Archives for January 2012

Talking Horses: The latest news and best bets in our daily horse racing blog

Her Majesty has had a few months to get over the disappointment of Carlton House’s defeat in the Derby and can turn her attention towards Uttoxeter on Wednesday afternoon and the hurdling debut of Open Hearted (12.40).

A home-bred gelding whose dam, Romantic Dream, is a sister to her mother’s useful jumper First Love, Open Hearted showed a good attitude when victorious on her racecourse debut in a bumper at Ludlow earlier in the month and it’s interesting to see connections opt to go straight over hurdles now.

He certainly has the pedigree and the confirmation to make a jumper, as well as the tenacity, although this 16-runner contest won’t be a cakewalk with Poole Master notably strong in opposition in the early betting exchanges already on Wednesday morning.

I like this horse though, and I like the booking of Tony McCoy too, so I’ll be unfurling my Union Jack and hoping for the best.

Alcalde (2.40) looks a very fair each-way bet at 8-1 with Sky Bet later on the card. Despite being a three-time winner on the Flat, Alcalde is more grit than glamour and lacks a turn of foot at the end of his races. He was picked off by a couple of speedier types in the final stages at Sandown last time out.

However, that was a far more competitive contest than the affair in which he lines up today and there are definitely more races to be won over hurdles with this horse off a sympathetic-looking mark. Will Kennedy takes over in the saddle here and that’s another clear positive for his prospects.

Basford Bob (3.00) will be better suited by the left-handed track at Catterick than he was by going the other way round at Ludlow last time. He still has the potential to make up into a smart chaser if he can iron out the jumping errors that blighted his chances first time out over fences.

Tipping competition, day three

Oops! We left in an abandoned race yesterday, meaning this week’s competition will be decided over 14 races rather than the usual 15. Apologies to all. It didn’t stop Copshaw and curlycov from making hay, just as they had on day one, with each picking Crack At Dawn (10-1) to take a healthy joint-lead over the field.

Today, we’d like your tips, please, for these races: 2.40 Uttoxeter, 2.50 Hereford, 7.30 Kempton.

This week’s prize is a pair of Club enclosure tickets to Cheltenham on Saturday 10th December, the day of the December Gold Cup (sponsored by Spinal Research) and the Stan James International Hurdle (aka the Bula). If you don’t win this week, you can buy tickets here.

As ever, our champion will be the tipster who returns the best profit to notional level stakes of £1 at starting price on our nominated races, of which there will be three each day up until Friday. Non-runners count as losers. If you have not joined in so far this week, you are welcome to do so today, but you will start on -5.

In the event of a tie at the end of the week, the winner will be the tipster who, from among those tied on the highest score, posted their tips earliest on the final day.

Read the full article here:
Talking Horses: The latest news and best bets in our daily horse racing blog

Talking Horses: The latest news and best bets in our daily horse racing blog

Finian’s Rainbow is to miss the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday.

Even in his absence, the clash between Sizing Europe, Tataniano and Wishfull Thinking still whets the appetite. The first-named is the new 13-8 favourite in William Hill’s reorganised betting for the race.

But Finian’s Rainbow’s does sadly detract from the contest with trainer Nicky Henderson having just decided that after seeing the horse work this morning, he “isn’t quite ready” according to a tweet from the Press Association’s Tom Peacock.

The eight-year-old has mustered just 10 starts in three seasons since joining Henderson but undoubtedly has a hell of an engine when he’s right, as he showed when beating Ghizao at Aintree last season having finished second to Captain Chris the previous month in the Arkle at Cheltenham.

Captain Chris, meanwhile, is also subject to a change of plans and will miss next week’s Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon after scoping badly. Philip Hobbs does still hope to get the horse ready to tackle Long Run, Master Minded and Kauto Star in the King George at Kempton though.

12.10pm Only two races in tipping competition today

Because of the abandonment of Ayr races on Tuesday there will only be two races in the tipping competition today.

Today’s best bets, by Will Hayler

The loss of Tuesday’s Ayr card, abandoned as a result of waterlogging, leaves a major hole with the remaining two British fixtures decidedly lacking in excitement.

Le Toreador’s (1.10) two previous ventures into claiming company have failed to produce any dividends, but this speedy type is two from three over five furlongs at Lingfield and must be worth another chance on Tuesday as he comes back down in grade this afternoon.

There isn’t much of Shelagh (3.20), but she’s clearly not short of ability and she returned from a lengthy break to win a course-and-distance handicap 10 days ago with something still seemingly up her sleeve. A 3lb rise for that victory looks more than fair.

Natural Action (12.50) might be worth chancing at 5-1 with Paddy Power to overturn long odds-on favourite Lively Baron in the novice chase at Southwell.

Long-term readers may recall that I’m not the biggest fan of Southwell’s tricky fences, which offer little sympathy to those that make jumping mistakes.

Natural Action has failed to get round in two of his last three starts in chases, but had previously impressed at this track when bounding round to beat Chesapeake on his first appearance over fences. Maybe he appreciates the more upright obstacles at this track.

Lively Baron is tried to blinkers to spark him up today after looking an increasingly hard ride so far this season and theoretically ought to win getting 7lb from the selection. But I’m not convinced that his attitude, or his jumping, will be up to scratch today and at the prices I’m perfectly prepared to take him on.

Tipping competition, day two

As with this time last week, four of you have shot clear by dint of picking a big-priced winner on day one. Well done to Copshaw, curlycov, Blitzwing and SoberJones, who all had Barton Bounty (16-1). Chiefhk, Dangalf, Oddsoncert, chris1623 and TheVic all had the other two winners, As De Fer (11-2) and Reblis (2-1).

Today, we’d like your tips, please, for these races: 2.50 Lingfield & 3.00 Southwell.

This week’s prize is a pair of Club enclosure tickets to Cheltenham on Saturday 10th December, the day of the December Gold Cup (sponsored by Spinal Research) and the Stan James International Hurdle (aka the Bula). If you don’t win this week, you can buy tickets here.

As ever, our champion will be the tipster who returns the best profit to notional level stakes of £1 at starting price on our nominated races, of which there will be three each day up until Friday. Non-runners count as losers. If you have not joined in so far this week, you are welcome to do so today, but you will start on -3.

In the event of a tie at the end of the week, the winner will be the tipster who, from among those tied on the highest score, posted their tips earliest on the final day.

Read the full article here:
Talking Horses: The latest news and best bets in our daily horse racing blog