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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 4 November 2015

The alert list strikes again!

When I write the blog in the morning, there comes a time when I have to make a decision based on the information that I have available - to recommend a wager, or not.

After assessing the form and having formed an opinion on a race, there are two variables that I MUST consider:
(a) the weather prior to and during the race (and whether it will adversely affect the result), and
(b) the betting market.
Yesterday morning, I didn't appreciate just how much rain was anticipated and, between sending the blog out on email at 11:30am and when the result of the opening race was known 2hrs later, the ground had turned from good-to-soft, to just "soft" and getting softer.

The effect of this was two-fold. It meant (1) that in the Haldon Gold Cup God's Own had little chance of winning as the ground had turned against him, and (2) the 3-mile handicap chase at 3:20pm was going to be a severe war of attrition and only a horse capable of handling the conditions was going to win.

Unfortunately, I am actually employed and so was otherwise occupied between 11:30am to 3:00pm; so the change in the weather and worsening ground was unknown to me. When I logged-on at 3:10pm for the 3-mile handicap chase, I quickly became aware that the betting market had changed completely.
The novice chasers Belmount and Whats Left were the 6/1 joint-favs but, with the ground now more heavy than soft, these two young novice chasers were short on experience for coping with such conditions in so competitive a handicap. Ziga Boy was on 13/2, and while he'd run 2nd on heavy ground before, that was over 2m4f not 3-mile; and he'd pulled-up on heavy ground in the West Wales National in January which was not a good sign in my book.
Another, Big Society, was 7/1 but having not won a chase race in 10 attempts was not a good advert for his chances. That, and having run 3rd of 4 finishers over C&D last November on heavy ground was not (to me) an indication that he'd handle the conditions either. The 7yo Tinker Time is well handicapped and stays 3-mile, but he's never won in 10 races on soft/heavy ground and on that basis should not have been 8/1.

Overall, in my opinion, the betting market for the race was in complete disarray and - unbelievably - the one horse I knew who would want the ground soft (the softer, the better) was my alert list horse SAROQUE; yet his odds had drifted from 7/1 to 10/1.  It made no sense to me and had you been with me at 3:10pm yesterday afternoon I'd have told you to put the mortgage on the horse at those odds in those conditions.
We all know the result now, and there was a dodgy moment at the final fence when it looked likely that SAROQUE would crumple on landing even if he managed to clamber over the fence, but the gutsy horse showed his metal and maintained his gallop to the line.
If you are wondering, this is why I sometimes recommend an eachway wager at certain odds (or no bet at all) as you have to weigh-up the risks involved in each wager and ascertain if there is "value" in it. Had SAROQUE made a significant error (but not fallen) at the final fence then he'd still have been no worse than 3rd at the line and the original stake money would have been recovered.

What I do know (from the email responses from those who are on the email list) is that 75% of you had a wager on SAROQUE purely on the basis of reading the narrative, and that is tremendous. It is a vindication of why I write the narrative; as it allows you (the reader) to adjust your wagers to suit your own risk profile. So, while I can't claim credit for "scoring", I think I can claim an "assist" for SAROQUE.

At one point in the race, I thought the other horse I'd mentioned in yesterday's blog Midnight Lira was looking a potential winner, but her lack of stamina told and she faded to 5th place.  Do not overlook the trainer of Midnight Lira, Caroline Keevil, she know's more than most and is underrated.

Finally, I was not impressed with the win by Vibrato Valtat on ground that his two closest rivals could not cope with. He really clouted the final fence, which is not a good sign in my book as it suggests he was tiring, and he still has to prove to me that he's better than OR157.

The results yesterday were further vindication - if I needed any (I don't) - that my alert list programme of selection is working, and working well. Confidence is the key to successful wagering, and I believe that I'm as good a race-reader as any "professional"; I think I'm the best there is.
I assess the race results, find underrated performances from young horses, and then wait until the perfect conditions present themselves - and sometimes that wait can be years.  Remember, you cannot make a slow horse faster, you can only slow-down a fast horse.

Looking at the meetings today at Chepstow and Warwick there are no wagering opportunities. so we will await Thursdays race meetings at Market Rasen, Musselburgh and Towcester.

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