Monday, we start at Pontefract there was a winner for Josephine Gordon on Time Keeping for Saeed Bin Suroor. There was also a winner for Mark Johnston with Oriental Fox steered home by Joe Fanning. There was nothing at Windsor that caught my eye. At Plumpton, ex smart flat horse Blue Surf got off the mark over hurdles winning by 2 lengths. There was also a winner for David Pipe with Unanimite who won by 59 lengths. At Roscommon, there was a treble for Gordon Elliott with Death Duty who looked a smart bumper horse. Death Duty won as he liked here. The second leg of the treble was Monbeg Worldwide. The treble was completed by Space Cadet who won the beginners chase by an impressive 6 lengths. I have always liked Space Cadet, I think the further this horse goes the better he will be. Space Cadet was advised to our members 3pts win (7/4).
Tuesday, we start at Exeter. Fact Of The Matter won the 3 mile handicap chase winning in good style from Easy Street. Caulfields Venture was advised to our members 1pt each way (15/2) placed in the race. There was two short price favourites that went in Drumlee Sunset took the novice hurdle at odds of 1/8 for Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson. The beginners chase went to Old Guard for Paul Nicholls and Nick Scholfield.Old Guard has not impressed to date over fences and survived an X rated mistake at the fourth last. Old Guard scrambled home by a neck in the end from Imperial Presence. At Newcastle, there was a winner for Saeed Bin Suroor with Commander Coe winning by 6 lengths. At Yarmouth, there was a double for Frankie Dettori with Shutter Speed and Harwoods Volante. At Kempton, there was a double for Jim Crowley with Bazzat and Ride The Lightning. At Gowran, there was a winner apiece for Aidan O'Brien with Sir John Lavery and Dermot Weld with Zelaniya.
Wednesday, we start at Newmarket where there was a double for John Gosden with Dreamfield and Cracksman. At Fontwell, there was a double for red hot trainer Paul Nicholls with Movewithetimes and As De Mee. I thought As De Mee was impressive winning the beginners chase. At Worcester, there was a double for Richard Johnson on board Ballydague Lady and Tearsofclewbay. There was also a double for Tom Scudamore with Montys Award and the very well backed Herbert Park for David Pipe.At Kempton, there were winners for Andrew Balding and Sir Michael Stoute with Dream Of Summer and Pivoine. At Navan, there was a treble for Pat Smullen with One Boy, Giant Spark and Vigil. There was good news for our members as Vigil was advised to our members 3pts win (7/4).
Thursday, we start at Carlilse there was a treble for Malcolm Jefferson and Brian Hughes with Dubai Angel , Ballyben and Cloudy Dream. The victory of Cloudy Dream was a debut over fences this horse could take high rank in novice company this season. At Ludlow, there was a double for Jonjo O'Neill at Ludlow with I'dliketheoption and She's Late. At Newton Abbot, there was a winner for Paul Nicholls with Capeland, Philip Hobbs also had a winner with Verni who took the novice handicap hurdle. At Chelmsford, Jim Crowley had a double with Omeros and Lord Tropper. At Thurles, a quiet day in truth however it did see Alpha Des Obeaux get off the mark over fences. The RSA is surely the long term target , I reckon Alpha Des Obeaux will be trained by Mouse Morris to peak on that day. De Plotting Shed landed some nice bets for Gordon Elliott (7/2 - 13/8) to win the conditions hurdle by an easy 5 lengths.
Friday, we start at Cheltenham the day belonged to Paul Nicholls who had a treble. Nicholls has been in great form he has now saddled 20 winners in the space of a remarkable fortnight. The first leg of the treble was El Bandit who won the Persian War on his previous start. El Bandit despite a very slow gallop managed to win in a tenacious manner. El Bandit advised to our members 5pts win (13/8) there was a (Rule 4 deduction of 25%). The second leg of the double was Marracudja who took the novice chase by a neck from Presenting Arms. The treble was completed by Cliffs Of Dover who won his third race in a week. I think Cliffs Of Dover looks really progressive and is still well handicapped. Cliffs Of Dover will also be eligible for the Triumph hurdle which is interesting. The novice chase over 3 miles went to Heron Heights in a Henry De Bromhead 1-2 from Full Cry with Tiger Roll back in third.Heron Heights survived a bad mistake at the first but was very impressive thereafter coming up the hill really well. This horse screams four miler to me at the festival. Heron Heights was advised to our members 2pts win at (6/1) , completing a fine day for us. The final item from Cheltenham was that, Cheltenham announced the National Hunt Chase at the Festival in March will be run in honour of the late JT McNamara.
At Newbury, John Gosden had another winner with Parfait. Ralph Beckett was also on the mark with Sound Bar. At Doncaster, there were doubles for trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Ryan Moore. The Hannon double was with Mutawatheb and Fleeting Motion. Ryan Moore rode a double on board Mirage Dancer and Speed Company.At Wolverhampton , Saeed Bin Suroor and Josephine Gordon combined again for a winner with Natural Scenery.At Dundalk , the Mercury listed stakes over five furlongs went in good style to Caspian Prince who held on by a head from Moviesta. The five furlong track record was broken in this contest.
The day finished with the sad news that Moscow Flyer passed away at aged 22 in Ireland's national stud. Moscow Flyer was one of my all time favourite racehorses. I went to the track to watch him whenever I could. I was also lucky enough to spend the day with Moscow Flyer and Jessica Harrington following a charity auction while Moscow was the reigning Champion chaser. Moscow Flyer had everything pace , class and bravery. The rivalry between Moscow, Well Chief and Azertyuiop was really brilliant. The Tingle creek race they served up in December 2004 still makes the hairs on the back of the neck stand up. I was lucky enough to be in Cheltenham when Moscow Flyer regained the Champion Chase crown in 2005. I can still remember the roar as he soared over the last. The scenes in the parade ring as we roared him into the winners enclosure were superb. Moscow Flyer you gave so much joy to so many go well old friend you will never be forgotten by those who saw you and your greatness.
Saturday, we start at Cheltenham which had some great racing as always.The novice hurdle over 2 miles 7 furlongs went to Wholestone who came up the hill really well to beat West Approach by a half length. Wholestone has already been mentioned as an Albert Bartlett candidate I can totally see that. Nigel Twiston Davies will campaign him well, Wholestone will need to improve his jumping which was a little big at times. The win of Wholestone was good news for our members who was advised to our members 4pts win (2/1). The two mile conditions hurdle saw the market lose its mind making Gibralfaro & Adrien Du Pont both 2/1 or less. The horse with the best form in the race was Sceau Royal who amazingly could be backed freely at 11/2 till just before the off. Sceau Royal traveled powerfully in behind Adrien Du Pont .Sceau Royal charged up the hill to win by 11 lengths in really impressive style. Sceau Royal was advised to our members 2pts win (11/2). Sceau Royal could reappear in a handicap at Ascot next Saturday if in this mood he could be chucked in. The two mile handicap chase saw Fox Norton backed from (9/2 to 5/2) and bolt up by 11 lengths. Sizing Platinum ran a cracker in second showing Colin Tizzard will be competitive with the Potts horses. The opposition to Douvan would have needed a stiff drink after this Douvan beat Fox Norton by an eye watering 32 lengths at Aintree. Shantou Village took the novice chase over 2 mile 3 furlongs , he didn't impress me at at all. The runner up did however Mick Thonic another Potts horse who Colin Tizzard will get a race out of very soon. The bumper went to Paul Nicholls with Brahms De Clermont by a neck from Brillare Momento. I was really impressed with the jockey Stan Sheppard who claims 7 pounds who kept his cool in the finish. Stan Sheppard is a jockey to watch I reckon.
Doncaster, where it was Racing Post Trophy day. The feature race itself went to Rivet giving Andrea Atzeni a fourth win in four seasons in the race. Rivet was always in the perfect position during the race essentially making all. Rivet cleared away nicely to win by 1 and 3 parts of a length from Yucatan who took a long time to get going. Josephine Gordon continued her fine week with a win on board To Be Wild in the 1 Mile 4 Furlong handicap. At Newbury, there was a double for Ralph Beckett and Fran Berry with Crimson Rock and Pleaseletmewin. There were returns to form for What About Carlo and Dawaa who both got wins on the day. At Kelso, it was impossible not to be impressed with Seldom Inn who won the novice chase by 21 lengths having been well backed from (11/2 - 7/2). One For Arthur took the 3 miles 2 furlongs handicap chase in good style for Lucinda Russell winning by 6 lengths. At Chelmsford, Saeed Bin Suroor continued his good week with another winner this time with Dubai Elegance.
At Punchestown, there was some cracking prospects in action. Noel Meade continued his superb start to the season with a treble. Strtchingthetruth kicked it off overcoming all sorts of trouble including nearly been taken out at the last by Bilko who tried to run out to land the odds of 2/5. This horse has a real engine. Disko had the punters jumping around as he made light work of the 2 mile 4 furlong beginners chase to win by 8 lengths. Disko looks a serious prospect Meade has never hidden his admiration for Disko from day one. The third leg of the treble for Meade was Bel Ami De Sivola who won the bumper under Patrick Mullins by 8 and a half lengths. Identity Thief made his debut over fences , he really impressed winning by 14 lengths. Identity Thief was entitled to do what he did, lots of people slaughtered Identity Thief for his run in the Champion hurdle. I would remind those people of two things 1 The highest rated hurdler has a savage record in the Arkle 2 Henry De Bromhead brought Sizing Europe back from a disappointing run in a Champion Hurdle to win an Arkle. Identity Thief is a very fair price even at this stage at 12/1 for the Arkle with Ladbrokes. I will be happy to get him in my Ante post book this week.
Sunday we start at Aintree, there was a good card for Old Roan Chase day. The Veterans chase went to Shuil Royale for Harry Fry who did it well by 5 lengths from Your Busy. The third placed horse was Bearly Legal who was advised to our members 1pt each way (11/1). The 2 Mile 4 Furlong handicap hurdle was turned into a procession by Massini's Trap for James Nash and Paul Townend winning by a very easy 5 lengths. The feature race The Old Roan went to Third Intention for Colin Tizzard and Aidan Coleman. The race was run at a good gallop with Smad Place and Royal Regatta taking them along. Vibrato Valtat traveled up really well between the third and second last fence kicking clear by 3 lengths looking sure to win. The petrol gauge started to hit empty going to the last for Vibrato Valtat , Third Intention pounced committing for home. It was never really in doubt from then on with Third Intention winning by a length and three parts from God's Own with Vibrato Valtat back in third.
At Wincanton, the Paul Nicholls bandwagon rolled on with a treble. Boa Island won the Novice handicap chase by 19 lengths. The novice hurdle went to Bagad Bihoue who defied penalties to win by 16 lengths. Rouge Devils took the 2 mile 5 furlong novice hurdle by a nose from Linguine. Rouge Devils was advised to our members 4pts win (6/4). There was a double for Colin Tizzard with On Demand and Gentleman Jon. At Leopardstown, there was a double for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen with Titus and Making Light. The Group 3 Killavullan Stakes went to Making Light who did it well holding Spirit Of Valor off by a length.