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
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
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.