Horse Racing Preview – Punchestown, Sandown, Chepstow – 28th April 2017

Horse Racing Preview - Kempton - 22nd October 2017

Horse Racing Preview – Punchestown, Sandown, Chepstow – 28th April 2017

Our horse racing preview comes from four meetings today, Doncaster. Sandown, Punchestown and Chepstow. Another weekend arrives and another feast of racing with the highlight being the Sandown card which will decide the outcome of the national hunt trainers title which at present looks to be going to Seven Barrows. Firstly, on to Friday and again some excellent racing to take on board.


15.20 Doncaster  – Maiden Fillies Stakes (6f)

Godolphin again have another well represented filly on show in Desert Rain, the daughter of Invincible Spirit was beaten at odds on – on debut at Kempton Park three weeks ago when unable to real in a much fitter opponent.

I’ve watched the race a couple of times to see if she has the ability to come on for that debut run, her action looked short with a little tendency to hang slightly, but I would not be surprised to see her improve from that run and land this.

Two that could definitely mix it up against her is Richard Hannon’s Harbour Grey and Clive Cox’s Crafty Madam. The latter finished fourth on her only juvenile start at Leicester which has not been the best of maidens with only the one winner coming in from the batch. However, Harbour Grey could be the main danger to the selection.

She was behind a useful type in Cercie D’Or from the Gosden yard. The pair were clear of the third and she should come on for that run.

Desert Rain : 2pt Win @ 7/4 (BOG)


15.55 Doncaster – Best Odds Guaranteed At 188bet Handicap (0-90)

Rich and Famous was denied a win on debut last week on the blog, his second to Roger Varian’s Victory Angel should bring him on. but I do have reservations that he was not that straight forward and will probably take another run to get him spot on to record his first success.

Roger Varian has another nice-looking type in this with Ekhtiyaar who got off the mark at the second time of asking at Yarmourh. The son of Bated Breathe who was a useful sprinter in his time should be hard to beat now handicapping off a respected mark of 85, but again I think he could be vulnerable to the selection.

Holmswood also got off the mark at the second attempt when winning on the all-weather at Kempton, that form got franked yesterday when the third Ataaq hacked up at Beverley by seven lengths.

His opening mark now in Handicaps of 84 should see him go close. Another of interest is Johnson-Houghton’s Accidental Agent who notched up two wins as a juvenile at Chepstow and on his last run taking a twenty six field auction stakes race at Newmarket. He just might not get the cover he requires here in this smaller field.

Holmswood : 1pt each way @ 7/1 (BOG)


16.05 Sandown – Handicap (0-100)

A competitive sprint where we see Mark Johnston’s Queen in Waiting at the head of the market. She got off the mark at the second attempt on the all-weather at Chelmsford as a juvenile.

The transition went well when winning on season reappearance at Wolverhampton winning as liked when making all in a 0-85 handicap. This is a marginal step up in class and would probably have to set her own fractions in the race from the front end, but might find things tough to stay there.

Jumira Bridge was impressive when hacking up at Brighton two weeks ago and will make her handicap debut, the third Andalusite recently won a classified stakes race at Brighton easily.

Partitia could be anything for Sir Michael Stoute, she did herself justice as a juvenile notching up wins at Chester and Newbury and was not hardly done when fifth in pattern company at Ayr on her last run as a juvenile. I think she will need the run and even though some think stall 10 is a negative I actually think if she gets across early, she can go close under Moore.

Jumira Bridge : 2pt win @ 11/4 (BOG)


17.30 Punchestown – Betdaq Punchestown Champion Hurdle (Grade 1)

Vroum Vroum Mag will be looking to change her luck here after being surprisingly beaten in the OLBG Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham. With no Apples Jade here she has the chance of taking on the boys here in what looks an open renewal.

Henry de Bromheads Petit Mouchoir added this year’s Irish Champion Hurdle to his resume when beating a small field, but Nicholas Canyon was a faller that day when travelling well, you can see that when beating Uknowhatimeanharry by over four lengths, that form was reversed yesterday with the latter holding on to land the Irish Stayers equivalent by a nostril.

He has something to find with the selection this afternoon from Cheltenham’s Champion Hurdle in My Tent or Yours, he reminds me of Youmzain from the flat who finished runner up in the Arc, you wonder now at the age of ten if he can land a race like this. Personally, he owes connections nothing with four champion Hurdle runner up spots on his resume and I think he would be a welcoming winner this afternoon as he has the class to prevail.

Third in this last year when behind Vroum Vroum Mag, he does have to find a bit against the filly having to give her weight once more. You could not find fault when five lengths behind Buveur D’Air in the Aintree Hurdle who had already bested My Tent Or Yours at Cheltenham and increased that form. He’s just an unlucky type that seems to bump into world stars and has to settle for the bridesmaid spot on many occasions in his career. Even though he always finds one or two too good, at 6/1 he looks a solid each way bet to nothing with 1-2-3 on offer.

The definite danger though to all is Arctic Fire for Willie Mullins, with Ruby retained to ride Vroum Vroum Mag this is a big opportunity for Paul Townend to pick up this race. Runner up to the mighty Faugheen in 2015, he showed his potential when landing this year’s County Hurdle when holding on in a thrilling finish to just deny L’Ami’Serge by the narrowest margins.

Second to Faugheen again in the Irish renewal back in January he has definitely taken his chances with Faugheen absent and he looks the one to beat, but I would not put you off backing My Tent or Yours without the favourite or just each way as he will no doubt make his presence felt with a late run.

Arctic Fire : 2pt Win @ 5/1 (BOG)


18.05 Punchestown – Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novices Hurdle (Grade 1)

I would be very surprised if my banker was turned over here in Finian’s Oscar. Colin Tizzard sent his star to Aintree when competing in the Grade 1 Mersey Novices Hurdle and boy was he impressive when winning by three lengths over Captain Forez who ran a blinder.

The ground looked good -good to soft yesterday which is not going to inconvenience him in the slightest, this will be the icing on the cake for the Potts if he hacks up here and rightly should.

Let’s Dance landed some sizeable bets when winning the Dawn Run at Cheltenham, back in fifth was Asthuria who has franked the form when he landed the 7.15 easily on the card last night. My only question is with only racing twelve days ago has this come far too soon?

This year’s Grade 1 Lawlor’s Hotel Novices Hurdle winner Death Duty was probably unlucky to get rid of Brian Cooper who for me has not shone this season at all. but he drops back to 20f today which should benefit his chances, Brian Cooper retains the ride for Gigginstown Stud.

I am finding it hard to get the selection beaten this evening, with the power in the saddle I actually think he will put these to the sword in good style.

Finian’s Oscar : 3pt Win @ 15/8 (BOG)


18.40 Punchestown – Star Best For Racing Coverage Champion Hunters Chase (24.4f)

Edna Bolger’s prolific course winner On The Fringe is attempting to win this race for the fourth time, he was very below par at Aintree when pulling up in the Foxhunters, but overlooking that he has to be taken seriously once more, around 9/4 – 5/2 to land this looks generous enough.

Balnaslow was unlucky not to land this year’s Foxhunters at Aintree going behind by one and three quarter lengths to Dineur. There’s not much between him and On The Fringe from Cheltenham with just three parts of a length separating them. I would like to think that form can be reversed again.

One at a price here could be Declan Queally’s Minella For Value who is closely matched with On The Fringe and Balnsalow from their Cheltenham encounter. There is just a length between the three.

Minella For Value : 2pts each way @ 10/1 (BOG)


19.00 Chepstow – Dunraven Bowl Novices Hunter Chase (23.4)

Indian Leader represents Mickey Bowen who landed this year’s Foxhunters with Dineur and has another likeable type here. He is making his debut this afternoon around the chase circuit and was not disgraced on his only start in a bumper last season when finishing fifth at Fontwell over 17.4f, a big significant step up in trip. but from a trainer that seems to know how to produce them at this level.

Dangers look to come from Spencer moon and Moral Hazard. The latter is probably the least exposed runner in the race. Runner up on his race course debut at Worcester when trained by Rebecca Menzies, sold on and has been competing around the p2p circuit for Beverley Thomas.

A final appearance was seen at Taunton three weeks ago when finishing runner up over 23f, the jockey was Sarah Davies-Thomas who will ride Moral Hazard. Spencer Moon is 0-11 and has not looked like a win is imminent, has failed to impress on both starts at the Welsh track which included last of seven last time out.

Indian Leader : 1pt each way @ 11/2 (BOG)


19.35 Chepstow – Sun Trade Windows Handicap Chase (0-100)

Phangio has been very frustrating to back with the two times I have put the Matt Shepperd runner forward. He has looked like winning then finds nothing off the bridle, considering he has been double figure prices on his past four runs, they must know something as he has been put in as the 2/1 favourite to land this race.

Now he is a course and distance winner when landing a 0-115 handicap chase last November, also on his return to the course, ran well again when runner up in a 0-105 over course and distance. This is another drop in class which obviously is getting his big chance of notching up his second career win if could enough.

Charlie Mon was giving 2lb to Phangio last time for a short head defeat, they meet on the same terms, but I would like to think Phangio can hold the form now young Stan Shepperd is back on board.

Phangio : 2pt win @ 2/1 (BOG)


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