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, 23 March 2012

Fortune favours the brave

The 464th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

A delayed publication of the blog today as there was a power cut here this morning and the power was only switched back on at noon. Yesterday, I benefitted from some great fortune. Firstly, I was involved in a meeting at the office which meant I was unable to be involved in the 3:10 at Chepstow, and so a losing wager on Canal Bank was avoided. The horse looked to be going well until up till the 14th fence where he dropped-out quickly, so perhaps something went amiss. With my meeting over, I was able to be involved in the 4:05 at Carlisle. It wasn't until just before the race that I knew the morning fav Blazing Diva was a non-runner. This changed the complexion of the race completely as there was unlikely to be a fast pace on from the off (which was the likelihood with Blazing Diva). As such Kaybeew  was far more likely to be in contention and as I knew he stayed the trip well (see yesterday's blog) I took the 12.50 (SP 9/1) available on Betfair just seconds before the off. He drifted in-running to 20.0 on Betfair before they had gone a mile of the 3m2f, so I doubled-up my stake. The intention was always to lay-off my total stake in-running at 6.20 and then let the wager "ride". Kaybeew went into the lead 3-out, and jumped the final fence in a clear lead to win by 6-lengths.

That successful trade on Kaybeew improved my trading record since 1st January to: Trades = 48; Wins = 29; Trade-outs = 6; Losses = 13. The increase in trading "bank" = 623% and Return On Investment (ROI) = 61.70% (ie. 62.27pts profit from 100.98pts staked).

There are a couple of interesting races today, and I have already posted these up on Twitter (my id is @wayward_lad). They are:-

Newbury 2:40, OGEE @ 7/1, and in the Sedgefield 4:35, BARDOLET @ 15/2.

I've liked OGEE ever since he was just beaten in the 3m1f handicap chase on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival in 2010. I feel he just does not stay 3-mile and that he's suffered in being asked to come from off the pace over trips he does not really stay. As such, over this 2m6f & 110 yards trip, I'm hoping for a big improvement on what we've seen in the past couple of seasons, especially as with his 2nd-place LTO he showed that he's still in love with the game. There will be a good pace on in this, which is what he wants, and I can see him staying-on strong at the end. I may try and obtain odds of 10.0+ on Betfair in-running after the off.

BARDOLET looks to be in a fairly easy race. It is an extreme trip of 3m3f and most of these will struggle to stay the trip and still be effective at the business end even if they do. BARDOLET will stay this trip, as he won over 3m1f with 11st 12lb (what he carries today) on 20th Jan at Catterick. He was pulled-up lame LTO at Southwell, so draw a line thru' that run. Frontier Boy loves Sedgefield in much the same way as Everaard loves Musselburgh, but he's slow as a boat  and will likely only win this race is mishaps befall the others. Noble Witness does not look like he will stay much beyond 3-mile. Of the 2 horses (OGEE and BARDOLET) I'd swing more to the latter and I am surprised that he's not favourite for this race at 5/1. Put it this way, he beat Toulouse Express a long way when he won that Catterick race and, even with a 9lb pull, I can't see the 13yo reversing the places – yet he's the 5/1 fav!

As the blog is published late (it's about 1:30pm as I write) today's selections won't count to my profit and loss – whatever happens.

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

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Horseracing embraces sexist thinking (again)

The 463rd edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

No selection for the blog yesterday and the race I focussed on was a real topsy-turvy one on the exchanges. Eventually, I played a "back-to-lay" trade on TIGER O'TOOLE as I thought he'd be thereabouts at the finish as I expected the front-runners Door Boy,  Bold Sir Brian, You Know Yourself and Chance Du Roy to cut each other's throats by battling for dominance. I'm not able to confirm it, but I reckon 4 horses traded at odds-on during the race – including Tiger O'Toole, who was trading at well over 50.0 when he made a huge error at the 9th of the 15 fences. One thing about Chance du Roy, who won the race, is that he is consistent. He's now won 5 of his last 7 chase starts over 2m4f. What put me off him most yesterday was that Phil Hobbs had not had a chase winner at Haydock in the past 5 seasons.

That successful trade on Tiger O'Toole improved my trading record since 1st January is now: Trades = 47; Wins = 28; Trade-outs = 6; Losses = 13. The increase in trading "bank" = 492% and Return On Investment (ROI) = 49.70% (ie. 49.15pts profit from 98.79pts staked).

Some interesting racing today at Chepstow, Carlisle and Fontwell and the 3:10 at Chepstow, which is a 3-mile h'cap chase, looks to have potential. Generally, I like my selection to be a prominent runner as while hold-up horses are more exciting to watch as they produce more thrilling finishes (should they get up on the line and win), hold-up horses can quickly lose interest in a race. I reckon they are a more risky option. In this race there are a couple who will likely be 'in-the-van' and will enjoy the trip and going, they are Bounds And Leaps and Canal Bank. Ballyoliver should also go well, but he looks to have only one gear and will likely get caught-out from the 2nd-last for pace. Jonjo O'Neill, trainer of Canal Bank, has his stable in good form and – despite coming into the race fresh from an 81-day break – he should be up to running well today. Bounds And leaps has a lot of potential at this level  and looks an exciting prospect when winning his chase debut over C&D in October but, following a fall NTO at Ascot, his latest run was lacklustre.

At Carlisle, the 4:05 over 3m2f may only have 6 runners but it looks intriguing. A couple of Racing Post tipsters have gone for Blazing Diva, but he won't have it all his own way out in front. Sandofthecolosseum will also dispute the lead, as will Overlady and it may pay to take a view on Kaybeew who will stay this trip well and looked better than his current rating in the autumn. My doubt with Kaybeew is that he is basically slow but grinds out his races. If they go too fast up-front early on, then he could have the door left open, but I reckon Sandofthecolosseum with break his maiden today

No selection as of yet as I was hoping to get a bit more than 11/2 on CANAL BANK in the 3:10 at Chepstow. Ditto in the 4:05 at Carlisle with SANDOFTHECOLOSSEUM, tho' the 4/1 on him isn't too bad.

After thinking overnight on my "fixed-stake" bookies idea (see yesterday's blog), I think it has some legs, especially at meetings with a high proportion of casual racegoers. There are not many race meetings that I attend that I don't have to explain how to place a bet to a racing newcomer, and the simpler we make it the more likely that these new racegoers will have a bet, enjoy the thrill of the experience, hopefully win, and then return for some more.

That said, we've had the enlightening announcement today of a "Ladies" jockeys championship for the Flat racing season. Just when are the old duffer chauvinists in charge or horseracing going to bugger off? Do they not realise how patronising and belittling such gestures are, and how much of a turn-off they make horseracing to 50% of the population of the country? The only reason Hayley Turner does not get more rides in racing is solely due to male prejudice amongst the training ranks. It beats me that virtually every stable in the country has more stable-girls than stable-lads and yet the "powers that be" in horseracing continually views women as a fluffy add-on who are not to be taken seriously. If horseracing is going to flourish in the next 50 years, it has to get real and embrace modern thinking. So let's have an end to "best dressed ladies", "ladies days", "best ladies hat" and all the rest of the sexist paraphernalia. Let's bring women into racing.

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

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Bread & Butter profits

The 462nd edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Yesterday, I should really have been a bit braver when considering the chances of SEA SAFFRON in the 2m7f & 110 yards novice hurdle that closed the Exeter meeting. The horse had won at Exeter over fences and all of his career wins had come at this time of year. So, the horse clearly likes the course and enjoys the "spring" sunshine on his back. The only realistic opposition he had in the race – which was filled with dubious stayers – was the short-priced fav Kowloon, who needed to confirm the form shown LTO was no "fluke". As such, even at 6/1 in the morning, he was worth a wager as if Kowloon didn't show-up (and, as it happened, he didn't) then Sea SAFFRON was most likely to benefit. He had the race won from 2-out and was eased-down on the run-in to come home a 13/2 winner.

My "trading" on Betfair continues to provide me with "bread & butter" profits. Yesterday, Newport Arch in the 4:50 at Southwell was my 'back-to-lay' play and I managed to obtain 7.40 at lunchtime and was easily able to trade-out at 3.60 in-running, in fact the horse traded below 2.20 when looking the potential winner about a furlong out. My trading record since 1st January is now: Trades = 46; Wins = 27; Trade-outs = 6; Losses = 13. The increase in trading "bank" = 438% and Return On Investment (ROI) = 46.90% (ie. 43.77pts profit from 93.42pts staked).
At Haydock the 4:25, which is a 2m4f handicap chase, looks interesting. Some of my favourite handicappers are racing in this; Chance Du Roy, You Know Yourself, Bold Sir Brian – but also TIGER O'TOOLE who I was most disappointed for when balloted-out of his race at last week's Cheltenham Festival. I can't make a firm selection at this stage, I'm going to have to spend some more time on this race over lunch before deciding on to have a wager or not. I cannot see anything of interest at either Hereford or Warwick.

Some good response to yesterday's blog on Channel 4 tv securing sole terrestrial broadcasting rights to horseracing for the next 4 years, and (on-course) bookmakers needing to think about how they present their business. "The Laird" is right in saying that the BBC coverage was always innovative from the camera on the truck, to the "eye-in-the-sky". Where the BBC fell down in recent years was in their overall management, as they do not like horseracing. In fact, all animal related activities (bar One Man & His Dog) have been given the elbow. We no longer have show-jumping (not Hickstead, nor the Horse of the Year show at Wembley Arena), nor greyhound racing (The TV Trophy was a staple of the 1960's & 70's), Badminton (despite royal patronage) has gone, so has Crufts dog show, and now horse-racing. Expect the "country-life" programmes to focus only on agriculture in future!

Personally, I hope Channel 4 bring back the extended morning coverage on Grand National day, starting with Morning Line at 8am and rolling right through the day till 5pm with a focus on all the principal runners and the stories behind the entries. Let's get horseracing on tv to be more about horses, people and country life in general, and less about gambling.

As for on-course bookmakers, unless they think outside the box and change the way they present their business radically, they are dead in the water. It could be that we have "fixed-stake" bookies, ie they only take £10 win bets and the boards would show returns to a £10 bet and not odds. So instead of offering 10/1, they could shout "Red Rum pays £110", or – to work an edge on other bookies, offer £112. That way, it keeps things simple for the casual punter.

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

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Time for customer friendly horseracing

The 461st edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

After the hurly-burly of the Cheltenham Festival last week, I gave myself a few days off from racing.

Today, we have a jumps meeting at Exeter which looks very ordinary, and an couple of meetings on the All-Weather at Kempton and Southwell. The meeting at Exeter is a bit disappointing, opening with a selling hurdle followed by a 4 handicap hurdle with an odds-on fav. Then we have a couple of novice chases, a hunter chase, and finally a novice handicap hurdle. In that last race on the card, I was tempted to have an eachway wager on SEA SAFFRON, but the early value has gone on him and he's 6/1 from 11/1 as I write. He should be in the 1st-3 as he goes well at Exeter and his best form is in the "spring", but this trip of 2m7f & 110 yards may find him out stamina-wise. Hence, he was worth and eachway nibble at 10/1+ but not at his current odds. The only horse in the race proven at the trip is the 6/5 fav KOWLOON. The only other race that I'm interested in at Exeter is the 3:00, were the odds-on Katchmore may just be anchored by the huge weight of 12st 5lb that he has to carry. The Henderson trained Buckie Boy could be a lot better than he showed LTO when winning at Taunton, as he idled in front and was nearly caught close home. That was over 2m4f, so he won't be lacking stamina over this shorter 2m1f trip. And DREAM PEFORMANCE  with just 11st 1lb to carry also ran well LTO when winning over 2-mile at Wincanton. At 6/1, she looks to be the "eachway thief" in this race.

No selection today.

I'm still pondering the success of Channel 4 in securing sole terrestrial broadcasting rights to horseracing for the next 4 years, and whether or not it's a good or a bad thing for racing. What I think horseracing desperately needs is some new young blood in its audience. It cannot be too difficult for those in influential positions in horseracing to realise that the reason for the increase in attendances in the past 10-years – and jump racing attendances in particular – is due to the "pig-in-the-python" of the baby-boomers. The post WWII baby boom means that those born between 1946-1963 (that is those aged 49 to 66) are the people filling the racecourses. Unless horseracing recruits a younger audience soon, then we should see attendances at racetracks start to decline in the next 5 years and for that decline to continue. Tracks need to be made more receptive to a younger, more savvy, audience. For instance, it really annoyed me that I could not get a signal on my phone(s) to place a bet on inside the bar behind the "Tatts" at Cheltenham last week. In fact, to get a decent signal on my phones (one is T-Mobile, the other is O2) I had to walk out beyond the 2nd rank of bookmakers. Tracks need to be more user-friendly at every level. Even bookmakers at their pitches need to think about how they present their business. I watched several bookies at Cheltenham struggling to entice punters to place bets and they had front-rank pitches; but then they gave the punter nothing – no banter, no atmosphere, nothing to "buy" into. The high street has (finally) realised that shopping – if it is to compete with the internet – has to be a customer friendly experience. It is about time horseracing realised that too.

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

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Time to retire Kauto Star

The 460th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

What a day for horseracing and, thankfully, a safe return for KAUTO STAR to the stables at Ditcheat. I do not think I am alone in saying that the horse should not have been at Cheltenham today. Throughout his career, he has shown that he is vulnerable to injury whenever he takes a tumble, and the fall in training just 3-weeks ago (described as “horrendous”) clearly left its mark. Ever since he fell at Exeter in January 2005 and was re-mounted by Ruby Walsh to finish the race (an action that subsequently resulted in remounting being banned), KAUTO STAR has taken time to recover from a fall. Personally, I now feel that the horse should be honourably retired as he’s done enough for the sport to earn that retirement. I will likely never see another horse like Kauto Star in my lifetime - not just a good horse, but a brilliant and resilient horse too.

The Gold Cup turned into an exciting race, even so. You have to take your hat off to Jonjo O’Neill in producing SYNCRONISED here in the peak of form as this was only his 2nd chase race of the season (he ran in two hurdle races in the autumn, including an eye-catching 3rd in the “fixed-brush” at Haydock behind Dynaste). What I find unsettling is that Racing Post Ratings (RPR) have rated this Gold Cup win at RPR175 which is a 4lb improvement on what they rated his Lexus Chase win at on 28th December. Did Roberto Goldback (beaten 14-lengths into 4th) really equal his lifetime best performance that day? No, I don’t think he did; and I reckon SYNCRONISED ran to 168 in the Lexus. It's about time that those who rate racing (such as Racing Post Ratings) stop doing these knee-jerk uplifts every time a horse wins a decent race. SYNCRONISED is NOT racing at a level 10lb higher than when he won the Welsh National. What today's race showed was that too many trainers were running scared of LONG RUN last season, when they should not have been.

I’ve been saying for some time that LONG RUN is not an OR182 chaser, and that I had him at least 10lb lower than that. I reckon this Gold Cup result clearly demonstrates that LONG RUN is not the world-beater of a horse he was made out to be. He’s good, but he’s perhaps 14lb off the peaks achieved by the likes of Kauto Star, Denman and Imperial Commander in their hey-day. So, where do I rate SYNCRONISED? According to my ratings assessment (and ratings are not the be all and end all, but they are a starting point) I have him at 168, as I reckon he matched his Lexus performance today. I was right in thinking that LONG RUN was within striking distance of a handful of other chasers, but I was mistaken in thinking the one to take advantage was WEIRD AL. Unfortunately, I allowed myself to be diverted from my own primary rules for Cheltenham, that Festival winners are most likely to be:-
(1) Last-time-out winners,
(2) Have run their previous race since 25th December 2011,
SYNCRONISED ticked both of those boxes, whereas Weird Al didn’t.

Burton Port, in 4th today, far from being 10lb better than before his injury (according to his trainer Nicky Henderson) is at about the same level he was as a novice; 160. He has already been overtaken by the rapidly improving THE GIANT BOLSTER, who has improved with every race (by about 20lb) this season. I thought he’d win the race when leading after the 2nd-last fence, but a mistake at the final fence cost him vital momentum. Had he jumped cleanly he may well have won as he had the stamina to pass LONG RUN on the run-in from the last.

Not the best of Festival’s for me, as I ended the meeting 5.5625pts down. It could have been so much different had Fruity O’Rooney – at 20/1 - held on to the lead on the opening day, or The Cockney Mackem – at 25/1 – had run on that bit earlier. But that’s racing.

Over the coming weeks I will be reviewing and rating the performances of the Festival and looking to find what the truly great efforts were, and by which horses.

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.

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

Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Cheltenham Festival 2012 - Day-4

The 459th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Yesterday was another day when we hit the bar of a big win with THE COCKNEY MACKEM (who was 25/1 when I posted my blog in the morning) coming home in 2nd place after being the subject of an almighty gamble from 25's to an SP of 10/1. My main wager on NOBLE PRINCE went astray when the horse never travelled and pulled-up. I've no idea what went wrong but there seems to have been some problem with the horse's preparation prior to the race. Even SOMERSBY did not come right and I thought his consistency would see him home into the place's. So, including the ante[post wagers, we lost 3.1875pts on the day, which means we are down 3.5625pts on the Festival. Still all to play for, and I think I have a couple of interesting wagers.

1:30 - JCB Triumph Hurdle (for 4yo only): 2-mile & 1-furlong

Trainer Alan King appears to have the strongest hand in this race, and I have been a fan of GRUMETI for some time. His chief rival will likely be BABY MIX who won on the same Kempton card in February over the same trip in a faster time. I am sure that if Alan King did not have BALDER SUCCESS also in the race, then GRUMETI would be the clear fav for this. As such, his current odds of 7/1 look fair value. It can be a strange race tho' the Triumph, and it is not one of my favourites, so no wager for the blog.

2:05 - Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle: 2-mile & 1-furlong

This race looks as tough a handicap to solve as it's ever been and, as I've not had a good record in this race in the past, I'm giving it a miss.

2:40 - Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle: 3-miles

The fav for this race BOSTON BOB, dominates the betting market at 6/4 with the 2nd-fav MOUNT BENBULBEN at 6/1. I cannot believe that one novice is so far ahead of his peers at this trip and therefore suggest taking him on with one that may be capable of a surprise. That may be SIVOLA DE SIVOLA who was balloted-out of the Pertemps Final and has looked a progressive staying handicap hurdler this season. He may be only rated OR132, but he has won at the trip and will enjoy the going. However, bookmakers are only paying 3-places and so I will be giving this race a miss, tho' its likely I'll lay BOSTON BOB at less than 2.60 on Betfair.

3:20 - Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase: 3-miles & 2-furlongs & 110 yards

Most who read this will already be supporters of either KAUTO STAR or LONG RUN and whatever I write it will be near impossible to change their opinions. Personally, I don't reckon either will win. It will be a huge effort for KAUTO STAR to win this again as a 12yo (this is a trip that's beyond his best of 3-mile) and I feel LONG RUN has not "trained-on" and is not OR182 (his official rating). The winner in my opinion will be WEIRD AL who was a top-class novice chaser who missed his RSA Chase thru' injury. Now that connections realise he goes best when fresh, he comes here off a long break which for others may be catastrophic but for him could be the perfect preparation. Odds of 11/1 are fair and he should be placed at least. Of the others, none look capable of being involved except DIAMOND HARRY who may yet come good if the recent wind operation has sorted out his breathing problems. LONG RUN is the horse to beat as this trip will play to his strengths, but Donald McCain has his horses running well and we know WEIRD AL stays well and goes well fresh and is only a couple of lengths behind the big-two on form.

Selection: WEIRD AL, ½pt eachway @ 11/1 (Vic Chandler, BOG, ¼ odds a place 1,2,3)

4:00 – Christie's Foxhunters Chase: 3-miles & 2-furlongs & 110 yards

This is a race that it really does pay to be prominent in and, if you are able to play in-running, I would take an interest in any that are within 8-lengths of the leader as they head out up the hill on the final circuit. Stamina comes to the fore in this race and that's why I am against Barbers shop and Chapoturgeon  as both are far more at home over 2m5f than this trip. For me CLOUDY LANE fits the bill and can give Donald McCain a quick double today. He stays this trip extremely well, comes his fit and well from a recent win and has one of the best amateur jockeys riding in the saddle.

Selection: CLOUDY LANE, ½pt win @ 6/1 (Vic Chandler)

4:40 – Martin Pipe conditional Jockeys handicap hurdle: 2-mile & 4-furlongs & 110 yards

MOLOTOF was entered in a lot of races at the Festival and finally runs here over a trip that should suit him well. The doubt is that he's been off the track since the autumn. Race fav BOURNE could be on a very lenient rating based on his latest winning run, but odds of 11/2 do not leave much room for error. I'll pass this race over.

5:15 – Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase: 2-mile & 110 yards.

The "get-out" stakes, but what a tough nut to crack. Nicky Henderson has thrown the kitchen sink at this race and the reason why could be that stable jockey Barry Geraghty has won a couple of times on SLIEVEARDAGH in Ireland. He's got great form in top novice chases, and the form stands up to scrutiny at this Festival. He also has experience of big runner handicap races as a hurdler. I've looked at oddschecker and the gamble seems to have already started as he's 10/1 generally (from 14's) as I write this, with 12's only at Vic Chandler.

Selection: SLIEVEARDAGH, ¼pt eachway @ 12/1 (Vic Chandler, BOG, ¼ odds a place 1,2,3,4)

Total staked today = 2pts

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

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Cheltenham Festival 2012 - Day-3

The only selection TENOR NIVERNAIS was disappointing and, very early on, it was obvious that he was not enjoying the going. That said, the narrative provided not only the winner, but the forecast for the 1st race on the card with TEAFORTHREE beating HARRY THE VIKING into 2nd. I hope readers were braver than me, as the Exacta paid 29/1. SIMONSIG then followed-up in the Neptune but, as I don't like recommending selections at less than 3/1 (especially at the Festival), again the choice of whether or not to play the selection was down to the reader. With red-hot fav's GRANDS CRUS and SIZING EUROPE both being beaten in the next couple of races, you can see why I don't recommend betting at short odds.  We go into the 3rd day with the blog showing slight loss of 0.375pts so far this week.

It was great to meet old friends, and new ones, at the track yesterday.

1:30 – Jewson Novices Chase: 2-mile & 4-furlongs
Only the 2nd time this race has been run, and Peddlers Cross comes here instead of the Arkle (in which he'd have been well beaten). Much as I love the horse, I can't see him winning as he just does not look a natural chaser. This trip will suit him better than 2-mile, but the horse will be better over 3-mile. Sir Des champs won at the Festival in 2011 and that will hold him in good stead, especially as the runner-up in that race – Son Of Flicka – won the Coral Cup on Wednesday. For me, this race is between CHAMPION COURT and SOLIX and, on chase form, I cannot split them. SOLIX was by far the better hurdler and, with Henderson in such good form, he gets the vote, but I'm going to sit this race out..

2:05 – Pertemps final (handicap Hurdle): 3-miles
This looks a tough race to crack and will revolved around Buena Vista who will try and repeat the tactics of his last two victories in this race; as such, you need a horse that will be "in-the-van" as they won't come from behind in this. Kayf Aramis (who won this in 2009) has a place chance, and Across The Bay should also be thereabouts. If Dermot Weld has rekindled Prince Erik (2nd in 2010) he could also go well, but Buena Vista looks weighted to make the hat-trick with the 10lb claimer in the saddle, it's just his odds don't represent value.

2:40 – Ryanair Chase: 2-mile & 5-furlongs
This is my "make-or-break" race of the Festival. have been a long-term supporter of NOBLE PRINCE for this race, and think he holds an excellent chance in this race. The going and weather will be near identical to that faced by Albertas Run when he won this in both 2010 & 2011, but NOBLE PRINCE also won on this day last season in tremendous style. I have already advised a 2pt win wager on NOBLE PRINCE and honestly reckon he should be shorter than 3/1 today. I am expecting SOMERSBY to follow the selection home, and antepost followers are on at 16/1 at 1pt eachway. If you are not already on NOBLE PRINCE  antepost, then he is the selection at 13/2 or longer today for 2pts win..

3:20 – Ladbroke World Hurdle: 3-miles
I have been a fan of BIG BUCKS ever since I saw him win the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham in January 2009 and he has never failed me since. Nobody knows just how good this horse is as no horse has yet been capable of pushing him. Will Oscar Whisky do it? Well, the last horse to win the World hurdle after taking part in a Champion Hurdle was Nomadic Way in 1992, so it can be done. But, many others have failed in the intervening years. With the doubt over Oscar Whisky having enough stamina, THOUSAND STARS who has won over 3-mile and is a class 2-mile hurdler himself, could follow BIG BUCKS home and at 11/2 without the fav (Corals) that for me is the value.

4:00 – Byrne Group Plate (Handicap) chase: 2-miles & 5-furlongs
Early notes are that CRACK AWAY JACK is thrown-in off OR142. He should have won his chase race here last November but for sustaining a bad cut to his leg mid-race. For me, THE COCKNEY MACKEM is knocking on the door of a win and his form reads well in respect of this race./ He likes to race prominently too, and that is no bad thing as we have seen already this Festival. At 25/1 (William Hill and Betfred) he's the eachway wager.

Selection: THE COCKNEY MAKEM, ¼pt eachway @ 25/1 (BOG, places 1,2,3,4)

4:40 – Kim Muir Handicap Chase: 3-mile, 1-furlong & 110 yards.
Jockeyship is the key, and Mr R O Harding on BRACKLOON HIGH cannot be ignored. Not only that, but he likes to race prominently and he has the stamina for this. He's also a LTO winner, what more can you want?

Selection: BRACKLOON HIGH,  ¼pt eachway @ 14/1 (Vic Chandler, BOG, places 1,2,3,4)

Total = 5pts staked (including 3pts already staked antepost on SOMERSBY and NOBLE PRINCE)

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



Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Cheltenham Festival - Day-2

The 457th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Day-2 of the Cheltenham Festival.

What a brave effort from FRUITY O’ROONEY in trying to make-all and only losing the lead in the final 100 yards. We came close to pulling-off one of the big handicaps, but only took 2pts profit instead of 12. The antepost wager on CUE CARD for the Arkle (½pt ew @ 9/1) came good as he ran out a clear 2nd behind Sprinter Sacre, returning a 0.625pt profit which is what I will take. However, those who read the blog and played the “without the fav” market were rewarded with odds of 3/1, and a 3pt profit. I should have stuck to my original plan (see my Festivla Bulletin) and played the “w/o the fav” market in the Champion Hurdle with ROCK ON RUBY, but I chose the wrong one in ZARKANDAR, and lost 1pt there. We also lost 1pt on BLESS THE WINGS; so we ended the day 0.625pts in profit.
Remember, you don’t have to find the winner. With CUE CARD, we won more in the w/o the fav market than being on the winner Sprinter Sacre!

1:30 – National Hunt (novice) Chase (Amateur riders): 4 miles
With an OR146 rating, TEAFORTHREE is the highest rated in the race, and looks (based on his close 2nd at Cheltenham on 12Nov to Join Together) potentially well treated. We know he stays well, is a prominent runner and handles the track and going, and won LTO (sounds like I’m describing Fruity O’Rooney). What more can you want? Harry The Viking is probably 4lb well-in (thru’ OR134, Ikorodu Road who won LTO), but he’s no value at 6/1. It’s hard to see a winner from outside the market leaders, but this race can be a graveyard for leading hopes.

2:05 – Neptune Investment Novices Hurdle: 2-mile & 5-furlongs
SIMONSIG looks very strong in this race based on his LTO win and, unless the Irish have a surprise, he should be the winner in a race in which shocks are rare events. Monksland could be the best of the Irish chances. There could also be a strong challenge from Batonnier, who has improved with every run and won at Cheltenham LTO.

2:40 – RSA Chase (novices): 3-mile & 110 yards
GRANDS CRUS goes for this instead of the Gold Cup, and he cannot be opposed. I expected him to win the Gold Cup if he went for that race and I really think he should be odds-on for this as he wasn’t even stretched when easily beating Bobs Worth (the 2nd fav) at Kempton on Boxing Day.

3:20 – Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase: 2-miles
I have SIZING EUROPE about 14lb clear of Finian’s Rainbow and, with Big Zeb on a recovery mission, the race fav looks as near a certainty to win as you can get. I am surprised he’s not a lot shorter in odds and I’d have him long odds-on at 2/5. I think we’ve seen that with Finian’s Rainbow, his best isn’t good enough, and so the only opposition to SIZING EUROPE is in Big Zeb. If Big Zeb could be guaranteed a clear round of jumping, he’d be closer to making a race of it but, I can’t see that happening.

4:00 – Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle: 2-miles & 5-furlongs
At last, a race to get my teeth into. Ideally, you want a horse that has already won this season, is 7yo or younger, and is carrying between 10st 10lb – 11st 3lb (inclusive). Only First Fandango (of since 26-Nov)and Tenor Nivernais fit these criteria and, of those TENOR NIVERNAIS looks well-suited to take this race. He ran a good race when 7th in the Fred Winter last year when staying-on, and he’s won twice this season since finding his form (Venetia Williams is always a slow starter to the jumps season). A front-runner, he will stay the trip and relish this sort of race. At 33/1 he looks very interesting. We are already on antepost for ¼pt eachway @ 33/1 and I’m inclined to double that.
Selection: TENOR NIVERNAIS, ½pt eachway @ 33/1 (Betfred, BOG, ¼ odds 1,2,3,4,5)

4:40 – Fred Winter Junvenile Handicap Hurdle: 2-miles & 110 yards
This looks a tricky race to get a hold of. I am not a fan of 4yo hurdlers and so I am giving this race a miss. It looks wide open with only 5 of the 24 starters at odds less than 25/1.

5:15 – Champion Bumper: 2-miles & 110 yards
At the recent Preview night I attended, the only “bumper” horse to get a mention was COOL GEORGE. He is 33/1 (Bet365) and, before I go any further, I will not be having a wager on this race.

Several of these races look uncompetitive and, as such, it could be a disappointing day for the punter. Short fav’s can be beaten, as happened to HURRICANE FLY. As such, I do not like having wagers at less than 3/1. So, just the single eachway wager on TENOR NIVERNAIS. I am at the races on Wednesday, so tomorrows blog may be a little late (and brief).

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

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Cheltenham Festival 2012 - Day 1

The 456th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Day-1 of the Cheltenham Festival and let's hope it's the Festival that we've all been waiting for. The new whip rules have been sorted out, the ground looks to be near perfect for racing, and all the best horses are fit and ready to run. Remember, the winners at Cheltenham will (in the main) most likely be:-

(1)    Last-time-out winners,

(2)    Have run their previous race since 25th December 2011,

(3)    Be carrying no more than 11st 3lb in a handicap race (hurdles or chase).

1:30 – William Hill Supreme Novices Hurdle: 2 mile & 110 yards
Plenty of LTO winners and those that catch my eye are: Agent Archie, Tetlami, and Montbazon as they have all run since 28th Jan and have run no more than 3 hurdle races.  Of those, TETLAMI looks the strongest as he's been prepared solely for this race all season and his recent win on the AW at Kempton will have him in peak fitness. He has also won a bumper at Cheltenham, and Henderson has not sent him for this for nothing despite having the fav - Darlan – in the race. Odds of 14/1 with Bet365 (BOG, best odds guaranteed) and paying 4-places to ¼ odds edges it for me.  A "no-bet" race, but TETLAMI for an interest.

2:05 – Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase: 2-mile
It would take a leap of immense proportions to oppose SPRINTER SACRE in this race as he looks quite the most impressive 2-mile chaser we've seen in many a year. I've looked for chinks in his armour but I cannot find any. I admit, I put up CUE CARD as an antepost eachway wager before SPRINTER SACRE won LTO beating his stablemate (the OR162 rated French Opera) easily, but I can only see CUE CARD winning if a mishap comes to the favourite.  That could come if the fav is put under pressure late-on in the race as he was in the Supreme Hurdle at the Festival last year by CUE CARD and he misjudged the final hurdle completely. I'm happy with my antepost on CUE CARD (½pt eachway @ 9/1) and if you are not on, take the 8/1 offered by Vic Chandler. I have Al Ferof about 7-10lb behind CUE CARD on my ratings, and I'd be surprised if any others were involved.  CUE CARD in the w/o the fav markets is 3/1 and that's better than a match-bet with Al Ferof.  

2:40 – JLT Speciality Handicap Chase: 3-mile & 110 yards
This looks a tough handicap to crack this year. With last year's winner being the first since 1997 to win with more than 11st (and both carried 11:2), the only horse I like above that weight is Zarrafakt – but he has no Cheltenham course form. Of the others who have Cheltenham form, there is Magnanimity (4th in the RSA in 2011) and Tullamore Dew (3rd in Centenary Chase in 2011, and 2nd in Coral Cup in 2010). Another I like is Fruity O'Rooney who stays 3-mile well and is running at his peak.  I can't have The Package who was 2nd in this race in 2010 as we haven't seen him in 496 days. It is dangerous to ignore LTO winners, but all 3 carry 11st 2lb or more. As I don't think Tullamore Dew will stay this trip, I'm focusing on Magnanimity @ 14/1 and FRUITY O'ROONEY @ 20/1.

Selection: FRUITY O'ROONEY, ½pt eachway @ 20/1 (Vic Chandler, BOG, ¼ odds 1,2,3,4)

3:20 – Champion Hurdle: 2-mile & 110 yards
It is very difficult to see past HURRICANE FLY as he beat Thousand Stars 7¼ lengths when winning this last year, and Overturn 15½ lengths. That said, if BINOCULAR is back to his best he will give him a race, of that you can be sure. BINOCULAR clearly wasn't at his best at Aintree or when he met HURRICANE FLY at Punchestown in May last year, so don't write him off, but he needs to find his best form to win this. I reckon 5yo's are well up to winning this, just that not many take part hence their low number of winners, I took 8/1 on ZARKANDAR on Friday and Ladbrokes offer 7/1.

Selection: ZARKANDAR, 1pt win @ 7/1 (Ladbrokes, BOG)

4:00 – Glenfarclas X-Country Chase: 3-mile & 7-furlongs
Two weeks ago, Keiran Burke said he was tempted to renew his license to ride FORTIFICATION in this race, and that's good enough for me. He should lead or be prominent thru'out, he stays 3m5f well and this is an easier trip as they race slower. He may be caught for speed in the final quarter-mile, hence he is not a selection – but, at 33/1 (Vic Chandler) he's worth a small eachway wager for an interest in the race.

4:40 – David Nicholson Mares Hurdle: 2-mile & 4-furlongs
Without question, QUEVEGA will win this, and it is very difficult to see which will follow her home.

5:15 – Pulteney Land Novices handicap chase – 2-mile & 4-furlongs & 110 yards
I was disappointed to learn that Tiger O'Toole was balloted out of this race (missed out by one place). This looks exceptionally tough, and yet I think it will be between two horses that I have won with this season – Going Wrong and Bless The Wings. Ferdy Murphy once thought Going Wrong would win the RSA and since coming back from injury he's done the trainer proud. However, BLESS THE WINGS won here LTO looking like a horse going places, and the 7yo could well be rated over OR150 before Christmas if his improvement continues.

Selection: BLESS THE WINGS, 1pt win @ 8/1 (Vic Chandler, BOG)

Total = 3pts staked

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, 12 March 2012

Terrific 9/2 winner on Saturday

The 455th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Just the one selection on Saturday and, just like last year, I set-up followers of the blog on a winning footing going into the Cheltenham Festival. BUFFALO BOB was at silly odds in the morning, and I hope followers took the 9/2 offered by Stan James or, if not, the 4/1 offered by just about everyone else. He turned the race into a procession after going-off the 7/4 fav and tho' he tied-up on the run-in he always had the race in the bag. As a result, I have updated my 2011-12 Selections record page and I am happy to advise readers that since 1st November 2010 (that's over 16 months ago) I have advised 229 wagers on the blog at cumulative stakes of 246pts (I wager to £40 a point), with the profit being 31.6525pts, that's a return on investment (ROI) of 12.87% . Many a "professional" tipster who charges does not make a long-term profit, so I am proud of my overall performance especially as the blog is free to view.

Cheltenham this week looks particularly inviting and (with luck) I'm hoping to have a successful Festival. I sent out another antepost update last night with a long-odds selection in the Coral Cup and the more I look at this one, the better a feeling I get. Those who have donated to the blog and are on my email list will receive Cheltenham blogs the evening before racing (hopefully before 10pm). The blog will go online at about 9:30am each day of the Festival. As I am at Cheltenham on Wednesday, it is possible that Thursdays blog may be in "draft" on Wednesday evening – but I will do my best.

Onto today, and what a decent start to the week, with 3 jumps meetings at Taunton, Stratford and Plumpton. At Taunton, I cannot see much but I do like FATHER PROBUS in the 2:50 as he seems to have got his act together and I do like a horse that comes out again quickly after a win and this looks a weak race on paper. Paul Nicholls has his only runner of the day here in the 3:50, Egypt Mill Spirit. Given Nicholls has a 34% strike-rate with his hurdlers here, I am surprised that there isn't more support for the horse.

At Plumpton, HOBB'S DREAM in the 4:30 should take some beating. When a horse that's won comes out again within a week it is always worth taking notice and, altho' I don't keep the stats, I believe that they have a very high success race. Emma Lavelle has her only runner of the day at Plumpton, Beau Colonel in the 5:00. There are 8-runners in this race and with Lavelle's horse trying this trip out for the first time and needing to make a huge improvement to be involved, the fact he's taking a large share of the market at 5/1 suggests there is some ew value in this race. I may have a "place-only" wager on Zimbabwe in this race as he's available at 12/1 and while he's most unlikely to beat the 13/8 fav Oscar Charlie, he should run well enough to be placed..

Finally Stratford, and LTO winner TUSKAR ROCK looks very strong in the 3:40, a 2m7f class 3 handicap chase. He's 11/4 with the likes of Best Odds Guaranteed bookies like Ladbrokes and Bet365 and that looks fair value in what could be an ordinary race for the grade.

No selections today, gearing-up for Cheltenham instead.

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, 10 March 2012

Paul Nicholls in tip-top form

The 454th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Yesterday’s selection KASBADALI did not appreciate the soft going and yet still stayed on well enough to take 3rd after the last flight in a race run at a sound gallop. I reckon when the sun starts to shine and the ground dries in the next couple of weeks he’ll run better, and he could be one for Aintree. The winner Hildisvini stayed-on really well, and it expected to make a chaser, but he’ll need to improve his jumping as he took a few of these hurdles a bit low. So then, I’ve given 3 losers on the trot and lost 3pts in the process. This time last year I gave the 14/1 winner Holmwood Legend as my only selection and then gave a winning double on the Monday before Cheltenham; so let’s see if I can get us back in a confident mood today.

We have 3 jumps meetings at Sandown, Ayr, and Chepstow.
At Sandown, Paul Nicholls has his team in tip-top form with 3 winners from 7 runners yesterday. He has Aldertune (who is a previous blog selection) in the final race at Sandown, who is dropped in trip having not won in a long time at 2m6f+ and Ruby Walsh is back in the saddle. The race is full of old friends of mine: Sound Stage would win this easily if at his best now that he’s dropped to OR120, but he seems to have lost his way. You Know Yourself is another who would go well, if the going were good-to-soft, but it looks too quick for him. Inside Dealer couldn’t win this race last year off the same mark of OR125, and I think Cool Friend will need to be gifted the race to win it as she seems to be one-paced at the business end. I’m going to go out on a limb with COIS FARRAIG who is Paul Webber’s only runner today. He’s run at this meeting for the last 2 years and has only had 12 races in all. After winning a Newbury novice chase he was rated OR134 and was then highly tried (ran in the Scilly Isles won by Medermit, with Captain Chris in 2nd). He does not stay a yard further than 2m5f, and so it was not unexpected that he faded quickly LTO over 3-mile at Ascot from 4-out. He was 6/1 that day, and he’s 14/1 for this and I think he’s a good eachway wager in this 8-runner race.

At Ayr, Sammy Spiderman has only ever won at Ayr on soft/heavy going, and that’s what he has today. He didn’t win here LTO tho’ and he may find Mr WOODS too strong for him in the 3:25 there.
At Cheptsow, Jason Maguire has a nice book of rides and I especially like BUFFALO BOB in the 4:50. He’s won on heavy going and stays further than this trip and also being a prominent runner he will ensure a stamina test. Odds of 4/1 are available with a few “best odds guaranteed” bookies, but 9/2 with Stan James looks stand-out value.

As much as I like the look of COIS FARRAIG, if there is some pace on early in this race then he may struggle to get into contention especially as Aldertune stays 3-mile and will likely be up there “in-the-van” thru’out. So I’m not advising a wager on him, but would not put anyone off having a “fun” bet. For me, BUFFALO BOB looks the wager as he started the season on OR131 and has won off OR126, and he’s on OR120 today. He had no chance LTO over an inadequate trip, so 9/2 today looks great value.

Selection:
Cheptstow 4:50, BUFFALO BOB, 1pt win @ 9/2 (Stan James)

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.

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

Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Another Friday winner?


The 453rd edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Not the best of days for the blog yesterday with neither selection being successful. BALLYOLIVER ran the best, still holding a chance at the run-up to the final fence, but he had nothing left on the run-in and came 3rd. As for BILLS GREY, he's going backwards and age has caught up with him. Had he been able to repeat his form of last year then he'd have been bang there as Blazing Diva - who won the race last year – ran a good 2nd yesterday.

There is plenty of racing today, with 4 jumps meetings at Sandown, Ayr, Leicester, and Wincanton. With plenty of racing to choose from there must be a wager somewhere to take up, and the one that grabs my attention is KASBADALI in the 4:05 at Sandown. This 2m6f hurdle should be perfect for him, as will going right-handed. The only doubt is the soft going, but he handled good-to-soft well enough at Newbury and also handle the "slow" all-weather surface at Kempton on 19th Feb over 2-miles. He was also 2nd to Sivola De Sivola when last over hurdles at Newbury in November, and that looks excellent form given the positive vibes about that one for Cheltenham next week. KASBADALI is only 1lb higher in the ratings from that November run, and I think he's still on an upward curve of improvement. Henderson's Semi Colon looks one-paced, and I'm never happy about failed chasers returning to hurdles, and I reckon Paul Nicholls' Hawkes Point has been given a very high rating of OR134, one that he probably does not deserve. The horse that may upset the apple-cart it Quinte Du Chatelet, as he'll set a good pace and will love the trip and ground, but he's struggled before when rated above OR120 (he's OR125 today) and the pace he will set will help the selection KASBADALI, who I reckon should be a lot shorter than 7/2 (Ladbrokes go best odds guaranteed).

Selections:
Sandown 4:05, KASBADALI, 1pt win @ 7/2 (Ladbrokes, BOG)
Total = 1pt staked

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, 8 March 2012

Possible Festival handicap steamer

The 452nd edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

The early entries for Day 1 of the Festival were available yesterday and I managed to get a look thru' last night.

There are a couple still in the opening race of the Festival, the Supreme Novices Hurdle, that catch my eye and may require closer inspection. They are MOLOTOF and MONKSLAND, both of which are currently 20/1. The JLT Handicap Chase has cut-up a fair bit, and Quantitativeeasing is likely to carry top-weight of 11:12. If you read my blog yesterday, you will know I challenged Mark Winstanley at the preview night I attended on Tuesday 6th March about Penny Max in this race, and suggested stable-mate ZARRAFAKT was a better proposition – which was rebuffed by "The Couch". Well, Penny Max (who would prefer soft going) has been pulled-out and ZARRAFAKT is still in it and is now a 16/1 chance, ticking a lot of boxes for this race – I can see him starting favourite for this on Tuesday. He's my idea of the handicap "steamer".

Paul Nicholls has 4 running for him in the Champion Hurdle – a race he is yet to win – and, despite being a 5yo, I am very sweet on the chances of ZARKANDAR. However, I could not have a penny on him at 5/1 as I think, for what we have actually seen on the course, he still needs to show another 12lb of improvement to beat HURRICANE FLY if the retaining champion is up to last year's form. I am expecting ZARKANDAR to drift on the day as the Irish supporters will make the "Fly" possibly the 4/6 fav at the off. There will also be plenty of support for BINOCULAR and I can see him starting at 7/2, maybe even 3/1. As such, we could get 13/2 or maybe even 7/1 about ZARKANDAR on Tuesday and, at those odds, he will become a serious betting proposition. I'll explain why in another blog between now and the race.

A couple of meetings today at Carlisle and Wincanton, and I'm disappointed in the Wincanton card. As such, I've taken more time on the races at Carlisle. In the 3:15, which is a 2m5f novice handicap chase, BALLYOLIVER looks wells treated and we know he'll handle the going (soft, heavy in places) and stay the trip. There is a concern for him going right-handed but, at 7/2 (Vic Chandler, BOG)as I write, he seems to be fair value. The danger, if it is one, is from Rich Lord but that 8yo last won in February 2008 (a hurdle at Carlisle, as it happens) and he has to prove he stays this trip which he hasn't done when racing beyond 2m1f in the past. The others look well out of it, including Classical Mist who was 2nd at Carlisle LTO over 2m4f on soft going. I don't think he truly enjoys soft going and was flattered LTO, so he will probably struggle on today's ground.

The other race I may have a wager in at Carlisle is at 4:20, which is a handicap chase over 3m2f. I can see why Teenando (who is 5 wins from 11 runs at Carlisle) is current 7/2 fav, but his latest win was over 2m4f on heavy here last month, and altho' he has won at this trip it was on good to firm going and he did not look a stayer at this trip when he ran over C&D last November on good-to-soft off OR82. He runs off OR97 today as he's up 8lb for his LTO win, and I can see him leading to the final mile whereupon he'll drop-out quickly. I like the look of BILLS GREY was 2nd in this race last year to Blazing Diva and meets him on 8lb better terms. He stays the trip, will love the going, and the good pace likely to be set by Teenando will be just what he needs. At 5/1 (Betfred, Boylesports) he's a fair price.

Selections:

Carlisle 3:20, BALLYOLIVER, ½pt win @ 7/2 (Vic Chandler, BOG)

Carlisle 4:15, BILLS GREY, ½pt win @ 5/1 (Betfred, BOG)

Total = 1pt staked

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, 7 March 2012

Festival Preview courtesy of Coral bookmakers

The 451st edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Yesterday evening, I attended a Cheltenham Festival Preview evening with a friend at the "Loose Cannon Club" in Allhallows Lane in the City of London. It was my first ever preview evening, and a good night it was too. There were a lot of friendly faces from twitter and the Chilworth Lass syndicate and overall, it was well attended with perhaps in-excess of a 100 people at the venue.

It was chaired by Nick Luck (NL) the Channel 4 Racing presenter, and he was joined on the stage by Simon Clare (SC) PR Director at Coral, Mark Winstanley (MW) professional punter and jack-the-lad, and top-jockey Paddy Brennan (PB) who rode Imperial commander to win the Gold Cup.  

Before I go any further, Josh Fletcher (who I met last night and goes by the twitter name of @joshfletch) has produced a comprehensive write-up of the evening and published it on his blog at http://longshotbetting.com. As such, I'm not going to repeat what he's already written, and if your visit his blog for the first time to read his write-up, I'm sure you'll return to it again. I'll give you my take on the events and a few snippets that I have drawn from the panellists "body-language".

There was a lot of strong support for SPRINTER SACRE in the Arkle, as might be expected. But a comment that came from MW made me sit up, and he said that Barry Geraghty (who rode Moscow Flyer, perhaps the best 2-mile chaser of my lifetime) had told him that SPRINTER SACRE was better than Moscow Flyer. Those who are on my antepost bulletin list will know that I have recommended another horse for the Arkle as an eachway wager at 9/1, and I'm confident my selection will be no worse than 2nd.

In the JLT Handicap chasse on Day-1 of the Festival, there was plenty of panel support, especially from MW, for Emma Lavelle's PENNY MAX. When given the opportunity, I countered that Lavelle's other entry ZARRAFAKT held as good (if not better) a chance, but MW was having none of it.  All the panel were confident that HURRICANE FLY would retain his Champion Hurdle crown. Who would follow him home created some debate and what interested me was that nobody mentioned ZARKANDAR. I admit that the horse is far too short in the betting for his form and is no value at all (IMO, he should be 10/1), but he does have unlimited potential.

There was no opposition put up to QUEVEGA for the Mare's Hurdle, tho' the general consensus was that UNACCOMPANIED (current 2nd-fav) was not going to be the horse that followed QUEVEGA home.

Wednesdays starts with the NH Chase over 4-mile and there was no agreement from the panel, as might be expected.  I noted BENBANE HEAD in this race, and he's also given a positive vote by Peter Naughton in today's Weekender. The Neptune Hurdle produced unanimous support for BOSTON BOB, but it is likely that he'll go for the Albert Bartlett on Day-4 and that will leave the way open for SIMONSIG who could start a very short fav for the Neptune on the day. MW was most vocal about the Champion Chase and reckoned an upset was on the cards as he had no time for SIZING EUROPE and especially BIG ZEB who he thought was gone at the game. MW said that this race, and others at the Festival, would provide a real opportunity for "match-betting" and he'd be looking for a match-bet on FINIAN'S RAINBOW to beat BIG ZEB. Mention of one horse brought more facial expression from PB than any other, and that was SIVOLA DE SIVOLA. Basically, he reckons the horse will be up-to racing in the World Hurdle next March and should be backed in whatever race he runs in, including the Coral Cup, and full use of NRNB should be played on his Festival chances. For the Fred Winter Hurdle, whatever trainer Alan King sends should be given serious respect, so says MW, and he had a particular liking for FIRE FIGHTER. Finally, for the Champion Bumper, the best advice came from  the audience with a couple of votes for COOL GEORGE.

Onto Thursday racing and, after his defection from the Arkle, PEDDLERS CROSS had no support for the Jewson from the panel, in fact he was considered the weeks best "lay". PB was sweet on the chance of CHAMPION COURT in this race.  Given the betting, the Ryanair could have been expected to produce no agreement, but the panel were all behind NOBLE PRINCE (which gave me particular satisfaction). MW was very scathing about RIVERSIDE THEATRE, who I reckon he will be laying. He was also indicating that he'd be laying BIG BUCKS in the World Hurdle simply on the grounds that age will catch up with him one day!

Onto Day-4 of the Festival, and PB reasserted his support for SIVOLA DE SIVOLA in the Albert Bartlett, suggesting this would be his target if he's balloted out of the Pertemps Final on Thursday. The rest of the races were rushed thru' as time was getting late, but the finale of the evening was the Gold Cup preview. PB and MW had no time for KAUTO STAR's chances, with PB saying that the fall in training was one of the worst encountered by the horse. The form on 2011 took a battering when the replay was watched, with MW pointing out that WHAT A FRIEND was staying-on like a train, and KAUTO STAR was dead on his feet after the final fence. The only horse given support by the panel was WEIRD AL who most thought should have bypassed the Betfair Chase (where he was 3rd behind KAUTO STAR and LONG RUN) and will come into the Gold Cup fresh and essentially unexposed at the trip.

There you have it. An enjoyable evening, and I will be at the Festival on Wednesday courtesy of some complimentary tickets from Coral bookmakers and "Best of British Bloggers"

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, 5 March 2012

Kauto Star looking more likely to run in GC

The 450th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

No selections over the weekend, but then regular readers of the blog will know that I am a patient man when it comes to finding a worthwhile wager. I'd much rather keep my money for another day than throw it at speculative selections and, with Cheltenham next week, we'll have good use for those funds soon. Readers will also note that I have corrected the numbering error on the blog – this is the 450th edition.

We have just a single meeting at Hereford today over the jumps, and the opportunities look slight. I'll probably be opposing the fav SCHISM in the 3:45 but I'm not sure what with at the moment. SCHISM seems weaker in the market that anticipated in this morning's Racing Post and he's currently quoted at 5/2 with several books and that looks fair, so perhaps I won't oppose him after all.

There is an interesting chase over 2m3f at 4:45, and the horse that stands out in this race – if he's in the right mood – is PHIDIPPIDES. He's not completed on his latest couple of chases, but he's not been out of the 1st-3  on his 4 completed chase starts and a repeat of the form of his win at Ludlow (a right-handed track like Hereford) last March over 2m4f will see him take this I reckon. He started the 4/1 fav for his last start on 1st Jan and he pulled-up, so supporting him is a leap of faith that he has not lost interest in the game. He is 6/1 for this and – to be fair – that is not generous enough yet. I'm looking for odds of 10/1 or greater but, if I knew he was in the right mood, then I reckon he's a 3/1 chance maybe even shorter.

I did not have a trade on Saturday and I did not update my trading record on my Saturday blog either. I had a successful trade on Friday (French Ties, who eventually won) and my trading record on Betfair since 1st January is now: 37 trades / 20 "wins" / 9 "losses" / 7 "trade-outs"; the ROI stands at +45.20% (that's 29.69pts profit on 65.63pts staked).

Plenty of Cheltenham news over the weekend, and it looks more likely that KAUTO STAR will line-up for the Gold Cup in 11-days' time as he completed another strong canter on Sunday morning. Altho' the weekends rain has had an immediate effect on the ground at Cheltenham, I cannot see the going being slower than good-to-soft on Day-1 and I'm expecting watering to-re-commence before the end of this week to guarantee that going prediction. For those who have donated to the blog, Antepost Update Nr.04 was sent out on Saturday evening. If you want a copy of this update and future antepost updates for the Cheltenham Festival and a copy of the Cheltenham Festival Bulletin which I sent out on 15th February , then make a donation of at least £5.  Tomorrow evening I will be attending a Festival Preview night in London – courtesy of Coral – and I'll be writing a review of that night with (hopefully) some juicy news in Wednesdays blog. I will also be tweeting from the venue on Tuesday evening, so look out for tweets from @wayward_lad.

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.



Sunday, 4 March 2012

Ratings and "spikes"

The 439th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

No selections yesterday altho’ I did give a good word for convincing Kelso winner MASTER OF THE HALL. And I was also right about FAIR ALONG – he’s now run 19 times between 1st Jan and 30th June and not won, whereas he’s won 11 times from 23 races in the other half of the year; he had an SP of 7/2 yesterday too.

Despite there being meetings today at Sedgefield and Huntingdon, I’m not interested in looking for a winner today. I’ve been looking at the Festival races to see if there is any value that I can pass on to those who have donated to the blog and received a copy of my Festival Bulletin, and also because on Tuesday I’m attending a Preview Night arranged by Corals (the bookmakers) in London. I want to make sure that I make the most of the evening, and a bit of swatting-up won’t go amiss.

Last night, I caught the tail-end of a discussion about the Ryanair and the various chances of the expected entrants, and one particular comment grabbed my attention. That was that Cheltenham is ideal for Medermit, a track where Medermit has run 7 times and is yet to win. In my opinion, Medermit is one of the most consistent chasers about running between 156-158 virtually every time he races. Even at Cheltenham, he’s recorded 158 (on my ratings) but with comments like “not going pace of winner” and “never going pace to get into contention” or “held towards finish” there is something about the track that does not suit him like it does at places like Sandown, Ascot or Exeter. If I knew what it was then I’d be a better man than Medermit’s trainer Alan King. He did equal his best chase rating of 158 (in my book) when 2nd in his last run at Cheltenham on a line thru’ the horse that beat him – Quantitativeeasing – who (in my opinion) only equalled his rating when 2nd in the Paddy Power. That race (the Paddy Power) I rated thru’ Divers at 144, which gave Quantitativeeasing a rating of 148. One thing I don’t do when rating horseracing is automatically raise a horses rating by 7lb when it wins. I find that Racing Post Ratings does this a lot and, while a horse will improve with experience and maturity (ie strengthening-up) once it has reached its peak, there is little likelihood of improving on that except in perfect conditions for that horse. In my opinion, Medermit has a peak of 160 (achieved as a hurdler), Quantitativeeasing a peak of 148; Riverside Theatre a peak of 161.

Looking at other chasers, I have Long Run at a peak of 172 and he’s not improved on that since he won the King George at Kempton in January last year. That puts him within striking distance of a number of chasers who have potential for matching that rating and on that basis I will be opposing him in the Gold Cup whether Kauto Star runs in the race or not.

There are some occasions when a horse can hit a ratings “spike” and perform well in-excess of his previous norm; for instance when Chief Dan George won the William Hill H’cap at the 2010 Festival when he ran to about 12lb above his norm. However, he had bettered that rating as a hurdler when he won at Aintree in 2007, and he probably would have won at the Festival that year had he not pulled a muscle on his way to the start. So, the potential was there. What you have to do as a punter is identify these spikes and understand them, as if you don’t it can seriously undermine any ratings system that you employ.

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.

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

Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Tremendous 16/1 winner yesterday

The 438th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

A cracking result for the blog yesterday when, from just 2 selections, I found the 16/1 winner FRENCH TIES. I thought he was a good bet at his morning odds of 10/1, as my opinion was that he was a 9/2 chance in the race – so when he drifted out to 16/1 (and I was on at 23.0 on Betfair just minutes before the off) he just had to be backed. He was given a cracking ride by Alan O’Keefe – who I consider a much under-rated jockey – being dropped out early and was still last 6-out, however he jumped upside the leader 4-out and went on from there. FRENCH TIES is a real monkey when he wants to be, but he’s got a lot of speed and he may be worth another wager NTO in this form. My other selection VALID POINT was looking very strong in 3rd when falling at the 4th-last and I reckon had he stayed up he’d have been thereabouts. That was 8.60pts profit on the day from the 2pts staked.

Saturdays can be a bit more tricky to find value as so many more people have a wager and all the more likely winners contract in price from early morning onwards. At Doncaster, the Grimthorpe Chase at 3:25 over 3m2f could see a return to the winners enclosure for BENNY BE GOOD. Only 7 go to post in this race and with some having their eye on the Grand National, I reckon BENNY BE GOOD can relish a return to better going today – he is not a soft/heavy going sort of horse. Only 11/2 at best (Betfred) and with 11st 12lb to carry, it will be tough.

Champion jockey AP McCoy makes the long trip to Kelso to ride Nicky Henderson’s MASTER OF THE HALL in the 4:10 with National winner Ballabriggs in opposition. He’s only 2/1 tho’ and those odds are too short for me. He also rides Henderson’s Captain Conan, in the earlier 3:35, but I made a note of BURY PARADE and he could be a lot better than OR132 and give the southern raider a fright – and he’s 10/1 as I write too!

At Newbury, Fair Along has never won a jumps race between 1st Jan and 30th June, so he may be worth opposing in the 2:40 there. I’ve never thought of Niche Market as a proper stayer as he has no gears at the business end of a race, and Marufo has won only at easy Southwell as a chaser. Ouzbeck will love the ground, but he’s another who likes the sun on his back. As such, if BLAZING BAILEY can recapture his form of this time last year when he won at Ffos Las off OR146 (goes off OR142 today) he can take this at 9/1.

On ething I am glad about is that Zarrafakt is not running today, and remains on target for the JLT Chase on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

No wagers today, but I would not put anyone off having a punt (eachway) on BLAZNG BAILEY.
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.

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

Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Come on Kauto Star

The 447th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

I thought I'd won a stonking wager yesterday on the 4:00 at Ludlow. As there was a slight lengthening of the odds on COOTEHILL at about lunchtime to 7.40/7.60, I decided to jump in and take advantage as I thought he really should have been trading around 4.20/4.40. The reason for the slight drift was the over-optimistic support for the Phil Hobbs trained Fairoak Lad who was returning from injury and a 17-month lay-off, and probable misplaced expectation of Venetia Williams working the oracle on Maraafeq. As such, both these horses were trading at odds much shorter than I thought they were worthy of, therefore when I saw the 7.40/7.60 available for COOTEHILL there was no reason not to take advantage. Sure enough, about an hour before the off the money started to come for COOTEHILL and he eventually started at odds of 7/2 (4.70/4.80 on the exchanges). Fairoak Lad was the first to crack, feeling the effects of his long lay-off and he was outpaced from 4-out tho' he did stay-on. Next was Maraafeq before 2-out, and that left COOTEHILL in front with only chasing debutant Drumbaloo still on the case. COOTEHILL went under 1.30 in-running on the exchanges and really I should have taken some profit then but, with the expected dangers all beaten, I thought the win was in the bag. I never consider chasing debutants, especially in handicap races, and I didn't even think Drumbaloo would stay the trip of 3-mile anyway as he'd never won beyond 2m4f and he didn't seem to stay the 2m6f at Sandown in December over hurdles. He had won a point-to-point in Ireland over 3-mile tho' (as I discovered after the race). Anyway, COOTEHILL hit the last, found nothing more on the run-in and was caught and passed by Drumbaloo. I was seriously gutted. The only consolation was that I laid-off my stake at 3.60 mid-race. COOTEHILL was my intended back-to-lay trade, but I thought he had such a great chance of winning the race that I only laid-off my stake.

My trading record on Betfair since 1st January is now: 36 trades / 20 "wins" / 9 "losses" / 7 "trade-outs"; the ROI stands at +37.90%.

Plenty of Cheltenham news yesterday, the most devastating being that KAUTO STAR suffered a bad fall in a schooling jump in training and Paul Nicholls announced on twitter at 17:10 that the horse was only 50/50 to get to the Festival and return for another attempt at the Gold Cup. I'll be honest, I've opposed KAUTO STAR in every one of his Gold Cup races but, for me, the Gold Cup without KAUTO STAR would be a very poor show, he makes the race. What it will probably mean is that Grands Crus and Medermit will most likely take in the Gold Cup rather than the RSA and Ryanair respectively. I was disappointed to see Paul Nicholls on the receiving end of (what I consider) unwelcome criticism on Twitter for not making an announcement last Saturday (the fall happened on Friday morning) but, be fair, had an announcement been made then it could have been considered scaremongering. Has everyone forgotten the Tom Taaffe / Kicking King Gold Cup fiasco in 2007?
Paul Nicholls has my support, and I sincerely hope that Kauto Star makes it to the Gold Cup for, what will most certainly be, his swansong.

While we all want news of horses regarding their condition, too much news can be a complete turn-off and I reckon would be dangerous for the sport. Think how the animal rights fanatics would make use of masses of daily news bulletins from professional horse trainers regarding their stable occupants?

The other news was a marked drift on the exchanges for PEDDLERS CROSS in the Arkle market, the supposition being that PEDDLERS CROSS was heading for the Jewson as his preferred Festival target. It's what I've been saying for some time on this blog and if he does switch to the Jewson then the betting for the Arkle will be tipped-up and I can see CUE CARD starting the 7/2, 2nd fav.

We've some good jumps racing today, especially at Newbury. The 2m1f h'cap chase (Class 3) at 2:55 will have some pace on from Marodima and Lord Singer, which looks like setting the race up for Niceonefrankie, but I'm not so sure. MARODIMA was raced over a trip too far in 2m5f LTO and today's trip will be perfect for him and, being a winner over 2m4f (and even 3-mile as a hurdler) he won't be stopping. Odds of 11/2 (Boylesports) and 5/1 available generally look generous to me, and he could be my "back-to-lay" trade.

The 2m6f & 110 yard h'cap chase at 3:30 also looks intriguing. I watched Railway Dillon run away with his race LTO, and I thought he'd be Cheltenham bound on the back of that performance. Running with a 7lb penalty for that win, he's still 8lb well-in off his revised h'cap mark, but he is carrying 12st today and weight and this trip is a quarter-mile further than LTO. Paul Nicholls has his only runner here today in this, but No Loose Change will be making his chasing debut and will; need to find plenty of improvement to figure. Nicky Henderson has a couple in it, and of the pair I prefer the "2nd-string" Carabinier (best odds 10/1) as the 6yo won LTO and that performance could be the making of him. Barry Geraghty rides Larks Lad, but he looks exposed. The one I like best in this is VALID POINT, sent by Jim Old. A progressive hurdler, he's only had the one chase but in my opinion he ran well enough in that to suggest his future is bright over fences. We also know for sure that he will stay this trip and at 12/1 (Boylesport, Paddy Power & Bet365) he's worth an eachway wager.

Lastly, the 4:35 which is a 2m4f h'cap chase also looks worthy of interest. The fav is Ballyallia Man and if he converts his novice form to this handicap then he will be tough to beat. However, in a race with a fair amount of dross in, FRENCH TIES could be capable of taking this race on his best form. I say best form as he can spit the dummy out, but that means his odds are 10/1 when really if he were more consistent he'd be 2nd-fav for this race at 9/2. He should have won LTO, but threw the race away idling in front and if he can repeat his form of his latest win over 2m4f then he will be bang there today.

Selections:

Newbury 3:30, VALID POINT, ½pt eachway @ 12/1 (Bet365, BOG)

Newbury 4:35, FRENCH TIES, ½pt eachway @ 10/1 (Blue Square)

Total = 2pts staked

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, 1 March 2012

2nd anniversary of the Wayward Lad blog

The 446th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Today being the 1st March, I am reminded that about this time 2-years ago I wrote my 1st blog page. Now, 445 pages later, I'm here again today – and it's made me think back to where it all started.

I've been a follower of horseracing ever since I was a 7yo and my earliest encounter was when my mum open the old "broadsheet" edition of the Daily Express (then Britain's most popular newspaper) on the table and as my which horse would win the Derby. My 6d eachway (that is 2½ pence in "new money) went on Ribocco ridden by Lester Piggott who ran 2nd (to Royal Palace) at 7/1 and the rest is history. With a (tiny) profit from my first wager, the bug had bitten me. In the months and years that followed, countless notebooks were filled with selections and records of placings and odds – and many a time I went thru' the card (which shows that sometimes the simplest way of finding winners is the best). Secondary school (as I failed my 11-plus) put a stop to the notebooks, but I remember producing my first tentative "odds-line" for the 1972 Grand National as a 12yo having bought a copy of Racing & Football Outlook at Ormskirk railway station. My first job at the age of 20 (having dropped-out of polytechnic) meant I had disposable money to play the horses properly, but what those who are aged under 40 don't perhaps realise is that the race-form in the newspapers in those days (1980's) was pretty chronic. The Sporting Chronicle – which was my preferred paper – went under in the mid-1980's and I never really liked the Sporting Life, except when the Waterloo Cup coverage was on from the coursing grounds of nearby Altcar. However, it wasn't until I went to Hong Kong for work in 1990 (aged 30) and acquired a basic computer that my horseracing education started to accelerate. With a maximum of 2 meetings a week, I was able to produce my own formbook with ratings and commentary on the computer and, as a result, pulled-off some tremendous coups. On returning to the UK in 1997, personal circumstances meant that horseracing was not a priority. All that changed in 2001, when with a new computer and the discovery of the betting exchanges (first "Flutter", then Betfair when that  exchange bought-out the former). In order to bring some "order" to my wagering (I don't consider myself a gambler as I make informed decisions to alleviate as much risk as possible) I started keeping spread-sheet records of my wagers. From that, I swiftly saw the benefit of keeping a diary account of why I was placing the wagers in the first place. Keeping the diary made a huge impact on my profit margins in that I reduced the number of individual wagers, but the percentage of wagers that were successful jumped-up; from a 20% strike-rate to a 30% strike-rate.

As such, I've kept a racing diary ever since, with the principle behind it being that I am writing to convince another to place their money on my selection. If I can't convince myself thru' my diary – and many a time I start with one selection in mind and end up on another, which is successful – then I walk away from the race. In September of 2009, on being unemployed and with the likelihood of that unemployment continuing for a significant period (I actually thought I'd not work in my professional capacity again) I started wagering on horseracing full-time. That winter, I was able to keep myself afloat financially and, as a result of my personal success, I started writing the blog.

Yesterday's 2m4f hurdle at Bangor eventually went to Big Easy. His odds drifted thru' the day from 7/4 in the morning to 7/2 at the off, in fact he didn't start the fav for the race. That honour went to Cantlow who started at 3/1 having been gambled on thru' the day (he was as long at 7/1 in the morning) and he ran a complete stinker of a race. Big Easy tho' ran a solid race tho' his hurdling was sketchy and he did his best not to win despite being much the best horse in the race.  I had my "trade" in the race on the eventual runner-up Timesawastin as he was a confirmed front-runner who was favoured by the drop in trip to 2m4f. I managed to obtain odds of 14.0 on Betfair (he opened on-course at 11/1 with an SP of 15/2) and traded-out at 6.80 for a substantial profit. I must admit, I didn't expect Timesawastin to run as well as he did and he nearly had the race handed to him with Big Easy clattering the final flight, but I'm happy with the profit I secured.

My trading record on Betfair since 1st January is now: 35 trades / 20 "wins" / 9 "losses" / 6 "trade-outs"; the ROI stands at +40.1%.

I can't see much worth a wager today, but I am interested in Peter Bowen's DERWEN PRYDE in the 3:30 at Ludlow as Bowen does have a great record with 3-mile hurdlers. In the following race, a 3-mile chase at 4:00, Cootehill looks the most obvious winner at first-glance, but do not under-estimate CHECKERBOARD at 16/1. He goes well right-handed and has been racing at a higher level than this for his past couple of outings. Also, last June he ran well off a 1lb lower mark to be 2nd at Aintree and, in my mind, he should be under 8/1 for this if not at even shorter odds.

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.