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Record of the blog selections

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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Sunday 31 October 2021

Sunday 31st October 2021

 Is it time to confine Cyrname to the 2m5f trip at Ascot? Or do we just forget about him altogether? There is obviously something wrong with him either physically or mentally, and (as he qualifies for "veterans" races on 1st January 2022 when he becomes a 10yo) maybe it's time to stop thinking of him as the "best chaser in training"?  As for Shan Blue, this was looking like a very exciting winning performance until he fell at the 3rd-last fence.  If he goes to Newbury for the Ladbrokes Trophy on OR148 then he must have one helluva chance.  And we managed to nick a few quid with the 4-place eachway wager on Mighty Thunder who plodded-on to be 4th: he was always going to finish the race and I did expect him to beat Clondaw Castle (who isn't a graded chaser given the way he was swept aside by Clan Des Obeaux at Aintree in April), but 4th was good enough. 

Over at Ascot, there was a cracking day of racing.  Unfortunately, after noting Nassalam on the blog, I didn't put him down as a selection, and he only went and won. I don't think he's the sort of chaser who could be graded class, but he should continue to be competitive in handicaps.  And then I was disappointed in myself for not being on Soaring Glory in the handicap hurdle, as he was on my alert list after winning the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, and I think we can draw a line through his run in the Supreme Hurdle at the Festival in March.  This horse looks like he's going places to me. 

My selection Editeur Du Gite set a punishing pace in the 2m1f Listed handicap chase, and had nothing left to give from 2-out, and then badly blundered at the final fence losing his rider. This was a tremendous effort though, and on a left-handed track he will be worth following NTO. It was an intelligent ride by Bridget Andrews on the eventual winner Amoola Gold, as she sat well-off the pace and let this field run itself ragged on the stamina-sapping ground.   

Saturday 30 October 2021

Saturday 30th October 2021 - Charlie Hall Chase (G2)

The first big Saturday of the jumping season, with some top-class racing at Wetherby and Ascot.  At Wetherby, the ground will likely be more soft than good-to-soft as there are showers forecast through the day. The main focus will be on the Charlie Hall Chase (G2) at 3:05pm run over 3-miles. 

The race-fav is last years winner Cyrname, and if he decides to turn-up then he should easily win this race - but will he come to the party?  With odds of 7/4 available, I'd be tempted to bet on 2 in this race: Cyrname at 7/4 and another, just in case. Next best at the race conditions is Shan Blue who won over C&D at this meeting (on the Friday) last year when taking the novice race. He will need to settle better than he has to be involved in this race, and he may be one for another day.  So, I'm pushing the boat out and going for the Scottish National winner Mighty Thunder: there's odds of 40/1 available, and Bet365 go 18/1 for 4-places, which looks massive to me.

Earlier on the card at Wetherby, the Mares' hurdle over 2-mile at 1:55pm could well go to Zambella who looks chucked-in back over hurdles in the conditions of this Listed race.  Odds of 11/2 (available generally) look fair to me.

The Ascot meeting is one of my early season favourites as the track is a fair one in my opinion and has a good standard of races. The opening novice chase over 2m3f could be one for the notebook: some great prospects in this and one from my alert list if the Gary Moore trained Nassalam

I will also be looking forward to watching the Listed handicap over 2m1f at 2:45pm: this looks an absolute cracker on paper.  Gary Moore could well be in the winners' enclosure again with Editeur Du Gite who looks on the upgrade and well-handicapped on OR140 and I expected this one to be the fav for this race, so odds of 7/1 (there's been a big moved for the Venetia Williams trained Frero Banbou) look very attractive, especially as Skybet go 4-places eachway.

The London Gold Cup Handicap Chase at 3:20pm over 3-miles was won by Vinndication in 2019, and he goes for a repeat today. If he's in the same form as when he chased home Cyrname at Wetherby in the "Charlie Hall" on this day last year, then there's no reason he can't win this again. He may have most to fear from old adversary Jerrysback, who goes well at Ascot and is probably best caught 1st-time-out. At his best, Jerrysback is much better than OR138 and if Hobbs has him firing then he could appear late on the scene and snatch victory. Odds of 7/1 for 4-places look fair to me. 

Ascot 2:45pm - EDITEUR DU GITE - £5 eachway @ 7/1 (Skybet 5th odds a place 1,2,3,4)
Ascot 3:20pm - JERRYSBACK - £5 eachway @ 7/1 
(William Hill & Bet Victor, 5th odds a place 1,2,3,4)

Wetherby 3:05pm 
CYRNAME - £10 win @ 7/4 (available generally)
MIGHTY THUNDER - £5 eachway @ 18/1 (Bet365 5th odds a placed 1,2,3,4)

Sunday 24 October 2021

Sunday 24th October 2021 - Aintree

No luck at all yesterday, with a poor effort from Jersey Bean, and while Fortescue did run well - and I thought he held a winning chance with a fine jump at the 3rd-last fence, his effort petered-out and both probably will come on for the run.

My assessment of the 3m2f chase at Cheltenham was completely wrong. The only horse that I was right about was Cloth Cap, who looks vastly over-rated at OR156. The runner-up yesterday The Hollow Ginge is an unpredictable sort as since his last win in Jan-2020 (21 months ago) he's run 7 times (including yesterday) and he's not completed the course in 5 of those races - yet when he does he's competitive.  He was on a "going" day yesterday, and I reckon he ran to his official rating of 137.  If the handicapper puts him up a few pounds then he's no chance going forward. 

What to make of the winner, the Gordon Elliott trained 9yo, Definite Plan? 
Let's be honest here: he had no chance on the formbook running off OR131.  He was beaten over 3-mile on 7th August at Kilbeggan, and while the winner of that race hasn't run since, nothing beaten that day is of any merit. Definite Plan ran again on 2nd October, but again could only run 2nd, and that was only due to the race-fav falling 3-out when going like the winner. 
The horse had no right to win this race, and had no right to start at odds of 9/2 as I had him at about 16/1 in my book - I'd rated him at minus-10lb .  
There should have Stewards Enquiry into the improvement in form, forget the odds the horse went off at, as there was nothing in the formbook to merit those odds.  The jockey's post-race quote of "we would have been happy with 5th or 6th" is bunkum - the stable knew, hence the odds on-course.  Some may call this an "old-fashioned gamble", but this sort of tactic just brings horseracing into disrepute. Gordon Elliott really knows how to get the best from his horses, he is one of the best in the game, but he should not take the piss from the formbook like this - otherwise the punter will make every horse he runs in Britain a 6/4 fav "just in case".

I'm just looking at one race today at Aintree: the 3:00pm Old Roan Chase (I used to enjoy drinking in the Old Roan pub - now closed). The race fav is the 5yo Allmankind, and he is probably destined for Group 1 glory at sometime this season, but I think he will struggle to give weight away in this race. While last years' winner Nuts Well tries to repeat and comes here having won LTO, I think he will struggle on these race conditions; for instance Itchy Feet was 3rd in this race last year (btn 2.50 lengths) and is 9lb better-off. The race distance of 2m4f will expose Fanion D'Estruval in my opinion as his best run last season was at 2-mile, and this small horse makes mistakes beyond that trip. Going left-handed LTO was not a good idea for Tamaroc Du Mathan, so I will not be having a penny on him, and the others in the race look outclassed.  For me, ITCHY FEET looks the most likely winner as he's a rock solid performer around OR153, he's done well in this race before, and today he in 1st-time cheekpieces.  Odds of 13/2 make him a very attractive eachway selection (5th odds 1,2,3) in this 8-runner race. 

Aintree 3:00pm - ITCHY FEET - £5 eachway @ 13/2 (Bet Victor & William Hill)

Saturday 23 October 2021

Saturday 23rd October - Cheltenham

After hitting the post a couple of times in the first week back for the blog, we hit the back of the net with the only selection last Saturday with Senior Citizen winning at 9/2.  Let's see if we can follow-up this weekend back at Cheltenham.

We have some terrific races, and the Class 2 handicap chase over 3m1f at 2:20pm catches my attention. From my alert list there's Jersey Bean: a 3x winner last season, including here at Cheltenham LTO.  This will be only his 10th chase run, and he will be running on his preferred "good" ground - he is sure to be thereabouts. Another I like is Storm Control, who regular readers of the blog will know I tipped a couple of times last season without success. He won twice last season, both wins here including a C&D win in November, and he could take some pegging back as he likes to try and make-all. Top-weight Cloth Cap usually needs his seasonal debut, and I'm not sure that he's up to winning a handicap off OR156, that's a big ask. The Irish challenger Definite Plan needs to prove his stamina to take this, and I think this is too big a step up for Minella Bobo. For me, Jersey Bean at 8/1 (Bet Victor and PaddyPower) looks the best value for an each-way wager should Storm Control falter late-on in the race. I do like Storm Control, and Kerry Lee has her horses bouncing - she's 3 from 3 in October and this is her only runner today, and maybe I'm overlooking the obvious winner. 

There is an interesting race at Kelso at 3:19pm, a Class 2 limited handicap chase over 3m2f, with just 6 runners. The 11yo's Vintage Clouds and Big River both usually need a run, as does Chapel Stile, and while Empire De Maulde is race-fit I don't think the horse is well handicapped on OR132. Dingo Dollar is a horse that has let his supporters down many times, and I really do not think he's capable of winning a handicap off OR151 if all the other runners in the race run to form. That leaves Fortescue: he's a 7yo who has won 5 of his 9 chase races. Trainer Henry Daly makes his first visit to Kelso in over 5 years and this is his only runner today. He's had a couple of winners at Perth, so a long trip in the horse-box is something he's capable of. The horse jumps well, likes be to be in the van, and odds of 4/1 look proper value as I'd have him the 2/1 fav for this race.

That's my planned wagers today: the 2-mile chase at 3:30pm at Cheltenham looks a bit tough to find value, but I expect a good run from Phil Hobbs' runner Leapaway at odds of 11/2

Kelso 3:19pm - FORTESCUE  - £10 win @ 4/1 (available generally)
Cheltenham 2:20pm - JERSEY BEAN - £5 eachway @ 8/1 (Bet Victor & PaddyPower, 5th odds a place 1,2,3,4)

Saturday 16 October 2021

Saturday 16th October 2021

There's not much more to add to yesterday's blog.
At Ffos Las, the Welsh Champion Hurdle (limited handicap) at 4:35pm looks a cracker of a race, with some interesting contenders. The top trainers are all involved: Nicholls has Diego Du Charmil; Pipe has Umbrigado and Leoncavallo; Twiston-Davies has Ballyandy. I think Calico is a lot better than OR139, and this 5yo who is German-bred, could be one to keep on your side this season. However, odds of 3/1 in a race of this nature is no value.  If you can obtain 4/1, then take advantage.

At Market Rasen, the situation is similar.  The handicap chase at 3:20pm has some interesting contenders, but I made a note to take an interest in Senior Citizen on his initial couple of runs this autumn as he is best when fresh off a long break, and a repeat of his form at Newton Abbot on 28Sept20 or his next run at Huntingdon on 01Nov20 will see him go close in this race. We know trainer Alan King has his horses in-form and he will likely be at Ascot watching his Trueshan in the Group 2 Long Distance Cup; but that he's also an eye on this race suggests he means business.
Odds of 4/1 look fair to me as I'd be prepare to wager on him at 5/2 in this race.

I've mentioned odds and value a couple of times in this blog, and I watched a good interview by Simon Nott with long-time professional gambler Steve Lewis-Hamilton (you can find it via twitter and it's on the Star Sports website).  Steve explained the importance of odds and probability to determine value: there is no point betting on a horse at odds of 6/4 if you think it's realistic chance of winning is 2/1 - you need to bet when this situation is reversed, and you are obtaining odds of 2/1 about a 6/4 chance.

Understanding probability and odds percentages is fundamental to winning at betting, no matter what sport you are having a bet in; in fact it is not just limited to betting on sport.  Understanding odds and probability is also of great benefit to understanding more about life and life's opportunities, and risk.  Steve is correct, and I thoroughly agree with him, in saying very few people today understand odds and probability - and that is to the detriment of everyone, not just those who are interested in sport.  But for the punter, this is your edge.

Friday 15 October 2021

Friday 15th October 2021 - weekend lookahead

We weren't far away from a decent win last Saturday, as Burning Victory looked like winning the Cesarewitch (advised at 8/1) until Buzz produced a devastating burst of speed close home to take the prize - but it was an honourable 2nd. Then, at Chepstow, I put the horses in the handicap chase that I fancied - Paint The Dream and Manofthemountain - in the wrong order.  I thought Paint The Dream would need his seasonal debut (and he most certainly didn't) and perhaps I should have advised a reverse forecast!  The Computer Straight Forecast paid £34.75.

On Saturday, we have 2 good meetings on the jumps at Market Rasen, Ffos Las, and a low-class affair at Stratford. There is a decent Class 2 handicap chase at Market Rasen at 3:20pm over 2m5f & 89yds, with 9 runners declared.  There are a couple on my alert list: Guy and Senior Citizen; and both have a chance.  Guy won on his seasonal debut last year, on similar ground and he could be very interesting running-off 10st 4lb.  Senior Citizen also won on his seasonal debut last season, and this will be his first run since the 8th May (so effectively his seasonal debut too). 

At Ffos Las, the Novices handicap chase at 4:00pm over 2m5f looks wide open and we have a half decent field for this Class 3 event. From my alert list, Mario De Pail was brought-along very quietly last season, and he could be very useful for trainer Sam Thomas who I think is on his way to making his mark in the sport. It is likely that 2020 Betfair Hurdle winner Pic D'Orhy will start fav for Paul Nicholls, but he's not looked a natural chaser. 

The Welsh Champion Hurdle, a Class 2 limited handicap, is the feature race at Ffos Las and from my alert list there is Calico and Umbrigado, and while the latter spent last season chasing he did record some good speed numbers and could finish in the places. Personally, I think Calico is a lot better than OR139 and if the wind surgery has a positive effect he could be the one to be on.

The meeting on Sunday at Kempton is one that is worth keeping an eye on. My local trainer Nick Gifford (I'm a member of the Nick Gifford Racing Club) sends Fearless Freddy for the Class 3 handicap chase and this C&D winner won't be far away. Later in the meeting, I'm expecting Sceau Royal to prove the better when he meets Silver Streak, but I think they both have to fear the race-fit Teqany, who was not far behind Sceau Royal in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton last November. 

It looks like being a cracker of a weekend.

Saturday 9 October 2021

Opening blog of a new jumps Season - 9th October 2021

Here we go again!  
What a beautiful day for going racing.  We have an exciting meeting at Chepstow, plus another at Hexham (don't forget) and the top-class races at Newmarket: the Dewhurst and the Cesarewitch.

At Chepstow, you always have to take notice of Paul Nicholls' and what he's running. In the 1:50pm he has Flic On Voyou who has run at this meeting for the last couple of seasons, winning last year, and btn a neck the year before.  This horse will be fit and ready today, and odds of 13/2 (William Hill) look generous and there's plenty of 6/1 around. For the ultra-cautious, Skybet offer 4-places and 11/2 which looks a shoo-in for an eachway thief as only 9 go to post!

Earlier this summer, I made a case for Real Steel being on a horses-to-follow list, as I think his rating of OR154 is very lenient considering what he's done in Ireland.  I think his best trip is <2m7f, so with this race today being just 90 yards short of 3-mile he could be stretched. However, he's a 160+ chaser in my book and if his recent wind surgery has worked he could be chucked in today. He's giving away a lot of weight in this handicap, especially to Cap Du Nord who looks well treated on OR138, and who will be running on from halfway, and his odds of 9/1 (Sky & Hills go 4-places) are attractive for eachway punters.

In the handicap chase at 4:05pm, I really cannot understand how Paint The Dream has only won once over fences in 10 starts - he's on my alert list.  Another on my alert list is Manofthemountain and this gelding could be the one to be on at this trip. Janika last won at Exeter as a 6yo almost 2yrs ago, but it was the Haldon Gold Cup. Unfortunately, he's not shown similar form since then, but this is a significant drop in class. For me, the value in this race is Manofthemountain at 9/2 which is available generally.

My wagers today will all be Chepstow:

1:50pm FLIC ON VOYOU @ 6/1
2:25pm CAP DU NORD @ 9/1
3x eachway doubles and an eachway treble - just to small stakes

At Newmarket in the Cesarewitch, I think Willie Mullins will set history for winning the race for the 4th time on the bounce: but it will be with BURNING VICTORY @ 8/1 (Bet365).