Trials Day & More

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We have been off for what seems like eternity but in reality, it’s been a couple of weeks due to frozen ground & while there is a precautionary inspection, we fully expect Cheltenham to go ahead.

It seems that everyone, except Great British Racing & the BHA don’t know why attendance’s at racing are falling & that spending a shed load of money on Everyone’s Turf campaign, didn’t work!
Would have nothing to do with the celebrity’s they paid to do the advert, instead of using regular racegoers? Nothing to with the Dress Code for certain course’s or Meetings? Over priced poor quality food, expensive beverages or the admission prices? OR possibly, that there is far too much racing in the UK that is sub standard, compared to Ireland or France?

But the BHA & Great British Racing are oblivious to these points of view & WASTE, yes, waste money on an ad campaign that yielded ZERO results! You have to despair at times….
( Editor’s View)

Anyway, back to the racing & we are pleased to have Chris back, alongside Jamie, Neil & Rich….

Chris –

Cheltenham

11.40 JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial

Scriptwriter has won both starts over the smaller obstacles, including the previous Triumph Trial run here in November on the old course, the form of which looks useful. He proved his wellbeing with a gutsy win over 12f on the flat at Wolverhampton since. Facing deeper waters here, connections will hope the son of Churchill takes another step on the ladder. He holds strong claims today should he handle conditions and could be bang there up the hill.

3.35 Ballymore Novices Hurdle

A fascinating race on paper, I’m siding with Pembroke to land this Grade 2 Trial. A wide margin winner over 2m at Ludlow before Christmas, trainer Dan Skelton hinted that there would be more to come with a step-up in trip. Soft ground conditions will suit, as will the likely strong pace on offer today. In what doesn’t look the strongest renewal today, he wouldn’t have much improvement to find to land the spoils.

Jamie –

Cheltenham –

2:25 – Cotswold Chase (G2) 

Selection: Noble Yeats 

A fascinating head to head as the reigning Grand National & Betfair Chase winners meet at Prestbury Park. If Noble Yeats has improved since his last race and continues on this upward trajectory then I think he may prove too strong for Protektorat. Since his famous victory in the Grand National Noble Yeats has won both his two races so far this campaign, including a strong staying performance in the Many Clouds at Aintree last time out, where he had two of today’s rivals behind him. The further this horse goes the better, so he will relish tackling the famous hill. If Noble Yeats is in touch turning for home there will be few horses staying on better. He is only rated 3lbs below Protektorat… 

Doncaster –

3:15 – Great Yorkshire Chase (Premier Handicap)

Selection: Java Point 

A slightly smaller field than usual for this big pot over 2m 7f 214yds as 12 runners head to post. I’m on the lookout for each way value and I think Java Point has every chance of hitting the frame today at double figure odds (at the time of writing). My selection has been improved a lot over the past 12 months and has put together two rock solid performances so far this season. The first came at Newbury when third behind Zanza, he never had a chance with the winner but it was a pleasing reappearance. Last time out Java Point ran arguably a career best when second in a competitive class 2 heat at Cheltenham over today’s trip. Racing off 10-11 I think he can still improve and back on better ground today Java Point has solid claims of being in the mix in the final stages of this contest.

*Each way advised*

Neil –

1.50 Cheltenham, Handicap Chase, 2m4f 127yds

A typical Cheltenham handicap where you can expect a solid pace from start to finish.

One horse who catches the eye here is Silver Hallmark from the Fergal O’Brien yard.

This 9yo is very lightly raced having had just ten career starts but seems to be coming to hand, he was third at Chepstow over 2m3f and represents a good eachway shout as he should be primed for putting in a solid round of jumping.

He’s a Grade 2 winner back in his novice days and while he hasn’t tasted success since this extra couple of furlongs will certainly be a step up in the right direction.

3.00 Cheltenham, Cleeve Hurdle, 3m, G2.

All eyes will be on the old warrior Paisley Park who has been one of the most popular horses in training over the years but at the short price that he currently is I’m going to oppose him with the younger legs of the Paul Nicholls trained Gelino Bello.

It resembles shades of Big Buck’s here, three starts over fences have yielded two wins but both have involved beating only one other horse in both of them, he didn’t seem to be enjoying himself at Kempton in the Feltham but the form so far looks steady with Galia Des Liteaux who pulled up in that race came out a fortnight ago winning the Hampton Novice Chase at Warwick.

Going back over timber might be a good idea here, he won the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at the Grand National Meeting last season and could be aimed at the Stayers’ Hurdle should he go well this afternoon, he’s a horse I’ve always liked and still remains full of untapped potential.

3.15 Doncaster, Great Yorkshire Chase, 3m

Only twelve declared which for a race like this is quite a surprise as it’s usually bigger but it looks a competitive affair with some old favourites and improving sorts in the fields.

Jockey bookings can often prove to be significant in races of this nature and with that in mind I’m going for what has been a recent trend and go for a horse whose in double digits and the 11yo Cloth Cap.

Surprisingly neither trainer Jonjo O’Neill or jockey Brian Hughes have ever won this race and today could be the day both shed their maiden tag in this proper hardknocking northern handicap.

He’s slowly tumbling down the weights and ran a nice race last month over the big Grand National fences in the Becher Chase when 6th about 13 lenghts behind winner Ashtown Lad.

That was a fare run and he has course experience going around the Town Moor and if he can get into a nice rythmn then i expect him to go well.

Rich –

Lingfield – AW – Standard
2.18 – Handicap – Class 4 – 4yo+ – 6f…
Tyger Bay – Cable Bay X Ribbon Roya;e 6yo gelding.

8 runs since his last break from racing ( August to October – 52 days) with 2 wins & 4 places from his 8 starts. C&D is key around Lingfield & with 3 C&D wins to his name & dropping from Class 2, where he finished a 1 & 3/4 length 3rd to Annaf on January 14th in a 6f Handicap & runs in a 6f Class 4 Handicap today from a record high mark. – WIN

Doncaster – Good
3.15 – Handicap Chase – Class 1 – Premier Handicap – 5yo+ – 2m 7f 218yds…
Java Point – Stowaway X Classic Sun 8yo gelding.

2 places from his 2 starts since November 2022, having landed 3 wins & 2 places from his 6 starts last term. He ran 3rd to Zanza on season return in a Newbury 2m 6f Class 2 Handicap Chase in November before finishing 3rd, to Rapper by 8 & 1/2 lengths over 3m 2f in a Cheltenham Class 2 Handicap on January 1st – Each Way

That’s everything today, a wee heads up though – The BIG Interview will return VERY SOON!
Thanks for popping by, we really appreciate it.

Good Luck – The AOLR Team

Blue January

Hello & welcome to Arseonlineracing. The 100% independent racing website & podcast with NO affiliate links…

Charlie is still off with certain issues beyond our control & we hope to have him back soon, but even that is out of our control! Jamie, Neil & Rich are here….

Jamie –

Wetherby

2:32 – Watch Racing TV Handicap Hurdle (Class 3)

Selection: Iroko 

This class 3 handicap hurdle looks to be warm enough race for this grade and should make for interesting viewing. From scanning through the Wetherby card Iroko stands out as a horse who should go close today. Still very unexposed after just three races to date, Iroko was highly tried as a juvenile hurdler running in Grade 1 & 2 events at Chepstow & Kempton respectively. While he finished 4th in both of those top races he was far from disgraced. Iroko made his seasonal reappearance over C&D back in November where he stayed on well to see off one of today’s rivals Foster’sisland by just over a length. Off a mark of 128 there should be more to come as he hasn’t reached his ceiling yet. Soft ground does pose a question but being a French bred you’d be hopeful he will be able to cope in the mud. Iroko brings in the strongest form and has a good chance if building on that recent C&D success. 

Warwick –

3:00 – Classic Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) 

Selection: Lord Du Mesnil 

As usual a host of old staying stalwarts line up to contest this race worth £56,950 to the winner. This will be a brutal stamina test and Lord Du Mesnil relishes it when the mud goes flying. Rather surprisingly this will be Lord Du Mesnil’s first attempt at the 3m 5f Classic Chase. After a below par season in 21/22, Lord Du Mesnil was sent to Bangor to make his seasonal reappearance and ran well to finish second to Le Milos, who gave the form a great boost when winning the Coral Trophy at Newbury at the end of November. With the cobwebs blown away I am expecting a big run from my selection today especially as he has slipped down the weights to 11-9. The ground and trip are perfect and I am hoping that the old boy can show the old magic once more. 

Neil –

2.25 Warwick, Hampton Novices’ Chase, 3m, G2.

Just the four in this but it’s usually a race which always has a small field although it does produce good winners from it’s production line.

The mare in the contest Galia Des Liteaux and while many will know doubt expect her to bounce back from her poor Boxing Day run at Kempton in which she was pulled up I’m going for the favourite in the Paul Nicholls trained Complete Unknown.

Last year’s EBF Novice Final winner which had Knappers Hill in it, he made a nice start to the season with a fair fifth in the valuable 3m hurdle at Haydock on Betfair Chase Day before scoring on his chasing debut at Ffos Las just before Christmas, he is up in class here but he should take all the beating at a track where jumping is at a premium.

3.00 Warwick, Classic Chase, 3m5f, Premier Handicap.

This looks a very competitive affair and on heavy ground and i can’t see that many getting round.

In a race of this nature you’ll get plenty at big prices and often it can go to a horse whose unfancied but still has something in them to suggest a win or at least a nice placed effort isn’t off the cards.

One who catches the eye as a potential each-way earner is Grand Mogul from the Devon based yard of Gail Haywood.

He’s the sort of horse I like, very lightly raced with just eleven visits to the racecourse he was originally with Gordon Elliott and won his first ever race, a bumper at Thurles in December 2018, a race in which G1 Chaser Conflated also ran in and he got rid of his jockey in that race!

After that he went to Nicky Henderson and won a couple of races at Chepstow and Kelso then in November he was picked up by Gail Haywood for £11,000.

In December he ran a fair third at Chepstow over 3m in the Welsh National Trial but missed the Welsh National itself and comes to Warwick instead, connections must think he’ll stay the extra distance to give him a crack, I’ve an inkling he could put up a PB for the season. 

Rich –

Kempton – Soft (Still Raining)
2.40 Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle – Class 2 – 4yo+ – 2m 5f…
Hermes Boy – Diamond Boy X Roche Brune 6yo gelding.

1 win from 9 hurdle starts with 5 places in those starts & with some bookie’s offering EXTRA places today, this gelding has a nice chance.
He started this season finishing 5th before a 4 & 1/2 length 4th to Love Envoi, in a Sandown Class 2 Handicap Hurdle, with the winner & 2nd both next time out winners, along with 6th, who has won in this class, that race was on December 6th & his last start was on December 31st at Uttoxeter over 2m 3f, when finishing 2nd to Can You Call over 2m 5f. Up in Trip & bottom of Handicap – EACH WAY.

Wetherby – Soft
3.07 Handicap Chase – Class 4 – 5yo+ – 3m 45yds
East Street – Mones Wells X Serpentine Mine – 7yo gelding.

2 wins & 1 place from 5 hurdle starts but this is his first season chasing & only his 3rd start over the bigger fences. He was 3rd of 4 on chase debut in a Doncaster 2m 3f Class 3 Novice Chase on November 26th before finishing 3rd of 9, 9 & 1/2 lengths behind the winner in a Market Rasen Class 4 Novice Handicap Chase, 2m 5f on Boxing Day. !st time Cheek Pieces – WIN

That’s everything up to date for you folks, thanks for popping by, we all really appreciate it.

Good Luck – The AOLR Team

WattySpots – The Last Waltz 2022

The last waltz of 2022 for my sporting year came at Haydock last Friday, although being in that bubble between Christmas and New Year you’re never quite sure what day it actually is but the diary did say it was Friday.

Christmas racing always throws up some good racing and the recent cold snap, which led to an almost enforced hibernation by jump racing did mean that field sizes were pretty healthy and for six of the seven races that definitely was the case.

Feature race on the seven race card was the 3m 4f Last Fling Handicap Chase, which this year went to Scottish trainer Alan Hamilton with All About Joe, who showed plenty of stamina to land the spoils. He is an improving 8yo, who could find more improvement depending what the handicapper does.

All About Joe – The Last Fling Chase Winner

For many the biggest disappointment of the day came in the staying novice chase when Iron Bridge of Jonjo O’Neill’s came home alone after short priced favourite Crystal Glory was pulled up unexpectedly before the fifth fence from the finish, he had a tendon injury and will be off track for a bit.

As for future winners that potentially caught my eye here are three to stick in notebooks and trackers.

1 – Roccovango – 7yo Brown Gelding – Trainer : Ian Williams.

As was expected in the 2m novice hurdle, the two market protagonists finished first and second but one who caught my eye on the run in was this one trained by the very underrated dual purpose trainer Ian Williams.

Placed in two of his three Irish bumpers in the spring, he was making his British debut here and stayed on ok to grab third place, the two ahead of him were rated 116 and 126.

I think when he gets upped in trip and moved into handicap company he will be seen to better effect.

2 – Coniston George – 5yo Chestnut Gelding – Trainer : Nicky Richards.

Two from the same race and  I shall begin first with the runner up in the concluding bumper, which had some nice looking sorts and should prove to be an informative contest as the season goes on.

While the master of Greystoke had a bit of misfortune with Crystal Glory earlier in the day he definitely has a more than useful one in the name of Coniston George.

He moved pretty well and was still on the bridle getting to the business end and while the horse who beat him had the benefit of racecourse run, this one caught the eye of many.

I can’t imagine his trainer will be fussed about the big G1 bumpers but he should make into a nice novice hurdler next season.

3 – Pippin Took – 5yo Chestnut Gelding – Trainer : Nigel Twiston-Davies.

These bumpers often have horses in them, who are a bit green and it can take a while for the penny to drop before realising what the job of a racehorse entails.

One horse who did just that was Pippin Took, exiting the back straight he was someway off the pace but coming for home, things began to click and he ran on past beaten horses and eventually came fourth.

He will have learnt plenty from the experience and when he goes over timber he will definitely want further but I get the impression more will come from him in time.

Half way through the jumps season then, it has been a bit stop start with other events and abandoned meetings getting in the way but as often in life that is the nature of the racing beast.

Providing mother nature doesn’t get in the way then it’ll be a return visit here in three weeks for the Peter Marsh Chase Day which has four graded races on an always top class card.

Happy New Year to you all and may all your bets be winning ones.

Article & Pictures – Neil Watson ( @WattyRacing)

An AOLR Production – Published – January 2023

A new dawn, it’s a new day….

Welcome to Arseonlineracing… The 100% independent racing website & podcast with NO affiliate links!

It has been a strange year at AOLR HQ, with only 3 BIG Interviews this year, betting accounts being closed for no reason & much more, but we are a family & Family will always come first on this website..
Here’s to the end of 2022 & looking forward to a much brighter 2023

Chris is on holiday, which is richly deserved & Charlie on a hiatus , which we won’t go into ATM but it’s to do with what was mentioned above!
So for the first blog of 2023, Jamie, Neil & Rich will guide you….

Jamie –

Cheltenham –

1:55 – New Year’s Day Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap)

Selection: Fantastic Lady

One of the most competitive 2m 4f handicap chases in the calender and as you would expect many of 17 runners reapose from the November Gold Cup. However, I am looking elsewhere and I think Fantastic Lady is too big a price and may be the each way value here. Nicky Henderson smart Mare is 3-6 over fences and has some good form in the book. Her defeat of Zambella in a listed affair at Market Rasen reads well as Zambella has won twice at the same level since then. The drop back down to 2m 4f may not ideally suit Fantastic Lady but it looks likely that this race will be run at a solid pace. If Fantastic Lady is in touch rounding the bend then I think she will stay on well up the hill and hopefully nick a place. The ground is ideal too for my selection.

*Each way advised*

Musselburgh –

2:45 – Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle

Selection: Al Zaraqaan

This looks to be an excellent renewal of this Class 2 handicap hurdle. You could just give each of the 11 runners some sort of chance. I liked Al Zaraqaan as a flat horse and he seems to have taken well to life over hurdles with an unblemished 4-4 record to date. Archie Watson’s 127 rated gelding won with a lot to spare over C+D (2m) in a handicap hurdle three weeks ago and I think he will be able to cope with a 9lb rise today. This flat track obviously plays to his strengths and as long as the ground remains relatively decent I am confident he’ll give us a good run for our money. This is Al Zaraqaan’s toughest test yet over hurdles but I think there is more to come from the 6yo.

Neil –

1.35 Musselburgh, Auld Reekie Handicap Chase, 2m4f.

Before the feature hurdle race comes a very trappy looking contest from some top northern and Scottish based trainers, it’s probably easier to find a bottle of that drink which had grown adults fighting over it than to solve this race!

That said we are all about finding winners and I’m going to suggest that it’s best to stick with the home team on this one and go for the Iain Jardine trained Half Shot.

This 8yo has only had six runs over fences with five of those starts being in Ireland for his former trainer Norman Lee, since moving to Carluke in the spring of 2022 he has begun to pay his way and since coming back from a summer break he has been two from two with wins at Sedgefield over fences before warming up for this with a course and distance win at Musselburgh over hurdles which to me suggests he has been laid out for this race.

2.45 Musselburgh, Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle, 1m7f 124yds.

First of all a very Happy New Year to you all, may all your bets be winning ones and lets hope that the ones on here will get us all off to a bright start for 2023.

Musselburgh has a decent card and the feature race being this Class 2 event looks very competitive indeed.

Course form can often count for plenty here and at the top of the market is the Archie Watson trained Al Zaraqaan who has won here this season and continues to climb up the weights.

One who catches my eye though a little bit further down is the John Quinn trained First Impression.

A useful dual purpose performer he ran in this last year and was third off a mark of 127 behind two useful horses in Tommy’s Oscar and Christopher Wood, during the summer he was kept fit on the flat and won a 1m2f handicap at Ayr in September and comes here running off 123, fourth two starts back in the Greatwood he has a really good opportunity to pick up a nice prize.

Rich –

Cheltenham

12.10 Maiden Hurdle – Class 2 – 4yo+ – 2m 4f 56yds…
FireStep – Mahler X Springinherstep 7yo gelding.

2 NHF runs in his career so far in 2020 & 2021, both 6 months apart in Class 5 company. The first start & win came at Southwell in November 2020, winning by 2 & 3/4 lengths before making it 2 from 2 in NHF in March 2021 at Chepstow with a 1 length victory. Hurdles debut & up in trip – Each Way

2.30 Relkeel Hurdle – Grade 2 – 5yo+ – 2m 4f 56yds….
Dashel Drasher – Passing Glance X So Long 10yo gelding.


Has won his last 2 hurdle starts & is a C&D winner back in 2019. This is his 3rd run of the season & made a winning seasonal return at Aintree in a Class 2 2m 4f Hurdle by 2 & 3/4 lengths in November before finishing 2nd at the same course in the 3m Many Clouds Chase to Nobel Yates on December 3rd – Each Way

Thanks for popping by all year, we really appreciate it. Here’s to a successful 2023..
We at AOLR wish you all the best of health & happiness