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.


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

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

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!

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



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, February 22, 2017.


Add Thistlecrack (above) to the lengthening list of equine superstars who will not be appearing at next month’s Cheltenham Festival. The King George VI Chase hero has a “small tear” in a tendon and the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite has been ruled out for the season by Colin Tizzard. He joins a list of talent that includes Faugheen, Annie Power, Min, Don Cossack, Coneygree and Sprinter Sacre on the sidelines. Tizzard said: “He had a bit of heat and swelling in his tendon on Monday night and as the vet was in on Tuesday I asked him to scan it. It showed a small tear. We’ve seen it in every yard and it happens every year. It’s not a breakdown and hopefully we’ve caught it before it became any proper damage was done. But it means he’s out for the season. All being well he will be fine for next season.”
Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/racing/2017/02/21/thistlecrack-gold-cup-favourite-ruled-season-tendon-injury/

Following Thistlecrack’s injury, Hennessy Gold Cup and Welsh National winner Native River is new 3/1 favourite (from 6/1) with MyClubBetting for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. Stablemate Cue Card is clipped to 7/2 next best.
Source: https://bet4causes.myclubbetting.co.uk/

tom-scudamore-smallTom Scudamore (right), who rode Thistlecrack to victory in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day said it was “very disappointing for everybody” that Britain’s leading chaser would miss the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the rest of the season with a tendon injury. He said: “Every time you ride these good horses you hope they can be in a position to show just how good they are. He is not going to be able to do that this year and, while hopefully he will be able to bounce back, it is a real sickener for everyone.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/gold-cup-shock/thistlecrack-jockey-devastated-after-injury-rules-out-favourite/275719

France Galop has suspended jockey Robert Havlin for six months after he tested positive for prohibited substances. The ruling body said the Newmarket-based jockey had returned a positive sample when riding at Saint-Cloud on October 30 and that it would “request the reciprocation” of the imposed sanction by the British Horseracing Authority. “Given the positive result to a narcotic and its metabolites present in the biological sample of the jockey, this is a serious breach of the rules of racing of France Galop,” said a statement.
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/article/465/10776835/jockey-robert-havlin-shocked-by-six-month-ban-from-france-galop

Robert Havlin will appeal his six-month ban handed down by France Galop. In a statement issued by his French solicitor Florence Gaudilliere, Havlin said: “I am the victim of an outrageous miscarriage of justice and defamation of my character. I have never tested positive for any prohibited substance in my 26-year riding career. I am appealing this verdict and suspension on a number of grounds and the counter analysis proves my innocence. It goes without saying that I am deeply upset and shocked.”
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/article/465/10776835/jockey-robert-havlin-shocked-by-six-month-ban-from-france-galop

Limini.jpgToday’s clash between Apple’s Jade and Limini (right) in the Quevega Mares Hurdle at Punchestown will offer more Cheltenham Festival clues. Apple’s Jade won the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse in December, while Limini will make her seasonal reappearance in the Listed contest. Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, trainer Willie Mullins, said: “Limini is in good form, but I’m sure she’ll come on a lot for the run. She’s wrong at the weights with Apple’s Jade and it will be very difficult to beat her, but we’ve got to start somewhere and we’ll see how she goes.”
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/preview/762628/top-mares-to-clash-at-punchestown

Paul Nicholls will have a Cheltenham Festival team of “around 18 to 20”, which represents his smallest in years, but hopes are high that Politologue can land the JLT Novices’ Chase. Nicholls said: “He’s one of our leading chances. He’s really progressive and has won three from four over fences. His rating of 152 is very good mark for a novice over fences.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/cheltenham-festival/fred-winter-hope-dreamcatching-leads-nicholls-assault-on-festival-handicaps/275743

paul-nichollsThe progressive Dreamcatching  has been earmarked by Paul Nicholls (right) as one of his leading lights for the Cheltenham Festival. Nicholls said: “Dreamcatching won’t be far away in the Fred Winter. He bolted in at Wincanton on Saturday and has a mark of 131. It’s a race we’ve done really well in, with the first and second the last two years. Qualando, who won it in 2015, was off 131, and Diego Du Charmil won it last year off 133. So he’s around about the right mark.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/cheltenham-festival/fred-winter-hope-dreamcatching-leads-nicholls-assault-on-festival-handicaps/275743

Jim Bolger is among a number of Irish trainers who feel the Irish Derby should be moved after it was revealed development work at the Curragh would limit the crowd to 6,000 from 18,000 last year. Bolger said: “My preference would have been to move it to Leopardstown or Naas. Leopardstown would probably hold a crowd better and have been ideal for the Derby as opposed to limiting the number of people coming to the Curragh.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/news/trainers-believe-irish-derby-should-be-temporarily-rehomed/27563

arrogate-smallBreeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup Invitational winner Arrogate (right) seems likely to run in the $10m Dubai World Cup (March 25) after working well at Santa Anita yesterday. The Santa Anita Handicap (March 11) is also under consideration, but Garrett O’Rourke, manager of Juddmonte Farms, says a trip to Dubai is the front-runner. He said: “If there was any doubt about that, we wouldn’t even consider going. But the horse seems to be in an exceptionally good state physically and mentally. We’ll discuss the case and if Prince Khalid agrees, I think we’ll roll the dice.”
Source: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/219975/arrogate-his-usual-self-in-five-furlong-move

Former Gala Coral COO Neil Goulden has been appointed as chairman designate for a racecourse-run pool betting operation. Betfred’s £265m deal for the Tote gave it an exclusive right over race pool betting, but that deal expires next year. Major racing stakeholders including the Jockey Club and Arena Racing Company wish to take control in future “to ensure participating racecourses will have full control of their on-course pool betting operation”. The project, led by the British Horseracing Association’s Nigel Roddis, saw a “steering board” plump for Goulden, who said: “I hope my experience can assist British racing in developing its thinking on pool betting so it can grow to the benefit of British racing and all its customers.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/news/goulden-brought-in-to-aid-racecourse-run-pool-betting-plan/275682

The Gambling Business Group (GBG) is behind a new industry-wide body whose core objective is to improve the regulatory environment for all parties in the UK gambling sector. Entitled The Gambling Expert Group, the affiliation of trade and regulatory bodies, will meet on at least a quarterly basis. Invitations have been extended to a total of 15 regulatory bodies. GBG Chief Executive Peter Hannibal said: “The Gambling Expert Group is the outcome of a programme of close collaboration with the Regulatory Delivery Office, part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Membership is made up of stakeholder representatives including Licensing Authorities, regulators and policy makers. One of the objectives is to provide an opportunity for members to raise regulatory issues and identify and address areas where regulation can be improved.”
Source: http://www.g3newswire.com/uk-gambling-expert-group-formed-enhance-regulatory-environment/

GambleAware launches its first trial advertising campaign to promote awareness of problem gambling. The online pilot of two adverts, targeted at people aged 16-24, is released in the North West and North East of England on YouTube.

Today’s MCB British Racing selections – Tuesday, February 21, 2017

DONCASTER: 2.10 Mister Whitaker, 2.45 Soldier In Action, 3.15 The Tailgater, 3.45 SAINT ARE (NAP), 4.20 Ardea, 4.55 Monty’s Award

LINGFIELD PARK: 2.20 Hipz, 2.55 Tempuran, 3.25 Wedding Breakfast, 3.55 Arctic Sea, 4.30 Dangerous Ends, 5.05 Steady Major

LUDLOW: 2.00 Ridgeway Flyer, 2.35 Mercian King, 3.05 Woodfort (nb), 3.35 William Money, 4.10 I’m A Game Changer, 4.45 Mr Mercurial, 5.20 Gulshanigans

KEMPTON PARK: 5.45 Cuban Queen, 6.15 Albaster, 6.45 Askari, 7.15 Steelriver, 7.45 Winterlude, 8.15 Delagoa Bay

Lucky 15 selections: Saint Are (Doncaster 3.45), Woodfort (Ludlow 3.05), Delagoa Bay (Kempton Park 8.15), The Tailgater (Doncaster 3.15)

Both the NAP and Next Best selections won yesterday. Three from four in the lucky 15 went in with the other selection finishing second. Bah and humbug.

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

Horse racing Lucky 15 – Wednesday’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 Wednesday, February 8, 2017.



THE BLUE BOMBER (Carlisle 1.50) is the most experienced in the line-up for the 2m1f novices’ hurdle with eight runs under his belt. The Mick Channon-trained five-year-old is still looking for his first win, yet all bar one of his last five runs has seen him unplaced, finishing runner-up on three occasions. Having had a two-month break, he was not beaten far by River Wylde, who looked above average when winning at Ludlow. A replication of that form should see the selection finally get off the mark.

MISE EN ROSE (Chelmsford City 3.30) is ridden by the incomparable William Buick, who is set to jet back to Dubai after this sole ride of the day. The four-year-old War Front fillylanded a fillies’ handicap at Newmarket in July but has been held in pattern company since and she was probably over the top when well held in a Listed 1m all-weather race at Lingfield in October. Having had 104 days off, Charlie Appleby’s runner may need the run but the 7f fillies’ conditions event looks a decent starting point for what may become a fruitful year.

LABEL DES OBEAUX (Ludlow 2.10) is proven on winter ground and his stamina cannot be called into question. A Grade 2 novice hurdle winner last season, he has hit the post in his last three novice chases at Exeter, Cheltenham and Lingfield, losing no caste in defeat to the useful stayer Missed Approach last time. Philip Hobbs’ six-year-old has the ability to win a nice sating prize in due course, but a win in the extended 2m7 ½ f novices’ chase would certainly help is confidence.

LE DAUPHIN (Ludlow 4.50) was a tired faller on his hurdling debut at Newbury when a big price for a competitive novices’ hurdle, won by a well-touted stablemate in Reigning Supreme back in November. He was up in trip to 2m4½f there and did not get it. Back down to an extended 2m at the same track on New Year’s Eve, he made the running for stablemate and eventual winner William Henry, and while beaten seven lengths, it was a much improved effort. He shaped like a stayer and Nicky Henderson pops him back up to tackle 2m5f in a maiden hurdle today. He is no banker by any means but is going the right way.



CARLISLE: 1.50 THE BLUE BOMBER (NAP), 2.20 Turtle Watch, 2.50 Which One Is Which, 3.20 Major Ridge, 3.55 Tonto’s Spirit, 4.30 Join The Clan

CHELMSFORD CITY: 2.00 Randall’s Alannah, 2.30 Never Folding, 3.00 Bracken Brae, 3.30 Mise En Rose (nb), 4.05 Dynamo Walt, 4.40 Clovelly Bay, 5.10 Hidden Gem

LUDLOW: 1.40 Bomber Command, 2.10 Label Des Obeaux, 2.40 Still Believing, 3.10 Altiepix, 3.40 Lambeau Field, 4.15 Daring Article, 4.50 Le Dauphin

KEMPTON PARK: 5.20 Awesome Rock, 5.50 Red Flute, 6.20 Street Jazz, 6.50 Miss M, 7.20 La Guapita, 7.50 Tailor’s Row, 8.20 Serenade The Stars


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 – Wednesday’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 Wednesday, January 25, 2017.

Lingfield AW Alan Daly Desert Dreamer.jpg


JALEO (Catterick 2.30) was entered in an extended 2m3f Grade 3 handicap hurdle at Ascot last weekend, but with that meeting frozen off, he makes plenty of appeal in a decent handicap over a similar trip today. He appeared to be a progressive sort before falling at the first in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton last week, having been sent off favourite for the ultra-competitive Fred Winter at last year’s Cheltenham Festival before scoring on his return to action at Lingfield in December in a race that would not have been run to suit. The biggest concern is not that he shoulders top weight today, it is that Ben Pauling’s runner may not be suited by a small field where there is no guarantee of a stiff pace, which he would arguably prefer. Owner John Ferguson’s son, Alex, takes off a useful 7lb though, so he would hold a better than average chance in our book.

CIRCULATE (Lingfield Park 1.35) has had four starts without scoring but is the most experienced in the nine-runner field for the 7f maiden auction race and may well put that seasoning to good use. Trainer Tom Clover spent six seasons as assistant to David Simcock and will have learned a thing or two before branching out on his own in partnership with Jackie Jarvis, daughter of the late Classic-winning trainer Michael Jarvis. Clover has not had many runners, but Ashkari was only beaten a short head at Wolverhampton last week as she attempted to make all the running in a 7f maiden and while she won’t have many easier opportunities to get off the mark, today’s race looks bereft of any superstars.

AZERT DE COEUR (Ludlow 2.15) also carries top weight in a handicap and has gone up 5lb for simply sitting in his box, which seems a little unfair, given that he was beaten 55 lengths by Germany Calling in a 2m3f handicap chase at Doncaster in November. He went into that on the back of an impressive display at Chepstow, when scoring off a mark of 104 on his first run for 200 days. That is no surprise, given that Venetia Williams a master of her craft. The reason for his subsequent defeat was simple – he bled. The fact remains that he has had plenty of time to recover, goes well when fresh and the stable is in decent form, so the seven-year-old would appear to hold a fair chance of gaining a second win over fences in the 3m1½f handicap, which represents a drop in class.

THE BARD’S ADVICE (Newcastle 5.45) is not going to be on most punting radars, given that she has had one relatively unprepossessing run back in September. Keith Dalgleish’s runner was allowed to go off at 14/1 for a modest 6f juvenile maiden and, having made fair headway to over 2f out, she faded in the last 100 yards. This half-sister to all-weather winners Sound Advice and Archie’s Advice was beaten three lengths in the end, but the two horses in front of her won next time out, so the form may not be as bad as first thought. While she has to overcome a 145-day break, she might be a bit of value on her second start, as she has a fly weight in what looks a weak 1m maiden and is entitled to improve.

catterick 2.jpg


CATTERICK: 1.25 Cracking Find, 1.55 Major Ridge, 2.30 JALEO (NAP), 3.05 Two Taffs, 3.40 Herons Heir, 4.10 Rocky Two

LINGFIELD PARK: 1.05 Sky Ballerina, 1.35 Circulate (nb), 2.05 Tell A Story, 2.40 Shan Dun Na Ngall, 3.15 Coillte Cailin, 3.50 Winning Ways, 4.20 Major Muscari

LUDLOW: 1.45 Oxwich Bay, 2.15 Azert De Coeur, 2.50 Viking Mistress, 3.25 Un Prophete, 4.00 Aunty Ann, 4.30 Iconic Sky

NEWCASTLE: 4.15 Cavalieri, 4.45 Yasood, 5.15 Spinwheel, 5.45 The Bard’s Advice, 6.15 Captain Dion, 6.45 Erissimus Maximus


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 – Thursday’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 Thursday, January 19, 2017.

Ludlow Jumps.jpg


BOGARIUS (Ludlow 1.20) gets the nod to follow up his Rules debut success in a Catterick bumper when he lines up against 10 rivals for his hurdling debut in the extended 2m5f maiden. He won a 3m point-to-point with ease in April and looks a decent recruit to the Warren Greatrex yard judged by his runaway success at Catterick. This may be a little tougher today, but champion jockey Richard Johnson has been booked to ride, so there is plenty in the five-year-old’s favour.

PEMBA (Ludlow 1.50) had something of a thankless task on her chasing debut, taking on last season’s Champion Hurdle fifth Top Notch at Warwick. The fact that she gave him something to think about heading to the last two fences left the impression she would soon be winning races over the bigger obstacles. However, she will need to bounce back from penultimate fence fall at Newcastle in a race won by Eastview Boy in mid-December, but she is up against her own sex in a 2m4f novices’ chase today and hopefully Fergal O’Brien’s mare can regain her confidence.

WHITE ROYALE (Southwell 2.35) will sport first-time cheekpieces as she bids to go two places better following her narrow defeat by Erissimus Maximus in a 5f handicap at Newcastle last time. She hit a bit of a flat spot in the race and may just have found the trip too sharp, although she was staying on nicely at the end. It is interesting that she goes over the same trip today, although she is clearly capable of mixing it with the best in Class 5 handicaps. Despite giving weight away to her five rivals, Lewis Edmunds is able to claim 7lb which should prove invaluable.

BISHOPS COURT (Wincanton 2.45) should be able to defy a 7lb penalty for winning a handicap chase at Fontwell 11 days ago when he takes on two rivals in the 2m4f novices’ limited handicap chase. Neil Mulholland’s seven-year-old failed to win over hurdles but has looked a natural over fences and sauntered to a 16-length success at the West Sussex track in much softer ground than when scoring over the same course on Boxing Day. The handicapper will have his say shortly, but this race represents a little haymaking while the sun shines.

Wincanton generic 1.jpg


LUDLOW: 1.20 BOAGRIUS (NAP), 1.50 Pemba (nb), 2.25 Vital Evidence, 3.00 Theatre Goer, 3.35 Port Melon, 4.10 River Wylde

SOUTHWELL: 12.55 Log Off, 1.30 Desert Chief, 2.00 Among Angels, 2.35 White Royale, 3.10 Warm Words, 3.45 Free Bounty

WINCANTON: 1.40 All For The Best, 2.10 Buttercup, 2.45 Bishops Court, 3.20 Sartorial Elegance, 3.55 Unison, 4.25 Black Mischief

CHELMSFORD CITY: 5.20 New Rich, 5.50 Secret Bird, 6.25 Regarde Moi, 7.00 Serenade The Stars, 7.30 Ravenhoe, 8.00 Al Sail, 8.30 Beau Mistral, 9.00 All Or Nothin


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 – Friday’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 Friday, January 6, 2017.

Ludlow Jumps.jpg


THE BLUES MASTER (Kempton Park 3.30) takes a step up in trip, having finished off his 1m2f maiden nicely in going down by two lengths to Plead at Lingfield last month. The Mark Johnston-trained three-year-old has had six starts and his last run was arguably the best of the lot, even though he went close to breaking his duck over 1m at Chelmsford in October when touched off by Ling’s Coinage. The 1m4f trip might bring out the best in the 70-rated colt, who gets plenty of weight from all but two of his six rivals in the maiden.

WESTEND STORY (Wetherby 2.10) looks the obvious one in the extended 2m5f maiden hurdle. Fifth in the Cheltenham Grade 1 bumper last season, he was allowed to come home in his own time when third to Willoughby Court on his hurdling debut at Warwick, having made a slight mistake at the seventh flight of hurdles. A dual bumper winner, he can be forgiven for weakening on his first run for over nine months and the Philip Hobbs-trained six-year-old appears to have been found a soft race to get off the mark in this sphere.

YOU TOO PET (Ludlow 2.20), winner of three point-to-points, may well get off the mark under Rules when taking on seven opponents in the 2m7½f handicap chase for conditional and amateur riders. The nine-year-old, trained by Jennifer Mason, has an official rating of 91 and saw out a similar trip well when second to Somerset Lais at Taunton in November. He can jump a little slowly at times, but he is a safe conveyance and will handle the softer ground.

DUSTY RAVEN (Wetherby 12.35) was runner-up to Rainbow Dreamer in a Fontwell juvenile hurdle on Boxing Day, splitting a couple of previous winners. That was a fine debut for the four-year-old gelding who has a modest rating of 50 on the Flat. Neil Mulholland’s representative is a value selection in an eight-runner 2m maiden hurdle, but with further progress expected, it is not beyond the realms of possibility he can take the spoils in what looks an ordinary race.



LUDLOW: 12.50 Ckalco Des Loges, 1.20 Overtown Express, 1.50 Abbreviate, 2.20 You Too Pet, 2.50 Don Bersy, 3.20 Majestic Moll, 3.50 Timetobenefit

WETHERBY: 12.35 Dusty Raven, 1.05 Midnight Silver, 1.35 Shanroe Santos, 2.10 Westend Story (nb), 2.40 Best Served Cold, 3.10 Eskendash, 3.40 Hear No Evil

KEMPTON PARK: 2.00 Great Expectations, 2.30 Dragon Dream, 3.00 Almanack, 3.30 THE BLUES MASTER (NAP), 4.00 Zephyros, 4.30 Dutch Golden Age, 5.00 Calypso Choir

WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.45 Dreams Of Glory, 6.15 Circulate, 6.45 Gleaming Girl, 7.15 Lineman, 7.45 Heartstone, 8.15 Global Revival


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 – Wednesday’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 Wednesday, December 21, 2016.

Ludlow Jumps.jpg


BLACK MISCHIEF (Ludlow 3.40) is given another chance to get off the mark at the third time of asking in the 1m6f bumper. There is no doubt that Harry Fry’s four-year-old, the first foal out of a winning jumper, will be better when he goes jumping, but the trainer has a good strike-rate in these events and he made a promising enough start at Uttoxeter in March, when third to Mr Big Shot, to think he had the ability to win in this sphere. He made his return at Plumpton after an eight-month hiatus and made much of the running before being overhauled by The Mighty Don and Count Meribel. He should reap the benefit for that pipe-opener and those supporters who had their fingers burned last time, will hope provides compensation by winning the 15-runner affair.

BALTIMORE ROCK (Ludlow 1.35) has plenty on his plate, attempting to give weight away to all seven of his rivals in the 2m handicap chase, but the Neil Mulholland-trained seven-year-old may well be up to the task. Having won a third of his hurdles races, including the 2014 Imperial Cup at Sandown, he started his chasing career with a bang, scoring in a novices’ handicap at Doncaster last December when with David Pipe. He wasn’t foot perfect in his first start for his new yard in heavy ground at Chepstow in February when second to Oscar Sunset, before being highly tried in his next two starts, falling two out in the Arkle and when looking out of his depth behind Douvan in another Grade 1 at Punchestown in April. This strong-traveller will be much more at home in a Class 2 handicap and as long as he is not too keen after a 237-day lay-off, should be thereabouts at the business end.

STEVE ROGERS (Newcastle 2.00) has come a long way since winning a lowly Class 6 handicap off a mark of 62 on his handicap debut at Wolverhampton in January last year. His tally now stands at six wins from 17, with three of those successes coming on all-weather surfaces. Though his last success came off a mark of 88, he is now on an official mark of 98, having run Higher Power to two lengths in a 2m Class 2 Kempton handicap last month off a rating of 95. The handicapper is giving the Roger Varian-trained five-year-old little respite but he is tough and consistent. Having had one run back after a three-month break and on a Tapeta surface that appears to suit those who race prominently, Jack Mitchell’s mount should go well in the 2m Conditions Stakes (All-Weather Championship Fast-Track Qualifier), where the eight runners all carry 9st 3lb.

BILLY BRONCO (Ffos Las 12.50) may be good enough to land the 2m6f novices’ hurdle for trainer Evan Williams. The five-year-old, who is related to a pair of Rules winners and three point-to-point scorers, has had two starts, but while very easy to back on his Towcester bumper debut in January when with Debra Hamer, drew clear with the favourite, Pride Of Lecale, to score readily. The runner-up subsequently scored in a Chepstow bumper and was thought good enough to run in the Grade 1 Champion Bumper at Cheltenham thereafter. Our selection started the current campaign against six other winners in a decent 11-runner, 2m3f “fixed brush” novices’ hurdle at Haydock in soft ground, and was a creditable third to Constantine Bay. The step up in trip looks sure to help and he is likely to come on a lot for that run as he faces six rivals in a competitive heat.

Ffos Las bend.jpg


FFOS LAS: 12.50 Billy Bronco, 1.20 Court Challenge, 1.50 Robinshill, 2.20 Cape Caster, 2.50 Walk On Al, 3.20 Looks Like Power

LUDLOW: 12.35 Brahms De Clermont, 1.05 Zamdy Man, 1.35 Baltimore Rock, 2.10 Hitherjacques Lady, 2.40 Go West Young Man, 3.10 Danceintothelight, 3.40 BLACK MISCHIEF (NAP)

NEWCASTLE: 1.30 Amazement, 2.00 Steve Rogers, 2.30 Henpacked, 3.00 Roller, 3.30 Unnoticed, 4.00 Gold Beau, 4.30 Gracious John, 5.00 Lady Joanna Vassa


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