CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL: DAY 2

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL:  DAY 2

It’s Day 2 and we couldn’t be more fired up. Yesterday was just wonderful racing and Gordon Elliot and Nicky Henderson stole the show. Can they produce the goods again. What about Willie Mullins I hear you say. Surely today is his?

Information is everything when gambling and so when considering who to back at this fabulous festival – the Olympics of jumps racing, we need to take heed of what type of horse has been successful in the past. So in these selections we highlight recent trends and the horse we think most likely to fight out the finish.

So, get involved and enjoy the incredible excitement that is The Cheltenham Festival

1:30       

NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES´ HURDLE (GRADE 1) (REGISTERED AS THE BARING BINGHAM) (CLASS 1) (4yo+) Winner £71,188 15 runners 2m5f26y Good To Soft ITV

Will this be a 1st Mullins winner?

Clearly with these all being novices the age sweet spot is 5-6, so not much to bring the field down there, more importantly our candidate needs to be rated within 10lbs of the top rated horse in the race and won over at least 2 miles 4f in the past. We would also expect our winner to have won a minimum of half their races to date. Now that should whittle things down a bit.

By virtue of our statistics we have whittled our probable list own to Bacardys the talented Willie Mullins 6 year old with Ruby Walsh on board, always a sign of the one they think is the best of the stable entries, Messire Des Obeaux for Alan King, Neon Wolf from Harry Fry’s stable, who is the clear favourite and Willoughby Court from the talented Ben Pauling yard. There is no doubting they all have Neon Wolf to beat but at about 7/4 he isn’t a lot of value. We think Bacardys has to improve about 7lbs to match the Fry horse but he may be capable of that. The one who we like at big prices is Willoughby Court who could be on the upgrade.

1 unit e/w Willoughby Court

2 units e/w Bacardys

2:10       

RSA NOVICES´ CHASE (GRADE 1) (CLASS 1) (5yo+) Winner £99,663 12 runners 3m80y Good To Soft ITV

Will Nicky still be smiling?

 

One of the day’s features with some incredibly exciting horses who really do have big careers.

We need a horse who hasn’t run on the flat, in the last 10 years that’s been 10 times successful.  The previous 10 winners had all finished in the first three last time out and contested a graded race and won or placed. The ideal age is 7 for a horse with 9-10 being winners and they must have run at least 3 times over fences. Who fits the bill

These five are just terrific horses. Acapella Bourgeois, who is the apple of trainer Sandra Hughes’ eye, the tough and admirable, Bellshill for Willie Mullins, Might Bite who was robbed of graded glory when falling at Kempton and Royal Vacation for the wizard Colin Tizzard. There has been much out of Ireland about Sandra Hughes’ horse and we would be wrong to ignore that but they all have Mite Bite to beat in this race.

2 units win Might Bite

2 units e/w Acappella Bourgeois

1 unit e/w Bellshill

2:50       

CORAL CUP HANDICAP HURDLE (GRADE 3) (CLASS 1) (4yo+) Winner £54,103 26 runners 2m5f26y Good To Soft ITV

Now this is one of the tough handicaps in the racing calendar and because of that if we crack the code then we will be well rewarded. Rarely has the winner ever run in the last 32 days as they dare not risk their handicap mark. The will have won earlier in the season and not run more than four times and certainly over a trip of greater than 2m2f. They also need to be rated between 130-149. Who does that leave us with?

It pays to look deep in to this race and the four we have come up with from the 26 runners are Who Dares Wins for Allan King who won over shorter but stays this trip and will love the drying ground. Automated for the three time 1st day winning trainer Gordon Elliot who ran a big figure for his last win and managed to avoid the handicappers pencil, somehow! Jockey Jack Kennedy has already shown his mettle with a big win. Morello Royale from the Tizzard yard, whose 2nd over further last time out signalled a return to form and Scoir Mear for young Thomas Mullins who has been beaten by Automated but this better ground should suit.

1 unit e/w Who Dares Wins

1 unit e/w Automated

1 unit e/w Morello Royale.

3:30       

BETWAY QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE (GRADE 1) (CLASS 1) (5yo+) Winner £208,300 10 runners 1m7f199y Good To Soft ITV

Surely it is Douvan’s to lose….

Our favourite race at this amazing event. The best speed fencers in the World and in this race features, probably the best horse at this festival, Douvan. It will be a major shock to anyone if this horse gets beaten and as good as the opposition are in the shape of Special Tiara, Fox Norton, Gods Own and even Traffic Fluide it can only be the obstacles that get Douvan beaten. If you want to get a 33% return on your money then back him. He won’t fall unless he gets brought down by another. How about some each way money at a big price on Traffic Fluide in a market without the favourite

6 units win Douvan

1 units e/w Traffic Fluide  (without Douvan)

4:10       

GLENFARCLAS CHASE (A CROSS COUNTRY CHASE) (CLASS 2) (5yo+) Winner £40,235 16 runners 3m6f37y Good To Soft ITV

Will Christmas come early for Sausalito Sunsrise

A great spectacle as they jump every manner of brook, ditch, mound and birch.

You have to stay in this race so we need a horse who has won over at least 3 miles, 8 out of 10 have been trained in Ireland and officially rated 134-150 and they need some experience having won or been placed in a race of this type.

Not one of the great betting races of the festival but a number of old favourites within this lot. We just have an inkling that Causes of Causes is coming back to form at a course he loves and at another big price we also like Phillip Hobbs’ horse, Sausalito Sunrise who really is quite talented  and looked the winner when trying last time.

1 unit e/w Sausalito Sunsrise

1 unit e/w Cause of Causes

4:50       

FRED WINTER JUVENILE HANDICAP HURDLE (GRADE 3) (CLASS 1) (4yo) Winner £45,560 22 runners 2m87y Good To Soft RUK

A winner a day for David Pipe? 

Paul Nichols has won the last two encounters of this race so he is a good place to start and he has 3 wins in 10 years. You need to be rated between 125-133 and have won at least one of your last two starts. It might also help if you were sired by a Group 1 winner on the flat, which is an interesting statistic.

In what is a very strong handicap this race needs a lot of research and we have got it down to four horses, none of whom feature strongly in the betting. The first is Dakota Moirette for Gordon Elliott and Bryan Cooper, who team up to great effect regularly and this profile looks ideal. Neitzsche takes the eye on most counts with Brian Ellison rarely bringing them to Cheltenham without a chance and currently no one riding better than Danny Cook. Rainbow Dreamer for Alan King and Tom Cannon seems to have slipped under the radar and finally Poker Play for David Pipe who seems to have held this one back for this race. He pulled too hard on his British devut but this strongly run race should help with this. We should have three against this big field but leaving one out is tricky.

1 unit e/w Poker Play

1 unit e/w Nietszsche

1 unit e/w Dakota Moirette

5:30       

WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER (A STANDARD OPEN NATIONAL HUNT FLAT RACE) (GRADE 1) (CLASS 1) (4-6yo) Winner £42,713 23 runners 2m87y Good To Soft RUK

A cracking day 1 for Gordon Elliott

This races’ previous winners look like the best of the best in National Hunt, so we know it produces a quality winner. A winner who won last time out and an adjusted RPR of at least 126. Also, best if they haven’t run for about a month.

It would be a shock to us if the Irish didn’t win this race. The three we fancy all come from the Emerald Isle. The first Is Jessie Harrington’s, Someday who improved significantly to win last time out with our only reservation being the 8 runner field. A larger one for experience would have been ideal. The second is Gordon Elliots, Fayonagh with the excellent Jamie Codd on board. The two wins looks terrific on paper and likely they will make the pace. Could be anything this horse. Of course, what bumper would be complete without a Willie Mullins horse, his son rides Carter McKay, a horse looking to make it nine wins in this race for the Irish Champion trainer. We will back all three with some degree of confidence with our inkling that Fayonagh may prove best.

1 unit e/w Carter McKay

1 unit e/w Someday

1 unit e/w Fayonagh

Six Nations Round Four: England’s march to continue?

By Brian Rucker, My Club Betting Rugby Correspondent

After a week off, the Six Nations returns this weekend and it couldn’t be more tense!

As expected, it’s England and Ireland vying for the title, with Scotland sitting closely behind in third. They’ll be getting a nosebleed soon…

The Scots will be brought back down to earth at Twickenham this weekend though and while Italy host France in the basement battle, Wales and Ireland kick things off on Friday night.

That’s where I’ll begin…

Wales v Ireland (Friday @ 20:05)

I’ve given the Welsh a lot of flack in recent times, so why change the habit of a lifetime…

You wouldn’t think things could get much worse for Wales after their shambles of a display in Scotland, but they need to prepare themselves for the worst. It’s going to hurt!

Why? Because come Friday evening, the Welsh will have lost to Scotland, England and Ireland in the same year in the five/six nations for the first time since 2003… Ouch!

The Irish will punish Rob Cowley’s side, who make way too many unforced errors, which will set up a lovely title decider in Dublin next Sunday against England. I’m already rubbing my hands…

Don’t get me wrong though, Ireland haven’t got much boasting to do. Let’s face it, they’ve only beaten Italy and France so far and that’s not exactly difficult.

They’ll win this one. It’s just a shame it will only give them false hope ahead of England’s victory next week!

BEST BET: IRELAND TO WIN BY 1-5 POINTS @ 17/4

Italy v France (Saturday @ 13:30)

Is there any point to this one? Well it is the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy I guess…

I suppose it does give France a chance to feel better about themselves following their defeat in Ireland two weeks ago.

To bounce back from their defeat against England, with a win against the Scots but then to lose against Ireland just proves that the French are as consistent as my bowel movements and trust me, that’s not a good thing…

They’ll surely have enough to beat the whipping boys in Rome, but this does look like Italy’s final chance to get any points on the board because they don’t stand a chance at Murrayfield next week.

Oh, who am I kidding, another wooden spoon is in the post!

BEST BET: FRANCE FIRST HALF HANDICAP -9.5 @ 10/11

England v Scotland (Saturday @ 16:00)

It’s Calcutta Cup action at Twickenham and I’d put my daughter’s new pony on England to continue their march towards back-to-back Grand Slams. My life wouldn’t be worth living if I lost that one, so trust me when I say it’s going to happen!

I could not think of a better opponent for England to secure a record equalling 18th consecutive victory against…

The Scots could actually win the Triple Crown on Saturday afternoon but there’s more chance of that happening than Donald Trump telling the truth.

Yes, they’ve picked up wins against Ireland and Wales but England aren’t Ireland and Wales. Thank god!

Eddie Jones’ side haven’t even put in a good performance yet and they’ve won every game. It’s been like taking candy from a baby…

Enjoy another win lads!

BEST BET: ENGLAND TO WIN BY 6-10 POINTS @ 15/4

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DAILY RACING DIGEST – FRIDAY

We take a look at some of the top racing stories of the day in our new feature and provide our experts’ racing selections on Friday, March 3, 2017.

cheltenham

Bet4Causes cut The New One to 14/1 for the Champion Hurdle after trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies gave a positive report on the nine-year-old, who will bid to land the race at the fourth time of asking. “It would be wonderful, the highlight of everything if he won and it’s time it happened for him,” the trainer said. “The handicapper tells us he’s always right and if you look at the ratings he should be right there. Himself and Yanworth are the two top-rated ones, and there’s 1lb between them. Cheltenham brings the best out of him and hopefully this is the year when everything falls right for him.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/cheltenham-festival/twiston-davies-this-could-be-the-new-one-s-year/276755
http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49482/nigel-twiston-davies-hopes-fortune-can-favour-the-new-one-in-champion-hurdl

Cheltenham Festival - St Patrick's Thursday


Limini (right) is now 7/1 with Bet4Causes, despite owner Rich Ricci appearing to have cooled on her chances of being supplemented for the  Champion Hurdle on Tuesday week. Ricci said: “Susannah (Ricci’s wife who co-owns Limini) and I have discussed it and if Limini had been originally entered, it would be a different matter, but to be supplementing, you really want to be doing that if you think you have a good chance of winning the race. Do you really want to be doing that and just finishing fourth? I’m going to talk to a few experts and see what they say. It’s a possibility but nothing has been decided.”
Source: https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/rich-ricci:-no-limini-decision/40368

bristol-de-mai


Nigel Twiston-Davies was left disappointed after Bristol De Mai (right) followed up his Peter Marsh Chase win at Haydock with a tame effort in defeat to Native River at Newbury. The trainer is becoming increasingly bullish over the grey’s Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup chance, however. He said: “We thought, ‘Oh dear, he’s not very good’, but we got him back and he was lame for the whole of the next week. He’s come back right now and if he stays sound, he’s very good and I’m very hopeful.”
Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/horseracing/2993900/cheltenham-festival-2017-nigel-twiston-davies-looking-forward-to-running-bristol-de-mai-in-the-cheltenham-gold-cup/


When Golden Jeffrey lines up in the Champion Bumper he will be leading Flat trainer Mark Johnston’s first runner at the Cheltenham Festival for almost 20 years. The four-year-old, owned and bred by Swiss-based Markus Graff, won at Ayr on Monday. Johnston said: “Markus Graff bred Golden Jeffrey and he was quite a backward horse early on. He has a small stud in Switzerland which he is trying to make commercial. There have not been any enquiries yet but, if there were, I am sure the owner would be keen to sell him.”
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-4276396/Mark-Johnston-set-run-Golden-Jeffrey-Cheltenham.html


Nigel Twiston-DaviesSpeaking at his press day ahead of the Cheltenham Festival, Nigel Twiston-Davies (right) confirmed that Ballyandy will run in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. He said: “He has got plenty of speed. He won there this time last year, although it was over two miles with no hurdles. We are really looking forward to it and hopefully we will be able to take our revenge on Moon Racer (who beat him in the Supreme Trial in November).”
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49488/nigel-twiston-davies-plumps-for-supreme-bid-with-ballyandy
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/horseracing/2995410/cheltenham-festival-2017-nigel-twiston-davies-updates-us-on-his-cheltenham-festival-team-including-betfair-hurdle-winner-ballyandy/


Eddie Lynam has announced the retirement of popular multiple Group 1-winning sprinter Sole Power. The 10-year-old had his last run when sixth in the Meydan Sprint two weeks ago. Lynam said: “We’ve decided to call it a day with him. He was a great horse, but time waits for no man and he’s been retired.” Sole Power won 12 of his 65 starts, was placed on a further 14 occasions and earned over £2m in prize-money. Lynam added: “He’ll have a few months at home to chill and then he’ll head over to Horse Park Stud, where a lot of our retired horses go. Putting him on the horsebox that one last time, that will be the saddest day.”
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49477/eddie-lynam-calls-time-on-decorated-career-of-sole-power
https://beta.racingpost.com/news/news/five-time-group-1-winner-sole-power-retired/276726


Jockey George Baker remains in intensive care following his horror fall on the ice of St Moritz on Sunday. The Classic-winning rider suffered a severe concussion and was airlifted to a trauma hospital in Chur. His agent Guy Jewell said: “There’s nothing new to report, really. He’s still in intensive care and is much the same as he was a couple of days ago. He’s still resting and sleeping a lot.”
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49483/george-baker-continuing-recovery-in-intensive-care-after-st-moritz-fall


Venetia WilliamsAidan Coleman recorded his second successive century of winners when guiding Marcilhac to victory in the Forbra Gold Cup at Ludlow for Venetia Williams (tight) – one of a quartet of winners on the day for the Herefordshire trainer. Coleman notched 129 winners last season and he said: “The goal at the start of year was to get somewhere near 100 winners, to get that and hopefully add to it would be great.”
Source: https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/coleman-reaches-100-winners/40300
http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49491/ton-up-for-aidan-coleman-at-ludlow


David PipeDavid Pipe (right)is still mulling over a possible Champion Hurdle tilt with Moon Racer. The eight-year-old, not seen since making it two from two over hurdles at the Open Meeting at Cheltenham in November, also holds an entry in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Pipe said: “He’s proved on the track that he’s a very good horse and we thought at the time that it was worth entering him in the Champion Hurdle. He’ll be left in that and the Supreme at the five-day stage and we’ll make a decision after that.”
Source: https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/late-call-on-moon-racer-target/40160


Winner of a Grade 3 handicap at Cheltenham last time, Foxtail Hill has been earmarked by Nigel Twiston-Davies as his ace in the Cheltenham Festival pack. He runs in the Close Brothers’ Handicap Chase and the trainer said: “I think Foxtail Hill is probably our best chance. It is just the way the race turns out, as there is only three or four pounds between the lot of them. He is nearly a JLT horse, but why go for that when you have got a lower-class race? He was very impressive there last time and he managed to stay inside the rating band of 0-140.”
Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/horseracing/2995410/cheltenham-festival-2017-nigel-twiston-davies-updates-us-on-his-cheltenham-festival-team-including-betfair-hurdle-winner-ballyandy/


London trainer Andrew Reid has not renewed his licence after sending out one winner from 39 runners last season. The gallop at his Mill Hill yard needs to be replaced and he explained: “Being on London clay, we weren’t going to do that until the summer. I had never had injuries, but I was starting to get them, and the only explanation was the gallop. I sold a lot of horses and wouldn’t think I’ll have runners this year, but it depends on when we can start work on the gallop.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/news/lawyer-reid-calls-time-on-training-career-with-no-runners-this-year/276780

Today’s MCB British Racing selections – Friday, March 3, 2017

DONCASTER: 1.50 Generous Day, 2.20 Wenyerreadyfreddie, 2.50 Tiquer, 3.25 Taweyla (nb), 4.00 Copper Kay, 4.30 Apterix, 5.05 The Wise One

LINGFIELD: 2.00 Remember Me, 2.30 HAVELOCK (NAP), 3.05 Black Dave, 3.40 Intransigent, 4.10 Mullarkey, 4.45 Ulysses

NEWBURY: 2.10 Alcanar, 2.40 Le Breuil, 3.15 Red Devil Star, 3.50 Millanisi Boy, 4.20 Reilly’s Minor, 4.55 Bally Gilbert, 5.25 Athgate Rosalie

NEWCASTLE: 5.15 Persun, 5.45 Fiendish, 6.15 Poet’s Reward, 6.45 Bastia, 7.15 Kinloch Pride, 7.45 Mr Andros

Bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood and World Horse Welfare.

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ODI Series: West Indies v England takes centre stage

By Archibald Newton, My Club Betting Cricket Correspondent

First Series (Friday 3rd March @ 13:30)

England are in the Caribbean and that means one thing, it’s time for the ODI Series against the West Indies!

It should be a stroll in the park for Eoin Morgan’s side shouldn’t it? Well, yes it should but nothing’s ever straight forward with the English. Brexit springs to mind…

eoin-morgan

To start with, England’s bowling attack looks as bare as my fridge! Mark Wood, David Willey and most likely Jake Ball are all missing, so the responsibility could be handed to Tom Curran who was “giddy” after receiving his first senior call-up. It’s not a holiday young sir!

The batting order should be pretty clear but then again, Sam Billings performed like a wet squid in the warm up games.

Jonny Bairstow made 86 at the top of the order in the second of those pre-series matches, but that isn’t his role… It’s all got a little confusing!

alex-hales-england

Alex Hales is the man England will turn to but can you trust a man who declined the tour of Bangladesh at the end of last year? One thinks not… You too Morgan!

Now… where to start with the West Indies? It’s a good job that I have an hour or two to spare…

To put it bluntly, their preparation for this series has been an absolute shambles!

Players can only feature for the West Indies if they have played the relevant format domestically in the Caribbean since 2010. What a load of old tosh!

Missing the likes of Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Johnson Charles, they’re squad is as experienced as my grandson’s pre-school class.

carlos-brathwaite

They do however have Carlos Brathwaite in their ranks, who hit four successive sixes in the final over from Ben Stokes last year. Stokes hasn’t slept a wink since that World Twenty 20 final…

The England all-rounder will hopefully be able to keep his eyes open in Antigua, but it would also be appreciated Ben if you manage to deter from punching any lockers and clashing with any opposition players!

With nine victories from their past 10 ODI’s against the West Indies, that streak will continue but it certainly won’t be a walk in the park…

BEST BET: JONNY BAIRSTOW TO BE ENGLAND’S TOP RUN SCORER @ 6/1

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*Odds correct at time of publishing.

DAILY RACING DIGEST – THURSDAY

We take a look at some of the top racing stories of the day in our new feature and provide our experts’ racing selections on Thursday, March 2, 2017.

blacklion


Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has doubts that son Willy will be able to gain the required number of chase wins by April 6 to ride Blaklion (right) in the Grand National. Willy, who has spent the last five years concentrating on the Flat, has 12 career wins over jumps. His father said: “Willy still needs thee winners over fences. It might quite hard work. I have not got that many young chasers coming up and most of them have gone up the handicap. It is more difficult to find winners at this time of year.”
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-4271910/Nigel-Twiston-Davies-doubts-son-s-Blaklion-National-ride.html


Michael O’Leary has removed Don Poli, Empire Of Dirt and Outlander from the Grand National, as he said he would, following his displeasure at the weights meted out by official BHA handicapper Phil Smith. Champagne West, Dromnea and Otago Trail have also been scratched, along with several other Gigginstown runners including Clarcam, Tiger Roll and A Toi Phil. A total of 95 entries remain with the weights now headed by Carlingford Lough.
Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/horseracing/2983756/2017-grand-national-field-cut-to-95-entries-as-don-poli-outlander-empire-of-dirt-were-among-the-horses-taken-out-at-the-latest-scratchings-deadlines/


cheltenhamBHA senior handicapper Phil Smith his back at critics after unveiling the weights for the 10 handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival, insisting “there is no semblance of any anti-Irish bias”. In statement he said the BHA’s handicapping approach with Irish horses has provided “greater equality and fairness” after years of what he felt was a “disproportionately high success rate of Irish runners in British handicaps” – most significantly at the Cheltenham Festival.
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49463/phil-smith-insists-no-anti-irish-bias-in-handicap-ratings


Alan King is in the dark over who will ride JP McManus-owned stable star Yanworth in the Champion Hurdle. The Kingwell Hurdle winner is as short as 10/3 for the 2m feature on March 14, but regular pilot Barry Geraghty is nursing six broken ribs and will miss the Cheltenham Festival. King said: “I don’t know who is going to ride him and we need to speak at the weekend, as we do need to find out. Obviously I would like them to come and have a sit on him. No one has ridden him over a hurdle bar Barry Geraghty, so whoever rides him we want to come and school him and possibly ride a bit of work.”
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49471/alan-king-eager-to-pencil-in-champion-hurdle-jockey-for-yanworth


Nicky HendersonWith Barry Geraghty ruled out through injury, Noel Fehily is likely to come in for the plum Champion Hurdle ride on the JP McManus-owned Buveur D’Air, who made a successful transition back to hurdles in a Listed event at Sandown. Trainer Nicky Henderson (right) said: “I suspect he will. I saw JP on Monday and I don’t think anybody has really discussed it as there are so many horses involved in the conundrum.”
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49471/alan-king-eager-to-pencil-in-champion-hurdle-jockey-for-yanworth


Cheltenham Festival - St Patrick's Day

Though unseating Mark Walsh at the last in the Irish Gold Cup, former Stayers’ Hurdle winner More Of That (right) has trainer Jonjo O’Neill growing in confidence ahead of his Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup run. “We never saw a spark this season until his last run in the Irish Gold Cup,” said O’Neill. “He’d have to be at his best, of course, but the race is open and he loves the track.” More Of That is currently 16/1 (from 20/1) with Bet4Causes.
Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/racing/2017/03/01/jonjo-oneill-expecting-go-close-gold-cup/


A federal judge has rejected leading Irish horseracing owner JP McManus’s bid to recover the $5.22m he claimed the US government withheld as tax from a backgammon win. McManus claimed that paying a relatively small “domicile levy” in Ireland should leave him exempt from tax taken by authorities, but judge Nancy Firestone denied his request to order the IRS to hand over the money.
Source: http://calvinayre.com/2017/03/01/business/jp-mcmanus-loses-battle-to-claim-5-2m-tax-refund-from-us/


Despite falling at Kempton on Saturday, Nicky Henderson says he intends to run Charli Parcs in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, rather than the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. “I think we were always leaning towards the Triumph and that’s still the case. If he’s in good form, I think he will come here. Divin Bere could also end up going in the same race. We’ll have to see how the weights work out for the Fred Winter.”
Source: http://www.attheraces.com/news/2017/March/01/triumph-hurdle-on-the-agenda-for-charli-parcs-after-pleasing-home-spin
http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49464/triumph-hurdle-on-the-agenda-for-charli-parcs-after-pleasing-home-spin


Thistlecrack’s younger half-brother West Approach is likely to run in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle rather than taking on his elders in the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Trainer Colin Tizzard’s son and assistant Joe said: “We purposely protected his novice status last year and however brave John and Heather Snook (owners) are, throwing a novice in the deep end is tough. I think with this one he has one chance as a novice and he has got a great chance in the Albert Bartlett.”
Source: http://www.attheraces.com/news/2017/March/01/west-approach-likely-to-stick-to-novice-company-at-cheltenham
http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49468/west-approach-likely-to-stick-to-novice-company-at-cheltenham

Willie Mullins 1


Willie Mullins (right) has won the Cheltenham Champion Bumper nine times and feels Carter McKay could be his brightest chance of landing the March 15 finale again. His is one of five Mullins entries of the 36 remaining and the trainer said: “Carter McKay could look the one on his form of the last day. He’d been doing nice work at home before Naas and his performance was better than I hoped, but you don’t go expecting performances like that. That performance would compare to anything. A horse that can win around Naas doing that is a fair machine.”
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49465/exciting-carter-mckay-leads-champion-bumper-squad-for-willie-mullins


An experiment to monitor the heart rates of some leading figures at the Cheltenham Festival has been organised. Commentator Richard Hoiles, ITV colleague Ed Chamberlin, trainer Ben Pauling and broadcaster Rupert Bell will be tested. Hoiles said: “I would be interested in the results as I did think I was relatively laid-back, but then someone posted a video of me commentating next to John Hunt during the Champion Stakes – I was shocked by just how animated I was getting!”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/cheltenham-festival/pauling-in-the-spotlight-as-high-bridge-aims-to-be-supreme-player/276523


Brian Proctor, former jockey and work-rider for trainer Dick Hern, has died at the age of 75. Legendary jockey Willie Carson said: “He was Dick Hern’s right-hand man and I had some good times with him. He was involved with everything that happened at West Ilsley. If there was a problem Dick and Brian sorted it out. Nothing fazed him, he knew what to do with horses. He was a great man to have in the yard and a great man to deal with a difficult horse.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/news/herns-right-hand-man-spent-half-a-century-working-with-the-stars/276646

Today’s MCB British Racing selections – Thursday, March 2, 2017

TAUNTON: 2.00 Ice Konig, 2.30  Saint Breiz, 3.00 Spiritofthegames, 3.35 Sir Ivan, 4.10 The Unit, 4.45 Jonagold, 5.15 Lost In Lecce

NEWCASTLE: 2.10 Free Code, 2.40 Stoneham, 3.10 Be Perfect, 3.45 Magistral, 4.20 Ms Gillard, 4.55 Bargain Buy, 5.25 Aprovado

LUDLOW: 2.20 MANSION (NAP), 2.50 Some Are Lucky, 3.25 Mixchivous (nb), 4.00 Dusky Lark, 4.35 Miss Spent, 5.05 Invisible Man, 5.35 Centurious

CHELMSFORD CITY: 5.20 Justice Rock, 5.55 National Service, 6.25 Atalante, 6.55 Clement, 7.25 Winning Story, 7.55 Kenstone, 8.25 No Not Again, 8.55 Par Three

Wednesday’s NAP was a winner!

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Adrian Morley – what a start to the Super League season!

 

adrian-morley-leeds

Two rounds in and with the exception of Wakefield and Widnes, everyone has a win to their name. It really does look like being a corker of a season.

Last weekend saw excitement a plenty with Wakefield leading the Giants at half time, Leeds being pushed all the way by a very efficient and physically strong Salford, Wigan given the scare of their life by Widnes who led for almost all of the game, Castleford going to the top of the table after beating Warrington in a belter and the Leigh getting their maiden win over, of all sides, St Helens – and that was just Friday!

On Thursday, Catalan showed the sort of mettle we haven’t seen before and disposed of Hull.

It was just the best round of Super League I can remember. So what have we learned?

  1. Salford don’t make many mistakes and Robert Lui is in fabulous form, and teams up brilliantly with Micheal Dobson with some powerful forwards who create great running room for Junior Sau – they are underestimated in their games
  2. Leeds need to believe in themselves and just be a little more patient. Their defence looks good in the middle but they need to work right across the park.
  3. Huddersfield need to start caring about the ball, complete their sets and they will trouble almost everyone. They just give it up too often.
  4. St Helens have got some early season issues. They really need to find a leader fast.
  5. Leigh can compete with anyone. They have had a tough start and have played really well. They need to avoid injuries but they are really well organised, disciplined and happy. It really looks good on the park.
  6. Catalan look like a team who can win, as long as Luke Walsh stays fit and his team remain as disciplined as they were against Hull. I have rarely seen a performance like this from a French team. Very impressive.
  7. That leaves Warrington and Castleford, and it’s hard to weigh this game up. No bias here but I don’t think the Wolves were at their best with many of their star names out and I think the Tigers were.

I can’t wait for this weekend. We start with Castleford against Leeds on Thursday at the Jungle and whilst Castleford will be the rightful favourites, I just think Leeds are starting to click and Leeds on the handicap seems a great option.

Hull take on The Giants, who are at home for the third straight game with both desperate to win. It’s amazing, it’s only the third round but these points are almost worth double at the moment. If the Giants can hold the ball they could spring an upset.

St Helens take on Wakefield and whilst the Wildcats showed glimpses last week, the Saints should be back to winning ways at home.

Wigan at home should be able to account for Leigh but again Leigh with a 16-point start are very appealing and will be a hard nut to crack buoyed with confidence, as they are after their win last weekend.

Warrington will bounce back against Salford but that doesn’t mean Salford are easy beats, it just means they are up against a very good team, in my opinion the best in the Super League. If the Wolves aren’t the best, then Catalan might be and for that reason they will account for Widnes. You have to give up 18 points on the handicap line but at home with their tails up, they just might defy that mark.

It’s another special weekend of rugby games and they just keep coming.

 

DAILY RACING DIGEST – WEDNESDAY

We take a look at some of the top racing stories of the day in our new feature and provide our experts’ racing selections on Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

Kempton Races


Champion jockey Jim Crowley (right) may have a new retained role with Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, but insists “I don’t want anyone thinking I won’t be going for the title again”.
Former jump jockey Crowley won his first Flat title after a titanic battle with Silvestre De Sousa last year and the former champ gained his first winner with his first ride at Lingfield yesterday. Crowley said: “If I am still in with a shot when Glorious Goodwood comes round, I am definitely going to give it a go. I don’t want people to think I won’t be going for the title again. You simply can’t have that attitude.”
Source: Press Association


Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle favourite Death Duty has been tabbed by trainer Gordon Elliott as his top gun for the Cheltenham Festival. Unbeaten over hurdles, he will spearhead a strong challenge on March 17, with Lexus Chase winner Outlander and Don Poli both heading to the Timico Gold Cup. Speaking at yesterday’s media day Elliott said: “We’ll have several horses travelling over with decent chances but there’s no getting away from it – Death Duty appears to be our big hope. He’s a very good horse and I’d say the best novice hurdler we’ve had.” Death Duty is currently Bet4Causes’ 11/4 favourite for the 3m event.
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/cheltenham-festival/albert-bartlett-favourite-death-duty-leads-charge-for-rampant-yard/276604

gordon-elliott


Gordon Elliott (right) will send a team of “about 30 horses across” to the Cheltenham Festival in two weeks’ time. While Don Cossack’s Timico Gold Cup victory was the highlight of three winners at the Festival last season, his star has subsequently been retired through injury. Elliott admitted: “On numbers I’d say we have a lot more fancied ones this year, but we had three winners last year and it will be hard to beat that.”
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-4269496/Gordon-Elliott-send-30-horses-Cheltenham.html


Tombstone will have to come through a satisfactory piece of work at the weekend to book his place in the  Champion Hurdle. Trained by Gordon Elliott, the recent conqueror of former 2m king Jezki needs to be supplemented for the March 14 feature. Elliott said: “If everything goes all right and he works all right at the weekend, the plan is we’ll probably run him in the Champion Hurdle. It’s a very good race, but it’s probably an open enough race. We’ve never had a runner in the Champion Hurdle, so I don’t know what it takes to win one, but why not have a go?”
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-4269496/Gordon-Elliott-send-30-horses-Cheltenham.html


Mutakayyef, who missed the  Winter Derby at Lingfield with a foot abscess, is still on course for the Dubai Turf. Trainer William Haggas said: “His foot is fine, it was just very unfortunate timing. He’ll be back ridden tomorrow and there’s no question of it ruling him out of Dubai. We’ll take him away for a gallop somewhere first, that will put him right.”
Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/horseracing/2976927/william-haggas-confirms-mutakayyef-still-on-dubai-mission-despite-lingfield-setback/

thistlecrack


Colin Tizzard has ruled King George VI Chase hero Thistlecrack out until Christmas following a second scan on his torn tendon. “Thistlecrack’s second scan came back exactly the same as the first, as we expected it would,” said Tizzard. “As communicated previously, Thistlecrack will not run again this season and all being well we’d expect him to be back at Christmas.”
Source: http://www.attheraces.com/news/2017/February/28/colin-tizzard-confirms-thistlecrack-expected-to-be-back-for-christmas
https://beta.racingpost.com/news/cheltenham-festival/hes-out-and-thats-it-thistlecrack-will-definitely-not-run/276589


Camping Ground is set to miss the Cheltenham Festival in favour of the Aintree Hurdle, following his demolition job in the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell. Trainer Gary Moore said: “It was nice for the horse, he did it well and has come out of it pretty good. We just need to work out where to go with him now. I think two miles is too sharp and three miles is too far, so we need to go somewhere in between and we’re better off waiting for Liverpool.”
Source: http://www.attheraces.com/news/2017/February/28/gary-moore-eager-to-pitch-camping-ground-into-aintree-hurdle


The new 2kg (4.4lb) allowance for female jockeys in France starts today at Deauville. Apprentice Alison Massin has seven booked rides. In all, 13 of the 96 runners at Deauville will be ridden by women. France Galop vice president Jean-Pierre Colombu said he was surprised by the level of controversy the new measure has caused. “Debate is always a good thing and perhaps we will be proved wrong, although I don’t think so,” said Colombu. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/international/new-era-starts-at-deauville-as-2kg-allowance-for-women-kicks-in/276559


Racing will be broadcast on ITV1 on Saturday for the first time since its launch on New Year’s Day. Seven races will be broadcast from Newbury and Doncaster. “It was just an opportunity that came up enabling us to do it, so that’s good. We’ve now got 42 days on the main channel,” said Grant Cunningham, ITV’s head of publicity, factual and sport.
Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/horseracing/2975217/terrestrial-coverage-boost-for-horse-racing-as-itv-increases-itv1-racedays-to-42/

Today’s MCB British Racing selections – Tuesday, February 28, 2017

MUSSELBURGH: 2.00 Major Ridge, 2.30 Dear Sire, 3.00 Improved, 3.30 Pekanheim, 4.00 Superior Command, 4.30 Darwins Fox, 5.00 Miss Barbossa

WINCANTON: 2.10 Fountains Windfall, 2.40 Driftwood Haze, 3.10 Orbasa, 3.40 Apple’s Queen, 4.10 Ruby Russet, 4.40 Chivers

FFOS LAS: 2.20 Bob Mahler, 2.50 DUELING BANJOS (NAP), 3.20 Fille Des Champs, 3.50 Alf  ’N’ Dor, 4.20 Batavir, 4.50 Well Smitten

NEWCASTLE: 5.30 Out Of Order, 6.00 Foie Gras, 6.30 Sandstream, 7.00 Spititofhayton (nb), 7.30 Art Obsession, 8.00 Fiery Spice

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