THREE placings in yesterday’s races means I’m finally off the mark.

After a day one to forget, day two brought some success although I didn’t have a winner in sight.

Thankfully my decision to go each way on my selections paid off with Smad Place, Big Shu and Black Hercules all placing in their respective races.

The most frustrating part of yesterday was seeing Smad Place miss out by a neck in the RSA Chase while Red Sherlock was in the mix with three furlongs to go before running out of steam.

We’re half-way through the Festival and hopefully today I can pick out at least two winners in my charity Yankee bet.

THURSDAY’S SELECTIONS (An each-way Yankee bet)

VUKOVAR (JLT Novices’ Chase): This classy import was a good hurdler in France, winning three times.

After coming second on her chasing debut in England, the five-year-old showed considerable improvement to win a Newbury novice chase by 22 lengths at the end of December.

Young handler Harry Fry has made an impressive start to his training career, and he rates his novice very highly.

FINGAL BAY (The Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle): This eight-year-old has been most consistent, achieving seven wins and two seconds from 10 runs.

Trained by the very shrewd Phillip Hobbs, and ridden by Cheltenham veteran Richard Johnson, looks sure to give a good account.

TAP NIGHT (The Byrne Group Plate): My sources tell me this horse has been aimed at this race for some time. Owned by legendary owner and gambler JP McManus, this animal was 20-1 three weeks’ ago, but now trades at around 8-1. It is an open-looking race, but looks solid to make the frame.

INDIAN CASTLE (The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup): This is a race for amateur jockeys, and the standard of horsemanship varies considerably amongst the participants today.

Indian Castle is ridden by one of the best in the business – Derek O’Connor, and this is a big advantage.

The horse has also been a model of consistency, with four wins and three seconds from seven career runs.

Looks to have a strong chance.