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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 @ 10/1
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 @ 13/2
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 @ 40/1

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 @ 33/1

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 @ 9/1

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 promintly 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 @ 9/1

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 @ 12/1

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 @ 11/1

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 @ 8/1

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

Saturday 28th February

Rein Man / Friday 27th February 2015 / 20:41

Newbury 13:45

Today could be the day for Bothy but he's not one to put the house on. Leave It Be is the obvious one on handicap debut with Barry Geraghty up and a hood on but he still needs to show more than he has to date. It's a good little race but I'm surprised Wily Fox is as big as 33/1. Back off the same mark as when a strong travelling 2nd at Aintree, he was outclassed last time but eases back into a Class 3 here and has the blinkers back on. The yard are going well and he seems to have been unfairly dismissed.

Wily Fox - 1pt e/w @ 33/1Lost -2pt

Newbury 14:15

This is the last time I'm putting Golden Chieftain up, honest. But he's just so well handicapped and today there are no excuses. 5lb lower than when well held at Cheltenham 2 starts back, he probably needed it last time as he doesn't go well with any freshness in him. The cheekpieces are back on and he's now 3lb lower than winning at the festival 2 years back. What's more frustrating is that he actually shaped well on reappearance but has gone the wrong way since. Once more at 20/1.

Golden Chieftain - 1pt e/w @ 20/1Lost -2pt

Doncaster 15:45

Night In Milan was a good winner of the Donny feature last year and there's a chance that a return to the track can mean that this otherwise lofty mark isn't beyond him. He will likely help set a fierce pace and it'll take stamina to win this. For that reason it could be worth siding with Samingarry at 12/1 for a trainer and jockey that have had a good time of it of late. He was progressive last season and, whilst the RSA was far too big an ask, he bolted up next time off a 7lb lower mark than today. This is tougher but he looks to have been prepped for this and, at his best on a decent surface, he will get the test at the trip he likely needs.

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

Friday 27th February

Rein Man / Friday 27th February 2015 / 09:45

Newbury 15:35

I like the look of Hellorboston on chase debut at Newbury, though he's not exactly been popular on the exchange. He made an excellent reappearance over hurdles last time having disappointed in June and, if taking to fences as easily, looks vastly underestimated at 13/2. Cheekpieces have helped and are retained and he's back off the same mark, which still looks lenient on his older hurdles form.

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

Newbury 16:40

Oficial Ben is super short at the top of the market for the 3 mile handicap hurdle. There should be some pace on but he failed to settle last time and he's up dramatically in trip. Whilst that will suit on pedigree, it will be interesting to see how he handles it early on and I wouldn't play at 5/2 to find out. I prefer Easy Beesy who should appreciate this extra couple of furlongs. There are a couple of prices lurking at the foot of the weights though that could be worth chancing. I Am Colin has dropped dramatically at the weights and should come on for his reappearance after over 300 days off. Urban Storm looks big at 25/1 too on handicap debut. He should really appreciate the step up to 3 miles and looks feasibly treated based on his reappearance. He was 5/1 for his next start when the ground was probably too testing but last time was too bad to be true. Tongue-tied here, if we forgive that last effort he has scope off 105 at a price.

Urban Storm - 0.5pt e/w @ 25/1Non Runner

Thursday 26th February

Rein Man / Wednesday 25th February 2015 / 21:26

Meydan 17.40

Love Meydan. Super card this week too, though ideally I'd prefer another couple of turf handicaps! Still can't brave the dirt. The Group 2 Zabeel Mile looks worth a play and Safety Check is a worthy favourite. There's a little more than I thought there may be at the prices between he and stable companion Outstrip and the latter will be dangerous back on turf. Short Squeeze is very tempting with Smullen back on but he may just want more pace on here than looks likely. Soumillon chooses Darwin but the lack of front runners could play into the hands of Johnny Geroudis on Anaerobio at 14/1. He hasn't been at his best on 2 starts but was a touch unlucky coming from off the pace behind Safety Check 2 starts back and was up against it under top weight last time. He has a 6lb pull with Dark Emerald today and is well drawn to get prominent. His pace at the trip will be a big advantage and he has less to find on ratings than some.

Anaerobio - 1pt e/w @ 14/1Lost -2pt

Meydan 18.15

The last race on the card is a touch frustrating as there are a few I would like to get stuck into but they are hold up sorts and, much like the race Tha'ir won last time, there's little pace on. That gives him a great chance of following up but I'd rather back Eye In The Sky of all the likely pace angles. He still may find this all happening too quickly though and I'm loathe to swerve Van Rooney having put him up a few weeks ago. He never got involved that day from 10 but is still unexposed at the trip and he has a chance from 2 here. That's taking a leap of faith that he'll be ridden more prominently as he does have a turn of foot that could come in really handy. It may be that he has to be produced late and he'll still be held up, which is fair enough, but he can be competitive off this mark for a team going well together and 20/1 just looks too big.

Van Rooney - 0.5pt e/w @ 20/1Lost -1pt

Ludlow 15.20

It's a super looking Forbra Gold Cup at Ludlow and What A Good Night has probably been kept for a race like this. He gets in off a lowish weight but there must be a few ground worries given the forecast. We've not seen him for a while too and nearly 2/1 means others make plenty more appeal. I'm very tempted by Drumshambo who has been on the list for a while and the handicapper looks to have given him a real shot. However, 3 miles in softish ground could be too big an ask and today may not be the day, even at 16's. Global Power is another that's been on the list a while but disappointed last time. That's a race where it may pay to put a line through it though given only 2 finished (nearly only 1) and he's clearly well treated off 128, just 2lb higher than when 2nd to Theatrical Star who gives the form a solid look. He may find this sharp enough but the forecast is in his favour and cheekpieces are back on. I'm surprised he's as big as 9/1.

Global Power - 1pt e/w @ 9/1Won 11.25pt

Wednesday 25th February

Rein Man / Tuesday 24th February 2015 / 18:34

Bangor 15:55

Scrapping for a bet again today but Tarraco looks a little big dropped in class and trip at Bangor. There could be a bit of pace on here especially if Goodtoknow is asked to go on with likely front runner Bennys Well. Tarraco doesn't lack for stamina, though the marathon trips on his last 2 starts may just have stretched him. It stretched everyone in the West Wales National last time when only 2 completed but this is more his thing. He's 6lb higher than for his last, comfortable win and has Aidan Coleman back on who has been atop for his last 3 successes. Hopefully the first time hood will eke out even more at 9/1.

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

Bangor 16:25

The 2 mile 4 hurdle is a lovely betting heat and I like Singlefarmpayment very much. This is easier than his last race, which looks solid form, and he's justifiably near the head of the market. Thare are others though that make appael, one of them being Special Wells whose Wetherby win has worked out very well. This could be a test if Rascal and Bladoun go forward though and I worry he's best at a strongly run 2 miles. Flying Light is most interesting at 20/1. He has been eased a whopping 18lb since the start of the season and has shaped for a return to further on both his last 2 starts. Most recently was over hurdles and he's starting to look very well treated. 5lb below his last win when in Ireland, he handles cut and, given his dam was a half sister to a classy flat stayer, he looks underestimated back over further.

Flying Light - 1pt e/w @ 20/1Placed 4pt

Tuesday 24th February

Rein Man / Monday 23rd February 2015 / 17:15

Leicester 14:50

Can't find much to get excited about this afternoon but Whiskey Chaser could take advantage of a falling mark for this 3rd start over fences. He certainly looks well treated on the pick of his hurdles form. It's a weak contest to say the least and the fact that this 7 year old has been sent off 9/2 and 7/2 for each of his chase starts suggests he has something to offer. He's been dropped a generous 8lb since the start of the season and will have needed that first run. 2 miles will have been sharp enough next time so hopefully the return to further with a couple of runs under his belt will suit. Heavy should be no trouble on pedigree and he might be able to show his true colours in this modest contest at 8/1.

Whiskey Chaser - 1pt e/w @ 8/1Lost -2pt

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 @ 16/1

Sunday 22nd February

Rein Man / Saturday 21st February 2015 / 17:26

Southwell 15:30

Capellanus ran well last time in hotter company than this at Musselburgh, looking outpaced there on good ground before staying on. Craig Gallagher is back on today claiming 7lb, the jockey on for his last success which came here over half a mile shorter. He was 2nd over course and distance for his next start at the track and is beginning to look feasibly treated again. The ground looks ideal on the face of it but rain is forecast and that may not be ideal. It's a risk worth taking though given he won on soft in his French and Irish days and his jockey said sticky ground was no trouble after his last success. Fancy he'll be involved at 14/1.

Capellanus - 1pt e/w @ 14/1Non Runner

Naas 14:50

Over at Naas there's an open and classy novice handicap chase but Champagne James looks big at 10/1. A maiden hurdle winner here over a furlong shorter on soft to heavy ground, he should have similar conditions this afternoon. It was always said he'd make a better chaser too but he's yet to really live up to expectation - he has been mentioned in the same breath as the same connection's Foxrock. He was sent of favourite on handicap debut last time for a lesser race but that support is notable and his form, including an 11 length 2nd to Valseur Lido at Punchestown when he would have finished closer but for blundering his way through the last, makes 126 look lenient. He is over a more suitable trip after last time and should outrun that price.

Champagne James - 1pt e/w @ 9/1Placed 1.25pt

Saturday 21st February

Rein Man / Friday 20th February 2015 / 19:06

Lingfield 13:45

Lots of races but few bets today. At Lingfield Go Far could have a race fitness edge on a few rated higher than him. Ryan Moore up is a big positive and so too the fact he often races prominently. Not always, and he has won from numerous different positions, but Moore will have had a look and seen there's not a bundle of pace on. That is putting me off Foxtrot Romeo, who could be set for a bold show at the AW championships, and so too Intransigent who wants a test at this trip. Alben Star should go close but I'm more tempted with the 9/1 about the selection and he does have form ahead of Foxtrot Romeo, for all it was subsequently reversed. He has a weight pull though and the yard and jockey have a decent strike rate together.

Go Far - 1pt e/w @ 9/1Lost -2pt

Newcastle 14:55

The Eider is a super renewal and the 2 previous winners have to be given a serious chance. There are a few prices to get stuck into though. Sharney Sike needs some improvement to win this but he does like it here and 40/1 is too big. He tends to fold though when taken on for the lead and there is bundles of pace on. First up I like Milborough who had this mentioned as a target after his Carlisle win. Most winners of the Eider of late have carried over 11 stone and class tends to tell. He carries 10-13 which is close enough. He came down at the 1st last time out which could be no bad thing as he still looks feasibly treated and his form is rock solid. 2nd behind subsequent winner Ardkilly Witness in April and ahead of Foxrock and behind Shutthefrontdoor at Cheltenham, he is a lovely price at 22/1.

Milborough - 1pt e/w @ 22/1Won 27.5pt

I also want to give course winner Tutchec a chance at 16/1, though in truth I hoped that would be bigger. He shapes for a proper test and the yard are flying.

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

Kempton 15:45

The Betbright Chase has so many on the shortlist that a pin might be needed but then I saw Tenor Nivernais at 14/1. It's been a frustrating week or so personally but that is a silly price and hopefully he can land a bit of a touch. I really like him. He came back off a long absence to win in the shadow of the post here in November and is just 3lb higher today. 3 subsequent starts have seen him run well but look desperate for 3 miles and here he is.

Tenor Nivernais - 1pt e/w @ 14/1

I wanted to put up 1 of the Tom George pair, a yard that knows how to win this, with preference for Chartreux. He likes to race prominently and that could suit as there's no guaranteed pace on now What A Warrior has been pulled out. However, at the prices Lost Legend looks a nice bet. A P can't do the weight on Tap Night, who I put up last time at 25/1. That yard are flying but he has become frustrating and I'm not sure he wants 3 miles, even this easy 3. So McCoy is on Lost Legend who may want better ground but he won here on reappearance and I fancy he really wants 3 miles. Just 2lb higher today, last time was disappointing but a return to Kempton, where he's twice been successful, could suit at a generous looking 16/1. He's half the bet of the Williams horse mind.

Lost Legend - 1pt e/w @ 16/1Non Runner

Friday 20th February

Rein Man / Friday 20th February 2015 / 10:18

Exeter 16:50

Salmanazar is very tempting today but he's really not to be relied upon as far as getting over the first goes. He was backed last time though and something is telling me to have faith. Either way, Big Society is just 2 points shorter but far more reliable at 13/2 and he should get a nice tow through from Top Wood, the likely pace angle. It shouldn't be a hotly contested lead so racing prominently, as he tends to do, will be no bad thing and Brennan hasn't been afraid to take it up in the past. He has plenty of stamina at this trip and I fancy they'll make use of that. A course winner, he will have needed his reappearance here when 3rd off a couple of pounds lower and then probably found 3 and a half furlongs further a touch too far last time.

Big Society - 1pt e/w @ 13/2Lost -2pt

Thursday 19th February

Rein Man / Thursday 19th February 2015 / 11:59

Meydan 15:20

Super race to kick off the Meydan card and the heart would love Medicean Man to win it. The head says he's handicapped to the hilt and something will be better treated. I like a few but none at the prices more than Banaadeer, technically the owner's 3rd string here. That means he can have Christophe Soumillon on top, no bad thing at all. He was sent off 7/2 favourite for debut out here, much like Shea Shea was a few years back, but disappointed. Shea Shea came out and dominated the 5 furlong division after his below par start and, whilst hoping this runner can do the same is unrealistic, he could still be better than a mark of 108 at 11/1. He will have competition for the lead but hopefully that will give him the chance to settle in behind something.

Banaadeer - 1pt e/w @ 11/1Placed 1.75pt

There should be a competetive early pace and that should help the likes of Sir Maximilian and the vastly overpriced bottom weight Monsieur Joe. A course and distance winner out here 3 years ago for Robert Cowell off this mark, he has plenty to find on his last start but he is more a 5 furlong horse, especially if granted a decent pace, than 6. On the form of his opening run here, which looks the best 5 furlong form on offer, he has a better chance than 25/1 would suggest.

Monsieur Joe - 0.5pt e/w @ 25/1Lost -1pt

Meydan 16:30

The Listed Dubai Millennium Stakes looks a match between Hunter's Light and Umgiyo, both really impressive last time. There may be little pace on here which should give Mr Pommroy a real sniff from the front but whether he is quite up to this class remains to be seen. I can't help but give Ducab some support for all he has plenty to find. A dual winner here on tapeta, he has won on turf and should come on for his reappearance when slowly away and apparently striking into himself. This 5 year old is making just his 13th career start and I fancy we are yet to see the best of him. A brother to The Fugue, a return to this trip should help and he can outrun odds of 50/1.

Ducab - 1pt e/w @ 50/1Lost -2pt

Meydan 18:15

The final race on the card is a belter for a bet. Top of the list is Eastern Rules but, at 5/1, he's very risky given the lack of pace on. If Free Wheeling was drawn a little lower I'd be very confident but he still warrants a bet at 10/1. The form of his penultimate start is solid with Beligian Bill going close next time and the 2nd winning. This trip is more his thing, especially with little pace given his running style, and it's tricky to see him out of the frame. Dirt wouldn't have been ideal last time and he just gets the vote over the likeable Fountain Of Youth.

Free Wheeling - 1pt e/w @ 10/1Placed 1.5pt

Counterglow is a very big price but he may want more of a test at this trip and simply may not be the horse of old. My Catch too is overpriced back up in trip and he should come on for the run last time but Tamaathul just gets the vote over him. Hamdan's 1st string, he is a winner over 6 here and that turn of foot could come in handy as long as not getting too far back from stall 4, though he does tend to come from off the pace. He probably didn't handle dirt on reappearance but was disappointing last time. However, he never go into it drawn 2nd widest of all that day and he came back with a laceration on his right hock. Back from 6 weeks off, he's 6lb below his last win (6f here) and 25/1 is plenty fair enough.

Tamaathul - 0.5pt e/w @ 25/1Lost -1pt

Wednesday 18th February

Rein Man / Tuesday 17th February 2015 / 18:49

Kempton 19:10

Strategic Force is back on polytrack after a run on tapeta and he'll likely go off shorter than 11/2. The form of that run (4th) last time has worked out with the progressive winner scoring again, the 2nd running well up in class and the 3rd winning next time and the race was good on the clock. He was 7/4 that day and the surface may not have been ideal, or at least not as much to his liking as this. He still looks handily treated.

Strategic Force - 2pt @ 11/2Lost -2pt

Doncaster 15:55

Milan Bound is back after being hammered in the betting last time but ultimately disappointing. He was first to give chase to runaway subsequent scorer Bygones Sovereign that day and that took its toll late on but he was still far from convincing. Better ground may help and he may have needed the run. Western Jo and particularly Wicked Spice will be big dangers though. Nicky Richards is in excellent form and his 6 year old bolted up over course and distance on handicap debut. He wasn't up to his 12lb hike 16 days later but he's still learning and heavy ground in hot company was a tall order. He was help up out the back too in a race where it paid to be handy and he looks way overpriced back here after a little break at 10/1. A half brother to Balthazar King, better ground will help this afternoon.

Wicked Spice - 1pt e/w @ 10/1Lost -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 @ 33/1

Tuesday 17th February

Rein Man / Tuesday 17th February 2015 / 11:25

Wetherby 14:20

The Flaming Matron has obvious claims in the mares' novices' chase but there are a few unexposed types here who should appreciate a return to better ground. Notably Innocent Girl and Iconic Rose. The former makes her chase debut and this looks about her trip. She's still got something to prove off this mark though whereas Iconic Rose is 3lb below her last win (hurdles) and both career wins have come on good to soft. Her 2 chase starts of late have been on heavy and that really hasn't seemed to suit. Perhaps she isn't a chaser but she looks worth another go given conditions this afternoon at 7/1.

Iconic Rose - 1pt e/w @ 7/1Placed 0.75pt

Wetherby 15:55

There's a fair few on the shortlist for the 2 mile 6 handicap hurdle at Wetherby and I was going to leave alone as a result. Waterclock should go close with cheekpieces on and over a little further as he was a proper stayer on the flat. A few at big prices hail from yards in form though, notably the Sue Smith pair (preference for Not A Bother Boy) and Minella Hero from Micky Hammond's yard. He has to be worth a play at 33/1. A dual winner on good ground, he made a most discouraging start in handicap company on soft off 7lb higher. His debut for this yard was pleasing and it came at this track. He didn't build on it next time at Catterick, again with a bit of juice in the ground, but this is the best ground he'll have had since his last win an he looks worth stepping up in trip on pedigree. Whilst that last win was fortunate, his Boxing Day run suggests this mark isn't beyond him and the yard are going along nicely.

Minella Hero - 0.5pt e/w @ 33/1Lost -1pt

Sunday 15th February

Rein Man / Sunday 15th February 2015 / 12:23

Navan 14:15

Briar Hill needs forgiving this afternoon after some poor efforts this term but he may have needed it on return when a mistake cost him any chance. He travelled well last time at Gowran before finding little but I fancy this ground and trip may be that little bit more in his favour than last time. Dedigout has had his issues and is a bit of a Bog Warrior type in that he needs plenty of cut. Today's surface should be no problem but others will perhaps be less inconvenienced than they were last time and 11/8 is short enough. Briar Hill was a serious horse last term and a return to that sort of form should see him win this at 5/2.

Briar Hill - 1pt @ 5/2Lost -1pt

Navan 15:55

The Ten Up has my RSA tip running but I don't fancy Apache Jack will win in this ground and wouldn't be too concerned if he's beaten. Good ground is his thing. This looks to be between Thunder And Roses and Noble Emperor and I can't really spit them. The fact that the former is bigger at 7/2 makes him the bet and he did have the measure of the JP horse at Fairyhouse at the end of Novemeber. Who knows what would have happened next time without him coming down but it would have been close. That Apache Stronghold form is rock solid though and at least he has won at the trip, though it's hard to argue Noble Emperor doesn't get it. Interesting Cooper has chosen Very Wood who would be a danger if back on song in returning cheekpieces.

Thunder And Roses - 1pt @ 7/2Lost -1pt

Saturday 14th February

Rein Man / Saturday 14th February 2015 / 08:29

Haydock 14:55

The Grand National trial looks a race worth taking a few in (can't find a bet at Ascot, though Ballycasy got me half excited). Broadway Buffalo went up here last time he was entered before being withdrawn on the morning of the race. I'm not giving up though as he loves Haydock and should appreciate the step up in trip. Last time probably came too soon and he's big enough at 7/1. Rigadin De Beauchene could also be worth a pop. He won the race last year off 7lb lower but he won easy and beat the Welsh National winner in the process. 2nd the year before, he has every chance of getting involved at 12/1.

Broadway Buffalo - 1pt e/w @ 7/1Lost -2pt

Wincanton 13:20

The opener at Wincanton is weak and there's a handicap debutant who might just be well treated. I'm a touch disappointed with the price about City Supreme but don't want to miss out on what could be some clever placement from a yard that have had a few handicap debut winners this term. They are also in great form and this horse, who had solid bumper form, has been over inadequate trips in 3 hurdles starts. He's up in trip and tongue tie fitted at 7/1 today. It's open but he'll likely go off shorter.

City Supreme - 1pt e/w @ 7/1Lost -2pt

Wincanton 14:30

I said I wouldn't back Oscar Prairie until the blinkers went back on but here he is and here they aren't. He's just been given a great chance eased a further 3lb with a 10lb claimer on top and up in trip. Staying on last time, he finished level with Pride In Battle and both make appeal but the selection is the bigger price. The yard have been quiet but they've had a break and that could spell better. He's gone well at the track before and is worth a conservative nibble at 16/1.

Oscar Prairie - 0.5pt e/w @ 16/1Lost -2pt

Haydock 14:55

Rigadin De Beauchene could also be worth a pop. He won the race last year off 7lb lower but he won easy and beat the Welsh National winner in the process. 2nd the year before, he has every chance of getting involved at 12/1.

Rigadin De Beauchene - 1pt e/w @ 12/1Lost -2pt

Friday 13th February

Rein Man / Thursday 12th February 2015 / 19:14

Sandown 14.00

The 3 mile and a bit handicap at Sandown is a belter. 2 stand out at the prices at this stage. No Duffer should be favourite for me but is 7/1. He would very likely have won last time but for a race ending error four out. It's the course and distance form and price about On Trend that makes him the bet though at 12/1. The handicapper has given him a proper chance here off 119, 1lb above his last win and 13lb lower than his win here 2 years ago. The visor didn't work last time and he was never travelling. There again he wasn't here either 2 starts back but was beaten just 14 lengths by Unioniste and that highlights his chances back here. There's nothing of Unioniste quality today and I like that the blinkers are back on.

On Trend - 1pt e/w @ 12/1Lost -2pt

Thursday 12th February

Rein Man / Wednesday 11th February 2015 / 20:07

Kelso 16:00

The champ could have a decent day at Kelso today and I'm hoping one of his bigger priced winners is Flying Eagle for Peter Bowen. Sent off 5/2 joint favourite for handicap debut on reappearance, he ran as if he needed the race, especially on heavy ground. Conditions could even be on the quick side today but there is still soft in the going description and he'll fare better with that run under his belt. It's open but he's a decent price at 6/1 for a yard in form.

Flying Eagle - 1pt e/w @ 6/1Lost -2pt

Meydan 17:05

Meydan looks fab again for a few bets and Godolphin could well dominate the 12 furlong turf handicap. Excellent Result should fare better now he's had a run, as was the case 12 months ago, and he'll likely reverse form with last time out course and distance winner Al Saham. However, Songcraft won this last year and 3 years ago off 4lb and 8lb lower respectively and wins fresh year in year out. He gets further but there's enough pace on here for him to get involved and he was just touched off in Group company by Excellent Result here last year. A 6lb pull swings this his way and he should be favourite for me, shorter than 7/1.

Songcraft - 1pt e/w @ 6/1Won 7.5pt

Meydan 15:20

Earlier on the card, the 10 furlong turf handicap is wide open with some decent prices to have a go at. I like Pilote and Van Rooney the most. The former will want pace here and that looks likely, though not an absolute certainty. There should be more than last time over this trip though and he's been given a real chance here eased a couple of pounds. 3lb lower than when favourite over 9 furlongs 2 starts back, he has a super chance at 7/1.

Pilote - 1pt e/w @ 7/1Lost -2pt

Van Rooney looks to have been underestimated at 25/1, especially given Adrie de Vries is on top, riding really well here of late. He should come on for the run last time and, though his best form has apparantly come on the tapeta out here, he was every bit the turf performer back in Ireland. His form last term suggests scope off this mark and he's unexposed at the trip.

Van Rooney - 1pt e/w @ 25/1Lost -2pt

Wednesday 11th February

Rein Man / Wednesday 11th February 2015 / 06:33

Musselburgh 14.45

If Kai Broon was 11/4 today at Musselburgh I'd back him. He's 10/1. This is a modest race where few can be given serious claims. It's worth noting that Classinaglass was a well backed favourite last time on handicap debut and can be expected to go well today. However, he is likely to want further, especially on this quickish ground. Brunello is a last time out winner and so naturally has to be given respect but there is little strength in depth here. Kai Broon will love the ground, unlike many of these, and he has a serious chance. The yard in flying, he's back off his last winning mark and, for all that was nearly 3 years ago, he shaped for a step up in trip last time over 2 miles here. His only other start at the trip on good ground saw him 2nd off 8lb higher and he's a stonking bet at that price.

Kai Broon - 1pt e/w @ 10/1Lost -2pt

Kempton 18.15

I'm tempted by Madrasa in the next but the race is a little trickier with a few more unknown quantities and he's not quite big enough. At Kempton I like the chances of Puzzle Time but she's quite well found in the market in an open race. At the prices, Atlantic Affair looks underestimated at 19/2 for a team that sent out their first 2015 winner yesterday. 10lb below her opening handicap mark as a juvenile, she's been lightly raced since and shaped encouragingly on polytrack debut last time. This step up in trip looks set to suit on that form and is absolutely feasible on pedigree. There's not bags of guaranteed pace here either and she should be suited by sitting prominently, as expected, especially given the shorter home straight. Her full sister's 3 career wins came on polytrack, including 1 here, and I fancy she'll go close.

Atlantic Affair - 1pt e/w @ 19/2Lost -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 @ 25/1

Sunday 8th February

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

Leopardstown 14:15

It's all about the Weld pair for me in the Deloitte. 12's earlier in the week about Windsor Park was huge and 8/1 is more realistic. He travelled like the best horse in the race last time before making a couple of errors at bad times and then getting hampered before plugging on. He's better than that. However, I also fancy he'd be best over 2 and a half and looks the team's Neptune horse. How the Champion Bumper winner is 14/1 is beyond me. By Dansili, whose progeny are far more effective on a sound surface, Silver Concorde hated heavy ground last time and it's no surprise he was beaten. Yet to finish out of the first 3 in 7 starts, the worry is the ground today. Soft in places isn't ideal but it's generally yielding and he's been underestimated. There's no guaranteed pace either, though you'd imagine one of Willie's will take them along. A half brother to a 6 furlong winner, he's got a blistering turn of foot that could come in useful.

Silver Concorde - 1pt e/w @ 14/1Lost -2pt

Leopardstown 14:45

The Tullow Tank has got a bit to prove this afternoon but he has had excuses of late and it's worth remembering this Grade 1 winning hurdler was beaten just 3 lengths by Vautour on this card last year. After bolting up on chase debut, he was ill for the Drinmore and would have loathed the ground and trip in the Topaz. He gets his ideal conditions today and can't go unbacked in a wide open race at 20/1. The yard are in much better nick now too and he's drastically overpriced.

The Tullow Tank - 1pt e/w @ 20/1Lost -2pt

Exeter 14:25

Super card at Exeter and I'm quite sweet on the chances of the Nicholls favourites Southfield Theatre and Emerging Talent. No harm in doubling them up. Morito Du Berlais may be better suited by this trip than that which he contested last time and expect him to go close too. However, Regal Encore looks really well treated for this step up in trip and should be backed at 10/1. He was keeping on over 2 and a half miles at Chepstow before never really getting into it at Cheltehnam last time over shorter. The hood comes off and he has to win this really to get in the Pertemps given he's off 129. Better ground should suit too and the yard are 2 from 2 this month.

Regal Encore - 1pt e/w @ 10/1Won 12pt

Exeter 14:55

Third time in a row I've backed Golden Chieftain and excuses are thin on the ground. However, he is undoubtedly well treated off 1lb below his Cheltenham win. This is easier than his last few tasks and he is a course winner here over hurdles. Blinkers replace cheekpieces, not sure what to make of that, and we haven't seen him since November, which is a worry given all career wins have come within a month or so of is last run but he's too big at 14/1. He should want very bit of this trip too and the ample pace on will help, plus the possibility many will have an eye on Aintree marks.

Golden Chieftain - 1pt e/w @ 14/1Lost -2pt

Saturday 7th February

Rein Man / Friday 6th February 2015 / 16:18

Newbury 13:50

Jonjo is back, with a vengeance. Whilst plenty have claims in the opening Channel 4 race, I'd be surprised if Milan Bound doesn't justify favouritism for this resurgent team. He bumped into Closing Ceremony last time, who made all, but has an 11lb pull today and that will surely be enough, especially given the different form of the yard now. He hasn't been seen for a while but there's every chance he's better than a mark of 126. 4/1 will almost certainly shorten depending on what Mr Segal puts up in the race, if anything.

Milan Bound - 1pt @ 4/1Lost -1pt

Newbury 15:00

It would be great to see Sire De Grugy win on belated comeback but odds-on looks worth taking on. A P prefers Mr Mole, understandable given the Uxizandre's poor show last time but he was hassled up top that day on heavy ground and I fancy the form is suspect. Barry Geraghty is back at the helm with Uxizandre this afternoon and 5/1 underestimates him from the front. He's won here before and Geraghty seemed to really click with him last time. The yard are in fine form and he'd be my 2nd favourite for the race.

Uxizandre - 1pt @ 5/1Lost -1pt

Newbury 15:35

Calipto has a wonderful chance in the Betfair Hurdle but is risky at a short enough price after an absence and wind-op. Nicholls used to train Fascino Rustico who has come on plenty for the fitting of a hood. He could still be well ahead of a mark of 135 and this has been the target a way off. He has a similar profile to the horse the team won the Ladbroke with the year before last and 14/1 is big enough about him.

Fascino Rustico - 1pt e/w @ 14/1Lost -2pt

I also like a horse I never used to in Goodwood Mirage at 20/1. We have to forgive him a poor run last time but that was Jonjo at the time. He went well here on the flat, handles juicy ground, and the form of his last win, when good value for it given McCoy could hardly move, has worked out well. He'll not win if it's a vintage renewal, but I'm not sure it is.

Goodwood Mirage - 1pt e/w @ 20/1Lost -2pt

Friday 6th February

Rein Man / Thursday 5th February 2015 / 17:45

Kempton 14:30

There's a fascinating (and pretty tough) novice hurdle to wrap your head around at Kempton but some prices that look lofty as a result. Hurricane Vic hails form a yard in form and looks feasibly teated for this handicap debut. He ran well here behind Brother Tedd on penultimate start and shaped ok before fading last time, as might have been expected given a mark was waiting. He's been pitched in pretty deep up until now and 9/1 here looks big.

Hurricane Vic - 1pt e/w @ 8/1Lost -2pt

Kempton 14:30

Mr Cardle should fare better in cheekpieces whilst Definite Future should have just that off this mark. 33/1 though about Earl The Pearl is worth a nibble given he's been eased a whopping 7lb for his modest handicap debut. He looks to want at last this far and a step up in trip should suit today. He's another that's been in some hot novice contests and, whilst outclassed in those, 97 could be lenient.

Earl The Pearl - 0.5pt e/w @ 33/1Lost -1pt

Kempton 15:35

Open Hearted looks well treated for the 3 mile handicap chase. 3lb higher than when beating Baby Shine here over hurdles, he should confirm that form. However, I'm not sure this is his ideal trip and a few front runners here could stretch him. Salmanazar doesn't have a dissimilar profile to the Henderson horse and certainly looks well treated. He also looks likely to benefit for the step up to 3 miles. He too was a hurdles winner here and was subsequently 2nd to Le Reve at the track off levels. He is rated nearly a stone inferior now to Lucy Wadham's gelding and 130 probably underestimates him. He comes with risks given he made a shocking error at the first last time but the yard are flying and 7/1 looks big.

Salmanazar - 1pt e/w @ 7/1Lost -2pt

Thursday 5th February

Rein Man / Thursday 5th February 2015 / 17:44

Chelmsford 19:10

Risky this but I'm not deserting Long Awaited now he's back fresh, eased in class and just 1lb above his last win. This isn't the strongest of races for the class either and it looks to be between he and Secret Asset for me. The latter is hardly one to trust and is 1lb out of the handicap so I'd make the selection a little shorter than 9/2. The race shouldn't lack for pace, which will suit, and Long Awaited is a half brother to a polytrack winner so there's plenty to be positive about for this all weather debut. His sire has a good record with runners on the surface too and he has won fresh twice in his career.

Long Awaited - 1pt @ 9/2Lost -1pt

Meydan 18:15

There should be a fair bit of pace on in the last at Meydan over a mile. Our Channel doesn't hang around and he is drawn 1 so no trouble him getting out in front. He might be kept company by Captain Lars too who is better drawn this time to race up with the pace, and there are a few others drawn wider who will likely try and get over. All in all it could be a good race for the closers and Music Theory will likely have to be ridden patiently from stall 11. He was poorly away on carnival debut here last time, his first run for a few months, but stayed on well and shaped for a mile. However, I'm not quite convinced enough he'll see this out to play at 5/1. Samurai Sword should appreciate a good gallop given he's a winner over 10. A winner on the tapeta here, connections will have been buoyed to see him handle dirt last time when too far back to get really competitive. His turf run behind True Story was encouraging for this return to grass though and 16/1 probably underestimates his chances. If Counterglow got in he'd be interesting but it doesn't look too likely.

Samurai Sword - 1pt e/w @ 16/1Won 20pt

Meydan 17:05

I'm looking forward to seeing Elidor back up in trip and 10/1 isn't a bad price given he was sent off at 7's last time over a mile and a half. He needs further and will probably have needed the run too. 3rd in an Ebor off 3lb lower and staying on that day, he could do with a bit of pace here. In truth it looks likely but is far from guaranteed. Plenty like to be prominent but the race could do with an out and out front runner, which may be the favourite. Mich Channon is finding winners tricky to come by but hopefully that problem is confined to the UK. Aussie Reigns has a chance at a price if they go slow but perhaps he wants a strongly run 12 furlongs to shine.

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

Wednesday 4th February

Rein Man / Wednesday 4th February 2015 / 09:54

Kempton 16:45

Presumido may need a little more pace on than looks likely to get into this but it's a big field and you get the impression that Kevin Stott will be instructed not to hang around on New Year's Night. Alketios is drawn 1 and likes to go forward too. I'm tempted by Mr Red Clubs out of stall 4 who remains feasibly treated on old form. The boat has been missed on number 1 fancy Rizal Park who is just so short now in a race were so many can be given a chance. Embankment is very interesting but will surely need more pace given he gets away so slowly so often. The selection pulled his chance away last time, as so many did, but that was with his usual hood left off. He has it back on today which will help him settle and he can resume the progression shown towards the end of last year at a very fair 12/1. He'll likely be coming down the centre of the track from where he's drawn too, which looked the place to finish here yesterday and where he came when wining 2 starts ago. It's a step up in class but he's going the right way for a yard in form.

Presumido - 1pt e/w @ 12/1Won 14.4pt

Tuesday 3rd February

Rein Man / Monday 2nd February 2015 / 20:16

Kempton 14:10

We've been here before. Shaunas Spirit drops in class, eases in the weights again, and is simply too big to ignore at 16/1. She has won here over 7 and a mile and, whilst probably best over a strongly run 7, they're not likely to go hell for leather up top here. 5 of her 7 career wins have come from just off the pace and she's well drawn to sit in behind today, which could be the place to be. I fancy the winner will be Habeshia but Shaunas Spirit can't be a 16/1 poke.

Shaunas Spirit - 1pt e/w @ 16/1Lost -2pt

Kempton 16:55

The last race on the card sees Classic Pursuit back at the track he was last successful (at this trip) and he's 1lb lower this afternoon. Tom Queally is back on too, who was doing the steering for that last win. He was on 2 starts ago when a 7/2 shot but the horse was keen that day and can often pull his chance away. There are a couple of front runners here so hopefully he'll get some pace to settle in behind but the main plus is yard form. His last couple of runs here came when the yard was winless in months but 2 winners in January, 1 very recent one, means it could be a good time to back this 4 year old who can attract support and he's a nice price at 7/1.

Classic Pursuit - 1pt e/w @ 7/1Lost -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 @ 16/1

Sunday 1st February

Rein Man / Sunday 1st February 2015 / 07:47

Punchestown 16.10

8lb could be the difference for Hidden Cyclone today and I fancy him to beat Twinlight, though he's not ultra reliable. In the staying handicap chase, Too Late To Sell looks way overpriced at 10/1. He loves it here and would have gone off close to the top of the betting for this race last year if running in it. He ran well at the festival here on ground quick enough and has been eased a couple of pounds since. He will have needed it last time, especially given the attritional nature of that race, and he has a great chance this afternoon. I'm a Jupitor fan too but worry this will stretch him.

Too Late To Sell - 1pt e/w @ 10/1Lost -2pt

Punchestown 15.10

There are a couple of lively youngsters in the Pertemps qualifier and Mydor could be so well treated that he wins on the bridle. A 5 year old will have a tough ask on this ground though and he's not alone in the progressive stakes. Wrath Of Titans looks a big price given he was beaten just 4 and a half lengths by Shaneshill in November before bolting up in first time cheekpieces last time. That was a weaker race but he was clearly suited by the headgear and a step up in trip and his novice form makes him look feasibly treated. 2nd to Moyle Park in a bumper here (who was a 6/5 shot to beat the likes of The Tullow Tank and Arctic Fire last term) he's a decent price at 12/1 for an in form yard.

Wrath Of Titans - 1pt e/w @ 12/1Lost -2pt

Musselburgh 16.30

Zaidiyn is very tempting in the County Hurdle at Musselburgh but, given I've been deliberating over he, Sweet Deal and A Boy Named Suzi for so long, it's probably best left alone. 1 bet to have at the track is Capellanus who should fare better than he did here last time. He has a good record at the track and a big field handicap on decent ground should suit. Richard Johnson is an excellent booking and, whilst he has won on heavy, soft ground probably inconveniences him more than others, though it was probably more than that last time. Either way, he's 5 times the price this afternoon at 14/1.

Capellanus - 1pt e/w @ 14/1Lost -2pt

Horse Racing Tips

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

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