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BUICK BOUNCES BACK AND SERVES NOTICE WITH A TREBLE: The Flat and the Jumps merge today with a mix that means we’re looking forward to the Cheltenham festival and have our first NH Fortune Cookie, and we’re winding up a truncated and too-often-flat season which has these running to the line:

➡️ JOCKEYS’ TITLE With a treble at Wolverhampton last night, William Buick closed down Oisin Murphy to 128-119. They have six rides each today.

➡️ TIPSTERS CHALLENGE Daqman’s looking for win number 50 over Pricewise, 20 clear with the score 49-29. They clash three times today.

➡️ CLASSIC FAVOURITE Despite the betting so far, it’s the Futurity at Doncaster tomorrow that usually decides Guineas and Derby winners. Headlines:



A reality check was expected. After five winning days in a row, I fell into the sinkhole of mediocre fields before the return of better quality racing this weekend.

And I’m struggling to understand why Tiger Roll wasn’t granted a racecourse gallop rather than yesterday’s farce of walking behind other horses in a race.

He was very slowly away, had to be pushed along and was detached or trailing until left in a moderate sixth a furlong out, beaten nearly 30 lengths at the line.

My guess is that he’ll have to run (actually run, I mean) in a real race if he is to be fit for his first cross-country next month. If November was never the plan – that the target is March – what was he doing at Navan in the first place?

The Flat (Doncaster and Newbury) hands over to the Jumps (Cheltenham and Aintree) in a long weekend which, surely, must not merely keep the game alive but give it some oxygen. Punters are asleep midweek with racing catalepsy.

⭕ 2.25 Cheltenham I’m hoping trainer Gordon Elliott can make up for Tiger rolling over and land the first runner in the horses-to-follow preliminary list before Fortune Cookies. The level stakes will be 10 points before they double for the Fortune Cookies themselves.

Elliott’s runner, Galvin, was 2.7 this morning, with the BETDAQ overround a mere 102%. Thankyou BETDAQ layers!

Galvin was second in the novices handicap at the Cheltenham Festival and has already landed a hat-trick of chases in Ireland.

This first step up to 3m will suit if the trainer is right and he is a candidate for the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, a race he won in 2017 with Tiger Roll.


⭕ 2.40 Doncaster Tranchee has been first or second in all five completed starts since joining David Loughnane in June. Up 18lb but beat all bar Gulliver in the 21-runner Coral Sprint (Aplomb behind).

Moving to Tom Dascombe the same month, Jonah Jones has been knocking at the door but may need to drop a few pounds; he hasn’t won for two years.

Three-year-olds don’t usually win this and King’s Lynn, who beat a strong field at Doncaster a year or so back, has been beaten favourite in both starts since, though again running well at Doncaster against a subsequent Listed winner.

The Andrew Balding stable is 3-31 but all three were two-year-old winners. I took 5.2 Tranchee.

⭕ 3.00 Cheltenham Results in the decade say that it’s 9-1 against carrying more than 11st 1lb in this 2m 5f hurdle, whether good ground or soft.

The combo of Dr Richard Newland, trainer, and Cillin Leonard, claimer, won it last year, and have teamed up to create a clever gap for Captain Tom Cat at the bottom of the handicap.

His CV and his pedigree combined suggest that this is the perfect trip, and he’s in another gap at the front of the market, if you take out runners for Nicky Henderson and Nigel Twiston-Davies. He was 9.0 in the BETDAQ orange this morning.

Henderson has had novices-only winners in the last two weeks and ‘Twiston’ is giving a second try here to Our Power, who didn’t like Cheltenham in two previous attempts.


⭕ 3.25 Newbury Ralph Beckett has watched Ben Lilly win five in a row and climb 30lb up the handicap since the gelding moved from his yard to David Brown.

Ben Lilly’s winning rider, Kevin Stott, has a full book of rides at Newcastle but Brown is determined to keep the run going by hiring Ryan Moore.

However, ironically, he has to give 10lb to Jacinta De Vega, an improving Beckett filly. The grey is unexposed at the trip but bred to take the step up in her stride: BETDAQ exchange betting 4.9 taken.

⭕ 3.35 Cheltenham Harry Whittington won this last year and Rouge Vif has improved a stone last season in three races since wind surgery.

A Grade-2 hurdler, he won his first chase after a break, and did the same thing on good ground the following October right here at Cheltenham. BETDAQ 6.7

Bollywood is 8lb better off with Beat The Judge on their one-two at Fontwell in September but there was nine lengths between them then and Ballywood’s CV suggests he needs further, including here last December when he stayed on third.

Dolos has never been out of the frame after a break (1322121), in other words one that Paul Nicholls does not have high hopes of but gets ready for an early strike when others are still struggling for form. Has had wind surgery, but his price makes you gasp! BETDAQ 24.0


⭕ 4.00 Newbury As Ed Walker leaves the training stage, he’s looking for some late bouquets. In the case of Molls Memory (BETDAQ 3.85), it’s deja vu – same race, same ground – as the mare is asked to repeat last year’s win off a pound lower mark in a race of identical quality.

Typhoon Ten is another on which Ryan Moore is asked to perform miracles. He is 003 on deep ground and has been kept mainly to sprints.

⭕ 4.35 Newbury Stalls 3, 6 and 7 have won for low numbers in the three years of this race. In fact, the first three in successive years in results by stall were: 7-5-3, 6-3-12, 3-6-2.

Last year’s winner, Teruntum Star, out of gate 3, beat Eye Of The Water into third (out of 2). Eye Of The Water is the one well drawn today, coming out of stall 3, but with a mind-numbing bridesmaid sequence of 22222.

Colonel Whitehead (7) is on a hat-trick but has no experience of soft or heavy ground. Diamond Dougal (stall 6, blinkered first time) has won on heavy and has dropped 10lb since June.

Punchbowl Flyer (5) is 2-2 in races with ease in the ground but collateral form has him behind Eye Of The Water.

Additional (4) won by a wide margin on AW and was sent to contest Listed races at Deauville and York in the summer – outclassed – but did best, placed, in a class 2 on the soft at Ascot at the start of this month. Win and place 9.1


2.25 Cheltenham
FORTUNE COOKIE (early birds)
BET 10pts win GALVIN

2.40 Doncaster (win 10)
BET 2.3pts win TRANCHEE

3.00 Cheltenham (win 20)

3.25 Newbury (win 20, nap)

3.35 Cheltenham (win 20, win 10 place)
BET 3.5pts win ROUGE VIF
BET 1pt win and 2pts place DOLOS

4.00 Newbury (win 10)
BET 3.5pts win MOLL’S MEMORY

4.35 Newbury (win 20, win 10 place)
BET 2.4pts win and place ADDITIONAL

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