No fewer than 8 of my 50 to follow run today one of them Shantou Village is up against the mightily pressive Virgilio making for an intriguing dilemma.
1.35 Shantou Village 50TF,Virgilio
2.10 North Hill Harvey 50TF (pictured above)
2.45 Antartica De Thaix
3.20 The Yong Master e/w 50TF, Carloes Destrier e/w 50TF
12.55 Our Reward e/w
2.05 Young Dillon
2.40 Mister Miyagi 50TF
3.10 Some Buckle
3.45 Katachenko 50TF, Ravens Tower 50TF
12.35 Tree Of Liberty
1.10 Jokers and Rogues
2.20 Present Lodger
2.35 Valseur Lido
Thomas Campbell and a couple of places horses in the 5.05 were all I had to show for my efforts on day 1 of the Cheltenham meeting. Aristo Du Plessis and Cottersrock were particularly disappointing on the quick ground.
Tagliatelle 4.05 returns to hurdling after losing confidence over fences and along with Shantou Village 4.40 runs for my 50 to follow today.
1.50 Keltus and Henryville e/w
3.00 Wolf of Windlesham e/w
3.30 Fox Norton and Boondooma e/w
4.05 Zarib and Pere The Pear e/w
4.40 Shantou Village
2.00 Brio Conti
2.35 Urban Hymn
3.10 Scotswell e/w
4.15 Big River
4.50 Runswick Days e/w
5.25 Present Trend
Yorkshire trained You’re Fired is my main hope in the Lincoln at Doncaster to get my flat season off to the best possible start as did Gabrial in this event 12 months ago.
Birdman is my saver albeit he appears to be David O’Mearas second string.
Over the jumps Morning Reggie, Duke Street and Benvolio are my picks at Newbury. Dormello Mo looks to have a decent chance in the Kelso novice chase and Zephyros Bleu is my nap at Uttoxeter, where Sue Smith could have a double with Special Wells and Good Vibrations
Charlie Longsden’s Drop Out Joe second last year in the Grimthorpe can go one better tomorrow at Doncaster. Winner at Chepstow and The Badgers Ales at Wincanton is a bold jumper and still improving.
Lake View Lad can take the Premier hurdle at Kelso in what is as good a novice hurdle as will be seen outside of the festival’s. After initial jumping mishaps he has looked mighty impressive not least last time at Wetherby.
Same Difference should be better for his pipe opener and can win tbd Veterans Chase at Newbury from Peat The Feat.
The day started with a mention in the Racing Post in a promotion for the excellent Rewards4Racing.
The forecast rain at Wincanton this morning will not favour Drop Out Joe but his impressive jumping display at Chepstow last time could have some of these playing catch up in today’s Badger Ales chase. Caroles Destrier is in my 50 to follow for the season and is worth an interest on his seasonal debut.
All yours was impressive at Aintree last spring and can take the Elite Hurdle on a fascinating Wincanton card.
By contrast Aintree has a watching brief look to a number of contests with horses such as Simonsig, Bobs Worth and Shutthefrontdoor on the comeback trail or what look like stepping stones to bigger targets later on in the season.
At Kelso Kilgefin Star can see off Present Lodger and Creepy on a course he has won at previously.
Today’s selections :