Monday, we start at Plumpton. There was a double for Darryl Jacob who is riding very well just now on board Water Wagtail and Top Notch. The win for Top Notch made it two wins from three starts over fences as he landed the 2 miles 1 furlong novice chase. This was good from Top Notch who gave Romain De Senam 12 pounds and a 6 length beating.River Frost was a good winner for Alan King in the novice hurdle, River Frost looks a decent novice. The bumper went to Harry Fry and Noel Fehily with If The Cap Fits. At Ludlow, they were a bit unlucky with the field sizes. Ludlow normally have lots of runners at the meetings they host. Coillte Lass took the Mares novice hurdle by 86 lengths in a race that turned into a match. Coillte Lass was advised to our members 3pts win (4/5), there was a Rule 4 deduction of 20%. It kept my decent run going however. I thought the bumper looked a good race Way Back Then got the better of Chez Castel Mail by 2 lengths in a protracted battle. They were 10 lengths clear of the third horse. At Newcastle, there was a double for Saeed Bin Suroor with Good Run and Dubai One.
Tuesday we start at, Lingfield over the jumps which survived several early morning inspections. There was a milestone for trainer Ian Williams who saddled the 1,000th winner of his training career with the perfectly-named Appy Days. The rest of the card belonged to Daryl Jacob who rode a treble on Cody Wyoming, Greyed A and Jaunty Inflight. The last two horses were trained by Dr Richard Newland. Daryl Jacob is riding as well as any jockey right now.At Newcastle, there was a treble for trainer Richard Guest. The horses were Mr Potter, Polar Forest and Bollihope, jockey Connor Beasley had a double on board Bollihope and Mr Potter.
The jumps card at Southwell also had to survive several early morning inspections, thankfully it went ahead. There was a double for Tom George and Adrian Heskin who are really hot right now. The first leg of the double was Minella Aris who took the 2 mile 7 furlong Novice hurdle in good style from For Instance. The fact that Minella Aris was sold to the UK following an excellent run at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival 2015 highlighted his chances . On that occasion Minella Aris finished second beaten a head by Chain Gang. The horses who finished Third and Fourth that day were Road To Respect and Bellow Mome. The interesting thing is both of these horse won on debut over fences in Ireland this season. Minella Aris can go on from here. Minella Aris was advised to our members 2pts win (7/4). The second leg of the Tom George and Adrian Heskin double came courtesy of smart bumper horse Sumkindofking, this horse will be very interesting when stepped up in class. There was also a double on the day for Richard Johnson with Mrs Burbidge and Royal Village. The day finished with lots of chat about who backed Douvan for the Tingle Creek this coming Saturday at 5/1. I have my own view on this, it does not take much money to move this type of price and its good PR for bookmakers. I say good luck to anyone who has the 5/1 , however to be honest it is small potatoes in reality.
Wednesday, we start at Catterick where it was a horrendous day to be a layer with every winner starting at 9/4 or under. There was a double for Alan King with Fidux and Laissez Dire. An unbelievable November ended with yet another winner for Brian Hughes, who notched up his 31st success of the month. The horse that did it for Hughes was Nortonthorpelegend who was completing a quick double having won on 22-11-16 for trainer Rebecca Menzies. At Ffos las, Lisheen Prince was a good winner of the maiden hurdle for Richard Johnson and Philip Hobbs. Pearl Swan won the beginners chase for Peter and Sean Bowen. The former Paul Nicholls trained Pearl Swan could pay his way over the winter. The well fancied Call The Cops refused when well beaten, the other JP McManus horse Join The Clan did not enjoy his day out in Wales either. I would keep an eye on both horses with a view to handicaps. Super Sam backed up the win at Hereford on 23-11-16 with another win in the 2 mile 4 furlong handicap for Venetia Williams. Sam Twiston-Davies had to settle for second place on Southport on his comeback from injury in the same race. Southport was advised to our members 1pt each way (7/2), meaning I closed out the month of November with a 39 point profit.At Lingfield,Battalion turned the 1 mile 2 furlong Conditions race into a one horse show winning for Jamie Osborne and William Carson by 4 lengths from Master The World. At Kempton there was a double for jockey Adam Kirby with Endless Charm and Pavillion.
Thursday, we start at Wincanton which was abandoned due to a frozen track. At Leicester,London Prize took the novice hurdle travelling well throughout and picking up well to beat Moscato by a length. London Prize ran in Down Royal last time out he ran very well behind Bel Ami de Sivola and Turbojet. The interesting thing was that Turbojet ran very well again behind Brelade, Joey Sasa and Battleford last Sunday at Navan. These are very good horses on collateral form that gave London Prize a very good chance here. London Prize was advised to our members 2pts win at (13/8). There was a double for Aidan Coleman on board She's Late and Amantius. At Market Rasen, there was a Shark Attack on a UK racecourse again as Shark Hanlon sent Linger over from Ireland to win the juvenile hurdle by 9 lengths. There was a double for David Pipe and Tom Scudamore with Susie Sheep and Chic Theatre. I thought in behind Susie Sheep, Milly Baloo gave notice her turn is coming maybe at this track on St Stephens Day (Boxing Day). At Chelmsford, there was nothing that caught my eye in truth. At Thurles, the fog was a nuisance again Tully East made a winning start over fences we could see nothing , however Bachasson for Willie mullins the odds on Fav fell at the last. Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh were not down for long and picked up a double with Riven Light and Aussie Reigns. Kalopsia took the mares hurdle for Joseph O'Brien and JP McManus by 11 lengths.
Friday, we start at Sandown More Bucks put up a very impressive round of jumping to win the amateur riders chase . Alan King according to himself trained his first ever juvenile hurdle winner as Dino Velvet ran out an impressive 8 lengths winner. It was the first leg of Alan King double as Messire Des Obeaux got the better of Ballyandy in a titanic battle up the Sandown hill by a half length. Messire Des Obeaux was giving Ballyandy 7 pounds this was good from Messire Des Obeaux. Cultivator ran well for Nicky Henderson in third. If Ballyandy was my horse I would go for the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham. At Sedgefield, there was a double for Sue Smith with Perseid and Maxed Out King. I was impressed with Thumb Stone Blues for Kim Bailey and David Bass in the maiden hurdle. At Wolverhampton, I was impressed with Beautiful Stranger for Keith Dalgleish who won the Claimer he could go in again soon. At Dundalk, Joseph O'Brien had a double with Duplication and Jaqen H'ghar who got an interesting ride on his previous start which I am certain the stewards looked into fully. At Limerick, there was a double for Willie Mullins French recruits Kemboy and Cadmium. There was a treble for Gordon Elliott with Monastery Orchard Road and Cadeau De Bresil. In truth this was an ordinary card so it is hard to know what these horses actually achieved. Ruby Walsh rode a treble on Kemboy , Cadmium and Orchard Road.The card at Exeter was abandoned so The New Ones chasing debut will have to wait for another day.
Saturday, we start at Sandown for Tingle Creek day. Altior continued his excellent start over fences taking the HenryVIII Novice chase in great style. Altior was a little big early on at some of his fences however thereafter he was very slick. Altior tracked Charbel up the straight. Altior swept by Charbel at the back of the last quickening readily to win by a ready 6 lengths. Altior is the real deal in my view. Brain Power was a good winner of the two mile handicap hurdle to give Sam Twiston - Davies his first win since coming back from injury, while completing a Nicky Henderson double. Kayf Blanco was advised to our members 0.5pt each way (20/1) placed in third. The Tingle Creek produced an epic race up the Sandown hill. Un De Sceaux was well backed 7/4 -5/4 on the off. Ar Mad took them along at a great lick , however Ar Mad missed a couple down the back straight giving way to Sire De Grugy and Un De Sceaux. The well backed Gods Own got within two lengths of Sire De Grugy and Un De Sceaux although Gods Own closed to within a length he never looked like getting to the front two. Sire De Grugy and Un De Sceaux fought it out despite Un De Sceaux belting the last two fences he prevailed by a length. Ar Mad ran on like a train , I would love to see Ar Mad try the King George now. As for Un De Sceaux he is still clearly very good, he will probably got to Leopardstown at Christmas and win again. The London National closed Sandown's card it went to an old winter favourite Rocky Creek who saw Doing Fine off by a neck. This was good from Rocky Creek who had 11 stone 12 on his back a return to Sandown for the Bet 365 Gold Cup in April looks a logical target.
At Aintree, there was two races over the grand national fences. The Becher chase saw a great finish with the front four horses covered by less then 3 lengths. Vieux Lion Rouge came out on top grabbing Highland Lodge right on the line . The Last Samuri ran a cracker under his big weight. Ucello Conti ran very well in fourth and will head back to The Paddy Power at Leopardstown. This was a tremendous horse race although your heart went out to Highland Lodge any of the front four would have been worthy winners. The listed chase over 3 miles saw a great result as Many Clouds jumped a superb round giving 5 lengths and a 3 and a half length beating to Le Mercurey. The favourite Minella Rocco took a long time to get into the race on a track that was never going to suit in truth. Minella Rocco took a very heavy fall at the last when about to mount a challenge, however he got up and he lives to fight another day. The second race over the national fences on Saturday was the Grand Sefton. There was a real gamble landed here as As De Mee 8/1 over night returned the best backed horse of the day to win at 4/1. As De Mee ran out a ready winner by 5 lengths from Seefood.
Richard Johnson went to Chepstow he was the man to follow with a four timer. Johnson rode a treble for his old friend Philip Hobbs the horses were Sykes, Atirelarigo and Lamb Or Cod. The fourth winner for Johnson was supplied by Rebecca Curtis as Geordie Des Champs defied the double winners penalty to win the novice hurdle. At Wetherby, there was a double for trainer Brian Ellison with Apterix and Shearling. The 2 mile 3 furlong novice chase saw a debut over fences for Cole Harden, however Its'afreebee gave Cole Harden 7 pounds and a 7 length beating. I have no doubt the shorter trip beat Cole Harden, however it was still a good effort from Its'afreebee. At Wolverhampton, there was another winner for Saeed Bin Suroor who is flying just now. Dubai One being the latest winner. At Fairyhouse, it was day one of a cracking two day meeting. Cheltenham festival winner Martello Tower got off the mark over fences in a really good race seeing a Genie In a Bottle and Acapella Bourgeois by a neck and one and three parts of a length. I think this is a race to follow. Martello Tower will be better stepped up in trip I think this horse would make a good RSA candidate, however he would make an excellent 4 miler candidate at Cheltenham. Bel Ami De Sivola followed up his recent Down Royal win with a good success here. I like Bel Ami De Sivola . The champion trainer Willie Mullins unleashed a good prospect in the bumper as Bon Popa won by 6 lengths smashed in the betting into 1/2.
Sunday , we start at Fairyhouse for one of the great cards of the Irish national hunt season. I was in attendance myself on a day when a real good crowd turned out. The opening race was a grade 3 juvenile hurdle. I must admit I never treat this is in my head as a grade 3 however officially it is. The race went to Landofhopeandglory who made it three out of three over hurdles. I thought this race was an excellent contest with Bapaume and Mega Fortune running excellent races in second and third. Landofhopeandglory sealed it at the last with a slick jump, he now despite everyone says about better horses to come out soon. Landofhopeandglory sets a very good standard, I think Landofhopeandglory and Cliffs Of Dover set a high standard for the triumph hurdle already. Landofhopeandglory, Bapaume and Mega Fortune look three good horses they will all have more wins against them by the season end. Landofhopeandglory was advised to our members 3pts win (5/4). The Royal Bond was next up it went the way of Airlie Beach who made all the running for a six and a half length win. Airlie Beach is now seven wins from seven career starts , there was no fluke about this. Airlie Beach was the top rated horse going into the race, as well as very well backed (7/1 -4/1). Airlie Beach gave the excellent Supreme racing club a first grade 1 success. Of the horses in behind Peace News crashed out at the second last giving Bryan Cooper a x rated fall. Peace News had been pushed along going into the straight however he was still in with a chance. I think Airlie Beach would have won. Saturnas and Penhill did not jump well enough to win a race like this. Labaik refused to race which was a shame. Airlie Beach will have lots of options now for the future mares and open races.
The Hattons Grace Hurdle saw the reappearance of Vroum Vroum Mag. The race also saw the quick reappearance for Apples Jade who ran the previous Saturday in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle. The race was run at a steady pace with Whiteout taking them along , as they turned for home Bryan Cooper said go Apples Jade went for it getting 6 lengths on Vroum Vroum Mag who Ruby switched from behind horses. I thought this was poor from Ruby to have Vroum Vroum Mag positioned that way. Ruby got Vroum Vroum Mag rolling as they got to the last it was neck an neck both horses winged the last. Vroum Vroum Mag just about got in front halfway up the run in, Apples Jade battled very courageously back to win by a short head. It was a great race , however I could not help feeling that Ruby had let a race fit rival get first run. I felt the petrol used by Vroum Vroum Mag in trying to reel in Apples Jade was the decisive factor. I think both Apples Jade and Vroum Vroum Mag have plenty of options going forward. I think they could ultimately clash in the mares hurdle at Cheltenham. The horse I thought showed plenty of spark in behind was Ivanovich Gorbatov who is not a two and a half miler. If Ivanovich Gorbatov was to get dropped to a handicap mark of around 145 to 147 he could be a very interesting County Hurdle horse. The Drinmore Novice Chase was the next grade 1. It saw Diamond King go off favourite. It was a very competitive race with six in with a chance going to the second last. Alpha Des Obeaux had been up there most of the way jumping well, Diamond King traveled well however flattened out going to the last and then made a mistake. Coney Island moved through and ran on really well to see Anibale Fly off by two and three parts of a length. I thought Alpha Des Obeaux and Road To Respect ran excellent races. it will be interesting to see how this form works out.
The 100K handicap hurdle saw a horrendous fall for Campeador and Barry Geraghty at the last hurdle when looking sure to win Sir Scorpion was brought down. Barry Geraghty also got a kick from the on rushing Mick Jazz for good measure in the helmet. The race went to Waxies Dargle who held off Morga by three parts of a length. Mick Jazz advised to our members 1pt each way (11/2) placed in third. Mick Jazz and Campeador remain well handicapped. Sempre Medici ran a lifeless race and was pulled up having been backed from (12/ 1 -13/2). The long distance chase went to Forever Gold who stayed on really well to win by 4 and a half lengths from former Irish Grand National winner Thunder and Roses. I thought Captain Von Trappe would be of interest for The Paddy Power at Christmas if entered. The bumper saw a lot of confidence behind the Willie Mullins trained Getabird it was fully justified as Getabird bolted up by 12 lengths in the style of a very good horse. Getabird is not the biggest and still has plenty of growing to do in my view so this was a great start.
In the UK, Huntingdon hosted the Peterborough chase. There was a double for Richard Johnson on Muthabir and New Member. The Jonjo O'Neill trained A Little Magic landed a gamble (12/1 - 6/1). The Peterborough chase itself was a good race Josses Hill made all the running jumping better then I have ever seen him to win by six lengths from Tea For Two who would prefer further. It was another day to forget for two former Cheltenham Festival heroes Dodging Bullets and More Of That both appeared to find this very hard work when push came to shove. A good win for Josses Hil , however I would be careful of the form of the race it may have fallen apart a bit. At Kelso a former festival winner Aux Ptits Soins got of the mark over fences , having jumped beautifully for 90% of the race he got the last wrong however toughed it out to win. The Borders national went to a old warhorse in Harry The Viking winning by 5 lengths landing some nice bets (12/1 - 5/1) for Sandy Thomson.