Following a lean last week of 2018 for the Top 40 Prospects, Midnight Shadow (8/1) ensured 2019 got off to a flying start with an impressive victory in the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham. Sue Smith's Scottish Champion Hurdle winner appreciated the step up to two and a half miles at Aintree last time winning a handicap off a mark of 141. Raised five pounds since, this represented a marked rise in class but Danny Cook's mount was always jumping and travelling beautifully. The Midnight Legend gelding struck the front at the last before staying on strongly to beat last year's winner Wholestone by two and a quarter lengths. His racing style suggests he will stay three miles and it would be no surprise to see him return to Prestbury Park at the end of the month for the Cleeve Hurdle. The Stayers' Hurdle is wide open and the lightly raced six year old could emerge as a leading contender.
I was disappointed with Black Op's performance in the Grade 2 Dipper Novices' Chase earlier on the card. Tom George's gelding produced an indifferent round of jumping and didn't look quick enough. Beaten seven and a quarter lengths by Lostintranslation, who he beat at Aintree last spring, and Defi Du Seuil, the Sandmason gelding appears to be crying out for a step up to three miles. I also think he will benefit from slower ground. With hindsight, he should have taken up his engagement at Haydock two days earlier - it was a much easier assignment and the underfoot conditions were testing. Unlike Clare and Paul Rooney, his owner is keen to have as many runners at Cheltenham as possible.
Overall, it was an excellent start to the New Year for One Jump Ahead though with Cliffs of Dover (7/2), Extra Mag (11/10), Greaneteen (3/1), Knockgraffon (4/1), Jarveys Plate (12/1) and Midnight Shadow (8/1) all winning.
“Thank you for a very successful and profitable email service. My personal highlight was the win of Aloomomo whose romp round Uttoxeter was a joy. Keep up the good work with all your services, the books and updates, they are simply the best by a very long way.”
“Just want to say thanks for running the service again this year, I have ended up with a nice £756 profit from it so I'm obviously very happy with that so thanks a lot!”
“Thanks for your email Mark would just like to say your selections and insight has been awesome. Keep up the good work sir your service is the best.”
“Thank you for an excellent tipping service throughout the three months. It has been a pleasure and profitable to be a member of your service. Your indepth knowledge and analysis of the race has been excellent. I honestly rate your service as one of the best and most profitable.”
“Thanks very much for the fantastic service you have supplied, I have been involved with racing tipsters for over 30 years and never had as good a strike rate as yourself, out of this world.”
“The email service as usual has been brilliant and this season's OJA seems to continue to unearth amazing insight if you have the time to trust and follow it in detail over a period. Thanks as always for your outstanding value for money publications.”
“Superb information again Mark, I managed to get some 11/4, will certainly pay for Xmas. Different class.”
“Awesome result the magicman strikes again. Won with plenty in hand and not a moments worry great write up spot on again and results speak for themselves best service I've tried, keep up the fantastic work sir. Very happy customer!”
Mark Howard Publications Ltd.
69 Fairgarth Drive