Frustrating week last week with a string of placed efforts, and failed to continue the momentum of the previous week, just the one win from six selections, though several 'favourable mentions', such as Marble Statuette and Strategic Heights, obliged.
Prom Meesawat's frustrating failure to birdie any of the last seven holes on Sunday, for example, when those around him put lots of blue on the board, meant he missed a place by just two shots.


This week, the Monday to Thursday racing offerings look pretty thin, and Monday's bet comes from elsewhere.

SHAUN MURPHY, E/W 1-2 half odds (9/1 Paddy Power) in the UK Snooker Championship is a man in superb form. His win last week in the Ruhr Open is hardly proof of that in itself, but in the afternoon he missed the green on his way to a possible 147. Later in the session Murphy missed a straightforward blue when on 129, on the same mission, before putting it all right in the final with the Maximum. That included a spot black glided in without touching the sides from the yellow side of the blue spot.

We have a fretting O'Sullivan, an injured ankle not only impeding his performance, but also seemingly his mood, with a dig last night at the organization of the tournament. He's in the other half of the draw anyway, scheduled to meet second favourite Neil Robertson in the semis.
Murphy on the other hand seems likely to meet the winner of a possible Ding v Trump quarter final, with Selby already out from this half of the draw. Trump is on something of a resurgence, but still far from trustworthy over the longer matches, while Ding has been somewhat out of sorts himself recently.
Assuming he avoids banana skins on the way to the last four, Murphy will be a lot shorter in the market with a match he will fancy himself to win, and at this stage merits a decent investment.


After a no bet Tuesday, the blog finds two of interest on Wednesday. The evergreen MEDICEAN MAN (4/1 Ladbrokes) gets the One-A-Day vote, twice a winner at Meydan last winter, is probably being prepared for a similar campaign this time round, but showed plenty of verve off a break last time over 6f here last time, when beaten under 2 lengths in the Listed event won narrowly by Intransigent. 
Did score at 6f last winter in Meydan, but not really the horse's best trip, and back to 5f tomorrow which is more the horse's strength, looks a winner in waiting. This handicap looks within his capabilities and I expect a bold bid, e/w if price permits. The danger looks to be Boom the Groom, a blog positive when winning at Wolverhampton last time, however this arguably sharper track might not quite play to that one's strengths as well, and has a much wider draw than the selection.
EDIT: In the absence of Medicean Man, BOOM THE GROOM (13.8 Paddy Power) looks an obvious selection and gets the One-A-Day vote.

Tony Carroll could have a very good day. After several NRs (including at Dundalk), Pour La Victoire (7/1 Bet365 e/w, Morning edit, into 5/1) for the bang in form Tony Carroll team looks to have a sound chance in the 1.30 at Lingfield. The Antonius Pius gelding is still on the upgrade, with four career wins, but somewhat bolted under his young pilot at Kempton last time, and a return to more patient tactics should see this horse go close.

Stuart Crawford's runner in the Catterick bumper should have a good chance too.

Hopefully, price permitting, I'll be having a very strong bet on Thursday....


The original pick for today was Cross Grain in the 5.40 at Meydan. Indeed I will still back this impressive maiden winner on debut last time, who caught the eye of better judges than your blogger. Given the ratings of the beaten horses the handicapper has had to give this horse a mark of just 80, and I'd be disappointed if he isn't substantially better than that in time. However stall 15 of 16 on second start just tempers enthusiasm a little, and I am looking elsewhere for the Nap.

Ajmal Ihsaas (6/5) should score at Kempton, but this time it's a prohibitive price that is the issue.

So it's to Ireland the blog heads. Robert Tyner's A Hardy Nailer and Jessica Harrington's KEPPOLS QUEEN (Clonmel 12.15) look smart sorts, and they both 'ran into one' last time out. The former was beaten by Black Hercules, a real smart type from the Willie Mullins yard, and the selection bumped into Shaneshill, the Aintree and Punchestown bumper winner.
Captain Carol represents the Mullins team, though it's hard to get excited by the narrow win over Table Tips, a horse with a long list of convictions, followed by a fall last time.
Keppols Queen is in receipt of 8lbs from the Tyner runner, and that's why Jessica Harrington's charge gets the vote. No prices yet but betfair 'indication' suggests around the 3/1 mark


Several in contention for today's vote.

At Wolverhampton, Shotgun Start for Michael Wigham is well drawn and looks to have a good opportunity to follow up last week's success, but short enough..

Over at Dundalk, Erelight is 0 from 15 but ran her best race yet when third here last week behind Marble Statuette. Was slowly away and had to do a fair bit of running early to get prominent, so did well to stay on in the straight to take third against such a course specialist. Should be a decent e/w price and now around 12/1 but the career record isn't inspiring enough.

Banna Boirche, later on the Dundalk card, who has performed well in exalted company both here and at Meydan, had a quiet reintroduction at this track from a long break when not given a hard time, ultimately only beaten about 2 lengths behind Misty Lane. Given that a couple of those who reoppose were race fit, Micky Halford's gelding is fancied to reverse form. Several though in here off featherweights, so although I have backed the selection, 9/4 is now plenty skinny enough.

Carrie Bow Cay should win an uncompetitive maiden, but the One-A-Day goes to SASSYBUTCLASSY in the opener. The obvious danger is Knoxville Bullet but that yard's tend to run their best races first time out (ClutchinAtStraws one of several examples), so the money for the stable's apparent second string debutant is quite intriguing, but with the form in the book and receiving 8lbs from both of them with Conor King's claim, the vote goes to the Marnane runner. Less than 3 lengths behind Folk Law, a 90s rated horse, makes me think this one is overpriced at 10/3 with Hills.
If it so much as breathes Evens in the betfair place market, I'll be all over that too

The other races on the card  hold very limited punting appeal, with cases for plenty in each race, and a lack of value angles tonight at prices for me.

At Lingfield, it's over a year since Best Trip got his head in front where it counts, but also has been running mostly at longer trips. Even though the gelding's first four career successes all came at Kempton, I think the drop to 5f might just see the return to the winner's circle here.
SpicNSpan from stall one is the one most likely to take the selection on for the lead -  but only rated 47 to Best Trip's 69, it'll be disappointing if he can't shake that one off, and should stay on strongly through the line, having won at further.
Pharoh Jake and Noverre to Go, the pair likeliest to track the pace, might both just have had enough for now, so Best Trip can take advantage by making virtually all.


 Clarcam (12.45 Navan Evens Corals) might be short but looks very solid at Navan. Caught the eye in no uncertain terms last time when chasing home none other than Vautour, jumping every bit as well as the favourite and only giving best from the final flight. Anything like that will surely suffice. Un Beau Roman has to concede 15 lbs and that looks an impossible task

Smokey Joe Joe (11/4 Tote) looks a little classier than rivals and should take the 2.55 at the same track, while at Wolverhampton in the finale, although Urban Castle ran a promising race on debut, Westward Hoe, which finished in front of the horse in that race was turned over at 2/5 last night, so SALMON SUSHI (Wolverhampton 9.15 ONE-A-DAY 13/8 in places) is preferred.
George Baker waits from the first race for this, his only other ride on the card, in the 'lucky last'.
Caught the eye staying on well over 10f when never put in the race at Lingfield on reappearance last time until the leaders had long flown, and entitled to come on a bundle for that. The longer trip should suit this stoutly bred son of Dalahkani, and looks the one to be on, especially as Baker also rode other likely market rival Royal Battalion last time and may well have had the choice tonight.

I've also backed the three in a muggy e/w treble which would yield a small profit if all three in the frame. Barring accidents I think they should be.

SUNDAY 7TH DECEMBER (Posted Saturday evening as all three races mentioned priced up)

Three of interest, all in Ireland. At Punchestown two each way plays, Akorakor (1.30, 12/1 Paddy Power) looks to have been allocated a fair mark of 116 and should strip fitter than when attempting to make all last time on reappearance, while in the 3.00 Foxrock (6/1 Corals), a grade 2 winner, reverts to fences and can also make a bold bid to defy topweight. 

The very well regarded BLACK HERCULES (Cork 1.15 One-A-Day 5/4 Hills) is expected to step successfully into Novice company having won his maiden hurdle easily last time. A decent race with respect afforded to Pulled Mussel, whose form has already worked out well, but the Mullins inmate is expected to be too strong.