January 9th, 2016 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

I am very pleased with the way things are going at present. Polly Peachum ensured this page was in profit last weekend, while the telephone line is running at 100 percent after three selections in 2016 – Seeyouatmidnight, Polly Peachum and, on Friday and at long last, Rocket Rob. He was very well ridden by Tom Queally and the gap came in good time for him but he will find it difficult to follow up. Even so, he was worth waiting for and those of us who thought a trainer as shrewd as Willie Musson would hardly keep him going at ten unless there were one more win in the locker were proven correct.

Polly Peachum is a tough mare and will go to Cheltenham and Aintree, followed by the paddocks. I doubt she would have much chance against Annie Power in the Mares’ Hurdle in March but she may account for the other Willie Mullins-trained contenders. She was very generously priced at 9/2 last week because, on a line through Kim Bailey’s Emily Gray, she clearly had the beating of 6/4 favourite Gitane Du Berlais.

German raider Ramgoom ran very well in the fast track qualifier at Chelmsford on Saturday and 8/1 was a very fair each-way price but he found Lancelot Du Lac simply too good on the day. The latter has been a fine servant to Dean Ivory and will no doubt be at Lingfield on championship day in the spring, though things will be much harder there.

I can’t see much to get excited about away from Chepstow this weekend but the Coral Welsh Grand National is always worth careful study and has been kind to me over the years, most notably when Mountainous won at 20/1 two years ago, while there was also Supreme Glory turning up for Pat Murphy several years ago. I think Mountainous will run well again and he has certainly dropped to a fair handicap mark but in 2014 he had run a very promising race in the trial three weeks beforehand whereas on this occasion one or two others with course experience take the eye.

Strictly speaking, Nigel Twiston-Davies’ COGRY still has a little to find with Upswing on their running in a good handicap chase at Cheltenham last time but he was keeping on well in fourth in the closing stages and Ryan Hatch’s 3lb claim may well prove a highly significant factor. Cogry did well in the novices’ chase on this card a year ago and should see out the extreme distance all right. Sometimes this is the race which indicates that the breed is no longer as hardy as it was because quite a few of them are well and truly beaten six furlongs from home. Chepstow is very, very heavy indeed at present and it is important to stick with horses which have shown plenty in a near-quagmire. It wouldn’t surprise me if only a handful got home.

On a quiet betting day I have a minor feeling for Dell’Arca in the Lanzarote at Kempton. He gets no respite from the handicapper, isn’t all that happy over fences and returns to the smaller obstacles with an each-way chance, though it is worth bearing mind that he is still a stone higher than the day he won the Greatwood at Cheltenham soon after arriving in this country. He is fully exposed but the David Pipe yard is just swinging back into gear now