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National Hunt on the agenda today with the Open meeting from Cheltenham, yes you read that right, it’s Cheltenham folks!
Reading through some tweets, that the prices are hiked in the area, folk thinking it’s March already but the Jockey Club really do need to evaluate their pricing system with Ticket costs along with Food & Drink. Not just at Cheltenham, but ALL racecourses around the country before it’s too late!
Now that’s out the way, the Lads are all in the house & ready to go…..
Cheltenham 3.50 Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle Class 2 over 3m
Selection – Salvador Ziggy 6 year old Gelding out of El Salvador and Donchisa, has won 4 times since changing yards to Gordon Elliott, won on 1st outing for new trainer on the 29th May at Punchestown over 2m 3 and 1/2f beating Another Choice by 1 and 1/4 lengths. Won again on next start at Roscommon on the 4th July over 2m 4f when beating Dovlator by 1 and 1/4 lengths. Won again on next start at Galway on the 28th July over 2m 4 and 1/2f when beating Horse Piste by 1/2 length. Landed the 4 timer on next start at Down Royal on the 26th August over 3m when beating Off You Go by a short head. Makes Handicap debut today and at 12-1 with most firms at time of writing looks a great eachway play in a wide open race.
1:40 – Lynnie’s Big Birthday Bash Maiden Hurdle
Selection: Captain Broomfield
Running in the colours made famous by Paisley Park, Captain Broomfield has a great chance to open his account over hurdles today. After winning his second of two point to point outings, Captain Broomfield made a very encouraging start over hurdles by finishing a close second at Haydock in a race that has worked out well form wise. The winner & the 4th home won nicely next time out. You can forgive Captain Broomfield’s effort last time out at Huntingdon where he burst a blood vessel and bled afterwards. It was a real shame as he was cantering three out but found little off the home turn. His form stands out in what is not an overly strong Maiden Hurdle and the ground should be suitable too. There is a lot to like about his chances.
2:05 – Handicap Chase (Class 2)
Selection: Captain Cattisock
The first decent 3m handicap chase of the season at Cheltenham has drawn a field of 9 runners. I like the claims of CaptainCattisock here as his course form is solid and Fergal O’Brien can get one ready first time out. Captain Cattisock hit a rich patch of form last season registering back-to-back wins at Musselburgh, where he beat one of his rivals today, The Wolf, and at Cheltenham in April over C&D. The connections of Captain Cattisock will be happy to see the word good in the going description as his best form has been on good ground. With his course form and the stable in decent form I think Captain Cattisock has every chance, especially with a good 3lb claimer on his back in Liam Harrison.
Rich – SUNDAY SELECTIONS
Longchamp 2.50 Prix Royal Oak – Group 1 – 3yo+ – 1m 7f 90yds Iresine – Manduro X Inanga 5yo gelding. 3 wins from 4 runs this season including a 1m 4f Listed race at Lyon, Winner of the Group 2 Prix Foy Stakes, when last seen on September 11th beating Bubble Gift by 1 & 3/4 lengths. Up in Trip
Aintree 3.15Handicap Hurdle – Class 2 – 4yo+ – 2m 4f Gentleman At Arms – Reliable Man X Sworn Sold 5yo gelding. 2 wins from 6 hurdle starts, both wins at Huntingdon over 2m 3f 137yds. Finished runner up in a Listed, Grade 2 & Grade 3 Novice Hurdle & was last seen in April last year, when finishing aa 4 & 1/2 length runner up in the 3m 149yd Grade 1 Sefton Novice Hurdle at this course behind Gelino Bella. Handicap debut from a mark of 143 & Top Rated in race.
That’s everything for you folks, thanks for popping by & giving us your time, we really appreciate it
He’s been Flat out all summer, with his Watty’s Flat Spots & now, just like the changing of the season’s, our man Neil Watson(@WattyRacing) brings you his Watty’s Jumps Spots. All through the National Hunt season, Neil will be popping to the races & sending over horses that have been added to his trusty tracker….
So the Panama has been packed off to sunnier climes for the winter as the tweed overcoat and flat cap came back off their summer holidays with a nice easing back into the national hunt scene, as I found myself northbound on Thursday for a trip to the opening jump meeting of the season at Carlisle.
Seven races on the card and the crowd who turned out on a very sunny autumnal day were in for a treat in the very first race of the day as Tommy’s Oscar, who was a Grade 2 winning hurdler last season for Newcastle based Ann Hamilton scored over fences at the first time of asking, although it was a match race & he had to be galvanised on the run in by Danny McMenemin and needed the judge’s magnifying glass to give him the verdict, he jumps fences ok and will get better with experience.
Finish of the day came in the feature three mile chase as Court Dreaming from the Penrith stable of Nicky Richards finished with a wet sail down the outside to land the spoils.
But it’s the Wattyspots that you are all after and here are the three who caught my eye.
1 – Springwell Bay – 5yo Bay Gelding – Trainer : Jonjo O’Neill.
The first of two from the same race here and first up the winner of the 2m 1f novice hurdle.
A £155,000 purchase out of Margaret Mullins’ stable the 5yo travelled nicely under jockey Jonjo Jr and won pretty readily, he should have a decent future ahead of him over timber this season and he can easily pick up another under a penalty.
While it is early days he looked the business in the parade ring as a very professional racehorse.
Chasing home the winner in that race just over three lengths behind was this filly from Dan Skelton.
A spring winner of a Point to Point in Ireland, she probably found this trip a bit on the sharp side but Harry Skelton got a good tune out of her and she stayed on nicely on the stiff uphill finish at Carlisle and she can definitely improve from this.
2m 4f will suit her a lot more, one to keep an eye on.
3 – Small Present – 7yo Bay Gelding – Trainer : Sue Smith.
A multiple winner of staying handicap hurdles in the north including at Haydock back in January. The 7yo has only had one start over fences, which was here at Carlisle where he finished right down the field but he ran an eye catching fourth in the feature three mile chase.
In the main he travelled and jumped pretty well but getting to the business end he just ran out of steam and came in a bit tired.
Personally i think he can improve off this run and connections will more than likely find him a nice race somewhere so he can shed his maiden tag over fences, he has a nice race in him although all his wins have been left handed.
Great to be back jumping again and being at Carlisle, it had a mix of the first day back at school after the summer holidays and a pre season friendly to remember. Exactly what jump horses look like compared to flat ones!
Next up providing the trains don’t go on strike I shall make the my first visit of the season to Aintree, till then happy punting.
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So, this is it, the official end of the flat turf season when the Jockeys Championship is handed out & this years winner is…. William Buick, a top notch jockey, who deserves all the fantastic things that will be said & written about him. He is simply world class & one of, if not, the best around – Congratulations William.
The Apprentice title has gone to Benoit De La Salette, beating Harry Joe Davies to the crown. Congratulations to Benoit & no doubt Harry’s time will come very soon. The future is bright for both these lads.
1:25 – Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (G2)
Selection: Eldar Eldarov(Nap)
A smaller field than usual for the final big stayers race of the British flat season. Eight go to post and I am going to take on the defending champion Trueshan with the St Leger winner EldarEldarov. Roger Varian has trained this horse beautifully and should have left enough in the tank for another big performance today. After an easy win at Newcastle on his seasonal reappearance, Eldar Eldarov was sent to Royal Ascot to contest the Queen’s Vase. He just got up in the final stride to win by a nose despite in my opinion not liking the fast ground as much as perhaps had been anticipated. After that followed a below par run in a slowly run Grand Prix de Paris in July, which did not suit Eldar Eldarov at all over a shorter trip. It was in the St Leger where Eldar Eldarov confirmed his promise with a strong staying display to win a shade cosily in the end by two lengths. The step up to 2m today and the fact he is receiving 9lbs from Trueshan gives him a big chance today, although Trueshan will be a tough nut to crack.
4:40 – Balmoral Handicap
Selection: Orbaan (E/W)
David O’Meara has plundered this prize twice since it’s induction to the Champion Day card in 2016 and he holds four solid chances again. Blue For You is O’Meara’s ace card today but at a bigger price I am going to side with his stablemate Orbaan, who has been in great form over the summer. The highlight of Orbaan’s season so far came at Glorious Goodwood where he gave Blue For You a three length beating in quite some style in the Golden Mile Handicap. The son of Invincible Spirit followed up at Ascot’s Shergar Cup meeting over 7F a week later before finding traffic problems at a crucial stage at York’s Ebor meeting when an unlucky fourth. Last time out Orbaan just narrowly missed by a fast finishing short head in a Goodwood handicap at the end of August. Freshened up since then, Orbaan has winning form on good to soft ground and loves a strong pace to aim at which he should get today. At 14/1 (at the time of writing) he is decent each way value for a stable with a good record in this contest
2.00 British Champion Sprint Stakes – Group 1 – 3yo+ – 6f…. Perfect Power – Ardad X Sagely 3yo colt We have not seen in 69 days (August) since finishing a 3 length 7th to Highland Princess in the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest 6f 101yds in Deauville having also finished 7th in the 6f G1 July Cup at Newmarket behind Alcohol Free. The colt’s last win was in June over C&D in the 6f Commonwealth Cup, when beating Flaming Rib by 1 & 1/4 lengths & that was his 2nd win of the season, having won the 7f G2 Greenham at Newbury on his season return in April. We can put a line through his 2000 Guineas run as he doesn’t stay a mile & 6f is his trip, with a pair of G1’s as a 2yo & is a C&D G1 winner – EACH WAY – (5 placesSome Bookies)
2.40 British Champion Fillies & Mares’ Stakes – Group 1 – 3yo+ – 1m 3f 211yds (1m 4f)…. Sea De La Rosa – Sea the Stars X Soho Rose 4yo filly. Ran just 14 days ago at Longchamp when winning the 1m 6f Group 1 Prix de Royallieu beating Jannah Flower by 1 length, her 1st G1 win. That followed on from a pair of Group 2 wins at Deauville in the 1m 4f94yds Prix de Pomone Stakes in August & the G2 1m 6f Lilly Langtry F&M Stakes at Goodwood by 1 length from Urban Artist. She has suffered defeat this term, when finishing 2nd in the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock ( 1m 3f 175yds) on July 1st having won the G3 Pinnacle F&M Stakes in May. 4 wins & 4 places from 9 runs over distance – EACH WAY 5 Places (Some bookies)
That’s all for today folks, thanks for popping by, we really appreciate it. Tomorrow at 7pm, we have a treat, so keep eyes on the teams Twitter to see what it could be! Thanks again to the lads for their hard work over the flat season & we are all looking forward to bringing you blog’s from the NH season & keeping an eye on our horses to follow!
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Today hails the race of Champions from Dancing Brave, Treve, Enable, Montjeu, Found to Urban Sea, Sea the Stars, Mill Reef & last years winner – Torquator Tasso, who is back looking to emulate Treve, Enable & Alleged – all winners of the Arc twice! We have a maximum field of 20 going to post & the going is Very Soft….
We will try & cover as much of the meeting as possible, with our thoughts on the BIG race too, so hopefully we can find a winner on 3 & make this a special day.
And what more can you want on a special day than a race by race preview of all the Aidan O’Brien runners from @AOBFS
2.50 Prix Marcel Boussac G1 at ParisLongchamp – Never Ending Story
The Daughter of Dubawi out of Athena (Camelot) has had 5 starts to date and has 2 victories to her name including her victory in the Silver Flash Stakes Group 3 at Leopardstown in July. Last seen finishing 4th behind Tahiyra & Meditate in the Moyglare Stud Stakes G1. This was a solid run considering she was hampered late on. I think the step up to a mile will really suit her but this looks a very hot renewal with Kellina, Wed, & Habana all boasting very strong form lines.
3.50 Prix l’Opera G1 at ParisLongchamp – Tuesday
It’s been tough for Tuesday since her victory in the 2022 Epsom Oaks. 4th in the Irish Derby 2nd in the Yorkshire Oaks & 4th in the Prix Vermeille. She is such a gutsy filly and I do think the drop back to ten furlongs will really suit her but the fact she has been issued with the second Magnier colours also with Ryan jumping off her to ride Coolmore’s other runner Above The Curve must be a concern but that does not put me off I think she is a big player in this.
4.25 Prix de l’Abbaye G1 at ParisLongchamp – New York City
The son of Invincible Spirit looked to have the world at his feet when he ran out the cosy winner of the Committed Stakes at Navan in April but has failed to reach the winners enclosure since. He looked totally out of his depth when he ran in G1 company for the first time finishing 12th of 13 in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York. Last time out he finished a solid 4th in the Flying Five Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend how ever he did finish 5 lengths behind the winner. At this level its tough to be confident about his chances but he could well turn into a very nice sprinter in time hopefully he is kept in training for a 4 year old campaign in 2023.
5.00 Prix de la Forêt G1 at ParisLongchamp – Tenebrism
The Daughter of Caravaggio who was a Group 1 winning juvenile and added to her CV in 2022 by winning the Prix Jean Prat G1 at Deauville in July at the same trip as today’s race. Sadly she seems to be one of those horses that is stuck between distances. Aidan has seemed to persevere with her at a mile instead of targeting sprints with her and personally I think she does not quite stay that trip. This is certainly more in her ball park it’s a stinger race then the field she faced in the Prix Jean Prat but she has very strong claims.
NAP – Luxembourg – NB – Tenebrism
Let’s see what the rest of the team have for you including the 3.05 Prix de L’arc de Triomphe…
4.25 Prix de l’Abbaye de longchamp Longines
Competitive renewal for this Group 1 for 2yr olds+
Last years winner A Case Of You is drawn in stall 19 and will have to produce a similar display to get in the frame today, The Platinum Queen has won 3 times in 6 starts and has finished 2nd twice including when runner up in the Group1 Nunthorpe Stakes to Highfield Princess, she gets a valuable allowance for todays race and is the current fav at around 7/2 with most firms. Tees Spirit is one who could go well for eachway players at around 12/1 at time of writing. I can’t see The Platinum Queen being beaten here and is my Selection.
3.50 Prix de l’Opera Longines
A very competitive renewal of this Group 1 for Fillies & Mares; I’m siding with La Parisienne to land this for the home team. A close 2nd behind market leader Nashwa in the Diane this summer having met traffic on the home turn followed up by a 3rd in the Vermeille over 12f here last month, when again short of room at a crucial stage. With a clear run she can land a deserved success at the top level here and has already won a listed race over 10f on soft, so has a lot less to answer on the ground than several rivals today.
3.05 – Prix de L’arc de Triomphe – Group 1 – 3yo+ – 1m 3f 204yds – Selections –
Alpinista looks interesting winning 5 Group 1 races this year and has similar form on Soft Ground as Luxembourg, last years winner Torquator Tasso has a win in a Group 2 and has placed 2nd in last 2 starts in Group 1 company and has a wide draw to overcome today. Vadeni has won 5 times from 8 runs including winning the Eclipse at Sandown. Westover was unlucky not to win the Epsom Derby when finishing 3rd, made amends in the Irish Derby by beating Piz Badile by 7 lengths.
Selection – Alpinista
I do like Alpinista here, however at the prices I’m selecting Onesto to win the big race. A winner over course and distance in the Grand Prix de Paris this summer, Onesto just failed in the Irish Champion Stakes last time out over 10f. A return to this trip; with testing conditions forecast, could well see the tables turned today with the Frankel colt currently around 7.5pts bigger in the betting than his conqueror and the current market leader Luxembourg, who does have stamina to prove. As usual, shop around for extra places as he makes plenty of each-way appeal.
It’s the 101st edition of the world’s greatest flat race. Irish trained horses have won six of them and I believe Luxembourg can make it seventh heaven for the Irish today. Aidan O’Brien’s Colt arrives at Longchamp still relatively fresh after an injury induced summer break. Last time out Luxembourg produced a career best to date with a strong effort to land the Irish Champion Stakes, beating Onesto, Vadeni & Mishriff, who all reapose today. That run should bring him to concert pitch for his first attempt at this 12f trip, which I think he will be even better at. Luxembourg has winning G1 form on soft ground but I would be concerned if it got extremely testing. He’s a worthy favourite in my eyes with the stable firing at the moment on all cylinders. Japanese Derby winner DoDeuce is another I’d consider at an each way price whilst I agree with Chris’s point regarding Onesto. He may well be the value in the race on all known form.
It’s a very wide open looking Arc on paper and with so many ifs and buts about most of them I’m definitely happy to take on the market protagonists and like last year search for something at a bigger price although i very much doubt I’ll pick a 72-1 winner as i did last year.
With that in mind I’m quite hopeful about the French flag flown over Paris on Sunday teatime as I’m putting up Bubble Gift under Olivier Peslier for trainer Mickel Delzangles to run a big race at his current double digit odds.
He was eighth in last years race but this is definitely a much easier looking race and with some of the horses ahead of him that day not racing in this years race he has a chance of moving up a few positions in the field.
He’s ran very well with credit in some of the big French middle distance races this year, his second in last months Prix Foy over course and distance was nice especially as it was his first race since July when he was third behind Alpanista in the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud over 1m4f.
In all fairness he has a bit to find to win but with plenty of experience on the French soft and lots of course experience to boot i can see him hopefully running a big race at fairly big odds.
Paul @AOBFS –
3.05 Prix l’ Arc De Triomphe G1 at ParisLongchamp – Broome, Luxembourg Broome a G1 winning 6 year old son of Australia has not really hit the heights he reached in 2021. He’s such a solid horse and always gives everything. His form seems to have dipped of late and I have never really been convinced he is up to it at the very highest level. He is certainlly worthy of his place in the race and with racing you really never know but I doubt he will make the placings Chances 3/10
Luxembourg started his season finishing a fantastic 3rd in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May sadly he picked up an injury in the race and he was to spend some time on the sidelines. He was a huge loss to Ballydoyle who knows how he would have faired in the Epsom Derby. Made his comeback in the Royal Whip Stakes Group 3at the Curragh in mid August. It was a very workmanlike performance but clearly he was just ready to comeback and he was obviously very ring rusty but he showed more than enough for him to be sent to contest the Irish Champion Stakes in September. Luxembourg showed vast improvement from his comeback to land the Irish Champion Stakes downing the colours of G1 winners Onesto, Vadeni, Mishriff, Alenquer, & Broome. I actually think 12 furlongs will bring more out of the son of Camelot I think this is Aidan’s best chance since Found won the race in 2016 its a very strong field but I think Luxembourg has the credentials to win it.
Alpinesta – Frankel X Alwilda 5yo mare. The mare has been unbeaten since September 2020 when she was runner up to Antonia De Vega in the Group 3 Fillies + Mares’ Princess Royal Listed Stakes at Newmarket over 1m 4f. Since that day Alpinesta has won the Daisy Warwick Listed Fillies’ Stakes, Lancashire Oaks, Grosser Preis Von Berlin G1 when beating Torquater Tasso by 2 & 1/2 lengths, Preis Von Europe G1 & Preis Von Bayern G1 all in 2021. This season she started by winning the Grand Prix Saint-Cloud 1m 4f G1 in July & was last seen winning the Yorkshire Oaks on August 18th… EACH WAY – Bubble Gift – Nathaniel X Bubble Back 4yo colt. Winner of a pair of Group 2 races including the Prix Niel last season before finishing 8th by 5 & 1/2 lengths behind Torquater Tasso. Has run 4 times this term & has only finished outside the top 3 on one occasion on season return. He was 3rd to Alpinesta back in July in the Grand Prix Saint-Cloud & had a break, Returned to finish 2nd to Iresine in the G2 Prix Foy on September 11th. Wears 1st time blinkers.
4:25 – Prix de l’Abbeye (G1)
Selection: Flotus (e/w)
The famous 5F dash on Arc day is as usual a tricky puzzle to solve. Flotus is one of my strongest each way fancies today and gets the nod here from me. Simon & Ed Crisford’s Filly has been a star for her connections this season running well and consistently bar a below par effort in the Nunthorpe. Flotus has yet to win over 5F but it was by far her best performance over the minimum trip with a third in the Flying Five at the Curragh behind Highfield Princess, where Flotus had several of today’s rivals behind her. As proven Flotus is a ground versatile Filly and crucially seems to handle soft ground, which she will obviously encounter this afternoon. Flotus has winning form over 6f and on this stamina sapping ground that is a bonus. William Buick is full of confidence too. There is a lot of reasons to be positive about Flotus and her Abbeye chances today.
1.50 – Prix Marcel Boussac – Group 1 – 2yo Only – 7f 209yds… Blue Cen Rose – Churchill X Queen Blossom 2yo Filly. 3 wins from 5 starts. A debut 6th over 6 back in May was her introduction to racing before she headed to Saint-Cloud to land a 7f Maiden in June. The Churchill filly took another step forward by winning again when stepping up to a mile at Clairefontaine in July. She finished a short head 2nd in a 1m Deauville Listed Stakes in August before her run last time out on September 8th over C&D in the Group 3 Prix d’Aumales (Fillies’), where she won by 1 & 1/2 lengths, with Start Me Up in 3rd by 2 lengths (In field today) – Each Way
A DANGER could be – Wed – Profitable X Eaton Road Filly, who has 3 wins from 4 starts including on August 20th the Group 2 Prix du Calvados, her last start…
That’s everything for you today folks, thanks to the lads for their hard work during this flat season, it has not been easy for us all – Covid, Family stuff, Heat Wave – but we made it through the other side! And to you guys, who take the time to read our posts & RT on Twitter, we really do appreciate it – Thanks.