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daily insight into the sport of Horseracing and
Record of the blog selections for the 2013-14 Jumps Season:-
Profit = £189.04 from 76 wagers
staked = £985 (an average of £12.96 per race/wager)
19.19% return on investment
advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Betfair Chase weekend at Haydock

A good day of racing today before we have the Betfair Chase at Haydock tomorrow.
The blog has been a bit sporadic lately as my "proper" job has been very busy lately. However, a change of scenery is on the horizon - not sure if it will be a good or a bad thing, only time will tell.

Just looking at the meeting at Haydock this afternoon as my brother who writes the blog http://sprinterstogo.blogspot.co.uk  will be attending the meeting. The opening race which is a 3-mile hurdle at 12:50, looks interesting and there are a couple that catch my eye. From my alert list is Night In Milan who is one of my favourite handicap chasers. He's rated OR144 as a chaser so comes into this on his hurdle rating of OR129. However, he ran in this race last season off OR125 and was well beaten before winning at Doncaster over fences NTO. I expect a similar performance from him in this today.  The market leaders look weak, and one that's caught my eye is MATHEW RILEY who ran a cracker here over hurdles at this trip and on similar soft ground last December. That looks even better form now than it did then, as he won't me a horse like Sausolito Sunrise in today's race. Odds of 8/1 look useful. Another interesting contender is Who Owns Me who has his first run for Michael Easterby - he could run well if the change of trainer has reinvigorated him.

The rest of the meeting could go to the short-priced fav's in what are small field races. TURBAN looks nailed-on for the 1:20, but this solitary runner for Willie Mullins (ridden by Ruby Walsh) is odds-on at 4/6.

In the novice hurdle at 1:55 over 2-mile, I wagered on THE BROCK AGAIN when he ran 3rd at Sandown on the 8th November. That ground was very heavy (not soft) in places and he looked the most likely winner till the ground took its toll and he stamina gave out. He'll strip fitter today and so long as the ground is proper soft, and not soft/heavy, he should win. Odds of 15/8 look very interesting as the only realistic challenger is Oscarteea who will struggle to concede 6lb to the Nicholls horse.

I don't agree with the market for the 2:30 which is a novice chase over 2m6f. Sure, the Nicholls horse Virak should be the race-fav but odds of "evens" are too short. What I find odd is that the odds about Nicky Hendersons only runner here today GOLDEN HOOF at 7/1 are too long - I'd have him more the 5/2 2nd-fav with Monkey Kingdom at 9/2 and Virak at something like 7/4.  GOLDEN HOOF beat a decent yardstick LTO at Aintree and this race is within his compass.

The final couple of races on the card should go the the Paul Nicholls horses; Vago Collonges and Abidjan.

No recommended selections from me today as MATHEW RILEY could only be a small eachway wager; and THE BROCK AGAIN is too short in the market (my minimum odds for a recommendation is 9/4).  Similarly, I expect GOLDEN HOOF to really push the Virak, but again it would have to be an eachway wager and odds of 7/1 are not juicy enough for that - it's win or bust.

Back again tomorrow for the Betfair Chase.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Paddy Power Gold Cup - 15th November

What a cracking day of racing we have ahead of us.  I've been looking at the races at Cheltenham for a few days and think I've spotted a couple who have slipped under the radar of the tipsters.

There are a few from my alert list running in the feature race itself: Cantlow, Johns Spirit, Kapga De Cerisy, Indian Castle and Buywise.  Later in the afternoon Theatrical Star and Vivaldi Collonges are horses on my alert list.

For the Paddy Power Gold Cup at 2:30, Buywise heads the market at 7/1 alongside Present View. Both these horses are very progressive and come here on the back of a recent run. Of the pair I prefer Buywise as this horse has never stopped improving and could be exceptional. Coming into this race on a seasonal debut can be tough (not impossible) and so I'm overlooking Indian Castle today - but he's on a cracking handicap mark and he'll exploit that this season.  Johns Spirit is a tremendously game and consistent horse, and odds of 11/1 - and some bookies go 5-places eachway - are very generous. If you want an interest in the race, and if he's improved again on his recent win at Cheltenham, you cannot go wrong with an eachway wager at 11/1 with the race sponsors who go 5-places.

However, I'm looking at exploiting those 5-place bookies and going for a couple under the radar who could sneak the race itself. The first of those is Nicky Henderson's ERICHT who was 3rd behind Johns Spirit and Persian Snow at Cheltenham and has actually been dropped 1lb by the handicapper. That was only his 6th chase race and he's 20/1 with the sponsors and 22/1 with Bet365 who also go 5-places eachway.

My second under-the-radar horse is from my alert list - KAPGA DE CERISY. We know this horse goes well on a seasonal debut as he won his only race last season at Ascot when demolishing a good field. Venetia Williams has her horses bouncing at the moment and the trip today and the ground will suit this horse down to a tee. I think this horse has immense potential and his rating of OR148 could be very lenient. He's also 22/1 with the bookies.

The other race I've looked at in depth is the 1:50 at Cheltenham and this is a 3m3f handicap chase. Without a doubt, the race fav The Druids Nephew could be well ahead of the handicapper, but there are a couple in this race who will give him a lot to think about. The 10yo Cape Tribulation is one of them. Remember this horse was a proper Gold Cup candidate as an 8yo and he loves Cheltenham. He's been thrown a huge chance by the handicapper who's dropped him to OR146 and I can see him running a big race - especially as trainer Jefferson has given him a recent spin on the flat to perk him up as he usually needs a run to show his best form. At 14/1 he represents good eachway value.  However, this race usually goes to a horse no older than 8yo and the one horse that is improving and looking like this race will suit him is the bottom-weight with just 10st to carry MASTER NEO. There is a lot of dead-wood in this race in my opinion, and Master Neo brings together a small trainer with an improving young horse that is proven race fit having won only last Sunday. Odds of 12/1 look very fair for a horse running with just a 5lb penalty for that win.

Selections:
Cheltenham 1:50 MASTER NEO, £5 eachway @ 12/1 (Bet365, Paddy Power, Coral - quarter-odds a place 123)

Cheltenham 2:30 ERICHT, £5 eachway @ 22/1 (Bet365 and Paddy Power - quarter-odds a place 12345)
Cheltenham 2:30 KAPGA DE CERISY, £5 eachway @ 22/1 (Bet365 and Paddy Power - quarter-odds a place 12345)

That's £30 staked

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Friday, 14 November 2014

Cheltenham Friday 14th November

It is a great opening day to the 3-day "Paddy Power" fixture at Cheltenham.
I'll get straight into the racing and the opening race is usually a good betting medium even though I try and avoid amateur-rider races like the plague. There are a couple of runners from my alert list in this race: Benbens and Handy Andy. 
The race-fav is Broadway Buffalo a 6yo sent here by David Pipe. After winning a 3-mile handicap hurdle at Haydock in May, he's been chasing but I'm not convinced about him in this sphere. Handy Andy won this race last year running off OR123, and he's only 6lb higher than that on OR129 today. His recent 3rd at Chepstow will have prepped him for this and a repeat of last years effort will see him go very close today as he'll have no problem with the soft ground. My other alert runner, Benbens, is lightly raced for a 9yo and this will be only his 6th chase race - but he has won 2 of those and been runner-up twice. His rating of OR134 looks reasonable and todays ground will be perfect for him. Charingworth was 2nd in this race last year to Handy Andy and meets him on 5lb better terms for 2½ lengths, but he's not won since December 2011 and being one-paced will need to be presented with this race to win it. Ballyoliver should be thereabouts but I think he'll be wanting further than this trip and will be staying-on at the end. The only other horse on my radar is Fruity O'Rooney and while I expect he'll be front-running again (along with Handy Andy) this soft ground isn't ideal.  At the odds, I think Benbens at 7/1 looks the best value as the soft ground should suit him best of the market leaders.

The 20-runner Class 2 handicap chase at 1:50 looks a nightmare to solve. As for the Novices Chase at 2:25, who is going to take a price on Colour Squadron after he threw away a winning opportuity LTO?

The Novice Hurdle over 2m5f at 3:00 should go to Blaklion, and the Cross Country Chase should be in the bag for Balthazar King.

Not much to go on today for value, and it could be a day which the bookies may want to forget with some solid fav's looking very likely to win their races. So, I'm going to give he day a miss.

The only race which looks a betting opportunity for me is the opener. My assessment is the race is between Handy Andy and Benbens, and I really cannot split them.  There is always another day.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

FOXCUB rewards readers with a win at 11/1

What a result for those who follow the blog!
I've been following FOXCUB since October 2013 when he won by 14-lengths at Fontwell beating another consistent performer in Hi Note. This horse never runs a bad race and is as genuine as they come. There was a worry that the ground was softer than ideal, but when I saw the pictures from the course I was never in any doubt. FOXCUB ran his usual race, from the front, and had this field struggling to stay in contention well over half-a-mile out. The only other horse to make a race of it was the useful Clondaw Kaempfer who - like a few of McCains horses this autumn - was a little below his best and will surely come on for the run.
Trainer Tom Symonds has his small string in tip-top condition, and hinted that FOXCUB will probably go chasing at sometime this season.

In the 3-mile handicap chase, Venetia Williams managed to rekindle the enthusiasm of Howard's Legacy and he ran close to the form of his April run when 2nd at Chepstow. This horse has good days and bad days, so don't expect him to follow-up this win NTO.

There are a couple of jump race meetings today at Ludlow and Taunton. I've no horses from my alert list running. I can't see anything of interest at Ludlow but there are a couple that may be on the the premises at Taunton. On days like this I pay more attention to the trainers and where they are sending their horses and, as I wrote above, Tom Symonds has his stable firing on all cylinders and he sends Kings Apollo for the novice chase at 3:40 at Taunton. The horse will be race-fit from a recent run, we know he can jump a fence, and this 3-mile hurdle winner at Towcester will prefer this trip more than that which he encountered 3-weeks ago on his seasonal debut. The odds are skinny tho' so I'm not recommending a wager (my minimum wager odds are 9/4).

Another at Taunton is De Blacksmith in the 2:10 which is a 3-mile novice chase. His chase rating of OR118 looks very fair, and he's capable of winning off this. What is more interesting is that his trainer Gary Moore has his stable in good form - he's had 4 winners in the past few days - and this horse is his only runner today. The worry is that Paul Nicholls has the well-bred and expensive Chinatown Boy in the race running his chase debut. This makes the odds on De Blacksmith a bit longer than I'd expect at 7/1 but, with only 7-runners in the race, this isn't really and eachway wager opportunity. I'll be having a small personal wager - just on the off-chance that the Nicholls horse doesn't take to fences.

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