Give Me A Copper (5/1) provided Paul Nicholls with his tenth win in the Badger Ales Chase at Wincanton. As stated on page 111 of One Jump Ahead, the champion trainer has had the race in mind for the nine year old for some time and, having raced prominently throughout, he stayed on after the last to withstand the late thrust of Soupy Soups to prevail by a neck. Rated 142, his trainer feels the gelding is at his best on a flat track and is likely to be steered towards the Grand National next spring.
Grade 1 winning juvenile hurdler Fusil Raffles was a workmanlike winner of the Grade 2 Elite Hurdle at the same track. Nicky Henderson's gelding was in receipt of three pounds from the racefit Grand Sancy but Daryl Jacob was forced to work hard to ensure his partner got on top after the last. He ran here in preference to the Greatwood Hurdle next week and, on this evidence, will need to improve if he is to develop into a live Champion Hurdle contender.
Both Mossy Fen and Keep Wondering feature in Declan Phelan's Irish Pointers section of One Jump Ahead and the pair dominated the two and a half miles novices' hurdle at Aintree. It was the former who emerged on top under his penalty. A three and three quarters of a length winner, the Milan gelding gives the impression he will be even better over three miles. The Grade 2 Bristol Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham's December meeting could be a possible target for Nigel Twiston-Davies' progressive youngster. It shouldn't be long before the runner-up goes one better as he pulled five lengths clear of the third.
There were a couple of smart performances in the handicaps at the same venue. The Last Day looked well ahead of his rating in the two miles handicap chase. Rated 131, Evan Williams' lightly raced seven year old was always going well and readily beat Baby King (a previous winner of the race) by five lengths. The winning margin could have been doubled had Adam Wedge wished. Something like the Castleford Chase at Wetherby (27th December) could suit him - he handles testing ground and enjoys a strongly run race.
Riders Onthe Storm was purchased for £50,000 at the Goffs UK Doncaster Sale in May and the former Tom Taaffe trained gelding immediately recouped £49,520 when taking the two and a half miles handicap chase. A faller at the Cheltenham Festival last spring, he was having his first start for Nigel Twiston-Davies and looked well treated off 140 as he beat the useful Cepage by a lengths and three quarters. Taking over the end of the back straight, he always looked like holding Venetia Williams' runner. I will be surprised if he isn't entered in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham next month. He looks an exciting addition to the Naunton stable and, who knows, he could be back at Aintree in April.
Unfortunately, the Top 40 continue to frustrate - I can't recall a worse start. The Handicap Snips section are also enduring an exasperating spell. Two more seconds in the last twenty four hours. How on earth the one at Hexham yesterday got beaten, I will never know. On a positive note, I thought the horse at bottom of page 154 was a major eyecatcher on Saturday. If you haven't already done so, keep him in your tracker - I will convince he will be worth the wait, probably at Christmas.
As far as the best bet on Sunday is concerned. Manchester City looked an oustanding bet at Anfield. Liverpool are bound to finish second.
“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