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Record of the blog selections
Profit for the 2016-17 Jumps Season = £84.38
from wagers on 26 individual selections (4 winners, 6 placed)
Total Staked = £280.00
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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.
Monday, 4 March 2013
Period of reflection
Saturday was another day without a degree of luck for the 3 selections posted on the blog.
First up was Night In Milan in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster, and this was a horse who I thought would be in with a significant chance as I didn't expect the race to suit the race-fav Join Together. Well, I was right about Join Together as, despite suffering interference at the 3rd fence, he just didn't have the speed to get involved. I've always thought of him as a resolute galloper who prefers ether testing ground or a marathon trip to utilise his stamina. At Doncaster, he had no opportunity to get on terms on the unusually quick ground. My selection Night In Milan had started well enough and jumped the 3rd fence perfectly, but he lost his footing on landing due to what appeared to be a patch of false ground. Sure enough, on the following circuit, Lord Villez blundered and skidded on-landing at the same fence losing his rider in a similar fashion. That was unlucky for Night In Milan, but that is how luck plays it's part in jump racing, and that is why I will not recommend a wager at odds of under 9/4.
That factor had stopped me advising a wager on TOUBAB in the earlier race at Doncaster. I did write on Saturday that TOUBAB was absolutely thrown-in off OR140 and that at the odds (at the time) of 6/4 he was probably the wager of the day. Sure enough, he made all to win comfortably, easily fending off his only realistic challenger. He should be followed for the remainder of the season so long as he races on similar ground.
At Newbury, my next selection The KNOXS looked the most likely winner approaching 4-out as he was going very easily. However, he made an error at that fence and seemed to lose all enthusiasm. If he'd have run to the form of his previous race at Newbury (when he fell at the final fence with the race in his pocket) then he'd have won this race fairly easily, but his confidence jumping seems to have taken a knock. Where next for him? Possibly a return to hurdles.
My final Saturday selection, BOLD SIR BRIAN, ran a stinker at Kelso. He seemed to be going easily enough for the first couple of miles at the tail of the field alongside the eventual winner Always Right but, when the pace picked-up, he quickly threw-in the towel. He did pretty much the same in his final race of last season, at Haydock mast March, and perhaps he can't take a lot of racing. I expect he'll be put away for the summer now, and I'd like to see him back for something like the Charlie Hall at Wetherby first-time-out next season as he's still only a 7yo and looks 160+ at his best.
So then, how to cope with this losing run and bring it to an end? I have relied on my alert list for the majority of my selections this season to good effect. As such, it will be my alert list on which I will rely over the next week on the run-up to Cheltenham.
Preparations for the Cheltenham Festival continued over the weekend with the 2nd issue of my handicap assessments focusing on days 2 & 3 of the festival being sent out yesterday (Sunday). There is just the assessment for the final days handicaps to come and then it is full steam ahead in finalising my selections for the Festival itself to have on the day. I am pretty sure which horses will be my main wagers of the 4-days of the Festival and I think I've managed to find some decent value in the handicap chases, it's just a question of will the horses on my shortlist line-up at the start of their respective races.
It seems that the weather is getting progressively milder and on Sunday the sun fell positively warm where I live, so we could see the ground dry out fairly quickly in the next week and a "good-to-soft" opening day looks on the cards, and probably "good" ground on Thursday and Friday a distinct likelihood. As such, given most of the racing this season has been soft/heavy ground, I expect we'll see a fair few long-odds winners next week.
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