Cheltenham

1:15 – Cloudy Glen 7/1 ew
Bold front runner whos been in great form despite finishing second, chinned on the line at Carlisle and having fallen when going well on his penultimate run. The first of those mentioned, they emitted most of the fences in the lead up to the finish so it turned into a stamina sapping run in on heavy ground and it wouldn’t of done this chap any favours with his jumping normally one of his attributes. Next time out he fell, which was uncharacteristic because his jumping had been very good up until that point. He won last time out having got a confidence booster in and I’m hoping that sets him up nicely this running off the same mark of 132. All being well, he will have an uncontested lead and what better jockey to go from the front than Charlie Deutsch. I’ve definitely been impressed by all his chase starts this far and I think he’s a fair price.

1:50 – My Way 6/1 ew
Sneaks in at he bottom of the weights and I think this could be brilliant placement by the champion trainer. I rate the form of his last start over 2 miles 2 furlongs even though he was 10 lengths off the leader. Beat a very good horse in First Flow and had some fair horses in behind who have form with others in the race. I think the step up in trip and soft ground will play into his favour and I would prefer him slightly of the favourite Highway One O One because the trainer has always said he wants better ground. Cap Du Nord, in behind My Way last time out finished a nose behind Highway One O One in receipt of alot of weight, gives you some idea of the form and where they are. My Way receives 17 pounds and the soft ground will likely suit so he’s my selection.

2:25 – Santini 2/1
Could have egg on my face after this race for tipping Santini and his performance at Sandown looked like he was going to be the next Don Poli. I’m a sucker for these horses, which appear to be slow boats, but I admire how much he gives his rider under pressure. He’s always raced lazily throughout his career, as I remember his first start over fences at Newbury where he looked in trouble at various stages of the race before winning very easily against Rocky’s Tresure. He had a troubled preparation for the Cheltenham festival and in my opinion still stayed on up the hill best of all and threatened to catch the leader. He’s obviously a horse who saves himself during his races which is key to seeing out a soft ground extended 3 miles, but at the same time I don’t think he’s slow enough to be considered a Don Poli just yet. There was clearly a problem at Sandown and I don’t think that was the real Santini, the long absence suggests that. On reflection I still like him as a Gold cup horse and if that’s the case he should be winning this.

4:10 – Ainchea 6/1 ew
Ainchea is a horse I’d be interested in for something like a Coral Cup at Cheltenham. He’s been dropped 5 pounds for a tame run on his seasonal debut after nearly 2 years off. The betting suggested before hand, that he was nowhere near ready and that it was just a pipe opener to get him race fit. He drifted out to 16/1 before the off and finished 9th and the handicapper has left him off an attractive mark of 133 in my opinion. Hopefully he can progress with a win here before moving onto bigger and better things. If he’s retained his novice hurdle talent I think he’s much better than his rivals here.

Doncaster

12:20 – Golden Jeffrey 6/1 ew
Returns here from a wind op with Tom Scudamore on board.  It’s very interesting that Tom Scudamore comes to Doncaster for two rides rather than making his way to Cheltenham trials day. Golden Jeffrey does have some good back form including a win at this track over the same distance. I think he’s got a great chance here.

2:05 – Champagne Well 9/4
I think the form in the book speaks for itself and I’m kicking myself I didn’t get on at the opening price of 11/4. I was surprised he didn’t open up favourite as he has by far the strongest form in the book. I think 3 miles is his trip and he’s one of the better bets of the day.

3:15 – Ok Corral 11/1 ew
I’m siding with class here and trusting that Ok Corral can return to the form he was in at the beginning of last season. I think it was brave not giving him a run before the Ladbrokes gold cup as I just couldn’t have him first time out considering how keen he can be. He was out of his comfort zone over two and a half miles at Cheltenham last time out. The mistake at the fence was costly and put him out of the race after being well backed before the off. I’m sure Derek O’Connor hasn’t come over from Ireland to Doncaster for a day out and he should have a good chance of going close with his class and ability.

Uttoxeter

2:30 – Point Of Principle 7/1 ew
A bit of a cliff horse of mine over the past season and there’s two bits of form where I think he should take all the beating. They were his second at Aintree of soft ground over 2 and a half miles and his second 2 seasons ago in the silver trophy on good ground at Chepstow. I think he’s ground versatile, but I have one worry of the fact his best runs come in big field handicaps. The two best bits of form mentioned, were in an 18 and 20 runner fields. He likes to come off a strong pace and stay on at the finish. Clyne could be a key ingredient to this race as he’s almost certainly going to make the running and no doubt he will enjoy the conditions. I think he’s too slow for these sort of trips in his old age and is sure to try and make it a stamina test from the front.  Clyne has to be respected here and on his best form he he looks a worthy favourite but I’ve been disappointed if he can win here with a relatively lightly raced 7 year old in Point of Principle. Also at the prices he’s much more of an attractive betting proposition as an outisder of the field. I think he should be second favourite.

Cheltenham Ante Post:
After seeing the jockey bookings down at Fairyhouse of the mares novice hurdle, I’ve backed Yukon Lil @ 16/1 and I’d still back her at her contracted price of 10/1 since.