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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 28 September 2016

Tasty Bangor handicap

Interesting meeting at Bangor today, with a juicy little race at 3:10 which although having only 6 runners, brings together one of the best handicap chasers of recent years, plus a couple of possible contenders.
Followers of jump racing will readily know the name Johns Spirit; the 9yo has won some of the best handicap chase races of recent seasons clocking-up over £260,000 in prize-money.  Unfortunately, he's now on a long losing run and has dropped in the handicap from a high of OR160 (he ran 5th in the 2015 Ryanair Chase no less) to be running off OR136 today. Basically, he seems to have lost the will to win and while he should be capable - even based on last seasons poor form - of taking this race, you have to wonder whether he still has it in him.
Of his rivals today, the 7yo What Happens Now looks to be close to his ceiling as he was hard-pushed to win LTO (his 3rd win in 4 chase starts) and I'm not sure this drop in trip to 2m4f will suit him. The season sort of tailed-off for Final Assault in 2015-16 after a bright start. This could be just a preparatory race for him, but he's capable of much better than his current mark of OR132.  Were the ground softer I would almost certainly make him my selection, but he may just find things going a bit quick for him in the final stages of the race.
Germany Calling is too inconsistent for me, and I'm not sure that this 2m4f trip is best for him, as his best form is at 2-miles.  Court Dismissed caught my eye last season but, again, he is too inconsistent – but he is on my alert list and is one that is capable of better than his rating when the conditions are right.
The unexposed 9yo Racktiman is a possible "ringer" in the race. Along with the others, he's capable of running better that his current rating when the conditions are right, and today may be the day for him.
All-in-all, a real puzzler of a handicap for a Wednesday, just the sort of race that winter NH fans love.  Looking at the odds available, come 3:20pm the 9/4 available about Johns Spirit could seem a real snip, or we could all be thinking the horse needs to be put out to grass.  I'd be looking for odds of at least 3/1 before being tempted and for me one of the others possibly represents better value.  While the ground may not be soft enough for him to show his best, we know Final Assault can run well on "good" ground, and this early time in the season may be the time to catch him.  Currently he's 9/1 (Stan James) and, while I cannot recommend him as a wager, I won't put anyone off having a small punt on him.

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