Monday, as the racing world was coming to terms with life without Sprinter Sacre . The show went on as it always does. We start at Musselburgh which witnessed an incredible day for jockey Brian Hughes on what seemed an average Monday. Brian Hughes was the man to follow at Musselburgh on Monday after the jockey claimed five winners & finished second in the other two races. The Hughes winners were Mitcd, Thankyou Very Much,Mondlicht, Blue Kascade and Smart Ruler. There was another winner that caught my eye Quick Decission who won the Handicap Chase. This horse handles bad winter ground he could be one to follow until beaten in the north Of England and Scotland. At Plumpton, Baron Alco won the novice chase he was getting the better of Wishing and Hoping when that horse crashed out. Earls Fort got Neil Mulholland another winner in the amateur riders handicap hurdle.At Newcastle, there were winners for Sir Michael Stoute with Textured at 20/1 , there was also a winner for Sir Mark Prescott with Oxford Blu.
Tuesday we start at, Lambourn. Coneygree delighted Richard Johnson in a schooling session in Lambourn on Tuesday morning ahead of his likely return in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday. I think after the last few weeks racing could really do with Coneygree putting in a big show at Haydock. We start at Fakenham, were four market leaders obliged. There was a double for Neil Mulholland an Noel Fehily with Lift The Lid and Prettylittlething. Final Nudge got the better of Join The Clan by a neck in a cracking finish to the beginners chase. Final Nudge was advised to our members 3pts win (6/5). At Southwell. Churchtown Champ was a very impressive winner of the limited Novice chase handicap by 10 lengths for Dan Skelton. There were a pair of odds on winners in Ballymalin for Nigel Twiston-Davies and Cajun Fiddle for Alan King. At Lingfield, there were winners for Sir Michael Stoute with Melting Dew and Mark Johnston. Swiss Cross made it a 10th career win on his 100th start.
Wednesday, we start at Chepstow. Jonjo O'Neill got a welcome winner as Utility took division 1 of the novice hurdle. O'Neill has been getting some winners , they are a very hard stable to call in general. I would still advise caution. The division 2 of the novice hurdle went to Paul Nicholls with Copain De Classe who did it well by 7 lengths. The concluding 2 mile 7 furlong handicap hurdle went in very good style to Court King for Peter and Sean Bowen, by 10 lengths. Audacious Plan ran on well for third the Welsh National , Eider or Classic Chase at Warwick all look like potential good targets to my eyes. Audacious Plan was advised to our members 1pt each way (9/1). At Warwick , there was a double for Alan King with Midnight Maestro and Royal Plazaq. There was welcome news for Nicky Henderson as Top Notch got off the mark over fences with a 15 length victory in the 4 and 5 year old novice chase. Top Notch was the first leg of a double for Darryl Jacob with Lilly On The Moor completing it. The day at Warwick saw a notable achievment as Paddy Brennan recorded his 1,000th career winner on board Colins Sister for Fergal O'Brien. Congratulations Paddy. An old supporter of Brennan's, Nigel Twiston-Davies had a cross the card double as Yanmare won at Warwick following the victory of Verygoodverygood at Chepstow. The Twiston-Davies team remain in excellent form.
At Kempton, there was a treble for Adam Kirby with Solveig's Son , King Of Nepal and Leshlaa. At Fairyhouse, there was an informative card the one time Willie Mullins smart bumper horse Avenir D'une Vie took the 2 mile maiden hurdle. It was a comeback winner for Bryan Cooper as well as another winner for Henry De Bromhead. I reckon Avenir D'une Vie will pay his way over the winter.Hurricane Fly’s colours were carried to success at Fairyhouse as George Creighton’s Asthuria landed the mares maiden hurdle by 6 lengths. Asthuria looks a good horse to my eyes.Philip Dempsey’s Kilkeaskins First left behind some awful form figures when landing a tidy, big-priced gamble 33/1 to 14s in the handicap hurdle. Prickly completed a full set of racing victories for Edward O'Grady when winning the novice chase . Prickly has now won over hurdles on the the flat and over fences. The Gigginstown House Stud completed a first-and-last races double at Fairyhouse as the Gordon Elliott trained Champagne Classic routed his rivals under jockey Jamie Codd in the concluding Bumper. Some Neck was placed again having been backed from 7/4 -9/10, Some Neck is becoming expensive to follow.
Thursday, we start at Market Rasen where No Comment got off the mark over hurdles beating Mr Monochrome by two and a quarter lengths. The 2 miles 4 furlongs handicap hurdle saw Oscar Rock get back on the winning trail on return to hurdles. Oscar Rock got the better of Duke street who seemed to just either idle or run out of petrol on the run in. I think Oscar Rock and Duke Street are horses to take forward.At Newcastle, it was back to the flat, there was another winner for Saeed Bin Suroor with Kananee. There was a double for jockey David Nolan on board Kicking the Can and Taopix. It would not be a Wincanton meeting without a Paul Nicholls treble.The horses were Brelan D'as, Sirabad and Black Valentine.There was another notice serving point from Venetia Williams who won the last race with Miracle Cure. I expect Venetia Williams horses to kick into gear from now until February if the ground gets soft. At Chelmsford, there was a treble for jockey Joe Fanning on board Curzon Lane, Charles Molson and Time To Study.
At Clonmel ,it was one of the big days Clonmel Oil Chase day. Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh fired a warning shot with a treble. Westerner Lady who is probably unfortunate not to be unbeaten over fences took the mares chase. Westerner Lady had to fight all the way to beat Thanks For Tea by a half length. Miss Me Now took the concluding hurdle race. I thought Miss Me Now was a lucky winner as to my eyes it looked like Vigil would have won but for falling at the last, to be fair Miss Me Now did pick up very well. The feature race The Clonmel Oil Chase also saw a late departure as Outlander crashed out at the last when two lengths clear.I am probably in the minority but I thought Outlander was starting to empty and that Alelchi Inois was gaining on the run to the last. Alelchi Inois took the race by 5 lengths from Clarcam , with Monksland back in third finding it all happening to quickly for him here. Alelchi Inois was advised to our members 2pts win (2/1).
Friday , we start at Haydock where Cloudy Dream continued his education over fences with a 12 length win for Malcolm Jefferson and Brian Hughes. Cloudy Dream is a really nice prospect, however 10/1 for the Arkle would not appeal to me. Politologue was well thought of last season when he arrived from France. Politologue was going to beat North Hill Harvey last December at Cheltenham when unseating Sam Twiston-Davies on the run to the last. We saw what North Hill Harvey did last Sunday. Politologue ran better then his finishing position in the Coral cup at the Cheltenham Festival , I felt as well. Paul Nicholls had also won this race the last 4 seasons. I could not believe Politologue went off 7/2 in this race. Politologue demolished Vintage Clods and Welsh Shadow by 10 and 15 Lengths. I think Politologue could be very decent. Politologue was advised to our members 2pts win at (7/2). Nicky Henderson enjoyed a double with Constantine Bay and Claimantakinforgan.
At Ascot, Nicky Henderson was in double form again with Thomas Campbell and Different Gravey. The performance of Different Gravey lived up to his name winning easily by 6 lengths. I think this horse is a top prospect with the JLT looking a logical target. Paul Nicholls was in the winners enclosure as his Present Man took the 2 miles 5 furlongs handicap chase very bravely by a neck from Go Conquer. The most valuable race of the day went to Eddiemaurice who held off Favorite Girl by a neck. Eddiemaurice had run very well behind Cliffs Of Dover at Cheltenham that form was well advertised since. Eddiemaurice was advised to our members 1pt each way (8/1) completing a very good day for our members with two Selections, two Winners today at 7/2 and 8/1. At Ffos Las, there was a double for Rebecca Curtis and Jonathan Moore with Highway Storm and Just a Thought. At Newcastle, there was a winner for Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning with Killermont Street. At Dundalk, there was nothing that really caught my eye to be honest.
Saturday, we start at Haydock it was Betfair chase. There was a treble on the day for Richard Johnson with Mysteree , Three Faces West, and Kruzhlinin. The win of Kruzhlinin came in the fixed brush hurdle is a race chasers have an excellent record in. Kruzhlinin has been an excellent chaser who is rated 10 pounds lower over hurdles and was well in here. Kruzhlinin was advised to our members 1pt each way (16/1) there was a rule 4 deduction of 10%. It was on to the big race where Coneygree v Cue Card was the headline. The other horses were never involved, Seeyouatmidnight who went off an eye watering 7/2 was pulled up as was Irish Cavalier, Silviniaco Conti was never a factor. Cue Card went around the inside all the way. Coneygree jumped immaculate all the way. as the race reached four fences out Cue Card pressed on going further and further clear winning by fifteen lengths in the end. It was Cue Cards third Betfair Chase, he is a wonderful racehorse. As for Coneygree, I thought there was much to be positive about he will be much sharper the next time. The fire clearly still burns. Ch'Tibello sprang a minor surprise when winning a tactical affair for the Betfair Price Rush Hurdle at Haydock. My Tent Or Yours did not pick up, Ch'Tibello got first run this was a good performance as he would not have liked this ground.
At Ascot, there was an excellent card. Royal Regatta took the Stella Artois 1965 chase in really gutsy fashion by a head from Kylemore Lough. This was a tremendous contest with Gods Own running a cracker in third . The big disappointment of the race was Dodging Bullets who was pulled up. I have backed Dodging Bullets twice this season there will not be a third time. The Coral hurdle saw the reappearance of Yanworth who has been mentioned as a champion hurdle horse. Yanworth won by 3 parts of a length from Lil Rockerfeller who went down swinging. On the basis of this run Yanworth is not even the best Champion hurdle prospect in his yard and anyone of Willie Mullins top three hurdlers would put Yanworth away easily. I think Yanworth has to go up in trip for the World Hurdle, where he could do something. On a day for the old heroes and warriors Sire De Grugy rolled the clock back. Sire De Grugy took the Shawbrook handicap chase by a length and a half from Quite By Chance, with Vaniteaux who ran well in third and can improve from here. At Huntingdon.Tagrita was impressive for Paul Nicholls beating off The Organist in the mares novice chase. At Lingfield, there was nothing to catch my attention, the same goes for Wolverhampton.
At Punchestown, Landofhopeandglory was trimmed to 10-1 for Triumph Hurdle after his win in the three year old hurdle. I really rate this horse. I think he might be very good.Let's Dance landed the spoils in the Listed Frontline Security Grabel (Mares) Hurdle under Ruby Walsh. I thought Haymount made a really impressive introduction to fences seeing off Coney Island an Mall Dini. This was a deep race and is one to watch back it will produce loads of winners. Willie Mullins may have a live RSA horse on his hands with Haymount. Cantlow took the Risk Of Thunder cross country chase if he continues to behave he could do it at the Festival in Cheltenham. Even money market-leader for Willie Mullins, Senewalk didn't come up to expectations in the maiden hurdle, fading out of it in the straight to finish sixth, as second favourite Moulin A Vent (2/1). Senewalk had been near favourite for the Supreme novices at Cheltenham prior to this,its back to the drawing board for Senewalk.
Sunday, we start at Punchestown where a dense freezing fog made viewing just about impossible. Dalmatia a talented dual performer got back on the road here when taking the opening handicap hurdle. There could be more to come from this horse. Gladiator King is a horse to note in behind. Identity Thief made it two from two over fences, with restricted viewing all we can say is job done and on he goes. Identity Thief is a leading candidate for the Arkle in March. A Toi Phil won the Florida Pearl Novice Chase in very good style by 7 lengths from Jetstream Jack. Disko was a further two lengths back in third. I had really liked the look of A Toi Phil going to Cheltenham and Punchestown last season , where he put in moody displays. If A Toi Phil has ironed that kink in his personality out there is serious talent in this horse.The feature the Morgiana hurdle saw Nichols Canyon do what he does best win a grade 1. Nichols Canyon put last weeks leading juveniles away here in Jers Girl and Ivanovich Gorbatov by 12 and 5 lengths. There is a lot of talk of Nichols Canyon going for the world hurdle. I think the race with Identity Thief last Christmas left its mark on both horses seasons. Nichols Canyon is very versatile and durable he will have a good season for the Wylies. The bumper went to Samcro for Gordon Elliott and Jamie Codd by 9 lengths.
At Cork ,Gordon Elliott completed the bumper double as Monbeg Worldwide obliged at 1/4. Sunni May took a 2 mile maiden hurdle for Jessica Harrington getting up late on to deny Dr Mikey. The other feature of the race was top bumper horse Bacardys crashed out at the third last when looking sure to win. Peace News was an impressive winner for Henry De Bromhead of a 2 mile maiden hurdle earning a quote of 14/1 for the supreme. Isleofhopendreams took the beginners chase for Willie Mullins and Mikey Fogarty in impressive style. The feature the 2 miles 1 furlong handicap chase saw Westerner Point make all the running , holding off Riviera Son by a short head. It might have been different if Riviera Son had not missed the last badly. Draycott Place ran well in third giving the first two plenty of weight. At Exeter, American made an impressive debut over fences for Harry Fry this horse looks a good prospect. Venetia Williams served further notice of her revival with Royal Palladium winning the 3 mile Handicap chase in gutsy fashion. There was a double for Evan Williams and Paul Moloney with Evening Hush and On The Road. At Uttoxeter ,winners were easier to find with four market leaders obliging. Black Ivory kept up the good run for Brian Hughes and Malcom Jefferson in the 2 miles 3 furlongs handicap hurdle.Poppy Kay won the mares novice hurdle for Philip Hobbs. The way Poppy Kay stayed on she looks a good prospect.