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daily insight into the sport of Horseracing and
Record of the blog selections for the 2014-15 Jumps Season:-
Profit = £337.62 from 42 wagers
staked = £595 (an average of £14.17 per race/wager)

56.74% return on investment
advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Research starts for the 2015-16 Jumps season

The holiday is over and the form-study can begin in forming the alert list for the 2015-16 jumps season. Selections anticipate to commence being posted on or just after 1st October 2015.  Let's hope the season is as good as the last one, which was our BEST EVER!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

This is it! The 2015 Grand National

The culmination of the 3-day Aintree is the running of the Crabbie's Grand National Chase at 4:15pm this afternoon. Possibly not the test of horse and rider it once was, but still a difficult race to win and one that needs an element of luck in running.

Before that, yesterdays selection Cue Card ran a brave race and I thought he was going to win when going-on after 4-out, but Don Cossack was phenomenal. I've rated the race thru' Johns Spirit who ran a cracker to be 3rd, and in my opinion DON COSSACK ran the performance of the season and I've rated it at 181.

On to todays racing at Aintree, and I have already looked at the National runners earlier in the week and produced a preliminary shortlist. With so little chasing experience (the Irish National is nowhere near as tough a race as this to win), I just cannot have the fav Shutthefrontdoor who is to be ridden by AP McCoy. The greatest jump jockey of all time has said he will retire immediately if he wins, but I think he'll be around a bit longer yet. Expect a mountain of money on him today and I expect he'll start as the 6/1 fav, maybe even shorter. As I rate him a 25/1 chance, there is no value whatsoever in him.

Before I go on, check out the bookies terms before having a wager. Bet Victor are paying 6-places to quarter-odds a place, and Bet365, Skybet, Boyles, Paddy Power, Stan James, Ladbrokes and Corals are paying 5-places, but William Hill are only paying 4-places! If you bet with Bet365 use their special Grand National page as they are refunding 50% of all stakes up to £125 win or lose.

This year looks a particularly tricky race to work out and I would suggest having 3 or 4 selections at eachway with the hope of finding the winner and a couple of places.

Rocky Creek should be the fav, and 11st 3lb is a cracking weight for this race. I expect him to finish in the 1st-5 home. Odds of 10/1 (Bet365, Boyles, Stan James and Ladbrokes) look fair for a ew wager.

The Druids Nephew looks ideal for this and comes here on the back of a LTO win at Cheltenham. He will be up there in contention from a long way out and odds of 14/1 look very generous to me as he should be trading at 10/1.

Soll is another who comes into this race bang in form, and he's completed the National course before, back in 2013 he was 7th in the race. He looks much improved now and odds of 20/1 look fair value.

An old friend of mine is Godsmejudge, and he may not have run well LTO but he's been aimed at this race all season.  Currently 22/1, he should be trading under 16/1 in my opinion.

The last one on my shortlist is First Lieutenant who is the ride of talented female jockey Nina Carberry. This one has shortened in the market from 33/1 on Wednesday to 20/1 now and will be the subject of a hot of support from once-a-year punters, so may get shorter in the market yet. The value has gone on this horse now (in my opinion) as he's a 25/1 chance.

I've also had an antepost wager on Spring Heeled, but I've lost confidence in this horse. He may run a big race but I cannot see him winning.

I have an antepost wager on Godsmejudge already, so today I'm adding:
The Druids Nephew with £5 eachway at 14/1,
Soll with £5 eachway @ 20/1
If you don't already have a wager on Godsmejudge, then place £5 eachway on him at 22/1.
Place the wagers with Bet365 and take advantage of the money-back offer.

Good luck!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Aintree meeting Day 2 - 10th April 2015

No winners yesterday from our two selections, but we had a good run from our eachway wager on 25/1 chance BABY MIX. He looked like being placed until getting squeezed and losing a fair few lengths at the 3rd-last fence when badly hampered by the weakening fav Next Sensation. Even so, he stayed-on to be only just over a length off 4th place. There were some good performances yesterday and I was most impressed with CLARCAM in the opening race over 2m4f as he won this with a tonne in-hand. This 5yo could be exceptional next season.
The running style of SILVINIACO CONTI means that he only ever seems to do just enough to win as he is a relentless galloper. I rated it a solid performance but not his best ever (that was - in my opinion - his first King George win) and I have it about 7lb shy of Coneygree in the Gold Cup last month.

The opening couple of hurdle races look very tough today, so I'm starting my assessment with the Mildmay Novices Chase at 2:50pm over 3m1f. This looks a good novice chase, and the fav Saphir Du Rheu did me a favour when winning the Cleeve Hurdle at the Cheltenham Trials meeting in January, and then was only beaten by the winner in the World Hurdle at the Festival. Reverting to chasing today, he could take some beating as he looked a serious chaser in the making when winning at Exeter in December. However, odds of just 2/1 are poor value considering he is untried as a chaser at this trip, and his jumping fell apart at Kempton when he last went chasing. For me, the value in the race is CAROLES DESTRIER at 7/1 with Bet365 who pay quarter-odds a place. He's proven at 3-mile, comes here fit and well having bypassed Cheltenham, and has an exceptional speed rating.

Next up is the Betfred Melling Chase over 2m4f at 3:25pm and we have a tremendous quality field for this, one that would grace any festival in any year - absolutely top class. The race fav is Champagne Fever and he missed his run in the Champion Chase last month when bitten by a stablemate. Personally, I just don't think he's shown he is good enough yet over fences and I have him at 158+. The ground will possibly be too quick for Don Cossack, who was 2nd in the Mildmay Novice Chase over 3m1f last year. I wagered on Al Ferof antepost for the Ryanair Chase, and he missed that race thru' injury. He has perhaps the best form on paper this season judged on his win at Ascot last November, and he ran a solid race in the King George over a trip that is too far for him. Odds of 13/2 look generous in my opinion for a horse who goes best when fresh.
The last time Cue Card ran over this trip was when he was 2nd in this race in 2013 to Sprinter Sacre, recording a career-best of 174 in my book in the process. He's not looked near that level of form this season over 3-mile and this drop in trip could be the making of him. It is a small leap of faith, but odds of 7/1 could look extremely generous come 3:30pm. Course winner Balder Succes will love todays trip and ground, and he has youth on his side, so he won't be far away. It will surprise me if Sire De Grugy stays this trip, and he's never looked happiest around Aintree on his previous visits here.  John's Spirit is an autumn horse, and doesn't look good enough as do the others - Simply Ned, Wishful Thinking and Croco Bay.

For me, it's between Al Ferof, Cue Card and Balder Succes, and at the odds CUE CARD is the selection as he's always been a better horse than Al Ferof, and if Cue Card were not running then I'd be all over Al Ferof at 13/2 given the form that Paul Nicholls has his stable in.

Aintree 2:50 CAROLES DESTRIER, £5 eachway @ 7/1 (Bet365 quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)
Aintree 3:25 CUE CARD, £5 eachway @ 7/1 (Bet365 quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)
plus a £5 eachway double
Total stakes = £30

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Aintree meeting Day 1 - 9th April 2015

What a cracking weekend of horseracing we have ahead of us, with the climax on Saturday being the Grand National. I'll be posting a blog on each of the 3 days of racing, and I'll also be posting on twitter (@wayward_lad) throughout the days' racing.  We have some tremendous racing today, including the Grade 1 Betfred Bowl Chase over 3m1f, and the spectacle of the Crabbie's Fox Hunters' Chase over the National fences for amateur riders.

Before we go into assessing the races, take note that at Aintree the top trainers dominate the meeting: those with the perfect combination of high strike-rates and most individual winners are Henderson, Nicholls, Hobbs, Twiston-Davies, and King. A special mention should also be made for Peter Bowen, and Tom George - but the likes of Pipe, O'Neill and McCain don't do well here.

The opening race at 1:40pm is a Grade 1 novice chase over 2m4f, and this will be a trip into unknown stamina territory for most. The race fav Josses Hill has not looked like staying 2m4f in a couple of attempts to date so I'm happy to oppose him. And the Nicholls entry Vibrato Valtat has not looked a 2m4f horse either. Clarcam just doesn't look good enough to justify his OR153 rating, and while Three Kingdoms has won over this trip as a hurdler, he doesn't look a natural jumper of a fence. That takes me to CASH AND GO who has won both his completed chases (he unseated his rider on his chase debut in February). He has come to chasing late being an 8yo, and he won easily LTO at Towcester over a similar trip with NTO winner Crazy Jack beaten a distance (34-lengths). A good handicap hurdler on his day, he's not a 20/1 chance - yet those are his odds with Bet365.

Next on the card at 2:15pm is a juvenile hurdle over 2m1f and I will be very surprised if the Henderson entry HARGAM does not win this. Henderson supplied the 1st-3 in this years Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and none of his rivals today look capable of beating him.

The feature race is at 2:40pm and the Betfred Bowl has some of those beaten in the Cheltenham Gold Cup seeking to find recompense. Last year, Silviniaco Conti came here and won this race after running in the Gold Cup. The next day, Holywell came out and won the Grade 1 novice chase over C&D in a much faster time beating what looks in hindsight to have been a much stronger field. He also beat "Conti" in the Gold Cup last month, staying on much stronger than his rival. We will see improved form from Conti today, but this track also suits Holywell and I favour his chances. Of the others, Ma Filleule even with the 7lb mares allowance should not prove good enough. This trip is a couple of furlongs too long for Menorah and so it is more likely that Smad Place will take 3rd place. Holywell should win this but, at just 2/1 he's not an advised wager from me as I don't advise wagers at odds less than 9/4.

The Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle over 2m4f is at 3:25pm, and this race looks interesting. I make no bones about it: I was surprised by the performance of Arctic Fire in the Champion Hurdle last month. Whether this 6yo can repeat that level of performance over this trip is debateable. Ex-Champion hurdler Jezki is - in my opinion - not a natural hurdler! He makes far too many errors costing him ground and energy, and you just have to wonder how good he would be if he did hurdle cleanly. In his favour today is that he has won a Grade 1 hurdle over this trip in Ireland, so stamina is not an issue for him - but is he good enough?  Last year, I tipped Rock On Ruby in this race at 14/1 and at 100/30 without the fav - and he came 2nd beaten just a head. He's only 4/1 this year, but he has the form in the book and hasn't looked like he's feeling his age in he last couple of races. With nothing else likely to come close in this ROCK ON RUBY at 4/1 (with Bet365, Paddy Power and Bet Victor) looks the wager.

I'm going to pass on the Fox Hunters Chase at 4:05pm, as you really do need luck in running to win this race, and move on to the next race on the card at 4:40 which is a 2-mile handicap chase.  Next Sensation and Ned Buntine finished 1st and 4th in the same race at Cheltenham, and they will be in the shake-up. Claret Cloak was the 7/2 fav for this last year and ran 3rd off OR146 but, now rated 7lb higher, is unlikely to better that effort. This race looks the sort to throw-up a long priced winner and I'm going to go a bit left-field and nominate a horse that has been on my alert list for a couple of years, but has spent most of that time off the track - BABY MIX. Last seen at Ascot in December 2013, he's been injured since then having probably picked up the injury in that race. Why he's on my list is due to the race before that when he walloped Turn Over Sivola (now rated OR139) by 18-lengths at level weights. As such, his rating today of OR135 looks very workable. Add to that he's a front-running sort and he looks an interesting eachway wager at 25/1 with Bet365 and Betfred.

Todays Selections
Aintree 3:25 ROCK ON RUBY, £10 win @ 4/1 (Bet365, Bet Victor, and Paddy Power)
Aintree 4:40 BABY MIX, £5 eachway @ 25/1 (Bet365 and Betfred, both quarter-odds 1,2,3,4)
Total staked = £20

Don't forget to take a look at my Grand National page for my assessment of the runners in the world's greatest race.