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differentdrum
04 Oct 22 12:01
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Date Joined: 05 Oct 11
| Topic/replies: 17,752 | Blogger: differentdrum's blog
Plenty of well bred youngsters entered this week. It looks as he is trying to get off to a flyer.

Unfortunately, in recent years I can't remember him producing too many serious bumper/novices. I am surprised so many invest so much, and end up with what are effectively five-year handicap projects.

He needs to do better with the ammunition he gets.

Today he runs Collectors Item at Huntingdon. On his two runs he is much better than this opposition, but he hasn't been strong in the market and you have to wonder if two miles on a sharp track on quickish ground is going to be ideal for a national hunt bred horse with his profile.
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Report differentdrum March 6, 2023 4:17 PM GMT
Fast disappearing over the cliff - I think that is now 1 out of 36 including a large number of dreadful performances.

Today it was par for the course with three duffers.

Brogan has done well to motivate Arrivederci enough to finish fourth. He didn't travel with any zest. His jumping is safe, but laboured. Letmetellusomethin seemingly attracted plenty of each way support, but it was soon obvious he wasn't going to reward backers. An absolutely terrible round of jumping which ultimately led to the inevitable tame finish. Despite an uncontested lead, Fame And Concrete faded away to nothing once challenged. It looked like he was running through concrete.

Just the one runner at Sandown tomorrow. Gwennie May Boy finally steps up in trip on a galloping track. This is far more competitive than the races he has been running in, and he needs to jump better to have any chance. O'Neill rides for the first time.
Report differentdrum March 7, 2023 7:52 PM GMT
Gwennie May Boy jumped a little bit better, and plugged on to finish a distant third. It looked to me as if the ground was a negative, and he is worth considering over a similar trip on better ground.

Nothing tomorrow, but did notice a little market support for An Tailliur in the Pertemps.

Also noticed O'Neill was up for ride of the month on Inch House. Who picks these? The horse has a trait of hanging left yet he still used his whip in the right hand. If they were choosing worst rides of the month he would be in the running every time.
Report differentdrum March 8, 2023 3:31 PM GMT
Hopefully, three at Wincanton tomorrow, and perhaps a chance of a winner?

Walk Of No Shame can be a bit buzzy, but is quite useful. If she handles the quicker surface she must have a decent chance of defying the penalty. Sermando steps up a grade, and hard to see why the step up in trip should make a significant difference. Dr Hegarty steps up in trip on handicap debut in a very poor race. He has shown next to nothing in three starts at the minimum, and is a full brother to Timberman who has been doing his winning at two miles. Best watched.
Report differentdrum March 9, 2023 6:27 PM GMT
It's getting difficult to find any new words to describe the performances. It's now up to 1/40. There can't be many yards in the country in worse shape than that, let alone one that spends hundreds of thousands on the horses. Owners only got themselves to blame.

Walk Of No Shame had a pretty easy task, but alarm bells were ringing as early as the first hurdle. She never travelled or jumped. Bookmakers in clover. The other two finished last, and pulled up after a few hurdles.

Four at Exeter tomorrow, and you couldn't back any with confidence. You would think they would all drift.

Inchester D'Amsyl showed a little promise on debut, but could only finish a distant second returning after a two-month absence. Judicial Law hasn't run since September, and his best form on soft ground. Red Dirt Road beat Corbett's Cross and Thomas Mor in his Point, but hasn't shown anything like that form under rules. That Point was on soft ground, and it seems strange he has since been kept to the minimum trip. In many respects Blue Shark has been the stable star, but even before you consider the stable/jockey form, he is up 5lbs, and significantly up in trip on a stiff track. He hasn't looked to be crying out for the extra distance.
Report differentdrum March 9, 2023 7:21 PM GMT
Iron Bridge cut across the board for the Kim Muir. Presumably, someone has tipped it up, sometime who appears to be oblivious to stable form, and the form of the horse itself for that matter.
Report sageform March 10, 2023 3:50 PM GMT
Iron Bridge does not seem to be declared for any Cheltenham entries. Monbeg Genius and one other I can't spell in the Kim Muir.
Report differentdrum March 10, 2023 6:55 PM GMT
Hurrah, a winner at last.

Given the way the others ran, I think Red Dirt Road has probably won by default. He made all, was never seriously challenged, and pulled clear from two out, looking better the further he went as you might expect for a horse running over the wrong trip. Inchester D'Amsyl tried to sit in front, but dropped away tamely once the pace increased, and ended up taking a heavy fall. Another dismal performance that promised nothing. Judicial Law jumped poorly out out the back before getting outpaced. He plugged on, but was in a different county to the winner. The writing was on the wall for Blue Shark almost from the start. I commented last time how O'Neill dropped him out, but the horse got him out of trouble. He did the same again today, and this time the horse didn't get him out of trouble. The horse probably needs a break, and preferably Brace back on board.

Hopefully, three at Sandown tomorrow.

Crebilly was beaten by a decent horse last time, but not sure he wants the extra distance in this type of ground. I hope Churchills Boy can be a rare big winner for Nick Gifford. A slog in the mud should suit. Hard to see an out of form Soaring Glory playing much of a part off top weight in the Imperial Cup, albeit a weak looking renewal. Morning Spirit appears to have lost the plot since winning at Carlisle.

Yes, very strange gamble on Iron Bridge. If somebody did put it up not the wisest selection.
Report differentdrum March 11, 2023 5:58 PM GMT
Two relatively better efforts today, although neither remaining runner looked like winning. Crebilly travelled well enough, but didn't get home. Morning Spirit doesn't look one to trust. Today he travelled with some zest, and kept battling up the straight. Which version you get next time is anyone's guess.

Four tomorrow at Warwick.

Half The Freedom is another who seems to need everything to go just right. Not sure he wants testing ground. La Domaniale has been off since last August and put in at a short price the ground must again be a big concern. Cedar Row made nice late gains last time without ever looking like being seriously involved. A little more progress would give him every chance, but he looks another running on the wrong ground. Rockstown Native was bought for 82,000 having won an Irish Point in January. The family is no great shakes, and he didn't look the biggest, but he did jump very nicely. This might well prove too sharp a test. He is a big price, but I did think Ultra Beat did shape nicely in his Point, and is worth a watch for the future.

Not much to get enthused about today. I think I enjoy tired horses slogging up that Sandown hill in testing conditions less each time I watch.
Report differentdrum March 12, 2023 6:06 PM GMT
Another day when a winner was surrounded by something a lot more in keeping with the current run.

As with the other winner, I think Cedar Row won almost by default, and it certainly had zero to do with the ride. He was much the strongest stayer, and O'Neill only had to stay on board.

Half The Freedom had to be pushed along throughout, and just confirmed that he is never going to be an animal to trust. La Domaniale was weak in the market, and never looked likely to be seriously involved. Rockstown Native was outpaced in a steadily run bumper. Ultra Beat doesn't look a bumper horse, but shaped nicely. It is hard to believe that punters keep standing for Bailey and Bass. They have had a dreadful season, and by not making the running they have taken away Bass's best attribute.

One runner at Stratford tomorrow, quite appropriately, Came From Nothing, a half brother to Marie's Rock who I am very much hoping will bolt up on Tuesday. I very much doubt this one will do likewise. He returns four months after getting outpaced on debut. Hard to believe that whizzing around Stratford will suit.

Just the one stable entry at Cheltenham on Tuesday, Monbeg Genius in the Ultima. This is a far cry from bossing small fields, and looks more about giving the jock a ride, rather than doing best for the horse. He would surely have had more chance of dominating the Kim Muir?
Report sageform March 12, 2023 6:13 PM GMT
Yes, I was expecting Monbeg Genius to go for the Kim Muir. I suppose they declared for the Ultima in case he got in-which looked unlikely. Were they aiming to be balloted out and get the entry money back?
Report differentdrum March 12, 2023 8:17 PM GMT
Given all the money that is being wasted on the horses, I would be surprised if they are too worried about saving a few bob on entry fees.
Report sageform March 13, 2023 9:07 AM GMT
Monbeg Genius does seem to be well backed though.
Report differentdrum March 13, 2023 5:16 PM GMT
Dire effort from Came From Nothing. Sweated up, and almost the first beaten, quickly tailing off.

Just Monbeg Genius tomorrow. I have no idea what has inspired the gamble. He has dominated small fields beating just 14 rivals in three runs. He will need something akin to a miracle to be able to dominate this field so can he do anything else?

I am pleased to be going in losing half as much as last year, but not so pleased not having backed a winner for two weeks.

Hopefully, Marie's Rock can win again. I think she is much the best, but the potential lack of pace is a concern. Test of stamina, and she doesn't get beat.
Report sageform March 13, 2023 7:50 PM GMT
I had to have a £1 on Monbeg after such a gamble. It is the kind of race where Jonjo has done well in the past. My real fancy is Oscar Elite who came right back to form recently for Cobden who keeps the ride and he is only up 3lb for that win and is only 1lb higher than when finishing third last year. Take a look at his third to Ahoy Senor and Bravemansgame at Aintree.
Report differentdrum March 13, 2023 10:00 PM GMT
Good luck.

Oscar Elite has run well at the Festival, but in general has been very disappointing. Last time he won a shocking renewal of the Reynoldstown beating a non stayer. He is 5lb better off with Corach Rambler for three lengths, but I think the winner was value for more than the official verdict.
Report sageform March 14, 2023 8:35 AM GMT
Fair enough, but he is a horse with good back form who has had problems for a year prior to the latest win. He seemed to get on well with Cobden which is a plus. 14/1 seems a fair price to me.
Report Jinxy1 March 14, 2023 8:54 AM GMT
Monbeg Gebius, given an extra run just to make sure that he got in the race, will do for me.
Report sageform March 14, 2023 3:01 PM GMT
Monbeg and Oscar both ran well. Oscar too far back but had a chance at the second lat. Monbeg every chance, not quite good enough. Laid both of them off in running so no damage done.
Report differentdrum March 14, 2023 6:32 PM GMT
Very good effort from Monbeg Genius. No excuses, just not good enough on the day. At least he showed he could cope being held up in a big field which opens up big handicap possibilities.

Two runners tomorrow.

Easysland has zero chance on all known evidence since he switched to this yard. He is blinkered first time. Beachcomber stepped up massively to win last time. He needs to do the same again and more.

The first thing to say about today is the ground wasn't anywhere near as soft as people were expecting. Several good ground horses ran well enough. This can be a very long week if you don't back any winners, and having started with two seconds things were not looking good. Step forward Corach Rambler. He travelled so well I was just waiting for something to go wrong, but fortunately, despite idling, it didn't. I took advantage of the £10 offers on Constitution Hill, but in the same race I Like To Move It blew out completely. Biggest disappointment was the Mares' Hurdle being run at a dawdle, and the Henderson yard happy to see the race run at a dawdle. They could easily have forward with Theatre Glory, but she was held up, and effectively played no part in race. It makes me think that they wanted to have this race set up for Epatante. That's how it looked. A crawl was the last thing Marie's Rock wanted, but even so she was very poor. Metamorpheus travelled nicely in Boodles, but didn't come up the hill. Not great to finish sixth when you are on five places at big odds. Mister Coffey getting a lucky place in the last rounded off a very small win day.

Of the other performances I was taken by Marine Nationale in the first. El Fabiolo took the Arkle nicely, but the fight with Jonbon never materialised. Bar the last flight the Champion Hurdle was something of a non event.
Report sageform March 14, 2023 7:59 PM GMT
I know it sounds like aftertiming but I could never see Marie's Rock at all. I know she won last year but there were 2 Champion hurdle winners in there this time so she had to improve massively to beat either of those. Love Envoi ran a massive race as I had hoped but could not see off Honeysuckle from the last. Epatante was very disappointing and could also be retired.
Report differentdrum March 14, 2023 8:16 PM GMT
Yes, it is nice to hear opinions before races.

You honestly think that was the real Marie's Rock? She has run way below her best, and a huge part in that is down to the farcical pace which suited the speed horses on the front end. That should be obvious to anyone. I raised the concerns about lack of pace beforehand, but thoroughly expected Theatre Glory to go forward. She ended up beating Marie's Rock which just confirms how poorly the favourite has run. The rag wouldn't be in the same league. An on song Marie's Rock didn't have to improve massively to beat two ex-Champion Hurdle winners from a moderate era, both on the downgrade. Likely she didn't have to improve at all. Love Envoi was 147 and Marie's Rock 153, so if she had run to that rating she would very likely have won. I am not buying into Love Envoi suddenly showing massive improvement, she was just well ridden.
Report sageform March 14, 2023 8:28 PM GMT
I posted my opinions on what I thought would win, mentioning Love Envoi several times. I would rate the race through Honeysuckle at her OR of 159 which is still well below her rating last year. That would put Love Envoi on 157 which is not unreasonable. She won her previous 2 races in a canter so was open to 10lb improvement.
Report differentdrum March 16, 2023 12:06 AM GMT
After a shocker of a punting day didn't feel much like doing this today.

Easysland see previous comments. I have no idea why they are perservering. Just embarrassing. As expected Beachcomber was never at the races.

Two runners tomorrow.

I have backed An Tailliur each-way, but the initial support has dried up, and ground a likely negative. I would have run Coeur Serein in the National Hunt Chase, but if he gets into a rhythm on the front end he could run a decent race.

As for today's punting hard to believe too many would have been on Gerri Colombe and An Epic Song at such big prices and just about as bad as it gets that both would have won in a couple more strides. Never been a believer in the idea that luck evens out. Far more likely it is another dose of the same tomorrow.
Report sageform March 16, 2023 8:04 AM GMT
Yesterday was poor for me too. Hermes Allen was particularly disappointing and Benson, Thyme Hill and Edwardstone were too bad to be true. That was my betting day! Good luck with Coeur Seren if you are on. Stage Star and Paisley Park are my 2 anti post bets. The rest will be last minute decisions.
Report differentdrum March 16, 2023 6:11 PM GMT
I backed both An Tailiur and The Changing Man. Both jocks - Powell another terrible jock - looked to be caught out by the burn up in the straight. They stayed on as well as anything outside the winner. Unlucky for anyone with five places. Coeur Serein, never at the races, and would surely have been better in the longer, small field, race?

Just Petite Tonnerre in the County tomorrow. His best effort this season was on good ground over the intermediate trip. Unless he has been hiding an awful lot hard to see.

I really need to revise what I wrote yesterday. Today I had Envoi Allen (16/1), Sire Du Berlais (50/1), and Seddon (22/1 & 25/1). It would have been nice to have finished off with Stumptown at 9/1 in the last, but that would just have been greedy. A day likely never to be repeated. A few shots left to fire tomorrow, but if they all lose, it will still be a nice winning week.
Report MJK March 16, 2023 6:45 PM GMT
I backed An Tailiur ew myself. Don't think he could've ran it up the back of more horses.
Report differentdrum March 17, 2023 6:28 PM GMT
Petite Tonnerre finished as well as anything, but was never realistically at the races. Much too far out of his ground.

On the betting front it was never likely to be a repeat of yesterday. For the most part it was the exact opposite. Blood Destiny was rubbish; Pembroke was arguably the worst performing favourite of the week; Corbetts Cross ran out when holding a slim chance; Ahoy Senor brought down Sounds Russian, and Noble **** only got going when the race was finished; Rocky's Howya desrved a place but didn't get one. Although I did have a small saver on Lossiemouth you couldn't get much more of a tale of woe. Thankfully, Zambella managed an each-way fourth, and the week was rounded off with Iroko winning the last at 20/1. That made six winning bets at 14/1 and above which was key to a very good week. If I learnt one thing it was don't go in early on the shorties. Even if these didn't drift bookmakers had plenty of offers. Biggest disappointment other than those two short head reverses on Tuesday was Banbridge's no show at 22/1. Hard to believe he wouldn't have at least placed in what turned out to be a very ordinary renewal of the Turners.

Looking ahead if he stays right Galopin Des Champs is going to be very difficult to beat. The trip was no issue in a well run race. They might drop Corbetts Cross in trip, but I would be very surprised if Stay Away Fay were beat him again. Lossiemouth won nicely, but I am not sure what she ended up beating. In terms of a Champion Hurdle contender I wouldn't have her close to Marine Nationale.

Four runners at Uttoxeter tomorrow.

Collectors Item skipped the Albert Bartlett and should have every chance with conditions to suit. Flight Deck runs in the same race, but who knows which Flight Deck will turn up? Time To Get Up has almost certainly been targeted at a second Midlands National and from 8lbs lower it's not impossible, but it is a tough renewal. Will come back on the bumper horse as the At The Races site appears to have crashed. Likely it's a stronger bumper than the Kempton one.
Report isleham March 17, 2023 10:09 PM GMT
The Gold Cup is a truly gruelling race and 12 months ago APT would have had 2 further runs both Pulled Up so difficult to be too bullish about Galopin
Report differentdrum March 17, 2023 10:44 PM GMT
Correction, actually 5 runners tomorrow.

I forgot about Iron Bridge who also skipped Cheltenham for tomorrow. I thought he struggled home when finishing alone at Haydock, and for me his stamina is unproven at this trip on slow ground. I couldn't find any video for Hasthing, but it appears he has won both starts nicely. He beat a now 110 rated animal very easily. Clearly something has gone amiss since then, and the double penalty makes this a tough ask after such an absence.

I will try and keep this going until Punchestown. It's been a help to me, and not really a chore. No point in doing a Flat equivalent because I don't know enough to add any value. I can assess bumpers, but loads of unraced Flat horses is not for me. Too much guesswork. Will probably start back with a different trainer in October. I was thinking maybe Henry Daly off the back of a not too bad season. His Rapper reportedly bled from the nose. It did look too bad to be true.
Report differentdrum March 18, 2023 10:59 AM GMT
Not sure where they got that 8/1 Collectors Item on today's morning show? A clear mistake. He very much needs to brush up his jumping technique. Flight Deck has drifted to big price if he decides to put in a shift. Like to see him in a rhythm on the front end. Been the odd nibble for the bumper horse, but you wouldn't have thought he wanted an absolute slog returning from such an absence. Minella Double looked an out and out galloper when a fortunate Point winner. He has also attracted attention, and you would have thought that Bowen shouldn't have any thought on his mind other than making this a severe test of stamina.
Report sageform March 18, 2023 1:50 PM GMT
Iron Bridge is my only interest from the yard. After missing 2 engagements at Cheltenham, they must fancy it fort this.
Report differentdrum March 18, 2023 6:21 PM GMT
Another winnerless, disappointing day.

Given that the ground had heavy in the description it was a strange watch as horses were never walking home as for instance they do on a regular basis at Sandown.

Collectors Item did jump better, but looked as if four miles might be too short. A disappointing performance. Flight Deck was beaten before he started. Given the horse appears to easily lose interest why would you line him up wide, and so far back? Idiotic tactics. He should have been on the front end. He was driven along, but the jock eventually gave up with half a mile left to run. Time To Get Up 33/1-10/1 never travelled a yard, and it was no surprise when he was pulled up. Given that conditions should have suited this was a shocking effort. Hasthing raced quite freely, and ended up too far back - sadly, a recurring theme - otherwise he should probably have won. Despite the market support Minella Double was beaten as soon as he was held up. Anyone who watched his Point could have seen that he was just a galloper.   

Another five runners tomorrow.

Nitwit was absolutely clueless on his bumper debut. On that evidence you wouldn't expect too much on his hurdling debut. Likely this is just experience for next year. Favourite looks a penalty kick. Wideeyedandlegless was disappointing returning from an absence. The longer trip should be a plus. Hopefully, in combination with a more positive ride. Again the favourite should be hard to beat. Dollar Bae is finally upped in trip, but the ground is a big question mark. Isocrate with three fourths would have an unusual profile for a bumper winner. His latest form is relatively untested, and in a few more strides he would only have finished fifth. 10/1 Looks pretty short, and I would be more interested in Gidleigh Park if he copes with the ground. Maypole Cross goes to Carlisle. He appears to have gone backwards after showing promise at the start of the season.
Report differentdrum March 18, 2023 6:24 PM GMT
Again I forgot Iron Bridge. He seemed to see it out well enough, and although he did travel like a winner, this is perhaps his level. It will be interesting to see if they now stay at this trip.
Report differentdrum March 19, 2023 5:59 PM GMT
A day of what might have been.

Nitwit travelled a little more kindly, but quickly dropped away. On this evidence it will be quite a time before we find out whether he actually has any ability. Wideeyedandlegless raced prominently, but looked as if he might want four miles when left behind by the winner. After continually suggesting that Dollar Bae should be upped in trip that was quite galling to watch. She coped with the ground, and produced her best performance. A big market drifter, Isocrate has done well to finish fifth, in what was likely an above average bumper. Gidleigh Park was another who had no problems with the ground. Commiserations to those associated with Maypole Cross. I flagged him up earlier in the season, but that promise hadn't been fulfilled. Amazing how you go from such a poor performance to looking a steering job.

Three at Southwell tomorrow.

File Illico has had a very poor season, and was readily brushed aside in a three-horse race last time. Needs a revival even at this basement level. Hey Day Baby made all to win her point, looking a strong stayer, but despite a similar rating I would be surprised if she turned over the other Point winner, Sanda Rena. Valentine Getaway makes her handicap debut stepped up in trip. On pedigree that should suit, and she wouldn't need to show much improvement to be competitive in this race. It would be disappointing if she wasn't.

Interesting bumper to round off the card at Taunton with three winning ex-pointers. Rock House was a relatively cheap purchase, but the horse who came down when chasing him has subsequently given that form a boost. Pa King the key to Hammer Dan and Saladins Son. He got into a right horlicks at the last on Hammer Dan and that one to my eyes looked the pacier of the two, an asset you need round Taunton. In fact it is a surprise to see these type of horses even running at Taunton.
Report differentdrum March 20, 2023 5:26 PM GMT
Back to the usual dismal day.

File Illico jumped increasingly right (Racing Post analysis says left?) and dropped away tamely. Hey Day Baby attracted some market support, but having shown herself a stayer in her Point win, was stupidly dropped out, and given no chance. Isn't the idea of tactics to give horses the best chance to win? Valentine Getaway was very disappointing, and seems of very limited ability on this evidence.

Two at Wetherby tomorrow.

Given a couple of recent dire results from the Evan Williams stable, it looks as if Springwell Bay should provide another rare winner. At the moment he looks the most promising novice in the yard, and he should be able to concede the weight, and possibly go on to Aintree. Trapista goes up in trip, but having continually suggested that she is one paced and should make the running, I have given up.

Centara doesn't have the greatest pedigree, but ran away with today's Taunton bumper. It run at a decent clip, and he barely came off the bridle. He might be another heading to Aintree. The second gave a boost to Secret Squirrel who might heading in a similar direction. Poor effort from the Pipe horse today, stopping to nothing having seemingly travelled well. Perhaps this came too quick after his Point run?

It was only few years ago that Nicholls hardly ever trained a bumper winner. Clearly he has realised that if you get your horse fit, and actually try to win the race, it can be easy pickings. From the way many other trainers approach these races you would think winning a bumper somehow destroys a horse. Just lazy training and wasting owner's money.
Report differentdrum March 21, 2023 9:57 AM GMT
Just to confirm the stable made a couple of big money purchases at the recent Cheltenham Sales - will the owners ever learn? They are certainly not getting the results so it is baffling to think what experience he is providing.

Mt Fugi Park (290,000) is a good looking 5yo by Walk In The Park, from the family of Royal Athlete. He stayed on nicely to win on debut, and the first two drew clear. Those behind haven't done anything for the form.

Bill Joyce (225,000) is a 4yo by Mahler from the same family as the stable's currently disappointing, Betty's Banjo. He looked a nippier sort, but far less imposing than the older horse. The form is so far completely untested.
Report Trident March 21, 2023 10:12 AM GMT
Unless the stables horses are backed Very late, I have no interest in their runners. For the price they pay, it's almost like most horses are out for a Fun day out.... Not a stable to have your hard earned on IMO
Report differentdrum March 21, 2023 6:10 PM GMT
Springwell Bay duly won comfortably, but probably learnt next to nothing in doing so. He could still do with brushing up his jumping, but that's probably in part down to the jock. Amazingly, he is to be targeted at an Aintree handicap. I can't fathom that out, unless the trainer wants to turn everything into a handicapper. I wouldn't have thought beating up very small fields was the ideal preparation. I would have aimed him at the staying novice. Trapista was ridden as before with exactly the same result. Still one paced, but hey ho, let's carry on riding it for a change of pace.

Three runners tomorrow.

Uptown Lady didn't give much cause for encouragement on chase debut, but that was after a long absence and upped in trip the ground should be much more suitable tomorrow. Copper Cove was very disappointing after an absence, and didn't shape as if crying out for a longer trip. Fame And Concrete goes to Warwick, and has been put in favourite for a very weak race. Even at this level I wouldn't trust him to deliver.

Another very impressive bumper winner today in the shape of Indeevar Bleu. Almost certainly a weaker event than yesterday, but he couldn't have been more impressive. It's about time Murphy started turning this type of horse into Graded winners.

Forgot to mention Senior Chief yesterday. He was value for more than his winning margin, and looks a nice staying chase prospect.
Report differentdrum March 22, 2023 5:58 PM GMT
Uptown Lady out ran her odds as might have been expected. Unfortunately, she faded away in the straight so we are left wondering if that was a reflection of her true ability, or a poor preparation. Fame And Concrete is a terrible advert for the trainer. He was a poor jumper to start with, and he is still a poor jumper. The first time cheek pieces made no difference. Copper Cove travelled well enough but didn't stay. Another one who is already looking disappointing.

Three at Chepstow tomorrow.

Merveillo makes his handicap debut having shown next to nothing in four runs over hurdles. He receives just 6lbs from a progressive horse who has won four in a row. Very hard to see on all known evidence. Walk In My Shoes jumped well on her chase, but O'Neill still managed to conjure a fall out of her next time. Assuming O'Neill doesn't mess up again she has an each-way chance on ground that should suit. Bethka ran well on debut, but absolutely bombed at Ascot. Again if she can reproduce the Ludlow run she would have every chance in a weak race.

Very ordinary racing today, But David Bass seemingly remembered what he does best.

Looking ahead to Aintree I see Marie's Rock is being stepped up in trip. She got beat at Cheltenham because the stable made a pig's ear of tactics, not because of the trip. The race ended up being a total farce. I won't be in any hurry to back her this time. Not overly excited by the National entry. Far easier to rule them out than rule them in. I have backed Le Milos and Corach Rambler, mainly because they have produced two nice ante-post results this season. The worry for Le Milos is the trip. These days it isn't easy to nurse a horse into the race from off the pace. I think the jumping is the main issue for Corach Rambler. He gets very high at his fences so is going to be coming down steep. He almost lost his legs on landing at Cheltenham. He is another who is going to be patiently ridden, although in his case stamina should be fine.
Report differentdrum March 23, 2023 5:58 PM GMT
Another hat trick of disasters.

Merveillo continues to show nothing. What's the point? Walk In My Shoes doubled in price, lost ground at the start then three lengths over the first two fences and it was effectively game over. A bit of promise with Brace on board, useless in two outings with O'Neill in the saddle. Bethka continues on a downward spiral. Trouble beforehand, and ridden out the back, never looked likely to land the odds. I can't remember O'Neill winning a race this season when a horse has come off the bridle in the early stages. Just bounces up and down in the saddle, and most of time the horse pulls up.

Just Yes Indeed upped in trip at Newbury tomorrow. Like so many in the yard hasn't shown any form for ages.
Report differentdrum March 24, 2023 6:01 PM GMT
Very glad that Yes Indeed didn't take advantage of the winner's wayward tendencies. Who wrote the Racing Post comment that it 'had every chance'? They must use a crystal ball rather than a form book. 

Two runners tomorrow in the money events.

Walk Of No Shame heads to Kelso, and can't be seriously fancied off the back of a pathetic effort last time. Jaxonne runs in the Sales Bumper at Newbury. It's very much a mystery pedigree with Dunne taking a rare ride for the stable. I like the look of the Twiston-Davies second string on pedigree, but who knows on desperate ground.

It was desperate ground at Chepstow yesterday, and just as bad at Newbury today. Nicky Henderson suddenly became a soft ground trainer. Tread with complete caution. It's not worth throwing money away.
Report differentdrum March 25, 2023 7:26 PM GMT
Two more abysmal runs to add to the collection.

Nothing tomorrow.

Save for a couple at Chepstow, betting either side of the Cheltenham Festival has been a washout. This ground, and races with inexperienced horses are not a great match. The horse has to handle the ground, and be sent out fit enough to do themselves justice in the conditions. You can rarely guarantee the two. Tommie Gun might be worth keeping an eye on for the future (18/1-9/1), but the moment you could see Nailor taking a scenic route it was game over. If you are going to do that it is pointless even running, and it was clear he was the one of the Twiston-Davies runners making up the numbers. Contrast that to the ground saving trip of Equinis for the same stable in the first.
Report differentdrum March 27, 2023 3:42 PM BST
Apologies, forgot about today's, but fortunately nothing too much missed.

New Beginnings seemed to run better, but was miles behind so hard to know what he actually achieved. It looked a very promising effort by the second. Lock's Corner appears to have gone to pot. Once he gets behind there is zero response, the opposite of a horse in love with the game. How did he win those races earlier in the season?

Nothing until Thursday.
Report differentdrum March 27, 2023 3:42 PM BST
Apologies, forgot about today's, but fortunately nothing too much missed.

New Beginnings seemed to run better, but was miles behind so hard to know what he actually achieved. It looked a very promising effort by the second. Lock's Corner appears to have gone to pot. Once he gets behind there is zero response, the opposite of a horse in love with the game. How did he win those races earlier in the season?

Nothing until Thursday.
Report differentdrum March 29, 2023 5:47 PM BST
Just the one runner at Taunton, but it is one of the most interesting runners of the season.

Had Johnnywho been running straight after he was purchased he would be 1/2, not 4/1. He couldn't have been more impressive in bolting up in his only Point. He showed a rare change of pace to pull clear of the opposition which included Hermes Allen 19 lengths back in third. He is a half brother to Doing Fine, and the family goes back to Daring Run. That's all the positives. The obvious negative is why is he only making his rules debut nearly 18 months later. We may never know, and it might be yet another case of the trainer turning a potential champion into nothing. A sharp track like Taunton looks a very strange place to start back for a horse who isn't going to want for stamina. If they are serious about winning the sensible option would surely be to go forward. Watching him ride I don't think the jock knows what sensible option means.
Report paulo47 March 30, 2023 1:36 PM BST
My mate took the 4s , but like you neither of us can understand the horse running at Taunton , couldnt have a more different track to Rathcannon . Plus it was his only entry for the meeting and they are at Wetherby tomorrow , which adds to the mystery . Unlikely to be a pre Aintree given the long abscence and time frame . Total puzzle .
Report differentdrum March 30, 2023 5:40 PM BST
I got a boosted 4's. Most impressive winner they have sent out all season. Absolute steering job. To think O'Neill had him declared to run in a novice hurdle before Cheltenham. Thankfully, that meeting was called off. Do they give him a novice hurdle season 6/7 or go straight fences? If he was in a top yard you would think he could be Graded material.

Four runners at Wetherby tomorrow.

All The Glory was the best of these on bumper form, but has been off for more than five months after disappointing twice over hurdles. Also changed ownership. Montmartin was a relatively expensive purchase, but is another to have shown very little in two starts. If anything this is an even weaker race. Front View made a promising reappearance, but subsequently bombed up in trip on quicker ground. He drops back in trip on slower ground tomorrow. Unsinkable Molly B was a 45,000 3yo from a family associated with Geoff Hubbard. She has her chance in a race where nothing jumps off the page. I noticed she is owned by Dan Walker - is that the tv guy?
Report sageform March 31, 2023 1:03 PM BST
Taunton has often attracted good bumpers for some reason. I had a share in a horse called Lucky Bay who ran in one in 2000. He were sixth just behind Marble Arch who was second in a Champion Hurdle, Thyne Will Tell was second and reached a rating of 141, we got to 136 and Royal Emperor who was behind us was second in an RSA chase! So as we were subsequently sixth in the NH chase, 3 of the runners that day won prize money at the Festival. Perhaps Johnnywho will even win there.
Report differentdrum March 31, 2023 5:40 PM BST
Montmartin (nibbled each-way) showed a bit more, benefitting from a prominent ride. How much more is difficult to tell as outside the winner it was a very weak race. Conversely, Front View was never well positioned, and looked to be struggling when losing his jock at the first in the straight. Again the star of the show was in the bumper. Unsinkable Molly B looks a lovely, big, scopey mare, and was backed accordingly. She was unlucky to come up against one who was probably just a bit more geared up on debut. The mare who disputed the lead dropped well behind so credit to the second for keeping on so well. What's going on? Two nice prospects on successive days.

Just two runners on a generally mediocre day tomorrow.

Stable rogue Half The Freedom goes to Uttoxeter with a new jock on board. Ideally he wants a strong pace with everything stopping in front of him. That might be unlikely in such a small field. Joly Maker returns after a seven month absence at Stratford. He has won over course and distance, but I have no idea why Max Kendrick is riding. Needless to say it isn't a positive.

Couple of dart throws in the Lincoln, the John Quinn pair, Empirestateofmind and Safe Voyage. Hopefully, they are straight enough first time.
Report differentdrum April 1, 2023 6:43 PM BST
Half The Freedom looked very hard work before staying on when the race was over. Jock didn't look up to much. Hard to believe why punters still haven't got the message that this horse is just unreliable, and that's being kind. Joly Maker jumped and travelled like the best horse in the race. Even Kendrick looked relatively tidy. The shocker was the massive drift around 8/1 to a starting price of 25/1.

Empirestateofmind's form suggests he doesn't win first time, and he confirmed that idea, weakening away in the final furlong. Not great if you were on six places. Safe Voyage may as well have stayed in his box. He probably wants a small field, and a positive ride, in fact the exact opposite of what he got today.

Not a great betting day would be an understatement. I stood for Connolly again in the closing Stratford bumper. I doubt any horse turned in a worse performance all day. He drifted from 9/1-28/1 in the last few minutes. You would love to know what sparked that off. The stable is in terrible shape with Paisley Park on the way out, and not a single promising youngster produced in the last two seasons. As the trainer can't sack herself it is hard to see how the link with Bellamy can continue. It hasn't ever looked like working.

Just Prince Escalus at Ascot tomorrow. Up 5lb for a first win left-handed he ideally wants better ground, and a smaller field. Even if he copes with those negatives two or three of these also like to go forward so making all is not going to be easy.
Report differentdrum April 2, 2023 5:58 PM BST
Prince Escalus couldn't get to the front (with an inside berth perhaps the jock didn't try hard enough), steadily dropped away, and eventually sulked his way into last place. He has ability, but needs things to go his way.

Just Judicial Law at Ludlow tomorrow. Dropped a generous 3lbs returning after a near six-month absence, and a course and distance winner, at around 7/1 he looks to have an obvious each-way chance.

Nice to have the flat back with a complete boilover in the Ballysax. That after O'Brien had already mopped up the other two trials. Too much guesswork.
Report 11kv April 2, 2023 6:28 PM BST
Good thread imo
Report isleham April 2, 2023 7:08 PM BST
ditto
Report The Chicken April 3, 2023 12:15 PM BST
Rocco Royal at Ludlow on 22/2

Towards rear of midfield, pushed along and still plenty to do before 3 out, headway 2 out, kept on and went third run-in, eyecatcher (jockey said, regarding running and riding, that his instructions were to sit mid-division, get gelding jumping and to finish as strongly as possible; he explained that he was slightly short of room both jumping and just after second flight which left him further back in the field than ideal and amidst green horses which were running around and in turn unbalancing his own horse; he added that rounding final bend he was pleased with way the gelding was travelling but met with further traffic in home straight and although gelding jumped well, he had to bide his time and it wasn't until after the last that he had found clear space; he was pleased with gelding's finishing effort, maintaining that he had achieved his best possible placing; he added that he would be recommending that gelding should stick to 2 miles but that he might benefit from a more galloping track where he could get into a better rhythm; trainer's rep confirmed instructions and that ride accorded with instructions given)

Steps up to 2m3f on the galloping track at...er...Fontwell tomorrow. Go figure.
Report differentdrum April 3, 2023 12:15 PM BST
Thanks both.

I enjoy writing and I enjoy racing so it is definitely isn't a chore. You are never going to please everyone all of the time, but I like to think I offer an honest comment from a punter's perspective. In my opinion so many professionals will just bury the honesty because they live in fear of upsetting people. It seems everyone has to be a cheerleader. That might be healthy for the individual, but it's not healthy for the sport.

As I said before I am going to skip the Flat (if forced would probably have done Beckett) because I don't follow that code closely enough to add any extra input. Unfortunately, the Flat lends itself far more to inside knowledge, and I am not privy to any of that. The idea is to resume, probably with Daly in the autumn. Other possibles are Fry, and Honeyball, who haven't had the best of seasons.

Unfortuntely, having halved in price, Judicial Law taken out with a bruised foot.

Just Rocco Royale at Fontwell tomorrow. It looks a very good opportunity in what looks a weak race, but given that he was never seriously involved in his previous race I would be wary of taking a very short price. The notes of the last run state that the jock thought the horse should remain at the minimum trip on a stiffer track. Of the opposition, Double Click, from the family of Best Mate, is of some interest. He hasn't been seeing his races out, and you might expect him to go forward over this shorter trip.
Report differentdrum April 4, 2023 6:56 PM BST
Well he drifted to odds against, but Rocco Royale got the job done. He wasn't impressive, but he probably had more in hand than the official margin. That said it wasn't much of a race with the potential improvers showing nothing. On that dismal effort Snowden will be lucky to get any sort of a win out of Double Click. He looked laboured from start to finish.

Nothing until Thursday.
Report 11kv April 4, 2023 7:38 PM BST
Thanks
Report differentdrum April 5, 2023 4:49 PM BST
Just the one at Hereford tomorrow.

Soldierofthestorm returns after a five month absence. Waiting for the ground, problem, or both? A few winners have come out of that Ascot race, but it was probably no more than average heat, and it was run at an absolute crawl. Even if stripping fit, it is likely to be a tougher ask tomorrow. The favourite also returns after a similar absence, but travelled very sweetly on debut. In that form he will be difficult to beat.

Will be keeping an eye on Support Act at Wetherby to see if he can back up his promising Kempton debut, the form of which is so far untested.
Report differentdrum April 6, 2023 6:28 PM BST
Sensible forward ride on Soldierofthestorm, and he has just lacked the foot to see off the well supported King Point winner. Very likely he will need 2m4f+ over hurdles, and he should make a chaser in time. Lump Sum again travelled, but against better horses couldn't see his race out even on this sharp track. He might be worth trying under the other code.

Support Act was the star of the day, and looks a lovely prospect. The sire hasn't really built on last season, but this looks a good one. The second division was run at a crawl and almost certainly suited the winner. Got Your Back was given a dopey ride by Morgan. You wonder if these jocks do any homework at all. Got Your Back had a much higher Point rating than the winner, but the jock completely negated any advantage the horse might have had. Interesting that the Skelton horse raced prominently which would suggest to me that this is an owner they can't mess around with the usual hold up/can't be bothered tactics in bumpers.

Nothing until Saturday.
Report differentdrum April 7, 2023 2:15 PM BST
Already given up on the all weather 'feast' after the favorite stunk the place out in the first race having been backed from 7/2-7/4. Connections quoted beforehand as saying he might be a classic prospect. Early candidate for the most innacurate comment of the season. He looks a tiddly little thing who on this evidence will be lucky to win again. Fortunately, no bets.

Five runners at Haydock tomorrow.

Likely to be horrible, sticky ground everywhere, so lots of ready-made excuses. Two in the mares novice. All For Glory was pulled out recently and would prefer better ground. She has the best bumper form, but she returns having shown nothing over hurdles. Our Friend Mo was a 68,000 purchase from the family of Jodami. A few winners have come out of her Point, but the winner was emphatically the best, and the one to take out of the race. She went to Elliott for 120,000. Morning Spirit hasn't built on a good start to the season, and isn't one to trust. Drying ground probably not a help. Drying ground should help Itso Fury. Not so sure he should be favourite given that he dropped away very tamely at Ascot, and is now up in trip. The Changing Man should make a novice chaser, but would surely have done better this season without the limited assistance of Powell. Cobolobo has landed in a weak race, and is a course and distance winner, but he hasn't shown much ability at all in recent starts.
Report differentdrum April 8, 2023 7:04 PM BST
Very poor day with only Morning Spirit seeing his race out, and he was too far back to have any chance.

All For Glory was very well supported, but is making a habit of producing weak finishes. Our Friend Mo made a very bad mistake and quickly dropped away. She already looks expensive. Although Morning Spirit did plug on, he had long become detached. Itso Fury travelled well enough, but didn't stay. The Changing Man continues to prove frustrating. It is hard to believe that a jock can be stupid enough to do the same thing wrong time and time again. Yet again Powell just sat in front on a stayer, and it didn't help bungling a succession of flights at the business end. The horse needs fully committing at every obstacle, not the half hearted effort Powell produced at the fourth last. Cobolobo jumped well enough on the front end, but once headed quickly stopped to nothing.

Three tomorrow at two tracks.

Time To Get Up goes to Ffos Las. I backed him ante-post to win a second Midland National, but that bet was very quickly sunk. That was a very strong renewal and off a 5lb lower mark, he is in much calmer waters tomorrow. That said Brogan needs to get him motivated and in the race, otherwise you fear he is just going to drop away again. Orrisdale has been woefully out of form, and looks like a schooling job for his inexperienced rider. Rockstown Native was outpaced on his bumper debut, and there is a fair chance the same fate awaits on a sharp track like Market Rasen. Kandor is of interest on his rules debut. 

Much better racing at Fairyhouse on it's second day. It will be interesting to see if Arctic Bresil can bounce back from the abysmal run in the Tolworth. The same stable's Theatre Native looked a nice staying prospect in today's closing bumper, but was given a very poor ride, being ridden for speed, rather than stamina.
Report differentdrum April 9, 2023 6:44 PM BST
No winners, but some promise from the bumper runner.

Sad to say, but Time To Get Up looks gone. He just doesn't travel with the zest to get involved where it matters. Orrisdale is another who doesn't look in love with the game. Unless someone's got a magic wand retirement beckons for both. Rockstown Native was given a sensible ride on the front end, and his lack of a gear was only exposed late on.

A very frustrating betting day. The Jukebox Man did eventually win despite looking a non-trier for 80% of race. I don't know what Woods was doing travelling four wide and then getting boxed before the home turn. It looked like an idiotic piece of riding, but fortunately, it's a long straight at Ffos Las, and the horse had too much ability. That was the high point. Ballystone travelled like much the best horse in the Cork bumper, and just needed something to carry him into the race a bit longer. Kandor should have been placed in the Market Rasen bumper, but was given a terrible ride by Kennedy.

Fairyhouse wasn't quite as good as expected. The Grade 1 chase turned into a desperate battle between two horses running on empty. The closing bumper winner was probably the one to take away. Nonsense talk about the Mullins accumulator. Yes, he had 8 winners, but he had just a mere 28 runners. Townend, who appeared to try and reinvent himself as a hold-up jock rode just the one.

Four runners tomorrow.

Playtogetaway continues over two miles on a sharp track. It is a weak race, but I think the trainer must be seeing signs of speed that nobody else is. Gweenie May Boy had a tough slog last time, but if recovered, should have a better chance of seeing out the longer trip tomorrow. Bob Bob Rickard looks a touch short, given that the horse who finished closest behind him last time was well beaten in today's closing Ffos Las bumper. Yes Day was an 80,000 purchase after a hard fought Point success. The form doesn't look strong, and his task was simplified by several fallers two out.
Report differentdrum April 10, 2023 7:51 PM BST
A fairly consistent day which makes a change.

Playtogetaway landed a bit of a touch. Not so sure we should herald the trainer as a genius just yet. It was an absolutely shocking race with O'Neill up against a bunch of inexperienced claimers, one of whom appeared to have a brainstorm on the favourite. Gweenie May Boy again dropped away in the closing stages. As I have said before he needs to jump better, and it won't be a surprise if he is sporting headgear sooner rather than later. The two bumper horses both lacked a gear. I was surprised the gambled on Yes Day wasn't sent forward. Bob Bob Rickard was green enough on the front end, and ultimately had no answer to the winner. Both of these should be picking up their novice hurdles next season.

Well today Townend did manage to pull off the hold up rides. Obviously, he just needed some practice. Seriously, I hope he doesn't try this too often in run of the mill races. In any case he looked a shade fortunate on one of them. I think Monkfish would have won with an earlier effort. Jock should have trusted the trainer to have the horse fit enough to do the job.

Should have mentioned that I added Any Second Now to Corrach Rambler and Le Milos for the National. Even with the weight he is the most solid of the three. That said it is strange that William Hill booted him out to 16/1, and that hasn't been taken. He is also weak on the exchanges. Something up Ted? Not sure a lot of rain would be great for any of them.
Report differentdrum April 10, 2023 8:32 PM BST
Just the one tomorrow on a lovely bookmaker friendly card at Exeter - seller, five handicaps, and a hunter chase. No thanks.

Biowavego returns after more than four months off. He had been relatively progressive before bombing at Southwell. Has won on soft, but has been campaigned as if he wants better ground. Strange that Brogan is riding?
Report differentdrum April 11, 2023 4:31 PM BST
Nothing from Biowavego. Soon lost prominent position, and never a factor. The old ground, or problem puzzle because he wins nothing on that showing.

Just Merveillo tomorrow, and he has shown nothing over hurdles. You do wonder why they are even persisting.

Aintree now predominantly good to soft, and no surprise if the meeting starts on soft. Not the greatest supporting card on Thursday, with two very weak Grade 1's to open. It looks odds on that Banbridge will have to go on soft ground after all. He should have taken his chance at Cheltenham.
Report differentdrum April 12, 2023 7:26 PM BST
At one stage they put up Merveillo as a market mover? Another day, another capitulation. Another ride you might have expected O'Neill to have taken? What's up with him?

Nothing until Friday.

Not a great punting day tomorrow. Banbridge and Zenta should win a very weak couple of races, but if they don't it won't be easy chasing losses. Bravemansgame's absence has handed Ahoy Senor a free ticket on the front end, but Hughes takes over on a very difficult ride. It isn't easy to nominate a second in the Aintree Hurdle. Hopefully, Winged Leader will make all in the Foxhunters. The two mile handicap should be run to suit The Last Day. I have chanced Baby Sage in the closing bumper, but the market suggests that there are ground concerns.
Report differentdrum April 13, 2023 5:55 PM BST
Just Saint Davy tomorrow. He is unbeaten, but needs to find more than a stone for the step up in trip.

Very small profit today. Not great when you back the first two winners. Banbridge didn't appear to travel that well, but just about got the job done. Having travelled like the best horse I thought Zenta had got beat. It reminded me of Jonbon and El Fabiolo last year. Too bungles from Ahoy Senor. If they were ever going to sort out the problem it would have happened by now. Winged Leader looked a shadow of the horse who finished second in a Foxhunters. No wonder he has been confined to weak Points this season. I have no idea of sectionals in the two miler, but I suspect they have gone a million over the first two, and then slowed it down. The Last Day needed Global Citizen in the race. Not sure the closing bumper was up to much. Very iffy run from Baby Sage. Weak in the market, but seemingly travelled as well as anything, but immediately stopped to nothing when asked to pick up.
Report differentdrum April 13, 2023 10:26 PM BST
It looks a better punting card at Aintree tomorrow.

Gerri Colombe should win the opener. That said he should have won at Cheltenham. I would like to see Russell asking him at every fence. If he doesn't it is asking for trouble as he has never been a bridle horse. Both Camprond and Dargiannini look to have solid chances in the handicap hurdle with drying ground a plus for both. It would have been better had Strong Leader missed Cheltenham as Aintree looks more his bag. Hopefully, he can bounce back at a nice price. I flagged up Found A Fifty on here, but 3/1 looks plenty short enough given that Corbett's Cross and Parmenion haven't exactly franked his form. Hoping that it might be a big day for Bowen as I have chanced Fugitif three places against the Graded form. Never been a fan of Fakir D'Oudairies. Similar story in the staying novice hurdle. Much rather chance Blenkinsop against the Graded form. He has been winning so easily it is very hard to pin him down to an accurate rating. He could quite easily be a lot better than 131. Much more worried about the jock than the step up in class. The expected better pace in a better race might actually help him. Betfair Sportsbook are going 25/1, but that's probably a red herring as anyone with half a brain cell probably couldn't get 10p on. Il Ridoto looked a likely one for the Topham as a progressive, front runner. Nicholls had two blow outs today so perhaps that is why he is drifting. I have sided with JPR One in the last in hope he doesn't 'bounce' after his recent win. Parramount is another likeable sort, but even with a decent claimer, it will be difficult to see this lot off from the front.
Report differentdrum April 14, 2023 5:58 PM BST
As expected the rather large rise in class proved too much for Saint Davy.

Three at Aintree tomorrow.

The ground was softer than I expected today, and looks to have gone against An Tailliur. Springwell Bay has shaped like the best of the yard's novices, and should have an each-way chance. Hasthing shaped well on his comeback, but it is very difficult to guage how that run sits against tomorrow's opposition.

Not a great punting day today. That said had Bowen woken up even a fraction earlier on Strong Leader it would have been a winning one. Fair to say Gerri Colombe jumped and travelled like a different horse for Davy Russell. Let's not feel that sorry for Jordan Gainford who had his big chance at Cheltenham and blew it. A day of really poor rides. I have no idea how Coleman got himself into such a poor position on Camprond. A woeful performance. O'Brien bungled so many flights on Dargiannini it was no wonder the horse dropped away. Fugitif was another not to travel for Bowen. Blenkinsop will never reach the heights unless the jock waves a white flag. This is a horse who needs to come with one smooth run. Nugent got him into contention at halfway, and then had to drop back again. Ultimately, he didn't stay. Il Ridito was beaten after 50 yards. In the last Roberts had something of brainstorm on Parramount.
Report differentdrum April 14, 2023 8:20 PM BST
Whether it is a profit on the punting front this week will probably be down to the National result.

The opening race is another very weak Grade 1 and offers little to the punter with Jonbon being disappointing the last twice, and having the dubious assistance of Coleman. Mexico looked much improved in sluicing up last time, and he has been backed accordingly. It will be disappointing if he doesn't go close. I think it is worth chancing Springwell Bay against the more established opposition in the intermediate novice. I think he could find another 7lbs. The next two races look bookmaker benefits. Ranking mine in order for the National I would go Any Second Now, Corach Rambler, The Big Dog, and Le Milos. The more I think about it the less chance I give Le Milos of getting home. Added The Big Dog because I put him up on here as a bumper horse, and would be kicking myself if he went on to win this. Jumping is the biggest issue with him. Unfortunately, Corach Rambler is now a bigger price than wehen I backed him, but there will be a few in that boat. Hopefully, Fox is fit enough to do the job.
Report differentdrum April 15, 2023 10:57 AM BST
Mistakenly thought Donoghue would still be riding The Big Dog. Horrified to see Coleman jocked up on a sticky jumper. Can't remember him ever doing anything in a National.

Had a look at the bumper this morning. There doesn't look to be any standouts. Centara looked good on debut, but the form has already let down. Had a couple of darts with the extra places on Hasthing (yes two of Jonjo's on one day) and Esprit Du Potier. The latter has displayed a nice attitude off the front end in a couple of small field races, but this is obviously a completely different test.
Report MJK April 15, 2023 12:08 PM BST

Mar 16, 2023 -- 7:45PM, MJK wrote:


I backed An Tailiur ew myself. Don't think he could've ran it up the back of more horses.


Having a small ew on this again today. Hopefully he gives it a better ride today.

Report sageform April 15, 2023 12:14 PM BST
I rarely get one to finish in a National so just a token £1 e/w Our Power. Sam T-D knows his way round and the horse is relatively unexposed. I am hoping that what ever was wrong with Hermes Allen at Cheltenham does not happen again as he is my banker.
Report differentdrum April 15, 2023 12:38 PM BST
Just noticed the stable run Land Genie in the first division of the Huntingdon bumper tomorrow. A 60,000 3yo half brother to Constitution Hill. Fair chance that he would have cost a bit more now, and fair chance bookmakers will put him in pretty short.
Report differentdrum April 15, 2023 7:44 PM BST
Aintree with it's sharp track, and big fields can really expose jocks for what they are worth, and for many that's not very much. The ground didn't help punters one jot either. Drier than expected first day, wetter than expected the second day, and then drier again. The drying ground may not have helped Mexico, but it was still idiotic to concede so much ground stuck out wide. The mistakes were just nails in the coffin. The horse may be better than that, but not sure Gethings is. An Tailliur keeps being ridden for a gear that's not there at this level. I have no doubt that Springwell Bay should have been in the mix for the novice hurdle. Just another absolutely dreadful ride from O'Neill. Yes, he was hampered, but he should never have been so far back on a horse repeatedly losing ground at his obstacles. There are few jocks worse at an obstcle than O'Neill. If they don't sort the jumping out this horse may never realise his true ability. Corach Rambler was as easy a National winner as you are likely to see. Fox rode him more forward than I expected, and he has travelled like a dream. Graded races beckon, and it is hard to know what his ceiling will be. I was tempted enough to take the 60/1 for the Gold Cup. Maybe Galopin Des Champs can give him a nice lead? A very rare big winner for Richards in the last. The two horses I put up both ran well. Hasthing looks a stayer, but yet again O'Neill ride him for speed.

Four runners tomorrow.

Lock's Corner having staged a revival looks to have lost all interest in the game. Judicial Law missed a much easier opportunity at Ludlow with a self certificate. He has an each-way chance, and probably wouldn't want the ground to dry up. Land Genie (see above) makes a belated debut in the first division of the bumper. With that pedigree it will be disappointing if he doesn't at least finish in the three. Mersey Street looked short of a gear when placed over course and distance. You would hope the jock would make plenty of use of him.
Report differentdrum April 16, 2023 6:35 PM BST
Lock's Corner is at least consistent. He sulked his way around yet again. Brogan at least kept trying. Abysmal run from Judicial Law. O'Neill didn't keep trying, and lazily gave up well before the finish. Land Genie took a long time to get going, and arguably the jock took even longer as he appeared to be waiting on the horse to do something. Had he been a bit more proactive he would have won a shade easier. Predictably, the trainer's interview told us little other than to confirm that this was his last run of the season. Mersey Street was completely outpaced in the second division which was run in a slightly faster time. The winner, The Kemble Brewery, was by far the most impressive bumper winner of the day, and was notably strong through the line. Bailey/Bass belatedly discovering the concept of point and fire.

Nothing until Wednesday.
Report sageform April 16, 2023 6:41 PM BST
Land Genie looked capable of much better but only time will tell what he beat.
Report MJK April 19, 2023 3:22 PM BST
The ride on Red Dirt Road was bizarre
Report Wicklow April 19, 2023 3:25 PM BST
Im no expert but looked like johnjo was having some problems with the tack or stir-ups from 3 out, was totally unbalanced.
Report differentdrum April 19, 2023 10:45 PM BST
Internet down for about nine hours today so unable to update.

I was surprised that Red Dirt Road was favourite. It looked to me as if the horse wanted to go right when he was in front, and O'Neill was struggling to keep him straight. Consequently, I don't think he made enough use of him, and he may well want three miles. I thought Coleman gave Chasing Fire a strange ride. Why go up in trip if you are going to give him such a negative ride? If you backed him alarm bells would have been ringing after a hundred yards. Cheltenham is probably not his bag. 

Three at Cheltenham tomorrow.

Dollar Bae went up 7lbs for an improved effort when finally upped in trip. Originally, I thought she was the one to beat, but perhaps the market is suggesting the ground might be a bit quick. That said I always thought that she wanted quicker ground as she has a change of pace. La Domaniale blew out completely on her return, and you have to hope that soft ground was the problem. If it was then she has a chance in a much tougher race. Mellificent was disappointing at Market Rasen. She probably wants the quicker ground, but I am not sure she wants the stiffer track.

What joy. The flat returns. Dettori piddling about at the back on short priced Gosden runners, guessing which Godolphin runners are actually up for winning. Talking of which clearly Regal Honour wasn't. Not sure what Doyle was doing in the stalls, but you pretty much knew your money was done, and he was going to come out last. I would be surprised if he isn't better than the three who finished in front of him, but that's no consolation to those who halved his price today.
Report differentdrum April 20, 2023 6:02 PM BST
Abysmal finishing efforts from both Dollar Bae and La Campaniale. Dollar Bae seemed to travel okay, albeit 2-3 lengths further back than ideal (a common trait of the rider), but very quickly folded in the straight. Not so sure that the ground was entirely to blame. La Campaniale had no ground excuses, and capitualted as soon as she made her first mistake three out. It appeared that the jock immediately accepted defeat. Mellificent pulled because of the ground so the assumption is that they think she wants good to soft.

Stable hardly finishing the season in a blaze of glory ahead of the gambled on Monbeg Genius in the Scottish National.

Just Hey Day Baby in a poor novice hurdle at Exeter tomorrow. I know Exeter is a sharp track, but she surely wants further. O'Neill should be looking to make all as she did in her Point.

A difficult two days for punters with bookmakers writing the results at both Newmarket and Cheltenham.
Report differentdrum April 21, 2023 6:38 PM BST
I suppose he might have wanted to send Hey Day Baby forward, but she has bungled virtually every hurdle before dropping away very tamely. Jumping that badly she will struggle at any distance.

I was reminded today why I try very hard to avoid the O'Brien/Brennan partnership. Unfortunately, I was stupid enough to back Young Buster in the staying novice. It is all very well farting about at the back when the field comes back to you, but in slowly run races on quick ground on a sharp track you just end up looking a mug. Instead of the usual whirling dervish act up the straight we got something more akin to William Buick. For good measure he repeated the muggery in the later chase.

Three runners at Ayr tomorrow assuming nothing is pulled. You would think all of them would want softer ground.

Since it was made a handicap I have found the Scottish Champion Hurdle about as difficult a puzzle as you can get. It usually comes down to a massive burn up over the last two hurdles. Soaring Glory hasn't come close to fulfilling his promise, and after a string disappointing efforts I am struggling see why he is second favourite. Monbeg Genius is the progressive one in the Scottish National, but at 5/1 best I can easily leave him alone on ground that might well be a lot quicker than ideal. After he raced just off the pace in the Ultima I suspect they might try similar tactics as O'Neill probably hasn't got the confidence to try and make all. Imapatient didn't look the quickest on debut, and he looks plenty short enough at 5/1 in the bumper.
Report differentdrum April 22, 2023 6:27 PM BST
Soaring Glory jumped poorly, and was never at the races. I didn't understand this idea that he is better on better ground. His last win was on soft, and he basically is not much good on any ground at the moment. Not too surprising that Monbeg Genius was pulled. It was probably more surprising he was the only one of the three. Impatient raced prominently, but hadn't got anything like the gears to get involved at the business end.

Yet another bad run continues, and nothing until Tuesday when the focus will be on Punchestown.

The curtain will come down on this thread with a few closing thoughts a week tomorrow.
Report sageform April 23, 2023 7:56 AM BST
I suppose that 70 wins from 507 runs is not so bad but it is the quality that is lacking. Just £799000 in prize money from 151 horses that have raced this season is a poor return for a supposedly leading yard. Compare to a trainer chosen almost at random. Neil Mulholland. Hardly a major yard but doing OK. He had 57 wins from 478 runs and won £647000 from 122 horses that have run in NH races. So both are moderately successful middle range yards imo.
Report differentdrum April 24, 2023 6:26 PM BST
Three at Ffos Las tomorrow, two of which are currently favourite.

Copper Cove didn't stay last time, but makes his chasing debut over even further. Very disappointing season, and seems a strange time to be making a chasing debut. Big Ambitions has looked very one paced. He makes his handicap debut, but looks plenty short enough given he is far from guaranteed to get the strong ride it looks as though he needs. Wideeyedandlegless actually drops in trip after looking as if four miles might not be far enough.

Punchestown opens with what looks a difficult punting card. After the two defeats we now know Facile Vega is vulnerable, albeit he was run down by a decent one in the Supreme. His jumping is no more than adequate, and I wouldn't be surprised if Diverge turned him over. Energumene should win, but it might be worth taking a chance on Chacun Pour Soi in the market without the favourite. This track seems to suit. The bumpers are perhaps not as hot as some years' renewals. I shall keep an eye on Aruntothe queen, and at a big price, Sirekoff. It wouldn't surprise me who won the staying novice chase. It has been a very weak division this season.
Report differentdrum April 25, 2023 5:57 PM BST
It doesn't look good that I appear to be hitting far more nails on the head than O'Neill. There can be few trainers who run horses over the wrong trip, and get the tactics wrong as often as team O'Neill.

Copper Cove travelled as well as anything, but faded away tamely in the straight, although strangely, the jock seemed to put in a tidy effort to get fifth. Big Ambitions didn't get anything like a strong ride, and was his one-paced self. Commiserations to those concerned with Wideeyedandlegless although he already looked beaten when going wrong.

Three runners tomorrow.

Regal Blue won nicely on debut, and held Cheltenham entries. Stepping up in trip, tomorrow will give a much better idea of his level of ability. He is the most interesting runner in a competitive race. Dana's Gem makes her handicap debut off a lowly 87. She (fortunately) landed an each-way touch on debut, but has shown nothing in two subsequent runs. Stay If U Want To is a home-bred related to a couple of horses who have shown ability in bumpers. He should have an each-way chance.
Report differentdrum April 25, 2023 8:18 PM BST
Not such a bad punting day after all with the key being that Cork race won by Bachasson. Only low point was Diverge who clearly didn't run his race and was reported lame. A repeat of Cheltenham would surely have seen him go close. With the exception of Marine Nationale it looks another weak division. I am not surprised at the intention to try fences with Facile Vega. He isn't Champion Hurdle material. I doubt either bumper was that good, although Farland was an obvious eyecatcher.

Just taken a chance on the two novive hurdles tomorrow. Senior Chief might want a little further, but looks as if he keeps a bit to himself, and might be more reliable than the two obvious dangers. Embassy Gardens isn't the most reliable himself, but I like the match-up with Danny Mullins against a favourite who is unproven over the trip. Hopefully, we get a proper stamina test. Hard to see Galopin Des Champs being beaten. Envoi Allen was very good in the Ryanair, but that was almost certainly his trip. No Time To Wait looks the part, and hopefully, he will get a more positive ride than he got in the Festival Bumper.
Report sageform April 26, 2023 8:16 AM BST
Would Galopin have beaten Bravemansgame over 3 miles at Cheltenham? He would have been ridden differently of course but it took him more than 3 miles to get on top there.
Report differentdrum April 26, 2023 9:40 AM BST
I guess some people have seen Bravemansgame as a bet to nothing. I would rather just leave the race alone. The small field probably suits Bravemansgame better, but there are potential negatives as well. He hasn't always been the strongest finisher, he blew out at the end of last season, and Hewick may well take him on at the front end. Galopin Des Champs can sit in behind in the knowledge that he likely has one horse to beat.
Report sageform April 26, 2023 2:34 PM BST
They all have to go to beat Envoi Allen if he stays.
Report differentdrum April 26, 2023 6:07 PM BST
Another dismal day, and a pretty good summary of the deficiencies that have plagued the season.

Jumping like that Regal Blue had no place on a racecourse let alone stepping up considerably in class and distance. All you can say is that he looks the part. If he were mine he would be in a different yard tomorrow, but the yard sponsor appears to tolerate just about anything. As expected Dana's Gem did nothing. The horse in the bumper was given an atrocious ride, all the more so given that he was supported from  12/1-7/2. His brother is one-paced, and what a surprise he is one-paced as well. Never a good idea to track the 'maniac horse', and as ever he was 2-3 lengths further back than what would have been a decent track position. Yes, carry on making the same mistakes over and over again.

Just the two at Warwick tomorrow, both ridden by Brogan.

File Illico has found a very weak race, but has shown very little this season, dropping 15lbs. Don Marione is a half brother to Bob Bob Rickard, and a first bumper runner for his sire, My Dream Boat. This looks a tough ask. Despite training only 2 winners this season clearly someone thinks Ned Cash might improve those Richard Phillips stats. He does have a more striking pedigree than you would usually associate with the stable, and 'the piston' is a rare jockey booking.
Report sageform April 26, 2023 6:14 PM BST
Well well. Laid off Bravemansgame who went to evens in running but didn't expect to be beaten by that one.
Report differentdrum April 26, 2023 8:15 PM BST
A very poor punting day with a succession of horses who were either not good enough or couldn't cope with the drying ground.

Blackmore looked really terrible again today. Surely retirement is not too far away? It's hard to believe she once chased up Townend. Forgotten how to make the running, and weak as you like in a finish are now the order of the day. Not sure if the Mouse Morris stable were on an each-way double today, but his jocks were certainly taking no prisoners.

Not good today, but maybe the future doesn't look so bad. Fingers crossed. The 60/1 Corach Rambler for the Gold Cup doesn't look the worst bet ever, and even the current 20/1 looks a lot better than the 8/1 Gerri Colombe. Today confirmed that Galopin Des Champs is not quite the invincible tool some would have had us believe. Not for the first time, Codden appeared to talking a load twaddle afterwards. He was just beaten fair and square. I know that Hewick came out, but the winner was supported down from 66/1. I was pleasantly surprised to nab 16/1 Gaelic Warrior for the Stayers. Not sure why Teahupoo is a similar price given he needs cut in the ground. It isn't a strong division, and really needed some new life. A Dream To Share duly racked up a fifth win on his favoured surface. Being a flat-bred it wouldn't surprise if that is the pinnacle of his career. It's another division that hasn't really taken off.
Report differentdrum April 27, 2023 8:53 PM BST
Even in a weak race File Illico was beaten four out. Don Marione looked a nice type (Garry Clermont silks) was ridden prominently and shaped well just lacking a gear at the business end although he did hold off Ned Cash who also shaped well on debut.

Five runners tomorrow.

All The Glory has found a weak race on her preferred ground, but can she be trusted to finish her race off this time? Perhaps the switch to McLernon can do the trick? Joly Maker was a surprise winner last time, and a repeat of that on what had seemed his preferred surface should see him go close again. Has to cope without Max Kendrick this time. Inchester D'Amsyl starts handicapping off a lowly 98. He has so far only shown a modicum of ability and thus far the general 33/1 hasn't been taken. Montmartin makes his handicapping debut off 100. He showed a bit more last time, but I am not sure pedigree or that performance suggested he needed to go up a mile in trip. He is joined by On The Bandwagon who switches back to hurdles after disappointing over fences.

Punchestown has proven difficult unless your idea of fun is backing loads of shorties. I managed to escape with just a small loss thanks to the extra place on Great Universe in the last. Had the expected rain arrived I think he might well have been second. Ballyburn impressed again, and I have taken a chance on him having enough toe for next year's Ballymore. Douglas Talking couldn't build a big enough cushion, and would probably have been run down even without the mistake three out. Klassical Dream did his bit for 'horses for courses' followers. I didn't see too much for Gaelic Warrior to be scared about. El Fabiolo looked different class despite a shoddy round of jumping. He is going to be very hard to beat next season. Another horlicks from Blackmore in the handicap chase. Her horse puts down at the second last, and stupidly she allows it to exactly the same at the last. You win nothing on the ground. Who knows whether she would have won, but it was poor again.

Those who like the shorties will be in clover tomorrow with a succession of them.
Report differentdrum April 28, 2023 8:40 PM BST
Another winnerless day.

All The Glory travelled like the winner, but produced her usual weak finish allowing the favourite to get back and prevail. Like so many in the stable she needs to jump better. You wonder if they actually have a schooling ground, or indeed bother with it. Joly Maker was given a shocker, and never looked likely to follow up his previous win. Why not ride exactly same race three or four places further forward? Bring back Max Kendrick. Inchester D'Amsyl showed very little again. Montmartin had an ideal position throughout, but hadn't got the gears to see off the winner. He might have been better served by the jock showing a bit of initiative and kicking for home a good deal earlier. On The Bandwagon looks increasingly fed up with the game.

Three runners tomorrow.

Imperial Bede doesn't look good enough in the opening novices handicap, but Crebilly could well be on an attractive mark in the closing handicap. Perhaps he can bring the curtain down with a win? Over at Punchestown Coeur Serein isn't the easiest to predict, and doesn't look on the most attractive mark in a competitive race.

The big guns got their jobs done at Punchestown. Don't think State Man, and particularly Impaire Et Passe were at their best. Impervious was by far the most impressive of the shorties. Don't think I have ever seen Derek O'Connor push one from start to finish, but it worked on It's On The Line who just kept on finding. The race fell apart a little, but Monbeg Park looked a nice prospect for next year, presumably over fences? The last race was another boost for Ballyburn. I wouldn't give up on Quantum Storm. That's 41 losers in a row for Elliott at Punchestown.

It's yet another poor version of the Whitbread tomorrow. There was a time when you remembered the winners of this race. Hewick should win, but for me it is strange to book an out of form jock. Love Envoi on the other hand gets a good jockey booking. That said she was flattered at Cheltenham, and if Elliott wasn't so out of form I would have fancied Queens Brook to reverse the form. Unless Queens Brook goes forward there is a real chance this is going to another falsely run race with Mullins just sitting on the front end. Not sure why Lossiemouth had drifted to 4/5. Assuming all is well she should win again. Seddon could still be on an attractive hurdles mark, but he is plenty short enough to burn off a competitive field.
Report 11kv April 29, 2023 4:41 PM BST
Good ride on Crebilly
Report differentdrum April 29, 2023 5:39 PM BST
Nice to finish with a winner that ended the dismal run.

Crebilly was always well placed, but there was a moment when he appeared to be tapped for toe. In the end he saw it out better than anything else. As expected Imperal Bede simply wasn't good enough. Coeur Serein ran a respectable race, but it probably wasn't the strongest handicap ever run at Punchestown. He seemed to stay well enough, and might have benefitted from a stronger ride.

Jonbon got home, but again it seemed another strange ride from Coleman. No wonder he keeps milking it because it looks to me as if the horse would be better with off someone else on board. Coleman was caught out at Warwick; all over the place at the second last at Cheltenham, and today he appeared he appeared to lose his balance on more than one occasion. I suspect he will go up in trip. He was cut for the Ryanair.

Over at Punchestown you saw the stark difference between Henderson and Mullins. Henderson allowed Love Envoi to have a freebie at Cheltenham despite having three runners. No chance of team Mullins doing similar today, and Love Envoi was effectively beaten as soon as she couldn't get another easy lead. She went down very tamely, and for me she remains no better than a Grade 2 mare. Lossiemouth was another to get the job done despite operating below her best.

Will probably save the O'Neill summary until tomorrow.
Report differentdrum April 30, 2023 11:36 AM BST
A brief summary of the season.

Firstly, I am only dealing with October to April. However many winners had previously been clocked up over the summer, the last six months are the real season. The Racing Post show 71 winners for the total year. In hindsight I really should have taken a reading when I started. The impression I get is that only around 40 or so have come in the last six months. Please feel free to add/correct if you have the actual figures to hand.

Not just the amount of winners, and the long losing runs it has been a very poor season. No real impact at any of the Festivals. I can't remember the stable taking a single Graded race. The third of Monbeg Genius in a vintage Ultima was by far the standout. Given the amount of money being pumped in/wasted that is a shocking return. However, it was the stable jock that was the real eyeopener. I didn't think he was much cop to start with, but he is much worse than even I thought. Horses don't jump for him (a trait of the stable) and he is tactically inept. Save for the odd ride for JP he doesn't get outside rides. Why is that? Could it be that forward thinking trainers like to see their horses ridden forward. You could count on one hand the number of horses that O'Neill has made all on this season. As for the trainer it seems that everything is very quickly thought of as a handicap project. It really is hard to believe the number of horses that are run over the wrong trip.

Looking at the horses for next season there are very few to get excited about. The afformentioned Monbeg Genius would be top of the pile. No doubt the hope would be that he continues to progress, and takes a big handicap on the way. The Ladbroke would seem a likely starting point. Johnnywho was visually the stable's most impressive winner, but where had he been, he is now six going on seven. It is hard to know what direction he will go, but for the time being he remains an exciting prospect. I think Springwell Bay was the best of the novice hurdlers (the novice chasers were non existent), but like so many if he doesn't improve his jumping he will not fulfill his potential. The same comment applies even more so to Regal Blue. Crebilly bowed out on a good note, and presumably he will be aimed at staying novice chases. Mt Fugi Park is an expensive ex-pointer to watch out for, and no doubt much better will be expected of Brook Bay. Only 670,000 for the pair. How long before that sort of money dries up?

I have enjoyed the writing, and hopefully, it's been a useful, and for the most part, a relatively accurate exercise. I don't think too many winners slipped through the net. The intention is to do something similar with a different yard, probably Henry Daly, starting in October.
Report sageform April 30, 2023 12:36 PM BST
Always instructive to watch a yard and learn what you can about the way they plan a season. I agree that O'Neill has underperformed considering the value of the horses and the owners. Did he train any significant winners for JP apart from Crebilly? La Dominiale did nothing this season while Flight Deck, the only other highly rated one has not won since December.
Report differentdrum October 15, 2023 8:10 PM BST
bumped
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