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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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Wednesday, 4 April 2018
The 1000th Wayward Lad Blog - and a Grand National selection
In those early days, some of the stalwarts of twitter and horseracing blogging quickly lent their support to the new kid on the block, people like Ben Aitken (@narrowthefield) and Steve Mullington (@mulldog), and that support was much appreciated. Blogging took a bit of getting used to: finding something to write about, then finding the time to do it and, most importantly, writing the blog early enough in the day for the information to be useful to the reader. Although my first blog was written in March 2010, the blog became more regular in May of that year, as I became caught up in the excitement of the flat season in the run up to the Derby and Royal Ascot. When I look back at those early blogs the writing is simple and the messages short, but the information I am sharing with the reader is 1st-class: on 13th May 2010 I make subsequent Derby and Arc de Triomphe winner Workforce my selection for the Dante Stakes at York on the back of his solitary win in a maiden as a 2yo. The next day I suggest that 2000 Guineas 3rd Canford Cliffs can be this seasons top miler - and he was, winning a string of Group 1 races over a mile.
Over the years I have tried to vary how the blog is presented and, during that first summer, I tried to give the blog a "bulletin" feel as I considered at the time starting an alternative newsletter sent out by email to subscribers, but that idea never fully flew - however, I did write and issue a Cheltenham Festival Bulletin for several years until the volume of work required to put it together became too much.
In the Autumn of 2010, the first selections for the 2010-11 jumps season were posted, and I decided to record my performance, and a record of that performance - and that of subsequent years - is available to review on the blog. That first season I managed to record a small 10pt profit on 109.50pts staked, but it was touch-and-go until the Grand National when I tipped the winner Ballabriggs at 16/1 the evening before the race - and (to put that tip into context) not a single tipster in the Racing Post named Ballabriggs in their "four-against-the-field". That Grand National blog holds the all-time record for readers: 610 on the day - and did I receive any donations for tipping the winner? No, not a penny.
Do I have a selection for the 2018 Grand National? This year looks a tricky race (as always) and given the weather, much will depend on the state of the ground on the day: if it is soft, then stamina will be at the forefront, and luck. The horse that I have taken antepost odds on is WARRIORS TALE trained by Paul Nicholls. The horse stays 3-mile well and is, in my opinion, well handicapped on OR149 as it should mean he has less than 11st to carry. I also think that as he's recently been bought by Trevor Hemmings (who won the race with Ballabriggs and Many Clouds) connections think the horse has a better than 40/1 chance in this race. The ground could be an issue if it is soft on the day, not because he cannot handle soft ground (he can) but because it could make the race a bit more unpredictable. But I think he should be half his current odds and, given he's been recently bought to run in the race, it will only be an injury sustained on the gallops that prevents him from running, and on the day he will be amongst the market leaders at between 12/1 - 16/1.
The season 2011-12 was when I first came to know Cue Card. When running in the Arkle in March 2012, I had suggested readers take the 3/1 without the fav (Sprinter Sacre) and Cue Card had pushed the winner all the way. After that run, Cue Card was rated OR157 - can you believe that now? At the time, I thought he was exceptionally well handicapped and - if he'd been mine - he would have gone straight for the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November, a race won by Al Ferof off OR159 - and Al Ferof had been hammered by Cue Card in the Arkle at Cheltenham.
The summer of 2012 was when I first took a summer vacation from blogging, returning for the 2012-13 jumps season in the November. The break did me good, as I was able to assemble an "alert list" of well-handicapped and improving horses, and go into the season fresh and confident of success. On reflection, it was probably the most successful jumps season I've had as a blogger as I finished over 50pts ahead. Not only was I able to capitalise on my confidence about Cue Card - who I tipped at 5/1 antepost to win the Ryanair Chase - I also tipped Monbeg Dude to win the Welsh National at 12/1.
For season 2013-14 the winners continued, he highlight being spotting the well-handicapped John's Spirit who I tipped to win twice at Cheltenham at 14/1 and then at 9/1 to win the Paddy Power Gold Cup. But the highlight of that autumn was Midnight Appeal on 13th November 2013, who I tipped to win at Bangor at 25/1. The winner resulted in the largest amount of individual donations that I have ever received for posting a winner.
However, the blog is not just about donations (although they are welcome) it is about the joy of horseracing and jump racing in particular. For me, there is nothing that beats standing at the course, feeling a chill in the air from the breeze, listening to the sound of the hubbub of the crowd, feeling the sense of anticipation. I do not think there is an experience that beats it, and when a crowd comes together to witness and support both winner and loser in a race such as this year's Cheltenham Gold Cup which contained bravery and excellence in equal measure, there is no superlative to describe it.
I love writing this blog, I love being able to witness jump racing and be a part of the fabric, and long may it continue. If you appreciate this blog, I would be very pleased for you to make a comment.