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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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Monday 19 November 2012

Eyecatchers from the weekend (17/18 November)

A great weekend of racing - not least for the selections of this blog writer - and there were some performances that are worthy of inclusion in the notebook.

Firstly, tho', I'll just give myself a huge pat on the back for my own performance on Saturday. I looked at 4 races in all, 3 at Cheltenham and 1 at Wetherby, and found a couple of cracking winners in MONBEG DUDE @ 25/1 (eachway wager advised at morning odds of 40/1) and WYKE HILL @ 3/1. In the race won by Monbeg Dude, I named 3 horses as being worthy of a wager - there being 17 runners and quarter-odds payable on the 1st-4 places - and the other 2 named came in 2nd (Bradley: advised win-only @ 6/1) and 4th (Any Currency: advised eachway @ 16/1). Three named and all 3 in the places. If you'd combined them in a Tote "Swinger" (3 possible combinations) the 1st & 2nd would have paid £54 to a £1 stake, and the Tote "Exacta" (6 possible combinations) paid a whopping £236.50.

Onto the eye-catchers from the weekend.

MONBEG DUDE: I first noticed this horse when he won his debut chase at Lingfield in November 2011, and then he followed that up with a taking performance in January. He was then thrown-in the deep end in a top novice chase at Newbury in March and his jumping fell apart and he was pulled-up. I was on him for his re-appearance in October in an amateur riders chase and, in the main, he was going well until falling 4-out. The horse clearly has an engine and his jumping is getting better with every race. On Saturday, he was held-up early on to gain his confidence, and then for the final circuit he was on the heels of the leading group. Coming down the hill approaching the 3rd-last his jockey had yet to make a move and he picked off the leaders on-the-bit. He won this off OR120, but I'd say he's an OR135+ chaser already and we've lots more to come.

BRADLEY: I noted this horse running-on best of all when 4th at Cheltenham in October, and he came into this race with trip and going in his favour and racing off a great handicap rating of OR133. Always in-the-van, he was jumping superbly and stayed-on very well and was just beaten by a better-handicapped improving rival. This horse is possibly OR145+ already and, for an 8yo, very lightly raced - he must be followed.

VIKING BLOND: A useful 3-mile hurdler (was rated OR138), after winning his debut novice chase he was thrown-in the deep end starting favourite for the Welsh National last December. Unsurprisingly, he failed to finish that day, and then went on to fall in the Grand National and also fail to finish in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown (3m5f). That was a tough season for the novice chaser. This was a great performance to try and make-all and that he kept on to hold 3rd place confirms his ability. In my opinion, he's an OR140+ chaser (perhaps 145+ on heavy) and looks a natural for races like the "Eider" at Newcastle.

CROSS KENNON: I'm a big admirer of Jenny Candish and her hurdlers , and Cross Kennon was on my alert list in 2010-11 - a season that culminated with 4th in the World Hurdle behind Big Bucks. After a failed attempt at chasing last season, the gelding is back hurdling and on Saturday raced off OR140 which was just 1lb above the rating from which he last won. That was in Feb 2011, when he beat Bensalem 6-lengths and gave that rival 4lb (Bensalem then won a top-handicap at the Cheltenham Festival NTO).  This was a return to his best and, if not harshly treated, I would expect a return to the winners' enclosure next-time-out.

GOULANES: David Pipe had a tremendous "Open" meeting and now is worthy of his place in the sun. I've thought for several years that (like Donald McCain) he's a better trainer than his father, and the performances of his horses is starting to prove it. In Goulanes, David Pipe has found a staying hurdler of immense potential. Yes, this was only a handicap, but the race was won with plenty of confidence and the runner-up (Cross Kennon, see above) is no back-number. This was only the 2nd race for Goulanes and, altho' it was won off OR126, I'd expect this horse to be rated OR150 before the season ends.

WYKE HILL: I wrote on Saturday that I've been waiting patiently for this horse to return to the track, and I was rewarded with an all-the-way victory. This horse has now won 3 of his 5 chases, having fallen in one, and was 2nd in the other beaten by Penny Max (rec'd 4lb) who won NTO off OR132. Wyke Hill always does it from the front and has not won by more than 2-lengths; facts which make it difficult for the handicapper to get a handle on. He won this off OR122, but I honestly think this horse is OR140+, and I'll follow him without reserve.

Other thoughts on the weekend:

AL FEROF: without doubt, this was a good win for the horse and he has recouped the losses incurred last season for his loyal supporters (not me). Racing Post Ratings have gone overboard on this race and awarded Al Ferof an RPR173 rating. What you have to take from this year's Paddy Power was that the race "collapsed" with 2 fences still to jump. The race was run at the usual searing pace and, on ground described as "soft, heavy in places",  only 2 horses actually went well enough on the going to get home: Al Ferof and the runner-up Walkon. Even the 3rd home Nadiya De La Vega was one-paced from before the 2nd-last and, of the 18 starters, 11 pulled-up most on the run-up to the 2nd-last fence.  Walkon is, without a doubt, best on soft/heavy ground and it seems that Al Ferof is too.  If Kempton on Boxing Day is good-to-soft or better going (and it usually is) then I'd not be siding with Al Ferof; if the ground is soft or worse then I may do.

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Thanks from Wayward Lad.

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