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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Three meetings, two selections

As expected, Waiting Patiently won his 2nd novice chase at Newcastle and while it was disappointing that Ash Park fell before the race got going, he will be back on another day. Then at Warwick, the market leader Briery Belle and the game Desert Queen dominated the race after both of the "talking" horses The Organist and Rock On The Moor failed to mount a serious challenge.
Sometimes, the value in the betting market lies with the early favorite!

Onto Friday, and we have a few cracking races at Cheltenham, including a Class 3 chase over 3m2f at 1:30pm in which I really want to have a wager in and yet the market odds look to be about right. The early fav is Southfield Theatre and but for a last fence fall at Wincanton LTO he would have won.  Even so, the handicapper has put him up 7lb in the handicap to OR154 which leaves little room for error in my book, but this trip should suit him well as will the ground, and we know he handles Cheltenham too. I feel the next pair in the market of Sausalito Sunrise and Out Sam are in the grip of the handicapper, so it is my old friend A GOOD SKIN who catches my eye as I reckon he found the sub 3-mile trip too short LTO, and this race over a trip about 550 yards further should suit him well. He was 2nd over C&D last March, and so his stamina is proven. I just think 7/1 is a bit skinny as there are a couple in this race who (if they put their best foot forward) they could go very well.  They are Shutthefrontdoor who could be well treated if he is fit to race off OR148, and Cogry, who (to be fair) is well handicapped on OR134 but has failed to complete in his 3 chases this season. Albeit he was unlucky at Cheltenham, and he may well have not enjoyed his Aintree experience last weekend. 

One horse that is on my radar at Cheltenham is in the 3-mile hurdle at 2:40pm and that is VALHALLA who looked unsuited on the soft ground here last month, but was game enough to stay on to be 4th.  Dropped a 1lb by the handicapper, he could be well-in and we know he stays this trip, handles the track and todays ground suits. Odds of 8/1 look fair in what could be a weak 3-mile handicap and I'd have thought he would start the fav for this.

At Bangor, there are 14 runners in the 3-mile Class 3 handicap chase at 1:15pm.  The fav Kaki De La Pree ran some good races without winning last season, and came out and won a novice chase last month. I just think he's a bit slow, but he is a reliable safe jumper who stays this trip. We haven't seen Willoughby Hedge since he ran in February and he just might need the run. I like Waldorf Salad, and soft ground here will be in his favour, but I don't think he stays this trip as he was very tired at Ascot in February when tackling 3-miles on soft ground. The horse I like in this is SUBTLE GREY who was going well in the Midland National in March till impeded by a faller and being pulled-up. He looks to be on a fair mark of OR135.  Gonalston Cloud should run better this time despite pulling-up on his seasonal debut last month, and Audacious Plan is well handicapped on his best form, but will he show it? Odds of 10/1 on SUBTLE GREY look very fair as I thought he'd be a tad shorter in the market around 6/1.

I am expecting A GOOD SKIN to run well, but he does have a habit of finding one too good for him, so I will pass him over. I think SUBTLE GREY would have gone close in the Midlands National had he not pulled-up after being impeded, and I think he will end this season a lot higher than his current OR135 rating. Whichever way I look at it it's difficult to see VALHALLA not being in the 1st-3 home.

We have a big day at Cheltenham tomorrow, and I will be pouring through the weights as soon as the final declarations are known this afternoon.

Bangor 1:15pm SUBTLE GREY, £5 eachway @ 10/1 (available generally, quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)
Cheltenham 2:40pm VALHALLA, £5 eachway @ 8/1 (Bet365, PaddyPower, and William Hill quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)  

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