March 11, 2012 at 13:22 #21203
The Scottish challenge for this week’s Cheltenham isn’t as strong as it might have been, and a couple of days before the start of the meeting the conditions could be an influence on how many runners there are. A few could be keeping their powder dry ready for Aintree, Ayr and Punchestown in April.
BLENHEIM BROOK has entries on the first three days of the Festival. He should get into the JLT Handicap Chase on the first day but the stable’s favoured entry is for the National Hunt Chase on Wednesday as he’s always looked a potentially serious staying chaser improving with distance. The concern is the ground and Blenheim Brook has the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter as a back up in case the Cheltenham surface proves a bit quick. The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase is another alternative.
DEGAS ART should have conditions to suit in the Pulteney Land Investments novices’ Handicap Chase on Tuesday. Purchased out of a claiming last year, he put in a solid round of jumping to see off stable companion Kai Broon in a novice chase at Kelso recently. Degas Art is well exposed though and the likelihood is that there will be a few progressive sorts in this contest.
TAP NIGHT won the Grade 2 Kelso Premier Hurdle in decent fashion, seeing off Tolworth winner Captain Conan in impressive fashion. That performance would put him up in the mid 140s rating wise and looks nicely treated off 137 here. He’s progressed well over the winter, will have no problems with the ground and will have a fair chance. A note of caution is that he may wait for Aintree or Punchestown. There won’t have been many Cheltenham contenders who have wins at Belmont Park and Delaware Park on their CV!
BOLD SIR BRIAN is aimed at the Jewson Novices’ Chase and I get the impression he’s really fancied for this contest. He was far from the finished article last season and early this season, but he looked to have bloomed over the winter when cruising up at Musselburgh in February. There is a doubt about his participation if the ground gets too quick, but if he runs I’d expect him to be in the mix.
BRINDISI BREEZE looks the stable’s best prospect in the Albert Novices’ Hurdle having won with consummate ease at Haydock from a decent field. He’s unproven on the quicker ground, but I think the stable are keen to have a go and he might prove an alternative to the hyped up Boston Bob.
DEVOTION TO DUTY is entered in the Pertemps Final, but he’s a long way down the weights and probably won’t get a run. I note he’s entered in a Beginners’ Chase at Hexham the same day.
QUITO DU TRESOR misses the Grand Annual Chase after suffering a training setback. He will be rested until the autumn.
Ewart gives the meeting a miss, but he has a few decent sorts and it wouldn’t surprise me if he has sound contenders at Aintree.
The small Hawick yard have RED TANBER entered in the Jewson Novices’ Chase. This one has been progressive over the winter, recording five wins in handicap chases. His latest win was off a mark of 115, so he has much to find in this company, but that win suggested that he still hasn’t been tested fully over fences. I suspect he’ll rate in the 130s in time, though that would still give him 15 to 20 lengths at this level. He jumps really well though and that will be a help.
ARCTIC COURT has three handicap entries, but needs a fair few to come out of each event to get a run. The Martin Pipe hurdle in particular is oversubscribed and the same trainer’s LOS NADIS might struggle to get a run in that. I think both can acquit themselves well if they get a chance.March 12, 2012 at 08:32 #395942
Lucinda Rusell reports that TAP NIGHT misses Cheltenham and goes to either Aintree or Punchestown. Keep a note of this one as he’s useful and will go to his alternative engagement fresher than some.
RobMarch 12, 2012 at 08:39 #395944CheltenhamSpecialistMember
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We shouldn’t forget that Hold On Julio is a Scottish horse who, like many of us before him, went down to Englandshire to workMarch 12, 2012 at 10:43 #395956BigGParticipant
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Nice piece Rob. I do like the look of Tap Night, he looked decent beating Captain Conan at Kelso last time out. I think the 20-1 on offer in the Coral Cup is a very realistic e/w bet.
Bold Sir Brian has a shout too, he didn’t beat too much last time out at Musselburgh, but the way he did it was very impressive. 25-1 looks big.
Chelt Specialist, you know my feelings on Hold on julio, I think he is one of the best bets of the meeting. Coral’s 7-1 is too good to turn down. It’s one of the few bookmakers I don’t have an account with ,and as they are offering to match bets up to £50, I might just open one, stick my 50 quid on him, and then stick the additional 50 quid on him too. Makes it 14-1 for my £50 bet. Sounds good to me.
Good luck at the festival my Scottish amigos.
(Englandshire ….oh you are naughty CS….but I like you)March 12, 2012 at 14:39 #395982CheltenhamSpecialistMember
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Watch these "free bets" they rarely allow both introuduction an free bet on the same horse, also beware time limits, rules.
Mrs CS spent an hour online last night on a helpline getting her free bet reinstated after it was declared "out of time" by one of the big fourMarch 12, 2012 at 15:41 #395991BigGParticipant
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Hi Chelt Specialist….don’t worry, I’m an old hand at this. I am aware that more often than not, your free bet is sometimes spread over a period of time, and sometimes is tied into you having so many bets (you qualify after having spent a specified amount)or you get your free bet (stake not included if you win) after your bet has been settled.
The offer with Coral’s is probably the most straightforward I have seen. You open and account, place a bet and within 24hours of placing the bet, regardless if you win lose or your bet hasn’t yet run, you are credited with £50, or however much your first bet was, up to £50 that is.
What can I say…hats off to Coral’s for playing it straight.March 12, 2012 at 20:08 #396044sandwith100Member
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Brindisi Breeze would be my idea of a tartan winner. Has a real engine this one.
Kind of surprised Red Tanber going for the Jewson. Pleased to say i have backed him all season and i reckon he could win a couple more yet. 130 could be about right Rob. Miles out of his depth in this race though.March 12, 2012 at 21:23 #396057cormack15Keymaster
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A few going there with a real chance this year. Bold Sir Brian is a horse Lucinda Russell has been VERY keen on for a long time.March 13, 2012 at 08:35 #396118
Scottish interest is a bit thin on the ground on the opening day of the Festival. Degas Art didn’t get into the novices’ handicap chase, though he has entries later in the week elsewhere. Blenheim Brook is held back for later in the week.
Lucy Alexander takes the ride on Riguez Dancer in the JLT Chase, but that one will have to improve a fair bit on his Kelso effort as he was held when falling there. There is some strong northern form represented in that contest as a Catterick win set up Our Mick for a decent run of wins, and his novice chase effort last time reads well. Hold On Julio shows up for the same contest in magnificent form and is a ‘Scottish representative once removed’!
RobMarch 13, 2012 at 20:45 #396363
BLENHEIM BROOK takes part in the National Hunt Chase tomorrow. I think the extended distance will suit him and the going shouldn’t be a problem. This contest is always a jump into the unknown for novices, but Blenheim Brook is currently 25 on Betfair and there are plenty with less chance.
Lucy Alexander coaxed Riguez Dancer into a fair eighth place after being hard at work at the top of the hill. He looked a possible for prize money at the last but couldn’t quite see the effort through.
Spotted on the Scottish circuit, Cotillion ran a decent race at Musselburgh in February and may be a lively outsider in the Coral Cup.
RobMarch 15, 2012 at 08:37 #396886
Blenheim Brook went well enough to the top of the hill but was on the retreat from three out and not overpunished from that point. I suspect that the ground was a bit quick here and i’m confident he will prove he stays 4 miles in time.
Today’s Scottish representation is principally concerned with the the Jewson Novices’ Chase at 1.30. BOLD SIR BRIAN is the main hope and I think I did well to get on at 48 on Betfair yesterday evening. Lucinda Russell has a very high regard for this one, he has strengthened and improved over the winter and could well belie long odds.
THe second Scottish representative is RED TANBER trained at Hawick by Bruce Mactaggart. This one has been quietly backed by one or two Forumites at fancy odds. He jumps very well, is suited by going and distance and has been progressive through the winter under Lucy Alexander. He has to find something in the region of 30lbs with the principals but hopefully he can at least put up a respectable performance.
Lucy Alexander has the ride on Charingworth in the Byrne Group Plate. This one should have won last time at Ayr but stumbled on landing and unseated as he was going clear. Held up off the apce he may be able to pick off the field in the straight.
RobMarch 15, 2012 at 12:11 #396926Mighty MMember
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Bold Sir Brian N/R. Bugger.
Probably tells you something about the success of the watering operation.March 15, 2012 at 12:28 #396930SirHarryLewisParticipant
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Love Backing Scottish Horses down south…..because the scotmans tendency to take risks with their money, the price is always great .
SHLMarch 16, 2012 at 08:32 #397149
Bold Sir Brian was a non-runner in the Jewson after an early morning course walk adjusged the ground too quick, while Red Tanber jumped nicely but was predictably left behind from the top of the hill. Watch out for Bold Sir Brian when he takes up an alternative engagement, he’s turning into a seriously decent animal.
What looked to be an interesting Cheltenham from a Scottish view point has rather tailed off for one reason and another. However BRINDISI BREEZE is expected to put up a good effort in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. Presuming he carries soft ground forward to the faster surface I’d be surprised if he doesn’t get into the places at least.
Lucy Alexander finishes the meeting with two decent rides. Brian Ellison’s Bocciani has been running well this season and I’d expect a prominent effort in the Martin Pipe Hurdle. The one I’ve been waiting for at the meeting is DE BOITRON in the closing Grand Annual Chase. He was short of fitness early in the season, but looked much sharper when finishing a promising third at Musselburgh and I’m sure he will be in the mix at the finish.
While it’s been quiet for the Scots at Cheltenham expect patience to be rewarded at Aintree, Ayr and Punchestown in April. Then, of course, there is always THE Festival at Perth!
RobMarch 16, 2012 at 12:51 #397196cormack15Keymaster
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I hope Brindisi Breeze runs well – it looks a very hot race to say the least.
It’d be great if Lucy Alexander were to win – I agree Rob that De Boitron looks to have everything in his favour.
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