WITH Cheltenham just around the corner there is a lack of top class horses out racing today but that won’t stop us picking a few winners and enjoying ourselves along the way.

Talking of the greatest show on turf, I fully intend to be at Cheltenham all week and I will gladly buy a pint for any followers who are at Cheltenham to say thanks for their support. Just give me a shout on twitter and I'll meet you at the bar for your free pint.

Anyway back to today’s action and we are looking for a few winners today to build up our Cheltenham pots. As always please only bet what you can afford and only tell your other half about half of what you win.  The old rules are the best…

2.45 Newcastle

We start with the big race of the day, the Eider Chase at Newcastle and this is what racing is all about: absolute plodders going backwards through treacle.  I know many of you, including my pal Thumy, love races like this and with a large field and many firms offering enhanced places it is only fair we back more than one to ensure a winning BOOM.

We start with our old pal PORTRAIT KING. The definition of a plodder with absolutely nothing flashy about him, his turn of pace has not been seen since I played Saturday morning football. However, his jumping is rock solid and he will get round paving the way for place money at a lovely price. My mate Hammy absolutely loves this horse and he supports a football team who have won 54 titles in five seasons so knows what he is talking about.

At more of a shorter price (but still good each way value) BACK TO THE THATCH will love the bottomless ground and looks like a horse who is born to stay this sort of trip.  Words can't describe the sort of season that Henry Daly is having with a 23% strike rate and a profit of £50.25 to bets of £1 on each runner this season.  That is just an incredible statistic and Back To The Thatch has a great chance of improving that stat even further.  The fact that he has champion jockey Richard Johnson on board only encourages me further.

3.35 Kempton

You really cannot beat a good three mile handicap chase and with plenty of old friends kicking about this promises action we haven’t seen since my mate Curley went to Las Vegas. The favourite ACTING LASS has been as busy as your friendly neighbourhood butcher lately and can make it a quad of successes today despite a 6lb rise in the weights. He is versatile ground wise and is still ahead of the handicapper so we can expect another strong performance from Harry Fry’s progressive seven year old as the way he finished strongly in a mudbath at Ascot last time out suggests the step up in trip should be no problem.


  • 2.45 Newcastle – Portrait King – 1 point e/w at 33/1 with Bet365, William Hill and Coral
  • 2.45 Newcastle – Back To The Thatch – 2 points e/w at 9/1 with Bet365
  • 3.35 Kempton – Acting Lass – 3 points win at 4/1 with Ladbrokes

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