Monday, New years day. We start at Cheltenham. The Dipper novice chase saw Yanworth and Willoughby Court clash again. Yanworth was getting 5 pounds here and turned the Newbury form around between the pair. Yanworth got the better of Sizing Tennessee by a neck. Willoughby Court made a bad enough mistake at the fourth last fence which was a vital moment. I was not convinced by Yanworth yet again. I would be confident Willoughby Court will turn this form back around on the better ground as well as level weights. There was a double for Nigel Twiston - Davies with Ballyhill and Wholestone who continued his love affair with Cheltenham. Wholestone advised to our members' 1pt each way at 7/2 won the 310 at Cheltenham. At Musselburgh, there were winners for Kim Bailey and Olly Murphy with Cresswell Legend and Knockgraffon
At Exeter, there was really heavy going for the horses to deal with. There were winners on the card for Venetia Williams and Philip Hobbs with Yaltari and Show On The Road. At Fakenham, there was a double for Olly Murphy with More than Luck and Mullaghboy. At Catterick, there was a treble for Danny Cook on board Raised on Grazeon, Ramonex, and Red Danaher. At Southwell, there was a double for Ben Curtis with Kellys Dino and Mr. Coco Bean. At Fairyhouse, Gordon Elliott picked up where he left off in 2017 with a double. The horses were the highly touted Sutton Place who made no mistake on debut over fences. Dortmund Park was the other Elliott winner. At Tramore, there was a double for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend with Deal D'estruval and Bachasson who took the listed chase. Gordon Elliott made it an across the card treble as Cubomania captured a second win over the Christmas period.
Tuesday, we start at Ayr which survived an inspection. There was a double for Nicky Richards and Ryan Day with Bettergetalong and Idee De Garde. The feature race a handicap hurdle went to Ireland as Elusive Theatre was a well-backed winner and duly delivered. At Newcastle, the valuable Betway conditions stakes qualifier went to classy veteran Caspian Prince under Ben Curtis.
Wednesday, we start at Musselburgh. There was a double for Lucinda Russell with The Road Home and Jump For Dough. The feature race the Kilmany Cup went to Mixboy for the second year in succession. Mixboy showed great courage to win conceding nearly two stone to the runner-up. It was hard to know who won the photo finish it went to Mixboy by a nose. It was a welcome change of luck for ourselves as not much has gone right in the last week. Mixboy advised to our members' 2pts win at 9/4 (Rule 4 deduction 10%).At Ludlow, Richard Johnson was back from the sidelines after a bout of concussion with a winner on board Look My Way. There was another winner for the Kerry Lee and Jamie Moore combination with Tree Of Liberty. At Wolverhampton, there was a double for Ed Dunlop and Robert Halvin with King Kevin and Arnarson. At Southwell, the feature race went to red-hot trainer Ivan Furtado who is four wins from his last 12 runners. This time it was Zaeem who did the business.
Thursday, we start at Bangor. There was a treble for Donald McCain with Pinch Of Ginger, Fin And Game and Tailor Tom. It is great to see Donald McCain going so well again a really talented trainer. At Newcastle, John Gosden was on target with Court House. There was also a winner for Godolphin with, Winds Of Fire. At Chelmsford, there was a dead heat between Vettori Rules and Noble Behest. The trainers involved in the dead heat were Gay Kellaway and Robert Stephens. At Wolverhampton, there was a double for Oisin Murphy on board Papa Stour and Surrey Blaze
Friday, we start at Dundalk. Our syndicate horse Mokhalad did us proud running a good race again. In truth, nothing went right from the start. The wide draw as we feared was a disadvantage. Rory decided to go for a good early position firing Mokhalad up. This caused Mokhalad to race very free early on. As a consequence Mokhalad was in front too early. Rory Cleary said afterward he would have ridden a different race if the same circumstances arose again. We learned a lot from last night and Mokhalad earned some more prize money. The best days are still ahead for Mokhalad. This was a decent run for Mokhalad coming fifth in a higher grade beaten three lengths beaten by horses rated 78 (claimed 3 pounds), 73, 74 and 74 with us running off 70. The rest of the Dundalk card I was impressed with Ship Of Dreams for Joseph O'Brien
No racing at Wetherby as it was abandoned. At Southwell, there was another winner for Oisin Murphy and Andrew Balding with Aiya. At Kempton, Oisin Murphy and Andrew Balding completed an across the card double with Night Of Glory.
Saturday, we start at Chepstow for the Welsh Grand National. The juvenile hurdle, a grade one went to We Have A Dream for Nicky Henderson and Daryl Jacob. I thought Sussex Ranger ran a really good race as runner-up, however, We Have A Dream put the race to bed well. The Welsh National itself was a competitive renewal it produced a racing fairytale. The race went to a thirteen-year-old in Raz De Maree under sixteen-year-old James Bowen. It was a great ride by Bowen as Raz De Maree went one better than last year. Raz De Maree was a very good winner winning by six lengths from fellow teenager Alfie Spinner. Raz De Maree was advised to our members' 0.5pt each way at 16/1. The handicap hurdle over two miles seven furlongs went to Flemcara from Shantou Bob and Eminent Poet. It was a decent result for our members. Eminent Poet 245 Chepstow ( 6/1) & Our Merlin 335 Sandown (9/2) advised to our members' 1pt each way double both placed. I was very impressed with the bumper winner with Good Boy Bobby who looks like he could make a Cheltenham bumper horse.
At Sandown, there was a double for Philip Hobbs with Poppy Kay and Chef d'equipe. The veterans handicap chase final went in a sparkling result for Buywise who saw off Pete The Feat and Gas Line Boy. The veterans series has been the best thing the BHA has done in years. It was great to see Buywise get a deserved day in the sun. The concluding handicap hurdle saw two really progressive horses in Call Me Lord and Our Merlin fought out the finish. Call Me Lord ran out a good winner and could become a Cheltenham festival horse. At Wincanton, Philip Hobbs made it three winners on the day with Kayf Adventure. At Cork, there was a double for Willie Mullins with Livelovelaugh and Squadron Commander. At Kempton, the feature race went to Lord George for James Fanshawe and Daniel Muscatt. At Lingfield, the feature race went to Easy Tiger.
Sunday, we start at Naas. There was a treble for Willie Mullins with Demi Sang, Asthuria, and Next Destination. The Lawlors Of Naas Grade one novice hurdle was the feature it went to Next Destination who went to the front pretty early. Jetz ran well for a long way. I thought Cracking Smart and Duc Des Genievres ran two huge races and this race could work out very well. I think Next Destination can be a big player at Cheltenham.
At Plumpton, it was Sussex National day. The handicap hurdle over two miles four furlongs had a couple of hurdles taken out. I thought this cost my selection the race Cafe Au Lait who finished second to Jully Les Buxy. It was a decent result for our members as Cafe Au Lait advised to our members' 1pt each way at 4/1. The Sussex National went in really good style to the progressive Vinnie Lewis for Henry Whittington and Harry Bannister. The manner of victory for Vinnie Lewis was very impressive, Shanroe Santos and Frank N Fair ran fine races in truth it was a one-horse race. Frank N Fair advised to our members' 1pt each way at 11/1 placed in the 235 at Plumpton. The day was completed for our members with Cafe Au Lait 205 Plumpton( 4/1) & Frank N Fair 235 Plumpton (11/1) advised to our members' 0.5pt each way double both placed