Welcome to the World of Horseracing

Record of the blog selections

Profit for the 2016-17 Jumps Season = £84.38

from wagers on 26 individual selections (4 winners, 6 placed)

Total Staked = £280.00


THIS IS A BOOKIES ADVERT FREE ZONE
There are NO affiliate links on this site to bookies from whom the author receives 30% of your lost wagers.
This blog is based on finding winners - if you want to lose your money then read another blog.
advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Grand National shortlist named today

Today is a big day for the blog as I post up a review of my most favourite race of the entire year (flat and jumps) and that’s the Grand National.

This year the betting market is dominated by the Irish entries that provide 3 of the 1st-4 in the market, including the current fav The Midnight Club.

My initial shortlist consists of the following:-
DON’T PUSH IT @ 16/1 (Hills, best odds guaranteed (BOG), 14’s Bet365 Non-runner, no bet (NRNB))
BECAUSEICOULDNTSEE @ 25/1 (Bet365 NRNB & BOG)
WEST END ROCKER @ 33/1 (Bet365 NRNB & BOG)
MIDNIGHT CHASE @ 33/1 (Bet365 NRNB & BOG)
THE TOTHER ONE @ 50/1 (Stan James NRNB)
NORTHERN ALLIANCE @ 50/1 (Bet365 NRNB & BOG)
GRAND SLAM HERO @ 80/1 (Bet365 NRNB & BOG)

For the reasons behind my shortlist you’ll have to read the attached page (see left-side of the screen for the tab). I realise that there are 7 on the shortlist, but what I would suggest you do is have a small wager on these today (say £2 win and a £2 eachway wager on each selection; £6 staked on 7 selections, totals £42), and then a week from today, when we will know the final 40 likely to start, any further wagers can be made.

If push comes to shove, and I’d only one horse to take from this list, it would be NORTHERN ALLIANCE with 10st 8lb. Trainer AJ Martin has been trying to land a coup in this race for many years, and I think (with this horse) he has a good chance of pulling it off.

There were no recommended wagers on the blog yesterday. Of the 3 horses mentioned on the blog QUARTZ DE THAIX was a late non-runner, and RAYA STAR and PAPRADON both ran well below what was expected.

There is just the single jump meeting at Ludlow.
I like the look of Havingotascoobydo (what a mouthful) in the 2m5f handicap hurdle at 3:35, but odds of 5/2 don’t tempt me. The next on the card at 4:05 does tho’. It looks a wide open race on the betting, but there are a couple of right-hand specialists; namely The Snail, but also Tyup Pompey, and course winners Leamington Lad, Cruchain and Azulada Bay. The Snail has dropped to OR118 which is a 1lb above his last winning mark which was here over C&D. Tyup Pompey has lost the plot these days, as has Leamington Lad who - if he could recapture his form when 3rd here Sunnyhill Boy over C&D – would be a shoo-in. Cruchain tends to throw-away his races and is unreliable, and that brings me to AZULADA BAY. He won his first-ever race LTO and in 3 chases to date he’s improved with every one and looks a much better chaser than hurdler. Jason Maguire has the ride and at current odds of 9/1 (Betfred, BOG 5th odds a place 1,2,3) he looks the value in this even tho’ he’s ben off since that race in November. He is a prominent racer and safe jumper of a fence.

Selection:
Ludlow 4:05, AZULADA BAY, ½pt eachway @ 9/1 (Betfred, BOG 5th odds a place 1,2,3)

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.

Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

A 9/2 winner yesterday

Today marks the opening day of the “Flat” turf season with a meeting at the Yorkshire track of Catterick. If a meeting consisting of 3 class 6’s, 3 class 5’s and the highlight is a class 4 handicap over 12f rocks your boat today, then get to it. Throw-in the question-marks over where the stalls will be situated and which way round (another initiative by horseracings leading body which has been ill-conceived and, as usual, the betting public will be the last to know) and this is a meeting to avoid like the plague.

Altho’ I did not offer a blog selection yesterday, the race I looked at (Taunton 4:20) went to COLD MOUNTAIN of whom I wrote; “Cold Mountain will love the going so, despite having been off the track since November, as long as he’s fit to race I reckon he’d do best of these. I can’t advise a wager without seeing him first to assess whether he’s fit or fat.“ I couldn’t put it any clearer, but COLD MOUNTAIN was certainly fit to do himself justice and he stayed on best to win at the rewarding odds of 9/2 – and it was a 4-horse race too!

A single jump meeting at Hereford today and it has some intriguing racing. The opener has Alan Kings Raya Star up against Nicky Henderson’s Dubai Crest; altho’ Gary Moore’s Swift Lord should not be ignored either. I’ve told readers before about the phenomenal strike rate when riding hurdlers that AP McCoy has with Henderson’s stable. He’s 27 wins from 62 hurdle races (44%), so is Dubai Crest a decent thing today? Not at 5/4. In fact, I’d agree with the RP betting forecast and make him a 5/2 chance. The reason being that Alan King is very effusive about RAYA STAR in this morning’s “Weekender” and states that the horse has been comprehensively schooled after falling in 2 of his last 3 hurdle races. Currently at 7/2, that looks fair value.
The 2:40 looks very weak, and altho’ I can’t see one in the race worthy of support the fav Chicago Alley hasn’t hurdled in 16 months and wasn’t much good at it then even when fit from chasing. So, coming back off a long break looks a monster task.
The Novice chase at 3:10 see’s one of my Festival selections – QUARTZ DE THAIX – return to the track. Altho’ not having tried a trip of 3-mile-plus, QUARTZ DE THAIX has not run as tho’ he would not stay this far, whereas the fav Balthazar King has run 3-mile and further 8 times and only won once. But at just 6/4, this is one for those who like short prices.
The 4:10 has an odds-on fav in E Street Boy who won 3-days ago. Even tho’ the market is 8/1 bar the rest, I’m not tempted to look for an eachway selection.
The 4:40 has another short-priced fav in Bertenbar, but I am more interested in top-weight PAPRADON. He did not stay the 21f trip LTO, and this drop back to 2-mile will suit this prominent runner who could lead all the way. I’m not sure that a drop in trip will suit Bertendar tho’ as he’s never run at the minimum trip in 14 previous races, nor has he shown any speed to suggest it’ll suit him either. Going right-handed will also suit PAPRADON and the stable has its horses in far better form than those at Henrietta Knights stable. Only 7/2 available, which is fair but I’d be hoping for perhaps 4/1 before I’m tempted.

No selections today, tho’ readers might be interested in a small stakes win “patent” (3 doubles and a treble) on those named; RAYA STAR, QUARTZ DE THAIX and PAPRADON, all at Hereford.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.

Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A 13/2 winner from the Horse Alert List yesterday

Without further ado, I hearty congratulations to Robert who writes the Bechers Brook blog (http://becherbrook.blogspot.com ). Please note the “s” on bechers is omitted in the blog address. There is a link to his blog (see adjacent list).
Robert recorded 2 winners yesterday from 3 selections, put up at the early odds of 10/1 (twice) and 25/1, and these odds were available. In fact the odds on his first winner drifted from 10’s to and SP of 14/1. The 25/1 winner was supported into an SP of 10/1 but, even so, he won in a very convincing manner. Neither horse looked like losing once in the lead and both won in commanding style.
Robert would be the first to say that days like these don’t come along every week, but when they do then you’re entitled to shout about it. I thoroughly recommend visiting his blog on a regular basis and paying respect to his opinion.

Although I did not put up a selection yesterday, one from my Horse Alert List ABSOLUTE SHAMBLES ran home a winner at 13/2. He was chased home by Reblis, who he beat in Dec’09 and yet met on 11lbs better terms. On the formbook, ABSOLUTE SHAMBLES should have won, but his heart has not been in the game this season, hence he was the outsider of the 5 starters. Now that he’s got his confidence back he could follow-up as, in my opinion, he’s capable of being an OR100+ chaser.

Just the one jumps meeting at Taunton this afternoon, and the opening 2 races have attracted just 6 entries between them, which is appalling. Admittedly, the prize money is not great and the going is good-to-firm, but come on trainers.
The 4m2f chase (handicap) attracts just 4 entries. Of those, 2 have never won a chase race (Cashel Blue and Earth Planet) and so, if push came to shove, I’d focus on the other 2. The veteran Petite Margot is the sort who could plod to victory as he jumps and stays all day (at his own pace, that is). Cold Mountain will love the going so, despite having been off the track since November, as long as he’s fit to race I reckon he’d do best of these. I can’t advise a wager without seeing him first to assess whether he’s fit or fat. The rest of the racing at Taunton is also non-descript and I’m giving it a miss.

Today, to fill the gap due to lack of racing, I’ll be looking at the Grand National entries and hopefully will have a shortlist posted on a separate page before the weekend. There are several that I like the look of so far, but it’s the going at Aintree that is a concern for me as there is a fair bit of rain forecast over the next week or so. When the going is soft-ish then plenty don’t have the stamina to finish the race, never mind win it.

No selections today.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.

Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Monday, 28 March 2011

Have we seen an Oaks filly over in Ireland?

A couple of interesting events on Sunday.
At Hexham, trainer Sue Smith recorded another winner when using talented 5lb claimer Shane Byrne. This season, Byrne has ridden almost exclusively for Sue Smith and has won on 16 of his 95 rides for the stable. However, if you look at his stats, when he rides a chaser for Sue Smith then take note as 12 of those winners have come from 51 chase rides, and his winner on Sunday was in a novice chase race.

At Leopardstown in Ireland, the opening fillies maiden went to MESARIYA trained by John Oxx, and this filly routed a decent field on her racing debut. It seems she could be destined for an attempt at the Oaks (Epsom or Curragh) based on this run. She’s one to watch. Oxx later ran HISTORY NOTE in the 7f Guineas Trial who was highly rated despite running over an inadequate trip but, for me, the one to note for this summer was MESARIYA. The O’Brien colt APACHE was beaten later in the afternoon, and looks like falling short based on this.

There are 2 jump meetings this afternoon, at Plumpton (my local track) and Towcester.
The entries for Plumpton look very ordinary, and some of the races are poorly supported. From my Horse Alert List runs ABSOLUTE SHAMBLES, and he has been very disappointing this season. The horse looked a shadow of the one that beat Reblis at Huntingdon in December 2009 (just 15 months ago) and he meets that horse on 11lb better terms today! Looking at this race, the 3:40 at Plumpton, it’s hard to make a case for any as they are all out of form.

Towcester looks not much better, but the class 3 hurdle over 3-mile at 4:30 deserves a look. The fav Lidar has never run beyond 2m4f and Towcester, with its infamous uphill finish, is not the place to explore stamina. I don’t think Towcester will suit Connectivity either who has done most of his racing in Ireland on LH flat tracks. Prophet De Guye is a much better chaser than hurdler, and he’s never shown much over hurdles at all. Premier Des Marais stays 3-mile well (won over 3m2f at Huntingdon) and also has shown his best form going RH, but he was raised 10lb for that recent win and struggled off that mark LTO. An interesting one is Kilbeggan Blade who has not hurdled for 2 years, but last did off a mark of OR141 (runs off OR113 today) and also has a 10lb claimer riding. She’s On The Case is another with stamina to prove. Earcomesthedream has been struggling off his rating lately, and may want a bit of ‘give’ anyway, and Whitewater Dash is another who has never hurdled as well as he’s jumped a fence. If there is any life left in Kilbeggan Blade then, off the equivalent of OR103, he could win this doing handsprings. If push came to shove, I’d go for Premier Des Marais, but there are too many question marks in this race to warrant a wager.

No selections today.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.

Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Sunday, 27 March 2011

AP O'Brien runs a Derby hopeful at Leopardstown

As expected, blog visitor numbers were down about 60% on weekday levels. It’s fair enough I suppose, but I’d have thought that a punt on a Saturday afternoon was part of the weekend’s entertainment for plenty of people. What it perhaps suggests is that the blog is not penetrating the committed punter market.

The blog selection yesterday SCOTS DRAGOON stayed on well enough to grab 3rd spot from Ogee after having looked like being tailed-off at one point. Jockey David Bass was hard at work from a long way out and much credit to him for getting the horse home in the money. The ½pt eachway stake returned a 0.4375pt profit. SCOTS DRAGOON should remain on this rating and on slightly quicker going NTO he should go very well. I expect him to take another try at the Scottish National as he clearly stays on well beyond 3m2f and should get the quick going he needs there. He was 12/1 last year when running off OR127, so if he goes there on just OR115 which is what he ran off yesterday then he’ll be worthy of a wager.

The fav Ogee ran a poor race; I did say he had it all to prove after an unconvincing run with conditions in his favour when last seen on the track. Also, I was on the button with suggesting Ruby Walsh was not good for Maktu. Walsh has a poor record when riding outside his retainers for Nicholls and Mullins. For me, Maktu stays 3-mile and not much further, and he had nothing more to give from the 2nd-last here. Rey Nacarado may have won the race, but he only out-stayed Maktu and if he’s raised more than a few pounds for this he may suffer.

Ireland starts the “flat” season in style today with a cracking meeting at Leopardstown. There are Guineas trials which should be interesting, but I’m looking at the final race on the card where O’Brien runs APACHE, a full brother to Cheshire Oaks winner Perfect Truth. He is bred to win a Derby and holds an entry (he’s 40/1) for the June race. He looks the type to improve a fair bit as a 3yo.

No selections today.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Saturday, 26 March 2011

An eachway bet for Saturday punters

There were no selections yesterday and the one race I spent a bit of time on at Newbury, the 2:40 a class 3 handicap chase went to the 11/1 chance Calusa Caldera, with both the 3/1 joint-favs failing to finish. I looked at Calusa Caldera (honest, I did) but passed it over on account of the awful run from Freeze Up from the same stable on Thursday. Both the horses had the same sort of profile, having had a run after a long break. To be fair, Calusa Caldera was 2nd-fav for his race LTO and ran poorly, so perhaps he needed that run even tho’ he’d been well prepared for it. At least no points lost.

Saturdays is a strange day for the blog. Generally, visitor numbers are usually down by about 60% on Saturday’s. I think I’ve said before that it’s probably because during weekdays people can browse the web while at work, but on Saturdays there are always other jobs to do that prevent that (shopping, gardening, DIY etc).

There are 3 meetings at Newbury, Stratford and Bangor
Newbury’s class 2 chase at 3:25 looks interesting. Ogee missed the Festival (was fancied for Stewart H’cap Chase won by Bensalem) and comes here instead. I like the look of Maktu for this but, with Ruby Walsh in the saddle, he’s not value. He didn’t stay the Welsh National trip, and I think he was still feeling that race when running at Ffos Las in February. But, over an inadequate trip LTO, he ran well enough to be seriously considered here. The going is a worry, as all his best form has come when there has been plenty of “give”. But Ruby Walsh is not a positive as outside of rides for Nicholls and Mullins he has a fairly ordinary strike-rate. For me, Ogee has it all to prove as, with conditions in his favour LTO, he ran an unconvincing race. One that could upset the cart is bottom-weight Rey Nacarado who, at 6yo is the youngest in the race and he’s shown he has unlimited stamina, but despite starting fav he's been beaten on both his attempts in class 3 chases. The most interesting is SCOTS DRAGOON. His jumping can be suspect but, when he gets it together, his form is excellent. He ran a good 2nd here over C&D in Nov ’09 and with David Bass’ 3lb claim he is on a very low mark carrying just 10st 2lb. Remember, he’s been shouldering 12st in amateur races lately, so he’ll think it’s his birthday! Currently at 15/2 (Bet 365, ¼ odds a place 1,2,3) he may go longer as I’m sure there will be market moves for both Maktu and Ogee.

At Bangor, in the 3:50 Sir Ian will be looking to maintain his tremendous winning form on “good” going – he’s won 4 times from 5 races on good going. He should be too good for these, but odds of just 9/4 don’t tempt me as he’s up 9lb on his last winning mark, and topweight Grand Lahou has the benefit of good claimer Colm O’Farrell and his 5lbs. At 15/2 (Sportingbet), he is the value in this race if he benefits from the 5lb claim, but his stamina is suspect beyond 2m3f. Will he stay this 2m4f & 110 yards?
The Class 2 h’cap hurdle at 4:20 looks a cracker of a race. There are half-a-dozen I could go for in this, and I’m not taking a “punt” on this.

Stratford looks like a meeting to avoid.

Selection:
Newbury 3:25, SCOTS DRAGOON, ½pt eachway @ 15/2 (Bet 365, ¼ odds a place 1,2,3 – best odds guaranteed)

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Friday, 25 March 2011

A re-assessment of 'Value'

When I sit down and go thru’ the horseracing cards of a morning, the objective is to try and find a runner which has a decent chance of winning on known form, yet who’s odds are significantly longer than that chance. In other words, a value selection. The reasoning behind a value selection betting strategy is that if you can accurately assess the chances of a horse then – long term – you will not lose, and you should make long term profits from gambling.

I thought both yesterday’s selections were “value” selections. In the case of FREEZE UP my assessment was based on the weakness of the favourite, Strongbows Legend, in that his rating did not represent the value of his form, and his trainer (Charlie Longsdon) had such a poor record (0 from 21) at the track. With questionmarks over all the other in the race too, FREEZE UP merely had to repeat the form he’d shown when trained by David Pipe to be involved. He didn’t, and actually was the first horse beaten, which was really disappointing. I was right about the fav at least, as tho’ Strongbows Legend looked the likely winner 2-out, he was out-stayed by the novice chaser Oscar Prairie. My other selection BENE LAD ran a much more promising race, but he was beaten by the improving You Know Yourself who has now won 3 of the 5 chase races that he’s run in. It was certainly the 5lb claim that Shane Byrne has that won the race for You Know Yourself. Byrne is a rider worth his claim and trainer Sue Smith uses him to advantage – he’s now won on 11 of the 47 chase rides for Smith this season.

While I am always on the search for value, a recent run of poor results on the blog has meant that I am reappraising the races I’m wagering in, and how I’m selecting the horses to wager on. I touched on this a little last week when I thought that I was looking so hard for “value” that I was missing fairly ‘obvious’ winners. Basically, I couldn’t see the ‘wood’ for the ‘trees’!

There are 2 jump meetings today at Sedgefield and Newbury.
There is nothing whatsoever that interests me at Sedgefield.
There are a couple of interesting races at Newbury, but they are very tightly priced-up already. I’ve been looking mainly at the handicap chase at 2:40 and there are a couple that may appreciate this trip of 2m6½f such as Max Bygraves and Ravethebrave, but there is no value in this race.

No selections today.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Three meetings, two selections

There were no firm blog selections yesterday but, of the two horses mentioned, I was on-the-ball with CAPTAIN COOL from Richard Hannon’s stable. He certainly enjoyed going left-handed rather than right-handed, and he stayed-on well having been prominent thru’out to be 3rd at the rewarding odds of 16/1. I was kicking myself afterwards for not making him a blog selection but, there you go. The fav for the race, Sweet Irony, looked to have improved when winning this, tho’ Faultless Feelings looked like being involved in the finish when he was badly hampered on the turn for home. He lost a lot of ground there (and momentum) and he’ll do better NTO.

There are 3 jump meetings today at Carlisle, Southwell and Chepstow.
At Chepstow, I was immediately drawn to FREEZE UP in the 3:15 as he’s dropped 7lb to OR107 and if he’s in the form of his win at Plumpton of March 2009 when he won on similar going, then he’ll be hard to beat. The going will be far too quick for old campaigner Victory Gunner, and I think the fav Stongbows Legend is on too high a mark (OR108). Altho’ he is Charlie Longsdon’s only runner today, Longsdon has not had a winner at Chepstow in years (0 from 21). Trainer Tim Vaughan is not in form lately either, and his runner Silver Story looks unlikely to stay this 3-mile trip. The others in this need to improve their jumping and if FREEZE UP tries to make all (as he did when he last won) then he could have this race in the bag a long way out. We’ve missed the 8/1 that was available earlier, but 6/1 (Betfred) looks fair.

At Southwell, previous blog selection Backfromthecongo only just failed to win for me LTO. He should take this today, but his odds of just 7/4 leave no room for error in this trappy handicap. The rest of this card leaves me a bit cold.

Finally, Carlisle. I remember reading that trainer Howard Johnson sends his novice chasers here as he reckons the fences are easy to jump. If that’s truly the case, then perhaps Blackpool Billy may return to form having refused LTO. There are a couple in this race that I like; Bene Lad and You Know Yourself, and both of these should be too good for the fav Against The Wind who is not proven at this trip. The way BENE LAD won this time last year at Kelso suggests he’s the one to be on, as You Know Yourself had a hard race on heavy going LTO and the 1st and 3rd from that race have not run well since. BENE LAD at 4/1 looks the value.

Selections
Chepstow 3:15, FREEZE UP, ½pt eachway @ 6/1 (Betfred, best odds guaranteed)
Carlisle 4:00, BENE LAD, 1pt win @ 4/1 (Betfred, best odds guaranteed)
Total = 2pts staked

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Fast ground everywhere as temps hit 16°C today

The quick going at Kempton really messed-up the way the race was run for my selection BETABOB, as a couple went-off like scalded cats and at one point Betabob was over a furlong (220 yards) behind those leaders. That pair could never keep it up, but the effort to get back on terms was too much for Betabob with topweight (11st 12lb) and he finished out of the places. Unfortunately, previous successful blog selection Rileyev won the race with an SP of 3/1 (actually touched 7/2 before the off). The problem with making selections in the morning is that sometimes you can misread the betting market. So then, that was a point lost.
Earlier at Kempton, Basford Bob took advantage of the fact that Henry King was a non-runner (another thing I was not aware of in the morning) and, with a change of tactics (he led thru’out) he managed to hold on to the lead and win. Alan King’s runner Romulus D’Artaix managed to come 3rd, and I was right about him being value at 11/2 as his SP was 3/1.
As an aside, I had a wager on the 2/1 fav Monsieur Jamie for the 5f race at Southwell (4:40) and the jockey was left behind in the stalls! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at that point, but judging by the performance of eventual winner Even Stevens, he would not have won anyway.

There are 3 jump meetings today at Haydock, Hereford and Warwick.
Not sure about Haydock as the going on the hurdles course is already reported as good-to-firm and with temperatures up to 16°C today, the ground could be like a road. As such, I’m going to give that meeting a miss.

There is not much happening at Warwick either. Though in the opener Richard Hannon (better known as a trainer on the flat) has a runner in the maiden hurdle - Captain Cool. He won a couple of races over 12f last month on the AW on the flat, and ran well without threatening in a hurdle at Wincanton, but that was going right-handed and he doesn’t seem to enjoy going that way round. He likes to run prominently on the flat and, if they try that here, he could find himself able to take an active role in this race as the likely fav Sweet Irony is a hold-up horse. He won’t need to improve much to take one of the places here and at 14/1 (William Hill) he looks interesting. However, he’ll be sharing the lead with Faultless Feelings who is the only runner here for Phil Hobbs. Now, Hobbs has won this race twice with just 3 runners in the past 5 years and I can see this one trading at under 1.80 in-running after the 2nd-last flight (if you are someone who likes to back-to-lay). If I can get 11/4 then he’s my wager for the day, but current odds of 9/4 don’t rock my boat.

Today’s Weekender is on my desk with all the results from the Festival last week. I’m glad to see something in print that I’ve been saying myself since the King George was run in January – and that is that KAUTO STAR should be running in the Ryanair. I reckon Paul Nicholls missed a trick this year and he should have paid the supplementary after his beloved horse ran 3rd in January. Even so, as Paul Kealy writes in the Weekender, I think that Kauto Star should be aimed at the Ryanair for 2012. He’ll never win another Gold Cup as he cannot even beat a fit and well Denman at that trip. So why not give the horse a spectacular swan-song of a final season in jump racing?

Must admit, I don’t go along with Mr Kealy in selecting Docofthebay for the Lincoln on 2nd April. It may have escaped his notice, but the Lincoln is run over a mile, and Docofthebay is a dyed-in-the-wool 7-furlong specialist. Yes, he’s won over a mile, but that was a class 4 handicap back in May 2007. Since then, he’s run 28 times over a mile (or further) without winning. However, on 18-Sept-10 when dropped to 7-furlongs for the first time since running in the Buckingham at Royal Ascot in June 2007 (started as 5/1 jt-fav) he won, thereby ending a 28-race losing run. The previous race he won was a Class 2 over 7f at Goodwood (“ya don’t say!”). The horse stays 7-furlongs and about another 50 yards – and not a yard further.

Lastly, I’m not a time disciple, but Topspeed’s comments in the Weekender on the Gold Cup won by Long Run make interesting reading to those who have scoffed at my headline this week “LONG RUN at 183? You’re having a laugh!” If you are curious, then I suggest you go out and buy a copy, it’s a damn good racing paper.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Better-bet with Betabob

There was a bit of feedback about the blog yesterday on the rating awarded by RPR to LONG RUN for his Gold Cup win. Some have suggested that I am trying to rubbish the race – that is not the case. What I am trying to do is establish the level of performance. My opinion if that 183 is too high a rating, but my own evaluation of the form at 170 is still very good.
In 2006, War Of Attrition’s Gold Cup win was rated 173; Kicking King in 2005 was rated 177; Best Mate in 2004 was rated 172.
Being just a 6yo, it is likely that there is some improvement to come from LONG RUN as he matures. For instance, Best Mate improved about 10lb on his performances as a 6yo to his Gold Cup winning performance as a 7yo, and then improved again as an 8yo. Do we really think that LONG RUN could be 195+ as an 8yo chaser?

I have already started research on my Festival 2011 dossier. I’m not sure whether to publish the final report on the blog “free to all” as I did with my Festival 2010 dossier, or to make it available only to those who are prepared to pay for it. Preparation of the dossier is a considerable effort (but well worth it in my opinion) and, as I have plenty of time on my hands at the moment (if you get my drift), and financial remuneration for my efforts would be welcome.

The results yesterday were not good reading, so it was fortunate that there was no firm blog selection nominated. At Lingfield tho’, I did take advantage of the Anna Newton-Smith winner Goring One, who won in commanding fashion and is another advert for the talents of his trainer whose base is at Jevington near Eastbourne. She must always be taken seriously when she runs one at her local tracks of Lingfield, Plumpton, Folkestone or Fontwell.

There are a couple of jump meetings today at Kempton and Exeter.
At Kempton in the 3:15, Basford Bob makes a quick reappearance after finishing 2nd last Saturday over 2m7f at Uttoxeter, but he’s proving difficult to win with. The pace will be set by Henry King in this and that should suit Basford Bob who is in receipt of 12lbs from Henry King, but I am more taken with the Alan King runner Romulus D’Artaix. He didn’t seem to handle Taunton LTO, but his run before that was very promising and the form has worked out. King has his stable firing at the moment and he has a good strike rate at Kempton with his hurdlers. At 11/2, he looks the value in this race.
Later, in the 4:25 previous successful blog selection Rileyev runs. He again looks hard to find fault with off OR107, but the ‘good’ going will suit topweight Betabob more and he won’t make life easy for Rileyev and so I cannot have him at 9/4. For me, BETABOB @ 11/2 (Sportingodds) looks the value in this as he is sure to run his race, and I reckon he’s more of a 7/2 chance.

At Exeter, I can’t see anything worthy of a wager.

Selection:
KEMPTON 4:25, BETABOB, ½pt eachway @ 11/2 (Sportingodds, 5th odds a place 1,2,3)

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Monday, 21 March 2011

LONG RUN at 183! You're having a laugh

Now that the immediate euphoria surrounding the win in the Gold Cup by LONG RUN has (almost) died down, it is possible to reflect on the result and the manner of victory in the cold light of day.

RPR (Racing Post Ratings) have rated the performance at 183. To put that rating into perspective, that is 1lb less than what Denman (184) was rated when he won in 2008. It is 2lb below the rating given to Kauto Star (185) for his 2nd Gold Cup victory in 2009, and it is 1lb higher than the rating achieved by Imperial Commander (182) last year. It is also 5lb greater that the highest rating ever achieved by TRIPLE Gold Cup winner Best Mate, in 2003, who is the ONLY horse since 1971 to retain the Gold Cup and, in being a TRIPLE Gold Cup winner, he did that feat twice.

Ratings are always subjective and, before I go on, RPR is the corner-stone of my form assessment on both the Flat and over the Jumps. Generally, the ratings are consistent and they can be relied upon to be fairly accurate. But, on this occasion, I think they are wrong. I have stated before that I reckon both the Official Handicapper and RPR are “desperate” to get a horse rated at 200+ and break the record set (at 212) by Arkle in the 1960’s. It is my suspicion that in Long Run, they think they have the horse that can do it.

When Long Run was 3rd in the Paddy Power last November, I rated his performance at 167 (RPR170) which was pretty much in line with everyone else. When he came out and won the KGVI in January, I used Nacarat in 4th as my ‘base’ horse. I rated his performance at 150, which is 5lb less than his current Official Rating of 155, on the basis that the horse is not a true 3-miler in Grade 1 chases (from 5 Grade 1’s he’s finished 3rd twice and 4th in the other 3 races, beaten a total of 98-lengths). I do not think a horse reported as “weakening and well held when blundered 2-out” was running to 7lb below his personal best. Therefore, with Nacarat on 150, Long Run was rated 168 with Riverside Theatre at 159. In my view, Kauto Star was a shadow of his former self in that race, and I rated him 154.

For the Gold Cup, I have used the proximity of What A Friend in 4th as the ‘base’ horse. I go along with the Official Handicapper’s assessment of this horse at OR159. He handles “good” going, in fact he’s won a bumper on good-to-firm, so he was not inconvenienced by the quick Festival going this year. I reckon What A Friend ran up to his Official Rating of 159, and that puts LONG RUN (in my opinion) on 170. No doubt this may raise a few eyebrows and I’m sure the question “what about Denman?” who was 2nd will be voiced. The last race Denman won on “good” going was a 6-runner novice chase in October 2006. His form on “good” going since then has been Fell / 4th / 2nd / 2nd whereas on “good-to-soft” going (since that Oct-06 race) his form has been 1st / 1st / 1st /1st / 2nd / 2nd / 1st / UR / 3rd with that 3rd being in the Hennessey with top-weight giving 26lb to Diamond Harry and Burton Port. The going at Cheltenham for the Festival put-paid to the chances of many horses and placed the advantage with those horses that could handle going on the quick side of good. My worry for LONG RUN is that he was reported by trainer Nicky Henderson as “stiff” the morning after the race and, if he’s really felt the going there in winning the Gold Cup on Friday, we might not see the same horse again.

There are just a couple of meetings today at Kelso in Scotland and Lingfield in Surrey; these courses must be separated by about 450 miles. The meeting at Lingfield looks pretty dire, altho’ recent winners Red Law (won 5-days ago, runs in the 3:30), Present Star (won 7-days ago, runs in the 4:30), and Won More Night (won 8-days ago, runs in the 5:00) will be well supported. Of the 3, Won More Night looks the most interesting and is more likely to follow-up this afternoon.

At Kelso, there are a couple of interesting runners. I recently wrote of BLACKPOOL BILLY who was highly thought of and expected to do well as a chaser, but he unfortunately injured himself in his chase debut and was off the track for 2-years. He’s improved with every one of his 4 runs since his return, and was only just beaten LTO. He should win today, but current odds of 7/4 leave no margin for error, so I’ll pass him over. Another I like is an old friend, ABRAGANTE. A few readers who know of him will think he’s a bit of a rogue, as he is a bit of a “bridle” horse (that is, he looks full of running and capable of winning but, when push comes to shove, he finds nothing). However, he does go best when fresh (been off the track for 16 months), and a spot of hunting to qualify for this hunter chase may have rekindled the flame. Whatever, he is easily the most talented horse in this field (he was 3rd fav for the 2007 Hennessey off OR139) and he’ll get the pace he needs from 2nd-fav Quotica De Poyans. At odds of 7/1, he looks an “each-way steal” at 5th odds a place (1,2,3).

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Oppose the fav in Midlands National Chase

That’s it for another year for jumps racing fans. Now the preparation begins for the next Festival.
Without a doubt, LONG RUN was a fantastic winner for the sport and crowned a magnificent week of racing. With 2 jumps to go, I really thought Denman was going to go on and win the Gold Cup, but it was not to be. Even so, it was a great effort from the old campaigner who has now come 2nd in this race 3 times.
He helped the blog end with a 3pt profit from the antepost list of selections (see adjacent antepost advices page).
It is very hard at the moment to see a horse emerge to challenge Long Run for the Gold Cup next season when he’ll be only 7yo, but you never know. None of the “big 3” will be capable of winning the race next year, and what this Festival showed was that horses cannot be “saved” for Cheltenham.
I’ll be writing a Festival analysis over the next week or so, and will go into the races in more depth.

Visits to the blog site have been tremendous this week, over 500 visits on several days. Saturdays nearly always shows a dip in visitor numbers to the blog, probably because most people visit the blog while at work but on Saturdays (especially, when it’s good weather like today) they have other demands on their time (shopping, washing the car, gardening etc).

There are 3 jump meetings today, at Uttoxeter, Newcastle and Ffos Las.
Uttoxeter has the feature race of the day, the Midlands National at 3:00 over 4-mile 1-furlong & 110 yards – a true marathon. It is being run on soft going, which should ensure more than a few finishers. After previous blog selection Holmwood Legend won in the week at 25/1, it may prove to stick with another previous blog selection for this race LE BEAU BAI. He ran a good race for me LTO when 3rd at Haydock to Silver By Nature on heavy going. He pulled-up in this race last year, but that was on very heavy going when only 3 finished the race, and he carried 11st 3lb too. Given that prior to Synchronised last year, there had been no winner in recent times carrying more than 10st 9lb, his task then was a bit steep. He has just 10st 2lb today, with regular rider Jake Greenall’s 7lb allowance dropping that to 9st 9lb, he looks to be very interesting to me. Currently 12/1 (from 14’s) he may be worth an in-running play. He drops out early in his races, and then stays on strong in the final mile or so. LTO, I was able to get 10’s on Betfair in-running on the place-only market (to small money) when it looked like he was about to pull-up with about ¾ of a mile to go. There are a lot of solid stayers in this race tho’, so I’ll not make him a solid selection but I would not put any readers off having a wager on him. For instance, Tricky Trickster last won when Ruby Walsh was riding him, he races off a 3lb lower mark than then today and, remarkably, went off at 12/1 for the Gold Cup in 2010 on the back of that win. Gentle Ranger is reported to be in good form by handicap king David Pipe, and Halcon Generlardais was running in Grade 1 chases just 15 months ago, and running well. Off OR128 today with just 10st to carry he could be thrown-in.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Friday, 18 March 2011

The Commander to take the Gold Cup

The horses love to make a fool of you when they have the chance.
Regular blog readers will know that last Saturday, I made HOLMWOOD LEGEND my only wager of the day and he went on to win at 14/1. Despite that, I passed him over yesterday even tho’ I knew he was fit to race, and had the going and trip in his favour. Why? Because I thought he was best running right-handed! That just about summed up my efforts yesterday – ignoring the obvious and trying too hard to find a winner and, as a result, missing the wood for the trees.
Take the opener. I had Noble Prince high on my shortlist, prior to the Festival, for a wager, hoping that it may run in the Arkle as I was sure it was better than Realt Dubh (who came 3rd in the Arkle). I also had Wishful Thinking on that shortlist and when I had to choose between them, I chose the latter. It looks like my opinions have been strongly influence by the ratings of the Irish horses by the Racing Post Ratings (RPR). It is now fairly clear that the Irish horses, especially the chasers but the hurdlers too, have been rated at least 10lb below the English trained horses. Why? For no other reason than they are running in Ireland.
The only reason I had an antepost on BOSTONS ANGEL for the RSA was due to him winning the PJ Moriarty which has been a huge pointer in recent years for the Irish challenge, and having Mikael d’Haguenet in 3rd that day, and RPR only ever seems to respect Mullins trained Irish horses.
Yesterday went from bad to worse for me when BUENA VISTA repeated last year’s tactics to win the Pertemps Final again at 20/1.
This brings me to the 2nd point in that the going is far too fast at Cheltenham in this Festival to give any more than 10% of the horses a chance of winning. It was the same going as last year, and when Buena Vista won it seemed that a repeat of last years winners going in again was a distinct possibility – and that’s how it proved!
David Pipe again sent out 2 winners on the Thursday, with Junior taking the Kim Muir – and he also sent out Faasel to be 2nd in that race.
Poquelin was disappointing but, as he did not handle the going last season when beaten by Albertas Run, once I knew how fast the going was after Buena Vista romped home I was resigned to his fate before the off yesterday.
The only glimmer of light for the blog yesterday was predicting the forecast of the World Hurdle. It was close tho’ as for the first time in his life over hurdles BIG BUCKS actually had to do some work.

Onto today, and the Friday Festival racing has never been a favourite of mine. The Triumph Hurdle this year with 23 starters looks wide open and I’m not tempted to evaluate the race. Ditto the County Hurdle with 28 runners declared. From my Horse Alert List, ZANIR was 4th in the County Hurdle last year (won by Thousand Stars with Noble Prince in 5th – it was a great race for form). At 33/1 (now gone), with most bookies paying 5-places, he looks a good ew wager.
I will also give the Albert Bartlett Hurdle a miss as on this going, as Buena Vista proved yesterday, one horse will get away from the field and not be caught – but which one?
The Gold Cup is also affected by this going issue. It was won decisively last year by IMPERIAL COMMANDER and as I have 2pts win on him on my antepost wagers at 9/2 (on 22/11/2010) there is nothing that can persuade me to desert him today. He has very few miles on the clock, just 12 chase starts compared with Kauto Star’s 26 starts, and Denman’s 17 starts. I cannot have Long Run for this as 6yo’s have an awful record in chase races beyond 2m5f. He has also found nothing when asked to run up the hill in last years RSA chase when it looked like he had the race at his mercy till outstayed, and again in the Paddy Power. I cannot see either Kauto Star or Denman winning today, and for me the unexposed Kempes who has won on good going over 3-mile at Punchestown is the danger. However, IMPERIAL COMMANDER is 9/2 this morning with William Hill and the Tote and I am having another 1pt on him at those odds to repeat his performance of last year on this similar going.
The last race I will look at is the Foxhunters. I quote from my Day 4 review of the last Festival: “More interesting was the 7yo GENTLE GEORGE who was ridden with a lot more restraint than usual and when he finally got going he rallied well but too late to catch the leaders. He could be the one to take from the race for next year.” GENTLE GEORGE was 4th last year at 10/1, this year he is 50/1 with Sportingodds. He’s my wager.

Selections
Cheltenham 2:05, ZANIR, ½pt eachway @ 28/1 (Paddy Power, best odds guaranteed, 5 places)
Cheltenham 3:20, IMPERIAL COMMANDER, 1pt win @ 9/2 (William Hill)
Cheltenham 4:00, GENTLE GEORGE, ½pt eachway @ 50/1 (Sportingodds, 3 places)

Overall, 3pts staked today.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Bostons Angel does it for the blog at 16/1

The RSA was a great result for the blog. No wagers on the day, I stuck with my 1pt ew antepost on BOSTONS ANGEL at 16/1, and he won in grand style from the other Irish challenger Jessies Dream, providing 20pts profit for the Antepost List. The English novice staying chasers were totally outclassed.
The opening race yesterday went to the top-rated horse in Chicago Grey. The early pace was pretty slow and that helped Chicago Grey who stamina wasn’t proven, but he was a course winner over 3m1f and on similar ground. Blog selection Major Malarkey fell early on, so 1pt lost.
The Neptune was a good race tho’ perhaps Oscars Well would have gone close but for a bad mistake at the final flight. I was right about the Irish horses and had them in the right order preferring First Lieutenant (who won). But the blog selection Tornado Bob was one of the first beaten and this was a very disappointing run for him. Another point lost.
The QMCC was a cracking race and, for once, had an exceptional field of runners. Anyone of them could have gone on to win at the 3rd-last fence, but it was the 2nd-last that sorted them out with mistakes by Master Minded (ended his chance) and Big Zeb left Sizing Europe clear going into the final fence, and the result was then not in doubt. Another point lost on the day for the blog on Woolcombe Folly, who was not good enough for this, and the antepost list lost 5pts on this race.
Finally, the Coral Cup was another win for the Irish and both my selctions ran poorly, both Aegean Dawn and Tiger O’Toole running unplaced and losing 2pts in the process.
Overall, the blog was 5pts down on the day, and that’s 7.875pts down on the Festival meeting. Not good and possibly a reminder that this is very competitive racing, the best there is.

THE JEWSON (GOLDEN MILLER) for Novices over 2m4f
The first running of this race and it looks a decent one. The fav is Wishful Thinking and he is worth his position at the head of the market. Won at the course LTO over 2m5f in exemplary fashion, he will take all the beating. The only other LTO winner, Radium, just isn’t in the same league. Of the others, Noble Prince loves this trip (3 wins and 2 x 2nds from 5 runs) and he also ran well here at last year’s Festival but, based on Realt Dubh’s 3rd in the Arkle on Tuesday, he has a lot to find on WISHFUL THINKING who should be 9/4 for this, maybe even shorter based on his form.

Selection:
Cheltenham 1:30, WISHFUL THINKING, 1pt win @ 7/2 (William Hill, best odds guaranteed)

PERTEMPS FINAL (Handicap Hurdle)
One of my favourite races of the Festival and I’ve been on the last couple of winners, Buena Vista and Kayf Aramis. They both run again, and while Buena Vista was aimed at this race last season (coming into it 20lbs better-off for a 2-length beating by Kayf Aramis in 2009), this year it’s the other way round with Kayf Aramis 12lb better-off for the 8-length beating. KAYF ARAMIS loves Cheltenham and is one of the best 3-mile hurdlers in the country, comes here in good form and with his riders 3lb claim he’ll be carrying just 10st 9lb. At 20/1, he looks value, and Bet365 are paying on 5 places.

Selection:
Cheltenham 2:05, KAYF ARAMIS, ½pt eachway @ 20/1 (Bet365, best odds guaranteed, 5 places)

RYANAIR Chase
There has only ever been one horse for me in this race and that’s POQUELIN. I am on at 4/1 (2pts win) and I can see no reason to desert him today. In my opinion, he should be 7/4 for this, and it’s only the supporters of Kalahari King and Somersby who are preventing him going shorter in the market. Neither of those 2 have the form in the book for this race. If you can get 11/4 on POQUELIN then take it. I am not buying the Voy Por Ustedes back to best story, as the horse is being aimed for Aintree, and this weak renewal of the Ryanair means valuable place money is available to connections. No further investment on this race.

WORLD HURDLE
You are either like me, a BIG BUCKS man, or you are a supporter of Grand Crus. With BIG BUCKS never having to get out of a canter to win his last 10 hurdles, then Grand Crus will know he’s been in a race. I’ll not be having a wager on this race, but would not put anyone off having a wager on BIG BUCKS, or even a straight-forecast on Big Bucks to beat Grand Crus as they are well ahead of anything else in this race.

BYRNE GROUP PLATE (Handicap chase)
Having spent a lot of time on this race, it is disappointing for me that RP’s Pricewise has come to the same conclusion, that Beautiful Sound has a great chance. He’s a LTO winner, carries just 10st 6lb, he’ll easily stay the 2m5f trip and he’s won on similar going. Unfortunately, he’s Irsh, and they have not won this race since 1951. I also like Quartz De Thaix for similar reasons, but he carries 11st 2lb. However, he has been re-rated by the handicapper since his last win and should be carrying 7lb more. I am struggling to find an alternative to those 2 in this race other than Edgebriar who carries 11st 6lb. He will have the perfect conditions but has to combat the weight issue.

Selection
Cheltenham 4:00, QUARTZ DE THAIX, ½pt eachway @ 7/1 (Bet365, best odds guaranteed, 4 places)

KIM MUIR (Amateur Riders)
Not a race to put the mortgage on and a lot comes down to riding ability rather than the horse. Most bookies are paying 5-places eachway so it may pay to try and take advantage of that. Weight is not much of an issue with just 11lbs separating the top and bottom weights, so I’m going for a horse proven on this going, who stays 3-mile plus, in is good form this season, and has the benefit of one of the best amateur jockeys – FAR MORE SERIOUS ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen and trained by the in-form Charlie Longsdon. At 20/1, he looks cracking value for this.

Cheltenham 4:40, FAR MORE SERIOUS, ½pt eachway @ 20/1 (Boylesports, best odds guaranteed, 5 places)

Overall, 4pts staked today.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Once more unto the breach, dear friends...

Just a quick recap of yesterday’s results as I’ll be writing a comprehensive report over the coming weeks.
In the Supreme, Al Ferof outstayed these over the final 300 yards, simple as that. Many were in trouble a long way out, and the hot fav Cue Card found nothing (again). We did well to give this race a miss.
Tremendous result for Hobbs in the Arkle with Captain Chris who finally got his jumping together. He looks a great prospect for next season and, as he is so much better going right-handed, the KGVI at Kempton on Boxing Day looks his for the taking. Ghizao was asked for a long-one at the top of the hill and hit the top of the fence hard, from which he never recovered. He deserves another chance. Medermit made it 6 runs at Cheltenham without a win, and never looked happy until running-on when they reached level ground.
A cracking finish to the H’cap Chase with Bensalem prevailing (just) to beat Carole’s Legacy. The pace was very fast and many could not go with it and jumping errors were everywhere. Blog selection Wolf Moon was soon struggling, and tho’ The Rainbow Hunter was 6th jumping the 3rd last he did not stay on. So, 2pts lost on that race.
The Champion Hurdle was a classic, this was reminiscent of the old days! Without a doubt, Hurricane Fly was the very best on the day, and Peddlers Cross a gallant 2nd. If Binocular had run he would have been 3rd, no question. It was another point lost on the day, but Peddlers Cross recovered some ground on the antepost book (1pt ew at 14/1 paid 4.50pts, that's 2.50pts profit).
The X-Country Chase was a good race for a punt, and Garde Champetre ran a cracker under top-weight to be 2nd at 5/1. The ½pt eachway gave us a tiny profit of 0.125pts.
Overall, a loss of 2.875pts on the day.

Quevega won the Mares Hurdle in a canter (she should be in the Champion Hurdle), and the final race, the Centenary Chase, was dominated by LTO winners – of the 5 in the race, 2 finished 1st and 2nd. In fact, as usual, LTO winners dominated the day’s card, providing 5 of the 7 winners.

It’s too easy to go overboard at the Festival wagering on hopes rather than realistic opportunities. So, after thinking again overnight, I am being a bit more reserved about today. No watering of the course, and I reckon it is more “good” than good-to-soft.

NH CHASE (Amateur riders only) for Novices
This is the race around which the Festival was built and was once the most prestigious race in the jumps calendar. The extreme 4-mile trip is too much for 6yo’s and younger, but that only rules out Arrabella Boy, but remember than none of these have form over this trip. I’m focussing on LTO winners, of which there are 8 in the field. Those with the best form are Alfa Beat (at 9/2) and Some Target (at 9/1). Of that pair, I am more drawn to Some Target who has good stamina, but he may want more give in the going than there is today. Of the other LTO winners, Aberdale (14/1) has been aimed at this by Jonjo O’Neill and has capable John Berry in the plate; and Sona Sasta (14/1) has looked a revelation as a chaser for David Pipe. I am also drawn to the Twiston-Davies entry Major Malarkey (28/1) who hated the heavy going LTO when he was pulled-up, but before that he won very well on good going spread-eagling a good field in a class 3 chase. NTD reckons he came out of that race well, and he’s the eachway wager.

Selection:
Cheltenham 1:30, MAJOR MALARKEY, ½pt eachway @ 25/1 (Bet365, best odds guaranteed)

NEPTUNE HURDLE for Novices
Unusually, I have not much of an opinion on this race.
The odds on So Young are too short at 11/4 and I prefer Oscars Well over him, tho’ both will have to prove they act on this quick going. Of the Irish challengers I like First Lieutenant the most as he’s won on good going and looks to have the most potential improvement in him, but his performances can only be described as workmanlike. Rock On Ruby and Minella Class were both found out LTO over 21f, and that brings me to TORNADO BOB. Trained by Don Mccain (who won this with Peddlers Cross), this horse would have won LTO but for hitting the final hurdle hard when leading at Ascot. Even so, he showed determination to battle on. He’s also won on good-to-firm going in Ireland (bumper) and at 12/1 for me he represents the value in what looks a wide open Neptune Hurdle.

Selections
Cheltenham 2:05, TORNADO BOB, ½pt eachway @ 12/1 (Vic Chandler, best odds guaranteed)

RSA CHASE for Novices
The red-hot fav for this is Time For Rupert who is 9/4. Altho’ he deserves to be fav, he is no 9/4 chance and so I cannot recommend him as a value wager. I do not think the 2nd-fav 1833 will stay this trip as he looked to be struggling to stay LTO despite winning (it was only a 4-horse race). Jessie’s Dream is also unproven at 3-mile. Wayward Prince, Wymott and Master Of The Hall all look solid 3-milers, and of those 3 its Wayward Prince who to me is the strongest. But, the Irish are not far behind as Realt Dubh proved in the Arkle (came 3rd). As such, I’m sticking with my antepost wager of 1pt eachway on BOSTONS ANGEL at 16/1 who won the PJ Moriarty LTO, which was his 2nd Grade 1 win. There is a question mark over the going (might be a bit quick) but that is reflected in his current odds. No further wagers on this race.

QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE
The result of this race will depend very heavily on the going. No doubt about it, the going was quicker on Day 1 than authorities would have liked. The Fav Big Zeb will not be inconvenienced by the going and he really does have a favourites chance, probably should be 9/4 for this now. Without rain, Master Minded is hamstrung. It was like this last year and he hated it, so at 7/2 he is no value at all. The going won’t help Somersby either, but Woolcombe Folly will love it having won on good-to-firm before – but is he good enough? Funnily enough, Sizing Europe beat Big Zeb on good going when they met as novice hurdlers but, as much as I’d like to see him recapture his form, Sizing Europe has a mountain to climb. Captain Cee Bee is not up to this class (end of story), tho’ FRENCH OPERA is another who will love this going. I already have 2pts to win on MASTER MINDED and I’ll not increase that. I’m very happy with my eachway antepost wager at 50/1 on FRENCH OPERA. To cover my bases, I was going to have a 1pt win wager on BIG ZEB @ 3/1 but, on reflection, I reckon WOOLCOMBE FOLLY at 9/1 is the value in this race as he has yet to find his peak.

Selection
Cheltenham 3:20, WOOLCOMBE FOLLY, ½pt eachway @ 12/1 (Vic Chandler, best odds guaranteed)

CORAL CUP (Handicap)
Another race were recent results have been dominated by LTO winners (6 of the last 8 winners won LTO). There are only 5 in the race; Aegean Dawn, Call The Police, Battle Group, Tiger O’Toole, and Orzare. Of those, Aegean Dawn and Call The Police dominate the market, but on this quick going I cannot have Call The Police. Undoubtedly, AEGEAN DAWN is on a cracking rating of OR145 and he has jockey David Bass’ 3lb claim too. Tiger O’Toole will love this going and the competitive nature of the race; he is also unexposed at this trip and was only raised 8lb for his LTO win. I don’t know what to make of Battle Group as he has talent, but has only won races of less than 12 runners and when faced with more than that he usually throws-in the towel. Orzare hasn’t run in over 12 months, and that’s not good preparation. At odds of 6/1, AEGEAN DAWN looks a great wager; but you cannot ignore TIGER O’TOOLE at 25/1 either who must be an eachway punt.
Selections
Cheltenham 4:00, AEGEAN DAWN, ½pt eachway @ 6/1 (Bet365, best odds guaranteed)
Cheltenham 4:00, TIGER O’TOOLE, ½pt eachway @ 25/1 (Bet365, best odds guaranteed)
Note: Bet365 are paying 5 places on this race – 1,2,3,4,5

FRED WINTER JUVENILE HURDLE (Handicap)
There are 4, LTO winners in this and the race should go to one of those. They are Whitby Jack, Plan A, Paintball, and Kayef. Of those, I prefer Paintball, but this is a race that I am going to sit out. Again, Bet365 are paying 5 places on this race for eachway punters.

CHAMPION BUMPER
I am not even going to attempt to find the winner of this as there are so many “dark” horses in it.

Overall, 5pts staked today.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

2 selections, 2 winners y'day - today it's Cheltenham!

This is what we’ve been waiting for! The build-up for the Festival starts the moment the winner crosses the line for the final race on the Friday. Before we get into it, let’s recap yesterday’s blog selections and we got off to a flying start with RILEYEV winning in a canter at 6/4. Never in any danger, perhaps it should have been a stronger wager. Then, my other selection REMEMBER NOW - a half-brother of Binocular – made it 2 wins from 2 selections wining at an SP of 5/2. It was a tight photo-finish, but AP McCoy isn’t the winning-most jump jockey ever for losing out in a tight finish. That makes it 27 wins from 57 rides in hurdles this season for AP McCoy on Henderson horses.
Those 2 winners contributed another 2.50pts profit to the blog for the month, making the monthly total 10.90pts in profit (3 selections, 3 winners). Since 1st November 2010, from 50 selections there has been a profit made on 18 of them, which is a strike-rate of 36% (10 winners and 8 placed as eachway selections), with a cumulative profit of 17.505pts on an investment of 56pts; that’s an ROI of 31.25%.
Those who contribute a donation from their winnings go onto a list of privileged blog regulars and they will receive information BEFORE it gets released generally on the blog, allowing them to get the best odds available. If you want to be part of that group, be sure to contribute a donation from your winnings.

Let’s get straight into it.

SUPREME NOVICES HURDLE
Just 15 go to post which is the smallest field in years, so it looks as tho’ CUE CARD has scared them off. His form is rock solid, but I can’t say the same about Spirit Son, I’m not sure what he beat LTO. Dunraven Storm is held, and I don’t think Zaidpour will appreciate this going (didn’t on the flat). The Henderson 2nd-string Sprinter Sacre looks more interesting. But for me, its CUE CARD who I think should be 4/5 for this race. Of the others, the only mare in the race Magen’s Star will not be far away and may even go close. And the solid Recession Proof, winner of the Totesport Trophy, looks nailed on for a place. Bet365 and William Hill are paying 4 places (other bookies pay on 3) and the 22/1 for MAGEN’S STAR with Bet365 looks mighty generous if you want a play on this race. However, I will sit this race out.

ARKLE
So much for talk of this race being a weak renewal, I think we’ll see some of the best novice chasers in many a year in this race, and they’ll dominate the jumps season in 2011-12. For me, Captain Chris looks like a KGVI winner is ever I saw one as a novice; he’s not the same horse going left-handed at Cheltenham tho’. With 5 runs at Cheltenham and no wins, I am against Medermit, even tho’ I can see the horse winning a Tingle Creek at Sandown. I’ve been on GHIZAO since November and he’s followed in the footsteps of several of Paul Nicholls best novice chasers and done them no disrespect. I think this horse could be the best 2-miler we’ve seen in the Arkle since Well Chief. There, I’ve said it! There has been plenty said about his ordinary hurdles form, but the horse ran General Miller to a length at ‘levels’, and that horse beat Menorah at levels at Aintree – that looks half-decent hurdle form to me.
Long-term blog readers are already on GHIZAO with 1pt eachway @ 12/1 (on 23/11/2010) and 1pt win @ 6/1 (on 04/1/2011). As such, I cannot advise taking the current 4/1 on offer, but if you’ve not had a wager already, GHIZAO is the one I’d want to be on.

STEWART FAMILY H’CAP CHASE
In the past, the key to this race has been last-time-out (LTO) winners, and horses carrying less than 11st. Of the last 8 renewals, 6 were won by LTO winners, and the highest weight carried by a winner was 10st 12lb. As such, despite the form credentials of the likes of Blazing Bailey (LTO winner with 11:12); Rare Bob (LTO winner with 11:10); Great Endeavour (11:7); Carole’s Legacy (11:5) and Bensalem (11:2), I feel the winner will come from those carrying under 11 stone. Were it not for the short odds of just 6/1, then I would consider Sunnyhillboy on 10:12 who was 2nd (btn by Great Endeavour) at the Festival last year. Remember tho' that the same connections won this race with Wichita Lineman at odds of 5/1 (huge gamble and AP McCoy considers this his best ever race winning ride). However, the stamina of Sunnyhillboy for this extended 3-mile race is not proven.
There are 3 at the bottom of the handicap that catch my eye: Adams Island on 10:6, The Rainbow Hunter on 10:5 and Wolf Moon on 10:0.
Wolf Moon is a LTO winner as well (big plus) and although he’s 6lb out of the handicap (effectively carrying 6lb more than he should) he won with so much in hand LTO that for me that is not a problem.
The Rainbow Hunter travels extremely well in his races and has been most unfortunate to meet a couple of well handicapped horses that have prevented him from winning his last 2 races. As such, he has not gone up the handicap quite as fast as he would have had he won those races. Also, he will have the benefit of a 7lb claim from his jockey Ed Cookson, so in effect he’s only carrying 9st 12lb. Both will stay every yard of the trip, and both will appreciate the going.
For me, Adams Island may well find this race a stretch of his stamina so, altho’ he has good form, he may find himself run out of in over the final half mile.
For me, THE RAINBOW HUNTER at 25/1 looks great eachway value and so does WOLF MOON at 12/1 (places 1,2,3,4 & 5 with Betfred).

Selections
Cheltenham 2:40, WOLF MOON, ½pt eachway @ 12/1
Cheltenham 2:40, THE RAINBOW HUNTER, ½pt eachway @ 25/1
(both wagers with Betfred, best odds guaranteed & 5 places)
Total = 2pts staked

CHAMPION HURDLE
Regular blog readers will be on PEDDLERS CROSS, 1pt eachway @ 14/1 (on 27/11/2010) and 1pt win @ 11/2 (on 17/2/2011). This horse is extremely exciting. Unbeaten, and a winner of the Neptune Hurdle in 2010, why he’s not fav I don’t know. The Irish will be on Hurricane Run, and he probably has the best formline here, but he’s not met a horse like PEDDLERS CROSS yet. Menorah is, for me, a bit of a wildcard. If the pace is muddling and it comes down to a 3f sprint from the 2nd-last flight then he is in the mix. I cannot have Dunguib, and if you’re looking for a bit of eachway value, Khyber Kim – 2nd in this last year and 12/1 this morning – could be for you. As I write, Stan James are 9/2 PEDDLERS CROSS and I’m having a top-up at those odds.

Selections
Cheltenham 3:20, PEDDLERS CROSS, 1pt win @ 9/2 with Stan James

CROSS COUNTRY CHASE
Were it not for the presence of Maljimar on 10st 3lb, GARDE CHAMPETRE would be 2/1 for this, maybe even 7/4. He was beaten just a smidgeon here in the Autumn and comes here on the back of a pipe-opener of a win last month. Odds of 5/1 just cannot be ignored.

Selections
Cheltenham 4:00, GARDE CHAMPETRE, ½p eachway @ 5/1 (Betfred, best odds guaranteed)

MARES HURDLE
There is a lot of confidence behind Sparky May, but I cannot have her at just 7/2 with QUEVEGA in the field. However, she’s at odds of just 6/5 (William Hill) and that is too skinny for me. I’ll sit this race out.

CENTENARY NOVICES H’Cap
This is a very compact handicap with just 8lb between top and bottom weights. As such, it looks incredibly open as a race and I would not be tempted to take under 10/1 about anything. For me, I’m looking at LTO winners and, of the 5 in the race, ROUGHAM has the perfect profile for this being a novice hurdler (and a decent one at that) last season, and he’s had just 4 chase runs. At odds of 20/1, this could be a good end to the day for the Hobbs/Johnson partnership who won this race last year with a similar horse in Copper Bleu. Nobody is going 5 places for this race, but you will have to be quick as the 20’s is going fast if you want to take it. This is another race that I’ll be sitting out.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Monday, 14 March 2011

Henderson & McCoy ride again!

We start the greatest week in horseracing (Royal Ascot, eat my shorts!) on the crest of a wave following a 14/1 winner from Saturdays only selection, providing followers of the blog with 8.40pts in the bag to go to war with for the month of March. Remember, from the 48 selections advised since 1st November 2010, there has been a profit made on 16 of them, which is a strike-rate of 33.3% (8 winners and 8 placed as eachway selections), with a cumulative profit of 15.005pts on a investment of 55pts; that’s an ROI of 27.28%.

First, the disappointing news that BINOCULAR is not running in the Champion Hurdle despite being the 5/2 fav for the race. There has been a very embarrassing “cock-up” at the Henderson stables with some sort of medication administered to Binocular a couple of weeks back (steroids?) to treat an allergy that has not cleared the horses system in time for the race. Had it run tomorrow, then it would almost certainly have produced a positive result if tested for “drugs”. Despite this putting my blog selection PEDDLERS CROSS in a better position in the betting market, I am disappointed as I want the next Champion Hurdler to be champion on merit, and not because the reigning champion did not take part in the race.

This week, I’ll be watching the Festival from home on Tuesday and Wednesday, and will be at the races on Thursday and Friday. Hopefully, I will be able to “tweet” while at the races (my twitter id is @wayward_lad).

However, back to today, there are 3 jump meetings at Plumpton (my local track), Stratford and Taunton. Last week I told you about the remarkable strike rate of AP McCoy when riding hurdlers for Nicky Henderson - McCoy has 26 wins from 56 rides in hurdles this season alone. At Stratford, Henderson has had 7 wins from 28 hurdlers runners, and that makes REMEMBER NOW his only runner there today high on the list for a wager. Currently best-priced at 3/1, I’d be more inclined to take the 11/4 with Vic Chandler (best odds guaranteed) as we may see this one starting at 100/30 or longer on his handicap debut.
To Plumpton, Venetia Williams sends just the one runner – RILEYEV for the 3:30. This looks a very good opportunity for the horse as this field looks fairly weak. Odds of 9/4 (Will Hill, best odds guaranteed) look generous as he could well start at 7/4 for this.

Selections
Plumpton 3:30, RILEYEV, ½pt win @ 9/4 (William Hill, best odds guaranteed)
Stratford 4:10, REMEMBER NOW, ½pt win @ 11/4 (Vic Chandler, best odds guaranteed)
Total = 1pt staked

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Sunday, 13 March 2011

One selection, one winner - at 14/1 (oh yes!)

Yesterday's blog selection HOLMWOOD LEGEND came home at a whopping price of 14/1. Those who followed my advice were on at those odds and not the 11/1 given as Vic Chandler pays "best odds guaranteed".

I read the race perfect as HOLMWOOD LEGEND wsa in front from halfway, jumping superb, and when the fav Peplum was the only one chasing I knew it was in the bag. Why? Read what I said about Peplum yesterday - "...he does not get a yard further than 2m4f and the stiff uphill finish at Sandown will prevent him from winning in a close finish."

That made it a cracking end to a cracking week for the blog. Follow me next week for the greatest horseracing festival on earth - Cheltenham.

My antepost portfolio is available on the adjacent pages.

Good luck, and keep reading the blog, from Wayward Lad.
(PS: donations welcome!)

Saturday, 12 March 2011

All eyes on Ruby Walsh today

It’s the last Saturday before the greatest racing Festival on earth – Cheltenham.

My antepost book is filled and while I wish I may have been a bit more aggressive with some of my staking (on Peddlers Cross, Ghizao and Poquelin) I’m happy with how things stand. The going is a bit of a concern, as the lack of recent rain and the prospect of none until maybe Wednesday make the likelihood of “good” going on the opening day a near certainty. It may be declared “good-to-soft” but when we see the race times then we’ll really know what it is.

For me, the lack of rain is the main reason that there has been a lack of confidence in the market about MASTER MINDED. He really does need to be able to get his toe in to show his very best form (didn’t have good-to-soft in the QMCC last year when well beaten). Thing is, I’m not sure that “good” going will suit Big Zeb down to the ground either, and I’m expecting a turn-up in the QMCC come Wednesday.

From the Horse Alert List (which has been doing well recently) we had CESIUM running yesterday. It was very disappointing and the horse is clearly out of love with the game. Don’t wager on him again until he shows his old zest. It must be infuriating for his owners and the trainer as the horse has plenty of ability – he just is not interested in racing anymore.

All eyes will be on Ruby Walsh at Sandown today as he tries to get a winner on the board before the Festival starts after a long period on the sidelines thru’ injury. Personally, I think he has a good chance on TITO BUSTILLO in the Imperial Cup.

I have a selection for those who are interested, in the final race at Sandown. It’s a 2m4f & 110 yard class 3 chase at 4:40. There are 8 runners with the joint-favs Peplum and Craiglands dominating the market. Peplum is on a hat-trick, but he does not get a yard further than 2m4f and the stiff uphill finish at Sandown will prevent him from winning in a close finish. Craiglands ran his best race in ages LTO, but that was over 3m1f. He last won over this sort of trip at Cheltenham and, having plenty of stamina, he won’t be stopping – but will he be quick enough? Personally, I like right-hand track specialist HOLMWOOD LEGEND. He’s lightly raced for a 10yo having had just 11 chase races, winning 4 all on right-hand tracks from 9 starts going RH. The going may be a bit quick for him, but he has run well (without winning) on good going before. As such, odds of 11/1 are value (Vic Chandler, best odds guaranteed).

Selection:
Sandown 4:40, HOLMWOOD LEGEND, ½pt each way @ 11/1 (Vic Chandler, BOG)

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Friday, 11 March 2011

Watering commences at Cheltenham

I had a bit of a funny moment yesterday with Romney Marsh. Sometimes you can look too hard at the formbook and then put too much importance to a fragment of form from the past. That’s what I did yesterday with Romney Marsh, and in doing so I ignored the fact that the horse was not running well recently, his stable was out of form, and the horse was probably unlikely to stay the trip. That said, had the pace of the race been a little more sedate, he may have run been a lot closer.

There are 4 good meetings today, at Sandown, Ayr, Leicester and Wincanton. Far too much to review so I’ll try and find so decent nuggets amongst that lot.
I can’t see any value at Ayr.
I like Leicester, but the races today all look a bit tactical. From the Horse Alert List runs CESIUM in the 4:15, but he seems to have lost the plot. However, he is a course winner and he is likely to enjoy the quick going. Combined with 1st-time blinkers he may return to form and, if he does, this race will be his. Phar Again looks weighted out of it (up another 3lb), Willandrich tho’ consistent is not value at 7/4. CESIUM at 7/1 looks worth a nibble.
I’m not really happy about the quick going at Wincanton tho’ AP MCCoy rides a couple of hurdlers for Nicky Henderson there (see strikerate blog earlier this week). I’m not nominating these 2 hurdlers as when you follow trends there has to be some value in the odds too, and these races don’t provide value.
At Sandown, we have the Grand Military Gold Cup which (if memory serves me right) was a complete in-running fiasco last year and is really a race to watch only.

Let’s look at the Cheltenham Festival and despite the forecast of rain on the 1st-2 days (Tuesday and Wednesday) next week, drying conditions have meant a start to watering of the course. The likelihood is that the going will be “Good” on Day 1, and probably get quicker during the meeting unless there is significant rainfall.

If I read things correctly, “Good” going will suit none of the market leaders in the Arkle, who would all prefer the word “soft” to be in the going description.

There was some discussion over the relative merits of CUE CARD for the Supreme on twitter y’day. The general consensus was that he was worthy of his position in the market, but that (being trained in England rather than Ireland) his odds were likely to drift slightly from his current best of 9/4. My opinion is that a horse so far clear on form (ratings) should be very short odds indeed. This time last year, Dunguib was 4/5 and he had nothing like the superiority on ratings that CUE CARD has this year, but being Irish-trained the money from his supporters had been put down. I think that CUE CARD has the form “in the book”, whereas Dunguib had notoriety “on the gallops” and so CUE CARD is worthy of being a 4/5 chance come next Tuesday. It will take a significant effort to lower his colours. Even so, I’d hold fire on placing a wager as he could be 11/4 (or longer) on the day.

It is almost certain that Skippers Brig will not run in the Stewart Family H’cap chase and that means that only 1 more is needed to pull out to guarantee a start for THE RAINBOW HUNTER. However, last year there was a huge gamble on OGEE for this race and he ran a cracker to be 3rd. His form has not been embarrassing this year and he runs off OR139 (just 2lb higher than last year). That means he starts with 10st 12lb (16 of the last 19 winners have now carried 10st 12lb or less) and at 20/1 he’s not a forlorn eachway chance (started at just 8/1 last year).

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Some Festival snippets

Another tremendous day for the blog yesterday, despite not putting up a solid selection. The only horse mentioned RAPID INCREASE, who is also on the Horse Alert list, romped home winning by 16-lengths very easily at the exceptionally generous odds of 6/1 in this 6-horse race. He’d been battling thru’ the mud on his previous 2 runs (pulled-up LTO) but on this better going he was a class above these. I wrote beforehand he was a potentially 130+ chaser with a full brother on OR125 and a half-bro’ on OR141 and boy, did he show it yesterday. The result was never in doubt from the off when he ran with enthusiasm, and I had doubled-up my stake before they jumped the 2nd-fence (the joys of in-running punting). The 2nd-placed horse Topless is a consistent one-paced plodder who almost certainly ran 100+ (IMO, he ran to 106) and that makes RAPID INCREASE’s performance 132. The handicapper will probably raise him about 10lb for this, but he should be well capable of a follow-up.

This result is as a benefit of studying the results and marking-up horses with potential from the Weekender results pull-out produced every Wednesday. This week, the Weekender has been fully revised and I reckon it’s the best £2.50 any follower of the horses can spend.

So far this week, I’ve mentioned 5 horses on the blog and, had you placed an eachway bet on all of them, only one would not have resulted in a positive return. What I cannot work out is that with over 500 twitter followers (and I tweet the moment I update my blog page) I had only 213 page views yesterday, of which only 114 happened before the start of the race I reviewed (the 3:30 at Fontwell). As the saying goes; you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink!

There are some good meetings today at Wincanton, Carlisle and Folkestone, but I’m not finding any value. The only horse that looks of interest is the infamous ROMNEY MARSH who was ridden to a finish a circuit early LTO by Hadden Frost. He runs in the 4:30 at Folkestone. Clearly, his last run can be ignored but what interests me is the last time Mattie Bachelor was in the saddle (I like Mattie, he rode Vamizi at Exeter on Tuesday and this is his only ride today) the horse was 2nd to Aztec Treasure at Towcester. That was on good going, which is what he’ll be on today, and trainer Roger Curtis is 3 wins from 13 chase runs here.

In the past 14-days, Alan King has sent out 10 “favs” and only 2 have won. His stable is not doing well and I am happy to lay his short-priced runners such as Midnight Appeal (3:35 Wincanton) and Management (4:40 Wincanton).

Festival thoughts with the 4-day declarations for Tuesday now available. A few snippets of interest:-

In the Supreme Novices Hurdle, Cue Card goes for this and not the Champion Hurdle. It may be a foregone conclusion, but there are still the places to go for and the only mare in the race MEGAN’S STAR, unbeaten and a 6yo, fits the bill.

In the Arkle, I am surprised that Mikael d’Haguenet is still in the race, but the rumours are he’ll go for the RSA later in the week.

For the Stewart Family H’cap chase, I reckon Nicky Henderson is having a good go this year, and he has 2 entries that tick the boxes; Carole’s Legacy and Quantitativeeasing. Of the 2, it’s CAROLE’S LEGACY who was 2nd to Quevega in the Mare’s Hurdle last year that interests me the most. She is quality. However, if a couple more come out, then I’m having a good punt on THE RAINBOW HUNTER. Game as they come, he jumps like a stag, stays all day and, on just 10st 3lb, he’ll be a devil to beat.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

McCoy to follow-up on RAPID INCREASE

A good day for the blog yesterday, despite not putting up a solid selection. The headline “act” was SEMI COLON who had the benefit of the double act with the 47% strikerate – Henderson & McCoy. Sure enough, the horse romped home a 6-length winner at 2/1.
Next up was The Devon National, and I very nearly struck lucky again. There was a notable gamble on my selection VAMIZI from 12’s in the morning to 13/2. He was going very strong as they entered the final stretch with 4 fences to go. Leading after the 2nd-last he went 1.33 in-running before succumbing to the challenge of rank-outsider Ammunition. Back in 3rd was the other noted runner on the blog – Drybrook Bedouin.
Lastly, BLACKPOOL BILLY came within a ¼ of a length of winning his race in a 3-way finish. Close, but no cigar!

There was excellent news for all horseracing fans and the industry with the mouth-watering win on the jackpot of over £1.40 million for just a £2 stake. Amazing, given the man went to the races on a free ticket, and only put a single line on for the bet.

There are a couple of jump meetings at Catterick and Fontwell, but only one horse interests me today and that’s RAPID INCREASE at Fontwell. He’s on my Horse Alert list and finally gets the going he’s been wanting – Good to Soft – and McCoy in the saddle. If he can’t win this off OR110 with 11st 12lb then trainer Jonjo O’Neill needs a rocket! Currently 5/1 with Betfred, those odds look very generous for a horse that is potentially a 130+ chaser in the right conditions.

You will be glad to know the Festival formstudy is going well, and I may be naming a significant wager on the opening days’ chase handicap sometime over the next couple of days.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Henderson & McCoy: a 47% win strike rate

There are a couple of interesting meetings today at Exeter and Newcastle.
Newcastle resumes racing after the upsetting end (for some) to the Eider Chase at the previous meeting. If you visit the blog “steeplechasing” (see adjacent link) there is an interesting page about the going and racing that day.
My concentration is solely on next week’s Festival with form-study already begun on the handicaps, but there are a few snippets that may be wallet fillers for next week.

At Newcastle, the going is soft/heavy and much of the racing is poor stuff. But, the 4:50 a class 3 h’cap chase over 2m4f looks a likely place for a wager with canny Northern trainer Ferdy Murphy having his only runner of the day in BLACKPOOL BILLY in the race. This horse was well thought of as a hurdler, winning 2 of his 3 races in March 2008. Unfortunately, he must’ve hurt himself in his debut chase in Nov-08 as he wasn’t seen again for 2 years till last November. He ran well enough on his first couple of outings to be a hot fav LTO, but the going was a bit quick for him that day and he never got into contention. Today’s going will suit him to a tee, as will the extra half-mile.

At Exeter, there is a near £million jackpot pool carried-over to today, and I think you won’t go far wrong supporting the only Nicky Henderson runner SEMI COLON in the opener at 2:30 to get you off to a good start. Add the stats of AP McCoy when riding for Henderson - he's won on 25 of his 53 hurdle rides for him this season – and we have the basis of a solid wager. The morning fav Pepite Rose won cosily LTO, but I reckon the more mud the better for her and today’s good-to-soft going will be too quick for her.

In the Devon National at 3:30, the extreme trip of 3m6f & 110 yards will test stamina to the limit. It could develop into a similar race as the Eider with the last horse standing, taking the spoils. If that’s the case then Drybrook Bedouin who will never stop running could plug on to win. However, VAMIZI loves Exeter and never runs a bad race here (a win and 2 x 2nds from 3 chases at Exeter), and he’s been dropped 4lb for pulling-up LTO. Regular rider Mattie Batchelor is back in the saddle and he will cajole a decent run today from VAMIZI who, at 10/1 looks fair value.

No firm blog selections, but I would expect all those named – BLACKPOOL BILLY, SEMI COLON and VAMIZI all to be involved in the finish of their respective races.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Monday, 7 March 2011

No value in LONG RUN for Gold Cup at 5/1

After a week away, the blog is back.
We ended February with a profit of 5.925pts, which added to January’s 2.08pt profit. For December, the blog broke even, and in November we lost 1.40pts. So, for the jumps season to-date, the blog is 6.605pts in profit on a total investment of 54pts; that’s an ROI of 12.23%. From the 47 selections advised, there has been a profit made on 15 of them, which is a strikerate of 31.9% (7 winners and 8 placed as eachway selections).

On the run-up to the Cheltenham Festival which starts a week tomorrow, I will be concentrating on the Festival itself aiming to focus the antepost book that has already been started and added to throughout the season so far.

We had a bit of a blow yesterday with the withdrawal thru’ injury of RIVERSIDE THEATRE from the Ryanair, and the horse has been retired for the season. Not an individual wager, RIVERSIDE THEATRE was part of my 2 eachway “yankees” placed in mid-January. Another leading Gold Cup fancy withdrawn last week was DIAMOND HARRY who won the Hennessey Gold Cup LTO. Of all the runners opposing the “Big 3” in the Gold Cup, it was Diamond Harry that was giving me most sleepless nights. Apparently, trainer Nick Williams is now regretting he did not give the horse more racing this season. All horses are at risk of injury at the track or on the training ground, and when a horse is fit and well it should be raced. You only get one chance in racing, and you should always grab it with both hands.

One advantage of a week’s holiday was being able to read the Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide written by Paul Jones. No doubt about it, this is a great read with plenty to stimulate the mind. Something that many writers have jumped on is that LONG RUN would be the first 6yo to win a Gold Cup since 1963 (Mill House) if he succeeds next week. This is countered by the fact that only 3 x 6yo’s have run in the race since then, but they included The Fellow who was 2nd btn only a short-head by Garrison Savanah in the 1991 Gold Cup, and Gloria Victis was running well enough to be placed in the 2000 Gold Cup when falling at the 2nd-last. In other words, only the best 6yo's run in the Gold Cup. However, having read the Paul Jones guide I think you have to expand the parameters of 6yo chasers, given that so few have contested the Gold Cup in the past 40 years. In the National Hunt Chase over 4-mile, since 1989 there has been just 1 winning 6yo from 62 (6yo’s or younger) contesting the race. In the RSA Chase over 3-mile 110 yards, there has been just 2 winning 6yo’s since 1978 and there have been some cracking good horses amongst those beaten 6yo’s too. In chases over 3-mile-plus at the Festival, 6yo's have a terrible strikerate, and that must be due to their relative immaturity and experience. There is no way I could wager on LONG RUN at his current odds of just 5/1 as the quality in depth of this year’s Gold Cup field is just too strong. The best performance I’ve witnessed this season was from Denman when 3rd in the Hennessey GC. My opinion of Imperial Commander's run at Haydock LTO was that it wasn’t far short of 170. I thought Kauto Star ran too bad to be true in the KGVI, but he does not like it when he cannot get his own way in a race and he won’t next week with Denman in the field. I rate Denman a 4/1 chance, and Imperial Commander should be 5/2. I would have Kauto Star at 7’s (he’s fallen 3 times in the UK, twice at Cheltenham at the Festival) and Long Run at 8’s. I expect that by Friday next week, the Irish will have plenty of winnings to play with and there will be a lot of money on both Kempes and Pandorama, with the latter at 10’s or shorter on the day.

There are now many bookmakers going “non-runner = no bet” on the Cheltenham Festival (or at least on the major races at the Festiva). They include, Paddy Power, Stan James, Corals, Bet365, Boylesports, Sportingodds, Skybet and Ladbrokes. Even so, some odds on the leading contenders look mighty skinny to me – Time For Rupert at 9/4 for the RSA looks daft in what is a very competitive field. Medermit at 3/1 for the ‘Arkle’ given he’s not won at Cheltenham in 5 tries there is no value at all (all wins on flat tracks). I usually leave my biggest wagers till the days of the Festival itself and try and pull off an eachway double in the handicaps.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad