by John Burke

January 21, 2021

Good morning all,

Inside today’s main piece you can read my thoughts on two of the races on yesterday’s Newbury card. Plus, I have a couple to note should they run at the weekend and a selection in today’s Somerset National.  

As I mentioned yesterday, reverting to a more galloping track suited Fagan and he took advantage of a competitive mark to win at Newbury.

An intriguing novices’ handicap chase was won by Dostal Phil. Despite being keen the 8-year-old won on debut over the larger obstacles. Given that was his seasonal return, it should set him up for a good season. However, it’s worth noting he has a great record fresh.

Recent C&D winner Funambule Sivola ran a perfectly good race in second but was no match for the winner.

Gray Diamond was also returning from long break to finish third.  The 7-year-old tended to jump to his right which didn’t help his cause but has races in him over fences.

Useful handicap hurdler Harambe didn’t look a natural over fences but probably wasn’t at home on heavy ground.

The disappointment of the race was Birchdale. Maybe his confidence has been hit by his mishap on his chase debut at Catterick but like Harambe he never really looked happy over his fences and finished last of the six runners. He’s certainly one to be wary of although heavy ground probably didn’t suit the 7-year-old.

I was going to look at Haydock’s Peter Marsh Chase today. However, the course is being inspected this morning and it’s not likely we’ll see any racing on the Merseyside track this Saturday.

Two for the weekend

Here are a couple to note should they take up their entries at Ascot on Saturday.

Albert’s Back

Albert’s Back has returned to action in great form winning at Wetherby on his seasonal return and then following up at Haydock last month. He’s been raised 8lb for that latter success.

At his best on soft/heavy ground. He’s one to be interested in should Mick Easterby bring him down from Yorkshire for the 2m 3 ½ f handicap hurdle (1:50). If he does run, he could face the likes of Lightly Squeeze and Benson who finished third and fourth respectively behind Not So Sleepy here in a valuable handicap hurdle before Christmas. Benson in particular shapes like he will appreciate the step up in distance.

De Forgotten One

The bookies haven’t yet priced up the 3m handicap chase (2:25). But when they do it will be worth noting De Forgotten One. Third in the Cross-Country race at Cheltenham last month. The 7-year-old had no trouble in seeing off six rivals back over regulation fences at Catterick 20-days ago. Now 3-8 over fences. He’s been raised 10lb for his last win but remains open to further improvement.

Thursday racing

After Fagan’s win yesterday. I go in search of the hat trick today.


I do like these regional National’s and it’s the Somerset National at Wincanton today. The going is heavy but no morning inspection is planned so they should race.

Dawson City can never be ruled out in these marathon contests. The veteran was disappointing in the Sussex National last time. However, prior to that was only beaten a head at Exeter. The 3m 2 ½ trip is a bare minimum for the 12-year-old these days but Millie Wonnacott takes off a handy 7lb.

The Kings Writ put in a career best when runner-up here last January. He found things happening too quick over 3m at Kempton last time and will be suited by the return to today’s distance. If Harry Cobden can get the 10-year-old in a good jumping rhythm out in front. He can get into the money.

Last time out winners Cyclop and Nearly Perfect head the market and both are going the right way. The latterly in particular is a staying handicap chaser to keep onside. He’s 2-2 here and all his wins have come on soft ground.

Thursday selection:

The Kings Writ – 11/1 @ Bet365 (paying 3 places) – (Sky Bet are paying 4 places).

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Good luck with your Thursday bets.


John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here –

Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TGH Trading Ltd or it's employees.

About the author 

John Burke

John Burke is a long term tipster at the Victor Value service, a contributor to On Course Profits and of course a regular contributor here at the Daily Punt. If you want all of John's selections every weekend and his horses to follow – Click Here

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