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Weekend Review & Kempton Selection

Morning all,

The Great British Weather struck with a vengeance at the weekend. Storm Arwen blew in and Bangor was cancelled on Saturday and Carlisle was lost frost on Sunday.

Despite the atrocious conditions Newcastle’s “Fighting Fifth” Day was able to take place. The weather wasn’t as bad at Newbury but the racing did take place in what can be described as real wintry weather.

It was a mixed back on the punting for me this weekend. I was on Aye Right in Newcastle’s Rehearsal Chase and if Fiddlerontheroof has got up in the in the Ladbrokes Trophy it would have been an excellent weekend At least Demachine did manage to grab 5th in the same race so a profit was made on the day.

Inside today’s main piece. I’m looking back to the action from Newbury and Newcastle. Plus, there’s a Monday selection from Kempton.

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Saturday Review

Newbury’s two- day Winter Carnival where the racing videos are worth catching and watching again. You can usually guarantee plenty of future winners will come from it.

It was ideal, no excuses, ground at Newbury over the two days. Ok, maybe not if you’re a winter slogger.

Grade 1 Ahoy

For me the stand out performance of Saturday didn’t come in the big races but from Ahoy Senor in the Grade 2 John Francome Novices' Chase.

Ahoy Senor had been thrown in the deep end on his chasing debut when unseating his rider two out in the Colin Parker Intermediate Chase. The Aintree Grade 1 winning hurdler made no mistake in novice company at Newbury on Saturday. Quickly sent to the front he simply galloped his three rivals in to the ground to register a 31-length success.

He's got power, pace and must have a good lung capacity to be able to race like he did. His jumping in the main was very good. Granted he shifted right occasionally and wasn’t foot perfect at every fence but he put himself right when needed.

Trainer Lucinda Russell has trained some good horses during her career. Ahoy Senor could turn out to be the best of them. There was plenty to like about this performance. He will surely make up into a Grade 1 novice chaser this season. A flat galloping track does seem to suit. So, who knows about Cheltenham? The Kauto Star at Kempton and potential clash with Bravemansgame could be next for the 6-year-old. That should be race to get the juices going.

Cloudy Ladbroke

The Ladbroke Trophy was won by the talented but quirky Cloudy Glen. The Venetia Williams trained 8-year-old, running in the colours of the late Trevor Hemmings, had his day in the sun at Newbury.

The Ladbroke Trophy is a race where you must keep up with pace as it’s hard to make ground up from behind. This year’s race proved no exception. With the winner always in a good position. Cloudy Glen took it up four out. However, there was some real drama at that fence when Remastered took a heavy fall when seemingly still going strongly. In the process he slightly hampered Fiddlerontheroof.

Fiddlerontheroof still ran a great race. He was the only one capable of catching the leader over the final two fences. He was in with a chance coming to the last and stayed on well all the way to the line. However, the line came just in time for Cloudy Glen and he managed to hold on for a ½ length success.

The Willie Mullins pair of Brahma Bull & Ontheropes were never got competitive but passed tired horses to take third and fourth respectively.

It was a fine training performance from Venetia Williams to get Cloudy Glen to win this race first time up. The wind surgery he had at the end of last season seems to have worked. But you have wonder if he’ll be able to produce a performance, as good as this again this season.


Aye Right overcame a slight mistake at the last to prevail in Newcastle’s Rehearsal Handicap Chase. Doing just enough on the run in to hold off the rallying Good Boy Bobby The bridesmaid in several top chases last season finally became the bride on Saturday.

It was the 8-year-old’s first success since his novice chase season. He was always in a good position and not for the first time in his career he got into a good jumping rhythm. It will be interesting to see what plans Harriet Graham has for him. I said last season he would be natural for Aintree and the Grand National and i stick by that assertion.

Fighting Fifth Dead Heat

The weather at Newcastle had worsened by the time the Newcastle feature race was run.

Still the race produced an exciting finish. There were three still in contention coming to the last Epatante, Not So Sleepy and Sceau Royal. It looked like last year’s winner Epatante would prevail when she got her head in front in the final 100yds but to his credit Not So Sleepy rallied to force a dead heat with the mare.

Epatante had travelled powerfully through the race but the rain softened ground blunted her speed at the finish. But for the rain I think she would have won. I don’t think she’s as good as when winning the 2020 Champion Hurdle but she’s better on a sounder surface than she got on Saturday.

The disappointment of the race was the Paul Nicholls trained Monmiral. The Grade 1 winning juvenile should have been suited by underfoot conditions but was never travelling from early in the race. After the race he was found to be lame which goes someway to explaining his poor performance.

Monday Racing:

Three meetings today. We have a six-race jumps card at Ayr and all-weather fixtures at Kempton and Wolverhampton. I’m off to Kempton for today’s selection.


3:35 – Won Love hasn’t troubled the judge on his six career starts. However, the gelding did put in one of his better efforts when a 2 ½ lengths fourth of 9 over C&D 17-days ago. Not the best away the 3-year-old was doing his work at the finish that day. The forecast stronger pace should suit and despite a wide draw in stall 12 looks worth chancing, espcially at the 6/1 available with Bet365.

On Course Profits free Horse Racing magazine

Won Love – 6/1 @ Bet365

Good luck with your Monday bets.


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