Mark Howard Publications Ltd

£9.99

including postage (except £5 extra for overseas)

Ahead On The Flat

The Top Flat Horses To Follow for 2018

Foreword by Ed CHAMBERLIN, ITV Racing

Mark Howard’s remarkable record for unearthing gems is unmatched and this book offers tremendous value for money. Not only is it a fascinating read but it’s a proven source of winners. Mark’s razor-sharp analysis of a race, thorough research and key contacts the length and breadth of the country put him in a unique position to make your betting pay.”

Stable Interviews:

Andrew BALDING, Owen BURROWS, Roger CHARLTON, Keith DALGLEISH, William HAGGAS, Iain JARDINE, David O’MEARA, Hugo PALMER, David SIMCOCK, Roger VARIAN.

Ahead On The Flat (148 pages) also features the following sections:

  • The Top 40 Prospects - last year’s produced the likes of CRACKSMAN, CRYSTAL OCEAN, DABAN, MOJITO, MORI, PIVOINE, POET’S WORD, SHUTTER SPEED and ULYSSES.
  • Handicap Snips – 16 horses who look ahead of the assessor
  • Maidens In Waiting – a select bunch of Three Year olds who caught the eye last year
  • Significant Sales – 10 horses who will be racing for new connections this summer having gone under the hammer in recent months.
  • Stable Gossip – the latest news from Sir Michael Stoute’s powerful yard
  • Unraced Three Year Olds – 22 horses who didn’t see a racecourse last year but are expected to make up for lost time this season.
  • What’s The Craic In Ireland? – Half a dozen horses from the Emerald Isle who are expected to develop into high-class performers this year
  • Who’s The Daddy? – 8 named juveniles sired by the late Scat Daddy
  • Appendix
  • Index

How To Order

Price: £9.99 including postage (£14.99 overseas)

Available direct from:

Mark Howard Publications Ltd. 69 Fairgarth Drive, Kirkby Lonsdale, Carnforth, Lancashire. LA6 2FB.

Also available from:

WH SMITH Ltd (ISBN: 978-0-9929224-5-0) or online from whmsith.co.uk

Other specialist horse racing shops:

TINDALLS (Newmarket)

RACEFORM (via www.racingpost.com/shop)

 

Ahead On The Flat Updates – VIA EMAIL ONLY

Once again, I shall be producing 3 Ahead On The Flat Updates. The first Update will be a preview of the prestigious Royal Ascot meetingin June, the second will be a preview of the historic four day York Ebor meeting in August and the third will concentrate on the major Autumn races. There will be an in-depth analysis of races such as the Cambridgeshire, Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe and Cesarewitch. Please note, the Updates are ONLY AVAILABLE VIA EMAIL (Not Post).

It is £10 for the Royal Ascot Update and £6 for the York & Autumn Updates (or £19 for ALL 3) via EMAIL.

Summary of last year’s 3 Ahead On The Flat Updates:

What The Clients Said:

“The juvenile section in the York update has helped to get my autumn punting off to a flying start. Aim Of Artemis being the latest to perform well today despite that market drift. Top drawer information as ever.” S.P.

“Thank you so much for One Master...brilliant piece of info and I also love all the snippets you get on your travels...from a very long and loyal supporter.” T.N.

“There’s only one master and that’s you Mark ! Thanks.” S.L.

“Superb information in the Autumn 2017 Update. The Grand One Master noted One Master for filly sprints in the coming weeks who obliges at the fantastic price of 20/1. Congratulations and thank you so much.” W.G.

“Well done with Mabs Cross (5/1), highlighted as one to follow in your York update. As always, the advice is much appreciated.” W.S.

“That was a fantastic pointer to the horses victory today that you wrote about in the Ebor Update. It simply had to be backed as your finger was "Right on the Button." Brilliant tipping !” T.B.

“Autumn update delivers in style.. boom!!, Withhold £30 Win & £10e/w @ 25/1.. Lagostovegas £10e/w. Great info.” D.W.

“Brilliant advice for the Cesarewitch.” B.J.

“Well done Mark...great foresight in the Autumn Update!!!...Had to back it after your comments in the aformentioned.” D.G.

“First and third in the Ces advised at big prices ante post is no mean feat, Well done.” D.F.

“Unreal Mark. 1st and 3rd. Fair play!!!!” J.M.

Ahead On The Flat Updates

ROYAL ASCOT

Price: £10.00

Example t

6 WINNERS: LE BRIVIDO (Advised @ 7/2 WON @ 2/1), QEMAH (Advised @ 4/1 WON @ 5/2), ATTY PERSSE (Advised @ 8/1 WON @ 7/1), WINTER (4/9), SEPTEMBER (11/8), THE TIN MAN (Advised @ 8/1 WON @ 9/2)

Plus PROJECTION (Advised @ 16/1 E/W 3rd in the Wokingham Stakes @ 15/2) & MUTAKAYYEF (Advised @ 8/1 E/W – 2nd @ 5/1)

Quote: LE BRIVIDO was a €105,000 breeze-up purchase and the Siyouni colt has won 2 of his 3 races for Andre Fabre. A two lengths winner of an all-weather six and a half furlongs maiden at Chantilly in November, he won by three parts of a length on his reappearance at the same track in April (6f). Stepped up significantly in class and distance, he was only beaten a short head in the French 2000 Guineas at Deauville. He looked set to prevail until outstayed close home by Bramelot. Three lengths clear of Group 1 Racing Post Trophy winner Rivet, he will relish the trip and brings Classic form into the race.” Advised @ 7/2 WON the Jersey Stakes @ 2/1

Quote: QEMAH is a dual Group 1 winner having captured the Coronation Stakes and Prix Rothschild last season (record at the highest level is 33113). Third in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown in September, she reappeared in the Group 3 Chartwell Stakes at Lingfield last month over seven furlongs and finished runner-up behind Mix And Mingle. Yet to race on fast ground, Jean-Claude Rouget’s filly will appreciate the return to a mile and the fact she doesn’t carry a penalty (despite two Group 1 wins last year) is a huge bonus.” Advised @ 4/1 WON the Duke of Cambridge Stakes @ 5/2

Quote: ATTY PERSSE is a son of Frankel who made a winning start to his career at Sandown last year. Roger Charlton’s colt then won over the same C&D in the Esher Cup in April by a short head off a mark of 87. Stepping up in trip, he then lost his unbeaten record in a ten furlongs handicap at Haydock. Beaten a length and three quarters by Laraaib, he was conceding eight pounds to Owen Burrows progressive winner. Held in high regard, he tries a mile and a half for the first time and has always looked a quality colt. I think he is better than he showed last time.” Advised @ 8/1 WON the King George V Stakes by three lengths @ 7/1

Quote: “The other possible runner from the same yard I particularly like is SEPTEMBER, who was O’Brien’s first two year old to win first time out in 2017. Beautifully bred being a daughter of Deep Impact out of four times Group 1 winner Peeping Fawn, she looked a filly of the highest potential when trouncing ten rivals by upwards of five and a half lengths in a seven furlongs maiden at Leopardstown (Yielding) this month. Leading with a furlong to run, she powered clear from Kevin Prendergast’s Himmah. She threatens to be even better on a sounder surface.” WON the Chesham Stakes @ 11/8

Quote: THE TIN MAN attempts to provide James Fanshawe with his second win in the race following the victory of Society Rock in 2011. Rated 117, he was only eighth in this contest last year having endured a far from ideal preparation (see page 72 of AOTF). However, the Equiano gelding enjoyed a very good season overall winning three times culminating in victory in the Qipco Champions Sprint over C&D in October. A length winner from Growl, he had previously chased home Quiet Reflection in the Betfred Sprint at Haydock having been slowly away. Reappearing in the Duke of York Stakes, he was forced to carry a Group 1 penalty and ran well in fifth (the same position Twilight Son finished under a penalty before winning this last year). Beaten six and a quarter lengths, he tired late on but has reportedly thrived since and his stable are in much better form now. His record at Ascot is 1481 and the Newmarket trainer feels a slight ease in the ground brings out the best in the five year old (although he has won three times on good to firm).” Advised @ 8/1 WON the Diamond Jubilee Stakes @ 9/2

YORK EBOR FESTIVAL

Price: £6.00

Example t

6 WINNERS: CRACKSMAN (4/6), ULYSSES (4/1), MAGIC CIRCLE (7/2), THREADING (Advised @ 5/1 WON @ 9/2), MARSHA (Advised @ 10/1 WON @ 8/1), MOJITO (3/1)

Quote: ULYSSES is trained by Sir Michael Stoute who hasn’t won this since 2006 but is bidding for his sixth win in the prestigious event. Fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf behind Highland Reel, he has looked better as a four year old winning the Eclipse at Sandown in July. Jim Crowley’s mount held on by a nose to beat Barney Roy. Fourth in the King George since, he will be suited by the return to ten furlongs (record over the trip 212131). This track should bring out the best in him, too.” WON the Juddmonte International Stakes @ 4/1

Quote: MAGIC CIRCLE is unbeaten at York (won over this trip in July last year) and has won won 5 of his 16 career races. Third in the Irish November Handicap last Autumn having been drawn in stall 22, he runs off the same mark here. Having had a seasonal pipeopener in the Queen’s Prize, Ralph Beckett’s five year old ran a tremendous race in the Chester Cup finishing fifth behind Montaly considering he was berthed in stall 18. A non stayer in the Ascot Stakes last time, he held every chance turning for home but didn’t get home. Harry Bentley (3 from 3) rides him for the first time since October 2015 and his form figures over two miles are 115 (only defeat came in the Queen’s Prize this spring when he was being prepped for the Chester Cup). Absent since June (67 days), he handles decent ground but is a better horse on an easier surface. As discussed, the stable had their first winner of the month at Thirsk on Monday following no runners between the 8th and 21st August.” WON @ 7/2

Quote: MARSHA has won 6 of her 15 races earning an official rating of 114. Sir Mark Prescott’s four year old is due to retire to the breeding sheds at the end of this year and she will take with her an impressive CV which includes a Prix de L’Abbaye win. She started this year well, too, with a victory in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket under a penalty. Third in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, she has three and a quarter lengths to find with Lady Aurelia. A short head second in the Group 2 Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh next time, she was a running on third in the King George at Goodwood on her latest outing. Three lengths in arrears of Battaash, she didn’t enjoy the clearest of passages and the testing ground wouldn’t have played to her strengths either. It was her first start on soft ground, plus Charlie Hills’ winner was better drawn. Therefore it is not impossible she could turn the tables. Unbeaten at York having won the Listed City Walls Stakes last summer, her form on flat tracks is 2131121 and her form figures over five furlongs on flat tracks and racing on good or quicker ground is 1121.” Advised @ 10/1 WON the Nunthorpe Stakes @ 8/1

Quote: MOJITO, as discussed on page 4, has won his last two races in handicaps over seven furlongs at Sandown and Newmarket off marks of 83 and 88 respectively. Seven pounds higher now, he prefers fast ground and the return to a mile shouldn’t be an issue – he was too keen over the trip at Doncaster in early June but it was only a week after his reappearance and William Haggas was trying to get him qualified for the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot. Plus, the Requinto colt won over a mile at Newcastle as a two year old. Third at York on his racecourse debut, he has a major chance here.” WON @ 3/1

WINNERS: AIM OF ARTEMIS (11/4), CLAIRETTE (10/11), HERCULEAN (11/10), HUMBLE GRATITUDE (8/11), IMPERIAL PAST (5/2), JUST IN TIME (5/2, 13/8, 5/4), KOZIER (Evens), MABS CROSS (5/1), WHO DARES WINS (7/1)

Quote: “Another surefire maiden winner, if her debut is anything to go by, is the Sir Michael Stoute trained AIM OF ARTEMIS. By the Brazil bred sire Leroidesanimaux out of a Galileo mare, she is a half-sister to the stable’s triple Listed winner Abingdon. She stayed on strongly behind The Mums and the highly regarded Beshaayir in a six furlongs maiden at Newbury last Friday. The yard’s two year old’s invariably improve for their first run and she will be a different proposition over a longer trip, too. Ryan Moore used hands and heels in the closing stages and that patience will be rewarded in the long run-in.” WON next time at Leicester (12/9) @ 11/4

Quote: “This time last year arguably the most exciting juvenile of 2016 was the unbeaten Fair Eva who had blitzed her rivals in the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot. Unfortunately, Roger Charlton’s filly has not won since fluffing her lines in the Lowther Stakes behind Queen Kindly. Her full-brother HERCULEAN is apparently waiting in the wings to make his racecourse debut and is believed to be above average. The son of Frankel, out of Group 1 winning sprinter African Rose, has been given entries in the Royal Lodge Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes and his first outing is sure to attract plenty of attention.” WON at Ascot (8/9) on his debut @ 11/10

Quote: Charlie Appleby has sent out 22 juvenile winners in 2017 at a strike-rate of 35% and he is believed to be excited about the prospects of the unraced IMPERIAL PAST. A colt by Dubawi out of an Australian Listed winner, his racecourse debut is imminent and a big run is expected. The fact he has been given entries in the Mill Reef and Middle Park Stakes suggests he isn’t short of speed.” WON on his debut at Yarmouth (20/9) @ 5/2

Quote: “Other Flat horses from the yard to watch out for are JUST IN TIME, a three year old by Excelebration who ran on strongly on his handicap debut at Leicester this month. Suited by the easy ground, it was his first race since November and a mark of 60 looks favourable. The step up to twelve furlongs at the Midlands track was very much to be his liking.” WON his next 3 races @ 5/2, 13/8 & 5/4

Quote: “David Armstrong has horses with various trainers, including Michael Dods. The pair are responsible for the progressive three year old sprinter MABS CROSS. Bred to be quick being a daughter of Dutch Art out of Miss Meggy (won the Listed Hilary Needler Stakes for Tim Easterby), she only cost 3,000gns as a yearling. Unraced as a juvenile, she has made up for lost time since winning three of her five races this term. A drop back to five furlongs has proved beneficial, racking up victories at Newcastle, Windsor (off 74) and Haydock (82). I was working for Racing UK at the last named venue in late June and she produced an impressive display of speed to beat Midnight Malibu by a couple of lengths. Raised a further eight pounds to a mark of 90, she has enjoyed a break since having had a handful of runs in a little more than two months. Her trainer feels she is black type material and is being prepared for an Autumn campaign.” WON at Listed event at Musselburgh (9/10) @ 5/1

Quote: CRACKSMAN: One can’t help feeling the Frankel colt is unfortunate not to have won a Classic this season. Indeed, one win from three starts in 2017 hardly does him justice. A short head winner from the ill-fated Permian in the Classic Trial at Epsom in the spring, John Gosden’s charge was forced to miss the Dante Stakes at York due to soft ground and therefore missed the opportunity to gain more experience. I feel that lack of match practice cost him Epsom Derby glory. Even though he had won at the track in the spring, he didn’t look comfortable rounding Tattenham Corner and eventually finished third. Only beaten a length by Wings of Eagles and Cliffs of Moher, he held every chance inside the final quarter of a mile but the opportunity to win Flat racing’s biggest prize had been missed. I think time will show he was the best horse in the race. Reappearing in the Irish version at the Curragh four weeks later, Pat Smullen took over in the saddle with Frankie Dettori sidelined due to injury. Forced to challenge widest of all, he was tapped for speed with two furlongs to run before staying on strongly. While he reversed placings with his Epsom conqueror, he found the winning post coming to soon with another Ballydoyle inmate, namely Capri, prevailing by a neck. Set to stay in training next year, Gosden has suggested he may only have one more race this year (entered in the English and Irish Champions Stakes) and that will be in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on Wednesday. He ought to take all the beating with conditions looking ideal.” WON his next 3 races – 2 Group 2s and 7 lengths winner of the Group 1 Qipco Champions Stakes at Ascot

Quote: YELLOWHAMMER: Held an entry towards the end of March on the all-weather but didn’t make her three year old debut until the backend of July suggesting she hasn’t been the easiest to train. However, the Raven’s Pass filly has her fair share of ability winning a Newmarket maiden as a juvenile and a 0-85 handicap on the July course last month on contrasting surfaces. Defying an absence of 272 days, Roger Charlton’s filly overcame traffic problems before collaring the race fit and in-form Pastime to win by a nose off a mark of 76. With that run under her belt, a three pounds rise is unlikely to halt her progress and she is a filly to keep on the right side of between now and the end of the year. The fact she handles most types of ground is a major plus. Yet to race beyond seven furlongs, she is expected to improve over further.” WON @ 5/2 & 2/1

AUTUMN

Price: £6.00

Example t

CESAREWITCH: WITHOLD (Advised @ 20/1 WON @ 5/1), LAGOSTOVEGAS (Advised @ 25/1 – 3rd @ 10/1)

Quote: WITHHOLD, as discussed on page 7, is a promising four year old who appears to have a lot more to offer for his new connections. Beaten nearly five lengths by Daphne and Weekender at Newbury over an inadequate twelve furlongs on his belated reappearance in September, it was his first run for eleven months and is entitled to improve. A winner over two miles last backend when handled by Charlie Hills (beat London Prize at Haydock), Roger Charlton has inherited an interesting prospect who appears to handle most surfaces. Currently number 51, the four year old isn’t certain to get a run but, if he does, then the Champs Elysees gelding could emerge as a leading candidate. Best Price: 20/1 (Bet365)” WON by three and three quarters of a length @ 5/1

AUTUMN WATCH: WINNERS: DYNAMIC (4/1), ONE MASTER (20/1), WITHOLD (5/1)

Quote: “Whilst interviewing William Haggas for Ahead On The Flat in February it was evident that he held DYNAMIC in high regard and considered the daughter of Teofilo one of his brightest prospects amongst his three year old fillies. He commented: “Unfortunately, she developed an abscess on her chest during the winter and therefore won’t be running until the second half of the season, which is a real shame because she looks such a lovely filly. She spent three weeks in hospital and we were concerned we might lose her at one stage. Third on her only start at Newbury last Autumn, she ran a lovely race and was still a big, green filly last year. She will stay at least a mile and a quarter.” She made her belated reappearance in a mile maiden at her local track in late August and justified strong market support to beat Hugo Palmer’s debutant Stage Name by nearly four lengths. Granted a lenient looking mark of 80 for her handicap debut at Sandown less than a month later, Dynamic encountered all sorts of trouble in running before finishing fifth still on the bridle under Oisin Murphy. Two and a half lengths behind the winner UAE Queen, she would have gone mighty close with a clear run. She will benefit from a step up in trip and is handicapped to win more races. I will be amazed if she isn’t better than an 80 rated filly. I think William Haggas was hoping she would have been an Oaks contender until her setback during the winter.” WON at Newmarket (25/10) @ 4/1

Quote: “Stablemate ONE MASTER doesn’t look overburdened either having been allocated an official rating of 75 following her bloodless win at Yarmouth this month. A daughter of Fastnet Rock she is from a family her trainer knows well, being out of Group 3 winner Enticing. The three year old didn’t make her debut until mid August when a staying on third behind Equitation (won again since) in a six furlongs maiden at Doncaster. She confirmed the promise a month later when beating seven rivals by upwards of two and three quarters of a length. Given her pedigree, she wouldn’t have necessarily relished the testing conditions, which makes the performance even more meritorious. She ought to be hard to beat in fillies’ sprint handicaps.” WON a Listed race at Ascot (7/10) @ 20/1

Quote: WITHHOLD ran very well on his first start for Roger Charlton at Newbury last weekend. Bought out of Charlie Hills’ yard for 170,000gns last Autumn, the Champs Elysees gelding had reportedly been held up by an injury in the spring hence he hadn’t seen a racecourse for nearly eleven months. Contesting a twelve furlongs handicap at his local track, Robert Winston’s mount travelled strongly and led between the final two furlongs but was unable to match either Daphne or Weekender late on. Beaten around five lengths, it was a pleasing performance over a trip shy of his best. A winner over a mile and five and two miles for his previous connections, he beat subsequent Imperial Cup and Northumberland Plate consolation winner London Prize at Haydock last October off a mark of 80. Only seven pounds higher now, the four year old handles easy ground but is possibly better suited by a livelier surface. I will be surprised if Charlton doesn’t place the lightly raced gelding to advantage before the end of the year. He is a talented horse who looks capable of winning a good staying prize. Indeed, he holds an entry in the Cesarewitch but isn’t certain to get a run being number 51 on the list.” WON the Cesarewitch at Newmarket (14/10) @ 5/1

Plus: WINNER: GRONKOWSKI (4/1)

All 3 EMAIL UPDATES (Ahead on the flat)

Price: £19.00

 

AHEAD ON THE FLAT & ALL EMAIL UPDATES

Price: £27.99

£9.99

including postage (except £5 extra for overseas)

One Jump Ahead

The Top National Hunt Horses To Follow for 2017/2018

Foreword by Nick LUCK, 7 times Broadcaster of The Year

Stable Interviews:

Brian ELLISON (26 horses featured), Harry FRY (43), Philip HOBBS (65), Malcolm JEFFERSON (23), Alan KING (63), Tom LACEY (New - 19), Olly MURPHY (New – 14), Paul NICHOLLS (88), Ben PAULING (39 plus including his handpicked Top 4 unraced bumper horses), David PIPE (38), Colin TIZZARD (New - 38).

Quotes from One Jump Ahead:

“He looks amazing and I think he is top-class.” BRIAN ELLISON

“His owners have kindly asked me to train him and I am delighted to have him because he is an exciting horse.” HARRY FRY discussing an interesting new recruit to the yard.

“A potentially exciting prospect for juvenile hurdles who arrived in August.” PHILIP HOBBS

“I think he is an extremely good horse. TOM LACEY

“He is a very smart horse who really fills the eye. Measuring 16.2hh, his homework has been very good and, if reproducing that on the track, he could be our best bumper horse.”

BEN PAULING

“He jumps well at home and is a gorgeous horse. He is the sort every trainer would love to have.” COLIN TIZZARD

“She looked a really smart prospect that day and posted a good time in the process. I harbour big hopes for her this season.”

Bloodstock agent ANTHONY BROMLEY

“His style of racing reminds me of a young Florida Pearl: I fully expect him to feature very high up the pecking order of Mullins bumper horses this winter, could even be a possible Cheltenham Festival bumper winner and thereafter a career mixing with top class horses in graded races over hurdles and primarily fences beckons.”

Irish point expert DECLAN PHELAN

One Jump Ahead (160 pages) also features the following sections:

The Top 40 Prospects – 19 of the 40 have yet to race for their new trainer/connections. Last year’s produced 51 winners at a strike-rate of 33% and includedCheltenham Festival winner ALTIOR (unbeaten in 6 races), CAPITAINE (3 wins), CLOUDY DREAM (3 wins), GETABIRD (2 from 2), MOUNT MEWS (3 wins), NO COMMENT (3 wins), SAMCRO (3 from 3) and WAITING PATIENTLY (3 from 3)

Leading Owner RICH RICCI and his racing manager JOE CHAMBERS pick their horse to follow for 2017/2018

Bromley’s Best Buys – Leading Bloodstock Agent ANTHONY BROMLEY highlights 31 new recruits from France and Ireland. 40 winners at a strike-rate of 27% in last year’s article

English Pointers – my Racing UK colleague JONATHAN NEESOM picks a select bunch of horses who raced between the flags in the UK last season and caught his eye

French Revolution - 34 horses who have joined the likes of J.P.McMANUS, GORDON ELLIOTT, GIGGINSTOWN HOUSE STUD, WILLIE MULLINS, JONJO O’NEILL & VENETIA WILLIAMS and have yet to run for their new connections. Last year’s feature included the unbeaten and Triumph Hurdle winner DEFI DU SEUIL.

Irish Pointers - expert DECLAN PHELAN highlights 42 pointers to follow from across the Irish Sea who will race under Rules this winter. Last year’s article produced 27 winners at a strike rate of 24%. They featured promising youngsters BLACK OP, CAUSE TOUJOURS, ELEGANT ESCAPE (10/1 & 8/1), ESPOIR DE TEILLEE (10/1), LOUGH DERG SPIRIT, the ill-fated NEON WOLF (Grade 2 winner) and REIGNING SUPREME.

Stable Gossip - news from the stables of DAN SKELTON, SUE SMITH, NIGEL TWISTON-DAVIES & FERGAL O’BRIEN (highly regarded unraced bumper horse)

Unraced Bumper Horses - owned by GRAHAM WYLIE, Mrs JOHN MAGNIER, GIGGINSTOWN HOUSE STUD & SULLIVAN BLOODSTOCK Limited

Appendix – a full and comprehensive analysis of the 2 mile chasers, 2m 4f chasers, staying chasers, 2 mile hurdlers & staying hurdlers

Index – 641 horses included

How To Order

Price: £9.99 including postage (except £5 extra for overseas)

Available direct from:

Mark Howard Publications Ltd. 69 Fairgarth Drive, Kirkby Lonsdale, Carnforth, Lancashire. LA6 2FB.

Also available from:

WH SMITH Ltd (ISBN: 978-0-9929224-4-3) or online from whsmith.co.uk

Other specialist horse racing shops:

TINDALLS (Newmarket)

 

One Jump Ahead Updates – VIA EMAIL ONLY

I shall be producing 5 One Jump Ahead Updates throughout the 2017/18 National Hunt season. Each Update comprises information about the horses in One Jump Ahead, an update from top Bloodstock Agent Anthony Bromley, Bumper News, Ante-Post Advice (recommendations for the major races), Big-Race Previews and News from Ireland from one of the most informed Irish experts Declan Phelan. Please note, the Updates are ONLY AVAILABLE VIA EMAIL (Not Post).

It is £6 per Update (except £10 for the CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL version) or £34 for ALL 5 via EMAIL.

Summary of the 2016/2017 Updates:

What The Clients Said:

“Very well done in the Update - just back from overnight stay in Cotswolds planned before yesterday's very helpful double North Hill Harvey and Behind Time, which certainly more than paid the expenses.” S.W.

“Just a few words to thank you for a very profitable Cheltenham, the Update was excellent, a credit to yourself, once again many thanks for superb information at an unbelievable price.” C.Y.

“Just like to say absolutely brilliant info in your email your professional and knowledge is second to none I had my best punting weekend ever and I have been backing horses for nearly 40 years. Well done mate and keep up the fantastic work.” D.W.

“Thank you Mark for the info on Behind Time. Absolutely spot on. Could be the new Unowhatimeanharry! Green as grass and won how he liked. Superb!” G.W.

“That Update has been different gravy pal, you’re a brilliant judge - won me a fortune this weekend .” J.R.

“Just had to mail and thank you for the excellent tipping of today Taquin was excellent. Very well done and onwards and upwards for the rest of the season.” A.H.

“As Names to Note said the step up in trip and the soft ground did the trick for Delusionsofgrandeur at Catterick today. Plus, at 12/1 a nice little midweek boost to the account.” S.P.

“The info regarding Sweet as a Nut was excellent and I can't think of anywhere else where I would have read such a spot on few paragraphs analysing a hunter chase at Limerick! The info re Charli Parcs was also very good plus Bacardys. These three plus Defi de Seuil made a nice four timer today. The information you provide in these updates plus the 'bonus' information you provide on your racing diary is truly priceless!” J.S.

“I have purchased your book for the last 14 or 15 years and have over the last few years also purchased the Cheltenham Update. I am not a big gambler by any means, usually having a maximum stake of £10, but buying the Cheltenham update has always been a very profitable. Last year I made a profit of over £600 for the 4 days. The Update yesterday provided me with a return of £561 on an outlay of £ 127, which has paid for my week of gambling and hopefully with more winners should again prove profitable. It is not only your own information for each race that makes for great reading, it is the little snippets of information you pass on, from Gordon Elliott (Proved to be very profitable last year and already this year, with Labaik and Apple’s Jade), and also Denis O’Regan (Tully East). I also had a bet on Tiger Roll, a horse highlighted in your book a couple of years ago. Congratulations again on another excellent publication. Your knowledge and contacts are priceless.” M.H.

“Back from another good Cheltenham thanks to your thorough Update. Friday was a great day, the last race Gardefort 33/1 was so near but to mention only 3 horses in the first 4 was outstanding.” J.B.

“Thanks very much for high lighting Brio Conte for today, he won with plenty in hand. Thanks also for Sizing John in Gold Cup.” J.S.

“Great info in the Update as per usual. Fantastic regarding Brio Conti for the Saturday. As always keep up the great work.” S.P.

“Many thanks yet again for the Chelt update. Plenty of value around. As well as Sizing John, surely the best tip in it though was Gordon Elliott's note on Labaik - 'if he jumps off he's worth a £5 e.w.' Certainly was at 50/1 in the morning!” W.P.

 

One Jump Ahead Updates

PADDY POWER UPDATE – NOVEMBER 2017

Price: £6.00

Example t

The PADDY POWER MEETING 2016

4 WINNERS: DEFI DU SEUIL (5/4), TAQUIN DU SEUIL (Advised @ 10/1 – WON @ 8/1), NORTH HILL HARVEY (Advised @ 12/1 – WON @ 6/1), BEHIND TIME (9/2)

Quote: TAQUIN DU SEUIL won the JLT Novice Chase at the Festival in 2014 (beat subsequent Ryanair Chase winner Uxizandre) and, while his career hasn’t progressed in the manner expected, he is still dangerously handicapped off 156. A winner at Warwick last season, he finished sixth in the Ryanair Chase but didn’t look at his best. However, there was plenty to like about his reappearance run over hurdles at Chepstow. A running on sixth behind Ballyoptic in the Silver Trophy at Chepstow, his course form reads 612196. Any ease in the ground would be in his favour.” Advised @ 10/1 WON the BetVictor Gold Cup @ 8/1

Quote: NORTH HILL HARVEY was a late withdrawal from the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton last weekend and could run here instead. Dan Skelton’s former pointer won on the New Course at Cheltenham last December and, while only ninth in the Supreme NH on this track, he would have been closer had he not made a mistake at the penultimate flight. Fourth at Aintree last time, he goes well fresh and handles testing ground. Harry Skelton rides him in favour of stablemate Ch’tibello.” Advised @ 12/1 WON the Greatwood Hurdle @ 6/1

Quote: BEHIND TIME is featured on page 50 of One Jump Ahead as a handicapper to follow. The five year old showed very little in his first two races at Newbury and Taunton but the Stowaway gelding was a different proposition at Exeter last time. Beaten a short neck by Captain Chaos (rated 139) receiving only seven pounds, he makes his handicap debut off a rating of 115. The step up in trip is expected to suit and this event is invariably won by a very well handicapped youngster. Indeed, Harry Fry won the race last year with subsequent Grade 1 and Festival winner Unowhatimeanharry off 123. Behind Time has only raced on soft and heavy ground.” WON @ 9/2

Plus: CRACK TIEPY (4/9), CRACKING SMART (13/8), DELUSIONOFGRANDEUR (3 wins including @ 17/2), MASTER OF IRONY (2/1 & 13/8), NOT NEVER (6/4), PERCY STREET (6/4).

Quote: “Danny Cook is known to be excited by the prospect of partnering DELUSIONOFGRANDEUR over fences this season. A former winning Irish pointer, he developed into a useful novice hurdler for Sue Smith last season winning twice at Hexham and Catterick (beat subsequent Grade 2 winner Jonniesofa) over trips ranging from two and a half to three miles one. Rated 139 over timber, he stays well and appreciates plenty of cut in the ground. The six year old gelded son of Mahler will reportedly be ready to run in a beginners’ chase in the next couple of weeks.” WON 3 times, including at Catterick (13/12/16) by six lengths @ 17/2

OWNERS ENCLOSURE: GRAHAME WHATELEY

Quote: SNEAKY FEELING: “Another very nice youngster who has yet to run for us. He finished fourth in one of the strongest four year old point-to-points run in Ireland last season. We will start him off in either a bumper or novice hurdle at a lowly level and let him find his feet. He is a lovely horse for the future.” WON @ 25/1 at Newbury (14/12/16)

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 2017

Price: £6.00

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CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 2016

KING GEORGE: THISTLECRACK (Advised @ 11/8 WON at 11/10)

Quote: THISTLECRACK was a top-class staying hurdler winning the World Hurdle last spring and earning an official mark over timber of 174. Switched to fences this Autumn, Colin Tizzard’s eight year old has won all three of his starts with the minimum of fuss. Easy wins have been gained at Chepstow, Cheltenham and Newbury. A four times winner racing right-handed, he has won 9 of his 10 races over three miles and he has already gained four Grade 1 wins during his career. He obviously lacks chasing experience but it is worth recalling Coneygree won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on only his fourth run over fences. There is no doubting his ability.” Advised @ 11/8 WON the King George at 11/10

The IRISH ANGLE by Declan PHELAN: WINNERS: BACARDYS (4/6, 12/1 & 10/1), CARTER MCKAY (1/2 & 8/13), NEXT DESTINATION (8/15), SWEET AS A NUT (3/1 & 4/6), WHITE ARM (9/2)

Quote: “Down at Limerick on December 27th they stage a maiden hunters’ chase (2.45): the market will be dominated by three main players: Dimple, Quarry Rua and Sweet As A Nut. My preference is for the latter: the grey Dimple was exposed on eight unsuccessful outings in the UK: moved to Andy Slattery, he spruced up his ideas and completed a hat trick of point wins at Lingstown last Sunday: on paper those wins make pleasant reading, sadly there is little substance to them. Quarry Rua is also a 3-times point winner: he won two last winter and then ran ok in a couple of bumpers in Cork. He won hard held on his return to pointing at Ballindenisk at the start of this month. SWEET AS A NUT won a maiden point at Ballyvodock in January: he hardly broke sweat on his seasonal reappearance at Castletown in October….he beat a subsequent 3 time points winner by fifteen lengths. Next up at Rathcannon, he was poised to win and challenging at the second last he was tightened for room and, although officially down as having run out, it was more a case of pushed out…undoubtedly the moral winner of that race. In his last outing, Sweet As A Nut took a hike in class as he faced off against proven hunter chase and track stock in the best Open lightweight of the autumn session. In that race at Dromahane in November, he was bang in the picture until just nudged out of the verdict close to the line. In finishing three lengths off Sydney Paget, he ran an absolute cracker….the winner is a leading Open horse and certainly runs to a mark above 120 in most points: Buckers Bridge a decent track horse placed a dozen lengths behind Sweet As A Nut in this race, and he next time up won an Open in a canter. Since that third place at Dromahane the owner/trainer of Sweet As A Nut, Trixie Barry, has turned down some tempting offers. Said owner has a dream to run the horse in the Cheltenham Foxhunters. To get a ticket for that race in March this son of Vinnie Roe must win in Limerick. The terrain at Limerick is bound to be holding and testing and of the three horses in focus, Sweet As A Nut is the most versatile regarding underfoot conditions: he does travel like a horse with some class through a race: he has toe and this 2m 6f trip will play to his strengths and I expect him to land the prize for his Fermoy connections.”WON by 15 lengths at Limerick @ 3/1

THE HORSE I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING OVER CHRISTMAS: RICH RICCI: MONTALBANO (WON @ 8/11)

THE HORSE I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING OVER CHRISTMAS: ANTHONY BROMLEY: MESSIRE DES OBEAUX (WON the Challow Hurdle at Newbury @ 100/30)

TALKING TRAINERS: GORDON ELLIOTT: WINNERS: APPLE’S JADE (7/2), A TOI PHIL (7/2 & 6/5), BARRA (5/4), DINARIA DES OBEAUX (10/11), MEGA FORTUNE (9/2), MICK JAZZ (7/1), NOBLE ENDEAVOR (6/1), OUTLANDER (11/1), POLI ROI (2/7), SAMCRO (8/13), SUTTON PLACE (4/1 & 4/6), THE STORYTELLER (Evens & 5/2), TOMBSTONE (9/4).

Quote: NOBLE ENDEAVOR: “He is in good form at home and is also an intended runner in the Paddy Power Chase on Tuesday (27th). A horse with a lot of ability, he needs things to go right but we were pleased with his run in the Troytown Chase at Navan last time finishing fourth. He looks well and appears to have improved since his last run.” WON the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown (27/12/16) @ 6/1

Plus: CAP SOLEIL (11/8 & 9/2), CHARLI PARCS (5/4), ESPOIR DE TEILLEE (10/1), SUPERB STORY (11/8), WONDERFUL CHARM (4/6 & 1/2)

Quote: “Cheltenham stages a Listed bumper for four year olds over a mile and six furlongs (3.40). At the time of writing, there is an element of guesswork regarding the line up but I suggest readers bear the following in mind, if featuring amongst the entries. Fergal O’Brien has had 9 bumpers winners from only 29 runners (31%) this season and the unbeaten CAP SOLEIL looked a quality filly when winning by two and a half lengths on her debut in a junior bumper at Newbury earlier this month. Sent off evens favourite, the Kapgarde filly didn’t come off the bridle under Paddy Brennan. Provided the race doesn’t come too soon (only 18 days ago), she looks set to play a leading part.” CAP SOLEIL won @ 11/8

Quote: “The legendary owner is also responsible for the Nicky Henderson trained juvenile hurdler CHARLI PARCS. McManus paid €250,000 at the Arqana Sale last month for the former Arnaud Chaille-Chaille trained three year old. Successful on his debut over hurdles at Enghien in early November, he beat Poker Play by a length and the runner-up has won since. Indeed, the runner-up was subsequently bought by David Pipe for £280,000 at the Cheltenham December Sale. Charli Parcs could make his British debut at Kempton on Tuesday and a big run is anticipated from the son of Anabaa Blue.” WON by eight lengths on his British debut at Kempton (5/4)

Quote: “Irish point expert Declan Phelan spoke positively regarding ESPOIR DE TEILLEE on page 155 of OJA. A faller at the last on his only start ‘between the flags,’ he was subsequently bought by Roger Brookhouse for £220,000. In training with rising star Neil Mulholland, the West Country based handler commented recently: “He’s a beautiful horse who covers the ground effortlessly and I really do think he has some potential. He’ll start off in a bumper around Christmas and I’d like to think he could run in one of the championship bumpers at some point.” WON at Ffos Las (9/4/16) @ 10/1

Quote: “J.P.McManus invariably targets one of his novices at the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury (11th February) and it will be interesting to see if he has the valuable two mile event in mind for MOVEWITHTHETIMES. His famous green and gold silks have been carried to victory aboard Get Me Out of Here (2010) and My Tent Or Yours (2013) in recent years, plus Darlan was still going well when falling two out in 2012. Paul Nicholls’ gelding has been allocated a generous looking mark of 136 having won two of his three races over timber this season. The son of Presenting lacks experience but he hasn’t been hard pressed to win at Fontwell and Wincanton and didn’t enjoy the smoothest of passages when fifth in the Grade 2 Sharp NH at Cheltenham in November. Hampered turning for home, he was beaten less than four lengths by Moon Racer. I am reliably informed the champion trainer has backed Movewiththetimes at 33/1 for Skybet Supreme NH at Cheltenham. Therefore, if he heads down the handicap route, take the hint.” 2nd in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury (11/2/17) @ 6/1

Quote: “County Hurdle winner SUPERB STORY hasn’t been seen since pulling up in the Galway Hurdle at the end of July. Dan Skelton’s five year old raced wide throughout in Ireland and was never able to get into a good position. Officially rated 145 and seven pounds higher than when providing his trainer with his first Cheltenham Festival winner, the Duke of Marmalade gelding is due to reappear in a £40,000 handicap hurdle at Musselburgh (2.50) on New Year’s Day. Decent ground is ideal for him and the lengthy absence won’t be an issue because he is very good fresh, plus he is a course and distance winner (when trained by Charlie Mann). His homework in recent weeks has been excellent.” WON @ 11/8

FEBRUARY 2018

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FEBRUARY 2017

WINNERS: BRIO CONTI (8/1), BUVEUR D’AIR (1/4, 5/1, 4/9)

Quote: BALLYANDY is trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, who sent out Splash of Ginge to win this as a novice three years ago. A top-class bumper performer (won 4 out of 6), the Kayf Tara gelding won the Cheltenham Festival bumper last March. Things haven’t quite gone to plan over hurdles though this season and the six year old remains a maiden over obstacles. Placed behind Moon Racer at Perth and Cheltenham, he was then stepped up to two and a half miles at Sandown last time. Beaten half a length by subsequent Grade 1 winner Messire Des Obeaux in the Winter NH at the Esher track, he was outstayed after the last. Unbeaten at Newbury and effective on any ground, he will be suited by a strongly run two miles – although it is possible he will be ridden from the front, which has been an advantage in this race during the last few years. On his bumper form and to a lesser degree his hurdles efforts, the handicapper hasn’t overburdened him off a mark of 135. Novices have won 5 of the last 7 renewals.” WON the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury @ 3/1

Quote: BRIO CONTI: “A grey gelding by Dom Alco, he won a bumper at Stratford last spring before falling at the first on his hurdles bow at Kelso in October. He then finished an excellent half length second behind subsequent Grade 2 River Don NH winner Constantine Bay over the fixed brush hurdles at Haydock’s Betfair Chase meeting. Ten lengths clear of the third that day, he almost certainly found the drop in trip at Cheltenham next time against him. The six year old wasn’t disgraced though and still held every chance between the final two flights in a novice event won by Pingshou. Given a break, Brio Conti returned in a two mile three and a half furlongs maiden hurdle at Doncaster at the end of last month and produced a really taking effort. Although a shade keen early on, he was always going strongly for Sean Bowen and, having been produced at the second last, he ran on well to beat Wenyerreadyfreddie by nine lengths. One of his owners, namely John Hales, was interviewed afterwards and he left viewers of ATR in no doubt that the gelding is held in high esteem.” WON at Kempton (18/3/17) @ 8/1

Quote: BUVEUR D’AIR: “I think the race which will really suit him is the Aintree Hurdle – he is a half-brother to Punchestowns and therefore the step up to two and a half miles ought to suit.” WON the Champion Hurdle (5/1) & Aintree Hurdle (4/9)

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL PREVIEW 2018

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The CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2017

5 WINNERS: ALTIOR (1/4), YORKHILL (6/4), LET’S DANCE (Advised @ 6/4), DEFI DU SEUIL (5/2), SIZING JOHN (Advised @ 10/1)

Plus: SINGLEFARMPAYMENT (E/W – 2nd @ Advised 8/1), GOLD PRESENT (E/W – 2nd @ 14/1), BELLSHILL (E/W – 3rd @ Advised 12/1), MONALEE (E/W – 2nd @ Advised @ 9/1), GARDEFORT (EW – 2nd @ Advised 33/1)

Quote: DEFI DU SEUIL has been the star juvenile hurdler on either side of the Irish Sea this winter. A bumper winner in France for Emmanuel Clayeux, he is unbeaten in five races over hurdles for Philip Hobbs and is rated 155. The stable have won this with Made In Japan (2004) and Detroit City (2006) and the fact the Voix Du Nord gelding is already a three times winner at Prestbury Park is a major plus. A nine lengths winner of the Finesse Hurdle at the Trials meeting in late January, he had previously won the Grade 1 Finale Hurdle at Chepstow by thirteen lengths. His jumping that day was indifferent (Barry Geraghty feels he will jump better on a sounder surface) and his best form has been on soft ground. Richard Johnson (2 from 2) is expected to deputise for the sidelined Barry Geraghty. A winner on good and soft ground, he has outstanding claims.” WON the Triumph Hurdle @ 5/2

Quote: SIZING JOHN was placed in both the Supreme NH (2015) and Arkle (2016) and may follow in the hoofprints of previous Gold Cup winners War of Attrition and Kicking King who both ran well in those novice events before capturing steeplechasing’s Blue Riband. The Midnight Legend gelding has chased home Douvan on no less than seven occasions during his career including at Leopardstown over Christmas. That was his first run for Jessica Harrington having been moved from Henry De Bromhead. Since then, he has benefited from avoiding Willie Mullins’ superstar and also stepping up in distance. A two and a quarter lengths winner of the Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles (Don Cossack won the same race prior to the Gold Cup) from Sub Lieutenant, he then produced an even better performance next time. Tackling three miles for the first time, he ran on well to beat Empire of Dirt in the Irish Hennessy at Leopardstown. Another who is very much unexposed over three miles, he isn’t guaranteed to stay another two and a half furlongs but stamina looks his strong suit nowadays.” WON the Cheltenham Gold Cup @ 7/1

Quote: “Jessica Harrington won this with Space Trucker in 1999 and she is set to be represented by ROCK MY WORLD. Third in the race last year off 146, the gelding is only a pound higher this time having run below par on his last three starts. Off the track since October (146 days), he prefers decent ground and has had a wind operation since his last appearance. Expect Robbie Power (2112512372) to be back on board for the first time since last April.” WON the Grand Annual Chase @ 10/1

Quote: “It is seventeen years since Samakaan won the race for Venetia Williams and GARDEFORT was running well in last year’s race until making a mistake at the fourth last and never recovered. A five times winner over fences, he scored by a length and a quarter at Wincanton last time and has only been raised three pounds since. Daryl Jacob (1 from 1) partnered him at the Somerset track and recommended this race immediately afterwards. Suited by ease in the ground, the forecast rain would play to his strengths. He is an interesting outsider.” Advised @ 33/1 – 2nd in the Grand Annual Chase

MY BEST CHANCE AT THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL: GRAHAM WYLIE: YORKHILL (WON @ 6/4)

THE HORSE I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO RIDING AT THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL: DENIS O’REGAN: TULLY EAST (WON @ 8/1)

TALKING TRAINERS: GORDON ELLIOTT: WINNERS: APPLE’S JADE (7/2), LABAIK (25/1)

Quote: APPLE’S JADE: “We are looking forward to running her because she has come on a lot since Punchestown. Better ground will suit her and she is in very good form at home. Bryan (Cooper) is very keen on her chances.” WON @ 7/2

Quote: LABAIK: “He is a horse with a lot of ability. If he jumps off, he is worth a £5 each-way.” WON the Supreme NH @ 25/1

PAUL NICHOLLS

Quote: “Keep an eye out, too, for BRIO CONTI at Kempton on Saturday (18th March): “I would have really fancied him in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle on Friday but he won’t get in. He will therefore run in the consolation race the following day at Kempton. I think he will have a massive chance in that.” WON at Kempton (18/3/17) @ 8/1

The IRISH ANGLE by Declan PHELAN

Quote: “My bet in this race is APPLE’S JADE. A leading juvenile in 2016, finishing runner up in the Triumph prior to coasting to victories at Aintree and Punchestown Festivals. Upon moving to Gordon Elliott, she has maintained that high standard over hurdles (not always the case with five year olds in their second term hurdling). Far from cherry ripe when defeated at Down Royal, she did not enjoy the run of the race in the Fighting Fifth, yet nearly rescued the cause with an impressive late surge, foiled in the end by a nose. For me, the key piece of form on offer is the Hatton’s Grace at Fairyhouse: a proper 2m 4f Grade 1: that afternoon I sided with Vroum Vroum Mag: inside the final two furlongs Apple’s and VV engaged in an epic battle with Apple’s poking her head in front at the loppypop stick. My initial, albeit at the time, biased opinion, was that VVM should have won if Ruby had got involved earlier. Upon reviewing the race many times, I changed my mind and felt that Apple’s took the measure of VVM, and if the race had gone on for another furlong or two, she would not have been passed. That afternoon, on the weight for age scale Apple’s received four pounds, that allowance is now gone, though the aspect of extra physical maturity should compensate. Apple’s then enjoyed a near three month break and returned at Punchestown: the ground was heavier than ideal, Limini pounced on her approaching the last and beat her two lengths. Bryan Cooper merely tapped Apple’s Jade a couple of times with no intensity. After the race she looked to me like a mare that was on a cob-web blowing exercise, and I believe she will strip significantly fitter for the run. As another three times Grade 1 winner, including a Grade 1 at 2m 4f, plus holding an official rating of 151, in this race you will see the real Apple’s Jade in bloom. She will sit close to the pace and when it comes to the crunch that doggedness and no surrender characteristic she demonstrated at Fairyhouse will be in evidence and help her win this prize.” WON @ 7/2

Quote: YORKHILL will be the classic exchange/divided opinion horse of the Festival. There is no denying that he has a massive engine under his bonnet and is one of the top five jumps horses in training; the divisive debate abounds whether the horse can keep his focus and jump cleanly and record a facile win in this race, or will he bring out some bad habits and post a performance littered with minor mistakes. His 2016 Neptune victory was one of the moments of that Festival, especially watching Ruby Walsh taking a pull heading to the last and almost laughing at Yanworth. Forewarned is forearmed and Ruby Walsh knows what to expect with Yorkhill; he has educated him in his two spins over fences: his only track defeat was at Punchestown last April, and he may by then have gone to the well once too often that springtime. This winter he has had a rather easy time and he is currently as fresh as a daisy compared to others in the line-up who have had a rough winter. I would agree with the view that he would be a serious contender for the Champion Hurdle had he been diverted in that direction. What is unusual about this horse is that his family are three milers, including the likes of The Listener and others therein. The speed he shows is almost a freak of nature. I think he wins bar a bad mistake and at 2/1 he is a fair price against less talented rivals.” WON @ 6/4

Quote: “Like most observers I had doubts about SIZING JOHN on the count of stamina before he won the Irish Gold Cup: in hindsight the fact that he had been generally campaigned at the two mile range for much of his career masked the truth that on pedigree three mile trips were a viable alternative: he is the young horse with the most speed in the race, and as of now he is 1 out of 1 in 3 mile Grade 1 chases, and this late vocation to staying chasing could easily take this race by storm.” WON the Cheltenham Gold Cup @ 7/1

AINTREE GRAND NATIONAL PREVIEW 2018

Price: £6.00

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The AINTREE GRAND MEETING 2017

5 WINNERS: DEFI DU SEUIL (4/11), BUVEUR D’AIR (4/9), RATHER BE (Advised @ 16/1 – WON @ 10/1), THE WORLD’S END (3/1), YANWORTH (9/4)

Quote: “Nicky Henderson has won this twice in the last four years (Minella Forfitness (2013) & Theinval (2015)) and, at the time of writing, has seven entries. The one who stands out is the novice RATHER BE, who looks ahead of the handicapper off a mark of 136. Bought for €78,000 and a half-brother to stablemate and smart hurdler Sign of A Victory, he was beaten less than ten lengths in the Cheltenham Festival bumper last season. A winner over jumps at Hereford (Good) and Huntingdon (Good/Soft) in October and December respectively, the six year old failed by a head to concede nine pounds to Alan King’s Coeur De Lion (seventh in the Triumph Hurdle) at Sandown (Heavy). Last time, he was badly hampered and unseated his rider at the second flight in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham. Unexposed over the distance (1U), he is well regarded and handles any ground. He ought to be very competitive off his rating.” Advised @ 16/1 WON @ 10/1

Quote: THE WORLD’S END fell in his only Irish point but has won a bumper and three times over hurdles since joining Tom George. Rated 149, the Stowaway gelding has improved since tackling longer trips. A nine lengths winner of a Grade 2 at Haydock (2m 7f) in February, he was still travelling strongly when falling at the penultimate flight in the Albert Bartlett NH at Cheltenham. Unexposed over three miles, he handles any ground and, assuming his fall hasn’t left its mark, he is another very much for the shortlist.” WON the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle @ 3/1

Quote: YANWORTH is rated 163 having won 7 of his 9 races. Despite winning his first three starts this term, Alan King’s seven year old didn’t convince in the Ascot, Christmas or Kingwell Hurdles. A hard fought winner on each occasion, he was a big disappointment in the Champion Hurdle only finishing seventh behind Buveur D’Air. The Norse Dancer gelding looked a stayer when leading close home in his three wins this term and he looks well worth a try over this distance (another who is running beyond 2m 5f for the first time). He finished strongly in the Neptune Investments NH last season and the World Hurdle was mooted as the likely plan until his owner J.P.McManus bought Unowhatimeanharry. The head of Barbury Castle has won this twice with Spendid (2002) and Blazing Bailey (2008).” WON the Liverpool Hurdle @ 9/4

Quote: LALOR: “A five year old by It’s Gino, he finished runner-up on his first two outings at Wincanton before running out a thirteen lengths winner at the same track last month. Always going well under Daryl Jacob, he sauntered clear. His trainer Richard Woollacott stated afterwards: I think Lalor is quite nice because he's a big, weak, unfurnished horse. He might run with a penalty, but wouldn't run on anything quicker than good to soft.” It was rumoured afterwards that champion trainer Paul Nicholls made a six figure bid for the five year old which was rejected. All three of his races have been on soft or heavy ground.” WON the Grade 2 bumper @ 33/1

Quote: DOUBLE W’S was an easy winner of his first two races over fences at Carlisle and Wetherby before possibly finding the ground too slow at Newbury’s Hennessy meeting. Runner-up behind Upsilon Bleu at Doncaster, he didn’t appear to get home in the 2m 4f novices’ handicap chase at Cheltenham last month. Eventually beaten over twenty lengths, he held every chance jumping the second last. A strongly run two miles on drying ground brings out the best in Malcolm Jefferson’s seven year old. He is only four pounds higher than his last win.” WON the Red Rum Chase @ 8/1

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