Monday, we start at Musselburgh. There was a double for Nick Scholfield with Count Master and Justice Knight. At Ludlow, there was a double for Richie McLernon with Garry Clermont and Chirico Vallis. At Kempton, Master Tommytucker was a very impressive winner for Paul Nicholls. At Chelmsford, Colonize was on target for John Gosden.
Tuesday, we start at Punchestown. There were doubles for Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore with Aspire Tower and Cavalry Master. I was very impressed with Aspire Tower it looks like all roads lead to Leopardstown on 26-12-19 for the big grade one. There was a treble for Willie Mullins with Drury, Salsaretta, and Aione. The first two Willie Mullins winners formed a double for Danny Mullins who is riding very well at the moment. At Sedgefield, the revival for Sue Smith continued as Maxed Out King won. The Smith team is hitting a bit of form again. They could be very dangerous over Christmas with lots of well-handicapped horses after a bad run. There was a double for David Pipe with Induno and Paricolor. At Southwell, over the jumps, there was a winner for Dan Skelton with Terrierman. At Wolverhampton, there was a double for Richard Kingscote with Blue Medici and Loving Glance.
Wednesday, we start at Wetherby. There was a double for Brian Hughes with Goobinator and Ribble Valley. There was a really impressive winner in Ecu De La Noviere who won well. Hawk High advised to our members 1pt each-way placed 12/1. I am hoping Hawk High comes back here on 27-12-19 for the Castleford. I think Hawk High would go very close. At Hereford, Big Shark kept up the progression for Hobbs and Johnson. Sweet Adare was a good winner of the handicap hurdle. Runasimi river placed in the race in the race advised 1pt each-way 9/2. We also had a 0.5pt each-way double with Hawk High 12/1 both placing. At Southwell, Cedar Cage was on target for Sir Mark Prescott. At Kempton, Bella Brazil was on target for Jessica Harrington and former BHA chief Peter Savill. This was a great piece of placing by the team as Bella Brazil was not eligible for a nursery in Ireland.
Thursday, we start at Thurles. There was a treble for Willie Mullins. Backed from 9/10 into 8/13 on track Fan De Blues won on debut for the Willie Mullins. The earlier Mullins winners were Royal Rendezvous and Elfile, both ridden by Paul Townend. At Lingfield, Birkenhead was an impressive winner of the nursery under Lewis Edmunds. At Ffos Las, Air Horse One returned to form for Harry Fry. There was an impressive winner of the bumper in Mario De Pail for trainer Sam Thomas. At Taunton, Adherence was a good winner of the handicap chase. Milan Native 1215 Thurles (7/1) & Write It Down 320 Taunton (3/1) advised to our members 0.5pt each-way double both placed. At Chelmsford, Great Ambassador bolted up for Ralph Beckett.
Friday, we start at Newbury. The feature race went to Oldgrangewood in a thriller. It looked liked Kalashnikov had won it, however, he was mugged late on. This was a positive return for Kalashnikov and indeed Glen Forsa who ran well for a long way. Champ made it two out of two over fences but boy was it not straightforward. Champ got low at a couple and nearly collided with the elbow on the run-in. I think Champ needs to go up in distance. I thought Black Op ran a super race here. Paisley Park picked up where he left off last season with a battling success in the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle. I thought Thistlecrack ran a mighty race here. It is really hard to know what Thistlecrack should do next King George or Hurdles. If he belonged to me I would go back hurdling. I thought he showed enough here to suggest he can compete with Paisley Park. As for the winner Paisley Park, he did his job really well, he will no doubt improve for this. Paisley Park is still the one to beat in this division no doubt about that.
At Limerick, Father Albie was a very good winner for Gavin Cromwell this horse could win again over the four day festival at Limerick over Christmas. At Dundalk, ourselves or even more unusual Damian English was not involved. There was a double for Joseph O'Brien with Dark Vader and Irradiate. There was a good run for and old favourite Red Avenger who was just touched off in the finale. Red Avenger will surely win soon for the Hilltop lads. At Southwell, Bo Samran was on target for Mark Johnston. At Kempton, Vibrance bolted up in the feature for Hollie Doyle.
Saturday, we start at Newbury for Ladbrokes Trophy day. Floressa put in a near foot-perfect round of jumping to get her career back on track in the Ladbrokes “Where The Nation Plays” Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle. It formed a treble for Nicky Henderson completed by The Cashel Man and Epatante. Danny Whizzbang looks destined for big things after making a winning debut over fences to maintain his unbeaten record under rules in the Ladbrokes John Francome Novices’ Chase. Nicholls completed a double with Magic Saint. I thought Chesterfield ran a good race in third. Chesterfield advised to our members (1pt each way) 12/1 placed in the race. De Rasher Counter completed a fine 48 hours for trainer Emma Lavelle with victory in the Ladbrokes Trophy. This was a good race with solid yardsticks Elegant Escape, Beware The Bear and Dingo Dollar in the frames. Dingo Dollar advised to our members (1pt each way) 12/1 (placed 5th special).
At Newcastle, Cornerstone Lad caused a huge upset when foiling dual winner Buveur D’Air in the Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle. Buveur D’Air sustained a nasty injury. Nicky Henderson is hopeful Buveur D’Air will make a full recovery from the injury he picked up in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle – but whether he runs again this season is a “grey area”. Prince Kayf came out in top in a thrilling three-way finish to claim a surprise victory in the Weatherbys Racing Bank “The French Furze” Novices’ Hurdle. Scottish Grand National hero Takingrisks came with a wet sail to claim another big-race success in the Betfair Rehearsal Chase.
At Fairyhouse, there was a double for Gordon Elliott with Avenir D'une Vie and Conflated. There was also a double for Aine O'Connor with Brawler and Demi Pale. At Bangor, Jelski was an impressive winner for Nigel and Sam Twiston- Davies. At Lingfield, Urban Hero bolted up for Hollie Doyle. At Wolverhampton, The Game Is On was on target for Sir Mark Prescott.
Sunday, only one meeting today. The card at Fairyhouse was top class. I was there myself. I really enjoyed the day the racing was fantastic. Joseph O’Brien dominated the Bar one racing Juvenile Hurdle, with Cerberus holding off stablemate A Wave Of The Sea. It was the jumping that won the day for Cerberus. Envoi Allen maintained the perfect start to his career with a smart display to beat stablemate Abacadabras in the Bar one racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle. I really like Envoi Allen he jumped well. This horse is my only ante-post at Cheltenham for a decent amount in both the Supreme and Ballymore. My preference would be the Ballymore, however, I am sure Gordon Elliott knows best.
An electric round of jumping saw Fakir D’oudairies win the Bar one racing Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse – where Samcro capsized at the second last when still upsides. I thought this was right in the balance. I think Fakir D’oudairies should go back to two miles. I think the fire still burns in Samcro. Envoi Allen 100 Fairyhouse (8/11) & Fakir D'oudairies 130 Fairyhouse (6/4) advised to our members 3pts win Double. Honeysuckle destroyed a high-class field in the Bar one racing. Hatton’s Grace Hurdle to remain unbeaten in the process. This was a top-class performance. I think Apples Jade just does not look the same horse this season. That said Honeysuckle looks, top class. He De Bromhead said post-race “She’s a very professional mare and Rachael gets on really well with her. This is why we are all in it for a special mare like her.“She loves it here at Fairyhouse and we better go and find out now if she can go left-handed.“She’s entered over two miles and three at Leopardstown but I’m not sure if she will go there. The mares hurdle at Cheltenham will obviously be very high on her agenda and we might wait and give her a prep run before that.
There were three winners for J P McManus on the day, and a second for Mark Walsh as Janidil justified 3/1 favoritism in the Grade A Download The App BARONERACING.COM Handicap Hurdle. McManus and Walsh had teamed up earlier to win the Drinmore with the Joseph O’Brien-trained Fakir D’Oudairies. Meanwhile, McManus also landed the Porterstown with the Noel Meade-handled and Sean Flanagan-ridden Killer Miller. There was a really good crowd in Fairyhouse it was a fantastic days racing. Do not forget these races in the long winter folks as they will pay to follow for sure.