The Racing Week That Was 23-2-20


Monday, we start at Carlisle. Brian Hughes suffered a blip in his quest for a first jump jockeys’ championship when he picked up a three-day ban. The feature race went to Captain Zebo for the Dixon family. At Kempton, Godhead was on target for John Gosden. At Lingfield, Richard Fahey was on target with Knowing Glance.


Tuesday, we start at Punchestown. The cross country chase saw Neverrushacon take the prize for Jessica Harrington he will now head on to Cheltenham. This horse could run very well however Tiger Roll is a major barrier. Jessica Harrington completed a double with Barrington Court. There was a double for Gordon Elliott with Run Wild Fred and Pencilfulloflead. The Grand National trial went to Ifyoucatchmenow for Willie Mullins. The rated novice chase went to an old friend in Yaha Fizz, who won by 15 lengths Zero Ten the 1/3 fav crashed out four fences from home. At Musselburgh, there was a double for Keith Dalgleish with Glorious Lady and First Account. There was also a double for Paul Nicholls with Nineotwooneoh and Christopher Wood. at Southwell, Astro Jakk took the class 2 feature race under PJ McDonald. Our former Damian English trained stablemate North Wind ran well for a long way.


Wednesday, we start at PunchestownLaurina ran below her best again when she could finish only third behind her stablemate Elfile in the Quevega Mares Hurdle. The Pertemps handicap hurdle went to Mary Frances who relished the conditions. I loved the run of Relegate for Colm Murphy. At Ludlow, One Style was on target for Venetia Williams who is hitting form again. At Newcastle,  Lord Of The Lodge took the feature under Ben Curtis. At Doncaster, Burtons Well made it an across the card double for Venetia Williams. There was a double for Nico De Boinville with Adrimel and Allart. At Kempton, Artic Vega was on target for Andrew Balding.


Thursday, we start at Thurles. There was a double for Willie Mullins with Salsaretta and Five O'Clock. The handicap chase went to Tikkanen Express under a very good ride from Philip Enright. It was good news for our members One bet for the members today it was  Tikkanen Express (1pt each way) at 10/1. At Huntingdon, Ibleo was on target for Venetia Williams. At Sedgefield, Heartbreak Kid was on target for Brian Hughes. At Southwell, Godfather bolted up for Tom Dascombe. At Chelmsford, John Gosden was on target with Lord Tennyson.


Friday, we start at Dundalk.  It was a really exciting night for The Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate. As our sixth syndicate horse, Parkers Hill headed into battle for ourselves and Leanne Breen his debut run for ourselves 630 Dundalk. Parkers Hill has adjusted to life at Leanne's really well eating and working well. Whatever happened in the race Parkers Hill will be gelded on Wednesday. He is a lovely stamp of a horse, we will look to freshen him up now as he has had a busy period. We see Parkers Hill as a Leopardstown Thursday night horse/Weekend horse. Parkers Hill loves fast ground and tonight was a nice starting point. It was a really good race to be involved in. We welcomed a new jockey in Billy Lee, who was great for feedback. The race itself was full of dangers Bucky Larson, Shawaf, Masalai as well as Tony The Gent. Our hope was that we could challenge for a top 4 or five finish. As we were worse off with a few recent rivals at the weights. Parkers Hill traveled well through the race and was going well turning in. Parkers Hill finished a good fifth. To my eyes, the right horses finished in the mix. The form has a solid look to it. It was a very satisfactory start for Parkers Hill he ran the race we expected ourselves and finished where Leanne thought he would, given the fact we were worse off at the weights with rivals compared to previous clashes. The race has worked out the way you would expect given the revised terms the handicapper set. Bucky Larson was a really impressive winner we expect to meet him with Trading Point in the Lincoln at The Curragh. This will be a matter for that day. The Damian English trained Shawaf ran a very good race in second. Shawaf's turn is surely coming.

On the rest of the Dundalk card. Dual champion Flat jockey Donnacha O’Brien got off the mark in the training ranks with his fourth runner when Flower Garland (8/11 — 4/5 — 4/7) ran away with the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden. There was a double on the card for Colin Keane with Bucky Larson. The Keane double was completed by the very talented Sceptical who absolutely bolted up. The Hilltop team has never hidden the regard they hold Sceptical in however this was a performance from the top draw. Sceptical tanked through the race he ran around a bit when he hit the front, however, he settled this in strides. Given the money that came for War Hero and the race, he ran beaten two lengths by Sceptical with two and three-quarter lengths back to the third horse Aloysius Lilius. This looks like a really solid piece of form. I think  Sceptical could be even better on turf then he showed here. We are delighted for the Hilltop lads Sceptical could be anything. Its another example of the lad's ability to buy really well. Sceptical cost 2,500 an unbelievable piece of business.

At Exeter, it was Devon National day. The race went to Christmas In April for Colin Tizzard. It was good news for our members One bet for the members today and it was Christmas In April (1pt each way) 8/1. There was a double for  Tom George and Johnathan Burke with Springfield Fox and Big Bresil. The duo hitting form at the right time for the spring festivals. Lieutenant Rocco added his name to an already-enviable team set to represent Colin Tizzard at next month’s Cheltenham Festival after maintaining his unbeaten record under rules at Warwick. At Lingfield, Brooklyn Boy was on target for Silvestre De Sousa. At Newcastle, there was a jumpers bumpers card. Brian Hughes was on target with Presentandcounting. At Wolverhampton, there was a double for Ben Curtis with Media Storm and Watheer.


Saturday, we start with the news that when the jockeys in the Randox Health Grand National walk down the famous steps at Aintree in April, missing from their ranks will be dual race winner Leighton Aspell. The Eider chase meeting at Newcastle was abandoned. At Kempton, Solo thrust himself into the JCB Triumph Hurdle picture after demolishing his rivals on his British debut in the  Adonis Juvenile Hurdle for Paul NichollsSong For Someone produced a power-packed late thrust to get the better of a thrilling finish to the Betway Kingwell Hurdle under Aidan ColemanJonjo O’Neill Jnr added another big-race success to his rapidly-expanding CV as Mister Malarky repelled all challengers to win the Betway Handicap Chase which was the feature race. It was another winner for Colin Tizzard who has his team in good form. There was a double for Alan King with Who Dares Wins and Mystical Clouds. Tom Cannon rode both of those winners, he completed a treble onboard Highway One O Two.

At Fairyhouse, Willie and Danny Mullins doubled up taking both grade 3 contests as Acapella Bourgeois built on a Thyestes sixth placing to win the Grade Three Bobbyjo Chase in convincing fashion. Burning Victory took the other grade 3 for the duo on the card the Norman Colfer Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle. Willie Mullins completed a treble as  Ferny Hollow finally put it all together in a first-time hood,  he sauntered home by four and a quarter lengths. At Lingfield, Frankie Dettori produced a masterful ride on Dubai Warrior to run out a convincing winner of the Betway Winter Derby.  At Chelmsford, there was a double for Jamie Spencer with Stormy Mountain and Furzig.


Sunday, On what was a very busy weekend as we plan for the future. The Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate took a road trip to see our recently retired racehorse Alfirak. It was our first visit to see Alfirak since he retired. Alfirak was delighted to see us, we are equally delighted to report he is doing brilliantly. Alfirak's new handler, Ciara Thomas along with Catriona Shanley have done a great job with Alfirak. He is very happy in himself. Ciara had a chat with Alfirak's specialist on Friday. The two have agreed on a path ahead for Alfirak which will involve a period of another 5 or 6 months of rest. Then Alfirak will begin his retraining process. Alfirak is mentally very sharp and he has made the adjustment in his stride. He already has made a great pal in Evan a lovely Cob horse. They will be enjoying life together grazing in the summer months. We got some lovely photos and videos with Alfirak. We will do a video update on Alfirak in the coming months as he gets into his new routine. We will continue to tell Alfiraks story in retirement. We are thrilled with the start of the process and equally delighted for Ciara Thomas who has formed a great bond with Alfirak already.

On the track, it was a very average SundayAny Second Now confirmed his status as a leading contender for the Randox Health Grand National with a fine victory at Naas. The JP McManus-owned eight-year-old was a well supported 3-1 chance for the Grade Three WhatOddsPaddy? Chase – a race trainer Ted Walsh had previously won with subsequent Grand National winner Papillon and his Aintree third, Seabass. Hot favorite Andy Dufresne could finish only third as Jason The Militant fought off Beacon Edge in a thrilling climax to the Paddy Power Betting Shop Novice hurdle for Rachael Blackmore and Henry De Bromhead. At Fontwell, William Henry secured the biggest success of his career as he stayed on from a highly improbable position to surge home in the Stella Artois National Spirit Hurdle for Nicky Henderson. At Wolverhampton, it was a jumpers bumper card. Birds Of Prey absolutely bolted up for Paul Nicholls. It was good news for our members who had Birds Of Prey (2pts win) 1/1 as the only advised bet of the day. It completed a very strong week for our members.