Thursday 6.30pm Wetherby and Fontwell on Friday, neither really sets the pulse racing but we will give it a go. Just seen this on twitter “BHA Press Office @BHAPressOffice 4.55pm @betonsportstips We would agree that in recent years this has been one of the lower quality Fridays in the calendar.”
Saturday and Sunday sees Doncaster kick off the 2017 Flat season then it’s just Leicester on Friday until it really begins on Monday April 11th. Unsatisfactory but that’s the way it is. Excellent NH card at Ascot on Sunday, where by the way they have already watered (!?), so the Lucky 15 I put up tomorrow night, Friday, will be for the Berkshire track on Sunday.
Deep in research for a blog on the Champion trainer title contests both sides of the Irish Sea with hopefully some serious Punchestown pointers in Part 1, Aintree in Part 2 and Ayr in Part 3!
Fridays Lucky 15
Wetherby 2.20 QUIDS IN 3/1 Lads 11/4 general
Wetherby 3.20 SWOOP TO CONQUER 6/1 general
Fontwell 4.10 LAND LEAGUE 7/2 PP +WH and going fast!
Wetherby 4.20 OUR DELBOY 6/1 WH 5/1 general 4/1PP?
and hopefully this is why
Wetherby 2.20 QUIDS IN Lets kick off with the Oliver Greenall 4yo who has already won this season at Uttoxeter and form behind Long Call at Hereford and Dinsdale at Newbury looks strong in the context of this C4 novice hurdle for conditional jockeys. Market rivals Kings Tempest and Soldier of Fortune both look beatable. For the former it’s his seventh try over hurdles in thirty months (?) and although he has been highly tried at times is still to get his head in front. For the latter the concession of seven pounds may be too much although it was Jamie Hamilton who won on him previously. Keep an eye on Skywards Reward, currently a 33/1 shot for Micky Hammond but he is a son of Dubawi and ex-Godolphin via Bloomfields picked up for just £12K!
Wetherby 3.20 SWOOP TO CONQUER Sent off at just 4/1 to win the C3 Challenger qualifier at Doncaster over 3m+ was caught out by the ground. BHA Stewards “The representative of Nicky Henderson, the trainer of SWOOP TO CONQUER (IRE), which was pulled up, reported that the gelding was unsuited by the Good to Soft, Soft in places going, which in their opinion was riding dead, and would prefer a quicker surface.” Will have to hope there is bit more life in the ground here as the drop in grade and trip make this look a suitable target as trainer Nicky Henderson spreads his net to capture this seasons Champion trainers title.
Fontwell 4.10 LAND LEAGUE Hailing from the Stuart Edmunds yard, they had a 40/1 winner at the Cheltenham festival, Land League makes his handicap debut here and his Irish PtP suggests he will appreciate stepping up in trip and should be a better horse on this Spring ground. Two of his three hurdle runs to date were solid enough finishing placed to Azzuri and to Solighoster. That could be enough to win a C4 on the Sussex track off an opening mark of OR110.
Wetherby 4.20 OUR DELBOY It has to be one of the handicap debutantes for me which gives a shortlist of three. Suggestion for Philip Kirby would be the bravest shout. He won his bumper at Southwell on debut and this son of Dansili has improved his position on each of his tree attempts at hurdling but just isn’t getting any closer distance-wise to being a winner. Focaccia (It’s a bread not a dodgy illness!) for the Skeltons who hasn’t been seen since mid-November would probably be the sexy shout but this 6yo son of Milan is fairly high in the weights for what he has achieved! So we’ll plump for the inform pairing of Donald McCain and Will Kennedy with Our Delboy. He’s definitely improving and his Racing Post Ratings suggest he has been keeping decent company. OR107 seems a workable opening mark for the grey son of Multiplex.
Thursdays Lucky 15
Last night I wrote “Wouldn’t blame you if you went half stake each way. Personally it’s first or nowhere!” Makes not a fig of difference if they run like they did!
Warwick 3.25 CYCLOP 4th 9/2 (10/1 general)
Being a Paul Kealy (Racing Post) selection saw the price halve. Gallops fine but just down by his jumping, not willing to have a real cut at the fences. The day he gets a soft lead he’ll hack up.
Taunton 3.35 RED TORNADO 3rd 16/1 (7/1 general)
Ridiculous price but outran his SP. Held up early on inside. Progress down back straight. Reached for second last but kept on. Not a lot of him but game as a pebble.
Warwick 4.00 SAINT JOHN HENRY PU 10/1 (12/1 general)
Held up in midfield. That was my cunning plan out of the window! Raced on the inside on what seemed the worst of the ground. Soon labouring, tailed off, pulled up. Ground may have been worse than the stated “Soft”.
Warwick 4.35 PUPPET WARRIOR 3rd 9/4 (7/2 general)
Ran into at least one! Reinforces my opinion of Nick Gifford and If I had known the SP’s I would have put up the sexy Skelton horse! (After timing forbidden-Ed)
By the way the winner, Whiskey in the Jar, is getting some rave reviews on Twitter.
“BetVictor Racing @BetVictorRacing 28m28 minutes ago @WarwickRaces Winning British debut for @DSkeltonRacing and @harryskelton89 – looks a smart one.”
“Callum Connochie @Connochie7 Get him in your notebooks lads. WHISKEY IN THE JAR. Very impressive. Similar type to Robin Roe. Remember the name.”
Talking of smart horses Karalee, much touted Rich Ricci/Mullins mare made a facile winning return after 690 days off the track as irishracing.com reported “The daughter of Martaline made an impressive Irish debut at Killarney back in 2015, and this performance was equally pleasing on the eye. The 1/2 favourite, the only runner on the card for champion trainer Willie Mullins, made most of the running and was in command from two out. Ruby Walsh had his only anxious moment when she pecked slightly at the last before coming home an effortless 15 lengths clear of Goulane Davina. Polar Present was a further seven lengths away in third. Walsh said, “She tanked along. She won on much better ground at Killarney, so you would hope she will be fine on much better ground than that. She’s not that big but can jump and should be good over a fence as well.”