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daily insight into the sport of Horseracing and
Record of the blog selections for the 2014-15 Jumps Season:-
Profit = £261.63 from 52 wagers
staked = £665 (an average of £12.78 per race/wager)

39.34% return on investment
advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Keep the powder dry for another day

It was a disappointing effort from the selection, Royal Battalion, yesterday; and the writing was on the wall after they had barely gone a mile with jockey Jamie Moore hard at work. I think I was right to oppose the odds-on fav for the race, Shear Rock, as although he won he was under hard driving to get back into the race and head the Irish import Disputed,who came in 2nd.
It made me realise that sticking to the alert list is probably the best thing to do with selections until the form settles down.
Still, the blog has made a decent start to the jumps season from the 3 selections to date: 1 winner, 1 placed, and 1 lost
Profit = £28
Total staked = £30

There are two meetings over the jumps today (Saturday) at Fontwell and Hexham.
At Fontwell, the main race that I am interested in is the 3:20pm a Class 2 handicap hurdle over an extended 2m3f.
The topweight is an old friend of the blog, FOXCUB, who has won a couple of times for us and is a horse who runs well at Fontwell. He started last season in this race and ran 2nd off OR129 finishing well clear of the 3rd horse, but was unable to contain the winner that day, Henryville, who won of OR138 and  ended the season rated OR156 going on to run 4th in the Pertemps Final over 3-mile at the Cheltenham Festival - so, no disgrace in defeat that day.
In his next race, he made an early mistake and couldn't make an impression after that. However, at Bangor in November, he made-all over a similar trip to today off OR132. In his final couple of races he was outclassed in the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot and the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton. The worry is that he may just need this race to reach peak fitness, and trainer Tom Symonds would like to go chasing with him this season.
The current race-fav PROMANCO looks very well handicapped on OR122 if the promise of his latest win in May is anything to go by. However, the same can be said for the 2nd-fav AFTER EIGHT SIVOLA who won well over 2-mile LTO and has won over a similar trip to today. The other LTO winner in the race is GIOIA DI VITA, who is another who could be well handicapped as, behind him when he won LTO was a subsequent good winner.
A tricky race to fathom, and one in which I'd like to side with my alert list horse but realistically, I can't as there are too many improving unexposed rivals. I expect FOXCUB to run well, trying to make-all as usual; and, if he gets them all off the bridle in the final mile then, who knows?

As such, no wager advised today, but we may have one tomorrow.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Battalion to win the match

Not the best of meetings at Fontwell this afternoon, and winner finding could prove tricky.  I was hoping that some of the races would be more competitive, but it seems that the best approach (if you are considering having a wager) is assessing whether the fav for each race is beatable or not, and taking it from there.
There are no alert list runners out today, but it looks like there will be a couple running over the weekend.
Back to Fontwell, and the opening juvenile maiden hurdle looks wide open, and the following handicap chase has been reduced to just 3 runners. However, the Class 3 handicap hurdle at 3:15pm looks more interesting. The race-fav is Shear Rock, and he's running off OR115 which is 7lb higher than his rating LTO when he won at Market Rasen in June. I think he's vulnerable off this revised rating as he looked at the extreme of his ability when he won that race, and he only won that race by a "neck". I'm more interested in another in this race, Royal Battalion sent here by local trainer Gary Moore.
If you want an example of how the finger of fate can effect horseracing, then Royal Battalion is perfect. His dam, Yummy Mummy, is a full sister to multiple Group 1 winner Fame And Glory, and his half-sister is none-other than multiple Group 1 winning 3yo filly Legatissimo.  As a yearling, Legatissimo sold for £350,000, and her half-brother Royal Battalion sold for £575,000 - yet, one is winning Group 1 races on the flat, and the other is contesting a handicap hurdle at Fontwell.
I think we will see significant improvement from Royal Battalion as a hurdler as he's already shown that he's capable of jumping a hurdle and winning this summer. The soft ground, and having just 2 rivals did for him in his last race in August, but today's ground and opposition should keep his mind on the job.
Disputed spent the summer with Gordon Elliot in Ireland, running 9 times for him without winning - and if he couldn't win with the horse, then I doubt Chris Gordon is going to find much improvement with him, and he looks highly rated on OR119. Gordon also runs Superciliary but that horse has been off the track some time and would probably prefer softer ground than today. Finally, Lyssio looks outclassed.
I was going to take a look at the handicap chase at 3:50pm,  but that race looks a bit tight. There is not much between Chris Pea Green, Workbench or Purple N Gold.. Workbench won this race last season (it was the last race he won) and looked a better horse afterwards when trying trips over 2m4f. His form hasn't looked good enough this summer; so perhaps the likely winner will be either of the other two heading the market. But it looks a race that none can be truly discounted from, so I'm passing it over.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, I'm fairly confidant we should have a wager tomorrow.

So then - the 3:15pm handicap hurdle at Fontwell today,  Do we have a wager? As I think the race is just about a "match" between Royal Battalion and Shear Rock, and there isn't much to seperate them on known form at this sort of trip, but ROYAL BATTALION has scope for further improvement (he is, after all, just a 4yo), at the odds I have to go with ROYAL BATTALION on whom you can obtain 11/4 generally, whereas Shear Rock is at odds-on generally at 10/11.

Fontwell 3:15 ROYAL BATTALION, £10 win @ 11/4 (available generally)

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Looking forward to the weekend and the Prix De L'Arc De Triomphe

The jumps season is slowing warming up.
It is a period when you need to be patient and wait for your reward.
There is an interesting 2-day meeting at Fontwell over Friday and Saturday, and we should be able to find a wager on Saturday when one from my alert list runs there.
Sunday, along with the Prix De L’arc de Triomphe being staged at Langchamp, also has three good jump race meetings at Uttoxeter, Huntingdon and Kelso. Again, we should be presented with a wagering opportunity at one of these meetings, and I’m pretty sure which horse I’ll be recommending, so long as the odds available are value.
There’s plenty of opportunity waiting for us, we just have to be a bit patient.

One of my personal disappointments at the moment, is the absence of the Nick Mordin column from the RP Weekender. Whether you love him or hate him, Mordin always manages to provide a thoughtful alternative look at the weeks racing. The Weekender has expanded the column inches of “Pricewise” Tom Segal, but he is not in the same league.  I’m already getting fed-up with Segal’s whine about not finding winners of the major handicaps on the flat. Perhaps instead of relying on getting the nod from some of Britains best trainers, he should start reading the formbook instead.

The focus of the racing world will be on Longchamp this Sunday afternoon, where TREVE attempts to win the race for the 3rd time.  She has shown that her ability has not diminished this season, having won all 3 starts and confirming her superiority over last year’s “Arc” runner-up, Flintshire.  Thing is, my opinion is that this year we have a 3yo colt in the race who is perhaps a cut-above the ordinary – GOLDEN HORN.  Without a doubt, were it not for a bit of poor tactical riding by Frankie Dettori at York, GOLDEN HORN would be going into Sunday’s race unbeaten.  The ground being Good-to-Soft is a slight worry, but only slight as a horse of this class should be able to act on virtually any type of ground.  A lot could depend on the draw, though when we know what the draw is I can’t really see it affecting the odds being offered for the race.  That said, I just can’t’ consider TREVE as value at just “evens” – and she’s odds-on with a few bookies.
GOLDEN HORN at 9/2 is more interesting (available with Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and Coral) but, along with the ground worry, he’s also had a long season and it will all depend on how he travels through the race.
At this moment, if I was going to have a wager, I think I’d have to go for a horse that is relatively unexposed yet has shown enough to warrant a place in the race and comes into the weekend fresh is the Irish-trained FREE EAGLE. Although this will be the first time the horse has tackled 1m4f being sired by High Chaparral the trip should not prove a problem. From his debut as a 2yo over a mile at Leopardstown, he has looked a seriously high-class horse. He missed most of his 3yo season but in both his runs this season he’s looked a more than capable Group 1 horse.  Available at 16/1 generally, it is not difficult to see him finding another 5lb or more on Sunday and being right there in the mix.
No wager recommended, as this is a jump racing blog, but I would not put anyone off an eachway wager on FREE EAGLE for the Arc.

Following on from my last blog, if you are interested in receiving the blog via an email, drop me a line at idykes@btinternet.com

Also, would you be interested in making a contribution for this service? 
Either per week, or per month; or on a results basis; or not at all.
All comments are welcome, 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Terrific 11/2 winner for the blog

A terrific result for the blog on Saturday with OSCAR ROCK – the only selection given – becoming out first winner of the 2015-16 Jumps season.   Advised at 11/2 in the morning, as expected the odds shortened to an SP of 4/1.  The advised wager of £5 eachway returned a profit of £33, which means that both advised wagers this jump season have returned a profit – totalling £38 for stakes of £20.

OSCAR ROCK won with a lot in hand, and he should be able to cope with a 7lb adjustment from the handicapper,  and the way he stayed-on suggests he may even have the stamina for 3-mile.

This is the benefit of having put together an alert list based on proven performers that look well-handicapped – it gives us the confidence to exploit their form when they reach the track.

It was a bit disappointing that there were only 40 “hits” on the blog on Saturday prior to the race being run.  After the race was run and I “bragged” about the wining advice on twitter, there were a number of messages from followers saying they hadn’t realised that I’d published a blog in the morning.  Fair enough, there have only been a few blogs since April so regular readers will have dropped the habit of visiting the blog.  So, I would be interested to know if there are any readers out there who are interested in receiving blogs sent directly to their email address?

If you are interested in receiving the blog via an email, drop me a line at idykes@btinternet.com
Also, would you be interested in making a contribution for this service? Either per week, or per month; or on a results basis; or not at all.

In the meantime, I will continue writing the blog and uploading in the usual manner as and when there is a likely wager.