Monday, we start at Ayr jockey Jan Faltejsek rode his first winner in Britain for over 1000 days when Fairlee Grey bolted up by twenty four lengths in the two mile maiden hurdle. Gordon Elliott loves a visit to Scotland he had reason to be happy again as his Whizzey Rascal took the mares handicap hurdle. Whizzey Rascal won easily by ten lengths under Richard Johnson. It was a good start to the week for me as Whizzey Rascal was advised to our members 2pts win at (13/8). At Plumpton, Bastien looked a potentially smart novice hurdler for Alan King. Bastien handed out a eleven length beating under a winners penalty, this was smart. Kid Kalansi was a very impressive winner of the three mile handicap hurdle traveling very well and powering away from his rivals. Kid Kalansi can win again soon. At Wolverhampton, there was a double for Robert Winston on board Cappananty Con and Lady Baachus.
Tuesday, we start at Ayr there was a double for Evan Williams and Paul Moloney with De Dollar Man and Billy Bronco who won by seven and six lengths respectively. Starchitect has broken a few punters hearts in the last 18 months, however he came good over fences here. Starchitect did it well by 3 lengths for David Pipe ,Starchitect could yet emerge as a grand annual type. Rowdy Rocher won easily at Ayr over hurdles on 2-1-17. It was a different story here back over fences for Rowdy Rocher as he got home by just a head from the consistent Plus Jamais. At Exeter a lot of the big yards had winners, here is the list, Pipe, Twiston_Davies, King, Hobbs and Fry. The winners that stood out for me included a Victor Dartnall horse called Bindon Mill who took the Novices Handicap Chase by a nine lengths. Casper King took the division two of the maiden hurdle in great style by eleven lengths for Richard Johnson and Philip Hobbs. The bumper went the way of Harry Fry with Over To Sam winning by 6 lengths. At Kempton, there was a treble for jockey George Baker with Aurora Gray, Tisworth Micky and Whalweigh Station. There was a double for Timmy Murphy with Staplehurst and In The Red.
Wednesday, we start at Newbury . The two mile novice hurdle saw Beyond Conceit put up a very impressive display for Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty by ten lengths. There was talk of the supreme after the race, however Beyond Conceit at 8 years of age I find that hard to see myself. The mares novice hurdle saw Midnight Glory win at an eye watering 25/1 for Richard Johnson and Philip Hobbs, the race having being gifted after Theatre Territory crashed out at the second last when going best. It was very foggy at Market Rasen which was a shame as they had a decent card. Master Of Irony defied the winners penalty to win the two miles two furlongs novice hurdle. The Graduation chase was a good race it went to Three Musketeers for the Skelton's. Three Musketeers gave Kilcrea Vale seven pounds and a three length beating. Kings Odyssey was very disappointing back in third beaten a further twenty two lengths. Nietzsche won the conditional jockeys handicap hurdle under Megan Carberry. At Lingfield, Ascot Day made it two wins in January for Jamie Spencer and David Simcock. At Kempton , Adam Kirby continued his good form as he won on board Revel.
Thursday, we start at Thurles. There was a double for Gordon Elliott. The first leg was The Storyteller who won the two miles six furlongs in very good style. The Storyteller ran on very strongly to win by nine lengths from Battleford. The two miles four furlongs handicap hurdle went to Realt Mor to complete the Elliott double. There was also a double for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh. The first leg of the double was All Boum Photo who won Division 2 of the maiden hurdle in good style by eight lengths. The second leg was the remarkable Westerner Lady who made it eight wins from nine runs in the Grade 2 Mares Novice chase. Keppols Queen was jumping really well and making a race of it with Westerner Lady. The last fence came up and Keppols Queen came down which was unfortunate. Westerner Lady was moving up and it was going to be tight , its hard to be certain. Westerner Lady was advised to our members 4pts win at (5/6). There was a star cast in the hunter chase Foxrock saw off On His Own and First Lieutenant, some race for a hunter chase.
The feature race at Thurles was the Kinloch Brae Chase which is always a good race. Smashing and Sub Lieutenant set a good gallop. Philip Enright got a bad fall at the last fence on the first circuit, Enright ending up with a broken jaw . The horses could not jump the last fence in the race as a consequence. Sub Lieutenant kicked on the home turn , Sizing John gave chase . I do think not jumping the last fence made a difference for Sub Lieutenant its hard to be certain, my gut feeling is the horse in front is inconvenienced when there is a long run in. Sizing John did it well and deserved his win having chased home Douvan for ages. I think both of these horses go to the Ryanair with a chance. I haven't given up on my 20/1 on Sub Lieutenant , however a win would have been nice. I think Sizing John has a lot of ability and Jessica Harrington will have him spot on.
At Ludlow, River Wylde was impressive for Nicky Henderson and Daryl Jacob in the novice hurdle. Wincanton survived three inspections. There was a double for Tom Scudamore on board Chase End Charlie and Twenty Eight Guns. The Neil Mulholland trained Bishops Court made it three wins on the spin in the novice handicap chase. Monsieur Co took the novice hurdle for Paul Nicholls. At Southwell, Keith Dalgleish picked up a winner with Zoravon. At Chelmsford, nothing caught my eye in truth.
Friday, we start at Chepstow where Tom George and Adrian Heskin had an impressive winner with The Worlds End who took the novice hurdle. The two miles seven furlong handicap chase looked a good race on paper it turned out to be a commanding victory for Court Frontier who ran out an eight length winner over Allchilledout who had won here last time out. Allchilledout was advised to our members 1pt each way at (5/1). At Musselburgh, the one mile seven furlong handicap hurdle went in really impressive fashion to Project Bluebook under Brian Hughes. I cannot tell you how impressed I was with Project Bluebook he traveled so well and could have won by a mile. I would reckon the Fred Winter could be a target wherever he goes this horse has to be of interest. Stamp Your Feet finished a staying on fourth a step up in trip looks the way to go. The two mile three furlong handicap chase went to Tim Vaughan and Richard Johnson with Fields Of Glory.
At Lingfield, there was a double for William Carson with Sea Tea Dea and Popsilca. At Wolverhampton , Adam Kirby kept up his recent good run as he won on board Royal Blessing.At Dundalk , Henry De Bromhead has been getting some winners, he got another one here with Train Time who won the one mile four furlongs maiden.
Saturday, we start at Haydock where it was Peter Marsh chase day.The novice chase over two miles three furlongs saw the clash of two promising youngsters in Waiting Patiently and Politologue. The two talented youngsters fought out a good race , with Waiting Patiently getting the better of the argument by a length and a half. Politologue jumped very well again, half way up the straight you could just see Waiting Patiently was going to reel Politologue in. The overall impression is that Politologue is a weak finisher and Waiting Patiently is a horse with promise, time will tell on both. The supreme novice hurdle trial saw a breathtaking performance from Neon Wolf who came home a nine length winner from Elgin. Neon Wolf jumped brilliantly down the home straight putting the race to bed easily. I think Neon Wolf is a horse full of promise interestingly Noel Fehily stated after the race that "Neon Wolf could wait for Aintree or Punchestown and not go to Cheltenham ".The champion hurdle trial saw The New One win it for the third year in a row beating Clyne by a length. L’ami Serge who finished third was reported by the stewards , to have lost its right fore shoe. Subsequently, the trainer Nicky Henderson reported that post-race the horse found to have blood in its trachea. As for the Champion hurdle it changes nothing in my view. The winner of the Champion hurdle will not come from this race. The Peter Marsh the feature race saw Nigel Twiston-Davies complete a double on the day as Bristol De Mai bolted up by 22 lengths from Otago Trail with Bishops Road a further 3 lengths back in third. Bristol De Mai still only a six year old has so much promise. A soft ground Gold Cup Bristol De Mai would be of huge interest.
At Navan, there was a decent card. There was a double on the day for Jessica Harrington. The first leg of the double saw Thirsty Work win the two mile novice hurdle following up from a Christmas win at Leopardstown. It may have been different if Duke Cass had not crashed out at the last when disputing it with Thirsty Work. The star attraction at Navan was the return of Jezki. I don't think there is a man, women or child who does not know the regard I hold Jezki in. It was wonderful to see him back after a 632 days absence. Jezki won the race as expected with the conditions of the race suiting well. Jezki who was teaming up with Barry Geraghty again. The pair have combined six times and remain undefeated. Jezki jumped bravely and quickly giving the impression he could still do a job over two miles. Jezki is said to be being aimed at the stayers hurdle at the Cheltenham festival. I backed Jezki last Thursday non runner no bet at 10/1 for that race. I do think if something goes wrong with the Mullins A team that Jezki would beat any of the English horses over two miles, in that situation I reckon Jezki would go for the champion. Whatever the future holds it was great to see Jezki back hopefully he goes on from here.
The rest of the Navan card saw Yaha Fizz back up his recent Naas win bolting up here making all the running to win by a heavily eased down seven lengths. Yaha Fizz was advised to our members 1pt each way at (6/1). C'est Jersey got off the mark for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh over hurdles . Willie Mullins reached for the cheek-pieces a rare move on his part whoever it worked. Acapella Bourgeois got off the mark over fences with a deserved win in the Beginners chase. I think Acapella Bourgeois is better going right handed Punchestown or Fairyhouse look to be his ideal destination. At Lingfield, Adam Kirby and Jamie Osbourne have been on a good run the pair combined for a winner with Revolutionary War. At Newcastle, Jamie Osbourne had a second winner on the day with Marquee Club.
Sunday, there was only one meeting that was at Leopardstown. I was in attendance myself.It was a very decent card. The mares maiden hurdle went in impressive to Toe The Line who showed a ready turn of foot to win by three lengths from Bargy Lady and Miss Eyecatcher who ran a very nice race in third. The Grade three novice chase saw Yorkhill in action. Yorkhill tanked his way to the front although pulling really hard and jumping out to the left down the back straight. Yorkhill was impressive winning by a length and a half over Jett, I am afraid for Jett a nice handicap mark may be blown after this. I did not really know what to make of Yorkhill after the race, this can sometimes happen at the races to punters. I watched it back, even allowing for good ground it was still a quick time. The preliminaries at Cheltenham are probably a concern as he is very fizzy and looks like he could boil over. Yorkhill will go with the Irish Banker tag for sure to Cheltenham. I would like Yorkhill to run again before Cheltenham for match practice.
The Leopardstown chase served up an incredible finish.Teenage jockey sensation Jack Kennedy nailed another big race when snatching victory on A Toi Phil nailing Stellar Notion in the shadow of the post. This even by the standards of Jack Kennedy was a great piece of race riding. Stellar Notion gave his all, also getting a fine ride from David Mullins. Stellar Notion was advised to our members 2pts each way at (13/2) close but no cigar. Ice Cold Soul sprang a surprise at 20/1 to give Gigginstown House Stud a big-race double in the Coral.ie Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown. It was a big winner for Noel Meade. Tony Martin's Tudor City and Golden Spear ran well in second in third.The favourite Heartbreak City went off an eye watering 9/4 could only finish eight. The Three Mile handicap hurdle went in impressive style to Oscar Sam for Jessica Harrington. Mydor ran a nice race in second. The bumper went in great style to Bakmaj by five lengths from Imperial Way.