Monday 6.00pm Good sporting weekend though I am at a loss to explain how Acapella Bourgeois was allowed to win by 32 lengths and how Norwich lost at Burton Albion!! Really enjoyed the win of The Worlds End as that’s just the type of horse I specialise in, novices on the up with handicap marks underestimating their talent. Hopefully we’ve got two or three up our sleeve for the upcoming Festivals.
Talking of Cheltenham, I will blog my final musings next Monday, just want to see the Kempton meeting and a couple of Irish races, then no Cheltenham blogs until March 13th. Will monitor the markets and definite non-runners but ignore the Preview circuit and it’s rumours, smoke and mirrors etc. Just about know what I want to back now but just need to know the ground and which race they will actually be lined up in. With PP on the High Street and SkyBet on line Non Runner No Bet you can throw a few left field bets out. Recently I’ve done Douvan for the RyanAir and Un de Sceaux for the Champion Chase. Today I backed Death Duty for the Neptune. Think Good ground and you get Finians Oscar in the Neptune and no Neon Wolf or American in the RSA. Soft ground and you get Finians Oscar in the Supreme and Neon Wolf in the Neptune! Get a head start with NRNB!!
Tuesday Lucky 15
Taunton 2.50 MASTER BURBRIDGE 4/1 general
Taunton 3.50 GOLD MOUNTAIN 10/1 Ladbrokes 9/1 general
Wetherby 4.00 MILAN EXPRESS 5/1 general
Taunton 4.20 TOMMY SILVER 10/3 PP and WH as low as 9/4 with Coral!!
and here’s why
Taunton 2.50 MASTER BURBRIDGE Certainly wouldn’t be a top notcher in the Harry Fry yard but showed enough last time to suggest he could take a race such as this. Two reasons for expecting further improvement, this is only his seventh go at hurdling and the first time since his debut he has been ridden by stable jockey Noel Fehily and he is in my opinion as good as it gets!
Taunton 3.50 GOLD MOUNTAIN This is probably a pretty quick way to poverty but I’m going to put up a horse making his chasing debut in a handicap! This 7yo son of Gold Well (should enjoy the Good ground) was third in an Irish PtP then progressive in three novice hurdles culminating in a second to Festival bound High Secret. He gets a mark of OR110 and connections have ignored handicap hurdles and sent him chasing off what is a hurdling mark. Alexandra Dunn knows the time of day and a competent Adam Wedge retains the ride. Hard hats on and buckle up, could be bumpy!!
Wetherby 4.00 MILAN EXPRESS This young lady was a winning Irish point to pointer, has kept decent company in her three novice runs without screaming winner but her three main market rivals are a nine raced maiden and two poor heavy ground winners running under a penalty! Kim Bailey’s yard are back in business and stable jockey David Bass travels north for the ride and Milan Express off a mark of just OR104 can take this en route to a fruitful chasing career.
Taunton 4.20 TOMMY SILVER The key to this horse is the ground, it must be good or better. Winter ground has seen his mark drop 5lbs to OR134 and with the in-form Stan Sheppard (Last 14 days, 4 winners from 9 rides!!) taking off another 5lbs he’s chucked in here. He was seventh in last year’s Triumph and if he wants to guarantee taking part in this years Festival he’ll have to go damn close to winning this!
Saturday Lucky 15
A reasonable Saturday with a couple of decent winners on the ticket. £1 unit (£15 staked) returned £46.50 at SP which was as big as they ever were. Particular satisfaction in spotting The Worlds End who may not have been on everyone’s radar!
Ascot 2.25 VIRAK 5th 6/1
Never competitive and can only presume he is firmly in the grip of the handicapper! Currently on OR147, down 12lbs in the last twelve months, and his last winning mark was OR144. Revisiting his form maybe he saves his best runs for Haydock? Aintree and Newbury could therefore be possibilities, flat, left handed, stiff jumping test.
Ascot 3.00 TEMPLEROSS 3rd 4/1
Bit surprised to see him attempt to set all the fractions, understand they wanted to make it a stamina test not a sprint. Ran on when headed, perhaps 2m 5f is his best trip.
Haydock 3.15 VIEUX LION ROUGE 1st 8/1
Excellent. Jumped, travelled and outstayed Blaklion. Has to be a player in the Grand National if he genuinely gets the extra mile!?
Haydock 3.50 THE WORLDS END 1st 11/4
Did exactly what it said in the blog! Looks like they are going to Cheltenham for the Alfred Bartlett. Has all the attributes to make a top class three mile chaser. Has to be in your tracker for the next three years!
News from the worldwide-netty thing!
Irishracing.com Feb 18th Tombstone, who had hit the lead after the fourth last, stayed on well and had things in control as Jezki blundered at the last. Gordon Elliott’s charge, who was slightly untidy himself at the final flight, kept on strongly to record a four-length success at odds of 9/4. “I felt he’d improved a lot from Navan, and we were giving Jezki weight the last day. It was a good performance,” said Elliott. “He was going to go chasing but he had a few setbacks. He’ll go over fences next year. He could step up to two and a half miles, and the race at Aintree might be a possibility. The plan was to let him roll off the back straight and if he was good enough he was good enough.”
Cooper told At The Races afterwards:- “It’s great to get it. We always thought he was a fair horse and I was looking forward to him going chasing this year but next year is another year and he did it very well. We were coming in off a break as well last time. I watched the race in Navan back about ten times and it didn’t look like they went very quick. Jezki more done him for toe going to the last so today I was making sure it was a strong run race and I wasn’t afraid to take it up at the third last as the one thing I wanted to do was knock the speed out of Jezki. I know he stays three miles but he’s still a Champion Hurdle winner. I had that in the back of my mind and I think I got a run coming down the hill. One thing I do like is that when he missed the last he picked up and went on again. He’s definitely one to look forward to. He has a massive engine and you just have to look back to the Supreme Novice form where he has beaten the first and second favourites for the Champion Hurdle. He’s got an engine and please god we can keep him right.”
Jessica Harrington said of Jezki:- “I knew it was a risk coming here on the ground. He’s never liked heavy ground, and has been beaten on it plenty of times. The main thing is that he’s alright tomorrow, and all options are still open (at Cheltenham).”