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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There are NO affiliate links on this site to bookies from whom the author receives 30% of your lost wagers.

advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Excellent meeting at Sandown

An interesting day of racing at Sandown, with supporting meetings at Wetherby and Ffos Las.
The Class 2 handicap chase over 2-mile at Sandown could prove an race worth wagering on. When he last ran I was on Brick Red, who jumped poorly making numerous errors when 2nd here to Mr Mole. If he can jump better then he should be capable of showing much improved form, as I reckon he ran to 153 last season and so (off OR144) he's well handicapped. However, he won't have it all his own way as Ballygarvey ran the best race of his life when 4th at Cheltenham in November 2013, a performance I rated 146. He finished a neck behind Eastlake that day when receiving 2lb, and Eastlake went on to beat French Opera NTO by a length when in-receipt of 10lb. So, on that form there's about 11lb between Ballygarvey and French Opera. We didn't see Ballygarvey again until December due to injury, but he won that return without being stretched in my opinion, and a return to his best form is possible.  Another in the race subject to some support is Festive Affair, who beat Brick Red when they last met at Newbury, but that was only Brick Red's second chase race, and he's improved a lot since then. With a doubt over Ballygarvey (that he may "bounce"), and with French Opera held (in my  opinion) and Festive Affair on a recovery mission after a few poor efforts, I favour BRICK RED to succeed in this and the odds of 4/1 look very fair indeed.

The Scilly Isles Novice Chase looks a cracker, and I can't split them. This looks a race to savour and could well produce a future Festival winner.

For another possible wager I'm looking at the 2m6f handicap hurdle at 3:00pm where the fav Polamco may struggle to find further improvement to win off a 4lb higher rating than LTO. Saffron Wells looks a bit one-paced, and I'm more interested in Junction Fourteen who has yet to return to the form of his novice season which culminated in a win on soft ground at Kempton in Dec13. Even so, without improving on what he's shown this season, he looks held on OR137. The horse that interests me most is CADOUDOFF who is the youngest in the race being just a 5yo. His last couple of runs have been on heavy ground and tho' he was held LTO, before that he chased home the multiple winner Lightentertainment who has since been re-rated16lb higher after winning another 2 races since. This race is likely to be very testing and CADOUDOFF will handle the ground and will be hard to keep out of the frame, so odds of 11/1 look eachway value.

It is the 3-mile chase at 3:35pm that could produce the bet of the day in THEATRICAL STAR. He stays the trip, handles the ground and looks weighted to run well being only 2lb higher for his gallant run when 2nd in the 3m5f Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick 3 weeks ago. The race fav will likely be Bertie Boru who was 2nd here over C&D on the 3rd Jan, but he looks held by the handicapper on that run. I think Le Reve was flattered when he won here in November, as the race fell apart in the final mile and he virtually finished alone. His 3rd LTO suggests he's held on OR139. The Paul Nicholls trained Just A Par looked a promising novice chaser last season, but again he was flattered by a win at Newbury, and when facing Grade 1 opposition for his next 3 races his limitations were exposed. Personally, I reckon he's not a true 3-miler and he'd do better over 2m6f. Ardkilly Witness has had trouble holding his form before now, and I'm not confident he will repeat his effort of LTO now he's up another 7lb. The other Nicholls runner, There's No Panic loves Sandown and always runs well here and he will stay every yard of this and some. As will Hadrians Approach, who won the old "Whitbread" here last April over 3m5f. If he gets into a good rhythm he could take this race apart even with top-weight.  There are a few in this race who could win if everything falls into place, so not a race hich holds a lot of confidence. It could be significant that Sam Twiston-Davies rides There's No Panic and not Just A Par and, on reflection, I'm going to pass over this race though I may have a small eachway wager on both Theatrical Star and Hadrians Approach.

I'm taking the 4/1 on BRICK RED as I'd have expected him to be about 5/2 for this.


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Have we seen the winner of the 2015 Gold Cup in Many Clouds?

What a cracking day of horseracing at Cheltenham on Saturday - I'm really glad I went along.
The works at the course seem to be progressing well, altho' the lack of a rail at the top of the parade ring steps could prove a safety issue come the 60,000 crowds of the Festival in March. That wasn't my only criticism: I'm not happy with the new position of the Arkle statue. He's lost his position of prominence and, as he's used as a meeting-point for many attending the racing, his new position could prove a problem.
For those who read my blog on Saturday, there should be no complaints as I gave 3 selections on Saturday morning, and 2 of them won at odds of 5/1 (Annacotty) and 3/1 (Saphir Du Rheu). My only loser was in the feature race, when Dynaste failed to haul-back the eventual winner Many Clouds on the run-in. The race was run at a slow pace (the first circuit was run at a crawl) and the time of the winner was only 16-seconds quicker than last year when the race was run on heavy ground. Going out onto the 2nd-circuit, I felt the pace of the race was playing into the hands of my selection Dynaste, and I'm sure if jockey Tom Scudamore to run the race again he'd kick-on from the 3rd last fence and try and lead at the 2nd-last.  I heard comments post-race that he didn't stay the trip and, admittedly, the trip of 3m1f stretched his stamina at this level - but he certainly stays the distance. He just isn't able to quicken and he may have fared better defending a lead than trying to make one up on the run-in.
The race winner Many Clouds cannot be faulted. He's now won 5 of his 9 chase races, and has improved with each run this season. You have to wonder how close he'd have gone in the RSA Chase last March had he not been brought down at the 14th fence by another faller (who happened to be Don Cossack). The big doubt over Many Clouds is his requirement for a going description with the word "soft" in it. He struggled on "good" ground at Aintree when he ran there at the National meeting after the Festival, and it must be odds-on to be good ground on Friday 13th March. Thing is, he is an improving chaser and he could find enough improvement when he runs at Cheltenham to counter the quicker ground. I rated the race thru' The Giant Bolster who I reckon ran up to the rating of 157 (in my book) that he won the race with in 2014. That puts Many Clouds on 165, Smad Place on 155 and Dynaste on 163. In my estimation, the performances of both Many Clouds and Dynaste would have been good enough to win last years Gold Cup (I rated Lord Windermere's winning effort at 161) and so both are worthy of going to this years Gold Cup with winning chances. It should be taken into account that "good" ground will not affect the chances of Dynaste and at 25/1 NRNB with Paddy Power, he looks the value in the betting.

It should be considered that before Kauto Star and Denman won the Gold Cup. there had been a period of 30+ years during which the winner of the Gold Cup was a horse rated 165-170. It will be no surprise to me if we revert to "norm" and have another period of 30 years of Gold Cup winners rated 165-170 with the best horse "on the day" succeeding,

I had £40 on Dynaste at 5/2, so I was a little despondent that the horse didn't win after running a very genuine race, but I was fully recompensed in the next race when Annacotty repaid my faith by snatching victory on the run-in. This run was right up to the level of his performance in the novices chase over C&D on this day last season, and while he may suffer a re-rating he should be capable of defying it NTO. The other interesting aspect of the race was TAP NIGHT running he best race since running 3rd in this race last year. I felt he just about matched that performance and, if he goes onto contest the Byrne Group Plate again, he will be running off a 15lb lower rating this time.

My day ended splendidly with a win for Saphir Du Rheu at the enormous odds of 3/1. As I wrote on my blog, the horse should have been the 6/4 fav and anything longer than 2/1 should have been grabbed. I jumped in at 11/4 about 8 mins before the off and took my place in the stands, so I missed the 3/1. All the on-course money was for Un Temps Pour Tout but he never looked like justifying his £450,000 price tag and he could prove to be a very expensive purchase. As for Saphir Du Rheu, he needs to find a bit more to be in the mix for the World Hurdle but he's not far away. I'd hope for more than the current 6/1 being offered.

Advised antepost wager
Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase at Cheltenham on 13th March 2015
DYNASTE : £1.00 eachway @ 25/1 AND £8.00 to win @ 25/1
(with either Bet365 or Paddy Power  who both go NRNB and quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)

Total = £10 staked

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Dynaste to show Gold Cup credentials

What a tremendous day of racing we have today with meetings at Cheltenham, Doncaster and Uttoxeter over the jumps. Before we start looking at the racing in depth, some of you may be wondering why I’ve not advised a wager on SPRINTER SACRE for the Champion Chase given that I think he’s not far off (about 7lb) being the best 2-mile chaser in training based on his run last weekend. The reason is that I don’t think he’s good enough value when you factor in the distinct possibility that he won’t run at the Festival. I’d say he’s 6/4 to line up for the race and, if he lines up (without a further preparatory race between now and then) he’s a 9/4 chance to win the race. At current odds, he’s just not value in my opinion; hence I’ve gone for a horse that will almost certainly take in the race in AL FEROF.

Cheltenham
I’m going to be at the meeting, so I’m writing this blog on Friday with the hope of being able to make a few tweaks on Saturday morning (as I’m not driving).
The day opens with the Triumph Hurdle Trial at 12:40 and the race may only have 6 runners, but it looks a cracking field. This will be a race for watching tho’, having inspected the runners in the paddock to see which seems most up-for-it, I’ll probably have a small wager for interest.
The 2m5f novice handicap chase at 1:05 looks more like it for me.  This looks a top class field of 13-runners who will all be worthwhile following for the remainder of the season.
The race of the day is the Betbright Cup, a 3-mile & 110 yard chase. There are only 6 runners but, again, it looks a class field. Personally, I cannot see The Giant Bolster repeating last year’s win in the race. He always runs well at this meeting so I’d expect him to be chasing home the winner. At the weights, this looks between DYNASTE and Smad Place, as Black Thunder and Many Clouds are perhaps 10lb inferior to DYNASTE and Theatre Guide is running only for place money. For Smad Place to be in with a chance, he has to return to his form when 2nd here in the RSA Chase last March. His run in the Hennessey when well behind the winner Many Clouds has to be completely obliterated from the memory. For me, easily the best form in the race is the LTO run by DYNASTE at Kempton in the King George when he was 2nd to Silviniaco Conti. A repeat will make winning this a formality, and the Ryanair winner loves this track. Odds of 5/2 look very fair and I'm on him today.

Next on the card at 2:25 is another handicap chase, again over 2m5f but this is a Grade 3 race. There are 10 runners with the top-weight being Quincy Des Pictons. I like to look to a younger horse in races like this and the 7yo’s Annacotty, Easter Day and Little Jon are my idea of being the winner.  Annacotty was 2nd in the novice chase over C&D on this day last season and a repeat of that would see him going close. Both Easter Day and Little Jon look under-exposed with each having only had 4 chase runs to date. Odds of 6/1 about ANNACOTTY look very fair.

At 3:00 we have the Neptune Novices Hurdle over 2m4f & 110 yards, and this race is one that I’ll be watching rather than wagering on at this stage.
I’m more interested in the Cleeve Hurdle at 3:35 over 3-miles. If SAPHIR DU RHEU retains his verve for hurdling after a few novice chase’s, and there is no reason that the 6yo shouldn’t, then this race should be a piece of cake as he’s the standout at the weights. I’m expecting him to start at 6/4 (maybe even shorter) so if you can get anything longer than 7/4 perhaps you should take advantage (see BetVictor and Paddy Power). I won’t be advising a wager, as I don’t advice anything at odds less than 9/4 over the jumps.

The final race of the day at Cheltenham is the 2m1f handicap hurdle at 4:10.

Doncaster
The race of the day at Doncaster is the Skybet (Handicap) Chase over 3-mile and last year I was on NIGHT OF MILAN who tried to make all, but faded about half-a-mile out and pulled-up. Then he came out and won NTO over 3m2f when returning to the same track. The worry with this horse is the soft ground, as all his wins (apart from a hurdle race over 2m4f) have been on good-to-soft or “good” ground – in 10 races on soft ground he’s never won. I like the look of the 6yo ROYAL PLAYER. 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Queen Mother Champion Chase antepost advice

Since Sprinter Sacre lost his unbeaten record (in completed races) last Saturday, much has been written speculating that the horse is but a shadow of his former self. His continued presence at the head of the Queen Mother Champion Chase market, for which he is best-priced at 11/4 in the Non-Runner, no-bet category (NRNB), suggests that if you don’t consider the horse can find some improvement between now and then, that there is plenty of value in the betting for the race.
So then – is SPRINTER SACRE past it?

You can view the race via this link:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vjz-XokYZb4

I watched the race live on tv, and I’ve watched it a number of times since. I’m also a big fan of the winner of Saturdays race Dodging Bullets and, as such, I think I’m able to give an unbiased opinion of the race and the horses involved.
Let’s consider the winner, DODGING BULLETS. He was a promising novice chaser, but he didn’t follow thru’ in the Arkle at last March’s Festival and came home a lacklustre 4th of 9, beaten 5-lengths. I thought that was about as good as he was going to get at the time, and it was probably a very good run considering his best form is during the winter months and not in the spring-time. Saturdays win was the 1st time he’d won in the post-New Year period from 8 races whereas pre-New Year he is 6 wins from 8 races. He’s certainly improved since last March, but probably not as much as the handicapper thinks, and I have him at 163+. If you compare the speed-ratings for Saturdays race with last years race, won by Sire De Grugy, then the winning performance is very comparable.
Considering it was his first race (if you ignore pulling-up in December 2013) since 23rd April 2013, I thought SPRINTER SACRE ran very well, as he was always going easy on the bridle behind a strong lead from Somersby (who still retains a fair amount of ability). He took up the lead - without jockey Geraghty having to use his persuader – at the 2nd-last and tho’ he was quickly passed by the eventual winner, that one was under a hard drive. Without being put under any pressure, he ran on well to be beaten only 3-lengths with the OR165 rated Twinlight toiling in 3rd another 5-lengths back.
On the basis of this performance, I’m of the opinion that Sprinter Sacre would have the potential to reverse places with Dodging Bullets should they meet in March, as he must be capable of finding about 7lbs or more of improvement. By my ratings, his performance was only 3lb short of what he ran when winning the Tingle Creek in December 2012.

If Sprinter Sacre can find another 7lb of improvement, then there is only one horse he will need to be afraid of. No not Sire De Grugy, as he’s but a 164 chaser at best on my ratings, it will be AL FEROF who has the 2nd-highest official rating of the entries at OR168 (Sprinter Sacre’s rating has been wiped off the record). Not only that, but AL FEROF is in the form of his life this season, and goes to Cheltenham as a previous Festival winner. He ticks a lot of the QMCC trends, and the current odds of 9/1 NRNB being offered by Bet365 and BetVictor look very generous, as I’d have him on a par with his stablemate Dodging Bullets at 5/1. He could well start at odds under 5/1 on the day, especially if one of either Sire De Grugy or Sprinter Sacre do not turn up.

I certainly cannot resist those odds and I’m on eachway. My suggestion is that you also take advantage as this could be a weak race.

Advised antepost wager
Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham on 11th March 2015
AL FEROF : £6.16 eachway @ 9/1 AND £7.68 to win @ 9/1
(with either Bet365 or Bet Victor who both go NRNB and quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)

Total = £20 staked

Monday, 19 January 2015

Blog focus on the Cheltenham Festival

This coming weekend we have the Cheltenham “Trials” day, which features the Triumph Hurdle trial, the Betbright Cup Chase (essentially a Gold Cup trial), and the Cleeve Hurdle which is an excellent trial for the World hurdle. There are also some really good supporting handicaps which can provide decent pointers to the Festival itself.

Weather permitting, I will be going to Cheltenham on Saturday, and I will be endeavouring to produce a full preview of the meeting once I have a copy of the Weekender on Wednesday. This will probably be online on the blog early on Saturday morning.

So far, this jump racing season has been a transitional one for me. In a way, it has reflected the general economy as I began writing the blog when I was midway through a period when I worked only 10-months out of 24 between July 2009 and July 2011. Since July 2011, I have been lucky enough to have almost continuous employment (I’m a freelance contract worker) and my roles have become more managerial than “hands-on”. This has had an impact on the blog, in that I’ve not been able to write has often as I would like to and, due to the additional responsibilities, I’ve not been able to spend as much time studying the formlines as I’d normally expect. My latest role is my most senior role for a long time, and due to the workload I won’t have the flexibility to donate time to the blog. I’ve therefore made a decision that I won’t be producing a Cheltenham Bulletin this year.

This – personally – is a disappointment for me as, in each of the past 3 years that I’ve issued a bulletin, sales have grown. I’m very proud of the bulletin as I feel it has given readers a unique insight into aspects of the Festival that may have been overlooked elsewhere. My intention this season was to upload a “sister” blog-site focussing solely on the Cheltenham Festival but, due to time constraints, I just haven’t been able to get it finished and (being realistic) it won’t be finished before this year’s Festival. My intention is to work on it throughout the rest of the year (I should have plenty of time during the summer) and have that site online before 1st November 2015.

From now until this year’s Cheltenham Festival concludes, I will be concentrating solely on finding winners at the Festival. I will be putting together an antepost portfolio of wagers on the “Championship” races and issuing my handicap assessments (previously sent out to donators only) via the blog.

If I am having any wagers on day-to-day horseracing, you will find these on my twitter account @wayward_lad. Last week (Thursday), I posted 3 selections on twitter, and 2 won: Firebird Flyer @ 4/1 and No No Mac @ 4/1. Generally, I don’t have many wagers during the week so, if I do put a wager up on twitter, take note.

In the meantime, please keep visiting and reading the blog, and (with luck) we should have a very successful Cheltenham Festival.

All the best from Wayward Lad. 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Peter Marsh Chase day at Haydock

There may well be the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock, but all eyes will be on Sprinter Sacre at Ascot at 3:00pm to see if the ex-Chmapion retains any ability on his comeback. Personally, I hope the horse does come back today, but I'm not hopeful and I'm certainly not tempted by the odds of "evens". There is nothing much between the relative ability of the opposition (excluding Grey Gold), and so at the odds if having a wager on the race (which I'm not) I'd be taking the  8/1 on Somersby who will love the ground and the trip, with the extra furlong possibly being enough to help him reverse the form with Dodging Bullets who barely stays a yard further than 2-mile. The Irish challenger Twinlight would prefer the ground to be heavier than it is today and he looks poor value at 7/1.

There is a cracking 2m 5f & 110 yard chase handicap at Ascot at 3:35, and I'm happy to oppose the weak fav Niceonefrankie who will have his stamina exposed over this trip today. You can say the same about Tenor Nivernais, but Ballinvarrig looks interesting. Bobcatbilly finally got his act together LTO after a few disappointing runs, but he's up 10lb to OR133 and that may be too much. Fox Appeal has been running well without winning this season and he looks well handicapped on OR149, but he's a tricky ride and will test jockey Richie McLernon - he's one for an in-running wager if it looks like he'll be produced late. One who I expect to run well at a big price is Cloudy Bob who did not stay the 3-mile trip LTO when behind Ballinvarrig, and he also goes well right-handed. I'd have him at half of his current 18/1 odds. I must admit, I've had a wager on an outsider in this race on a horse who was pointed out to me by Richard Stoddart of Bet Catalyst.

The Peter Marsh Chase (handicap) at Haydock is one of the great chase handicaps of the jumps season. When the ground is heavy, like it is today, then the race will really sort out the men from the boys. The 5/1 fav is Corrin Wood who ran well LTO but may find trying to make-all on this heavy ground is a big ask, as those tactics are best with a small field that he's able to bully. I prefer GREEN FLAG who will appreciate the heavy ground (3 wins on it over hurdles) and is relatively unexposed. Sure, he ran poorly at Aintree LTO over the National fences, but some horse enjoy the experience and some don't. Odds of 13/2 look fair as he could be a lot better than OR140. Benbens has potential, but he's becoming a tad disappointing, but I would not be surprised to see a big run from him. Vintage Star was 2nd in this race off a 4lb higher rating, so he should be on the premises - but he ran a stinker LTO. Perhaps the ground that day was too quick for him and odds of 9/1 look interesting.

Just the one wager today, GREEN FLAG, £5 eachway at 13/2 with various bookies.

Monday, 5 January 2015

George Soros: "Risk" - do not ignore uncertainty.

"The risk that cannot be quantified is what you should always take account of," 
So says George Soros, the man who "broke the Bank Of England" on Black Wednesday in 1992. 
A man who has donated US$8 billion to human rights, public health, and education causes.
I heard the thoughts of the man with regard to risk when listening to the BBC Radio 4 programme "Teaching Economics After The Crash", which was broadcast yesterday.
The link is http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04svjbj
If you do nothing else today, please listen to this programme. If it doesn't grab your interest within the first 3 minutes, then I can only assume that you are a UKIP voter who wants to blames this countries ills (that is the UK - this blog is read in over 20 countries) on immigration.

Why have I brought this to your attention? Because if you are successful at wagering on horseracing, then you have to be aware of the risk than cannot be quantified. As gamblers we are aware of uncertainty as, if we don't take full account of it, we are certain to lose in the long run.What surprised me about the programme was that the Worlds economic lecturers do not take account of risk in a similar fashion - the economic model used by the World is "flawed" (this is the opinion of George Soros). I am no economist, but I'd have thought that the study of any subject that is fundamentally affected by human behaviour should quickly realise that, when assessing risk, you cannot ignore uncertainty.

Hence, a horseracing gambler will always understand the meaning of the word "value" as their assessment of a horse's chances will include an assessment of risk. 
Example: a horse assessed by yourself as a 7/4 chance being offered in the betting market at 5/4 (or shorter) is a poor risk; that same horse offered at odds of 9/4 (or longer) is a good risk.

Saturday's blog was a good effort even tho' neither selection won, as both were placed. BRICK RED produced a very sketchy round of jumping, and that (in my opinion) cost him the race. He's unlikely to go up in the weights for this run and looks well handicapped on OR144. Given the ground at Sandown became softer as the day wore on, it was a tremendous effort from my other selection TRIOLO D'ALENE to be 3rd with top-weight in the 3-mile handicap chase. I reckon on better ground, and with another furlong to run, he can win off this rating. He's not good enough to win a Gold Cup, but he could win a serious handicap.

So, no wins on Saturday, but a profitable day none-the-less. 

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Saturday 3rd January 2015 - the first post of a New Year

We've had some cracking racing over the past couple of weeks with one of the best performances this season from Silviniaco Conti to win his 2nd Kin g George Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. How this horse managed to start at an SP of 15/8 is a mystery as he didn't even have to run to as high a standard as the previous year (in my book) to record a victory in the race. The worry is that despite being easily the best staying chaser at 3-mile around Kempton, there is not much confidence in him doing the same over 3m2f & 110 yards at Cheltenham in the Gold Cup come March. The problem with Silviniaco Conti is that he's a dour stayer, a grinder, a pulveriser, he's a horse that needs to win his race a mile out from the finish - he hasn't got a turn-of-foot to save his life and showed that last March after jumping the final fence of the Gold Cup in the lead, yet finished 4th.
At Wetherby on Boxing Day we saw a great performance from Dolatulo to take the grade 3 Rowland Meyrick Chase over 3m1f. Good yardstick Cape Tribulation was in 2nd, and this win makes Dolatulo 2 wins from 2 races over fences beyond 2m6f. He's been re-rated to OR148 (up 9lb) but that could well be 7lb light.
On 27th December at Chepstow we saw a terrific race for the Welsh National with Emperor's Choice winning and, in the process, showing what a fine performer he is on heavy ground. The horse has now won on 5 of his last 7 starts (over fences) on heavy ground, he really loves the mud. That said, I think the handicapper has gone overboard by re-rating him OR139 and he could have a long period out of the winners enclosure now, One of the only horses to beat Emperor's Choice over fences on heavy ground is Arbeo - a chaser with Diana Grissell. After beating Emperor's Choice in Dec12, he won his next couple of races and was rated OR124, but his form has tailed-off and he's currently on OR102. He's only a 9yo, and if he can recover his form he looks a handicap snip on heavy ground.

There are a couple of interesting races at Sandown today, and the 2-mile chase at 1:50pm looks to be dominated by the fav Mr Mole, and Brick Red (representing Venetia Williams). Brick Red is one of 3 off my alert list coming into the race, the other two being Desert Cry and Parsnip Pete. Desert Cry just failed to win here on heavy ground last Feb off OR147 and it's likely he'll struggle to win this today off this mark, even tho' he won his seasonal debut last season. The ground may be too soft for Parsnip Pete, but his OR145 rating looks a tad high now.  With BRICK RED weighted to go close today - and he's also run well on right-handed tracks similar to Sandown - he gets the vote. The fav Mr Mole is talented, but is also a quirky and difficult ride and I'd want more than 3/1. The odds about BRICK RED are 9/2 (Bet Victor and Betfred) and that makes him the wager in this.

The final race on the card is a 3-mile Class 2 handicap chase and there is a lot of support for Unioniste who is now an unbackable 3/1 (you can find 7/2 being offered in short bursts). At the odds, for me the value is the 2013 Hennessey Gold Cup winner Triolo D'Alene at 18/1. He's done nothing wrong since that win yet the handicapper has dropped him 4lb to OR154 which gives him a great chance - he's certainly an eachway wager. The ground will not be in his favour, but this opposition looks beatable.
Unioniste will need a career-best to win this;
The ground will not be soft enough for Relax;
Count Guido Deiro didn't beat much LTO and is up 7lbs;
Bertie Boru may find his stamina stretched by this trip;
This race is no place for a novice chaser like Tinker Time;
Firm Order has never been a horse to rely on, and the ground may be too soft for him anyway;
Of those ahead of Triolo D'Alene in the betting, only What's Happening looks interesting as he ran well here LTO (he beat Emperor's Choice that day), and his OR131 rating looks fair. He also will enjoy the ground today and this shorter trip (than he faced LTO) will suit him. Odds of 12/1 with Ladbrokes look fair, but take those early.

Selections
Sandown 1:50 - BRICK RED, £5 eachway @ 9/2 (Betfred and Bet Victor)
Sandown 3:35 - TRIOLO D'ALENE, £5 eachway @ 18/1 (with Stan James quarter odds a place 1,2,3)