Saturdau 17th November – Paddy Power Gold Cup Day!

I suppose we could start today’s mutterings by mentioning a few things about yesterday? Bruce Millington still isn’t reading the blog though……..the phone hasn’t rung yet! Come on Brucey!

First and foremost I was very impressed with Dynaste. The way Tom Scu spoke about him afterwards I have a feeling they think he will be a better long-term prospect than Grand Crus. Fingal Bay ran well and jumped fine but his lack of pace over that trip got exposed and I expect him to be a much better horse over three miles plus. The yard also remain a little bit quiet, which is a worry. I thought extra credit should be given to Dodging Bullets who had to make his own pace and still won. He can be marked up for this performance. I doubt however that Paul Maloney will enjoy watching the replay too many times. On that evidence Court Minstrel is a rapidly improving horse and (probably) should have won.

Away from Cheltenham the racing was a joy! Aldermoor the bet of the day won really well at Lingfield, as did Anjaz later on in the evening at Wolverhampton. Then the punting gods really looked down on me. Having backed TARO TYWOD at 4’s in the morning he shortened significantly with the non runners (and the weight of Grantham followers money piling on) into 6/4. So with BetAngel running (Betfair trading software) the few minutes up to the race were awesome as money came for the others he drifted back out to 3/1 and bigger………the xmas money was dripping in lovely. Lays at 1.5, 1.3 and 1.11 were matched a long way out and the big green book was secure. I don’t normally lay off like that it was just an insurance policy because of the way he travels and that I’d kept pressing on whilst he was drifting.

So we move on to today and a real fascinating days racing. In the feature I think, like most that Grand Crus is going to be very tough to beat off 157. As I write this the 9/4 has disappeared and only Bet365 are standing it. He could go off at 6/4 at this rate. I hope he wins, it would be a good result for racing, but I also hope Hunt Ball runs a blinder.

I am really looking forward to the chasing debut of OUR FATHER (1.20 Chelt). He has always been regarded as a chaser in the making so whatever he achieved over hurdles was always going to be a bonus. The way he won at Ascot last year was breathtaking before he was disappointing on his final two starts. Moves over the larger obstacles today and he has enormous potential in this field. Sire Collonges jumped well on debut and will be a tough nut to crack but we are sure he could be something a little bit special and the feeling that the yard have had this in mind for some time. Glad I took the 9/2 last night as he is being smashed up this morning! Also at Cheltenham I have backed THEMILANHORSE (3.05) He looks a nice type and I think the step up in trip will suit big time. Getting 10lbs off Lovecen here could be crucial.

Over at Lingfield I like the look of both ELSIE BAY & EVERGREEN FOREST (12.30 Ling) so will back them both. Elsie Bay’s form behind Boonga Roogeta could not be stronger for the grade and surely goes close today. I think TINSHU is overpriced in the Listed race.

The two best bets of the day however have been saved for good old Wolverhampton. CHARMING (5.50) looks to me a horse that has largely gone under the radar. A real interesting runner for Olivia Maylam.The daughter of Invincible Spirit has only had 7 career starts to date and has some interesting form lines that make us feel that 67 under estimates her ability. She has run in some ok races for the grade recently and was an eyecatcher last time when not quite seeing out the 6f here. She gets the drop to 5 today which makes her of strong interest at an each way price of around 16/1 with StanJames. Lovely!

For the mince-pie collection though I have to say that ARAGOURN ROUGE (8.50 WOLV) still looks incredibly well handicapped on his old form and looks an absolute cracking bet tonight at 9/4. It will be a 9 hour punting marathon but he should be worth waiting for! All aboard!

I will probably spend the early part of the afternoon flicking between the racing and the friendly at the Emirates. For the record I hope Arsenal stuff them! West Ham don’t play till Monday night so a football pain free weekend. Three points against Stoke could put us into the top 4. How crazy is that? Champions league la la la…………..(as if)

Be lucky today, enjoy a great spectacle!






Super Saturday….SUPER FRANKEL!

A quick recap of yesterdays action saw that Dutch Masterpiece is very much still ahead of the handicapper. Hay Dude got absolutely smashed off the boards, travelled like a dream and found nil. Population went about half a mile then O’Regan was looking down and pulled him up and Dark Lover was ridiculously well handicapped off a mark of 120!

The biggest frustration of the day was the run of TARO TYWOD at Wolverhampton. She travelled like a dream tucked in on the inside but you could see what was coming a mile off. Shane Kelly had nowhere to go and was trapped on heels for all of a furlong whilst in the meantime the favourite got a clear around the outside and sprinted clear. Once she got out she finished a decisive second and rewarded the each way play at a big price. She is back to form and is very well in on her maiden form. I think she would have won with a clear, but we will never know. At Cheltenham yesterday after further study I talked myself into backing Viking Blonde and Jewel of The West at 22/1 and 14/1. They both finished second and the crossbar once again is lying on the floor broken in pieces.

Super Saturday really is that today. I nearly choked on my porridge when I saw Mattie Batch on the morning line today. Matt’s a top bloke who’s always willing to lend a hand with anything. He turned out for my team in our charity cricket match in aid of McMillan last month. He deserves a break and looks nailed on to be a quality racing broadcaster as I know that is what he wants to do. Hope Carruthers wins today pal.

Absolute top class flat action from Ascot, jumping from Cheltenham and some very big games in the footy as we return from an international break. A break is what I expect the idiot from Leeds to be getting courtesy of her majesty after last nights pathetic behaviour at Hillsborough. I don’t think they should be overly hard on Leeds. I do however think they should come down hard on the stewards and the police. It was a Yorkshire derby on a Friday night and the fans had been in the pub most of the day…… do the maths.

Of note in the football today, in the early kick off I do think Chelsea are a massive price. They are as big as 9/5 in places this morning and the Spuds have struggled at home to beat much lesser sides. I don’t bet on football very often but that looks much too big a price to me?

Today’s racing revolves around the best racehorse I have ever seen in my lifetime and probably ever will. Frankel is a machine with a glorious galloping stride that seems to go two to all others ones. I know the ground is an imponderable but I hope Tom is patient with him and glides to success. I would absolutely love to see him come upsides Cirrus Des Aigles on the bridle and then just skip 6 lengths clear. Due to a personal clerical error I’m working on Coral TV today rather than mixing it with the other 38,000 people as Ascot. Don’t choke on the hog roast you lucky gits.

The race didn’t really pan out for BOLD CROSS (6.20 Wolv) last time but tonight’s race should suit a little better. He is still feasibly handicapped from a win point fo view and the 5lb claim of Robert Williams (not the singer I may add, he would be claiming at least 50lbs) is a big plus. There is plenty of pace in this race and his hold up style may just come into play once again if the young apprentice can weave a passage. He looks a spot of value and a good each way bet at 9/1 and you might get some tasty prices on Betfair.

LEVI DRAPER (7.50 Wolv) is a horse you will know we’ve backed on his last two starts. He got absolutely no run last time and was desperately unlucky. The step down to 5f is a slight concern but this is such a weak race that I’ll be tucking in. Clear run please Hayley.

I’ve found it hard to find a bet at Ascot. In the first few races they have all beaten each other at some stage and it is hard to find an angle. Excelebration should win the QE2 but is no sort of price.  I do think there are a couple of runners that are overpriced in the big apprentice handicap to finish the card (4.45) and they are at opposite ends of the weights. MY FREEDOM and KINGSCROFT both look at little overpriced and will both definitely go on the ground. Might be worth half a point on each at 25/1 and 20/1 respectively.

I was hoping to back THAT’LLDOBOY (2.30 Chelt) this morning at around 7/1. It wasn’t until I turned on the morning line with blurry eyes that I realised that Pricewise had tipped him. He looks on a really nice mark and if he gets to about 9/2 or 5/1 nearer post time I will probably back him.

The main race of the day at Cheltenham is the 3.40. I think it’s a real tough race for punters as I think the market is about right. HOLD ON JULIO was a real progressive chaser last term and could prove this year to be a bit better than 144. GALAXY ROCK also looks like he may be better than his current mark of 137 and of the other ones at big prices I think DARNA is progressive. I’ll probably back all three at 6/1, 9/1 and 16/1 for a profit.

BIg day for the hammers today too. We have a real tough few weeks coming up and it is imperative that we take three points in these sorts of game at home. Southampton have been leaking goals left right and centre so fingers crossed the even money will get rewarded. For those of you that like a muggy Saturday treble I would throw in a London mix……WEST HAM, CHELSEA, ARSENAL……pays about 9/1.

Enjoy an absolute feast of sport today! Hope you find plenty of winners.

I’ll be on Twitter all day @markagrantham