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The shift from flat to jumps starts today!

Ron RobinsonForget what’s going on at the three meetings hosting flat racing today and concentrate your efforts now on making the jumpers pay for Christmas. That’s what I’m doing.

We have a lone meeting at Fontwell to concern ourselves with and I have two rated races from that track. They come after the “previewed” races and we start with the Novice Chase.

2-20 – MTS CLEANSING SERVICES LTD CHASE (A NOVICES’ LIMITED HANDICAP) (CLASS 4) (4yo+ 0-120) Winner £4,549 5 runners 2m3f35y Good To Soft

Only five going to post and that is always a concern for me. Will we get a true pace to the race?

The current tissue favourite is coming back off a break of 456 but trained by Paul Nicholls, who has saddled three winners from six runners in the last 14 racing days. However, you also then have to consider if a horse that has a 0-1 ground/0-2 trip record should sensibly be priced favourite.

No doubting the record of Paul Nicholls here though, he has a fantastic record with the ‘chasers he does send to Fontwell (22-58), and given both that and the current form of the stable I feel this is more a play than a lay….not that I’ll do either with this race.

3-30 – SOUTHERN WATER “KEEP IT CLEAR” HANDICAP CHASE (CLASS 3) (4yo+ 0-130) Winner £6,330 5 runners 2m5f31y Good To Soft

Another five runner race and I do like the look of TOP CAT HENRY. He has the stats to go to work with, for sure….1-1 ground, 2-10 trip and 1-1 track. The rest fall down on one of those criteria at least and with the Dr Newline stable doing very well right now (3-8 in the last 14 days), I’d expect him to perform as the market expects.

The danger, based on stable form, is ANTONY. Gary Moore, as mentioned yesterday, is hot right now on the flat and over jumps and if I were to bet I’d bellowing at this pair only.

The fact ANTONY is 0-2 at the trip suggests we go with the top weight.


4-05 – KENT, SURREY & SUSSEX AIR AMBULANCE NOVICES´ HURDLE (CLASS 4) (4yo+) Winner £3,899 5 runners 2m3f33y Good To Soft

Again, just a five runner jobby but in AFFAIRE D’HONNEUR we have a horse who should win doing handsprings. He currently trades around 4/11 but I’d be very wary of going anywhere near it. All of this horses “good” form has come in big field handicaps. The only time it ran in a race consisting of less than six runners, he came home last of four.

The only possible danger is GRAASTEN, who has been off the track 215 days. He was once beaten 14 lengths in a German Derby and runs for the Moore yard who, as mentioned above, is already in fine form.

Would you, based on those facts above, rather have around 4/9 that GRAATEN PLACES, or that the 4/11 the favourite wins?

It’s not a race I’ll play but interesting for how I will look at such races this season.

4-40 – CAPPAGH BROWNE UTILITIES STAKE CONDITIONAL JOCKEYS´ HANDICAP CHASE (CLASS 5) (4yo+ 0-100) Winner £3,249 5 runners 2m5f31y Good To Soft

Noe down to just three runners and we’ll not even discuss it.

SOUTHERN WATER “LEARN TO SWIM” STANDARD OPEN NATIONAL HUNT FLAT RACE (CLASS 6) (4-6yo) Winner £1,560 11 runners 2m1f145y Good To Soft

The market generally tells you all you need to know about these races and a pair you should keep an eye on in that regard are MISTRESS MASSINI and SO SHE SAYS.

They represent trainers with a terrific record in bumpers here, Anthony Honeyball/Suzy Smith, 33% and 50% winners to runners respectively.

The 3-6 record of Suzy Smith has to be of interest and SO SHE SAYS should be punted 20/80 if the market speaks kindly of that one.

1-50 – SOUTHERN WATER “BE A WATER HERO” HANDICAP HURDLE (CLASS 5) (4yo+ 0-100) Winner £3,899 16 runners 3m1f142y Good To Soft

* – AALY….+6
* – AMBER FLUSH….-23
H – URANOX….-40

NOTES: A low grade start but we have two in here having those three ticks I like, relating to ground/trip/track.

TOKYO JAVILEX and AALY, who both sit in my top three, hold the aces on those but for sure, my top rated is well ahead on that score, in addition to ratings. He is 3-17 ground, 1-4 trip and 1-2 track, compared to the 1-6, 1-5, 1-9 figures held by my third highest rated horse.

The rest of this crew is best described as motley. My only play here right now would be a 20/80 my top one.

2-55 – SOUTHERN WATER SPORTING CHANCE HANDICAP HURDLE (CLASS 2) (4yo+ 0-145) Winner £9,495 6 runners 2m3f33y Good To Soft

* – DISPUTED….+9
T – BELIZE….-17

NOTES: FOREVER FIELD is the stats animal here….4-8 ground and 2-4 trip. He has yet to race here but that applies to three and the only previous track winner is that one sitting bottom.

The winner does look to be in my top four rated and it’s very tight with just two points between them, two coming out the equal of each other.

Stable form is everything at this stage and with Chris Gordon 0-6 in the last 14 days I’d be dropping DISPUTED. He is also responsible for REMILUC, who has a Lucan-like absence to overcome.

The two trainers already motoring with runners in here are Henderson and Longsdon. The latter is 6-20 in the last 14 racing days and even sent one over to Ireland to land the 20,000Euro to the winner Bumper yesterday.

He saddles my top rated here and hopefully the numbers are spot on.

Best of luck


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