The Best And The Worst Of This Sport
At least we had a bit longer to revel in the race of the season this time. National Hunt horse racing knocked its followers flat as soon as it lifted all who saw the great scrap between Many Clouds and Thistlecrack in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham in 2017. For thirty seconds, racegoers and TV-viewers were buzzing, but then in the thirty-first second, Many Clouds collapsed and passed away. Last Saturday in the Tingle Creek Chase Defi Du Seuil, Un De Sceaux and Waiting Patiently served up a belter of a finish, but thirty minutes later the popular veteran chaser Houblon Des Obeaux collapsed on the home turn in the London National, leading to the voiding of the race and farcical scenes, which have been much documented. The highest high, the lowest low, and nothing in between. Let’s hope we get some cracking racing this weekend at Cheltenham, without a sting in the tail.

First up for the week, there’s a good Class 3 handicap chase at Taunton on Thursday, which is previewed in full here, horse by horse.

December 7th 2019
Grade B handicap chase, 2:45 Navan
Good handicaps are everywhere today, including this belter at Navan, and my shortlist consists of: Jetz, who shaped well behind Footpad at Punchestown ; Whisperinthebreeze, who’s in the 15 To Follow and made a lot of the running before lack of a run probably told at Punchestown last time, jumping well; and the top weight Us And Them, who if you overlook a poor run in the Betvictor Gold Cup last time, was another in the race who did well in the face of a stiff task, in his case behind Snow Falcon in the Champion Chase at Gowran Park. One that I’m not going anywhere near is Glenloe, who’s been beaten double digits on all his chase starts to date, and was struggling with four to jump behind Faugheen (who isn’t the machine of old, surely) at Punchestown last time.

December 7th 2019
Tingle Creek Chase, 3:00 Sandown
No doubt that Cheltenham winner Defi Du Seuil is progressing, but Un De Sceaux is still the benchmark on my ratings, about 6 or 7 lbs ahead – and don’t forget another making his reappearance, Sceau Royal, whose high cruising speed is likely to take him up to the leaders from the Pond Fence, and there’s no Altior this time. For Politologue to win, over this trip, he’ll have to be made some use of (the Ryanair Chase would be his Cheltenham Festival-race), but unoriginally, I’m going for Un De Sceaux.

To see a horse-by-horse preview of the London National at Sandown, click here.

December 7th 2019
And good morning! Delighted to announce that The Throwaway Quid is back, and the tip – who runs at Aintree – is live now.

December 6th 2019
Good evening and welcome along to Roy Waterhouse Steeplechasing, and particularly to anyone dropping in for the first time. With more to come later on Friday evening and early on Saturday morning, here’s my first material for Saturday December 7th. Aintree’s up first.

Many Clouds Chase, 2:40 Aintree
Is it going to be so hard for Black Corton to concede 4 lbs to Native River and Might Bite? They’re giving the ground on the Mildmay course as Good to Soft, and for me that puts the stayer/grinder Native River at a disadvantage round this sharp track, even though he wears first-time blinkers. We don’t know where we are with Might Bite, who’s in cheekpieces for the first time having gone off the map last season, so Bryony Frost’s second best buddy (after Frodon amongst her four-legged ones) – who we know retains his ability after his Galway Plate-second and cracking run behind Vinndication at Ascot on November 2nd – is the call for me.

To see a horse-by-horse preview of the Becher Chase over the Grand National fences, click here.

December 2nd 2019
Back In The Room
With further apologies for rather abruptly taking a break from things, it feels like I’ve got my mind back now, so I’m going to gradually edge back into the swing of things. I’ll start small and work up, and you can’t get much smaller than the 3:05 at Southwell on Tuesday December 3rd, a 0-100 handicap, but here’s the shortlist. Norwegian Woods was running well – although failing for a bit of stamina at the end of 3m1f – when falling at the last at Hereford last time and will be suited by the drop in trip; Tis Fantastic ran into the thrown-in Guardia Top at Chepstow last time; and something a bit left field perhaps but I’ll throw in Duty Girl, on her debut for the Julia Brooke-stable, who shaped well at Tipperary in July. More to come later in the week and the intention is to bring back The Throwaway Quid this Saturday.

November 22nd 2019
Timing Is Pants, But Taking A Break
Sorry to be posting this. Anxiety has taken hold over the last couple of days, and as a result I’m ‘not me’ just at the minute, and I don’t feel I can give racing my best shot. I’ve decided to take a break from the website and Twitter, so there are no previews for this weekend – also no The Throwaway Quid, so I’m sorry about that – and the aim is to be back for the start of December.

November 21st 2019
Welcome along to rwsteeplechasing.co.uk, and as always, a particular welcome to anyone visiting for the first time. There’s a Race Preview now live for the two Class 2 handicaps at Ascot on Friday – click here to read.

November 20th 2019
There’s a new Race Meeting Review on rwsteeplechasing.co.uk – it’s of Wetherby last Saturday, on which there were good performances by the likes of Big Bad Bear and Cornerstone Lad – click or tap here to read.

November 19th 2019
The 3:50 race at Chepstow on Wednesday isn’t necessarily the best race of the day, but it’s one of the most competitive. I can see the market revolving around the top one Mick Manhattan, on account of his running fourth at Exeter to subsequent Cheltenham winner at the weekend Hang In There, but this is over 2m3f100y and on breeding he’s no certainty to stay this far. My three against the field are Mere Anarchy, who arguably would have won at Worcester back in May but for stumbling on landing at the last; Champagne Chaser, who runs after a break but has twice won when fresh; and Megalodon, who drops in class and in the weights after running poorly behind Mason Jar at Ascot – there’s nothing wrong with his third to Legal History at Exeter last April.

November 18th 2019
The Start of Betfair Chase Week
It wasn’t wrong to concentrate on Wetherby last Saturday, but it wasn’t right to completely dismiss Cheltenham. After the abandonment of the Friday card, having feared that they might have had something worse than they got for the Saturday of the October meeting when they were galloping through lakes, it actually looked a lot better than it was in October, so fair play to all concerned.

Coming up this week, there’ll be a Review of the aforementioned Wetherby meeting – my first Wetherby visit for ages, and Mrs rwsteeplechasing’s first ever – and I’ll be analysing the performances of such as the promising Oscar Robertson and the winner of the Class 2 introductory hurdle Big Bad Bear on that. Probably going live on Wednesday, it’ll be announced on Twitter when it does. Later this week, no messing about – the weather’s looking good, and I’ll give the Betfair Chase-card at Haydock a good go.

November 15th 2019
With apologies to anyone wondering what I think of Cheltenham this weekend, I’ve taken a decision to swerve it altogether. There’s still rain around, there’ll be omitted obstacles, the hype about Slate House and Siruh Du Lac over the past week has meant that decent prices on them were never there and – a first for British racing, please correct me if I’m wrong – the weights for the betvictor Gold Cup were put up with Saint Calvados‘s withdrawal.

So this Saturday, rightly or wrongly I’m all for Wetherby – that might yet be the meeting that gets rained off as they have some forecast overnight themselves, but on Friday afternoon that seemed the more likely to go ahead. Mr Antolini, who chased Black Op home at Stratford recently, gets an early chance at a handicap chase in the 2:15. I’ve previewed three races – click here to read.

November 14th 2019
With the abandonment of Cheltenham on Friday, the next updates on rwsteeplechasing.co.uk will be for Saturday’s racing, if anywhere’s on. At the time of posting Newcastle on Friday have changed their ground to soft (heavy in places), while Southwell will be inspecting on Friday morning for that day’s card.

November 13th 2019
Most competitive race on Thursday appears to be the amateur riders’ handicap hurdle at Ludlow (4:00) in which I like three against the rest: course winner Longhousesignora, who shaped well on her debut over fences at Worcester last time and reverts to timber; Grageelagh Girl, whose rider was a little caught out by the enterprising tactics on the winner Midnight Midge from the home turn at Taunton LTO; and Wilde Spirit, another mare (you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a mares’ race – it isn’t), who very much shaped as though the 2m5f trip of this race is what she wants over 2m at this track on her debut for the Henry Daly-stable.

November 12th 2019
In future, if I’ve got a few ideas about the following day’s racing, but I don’t have time to construct and post a full Preview-piece, I’ll write a few lines here on the home page – like about the 2m175y handicap hurdle at Exeter on Wednesday (3:40 race). Smarty Wild didn’t act on the track at Cheltenham last time in a more competitive race, making several mistakes, and back at a track he’s won at, he’s half my shortlist. The other half is Searching, who was put into the race too soon after racing wide at Wincanton last time behind I’d Better Go Now. I’m worried Haldon Hill will pull too hard, and Nordic Combined‘s third at Ascot behind Gumball last time disguises the fact that he’s a hard ride who’s difficult to win with.

Feature race tomorrow is the Anne Duchess of Westminster Handicap Chase at Bangor (1:50) and Calipso Collonges looks on a good mark in that, although the progressive Commodore – at least he was progressive when last seen – shouldn’t be underestimated.

November 11th 2019
Monday Monday
So it’s what used to be the Mackeson Gold Cup at Cheltenham this Saturday, and they’re predicting ground no worse than good to soft. Isn’t there an element of ‘heard that one before’ about that? Anyway, I’m not sure what the plan will be for the weekend, but the video-watching and the note-taking is underway and I’ll see where it takes me.

If you’ve never been on this site before, you can click any of the bricks below to take you to the pages – Atlanta Ablaze was a winner for the 15 To Follow-list last week, so maybe give that a try if you haven’t yet; also there’s a review of the meeting at Huntingdon on Sunday November 3rd – and on Saturdays, there’s The Throwaway Quid, which comprises one tip, available at 10/1 or more on the morning, that’s worth a throwaway quid. While there’s no tip live, the brick above will take you to the record of all TTQ tips to date.

November 9th 2019
Mornings, welcome along to rwsteeplechasing.co.uk, and in particular welcome to anyone dropping in for the first time. As well as a Preview of the feature races at Aintree (link below and above top-left), today’s The Throwaway Quid, who runs at Wincanton, is now live – click here to get the tip.

The preview of Wincanton is now live also, with races covered the mares’ handicap hurdle and the feature Badger Beers Chase, which Present Man and Bryony Frost will win for the third year running. (I’ve seen the script – it’ll be like a work in professional wrestling.)

November 8th 2019
The first preview for Saturday’s racing is up now and it covers the feature races at Aintree on Saturday, the 2m4f handicap chase and the 2m4f conditions hurdle, which features three horses with pretensions to finishing second to Paisley Park in the 2020 Stayers’ Hurdle. A Wincanton Preview and The Throwaway Quid will go live on Saturday morning.

November 7th 2019
I’m pleased to post the first Meeting Review to appear on the new website – click here to read a Review of Huntingdon last Sunday, November 3rd, where Deyrann De Carjac was the star of the show, decisively winning a competitive novices’ chase.

November 6th 2019
We look at a couple of the handicaps on Newbury’s first jumps card of the season in the latest Race Preview – the Pertemps Qualifier, which includes a couple of horses who were withdrawn from the recent Cheltenham one on account of the ground, and the following handicap chase.

November 5th 2019
Tuesday Tidings
Last week it was Monday Musings, but thanks to having to do a hell of a lot of housekeeping after the weekend, this week’s first update on rwsteeplechasing.co.uk takes place on the Tuesday of Badger Ales Chase week. The approximate timetable for this week’s new material is hopefully going to go something like this:
* Wednesday evening – Race Preview for a bit of Newbury’s card on Thursday;
* Thursday evening – the first Meeting Review on the new website. Although I didn’t tweet anything on Sunday I was at Huntingdon (it’s in part thanks to that that I’ve been playing catch-up), where Deyrann De Carjac was the star of the show in the competitive novice chase – so I’ll be working on that later;
* Friday evening – first Race Previews for Saturday;
* Saturday morning – the next The Throwaway Quid tip will go live, as will more Race Previews.

Talking of The Throwaway Quid, the tip-list has been updated, and despite Diego Du Charmil‘s well-documented best efforts to get out of it, he is TTQ‘s first winner. The list of TTQ tips given is live and if you click the brick above at times when there’s no tip, you can see the complete list.

November 3rd 2019
Hello again, happy Sunday, and welcome to rwsteeplechasing.co.uk. So what’s the topic of conversation today? Ballyoptic slogging it out to beat fellow slogger Elegant Escape in the Charlie Hall? How good was Envoi Allen at Down Royal? Road To Respect? Vinndication? Probably none of those… ‘Diego Du Charmil, jump or no jump’ is probably what you’re all discussing. I’m in more than two minds, I must admit. I certainly don’t think Capeland should have been disqualified. Anyway we move on, and here’s a rare Sunday Race Preview, with Huntingdon the meeting covered.

November 2nd 2019
Mornings, welcome along to rwsteeplechasing.co.uk, and in particular anyone looking in for the first time. I’ve a busy day ahead. At the time of this update I’ve just posted The Throwaway Quid for today, who runs at Ascot – a preview of a couple of Ascot’s feature races will go up later this morning, and then later today a preview of some of Sunday’s Huntingdon card will be here. There’s a realistic chance of me seeing none of today’s races!

Final update for Saturday November 2nd – the Ascot preview is now live, with two of the feature handicaps covered.

November 1st 2019
The first preview for Saturday’s racing is for the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby – no Black Corton this year, but it’s a good renewal. More previews and The Throwaway Quid will go live on Saturday morning.

October 31st 2019
Rain is the last thing Wetherby want, and they appear to have some in their forecasts for Friday and Saturday, but there’s none in the overnight weather forecast for Stratford on Thursday, which is just as well as it’s soft, heavy in places on the chase course. The feature is the 3:25 race, the 2m3f handicap chase, and it would arguably slot right in to a decent Saturday card. With a 142-rated top weight in Kim Muir runner-up Kilfilum Cross, here’s a horse-by-horse preview.

October 27th 2019
Monday Musings
I’m still a bit shocked at how bad conditions were at Cheltenham on Saturday. I may well be the only person who thought they were bad, but you know it’s somewhere between ‘heavy’ and ‘waterlogged’ when you see plenty of horses, moving well to a point, suddenly grind to a halt and pull up. The card is not a total write-off in terms of form – far from it, as having said that plenty of runners gave their running and gave the races credibility – but I suspect there’ll be plenty of horses about whom I’ll think ‘ignore it on account of the conditions’, next time they line up – provided it’s on better going of course.

One such horse who moved well for a long way but didn’t complete on Saturday was Master Work, who has the now-dubious distinction of being the first tip offered on this website’s The Throwaway Quid-feature. Because I want to stand up and be counted, it’s my intention to record all of the selections on the site, even if it’s zero from whatever in 25 weeks’ time. So while there’s no tip live, if you click the brick above – or here – you’ll go to the page where the list sits.


There’s also a minor update to the Take On The Tracks page, noting that Ayr have started using one-fit padded hurdles, starting from its opening meeting of this season. Didn’t see any publicity about it, did you? Cork will be the first Irish track to use the new rubber obstacles, at its meeting on November 3rd.

This weekend we go again, but I’m not sure what I’ll go with. It’s that time of year, racing everywhere on Saturday and you don’t know where to start. It really ought to be Wetherby for the Charlie Hall fixture, but 1/ the back straight’s waterlogged after all the rain, and 2/ the main supporting race, the West Yorkshire Hurdle, has only eight entries, and you fancy it will need Unowhatimeanharry to run to have any credibility. We’ll see. I could concentrate on Wetherby, have more than a passing glance at Ascot, or even get stuck in to Down Royal. We’ll see. Whatever I come up with, it’ll be here.


October 26th 2019
Mornings, welcome to the website, particularly anyone dropping in for the first time. Today, The Throwaway Quid launches on rwsteeplechasing.co.uk – one tip, every Saturday during the main period of the jumps season, that’s available at 10/1 or better early on Saturday morning, that’s worth a throwaway quid, or 50p each way. The tip runs at Cheltenham – click here to find out who it is.

Also this morning the preview for Cheltenham today has been updated with the addition of the opening handicap chase at 2:00 – so that’s the three feature handicaps covered, previewed horse by horse. Click here to read. Note the going change – at 07:55 it was Soft (Good to Soft in places), but it might change again as more rain is forecast.

October 25th 2019
There’s a seriously mucky weather forecast for overnight and before racing at Cheltenham on Saturday, but I’ve carried on regardless with the first Race Previews for day two of the Showcase meeting – they’re for the two-mile handicap chase and (not unusually for me) the Pertemps Qualifier. More material will be added on Saturday morning.

October 24th 2019
Soon comes round, doesn’t it. Racing is back at Cheltenham for day one of the Showcase meeting and there’s a Race Preview up now, with three races covered. The likes of Al Dancer, Getaway Trump, Wholestone and Dinons are likely to make their presence felt in the novice chases, which are two of the races covered.

More to come for Saturday’s card, which will also see the launch of The Throwaway Quid on rwsteeplechasing.co.uk.

October 19th 2019
Welcome to rwsteeplechasing.co.uk, particularly anyone who’s dropping in for the first time. There are now two Race Preview-pages up for today (Saturday October 19th), with a look at the Prelude Chase at Market Rasen, in which the high-class San Benedeto is top weight and last year’s winner Royal Village is in again, now added to the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las, which as I type this note has passed its 7:30 Inspection and goes ahead.

October 18th 2019
The good jumps action is beginning to come thick and fast, and for those not waiting for Cheltenham next weekend, and Precautionary Inspection at 7:30 permitting, here’s a Race Preview of a stomping-good renewal of the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las, with the likes of Le Prezien, Clyne and Monsieur Lecoq starting their seasons.

October 17th 2019
There’s another Race Preview up for Friday October 18th and the one race covered is the Class 2 handicap hurdle at Uttoxeter, in which there are several horses better known as chasers starting their seasons over hurdles, including the useful De Rasher Counter and Sussex National winner The Two Amigos.

October 16th 2019
We go again on Thursday with a Race Preview for the best race on Wincanton’s card, the two-mile (actually a mile seven and a few yards) 0-130 handicap hurdle.

October 15th 2019
This season, it’s the intention to do a few more weekday Race Previews. The first of these is for the two best races on Wetherby‘s season opening-card, and it’ll be great to see horses like Crievehill and Cracking Find back in action in the Bobby Renton Handicap Chase. Also covered: the 2m handicap hurdle, with Swinton runner-up Project Bluebook top weight.

October 12th 2019
Welcome to rwsteeplechasing.co.uk, and especially if you’re looking in for the first time. There’s a Race Preview for the pick of the action at Chepstow today live now, primarily concentrating on the handicap chases on the card. The 5.05 in particular is a very good race, with Peterborough Chase winner Charbel involved – he won this race last year as well.

October 11th 2019
It’s a new Race Preview on rwsteeplechasing.co.uk with my pick of the card on day one of Chepstow’s traditional two-day season-proper-starting card, with the likes of Thyme Hill and Lisnagar Oscar on show.

September 28th 2019
They’re back… Race Previews return to rwsteeplechasing.co.uk with a look at the feature races at Market Rasen on Saturday 28th September, namely the juvenile hurdle which gave us Katchit a few years ago, and the Class 2 Prelude Handicap Hurdle in which the 2018 County Hurdle winner Mohaayed is top weight.

September 20th 2019
I’m pleased to publish my improved Ten to Follow for the 2019/20 National Hunt season. Why is it improved? Because it’s actually a Fifteen to Follow – yes, 15 good prospects, likely to win races this season. There are youngsters, mudders, two-milers, three-milers – as well as one or two who don’t fit those descriptions. Click or tap the link and have a read.

September 1st 2019
The Punter’s Blog returns to rwsteeplechasing.co.uk, with a new piece entitled ‘Time To Put In The Hours’, describing my betting fortunes during the Grand National meeting and after, and lamenting about how the introduction of the ‘virtual Grand National’ influenced the betting for the real thing.

August 17th 2019
The next addition to rwsteeplechasing.co.uk is live and it’s the return of Take On The Tracks, the site’s guide to British National Hunt racecourses. From Newcastle to Newton Abbot, Perth to Plumpton, and everywhere between, left and right, visit the page to read a write-up of every jumps track in Britain.

July 13th 2019
Firstly, welcome to the new website. There may be tweaks and things still to implement, but it’s now in a publishable state, so here goes with the first pages. The first new content on the revamped rwsteeplechasing.co.uk is now live, and it’s my annual Cheltenham Festival Analysis. Now you may recall that I missed the 2019 Cheltenham Festival owing to work, so I didn’t see it live, but I’ve sure as hell seen it now. This will become apparent when you scroll through my pen picture for each of the 498 runners – and my own ratings for each horse are included as well.

The new website will be populated with more content besides the above over the next few weeks – please check back for updates or visit my Twitter handle, @Royraces.

Copyright Roy Waterhouse 2019. All rights reserved.