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Between March 2010 and April 2017, this blog 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 - this is equivalent to a Return On Investment of 26.60%.
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Saturday, 21 February 2015
A handicap double in the two big chase races
Although we have the Eider Chase at Newcastle, there are also interesting meetings at Kempton and Chepstow where Sire De Grugy attempts to get his season back on track in the 3:35. However, he will have to be at his best and more to win the handicap chase he's entered for as he's giving away 20lb to Grey Gold and 22lb to Far West. Personally, I don't think he's capable as I don't think he's OR172 at all, and I have him at 162 at best. He had a very nice run last season and made the most of it, but he's no world-beater. The ground may prove too soft for Far West, but he will have the benefit of a 5lb claimer in Jack Sherwood, and his OR150 rating is probably spot on. The 10yo Grey Gold will have perfect ground for him but I feel he's about 148 at best, so it looks like he's harshly treated on OR152. The odds of 5/2 on Far West look fair value to me, as I'd have him at 6/4 but then I'd also have Grey Gold as the 2nd fav at 5/2.
Earlier in the day, there is a handicap chase over 3-mile at 2:30 which could also go to a horse ridden by a claimer: Winged Crusader. The pace of the race was probably too hot for him LTO and he pulled-up, but this should be a more sedate affair. Odds of 9/2 are not great value though.
At Kempton, the feature race is the Betbright Handicap Chase over 3-miles, but there looks to be an interesting chance earlier on the card. The novice chase at 2:35pm over 2m4f has been won by some decent horses over the years and trainer Paul Nicholls has dominated it. He has Irish Saint running for him and although I like the horse, he looks exposed now and his OR150 rating is about right. He will therefore find it hard to contain a couple of these: notably the fav God's Own who has lost his way in recent months, but also Melodic Rendezvous. While I don't think God's Own is worth an OR160 rating he should be suited by the race conditions as he carries the same weight as Irish Saint. However, I don't think either will be able to hold Melodic Rendezvous who will enjoy the soft ground and wont be phased by the trip. This horse also receives 7lb from his 2 rivals named above and that swings the balance in his favour. Odds of 5/2 looks very fair as I think he should be the clear fav at maybe 6/4 or less for this with his rivals at 5/2 and longer.
The Betbright Handicap Chase at 3:45pm has a quality competitive field. While this race can be won by a horse carrying a big weight, it takes a special horse to do it. Personally, I cannot see either Rajdhani Express or Rocky Creek winning this, and while I expect Fox Appeal to run well, his stamina could well be exposed in this race. For me, I'm looking at those carrying less than 11st, and a couple stand out: Renard who is a consistent performer who loves soft ground, his stablemate Tenor Nivernais who has been crying-out for a step up in trip to 3-mile; and Tap Night who is weighted to run a cracker if he stays this 3-mile trip. I think the fav Easter Day is a silly price at 9/2 for this and given the competitive field he should be more like 7/1 or longer on what he's shown on the track. For me, 14/1 about Tenor Nivernais is a value wager.
At Newcastle, the Eider Chase at 2:55pm is run over 4m1f - a real marathon. There is a place for marathon races, but we have to pay attention to the ground as they are not pretty affairs when it is heavy and the mud is flying. What is interesting is that all the most recent winners have carried 11st or more - that is unusual for a marathon race. Of the 4 horses that meet that criteria, only one looks like winning - Shotgun Paddy the top-weight with 11st12lb. He will ensure a good pace throughout and will prove tough to beat and is a worthy fav. BetVictor and Corals go 13/2 which is very generous as I'd have him at 5/1 or even 9/2. I certainly cannot see either Wyck Hill or Portrait King beating him, and the 7yo Knockanrawley could prove to be out of his depth in this. Given the success of weight-carrying horses, I'm looking at Milborough with 10st13lb to go close. He certainly stays the trip and if you forgive his LTO fall his form looks very attractive. I'm especially taken with his run at Cheltenham last March when he was beaten only 10-lengths behind Shotgun Paddy on level weights. On that form he is well-treated in the formbook and his odds of 20/1 are worthy of an eachway wager.
Overall, it looks a difficult day to find value and there is a fair amount of risk attached to all the races I've looked at. The only wager that looks worthy of a "win" is Melodic Rendezvous, but it is only a small wager, as if God's Own can recover his early season for he will win this with something to spare.
Of the other big handicap chases, I am more confident of Tenor Nivernais at Kempton as he has the potential to find some improvement over today's trip of 3-mile. The worry with Milborough at Newcastle is that he is apt to hit a fence and that could prove costly at Newcastle, but he will be staying on in the final mile.
Newcastle 2:55 Milborough, £4 eachway @ 20/1 (BetVictor and Bet365, both quarter-odds a place 1,2,3,4 and BOG)
Kempton 3:45 Tenor Nivernais, £4 eachway @ 14/1 (generally available at quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)
PLUS: a £2 eachway DOUBLE on the above pair
Total = £20 staked