It’s time to Tango again

A disappointing Sunday in the end with Azzuri the only winner. Presenting Julio was a non-runner and Voix D’Eau, despite being backed down to 13/2 from an advised 14/1, was bitterly disappointing, being pulled up three out when well beaten.

There are two of interest on Monday as we look to bounce back and the NAP is Dara Tango, who scored nicely for us at Galway and returns here over 1m 3f at Roscommon. He’s been raised five pounds for his Galway success but there’s still plenty of scope for that to rise higher so he’s a confident pick today for Tony Martin. I also hope we soon see him back over hurdles, where he’s currently on a mark of 123, having been on 135 when last seen over timber before his injury in 2014.

The other one I’m interested in is Cup Final at Hexham. This former Nicky Henderson runner was last seen in listed company in the Summer Plate at Market Rasen, finishing in 11th, but returns to calmer waters here off a two pound lower mark. He’s now rated ten pounds lower than his rating last May despite running some good races, finishing second twice in May and June, and winning on his chasing debut in April. Cup Final was a smart horse over hurdles – beating Unowhatimeanharry in December 2014, a year in which he also finished third in the Dovecoat. Injury kept him off the track for over a year at the end of 2014 but he still returned to win a competitive handicap at the Punchestown Festival last year. He still has scope to win races over the bigger obstacles and at 7/2 is a very fair price to do just that at Hexham.


6.30 Hexham – Cup Final 7/2ew

8.10 Roscommon – Dara Tango 15/8 (NAP)

Voix D’Eau looks a tasty Sunday Fry up

Harry Fry runs three in Southwell’s 3.10 on Sunday, in what is a very decent quality handicap chase for the time of year, and the one I like is Voix D’Eau at a very attractive 14/1. Let me state the case…

In April last year, off the same mark as today, the seven-year-old was a Grade 2 winner at Cheltenham, finishing ahead of the likes of Art Mauresque and John’s Spirit. He has continued to keep good company since, running in the Plate at Cheltenham and interestingly with a view to Sunday’s race was only three places behind stable mate Henryville, whom he meets again today on four pound better terms. He was last seen in May when only just failing to give 16 pounds to a Jonjo O’Neill improver. In short, he’s a very decent horse. Compare this to 9/4 favourite Art of Payroll, who also runs for Fry (stable debut) but has far inferior form. He won an ordinary beginners chase at Down Royal for Sandra Hughes when last seen in May but has been put up seven for that onto a career high chase mark of 135. Give me Voix D’Eau over him every time and I’d strongly advise taking the current odds available.

Meanwhile, over at Tramore Arbor Des Champs makes his chase debut at 4.05 and holds plenty of appeal at 4/1. He ran a stinker when last seen over hurdles at Sligo but a line can be drawn through that performance as the time before he was a highly impressive 19-length winner at Downpatrick and was second to a smart one of Noel Meade’s the time before that. 

And 35 minutes later Presenting Julio must have a massive chance off just 10st 1lb, reverting to chasing off a 17 pound lower mark than his hurdle rating. Fit again Jack Kennedy is in the saddle and there’s lots to like about a horse that won two of his last three, only finding the third of those a step too far, being a third run in 14 days. He’s had a nice break since then and can resume winning ways.


2.00 Southwell – Azzuri 4/5

3.10 Southwell – Voix D’Eau 14/1ew

4.05 Tramore – Arbor Des Champs 4/1ew

4.40 Tramore – Presenting Julio 9/2ew (NAP)

Saturday selections 

Two from four went in for us on Friday at Tramore, including the NAP Dasmyhoss – one to look out for on hurdles debut next time out. 

Below are my Saturday selections with St Stephen’s Green the main fancy after a great run at Galway last time when finishing third. He’s gone up two pounds but remains on a very workable mark on the Flat and I expect him to score this time.

2.00 Perth – Coolmeen Hill 2/1

3.10 Perth – Flying Eagle 9/4

3.45 Perth – Mirsaale 11/4

4.15 Perth – Ahead of the Curve 5/2

6.50 Tramore – St Stephen’s Green 7/4 (NAP)

7.50 Tramore – Kings Wharf 9/2ew

Bumper NAP at Tramore

Bringing form to the table of a third behind Debuchet and Le Richebourg at Leopardstown in January, Robbie McNamara’s Dasmyhoss should be favourite in the concluding bumper at Tramore today, yet the Mullins factor is at work again with Crumpledandcreased in the lineup (even though that one has twice been a beaten warm order in far inferior races to the one Dasmyhoss ran in). McNamara’s runner was mentioned for Galway but reappears today instead and I think, returning to better ground following a disappointing second appearance on soft, the four year old can score today.

Tramore Friday selections:

5.05 Potters Point 6/4

6.05 Born To Size 9/4

7.10 Osco Mosco 9/4

8.15 Dasmyhoss 11/4 NAP

Bluebook and Beach make a great pair

If you have one bet today make sure its Project Bluebook in the 6.45 at Chepstow. He comes here off a highly respectable sixth place finish in the Galway Hurdle two weeks ago and hasn’t been put up from a flat mark of 80 which saw him finish second only to a progressive Mark Johnston runner at Catterick in July – a race that would have mainly been a prep for Galway. Has a cracking chance today and my advice is to stick him in a double with Airlie Beach in the 8.20 at Tramore, who arrives for her race after the same path as Project Bluebook – flat prep second before the Galway Hurdle, where she was third.


1.30 Fontwell – Sky of Stars 6/4

3.00 Fontwell – Father Edward 16/1ew

4.40 Beverley – Vercingetorix 8/1ew

5.20 Tramore – A Year To Remember 5/1ew

6.45 Chepstow- Project Bluebook 11/4 (NAP)

6.50 Tramore – Killiney Court 9/2ew

8.20 Tramore – Airlie Beach 8/15 

Double – Project Bluebook & Airlie Beach

Wednesday selections 

What was the best bumper run in recent years? How about this for a contender – February 7 2015 at Newbury and the first three home are Barters Hill, Buveur D’Air and Altior. Tenth in that race was Watcombe Heights, a horse who had come into the contest after an impressive debut win at Newton Abbot the previous July. We haven’t seen him since, until today that is, as he finally makes his debut over hurdles at the same track where he won so well on his debut.

Trainer Martin Hill has had to be patient with the seven-year-old but here’s hoping he has retained some of the ability that earned him a place in that stella bumper lineup two and a half years ago at Newbury. I’m an old romantic at heart and I’m prepared to take a chance on him at 13/2.

Jumps racing is returning today after a short summer hiatus and also at Newton Abbot I’m keen on the chances of Galizzi, who I think is overpriced at 7/1. The ex-John Ferguson runner has been seen only on the Flat since the Bloomfields operation was disbanded but makes a welcome return over timber today for Tim Vaughan. This is a horse that was rated 133 when last seen jumping back in December 2015 – a month earlier he had been second in a novice hurdle at Cheltenham’s Open meeting to A Hare Breath, finishing ahead of smart types Double W’s and Briery Belle. Richard Johnson is in the saddle today and although Curious Carlos will be a tough nut to crack I’m expecting a bold bid off a mark of 125.

Over at Bangor there’s an evening meeting to keep us entertained and I particularly like Court Dismissed for Donald McCain, who loves to get a winner there and has a 21% strike rate at the track over the past six years. After a lean couple of years McCain is really firing at the moment, with five winners from his 13 runners over the past fortnight. This son of Court Cave was one of those five when completing a double at Worcester and even though he’s been raised seven pounds, that is wiped out by the claim of jockey Lorcan Murtagh. His price has already been nibbled at but even the 11/2 currently available is very fair and I’d advise taking some of that with market leader Jack Snipe having to shoulder a 17lb rise for two recent successes of his own.

Earlier at Bangor Celestial Path is presented with his best chance yet of getting his stuttering hurdling career going as he goes into handicap company for the first time. Formerly smart on the Flat for Mark Prescott, much was expected when he began his jumps career at the turn of the year, but in truth he’s been a bitter disappointment. However, he is surely open to progress in handicaps and getting weight from the rest of the field here he has been awarded a golden opportunity. You wouldn’t want your life savings on him but he should have the class to score.


2.30 Newton Abbot – Watcombe Heights 13/2ew

3.00 Newton Abbot – Galizzi 7/1ew

5.15 Beverley – Hurricane Hollow 10/3ew

6.20 Bangor – Celestial Path 7/4

6.50 Bangor – Court Dismissed 11/2ew (NAP)

7.20 Bangor – Lieutenant Gruber 8/13

Downpatrick selections 

An 8/1 winner yesterday with Rolling Maul and oh so close with the NAP Zubayr done on the line. Here are my selections for today’s jumps action at Downpatrick…

2.45 – Timi Roli 9/4 (NAP)

3.50 – Sharlanda 9/4

4.25 – Mischievous Max 15/8

5.25 – Special Ted 10/11