Wednesday 6pm Could be an annoyed bunny by Thursday tea time with two “radar” horses possibly blowing their “very workable” handicap marks, Keeper Hill off OR138 and Aussie Reigns off OR130 (Irish). Excellent midweek jumping cards at Huntingdon, Doncaster and Thurles. Might Bite, Charlemar, Snow Leopardess, Messire des Obeaux, Petticoat Tails, Dicosimo, Don’t Touch It, Aussie Reigns, Livelovelaugh and Back Bar are all worth looking out for, many are out for a confidence boosting win prior to the Festival.
Thursday Lucky 15
Huntingdon 1.45 GO WEST YOUNG MAN 9/2 Coral 4/1 general
Huntingdon 2.20 KEEPER HILL 3/1 BetFred 11/4 general
Huntingdon 2.50 GIBRALFARO 9/2 WH 4/1 general
Huntingdon 3.20 TROJAN STAR 9/1 Coral 8/1 general
and here’s why
Huntingdon GOING/TRACK Good to Soft (GoingStick: No stick readings available due to frost covers on Wednesday at 07:00) Thurs: Frosty morning, cold day with possible wintry showers. Temperatures of 3C on Thursday. Entire track covered with fleece on Tuesday
Huntingdon 1.45 GO WEST YOUNG MAN Trip and ground are fine and he drops a grade, hence the top weight, and I’m quite happy he’s going right handed. I like the Henry Daly/Jake Greenall combination especially the jockey. The favourite, Petite Power, was described as a “fun” horse in a recent stable tour which to me means run often winnings a bonus and Zerachiel makes his chasing debut under rules although he is an Irish PtP winner.
Huntingdon 2.20 KEEPER HILL Love this horse and even tweeted the owners to point out what an excellent handicap mark of OR138 he had but they’re sticking to the championship route. Just can’t oppose and to use a dog eared expression “whatever he does over hurdles is a bonus”! This is a hot Listed hurdle for Huntingdon that could have an effect on the Neptune market at the Festival.
Huntingdon 2.50 GIBRALFARO A competitive C2 handicap over just short of two and a half miles and the selection has solid form this season running placed behind Diego du Charmil, Sceau Royal and Onefitzall. This race could be Gibralfaro’s chance to get to the altar and lose his bridesmaid tag. Looks like Henderson and JP McManus have decided to keep Protek des Flos a novice for chasing next season and reverts to hurdles and he’s Barry Geraghty’s only ride on the card. Just think the horse wants deeper ground.
Huntingdon 3.20 TROJAN STAR No winners for two months then three over last weekend so let’s get on the Kim Bailey renaissance bandwagon. Trojan Star is only two pounds higher than his last winning mark which was over course and distance. So that’s a tick in the box for trip, ground and grade. Good price.
Wednesday Lucky 15
Poor today with only On Demand competitive, who having done all the donkey work she was caught in the shadow of the post.
Carlisle 2.20 TURTLE WATCH 6th 12/1
Drifted like a barge. Held up rear, no impression, never competitive.
Ludlow 2.40 ON DEMAND 2nd 7/2
Led, set strong fractions, hurdled well but ran out of steam on the run in!
Ludlow 3.10 ICING ON THE CAKE UR 8/1
Got no further than the third!
Carlisle 4.30 RIGADINE DE BEAUCHENE 8th 10/1
Never got to the front. Beaten three out. Age may have caught him up.
Bit of light reading !
Angus McNae RacingUK 7 February 2017
Geraghty is likely to Movewiththetimes on Saturday – it is the right decision
“Rather than being against one particular horse this week, I am firmly in the camp of one who I believe will win the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday. The horse is Movewiththetimes and the reasoning is as follows.
- I am sure we have not seen the best of this horse yet. He is a strong travelling, lightly-raced novice with bags of potential. The six-year-old gelding has won three of his four races under Rules in style. He was impressive and not extended in a bumper and two hurdles races and he now has to step up to Britain’s richest handicap hurdle. There are good reasons for thinking he will successfully and it was his defeat at Cheltenham in November behind Moon Racer that really put me on to this horse.
- That race was the Grade Two Supreme Novices’ Trial and to my eye he could have finished a lot closer to the winner than he did. He was quite badly hampered twice in the closing stages when beginning to gather momentum and thereafter Barry Geraghty looked after him.
He was beaten only three and three quarter lengths and with a trouble free run I rate him as being right upsides the winner. He confirmed his wellbeing at Wincanton last month when routing 17 opponents in a novice hurdle when sent off a heavily-backed 4-11 shot. That win told us little more than we knew already, but I believe that Cheltenham race told us plenty.
- His official mark of 136 seems very fair because the handicapper has not been given a shot at rating him any higher. His narrow, pushed-out wins over hurdles and the unlucky passage at Cheltenham has really given this novice a chance in a handicap, which has surely been the aim all along.
- Some would argue the price has gone. He is now generally a 6-1 shot but if Barry Geraghty will ride him, as I believe he will, then he could go off at half those odds. Accordingly, I am happy to take 6-1 at this stage.
- He is tactically versatile and if there is a lack of pace, which is a possibility, his ability to track the leaders as he did for his last win will see him ideally positioned. Equally his strong-travelling way of racing will allow him to sit wherever his jockey wants and, given his lack of experience for such a competitive handicap, this will allow him to adapt quickly.
- Paul Nicholls has his horses in great order. He has had nine winners from his last 48 runners (19 percent)
Movewiththetimes could be a real blot on the handicap, given that we do not know how good he can be. My strong suspicion is that he could be very good and that 6-1 is fair value.”
ATR Fergal O’Brien Stable Tour Wednesday 08 February 2017
These are the ones SimpleSimonSays49 particularly likes..
AYE AYE CHARLIE 5 b g Midnight Legend – Trial Trip Dead heated with The Last Day in a bumper at Southwell in January.
“He ran very well at Aintree for us first time out and is a half-brother to Chase The Spud. He went off favourite at Chepstow next time and finished sixth of 11 but then dead heated at Southwell the other day. He is a horse for the future and a three mile chaser really.”
BARNEY DWAN 7 b g Vinnie Roe – Kapricia Speed 138 rated chaser and hurdler. Runner-up, beaten eight lengths, to Potters Legend in a novices’ chase at Kempton (3m) in November and unseated rider at the last when a close second in a handicap hurdle at Warwick (3m 2f) last month off his current mark.
“He has been really unlucky this season and he won the Grade 2 EBF Final at Sandown for us last year. He would have won his first chase at Kempton but for a bad mistake at the last and then he got brought down at Wincanton. We decided to call it a day on his chasing exploits and he was running an absolute cracker in a Pertemps Qualifier at Warwick in Jan when unseating at the last. It’s hard to say if he would have won but goes for another Qualifier at Exeter on Feb 12 and then hopefully onto Cheltenham.”
BENECHENKO 5 br g Beneficial – Beann Ard Winner of a point-to-point and a bumper at Uttoxeter in November.
“He is another lovely horse that Sally Randell brought with her when she joined the yard. She won a bumper at Uttoxeter and was a little unlucky not to be placed at Warwick under his penalty where he didn’t get the run of the race. He will either go to Newbury for a listed bumper or Exeter the following day.”
CAP SOLEIL 4 b f Kapgarde – Move Again Winner of both of her bumpers at Newbury in December and a listed event at Cheltenham in January.
“She is a lovely filly and came to us very backward but she is a good worker and turned herself inside out. She won very impressively first time out at Newbury and then went and won the listed bumper at Cheltenham on New Years Day. She goes to Sandown for a listed bumper the weekend before the Festival.”
GLOBAL STAGE 6 b g Multiplex – Tintera Promise in three runs for stable finishing runner-up in a bumper at Haydock then fourth in the Tolworth Hurdle and then runner-up, beaten nine lengths, to Ballyarthur at Leicester (2m 4 1/2f) last week. “He is another we bought in August and he finished a good second in his bumper at Haydock before running a blinder in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown. He was slightly disappointing when money on at Leicester last week but was beaten by a good horse and we probably ran him a bit soon after Sandown. He will go back to Haydock in the middle of February for a Grade 2 Novices’ Hurdle and we will see how he goes there.”
IMPERIAL ELOQUENCE 5 b g Kalanisi – Babble On Runner up in listed bumpers at Cheltenham in November (third beaten a length and three quarters to Poetic Rhythm) and Ascot in December (Runner-up beaten two lengths to Western Ryder). “He won for us last year first time out at Hexham then finished second at Perth under a penalty. He went to Cheltenham first time out this year and finished third behind Poetic Rhythm then was second to Western Ryder in a listed bumper at Ascot. He goes to Cheltenham for the Festival bumper.”
INFINITE SUN 6 b g And Beyond – Kingussie Flower Winner of his bumper at Market Rasen in November. “He shocked us all when winning first time out at Market Rasen and the second horse Western Ryder won the listed race at Ascot. He goes to Newbury in a couple of weeks. He picked up a bit of bug in between and is a big horse who appears to be back on the go now. He’s a really nice horse.”
MYSTIFIABLE 9 gr g Kayf Tara – Royal Keel 126 rated chaser. Disappointing in both starts this season in handicap chase at Newbury (2m 6 1/2f) in November and Sandown (2m 4f) in January. “He has been a little disappointing but hopefully we are getting to the root of the problem. He was a real star for us last year and probably rose up the weights a bit too quickly. He hasn’t really sparkled this year but hopefully we have identified and rectified the problem and he can come good in the Spring.”
POETIC RHYTHM 6 ch g Flemensfirth – Sommer Sonnet Winner of the listed bumper at Cheltenham in November and promise in three runs over hurdles particularly on latest start in a Grade 2 event at Cheltenham (2m 4 1/2f) in January when third, beaten eight lengths, to Wholestone. “He won the listed bumper at Cheltenham and ran a cracking race in a Grade 2 when third to Wholestone. He should soon be winning his races over hurdles.”
VINNIE RED 8 ch g Vinnie Roe – Conzara 130 rated chaser. Scored by 11 lengths from Master Jake in a handicap chase at Market Rasen (2m 5 1/2f) on Boxing Day off a mark of 123. “He is another who came to us from the Ruckers and he was third for us first time out over hurdles at Huntingdon then won for us over fences at Market Rasen. He is a really nice horse and I would really like to get him in the novice handicap chase at Cheltenham over two miles and four. He needs to win at Newbury this week in a novice handicap chase to go there.”
VIVA STEVE 9 b g Flemensfirth – Eluna 139 rated chaser. Formerly with Mick Channon and scored first time out for new stable in a handicap chase at Ayr (3m 1/2f) in November when beating Ballyben two and three quarter lengths off a mark of 132. “We bought him as a National horse and he won first time out for us at Ayr then disappointed us a little in the Classic Chase at Warwick. Paddy (Brennan) thought he got to three out and didn’t get home but I don’t think he was 100 per cent. He has had a little bit of a break to freshen him up and we will look at giving him a try over another marathon trip and see how we go.”
and here is the rest of an excellent AtTheRaces Stable Tour!!
FERGAL O’BRIEN has been one of the emerging talents of the current jumps and with 49 winners to date and over £391,000 in prize money it has already been a season to savour. The total of 33 winner for 2015-2016 has easily been surpassed and the improving quality of his team is easily noticeable with some well-regarded individuals in the bumper division and plenty of proven talent to back those up. O’Brien gained another feather in his cap when Lord of The Island won the Grade 3 Heroes Handicap Hurdle at Sandown under Willy Twiston-Davies on Saturday and looks set fair to carry on the good work in the coming months with some likely National types whether it be Aintree, Uttoxeter, Lingfield or Ayr. Fergal kindly spoke to Tony Elves of ATR about some of his prospect her hopes will prosper further this season.
ALVARADO 12 ch g Goldmark – Mrs Jones 135 rated chaser. Finished sixth, beaten 12 lengths, to Dancing Shadow in the Edinburgh National Handicap Chase at Musselburgh (4m 1f) on Saturday. Runner-up, beaten two and three quarter lengths, to Vicente in the Scottish National at Ayr (4m) last April.
“He has been placed in two Nationals and finished second in a Scottish National. He ran very well when sixth in long distance handicap chase at Cheltenham in November and then fell at Becher’s in the Becher Chase. He ran in the Edinburgh National on Saturday and ran a reasonable race and is obviously suited by these marathon events.”
BELLS ‘N’ BANJOS 7 b g Indian River – Beechill Dancer 134 rated chaser. Winner of two novice handicap chase at Leicester (2m 6 1/2f) since joining new stable and battled on gamely when beating Dueling Banjos last week off a mark of 129. “He joined us from Warren Greatrex’s and thankfully Warren hadn’t run him over fences so we ran him straight away at Leicester for us then followed up there last week. He is entered in the four mile chase at Cheltenham which I hope will be his next run. He was hardy and kept plugging on which is why we think the four miler at Cheltenham might suit him.”
BLUE COMET 6 br g Blueprint – Be My Valentine Promise in two runs for the yard.
“He is another nice horse owned by June Watts and he ran well in a bumper at Ludlow in December and a hurdle there in January. He goes back to Ludlow this week for another novice hurdle.”
CHASE THE SPUD 9 b g Alflora – Trial Trip 132 rated chaser. Best effort this season when runner-up, beaten three and a half lengths, to Mysteree in a handicap chase at Haydock (3m 4 1/2f) in November off a mark of 130. “He is a staying chaser and he ran well when second at Haydock in November. He is entered for the Grand National Trial back at Haydock, also at Carlisle and also in a Graduation Chase at Exeter that he won last year. Those are his options.”
CHILLI ROMANCE 6 b m Flemensfirth – Blue Romance 104 rated hurdler. Finished last of four but beaten only 11 ½ lengths to Molly Carew in a mares novices hurdle at Lingfield (2m) at the end of January. “She has a handicap mark now and will probably do better once we go over a longer trip. She is very keen and once she learns to settle a bit better she will get further. She didn’t run badly the other day at Lingfield on heavy ground which probably wasn’t ideal for her.”
COLIN’S SISTER 6 b m Central Park – Dd’s Glenalla 121 rated hurdler. Winner of her three starts this season – successful at Chepstow (2m 3f) in October (beating Queens Well two lengths), Warwick (2m 5f) in November (scoring by 11 lengths from Toberdowney) and in a listed mares’ novices hurdle at Warwick (2m 3f) in December (beating My Khaleesi by nine lengths). “She is a very good mare and we pitched her highly last year and she did nothing wrong and she was placed in a listed mares at Sandown and ran well in a listed mares at Huntingdon. We came back in this year and we were hopeful she would progress over hurdles and she has done that and is unbeaten. She won a Listed Hurdle at Warwick and she actually surprised me how well she did it. I am very excited about her and she runs in a mares race at Sandown in a couple of weeks and we will see how we go. She has a few entries at Cheltenham so it is fingers crossed.”
CREEVYTENNANT 13 b g Bobs Return – Northwood May 140 rated chaser. Disappointed in three starts last season and last victory in a Veteran’s Handicap Chase at Ascot in March 2015 when beating Roalco De Farges seven lengths off a mark of 138. “He has been a great servant to me and I have had him since he was point-to-pointing and before I started training with a licence. He didn’t sparkle last year and is getting older so he is going to go back to Hunter Chasing and point-to-pointing this year.”
DONT TELL VAL 5 b m Midnight Legend – Tentsmuir Winner of a bumper at Fontwell in October. “She joined us in the Summer and won first time out for us in a bumper art Fontwell and the second and the third have won since. She has had a little bit of a wind issue since and we hope to run her at Ascot in a couple of weeks time.”
DRUID’S FOLLY 7 b g Beneficial – Sweet Vale 118 rated hurdler.Winner at Towcester (2m 5f) in November when beating Thomas Shelby three quarters of a length.
“He joined us from Rebecca Curtis and ran well first time out at Market Rasen then won for us at Towcester. He didn’t run too badly at Lingfield when third but the drop to two miles was too sharp for him. He ran at Sandown on Saturday but was a little disappointing and is better than he showed then.”
IORA GLASS 8 gr g Court Cave – Crossdrumrosie 112 rated chaser. Respectable effort in novice handicap chases and probably best effort when second, beaten three lengths, to Thegreendalerocket at Chepstow (3m 2f) in October off a mark of 110. “He raced for the Imperial Racing Partnership and he started off winning at Perth for us. He has been placed over fences and he is just having a little break as he doesn’t really go on Winter ground. He will be ready to run in six weeks or something like that.”
KING MURO 7 b g Halling – Ushindi 117 rated chaser. Finished creditable third, beaten eight and a quarter lengths, to Frodon in a novices’ chase at Newton Abbot (2m 1/2f) in September. “He did very well for us last year over hurdles and ran well in his first novice chase. He’s had a break through the Winter and will come back novice chasing.”
LORD LANDEN 12 br g Beneficial – Aqua Callente 100 rated chaser. Best effort this term when runner-up, beaten two lengths, to Arquebusier in a handicap chase at Warwick (2m 4f) in December off a mark of 101. “He has been a good servant to his owner and is not highly rated but he did manage to win at Cheltenham last season and they are all local lads who own him. He ran at Catterick last week and he is what he is.”
LORD OF THE ISLAND 9 b g Heron Island – Miss Morose 129 rated hurdler. Game effort when scoring by six lengths from Fortunate George in a Grade 3 handicap hurdle at Sandown (2m 7 1/2f) on Saturday off his current mark. “He joined us in September when my partner Sally Randell gave up training and joined the yard. He won first time out for us at Towcester and put an improved effort at Sandown when winning the G3 handicap hurdle. He will go up for that run but he is in the form of his life right now.”
LOVELY JOB 7 ch g Touch of Land – Wycoff Queen 122 rated chaser. Not seen out yet this season but runner-up in two novice handicap chase last season and beaten only a head by Askamore Darsi at Doncaster (3m) in January 2016 off a mark of 116. “He ran great for us in his first two run and then unfortunately picked up an injury at Cheltenham in April. He has just come back into training and will be ready to go again in Spring/Summer.”
MISS MAIDEN OVER 5 b f Carlo Bank – Rock Garden 115 rated hurdler. Winner of a maiden hurdle at Ayr (2m 4 1/2f) (scoring by three and a half lengths from Pads) and a novice hurdle at Catterick (2m 3 1/2f) (winning by four and a half lengths from Feeltherhythm) both in November. “She has been a real star for us this year and is owned by our racing club. She has won two hurdle races for us this year and been placed and she is having a little bit of a break as she doesn’t really want this Winter ground.”
OSCAR ROSE 5 b m Oscar – Ben Roseler Promise in similar company before getting off the mark in a listed bumper at Huntingdon in December. “She was fourth in a listed bumper at Cheltenham in November then won the listed bumper at Huntingdon the following month. She will go to Sandown with Cap Soleil for that listed bumper.”
OUT OF STYLE 6 b g Court Cave – Portanob Winner of his only point-to-point in Ireland.
“He is owned by the Ruckers and was due to make his debut for us in a bumper at Wetherby last Saturday but the ground was unsuitable.”
OWEN NA VIEW 9 b/br g Presenting – Lady Zephr 127 rated chaser. Gained last success in a handicap chase at Wetherby (1m 7f) in October when beating Monbeg River a length off a mark of 125. “He has been round longer than I have and was one of the first horses I ever bought. He wants fast ground and is having a break. He is a two miler and is fairly highly rated. He ran well at Killarney in the Summer and will go back there again.”
PERFECT CANDIDATE 10 b g Winged Love – Dansana 150 rated chaser. Pulled up behind Many Clouds in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham in January but previously failed by only a nose behind Theatre Guide in a handicap chase at Cheltenham (3m 2f) in December off a mark of 147. “He was a real stalwart last year and really kept us going. He won two races at Cheltenham and was placed twice there. He has come back this season and was a very close second at Cheltenham in December and disappointed a little in January but wasn’t good enough against Many Clouds and Thistlecrack. Plans are still up in the air but he will probably go for the Grand National.”
PETITE POWER 8 b g Subtle Power – Little Serena 115 rated chaser and hurdler. Scored on his debut for the stable in a handicap hurdle at Bangor (2m 7f) in January when beating Justatenner four and a half lengths and beaten three quarters of a length by On The Road in a novices’ handicap chase a week later. “He came to us from Ali Stronge and he won first time out off a mark of 105 at Bangor then turned up a week later at Lingfield in a novices’ handicap chase and finished second. He’s a really good fun horse and he will go on and do a bit better.
PRIDE OF LECALE 6 b g Multiplex – Rock Gossip Winner of a bumper at Chepstow in February of last year.
“He was a winner of a bumper at Chepstow and we were hoping for great things this year but he picked up an injury in the Autumn and he will be back next season.”
SON OF SUZIE 9 gr g Midnight Legend – Suzie Cream 117 rated chaser. Last win in a handicap chase at Uttoxeter (3m 2f) in June when beating Moorland George by nine lengths off a mark of 106. “He was on the go for a long time last year and was a bit late coming back in. I hope he can have his first run in the middle of February.”
TROIKA STEPPES 9 b g Pasternak – Killerton Clover 126 rated chaser. Gained his last success in a handicap chase at Cheltenham (3m 1f) in October when accounting for Azure Fly by seven lengths off a mark of 116. “He won for us at Cheltenham in October and was second back there afterwards. He disappointed in the Becher Chase and then was a good fourth the other day at Taunton. He goes for the Grand Military at Sandown in two weeks time.”
WALK ON AL 9 b g Alfora – Wave Back 110 rated chaser. Scored by half a length from Replacement Plan in a handicap chase at Ffos Las (3m 1 1/2f) in December off a mark of 105. “He is another horse that Sally brought with her and he ran very first time for us at Chepstow when finishing second and then won at Ffos Las. He was a little bit disappointing last time but we are hoping he can go to Lingfield for the Surrey National.”
WAR ON THE ROCKS 8 b g Wareed – Rock Garden Winner of a bumper at Stratford in March 2015 and promise in two runs over hurdles – finishing fourth, beaten nine and a quarter lengths, to Charbel when last seen out at Stratford in October of that year. “He has had a year off but he won a bumper for us at Stratford and wasn’t beaten far by a good horse of Kim Bailey’s Charbel. He is back going and will run in a couple of weeks time.”