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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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Saturday 1 November 2014

Top jump racing with the Charlie Hall Chase

Finally, we have a successful wager on the board!
Viva Colonia advised as a £5 eachway selection at 16/1, stayed-on to be 3rd providing the blog with a small profit of £11.00. I was right to oppose the market leaders as the conditions suited neither of them, and the 3rd-fav Cedre Bleu ran like a horse who'd rather be somewhere else. While my selection didn't win the race, I did say that the eventual 20/1 winner SHADOWS LENGTHEN could not be ignored. It was a toss-up as to which of the pair I made my selection, and I came down on the side of Viva Colonia as his trainer has a good record at Wetherby.

Ascot racecourse in "winter" is where - in my opinion - Ascot is at its best. This meeting brings together a fair number of decent races and it is a little unfortunate that the "good" ground seems to have scared a few away and the fields are a little smaller than expected.

There is a good field of 15 for the 3-mile United House Gold Cup (handicap) Chase which is a Class 1 (Grade 3) race at 3:35.  There are a few old friends in this race, Katenko, Vino Griego, Cantlow, Midnight Appeal, What A Warrior and Black Thunder: so I'm well aware of the abilities of most of the field. That may be a good thing or a bad thing.
The good ground will not help Katenko, and this horse needs re-rating down. The same for Vino Griego, who looks harshly treated on OR153. I was on Black Thunder when he last ran, and I'm sure his OR149 rating is lenient - but his confidence looked shattered LTO. I'm not convinced that Cantlow is a 3-mile chaser. Le Bec is an interesting horse, as he looks potentially 155+ and it would not surprise me to see him in the Gold Cup next March as a leading contender. The ground will not phase him, but it'll be the first time he's jumped a fence going RH. Restless Harry is a recent C&D winner, but he exploited a lenient mark to win that and the 10yo is going to need to run a career-best off OR148 to win this. A rating of OR139 for Pass The Hat looks tough given this will be the 17th chase race for this 7yo. Roalco De Farges was not hit hard for his convincing LTO win, and is up 8lb to OR142. He should appreciate the ground and we know he's race fit.  I don't know what to make of Gevrey Chambertin and while this full-brother of Grand Crus is well thought of he's not shown the ability of his illustrious brother yet. The 7yo Merry King looks an out-and-out stayer and another whose best performances are on soft/heavy ground. He could find things happening a bit quick. Grandads Horse is unpredictable but, when he's on a racing day, he can win off OR137 and he stays 3-mile. I expect trainer Longsdon is hoping a couple of recent spins over hurdles have rekindled his enthusiasm for chasing. My old friend Midnight Appeal has slipped to a winnable mark of OR137 (was OR143 last season). Going RH will suit him as will the ground (4 wins on "good") and the trip of 3-mile wont stretch his stamina - as such he's on my shortlist. What A Warrior has been raised 13lb for his LTO win which I think is an over-reaction by the handicapper. While he'll love the ground he will need to improve again to win this. Ardkilly Witness is held by Midnight Appeal (see 22Feb14) and Lamboro Lad is still held in handicappers grip after his win in April.
For me, the race is between Le Bec; Roalco De Farges and Midnight Appeal.
I'm not happy that Midnight Appeal is ridden by a claimer, and going right-handed is a question-mark over Le Bec; so the selection is ROALCO DE FARGES at the generous odds of 8/1.

At Wetherby, the feature race of the day is the Charlie Hall Chase which is a Grade 2 race over 3m1f. On official ratings there is only one horse in the race: Silviniaco Conti who is rated OR174. However, I don't think he's that good as he is essentially one-paced (as shown in the Gold Cup), and I have him at 171. Both Menorah and The Giant Bolster have no chance at the weights if you look at the result of the Denman Chase in Feb 2013 when they all met under similar conditions. Double Ross, Tarquin Du Seuil and Wayward Prince have absolutely no chance at the weights. And that leaves MEDERMIT. Without a doubt, this horse is a consistent performer at the highest level. His peak effort in my opinion was when 3rd beaten just a length in the Ryanair Chase at the 2012 Festival by Riverside Theatre. However, he followed that run up with a great effort over an extended 3-mile (his first attempt at the trip) at Aintree when he certainly stayed the trip well. He was injured then, and was off the track almost 2 years until re-appearing in February at Ascot. It was a lacklustre effort, as was his next run back at Cheltenham for another try at the Ryanair Chase - but the excuse was he was still regaining full fitness. When he went to Punchestown in April we saw a much better horse. This was only his 2nd race over a trip of 3-mile, and again he stayed it well.
This race is a race for 2nd place as Silviniaco Conti should win, and win well. Menorah usually needs his seasonal debut, and The Giant Bolster is well exposed and is also likely to improve for the race. For me, MEDERMIT - who goes well fresh and is unexposed at this sort of trip, but will stay it - represents huge value at 10/1 in this 7-runner race.

Wetherby 3:15 MEDERMIT, £5 eachway @ 10/1 (available generally)
Ascot 3:35 ROALCO DE FARGES, £5 eachway @ 8/1 (available generally)

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