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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, 16 November 2019
These past few weeks I've not had much luck and I need to get a winner on the board, and this meeting has been a good one for me in years past. I'm hoping that WHOLESTONE takes the prize in the 3-mile novices chase at 1:15pm as he looks the best of these and we know he stays this trip. Over the season, I doubt he will be the best staying novice chaser, just as he wasn't quite the best staying hurdler, but he's not far off the best and that will surely be good enough today. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to get longer odds than 2/1 and - as long term readers of the blog know - I do not suggest wagers at odds of under 9/4; that's the USP of the blog.
The next race on the card offeres perhaps a better chance of some value. The 3m3f trip will take some staying on this ground and though Ramses De Teillee ticks a lot of boxes, 11st 12lb will likely stop him. West Approach is not as good a chaser as he was a hurdler, and this trip could well stretch him.
The 9yo Big River does not have many miles on the clock as this is only his 9th chase race. He was not far away at the Cheltenham Festival last March when 4th to Beware The Bear, and a repeat of that run will see him go close as he's run well on heavy ground before. What puts me off Big River is that he's just 4/1, and that does not look value to me. If there is value in this race then it's with POTTERS LEGEND who won a 3m1f Class 2 chase at Haydock on soft last March and a repeat of that run will see him take this off OR132. He's had a pipe-opener over hurdles and will be primed for this. I also like Pop Rockstar but he needs to show this trip is within his scope. For me POTTERS LEGEND at6 13/2 (available generally) looks value to me as I'm surprised he's not at least joint-fav with Ramses De Teillee.
The feature race of the day is the BetVictor Gold Cup run over 2m4f at 2:25pm. .Ideally, you are looking for a horse that is on the upgrade as a chaser, has won at Cheltenham, and ran at the last Cheltenham Festival. I think this trip (and top-weight) will find out Us And Them. However Siruh Du Lac could again defy the handicapper as Janika (2nd at Cheltenham) has since won the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter. In 3rd at the Festival (behind Siruh Du Lac) was Spiritofthegames, and he could be very interesting off OR150 so long as he's not given too much to do (likes to be held-up early on). The fav is Slate House based on his win LTO over C&D, but I think he was flattered by that result and his current odds offer no value at all.
There are 3 horses in the race that catch my eye: Springtown Lake, Happy Diva and Eamon An Cnoic. The 8yo mare Happy Diva has been very consistent over her chase career with 4 wins and 7 x 2nds over her 15 chase runs; she is probably a good eachway play at 12/1. Eamon An Cnoic was 4th in the race at the Festival won by Siruh Du Lac, snd he was 5th in this race last year so he obviously relishes this C&D. Trainer David Pipe knows how to aim one at this race and he will surely be in the 1st-5 home, so again at odds of 14/1 he's a good eachway play. Springtown Lake has the least experience, this will be his 7th chase race. The ground will be okay for him and he's been campaigned mainly over 3-miles as a chaser, but he was 5th at the Festival in the 2m4f and that he's come back for this suggests he will make his stamina an asset on this ground.
This is a tricky race to fathom, and if push comes to shove it will be EAMON AN CNOIC.
Cheltenham 1:50pm POTTERS LEGEND, £10 WIN @ 13/2 (Bet365)
Cheltenham 2:25pm EAMON AN CNOIC, £5 eachway @ 14/1 (available generally, 5th odds a place 1,2,3,4,5)
Friday, 8 November 2019
I started the day off with a nice win on Paul Nicholls hurdler Calva D'Auge - Nicholls went into the meeting with 3 wins from 8 runners in the past 5 seasons at Plumpton in hurdle races. Nicholls sent 3 hurdlers to the track, but only one went off the fav (Get The Appeal) and that one was well beaten. Too be fair, I thought his form was weak, so he had no money of mine on him, but I had no idea what would win the race. Unfortunately, having shortlisted his 3rd hurdler Dan McGrue - the 7/2 fav in the RP betting forecast - I overlooked him for the Gary Moore trained Not Never, who I thought had a lot in his favour. Sure enough, Dan McGrue won well at the rewarding odds of 13/2.
Nicholls is now 5 wins from 11 in hurdle races at Plumpton.
I thought I had a good-priced winner in Tzar De L'Elfe in the 3m1f novices handicap chase as he was cruising along and looked the most likely winner until he tried to pass the leader 4-out and had his jockey nearly knocked out of the saddle. He almost stopped and lost all momentum, but the way he finished suggested he was unlucky. Maybe next time.
Onto Saturdays racing, and I'm having another go at finding a successful winning double.
We have meetings at Aintree, Wincanton and Kelso and - as usual - I'm sticking to handicap chases of Class 3 or better. I'm keeping away from the novice chases for the time being until the form gets easier to interpret, I'm not one for betting on reputations.
At Aintree, the 2-mile Class 3 handicap chase at 1:30pm looks tricky. However, the next race on the card looks better, and I'm really taken by the overnight fav CEPAGE. This horse does not have many miles on the clock, but he goes well fresh, and was last seen chasing home Frodon at Cheltenham in December, and that was his only race last season. If he can repeat that run he will be tough to beat even with top-weight in this handicap. There are a lot of holes in the opposition, and (sometimes) the best value is in the favourite. I think he could start at 9/4 and so you should take the early odds if you are reading this on Friday evening.
CEPAGE is trained by Venetia Williams, and she has already had a winner this season, in fact she's had 4 winners from just 13 runners in the past 14-days. When the mud is flying it's the time to follow her runners, and tomorrow she has only two out from her stable; Cepage at Aintree and ENOLA GAY at Wincanton in the Class 3 Conditional Jockeys handicap chase over 2m4f run at 1:15pm.
I like ENOLA GAY; he's a C&D winner which is an advantage, but he's also looked capable of running to a much higher rating than OR123. It's possible that he had a breathing problem (he's been 2nd 4 times from 9 starts in chases, winning just once), and over the summer he's had a wind operation. This could be the time to catch him to snap up the value, as this race does not look to be that strong on paper.
I've taken the early odds about this pair:-
Wincanton 1:15pm ENOLA GAY @ 4/1
Aintree 2:05pm CEPAGE @ 9/2
I'm on for a £10 win double.
I hope to be back on Sunday and update you on another event this week, which was both good (and bad) fortune at the same time - but that's how it is with horseracing, and that's why we love it.
Sunday, 3 November 2019
There was a good crowd but the betting ring looked sparsely populated, and the great days of old will never return now - internet betting dominates.
I was impressed with the performance of the Paul Nicholls trained ECCO who easily won the Class 3 novice hurdle under the talented jockey Bryony Frost. This Ascot meeting is usually a happy hunting ground for Nicholls and, as I had selected a couple of his entries later in the day as my blog selections, I was feeling confident.
Sure enough, CAPELAND was given a terrific ride by Bryony Frost in the in the 2m1f handicap chase, as the early leader Hatcher faded in the final half-mile allowing the well-judged rides on Diego Du Charmil (ridden by Lorcon Williams) and Capeland - both trained by Nicholls - to come to the final fence looking like being 1st & 2nd. I thought CAPELAND was going much the better and expected that one to take the race, but we had an extraordinary incident at the final fence. My view is that neither horse completed the course, but the stewards thought otherwise - such is the nature of racing. What I take from the race is my form reading was spot on, just that fate took a hand.
In the feature race, I had highlighted on the blog that VINNDICATION was well-handicapped on last seasons novice form, the only doubt being would he stay 3-miles. That he certainly did and could be called the winner before the 2nd-last fence he was going so well. On the basis of this result, we can probably consider last seasons top novice chasers to be above average. My selection Adrien Du Pont was given too much to do and while he would never have won, had he been ridden closer to the pace (he was held-up in the rear most of the race) he could well have been placed as I'm sure Nicholls would have expected him to finish close to his other runner Black Corton who came home 3rd.
At Wetherby, ELEGANT ESCAPE ran well on his seasonal debut in the Charlie Hall Chase, and only race fitness (in my opinion) stopped him from winning. He found a lot of improvement after his seasonal debut last season, and he could be the one to be on next time out. The winner there, Ballyoptic ran very well, but he had already won this season and had race fitness on his side. In 3rd, Aso looked like winning 4-out, his jockey seemed to think so, but he just doesn't stay 3-mile at this level.
In Ireland, we learned nothing from the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase over 3-mile. Road To Respect - who won this last year - probably ran to his best, but we know his best will not be good enough later in the season. CLAN DES OBEAUX will almost certainly find 10lb improvement on this run, maybe more, and his fans - which include me - can look forward to a profitable season following him.
I will be at Plumpton tomorrow, and if I have time I will post a few words on that meeting before setting off for the track.
Friday, 1 November 2019
Before getting onto Saturdays racing, the Sue Smith stable (in Yorkshire) do not seem to be able to get their horses running anywhere near their ability, and they are yet to have a winner from 31 runners in the past 5 weeks and their usual strikerate (at this time of year) is 10%.
Onto Saturday, and I will be at Ascot - unless the heavens open and the racing is abandoned - where the ground is good-to-soft. This has been a lucky meeting for me in the past and I'm hoping for a decent day at the races. I can't see me having a wager before the 4th race on the card which is the Listed handicap chase over 2m1f at 2:10pm. The ground may be a bit soft for the 5yo Ballywood, but he looks an interesting runner off OR147. One who looks better is Caid Du Lin who is a C&D winner and will not be too inconvenienced by soft ground. It's difficult to know what to make of the 2nd-season chaser Clondaw Castle, and Paul Nicholls' Capeland (also a 2nd-season chaser) may prove more interesting. All-in-all, a tricky affair, and I can only assume that stable confidence is behind The Last Day as what he's shown on the course does not merit his position at the head of the market.
The feature race at Ascot is the Sodexo Gold Cup over 3-mile at 3:20pm and 17 runners are likely to go to post.
I have the early fav Vinndication about 5lb ahead of his OR151 rating and he's an Ascot winner, but will he stay 3-miles? On The Blind Side was pulled-up in the 3-mile RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, and I reckon he was flattered LTO over hurdles as the race collapsed. Mister Malarky has not shown to me he's worth an OR145 rating, but he does stay 3-mile. Larry is another uncertain to stay the trip, but he goes well right-handed (twice a winner at Sandown). Other than the fav, who has to prove his stamina at this trip, I can't get excited about many in this race, so I am going to look at this another way. Top weight is Paul Nicholls' Black Corton who is rated OR163 and hasn't a cat in hells chance of winning a handicap with that rating. However, his presence in the race means his stablemate ADRIEN DU PONT - who was 4th in this race last year - carries just 10st 12lb and his rider Lorcan Williams can claim another 3lb. Currently 16/1 (Bet365 quarter-odds the 1st-4) looks decent value to me as he's also had a wind operation over the summer.
It may prove to be a good call to tie the Nicholls-trained pair of ADRIEN DU PONT and CAPELAND in an eachway double, as the latter is 11/1 (Bet365 quarter-odds the 1st-3).
At Wetherby, the Charlie Hall Chase hangs on whether La Bague Au Roi returns to racing as good as she was last season. However, if she runs as strongly as she has done in the past that may well set the race up for the strong staying ELEGANT ESCAPE who has abundant stamina having won the Welsh National last season (with Ballyoptic well beaten behind him that day). I think we have seen the best of the 10yo Definitly Red, and we have no idea if Aso will stay this trip at this level. Without a doubt, La Bague Au Roi is a worthy favourite at 5/2, but the 8/1 odds offered about ELEGANT ESCAPE are very tempting.
Ascot 2:10pm - CAPELAND - £4 eachway @ 11/1 (Bet365 quarter-odds the 1st-3)
Ascot 3:20pm - ADRIEN DU PONT - £4 eachway @ 16/1 (Bet365 quarter-odds the 1st-4)
PLUS £2 eachway double on the above pair.
Wetherby 3:40pm - ELEGANT ESCAPE - £5 win @ 8/1 with PaddyPower
Friday, 25 October 2019
I didn't post a blog for Friday's meeting, due to time constraints, and I didn't find a winner with my personal wager of the day which was a win bet on Plantagenet who (having led most of the way) succumbed to a late challenge and came home 2nd.
I wrote this blog on Friday evening, and there are a few non-runners:
Cobra De Mai (no surprise there); Rock The Kasbah (didn't think this would be pulled and we may see Richard Johnson "jock off" another rider); Shantou Village, and The Young Master.
As such there has been a dramatic change to the betting - good luck to those who read this blog on Friday evening!
The new fav is West Approach at 7/2 and that looks a bit short to me, but he should run well. Last nights odds on my chosen pair have long gone: BACK TO THE THATCH is now 10/1 from 20/1, and RED INFANTRY is 25/1 from 33/1. The early bird catches the worm!
Long term readers will know that handicap chases are my bread & butter, and Saturdays card start with a Class 2 handicap chase over 3m1f. No 10yo or older horse has won this race in the past 10 years, and 6yo's and under are also best avoided; so I'm discounting Onefortheroadtom, Cogry and The Young Master. Those carrying over 11st 7lb also struggle, the only such winner being Coologue (who I tipped on this blog) in 2016; so I'm discounting Cobra De Mai and Rock The Kasbah. I cannot see Minella Rocco doing anything, and Rocky's Treasure does his best work in fields of 5 or under. Of those remaining that are under 9yo, Captain Chaos ran a stinker in this last year, and Cheltenham possibly isn't his course. I really like the 7yo Back To The Thatch who likely found the Midlands National over 4m2f too far when falling at the final fence, but his 2nd at Haydock on soft ground over 3m3f looks right for this. If the ground was "good" (it's on the soft side of good-to-soft) then I would really like Bob Mahler and Rolling Dylan. I think this trip will stretch The Conditional, and Mindsmadeup.
The 9yo Crosspark possibly wants further than this, and possibly the same goes for Royal Vacation. Shantou Village needs to be at his best to win this off OR142. West Approach could not get his head in front last season and went up from OR143 to OR150 in the process, as such he's not my idea of a winner of this race. The Irish trained Na Trachalai Abu has only won 2 of his 24 chase races in Ireland and he will face a tough task in this. Since winning the Rowland Meyrick in 2017 Get On The Yager has not been the same horse despite wind surgery. Red Infantry will find this trip to his liking and has scope off OR138, he could go close.
I think this race will be between BACK TO THE THATCH and RED INFANTRY, and this pair are both at long odds and well worth an eachway wager.
BACK TO THE THATCH - £5 eachway @ 20/1 (BetVictor 5th odds a place 1,2,3,4,5)
RED INFANTRY - £5 eachway @ 33/1 (BetVictor 5th odds a place 1,2,3,4,5)
At Kelso, I reckon VINTAGE CLOUDS could be the one to beat in the 3:00pm Class 2, 3m2f handicap chase. He has only 7 rivals and has won his seasonal chase debut for the past couple of seasons. He was due to run in the handicap chase reviewed above at Cheltenham, but has been diverted here instead. Odds of 9/2 look more than fair for a horse who will almost certainly be in the 1st-3 with a clear round and he is usually a very safe jumper.
All the best and good luck with your wagers.
PS: I think I've sorted out the security issue with the blog (some chancer was trying to extort money) but if you do get a dodgy email purporting to be from me, it will be fake so please just delete it.
Saturday, 12 October 2019
I have had some good luck at this meeting in past years, and sometimes finding winners at this time of the year can be as easy as finding the fittest horse in the race.
The 2m7f handicap chase at 3:20pm looks a fair wagering opportunity.
Only 8 runners go to post and the market is headed by Cloth Cap (9/2) and Lil Rockerfella (4/1). Personally, I think Lil Rockerfella needs to improve on his chasing to win off OR145 as he didn't look up to that racing in his novice season last year. The soft ground is likely to be the undoing of Cloth Cap as he's been a "good" ground horse and confined to that by his trainer so far.
Ballyoptic (11/2) will need to be at his very best running off OR152, and Relentless Dreamer (11/2) hasn't been seen since winning at Cheltenham this time last year.
The horse that takes my eye is CAPTAIN CHAOS who ran in this race last year when the ground was "good" but he much prefers soft ground. He was also badly handicapped last year running off OR142 as he had won a couple of novice chases in the autumn of 2017. This year he runs off OR135 as he ran a couple of cracking races in defeat at Newcastle and Wetherby in December over 3-mile. He is 6/1 with Bet365 and Ladbrokes/Coral and that looks good value as I'd have him at 4/1.
Later in the day at 5:05pm the Class 2 handicap chase over 2m3f should go to Charbel who won this race last year. I would name him as my selection, but I also have a soft spot for Activial who is well-up for winning off OR149 over this sort of trip (had no chance when last seen in the Grand National) and was very consistent last year.
Just the one selection £10 won on CAPTAIN CHAOS @ 6/1, but those more adventurous may split their stake and have £5 win on both Charbel and Activial in the 5:05pm race
Monday, 7 October 2019
Sunday was a tremendous day for horseracing, even if the horse we hoped to win the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe only came 2nd.
The season has been one of triumph for Enable and her trainer John Gosden, propelling both into the history books as true greats at the sport. Personally, I think the average horseracing fan underestimates the craft of a trainer in producing a horse to run to its peak over a number of years in a specific race. Producing Enable to do just that for 3 consecutive seasons in the most competitive 12-furlong flat race in Europe, if not the World, is the sign of a truly brilliant trainer, and John Gosden is certainly at the peak of his craft.
It is that time of year again when I look back at the previous jumps season and the performance of the blog, and what I propose to do with the blog for the coming jumps season. Last year I changed the personality of the blog, and made it more commentary based than results based. I still provided advice on wagers during the seas0n, but didn't measure success on the results and profits obtained. I did however, continue to provide the reader with what I consider to be top-class opinion on the jump racing season, and that culminated in what turned out to be my most succesful Cheltenham Festival since starting this blog in 2010.
Since last season, my workload outside of writing the blog has increased, and I've been in two-minds whether to actually continue writing the blog or give it up for a year or two and concentrate 100% on my day-job. The thought of Cheltenham 2020 is too big, and while the blog may be more sporadic during the season, my main focus will be on carrying the reader through to the Festival in March when I intend to beat last seasons performance of winners posted on the blog
DUC DES GENEIVRES @ 13/2,
BEWARE THE BEAR @ 20/1 (antepost),
TOPOFTHEGAME @ 5/1 (antepost),
DEFI DU SEUIL @ 100/30,
and FRODON @ 7/1 (antepost).
As the strategy worked well last seaon, I'm going to repeat it.
While I wont be seeking donations for the regular emails, and the blog will be free to all, there remains the option for the reader to make a donation for any winners when they occur or if the reader considers the blog was worthy of a donation. If you do make a donation, I will include you in personal horseracing opinion outside of the blog (sent by email only) that I consider to be worthwhile.
My betting strategy results in a long term profit.
Friday, 5 April 2019
Thursday, 4 April 2019
Friday, 29 March 2019
Friday, 15 March 2019
Then FRODON (one of my late antepost wagers) in the Ryanair Chase led from the front and battled up the stright for a hard-fought but decisive win.
The blog is now seriously in profit for the week, it's been one of my best Cheltenham Festivals since I started blogging (if not the best for me) and there is still a day to go.
Top Notch was poor yesterday, but do not take anything away from PAISLEY PARK. After he won at the Trials day in January I wrote that Paisley Park should be odds-on for the Stayers' Hurdle (and as readers know, I do not advise wagers on horses at odds under 9/4 - you can pick those winners yourself).
Both my long-odds handicap selections ran good races but just not good enough to get into the places.
1:30pm Triumph hurdle run over 2-miles & 1 furlong
If you look at the betting, this race is all about SIR EREC, and how far he will win by. Well, we've seen races like this before at Cheltenham and it doesn;t always go to plan. There are only 4 other horses to consider, as the long-shots have virtually no chance. PIC D'ORHY has not run in the UK or Ireland yet, nor has he run anywhere since early November. Our first sight of this horse will be in the paddock. QUEL DESTIN, also trained by Paul Nichols (like PIC D'ORHY) but with lots of experience winning a string of top hurdles in the UK. TIGER TAP TAP has been beaten easily by the fav SIR EREC on both his hurdle starts. GARDENS OF BABYLON trained by Joseph O'Brien who trains SIR EREC, and beaten 6-lengths by him when they last met.
If you want to bet on the race, have a small eachway wager on QUEL DESTIN @ 10/1 (fifth the odds a place 1,2,3) which is available generally, but theis is a race I expect to go to SIR EREC and I will be watching only.
2:10pm County Handicap Hurdle run over 2-miles & 1 furlong
With 8 of the last 11 winners going off at odds longer than 20/1 - and last years winner Mohaayed went off at 33/1 - you need luck and a crystal ball to find the winner. You do not want a horse that has won over trips longer than 2m1f, and stick to 5yo and 6yo's or horses with no more than 2 seasons of hurdling if older. I'm going to have a play with the 5yo LISP @ 25/1 (quarter-odds to 5 places with Bet365) as he's a come 1st or 2nd in 6 of his completed 9 hurdle races (he fell at the 3rd in the Martin Pipe Novices H'cap hurdle last year when 10/1 for the race), he can carry weight and has a touch of class about him, with trainer Alan King confident of a good run.
Selection: LISP, £5 eachway @ 25/1 (quarter-odds to 5 places with Bet365)
2:50pm Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle run over 3-miles
This should be a good betting race as few horses stay a strong 3-mile over hurdles, but this race has now been won by a horse no shorter than 11/1 for the past 5 years, and in 2018 and 2014 the winner went off at 33/1. We are looking for a horse that has race experience (4 or more hurdle races) and shown the ability to stay 3-mile. There are 20 runners!
I am against the fave BIRCHDALE as he's only had 2 hurdle races, ditto ALLAHO and DICKIE DIVER, and DINONS hasn't run since November.
Of the market leaders LISNAGAR OSCAR @ 13/2 and COMMANDER OF FLEET @ 15/2 are interesting, but I'm going to take a stab with Noel Meade's CAP YORK, a 7yo who won over 3-mile LTO and stays forever. The plan was to send him for the 3-mile Pertemps handicap hurdle (run yesterday) but they think he's good enough for this
Selection: CAP YORK, £5 eachway @ 25/1 (fifth odds to 4 places with Bet Victor)
3:30pm Cheltenham Gold Cup run over 3-miles, 2 furlongs & 70 yards.
This is the big one!
Right off, I am against PRESENTING PERCY. His RSA winning form has been put to bed with Monalee running 4th in the Ryanair Chase behind Frodon yesterday, and ELEGANT ESCAPE being beaten by Frodon here at Cheltenham in January. He will need to have improved 7lb on his RSA winning form to win this, and off the back of a 3-mile hurdle race I would want odds of 10/1.
Last year I was on NATIVE RIVER, but this year in both his runs he's not looked the same horse, as hasn't the runner-up in last year's Gold Cup MIGHT BITE. That race was a mighty battle, and has it left it's mark? NATIVE RIVER will need to match, and possibly surpass, last year's effort to win today and I just feel that the ground is not as testing as he would want it to be.
On my ratings, BELLSHILL is about 7-10lb below Gold Cup winning standard, but he is consistent and has the very capable Ruby Walsh in the saddle.
His stablemate, KEMBOY, is interesting as he appears to stay 3-mile very well and he is certainly worth his position in the market.
I do not think ELEGANT ESCAPE is anywhere near good enough, but he is very consistent and stays forever, so he may well come on late for 3rd or 4th.
MIGHT BITE looks a busted flush, and the 10yo has age against him and a mountain to climb to recover his form. I expect he will be up with the pace on the 1st circuit but fade away in the final mile. His last hurrah will likely come at Aintree where he won the "Bowl" last year.
I am surprised that Ruby Walsh is not riding AL BOUM PHOTO as I thought this horse would emerge this season as the Willie Mullins Gold Cup horse, and he has won his only start this season, albeit over 2m5f on 1st January. I'm assuming Walsh thinks this trip will stretch his stamina.
They say horses aged 10yo and more don't win the Gold Cup, but the 11yo THISTLECRACK is no back number based on his 2nd in the King George on Boxing Day, and he has every right to be among the market leader. As an eachway wager, there is no better value in my opinion, and he should be in the 1st 3 home, but I cannot see him winning.
ANIBALE FLY took advantage of the fierce pace set last year to steal 3rd passing beaten horses, and is doubtful to repeat the effort.
BRISTOL DE MAI and Cheltenham do not go together, and there has not been enough rain for him, and the others INVITATION ONLY, SHATTERED LOVE, DEFINITLY RED, SOUBLE SHUFFLE and YALA ENKI have next to no chance.
For me, the winner will be CLAN DES OBEAUX, as his win in the King George stamped his authority on the staying division, and the follow-up at Ascot confirmed his ability. Trainer Paul Nicholls sent Frodon out to win the Ryanair yesterday, and that horse would have been worthy of a place in the Gold Cup. CLAN DES OBEAUX has youth on his side, he is in form, he stays well, he jumps well, he has a lot of solid chasing experience. For me, odds of 5/1 are generous as I would have him at 9/4 in this field as he has the beating of most of them this season - he has to run poorly or they they have to improve 7lb-plus to beat him - he holds all the aces.
Selection: CLAN DES OBEAUX, £15 win @ 5/1 (available generally)
That's it for me for this years Festival. It has been a great one so far with winners posted on the blog being DUC DES GENEIVRES @ 13/2, BEWARE THE BEAR @ 20/1 (antepost), TOPOFTHEGAME @ 5/1 (antepost), DEFI DU SEUIL @ 100/30, and FRODON @ 7/1 (antepost).
If you have enjoyed the blog please leave a comment, refer to it on twitter (and you can find me on instagram), and if you have won a few quid on the back of my advice don't be afraid to drop a "fiver" via the donation button on the top right of this page.
All the best for now and I will be reviewing the Festival results so that we are ahead of the game for next year over the coming weeks.
Good luck from Wayward Lad.
Thursday, 14 March 2019
I am on the course (in the Best Mate enclosure) today and tomorrow.
It is a busy day today.
SUPASUNDAE (who was 2nd) demonstrated that his best trip is 2m4f not 3-mile. FAUGHEEN appears to have rekindled his career at 3-mile but do not forget that he is 11yo. BACARDYS is no better now than he was in 2018 and looks outclassed. BLACK OP has a fair bit to make up to beat the fav, who he met here in January. KILBRECKEN STORM do not look good enough. However, TOP NOTCH could give the favourite a race as he loves this course and was a seriously top class hurdler as a novice, and this trip could bring out the best in him as he does enjoy coming off a strong pace. Don't get me wrong, I am expecting PAISLEY PARK to win and I think he should be 5/4 such is the form that he's shown this season, but TOP NOTCH at 16/1 ( he should pay his way.
TOP NOTCH £5 eachway @ 16/1 (5th odds a place 1,2,3,4 with Ladbrokes & Coral)
DIDERO VALLIS, £5 eachway @ 25/1 (quarter-odds a place 1,2,3,4 with Bet365)
It's amateur riders again and jockeyship (or lack of it) will pay a part, so ignore all the claiming jockeys.
YOUNG MASTER (Sam Waley-Cohen) was 6th in this race last year, but this horse is aimed for Aintree's Grand National.
ANY SECOND NOW (Derek O'Connor) just does not look good enough on form and will he stay?
LIVELOVELAUGH (Mr P Mullins) is another with doubtful stamina.
MEASUREOFMYDREAMS is the ride of JJ Codd who has won two races already this Festival but he will need all his skill to get this one home as the 11yo looks past it.
CAPTAIN CHAOS (Miss Gina Andrews) could be the answer, as his 2nd LTO to Lake View Lad looks strong form now. A prominent runner who stays the trip well.
ITS ALL GUESWORK (Mr B O'Neill) looks the best of the Irish challenge but he has little recent chasing form.
TOUCH KICK (William Biddick) looks an interesting entry from Paul Nicholls as he won over 2m7f LTO on soft ground, but all of his wins are when going right-handed.
For me, it has to be...
CAPTAIN CHAOS @ 20/1 £5 eachway (quarter-odds a place 1,2,3,4 with Bet365)
I am also putting
TOP NOTCH @ 16/1
DIDERO VALLIS @ 25/1
and CAPTAIN CHAOS @ 20/1 in 3 x £1 eachway doubles and a £2 eachway treble
Wednesday, 13 March 2019
The were 269 readers, quite a good tally, but no comments and no donations and yet WHAT ABOUT THE ADVICE?!?!
DUC DES GENEIVRES @ 13/2 never looked in any danger, wins by a street;
BEWARE THE BEAR, tipped-up on the blog on Sunday at 20/1, romps home.
A few lads in the office joined me in combination doubles and trebles, and I'm sure there were a few of you out there who have been reading this blog for the past 9 years and know and appreciate the value of my racing experience and knowledge. It was a cracking start to the Festival, thanks for reading and it would be appreciated if you leave a comment.
It will be difficult to repeat yesterday's success, but I can only try my best - Good Luck.
Day 2 - Ballymore Novices Hurdle run over 2m5f run @ 1:30pm
Since 2001, 9 of the 17 winners won LTO.
The mean number of days since previous race (for the winner) is 52 days.
The last winner aged 7yo or older was French Holly in 1998 - stick to 6yo's and 5yo's.
Possibly the best "novice" race of the season (chase or hurdle) and the horses that win this are seriously top-drawer and will usually already have won a graded hurdle. Most winners have their final prep run in February and a minimum break of 28-days is required coming into this race. Stick with the market leaders.
The "Ballymore" is the shop-window of future NH Champions. Whether CHAMP will make the grade is debateable as he would be the first 7yo to win since 1998.
I also don't think BATTLEOVERDOYEN is good enough and he certainly lacks racing experience. CITY ISLAND is difficult to assess as winning at odds of 1/5 LTO suggests the test wasn't up to much. BREWIN'UPASTORM looked to be about to win the 2m4f Grade 2 hurdle here on Trial Day but clipped the final hurdle and went down. Unless something comes out of the long-shots (doubtful) the race looks to be between CHAMP and BREWIN'UPASTORM and I favour the latter.
Not a betting race for me as there are too many imponderables.
Day 2 - RSA Insurance Novices Chase run over 3-miles & 80 yards run at 2:10pm
Since 2001, 10 of the 17 winners won LTO.
The mean number of days since previous race (for the winner) is 31 days.
Only one recent winner (Don Poli in 2015) did not have their last prep race in mid-February. Horses that win this race generally have not been top-hurdlers as chasing is the game for which they have been aimed. Experience is the key and those starting chasing before 31st October is a good guide.
I thought last years field was strong, but this years looks even better!
The 12 runners are headed by DELTA WORK, and he looks a worthy fav especially as he's proven at the trip and won over 3-miles at last years Festival. SANTINI looks light on experience with only 4 hurdle races and 2 chase runs, and he isn't good value in the betting. I prefer his stablemate ON THE BLIND SIDE who is also light on experience but has the benefit of a winning recent run. The most likely danger to the fav will be TOPOFTHEGAME, who like the fav, ran well over hurdles at last years festival when 2nd over 2m5f. I'm expecting 3rd place to go to either MORTAL (who I hoped would have run in the 4-mile NH Chase on Tuesday) or MISTER MALARKY who could be one of those horses that never seems to give up.
The odds on DELTA WORK have drifted as his trainer Gordon Elliott has not had a good start to the Festival, and at 11/4 he is worth a wager as he ticks a lot of boxes.
DELTA WORK, £10 @ 11/4 (available generally).
Day 2 - Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle run over 2m5f run at 2:50pm
Since 2001, 8 of the 17 winners won LTO.
The mean number of days since previous race (for the winner) is 50 days.
Don't overlook those running off a very long break, Aux Ptit Soins (2015) won off a 181 day break; Sky's The Limit (2006) won off 102 days; Naiad de Misselot (2008) won off 83 days; Ninetieth Minute (2009) off 80 days. Although the 2018 winner hadn't won a race that season, 14 of the last 16 winners had.
You need a horse that has already won once this season and comes into this race off a good long break.
The LTO winners BRIO CONTI, CANARDIER, HIGHEST SUN, ERAGON DE CHANAY, ERICK LE ROUGE, VISION DES FLOS and JOKE DANCER
I can't have CANARDIER as he's been off the track too long at 138 days. Paul Nicholls has a good record in this race so BRIO CONTI is interesting, except he's a hold-up horse and on this tacky ground it is going to be difficult to get into the race from off the pace. I'm not happy ERICK LE ROUGE is ridden by a 7lb claimer as this isn't a place to learn the ropes. VISION DES FLOS appears to be handicapped to the hilt off OR150. Both JOKE DANCER and ERAGON DE CHANAY look to not have enough pace for a race like this. However, HIGHEST SUN has been running in some decent races, and has improved with every run this season. He is untried at this trip but he looks like he's capable of laying-off the leaders and coming with a run at the business end.
Other horses that have won this season (but are not LTO race winners) that we should consider are WICKLOW BRAVE who I feel he is a bit old now at 10yo, as is the 10yo MONBEG THEATRE. BALLYANDY looks to be a bit high in the handicap at OR148, but he may be on the premises. One that jumps off the page is SCARPETA, who was 4th behind Samcro in the Ballymore last year. It looks like he has been aimed specifically at this race and his handicap rating of OR151 looks fair given the ability he has shown.
My 2 against the field are:
SCARPETA, £5 eachway @ 22/1 (Bet365, quarter-odds for 5 places)
HIGHEST SUN, £5 eachway @ 18/1 (Bet365, quarter-odds for 5 places)
Day 2 - Queen Mother Champion Chase run over 2-miles run at 3:30pm
Since 2001, 13 of the 17 winners won LTO.
The mean number of days since previous race (for the winner) is 49 days.
It will take a mighty horse to lower the colours of 2018 winner ALTIOR. This isn't a race in which to seek an outsider, stick to the market leaders which are already Grade 1 winners over this trip.
It is very difficult to envisage anything beating ALTIOR who seems to show just enough brilliance to win his races. The Mullins trained MIN is a two-miler who would win 4 out of 5 Champion Chases, but he's been unfortunate to come up against a horse that is perhaps one of the best two-mile chasers that we've seen in modern days. The only horse that I may consider punting on is MIN but it is more in hope than certainty.
Another no-bet race for me.
At this point in the afternoon, I am leaving the office for the 3-hour drive to Cheltenham. I have absolutely no interest at all in the Cross-Country Chase, and a race like the Juvenile Handicap Hurdle over 2-mile really should not be given house-room at the Cheltenham Festival, and while I think the "bumper" is a worthwhile race, finding the winner is not easy unless you are close to the winning stable.