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25th April 2024 5:09 am

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

How did Jeffrey do it?

These Donors Are AMAZING Thank You

William S – MEJi – Peter N – Nigel B – Ken C – Mark S – James D – William M – Fiona M – Julian A – Jonathan H – Mrs V.M – Pete BN – Gavin C – Thom S – Sarah C – Mark S – Sam H – James R

My hero, Jeffrey Joseph Bernard, of sainted fame, could any day after 6:00 pm do a bottle of vodka, consume a decent dinner, talk racing happily for hours, drink claret, smoke a packet of fags, go to Grouchos, pull a barmaid and be tucked up in bed by 2:00 am. I tried this yesterday without the fags, barmaid, and Grouchos and frankly, bed was never more welcome! Dinner with Kingy, Sherwood, Jarvis, Gemmell, Hoskins and many, many more claret drinkers and possible barmaid-pullers was the jolliest fun. Sitting in what is probably the finest dining room of any London Club surrounded by chums, being beautifully served exactly what one wanted to eat, is the last of the great pleasures of life. It was sadly marred by my failure to get one decent tip. Andrew G thought the roof would come off if Paisley Park won, Kingy was sad for Nicky Henderson – but that’s training, Jarvis kept his powder dry and his mouth wet, Hoskins spoke so quickly he might well have given us eight winners, but based on historical precedence, I suspect that didn’t happen. So I can add nothing of any value to the pool of knowledge. Were I a spy, being shot against the wall for my intelligence work would be a travesty of justice.

Talking of travesties and a lack of intelligence…


13.42 bet365 Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (2m5f)

THE KALOOKI KID and SERIOUS OPERATOR are hard to ignore, but I think the value lies with ITSO FURY who `has picked up 5lbs for the LTO victory and he has huge potential. He looks as though he can idle out front, but they will be wise to that now.

ITSO FURY 3 pts e/w – with The Kalooki Kid and Serious Operator in two ½ pt RFC

14.17 bet365 Premier Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (2m2f)

I thought BRUCIO was going to turn out to be a bit run-of-the-mill, but she hosed up by 6l in the DRF 29-runner Listed Mares Hcap. She’s been spanked with a stone rise in the weights for that effort, giving her a mark of 132. She gets a 9lb weight allowance from the 139-rated JANGO BAIE so is effectively running at level weights. I will not be surprised if there isn’t more to come. One I have been waiting to see run again is Sue Smith’s RICH SPIRIT who looks as though he is primed for a big run. A slight tendency to jump left… 12s looks a sensible price.

BRUCIO 4 pts Win – RICH SPIRIT 2 pts e/w

14.50 bet365 Morebattle Hurdle (Handicap) (Class 2) (2m)

We have to apply some trends to this field because it is a densely packed field full of possibilities.

  • 13/13 Rated 133+
  • 12/13 Aged 5-8yo (The 9yo winner won it the year before!).
  • 12/14 26+ DSLR
  • 11/12 Top 5 LTO
  • 11/13 carried 11-00+

If I am flexible with the weights/OR trends I have (by racecard number and order) 2-3-4-5-7-8-10. If I am ruthless on the OR but take account of the claimers, I am left with 2-3-4-5.

UNDER CONTROL looks well in on her last run, and the bookie sponsors certainly believe she should be favourite or thereabouts. Runner-up to Mares’ Hurdle second favourite Ashroe Diamond in a G2 affair at Donny with Gala Marceau rated 146 back in third, suggests she’ll be hard to beat. But then one has to wonder whether the entire yard has had the splutters for over a week – because Hendo is well off-form at the moment. THAT IS WHAT I WROTE UNTIL THE HORSE WAS WITHDRAWN

Irish challenger LITTLE MIXUP won a handicap hurdle 41 days ago at Thurles and won’t mind how soft the ground is, but has been spanked with 14lbs for the effort and that might prove a stone too far. ANYHARMINASKING’s form has been off and on, but on his best form this season, he has a decent each/way chance at a sensible price. He was 2nd on his seasonal debut, in a 2m handicap, coming up against the G2 winner Nemean Lion. I suspect he doesn’t get 2½m so ignore his recent runs and focus instead on the fact that this is over 2m. He’s dropped to 136 and he’ll have a decent pace to aim at. GEROMINO has won back-to-back handicaps at Doncaster, and while he has been given an 8Ib rise, he could have plenty more to come. Improvement is needed but 25/1 is tempting.


15.25 bet365 Premier Chase (Listed) (2m71⁄2f)

Bloody MONBEG GENIUS – Bloody Lady Mome – Bloody BHA – which bit of bloody embarrassing does the BHA PR department not get? Let’s send a message to crooks and charlatans everywhere – come and spend your ill-gotten gains on horseracing because we’re poor and need your money… Ghastly arrivistes all of them. Sorry, just tripped over a large cheating b’stard wearing a bra and facemask.



13.20 Bet In-Running On Racing At BetVictor Veterans’ H’cap Chase (Cl 2) (3m2f)

CYCLOP won this last year – but was in better form last year. He’s 5lb lower, but whilst his early season was promising, his last three runs haven’t been clever. COMMODORE can run well off a break – but one never knows if the racehorse is going to turn up or Dobbin. OMAR MARETTI has only picked up 3 lbs for a very decent performance LTO and will handle the ground. FORTESCUE is 8lbs better off than his last winning mark and Harry Cobden has the pilot’s seat. SECRET REPRIEVE has previously won a Welsh Grand National and is a mudlark. He has however been off almost a year. HIGHLAND HUNTER makes his debut in a Veteran’s race, is within a 1lb of his last winning mark, goes forever and for miles and must have a real chance at around 6s.

OMAR MARETTI 2 pts e/w

13.55 BetVictor Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (2m4f)

I’m sure the Greatwood used to regularly get double-figure fields. GRANDEUR D’AME has been the subject of a small gamble, unmentioned last night by his trainer. Paul Nicholls’ record in this race is 28R-8W-11P… up to 2019. since then Nada. Venetia on the other hand has had the runner-up the last five times, so I’m swerving KANDOO KID and thinking about GEMIRANDE who was 2nd last year beaten a head then and back off a 2lb lower mark. The ground is a concern. BILL BAXTER was in the notebook last year, winning The Topham and was expected to shine further this year… maybe the drop back in distance on a flat track will help remind him of Aintree. JETOILE won the Old Roan Chase at Aintree on his seasonal return and ran well at Cheltenham on Trials day. The run will have bought him on and his top weight burden is mitigated by his jockey’s claim. He’s just 3lbs shy of his last winning mark.

J’ETOILE 3 pts e/w


14.35 Virgin Bet Cheltenham Festival Money Back H’cap Chase (Class 2) (2m1⁄2f)

Only two will handle the ground if it is genuinely soft in places, and they are TOMMY’S OSCAR and RIDERS ON THE STORM. The latter returns from wind surgery and drops back in trip to see how things are, I assume. He won the Old Roan Chase (2m 4f) at Aintree last season and is 9lb lower here. The favourite is a previous C&D winner and the drop back to an extended 2m will suit as does a flat galloping track.

TOMMY’S OSCAR 6 pts Win – RIDERS ON THE STORM 1 pt e/w – ½ pt RFC

15.10 Virgin Bet Daily Price Boosts Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed) (3m1⁄2f)


15.40 Virgin Bet Grimthorpe Handicap Chase (Class 2) (3m2f)

This might be the each-way bet of the day. CHARLIE UBERALLES was a 3¼l third of 18 to to Annual Invictus in The Great Yorkshire Chase here LTO. The runner-up won at Kempton last Saturday. He’s got very few miles on the clock the step-up will possibly be his making – my only concern is the going.

CHARLIE UBERALLES 5 pts e/w 13/2 or better – 5 pts Win if lower.



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