Quiet Times....But Off To Norfolk For A Day's Racing

No I've not fallen alseep. Although with the two-year-old racing slow to gain pace this season there is a chance many readers have given me a nudge. No point writing if there isn't much of interest. This new week seems relatively quiet but there will be a few posts along the way. I will be venturing to Great Yarmouth tomorrow to see one of Julia Feilden's horses The Ducking Stool compete on a windswept coast. I actually have apart share in four of their charges this season and been invited to the course and you may just see me in the paddock. Should be fun. 

Saturday Tipping Competition

Had  a good day at Newmarket - managing to pay for the day with Toormoore. When I saw Godolphin's Be Ready struggling to make an impact (full story at Horse Trainer Directory) I couldn't help but think it must be a 1/5 shot now. To be fare the Grey Gatsby ran a great race and a lovely-looking horse (won best turned out prize). The third week of the Saturday Tipping Competition and things are warming up. Pam showed some form with an impressive 11/1 winner and 24pts. I hear on the grapevine she will be going for a few short priced tips to get the money in the bag. OneEyeEnos heads the Pro Comp with 11pts. However, Bird (9.6pts) & Shukman (9.0pts) are breathing down his neck. I get the feeling there will be a battle for the money this month. Longbow isn't far away with (6.8pts). Epds Racing have 14.25pts and need to add to that tally to catch Pam, but still plenty of time. (1:20PM Deadline).



Tip Selections:

1:45 Kempton         - Be Bold 2pt w (Me Old Mum) 2nd
1:45 Kempton         - Colour Catcher 2pt w (Gareth) 3rd
1:45 Kempton         - King Crimson 2pt w (Fred Pippage) 4th
1:45 Kempton         - Designate 2pt w (Mr Paperhead) Unp
2:05 Haydock          - Shotavodka 2pt w (Jodonovan) 2nd
2:05 Haydock          - Niceonefrankie 1pt ew (Shukman) Unp
2:05 Haydock          - Bold Chief 1pt ew (Epds Racing) 4th
2:20 Kempton         - Ayaar 2pt w (Clint) 3rd
2:40 Haydock          - Getabuzz 2pt w (Betmanmike) Unp
2:40 Haydock          - Carlton Jack 2pt w (Danny) 1st (20pts)
2:40 Haydock          - Hold Court 1pt ew (Bird) Unp
2:55 Kempton         - Broadway Dutches 2pt w (Davidson) 4th
3:15 Haydock           - Cloydy Bob 2pt w (Capt Heathcliffe) Unp
3:15 Haydock           - Forest Walker 2pt w (Mark) 2nd
3:15 Haydock           - Munsaab 2pt w (Uncle Keith/Paul) Unp
3:30 Kempton          - Fraser Hill 2pt w (Worthington) Unp
3:30 Kempton          - Sea Shanty 2pt w (OneEyeEnos) 1st (12pts)
3:50 Haydock           - Bennys Well 2pt w Waterhouse) Unp
5:05 Kempton          - Clowence Estate 2pt w (Stephenson) 2nd
5:15 Nottingham      - Burtonwood 1p ew (Pam) 1st (3.25pts)
5:35 Newton Abbot - Area Access 2pt w (Tecbet) 3rd
5:45 Nottingham      - *Two Turtle Doves 2pt w (Eric) Unp
5:45 Nottingham       - Sophies Beau 1pt ew (Rawnsley) Unp 
6:00 Bath                   - Kodafine 1pt ew (Winter) Unp
6:00 Bath                   - Tablefortem 1pt ew (Racing Mama) Unp
6:30 Bath                   - *Comeuppence 2pt w (Longbow) 3rd
6:30 Bath                   - Ahlan Emarati 2pt w (HCE) 1st (12.4pts)
6:30 Bath                   - Jersey Bull 2pt w (Inittowinit) 3rd
6:30 Bath                   - Lady Bling 2pt w (Coconut)  Unp
6:30 Bath                   - Simply Magic 2pt w (Bobby Talk) Unp


Good luck

*NR Place on lowest number fav


2:20 Newmarket Racing Tip (16th April) HORSESOURCE SEABUCKTHORN CONDITIONS STAKES (BOBIS RACE)

A Conditions Stakes over 5f on good ground. An eight strong field of two-year-olds colts and one gelding. Three juveniles have race experience.

Bill Turner has started the season in earnest and Abscent Friends made a winning debut at Southwell when fancied in the betting (4/1). This son of Showingcasing is owned by the trainer's daughter and ridden by his grandson. This February foal is very much an unfurnished horse with a lot of growing to do and quite dip backed. It didn't stop him from winning is fair style although it is difficult to assess the level of that form. Toytown - who finished down the field in the Brocklesby - wasn't beaten a great number of lengths, although tired rapidly in the final furlong. This looks a stiffer competition and although improvement is on the cards I would favour others.

Flyball ran well in the Brocklesby, finishing third, then won on the nod next start at Leicester. Richard Hannon's youngster was a relatively cheap buy but a good-looking colt, athletic, eager to please, if not a little keen in the early stages. His strength is the manner this bay colt knuckles down at the finish.

He is very closely matched with George Baker's Harry Hurricane. This son of Kodiac cost £38,000 at the yearling sales. Although starting at 14/1, there was money for this bay colt from huge odds on the exchanges. He didn't get the best start but traveled very well mid race and then rallied near the line. With a three pound advantage over Flyball, there is a fighting chance he can reverse the form. Baker's two-year-olds are primed to go well on their second start and although far from unfit on debut there should be improvement.

The debutantes are slightly better in the weight but will need to be talented, fit and primed to beat those with experience. It is interesting to consider that many trainers race horses at this grade because they hold them in some regard. This factor can negate the bias which raced horses enjoy.

Godolphin is represented by their first juvenile runner of the reason, trained by Charlie Appleby. Portamento is a grey son of Shamardal out of a Group 1 winning mare (Octave). An exceptionally well bred two-year-old. The stable can go well on debut. A difficult horse to assess but one to be respected.

David Brown is a talented trainer and teams up with Qatar Racing Ltd. Mind Of Madness is a bay colt who has just turned two and cost 45,000gns. This Irish bred son of Amazour is out of a winning mare. The sire wasn't a sprinter so may this youngster may appreciate further in time. If priced 13/2 & less has fair win and place claims. 

Framley Garth is a cheap yearling purchase at just 6,000gns. This bay colt is owned and trained by David Elsworth. He often starts some of his better juveniles at headquarters although his debutantes can be hit and miss. Unless seriously backed I'd take a watching brief.

Big McIntosh hails from John Ryan's stable and cost 85,000gn at the yearling sales. This son of Bushranger is an early foal (February). Probably best watched.   

Ralph McTell is best watched.

Conclusion: Those raced horses will be primed to run a big race and experience is worth its weight in gold at this time of year. It is difficult to assess the merit of those performances but they have proven a level of ability. Abscent Friends has done nothing wrong and won in fair style but isn't the best looker and has a lot of growing to do. I'd rather watch and learn. It could be a close call between Flyball and Harry Hurricane. The former is a decent-looking colt, while George Baker's juvenile is a little smaller but should improve. I would favour Harry Hurricane. Of the debutantes, Portamento & Mind Of Madness have decent each way claims if priced 13/2 & less. Godolphin's colt is exceptionally well bred and if seriously backed would bring further confidence. If priced allow, Harry Hurricane has fair win and place claims and a tentative selection. Not the easiest of race types to be dogmatic.
   

2:20 Windsor Racing Tip (14th April) GRANT THORNTON MAIDEN AUCTION FILLIES´ STAKES (BOBIS RACE)

A Maiden Auction Fillies' Stakes over 5f 10y on good ground. Thirteen two-year-olds take part, three with race experience. The nature of this race type details form horses are often favoured, while those with a race under their belt are likely to fly, their chances further enhanced by a low draw on this turning course. 

David Evans has made a sparkling start with his juveniles this season. Zermintrudee may have been second string on debut but showed promise. Patience Alexander was sent off odds on favourite for that race slamming the field. Zermintrudee, a daughter of first season sire Zebedee and cheap yearling purchase at 4,000euros, was outpaced on debut but looks a progressive juvenile. It could be the case this bay filly was inexperienced, didn't enjoy the kick-back, or may even appreciate a stiffer trip. The mare raced over sprint distances at two, so it was mostly likely inexperience, indicated by her 33/1 starting odds. She ran on well to finish runner-up, only finding her stride late on. The stable have fair win and place claims with their juveniles when fancied on their second start. I would imagine this April foal will be brighter from the stalls although their is always a concern she may be outpaced and playing catch up. 

Sparbrook ran in the same race, finishing third, beaten three-quarters of a length. This daughter of Kodiac cost 11,000euros. George Baker's youngster showed more pace than the above mentioned but was only battling for minor honours against the easy winner. The stable usually have their two-year-olds primed for a big race second start, which adds interest, although in some respects she needs to improve. The betting is key with this filly and if fancied would give hope. For horse trainer quotes visit Horse Trainer Directory - 100% Free Trainer Quotes. 

That debut was a full maiden, while by race type this is a weaker contest. However, it is difficult to assess the merit of that debut form, as they looked a bit of a motley crew. With the winner trouncing the opposition it could limited those in behind or perhaps the winner is a star. That is the problem with early-season form and until you have a benchmark you are always taking a risk. Zermintrudee & Sparbrook hold claims as long as they are fancied in the market.

David Evans is represented by another raced juvenile - Low Cut Affair. She finished fourth behind the impressive Tiggy Wiggy. The second, Charlie's Star, ran a storming race next start, while the sixth showed little. The betting is the best guide to the Evans respective chances.

Of the debutantes, the betting will be the best starting point. While a handful of trainers can go well with horses on their racecourse bow others are likely to need the run.

Polar Vortex is owned by Alan Craddock, who is no stranger to a talented horse (Lethal Force) purchased by trainer Clive Cox for £26,000. She is a full sister to Electric Qatar. This chestnut filly isn't two until later this month. If priced 13/2 & less this horse has fair win and place claims. A relatively wide draw is a negative.

Michael Bell has his first two-year-old runner. Arousal is a cheap £8,000 daughter of Stimulation out of a winning Irish mare. Bell can send out debut winners although those which prove victorious are usually talents. In general, I would rather take a watching brief. 

Another trainer who is worth noting on debut is Eve Johnson Houghton. Karluk is a daughter of Kodiac cost 13,500euros. In truth the stable do not feature the best strike rate on debut unless exceptionally well backed. 

The rest of the debutantes are likely to need the run.

No One Knows is a home bred owned by Gary and Linnet Woodward. John Hills  knows this family John Hills well. The mare won at two -  a capable type in the same ownership. A wide draw isn't ideal and the stable's youngsters often improve with racing.

June's Moon hails from John Portman's stable. His two-year-olds do spring the odd surprise on debut but best watched.

Frozen Princess has a wide draw which is often be problematic and the stable are better second start. 

Similarly the better drawn Mylaporyours & Magical Daze are best watched unless strongly backed. 

Itsindebag & Kidmeforever are both cheap buys, trained by Stan Moore. This stable can have the odd debut winner at speculative odds and the latter's owners had Kidmenot, who wasn't a bad horse last year. Best watched.

Conclusion:  Race experience often gives a winning edge in these restricted auction races. In addition, a low draw is an advantage, especially with those who have a run under their belt. A high draw is a negative and if tardy from the stalls it will take a fair sort to win. Zermintrudee & Sparbrook look to hold an advantage. The former will need to be sharper and it isn't beyond the realms she is slightly tapped for toe. David Evans doesn't let the grass grow under his horse's hooves and she could well be primed for the day and looks the type to finish her race which is always a strength. Sparbrook shouldn't be ignored and if strongly fancied in the betting could well make a fight of this. If weak in the betting I would consider Zermintrudee holds the aces. Of the debutantes, Polar Vortex has claims if priced 13/2 & less. A wide draw is a negative although Cox is a talented trainer. The others are best watched unless strongly backed. 

Saturday Tipping Competition

The second week of the Saturday Tipping Competition. New Pro entrant OneEyeEnos proved to have perfect timing with a nice winner and leads on 11pts. Other Pro contestants are on his tail with Shukman (9pts) and Bird (7pts). Epds Racing sit is second position with 9.25pts. Still plenty to play for so get those bets in and make hay while the sun shines. 1:20PM Deadline. 














Tipster selections:

1:50 Newbury             - Khione 2pt w (Uncle Keith/Paul) 5th
2:20 Newbury             - J Wonder 1pt ew (Longbow) (Pro) 1st (6.8pts)
2:20 Newbury            - Beldale Memory 1pt ew (Winter) (Pro) Unp
2:20 Newbury            - Joyous 2pt w (Clint) (Pro) 3rd 
2:40 Ayr                      - Montbazon 1pt ew (Shukman) (Pro) Unp
2:40 Ayr                      - Court Minstrel 1pt ew (Bird) (Pro) 2nd (2.6pts)
2:40 Ayr                      - Flaxen Flare 2pt w (Mr GoGoJo) Unp
2:55 Newbury             - Supplicant 2pt w (Bobby Talk) (Pro) Unp
2:55 Newbury             - Berkshire 2pt w (Inittowinit) (Pro) Unp
2:55 Newbury             - Night Of Thunder 2pt w (HCE) (Pro) 2nd
2:55 Newbury             - Golden Town 2pt w (Danny) 6th
3:30 Newbury             - Brownsea Brink 2pt w (OneEyeEnos) (Pro) 3rd
3:30 Newbury             - Brownsea Brink 1pt ew (Stephenson) 3rd (3pts)
3:30 Newbury            - Spa's Dancer 2pt w (Betmanmike) (Pro) 2nd
3:30 Newbury            - Sweet Lightning 1pt ew (Walsh) Unp
3:30 Newbury            - Moonday Sun 2pt w (Capt Heathcliffe) Unp
3:50 Ayr                      - Merry King 1pt ew (Epds Racing) 4th (5pts)
3:50 Ayr                       - Battle Group 1pt ew (Davies) Unp
3:50 Ayr                       - Adrenalin Flight 1pt ew (Racing Mama) Unp
3:50 Ayr                       - Nuts And Bolts 1pt ew (Mark) Unp
3:50 Ayr                       - Roberto Goldback 2pt w (Davidson) (Pro) Unp
4:35 Thirsk                  - Oh Ma Lad 2pt w (Worthington) (Pro) Unp
4:35 Thirsk                  - Elidor 2pt w (Pam) 1st (24pts)
4:35 Thirsk                  - Aviator 2pt w (Me Old Mum) Unp
4:35 Thirsk                  - Tepmokia 2pt w (Gareth) Unp
4:35 Thirsk                  - Dark Ruler 2pt w (Fred Pippage) 2nd
4:50 Bangor                 - Midnight Oscar 2pt w (Tecbet) (Pro) 4th  
4:50 Bangor                 - Lisheen Hill 2pt w (Jodonovan) (Pro) Unp
5:50 Wolverhampton - Whipphound 2pt w (Eric) (Pro) Unp
6:15 Thirsk                  - Keep It Dark 1pt ew (Rawnsley) Unp
8:20 Wolves                 - Goldmadchen 2pt w (Waterhouse) 3rd

Good luck to all 



   

2:00 Newbury Racing Tip (11th April) AL BASTI EQUIWORLD EBF STALLIONS MAIDEN STAKES (Bobis Race) (CLASS 4) (2yo)

An EBF Maiden Stakes over 5f34y on good to soft going. Fair prize money for this fourteen-strong field of twelve colts and two fillies, one raced. A number of leading stables represented and starting point for a good few talented horses. 

David Elsworth won this contest last year with Justice Day. This multiple-winning two-year-old colt proved consistent -  including an outstanding third in the Middle Park Stakes (Group 1).

David Elsworth has his first two-year-old runner, similarly owned in the silks of Robert Ng. Justice Good is a March foal by Acclamation who cost 65,000gns at the yearling sales. This bay colt is out of a winning mare, who didn't race at two. It could be the case that Elsworth targets this race with his precocious juveniles. However, he features a poor strike rate with his debutantes. The stable's youngsters can win if priced 10/1 & less on debut but they can be very hit and miss. This will be a competitive betting heat I would consider a bold show if strongly fancied. If weak in the markets this horse may need the run.

Richard Hannon has sent out three two-year-old horses this season and all have won. The stable have a wealth of talented juveniles and they have done well in this race. Last year they had the runner-up in Steventon Star, Malachim Mist (8th) & Biography (12th). All went on to win, the two former winning at Stakes class. 

Be Bold is a son of Assertive out of a poor mare, which cost £20,000 at the yearling sales. This February foal was quoted by Hannon as ''working well up at Everleigh on Tuesday''. *Crafty Choice is ridden by Ryan Moore. Similarly purchased by Peter & Ross Doyle Bloodstock Ltd, this bay colt cost 70,000gns. This March foal isn't quite two and sired by Intikhab out of a a talented five-time winning mare, trained by Hannon Snr. The betting is the best guide to their respective chances and the most favoured in the betting should have sound each way claims.

Another talented trainer of two-year-olds is Richard Fahey. Ballymore Castle is a brown colt by Invincible Spirit out of a Group 3 winning mare who liked a trip. The betting is the best guide and if priced 13/2 & less has fair win and place claims.

John Gosden is represented by his first two-year-old runner of the season. Kasb is an exceptionally well bred son of Arcano out of a fantastic mare, Cape Columbine, who may have only one win in her career but competed at Group 1 level on four occasions. This horse is wearing the second colours for Hamdan Al Maktoum. The second string often go well for this owner. The stable have respectable win and place claims with horses priced 13/2 & less, especially if strongly fancied. 

It is interesting to see Paul Hanagan booked to ride Kibaar, trained by John Hills. This son of Pastoral Pursuits rose in price from 16,000gns as a foal to a 100,000gns yearling. Hills doesn't inspire confidence with his debutnates although on the other side of the coin he has few juveniles fancied on their racecourse bow. If strongly fancied I would take this horse as having ability. 

Mick Channon has been a little slow with his juveniles this early part of the season (not that there has been many races) and King Crimson has a wide draw (1) which isn't the best starting point. Channon's debutantes have fair win and place claims if priced 8/1 & less but few horses win outside this guide. 

Kennet Valley Thoroughbred Ltd are a syndicate who are always worthy of respect - they have the knack of finding talented two-year-olds. This son of first season sire Zebedee looks a good purchase at 35,000euros. Charlie Hills said: ''Magical Memory has always been forward at home and done enough to do himself justice.'' [Information found via Horse Trainer Directory]. The stable have fair each way claims when their juveniles are priced 13/2 & less on debut.     

I'm a big fan of Olly Steven's stable. He made a huge impact on his formative season and his first juvenile of this campaign is The Paco Kid. From a small sample it is still quite difficult to get a handle on Robin Farm Racing. However, they were represented by Green Door in this race last year who went on to win the Flying Childers Stakes (Group 2). If priced 13/2 & less would be high on the short list.     

The only form horse in this field is one of two fillies, trained by David Evans. This handler has his juveniles fit and forward. He is a canny trainer and should be respected. This daughter of Hellvelyn was a cheap buy at just £3,000. This bay finished second on debut at Kempton, although hammered by Tiggy Wiggy. Richard Hannon said they were surprised their winner had such a decisive success.  A talented horse without doubt. It is difficult to assess the merit of Charlie's Star. She will be fit and most probably set the pace but not a horse I would back because this will be a stiffer task.  

Diamond Sam is a home bred son of Compton Place out of a Group raced mare, who run in the same silks as Mrs Philip Snow. Sylvester Kirk has a poor strike rate with debutantes and unless seriously backed is best watched.  

Arlecchino's Leap is trained by Mark Usher and cost 20,000gns at the yearling sales. The stable have a poor strike rate with debutantes although their first runner, Spindle, ran well when second at Southwell. 

Royal Street & Now Say Boooom are best watched. 

Conclusion: A difficult race to be too dogmatic. The betting will need to settle to give a better understanding of these leading trainers. The likes of Hannon, Fahey, Gosden, Channon, Hills & Olly Stevens are all capable of sending out debut winners. In addition, David Elsworth may earmark this race for a decent early type. All have fair win and place claims if priced 13/2 & less. It's intriguing to see John Hills' Kibaar racing in the first colours. There is conflict with the trainer having a poor strike rate on debut although he doesn't have many at short odds. A difficult horse to assess. A fascinating race but a watching brief.  

*NR [Crafty Choice]
     

      

2:20 Redcar (7th April) REDCAR RACECOURSE CHEAPEST ADMISSION IN GREAT BRITIAN MAIDEN AUCTION STAKES (CLASS 5) (2yo)

Quite a restricted Maiden Auction Stakes race over 5f on good to soft ground. Twelve two-year-olds take part: three colts, nine fillies, horses weighted with regard to their yearling sales price. A number of leading trainers compete with three raced horses against the majority of debutantes. 

Paddy Again will be the horse of interest for many. This daughter of Moss Vale gained a few column inches being Bill Turner's star turn in the Brocklesby Stakes. This race heralds the start of the Flat turf season and favoured by this handler from Sigwells Farm. This bay filly isn't the best bred but she ran a cracking race to finish second to Cock Of The North. She travelled well on debut and touched short odds in-running, but couldn't hold the late challenge of the winner trained by Scott Dixon. Paddy Again had been well schooled, educated, race fit, and beaten on merit. The form has been franked by third placed Flyball, who won narrowly at Leicester on his second start. This March foal is quite well in at the weights, especially with her apprentice jockey taking a valuable five pounds off her back. It is still too early to assess the Brocklesby form although it would be a surprise if this filly wasn't good enough to win an average race. The horse to beat but at prohibitive odds there is always the fear there could be a horse or two with ability in the field.

Penalty Scorer finished ninth in the Brocklesby. Richard Guest's filly showed inexperience but an element of promise that day, before tiring in the closing stages. She looks well held by the likely favourite although the trainer's juveniles often improve a good deal for their first start. Best watched - but shouldn't be disgraced.

Jo Hughes trains the only other horse with racecourse experience, making a hasty return after three days. *Multi Quest was left trailing behind Patient Alexander at Wolverhampton when starting at odds of 33/1. It is difficult to assess the form of that race although significant improvement must be needed. Worth a look if seriously backed.

A number of debutantes hail from leading trainers, many capable of sending out two-year-olds winners on their racecourse bow. However, this race is a of a restrictive nature which often favours those with experience.

Tagtale is a cheap yearling purchase at 7,000euros. Richard Fahey is an exceptional trainer of two-year-olds - one of the best for priming a debut winner. The trainer has a decent strike rate at this course although in ways Patrick Mathers may be a negative jockey booking. The betting is the best guide. If priced 13/2 & less this bay filly has fair win and place claims. 

Another trainer who knows his juveniles is Bryan Smart. One of just three colts in the field, River Compton is a relatively cheap yearling purchase at £10,000. This son of Compton place isn't two until the end of the month and out of a winning mare. The stable often send out their better two-year-olds early season. Although renowned as a prolific debut-winning trainers their youngsters do seem to struggle to taste victory on their initial start. If priced 13/2 & less it would bring more confidence. A horse I would rather watch today. 

Tom Dascombe has fielded three juveniles this season and all have looked inexperienced. Diatomic is a bay colt of Bushranger who cot 15,000euros at the yearling sales out of a poor mare who didn't race until three. This stable are capable of tasting victory on debut and it is a plus to be a colt against mostly fillies. The betting is the best guide. Most of the stable's winner are priced 11/2 & less. If weak in the market I would leave alone.

Drag Line is the most expensive in the field at 17,000gns and top weighted. This Irish-bred colt is out of first season sire Stimulation. Tim Easterby features a poor strike rate with his two-year-olds on debut and best watched.

Esk Valley Lady & Lazy Days In Loule are similar. 

Binky Blue was purchased by Tony Coyle for 13,000euros. This is very much a gambling stable and money is worth noting. 

Micheal Dods is a trainer I always note with his debutantes as they can win at speculative odds. They often slip under the radar and particularly interesting on soft ground. Reet Petite is a daughter of first season sire Fast Company (a sire who has been complimented by a number of trainers). The owner hasn't had a horse in training for a number of years but had success with John O'Groats back in 2002 with this handler. This stable is often worth an each way speculative punt on debut especially at fancy odds. It is difficult to assess whether the apprentice is a positive or a negative booking. 

Last but not least is Sarista. This February foal cost £12,000 at the yearling sales. A bay daughter of Kodiac out of an unraced mare. David Barron is worth noting on debut, especially if his juveniles are priced 10/1 & less. One for the short list if supported in the betting.

Conclusion: Paddy Again sets the standard after a cracking debut in the Brocklesby. She has plenty of pace, experienced, fitness & ready to win. The negative will be the short odds on offer. The nature of these restricted races details that form horses hold an advantage but that doesn't mean others cannot prove a problem. Although held by their earlier form, Penalty Scorer will be wiser for her first start. I would take a watching brief but Guest's youngster will do better today. The major debutante hopes include: Diatomic, Compton River, Tagtale, Sarista & Binky Blue. All have decent win and place claims at 13/2 & less. Reet Petite is an intriguing runner and may be worth a speculative punt if available at huge each way odds. I do have slight concerns about the jockey booking which temper my enthusiasm. On balance Paddy Again is the horse to beat but not a bet for me. 

*NR

Saturday Tipping Competition


A new month arrives and I can hear the regulars chomping at the bit for the Saturday Tipping Competition. I'm forever hopeful we will tempt a few of the Free Competitors to try their luck in the Pro ranks. What is £10 for a month's worth of excitement when most people throw tenners around for fun. Give the competition a go - take it seriously - and you could pocket £100+. 1:15PM Deadline.      



Tip selections:

1:30 Aintree                - Lac Fontana 2pt w (OneEyeEnos) [New Pro Entrant] 1st (11pts)
1:30 Aintree                - Oscar Hoof 2pt w (Danny) Fell
1:30 Aintree                - Kayf Moss 2pt w (Cap Heathcliffe) Unp
2:05 Aintree                - Balder Success 2pt w (Shukman) (Pro) 1st (9pts)
2:05 Aintree                - Next Sensation 2pt w (Walsh) Unp
2:50 Aintree                - Thousand Stars 2pt w (Uncle Keith/Paul) Unp
2:50 Aintree                - At Fishers Cross 2pt w (Jodonovan) (Pro)  2nd
3:45 Chepstow            - *Destroyer Deployed 2pt w (Bird) (Pro) 1st (7pts)
3:25 Aintree                - Victor Hewgo 2pt w (Stephenson) Unp
3:55 Newcastle            - Magnolia Ridge 2pt w (Tecbet) (Pro) Unp
4:15 Aintree                 - Rocky Creek 1pt ew (Longbow) (Pro) 5th
4:15 Aintree                 - Chance Du Roy 2pt w (Betmanmike) (Pro) 6th
4:15 Aintree                 - Last Time Dalbain 2pt w (Worthington) (Pro) Unp
4:15 Aintree                 - Big Shu 2pt w (Inittowinit) (Pro) Fell
4:15 Aintree                 - Tidal Bay 1pt ew (Bobby Talk) (Pro) Fell
4:15 Aintree                 - Colbert Station 1pt ew (Clint) (Pro) Unp
4:15 Aintree                 - The Package 2pt w (Racing Mama) Unp
4:15 Aintree                 - Our Father 1pt ew (Fred Pippage) Fell
4:15 Aintree                 - Rose Of The Moon 2pt w (Pam) Unp
4:15 Aintree                 - Monbeg Dude 2pt w (Gareth) 7th
4:15 Aintree                 - Double Seven 2pt w (Me Old Mum) Unp
4:15 Aintree                 - Wayward Prince 1pt ew (Mark) Unp
4:15 Aintree                 - Alvarado 1pt ew (Epds Racing) 4th (9.25pts)
4:15 Aintree                 - Hawks Point 1pt ew (Winter) (Pro) Unp
4:50 Chepstow            - Chemistry Master 2pt w (Davidson) (Pro) Unp
5:35 Newcastle            - Masked Dance 2pt w (Rawnsley) Unp
5:50 Wolverhampton - Cadmium Loch 2pt w (Eric) (Pro) Unp
7:20 Wolverhampton - Macarthurs Park  2pt w (HCE) (Pro) 4th
8:50 Wolverhampton - Life And Times 2pt w (Waterhouse) 1st (2.72pts)

Total Prize Fund £160

*Non runner - placed on lowest number favourite


Good luck to all

2:20 Leicester (4th April) KNIGHTON MAIDEN STAKES (CLASS 5) (2yo)

A Maiden Stakes over 5f 2y on good to soft ground. Twelve two-year-olds take part: eight colts, one gelding and three fillies from a selection of leading juvenile trainers. All horses are making their debut bar Flyball who finished an admirable third in the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes. 

Experience is a huge positive at this time of year. Flyball, trained by Richard Hannon, is an ideal candidate to prove the benefit of a first start. This March foal, owned by Middleham Park Racing, was a cheap yearling purchase by Ross Doyle Bloodstock for £9,000 out of a limited, sprinting mare, trained by the late Terry Mills. This bay colt may have been a little weak in the betting on debut. However, he showed ample promise to finish third behind Cock Of The North. The Brocklesby is a fair measure of ability and he should improve for that initial start. Flyball knew his job at Doncaster: quick from the stalls, in contention, if not slightly outpaced mid race, before running on at the finish. He doesn't look the to have ample pace but against this field of debutantes should lead or just sit off the pace. It is a positive he runs to the line. Many of the newcomers are likely to be tiring at the finish or given a tender introduction. It is always a strength to finish a race. The only negative is a wide draw. Stall one leaves a horse prone to run into space and although experience will lessen this factor it is something to consider. I would expect Levey [jockey] to make a bold show and the draw shouldn't be too much of a negative. This colt may have been a cheap buy but he is a fair-looking juvenile, quite tall and athletic. An honest type who will run his race. It will take a fair juvenile to beat him on debut. It must be noted that the form of the Brocklesby has yet to be tested - so caution is always the best policy. However, if each way prices allow - a fair bet.

Richard Fahey is a class act when it comes to training two-year-olds. He is one of few trainers who features a similar win rate with horses on their first and second start. Very few handlers come close to such exploits - the mark of horses primed to go well on their racecourse bow. Burtonwood catches the eye. This son of Acclamation is out of a poor-winning mare but certainly caught the attention of many at the sales. This January foal must be a good-looking colt because he was sold for 150,000gns at the yearling sales in joint ownership of David Armstrong & Cheveley Park Stud. With such a price tag, high-profile trainer & auspicious owners this must be a talking horse. The stable can deliver impressive debutante winners and one to respect. A relatively wide draw is not ideal but an intriguing horses. 

Brazen Spirit comes here after being balloted out of the Brocklesby, which is a strange occurrence. This grey son of first season sire Zebedee was purchased by the trainer for £20,000 at the yearling sales. Clive Cox is a talented handler and he can prime a horse to go well on debut. Certainly a high rail draw could be an advantage if fast from the stalls. The betting will be the best guide to this February foal's chances. If priced 13/2 & less he has sound win and place claims. 

Another trainer associated with class juveniles is Kevin Ryan. Fast Act is a chestnut colt by first season sire Fast Company. He cost £38,000 at the yearling sales and related to a good few winners. This horse runs in the familiar silks of Hambleton Racing Ltd. He is one of the youngest in the field, not quite two (16th April). Just under half of all Ryan's juveniles start 13/2 & less o their debut run. The majority of their winners are priced 7/1 & less but they do have a few beyond this guide. The stable feature a respectable win rate on debut although they can be rather hit and miss. 

London Life was entered to run at Lingfield but a non runner. This daughter of Approve cost 38,000euros at the yearling sales and an early foal. It is slightly concerning that she looked to be second string on her intended start although Kingscote takes the ride today. The betting is the best guide and if priced 7/1 & less would have fair win and place claims. I wouldn't back this horse early on the exchanges, as if needing the run she will most likely drift in the betting.

David Evans has the approach of throwing a lot of two-year-old at this first part of the season with the aim of taking advantage of limited races, fit horses and a talent or two. Cheerio Sweetie made an impressive debut to win at Lingfield and fields four horses of an intended five runners. Verchild Lad, Josie Joe, Hard To Find & Come Uppence are all cheap buys. The betting is the best guide and if priced 13/2 & less it would be a sign of confidence. A watching brief if weak in the market.

Chester Deal is related to Marilyn Marquessa who showed some pace at two but a limited horse. Jo Hughes' stable often like to gamble and a market move would be a sign of interest. However, this colt is best watched.

Harry Hurricane makes his debut for George Baker. This son of Kodiac is out of a winning mare and cost £38,000 at the yearling sales, increasing his price from foal. This bay colt isn't two until 24th April. The stable's juveniles usually benefit for the run unless they are substantially backed. I'd take a watching brief unless the floodgates open, as most of their youngsters are primed for their second start.

Bill Turner is another trainer who isn't shy when it comes to racing his two-year-old horses and Lady Bling didn't look to go through the sales ring. This daughter of Showcasing is not quite two and races in the familiar black and yellow silks of Mrs M Teversham. The stable do not feature as good a strike rate on debut as the media proclaims and unless substantially backed best watched.

Conclusion: An intriguing race. The betting will be a good guide to the leading prospects. Unless there is a big gamble this looks to be out of Flyball, Burtonwood, Brazen Spirit & Fast Act. Flyball isn't best drawn but he is likely to set a stern test for the debutantes, who will need to be primed to challenge this juvenile. The Brocklesby form is still unproven but it is generally a fair guide to ability. Hannon's colt looks straight forward and will be primed to win. He is likely to finish with zeal and that could make life difficult for the debutantes who will be given a considerate introduction to racing. If each way prices are availble it would be a disappointment if Flyabll couldn't make the frame. Burtonwood cost a lot of money at the sales and hails from influential connections who send out debut winners. It will be interesting to see how this colt fares in the betting. If a class act, he could take all the beating but any signs of inexperience would favour the horse with experience. Brazen Spirit would have fair win and place claims if prices 13/2 & less. London Life follows a similar guide. It is a concern that this filly was viewed as second string when entered to run at Lingfield. If weak in the betting that would be a negative. Fast Act should be respected and has a fighting chance if fancied in the betting. The rest would need to be substantially backed to bring any confidence. Flyball would have respectable claims if available at each way prices. 

HCE has a new breeding expert - Massimo Nutini. 

He says: This time the pure sprinter is LADY BLING Best quality horses are CHESTER DEAL and FAST ACT; more correlated horse to the distance, continues to be BRAZEN SPIRIT.
My choice should go on BRAZEN SPIRIT

4:15 Aintree (5th April) CRABBIE´S GRAND NATIONAL CHASE (Handicap) (Grade 3) (CLASS 1) (7yo+)

It doesn't get any better than this! The Crabbie's Grand National Chase. On the 5th April, Aintree, Liverpool's greatest steeplechase brings this most famous of all National Hunt races. This Class 1 handicap run over 4m 3f 110y is open to horses aged seven years and older with a rating of 120 or more by the British Horseracing Authority, placed in a recognised chase over 3 miles or more. It is the most valuable jumps race in Europe with a win prize fund of £1,000,000. 

Each year we leave our analysis to Karl The National Man (pictured). It's fair to say the last couple of years haven't reaped the rewards we hoped but his record in this race has been second to none. Here is his short list for the big race. Remember to check William Hill bookmakers for the best odds. If betting wait for the final declaration stage to ensure your selection is a runner. Take note of bookmaker free bets and special odds enhancements. Also, if placing a bet ''TAKE THE PRICE'' as bookmakers always shorten the odds before the start of this race.    

Balthazar King - tipped last year but went out far too quickly and early. Philip Hobbs' ten-year-old has been in superb form with four straight wins. Richard Johnson is a familiar pilot and sure to make the most of this opportunity. At odds of (25/1) he looks a decent bet as long as this son of King's Theatre has recovered from his Cross Country win at Cheltenham. 

Across The Bay when off too fast when making the early running last year. He's had a good rest since unseating at Haydock and should be primed for the day. At odds of (50/1) there is plenty of meat on the bone for Donald McCain's charge.   

Rocky Creek (20/1) has each way claims. 

Karl's Top Three:

Top Ranked:

Rocky Creek 20/1 ew 5th
Balthazar King 25/1 ew 2nd
Across The Bay 50/1 ew 14th (badly hampered)

Good luck to all.

2:55 Lingfield Racing Tip (3rd April) BOOKMAKERS.CO.UK MEDIAN AUCTION MAIDEN STAKES (CLASS 5) (2yo)

A Median Auction Maiden Stakes over 5f on standard going. Quite a restricted race type for two-year-olds from an established sire with one or more yearling sales in 2013 of no more than £19,000. 

Nine juveniles are entered to run over this minimum trip on a turning course, which favours experienced horses. Five colts & one gelding take on the remaining fillies. A mix of top trainers take part in this Class 5 race. 

Johnny Sorerento is on a recovery mission after finishing last on debut in the Brocklesby. There was money for this colt and the stable were hopeful of a fair run. It wouldn't be beyond the realm to see a more professional performance today with that initial experience under his belt.

Stan Moore won this race last year with Far Gaze, who was making his second start. The Moore The Merrier syndicate field Mount Isla racing in the same colours. This bay gelding, who is a son of Bushranger, cost just £6,000 when purchased by the trainer at the yearling sales. The twice French-raced dam showed little ability at three. Moore reported their juveniles have only just started working on the grass as it had been so wet and detailed that his three Brocklesby participants needed the race. His two-year-olds have a poor strike rate on debut and I would suspect this January foal will be better for the experience. 

The betting will be a good guide to the majority of the debutantes. 

Bill Turner needs no introduction with his two-year-olds of which he has a string of fifteen. The Sigwells handler has reported his juveniles to be backward this year although the string have progressed in the last two weeks. Paddy Again ran well when second in the Brocklesby. Connections should have a fair guide to their chances. Hell Of A Lord is a homebred colt owned by Mrs M Teversham. The mare, Miss Brookie, was similarly owned and trained - although a limited sprinter, she won at two. The sire was a talented two-year-old trained by Bryan Smart winning the Coventry Stakes (Group 2) and hit the frame in the Middle Park Stakes (Group 1). The stable usually have their juveniles fit and ready so drawn in stall one should be a positive. It is worth noting that for all Turner is credited as a trainer of first-time-out winners, his statistics do not give evidence to this point. He features about a 5% win rate with debutantes which does bring some concern. The fact that his horses run so well in the Brocklesby can be somewhat misleading to his next few runners which often prove lesser. A juvenile to respect but not for me if short in the betting.

Rose Of Kiev hails from Mark Johnston's stable who can be tricky to assess on debut. As I have said many times 'his debutantes can be categorised as easy winners or poor losers'. This bay filly cost just 7,000 euros as a yearling. The sire was a class horse but wasn't a sprinter while the mare showed little ability in two starts. A horse I would rather watch than bet.

Pickle Lilly Pearl is trained by David Griffiths, who certainly knows how to train a two-year-old winner. The stable is perhaps a little less fashionable that a few of these but someone I respect. Lilo Lil was a fair horse for them last year. This bay filly cost 13,000 euros at the yearling sales and bred to be a sprinter. The mare won her first two starts over the minimum trip and then was placed at Group 2 level in Chantilly, France.  Probably the type to take a watching brief but could be primed for a canny stable. 

Tom Dascombe is one of few trainers who can prime a two-year-old for a big debut performance. Richard Kingscote takes the ride on Don Sigfredo. This son of Majestic Missile is out of a Listed-placed mare and cost 29,000gns at the yearling sales. He is a half-brother to Andhesontherun, who won on debut for Roger Varian and wasn't disgraced in the Richmond Stakes (Group 2). A wide draw is never ideal for a juvenile on their racecourse bow, especially on a turning course. The betting is the best guide and if priced 7/1 & less has respectable win and place claims. 

The last of the fillies in the line-up is David Evans' Cheerio Sweetie. This stable are very much in the mould of Jack Berry with the approach of keeping their horses busy.  This bay daughter of Captain Rio cost 20,000gns at the Tattersalls Yearling Sales. The stable don't feature a very good strike rate at the course although their two-year-olds have claims when priced 13/2 & less on debut. In general, their debutantes are difficult to assess and the types to either win well or falter. Money would be a good sign although I would rather take  a watching brief.

A trainer who can go well with his debutantes is Ralph Beckett. The stable often go well with their early runners and they have a decent strike rate at this course. Jim Crowley rides the all-weather tracks particularly well. Designate is a son of Approve and owned by Highclere Thoroughbred Racing Ltd. He cost 27,000gns at the yearling sales and half-brother to Bronze Angel. If fancied in the betting, has fair win and place claims but another who has to overcome a wide draw. 

Jet Mate cost 35,000gns purchased and trained by William Muir. This chestnut colt sired by Fast Company was born in January and half-brother to Sorella Bella (who finished 2nd in the Gran Criterium (Group 1) at San Siro, Italy).  This family have achieved a good few winners. The owner, Martin Graham, has done well with his horses over the years (Blue Jack won on debut) and it wouldn't be the biggest surprise to see this juvenile progress with racing. The stable have a fair strike rate at this course and it is intriguing to see this colt out so early. On average, Muir's youngsters need the run unless talents.

Conclusion: A tricky race to assess. Turning courses can be a rude awakening for two-year-olds on debut and those with a savvy will hold a fair advantage. A wide draw could be a concern unless swift of foot. Johnny Sorrento needs a transformation after showing little on debut but that experience will help today. Statistically Don Sigfredo & Designate are the most interesting. Don Sigfredo hails from a top-class stable who can go well on debut. If priced 7/1 & less I would consider this juvenile to have fair win and place claims. However, a wide draw is  enough for me to take a watching brief. Designate is another to respect and perhaps on balance the most likely of these runners. Hell of A Lord & Cheerio Sweetie are difficult to assess. The stables can go well with their early two-year-olds and both have positives and negatives. Money would be a good sign but I would be tempted to take a watching brief. Rose Of Kiev looks to need further and Johnston just doesn't appeal to me as a bet on debut. Pickle Lilly Pearl is quite well bred and may show ability but not the type I would wager unless speculative odds. Jet Mate and Mount Isla may prove better on their second start. I'd have to take a watching brief.