Thursday, we start at Warwick. The opening juvenile hurdle went to Fixe Le Kap who won by 28 lengths in very impressive fashion. Fixe Le Kap is now 12/1 best priced second favorite for the Triumph hurdle for the same connections who won the race last season with Peace and Co. I would respect the chances of Fixe Le Kap, I would prefer his owners other horse Sceau Royal of the English horses. The one time promising Mendip Express made his Hunter chase debut, winning by 3 lengths he may make up into a decent hunter chaser for Phillip Hobbs. The 3 miles 2 furlongs handicap hurdle went to The Boss's Dream who held off Tambura (our members selection advised 1pt each way 6/1) by just under 2 lengths. The card at Fakenham had one race that really interested me the maiden hurdle at 305 ,the horse that interested me was Gwafa who had been beaten 27 lengths by Altior at Kempton on 26-12-15. The race went to Gwafa in very impressive style by 15 lengths, Gwafa bounced out making all the running landing some decent bets in the process ( 7/1 overnight into 7/2). I think Gwafa can win again soon on this evidence. The handicap chase went to Beforeall for Oliver Sherwood , Ambion (our members selection advised 1pt each way 7/2) placed third
The other card of interest that took place on Thursday was at Thurles. The opening race the novice chase went to Westerners Son defying a market drift (13/8 out to 7/2) , as well as a mistake at the last fence where Westerners Son pecked on landing. The mares beginners chase went to Carrigmoorna Rock who had been a smart hurdler last season, who got off the mark here getting the better of the frustrating Uranna. Carrigmoorna Rock will probably go on to better things now. Smashing won the conditions race getting the better of Tennis Cap. Smashing is very good on his day, he will earn a living in Grade 2 and Grade 3 races. Avant Tout was still going well when he fell and looks a decent prospect. Montys Meadow won the 2 miles 4 furlongs Beginners chase winning in good style looking like he had plenty in the locker at the death. It was a day to forget for Arbre De Vie who jumped appalling, he will have to buck up his jumping if he is to fulfill his undoubted potential.
Friday, we start at Doncaster which had decent ground as well as good racing. The Sky bet Handicap Hurdle went to Night in Milan who loves racing at Doncaster. It was good news for our members , Night in Milan was (our members selection advised 1pt each way 6/1). The Sky Bet Novice Chase went to Thomas Brown who powered to victory by 10 lengths for Harry Fry. I thought Thomas Brown had looked good earlier in the season he could make up into a nice horse, a very uncomplicated horse Thomas Brown just jumps and gallops. The maiden hurdle went to Big Chief Benny it was to be the start of a Golden 24 hours for Alan King.
Huntingdon raced on Friday. The card had a Pertemps qualifier for the final at the Cheltenham Festival it was a disaster for Singlefarmpayment who was pulled up. Taj Badalandabad won it for David Pipe, with Westren Warrior running very well in second continuing his excellent season. The bumper went to a nice horse in Bags Grove for Harry Fry. The Dam of Bags Grove is an unraced half sister to Gold Cup winner Imperial Call, Bags Grove is one to watch. At Dundalk there was a low key card ,however a notable double for Johnny Murtagh on the night with Maronella and Russet.
Saturday, we start at Cheltenham which survived a 10 am inspection after a lot of overnight rain made the ground very testing. The opening juvenile hurdle was The Triumph Hurdle Trial. The race went to Protek Des Flos on debut for Nicky Henderson, who did it well getting up late on to beat Clan Des Obeaux who was so impressive at Newbury. The fourth horse was Who Dares Wins, this horse bolted up at Doncaster last time out but was well put away here. I must admit I did not like the fact the horses were all in a heap. I still think Sceau Royal is the best English juvenile, that said Protek Des Flos could improve. The Timeform Novice handicap chase went to King's Odyssey who got the better of Waldorf Salad in a protracted duel, Un Temps Pour Tout ran a very odd race there are rumors he has been bursting blood vessels. I think Un Temps Pour Tout could be of interest in a handicap at the Cheltenham Festival.
The Betbright Trial Chase featured Djakadam who was bidding to strengthen his grip on Gold Cup favoritism . The day did not go to plan for Djakadam who fell at the tenth fence, Djakadam sustained a cut on his chest so he will not run again before The Gold Cup. The race went to Smad Place who was really impressive again when being allowed to bowl along again, Smad Place will now take his chance in the Gold Cup and rightly so. Many Clouds ran well in second but clearly is being aimed at Aintree. It was disappointing from Wakanda who has served us well all winter but they are not machines, Wakanda owes me nothing this winter.I can forgive him this run. The 2 miles four furlongs handicap went to Annacotty who runs really well here always. It was good news for our members as Annacotty (our members selection advised 1pt each way 7/1). I thought Tenor Nivernais ran well himself , the third horse Lost Legend who are horses to watch at the Cheltenham Festival in the big handicaps . Annacotty may have to go for the Ryanair now as the handicapper will hike him up a lot now ruling out handicaps realistically.
The Neptune novice hurdle looked a decent race . The race was turned into a romp by Yanworth who smashed the field to bits. I thought this performance was really tremendous. I do not fancy Bellshill for the Neptune at the Festival I think Yanworth will have too much for him. The handicapper gave Yanworth a rating of 158 after this which makes him nearly a winner on ratings already. Shantou Village has looked good to this point but was well beaten here, Champers on Ice ran a solid race , Charmix was a little disappointing pulling up. The Cleeve Hurdle saw Thistlecrack put his growing reputation on the line. Thistlecrack was incredibly impressive winning by 12 lengths his turn of foot after the last was really taking. Thistlecrack looks to have the world hurdle at his mercy now it is a weak division that remark does not apply to Thistlecrack who looks the real deal. I actually liked Camping Ground going into this but he was well beaten off ,Camping Ground looks like he may go to the Champion Hurdle now. The Handicap Hurdle closed the card , it went to Solstice Star who made it a five timer , It was good news for our members as Solstice Star (our members selection advised 1pt each way 8/1). The race was a good advertisement of the skills of Killian Moore who stacked the field up, kicked again meaning Solstice Star was a decisive winner by four lengths from Cheltenian.
Doncaster hosted the Skybet chase card. The Lightning Novice Chase went to Vaniteaux in good style .I was amazed Vaniteaux ended up second fav following his excellent run behind Ar Mad at Christmas. Vaniteaux may head for the JLT now he will run well wherever he goes, I suspect Vaniteaux is not top class. Shaneshill was blessed to win at Naas on his previous run he jumped sloppy that day , Shaneshill was sloppy again here. This was an example of a herd mentality from punters ignoring the obvious, going with the tide lazily punting Shaneshill. The £50K Handicap Chase was a victory for Dandridge trained by one of the trainers I have always admired Arthur Moore it was great to see it. The race also showed Donagh Meylers talents in a really good light. The Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle looked a good clash with Barters Hill and Up For Review locking horns. Barters Hill kept his unbeaten record he showed a really good attitude again, he is a really likable horse and stuck to his task really well. Barters Hill broke Up for Review here to my eyes it is almost impossible to see Up For Review turning it around with Barters Hill. The Sky Bet Chase went to Ziga Boy for Alan King who looks a progressive horse,Buywise ran his usual game race apparently he will now go for The Grand National . Holywell ran a shocker ,it is hard to see where Holywell goes from here.
Fairyhouse had a couple of interesting races. All eyes were on Limini current Fav for the "Dawn Run Novice Hurdle" at Cheltenham. Limini got the job done by 11 Lengths defying a huge market drift (1/4 to 4/5) , Limini looks good and unless some of the juvenile fillies are rerouted to the Dawn Run, Limini must have a great chance. Morning Assembly made a really nice comeback from a 2 year absence going down by a head to Bridgets Pet. The 2 miles 5 furlongs handicap went to Sunsetstorise who is on a real roll just now, Crowded Room was well backed in second this horse should be noted as should Witness Of Fashion who is holding his form. Coolaghknock Glebe won the handicap hurdle with a bit hand despite an X rated mistake and can win again soon. The bumper went to Avelino who is a smart horse he looks progressive.
Sunday, we start at Punchestown there was a treble for Willie Mullins. The feature race went to Felix Yonger who is mopping up Grade 2 races to beat the band. Felix Yonger showed a great turn of foot to see off Flemenstar who ran a blinder in second, Felix Yonger deserves to take his chance at Cheltenham where I reckon he will run very well. Rathpatrick won the Pertemps qualifier showing a serious turn of foot if he gets into the final at Cheltenham , Rathpatrick could be really interesting. Ball D'arc won the novice hurdle for Gordon Elliott beating the 4/7 Myska who apparently choked on some mud that was kicked back in the race. Ball D'arc looks a nice horse who will make a chaser. The Cross country went in commanding style to Ballyboker Bridge It was good news for our members as Ballyboker Bridge (our members selection advised 1pt each way 13/2). There was a massive gamble on Cantlow who went off a ludicrous 11/10 fav , Cantlow was second showing aptitude for Cross Country. Ballyboker Bridge will have a chance at Cheltenham his trainer won it with Big Shu a few years ago, Andrew Lynch is a real plus as well. Bonny Kate won the Grand national trial in tremendous style jumping from fence to fence winning very easily. The race was a disaster for Riverside City who jumped appalling, I am happy to put a line through this run. Battleford won the bumper foiling a gamble on A Rated.
Sedgefield had a decent card . Captain Redbeard won the handicap hurdle travelling really well winning by a smooth 8 lengths this horse can win again. Askamore Darsi won the handicap chase in tenacious fashion, he is a very brave horse Donald McCain may have a nice prospect on his hands. Firth Of The Clyde popped up in the first time blinkers to win by a easy 7 lengths ,if the blinkers work again he can win over 2 and a half miles again. The month finished for January my betting results posted a profit of 32.61 points on my daily selections. The members who only backed my selections at the weekend enjoyed a profit of 55.6 points. I was happy with January's results given the conditions racing was taking place in.
Monday, started with the news that Don Poli and Vautour would not go for the Irish Gold Cup . I am happy as a Don Poli backer with this scenario.The action was Plumpton . Clayton won the Maiden Hurdle in good style by 16 Lengths. West Of The Edge won the long distance handicap hurdle he stuck at it well.It was a quiet day overall.
Tuesday, Taunton was the focus. Bloody Mary looked a good recruit for Nicky Henderson and JP McManus winning the Novice hurdle. Sonny The One was victorious in the handicap chase franking the recent form with Waldorf Salad in the process. The day ended with the strange news that More Of That would not line up in the Scilly Isles Novice Chase at Sandown, due to Barry Geraghty being on duty at Leopardstown.
Wednesday, we start at Down Royal where Coolaghknock Glebe won the handicap hurdle with a bit hand, following up Saturdays win at Fairyhouse he could go in again in this sort of form. Venetian De Mai won the beginners chase, landing some nice bets (9/4 overnight to 11/8) . It was good news for our members as Venetian De Mai (our members selection advised 3pt win 9/4). The bumper went to She's a star who looked good on the day, as Noel Meades stable are firing after a self imposed quiet spell. At Leicester ,Allysson Monterg won the novice hurdle in good style. The handicap chase went to Cernunous with ,Barry Geraghty at Leicester the hint could have been taken perhaps especially with Down Royal on the same day. There was a double for Richard Johnson at Ludlow , Jonjo O'Neill got his first winner of 2016 which was welcome. At Newcastle, Mysteree just saw of The Orange Rogue both horses are worth watching as they were 34 lengths ahead of the third horse.Pain Au Chocolat bolted up for the Skelton's in the novice chase.