NAP: Give Me A Copper 15/8 (PP) – Doncaster 13:25 – 2pts win Lost (SP 5/4) -2pts
NB: Wholestone 11/2 (PP) – Cheltenham 15:25 – 2pts win WON (SP 11/4) +11pts
IWAC: Auvergnat 8/1 (B365) – Cheltenham 14:50 – 2pts win Lost (SP 5/1) -2pts
ITV4 TV RACES….
Robin Dickins’ ten year old Thomas Crapper was only fifth behind Shantou Flyer last time out but meets his rival with a 9lbs swing and is now 3lbs below his last winning mark. He should appreciate the expected better ground conditions and has ran some excellent races at Cheltenham in the past, winning twice and placing three times from twelve runs. With winning form over the trip an good course form to boot he looks a decent each way option in a competitive opening to today’s tv races.
Thomas Crapper (E/W) – Lost
Paul Nicholls also has an excellent record with his runners here at Doncaster with six winners from fourteen in the last twelve months and sends an unbeaten runner for this race. Give Me A Copper has won a point-to-point, a bumper, and opened his account for the yard with a fourteen length victory at Exeter in December. With no concerns over stamina and impressive victories to date he is the selection here.
Give Me A Copper – Lost
No doubt Un De Sceaux should be winning this but at the prices I am opting for Uxizandre who, although is returning from a near two year absence, was last seen winning the Ryanair Chase in 2015 and has an excellent record at Cheltenham with two wins and a second from three runs. Furthermore, jockey Barry Geraghty was on board for his course and distance success and has a 58% winning strike rate when riding for Alan King over the last twelve months so looks worthy of a small each way play against the short-priced favourite.
Uxizandre (E/W) – 2nd (SP 12/1)
Colin Tizzard’s early Gold Cup favourite Thistlecrack is unbeaten since going over the larger obstacles and has improved his jumping with each of his four chase victories, proving himself at the highest level with a win in the King George on Boxing Day. He has an excellent record at Cheltenham and has won six from seven over the trip so despite the short odds cannot be opposed.
Thistlecrack – 2nd
Enda Bolger has an excellent record in cross-country chases at Cheltenham, having won the cross-country race at the festival five times since its inception in 2005, so any runner he sends to these races requires plenty of respect. He sends two here today with Cantlow at the head of the market and Auvergnat available at at early each way odds. Cantlow is proven over course and distance and has won his last two but has a 7lbs rise to contend with and at the prices my preference is for Auvergnat who ran an excellent race when just five lengths behind Cantlow, on what was his first attempt on a cross-country track, when third over course and distance in December. With that experience under his belt and improvement likely, he looks to be the one to follow.
Auvergnat (E/W) – Lost
Vroum Vroum Mag should have no problems accounting for these but the price reflects that. Instead I will opt for Coillte Lass who is unbeaten in three since joining Paul Nicholls and was a ready winner of a listed contest at Taunton when last seen. She looks to have both the strongest form and progressive profile of the rest of the field and therefore is taken as an each way option with five runners meaning a second placed effort should pay more than backing the favourite to win.
Coillte Lass (E/W) – Lost
Kimberlite Candy and Topofthegame both step up in class looking to keep their respective unbeaten records intact, with preference of the two being for Tom Lacey’s Kimberlite Candy, but in such a competitive looking Grade 2 race I am opting for Wholestone who has won over todays’ trip, has won two from three at Cheltenham and is proven at this level having won a Grade 2 when last seen in December.
Wholestone – Won
Ballyboker Breeze has won four from seven over similar trips to what he encounters today and since falling on debut has since finished in the first three places in all ten runs. He has won two from three over fences since joining Nicky Richards and looks to be progressing well so looks a decent each way option at early double figure odds.
Ballyboker Breeze (E/W) – Lost
We finally arrive at the last of an incredible nine races live on ITV4 and get to see the Harry Fry trained Uknowwhatimeanharry once again take on Nigel Twiston-Davies’ runner Ballyoptic. They have locked horns twice in the last couple of months with Uknowhatimeanharry emerging victorious on both occasions. Unbeaten in seven races since joining the Fry yard and seemingly improving with each run, the nine year old is once again taken to come out on top especially when considering Ballyoptic has fallen twice in his last three runs.
Kotkikova could only manage fifth in the Christmas hurdle but that was his first run since April 2016 and that race has since produced the first, second and third in a Grade 2 at Gowran Park earlier this week so the form looks pretty strong. He has won ten of his thirteen career runs so obviously has a lot of ability and should be fitter for his comeback run so looks a decent each way option at early double figure odds.
Uknowhatimeanharry & Kotkikova (E/W) – WON & Lost
28/1/17 PROFIT/LOSS: +7pts
26/1/17 PROFIT/LOSS: +11pts
25/1/17 PROFIT/LOSS: +8.45pts
JANUARY 2017 PROFIT/LOSS: +3.26spts
DECEMBER 2016 PROFIT/LOSS: +80.08pts
2016 PROFIT/LOSS (updated monthly): +225.14pts
PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 2015 (updated monthly): +520.49pts