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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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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Lookahead to Boxing Day

A poor performance from our selection Milan Bound yesterday at Ludlow, and it was not easy watching the front-three in the betting market fight out the finish when I'd based my interpretation of the race on all those 3 being possibly over-rated.  Nothing much I can say about my selection Milan Bound as he jumped well enough, but he just did not seem to be enjoying himself and was struggling to keep-up after they had barely gone a mile.  It was nothing to do with fitness, this horse does not seem to enjoy jumping a fence.

Okay, so the front 3 in the betting market filled the 1st-3 places but, with effectively on 5 of the 15 finishing the race (the 6th placed Cernunnos was 95-lengths behind the winner - that's about 300 metres) there was not much depth to it. I certainly would not be expecting the winner Fox Appeal to follow-up as jockey Richard Johnson had to almost "lift" the horse over the final couple of fences as he drifted left, then right, and back again as he tired from the run.

The Class 2 handicap chase over 2-mile went to the 6yo novice chaser Colin's Brother, who looked a little fortunate as the long-time leader Sizing Platinum looked to be running away with the race when he fell 4-out (at the 1st fence in the straight).  In doing so, he impeded badly the top-weight Baltimore Rock who (at the time) looked to be going very easily, but he lost all chance at that point.

There is nothing at Bangor today that warrants further analysis and, with no racing on Friday 23rd or on Saturday 24th, we have a few days to contemplate the feast that will be Boxing Day. On Monday 26th we will have (weather permitting) meetings at Fontwell, Huntingdon, Kempton, Market Rasen, Sedgefield, Wetherby and Wincanton; and Irish meetings at Down Royal, Leopardstown, and Limerick.  Last year we were unfortunate to lose the meeting at Wetherby, which was a double blow as that meant we lost one of the best handicap chases of the day in the 3-mile Grade 3 "Rowland Meyrick". Given the very mild weather we are having (due to global warming and the melting of the Polar ice-cap - will we still be enjoying horseracing in 20 years time I wonder?) it is unlikely that we will lose any meetings to inclement weather this year. Last year, I managed to find a 7/1 winner of a handicap chase at Wincanton, and that is likely to be my ploy this Boxing Day - finding an overlooked race with more than a good dose of value to bring us some Christmas cheer.

All eyes will likely be focused on Kempton where we have Cue Card versus Thistlecrack in the King George VI Chase.  While it is extremely sporting of trainer Colin Tizzard and the respective owners of the two horses to meet each other in this race, to be fair, it will take a superlative effort by Thistlecrack to beat his stablemate Cue Card over this trip at level weights. Maybe Thistlecrack is capable of running to a level of 170+ over 3-miles as a chaser, but I would not be wagering on him at odds of just 5/4 to find out.

For me, better value lies in the earlier race in the Grade 1 Christmas hurdle over 2-mile. At this trip, I would not want to be taking odds of just 7/4 about Yanworth as they way he won at Cheltenham last January over 2m4f and again at Ascot last month over 2m3f, this minimum trip could expose him as he looks a horse who needs every yard of 2m4f.  I realise that Willie Mullins considers his 7yo mare Vroum Vroum Mag to be better than OR154, otherwise he wouldn't be sending the horse over from Ireland, but she will likely need every ounce of her 7lb "mares" allowance to hold off a resurgent THE NEW ONE.  He may not have won this race previously (2nd in 2015 and 2013, having missed the race in 2014 and 2013), but he is as good as ever he was - in my opinion - and odds of 7/2 (Bet365, BetVictor and Ladbrokes) look generous to me.  My idea of a reasonable "market" for this race would be 9/4 joint-favs The New One and Vroum Vroum Mag, with Yanworth at 4/1 and My Tent Or Yours at 10/1.

When I have more information on the racing plans of the intended runners, which will likely be sometime on Christmas Eve, then I will start looking at the other races on Boxing Day.

Remember, the focus on the Cheltenham Festival in March starts on Boxing Day as 95% of all winners at the Festival will have their final run (before the Festival) between Christmas Day and Valentines Day (14th February 2017), and 55% of all winners at the Festival will have WON their previous race. So, with the Cheltenham Festival in mind, pay attention to whatever is running from now on and make note of any impressive winners.  

Merry Christmas

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