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


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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.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Cheltenham Festival update

The 445th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Sometimes I wonder if I'd be better off having a wager on everything that I consider has a chance in a race irrespective of subsequent developments.

Yesterday, I looked at the beginners' chase over 3m1½f at Catterick at 4:50 (I wrote the wrong race-time on my blog), and narrowed the race down to just 3 horses: Howizee (my 1st choice), The Red Laird, and Carmela Maria. They duly finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd with HOWIZEE wining at odds of 7/2 with less than a length covering the trio. I did say that it was a close call in my blog with little separating them, but I didn't think that would be the actual case on the track! Actually, while I was right about The Red Laird disputing the lead for most of the race, HOWIZEE never looked the likely winner (in my opinion) until his jockey galvanised a burst of energy from him that took him into the lead 100 yards from home. The Tricast paid £87.75 and even the Exacta paid £19.60, both to a £1 stake. Unfortunately, by 4:50pm, I had already lost my "trade" on BILLY MURPHY. I sincerely thought he had a decent chance of breaking his duck in this race , but he ran extremely poorly.

There are 3 jump meetings today at Bangor, Folkestone and Southwell. At Bangor, the handicap hurdle over 2m4f at 3:25 looks interesting, particulary the entry of Quartz De Thaix by Venetia Williams. I was on Quartz De Thaix when he was a running-on 7th behind Holmwood Legend at Cheltenham last March, and he last won over hurdles at 2m4f at Aintree. He runs off OR140 today and he looks a better than 18/1 chance as I write. The odds for this race are severely distorted by the race fav Big Easy. I also like Cantlow in this race, as he looks a potential improver and I've been waiting a long time for his return to the track.

At Folkestone, we have the 3m7f Kent National at 4:15. Only 7 go to post, and when we have single-figure fields for these long-distance races the results can be unpredictable. I'd be willing to have a wager on WIDE RECIEVER who has not looked like stopping improving yet, but it would only be a small bet at that. Finally, at Southwell, where the going is on the firm side,  I am struggling to find an interest.

So, another day without a blog selection but don't despair, racing seems to pick-up from tomorrow and we have some good looking handicaps over the next few days. I'm disappointed that ZARRAFAKT is going for the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster on Saturday as I reckon he had a cracking chance of the JLT Speciality Chase on Tuesday at Cheltenham, but perhaps his OR145 rating (which will likely lead to an 11st 3lb weight) has put connections off. My eye is drawn to OGEE on OR130 for that race which he ran 2nd in as a 7yo novice. I'm also taken by Keiran Burke's comments in today's Weekender on FORTIFICATION for the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase. He says he is tempted to renew his jockey license for the ride, and that says something to me!  Currently 33/1 for the race, and with just OR131, that means he'll receive 25lb (and carry just 10st 1lb) from Garde Champetre. Being a front-runner who stays all day long he could be a worthwhile eachway wager in a race I usually swerve.

My trading record on Betfair since 1st January is now: 34 trades / 19 "wins" / 9 "losses" / 6 "trade-outs"; the ROI stands at +36.70%.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that you get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. So, if you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information. If you are a regular visitor, please add this blog to your list of favourites.
All comments are welcome.

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



Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Fwd: Superstitious?

The 444th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

When I lived in Hong Kong, I was told that the local Chinese had a fear (if that's the correct interpretation) of the number 4. As such, being the 444th edition of the blog, if I'm ever likely to post a losing wager then it's today. We'll give it about 18months or so and, when I post my 888th blog, then we will really go to town!

I'm not superstitious (at least, I don't believe I am – my friends may say otherwise) but I do think that we can (subconsciously) conspire to affect the fate of certain acts. For instance, if you think that you are going to be late, then your actions will make you late.

The meeting at Plumpton yesterday did not produce any worthwhile wagers for me. The opening race saw the syndicate horse (in which I have a share) CHILWORTH LASS run for the 3rd time over hurdles, and she now qualifies for a hurdle rating. I'm still in the dark as to what her preferences are so I will await the rating given her by the handicapper and leave it to her trainer Sheena West. My Betfair "trade" also ran in that race. It was a back-to-lay on Hawkhill and it came close to being successful as at the 3rd last flight he looked like being involved. What I didn't bank on was Venetia Williams' debut hurdler DUAISEOIR wining very impressively and this could be one to follow in the coming weeks. There was a significant gamble on Primaries in this race who was 4/1 in the morning and started the 7/4 fav. Having looked a one-paced and very doubtful stayer in France, I could not understand the reason for the support and so it proved as the horse was beaten half-a-mile out.

We have a couple of jumps meetings today at Catterick and Leicester. The beginners' chase over 3m1½f at Catterick at 4:20 looks very interesting and could be one to watch with the Festival in mind. I'm looking more at the next race for a trade and the 3m1½f class 4 hurdle looks like it may throw-up some trading possibilities. There are a lot of duffers in this race, including Donald McCain's Realmont who is very much on a recovery mission having shown nothing in 2 runs since arriving from France. I don't think the going will be soft enough for The Red Laird, and perhaps the same can be said for Carmela Maria who has won twice recently over C&D. As such, I'm liking HOWIZEE who won well at Doncaster over an extended 3-mile on similar going to today, but who did not enjoy the soft going LTO at Kelso. I'm hoping that his jockey will track the leader (who should be The Red Laird) before taking closer order about 3-out and (hopefully) providing me with an opportunity to trade-out at a profit. I really can't say which will win this, it could be one of the 3 mentioned or another of the outsiders in the race. In fact, the more I look at this race, the more I think I may steer clear.

I'm struggling to find a wager at Leicester also, altho' I think BILLY MURPHY may well break his "duck" in the 3:30. Still a maiden after 25 races , I doubt he will find a better opportunity that this to win as only Free Speech looks capable of defying him, but he needs to recover from his latest couple of poor runs.

If you are in the market for an antepost wager on the Cheltenham Festival, Bet365 have today started tasking wagers "non-runner, no bet". Their odds are not the best but the offer is there. For the Arkle Chase, Paddy Power are offering to refund all losing single wagers up to £100 should the fav for the race Sprinter Sacre win. If you have been receiving my antepost emails then you may want to take advantage of that Paddy Power offer with the wager that I have advised.  

My trading record on Betfair since 1st January is now: 33 trades / 19 "wins" / 8 "losses" / 6 "trade-outs"; the ROI stands at +41.90%.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that you get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. So, if you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information. If you are a regular visitor, please add this blog to your list of favourites.
All comments are welcome.

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



Monday, 27 February 2012

Quiet day at the races


The 443rd edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

I took a day-off on Saturday, I reckoned I'd earned it having posted a 10/1 winner with my only selection on Friday. REBLIS was my 1st advised selection since the 28th January. Some tipsters post selections every day, but I always follow my selections with my own money and I post what I consider to be realistic wagers.

Instead, I took the train up to London Bridge and went to Borough Market. After an enjoyable breakfast, I meandered thru' the market stalls with my girl-friend and bought cheese, chocolate, scallops and tuna, and a cracking 35-day T-Bone steak from the Ginger Pig butcher. Cooked on a hot griddle with some choice salad leaves, who needs a restaurant!

Back to racing , and on Saturday we had the running of the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton, which was won by Baby Mix in decisive fashion. The Adonis Hurdle has provided 56 of the last 12 winners of the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival so clearly Baby Mix should be respected. However, later on the card at Kempton GRUMETI won his "prep" race for the Triumph in similar fashion and he is rightfully at the head of the market at 5/1.

Just the one jumps meeting in the UK today, at my local track of Plumpton. We had a very bright and sunny weekend here on the South downs, but we also had some heavy showers; so I'm expecting the ground at Plumpton to have a few soft patches. The opening race sees syndicate horse Chilworth Lass at the track again. I must admit, I can't see her winning this at the morning fav for the race HAWKHILL looks very strong and I'm surprised he's as long as 11/4 (Bet365 and Blue Square). Alan King has done well at Plumpton this season and his Kings Bayonet looks the most likely to trouble the fav. I'm hoping for another good run from Chilworth Lass, but she may be run out of the places.

Friday provided another successful trade on Betfair (it was a back-to-lay on Reblis, who I also had a separate wager on at 10/1 with William Hill). The "trading" record since 1st January is now: 32 trades / 19 "wins" / 7 "losses" / 6 "trade-outs"; the ROI stands at +53.50%.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that you get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. So, if you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information. If you are a regular visitor, please add this blog to your list of favourites.
All comments are welcome.

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





Saturday, 25 February 2012

Great 10/1 winner y'day - single selection

The 442nd edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

REBLIS did me proud yesterday, given a great ride by the 5lb claimer Joshua Moore. Sometimes, you need patience in this game as a punter and I've waited a couple of weeks since my last recommended wager. It was worth it, and thanks for the donations!

Just a brief blog today, as the racing looks ordinary for a Saturday.
At Chepstow, I like Educated Evans in the 3:45 (he's a half-bro to Tricky Trickster).

At Newcastle, the Eider Chase looks a poor renewal, but the Novice Chase over 3-mile looks well worth paying attention to with Cheltenham on the horizon.

At Kempton, do not under-estimate Planet Of Sound in the Racing Plus Chase. Has anyone read the Racing Plus yet? I've not seen a copy. My old mate Sarando looks gone with the game, not sure what's happened with him.

That's it for today. After yesterday's 10/1 winner with my only selection I reckon I've earned the day off so I'm going to Borough Market for breakfast.

Friday, 24 February 2012

TFI Friday

The 441st edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

It's been a tiring week for me this week. I couldn't get anything done while I was in Cornwall last weekend, and so I've been fighting a rear-guard action all week trying to stay afloat. As such, I'm really glad that it's Friday and I can catch a couple of extra hours in bed tomorrow morning.

The weekend racing looks fairly ordinary and, looking at the entries, it may be a struggle to find a Saturday wager. However, today's jump racing at Sandown and Warwick looks to have a couple of wagering opportunities. I am drawn to the 4:40 at Sandown which is a 3-mile & 110 yard chase h'cap (Class 3).

LTO, Moleskin won in convincingly fashion, making-all and was in-command from before the final fence. I cannot see Moleskin being able to dominate this race in a similar fashion with another recent all-the-way winner - Inga Bird – in opposition, plus other prominent runners like Noakarad De Verzee, Don't Tell Sailor and Star Beat. Also, Moleskin has been dealt a severe blow by being raised 11lb by the handicapper for that win, whereas Don't Tell Sailor is up 7lb for his LTO win, and Inga Bird is up just 3lb for his LTO win. Of those 3, the one I prefer is Don't Tell Sailor who, being a 6yo, has youth on his side and at this stage in his career over fences can only get better. Going back to that race won by Moleskin, in 4th that day was REBLIS and he was the horse I'd wagered on in the race. He looked like making a race of it 3-out but he wasn't able to maintain his challenge. However, in my opinion, the "good" ground that day was too quick for him (he has won on "firm" going, but it was a weak class 5 with just 5-runners) and he's a better gorse with a bit of "give" as he has today. He has also been dropped a 1lb by the handicapper and so meets Moleskin on 12lb better terms. I really cannot see anything else getting involved in this race and with REBLIS having won over 3m2f on soft going at Plumpton in December, we know he'll have the stamina for this. Sandown will put the jumping of Inga Bird to test and, as he's apt to make mistakes, he may struggle when put under pressure. Moleskin has also raced at Sandown twice before and not gone well, and he's another who's jumping is not foot perfect. For me, REBLIS at 10/1 is a value eachway wager and the only other one that I can see having a chance of beating him is Don't Tell Sailor. I will probably also have the pair in a reverse-forecast and a "swinger".

Selection
Sandown 4:40, REBLIS, ½pt eachway @ 10/1 (William Hill, Vic Chandler, Ladbrokes – all go BOG)

In today's Racing Post, the entries for the Festival handicap races are published. Those in possession of my Festival Bulletin can now start whittling down the entries to a shortlist for serious form-study. There are a couple of handicaps that I target at the Festival, and those will now be under scrutiny.

Yesterday, I placed another successful trade on Betfair (it was a back-to-lay on King Jack in the 2:30 at Huntingdon). The record since 1st January is now: 31 trades / 18 "wins" / 7 "losses" / 6 "trade-outs"; the ROI stands at +50.40%.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that you get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. So, if you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information. If you are a regular visitor, please add this blog to your list of favourites.
All comments are welcome.

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



Thursday, 23 February 2012

Cheltenham antepost advice Nr.03

The 440th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

For those readers of the blog who have made a recent donation, yesterday evening I sent out my 3rd antepost advice email for the Cheltenham Festival. My opinion of the antepost markets this year is that there are going to be some very upset punters due to very late changes in Festival targets for some leading horses. For instance, I'm expecting Peddlers Cross (7/2 for the Arkle) to go for the Jewson instead, and Grands Crus (2/1 for the RSA Chase) to go for the Gold Cup. If you have made a recent donation and did not receive the email advice last night, let me know on idykes@btinternet.com.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the response to my Cheltenham Festival Bulletin as demand as exceeded my expectations and the responses I've had from those who received it have been good.

Yesterday, I thought The Cockney Mackem had the race in the bag 4-out in the 2:25 at Doncaster, but he plainly did not stay the 3-mile trip. There was no such problem with Chac Du Cadran who ran 3rd in the 3-mile h'cap hurdle at 4:05. Looking the likely winner at the 2nd-last, it was a huge run in a competitive field to be 3rd and this horse looks like being an interesting handicap chaser next season. I did say the horse was capable of being placed, and those of you who took the advice were rewarded.

I managed to make another successful trade on Betfair yesterday (it was a back-to-lay on Nikola in the 3:30 at Doncaster) and my record since 1st January is now: 30 trades / 17 "wins" / 7 "losses" / 6 "trade-outs"; the ROI stands at +46.90%.

There are no blog selections today as racing looks ordinary.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that you get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. So, if you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information. If you are a regular visitor, please add this blog to your list of favourites.
All comments are welcome.

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



Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Watering commences at Cheltenham

The 439th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

As I write, it has been announced that watering of the course at Cheltenham has commenced. What this means is that the likelihood is the going will be "good-to-soft, good in places" on the opening day and will get quicker during the meeting which is pretty much what has happened for the past couple of years. That's good news for those horses that ran well on Thursday and Friday last year – the likes of Noble Prince, Big Bucks, Bueana Vista, Albertas Run etc.

My thoughts yesterday on Medermit's chances in the Ryanair brought a comment from the Lonesome Pundit (who writes a good blog and he's running an antepost Cheltenham competition) who thought I was a bit harsh on the horse. Opinions are what make racing and even Medermit has a chance at winning the Ryanair. However, Somersby (2nd in the Arkle behind Sizing Europe) beat him in November at Ascot on level terms, and Riverside Theatre did the same last Saturday. I stand by what I say about his current odds for the Ryanair, and you also have to consider his trainers' (Alan King) comments after Saturday's race. He offered no excuse, "beaten by the better horse" was his words, so he's not expecting to reverse form with Riverside Theatre when they next meet. Given the favourite for the last two Ryanair's – Poquelin – is 20/1 with some books, and he's run the joint highest RP Rating this season of those entered in the race, I thought he'd be the Pricewise antepost selection. If he's considered a 20/1 chance for the race, in my opinion MEDERMIT should be at no shorter odds.

At Taunton yesterday, the morning market move for Velator paid-off and he won well. Clearly, that support came from connections as when that was exhausted his odds drifted during the afternoon from 11/2 out to an SP of 10/1. Later, Sire De Grugy gave a huge boost for the form of ZARKANDAR who beat him in the Betfair Hurdle last Friday.

At Wetherby, Wolf Moon was a non-runner but, in the earlier novice handicap chase, RAILWAY DILLON will have gone into many a notebook when he tore apart what looked to be a decent field very easily.

Today, we have a couple of jump meetings at Doncaster and Ludlow. THE COCKNEY MACKEM looks to have been given a huge chance in the 2:25 at Doncaster so long as he stays this 3-mile trip – he's never raced further than 2m3f. The 3-mile h'cap hurdle at 4:05 looks a cracking contest with 18-runners. There are several from my horse alert list running and of those I reckon Chac Du Cadran (currently 11/1) can nick a place; it looks an open contest.

At Ludlow, KING OF CASTILE goes for a hat-trick of wins since joining Jim Best of Lewes. He's a bit of a thorn in my side this one, as he was the horse offered to me by Bechers-Brook, the tipster who is no longer trading. Nothing else looks interesting.

For those who are interested, my Betfair "trade" was successful yesterday (it was a back-to-lay on Hobbs Dream) and my record since 1st January is now: 29 trades / 16 "wins" / 7 "losses" / 6 "trade-outs"; the ROI stands at +43.20%.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that you get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. So, if you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information. If you are a regular visitor, please add this blog to your list of favourites.
All comments are welcome.

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



Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Festival build-up rolls on

The 438th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

The build-up to the Cheltenham Festival rolls on today with a couple of solid meetings at Wetherby and Taunton.

Before that tho' we had the news issued yesterday about some horses at Paul Nicholls stable having the "cough". It is not long now – just 21 days – till the Festival starts on Tuesday 13th March, and to have an infectious ailment like the cough in your stable is not good news. All eye's will be on Nicholls' horses to see if the problem is more serious than has been suggested and he has runners out today.

In today's Racing Post, Tom Segal (Pricewise) has given Medermit as his Ryanair selection. Those who have donated to the blog and have received my Festival Bulletin will know my thoughts on the Ryanair. As for Medermit, with a Cheltenham record of 7 runs and no wins and his best performances being on right-handed tracks like Sandown and Ascot, I'd say 9/1 was an awful price for a race with the likes of Rubi Light, Noble Prince, Riverside Theatre, Somersby, and Albertas Run likely to be in opposition – and they will probably all finish in front of him. For that reason, I reckon he'll probably go for the Gold Cup where he could sneak 3rd or 4th. Personally, my opinion of the antepost "book" of Pricewise is it looks pretty dire.

The donations continue to come in for my Cheltenham Festival Bulletin and I'm due to send out my 3rd antepost update in the next day or two. If you want the Bulletin and the updates, plus it's my intention to send out my blog the evening before racing to those who have donated during the Festival, then you know what to do. It's 16-pages and 9500 words, no waffle, no adverts, no hype – minimum donation £5.

Can I just say that if you haven't already got it on your phone, get the latest Oddschecker App, it is great and I'm giving it 9.50 out of 10. How they will ever improve on it I've no idea.

At Taunton we have a couple of interesting races and in the 2:30 – class 5 h'cap hurdle over 3-mile & 110 yards – there has been a major market move for Velator. He is 11/2, 3rd fav now but I can't for the life of me see why as he was 14/1 in the RP betting forecast. Personally, I reckon HOBBS DREAM will be hard to beat and odds of 7/2 look fair, but it may be worth taking a chance with GENTLEMAN JIMMY who wasn't beaten much by Hobbs Dream LTO and gets a 10lb tug today. He is 10/1 with a couple of books (Chandler, Bet365) and he's eachway value.

Later, the 3:40 – a class 2 h'cap hurdle over 2m1f – looks a cracker with some decent types in it. Sire De Grugy is the 5/2 fav given his good 4th in the Betfair Hurdle last Friday, so we know he's fit and in form but will he stay this extra half-furlong? The Paul Nicholls horse Edgardo Sol looks to be in the handicapper's grip on OR138 (he's looked held on OR134 for his latest couple of runs), so I'm looking at DEVIL TO PAY who is lightly raced and has bags of potential improvement. He'll appreciate the trip and going and the likely decent pace, at 5/1 (available generally) he looks to be the value.

At Wetherby there is a good novice handicap chase at 2:10 which will be well worth making a note of. These are the sort of races that throw-up potential decent Festival performers.  Ditto the handicap chase at 3:15. In this race WOLF MOON has a fair chance as what I like about him is that he's always thereabouts in his races and appears genuine. This race is not as strong as it perhaps looks on paper and Martin Keighley may have found an opening for his chaser who I usually runs well at this time of year.

I made a personal new year resolution to stop betting using Betfair, and to use it for trading only. I'm happy to say that, including yesterday, I've had 28 trades since 1st January and won with 15 trades, I've have lost with 7 trades, and "traded-out" to break even on the remaining 6 trades. Of my last 8 trades I have only lost once and traded-out once, with 6 wins. My last 4 trades have all won (ie, achieved my target profit) and I'm showing a 168% increase in my "bank" and a 39.40% ROI.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that you get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. So, if you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information. If you are a regular visitor, please add this blog to your list of favourites.
All comments are welcome.

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



Monday, 20 February 2012

Re: What a weekend

The 437th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

What a weekend for me to take away from racing.  

Friday's re-scheduled meeting at Newbury was a great informer for the Cheltenham Festival. The performance of SPRINTER SACRE looked immense and we could be looking at the best 2-mile chaser we've seen since Moscow Flyer. Admittedly, he was getting 5lbs from his stable-mate French Opera who ran 2nd (beaten 6 lengths) but it was the manner in which he won and that he had decent chasers well beaten in his wake. On this performance, he's well up to giving Sizing Europe a good race in the Champion Chase, will he go for that instead of the Arkle? Sprinter Sacre is now 11/8 fav for the Arkle and he looks a shoo-in for that race as his only potential rival is Peddlers Cross, but I reckon the latter will go for the 2m4f Jewson instead (he's a 7/1 chance for that) especially as he's more of a long-term Gold Cup horse. As for my ante-post selection in the race, well I reckon he's still looking a solid each-way wager and you never know, racing is a funny old business at times.

Next on the card was Long Run and, as I expected he would, he struggled to hold off Burton Port to whom he was giving 10lbs. With What A Friend (also receiving 10lb) only 4-lengths back in 3rd this form was further proof to me that Long Run is about OR170-172 and not worthy of an OR182 official rating.

Then Zarkandar came out and won the Betfair Hurdle beating a quality field on his seasonal debut and maintaining his unbeaten hurdles record (4 from 4). The performance is a bit shy of what will be required next month should he take in the Champion Hurdle but I'd expect him to find another 10lb+ and he's leapt into my thoughts.

Saturday's Ascot card was also a cracker with Invictus returning to form and looking every inch a potential Cheltenham winner. The poor performance from Silviniaco Conti, who was well beaten in 4th, put a dampener on it - but Bobs Worth in 2nd is a reliable yardstick.

My Ryanair Chase antepost wagers have been thrown off-balance with Riverside Theatre winning the Ascot Chase, but he will need to improve on that performance next month and I don't think he's a 7/1 chance for that. In Ireland, Rubi Light won his Festival 'prep' race over 2m4f and that does look his best trip, but it was a facile win. If you have been receiving my antepost advices then you are well-placed still in that race.

Trainer, Nicky Henderson is lining himself up for a cracking Festival with Binocular winning the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton. Henderson is not the most reliable with some of his comments – he said earlier in the week that Binocular was going straight to the Festival without another run – but you cannot say his horses don't run well prepared.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.
Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information. If you are a regular visitor, please add this blog to your list of favourites.
All comments are welcome.

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



Wednesday, 15 February 2012

2012 Cheltenham Festival Bulletin

The 436th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

It's here!
The 2012 Cheltenham Festival Bulletin has now been published and initial copies were sent out by email this evening to those who have made a £5 donation to the blog.
If you want a copy, you know what to do, and that's donate £5 using the donate button above. What you will receive is a 16-page, 9500 word document that looks at every race in the Festival, detailing important trends, potential antepost selections, in-running strategies, and provides 3 rock solid guides to every race to help you sort thru' the chaff and produce a shortlist from which (hopefully) you'll find the winners.

That's it for me for a few days. I've spent the best part of 3-weeks and over 50 hours writing and researching the bulletin and I need a break. So, I'm off to Cornwall for a long weekend and will be back on Monday. Don't worry, I'm taking my laptop with me, so if you want a copy of the bulletin send me a donation and I'll send you a copy.

All the best.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

New contender for the RSA

The 435th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

There wasn't a Saturday blog as I thought it best to concentrate on my 2012 Cheltenham Festival Bulletin. The planned publication date is 15th Feb (Wednesday) and I'm just putting together the last parts and opinions.

As such, I found Sunday's meeting at Leopardstown very interesting indeed.  However, the big disappointment was Bog Warrior not running in the Dr PJ Moriarty Chase as he took in the 2-mile chase at Navan on Saturday instead. The horse won easily and has entries for the Arkle, Jewson and the RSA – whichever race he goes for he will be a serious contender, but beware! His trainer AJ Martin is reticent to race him on going faster than good-to-soft and that could rule out Cheltenham altogether. Based on recent Festivals, I'd say his only chance of finding his required going would be if he races on Day 1 of the Festival meeting and takes in the Arkle.

I thought Last Instalment jumped magnificently when winning the PJ Moriarty, but is he good enough to take the RSA or Jewson at the Festival? If you want my opinion before the morning of the race, then you'll have to read my 2012 Cheltenham Festival Bulletin which is available for a minimum donation of £5.

There was also the sad news from David Pipe about his hurdler Bobby Ewing who collapsed and died on the gallops on Saturday morning. This was a very exciting novice hurdler for Nigel Twiston-Davies back in 2009-10 and he annihilated Menorah beating him by 10-lengths. He picked up an injury soon after yet, even so, David Pipe bought him out of NTD's stable for £60,000 while carrying the injury.  Of course, Menorah went on to win the Supreme Novices hurdle at the 2010 Festival before becoming a high-class hurdler and potentially decent novice chaser. Having been given plenty of time and nursed back to health, Bobby Ewing was due to run in the Betfair Hurdle this Friday at Newbury off OR139 and he was thrown-in off that rating. Unbelievable bad luck to all concerned.

In the first 12-months of this blog, I used to write a general sports paragraph usually on football. I've been a fan of Liverpool FC for 47 years (since I was bought a full kit as a 5yo boy) and I believe the club is bigger than any player, manager or director connected with the club. As such, while I support the club, I will not back the actions of anyone connected with the club in a tribal manner, especially if their actions impinge on the clubs character. Personally, I could not care less what politics or practices that anyone at the club possesses, so long as they keep them in private and off the pitch when they are wearing the club badge or are holding a position of responsibility at Liverpool FC. The selfish actions of one LFC player have had immense repercussions around the world, and fans who live in the UK have to realise that Liverpool Football Club is a world club, not just an English one. When Torres signed for LFC, that world-wide support was so excited that enough shirts carrying his name were sold in ONE DAY to pay his transfer fee and more. That world-wide support consists of Chinese, Thais, Malaysians, Indians, Arabians, and a multitude of African states. Liverpool FC, through their world-wide support, are worth £1.50 billion and that's why companies like Standard Chartered Bank – who are the biggest bank in Asia where most of Liverpool's international fan base live - pay £20 million a year to put their name on the Liverpool FC shirt.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information. If you are a regular visitor, please add this blog to your list of favourites.

All comments are welcome.

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



Thursday, 9 February 2012

Will the BHA listen?

The 434th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Again, no jump racing today in the UK. The prospect of jump racing in the next couple of days is slight with the news that my local track at Plumpton is to inspect on Sunday at 8am before deciding on whether to attempt to have the planned meeting there on Monday.

The lack of jump racing in the UK is causing the industry and trainers to start thinking outside the box (for a change) with Kempton holding a NH only flat meeting on the all-weather surface there on Friday evening. Top trainer Nicky Henderson is sending his World Hurdle hope - Oscar Whisky – there and no wonder, as otherwise he'd likely go to the Festival without a run since the 1st January. Meetings are still planned for Saturday at Newbury and Musselburgh, but I'm not hopeful of either going ahead. It is therefore, a bit disappointing that some of the English "big guns" have not taken advantage of racing at Leopardstown and sent some of their horses over the Irish Sea.

The upside is that I was able to put in another 4 or 5 hours on the Cheltenham Festival Bulletin and I'm on target to hit my 15th February issue date. Donations have been coming in, and those who do donate the minimum of £5 will receive copies of the antepost advice emails that I have already sent out.

I had a great response via the "comments" box on yesterday's blog "patience is a virtue" from Jason at  High Class Equine (you will find the link to the site on the adjacent  column). Jason has supported this blog almost from the start, and he runs a terrific blog himself which is well worth a visit as he updates it regularly. Since I started blogging in March 2010 (almost 2-years now, blimey!) what has impressed me is the amount of knowledge there is out there and how generous bloggers are in being willing to share it. My first port of call every morning is the blogs that are on my list, and I can't really remember the last time I read any of the columns by the regular journalists in the Racing Post (tho' I do think that new weekly "Racecourse Walks" column is a good idea, and I hope they walk the old course at Lewes on the South Downs here in Sussex). My racing paper of choice is the Weekender, and my only gripe about that paper is the lack of readers' letters in their "Feedback" column. However, that isn't their fault, more the general apathy of its readers. There is much in racing that isn't right and the BHA (if that is the proper forum for rectification) can't put these issues right unless enough people tell them to sort it out.

For instance, we are rapidly approaching crisis point with on-course bookmakers and calculation of the SP, and this is evidence of a much bigger problem – financing of horseracing as a whole. Fair enough, the Racing Post brought this to general attention with a leader article and, on the Racing UK website, Tanya Stevenson (Channel 4 racing) wrote an excellent blog in response. I've a lot of time for Tanya as she is one of the few faces of the horseracing media who has actually worked on the business side of the fence as a bookmaker for many years. My opinion is that it is about time that the BHA came out of their ivory tower and actually started talking to those who depend on horseracing for their livelihood rather than only to those whose connection with racing is that it's a nice hobby that gets them outside in the fresh air occasionally. Horseracing is a huge business concern, but it is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and – as the racing industry in Italy has recently discovered – if the sums done add up it can quickly collapse beyond repair, and heritage and history won't come into it.

No selections today.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.



Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Patience is a virtue

The 433rd edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Another day with no jump racing today. With the weather forecast looking bleak, and temperatures expected to drop below minus-10 degrees Celcius over much of the UK between now and Sunday, it is in all likelihood that we won't have any racing (other than on the all-weather tracks) before Monday. As I write, both Huntingdon and Taunton meetings for Thursday have been called-off and abandoned.

Basically, if you are a punter who (like me) is not a fan of the all-weather then I suggest you leave it well alone and wait for the weather to change. Yesterday, I was tempted to have a wager on the 3:45 at Southwell as I thought Caldercruix held an excellent chance in what looked an open race over 6-furlongs. I was lucky in that I took 8.20 on the exchanges early in the afternoon, and then laid-off my stake at 5.40 just before the off for a no-risk wager. Caldercruix missed the break (he was expected to run prominently thru'out) and was forced to run wide around the turn into the straight. Altho' he stayed on well he was never going to win after fluffing the start, but he did manage to snatch 3rd close home.  For me it was a lucky escape from a losing wager and a lesson learned.

I wrote yesterday about Bog Warrior and I've learned this morning that he is also entered for a 2-mile chase at Leopardstown on the Saturday (as well as the Dr PJ Moriarty chase on Sunday over 2m4f). His trainer seems more inclined to go for the Saturday race, I'm not sure as to his reasons why. If jump racing does go ahead in Ireland this weekend, those horse that compete will be holding a fitness edge over those here in England that are unable to race having been aimed at the weekend programme. I have today's copy of the Weekender with the weekend's entries, and I shall be noting those horses whose plans include a Festival target – they need a prep run, and soon.

I have titled this page "patience is a virtue" and the reason is do not be hustled by the devil on your shoulder to get involved in Cheltenham Festival antepost markets unless you are sure of plans involving your selection. I have advised wagers on a couple of Festival races (and one advice has more than halved in odds already following a good win in his prep race) but I'm holding fire on any more just yet, pending this weekend's racing in Ireland. The Cheltenham Festival Bulletin is well under-way (about 60% complete) with a target date for despatch (by email) to those who have made a contribution to the blog of at least £5 during the past 12 months. So, if you want to be included in the mailing list, you know what to do.  

No selections today.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.



Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The most important trial for Cheltenham is on Sunday

The 432nd edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

With no jump racing today, nor tomorrow (the meetings at Carlisle and Ludlow have already been abandoned) the search for  opportunities to get a preparatory run-in before the Valentine's Day cut-off is becoming more desperate. My research suggests that it is vitally important for horses holding realistic chances of winning at the Cheltenham Festival (in all races excepting the Gold Cup) to get their last run between 1st January and 14th February.

This weekend sees perhaps the last chance for horses to get that run and, as it happens every year, we have perhaps the most influential meeting prior to the Festival taking place in Ireland at Leopardstown on Sunday. The Dr PJ Moriarty Chase has provided the winners of the last 3, RSA Chases (Cooldine, Weapons Amnesty and Boston's Angel) and a winner of the Arkle (Forpadydeplasterer) over the last 3 seasons. For me, it is a race that I put a lot of faith in and, as such, I think Tom Segal (Pricewise in the Racing Post) may have jumped the gun by nominating Silviniaco Conti as his antepost selection for the RSA. For sure, if Grands Crus goes for the Gold Cup – and I think he has a realistic chance of winning that in what could be the weakest Gold Cup we've had since, well last year – then Silviniaco Conti will shorten considerably from his current best quote of 14/1 (Ladbrokes). But, do not overlook the Irish challenger that should be Bog Warrior. I'm expecting Bog Warrior to win the Dr PJ Moriarty on Sunday and, as Grands Crus will still be heading the betting for the RSA Chase, we should be able to get 8/1 or better once the result is known.

I really think this year's Gold Cup looks ordinary which is why a 12yo Kauto Star has been able to dominate the staying division this season winning both the Betfair Chase and the King George. Remember, prior to Best Mate's hat-trick of Gold Cups we hadn't seen a Gold Cup winner retain their crown since L'Escargot in 1971. So why Long Run is 9/4 to win next month, when he's been beaten fair'n'square by Kauto Star in both races this season, is beyond me. Long Run is a talented chaser but I doubt he'd have beaten Denman in his prime last March, nor even Imperial Commander for that matter. As seems to be the case with French breds (and I include Kauto Star in this) they seem to reach the peak of their ability early (as 5 or 6yo's) after which their ability plateau's. I personally don't think Long Run has improved one jot since he won the King George in January 2011 in fact his jumping (which was sketchy at best last season) appears to have got worse.

I read the handicap chase at Ayr wrong yesterday as I did not take enough account of the small field and the requirement for both of those who I thought capable of fighting out the finish bouncing back from poor runs. I was right about Posh Bird being unreliable as, despite looking strongest after the last fence, she found nothing when asked and could not pass the one-paced Mister Marker. As for Neptune Equester, he could need to freshen up with a hurdle race.

I was right about SYDNEY PAGET tho' who looks a potential top-class novice. Is he another Peddlers Cross for Donald McCain?

No selections today.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.



Monday, 6 February 2012

Ayr goes ahead

The 431st edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

With No jump racing on Saturday, I did not write a blog but spent the weekend (when not walking the dogs in the snow – they loved it) researching and writing up the Festival Bulletin. If you are not yet aware, my Festival Bulletin is only being sent out to those who have previously donated funds to the blog. If you want to join this select group of people (who are currently sitting on a 16/1 antepost voucher about a horse that went out and won its next race and now sits as the 7/1 joint fav for his Festival target), then donate at least £5 on the button above. I'm hoping that the Festival Bulletin will be ready to go out on Wednesday 15th February. So, if you want the Festival Bulletin, if you want the antepost advice's, and if you want to read the blog the day before racing during the Cheltenham Festival, you know what to do

During the course of yesterday, I formed a firm opinion about a 2nd race at the Festival and sent out my 2nd antepost email on Sunday evening. Unlike last year when my antepost book was quite large and widespread (but still ended in profit thanks to the 16/1 RSA winner Boston's Angel), this year I am focusing on particular opportunities and it is quite possible that (if circumstances are right) I may recommend an additional wager on a selection previously nominated.

The big news from the weekend was the emphatic win by SIZING EUROPE, who left Big Zeb floundering in his wake. It looks extremely likely that SIZING EUROPE will retain his Champion Chase crown come the Festival and, such is his domination of that race, we could see the defection of intended Champion chase runners to potentially "easier" Festival targets. As such, the field for the Champion Chase could well be small, possibly just 7 or 8 runners.

Onto today, and Ayr have managed to get a meeting together. The novice hurdle at 2:00 over 2m4f looks an interesting encounter as I noted SYDNEY PAGET as a potential top-class novice, and he should be too good for this small field. Later, at 3:40, there is an good  class 3 chase over 3m1f.  Top-weight Neptune Equester is on a recovery mission following a very poor run LTO. He was a selection of mine that day and altho' this is a drop in class  he does not have it easy today despite only have 6 rivals. The soft going will favour the dour-stayer Lockstown, and Mister Marker has been running consistently well without winning this season. Posh Bird comes here on the back of a win LTO, but that win was her first in 28 races. As such, NEPTUNE EQUESTER looks the one to be on as he was worth a punt LTO (in my opinion) and in this easier race he should be shorter than 11/4 (Stan James) especially as the 7/2, 2nd fav is Posh Bird. With Mister Marker (9/2) looking one-paced and unlikely to head the fav if it comes to a dash to the line from the final fence, the biggest danger will likely be Lockstown at 8/1 who, despite a big rise in the ratings for his back-to-back wins in the autumn, will love the going and trip (tho' he would prefer another couple of furlongs). The risk is NEPTUNE EQUESTER comes out in a similar mood to that in which he ran LTO, so the hope is that the cheek-pieces will perk him up. As such, I'd prefer 3/1 but rather than take the 11/4 that's on offer I may have him in a reverse forecast with Lockstown.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.



Friday, 3 February 2012

No jump racing again and weekend is doubtful

The 430th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

No jump racing yesterday (and so, no blog) and there is no jump racing today either. The prospects for the weekend are not good. When I left home this morning at 6:20am, the temperature gauge on my car recorded minus-9 degrees Celsius. Pretty darn cold!

The Sandown card on Saturday has already been abandoned, and it is most unlikely that the Ffos Las meeting tomorrow will go ahead. As for Wetherby, the prospects are slim.

In the past, at times like these, I have been tempted to stray towards the All-Weather racing, but no more. Sure, I will take a look over it and yesterday I came close to a decent winning wager when STEELCUT was beaten just a head into 2nd in the 2:20 at Wolverhampton. I thought he was more like a 7/2 chance on my cursory glance thru' the runners for this "claimer" over 6-furlongs, yet he was being offered at 12.0 (that's 11/1 in "old money") on Betfair. I had problems getting an internet connection yesterday morning (my site office is less than 400 yards from the City Airport in London, yet my 3G signal is pathetically weak) hence another reason for no blog. But, when I managed to get a reasonable signal, I read Glenn's blog at G-Star Frankel (see adjacent link) and he agreed with me about STEELCUT. I posted my thoughts on twitter (my moniker is @wayward_lad) so if you are reading this then do take advantage of the twitter feed. The race was also appraised by Jerry Banks of Jerry's Best Bet's (see adjacent blog link) who specialises in AW Claiming races with great success. Anyway, no winner in STEELCUT, but I didn't lose out.

My Cheltenham Festival Bulletin for 2012 is now well & truly underway, and I am confident that the hard work I've put in (I've done private bulletins for myself and a few close friends for the past few years) will prove invaluable. Here's a taster: if you'd followed one particular formline-come-trend in 2011, then you would have finished the 2011 Festival in profit by over 11pts to a 1pt level stake on all qualifiers. Yet, when I posted the fact on twitter last March on the morning of Day 1 it was met with general derision from some quarters. Some people never learn – perhaps they don't want to!

I've already sent out my 1st antepost email for the Festival (went out on 14th January) and one of the two named horses has been cut from 16/1 to 7/1 for his targeted race; not only that, but he also won his Festival "trial" as I suggested he would in the email. I'm hoping that the Festival Bulletin will be ready to go out on Wednesday 15th February, and it will be sent out free of charge to all those who have made a donation to my blog during the past 12 months. If you want to secure a copy, send me a donation (at least £5 please) and I will send you the bulletin, plus all further email updates regarding the Festival. Last year, I sent out my blog postings to supporters of the blog the evening before racing, and I intend to be doing that again this March.

So, if you want the Festival Bulletin, if you want the antepost advice's, and if you want to read the blog the day before racing during the Cheltenham Festival, you know what to do.

No selections for today's racing.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.



Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Stark weather forecast

The 429th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

There were no recommended selections yesterday, but I did say the couple of novice chasers that Paul Nicholl's sent out on their racecourse debuts both looked capable of winning. As it happened, SANCTUAIRE did win (at an SP of 13/8) but MERRRION SQUARE didn't. As such, a 1pt levels stakes win wager onboth would have result in a tiny profit, but a profit none-the-less.  SANCTUAIRE is a bit of a monkey as he went-off so quick yesterday several "scribes" on twitter reckoned he may be bolting, but he won the race in what looked to be a canter. Connections suggested he may go to the Festival and while in my opinion he will be outclassed in the Arkle (Paul Nicholl's has Al Ferof) I would be interested in him in whatever else he might contest there. Finally, yesterday I titled the blog "Walsh 48% strikerate for Nicholls at Taunton" and Ruby Walsh rode 3 winners for Paul Nicholl's there yesterday: Dildar @ 8/15, Sanctuaire @ 13/8, Ted Spread @ 5/4, and his 4th ride Frankie Figg was unplaced. For punters who enjoy a multiple bet, a 1pt win yankee on those 4 runners (11pts staked) would have returned an 11.44pt profit.

A couple of today's meetings – those at Leicester and Ludlow – have been lost to the weather, and we only have jumps racing at Newcastle.  I don't like Newcastle at the best of times and I'm not scrabbling around there looking for a wager today. With the weather likely to take a tight grip over the coming few days, I am taking a look at the Festival meeting and will use the time to start preparations for a Festival Bulletin.

I will be sending this out free-of-charge to those readers of the blog who have previously contributed a donation by way of a gesture of thanks. For anyone else who wants it, when the Festival Bulletin is complete and ready for despatch I'll make an announcement and for a small amount (and I mean small amount) I will send you a copy. Everyone has to makes ends meet and there are a couple of "links" to other websites (see adjacent columns) for which I obtain a small payment for having on my blog.

No selections for today's racing.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.