Welcome to the World of Horseracing

Record of the blog selections

Since March 2010, this blog has 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 - equivalent to a Return On Investment of 26.60%.


For the 2016-17 Jumps Season, this blog recorded a LOSS of £40.87

from wagers on 55 individual races (6 winners, 12 placed)

Total Staked = £609.00


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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe 2011

The 345th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

This is a special edition of the blog for the race that brings down the curtain on the European “Flat” racing season – the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.

I am going to start with last year’s winner, WORKFORCE. Much was made of the trouble in-running suffered by several horses in this race last year, but Workforce suffered as well and had to come from well off the pace with his finishing run. He has not looked so straightforward this season and - judging by his run in the King George –his eyeballing defeat to SO YOU THINK in the Eclipse at Sandown in July has knocked the stuffing from him. His defeat in the King George was blamed on being struck-in-to. Whatever, he won’t relish another eyeballing with SO YOU THINK.

As such, SO YOU THINK has his measure. How good is he? I reckon he’s better than his official rating of OR127, by possibly another 3lb. He should relish this trip as he showed no signs of lacking stamina over 10-furlongs in the Eclipse and he was good enough to run 3rd in the Melbourne Cup over 2-miles (admittedly, off a lenient handicap mark, about 10lbs below what he should have been on). What’s more is he likes to be up with the leader, so he could take a deal of catching in the straight.

SARAFINA was 3rd in the race last year and many thought she could have won but for being badly impeded 3f-out. I must admit, I was not of the same opinion and I watched the race many times. Yes, she lost ground, but so did a host of other horses as the early leader weakened quickly. Personally, I thought her jockey left her run too late and I think connections may have thought that too, as Gerard Mosse has been replaced since. Without a doubt, the horse possesses a devastating turn-of-foot and while that will hold her in good stead in this smaller field (19 ran last year, this year it’s likely to be 14 going to post), I reckon this year’s opponents are better horses.

Of the others, GALIKOVA won a weak looking Group 1 (Prix Vermeille) LTO, and it was a slow time too (2.10 secs slower than SARAFINA on the same card) and you have to wonder if this half-sister to brilliant miler Goldikova will have the stamina to stay this 12-furlong trip which will probably be run at a searching pace. She’s not one for me.

NAKAYAMA FESTA ran a cracker last year to be 2nd, only losing to Workforce by a head. The horse did nothing wrong last year and was beaten on the day only by a better one, there were no excuses. However, that was a helluva final furlong tussle last year and he’s not looked the same horse since. He was easily swept aside by Sarafina in the Prix Foy and needs to find possibly 10lb+ to be in contention.

A more interesting run in that race came from HIRUNO D’AMOUR, another Japanese challenger. Do not under-estimate this one just because he hails from Japan. Remember, he beat good yard-stick St Nicholas Abbey in the Prix Foy at level weights and by 2½ lengths – and that was his first run in over 4 months so he no-doubt needed it. He was not pushed hard that day, and I liked the way he quickened-up 2f-out to pass St Nicholas Abbey inside the final furlong only to be caught by Sarafina in the final 50 yards. As such, I cannot see ST NICHOLAS ABBEY being involved in the finish.

RELIABLE MAN who Seville beat at Longchamps in July may well still be improving (he won the influential “Arc” trial, the Prix Niel, LTO, easily) and some good judges reckon he’s top-notch. He also has the huge advantage of the 3yo weight-for-age allowance.

SNOW FAIRY won both the English and Irish Oaks Group 1 classics last season. However, I reckon she’s best at 10-furlongs and, depending on how this race is run; she may not be far away from SO YOU THINK at the post. If it’s a slow-run race early-on and develops into a 5-furlong dash she has a turn-of-foot as good as any in this field and better than most.

The last of the realistic contenders is Irish Derby winner TREASURE BEACH. Remember, this horse beat Nathaniel at Chester in May and since then they have both gone on to win Group 1 races over 12-furlongs. He’s a prominent galloper though, and that’s not the best thing to be in the “Arc”. In his favour, he has always been held in highest regard by his trainer Aidan O’Brien, hence his entry at Chester in May (where he sends all his best 3yo’s). Although almost certainly over-the-top when beaten in the Grand Prix de Paris in July, he has since won over 10f in August (another Group 1) and has been rested since - so comes into this race fresh.

Of those with supplementary entries, MEANDRE is held by RELIABLE MAN and would need to make significant improvement to reverse placings with him. As for MASKED MARVEL, connections are surely looking to try and snatch one of the places (5th pays £100k, 4th £200k, 3rd £400k) and make a financial killing on the 100,000 Euro entry fee.

How do I rate the race, and my odds-line:
RELIABLE MAN – 122 + 8lb = 130(P)..........9/2 chance
SO YOU THINK – 130...................4/1
SARAFINA – 126 + 3lb = 129.................9/2
GALIKOVA – 118 + 11lb = 129...............12/1 (won’t stay trip)
SNOW FAIRY – 125 + 3lb = 128...............10/1
TREASURE BEACH – 120 + 8lb = 128(P)......8/1
MASKED MARVEL – 120 + 8lb = 128...........14/1
MEANDRE – 119 + 8lb = 127..................14/1
HIRUNO D’AMOUR – 124(P+).....12/1 (could improve 3lb+)
WORKFORCE – 123.................12/1 (spent force)
NAKAMAYA FESTA – 120(P)................16/1
St NICHOLAS ABBEY – 120............20/1
Any others @ 25/1 or longer

From the above, RELIABLE MAN at 16/1 looks tremendous value, as does the other 3yo Derby winning colt TREASURE BEACH at 40/1. They may not win what looks like a very competitive race, but one (or both) should be in the 1st-3 and you never know! Definitely worth an eachway wager.
Don't get me wrong, I reckon SO YOU THINK is the most likely winner - but the best horse doesn't always win the race (racing would be easy otherwise).

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.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

We may have a lovely time today at Bangor

The 344th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

There is an interesting meeting at Bangor this afternoon and my attention has been captured by the 3:50; a 2m1f h’cap chase.

There has been a significant move in the betting market for the Jonjo O’Neill trained Adajal, ridden by AP McCoy. This horse will be fit from hurdling but, on what we’ve seen of him over fences in the UK, he’s plain slow. Unless the horse has undergone a complete “reboot”, I think he can be opposed. Adajal is the 5/1 joint-fav with Tilly Ann, however I reckon the latter would prefer another couple of furlongs as she is also on the slow side. Next in the market is Restezen D’Amour who comes into the race fresh from a 182-day break. He’s run well fresh before and today’s trip will suit him (doesn’t stay much further). However, unless his in-form trainer Charlie Longsdon has worked the oracle with him it’s unlikely this horse will have the resolve to win the race at the business end if he’s challenged. Macauley was the RP BF fav, but he’s only just moved to Phil Hobbs stable and is unlikely to have benefitted from the move just yet. Up To The Mark is another slow horse, too measured with his jumping. I’m not sure what to make of Saddlers Deal; he’s looked capable at times, but his jumping can let him down. Jim Tango is also fit from hurdling, and he’s also well handicapped on his chase form. However, he is very one-paced at the business end and he’d be one I’d be laying at under 2.50 after the 2nd-last if he’s being challenged. Midnight Opera has only had one chase, and that was fair. As such, I expect him to improve on that display especially as he has some decent form (good speed figures) at hurdling. He’s one that’s likely to ensure a good pace (along with Jim Tango).

That leaves just Michigan Assassin and Pin D’Estruval.
Another who likes to run prominently, Michigan Assassin drops from 2m4f for this, in fact it’s the first time he’s run in a chase under 2m4f. As he usually fades and makes mistakes in the final half-mile of his races, this drop in trip could be what he needs. When he last finished a class 4 chase, he was btn just 2½ lengths off OR112 (he’s on OR107 today) and that was after recovering from a momentous blunder at the 2nd-last fence. He should not be 20/1 (Corals & Boylesports), especially as in his last race he met some decent types who were clearly better than him.
As for Pin D’Estruval, he won well LTO and has been raised just 6lb. He may need the going to be a bit quicker, but it is good-to-firm in places and that may be enough. Again, he should not be 15/2 (Vic Chandler & Sportingbet).

From Monday 3rd October, I will no longer be restricting my selections to subscribers to Betting League. You will be able to find my selections, as well as read what I hope is an informative and entertaining blog, right here on the Wayward Lad blogspot. And what’s more, I’ll be posting my selections on here until Grand National day 2012.

So, add the link to the blog onto your “favourites” bar and log-on to find my independent thoughts on horseracing.

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, 28 September 2011

October trainer-form - and an outsider for the "Arc"

The 343rd edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

I have to admit, I got a real buzz from watching the ‘jumps’ meeting at Market Rasen last Saturday – it showed me what I’d been missing all summer long. Excitement!

Although I did not find a winner from my 2 selections (posted-up on Betting League) they both gave me a cracking good run and an opportunity to shout them home from about half-a-mile out. You cannot really do that with flat racing.

As such, my enthusiasm was fired-up on Sunday and I opened up my trusty “Trainers – Jumps Statistics” annuals from the past few seasons to search at pointers for the coming month ahead. When I look at Trainer Statistics, be they for the Jumps or the Flat, I concentrate on those trainers who are earning strike-rates of better than 20% winners-to-runners. The obvious candidates, PF Nicholls & NJ Henderson, quickly take your eye but, if you want to find an edge then you have to delve into the stats that little bit deeper.

Take champion trainer PF Nicholls. On the face of it, with 49 winners from 170 runners in October over the past 4 years (not including NH Flat races) you’d be considering supporting every runner he sends out in October. But his record with hurdlers can be patchy in October and, if you concentrate only on his chasers then you’ll likely be onto something. He’s won with 24 of his 65 chase runners in the past 4 seasons, and they don’t need a prep run either (FTO, 29% WTR).
Some abbreviations to shorten the word count:
FTO = First time out
WTR = Wins to Runs

Similarly, NJ Henderson has a 27% WTR strike-rate in October but with far fewer runners. With him, you won’t see many chasers out so you need to focus more on his hurdlers (29%WTR).

A trainer who will be winning more than his fare share in October will be Nigel Twiston-Davies, but you have to remember he campaigns all summer long. His form usually tails-off from November onwards before he recaptures it in the Spring. Even so, his chasers are always worth a second-look (24%WTR).

For the Northern Jumps meetings in October – and throughout this season, in fact – there will be the huge gap left by the demise of trainer J Howard Johnson to fill. In 2010-11, he averaged 50 runners a month between October and April (inclusive) from his 130-strong stable; and he won 58 races in that period. Who will fill that gap? Donald McCain looks like the most obvious candidate (what’s his odds for Champion Trainer?), but I reckon Sue Smith will be a name to follow on the Northern circuit.

Lastly, it’s the Arc de Triomphe this Sunday and with Sarafina the 7/2 favourite (Paddy Power), you cannot help thinking the horse that she just beat LTO, HIRUNO D’AMOUR looks value at 20/1 (Corals, Hills, PaddyPower, Bet365, & Boyles). That was HIRUNO’s first run since 1st May and his first run on a European track and, he had Coronation Cup winner and King George 3rd St Nicholas Abbey 2½ lengths behind him on level terms. He was beaten only a “short-neck” by Sarafina. To me, he looks sure to improve a few pounds for the run which was only his 6th start, as such he must still be unexposed. I reckon he should be trading at under 10/1 on the back of that run.

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, 24 September 2011

Close, but no cigar!

The 342nd edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Talk about hitting the crossbar!
I put-up 2 selections on Betting League and what great runs they gave us – but neither won.
Both selections ran at Market Rasen over the jumps, and first up was KING IN WAITING, one of two entries in the race for David O’Meara. He was guaranteed the good pace he needs and I thought the booking of Paddy Brennan as “2nd jockey” (Denis O’Regan had chosen to ride Viva Colonia) was indicative of his chance. As such, I thought the morning odds of 8/1 were generous as I considered him more like a 5/1 chance. The horse did everything right, taking-up the lead at the 2nd-last flight – but perhaps that was a bit too early as, when challenged and passed jumping the final flight, he was unable to peg-back the eventual winner who took the race with an advantage of just a head and they were 4-lengths clear of the remainder.
The winner – Rumble Of Thunder – was returned at odds of 20/1 which were also generous considering the horse had won 2 of his last 3 hurdle races, and the 5yo looks very much on the upgrade.

The next race was one I felt much more confident about, and I advised a win wager on NOBLE ALAN at the morning odds of 10/1. Now, this horse has been highly campaigned as a chaser, and no wonder as he won the Scottish Champion Hurdle in April 2009. I felt he was under-estimated by the handicapper and the betting market and so it proved. He simply cruised up to the leaders before the 2nd-last fence looking full of running but, asked for a big jump by his jockey, he jarred his leg on landing (false turf?) and un-shipped his jockey.

But for a bit of luck, we could have had a cracking double at 8/1 and 10/1.

At Haydock, I wrote in my blog that “you may want to take a look at a rank outsider “– JUDGE AND JURY was 28/1, and he was just beaten into 4th by a head after being with the leaders all the way.

I wrote that the Sun Chariot Stakes should go to SAHPRESA, and so it did and although the SP was 13/8, odds of 9/4 were available in the morning.

All-in-all, a fine day at the races with plenty of enjoyment. Unfortunately, the Betfair platform was struggling for a lot of the afternoon and plenty of players were complaining on twitter. For those who make their living from the platform, it is a real inconvenience when it does not work.

Me? I’m happy that my form-study on the jumps scene will soon start to pay dividends as, but for some cruel luck today, we could have been counting a stack of cash.

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

Friday, 23 September 2011

There's value to be had (if you can find it!)

The 341st edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

For me, this time of the year (post St Leger and pre Arc de Triomphe) is a period when I wager very sparingly on the ‘flat’. This week’s meetings have not presented me with a wagering opportunity that I have felt confident of sharing with readers of the blog and subscribers of my selections on Betting League (where you can find my advices).

As such, I’ve spent a fair amount of time on form-study of recent meetings over the ‘jumps’. This can be very productive as spotting horses that are not just fit, but well in advance of other horses, means that even tho’ they may start fav for their next outing the market still undervalues their position.

The meeting on Saturday at Haydock looks like one I’d normally avoid. The class 2, 5-furlong h’cap at 3:20 is a race I wouldn’t spend any time on but for the presence of Addictive Dream. Firstly, he’s not a selection as, even with Kieren Fallon in the saddle, he needs 6-furlongs. What I can’t work out is why the horse has only a single win to his name on turf. But, as he’s 2nd-fav, that means there is a hint of value amongst the others and the search for the winner must start with the fav CHEVETON. This horse won this race last year after winning at Ayr the previous week and he’s attempting the same again and has the going in his favour. Ladbrokes may rue offering him at odds of 6/1. I hope the 16 in it all go to post as, if they do, you may want to take a look at a rank outsider who has slipped 12lb in the ratings from this time last year, has done nearly all his winning on ground with “give” and yet has hardly ever run on it in the past two seasons – JUDGE AND JURY at 28/1 (with Boylesports, and 25/1 generally). He is in good form, but has just been running on going quicker than he likes. He could lead all the way, and is probably worth a “place-only” wager on the exchanges with a small win wager.

I can’t see anything at Chester of interest. At Ripon, a recent selection of mine (that was beaten) runs again in Fastnet Storm, who has a much better draw (4) this time. He could run a very prominent race at decent odds.

At Newmarket, the Sun Chariot Stakes should go to SAHPRESA who has won this race for the past 2 years, as she is better than these. The only doubt is the going (good-to-firm) and that brings TIMEPIECE into play. The big race of the day is the Cambridgeshire and with 35 runners going to post, this is a race that you play with gut feeling. Horses with experience of these sort of races usually come good again, and RIGGINS who was 2nd in the Royal Hunt Cup in 2010 off OR100 comes into this on OR98 having been targeted at this race all season. He’s drawn in the middle at 22, and that’s where you want to be. He may be worth an eachway play at 28/1 with Skybet who are paying to 6-places.

There is a cracking ‘jumps’ meeting at Market Rasen, and that’s where I’ll be having a wager tomorrow as I think I’ve found me a bit of value. You’ll have to go to the Betting League website to find out what I’m on (had an 8/1 winner from 2 selections last Saturday – SP was 5/1).

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, 21 September 2011

A time to bet like men

The 340th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

From time-to-time it pays to look back at recent events and take stock to see where you did things right and where it went wrong. I was particularly enamoured by the recent series of articles on successful “modern” punters – however, only Patrick Veitch was the only one to tick the box of being truly “modern-day”.

I’ve been punting on horses since I was 7-years-old, my first wager being a “bob” each-way on Ribocco ridden by L. Piggott in the 1967 Derby won by Royal Palace (Ribocco was 2nd so I turned a tiny profit – and the “seed” had been sown!). In the intervening years, I have always maintained and interest in horseracing, both flat and jumps. When I started working at the age of 20 in 1980, I immediately found a good use for the incoming wages tho’ success was sporadic as I insisted on having multiple bets. My favourite was a “Yankee” – and I had all 4 selections win for me once which brought-in the equivalent of a full weeks wages. However, experience has taught me that the only way to truly win is to have a significant amount on a horse that is under-valued by the markets and to get your money (proper money) down.

I think I read in a book by Clement Freud that his maxim was “don’t have a bet unless losing would hurt (financially)”. In other words, don’t have a token £10 each-way. If you are going to have a “bet”, do it properly and have a day’s wages (or the equivalent) on it. That is, if you are on £40,000 a year and take home (after tax and NIC) £550 a week (or £2,200 a month), then your minimum bet should be £110 – which is a day’s wages. If you’re not confident enough to do that – and confidence is a huge factor in playing the horses – then don’t place the bet.

In doing this you will learn several important lessons very quickly. (1) Discipline – unless you are made of money and you have so much it means nothing to you then, if you stick to the “day’s wages” rule, you won’t squander your valuable hard-earned on trivial wagers. You will develop the discipline to wait until an opportunity arrives. (2) Race-reading – if you are not betting on multiple races then you will (hopefully) watch them instead without a financial interest. As such, you will learn to race-read. It is only natural to focus your attention on the horse carrying your wager, and so miss other potential developments in the same race. Watch as much racing as you can and learn from it. (3) Character – not everyone is born to be a gambler, and gambling’s gut-instinct is not something that can be learned. If you cannot bring yourself to “put the money down” then really and truly, playing the horses is not for you. We are all capable of making valued judgements and we do it regularly when buying a car or house, or in choosing partner or a new job offer over another. It is another part of character that goes beyond these decisions as with gambling it’s all or nothing. You want a losing wager to hurt, but not so much you cannot recover from it and that it makes you feel bitter.

What took me to writing this was a race yesterday at Newton Abbot. Regular readers of the blog will know that last jumps season I posted a “Horses-to-Follow” list, nominating horses with potential to improve. By the looks of it, I spotted the potential a year too soon in some of them as Absolute Shambles has recently completed a hat-trick of wins during the summer months, and yesterday another from the list won – QHILIMAR. When looking at the following days races on Monday evening, QHILIMAR jumped-out at me as he had the right trip looked well-in off OR127. At the time, he had been price-up by one bookmaker at 10/1, but was between 8/1 – 9/1 with a few others. Given he’s won when fresh several times I considered him a 4/1 chance in the odds-line I prepared. I thought I’d leave it overnight before having a wager and see what the morning brought – wrong move! By the time I checked on oddschecker at 9:30am, the “value” had gone and the best I could find was 11/2. Although I felt confident in the horse’s ability, my confidence did not match my character to have a wager at my minimum stakes. Your see, even today, over 40 years since my first wager, I still sometimes lack the confidence to bet like a man.

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, 19 September 2011

Ginger McCain - National Legend

The 339th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

When the Grand National was floundering due to bad (not poor, plain bad) management and chronic under-investment in the early 1970’s, staring oblivion in the face; it required a unique combination of characters to save it. From stables hidden behind a garage in nearby Southport emerged a saviour and his protégé - Ginger McCain and Red Rum, a horse trained on the beach at low-tide, and perhaps the greatest jockey ever to ride the National course, Brian Fletcher.

I doubt many people under the age of 50 (60 even) today understand just how dire the situation was at Aintree, home of the greatest horserace on the planet: the Grand National. The last “development” at the track had occurred before the First World War and, like the ill-fated Titanic, Aintree was now (in 1973) captained by the inadequate Bill Davies of the Walton Group. He had purchased the course from the Topham family who had owned it for 125 years and it was no secret that his ultimate aim was to build a housing estate on the course. Aintree was on-course for its own iceberg. The attendance for Grand National day in 1973 was estimated at 5,000 (compare that with the estimated 100,000-plus at Aintree to watch in 2011).

And so the stage was set for perhaps the most dramatic Grand National of all time. Forget the pile-up at the 23rd fence in 1967. The Devon Loch incident of 1956 would be surpassed. The Grand National of 1973 featured the brilliance of the 2-mile globe-trotting New Zealand-bred chaser ‘Crisp’ with that of the rags-to-riches Red Rum.

Crisp knew only one way to run a race: boldly from the front at full pace, and so he did quickly establishing a 20+ length lead. Red Rum was a battler who was there for the long-haul, and he ran much of the 1st-circuit with the leaders of the following “peloton”. However, jumping the “Chair” before heading out for the 2nd circuit, jockey Brian Fletcher knew he had to go for it to have any chance of catching Crisp who was now probably 30-lengths ahead, full of running and jumping the fences like a stag. Watch a replay of the race and you will soon realise that Red Rum was galloping at full speed for the whole of the 2nd circuit, jumping fences with unnerving courage, and still not reducing the advantage held by Crisp.

It could not go on. After 4-miles the pace and the trip covered started to take its toll on the leader. Jumping the final fence, Crisp began to waver. To watch now is both heart-breaking and exhilarating. Crisp; a spent force struggling to hold a straight line. Red Rum; neck outstretched, galloping relentlessly on.

To the victor, the spoils! Red Rum, ridden by Brain Fletcher, trained by Ginger McCain were the names that went into the record books.

Despite being an outspoken chauvinist who was totally politically incorrect, McCain had the ability to keep Red Rum fit and well for another 4 attempts at the National. Because of his personality, McCain was almost certainly an embarrassment to “the establishment”. However, he managed to keep the National in the news, always prepared to comment on whatever developments took place and, for that; horseracing owes him a debt of gratitude.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

An 8/1 winner for the blog

This is the 338th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

A tremendous day’s racing yesterday and, more importantly, an impressive performance by this blog.

I posted 2 selections on Betting League yesterday and had a cracking 8/1 winner with QUSHCHI (SP 5/1) at Newmarket. Since this horse finished 3rd to Brown Panther at Haydock in May after trying to give that horse (now rated OR118 after coming home 2nd in the recent St Leger) 2lb, she’s been in my notebook (see adjacent page). She’s a cracking filly and must be looking for some “black-type” next time out.

My other selection was TIGER REIGNS at Ayr, who I thought may repeat his win in the same race last year, but he wasn’t in the same form.

However, from my Flat Racing Notebook came a horse I’ve thought very well handicapped, and that was XILERATOR who won at Ayr – making all from start to finish – at odds of 12/1. This horse does not stay a mile (well, he might on an easy flat track), so forget his previous run at Ripon. He also has to be able to get out, lead and dominate the race – which is what he did yesterday. Given his only run as a 2yo was over this course and distance on similar going and he ran well, he should have been tipped-up by me. Even so, with two half-bro’s rated OR100+ he’s one to follow.

Another I really should have been on was CHEVETON who won the Ayr Silver Cup at 12/1. Combine the words “Ayr”, “Soft” and “September” and one name jumps out – CHEVETON. He just loves is at Ayr and I expect he’ll register another win NTO (so long as it’s in September) probably at Haydock as he did last season.

Finally, the way OUR JONATHAN won the Ayr Gold Cup was phenomenal but, it really should not have been a surprise if you look at the formbook. After a tremendous 2yo season, he started life as a 3yo rated OR111 and, as you might expect, he struggled. This season as a 4yo he’s developed into a cracking racehorse, and a look at the formbook shows back in May he was 3rd at York to HOOF IT who was running-off OR99. Now, HOOF IT is rated 20lbs higher at OR119 so to get so close to him back in May was a tremendous effort. In fact, judging by yesterday’s performance OUR JONATHAN has closed the gap on HOOF IT and had the latter taken part I doubt he would have coped with him. You might also want to put the name of the horse that split this pair back in May into your notebook – HORSERADISH seen once since when beaten in a Listed race at Windsor won by BATED BREATH. On a current rating of OR102, HORSERADISH can win when fresh off a break and looks very well handicapped indeed, possibly 10lb+ well-in.

The results since the 1st July are as follows:-

4th July, DRAGONERA, 2pts win @ 4/1; WON …8.00pts PROFIT
5th July, OFF CHANCE , 1pt win @ 7/2; lost (3rd) …1.00pts lost
5th July, FLOWING CAPE , 1pt win @ 7/2; lost (3rd) …1.00pts lost
8th July, CHARLIE COOL, 2pts win @ 11/4; WON …5.50pts PROFIT
9th July, AWZAAN, 1pt win @ 6/1; unplaced …1.00pts lost
14th July, JARROW, 1pts win @ 7/1; WON …7.00pts PROFIT
22nd July, DHAAMER, 1pt win @ 13/2; unplaced …1.00pts lost
26th July, STRONG SUIT, 1pts win @ 3/1; WON …3.00pts PROFIT
28th July, BOOGIE SHOES, 1pt EW @ 12/1; unplaced …2.00pts lost
6th August, ZUIDER ZEE, 1pt win @ 13/2; lost (2nd) …1.00pts lost
13th August, DOCOFTHEBAY, 1pt EW @ 12/1; placed 3rd …0.80pts PROFIT
19th August, NATIONALISM, 1pt EW @ 7/1; unplaced …2.00pts lost
20th August, HARLESTONE TIMES, 1pt EW @ 25/1; unplaced …2.00pts lost
23rd August, GEORGE BAKER, 2pts win @ 7/2; WON …7.00pts PROFIT
26th August, OGEE, 2pts win @ 6/1; unplaced …2.00pts lost
30th August, FASTNET STORM, 1pt EW @ 14/1; unplaced …2.00pts lost
3rd Sept, RAINFALL, 1pt win @ 4/1; unplaced …1.00pts lost
3rd Sept, FOUR NATIONS, 1pt win @ 9/2; Lost (2nd) …1.00pts lost
17th Sept, QUSHCHI, 1pt EW @ 8/1; WON …10.00pts PROFIT
17th Sept, TIGER REIGNS, 1pt EW @ 8/1; unplaced …2.00pts lost

Total = 22.30pts PROFIT (from 31pts staked = 72% return on investment)

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, 17 September 2011

Big day at Ayr

The 337th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

This week it's been hard work finding something of interest to have a wager on, then today we have the usual Saturday glut of good racing all round the country. As such, it's damn hard filtering through the racing finding worthy wagers.

It's at time like these that you have to resort to tried & trusted filtering methods to avoid making meaningless wagers on events you have not studied properly. For instance, I don't go near sprint races (those less than 7-furlongs) which have more than 10 runners. So, for me, much of today's Ayr meeting is out-of-bounds. That said, if you want an opinion of these races, take a look at the Sprinterstogo blog (link is adjacent).

I've made a couple of selections today and they are already posted on Betting League. Current odds of these selections is 8/1 and 10/1 and I reckon they should both be half those odds at least, and so they represent value wagers.

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. 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, 13 September 2011

There is always value to be found when reading this blog

This is the 336th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

I've been out of circulation for the past week or so, mainly as I’ve not seen anything worthy of having a decent wager on. Sure, there are lots of speculative opportunities and, even looking at my Flat Racing Notebook which I put together earlier this season, I could have named a few winners – but they would have been speculative rather than measured wagers.

Take HUMIDOR for instance who won at 14/1 last week (Wednesday 7th). He was entered the day before and would have been the subject of a 2pt win wager, but he was withdrawn at about 11:40am just before I was going to publish my selections on Betting League. The race he ran in on Wednesday I thought he’d be outclassed in, unless he was in tip-top form, hence no selection. Take a look at what I wrote about him on my Horse Alert page: “won class 3, 5f h'cap in time just 0.28 o/s track record. That performance looks exceptional. He seems to go on any ground and stays 6-furlongs. A late foal, he's improving hand-over-fist.”

On 9th Sept (Friday) at Doncaster, another from my Flat Racing Notebook BEATEN UP won for the 2nd time this season at 9/4. Look what I wrote about him: “won debut at 3yo win commanding style despite running green. Half-bro Harris Tweed (OR112) won same race in 2010 in similar fashion and was rated OR85. So, OR86 rating for this win looks reasonable.” After winning the race, the Racing Post analyst thought the same, considering him thrown-in (in hindsight) – but I put readers of my blog onto the horse back in April. MASHAAREF in 2nd was another entry in my Notebook.

FINE THREADS (see my Notebook entry) is due to run this weekend, take note.

What I’m saying is that I may not be posting a blog everyday nowadays, but there is still plenty of value in what’s written on the blog. The Weekender is out tomorrow and I’m now concentrating on updating my Horse Alert List for the jumps season. I enjoy the flat, but where I may my bread & butter is on the jumps scene.

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. 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, 6 September 2011

Quarterly Review

This is the 335th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

I've been looking thru' my betting returns of recent weeks and outside those selections that I've been posting on Betting League, I've been squandering decent profits on silly wagers. I'm sure most horse-players have had this sort of problem - low quality racing not firing-up the belly and a growing "itch" to have a wager that needs scratching.

What usually happens in my case is that mid-afternoon I'll log-on to Betfair and peruse the next race or two before settling on some dodge-pot that the "devil" on my shoulder tells me I can make a quick profit from.

Sure enough, 10 minutes later I'm down £50 and thinking "what the hell am I doing?"

So, for the next few months up till Christmas Day, I'm going to try and avoid all "silly" strategies such as back-2-lay, place-laying, and laying-the-fav. Not, I'm not going to try and avoid; I'm going to make sure I don't go anywhere near these sort of wagers by avoiding using my Betfair account and relying solely on traditional bookies.

I've noted a few "jumpers" that you may want to enter in your notebooks, they are:-
KING PENDA
PULLYOURFINGEROUT
LOST GLORY
WEST WITH THE WIND
VIVA COLONIA

The last-named looks very exciting.

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. 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, 5 September 2011

This is the 334th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

My Saturday visit to Ascot did not bring any joy on the punting front, and neither of my selections posted on Betting League won either. Not a good day at the office!

On Betting League I posted-up the following selections, both at Haydock - RAINFALL in the opening race at 2:00pm, and FOUR NATIONS in the 5:10pm. I really thought that RAINFALL should ahead of the opposition in her race on pure ability alone, altho' there was a questionmark over her ability to stay the mile trip. I thought that her ability would carry her thru' and the odds of 4/1 (at the time) represented value as if she did stay the trip, then she'd likely win. As it happened, her odds drifted to an SP of 5/1 and tho' she came to challenge at the 2-furlong pole she did not have the stamina to carry that challenge thru' and finished 4th beaten just over 4-lengths. The race winner - King Torus - won what looked like a weak Group 2 at Goodwood as a 2yo before being sent for the Grand Criterium at Longchamps (won by Wooton Bassett) in which he was outclassed. Looking at the result, this race did not take much winning either and so if he steps up to Group company NTO, he needs to find a fair bit of improvement to be competitive. On reflection, I am happy that my wager on RAINFALL was the right one for this race.

As for FOUR NATIONS, he did everything right only to be beaten by a horse that had not looked capable of winning off either its official rating (OR87) or at the trip (mile & 6-furlongs). Where next, I'm not sure as he'll no doubt go up another couple of pounds. So long as he tries this sort of trip again NTO, and on similar going, then I will probably support him. In my opinion, he could develop into a useful 4yo, especially in races like the Old Borough Cup over the same trip and on the same card.

I was glad (in a way) that I did not have a wager on another previous selection, Zuider Zee in the Old Borough Cup at Haydock. He came 3rd at 13/2, altho' 8/1 was available for most of the morning. I'm sure this horse is destined for the sales and a future over hurdles now as he is thoroughly one-paced.

I was at Ascot, and I will not bore you with the tales of my losses there. However, I did see some snippets of good form. In the 2yo class 2 Stakes race over a mile win by Falls Of Lora, ITTASAL was given no sort of chance as her rider managed to get her boxed-in at the 2-furlong pole as the leader weakened quickly. She is a lot better than this, make note.
In the class 3 fillies h'cap, also over a mile, ELECTRA STAR produced a devastating turn-of-foot to win this and she may not go up much for this and looks very well handicapped and one to follow.

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. 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




Thursday, 1 September 2011

KISS with confidence

This is the 333rd edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

 

The 1st September brings about a change in my racing pattern, and a welcome change at that. It's when I start looking through the "Jumps" results & analysis section of the Weekender looking for well-handicapped and improving horses.

 

I'm know I'm not alone in this and I'm sure that others will have their own particular way of finding future winners. How I look at the results is as follows:-

1)      First-off, for each race winner I highlight its name in its previous race. That way I can spot races which have produced more than 1 next-time-out (NTO) winner. Any race that produced a NTO winner deserves a closer look; but races that produce 2 or more NTO winners deserve close inspection.

2)      Next, for each meeting I make a note of those horses which have produced a race-time which is "quick" for the day. At the same time, I assess the manner in which these "quick" races were run and won in (ie. was the winner "eased-down", or hard-pressed by the runner-up).

3)      I make note of younger horses running well (if not winning) against older horses. I believe that horses don't get better (faster) with age – they get slower but, as they are more experienced, they make fewer jumping errors and adopt a better running rhythm to ensure they have the stamina to finish the race.

4)      For all noted horses, I look at their entire racing history and try an identify factors which affect their performance, such as going, trip and type of track, as well as making note of horses which are related to other winners especially those of higher grade races.

5)      Finally, I make use of one of the several free "horse-alert" systems available on the internet which send out emails notifying you when one of your alert list horses is due to run. My list is kept on the Easy Odds website (www.easyodds.com).

 

 Over the course of the "jumps" season, I will probably make note of between 200 – 250 horses. Some won't last long on the alert list as I can make mistakes like anyone else. But sometimes I can find real gems amongst the also-rans.  What I can tell you is that when a horse that you have noted lines-up for a race for which you reckon is its optimum in terms of trip, going and course and is priced-up at generous odds – then you can wager with confidence.

 

Confidence is both the friend and the enemy of the gambler. The excellent article written by David Ashforth about Australian gambler John Mort Green in this week's Racing Post produced an excellent quote from the man; "Money lost is only money lost, but confidence lost is everything lost."

 

About 10 years ago, I was a member of an internet horseracing forum called Smartsig, and contributors were continually striving to find winners via the most simple systems possible; "KISS!" being the operative word (Keep It Simple, Stupid!). If you produce your own list of horses which you know have demonstrated their well-being, fitness and ability and you believe you know their optimum conditions then you know that when they run (as the song goes) you can "Kiss with confidence!"

 

There may be a selection this afternoon, possibly at Salisbury. Tomorrow (Friday) Haydock looks like it could be an interesting meeting with wagering opportunities. I will be heading-off to Ascot on Saturday, so selections will be posted on the Betting League website before 10:00am on Saturday morning. If any bloggers/twitterers are going racing at Ascot, then get in touch.

 

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. 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