Welcome to the World of Horseracing

Record of the blog selections

LOSS for the 2016-17 Jumps Season = £40.87

from wagers on 55 individual races (6 winners, 12 placed)

Total Staked = £609.00


Since March 2010, this blog has recommended wagers on 520 individual races on Jump Racing in the UK, at cumulative stakes of £5,726 - which has resulted in a PROFIT of £1,525.39 equivalent to a Return on Investment of 26.60%.


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There are NO affiliate links on this site to bookies from whom the author receives 30% of your lost wagers.

advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

The Ryder Cup

In today’s blog:-
Review of today’s Racing
The Ryder Cup

Review of today’s Racing
There are 3 turf meetings today, on the Flat at Newmarket, Warwick and Ayr; with an AW meeting at Kempton.
At Warwick, Henry Cecil sends a rare runner for the 2:45 SACRED SHIELD and this well related filly can run well in this race, which Cecil won last year. The rest of the Warwick card looks fairly ordinary.
At Ayr, there is no race on this poor card that deserves any analysis, truly awful.
At Newmarket, the opening 2yo maiden over a mile has been won by some decent horses in the past 10 years, such as Twice Over, Lateen Sails and Redwood. So, today’s runner should bear scrutiny and this is a race to analyse after we know the result.
The listed Noel Murless Stales looks particularly competitive and I will give this race a miss. I am more drawn to the 5f listed Rous Stakes at 4:05. Only 9 runners and not many will appreciate the soft going, but 2nd-fav TAX FREE should not be inconvenienced by it and he comes here in decent form, even for an 8yo. On Official Ratings, TAX FREE has only the fav Hamish McGonagall to fear, and they both have winning form on Good-to-Soft going. But there is very little between them whichever way you look at the race and it could go down to being “on the nod”, in which case 4/1 about TAX FREE is the value wager.

There’s been no feedback on my last couple of blogs regarding the horseracing programme, but any feedback would be welcome.

The Ryder Cup
There’s another huge sporting event going ahead this weekend and that’s the Ryder Cup. Now I’m not a golfer, but not playing the game does not stop me from having an opinion and having a wager. Having looked at both the teams, my personal opinion is that there is greater strength in depth in the US team. But having better players is no guarantee of success in a team game. Unfortunately, the choice of team captain by Europe in Colin Montgomerie looks poor. My opinion is that he’s not a team player, never has been, and tho’ he holds the record number of wins as a player in the Ryder Cup, they were singles matches. He’s a loner, and I think he will alienate himself from his squad over the weekend. As such, I favour the US to win, but the odds are truly awful given the vociferous support for the European home team. As such, I’d approach the Ryder Cup game-by-game and take odds about the US players every time. One player who I think will find this arena truly inspirational, having a point to prove and the mentality to do it is Tiger Woods. I’m not a fan of the man, never have been, and I regularly “lay” him in the ‘Majors’ as he’s lost a lot more than he’s won – despite being the world’s best player. I’d advise a 2pt wager on Woods to be the highest scoring US player at 11/2.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Racing for Change? Do me a favour!

It’s another pretty dire day’s racing in the UK, with lots of class 6 and class 5 races.

There is a fair amount being written about Racing For Change and how to improve the image of horseracing. Maybe it is me, but I think that racing is falling into two distinct camps – the changers and the preservers – and the changers are predominantly flat racing people, and the preservers are jumps racing people.

There is no doubt that the image of flat racing is struggling outside of the “trophy” meetings of Chester (May), Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood, and York (Ebor). Let’s be honest, does anyone want to spend a wet October weekend at Ascot in your finery stood next to a smelly hog roast van? No, is the answer, but it will probably take 5 years and the wrecking of the reputation of one of the UK’s most prestigious Group 1 races (the Champion Stakes, if you don’t know) before that gem of common sense sinks in to those in charge of racing’s future.

There is much to celebrate in horseracing today, which has taken 200 years to get to where it is, and it cannot be changed – it SHOULD NOT be changed – overnight, just to please the fanciful aspirations of some oik with a 2:1 degree in media studies.

Jump racing is, without doubt, enjoying a renaissance – and the question that should be being asked is why? What can flat racing learn from jump racing? I think the answer is identification. The fans of jump racing can identify with the horses involved in jumps racing because they can follow their careers over a period of years, not months as it is with flat racing.

One thing that has been allowed to wither is the naming of heritage handicaps. It was a knife through my heart when the Bunbury Cup became the 32Red Trophy. What on earth is going on? There should be a list of Heritage Handicaps that should be financed by racing (no sponsors) and their historic names should be preserved. What's more, these handicaps should have their prize-money increased - substantially. Racing needs more prestige.

It will not be possible for those involved in Racing For Change to alter the financial interests of the owners of the very best of the flat racing horses to benefit racing – the best horses are far too valuable in the breeding paddocks. But, while they have a track career the image of the best must be exploited. There must be a concerted effort to get racing (both flat racing and jumps racing) back on the BBC on a Saturday afternoon. I remember when I was a boy in the late-1960’s and both BBC and ITV televised at least 3 meetings between them on a Saturday, involving about 10 or more races. I can still remember the names now; Titus Oates, The Dikler, Spanish Steps, Raffingora, Be Friendly, Park Top.

If the racing hierarchy cannot get racing back on the BBC, then it needs to take advantage of new media technology and allow the public to interact with racing via twitter, facebook, and podcasts. Why can’t we have a 20 minute racing podcast available for download every day at 6am so that the public can see their favourite horses, on the track, at the stables? Let’s build up the drama, the expectation, the anticipation. Don’t change racing – be part of it!

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Champions Day Spectacular

We are at that time in the racing calendar when we are on the “cusp” of the new jumps season having reached the hiatus of the flat (turf) season. In a couple of weeks, after the “Arc” has been run at Longchamp, the racing fan can turn their attention fully onto the jumps racing scene.

That’s not to say there is no worthy flat racing. I have been a great fan over the years of the Champion Stakes at Newmarket, run on the same day as the Cesarewitch in mid-October. However, this great race with a tremendous history won by the likes of Ormonde, Sceptre, Pretty Polly, Nasrullah, Petite Etoile and Brigadier Gerard (twice) is being transferred to Ascot in 2011 to form part of a new “Champions Day” anticipated to rival Longchamps’ 1st Sunday in October (Arc Day) and the Breeders Cup weekend in North America. Personally, I would have brought an end to the Champion Stakes and created a new name for the race at its new Ascot venue. That way, the organisers could have played around with the trip and race conditions in order to take advantage of the position in the racing calendar.

For instance, it is unlikely that any horse contesting the Arc would run 13-days later in a Champion Stakes unless they were unable to qualify for a direct entry into the Breeders Cup series run on the 1st weekend in November in the US. There is more likelihood that they might run at Ascot 20-days after the Arc (assuming the UK racing authorities are not planning a clash between Newmarket’s current Champions Day meeting, and the proposed new Champions Day at Ascot). After the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot’s late September meeting, there is not another Group 1 over a mile for colts in either Britain or France. There is the Prix de’L’Opera for fillies at the Arc meeting over 10-furlongs, but nothing over the same trip including colts.

If I were considering race planning for the new Champions Day in October at Ascot, I would make the date of the meeting 20-days after the Arc weekend (and, as such, 14-days before the Breeders Cup weekend) as there is no-way any horse that has qualified for the Breeders Cup meeting will take in both the Ascot and the Breeders Cup versions of the same race – they will go for one or the other. But, the extra 7-days after the Arc will increase the possibility of attracting group 1 horses from that meeting. I would include a mile race over the straight Royal Hunt Cup course and, because the draw affects the results of 10-furlong races run over the Ascot course, I would increase the trip of the Champions Stakes to a unique 11-furlongs! Unique trip, unique race – so there is unlikely to be a 6/4 winner, it will more likely be 6/1 the field. Throw-in a meeting special bet of a “Triple-Trio” race pool similar to what they have in Hong Kong (selecting the 1st-3 in correct order in 3 nominated races) with a £100,000 bonus and you could have a meeting that rivals the Melbourne Cup.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Monday, 27 September 2010

Connection problems

Unfortunately, I have been having internet connection problems and it looks like that will continue on Tuesday. So, please take a look at the blog tomorrow lunchtime and, if I can, I will post something up in the morning.

Otherwise, back on Wednesday.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Saturdays all right for fighting

In today’s blog:
Review of yesterday’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections

Writing this on Friday evening as I am away on a course on Saturday.

Review of yesterday’s racing

No time to have a proper look at the racing that took place yesterday (Friday 24th September).
Some quick observations are:-
Nicky Henderson sent out just Crystal Rock to win at Worcester @ 9/2. This was only his 2nd runner over jumps since the summer break and indicates his team is well ahead.
The good form of Nigel Twiston-Davies continues (4 winners from 8 runners at Perth on Thursday).

Today’s Racing Selections

Recent scorer DOCOFTHEBAY is declared to run at Chester in the 4:40 over 7-furlongs, and tho’ this is easily his best trip, a combination of awful draw (12 of 12) and unsuitable going (soft) could see the horse being withdrawn.
A horse that I had a fondness for on the flat and which has taken well to hurdles is OCEANA GOLD. Emma Lavelle should not be underestimated and this horse looks fairly treated on going that will suit him well (so long as there is no more rain) in the 2:20 at Market Rasen.
There is a cracking handicap chase at Market Rasen tomorrow in the 3:20 over 2m6f. Peter Bowen has won the last 3 runnings of this and comes here with a strong hand including previous winner Always Waining. My preference is for MIZEN RAVEN who comes here in the peak of form and still looks to have some improvement in him.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Friday, 24 September 2010

Recession! What recession?

In today’s blog:
Review of yesterday’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections

Recession! What recession?
Outside of my horseracing interests, I actually hold down a job (somehow), or rather I run my own consultancy (one man band). This week it has been hectic! I am being pulled from pillar-to-post with work demands and in such situations something has to give – and today it’s the blog. So, just a brief outlook of the days racing.

Review of yesterday’s racing
Both eachway selections yesterday were in the money.
JEWELLED DAGGER ran a solid 3rd @ 7/1 (so that’s a 0.40pt profit) and considering he wants going a bit quicker than the “soft” he ran on yesterday, it was a great effort.
Then SIRVINO ran better than the result says as altho’ 2nd and btn a length he had trouble finding racing room but made rapid progress when clear and balanced in the final 150 yards. He looks poised to make a winning run next time out if getting a bit more “juice” in the ground.
That run produced another 0.20pts profit, making 0.60pts on the day.

Today’s Racing Selections
No time to look at the racing today for the reasons given above.

Some notes for the coming jumps season. I keep a file of press cuttings, mainly of Nick Mordin from the Weekender, and refer to them from time-to-time to refresh my observations of the jumps racing scene. Some valuable lessons that can be taken forward are:-
1) Make your own opinion of a race from your own notes. It is easy to be drawn-in to following the crowd, but by doing so you will start taking shorter odds than the true value. Do not be afraid to back your own judgement.
2) Make a note of and do a form assessment of and novice chaser or hurdler that achieves and RPR of 125 or greater. These are tomorrow’s champions – find them.
3) Similarly, make not of and do a form assessment of any horse that runs over 20lb better than its official rating; ie. Runs to RPR115 off OR95. These are the future handicap “snips”.
4) Do not underestimate youth. Horses get slower as they get older, but compensate by becoming more proficient at jumping. A good, young horse will beat an older horse as it is quicker – simple, but effective logic!
5) Racing Post Ratings are easily the best available for the relative cost, mainly due to their consistency.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Thursday, 23 September 2010

John Smith Cup winner to come good

In today’s blog:
Review of yesterday’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections

Review of yesterday’s racing
Good run from blog selection HAND PAINTED yesterday to be 2nd, btn just half-a-length. He was never going to win yesterday, the winner Humidor being eased in the last 50 yards, but he was doing his best work in the final furlong. This suggests that off this mark – and he should not be penalised much for this run by the handicapper – he can win if stepping-up to 7-furlongs on similar going (good-to-firm). The winner, Humidor, holds 4 entries over the next 5-days so take note where he runs next. HAND PAINTED was advised at 10/1 in the morning, so a ½pt each-way (quarter-odds) returned a ¾pt profit.
Unfortunately, that was lost (and a ¼pt more) when TWELVE PACES – the other blog selection – came home 2nd in his race at Perth. The winner of that race, Soubriquet, was winning for the 1st time at a trip beyond 2m4f at his 8th attempt. The way Soubriquet won the race tho’ suggests that this won’t be his only win at this sort of trip.
The other aspect of note yesterday was at Redcar when jockey Adrian Nicholls won yet another non-handicap race when Fremen won at 6/1. From 295 rides this season, Adrian Nicholls has ridden 52 winners; but if you take away his 186 handicap rides (which have provided 19 winners) then from non-handicaps he’s won 33 times from just 109 rides (30.27%). Focus only on selling and claiming races and those stats become 24 winners from 49 rides (48.98% strike-rate) producing a level-stake profit of £34.79 from an outlay of £49.00 – that’s a 71% return on investment. I have advised of this before, and it’s a real money-spinner. All credit tho’ must go to the blog-writer at sprinterstogo (see adjacent link) who uncovered this amazing stat.
From my narrative yesterday, you would also have been on 7/2 winner DOMINANT in the opener at Goodwood.
Read the blog – it’s free!

Today’s Racing Selections
Just a single flat (turf) meeting at Pontefract, and jumps meetings at Perth and Fontwell; there is also an AW meeting at Wolverhampton this evening.
There’s a cracking class 2 handicap at Pontefract at 4:00 and last year’s John Smiths Cup winner SIRVINO has now dropped to OR93 which is just a 1lb above his mark when winning that great handicap and, having been rated OR101, he looks a great chance at 6/1 in this. He gets good-to-firm going for the first time since then over this 10f trip. Remember, he was considered possibly group class last summer.
I cannot see a worthwhile wager at Fontwell. At Perth, when he won over C&D on 21st Aug, I made a note of JEWELLED DAGGER and he comes here in good form. He can run well in the 2:50 at Perth and at 7/1 he looks fair value as he’s run well on similar going on the flat and he’s never been unplaced in 3 runs at Perth.

Selections
Pontefract 4:00 SIRVINO, ½pt each-way @ 6/1 (available generally – 5th odds)
Perth 2:50 JEWELLED DAGGER, ½pt each-way @ 7/1 (available generally – 5th odds)
Total = 2pts staked

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

If at first you don't succeed...

In today’s blog:
Review of yesterday’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections

Review of yesterday’s racing
For any of you readers out there who have a twitter account, one of the better aspects of being a “tweeter” is that some of racing trainers also tweet. Probably the best example, mainly because he is fairly consistent, open and honest about his horse’s chances, is Roger Charlton. He sent out a tweet yesterday morning regarding his runner SUGAR BEET stating “Sugar Beat was impressive last time, runs off 3lbs higher mark today, and must have a good chance.” You can’t have a clearer message than that and the horse duly won at 3/1. This was Roger Charlton’s only runner yesterday.
Trainer, Mick Jarvis, sent out just a single runner (City Ground at Folkestone) and it won at 11/4; as did Sir Michael Stoute, who sent Modun to win at Folkestone ay 8/11. The same with Alan Swinbank who’s only runner yesterday, Hail Bold Chief, won at 17/2 at Beverley.
It is not a totally foolproof system, but highlighting the only runners of the day from any trainer – and paying particular attention to the top trainers in the country – is a good way of sorting out the “triers” from those just “out for a jolly”.

There was quite a market move for the blog selection JOB ONE yesterday from 7/1 into an SP of 11/2. Unfortunately, it didn’t come off as the horse did not stay this extreme trip despite looking a threat about half-a-mile out, just before the 2nd-last fence.

Today’s Racing Selections
There are two flat (turf) meetings at Goodwood and Redcar, an AW meeting at Kempton, and a jumps meeting at Perth. The meeting at Redcar looks dire, so I’m giving that a miss.
The opener at Goodwood was won last year by Sir Michael Stoute’s WORKFORCE who went on to win this year’s Derby. He has no entry this year, and the only horse holding a Derby entry in today’s race is DOMINANT sent here by Mick Jarvis.
On the 7th Sept, I advised a bet on HAND PAINTED who was gambled-on from 18/1 to 15/2 but struggled on the rain-sodden soft going (it was declared as Good-to-Firm in the morning!). This horse has now dropped 6lbs in the rating to OR70 today, and I can find valid excuses for all its latest couple of runs this season, and its run on 24th June at Warwick was as good as any performance he ran last season. It’s not the best draw (3 of 12) at Goodwood, but there are a couple of non-runners in the 3:10, and as such odds of 10/1 (Bet 365) look fair value given that those ahead of him in the market all would prefer ‘good’ going or softer; and they won’t get that today with temperatures in the low-20’s over the South of England. HAND PAINTED needs good-to-firm going, he'll get that today, so I'm going to try again to win with him.
At Perth, the 4:45 Duke of Atholl Challenge Cup looks a fair betting proposition. With stamina doubts over several including the fav Steel Magnate and the Twiston-Davies runner Nudge And Nurdle, the in-form horse TWELVE PACES can take this if not suffering from the “bounce” factor, but he’s had plenty of time to recover from his LTO win and at 5/1 he looks a fair punt.

Selections
Goodwood 3:10 HAND PAINTED, ½pt each-way @ 10/1 (Bet365)
Perth 4:45 TWELVE PACES, 1pt win @ 5/1 (available generally)

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Good weekend for blog 'old-timers'

In today’s blog:
Review of recent racing
Today’s Racing Selections

Review of recent racing
After a long weekend in Cornwall visiting my 8-year-old son for his birthday, I return refreshed and on the lookout for some new opportunities. I’ve been thinking about refreshing the blog and how it’s presented, mainly to keep both your interest up (that is you, the readers), and mine. So you may notice a few changes in format and content over the next few days before the blog settles into the jumps season.
The big success of my wagering during the last jumps season (2009-10) was the use of a horse-alert system. The alert system that I used was that provided by www.easyodds.com mainly because it’s free and I have been able to enter the name and details of nearly 200 horses at any particular time. The only downside is that you do need a fairly strong internet connection speed as the link to the database can be broken easily. I review the racing results daily after racing and if I see a performance that I consider to be of particular merit (and it is not always a winning performance) then I make a note. When the “Weekender” is published on a Wednesday, I do a complete review of the week’s racing results and “fine-tune” my notes; adding new names to the horse alert list and deleting some.
During the winter months, my wagering will be revolving around this list of horses and the occasions when they race on going and trips that suit and at tracks where they are most likely to meet with success. Those that I consider worthy of a wager will be posted on the blog.
Over the weekend, while I was away, the first of my “Chasers & Hurdlers Alert List” ran, and that was ABSOLUTE SHAMBLES who, by coincidence, was the first horse named on my list. Running at Plumpton on Sunday (19th) over 3m2f on good-to-firm going, I’m not sure what his trainer was thinking of. Altho’ he has won on similar going, it was a very weak hurdle race and even in that he required reminders mid-race suggesting he was not enjoying the experience. At least we know he’s race-fit , and easier going and a trip of 3-mile or slightly less should bring about a uplift in form. Local trainer George Moore sent 4 to the meeting at Plumpton and was rewarded with 2 winners, including a promising run from the 4yo hurdler HERSCHEL who has now won 3 of his 4 races, and this half-brother to Colorado Rapid (OR96) finally looks to have grown into his frame and could be very decent in this sphere.
At Uttoxeter on Sunday, trainer Alan King sent out his first jumps runner since July in POUVOIR, and it won at 7/2 very easily and looking very fit and up for this. If this is an example of how he has his ‘jumpers’ then he could be in for an exciting and profitable autumn campaign.

Over the weekend there was also a win at good odds (12/1) from an old favourite of this blog DOCOFTHEBAY over a trip of 7f & 50 yards. He was caught on the line LTO having been clear a furlong out and I didn’t think he’d get a better chance than that, but he’s now won 3 of his 5 races over trips less than a mile. Considering he’s run 38 times in total and won only 2 from 33 at a mile or more (both those wins were over a mile) it looks like his trainer has now found his best trip!
Previous blog selection in ARIZONA JOHN also came home a winner @ 15/2. As I wrote on 1st Sept after his last race “ran well considering he wants going a little quicker than this; he won twice this time last year and off today’s mark (OR81) he can win again if racing on quicker going”. He got the quicker going (good-to-firm) and he did race off the same mark of OR81; it was a no-brainer!
There was also a good win for CALATRAVA CAPE (blog selection on 12th Aug), who returned to 12f on Saturday (didn’t stay 14f at Haydock) to win at 3/1.

Today’s Racing Selections
There are two flat (turf) meetings at Beverley and Folkestone, and a jumps meeting at Stratford. I am going to give both of the flat meetings a wide-berth as they look full of potential pitfalls.
The meeting at Stratford looks much more inviting, and the 3m4f class 3 handicap chase is a race that could fall to the promising JOB ONE. He should stay this extreme trip and (hopefully) the pace will be more sedate which will give him more time at his fences. As such, we should see an improved jumping display from him and he won’t be left struggling. I don’t think Templer and Chorizo will stay this trip, and Cold Mountain has gone up a lot in the weights and 11:12 here may be too much for him. JOB ONE is 7/1 (with Hills) and that looks fair value in this race.

Selection
Stratford 3:40 JOB ONE, 1pt win @ 7/1 (Hills)

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Curley to spring another surprise

In today’s blog:
Review of yesterday’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections

Review of yesterday’s racing
No blog selections yesterday, but the narrative gave a few decent pointers.
I advised not overlooking Sir Michael Stoute’s runners especially those at Yarmouth, and NOURIYA obliged at 11/4. Stoute also had a 9/1 winner at Beverley (his only runner there) from the 8 he sent out yesterday. Unfortunately, Yashrid (noted in the blog) was in that Beverley race and he never got a look-in, coming home last.
John Gosden sent out 6 runners yesterday and had 4 winners – all favourites – to continue his excellent form. He sends a couple all the way to Pontefract today.
At Listowel, the Kerry National was won by the progressive chaser Alfa Beat who has now won his last 4 handicap chases under the care of Charles Byrnes. No doubt about it, you should not underestimate this trainer in the coming jumps season. My tentative selection in that race, Deutschland, fell at the 1st fence, so we’ve no idea how he would have fared. David Pipe’s runner Battle Group, could only run 3rd in the novice hurdle (SP 7/1). He was dropped in trip from 22f to 20f for this, but he probably needs 22f now as he was staying-on at the end. The winner of that race ONE COOL TORNADO, looks promising and progressive. He’s being sent to Cheltenham this November and should be noted, as should ALFA BEAT who looks capable of running at a much higher level.

Today’s Racing Selections
There are three flat (turf) meetings at Ayr, Pontefract, and Yarmouth, and an AW meeting at Wolverhampton, as well as the meeting at Listowel in Ireland.
At Ayr, the 4:20 KilKerran Cup over 10f looks set-up for last year’s runner-up in this race, PLAISTERER. Comes here in top form, and that’s more that can be said for most in this race; as such, 4/1 looks fair value given he acts on this going (good-to-soft) and handles track.
I cannot see anything worth a wager at Pontefract.
At Yarmouth, Barney Curley sends a couple. The one that interests me is his progressive hurdler ZABEEL PALACE, currently 11/1. If he’s fit to race, then he’ll win this doing handsprings (he’s reated OR129 over hurdles and I usually discount by 40lbs for a flat rating, ie OR89 which makes his rating today of OR66 a handicap snip). However, if he’s spent the summer eating grass in a field then he’ll no doubt come last. Paddock inspection required!

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Music Of The Moor wins @ 5/1

In today’s blog:
Review of yesterday’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections

Review of yesterday’s racing
The rain’s came down yesterday, but it did not stop MUSIC OF THE MOOR – the blog selection – from winning very easily at odds of 5/1 (advised in the morning at 13/2). As expected, the step-up in trip to 12f really suited, but I think it was the soft going that really made the difference as the horse cruised through it. As I commented yesterday after the race, MUSIC OF THE MOOR looked set to run away with the race 2f-out but his run up the rail was halted after which he had to switch into the centre of the track but, still under a hands’n’heels ride, he took command of the race and ran out a comfortable winner. Due to go hurdling this winter, he looks a great prospect for the winter scene.
The other blog selection LUSCIVIOUS, ran well till halfway but then the soft going and driving rain took its toll. In my opinion, the going was very soft (officially, good-to-soft) and it showed as the lead changed hands several times in the final furlong as horses ran out of puff.
At Lingfield, as highlighted by the blog, Roger Charlton’s only runner of the day SUGAR BEET won at 4/1. If you read his website (www.rogercharlton.com) you would have been well informed of the potential of the horse. Charlton is intending to try and win again with the horse under a penalty. Keep a look out for it.
Lastly, at Yarmouth, none of the Newmarket “hotpots” highlighted as ones to avoid actually won, and so you could have laid them all on the exchanges on the basis of the narrative given here. Cecil’s Panoptic was btn at 10/11; Suroor’s Dafeef was btn at 11/8; and at Lingfield Gosden’s Johnny Castle was btn at 4/5.
Overall, a 2.90pt profit on the day, but you could have won much, much more.
Read the blog, it’s not only informative – it’s FREE.

Today’s Racing Selections

There are three flat (turf) meetings at Beverley, Sandown, and Yarmouth, and an AW meeting at Kempton, as well as the meeting at Listowel in Ireland featuring the Kerry National.
I am having to write this blog on Tuesday evening as I’ll be travelling in the morning. As such, there is only a brief overview of racing here.
At Beverley, there is a class 3 handicap over 12f at 4:20 and, given the success of Music Of The Moor yesterday and the formline involving YASHRID, then that horse has to be considered in this race. Michael Jarvis only has this horse running for the stable tomorrow, and he’s only sent 11 runners to Beverley (3 winners) in the past 5 seasons. Jarvis will be going there with intent, and the 9/1 available as I write looks fair eachway value.
I cannot see anything worth a wager at Sandown, tho’ the return of one-time Derby hope and winner of the 12-furlong Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, Bronze Cannon, is very interesting – even over a mile he could be too good for these.
At Yarmouth, there is some decent racing (unusually) and given the recent good form in the past week of Sir Michael Stoute’s runners, I would play close attention to his runners here; especially NOURIYA and REVERED.

Finally, the Kerry National at Listowel in Ireland. Ruby Walsh had ridden the winner in this 4 times in the past 6 years, and only once was on the favourite! He rides DEUTSCHLAND and this classy horse, who is unexposed over this 3-mile trip, is a decent jumper having been campaigned mainly over hurdles for the past 12-months. He is currently best-priced at 16/1. Also at Listowel, do not ignore David Pipe’s BATTLE GROUP in the 4:05, which is a novice hurdle. He has been aimed at this race.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Indian Summer? You gotta be joking!

In today’s blog:
Review of yesterday’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections

Review of yesterday’s racing
Bit of a mixed return for yesterday. No blog selection, but the narrative provided some jewels of information.
I was right not to go for Suroor’s only runner BADEEL at Redcar as this half-brother to a selling plater could only come 2nd at 5/6. OK, I did say it may be a place-lay but, given its merits of its relatives, it was never an odds-on chance on its 2yo debut. At Brighton, the only Noseda runner, Ebony Song, won at 5/4, with the Haggas runner Skeleton well off the pace. However, for the 3:30 at Brighton I just about named the 1st-4 finishers! I advised opposing the fav Zelos Diktator and he was 2nd @ 13/8, and I said that the course winners Noah Jameel and Dancing Storm were the ones to be on, and they were 1st and 3rd respectively, the winner returning at 7/1; and I also said Dots Delight would run well if fit and she came in 4th.
Over in Ireland at Listowel, there was a decent novice chase which was won by GLENSTAL ABBEY who is now 2 from 2 over the jumps. Some might say he was fortunate as the clear leader Kotkidy fell 6-out when not looking like stopping – but there was a long way to go, and the jumps are there for a reason and Kotkidy failed.

Today’s Racing Selections

What an absolutely awful day’s racing!
There are two flat (turf) meetings at Haydock and Yarmouth, and an AW meeting at Lingfield. There has been plenty of rain in the north-west and so Haydock looks a place to avoid. There is a previous blog selection running there tho’, MUSIC OF THE MOOR in the 4:30 and this horse is stepped-up in trip to just shy of 12f today having come-up-short a few times at 10f. He has some form on ground with give and I believe that for his latest 3 runs the going has been too quick for him. His run on ‘good’ at Ripon in May saw him just btn by Yashrid when trying to give that one 6lb. Yashrid has won twice since and is now 17lb higher, whereas MUSIC OF THE MOOR is only 2lb higher. This field are all one-paced and the selection may be worth a chance today at this trip and on this going. He’s currently 13/2 as there have been a couple of non-runners (only 8 go to post).
Yarmouth looks diabolical and I’m not tempted by the Suroor runner Dafeef, nor the Cecil pair of Panoptic & Tomintoul Singer. The 5f & 43yd sprint at 4:40 could have a bit of value with LUSCIVIOUS. Drawn 10 and with stalls on the stands-side, he should grab the rail and if he gets a flyer he can lead all the way on going that will suit him, pretty much like when he last got conditions to suit at Musselburgh on 04-April. At 9/1, he looks eachway value at least.
At Lingfield, Roger Charlton runs Sugar Beet in the 2:30. If you read his very informative website (www.rogercharlton.com) you will learn that the horse reared in the stalls LTO and had no run whatsoever. Charlton is trying to get a win into the horse before it goes to the sales in October. In form trainer, John Gosden, also sends his only runner of the day here – Johnny Castle – for the 2:50 but at the odds of 7/4 it makes no appeal in what looks a competitive maiden.

Selections:
I probably should know better and give racing today a miss, but I’m not, so here goes:
Haydock 4:30 MUSIC OF THE MOOR, ½pt eachway @ 13/2
Yarmouth 4:40 LUSCIVIOUS, ½pt eachway @ 9/1
Total = 2pts staked

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Thanks from Wayward Lad

Monday, 13 September 2010

Skeleton's in the cupboard

In today’s blog:
Review of last week’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections

Review of last week’s racing
There was no blog on Saturday, but we ended on Friday with a profit when RIGIDITY scored in emphatic manner (advised @ 3/1) at Chester. Subject of a major market move, he started at 6/4 and he looks like one that can be followed. My old friend in the race, Dolphin Rock, could not make the pace and was boxed-in on the rails until they opened-up in the straight; he can win off this rating.
My other 2 selections at York both were unplaced.
I really should have posted a blog on Saturday as a couple of old friends won. Previous blog selection GLENRIDDING won at 16/1 having been able to hit the front early and dominate the race. This is how he runs best, and I have found that if you find a particular style of running that suits a horse then when it gets the conditions that suit then you should jump in with both feet. Chester suits a dominant front-runner and in the circumstances 16/1 was a gift. In fact, 5 of the 7 races at Chester on Saturday were won by horses that made all; it’s worth remembering as they won at odds of 7/2; 16/1; 7/2; 5/1 and 7/1.
Another previous blog selection, CAPPONI, also won at Doncaster at 9/2. Again, a lesson I have learned over many years is that if you have found a horse that you believe is well-handicapped then follow it – it may lose a race or two, but invariably it will come good. Finally, DOCOFTHEBAY who has been the focus of this blog several times looked like winning at 12/1 on Sunday until throwing the race away in the final 75 yards. He won’t get a better chance than that.
John Gosden has his stable in great form and he continues to send out the winners. In August, he had a 34% strike-rate (24 winners from 70 runners) and over the past few seasons, autumn has been his best time of year. He has hit 20%+ in September in 2 of the past 4 seasons, and in October in 3 of the past 4 seasons. Last year he fell just short of 20% in Sept and Oct, but hit 26% in November. Saeed Bin Suroor also had 9 winners last week, from just 24 runners, and his form in the autumn is usually phenomenal. Last year he had 27 wins from 95 runners in Sept (27%), followed by 42 from 129 in Oct (33%), and an amazing 19 from 34 (56%) in November. He had a 29% strike-rate in October 2008, 26% in Oct 2007, 25% in Oct 2006; and topped 30% in September in both 2006 and 2007.
And are we seeing a change in fortune for Sir Michael Stoute? He sent out 6 winners from just 16 runners last week.

Today’s Racing Selections
There are three flat (turf) meetings at Musselburgh, Redcar and Brighton, and none look up to writing home about.
At Redcar, Saeed Bin Suroor sends his only runner of the day BADEEL for the 3:10 where it’s ridden by Dettori and is his only ride today too. Should win this, but is already 8/11 and – well, you never know what might happen in racing especially with 2yo’s having their debut on the track. I’ll not be having a wager on it, but may “place-lay” it as its half-brother only won a solitary “seller” in 20 starts.
There is nothing of interest at Musselburgh, so onto Brighton. The 2:30 catches the eye mainly as Jeremy Noseda (15 winners from 28 here; 54%) and Willie Haggas (8 winners from 20 here; 40%) both have their only runner of the day in this. The market fav is the Noseda horse, Ebony Song, but this horse has done nothing right in 2 starts and at just 6/4 there is no way I’d have money on it. However, the Haggas horse SKELETON is a half-brother of Mulaqat who won 3 times as a 2yo and was rated OR92; and that was after an in-auspicious debut too. At 10/1, he looks worth a punt to get it right today.
One to note for this autumn’s jumps racing is Dot’s Delight who runs in the 3:30. She ran well over C&D last summer prior to a successful hurdles campaign, and if she’s fit enough to do herself justice she will run well. I cannot see the fav Zelos Dikator handling this track as all his best runs have been on flat, galloping tracks which is not how I would describe Brighton. The course winners Dancing Storm and Noah Jameel are the ones to be on in this.
Eve Johnson-Houghton has her stable in fine form and she sends out only one runner today – SKYFLIGHT in the 4:30 at Brighton. Despite only costing 1,000 Guineas she is related to 5 winners and having only had a single run this season is well unexposed. Currently 20/1, she could prove to be a springer in the market, as her owner Mrs P Robeson is not a bad judge of a horse.

No selections today, as the racing is poor. But I would not put you off having small each-way wagers on Skeleton and Dancing Storm.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Friday, 10 September 2010

Fortune favours the brave

In today’s blog:
Review of yesterday’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections

Review of yesterday’s racing
It looked like SIRVINO was suffering from some sort of injury a long way out yesterday as his jockey was making concerned glances at his mounts running action not long after they turned into the straight. I expected the horse to be pulled-up at that stage, but the jockey kept on and SIRVINO found nothing. It was a real race for the form-book and the winner Royal Destination looks capable of stepping out of handicap class. He’s been subject to good money for the Cambridgeshire, but he failed in the race last Autumn and I reckon he’ll find easier targets than that race. Quite what happened to FLORA TREVELYAN is concerning. Having been supported from 11/1 to start the 7/1 3rd-fav, she was well-placed 500 yards out, but stopped in a matter of strides and was virtually pulled-up. Let’s hope that both horses come out of their races ok and reappear again soon.
What more can you say about WOOTTON BASSETT? Can there be a more aptly named horse, which has such tenacity and bravery? He’s probably off to France for a race on “Arc” day and there will be cheers and tears if he comes home in front.
At Epsom, RARE TERN made it 7 winners from 8 runners for Sir Mark Prescott in 8-days, and then this other runner TRUE TO FORM at Kempton in the evening made it 8 wins from 9 runners. This is turning into the training performance of the season. He’s running 4 today, including 2 up at Doncaster (more of which later).

Today’s Racing Selections
There are three flat (turf) meetings at Doncaster, Chester and Sandown, and AW meeting at Wolverhampton. No jumps meetings today.
The Chester meeting looks interesting, especially the 4:45 where my old friend Dolphin Rock runs again. He’s as honest and game a horse there is, and could easily have won his last 3 races. Drawn 1, he’ll (hopefully) lead throughout and could prove mighty hard to pass. But Qanoon from Haggas (his only runner today) and RIGIDITY from Cecil will be hard to hold off; and it’s the latter that looks the best bet as his form in the Spring is well above these here and at 3/1 (and with Cecil having a great strike-rate at Chester) he’s the value wager. The meeting at Sandown is equally as competitive and it looks a great card, one that would take more than a few hours to fathom out.
Doncaster gets better and better, and in the Cup at 2:40 it will take a good one to get past OPINION POLL and the extra couple of furlongs should not inconvenience him. At 3/1 he looks good value.
The Mallard Stakes (handicap) at 2:05 will, I believe, show that the Melrose Handicap at York was an aberration. For me, the only one to take from that race is Gosden’s Zuider Zee, who hopefully will be ridden much closer to the pace today and could well be the best of the 3yo’s, but FORTUNI was nearly floored by Overturn when that one was suddenly pulled-up in the Ebor, and he then was forced to plough a lone furrow on the far rail from which he had no chance. Sir Mark Prescott has his stable in a rich vein of form and for me FORTUNI could be the wager of the week at 12/1.

Selections
Doncaster 2:05 FORTUNI, ½pt each-way @ 12/1
Doncaster 2:40 OPINION POLL, 1pt win @ 3/1
Chester 4:45 – depends on how the earlier wagers get on, but it’s a 1pt win on RIGIDITY @ 3/1 now and if we’ve a return from the earlier wagers, that will double-up to 2pts win.

Total = 3pts staked (maybe 4pts dependent on results)

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Thanks from Wayward Lad

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Sir Mark Prescott makes it 6 wins from 7 runners in 7 days

In today’s blog:
Review of yesterday’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections
Future Racing Antepost review

Review of yesterday’s racing
When writing this blog I usually start off on the evening before racing and finish off mid-morning, before posting the blog sometime around 11am when the opening odds are offered by the bookies. I have to be aware of what the market is saying as I can then make an assessment of what the probable SP will be. I know that I advise the odds that’s available at the time of posting the blog, but not everyone can access the internet to read the blog within minutes of me posting (even tho’ I always send out an alert on twitter: find me on @wayward_lad). So I try and find selections that will likely hold their price and so everyone who wants to can get on. I try and avoid making selections that are say 5/2, but are likely to be 7/4 within an hour of posting and eventually start at 5/4 – even tho’ this would be of benefit to the “back-to-lay” players on Betfair. There were a couple that jumped out at me yesterday at Epsom, but because I thought they would shorten significantly in the betting, I did not post them as selections. They were Krypton Factor, the only runner of the day for Sir Mark Prescott; and Epic, which was one of 6 sent to Epsom by Mark Johnston.
Sir Mark is in great form with 5 winners from 6 runners (and the other was 2nd) and altho’ it was 7/2 in the RP betting forecast, I assumed once the hordes noticed it then it would start at less than 2/1 – it won at odds of 5/2. Mark Johnston is a consistent trainer, but he does tend to send many runners out every racing day. However, he had 3 winners from his 6 runners at Epsom yesterday, and I thought Epic stood-out on form but as it was 11/4 in the RP betting forecast, I thought that it too would start at less than 2/1. It didn’t and it won at odds of 7/2 being in complete command throughout the race. I even read the market wrong with my blog selection GROUP THERAPY as I thought the race was wide open and there was little chance of its odds contracting. Unfortunately, there were a number of non-runners including the probably fav Tax Free, and so GROUP THERAPY started at 15/8 and he was never value at those odds having his first encounter with softish going. As it happened he did not really handle it, but ran a good race anyway to be 3rd. Back on quicker ground he should recoup the loss.
At Uttoxeter, BEN’S FOLLY won the 3-mile h’cap hurdle with 11st 10lb comfortably in a good time, and he is one for the notebook, especially as he is only a 5yo and improvement is almost guaranteed.

Today’s Racing Selections
There are three flat (turf) meetings at Doncaster, Epsom and Bath, and AW meeting at Kempton, and a jumps meeting at Uttoxeter.
There’s nothing of interest at Bath, even tho’ Roger Charlton sends his only runner of the day there, Sugar Beet, for the 4:00. At Epsom Sir Mark Prescott, with 6 winners in past 7-days from just 7 runners, sends Rare Tern for the 3:35. This is likely to start at short odds (its 5/4 now) and should go very well being a C&D winner LTO. But I would not be surprised to see an upset but which horse will do it, I can’t decide on which. Nothing else looks interesting there.
It’s the 2nd day of the St Leger meeting at Doncaster. It’s a good meeting today, and in the 2:35 SIRVINO looks placed to score. He ran a cracker from the rear LTO behind Sweet Lightening and Royal Destination and with a strong pace virtually guaranteed from Ella (who has dropped 5lb in the h’cap), he can get his season back on track. The Group 2 Park Hill Stakes is a step into unknown stamina territory for these 3yo fillies at 1m 6f+, and I will pass on this race. The Listed race at 4:55 over 7f for fillies and mares looks a nightmare as most are out of form on recent runs; but FLORA TREVELYAN is probably a better horse than her OR100 rating and she is a worthy each-way selection at 11/1. She stays upto 10f and has a turn-of-foot.

Selections
Doncaster 2:35 SIRVINO, 1pt win @ 6/1
Doncaster 4:55 FLORA TREVELYAN, ½pt each-way @ 11/1
Plus: ½pt each-way double.
Total = 3pts staked

“and another thing…”
Maybe it’s just me, and maybe the stories that are in racing are fairly obvious to all, but some of the things that I’ve written in this blog (and in a couple of other blogs that I read) seem to be appearing almost word-for-word in the racing press. So, if you’re reading this, and you’re an advocate of lazy journalism, then at least give the blog a plug. Thanks!

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Be careful out there

In today’s blog:
Review of yesterday’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections
"and another thing..."

Review of yesterday’s racing
Because of the prospect of rain, there was only the one race reviewed on the blog yesterday, and that was the 3:55 at Lingfield. On the basis of high drawn runners having an advantage at the 7f trip (on turf) my intuition told me that HAND PAINTED (drawn 13 of the 16 declared runners), only runner of the day for Peter Makin, had a better chance than the 18/1 on offer at the time. And so it proved as there was continued support in the market throughout the day, and HAND PAINTED started at 15/2. That’s where the good news ended. Despite 8.4mm of overnight rain, the going was declared as good-to-firm for the opening race at 2:10. Before the 2nd race at 2:45, more heavy rain started to fall, and after that race the going was changed to good-to-soft. Further rain before the 3:20 race compounded the situation. I already feared the worst before the off of the 3:55 and traded-out my position (I’d managed to obtain an average of 20.46 on Betfair in the morning) at 8.20, so no money lost. HAND PAINTED was always struggling on the ground and never looked like being involved as it turned into a very testing 7-furlong race, with the 1st-4 pulling away from the field in the final 300 yards. I was lucky enough to be able to trade-out, but the weather in the UK this week is very wet and if you are having a wager, (as they said on NYPD Blue) be careful out there!

Today’s Racing Selections
There are a couple of flat (turf) meetings at Doncaster and Epsom, and AW meeting at Kempton, and a jumps meeting at Uttoxeter. Yesterday, I made the mistake of saying the jumps meeting was at Stratford and it was at Sedgefield (and I was well & truly ticked-off on twitter!).
It is the 1st day of the St Leger meeting at Doncaster. Note, there is no ‘d’ in Leger, as the creator of the race was not an accountant but General Anthony St Leger who devised the race in 1776 – the year the America’s declared their independence from Britain – and so the race bears his name.
The going at Doncaster will be no better than good-to-soft, and with this in mind it may pay to take a small chance with GROUP THERAPY in the 5f Listed race at 3:10. Just about every horse in this race has no winning form on going with “give”, but at least GROUP THERAPY has not run on going this soft so we are unsure as to whether it will affect his ability. As with the race at Lingfield yesterday, the winner will most likely be the horse least affected by the going. GROUP THERAPY is clearly the most talented horse in the race, and is in great form, and his trainer Jeremy Noseda has a 25% strike-rate at Doncaster. I’ve taken my lead on this race from the excellent blog sprinterstogo (see adjacent link) which has a write-up on this race. The 4/1 available looks fair value.
Epsom is expecting heavy rain, and the ground is already good-to-soft in places. Some of the races here look very tricky to fathom and I could give you a name or two, but really it would be making selections on a wing and a prayer.
The meeting at Uttoxeter looks a good one but there’s no outstanding selection jumping out at me. I will be interested in the performance of Jonjo O’Neill’s TARVINI as this has looked a very progressive horse these past 12-months and I’m sure there’s a lot more to come.

Selection
Doncaster 3:10 GROUP THERAPY, 1pt win @ 4/1

“and another thing…”
There’s been a fair bit of criticism for Graham Bradley having been allowed by the BHA to ride in a charity race at Doncaster. Much of it is due to the perception that Bradley has shown no remorse or guilt for his actions (he admitted passing on privileged and sensitive information about races to “drug baron” Brian Wright, in return for money). I accept that passing on information about horses and how they might perform in a race so that someone may gain a financial advantage is wrong. But where do you draw the line? I’ll not name names, but those in racing know all the characters who flirt with “privileged and sensitive” information. And we are not talking of the shady criminal fraternity either, but multi-millionaires who obtained their wealth by legitimate means and seek only to pamper their inflated ego by having one over the bookies.
And why should Bradley have to show remorse and guilt for his actions? He has served his ban and now the slate should be wiped clean. If you were not able to be released from prison until you showed remorse and guilt for the crime that put you there, then there would be a 10-fold increase in the prison population.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Paint the town red with an 18/1 chance

In today’s blog:
Review of yesterday’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections
Future Racing Antepost review

Review of yesterday’s racing
Not a bad day for readers of the blog.
Was on the mark with Brian Meehan’s only runner at Newcastle as PEARL ARCH won. However, the slight odds of 4/6 and winning by just a neck was not convincing tho’. I was right about Jeremy Noseda’s GOLD GLEAM too. As I said yesterday, with only the 1 winner from 11 runners at Newcastle, Noseda is not worth following here and his horse was 3/1 in the betting and a fair “lay” play, eventually finishing well down the field.
If a trainer has a bad strike-rate, it’s for a reason, so don’t ignore it. It is usually nothing to do with the horse, and is more likely something to do with the transport. It may be that on the way to Newcastle (a 245 mile, 7 hour-long journey) the lads stop-off for breakfast and the horses get un-settled. I may be because they park the van under a noisy air-con unit; or something like that. Humans are habitual, always remember that, and in order to change habits they need to be told.
The success of the day was in the chase at Newton Abbot, and as I said SPORTING REBEL was not without a chance if the rains came and they did. The going was heavy by 4:00pm and SPORTING REBEL was a plodding, one-paced 2nd @ 11/1 making a worthy profit for the each-way thieves despite never looking likely to win. Then, in the final race of the day, last week’s “gamble” horse AM I BLUE won again as expected on this blog, at the quite generous odds of 5/6 (I thought he should have started at 4/7) given that the horse went into a clear lead from 2-out and won by a distance.
What about the trainers-in-form?
Eve Johnson-Houghton (5 wins; 3 placed; from 17 runners, in past 7-days) sent out 3 runners, and Dew Reward obliged @ 3/1 (opened @ 4/1) in the opener at Bath.
JJ Quinn (4w; 6p; 21r in 14-days) sent out 3, and had a winner at 6/1.
Unfortunately, the other horse mentioned Hugh Morrison’s only runner – Celestial Girl – could only run 2nd as the 9/4 fav.

Today’s Racing Selections
I thought yesterday’s racing was ordinary, today’s is fairly dire!
With the coming of September, 2yo’s dominate the flat-racing scene, and that’s not for me. I like to dabble a bit with the breeding side of racing when making selections for 2yo races as sometimes you can find a good-priced winner; but you can just as easily have a long-run of losers. And if the stable think they have a decent horse then you’re gonna be lucky to get odds-against.
As such, much of the flat racing at Goodwood and Lingfield as a waste of time as far as I am concerned. The 3:55 at Lingfield tho’ could hold an opportunity. As the RP Spotlight says, high-drawn runners have the best chance in big fields over 7f at Lingfield, so with 15 starters its best to concentrate on the 6 horses with double-figure draws. Much focus will be on Duster (11), Fault (16) and Spanish Island (15); but I am drawn to HAND PAINTED drawn 13. Essentially a hold-up horse, he was progressive last season winning 3 times, the last time at 7f beating Dance And Dance (now up 13lb) off OR76. His last run can be ignored as he was unsettled in the stalls and missed the break, but his previous 2 runs were very encouraging and he can go close with a good pace almost guaranteed today. Currently 18/1 (there’s been a NR, so only 15 start its 1-2-3 a place) he looks great value.
The jumps meeting at Stratford looks very ordinary, and I’m going to give racing there a miss.

Selection:
Lingfield 3:55 HAND PAINTED, 1pt ew @ 18/1

Future Racing Antepost Review
As we enter the autumn months I have decided to change my wagering policy. It is always good to adapt how you play the markets from time-to-time. This ensures that bad habits are not continued too long and are (hopefully) replaced with good, money-making habits. This review will fall into 2 parts; (1) there will be a reduction the number of individual wagers and I will not be trying to find a daily wager; (2) there will be a focus to the better handicaps and Groups races with the aim of trying to find a bit more value.

Regular readers will know I am a subscriber of the “Weekender” the weekly racing paper. There are a couple of writers in that paper whom over the past few months I have gained a respect for. The first is the tipster Dick Hunter. He made some remarkable selections over the jumps in last autumn major handicaps, and he’s maintained that eye for a winner during the flat season. The next is a recent find, Paul Kealy who started writing in the Weekender in midsummer. He has also found some incredible winners these past couple of months. I will be looking at the horses these 2 focus on in the Weekender in the next few weeks and months.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad

Monday, 6 September 2010

Rebel without a cause

In today’s blog:
Review of last week’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections

Review of last week’s racing
I wasn’t around for the weekend racing as I was having a few days in the beautiful city of Bath. It really is a tremendous place to visit and stay in, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
A couple of trainers really hit form last week. Sir Mark Prescott had 4 wins from just 7 runners, and Eve Johnson-Houghton had 5 winners from 17 runners, including her only runner on Saturday at York; Orientalist @ 7/2.
What was great for racing fans was the contribution of Roger Charlton on twitter! He used that medium to alert supporters to view his excellent and informative website, complete with pictures and videos of the stables horses on the gallops. Check him out on www.rogercharlton.com
I managed to find a few winners on the blog last week and hopefully will keep this profitable streak going.

Today’s Racing Selections

A typical ordinary days racing for a Monday.
At Bath, Mark Johnston sends just one runner the 241 miles from his Yorkshire stables; Memorabilia for the opening race at 2:10. Hard to get excited about this one, but Johnston has a 26% strike-rate here so should not be underestimated. Later in the afternoon, Hugh Morrison has his only runner today CELESTIAL GIRL in the 4:40. She will appreciate the good-to-firm going and the step-up in trip as her dam was a half-sister to Oaks winner Lady Carla. Currently 4/1, that looks fair in a competitive race.
The meeting at Newcastle looks very poor quality and only a couple sent a long way here look worthy of interest. In the 2:20, Brian Meehan sends Pearl Arch 290 miles for this 2yo maiden. He’s only sent 3 to Newcastle in past 5 years and they’ve all been beaten. In the 3:20, Jeremy Noseda sends Gold Gleam 245 miles for this, but with only 1 winner from 11 in past 5 years he is another not worth a financial interest.
At Newton Abbot in the 5:30, Am I Blue returns for another race following the “gamble” of last week, and he should win this in a canter if in similar form. There is a very interesting class 3 chase over 2m 5f at 4:00 with 10-runners. As the RP Spotlight declares, nothing jumps off the page, so it’s likely that an outsider can prevail and it’s a race worth taking a punt on. The prospect of heavy rain means that it could turn into a stamina test. Just about every runner in the race wants good going or faster, bar one. It’s a long shot, but the only horse with any realistic form should the rain turn the going on the soft side of good is SPORTING REBEL. He returned to the racecourse (had been racing PtP) in June after 2 years off the track, and ran well till running out of steam with 4 fences to go – but that was over 3m 6f. With only 21f to travel this time, his stamina should hold up, his jumping is sound and at 14/1 he looks each-way value.

Selections:
No wager today, but I would not put you off having a small punt on Sporting Rebel each-way.

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Thursday, 2 September 2010

Two out of three ain't bad...

In today’s blog:
Review of yesterday’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections
“…and another thing”

Review of yesterday’s racing
Great results for the blog yesterday from the 2nd-string selections; with RAUCOUS BEHAVIOUR and DHAN DHANA winning at Brighton at odds of 6/1 and 7/1 respectively.
You would not have given RAUCOUS BEHAVIOUR much chance of even being placed in the 1st-3 with a furlong to go, but he found his balance and picked-up really well. He looks the type to improve a lot on this display. The odds-on fav Auden looked very green despite it being his 2nd run.
And, as I suspected, trying to come from last-to-first at Brighton was too much for the OR63 rated Azaday when he failed to peg-back DHAN DHANA who was staying-on strong in the final furlong. That’s the 4th time in a row that Azaday has been beaten when starting as the fav – when will punters take note?
The main selection of the blog, TYUP POMPEY, was beaten by the going which had turned good-to-firm in places by the off and it was too quick for him. He was beaten from 5-out, but until then had jumped well. A step-up in trip and some give in the going should see him in a better light.
Given the number of “2nd-string” selections named on this blog over the past few months that have won at decent odds, perhaps I should just advise a ½pt eachway wager on every horse named?

Today’s Racing Selections
Some interesting racing this afternoon.
At Epsom, the 4:35 has Sir Mark Prescott’s only runner today Baralaka. You can never underestimate Prescott’s horses, but that will be reflected in the odds and he’s likely to start at <2/1. As such, there could be value in opposing, and with so little pace in the race SHY, drawn 3 and sent a long way here by Bruce Millman (4 wins from 14 runners in 5 years) looks like getting an easy lead and she might prove hard to catch. She was unable to lead at Salisbury LTO, and quickly threw-in the towel but she looks mighty value at 16/1 for this as leaders prove hard to reel in at Epsom. Salisbury looks a tremendous meeting for the spectator, but a tricky card to fathom for the punter! I will give this card a miss, but will certainly watch with interest. At Redcar, the 3:40 has two up from Newmarket trainers Suroor and Haggas and they look likely to dominate the betting, but they have a lot to prove and if you take them out then there not much depth to the race. Fishforcompliments barely gets 7f, so a mile looks beyond him; Shadowtime is up another 6lb for its LTO win, but is not the same horse away from Beverley. I like REEL BUDDY STAR who seems to relish being able to dominate small fields. In races with 10 or fewer runners, he’s 5 wins from 16, and 11+ runners he’s 0 wins from 14 races. He was 3rd in this race last year (12 runners) and he looks the value @ 7/1 (Ladbrokes). Selections: Epsom 4:35 SHY, ½pt e/w @ 16/1 (various) Redcar 3:40 REEL BUDDY STAR, ½pt e/w @ 7/1 (Ladbrokes) “…and another thing”
The big story of the afternoon was the exceptional gamble on AM I BLUE who opened on-course at 15/2 before starting at 5/1 – but had been 25/1 before 10:30am when the gamble started. The horse won in a canter, having turned the race into a procession winning by nearly 20-lengths. Now, I have no problem with horses returning to form or improving, but just 15-days ago the horse finished tailed-off, last of 12, at odds of 40/1. Before that, again 15-days earlier, the horse was tailed-off again as the last of 10 finishers, at odds of 28/1. So, the horse went into its last race in what could be described as a “race-fit” condition. If we delve into the formbook, on 30-Nov-09, the horse ran 2nd for Tim Vaughan (with Richard Johnson riding) as the fav in a maiden hurdle and achieved an RPR91 rating. Behind him that day in 3rd (and receiving 3lb) was Diktalina who went on to win a couple and is now rated OR120; so it can be argued that AM I BLUE is a horse with some talent, if that talent can be conjured up. Yesterday, Richard Johnson was brought-in by connections as a late jockey change but by that time the gamble was already well under way. It was the first ever winner for trainer Mrs Thomas and so I suppose if she can transform a horse in her care in such dramatic fashion (and clearly, somebody connected with the stable knew the horse had a better than anticipated chance of winning) then she needs to be watched. My immediate reaction was to call for professional stewards to investigate the situation, not because the horse won, but because the horse was so comprehensively beaten just 15-days ago when it was “apparently” race-fit. The trainer’s explanation that the horse had received treatment for a “bad-back” cannot explain such a transformation as, presumably, the “bad-back” would have prevented it from achieving full fitness on the gallops – and you cannot get a horse fit to race in a few days.

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Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Not again! 2nd-string tip UNEX EL GRECO wins @ 12/1

In today’s blog:
Review of last week’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections
“…and another thing”

Review of yesterday’s racing

The 2nd-string selection hit the back of the net (again, damn & blast!) when UNEX EL GRECO won @ 12/1. This was an impressive debut from the 2yo. Dropped out the back and brought around the field (drawn 4 of 15), he easily picked-up the leaders mid-race and, under a hands-n-heels ride, put this race to bed very quickly. He looks like he’s going places. Gosden sent out 4 runners yesterday, and 3 won. He’s had a great bank holiday weekend; from his 10 runners over the past 4-days he’s had 6 winners!
The other 2nd-string selection ARIZONA JOHN also ran well considering he wants going a little quicker than this; he won twice this time last year and off today’s mark (OR81) he can win again if racing on quicker going. Why the fav for this race – Be Invincible – went off at 6/4 having been the subject of a major market move (from 11/4 in the morning) was beyond me. Had I known (or even suspected) it would start at such short odds then it would certainly have been a “lay” recommendation. If you refer to yesterday’s blog, I rated it a 4/1 chance, mainly as (like many in the field) it wanted faster going. Barry Hills runners have gone off the boil recently. The winner Ailsa Craig, had won on going with “cut” on 14-June and relished today’s conditions even tho’ she was unproven at this trip. It may also have been a factor that upped in grade to a class 3 handicap, she was able to carry a lighter weight for the rating – she carried 8st 10lb (including the 3lb claim of her jockey) whereas LTO she carried 10st. She’s never run well carrying more than 9st 3lb. It could be a factor, tho’ she is on the upgrade and has the potential to improve as she’s unexposed over 10f.
But the story of the day has to be David O’Meara’s hat-trick at Ripon. In little over 10 weeks since sending out his first runner on 12th June (having taken over the license of James Hetherton), he’s had 16 winners from just 82 runners – that’s a 20% strike-rate. Most of those winner have been when Silvestre De Sousa has been in the saddle (13 wins from 41 rides, that’s 32% SR). Who knows what the winter will bring for ex-jump jockey O’Meara as he has over 15 horses in his stable in preparation for the coming winter months over the sticks.

Today’s Racing Selections
You cannot ignore Mark Johnston when he sends runners to Brighton, but the only one I like the look of is his 2yo Raucous Behaviour. However, he’s making his debut today and it’s more likely he’ll come on for the run as he’s a half-brother to “Lincoln” winner Expresso Star who never ran as a 2yo.
The Ian Carnaby sponsored fillies handicap at Brighton is well-contested. The one that catches my eye in this is the only runner of Willie Haggas, DHAN DHANA. If you ignore he last run when she ran wide at the bend and seemed to lose interest, then she has a chance. She’s drawn 2 and will hopefully be “in-the-van” most of the way. There’s likely to be some pace on as there are 3 or 4 who like to make the running, but I’m never happy looking for one coming thru’ the pack at Brighton (which is the tactic of the fav Azaday) and this race will likely go to the one that stays the trip best and DHAN DHANA is bred to stay 12f.
I found the winner of the class 4 h’cap chase over 2m 3f last year (Silver Adonis), but this year’s race looks more tricky as most seem not to want to win! Methinks the fav Courella was lucky to win LTO, and Indiana Gold looks vulnerable beyond 17f, ditto One Of The Boys. This is the debut chase for Frosted Grape and Civil Servant; I’m The Decider seems to have lost the plot and Intac looks unreliable. So, by elimination, that leaves TYUP POMPEY who won here over 2-mile on 29-April and can stay 3-mile too; add that he’s in the form of his life and he looks value at 14/1. I realise he was well beaten in this race last year off OR110 (he’s on OR114 today) but that was on faster going than he likes and he looks a good bet today given there are some many question-marks over the others.

Selections:
Hereford 4:40 TYUP POMPEY, ½pt e/w @ 14/1 (with Victor Chandler)

“…and another thing”

There is a lot of biased press and media attention – in my opinion – aimed at the Pakistani cricket team and this “no-ball” betting scandal. Was there as much critical attention given when Premiership footballers were kicking the ball into touch, seconds after kick-off, so that they could cash-in on the “time of 1st throw-in” markets? When we have bookmakers making markets on how many times a certain footballer spits on camera during a match, then there will always be scope for “side-bets” on events during a sporting event that – effectively – have no real impact on the end result of the match.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad