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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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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

What is value?

In today’s blog:
Review of last week’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections
2010-11 Chasers & Hurdlers Alert List

Review of last week’s racing

The each-way blog selection on Friday, YELLOW FLAG, was 2nd beaten by the progressive West With The Wind. What I like about jumps racing is that the jumps are there for a purpose – they have to be jumped! The fav Grand Lahou was well clear and looking the most likely winner – till he fell. As such, I never feel tempted to take very short odds about a horse in a chase race, unless I am near certain that it is an exceptional talent. I was unable to post a blog on Saturday due to lack of time, but for those who follow me via twitter, you will have noted that I gave a couple of good value selections; Bated Breath who ran unplaced @ 2/1, and NO PANIC who won @ 7/2 but was a 5/1 chance when I named him. Peter Bowen has his stable going well, but my main reason for choosing NO PANIC was that it was the youngest chaser in the race and therefore held the most potential for showing improved form. In my opinion, horses don’t get better with age (in fact, Nick Mordin wrote recently that a statistical study suggested that horses were at their fastest at 4yo and got slower thereon) they merely get more capable at jumping fences and more experienced at racing. I always think that in handicap chases, the youngest horse with the highest weight (if more than 1 of the same age) should be seriously considered for a wager.
I also received a comment about Bated Breath not being “value” at odds of just 2/1. Tricky thing is value when considered in the context of having a wager. Most people, whether racing fans or not, can quickly ascertain which horse in a race is the quickest and the most likely to win. But very few have the acumen to rate the chances of that happening. Value is getting more for something than you think it is worth. For instance, if your usual brand of toothpaste is available at “2-for-1”, ie half-price, then that’s value. You would normally buy it anyway and pay full price, so to get it at half-price is a no-brainer. It’s the same with having a wager on a horse. Prior to racing (and losing) I rated Bated Breath about 7lbs clear of the next-best in the race and, as such, I considered that its odds should have been more like 5/4 as everything appeared to be in the horse’s favour. With the odds being 2/1, Bated Breath was (in my book) a “value” wager. Now, if Bated Breath had been priced at odds of “evens” or 10/11, then that would not have been value compared to my assessment of its chances – and I would not have had a bet. Many things can happen in a race, and they can affect the result, and these chance events have to be considered and accounted for in deciding whether the odds represent value or not.

Today’s Racing Selections
There is nothing worth a financial interest at Leicester this afternoon, tho’ the 2yo maiden may be worth watching, especially UNEX EL GRECO who’s half-brother beat Tartan Bearer when a 2yo and was once considered Group 1 potential. At Ripon, there is the class 3 City of Ripon Handicap which is 50 yards short of 1¼ miles. This race looks wide open and the betting is a bit skewed with Barry Hills’ Be Invincible the 11/4 fav. Hills has come a long way for this, and at Ripon he has a great strike-rate (12 from 38 with 3yo’s), it’s his only runner today too; but at 11/4 the odds are a bit skinny (I rate it more a 4/1 chance). As so many in this race would prefer faster going (including the fav), it may pay to have a punt on one at longer odds and ARIZONA JOHN, a winner at this trip, looks likely to go well at 14/1 as he’s proven at the trip and will enjoy the likely strong pace.
I’m going to give Folkestone a wide berth, and the AW at Southwell is never inspiring. Much as I want to find one at Newton Abbot, the racing there looks uncompetitive. As such, no selections today.

2010-11 Chasers & Hurdlers Alert List
After I published my “final” list of chasers & hurdlers to follow for 2010-11, I was advised that I had missed one out – and I had. On 4th August I wrote a narrative about the merits of PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE and somehow it was omitted from the final list. As such, the shortlist is now 19 horses. Here is the complete list of names (in no particular order):-
1) ABSOLUTE SHAMBLES, 6yo 2nd season chaser trained by Chris GORDON
2) CESIUM, 5yo 2nd season chaser trained by Tom GEORGE
3) EBADIYAN, 5yo hurdler trained by Patrick O’BRADY
4) PALYPSO DE CREEK, 7yo chaser trained by Charlie LONGSDON
5) QHILIMAR, 6yo chaser trained by A E JONES
6) KALELLSHAN, 7yo chaser trained by C Byrnes
7) PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE, 7yo chaser trained by J Howard Johnson
8) FREE WORLD, 6yo chaser trained by Paul NICHOLLS
9) GENTLE RANGER, 8yo chaser trained by David PIPE
10) GOING WRONG, 7yo hurdler (novice chaser) trained by Ferdy MURPHY
11) MIDNIGHT HAZE, 8yo chaser trained by Kim BAILEY
12) MONT PRESENT, 6yo chaser trained by Phil HOBBS
13) PICKAMUS, 7yo chaser trained by Henry DALY
14) ZANIR, 6yo hurdler trained by Tom GEORGE
15) SKIPPERS BRIG, 9yo chaser trained by Nicky RICHARDS
16) PLEIN POUVIER, 7yo chaser trained by Venetia WILLIAMS
17) RAPID INCREASE, 7yo chaser trained by Jonjo O’NEILL
18) AFISTFULLOFPEBBLES, 6yo chaser trained by Jonjo O’NEILL
19) WEIRD AL, 7yo chaser trained by Ian WILLIAMS

For the individual write-ups, see the attached page of Chasers & Hurdlers.

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  1. UNEX EL GRECO wins @ 12/1

  2. ARIZONA JOHN started at 34.0 on Betfair, came with a strong run inside the final quarter-mile (went to <1.20 in place-only market) and last odds noted in-running were <5.00. The fav, Be Invincible, ran a stinker.