Jump Racing Is Back On ITV!

Foxtail Hill

By Samantha

For some people, the summer has just been too long. The exciting possibilities for this season have excited racing fans and now, finally, jump racing is back on ITV Racing and the card is an ultra-competitive one.

Race 1- ‘Matchbook Betting Exchange’ Handicap Chase.

3m1f, Class 2

Dell’ Arca and Shantou Village filled the fourth and fifth positions in the Kerry National at Listowel in September. The former won on the flat before that over the summer on good going so he’ll handle conditions in this. He won about this time last year but got a hike in the weights but goes off a winnable mark. Shantou Village won nicely at Warwick before that race with Above Board in second. He had a chance in the Kerry National at about four furlongs out Burbank got a bit tired and I’m not fully convinced that he stay this far but the ground was against him that day and he’ll prefer this.

Above Board is one of three for J P Mannus and is fairly lightly raced. He won a beginners chase this time last year on similar ground and won in May over three miles at Uttoxeter. He was third coming off a break on his penultimate start and then improved to be second to Shantou Village last time out. He’ll have to step up. Minella Rocco seems the best of them based on jockey bookings as Barry Geraghty take some the ride. He is rated a massive 157 and carries 11st12lbs as a result. His last win came in the four miler at Cheltenham beating Native River, the Gold Cup winner. He has had quite a few letters by his name recently and was pulled up behind Perfect Candidate on his second of four runs last season. His jumping will need to improve and he’ll struggle to win with such a late weight. For Good Measure completes the green and gold trio and was last seen third to Cyrname in a Grade Two at Kempton. He has only ever won over two miles so this may be stretching him.

Perfect Candidate won the race he beat Minella Rocco in in gutsy style but struggled in his next two outings and then fell in the Grand National. He stays well and could be a bit of value at 14s. RELENTLESS DREAMER stays all day and ran a good race in the Edinburgh National Over four miles. He’s only 2lbs higher than his last winning mark so has a very good chance and these two seem the value in the race with Relentless Dreamer the preference.

Laurium was a nice winner over this trip last time out and has his preferred ground so can’t be ignored as he’s a Nicky Henderson inmate. Paul Nicholls, his training rival, is also represented with Braqueur D’Or. He was well beaten over three miles in April and he was fourth in the Ladbrokes Trophy in December but he might struggle with the trip.

Cogry and Doing Fine filled the first and third places of this race last year respectively. Neither have won since and they go off the same weights this year. Doing Fine was a good fourth in the Ayr Gold Cup last time out and is the preferred of the two.


Race 2- Masterson Holdings Hurdle

Two miles, Class Two

REDICEAN is the likely favourite and with just reason too. He started hurdling in December and won by large margins on his first two outings beating subsequent winners and then won a Grade Two at Kempton in lovely style. He was sixth and out-classed in the Triumph with Gumball pulled up behind. Gumball is a nice horse in his own right as he was an emphatic winner of both his first two starts and was second in a Grade Two and then was five lengths behind Espirit De Somoza. He was second at Aintree after Cheltenham and then concluded the season winning a novice hurdle nicely. Espirit De Somoza hasn’t done as well as him since as he was beaten four and a half lengths in a Class Four novice race and then well beaten in the Fred Winter in fourteenth when Padleyourowncanoe was fourth. That horse was then ninth in a Grade One behind Gumball at Aintree. Pearl Of The West is one of my ‘20 To Watch’ for this season. She impressed me when beating smart Willie Mullins inmate Pakora convincingly. She was outclassed in a competitive Grade Three last time out but gets a mares’ allowance here and is likely to go close and shouldn’t be underestimated. Eragon De Chanay was highly tried after a juvenile hurdle win as was then third behind Gumball, who was second, in a Grade Three at Cheltenham and again at Doncaster. He was dropped in class and landed a Class Three next time out. He was seventh in the Fred Winter behind Padleyourowncanoe and head of Espirit De Somoza so will need to improve.


Race 3- Randox Health Handicap Chase

1m7f, Class Two

FOXTAIL HILL gave one of my performances of the season in this race last year under Sam Twiston-Davies for his father Nigel. He hasn’t won or placed since but adores it here and is likely to get an easy lead. He is 2lbs lower than last year and I really fancy his chances to go in again. Sam’s old boss Paul Nicholls has Modus. He was a Grade Two novice chase winner under Sam last season. He was highly tried after that in two Grade Ones and couldn’t figure in those race but has a good chance in this. It took Lillington a very long time to win under rules for the first time but he did so in spectacular style in a chase at Newton Abbot. He did the same next time out at Stratford in Class Four company so this will be a big step up for him. Vosne Romanee is the top rated and is a nine time winner. He likes good going and is on an upward curve. A winner in this grade before, he is a live contender and can take advantage if Foxtail Hill doesn’t show his true potential. Bigmartre was a three time winner last season and was second by a short head to Duke Of Navan in a handicap chase in January with Foxtail Hill in eighth. The younger runner won a Grade Two at Ayr last time out and the form has been franked by Mia’s Storm. Duke Of Navan hadn’t been seen since 2015 when making his comeback in April 2017 when he ran a solid second in a handicap chase. In November, he was third in another handicap at Aintree and his best win came in that race at Doncaster. He was third in a Listed race last time out and usually goes well fresh. Tommy Silver was a Listed winner at four and likes good going. He put in some nice runs last season but his run in May was a bit disappointing.


Race 4- Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle

2m7f, Class 2

Wait For Me was third in the 2015 Champion Bumper and won a competitive handicap hurdle in 2017 beating Black Corton and last year’s winner of this race Thomas Campbell. He was second over three miles one so will stay and has a decent chance. Theclockisticking must be held in quite high regard as he has been placed in graded race. He made his seasonal reappearance in a Listed race at Market Rasen and finished second, eleven lengths behind a horse he was giving 8lbs to. He was fifth when favourite for a Grade Three earlier this month and is likely favourite.

The only time Dawn Raider on was in July 2017. He has rau well over the summer but has had a big rise in the weights after a good second at Sligo and third at Listowel. Timeforben has had a really good summer too by never being out of the top two in five runs since June. He won a race over three miles two in September at Newton Abbot and went up 7lbs for that. Not beaten far last time out off a 2lbs lower mark, it does seem as though the handicapper may have him under his fist. If not, a good run will be on the cards. NOTWHATIAM made an eye-catching debut for the Skelton team, who are in flying form of late, last time out over this trip. He has a nice weight and a 6lbs rise for that doesn’t look excessive.

Sykes ran two nice races around the turn of the year and hasn’t been beaten that far in Class Two races but will probably struggle to win off this mark. King Calvin is a dual point to point winner and has ran just four times under rules. This is his first attempt out of Novice Company where he has won twice. He has had a wind op over the summer and is being stepped up in trip so he is a bit of an unknown quantity. Angel Of Harlem hasn’t been out of the top three in six starts for new trainer Olly Murphy. This Presenting mare goes off a career-high mark so will need to step up to get to this level.

Red Infantry and Regal Flow are both chasers nowadays and it is especially interesting to see Regal Flow is running over the smaller obstacles now as he won the Midlands Grand National. That race is four miles two furlongs but this lad isn’t one-paced as he has won races over two miles four before. He is a better chaser than hurdler and it is hard to gauge his ability over hurdles. Red Infantry won over three miles in March. He will go on this ground but is a lot higher than his last winning mark. He is a one-time hurdle winner and would probably have a better chance if this was over fences.

Rest Of The Card-

R5- Dinons (Looking for a five timer, has penalty but looks the classiest)

R6- Movewiththetimes (Never showed potential over fences last season, still a novice, will have matured further for another year and can make a winning seasonal debut)

R7- Earlofthecotswalds- (Made an impressive debut, looks to have a good chance in a very open race. Keep your notebooks handy for this race.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: