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Monday 30th March

Rein Man / Monday 30th March 2015 / 06:33

Kempton 15.50

New Horizons looks incredibly well treated on handicap debut at Kempton but the rain must be a slight worry and he's not alone in potentially being ahead of his mark. Hurricane Vic was put up here last time off a pound higher and was beaten 61 lengths. That doesn't tell the whole story though as he did best of those to race round the inside where the ground appeared far more testing. The hurdles races that day were generally fought out between those coming wide and perhaps Wayne Hutchinson, back on today, will have that at the back of his mind. He has run well at the track twice before and technically has the beating of the favourite, though the latter did make a costly error in the race back in November. Either way the bet has to be Alan King's horse at 12/1. Pyrshan is also noteworthy at a similar price, particulary if he is allowed to lead, though there's very likely something better treated in the field.

Hurricane Vic - 1pt e/w @ 12/1
Warwick 15.25

Horizontal Speed looks very short at Warwick in a race where he will be kept company for the lead. There's bundles of pace on and that should suit No Buts who has Tom Scudmore back, one of these horses that seems to get on well with that jockey and I really fancy him. But Drumshambo is just too big to turn down at 12/1. Eased just under a stone since the start of the season, he's consistently disappointed and it's not hard to see why conncectios are trying something different in first time blinkers. He showed encouragement behind Global Power 2 starts back though, over a trip that stretched him, and then went over further last time (3m 2f)! A horse that has done all his winning over 2 miles, this drop back to 2 and a half should really suit and he handles plenty of cut. He's gone well here before, I just hope they don't try to front run.

Drumshambo - 1pt e/w @ 12/1

Sunday 29th March

Rein Man / Sunday 29th March 2015 / 12:43

Doncaster 13:45

The Doncaster opener has a few that look a little big in the market against some unexposed sorts or simply unknown quantities. The 2 at the very top don't really represent a bet for me though they could be well ahead of their marks. Much of the pace has come out which might give Trail Blaze the edge here under Spencer. He's very well treted but not all that reliable. Victoire De Lyphar looks well treated enough to threten here and big at 20/1. A course and distance winner, he gets on well with James Sullivan and has won fresh before. He was unlucky on his last start last year too and can be marked up for that. He may want more pace on but he's well drawn to track it if they go middle, which seems likely.

Victoire De Lyphar - 1pt e/w @ 20/1

Kakatosi could outrun 33/1 too, especially if the rain comes. 1lb above his last win, he ran well up in class next time before losing his form a little. He's run well here on his sole start and deserves respect for his consistency, for all he'll likely find something too good.

Kakatosi - 0.5pt e/w @ 33/1

Curragh 16:55

As far as the Irish Lincoln goes there are so many on the list and I'll just plump for 1 in Bold Thaddy Quill. He was a touch unlucky in this 2 years back when short of room but keeping on behind Sweet Lightening and is 5lb higher here. He should get the pace he needs and enough of it up high. A course and distance winner on heavy, he gets on well woth Billy Lee and I like he's had a prep on the all weather so won't be lacking race fitness. The visor replaces cheekpieces too which might sharpen him up, a tactic that worked well for his placed effort in a hot Leopardstown handicap last summer. He's a pretty consistent sort and holds no ground fears, as some of the younger ones might in this big field, and he should give us a good run for the money at 25/1.

Bold Thaddy Quill - 1pt e/w @ 25/1

Saturday 28th March

Rein Man / Saturday 28th March 2015 / 07:34

Doncaster 15.10

The Spring Mile has only a few on the shortlist, which is a relief. King Torus is a well treated course winner who is in very good hands here but is still short enough. Another yard that should coninue where they left off last term is the Appleby team and Donny Rover is held in high regard there. They think he's Listed class and he still looks feasibly treated after his win at the end of last term. He won fresh last year too, the only worry is that he gets further and may not get the pace he needs but 16/1 is fair enough given his potential.

Donny Rover - 1pt e/w @ 16/1

Flow has to be on the list too having had a run this term on the all weather, running creditably, and he should come on for it back on the turf. He was placed in a good handicap for Lady Cecil at the back end of last year and that form is rock solid. He looks pick of the prices at 14/1.

Flow - 1pt e/w @ 14/1

Doncaster 15.45

Pace for the Lincoln as follows: 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and perhaps 6 for the horse making his UK debut. They tend to come stands side but not always and, as far as pace goes, it's hard to see high numbers being benefitted by the run of this. Out of 4 comes Hillbilly Boy and he's been on the list for a big handicap since Ascot. The wrong side that day, he was still 2nd of that group but then didn't race again last season. He had a nice warmer upper on the all weather a couple of weeks ago and, for all I'm concerned he'll race too hard up top at a trip which may stretch him, he should go close at 14/1.

Hillbilly Boy - 1pt e/w @ 14/1

There are so many others on the list I can't name them all but will save speciall mentions for What About Carlo and, at 33/1, Robert The Painter. The former looks well treated and I really fancy he'll be a player. The only question is whether this straight track will really play to his strengths. The latter is 1lb higher than when placing in this last year and has had an almost identical prep with the hood now replacing the visor off the back of nowhere efforts in Dubai. He's well drawn pace wise and perhaps this better ground than last year will help. I can't see him winning but there's no way he should be that price.

Robert The Painter - 1pt e/w @ 33/1

Kempton 14.15

I'm not brimming with bets at Kempton but do think outsider of the bunch in the 10 furlong Listed race Alfonso De Sousa could run a fair bit better than 25/1 suggests. The only pace angle in a field of superior horses, the key is they all want further bar Solar Deity, who wouldn't win a one player arm wrestle. The selection was rated as high as 110 when with Aidan O'Brien and, for all that was generous, he has a race fitness edge over some and more pace. If he is left alone up top in a first time hood, especially over 10 here with the short run in, he might be able to hang on. If he's taken on for the lead he's stuffed

Alfonso De Sousa - 1pt e/w @ 25/1

Kempton 15.25

Oh So Sassy looks worth a play later on the card too. 3 form 4 on the all weather, she's bigger than I thought she'd be at 8/1 and has won over this course and distance, easily, off 8lb lower. She might need it but there's not a bundle of pace on and she'll be suited by racing prominently from 4 as she tends to do. Slowly away last time and hampered, that was a bit of a right off but she's eased a couple of pounds and can resume progression back on polytrack.

Oh So Sassy - 1pt e/w @ 8/1

Meydan 13.15

Dubday is a fascinating runner this afternoon at Meydan and looks well worth support at 16/1. It's hard to know how good he is given where he's been racing and I fancy a bare rating of 116 overestimates his efforts but he has been beating horses like Fanunalter, rated 117 in his Botti heyday, and Ponfeigh, 4th in an Irish Derby behind Australia. And so the straw clutching continues… what I really like about him though is, scrapping the run here last year when terribly hampered, he is 6 from his last 6 and should have this run to suit. Well drawn so as not to get too far back, there's little pace on and he has every chance of getting the trip if modestly run. He doesn't lack for class either.

Dubday - 1pt e/w @ 8/1

Meydan 14.30

Sole Power is not at his best out here but he is too good to leave alone at 8/1. He should come on for his last start when never getting a run and there's so much pace on that things might just fall his way this afternoon. His form in the race reads 0 (no prep run), 2 (running on behind Ortensia), 4 (wrong side) and 7 (wrong side) but he's drawn ideally today, right in amongst the fierce pace. He'll need luck, he always does, but this could be his year.

Sole Power - 1pt e/w @ 8/1

Meydan 16.15

As for the other turf races, I think Ryan Moore will have to be at his brillaint best to get 2 horses home over inadequate trips/tests. Of them, The Grey Gatsby really should win and it's interesting that Moore was so keen for him to run in this. Harp Star could do with better positioning in the Sheema Classic than she had in the Arc and Moore will undoubtedly ensure that but she's short. There's little pace in the race and I can't get away from the fact that Dolniya is overpirced at 8/1. 4 wins from 7 career starts and only once out of the frame when a staying on and somewhat unlucky 5th in the Arc, she'd never have won that in any case but was a bit squeezed out at the start, keen, and got further back than I think her jockey wanted her to be. She beat Flintshire last time, is a pound better off today and yet double the price. Over further, as this is, the ball is in the latter's court but with the lack of pace on things could be swung back in her favour. She doesn't lack for speed based on her run last time and some Soumillon brilliance wouldn't go amiss in a race that could pan out favourably.

Dolniya - 1pt e/w @ 8/1

Friday 27th March

Rein Man / Friday 27th March 2015 / 10:56

Newcastle 16:15

I want to give Midnight Game another chance today given that he should get a decent pace to chace. It's a hot a little race with a few that look well treated but none more so than Midnight Game who must be capable of threatening off a mark of 128. The Imperial Cup was too big an ask last time but this is far more feasible and the yard are going along well across both codes. He looks a touch underestimated at 8/1.

Midnight Game - 1pt e/w @ 8/1

Wetherby 14:50

Over at Wetherby the first of the handicaps has a few at the prices that stick out. Masirann is pick of them at 8/1 based on his fair novice form here. The step up in trip should suit, so too the ground, and he looks to have been given a fair mark. He's closely matched on One Track Mind form with Friendly Royal, also worth respect, especially if they go hard up top and he settles better (in truth I'm not sure they will).

Masirann - 1pt e/w @ 8/1

Allbarnone is up on the shortlist but, at the prices, a little wager is saved for Urban Storm in the first time tongue tie. He's well related and his rules debut gives plenty of encouragement for this handicap bow. It's the 2 latest efforts that need forgiving but this mark looks fair enough and if the better ground suits as expected, he could be involved at 20/1.

Urban Storm - 0.5pt e/w @ 20/1

Thursday 26th March

Rein Man / Thursday 26th March 2015 / 10:16

Newbury 15:05

The 3.05 at Newbury is probably a race best left alone with so many looking well treated based on peak form. Have to give up on Katgary for all it would be no surprise to see him score finally. With so many unknown quantities high up the betting, it could pay to side with the pretty consistent Cadoudoff at 12/1. He needed it on reappearance before running into Lightentertainment next time on the first of his 3 wins. He was then keeping on behind Blue Buttons in a modestly run affair next time on heavy ground. Last time the headgear was tried and, whilst perhaps that wasn't to blame, he found the company too hot. Eased a pound, the headgear is dispensed with and he's back on the better ground which saw him successful in France. His Baradari form makes him look well treated and the yard are in better form than when last seen.

Cadoudoff - 1pt e/w @ 10/1

Newbury 17:20

I'm tempted by the price about Phone Home in the next who has a chance if recapturing his November form here. The concern is that he might just be better if left alone up top and that won't happen. The mares hurdle looks open and Nicky Henderson can gain compensation for missing out on the big one on Saturday. What A Jewell went very close in a quick ground bumper and soft ground will not have been ideal on 2 recent starts. Last time will have been on the sharp side too but she looks to be really handily treated on handicap debut. 3 and a half lengths behind the 124 rated Avispa last time, that mare is a solid guide to the form. She is closely matched with Taniokey on ratings and form and Oliver Sherwood's mare ran a creditable 5th on Saturday off 124. 114 should allow What A Jewell room for manoeuvre here and she'll prefer the sounder surface too at 9/2.

What A Jewel - 1pt @ 4/1

Wednesday 25th March

Rein Man / Wednesday 25th March 2015 / 09:20

Kempton 19:45

First of the Class 4 handicaps at Kempton looks worth a play. The thing about those shorter in the market is that they may each be vying for the lead or at least up there with a strong pace and it could pay to look further back in the field and further down the betting. Of most interest at the prices is My Son Max who improved on each of 3 starts to win for this new yard at Wolves at the start of the month. Coming wide off a strong pace that day, he tried to follow up here a few days later but blew the start and there's every chance the race came too quickly. He had a penalty that day too but is now just 3lb higher than for the win and he'd probably be shorter than 12/1 were it not for the excusable run last time. A course and distance winner for previous connections off 1lb lower, he should have this run to suit.

My Son Max - 1pt e/w @ 12/1

Kempton 20:15

The last race on the card sees a couple of Neil Mulholland recruits (well bred from big operations)…perhaps one will be in next year's RSA! Proofreader has obvious claims having shaped very encouragingly last time here over 10 and he absolutely deserves to be favourite based on that run. Sharp Sword is very interesting too though with a hood on now, something this trainer isn't afraid to use and use well, and he looks to have scope off a mark of 78. Making a winning debut in February over 1 mile 4, the 2nd in that has won since and on his next start ran to a mark in the mid 70s. Sharp Sword pulled very hard, ran green but won going away and took an age to pull up. He looked far better than the winning distance of just under 2 lengths. Next time over 1 mile 6 on handicap debut he again pulled hard and weakened out of it but I'm not sure that's really his trip and a return to shorter should suit. True the time on debut was slow but the turn of foot he showed was impressive and he'll have the speed for this trip. They should go quicker too than last time, though there's not bundles of pace on, and if the hood works he can make 14/1 looks silly.

Sharp Sword - 1pt e/w @ 14/1

Tuesday 24th March

Rein Man / Tuesday 24th March 2015 / 06:25

Wolverhampton 17:35

Sir Keating is going to be very difficult to beat at Wolves but there are a couple at the prices that warrant support. Plaisir clearly has ability, she showed that on debut, but she needs something to unlock it and that may be today's hood. If she settles better then she could be handily treated at 10/1 and should be able to race prominently of a likely modest pace. The same can't be said of Kodiac Lady from stall 9 but she does look well worth a go at 18/1. The handicap debutants may be well ahead of their marks but they are short and they may equally be behind their ratings. We know Kodiac Lady can challenge off this mark, though she wasn't allowed to last time when hampered as she made her move. She's looked outpaced mid race on previous starts over sprint tips before keeping on and the form of her 4th here in January for previous connections has seen the first 3 win since. 4lb higher here, she looks to have a better chance than an 18/1 shot upped in trip, though her draw is a slight concern.

Kodiac Lady - 1pt e/w @ 18/1

Grand National

Rein Man / Monday 23rd March 2015 / 14:10

Grand National

Last year's Grand National ante post bets were both placed at big prices and more of the same this year would be welcome, especially after the ante post Cheltenham carnage! It's a fascinating market this year due to Tony McCoy's retirement and the current and future price of his likely mount, Shutthefrontdoor. Whilst last year's Irish National winner has obvious claims and the price doesn't simply reflect headless heart string betting (McManus will have him on a horse with a favourite's chance, especially under the circumstances), he is still likely to go off a false price. The fact he was backed from 20/1 into now 8/1 ante post favourite upon McCoy announcement reflects just how much that factor affects the market and means there are always going to be attractive prices elsewhere about runners who may have been just as effectively plotted. There are 2 I want to back at this stage.

First up is a horse who may not show up and the NRNB is a must take. Fortunately he is available at biggest odds under these condions. Buddy Bolero may run in the Irish version, and some likely cut in the ground there would really suit him. Malcom Denmark has a few with Tony Martin entered in both races and I like the chances of Guess Again for both, though whether he'd get into the Grand National off a level 10 stone remains to be seen. No Secrets is another and they may just be the more likely runners at Fairyhouse, plus it's worth remembering Martin has a possible favourite in his armoury in Gallant Oscar. Either way we can't be certain who goes where but, focussing on the Aintree race, Buddy Bolero looks to have been handed a decent weight at 10-3, which will get him in near the bottom.

He is all about stamina and was sent off at 7/1 for the 4 miler at Cheltenham back in 2013, then rated 142. A winner on heavy ground at Chepstow back in February last year, I thought he'd be a Welsh National sort but he switched from Pipe to Martin (if ever there was a plot combo!) and started off over an inadequate trip at Limerick. A Pertemps qualifier was next, often used as a National sweetener, and he ran a cracker in the Kim Muir, keeping on on ground that will have been quick enough. That's the main worry for Aintree, and the reason they may go Irish, but it was his best run at Chelthenam in 3 attempts and tells us this mark is very feasible. The first time tongue tie also had a positive effect and will surely be retained. Why he's still available at 66/1 NRNB is a bit of a head scratcher and means he's a must bet.

Buddy Bolero NRNB - 1pt e/w @ 66/1Non Runner

As far as a definite intended runner goes, Alvarado looks an obvious choice carrying just 1lb more than when finishing a fine and staying on 4th 12 months ago. He has that modern National winner profile, double figure age, low weight and, whilst that's generalising a fair bit, he will be high on many lists come race day, a fair bit shorter than his current price. Lightly campaigned this year with both eyes on this, he might be ridden with a little more chance this time around. Much has been made of the ride given to him last year and, whilst those tactics seem to suit horse and jockey, the race often sees those mid division or further forward prevail. More luck is required in running from further back given field numbers but also the race can just get away from those at the back, especially given how quick they go now over these less demanding fences. It requires a mammoth staying performance as a result but not necessarily one form out back. I'm not sure last year's rain on the day was ideal for him either and his team are hitting fine form at the right time. He's a really solid option at a very attractive price of 33/1.

Alvarado - 1pt e/w @ 33/1

Sunday 22nd March

Rein Man / Saturday 21st March 2015 / 19:17

Downpatrick 15:45

I'm sure Jupitor has a decent race in him and he lines up at Downpatrick this afternoon. He may want a little more cut though and there are a few that should appreciate this better ground. Particularly Bose Ikard who looks a very worthy favourite at 4/1 for what is a significant drop in class. He went close off 3lb lower 2 starts ago in a 50k race and, if the ground was the sole reason for a poor showing at Navan last time, he'll take some stopping here. I like More Madness too but am not sure he properly stays this trip and it should be a genuine test given the pace on.

Bose Ikard - 1pt @ 4/1Lost -1pt

Saturday 21st March

Rein Man / Friday 20th March 2015 / 18:31

Newbury 14.00

Pepite Rose is back at Newbury and deserves to be favourite, though I'm not clambering to back her at 9/2 ish. Westward Point is interesting back after a run having been off for over a year. He may enjoy a lead too, but he's risky and his trainer didn't intimate that he needed it last time. A solid option who looks feasibly treated is Persian Snow, now back off the same mark as when beaten a length by Johns Spirit in October. I don't think Cheltenham is his track but 5 of his last 6 runs have been there and his other start in that time was over different fences at Aintree. He's yet to run here but it may suit him better and this absolutely looks his trip. He's big at 9/1 and looks to have a good race in him.

Persian Snow - 1pt e/w @ 9/1Lost -2pt

Newbury 14.35

Lottery of a mares hurdle and I'm struggling to find anything that looks way overpriced. Spartan Angel hails from a yard with a super record in this and should relish the return to better ground. A little bigger in the market at 10/1 is Hannah's Princess who was far better upped in trip last time and on better ground and she's been given a real shout here off 120. Her Huntingdon form prior to that suggests she's well in here and she won well last time. Trouble is plenty could be well ahead of the handicapper. I'd also give a chance to Dusky Legend on better ground. Her dam was a good ground winner and a half sister to another good ground winner and she was unlucky last time though held at the line. Her form suggests plenty of scope off this mark and her trainer has a good record in the race. She's not certain to get the trip but form suggests she has the potential to and I think she'll be involved at 14/1.

Hannah's Princess - 1pt e/w @ 10/1Placed 1.5pt

Dusky Legend - 1pt e/w @ 12/1Non Runner

Newbury 15.10

Ikrodu Road is back in the race he won a few years ago off the same mark and looks a tad overpriced. So too Handy Andy who has a good record here and he gets the vote. He has improved for cheekpieces this term but his last 2 runs have been real tests on heavy ground. This looks his trip and the better ground should see an improved effort off a feasible mark. He's often been well backed here too and fancy he'll go off shorter than 10/1.

Handy Andy - 1pt e/w @ 10/1Lost -2pt

Kelso 14.15

131121312 are the course form figures of good old Knockara Beau who runs at Kelso today and, for all he might need this first start in 5 months, 20/1 looks huge. He has gone fresh in the past too. 5lb above his last 2 chase wins, both here, the latest over course and distance when eased down, he's probably not got much in hand but is a handicap hurde winner off a mark in the high 140s and that Cleeve win reads well enough. He should help set a fierce pace and may not even get to the front with the likes of Sharney Sike, Major Malarkey, Harry The Viking and Knock A Hand in the field but that will suit as he'll want a propper test. Winning looks a tough ask but that price is insulting.

Knockara Beau - 1pt e/w @ 20/1Lost -2pt

Kelso 14.50

A couple at chunky odds make appeal in the staying hurdle at Kelso. Samstown is back over hurdles off a similar mark to his course win over fences and looks a touch underestimated. I'd rather have the 33/1 about Landecker on side though who has been dropped 8lb since handicap debut in November. 5/1 that day and too bad to be true, his effort seemed to sum up the struggle of the yard at the time, and pretty much since, though they have picked up this month. Heavy ground will not have been ideal 2 starts back but he ran better on soft in first time cheekpieces off 4lb higher last time. Kept wide presumably for a sounder surface, he was niggled throughout but plugged on for 6th under limited pressure and looks well worth a return to a staying trip. He has fair stamina in his pedigree and is now feasibly treated on his 3 wins out of handicap company, all here.

Landecker - 1pt e/w @ 33/1Lost -2pt

Friday 20th March

Rein Man / Thursday 19th March 2015 / 21:09

Newbury 16:20

Really good hurdle at Newbury where plenty can be given chances. I like Baby King very much who challenged the wrong side up the home straight last time. He's short though at 11/2 and yet to show he's capable in this company. Sea Wall looks far too big at 20/1 for all he has plenty to find on his latest effort. Unique De Cotte made all that day and franked the form at Cheltenham. Nothing got into it from the rear though on soft ground and Sea Wall had little chance from where he raced. He travelled before finding little and a drop back to 2 miles should suit. He's tricky but still feasibly handicapped based upon his novice 3rd behind Seedling and As De Mee and subsequent handicap win off 4lb lower which has worked out well. If better ground suits and they go a decent clip he could surprise a few.

Sea Wall - 1pt e/w @ 20/1Lost -2pt

Newbury 14:40

The earlier chase sees a few that have been up here of late. If On Trend or Speedy Tunes win it'll hurt but they are risky. I'm taken with outsider of the lot Back In June who should relish this return to better ground. Put a line through his last 2 starts on testing ground and he's no 20/1 shot eased a pound since beaten a length and half by Knockanrawley, form which has worked out well. There should be plenty of pace on and that's a worry as he likes to be up there but he does have bags of stamina for the trip and he's way overpriced if the ground is as improtant to him as it seems.

Back In June - 1pt e/w @ 20/1Non Runner

Wednesday 18th March

Rein Man / Tuesday 17th March 2015 / 23:19

Kempton 20:45

Good race at Kempton and a couple that look of real interest at the prices. Pretty Bubbles is 2 from her last 2 course and distance efforts and drops in class after 2 efforts away from the track. I think she'll go close but there's very little between her and Drive On and so the latter has to go up at the bigger price of 10/1. Both will want pace and, whilst not absolutely certain, I fancy one of Light From Mars and Shingle will keep Brave Echo company. If so, Drive On should be suited by a return to a strongly run 7 and I'm not sure he's done winning just yet. Coming from even further back than Pretty Bubbles a few starts back, he came up the dreaded inside and that cost him 2nd. He's drawn well enough to get mid division today and looks underestimated for this return to Kempton.

Drive On - 1pt e/w @ 10/1Lost -2pt

Tuesday 17th March

Rein Man / Tuesday 17th March 2015 / 09:53

Exeter 14:45

Flying Light went up here a few weeks ago and finished 3rd at a decent price. He's 16/1 again today to and, given the way he travelled last time, I fancy he'll be involved at 16/1. He looked much more comfortable over this sort of trip at Bangor and, if they go a decent clip at this more testing track, that should suit. The ground is better today too and I'm hoping that is in his favour, though not certain. A couple of progressive sorts that were up with the pace throughout beat him last time and, for all this is a bigger field, it's not a stronger race.

Flying Light - 1pt e/w @ 16/1Won 20pt

Monday 16th March

Rein Man / Monday 16th March 2015 / 10:23

Chelmsford 16:00

There's every chance Dragoon Guard will come on for this reappearance at Chelmsford after just shy of a year off but he should be far enough ahead of these in the handicap to score either way. Botti has had a few winers this month from 4 month absences and the break doesn't worry me enough to duck 2/1. The only others with a squeak are Topamichi, who ran well here 2 starts back between a couple of subsequent scorers but disappointed last ime at Kempton, and India's Song. I was keen on her chances until looking at the clock for her wins and any sense of a half decent gallop here could spell trouble at the trip. That looks likely and Dragoon Guard, last seen when between subsequent scorers off 13lb and 5lb higher respectively, should have room to manoeuvre off this 3lb higher mark.

Dragoon Guard - 2pt @ 2/1Lost -2pt

Saturday 14th March

Rein Man / Friday 13th March 2015 / 19:35

Kempton 14:20

Katgary went into a few notebooks for the Cheltenham handicaps but didn't get into anything off 132. He must have a good chance here, especially with Sean Bowen taking off 5. I'd like to see the tongue tie back on but he's so well treated that he has to go up at 14/1. There are so many could be anythings in the race, all a similar price, and I'll leave it at that.

Katgary - 1pt e/w @ 16/1Lost -2pt

Kempton 15:30

I'm very surprised Buck Magic is as big as 10/1 for the Mulholland/Geraghty bandwagon. He's very frustrating and needs to brush up on his jumping but looks well treated and he goes well here. Geraghty will help a great deal with his fencing and the blinkers are retained for this for this return to chasing. He had them on last time over hurdles but fences looks his game now and he's been given a proper chance dropped 5lb, that same amount lower than his last success over the smaller obstacles. A strong test at this trip should help too as any time to think is probably his biggest danger.

Buck Magic - 1pt e/w @ 10/1Lost -2pt

Uttoxeter 15:50

The Midlands National should provide some big priced fodder to go to war with. First up is Samingarry at 33/1 with a tongue tie and visor on for the first time. He is undoubtedly talented and feasibly treated based up his Chepstow win and defeat of Anacotty last term. He needs to get it together though and hopefully today's headgear and extra trip will help. He really looked to want further last time and he goes well for James Best who is back on with the yard going well.

Samingarry - 1pt e/w @ 33/1Lost -2pt

Major Malarkey and Raz De Maree are a couple that could outrun their prices but this tends to go to a progressive, younger sort and I'm hoping that's Bertie Boru at 16/1. His Sandown effort 2 starts ago should prove pretty solid form and he looks to be crying out for a proper trip. He isn't always the most fluent, as we saw last time, but still looks ahead of the handicapper and a marathon could be just what he needs.

Bertie Boru - 1pt e/w @ 16/1Lost -2pt

Cheltenham Friday

Rein Man / Friday 13th March 2015 / 06:12

Cheltenham 15:20

Coneygree makes this a fascinating Gold Cup and his presence actually helps the decision making process. Djakadam is a wonderful prospect but, with the presence of Coneygree, I'm struggling to back a 6 year old that came down at the track last year. Whilst not suggesting Coneygree will go off like the clappers, the tail of his season has been putting others under pressure and inexperience could get found out pretty quickly. Jumping worries me a touch for Holywell too. If the rain comes I'd worry a touch for Road To Riches but it will help Many Clouds who looks to want some cut. He has proved himself at the track and hasn't stopped improving. He has the ideal second season chaser profile, ubeaten this term, and I think if he were trained by Mullins or Nicholls he'd be shorter than 8/1, for all he has to find a bit extra to win this. He has undoubtedly achieved more than Djakadam and yet is bigger in the betting. This looks a deep Gold Cup and I'd worry for last year's frame and I can't have Conti. The 'will make the frame at a price award' goes to Sam Winner and I want him on side. That tongue tie (hope it's a good day for those) is back on with the cheekpieces he wore last time and, much like Zarkandar and Dodging Bullets from the same yard, it has made him look a different horse this term. He has little to find with the likeable Road To Riches on Lexus form and the tt back on should help him see this out better than last time. Whilst not mad on horses that underperformed at the previous festival, he looks worth supporting at 25/1. Remember when he beat The Druids Nephew here on softish ground, when little else got home, he was never as strong as at the finish and the National was mentioned. I think he stays all day and that should come in handy with Coneygree taking them along. Fascinating race.

Many Clouds - 1pt e/w @ 8/1Lost -2pt

Sam Winner - 0.5pt e/w @ 25/1Lost -1pt

Cheltenham 13:30

I like Beltor for the Triumph, particularly if the rain comes, but his price isn't all that appealing now, especially with early trainer assertions that he may be better at Aintree. Dicosimo is fascinating but perhaps just lacks experience. The 2 at the top of the list are Top Notch and Pain Au Chocolat. The former has less to find than ratings suggest with the favourite on a line through Golden Doyen and Karezak and I'd far rather side with him of the Munir/Soude runners. However, taking a liberty a touch with the form, it can be argued that Karezak and Old Guard aren't miles away from each other on decent ground, less than the 5lb suggested based on their Newbury run. Pain Au Chocolat dished out a fair hammering to Paul Nicholls's charge last time and he's rated just 1lb inferior to Top Notch yet is over double the price. Times may indicate why as he's not been setting the clock on fire in slowly run races. However, given he can be keen, there's a chance he will improve for a sterner test and his Devilment form reads well. So too his defeat on debut by Seamour, who looked a smart sort and I think he's been underestimated at 22/1 for a trainer with a good record in this.

Pain Au Chocolat - 1pt e/w @ 22/1Lost -2pt

Cheltenham 14:05

Commissioned would interest me in the County if the rain didn't arrive in spades but that's a risky assumption. I remember Gold Cup day 2 years ago when it rained and the ground turned quickly. Geraghty has a good record on him though and it could pay to wait and see what happens to the ground. I see why McCoy has chosen Princely Con but I bet he gave Waxies Dargle a long look and the forecast will enhance his claims dramatically. Whilst the handicapper han't served his mark on a plate, he has given him a chance and he was quite fancied last time in Ireland before coming down, too early to tell how he would have faired. Well worth a nibble at 25/1. I also like, and prefer, Baltimore Rock in a first time tongue tie, which David Pipe uses to good effect. Unique De Cotte won in a tt first up this term, Monetaire went close with one reapplied yesterday and Ballynagour won last year in one. The ground is key to the Imperial Cup winner, form which has worked out very well, and he should fare better off a couple of pounds lower than in the Greatwood at a generous 20/1. I'd also suggest Forced Family Fun is overpriced if it goes genuinely soft but can't see him winning.

Waxies Dargle - 0.5pt e/w @ 25/1Lost -1pt

Baltimore Rock - 1pt e/w @ 20/1Lost -2pt

Cheltenham 16:40

Not one to go crazy with in the boys race but Noble Endeavour looks to have been given a chance off 140 based on his staying on effort behind Zaidpour a couple of runs back. He was getting 10lb that day but he did go past 141 rated Darwins Fox in receipt of 4 and he is progressing. He beat Windsor Park in a bumper too. Cheekpieces seemed to help last time and his trainer thinks he could be the type for a big handicap where being kept up to his work will suit. Cut certainly helps his cause and a test at this trip should bring out the best in him, as long as the cheekpieces focus him again as he can be a bit of a monkey. That's why he's 20/1.

Noble Endeavour - 1pt e/w @ 20/1Placed 4pt

Cheltenham 17:15

Whilst I like Ned Buntline's chances very much, he's not a fair price given the McCoy hype. Be lovely to see him win though. Of the rest I'm not really sweet on anything bar Blood Cotil at 9/1, and that's no price to set the world alight. He does look really handilly treated though, probably best treated in the race, and I can't find anything at 20's or bigger that looks a better option, much as I'd like to. He was 6 lengths behind Wounded Warrior 3 starts back over a trip that strecthed him and then bumped into a couple of really smart sorts, form that has worked out very well, before winning last time out and confidence should be high. He looks sure to be involved.

Blood Cotil - 1pt e/w @ 9/1Lost -2pt

Cheltenham 14:40

As far as a nap on the day goes it's No More Heroes. He outstayed Shaneshill fair and square a couple of starts ago and that form looks to have worked out really well given what the Mullins horse did in the Supreme. He then faced quicker ground over 2 and a half miles last time and looked to want more of a test, though I'm not sure all was perfectly well that day. He's far better than that bare result. Windsor Park has done the form no harm either. A step up to this trip will suit though and hopefully he wins at 5/1. Definitely Red is the overpriced one if it gets wet but surely something will be too good.

No More Heroes - 1pt @ 5/1Lost -1pt

Cheltenham Thursday

Rein Man / Wednesday 11th March 2015 / 18:11

Cheltenham 14:05

Make or break day today and lots of plays. Not so in the opener though Vautour should beat these at a less than tempting price. If he's in front after the 2nd I think he will be at the finish. Edeymi is right at the foot of the card for the Pertemps and 135 is massively underestimating him, Tony Martin style. Even at 9/1 he has to go up for all I have niggling worries about him getting this if strongly run. Sybarite is no stranger to this page but, far from being a cliff type, he always goes well and this could be the test he needs. New course plus likely strong pace set by Bygones Sovereign and Closing Ceremony should ensure it's a stamina sapper and 20/1 is plenty big enough. Jamie Bargary takes off a useful 7 in a race where claimers have a decent record.

Edeymi - 1pt e/w @ 9/1Lost -2pt

Sybarite - 1pt e/w @ 20/1Lost -2pt

Cheltenham 14:40


Already advised
Cheltenham 14.40 - Ballycasey 1pt e/w @ 16/1

The Ryanair looks a lovely betting heat. Hopefully Ballycasey is over his Ascot trouble but he is risky. Taquin Du Seuil falls into that bracket too but I like a horse dropping back in trip for this. He hasn't convinced over 3 miles plus this year but back over this sort of trip, a further furlong and 3 fences than he won over last year, should really suit. Noel Fehily is a more than capable replacement for AP and he'll likely shorten from 12/1. It's also worth nibbling at Double Ross at 66/1 who looks out of form but should be seen to better effect back in trip. Failed King George horses have a good record in the race and he's not been out of the first 3 here in his last 6 starts.

Taquin Du Seuil - 1pt e/w @ 12/1Lost -2pt

Double Ross - 0.5pt e/w @ 66/1Lost -1pt

Cheltenham 15:20

Already advised
Cheltenham 15.20 - Monksland 1pt e/w @ 16/1

Another good betting heat in the feature if wanting to oppose the top ones at current prices. And I do, which could be dangerous given what PFN did yesterday. Happy with Monksland, I'll add one of Whisper and Un Temps Pour Tout. The latter is bigger in the market at 12/1 and yet I'd make him shorter. He is 2lb worse off with Saphir De Rheu for the Cleeve but he should come on a fair bit for the run and I thought he travelled really well that day. Rain would be nice too and a tongue tie, used to good effect by Pipe last year, goes on.

Un Temps Pour Tout - 1pt e/w @ 12/1Lost -2pt

Cheltenham 16:00

Already advised
Cheltenham 16.00 - Champion Court 1pt e/w @ 25/1

We've got one in the Plate and I hope the money comes for him. He looks a lovely bet if anywhere near back on song and there's a chance he'll not have too much competition up top. Of the rest it could be worth looking to class, of which there is plenty in this, some of it well handicapped. Caid Du Berlais is potentially a Graded horse given his run behind Don Poli last year and we know he likes it here. Slight concern is stamina at the trip on the new course, though he wasn't stopping when winning here in November. Rajdhani Express is just preferred at a similar price and he does look well treated. Eased 3lb for his run last time when travelling beautifully in a first time hood before shaping like a blatant non-stayer over 3, he drops to a more feasible trip and looks a nice bet at 12/1. 3rd in the Ryanair last year and winner of the novices' handicap here 2 years ago, that run 12 months ago suggests 160 couldn't really be argued with. 152 gives him a proper shot.

Rajdhani Express - 1pt e/w @ 12/1Lost -2pt

Cheltenham 16:40

Benbens should go very well in the Kim Muir for a yard that has won this before. Stephen Clements has won here too and his mount has been given a proper chance eased a few pounds after finding last time too far. If better ground suits, and that's not guaranteed, he should go mighty close. Marathon trips have just stretched him but he was a strong travelling 2nd here in November off a couple of pounds lower and is still lightly raced for a 10 year old. This trip, a furlong further than last time, looks ideal at a healthy 20/1. The Package is very much one to consider too but I'm not so taken with his price.

Benbens - 1pt e/w @ 20/1Lost -2pt

Cheltenham Wednesday

Rein Man / Tuesday 10th March 2015 / 19:19

Cheltenham 13:30

I think Windsor Park will reverse Deloitte form with Nicholls Canyon in the opener. The fact that Mullins had such a good opening day means that his pair might go off pretty short and Windsor Park is an attractive price at 5/1. The favourite may want softer ground and the extra couple of furlongs will really suit the selection. His trainer says he has the perfect mix of speed and stamina for this and, whilst he has achieved the least of the first 4 in the betting, he looks to have bundles of potential. To finish as close to the winner as he did last time given where he raced shows how talented he is.

Windsor Park - 1pt @ 5/1Won 5pt

Cheltenham 14:05

RSA - already advised (see below)

Apache Jack - 1pt e/w @ 25/1Lost -2pt

Cheltenham 14:40

The Coral Cup has some runners off headscratchingly low marks and pick of them is Marinero for the shrewdy himself Tony Martin. He finished 6 lengths behind Douvan a couple of starts ago, giving the winner 2lb, and here he is off 137 at 16/1. I'd not swap Hammersly Lake for anything but do think another of the Henderson runners has a sniff at a price in the form of Vasco Du Ronceray. He really looks as though this step back up in trip will suit and he has form at the track. His novice form and win on penultimate start, albeit in a weaker race, gives him scope off this mark and he's too big at 40/1. If Goodwood Mirage wins then there'll be tears having put him up a couple of times this term but I'm not sure he'll get the trip.

Marinero - 1pt e/w @ 16/1Lost -2pt

Vasco du Ronceray - 0.5pt e/w @ 40/1Lost -1pt

Cheltenham 16:40

Already advised
Cheltenham 16.40 - Blue Atlantic NRNB (nr)

No view strong enough to play in the Champion Chase though, if pushed, Champagne Fever would be the one. My main ante post fancies don't scrape into the Fred Winter, which is a touch frustrating. All Yours is a horse I liked for this after his run behind Beltor last time, before reading that he'd likely miss the festival. Here he is though and feasibly treated off 137. If Beltor is a mid 140's to 150 horse and wins the Triumph, then 137 is very fair about All Yours who wasn't given a hard time in behind and 14/1 looks very fair.

All Yours - 1pt e/w @ 14/1Lost -2pt

I also like Thunder Zone for a yard that go well in this, and they also have the likely favourite. Thunder Zone has been running behind some fair horses, keeping on behind Dicosimo 2 starts back and then sandwiched between Kitten Rock and the disappointing Tiger Roll last time. He looks overpriced, especially given connections, at 20/1. Unanimite, Zarib and Souriyan are all up there on the shortlist too but can't back them all! I've never had the winner of the Bumper and don't intend to start now...

Thunder Zone - 1pt e/w @ 20/1Lost -2pt

Cheltenham Tuesday

Rein Man / Monday 9th March 2015 / 19:08

Cheltenham 14:40

Already advised:
Cheltenham 13.30 - Seedling 1pt e/w @ 33/1

Already advised:
Cheltenham 14.40 - Pendra 1pt e/w @ 16/1 NRNB

Pendra looks very short all of a sudden. As far as the rest go I'm keenest on Barrakilla who looks set to relish a step up to 3 miles. Both he and Buywise were entered in this for Evan Williams and, thankfully, Barrakilla has got the vote and looks handily treated still. The form of his run behind Sound Investment is rock solid. Of the 9 that finished, 8 have run since and 7 have won, with the other finishing 3rd in a competitive handicap. Barrakilla has gone up in the handicap since and was a staying on second here behind Niceonefrankie last time when 9/2 favourite. He shaped for further that day, has a pedigree full of stamina, and I really fancy him at 12/1. Mendip Express might also be worth backing, especially given 5 places are generally on offer. He has won here with the same jockey on top and, whilst he has gone up the handicap for finishing 2nd at Aintree, a couple of runs over hurdles have ensured he might still have something in hand, though perhaps not enough.

Barrakilla - 1pt e/w @ 12/1Lost -2pt

Cheltenham 16:00

Not sure what to do with Annie Power but I think it's just about worth opposing at sub 1.7. Her break, unlike Quevega's, was not planned and that World Hurdle hasn't exactly done the 1st and 3rd any good. Both looked shadows of their former selves first up this term. Of all the chunky prices, The Pirates Queen looks a mare on the up. She is 25/1 and runs off the same rating that L'Unique had last year when 3rd. She'll still have to go some to beat Glens Melody, even if the favourite disappoints, but the yard have stressed she'll improve for better ground and Alan King said at a preview night he'd probably fancy her over L'Unique on a decent surface, though the fact we've not seen the latter for some time may have dampened his enthusiasm.

The Pirates Queen - 0.5pt e/w @ 25/1Placed 2.63pt

Cheltenham 16:40

Lots of youngsters in the 4-miler this year and they don't have the best record. It's definitely putting me off the favourite who would have gone up here had he run in the RSA. It's not a race I've a very strong opininon on but do think Return Spring can outrun his odds of 25/1. He loves it here and was staying on behind Kings Palace a few starts back (backed him that day too). He's 6th top rated in this but recent form is a worry. Last time out winners have a good record in the race but, of those that were beaten before winning this next time, a couple had run in Graded races and that's what Return Spring did last time out. So it either goes to progressive sorts or classier horses that found Graded company too hot last time and I'm hoping the selection slots into that last bracket, just. First time head gear at the festival always interests me and blinkers can only improve him given his last 2 runs.

Return Spring - 0.5pt e/w @ 25/1Lost -1pt

Cheltenham 17:15

Already advised:
Cheltenham 16.40 - Rum And Butter 1pt e/w @ 33/1 NRNB

The novices' handicap could be painful as there are so many on the shortlist. One of them, today, is not Rum And Butter! I'm very happy with all handicap ante post bets so far bar this one and it's no surprise he hasn't shortened given A P chooses Bold Henry, who I thought may go Grand Annual. Oh well, you never know, especially with Jonjo. Thomas Crapper is now short enough, though has obvious claims. Monkey Kingdom will be interesting if remembering how to jump with the hood added. He's certainly well treated and the headgear might help things come together. Gavin Sheehan gets the leg up and I'm a big fan of his. I also like Rebecca Curtis's other runner, Irish Cavalier, but can't let Monkey Kingdom go unbacked, tentatively, at 40/1 with 5 places knocking around.

Monkey Kingdom - 0.5pt e/w @ 40/1Lost -1pt

As a main fancy for the race, there's something about Keltus that's too good to leave out at double figures. The form of the Fred Winter has worked out very well and he was one that always looked likely to make a lovely chaser over intermediate trips. He hasn't quite hit the heights yet but will have needed time to strengthen up, particualry when chasing as a 4 year old, and Paul Nicholls has been shouting his name for this race for a while. Chapoturgeon won this as a 5 year old for the same trainer a few years back and Keltus has a similar profile, and identical rating. He scrapes in and I can't see him not involved at 11/1. Oh, and I think team Mullins will win the Arkle and Champion Hurdle with their leading lights!

Keltus - 1pt e/w @ 11/1Lost -2pt

Cheltenham Handicaps

Rein Man / Monday 2nd March 2015 / 12:16

Festival Handicap Chase

8 days to go and time to focus on the handicaps. First up is the green and gold of Pendra who looks to have a super chance off 140. 3lb higher than when 3rd in the novices' chase last year, he would have gone mighty close but for a poor jump at the last. The step up to 3 should suit and I expect him to go for this over the Kim Muir. Connections have Tap Night and Cause Of Causes in this but one may miss out and the other may try further. Pendra is shortest in the market of the green and gold for both races he's entered in but the exchange has more positive vibes for this race and it looks the most sensible option. They ran him in the Irish National but I'm not sure that was a nod to his stamina and they've done well to have him here off 140, especially if you look at the marks some of those around him last year now find themselves off. He has had a wind op since we last saw him, goes very well fresh, and if McCoy is on as expected, as he has been for the last 2 years where the horse has gone off 6's and 8's respectively, 20/1 will be a distant memory, especially for the first handicap of the meeting. However, there's a little voice telling me that 16/1 NRNB is a safer option, just in case.

Pendra - 1pt e/w @ 16/1

Novices Handicap Chase

JP has a few for the Novices' Handicap Chase. Of them, Bold Henry is near the top of the market and it's feasible he'll head up in trip from 2 miles last time. There's every chance they'll stick to 2 with him though and he's in the Grand Annual. Rum And Butter has a couple of entries, in this and the Plate. JP is strong handed in the latter though and I fancy Rum And Butter will run in this off a very tempting mark of 135. AP has won on him the last 3 times he's ridden him but since his last win in June, this 7 year old has gone backwards. He struggled at Galway off 142 and was little better next at Market Rasen eased a couple of pounds. The ground at Ascot last time will not have suited and Jonjo's form at the time gives further excuses but he now shows up 9lb lower than when sent off 20/1 for the boys race last year, a mark that always looked lofty. He does have form here, is rated 2lb inferior to Golden Hoof who he held comfortably at Kempton in May and he should, according to the forecast, get something like the quick ground he needs. 33/1 NRNB looks a bit of a steal.

Rum And Butter - 1pt e/w @ 33/1

Coral Cup

I fancy Jonjo and Henderson to have a good week. Nicholls is in flying form and has had his string on top of their game all season. The festival often sees yards peaking though and there's every chance the 2 former yards will have the better 4 days. Henderson took the Coral Cup last year and I like his Hammersly Lake for the race this time around. The horse's only entry at the festival, Henderson has Bear's Affair ahead of him in the betting for the race but the latter may go Pertemps. Either way, Hammersly Lake looks likely to head for this and has some smashing form in the book. Beaten at Newbury by Silsol when the ground was not in his favour, he tried to give a coupe of pounds to the Nicholls horse (including Jack Sherwood's claim), and Silsol has gone on to win off a 6lb higher mark and be placed in Grade 2 company. Subsequent scorer Albert Bridge was also well beaten in the race. Now 5lb higher, the same mark as when well held at Kempton, he should get his ground and he's been placed at the track. We need to forgive him the run at Kempton but it was so bad, in a race which Henderson has a good record in and he was 6/1 on the day, that I'm happy to scratch it from the record. I hear he's had a wind op and 33/1 NRNB looks huge.

Hammersly Lake - 1pt e/w @ 33/1

Pertemps Final

Whereas there's little else getting me excited in the Coral Cup, the Pertemps is a gold mine of likeable profiles. Regal Encore, Edeymi, Big Easy and Call The Cops are all very attractive but Brother Brian still has a decent price about him at 16/1. He gave Call The Cops 2lb when beating him at Kempton and much was made of the fact that the latter will have preferred further and better ground. However, the same is true of the winner and he is said to also prefer going left handed. For all he had the run of the race up top, he still won despite a couple of negatives. Up 6lb for that, a mark of 140 looked very nice indeed but he then ran a belter behind a couple of 158 rated sorts in the Relkeel. He looked caught by 2 better and quicker horses that day but a rise of 4lb for the effort is very fair and he still looks to have something in hand off his current mark. He'll have to give a further 4lb to Call The Cops if going for this but the form of the Kempton effort, with Royal Regatta coming out and running so well over fences, looks very strong. He may go Coral Cup but market indications suggest Pertemps is more likely and he certainly looks to have the stamina. His trainer has said he wants to protect his handicap mark, wait for better ground and that 3 miles is the aim.

Brother Brian - 1pt e/w @ 16/1

Festival Plate

A couple more handicap shouts that should be half the current price on the day. First up is the former Byrne Group Plate, now known as the Enough Cliff Horses To Give You Chills Plate. Ericht, Easter Meteor, this cold get ugly. Step forward Champion Court, or Sir Cliff to me and you. But this guy does look worth forgiving, especially if he returns to prominent tactics as seems likely. Likely because he's been pretty solid in the ante post market for the race and last time's patient tactics clearly didn't work.

They did, however, ensure his marked was eased another couple of pounds and he's now 11lb below his mark at the start of the campaign. He's 16lb lower than when beaten 17 lengths in this last year and has an air of the Mister McGoldrick's about him. It would be no surprise to see cheekpieces back on either, left off last time, given he ran well in them first up in the Paddy Power when beaten 12 lengths off 8lb higher and their return would be another positive. 3 of his 4 UK wins have been here, 2 over course and distance, and I'm fairly sure there'll be money for him on the day, making 25/1 NRNB look very generous. The NRNB is worth taking just because it's there, though this is certainly the aim and he'll run bar an accident.

Champion Court - 1pt e/w @ 25/1

Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle

I really want to find that big price to get stuck into for the Fred Winter and am pretty happy with the few I've got on side. 1 in particular looks far too big, should scrape in the bottom of the handicap and already has a jockey booked with a recent gallop at Newbury under his belt. Blue Atlantic isn't the French bred that often go well in this and he hasn't run recently. The last 10 winners have all run in the February before the festival, except the one that won the Imperial Cup, so an absence since December is a worry, no doubt about that. However, that has meant he's crept under the radar a little with no recent hype and few obvious names in his form.

A decent sort on the flat for Mark Johnston, he won on debut at Market Rasen on officially soft ground but many jockeys that day were saying it was more like good, and such ground is crucial to him. His trainer immediately earmarked him as a possible Triumph horse. Next time he was 1 3/4 lengths 3rd behind Seamour, who we only saw once subsequently when giving 5lb and a beating to Scrafton, who in turn is rated 126 and was 12 lengths behind Top Notch on his next start. Back to Seamour; he beat Alan King's Karezak on his last start on the flat, a horse now rated 142 and 20/1 for the Triumph.

On the day Blue Atlantic was 3rd behind Seamour, he was also 1/2 a length behind Pain Au Chocolat, a horse now rated 143 and also 20/1 for the Triumph. Blue Atlantic gave the 2 ahead of him 7lb on ground that was far from ideal and he shows up here off 127. That is largely due to his run at Newbury when beaten over 20 lengths by Zarib, again on soft ground and at a time when the yard had started to go a little quiet. He will have a 13lb pull on the day with Dan Skelton's horse though and a defeat prior to running in this is not a negative as the last 4 winners will tell you. The track is an unknown, the absence a worry but 40/1 NRNB massively underestimates that mark and his likely improvement for better ground.

Blue Atlantic - 1pt e/w @ 40/1

World Hurdle

Rein Man / Monday 23rd February 2015 / 12:28

World Hurdle

Time to get stuck into one of the Championship races. The World Hurdle has seen the last 14 or so winners come from the top 4 in the betting but, there again, trends for the race are somewhat unreliable given the unprecedented dominance of Big Buck's. Last year was an exceptionally strong renewal with 2 unbeaten youngsters fighting out the finish who were obviously well found in the market. This year looks a little more open at this stage though, and I'm hoping something at a bigger price can get involved.

Looking at the market currently, Saphir De Rheu and Zarkandar are vying for favouritism with the latter just edging it. There's little to suggest he will better his performance last year but, there again, he may not have to as this looks an inferior renewal. A soft palate operation in the summer may have eked out improvement but that Long Walk defeat doesn't inspire confidence, certainly not as market leader. Saphir De Rheu will have Big Buck's comparisons and, whilst he is a long way off that, he would be clear preference of the top 2. However, it's interesting that Nicholls has said he thinks, for all the Cleeve winner will improve for that run, Zarkandar would be his more likely idea of the winner. If Saphir De Rheu isn't considered ahead of last year's 8 and a half length 4th at home, I'm not sure he can be backed at a best pried 11/2.

Would it be a complete shock if More Of That actually turned up and won? Not really. But the wind-op after his Newbury hammering and subsequent bleed are too much of a worry, even NRNB. For what it's worth I think he'd win head in chest if on song. Rock On Ruby is next and, whilst he clearly loves the course at this time of year, he is yet to prove he stays the trip and doesn't have age on his side. See this site's Road To Cheltenham blog as to why he isn't really a betting proposition as a 10 year old, not at 8/1 anyway. Annie Power is going mares, and now the market interest hots up.

Lieutenant Colonel has improved a great deal this term and, having won a sub standard Grade 1 at Fairyhouse, he won a more impressive looking contest at Leopardstown, his first go at 3 miles. However, whilst the form looks good, my slight niggle about the race is that a fair few were having their first runs of the season, a couple back from lengthy absences. He deserves his place at 10/1 but bigger prices lurk with greater appeal. None more so than the next 3 in the market. Un Temps Pour Tout looks a super bet and, if the ground on the day is good to soft or easier I'm certain I'll back him. He ran a lovely trial for this in the Cleeve, conceding race fitness, and looks a silly price up against Saphir De Rheu. He'll be 2lb worse off but a fitter horse. I've missed the boat a touch however, and he may not be that much shorter than 12's on Thursday morning. Whisper beat At Fishers Cross (who hasn't?) in Grade 1 company at Aintree and I like the angle here of previous festival winners. The worry is a less than ideal prep having been beaten over fences last time and the trip at Cheltenham could just stretch him. Either way he still looks an enticing proposition.

Not as enticing as Monksland. He reminds me a little of Solwhit who took this a few years ago. 2 years off before coming back with this as the aim. Monksland had his setbacks a year earlier in his career but that is more a positive than anything and his preparation for Cheltenham has been a short head from perfect. The key difference is that Solwhit was a proven Grade 1 performer, and over shorter, but Monksland did win the subsequently upgraded Grade 2 Christmas Hurdle before his absence, and it didn't look shy of a Grade 1 winning performance. He ran very well on return where coming back sound would have been the main aim and then bumped into mud loving, battling, Bog Warrior reincarnate Dedigout at Gowran Park. He did everything right but win that day and, though in receipt of 5lb, he would very likely reverse that form off levels on better ground and the form is solid. Dedigout subsequently won in Grade 2 company - a race where I fancy he'd have beaten Briar Hill without the latter coming down at the last.

Noel Meade, who could have a very good week in March, maintains Monksland will come on for better ground, as does Paul Carberry who will likely be back on for the World Hurdle. They have a super record together. This horse has never been out of the places in 9 starts under rules, was a short head from having about the best piece of Irish staying hurdle form under his belt, would have finished far closer than an 18 length 3rd to Simonsig in the 2012 Neptune but for getting hampered 2 out, and can be backed at 16/1. That's too big, especially with a little NRNB safety given he's not the soundest of sorts.

Monksland - 1pt e/w @ 16/1Lost -2pt

Supreme Novices Hurdle

Rein Man / Monday 16th February 2015 / 11:49

Supreme Novices Hurdle

Tough weekend for the 2 ante post bets so far. Ballycasey wasn't right, he's much better than that and it would be no surprise if he scoped poorly or something else came to light. Either way it was a bad sign. Apache Jack won't even get to Cheltenham on what he showed, hammered 75 lengths after positive vibes in the betting. It's difficult to hold out hope for either at this stage but you never know.

Time to dip the toe into the novice hurdle waters and I'm still none the wiser as to what the Mullins team will do. I half expect them to go from the front with Nicholls Canyon in the opener but that could mean they move Douvan to the Neptune. That looks improbable. Either way, we know the history of Supreme favourites and, whilst Douvan deserves his place at the top of the market and looks bomb proof on what we've seen on the track, that last run was some time ago. 2 right handed spins on deepish ground to date leaves a few unknowns at a best priced 2/1. There's plenty of value to be had in behind and further down the betting than L'Ami Serge. I've backed Jollyallan earlier in the season but couldn't put him up after last time. He's got an engine but there's something lacking as far as a Supreme horse goes and he'll probably be at his best as a chaser. Nicholls Canyon and Shaneshill will likely be kept apart but I don't like either of them for this race as it happens. Qewy was very impressive last time but Cheltenham will be a very different test and he's all of a sudden very well found in the market whilst 2 of Alvisio Ville, Tell Us More and Outlander will likely end up elsewhere.

Next in the betting is Seedling who we've not seen since he won at Cheltenham in December carrying a double penalty. 3 from 3 this term for Warren Greatrex (though Charles Egerton is still involved with the horse and deserves plenty of credit), he is now rated 149 having gone up a further 5lb without running. That's 1lb above Josses Hill at this stage last year, the same as Irving and 5lb below Vautour. Here's how previous winners of that Cheltenham novice have faired at the festival:

Noland - won Supreme. Tidal Bay - 2nd in Neptune. Calgary Bay - unplaced in Supreme. Karabak - 2nd in Neptune. General Miller - unseated at first in Supreme at 25/1. Prince Of Pirates didn't run again until May BUT Al Ferof would very likely have won the race but for falling 2 out when clear - he won the Supreme. Darlan - 2nd in Supreme. Melodic Rendezvous missed the festival, but was a 163 rated hurdler. Ballyalton - 2nd in Neptune (to you know who).

All in all, winners of the race have a very solid record at the festival. The concern is that we've not seen Seedling since December whereas the above had had at least 1 other outing. However, what makes Seedling slightly different is that he's a 2nd season hurdler and doesn't lack for experience. He chased home the likes of Calipto last term and, more importantly with the Supreme in mind, Wilde Blue Yonder who was 5th in the race last year. Seedling was 6 lengths ahead of Sign Of A Victory that day and shaped for more of a test, the type a big field Supreme should provide. He has since proved himself at Cheltenham and not stopped improving. The yard are aiming him for this race and, whilst winning it does look a stretch for even the most positive of punters to be confident about him winning, 33/1 is definitely too big.

He was pulled out of the Betfair hurdle for 2 reasons. First the ground was a worry as his trainer thinks he'll improve for better. Half brother to a heavy ground winner and a soft - good ground winner, he himself has won on anything from good to heavy. He is by quick ground loving sire Cockney Rebel but there again his progeny tend to appreciate a bit of cut. Either way he's probably best away from ground extremes and the good to soft nailed on opening race ground should be ideal, for him and plenty of others. The other reason for swerving the Betfair was yard form and, as his trainer pointed out, there's no point running him on bad ground with the yard struggling as it will do little for confidence. I fancy off 144 at the time he felt they had little chance in the circumstances. The yard had a winner in Seedling's colours on Saturday, another former Egerton horse, and the enforced break looks to have done them good.

His form is solid with As De Mee winning again of late, the Nicholls horse he beat easily giving him 7lb. Some Plan, 2nd at Cheltenham in receipt of 4lb, has come out and won the Supreme Scottish Trial by 9 lengths. Tom George's horse got the run of the race that day but it's hard to see that form as anything other than a huge positive for Seedling's chances. It's form that needed to work out to give him a sniff in Cheltenham's opener but he now looks more than just a lively outsider. Imagine if he hailed from 1 of the bigger yards, an easy 3 from 3 this term with Cheltenham form in the book. No 33/1 shot.

Seedling - 1pt e/w @ 33/1Lost -2pt

RSA Chase

Rein Man / Monday 9th February 2015 / 12:13

RSA Chase

Personally, the Deloitte only muddied things yesterday as far as ante post novice hurdle punting goes. Shaneshill was going up for the Neptune…until yesterday. I still think they might go Supreme from the front with Nichols Canyon but, given Shaneshill was probably outstayed last time, perhaps they'll drop him in trip. Perhaps Willie and Wylie will run both over the intermediate trip? Perhaps not. Either way I want to back something where destination is all but certain.

Most interesting of the novice races at the Festival at the moment is the RSA as, looking at the market, I can happily swerve the top 9 in the betting. Willie Mullins's comment of 'nailed on for that race' about Don Poli and the 4 miler are still ringing in the ears and he surely wants his son to ride his best staying chaser (market moves today are a concern but I'm not rewriting this!). Coneygree should go Gold Cup after the weekend and probably will. First 2 done.

Kings Palace highlighted his potential frailties at the weekend and, whilst he may get a lead at Cheltenham without Coneygree, he's of no interest whatsoever at 11/2, especially after what happened at the Festival last year. It's so likely that something will take him on. The Young Master could be the one but Ruby Walsh makes a salient point about the consistency of pace and general intensity of Graded races finding out handicappers. He may be good enough but isn't big enough in the market to find out. Valseur Lido would be better in a JLT, and may end up there, and that's where Apache Stronghold goes. Southfield Theatre would have been a bet before yesterday but he just didn't convince, for all it wasn't his trip. 7 down. JLT bound Ptit Zig and Vatour are next. Now it gets interesting.

Sandra Hughes has said Apache Jack needs 3 miles on good ground and looks certain to run in the RSA. A staying on 2 and a quarter lengths behind Briar Hill at Naas last year, he followed up with an impressive 3rd in the Albert Bartlett and would probably have been 2nd with a better jump at the last. He came the longest way round Cheltenham that day and was still finding at the finish of a proper attritional test and there can be no stamina doubts. The worry about that race is the form, with only Champagne West upholding it to any respectable degree. The winner was last seen in blinkers and has to put his season back on track. So too the otherwise tempting Deputy Dan at 50/1 who now only holds a Cheltenham entry for the RSA. I'm still not absolutely convinced about him at the trip though, for all he was 2nd in the Albert Bartlett when up with the pace throughout and he has plenty to prove this term with few excuses in hand.

Apache Jack finished up the season trying to make all at Punchestown and still finished a respectable 9 lengths behind Beat That and Don Poli. He should have 2 defeats to his name this year, both over an inadequate 2 and a half miles on soft ground, which is not his bag. He'll have needed his first run in January after nearly 9 months off, and improved when a lucky winner last time, but he is crying out for better ground and a step back up in trip. That action screams top of the ground. He's a full brother to good ground Albert Bartlett winner Black Jack Ketchum whose last career win came over 3 miles 1 on good to firm.

Apache Jack is almost certain to run in the race. We know he handles Cheltenham and wants the RSA trip and, provided the ground is half decent, 25/1 will look big on the day. He's not as good as a few above him in the betting but there should be more to come after just 2 chase starts and this market could absolutely fall apart.

Apache Jack - 1pt e/w @ 25/1Lost -2pt

Ryanair Chase

Rein Man / Monday 2nd February 2015 / 12:26

Ryanair Chase

I'll be putting up an ante post Cheltenham bet in each week of February and this is the first. It could be a good time to do so now too as I can't find a winner day in, day out so looking 5 weeks into the future might help! There are a few in the book already, some looking good, some shaky and some with no hope at all but one that looks solid and likely to shorten is Ballycasey for the Ryanair.

Current favourite is Don Cossack and rightly so given his unbeaten season. I fancy he had Champagne Fever's measure coming to the last at Thurles and that was his best yet. He can be considered an improved horse on last term and finally living up to that hurdles hype he showed a few years ago. Tie that in with the excellent start to the season from Gordon Elliott and he's looked unstoppable.

I'm not sure he's a very different horse though and it's worth pointing out he's finally been consistently campaigned at the right trip and right handed, though that latter factor could be a coincidence. 3 miles doesn't get the best out of him as he's plenty quick enough and last term 6 of his 7 races (all 5 defeats) came over further than 2 and a half miles. Not that he doesn't stay, he's just more effective over an intermediate trip. His best performance last season came in the Drinmore over 2 and a half, the trip 3 of his 4 wins have come over this term. So he's a worthy favourite for the Ryanair but, equally, I have plenty of faith in last season's form over the Ryanair trip, not relying on the view he's simply a far better horse this season, and want to take him on back at Cheltenham.

Ballycasey had the run of things in a 3-runner field in the Moriarty last year when beating Don Cossack around 4 lengths but that still looks pretty good form now. Ballycasey is unbeaten in 6 completed starts at around 2 and a half miles and would have a 100% record at the trip but for coming down at Fairyhouse. Whilst he likes to dominate, he doesn't have to and has shown he's more than capable of taking a lead in big fields. Notably in the RSA when swinging along, the only horse on the bridle when leading 3 out, before not seeing out the trip. He led in the closing stages at Punchestown too before being outstayed.

We need to put a line through his run in the Dial A Bet but that is sharp enough for him and it was almost a case of chance gone when getting crowded going into the first and making a bad mistake. He then jumped right at a few and never looked comfortable. He was entered in the Tied Cottage but didn't run, perhaps due to the ground (I'm not sure on this) but he does look almost certain to go for the Ryanair, which is absolutely his optimum trip (connections have Champagne Fever for the Champion Chase and Djakadam for the Gold Cup). He'll be no 16/1 poke on the day.

Ballycasey - 1pt e/w @ 16/1Lost -2pt

Sunday 8th March

Rein Man / Saturday 7th March 2015 / 19:09

Naas 16:00

Pink Coat looks a likeable favourite at Naas given his run in the Boylesports Hurdle last time but he is closely matched with Pass The Hat on old form and the latter is more tempting at a similar price of 7/1. I backed them both when they ran here 15 months ago, both staying on from the rear and that form is solid. Pink Coat is lightly raced since whereas the selection has raced mainly over fences. He's gone up 23lb in that sphere since but is now 1lb lower over hurdles and has a 10lb pull with the likely favourite. Arthur Moore is winless in 4 months but recent runners have gone well and he won this a few years back with a seasoned chaser taking advantage of a 28lb lower hurdles mark. Pass The Hat runs off 26lb lower and likes it here. He'll want a test but there's a fair bit of pace on and I fancy he'll go well.

Pass The Hat - 1pt e/w @ 7/1Lost -2pt

Warwick 16:20

The marathon at Warwick has a few course and distance winners in the field and Incentivise should relish this. I prefer him over the shorter Barton Gift who beat him last time out. However, Quilinton must have a proper chance in what is likely to be more of a test and he's dangerously well handicapped. There's so much pace on and that should really suit him with headgear back on. I wish it were blinkers but he's gone well with cheekpieces reapplied in the past and 10/1 is big enough.

Quilinton - 1pt e/w @ 10/1Lost -2pt

If it were more testing one of Reblis or Loughalder would be a strong fancy but I think the former is worth backing anyway and I'll chance him at 16/1 with the visor back on.

Reblis - 0.5pt e/w @ 16/1Lost -1pt

Saturday 7th March

Rein Man / Friday 6th March 2015 / 21:08

Sandown 14:00

A couple in the EBF Final make appeal at around 10/1. It's a race open to a shock and, whilst the Henderson horse and Nicholls pair make bundles of appeal, they are well found in the market. Pipe reaches for the blinkers with Mount Haven and I really like his chances on this better ground. The worry is the amount of pace on and likely competition for the lead. There are so many that like to go forward and, though Sandown is often a place for front runners, that uphill finish can take some getting if it turns into a slog and that could play into the hands of Hello George. Not without support in his 2 hurdles starts to date, the Ladbroke was probably a touch sharp and he stayed on from the back last time, albeit well held. He can still be competitive off this mark though and is a bumper winner at the track.

Hello George - 1pt e/w @ 10/1Lost -2pt

Sandown 14:35

The 3 mile chase has plenty of pace on too and that could make life tough for those up there. Ziga Boy should be suited buy that and, if it wasn't drying ground, I'd be keen. He has won on good but is probably better suited by cut. I like Mosspark at 13/2 who looked a realistic Albert Bartlett runner last term but pulled up. The visor saw improvement last time but he wants further and now gets it. The Listed Chase at Warwick prior to that was a tall order but he still ran with credit and, back in a handicap off a mark 6lb lower than when he started the season, he has very solid claims.

Mosspark - 1pt @ 13/2Lost -1pt

Sandown 15:10

As many as 10 of the 24 strong Imperial Cup field have led or made all in their careers and there should be some pace on. However, the tale of yesterday at Sandown was horses up with the pace staying there and, whilst out and out front running in this will be hard work, getting too far back could be a worry. As far as who that will suit most, it could be Some Buckle who still looks well treated based on his Glingerburn form and he looked outstayed last time. I feel like throwing caution to the wind though and there are so many tempting ones at big prices to get stuck into. Midnight Game doesn't have the most attractive profile for this race but he is very well handicapped and has improved on each start for Brian Ellison. He shouldn't get too far back and a good pace at this trip on softer ground than he faced at Musselburgh should help. Older horses have won the race and, given an improved performance last time, he should fare better than 40/1 suggests.

Midnight Game - 0.5pt e/w @ 40/1Lost -1pt

That Musselburgh race has solid form and Zaidiyn was a real eye catcher that day. The track didn't suit the way he was handled but, not ideally, he seems likely to be held up again here. However, he looks well handicap and worth chancing given the bundles of pace on. It will help him settle and 33/1 is big enough. There are so many on the shortlist between 10 and 16/1 I fancy, the likes of West Wizard, Some Buckle, Fauscino Rustico, Wicklow Brave, that I can't split them and am relying on small stakes, low weights and big prices in a fascinatingly open race.

Zaidiyn - 0.5pt e/w @ 33/1Lost -1pt

Meydan 13:45

One from Super Satuday at Meydan and, sticking to the turf, Lancelot Du Lac looks overpriced at 16/1. He was just touched off by Ahtoug in receipt of a couple of pounds on debut out here, the latter is a 9/2 shot. However, if he has a shot then so does Sir Maximilian at 33/1. I've been wanting to back him in a handicap out here but he's not really had things run to suit. He too was just in behind Ahtoug in receipt of 2lb. He, like Lancelot Du Lac, had no chance next time drawn high when Caspian Prince made all and 6 stretched him last time. He should get the strongly run 5 he needs this afternoon, albeit I'd prefer it if he were drawn lower.

Sir Maximilian - 1pt e/w @ 33/1Won 41.25pt

Friday 6th Match

Rein Man / Friday 6th March 2015 / 10:05

Sandown 16:00

I want to take on Lessons In Milan at a current 6/4 today in the competitive handicap hurdle at Sandown. The yard have a good record in the race but this is a handicap debutant, albeit of a fair looking mark, running against more experienced handicappers, plenty of whom still look fairly treated and he's very short. He'll likely be ridden prominently, where it should pay to be given the lack of front runners, but others at bigger prices make plenty of appeal. The Suzy Smith pair look overpriced, particularly Little Boy Boru, but Pipe's Sirienschock looks a decent bet at 9/1. He ran well last time from off the pace behind a Nicholls runner who looked very feasibly treated and was well backed. The visor goes on today, as does Tom Scu, and I wouldn't be surprised if positive tactics ensue. His form is solid, ground will suit and he's a big price off a very competitive mark.

Sirienschock - 1pt e/w @ 9/1Placed 1.25pt

Thursday 5th March

Rein Man / Thursday 5th March 2015 / 09:07

Chelmsford 18:15

Whether anything matches Light From Mars for early pace at Chelmsford remains to be seen but there should be a stronger early gallop than last time when some closers struggled to get involved. Yeeoow will have to do less to get over from a better draw but, at 5/1, his strike rate has to be a worry. Pour La Victoire will be able to get prominent, which suits him, from 1 and this stronger gallop should suit. He could be fund out racing too close to the pace though and perhaps Angelito will finally come good over 6 today with plenty in his favour. He shaped well over 5 last time off a break and should be better for it. He raced prominently that day but is often help up and hopefully they'll stick to those tactics from stall 10 or else he'll not get home. There should be enough pace for him to get involved from the back at a healthy 9/1.

Angelito - 1pt e/w @ 9/1Placed 4pt

Wednesday 4th March

Rein Man / Wednesday 4th March 2015 / 10:08

Kempton 19:45

Breakheart must have a super chance back at Kempton today and with the visor back on, which has been successful in the past. His price isn't all that appealing in an open race though and he may just want more pace on. It's a big field with some prominent racers but there's nothing that looks certain to take them along bar City Of Angkor Wat and it could be difficult to get into this from the back. I'm willing to give Tychaios another chance off what still looks a workable mark. He has shaped for a mile a few times, notably here 2 starts back when drawn wide, racing wide but finishing well. In fact he's been drawn wide here on all 3 starts and had to work harder than ideal early on. He seemed to struggle to go the pace last time over 6 at Lingfield and then was short of room before keeping on and he looks well worth a step up to a mile. He'll not get too far back from 5 and, given the prices he's been sent off at in recent times, it's nice to see this somewhat unreliable sort at a healthy 12/1, especially with Andrea Atzeni up.

Tychaios - 1pt e/w @ 12/1Placed 2pt

Tuesday 3rd March

Rein Man / Tuesday 3rd March 2015 / 06:31

Exeter 15:00

Typically good, open card at Exeter. First of the handicaps sees a couple of out of form sorts make appeal at the prices. Storm Alert's last couple of wins have come here over further but there's a fair bit of pace on and he's dropped to a handy mark. However, Virtuose Du Chenet looks a big price in a weak race. He has fished last on both UK starts to date but was sent off 4/1 for yard debut and the trainer was positive about him in a pre season stable tour. Running at a more conventional track with tongue tie and cheekpieces added may just spark him into life and the test at the trip should help too. The yard are going much better than when he last ran and, given the lack of depth in the race, he can run better than an 11/1 shot. It's of limited relevance, but he is the most recent winner in the field.

Virtuose De Chenet - 1pt e/w @ 11/1Lost -2pt

Exeter 15:30

Viking Blond looks a super bet in the Devon National. 2nd in the Sussex version last time, he is up 1lb and clearly needs more but will be far better suited to this track. All his winning has come at galloping tracks and he is 1 from 1 here. Testing ground is very much his thing and the tongue tie may help further. Interesting the visor is dispensed with as 3 of his 4 wins have come in headgear (blinkers) but his last success did come when the visor was removed so perhaps it's a positive. Either way he should go very well at 8/1.

Viking Blond - 1pt e/w @ 8/1Lost -2pt

Horse Racing Tips

Horse racing tips from our expert Rein Man. £10 on all tips in 2014 would have returned £4095 in profit!

Racing Profit & Loss

DatePoints

February

19

January

17

December

-5

November

31

October

47

September

37

2014

410

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