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Record of the blog selections

Profit for the 2016-17 Jumps Season = £84.38

from wagers on 26 individual selections (4 winners, 6 placed)

Total Staked = £280.00


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This blog is based on finding winners - if you want to lose your money then read another blog.
advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing Day Yankee


One of my favourite days of racing in the whole calendar – Boxing Day. I have some great memories of this day, including my namesake WAYWARD LAD winning the King George at Kempton 3 times, the best (in my opinion) being his last win in 1985. The weather has played havoc with the fixtures, but we still have plenty of decent racing to take advantage of.
We didn’t do badly last Saturday as I was able to have a 1pt win wager on MAJALA at Haydock at 5/2 after that was declared his preferred race at 12:24pm – just  14mins before he ran in the 12:40. Of course, he was a non-runner at Ascot, but the way he won at Haydock suggest he’d have won at Ascot too, had he taken part, and he was 7/1 for that race. My 2pt win selection HEY BIG SPENDER just wasn’t race fit, and I wasn’t to know that until we saw pictures of him at the start before the race. That is always a risk when a horse returns after a break, and it would suggest that the horse has a late season target, probably the Grand National. As for PRINCETON PLAINS, the horse was well there with 3 furlong to go but was taken on a wide line into the home straight (the home turn is a tight one at Ascot) which caused him to lose about half-a-dozen lengths on the leaders and his chance was gone. He was still only a length off being placed in the 1st-4 and eventually finished 6th.
Let’s look at the Alert List runners for Boxing Day:-
Kempton:
2:00 – MOLOTOF – I can’t see this horse winning to be honest.
2:35 – RAYA STAR – this trip of 2-mile will suit him much better than the 2m4f of LTO, he can go close.
3:10 – CHAMPION COURT – never shown any form beyond 2m5f so aiming for place money.
3:45 – VALID REASON & LOOSE CHIPS – Altho’ he’s only had 6 hurdle runs, I’ve had VALID REASON on my alert list since he won over 2m6f at Ascot in Nov’11 (his 2nd hurdle race). His 2 races this autumn have been solid considering they were over an inadequate trip and this 2m5f will be perfect, the soft ground won’t bother him and what’s more he has Barry Geraghty in the saddle.  LOOSE CHIPS won over C&D LTO and the runner-up only just failed to win NTO. I’m siding with VALID REASON.
Wetherby:
1:45 – CAPE TRIBULATION – ran an eye-catching race when 5th on 1st January at Cheltenham over 2m5f. Since then he’s improved 13lb as a hurdler and I reckon this 3-mile trip is what he wants as a chaser but if the ground is soft or worse then I’ll have to pass him over in favour of BALLYOLIVER @ 9/4 who will love soft/heavy and is bang in form.
2:20 – SKI SUNDAY – could have found a winning opportunity, not much value at 7/4 tho’.
2:55 – NO PLANNING – this 2m4f trip will suit him and he can win this off OR126 on the ground, he’s 100/30 at best.
Market Rasen:
2:10 – OVERYOU – a horse who needs a stamina test and this 3m5f chase will provide that!
Wincanton
2:50 – ROLLING ACES – should prove far too good for these, now odds-on at 4/5.
Ffos Las
2:20 – FIREBIRD FLYER – top-weight and giving lots away to 2nd-fav Bravo Bravo, not sure he’s capable of doing it.

Selections:
Kempton 3:10 – CUE CARD, 1pt win @ 6/1 – I reckon this horse could be exceptional over this 3-mile trip, and at 6/1 he’s worth a wager
Kempton 3:45 – VALID REASON, ½pt eachway @ 12/1

Boxing Day "win" Yankee
Wetherby 1:45 – BALLYOLIVER
Wetherby 2:55 – NO PLANNING
Market Rasen 2:10 – OVERYOU
Wincanton 2:50 – ROLLING ACES

Thanks for reading this blog to all visitors and I hope that you get enjoyment from it. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.
Remember! Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose. 
Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Spend a little time with me!

We have heavy going at both of today’s meeting at Ascot and Haydock. So, like the horses, tread carefully. There are plenty of runners from my personal alert list are out today.

At Ascot:
2:00 – REVE DE SIVOLA - this horse has been on my alert list for some years now as he was a very good novice hurdler. Personally, I don’t think he’s up to winning this unless the principals cannot handle this extreme going. However, I don’t think he disappointed as a chaser and I’d love to see him try that sphere again off OR138, as I reckon he’s a 150+ chaser at best, and he isn’t yet 8yo.

2:35 – WYCK HILL - As much as I like Wyck Hill, I really do think he’s been thrown-in the deep end here. He’s 6lb out of the handicap, and would have to run a career-best to even be in the frame. I’ll be frank here; I don’t think Hold On Julio is up to this level, even running off what could be a decent handicap mark, as he looked quite pedestrian to me in the Hennessey. I don’t think he’ll be helped by the heavy going either. I reckon HEY BIG SPENDER is a better horse than Roberto Goldback and so having a 4lb pull makes his advantage even bigger. If Ackertac stays this 3-mile trip (hasn’t shown any ability to stay 2m6f in 8 races beyond that trip) in heavy going, then I want to see a stewards enquiry. The “fly” is Katenko. Venetia Williams is walking on water this autumn with her chasers, but even she would need a miracle to make this horse win this after his poor debut run in this country last month. Unfortunately, I’ve missed the 9/2 available this morning and he’s only 7/2 now, but I think this is effectively a 2-horse race (ie, will Hold On Julio perform) and I’d be happy taking 9/4 on HEY BIG SPENDER. He’s a 2pt win wager, and I don’t make many of those!

 3:10 – BOTHY / CASH AND GO / PRINCETON PLAINS - There are 3 from my alert list going in the “Ladbroke” hurdle and the one that strikes me as “under-the-radar” is PRINCETON PLAINS. He’s coming into this race in the form of his life, and he loves these big-field competitive handicap hurdles. I can see him being covered-up in 7th-10th place before making his move in the final half-mile. I cannot understand why this horse is now 28/1 as he hasn’t been inconvenienced on heavy ground in the past.

3:40 – MAJALA / MY BROTHER SYLVEST – Of this pair, I have a lot of time for MAJALA who really could be thrown-in off OR135. He’ll handle this ground alright and there is not fat in the price of the fav Ulck Du Lin. At 7/1 he’s an eachway steal.

When Haydock is heavy, it really is heavy, and I’m half-expecting it not to go on. I’m not making any selection there.

Selections:
Ascot 2:35, HEY BIG SPENDER, 2pts win @ 7/2 (BetVictor, Bet365 Hills, all go BOG)
Ascot 3:10, PRINCETON PLAINS, ½pt eachway @ 28/1 (Bet365, Stan James, both go BOG & ¼ odds a place 1,2,3,4)
Ascot 3:40, MAJALA, ½pt eachway @ 7/1 (Bet365, Stan Paddy Power Hills, all go BOG & 5th odds a place 1,2,3)
Total = 4pts staked

Thanks for reading this blog to all visitors and I hope that you get enjoyment from it. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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. Remember! Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Cue Card worthy of an interest

There was only one horse running from my personal alert list yesterday, and I managed to persuade myself not to have a wager on it - SHAKING HANDS went on to win the 2:10 at Towcester @11/2, beating my selection Chac Du Cadran into 2nd in the process.

So much for me thinking the horse would not be happy on the rain-sodden ground, he made-all and came home the 11/2 winner. His previous races on soft/heavy going have seen him pull-up (LTO), come last of 11, 4th of 13, 3rd of 9, 2nd of 7, 1st of 11 (as a novice chaser), pulled-up (again), and 1st of 10 in his debut chase. With a couple of novice chase wins on heavy I was perhaps being over-critical, but he has pulled-up a couple of times too on extreme going. His rider, Tom Scudamore, gave him every opportunity to win by moving over to the stands-side rail after the 2nd last which caused the runner-up to move into the centre of the track if he was going to overtake. That caused Chac Du Cadran to lose his balance going into the final fence, and more vital yards and momentum, which he was unable to recover on the run-in. This was a hard slog and I reckon all the 1st-3 home will need a good rest after this.  Anyway, I'm in need of a change in fortune.

Today, we have only Ascot surviving the rain of the past few days. At 2:30, we see the chasing debut of the current "Arkle" fav Simonsig, from Nicky Hendersons's stable. I would be surprised to see this horse beaten today, but I am also surprised to see the horse have his chase debut on such awful, testing ground. Current odds of 1/5 are a bit stupid in my opinion as Henderson has had a couple of dodgy novice chasers in the recent past which were very decent hurdlers - so it is not a formality. In the 3:05 at Ascot, there is one from my alert list, SPANISH ARCH. This horse looks like he has a big future ahead of him, but I hate having wagers on heavy ground on horses that have no previous winning form on it, so I'll be watching only.

Looking ahead, it is interesting that connections of JUNIOR have stumped-up the £10,000 supplementary entry fee for the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day. They are clearly expecting this to be a slog in the mud, something that JUNIOR is well-up for and he'll come into this race bang-in-form. Let's be honest, unless those at the head of the market all fail to finish then JUNIOR is unlikely to win, however he is capable of taking 3rd or 4th place and providing a profit on the supplementary entry fee. He may well be worth including in any "swinger" wagers on the Tote, if that is your bag.. The more the weather stays wet, the more likely it is that LONG RUN will win on Boxing Day. He currently has an OR172 rating, and I think he's up to that mark, especially when racing on soft/heavy ground. I have been a big supporter of CUE CARD since his novice hurdle days (if you remember, there was talk that he may even have attempted the Champion Hurdle as a 5yo novice), but he is unproven at 3-mile as either a hurdler or a chaser. I think he will stay 3-mile, and I think he is potentially a better 3-miler than Long Run, but that is still to be proven on the track. The worry is that if he doesn't stay 3-mile then he may stop very quickly after the 3rd last fence on Boxing Day. Currently, CUE CARD is 5/1 at best odds (offered by Vic Chandler) and that's worth a small win wager, say ½pt.

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.

Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Thursday, 20 December 2012

Peterborough Chase - it's not to be

No luck yesterday. Having gone thru' the races looking for value I missed a couple of winners mentioned in the narrative (Drumshambo and Roll The Dice) but managed to latch-on to a loser in Balbriggan. I wasn't the only one tempted by Balbriggan's form-book entry as he started the 7/2, 2nd-fav from a morning price of 11/2. There is clearly some potential there, but this horse won't show it on soft ground as he hated it and was soon struggling. That said, the race winner, HANDY ANDY, loved the mud and jumped superbly. There was no stopping the horse and he looks capable of staying a lot further than this should he attempt one of the marathon handicaps. On reflection, HANDY ANDY did have the strongest form going into the race and also looked the most capable of handling the soft ground. I was guilty of trying too hard to find one to beat the favourite when, actually, the favourite was by-far the most obvious winner.

I think I was right about the 3-mile handicap chase at Ludlow, it was a weak Class 3. The race went to Tour Des Champs who was 1 of only 4 to finish from the 9 starters. The horse I considered as a selection in the race, Milo Milan, stumbled around the track to finish 3rd at (in my opinion) the incredibly low odds of 7/2. I've no idea who thought that horse was worthy of a wager at those odds, but it wasn't me.

The rain that is lashing the country has claimed another meeting with Exeter having to abandon its racing today, which was to feature the Peterborough Chase (which had been transferred  from Huntingdon). As Huntingdon have a Boxing Day meeting next Wednesday, if it were up to me, I'd include the race in that. Looking ahead towards Boxing Day, I do love to have a decent wager on the day, it's very much a Christmas tradition for me. Last year I had a "yankee" and 3 of my 4 selections won. The horse that didn't win that day is running today at Towcester in the 2:10, Shaking Hands.

The heavy ground at Towcester will make this a real stamina test on what is already a stamina-sapping course. I can't have Shaking Hands today as he's never looked happy on any ground with the word "soft" in the description. Round The Horn has won his last 3 races on the back of a
preparatory run so, as he's been off the track for 229 days, I can't have him. It is a step into the unknown for the 5yo Little Trip, and he does look very one-paced. Atherstone Hill usually runs well after a break, but his seasonal debut earlier this month was poor, so maybe age is catching up with him.  As such, perhaps the race-fav CHAC DU CADRAN looks the best option, in much the same way as Handy Andy did yesterday.
His latest chase run (his 3rd) was his best yet and that was on soft going, and he won over hurdles at Towcester. Current odds of 11/4 are not bad considering the lack of opposition, and that opposition is either out of form or running on ground that is unsuitable.

Fingers crossed, the meetings at Ascot tomorrow and Saturday will go ahead, as I'm not confident of either Haydock or Newcastle being race-able.

Selection:
Towcester 2:10, CHAC DU CADRAN, 1pt win @ 11/4 (available generally)

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.

Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Perils of antepost wagering

Trainer Paul Nicholls isn't having a good time of it lately and, on Monday evening, he announced that his stable top-notchers BIG BUCKS and AL FEROF have both sustained injuries which are likely to keep them off the track for the remainder of this jump season. It is perhaps a timely reminder of the perils of antepost wagering on so-called certainties. A horse can't win a race unless it lines-up at the start and, in any form of racing not just jump racing, getting a horse to the start of a race can be an effort in itself. When considering an antepost wager you must include an element of "risk".

Take, for instance, the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day. Currently, there are 8 horses with odds under 20/1 in the antepost list; yet I'm expecting only 5 of those to actually take part: Long Run, Cue Card, Captain Chris, Kauto Stone and Finians Rainbow. I'd want odds of  6/1 about Sizing Europe to line-up, never mind "with a run",  Grands Crus will not be risked in a race of this stature on a return from injury, and Sir Des Champs will find the Lexus in Ireland a much easier race. If those 5 actually line-up on Boxing Day, then I'd expect the SP's to be:
Long Run @ 7/4, Cue Card @ 5/2, Kauto Stone @ 7/1, Finians Rainbow @ 10/1, and Captain Chris @ 12/1

They may be joined in the race by the likes of The Giant Bolster and one or another challenger, but those additions would not radically alter the structure of the betting for the race. Everyone will have their own opinion, but I wouldn't want to take less than 5/2 before the morning of the race about Long Run, nor would I take less than 100/30 about Cue Card. I do think it is very interesting that Nicholls has dismissed a supplementary entry for Silviniarco Conti into the race, and this is as much confirmation that you need that Kauto Stone could be the "ringer" in the market.

Over the Christmas break, I'll be putting together the foundations for my Cheltenham Festival dossier. We are now entering a very important phase in the jumps season: between Christmas Day and Valentines Day (14th Feb) virtually every winner of every race at the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival will have its final preparatory race. Get the notebooks ready, put the order in for the Weedender from now until Grand National week, and set aside some time to peruse the results every week between now and the Festival in March. My aim will be to issue the dossier on, or about, the 21st February.

The usual terms will apply; those who donate at least £10 between 1st November 2012 and 12th March 2013 will receive a copy.

There are a couple of decent meetings today at Newbury and Ludlow. The novice chase at Ludlow at 1:10 looks a punters nightmare as it could go to any one of the 1st-4 in the market and there are only 8 starters in the race.  Venetia Williams' Last Shot was pulled-out of a race yesterday for this, so that could be a good sign, but I am also interested in Phil Hobbs' Roll The Dice. The next on the card, the 2-mile handicap chase, should go to Venetia Williams' DRUMSHAMBO but at odds of only 6/4 there will be no interest from me.  The 3-mile handicap chase at 2:45 looks weak for a class 3. Only Howard's Legacy has won a Class 3 chase from the 9 runners, of which only 2 (Basoda and Take Of Shoc's) have more than 6 starts over fences. As such, I would not want to be taking a short price in this race and the couple I'm looking at are The Falkander and MILO MILAN. Altho' The Falklander has won a chase on soft going over 3-mile, he's not looked well handicapped in his latest couple of runs. MILO MILAN has been running over trips up to 2m5f but he has been staying-on in those races and he has the best speed-rating by a mile. Trainer Richard Lee has put 5lb claimer Michael Nolan in the saddle at that could be enough to swing it for him. Unfortunately, current odds of 5/1 don't look value to me and I'm looking for 13/2 or longer - no bet, as I'm looking to place an eachway wager.
Before I move-on from Ludlow, Nicky Henderson sends just one horse here (where he has a 34% strike rate: 35 wins from 103 runners since 2008/09 season) and that's Polly Peachum in the 3:15. Currently 6/1, she should win this comfortably.

There may be a better opportunity at Newbury, where only the 12:50, a 3-mile novices handicap chase, catches my eye. I really like BALBRIGGAN and he went into my notebook when he won his debut chase at Bangor over 2m4 f. I will forgive him his run LTO as he made a couple of errors and he wasn't beaten far by a proven stayer at 3-mile. He looks to retain his potential, whereas the fav Handy Andy is a plodder, Chartreux was very fortunate LTO, and High Kite is another one-paced horse. Current odds of 6/1 (Paddy Power) look generous to me, and I'm on to a 1pt win wager.

Selections:
Newbury 12:50, BALBRIGGAN, 1pt win @ 6/1 (Paddy Power)

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.

Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Saturday, 15 December 2012

Cheltenham Saturday


Yesterday was not the best of days. I really convinced myself that Sound Stage had a half-decent chance, but he could cope with the ground. Let’s be honest, advance going reports described as  ”good-to-soft” should not become “heavy “  once racing starts. It made a mockery of form-study in advance of the racing.  My win selection, Bradley, also did not cope with the ground, whereas the race winner Master Overseer had good form on heavy.  It was a great run by Quartz De Thaix in 2nd and he can win again on better ground. Similarly, the final selection, Cross Kennon, struggled to last home.
Onto today, and let’s try and use that ground knowledge.
At Cheltenham, in the 1:20, OH CRICK has never been unplaced in 6 races on soft/heavy. With ground doubts over the fav Shooters Wood, and French import Garynella being an unknown quantity, I’m happy to have a 1pt win wager on OH CRICK at 9/2 (BetVictor) as the horse ran a cracker LTO.
The feature race at 2:30 has a strong fav in Walkon, who will love this ground. However, he’s best caught fresh and has “bounced” on his 2nd run of the season in the past. I cannot go for the 4yo Unioniste, tho’ I’m sure he’s a huge future, and I prefer his stablemate Cristal Bonus who has winning form on heavy ground. However, I’ve been banging-on about NADIYA DE LA VEGA all week and I’m not deserting the mare now. She should cope with the ground and comes here fit and well and has AP McCoy in the saddle (Barry Geraghty is on last years winner Quantitativeeasing).  A ½pt eachway at 10/1 (Hills, Paddy Power) looks good value to me.

That’s it for today (Christmas shopping calls):
Selections:
Cheltenham 1:20, OH CRICK, 1pt win @ 9/2 (BetVictor, BOG)
Cheltenham 2:30, NADIYA DE LA VEGA, ½pt each way @ 10/1 (Hills & Paddypowwer, BOG)

Thanks for reading this blog to all visitors and I hope that you get enjoyment from it. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.
Remember! Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose. Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Cheltenham Friday

I had no time to write a blog yesterday, but I did post my selections up on twitter - you can find me at @wayward_lad

Yesterday, I tipped BALLY LEGEND in the 1:50 at Taunton, and MARSHAL ZHUKOV in the 3:20, also at Taunton. Bally Legend was a well beaten 2nd in his race and looks like he's not going to be as good a chaser as he was a hurdler. However, MARSHAL ZHUKOV was an emphatic winner, leading 2-out to score at an SP of 2/1.  A 1pt win wager on both selections would have seen you in profit by 1pt on the day at SP (starting prices) though Marshal Zhukov was available at 5/2 for most of the afternoon (I don't advise wagers at odds shorter than 9/4).

If there is no blog, then I will post any selections of mine on twitter. Don't worry, I'm not one of these tipsters who makes half-a-dozen (or more) selections a day and crows about it when just one wins. Before yesterday, my previous selection on twitter was on Tuesday - YA HAFED which I advised was an eachway wager @ 7/1. That selection also turned a profit, as YA HAFED finished 2nd at an SP of 17/2. Essentially, my selections are either 1pt win, or ½pt eachway.  YA HAFED returned a 0.35pt profit at SP.

As there was no blog last Saturday, I advised 2 selections via twitter; both were 1pt win selections.  Imperial Circus who finished 3rd of 5 runners; and Wayward Prince who won at and SP of 4/1.  WAYWARD PRINCE opened at 9/2 on-course and was available at 5/1 in the morning, but I'm happy to take 4/1. So then, the last 3 days on which I've advised selections have all returned a profit and, just this week, if you are following me then you are 4.35pts ahead on an investment of 5pts; that a ROI (return on investment) of 87%. However, when I calculate my blog profit (and loss, if there is one) I will NOT include twitter selections as not everyone who reads the blog uses twitter.

On Wednesday, I suggested that ZARKANDAR looked a good wager in the International Hurdle on Saturday at Cheltenham. His current odds for that race are 5/4 which is fair. Now, as I've said, I don't advise wagers at odds of 9/4 so what will be a more long-term ploy is taking advantage of the 8/1 for the Champion Hurdle. I expect ZARKANDAR to win on Saturday and, when that happens, unless he only scrapes home by less than a neck those Champion Hurdle odds should contract and he could well be the 5/1 joint-fav (with Hurricane Fly) come 3:15pm on Saturday.

For the feature race on Saturday, the Paul Stewart IronSpine Charity Challenge Gold Cup (handicap chase) over 2m5f, Ghizao has not been declared. As such, I'm focusing totally on the mare Nadiya De La Vega. She runs off the same mark of OR145 as when 3rd in the Paddy Power LTO, and so she has a 5lb pull with Walkon. I repeat my assertion of earlier this week: at 10/1 quarter-odds a place 1,2,3,4 she looks stonking value.

Today at Cheltenham we have a cracking day of racing. There's lots to write about so I won't spend too long on each race. The opening race has a red-hot fav in Broadbackbob, but "evens" is too short for me. He comes here with a lot of confidence and should win.

The 2nd race on the card is at 12:45, and 2 years ago SOUND STAGE won this in a canter off OR105. That was only his 3rd chase race and, later that season, he ran 2nd to Midnight Chase at level-weights over a similar trip. Were they to meet today, Midnight Chase would have to concede 45lbs to SOUND STAGE; and I rated SOUND STAGE at 132. He races off OR115 today and, in the intervening period, he's been campaigned primarily over 3-mile or more with stats of 10 runs, 0 wins, 2 places (both 3rd). SOUND STAGE does not stay a yard more than 2m6f. Yes, he'll plod-on into 6th or 7th, but he is not anywhere near as effective beyond 2m6f as he is at trips shorter than that. Trainer Caroline Keevil had a winner in MARSHAL ZHUKOV yesterday, and aims to have a winner at this Cheltenham meeting (she won the 2m1f hurdle with Bally Legend last year). I was hoping for slightly longer odds but 10/1 is fair enough.

I've not looked at the 1:20, so my next race is the 1:55, the 3m1½f handicap chase. This looks a cracker of a race and - as Tom Segal writes in the Racing Post (as Pricewise) any one of the front-3 in the betting can win this. I think Midnight Chase may just be past it, but Cheltenham brings out the best in him.. So, it's between Quartz De Thaix and BRADLEY. I favour the latter mainly as I think that the Cheltenham race he was 2nd in LTO will be very influential this season (Monbeg Dude runs in the Welsh National - you read it here first). The worry is that he may end up in a race-long battle for the lead with Midnight Chase and that will leave the race open for Quartz De Thaix to pounce. Giving 22lb to BRADLEY should prove too much for Midnight Chase tho' and BRADLEY should run-out a clear winner - even so, I would NOT take less than 3/1.

My final race assessment is for the 3:05 which is a 3-mile handicap hurdle. In my experience, genuine 3-mile hurdlers are rare beasts and, when you find one, you should follow them. CROSS KENNON is such a horse and when in his prime in this sphere 2 seasons back he was rated OR154 after running 4th in the World Hurdle in 2011. He looked back to his best LTO when losing out to the unexposed and potentially very good Goulanes to whom he was conceding 14lb, and a repeat of that should see him in the frame if not winning here. As such, 12/1 looks decent.

Lastly, I have been a big supporter of CUE CARD for the past couple of seasons, and I think he has a tremendous chance in the coming King George Chase on Boxing Day (for which he is 7/1).  However, the horse who I reckon will follow him home is KAUTO STONE and if today's reports that AP McCoy is being offered the ride (Daryl Jacob being suspended) then I'd take the 16/1 eachway that's on offer.

Selections:

Cheltenham 12:45, SOUND STAGE, ½pt eachway @ 10/1 (William Hill, BetVictor both BOG ¼-odds a place 1,2,3)

Cheltenham 1:55, BRADLEY, 1pt win @ 3/1 (don't take less, it is generally available)

Cheltenham 3:05, CROSS KENNON, ½pt eachway @ 12/1 (William Hill, BetVictor both BOG ¼-odds a place 1,2,3,4)

I will also be having a personal ¼pt eachway double on SOUND STAGE and CROSS KENNON.

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.

Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Thanks from Wayward Lad



Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Here's hoping for the weekend

No jump-racing on Thursday following a blank day on Wednesday. So, I've decided to have a look-ahead at the weekend to see if there is any early value to be had at the Cheltenham meeting which, based on today's weather forecast, should be going ahead.

The advance going is Soft (good-to-soft in places) and that is unlikely to change. The feature race on Saturday is the Paul Stewart IronSpineCharity Challenge Gold Cup (handicap chase) over 2m5f of the New Course. This race has been dominated by the major stables of Henderson, Nicholls, Pipe and Hobbs in recent years, and I don't think it will be any different this year even if Alan King is sending the antepost fav Walkon. The softer the better, for Walkon, and I don't think he'll appreciate being raised 5lb in the handicap for this either. Behind him in 3rd LTO was Nadiya De La Vega and this horse is 3 from 3 on good-to-soft. He's also running off the same mark of OR145, so he has a 5lb pull with Walkon and he'll be racing on ground more to his liking. At 10/1 quarter-odds a place 1,2,3,4 he looks stonking value as I write. The only other horse that jumps out at me is Ghizao. Long-time readers of the blog will know my history with this horse who I was convinced would win the Arkle at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival. I still think he'd have gone close but for a bad error at the fence at the top-of-the-hill, and his subsequent Aintree 2nd (despite another error-strewn jumping performance) reinforced that belief. He was 6th of 16 in this race last year racing off OR154, and he looked capable of winning the race approaching the final fence but found nothing on the run-in. He's had a breathing operation since then, and his form in his latest run (3rd to Captain Chris at Ascot over 2m3f on heavy ground) suggests he's back to his best. As such, his OR155 rating could be lenient especially as he's won 5 times from 7 runs on good-to-soft or soft ground. At 16/1, he is another that I'd take an interest in before the day.

The International hurdle on Saturday looks a cracker of a race, with the 3 main participants - Rock On Ruby, Zarkandar, and Grandouet - separated by just 4lb on official ratings. Zarkandar gets a 4lb "pull" at the weights and that puts him firmly in the driving seat, especially as he's also had the benefit of a run going into this race. The meeting ends with the Relkeel hurdle over 2m4½f and Oscar Whisky should be hard to beat due to the race conditions as he's well-in at the weights. That said, I think Crack Away Jack is on a lenient rating of OR151, and in-receipt of 8lb from Oscar Whisky, he'll not be far away. I have been hoping Crack Away Jack would return to chasing as he runs off OR142 in that sphere and were he entered in the feature chase handicap on Saturday running off OR142, he would be a 2pt win "nap".

I'll be interested in Molotof if he goes to Doncaster on Saturday for the 3-mile novice chase. Later on the Doncaster card, I'll be hoping the 2m3f handicap cuts-up if my recent advised winner Lets Get Serious takes part. I think he looks a super prospect and could well end-up a 150+ chaser, but I'd like to see him facing less than 8 rivals in this race as it'll only be his 2nd chase and he may not enjoy the hurly-burly if there are 10+ runners in the race.

Friday's meeting at Cheltenham is similarly attractive. I enjoyed a good win on Sound Stage when he won the 2m5f handicap Chase just 2 years ago, and he returns for another attempt this week. Unfortunately, he does not look the horse he was then but I'm sure trainer Caroline Keevil will have his fit to do his best. There is a tremendous 3m1½f chase at 1:55 on Friday, and there are a number of horses entered which I have on my alert list, including Quartz De Thaix. Another is Bradley, who has only been raised 5lb for his recent brave 2nd at the previous Cheltenham meeting. There is also Wyck Hill, but he'll be racing from 5lb out of the handicap and I think he'll find an easier target than this.

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.

Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Monday, 10 December 2012

Weekend look-back

It was a bit up & down wasn't it? On Friday, I looked at 5 races in all and mentioned one horse in each race, narrowing-down to 2 advised selections. Both selections were unsuccessful: Graduation Night was the subject of a substantial gamble from 10's in the morning to an SP of 11/2. He was going well, until stopping quickly and being pulled-up after jumping the 5th fence from home in this 4-mile marathon chase. No reason has been given for the horse being pulled-up. On the Sandown card, I tipped Satou in the 2:55 who was also gambled on from 7/1 into 9/2, but he never looked like winning. The other 3 horses mentioned who I expected to run well, but did not advise as selections were:-

The Big Freeze at Exeter, who won at 11/4 by a nose;
Bold Sir Brian at Sandown, who won at 11/10 very easily just as I expected he would; and
Berenger, also at Sandown, who came 3rd at 13/2 having led at the final flight before losing by just over half-a-length.

There was no blog on Saturday, but I did advise 2 selections via twitter
(my moniker is @wayward_lad).
Chepstow 1:00 - Imperial Circus was 3rd of 5 runners; and
Aintree 1:05 - Wayward Prince Won at 4/1.

So, if you followed me on twitter, and I know a lot do (1200 followers), you were well rewarded.

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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..
Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad



Friday, 7 December 2012

The Big Freeze is coming

Welcome back and, before I recap on last weekend's performance, did any readers manage to take advantage of that 6/1 winner that I advised via twitter yesterday? There was just one horse running off my personal alert list (I use easyodds, as their alert list facility is free and - so far - without limit on numbers), and that was DREAM FUNCTION. This horse is a sister to Captain Chris and had won twice from 3 races last autumn (2011) for trainer Phil Hobbs, before moving to Ireland. I sent out a message on twitter (my handle is: @wayward_lad) at 12:15pm which left readers plenty of time to get on before the race started at Clonmel at 2:45. I am not a "tipster" who puts-up selections less than 5 minutes before the off-time on twitter - many do, but not me. Admittedly, the selection was fortunate as Cadspeed, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh, was 12-lengths clear of Dream Function coming to the final fence where he fell. That left Dream Function to saunter past the stricken horse and take an easy win. The horse was very easy to back (I was on at 10.50 on Betfair about 30 mins before the race), but as it wasn't posted on the blog I'll not take the winner into my profit figures for the season.

We had another good winner on the blog last weekend in ROLLING ACES and, as such, made a ½pt profit last Saturday making 22.90pts profit last week. In the Hennessey, Fruity O'Rooney gave followers a great run and even jumping the 2nd-last I thought the horse would be placed and return a profit, but he tired quickly after the last fence. Harry the Viking never really got into the race and possibly wants a drop in grade and another half mile. Earlier on the card, Rey Nacarado looked like taking the race 2-out but was one-paced thereon. He does relish an extreme test, so perhaps softer going would benefit him.

Onto today, but before I continue THE WILL BE NO BLOG TOMORROW. Believe it or not, I actually have a full-time job and tonight it is the firm's Christmas Party. I'm staying-over in London afterwards and going Christmas shopping on Saturday in the "West-End". If I find any value in the morning (while I'm having breakfast somewhere in Borough Market) then I'll be posting it on twitter.

We have a couple of meetings today, at Sandown and Exeter, and they both look useful. I would keep an eye on the weather tho' especially the meeting at Sandown, as it's very cold and sleety this morning. At Exeter, the 4-mile handicap chase at 1:30 could be gruelling. There will be a good pace on thru'out courtesy of Shaking Hands (2nd in this race last year) and Ammunition. Lord Tomnoddy is interesting as his trainer Kim Bailey is 4 wins from 5 runners here in chases in the past 5 seasons. The horse will act on the soft (heavy in places) ground and, for a 10yo, is very lightly raced (just 8 races under rules), so there could be some improvement to come. But, at just 7/2 as I write, he does not look value to me. The one that does is GRADUATION NIGHT who I tipped on 10th November when coming 5th of 12 at Sandown over 3m1f. He looks to me like he'll enjoy this step-up in trip, and he'll be able to sit behind the pace-makers and pounce late-on when his stamina comes into play. Currently 10/1 (Betfred, BetVictor, Corals & Tote) he looks a worthwhile eachway wager. Later on the Exeter card at 3:15, I do like the look of THE BIG FREEZE but there's no room for error in his current odds of 3/1 in this novice handicap chase. Even so, I expect this 6yo horse from the Tim Vaughan stable to pay his way this winter.

At Sandown, the meeting looks a tricky one for punters, so tread carefully! The feature is the 2:20 which is a "Listed" chase over an extended 3-mile. I will be very surprised if BOLD SIR BRIAN is beaten in this, as he's not stopped improving and this trip of 3-miles could well be his best. He has already won at 2m7f at Kelso on soft, so I can't find any question-marks. This is a straight "match" with Pacha Du Polder from Paul Nicholls stable and BOLD SIR BRIAN should win with something in hand. I don't advise wagers at odds under 9/4, so I won't advise a wager on BOLD SIR BRIAN at 11/10 - but I wouldn't put anyone off. The amateur riders h'cap chase at 2:55 is a cracker. Quite why Vincitore is 16/1 is beyond me as he's proven at this trip and his rider, Miss Hart, gets on well with him. I'd expect a place from him.  I tipped Brackloon High last week, and he fell at the 1st fence, so my confidence is shaken a bit in him. The market has moved for Dashing George as he's won over C&D in Feb11 and a repeat of that form would see him win easily. But, he's not a safe jumper of a fence, and his mistakes were his downfall LTO. Were he 8/1+ I'd say he was an eachway proposition, but at just 4/1 he's too short for me. The one I like the look of is SATOU, who is the only runner for trainer Phil Hobbs at Sandown today. This 6yo has been running well this autumn and he's also a C&D winner (Dec11). He looks like giving a bold show in this race, which has a few duffers racing in it, and odds of 7/1 (William Hill & Skybet) look generous. Finally, when Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty get together than take notice, so Berenger in the last race at Sandown should not be allowed to go off at 8/1 even if his form is a bit dubious. He's clearly a slow horse and lacking gears, but if anyone can conjure a run out of the horse it will be Geraghty.

Selections:
Exeter 1:30, GRADUATION NIGHT, ½pt eachway @ 10/1 (BetVictor, BOG, 5th odd a place 1,2,3)

Sandown 2:55, SATOU, ½pt eachway @ 7/1 (William Hill, BOG, 5th odd a place 1,2,3)

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.

Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Saturday, 1 December 2012

Hennessey Gold Cup


What a cracking day yesterday was.
Just 2 selections and BOTH WON, returning an 11pt profit on the day.
Including last Saturday, when I posted 4 selections and 2 won returning a 7pt profit on the day, I’ve posted 8 selections on the blog and FIVE, yes FIVE have won returning a 22.40pt profit on the week from 9pts staked.
Remember, I’m not interested in finding winners at less than 9/4 so, if you want odds-on shots look elsewhere.
First up yesterday was LETS GET SERIOUS and didn’t he jump well for his debut chase! That makes is 7 winners from 11 runners in chases at Doncaster for James Ewart, trainer of Lets Get Serious. I said stats like than cannot be ignored but, even so, this horse looks to have a bright future.
As for BLESS THE WINGS, what a brave horse. I thought he’d lost it when he idled after the last losing a 4-length lead, but he picked-up the bit and ran on again in the final 50 yards. Would The Knoxs have won if he hadn’t fallen? Probably not, as to get safely over the fence he’d have needed to take it slower and that would have handed the advantage firmly to Bless The Wings. I did say The Knoxs was one to drop a leg.
Many thanks for all those who had a good wager yesterday, and then pressed the donate button. It does make writing the blog worthwhile and provides me with more incentive to write again.

Onto today, and it’s the Hennessey Gold Cup at Newbury, plus supporting cards at Newcastle and Towcester – but Newcastle has an inspection planned.

The opener at Newbury has REY NACARADO running from my alert list. This horse has won twice over C&D and the latest of those wins was on soft ground off a mark of 120. He really does have a favorites chance in this race and 7/2 looks fair to me. That said, Hunters Lodge looks to be on the upgrade, and Ballyoliver has had plenty of opportunities to show he stays this sort of trip and hasn’t convinced. The others look out of it.

Have your notebook ready for the novice chase at 1:25 as this could be full of future winners. The obvious contender to win is ROLLING ACES who has been on my alert list since winning his debut novice hurdle over a year ago, but there are any number of horses that could improve considerably on what they’ve shown, and I’m thinking of Seven Woods, Merry King, and Godsmejudge.

The Hennessey is at 3:10, and I’ve been telling those within my “inner sanctum” to take the odds about FRUITY O’ROONEY for well over a week, and I’m on at 33/1. This is a race with some bookmakers paying 5 places eachway (Bet365, Paddy Power) so take advantage, as you can get 25/1 on FRUITY O’ROONEY with Bet365. I know the horse stays the trip, and he’ll handle the ground, he’s won twice on heavy! Regular readers will know I won on him at the Festival when he was a bold 2nd in the JLT Chase on the opening day. Expect a similar run today, from the front playing catch me if you can. He will have Teaforthree running with him early on, but that horse has the Welsh National as his target. For his lack of experience, Hold On Julio looks too short a price for me, and the same goes for Bobs Worth. If either of those win then they have developed into very good chasers. One who could be under the radar is Harry The Viking who, courtesy of stablemate Tidal Bay, gets in on 10st 2lb. He ran 2nd to Teaforthree at the Festival (at levels) and he could be one for the eachway punters. But, its FRUITY O’ROONEY for me.
I can’t see anything worth having a wager on at Towcester. As for Newcastle, the weather has almost killed the meeting and they really should cancel it. I feel sorry for the course as the Fighting Fifth hurdle as the jewel in their crown.

So then, the selections for the day are:

Newbury 12:15 REY NACARADO, 1pt win @ 100/30 (sorry, the 7/2 has gone so be quick)
Newbury 1:25 ROLLING ACES, ½pt each way @ 5/1 (Bet Victor and Stan James)
Newbury 3:10 FRUITY O’ROONEY, ½pt each way @ 25/1 (Bet365, paying 5 places ew)
Newbury 3:10 HARRY THE VIKING, ¼pt each way @ 25/1 (Paddy Power, paying 5 places ew)

Thanks for reading this blog to all visitors and I hope that you get enjoyment from it. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.
Remember! Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose. Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Newbury Hennessey meeting - Day 2

We have a winner! And a 9/1 winner at that, when SIZING SANTIAGO (one of only 2 selections given) romped home yesterday at Newbury. Remember, I don't provide selections that start at odds shorter than 9/4, and what selections I provide on this blog are FREE! Of course, if you have a successful wager following what you've read here then, just like you would after enjoying a good meal at a restaurant (or even an indifferent meal), please hit the "donate" button and leave a "tip".
What I didn't know about Sizing Santiago yesterday was that he's a half-brother to Take The Stand who ran 2nd in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2005. As Peter Bowen (trainer of Sizing Santiago and Take The Stand) say's in today's Racing Post; being just a 6yo there is likely to be a lot of improvement to come from Sizing Santiago and he will be best at trips between 3m - 3m3f. He's going straight on my alert list.
Another busy day at the races today, with the 2nd-day of the Hennessey meeting at Newbury, plus meetings at Doncaster and Musselburgh.
I have just 2 horses from my alert list running, they both run at Newbury, and they both won LTO - Le Beau Bai and Bless The Wings. Whether Le Beau Bai can repeat his hurdles win of 11th November is debatable, as he's being aimed at the Welsh National. However, BLESS THE WINGS does look to have a good chance in the 3:15 at Newbury, especially as he's won before at this sort of trip of 2m4f and the ground is not as bad as expected being soft, good-to-soft in places. What I like about BLESS THE WINGS is he travels well and jumps well, and that can't be said about the fav The Knoxs who is apt to clout a fence now and then. Current odds of 5/1 (Blue Square and others) is more than fair as I thought he'd be about 7/2 for this. The Knoxs has a lot of potential too being a lightly raced 9yo, but I've always thought he'd be best at 3-mile. One who could surprise is Pasco, but I'm hoping the ground is too soft for him.
I can't see anything worthy of a wager at Musselburgh, but we may have an interesting selection at Doncaster. The 12:50 is a novice chase over 2m3f and the odds-on favourite is Rick, who previously ran as a hurdler in Ireland for Dessie Hughes and was quite a decent one at that. He's been bought by trainer John Ferguson to go chasing here and was only just beaten in his chase debut by No Planning, who looks a useful novice chaser and has run well since. However, Rick is not the one I'm interested in - it's LETS GET SERIOUS. This horse was bought out of Nicky Henderson's stable for £8,000 and runs here for James Ewart, who has had 6 winners from just 10 runners in chases at Doncaster in the past 5 seasons! That sort of strike-rate cannot be ignored, so clearly Ewart thinks a lot of LETS GET SERIOUS. He looked to have some talent a hurdler, so it is hard to know why he sold for so little last May. When he was 2nd on 2nd March he beat his stablemate Seven Woods giving him 6lb, and that horse ran 2nd (btn a neck) to Goulanes (now on OR132) at level weights, and he then won his next hurdle race before going chasing. The ground being soft today will be in the favour of Rick but, purely on hurdle ratings, there is not much between these horses and so, LETS GET SERIOUS at odds of 5/1 available generally has to worth a wager.
Selections:
Doncaster 12:50 LETS GET SERIOUS, 1pt win @ 5/1 (available generally) Newbury 3:15 - BLESS THE WINGS, 1pt eachway @ 5/1 (Blue Square, Sportingbet, 888Sport)

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.
Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad





Thursday, 29 November 2012

Newbury Hennessey meeting - Day 1

We have a good day of horseracing ahead of us with the opening day of the Hennessey meeting at Newbury, together with supporting cards at Taunton and Uttoxeter. I haven't submitted a mid-week blog of late, but today's horseracing is too good to pass-up.

The 2m1f novice chase looks very competitive with 5 x LTO winners in the 6 horses that line-up. This will be a very informative race, especially in respect of the Arkle at next March's Cheltenham Festival. Is the winner of the Arkle running today? I was very taken with the manner in which Kruzhlinin won his debut chase, but I can't advise a wager in such a competitive race.

My old friend HOUBLON DES OBEAUX goes for the 3-mile novice chase at 2:05, and this is even more competitive with all 6 runners being LTO winners! This trip of 3-mile will suit Houblon Des Obeaux even better than the 2m5f he won over LTO, and he's currently the 7/4 fav. The one in the race that could prove the biggest danger to the fav is Nicky Henderson's Hadrian's Approach.

The 2m6 & 110yards handicap chase at 2:40 will revolve around whether Cedre Bleu (Paul Nicholls) is as good as was hoped last season. He was highly tried earlier this season and found wanting, so he's clearly shown ability at home. He shares top-weight with Alvarado and this horse is proven race-fit having won LTO on 17th October, and he's won over 3-mile on soft, tho' that was only a 3-runner race. The one I like the look of as a value wager in this race is SIZING SANTIAGO who was only beaten by the well-prepared Swing Bill at Cheltenham over 3-mile. Jockey Jamie Moore is back in the saddle today and, at 8/1 (available generally) he looks the best eachway value in the race.

My final advice is in the 3:15, and it's VALID REASON, currently 11/2 (available generally). He's unexposed as a hurdler and his rating of OR130 looks lenient to me as he was giving the winner LTO 22lb and the rest of the field were well beaten. He won't be lumping the 11st 11lb he carried that day, he's just 10st 10lb to carry. We know he handles the soft going, and he'll enjoy a strong run race which this should be. He would prefer a slightly longer trip than 2m, and that's probably why he's 11/2 and not half that, but there will be no horse finishing stronger.

Selections:
Newbury 2:05 No wager - I don't recommend wagers at shorter odds than 9/4, but I expect HOUBLON DES OBEAUX to win.
Newbury 2:40 - SIZING SANTIAGO, ½pt eachway @ 8/1
Newbury 3:15 - VALID REASON, 1pt win @ 11/2

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.
Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad



Monday, 26 November 2012

Eyecatchers from the weekend

First of all, readers of the blog were rewarded with another couple of winning selections in QUARTZ DE THAIX @ 5/1 and CAPTAIN CHRIS @ 7/2 (advised at 4/1 in the morning). Also, within the text, were strong words for Poole Master: 3rd @ 14/1.

Since my return to writing the blog on 2nd November I have been on an incredible run of form posting winners at odds of
25/1 - Monbeg Dude (advised @ 40/1);
9/1 - Houblon Des Obeaux;
5/1 - Quartz De Thaix;
7/2 - Captain Chris (advised @ 4/1);
3/1 - Wyke Hill;
11/4 - Bless The Wings (advised @ 13/2);

All these have provided the blog with a profit of over 40pts  since 2nd November - and this blog is FREE!

During the summer, I was seriously considering making my selections available on a phone-line for the jumps season. However, I talked myself out of that as I do enjoy writing the blog. Even so, I know the blog is read by a couple of hundred people when it's posted - and I know (via twitter) when readers have had a winner based on my opinion. So, it does stick in the throat when the donations button hasn't been used as much as I'd have expected. Onto the eyecatchers:-

In my opinion SILVINIACO CONTI should now be the 4/1 favorite for the Gold Cup. His performance on Saturday was good enough to have won the race last March. There are very few horses capable of a similar performance over the Gold Cup trip and, given he'll be just a 7yo next March, it is going to take a special horse to lower his colours then and he has to have a better than 7/1 chance (his current odds) of taking the
prize.

I was also impressed with the run from GHIZAO and if Nicholls can find a handicap chase at about 2m3f for him in the next 2 or 3 weeks he looks to be on a very, very lenient handicap of OR150. Remember, he gave Captain Chris a good tonking when giving him 10lb back in December 2010.

Yet another Paul Nicholls horse that caught my eye was BLACK THUNDER. Under top-weight, this 5yo was confidently ridden and only just failed to win.

Later in the afternoon at Haydock, QUARTZ DE THAIX repaid my support with an emphatic win. He hit a flat spot about 6f out but, before that, he was cantering when all others were struggling. The way he stayed-on and jumped his fences was very pleasing and I've no doubt he can follow-up for the har-trick.

One to possibly avoid is Sivola De Sivola. He's had a few chance now and has not come on from his win at Newbury over 3-mile. Perhaps it is time to go chasing with him.

One I had a personal wager on was SUPER ALLY. He looked like going close about a mile out in the 3m4f chase at Haydock on Saturday, but faded in the last half-mile. He can win if dropped to 3-mile NTO.

Has anyone else spotted anything worth noting?

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.
Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad



Saturday, 24 November 2012

Betfair Chase at Haydock


I am not overly excited about today’s horseracing, as it does not look as good as it should for a Saturday. I had a great day last weekend, so (I’ve no selections in my head as I start writing this) let’s see what we can find.
I have a whole shed-load of horses running today off my alert list. I’ll not be naming them all here as otherwise I’d still be writing this at 3 o’clock.
At Haydock, the going is soft and that’s a bonus as it was expected to be heavy. The handicap hurdle at 12:55 looks very competitive and I’ll not be having a wager in it, but Poole Master is on my alert list as he ran well in the Coral Cup last March for a long way. He could sneak a place, but I can’t see him winning. 
I won a good wedge on QUARTZ DE THAIX when he won LTO, and he’s been raised 9lb to OR139 for that. He won off OR142 as a hurdler and was rated 148 in that sphere, so he’s in with a chance here as I reckon he’s a better chaser – when his jumping hangs together. I think he’ll cope with these today, the only “fly” being Lie Forrit who could be very well treated off OR130 based on his 2nd to Bold Sir Brian last December, but he ran a stinker last month and is on a recovery mission today. There are 2 others off my alert list in this, Going Wrong and Universal Soldier. The latter I think needs to prove himself up to this today, As for Going Wrong, he has not had much luck in his career and would probably be a 150+ chaser now were he injury free, but his broken pelvis of 2 years ago seems to have slowed him down a fair bit. This 3-mile trip should be no problem, but they may be too quick for him even on this soft ground.  QUARTZ DE THAIX @ 4/1 looks fair.
I think everyone will be on SIVOLA DE SIVOLA today in the 2:30 over 3-mile. Connections think very highly of the horse and today’s trip and going are in his favour. At 5/1 he looks a fair wager. The “dark-horse” in the field is Barafundle who I won a fair bit on a couple of years back before he was injured. He could be on a cracking handicap of OR133 if he’s fit.
In the Betfair Chase I’m opposing the fav Long Run with THE GIANT BOLSTER. At 13/2, the runner-up in the Gold Cup is far too long in the market, and he should be under 5/2 for this.
In the 3:40, a 3-mile handicap chase, SUPER ALLY loves the soft going, stays 3-mile well, and always goes best for Timmy Murphy and he can reach the frame at least in this race at decent odds of 12/1. It is a very competitive race, so don’t go overboard – has to be an eachway wager.
At Ascot, I reckon CAPTAIN CHRIS is at huge odds at 4/1 for the Amlin Chase at 2:10. Yes, Finian’s Rainbow is in the race, but I doubt he’ll be able to give 10lb to CAPTAIN CHRIS as he was very consistent in all the races he completed last season.

So then, my wagers for the day are:
Haydock 2:00 – QUARTZ DE THAIX, 1pt win @ 4/1
Haydock 3:05 – THE GIANT BOLSTER, 1pt win @ 13/2
Haydock 3:40 – SUPER ALLY, ½pt eachway @ 12/1
Ascot 2:10 – CAPTAIN CHRIS – 1pt win @ 4/1

Thanks for reading this blog to all visitors and I hope that you get enjoyment from it. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.
Remember! Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose. Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Ascot high

This Saturday brings us the first major chase race of the season, the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock. Today tho', we have only jump meetings at Ascot and Haydock as the meeting at Ffos  Las has been abandoned; and I'm hoping that another winning day is in store.

The meeting at Haydock is a bit disappointing, but that is almost certainly due to the weather. I'll be watching with interest the graduation chase at 1:20 and the novice chase at 1:55, and I fully expect Gevrey Chambertin (full brother of Grands Crus) to win the fixed brush hurdle at 3:05 and current odds of 15/8 aren't bad.

At Ascot there are a couple of decent handicap chases but, first, at 1:30 we have a beginner's chase over 2m5f & 110 yards and I like the chance of RESTLESS HARRY. Yes, the horse ran a stinker at Wetherby the other week but he may have just needed that run. More importantly, he jumped well enough last season in a couple of novice chases (without winning) to go onto my alert list and at odds of 11/4 he looks worthy of a small wager, say ½pt.

At 2:40 there is a class 3 handicap chase over 2m3f, and I fancy another off my alert list in this race, MARSHAL ZHUKOV. He won really well at Chepstow LTO in only his 2nd chase and 5lb claimer James Best has a good rapport with the horse. Currently 4/1, I was hoping for a little better but Ladbrokes are playing safe going only 100/30. MARSHAL ZHUKOV is worth a 1pt win wager @ 4/1 (go best odds guaranteed). For an eachway play in this race, I think All For Free should be a bit shorter than 11/1 based on his 2nd at Sandown last January over 2-mile. He was outclassed at Ascot NTO, and never got going in his last start, but he has his first race for a new trainer today (Bridgwater) and I reckon he'll go well.

The next on the card is another interesting handicap at 3:15 over 3-mile. Another off my alert list runs in this in Loch Ba, and hopefully the 6yo can follow-up his LTO win. This race does not seem as clear cut as the earlier handicap as the obvious danger is 2nd-fav Prophet de Guye who also won LTO. However, I'm not expecting more improvement from that 9yo especially on today's softer ground and a more likely challenge is to come from Brackloon High. Ignore his last couple of runs last season as he was over-the-top LTO and certainly out of his depth at the Cheltenham Festival. Before that tho' he looked a progressive novice chaser and he also goes well fresh. Best odds of 6/1 are fair reflection of his chance and, given Loch Ba also goes best fresh and may not therefore repeat his LTO performance today, BRACKLOON HIGH gets the nod to ½pt.

In the handicap hurdle at 3:50, I've noted that Bourne runs for Donald McCain, and it's his only runner at Ascot today. I haven't studied the form for this race, but a few good judges thought Bourne was unlucky LTO and some improvement is likely to come.

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it. If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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. Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad.





Monday, 19 November 2012

Eyecatchers from the weekend (17/18 November)

A great weekend of racing - not least for the selections of this blog writer - and there were some performances that are worthy of inclusion in the notebook.

Firstly, tho', I'll just give myself a huge pat on the back for my own performance on Saturday. I looked at 4 races in all, 3 at Cheltenham and 1 at Wetherby, and found a couple of cracking winners in MONBEG DUDE @ 25/1 (eachway wager advised at morning odds of 40/1) and WYKE HILL @ 3/1. In the race won by Monbeg Dude, I named 3 horses as being worthy of a wager - there being 17 runners and quarter-odds payable on the 1st-4 places - and the other 2 named came in 2nd (Bradley: advised win-only @ 6/1) and 4th (Any Currency: advised eachway @ 16/1). Three named and all 3 in the places. If you'd combined them in a Tote "Swinger" (3 possible combinations) the 1st & 2nd would have paid £54 to a £1 stake, and the Tote "Exacta" (6 possible combinations) paid a whopping £236.50.

Onto the eye-catchers from the weekend.

MONBEG DUDE: I first noticed this horse when he won his debut chase at Lingfield in November 2011, and then he followed that up with a taking performance in January. He was then thrown-in the deep end in a top novice chase at Newbury in March and his jumping fell apart and he was pulled-up. I was on him for his re-appearance in October in an amateur riders chase and, in the main, he was going well until falling 4-out. The horse clearly has an engine and his jumping is getting better with every race. On Saturday, he was held-up early on to gain his confidence, and then for the final circuit he was on the heels of the leading group. Coming down the hill approaching the 3rd-last his jockey had yet to make a move and he picked off the leaders on-the-bit. He won this off OR120, but I'd say he's an OR135+ chaser already and we've lots more to come.

BRADLEY: I noted this horse running-on best of all when 4th at Cheltenham in October, and he came into this race with trip and going in his favour and racing off a great handicap rating of OR133. Always in-the-van, he was jumping superbly and stayed-on very well and was just beaten by a better-handicapped improving rival. This horse is possibly OR145+ already and, for an 8yo, very lightly raced - he must be followed.

VIKING BLOND: A useful 3-mile hurdler (was rated OR138), after winning his debut novice chase he was thrown-in the deep end starting favourite for the Welsh National last December. Unsurprisingly, he failed to finish that day, and then went on to fall in the Grand National and also fail to finish in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown (3m5f). That was a tough season for the novice chaser. This was a great performance to try and make-all and that he kept on to hold 3rd place confirms his ability. In my opinion, he's an OR140+ chaser (perhaps 145+ on heavy) and looks a natural for races like the "Eider" at Newcastle.

CROSS KENNON: I'm a big admirer of Jenny Candish and her hurdlers , and Cross Kennon was on my alert list in 2010-11 - a season that culminated with 4th in the World Hurdle behind Big Bucks. After a failed attempt at chasing last season, the gelding is back hurdling and on Saturday raced off OR140 which was just 1lb above the rating from which he last won. That was in Feb 2011, when he beat Bensalem 6-lengths and gave that rival 4lb (Bensalem then won a top-handicap at the Cheltenham Festival NTO).  This was a return to his best and, if not harshly treated, I would expect a return to the winners' enclosure next-time-out.

GOULANES: David Pipe had a tremendous "Open" meeting and now is worthy of his place in the sun. I've thought for several years that (like Donald McCain) he's a better trainer than his father, and the performances of his horses is starting to prove it. In Goulanes, David Pipe has found a staying hurdler of immense potential. Yes, this was only a handicap, but the race was won with plenty of confidence and the runner-up (Cross Kennon, see above) is no back-number. This was only the 2nd race for Goulanes and, altho' it was won off OR126, I'd expect this horse to be rated OR150 before the season ends.

WYKE HILL: I wrote on Saturday that I've been waiting patiently for this horse to return to the track, and I was rewarded with an all-the-way victory. This horse has now won 3 of his 5 chases, having fallen in one, and was 2nd in the other beaten by Penny Max (rec'd 4lb) who won NTO off OR132. Wyke Hill always does it from the front and has not won by more than 2-lengths; facts which make it difficult for the handicapper to get a handle on. He won this off OR122, but I honestly think this horse is OR140+, and I'll follow him without reserve.

Other thoughts on the weekend:

AL FEROF: without doubt, this was a good win for the horse and he has recouped the losses incurred last season for his loyal supporters (not me). Racing Post Ratings have gone overboard on this race and awarded Al Ferof an RPR173 rating. What you have to take from this year's Paddy Power was that the race "collapsed" with 2 fences still to jump. The race was run at the usual searing pace and, on ground described as "soft, heavy in places",  only 2 horses actually went well enough on the going to get home: Al Ferof and the runner-up Walkon. Even the 3rd home Nadiya De La Vega was one-paced from before the 2nd-last and, of the 18 starters, 11 pulled-up most on the run-up to the 2nd-last fence.  Walkon is, without a doubt, best on soft/heavy ground and it seems that Al Ferof is too.  If Kempton on Boxing Day is good-to-soft or better going (and it usually is) then I'd not be siding with Al Ferof; if the ground is soft or worse then I may do.

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it. If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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. Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Saturday, 17 November 2012

Paddy Power Gold Cup


A bit of a late posting of the blog for today, but then it looks a decent day’s horseracing ahead. I’ll be posting this at least an hour before any of my selections run.
A big day at Cheltenham and the feature is the Paddy Power Gold Cup but, first, I’ll take a quick look at the novice chase at 1:20 over 3-mile. The going is soft today, and that is the only issue with not making SIRE COLLONGES my wager of the day. He really does look the real deal and altho’ giving 3lb to Sea Of Thunder – who he beat LTO – I really can’t s4ee the latter reversing the form. I was also impressed with the debut chase win of Masters Hill and he could be seriously under-rated.
The Henrietta Knight handicap chase over 3m3f is at 1:55 and this looks like being a cracker of a race. It takes a very good horse to carry more than 11st to win this race and, looking at past winners, the market usually gets this race right with no winner being longer than 9/1 in the past 10 years. I can’t see any of those at the head of the market and carrying more than 11st to be up to the task. Galaxy Rock maybe, but none of the others. As such, I’m going for BRADLEY who will love the ground, and the trip and looks like he is still improving – he was staying on really well here LTO. He was 13/2 earlier on, and is best –priced now at 6/1 and he looks a good bet to win. There are 4-places in this race, so if you are looking for a long-odds each/way chance Any Currency @ 16/1 was 2nd in this race in 2010, and Monbeg Dude was going well until falling 4-out here LTO and he’s 40/1.
The feature race is at 2:35, and it all hangs on whether Grand Crus is as good as they say he is. I bought the T-shirt last season, and thought he was a potential Gold Cup horse before he flopped in the RSA. Now, I’m not so sure and, at just 2/1 for one of the most competitive handicaps of the jumps season, I won’t be staking my money on him to find out. The fact that Nicky Henderson sends 4 to this race suggests he reckons the favourite can be beaten and I favour NADIYA DE LA VEGA  @ 16/1 with AP McCoy in the saddle. A winner here LTO, this mare is on the upgrade. I also have a soft spot for HUNT BALL and, what’s more, he’ll love the soft ground. At 9/1 he looks great eachway value. Bet365 and Paddy Power are paying quarter-odds to 5 places on this race, don’t bet with anyone else!

Away from Cheltenham, at Wetherby in the 2:25 is a horse I’ve been waiting a long time for to return to the track, WYKE HILL. He looks to be on a very lenient rating of OR122 and if he’s fit he’ll take a lot to stop winning this race. As such, I’m on at 3/1.

Thanks for reading this blog to all visitors and I hope that you get enjoyment from it. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.
Remember! Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose. Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Cheltenham Open meeting - day 1

Today is the opening day of the 3-day "Open" meeting at Cheltenham.

The opening novice chase at 1:15 is not well subscribed, so it looks like the pair of Fingal Bay and Dynaste have scared away the opposition. It will be the chasing debut for Dynaste, and Cheltenham is not the place to learn to jump a fence. Fingal Bay won his debut chase LTO, but I wouldn't say the form has held-up well. Yes, he was a superb novice hurdler but I won't be a supporter today at best odds of 5/4. Personally, I like the look of UNIONISTE sent here by Paul Nicholls and available at odds of 11/2 (Corals & Paddy Power). Just a 4yo, this horse won his debut chase at Aintree last month and took to the task well, and he's worth a ½pt wager.

Next at 1:50 is the 2m ½f handicap chase, and the market leader is Kid Cassidy. This horse undoubtedly has talent, but guessing when he'll show it is a mind game. Astracad is the opposite and does not lack consistency and you should see him run to form. However, he seems to perform best when facing fields of under 10-runners and tho' he has won when fresh, he usually needs a run. That brings us to SILVER ROQUE who comes here bang in form, and fit to run to his best. Trainer, Fergal O'Brien is a man with a big future and odds of 6/1 look good in what could be a weak handicap.

I have several horses from my alert list running today, one of which is RUN WITH THE WIND in the 2:25, which is a class 1 novice hurdle over 2m ½f. I've followed this horse since he was 2nd at Punchestown on 13th October last year and he's done me proud since winning 3 of his 5 subsequent hurdle races. This horse is no 20/1 chance (Coral & Bet365), and tho' Barry Geraghty (who rode him on 2 of those hurdle wins) is claimed by his retaining trainer to ride River Maigue, Timmy Murphy is an able deputy. This could be a tough race for the 6yo, and he will likely not win, but there are 3-places available for each-way punters.

I have 2 from my alert list running in the X-Country Chase at 3:00, MIDNIGHT HAZE and VINCITORE. Midnight Haze goes well fresh (he's won 4 of his last 5 starts off a long break), but most of his wins are going right-handed and he did not look like he enjoyed racing in the X-Country chase at the Festival last March. VINCITORE on the other hand, is fit and well, likes to race prominently and could go well here. He's 33/1 for this, but I don't really like these sort of races (even tho' I've done well betting in them), so I'm not recommending a wager.

The 4th off my alert list running at Cheltenham is CINEVATOR in the 3:35 which is a conditional jockeys hurdle over 2m5f. I have a lot of time for Caroline Keevil  who trains this horse, as she's not afraid of sending her horses out to take on the big boys, and they always arrive at the track fit and well enough to run to their best. He made-all LTO when winning over 3-mile at Taunton, and I'm expecting similar tactics to be employed today over this shorter trip. He's 25/1 with Vic Chandler who go quarter-odds 4-places eachway, and for those who like to back-to-lay I can see this one trading a lot shorter in-running.

I don't like amateur riders races at the best of times, so I'm giving the last race on the card a wide berth, tho' I expect Jamsie Hall to run well with Mr Codd in the saddle for Gordon Elliott.

I've not really settled on one for the Paddy Power tomorrow, I'll have another think on it overnight.

On another point, I'm glad Paul Bittar of the BHA has stuck to his guns on field sizes for the Grand National. Not everyone will agree, but the fatalities in this year's race were caused by horses being brought-down by other horses that had fallen. This could, and does, happen in races with only a handful of runners and, at the time these horses were brought-down on the 2nd circuit, there were considerably fewer than the 40 starters still racing.

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it. If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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. Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Monday, 12 November 2012

Weekend review (10th-11th Nov)

Although the quality of horseracing over the weekend wasn't great, there were some stirring performances worthy of entry into the notebook. Most notably, in my opinion, from HOUBLON DES OBEAUX at  Wincanton who looked a decent chaser in the making when taking the novice chase from the front. It was not until stepped-up to 3-mile as a hurdler that we saw his true worth when beating reliable yardstick Kayf Aramis on the 1st January this year at Cheltenham. He then followed that up with a good 4th in the Pertemps final at the Cheltenham Festival (again over 3-mile) confirming his liking for the course. As such, we should see some improvement when stepped-up in trip to 3-mile (Saturdays win was over 2m5f) and he looks a live RSA Chase candidate for next March. Oh, and I named him as one of my 5 selections on Saturday morning, so his win at odds of 9/1 was very welcome.

In the Elite Hurdle that followed, ZARKANDAR looked back his best when beating his stablemate Prospect Wells - in receipt of 17lb and ridden by Ruby Walsh. He was another of my 5 Saturday selections and I was most surprised to be able to obtain odds of 7/2 (he eventually had an SP of 100/30). ZARKANDAR was my Champion Hurdle selection last March when he probably wasn't quite right on his recovery from injury, but he has certainly thrown down the gauntlet with this performance.

My selection in the Badger Ales Trophy chase, No Loose Change, was subject of a bit of a gamble having been 20/1 in the morning; his eventual SP was 9/1. He still looked capable of being placed 4-out but at that point his stamina gave way and he pulled-up quickly before the 3rd-last. He's not looked a battler in previous performances, so he may be one to note if his sights are lowered, especially if dropped in trip to less than 2m6f.

At Kelso, my selection Stagecoach Pearl ran no sort of race at all and this run is (perhaps) best ignored. I'd say the same about the final Saturday selection Graduation Day who ran at Sandown. He beat the race winner Time For Spring when they met at Cheltenham and I had expected him to confirm that form. However, in winning at Sandown, Time For Spring recorded his 4th win (plus 2 x 2nds) from 8 races when going right-handed. Going left handed (like at Cheltenham) he is no wins from 7 races. Charlie Longsdon (trainer of Time For Spring) said the long-term objective for the horse was the Kim Miur at the Cheltenham
Festival but, given the horses preference for going right-handed, I would forget a return there next March. Make note of Imperial Circus who ran a  cracker considering it was only his 2nd chase race.

So, all-in-all a decent performance from my selections on Saturday with 2 winners at odds of 9/1 and 100/30 from the 5 named horses.

Other performance of note were from GALLOX BRIDGE (Sandown 12:45, 10th Nov) who led for a long way before losing out to the eventual winner. I reckon the ground was against this horse and a much improved performance could be due on better (ie good-to-soft) ground. VALID REASON (Sandown 3:00, 10th Nov) was also eye-catching over a 2-mile trip that was almost certainly on the short-side as he won over 2m5f at Towcester last December. He'd been brought back to fitness on the flat since his summer break, and he can improve on this performance if stepped-up in trip NTO.

One from my Horses-to-Follow list for last season (I haven't put one together for this season) runs today - SARANDO. On paper, he stands little chance in the 2:25 at Carlisle but, if you dig a little deeper, there is a glimmer of a chance. He won this race last year, and he won it easily. He'll handle the ground and the trip is no problem, but the same can be said for the fav Across The Bay who comes here with a chase win LTO. Cappa Bleu has the Grand National as the long-term target and connections won't be wanting to win this and jeopardise his current rating of 147; in fact, they probably want it to be around OR140 come the Spring. I had SARANDO as a potential OR150 chaser after he won this race last season, and he ran well for a long way in the Hennessey Gold Cup (before falling) off a OR149 rating. So, at level weights, he could give the fav Across The Bay who won LTO off OR135 a run for his money and at 7/1 (with Stan James) he is worth a wager.

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.
Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Saturday, 10 November 2012

It's Graduation Night


Today’s race meetings look a bit disappointing considering it is a Saturday.

The meeting at Sandown looks disappointing, although the handicap chase at 3:35 looks likely to provide a wager. The current fav is GRADUATION NIGHT who we know will definitely get the trip and appreciate the good-to-soft ground. The 2nd fav Time For Spring does not stay a yeard more than 2m6f, and how Imperial Circus can be 3rd fav on the back of a single chase run shows how limited the opposition is to GRADUATION NIGHT. You can get 4/1 about the fav and that looks generous. He looks a 9/4 chance in my book.

At Kelso, STAGECOACH PEARL goes for a repeat of last year’s win in the 2:40, and he could be worth a punt even if the odds are a bit on the short side at just 15/8.

Wincanton provides the best racing of the day and the feature race, the Badger Ales Trophy at 3:25. Before that tho’ we have some interesting racing especially the novice chase at 2:15. Last year, Paul Nicholls went through this card like a dose of salts and I reckon he’s hoping for a repeat this afternoon. He sends Poungach for the 2:15 and while this horse will come to the races prepared to do the biz, I was more than impressed with the winning debut performance of HOUBLON DES OBEAUX just 17-days ago. The Venetia Williams horse was up to giving this opposition a race as a hurdler and now proven as a chaser he looks better than an 8/1 chance in this. Novice chases are not the safest betting medium, so only small stakes here if you want to have an interest in the race.

 I will be surprised if ZARKANDAR is beaten in the Elite Hurdle at 2:50, even if Ruby Walsh rides stablemate Prospect Wells. The 4yo Balder Success does not look good enough, even when in-receipt of 16lb as he is today.

Onto the Badger at 3:25. I would not be confident of Michel Le Bon or Zarrafakt being good enough to win this, and The Package has only one chase win to his name from 12 attempts – he surely needs 3m4f+ these days. The ground will likely be too quick for Diamond Harry and West End Rocker, so I can see this race going to a long odds outsider. Several are likely candidates, Mic’s Delight loves going right-handed and Triangular ran no sort of race LTO, but the one I like is NO LOOSE CHANGE. Ok, Paul Nicholls sends Michel Le Bon and Ruby Walsh rides, but he clearly thinks there’s a place for a 2nd-string in what could be a weak race. The way he won at Newbury last March showed the horse has some class and, at 20/1, he’s more than worthy of a wager – eachway of course.

Thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.

Remember!
Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Cue Card - handicap blown

We had a good result with the blog selection last Friday, but today's racing - despite there being 3 jumps meetings on at Fontwell, Musselburgh and Hexham - looks uninspiring.  When I'm faced with such fare, then I usually try and fathom some value by paying closer attention to the trainers and where they have sent their horses, and who they've booked to ride them.

For instance, at Fontwell, jockey Daryl Jacob has only one ride and that on the Seamus Mullins trained Annimation on the 1:40. However, at odds of 5/2 for this mares only beginners chase I would not be going overboard to get on. Trainer Lydia Richards sends just Venetian Lad to the track for the 2:40 when he'll face just 3 rivals and he should scoot home and record a fifth course win. Again tho' the best odds offered - evens - are skinny, and are probably only worth taking if you're a connection willing to have a "lump" on. Considering how well this horse has run at Fontwell and that he's just a 7yo, I find it odd that his syndicate are having to advertise remaining shares in the horse in today's Racing Post. He's lightly raced, stays 3-mile, and goes on soft ground so there are plenty of opportunities for him and he's won over £11,000 to date.

The meeting at Hexham has little to recommend it on paper, altho' there is an interesting novice hurdle at 3:00 over an extended 2m4f. I'm quite taken by ASHES HOUSE and that trainer Tim Vaughan has made the long journey north from south Wales so this horse can run its debut hurdle. A winner over 3-mile in a point-to-point, he should stay this trip without any bother and the soft going wont phase him either. It is also Richard Killoran's only ride of the day and so odds of 9/4 (see Bet365 and sportingodds) look tempting.

Try as I might, I can't find anything at Musselburgh.  

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, CUE CARD took the Haldon Gold Cup in emphatic style, just as I expected he would. Racing off OR157, CUE CARD was absolutely thrown-in and, in my opinion, should have been aimed at the Paddy Power at Cheltenham on 17th November, rather than this race.  I agreed with connections who thought the horse had the potential to win a Grade 1 chase this season after a very good performance in the Arkle behind Sprinter Sacre last March. It is a missed opportunity that, having such a high opinion of the horse's ability, they did not take advantage of it and the lenient handicap mark he held by going for the Paddy Power. Still, no point crying about it; the horse done good and won well. Now, the question is whether he will stay 3-mile around Kempton in the KGV. I think his style of running - from the front - is well suited to Kempton, but I'm not tempted by the 10/1 on offer (tho' I admit I took 20/1 for the race some time ago). This year's KGV looks like being very competitive and if you cast your eye over the antepost list of odds for the race there are some interesting observations, eg: Kauto Stone @ 16/1; Captain Chris @ 25/1 along with Hunt Ball, The Giant Bolster and Bobs Worth; and what about Last Instalment @ 50/1. For me, Long Run is more of a "grinder" who may be more suited by a race like the Welsh National that the KGV. I'm more interested in Grand Crus @ 5/1 who may prefer a track like Kempton over Cheltenham as a chaser.  

The blog will be back tomorrow, and the format for the immediate future is to publish online on Friday & Saturday, with a review of the weekends racing on Monday

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. 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.
Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Monday, 5 November 2012

Weekend playback 2nd/3rd November

The weekend's horseracing was very informative, as well as being entertaining. I was fortunate to get a good winner under my belt on Friday with Bless The Wings, and the fitness of Alan King's stable runners was  reinforced by good performances (and winners) throughout the weekend.

The "big boys" of the jump racing scene were all out in force with multiple winners from Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson and Alan King. I was particularly impressed with the performances from Nicky Henderson's horses as he sent just 4 to Ascot and 3 with2 winners ridden by Barry Geraghty, who managed a hat-trick at the meeting.

Paul Nicholls was not to be outdone, as he sent out 3 winners including a couple of progressive young chasers in Silviniaco Conti and Kauto Stone, and don't forget Cristal Bonus who also won at Down Royal. The former won the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby but I'm not sure just what he beat in doing so as they race collapsed with about 3 fences to go.  Sure, Wayward Prince went on with the eventual winner and stayed on to be 2nd, but he was well and truly put in his place on the run-in.

As for Alan King, he had an uneventful season by his standards last year but he's got his runners in fine fettle this autumn and, along with Bless The Wings on Friday, he won with Raya Star at Ascot on Saturday. Other trainers who look to have their horses going well are Lucinda Russell who sent out a hat-trick at Ayr plus Bold Sir Brian at Carlisle on Sunday; and Sue Smith and Charlie Longsdon.

Some particular performances that caught my eye over the weekend were from:-

BLESS THE WINGS (Fri 2nd Nov): Resumed his progress and is one to follow until he reaches his ceiling. This win came off OR137 and he could be a 150+ chaser by the Spring, altho' he's not shown any sort of form on soft/heavy ground. Should stay 3-mile.

ROLLING ACES (Sat 3rd Nov): Was doing all his best work late-on in this 2m3f race, his debut chase race under rules. Seeing as he won over 3-mile over hurdles we should see him improve considerably from an increase in trip to 2m6f+.

RAYA STAR (Sat 3rd Nov): This was his 2nd win at Ascot and he looked like he had plenty in-hand. Could well stay 2m4f and has won on soft ground. Didn't seem to handle Cheltenham at the Festival, but there are plenty of opportunities elsewhere.

KAUTO STONE (Sat 3rd Nov): In my opinion, the best chasing performance of the weekend. The runner-up (First Lieutenant) is no mug and this was a decent field. This was his 1st attempt at 3-mile and, given his liking for soft ground plus that he is only a 6yo, we can expect plenty more to come.

CRACK AWAY JACK (Sat 3rd Nov): Had he stayed the 3m1f trip, he'd have won this easily as he approached the final flight looking to have the race in the bag. Clearly, his OR140 chase rating looks very lenient on this show.

WAYWARD PRINCE (Sat 3rd Nov): Likely won't be raised much for this as he was beaten 11-lengths by the winner, but this was his best performance since his novice chase season. Won't want ground too soft NTO, he ran his best race in the "Rowland Meyrick" on Boxing Day last season and could return for another go in December.

My own selections let me down on Saturday. Planet Of Sound did not look the same horse he was last season and he could be heading for the veteran chases now. Aces High just did not "turn-up" and ran as tho'
he'd much rather have been somewhere else. Perhaps he suffered from a recurrence of the injury / problem that kept him off the track for most of the past year. As for Kalellshan, his jockey needed a good talking to after falling out of the plate at the 4th fence when going well. Had he stood up, I reckon he'd have won that race by a street.

The blog will be back later in the week and the format for the immediate future is to publish online on Friday & Saturday, with a review of the weekends racing on Monday

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