THE early betting sounding boards for the two Epsom Classics, the Derby and the Oaks, do give the distinct impression that the Aidan O’Brien stable holds almost all the answers as to where to find the winners of these two races. [Read more...]
AS I write, the words, “Cheltenham Festival” are on every racegoers’ lips, very understandable, I would say, because this week, the Cotswold venue will be holding court to the very best horses in both Ireland and England, with a host of prestigious prizes available to the lucky winners.
We begin our Cheltenham journey on Tuesday 13th with the Supreme Novice Hurdle, where I think that Ruby could start with a winner on DARLAN, with Alan King’s Montbazon also expected to give a good account.
On now to the Arkle Chase, and another possibility for Ruby with AL FEROF, with Sprinter Sacre hot on his heels over the last.
The Festival Chase gives a chance to KNOCKARA BEAU to come good, mainly at the expense of The Package.
Moving now to the main race, the Champion Hurdle, one would have to give the vote to HURRICANE FLY to go in again, although Binocular may have something to say about that, while the Cross-Country race, always a tough slog, may go to SCOTSIRISH, with Sizing Australia providing most danger.
The Mares Hurdle looks at the mercy of QUEVEGA, who can oblige from the improving Lifestyle, while in the Centenary Chase, ACKERTAC can show the way home to Hunt Ball and the rest.
The second day begins with the Hunt Chase, which looks on for ALLEE GARDE, who could go in from the favourite Soll.
Next we have the Neptune Hurdle, which looks right for MONKSLAND, who has most to fear from Molotov, while, in the RSA Chase, BOBS WORTH can prove himself by overcoming Invictus.
The Champion Chase can provide a winning opportunity for FINIAN’S RAINBOW, with Somersby right there in the final furlongs, while, in the Coral Cup, look to MODULE as the winner, with Batonnier giving him something to worry about in the closing stages.
In the Fred Winter Hurdle, HINTERLAND has the class to prevail, with Vendor also putting in a bold bid.
The final race of the first two days is the Champion Bumper, which is the target of PIQUE SOUS, with Population the top danger.
The opening race on Thursday is the Jewson Chase, in which the in-form MICHAEL FLIPS is a good each-way bet, with Peddlers Cross also on the premises.
The next race is the Pertemps Hurdle, in which the vote goes to the prayerful OUR FATHER, who can have the last amen on these, with Sonovic the main danger.
We next go to the Ryanair Chase, in which POQUELIN appeals, with the danger coming from Noble Prince.
The World Hurdle looks a shoe-in for BIG BUCKS, with Dynaste running on well. In the Byrne Plate, the vote goes to SALUT FLO to come home in front, although Crackaway Jack always runs well over this course.
The day’s last race is the Kim Muir Cup, where SUNNYHILL BOY looks the goods, closely followed by Helpston.
On now to the County Hurdle, which is a bit of a puzzle, which can be solved by RAYAS STAR, with Citizenship right there over the last.
The Bartlett Hurdle is its usual conundrum, but the answer could be found with SEA OF THUNDER, followed home by Rocky Creek.
Next is one of the plum races at the festival, the Gold Cup, and a great race looks in prospect.
Kauto Star and Long Run lead the betting, but I will go for an each-way on BURTON PORT, who has come on a lot this year.
In the Foxhunter Cup, look to SALSIFY to jump these silly, with On The Fringe also running well.
The Conditional Hurdle is another cruncher, but I will take a chance with KAZLIAN to come good, followed home by Big Easy, while in the last race, the Grand Annual Chas , the improving KUMBESHWAR will give a good account, well challenged by Kid Cassidy.
Well, that’s Cheltenham 2012, hoping you have an exciting and winning week.
You will find the selections for the Saturday Television racing as follows:
Sandown: 2:05 Kuilsriver, 2:40 Aldertune, 3:15 Ted Spread, 3:50 Taradrewe.
Uttoxeter: 2:10 Luggers Hall, 2:45 Buckie Boy, 3:20 Clash Duff, 3:55 Carrickboy.
This weekend we are a bit spoilt for choice, with a terrific selection of meetings taking place, weather permitting, of course.
I have decided to pin my colours to the Sandown Park meeting, where the competition for prizes should be very keen indeed.
In last week’s four we had two winners, with one of them being at the good price of 12/1.
Lets improve on that for this week. [Read more...]
YOU will find over the coming weeks, races where trainers both in Ireland and England will be setting out their stalls, with more than a wary eye on races in the Cheltenham Festival in March, and giving their various candidates a few preparatory runs to get them ready for the big festival day.
Welcome, all you punters out there, to 2012, as we embark on our first racing safari of the year on this Saturday, to Sandown and Wincanton, with the hope that I can put some winners your way, to make up for a few of the expenses you incurred over the holidays.
Of course, at this time of the year, we are at the mercy of the elements, so I will do my best to give you as wide a spread as possible, the intention being to get as many of the vital runners as we can.
THIS Saturday’s Cheltenham extravaganza centrepieces a series of Listed Races, with many of the leading lights of the jumping world on trial.
Most of the horses featured here will be among the main candidates for the plum Christmas prizes, and, eventually, will be among the Ante-Post favourites for the top races at the Cheltenham Festival in March.