Wednesday selections – Punchestown, Wetherby & Bath


3.40 – Mitchouka

4.10 – Snow Falcon (NB)


2.45 – Lough Derg Spirit

3.45 – Ballyandy

5.25 – Midnight Shadow (NAP)


2.20 – Divin Bere

2.55 – True Self


Tuesday selections – Hereford, Huntingdon & Punchestown


3.25 Cresswell Legend

3.55 Commodore Barry

4.30 The Bay Birch


2.10 Totterdown

3.15 Earlshill (nap)


2.05 Elysian Plains

2.35 Don’t Touch It

3.10 My Sister Sarah

4.10 Us and Them

Sunday selections – Chepstow, Limerick & Navan


2.15 Fanfan Du Seuil 9/2ew

2.50 Debece 10/3

3.25 Coolanly 10/3 (previously advised at 5/1, read my preview here)

4.00 Theatre Guide 15/2ew

4.35 Vado Forte 8/1ew

5.10 Barney Dwan 7/2


1.50 Madison To Monroe 16/1ew

2.25 Light of my Life 7/2 (NAP)

3.00 Good Thyne Tara 4/9

3.35 The Big Lense 2/1

4.10 Tombstone 10/11

4.45 Raz De Maree 33/1ew


4.25 Makitorix 16/1ew

Saturday selections – Chepstow & Newmarket


1.55 Pym 13/8

3.05 Midnightreferendum 4/1ew

3.35 Master Tommytucker 9/4 (NAP)

4.10 Grand Sancy 7/2

4.45 Court Minstrel 12/1ew

5.20 Traffic Fluide 14/1ew


3.40 Cliffs of Dover 33/1ew

Chepstow ante-post – Silver Trophy & Persian War

Chepstow this weekend marks the traditional opening of the jumps season proper and as if the gods knew it was coming, rain and lots of it, is the on the cards, hopefully guaranteeing most of the good horses pencilled in for their first day back at school after a long hot summer will take their chance.

One who will certainly appreciate the heavens opening is Paul Nicholls’ Master Tommytucker, who looks set to take his chance in Saturday’s highlight, the Grade 3 Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle. A race that the former champion trainer has only won once before – with Taranis in 2006 – he was third 12 months ago with Peak to Peak and will be hopeful of getting a second victory with a horse who may well be having his last run over timber before embarking on a chasing career.

The son of Kayf Tara could hardly have been more impressive in his two outings last term, winning twice at Exeter and looking particularly good on his second visit to the track when hacking up by 11 lengths without coming off the bridle. Both were on a soft surface and this looks assured this weekend too with a deluge set to descend on Wales over the coming days. Nominated by Nicholls as one of his top five horses to follow this season, the seven-year-old runs off a mark of 143 and can be backed at 12/1, which could well prove to be a very generous price indeed.

Taking a detour for a moment while on the subject of Nicholls, I also think his Cliffs of Dover looks overpriced at 33/1 for the Cesarewitch on the same day. The five-year-old runs off a featherweight 8st 6lbs, with the trainer’s daughter Megan taking off a further five. The rain is set to miss Newmarket too, giving him his preferred sounder surface, and everything seems set for a big run.

Back to Chepstow and the highlight of day two is the Persian War, a race won by the likes of Silviniaco Conti, Fingal Bay and Blaklion over the years. Last term’s renewal was claimed by Fergal O’Brien’s Poetic Rhythm and the trainer looks to have a prime candidate to make it back to back wins in the form of Coolanly.

This son of Flemensfirth was a winner at this meeting a year ago, when taking the bumper, a race in which he had Kim Bailey’s smart First Flow trailing back in fourth. There was no disgrace after that in finishing second to Bailey’s unbeaten Vinndication (one of my JLT antepost picks for this season) on his hurdles debut at Leicester after that, before he took his chance at both the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals in the spring – finishing a very good fifth in the Grade 1 Top Novices’ Hurdle at the Grand National meeting.

Like Poetic Rhythm last year, O’Brien has targeted this race for Coolanly and he looks very fairly priced at 5/1 to bring some cheer to the yard following the devastating loss of stable favourite Creevytennant this week.

Chepstow selections:

Silver Trophy (Saturday, 4.10): Master Tommytucker 12/1ew (Bet365, Ladbrokes)

Persian War (Sunday, 3.25): Coolanly 5/1ew (Betfair, Paddy Power)