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Our first post for 2 weeks due to family commitments & we are ready to go, so let’s get straight to it..
2:30 – Intermediate Handicap Hurdle (Class 1)
This looks like a cracking little contest over the 2m trip here at Newbury. The market suggests that this race is between the top 4 in the betting. The one I am drawn too is the unexposed Pikar for the Skelton stable. With just the four races under his belt there is a lot more to come from the son of Masterstroke. Last time out at Cheltenham four weeks ago Pikar got off the mark over hurdles in good fashion, finishing his race off well up the famous hill. The form of that race has been boosted by the fourth winning by a good distance next time out. The Skelton’s obviously think quite highly of Pikar as he has run in some nice races including Novice Hurdle Grade 2s at Cheltenham and Haydock. The winners of those races where I Like To Move It and Jonbon. Despite falling at Cheltenham that day he was far from disgraced behind Jonbon at Haydock, beaten only nine lengths in the end. With the stable in good form and the ground in his favour I am expecting a bold bid from Pikar.
Winner 4 times over hurdles in 2021/22 season which included the Grade 3 Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham in April, on her final start of the NH season. She spent the sunmer running on the flat over 2m, winning her last 2 starts at Ascot in September & Newmarket on October 28th, she steps up in trip today having run over 2m 1f last NH campaign & runs with just 11s on her back – Each Way ( Extra Places some Bookies)
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Charlie returns to join Jamie & Rich, who had a cracking Breeders Cup!
We have selections from – Cheltenham, Wetherby, Uttoxeter & Lingfield
1.45 Arkle Challenge Trophy Trial Novices Chase
Selection – Banbridge– 6 Yr old Gelding out of Doyen and Old Carton Lass. Has had 10 career starts winning 6 times. The wins have came over the Flat, Hurdles and Fences, has one Flat win at Killarney on the 10th May 2021 when beating Goldwin Magic by 8 and 1/2 lengths. Has won 4 times from 7 starts over hurdles, including here when landing the Martin Pipe when beating Cobblers Dream by 1 and 1/2 lengths. Won his only start over fences at Gowran Park on most recent start on the 1st October when beating Indigo Breeze by 8 and 1/2 lengths. Biggest threat to the selection comes in the shape of Tommy’s Oscar who has won 9 times from 16 career starts including 5 wins from last 6 runs, although has only won against 1 rival in sole start over fences at Carlisle last time out when winning by a head .
2.20 Gold Cup Handicap Chase
Selection – Stolen Silver – 7 Yr old Gelding out of Lord Du Sud and Change Partner. Has had 19 career starts winning 4 times. Has won twice over hurdles and twice over fences. Has ran here 6 times has 1 win and has placed 2nd twice, finished 4th once and has been pulled up once and unseated jock once. Won on most recent outing here in April this year when beating Simply The Betts by 11 lengths with Coole Cody a further 14 lengths adrift in 3rd. If reproducing that here today that should be enough to gain another victory, biggest danger to the selection comes in the shape of French Dynamite who has 3 wins from last 5 starts.
2:20 – Gold Cup Handicap Chase
Selection: Stolen Silver
The first big race of the jumps season at Cheltenham sees several contenders in with a chance of landing this big pot. StolenSilver seems to enjoy running at Cheltenham as his course form figures of U2P214 would largely suggest. Sam Thomas has his stable in good nick coming into this meeting and Stolen Silver has a lot going for him today. The son of Lord Du Sud is progressing nicely and signed off his campaign last season with an emphatic win over C&D in a Grade 2 in April. Another positive for Stolen Silver is that good ground is in his favour as his best form is undoubtedly on a sound surface. He has a bit of pace does Stolen Silver and if he can jump as well as he did last April then he should be bang there up the hill. He has a big chance in my book. Paul Nichols has a solid record in this contest and his Il Ridoto is a big danger in my opinion.
2:35 – Golden Rose Stakes (Listed)
Backing Summerghand comes with its risks but It’s hard to ignore his claims today as David O’Meara’s star sprinter has been in excellent form of late. As he proved last time out at Ascot on Champions Day when a terrific second in the Sprint over his favourite distance of 6F. Before that came victories in big handicaps at Ayr’s Gold Cup meeting & York’s Ebor meeting, where crucially he got a fast pace to aim at as he is famously known as a hold up horse. They usually go at a good clip at Lingfield over the sprint distances so I am hoping my selection can slingshot off the home bend and fly home from the rear. He has been freshened up since Ascot and if he replicates his Champions Day performance then it will take a big effort to beat him if he gets a clear run. Summerghand does have a win over C&D to his name as well and commands the utmost respect in this company. AnotherRomance could go well for each way punters here, I think there is more improvement to come from him.
Wetherby – 1.18 Handicap Hurdle – Class 3 – 3yo+ – 2m 3f 154yds.. Foster’s Island – Tran Island X Mrs Eff 7yo gelding.
Winner of 3 handicap hurdles in 2021 – Kelso & 2 at Ayr, with distances ranging from 2m 3f to 2m 4f & rising in the handicap from 105 to 123 in the space of a month following his 3 wins on the bounce ( November to December 2021). He ran at this course in February 2022, finishing a 5 & 1/4 length 3rd of 7 from 123. His mark dropped to 122 in April when he was last seen at Hexham, when finishing a 1 & 1/2 length 2nd in a Class 3 handicap hurdle over 2m 4f to Easy Street. Returns today from a mark of 121 – Each Way – 4 Places (Some Bookies) 25/1
Uttoxeter – 2.12 Handicap Chase – Class 3 – 4yo+ – 3m 2f 13yds… Premier D’Troice – Great Pretender X Mick Bora 8yo gelding.
The C&D winer has been improving with every run. He was on the go from December 2021, running 7 times with 1 win & 3 places, He has been off since June 2022 when last seen winning over C&D from Baranova by 7 & 1/2 lengths in a class 4 handicap chase. He has run 6 times over this distance, winning 3 times & placing twice. Returns after 150 days off – Each Way (4 Places with some Bookies) 12/1
That’s everything for you today folks, thanks for popping by, we really appreciate your support.
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It’s the Breeders Cup on Saturday evening, so this is a double blog post in one, oh you are so lucky.. Charlie is still having bookie trouble, Jamie is at Down Royal today, while Chris is taking Family time & that is far more important to us all, we wish him all the best. Rich & Jamie are here with Neil joining the crew today…
Down Royal –
12:53 – Value Cabs 3yo Hurdle
Selection: Old Victoria
A nice little 3yo Hurdle to open proceedings at Down Royal today. Gordon Elliott has farmed this race recently winning 5 of the 7 runnings, so I was keen to see what horse he would aim at this contest this year. OldVictoria, a recent French import to the Elliott yard seems to be regarded quite well by his connections and has an obvious chance. After a debut 2nd on soft ground, Old Victoria went one better next time out in September, where he saw his race out well. Cougar probably is a worthy favourite but I think he is quite beatable on proper soft jumping ground given his flat pedigree. However, I do think he will prove a tough nut to crack. With the Elliott stable firing on all cylinders and the ground likely to suit, I like the chances of Old Victoria to make it a winning Irish debut.
1:58 – Charles Hurst Handicap Hurdle (Grade B)
Selection: Watch The Weather (E/W)
Prior to a blip last time out at Listowel, Watch The Weather had been in great form winning back to back races before a 2nd at Ballinrobe.The son of Kayf Tara seems to be getting better all the time and you can forgive what happened last time out as he was reported to have suffered some nasty cuts to his hind leg. Watch The Weather is still lightly raced and there is likely to be more to come. He runs off the basement weight off 10st today and with Rachael Blackmore back on board he makes some appeal for each way punters at 17/2 (at time of writing). The drop back in trip to 2m 1f is a slight concern but he should be staying on well after the last. I’m hopeful of another big run this afternoon.
5:50 – Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1)
Selection: Toy (E/W)
This looks to be quite an open running of this 1m 2f contest with Nashwa being the one they have to beat on all known form. I have a gut feeling that Toy is going to outrun her odds and nick a place. This type of test, swinging around the tight bends may well just up the Daughter of Galileo’s street and bring out the best in her. Toy has had a mixed season with a 2nd in the Irish Oaks being the standout performance. After picking up an injury in the German Oaks Toy was only just ready in time to take in a prep race in a listed race at Naas, where despite unsuitable soft ground she managed to win. With a strong pace likely Toy could pick them off late on from the rear of the field. I’ve always thought quite a bit of this Filly and she will improve a lot from that prep run. At 28/1 I am going to take a punt over what I consider to be her best distance.
7:55 – Breeders Cup Distaff (G1)
The feature race on the dirt for the Fillies & Mares sees a field of 8 runners heading to post. Todd Pletcher’s Nest has been on a roll of late and gets the nod here. The ultra consistent 3yo has won her last 3 races, including two Group 1s and a G2. Her only defeats this year have came in the Kentucky Oaks & Belmont Stakes, where she wasn’t beaten far when 2nd on both occasions. That G2 was a prep race 4 weeks ago at Belmont, which Nest passed with flying colours. Nest’s form is very solid and she looks the outstanding 3yo Filly in North America this season. I hope & think she can crown a great campaign this evening. The one they all have to beat.
At the moment of typing eight have been declared for this qualifying race in which the first four home will be qualified for the final on the Thursday of the Cheltenham Festival but it is still a very competitive race in it’s own right.
A real mix of progressive types and some horses using this as a pipe opener for bigger races this month make it quite a tricky puzzle for punters and form students.
Course form can always count for a bit extra and no more so than Aintree so I’m going with a horse i backed a few times last season and actually saw him race three times on the track in the David Pipe trained Remastered.
He ran in this race last season like today as his sesonal opener where he was third off 133, he then posted some good efforts over fences including in the big staying chase at Newbury where he fell when going nicely, he is a pound lower this afternoon and it’s likely he will head back to Newbury again, i can see him running a big race again and should be in the shake up.
2.11 BoyleSports Grand Sefton Chase, 2m5f.
Fifteen declared for the first race of the season over the famous green spruce fences in which the top seven are in the handicap proper.
Quite a few of these come to the race in good form and as usual it should be run at a good clip from the outset and with The Chair as the third fence it will make for some pretty hair raising viewing.
Plenty have a chance for me in this and I’m going to select a couple which can often prove to be needed for a race over these fences.
First up for the win I’m going to stay local and go for the Oliver Greenall trained Gesskile, a winner of two hunter chases at Ludlow and Kempton in the spring he then went to Auteuil where he ran twice finishing first and second in two races over 2m6f, he can run a tidy race here.
One horse who should give each way punters a good run for their money is Percussion from the Laura Morgan yard in Leicestershire, having his first run since May he is an honest enough type and despite being a few pounds wrong at the weights he should be able to out run his odds at a big price.
Breeders Cup – Keeneland
4.29 Turf Sprint – Grade 1 – 3yo+ – 5f 110yds…. Creative Force – Dubawi X Choose Me 4yo gelding. The Godolphin gelding has run only 4 times this season, having run 8 times as a 3yo, with his runs spread out during the season, having started in Meydan back in March. He was 14th of 16 that day in the Sprint to A Case of You & was put away until Royal Ascot in June. He ran very well, finishing a close up 2nd to stable companion, Navel Crown (Neck) in the 6f Platinum Jubilee Stakes (Campanelle 4th & Highland Princess 6th) He was 4th to Alcohol Free in the July Cup at Newmarket, the following month before having a 3 month break, returning in October for Champions Day at Ascot. The colt finished 3rd to Kinross & looks primed for a big run. He has drawn stall 1 & a big run anticipated to outrun his huge odds…. Each Way. I have to mention Highland Princess, who is drawn in Stall 6 & also has a female allowance, carrying 8S 11Lbs, the mare has won her last 3 starts & is sure to run well. The best of the rest are the Wesley Ward runners.. Golden Pal, who has been running well, winning 3 of his last 4 runs with his only defeat in the Kings Stand at Royal Ascot, he is 4/4 over C&D and was the Juvenile Turf Champion! We all know about Campanelle, who has been hoit & miss all season.
7.10 Breeders Cup Mile – Grade 1 – 3yo+ – 1m…. Modern Games – Dubawi X Modern Ideals 3yo colt. Winner of the BC Juvenile Turf last year & has run 6 times in 2022, winning twice. His first win was in May at Longchamp, when taking the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains & won again in September when taking the Woodbine Mile Stakes. The colt ran very well at Goodwood to finish just 1 & 1/4 lengths 2nd to Baaeed & was also 2nd on his last start at Ascot, in the 1m Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Group 1 to Bayside Boy in October. He has run twice on firm ground, winning both starts. Nice draw in stall 4 – WIN Best of the Rest – Kinross has won his last 4 starts but hasn’t run this fan since February 2021, when finishing 6th over 1m 1f at Meydan, that said, he has won a Kempton (AW) Listed 1m race back in November 2020. You can never rule out Aidan O’Brien who saddles Order of Australia, who could well outrun his odds & cause an upset & then we have the UNKNOWN of Domestic Spending, who returns after 18 months off the track, Last seen in August 2020 & was running over 1m 2f. He started his career over a mile, where he was 2/2 before stepping up in trip. IF he is ready to roll, then he could be a huge DANGER at HUGE odds….
Flightline (Tapit X Feathered 4yo colt) is your 2/5 Favourite having won 3 Grade 1 races & is unbeaten in his career. His last run was in September, when winning the Pacific Classic from Country Grammer. So, with all eyes on Flightline, who else can land a place in the Top 3? Rich Strike & Happy Saver can be ruled out as their form is not great & have an uphill mountain to climb, with neither winning in their last 3 runs! Hot Rod Charlie won the 1m 2f Grade 2 beating Rich Strike by a head & is also dismissed, so that leaves 4 with 2 places up for grabs if Flightline runs to form! Taiha ( Gunrunner X Needmore Flattery 3yo colt)has only run once over distance, 1m 2f, finishing 12th but has won over 1m 1f in the Pennsylvania Derby, drawn in stall 4 but will he stay the trip? Life is Good ( Into Mischief X Beachwalk 4yo colt) has won his last 3 runs, ranging from 7f to 1m1f & won a 4 runner Belmont Stakes race in October. He has 1 run over distance, when 4th to Country Grammar at Meydan in the Dubai WC… Olymplad ( Speightstown X Tokyo Time 4yo colt) won on his only start over the distance on September 3rd in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Grade 1 at Saratoga & could well place at HUGE odds.. And finally we have Epicenter (NotThisTime X Silent Candy 3yo colt) is 2 from 2 having won the Grade 2 1m 1f Jim Dandy Stakes in July & landed the Travers 1m 2f Grade 1 Stakes in August, both at Saratoga, with Rich Strike back in 4th. He won by 5 lengths & is the improver in the field & can place… 4 – 6 – 7…
That is all for today folks, enjoy the racing, it’s going to be a long day!