Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Newbury and Ludlow

Paul Nicholls is not in the best form at the moment with just 4 winners from 52 runners in the last 14 days and 13 beaten favs - can he begin to pull it round as we head into the Christmas period ? - or could the slump get even worse ? He has runners at both Newbury and Ludlow today and the stable will be hoping for a massive change of fortune.

Dan Skelton is doing better he has had 7 winners from 24 runners over the last 14 days with two beaten favs. He also has runners at both national hunt meetings today and will be hoping for more of the same if not a little bit more.

Well although we didn't have the main selection winning yesterday we did manage to find the main danger in Hester Flemen to upset the fav Warrior's Tale at Catterick and those who took advantage, which didn't amount to many if any, would have been quids in !

"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink"

Paul Nicholls
12.10 - Clan Des Obeaux is said to be big and athletic and a nice prospect for the season but as with most of Nicholls younger horses they will be better when they jump a big fence. He won on his only start in France over 1m 4f. He is probably a bit novicey and may need his first run in this juvenile hurdle and may be one to oppose with Ferguson's Jaleo who beat a Nicholls "hotpot" last time although he was favoured by the weights in that and he has to carry a penalty this time but I can't see Clan Des Obeaux being any better than Romain De Senam whom Jaleo beat at Catterick.  1st

12.40 - Wuff was previously with Tom George. 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 returned at here in a Class 3 3m 1f 214y amateur riders handicap chase off a mark of 130c under Will Biddick and finished 5th of 9. He was quite strong in the betting, 6/4 even though Nicholls had warned that he made need the run. During the race he jumped boldly and was still going very well when hampered at the sixteenth fence and thereafter he was unable to recover. This horse has little mileage on the clock, has dropped 3lb in the ratings to a workable 127c and today wears cheek pieces for the first time and he looks to have a good chance against Blameitalonmyroots. 2nd

2.25 - Arpege D'Alene has always been thought of as a chaser in the making and he is half brother to Hennessy winner Triolo D'Alene. He is a scopey horse who has the potential to go to the very top over the larger obstacles having matured that much more over the summer. He was no slouch over hurdles either beating Tea For Two rated 153 on level weights at Ascot. He had reportedly schooled well over fences before making his return at Wincanton over 2m 4f on soft going in the Grade 2 Rising Stars novices chase which Nicholls has a good record in. In that race he was comfortably held by Emma Lavelle's Junction Fourteen(OR142C) despite being in receipt of 6lb with his lack of experience being put forward as a factor in his defeat. That was 39 days ago so he should have come on a bit since then but he's up against a few more promising types in this intriguing Class 2 Graduation chase in which he receives weight all round and for which he wears a first time tongue strap. Given that this is his second run, he wears a tongue strap for the first time and he is in receipt of 11lb from his two main rivals 2/1 is a reasonable price in this 4 runner event. 

12.20 - Le Prezien ran a promising race at Strasbourg before being acquired by Anthony Bromley for the Million In Mind Partnership. He put up a good performance against one of the best novices we have seen this season in Yanworth at Warwick who has a hurdle rating of 145h. There doesn't appear to be anything of that calibre here but given the stables form of late you should be wary of backing this one at odds on given there are 15 other runners. 1st

12.55 - ForTwo missed last season with a tendon injury. He returned at Carlisle in a Class 3 novices limited handicap chase over 2m 4f on good finishing 5th of 7 where having travelled well he looked like he would be involved in the finish but he didn't find much which is a trait of his. Next time out in a similar race at Newbury on soft and just over 2m he was 6th of 10 where he was well beaten when making a mistake three fences out. He's dropped 6lb to 122c and he wears cheek pieces for the first time in an effort to try and spark him into a win but he's back up to 2m 4f and he may be found wanting again.

Dan Skelton
12.10 - Cobra De Mai is said to be an interesting prospect for the season and is a chaser for the future. He started his campaign for team Skelton at Warwick in a juvenile maiden hurdle over 2m on soft where he was said to have been too keen and fresh when 5th of 12. That was a slightly disappointing return and a better run will be expected today and 12/1 at one fifth the odds 1,2,3 is fair. 3rd 14/1

1.15 - 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 that he had ability at Chepstow before falling. He was 10th of 12 on his next start here in a Class 3 national hunt maiden hurdle where he was held up in the rear and eventually tailed off. He is available at odds of 150/1 today and that basically sums up his chances. 3rd 100/1

2.40 - What A Warrior won his first two starts last season and he resumed on a mark of 140c in the Grade 3 Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot which he had won 12 months earlier. He was said to be spot on for that according to his trainer and he finished 4th of 15 being headed after two out and one pace thereafter which may have been due to his ding dong battle up front. He needs good ground to show his best so that is a negative here but he should be able to dominate from the front on his second run back on this easier track.

3.10 - Rene's Girl ran in two bumpers last season finishing 6th and 4th and stable think she will have little trouble picking up races this season. She returned at Chepstow running a good race to finish 3rd to Hollies Pearl whom she then beat on her next start at Warwick when in receipt of 7lb. She has the 7lb penalty this time and I may be wrong but I think she will be placed but won't win and her odds are too short to do ew.


What A Warrior 1 point win @ 5/1
Wuff 1 point win @ 100/30 Bet365
Arpege D'Alene 1 point win @ 2/1 generally
Cobra De Nai 0.50 points ew @ 12/1 generally

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