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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 23 September 2014

Alert list review complete and we're ready to go!

Yesterday, I completed the review of my alert list which I'd carried forward from the 2013-14 jumps season. Approximately 220 horses (not totally sure, as I didn't count them when I started the exercise) have been whittled down to a long-list of 143.

Now comes the review of recent results during the summer months to see if there are any further additions that can be made.  It is unlikely that there will be many, as the summer jumping game is centred mainly on the ground being quicker in the summer than the winter months. So, summer horses tend to be put away for the winter to re-emerge the following April.

I'll be honest, this list looks very exciting as there are several who are now considered handicappers that could develop into Grade 1 contenders for the 2015 Cheltenham Festival.

For instance, there are bullish noises coming from the Henderson stable in Lambourn about Sprinter Sacre, but the horse hasn't even done a gallop yet (according to Henderson). Something went wrong with the horse 12-months ago and connections have tried to blame an intermittent heart condition but - when nothing untoward could be found (despite extensive testing) - you have to wonder what the problem was. Although I loved watching Sire De Grugy sweep-up all the 2-mile chases including the QM Champion Chase at last March's Cheltenham Festival, I've been very realistic in my assessment of those performances and I find it difficult to rate that horse better than 164. As such, I see the Champion Chase crown being up for grabs.

A similar scenario exists with the Cheltenham Gold Cup, in my opinion. The latest running was a scrappy affair, with the winner Lord Windermere staying-on best of all having looked like being pulled-up when out-paced about a mile out. The ratings for the race have Lord Windermere at RPR170 and his official rating was raised from OR152 before the race to OR165 after the result was known. Personally, I find that hard to believe given the proximity of some fairly ordinary staying chasers, for example The Giant Bolster - who has been a consistent 160-162 performer since winning at Cheltenham in January 2012.  Did, for instance, The Giant Bolster run a better performance last March than when he ran 2nd to Synchronised in the 2012 Gold Cup? Personally, I think not. And when you look at the results of the past few Cheltenham Gold Cups (with the benefit of hindsight) you have to wonder if some of those prodigious ratings, given out like confetti, were actually earned.

Getting back to the alert list, I've stripped out nearly every horse aged 9yo (ie, born in 2005) or older from the list as I don't believe that horses "improve" after that. My basic premise is that horses stop improving at about 6yo when they become fully mature and physically developed. If they have "class" they will already have shown it on the track. What I try and do is spot that class before the handicapper does, and "ride the wave" of  handicap improvement. So, in my opinion, all those 143 horses on my alert list have shown they are at least 5lb, but more like 7-10lb ahead of the handicapper and - in some cases - I reckon are about 20-25lb ahead. Also, the horses on the list have shown a will to win. It is pointless finding a good horse with tons of ability, that refuses to put its head in front of the leader. Regular punters will all know horses like that, those that flatter to decieve.

So then, onwards and upwards.

Good luck from Wayward Lad

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