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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 10 February 2016

Keep the powder dry

The weather continues to have a detrimental effect on jump racing, with the meeting at Ludlow lost today and Carlisle’s meeting being run on heavy ground.  With the planned meetings for later this week at Bangor and Uttoxeter looking doubtful, we have to be thankful for the racing that we do get. 

As such, some trainers are taking the plunge and racing their novice chasers when and where they can to get some valuable experience into them before the Cheltenham Festival which is less than 6-weeks away.  For instance, Don McCain sends his 7yo novice chaser SUBTLE GREY to Carlisle this afternoon to compete against just 2 rivals over 3-mile. This is a race he should win, but he will be odds-on and, on this sort of ground, nothing can be guaranteed.

On Thursday, Paul Nicholls sends his novice chaser NEXIUS to Doncaster for a Class 4 novice chase over 2m3f. There were some decent horses entered for this race (Activial, Katachenko, Volnay De Thaix etc) but they’ve pulled-out; as such this looks a winning opportunity for the Nicholls horse.

Opportunities for a wager are still thin on the ground.  We banked some profits on Saturday with resolute galloper SADDLERS ENCORE, and we have to patient for those similar opportunities that will come along in due course.  I am mindful that 3 of our last 4 wagers have fallen, and it is likely that the heavy ground has been a major contributor to those falls.  If you watch races run on heavy ground, you will notice that some horses absolutely hate the stuff and look very reticent to race. Throw-in wind and rain, and it is not unusual to see most of field want to pull-up with barely half-a-mile run!  It is nothing to do with exhaustion, they just would rather be in their stable munching on some hay.  This is (in my opinion) the main reason why we have races like the Eider Chase (run over 4-miles at Newcastle) and the West Wales National (run at Ffos Las, weather depending) being completed by less than a handful of the original starters. You cannot make a horse run if it doesn’t want to, no matter how much cajoling the jockey tries.

Looking ahead to Saturday, we have a cracking meeting at Newbury with the Denman Chase over 3-mile, and the old “Game Spirit” Chase over an extended 2-mile; as well as the feature Betfair (handicap) Hurdle over 2-mile with over £150,000 guaranteed prize money. This will be a super-competitive race, and it is (perhaps) a pointer that Phil Hobbs has left in the 10yo Cheltenian rated OR153 who will be allotted to carry 11st 12lb. This means his 5yo Sternrubin (rated OR142) will be carrying just 11st 1lb. There is a maximum field of 24 for this race and, with 31 entered, there will be some disappointed connections.

There is no point in throwing good money away on speculative wagers, so let us keep the powder dry and be patient. 

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