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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 9 December 2017

So close, but no cigar

We hit the crossbar on Saturday when Sugar Baron came with a storming finish to fail by just a neck to peg back the long-time leader Benbens in the London "National" at Sandown.  We were on at the "value" odds of 11/2, as his SP was just 3/1, and I'm sure come the end of this season his rating will be above OR145. Unfortunately, his jumping wasn't the best I've seen and at numerous fences he lost a few yards - and that more than counted come the finish.  I expect Nicky Henderson will work on his jumping and we will see a more complete chaser next time out. Fair play to Benbens winning this race as a 12yo - he will be a 13yo in 3 weeks time. Benbens has come into his own in these marathon chases - twice 3rd in the Scottish National, 4th in the Bet365 Chase, 5th in the Welsh National - he really deserved to win a race like this.

At Aintree, Sametegal was given an easy ride out wide and off the pace, he looked to have no chance when going very wide at the "Canal Turn" and I even feared he may be pulled-up then, he was so far off the pace. But no, after jumping the 3rd last, he made up considerable ground on the long run to the 2nd last fence and I thought a horse of his class had it in the bag as they approached that fence. Unfortunately, he received a bump there and that possibly cost him the race as although he got going again - and was briefly in 2nd on the run-in - the effort was too much. Even so, I think had he been ridden closer to the pace he could well have won this or at least pushed the eventual winner very hard.

Earlier in the day at Aintree, we saw Blaklion win the Becher Chase, and it was an emphatic win, he never looked in danger of not winning from about the 4th last fence. However, as I wrote in my blog, Blaklion is a most consistent horse, he was the same as a hurdler, and I didn't see any improvement in today's performance - the others just weren't good enough to beat him. However, the handicapper won't see it like that and if he goes up 5lb or more then he may find winning another handicap this season tricky.

The performance of the day was from novice chaser Sceau Royal in the Henry VIII chase at Sandown - he looked an exceptional chaser and if I have seen the winner of the "Arkle" next March, this is it. So whether to take the 8/1 on offer for that race depends on whether he goes for that race or the JLT Novices Chase over 2m4f for which he's 12/1 - he certainly looked like he would stay that trip no problem today and the JLT is the easier of the two in my opinion.

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