BACK-TO-BACK NAPS FOR DAQMAN: There was another trump card for Daqman yesterday, when Minella Trump (WON 6-4) landed back-to-back naps, following Queens Cave (WON 4-6) on Wednesday. Daqman’s staking plan kept him in front yet again.
CHELTENHAM LOSES OPENING DAY: …. but goes ahead tomorrow after an inspection at 3pm this afternoon. Newcastle and Southwell Jumps meetings have survived for this afternoon.
A HEAVY WEEKEND AT CHELTENHAM
Lucky fifteen? The three-day Cheltenham November meeting which has produced 42 Cheltenham Festival winners in 10 years failed to launch yesterday because of waterlogging.
But drying weather over the weekend should enable the feature races to be saved and the course plans to run a total of 15 races tomorrow and Sunday on heavy ground. The course passed a 3pm inspection today.
There’s no AW racing on the two AW tracks today! Both Newcastle and Southwell have Jumps racing on turf just when man-made surfaces are needed.
Dundalk’s Polytrack card has eight races with the maximum 14 in each race for a day of 112 runners (can you spot the 12% who will emerge as winners?)
The town is buzzing with the victory of Dundalk in the Union Champions Cup on Monday night, landing the inaugural cross-border trophy 6-0.
TIGER ROLL HAS OPERATION TODAY
⚠️ HEADS UP: Dual Grand National winner, Tiger Roll, is unlikely to be seen on a racecourse until the Cheltenham Festival in March, though the Boyne Hurdle at Navan in February is not ruled out.
‘A small chip in a joint’ will be removed today. The operation is seen as ‘not ideal’ but not a threat to his bid for a National hat-trick in April, which has not been done since the days of Red Rum.
⚠️ HEADS UP: Though the Cheltenham abandonment is a blow to home Festival plans, Irish meetings at Punchestown (tomorrow and Sunday), Cork (Sunday) and Fairyhouse (Tuesday) have no inspection plans, though the going is heavy at all three.
Punchestown has the Morgiana Hurdle tomorrow (Klassical Dream favourite) and the Florida Pearl Novice Chase (Battleoverdoyen) on Sunday.
FROST DOUBLE BID AT NEWCASTLE
1.05 Newcastle Paul Nicholls has been pleased with the mare Ellarna’s homework over hurdles, since she was placed in a couple of bumpers before aiming too high at the Cheltenham Festival, and is confident he can get her off the mark in a mares’ maiden, hopefully this one.
She’s all dressed up for the occasion with a wind op and tongue-tie, and with Bryony Frost travelling up with her to the Geordie shore. Bryony also rides Jeremy Pass later on.
3.25 Newcastle Jeremy Pass was bought from Limerick for John Dance, better known for his Flat horses, notably Laurens.
To say that Paul Nicholls is also dancing, bowled over by this ‘big, lovely horse’, is to suggest that Jeremy Pass is a good thing here, but bumper races are not the place to bet your maximum.
In any case, Unohu is lined up for this, with Tom Lacy leading Jumps trainer on the course, striking at around 40%, and Richard Johnson going up for the one ride.
LOCAL HERO POISED FOR RETURN
3.45 Southwell Zamoyski is a local hero, and his trainer, Steve Gollings, has the best strike rate on the course.
Zamoyski has returned to Southwell only once – over the wrong trip – since recording a hat-trick over today’s CD between September and December 2017-18. The result is that he’s dropped below his last winning mark.
Zamoyski, still 5.7 on BETDAQ this morning, after the field cut up to six, is fit from a run on the Flat 10 days ago, and Daryl Jacob has been booked for the small Lincolnshire stable.
Gollings does well with a horse called Handiwork, who is due to travel down to Kempton next Tuesday, so the signs are of a planned revival for the yard over the next five days.
Gollings, who won the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton with Royal Shakespeare, the Kim Muir at Cheltenham with In Truth, and the Old Roan at Aintree with Conquisto, had other notable victories with Soudain.. and Local Hero!
1.05 Newcastle (win 10)
BET 5.5pts win ELLARNA
3.25 Newcastle (win 20, win 10)
BET 6pts win UNOHU
BET 4pts win JEREMY PASS
3.45 Southwell (win 20)
BET 4.25pts win (nap) ZAMOYSKI
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