Back Cepage at 10/1

Among last week’s TV Tips was Bentelimar, who won. When researching that selection I came across Cepage (Bentelimar was well behind him that day at Kempton), and I was struck by the powerful manner in which he challenged late and came clear. The shape of the race – run at a fast pace – sometimes sets things up for a horse to come and do what Cepage did, but I suspect there was more to it than that and perhaps Cepage is on the up.

I’m a wee bit worried that most of his running in the UK has been right handed, but trainer Venetia Williams had him entered at the Cheltenham festival (she took him out because of the ground) so she must be reasonably confident he’ll be fine going this way round (he did jump noticeably right at the last two fences at Kempton).

At the price, I’m more than happy taking the chance that Cepage will be fine and I make him a recommended bet at 10/1 with Betfair or Paddy Power .

“Recommended” (see here) Cepage 2.40 Cheltenham at 10/1

Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.




Back Identity Thief at 20/1

Identity Thief is surely a daft price at 20/1 in the Ryanair Hurdle (4.20)

Sam Spinner is so short, I think, because everyone assumes that the slow pace was a major excuse for his performance last time at Cheltenham. But it might well be that he simply didn’t hold his form or wasn’t up to the big day atmosphere.

There are question marks over pretty much everything else in the field, while Identity Thief didn’t run a terrible race to finish 4th in the Champion Hurdle. He’s had a quiet season, but should act in the ground. I don’t think the stamina doubts merit the big price by any means and I think he’s solid value and I make him a ‘recommended’ bet (see here) at 20/1.

Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.


TV Tips for Saturday April 14th 2018

Post race update: we started today with a deficit on the TV tips of £21.32. Profit on today’s bets was £16.20, so we’ve done not too bad with the price of our TV racing entertainment since January 1st being £5.12. That’s about it for the Jumps season. I’ll be back tipping on the final weekend, what used to be the Whitbread meeting, and will decide after that what to do blogwise. It’s likely I keep the main tips section (recommended bets) going but we will see.

All the best.


It seems to have passed quickly, but I prefer the three days of the Aintree Festival to the four days at Cheltenham, at least as far as structure is concerned. Anyway, here we are on Grand National day; let’s try to get back in front for 2018 with the blog’s TV tips.


There are two potential hotpots here vying for short-priced favouritism, but I’d much sooner have an each way bet on Western Ryder as well as a win saver on the Skelton mare Momella. Dan Skelton had planned to keep Momella for Fairyhouse next week. He’s also on record as not wanting to risk her in really soft ground. I can only assume that with Fairyhouse likely to be heavy, he has chosen to take his chance here since she’ll get the 7lbs mare’s allowance from the others, and I’d expect to see money in the market for her. The other one, Western Ryder has been running really well this season and last time in the Supreme finished as though this trip and track – especially with the long straight – would suit well. He beat Friday’s winner Lalor earlier this season and I think he will go very close in this.

Western Ryder EW 8/1 and Momella to win 11/1



At first glance it seems folly to take on Petit Mouchoir, a very classy hurdler and a horse I fancied to beat Footpad at the Festival. Petit Mouchoir pretty much lost all chance at Cheltenham by taking on St Calvados in a pounding battle of front running, and Davy Russell will be keen to avoid another nose to nose for the lead here with Shantou Rock. At the prices it’s worth taking a chance with the unexposed mare Lady Buttons. Her trainer Philip Kirby seems determined to win a good handicap hurdle with her, but her racing demeanour suggests to me that she is an awful lot happier pinging fences then hurdles. She could surprise Petit Mouchoir.

Lady Buttons  7/1



A fascinating race where a number of horses catch the eye. I’ll go fo ran EW bet on Hammersly Lake who looks to me twice the price he should be. The reason for this is probably that it’s the farthest he’s run over and the softest ground he’s experienced for a long time. But I think this horse improved for a change of scenery. He moved from Nicky Henderson to Charlie Longsdon almost a year ago and, in his next three outings, bettered all previous Racing Post Ratings. He then went to the USA for a £200,000 steeplechase where he was beaten under 5 lengths.  This is his first run since and I think he could surprise a few.

Hammersly Lake EW 40/1



Sam Spinner is a short price based on his early season form and on the assumption that his jockey didn’t press on with him at Cheltenham and make it a full stamina test. Young Colliver will be under pressure to make amends here and is likely to be taken on up front – for a while at least – by Coole Cody. All in all, things might not be straightforward. I like Old Guard but I suspect the ground, trip and pace will combine to see him fail. The one who appeals strongly value-wise is Identity Thief. He’s such a long price because this is the farthest he’s tried by quite some way. He’s usually campaigned at 2 miles at pretty much top level (he was 4th in the Champion Hurdle last time) so this is a big trip increase. But he’ll handle the ground and is a classy animal who should have a fine chance of making the first three.

Identity Thief  EW 22/1



This is the big one and I can do nothing more than relist the three selections posted as recommended tips already.

Milansbar  33/1

Virgilio  80/1

Final Nudge  50/1


NB The prices I list above are taken from Oddschecker. Depending on when you read the blog and place your bet, those prices might have changed. You can check current prices here


Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.






Final Nudge at 50/1 the final shout in the Grand National

I’ve already sent out Milansbar at 50/1, Virgilio at 100/1 as recommended bets for the Grand National. Rather than betting EW (although the choice is yours) I prefer backing two or three to win. I still like the original selections and am surprised Milansbar is still available in places at 33/1 – I doubt that will still be on offer come 5.15 Saturday.

My third and final selection is Final Nudge. With the ground given as heavy, horses who’ve proven they act on that surface should be at a considerable advantage. Horses carrying light weights should also be helped as those with heavier burdens labour even harder in the mud. There’s nothing notable or newsworthy about Final Nudge (so often there is a story to go with a Grand National hope). He’s just a decent stayer who might find everything aligning for him in this.  His form figures in heavy ground are  2115113. That 3rd was in the Welsh Grand National in January. He’ll have cheekpieces on for the first time this season (he’s won with them before).

I recommend (see here) that you bet Final Nudge for the Grand National with Bet365 at 50/1.

Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.


TV Tips Friday 13th April 2018

Post-racing update:  two non runners left us with £5 staked in total for a return of  £7.90 (1 winner, 1 2nd, 1 loser). We go into Saturday carrying a deficit to £1 stakes of £21.32.  Hopefully one or two long-time readers here will have backed Jester Jet in the first, who won the first, a non-TV race, at 20/1. I’ve tipped her two or three times but sadly deserted her today.


The favourite Global Citizen could be the Next Big Thing so impressive has he been in his last two outings. But a combination of him being very short in the market and, more importantly Irish Roe being far too big, makes me opt for the latter. Irish Roe had been in fine form until running at Newbury last time in the Betfair Hurdle where she flopped badly, running no sort of race and being pulled up. Prior to that she’d run some fine races in very good company and I think the bookies have seriously overreacted to the Newbury defeat. Every horse is entitled to an off day and Irish Roe is worth backing each way.

Irish Roe 20/1  EW Betfair, Paddy Power, Bet365




I’ve liked Terrefort a lot since first seeing him. I tipped him when 2nd at the Festival and won’t desert him here.

Terrefort 7/2  Betfair, Paddy Power



An improver like Balko Des Flos is typically a horse I’d be keen to have a few quid on. But I’m wary of his jumping style; he seems scrappy at best and downright sloppy at times and it speaks volumes for his engine that he’s achieved what he has. But these Mildmay fences just might catch him out and, at the short price, I’m not willing to take the chance. Min is another whose jumping does not convince me; he can look babyish and lanky at times. Min also needs to prove he gets this trip in a truly run race and that he’s over his Cheltenham exertions. He too is very short in the market.

I’ll take a chance with Cloudy Dream, who’s been called more names than L’Ami Serge has. But he is – touch wood – usually a fine jumper and has run really well here before. Track and ground should be fine and he is the choice.

Cloudy Dream 12/1  Betfair, Paddy Power



It’s more than 2 years since Art Mauresque raced on soft ground, a surface he’s run on just 4 time since coming from France where he won on very soft ground. He’s known now as a good ground horse and that has helped his price here.  I think he might be improving and is worth taking a chance with. He ran well behind the top class Waiting Patiently when 2nd at Kempton (good to soft), then went well for a long way (arguably being made too much use of by young Cobden) over 3 miles last time when his stamina seemed to run out. Nick Scholfield, who has ridden the horse in all 6 of his UK victories takes over in the saddle. At this 20f trip he can make amends, although he’ll need plenty of luck in a field this size over the Grand National fences.

Art Mauresque 20/1  Bet365: Wm Hill



The two at the top of the market in this took part in the Albert Bartlett at the festival, a race in which there are no easy runs. They’re both pretty short here too and I’d rather go with the improving mare Roksana. The Skeltons brought her along quietly until moving her suddenly up in class to win a Grade 2 at Newbury last time, her first venture into handicap company. Her two runs before that were easyish victories at Fontwell and Plumpton, although between those two races, from a total of 19 runners have come a total of 12 wins (inc Roksana) and 7 places.

She races as though she’d prefer better ground but has won on soft and on heavy. She also looks like she still has quite a bit to learn about racing which gives me confidence that there is probably still a fair bit of improvement to come. This is a step up in trip but she stayed on well last time in soft ground and, on breeding, it shouldn’t be a problem. Her sole half-sibling, Robin Roe, showed bags of stamina to win at Aintree in 2016 (he too is a Skelton horse although he’s been out injured for some time). Her sire has a solid strike rate at around this trip.

Roksana 12/1 Bet365  Skybet  Ladbrokes


In the 4.05, Skybet will pay 6 places on each way bets and in the 4.40, 4 places, and I recommend as part of today’s stakes you include a £1 EW double with that firm on Art Mauresque (16/1) and Roksana (12/1).

Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.



TV Tips Thursday 12th April 2018

Post racing update: a mixed day and I must now accept that Bristol De Mai is not the horse I thought he was, although his second place did get us a small profit. Grand Vision fell, Diakali carted his rider, who did the right thing in not fighting with him. Hard to believe that given the ease with which We Have A Dream won, allied to his strength in the market, they bothered bringing the disappointing Beau Gosse from France. Anyway, Bentelimar scooted home in fine fashion, helping ensure a £7.10 profit on the day. We go into Friday carrying a deficit to £1 stakes of £24.22

Another Grand National meeting rolls around, extending what is already a long path for me back through the years. My first vivid memory of Aintree was when I was out with my father one afternoon. We met a friend of his who set about describing with considerable drama how a rank outsider, Foinavon, had just won the Grand National.

More than fifty years have passed since then, five of which I spent working at Aintree in the mid 1990s. The meeting always brings excitement as well as memories for me and I hope I can tip and back some winners.

Let’s get started.


Given that she never settled in the Triumph Hurdle, Apple’s Shakira did remarkably well to finish 4th in the race having taken so much out of herself, and, at first glance, I thought she’d be my automatic pick for this. But the race also features her stablemate, We Have A Dream, unbeaten in four races in the UK and in the formidable ownership if Munir and Souede, who have some top notch animals.

Trainer Nicky Henderson is on record as saying he wouldn’t like to choose between these two (although Nicky often says ‘more than his prayers’, to quote an old Irish phrase). What struck me when looking through the field is that another Munir Souede horse comes from France to run here – Beau Gosse. He’s 18/1 while Apple’s Shakira and We Have A Dream dispute favouritism at around 2/1.

Reportedly the owners’ retained jockey was ‘given the choice’ and picked we Have A Dream. But why even mention he’d be given the choice when it would seem a no-brainer? Why go to the trouble of bringing the horse across the channel? The trainer of Beau Gosse, Macaire, is no fool, and top NH jockey in France, James Revelely comes over to ride in preference to going to Autueil. Macaire has no further entries at Aintree that I can see.

Beau Gosse ran at Kempton last time when a well beaten third to Redicean. Connections believe the good ground was against him that day.

All in all, I’d much sooner take the chance that Beau Gosse will spring a surprise at big odds than tip one of the shorties and I make him an each way bet.

Beau Gosse EW  18/1 (Betfair Sporstbook)



Short and sweet as I think Bristol De Mai  has a good chance of winning this. I explain why in this post, sent on Tuesday to those who subscribe to this blog.

Bristol De Mai  EW at 11/2 (Betfair, Paddy Power and Unibet)



Having tipped him for the Stayer’s Hurdle last time, I thought I’d be doing so again with The New One here, but an outsider makes greater appeal. Diakali’s had more than his share of training troubles, eventually leaving the care of Willie Mullins in January in a transfer to Gary Moore.

This will be his first appearance for the yard and his first time on a racecourse for almost a year. But his sole Aintree outing was in this race in 2014 when he failed by just a nose and a head to get to The New One and Rock On Ruby.  He’s reported to be sparkling at home and at the price I’m happy to take an EW chance.

Diakali EW 28/1 (Betfair)



It’s always good to watch any race over the Grand National fences, and the amateur riders get their first chance of glory here over 2m 5f. Most of these runners are a fair age. I quite like the youngster Sir Jack Yeats, who’s just 7, but his jumping style suggests to me that he might not take to these fences. I’ll bypass him in favour of Grand Vision, ridden by the superb Jamie Codd.

Grand Vision 9/2 (Unibet)



Bentelimar is a hard horse to win with, but he’s been running well over about half a mile farther recently. His last run at Kempton saw him fade rather tamely having travelled well. That was after almost two months off and he should be sharper for it. The drop in trip here should help and first time cheekpieces are tried.

Bentelimar 12/1 (Boylesports)

I’ll be having £1 stakes as appropriate (EW where mentioned) on the above and suggest you do the same. We ought to take advantage of the three places on offer and back Bristol De Mai and Diakali in an EW double to £1 stakes with Betfair Sportsbook.

Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile. I’ll update the profit and loss for TV Tips after racing. Going into today, we are running at a loss of  £31.32 to £1 stakes.










Back Bristol De Mai at 6/1 for the Betfair Bowl

Regular readers will know how much I think of Bristol De Mai. Many experts believe he is a horse who cannot replicate his exceptional Haydock heavy ground form elsewhere, nor even go close to doing so. I’m of the opinion that, given the right circumstances, he can. Not only that, I believe he is not significantly ground dependent.

Why then has his form been so inconsistent?

Who knows? On Thursday we will find out if what the horse has needed all along is sufficient time to recover from tough races. I suspect this might be the key, and have done since his comparatively poor run in the King George, which came four weeks after his 57 length victory in heavy ground in the Betfair Chase. There is no way of knowing how that history-making success affected the horse or how much it took out of him. Most trainers are optimists and Nigel Twiston-Davies who trains Bristol De Mai is at the top of the optimism charts. Nigel believes horses are for racing rather than standing in a box.

I had backed Bristol De Mai  for the Gold Cup and was praying that Twister would avoid the Cotswold Chase with the grey. Again, regular readers will know that I consider that race a graveyard for Gold Cup hopes (Definitly Red added himself to the list this year, despite his trainer saying he had come out of the race absolutely fine). Conversely, Nigel Twiston-Davies took Bristol De Mai, (who finished a gallant but knackered third in the Cotswold) out of the Gold Cup about three weeks prior to the race – an almost unheard of move for the trainer, especially as the grey was his only possible runner at that stage.  Bristol De Mai must have been showing very obvious signs of fatigue or some other ailment for Twister to take him out of the race at such an advanced stage. I see he has also had wind surgery.

Anyway, I think the horse ran a much better race than he was given credit for in the 2017 Gold Cup on good ground. He’s still only 7. I believe he has the talent to beat Might Bite and on Thursday we will find out. If I’m wrong, I’m hoping to find out cost-free in that he’ll be second or third in the eight-runner race where I’ve backed him each way.

William Hill offer 6/1 via Oddschecker although I could not find the race on their site. Nor could it be found by clicking on the Oddschecker link. Ladbrokes are advertising 11/2 and I advise you to back the horse now each way with them as he should be shorter come Thursday.

“I strongly recommend” (see here) – backing Bristol De Mai each way with Hills – if they will lay it at 6/1 – or with Ladbrokes at 11/2 to win the Betfair Bowl.

Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.