Monday, 2 November 2015

That Monday Morning Feeling!

Well the stables didn't have the greatest of weekends but a couple of Paul Nicholls big guns didn't let his side down.

I really shouldn't have put any bets up on Saturday as I was pushed for time and I just rushed into it, but hopefully we can get back on winning ways asap!!

Today we have three meetings at Kempton, Ludlow and Plumpton.

Paul Nicholls


1.30 - Rock On Oscar was a point to point winner and ran just once for the stable last season when he ran too free to do himself justice. He could be a work in progress as they teach him to settle and Nicholls sees him as a chaser in the making as he is a big scopey looking individual. He starts here over 2m 5f and I think it will be a case of watching and seeing how he gets on unless there is any market support. He is up against Hendersons Ballinure who lost out to Great Hall last time but that one then finished 4th NTO and Harry Fry's Mountain Eagle another point winner who shaped encouragingly FTO. All in all it's not a race to get too excited about.

2.00 - Port Melon has had just the seven 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 that's big and scopey and no doubt the stable hope he will be progressive in that sphere as he won two point to points. He has had a breathing operation since we last saw him so that may help his cause today. The stable have taken the view not to run him in a novice hurdle which they could have done up to 31/10 and the going and distance should be perfect for him at Kempton. It wont be easy but he is on a realistic mark of 132c and it's not hard to see him running well against several race fit rivals.
Harry Fry's Billy Merriot 129C was in the process of running a good race here, after a 2 year absence, when he unseated LTO, at the time he looked like he may have got the better of Nicholls 147c rated Art Mauresque with Frampton well beaten. Art Mauresque went on to win a Class 2 novice at Cheltenham's October meeting by 8 lengths. There is nothing of Art Mauresque's ability here in this Class 3 and Billy Merriot is potentially well handicapped. Dreamsoftheatre was lucky to stay on his feet LTO when under pressure and blundering through the last two fences and he has gone up 6lb for finishing 2nd. He may well be capable of stepping up on that but I'm not sure that will be enough to win.

2.30 - Silviniaco Conti returns in this handicap hurdle and he should give a good account of himself as he warms up for his chasing season.

3.05 - Easter Day is potentially well handicapped on 142c but strangely the stable avoid a handicap this time and this may just be a confidence booster. He was in the process of running a very good race at Cheltenham when falling at the notoriously difficult third last in January. The trip here may be slightly on the short side for him and he probably would prefer softer going - plus he didn't run very well here LTO after making a mistake. He is up against some smart sorts in this small field but he has plenty of ability and I would imagine he will win something decent this season as he is entered in the Paddy Power and the Hennessy.

Dan Skelton


1.20 - Oulamayo finished 4th in a bumper on his first start back at Fontwell at the beginning of October were he lacked a bit of pace and that might be the same again today on this sharp track over a shorter trip.

1.50 - Girly Girl won an Irish point to point in February and had her first start for this stable on 1st April at Towcester in a Class 6 Bumper in which she was second to Nicky Hendersons Coole Charmer. She won on her return under Bridget Andrews in a bumper at Worcester and she runs here in a mares novices hurdle with Harry Skelton up. The stable think she will improve over hurdles with jumps back in front of her but I'm not sure I want to test that out at 9/4.


None on the stable runners.
I will probably back Billy Merriot to win the 2.00 Kempton - but he's not a blog selection as such.

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