Entries by Nigel Keeling

Black Jack in a Dash – but sadly no Denman Clash

They arrived on the scene at the same time, but it was Black Jack Ketchum that landed a Cheltenham Festival victory in 2006, whilst Denman tasted defeat for the first time under rules. Trained by Jonjo O’Neill, BJK was a diminutive son of Oscar out of a Supreme Leader mare. His pedigree suggested he’d make […]

Jefferson Joy – Patience pays as stable star lands Ascot Chase

Emotions ran high on Saturday, as Waiting Patiently maintained his perfect record over fences when capturing the Grade One Ascot Chase. The classy seven-year-old is now under the guidance of Ruth Jefferson following the death of her father. Always held in high regard, the youngster’s progress has been measured, with the team mindful of allowing […]

Cheltenham Festival Shorties – Thrash or Crash

For today’s piece I’ve decided to take a closer look at the Cheltenham Festival ‘shorties’ and assess whether they will thrash the opposition or unexpectedly crash and burn in the cauldron of Prestbury Park. Year after year horses arrive at the Cotswolds in March with a huge reputation. They’ve often impressed in slowly run affairs, […]

Grand National Weights – A Tiger and a Lion catch the eye

The Grand National weights were announced last night, with recent Cotswold Chase winner Definitly Red top of the pile on 11-10. Mightily impressive at Cheltenham last time, he was pulled-up early last year when impeded at Bechers. Though clearly talented, he’s not the biggest, and carting top-weight looks a tall order. Bristol De Mai was […]

Lalor to land an emotional Betfair Hurdle

Known as the Betfair Hurdle since 2012, the race was originally the Schweppes Gold Trophy and first run in 1963. Nicky Henderson has enjoyed his fair amount of success with five victories, dating back to 1998. That sparked a run of four wins in seven renewals. His recent victory came in 2013, when classy hurdler […]

Altior and Native River back at Newbury

If the weather forecast is correct (improbable I know) we’ll finally get to see Altior back on the racecourse on Saturday. In his absence, Politologue has ruled the roost, winning the Haldon Gold Cup, the Tingle Creek and the Desert Orchid Chase. He defeated Fox Norton at Sandown, though only just. The pair are set […]

Samcro Cruise, Faugheen Blues and bags of Cheltenham Clues

Edwulf caused a monumental upset when landing a thrilling Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown. This was a truly remarkable success, as the horse had almost died at the Cheltenham Festival little more than 10 months earlier. He’d collapsed in the latter stages of the four-mile chase, and vets had worked tirelessly to save him. Only […]

Outlander to continue Leopardstown love-affair

Who’d be a tipster? Things haven’t gone according to plan in recent weeks, so I’ve decided to travel across the Irish Sea (not literally) in search of a winner. The Dublin Festival at Leopardstown begins on Saturday and it’s Sunday’s Irish Gold Cup that I’ve decided to scrutinize for this week’s preview. It’s a competitive […]

Northern Lights hoping for Cheltenham Festival Revival

Can the Northern trainers turn the tide and finally make an impact at the Cheltenham Festival in March? The deep pockets of owners in the south, along with the dominant recent performance of Irish raiders has resulted in a barren period for our friends in the north. You need to go back to 2014 for […]

Destination Dublin – Equine Elite flock to Leopardstown

It’s the Dublin Racing Festival this weekend from Leopardstown with jump racing fans in for a real treat. Proposed by the racecourse and enthusiastically backed by Horse Racing Ireland, the decision to combine three stand-alone meetings into a two-day extravaganza appears a masterstroke. The festival is ideally positioned between Leopardstown’s Christmas gathering and the Cheltenham […]

Definitly Red runs riot on emotional day at Cheltenham

Definitly Red landed the Cotswold Chase on Saturday, leaving trainer Brian Ellison dreaming of Gold Cup glory. Revelling in testing conditions, the nine-year-old stormed up the famous hill for an eight-length victory. Harry Fry’s young chaser American had travelled powerfully throughout and heading downhill looked to be going best of all. Bristol De Mai and […]

Warrior-like performance expected from The Last Samuri

Cheltenham’s Festival Trials Day takes place tomorrow with the prospect of numerous pointers as the main event looms on the horizon. Apple’s Shakira should prove hard to beat in the Triumph Hurdle Trial. Whilst a hugely competitive field go to post in the Cleeve Hurdle, a renowned trial for the Stayers’ Hurdle at The Festival. […]

Clues abound on Festival Trials Day

Saturday’s Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham is often a source of pointers for the main event in March. The opening Triumph Hurdle Trial went to Defi Du Seuil 12 months ago, and the Philip Hobbs-trained juvenile followed up in the festival’s four-year-old showpiece in impressive fashion. In 2015 the Trials Day opener went to Peace […]

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