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

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

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk

 

YOUR DAILY RACING DIGEST – TUESDAY

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 Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

Fontwell Races

Racing’s leaders have revealed new plans for boosting field sizes by effectively offering appearance money down to eighth place once the new funding mechanism yields dividends. British Horseracing Authority COO Richard Wayman said: “As funding increases, we must target that money at grassroots and make the experience of owning an average horse far better than it is now,” he said. “One of the things that we are working on is a significant and substantial appearance money scheme that will see payments made to connections of owners down to eighth place. That, in itself, will help reduce the number of owners whose return from the sport is zero.”
Source: https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/new-plan-to-boost-lower-tier/39004
https://beta.racingpost.com/news/news/appearance-money-scheme-among-bha-s-possible-innovations/276447


Classic-winning jockey George Baker, who suffered a horror fall on the ice of St Moritz on Sunday, is likely to be moved out of intensive care today after his condition improved. Baker was brought down when two horses fell in front of him at and suffered heavy concussion. His wife Nicola said: “He doesn’t need any surgery and he had a bit of food at lunch. He’s just very sleepy and he’s back to bed. He had a very severe concussion, but his CT scan came back okay and the best thing for him is sleep and time.”
Source: http://www.racingpost.com/news/live.sd?event_id=24236524&category=0
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-4265220/George-Baker-remains-stable-condition-Swiss-hospital.html

Thistlecrack


News that Thistlecrack (right) will have a scan today on his partially-torn tendon prompted a gamble on the exchanges, with his price dropping to 10/1 for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. However, trainer Colin Tizzard all but ruled out the King George VI Chase winner out for a second time, insisting that the scan as to assess the extent of the damage, as opposed to checking for any misdiagnosis. “As far as I am concerned he’s still out,” said Tizzard. “The horse is fine but recuperating.”
Source: http://www.racingpost.com/news/live.sd?event_id=24236524&category=0


Cue Card could be retired should he win the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup and make up for a fall at the third last fence when going strongly last year. Now 11, Cue Card won a Grade 1 chase at Haydock and landed the Ascot Chase by 15 lengths last time. Owner Jean Bishop said: “I wouldn’t want to carry on racing him and see him struggle or anything like that. He couldn’t do anything else if he won the Gold Cup and there would be nothing to aim for. It would be a nice way to end his career. He has been on the go for seven years and it would probably be the best thing for him. We will have to see.”
Source: https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/cue-team-eye-dream-swansong/38844
http://www.skysports.com/racing/news/12426/10784140/gold-cup-glory-a-nice-way-to-end-cue-card-career-says-jean-bishop

arrogate-small


Arrogate (right) will contest the $10m Dubai World Cup on March 25 after being given the green light by Juddmonte Farms owner Prince Khalid Abdulla. The Santa Anita Handicap was under consideration for the world’s best Flat horse, but trainer Bob Baffert confirmed: “I just got the word. As long as he keeps working well, he’s going.” Arrogate clocked 1:38.4 in his 1m work on Monday. Baffert added: “He hasn’t regressed or anything, he looked fantastic. He’s enjoying himself, and he did it the right way. I’m really happy with the way he’s going. He’s just holding his form very well,” Baffert said.
Source: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/220100/arrogate-headed-to-dubai-world-cup


The Last SamuraiThe 2016 Grand National runner-up The Last Samurai (right) is set to carry top weight in Saturday’s Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster as he bids to land the 3m2f race for a second successive year off a 12lb higher mark. He could face as many as 12 rivals and trainer Kim Bailey said: “Basically, he needs to run. This has been the plan for some time and we’d just like some nice goo-to-soft ground, but he’ll run whatever.”
Source: https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/bailey:-samuri-‘needs-to-run’/38904
http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/sport/horse-racing/the-last-samuri-needs-to-run-says-kim-bailey-1-8412860


Willie Mullins says Douvan “could be the best I have had” ahead of his tilt at the  Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham in two weeks’ time. Douvan is currently the 2/7 favourite for the March 15 feature with Bet4Causes. Mullins said: “When you are going to Cheltenham with a favourite like Douvan, it is relief rather than joy when they win. When you have a 25-1 winner, that isn’t expected, that is joy. There is fair bit of expectation with Douvan so you just want to keep him right and get there.”
Source: http://www.hri.ie/News/?news=P-1b15e154-be66-4ba5-b723-40189336e217
http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/horse-racing/willie-mullins-claims-douvan-could-9930895


Sam Twiston-Davies has a strong book of rides at the Cheltenham Festival but has tabbed the Paul Nicholls-trained Politologue in the JLT Novices’ Chase as his best chance of a winner. Politologue is currently a 7/1 chance with Bet4Causes, with the market headed by Yorkhill at 2/1. “I think Politologue has a strong chance. He’s done a lot of things right,” said Twiston-Davies. “It was disappointing to get beaten at Haydock, but I don’t think he lost much in defeat as he gave the winner 3lb. He’ll have a hood and ear plugs and that should help him switch off better. He’s becoming the finished article.”
Source: http://www.racingpost.com/news/live.sd

Willie Mullins 1


Willie Mullins (right) is aiming to get last season’s Champion Hurdle winner Annie Power, currently sidelined through injury, back in time for the Punchestown Festival. He said: “She seems good and we’re very pleased with how she’s responding. I would say we’ll aim for Punchestown with her. We could go to France, but let’s get her back first before we make plans for her.” Faugheen, his 2015 Champion Hurdler, also misses Cheltenham through injury. Mullins added: “I’m sure we’ll see Faugheen again, whether it’s this season or next season. I wouldn’t have any reason to retire him. The problem he has now should be a maximum of 12 weeks (to recover).”
Source: http://www.hri.ie/News/?news=P-32a40018-c975-4622-a726-c44a0749a0cb
http://www.skysports.com/racing/news/12040/10784379/punchestown-comeback-on-cards-for-annie-power


Willie Mullins says it is “50-50” as to whether Limini will be supplemented for the Champion Hurdle on March 14. The six-year-old was impressive on her seasonal return at Punchestown last week and Mullins admitted: “A lot depends on how Vroum Vroum Mag goes between now and then (the supplementary stage), she’s obviously in the Mares’ Hurdle. I think if she’s fine and sparking, we probably might take a punt with Limini. I think Vroum Vroum will go for the Mares’ Hurdle. On her last performance, that’s all I can see her doing.”
Source: http://www.attheraces.com/news/2017/February/27/willie-mullins-indicates-limini-could-be-added-to-champion-hurdle-field
http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49429/willie-mullins-indicates-limini-could-be-added-to-champion-hurdle-field


Simon Williams will join Royal Windsor Racecourse as executive director, having previously been employed by Arena Racing Company in a similar capacity at Fontwell Park. Williams said: “Despite the difference in codes, moving from jump racing to flat, many of the initiatives we have implemented at Fontwell Park will translate across to Royal Windsor, and I can’t wait to get started.” Jonathan Acott will replace him in the same role at Fontwell, having joined Arc from Surrey Sports Park in Guildford, where he was head of operations. He added: “I am thrilled to be joining Arena Racing Company. Fontwell Park is a fantastic racecourse in a wonderful part of the world and I am excited to start working with the team and helping them build on their significant recent successes.”
Source: http://www.arenaracingcompany.co.uk/news/story/296


Jockey Alex Birzer became the 174th jockey in the US to win 3,000 races when he guided Numancia to victory at Oaklawn Park on Sunday. The Kansas native Birzer, 43, rode his first winner in 1992. He said: “This is wonderful. I had it in my mind that it would be great to reach this here. I just love Oaklawn. I love the people here. The patrons are just unreal with the way they treat us. It’s a great racing atmosphere.”
Source: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/220091/jockey-alex-birzer-reaches-3-000-wins

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

CATTERICK: 2.20 Café Au Lait, 2.50 Life Knowledge, 3.20 Halcyon Days, 3.50 Red Rising, 4.20 Delusionsfgrandeur, 4.50 Turtle Cask

LEICESTER: 2.10 Three Of A Kind, 2.40 Zeroshadsofgrey (nb), 3.10 Rebel Rebellion, 3.40 Paddy The Oscar, 4.10 Miss Oscarose, 4.40 The Highlander

LINGFIELD: 2.00 ANNIE SALTS (NAP), 2.30 Never Folding, 3.00 Dutch Uncle, 3.30 Mise En Rose, 4.00 Pinwood, 4.30 Hold Firm

Monday’s NAP was a winner.

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

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk

YOUR DAILY RACING DIGEST –MONDAY

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 Monday, February 27, 2017.

Ascot Races

Barry Geraghty (above) will miss the Cheltenham Festival following injuries sustained in a fall from Charli Parcs at Kempton on Saturday. Geraghty said: “I’ve a collapsed lung and six broken ribs on my right side. I’m obviously devastated to miss the Festival – there were so many good horses to look forward to as JP’s (McManus) team all look in particularly good shape this year. Last night was pretty rough. I’ve broken ribs individually before but never had six go all at the same time. I’ll be in hospital for a few more days but once the lung improves my recovery should be straightforward and I expect to be back for Aintree.”
Source: http://www.attheraces.com/news/2017/February/26/barry-geraghty-to-miss-cheltenham-after-kempton-spill
https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/geraghty-out-of-cheltenham/38566


Jockey George Baker woke from an induced coma in intensive care last night after suffering a first-race horror fall in the famous St Moritz snow track in Switzerland. He was riding Boomerang Bob for Jamie Osborne when they fell on a patch of ice and Baker was knocked unconscious. He was flown to a trauma hospital in Chur. Baker’s agent Guy Jewell said: “George has woken up, and with the hospital releasing that news I can only imagine they are pleased with his progress. He’d already had a CT scan and that has come back clear. They will obviously need to check that everything is working properly and his wife is on her way out there.” The rest of the meeting was abandoned.
Source: http://www.attheraces.com/news/2017/February/26/george-baker-awake-in-hospital-after-horror-fall-in-switzerland
http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49400/george-baker-airlifted-to-hospital-after-fall-at-st-moritz
https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/baker-‘awake-in-hospital’/38559


Gary Moore has concerns about the  Stayers Hurdle trip for runaway National Spirit Hurdle winner Camping Ground, who led is rivals a merry dance on his stable debut at Fontwell yesterday. Moore said: “We’ve treated him like a good horse. A lot of effort has gone into him, believe me, from the staff at home. I know the owner is pretty keen to go for the Stayers’ Hurdle. I think two and a half (miles) is his trip. He has got a very high cruising speed and he galloped them into the ground. I think three miles would be pushing it in my opinion.” Camping Ground was cut to 20/1 (from 50/1) by Bet4Causes for the Grade 1 feature at Cheltenham on March 16.
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49408/camping-ground-leads-national-spirit-field-a-merry-dance-at-fontwell
https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/camping-pitches-up-in-style/38520

Ascot Races


Cue Card (right) has displaced stablemate Native River at the head of the market for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Bet4Causes going 11/4 (from 7/2), after reporting a string of bets on the Colin Tizzard-trained 11-year-old over the weekend. Native River was weak in the market, forcing Tizzard to issue a report on his wellbeing. He said: “He’s lovely and did a proper bit of work today (Saturday). I couldn’t be any more pleased with him. It’s the same with Cue Card.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/cheltenham-festival/market-turning-in-favour-of-cue-card-as-he-displaces-river/276221


Giggingstown House Stud, owners of the Gordon Elliott-trained Tombstone, have decided to supplement the Gowran Park Red Mills Hurdle winner for the  Champion Hurdle. Elliott said: “It looks an open race this year so we have decided to supplement Tombstone for the Champion Hurdle. He has come out of the Red Mills race in great shape so we are happy to take our chances. Obviously he needs to improve but he hasn’t got many miles on the clock and the turnaround in form with Jezki was very encouraging.” Tombstone is currently 12/1 with Bet4Causes, with Buveur D’Air favourite at 11/4. Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/cheltenham-festival/tombstone-to-be-supplemented-for-champion-hurdle/276313
http://www.attheraces.com/news/2017/February/26/tombstone-to-be-supplemented-for-champion-hurdle
http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49406/tombstone-to-be-supplemented-for-champion-hurdle

Michael Scudamore Stable Visit


Trainer Michael Scudamore (right) gained two big staying prizes in two days after Mysteree took the Eider Chase at Newcastle on Saturday, following up success with Kingswell Theatre in the Devon National at Exeter on Friday. Scudamore is eying a third National and explained: “The Midlands National will be too soon for Mysteree, he is a horse who is best when fresh, but we will give him an entry in the Scottish National at Ayr in case it is soft there.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/saturday-reports/mysteree-stays-on-strongest-for-in-form-scudamore/276172


Colin Tizzard will have Thistlecrack’s tendon injury scanned tomorrow “not to make sure we got it right, but to please ourselves”. The ante-post Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite and King George VI Chase hero has been ruled out for the rest of the season. After saddling his 50th winner of the season at Fontwell yesterday, Tizzard said: “There was a little tear there but there’s no heat and no swelling. It’s not like he’s walking around with his leg in a bandage. It’s not very much.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/news/tizzard-to-scan-thistlecrack-tendon-again-to-assess-damage/276319

Chelmsford Races


Sir Michael Stoute (right) gained his first winner of the year when Convey swooped late to land the Group 3  Winter Derby at Lingfield on Saturday, booking his place for All-Weather Finals Day on Good Friday. Ante-post favourite Mutakayyef missed the 1m2f contest due to a foot abscess. Winning jockey Andrea Atzeni said: “Convey did it quite well. Obviously, it was his first time over this trip – I wasn’t sure that he would get it but Sir Michael was pretty positive and thought he would stay. It worked out perfectly from a bad draw. He was always doing enough to win his race and saw the trip out really well.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/saturday-reports/atzeni-strikes-late-on-coney-to-land-lingfield-thriller/276171


Following her win over Apple’s Jade at Punchestown, Limini could be supplemented for the Champion Hurdle, according to her owner Rich Ricci. He said: “The Champion Hurdle has to be discussed. We were successful last year with it (with Annie Power). It’s a wide open Champion Hurdle. If you fancy Buveur D’Air you probably have to really think about running. She is much bigger and stronger. It will be a last minute thing. We’ll have to see how she works and what she is working against. We’ll make that call after that work.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/cheltenham-festival/ricci-champion-hurdle-option-has-to-be-discussed-for-mare-limini/276176


The BHA has rescheduled the Listed Lady Protectress Chase at Huntingdon for Sunday, following the abandonment of the card last Thursday because of high winds. There will now be an eight-race card and entries for the £30,000 event close at noon today.
Source: http://www.britishhorseracing.com/news-media/press-releases/

Aintree Races


Paul Nicholls has snapped up Katie Walsh (right) for the plum ride on Wonderful Charm for the Cheltenham Foxhunter Chase. Nicholls said: “With Will [Biddick] unavailable for Wonderful Charm we were keen to secure a top amateur and Katie Walsh certainly fits the bill. We enjoyed no end of success at Cheltenham with Ruby Walsh and I am hoping his sister Katie can provide a bit more on Wonderful Charm.” Wonderful Charm is the current 4/1 second favourite to On The Fringe with BetVictor.
Source: https://betting.betfair.com/horse-racing/paul-nicholls/paul-nicholls-cheltenham-festival-news-wonderful-charm-fri-17-march-2017-240217-9.html


The planned semi-finals of the greyhounds Gold Cup, which were to be transferred from Shelbourne Park to Towcester were called off after a row over the distance of the races, with trainer Paul Hennessy allegedly refusing to run his dogs unless the trip was 500m. Organiser Dolores Ruth said: “The Gold Cup was a 480m/525 yard event and everyone was committed to run over 480 metres. We were already down to 11 runners (Burgess Popeye broke a hock in a trial) and it simply wasn’t feasible for the sponsors for only nine dogs to take part.”
Source: http://greyhoundstar.co.uk/trainers-sign-gold-cup-semis-towcester/

Today’s MCB British Racing selections – Monday, February 27, 2017

PLUMPTON: 2.00 Cigarisi, 2.35 Bagging Turf (nb), 3.05 Premier Rose, 3.35 Dragoon Guard, 4.05 Coolking, 4.35 Simply Blessed

WOLVERHAMPTON: 2.20 King Oswald, 2.55 Archie Stevens, 3.25 Jashma, 3.55 Fast Track, 4.25 Ravens Quest, 4.55 Atkinson Grimshaw, 5.25 Celerity

AYR: 2.10 Well Joey, 2.45 Antiopia, 3.15 Las Tunas, 3.45 Nakadam, 4.15 Chidswell, 4.45 Ryedale Racer, 5.15 GOLDEN JEFFREY (NAP)

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

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk

Horse racing Lucky 15 – Sunday’s top selections

Each day Bet4Causes will mark your card, providing a preview of the day’s racing and offering what the experts feel will be the value bets of the day.

Take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British and Irish meetings on Sunday, January 29, 2017.

Leopardstown bottoms.jpg

LUCKY 15 SELECTIONS

WISH IN A WELL (Fontwell 2.10) has proved a little frustrating to say the least. Ben Case’s representative had 19 runs without success before blinker were applied for the first time at Fakenham in a 2m5f amateur riders’ handicap chase four weeks ago They seemed to work the oracle, as he scooted in, despite making a blunder at the second last, to win by 20 lengths. There is no guarantee they will work again but he was rated as high as 113 as a novice and one assumes the eight-year-old should be on a workable mark of 72. Today’s 2m5f handicap chase is more competitive, but if the headgear works, his confidence would not have been hurt and he may well follow up. London busses and all that.

VOLVALEIN (Sedgefield 1.50) won a novices’ handicap chase off a rating of 111 three starts ago here in October, although the form has barely been franked with just one subsequent winner coming out of that race. A soft-ground bumper winner, that was only his second start for the Brian Ellison yard and he did not run badly next time in better company at Sandown off a 5lb higher mark, finishing third to Pilgrims Bay over 2m4f. He is having his first run since before Christmas today and his jumping seems to have improved, if taking his latest narrow second to Eastview Boy at Newcastle is taken at face value. He seems better suited by 2m than a bit further and Ellison applies cheekpieces for the first time today in a better race. Off a mark of 116, he does get plenty of weight from his four rivals, however.

IDENTITY THIEF (Leopardstown 2.30) can land the Grade 1 Irish Arkle on a cracking card at the Dublin track. Henry de Bromhead’s seven-year-old was good enough to win the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in 2015 but he was just short of top class as a hurdler. He has started his chasing career in fine style, though, winning a beginners’ chase at Punchestown before scoring in a Grade 2 novices’ event at the same track in November. He was pulled up lame in his last start in the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Boxing Day, but if near his best, the seven-year-old will be a tough nut to crack for his three rivals in the 2m1f affair.

NICHOLS CANYON (Lepardstown 3.30) might upset the odds in the Grade 1 Irish Champion Hurdle. With Faugheen ruled out through injury yesterday, Willie Mullins relies on the seven-year-old, who isn’t a bad second-string. Third to similarly sidelined stablemate Annie Power in the Champion Hurdle last March, he opened his autumn campaign with victory in the Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown, but the seven-times Grade 1 winner does have a bit to find with Petit Mouchoir on his runner-up effort to that rival in the Ryanair Hurdle in late December. We think he can overturn that form, however.

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OTHER SELECTIONS:

FONTWELL PARK: 1.40 Accord, 2.10 WISH IN A WELL (NAP), 2.40 Safe Harbour, 3.10 St Saviour, 3.40 Venetian Lad, 4.10 Sutter’s Mill

SEDGEFIELD: 1.20 Mahlerdramatic, 1.50 Volvalein, 2.20 Old Salt, 2.50 Ascendant, 3.20 Shadows Lengthen, 3.50 Turtle Cask, 4.20 Yur Next

LEOPARDSTOWN: 1.30 Melon, 2.00 Let’s Dance, 2.30 Identity Thief, 3.00 Dallas Cowboy, 3.30 Nichols Canyon, 4.00 Katnap, 4.30 Le Richebourg

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Horse racing Lucky 15 – Sunday’s top selections

Each day Bet4Causes will mark your card, providing a preview of the day’s racing and offering what the experts feel will be the value bets of the day.

After Saturday’s 4/1 winning NAP, take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British and Irish meetings on Sunday, January 22, 2017.

Horse Racing from Punchestown

LUCKY 15 SELECTIONS

YORKHILL (Leopardstown 2.10) is current ante-pots favourite for both the JLT and the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival. Though beaten on his seasonal debut at the Punchestown Festival, that was his only defeat under Rules and he rattled up a hat-trick of wins over timber. He may be equally effective over fences and after eight months off the track, he sauntered to a 14-length won at Fairyhouse on his chasing debut last month in bottomless ground, despite being keen early on as he can be. Yorkhill (above) did jump left at a couple of his fences, which could either mean there is a physical problem, or he would simply prefer going left handed. Either way, if he stands up, he should land the 2m3f novice chase, but we shan’t be yet lumping on for the JLT or the Arkle.

HEARTBREAK CITY (Leopardstown 3.10) was runner-up in the Melbourne Cup for trainer Tony Martin in November and the winner of the Ebor at York in August. He had won twice over hurdles prior to his York success and it was clear that he was improving at a rate of knots in both codes when scoring at York off a mark of 103. Jockey Donagh Myler was aboard when scoring at Galway last July and while he has had a break, he won on his seasonal debut last term after a five-month break. This valuable 2m handicap hurdle will not be an easy race to win with 22 rivals and off a mark of 125, he has a little to find with a few of these. Still, he is in the right hands and should continue to progress.

STELLAR NOTION (Leopardstown 2.40) showed he has the ability to win a decent prize over fences when producing a faultless round of jumping at Leopardstown in a 3m½f handicap chase, only to be collared late on by Noble Endeavour and a couple of others. Henry De Bromhead’s nine-year-old possibly needed the run as he had been off since October when chasing home the useful Tiger Roll at Limerick over 3m. The drop to 2m5f might be just what is required today and while he has gone up a couple of pounds to 139, we expect him to go well again under David Mullins.

MINSTRELS GALLERY (Fontwell Park 2.00) won a couple of low-grade 1m6f all-weather handicaps at Wolverhampton last spring but the eight-year-old is patently better over hurdles, particularly when the mud is flying. Unless there is a significant thaw at the West Sussex track, this meeting is under serious threat but if it does, Lucky Wadham’s runner will get the heavy ground he relishes as he lines up against nine rivals in the extended 2m5½f handicap hurdle and off a mark of 128, he has a fair chance of landing the spoils.

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OTHER SELECTIONS:

LEOPARDSTOWN: 1.10 Bargy Lady, 1.40 The Comdesiologist, 2.10 YORKHILL (NAP) 2.40 Stellar Notion, 3.10 Heartbreak City (nb), 3.40 Sutton Manor, 4.10 Imperial Way

FONTWELL PARK (inspection 8am): 1.00 Tearsofclewbay, 1.30 Johns Luck, 2.00 Minstrels Gallery, 2.30 Hinton Indiana, 3.00 Old Salt, 3.30 Brise Coeur, 4.00 Whatzdjazz

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Horse racing Lucky 15 – Boxing Day’s top selections

Each day Bet4Causes will mark your card, providing a preview of the day’s racing and offering what the experts feel will be the value bets of the day.

Take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British meetings on Monday, December 26, 2016.

cue-card

LUCKY 15 SELECTIONS

CUE CARD (Kempton Park 3.15) can win the King George VI Chase for the second successive year. While the race has cut up badly, with just five going to post for the 3m Grade 1 event, a case can be made for each of the quintet, such is the quality of the line-up. Having already landed the Betfair Chase, Cue Card is in line for a £1m bonus should he win this and the Gold Cup. Yet Colin Tizzard has thrown a spanner in the works, with stablemate and top novice Thistlecrack taking him on. Many suspect the small field will help the latter, yet Cue Card is a front-runner and Paddy Brennan will set the fractions, which may put pressure on Thistlecrack’s jumping. In truth, there is little between the two on paper and with Josses Hill, Silviniaco Conti and Tea For Two completing the line-up, whatever the outcome, we are assured of a top-class renewal.

RAINBOW DREAMER (Fontwell Park 12.35) can follow-up his juvenile hurdle win here over the same 2m1½f trip for Alan King. That was his third try over hurdles, but his previous run had come in Listed class and while he was a little keen in first-time cheekpieces, he ran out a ready winner form a Paul Nicholls-trained import who has won two from four starts in France. The selection is penalised for winning, as, too, is another Nicholls import, Saintemilion, who makes his British debut. That duo look the pick of a modest bunch.

MOUNTAIN KING (Wetherby 3.00) is the class act in the 2m3f handicap chase on a really decent card at Wetherby. The seven-year-old, who shoulders top weight and faces seven rivals, was shipped over from Ireland by Gordon Elliott in September to land a similar handicap at Perth off a mark of 133 and he runs off a 4lb higher mark here. Much depends on the ground conditions – Mountain King is better on decent ground, but he also prefers a left-handed track and goes that way round this time.

YUKON DELTA (Huntingdon 3.05) was placed in his first start over fences, having previously earned a double over hurdles for trainer Gary Moore at his local haunts Plumpton and Fontwell. He did not look a natural jumper at Plumpton last time, but that is a tricky course to navigate and he should be seen to better effect over Huntingdon’s easier right-handed track as he takes on seven rivals in a less-than-competitive 2m7½f handicap.

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OTHER SELECTIONS:

KEMPTON PARK: 12.55 Jenkins, 1.20 Max Ward, 2.05 Minella Daddy, 2.40 My Tent Or Yours, 3.15 CUE CARD (NAP), 3.45 Lisheen Prince

WETHERBY: 12.10 Star Rider, 12.40 Dark Darsie, 1.15 Cloud Monkey, 1.50 Blaklion, 2.25 Only Orsenfoolsies, 3.00 Mountain King, 3.35 Groovejet

FONTWELL PARK: 12.05 Straits Of Messina, 12.35 Rainbow Dreamer (nb), 1.10 The Mighty Don, 1.45 Bertenbar, 2.15 Disputed, 2.50 Happy Diva, 3.25 Bonds Conquest

HUNTINGDON: 12.15 River Of Intrigue, 12.45 Forza Milan, 1.20 Knight’s Reward, 1.55 Gulshanigans, 2.30 Pyrshan, 3.05 Yukon Delta, 3.40 Linenhall

MARKET RASEN: 12.00 Winning Ticket, 12.35 Strait Of Magellan, 1.10 Moscow Me, 1.45 Bells Of Ailsworth, 2.20 Wilton Milan, 2.55 Ping, 3.30 Our Thomas

SEDGEFIELD: 12.00 Hi Bob, 12.30 Cousin Oscar, 1.05 Mahlerdramatic, 1.40 Kilronan Castle, 2.10 Four Mile Beach, 2.45 Hag Stone, 3.20 Blottos

WINCANTON: 12.30 On Demand, 1.05 Jaunty Inflight, 1.40 Quarryman, 2.15 Mr Mix, 2.50 Desert Queen, 3.25 Dawson City, 3.55 Victarion

WOLVERHAMPTON: 1.00 Orotorio’s Joy, 1.35 Letmestopyouthere, 2.05 Speed Freak, 2.35 Pensax Lady, 3.10 Frivolous Prince, 3.45 High Baroque, 4.15 Gentlemen, 4.45 Ravenhoe

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Horse racing Lucky 15 – Tuesday’s top selections

Each day Bet4Causes will mark your card, providing a preview of the day’s racing and offering what the experts feel will be the value bets of the day.

Take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British meetings on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.

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LUCKY 15 SELECTIONS

HIGH COMMAND (Southwell 1.20) had shown improvement in each of his first four starts on the turf before scoring in a 1m4f all-weather handicap here last month. He made the best of a wide draw and while he had previously failed to handle soft ground at Doncaster, the Roger Varian-trained three-year-old appeared to take to the surface well in scoring by two and a half lengths from Safira Menina. That handicap did not have a lot of strength in depth, but he was never stronger than at the finish, suggesting he will appreciate this extra two furlongs today. The stable continues to fire and with the selection running without a penalty, hopes are high that he can follow up.

THEATRE TERRITORY (Uttoxeter 12.30) as contested some decent mares’ bumpers and makes her seasonal debut in what looks a winnable 14-runner maiden hurdle. Second in a Listed bumper at Cheltenham last November, she was a fair second to Tearsofclewbay at Ascot on soft ground when next seen at Ascot in February. She had one more run for Nicky Henderson last term, when pitched into Grade 2 company at Aintree, where she looked out of her depth, finishing 11th of 17 to Kayf Grace. However, anything she achieved in those races was a bonus and now, after a 243-day lay-off, she begins her hurdling career in an extended 1m7½f mares’ maiden. If ready, she should go close.

FLORRIE BOY (Uttoxeter 2.00) can defy a penalty for winning a 2m4f Class 2 handicap hurdle at Aintree on Saturday. He ran out a brave winner and probably needed his first run in five months, when down the field at Cheltenham in October. The easier ground seemed to suit him and he pulled three and a half-lengths clear of the runner-up Hunters Hoof in a personal best. If he does not feel the effects of running again so quickly, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained five-year-old would have an obvious chance of winning the 2m4f handicap which is of lesser quality than the one he contested at Aintree.

ADAM DU BRETEAU (Fontwell 2.10) has won twice over fences already this season, at Worcester (2m7ff, Good) in July and off a 13lb higher ark at Huntingdon (2m4f, Good to Firm) in October. He is not always the most assured jumper, as he showed when making mistakes in a 3m1½f contest at Ludlow last month. He does still have trip questions to answer as he takes on five rivals over a similar distance today, but those rivals all have something to prove and the selection is the least exposed.

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OTHER SELECTIONS:

FONTWELL PARK: 12.40 Hermosa Vaquera, 1.10 Mother Meldrum, 1.40 Volpone Jelois, 2.10 Adam du Breteau, 2.40 Silent Steps, 3.10 Slidecheck, 3.40 Shaddaii

SOUTHWELL: 11.50 Still Waiting, 12.20 Ticks The Boxes, 12.50 Syndicate, 1.20 High Command, 1.50 Bell Heather, 2.20 Maria’s Choice, 2.50 Summer Collection, 3.20 Excellent Aim

UTTOXETER (8am inspection): 12.30 Theatre Territory, 1.00 Que Sera, 1.30 Dueling Banjos, 2.00 Florrie Boy, 2.30 Double Court, 3.00 Return Flight, 3.30 Bob Mahler

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