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Between March 2010 and April 2017, this blog recommended wagers on 520 individual races on Jump Racing in the UK, resulting in a PROFIT of £1,525.39 on cumulative stakes of £5,726 - this is equivalent to a Return On Investment of 26.60%.
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Monday, 4 April 2011
Grand National history lesson
It’s a big week this week, with the jump season coming to an effective close with the Grand National next Saturday providing the finale. The meeting at Aintree on Thursday, Friday and Saturday is a cracker right from the opening race which will feature Big Bucks in the 3-mile hurdle. I have a real soft spot for the Aintree meeting having been brought up in the nearby town of Maghull (about 4-miles away from the course) where members of my family still live. “National” aficionados will (of course) know that the very first Grand National Steeplechase was run at Maghull in 1836 (and again in 1837 and 1838) before the race was transferred to its current location at Aintree. Apparently the transfer was due to some sort of land dispute, and over rights to the race. In those days, horseracing was not the huge draw on the public that it is today; and the feature event of the area north of Liverpool was the Waterloo Cup. This is (and was until recently) the premier sporting event in the land, and was hare coursing on land at Altcar (the “Withins”). Have you ever watched the movie “The 39 Steps”? In the scene in the Music Hall, the Memory Man is asked a question:
“What won the Cup in 1926?” to which Mr Memory responds; “Cup? Waterloo, Football, or Tea, Sir?”
Such were the crowds that were attracted to the Waterloo Cup in the 1830’s (estimated at 100,000 and that is before cars and railways!), that to keep the people entertained on the “rest” day of the of the Waterloo Cup (which was held over 3-days, the middle day being the rest-day), a local hotelier named William Lynn, owner of the Waterloo Hotel in Liverpool (this position is now occupied by two old pubs; the Midland and the Central which are opposite the exit/entrance to the Liverpool Central train station) created the race.
William Lynn apparently died penniless; the Waterloo Cup is no more having been outlawed; but the Grand National remains as the greatest single annual sporting event in the World.
The Aintree meeting this week will feature many of the horses that ran at Cheltenham a few weeks back, but these two courses cannot be compared – they are like chalk and cheese.
There is a jumps meeting at Kelso this afternoon, but there is nothing there that catches my eye. I’ve had a long look at the 2m6f hurdle at 5:00, which is a class 3 handicap. Kelso is a sharp Left-handed track that (in my opinion) favours course-specialists and there are 6 previous course winners from the 15 declared runners. The trip will also stretch the stamina of a few, and that includes the likely fav Moon Indigo. This race could go to an improver, such as Shooting Times, or 1 of the 3 C&D winners of Sendali, The Shy Man or Stopped Out. For me, Stopped Out who is the only runner today for Kate Walton is the one that I am most interested in, but I cannot advise a solid wager given the question-marks over many in this race.
I’ll be watching the flat racing at today’s meetings at Windsor and Folkestone and making notes of any that look worthy of following. Having watched Saturdays at Doncaster, it seems fairly obvious that those running on the stands side (drawn high) were at an advantage. As such, in the opening race over a mile won by Eton Forever (drawn 16 of 22), I was taken by the strong run in the final 2f of JUSTONEFORTHEROAD (drawn 10) who ran up the middle-to-far side of the course. With 3 wins on good-to-firm going, he will appreciate the summer months and seems to have returned this season a better horse than he was last season. In the Lincoln, it was the run of DUBAI HILLS (drawn 6 of 21) and ETON RIFLES (drawn 9) that took the eye. Interestingly, Eton Rifles was 2nd to Justonefortheroad over 7f at York last October! Dubai Hills has transferred his vastly improved form on the AW this winter onto turf. Both these horses were trying the mile trip for only the 2nd time, and the way they stayed-on in this highly competitive race while on the “wrong” side of the track suggests that they could be well-handicapped if racing in the right conditions.
The Grand National betting is taking more shape as my “principle” selection Northern Alliance has shortened to 40/1 (from 50’s) and is 33’s with several bookies. Most bookmakers now go “non-runner, no bet”, but some do not – so check before you wager.
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