Monday, we start at Plumpton there was a double on the day for Barry Geraghty with Theinval and No Comment who are both horses with a future. Sartorial Elegance turned the 3 Miles 1 Furlong handicap chase into a procession winning by 18 Lengths for Colin Tizzard. Sartorial Elegance was advised to our members 2pts win at (7/4). At Ffos Las the going was very testing. There was a double for trainer Paul Morgan with Limited Reserve and one time ante post favourite for the Supreme at Cheltenham West Wizard. The 3 Miles 1 Furlong handicap chase turned into a war of attrition with Walk On Al bravely coming out on top from Replacement Plan and Cheat The Cheater in third .Cheat The Cheater was advised to our members 0.5pt each way at (14/1). At Wolverhampton , David O'Meara and Danny Tudhope kept up the recent good run for the duo as Hard To Handel won the seller.
Tuesday, we start at Catterick where Nietzsche got off the mark over hurdles. Nietzsche had shown good form behind Cliffs Of Dover and Domperignon Du Lys two smart juveniles. The 2 Miles 3 Furlongs novice hurdle went to former flat horse Master Of Irony who did it well winning by three lengths from odds on favourite Ckalco Des Loges. It was 14 Lengths back to the third horse home Good Tradition. At Wincanton, Movewiththetimes got back on track after a below par run at Newbury winning the novice hurdle here. Paul Nicholls completed a double in fortunate circumstances as Connetable took an incident packed 2 Miles 4 Furlongs beginners chase. Connetable looked set for third at best when at the third last fence Brother Tedd fell and brought down Barney Dwan in the process. Barney Dwan to my eyes would have won. At Southwell, there was nothing that caught my eye.
Wednesday, we start at Newbury. The juvenile hurdle went to decent flat racer Cosmeapolitan who ran out a 7 length winner for Alan King. The limited novice handicap went to Beware The Bear for Nicky Henderson from Aurillac. The interesting item here was this was a 0-135 handicap. Beware The Bear was rated 136 before this race. The rule states that Beware The Bear could run off 136 as long as the race was not full subscribed. In a situation when the race is fully subscribed Beware The Bear would have been the first horse balloted out. There was a double for Richard Johnson and Philip Hobbs with Three Faces West and Sneaky Feeling. At Lingfield, there was a double for Mark Johnston with Kodiac Khan and Juste Pour Nous. At Musselburgh, Royal Macnab took the 2 mile 3 furlong handicap chase just holding on from the remarkable Formidableopponent by a neck. There was a winner for her majesty as Forth Bridge won the juvenile hurdle under Brian Hughes. At Kempton, there was another winner for Simon Dow with Presumido. Simon Dow has his horses in excellent form at the moment.
Thursday, we start at Exeter which had heavy rain during the afternoon making the ground testing. Paul Nicholls continued his excellent form with a treble. Tagrita took the mares novice chase jumping well in the process. Le Prezien kept up his improvement by defeating L'ami Serge in what was in effect a match. L'ami Serge jumped badly left throughout the contest. At Newcastle, there was a dead heat in the 1 mile 4 furlongs apprentice handicap the horses involved were Airton and High on Light. At Towcester, the maiden hurdle went to Azzerti in impressive style for Alan King and Wayne Hutchinson. Azzerti justified good market support in the process (9/4 -13/8). At Chelmsford, there was a double for jockey George Baker with Skidby Mill and Tilsworth Micky. At Tramore ,there was a double for trainer Liz Doyle with Ardrea Cross and Sea Scorpion. The Willie Mullins team introduced us to another Rich Ricci potential aeroplane as Camella De Cotte won by 15 lengths with a further 30 lengths back to the third horse in the race. It is impossible to judge the ability Camella De Cotte could potentially have at this point.
Friday we start at Ascot, there was a treble on the day for Paul Nicholls and Sam Twiston- Davies. The first leg saw former Irish Point to Point winner Topofthegame despite not jumping cleanly at the last and hanging slightly left. Topofthegame saw off Criq Rock by a short head. The second leg of the treble saw Capitaine take the Supreme novice trial in commanding fashion making all the running to win by three and a half lengths. The performance was even more meritorious as Capitaine was conceding wait to all bar one rival. Paul Nicholls was looking to the future at Ascot on Friday after Politologue formed the cornerstone to a treble on the card. Politologue had a tall reputation when arriving at Ditcheat, he has certainly lived up to it since going over fences. Politologue slammed a decent field at Haydock on debut over fences. Politologue was arguably even better here jumping superbly dictating from the front to beat Rock The Kasbah by 4 lengths. Paul Nicholls stated afterwards that Politologue would be kept to two and a half miles. I think this is a really good move as, I am not sure Politologue wants three miles on visual impressions. Politologue is clearly smart , very much much a horse to watch as Politologue is only five years of age. Politologue was advised to our members 4pts win at (10/11).
At Uttoxeter, the ground was very testing. Annie Alainn made it three wins on the spin for Fergal O'Brien and Paddy Brennan. I think while the mud is flying Annie Alainn is one to keep on the right side of. Dalkadam won the handicap hurdle under Brendan Powell. Dalkadam is an enormous horse , the same comment would apply as above while the mud is flying Dalkadam should go in again. At Newcastle , John Gosden had a winner with Bizzaria. At Wolverhampton, there was a winner each for Ralph Beckett and William Haggas with Dr Julius No and Second Thought. At Dundalk, Henry De Bromhead had a very impressive winner in Daybreak Boy under Pat Smullen.
Saturday as a long time admirer of horse racing in the UK. I found Saturday's efforts at Haydock and Ascot very unsatisfactory by the broadcasters. I think for two top tracks not be able to provide mobile cameras in the fog was very poor. We have all seen what the Irish tracks and At The Races have done in recent weeks. I think especially as somebody who has been a subscriber to Racing UK since the start of the channel. The effort of Racing UK was astonishingly poor. I am afraid a constant bombardment of paddock interviews did not cut it on the day. I would hope Racing UK will learn from this and there would be no repetition. We start at Ascot we could see very little due to fog, Top Notch made it three wins in a row over fences for Nicky Henderson. There were two winners for two very talented Irish jockeys. Donagh Meyler rode Poker School to victory for Ian Williams. The Grand National hero David Mullins steered Brain Power to victory in the Wessex Youth Trust Handicap Hurdle (old Ladbroke hurdle) for Nicky Henderson giving him a double on the day. Brain Power is clearly progressing very well. There was a double for Barry Geraghty with Regal Encore and Unowhatimeanharry. The win of Unowhatimeanharry came in the Long walk hurdle this was his seventh win in a row. I think its going to take something very special to stop Unowhatimeanharry at Cheltenham . The other factor is Barry Geraghty knows how to ride the stayers hurdle at Cheltenham having won it on a few different horses unless Jezki shows real fire it looks Unowhatimeanharry's race to lose at Cheltenham in March. Unowhatimeanharry was advised to our members 4pts win at (11/8).
At Haydock, the fog was not as bad as at Ascot. The middle part of the card could be seen. The last race should never have been run at all as nobody could see who won from the stands!! Buveur D'air got up and running over fences showing a nice turn of foot to add to the growing battalion of promising novice chasers in the UK and Ireland. Buveur D'air is a very talented horse. Colins Sister is a mare going places and landed the odds in the mares hurdle with the minimum of fuss for Fergal O'Brien and Paddy Brennan. Yala Eniki took the Tommy Whittle for Venetia Williams by 8 lengths we could not see any of the home straight. Yala Eniki landed some good bets (13/2 - 3/1 fav). At Newcastle, there was a treble for Adrian Heskin on board Bun Doran, Battle Of Shiloh and Kimberlite County. The victories of Bun Doran and Battle Of Shiloh meant a double for Tom George. The victory of Kimberlite County was leg one of a Tom Lacey double. The second leg was Bells On Sunday. At Lingfield, Jim Crowley had a treble on board Mr Scaramanga , Somethingthrilling and Balancing Time.
At Fairyhouse, all eyes were on the chase debut of Yorkhill he did not disappoint winning by 14 lengths. The next race for Yorkhill will tell us a bit more. I think Yorkhill will prefer going left handed for sure. The three mile beginners chase saw A Genie in Abottle win by five a half lengths from Blazer with Mall Dini in third. I thought the race A Genie in Abottle ran in at Fairyhouse the last time behind Martello Tower was a good one. I am still kicking myself for not backing A Genie in Abottle here. I think both A Genie in Abottle and Martello Tower are massive players for the four miler at Cheltenham. The three year old maiden hurdle saw a very good winner in Prospectus for Gavin Cromwell winning by 12 lengths. Patrick Corbett is a young jockey going places. Corbett showed great strength to get All The Chimneys up by 3 parts of a length in the two mile handicap hurdle.
Sunday, we start with the news that Coneygree will miss the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day, Sara Bradstock confirmed, but Coneygree remains on course for the Cheltenham Festival. The action for us was focused around Navan where Gordon Elliott had four winners (5 on the day including 1 at Thurles) . The Grade two Navan Novice hurdle saw a clash between Death Duty and Invitation Only. The race did not pan out that way with Death Duty winning very easily by three and three parts of a length from Monalee, Invitation Only was a labored third. Gordon Elliott will be well pleased with this. The second leg of the Elliott four timer saw Automated run down Scoir Mear by a length and a quarter both horses can expect a hike in the weights here as it was 20 lengths back to the third horse Gurteen. Scoir Mear advised to our members 1pt each way (9/2). The third leg for Elliot was Glenloe who landed some big bets for his connections in the maiden hurdle. The final leg was the highly regarded Samcro who took the bumper under Jamie Codd. The finish of the day came in the two mile one furlong handicap chase. There was a dead heat between Effernock lad and Flemenstorm with Coolaghknock Glebe 3 parts of a length back in third having being punted off the boards.
At Thurles, there was a decent card. Royal Caviar got off the mark in impressive style over fences jumping fluently to win by five lengths from Keppols Queen. The listed Boreen Belle mares novice hurdle went to Shattered Love who ceased the initiative when Asthuria who was 4/11 crashed out at the third last. I think Shattered Love was going better at the time in any event, another winner for Gordon Elliott. The Two mile Seven Furlong novice hurdle went in impressive style to Teachers Pet who is a horse on the upgrade. Teachers Pet was advised to our members 2pts win (15/8). I have mentioned earlier in this piece Patrick Corbett is an impressive young jockey, he had a double on the day with Charlie Stout and The Conker Club. The victory for The Conker Club was a very well executed ride by Corbett. The Conker Club was stepping up to two and half miles ,Corbett rode the mare with plenty of confidence for an authoritative three and a quarter length victory. The Conker Club is owned by a very enthusiastic syndicate with lads I know involved , they will have got a great kick out of this at there local track. Patrick Corbett is a jockey to keep on the ride side of over the busy Christmas period.In the UK ,it was poor stuff yet again on a Sunday. There was a double for Neil Mulholland at Fakenham with Owners Day and Soupy Soups. At Lingfield, Jim Crowley bagged another winner on Aurora Gray for trainer Hughie Morrison