Kempton Feature. Dovecote Hurdle Day. (23/02/2019)

A warm welcome to this week’s Preview which comes from Kempton Park as I focus on the several graded races that are on offer throughout the afternoon’s card. Many Cheltenham clues will be on offer so sit back and enjoy!

1.50 (Pendil Novices Chase) (Grade 2) (2m 4f 110y)

The Pendil Novices Chase is where i’ll kick this week’s preview off, a Grade 2 Novice Chase that’s contested over a distance of two miles and four furlongs. The race has only attracted a four runner field and my idea of the winner of said four comes in the form of SECRET INVESTOR for Paul Nicholls. He’s got quite a bit to find with Bags Groove on their last meeting however the latter now has five pound swing in the weights and comes here representing a stable in red hot form.


Harry Cobden silk

2.25 (Adonis Juvenile Hurdle) (Grade 2) (2m)

The Adonis Hurdle is up next a Grade 2 contest for Juveniles that’s ridden over a distance of two miles. This year’s renewal has thrown up a fiercely competitive affair with many of the line up holding viable chances. Fusil Raffles, Ecco, Giving Glances and Petit Palais will all be popular however i’m going to take a chance on PROTEKTORAT for Dan Skelton. He finished a promising second in Listed company at Auteil before coming over here, it hasn’t quite gone to plan in two starts at Cheltenham but there should be a lot more to come and this track may suit him a lot better.


Harry Skelton silk

3.00 (Dovecote Novices Hurdle) (Grade 2) (2m)

One of the most eagerly anticipated races of the day comes at 3.00pm and that’s of course the Dovecote Novices Hurdle. The race revolves around one horse and it’s that horse of whom I think will win the contest and that’s the Nicky Henderson trained ANGEL’S BREATH. Battling for favouritsm for the Supreme at Cheltenham in March it would be somewhat a shock should he not put in a convincing performance here to enhance his festival claims. The main threat looks to be the smart dual purpose horse Scarlet Dragon for Alan King.


Nico de Boinville silk

3.35 (888Sport Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) (3m)

It’s the Grade 3 888Sport Handicap Chase where i’ll be concluding my punting at Kempton Park this Saturday. This three mile affair is a very competitive one as to be expected, with a field of whom a case could be made for most. Talkischeap, Adrien Du Pont and Rather Be all look key players however the one i’ve sided with is the ever improving GLEN ROCCO for Nick Gifford. He won in very taking style here the last day and there’s no saying quite how good he could be, he does have a rather sizeable 14 pound rise to deal with however I still think this race looks another nice opportunity for him with Leigthon Aspall on board this time.


Leighton Aspell silk



Ascot Super Saturday Preview (16/02/2019)

Saturday 16th February 2019

A warm welcome as ever to this week’s preview as racing has resumed in the UK following the equine flu saga. As a result of last weekend’s action falling victim to the above issue some of the key races have been added to this week’s card’s meaning we have a massive card at Ascot of which I’ll be having a look at the all of the graded affairs. Enjoy!

Author: Jordan Yates (@EvRacing_)

Image result for ascot logo

1.35 Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase (3m) (Grade 2)

The Reynoldstown has thrown up an extremely competitive affair this year, if turning up Top Ville Ben and Mister Malarky are likely big players but i’m going to take a chance on YALLTARI for Venetia Williams. He came down at the first last day at Exeter when well fancied but I think he can bounce back here, he’s still relatively unexposed and there may well be more still to come:

Each Way: YALLTARI (7/1)

Runner Jacket

2.45 Denman Chase (2m 7f) (Grade 2)

The Denman Chase is normally a showpiece event at Newbury but due to the flu it’s been rerouted to Ascot and unfortunately doesn’t have reigning champion Native River in the line up. The current market leader comes in the form of the King George winner Clan Des Obeaux who’s an obvious warm order at a general 1/2. The Paul Nicholls charge was mightily impressive the last day at Kempton and he’ll be hoping to repeat said performance here on his path to the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The main rival in the betting to the King George winner comes in the form of Nicky Henderson’s Terrefort. He somewhat bounced back to form last time at Cheltenham when finishing third behind Frodon and Elegant Escape in the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase. He’ll be looking to bounce back to the form of his Grade 1 winning novice campaign of last season here, however that run the last day gave the impression that he could well do just that and put in a bold showing on his next outing.

The rest of the field is headed by 2015 Gold Cup winner Coneygree. He’s a horses that’s had a turbulent time of things since that win and that’s putting it lightly, he found things tough in the King George last time however he ran a solid race in a top handicap at Cheltenham on his penultimate start. It’s likely he’ll try to make all from the front and he’d certainly be a popular winner. Royal Vacation was in front of Coneygree at Cheltenham however finds himself at a slightly bigger price in the betting for this particular assignment. Thomas Patrick, Art Mareseque and Ballyhill make up the line up and are all horses that have a lot to find on current form. This is reflected in their prices.

Race Verdict:

This really is a two horse race for me and far from a betting proposition. The small sized field makes it difficult to look at from an each way point of view but I genuinely just think it’s going to be a battle between the top two in the betting. I think Clan Des Obeaux will get the better of Terrefort on the day though and further enhance is Gold Cup claims for Team Ditcheat.

Placings Prediction:
1st: Clan Des Obeaux (1/2)
2nd: Terrefort (3/1)

3.20 Betfair Hurdle (1m 7f) (Grade 3)

Another rescheduled race the Betfair Hurdle is rerouted to Ascot and it’s a race that often has many Cheltenham clues for races such as the Supreme. There’s a whole host of talent on show here with Al Dancer, Getaway Trump, Didtheyleaveuoutto and Lisp all sitting prominently in the betting and all with big chances. I’m taking a chance on MONT DES AVALOIRS for Paul Nicholls though, he was poor when well fancied here last time in a big competitive handicap, he’s a well regarded sort though who in my opinion still has a bit more to give. He also ran a cracker on his penultimate start at Newbury when finishing a close up third behind Lisp and the talented Global Citizen who has since gone on to win a Champion Hurdle Trial.

Each Way: Mont Des Avaloirs (10/1)

Runner Jacket

3.55 Ascot Chase (2m 5f) (Grade 1)

The showpiece event on this Super Saturday at Ascot is the Grade 1 Ascot Chase which is a contest that’s ridden over a distance of two miles and five furlongs. This year’s renewal has attracted six runners and see’s last year’s winner Waiting Patiently head affairs at around the 15/8 mark, his appearance here is certainly a highly anticipated one as the only other time we’ve seen him this term is when unseating in unfortunate fashion early on in the King George. Paul Nicholls holds two live dangers to Ruth Jefferson’s star here though and the first of these comes in the form of Cyrname, a classy sort who won in decisive fashion here last time in a hot handicap. Harry Codben takes the reigns on him and you can find him trading at a general 3/1. The second of the Nicholls pair is none other than Politologue, he got the better of Charbel on his seasonal reappearance here before going on to finish fourth in the King George. A regular in Grade 1 events and often runs well in them does this Hales owned grey and he can be found at around 7/2 in this particular assignment with regular partner Sam Twiston-Davies once again on board.

Colin Tizzard’s Fox Norton is up next in the betting at around the 6/1 mark, he was last seen when chasing Altior home at this track last month in the Clarence House. Robbie Power is in the saddle again here in what is an only slightly easier task than the one he faced against the imperious Altior last time. Aso has been in the form of his life this season and comes into the race on the back of two very impressive victories. The latter of said wins came at Cheltenham on New Years Day and Venetia Williams charge will be wanting to make his presence felt again here under Charlie Deautsch. Charbel concludes the field, a solid performer in top events who’ll be looking to bounce back from a slightly below par effort last time.

Race Verdict:

This is a decent renewal of the Ascot Chase in my opinion, six solid top performers who aren’t separated  by a massive amount. Despite him not being seen properly since his win in this race last year there really was something quite special about Waiting  Patiently last season and even if he is a bit ring rusty here which is likely it could be a case of his class seeing him through to victory. You could make a case for all of these to make up the places but the one who edges it for me is Politologue. He’s a proven performer at Grade 1 level and has form at Ascot, I think he can once again go well here for Twiston-Davies.

Placings Prediction:
1st: Waiting Paitiently (15/8)
2nd: Politologue (7/2)

Naas Preview. (09/02/2019)

Saturday 9th February 2019

Image result for naas races logo

As ever a big welcome to this week’s Preview where we find ourselves in some predicament. Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past week you’ll of seen that a potential outbreak of Equine Influenza has shut down all racing in Britain until the earliest of next Wednesday. However they are still racing in Ireland having just shut the door on all UK horses. As a consequence this week’s preview will come from Naas instead of Newbury. Enjoy!

1.10 (2m Hurdle)

Debuchet heads the market in what looks a trappy looking contest here, if turning up in form he should go very close however he can flatter to deceive and has been an expensive one to follow. I’d personally be up for siding with SKY MARSHAL here. A decent performer on the level in the UK  or Ed Walker and ran a cracker last time out,  Davy Russell on board and he could go well again here. Emily Moon and Empire Escape also stand out as chief dangers in this sizeable field.


Sky Marshal silk

1.40 (2m Hurdle)

Another difficult looking affair to get your head around here as there’s not much to go off when it comes to some of these. The likely winner for me comes in the form of the market leader All For Joy as he’s been knocking on the door for a good while now with a string of seconds in bumpers. Advantage Point looks the chief danger if the betting is anything to go by, a market check is needed in the Gigginstown duo. In particular FAUGUERNON for Noel Meade, a very interesting runner who won at Listed level in France, a nice return last time and is expected to go better again here and that’s why i’d be willing to chance him in this.


Fauguernon silk

2.10 (Listed) (Mares Chase) (2m)

A Listed Mares Chase is the most eye catching race on this card a contest that kicks off at 2.10 and is an affair that’s ridden over a distance of two miles. As you’d expect its a race that has a strong presence from the Mullins and Elliott yards. It’s Willie who trains the current market leader in Pravalaguna. She’s a talented mare who opened her account over fences in some style last day when winning by the best part of 8 lengths. She was also a winner at the Punchestown Festival last year under Paul Townend and that particular partnership is once again renewed here. She sits at the top of the market at a general 4/7. It’s a Gordon Elliott contingency that follow the Mullins hot pot in the market and these come in the form of Synopsis and Mrs Lovett. Both horses trade in or around the 6/1 mark in the betting with Synopsis possibly just edging it, she’s got two wins over fences already to her name but comes here with something slightly to prove at this trip and coming here off the back of a pulled up effort at Huntingdon the last day. Mrs Lovett also got a couple of chase wins under her belt before having a crack at Listed level last time at Warwick. She was underwhelming in that particular affair though and will come here with a few questions to answer herself on the back of that.

Teacher’s Pet has six wins to her name and is certainly one of the more experienced players in the line up, she was narrowly denied last time and this drop down to trip looks the right thing for her here, you can find her trading at a general 15/2 mark. This looks somewhat of a prep run for Ross O’Sullivan’s Baie Des Iles as another potential campaign aimed towards the spring Grand Nationals looks on the cards, she’s massively down in trip here and looks up against it over this distance. She does have the services of Ruby Walsh though. 100/1 outsiders Echoes Of Family and Miss Titanic conclude the line up.

Race Verdict:

It’s a shame this race has only attracted the seven runners as it makes it hard to look at it from an each way angle. Putting it bluntly I think Pravalaguna will win this, and should win this. There’s a lot of questions hanging over the rest of them and she comes here with solid form and looking the obvious winner, this is reflected in her short price. If you are one that doesn’t mind betting each way in a seven runner race, the Elliott pair look the obvious two however there’s no real ‘value’ going each way on either of them so one at a slightly larger price that could well prove the each way proposition is Teacher’s Pet. She has a slight experience edge on a few of these which could well be a factor at the business end of things.

Placings Prediction:

1st: Pravalaguna (4/7)
2nd: Teacher’s Pet (15/2)

Image result for pravalaguna horse

2.40 (2m Hurdle)

Two mile hurdles seem to be the order of the day here and Joseph O’Brien looks to have a firm grasp upon this one having the two market leaders. His first string looks to be Konitho in the JP McManus silks, he won a big field maiden last time and certainly looks the one to beat here. I’m going to chance Joseph’s other runner though BAND OF OUTLAWS. He also won last time and is generally a very consistent sort, a solid performer on the level too previously, and at a slightly bigger price than his stablemate he could well give him something to think about. Maze Runner and Coko Beach look the pick of the rest.


Band of Outlaws silk

3.10 (2m 4f Handicap Chase)

An extremely competitive handicap chase concludes my punting for the afternoon at Naas and this is a typical race of which you could make a case for most of the field. The one i’ve sided with though is SCOIR MEAR, he’s ran well in a lot tougher contests than this and despite not winning for some time if bringing the same level of form he’s turned up in whilst in hotter races he’s likely in with a big shout. Peculiar Genius is a consistent sort and is one that is more likely to go better than some.


Scoir Mear silk


Dublin Racing Festival 2019 Preview.

Dublin Racing Festival 2019

Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd February


Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)

Welcome to this year’s Dublin Racing Festival Preview two days of fantastic racing at Leopardstown on the back of the roaring success what was last year’s inaugural meeting. I’ll be focusing on previewing the top three Grade 1’s throughout the two days of action so I thoroughly hope you enjoy the read and sit back and enjoy seeing the likes of Apple’s Jade, Min, Footpad, and Road To Respect take to the stage.

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Irish Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) (2m)

The Irish Champion Hurdle is one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the weekend at Leopardstown as the bang in form Apple’s Jade sits at the top of the market where she’s looking to add yet another Grade 1 to ever growing collection on her CV. She was last seen when winning over three miles here at Christmas when bolting up the last day and has also won her other two previous starts this term both at the top level. It’s pretty obvious to most that she’s a massive player and will likely take all the beating. The horse that finished a very close second in the English Champion Hurdle takes his place next in the betting and that’s of course the Willie Mullins trained Melon. He was slightly underwhelming in the Ryanair Hurdle last time on his reappearance effort last time however it’s likely he needed the run that day and will be a lot better for it on this occasion. A talented horse who will have a big part to play should he turn up in form, you can find him trading at a general 5/2.

A horse that did run well last time in the Ryanair Hurdle was Jessica Harrington’s Supasundae. He’s a horse that’s a very likeable sort and often runs his race in top flight events, he’ll certainly be a player again here but does have quite a bit to find on Apple’s Jade on the back of when the two met earlier in the season. He’s a general 11/4 chance in the market. It’s a trio of Gigginstown horses that make up the line up at the minute which include Petit Mouchoir, Farclas and Tombstone. All of which have a lot to find on current form should they play a meaningful part.

Race Verdict:

This is a race that looks to revolve around Apple’s Jade which reflects in her price, a top class horse that’s versatile over a range of trips at the top level. If we’re being honest if she handles the differing trip again she’s the obvious winner here. However I think MELON will step up to the plate here and progress from that slightly below par run last time. He’s often been the bridesmaid and often flattered to deceive at times but i’m hoping he comes of age here and serves it up to this talented mare and not to be forgotten the classy Supersundae.

WIN: MELON (5/2)

Runner Jacket

Dublin Chase (Grade 1) (2m 1f)

(*No longer 8 runners. Footpad. Doctor Phoenix & A Toi Phil all Non Runner as of Friday*)

The Dublin Chase is a Grade 1 affair that’s contested over a distance of two miles and a furlong and it’s a race that see’s a fascinating battle between two top class stablemates at the top of the market. These two National Hunt behemoths are of course the Willie Mullins trained duo in Min and Footpad. Both arrive here in very different form though with Min arriving here on the back of a Grade 1 success when taking the John Durkan the last day at Punchestown whereas Footpad arrives here on the back of a defeat here in the Sugar Paddy when he was ran down by Simply Ned close home who reopposes again in this particular contest. It certainly looks as though Footpad has a few questions to answer on the back of his two outings this term, the first of said appearances was his defeat to Saint Calvados, who he also reopposes here. He was looking laboured when turned over at short odds that day and despite looking in control next time here in the Sugar Paddy, he failed to put the race to bed.

Saint Calvados was last seen when finishing a good way behind Altior in the Tingle Creek but before that looked impressive when lowering the colours of Footpad on Irish shores. He’ll be looking to recapture that form here with Gavin Sheehan back in the saddle. As mentioned previously it was Simply Ned that got the better of the one time Champion Chase hope last time and he’s a horse that certainly comes to life over here. The Nicky Richards charge may well surprise a few again here and he’s one that you wouldn’t want to be taking too lightly. Castlegrace Paddy is a smart performer on his day and a general consistent performer as well that being said. He ran another solid race here last time and won very well on his reappearance run the time before. He’s a general 10/1 chance. The Henry de Bromhead pair of Special Tiara and Ordinary World look slightly up against on current form and the same can be said for the Gordon Elliot duo of A Toi Phil and Doctor Phoenix who conclude the line up.

Race Verdict:

The market suggests that this race could well turn into a match between Footpad and Min which could well be the case. A return to the Footpad of last season would certainly be a huge player, but the air of uncertainty that surrounds him on the back of two below par runs this term can’t be excuse. All the money has come for MIN in the last few weeks or so in the build up to this race and coming into the race he’s got to be the one for me. He should come on for that win in the John Durkan last time and he could prove a tough nut to crack in this. The price has crashed on Min though and when there’s a short priced horse I fancy I always like to put up an each way alternative too for those who want one at a more appealing price. The one i’m going to go with here as my each way alternative is CASTLEGRACE PADDY. He often runs his race at the top level and unlike some of them at the more sizeable side in the market he looks to still have some of his better days ahead of him. He could well get involved should the big guns not fire for whatever reason.

WIN: MIN (11/10) – (Now: 8/11)*(Footpad Non Runner Friday Morning*)

Runner Jacket


Runner Jacket

Irish Gold Cup (Grade 1) (3m)

The showpiece event of this two day extravaganza is of course the Irish Gold Cup. A Grade 1 affair that’s contested over three miles and this race i’m actually piecing together on Friday so hopefully half the field won’t be obliterated like has been the case for the majority of my previews throughout this shambolic excuse of a National Hunt season. Anyway, this year’s renewal of the Irish Gold Cup is headed by Road To Respect for Noel Meade and Sean Flanagan sporting the Gigginstown silks. He was last seen when finishing a solid third in the Savills Chase here before winning decisively on his reappearance run earlier in November. He’s many people’s pick to go close in the Cheltenham equivalent and it would be no surprise to see him increase his claim in this particular assignment where he’s a general 9/4 chance in the betting. Behind him in the market are two Willie Mullins contenders and these come in the form of Al Boum Photo and Bellshill.  Both horses are very capable performers at the top level and Al Boum Photo showcased this with a smart victory on his reappearance the last time, the form of that race has since been giving a significant boost with Invitation Only coming out and winning the Thyestes Chase. Paul Townend sides with Al Boum Photo who you can find trading at a best price of 10/3. Ruby Walsh opts for Bellshill here, he was only just behind Road To Respect last time in the Savills and wouldn’t have too much to find on the principal here should the placing be reversed. He looks as though a Cheltenham Gold Cup route is likely also and a bold showing looks set to be on the cards.

Henry de Bromhead also has two representatives in the line up and these come in the form of Monalee and Balko Des Flos. Monalee was last seen when finishing in front of Road To Respect in the Savills here last time which is a stand out piece of form, he’s a Grade 1 winning novice who looks sure to make his presence felt at the top flight against the elders and he could well do that here. Robbie Power is set to take the ride and he’s a general 15/2 chance. Balko Des Flos will need to rediscover the form of his Ryanair victory of last year should he play a meaningful part here, he’s struggled since that impressive win over Un De Sceaux at Cheltenham but does have the services of the in form Rachael Blackmore here.

Race Verdict:

A very competitive affair as you would come to expect for this type of race, Road To Respect sets a solid standard and if turning up in top form will take all the beating. There’s a horse in this line up i’m a big fan of though who was unlucky in top events last year but got off to the perfect start this time around and that’s AL BOUM PHOTO. He’s one of the youngest horses in the line up and I think he has bags of potential at the top level, as stated in the build up the form of his win the last day has been boosted significantly and there’s nothing that suggests he can’t go well again here.


Runner Jacket

Cheltenham Trials Day Preview 2019 (26/01/2019)

Saturday 26th January 2019

A warm welcome to this weekend’s preview which comes from Cheltenham as its none other than Trials Day at the home of jumps racing where we have a vast array of top drawer National Hunt racing on offer along with a whole host of Festival clues. Last weekend we saw Mister Fisher enhance his Supreme claims for Nicky Henderson at Haydock as well as Global Citizen doing his Champion Hurdle hopes no harm with a fine success in the respective trial. The imperious Altior once again dismantled his opposition this time in the Clarence House at Ascot and it looks increasingly likely that he could face very little opposition once more in the Champion Chase come March. Onto this weeks action we go though, so sit back and enjoy!


The action kicks off at 12.40 with the Triumph Trial and it’s a race which has seen Nicky Henderson dominate in recent years winning three of the last five renewals with the likes of Peace & Co and most recently Apple’s Shakira. On the back of that it would come as no surprise that Nicky is responsible for the favourite in this year’s renewal sporting the same colours as Peace & Co it’s none other than Adjali. He’s only had one start since moving to Seven Barrows from France and that was very nearly Grade 1 success, as he was narrowly denied by the smart battle hardened Quel Destin at Chepstow. He’s a massive player here and that’s reflected in his price of 13/8. Alan King sends Our Power to take his place in the line up here, a decent performer on the level and has progressed nicely over obstacles for a trainer that specialises in doing well with these sorts. He can be found trading at a general 5/1 and is the mount of Tom Cannon.

Redemption looks to be the order for Dan Skelton’s Protektorat here, a smart second within Listed company in France on his penultimate start, he unfortunately unseated fairly early on here last time and didn’t get the opportunity to showcase his ability. Another horse that had solid form in France is Paul Nicholls Dogon. Hitting the frame on each of his starts over there and is certainly an interesting contender here on stable debut with Bryony Frost on board. Nelson River has won both starts over hurdles since converting to this sphere and looks as though he could well have more to offer for Tony Caroll and the same can be said for Fakir D’Oudairies who represents Joseph O’Brien here. He was well backed the last day when winning well and these are connections you wouldn’t want to be underestimating.

Race Verdict:

As Juvenile races go, personally I think this is a cracker. Strength in depth in abundance with potential all over the place. As stated in the build up Nicky Henderson has a fine record in the race and seems to target it with his top juveniles therefore I think this ADJALI is going to be very tough to beat on the back of that fine effort within Grade 1 company the last time. If you’re looking for one at slightly larger price or an each way angle I would give another chance to PROTEKTORAT for Dan Skelton. He’s a highly regarded sort who could well prove to be up to this level if getting a clear round this time.

Win: ADJALI (13/8)

Daryl Jacob silk

Each Way: PROTEKTORAT (11/2)

Harry Skelton silk


This is an extremely competitive affair of which a case can be made for the majority of the field. I’ve however taken a fairly tentative alliance with ENOLA GAY of Venetia Williams. A very consistent sort who has ran solid races in defeat so far this term, ideally he want’s a little more cut in the ground as many of this yards do but I do think he could well make his presence felt from a prominent/front running position.

Each Way: ENOLA GAY (5/1)

James Bowen silk


Just like the previous affair this is another fiercely competitive handicap which looks somewhat of a minefield for punters. I’ve backed several of these before so it will almost certainly be one of those races where one of said horses comes back to haunt me on the day I haven’t backed it. After attempting to dissect this cruel mistress of a betting field the one I’ve narrowed it down too is THE KINGS WRIT for Kayley Woollacott. He’s a horse that’s thriving at present and comes here with a lot less questions hanging over his head than some of these. He won very impressively last time out and there could well be a lot more to come starting here.

Each Way: THE KINGS WRIT (13/2)

James Best silk


One of the most anticipated races of the day is of course the Cotswold Chase which is a Grade 2 affair that’s contested over a distance just over three miles and a furlong. This year’s renewal see’s the Paul Nicholls trained Frodon head affairs as he reunites his successful partnership with Bryony Frost once more. He’s a horse that’s come on a great deal this term winning a top handicap here last time with an impressive round of jumping from the front. The distance looks to be the question mark today however he does still sit as the market leader at a general 9/4. Battling it out for favouritism with the Nicholls charge is the Welsh National hero Elegant Escape for Colin Tizzard. He won the Chepstow centrepiece in fine fashion last month and this assignment really is to see how good he actually is. He could well be the next Native River and a bold showing here would be no surprise.

Nicky Henderson sends two representatives here both sporting the Munir & Souede colours and these come in the form of Terrefort and Valtor. Starting off with Terrefort he was a dual Grade 1 winning novice last term and looked set for big things before flopping on his reappearance at Sandown earlier on in the season. He hasn’t been seen since then as it clearly wasn’t his true running and Daryl Jacob sides with him today. Valtor was an import from France and bolted up last time at Ascot, quite to the surprise of Nicky as this horse was purchased as a National type it will be interesting to see how he gets on amongst a more classy field. Placed in the 2017 Gold Cup Minella Rocco will  be looking to bounce back to that form here for Jonjo O’Neil having no shown anything like that kind of run for a good while. Alyyson Monterg concludes the field as the 40/1 outsider for Richard Hobson.

Race Verdict:

The question marks over the trip here would put me off Frodon at the prices despite how good he has looked here already this term. Elegant Escape certainly looks the one who has the most scope to be top class however i’m going to take a chance and side with TERREFORT for Nicky. The run last time was too bad to be true and I read some reports that he was actually lame, how true they are one can only guess. It speaks volumes that Jacob has opted for him despite the dominant display of his stablemate last time out and if bouncing back to form he’s certainly a live contender here.

Win: TERREFORT (4/1)

Daryl Jacob silk


It seems to be a weekly occurrence that we have one of these graded novice hurdles where Nicky Henderson has a hyped up favourite and that’s once again the case here, with Birchdale heading affairs on the back of his maiden success last time. The Irish Pointer is certainly going to be a warm order here and is the most obvious winner. I’d be willing to take him on though at the prices though with the Fergal O’Brien trained JARVEYS PLATE. He won at Listed level over track and trip the last day and despite having a penalty I think that experience will certainly come into play.  The talented Brewin’upastorm looks another chief threat under the champion jockey for Olly Murphy.


Paddy Brennan silk


The Stayers Division is certainly one of the toughest and most open of the Festival races and this transpires into this year’s renewal of the Cleeve Hurdle. A lot of these have had their moment on the big stage and are either trying recapture that moment or making the most of the time they have left in their respective racing careers. A couple here revert back to hurdles following chasing attempts and these include the likes of Black Op and Lil Rockerfella. Aux Ptits Soins bounced back to the form of his Coral Cup win here back in 2015 the last time and a repeat of that would put him bang in the mix again here and the same can certainly be said for Midnight Shadow. However the one I’m with here is PAISLEY PARK. I’ve become a huge fan of this horse this term and he’s gone from strength to strength culminating in Grade 1 success the last day at Ascot. This assignment presents another challenge but you’ve got to think he’ll be up for it.


Aidan Coleman silk




‘Meydan to Gowran’ (Thursday Preview) (24/01/2019)

Thursday 24th January 2019

(Author: Jordan Yates)


The Thyestes Chase takes centre stage this Thursday at Gowran Park which is a Grade A Handicap that’s contested over a distance of three miles. It’s a race which often attracts the smartest and toughest stayers that Ireland has to offer with this year’s renewal seemingly no different. As expected the top yards are all strongly represented with Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott currently dominating the market. Invitation Only currently heads affairs for Willie in the Wylie colours, a smart performer on his day with a Grade 3 victory to his name and also has the services of Ruby Walsh here. Last year’s winner Monbeg Notorious sits the most prominently in the market out of the Gordon Elliott runners. Trading at a general 7/1 and was last seen finishing second in the Champion Novices Chase at the Punchestown Festival.

The money has come for Some Neck throughout the last few days as he can now be found trading as short as 8/1 in places. The Willie Mullins charge was impressive when winning last time and certainly looks one of the more unexposed types in the field. There’s a vast array of talented sorts on show here from Closutton with Isleofhopendreams, Pleasant Company, Up For Review and Pairofbrowneyes all looking to take their respective place in the line up. Opposing them is the usual Gigginstown battalions with Dounikos, General Principle, Alpha Des Obeaux and Valseur Lido joining Monbeg Notorious in the field. Kim Muir second Mall Dini currently takes his place as one of the market principles for Patrick Kelly and a bold showing on his part would be no surprise.

Race Verdict:

An extremely competitive affair as to be expected but the one I’m going to take a chance on comes in the form of the Willie Mullins trained SOME NECK. He knuckled down to win well last time beating decent opposition and whilst this requires a significant step up in class should he play a part, he may well have a significant amount more progression in him than some of these.

SOME NECK – (9/1) (E/W)


Return Of Percy

(1.50 – Galmoy Hurdle)

Possibly the most eagerly awaited reappearance of the season as current Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy finally takes to the track in the Grade 2 affair that is the Galmoy Hurdle. It’s far from the easiest of assignments though with whole host of smart Willie Mullins contenders in behind him which include the likes of Limini, Bapaume, Killutagh Vic, Bleu Berry and Shaneshill. Joseph O’Brien looks to send the potentially smart recruit Darasso to take his place who also looks a chief threat to the market principal. You’d want your Gold Cup favourite to be putting in dominant displays at this time of year, and all known form he should do just that. However first run of the season against a smart field makes this an interesting watching brief for me.


The Dubai World Cup Carnival powers on this Thursday with two Group 2 contests taking the limelight. The first of these comes at 3.40 (GMT) and is a race that’s contested over a distance of a mile and a furlong and there’s a familiar strong Godolphin presence within the race. Dream Castle currently heads affairs on the back of his impressive victory here last time and he’s a general 2/1 in the betting where he’s followerd by a fairly staggering further five Godolphin horses who all hold decent chances. These come in the form of Blair House, Racing History, Leshlaa, First Contact and Bay Of Poets. Ex Richard Hannon horse Euginio also lines up here alongside the ex Aidan O’Brien trained Deauville with David Simcock’s Arod concluding the line up. It’s likely these three will need to take a sizeable step up should they worry the Godolphin battalions.

Race Verdict:

As stated in the build up to the race all of these Godolphin runners hold solid credentials and it’s a horse carrying the famous blue silks ill be siding with and that’s FIRST CONTACT. He’s got a bit to find with some of them here however he’s still unexposed and won well within Listed company last time in France. I think he could well play a part here at a decent price.



Soumillon Out To Score

The second Group 2 of the evening comes at 4.50 (GMT) and another race that has a strong Godolphin presence with one in particular that takes my eye. This is none other than the Saeed bin Suroor charge TOP SCORE. He’s got very solid form figures around here including an impressive second here the last day when giving weight to the winner. He’s about 5/1 for this particular assignment which I think is a more than generous price for a horse that clearly relishes it around here.

TOP SCORE – (5/1)


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