In today’s blog:
Review of last week’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections
Review of the week’s racing
After the previous week when the blog made a profit of 9.40pts on the week, this week has been a complete wash-out with 8pts lost and not a single winner from the 6 selections. We came closest with ICE DIVA who was a gallant 2nd at 4/1 when racing on unsuitable going due to showers at Newbury during the day causing the going to change from Good-to-Firm to Good-to-Soft.
When the weather is changeable, it is a good idea to throttle back on stakes and consider whether the going is really suitable for your selection, as most trainers will run the horse whatever if there is no possibility of injury to the horse.
With me on a bit of a losing run, it’s time to take a step back and rekindle my confidence in my ability to find value winners. Most people can find a race winner, but to find a winner of a race that is 8/1 in the market but should really be a 3/1 chance takes a bit of doing. What I do in these circumstances is go back to basics. I try not to look too hard for that winner. We are all guilty of looking at the form of a horse and reading too much into the recent run of a 10/1 chance and wondering why everyone else has missed that “gem” of information – only to watch the race and see your 10/1 selection trail in 5th. The time for total speculation is when your confidence is high and you are reading the form well.
On Saturday, Richard Hannon’s stable had 5 winners from 16 runners, but when you take into account he had 6 in the same race (the Super Sprint at Newbury) which he didn’t win, you realise his stable is in unstoppable form. Ralph Beckett also had 3 winners from just 6 runners and it’s this sort of trainer-form that you cannot afford to ignore in the quest for a profit from racing.
Over the next couple of weeks I will be having a summer break and may not have the time to make racing selections (family must come first). However, I have recently been reviewing my list of horses to follow for the jumps season. I have said before on this blog and I will say it again; there is a free horse alert facility at www.easyodds.com and you must take advantage. During the course of the last NH season from 1st October onwards, I noted the performance of probably about 200+ horses on the basis of that they had been perhaps under-rated by the handicapper and were capable of maintaining winning form. It proved to be an invaluable source of information to the point where I could back my own judgement almost blind and find winners at good odds.
So, over the coming weeks I’m going to post up the name of the occasional horse to include on a list to follow for this jumps season and, hopefully, provide a list of 12 to 15 that are potential profit makers. I will endeavour to avoid the obvious contenders for the horse-to-follow list (no Kauto Star’s and Denman’s on my list) and, instead, try and find those that can progress from Class 3 or 4 into a Class 2 chaser or hurdler during 2010-11.
The first of these is ABSOLUTE SHAMBLES. Just a 6yo, he had only 4 chase runs during 2009-10, the first being on 25-Oct after enjoying a summer break. In that debut chase he was beaten into 2nd by a race-fit rival over a trip perhaps 2f too far. In his next race, carrying 11:12 off OR89, he was dropped in trip to 3-mile and ran 3rd beaten by the experienced novice (having his 8th chase run) Brimham Boy and the race winner Dusk. Both of these have gone up the ratings since. Dusk went on to complete a hat-trick of wins and is now rated OR99 (18lb higher than when beating ABSOLUTE SHAMBLES); and Brimham Boy has won 2 races and never finished out of the 1st-4 since and is on OR105 (21lb higher). ABSOLUTE SHAMBLES then won on his 3rd run, beating a decent novice field with plenty of future winners. Of those behind, runner-up Reblis is now rated 8lb higher, Lord Appellare 13lb higher, and Fine Parchment 5lb higher. ABSOLUTE SHAMBLES was raised just 4lb for that win which was in a very respectable time on good-to-soft going and it’s probable that he would have won his last race but for a bad error which stopped him in his tracks, as he had the 2nd (Thai Vango) well behind him when he won.
As such, ABSOLUTE SHAMBLES looks to be on a very lenient rating of OR92 going into the new season. Add that he can handle good-to-soft and stay 3-mile and runs from the front he looks to be a very exciting handicapping prospect. I reckon he's shown he's an OR100 chaser already and - with natural progression - could well be OR110+ as his full-sister Iron Maid won off OR115 as a hurdler and his half-brother Longshanks was 7th in the National won by Silver Birch and won off OR130 as a chaser. Trainer, Chris Gordon reports that “Shambo” is fit and well and back in training. He was rested after his January run as he doesn’t want it too soft and needed a bit more time to strengthen up. The aim is to give this progressive chaser his first race of the season towards the end of September.
Today’s Racing Selections
There is some decent racing today and at Ayr my FAVOURITE GIRL runs again. She’s won 3 of her last 4 starts and looks to have more improvement to come, but I reckon she’s best at 6-furlongs and this looks too tough for her today. I like the chance of LOOK BUSY who has dropped 6lb to OR98 (won off OR104 on 29-May) and has run well at this meeting for the past two seasons. I am not overly confident in making selections in sprint races as so much can go wrong with so little time to recover; but my “second-string” selections have been coming in recently (Myplacelater @ 6/1 and Ginger Jack @ 6/4) so perhaps it’s a mistake to not list this one. He’s 15/2.
There are some interesting evening meetings, so come back again after 5pm today and if I have an evening selection I’ll post either a new blog or add it as a comment to this one.
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Thanks from Wayward Lad