A Bristol Blitz – It’s De Mai All The Way

Bristol De Mai romped to victory in Saturday’s Betfair Chase at Haydock.

Simply devastating in the testing conditions, he led from start to finish, stretching effortlessly clear of his pursuers, hitting the line an incredible 57-lengths clear of runner-up Cue Card. It was a dream ride for Daryl Jacob who simply pointed the six-year-old in the right direction and then sat motionless for seven minutes. In his three racecourse victories, BDM has now amassed a cumulative winning margin of 110 lengths.

The winner has always been held in high regard by his trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, who said: “That was very good. I didn't have to worry about too much. I only had to worry about the last few fences and he jumped them well. We've had a brief chat and the idea would be the King George, the Cotswold Chase and then the Gold Cup. You might not get this ground (at Kempton), but we'll see.

“He goes out and has his own way of doing it. He has a big engine and can go faster than that. He's always worked fantastically well and he's a supreme horse. He's very much an Imperial Commander type - he's a big, strong, gorgeous horse. We were in a bit of a rush to get to the Gold Cup last year. He was ready, but I don't think he was at his best. From what he does at home you wouldn't think he's improved from last season, but he obviously has. He was beaten 20 lengths in the Gold Cup. It's a shame Sizing John isn't here so we could find out.”

4 weeks' free access to Geegeez Gold

Owner Simon Munir was clearly thrilled with the victory and said: “That's absolutely amazing. It's wonderful. These are the days that one comes into racing for. Just speaking to Daryl and he's in a state of shock. He was saying he wanted to increase the pace. He thought everybody had fallen behind him. To win by 57 lengths is amazing. I thought it could be game over when he got in too tight two out, but he's a clever horse and he adjusts himself very well. The King George is what we're looking at.”

Though beaten out of sight, Cue Card did battle on bravely for second spot. Colin Tizzard looked a little shell-shocked, but gave an honest appraisal, saying: “The grey horse has run a marvellous race and galloped them all into the ground. He’s never come off the bridle really. I think he's (Cue Card) run on par with his other runs. He's just been beaten by a very good horse on the day. The winner blew the race away. He jumped round and galloped on and finished second. We'll go back home and see how he is.”

It’s tough to judge whether this was a below-par performance from the runner-up, as Bristol De Mai appears to do this to everyone at Haydock. It’s probably fair to say that he didn’t travel as well as he can. Harry Cobden was niggling away at him on the first circuit, and it appeared an effort to keep tabs on the winner. His jumping was solid throughout despite him being under pressure for much of the contest. It seems clear that his best days are now behind him. The Ascot Chase in February may be his last hope of further Grade One success. He has won the race twice and would be looking to emulate Monet’s Garden, in winning the race as a 12-year-old.

As for Bristol de Mai, all roads now lead to Kempton at Christmas. Despite having run 16 times over fences, this will be his debut at the track. He has won over fences at Sandown, though this will be more of a test of speed. He also needs to prove himself an elite chaser on a sounder surface. The King George will tell us whether this youngster is truly top-class, or rather a soft-ground bully. I for one, remain in the undecided camp.

Stat of the Day, 10th February 2017

Thursday's Result :

6.25 Chelmsford : Babouska @ 7/2 BOG non-runner

Friday's pick goes in the...

3.10 Kempton :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.


Vyta du Roc @ 5/2 BOG


I'm expecting Vyta Du Roc to bounce back to form now he's dropped in class, especially with the Nicky Henderson stable in such great recent form, having saddled up an astonishing 12 winners from 26 (46.2% SR) in the last 14 days alone!

When chasing Thistlecrack home at Aintree in 2015 Grand National Meeting, he was rated at 150 over hurdles and then went on to beat a couple of decent 150+ chasers La Mercurey & Minella Rocca) at Ascot last year. He's been a touch disppointing of late and now finds himself almost a stone lighter in the ratings at 139.

He's not been at his best recently, but he has been running at a higher grade in larger fields than he's happier with. A quick look at his record shows he's actually 6 from 11 in fields of less than 14 runners and he's also 6 from 11 when priced below 6/1.

On top of those stats, he 3/5 on soft ground (which at least some of the track will be!), 2 from 6 under Daryl Jacob, 2 from 2 going right handed and won his only previous Class 3 outing.

So, we have a yard in form running a horse who looks well suited by conditions, the final piece of the jigsaw is to see how the yard fares at the venue in general and since the start of 2012, Nicky Henderson's runners here at Kempton are 73/249 (29.3% SR) for 102.5pts (+41.2% ROI) and these excellent figures also contain the following of relevance / interest to me today...

  • those with no more than 15 previous runs  : 67/204 (32.8%) for 118.2pts (+57.9%)
  • 5-8 yr olds are 60/194 (30.9%) for 106.2pts (+54.7%)
  • those last seen 11-45 days back are 33/110 (30%) for 82.7pts (+75.2%)
  • handicappers are 19/85 (22.4%) for 65.9pts (+77.5%)
  • chasers are 22/69 (31.9%) for 12.9pts (+18.7%)
  • on soft ground  :18/67 (26.9%) for 13.5pts (+20.2%)
  • on Good to Soft : 16/56 (28.6%) for 34.5pts (+61.5%)
  • and at Class 3 : 15/50 (30%) for 21.6pts (+43.2%)

...which suggested to me...a 1pt win bet on Vyta du Roc @ 5/2 BOG which was available with 10Bet, 188Bet, NetBet and Ladbrokes at 5.45pm on Thursday. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply... here for the betting on the 3.10 Kempton

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!


Here is today's racecard

Stat of the Day, 2nd December 2016

Thursday's Result :

2.45 Wincanton : Tikkapick @ 5/2 BOG non-runner (Meeting Abandoned)

Friday's pick goes in the...

2.25 Sandown :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.


Messire Des Obeaux @ 7/2 BOG


This 4 yr old gelding warmed up for this race by winning by 10 lengths 23 days ago and has won his only start on good to soft ground and on his only ride under Daryl Jacob.

Trainer Alan King's runners are in great form, winning 9 of 43 (20.9% SR) in the past fortnight and 6 of 21 (28.6%) in the last 7 days, whilst jockey Daryl Jacob's figures in that same time frame are 10/33 (30.3%) and 8/18 (44.4%) respectively. And Daryl is 19 from 66 (28.8% SR) for 49.5pts (+75% ROI) here at Sandown since the start of 2012.

In addition to the above , since 2010 Alan King's Class 1 to 3 runners are 15/93(16.1% SR) for 14.1pts (+15.2% ROI) here at Sandown, whilst his runners over trips of 2m4f to 3m1f are 11/46 (23.9%) for 48.2pts (+104.8%)

AND...Alan King / Class 1-3 / 2m4f to 3m1f / Sandown / 2010-16 = 11/44 (25% SR) for 50.2pts (+114.1% ROI)

...and...a 1pt win bet on Messire Des Obeaux at 7/2 BOG from Betfair Sports and/or Paddy Power, as of 6.05pm on Thursday. To see your preferred bookies' odds, simply... here for the betting on the 2.25 Sandown

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!


Here is today's racecard

No Peace For Jacob

Peace And Co runs out of Steam

Peace And Co runs out of Steam

The runaway train came down the track and she blew. A popular nursery rhyme turned into a real-life experience for Daryl Jacob at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Touted as a leading Champion Hurdle contender, Peace And Co blew any chance of taking the International, by running with the choke out for much of the two mile trip. Jacob became a passenger as Henderson’s Triumph Hurdle winner tugged his way to the front early in the race. At no stage did the talented gelding give his jockey any peace. And by the time they turned into the home straight the classy hurdler had run out of puff.

4 weeks' free access to Geegeez Gold

Jacob looked absolutely gutted after the race. This is surely the horse that would have excited him most as the new season approached. His association with owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede has been going from strength to strength. Earlier in the day he had donned the familiar silks when on-board the exciting juvenile Sceau Royal in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial. That race went exactly to plan, as he brought a willing partner with a perfectly timed run to sweep to victory.

A day after the big race flop, Nicky Henderson appeared undeterred when speaking of his Champion Hurdle hopeful. He pointed to a collision early in the race as a possible cause for Peace And Co becoming so lit-up. The trainer said: “He's fine this morning and we'll scope him tomorrow and make sure he gets a clean bill of health. But I think what did him was he got a nick on a hind leg when someone galloped into him very early in the race, which lit him right up. He didn't get a chance to drop out and get settled.” Henderson added: “He's got to learn to shut his mouth and breathe, and we'll put a cross-noseband on him now. Fifty per cent of our runners run in them.”

The bookies appeared quick to dismiss the horse as a potential winner at Prestbury Park in March. Initially pushed out to 20’s he is now generally a 12/1 shot for the Champion Hurdle. In a market dominated by Willie Mullins there’s still plenty of time for Nicky Henderson’s fella to prove himself. It would surely be foolish to dismiss a horse under the tuition of one of the most successful trainers of hurdlers in recent times. Binocular and Punjabi are testament of Henderson’s ability at getting it right when it matters.

It would be rude not to mention Saturday’s International Hurdle winner. It’s been quite a stunning progression for the Paul Nicholls trained Old Guard. Just nine months ago he was trailing down the field in the Triumph Hurdle some 25 lengths behind Peace And Co. He now has to be trained as a serious Champion Hurdle contender, though he’ll need to make further giant strides if he is to challenge the might coming from Mullins yard.

Jacob’s Christmas Cracker

Daryl Jacob

Daryl Jacob all smiles

Being replaced as number one jockey for the leading trainer in Jump racing looked to be a major blow for Daryl Jacob, when in April Paul Nicholls turned Read more

Twiston-Davies had dad’s support if top job comes along

T-DsSam Twiston-Davies has quickly established himself amongst the top half dozen professional jockeys. He’s improved his tally of winners in each of the three seasons since he turned pro and is well placed to notch his first century this time round.

Most of his winners have come for his dad, Nigel, but there are signs that might change before too long. Last week Sam rode three winners for Paul Nicholls in the space of three days, and with first jockey Daryl Jacob not yet back from a fall at Wincanton last month (though he hopes to be riding by the weekend) there could soon be more opportunities for Twiston-Davies to raise his standing with the Ditcheat trainer.

Dad says he’d be proud if the 21 year old were to be offered a place at one of the top stables, and says he should go for it. “I won’t stand in his way. If he can get top jobs he must take them. I very much hope he’ll get one. We are very small compared to the top trainers. We have only got 70 horses and they are all cheap. I would like him to go where he’s got more chance of becoming champion jockey.” His horses may be cheap. The New One, for example, only cost €25,000, but it’s what you make of them that counts, and the T-Ds are doing plenty with him.

Talk of a championship is a forlorn hope while Tony McCoy continues riding, so there’s plenty of time for young T-D to hone his riding and tactical race reading further, though dad thinks he’s not far off having mastered that. He added, “I couldn’t be more proud of Sam. He does very little wrong.”

Halo helps Nicholls to first French winner

Celestial Halo - aiming for 2nd French win

Celestial Halo - aiming for 2nd French win

A multiple champion trainer in one country can be an absolute beginner in another. A top jockey on one country may be an unknown in another. That is how Paul Nicholls and Daryl Jacob have found themselves in France, not that they have been making major efforts to crack the jumps circuit there. Read more

Saturation coverage for first Channel 4 National

Miranda Hart - tipster to Alan Carr

Miranda Hart - tipster to Alan Carr

Channel 4 is doing all it can to ensure that viewers know it is showing the Grand National on Saturday rather than the BBC. Tonight and tomorrow evening it broadcasts more mainstream spin off programmes, beginning with a two-part Come Dine With Me Grand national special at 5.15pm. Read more

Stat of the Day, 2nd April 2013

Stat of the Day: 02/04/13

Stat of the Day: 02/04/13

Stat of the Day, 2nd April 2013

Nothing doing yesterday as Woody Waller failed to finish the race. He didn't run badly and kept himself well in touch, until weakening in the latter stages. He was, as suggested, the outsider of the field, but was by no means disgraced despite being eventually pulled up two from home.

We're coming down South today, to Devon in fact for a decent-looking Class 3 Handicap Hurdle. The ground is set to be good to soft (good in places) for the fiteen runners contesting today's...

2.40 Exeter

It's not very often you'll see the name Paul Nicholls crop up on SotD, nor is it a common occurrence to see one of his runners available at 9/1, despite the horse having a 100% record.

Yet, all of those unlikely events have come together today, as we'll be placing our daily shilling on Watergate Bay, who is Mr Nicholls' only hurdler on display today and will be looking to maintain his yard's excellent results over the Exeter hurdles in recent years.

Paul has sent 23 hurdlers here in the last two years and as you'd expect, he has been quite prolific. His returns from those races are 8 winners (34.8%) and a total of 16 placed (69.6%), including those winners. And once again today, the yard will be asking Daryl Jacob to get this horse home and the jockey himself is no stranger round these parts, having secured nine place finishes from fifteen attempts over hurdles here in the last two years.

What about the horse itself? As I said earlier, it has a 100% record to date. However, that's just from one outing and that race was some 495 days ago, which probably accounts for some of the reasons for the current long price. That win came at Taunton back in late-November 2011 where he stayed on well to win comfortably over a trip just a half furlong longer than today's 2 miles 3 furlongs.

Mr Nicholls' horses don't often fail for a lack of fitness and the long layoff for this one won't strike too much concern to his yard and as a brother to the very useful Fistral Beach, I'd assume that better things than this are expected of Watergate Bay.

Today's selection is a fairly speculative punt and much of today's selection is based on trust/gut feeling that the yard will have this one ready, but it's not every day that we'll get such long odds on a Nicholls-trained horse at a provincial meeting. Thus the call today is a 0.5pts E/W bet on Watergate Bay at 9/1 BOG with Stan James, but as ever, I recommend that you...

Click here for the latest betting on the 2.40 Exeter

Sat TV Trends: 9th Feb 2013


Great Action At Newbury On Saturday

Plenty more Cheltenham clues on offer this weekend – Andy Newton’s got all the main races from Newbury, Warwick & Leopardstown covered for you...... Read more

Stat of the Day, 9th December 2012

Stat of the Day 9/12/12

Stat of the Day 9/12/12

Stat of the Day, 9th December 2012

Another poor showing for an SotD selection yesterday, as I seem to be going through somewhat of a drought this month. Paphos never got involved yesterday and at no point did he look like a horse that was 4/4 over C&D. He eventually came home in 6th place at 4/1.

I've had enough of Lingfield to last me a while, it seems like they've had meetings every day for ages! With this in mind, we're off to the heart of England for a Class 4 Beginners' Chase over the minimum 2 miles on soft ground, as thirteen runners are set to go to post for the...

1.10 Warwick

Trainer Nick Williams has only sent six runners to Warwick in the last two years, but they have all performed impressively, rewarding him with figures of 123112, a 50% winning strike rate giving profits of 13pts, whilst his 100% record at getting horses in the frame has benefited E/W backers to the tune of 17pts from just four bets.

Of those six runners, three of them were chasers: recording results of 112. The yard is in decent form too, with two winners and two others placed from six races over the last week.

Nick has two runners out at Warwick today: both chasers. George Nympton has a chance of making the frame in the 1.40 race, but I'm more drawn to the previous race, where we will be represented by Greywell Boy. (George Nympton, incidentally won this very race last year.)

Greywell Boy was sixth on his chasing debut at Bangor in October and will undoubtedly have learned plenty from that outing and he is expected to come on for that run. He was also placed in a couple of hurdle events last Autumn, before his recent switch to the bigger obstacles. In fact, his best form over hurdles came over trips of 16.5 and 17 furlongs and the outing at Bangor was a 2m 5f contest, which proved too far for him. The drop back to 2 miles should suit him far better today.

Daryl Jacob was on board for that last race and he takes the ride once again today, so we know the jockey is at least able to get our mount over the fences! Daryl, himself, has a decent record at Warwick with a strike rate of 27% (55% of horses placed) from 22 rides over the last couple of years and he's in pretty good form at present too, managing to steer five runners from ten into the places in the last week.

This is a wide-open contest, but I feel Greywell Boy will have what it takes today to give us a run and ultimately a return from our money. The current best price available is 11/2 BOG with bet365, so the call from me today is a 1 win pt bet at  11/2 BOG with them but as ever, please take the opportunity to...

Click here for the latest betting on the 1.10 Warwick

PJA quick to rebut RSPCA call to reverse National placings

Amidst all the kerfuffle about animal fatalities and the safety of the Grand National course it was easy to overlook the call from the RSPCA for Daryl Jacob and Neptune Collonges to be stripped of their success. Read more

Stat of the Day: 26th Feb 2012

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day: 26th February 2012

Well, it was a rare blank day for Nicky Henderson yesterday, with none of his 4 runners even making the frame yesterday, including our selection
Une Artiste who finished a distant 4th. Today, we're linking up with another of the "usual suspects" as we head to Sussex for a Class 2 Novices' Chase.
Just 5 runners are set to tackle the 2 miles 6 furlongs in the...

2.35 Fontwell

Paul Nicholls has a pretty good record at most tracks, but his recent results over the chase course at Fontwell is exceptional. In the past two years,
8 of his 17 runners here have gone on to win their races: a record just shy of 50% is worth taking note of. He has just the one chaser out at Fontwell today, our selection Sir Du Bearn.

This horse was an easy winner last time out, a month ago at this same track and although, he steps up a further two furlongs today, this shouldn't pose any problems, especially considering the going won't quite be as testing. He did win by 30 lengths without really having to work hard, so this should bear well for the extra distance today.

Daryl Jacob takes the ride today, as he did last time around and the jockey's own record over the fences at Fontwell stands up to close scrutiny too. He has ridden 8 winners from 24 attempts over the past two years, so he knows his way around the place. Despite there being just five runners, this looks to be a fairly decent contest, but we'll take Sir Du Bearn to see them off and he's currently best priced at 5/2.
I'm going to take the 5/2 (BOG, of course!), but I recommend that you...

Click here for the latest betting on the 2.35 Fontwell. 

Trainer Stats: 2nd Feb 2012

Jamie Osborne In Red-Hot Form

With the current cold snap it looks like it could be mostly AW action for the next few days - but we've got a flat handler that's red hot at present......... Read more

Trainer Stats: Thurs 26th Jan 2012

Williams A Hot Name At Present

It‘s simple this week – just look out for a trainer with the surname ‘Williams’ - Maybe Serena, Robbie and Venus should take up a licence! Read more