Ross Millar's top horse racing selections for Monday

By Ross Millar@rosscojmill
Sun 21 Nov 2021

Unseasonably good ground means a continuation of predominantly small field sizes, yet the excitement was still in strong supply over the weekend.

At Haydock, Bravemansgame jumped impeccably, showing a nice mixture of bravery and intelligence. He has yet to face a large field but there can be no denying that he is dispatching solid opposition with the minimum of fuss.

A Plus Tard got his season off to the best possible start when running out a wide-margin winner of the Betfair Chase. He jumped and travelled like a high class horse and won with the minimum of fuss. However, don’t get too carried away with the form as he was aided by sloppy jumping from all of his chief market rivals.

I have however added Chatham Street Lad to my Racing TV tracker. He travelled well before failing to stay the trip. On soft ground over an intermediate trip I’d fancy him to bag a decent prize.

Bravemansgame impressed with his jumping

Buzz was an impressive winner at Ascot and now must surely be considered a live contender for the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham in March. He looks likely to test those credentials further back at Ascot in the Long Walk Hurdle.

Bob Olinger made a comfortable start to life as a chaser when winning nicely at Gowran Park. He jumped solidly in the main but did make a few errors. He will surely only improve for the experience.

Monday’s racing is again blighted by small fields but I’ve found three selections.

2.10 Ayr: Bollingerandkrug at 8-1 with bet365

This horse was given strong praise by trainer, Lucinda Russell in a recent stable tour, and is expected to improve on what he achieved over hurdles now that he tackles fences.

His chase debut was highly satisfactory as he jumped boldly at this course and travelled much the best only for a final-fence error to rob him of crucial momentum when looking a possible winner.

That came over 2m4f so the drop back in trip is a question. However, I expect Derek Fox to make good use of his bold jumping and high cruising speed to help force the pace and turn this into a test of stamina.

If he can do this, I’d expect him to be capable of causing problems for those closer to the top of the market.

The top two in the betting have questions to answer: Dreams Of Home weakened tamely on chase debut, while Fete Champetre refused at the last when challenging at Hexham. That might suggest he isn’t totally in love with the bigger obstacles and makes him worth opposing.

2.55 Kempton: Khan at 11-4 with BetVictor and Sky Bet

Milton Harris has had his team in fine form and is racking up plenty of winners. Two of them have been provided by this consistent performer.

He clearly relishes good ground and again looks set to have his optimum conditions. His win last time at Lingfield was officially only by a length but he was value for much more as he idled quite badly in the closing stages, allowing the runner-up to get much closer to him.

He was raised 3lb for that win but the claim of Kevin Jones negates that rise.

Inca Rose makes her handicap debut and could be well treated but she may be one for further down the line when the ground gets a bit softer as she may just lack the tactical speed for this test.

Ben Pauling is another trainer to have his yard in good order. His Not A Present was a winner at Bangor last time but now has to cope with a 5lb higher mark in a stronger looking race.

Bryony Frost is riding exceptionally well as evidenced by her Saturday double at Ascot. She rides Neverbeen To Paris who certainly looks like he’ll appreciate this step up in trip, though he had a tendency to jump to his left at Plumpton and that won’t aide his cause around here.

3.25 Kempton: Timberman at a general 9-2

See The Sea and regular jockey, Peter Kavanagh, arrive here in search of a fourth straight win and the track, trip and ground look to be ideal.

However, See The Sea is up another 7lb, while the presence of the Paul Nicholls-trained Paso Doble, who made all to win at this track on his penultimate start, means an uncontested lead is unlikely.

The presence of these two front-runners might well set the race up for a horse that can finish strongly. Timberman did exactly that when storming home late on at Cheltenham on his last start. He was positioned a long way back on that occasion while both the winner and the second were ridden more prominently.

He’s only1lb higher and has the assistance of the in-form Liam Harrison.

Fergal O’Brien is in red-hot form and I’d be very disappointed if Timberman does not go close to adding another winner to his already impressive total.

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