Friends Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero have made a flying start to their new training partnership this season. Both names are on the licence but they have different roles: Greenall is the face of the duo at the racetrack, entertaining owners including several from the many syndicates that are linked to the yard, while Guerriero prefers to concentrate on training the horses and planning where they will run. It is a case of so far so good for the Cheshire stable as they have had 46 winners this season from 250 runners at a strike rate of 18 per cent (that’s before this afternoon’s racing). Their record for the past two weeks is five wins from 19 runners at an even more impressive strike rate of 26 per cent.
Two of those wins came from HOMME PUBLIC, including last time out at Huntingdon. He has a 6lb rise in the ratings for that victory to a mark of 138 but I am convinced there is more to come from this six-year-old gelding. The Racing Post report of his last race said he had made ‘smooth headway’ and eventually won ‘comfortably’, suggesting he won with something in hand.
Back Homme Public each way at 9-1 four places with William Hill for the Ascot Racecourse Supports Box4Kids Handicap Hurdle (Ascot 3 p.m.). The main danger could be Whizz Kid, who was second to him at Huntingdon and who is 1lb better off at the weights for his two length defeat. Both horses will benefit from having good claimers in the saddle once again.
At Haydock, I put up Small Present each way four places last week at 25-1, and he lines up tomorrow in the Grand National Trial (Haydock 2.40 p.m.) but is now a top priced 8-1 for the contest. So that bet from a week ago is looking promising if you followed my advice.
For two more antepost bets, I am once again going to look ahead to the Cheltenham Festival. The first wager is in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase on the Thursday (16 March), a race which is now much more open after the news this week that the favourite Allaho will miss the Festival because of injury.
The horse that I think has gone under the radar is FRENCH DYNAMITE. Mouse Morris’s eight-year-old gelding would have won the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November but for a mistake at the final fence. Since then, he has run two sound races in Ireland on ground softer than he likes.
On good ground he could cause a surprise next month and so take the 14-1 each way Non Runner No Bet (NRNB) with bet365 only, paying three places. If the ground came up very soft, he might not run so this is a more sensible bet than the 18-1 with the same firm without the NRNB concession.
I also fancy a long shot for the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle, also on the Thursday. Some trainers try to be ‘clever’ for this race, getting their horses qualified without actually winning in order to protect their handicap mark for the final. There is nothing ‘clever’ however about PARTY BUSINESS’s preparation as this hugely likable horse has been off the track for nine months after fracturing a hind leg when running at Haydock in May. That career-threatening injury required three screws.
The genial Ian Williams and his team have done wonders to get the horse back racing and he was an encouraging ninth of 14 when he returned to the track two weeks ago, when he was certain to have needed the run that day at Sandown. Tomorrow is likely to be his last chance of qualifying for the final and to do so he will need to get into the first four.
My belief that he might actually win the final next month is based on his run at Festival last year when he was desperately unlucky to be badly hampered, not once but twice, early on in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle. Jockey Charlie Todd did wonders in the circumstances to get him as high as fifth in the 23-runner contest.
Every cloud, however, has a silver lining and the horse then opened up at 16-1 to win the three-miles-plus handicap hurdle at the Aintree Grand National meeting. I was all over him that day when he won a 21-runner race at a Starting Price of 11-2. Happy days indeed for followers of my previous tipping column.
Back Party Business each way at 20-1 NRNB for the Pertemps Final with Sky Bet or BetVictor, both paying five places. If he fails to qualify, we will get our money back. If he does qualify tomorrow and then lines up next month, his trainer will have him spot on for the big day.
Party Business and his connections certainly deserve better luck than they enjoyed last year. I hope for the sake of the trainer and owners that the seven-year-old gelding comes back safe and sound this season as he is bred to be a chaser and that will surely be the aim for him next season.
The entries for the Festival handicaps will be announced next week and so I expect to have more suggestions for some of those races in next Friday’s column. However, I (possibly we) already have eight bets at Cheltenham to look forward to, seven of them with the NRNB concession to protect our investments.
1 point each Small Present at 25-1 for the Grand National Trial (Haydock 2.40 p.m.) paying 1/4 odds, four places.
1 point each way Homme Public at 9-1 for Ascot 3 p.m., paying 1/5 odds, four places.
1 point each way Nassalam at 20-1 NRNB for the Ultima Handicap Chases, paying 1/5 odds, five places.
1 point each way Mister Coffey at 25-1 for the National Hunt Chase, paying 1/5 odds, three places.
1 point each way Camprond at 20-1 NRNB for the Coral Cup, paying 1/5 odds, five places.
1 point each way French Dynamite at 14-1 NRNB for the Ryanair Chase, paying 1/5 odds, three places.
1 point each way Party Business at 20-1 NRNB for the Pertemps Network Hurdle Final, paying 1/5 odds, five places.
1 point each way Hewick at 20-1 NRNB for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, paying 1/5 odds, three places.
1 point each way Royal Pagaille at 50-1 NRNB for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, paying 1/5 odds, three places.
1 point each way Might I at 10-1 NRNB for the Martin Pipe Hurdle, paying 1/5 odds, five places.
1 point each way Corach Rambler at 20-1 in the Aintree Grand National, paying 1/4 odds, four places.
1 point each way Lifetime Ambition at 33-1 in the Aintree Grand National, paying 1/5 odds, five places.
1 point each way Any Second Now at 20-1in the Aintree Grand National, paying 1/5 odds, five places.
1 point each way Hill Sixteen in the Becher Chase at 11-1, paying 1/5 odds, six places. Unplaced (7th). – 2 points.
2 points win Annsam at 8-1 for the Howden Silver Cup. Cancelled meeting. Stake returned.
1 point each way Eldorado Allen at 20-1 in the King George VI Chase, paying 1/5 odds, 3 places. Unplaced (4th). – 2 points.
1 point each way The Big Breakaway in 20-1 for the Welsh Grand National at 20-1, paying 1/5 odds, five places. 2nd. + 3 points.
1 point each way The Big Dog at 12-1 in the Welsh Grand National, paying 1/4 odds, four places. 3rd. + 2 points.
1 point each way Grumpy Charley at 12-1 in the Newbury 2.25 p.m. paying 1/5 odds, five places. 1st + 16.4 points.
2 points win Midnight River at 5-1 for the Cheltenham 1.55 p.m., with Skybet. 1st. + 10 points.
1 point each way Coconut Splash at 12-1 in the Cheltenham 1.55 p.m., with William Hill, paying 1/5 odds, six places. Unplaced (P). – 2 points.
1 point each way Sir Ivan at 20-1 in the Sandown 3 p.m., paying 1/5 odds, five places. Unplaced. – 2 points.
1 point each way Lord du Mesnil at 8-1 in the Warwick 3 p.m. race, paying 1/5 odds, 5 places. Unplaced. – 2 points.
1 point each way Dubrovnik Harry at 8-1 in the Kempton 2.40 p.m. race, paying 1/5 odds, 7 places. Unplaced. – 2 points.
1 point each way Mister Coffey at 15/2 for the Doncaster 3.15 p.m., 1/5 odds, five places. Non Runner. Stake returned.
1 point each way Back On The Lash at 7/1 for the Cheltenham 12.40 p.m., 1/5 odds, five places. 1st. + 8.4 points.
1 point each way Empire Steel at 12-1 in the Sandown 3.30 p.m., paying 1/5 odds, five places. Unplaced. – 2 points.
2022-3 jumps season, running total + 25.8 points.
My gambling record for the seven years: I have made a profit in 13 of the past 14 seasons to recommended bets. To a one-point level stake over this period, the profit of has been just over 469 points. All bets are either one-point each way or two-points win (a ‘point’ is your chosen regular stake).
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