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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 16 September 2014

Preparation for the 2014-15 jumps season gathers pace

This month I've been spending plenty of time reviewing my alert list from last season, deleting those who are past their best or have not developed as I had hoped, or have just been caught by the handicapper. So far, I've looked at over 160 horses from last seasons final list, and trimmed about 60 from the list - which currently holds 102 firm candidates. I've another 55 to review so, if the "third out" continues, I'll have a final list strength of about 140 horses on the alert list.

Some of those may not run this season, as I've come across a few on the list that didn't run in 2013-14. Has anyone any news of PENNY MAX or REGINALDINHO - both were very progressive horses when last seen on the track, but never ran in 2013-14; in fact we haven't seen Penny  Max since 1st Jan 2012 when the gelding won a 3-mile chase at Exeter.

I've also been working on a new venture for the 2014-15 jumps season, involving the Cheltenham Festival. I'm a bit in two minds with this one: whether to go online with it as a "sister" blog to this one, or to create a stand-alone website.  The website has distinct advantages as I can use it as a platform for gathering income from advertisers etc. But I'm also aware that one of the issues that I have when browsing horseracing sites on the internet, is the predominance of "flashing" advertising. I can't stand it, and if anything makes me quickly leave a website it's flashing adverts from a bookmaker containing a sexist theme.

Anyway. Enough of that. I want readers to leave this page today with something juicy to ponder over. I have never thought that horses can "come back" and return to their previous level of form after suffering an injury of some sort. As such, as much as I'd like it to happen, it is wishful thinking expecting Sprinter Sacre to come back this season and win the Champion Chase next March. Further, if you examine the form of SIRE DE GRUGY you cannot possibly consider that he's run anywhere near his OR172 rating. The Racing Post rated his QMCC win at RPR173 but to obtain that rating, the runner-up SOMERSBY had to be given a near career-best rating of RPR167 to justify it. As Somersby had spent most of 2012 and 2013 in decline - his official rating dropping from OR170 to OR161 - is it difficult to accept that this horse has suddenly found the best form of his life again. Sure enough, he was soundly beaten NTO at Punchestown. The rest of the 2014 QMCC field were not up to the usual standard expected, and so I think Sire De Grugy is there to take on.

There was one 2-mile chaser who I thought looked a treat throughout the season, but who missed the Cheltenham Festival and then won a very decent race at Aintree in April - BALDER SUCCES. He never stopped improving last season, and his Aintree win marked him out as a novice chaser out of the top drawer. He was undone by tactics at Punchestown in May, and probably should have won that race too. On my personal ratings, I have BALDER SUCCES just 2lb below Sire De Grugy so, given some improvement in jumping fluency and technique, I can see the young pretender giving the reigning champion a run for his money.

Latest odds for the QMCC in March 2015 have BALDER SUCCES at 14/1 (Stan James, William Hill, Paddy Power, Coral, Betfred) and with the "Arkle" form also looking a bit dodgy (has a winner come out of that race yet?) there seems to be a distinct lack of quality 2-mile chasers about. I expect trainer Alan King will have planned a campaign similar to that of his 2007 QMCC winner Voy Por Ustedes and we'll likely see a reappearance of BALDER SUCCES at Sandown in December for the Tingle Creek. A win in that race, and it is not unlikely, and BALDER SUCCES would be the new QMCC favorite. I'm on at £6 eachway and £13 win, that's a total of £25 staked at 14/1. A "place" returns £27, and a win returns £312.

Good luck from Wayward Lad

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