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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 19 December 2012

The Perils of antepost wagering

Trainer Paul Nicholls isn't having a good time of it lately and, on Monday evening, he announced that his stable top-notchers BIG BUCKS and AL FEROF have both sustained injuries which are likely to keep them off the track for the remainder of this jump season. It is perhaps a timely reminder of the perils of antepost wagering on so-called certainties. A horse can't win a race unless it lines-up at the start and, in any form of racing not just jump racing, getting a horse to the start of a race can be an effort in itself. When considering an antepost wager you must include an element of "risk".

Take, for instance, the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day. Currently, there are 8 horses with odds under 20/1 in the antepost list; yet I'm expecting only 5 of those to actually take part: Long Run, Cue Card, Captain Chris, Kauto Stone and Finians Rainbow. I'd want odds of  6/1 about Sizing Europe to line-up, never mind "with a run",  Grands Crus will not be risked in a race of this stature on a return from injury, and Sir Des Champs will find the Lexus in Ireland a much easier race. If those 5 actually line-up on Boxing Day, then I'd expect the SP's to be:
Long Run @ 7/4, Cue Card @ 5/2, Kauto Stone @ 7/1, Finians Rainbow @ 10/1, and Captain Chris @ 12/1

They may be joined in the race by the likes of The Giant Bolster and one or another challenger, but those additions would not radically alter the structure of the betting for the race. Everyone will have their own opinion, but I wouldn't want to take less than 5/2 before the morning of the race about Long Run, nor would I take less than 100/30 about Cue Card. I do think it is very interesting that Nicholls has dismissed a supplementary entry for Silviniarco Conti into the race, and this is as much confirmation that you need that Kauto Stone could be the "ringer" in the market.

Over the Christmas break, I'll be putting together the foundations for my Cheltenham Festival dossier. We are now entering a very important phase in the jumps season: between Christmas Day and Valentines Day (14th Feb) virtually every winner of every race at the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival will have its final preparatory race. Get the notebooks ready, put the order in for the Weedender from now until Grand National week, and set aside some time to peruse the results every week between now and the Festival in March. My aim will be to issue the dossier on, or about, the 21st February.

The usual terms will apply; those who donate at least £10 between 1st November 2012 and 12th March 2013 will receive a copy.

There are a couple of decent meetings today at Newbury and Ludlow. The novice chase at Ludlow at 1:10 looks a punters nightmare as it could go to any one of the 1st-4 in the market and there are only 8 starters in the race.  Venetia Williams' Last Shot was pulled-out of a race yesterday for this, so that could be a good sign, but I am also interested in Phil Hobbs' Roll The Dice. The next on the card, the 2-mile handicap chase, should go to Venetia Williams' DRUMSHAMBO but at odds of only 6/4 there will be no interest from me.  The 3-mile handicap chase at 2:45 looks weak for a class 3. Only Howard's Legacy has won a Class 3 chase from the 9 runners, of which only 2 (Basoda and Take Of Shoc's) have more than 6 starts over fences. As such, I would not want to be taking a short price in this race and the couple I'm looking at are The Falkander and MILO MILAN. Altho' The Falklander has won a chase on soft going over 3-mile, he's not looked well handicapped in his latest couple of runs. MILO MILAN has been running over trips up to 2m5f but he has been staying-on in those races and he has the best speed-rating by a mile. Trainer Richard Lee has put 5lb claimer Michael Nolan in the saddle at that could be enough to swing it for him. Unfortunately, current odds of 5/1 don't look value to me and I'm looking for 13/2 or longer - no bet, as I'm looking to place an eachway wager.
Before I move-on from Ludlow, Nicky Henderson sends just one horse here (where he has a 34% strike rate: 35 wins from 103 runners since 2008/09 season) and that's Polly Peachum in the 3:15. Currently 6/1, she should win this comfortably.

There may be a better opportunity at Newbury, where only the 12:50, a 3-mile novices handicap chase, catches my eye. I really like BALBRIGGAN and he went into my notebook when he won his debut chase at Bangor over 2m4 f. I will forgive him his run LTO as he made a couple of errors and he wasn't beaten far by a proven stayer at 3-mile. He looks to retain his potential, whereas the fav Handy Andy is a plodder, Chartreux was very fortunate LTO, and High Kite is another one-paced horse. Current odds of 6/1 (Paddy Power) look generous to me, and I'm on to a 1pt win wager.

Newbury 12:50, BALBRIGGAN, 1pt win @ 6/1 (Paddy Power)

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Thanks from Wayward Lad.

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