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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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Friday, 8 March 2019

Next stop Cheltenham 2019

It's been a busy few months, and the weekend is going to be even busier as the focus will be entirely on Cheltenham.  When I look at the racing week as a whole, I try to pick my targets and not get too bogged-down in the incidentals; this is when trends can help formulate shortlists.
A few ground rules:
- You cannot find the winner of every race, so don't try to.
- If you selection doesn't win (or even run well) don't abandon the horse. If your procedures are valid then it could just be that the horse had an off-day or the course didn't suit it.
- Pace yourself, spread your bets and give yourself time to think between wagers.

This is how my Cheltenham Festival "Antepost" Portfolio stands.
Arkle (novices) Chase  
DEFI DU SEUIL, £10 win @ 16/1 (Bet365)
JLT (novices) Chase
DEFI DU SEUIL, £15 win @ 7/2 (Bet365)
Cheltenham Gold Cup
CLAN DES OBEAUX, £12 win @ 12/1 (Bet Victor)
Ryanair Chase
POLITOLOGUE, £38 win @ 14/1 
POLITOLOGUE, £5 place @ 12/1 (William Hill & Betfair)
FRODON, £10 win @ 7/1 (Boyles)
MONALEE, £15 win @ 5/1 (Boyles)
Champion Hurdle
SHARJAH, £20 win @ 12/1 (current intention is to lay-off £10 at SP on the day - Betfair)
RSA Chase (Novices 3-mile)
MORTAL, £11 win @ 16/1 (Paddy Power)
TOPOFTHEGAME, £7.50 eachway @ 5/1 (Boyles)
NH Chase (Novices 4-mile)
MORTAL, £9 win @ 20/1 (Paddy Power)

I'm of the opinion that DEFI DU SEUIL is the best novice chaser we have seen this season, and whatever race he goes for he will win. I'm hoping that he goes for the Arkle over 2-miles on the opening day, but it looks like he is going for the JLT Novices Chase on Thursday over 2m4f.
My next antepost on the opening day will be SHARJAH in the Champion Hurdle, and I'm surprised that you can still find 12/1 as I think he could be no longer than 7/1 on the day as I reckon there is not much ability seperating the mares Laurina and Verdana  Blue, yet Laurina is 7/2 whereas Verdana  Blue is 12/1.  Much will depend on which horse Ruby Walsh chooses as his mount, and if (as I expect) he chooses SHARJAH then the odds on him will tumble.  I'm expecting this one to be upsides the leaders "on the bridle" on the turn for home.

My final wager on the opening day is on MORTAL in the NH Chase over 4-miles.  This horse was clearly unsuited by the 2m5f of the "Flogas" when last seen, as he had nothing to find on the run-in after travelling and jumping well throughout.  Based on his final fence mistake at Leopardstown, there is not much between him and Delta Work, and if Delta Work was in this race than he would be the 5/2 fav.  The current fav is OK Corral and he is also the highest-rated on OR153.  Official ratings are usually a very good guide to the winner of this race, so I cannot ignore them, but I'm not convinced about this horse.  Of the Irish pair of Ballyward and Discorama, my preference is for the latter, but he may well run in the "Ultima" handicap chase earlier in the day and if he does he will take a great deal of beating.

Wednesday and my next antepost wager is in the RSA Novices Chase over 3-miles.  I have a "saver" on Mortal, should he go for this race, but I'm expecting him to run on Tuesday now, so I've taken the odds about TOPOFTHEGAME. To be honest, I am expecting DELTA WORK to win this, but his odds are so small (currently 7/4) that I'm on TOPOFTHEGAME merely to take advantage of any misfortune that may occur. I cannot see TOPOFTHEGAME not being in the 1st-3 so with my eachway wager struck I should not lose my stake.

Thursday will be a big day, no less because I will be on the course.  If DEFI DU SEUIL goes for the JLT, then I will be having a significant wager on the horse.  The odds should be fairly generous on the day, as there will be support for Lostintranslation and Vinndication as well as the interesting Irish challenger Real Steel; so I'm hoping to be able to find 7/2 and have £50+ on.

Later in the day (on Thursday) we have the Ryanair Chase and it's almost certain that my wager on Politologue is lost. For his novice and 2nd-season as a chaser, I thought Politologue was about 155, and then he went and beat MIN at Aintree last April. That win made me think he was better than 155, and what I now realise was that MIN was over-the-top when he was beaten at Aintree.  In an effort to recoup losses, I've gone back into the market with wagers on FRODON and MONALEE.  The current race-fav is last years Arkle winner FOOTPAD, but he's looked nowhere near good enough this season, and looks over-rated to me. I reckon MIN will go for the Champion Chase and with Top Notch committed to a run in the Stayers' Hurdle this race could have less than 9 runners lining-up on the day.

Finally, I am super-happy that I placed a wager on CLAN DES OBEAUX after he won the "King George" on Boxing Day.  He looks to have by far the best form seen this season as a top-class chaser, and were it not for the fans (fanatics?) behind PRESENTING PERCY then  "Clan" would be trading at about 9/4 and not 7/2. The only thing that may prevent him winning is if the rains come and we have a soft/heavy ground Gold Cup.  All being well, I could be having one of the biggest wagers of my life on-course on CLAN DES OBEAUX on Friday. 

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