Challow Novices’ Hurdle Preview

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By Samantha

The Challow Novices Hurdle was first run in 1971 and horses like Denman, Reve De Sivola, Fingal Bay and Tarquin Du Seuil have all come home in front in this grade one over two miles four in the last few renewals.

This race acts as a nice way to end a great week of racing- both in Britain and Ireland. Clan Des Obeaux won the King George beating previous winner Thistlecrack and Verdana out-galloped stablemate Buveur D’Air to win the Christmas Hurdle for the girls. Altior proved his dominance of the two mile chase division with an incredible performance in the Desert Orchid. Apple’s Jade made easy work over in Ireland in a Grade One and Kemboy thrust himself into the Gold Cup picture with a stunning win in the Savills Chase for Willie Mullins.

This is now the final Grade One race of 2018. Last year, there was a thrilling finish to this race after Adrian Heskin made a race of it and kicked for home before three out on the Tom George trained Mulcahys Hill. He was chase by Fergal O’Brien trained Poetic Rhythm and prevailed by a short head as Mulcahys Hill began to tire. The third horse went on to win the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival. There were jubilant scenes in the winners enclosure from the O’Brien team as it was their first grade one victory.

The team have a good chance of winning it again with Coolanly. This horse won his only bumper start in October 2017 and then followed in the unbeaten Vinndication at Leicester in December 2017 by four and a half. Connections must must think a lot of him as he ran in grade one company on his last two starts of that campaign but was well beaten. He fell in the Persian War when favourite on his reappearance and then won the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade two) in very nice style beating the classy Pym. He seems to have matured over the summer so it probably is a good thing that he never over hurdles last season and he can still run in novice company this season.

Champ got beaten a neck by Vinndication in January 2018 so, based on that, looks to have a better chance than Coolanly. The Nicky Henderson gelding isn’t dissimilar to the Fergal O’Brien runner as he failed to win in his first season jumping but has won his last three by a combined twenty five lengths. Aidan Coleman gave him a peach of a ride in a class two hurdle last time out but the horse was very keen. His stamina is assured and he is already rated 150 so warrants being the favourite.

Paul Nicholls has had nine winners from thirty runners since Saturday. Four of which, two grade ones, were partnered by Harry Cobden. This trainer-jockey combination have Getaway Trump in the line up. This horse is one of my ‘20 To Watch’ horses. I know someone who has a share in him with Owners Group 023 and I began to follow him when he ran in bumpers. He didn’t settle on both attempts in flat races but showed ability. He was very keen on his first hurdle start and a blunder out an end to his chances. Then he was electric on his next two starts and began to repay some of the £90,000 connections paid for him. This is a huge step up in grade for the son of Getaway but he has a good chance and will most likely come on for this race.

Alsa Mix is getting a 7lbs allowance as she is a mare and that boosts her chances. She is unbeaten in point to points and under rules. Last time out, she won a grade two at Sandown very well but she has the lowest official rating of the ones rated. Despite this, Alan King’s mare isn’t without a chance. Kateson is unbeaten over hurdles and last time out he won over course and distance. The Black Sam Bellamy gelding improved for the step up in trip last time out and has claims but this is a big step up in grade for him.

Nestor Park was extremely keen when beaten about fifteen lengths in behind Coolanly on his hurdles bow in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle in November but settled well to win a big field maiden last time out. He ran in good company last year so connections must think a lot of him but this looks a tough ask. Only a half length split this horse and Brewin’upastorm in a listed bumper in February with the latter prevailing. He hadn’t been seen since then when winning a novice hurdle last time out over one mile seven furlongs. This is a big step up in grade and distance for this horse and, similarly to the aforementioned horse, this could be a bit hot for him.

Overall, I think CHAMP looks a progressive type and his recent course and distance success makes me just prefer him to Getaway Trump, who himself looks a nice type for the future. This may come a little soon for him but I don’t doubt he will a grade one one day though and could be the each way value at about 8/1.

King George VI Chase Preview

9AF71E08-2246-4BBA-8D00-2310791D1281.jpegBy Samantha

Christmas is a time to celebrate what we love and, for national hunt racing fans, over the next week- in Britain and Ireland- there are some top class races to cherish.

The Christmas Hurdle, in which Buveur D’Air is an odds-on short, acts as a tasty starter for the main course for the day- the 32Red King George VI Chase.

This race is ran over three miles and is a Grade One contest. In recent years, top horses like Cue Card, Silviniaco Conti, Long Run, Kauto Star, Kicking King and Best Mate have won this race and the ten runners set to go to post look to follow in this illustrious list of horses’ hoof prints.

We have two previous winners in the line up this year looking to win it again. Thistlecrack won this race in 2016 with Tea For Two in fourth and Cue Card and Silviniaco Conti filling the two places in between. Last time out, he was behind Bristol De Mai and Native River and a long way ahead of Clan Des Obeaux and Might Bite in the Betfair Chase. His jumping fully let him down on that day and he lost a lot of ground from the others in the air and after the fence. He was absolutely cruising when others were coming off the bridle but found nothing jumping down the straight. If he sorts his jumping out, he will be extremely hard to beat.

His stablemate Native River won the Gold Cup this year in an epic duel between himself and Might Bite. The former prevailed by four and a half lengths and he finished ahead of him again on seasonal debut behind Bristol De Mai. He was third behind Tea For Two over course and distance in the Kauto Star Novices Chase in 2015 on his only try at this course. He is probably the best horse in the race but his run last time out was a bit disappointing. He has an obvious chance and looks good value at 6/1 considering Might Bite is about a 10/3 shot, drifting from 5/2.

Politologue is quite an interesting runner and he carries the colours of John Hales who’s horses Al Ferof and Azeryyiop have placed and One Man won this twice in the 90s. He put in a great performance last time out to win over two miles five at Ascot in a grade two beating Charbel who won next time out. He is yet to race further than this trip so that is a bit of an unknown but apparently connections thought he would be suitable for this race. He is probably Paul Nicholls’ best chance of a winner but he does also have Clan Des Obeaux. The six year old was beaten about nine lengths in the Betfair Chase, ahead of Might Bite, last time out and he was third behind that horse at the back end of last year in the Betway Bowl. I’d be very surprised if he wins.

Bristol De Mai put in a tantalizing display in the Betfair Chase from the front at his beloved Haydock, making his classy rivals- Native River, Thistlecrack, Clan Des Obeaux and Might Bite– look ordinary. This race is pretty much a rematch of that and if Bristol De Mai can win this and then the Gold Cup in March, connections will win the £1million bonus. I really fancy his chances to win this race. There has been a lot of talk in the media about how he won’t handle the track but he has won right handed before at Leicester and Sandown. Admittedly, he would probably prefer it if the track was undulating it he also has a good record for the second run of his campaigns.

A female trainer hadn’t won this since Henrietta Knight trained Edredon Bleu to win the 2003 renewal of this race. Two female trainers have representatives in this year’s race. Jane Williams has recently took over the training of Tea For Two. He won the Kauto Star Novices Chase over course and distance in 2015 and has won twice since, including the Betway Bowl. He was third in this last year and and loves this course but has been struggling at the top level recently.

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Ruth Jefferson also took over a training license after her father Malcolm sadly passed away. She trains Waiting Patiently in this race, who is unbeaten over chase fences. He beat Politologue one and a quarter lengths in a grade two at Haydock in 2017 and he won three times, once at this course, last season. He was last seen winning the Ascot Chase so hasn’t had the benefit of a recent run but usually goes well fresh. He is tackling three miles for the first time so that’s a worry but I know lots of people who really fancy him.

Coneygree won the 2015 Gold Cup under Nico De Boinville, who will ride Might Bite in this. It is well known that he is a very delicate horse and it looked as though connections should call it quits after he was pulled up on both starts last season. Connections persisted and he ran a blinder to be third on his reappearance over three furlongs more and he was showing a little bit of his old spark. It would be amazing if he could win this but that looks unlikely.

Double Shuffle was second in this race last year and was behind Might Bite, Bristol De Mai, Clan Des Obeaux and Tea For Two in the Betway Bowl. He fell at the first after making no attempt to jump in the Charlie Hall and was then second in the Many Clouds Chase. Has a bit to find with the others.

Selections

Bristol De Mai & Thistlecrack

Rest Of The Card

1st Race- Didtheyleaveuoutto
2nd Race- Vivas (EW)
3rd Race- Santini
4th Race- Buveur D’Air
5th Race- Bristol De Mai/ Thistlecrack
6th Race- Erick Le Rouge

5 Selections For Saturday Racing

samspinner3By Samantha

Here are a five horses I like for today’s racing.  Fingers crossed some of these can get in and give you a profit ready for the Christmas period which is set to be full of top-class racing.

Selections…

13:35 Haydock- Smarkets Handicap Chase

Ubaltique has won round here four times and placed twice from seven starts here. He had a double here this time last year and is just 2lbs higher then winning this race last year as the first part of that winning double. Since, he has been well beaten but a pipe opener over hurdles will have done him good.

Best Price- 5/1

 

13:55 Newcastle- 188bet Mobile Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

Eternally Yours (NAP) won over course and distance in April in very good style on her first try over obstacles. She was only beaten a neck on her reappearance, when a big price, and beat a mare fifteen lengths who went on to win very easily next time out. She will come in from that and should go well.

Best Price- 6/4

14:00 Thurles- Boreen Belle Mares’ Novice Hurdle (Listed)

Honeysuckle was an incredibly easy winner of a point to point in April, beating a nice mare of Jonjo O’Neil’s, and made her hurdle debut at Fairyhouse in Mid-November by twelve lengths under hands and heels. She beat a nice mare of Denis Hogan’s, who won next time out, and is the obvious choice.

Best Price- 4/6

14:15 Lingfield- Betway Quebec Stakes (Listed)

Cambridgeshire winner Wissahickon is my selection for this race and he will be the hot favourite. He is rated 117 but only has to carry 9st6lbs because he’s a three year old whereas his biggest rival Big Country carries 9st11lbs. The Winter Derby ya this course will be his target after this.

Best Price- 1/2

14:25 JLT Hurdle (Grade One)

Sam Spinner won this last year and looked out of sorts last time out when unseating when well beaten. It wasn’t his ideal ground that day and he will prefer this. He has cheek pieces on for the first time and should go well in a very open race.

Best Price- 11/2

In Brief

13:35 Haydock- Ubaltique

13:55 Newcastle- Eternally Yours (NAP)

14:00 Thurles- Honeysuckle

14:15 Lingfield- Wissahickon

14:25 Ascot- Sam Spinner

 

 

We would like to wish all our readers and their families a fantastic Christmas and a happy new year and thank you all for your continued support.

From the Rein It In Racing Team xx

Unibet International Hurdle

45ECB8C2-8ABF-4801-9B75-3AC7AEC87721By Samantha

This grade two contest has attracted a nice field. The age range of runners is six years and this is nice early Christmas present for jumps racing fans to sit back and enjoy.

There are two previous winners in the line-up in the form Old Guard and The New One. The former has ran four times this season and ran well on all four occasions. He is a multiple winner round here and won’t mind if the ground dries out or softens. He has to be a leading contender and is a bit of value.

The New One has won this race a whopping three times. He is now a ten year old and is getting to the end of his incredibly successful career. Connections couldn’t explain why he ran such a poor race in the Welsh Champion Hurdle last time out and if he doesn’t show his old sparkle, they will retire him.

SILVER STREAK won the Welsh Champion Hurdle beating The New One twenty four and a half lengths. He is weighted to beat the older horse again as he carries 2lbs less than him. The grey was only beaten a neck in the Greatwood, ahead of Old Guard and Western Ryder. I think he has a great chance as he has progressed really well lately and should continue to improve.

Vision Des Flos and Summerville Boy were both seen in behind Buveur D’Air and Samcro last time out in the Fighting Fifth and finished in that order, one length and a quarter apart. The former finished off last season not beaten all that far when second in grade one races. He is a nice horse but Summerville Boy probably needed the run that day and I could see him reversing the form. The six year old is quite lightly raced and won the Supreme Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham. He was third over two miles here in December last year behind Western Ryder and Lalor.

Western Ryder couldn’t confirm the form in the Supreme where he finished and hasn’t won since this meeting last year. He has been behind good horses since but still has a bit to find with this class of horses. We Have A Dream was a very classy three year old and is a dual grade one winner. He has struggled behind older, more experienced horses, including Old Guard, this term. He is only four and has a big future but will need to improve.

Brain Power spent last season chasing and it is welcomed to see him returning to hurdles as his jumping over fences was scetchy to say the least! He has won four hurdle races but I don’t think he is as good as connections expected him to be and he will need to do a career best performance to win this. He has had a wind op over the summer and can’t be ignored.

Selection- Silver Streak

Becher Chase Preview

becher-chase-grand-national-by Samantha

Any race ran over the big Grand National fences is a spectacle and this race looks very competitive. There are a few horses that have won this race before and a lot of interesting new recruits to these obstacles taking their chances.

Blaklion won this race twelve months ago, after having the benefit of a run, with Highland Lodge, Federici and Vieux Lion Rouge all behind. He was second in the Grand National Trial at Haydock after that but was brought down in the actual race at the first. Vieux Lion Rouge finished ninth in the end. David Pipe’s horse has also won this race before in 2016. He won the 2016 Grand National Trial after that off a mark of 146. He was beaten a long way on all his starts last season and normally goes well off a break.

James Moffat has two runners who are both coming here off a large lay off. Just A Par hasn’t been seen for 588 days and used to be with Paul Nicholls. He finished fourteenth in the 2017 Grand National with Blaklion and Vieux Lion Rouge ahead of him and then was well beaten in the Bet365 Gold Cup with Present Man pulled up. He has ran twice over the National Fences and not done very well. The trainer also has Highland Lodge. He was third in this race last year but was pulled up in the Peter March in January along with Walk In The Mill. Fitness could be an issue with this pair.

Gordon Elliot has won the Grand National twice with Silver Birch and Tiger Roll. Both of his runners have long absences of over 600 days to overcome. Don Poli has top weight as he is rated 160 and is a very classy horse. He won the 2015 RSA Chase and Lexus Chase in 2015 but hasn’t won since. He has finished third in two Gold Cups and is an interesting recruit to the Grand National obstacles. It seems as though connections want a confidence boosting round for him to prepare him for the Grand National in April. Fitness may be an issue. Elliot’s other runner is Noble Endeavor and he hasn’t won since December 2016. That win was in a Grade B handicap Chase over three miles and since then he has ran twice when finishing third in the 2017 Ultima Handicap Chase and sixth in the Irish Grand National. Similarly, fitness is an issue but he will stay.

Other Irish challengers are Dare To Endeavour, Call It Magic and Fine Theatre. The former unseated in this race in 2016 but was second to Highland Lodge in 2015. He hadn’t won since 2014 when he was in training with Tom George and will need to step up. Fine Theatre goes off the same weight and he also hasn’t won for quite a while. He wasn’t beaten all that far off this mark and has ha the benefit of a recent run. Call It Magic has been well beaten in to races over the summer but stays this trip and if he has a clear round, he could go close.

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Ballyoptic

Ultragold’s trainer Colin Tizzard won the feature race of last weekend, the Ladbrokes Trophy, with Sizing Tennessee and the team will be hoping this horse can make it a big race double with this son of Kapgarde. He has won the Topham twice over these obstacles in April and was given a nice warm up task for this over hurdles at the end of October. The only issue with his chances in my opinion is his stamina. He has placed over three miles before but is yet to step up to this trip. Connections obviously think he will stay or they probably wouldn’t have ran him in this, he’d have ran in the Grand Sefton later in the card. BALLYOPTIC is my other fancy. He showed he had stamina in abundance when beaten just a nose in the Scottish Grand National. He is a Grade One winning hurdler over three miles and, if taking to the obstacles and his jumping improves, he has to be a leading contender.

Regal Flow scored impressively in the Midlands National last season but got put up a lot for that. He was behind Ballyoptic in the Scottish National and has had two runs this season where he has been beaten a long way also. He has a nice weight, confirmed stamina and goes on any ground so he’s likely to out-run his odds. Missed Approach’s jockey Sam Waley-Cohen knows how to win over these obstacles. The horse won the Kim Muir at Cheltenham and stays very well. He was pulled up last time out with Present Man ahead and Blaklion also pulled up. He doesn’t often make winning reappearances so that’s a worry. Present Man ran well to win the Badger Ales at Wincanton last month and was third over three miles four on his final start of last season. He goes off a career high mark.

Walk In The Mill put up a good run on his reappearance to be a decent third. He has only tried this trip once and was pulled up but that was on very heavy ground so there is a possibility he’ll stay but his chances would be more appealing if this was over shorter. Crosshue Boy won a Novice Championship Handicap Chase at Ayr in April on good ground, beating the Ladbrokes Trophy third Dingo Dollar. He was well beaten on his reappearance by he’ll come on from that and if he can return to the form he showed in the spring, he’ll be bang there under Grand National winning jockey David Mullins.

Mustmeetalady and Federici are two of the outsiders. The former won a handicap Chase this time last year and has won over three miles four furlongs in the past. He would prefer good ground but I could see him out running his odds if he takes to the fences. was fourth over these obstacles in this race last year. He stays this trip as he won over three miles four when trained by Edna Bolger. He is one pound higher than this time last year but will prefer the ground conditions in this to then.

Shortlist

Ballyoptic
Ultragold
Regal Flow