Not long to go with The Northern Soul – Tommo’s Racing Blog

Not long to go with The Northern Soul – Tommo’s Racing Blog

Not long to go with The Northern Soul – Tommo’s Racing Blog 1440 1438 Dave T.

Not long to go….

Well only three and a half weeks until Cheltenham starts, and it can’t come soon enough. At least unlike the latest lockdown we know when, fingers crossed, it starts and finishes so let’s hope no unforeseen variants get in the way.

Most of the championship races look to be, if the markets are to be believed, two horse races but a lot of things can happen in the days to come. The Arkle sees Shishkin and Energumene vying for favouritism, I would be siding with the Irish horse if both get to the start in good order. The Champion Hurdle is another Anglo-Irish battle at the head of the market. The two mares Epatante and Honeysuckle are both having good seasons and it should be a cracking renewal. Once again, I will be supporting the Irish after Honeysuckle’s impressive performance last time out. The Champion Chase looks at the mercy of Chacun Pour Soi unless Altior comes back to form. The Gold Cup is not as cut and dried, but the two market leaders look to be the major players Al Boum Photo having his usual quiet preparation and A Plus Tard who is on the up. If the ground were testing last year’s winner will relish the stamina test, whilst A Plus Tard might have superior speed on better ground. As always it should be worth watching let’s hope a few pilgrims are allowed in to bear witness. The horse I am most looking forward to seeing is Monkfish in the race that used to be the RSA now called the Brown Advisory Novices Chase. Monkfish was really impressive at the Dublin Racing Festival and just keeps improving. He will not be a betting proposition, but I think we might be watching a future Gold Cup winner if he stays injury free, time will tell.

The Grand National weights were rolled out during the past week and most interest seems to centre round whether Tiger Roll will take his chance. The O’Leary’s said their horse would not run unless he “was fairly treated at the weights”. The dual winner has been rated 166 whereas last year he was rated 170 and still declared to run. The horse is obviously a year older and whether he is in love with game is open to question. However, Gordon Elliot seems happy enough with the gelding’s condition so if Tiger Roll goes for the Cross Country at the Festival that should give connections some idea of his wellbeing.

A good weekends racing coming up not least on Sunday where Newbury have managed to rescue the Betfair meeting which has really enlivened the usual Sunday fare this side of the Irish Sea.

Selection: 2:25 Ascot: Swinley Chase

The first race of interest is on Saturday at Ascot 2.25 a class 1 Listed Chase over three miles. As you would expect for the money it is a wide -open race. J P McManus has four declared so he must be hopeful of adding to his betting pot for Cheltenham ad Alan Kings Notachance should go close as he is an improving seven-year-old. I like the chance of Kim Bailey’s Newtide who ran an ok race first time up at Haydock and has since had wind surgery which hopefully allows the gelding to see his race out. Our old friend Cloudy Glen is declared so no doubt destined to pop up when least expected but at around 12/1 Newtide is worth a bet.

1. Newtide

Selection – 2:40 Haydock: William Hill Grand National Trial Handicap Chase

The other race I liked the look of early doors was the Grand National Trial at Haydock Park. Disappointingly this Saturday it sees only nine declared none of which jumps off the page, Notachance is declared here as well as Ascot so perhaps they are waiting on the ground as both meetings seem destined to go ahead. We fancied Enqarde two runs ago at this track when he unseated, he has since won at Ascot when he stayed on dourly. He won’t be far away come Saturday but he will be short enough in the betting if he were around 5/1, I would fancy an interest.

1. Enqarde

Sunday Selection – 3:00 Newbury: Betfair Game Spirit Chase

The rescheduled Betfair meeting has some excellent races not least the Game Spirit chase. Nicky Henderson has created a stir by entering Champ for his Cheltenham warm up. On a previous visit to the track Champ was motoring toward the water jump instead of the winning post when Barry Geraghty managed to straighten him up…hopefully he keeps a true line on Sunday. At the prices I would be tempted to have a little on Venetia Williams’ Fanion D’Estruval who is a course and distance winner and still only a six-year-old.

1. Fanion D’Estruval

Sunday Selection – 3:00 Newbury: Betfair Game Spirit Chase

The Denman Chase is another corker Clan Des Obeaux will be short, but I can’t see anything unexposed to take him on. I have always thought this trip would suit Kalashnikov and he will like the ground, but he is poor odds for what he has achieved so far over fences. 6/1 or better would tempt me in. Still, it will beat Songs of Praise for Sunday afternoon entertainment.

 1. Kalashnikov

The Betfair Hurdle is the usual puzzle, I struggle to find the winner of nine runner races so hurdle races with north of twenty runners are too difficult for me. However, should someone give me a free bet I would lump it on Gary Moore’s lowly weighted Fifty Ball. If you are thinking of playing in the race good luck.

Enjoy the weekend.


Again, good luck throughout the winter. If you’re interested in racehorse ownership, take a look at the syndicate’s available shares.