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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


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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Festival thoughts no clearer

The 427th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Saturday's blog was again met with mixed success – just as it had been the previous week. Again, both my advised wagers both lost but, just like the previous week, if you had read the complete narrative then you'd have been on a winner (or two). This is a particularly frustrating period for me as, with the benefit of hindsight, for the 2nd Saturday in succession I would have been better-off advising a 1pt win level stakes wager on all those named on the blog. With wins for GRUMETI (7/4) and BLESS THE WINGS (13/2), the defeats of Chance Du Roy, Diamond Harry and Wayward Prince would not have stopped the day ending in profit – instead, my blog ended the day 4pts down. It is something that I will ponder on this week. Personally, as a result of Bless The Wings, and also on-account of place-laying non-stayer Aiteen Thirtythree in the Skybet Chase, I had a cracking day.

BLESS THE WINGS looks another great handicapper for Alan King who is having a great season. As for Aiteen Thirtythree, how this horse managed to start the Skybet Chase as the 11/2 joint fav with 11st 10lbs is beyond me. I made up my mind about the horse before the RSA last March that he did not stay beyond 2m6f in competitive company and on Saturday I placed-laid him at 2.10 before the off and also at 1.80 with less than a mile to go. Unbelievably, the horse touched 1.15 in the place-only market in-running but went out like a light 3-out. My recommended selection in the Skybet Chase was Wayward Prince, and he certainly ran like his name. He was not interested at all in racing early-on, and full marks to Timmy Murphy for keeping him going when perhaps 30-lengths off the pace at one point in the opening mile. Many would have pulled-him-up and yet the horse kept going finishing strongly in the final mile – overtaking Aiteen Thirtythree – and coming home in 7th less than 20-lengths behind the winner Calgary Bay. I've no idea why the horse was reticent to race early-on, but the way he went on to run suggests he would have been bang there at the finish but for throwing it away at the start. As such, WAYWARD PRINCE remains on my alert list.

We saw a potential Festival winner at Leopardstown yesterday in FLEMENSTAR who romped home in the Irish "Arkle" novice chase, however, he's not going to the Cheltenham Festival. That declaration by his connections further muddied the Festival betting and my own thoughts on the Festival are no clearer. In past years, I usually spend the Sunday after the Cheltenham Trials Day formulating my Festival "yankee", but this year I am stuck. The races I tend to focus on are the Championship races of Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Ryanair and Gold Cup, plus (in past years) the World Hurdle.  I was fortunate to be on Inglis Drever when he won at 5/1 in 2007, and Big Bucks when he won his first World at 6/1. However, I can't see any value in the Champion Hurdle and Champion Chase as both those races should go to their current champions Hurricane Fly and Sizing Europe. The Ryanair is a race that I wrote about a few weeks ago to those who have made a donation. Those people (if they took advantage of the advice) are now holding a 16/1 eachway voucher on Somersby (current odds 7/1) for the Ryanair. In that email, I also advised a 2pt win wager on another horse in the race, and that is NOBLE PRINCE. I have been nothing but impressed with NOBLE PRINCE as a chaser and his latest effort when beaten less than 2-lengths by Big Zeb at levels over an inadequate 2-miles demonstrated to me that he is a better horse this season than last. Not only that, but over the Ryanair trip he could be even better (remember, he easily put Wishful Thinking to the sword over the 2m4f Jewson trip last year). When I sent out my email to those who have donated to my blog, NOBLE PRINCE was 6/1; he's now 7/1 with Vic Chandler and I reckon come the day (and it's just 6 weeks away) he will be the 5/2 fav for the Ryanair, maybe even shorter especially if the sun is shining like it was last year.

As for the Gold Cup, Saturday's result in the Argento Chase left me non-the-wiser as to this year's winner. For me Long Run is too short at 5/2. He clearly met a much under-weather Kauto Star last season and also took advantage of the rapid deterioration of past Gold Cup winners Denman and Imperial Commander to win the Gold Cup last March. Remember, he was chased home when winning the King George in January by Riverside Theatre, and there's no way that horse would be considered to hold a chance in the Gold Cup even if he were running in the race this March. I rate Long Run at 172 and while that makes him Gold Cup standard in a normal year, there is no guarantee that he will run to that level if his jumping is poor. Throw in 160+ performances this  season from the like of Planet Of Sound (Hennessey), Weird Al (Charlie Hall), Midnight Chase and the rejuvenated Tidal Bay on Saturday, plus the undoubted potential of Grands Crus and I'd have Long Run at more like 9/2.  On form this season, the Gold Cup fav should be Kauto Star, but he looks fairly measured at 4/1 (William Hill, Betfred, Coral etc) and there is no value in his odds. I reckon he can win the Gold Cup in March, but I won't be putting money on him at 4/1 to do so. For me, the "value" has to be on those who have shown the ability to run to the mid-high 160's and I'm looking at Grands Crus at 9/1 (Coral) and Weird Al at 25/1.

No selections for today's racing.

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