Monday, we start with the news that Sam Twiston-Davies is hoping to be back in action for the Ladbrokes Trophy meeting at Newbury next month after suffering a broken elbow in a fall at Sandown on Sunday. On the track, we start at Kempton there was a double for Nicky Henderson with Whisper and Mr. Whipped. There were winners for in form Ben Pauling and Paul Nicholls with Way Back Then and Give Me A Copper. The Pertemps hurdle went in very good style to Bags Groove who is related to the brilliant Gold Cup winner Imperial Call. The victory of Bags Groove was his second of the season. I think Bags Groove is progressing well, however, The Last Samuri ran a blinder in second. Bags Groove advised to our member's 3pts win at 9/4. At Carlisle, two stables going well were on the board as Evan Williams and Paul Nicholls won with Cesar Collonges and Brio Conti. At Southwell, there was a dream start for William Carver on his first ride under rules. The horse who William Carver will never forget was Know The Truth.
Tuesday, we start at, Worcester. Nigel Twiston Davies was on target with Arthurs Gift who landed some good bets in the two miles four-furlong handicap hurdle. The form of the Philip Hobbs yard has been well flagged up. There was a double for Hobbs on the day with Rolling Dylan and Pointed And Sharp. The novice chase went to Dan and Harry Skelton with Optimus Prime who beat Tommy Silver by a neck. Dan Skelton made it a double on the day at Huntingdon with Mabela who took the bumper at Huntingdon. The limited handicap novice chase went in good style to Cyrname for Paul Nicholls winning by fourteen lengths. At Lingfield, Nigel Twiston- Davies had a double with Jabulani and Crievehill. It made it a treble on the day for Twiston- Davies.
Cloudy Dream could still run at Cheltenham this weekend despite an entry error causing the horse to miss his intended outing in the BetVictor Gold Cup.Malcolm Jefferson's grey was a leading ante-post fancy for Saturday's main event but was a surprise omission from the list following Monday's confirmation stage.Jefferson's daughter Ruth has taken responsibility for the mistake as he instead ended up with an entry in the three-mile-three-furlong BetVictor Handicap Chase, which precedes the feature race. It was a very unfortunate business for connections. However, Sunday's Shloer Chase was reopened after insufficient entries were received, so another option at Cheltenham is now available.
Wednesday, we start at Bangor on a day that was to belong to Harry Fry and Dan Skelton. The two former Paul Nicholls apprentices are flying at this moment in time, both had doubles. Dan Skelton kicked it off with Sir Mangan and Shannon Bridge. The Harry Fry double came courtesy of Dashing Oscar and If The Cap Fits. At Exeter, Harry Fry made it a treble on the day as his Wotzizname took the feature race. At Ayr, there was a treble for Brian Hughes on board Attention Seeker, Lough Derg Jewel, and Catamaran Du Seuil. At Newcastle, John Gosden was on target with Kings Shield. At Fairyhouse, there was a treble for Gordon Elliott with Woods Well who took the beginners chase from The Barrow Man and Champoleon in good styles, Champoleon was advised to our members 1pt each way at 5/1. The Elliott treble was completed by Osco Mosco and Monkshood.
Thursday, we start in Taunton. There were winners for Colin Tizzard and David Pipe with Shoal Bay and Tobacco Bay. At Ludlow, Nicky Henderson and Kim Bailey were on target with Sunshade and Cresswell Legend. At Southwell, Keith Dalgleish was on target with German Bight. At Chelmsford, there was a double for trainer Ivan Furtado with Fredricka and Huddersfilly Town. At Clonmel, it was the Clonmel Oil chase that was the feature it went to Alpha Des Obeaux who beat A Toi Phil by five and a half lengths. The rest of the day belonged to Gordon Elliott with a four-timer. The horses were Folsom Blue, Dinaria Des Obeaux, Hardline and Warlike Intent. The one that interests me most was Folsom Blue, I have long thought there was a big staying chase in this horse. I put him up at 40/1 in the Irish National in 2016 when Folsom Blue was fourth. I think Gordon Elliott could get some big pots with Folsom Blue this season.
Friday, we start at Cheltenham for day one of the open meetings. There was a poignant winner of the novice chase as Finians Oscar took the race for the late Alan Potts. Finians Oscar got the better of Movewiththetimes(who I am certain is a handicap project for the festival). The aftermath of the race had Colin Tizzard saying that he could drop Finians Oscar back to two miles setting up a potential clash with Footpad in the Arkle. The two-mile handicap chase went to Doitforthevillage who saw off Kapstadt and Exitas in a good race up the hill. Kapstadt was advised to our members 1pt each way at 7/2. The concluding novice hurdle went in good style to On The Blind Side who stayed on in a relentless manner. The run of Calett Mad was baffling as he was really well backed (9/2 -7/4). It all looked to be going to plan until two out when Calett Mad stopped like he was shot. I think Calett Mad may just not like Cheltenham despite winning last time out at Cheltenham.
At Newcastle, there was a double for Richard Johnson on board Mary Eleanor and Jassas. At Lingfield, there was another winner for Ivan Furtado who has had a good week the horse was Sword Exceed. At Chelmsford, there was a double for Danny Tudhope with Red Cymbal and Rayaa. At Dundalk, I was impressed with Clear Skies who won for Aidan O'Brien and Wayne Lordan.
Saturday, we start at Cheltenham. The weather was dreadful as it rained all day. The triumph hurdle trial went to Apple's Shakira who bolted up by seventeen lengths for JP McManus and Barry Geraghty. The fact that Apple's Shakira is a full sister to Apples Jade is clearly very positive. The novice chase went to the wonderfully consistent Black Corton giving Byrony Frost another big Saturday winner. The long-distance chase went to Perfect Candidate who saw off the fast-finishing Vicente by a neck. The feature race the Bet Victor Gold Cup. Splash Of Ginge pulled off a 25-1 shock in the Grade 3 BetVictor Gold Cup for Tom Bellamy and Nigel Twiston-Davies. Splash Of Ginge traveled superbly through the race and got the better of Starchitect by a neck. Starchitect missed the last two fences and that may have been the difference. The rest of the places were filled by Le Prezien, Ballyalton, and Romain De Senam all ran well. Starchitect was advised to our members 1pt each way at 10/1. The three-mile handicap hurdle went to the progressive Thomas Campbell who saw off Anteros by two and a half lengths. Paddy Brennan dropped his stick on Anteros which was no help at all. Anteros was advised to our members 1pt each way at 10/1. The two-mile-five-furlong handicap hurdle went to Coole Cody who saw off Mischievous Max.The concluding bumper went to Posh Trish who made it a double on the day for Paul Nicholls.
At Punchestown, it was a bad day for Ruby Walsh after a couple of falls and a winner on board Burrows Saint. Ruby Walsh then got a fall from Lets Dance and broke his leg. That race went to Forge Meadow for Jessica Harrington. There was a double on the day for Gordon Elliott with Mitchouka and Synopsis. The star of the show at Punchestown was Monalee who made a brilliant start to his chasing career with a six-length victory over Any Second Now. As we know Monalee was a very good hurdler he could go all the way to top over fences. At Wetherby, there was a treble for Brian Hughes on board Schiaparannie, William Of Orange and Golden Investment. The last two horses were a double for Donald McCain. At Uttoxeter, Warren Greatrex made it 9 winners from 16 runners in bumpers at Uttoxeter. There winners for Kim Bailey and Venetia Williams with Ainte Ladylime and Duu Soleil. At Lingfield, the Churchill Stakes a qualifier for all weather finals day went to Master The World. The other qualifier over six furlongs went to Gifted Master. At Wolverhampton, there was a double for Richard Hughes with Zapateado and Gold Filligree.
Sunday, we start at Cheltenham. The first race went to Harry Fry (who was winning this race for the last 3 years) and Kieron Edgar (winning this for the fourth time in five years). The horse was Melrose Boy. The Arkle trial went in very good style to North Hill Harvey who beat River Wylde by sixteen lengths. River Wylde ran an odd race dropping himself out. North Hill Harvey has done really well on his first two starts and is a player for the Arkle. The Shloer chase went in really good style to Fox Norton who hammered this field by eight lengths. The Greatwood hurdle went in battling style to Elgin who beat Misterton by a neck in a thriller. The New One and Old Guard ran blinders for the places. A very sad postscript to the Greatwood hurdle as London Prize lost his life. London Prize has been very good to me and the members of this site in his career, go well old friend. There was a very impressive winner of the Supreme novice hurdle trial in Slate House, giving Colin Tizzard a double on the day. The bumper went to Crooks Peak for Richard Johnson and Philp Hobbs.
At Fontwell, there was a treble for Anthony Honeyball with Jukebox Jive, Cresswell Breeze, and Soulsaver. The Southern national was the feature and went to Cresswell Breeze. There was also a double on the card for Ben Pauling with Ravens Tower and Markov. At Cork, there was a double for JJ Slevin Us And Them and Conna Cross. Granny Biddy made it 5 wins out of 6 races for Michael Winters. It was not all good news for Michael Winters Having viewed the recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Stewards found both rider and trainer to be in breach of Rule 212 A (i), in that Churchtown Glen was not allowed to run on its merits.Having considered their records in this regard, the Stewards fined M. Winters €6,000, suspended B.J. Foley for 21 Racedays and ordered him to forfeit his riding fee, and suspended Churchtown Glen for 90 days. There was a winner for Gordon Elliott with Doctor Phoenix.
At Punchestown, Top Of The Ra missed the Greatwood at Cheltenham, however, won here at Punchestown. Top Of The Ra got the better of Yaha Fizz by a length. I thought Yaha Fizz ran a blinder here and will be of serious interest the next time he goes left handed. Woodland Opera chinned Tombstone in the Craddockstown Novice chase under Robbie Power. The Florida Pearl novice chase went to Jury Duty again under Robbie Power who go the better of Shattered Love. I thought Presenting Percy ran a very odd race here I must admit I did not care for the ride Davy Russell gave Presenting Percy either. The performance of the day went to Faugheen who came back from twenty-two months off the track to win the Morgiana hurdle by 16 lengths. The most impressive thing for me was the aggression against race-fit rivals, clearly no doubts in connections minds about Faugheen. The road ahead for Faugheen is clear his targets map themselves. It was great to see Faugheen back in business. I hope Faugheen rolls out fine tomorrow. The bumper went to Gordon Elliott with Rapid Escape, giving Elliott an across the card treble on the day.