Friday, 27 November 2015

Day two at Newbury

It looked a real slog at Newbury yesterday so be prepared for more of the same today.

There are also several non runners so please keep a check on those and any further rain.

Paul Nicholls
Newbury - Hurdle Course - Soft, heavy in places. Chase Course - Soft.
12.25 - Copain De Classe is said to be a grand, big strong chasing type very much in the mould of Saphir Du Rheu. He was bought in the summer after he won a bumper at Vichy in France in May where they use stalls for these types of races. He managed to win despite being very slowly away out of the stalls and running green and the form has since been franked by the runner up. The stable have since acquired the third horse home. He is not a Triumph Hurdle type horse, but as he is a three-year-old the stable think it makes sense to start him over hurdles here as he he is said to jump well. - Weakening when fell at the last - would not have been placed.

12.55 - Mon Successeur was previously trained by Guillame Macaire in France and won his only two starts over fences before joining Paul Nicholls. He is only a 4yo and finished 2nd on his return in a novices limited handicap chase, over a Wetherby 2m, despite being in receipt of a 4yo weight allowance, however he was said to have needed the run that day and wasn't used to British fences as well as hanging a bit right.
He was given a spin over hurdles last time at Cheltenham as the stable thought it would open more options but he looked as though he would appreciate a bit further and finished 10/20 beaten 18 lengths. He is a half brother to Easter Day and he has quite a tough task here in this conditional jockeys handicap chase being the only four-year-old in the field, but he should be that much fitter now. 2nd

1.30 - Easter Day is due a change of luck as he has suffered all sorts of problems over the last 12 months and he ran well enough back over hurdles at Cheltenham last time in order to bolster his confidence. Previously he was sensibly pulled up by Sam Twiston-Davies after three fences at Kempton when he was unsettled by jumping into the back of another horse at the first. He has had plenty of schooling, and is on a fair mark over hurdles and fences so the stable are looking for an improved run this time although this race will take some winning. The cheek pieces are left on to aid his concentration and he has been dropped 2lb since his last run. - Ran ok, threatened to get involved turning for home but folded tamely when the race developed in earnest.

2.05 - Sametegal a former useful hurdler being placed in the Triumph and Greatwood hurdles won impressively at Huntingdon on his debut over fences under Nick Schofield after a long absence(599 days) with a leg injury. Paul Nicholls was thrilled to see him return in such sparkling form and loved his fluent jumping. Though this race is more competitive and he has a 7lb penalty the stable are hopeful he can take another step forward over two and a half miles which should suit him well in a race not short of talent. Brought Down

2.40 - Howlongisafoot ran seven times last season winning twice at Taunton and Plumpton off marks of 125 and 130 in small fields. Said to be suited by an easy three miles or stiff two and a half as well as decent ground he should be capable of progressing further having reportedly had a good summer. He finished 5th on his first start back recently and like quite a lot of his stablemates this season he improved a fair bit from his first run by winning handily at Taunton just over two weeks ago.
He is not the most straight-forward horse to ride as he has a habit of pulling himself up once he hits the front. He was ready early and is said to continue in form at home and should handle the softer ground here although I don't think he is one to put the mortgage on.

3.15 - Chartbreaker came from Germany in the summer of 2014 having shown useful form but he then took an age to get over a gelding operation. He started at Ascot four weeks ago where he was a bit careful at his hurdles early on but he has potential and obviously possesses a bit of speed and a touch of class. The stable are still learning about him but think he is crying out for a trip which he gets here, he will love the soft ground and should give a bold account.

Dan Skelton
12.25 - Kasakh Noir is said to be a big rangy horse. He won a bumper in France at Argentan over 2m 2f on good going by 8 lengths - quickening up to score easily after kicking clear two out. He maybe be best watched in what is a tricky race to work out. 1st

1.30 - Open Hearted Formerly with Nicky Henderson, for whom he won 6-14, was purchased cheaply at the Doncaster Spring Sale. He has since had two runs - a Class 3 Handicap Chase at Bangor over 2m 4f 72y on Good where he finished a one paced 2nd after running in snatches - wearing a tongue tie for the first time and when winning narrowly after a protracted battle with Knock House at Fakenham. Knock House franked the form by winning of a 2lb higher mark at Cheltenham recently.
He is a big chasing type from the family of Spanish Steps and hopefully top weight shouldn't be too much of a burden as he reverts back to hurdles over 3m against some proven rivals. Pulled Up - was off the pace and couldn't get back into it and made little impression.

2.05 - Three Musketeers ran to a good level of form last season and was given a light campaign and he seems set for more of the same this time around. He gets two and a half miles and will get three in time. He is said to be a very likeable horse with lots of ability that will hopefully make up into a top class novice destined for big prizes over fences.
His trainer was a little bit disappointed with him at Huntingdon as he didn't have him quite right on the day and he should improve a fair bit on that and a bold show can be expected in receipt of 7lb from Dell Arca and Sametegal. 1st - Always going well.

2.40 - Upepito came to the stable having run six times for Venetia Williams winning once at Warwick in a Class 3 Handicap Chase over 2m off a mark of 124. It was though that he didn't finish his races and has been operated on his wind over the summer. He is considered to be an ideal type to go two and a half miles and is on a workable mark of 128. He started the season in the Bobby Renton Handicap Chase at Wetherby over 2m 3 and half on good finishing 2nd to Village Vic(won again since) beaten a neck and that lack of race may have just cost him that day. He then unseated at Aintree when going well and the stable feel there is a good race to be won with him.He remains on 128c and Harry Skelton takes the ride this time.

3.45 - Kid Kalanisi was third in a bumper last season at Chepstow when the Good going was said to be a bit quick for him. He fell on his return, again at Chepstow, when he got badly hampered at the third last and then lost his confidence and fell at the next. The stable think he will make a nice jumper in time and he showed he had ability before falling last time but he would need to have improved a fair bit to trouble the judge in this.

Doncaster - Good
1.20 - Le Bacardy returned at Aintree in the Old Roan Chase where he finished 6th after a couple of errors. He's a 9yo so he is unlikely to find any more improvement and is considered to be a spring horse in any event. He has to be held up over this sort of distance and is best produced late He has dropped 4lb since Aintree after pulling up in a decent race at Cheltenham last time. He should appreciate the good going and is a fair price judged on his win at Market Rasen in the same class in May

3.35 - Lynda's Boy is said to have shown a good attitude at home and has strengthened up over the summer and is one to watch on this debut.


Le Bacardy - 0.50 points ew at 16/1 with several bookmakers
Travelling well when brought down

Open Hearted - 0.50 points ew at 14/1 with Stan James
Pulled Up

Three Musketeers - 1 point win at 5/1 Stan James

Upepito - 1 point win at 4/1 generally

Chartbreaker - 0.50 ew at 20/1 at 888Sport and 32Red

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Newbury 3 day Meeting

It looks like the start of a great 3 days racing at Newbury.

Dan Skelton is now halfway to his target of 100 winners this season having chalked up win number 50 at Lingfield on Tuesday when Wilton Milan scrambled home.

There are plenty of runners for both stables today and they are listed below with up to date information on each :

Paul Nicholls
Newbury - The going is unchanged, with the hurdle course soft, heavy in places, while the chase course is good to soft, soft in places.
12.30 - Modus finished 2nd in the Champion bumper at the Cheltenham festival behind Moon Racer. He then finished 3rd behind Bellshill and Disko at Punchestown. Since then he has changed hands for 190,000GBP and returned to the fray at Taunton to win a Class 3 novices hurdle readily. He is a potential top hurdler in the making and he should improve further as the season progresses and he learns to settle in his races. 
See The World could pose a threat in receipt of 8lb as he ran an extraordinary race on his only start last season and went into many peoples notebooks.He was well fancied for the Cheltenham bumper but didn't run and if he arrives on his "A" game it should be a good match and he has been nibbled at in the market.

1.00 - Wuff has his first start for Paul Nicholls having previously been with Tom George and he has come from the same source as The Ould Lad who ran disappointingly for the stable after being well backed at Wincanton. He won three of his first four races, a bumper and two novice hurdles having previously won a point to point and then failed to win over fences in three runs. Tom George always considered him to be a 3m chaser in the making so it is probably hoped that the change of scenery will make a difference. He returns here in a 3m 1f 214y amateur riders handicap chase off a mark of 130c and the excellent Will Biddick takes the ride, however Nicholls warns that he made need the run and the price is too short if that is the case.

1.35 - Amanto  has yet to win for the stable from 7 starts including 1 flat race when he was second to Lil Rockerfeller at Newbury. He is said to be a lazy sort who has been green and backward and he returned recently at Taunton where he finished 2nd in a Class 4 handicap beaten three quarters of a length. I thought he had a decent chance at the weights in that with Harry Cobden claiming 7lb as well but it wasn't to be and he has now gone up 7lb to 122h which probably leaves him to find a bit of improvement with some of the opposition. However, that said, Nicholls thinks that he has improved for the run and provided he copes with the soft going he should run well.

2.10 - Port Melon has had just the eight races under rules but apart from winning at Taunton he has always been campaigned at Grade 1 tracks. A bit headstrong he has always been a chaser in the making as he is another from the yard that is big and scopey and no doubt the stable hope he will be progressive in that sphere as he won two point to points. He had a breathing operation over the summer and he returned at Kempton with a win in a novices limited handicap chase over 3m on good off a mark of 132c winning by 2 lengths. He needed the run there and he will definitely come on a bit more. The stable have revised their plan though to run in another handicap and take their chance here, however this is a cracking novice chase that will have a bearing on the whole season. The cheek pieces are re employed and provided he copes with the softer going he should give a good account but will probably play second fiddle to some of the others.

2.45 - Warrior's Tale did very well over hurdles winning two for Nicky Richards last season. He was bought privately in the summer with chasing in mind being a big, scopey sort. He is horse the stable like but he starts off on top weight here in this limited handicap chase over 2m 6f and this looks an open race with most of the big yards represented and they go 6/1 and up the field and there is potential to seek out some decent odds if you a have a strong fancy in mind.

3.15 - San Benedeto has had 13 races under rules to date with 7 of those being over hurdles having started his career in France. He won twice last season at Wincanton and Stratford the latter of those coming in a Class 4 novices hurdle when he beat Set The Trend when wearing a hood for the first time due to running free in earlier races. He likes good ground and a flat track as he is said to be a speedy type. However that said he returned on heavy over 2m 4f at his local track Wincanton and after settling well he came through to win as he liked. He has gone up 12lb for that and the stable run him here off a 6lb penalty before his new mark kicks in. He drops back to 2m but Nicholls doesn't see that as a problem - the problems he will have will come from the opposition and Skelton's Ch'Tibello is not short in the speed department.

Taunton - Following a dry night the going remains good to soft, good in places.
1.10 - The Outlaw's dam is a half-sister to smart 2m-2m3f hurdle/chase winner Woolcombe Folly (by Presenting) from the family of high-class staying chaser Cahervillahow. He had bits and pieces of form last season when he was mentally a bit immature and tended to race too keenly and free. Nicholls still has faith in his ability and probably sees the potential from his breeding and after an operation in the summer to help his breathing he could improve significantly but he has a lot to do to beat Dan Skelton's Mister Miyagi.

2.20 - Saint Roque was useful over hurdles before a run of bad luck put him on the sidelines for almost two years being lucky to survive when he fractured two bones in his neck in a nasty fall at Kempton. He recovered well, came back into training last season and then cut his leg badly whilst schooling over fences. This is his first run for 570 days but Nicholls reports he has done loads of work at home, schools well and will appreciate the flat track at Taunton where better ground should suit. He's still a novice due to his time off and he starts here in a novices limited handicap chase off a mark of 130c and he has every chance of a bold show.

Dan Skelton
2.10 - Value At Risk was a high class hurdler and won on his first start for the stable here at Newbury beating the progressive Foryourinformation by 22 lengths. He then ran on bad ground on Cheltenham trials day in January when he was only just denied before running a respectable 5th in the Albert Bartlett over 3m having led turning for home. Plan "A" though has always been chasing as he is big and strong individual and he is potentially very exciting. The stable have been able to tailor his preparation this season as opposed to last when he arrived with them late on. The planned prep run at Bangor didn't come off because of the going but if he is as good as the stable think he is then that shouldn't pose a problem and he looks like taking high rank.

3.15 - Ch'Tibello novice status runs out on 1st November so they just scrape into this one. He put in a decent performance on the flat in France for this stable before winning his only Hurdle at Compeigne over 2m 1f on heavy. He jumps well and is not short of speed. He was beaten by the 135h rated Francis Of Assisi at Fakenham in a 3 runner bumper going down by a neck. He then came up against a decent field at Ascot and finished 2nd to Altior 147h, who has since won again at Cheltenham beating Maputo 147h. There was 20 lengths back to the 3rd Vancouverite 132h at Ascot and Ch'Tibello runs off 137h here so he looks to have a chance at the weights if he runs up to form or even improves further.
The main danger is probably Nicholls San Benedeto(see above) who went up 12lb for his last win and runs here with a 6lb penalty so is effectively 6lb well in.

1.45 - Mister Mayagi is ideally suited by a strong run race which he should get. He is genuine and a very good jumper and the stable think plenty of him and they hope that he can make up in to a decent 2m novice hurdler. He won a Class 3 maiden hurdle at Cheltenham on his first start back in a pleasing fashion. The going and distance should be perfect today as long as it doesn't get any softer as he was pulled out of a Grade 2 last weekend because of the going. He should go well with his 7lb penalty for winning last time out.

Suggested Bets

Amanto 0.50 points ew @ 12/1 with Coral and others

Value At Risk 1 point win @ 11/4 with Paddy Power and others

Ch'Tibello 1 point win @ 100/30 with William Hill and Bet365

Saint Roque 1 point win @ 100/30 Ladbrokes