Mark Howard Publications Ltd

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Ahead On The Flat

The Top Flat Horses To Follow for 2021

Foreword by Ed CHAMBERLIN, ITV Racing

“Mark Howard has long established a track record of being one of the best analysts in the sport – and he also has an incredible contact book as well. Just look at some of the trainers who have spoken to him for this year’s book.”

Stable Interviews:

Andrew BALDING, Ralph BECKETT, George BOUGHEY, Roger CHARLTON, Clive COX, Tim EASTERBY, William HAGGAS, James TATE, Roger VARIAN.

Ahead On The Flat (140 pages) also features the following sections:

The Top 40 Prospects - last year’s produced 35 winners, including Group 1 winners NAZEEF (4 wins) & PALACE PIER (3 wins), plus other Pattern winners AL AASY (2), GOLD WAND (2), PATRICK SARSFIELD (3) & TOP RANK (2). Other notable winners GALATA BRIDGE (3) & ORBAAN (25/1).

Bloodstock Briefings – interview with agent SAM HAGGAS, who was responsible for buying subsequent Listed & Group 3 winner Miss O’Connor and involved in the sale of Group 1 winning filly Urban Fox.

Ballydoyle Juveniles9 well bred unraced Two Year olds trained by Aidan O’Brien. Group 1 winners SHALE (Moyglare Stud Stakes) & ST MARK’S BASILICA (Dewhurst Stakes) were included in last year’s article.

Maidens In Waiting – 16 lightly raced three year olds who ought to be shedding their maiden tags shortly. 14 of the 17 horses covered twelve months ago won at least once. Those featured included COSMIC PRINCESS (6/1), FRANKLY DARLING (Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes), LADY ELEANOR (25/1) and TENBURY WELLS (3/1, 15/8).

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, plus three unraced horses trained by Simon & Ed Crisford and Joseph O’Brien to watch out for.

Appendix – a comprehensive analysis of the leading sprinters, milers, middle distances and stayers for the season ahead

Index – anextensive index covering over 500 horses

How To Order

Price: £10.99 including postage (£15.99 overseas)

Available direct from:

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

Available from specialist horse racing shops:

RACEFORM (via www.racingpost.com/shop)

ISBN: 978-1-9161259-1-9

 

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:

“During lockdown I signed up to your publication ‘Ahead on the Flat’ and in turn signed up to your emails for the big meetings. I’m so glad I did. The book alone is wonderful value and very informative without being too heavy in content. It hits the spot perfectly. Then the added bonus are the emails you send for the big meets. It's obvious how much effort you put into these but equally it’s obvious how passionate you are about our wonderful sport that is Horse Racing.” M.W.

“Just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful Royal Ascot. The book and the emailed updates were the icing on the cake. Yes there were some losers but the winners made it a memorable meeting for me. To be able to reference the horses to the book was a wonderful experience and that's just for starters with more top notch meetings coming thick and fast by the week. Why I have never bought this book for so long heaven knows but I will be buying every issue and email Update from now on. Thank you Mark and team for a wonderful publication.” D.D.

“Once again superb information in Ahead on the Flat placing you a distance Ahead of the Field. Top 40 selection Orbaan wins at York on his seasonal debut at 25/1. Thank you so much for your continued first class advice.” W.G.

“Just like to thank you for a superb publication. The work you put in must be phenomenal.” S.M.

“Thank you for the info on Escape Route in your Royal Ascot Update, my funds for that meeting are nicely topped up as I managed to get on at 8/1 last night.” R.W.

“Thanks for an excellent nugget of information. Great start to the week.” M.B.

“Thanks Mark, Escape route has given us a way out of Lockdown and paid for the week!” S.L.

“Just wanted to send a quick email to say thanks alot for the copy of the book, kept me busy last few days and is once again a top class read. Brilliant. I know alot of work goes into it and just wanted to say how informative and knowledgeable I found it this year, top class.” S.M.

 

Ahead On The Flat Updates

ROYAL ASCOT

Price: £10.00

Example t

7 WINNERS: FRANKLY DARLING (Advised @ 7/4), NAZEEF (100/30), RUSSIAN EMPEROR (Advised @ 4/1), MOLATHAM (11/2), KHALOOSY (Advised @ 14/1), ART POWER (Advised @ 3/1) and PALACE PIER (Advised @ 9/2)

3 selections in the BRITANNIA STAKES – KHALOOSY (Advised @ 14/1), FINEST SOUND (Advised @ 8/1) & ENEMY (Advised @ 10/1) – 1st, 2nd & 4th

Plus: TRITONIC (Advised @ 14/1 – 2nd), NAHAARR (Advised @ 16/1 – 3rd), SUMMERGHAND (Advised @ 16/1 – beaten a nose in the Wokingham Stakes), SPANISH CITY (Advised @ 16/1 – 3rd)

Quote: RUSSIAN EMPEROR caught the eye in no uncertain terms on his only appearance as a two year old. Aidan O’Brien’s son of Galileo stayed on well to finish third behind stablemate Iberia at the Curragh in July but missed the remainder of the campaign. He returned at Naas in late March though and led close home to win a large field one mile maiden. Up in class and distance at Leopardstown this month, he was unlucky not to make it two wins this year being denied by another Ballydoyle inmate, namely Cormorant. The winner dictated from the front in a messy race and by the time he engaged top gear it was too late. Beaten half a length, he remains a highly promising sort. O’Brien originally had five entries as he tries to win the race for a fourth time (2004, 2005, 2018) and Ryan Moore rides.” Advised @ 4/1 WON the Hampton Court Stakes @ 100/30

Quote: MOLATHAM is held in high regard by Roger Varian and Michael Jarvis’ former assistant is adamant he didn’t appreciate a mile on soft ground in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket last time. Fourth behind Military March (fourth in the 2000 Guineas), he had previously won at York and Doncaster. His victory at the latter came in Listed company when beating subsequent 2000 Guineas runner-up Wichita by a neck with Berlin Tango (Group 3 winner since) in third. Unbeaten over seven furlongs, he is a half-brother to Listed winner Perfection. Provided the ground isn’t testing, the son of Night of Thunder ought to be a major player.” WON the Jersey Stakes @ 11/2

Quote: KHALOOSY has only raced twice earning an official rating of 94. A grey son of Dubawi, he was only beaten a length on his debut at Newcastle (7f) in October before appreciating the step up to a mile next time. It may not have been the strongest of races but Roger Varian’s colt couldn’t have won any easier at Wolverhampton powering away for a four and a half lengths win (runner-up has won since). Well regarded, it will be a surprise if he isn’t contesting Pattern races at some stage during his career.” Advised @ 14/1 WON the Britannia Stakes @ 9/2

Quote: ART POWER has looked a Pattern race sprinter in the making in two of his three career starts. A grey colt by Dark Angel who cost €110,000 as a yearling, he is a half-brother to a Group 3 winner. Tim Easterby’s charge is also entered in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup later on the card but this looks a better option. Third on his debut at Newcastle (6f) in September, he dropped back to the minimum trip at York the following month and was an impressive five lengths winner on soft ground. Back in action on ‘resumption’ day at the start of June, he had no trouble shouldering a penalty as he annihilated ten rivals by five and a half lengths at Newcastle over six furlongs. The return to five won’t be a problem. Indeed, I think it will prove to be his optimum trip. A minor concern is the fact Tim Easterby has only had 2 winners from 73 runners since racing resumed but he has trained 5 Royal Ascot winners and has every chance of making it six with this exciting sprinter.” Advised @ 3/1 WON by three and a half lengths @ 6/4

Quote: PALACE PIER (Top 40) is unbeaten in three career starts but faces his stiffest test to date by some margin here. Purchased for 600,000gns, he won both outings as a juvenile at Sandown by an aggregate of over eight lengths (both over 7f). A tibia injury soon afterwards ruled him out for the Autumn and John Gosden didn’t feel he possessed enough experience to contest the 2000 Guineas this month. However, he did make a winning return in a 0-100 three year old handicap at Newcastle. Stepping up to a mile, he stayed on powerfully to beat Acquitted by three and a quarter lengths off a mark of 98. This has been the plan ever since as his trainer bids for his third win in the race (Kingman (2014) & Without Parole (2018)).” Advised @ 9/2 WON the St James’s Palace Stakes @ 4/1

Quote: SUMMERGHAND is trained by David O’Meara who won the race with Out Do in 2017 and the Upper Helmsley based handler is in fine form (8 winners in the last 14 days) at present. Three lengths fifth twelve months ago off 100, the six year old is only a pound higher this time around. Having had four runs at Meydan during the winter, he returned to action in the UK when an excellent second behind Tinto at Newmarket this month. Runner-up in the Great St Wilfred last August, he boasts some strong form in the top six furlongs handicaps and is most definitely shortlist material. His form figures at Ascot are 54 and he is ridden by James Doyle for the first time (drawn stall 14). Best Price: 16/1 (Bet365)” ADVISED @ 16/1 beaten a nose in the Wokingham Stakes @ 15/2

Also:

Quote: “Clipper Logistics racing manager Joe Foley nominated six unraced two year olds to watch for on page 49 of Ahead On The Flat. ESCAPE ROUTE makes his racecourse bow at Pontefract on Monday (12.20) and a bold showing is anticipated despite his wide draw. Richard Fahey’s Dandy Man colt reportedly worked well last week. He is one to keep an eye on.” WON @ 6/1

YORK EBOR FESTIVAL

Price: £6.00

Example t

WINNERS: GHAIYYATH (11/8), MINZAAL (Advised @ 4/1)

Plus: TARBOOSH (3rd @ 50/1), QUE AMORO (Advised @ 25/1 – 2nd)

Quote: MINZAAL is a horse I have a lot of time for and will be surprised if he doesn’t prove Pattern race class. Acquired for 140,000gns as a yearling, he was well touted prior to his debut at Ascot last month. Beaten a length and three quarters in fourth, he would have been a lot closer with a clear passage. Forced to switch having been hampered, the son of Mehmas finished strongly. He gained compensation next time at Salisbury when barely coming out of second gear to win hard held by nearly four lengths. Both runs have been on fast ground but his sire finished second in the Coventry Stakes on soft.” Advised @ 4/1 WON the Gimcrack Stakes

Quote: TARBOOSH is trained by Paul Midgley who won the race with Desert Law in 2017 and sent out Final Venture to finish a neck second in 2018. The seven year old is the North Yorkshire handler’s only entry this time around and he finished eighth in the race last year off a mark of 104 (one pound higher now). Drawn on the ‘wrong side,’ he led home his group but was still two and a quarter lengths behind the winner Dakota Gold. Bought for 8,000gns in October 2016 when rated 78, the Bahamian Bounty gelding has won ten times for his current yard. Without a victory in 2020, he was beaten half a length by El Astronaute in the Listed Achilles Stakes at Doncaster this summer and ran a cracker in the Listed City Walls Stakes at York when running on strongly to finish fourth beaten less than a length by Moss Gill. Too free in testing ground at Hamilton last time, he wants good or slower ground and Graham Lee (3,8 – both Listed races) takes the ride. His stable are in fine form with three winners last Friday (5 in the last 14 days). Drawn in stall 19, last year’s winner Dakota Gold carried 9st 10lb to victory.”3rd @ 50/1

Quote: QUE AMORO was bought for 28,000gns as a yearling and has proved a real money spinner for Michael Dods (won this twice with Mecca’s Angel). The daughter of Es Que Love has improved since being allowed to bowl along in front winning twice over C&D last summer, including when beating Moss Girl at last year’s Ebor Festival, conceding nine pounds. Indeed her course form figures read 2113. She looked better than ever on her seasonal return at Ayr winning the Listed Land O’Burns Stakes by three lengths (Margot Did won the same two races in 2011). Third behind old rival Moss Gill in the Listed City Walls Stakes over C&D last month, they didn’t make enough use of her. Runner-up on slow ground, she prefers to hear her hooves rattle and, while it will take a huge ask to trouble the likes of Art Power and Battaash, she shouldn’t be underestimated. The Nunthorpe has provided its fair share of shocks during the last ten years – Slade Power 100/1 (2010), Margot Did 20/1 (2011), Jwala 40/1 (2013), Alpha Delphini 40/1 (2018). Fillies/mares have won 6 of the last 9 renewals and Jwala (2013), Mecca’s Angel (2015) and Marsha (2017) all won it as four year olds.” Advised @ 25/1 – 2nd in the Nunthorpe Stakes

WINNERS: NO RECOLLECTION (9/4), ZAHRATTY (5/2)

Quote: Talking Trainers with ALAN KING: NO RECOLLECTION: “He has run well in both his starts finishing fourth on his debut at Newbury and then third at Haydock last time. Despite the fact he handled the soft ground at the latter track, Martin (Harley) didn’t think it was ideal and he will prefer a sounder surface. The fourth (Titan Rock) has won since and the handicapper has given us a mark of 76. A strong traveller, I am keen to run him in a nursery and then put him away for next season. I think he is a very smart horse in the making.” WON on nursery debut at Wolverhampton (22/10/20) @ 9/4

Quote: ZAHRATTY: “The once raced ZAHRATTY looked a surefire future winner after her promising first run at Newmarket last month. A three year old filly by Muhaarar, she cost €500,000 as a yearling and is a half-sister to five times winner Naadirr. Despite her sprinting pedigree, John Gosden’s charge made her debut over a mile on the July course and, while she never troubled her winning stablemate Bizzi Lizzi (won again since), the penny dropped in the latter stages as she stayed on well in third. On this evidence, she may stay further but it shouldn’t be long before she sheds her maiden tag.” WON next time at Newmarket (29/8/20) @ 5/2

STABLE INTERVIEWS with ALAN KING & DAVID O’MEARA

AUTUMN

Price: £6.00

Example t

CHEVELEY PARK STAKES: ALCOHOL FREE (Advised @ 8/1) – WON @ 7/2

Quote: ALCOHOL FREE is a daughter of No Nay Never and was bought for €40,000 as a foal. She made a striking impression on her debut when winning by a length and three quarters from subsequent winner Al Saariyah (rated 81) at Newbury last month. Andrew Balding’s filly then stepped up in class in the Group 3 Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury (her owner Jeff Smith is the course’s chairman) and acquitted herself very well. Drawn widest of all, she raced on the outside throughout but still stayed on well in second behind the progressive Happy Romance. Beaten three parts of a length, it was an excellent run considering her lack of experience (the winner had raced five times beforehand) and poor track position. The third (Scarlet Bear) has finished a close second in another Group 3 since. It is worth recalling last year’s winner Millisle also finished runner-up in the Dick Poole Stakes en route to Group 1 glory on the Rowley Mile.”Advised @ 8/1 WON the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket (26/9/20) @ 7/2

PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE: IN SWOOP (Advised @ 33/1 – 2nd)

Quote: IN SWOOP would be a live outsider provided the ground was slow. Unraced at two, the Francis- Henri Graffard trained son of Adlerflug won at Lyon in May before taking the Group 1 German Derby by three parts of a length at Hamburg. Runner-up behind Mogul in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp in September, he couldn’t match the winner’s speed but he stayed on well late on. His record on good to soft is 131 and that appears to be the key to his chance. Having only raced four times, the three year old is open to further improvement. Best Price: 33/1 (William Hill).” Advised @ 33/1 for the Prix de L’Arc De Triomphe at Longchamp (4/10/20) – Beaten a neck in 2nd @ 10/1

CAMBRIDGESHIRE: LUCANDER (2nd @ 18/1) + BELL ROCK (Advised @ 14/1 – 3rd)

Quote: LUCANDER won three times as a two year old and was a winner at York on his latest start. Ralph Beckett’s three year old finished a neck third on his reappearance at Haydock in June behind Strait of Hormuz (won at Doncaster since). That form looks particularly strong with both the runner-up Angel Power (won twice including a Listed race) and fourth Brunch (two wins) progressing since. Well held next time on the July course (1m 2f : Soft), he was back to form on the Knavesmire when beating Sky Defender by a length and three quarters off a mark of 94. The only three year old in the line up that day, he is unexposed over the trip and is a winner on soft and fast ground. The Classic generation have won 4 of the last 8 renewals, including the last two, and he is drawn on the stands side in stall 27.”2nd in the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket (26/9/20) @ 18/1

Quote: BELL ROCK won his only start as a juvenile on the Rowley Mile but was disappointing in three races last year. Outclassed in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes, he was gelded during the winter and has returned to form as a four year old. Andrew Balding’s son of Kingman beat Ouzo in a mile handicap at Newmarket in June off a mark of 98 (now rated 103) before finishing sixth in the Royal Hunt Cup. Third at Goodwood last time behind Maydanny, that was his first run beyond a mile and he stayed on well. Off since (60 days), he is very good fresh and is unbeaten in two runs on the Rowley Mile. Yet to race on ground slower than good, his dam won on good to soft and the four year old will be partnered by Oisin Murphy (160163). He is drawn in stall 24.”Advised @ 14/1 – 3rd in the Cambridgeshire Handicap @ 10/1

MELBOURNE CUP: TIGER MOTH (2nd @ 11/2)

Quote: The Melbourne Cup (3rd November) is not a race I have ever had a financial involvement in but I am hoping Aidan O’Brien is given the opportunity to run TIGER MOTH. Despite the fact he is not necessarily bred to stay two miles being out of dual Listed winning sprinter, he is by Galileo and anything is possible with his stock. Denied by a head in the Irish Derby behind stablemate Santiago, he was back to winning ways in a Group 3 at Leopardstown (1m 4f : Good) in September when beating Silence Please by four lengths. Ryan Moore was impressed and the three year old has been in quarantine ever since. It is worth remembering Joseph O’Brien won the race ‘which stops the nation’ in 2017 with a three year old, namely Rekindling. Tiger Moth looks to be cut from the same cloth.” 2nd beaten half a length in the Melbourne Cup (3/11/20) @ 11/2

WINNERS: BRENTFORD HOPE (9/4), MITHRAS (5/4), QUINTILLUS (8/11), SHOWALONG (15/8)

Quote: I was working for Racing TV at Ayr last week and had my fingers burnt when SHOWALONG only finished fourth in the six furlongs nursery on Friday. Tim Easterby’s son of Showcasing had been entered in the Listed Harry Rosebery Stakes on the same day and the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury twenty four hours later. He thus appeared to be well treated for his handicap debut off a mark of 84 but spoilt his chance by racing too freely and failing to get home. Indeed, the front runners played into the hands of the hold up horses by going too fast early on. Beaten four lengths, I spoke to Tim afterwards and he reported that David Allan said he jumped so quickly out of the stalls he immediately took a strong grip and over raced. Entered in the Redcar Two Year Old Trophy on Saturday week (3rd October) – a race the Great Habton team have won four times – he may run there but isn’t certain to make the cut. Alternatively, he looks tailormade for the extended five furlongs nursery (0-95) at York (9th October) next month. A winner at Redcar in late August, he is held in high regard and is better than he showed in Scotland last time. The handicapper has dropped him a pound since.” WON at York (9/10/20) @ 15/8

All 3 EMAIL UPDATES (Ahead on the flat)

Price: £19.00

 

AHEAD ON THE FLAT & ALL EMAIL UPDATES

Price: £28.99

£10.99

(Print Sold Out - Available as PDF)

One Jump Ahead

The Top National Hunt Horses To Follow for 2020/2021

Foreword by Nick LUCK, 7 times Broadcaster of The Year

“To all Jumps fans who would regularly call for a summer break between seasons, 2020 has surely cautioned you to be careful what you wish for. If it seems an age since the last meaningful competition over obstacles, that’s because it is. At the time of writing, no National Hunt racing of any consequence has taken place since the well named Indefatigable flew up the hill to land the final race of what will now and forever be known as the most controversial Cheltenham Festival ever to take place.                             

So much, yet so little, has happened in the interim that when I was presenting (via Zoom, naturally) the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Jumps awards the other day, I momentarily forgot the name of the Gold Cup winner. The fact that he has won the race twice makes this even less forgivable, although I will maintain that Al Boum Photo is one of the worst names ever dished out to a top class racehorse. I know this is a complete folly of a sidetrack of a complete irrelevance, but I actually believe this ignominy has unfairly diminished his reputation - well, that combined with the fact that he is seen about as often as Halley’s Comet.

Happily, there is zero danger of Mark Howard forgetting anything about the winter game, and what lies between the covers of this ever reliable guide will give succour to anyone suffering a bout of amnesia that prevents them recalling the Welsh National winner trained by Christian Williams or the ‘good thing’ of Willie Mullins that romped in the County Hurdle for J.P. or the forgotten mare who did much the same in the Coral Cup. (They were Potters Corner, Saint Roi and Dame de Compagnie, by the way, and were tipped in Mark’s regular Updates at odds of 9/1, 20/1 and 10/1.)

If there is one less heralded horse that I do remember, however, it is On The Slopes. I had it in my mind quite firmly towards the end of last season that this six year old would continue to make progress, and might even make it to Graded company, and I am really pleased to see an interview with his trainer Chris Gordon make it into One Jump Ahead for the first time. Beneath the wisecracking self-deprecation lurks one of the sharpest minds in the game. Joining him among the first timers is Anthony Honeyball, who continues a fairly relentless rise to somewhere near the top.

Of course, we are all looking forward to seeing Envoi Allen, who might be one of the best jumpers we have seen, and I’m particularly excited to see what Albert Bartlett winner Monkfish might do as he continues to furnish - no doubt you’ll find out more in Mark’s exclusive interview with Rich Ricci.

It has been a tough year for everyone, some more than others, but a positive is that racing has shown it can be a viable sport even in the most taxing of circumstances. We know that nothing will quite be the same; that Cheltenham next March may only be able to provide half the roar. But the quality of the sport will not be diminished and, if this book reminds you of anything, it’s that it will be worth the wait.”

Owners’ Enclosure – Exclusive interviews with Henrietta KNIGHT & Rich RICCI

Henrietta Knight (8 horses covered, including the unraced four year old who looks ‘a bit special’) & Rich Ricci (29 horses).

Rich RICCI & racing manager Joe CHAMBERS nominate their horse to follow for 2019/2020

Stable Interviews:

Kim BAILEY (44 horses featured), Harry FRY (41), Chris GORDON (26), Philip HOBBS (55), Anothony HONEYBALL (35), Alan KING (53), Tom LACEY (37), Olly MURPHY (58), Paul NICHOLLS (116), Jonjo O’NEILL (53), David PIPE (45) & Nicky RICHARDS (45).

Quotes from last year’s One Jump Ahead:

ENVOI ALLEN

“It is fair to say at times that you get what you pay for and, while Envoi Allen wasn’t cheap, he is an outstanding prospect for hurdles and fences. In an ideal world, this five year old will be steered towards the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham next spring.”

FERNY HOLLOW

“Ferny Hollow could be top class and, if tracing the bumper route this season will be a leading player in that division. One of a handful of four year olds from the 2019 academy who I predict will have little trouble winning Graded track races, even to Grade 1 rank in time. Willie Mullins has won the Cheltenham Festival bumper on no less than nine occasions and, both he and Cheveley Park Stud, may have a serious contender for the 2020 version.WON the Cheltenham Festival bumper at 11/1

ALAN KING speaking about HARAMBE

“He will stay over hurdles because I think he is on a fair mark. We will consider races such as the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham (17th November). A strong traveller, he will stay further, if necessary, and I think he is a proper horse.” WON the Greatwood Hurdle at 16/1

One Jump Ahead (198 pages) also features the following sections:

The Top 40 Prospects – Last year’s Top 40 Prospects produced 36 winners at a strike-rate of 35% with a £10 level stakes PROFIT of £113.50. They included CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL winners ENVOI ALLEN, FERNY HOLLOW (11/1) & SHISHKIN (6/1), plus other exciting prospects FAROUK D’ALENE (2 from 2), ISRAEL CHAMP (16/1, 8/1), SPORTING JOHN (3 wins) & THE BIG BREAKWAY (2 wins).

Changing Codes – 11 Flat horses who are set to go hurdling for the first time.

English Pointers – my Racing TV colleague JONATHAN NEESOM picks 13 horses who raced between the flags in the UK last season and caught his eye. In the last couple of years, Jonathan has highlighted the likes of KING ROLAND, SANTINI and TEA CLIPPER.

French Revolution - 47 horses who have being plying their trade in France but have been bought to race in the UK and Ireland this winter. Last year’s article produced 12 winners from 52 runners (23%) yielding a £10 level stakes PROFIT of £115.30. The selections included Cheltenham Festival winners ARAMAX (Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle @ 15/2), BURNING VICTORY (Triumph Hurdle @ 12/1) and SAINT ROI (County Hurdle @ 11/2). The feature has also unearthed other Cheltenham Festival winners over the years, namely A PLUS TARD, DEFI DU SEUIL, the ill-fated Champion Hurdle winner ESPOIR D’ALLEN and KLASSICAL DREAM. For the second time, former French Champion jockey JAMES REVELEY has added his comments to the majority of those featured.

Irish Pointers - expert DECLAN PHELAN highlights 37 pointers to follow from across the Irish Sea who will race under Rules this winter. Last year’s feature yielded 37 winners at an impressive strike-rate of 27% and produced a £10 level stakes PROFIT of £274.60 (following on from his 40 winners and PROFIT of £462.90 the previous year). The latest success stories included ADRIMEL (2 wins), BIG BRESIL (10/1), CILL ANNA (3 wins), CLONDAW CAITLIN (4 wins – 12/1, plus Grade 2 success), FRENCH DYNAMITE (6/1, 5/1), KEARNEY HILL (20/1), MINELLA MELODY (3 wins), MOSSY FEN (3 wins) and SPRINGFIELD FOX (7/1).

Unraced Bumper Horses – 14 highly regarded youngsters who will be making their debuts in bumpers this season. They are trained by the likes of Paul Nicholls, Olly Murphy, Nicky Richards, Brian Ellison.

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

Index – 792 horses included

How To Order

Price: £10.99 including postage (except £5 extra for overseas)

Available direct from:

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

One Jump Ahead Updates – VIA EMAIL ONLY

I shall be producing 5 One Jump Ahead Updates throughout the 2020/21 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 2019/2020 Updates:

What The Clients Said:

“Thanks once again for an informative and profitable update the combination of One Jump Ahead and the Updates are not only informative and enjoyable but invaluable for National Hunt fans of all levels of punting interest.” R.J.

“Excellent work as always; I’m a new customer to the Updates this year and have been very impressed with the quality of your work; your enthusiasm and effort is clear from your work.” D.G.

“This edition must be the best ever as the winners just keep on coming from the start of the current National Hunt Season. You must be the scourge of the bookmaking fraternity and long may it continue. Well done.” A.H.

“Thought to drop a note and say great work on the names to note from the November Update. I had two good bets on Epatante and Ribble Valley, and tragically missed Tavus! Brilliant work on pointing these out though.“ W.H.

“Well done with Epatante, glad to see you proved right about her. Perfect race for her today and a good shout from you well in advance - 5/1 in the antepost book, most rewarding.” S.H.

“Wow what a superb ending to the November meeting. Thanks to Top 40 Prospects Israel Champ completed the meeting with a nice hefty profit. Thanks very much.” S.T.

“Have to thank you Mark for highlighting Ferny Hollow. Backed him at 25s a couple of times back Sept/Oct 2019 and its certainly added big time to a wonderful two betting days at Cheltenham. Been with MH Publications for a good few years now and its info like this that highlights why you are so popular.” K.E.

“What a day mate. Envoi Allen 10/1,Dame de Compagnie 10/1 & Ferny Hollow 25/1 absolutely brilliant THANK YOU.” F.R.

“Just to say thanks for Ferny Hollow, took 20's a while ago, I owe you a drink.” J.M.

“Great service mate, I was on Shishkin at 33/1. Keep up good work.” F.R.

“Well Done and thank you, the Cheltenham Update gave great info and a nice winner today with Truckers Lodge taking the Midlands National.” S.S.

“Thank you once again for Truckers Lodge, amazing information.” B.J.

“I look forward to next year’s OJA, I was just flicking through this year’s edition and your Top 40 Prospects worked out very well once again (I know you don’t need me to tell you) and the book as a whole contributed enormously to me having a very successful Cheltenham Festival with my first real crack at taking ante-post seriously. For that I can’t thank you enough.” M.H.

“I bought One Jump Ahead recently and think it is outstanding work. Some of us do not just judge on results but on quality of insight and yours is first class!” D.M.

One Jump Ahead Updates

PADDY POWER UPDATE – NOVEMBER 2020

Price: £6.00

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WINNERS: JATILUWIH (Advised @ 11/2)

Quote: JATILUWIH was a winner over fences in France before joining Philip Hobbs earlier this year. The five year old is unbeaten in four races over timber since arriving at Minehead and makes his handicap debut here off 137. He beat subsequent winners Falco Blitz (likely to reoppose here) and Espoir De Romay on his British debut at Ludlow in March before following up at Chepstow in April. Returning to action at Sedgefield in October, he streaked clear to win by thirteen lengths under his owner/jockey David Maxwell. He then made it four out of four when conceding fifteen pounds to West Cork (runner-up again since) and Young Bull (won subsequently) before registering a five lengths victory at Wetherby a few weeks later. The Linda’s Lad gelding handles any ground and his opening mark may underestimate him.” ADVISED @ 11/2 WON @ 11/4

Plus: BATTLE OF WILLS (100/30), BUZZ (13/8, 1/2), EPATANTE (3/1, 2/1, 2/1), GOSHEN (3 wins), HOMER (100/30), LION TOWER (100/30, 5/4), NEVER DO NOTHING (2/1), RIBBLE VALLEY (13/8), TAVUS (9/2 & 2/1), WOLF PRINCE (9/10, 9/10), ZOFFEE (10/11)

Quote: “It will be interesting to see what Gordon Elliott can achieve with BATTLE OF WILLS having been acquired for 52,000gns at the Newmarket Horses in Training Sale last month. A three year old son of Lawman, he won three of his eleven races on the Flat for James Tate and is rated 87. A winner over a mile as a two year old, he scored over ten and twelve furlongs at Nottingham and Ripon (both on good ground) respectively earlier this year. Runner-up on good to soft at the latter venue behind the well handicapped Faylaq in June, he disappointed on his final two starts but is likely to improve for his new handler.” WON on his hurdles debut at Naas (26/1) @ 100/30

Quote: “I was hoping Nicky Henderson would elect to run EPATANTE in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday but he relies on another couple of J.P.McManus owned mares, namely Countister and Dame De Compagnie. The head of Seven Barrows issued an encouraging report though about the daughter of No Risk At All earlier this month saying: “This lovely looker didn’t show up at Cheltenham but might have been affected by the pre-Festival flu jabs and has grown and strengthened enormously. Training nicely and will be aimed at smart handicap hurdles.” Featured in last season’s Top 40 Prospects, the ex-French trained filly looked a class act when winning at Kempton and Exeter before underperforming in the mares’ novices’ hurdle at the Festival. Sent off 15/8 favourite, she could only finish ninth having made a mistake at halfway. Officially rated 137, I will be amazed if the five year old doesn’t prove considerably better than that. Henderson has won the Gerry Feilden Hurdle at Newbury (30th November) on six occasions and Epatante looks tailormade for the 0-155 two miles event. A flat track may always bring out the best in her.” WON at the Gerry Feilden Hurdle at Newbury by 6 lengths @ 3/1

Quote: “That comment may also apply to the progressive GOSHEN, who is set to embark on a National Hunt career following three wins on the Flat in 2019. Gary Moore’s Authorized gelding is bred for jumping being a half-brother to Willie Mullins’ Listed hurdles winner Elimay. Having shown very little in three starts over a mile and nine furlongs as a juvenile last year, he has proved a different proposition since stepped up to middle distances this term. A twelve lengths winner on his handicap debut at Brighton (1m 4f : Good) in June off 64, he followed up by nine lengths under a six pounds penalty at Sandown (1m 6f : Soft) a week later. Given a break, he returned from an absence of 138 days to win by seven lengths at Nottingham (1m 6f : Soft) in late October off 80 (raised eight pounds since). Despite the fact Goshen still looked green at Colwick Park, he galloped his opponents into submission looking a tremendous staying prospect in the process. Purchased with hurdling in mind, one would expect him to make his jumping bow later this month (entered at Fontwell on Sunday (1.30)).” WON his first three races over hurdles and was clear when falling at the last in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Quote: “John McConnell has made a good impression in recent seasons sending out 11 winners in Ireland this season and he was also responsible for 7 winners from only 19 runners in the UK last winter. Along with owner Derek Kierans, the pair were active at the Newmarket Autumn Sales. NEVER DO NOTHING was the most expensive having been purchased for 135,000gns. A three year old by Casamento, he won three of his ten starts on the Flat for Andrew Balding and is rated 91. Two of those wins were gained over a mile as a two year old but he also won over twelve furlongs at Goodwood in June. Placed at Ascot on his final two outings, he has only raced on good or faster ground and could be the ideal type for a juvenile hurdle at Musselburgh.” WON at Musselburgh on his hurdles debut (1/1) by five and a half lengths @ 2/1

Quote: “As discussed earlier, I spoke to Nicky Richards at Carlisle on Monday and the Greystoke based handler added that his potentially high-class novice hurdler RIBBLE VALLEY is likely to head to Wetherby towards the end of the month (27th November) for another two miles novices’ hurdle under a penalty. The Westerner gelding, who won two of his three bumpers last season, made a smooth start his hurdles career when scooting nine lengths clear at Hexham last week. His connections felt he didn’t particularly enjoy the heavy ground but was too good for his nine rivals in any case.” WON at Wetherby by 11 lengths @ 13/8

Quote: “Jedd O’Keeffe has his jumpers in fine fettle with stable star Sam Spinner making it two out of two over fences at Wetherby recently. Micky Hammond’s former assistant has teamed up with owners Quantum during the last twelve months and they have invested heavily at the sales. They were at it again at the Tattersalls Horses in Training Sale at Newmarket last month purchasing Kiefer for 210,000gns and TAVUS. The latter was acquired for 105,000gns and a juvenile hurdle campaign has been mooted. A progressive type on the Flat for Roger Charlton, the Pour Moi gelding has won three of his last four starts with his official rating climbing from 60 to 78. Successful at Newbury, Ffos Las and Leicester over trips ranging from twelve to fourteen furlongs, he handles both good and heavy ground. He could be a useful recruit to the northern jumping scene.” WON on his hurdles debut at Newcastle (30/11) @ 9/2

TALKING TRAINERS: BRIAN ELLISON: WINNERS: BARON DE MIDLETON (6/1 & 4/1), DEFINITLY RED (Evens), KEARNEY HILL (20/1, 2/1), SAM’S ADVENTURE (6/1), SNOOKERED (15/8, 6/5), THE DANCING POET (9/4), THE KING OF MAY (9/2), TUPELO MISSISSIPPI (5/2, 4/1)

Quote: THE DANCING POET: “A half-brother to Dance And Dance, who was runner-up in the Royal Hunt Cup. A ten furlongs winner at Chelmsford in August for Ed Vaughan, we bought him at the Newmarket Horses in Training last month with a view to sending him hurdling. We have schooled him and his jumping has been very good. All being well, he will be running in a juvenile hurdle in December.” WON on his hurdles debut at Catterick (1/1) @ 9/4

Quote: THE KING OF MAY: “He is a very nice horse who won over hurdles in France before we bought him. A decent juvenile hurdler a couple of seasons ago, he missed the whole of the last campaign but returned from a lengthy absence to win on his chasing debut at Carlisle. He has always worked well and jumps for fun. Therefore his victory wasn’t a surprise and it looked a strong race, too. While he will stay further, if necessary, he has a lot of speed so we will keep him to two miles for the time being. The handicapper raised him six pounds for his win at Carlisle but I still think he is well handicapped off 131. I think he is a very good horse.” WON at Sedgefield (26/1) @ 9/2

Quote: TUPELO MISSISSIPPI: “A lovely big horse who was beaten a head in his only Irish point for Colin Bowe. We bought him at the Cheltenham May Sale and his owner Phil Martin has told us to take our time with him. He is a grand horse who is working nicely at home and the plan is to start him off in a bumper in the New Year. Only four, I think he is a very nice horse for the future.” WON 2 bumpers at Newcastle @ 5/2 & 4/1

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 2020

Price: £6.00

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CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 2018

WINNERS: BIRCHDALE (2/1), HUMBLE HERO (5/2), LADY BUTTONS (Evens, Evens), SIR EREC (11/8, 13/8), TEDHAM (4/1)

Quote: “McManus is also the new owner of the 109 rated Flat racer SIR EREC. A son of Camelot and from the family of Queens Vase winner Mahler, he only raced a handful of times on the level improving with each start. A half length winner of a ten furlongs maiden at the Curragh in late August, he then beat The King by four lengths in a Listed contest at Limerick (1m 4f : Heavy) in October. Joseph O’Brien’s charge produced a career best on his most recent start when two and a half lengths third behind Stradivarius and Thomas Hobson in the Group 2 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot (2m : Soft) a week later. Significantly, he holds an entry in the three year old maiden hurdle at Leopardstown on Thursday (12.10) in which subsequent Triumph Hurdle winner Ivanovich Gorbatov made a winning start to his jumping career. If he shows an aptitude for his vocation, he possesses the talent to be a top-class hurdler and the 20/1 (Bet365, Skybet & William Hill) for Festival glory next March is tempting.” WON twice at Leopardstown, including the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle (3/2/19) @ 13/8

Quote: “Despite the fact TEDHAM has failed to win any of his three races over hurdles this Autumn/Winter, the Jonjo O’Neill trained could prove a well handicapped novice off an opening mark of 125. A well bred four year old by Shirocco out of Donald McCain’s dual Listed winner Alegralil, he shaped with plenty of promise in his bumper at Warwick last spring finishing third behind Umndeni. Switched to hurdling this season, he finished fourth behind Al Dancer (won twice since and now rated 141) at Carlisle and then third to The Big Bite at Chepstow. On both occasions, he impressed with the way he travelled during his races before finding two potentially top notch novices too strong late on. Runner-up behind Getaway Trump in desperate ground at Exeter last time, he had previous winners Remastered and Samarquand (rated 135) behind him. Yet to race beyond two miles one, he is bred to appreciate further.” WON @ 4/1 at Wincanton on his handicap debut over 2m 5f (5/1/19)

HUNTER CHASERS: WINNERS: SAUSALITO SUNRISE (11/10), SHANTOU FLYER (8/15, 10/11), UCELLO CONTI (4/6, 4/7, 7/2)

FEBRUARY 2021

Price: £6.00

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BETFAIR HURDLE: CIEL DE NEIGE (Advised @ 16/1 – 2nd beaten three parts of a length @ 13/2

Quote: CIEL DE NEIGE could prove to be Mullins’ main challenger. Trained in France by Guy Cherel, the five year old has yet to win in six races over hurdles but has only had three runs for his current yard. Fourth at Auteuil behind Pic D’Orhy, he was beaten less than four lengths when third in the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham in March on his first run for Mullins. Rated 132 on that occasion, he was in receipt of half a stone from the winner Band of Outlaws. Back in action at Fairyhouse in December, he stayed on well in fourth behind stablemates Janidil and Buildmeupbuttercup. The Authorized gelding was then unfortunate not to shed his maiden tag at Limerick over Christmas. Beaten a head by Argumental (fourth since), Donal McInerney’s mount endured traffic problems at a crucial stage and nearly ran the wrong side of a rail. Despite running on well, he found the winning post coming too soon. Rated 135, he has plenty more to offer and is capable of winning a handicap of this nature. Owner J.P.McManus and Mullins were responsible for Bleu Et Rouge who finished second to Kalashnikov in this in 2018. Novices have won 8 of the last 10 renewals. Best Price: 16/1 (BetVictor, Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, William Hill)” Advised @ 16/1 – 2nd at 13/2

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL HANDICAPS PREVIEW: SAINT ROI – WON the County Hurdle @ 11/2

Quote: “It will be interesting to see if Ireland’s champion trainer enters SAINT ROI who was an easy winner at Tramore on New Year’s Day. Another gelded son of Coastal Path, he has only raced three times over hurdles and has yet to be allocated a rating. Previously trained in France by Guy Cherel, he finished third in a Listed hurdle at Auteuil in September 2018 before being purchased by J.P.McManus. Absent for 448 days, the five year old was bitterly disappointing on his first run for his new connections when only fifth in a two miles three maiden hurdle at Clonmel in early December having been sent off 1/3 favourite. However, it was a different story last time as he ran out a decisive nine lengths winner having taken up the running soon after the second last. Subsequent Grade 1 winning novice chaser Notebook won the same two miles maiden hurdle twelve months earlier. Mullins commented afterwards: “He didn't jump the last day and I said to Paul (Townend) to have him nicely warmed up before the race. We worked on him since and it must have worked as he jumped very well. We won't aim too high and could look for a rated novice or something like that. He could be a good novice by the time Punchestown comes around and will jump a fence in time.” So many of Mullins’ horses have improved markedly from their seasonal returns and Saint Roi is no different. The Closutton outfit have run the likes of Al Boum Photo, Dolcita and Laurina at Tramore in recent years and they may have sent another decent one there last month. He may be kept to novice company but, if granted a suitable mark, Mullins will be keen to exploit it. Despite winning over the minimum trip last time, he is bred to stay much further coming from the family of a Grade 1 winner in France over three miles seven.” WON the County Hurdle by four and a half lengths off a mark of 137 @ 11/2

WINNER: FIRST ACCOUNT (6/5, 4/5)

Quote: FIRST ACCOUNT is featured on page 152 of One Jump Ahead in the Handicap Snips section. The six year old has only raced once this season finishing runner-up at Hexham on his chasing debut in November. The Malinas gelding looked all set for victory approaching the last but paid for an over exuberant ride and was headed on the run-in by Lucinda Russell’s Saint Freule. Absent since, the Malinas gelding has been transferred to Keith Dalgleish’s yard and is definitely handicapped to win races over fences (rated 117) for his new handler. The former pointer will benefit from better ground in the remaining weeks of the season and is one to look out for in a 0-120 handicap chase over two or two and a half miles.” WON twice @ 6/5 & 4/5)

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL PREVIEW 2021

Price: £10.00

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7 WINNERS: SHISHKIN (6/1), ENVOI ALLEN (Advised @ 5/4), DAME DE COMPAGNIE (Advised @ 10/1), FERNY HOLLOW (Advised @ 12/1), SAMCRO (Advised @ 7/1), SAINT ROI (Advised @ 20/1), AL BOUM PHOTO (Advised @ 4/1)

Quote: SHISHKIN (Top 40) is another former Irish pointer having won one of his two starts for Virginia Considine. Purchased on behalf of owner Joe Donnelly for £170,000, he was a smooth eight lengths winner of a Kempton bumper for Nicky Henderson last March. An early casualty (fell at the second) on his hurdles debut at Newbury in December, he made amends in no uncertain terms at the same venue the following month with an easy eleven lengths success. Stepped up to two miles three in the Listed Sidney Banks Memorial NH at Huntingdon last month, he barely came off the bridle to beat the 139 rated Shan Blue by the same margin. The Seven Barrows team have won this three times (River Ceiriog (1986), Flown (1992) and Altior (2016) and this Sholokhov gelding looks top-class.” WON the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle @ 6/1

Quote: DAME DE COMPAGNIE is also entered in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap on Friday. A French bumper winner and runner-up over hurdles at Auteuil when trained by Adrien Lacombe, she has won 3 of her 7 races over hurdles in total. Rated 140, she won a Listed mares’ novice hurdle over C&D in April 2018 before being off the track for 577 days. Returning to action in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November, she stayed on well in fifth behind Harambe off 132. Stepped up in distance, Nicky Henderson’s mare won a handicap hurdle by four and a half lengths over C&D in December. Upped ten pounds since, she has purposely been kept fresh (90 days) and bids to become the first mare to win this. Her record at the track is 5151 with both wins gained on the New course and her form figures over 2m 3f/2m 4f are 211.” Advised @ 10/1, WON the Coral Cup @ 5/1

Quote: FERNY HOLLOW (Top 40) was a fifteen lengths winner of his only point-to-point for Colin Bowe in February last year. Purchased soon afterwards for £300,000, the five year old has only won one of his three starts in bumpers since joining Willie Mullins. Too keen at both Fairyhouse and Leopardstown, the five year old finished runner-up behind Joseph O’Brien trained opponents on each occasion, namely Eric Bloodaxe and Forged In Fire respectively. Fitted with a hood for the first time at Fairyhouse last month, he was held up and settled better under Patrick Mullins and won handsomely. A four and a quarter lengths scorer from On Eagles Wings, it is a relatively quick turnaround (18 days) but his chance will depend on how he settles. With Patrick Mullins expected to partner the favourite Appreciate It, there must be every chance Paul Townend will partner him for the first time in public. His trainer is looking for his tenth win in the race and there is no doubt this gelded son of Westerner has the ability to go close.” Advised @ 12/1 WON the Grade 1 bumper @ 11/1

Quote: SAMCRO has been much maligned during the last season and a half having only won one of his last seven starts. A top-class novice hurdler a couple of years ago, he won two Grade 1 events, including the Ballymore NH at this meeting. Gordon Elliott could never get him right last winter as he pursued a Champion Hurdle campaign. Sent chasing in the Autumn, he was a seventeen lengths winner at Down Royal (wore a tongue tie) in November. Going well and virtually upsides Fakir D’Oudairies when crashing out at the second last in the Grade 1 Drinmore NC at Fairyhouse next time, he then produced a tame effort last time. Beaten ten lengths by Faugheen at Limerick on Boxing Day, the eight year old found little off the bridle from the second last. Found to have scoped badly afterwards, he has had a wind operation since. His record at Grade 1 level is 11F25F2. Gordon Elliott won this a couple of years ago with Shattered Love but no eight year old has every landed the prize. On his day, the Germany gelding is top-class and it wouldn’t be the biggest shock if he bounced back, especially if Davy Russell rides him for the first time in public.” Advised @ 7/1 WON the Marsh Novices’ Chase @ 4/1

Quote: SAINT ROI is included on page 149 of One Jump Ahead and there is every reason to believe the ex-French gelding will prove considerably better than his opening mark of 137. Runner-up on the Flat and placed over hurdles at Auteuil (Listed) when handled by Guy Cherel, the five year old has only had a couple of runs for J.P.McManus and Willie Mullins. Bitterly disappointing on his Irish debut at Clonmel (2m 3f) in December finishing a remote fifth, the Coastal Path gelding was sent off 1/3 favourite. However, he showed his true worth next time when dropped back to two miles at Tramore on New Year’s Day. In the same maiden hurdle in which Notebook had defeated Janidil twelve months earlier, he ran out an emphatic nine lengths winner from Arcadian Sunrise (won twice since). His trainer commented afterwards: “He could be a good novice by the time Punchestown comes around.” He has plenty more to offer.” Advised @ 20/1 WON the County Hurdle @ 11/2

Quote: AL BOUM PHOTO will become the first horse since Best Mate in 2004 to win successive Cheltenham Gold Cups. The Buck’s Boum gelding has won 5 of his 10 races over fences, including his two and a half lengths victory in the race last year. Runner-up behind Kemboy at the Punchestown Festival next time, he warmed up for this in the same Grade 3 chase at Tramore on New Year’s Day which he won last season. A six lengths winner, the time was good and the runner-up Acapella Bourgeois has won the Grade 3 Bobbyjo Chase by fifteen lengths since. Still relatively unexposed over three miles plus (5FR12), he gets on well with Paul Townend (151R121) and has purposely been kept fresh since (72 days off). A faller in the RSA Chase a couple of years ago, he warrants his place at the head of the market.” Advised @ 4/1 WON the Cheltenham Gold Cup @ 100/30

FESTIVAL PREVIEW ROUND-UPS:

KIM BAILEY: Quote: IMPERIAL AURA (novices’ handicap chase) has done all his preparation with Vinndication and looks fantastic. Runner-up at Cheltenham in January, I think he is better than he showed that day because we had to get a third run into him to qualify for this. He has course experience and goes there a worthy favourite.” WON @ 4/1

ANTHONY BROMLEY:Quote: “CONCERTISTA (Mares’ Novice Hurdle): “Beaten a short head by one of her stablemates in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle last year, she will attempt to go one better on Thursday. Third in a competitive handicap hurdle at Leopardstown last time, she appreciated the drier ground on that occasion. We are hoping conditions will dry out at Cheltenham between now and then.” WON @ 9/2

PAUL CARBERRY: Quote: “The third and final preview I attended was in the shadows of Fir Park, the home of Motherwell Football Club, on Friday. Over 150 flocked into the Club 100 to listen to the views of PAUL CARBERRY, Ian Robinson (owner of Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander) and James Griffin (assistant trainer). Carberry, who rode 14 Festival winners, was very keen on AL BOUM PHOTO for the Gold Cup having watched him school after racing at Navan last Tuesday. His nap of the meeting is SAMCRO in the Marsh Novices’ Chase on Thursday. “I rode Samcro in a schooling race before he made his chasing debut at Down Royal in the Autumn. He worked with Battleoverdoyen and Delta Work and beat them by twenty lengths. He felt like an aeroplane. I am hoping Keith (Donoghue) rides him on Thursday because he has done all the work on him. He bled at Limerick last time but, if Gordon (Elliott) can get him back to his best, there is nothing in that field which will be able to live with him.”

RICH RICCI: The HORSE I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO: MIN. WON the Ryanair Chase @ 2/1

TALKING TRAINERS: PAUL NICHOLLS: WINNER: POLITOLOGUE (6/1)

Quote: POLITOLOGUE (Queen Mother Champion Chase (Wednesday)): “I have backed him at 33/1 for the Champion Chase because I think he is a massive price. He ran an awesome race in it last year finishing second less than two lengths behind Altior. Runner-up behind Defi Du Seuil on his reappearance in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham in November, he was conceding three pounds to the winner. He then bled when running below par in the Tingle Creek at Sandown and we have purposely kept him fresh since. The softer the ground, the better his chance and, granted such conditions, I am very hopeful he will finish in the first three. He had a racecourse gallop at Wincanton last Thursday and did a fantastic piece of work. He is very fit and at his best when fresh, and the fact Un De Sceaux isn’t in the line up is a major plus because he can bowl along in front and try and stretch them.” WON @ 6/1

DATES FOR THE DIARY:

Saturday 14th March – UTTOXETER – 3.35 Midlands Grand National

“Paul Nicholls has never won the four and a quarter miles event but he plans to run his Welsh National runner-up TRUCKERS LODGE. The eight year old has only raced four times over fences and remains unexposed. Rated 141, the Westerner gelding won at Chepstow in late October before finishing a length and three quarters runner-up at the same track over Christmas off 139. Only a couple of pounds higher, the champion trainer intended running the former Tom George inmate in the Grand National Trial at Haydock in February but he incurred a cut and was forced to miss out. His record on heavy ground is 212 and it is hoped top weight De Rasher Counter stands his ground, otherwise the weights will rise by at least seven pounds. He is currently available at 10/1 with Coral & Ladbrokes.” Advised @ 10/1 WON the Midlands National by 18 lengths @ 6/1

Tuesday 17th March – DOWN ROYAL

“Dermot McLoughlin is reportedly targeting the mares’ bumper at the Northern Ireland track on St Patrick’s day with the once raced DELVINO. A five year old by Dylan Thomas, she is a half-sister to Avellino who won three times for the same stable. She shaped with plenty of promise when runner-up behind the more experienced Julies Stowaway, who had finished second twice at Navan and Limerick, with the highly regarded Ballyadam in third. A reproduction of that run will make her difficult to beat.” WON @ 4/5

AINTREE GRAND NATIONAL PREVIEW 2021

Price: £6.00

The AINTREE GRAND MEETING 2019

WINNERS: FELIX DESJY (Advised @ 8/1), MIN (Advised @ 5/1)

Quote: FELIX DESJY was a useful bumper horse finishing sixth in the championship event at the Cheltenham Festival last season having raced too keenly. The six year old has been in and out over hurdles this campaign winning impressively at Galway on his reappearance in October. Below par on his next three outings, Gordon Elliott’s gelding was back to form in January when winning the Grade 2 Sky Bet Moscow Flyer NH at Punchestown (Good) by five lengths. Given a break, he was a creditable fifth in the Supreme NH at Cheltenham last month, holding every chance turning for home. Beaten eleven lengths, he looks a better horse on a flatter track and Aintree ought to suit him.” Advised @ 8/1 WON the Grade 1 Top Novices’ Hurdle @ 7/2

Quote: MIN was beaten a neck by Poltilogue in the race last year having raced keenly early on. The eight year old had looked better than ever during the first half of this season winning the Grade 1 John Durkan Chase at Punchestown in December by a length and a half before winning another Grade 1 over two miles at Leopardstown (for the second consecutive year) in February by six lengths. However, Willie Mullins’ Walk In The Park gelding produced a lacklustre performance in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham finishing a well beaten fifth behind Altior. His record over 2m 4f is 121 and he is a triple Grade 1 winner. Ireland’s champion trainer won this with Boston Bob five years ago and he has a major contender again. Ruby Walsh (11211115) is expected to take the ride.” Advised @ 5/1 WON the Grade 1 Melling Chase by 20 lengths @ 2/1

ALL 5 UPDATES (One Jump Ahead)

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Price: £40.99

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