tee’d up for a handicap and has been crying out for 3 miles. He has just been taken out of the race which is gutting. He has entries in the Kim Muir where he will have to carry top weight and the Byrne Group Plate which may not be far enough.

OUR MICK is the favourite at 6/1. He looks like he is potentially well in but he’s had one start since last year where he unseated in the race one by Katenko when still going well three out. He doesn’t represent any value but will probably go very close! Fruity O Rooney was second in this race last year and has run with real credit all starts this time round. A very good seventh in the Hennessy before solid efforts behind the very well handicapped Katenko the last twice. He will undoubtedly run his race again but may be vulnerable to a better handicapped rival. THE PACKAGE is another one that is feasibly weighted and will probably run his usual solid race but again may find one or two too good.

LOCH BA has benefited from the switch to Mick Channon after Henrietta’s retirement. He is a horse that I backed on several occasions last year believing he wa well in and he didn’t really produce. He was a ready winner last time and although he is up 12lbs in the weights he has been given a nice break since to freshen him up and he will come here with every chance. He must go well and is of interest.

MERRY KING will have every chance and looked again last time like a horse that is possibly still ahead of the handicapper. He has really solid credentials and I think he will run a massive race and go very close.

POOLE MASTER is a potential flyer that has been running over the wrong trip in small field races. He smells of a typical Pipe plot horse for the festival and the 33/1 about him this morning is enormous.

Of the other ones at a big price the two that I think are overpriced are MIDNIGHT CHASE and NUTS N BOLTS. The former needs no introduction. He has a cracking course record and he has come down the weights quite a lot this year so could run a big one. Nuts N Bolts has won two small races on bad ground and is only seven pounds higher here today and might run well at a massive price.

LOCH BA – 2 pts win @ 12/1 generally

MERRY KING 2 pts win @ 7/1

MIDNIGHT CHASE, POOLE MASTER & NUTS AND BOLTS 1 pt win @ 33/1 on all three.

3.20 CHELTENHAM – Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

Another very good renewal of the Champion with the last three winners all looking to regain the crown! It is a race however that I think revolves around the front two in the market. Pace is a big question, there is every chance we could get a repeat of last year where Rock On Ruby makes it at a sedate pace. This time around though I’m sure all of the other jocks will be wise to the tactic especially Ruby. I’ve no doubt that HURRICANE FLY is the best horse in the race and if he produces his best today I think he will win. His main danger will be the very tough ZARKANDER who is a real stayer over this trip and I would imagine that Daryl will be upsides Noel Fehily as the tapes go up as he will not want a muddling pace. If these two do go on and we get a decent pace I think that the fly will pick them up. If it becomes tactical I think Zarkander will grind it out. I will be backing Hurricane Fly before the race and I will have my finger on the button in running to see how things pan out over the first half mile.

I still have my Ante-Post voucher on Cinders and Ashes who has been largely disappointing this season. The ground has probably gone against him again here today but it’s another string in the bow. The ground is also a blow for GRANDOUET who I must admit I probably would have been quite keen on were we racing on good ground. He will travel but I’m not sure he will be able to pick up on this dead ground. Although I’m not really one for listening to rumours especially from Henderson, there has been more negative talk than West Ham going to Stratford so I’m happy to leave alone.

HURRICAN FLY 3 pts win

ZARKANDER 1 pt saver and potential in running play.

4.00 Cheltenham – Glenfarclas Handicap Chase

The cross-country chase is not my favourite event of the week and I don’t really get too involved if I am honest. I do think that ARABELLA BOY will run and big race and give you a decent round for your money though.

ARABELLA BOY – 2 pts win.

4.40 Cheltenham – OLBG Mares´ Hurdle

The Admiral mare QUEVEGA turns up twice a year and wins twice a year. Simple as that. She is in a different league to her rivals and will be winning again this afternoon. The team must have been very tempted to have a tilt at the world hurdle with the defection of Big Bucks. They have opted to stay with what they know though and she is just a different class to her own sex. I will take great joy in watching her win again.

One of my favourite horses in training is the lovely grey mare KENTFORD GREY LADY. Emma Lavelle’s charge is a model on consistency and the hurley burly of this race really suits her too as she travels very strongly and does most of it on the bridle. I had a decent wedge on her without the favourite last year and I will be doing the same again today! I think Une Artiste is opposable in this better field and although I massively respect the hugely improved SWING BOWLER, this may just be a race too far for her this season.

QUEVEGA 5 pts win @ 4/6

KENTFORD GREY LADY without the favourite 2 pts @ 13/2 with Paddy Power

Chuck in a stright forecast for good measure.

5.15 Cheltenham – Rewards4Racing Novices´ Handicap Chase

An absolute belter to end day one and I think my best value bet of the day goes here in the form of the very progressive ARTHURS PASS. Things really couldn’t have panned out better for Tom George’s charge after he racked up a quick hat-trick in small field events around Leicester and Ludlow. The last of those three wins came just twelve days ago and as a result he gets in here off second bottom weight. He won easily last time and only has a 7lb rise to contend with here which makes him of obvious interest under the guidance of Paddy Brennan. This is a different ball game all together but to me he looks very progressive and I think he has been laid out for this! A real solid each way investment is needed.

Lots of dangers in here not least the likely favourite COLOUR SQUADRON. He went on the interesting list after an interesting ride last time at Exeter where AP didn’t seem overly keen to be winning on him. Regular followers will know that he is a horse I have said for some time that will win a big one. I backed him at the festival last year. He could run a massive race and the 6/1 is an accurate reflection of his chances.

The ground may well have gone against CARLITO BRIGANTE who is a model of consistency and loves it here. The Druids Nephew may struggle with this step up in class whilst SHANGANI has been mopping up in small field events and is another who is still on a potentially attractive mark and he should be backed.

ARTHURS PASS 3 pts each way @ 20/1 with StanJames

SHANGANI 2 pts win @8/1

COLOUR SQUADRON 2 pts win @6/1

News just coming through that racing goes ahead which is terrific. Well I hope you all have a blinder today. I have just about woken up properly from my epic night. Fingers crossed plenty of winners today! Less than three hours until the roar!

Be lucky!

MG

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Cheltenham Eve!!

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Well it is almost upon us, collectively our favorite four days of the whole year. One more sleepless night to go before we all descend on Prestbury Park. I will just wrap up some thoughts on yesterday. I was absolutely gutted that Massena got beat. All through the day I became more and more confident like you do when you back a horse early doors and the price continues to tumble. Half way down the back I thought we had tapped into a seriously well handicapped horse as he tanked through the race. Unfortunately having traded very short in running he bundled the last and the eventual winner pulled out his only clean jump of the contest and we were on the ropes. He remains of interest but has let most of the players at the table see his hand.

I will just quickly touch on today’s racing as the two meetings got the go ahead at Plumpton and Taunton. I am mildly interested in the chances of SAWPIT SAMBA (4.20 Taunton) a little later on. He had three starts for Venetia Williams, one of which was full of promise before two really poor efforts switched to handicap company. The last of those two efforts came in first time blinkers on heavy ground at Exeter over just short of three miles. He has had 11 months off on the back of that and has made the switch to David Bridgewater. The yard is going well with small numbers at the moment with almost 60% of all runners hitting the frame and I just felt that with any kind of improvement as well as the drop in trip/removal of headgear, he may well be over priced. The non runner means there are only seven left in so the each way has gone but he is 11/1 in places so small stakes win will do.

My bet of the day though today has to be ROSOFF (3.40 Plumpton). Laura Mongan’s charge has dropped back down to a mark of 88 which is his last winning mark and we have the added bonus of the talented Nathan Adams taking off 10lb. He looks to have a golden opportunity to get back in the winners enclosure and bolster the coffers on the eve of the main event. I think Laura’s other runner on the card SEA CADET could run well on the back of a break too, although he wouldn’t want it too soft.

My Cheltenham day one preview will be posted later today!

Be lucky!

MG

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