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National Hunt Selections - 2016/17

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I'm very surprised My Tent Or Yours is not well odds on here given the poor opposition. He proved he retains ability when coming off a massive absence to finish 2nd in last years Champion Hurdle and goes incredibly well fresh. He also won the Betfair Hurdle on ground the times suggested was much more testing that the soft description advertised alleviating concerns about the ground. Old Guard is coming back hurdling after a disappointing time novice chasing while Ch'tibello has to find the guts of 20lbs to match the favourites form and Melodic Rendezvous is just not the same horse.

1.50 Haydock - My Tent Or Yours @ 11/10 Bet365

Yala Enki is a solid enough favourite in these conditions after being dropped a few pounds and seems to go well off a break. However the price looks about right now and I'm keen to take on the next few in the market. Two Taffs needs to step up, Westren Warrior seems to have stalled in his development and the ground is too testing for Caid Du Berlais. The one that sticks out is the lightly raced Western Cape, an 85k purchase with just 5 runs over hurdles. He was only beaten a neck on his reappearance and winner of that has franked the form and the move to these Fixed Brush obstacles which are based on the French style hurdles could bring more improvement for this former pointer.

2.25 Haydock - Western Cape @ 18/1 Betway

Cue Card was disappointing in the Charlie Hall and although he should come on for that I just don't think he's the same horse that ran to an RPR of 180 three times last year. He didn't run with the same zest this time and was fading at the finish unlike when winning pretty comfortably last year. Coneygree is coming back from a bad injury and again can be taken on as he may not be the same. Seeyouatmidnight is on the up but has to improve a lot and you have to be slightly dubious of the form of his last run. Has potential but a short price to make the considerable step up here. I like old boy Silviniaco Conti at the prices. He needs the run and improved a lot from his reappearance last year in this race. I expect him to come on significantly from that and he has a really good record around Haydock posting RPRs of 168, 175, 169 and 173. He's a lot harder to predict these days but he showed at Ascot last year that he still has bundles of ability and if he can post a rating somewhere within those scores he should be bang there with a fair chance in my opinion of Cue Card and Coneygree not running to there best.

3.00 Haydock (Betfair Chase) - Silviniaco Conti @ 8/1 Bet365

Disappointing turn out for such a big pot over at Ascot where Vaniteux tops the betting. He's a worthy favourite with the Arkle where he was set to finish 2nd before unseating working out well. He does have an absence to overcome and Some Buckle with fitness on side looks the value play. His jumping hasn't been the best and he blundered badly when going really well last time at Aintree but before that his jumping was excellent and looked much improved. It was no surprise to see him jump so well up to that point after moving to Tom George who is such a good trainer of a chaser and I'm willing to give him another chance as he looks well handicapped off 139.

3.15 Ascot - Some Buckle @ 6/1 Betfair

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Some interesting races with Identity Thief, Nichols Canyon and Disko in action at Punchestown but little appeals from a betting point of view apart from After Rain in the opener at Punchestown. Poor run last time but the race was an absolute mess with nothing getting close to the runaway front runner and he probably needed it anyway given the drift. I had him backed in the big handicap hurdle at Leopardstown last January when he was strongly fancied in a fiercely competitive race and can excuse him for that as he ran very keen and was wandering around at times. With those points in mind he looks well handicapped off 124, 1lb higher than when 3rd behind Blue Hell and Desoto County with Henry Higgins back in 5th at Fairyhouse this time last year. The competition looks pretty modest so at the prices I'm willing to forgive two below par efforts as he may have had genuine excuses.

12.40 Punchestown - After Rain @ 9/2 Bet365

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Two picks tomorrow at Wexford. Toe The Line was 102 rated on the flat but Kiely has a poor record with hurdling debutantes so I can take her on while Lettre De Cachet was 2nd in a poor looking maiden hurdle at Galway. Forge Meadow is 2nd favourite but has very similar bumper form to Bargy Lady and comes here off a break unlike the latter. So at the prices Bargy Lady looks the clear pick with the Mullins first time over hurdles factor another positive.

12.25 Wexford - Bargy Lady @ 4/1 Betfair

Sympa Des Flos is another horse making it's hurdling debut for Mullins after finishing 2nd in a Listed hurdle in France. Sutton Manor looks short at odds on when you look at his bumper form which doesn't stack up to much and his hurdling debut when he was just ahead of a pretty exposed type. Unfortunately Sympa Des Flos isn't likely to get into the race but if he does I would be keen on him against Sutton Manor at these sorts of prices.

12.55 Wexford - Sympa Des Flos @ 5/2 SkyBet

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Although the ground is drying I really think Zabana wants proper good ground to show his best. The right favourite but I couldn't back him at 15/8 with that in mind and I don't see much if any improvement in him. I quite liked Kitten Rock's debut over fences but that was no where near this level and he did something to his back on his 2nd start which was meant to be minor. Wasn't seen since so I wonder if that injury proved to be a lot more serious and I can take him on. Ttebobb's form looks pretty average now in hindsight and he lost his way towards the end of last season. Not sure going up in trip is in his favour either. Tennis Cap needs to improve again significantly. Champagne West was 2nd to Village Vic last season giving a ton of weight showing he retains plenty of ability following an injury. That's up there with the best form on show and if De Bromhead sorts his jumping which I think there's a good chance he may just do I reckon he could be quite good.

2.45 Gowran - Champagne West @ 4/1 Betfair

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In the Hennessey I narrowed it down to Henri Parry Morgan, Smad Place, Theatre Guide , Coologue and Local Show. Native River looks pretty solid but 6/1 is a little tight I'd say. I don't think much of the other 2nd season chasers as I reckon they're a bit exposed. Vyta Du Roc disappointed me last season as I thought he could be a decent chaser. Can't see much scope for Un Temps Pour Tout off 158 and Saphir just has had too many opportunities for me.

Smad Place should go well with this his yearly target and although he is 11lbs higher he would have won carrying that weight anyway last year. That being said because it looks a better renewal this time around and I think he's better on testing ground I'll leave him alone at the prices. Same applies to Theatre Guide really. He's 10lbs higher and although his reappearance suggests he's a better horse after a wind op he might just find a couple too good. Coologue also looks improved this season after winning on his reappearance but as Longsdon's tend to be ready first time out I'm worried he won't be able to defy an 8lb rise.

Henri Parry Morgon is progressing and was going really well when unseating at Sandown on his last run. He had to miss his prep because of a bad scope but his trainer reports him in great nick after a racecourse gallop at Ffos Las. Another positive is the fact Bowen is a very good trainer of a chaser and his son who takes the ride has a fantastic record. Local Show is my other pick and is unexposed with only 3 runs over fences. He ideally might want a bit more experience in a race like this but from what I have seen he's very straight forward and jumps incredibly well. He didn't stay the 4 mile trip at Cheltenham so I can ignore that run and has a good trainer backing him who also does well with horses off a break.

3.10 Newbury - Henri Parry Morgan e/w @ 11/1 Bet365

3.10 Newbury - Local Show e/w @ 50/1 Betfair

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Never really liked Bellshill but he's solid enough here I'd say. Used to give his hurdles a bit of air and came from the pointing scene so you would imagine he will improve for fences. I want to be against Don't Touch It first time over fences given the stable and my original selection was going to be Elliott's Be The Hero who's now a non runner. Balko Des Flos was a bit of a bridle horse over hurdles so you just worry about him putting it all in but he's moved to De Bromhead who has a terrific record with 1st time out chasers and is available at 4/1 without Bellshill. Some bookies are as short as 6/4 and as I'm against Don't Touch It I think it's a great bet.

3.15 Gowran - Balko Des Flos w/o Bellshill @ 4/1 William Hill

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First winner up in this thread with Balko Des Flos chasing home Bellshill clear of Don't Touch It. He was giving Bellshill a right race until messing up the 2nd last and looks another good prospect for De Bromhead.

Wouldn't give up on Local Show yet. I don't think big fields suit him and back in a race where he can lead I could see him jumping his rivals into the ground. He never looked comfortable running at that pace and made a bad mistake that finished him near the start.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Keatley is 3-7 in bumpers and this horse ran well to finish 6th on his debut under rules when coming from last in a slowly run affair where he had no chance. The favourite may be tough to beat but De Bromhead and Harrington have poor records in these races and Mr Champers finished ahead of Joseph's Aeglos the last day too. All of them have horses ahead in the betting and he looks a cracking e/w bet at 25s with an ideal prep run under his belt.

3.30 Leopardstown - Mr Champers e/w  @ 25/1 Ladbrokes

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I'm a bit concerned about Daweraan dropping back 2f in trip but he's progressive and has a positive jockey booking going from a claimer to the best around in Ruby Walsh. Because of that you have the best chance dropping back in trip. Fruits Of Glory traveled the better last day and I guess people are making the case for him over the trip but his overall profile leaves a lot to be desired. I'm against the Martin favourite as usual and Tyner also has a poor record in handicap hurdles although on paper they both have chances. The rest look exposed in the main and I think Daweraan can improve further.

1.50 Leopardstown - Daweraan @ 13/2 Betfair

I have to be against Min in the Racing Post Novice Chase. As much as I liked his performances last year and his chasing debut he's coming up against a proper Grade 1 hurdler who has jumped flawlessly so far. I was a bit worried by the proximity of Ordinary World and Attribution in his last race but that race looks a lot better now and Cooper seemed to be very cautious coming up the home straight. Let's not forget that unlike Vautour and Douvan the favourite here Min was beaten in the Supreme pretty comprehensively. Maybe the injury exaggerated the distances but that seems to have been factored well into the price here I have to be with Identity Thief at 2/1.

2.20 Leopardstown - Identity Thief @ 2/1 Betfair

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  • 2 weeks later...

4.10 Cork - Impact Factor @ 10/1 Bet365

The favourite is an odds on Joseph O'Brien debutante which can be taken on at the prices while Keatley saddles the 2nd in the market. He was heavily supported on his debut under rules at Leopardstown over Christmas and ran well behind Ballyward but I think he might have less improvement in him than the market expects. Twomey basically buys and looks to sell horses at a profit so I'll take a chance on his at the prices. Because of that he usually has them spot on first time up and this one cost 41k so could be pretty useful.

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