Welcome to the World of Horseracing
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
Friday, 28 February 2014
I was getting a bit frustrated with the number of 2nd's that I've posted on the blog since 1st January. Watching Time To Think on Wednesday run 2nd at 8/1, when only the stablelads really knew how well prepared the eventual winner of that race was, was particularly galling. Add that to a couple of great runs in defeat from Midnight Appeal recently - and he really should have won for us at 16/1 at Kempton LTO - and you start to wonder if you've upset somebody on high.
The main thing is, we're back. There are a couple of meetings today at Doncaster and Newbury, and the most interesting is the meeting at Newbury. Barry Geraghty has come over to ride for Nicky Henderson there today, and when he comes over for a weekday meeting you have to sit up and take notice. Henderson has had 6 winners from 15 runners in the past 2-weeks, which isn't bad considering his gallops have been flooded. In February last year he had 70 runners and 22 winners, this February he's had only 33 runners to date (and 5 entries today) with 11 winners, of which he's 4 wins from 8 runners in chase races. At the moment, 4 of his 5 entries are at odds-on with the bookies.
Unlike yesterday, I can't see any value at either of the meetings so I'm going to start taking a look at tomorrow's meetings instead. There is no point in trying to look for a wager if there isn't one, there is always another day tomorrow.
The donations for the blog are coming in regularly now and I'm confident of beating last years issue. I wont be able to meet my deadline of issuing the supplement for the novice championship races today as the "day-job" has had to come first this week and eaten into my time, but I'm hoping to get the supplement out to donators by Sunday evening. Then it's straight into the handicaps and maybe this year I'll nail one. We've been close these past couple of years with Fruity O'Rooney (2nd), The Cockney Mackem (2nd), Cantlow (3rd) and Double Ross (4th) and it would really put the icing on the cake to nail a handicap with a winner at 12/1 or longer.
If you want to come on board for the Cheltenham Festival and obtain the Bulletin (14,500 words and all my own work) plus all the supplements on the run-up to the Festival and email notices, then just hit the donate button and donate at least £10. My mind is my own, I don't have any stable insiders, I don't listen to gossip or people supposedly "in-the-know" - my opinion is based on what I see on the track and read in the form-book.
All the best for the weekend, from Wayward Lad.
Thursday, 27 February 2014
There are a couple of meetings today over the jumps, at Ludlow and Taunton, and I've a few runners from my alert list. At Ludlow, in the 2:30 there's CLOUDY JOKER, in the 3:00 DANCINGTILMIDNIGHT, and in the 3:30 BALLYOLIVER.
Cloudy Joker hasn't stopped improving since going chasing, and is unbeaten from 3 chase races this season. He beat today's race-fav Benbens when they met in December (a good novice chase this one, as subsequent winner Bobcatbilly was in 3rd) and he meets Benbens on 7lb worse terms for that wining margin of a "head". Benbens is very lightly race for a 9yo and this will be only his 2nd chase race, but he seems very consistent and should go well today. However, CLOUDY JOKER is only a 6yo and is very much on the upgrade and I'm expecting him to beat Benbens again. Of the others, Zarzal looks harshly on OR130 and Avoca Promise and Midnight Promise have little chance. This race looks a straight match between CLOUDY JOKER and Benbens and, at odds of 9/4, CLOUDY JOKER looks the value.
I've been waiting a long time for the return to the track of DANCINGTILMIDNIGHT, but current best odds of 6/4 are no value at all to me. A race to watch.
The ground is probably still a bit too soft for BALLYOLIVER, even tho' he's slipped 7lb to OR124 from his rating at the start of this season when he ran favourably at Wincanton on good-to-soft. The race-fav is Roalco De Farges, who pulled-up LTO after a break of 23-months after running 2nd to Tidal Bay at Sandown off OR134. He's on OR128 today, so if he's fit enough he'll be hard to beat. The 2nd-fav Brass Tax comes here off a break of 412-days but his rating of OR135 seems stiff considering his form to-date. The trip and ground will not inconvenience C&D winner Firebird Flyer. He beat Ballyoliver here when he won in Nov-12, and meets that rival on 4lb better terms despite having won by over 3-lengths. We know he's in form having chased home Emperor's Choice at Ffos Las LTO, and that form has been upheld since then. At 6/1 (William Hill and Betfred) he looks the value eachway wager. The others in the race either want a shorter trip than 3-mile, or better ground.
At Taunton, horse alert runner MASSENA looks hard to beat in the 3:10 there, but it could prove to be a tricky race to wager in. There seems to be a lot of confidence towards the Paul Nicholls runner Sound Investment, and you cannot discount Lord Of House returning to form in this lower grade of race. It may pay to watch this race.
The review of the novice championships at the Cheltenham Festival is under-way and I'm hoping to get it out to donators by Friday evening, but it may have to be put-back to Sunday afternoon due to the pressures of time.
If you want a copy of the Cheltenham Bulletin - and I only need to send out another 12 copies to equal last year's issue - then please hit the donate button at the head of this page and donate at least £10.
Ludlow 3:30 FIREBIRD FLYER, £10 eachway @ 6/1 (William Hill & Betfred)
All the best from Wayward Lad
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Last year, Cue Card formed the backbone of my antepost wagers as advised in my Cheltenham Bulletin. Placing wagers antepost is a risky business as you have to balance the prospect of better odds than available on the day with the potential of not getting a run for your money. At least now, bookie Bet365 are going "non-runner, no-bet", but do check the odds with other bookies before placing any wagers antepost.
This year's bulletin was made available to donators to the blog last Friday 21st February, and if you want a copy all you have to do is donate at least £10 (the donate button is at the top of this page) and I'll send you an copy via email. As well as the bulletin, donators are also recieving regular email updates and there will be a supplement issued this Friday for all the novice championship races, and there is a planned handicap supplement for the following Friday. There are more than a few Cheltenham advice booklets, one of which has significant sales. My bulletin is my own take on the Festival and one factor that may help you decide whether to have it is - do you want to have a Cheltenham betting guide that has perhaps 15,000 sales, or one with less than 200? Do you want to follow the herd, or take an alternative route?
There are a couple of interesting meetings today at Bangor and Wincanton. Unfortunately, there are no horse alerts from my peronal list running today. The heavy ground at Bangor has resulted in small fields for all the races there today. With some short-odds fav's in the first-4 races on the card, I'd be looking to oppose them all if in the mood to wager at the track, especially Sir Mangan in the 3-mile handicap hurdle at 3:30. He's not looked a 3-miler to me in his form to date and his lack of stamina could be exposed by some proper stayers in Quel Elite, Jaunty Journey, Alpha Victor and Extreme Impact. They all have form at 3-mile and further on heavy ground, and while none of them have any gears they should all be able to grind out the trip.
The ground is also heavy at Wincanton. The most interesting race is the 3:20, a handicap chase over 2m5f. Last March, the race-fav Opera Og and Time To Think met at Chepstow over a similar trip and ground. Time To Think prevailed that day, and altho' 8lb worse-off today for a 4-length winning margin, she should win again today over this slightly longer trip which will be in her favour. Opera Og has not won in 4-attempts beyond 2m4f and I cannot see the gelding rectifying that stat today. Of the others, Roll The Dice has been off for 313-days and is probably best on less testing ground than today. Miss Tenacious has raced recently over 2-mile as a chaser (she won twice at 2m6f as a hurdler) and the ground is not in her favour. The odd-one-out is 5yo Vif Argent from David Pipe's stable. He's shown nothing in 4-starts this season tho' he looked interesting when racing in France. Maybe the 1st-time use of binkers will have an affect. Odds of 11/2 for TIME TO THINK (William Hill) look very generous given the questionmarks of her few rivals in this race, and she's the wager.
Wincanton 3:20, TIME TO THINK, £20 win @ 11/2 (William Hill, best odds guaranteed)
Monday, 24 February 2014
Nobody who loves horseracing wants to see the horses pushed beyond the limits of what they are capable of, but this is a sport after all, and you can't win races if you don't run your horses. There seems to be an awful lot not being said at Seven Barrows (the home of the Nicky Henderson stable) and - to me - it just doesn't seem realistic not to race a horse who, when fit, is just so much better than any other horse in racing. One fact that has been reported by the yard is that the heart irrgularities have not reappeared.
Unfortunately for me, that Sprinter Sacre has been officially "scratched" from the Cheltenham Festival races this morning, thereby preventing a recurrence of the Binocular affair (Binocular was "retired" for the season 2-weeks before the 2010 Champion Hurdle, and then ran in the race and won it!) has had a big effect on my personal antepost wagers.
On Friday, I issued my Cheltenham Festival Bulletin for 2014 out to donators since the 30th September 2013 (minimum donation £10). If you want a copy, merely hit the donate button at the top of this blog-page and donate a minimum of £10 (some people donate more, about 20% of donations are £20+) and I'll send out a copy of my bulletin via email.
The plan is to look at the novice chanpionship races this week (Arkle, RSA, Jewson, Supreme Novices Hurdle, Neptune Hurdle, Albert Bartlett Hurdle) and issue a supplemement to the bulletin this coming Friday. Then, over the following week, I'll be looking more in-depth at the handicaps and trying to find the value. All information gleaned will be issued to donators first before being added to the blog.
There were just a couple of selections for the blog on Saturday, but we drew another blank day despite MIDNIGHT APPEAL running a great race and looking like the winner 2-out at Kempton only to fade in the last 300 yards to be 4th. Even so, the full narrative of the blog gave some great pointers for the day's racing on Saturday from the opening race at Kempton which I wrote would be dominated by Ballinvarrig and Present View - and they duly finished 1st & 2nd, with the Exacta paying £10.50. I also wrote that Balder Succes should win, and win he did. As his morning odds were under 2/1 he wasn't recommended as a wager (I only recommend wagers when the odds are 9/4 or larger), but his SP was 9/4 and he even touched 9/2 (5.50+) in-running.
There are a couple of meetings today at Plumpton and Musselburgh, but I cannot see a wager to recommend.
Saturday, 22 February 2014
If you want a copy, just tap the donate button at the top of the screen and make a donation of £10, and I'll send you a pdf copy by return email (it will be sent to the email address of your Paypal account unless you indicate otherwise).
There is some great jump racing today with meetings at Kempton, Newcastle and Che[pstow.
The feature race at Newcastle is the 4-mile 1-furlong Eider Chase (handicap) and it's being run on heavy ground - it will be gruelling. You have to side with a horse that has won before on similar going, preferably more than once. This race will probably go to the last horse standing, do not expect more than a handful of finishers from the 16 starters. As such, I'd be happy enough to side with a plodder preferably aged 9yo or older as those horses will have the experience to meet the conditions. There is a gamble going on Wyck Hill this morning 10/1 from 14/1) but I think it's misplaced as the horse has not been running well since winning at Ascot last season. I've followed this horse for a long time, since Nov '11, and he does not strike me as a marathon horse. My idea of the winner is RELAX trained by Venetia Williams and coming into the race in top form. A lover of heavy ground, he'll be there till the end and 5lb claimer Callum Whillans is worth more than his claim. There are a lot of claimer jockeys in this race, so Whillans will not be at a disadvantage. Odds of 10/1 (Stan James & Bet Victor) look fair value.
At Kempton, there is a quality race meeting. In the opener, I like Ballinvarrig and his only rival looks to be Present View. They should dominate the race. I cannot settle on a selection in the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle which is a big pointer for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Next on the card, the Pendil Novices Chase looks a cracker, and if Balder Succes wins (as he should) well then he'll go to the Festival well fancied for the "Arkle".
At Kempton at 3:50 we have the 3-mile Betbright Chase (handicap), which looks very competitive. I do not think 3-mile will suit the fav Bury Parade who has shown great form over 20-21f on soft/heavy ground. Paul Nicholls also sends Grandioso who was 2nd to Bury Parade LTO, and Grandioso looks the pick of these at the weights be he too has stamina doubts for 3-mile. Ardkilly Witness looks held by the handicapper, as does Standing Ovation. I will be surprised if Planet Of Sound can repeat his run of LTO as consistency is not his best asset. Alan King also has a couple of runners, and while I reckon 3-mile is too much for Bless The Wings, it is perfect for MIDNIGHT APPEAL. Why this horse is at 16/1 with Bet Victor is beyond me. The horse has done the blog proud this season, winning at 25/1 on his seasonal debut over 3-mile on heavy. His recent run when 2nd at Kempton earlier this month will mean he is race-fit today and I cannot see him finishing outside the 1st-3. Usual jockey Wayne Hutchinson goes for Bless The Wings, and I can see why as he has perhaps the most potential, but over a shorter trip than today. MIDNIGHT APPEAL has to be an eachway wager in this competitive race.
Kempton 3:50 MIDNIGHT APPEAL, £5 eachway @ 16/1 (Bet Victor)
Newcastle 2:55 RELAX, £5 eachway & £5 win @ 10/1 (Bet Victor, Coral, Stan James, William Hill)
Total Staked = £25
Friday, 21 February 2014
This is a masive undertaking for me, of over 14,000 words including a race-by-race trend analysis and a review of the major championship races with advised wagers.
If you want a copy sent to you via email, simply make a donation of at least £10.
If you have made a donation during the course of this season that is less than £10, and you want a copy, just donate the difference and I'll send out the bulletin.
Last year advised wagers made profits of 100% at advised stakes (ie: if you'd placed £100 on the wagers advised in the 2013 bulletin, you'd have left the bookies with £200 in your pocket), and I'm hoping that I will be having similar success this year.
All the best from Wayward Lad.
Thursday, 20 February 2014
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Saturday, 15 February 2014
There are a fair few horse alert runners at Ascot:-
1:30 Cole Harden
2:05 O'Faolains Boy
2:40 Teaforthree, Highland Lodge
3:50 Cloudy Too, Rolling Aces,
The advance going for Ascot is soft, but I reckon it will be on the heavy side. The opening race is a novice hurdle just shy of 2m4f and is probably a no-wager race as the odds about my alert list runner, COLE HARDEN are too short and under 9/4. Even so, he should be the fav in my opinion.
I'm going to give the RSA Trial novice chase (known to race fans as the Reynoldstown) a miss and look at the 3-mile handicap chase at 2:40pm instead. I'm not convinced about Our Father and think he needs to come down a few more pounds from OR145 to be competitive. Others I'm prepared to discount are Restless Harry and Chance Du Roy. I also think the handicapper has Houblon Des Obeaux on OR158. This shorter trip will suit Highland Lodge, as will the ground and he will meet Hawkes Point on 10lb better terms than in the Welsh National. Night Alliance looked like a hard season had caught up with him LTO at Haydock, and Tullamore Dew is too one-paced. I can see HIGHLAND LODGE running a big race in this. No odds available at the time of writing (4pm Friday).
FOXCUB ran a stonker LTO when 6th behind Saphir Du Rheu over 2m5f in the Lazarote Hurdle at Kempton. He showed he could be competitive off OR137and this shorter trip of an extended 2m3f could be just right for him. Currently 25/1, it may be best to play a small eachway wager or confine your wager to a place-only on the exchanges.
The Ascot Chase (Grade 1) should go to Captain Chris , but the current odds of "evens" are not enticing enough to make me wager. I'm not confident that Riverside Theatre can reproduce his best form and be involved in this race, he's too quirky for me and Henderson's other runner Hunt Ball has yet to recapture his form. The race for 2nd is between Rolling Aces and Cloudy Too, and my money is on the latter. CLOUDY TOO has plenty of speed for for this trip and a bucket load of stamina too. I rate him at 160+, possibly about 7lbs below Captain Chris and that is close enough for me to put him up as an eachway wager at the generous odds of 10/1, with a small saver of a straight forecast: Captain Chris to beat Cloudy Too.
Horse alert runners here are:-
2:55 Nuts N Bolts, Loch Ba, Emperor's Choice, Merry King
The feature race is the Grand National Trial at 2:55 and all my alert list runners are engaged in this race. Regular readers will be fairly well up-to-speed with these and my thoughts on them. Currently, Hawkes Point is favourite for this race and this is a better opportunity for him than at Ascot over 3-miles. However, it takes some horse to win over this trip on heavy ground with more than 11st to carry, and from what we've seen Hawkes Point and the others with more than 11st also look to have a tough tasks. Loch Ba was doing his best work in the final mile when 4th at Warwick over 3m5f LTO, and he can handle heavy ground too. Emperor's Choice also ran well LTO when winning at Ffos Las over 3m4f on heavy ground and is effectively 5lb well-in as he's due to run off OR136 in future but runs off OR131 in this. However, I like the look of NUTS N BOLTS who won here at Haydock in November over this C&D on soft ground and, so long as his jumping holds up, he should outrun his current odds of 14/1.
Ascot 3:50 - CLOUDY TOO, £5 eachway @ 10/1 (William Hill)
Haydock 2:55 - NUTS N BOLTS, £5 eachway @ 14/1 (William Hill)
Total = £20 staked