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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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Saturday, 16 November 2019
These past few weeks I've not had much luck and I need to get a winner on the board, and this meeting has been a good one for me in years past. I'm hoping that WHOLESTONE takes the prize in the 3-mile novices chase at 1:15pm as he looks the best of these and we know he stays this trip. Over the season, I doubt he will be the best staying novice chaser, just as he wasn't quite the best staying hurdler, but he's not far off the best and that will surely be good enough today. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to get longer odds than 2/1 and - as long term readers of the blog know - I do not suggest wagers at odds of under 9/4; that's the USP of the blog.
The next race on the card offeres perhaps a better chance of some value. The 3m3f trip will take some staying on this ground and though Ramses De Teillee ticks a lot of boxes, 11st 12lb will likely stop him. West Approach is not as good a chaser as he was a hurdler, and this trip could well stretch him.
The 9yo Big River does not have many miles on the clock as this is only his 9th chase race. He was not far away at the Cheltenham Festival last March when 4th to Beware The Bear, and a repeat of that run will see him go close as he's run well on heavy ground before. What puts me off Big River is that he's just 4/1, and that does not look value to me. If there is value in this race then it's with POTTERS LEGEND who won a 3m1f Class 2 chase at Haydock on soft last March and a repeat of that run will see him take this off OR132. He's had a pipe-opener over hurdles and will be primed for this. I also like Pop Rockstar but he needs to show this trip is within his scope. For me POTTERS LEGEND at6 13/2 (available generally) looks value to me as I'm surprised he's not at least joint-fav with Ramses De Teillee.
The feature race of the day is the BetVictor Gold Cup run over 2m4f at 2:25pm. .Ideally, you are looking for a horse that is on the upgrade as a chaser, has won at Cheltenham, and ran at the last Cheltenham Festival. I think this trip (and top-weight) will find out Us And Them. However Siruh Du Lac could again defy the handicapper as Janika (2nd at Cheltenham) has since won the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter. In 3rd at the Festival (behind Siruh Du Lac) was Spiritofthegames, and he could be very interesting off OR150 so long as he's not given too much to do (likes to be held-up early on). The fav is Slate House based on his win LTO over C&D, but I think he was flattered by that result and his current odds offer no value at all.
There are 3 horses in the race that catch my eye: Springtown Lake, Happy Diva and Eamon An Cnoic. The 8yo mare Happy Diva has been very consistent over her chase career with 4 wins and 7 x 2nds over her 15 chase runs; she is probably a good eachway play at 12/1. Eamon An Cnoic was 4th in the race at the Festival won by Siruh Du Lac, snd he was 5th in this race last year so he obviously relishes this C&D. Trainer David Pipe knows how to aim one at this race and he will surely be in the 1st-5 home, so again at odds of 14/1 he's a good eachway play. Springtown Lake has the least experience, this will be his 7th chase race. The ground will be okay for him and he's been campaigned mainly over 3-miles as a chaser, but he was 5th at the Festival in the 2m4f and that he's come back for this suggests he will make his stamina an asset on this ground.
This is a tricky race to fathom, and if push comes to shove it will be EAMON AN CNOIC.
Cheltenham 1:50pm POTTERS LEGEND, £10 WIN @ 13/2 (Bet365)
Cheltenham 2:25pm EAMON AN CNOIC, £5 eachway @ 14/1 (available generally, 5th odds a place 1,2,3,4,5)
Friday, 8 November 2019
I started the day off with a nice win on Paul Nicholls hurdler Calva D'Auge - Nicholls went into the meeting with 3 wins from 8 runners in the past 5 seasons at Plumpton in hurdle races. Nicholls sent 3 hurdlers to the track, but only one went off the fav (Get The Appeal) and that one was well beaten. Too be fair, I thought his form was weak, so he had no money of mine on him, but I had no idea what would win the race. Unfortunately, having shortlisted his 3rd hurdler Dan McGrue - the 7/2 fav in the RP betting forecast - I overlooked him for the Gary Moore trained Not Never, who I thought had a lot in his favour. Sure enough, Dan McGrue won well at the rewarding odds of 13/2.
Nicholls is now 5 wins from 11 in hurdle races at Plumpton.
I thought I had a good-priced winner in Tzar De L'Elfe in the 3m1f novices handicap chase as he was cruising along and looked the most likely winner until he tried to pass the leader 4-out and had his jockey nearly knocked out of the saddle. He almost stopped and lost all momentum, but the way he finished suggested he was unlucky. Maybe next time.
Onto Saturdays racing, and I'm having another go at finding a successful winning double.
We have meetings at Aintree, Wincanton and Kelso and - as usual - I'm sticking to handicap chases of Class 3 or better. I'm keeping away from the novice chases for the time being until the form gets easier to interpret, I'm not one for betting on reputations.
At Aintree, the 2-mile Class 3 handicap chase at 1:30pm looks tricky. However, the next race on the card looks better, and I'm really taken by the overnight fav CEPAGE. This horse does not have many miles on the clock, but he goes well fresh, and was last seen chasing home Frodon at Cheltenham in December, and that was his only race last season. If he can repeat that run he will be tough to beat even with top-weight in this handicap. There are a lot of holes in the opposition, and (sometimes) the best value is in the favourite. I think he could start at 9/4 and so you should take the early odds if you are reading this on Friday evening.
CEPAGE is trained by Venetia Williams, and she has already had a winner this season, in fact she's had 4 winners from just 13 runners in the past 14-days. When the mud is flying it's the time to follow her runners, and tomorrow she has only two out from her stable; Cepage at Aintree and ENOLA GAY at Wincanton in the Class 3 Conditional Jockeys handicap chase over 2m4f run at 1:15pm.
I like ENOLA GAY; he's a C&D winner which is an advantage, but he's also looked capable of running to a much higher rating than OR123. It's possible that he had a breathing problem (he's been 2nd 4 times from 9 starts in chases, winning just once), and over the summer he's had a wind operation. This could be the time to catch him to snap up the value, as this race does not look to be that strong on paper.
I've taken the early odds about this pair:-
Wincanton 1:15pm ENOLA GAY @ 4/1
Aintree 2:05pm CEPAGE @ 9/2
I'm on for a £10 win double.
I hope to be back on Sunday and update you on another event this week, which was both good (and bad) fortune at the same time - but that's how it is with horseracing, and that's why we love it.
Sunday, 3 November 2019
There was a good crowd but the betting ring looked sparsely populated, and the great days of old will never return now - internet betting dominates.
I was impressed with the performance of the Paul Nicholls trained ECCO who easily won the Class 3 novice hurdle under the talented jockey Bryony Frost. This Ascot meeting is usually a happy hunting ground for Nicholls and, as I had selected a couple of his entries later in the day as my blog selections, I was feeling confident.
Sure enough, CAPELAND was given a terrific ride by Bryony Frost in the in the 2m1f handicap chase, as the early leader Hatcher faded in the final half-mile allowing the well-judged rides on Diego Du Charmil (ridden by Lorcon Williams) and Capeland - both trained by Nicholls - to come to the final fence looking like being 1st & 2nd. I thought CAPELAND was going much the better and expected that one to take the race, but we had an extraordinary incident at the final fence. My view is that neither horse completed the course, but the stewards thought otherwise - such is the nature of racing. What I take from the race is my form reading was spot on, just that fate took a hand.
In the feature race, I had highlighted on the blog that VINNDICATION was well-handicapped on last seasons novice form, the only doubt being would he stay 3-miles. That he certainly did and could be called the winner before the 2nd-last fence he was going so well. On the basis of this result, we can probably consider last seasons top novice chasers to be above average. My selection Adrien Du Pont was given too much to do and while he would never have won, had he been ridden closer to the pace (he was held-up in the rear most of the race) he could well have been placed as I'm sure Nicholls would have expected him to finish close to his other runner Black Corton who came home 3rd.
At Wetherby, ELEGANT ESCAPE ran well on his seasonal debut in the Charlie Hall Chase, and only race fitness (in my opinion) stopped him from winning. He found a lot of improvement after his seasonal debut last season, and he could be the one to be on next time out. The winner there, Ballyoptic ran very well, but he had already won this season and had race fitness on his side. In 3rd, Aso looked like winning 4-out, his jockey seemed to think so, but he just doesn't stay 3-mile at this level.
In Ireland, we learned nothing from the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase over 3-mile. Road To Respect - who won this last year - probably ran to his best, but we know his best will not be good enough later in the season. CLAN DES OBEAUX will almost certainly find 10lb improvement on this run, maybe more, and his fans - which include me - can look forward to a profitable season following him.
I will be at Plumpton tomorrow, and if I have time I will post a few words on that meeting before setting off for the track.
Friday, 1 November 2019
Before getting onto Saturdays racing, the Sue Smith stable (in Yorkshire) do not seem to be able to get their horses running anywhere near their ability, and they are yet to have a winner from 31 runners in the past 5 weeks and their usual strikerate (at this time of year) is 10%.
Onto Saturday, and I will be at Ascot - unless the heavens open and the racing is abandoned - where the ground is good-to-soft. This has been a lucky meeting for me in the past and I'm hoping for a decent day at the races. I can't see me having a wager before the 4th race on the card which is the Listed handicap chase over 2m1f at 2:10pm. The ground may be a bit soft for the 5yo Ballywood, but he looks an interesting runner off OR147. One who looks better is Caid Du Lin who is a C&D winner and will not be too inconvenienced by soft ground. It's difficult to know what to make of the 2nd-season chaser Clondaw Castle, and Paul Nicholls' Capeland (also a 2nd-season chaser) may prove more interesting. All-in-all, a tricky affair, and I can only assume that stable confidence is behind The Last Day as what he's shown on the course does not merit his position at the head of the market.
The feature race at Ascot is the Sodexo Gold Cup over 3-mile at 3:20pm and 17 runners are likely to go to post.
I have the early fav Vinndication about 5lb ahead of his OR151 rating and he's an Ascot winner, but will he stay 3-miles? On The Blind Side was pulled-up in the 3-mile RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, and I reckon he was flattered LTO over hurdles as the race collapsed. Mister Malarky has not shown to me he's worth an OR145 rating, but he does stay 3-mile. Larry is another uncertain to stay the trip, but he goes well right-handed (twice a winner at Sandown). Other than the fav, who has to prove his stamina at this trip, I can't get excited about many in this race, so I am going to look at this another way. Top weight is Paul Nicholls' Black Corton who is rated OR163 and hasn't a cat in hells chance of winning a handicap with that rating. However, his presence in the race means his stablemate ADRIEN DU PONT - who was 4th in this race last year - carries just 10st 12lb and his rider Lorcan Williams can claim another 3lb. Currently 16/1 (Bet365 quarter-odds the 1st-4) looks decent value to me as he's also had a wind operation over the summer.
It may prove to be a good call to tie the Nicholls-trained pair of ADRIEN DU PONT and CAPELAND in an eachway double, as the latter is 11/1 (Bet365 quarter-odds the 1st-3).
At Wetherby, the Charlie Hall Chase hangs on whether La Bague Au Roi returns to racing as good as she was last season. However, if she runs as strongly as she has done in the past that may well set the race up for the strong staying ELEGANT ESCAPE who has abundant stamina having won the Welsh National last season (with Ballyoptic well beaten behind him that day). I think we have seen the best of the 10yo Definitly Red, and we have no idea if Aso will stay this trip at this level. Without a doubt, La Bague Au Roi is a worthy favourite at 5/2, but the 8/1 odds offered about ELEGANT ESCAPE are very tempting.
Ascot 2:10pm - CAPELAND - £4 eachway @ 11/1 (Bet365 quarter-odds the 1st-3)
Ascot 3:20pm - ADRIEN DU PONT - £4 eachway @ 16/1 (Bet365 quarter-odds the 1st-4)
PLUS £2 eachway double on the above pair.
Wetherby 3:40pm - ELEGANT ESCAPE - £5 win @ 8/1 with PaddyPower