Last week was a big week for Alan Doyle (Aldorithm) +39 with Domaine De L’Isle winning at Ascot. Barry Doyle (champ.ie), Colm Finlay (BetXS), Ronan Groome (The Irish Field), Andrew Blair White (Blair White’s Blog), Thomas Coyle (Trainer) & Alan Doyle (Aldorithm) all go war once again with their #8PointstoPlay this weekend.
We also have a new entrant to the ring in Jason Kiely (Sporting Life), former conditional jockey with Tim Vaughan, now racing columnist in Chantilly. Welcome Jason!
Racing tips come from Ascot, Haydock, Navan & Taunton. Colm Finlay still leads the way for the National Hunt Season on +66.5 Pts. Best of luck to all this weekend and don’t forget to let us know your Saturday NAP’s on Facebook & Twitter!
Colm Finlay #8PointstoPlay score: +66.5pts
1:40 Cheltenham – Galahad Quest (11/2) 8pt win
Firstly I think the favorite is far too short @ even money considering he’s left France with only a neck win in a handicap to his name. The 2nd, 3rd & 4th that day were 14/1, 12/1 & 24/1 respectively. This is a real case of trainer and owner silks making this horse way shorter than he ought to be. Just look at a horse with a similar profile in Homer for the same yard and owner. He hasn’t looked like landing a blow since being here and managed to go off at Evens in a Juvenile hurdle in his bow. The 2nd favorite is not sexy enough for my liking. Stuart Edmonds is on a 13% strike rate for the season overall and I don’t think he’s had a winner yet so far in 2020. So with holes poked in the top two in the betting, it leaves me with Galahad Quest who stepped up markedly last time out when a close second to an older and 100+ on the flat rated Buzz. 11/2-6/1 is a good price as far as I’m concerned in what is only a 4 horse race. The outside two I’m not worried about.
Alan Doyle #8PointstoPlay score: 39pts
1:50 Cheltenham – Lalor (11/2) 8pt win
Back to something like his best when finishing third here on New Year’s Day. That confirmed to me that this once Arkle favourite can handle soft and with no rain forecast overnight at Cheltenham, I quite fancy Woollacott’s stable star to show his true abilities even if he is just a smidge short of Grade 1 class.
Jason Kiely #8PointstoPlay score: N/A pts
2:30 Uttoxeter – Clyne (2/1) 4pts win
I’m normally not a fan one a horse lumping top weight around in a handicap, but as there is only 5 runners it is worth a shot. Ground couldn’t come heavy enough for this fella and he has won around here before. Great run in defeat last time out even though he lost a shoe. The class act of the race who has competed in some top drawer races, looks a nice bet all things considered for a trainer in flying form.
2:30 Uttoxeter – Champagne Well (2/1) 4pts win
I would have loved to have gone with Floressa in the following race here but unfortunately the price has gone, but I think she’ll win easily. CW has proven to be incredibly consistent, running well in defeat in Cheltenham Grade 2’s the last twice. Although there looks to be some strong threats in this race, Fergal O’Brien’s gelding is a proven black-type performer and may be hard to pass in a final furlong duel.
Barry Doyle #8PointstoPlay score: -10.5pts
3:35 Cheltenham – If The Cap Fits (11/4) 4pts win
The horse that I’ve been talking about all year as a stayers hurdle contender finally gets his match with Paisley Park. First time at 3m (Aintree) brought out plenty of improvement last spring and victory over 2m 3f on seasonal reappearance looks above average form conceding 6Ibs to Call Me Lord when probably under cooked. Cheltenham is an unknown but If The Cap Fits could prove top class!
2:10 Fairyhouse – Yukon Lil (9/4) 2pts win
Willie Mullins runs three against each other here in a hot renewaland this is usually the type of race I would avoid but I’ll make an exception for Yukon Lil here. The selection of Paul Townend, the daughter of Flemensfirth caught my eye when bolting up at Naas in December and the form of that race has worked out nicely since. I’m quite sweet on her.
1:50 Cheltenham – Lalor (11/2) 2pt win
Looked on course to be the leading novice chaser over 2m last season when winning at Cheltenham at the November meeting before disappointing in a couple of runs after. A change of tactics and a step up to 2m 4f last time seemed to suit. At a course that he enjoy, Lalor still looks on a dangerous mark of 153. Win only bet.
Thomas Coyle #8PointstoPlay score: -12.87 pts
1:00 Fairyhouse – Spare Brakes (4/1) 2pts win
Good second in a hurdle the last day reverts to chasing here off a nice weight for inform jockey Philip Enright.
3:55 Fairyhouse – Well Joey (9/2) 2pts win
Good second off a higher mark over fences the last day 17lbs lower in this sphere he’s a horse that’s in good form and is worth taking a chance.
1:50 Cheltenham – Lalor (11/2) 2pts win
Was a good third the last day when stepped up to this trip I think the former anti post Arkle favourite could be still well handicapped off 153.
3:15 Doncaster – Chidswell (12/1) 1pts ew
Comes with a warning that he has burst blood vessels but he’s 1 from 1 at the course and stays well Brian Hughes on board is a big plus and I’ll take a chance on the Nicky Richard’s trained horse.
Andrew Blair White #8PointstoPlay score: -19.57pts
1.15 Cheltenham – Simply the Betts (13/2) 2 Pts Win
A progressive Chaser this season, Simply the Betts is now 2/3 in this sphere and is looking like improving into a very useful horse over fences. His second last time at Kempton can be upgraded as he made a few mistakes at costly times and was staying on at the finish. The stiff nature of this finish will play into his strengths and if he can jump a bit more fluently, must be bang there.
2.05 Doncaster – Boss Man Fred (2/1) 2 Pts Win
Having won a PtP at Ballyragget, Boss Man Fred has since joined the Dan Skelton team and is currently 3 from 3 over hurdles. This horse screams like an Albert Bartlett horse as his strong suit is definitely the stamina, as he stays all day long. His C&D win over Christmas time is up there with the best piece of form in this and must be considering as the worthy favorite.
1.00 Fairyhouse – Velocity Boy (10/1) 1 Pt Win
I seem to be making a habit of backing at least one looney horse per week. Velocity Boy is a mercurial character to say the least but he is a very talented horse on his day. He has been slipping down the weights for good reason but a chance is being given that this horse can turn things round off a low mark.
3.40 Uttoxeter – Down thé Highway (15/2) 2 Pts Win
A horse that showed an awful lot of ability over hurdles (went off fav for a Grade 2 novice) has been extremely disappointing in his three starts over fences. However, he is entering his first Chase handicap off a potentially very lenient mark and this ease in grade will help in a lot of respects. If he can recapture some of his old form, he will win this.
3.15 Doncaster – Azzerti (12/1) 1 Pt Win
A good horse for Alan King over intermediate trips both last year and this year, Azzerti ran a solid race to finish 5th at Ascot last time over 3m. He is well worth another crack at that distance and could well prove to have a lot of tactical speed for a race of this nature. I can see him being bang there.
Ronan Groome #8PointstoPlay score: – 30.37pts
2.10 Fairyhouse – Colreevy (4/1) 2 Pts Win
1.50 Cheltenham – Lalor (11/2) 2 Pts Win
3.35 Cheltenham – Summerville Boy (15/2) 2 Pts Win
4.10 Cheltenham – Northern Beau (11/2) 2 Pts Win