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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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Sunday, 4 December 2022

Review of Saturday 3rd December

What a great day of racing, but (on the downside) an abysmal performance by myself on the tipping front. Maybe I'm not putting enough research into the races, I trying to maintain the methods that have worked well for the last 10 years, but something isn't gelling. So, I'm going to give things a rest and just review the races for a few weeks, and return with my usual Boxing Day "Yankee" on the 26th December.

The jumping performance of novice chaser JONBON was exemplary, so great leaps at speed. I only noticed hesitancy once, and given he is a novice chaser he's allowed a mistake or two while learning his trade.  Boothill performed valiantly to keep the race alive, and also provide a decent yardstick as he won at Ascot LTO and came into this with a rating of OR147.  As he was clearly outclassed and Jonbon almost certainly could have won by further, you have to think Jonbon is capable of 160+  which puts him on a par with Edwardstone (who won the same race as a novice chaser, and won the Tingle Creek later on the card).

The Tingle Creek had a great field with every horse rated OR160+, and what a performance from EDWARDSTONE.  He seems to fiddle a few of his fences, but what an engine! Over the last half-mile there was only one horse in it. So how good was the performance? To be fair, the ground (good-to-soft) was in the winners' favour as the best 3 speed ratings for Greaneteen are on "Good" ground, as such I don't think he was within 10lb of his OR171 rating. If you mark Greanteen at 160, that puts Edwardstone at 171 which makes him a definite challenger for Energumene.  Shiskin? I did write on the blog that he may need a run or two to get back to his best, but talk now is of going to 3 miles with him, and I did write that on my blog back in September!

 

Friday, 2 December 2022

Saturday 3rd December - Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown

Blog updated Saturday morning, comments in blue.
Last week was another Saturday when the selection didn't win but was placed - we've hit the post a number of times this season without scoring. We have another top weekend of racing with the Tingle Creek meeting at Sandown, the Becher Chase at Aintree; as well as great support from Chepstow with the Welsh National Trial, and Wetherby putting on a solid meeting with a couple of Class 3 handicaps. And we also have the World Cup, with England playing Senegal on Sunday evening - and that is a game that could go either way, as Senegal are no pushover. 

At Sandown last year, Nicky Henderson introduced the unraced Constitution Hill in the opener, and this year he sends the unraced Immortal – could be worth a watch.  Over the day, the Henderson horses are going to be the ones to watch, with Jonbon in the “Henry VIII” Grade 2 novice chase, and then Shishkin in the Tingle Creek. I’m sure Henderson won’t send Shishkin if he thinks he’s not ready, but it took the great horse Sprinter Sacre a few runs before he returned to his best, and it may be worth opposing him.  

Last season I found the inner of the London National at Sandown, and this years' race looks a real poser. I'm not sure about the fav Revels Hill: he's won at 3m4f but it looked a weak race to me, and I think he still has to prove himself at this sort of trip. However, having him as the 2/1 fav really opens up the betting and provides an opportunity for a long-odds eachway wager: and one that fits the bill is Almazhar Garde. Still only a 7yo, he's had 18 chase runs, winning 4 times, and he's a strong stayer who likes to race prominently. The form that I'm drawn to is when 2nd at Catterick over 3m6f in Jan22 off OR137. There's plenty of 18/1 and 4-places (5th odds) available, and while he may not win this (he lacks pace at the business end) he could be worth a place-only wager on the exchanges. 

At Aintree, the Grade 2 “Many Clouds” Chase over 3m1f looks a tight affair on Official Ratings with only 4lbs separating the highest rated Ahoy Senor (OR161) from the lowest Sounds Russian (OR157). If the weights were level, I’d have no hesitation in opting for Chantry House: a C&D winner more that proven at this level and higher. However, he’s giving 2lb to Grand National winner Noble Yeats (who is no pushover) and 6lb to the improving Sounds Russian who won LTO at Kelso on 22-Oct. The benefit of already having a run swings it for me. The field assembled for the Becher Chase handicap over 3m2f would not disgrace the Grand National; it looks a cracker.
My own ratings are:
Chantry House     155      plus 0lb = 155
Noble Yeats         149 (p) plus 2lb = 151
Sam Brown         159       plus 2lb = 161
Ahoy Senor        155        plus 3lb = 158
Dashel Drasher   159       plus 6lb = 165
Sounds Russian   149 (p) plus 6lb = 155
Will Dashel Drasher stay the 3m1f trip? It is doubtful as all the others are guaranteed to stay the trip and stamina will be tested. Will the ground be soft enough for Sam Brown to show his best?  In the “Charlie Hall”, Ahoy Senor ran a stinker and may bounce-back, or he may not; for me he isn't reliable enough.  Chantry House ticks a lot of boxes, and he's 11/2 with Bet365, Bet Victor and William Hill.  I will be back again in the morning with an update, in the meantime take advantage of what looks great value on Chantry House. 

The Welsh Grand National Trial Chase at Chepstow may only have 11 runners, but it looks a tough handicap to solve. Top-weight with 12st is Secret Investor who was last seen winning the Grade 2 "Denman" Chase at Newbury beating top-class stablemate Clan Des Obeaux in the process.  That was 650 days ago and he will have to be near Gold Cup class to win today. I like Caribean Boy but I think his 287-day absence is also a negative. Elegant Escape has had a recent run, and he's capable of a good run off OR142, he's an eachway chance at 16/1. Secret Reprieve who won this 2 years ago as a 6yo off OR130, and went on to win the Welsh National off OR134, is on a journey of "recovery" (he's only run 3 times since Winning the Welsh Nat in Jan2021) and has a way to go yet.  The race fav is Wayfinder who has won his last 3 races over C&D, but this race is different gravy to what he's been in.  The one that interests me is Southfield Harvest who sneaks into the race with just 10st2lb and a 5lb claimer (so he could have just 9st11lb). I'm thinking Paul Nicholls is running Secret Investor with 12st so that Southfield Harvest has this low weight; and there's plenty of 5/1 about.

Selections:
Aintree 1:30pm CHANTRY HOUSE - £10 win @ 11/2 (advised on Friday evening)
Chepstow 1:37pm SOUTHFIELD HARVEST - £5 win @ 5/1


Friday, 25 November 2022

Saturday 26th November - "Hennessey" Gold Cup at Newbury

Blog updated on Saturday morning - updates in blue.
It may have a new name, but jumps fans know it by only one, The Hennessey.  There's been a bit of talk that the race isn't what it was, and it may be that it's 6 years since a proper "Gold Cup" horse - in the form of Native River - has run in the race, but it's still a competitive handicap.  Personally, despite having a decent Gold Cup record (the Weekender says 10 winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup ran in this race on their way to the big one), this isn't a race that I would naturally look to as a stepping-stone to winning a Gold Cup. Why, because it's too close to Christmas and effectively rules out a run in either the "King George" at Kempton, or the Savills Chase in Ireland. ones

Being a race with a long history, there are lots of statistics. As with all statistical trends on horseracing, the first point of call has to be the strongest: stick with lightly raced chasers, as 11 of the last 17 winners had fewer than 10 chase runs, and only 1 of the last 27 winners had run more than 15 chase runs (Gingembre in 2002). If you take out the anomaly of 10yo Sizing Tennessee, only 1 horse older than 8yo has won this race since the 9yo Teeton Mill in 1998 - step forward Denman. There's no Denman in this race, and so I am content to put a line through Lostintranslation, Remastered, Potterman, and Diablo De Rouhet. Back on 30th October, I had an early look at this race for some antepost value, and came up with 3 horses: 2 are not running (Bravemansgame, and Fantastikas) but Fiddlerontheroof - advised at 16/1 - is, and his hurdle run on 7th November will have set him up for this. He was unlucky to be beaten in this race last year, and I think he has every chance of winning. I don't think the fav Le Milos, will have ground soft enough, and his odds are too short to suggest value. There's never been a 5yo winner of the race although (to be fair) very few have tried.  Even so, I can't have Busselton running off OR149 as despite winning LTO in the Kerry National, he's not shown form suggesting he can win off this rating.

There's 4 of the 1st-5 from the Ultima Handicap Chase running (who said this race isn't what it once was?) and all 4 - Corach Rambler, Gericault Roque, Oscar Elite, and Our Power - have a great chance, it is difficult to split them, but I favour Corach Rambler to do the best. Trainer Paul Nicholls runs many horses in this race, but his last winner was Denman; however, he could have another with Threeunderthrufive who ticks a lot of boxes. Probably outclassed at Cheltenham, he looks capable of a bold show being a prominent runner. The way I look at the race, the likely winner is either Fiddlerontheroof or Threeunderthrufive, both are available at 10/1 (5th odds a place 1,2,3,4,5). I didn't post odds on Friday evening, as I was hoping for a better market on the day. Skybet offer 6-places and 10/1 on Threeunderthrufive, and 11/1 on Fiddlerontheroof. This does look a more competitive race than usual and any one of the six named in this paragraph could win, so (if betting) keep stakes small. Personally, I'm relying on my surviving antepost wager at 16/1 on Fiddlerontheroof.

There are some great races on today, and the Class 2 handicap chase at 1:20pm over 2m6f & 93yds looks a great race to have a wager in. I'm not convinced Zanza is returning to his form of 2021, whereas Killer Kane should come on for his recent run and this trip being just short of 3-miles is right for him. The trip is also perfect for C&D winner Dublin Four, but he's had plenty of runs and may not have more improvement to come. On the upgrade is LTO winner Java Point (also a C&D winner) who I like a lot. For me, it's between Java Point and the fav Demachine, who also won LTO and was strongly fancied for the "Gold Cup" on this card last season, but weakened from 2-out to finish 5th to Cloudy Glen. Clearly the trip stretched him, and he bounced-back at Uttoxeter in May over 2m4f, but he suffers from having to carry 12st in this race. I think odds of 17/2 about JAVA POINT look fair value, and he's my selection in this race.

There's an interesting 3-mile Class 3 handicap chase at Bangor at 1:28pm and it may pay to wager on Keep Wondering who has 10lb claimer Elizabeth Gale riding, and she's 2 wins from 3 rides this season. Keep Wondering should stay this trip and his recent hurdle run over 2m7f should have him fit for this, and trainer has a 22% strike-rate with chasers at Bangor. Odds of 4/1 are not great though, and it may pay to hang on and keep an eye on the betting.

At Newcastle, the feature "Rehearsal" Chase over 2m7f & 91 yards is the last on the card at 3:25pm, and we see the return of top-class novice chaser L'Homme Presse. Trainer Venetia Williams has had 4 wins in the past week, and there will be a lot of confidence about this horse today, as he could develop into a Cheltenham Gold Cup candidate this season. Last years' winner Aye Right will make sure this is a proper stamina test, but he wont be winning today. There are a few in this who are trying the 3-mile trip for the first time, and they are difficult to assess. The odd-one-out is Into Overdrive, he's won his last 4 chase races and gone from OR112 to OR138 today, and unexpectedly won his seasonal debut over 2m3f last month.  It's never easy to assess form from the Northern tracks, but he's in the deep end here. The really interesting one is Happygolucky: he looked a decent chaser in the making in 2020-21, but has been off the track since winning at Aintree off OR149, demonstrating how unlucky he was not to win at the Cheltenham Festival. If he's fit and ready, he could be worth a punt today at odds of 15/2, but I really cannot see him winning unless he comes back just as good as when we last saw him run. 

My one advised selection today is: 
Newbury 1:20pm JAVA POINT - £5.00 eachway @ 17/2 
(generally available, 5th odds a place 1,2,3)

Saturday, 19 November 2022

Saturday 19th November - Betfair Chase at Haydock

It's a big day for Haydock racecourse, but the weather hasn't been kind and the races on the soft ground there are likely to be gruelling. Before heading into today's races, a quick look at last weeks blog: and we were close with the main selection Il Ridoto, who looked poised to take the feature race of the day as they leaders approached 2-out, but although staying-on to be 4th he had nothing left in the tank. He is only a 5yo and there will be opportunities ahead for him.  Although not a selection (the odds available were below my 9/4 threshold for selections on the blog), there was plenty of confidence on Tea For Three at Uttoxeter, who travelled well and found plenty to win well.

The feature race today is the 3m1f & 125yds (Grade 1) Betfair Chase at Haydock. The soft ground has reduced the field to just 5 runners, however the Gold Cup winner - and winner of this race last season - A Plus Tard returns, and looks near impossible to beat today. There's no certainties in horseracing, but it may pay to have "straight forecast" wager on the race to put the 1st-2 in the right order. What could come 2nd? On their best recent form, my rating suggests that there is little to split the other 4 runners in the race. Bristol De Mai is a 3-time winner of the Betfair Chase, but he pulled-up last year and I can't see him being 2nd unless the other 3 run exceptionally poorly. Frodon was a mighty winner with top-weight just 14-days ago, but he won't be able to bully Bristol De Mai who also likes to lead, and if things don't fall his way he tends to lose interest. He may throw in the towel with half-a-mile to go. Protektorat won a poor Grade 2 over 3m1f at Aintree last December, but was beaten before the final fence in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, and plodded on to be 3rd - I'm not convinced he's a true 3-mile-plus chaser. Remember, he couldn't beat the current OR147 chaser Empire Steel over 3-mile when conceding him just 4lb.  And that leaves Eldorado Allen, who was a good 2nd in the "Charlie Hall" over 3-mile at Wetherby, and also beat top stayer Royale Pagaille over 3-mile at Newbury. He comes here race-fit, in good form and the ground isn't an issue - I can't see him winning, but he can be 2nd

What other races are worthy of interest today? Earlier on the Haydock card at 12:40pm there a Class 3 3m4f handicap chase, and stamina is really going to be needed in this race. One that stands out for me on form and on the odds, is Innisfree Lad: he ran a great race 20-days ago to be 2nd to improving Houston Texas (runs in Haydock 3:35pm) and was not beaten far when 3rd in the 4-mile "Eider" at Newcastle in February. He ran off OR135 that day, now he's on OR129 and with stamina no problem he looks a value eachway wager at 14/1 (Skybet are 5th odds 4-places on this race). The market leaders Wouldyoubewell and No Cruise Yet are priced on potential and not form (both only beat a couple of horse's LTO).

The card at Ascot is disappointing; nothing wrong with the races on offer but with 6 or fewer runners in the 1st-5 races on the card, betting opportunities are few - I just don't like betting at short odds, there is so little reward for the risk.  The only race that's interesting is the extended 2-mile (Class 2) handicap chase at 3:15pm. A few of these met here at Ascot 3-weeks over this trip, and perhaps the winner that day - Thyme White - can follow up again. However, he meets Frero Banbou (who was 2nd) on 7lb worse terms, and Frero Banbou looked sure to improve for the race. The 7yo Boothill currently 3/1, won LTO but that was only his 2nd chase, and he's going to be mixing with some solid handicappers here. The Irish raider So Scottish is also a novice with 2 wins from 2 chase runs and looks well handicapped on OR135, but the same applies to him as Boothill. With ground likely to be too soft for top-weight Third Time Lucki, for me the value is with Frero Banbou who is 11/2 with Bet365 (5th odds a place 1,2,3).

Selections:
Haydock 12:40pm INNISFREE LAD - £2.50 eachway @ 14/1 (Skybet 5th odds a place 1,2,3,4)
Ascot 3:15pm FRERO BANBOU - £2.50 eachway @ 11/2 (Bet365 5th odds a place 1,2,3)
PLUS
£2.50 Eachway double with Bet365 (5th odds a place 1,2,3 both races) 

Haydock 3:00pm - Straight Forecast £5 staked
1: A Plus Tard
to beat
3: Eldorado Allen

Total staked = £20