Posts Tagged ‘HorseRacing’

A work in progress – will be updating as we go:

Other Races:- 

Day One: Racing Post Card: The google doc with link to previous winner spreadsheet here:

2.30 – 

3.05 – Coventry – Gisburn, looking an upto standard winner! But Dhabab, trnr4R & stats best for just the one run. & Cadamosto sneaks in ahead of Go Bears Go as minimum rpr 75%+ required – & top boy Frankie Dettori gets to ride just below required Tolstoy

3.40 – King’s Stand Stakes – I’ve tipped it, so Winter Power & been money to 5/s from 7/s since, might have to find an EW play? 

4.20 – 

5.00 – Ascot Stakes C2 (0- +12 East Asia, +11 To Be Wild, +9 Let Me Be, Postileo, +8 Trumpet Man, Smart Champion, 

5.35 – 

6.10 – Copper Horse H’cap C2 – +12 East Asia, +10 Taqareer, Prince Alex, +9 Nuits St George, Sleeping Lion, Rajinsky, +8 Viaduct, +7 Arthurian Fable, Lostwithiel, Cardano, Stargazer,    

Other Races:-


8 tips for Becky The Boo in the finale at Chepstow – somehow, I’m just not convinced. I came to the race looking to see if The Height Of Fame 20/s was worth a punt as she has Sadler’s Wells on both sides of her pedigree but looking at the figures:

Chantilly Haze best topspeed?

It wasn’t much of an AW bumper she won last time either: no Hendo ‘hotpots’ there let alone a couple of Flemensfirth runners, who seem to like it here:

Flemensfirth ‘Top Of the Pops’ @Chepstow

If the ground were ‘soft I could well be shouting for one of the Black Sam Bellamy mares but just remembered it was this – near enough – spring time a couple of years ago that Getaway first came to my attentions as a formidable sire in the bumper sphere especially and just looking at the recent form of the Nicky Henderson yard:

Fergal O’Brien’s Schiaparelli mare, Becky The Boo, could quite easily be running into something easily as good as when she was 4th at Newbury on her debut last November and one winner from 34 starts these last 14 days suggests to me at least that this race could present Parisian Blue with an opening…

We’ve got some qualifiers going in the 3.35 Uttoxeter Midlands Grand National:

Final Nudge – bidding to be the first 12yo since Knock Hill under ’11 07 in 1988, h’mm, well handicapped though and stable won it in 2017 with Chase The Spud.

The Two Amigos : just a bit over the trendy weight of under ’11 0, probably set for a place again?

Prime Venture: trainer 1-2-8, not bad but a 10yo ?

Trucker’s Lodge: trainer 1-2-4 worried about his weight but seems a dab hand with such and probs place again, 19/s

Doing Fine: 13yo, c’mon?

Ramses De Teillee: trainer 4-1-12 but weight?

Captain Drake: Ticks most boxes and tops the charts at a venue where they do well #cdg 12/s

Apply age & weight patterns just leaves the Captain

Midlands National Card

Return to Festival Races

Day Four March 19th – Y’know what’s going to happen here? The@itv7 will go down at Lingfield – so best do the placepot as a saver. Oh well! All or nothing, as usual, I’ve either had a bad one, certainly a learning one, or…

I was due a bad one but we’ll be better prepared for next year for sure… GL 

PS: For those like me who’ve forgotten, handicaps is where we used to excel..

Leg1 – 1.20 – Quilixios – EW fun Adagio

Leg2 – 1:35 L-aw – Zwelela – 

Leg3 – 1.55 – Eclair De Beaufeu – EW Petit Mouchoir & Mengli Khan, more serious than ‘fun’ them!

Leg4 – 2.30 – Alaphilippe EW

Leg5 – 3.05 – Frodon EW has to be to produce a lsp on the day?

Leg6 – 3.40 – Stalker Wallace – 

Leg7 – 4.15 – Shattered Love – 

Other Races:- Other races: 4.50 Eglantine Du Seuil EW – If desperate Leoncavallo & Adjali EW fun – GL

& CDG’s



1.20: Just using days since last ran & rpr’s – I got this down to Quilixios really with a nb Adagio…. If Goshen had stood up last year favourites would be safely in the black. Tritonic may swing the balance back but recent trends suggest a ‘fresh 28+ days from Leopardstown is more likely… Ah! While I is usually at loggerheads with the Racing Posts TopSpeed – the case is even more so when it comes to Irish racing, there does seem a bit of discrepancy between the UK & Ireland, so much so that basically, in Ireland you’re lucky to even get a speed figure so like as below if you should ever see an emboldened topspeed for an Irish runner as Quilixios here. It can often prove significant…. & then, looking at the race record of Henry de Bromhead [0-1-1 100% placed] compared to W Mullins [1-5-22 2/6 37% placed] – augurs well for Quilixios too….


1.55: – Fascinating contest – what with Petit Mouchoir carrying top weight with young Jordan Gainford taking off 7lb, oh & there’s a system, topweight / topspeed? 26’s – Tops the TS #cdg but then there’s Mengli Khan up there too & oh my Eclair De Beaufeu, rpr #cdg interesting battle of the figs & he’s only 8’s & I can’t believe we have a 6lb clear top-rated rpr in Darasso, trainer saying he needs & his cdg’s suggest as much ‘soft ? 40/s

[Just had a look at the #cdg’s & Darasso, who is amongst the players is a 4lb clear top rpr – is 20/s & will do for norway this stage: March 8th] 11 days l8r & he’s 40/s ? 


2.30: Did like Stattler but turns out a bit one paced at the finish whereas, if Paddy’s right about the ground: I like Spotlight’s comment about Alaphilippe “but assured stamina and a will to win are big selling points.” seems a tad inherent in most of the Class Of Sadler’s Wells –


3.05.: Favourite and dual winner Al Boum Photo solid but my notes remind me of 2010 winner, Imperial Commander with A Plus Tard 10/s EW end of January…. In the end there’s no alternative but to go EW Santini, been a price crash on APT & a visor added, might just do it..
Nah! Looking at the topspeed #cdg, I gotta go Frodon, horses for courses n all that… 


3.40: I’m going to plump for Stalker Wallace, now that he’s a 10yo a fair EW price & within range on the figures, just!


4.15: – when in doubt – the only CD & perhaps with a jockey doing alright tavm & massive #cdg of course – Shattered Love, easy…


4.50: Nope: the Irish again & fine performance here by Galopin Des Champs on his h’cap debut debut after a 6th behind Appreciate It last time: Video here

“Hopefully by now the Irish will have taken all the big money and leave us some scraps in this lowly C2 – – Another fascinating contest – I could sit here all day n reminisce, if i hadn’t got myself on a stopwatch with deadlines to meet… 
So a fancy for the Coral Cup, Eglantine Du Seuil turns up here & as #cdg topspeed 5lb clear and while trainer Paul Nicholls is saying she got a lot of weight – they seem to do OK here, he has a 2-3-19 fair record in race & 7yo’s do OK too. J P O’Brien 1-1-4 in the race but neither of his 2 have any course experience unlike lesser race usuals in Pipe Leoncavallo 25/s & Henderson’s Adjali 33/s

Last Year:

Friday 13th – Just the Gold Cup & massive Nap landed!

Last Year:

Friday 13th – Just the Gold Cup & massive Nap landed!

1.30 Triumph – The video: A non-event in terms of time, if he’d have stood up he would not have achieved a bigger figure than he already had – Big Solo fan? Will trainer leave Sir Psycho in to ensure a true test? Yes! Hard to argue with RP’s Spotlight verdict, think the race will be set up for a differently ridden Goshen & under-rated Solo lol

Gold Cup, probs more than hopeful, A Plus Tard

My workings page for Day4

Return to Festival Races 

The switch to the New Course, more galloping in nature – hence a stiffer test.’

Decided to add the Class Of Sadler’s runners for today too…

& CDG’s

  THURSDAY 18th MARCHMARSH NOVICES’ CHASE1.20: ffMAX! Unbeaten, Envoi Allen – a lot of people’s idea of a banker but no speed figure, grrr… He’s 2lb clear on rpr’s ahead of that girt massive 13lb clear top speed figure Chatham Street Lad, who like the favourite entered for literally everything. Fusil Raffles not out of it either but been off for longer than the last 10 winners at least?     

PERTEMPS FINAL 1.55: You have to go back 10 years since anyone below 138OR has won so maybe the RP(Nap) Storm Goddess a safer option than Come On Teddy who still clocked a personal best while beaten favourite & race not run to suit last time? Storm Arising and a David Pipe 6yo, Brinkley, are other interesting hopefuls.  

RYANAIR CHASE 2.30 Feb 26th Alloha ticks most boxes so far… 6 & 7yo’s best record as too, 1st3 in betting, Fakir marginally better than Mister Fisher on #cdg’s but the latter has far more 1’s than 2’s to his name & he’s ahead of Allaho on cdg stats too but he’s not French bred, are we in line for a correction? Probs safer to dutch a unit stake between the three? As a fun aside, Venetia’s race record of 0-2-3 & his running in the Peterborough suggest a little EW

STAYERS’ HURDLE 3.05: Lil Rockefeller, early stages, ran right to previous best early season & surely #cdg ish! 33/s – A lot more fun than when old Big Bucks used to win it every year for sure but that’s a bit of a standout last time speed figure from last year’s shock winner Lisnagar Oscar. Rebecca Curtis has a decent looking 1-1-4 record in the race. I also like the odds about Lil Rockerfella, the heavy ground wouldn’t have suited last time but run before at Newbury suggested right back to 2017 33/1 2nd best [& which figs puts him amongst best in field] so 67/s worth a small EW    

FESTIVAL PLATE3.40: Champagne Court 29’s £ 8yo b below OR140 EW chance says trainer & jockey a winner yesterday. Ideal conditions & topspeed, possibly best of these?  
Mister Whitaker 15/s 9yo 150OR, interesting back here says SpotlightTop Notch 26/s WO* H* 10yo ridden by 7lb Claimer 154OR?Happy Diva – £ 17/s fr 27/s ‘11 3 145OR b 10yo,Ideal conditions & trnr4R

DAWN RUN NOVICES’ HURDLE 4.15:  – The Willie Mullins benefit race – won the last 5 runnings while A King 0-2-4 ?
There’s two of the Sadler’s crew in this race and of his runners W Mullins says: “The drying ground will benefit Hook Up more than any of our horses this week.” ‘This week’ he says! But Paul Townend stays with Gauloise better stats than Danny Mullins 1/39? Meanwhile, I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Martello Sky yet and is probably very capable of outrunning her position in the market & Bryony Frosty best jockey stats in the table.

FULKE WALWYN KIM MUIR 4.50: Could be wrong but more likely a 7 or 8 yo & Venetia Williams’ Didero Vallis, only one of to have run a personal best last time, could be a worth an EW 

Back to workings page

Return to Festival Races 

Day Two March 17th – Probs just play Coral & Grand Annual today… 

Leg1 – 1.20 – Bravemansgame – 

Leg2 – 1.45 Hunt – 

Leg3 – 1.55 – Monkfish, sacrificing a small EW acca for a crack at the impossible 200k. Fool!

Leg4 – 2.30 – Janika EW? EW fun Our Power & Boreham Bill [Go on Ben lad, GL]

Leg5 – 3.05 – Rouge Vif EW – First Flow EW fun

Leg6 – 3.40 – Le Breuil EW fun

Leg7 – 4.15 – Duc Des Genievres EW

Other Races:- 4.50 Cool Jet EW fun… 

What a day ‘twas, a day for old rogues, rule breakers out en masse, the oldest Supreme for donkeys, I knew it really ‘13 years,’ lucky for some & so it proved for Appreciate It & wiley old veteran, Vintage Clouds & 80/1 winners, no chance! Yup! It all went on yesterday.. 

Situation after Day One – w-p-r – Mentioned 13 – 1-2-13 – 28/1 Vintage Clouds – 33/1 Eldorado Allen & Elham Valley 66/s placed. I was up on the day…

& CDG’s

WEDNESDAY 17th MARCH BALLYMORE NOVICES’ HURDLE 1.20: Hard to oppose Bob Olinger so up there on the figs in the Supreme but h’mm, Hard to believe Paul Nicholls has had only one runner in the race before: & while the Irish two look solid enough, points make prizes and there’s a fair chance Bravemansgame may not be so overbet?

RSA CHASE 1.55: I thought he was a best fit on stats & trends before Leopardstown February, Irish banker, for me at least, Monkfish, already being described as a future Gold Cup horse. Monkfish was best fit on trends & stats before he clocked a whopper last time – do I feel l brave enough to for the 2nd? Somewhere between Henderson’s race record with supporting figures & just about next best on the figures, The Big Breakaway, h’mm?
CORAL CUP 2.30: Gotta do Janika here: looking a very similar scenario to William Henry, who did us so well in 2019 and his trainer, Nicky Henderson having won the last two runnings, looks to hold a strong hand again… Jonjo O’Neill marginally best trainer for race 0-3-6 but NTD 0-2-5 not far behind & Our Power better #cdg & odds & then this race as likely to fall to someone without history so no hesitation in nominating Boreham Bill, not far behind leaders #cdg wise, has Ideal Conditions & ran a personal best last time. 

QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE 3.05: Cracking race, possibly the most [0.20 clear of card] fast time qualifiers I’ve seen in one heat at any one time: Think it’s time for the old guard to step aside and make way for a new kid on the block tempted to go First Flow but at least we know Rouge Vif handles the track and possibly the ground over Put The Kettle On and twice the price..


GRAND ANNUAL CHASE 4.15: Like Embittered so far, March 9th – Amongst final #cdg 1st4 : but a clear top #cdg & previous Arkle winner for me, Duc Des Genievres, a fair EW price

CHAMPION BUMPER 4.50: I’m not looking any further than a W Mullins 2nd or 3rd string that was made the Racing Post Star Performer last time out suggesting that he wouldn’t be out of it & given trainer’s record in the race and mine, in that it seems one of the hardest to call the winner: just a fun EW about Cool Jet 33/s should suffice. Kilcruit’s mighty rpr, Three Stripe Life’s topspeed & Elle Est Belle a ‘ffMAX, all respected..  

Last Year: 



– We have suggestions for JLT, RSA, Pertemps & Coral Cup & of course the SDS of the bumper world…

Like Kempton’s National Hunt, I’ve a separate file for Cheltenham, this will include previous winners of last 10 year’s worth of festival races by around Monday evening 6th Jan20 – Plz bare with me in this race against time to have a launchable project ready for this March. My new motto ‘Under construction – work in progress!’ Just hoping I’ll have better luck than British Rail and don’t have to charge you so much lol
As another aside: I did nick the Tote Ten To Follow Master List Final 500 & after every major meet I’m updating, so if u go Master Updated & sort rpr descending u should get a comparison of my ratings against theirs. 

All much of a muchness this meet, best chase runs ran in defeat? So Champ as good as Cogry when he stands up and would’ve earned ‘Time of the Meet – XoM’ His overall figure possibly puts him alongside Lalor in Oldgrangewood’s race and about 8lb short of Saint Calvados [pic] who gets outright Figure of the Meet, 171+

[Pic: The @Harry_Whitt trained Saint Calvados after his brave effort in defeat under @gavsheehan92 @CheltenhamRaces ]

2.00 – Race of the Day! 
[A cracking finish to this competitive handicap chase with two noses separating the first three. Rock-solid form. – 
OLDGRANGEWOOD, [156 PB] a narrow winner over Kalashnikov off 7lb lower at Newbury, had no trouble confirming form with that disappointing rival, but he again really had to work for it, indeed it briefly looked as though he’d finish third as three of them flashed past the post together. He got it on the angle, though, and this tough 9yo looks to be at the peak of his career. He’ll presumably return for the festival in March, bidding to improve on his pulled up effort in the 2018 Plate and ninth in last year’s Ultima.Saint Calvados [171 PB] is a high-class handicapper who just seems to be found out in a higher grade. He ran a cracker on this step up in trip, hanging left but battling right to the line, and it was he who looked to have his head down at the right time crossing the line, but it wasn’t the case. He’s probably worth another go at graded level over this trip.Lalor [163+] was always struggling in the Haldon Gold Cup on reappearance and this step up in trip very much looked in his favour. He showed what he is capable of, putting in a good round of jumping in the first-time cheekpieces and really knuckling down having been headed to put himself in the three-way photo. He’s a good-ground horse who could land a big handicap in the spring.Ex Patriot, [156+] a smart sort in Ireland who was just over 8l behind Battleoverdoyen last time, had won his only previous handicap and he ran well for a long way, just backing out of it after a late mistake. There’s a decent prize in him.Mister Whitaker [158 =PB] likes it here, but was reappearing from a career-high mark and he just looked in need of it. He isn’t easy to place off this sort of mark, but can do better than this.Cepage failed to reproduce the form on his last-time-out Caspain Caviar run and shall remain vulnerable from this sort of mark.Magic Saint appreciated a good test at 2m last time but was up 7lb in a better race returned to a longer trip and he failed to shine. He’ll presumably in the Grand Annual at the festival.Kalashnikov, just denied by OLDGRANGEWOOD at Newbury, was up 6lb and looked vulnerable from a mark of 161, but still he ought to have done better, making a couple of mistakes before dropping away. He’s clearly better than this, but another who isn’t easy to place.Ok Corral looked the type to be suited by the drop in trip and he was still going along nicely until blundering and then getting hampered at the fence on the top of the hill. He was unable to recover, so looks worth another chance. [Mark Brown]QUOTES: OLDGRANGEWOOD had a wind op in the summer, which he needed and Dan said he thought it made the difference. Getting the headgear and sticking to 2m4f also helped, while he had an interrupted season last term. We’d love to come back here for the festival. He looks great and is the right age now, so this could be his season – Chris Giles, part-owner.

1.25 – I’m just wondering what will happen to Paint The Dream’s handicap mark?
Late drama in this Grade 2 novice with red-hot favourite Champ [163+] falling two out when seemingly on his way to a convincing win.MIDNIGHT SHADOW was winning at the fourth attempt over fences, although he enjoyed a large slice of fortune with Champ coming down. He was under pressure and keeping on, but wouldn’t have won anymore than bustled up the favourite. He’s a useful novice who will presumably be trained with the JLT in mind.Paint The Dream, [156] runner-up from a mark of 127 at Sandown last time, ran above himself on this rise in grade, although it was a bit of a strange performance as having led early then dropped well off the leaders, he finished strongly up the straight to nab second. He was likely flattered, but is clearly progressing.Deyrann De Carjac [155] is a strong-traveller who ideally wants good ground and a flatter track. He ran okay, but wasn’t going to run to quite the same level as when a close-up third to Champ at Newbury. There’ll be other days for him in the spring.Champ, bidding to make it 3-3 over fences, had taken well to the more positive tactics and threw in a few fine jumps that saw him go into a clear lead, but he got two out wrong and paid the price. This was a most unfortunate spill for the ante-post RSA favourite, and connections will presumably seek to get another run into him now before the festival. [Mark Brown]QUOTES: Champ was brilliant through the race, but just rolled around a bit going to the second-last and I’d say he was looking at the stands and not what was in front of him. It was a novicey fall. Hopefully he’s okay and that (the novicey fall) was all it was – otherwise he was brilliant – Barry Geraghty, jockey.

12.50 – A fair staying chase, no more, and the form horses came to the fore.
DOING FINE [148] ‘winner’ of the well documented void race at Sandown last time, had next to no weight on his back and gained compensation in good style, moving into it gradually and really racing away from the last. He’s long been a useful sort on his day and, although now 12, should remain competitive in similar events.Cogry [162p], winner of a better race over a similar trip at the course last time, was up 4lb and ran okay considering he was conceding a ton of weight to the winner. He ran on again having hit a flat spot, but was never in with a chance of touching the winner.9yo > Like The Sound [158e] fared even better than the result suggests, defying 33-1 odds to take over going best only to fade from the last. He’s proven over further, so stamina shouldn’t have been an issue, but still this run shows he’s capable from this sort of mark.Militarian recovered from a notable early mistake and several more that followed, to hold a chance racing down the hill, but he understandably ran out of puff in the straight.Equus Secretus ran okay up to a point on this second run back, although he appears to have little in hand from his current mark.

Of the hurdles, I know Matt Chapman wasn’t happy and this as good as it got 141p the front two and perhaps a contender for the Coral Cup:

12.15 – Not a particularly strong Listed novice, especially with the standard setting favourite disappointing, and there was controversy with the Stewards flipping the result after original first past the post Protektorat edged across Imperial Alcazar on the run-in.Imperial Alcazar, upset by a 66-1 shot at Newcastle last time, had a first-time tongue-tie added and his rider wisely took a wider route on fresh ground for much of the race. He needed assistance from the Stewards, but this big, galloping sort was undeniably done few favours as Protektorat edged across him, forcing him to switch, and he nearly got back up anyway. Chasing will very much be his game in time and he’s a really useful prospect.Protektorat appeared to have finally broken a frustrating sequence of runner-up efforts, relishing the step up in trip and holding on well, but the Stewards felt the interference caused was significant enough to have altered the outcome and he was demoted. Some will argue it was harsh, indeed horses have done much worse yet been allowed to keep a race, but compensation will surely be had before long and he could develop into a leading Coral Cup contender.Welsh Saint, a 15l winner at Warwick, came up short against a much higher grade of opponent, a mistake two out sealing his fate. He’s one for decent handicaps later in the season.Ofalltheginjoints, well beaten in a Grade 2 at Sandown, again came up a fair way short and he’s another for whom handicaps will suit, especially once upped to 3m. Chasing will be his game in time.Redford Road set the standard on last month’s 3m Grade 2 win here, even under a penalty, and he was understandably ridden forward, but he made mistakes late and faded rather disappointingly in the straight. Perhaps the change in tactics didn’t suit, but regardless it was a disappointing effort.Grand Mogul got warm beforehand and was beaten a long way. He’s failed to shine in two starts since joining Nicky Henderson, but is a good-looker who will no doubt figure it out eventually. [Mark Brown]QUOTES: I’m not going to focus on the stewards’ inquiry. I was delighted with how Imperial Alcazar ran. I don’t care how he won it, he’s come out on top. Stewards’ inquiries are like penalties, you win some you lose some. Today was our day. I’ve lost plenty in the past so we’ll enjoy today. I think the best horse won the day – Fergal O’Brien, trainer.We’ve had to give Protektorat a bit of time and it hasn’t happened overnight for him. He came to France with a big reputation and is quite headstrong. He’s probably not as quick as he thinks he is so Harry has had to educate him every time he’s ridden him and drop him in. We’ve been unlucky losers twice this year but everything we’ve done for the horse is for the future. Hopefully he can keep progressing – Tom Messenger, assistant.

So it’s Skandiburg for the Pertemps? Not really backed up by the clock this race?

& his Dosage is all wrong: 

Would be a rarity on that alone? DP = 2-4-3-3-0 (12) DI = 1.67 CD = 0.42 – 

2.35 – A useful staying hurdle and the right horses came to the fore. Sound form.
SKANDIBURG, up 6lb for a win over the trip at Aintree, didn’t always look to be going that well, but he really came strong in the straight and ultimately got well on top. A useful and progressive 6yo, stamina is clearly his strong suit there should be more to come. He ought to make a nice novice chaser in time, but the Pertemps will be his big aim this season.Rapper, up 11lb for winning at Market Rasen, was never far away and very much enjoyed the run of the race. He stayed on well, but couldn’t repel the winner late. He has a similar race in him from this sort of mark.Kilbricken Storm, winner of the 2018 Albert Bartlett, has had his struggles since yet connections still held high hopes for him heading into this season. He ran well, holding every chance down to the last.The Jam Man has been on a roll but a 16lb higher mark for this return to Britain proved beyond him, already being beaten when hampered late. It was still a good run.Constantine Bay ran about as well as could have been expected in what looked a hot race for him returned to hurdles.Mason Jar is high enough in the weights now and his stamina didn’t last over this new trip.Who’s My Jockey, ex-Philip Hobbs and off since winning over fences in the summer, was returning in a first-time tongue-tie and he ran well for a long way, perhaps just needing it. He’ll be of some interest next time.Beware The Bear, fourth in the Hennessy, is on a tough mark over fences now but he doesn’t have the speed to win over hurdles.Might Bite stopped quickly late on and his career remains off track.Goodbye Dancer, up 10lb for winning over C&D last month, had crept into contention going well and looked set to play a big hand in the finish until getting the last all wrong. Hopefully his confidence won’t be dented by the spill. [Mark Brown]QUOTES: Don’t underestimate the ride SKANDIBURG got. Gavin kept nudging along and never went for his stick. If he’d got another few pounds at Aintree we wouldn’t have even been here. I’d have saved him for the Pertemps. We’ll freshen him up for that now and he won’t be far away in March. I think he’ll thrive in a big-field handicap – Olly Murphy, trainer.

3.50 : A muddling Listed bumper, the form of which looks ordinary.AUDACITY, [129+] hammered by Grand Roi at Wincanton, being beaten 15l at the line, went from the front himself this time, down slightly in trip, and he kept going under a strong ride to notch an all-the-way success. The form is questionable, but he looks the sort to do well hurdling in time.Ocean Wind, a surprise winner at Huntingdon on November’s debut, moved into it from off the pace and threw down a strong challenge, but he was always just being held. He’s Flat-bred, so could go on the level at some stage, although there is a winning jumper in the family too.Genola, a dual AQPS winner in her native France, like the runner-up made nice progress to challenge but couldn’t quite get past the enterprisingly ridden winner.Grand Roi made all and really pressed on when slamming the winner by 15l at Wincanton, but he didn’t go from the front this time, despite the drop in trip, and he simply didn’t have the required pace once in line for home. He’s the best long-term prospect of these and will appreciate going hurdling sooner rather than later.Fair Star, a winner at Market Rasen on debut, performed admirably against stiffer opposition on this second run. He’s another Flat-bred with options moving forward.Belle De Manech, a winner over the trip at Warwick on debut, had a tongue-tie on for the first time but came up well short, like the favourite being readily done for speed in the straight. She’ll be happier over 2m and then once hurdling a little further down the road. [Mark Brown]QUOTES: AUDACITY has experience and has run a bit green the last twice. I thought that was having horses around him, so we kicked him out and let him roll. He stays very well and Gavin is the best rider in a bumper from the front; he’s head and shoulders above everybody. He’s cute and they think they’re getting to him, but he’s saving a bit. I’d say we’ll stay in bumpers and he’s got plenty of ability. He jumps well and he could run on the Flat – Warren Greatrex, trainer.

3.10 – Putting a dampener on the whole meet imho as this was the 2nd fastest hurdle on the card. 
“Bit of a turn up in what looked a fairly weak edition of the race, although the first three home were all past festival winners. The pace steady enough.
SUMMERVILLE BOY, the 2018 Supreme winner, has generally struggled since and was a faller over fences last time. He made every yard returning to hurdles, though, relishing the return to 2m4f and showing a good attitude. He did enjoy the run of the race, though, and future targets are unclear, with him having a few different routes on the table.Roksana, winner of last season’s Mares’ Hurdle, bounced back from a disappointing run at Ascot and emerges with plenty of credit considering she had a penalty. A better ground would have suited and she’ll likely go well attempting to defend her crown in March.William Henry, winner of last season’s Coral Cup, could have done with a truer gallop but still emerges with loads of credit at the weights. It was his first start since April, so he should come on.

I don’t do ante-post much (maybe if I see something that hasn’t run yet in the Triumph Hurdle E’s in Feb) but Timeform got a portfolio going:
Recommended bets:
Back CHANTRY HOUSE at 16/1 for the Supreme Novices Hurdle
Back SLATE HOUSE at 14/1 for the RSA Chase
Prices available at time of writing.
Previously recommended bets:
DELTA WORK at 20/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup (now 10/1)
DEFI DU SEUIL at 10/1 for the Champion Chase (now 4/1)

Four to follow for year from itv team

Tolworth Hurdle Saturday – Trends:

8/10 – won last time

9/10 – ran in December

8/10 – won ptp or bumper

7/10 – 7/2 or shorter

Plenty of bubbles burst over these two days, Fusil Raffles, Fanion D’Estruval, Cyrname and Lostintranslation to name a few but

A good thing to remember: ‘the one with the least doubts about.’ Clan Des Obeaux made it onto my ITV7 and now Thistlecrack was out, was a stand alone, well clear #cdg on stats & figures. 

Cyrname, stepping up to 3 miles for the first time, a major doubt? And Lostintranslation, yet to clock a decent figure and Irish bred at a course where the French dominate. As it transpired Cyrname was hassled for the lead by Aso, I think that put him off. 

There’s separate spreadsheet for Kempton as it is such a specialist track – updated after most meetings or after significant times where the racing not so so classy. 

Paddy Brennan on Global Citizen, another #cdg & another to keep the itv7’s in level stake profit over the two days.
3.05 XoM 180+e A potentially top-class edition of the race, even with the withdrawal of Thistlecrack, and it saw Clan Des Obeaux emphatically follow up last year’s breakthrough win in the race. However, with Cyrname lacking his usual zest and Lostintranslation pulling up after mistakes, there has to be a doubt as to whether the winners 21l romp was as great as it looks on paper.
Clan Des Obeaux, ridden with confidence when a ready winner from Thistlecrack a year ago, had since come up short in the Gold Cup and was beaten at Down Royal on his reappearance, but there was little doubt that this race has long been the plan again and, despite being deserted by Harry Cobden, aboard a year ago, he looked overpriced in his bid for a follow-up. Always going well and jumping big and bold, it was clear a fair way out he was the likeliest winner and, having jumped to the front past toiling stablemate Cyrname two from home, he quickly stormed clear, flying the last and being eased late on. Even with doubts over the validity of the form, this could be his year, with Nicholls saying he’s a stronger horse again, and don’t be surprised if he fares much better in the Gold Cup this time around, for which he’s a general 6-1 chance. He’s best fresh and there’s a strong chance he’ll head straight to the festival.Cyrname has been a revelation in the past 11 months and entered the race as the highest-rated chaser in training following his reappearance defeat of Altior. The choice of Harry Cobden over the winner, he had competition for the lead in Aso, but took a lead early before working his way to the front. He was lacking his usual spark, though, with Cobden having to nudge along at times whereas one might have expected him to be pulling the rider’s arms out considering it was his first try at 3m, and he was little more than a sitting duck for his stable companion off the last bend. He did keep going for second, but, with another potential doubtful stayer in third that may not have been any great achievement, and one would expect to see him given a break now, with the Ascot Chase in February (a race he won last year) his next likely target. His want/need to go right-handed means he may again miss the major spring festivals at Cheltenham and Aintree, although his bold trainer may be more willing to give it a bash this time around.Footpad has long seemed likely to be suited by this sort of trip and he returned with an impressive performance over 2m6f. That was against far inferior opposition to what he faced here, though, and after travelling well, he was still close enough off the last bend, but then he seemed to cry enough. 2m4f looks to be his ideal trip and he’ll presumably be aimed at the Ryanair once more, a race he was pulled up in last season having burst a blood vessel.Aso, runner-up in last season’s Ryanair, was the least likely winner of the five and, having set off in front, he was forced to take a lead from the fifth and only plodded on well adrift late. He continues to perform below last season’s best and don’t be surprised to see him given a break now before Cheltenham.Lostintranslation, the winner of the Betfair Chase and towards the head of the Gold Cup betting coming into this, never looked entirely happy on the track, being a little keen early before dropping to last and having to be niggled at various stages of the race. He did come there going well on the far side, but two mistakes in fairly quick succession halted his forward progress and his rider wisely called it a day on him before the first in the straight. His trainer reported afterwards that he had a breathing problem on the soft ground, something that is an obvious concern, but there’s plenty of time between now and March to get that sorted and he was pushed out to no bigger than 8-1 in places for the Gold Cup, a race that is much more likely to suit than this flat, right-handed 3m test. [David Orton]QUOTES: The last thing Paul said before we went out was to try not to hit the front too soon – but when I turned in travelling so well I was thinking, how can I try keep this as smooth as I can without doing anything silly? I decided that once we got over two out we would just have to go. Luckily Clan Des Obeaux winged the last and did it really well – Sam Twiston-Davies, jockey.

2.30 Another that made my ITV7 and XoM as hurdler 160+ – 
Not a typical edition of the race in that there was a double-figure field and it looked relatively open. Although the pace was pretty steady, an impressive winner emerged, with the strongly-backed mare Epatante putting herself firmly in the Champion Hurdle picture.Epatante has done nothing but impress since joining Nicky Henderson, a blip in the mares’ novice at last year’s festival aside, but she’s now firmly in the conversation for the Champion Hurdle. A taking winner from a mark of 137 at Newbury on reappearance, she was thrown in against some established Grade 1 performers here but there was nothing but confidence in her from those connected and she proved quite the gamble. Always going strongly, she was going much the best two out and pinged the last before racing clear. Improving fast, she promises to be even better suited by a truly run 2m and it’s not hard to see why Paddy Power now have her at 7-2 and disputing favouritism for the big race in March.Silver Streak, third in last year’s Champion Hurdle, failed to run to his best in the Fighting Fifth last time but this was more like it and he can be used as a reliable guide to the form. He could have done with a stronger gallop an will presumably continue to take his chance in the top hurdle races.Ballyandy, just denied by Cal Me Lord in the Grade 2 International Hurdle at Cheltenham last time, again ran well but failed to make it enough of a test to bring his stamina into play. He also tended to shift left at his hurdles, but dropping to 2m seems to have suited him of late and returning to a stiffer track will suit.Verdana Blue, who toppled stablemate Buveur D’Air in the race 12 months ago, has since done pretty well on the Flat but the ground had gone against her this time around and, despite briefly moving into contention going okay, she couldn’t match her stablemate in the straight. [Mark Brown]QUOTES: Epatante was impressive wasn’t she? I’ve even got to admit it myself, it was very good. We came straight from the Gerry Feilden, I wanted to go to Ascot but it’s a good job we didn’t. JP (McManus, owner) always wanted to come here and he got it right. He must’ve had more faith than me. I thought she was our best chance at Cheltenham last year but she didn’t run her race. She did everything right up until then, and has done everything right up until now. She’s lovely, has a great temperament and has a good attitude – Nicky Henderson, trainer.

Me not the only one impressed as Graeme North of Jumps Pace Maps says:

“Pace map from Kempton today. Epatante showed a new side to herself, very comf with faster pace mid race; Commanche Red finished 3 lengths faster than expected despite solo last 2f, the only signif positive from chases; other chases fell apart to diff degrees.”

1.20: This an interesting races as 1st3 all scored Personal Bests : 162+ the easy winner..
The ground was changed to ‘soft’ all over following this race. A decent chase run at a good gallop, although less than half of the field finished, with the key moment coming seven from the finish as the favourite Roll Again fell, badly hampering Hold The Note.COMMANCHE RED, third on both previous chase starts, including at Grade 2 level (weak race for the race) last time, looked on a fair mark switching to handicaps and he ran out a clear-cut winner, albeit in a race that didn’t take as much winning as had once looked likely. He’s a progressive 6yo with more to offer, although the handicapper is sure to have his say.Simply The Betts had won a pair of 2m handicaps since sent chasing and was up another 8lb in his bid for a hat-trick. He wasn’t seen to best effect, tending to jump away to his left and also being less than fluent on occasions, but he put in some good late work to claim second (despite slipping late) and can be rated better than the result. The longer trip didn’t look an issue and he has more to offer.On The Slopes, runner-up to Doctor Dex at Ascot, had a clear crack at it and again ran well, just proving unable to race on with the winner from two out. He’ll find an opening at some stage.Mr Mcgo remains a maiden over fences, but he ran well for a long way on this rise in grade, doing more than enough to suggest an opening will appear at some stage.Muratello, well held on November’s chasing debit, has since undergone a wind operation and this was a creditable effort. His jumping should improve as he gains further experience.Roll Again, up 13lb after winning over 3m at Ludlow, was 6lb well in under his penalty and still looked to be going nicely in front when coming down seven from the finish. Hopefully his confidence won’t dented too badly.Hold The Note was going well in behind the favourite when that one fell, badly hampering him and effectively putting him out of the race. His rider wasted little time in pulling him up and there’ll be other days. [Mark Brown]QUOTES: It’s incredible, a dream come true. It doesn’t get any better to have a winner on a day like this, it’s fantastic. We nearly pulled COMMANCHE RED out this morning, we think he wants good to soft rather than on softer side. We’ve always loved him and he beat Beakstown and Getaway Trump. I’m not sure what Chris (Gordon, trainer) is thinking but you’d probably have to to think about a Graded race – Richard Cheshire, part-owner.

12.50 Possibly not Graded performers yet, good handicappers? Early days, 1st3 all lightly raced clocking personal bests, so Promising bunch?
[Often a useful novice, Nicky Henderson won it for the fifth time since 2011, although not with the one the market expected. They pace was a steady one in the conditions.
FRED [145+] had twice disappointed since arriving from France, but the return to 2m on testing ground seemed to suit him ideally and he came strong over the last two hurdles, taking over at the last and running on well. He’s not a Graded performer, at present anyway, and perhaps good-quality handicaps will be his next port of call.Ecco [148e]was disappointing when upped to Grade 2 level at Cheltenham last time and faced no easy task conceding weight all round on this drop in grade. He ran a fine race, but had just been headed when making a mistake at the last and that was that. He has scope for further progress and emerges with almost equal credit to the winner at the weights.Getaway FRED [137+], a good winner on similar ground at Chepstow, enjoyed the run of the race but wasn’t good enough to race on with the front two when it mattered. He too was conceding weight to the winner and will find easier tasks. [Mark Brown]QUOTES: Daryl (Jacob) didn’t want to run him in really heavy ground so we aimed for here but it’s normally quite a hot race and we weren’t sure if he was quite going to be good enough for it. When FRED was pulled out into the straight and suddenly he came alive. We’ve always thought he was a nice horse so it’s pleasing – Anthony Bromley, racing manager to owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.

Day Two Friday 27th – Once again only one GA used by RP, chuffing useless!

Or, in the case of Miranda, how to disguise a good run?

1.20 – Time of the Meet & 0.27spf Clear of Card given 174+ Global Citizen video. Performance of the week by a Novice, pretty much! 
[Sprinter Sacre, Altior and Cyrname are among the winners of this Grade 2 in recent seasons, with five of the last eight winners going on to land the Racing Post Arkle. Global Citizen set what appeared to be a sound pace and the order hardly changed. The time was very respectable, only 6sec outside the standard and 4.1sec quicker than the Desert Orchid Chase. .Global Citizen stepped up considerably on the form of his chasing debut at Carlisle two months ago, when the Ben Pauling string was having a quiet time. Fitted with a first-time tongue tie, he again shifted slightly to his left at many of the obstacles, but found plenty to hold off his pursuers. Likely to be kept until the spring, he clearly deserves consideration for the Arkle, although all wins have all come on flat tracks. The Maghull at Aintree could be ideal.Rouge Vif, who has had a wind operation, was without a hood for the first time in over a year. Chasing the winner all the way and keeping on to the line, this was a very solid performance and he turned around Cheltenham form with Al Dancer.Grand Sancy represented a stable which had won four of the last six renewals of this event. Less experienced over fences than his principal rivals, he was beaten between the last two obstacles but did rally on the run-in, giving the impression that he might be worth a try over further at some stage. Before long his connections might have to decide whether to preserve his novice status for another season.Al Dancer, runner-up in this grade at Cheltenham, again went without a hood. He ran very creditably at the weights and might have held on to third had he taken the final fence cleanly.Fanion D’estruval impressed on his British debut at Newbury, after which his BHA mark rose 12lb, but that form has taken a few knocks. He seemed to find things happening a little too quickly for him and his jumping wasn’t as slick as some, but he stayed on and was beaten under five lengths. [Richard Lowther]QUOTES: Had Global Citizen not won today he would probably have gone back to the Champion Hurdle, hence the fact we threw him in at the deep end here. He is good fresh as well, so you might not see him now until the spring – Ben Pauling, trainer.]

3.35 – Time of the meet as hurdler and 0.27 spf Clear of 3 – Officially rated 124 winner gets ts58 ?
Gets a 152p from me upped 9lb for the win & the 2nd upped 2, should still be capable of winning a similar race: The video:
The first three came away and this looks quite strong form.MIRANDA had been held in her two previous ventures into handicap company, but was found to be in season after the one at Wincanton in the spring, when the ground was too quick for her, and she was entitled to need her reappearance at Sandown. A fluent winner, she has posted all her hurdling victories on right-handed tracks and the Imperial Cup is a possible target for her.Elusive Belle came in for strong support, her Newbury third behind stablemate Epatante having been boosted in the Christmas Hurdle. She ran a solid race, but late mistakes didn’t help and she ran into an unexposed filly.Eddiemaurice figured on a decent mark and had his chance, taking his record in this event to 5213.Beltor, in a reapplied visor, was caught on heels on the home turn but stuck on. This was his best effort for a while.American Gigolo hadn’t run since July 2018 and shaped with promise on ground likely to have been too soft for him. He wasn’t knocked about when the leaders got away from him on the turn into the straight and is one to keep an eye on.Chance A Tune was well beaten on this handicap debut, which was just his third run over hurdles. Nigel Twiston-Davies could offer no explanation. [Richard Lowther]QUOTES: MIRANDA does need to go right-handed and a flat track probably suits her well, she’s won at Ludlow, Wincanton and here now. Last year we got her off the Flat and she was almost too fit and lean so she had the summer off and almost came back too late and had done too well so we’ve had to run her back into form. She’s a good fun mare and did that quite tidily, there’s probably a fun race in her somewhere. She might creep into the Betfair Hurdle, she’ll certainly have an entry, but the Imperial Cup might suit her as Harry said she wants to go right-handed – Paul Nicholls, trainer.

Newbury December – The later meeting in between xmas/NY

A lot easier to rate up – even while the RP still only use one GA when there’s quite a gap in the Going Stick readings? Whatever! A lot going on at this meet, possible contenders for Supreme, Albert Bartlett or Ballymore Properties, RSA Chase and Champion Hurdle. 

A sound edition of this staying handicap chase, which was first run in 1963 and was won twice in its early years by the brilliant Mill House.

The rapidly improving Copperhead [162+] proved much the best.Copperhead came back on the bridle when jumping to the front two out and won this as he liked. A rapid improver over the last 12 months, winning three of his last four starts, he’s taken extremely well to fences and made light of the 9lb rise he’d incurred for winning at Wincanton at the start of the month. Now 2-3 over fences, he’s an impressive individual, who could well make up into a serious RSA Novices’ Chase contender.Moving In Style stuck well to his task in the straight and was steadily gaining on Indy Five when that rival slithered to the ground at the last. He’s been revitalised by the switch to Robert Walford this winter and remains on a fair mark.Forgot To Ask was held up and never got into it. His three career wins have all come on good ground.Antony, who repeatedly jumped to his left, is 4lb above his last winning mark and found this a struggle from 2 out.Indy Five, pulled up on both starts this season since returning from a lengthy absence, was in the process of running a fine race and took an undeserving fall at the last. This was his third fall in only nine starts over fences, though he’d not put a foot wrong at all prior to his coming down.Boughtbeforelunch, a regular bridesmaid over fences, departed at the first.Polydora, bidding to give his trainer a third win on the day, made a mistake at the second and never looked happy prior to pulling up. He reportedly broke a blood vessel. [Marcus Buckland]
The Cashel Man vs Thyme Hill

Easily the fastest hurdle race & I still think The Cashel Man could turn out Champion Hurdle material:

3.00 –  A small but select field was assembled for this Grade 1 contest. The Cashel Man ensured it was a proper test and the favourite stayed on best to oblige.
THYME HILL, third in last season’s Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival and a winner of a couple of Grade 2s over hurdles this season, maintained his unbeaten record with a first win at the highest level. It was not plain sailing for him but he stays extremely well and gradually took the measure of the game runner-up in the final half-furlong, despite a sloppy jump at the last. He’s not at all flashy but he’s tough and genuine and is now just 8-1 for the Ballymore and 6-1 for the Albert Bartlett at the festival in March. The ground will likely determine which race he tackles.The Cashel Man, an impressive winner of a good C&D handicap last month, ensured a sound gallop and proved a tough nut to crack in the straight. A mistake at the third-last and a stumble on landing at the next did little to help his cause but he kept responding and was only seen off in the final 100 yards or so. This ground was probably as soft as he’d want it.Enrilo was only rated 6lb behind THYME HILL and 2lb behind The Cashel Man, but he was in trouble from 3 out here and failed to run up to expectations. A Grade 2 winner at Sandown last time, he seems unable to put two good runs together. Connections were pleased with this however, and he’s expected to come into his own when tackling fences next season.Eclair Surf stopped quickly and came down at the last when well adrift. [Marcus Buckland]QUOTES: THYME HILL stays well and only dossed when he got to the front. His jumping wasn’t what it can be and that’s what concerned me a bit, but Richard said he was just dossing in behind the others and when he pulled him wide in the straight he was slap bang on the bridle. I think Cheltenham will be ground dependent. Soft and he’ll probably go for the Ballymore and goodish ground he’ll probably go for the Albert Bartlett. My first reaction is to go straight to Cheltenham as he’s not the sort of horse to be running every week. – Philip Hobbs, trainerThe Cashel Man has run a superb race but I’m sure he will be better on better ground because he’s a Flat horse. Mind you, he loves his jumping and he’s really enjoying himself now. – Nicky Henderson, trainerEnrilo ran well, there’s two very good horses in front of him and Harry [Cobden] thinks that for all he’s a little bit behind them over hurdles, over fences he’s going to be a really serious horse. So we’ll just look after him this year and go chasing next year. – Harry Derham, assistant trainer

12.40 – a HOT little ‘Introductory,’ Hurdle me thinks, some nice lightly raced types & the first 6 clear:
An informative event and the winner looks a potentially smart recruit.MISTER COFFEY, an easy winner of a Huntingdon bumper for Harry Whittington, made his challenge on the bridle two out and, despite looking green when striking the front at the last, he knuckled down and got the job done in good style. A £340,000 purchased and a good looking individual, he raced with plenty of enthusiasm throughout and looks a high-class prospect. He’s been given a 33-1 quote for the Supreme Novices‘ Hurdle but Nicky Henderson, who believes he’ll develop into a “spectacular horse”, is mindful not to over race him this season and is already thinking of going novice chasing with him next term.Shakem Up’arry, a faller when odds-on for his hurdles bow at Leicester 17 days earlier, showed no ill effects and briefly gave favourite backers a scare on the run-in. This was a really pleasing effort and a win in something similar in the coming weeks should be a formality.On To Victory, who’d unseated at the last when holding every chance on his hurdles debut at Haydock earlier this month, did plenty right here but lacked the gears from two out. A talented stayer on the Flat (currently rated 100), it’s likely he’ll need 2m4f over hurdles to be seen at his best.Scorched Earth, the only 3yo in the line-up and shouldering a penalty for winning on debut at Catterick, wasn’t disgraced in this much deeper race against older opposition.Buzz De Turcoing, back from a breathing operation with a fist-time hood employed alongside a tongue-tie, went well for a long way. He lost two places in the final furlong and may have just needed this after 255 days off.Stimulating Song, who’d gone close in a couple of bumpers on good ground and had run with encouragement on his hurdles introduction at Haydock, ran around before three out here and didn’t look entirely straightforward. [Marcus Buckland]QUOTES: MISTER COFFEY is a lovely horse. He is going to be a spectacular horse. Lady Bamford said there was no rush, to mind him, as you could see Nico was trying to do. He didn’t know he’d been in a race and it was a lovely introduction. He’s got there on the bridle and just had to be squeezed. A couple of weeks ago I was saying I’d love to have him as a maiden for next season, but he’s got to race. You could go chasing next season, but I don’t want to do too much with him this term. He’s won his maiden so we can’t put him to bed now. If anything he was too keen and he’s got plenty of pace; you wouldn’t want him going any further at the moment – Nicky Henderson, trainer

1.15 – This looked competitive beforehand and it didn’t disappoint with the first three serving up a pulsating finish.
DEFI SACRE is in the form of his life at present and gamely defied this new career-high mark in a thrilling three-way photograph. Up a total of 12lb for his wins at Musselburgh and over C&D ten days earlier, he jumped superbly, travelled strongly and gamely fought off a host of challengers in the straight. This is strong form and, given he handles all types of ground, he looks a chaser going places. He’ll now be given a break.Amoola Gold, weak in the market, found plenty for pressure and just failed. Nearly off the course approaching the elbow, his rider was forced to take some evasive action and that led to him interfering with both the winner and third, though the places remained unaffected following a lengthy stewards’ enquiry. He showed a good attitude in the circumstances and likely ran right up to his best. He’s been placed both starts here and seems well suited by this track.Vado Forte was a disappointment at Southwell last time but was back on his A-game this time and just lost out in a bobbing finish under his big weight. He was arguably the chief sufferer in some notable interference at the elbow and can be considered a shade unfortunate.Monsieur D’arque, a stablemate of the runner-up, was quickly left behind by the principals from two out, though seemed happier back in trip, having been well beaten over 2m3f at Catterick last time. He showed an tendency to hang left under pressure.Ardmayle made several mistakes and was soon left behind between the final couple of fences.Go Long, easy to back, appeared to have the stuffing knocked out of him when blundering at the third-last. [Marcus Buckland]QUOTES: “DEFI SACRE travelled with such ease and I was just praying James would just sent him on and go and get the race won! His head was in the right place at the finish. I’m not normally into running them back this quickly but he’s been in such good order, all of ours have, we’ve won six of our last eight races including one in France, and I felt while they’re in such good order I’ll run them and think about giving them a break after. He needed that season in England last term to acclimatise and he was always going to improve for a fence. We’ll give him a break now after that hard race, and then might take him up to Musselburgh for that trials day. I’d say we are where we are with his mark today. There’s a £30,000 2m4f handicap chase and he will step up in trip, having stayed it here over hurdles last season so that wouldn’t be a concern.” – Richard Hobson, trainer

The Racing Post have used only one going allowance and the going stick readings of 6.7 & 6.6 suggest they’re within the right to do so. I’ve used two and think the hurdles track may’ve actually been slower. Even with one, the fastest hurdle race of One Touch, I would be dishing out a 136p but with two he gets a lofty 149e? As his trainer is considering a go at the Ballymore Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham, I’m happy to let the first five from the race run and see how it transpires and downgrade later if needed. So:

One GA or two?
Boss Man Fred3m½f6m 6.50s 15.03s+21.00s +0.86s98Gd-SftGd-Sft-0.6s/f124138e
H (6.7)
Maire Banrigh1512m½f4m 6.15s 15.05s+9.15s +0.56s133Gd-SftGd-Sft-0.6s/f141160pXoMC (6.6)
Fantastic Ms Fox2m½f4m 14.03s 15.32s+24.03s +1.45s38Gd-SftGd-Sft-0.6s/f??

Lady Buttons2m4½f5m 10.50s 15.13s+16.50s +0.80s103Gd-SftGd-Sft-0.6s/f149130p

One Touch2m3½f4m 46.65s 14.78s+13.65s +0.70s109Gd-SftGd-Sft-0.6s/f?149exom as h
Boldmere3m6m 11.00s 15.48s+17.00s +0.71s121Gd-SftGd-Sft-0.6s/f133148e

Gunnery2m½f4m 8.22s 14.97s+18.22s +1.10s80Gd-SftGd-Sft-0.6s/f115120p

While Lady Buttons was claiming all the attention in winning the feature for the 2nd year running, it was another mare, Maire Banrigh, for the Skelton’s, who was clocking the fastest time on the card and enhancing her highly progressive profile. Over a trip which may in time prove to be short of her best:

12.25: What had looked a tight contest before the off was won easily by an improving mare.
[ XoM 160+e – interestingly, for me at least, exactly the same Dosage profile but with different Supreme Leader mare as mum as recent dual Gr3 handicap 3m 2f’s winner at Cheltenham, Cogry ]
(Ire) King’s Theatre (11.6f)Supreme Leader (12.5f)Even Spread! As Cogry! (5×5) ND(Can) & CrepelloDP = 6-0-6-6-0 (18) DI = 1.00 CD = 0.33
MAIRE BANRIGH, back into handicap company, gained a fifth win in succession in good style. Leading early, she was hassled for that position by the favourite before the halfway stage but shook him off heading to three out and wasn’t troubled to pull away. Giving weight to all of her rivals, she’s starting to show why she was such an expensive purchase four days after winning a point in 2017 and, considering she likes a sound surface, one would imagine the spring festivals are starting to creep into connections’ thoughts.Baddesley Knight, given wind surgery since winning at Wincanton 38 days previously, travelled powerfully for a long way but was reported by the vet to have bled from the nose.Grey Diamond, a fair hurdler at his best, was attempting chasing for the first time without his usual hood and ran perfectly well in what may turn out to have been an above-average contest.Lust For Glory didn’t jump with much fluency on her chasing debut.Eskendash was keeping on nicely, possibly into second place finish when falling at the second-last. He was carrying a low weight but it was still going to be a fine effort. [Dave Toft]QUOTES: MAIRE BANRIGH‘s form is very good and she hasn’t looked back since having a wind op. She’s a big, imposing mare and what pleased me most today was the way she stayed and galloped all the way up the straight. Like a lot of ours she’ll have a flu vaccination and will be given January off and then we’ll start to make a plan for the spring – Harry Skelton, rider.

11.55: A decent-looking contest for the level.
BOSS MAN FRED, 138me making his handicap debut, kept his unbeaten status intact but did it in workmanlike style rather than anything more flashy. The one thing that is clear is he’s a resolute stayer, and he has the scope to win off higher marks.Snow Leopardess, well beaten on her return to action at the end of last month following a 794 day absence, travelled nicely for quite a while but didn’t pick up as well as the two in front of her after three out. She did rally a little in the closing stages to get into second, and this was more positive.Little Bruce, off since April, looked well treated in this discipline when comparing it to his chasing mark, and made a fine comeback, pushing the winner down the home straight before fading slightly after the last. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s kept to hurdles for the short-term.Alrightjack, below his best when last seen at Newbury in early November, which was his first attempt at 3m, never got out of the rear division. The representative of Jamie Snowden reported that the gelding had a breathing problem.Divine Spear, returned to hurdling, remains out of form, as he was struggling some way from home here. [Dave Toft]QUOTES: It’s a hard track for an inexperienced horse as they get racing a long way out, but the further BOSS MAN FRED goes the better he goes. He has a good attitude and a nice way of going. He’s a 3m chaser in the making and we’ll look after him this season – Tom Messenger, assistant to trainer Dan Skelton.

1.35: Using official figures as a guide, this was one the strongest runnings of this race considering it contained two mares with marks in the 150s and three more on 149. It produced an exciting finish.
[I fluffed up here: while still reacquainting myself with the depths of the Racing Post website, seems I was missing a figure for Lady Buttons only her best one which would have put her as top-rated for this. I don’t think she had to be at her best to win this, just had more in reserve to quicken off a moderate pace?] 130p me
LADY BUTTONS, back chasing having claimed fourth (wearing first-time cheekpieces) in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, won this last year and was moving powerfully on the bridle as the front three cleared two out. However, her rider was keen to keep a hold of his mount for longer and she only got going again well after the last, poking her nose ahead as the line approached, taking her record at Doncaster to 41111.Happy Diva, given a small break since landing the Betvictor Gold Cup, gained a clear advantage around half a furlong from home but was caught in the final strides, giving everything in defeat. This could have been a new career best.La Bague Au Roi came into this having finished third in the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase and was soon sent to the front. She put in some fine leaps at various stages but was joined soon after three out and couldn’t pull out a bit extra, for all that she never gave up.Casablanca Mix, who’d won her last three starts, the last two Listed events, needed to be shaken up some way from home and couldn’t remain in touch with the first three. This was some way below her best.Dalila Du Seuil refused to settle, so was never going to have a great deal left for the end.Queen’s Magic unseated her rider three out when he hadn’t gone for everything just behind the principals. It’s reasonable to think she’d have struggled to make a telling impact in the final stages on these terms but she has possibly improved a bit and will be of interest in a weaker event than this. [Dave Toft]QUOTES: LADY BUTTONS is an absolute star who owes us nothing. I’d say this is her best performance, she’s put it in and done everything right. I wonder whether the cheekpieces have helped her a little bit. She’s been in front a lot of times and there’s been something to come and get her. She’s only run over hurdles this season and we switch her back and forth and she keeps doing it – over different trips as well. Not many horses can do that. She’s odds-on to come back here for the Graded mares’ hurdle in January, which she won last year – Phil Kirby, trainer.La Bague Au Roi has run well. Dickie was critical of himself in that he felt he should have kept kicking after winging four-out and then she’s made a mistake at the wrong time. She battled back and he said she felt the best she has all season – Warren Greatrex, trainer.

2.10: 149e? Xom as h 
Some nicely bred lightly raced types 6th placed Vinnie got 109 from me here against his OR125. All those in front of him could be worth a second look next time for a while?
ONE TOUCH, well beaten on his first try over hurdles 26 days previously, was upped in trip for this and went straight to the front, racing enthusiastically. His rivals tried to close in off the final bend, but he found plenty more and wasn’t hard pressed to extend away. The slightly better ground may have helped and he’s a nice prospect.
Corrany showed more than enough at Ludlow last time to have leading claims in this, but bumped into one here. There will be other days for him.Demachine seemed to improve plenty from his 40-1 debut effort at Chepstow 53 days previously, for all that the winner was well in front of him.Sometimes Always, who’d finished fourth on his hurdling debut late last month, a race that had produced a few subsequent winners, raced a little keenly early on and then made a mistake three out. It was an okay effort and he emerges with a couple of excuses.Eclair On Line ran more in keeping with his rules debut having been given wind surgery, and is one to note in a weak handicap.Vinnie Dev wasn’t at his best here, not finding a great deal for pressure in the home straight. He’s much better than this. [Dave Toft]QUOTES: I think ONE TOUCH is quite useful and he showed that today. Our horses were just coming back when he was fourth at Southwell last time. We’ll have a look at the Ballymore race on trials day at Cheltenham next month – Ben Pauling, trainer.
2.45: 148+e BOLDMERE, 10lb higher than when winning over 2m4f at Leicester, found plenty when getting into the lead and won comfortably, seeing the new trip out really well. His mark is clearly going to creep up again, but he’s young and unexposed as a stayer, so may handle the rise. Perhaps the Listed chase over C&D in late January can be an ideal target. 
Bob Mahler managed to complete last time after pulling up twice before that and ran well again, albeit not always looking a straightforward ride in front.Slanelough wasn’t a threat to the first two for the majority of the home straight, but he kept on going gamely enough. He does, however, remain a maiden at a chaser.Catamaran Du Seuil, up in trip and with cheekpieces returning for the first time since arriving from France, moved to the front going well after four out but didn’t go on when challenged by the winner. He’s on a fair mark and might pop up again soon.Spider’s Bite stopped quickly in the final stages. However, it’s worth noting that he collided with the rail and unseated its rider on the way to post. He then cantered loose for a short distance before being caught. Having been examined by the doctor and the vet at the start, both the rider and horse were deemed fit to race. [Dave Toft]QUOTES: Sean [Bowen] jumped off and said we could have another Crosspark [160+e won 4m Eider Newc]. That would be lovely but BOLDMERE is only a novice. He’s progressing and has a wonderful temperament, and going left-handed suits him better – Caroline Bailey, trainer.
3.20: A competitive-looking event, featuring some unexposed types.
GUNNERY didn’t settle on his handicap debut last time when in midfield, but was more amenable this time at the head of affairs and bolted up. He’d looked useful in the early part of his Flat career (gaining an RPR of 98 at one stage) so always had the potential to be chucked in off this mark as a hurdler, and should be able to hold his own in better races than this. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of race connections find for him next, but something on a flat track might be ideal.The Twisler put in his best performance for a while, off a mark 2lb below his last winning one, albeit he never threatened to get to the front.Reverend Jacobs sat alongside the winner for a lot of the early stages but had nothing like the change of gear that rival possessed. There will be easier tasks than this for him.Shanroe Tic Tec ran well on his first start for 223 days. He was reported to have lost his left-fore shoe.Twin Star, on handicap debut, took a long time to hit top gear and might benefit for going up in trip. He was reported to have lost his left-fore shoe.Yaa Salaam, tried in cheekpieces for his handicap debut, was outpaced at a crucial stage and couldn’t make any impact.Successor didn’t look a straightforward ride, tending to throw his head around, but kept going forward. He has a very hit or miss profile. [Dave Toft]QUOTES: GUNNERY is a lovely horse who has really travelled and did it nicely. He was a good horse on the Flat and entitled to win off that mark and I’m sure the handicapper will have his say – Nico de Boinville, rider.
1.00:  They didn’t seem to go that quick early on, so this may not be overly strong form.
FANTASTIC MS FOX, now in a hood, unseated her rider four from home while being hampered on her hurdling debut in a Listed event but managed to avoid any similar problems here and, after switching from one side of the track to the other, stormed home after the last to surge to the front. She was largely consistent at a modest level on the Flat at up to 1m6f, so can stay further in this discipline.