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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.
Saturday, 26 November 2016
Hennessy GC Day at Newbury
What a busy Saturday. We have 4 jump meetings at Newbury, Doncaster, Newcastle and Bangor. There is a lot going on, so I may skimp over a few races and omit some altogether.
Newbury first where we have the Hennessy Gold Cup at 3:10pm but, before that at 12:55pm we have the next instalment of the Thistlecrack saga and he faces his sternest test to date. I think he may be worth opposing, and I will be having a small stake on Ibis Du Rheu at 8/1.
I've looked at the Hennessy Gold Cup a lot this week, and I think it is between the fav Native River and Scottish National winner Vicente. They met in the National Hunt Chase over 4-mile at the Cheltenham Festival and, but for Vicente being impeded when jumping 3-out, I think there would have been little to split them at the finish. Vicente ticks a lot of boxes for the trends followers - 7yo, 2nd-season chaser, only 8 chase runs with a 50% win/run strike-rate, and a proven stayer - and it makes no sense why he's 20/1 as he has a great chance of being in the 1st-4. The only downside is that he hasn't had a recent run (as he's being aimed at the Grand National next April). As such, I reckon Native River will win, but Vicente won't be far behind. It's is not all that simple, as there are a couple of dark horses in the race in Henry Parry Morgan at 11/1 and Local Show at 50/1. Wherever Native River finishes, Henry Parry Morgan will not be far away, and I reckon he did himself a favour losing his rider when going well in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown last April, as that race is a graveyard for winners. The same for Local Show only he last ran in that National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival with his stamina failing him in the final half-mile of that 4-mile race. He should be okay with today's trip, but this will only be his 4th chase race, so his experience is limited. My opinion is that this years race isn't as strong as it can be, and Native River looks head & shoulders the best chance in the race.
Earlier at Newbury in the 1:30pm Class 3 handicap chase, my eye is caught by Final Assault at 12/1 as this 2m6f trip looks perfect for him and he could have a lot in hand here. He was needing further LTO over 2m4f but that race will have brought him to peak fitness for this. Trainer Lucinda Russell has sent 3 horses to Newbury today from Kinross in Scotland, but her success-rate south of the border isn't great - it is a long trip for a horse to make in a transporter on the road. As such, while I respect the chance of Anthony in this race, I am going to have a personal wager eachway wager on the Henderson entry Full Shift at 22/1 who was well-fancied LTO but pulled-up early as he wasn't travelling, but has some good form from his novice season when he was highly tried.
The Rehearsal Chase over 3-mile at Newcastle at 3:30pm looks a cracker, as Wakanda and Virak last years 1st & 2nd return to renew rivalry. I have Virak 3lb ahead and that could well be enough, as Bristol De Mai has not looked a potential 3-miler to me and his OR154 rating looks about right. The early fav is Definitly Red at 3/1 and his trainer Ellison is hoping the ground isn't too soft but I'm not sure about his stamina for this trip with Wakanda and Virak solid stayers. At 13/2 VIRAK looks the best of the pair, but Wakanda will not be far away and 9/1 is a stonking eachway price. I want to provide readers with a winner and the best chance of that (in my opinion) is VIRAK at Newcastle. Trainer Paul Nicholls does not travel to Newcastle much these days - he has only sent Irving (twice) and Virak to the track in the past 5 years - and this time, with Virak having missed the Hennessy Gold Cup to come here, I think he means business.
Newbury 3:10pm NATIVE RIVER, £10 win @ 6/1 (available generally)
Newcastle 3:30pm VIRAK, £10 win @ 13/2 (Bet Victor, Paddy Power and Coral)
Yesterday was a frustrating, but enlightening, day with both selections being beaten.
Unfortunately, Stilletto suffered a fatal injury in his fall - and left my "2nd-string" selection Roman Flight to win at 16/1 without me having any money on. The main selection Stilletto fell for the 3rd time, but fell too early for us to know how well he'd have run. Personally, with the fav Three Musketeers struggling (as I expected) when losing his rider, it is probable that Stilletto would have run well enough to win had he stood up. I can make that assumption as the horse I reckoned was "2nd-best" Roman Flight won at 16/1. When this happens, many things go through your mind: should I have advised 2 selections in the race; should I always advise wagers on the horse with the longer odds; should I consider forecast wagers; should I advise in-running wagers? I know at least one reader of the blog wagered on Roman Flight in-running after Stilletto fell, so I will assume a fair percentage of readers also made that call.
My other selection Oliver's Gold really should have won as the race-fav showed his jumping inexperience with a fall at the 5th fence, and the most consistent rival King Of The Wolds also fell 3-out. By my ratings the eventual winner Festive Affair only just bettered his rating, and I doubt he will find more next time; and so this was a missed opportunity for Oliver's Gold. He only went down by a neck but that is no consolation as were he fitter he would have won this by 6-lengths or more.