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Record of the blog selections

Between March 2010 and April 2017, this blog 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 - this is equivalent to a Return On Investment of 26.60%.


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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Blog readers on BLACK CORTON at 8/1

Quite a busy weekend of racing ahead of us with some terrific jump racing at Ascot and Wetherby today, and the Breeders Cup in America.
Unfortunately, the Good (good-to-firm in places) ground at Wetherby has meant there's a lot of non-runners today and the betting markets will likely be very fluid all day.  There in an interesting Class 3 handicap chase at 1:30pm with just 6 runners now and it may be worth taking a chance on the bottom-weight Absolutely Dylan who made all on his recent chasing debut and could do nothing more than win easily against very poor opposition. However, we do know he jumps well, and he likes to lead, also he's fit to race and there's every likelihood he will improve for that run. Current odds of 11/4 look worthy of a wager, as he could easily be a 140+ chaser in the making as there appears nothing at all special in this race.

The big disappointment of the day is the feature race at Wetherby, the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase, which now has only 4 runners.  Regular readers of the blog will have taken my advice on Tuesday evening when I put my blog online and taken the odds of 8/1 about BLACK CORTON.  Right now he's the race fav at  just 13/8, and it is difficult to see the horse losing this afternoon with just 3 rivals .  I know several of you went in at 8/1 and we are now looking very smug. 

Racing at Ascot is a lot more competitive as the ground there is perfect - Good. The novice handicap chase at 1:50pm looks interesting as I'm a big fan of STERNRUBIN and if he can get to the level he was at over hurdles - he loves Ascot and won the Ladbroke (handicap) hurdle off OR134 and the William Hill (Listed) handicap hurdle off OR142 -  then you have to think his current chase rating of OR137 is very lenient and odds of 9/2 could be generous.
In the feature race at Ascot at 3:35pm, a Grade 3 handicap chase over 3-mile, I do not think the odds of 7/2 about last years winner Go Conquer are very generous as his form tailed-off last season. He's 9yo now and I think his best days are behind him, but not so the top-weight TRAFFIC FLUID who was very highly tried last season and saw his handicap mark drop from OR156 to OR140 which allowed him to win a Grade 2 handicap chaseat Cheltenham in April. He ran well recently in his seasonal debut running 2nd at Chepstow, and I can see him going really well off OR149. Odds of 5/1 are not great though but when you look at the opposition you realise he might well start less than that.

Not a day for having big money on, and I think I will sit on my wager at 8/1 on BLACK CORTON and watch the rest of the day with interest.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Thursday 1st November 2018

November is one of the most exciting months in jump racing. 
Last seasons favourites take to the course and attempt to repeat past glories; novice chasers intent on a festival prize in the 2019 take their first (hopefully not tentative) jumps in public; and "store" horses emerge with reputations to build in novice hurdles.  It's also a great time for 2nd-season chasers, and pundits like me hope to find those horses that have escaped the focus of the handicapper and start the season on a lenient rating.
There are a couple of meetings today at Stratford and Sedgefield, but the small fields do not offer much opportunity for value. The 3m3f handicap hurdle run at Sedgefield at 3:30pm will be a stamina-sapping test for the 5 runners even on the "good" ground, but one that catches the eye is WESTERN SUNRISE who stays this trip, has been running well recently, and comes here for this instead of running at Uttoxeter tomorrow (where he also holds an entry).  With neither Nemean Lion and Tickenwolf having recent form that suggests they might win, the race looks between Western Sunrise, More Than Luck and Same Circus and they are all at odds of around 3/1.  I'm discounting Same Circus as he does not appear to run well off a break and it's 150-days since his last run. More Than Luck has been running well in chase races recently, but he was not much of a hurdler and he may lack that bit of speed at the business end to win the race. For me, WESTERN SUNRISE represents the best chance of winning and current odds of 11/4 might not be bettered, as I can see him starting the 9/4 fav, he may even go off at 2/1.
At Stratford, there is an interesting 2m3f Class 3 handicap chase which last year was won by the decent, but ill-fated, chaser Starchitect.  There appears to be nothing of that quality in today's field, but you never know. 
For me, the most likely winner is the 6yo Comanche Chieftain who has won here at Stratford several times. He didn't stay the 3-mile trip at Fakenham LTO, but his ability carried him through the race and today's trip will suit him much better. The current race fav Cobra De Mai also found the 3-mile trip too much to handle when he tackled it at Chepstow LTO, but his overall performance was not as promising as COMANCHE CHIEFTAIN, and odds of 100/30 look fair although I would prefer odds of 4/1 or longer as this could be a competitive race.
I cannot advise a wager but, if you are, keep stakes small as these are early days in the jumps season, and we have a great weekend of racing ahead of us with plenty of wagering opportunities.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Big weekend coming up

My couple of selections ran fairly well without winning on Saturday, the best of the pair being CALETT MAD who was the subject of a bit of a gamble from 10/1 in to 7/1 co-fav and looked (in my opinion) like being involved in the finish on the approach to the 3rd-last but was unable to keep up with the leading pair on the rising ground on the run to the 2nd last.  He did stay on to be 4th which meant my advised wager on him returned a profit.
I'm not sure what to make of the winner, Relentless Dreamer, as this was the 9yo's 24th chase race and he had never won off as high a rating as OR134 before (previous wins were off OR132 and OR128). However, he is a consistent performer on "good" ground around this 3-mile trip (does not really stay beyond 3m2f well enough to win races).  The runner-up Cogry ran a cracker, right up to last years winning performance, but (going forward) his best performances have also been on "good" ground and so a soft/heavy ground winter season may not be to his advantage: Also, he's not won over trips beyond 3m2f despite many attempts.
My other selection Bigmatre, ran below expectation and perhaps needed the run when you consider the performance of the runner-up Duke Of Arran - on a line through that horse he should really have been in the frame. 
On Sunday at Aintree, I missed recommending a good winner in Frodon, who had very little to beat if you thought Flying Angel was unlikely to return to the form of his novice season.  It seems a long time ago now since he powered past Cloudy Dream at Aintree in April 2017 - with Frodon back in 5th and non-other than Top Notch in 3rd. The race fav was Cloudy Dream and although this horse is (to his credit) a model of consistency, he is no better than OR150 at best - you have to remember the horse has not won since April 2017 at Ayr.  By comparison, Frodon ran over 10lb superior (in my opinion) to Cloudy Dream twice last season and ran better than 150 on another 3 occassions. With Frodon recieving 2lb on Sunday from Cloudy Dream, so long as he was fit enough he was more than good enough - I just wish I'd taken the early 7/1 that was available, but the SP of 9/2 was very generous.
We have the Charlie Hall Chase on Saturday at Wetherby, and the current fav is Thistlecrack at 7/4. This horse will have to be at his peak to win and - must as I'd love it to happen - I can't see this 10yo pulling a career-best out of the bag in his first run in nearly 11 months. Last year I tipped Bristol De Mai for this, but he ran without a 6lb penalty and on soft ground. He is not the same horse on good ground but I'm sure he will run well. Clan Des Obeaux just isn't good enough based on his form last season, unless he's found about 10lb of improvement over the summer. However, Nicholls other entry BLACK CORTON is capable of winning based on his defeat of Ms Parfois by 8-lengths at Ascot in February, and he was giving that mare 7lb. Definitly Red is another horse that needs mud, and if we have mud I'd rather be on Bristol De Mai.  Double Shuffle is another who just isn't good enough to win this, unless better quality rivals don't finish the race.
Of the Gordon Elliot entries, Outlander appears to have been aimed at this race and he will go close.  But the one who could take a lot of beating if he is able to come to the races fit to run is DON POLI who will be returning from a 629-day break.
At this time, BLACK CORTON on 8/1 with Paddy Power looks the best value. He should handle the ground and providing he is not run ragged from the front, and Bryony Frost knows what she is doing in the saddle, then this horse has a great chance. I expect Thistlecrack not to last home (as happened at Kempton LTO), and I think Bristol De Mai will not "quicken" in the final half-mile on the "good" ground. OUTLANDER at 20/1 with Paddy Power could be a cracking wager for a place, but I'm not sure any of the Elliot horses will come over for the race.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Cheltenham - Saturday 27th October

The first big Saturday of the jumps season sees racing return to Cheltenham, and we also have a supporting jumps meeting at Kelso.  The ground looks perfect at Cheltenham and we should be set for a great day’s racing. The plan this jumps season is to follow the lead set last year writing a blog at the weekends and focusing mainly on the major Saturday races.  This paid-off well last season, and I found some decent winners. Already this season I’ve provided profitable wagers, for instance yesterday my narrative on the blog only highlighted one race, the 20-runner 2m 5f handicap hurdle run at Cheltenham and my shortlist of 2 against the field were FIRST ASSIGNMENT who won at 9/2 (was 8/1 when the blog went online) and CHRISTMAS IN APRIL who was 3rd at 7/1 (was 10/1 when the blog went online).  So, if you find the advice I provide to be useful and profitable, please use the donate button and “spread the wealth”.  
The action gets off to a bang with a 3m1f Class 2 handicap chase at 2:10pm and a good place to start is last year’s winner Cogry who returns to run off a rating just 2lb higher at OR135. With Sam Twiston-Davies back in the saddle there is no reason the horse cannot run a similar – or better – performance than last year.  The 8yo Laurium showed LTO that he should not be underestimated but whether he can repeat that effort off a 7lb higher rating is debateable. A better show may come from Shantou Village who was a decent novice chaser and comes here having had a busy summer. There’s no reason he won’t stay this trip on this ground (the soft beat him LTO). 
Another interesting runner is Calett Mad (stablemate of Cogry) who looked a top novice chaser but then reverted to hurdling last season. He was the fav for the 2m5f Class 1 “Summer Plate” h’cap chase LTO but that trip was too short for this multiple 3-mile hurdle winner. He looks well handicapped on OR142. 
At the bottom of the handicap, For Good Measure carries just 10st 1lb but he looks a tad one-paced for me. He should improve for the step-up in trip to 3-mile but this is only his 3rd chase race and there will be no hiding place for him. 
Finally, if the wind operation works for Braqueur D’Or then he could be on a lenient rating of OR135 as he ran a couple of decent races this time last year at Ascot and Newbury. However, all things considered, I’m favouring CALETT MAD @ 10/1 especially as Daryl Jacob rides and he has a 30% strike-rate when riding for Nigel Twiston-Davies.
Some bookies are paying 5 places to a 5th odds a place.

At 3:10pm we have a disappointing turn-out for the 2-mile Class 2 handicap chase with just 7 runners going to post – but the race does look competitive. I don’t like either of the Paul Nicholls entries: Modus and Tommy Silver.  Of the pair, Modus is (in my opinion) the better horse over hurdles but he still has to prove himself as a chaser at this level.  I like the look of BIGMATRE who won 3 of 5 chase races last season so we know he jumps well. He finished ahead of Modus when they met at Cheltenham and some may consider him to be badly handicapped on that run as Modus was rated a 5lb better horse going into that race, and Modus was given an easy time when he was beat. However, I think this trip will suit BIGMATRE well and Modus does not look a natural chaser, he certainly didn’t at Cheltenham in March. Odds of 7/2 this morning (he was 3/1 last night) look fair and it would not surprise me if BIGMATRE started at shorter than 5/2.

Cheltenham 2:00pm CALETT MAD - £5 eachway @ 10/1 (Bet365 quarter-odds a place 1,2,3,4)
Cheltenham 3:10pm BIGMATRE - £10 win @ 7/2 (Bet365, BetVictor, etc)