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** Nap's Competition Result : 1st Barnsley Chop, 2nd Daisychain, 3rd Bathtime For Rupert, 4th Marmalade, KO Cup Tipsterix, Most Winners Calva Decoy**
**June Poker League Result : 1st Autogree £75, 2nd Rivrd £45, 3rd Ian309 £30**
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Bathtime For Rupert

Racing For Rupert

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 2.20 Musselburgh - 2pts win Ubaltique @ 17/2 (VC) Got to say I feel the price about the favourite is too short given it's failed to prove he stays this far and that means there appears some value on offer. Although Donald McCain's runner hasn't looked the most certain in the market, I'm willing to take a chance at this price because he should be a fair deal shorter in my book. He ran okay on his seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham in a hot race and improved for the run when running well behind a very smart type in Tap Night at Ayr next time. It's interesting that the other horses who were prominently positioned faded badly and although my selection finished 3rd, he was bang there at the last before the two who had conserved their energy came to the fore. He probably just did a little too much too soon against some nice types and this represents a drop in class today. He did nothing wrong in 2nd last time when staying on at Haydock on soft ground and on that evidence the step up to 2m4f can suit. He should be able to get home around here on good to soft ground and his handicap mark doesn't look restrictive. This is a 0-125 rather than the three handicaps he's run in when beaten by horses rated by 141, 140 and 135 respectively. Looks well up to this so a price of 17/2 is too tempting to leave.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert Ubaltique chinned on the bloody line by a 20/1 shot. So frustrating! Oscar's Secret probably will be seen to better effect on a more galloping course. Had horses beaten having traded at: 1.03 1.20 2.00 2.18 1.05 1.65 2.30 2.02 2.12 2.00 2.00 So far. Amazed the thread is still in profit to be honest :lol Roll on the weekend. Not much going on over the next couple of days so would question whether there will be anything. Who knows, though.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 1.35 Doncaster - 1pt win Harvey's Hope @ 6/1 (VC) I personally can't have quite a few of these and the fact that James Reveley has jumped aboard this one rather than Keith Reveley's other runner in here suggests that he reckons this one has a better chance. The one that they have to beat is the Alan King runner but with the fitness edge I think the value sides with this handicap debutant who showed much more with the tongue-tie applied last time out. He previously absolutely hacked up in a hurdle race but lost his way somewhat so it was pleasing to see a much better effort last time behind a couple of decent types. Considering the ground was soft (possibly against him) the effort can be upgraded and I fancy him to go in with the ground better here. Flat tracks seem to suit and he should be there or thereabouts if building on his most recent run. 2.30 Cheltenham - 2pts win Notus De La Tour @ 7/1 (Bet365) This race is going to turn into a real slog you fancy given the ground conditions at Cheltenham and that would be against a few of these I reckon. That might catch out the inexperienced Unioniste up against seasoned chasers and David Pipe's runner looks really interesting to me. He fits a nice profile for me considering he is still relatively unexposed but still has had sufficient racing experience and conditions should be fine. A rock solid hurdler who gallops on well took to fences like a duck to water as he jumped well and cruised to two novice chase wins last season. One of those came fresh which bodes well for today's reappearance and he's proven he can handle deep ground. He ran satisfactorily in two Grade 1s subsequently before falling early when last seen. Can jump well from the front which is something I like at Cheltenham and if fully tuned up (marked vibes are positive) then he fits the bill for me. 3.20 Doncaster - 1pt win Pentiffic @ 11/1 (VC) I posted this last time out:

4.05 Cheltenham - 1pt win Pentiffic @ 11/1 (VC) Venetia Williams' horses are going really well at present and that bodes well for a big run from her chaser here with the very capable amateur Will Biddick on board. He'd be one of the better riders in the contest and should have a willing partner in this horse. He's done pretty well on the whole for this yard but hasn't managed to find a win in handicap company yet. However, his mark seems fair enough and it shouldn't be long before he gets into the winner's enclosure. Fingers crossed it can be this afternoon as he appears to have a solid chance here. He finished 3rd here in January off 2lbs lower before running no sort of race at Ayr next time out. However, he bounced back to chase home a decent type from the Emma Lavelle yard and then ran a very bold race in the Grimthorpe at Doncaster off 7lbs higher than today. On that form he's fairly well-treated as he was leading at the last when coming to grief despite having gone off very hard in front and although he was tired, he'd still have been battling out the finish with two good horses. His mark has dropped back down subsequently but his 9th at the Cheltenham festival wasn't a bad effort at all given he again went off quickly with another rival and was always going to struggle to maintain the gallop. He was still disputing the lead at 3 out, however, when he blundered, and soon was passed by horses. Was a weak 20/1 shot in the market on his seasonal reappearance, suggesting he'd need the run, and ran as if that was the case. However, the early market signs are positive for this race which bodes well and if he doesn't go mad out in front he should put in a bold effort with a run this season under his belt.
He again ran better than the bare result here. Was ridden with more restraint but it proved to be too much in my eyes as he was constantly struggling to get on terms with the leaders. He rallied quite gamely late on in the day (well-held) to suggest that if he'd held a better position he could have finished much closer. I'd imagine he'll be allowed to go forward today and this comes at the same venue as the very good Grimthorpe effort. The better ground might help and he could prove tough to catch off his light-weight with Harry Challoner taking off 5lbs.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 2.30 Carlisle - 1pt win Mitchell's Way @ 9/1 (VC) Alan Swinbank's horses are going well at present and this one has a fine record at Carlisle. 2241 is his career record at the track and the 4th came after a lengthy absence. He won here two starts back from the reopposing Snowed In but with the ground heavy, I reckon a slog over this trip will once again see my selection finish in front of that one again. Had a very difficult task at the weights in a novice race last time (sent off 25/1 in a four-runner race) so that can safely be ignored and returning here back in a handicap will be much more suitable. Looks a pretty good price considering he's likely to run his race.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 1.40 Catterick - 2pts win Kent Street @ 13/2 (Bet365) Sue Smith's runner has failed to complete on three out of five runs over fences but although he came to grief at the first flight last time, I think it would be unfair to suggest that he can't jump as he put in an assured round two starts ago at Carlisle when running pretty well. Just looked like the trip was on the sharp side and that's something backed up by his pedigree which looks stacked with stamina. A step up in trip looked the way forward, so it was interesting that he was well-backed into favouritism last time out over this c&d. This suggests that connections believe this will unlock the door and I'm willing to give him another chance based on his penultimate effort where he barely made any semblance of an error. Definitely one of the more interesting/unexposed types in the field and given I expect him to relish the trip, should he stay on his feet, I'd rather be on him than any other horse in the field. Worth a solid bet at the prices.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 3.00 Folkestone - 2pts win Bollin Tahini @ 10/1 (Bet365) I personally can't fathom the short price on the favourite here who I don't believe will relish a 2m4f slog on heavy ground but I could be wrong. However, I'll let that one win at 7/4 and of the others, it's Neil King's runner who interests me. His first five starts in his career were fairly promising, suggesting he'd win a race or two, but went to pot in two starts over hurdles subsequently (albeit in novice events). It's clear he needs low level handicaps but he didn't really go with much purpose or jump very well in those starts at Taunton and Doncaster. However, off the back of an eight-month absence he looked a great deal more professional at Doncaster last month. He jumped much better and travelled up quite nicely towards the business end of the race. Eventually backed out of it to finish 7th of 13 but was by no means disgraced and shaped so much better. With fitness on his side now, he can go well if building on that. He traded at 8.6 in running which shows how well he went for a long way considering he went off at 33/1 and that proves he ran a lot more positively than before. This is a bad race and he's been dropped 3lbs for that and I expect him to be there or thereabouts if not falling back out of form.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 3.30 Folkestone - 3pts win Sea Cadet @ 7/2 (Ladbrokes) I really fancy Laura Mongan's charge in the finale at Folkestone today, and potentially ever, and hopefully I can sign off with fond memories of the track! He ran well, if possibly flattered in an all-weather bumper last time, but it's his chase form which is mostly encouraging for me, for all that flat run suggested he is in decent heart. Even though he hasn't really threatened over fences of late, he's been beaten by some decent and/or well-handicapped types and still finished 3rd on his two most recent starts and they came in better races than this. He's the joint highest rated runner in here with a mark of 92 but was beaten by horses off 112 and 108 recently so has been facing a better calibre of horses. The 19l winner on his last start at Kempton subsequently was a close 2nd off 14lbs higher next time so the form looks strong and I don't personally understand how he's not favourite in here ahead of a maiden who was beaten by a perennial loser last time out. We shall see, however.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert Yesterday was frustrating. Kent Street was hampered at a fence and unseated the rider. Bollin Tahini wants better ground and Sea Cadet doubled in price. Ran okay but you never fancy them when that happens. 1.50 Newbury - 2pts win Balinroab @ 9/2 (VC) AP McCoy sides with this one out of Jonjo O'Neill's two runners in this race and the jockey was a decent 2nd on his only previous ride on the horse over hurdles. His three runs over hurdles were encouraging - finished close with the rest of the runners behind a wide-margin (and classy) horse on his hurdling debut prior to twice finishing second. He faced a tough task on his chase debut given his hurdling form as he faced some good horses. The winner is rated 140 now, the runner-up 127 and the 3rd 125. Given my selection runs in a handicap off 113 today he must have a much better chance. He jumped fine, if a little unsure going into the flights but that should improve here as should his fitness as that was his first run of the season. Wasn't disgraced, nor given a really hard time so should have learned from that and can go close in more suitable company today.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 2.45 Ludlow - 1pt win The Falklander @ 10/1 (Bet365) Henry Daly's runner hasn't really pulled up any trees in two starts this season but he's a big horse whose record suggests he thrives on racing and should be in tip-top shape now having blown away any cobwebs. He's a stout stayer who usually jumps well and this time last year he was a close 2nd and then a subsequent ready winner over fences so perhaps this is the right time to catch him and he beat a pretty solid yardstick at Ffos Las when getting off the mark. Since then he has been well-held in three starts but his best effort of those came last time out and it's interesting that there have been nibbles of support for him this morning considering his recent form. This looks a bit weaker than the races he's competed in lately and many of these have questions to answer on ground (Allthekingshorses, Moonlight Drive, Basoda, Donttellsailor) and wellbeing/jumping (Tour Des Champs, Take Of Shoc's, Milo Milan) so even though my selection has something to prove, he's a decent price and he definitely stays and goes on the ground. Went best at this time last year so that's potentially a positive and I'm hopeful he'll go better today.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert Aah screw it. A few noises from the Henderson camp over the last few months haven't been totally conclusive with regards to Simonsig chasing (some murmurs of him going for the Champion Hurdle) suggest that perhaps he's not the tailor-made chaser that they thought. It's speculation but he didn't jump great in points and I'm pretty happy that Arvika Ligeonniere is a solid e/w bet even at a not particularly fancy price of 7/1. This race is the plan and all going well in his upcoming race he can head there with or without another run as he's got a perfectly good record fresh. Although I think he'd win the Jewson, they obviously think with his speed that the drop to 2 miles will suit better. He definitely stays 2m4f but perhaps on soft ground at Cheltenham it would turn into a slog which isn't ideal. If Simonsig jumps well then he'll be very tough to beat barring a fall but I don't see three better two-mile novice chasers than Arvika Ligeonniere personally. He has the style that suggests to me he'll enjoy racing round Cheltenham (did run very well for a long way in the Albert Bartlett) and goes on any ground. His jumping has been hugely impressive to me as he's very efficient and quick. It doesn't put him off his stride and obviously jumping is crucial in a race such as the Arkle. Combining that with his ability to find under pressure, he looks an ideal Cheltenham horse and it's hard not to be impressed by his two runs over fences so far - showing a huge amount of speed and jumping ability to win easily both times (the latter coming against decent company and the former after a lengthy lay-off). So long as he doesn't flop at Leopardstown on Boxing Day it's hard to see him ever trading at bigger than 7s unless Simonsig absolutely destroys his field (and even then, he's hardly going to drift markedly). With the potential for an unimpressive chase debut from that one and a subsequent run for Mullins' horse, he could well be shorter this time next week and he's a horse I think lots of. Not many chinks in his armour for me so even if he proves not quite good enough in March, I'm fairly confident I'll be picking up place money barring disaster prior to our during the race. Arkle Chase - 1.5pts e/w Arvika Ligeonniere @ 7/1 (VC and across the board)

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 12.45 Ascot - 1pt win Ballytober @ 7/1 (Ladbrokes) Philip Hobbs' runner is very interesting so long as he doesn't 'bounce' after his reappearance run which was fairly promising considering his absence from the track. Prior to that, he's a point winner and has some strong form in bumpers. He won a Ffos Las flat race by 3l from the high-class Grand Vision (rated 148) and then was beaten under a penalty by some more good horses including a 132-rated hurdler and the 150-rated Ambion Wood. Was still only beaten 13l giving 7lbs to those two and he looks to have a better chance than a 7/1 shot with fitness now on his side.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 1.20 Ascot - 2pts win Mentalist @ 3/1 (Ladbrokes) Jumps Road has a tendency to jump left at times and that would concern me around here and I'm much happier to side with the Venetia Williams-trained animal for a yard in decent form and given he's a horse who promised quite a lot last year but couldn't quite deliver. He regularly travelled well but didn't find much so it would have been a concern in such conditions today had he not appeared to have strengthened up over the summer break. He seems a much more complete horse now and won on his handicap debut last time off 5lbs lower than today. The way he rallied to regain the lead on the flat was encouraging given some of his previous races and he's a pretty safe jumper which is critical around Ascot with its fairly stiff fences. Deep ground holds no fears and the race he won at Ludlow looks pretty solid. 5lbs might not be enough to stop him here as I fancy him to jump and travel well which will bode well for the finish.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 3.05 Ascot - 2pts win Pause And Clause @ 6/1 (Ladbrokes) Emma Lavelle's horses are flying and there has been market support for this one which bodes well on his seasonal reappearance. If he's in good form then I still believe 6/1 is value as conditions suit and he's undoubtedly well-handicapped. He won over 2m5f at Cheltenham back in 2010 off a mark of 137 (did it well) and competes today off 126. He did lose his way a bit afterwards, both over fences (didn't look a natural) and hurdles but seemed revitalised with the blinkers applied late last season. The three miles at Exeter on heavy after a good 2nd at Cheltenham was a little too taxing and he didn't jump well back over fences on his final run of the season. Returns to ideal conditions today as he enjoys soft ground and back over hurdles with the blinkers on should see him go very well.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 1.45 Haydock - 1pt win Bakbenscher @ 8/1 (Bet365) Alan King will be hoping for a good weekend and although his eyes may be more firmly on Ascot, his grey must have a shout here with Wayne Hutchinson on board. The yard have enjoyed a good season so far and although this horse didn't run brilliantly last time it wasn't without credit and there's still a good chance he can build on the promise he showed on his seasonal reappearance at Chepstow. Prior to being off the track for quite a while he had some good form over fences, for all I think he may be better suited to hurdling because he isn't the best jumper in the world. He's actually fairly lightly-raced over hurdles but was 2nd off 1lb lower in a good race at Sandown back in 2009 and that came on good ground. Given he's better on soft, he's fairly handicapped for all that form came a while ago. After that, he rarely got the chance to perform over the smaller obstacles (never when race fit) but returned in this sphere this season and stayed on encouragingly on his return in a good little race off 3lbs higher. He suggested that he still had plenty of ability and that softer ground over that trip may be ideal. He gets that today with his record 3-3 on heavy ground and possibly just saw the 3m1f on soft at Newbury last time a little too taxing. As well as that, the bounce factor can be factored in. Although he looks like he stays well his wins have come around today's trip and I fancy deep ground over this far is what he wants. This perhaps lacks the strength in depth as last time and he did travel well enough to encourage me to back him here as he traded at as short as 4/1 on the exchanges despite being well beaten (and was held up) at Newbury. Sometimes doesn't travel as well as that so I'm going to believe that he remains in form and this could be the time he puts it all together.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 12.55 Ascot - 1pt win Highland Retreat @ 14/1 (VC) Whilst I appreciate this is a hot little contest, I can't fathom the price of Harry Fry's runner who looks sure to enjoy this test and doesn't look harshly treated on her two racecourse starts to date. She knuckled down well when clinging on at Exeter on debut (2m7f) with the front two comfortably clear of the remainder. The runner-up franked the form with a neck 2nd last time out and has been given a mark of 121 now. My selection also showed that she had some guts when staying on well in the closing stages at Hereford, for all she couldn't get involved with the front pair. It bodes well that she showed all of her stamina over the 2m 6 1/4f trip there given she's going to face a testing three miles here with the ground as it is and horses who can find plenty off the bridle could prove the ones to be on. The winner there is now rated 134 (gone well since) and the 2nd brought good recent form to the race. My selection would have got up for third with 50 more yards or so and it was revealed that she had bled from the nose also. A mark of 115 doesn't look restrictive to me, especially with the winning 7lb claimer back on board to ease the burden. This should be run to make it a test and even though her dam was pretty poor, she did stay strongly so you'd expect this one to be keeping on at the finish. 14s looks comfortably too big in my book and should outrun those odds. 2.15 Haydock - 2pts win Quincy Des Pictons @ 6/1 (Bet365) Stamina looks like being the order of the day in a three mile chase at Haydock on heavy ground and there should be no concern about this one's finishing effort. Alan Jones' runner has a serious engine and looks sure to be coming home to good effect, as he regularly does. He romped to a hat-trick last season in 2m4f chases on soft ground before finding the jumping test at the Cheltenham Festival a little on the demanding side. He couldn't get into a rhythm and there was strain on his leaps. It is true that he doesn't get too much air on his jumps but when asked is capable of getting to the other side efficiently but he showed how much of an engine he has by storming home despite making numerous errors through the contest. He had plenty left in him as he came home in 7th of 20, beaten 22l. It wasn't a bad effort considering the well-handicapped(!) Hunt Ball accounted for eight of those and given the ground wouldn't have been ideal either. It simply was too much of a test of his jumping and not of stamina for him. His seasonal return came under much more suitable conditions (over today's c&d) and he ran really well to finish 3rd. His jumping was better and he finished well once more. The 6l winner went close off 8lbs higher next time out and my selection was beaten a total of 8 1/2l. He should come on for that fitness-wise and the even softer ground looks another advantage. A slog appears in his favour and I'm confident he'll be there to hopefully worry others out of it at the business end of the contest. 3.10 Ascot - 1pt win It's A Gimme @ 9/1 (Bet365) I put up It's A Gimme as one of my horses to follow in a piece elsewhere and he's got to have a good shout. The ground would be my main concern. A strongly-run two miles is what he wants and was narrowly beaten by a good horse in Raya Star last time. Even though he's up 5lbs that was his first run of the season and it came when Jonjo's horses were a bit out of sorts (not that they're flying now). Should get a run for your money as he's an honest type and all three wins have come on good to soft but there's a big difference between that and heavy. However, he fits the trends (right age, in-form, classy, second-season hurdler, unexposed, second run of season) and although Balder Succes has strong form, 4 year olds have placed on eight occasions from 41 runners with no wins. Having said that, Unioniste proved last week that age isn't everything! Tricky race but the trends are pretty strong (8 out of last 9 winners have had less than 5 handicap hurdle runs) so if you take them literally you can rule the race down quite markedly. I'm not particularly keen to remove the 4yos but if you do, as well as those who look exposed, you're left with 8 horses, of which some don't look good enough (low in the weights - another statistical negative) and the shortlist reads: Cash And Go @ 7/1 Rattan @ 20/1 Double Ross @ 16/1 It's A Gimme @ 10/1 Like I say, I'm not a massive trends person (i.e. I find them useful at times but wouldn't totally put me off a horse) so I couldn't write off a lot of these but it's certainly nice to know that a horse I'm interested in does have history on his side, and that's why I'm becoming more inclined to side with the McManus horse. I reckon he'll handle the ground and he does finish his races off well over this trip which will be important given the ground conditions. He's consistent on the whole, travels well, jumps soundly and stays strongly. Finds off the bridle which is another positive and just looks to have everything you want in a contender for this prize. I'd be very disappointed if he doesn't run his race because he has the right profile and had excuses on his only below-par run. Optimistic he can gain compensation for his narrow defeat here last time.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert Bakbenscher the mudlark delivered the goods and went off at half the price! Highland Retreat ran well in 3rd and Quincy Des Pictons can't really be faulted either with a solid effort in 4th. It's A Gimme - well I don't know what happened. Haven't seen the race but either something amiss or the ground was totally against him perhaps?

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 12.30 Thurles - 2pts win Nora's Fancy @ 9/2 (Bet365) Is a 126-rated hurdler so the fact she runs off 114 in her first handicap chase today should give her a good chance. She hasn't been disgraced in four starts over fences so far, beaten no further than 12l on her first three runs over the larger obstacles. Her run here two starts ago was possibly her best as she faced a good horse in a 128-rated chaser. She's also gone well here before on her only other start at the track so that suits and it's highly possible that her poorer effort last time was due to the race coming just seven days later than her aforementioned run here. She's been freshened up subsequently and the visor has been applied for the first time. Looks to have a rock solid chance when you put it all together.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 1.00 Thurles - 1pt win Spiker The Biker @ 25/1 (Bet365) Just looks a touch on the overpriced side to me at 25/1. Although he was well-held last time out that came without the blinkers on and they are back on today. They were on for his two best runs of this season - the first over hurdles when a decent 4th (not far at all behind today's favourite albeit off better terms) and then he outran his odds in a very stiff task two starts back. He finished 5th of 14 and ultimately had no chance considering it wasn't a handicap and the first three home were rated 132, 145 and 135. My selection runs in a handicap off 94 today and with the blinkers back on might just cause a few surprises at a big price.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 1.25 Kempton - 1pt win Aikideau @ 12/1 (Hills) Richard Rowe's runner appears well-treated for this handicap chase to me and represents good value at 12/1 for all this is a competitive affair. This horse won two novice hurdles in succession over 2m5f at Plumpton, with both coming on testing ground and both in pretty good style. He ran in a handicap off 128 next time at Sandown but bumped into the well-handicapped Ambion Wood (now rated 18lbs higher). It was a competitive, hot race so the fact he went so well of 128 suggests to me he can prove very capable of going close off 120 here on his handicap debut over fences. He has shown sufficient promise to suggest this isn't beyond him over the larger obstacles. Although we learned nothing when he fell on his first start at the opening flight, his run last time was substantially better than the bare result. Firstly, given he didn't go very far at Plumpton, this was essentially his first run of the season so probably needed it for fitness and Leighton Aspell wanted to get a clear round into the horse so was very lenient on his mount. He jumped pretty well and was never asked any real questions. He dropped away from the front three but was never pushed and things wouldn't have been ideal for him anyway. He met some good, speedy two-milers off level weights and the sharp track at Lingfield wouldn't have been his bag either given his two wins over hurdles. Although Kempton wouldn't be particularly galloping, the step up in trip will help in that regard - especially with the ground on the soft side. He's back in more realistic company here with chasing experience under his belt. Fitness should now be on his side and 12/1 looks too big given he looks to be running off a decent mark.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 1.45 Wetherby - 2pts win Helpston @ 11/2 (PP) Quite a few of these would have questions to answer and although Pam Sly's runner isn't bombproof, I feel he has a lot in his favour today and should go very close. In two starts at Wetherby he has won and been a close 2nd in this race last year (off 5lbs higher). Although on that, this mark could be on the high side, the race last campaign was a fair bit more competitive than this. The front two were 15l clear and the winner won again next time off 7lbs higher. The high-class Midnight Chase was back in third so the race looked to have plenty of substance and this year seems to lack the quality. Since that fine effort, he unseated early in the Reynoldstown before winning a novice chase at Newcastle. Although he ran below par on his seasonal reappearance this time around, it was probably one to just put in the forgive pile seen as he didn't really travel at all. He was going with much more purpose when coming to grief at Doncaster last time out and if putting it all together today he must go well with Gina Andrews back on board (same rider in this last year) who takes 5lbs off his back. Should be spot on for this and I fancy him to go very well.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 2.35 Kempton - 2pts win Cinders And Ashes @ 9/2 (Boyles) I fancy this could come down to the two who fought out the finish of the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and I expect there to be a different outcome this afternoon. Although John Quinn's Triumph Hurdle winner got the better of the argument in impressive fashion on that occasion, there were reasons why I feel and as such I believe there is a pretty strong case for a reversal in form. Donald McCain's horses are flying at the moment and his Supreme Novice winner should strip much fitter for that run at Newcastle and Countrywide Flame had the advantage of a recent run when taking that contest. Especially when you factor in the heavy ground and the testing course there at Newcastle, you can see why the race panned out as it did. My selection was plausibly just done for stamina and fitness, two things that should be fine here. The track here puts more emphasis on speed than Newcastle so that will suit Cinders And Ashes more than Countrywide Flame in my book and they should be much closer matched now both have fitness on their side. Heavy ground is no issue on last year's form and I'd much rather side with him at 9/2 than his fellow Cheltenham Festival winner. 3.10 Kempton - 1.5pts e/w Riverside Theatre @ 5/1 (Bet365) Nicky Henderson has a strong hand here but this horse has been laid out for this race and given his record both fresh and at this track, he has to merit serious respect for all he was put in his place by Long Run in the delayed 2010 race. That came without a nice lay-off which seems to suit (won his reappearance that season impressively) and subsequently won his three next races. Never went at Aintree in April but has subsequently been given time off and there's no doubt he'll be primed for this. A real test would suit Long Run but there are questions as to whether he's as good as it looked he'd prove to be and although he has form here, you'd have to fancy a more testing track would be ideal. Riverside Theatre has Barry Geraghty on board and the horse's form here reads 11112. He seems to handle both cut and this trip (albeit not conclusively) and has a fine record in general at right-handed tracks (11131F1211) with the third coming at Punchestown to Hurricane Fly in a two mile hurdle. You have to query whether Cue Card will stay and how Grands Crus is going to see out his race so to me Riverside Theatre looks a damn good each-way bet and I will be disappointed if I don't get a return. He's never been beaten in four starts after a 100 day absence and generally looks a rock solid option to put it to his stablemate.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert Well today's sport couldn't have gone much worse! Aikideau was probably going to be second but fell at the second last - but wouldn't have got near the winner. Helpston was a NR and the other two were very disappointing. Didn't see much wrong with the logic there but that's what happens sometimes. My rare "good" e/w bets are always terrible! Sod's law!

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 1.30 Kempton - 2pts win Kaffie @ 13/2 (PP) For all that One Lucky Lady has finished her races off fairly well, I'm still concerned about a horse capable of competing at 7f on the flat being able to see out three miles on heavy over hurdles, even if she's shaped well over slightly shorter since then. Similarly, Swincombe Flame is another who hasn't proved she stays the trip so I'd rather side with one who should get home without too much fuss. The drift on Miss Milborne would concern me so I'm siding with the Kim Bailey-trained runner who went very well on her seasonal reappearance when she just got tired late on having set off at a good pace before fading on the run-in. That was over this c&d and it was her first run for quite a long time. She wasn't far behind the aforementioned Jamie Snowden runner despite that one having the fitness edge and I'm hopeful the form can be reversed today with a swing in the weights. They ran off level weights there but there is a 10lb swing if you factor in Charles Greene's claim which should prove helpful considering 11-10 on deep ground would be tricky over this trip. This track should suit her front-running tactics and can prove tough to pass today if getting into a rhythm with a recent run under her belt.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 2.05 Kempton - 2pts win Ghizao @ 4/1 (Ladbrokes) This is the type of race I typically leave alone but the switch to Kempton for this should boost the chances of Ghizao in my book. I think For Non Stop would have a better chance at a more galloping track and Paul Nicholls' runner could give them the slip today as he looks like the obvious front-runner in here which can suit around here in this small field. There was only a head between the pair last time and even though Nick Williams' runner didn't appear to go with much zest (and therefore the effort can be upgraded) I still am not convinced that one wants it really soft and my selection can handle it a bit better. There doesn't appear much in the field that is going to take him on up front and he's won here already this season. At the prices I think he's a solid bet as the others have serious questions to answer on the ground and with the test with regards to French Opera.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 3.45 Kempton - 2pts win All The Aces @ 11/2 (Bet365) You have to take a little bit of a risk with Nicky Henderson's runner here as his form badly tailed off at the back end of last year but he's a classy animal at a top yard and if bouncing back, he looks fairly treated this afternoon. He started off his novice hurdling very well with form tied in with some very good types and that suggests his mark of 127 would not be beyond him at his best. He wasn't beaten far by Prospect Wells, Montbazon and Vulcanite in reality but disappointed in handicap hurdles laterly. However, he seems to be at his best in smaller fields so it's possible the hustle and bustle of large handicap events don't suit and the 12 horse race today might be better in that regard. He can handle this ground and has a good record fresh so there is some optimism with regards to his chances today. There have been nibbles of support which bode well and his form did tail off on the flat back in 2009 before bouncing back so it's possible he just doesn't want a load of racing in quite a short space of time. The break should have freshened him up and with Barry Geraghty back on board I think he can bounce right back this afternoon.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 12.50 Catterick - 1pt win Topo Gigio @ 10/1 (Bet365) Very interesting that the market is speaking somewhat in this horse's favour today given positive signals seem important if this one was going to run a big race. He's only a modest type but ran some okay races a couple of years ago and consistently seemed to shape as if he wanted the bare minimum trip over hurdles. He fell over fences on his first start for 2 years back in October so would still have needed the run when going okay at Carlisle last time over 2m4f. He travelled okay before fading but that trip at that track on that ground is plausibly too testing anyway. Should strip fitter now and has had a couple of months to freshen up. He drops back down to two miles here and has been dropped 9lbs in the handicap. This is a very weak race and I reckon he can go well with conditions apparently in his favour.

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Re: Jumps Time For Rupert 1.25 Leopardstown - 2pts win Monksland @ 4/1 (Bet365) Although Zaidpour got the better of Noel Meade's charge last time out I think there is sufficient reasoning to believe the form can be turned around this afternoon. That was over 2m4f at Fairyhouse and although the winner has been successful at three miles, I firmly believe Monksland to be a better horse with his stamina tested further. He goes very well on deep ground and proved at Cheltenham that he has a good deal of stamina when staying on well (without threatening) over 2m5f whilst finding the ground on the lively side. His dam had form over three miles and the way he ran at Fairyhouse suggested the race was run more to suit the possibly speedier Willie Mullins horse. My selection was under pressure before that one but kept on really well under pressure in a race where they didn't go much pace. It was a small field with little pressure on the front end and that looks different today. There are quite a few horses who like to go forward and a stronger test looks to suit the Meade horse so with this considered, and a 2lb swing in the weights, I reckon the form can be overturned. I do respect the fact that Zaidpour was having his first run of the season there but it's worth noting that his two previous runs when coming back off an absence saw him win by 12l and 8l so it's not as if he's usually very rusty so may not improve a huge amount for the run. So long as they go a decent gallop I think I'd rather be on the Meade horse at the prices.

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