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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, 26 December 2018
There are 20 horses going to post, and they are headed by Ballyoptic (rated OR155) with 11st 12lb. This race has a great history and there are plenty of trends to help you find the winner. Last year the race was postponed and rescheduled for January, and the finish was dominated by two 13yo's. This was an anomaly, and the race is nearly always won by a horse aged no older than 8yo.
Another excellent trend is weight, those horses capable of winning with more than 11st are usually capable of winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Native River won with 11st 12lb in December 2016 and then won a Gold Cup in March 2018; Synchronised won with 11st 6lb in December 2011 and then won the Gold Cup in March 2012. In 1994, Master Oats won with 11st 6lb and then won the Gold Cup in March 1995. Ask yourself if those horses with more than 11st are capable of winning - or even competing in - a Cheltenham Gold Cup?
I think that Ballyoptic (11:12); Yala Enki (11:11); Vyta Du Roc (11:4); Vintage Clouds (11:3); and Folsom Blue (11yo) can be discounted on age and weight. Baie De Iles wasn't good enough last year and is unlikely to do better this year..
The David Pipe pair of Vieux Lion Rouge and Ramses De Teillee are both worth a 2nd-glance. Vieux Lion Rouge will stay every yard and handle the ground, and the course should suit him even though he's not won at Chepstow, and 11st 3lb should give him a chance.
Ramses De Teillee loves Chepstow and testing ground and he should stay this trip, and I'd expect him to be there at the finish. However, he was well beaten by Elegant Escape at Exeter last February and I think Elegant Escape is poorly handicapped; which suggests Remses De Teillee is also.
Raz De Maree at 13yo is too old; as is the 11yo Regal Flow. Ron's Dream is too exposed, this will be his 25th chase race.
Looksnowtlikebrian is on the upgrade and the trip should prove no problem. Although he's won on soft/heavy ground his bed form is on good-to-soft; but he is a very good candidate.
FINAL NUDGE managed to come 3rd in this race last year carrying 11st 6lb, this year he has just 10st 9lb and his form looks no worse coming into this race, and so he must hold an outstanding chance. He's 13lb better off with Vintage Clouds who he beat in this race last year.
Kansas City Chief, Dawson City and Mysteree all look out of form; Holly Bush Henry does not seem to be capable of running a big race (he's a bit of a plodder), and Jenny's Surprise is also a bit one-paced at extreme trips.
For me, the most likely winner is FINAL NUDGE and odds of 16/1 quarter-odds a place 1,2,3,4,5 look generous in what looks to be a weak race for the grade.
My Boxing Day Yankee made a good start when the first runner Willie Boy won very easily at 11/4, but the next couple Crosspark and Just Georgie were disappointing. I thought I had a double coming when the odds-on fav Kaputana fell, but Little Miss Poet was unable to capitalise on the opportunity.
The King George VI Chase went to CLAN DE OBEAUX who ran about 10lb better than he did at Haydock when 4th in the Betfair Chase behind Bristol De Mai. My opinion is this was the best staying performance we've seen this season, and I know the race lost both Bristol De Mai and Waiting Patiently, but I doubt either of those would have won this. The good yardstick Thistlecrack gives confidence to the form, and I'd expect Native River to improve going left-handed as he looked very unsuited by Kempton.
I've just taken the 12/1 offered by Bet Victor for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, as I reckon Clan Des Obeaux should be joint fav with Native River at 4/1 for this, and Presenting Percy - who is yet to run this season and confirm his ability - should be no shorter than 7/1.
Remember, life is for living - so please don't sit on the fence! You only get one life, so you may as well enjoy it. You don't have to be rich, or cool, or a genius to enjoy life, just appreciate that you are alive and living on this beautiful planet, and be good to one another.
Boxing Day is a very exciting day for horseracing fans as it is one of the busiest days in the calendar; and today we have 7 jumps meetings in this country at Kempton, Wetherby, Sedgefield, Huntingdon, Market Rasen, Fontwell and Wincanton; plus 3 more jump meetings in Ireland at Leopardstown, Limerick and Down Royal and don't forget the all-weather meeting on the flat at Wolverhampton.
Regular readers will know that for the feature race of the day, the King George VI Chase at Kempton at 3:05pm my money is on POLITOLOGUE and has been now since he horse won at Ascot on 24th November. I advised readers that weekend (after he'd won) to take the 10/1 available for this race and I have £25 on at those odds. He is now the 5/1 joint 2nd-fav for the race and I think were it not for the fans of Might Bite hoping their horse can recover its best form of last season, then Politologue would be the 7/2 fav today.
However, I am looking to find 4 other horses racing today to make-up a Boxing Day Yankee from the other 47 races being run in the UK. I'm not looking for huge prices, if I can find 4 winners at around 3/1 then I will be a very happy man.
The 1:35pm at Wetherby, a 2m3f Class 3 handicap chase looks a suitable race, and WILLIE BOY could be the answer in this as he looks a lot better than his OR136 rating. Last years winner Caraline has been aimed at this race, but his seasonal debut was poor (PU) and he's 22lb worse-off with last years runner-up Special Catch. This looks a big ask for Oak Vintage on his debut for trainer Philip Kirby and Vendor didn't stay this sort of trip as a hurdler and is in unknown territory as a chaser.
The next race on the Wetherby card at 2:10pm is also a suitable race. The Rowland Mayrick handicap chase is a Class 1 race over 3-miles and only 8 runners are entered. The runner-up for this in 2017 and 2016 was Wakanda and he tries to make it 3rd-time-lucky. Personally, he will need to be at his best to do so off OR147. The 2nd-fav is Lake View Lad, and this horse looks harshly treated up 8lb to OR147 for his win LTO when you look at the form of the beaten horses that day. Behind him was Captain Chaos and although he's 5lb better-off his OR133 rating does not look lenient to me. CROSSPARK is an interesting contender: he's run well over C&D (06Jan17) off OR132 and after slipping to OR124 he won a 3m2f chase on 17Nov. He followed that up with a win in a 3-mile hurdle, so he has speed and stamina, a heady combination - he could be the answer as he's Caroline Bailey's only runner here. Connections of Takingrisks will be hoping for heavy ground but, if that were the case, I would prefer to be on his stablemate Baywing - this pair are the only horses trainer Nicky Richards is running on Boxing Day. However, Baywing was beaten in this race last year off OR144 and he runs off OR149 this year. I cannot see Crievehill having the stamina for this and he's entered at Chepstow on 27th for a race over 2m3f. Finally, Allysson Monterg won a weak Class 3 chase at Perth in April and now races of OR142, which looks a bit steep especially as he's not looked like staying 3-mile in his other 4 attempts at the trip.
The only suitable race at Sedgefield is the Class 4 handicap chase over 2m3f at 2:40pm but I'd prefer to stick to Class 3 races and better. At Huntingdon, there is a similar race for novices at 2:15pm but I will only use this race if I can't find another.
Market Rasen holds the Lincolnshire National Chase at 2:20pm, this is a Class 3 handicap run over almost 3m4f. The going there is soft, so it could well be a slog. Beau Sancy has been winning lower quality races and I think he will struggle at this level. It is probably a big ask for Late Romantic, he plenty of PTP form but he's relatively inexperienced at this level. Mortens Leam has been hammered by the handicapper for his recent win (up 14lb). Zerachiel is interesting as he is a dour stayer and possibly better than his OR123 rating. He was unlucky to unseat his rider at the 1st fence on his seasonal debut LTO, but that may be to his advantage. However the likely winner could be JUST GEORGIE as the 2m4f trip was too short for him LTO but that will make him fit for this. He won over 3-mile on heavy last Feb and the horse he beat that day is now rated 11lb higher while Just Georgie is only 5lb higher.
For my final selection I'm looking at the Mares Chase over 2m3f at Wincanton at 3:10pm. There are only 5 runners and the odds-on fav is the Henderson-trained mare Kupatana but she was nowhere as near as good as LITLE MISS POET over hurdles and though this is my selections chase debut, the booking of Michael Nolan suggests Phil Hobbs has found a weak race to get his mare into the winners enclosure. Michael Nolan has an excellent strike-rate for Hobbs and Little Miss Poet looks to be his only realistic chance of a winning ride today.
So there you go, my Boxing Day Yankee.
Wetherby 1:35pm WILLIE BOY @ 9/4
Wetherby 2:10pm CROSSPARK @ 13/2
Market Rasen 2:20pm JUST GEORGIE @ 11/2
Wincanton 3:10pm LITTLE MISS POET @ 5/2
Those odds are with Totesport
Let's make is £1.00 eachway Yankee = £22
plus a £1 win Yankee @ £11
Total = £33 staked
Friday, 21 December 2018
I reckon at Ascot, Nicky Henderson could well take both of the top races with a repeat win for GOLD PRESENT in the Garrard Silver Cup, and following that up with CALL ME LORD in the "Long Walk" 3-mile hurdle. Both horses are likely to start the fav for their races.
For a bit more value, I'm taking a longer look at the "Tommy Whittle" handicap chase run over 2m7f at Haydock. This race was lost to bad weather in 2009 & 2010, and it is interesting that in the other 8 years, no horse aged 9yo or older has won, in fact no horse older than 8yo has won the race since it became a handicap in 2005. As such, I'm happy to overlook the older horses Valadom (9yo); Tenor Nivernais (11yo); Houblon Des Obeaux (11yo), Splash Of Ginge (10yo) and Rocklander(9yo).
There are a couple of LTO winners in the race: Kimberlite Candy and Deauville Dancer. I wasn't impressed by the win of Kimberlite Candy and yet he's been raised 5lb to OR138; so he's going to have to show a lot more to win this race in my opinion. Last month Deauville Dancer won over 2m4f at Kempton, and he's yet to race beyond 2m5f; add that his best form has been on good ground and it's difficult to see him lasting this trip out.
Duel At Dawn will be running his seasonal debut, his last run being when PU in the 4-mile NH Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. However, he does seem to run well off a break, and he was 2nd to both Ms Parfois and Sizing Tennessee last season in novice chases and those runs suggest his OR140 rating is one he can win this race off if he's race-fit. This 2m7f trip looks a bit short for Sharp Response, and it might be a bit too far for Whoshotwho; however, the OR134 rating for the latter looks very workable. He has plenty of good form at trips just 300 yards shorter than he will face in this race, and he could be very interesting.
Daklondike was running very well this time last year but, after pulling-up on his last two runs, he's on a recovery mission. Another similar sort is Testify who ran like he needed the run when beaten a long way at Newcastle (finished well behind Sharp Response that day too), and he's not one I can see winning this. Connections have always thought trips beyond 2m4f were too far for Clan Legend, and he is a mud-lover who may not cope with a strong pace early in the race. And Ballyarthur is another horse who is out of form and would not be guaranteed to stay this sort of trip even if he was.
This leaves a shortlist of just 2: DUEL AT DAWN and WHOSHOTWHO. Alex Hales who trains Duel At Dawn has only sent 3 horses to Haydock in the past 5 seasons; Dr Richard Newland who trains Whoshotwho hasn't sent many more (just 14) but of his chasers he's won once and had a couple of 2nd's from 6 runners and this is his only runner on Saturday. He's booked Tom O'Brien who ridden for him 12 times winning 5 (plus a couple of 2nd's) and that's a terrific strikerate; and when you restrict that to chase races it's 4 wins from 9 rides (plus a couple of 2nd's). For me, that's the decider.
Haydock 2:40pm (Saturday) WHOSHOTWHO: £5 eachway @ 10/1 (available generally, quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)
Keep a lookout for my assessment of the Welsh National.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Thursday, 20 December 2018
Monday, 17 December 2018
If we go back to the tweets sent out by Matt Tombs yesterday "lots of horses in the c130-160 bracket are rated up to 10lb higher than horses of the same ability a decade ago." I've thought the same for some time, and it has been the backbone of my selection technique for years - to take advantage of this anomaly I seek out young, improving chasers that have shown the speed to achieve high ratings but have yet to fulfil that potential on the course; because once they do my advantage is lost (unless I think they are capable of much better, and a good recent example of this is the chaser Wakanda in his 2nd-season who won 3 races in succession).
Tidal Bay (once rated OR166) winning the Bet365 (handicap) Gold Cup at Sandown off OR154 (carrying 11st 12lb - and he went on to be subsequently rated OR171);
Neptune Collonges Grand National (handicap) off OR157 (he was rated OR174 when 4th in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2009);
Denman twice winner of the Hennessy (now Ladbrokes Trophy) off OR174 and OR161 with 11st 12lb - what is interesting is that the common denominator of these top handicap winners is the trainer Paul Nicholls - who is also the trainer of Frodon.
Friday, 14 December 2018
Thursday, 13 December 2018
Saturday, 1 December 2018
For the feature race at Newbury, the Ladbrokes Trophy (handicap) Chase at 3:00pm, I assessed the form earlier in the week and tipped THOMAS PATRICK when he was 6/1. There were 23 runners then and there are just 12 now going to post and Thomas Patrick is the 7/2 fav. I think he has a great chance and I'm happy we took the 6/1 earlier this week. The obvious danger is the 2nd-fav Elegant Escape, but his best form appears to be on right-handed tracks. Ms Parfois is an obvious danger if she comes back today in the same form as last season. One who could be a fly in the ointment is American, as he has looked like a top-class chaser at times.
At Newcastle, they hold their premier jumps meeting of the season with the feature race being the "Fighting Fifth" hurdle, a Grade 1 event over 2-miles which has attracted a top-class field worthy of the Champion Hurdle next March. While much of the attention will be focused on Buveur D'Air and Samcro, I am interested in the potential of SUMMERVILLE BOY who never stopped progressing last season and could be a lot better than his OR156 rating.
The "Rehearsal" Chase over 3-miles later in the afternoon looks very competitive having attracted a top-class field of handicappers. The 7yo Sharp Response could be the answer as his win at Carlisle over 3m2f in October marked him out as a progressive horse and I'm prepared to forgive his last run at Cheltenham.
There's nothing at Doncaster that I can advise having a wager on, as the good ground there - obviously the rain the rest of the country has suffered missed Doncaster - has meant that there are quite a few non-runners and it looks a day for fav's there.
At Bangor, the 3-mile handicap chase at 1:30pm may have some value. The money seems to be going on Wandrin Star, who has been improving with every run, but I'm expecting BORDEAUX BILL to improve on his recent seasonal debut and come on a bundle. Bordeaux Bill showed he was a promising novice chaser in the making when beating Sharp Response (who runs at Newcastle today) last December, and he could be very generous odds in this as it looks a fairly weak race on paper.
Back at Newbury, I will be eagerly watching the racing there and the reappearance of SANTINI who could be a star chaser in the making.
That's it for today, my selections are:
Bangor 1:30pm BORDEAUX BILL, £10 win @ 4/1 (available generally)
Newbury 3:00pm THOMAS PATRICK - wager placed on Wednesday £10 win @ 6/1