Welcome to the World of Horseracing

Record of the blog selections

Since March 2010, this blog has recommended wagers on 520 individual races on Jump Racing in the UK, resulting in a PROFIT of £1,525.39 on cumulative stakes of £5,726 - equivalent to a Return On Investment of 26.60%.


For the 2016-17 Jumps Season, this blog recorded a LOSS of £40.87

from wagers on 55 individual races (6 winners, 12 placed)

Total Staked = £609.00


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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Blog writing can be hard work

Believe it or not, but I stared writing this blog on Saturday morning!
I wasn't able to post it on the day due to a family commitment at lunchtime and by the time I got back to it, the day's racing was gone.  I did post my selection for the BetVictor Gold Cup on twitter (Starchitect who ran 2nd beaten only a neck) but I'm not sure how many saw it. for the time-being, I will be posting any selections I make on twitter; the reason being is that it is near impossible for me to put in the form study that I used to do (now I don't know how I did it before).
That, and I also have "issues" with my wrist which is made worse by using the laptop to search the formlines.  Typing isn't so bad, as that is more use of my fingers, but using the "mouse" requires thumb use and that is painful these days.  It has been creeping up on me for a couple of years, but now it is almost intolerable.  To try and alleviate the situation, I've even removed most of my social media apps from my phone.

I also started a new job last week, working from an office in Canary Wharf just a stones throw from the Racing Post offices, and now that retirement is probably less than 10 years away I'm having to concentrate more and more on paid work rather than blogging. The Pension Pot has to be filled.

As I have written before, I'm finding value is getting harder for the average punter to find, and you certainly won't find it in the big handicaps unless you are fortunate. Recently, I've been concentrating on smaller races which are more specialist, such as 3-mile handicap hurdles.  What I'm finding is that the formlines for the jump racing is more than reliable enough to make a decent profit, in fact it has reinforced my belief that jump racing is a better gambling medium than flat racing. I'm sure flat racing fans will disagree. However, the compromise that I've had to make to take advantage is that more and more I'm having to break the "no less than 9/4" rule for my wagers.  For instance, on Sunday, Fox Norton was sent off the 4/5 fav for the Shloer chase despite having about 10lb in-hand over his 4 rivals. I did point out he looked tremendous value the day before the race (on twitter) and I duly took advantage. The only way I could see him not winning was if he didn't finish the race and, as he's never fallen before, that was unlikely. I thought he should have been 1/3 maybe even 1/4 - he certainly won in that manner.

We've a good weekend of jump racing coming up, and I will be making some notes on Thursday with the intention of posting a blog on Saturday morning.   

Friday, 10 November 2017

Badger Ales Handicap Chase at Wincanton

Updated @ 0930 Saturday morning due to ground at Wincanton

A big Saturday of jump racing with meetings at Aintree, Wincanton and Kelso.
The Aintree meeting has some decent horses turning out, and what I've noticed in recent weeks is how much trainers are using 3-mile hurdle races to bring their handicap chasers to peak fitness without affecting their chase rating. The 3-mile handicap hurdle at 1:40pm has Vyta Du Roc, Earthmoves, and Bon Chic amongst the 10-runners and they all spent last season chasing. I expect Vyta Du Roc is under preparation for a run in the Ladbroke Gold Cup at Newbury on 2nd December, as he ran in a hurdle race at this meeting last season before going to Newbury .
This particular 3-mile hurdle race looks a bit weak and I am prepared to oppose the 5yo fav Louis' Vac Pouch as he's not yet raced over 3-miles. Winnintry was well beaten behind Beer Goggles LTO and although 10lb better-off for that race he does not look good enough. Beer Goggles has gone up 30lb in the handicap to OR152 since winning at Ayr in April and he was beaten over C&D in May off OR135. Forza Milan hasn't proven he has the stamina for this trip, and he was beaten LTO over 2m7f by HOLLY BUSH HENRY and it is this horse who looks the value. HOLLY BUSH HENRY won again at Plumpton off OR129, and I thought he was unlucky LTO at Cheltenham and I think he's worth another chance at Class 2 level.

The feature race at Wincanton is the Badger Handicap Chase over 3m1f being run at 3:35pm.  This race looks wide-open with the current fav being the Paul Nicholls trained Present Man at 15/2 and he does not look good enough to me.  Nicholls sends 3 horses for the race including Mr Mix and Southfield Theatre. Last year, Southfield Theatre looked poised to win when falling at the final fence. In his only other run after that, he did not show the same zip and so comes here off a 337-day break with fitness to prove.  However, I do like MR MIX who has improved with each of his 4 runs as a chaser and looks a major player based on his LTO win on 29Oct here at Wincanton over 3m2f.  Based on his hurdles form he looks weighted to beat  the current 2nd fav Yala Enki, a horse who likes to dominate and when he does he's up to his rating of OR151. He may not get the free-reign he needs to win though and his trainer Venetia Williams also has Vic De Touzaine and he looks ahead of the handicapper on OR139, as the horse he beat LTO - Boric - then ran a cracker to be 2nd in the Durham National. The worry with Vic De Touzaine is the ground and it may be too quick for him unless it turns soft.
I think Southfield Royale has the potential to be at 150+ chaser but his two runs last season were well below that level and he needs to show he is a player again.
Fletchers Flyer is also ahead of the handicapper on OR143 but he only ran twice last season and the 9yo will almost certainly need this run - he probably has one good handicap win in him. 
I cannot see Double Shuffle winning off OR151, or Theatre Guide winning off OR154. 

At the odds I like MR MIX at 10/1 (available generally on Friday evening), and I can see there being a bit of a gamble on the horse in the morning and it would not surprise me to see him start the 5/1 fav. Younger horses have a good record in the race with 5 of the last 10 winners being 6yo or 7yo, and the longest odds winner in the past 10 years was Court By Surprise at 16/1 in 2014. 

UPDATE:
The ground at Wincanton is now officially soft and that puts VIC DE TOUZAINE firmly in the picture. As such, I have split my stake between the pair of MR MIX and VIC DE TOUZAINE. 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Antepost wager on Bristol De Mai landed - 10/1 winner

On Wednesday, I wrote that there was scope for an upset in Saturday's Charlie Hall Chase and if BRISTOL DE MAI was in the form of his win in the Peter Marsh Chase last January then he would take all the beating; the odds then were 10/1. Well, he didn't have to be in that form and he won anyway with (what looked to me) plenty in the tank when holding-off his stablemate Blaklion. The SP was 6/1.

I've changed tack for this jumps season with an intention to focus on better quality races and target antepost value, and the first race I aimed for (that has been run) has been a hit. I hope readers took the advice on Wednesday, or if not then at least the early morning odds yesterday.

Another antepost advice that I made in September regarding NATIVE RIVER for the Betfair Chase (to be run at Haydock) will almost certainly not come off. After the Charlie Hall Chase, which included another the fall by Cue Card (blamed on low sun by jockey Paddy Brennan) I speculated that perhaps Native River would become the main Tizzard stable hope for the Betfair Chase. However, it was pointed out to me that the Tizzard's are aiming Native River at just one race prior to the Cheltenham Gold Cup and that is likely to be the "Denman" Chase run at Newbury in February. Even so, it would appear to me that the old horse Cue Card isn't quite the same and maybe it's time we accepted age is catching up with him.

Is Bristol De Mai a potential Cheltenham Gold Cup winner? Possibly, although he didn't stay the trip when running in the race last March, but he has certainly improved and for the time being he looks the best there is at 3-mile.  Certainly, Sizing John will need to be at his best to beat him should they meet at Haydock on  25th November.

The 3-mile Sodexo Chase was torn apart by the winner Go Conquer who appears to be miles ahead of the handicapper at the moment. I did not consider him for this race as I thought his best trip was at about 2m5f, and I had not given enough credence to his run in the 3m1f Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last March in which he ran 5th, but he did lead until just before the final fence - a top class effort in the most competitive handicap chase of the season. I reckon Go Conquer ran to 155 yesterday - a phenomenal performance.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Clash of the Titans

Today is a bit like the days of Ali vs Frazier, as Cue Card and Coneygree line-up to do battle again - as they did 12-months ago - but then it was in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, and today it is in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby over 3-mile.  Last year at Haydock, it was Cue Card who reigned supreme but then he had already run in this race and, although he had been beaten, he did have the benefit of a run. This time I can see Coneygree gaining revenge over Cue Card, not least because he has age on his side (Coneygree is a 10yo whereas Cue Card is 11yo) but also he ran a great race at Punchestown last April and I'm sure that connections now will no longer be saving something back for next the Gold Cup next March if, due to circumstances out of their control, Coneygree does not make it to Cheltenham.

However, I am confident that in taking the antepost 11/1 on Bristol De Mai, I have done the right thing.  Bristol De Mai is a 6yo, 4 years younger than Coneygree and he has shown, when winning the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase over 3-mile at Haydock in January, that he is capable of a performance worthy of winning this race.

Before we watch the Charlie Hall Chase, I will taking an interest on the 3-mile Grade 2 hurdle race as the horse that I think may win the new Ladbroke Gold Cup (used to be the Hennessey Gold Cup) has a pipe-opener - it is MISSED APPROACH.  
I've been watching the Cheltenham Festival races again looking for clues and I think (again) that the 4-mile NH Chase has thrown-up some of the best novice chase form seen at the Festival.  Having disputed the lead for most of the race, Missed Approach was looking like a potential winner coming down the hill for the 3rd-last fence but he lost the lead to the eventual winner Tiger Roll. He appeared to like the uphill finish at Cheltenham and he did resolutely hung on to be 2nd - however, he confirmed that 4-mile wasn't his trip when he ran next in the Scottish National at Ayr. I think he will relish a return to an extended 3-mile on a flatter track.
He starts the season on OR145 and when you consider he slammed Label Des Obeaux over 3-miles at level weights in January - and Label Des Obeaux went on to win the Class 2, 3-mile novice chase handicap on Scottish National day at Ayr and is now rated OR154 - you can see how well MISSED APPROACH is handicapped - he could be 10lb well-in on OR145.  I think the old "Hennessey" is tailor-made for this horse. He's 33/1 at the moment and we know he:-
- likes Newbury; stays the trip well; he's well handicapped. 
What more can you ask for? I think off OR145 he has a great chance and with Richard Johnson booked for today, it would seem this is his intended mount come December.

I have taken a look at the 3-mile Sodexo Chase at Ascot run at 3:35pm as I have a good record with it. I doubt the early fav Thomas Brown will enjoy this trip, and Braqueur D'Or has been raised 10lb for that win LTO. Emerging Force is a lightly raced horse who could do well today and he looks well-handicapped. This trip isn't got Go Conquer and even if Anthony repeated last years effort, he would do well to win - the race fell perfectly for him last season. Dark Flame is another for whom 3-mile is an unknown. One who will need every yard but should go well is Fourth Act, he ran 4th last year off OR137 and races today off OR129, he should be in the frame. There is no reason that Junction Fourteen should not go well as he is 6lb lower in the handicap than when 2nd in this race last season.  However, I do like Bigbadjohn and I think he's a sleeping giant - yes he makes the odd blunder and it cost him LTO but he could rip this race apart if he gets his act together.  Junction Fourteen should make the frame again, as should Fourth Act. The one with the best chance on form to me is EMERGING FORCE as he stays the trip, races prominently, jumps well and has tonnes of potential and he is my main wager, with a small eachway on Bigbadjohn.