Horsetalk Sunday December 5th 2021

Naps Table Update – Rob J and I had Snow Leopardess, but Bacciodilupo almost smashed us both with Hill Sixteen, beaten a nose at 14/1 – painful stuff, Baci!

David had a winner in Saint Palais at 4/5 – nice one. And DN napped Tamar Bridge, a 2/1 winner (a NB for Rakib) Well done DN.

Stonor’s EW nap Zambezi Fix was 2nd at 12/1 – unlucky, Stonor.

I was astounded by the run of Protektorat who was still pulling noticeably five out – I thought he had zero chance of getting home. Down to 20/1 for the Gold Cup now – I wouldn’t say that is value, but I’ve taken some 12/1 Edwardstone for the Arkle. He looks a natural at this game. After the race the trainer says the Arkle is the aim, though his running style suggests to me that The Marsh might suit better. I suspect he might turn up in the 2023 Gold Cup facing, perhaps, Protektorat and the mighty Ahoy Senor.

Betfair Naps Table

Starting November 1st 2021, Betfair have kindly agreed to provide two tickets each month to the winner of the naps table for one of their sponsored racedays.

Please post your nap each day using the comments section below this thread. All welcome. You need not post every day and can join in at any point in the month, as one big priced winner could win you the prize, which is settled on the tipster showing the biggest profit at the end the month. But, bear in mind that on days your name does not appear on the Daily Naps Results winners list, you’ll be assumed to have picked a loser.

For example, if at the end of the month your name is on the list once with a 25/1 winner, you will have your £250 profit from that nap deducted from assumed losing stakes for each other day. Assuming a 30-day month, your total stakes would be viewed as £300, returns as £260, for a loss of £40. I hope this makes sense. If you can think of a better way or a way to express this more clearly, please leave a comment below.

You need post only the horse’s name, but feel free to elaborate on your reasons for picking it.

If your selection secures a return – EW naps are allowed – please post the result in the Winners Thread stating it was your nap and mentioning the SP. Non runners will be settled as a break even day.

Profit will be calculated to a £10 stake on each selection. EW selections will be staked at £5EW.

All naps will be settled at SP, so please do not include an early price. This will help maintain clarity and reduce the chances of disputes. We will use standard place rules a la Tattersalls to settle EW naps. Otherwise I need to start checking place offers, non runners affecting it, etc. Doubtless some will suffer because of this, but I think it will even out in the end.

This Site

This site is open to all. It’s free and there’s no need to enrol formally, but if commenting, please choose a username when making your comment.

We discuss horse racing mostly, but have a Lounge if you want to bring up any other subject.

You are welcome to enter our Daily Naps Challenge – a fun competition for which Betfair kindly donates two Raceday tickets every month for the winner.

The rules for the site are basic: be kind to everyone, and please don’t swear. We are not prudes, but we do not have a moderator other than me – Joe McNally, and I don’t want to spend a lot of time monitoring the site. If you see something you want to report, you can do so confidentially using the Contact page.

Finally, there are some hardened and skilled tipsters here and each has their good and bad runs. When one starts a good run, it can seem to the less experienced that all prayers have been answered, and a holy grail of winners has been found. But please never make that assumption. It’s not the way things work in betting, for anyone. Sharks flogging baited tips would have you believe that this holy grail does exist. Well, there is a collective punting experience on this site numbering, I’d say, close to 500 years. Not a single tipster here will tell you that reliable profits can be made from betting racehorses.

So, this is not a mild and dutiful problem betting disclaimer. I’ve been in the business since 1971 and have seen any amount of God’s misery caused by betting beyond means. Punting is a brilliant pastime, but a horrible compulsion, a fantastic servant, but a dreadful master. Never bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile … and there’s plenty of big smiles in small stakes.

Good luck



  1. ALLAHO Punchestown 14.00, 4/1 2pts win, is the Nap. Remember the speed and the demolition job in the Ryanair.
    FUNAMBULE SIVOLA Huntingdon 13.52 9/2 (with Paddy) 1pt win is the NB. The multiples is completed with GLENQUIN CASTLE Punchestown 15.05, 2/1.


    1. Im a big fan of allaho DN but it’s a matter of whether he is fully fit and ready tomorrow. The main opposition both have a run under the belt.
      Great race to watch I hope but no bet for me !
      I’m looking forward to cork races also. Concertista Vs magic Daze the 1.45 at cork and also Energumene getting going in the Hilly way !

      No bets as Yet. Saturday was one of those bet 100 get 90 back kind of days ….


  2. Asterion Forlonge looks great value – seems to have been around a long time, but is relatively unexposed over fences, given the problems he’s had. Two from three at Punchestown (fell in the other). He’s the nap.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. To great race in store . At least the proceedings should be visible this year – shame ITV aren’t ‘showing it’, perhaps they felt burned after last year’s farce in the fog! I thought yesterday showed the W. Mullins yard is not firing at all (and if Energumene fails for some reason tomorrow that’s definitely the case!) but it’s hard to count their stars out altogether- funnily I thought Asterion might be quirky enough to buck any stable trend so Joe might be on to something with his nap. Was leaning towards favouring JPoB’s Fakir D. who’s been redirected here but de Bromhead might have unlocked the key to Envoi Allen now….


  4. EW Nap: Any Biscuits, 3.35 Punch. Bit of a tasty flyer, 1 pt.
    NB: Envoi Allen 5 1/2 pts win.

    I was also impressed by Protektorat -obviously the human drama at Sandown ended up overshadowing it a tad as well as Snowy sauntering over the National fences later. In attritional conditions P. comfortably stayed the trip and put Native River away with ridiciulous ease -like a potential Gold Cup candidate probably should so perhaps that 20/1 Joe mentions isn’t so far-fetched! Interesting to see what the ratings people make of that performance.


    1. Protektorat wont win a Tea Cup ,let alone a Gold Cup . He doesn’t stay that trip ,never has ,never will .It was a good bit of placing that worked out well .
      That race yesterday was so slowly run it gave a visual impression that it was impressive ,it wasnt ,it was ran at a crawl and only recorded a slow 124 on the clock.
      Whenever hes run on a stiff track over further than 2.4f hes been beaten out of sight ,once in listed and then in G3 . Over 3m2f at the festival in G1 company he would be just turning in when the winner was crossing the line .
      It’s just fanciful nonesense to suggest otherwise .Native River is still an admirable horse but hes deteriorated hugely from his 2019 heyday and cant be used as a yardstick.
      Hes best at 2.4f where hes recorded his best fig of 149 ,but that was in Grade 3 company only.Hes miles away from G1 class .


      1. Well I’d agree with most of that, D – Native River did still manage to be 5th last year and sneak a place with some firms -not much use for antepost purposes. You’d think the de Bromhead pair were the ones to focus on just like last year. Any thoughts on Chacun- is he just a bad traveller to the shores and one to swerve now for Cheltenham as well? It looks like stable form is playing a part with even Kilcruit getting trounced just now.


  5. People are falling over themselves to ignore the incredible seven winners for Gordon Elliott at Navan, a record number of wins at a single meeting in the British Isles. Gordon has a battalion of youngsters coming through as he rebuilds his string. I can’t for the life of me think why this is not the biggest story of the week if not the season. Oh wait – maybe it’s because the Blessed Bryony won the Tingle Creek, so we can all safely look the other way while Elliott does the impossible..


    1. Well said Harry on Gordon’s feat ,I bet Greg is upset about it though.
      Equally galling is the mindless sniping at Henderson for not running Shiskin . If a horse isnt right ,for whatever the reason and its trainer pulls it out ,why the fuss.
      His novice that won yesterday looks good and recorded a good time in doing so that backed up the visual. I know the 2nd is very highly thought of and the way the winner went past him when the button was pushed was really impressive.


      1. Yes, amazing debut from Constitution Hill. Barry Geraghty found this horse and paid 16.5K for him as a foal and sold him to Nicky Henderson for 120K – a nice little earner. He was extremely unlucky not to win his point, as he blundered at the last and the rider performed heroics to stay in the saddle, then very nearly got back up. The winner is now owned by Gay Smith and is with Jonjo. He ran second to another of Henderson’s, Mot A Mot, the one that got beat on Friday at Exeter. Even at 120K he could be the bargain of the decade if you think that Shirocco’s Dream, the winner of the mares’ handicap hurdle, cost 260K.


    2. For the general public, I think the biggest story of the week is the disciplinary hearing. It can’t be wished away. Gordon Elliot’s stable’s successes yesterday were notable, but he still has plenty of penance to do as far as the general public is concerned.

      Bryony Frost is taking on the ancient and ossified practices of a bygone age which still exist in the “sacrosanct” weighing room and would be tolerated in no other form of employment. It takes a lot of guts to put your employment at risk against the old establishment. The superbly trained Greaneteen won a great Tingle Creek and Bryony Frost gave it an excellent ride adding her characteristically honest, enthusiastic, refreshing and unique style of interview after the win. There’s a wind of change blowing.

      My nap would be Sovereign Gold in the 15.05 at Punchestown.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Notable! You have always been the master of understatement, Quai. I’d expect a few more people to actually note it, is all. People love a personality, don’t they, and there’s nothing that wins them over more than showing a bit of personality on the telly. For example: McEnroe, yes please! Borg: not so much. Bryony: I could listen to her for hours! 99% of other jump jockeys: not so much, or not at all. If you can build a relatable profile the TV people will lap it up and the Saturday sofa-bound casual viewers will ask for more. Once you have a profile, you have a career in the media. ITV Racing has done what it can with Hollie Doyle but have realised she is a good, solid, hardworking jockey who happens to be female. But Bryony is a different kettle of fish. She is only little and gets a bit hot and bothered. And now the bullying. It’s just perfect for telly. Stand by the ITV drama series next year.


        1. Harry, I have been planting tulips, so I was not able to keep an eye on the thread. I think I’d stick with notable for Gordon Elliot’s success, as some of the credit must go to Denise Foster who held the fort while Gordon Elliott had to disappear from view. (I assume he met the terms of his sentence, otherwise there must be a further doubt about his integrity).

          As far as Bryony Frost is concerned, the possible fall out which you describe in respect of herself and her father, etc, is a consequence that may not be avoidable. Military people call it collateral damage (as a euphemism for casualties to the innocent). In my time, I have had to stick my neck out at risk to my employment. It’s not an edifyig sight to see people scuttling for cover and suddenly losing their memory for events which were so clear only a day or two ago. People like Bryony Frost do what they do, in my experience, for various reasons, but often the most pressing one is that they do it for their own self respect as they are no longer willing to put up with what they regard as unacceptable. It’s a line that is crossed but which varies for the individual.

          Of course I agree she did not intend to find herself in the place where she now is. I think most people who have to take tough decisions which redound to their own disadvantage are reluctant “heroes” – they don’t seek it out. But when they have the willingness to fight for a principle, I think they deserve great credit, at the very least. As Joe points out below, it will be to the benefit of other female and male jockeys in the future, should the case be decided in her favour. If it goes the other way, shewill be left in a very bad place. Only a few people, in my experience, are willing to face that type of risk. Without such people, we would still be tugging our forelocks to our betters and being grateful for crumbs.

          I don’t subscribe to the idea that horseracing or any other sport should, by definition, see itself as “above the law” (I use that in a loose sense), free to carry on arcane practices which are unregulated and outwith the normal standards which the rest of society enjoys.

          I also, unsurprisingly, do not agree that Greg should be pilloried for covering these events. I have not abandoned the Guardian because it reduced its funding for Talking Horses, seeing it all as the works of Satan, which some seem to have done. I shall continue to support it in the hope that horseracing coverage is restored.

          I don’t cite the following as related to the Frost case, but you may have noticed a Guardian article yesterday in which the parents of a son who killed himself as a result of his gambling addiction are asking for all such deaths to be fully investigated. They have formed a group and are calling for action. They point out that the regulator has only looked at two of the 400 deaths since 2015. Horseracing and other sports which depend on revenue from betting tend to close ranks in the face of such “threats”. I see that as a disastrous and misguided tactic which is likely to inflict more damage rather than less.


    3. Tis as well you’re not a newsman, Harry – a crusading girl who’s shown the spirit and guts of a suffragette to shatter an establishment held together with anachronisms. Despite physical and psychological threats by a supposed associate (and minus any support from the supposed heroes of the weighing room) she will not lie down. She will not back off. She acts like she’s made of steel, but can still cry in public, and describe her relationship with a racehorse better than any I’ve heard. One day, in the midst of the battle, she rides a Grade One winner in an iconic steeplechase, thus far the province of men, among them those who’ve stood silently by watching her being attacked. Versus, a man who sat on a dead racehorse that had been in his care, sent another, apparently casually to the slaughterhouse, got suspended, never convincingly apologised … and, in interviews, always looks to me furtive, suspicious, almost sniffing the air for danger as though he expects a hand on his shoulder at any point. He has a fine training record and, one day, sends out 7 winners. Which is the biggest story?


      1. I am no newsman but a racing man for sure. So, a female jockey rides a winner in a Grade 1 chase for the champion trainer versus one man trains seven winners at a single meeting breaking an all-time record: I know which is the bigger story for racing. Racing is on the frontpages for the wrong reasons. I’m more interested in the back page. It’s only tabloid journalists and tittle-tattle merchants who demand our top sports stars to be saints.


        1. I tell you what I find exasperating: the double standards of those individuals (yes Greg, I’m looking at you) who drool over the details of the Dunne tribunal and in the next breath hold their head in their hands because of “yet another negative story about racing”. And if I were close to the Frost family I would be a bit cross at the championing of Bryony as a crusader against “misogyny” and “workplace bullying”. I bet that is the very last thing she wanted to be when all this kicked off. Why would she want to carry that albatross around her neck, even if Dunne gets sent to the gulag to break stones and she is seen to be vindicated? How will that make the weighing room a comfortable environment for her to be in? Oh, here comes Crusader Bryony, let’s stand and applaud! It’s so very easy for outsiders to be brave, isn’t it. They don’t have to live with the consequences of their crusade.

          And this tribunal – there have been shorter murder trials at Court Number One at the Old Bailey. The longer the better for the rent-a-pundits like Greg Wood to make a daily Zoom call with their latest steaming shovelful of “wisdom” for the hungry punters.


          1. “Why would she want to carry that albatross around her neck, even if Dunne gets sent to the gulag to break stones and she is seen to be vindicated? How will that make the weighing room a comfortable environment for her to be in?”

            If not the whole point of my post, what you have highlighted is the core of it. She’s not doing this just for herself. I’m sure she’s resigned to the fallout you describe. Yet she has persevered.


            1. She is doing it for herself and for others like her – young females trying to get established as pro jockeys. NOT for the cheerleaders on the outside or for box-ticking BHA officials who see this is a God-given opportunity to virtue signal – and definitely not the media vultures who always like a salacious story to sound holier than thou about. It should have been done differently, not this despicable circus. The saddest thing is that the BHA would not have shifted themselves to sort out these issues in a sensible and open way if this case had not come to light. Now the are trying to make up for their usual neglect by completely overdoing it. We know Bryony is brave and determined – but I just hope she doesn’t achieve a pyrrhic victory here and find herself ostracised from the sport she loves. Think about it – would you want the role of brave but foolhardy crusader for a young daughter of yours? Would you counsel her to carry on regardless of the consequences to her mental health? When you cannot be sure of the outcome you’d want to shelter your daughter when the ceiling falls in. Meanwhile the jolly boys on social media are saying “Well done for your crusade!!” Easy to say if you’re not going through it. The “Go on, get stuck in, I’ll hold your coat” brigade. Ugh.


              1. Harry, I wrote my latest post without seeing this latest of yours. There are three points I’d comment on. First – You can point out the risks to someone, but in the end it’s for them to decide. Most times, in my experience, they take the safe route. However, if they take the dangerous route after due consideration, they deserve all the support one can muster. Second – Yes, BHA has a lot to answer for, particularly the exceptionally prolonged nature of the procedure. Third – I share your disdain for bystanders who would melt into the background should things turn ugly.


              2. How could I counsel my child not to do the ‘right thing’? I’d make her aware of the crap that might come in the wake of a crusade, but, compared to acting morally and ethically and making sacrifices for those weaker, well, no amount of slagging off by the agenda-laden should affect her resolve. I don’t mean to be trite here, but sometimes it’s the children who teach us.


    1. Thanks Jamie, it was my first time at Sandown and very much enjoyed it. Only had the one winner and a couple of placed efforts (I swear had Harry skelton not been on top of third time lucki, it would have won!).Although as a northerner I couldn’t stomach paying £13 for a bottle of beer! Thankfully I was driving anyway…


      1. Good to hear you enjoyed it, Rob. Ludicrous and insulting beer prices!

        Last time I was at Sandown I saw the best round of jumping I’ve ever witnessed on a park course – Mr Frisk winning The Whitbread. A great course for watching NH.


  6. Fair play to W. Mullins for his constant support of today’s meeting at Mallow.
    I get to see fencing exhibitions albeit one-sided.
    P. Mullins spoke during the week of the of fences being user friendly to a Novice which is true although ignoring the fact their greatest flop was Great Field who once he fell once spectacularly in the Hilly Way should have immediately reverted to Hurdles and not return for a second clanger.
    The fact I backed him both times is irrelevant. The Mullins’ are professional. I believe he is still in training with Jonjo Sr.
    The only thing I can see I admired about Energumene last year was he kept Shishkin at a Workingmans Price for the Arkle.
    I feel the second coming of Chacun Pour Soi (who by the way earned 54 Booby points for myself and Auldchiel in the TC yesterday with the minimum number of 5 finishers).
    However this course is easy peasy to everyone bar Great Field and a SF with Notebook (about 1.8) and a double with Concertista (about 2.9) are on my bet slip.
    My nap is at Huntington in the 13.52 where I am giving Master Tommytucker another chance.


  7. There were some impressive performances yesterday that have gone under the radar .

    In the 3.09 bumper at Chepstow Ben Clarke ran a Camelot 4yo ,BOBALOT .He was as big as a bull in the paddock , went the scenic route but ran on to finish 6th by only 16 lengths.One to note.
    Aintree .
    Zambella improved again,finding another 7/8 lengths on her previous best .
    Constitution Hill was a standout but the real eye opener was VOLKOVKAS run in the 12.40 where she was held up to far out of her ground for to long ,made rapid headway to be 2nd giving away plenty of weight to the winner to record a PB of 99. I would be wary if she comes out again quickly but theres a good race in her with Paddy B back on. The other one worth noting is KISSESFORKATIE in the race who also was asked a lot to do from to far back ,but she really put her head down .
    EDWARDSTONE was best in on his previous by some 8 lengths over Skeltons who was the biggest false fav of the day. Kings horse ran to the pound but looks like he might progress . The one I’d watch is DO YOUR JOB though ,he was tracking the leaders when he got the tricky 8th wrong and hes a lovely type with a lot of potential to come and very well thought of.
    HILLCREST is an old fashioned lump of a horse who gallops and then goes again ,hes going to be some chaser . Upped to 3m over hurdles next I understand and class .


      1. Harry,
        You are one to to talk.
        About 5 years ago you set a cryptic crossword clue to which Bacciodilupo gave the correct answer. It was a 5,4 question involving Magic Moments and he said Perry Como which is the correct answer and I don’t know how you said otherwise.
        Tell me how Bacciodilupo was wrong as I am an insomniac.


        1. Was I supposed to get a prize for that? Because , if so, it still hasn’t arrived! The Italian postal system is slow but…..


        2. I haven’t the faintest memory of that, though I am a fan of cryptic crosswords. I think I need to hear the whole clue to judge whether the answer you remember is correct. On the face of it that sounds more like a Daily Mirror Coffee Time crossword clue. “Singer of Magic Moments” (5, 4). It lacks that cryptic je ne sais crois.


  8. Seeing Better Times Ahead in the first at Cork gives me the feeling of a ghost walking over my grave. Nicky Richards’ admirable staying hurdler and chaser in the late 90s was one of my favourite horses. He was the undisputed king of Carlisle and ran at almost every meeting. In ’98 he won five or six and was second in another couple – he absolutely loved that stiff uphill finish and those big fences as they were then. What a pity it wasn’t deemed a protected name (I know he was GB bred and this new version is IRE, but even so . . .).(Robert Tyner’s version ran a promising fifth in the Cork race that saw the unbeatable Kilcruit get turned over – he was 1/20 with Hills before the off. The problems with the Closutton grass gallop do seem to have had a knock-on effect for the routines of some of his horses – they have been needing a run more than usual with this yard.)


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