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04 Oct 22 12:01
Date Joined: 05 Oct 11
| Topic/replies: 15,442 | 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.
Pause Switch to Standard View Jonjo O'Neill's Team
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Report paulo47 December 2, 2022 5:07 PM GMT
Iron Bridge will do well to give a stone to Fergal's horse .
Report saxon farm December 2, 2022 5:55 PM GMT
I think Cloth Cap will outrun his odds.
Report differentdrum December 3, 2022 10:56 AM GMT
Much talk about races over here, but chances are the really interesting races for the future are the novice hurdles and bumper at Fairyhouse. Everyone will be watching Facile Vega, but I will be keeping a close eye on the likes of Hartur D'Arc, Arctic Bresil and the horse who benefitted from his departure, Nick Rockett. There are many others.
Report differentdrum December 3, 2022 4:20 PM GMT
Another shocking day for O'Neill again advertising his lack of talent. His dad shouldn't have to wonder why they are making no progress. The question is why would big owners throw big money at this outfit? The jock is tactically inept, consistently loses ground at fences, and is basically weak.

Destin D'ajonc was beaten running through the tape. He immediately lost his position, was slow at fence after fence, and that was that. A terrible performance. Similar story with Time To Get Up. He lasted a few more fences. The icing on the cake of terrible was Iron Bridge where O'Neill was completely outridden by the stable's 7lb claimer. You could ditch O'Neill tomorrow and just use McLernon and Brace, and you might even see an improvement. The Shantou bumper horse was again clueless. A decent effort by Cloth Cap, but he hadn't quite got the legs to see it out. Just returning to Iron Bridge he is yet another to have come away from Carlisle and disappoint.

Plenty going on elsewhere. I wasn't overwhelmed by Jonbon last time, but even though he has effectively only seen off one rival, I thought he was more convincing today. His jumping was accurate, and the further he went the better he went. I had talked up Banbridge, but it already looks as if he is being steered in a different direction. Shishkin seems to have gone, particularly in the jumping department. I would be surprised if Edwardstone is good enough to win a Champion Chase, if anything today was his Champion Chase. At Aintree Noble **** showed a real change of gear to take the feature. He looks to be improving, and given that we already know he stays the 16/1 looks too big for the Gold Cup. I would much rather have him than L'Homme Presse. If I owned Ahoy Senor he would be going elsewhere. Russell and Fox have had long enough to sort him out, and he looks to be getting worse.

Over in Ireland it was very hard to fault Facile Vega. At one stage he appeared to lose a bit of concentration, but it was very minor. You would think he would be versatile enough to take a lead should they wish. Joyeux Machin was a second bounce back winner for Paul Nolan. He had looked as if he was going the wrong way. Perhaps the Ballymore on decent ground might a better idea than the Supreme? I Am Maximus threw away the opener jumping to the left, and in closing bumper the three expensive pointers are either not very good, or the three jocks have given them idiot rides in a very slowly run race.
Report differentdrum December 3, 2022 6:26 PM GMT
Three runners at Huntingdon with three different jocks.

Sermando is on a losing run, but although he went up a couple of pounds for placing he remains 10lbs below his last winning mark (a win over course and distance), and should have every chance in a poor race. Instead of going up in trip Hungry Hill faces an even sharper test. The horse is 50/1, but I suspect you could add a nought. When they all finally go up in trip perhaps the stable could have a novice handicap of their own? Will Anyharminasking be the only horse to defeat Constitution Hill? If he hadn't have run at Ascot he would probably be favourite tomorrow. As it is the run was so bad who knows what we can expect?
Report differentdrum December 4, 2022 5:34 PM GMT
Sermando given every chance, but just beaten by a better one on the day. Hungry Hill all over the shop again, including when crowded. Under the circumstances he did well to finish sixth. Yet another awful ride from O'Neill on Anyharminasking. Too many bungles, and then topped it off by being unable to keep the horse straight. Should have gone very close. Jock being exposed on an almost daily basis.

The stable bought 4 of the 16 lots at the Tingle Creek Sale. The haul included a couple by emerging sire, Affinisea, most notably sales topper Brook Bay for 380,000. Do owners look at results and stable jocks? You wouldn't think so.

Weather seemed to turn things upside down at Fairyhouse with quickish ground turning to soft. Lossiemouth took the juvenile in nice style, but 3/1 for the Triunph? Slevin gave Comfort Zone a shocker. The Royal Bond was a lovely result for bookmakers. Marine Nationale was a big drifter while the well punted Champ Kiely fell in a hole and the other well backed one, Path D'oroux ran an absolute shocker. Cromwell has very quickly gone from in form to very much out of form. I am surprised Banbridge even ran in the novice chase. He wants a much quicker surface. Given they will probably duck Jonbon he has drifted to a backable price for the Turners. Time very much appears to have caught up with Honeysuckle. I wasn't sure she was ever travelling that well. Do they call it a day, or go back up in trip? Loved all the excuses for Mullins in the last. Didn't he simply go far too slowly on a staying horse....again?
Report differentdrum December 5, 2022 6:00 PM GMT
Three at Huntingdon tomorrow.

Sacre Couer isn't the safest proposition as she can be keen, and isn't the greatest jumper, but off her lowest mark she has an each-way chance under Jamie Brace. Inch House is another winning pointer. This one was a 125,000 purchase from the family of Young Snugfit, Cashew King, and Peanuts Pet. Ridden prominently he was able to hold Are U Wise To That. At least they haven't started him over the minimum, but it does look the strongest of the novice races, and chances are he is probably running for a place at best. Mr Biggs runs in the second division of the shorter novice. He is by Telescope and my first inclination with any young horse by that sire is to put a line through it. It's a method that hasn't let me down much so far. This one showed very little on debut, and I wouldn't expect a deal more tomorrow.
Report formoftheace December 5, 2022 6:52 PM GMT
You couldn’t possibly consider punting the yard….full of lay and place lay….
Report sageform December 5, 2022 7:06 PM GMT
They have been poor recently but still showing a level stakes profit for the NH season. I would not back most of them at the moment but come March any horse trained J O'Neill and owned by a certain JP McManus will get close scrutiny from me.
Report differentdrum December 5, 2022 8:18 PM GMT
I started this thread over a year ago. I haven't noticed a single entry, but he has recently crept into the Ballymore market at 33/1. It does beg the question as to what Jonjo has been doing with the horse.
Report differentdrum December 6, 2022 2:25 PM GMT
Another winnerless day as expected. Jamie Brace spent most of the race trying to settle Sacre Coeur, but having kept her in contention the horse could only find the one pace in the straight. She might drop a couple of pounds, but the current tactics are not working, and if they go forward again her jumping is going to be a handicap. Inch House ran a respectable race, but nothing more. The horse was leaning towards the rail up the straight, but instead of trying to straighten him, O'Neill continued to use the whip in his right hand making the situation even worse. Mr Biggs has some size, but no engine.
Report differentdrum December 6, 2022 4:45 PM GMT
O'Neill up to 15 losers in a row, and a fair chance assuming they race that will be 17 after tomorrow. It's interesting that for a supposed leading jock he doesn't seem to get outside rides for anyone except McManus. Why might that be?

It's a very poor quality day tomorrow matched by a couple of third division runners for the trainer. Arrivderci, like a few others, appears to have gone backwards. He showed nothing on chase debut, and no obvious reason why he should be winning tomorrow. Cawthorne Lad is a flat bred with plenty of racing done who doesn't look progressive. It looks a case of finding a race bad enough for him to be competitive. Not sure this is it.
Report differentdrum December 7, 2022 5:29 PM GMT
No surprises today, no encouragement from Arrivederci, and Cawthorne Lad was closing late which might suggest O'Neill sat too long on the bridle. Trainer and jock both now on a losing run of 17.

Big day tomorrow, at least in a numerical sense, with eight runners split between Warwick and Newcastle.

Beginning at Warwick. Max Kendrick has another day out on Toute Chic. It's not the strongest novice, but Also Known As will need to step up on hurdling debut to even finish in the first six. Betty's Banjo stopped as if shot on her seasonal debut. If you could ignore that dire effort she would have an each way chance at a big price. The market should guide. Kept away from O'Neill Jnr, Manintheshadows has been ridden prominently, and been progressive at a low level. He looks to have every chance on chasing debut. At Newcastle, Blue Shark looks to follow up his surprise Ffos Las win for Jamie Brace. Again he looks to have every chance. Pulled out a month ago, Crebilly looks to have landed on an ordinary novice, but I do wonder whether if he will need a stiffer test. Monbeg Genius was poor on chase debut, and even if he steps up on that, he might find a couple too good. Impatient looks to have found a weaker bumper than the one he was pulled out of the other day.

A couple of obvious duffers, but it will a disappointing if they can't sneak at least one winner.
Report GLASGOWCALLING December 7, 2022 10:00 PM GMT
Cawthorne Lad caught my eye, would of been a bit upset if i had backed it, going wide, running on late.
Report breadnbutter December 8, 2022 9:49 AM GMT
Was some late money for caw,by all accounts this stable is having a larf.
Report MJK December 8, 2022 12:54 PM GMT
Crebilly looks like it would have no trouble going up in distance, maybe even better for it.
Report sageform December 8, 2022 1:30 PM GMT
Oy Oy. They have retreated to Newcastle but with at 4 well fancied ones. Three down, one to go. JP on a 4 timer perhaps? I have not backed any of them.
Report Trident December 8, 2022 2:59 PM GMT
3.35 now on the exchange.. people laying off the multiples I expect?. 6/4 on Sportsbook which you can have a tenner max!
Report HallGreenSpy December 8, 2022 3:26 PM GMT
Did one 0f his rags last night 20-1 at Warwick. Another reason to be gutted no he's back in form!
Report differentdrum December 8, 2022 4:01 PM GMT
Day in the sun, or promise of more to come?

No doubt these were well placed. The three winners were never far off the pace, a rarity in itself. Blue Shark travelled with plenty of enthusiasm, and looks to have turned a corner. He can win again, and carry on progressing. Crebilly only had the one to beat, and I suspect the McCain horse isn't up to much. Monbeg Genius was able to dictate, and the opposition just fell away. The bumper horse was ridden for a gear that he didn't have.

Assuming racing survives - let's hope as this is the national hunt season after all - three runners tomorrow.

Anyharminasking makes a very quick reappearance, perhaps chasing the ground, and also warming up for the County Hurdle. This looks tougher opposition than last time, but going left handed might suit better. He needs to jump better. Not entirely sure what to expect from Flight Deck. He was all over the place at Aintree, but managed to race prominently before being touched off at Carlisle. Again this looks more competitive, and he might prefer softer ground. At Bangor Half The Freedom swaps a stiff track for a sharp one, and drops half a mile in trip. He faded tamely last time.
Report mrcombustible December 9, 2022 5:33 PM GMT
Monbeg Genius is owned by thiefs who stole money from the taxpayer.

The string of revelations appears to have taken its toll on Mone, who announced this week that she was taking a leave of absence from the House of Lords with immediate effect – according to her spokesperson, “in order to clear her name of the allegations that have been unjustly levelled against her”.

The only speck of good news for the peer this week appears to have come in the 1.17pm race at Newcastle on Thursday, won by Monbeg Genius, a horse she bought for her husband as his “second wedding gift”.

The six-year-old gelding, bought for £80,000, was one of a number of acquisitions that Mone and her husband made in the months after they secretly received at least £65m from profits originating from PPE Medpro. In a change of direction, several of those assets are now for sale.
Report differentdrum December 9, 2022 6:24 PM GMT
Races with obstacles taken away can be something of a farce. That said it looks as if Anyharminasking has run flat on a swift return. He was progressive before something kept him out last season's Festivals, and he needs to get back on that upward curve.
Report GLASGOWCALLING December 11, 2022 10:03 AM GMT
Dollar Bae must have a favourites chance in the 2-28, humped 12st to a cosy victory lto.
Report differentdrum December 11, 2022 10:41 AM GMT
Thanks for the prompt.

I actually thought Southwell was an all-weather meeting.

Dollar Bae is the obvious one of the three. I still think she would be better over further, and this might be too sharp a test. Ballybough Mary has her second run for the yard having switched from the Twister. He generally raced her on much slower ground. She didn't show much on chase debut, and hopes today rest on this being a weak race. Presumably, Dr Hegarty has his second step towards handicaps.

Looking forward to seeing Arctic Bresil finally make his rules debut at Cork. Shame the third favourite has been pulled.

Good to have two meetings. I suspect we won't be seeing much this week.
Report differentdrum December 11, 2022 4:02 PM GMT
Ballybough Mary looks a slow boat. Dr Hegarty never at the races again. Dollar Bae probably won with a touch in hand, but didn't produce the gear the jock keeps expecting.

As ever the significant action was over in Ireland. Arctic Bresil was keen, and ignorant at several hurdles, but he could be pretty smart. I take very little notice of times, but he was 6 seconds faster than the impressive juvenile winner, and carried 12lbs more. Besides Blood Destiny, I thought Impervious showed a nice attitude to take the novice chase. Hopefully, her form doesn't tail off this year. Not sure what O'Regan was doing on Teagarden Jazz in the opener, and I am not sure what O'Brien/Ward were doing in turning a blind eye. Perhaps he might be worth bearing in mind for a Boodles, but it is probably worth bearing he mind she has yet to win under either code.

Fingers crossed we can get something other than the not so all-weather this week.
Report GLASGOWCALLING December 11, 2022 4:14 PM GMT
..... As you say Dollar Bae looks likely to amake a step up in trip soon, Gme enough win though.

  Getting stopped 20% for a n/r you didnt fancy isnt ideal but a winners a winner.
Report GLASGOWCALLING December 11, 2022 4:15 PM GMT
* game.
Report differentdrum December 14, 2022 5:17 PM GMT
All three Ffos Las possibles were to due to have run at Warwick's abandoned meeting. The same comments apply to Betty's Banjo and Also Known As. I must correct my suggestion that Manintheshadows had been due to make his chasing debut. He had tackled fences at Uttoxeter, and some very ponderous jumping had put him out of contention after just three fences. He didn't get any better, and was pulled up. That was the last time O'Neill Jr was in the saddle.
Report differentdrum December 18, 2022 3:06 PM GMT
A few of the stable dregs due out at Lingfield tomorrow. Last time Cawthorne Lad looked as if he would benefit from a step up in trip, and a stronger ride. He gets at least one of the two. On The Bandwagon showed a little more last time, but that was in a much smaller field. Bit surprised Brogan doesn't retain the ride. Also Known As looks outclassed in an above average novice hurdle. Destin D'ajonc was desperate on return, and probably wants softer ground. Punches Cross has shown next to nothing since the stable switch, and has dropped more than 30lbs. Irrespective of the degree of retained ability this trip looks too short, and presumably the idea is to at least try and get him to finish his race off.

Nice to have racing back today. Some pretty iffy rides, most notably from Cooper and Blackmore in the feature. They gave their mounts zero chance of winning. Interesting that Willie wasn't best pleased about Navan not being re-staged. He should try coping with the virtually non existent process over here.
Report differentdrum December 19, 2022 4:13 PM GMT
Assuming Ludlow survives, Prince Escalus runs in the feature. Best form leading on sharp right handed tracks, but 6lb above last winning mark, and this might be a tad too competitive.

Very confident ride on Galopin Des Champs. I thought he was a little slow jumping in behind, but improved as the race developed. Appreciate It no more than adequate in the novice chase. The opposition looked weak.
Report differentdrum December 19, 2022 6:51 PM GMT
Just noticed that today's bumper winner, Slade Steel, has been given various quotes for the Festival. Most are meaningless, as apparantly, he will stay in the bumpers this season. If a Telescope beats two by Arctic Cosmos I can't help but think it is a very weak race. Hopefully, when he reappears the markets take the opposite view. I wouldn't be taking any price for the Festival Bumper.

Sky are going 20/1 Hermes Allen for the Albert Bartlett. He has looked a very strong stayer, and the race looks perfect for him. If Nicholls committed him he would be around 4/1, possibly even shorter if he wins the Challow. Presumably, Sky have been given a steer that Nicholls no longer believes the longer race is his best option?
Report differentdrum December 20, 2022 4:49 PM GMT
Not too bad a performance from Prince Escalus, particularly as he blew the initial start. Strange for a horse that has been doing his winning right handed, that he actually jumps a little to his left.

Disappointing that the Naas feature was marred by the removal of so many flights. We have enough flat racing as it is. I wouldn't give up on Absolute Notions. He should be better over further, but I think the ground was the bigger issue today. Hopefully, they mind him, and he gets better ground in the Albert Bartlett. Later on the card Impaire Et Passe looked Ballymore material for Willie Mullins. He probably beat nothing, but he came away in taking style. I wouldn't too excited about the opening novice chase. They appeared to finish very tired.

Another five due to go to Hereford. Mammies Boy makes his debut in the opener. The family hasn't thrown up anything decent for several years, and this looks a tough ask. Merveillo was poor on hurdling debut, and drops half a mile in trip. He needs to jump much better to be competitive. Yes Indeed was dropped a few pounds for his seasonal debut, but probably needs to drop a few more. Bertie's Bandana was weak in the market, and didn't travel before getting rid of O'Neill last time. He is another who looks too high in the weights. Magic Seven raced wide, but was quite impressive when winning over course and distance. He looks promising, but this is a tougher ask, and I am a bit surprised they haven't claimed 7lbs to offset the penalty. He looks far more of a 5/2 shot than the 13/8 Bet 365 have chalked up.
Report differentdrum December 21, 2022 6:44 PM GMT
Nap hand of washing jobs today. Plenty of them failing to see their races out. Yes Indeed might nick one if his jumping ever comes together, but that's big if. I would give another jock a go on him. Magic Seven was much too short in the last and didn't get close to conceding the penalty. The ground was probably softer than ideal, but his limitations were exposed.

Another big day numerically tomorrow with four at Ayr, and two at Ffos Las. Again we are mainly dealing with low grade handicappers. The wind op seems to have sparked up Locks Corner, but you do wonder how long that will last. You didn't see much last time, but it looked as if he needed all of the trip on the soft ground. A drop of rain might help his cause. Are U Wise To That looks opposable on the basis he has been put in very short purely on the subsequent efforts of Attacca. That horse has wised up considerably since his debut. The Walford horse is an interesting debutant. Cobolobo hasn't won for more than two years, is only 3lbs lower than that last winning mark, and stopped as if shot on reappearance. Punches Cross was discussed above having missed a recent engagement. At least this is a more suitable trip. At Ffos Las Rocked Up won a poor Market Rasen novice before disappointing in two handicaps. The step up in trip and softer ground - she is a half sister to Pride Of Lecale - needs to work the oracle. Half The Freedom was disappointing last time. It's not beyond the realms that he could bounce back down in trip in first time cheekpieces.

The opener at Ffos Las is by far the best race of the day. It will be interesting to see if Firestream backs up, and in so doing looks a little more straightforward. Coleman got turned over on Parramount today, and I am sure bookmakers would love to see this one go west as well. Let's hope it doesn't.
Report sageform December 21, 2022 9:26 PM GMT
Still woeful stuff from a so called top yard having top class facilities.
Report differentdrum December 22, 2022 11:21 AM GMT
Yes, the hat trick now looks a blip. I like to think I am calling it as it is. The big mystery is why owners stand for it. There is just as much money being spent on horses in this yard as there is on those at Skeltons. Nobody in the media calls him out despite the 'cheeky chappie' being as far removed from an open book as you can get. How often is he interviewed?

Today's runners at Ayr appear very weak in market, and the couple at Ffos Las the exact opposite.
Report differentdrum December 22, 2022 4:15 PM GMT
Locks Corner saves the day. He briefly looked outpaced, and boxed in turning for home, but he has again seen his race out well. Another boost for Blenkinsop.

Very little to shout about afterwards. Are U Wise To That bungled his way around, and needs to buck his ideas up considerably if he wants to live up to his pedigree. Cobolobo quickly waved a white flag when headed. He didn't go too fast as the winner sat a length off him. O'Neill did his not unusual scrubbing along having got into a bad position on Punches Cross, and it was soon inevitable he was going to pull up. Hard to believe they were daft enough to think they could start him over two miles. At Ffos Las Rocked Up travelled nicely, but lacked a gear in the straight. Half The Freedom shaped as if wanted to go back up in trip, but he looks a horrible ride, and clearly isn't one to trust. The cheek pieces made no difference if the idea was to get him to travel more kindly.

Firestream didn't come close to following up his Chepstow win, instead falling foul of an Evan Williams bookmaker special. That's two point and fire jobs that Coleman has come up well short on in the last two days.

Let's hope everything is on next week. The improving Blue Shark looks the pick of the stable entries over the next few days.
Report sageform December 23, 2022 11:01 AM GMT
Yes, Firestream was from my horses to follow and I had a small bet in the morning in case it drifted but it went too short later. Not sure if it underperformed though. The winner could be special. Mr Rucker even agreed to an interview!  My other big fancy was Al Agaila at Lingfield and that did win.
Report differentdrum December 23, 2022 12:58 PM GMT
Even though Firestream beat the others and was carrying a penalty I am not sure we saw the same horse as we did at Chepstow. He was much more exuberant there, and saw his race out very well. This time I felt the writing was on the wall three out. Perhaps the ground was softer than ideal, perhaps he isn't that good? I will reserve judgement on the winner until he follows up, or not. Malinas is not a great sire. The third also stepped up markedly having disappointed very badly in Ireland.

I had three bets yesterday, Firestream, and the two Walford winners at Ayr. They were a very good showcase for his talents, as first time over hurdles they both jumped very well.
Report differentdrum December 25, 2022 12:03 PM GMT
Five runners tomorrow, none for the stable jock who is at Kempton to ride Champ.

Dana's Gem makes her debut in the mare's novice at Wincanton. A 24,000 3yo from an ordinary family she seems unlikely to figure. A rare ride for Lorcan Williams. Similarly, two for Robbie Dunne at Wetherby. Both could do without rain. Zabeel Champion, in first time cheekpieces, looks by far the pick of the two, but so far he hasn't come close to translating the best of his flat form. As previously suggested the improving Blue Shark looks the best chance of a winner in the last at Fontwell. If he handles the track he has very good prospects of completing the hat trick. Piper Tom completes the nap hand in the Huntingdon bumper. He was purchased for 60,000 having finished third in an Irish point. He went off favourite, and the two that beat him have subsequently shown ability under rules. He looks to have an each-way chance at the general 14/1.
Report differentdrum December 26, 2022 4:50 PM GMT
Extremely fortunate each-way punt landed on Dana's Gem. Likely she would finished somewhere between fifth and seventh without the carnage. She showed enough to suggest that she can win a poor mare's novice over further. Both Zabeel Champion and Orrisdale dropped away tamely. Better ground might help. Blue Shark again travelled nicely, and just managed see off the second who had the kitchen sink thrown at him. You wouldn't expect Blue Shark to go up more than a few pounds. There was a little money for Piper Tom, but he was very quickly beating a retreat so either he isn't very good, or there was an issue.

Elsewhere I managed to get the King George totally wrong yet again. That's the second disastrous raid for Blackmore/De Bromhead in those colours. On that evidence Envoi Allen really does look finished. He was always in a poor position, and you shouldn't have to be effectively schooling an 8yo. The best so far from Bravesmansgame, but I think everyone realises this is chalk and cheese to Cheltenham. At least he showed that he can win from behind. Not very impressive from Deutsch. It would have looked even worse had he been in front.

Over in Ireland Lossiemouth was the star of the day. She jumped, travelled, and showed more speed than her rivals. I criticised the 7/2 quote for the Triumph after the last win, but it is hard to argue now. Gerri Colombe looked a smart stayer at Limerick, in fact as good as anything I have seen in that department this season. Can he do it on a quicker surface in March? Kilcruit minus Townend didn't look the same tool.
Report differentdrum December 26, 2022 7:04 PM GMT
Eight runners tomorrow, split between Chepstow and Wetherby.

Two in the opening novice hurdle, but it would be a big surprise if either troubled the top two in the market. Preference would be for the unraced French bred as Mr Biggs, although he has the size his name implies, already looks exposed. Saint Davy made heavy weather of winning his bumper, but those who chased him have run well since, and he looks to have every chance in a not overly competitive staying novice. You would hope this test should suit Flight Deck, but he is 4lbs higher than his last winning mark, and he has to concede plenty of weight to a couple of potential improvers. Presumably, Time To Get Up was being prepped for this, but ran a shocker on his reappearance. He is very hard to fancy on that evidence.

At Wetherby, I would be pretty sure that we haven't seen the best of Pride Rock, but I suspect for the time being we will see another similar run tomorrow over an inadequate trip ahead of handicaps. Toute Chic will give the owner's son another run round. Big Ambitions was clueless on debut, but has a nice enough pedigree to figure if he is a good deal straighter for the experience.
Report second again December 27, 2022 8:05 AM GMT
Time To Get UP has been lumbered with a few bob EW (7 places) of my money.With the form I am in he will be pulled up.Good luck with any you back.
Report formoftheace December 27, 2022 11:04 AM GMT
Horrible yard to follow…or punt..
Report sageform December 27, 2022 1:32 PM GMT
Saint Davy was a snip at £270k. Won by about 1 centimetre but unbeaten so could be OK.
Report sageform December 27, 2022 2:19 PM GMT
Anyone on a Jonjo treble? Not me.
Report second again December 27, 2022 2:27 PM GMT
Nor me.
Report differentdrum December 27, 2022 4:50 PM GMT
Never in contention, but a little bit of promise from Inchester D'Amsyl. Likely better to come. As I said elsewhere I thought Saint Davy was beaten. He would have been a very unlucky loser with O'Neill for some reason losing his balance (he also lost balance after jumping the last on Comfort Zone) and irons, and then bungling the last. Horse has done very well to rally, and I would mark him up for the win. Perhaps a tilt at the Leamington Spa with a view to stepping up for the Albert Bartlett might be the route to take. Conditions did suit Flight Deck who produced a personal best. It's a mystery what happened at Aintree, but unfortunately that was a Pertemps Qualifier. Presumably, they will have another bash at qualifying. Much better from Time To Get Up who held every chance until fading from the turn in. Midlands National repeat?

At Wetherby Pride Rock was ridden into the ground. It appears they are doing their level best to make him look useless. Toute Chic was beaten at halfway. Better from Big Ambitions, but he was outpaced by the front three, and will be much better served by 2m4f+ and obstacles.

Elsewhere, no real surprise that Mullins dominated Leopardstown. Dysart Dynamo emerged as a threat to Jonbon, and Facile Vega did what he had to without being impressive. At Limerick where the ground was as bad as ever, Shecouldbeanything impressed in the mare's novice. Over here Edwardstone now has another blip on his record. Where was that Editeur Du Gite when I backing him last season? It's a very strange game at times. Since Bear Ghylls went wrong Nicky Martin has hardly trained a winner, but then along comes the thoroughly exposed The Two Amigos. You couldn't make it up.
Report differentdrum December 27, 2022 5:56 PM GMT
Just the two at Leicester tomorrow.

Red Dirt Road makes his hurdling debut in the opening novice hurdle. He is the one with the most potential, but he wants further so it is question as to whether the testing ground will make it a sufficient test. Hopefully, he will go forward again. Arrivederci has gone backwards and shown next to nothing in two chase starts. The only positive here is he doesn't have a Bold Endeavour to cope with this time.
Report sageform December 28, 2022 1:24 PM GMT
Good run by Red Dirt road but just beaten.
Report differentdrum December 28, 2022 4:24 PM GMT
Yes, I foolishly thought he had won a bumper, but then I noticed the penalty. I don't think O'Neill is particularly strong in a finish, and I would have liked to see him have made more use of the horse. It seemed the winner dictated and the second didn't do much more than keep him company. I would like to see Red Dirt Road step up in trip. Arrivederci doesn't seem to be enjoying the game, and I am surprised he wasn't pulled up. Hard to see the point in just completing.

Elsewhere, a pretty underwhelmimg day. I have defended the racing in Ireland on the basis it doesn't really matter if all the 100/1 shots are out the back in novice hurdles. However, it does matter when one of supposed fancied one's is out the back. I copped for one of those in the Leopardstown opener in the shape of Built For Ballymore. Slevin immediately conceded 12-15 lengths for no reason whatsover, tugged him back in rather than attempt to make ground, and has eventually run about 30lbs below his bumper run. He was massively weak in the market 4/1-10/1, but realistically he was a million after 100 yards. Talk In The Park was the only one of mine to run respectably, but winning with newcomer in desperate ground is very difficult. I would say first and second are quite useful. The Savills was a very poor renewal, and the three mile hurdlers are all over the shop. Tomorrow's Grade one novice chase is pretty poor as well. It's not just over here we are getting uncompetitive racing at the top level.
Report differentdrum December 28, 2022 4:48 PM GMT
Just the two at Doncaster on hopefully, not too soft a ground.

Coeur Serein ran very well for Brace at Chepstow. He is one who probably wants rain to make this a stiffer test. Annie Mc faces a repeat of Carlisle. She was returning from a lay off, but it is hard to believe she can make up nearly 25 lengths on Zambella. The question is probably whether she can keep Pink Legend, who was woeful on her reappearance, out of second.
Report differentdrum December 29, 2022 4:34 PM GMT
I wouldn't give up on Coeur Serein, particularly if they return to a more suitable track and get rid of O'Neill into the bargain. It made no sense whatsoever to completely change tactics today. Annie Mc was again slammed by Zambella, and only just held the bungling Pink Legend.

Frustrating day elsewhere, particularly the split screen between Kelso and Leopardstown. How uncompetitive would some of those Irish races be if Mullins didn't run his horses against each other? It looks like Transmission splitting Inthepocket and Joyeux Machin will remain one the mysteries of the season. Anything like that form would have given him a winning chance in the novice hurdle, but instead he has tailed off eventually finishing behind a cluster of absolute rags.

Six horse raid on Haydock tomorrow. Sacre Coeur should improve for her seasonal debut, but looks as if she needs to drop a few more pounds. Not sure why Brace isn't riding. Iron Bridge runs in the limited novice chase, and it is hard to believe he can run as badly as last time which was an absolute disaster. Hopefully, he gets a much more positive ride on the front end. Playtogetaway hasn't reproduced his point run, and if there is any ability then it is more likely to come over a longer trip. I did suggest that Maypole Class might be of interest next time after he ran much better than his placing at Exeter. He got dropped 2lbs for running well. Morning Spirit gained a first chase win at Carlisle under a rare prominent ride, but up 5lbs this looks a good deal tougher. Pyffo didn't race that kindly on debut, and might have ran into an above average winner. I can see him being placed again.
Report differentdrum December 30, 2022 7:23 PM GMT
An unexpected hat trick, at least to me.

Sacre Coeur seemed to enjoy herself, and jumped better. She was in a similar position turning in at Uttoxeter, but this time she went forward. Presumably, desperate ground was the key. Since coming over from France she has in the main raced on much quicker surfaces. Perhaps they will try to get her out quickly to take advantage of the current monsoon weather. Impossible to know if Iron Bridge was lucky or not. It wasn't the ride I was looking for, and going forward I would be concerned that O'Neill isn't confident enough to really attack a fence on him. I suspect we are looking at the handicap route from now on. Playtogetway was another to this time finish his race off. Presumably, he will be upped in trip on similar ground. Maypole Cross was a big drifter. Having moved nicely into third place, two bungles didn't help his cause, but for the second time running he has stopped to nothing. Another run on better ground should confirnm if that's due to a problem, or ground related. Morning Spirit jumped nicely on the front end and although he kept on up the straight, he may just be better over shorter. Pyffo travelled a bit better this time, and just kept plugging away, shaping like a horse who is going to want a trip over obstacles.

Another frustrating punting day, particularly at Taunton where the ground was probably as bad as it gets for that track. The well supported Great Samourai no doubt went short in running, but literally stopped to nothing; Lutinebella failed to reproduce her Exeter run on this sharper track, and it's hard to believe The Changing Man got beat. Powell looked woeful from the run to the last. Had he maintained the momentum into the last, and not taken an age farting about with the tackle on the run in he would surely have held on. He was almost doing a Paddy Brennan on the line.
Report differentdrum December 31, 2022 11:13 AM GMT
Better late than never.

Bumper bundle today. No real standouts, but it would be nice to think they could for once back up yesterday's good day.

Highland Getaway and Walk Of No Shame look to have at least each-way chances in the first two races at Warwick. Highland Getaway has been supported, Walk Of No Shame hasn't. Not sure why. The step up in trip should help Highland Getaway, but the key is probably whether Brace can get him travelling in the first part of the race. You would have thought the stamina test should suit Walk Of No Shame. Strangely, Punches Cross is dropped to two miles after quickly tailing off over a longer trip. Cawthorne Lad shaped as if a longer trip might suit last time, but this is a much stronger race. Beachcomber shaped a bit better than his final placing on debut, but again this is a much stronger contest. File Illico showed nothing on seasonal debut (very weak in market) having gone up for winning small field, moderate races. This looks too big an ask, and the ground might well be softer than ideal. Soaring Glory reverts to hurdles having been very poor on chasing debut. Not really sure he wants a trip on testing ground, and in any case it looks as if he has to concede plenty of weight to what look better handocapped rivals. Plenty of negatives, and surprised he has been supported. Also Known As has missed plenty of engagements. He looks out of his depth in the first at Uttoxeter, and is probably running for a handicap mark on ground that is likely too soft. The Composeur usually makes the running in small fields, and drops away. This is much tougher than the races he has been contesting.

Elsewhere, I hope Blenkinsop can extend his run. Today is a much better race, and should give a better indication of his true ability. The Challow is interesting, particularly as the ground must be a doubt for Hermes Allen, Joyeux Machin (already bombed out on testing ground), and Thomas Mor. That leaves the likes of Idalko Bihoue, and You Wear It Well, both of whom have seemingly been impressive in beating not very much.
Report differentdrum December 31, 2022 4:11 PM GMT
From a hat trick day to an absolute load of tripe with every runner failing to finish their race off, most dropping away way before the finish. Poorly conditioned, wrong ground, wrong trip, or maybe all three. I notice some of the lazy media were again describing this as a stable in form. Really?

Highland Getaway was woeful. He was too far back to start with, and never promised to get into contention. There are plenty in the family that liked cut so this was very disappointing. Walk Of No Shame travelled like a winner for much of her race, but from four out bungled every flight, and dropped away very tamely. The exact opposite of her Warwick bumper win where she stayed on strongly. Today she looked like a non stayer. As they always do pundits suggested she raced too keenly. Did they see Blenkinsop? This is the most overused excuse in racing. Also Known As managed to stay in touch until the straight and should do better on a quicker surface. Cawthorne Lad looked a non stayer in that ground. McLernon was riding a finish on Punches Cross going to first and the least said about the others the better. Embarrassing stuff.

The race was not run to suit Blenkinsop, but he has bolted up again. To think I got criticised for suggesting Alice Stevens nearly made an absolute horlicks at Ludlow. She had half the straight in hand. Where do they go now? Ballymore, or Coral Hurdle? I like Hermes Allen, and think he would have a favourite's chance of winning an Albert Bartlett. Given that he handled the ground was it such a surprise that he won so easily today? I thought Cobden was talking absolute nonsense straight after the race suggesting the horse could win over two miles. Today's race was much more like a three mile test than two and a half, yet the jock is immediately talking about speed? Hermes Allen's forte is stamina, but they could easily talk thenmselves out of winning a Cheltenham race if the jock is anything to go by. It should be remembered he only beat Music Drive over the Ballymore trip on much quicker ground. 

Just two runners tomorrow. Has a horse ever lost form so badly for a change of stables as Easysland? He can only be watched. Carrigdoun Boy seemed to improve last tine, and looks to have an each-way chance in a very competitive race for the track.
Report sageform December 31, 2022 7:41 PM GMT
Hermes Allen might be 7lb better over 2.5 miles or even further but he would still win the vast majority of novice hurdles over 2 miles. Awesome today. I know the ground may have stretched the distances but he beat a very useful and experienced Marble Sands by 37 lengths! Jonjo is a law unto himself.
Report differentdrum December 31, 2022 7:57 PM GMT
On a line through Music Drive he wouldn't win the majority of hurdles at the intermediate distance on good ground, let alone two miles. Cobden appears to have been listening to too many Aidan O'Brien interviews. At least O'Brien has an excuse for talking up speed.
Report differentdrum January 1, 2023 4:16 PM GMT
Easysland raced prominently (it appeared on sufferance) to four out, but has ended up falling out of the back of the screen. Perhaps it might be an idea to hold him up, and try and gain a little confidence by passing horses, but realistically he has been in the last chance saloon for a while. O'Neill had an absolute shocker on Carrigdoun Boy at Fakenham. It was 7lb claimer stuff. How on earth did he let that jock up his inside after which it was effectively race over.

As a viewer that was probably the most frustrating day I can remember. Just one split screen after another. There should never be 7 jump meetings on one channel. Does anyone consider the viewer? In an ideal world Racing TV should hold their hands up and admit they can't cope, and the meetings are shared out, but we know that isn't going to happen. So in a week when for some reason there is hardly any jump racing, four of today's jump meetings should have been transferred across the week.

On the racing front Marie's Rock was the obvious star of the day. If she reproduces what she did today she can win another Mare's Hurdle, with or without Honeysuckle. She should now be clear favourite. If all goes well she is lightly enough raced to have a crack at the Stayers next year, if they so wish. At the moment it looks as if she is still progressing.

No stable entries until Thursday.
Report differentdrum January 4, 2023 5:53 PM GMT
Two, on doubt very testing ground at Ffos Las tomorrow.

Destin D'ajonc has dropped a few pounds for a dreadful return. He drops a Class as well, but can only be watched. Walk In My Shoes went up what looked a harsh 5lbs for scrambling home in a poor mare's handicap. This looks tougher.
Report differentdrum January 5, 2023 4:22 PM GMT
Pretty much as predicted today. Destin D'ajonc again showed nothing, and Walk In My Shoes was beaten before the turn into the straight.

Two at Ludlow tomorrow. Perhaps the ground might be slightly better? Time For A Pint didn't show much on his hurdling debut, but that was a much better race than this. Should do better, but will need to if he is to challenge the places. Bethka was a 75,000 3yo store, and along with the Henderson runner represents the best pedigree on show. They would be my two against the field, but much will depend on who handles conditions.
Report differentdrum January 6, 2023 4:46 PM GMT
Time For A Pint was never at the races, but did plug on from a mile back. He might eventually sneak a low grade three mile handicap, but hard to see him figuring in a novice hurdle. If anyone backed Bethka, as I did, you are going to feel pretty frustrated that you have ended up being done by a 40/1 bookmaker special. A few years ago Bethka might well have won, but over the last few years many of the bigger stables are clearly not bothered about winning bumpers, and that lets in the likes of Grace Harris who are bothered. It's made these races much harder to punt, and far too often you just end up with the crumbs from the each-way. As for Bethka she has a nice bit of size, and this was a decent start.

Just the two in the opening novices at Wincanton tomorrow. The Gooner looked very slow on debut, and I would have preferred to see him over three miles, and on a galloping track. With the favourite coming out it is an ordinary race. Montmartin is another 75,000 3yo store from a family that goes back to Allez France. He must have looked the part as the family has not thrown anything of note in recent years. The fact that he has been put in favourite indicates that this is another poor looking race. I would prefer to keep an eye on Sea Village at a much bigger price.

Although he isn't strong in the market, hoping that Arctic Bresil can do trick in the Tolworth. He could be very good, but he needs to jump better than he did on his hurdling debut. If he wins this he could well go second favourite behind Facile Vega in the Supreme market. Outside of that race in terms of quality it is a pretty poor day.
Report differentdrum January 7, 2023 3:58 PM GMT
The Gooner again looked very slow, and expensive. This was the wrong track, but he doesn't jump well, and travels with little enthusiasm. I wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of aid applied. Montmartin (and Sea Village) was never at the races, and was so uncompetitive it was impossible to tell if the ground was an issue.

Following on from Newbury another day's racing on desperate ground. These days the Sandown hill is reminiscent of the slog up the Cheltenham hill in the 70's. It's not a good watch. Arctic Bresil ran no race whatsoever, and it appeared Blackmore hadn't got a clue what to do with him. She could have pulled him up after two hurdles. Connections had suggested he had plenty of speed, but that wasn't an asset today, and I suspect he hated the ground. A rubbish punting day (I imagine I wasn't the only one), and my only winner, Chianti Classico, might well have been fortunate.

Three at Chepstow tomorrow. Inch House showed a little bit on debut, but that form has since been let down. He has an each-way chance in an ordinary race. The other two were part of the Newcastle hat trick. Monbeg Genius outjumped his rival to lead last time, and up 5lb he will probably need to do something similar to see off First Lord De Cuet. Crebilly shoulders the penalty for beating not very much comfortably. He might get away with it, but I think I might have been inclined to have claimed 7lb.
Report differentdrum January 8, 2023 3:23 PM GMT
Two out of three wouldn't have been bad, but not so sure about one out of three.

Inch House looks slow, and again didn't look too tractable in the closing stages. Perhaps that to some extent is the limitations of the jock. Three miles, left handed, with a rail to help in the closing stages might see him sneak a poor race. Monbeg Genius showed a nice bit of versality having lost out on the front end to the spoiler. Perhaps a Midlands/Welsh National somewhere down the line? I did say that Crebilly might have been better under a 7lb claim. Unfortunaley, O'Neill's riding in the closing stages was akin to a 7lb claimer. He was completely outridden by Wedge at the second last, and that made the difference.

Also at Chepstow, at the age of 10, Moonlighter finally turned in a solid round of jumping, and showed battling qualities as well. If only he had done this several years ago he would have been Graded material. So often Ireland provides the sunday quality, but not so much today. A battle of two bunglers in the opening novice where Blackmore got lucky having allowed her mount to consistently lose impetus and ground at so many fences. Appreciate It had a solo, and the feature race was again marred by the removal of several flights. I was disappointed in Inothewayurthinkin who was one of several who never travelled, and not sure why they would put up a completely out of form jock. I am wondering how good the Irish staying novice hurdlers are this season. I can't think of one who looks genuine Grade 1 material for the spring Festivals. Perhaps the Dublin Festival will shed a bit more light? It would be lovely to think there might be a few more overseas raiders this year.

Just the one runner at Taunton tomorrow.

Mammies Boy showed very little on debut, but he runs in the second division of an incredibly weak novice hurdle, so weak he would have to be pretty bad not be competitive.
Report MJK January 8, 2023 4:28 PM GMT
Poor on Crebilly, no need to over complicate it and could have challenged on the outside instead of getting messed around at the third last.
Report differentdrum January 9, 2023 6:22 PM GMT
Mammies Boy chased home Afadil who won on the bridle with the rest well beaten. Probably didn't achieve much, but if he can brush up his jumping he might find a little race perhaps stepped up in trip.

I did think I might have had a reasonable day myself until I found out Ladbrokes had changed their Best Odds Guaranteed to day of the race about two months ago. I think that leaves only Bet 365 who offer the concession on initial prices. As if the others didn't pocket enough money.

Three at Doncaster tomorrow, and winners very unlikely. Big fields seemingly in search of better going. The Composeur isn't going to know what's hit him as he is used to making the running and then fading away tamely in very small fields. Betty's Banjo would have an each-way shout if you can forgive last time, and the rain stays away. Beachcomber looked slow on debut and this is tougher. Willmount would have been more interesting at the start of the season, but already looks expensive given the subsequent performances of those he beat in his point. Call Me Jack was probably put in too big, but Gaspara is yet to produce anything of note. It wouldn't be a surprise if Luckie Seven ran well.
Report differentdrum January 10, 2023 4:02 PM GMT
The Composeur stayed in contention until the straight before wilting tamely as is his want these days. The other two were withdrawn on account of the softening ground.

Willmount confirmed that interpreting the form of young horses can be a minefield. He was probably the one good horse in that point, and maybe a similar story today. Well done to Neil Mulholland, not easy for a second division trainer managing the expectations of a 340,000 purchase. His other winner did me a favour under a nice ride from McLernon. I am still wondering how Paddy Brennan doesn't fall off. One of these days....

Sadly, no proper racing tomorrow. It seems ridiculous the lack of jump meetings over the last two weeks.
Report sageform January 10, 2023 4:28 PM GMT
Should have been Leicester and with the amount of rain forecast, how many jump courses would have ben raceable?. It is disappointing but Saturday should be good cards if they survive the weather and there are some decent cards next week.
Report paulo47 January 10, 2023 4:49 PM GMT
When Paddy gives horses a ride like he gave Hidden Beauty it doesnt matter what he looks like , genius .
Report saxon farm January 10, 2023 5:20 PM GMT
Yes that was an excellent ride paulo47.
Report differentdrum January 12, 2023 2:37 PM GMT
Resume with five runners at Huntingdon.

Sermando seems to go well at Huntingdon, but is up 4lbs for two places, and hasn't won for three years. He wouldn't want the ground any softer, but has an each-way chance. Dana's Gem was fortunate to land an each-way punt last time. Up in trip she has an each-way chance again, but has it all to do to beat the favourite. Manintheshadows has improved at a low level over hurdles, but needs to jump better than he did on his previous chase start. He is another who wouldn't want softer ground. T'Araison has that JP profile of 'hasn't shown much but might pop up when most least expect it'. The strangely named Ilestdancingspirit makes his debut in the bumper. A 42,000 3yo half brother to a couple of winner looks another with an each-way chance in an ordinary looking race. The Bailey and Skelton horses are probably the main opposition.
Report differentdrum January 13, 2023 5:29 PM GMT
One or two strange efforts today at Huntingdon, or our version of Siberia if you glanced at Snooty's get up. Sermando looked to have the perfect stalking trip until recoiling in a couple of strides. A mystery, but nothing reported. Having been very well supported on debut, Dana's Gem having gained that experience was this time very easy to back. She jumped poorly, and was never at the races. Manintheshadows travelled well enough, and held every chance when coming down three out. The well supported T'Araison never travelled, and having been scrubbed along, had nothing more to offer in the straight. Ilestdancingspirit, ultimately weak in the market, stayed on late without ever looking likely to play a serious role. This was one of those bumpers which gave credence to the idea that the bigger stables are not that interested in winning these races. Bookmakers no doubt delighted to see them having their own private race for fourth.

Kateira the class act today, easily defying the penalty.

Just the three at Kempton tomorrow. Collectors Item was abysmal at Cheltenham. He is up in trip, on softer ground, but very hard to forgive such a sorry effort. One things for sure his jumping needs to be a lot slicker. I think he needs to hope that Makin'yourmindup is unsuited by the ground. I have backed Petit Tonnerre and if he reproduces his last run he must have every chance. Just hoping this isn't just a tee up for the Coral Cup. Head Law was progressive last season (had an excuse last run), and if straight enough should have every chance in the concluding handicap.

Monbeg Genius the only stable winner from the last 25 runners.
Report differentdrum January 14, 2023 4:47 PM GMT
Another day for O'Neill to confirm his status as a very limited second division jock, and the future isn't bright because there are no signs of improvement. He just does all the same things wrong on repeat.

There's a mad thread elsewhere suggesting he outrode Cobden on Collectors Dream. He won that race purely because his horse handled the conditions a deal better than the favourite. Had he been more proactive and taken the favourite on at an earlier stage in all likelihood he would have won a lot easier than the eventual scramble. This was the perfect set up for Collectors Dream, and I don't see him cutting any ice if they are thinking Albert Bartlett. On quicker ground his jumping wouldn't cut the mustard. Given what happened with Red Risk the run of Petit Tonnerre was hugely frustrating. The market weakness was strange in that he should have been a single figure price. How unlucky was the interference? If you hold a horse up behind a wall of horses then there is always a chance that might happen. Hopefully, it was just the bungle that caused him to pull up, and not something more serious. The Coral Cup would present the same problems, but perhaps his owner didn't want him to go up from 141 so he remains on a nice mark for the Martin Pipe where he wouldn't have the hinderance of O'Neill? Head Law raced a touch freely, but was only ever going to win on the bridle. He probably has the ability to win a nice handicap.

Plenty of nice performances elsewhere. The pick for me was Blood Destiny in opening juvenile at Fairyhouse. He seemed to go a fair clip and looked in trouble when the pack closed. It takes a fair horse to pick up again as he did, and although he needs to brush up his jumping the trainer looks to have a current stranglehold on this division. At Warwick in jumping his rivals into the ground Haddex Des Obeaux looked like he might be the new Editeur Du Gite. The feature novice was run at a decent lick, and is probably strong form for the division. At a much lower level, Glimpse Of Gala was very game in seeing off her opposition having been pestered for much of the race by a spoiler. Many would have thrown in the towel.

No stable entries until Tuesday.
Report differentdrum January 15, 2023 12:00 PM GMT
It was amiss of me not to mention Corbetts Cross in my summary. He bolted up in the staying handicap at Fairyhouse having very recently been purchased by Emmet Mullins' main owner. The horse travels very in testing ground, and no surprise if he ends up winning a big pot under those conditions. I think he would have easily taken care of the two novices at Kempton. He would need softer than usual conditions to contest an Albert Bartlett, but is definitely worth an entry. Interesting to see if they can get him qualified for a Pertemps as he would really shake up that market if they did.
Report differentdrum January 15, 2023 3:32 PM GMT
Just the two races of note in Ireland today. Impaire Et Passe probably didn't beat a lot in winning the opener. Dropped in trip he jumped well except for being slow at the last with the race won. He saw his race out very well last time so it seems unlikely he will be taking on Facile Vega in the Supreme. Mullins now has the three behind Hermes Allen in the Ballymore market and unless it comes up very soft I suspect at least one of them will outpace the Nicholls horse. In the novice chase Impervious was produced late to beat Journey With Me who lacks a gear. Not sure why the trainer was so evasive about the Cheltenham target. What would be the point of going anywhere bar the Mare's Chase? It seems when JP buys one the trainer suddenly morphs into JP speak.
Report differentdrum January 16, 2023 3:34 PM GMT
Weather permitting - let's hope we don't get too many abandonments this week - four runners tomorrow.

Imperial Bede shaped well enough on his hurdling debut in an ordinary race at Leicester. It didn't appear that O'Neill tried particularly hard, but it was subsequently stated he hung left throughout. If the left handed track does make a difference he should have every chance. Two go in the maiden hurdle over the longer trip. Also Known As showed a little more promise last time, and should benefit from the drop in trip. His stable companion, Regal Blue, looked green in an Irish Point before running away with a poor English version. Bit surprised the first show has him 9/4, and Also Known As at 40/1. Hard to believe there is that much between them. Half The Freedom runs in a poor Class 5 which completes the card. It appears they don't know what this horse wants as he keeps yo-yoing as regards trip. Add in he doesn't jump or travel well enough to make him an enticing punting prospect.
Report differentdrum January 17, 2023 6:48 PM GMT
Just noticed that the previously mentioned Johnnywho has an entry in a novice hurdle at Wincanton on Thursday.

It seems strange to me that they are going down this route so late in the season. If he were to win a bumper impressively he would still be eligible for the Festival Bumper. Not sure at this stage that JP has anything else. Although his point win was 15 months ago he showed a real gear change, and people might just notice that Hermes Allen was 20 lengths behind him. That's going to make him pretty short if racing goes ahead. It's a strange pedigree because it goes back to Daring Run, but recent standouts, including the dam, wanted four miles.
Report differentdrum January 22, 2023 9:17 PM GMT
Five due to run at Ffos Las tomorrow. Let's hope they finally get a meeting on. It's been a dreadful month for jumping fixtures.

There are several weak looking divisions of novice hurdles. Also Known As and Merveillo clash in the second. Also Known As has the better profile courtesy of an improved second run. The drop in trip should help, and you would hope that he might finish in the first six. It's hard to know what to make of Regal Blue's English Point win. Chances are he beat nothing very easily. He should have a place chance in a weak race. File Illico has shown nothing this season, but is 1/2 at the track. Not sure he wants it too soft, and realistically he needs to suddenly find massive improvement to figure. I think I suggested that Pride Rock might be a long term handicap project, upped in trip, after he showed a bit of initial promise. Unfortunately, he hasn't built on that, and although he goes up a mile in trip, the 6/1 isn't very tempting. He should be twice that price on bare form.

Fortunately, Ireland kept the show the road over the weekend. I thought Spirit Of Legend would have won comfortably had he not been brought down. It was strange that Blackmore rode that hurdle as if nothing had happened in front of her. Anyway, this is almost certainly his trip, and a nice little handicap awaits, if not something better. It's For Me probably beat rubbish very easily, and is now a daft price for the Festival Bumper. If you are on Allegorie De Vassy for the Mare's Chase you would have to be concerned at that round of jumping, and it came under no pace pressure whatsoever. I questioned how much Embassey Gardens wanted it earlier the season, and I don't think outclassing his rivals answered that doubt. Unfortunately, we will not find out until the Friday of the Festival. With Nicholls blinkered regarding where Hermes Allen runs, the Albert Bartlett looks very open. Ferns Lock ran away with the Hunter Chase, and looks a very rare quality runner for Telescope. The family goes back to Brown Chamberlin.
Report differentdrum January 23, 2023 6:02 PM GMT
A mixed bag today. O'Neill seemed to spend most of his day doing an impression of a bouncy ball. I thought only bad amateurs looked like that. So no real surprise Scholfield rode the only winner. I strongly suspect he was the only one of the five who wanted that ground.

Also Known As and Merveillo were woeful. The latter travelled much the better, but stopped to nothing. Also Known As was only noteworthy for O'Neill wanting to show everyone how hard he was trying. He could have pulled up after a couple of hurdles. Regal Blue was always travelling like the winner, and is probably worth an Albert Bartlett entry. It was the quickest of the three races at the trip. Chances are he needs this sort of ground. File Illico racked up another letter. Pride Rock did drift, and although eventually well beatent did show some improvement. He was on and off the bridle so perhaps headgear and a better surface might help.

Bookmakers must be raising a toast to Skelton. Particularly poor effort from the favourite in the first. She looks a galloper to me, and dropped in trip, it didn't look as if Skelton made enough use of her. At no stage today did he stretch the second favourite. Strange as he really appeared to want to push the pace against Hermes Allen.
Report differentdrum January 25, 2023 6:13 PM GMT
Six runners at Wetherby tomorrow, although strangely, three are in one race.

Blue Shark is on a good run, but has gone up 6lbs for scrambling home last time. A more galloping track should suit better, but amazed that being 3/3 on the horse, Jamie Brace isn't claiming. I have been very disappointed in Iron Bridge since he won nicely on chasing debut. He may have got lucky last time out when he appeared to finish tired despite finishing alone. He holds several entries over longer distances so it begs the question as to why he is running over this trip. What's the target? He also needs to jump a lot slicker than he has done the last twice. The three in the novice hurdle have shown bits and pieces, but all look as if they are wasting a run over an inadequate trip. It wouldn't surprise me if Hungry Hill has the most ability of the three, but the ground tomorrow is a complete unknown. When The Gooner was purchased for 280,000 I doubt the owner envisaged him running in Class 5 handicaps. He has looked slow and clumsy. He goes up in trip again. If this fails they will be running out of ideas.
Report differentdrum January 26, 2023 4:44 PM GMT
Blue Shark got the job done again. I think he was better suited by the more galloping track. That probably offset the 6lbs. O'Neill still managed to bungle the last, and use the whip in his wrong hand on the run in, but fortunately the horse kept relatively straight. Presumably, a fine will result from the Iron Bridge no show. The ground was always going to be soft. It does seem to emphasise that he got lucky last time. Behind the winner I doubt the novice hurdle was up to much. That said Big Ambitions looks a galloper who should win over further before jumping a fence. Letmetellusomethin didn't see his race out, and Hungry Hill raced too freely out wide. In the last The Gooner travelled better in behind (as the commentator kept reminding everyone), but no better than the winner, and again hadn't got a gear when it mattered. It's looking a bit desperate.

Over in Ireland Teahupoo beat nothing very easily. I am not sure it proved a great deal. His jumping needs improving, and I wouldn't rush to back him even in a poor Stayers Hurdle. A couple of impressive efforts from Townend in the other races.

Just going back to the novice hurdle at Wetherby. I suggested keeping an eye on Sea Village the last time he ran. Today confirmed that was tantamount to schooling in public. On today's evidence he should have gone close to winning that race, but he was never put in race, and O'Brien just farted about at the back.
Report sageform January 26, 2023 5:10 PM GMT
The Gooner well backed but weak finisher.
Report differentdrum January 26, 2023 6:27 PM GMT
I think the winner was the one that was supported. Put in at 7/1 went off 5/2. The Gooner put in at 2/1 went off 11/4.

Weather permitting big day numerically tomorrow, five at Doncaster, and three at Huntingdon.

Two in opening novice hurdle at Doncaster. Playtogetaway was much better last time shaping for all the world like he wanted a longer trip. Does he get it? Of course not. There can't be many yards who so often run horses over the wrong trip. New Beginnings showed nothing on hurdling debut, but that was three months ago so presumably, there has been an issue. Prince Escalus likes good ground and dominating small fields. This looks too tough. Rocked Up travelled well enough last time, but lacked a gear. You wouldn't have thought a sharper test would suit. Talked about Half The Freedom a few times. Not sure they know what he wants, and he isn't one to trust.

Assuming Huntingdon survives I am not sure Trapista has the pace to cope with a drop in trip. Hopefully, this time they might send her forward. I thought Imperial Bede ran better on his hurdling debut than his final placing might suggest. The only problem is why if he hung left throughout is he running on a sharp right-handed track? Lock's Corner runs in what looks a competitive Pertemps Qualifier. He is still well below his best chasing mark, and has shaped as if this trip should suit. There are a couple of lightly raced potential improvers to deal with, but no obvious reason why he shouldn't be in the shake up.
Report sageform January 26, 2023 8:10 PM GMT
Fair enough. The Gooner was only fourth on the Betfair list but a strong second fav at the off so I assumed it had been backed. I know the winner was backed as well-I backed it!
Report swiftynifty January 26, 2023 8:15 PM GMT
Imperial Bede is back out tomorrow , that last run was ?????
Report differentdrum January 27, 2023 10:54 AM GMT
Imperial Bede and Lock's Corner massive drifters at Huntingdon. I know it is a competitive race, but the drift on Lock's Corner appears very strange given he is bang in form.
Report sageform January 27, 2023 3:59 PM GMT
Imperial Bede won very cosily from a big field and the 2 favs were second and third. I wonder if JP had his money down?
Report sageform January 27, 2023 4:26 PM GMT
and Half The Freedom wins as well. Faster ground?
Report swiftynifty January 27, 2023 4:32 PM GMT
non-stayer over further on bad ground?

That Imperial Bede was not too much of a surprise today.
Report differentdrum January 27, 2023 5:29 PM GMT
Two winners and one horse lost.

In the opener at Doncaster Playtogetaway just confirmed he wanted a longer trip. New Beginnings is either currently useless or not over his problems. Prince Escalus was outclassed. He showed enough to suggest he might be up to winning something less competitive in the Spring. Rocked Up was fatally injured. I didn't see it, but today was the day for Half The Freedom (7/1-16/1-8/1). Perhaps the ground, perhaps the jock on for a second time. Although he ended up winning with a degree of comfort he didn't particularly travel like a good thing. I will reserve judgement until he does that again.

At Huntingdon Trapista lacked a gear. Message to John Hunt: it's no good travelling like Nijinsky if there is nothing on the end of it. Another poor tactical ride. One day they might ride her forward. Imperial Bede (7/2-8/1) travelled well and won nicely. Was that just a load of bull about him hanging left last time to cover a poor ride? There didn't seem any problems today beyond a bit of early scrimmaging. Not the most inspired ride you will ever see on Lock's Corner. For some reason today wasn't the day, and only the first four qualified for the Final. I assume JP has got something else lined up for that. Today's result was a glorious one for the bookmakers with a totally exposed horse beating the unexposed improvers.

Following on from Glimpse Of Gala another good, no nonsense ride, from Bradley Roberts on Parramount. A million miles better than the inept effort from Coleman on his previous start. Hopefully, the Stewards had a word with Kielan Woods about his use of the whip on Storminhome. It looked as if he deliberately used it in the wrong hand to intimidate his rival.

Just noticed Blenkinsop has been pulled out. I hope Daly hasn't just taken him out on some sort of whim having stated this was his target all week. It was a bonkers enough decision not to enter at the Festival, but he had every chance of winning tomorrow, and had been backed accordingly. It was strange that he was never listed with a jockey.
Report differentdrum January 27, 2023 7:24 PM GMT
Just the three runners tomorrow, rather like an episode of All Our Yesterdays. It's questionable how much ability any of them retain.

Easysland was bit better last time, but with a similar final result. Clearly a few people have had a dart at big prices, but they are guessing whether he will suddenly see a race out. Front View, a soft ground, hold up performer, for Joesph O'Brien, makes his stable debut in the last. He didn't fulfill his initial promise, and would likely need a personal best to be competitive in this race. Cloth Cap gets his preferred ground at Doncaster. That said he is going to find it very difficult to dominate this field.
Report differentdrum January 28, 2023 5:36 PM GMT
I would have with Easysland you either retire him, or send him back to the trainer who got something out of him. That looks long overdue. O'Neill has masterminded one of the worst declines in racing. Today he made a bit of late progress, but effectively he was never at the races. Even on his favoured ground all too much for Cloth Cap. Once he got cut off at the pass it was white flag time. Little bit of promise from Front View, but he faces that dreaded bounce next time.

Plenty of big events today, but I thought it was a dreadful punting day. Blenkinsop (self certificate) was best of the day by miles, and he didn't show. Hard to believe he wouldn't have featured strongly in that race. That left two small bets, Dashel Drasher and Dino Bellagio. Dashel Drasher was a little bit unfortunate to have to cope with the attentions of Botox Has, and then the only French winner I can remember this season. Lovely bookmakers result. Dino Bellagio was very impressive in the closing bumper. He has plenty of pace, and the Aintree might suit.

The Cotswold Chase just emphasised what an open division it is. He got away with it today, but I don't think you ever be confident in a horse who does as much wrong as Ahoy Senor. The kinks show no signs of being sorted. I doubt Lossiemouth and Blood Destiny are going be too worried about what happened in the Triumph Hurdle. O'Neill again with his whip in the wrong hand got away with it. Editeur Du Gite produced the kind of performance I hoped he could do last year, and the handicap chase looks strong form with the front two pulling clear. Tommy's Oscar was very impressive at Doncaster. I would have that Aintree might suit him better than Cheltenham. Found A Fifty was probably the horse to take from Fairyhouse, although this season is likely blocks ahead of a chasing career.

Four runners tomorrow, three at Southwell and the other at Fontwell.

Two in what looks quite a competitive Southwell bumper. Cawthorne Banker was disappointing last time, and as I suggested at the time you would be hoping that better ground might help his cause. Nitwit, a 105,000 3yo, is well bred being a half brother to Oscar Elite from the family of Lord Windermere and Sub Lieutenant. That would imply he will be better with time, but he is obviously worth watching tomorrow. Smiling Getaway (235,000) was an impressive Point winner, but the form has not worked out, and Norman Fletcher showed promise on debut. Mammies Boy ran well enough behind an easy winner last time, but will need to improve to place again. Spitalfield makes his stable debut in the closing bumper at Fontwell. Although he chased home a one time favourite for the Festival Bumper at Thurles, it is worth bearing in mind he only cost 65,000, and that was probably a very weak race.
Report saxon farm January 28, 2023 5:59 PM GMT
The Duke would turn over in his grave (and have another brandy) if he knew the antics of Jackdaws Castle these days.
Report differentdrum January 28, 2023 7:14 PM GMT
I remember going to the Duke's Open Days. Despite his reputation he was one of the first, if not the first, to embrace the idea of making a stable accessible to the general public. Of course that all that stopped when Jonjo took over. The public seemed to love him as a jockey, but as a trainer he continues to do little more than effectively stick two fingers up to them.
Report differentdrum January 29, 2023 5:27 PM GMT
Cawthorne Banker seemingly had every chance, but didn't produce the kind of gear that the jock expected. Sadly, something of a recurring theme. At least they know he wants a better surface. From a distance Nitwit looked the part, but he really had no place on a racecourse. Clueless. Mammies Boy picked up pieces, but was never seriously involved. Another you might be hoping would be better over further. Spitalfield was given a no nonsense ride, but despite keeping on well in the straight, he found one to good.

Not the best meeting in Ireland today, but Echoes In Rain emerged as the one most likely to chase Marie's Rock home in the Mare's Hurdle. On his belated Rules debut, although never put in the race, Present Soldier (300,000) showed enough to suggest he can win a three mile novice. It's not a good idea to give Mulins five lengths start in a bumper as confirmed in the final race. Built By Ballymore has gone backwards since last year, and his trainer has had a nothing season. Talking about going backwards, Blackmore appears to have slipped back into the pack. She is now miles behind Townend. There was a time when she took charge of races, but now she is forever waiting for something to happen. Over here, as expected Strong Leader dotted up at Southwell, and I suspect he will go to Aintree. His jumping is still not the best.

O'Neill purchased one at the Cheltenham Sale yesterday. With 13 of the 43 lots not selling is the big money on the wane?

Just two runners tomorrow.

Orrisdale steps up in trip at Hereford. Although he has won on his last two visits to the track they were in three and four runner races on good ground. He comes here out of form, and this is a totally different test. Head Law runs at Huntingdon. He shaped up well on his reappearance, and off the same mark looks to hold every chance.
Report differentdrum January 30, 2023 5:26 PM GMT
Two shocking performances, one expected, the other I am not too sure about.

I thought Head Law could easily have been a 3/1 shot today, but there was nothing for him. Everything looked in his favour, but scenic trip, and never looked likely at any stage. Seemingly, a large step backwards. Orrisdale was beaten after a couple of fences.

Over at Punchestown Princess Zoe scrambled a dead heat. On that evidence it looks hugely optimistic to even cross the water. Sa Fureur displayed a nice attitude in looking to out stay La Malmason. Sir Argus threw away the novice hurdle with an horrific round of jumping. He wasn't great last time, but he was even worse sent forward. Rare that you see one from that stable so inept at the obstacles.
Report differentdrum January 30, 2023 6:25 PM GMT
Three at Newcastle tomorrow, trying to repeat the December hat trick.

Although Morning Spirit is the biggest price, he is the one I like best of the three. The trip looked too far last time, and the drop in trip should help. Hopefully, he isn't pestered on the lead. Fame And Concrete was poor on hurdling debut, but given three months off, you have to assume there was some issue. The favourite will be hard to beat, but the Challow form has already taken a couple of knocks. Dollar Bae is up 4lbs for scrambling home, but the temptation to claim has been resisted. Softer ground a question mark as well.
Report differentdrum January 31, 2023 5:24 PM GMT
That hat trick a distant memory.

I was lucky to land the each-way on Morning Spirit. He looked a different horse today, ballooning fence after fence. He must have lost 10-12 lengths at the obstacles. Fame And Concrete was better than on debut, but yet another ridden for a gear he hadn't got. Dollar Bae still wants further and much better ground. Noticeable how few times horses ridden by O'Neill actually make ground at an obstacle. Far more likely to lose it which is a major disadvantage when you are intent on holding nearly everything up.

Hard work today, particularly at Ffos Las. More than one horse travelled best into the straight only to get turned over.

Five runners tomorrow, three at Exeter, and two at Leicester.

Destin D'ajonc has looked completely out of form, and drying ground unlikely to help his cause. Copper Cove hasn't run for nearly three months, and will need to improve if he is to place. Lorcan Murtagh retains the ride on Sacre Coeur. She bounced back last time, but this is an entirely different track, and quicker ground. On The Bandwagon returns to Leicester despite a note saying he jumped left. That was a better effort under Brogan, but it was a poor race, and likely he needs more to be competitive again. Uptown Lady makes her chasing debut after nearly two year's absence. Not so sure getting 4lbs from Moonlighter makes her well handicapped. You would think a clear round would be the first priority.
Report differentdrum February 1, 2023 5:43 PM GMT
Stamina at a premium again today. Even more so at Leicester with the third last hurdle taken out.

The dismal run continues. Bar a couple of days in the sun that sums up the winter. Just waiting for some idiot pundit to suggest the stable is in form. Where's Harvey when you need him?

On The Bandwagon made really bad mistakes on both circuits, and that put paid to any chance he might have had. Uptown Lady got rid of her jock well before the business end, but hadn't travelled with any great enthusiasm. The three at Exeter were about as good as listening to Lizzie Kelly's high pitched warble. Destin D'ajonc appears to be intent on being as disappointing as Easysland. Jumped slowly, and never at the races again. Copy and paste job. Copper Cove did travel strongly, but has weakened away tamely in the straight. Unfit or problem? Bookmakers would have loved him and Max's Champ (one to avoid) being kept out of the places. Weak in the market, and a woeful effort from Sacre Coeur.

Four at Wincanton tomorrow, and it will be quite a surprise if the downward spiral is broken.

Sermando stopped as if shot last time. He would have an each-way chance if you ignored that run, but no explanation was offered at the time. The two in the following novice hurdle look unlikely to be involved. Montmartin showed very little on hurdling debut, and although Rocco Royale showed a little promise in a bumper, that was more than three months ago. I will be keeping an eye on Shuil Ceoil who is again running over the wrong trip, but did show something despite essentially farting about at the back for most of his Rules debut. Dana's Gem took a big step backwards last time, and is another unlikely to figure.
Report differentdrum February 2, 2023 6:06 PM GMT
Another predictable day. The percentage continues to fall, and that's now 21 losers in a row.

Sermando did finish his race off this time, but was fortunate to finish fourth. Montmartin and Rocco Royale raced together in the novice hurdle, but the latter soon left his stablemate behind. He was another who benefitted from a little bit of carnage. Not sure what is going on with Shuil Ceoil. That's twice they have effectively used the racecourse as a schooling ground. It worked so badly he has ended up falling. They have guaranteed that if he ever reproduces the promise of his Point run only the bookmakers will be celebrating. Dana's Gem was struggling with a circuit to run, and took another step backwards.

Big day numerically with eight runners at Chepstow tomorrow.

Crebilly returns after Wedge outrode O'Neill last time. Wedge again very much the one to beat with Doyen Star. O'Neill also runs Anytrixwilldo who was a relatively cheap purchase considering he is a full brother to the stable's Beg To Differ from the family of Atone and Music Be Magic. The mare just seems to revisit Flemensfirth. He will surely need a longer trip, and seems unlikely to figure on the front end. I suggested last time they should have claimed off Crebilly, and it looks a similar story tomorrow. He isn't a difficult ride. Limetree Boy is another who returns after a three month absence. If stripping fit his hurdles form suggests he should have a chance, and drying ground should help his cause. Inch House has looked one-paced, and needs to improve. Drying ground probably not a plus. Monbeg Genius is up 10lbs for three wins, but he was good over course and distance before so I don't see why he shouldn't make all. He looks easily the best chance of a stable winner. Arrivederci hasn't won for more than two years, and has cut little ice in three starts over fences. Hard to see it off this mark. Are U Wise To That is another who looks to have enough weight. Didn't get home last time, and needs to improve his jumping . Better ground might help. By Chepstow standards it looks a weak bumper, but Beachcomber needs to step up markedly to figure. He has already been pulled out once before on good to soft.
Report differentdrum February 3, 2023 10:22 AM GMT
It seems the stable have got their piggy ban out - Crebilly, Inch House, and Monbeg Genius all shortening. I can see Monbeg Genius, but not the other two. Very strange drift on Doyen Star. He was entered in the Tolworth so they must think he is better than Liberty Hunter who beat Crebilly.
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