Antartica De Thaix to repeat last year’s win

4.05 Huntingdon  ANTARTICA DE THAIX    4pts @ 9/2

This looks the race of the day & I’m backing the Paul Nicholls 8yo to repeat her win from last season. She beat Harry Fry’s Desert Queen 9l last March, but is 10lb worse off with her rival so things are set to be much closer this year. The selection finished in front of Desert Queen again at Market Rasen last November when both making their seasonal re-appearances & with Desert Queen promising to help set a strong pace, I fancy her to set the race up for our mare once again. Another mare who likes to front-run is Dan Skelton’s Rene’s Girl. The 8yo looks likely to take on Harry Fry’s 10yo for the lead & there’s always the possibility (and hope) that they manage to cut each other’s throats out in front. In fact, I’m slightly surprised that Rene’s Girl appears as, following her runaway win in Doncaster’s Silver Vase Mares Chase, her trainer nominated the Manifesto Chase at the Grand National meeting as her next race. Oliver Sherwood’s 5yo Got Away beat the selection just over 4l in a 3-runner affair at Leicester last month. He’s now 7lb worse off with our mare & although Got Away is the more unexposed of the two, I suspect this 42k pot has been the selection’s main target of the season. I don’t know what to make of Kerry Lee’s Happy Diva. I had her down as a weak finisher when she got beat at a short price at Uttoxeter last November, but her last two novice chase wins has put that theory firmly to bed. This is by far her hardest test & the likely strong pace may expose her but I’ve got little right about the 7yo so far.


February 21, 2018 by : Posted in Free Racing Tips 1 Comment

Jennys Melody to one better over fences

2.25 Thurles  JENNYS MELODY   4pts @ 4/1

Jennys Melody narrowly failed to make a winning chase debut at Fairyhouse fifteen days ago behind one of her rivals here West Bridge & on 5lb better terms is strongly fancied to reverse that 1/2l defeat. Previously, on her debut for trainer Stuart Crawford, she’d run a massive race over hurdles following seven months off at Punchestown finishing fourth to some much higher rated opponents. The lightly-raced 9yo ran about a stone above her hurdling mark that day & I had her earmarked as a future handicap hurdle winner, so the fact connections are pursuing a chasing route seems highly significant. The selection is rated superior to her Fairyhouse conqueror West Bridge over both hurdles & fences & I would be very surprised if the form was upheld on these terms. I’m hoping the Willie Mullins 9yo Kate Appleby Shoes makes the market for the selection. The step-up to three miles should suit her & she can’t have it soft enough so any drying of the ground will not be in her favour. On a line through West Bridge there’s little between her & Jennys Melody on these terms but I think our  mare is sure to improve on that first run over fences & I’m emphatically in her camp. The one I’m worried about is the Jessie Harrington 7yo Magic Of Light. She bit off more than she could chew in a big Leopardstown handicap last time & will be much happier back in mares novice company. She holds Kate Appleby Shoes on bits of form & has also promised to improve at three miles. She has the best chase form in the book & looks the one to beat. One or two of these promise to have a bit too much toe for the stayer Routes Choice & Youcantcallherthat will find it difficult under a double penalty.

February 21, 2018 by : Posted in Free Racing Tips 1 Comment

Cyrname looks the one in the Pendil Novice Chase


CYRNAME  2.5pts @ 8/1 Paddy Power

I don’t usually put up one who may not run when betting ante-post & this soft-ground loving 6yo may not get his ideal conditions but when you think the layers have got it wrong, you must step in. Paddy Power are the only firm pricing this race up & that could work in our favour as the penny may not drop so quickly with no opposition to compare prices with. Paul Nicholls has farmed this race over the years having won seven of the last ten runnings & the one certainty is he’ll have a runner. He has two entered, both in the colours of owner Mrs Johnny De La Hay, so it’s just as likely only one of these will compete. Apart from the afore-mentioned Cyrname, she also has another 6yo Adrien Du Pont entered. He’ll appreciate the likely good to soft ground more than the selection & on official ratings is forecast to dead-heat with him. He’s a classy novice & this is his trip rather than the two miles he competed over last time, but though he’s undoubtedly got a nice prize in him, he’s already been beaten in two of these types of races & may just have to lower his sights a tad. Cyrname on the other hand looks highly progressive. He easily won the Wayward Lad novice chase here at the Christmas meeting over two miles, for which he incurs a 5lb penalty here & then put himself in the frame for this race when just failing to get back up after leading in Sandown’s Scilly Isles novice chase earlier this month over 2m 4f. Now, we know the selection wouldn’t run on fast ground, but as it stands at the moment the ground is on the soft side of good to soft with forecasts of -1 on Thursday night & -3 on Friday, so I can see it riding pretty dead. We know he jumps well here & could have an easy lead, which would make him very difficult to peg back. The layers have got the other penalised runner, Gary Moore’s unbeaten 6yo Benatar, very short at even money. He’s obviously pretty smart, but his owners are very keen to run at the Festival & the winners of this race usually give Cheltenham a miss, seeing as it’s only sixteen days away. The only horse I can remember doing the double is Captain Chris, who went on to win the 2011 Arkle, so there is the possibility of him not even turning up. Paddy Power have Alan King’s 7yo The Unit at 4/1, who needs good ground & on a line through Shantou Rock, has about a stone to find with Cyrname.

February 21, 2018 by : Posted in Free Racing Tips 1 Comment

Princess Mononoke to follow up Sedgefield win

2.00 Wetherby  PRINCESS MONONOKE  5pts @ 3/1

Admittedly, it was a weak mare’s handicap that Princess Mononoke won by six lengths last month but this looks pretty uncompetitive with only three runners with realistic chances. Donald McCain’s 7yo received a 5lb hike for that win, which seems pretty fair considering how far the field was strung out behind her. Sam Drinkwater’s 8yo Northandsouth looks likely to head the market following two improved runs under Bryony Frost. Ciaran Gethings takes over here & this race is a drop in grade. The one to beat. The Peter Winks 9yo Hartside won a poor race earlier this month & is only up 3lb for that but he is an infrequent winner, that was his first win for 24 races & is far from certain to follow up.

February 19, 2018 by : Posted in Free Racing Tips 1 Comment

The Kings Writ warrants support on tighter track

3.10 Taunton  THE KINGS WRIT  3pts @ 4/1

Winner of back-to-back point-to-points in November & December, The Kings Writ was well fancied at Bangor in early January but was tightened up halfway around & ultimately fell at the 8th. Stepped up to 3m 1f at Hereford twelve days later, Kayley Wollacott’s 7yo showed no ill effects from that fall & travelled like the winner for much of the race before being ultimately outstayed from 2 out. This slight drop in trip & tighter track will definitely be in his favour & he can give his young trainer her third success since taking over the yard following the tragic death of her father Richard earlier this year. Graeme McPherson’s Hey Bill will be fancied following his Ludlow win last month. The 8yo won’t mind this step-up in trip but, despite the milder drying weather forecast tomorrow, still might find this ground on the soft side. Following a Chepstow fall in November, Colin Tizzard’s 8yo Muffins For Tea has not convinced as a chaser & I much prefer his stablemate Cucklington. Despite this being a better race than he’s been competing in, the 7yo is likely to get a soft lead here & could have a few of these in trouble around this tight circuit. Speedalong has to prove he stays this far while the topweight Will O’The West hasn’t shown much in his three chase runs so far, although this is a significant drop in grade. Cadeau Du Bresil has his first run for Grant Cann since coming over from Gordon Elliott’s yard in Ireland.

February 19, 2018 by : Posted in Free Racing Tips 1 Comment