Exeter (Tuesday)


It’s certainly umbrella-turning-inside-out weather today and if you know what’s good for you, you won’t actually take one at all. You’ll be much better served by kitting yourself out like a fisherman on an Icelandic trawler.

Today’s Exeter fancies:

2.00 Ex- Murty’s Delight (win).

2.35 Ex- Ohio Gold (e/w).

3.05 Ex- Fourth Act (e/w).

3.40 Ex- Tokyo Javilex (win).

4.10 Ex- Young Cheddar (e/w).

4.45 Ex- Remind Me Later (e/w).

5.15 Ex- Aerial (win).

Gold! ;-)


Chepstow (Monday)


A nice win for Mica Mika (P Hanagan, 17/2) at Doncaster yesterday got the blog ticking over at the start of the flat season.

Today’s fancies are at Chepstow:

2.30 Chep- The Eaglehaslanded (win).

3.05 Chep- Midnight Sapphire (e/w).

3.35 Chep- Ballybough Pat (e/w).

4.10 Chep- Sonny The One (win).

4.40 Chep- Rock N Rhythm (win).

5.15 Chep- Marie Des Anges (win).

Sonny! ;-)


Doncaster Lincoln Meeting 2015 (Sunday)


Today’s Doncaster fancies:

1.45 Donc- New Bidder & Lady Crossmar (e/w).

2.15 Doc- Sirdaab (e/w).

2.45 Donc- Nortron (e/w).

3.20 Donc- Farlow & Nocturn (e/w).

3.55 Donc- First Mohican (e/w).

4.30 Donc- My Reward (e/w).

5.00 Donc- Mica Mika & Save The Bees (e/w).

5.30 Donc- Rock A Doodle Doo & Underwritten (e/w).




Doncaster Lincoln Meeting 2015 (Saturday)


I’m pretty gutted not to be at Doncaster today given the fact I was one of the lucky winners of four grandstand tickets. However, flu likes symptoms have got the better of me and my pounding head will be better served with a lemsip or two on the sofa later.

Today’s Doncaster fancies:

1.25 Donc- Comb Exacta 1-2-3 (6 bets).

2.00 Donc- Baltic Knight (win).

2.35 Donc- Astaire (win).

3.10 Donc- Dance And Dance & Le Chat Dor (e/w).

3.45 Donc- Gm Hopkins & What About Carlo (e/w).

4.20 Donc- Dominada (e/w).

4.50 Donc- Magnolia Ridge & Chilly Miss (e/w).

5.25 Donc- Frontline Phantom (e/w).

Dance, dance, dance! ;-)

The Weekend Whisper (Fri 27th March)


TWW currently stands at  +1.85 pts

The more eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that this is the second Fri 27th March post in as many weeks as I also accidentally posted the date incorrectly last week. It’s corrected now!

Fortunately that little mishap didn’t have any detrimental effects on the results. On the contrary, a column deficit of -7.65pts became a positive figure of +1.85 after two superb results last Saturday afternoon. Hunters Belt won at Kelso at an industry S.P of 20/1 (advised here at 14/1) and Sharney Sike ran a great race to place third (advised at 10/1) on the same card.

To those of you who used to read my Friday subscription column “Something For The Weekend?” I thank you for continuing to read me here on my personal blog ,and keeping the faith, and I hope we continue to have some winners together.

On Saturday my selection comes in the easiest race of the day – The Lincoln. Anything with 20+ runners is easy right? The horse I am opting for is John Gosden’s Gm Hopkins. The horse is rated 99 and has had seven career runs coming into this race as 4-y-o. He won the Silver Cambridgeshire last year and has all the potential to move up to a potential Group Three horse.

Rab Havlin takes the ride on Saturday and Gosden’s “backroom” man will certainly be at the forefront come the end of this prestigious handicap race.

TWW advises:

0.5pt e/w Gm Hopkins 3.45 Doncaster (7/1 Coral, BetVictor).

*price correct as of 8.10pm Friday.



Newcastle (Friday)


We’re on the eve of the brand new turf season, but there’s still plenty of jumps action to be had and Newcastle today is blessed with plenty of entries.

(James is looking to wear his new ray-bans I guess?)

Today’s Newcastle fancies:

2.10 Newc- U Name It (e/w).

2.40 Newc- Have You Had Yours (win).

3.10 Newc- Northern Acres & Tara Mac (e/w).

3.40 Newc- Trust Thomas & Orsippus (e/w).

4.15 Newc- Dark Dune (win).

4.50 Newc- Ultra De Chatelet (e/w).

5.25 Newc- Valsesia & Mcgillycuddy (e/w).

Return of the Tara Mac ;-)


2015 Grand National Shortlist


(Click image for the latest odds)

2015 Grand National Analysis

After having an entire month to digest and analyse the Grand National weights it’s time for me to pinpoint the horses I believe will be heading to Aintree as the leading players.

Every year, when the weights are announced, I find myself head-scratching and trying my best not to be bamboozled by the monumental task at hand. It’s the six million dollar question – who will be the Aintree Grand National this time around?

After I eliminated several of the seventy-four strong entries from my calculations, simply because they’re unlikely to take up an Aintree entry after their Cheltenham run, I had a clearer picture of the potential line up come April 11th.

Here are three horses I have shortlisted.

Spring Heeled (10st 12lb)

Speaking at the Grand National weights lunch, Jim Culloty said “We are training Spring Heeled for the Grand National. He ran in the bet365 Chase at the end of last season and did extremely well, staying on strongly to take fifth after looking he might be tailed off. He should stay, though you never quite know with nearly four and a half miles, and he jumps extremely well but what he doesn’t do is act on soft ground at all. You can write him off on very soft ground. He is light-framed and we have kept him fresh. He is going to run on Saturday at Fairyhouse – he has an entry at Kempton as well but I don’t want to travel him first time out. The ground may be too soft for him at Fairyhouse but there are only five entries so it is the obvious place for him. If he runs OK, I will probably send him straight to Aintree.”

Culloty added “You cannot run Spring Heeled very often – he is better fresh. He wasn’t a great traveller to the races but I think that is different now. He stays and jumps. His participation hinges on one fact – the ground. If it is soft, we would be wasting our time but if it is on the fast side of good to soft then it would be worth running him.”

Spring Heeled did indeed run in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse and ran a creditable fourth place. The gelding ran up with the pace until four fences out when he faded back on ground he didn’t particularly enjoy.

For me the outstanding piece of form that makes Spring Heeled a serious contender is his win in the 2014 running of the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase. He was carrying 11st 6lb over the 3m 1f distance that day and was popping those Cheltenham fences like a dream. By no means was he coming to the end of his tether up the hill.

Ground permitting Spring Heeled should be on any shortlist.

Godsmejudge (10st 8lb)

On hearing what the handicapper Phil Smith had allotted to his runner, Alan King said “It’s what we expected. He is well and I’m working backwards from the National. He’s in at Kempton (in the BetBright Chase). He might go there. He wants two more runs before the National, so he could easily go on Saturday if we’re happy.

“He’s only had the one run this season. If we can get a run into him in the next few days or the next week or so you’ll only need one more and then he’ll be go there ready.”

Godsmejudge did take up the entry in the Betbright Chase and ran a very pleasing Grand National trial having got outpaced at a crucial stage, he ran on through beaten rivals to finish fifth to Rocky Creek. A poor run in a unsatisfactory race last week can be forgiven.

Godsmejudge appears to have the perfect blend of class and stamina which is essential in winning a race of this magnitude. As we have seen in the past winning a National of some sort is always a key attribute and he certainly has that having won the Scottish version in 2013, then returning twelve months later to finish a gallant runner-up. All this was achieved at the age of seven and eight. Alan King believes his horse needs a more exacting test of stamina than he got in the Betbright Chase and he’s certainly a “Spring horse”.

Nobody will be judging us if we back this one now.

Pineau De Re (11st 0lb)

There is no reason why Pineau De Re can’t become the first back-to-back winner since Red Rum in 1973 and 1974 because he once again has strong credentials going into this year’s renewal.

Speaking at the weights lunch, Richard Newland said “If he can build on his last run with a good show at Cheltenham and finish in the first six or seven, I think it’s game on for Aintree”.

“The weight makes it harder. He’s 8lb higher, though if he’d been 8lb higher last year I think he’d have still won, so there are grounds for optimism.”

“Pineau De Re will go to the Pertemps Final again at Cheltenham and hopefully can run well. I have told Leighton Aspell that Pineau De Re is his ride if he wants it.”

This hurdling route to the Grand National is a tried and trusted one by Newland and if you take a look at some of the race replays you will see that the horse isn’t given particularly hard races.

Is Pineau De Re going to turn up at Aintree in the same kind of form he was twelve months ago? A fairly prominent showing in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham did no harm to his chances and he has a lot stronger credentials than some in the race.

Sounds like the right prescription right?

Do you want to see how my three selections figure in the latest Grand National market? Get all the latest 2015 Grand National betting odds & offers  from your favourite online bookmaker site and don’t be afraid to take a little bit of ante-post value now.