Welcome to the World of Horseracing

Record of the blog selections

LOSS for the 2016-17 Jumps Season = £40.87

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

Total Staked = £609.00


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


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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Walsh 48% strikerate for Nicholls at Taunton

The 428th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

We have a couple of meetings over the jumps today; at Taunton and Folkestone – the latter survived an overnight frost scare, but the weather wasn't as bad as forecast.

There is nothing much doing at Folkestone, but the Paul Nicholl's novice chase MERRION SQUARE in the 2:20 could merit some attention. There has been plenty said & written about Nicholl's not being interested in weekday meetings and being just a "Saturday" trainer this season. Personally, I think that is more down to circumstances than anything else. He has a lot of highly rated horses but very few to choose from at the bottom of the handicap – and let's be fair, most weekday racing during the winter months is dire stuff. Throw-in the fact that Nicholl's horses are "over-bought" whether they are in form or not, and you have the scenario were a horse is being sent after a race for which it probably isn't best suited and – due to the fact it's from the Nicholl's stable – is being sent-off at an SP of 3/1 rather than 6/1, and then punters are complaining when it run like a 6/1 chance. Maybe I'm being simplistic, but whenever I can (and, for me, no day is different) I try and always oppose Nicholl's runners. However, today may not be a day for opposition.

With Ruby Walsh making a rare mid-week riding appearance for Nicholl's on a couple of his at Taunton, most notably SANTUAIRE in the 2:40, I think the winning pointer MERRION SQUARE will prove a little bit of value in making the long trip to Folkestone from deepest Somerset. Current odds of 5/2 (available generally)about MERRION SQUARE look fair.

As for SANCTUAIRE, I've been expecting this horse to pop-up in a decent handicap hurdle as he's been running well enough to merit attention in defeat in my book. Several books go 11/8 (chandlers, Ladbrokes) and with the race conditions in his favour should he jump with any ability he should see-off this ordinary field without any problem. Personally, with Ruby Walsh taking the ride I thought he'd be odds-on for this.

I cannot advise either as a win wager as both fall below my odds-for-a-wager cut-off point of 3/1, and also both are making their chasing debut under rules – but it would not surprise me to see both of the come home easy winners.

No selections for today's racing.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.



Monday, 30 January 2012

Festival thoughts no clearer

The 427th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Saturday's blog was again met with mixed success – just as it had been the previous week. Again, both my advised wagers both lost but, just like the previous week, if you had read the complete narrative then you'd have been on a winner (or two). This is a particularly frustrating period for me as, with the benefit of hindsight, for the 2nd Saturday in succession I would have been better-off advising a 1pt win level stakes wager on all those named on the blog. With wins for GRUMETI (7/4) and BLESS THE WINGS (13/2), the defeats of Chance Du Roy, Diamond Harry and Wayward Prince would not have stopped the day ending in profit – instead, my blog ended the day 4pts down. It is something that I will ponder on this week. Personally, as a result of Bless The Wings, and also on-account of place-laying non-stayer Aiteen Thirtythree in the Skybet Chase, I had a cracking day.

BLESS THE WINGS looks another great handicapper for Alan King who is having a great season. As for Aiteen Thirtythree, how this horse managed to start the Skybet Chase as the 11/2 joint fav with 11st 10lbs is beyond me. I made up my mind about the horse before the RSA last March that he did not stay beyond 2m6f in competitive company and on Saturday I placed-laid him at 2.10 before the off and also at 1.80 with less than a mile to go. Unbelievably, the horse touched 1.15 in the place-only market in-running but went out like a light 3-out. My recommended selection in the Skybet Chase was Wayward Prince, and he certainly ran like his name. He was not interested at all in racing early-on, and full marks to Timmy Murphy for keeping him going when perhaps 30-lengths off the pace at one point in the opening mile. Many would have pulled-him-up and yet the horse kept going finishing strongly in the final mile – overtaking Aiteen Thirtythree – and coming home in 7th less than 20-lengths behind the winner Calgary Bay. I've no idea why the horse was reticent to race early-on, but the way he went on to run suggests he would have been bang there at the finish but for throwing it away at the start. As such, WAYWARD PRINCE remains on my alert list.

We saw a potential Festival winner at Leopardstown yesterday in FLEMENSTAR who romped home in the Irish "Arkle" novice chase, however, he's not going to the Cheltenham Festival. That declaration by his connections further muddied the Festival betting and my own thoughts on the Festival are no clearer. In past years, I usually spend the Sunday after the Cheltenham Trials Day formulating my Festival "yankee", but this year I am stuck. The races I tend to focus on are the Championship races of Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Ryanair and Gold Cup, plus (in past years) the World Hurdle.  I was fortunate to be on Inglis Drever when he won at 5/1 in 2007, and Big Bucks when he won his first World at 6/1. However, I can't see any value in the Champion Hurdle and Champion Chase as both those races should go to their current champions Hurricane Fly and Sizing Europe. The Ryanair is a race that I wrote about a few weeks ago to those who have made a donation. Those people (if they took advantage of the advice) are now holding a 16/1 eachway voucher on Somersby (current odds 7/1) for the Ryanair. In that email, I also advised a 2pt win wager on another horse in the race, and that is NOBLE PRINCE. I have been nothing but impressed with NOBLE PRINCE as a chaser and his latest effort when beaten less than 2-lengths by Big Zeb at levels over an inadequate 2-miles demonstrated to me that he is a better horse this season than last. Not only that, but over the Ryanair trip he could be even better (remember, he easily put Wishful Thinking to the sword over the 2m4f Jewson trip last year). When I sent out my email to those who have donated to my blog, NOBLE PRINCE was 6/1; he's now 7/1 with Vic Chandler and I reckon come the day (and it's just 6 weeks away) he will be the 5/2 fav for the Ryanair, maybe even shorter especially if the sun is shining like it was last year.

As for the Gold Cup, Saturday's result in the Argento Chase left me non-the-wiser as to this year's winner. For me Long Run is too short at 5/2. He clearly met a much under-weather Kauto Star last season and also took advantage of the rapid deterioration of past Gold Cup winners Denman and Imperial Commander to win the Gold Cup last March. Remember, he was chased home when winning the King George in January by Riverside Theatre, and there's no way that horse would be considered to hold a chance in the Gold Cup even if he were running in the race this March. I rate Long Run at 172 and while that makes him Gold Cup standard in a normal year, there is no guarantee that he will run to that level if his jumping is poor. Throw in 160+ performances this  season from the like of Planet Of Sound (Hennessey), Weird Al (Charlie Hall), Midnight Chase and the rejuvenated Tidal Bay on Saturday, plus the undoubted potential of Grands Crus and I'd have Long Run at more like 9/2.  On form this season, the Gold Cup fav should be Kauto Star, but he looks fairly measured at 4/1 (William Hill, Betfred, Coral etc) and there is no value in his odds. I reckon he can win the Gold Cup in March, but I won't be putting money on him at 4/1 to do so. For me, the "value" has to be on those who have shown the ability to run to the mid-high 160's and I'm looking at Grands Crus at 9/1 (Coral) and Weird Al at 25/1.

No selections for today's racing.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.



Saturday, 28 January 2012

For Harry and St George!

The 426th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

I have not blogged much this week as I had the funeral of a very old friend to attend on Thursday. Graham died suddenly at the age of just 51 and it was a great shock to all who knew him. All who were there, and there must have been well over 150 people, had tremendous good feeling for Graham who was an incredibly generous man whose love for life always uplifted your soul. I felt both humble and proud that he had chosen me to be one of his friends, and I will miss him.

Today, we have good meetings at Cheltenham and Doncaster, and another interesting meeting at Uttoxeter. I normally go to the Trials meeting at Cheltenham, but this year I’m watching on tv. The opening Triumph Hurdle trial looks a straight choice between Baby Mix and GRUMETI and I favour the latter who looks as good if not better than Alan King’s previous winners of this race. At 13/8, I’m having a personal wager on him.
Next on the card we have novice handicap chase over 2m5f, and there are 4 from my alert list running in it: Bless The Wings, Carpincho, That’lldoboy and Lexicon Lad. Of those, I favour Bless The Wings and That’lldoboy andboth look well handicapped on OR130 and OR127 respectively. This trip and track should suit BLESS THE WINGS and I reckon he should be a lot shorter than current odds of 6/1, as I’d have him the 4/1 fav.
The next at 2:05 is all about Aerial and whether he should be the fav as The Giant Bolster won over C&D on this card last year and has failed in his attempts to stay 3-mile since. Back to this trip and getting 7lb from Aerial, he will be no pushover. I can’t see either Poquelin or Tamarinbleu getting involved off their ratings, but I do like CHANCE DU ROY at 10/1 taking the 3rd place spot and maybe even giving the leading pair something to think about.
The Argento Chase should go to DIAMOND HARRY and I cannot understand why this horse is not the 2/1 fav for this race. He ran a cracker in the Betfair Chase and based on his Hennessey Gold Cup win, he’s clearly the best horse in this race. The only horse I fear is Midnight Chase who is a better horse than OR158 and he could have them all off the bridle if he turns in a performance like the one that won the Listed handicap chase over C&D in December 2010.

At Doncaster, we have the Skybet Chase and it looks a cracker. First off, Aiteen Thirtythree does not stay 3-miles in this company. I also think you’d be taking a big chance with Shalimar Fromentero to win this as he looks nothing special. I think Galaxy Rock and AP McCoy are a marriage made in heaven, but this trip isn’t far enough at just 3-mile. Qianshan Leader and Shakalakaboomboom both looks well treated on LTO wins and it would not surprise me if either won the race. Cape Tribulation has been crying out for 3-mile so he should also run well today, but needs a step up in his form to win. The two I like are Wymott @ 20/1 and Wayward Prince at 9/1. When this pair met over hurdles in Feb 2010, Wymott was the better horse. As such, if Wymott can get his act together he is a very dangerous horse running off OR142. Wayward Prince ran much better LTO than in his reappearance in the Hennessey Gold Cup (in which Wymott ran 6th) and has been dropped to OR146 which I think is lenient as I reckon he’s OR155+ at his best. I was going to make Wayward Prince my antepost selection earlier this week when he was 16/1, but events overtook me, and he’s just 9/1 now which is not so generous, but I still think he worth and eachway wager. As for Wymott, I’ll have a personal “place-only” wager on him.

Selections:
Cheltenham 2:35, DIAMOND HARRY, 2pts win at 4/1 (Bet365 best odds guaranteed)
Doncaster 2:50, WAYWARD PRINCE, 1pt eachway @ 9/1 (Bet365 best odds guaranteed)

These are my early wagers and there could well be additional wagers later on.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. 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.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Waiting for the weekend

The 425th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

No selections for the blog yesterday, and there is just an uninspiring meeting over the jumps at Leicester, plus a couple of All-Weather meetings at Kempton and Southwell.

One from my alert list for the 2010-11 jumps season – CESIUM – runs over hurdles at Leicester in the 2:05, and he could be interesting. Today's trip and going should suit him and I thought he had the potential to be a lot better than OR94 as a chaser, so off todays hurdle rating today of OR86 he could well build on his LTO 2nd at Southwell last week. Later, in the chase at 3:40, RATE OF KNOTS reappears. I was on him LTO at Plumpton when he had the race at his mercy as every other horse of merit had already fallen – unfortunately, he chose to fall at the fence in front of the stands before the final circuit of the Sussex National. I've not been able to have a good look at the form as I write this, so I'll be having a better look when I get the time after noon today. CESIUM is 5/1 (William Hill) and RATE OF KNOTS is 15/2 (Bet365) and 7/1 Betfred & Totesport) as I write, and I do like the look of the both of them. If I am going to make a firm selection of either (or both) then I will post them on my monitoring websites at Betting League and Tip Exchange.

Looking towards the weekend, we have a great day's racing in prospect on Saturday. It seems to be a great shame nowadays that nearly all the best racing is on a Saturday afternoon as you can end up with potentially 4 or 5 wagers that you want to place after a week of nothing. Personally, I think it makes life for the punter very difficult as you can end up having wagers on mid-week racing that you would normally avoid (like I did yesterday) and the quality of horse's racing in mid-week isn't reliable enough.

The Argento Chase at Cheltenham looks like being a cracker, and if GRANDS CRUS is as good as he looks then current odds of 9/4 (yesterday's quotes of 5/2 are long gone) may not be unreasonable. But for me, the 11/2 offered by Victor Chandler on DIAMOND HARRY looks very tempting. There should be plenty of scope in the race for a long odds 3rd place in the race so don't ignore those currently at odds of 16/1 or longer.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.



Monday, 23 January 2012

Antepost joy

The 424th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

My blog on Saturday was met with mixed success. My advised wagers both lost, but if you had read the complete narrative then hopefully you'd have been on a winner (or two). I know of one other blogger who did and told me of his success, and that was Glenn at gstarfrankels.blogspot.com who was on VIOLIN DAVIS (advised at 11/2) who won the mares hurdle at Ascot, and ALDERTUNE (SP of 8/1, tho' was at 12/1 for most of the morning) who was 2nd at Wincanton. I narrowed that race down to 3 horses, and 2 of those 3 filled the 1st two places with Zarrafakt winning at 4/1. I also narrowed the feature race at Ascot, the Victor Chandler Chase, down to 2 but plumped for the wrong one in Al Ferof, as Somersby won well at an SP of 9/2.

However, that result was great news for those who received my antepost advice which I sent out  ONLY to those readers who had paid a donation to the blog from profits made from my advice. As I say at the bottom of each blog, those who contribute will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information sent out free of charge. In the first supplementary posting sent out on Saturday 14th January I wrote "SOMERSBY is entered for the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot on 21st January, and he was 2nd (beaten a short-head) in that race last year. I reckon he has an excellent chance of winning the race next week and, if he does, then his odds for the Ryanair will shorten considerably". On the basis of that, I advised a 1pt eachway wager on SOMERSBY at 16/1 for the Ryanair. Well, win he did and as of this morning SOMERSBY is 7/1 for the Ryanair – job done. Followers now have the choice of holding-on to the wager and letting it run, or laying-off for a risk free wager.

I also advised another antepost wager in my email of 14th January and I am quietly confident it could be a rock solid wager based on results over weekend. Depending on the weather forecast for this week, there could be a further antepost email to be sent out this evening concerning this Saturday's racing.

There is no horseracing selection today.

As an aside, I made a decision, call it a New Year's Resolution, not to wager using Betfair in 2012. All my wagers are now being placed thru' traditional bookmakers and so far I am making more profit that I would have done if using Betfair. Why? Well, I have a habit of laying-off in-running to protect my stake when using Betfair and that policy seriously affects my profit margins from winning wagers. It is a safety first strategy as I tend to have more individual wagers when using Betfair, however the increase in turnover does not result in an increase in profit. That's the way I'm doing things at the moment, and its working for me.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.



Saturday, 21 January 2012

Super Saturday for Paul Nicholls

The 423rd edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

Today we have what looks to be a cracking days racing over the jumps with top-class meetings at Ascot and Haydock, plus another at Wincanton.
At Ascot, I like the look of the mares hurdle at 2:05 as the market is made by the fav Kentford Grey Lady who looked very impressive when winning LTO. Ordinarily, I would go for the fav but the fact that VIOLIN DAVIS who was 3rd that day is returning for a rematch looks interesting. This race is quite likely to be a severe test of stamina with Kaffie likely to make the pace strong thru’out. I can’t have the Irish challenger Our Girl Salley as I reckon the going will not be soft enough for her, and she’s trying 3-mile for the first time. VIOLIN DAVIS at 11/2 (Ladbrokes and Paddy Power) looks a fair wager, as I’d be happy with 3/1.

The handicap hurdle at 2:35 was a race in which I was hoping to see BOBBY EWING return to the track. Look him up, his form suggests his OR139 hurdle rating is ludicrously low and I can see this horse winning a top hurdle handicap on his return. However, he misses this race and so I have to look elsewhere, and CICERON who won LTO looks the best value at 11/2. Alan King’s Smad Place looks over-rated at OR144 (I’d have him about 7lb less) and A Bridge Too Far has already been shown lacking at this step-up in trip wont help. Both Joseph Lister and Shoreacres want further than 2m3f, and I can’t really see Torpichen (also trained by Alan King) being involved off OR142, and Royal Charm is on a recovery mission in this. Going right-handed could well help Pateese show improved form, but again his mark of OR138 looks a tad high and the going is also possibly too lively for him. CICERON won LTO in a very fast time beating a well-handicapped rival into 2nd and has only been raised 7lb to OR136. Considering he won at Taunton off OR135 last February, this is well within his grasp and he should be less than 3/1 for this.

The Victor Chandler Chase revolves around Al Ferof who, if he’s as good as Paul Nicholls reckons, will win this. Last March, he won what looks to have been a very strong Supreme Novices Hurdle and if it comes to a test of speed after the final fence then he’ll take some beating. However, both Al Ferof and Finian’s Rainbow are up against half-a-dozen high class chasers and any flaws in their jumping ability at speed will be exposed. As such, I cannot have Finian’s Rainbow whose jumping has never been convincing and was fortunate to be 2nd in what looks to have been a sub-standard Arkle last March. SOMERSBY is the highest rated horse in the race by 4lbs and is game and consistent. He will either relish this drop in trip from the 3-mile of the King George (was well there till after 4-out) or he may find things happening too quickly. Wishful Thinking has never looked a natural 2-mile chaser. As for Gauvain, all his best form is usually in the autumn, and he was stuffed in this race last season. He has been made the Pricewise selection so the 8/1 has gone and he’s best-priced at 6/1 generally now. You cannot really take the chances of the other runners seriously as they are well below the standard required to win. SOMERSBY at 11/2 is worthy of a small wager and I’d be very happy if he could win, but I reckon he’ll be seen at his best in the Ryanair at the Festival. As such, I’m strongly tempted by the 100/30 on AL FEROF (William Hill).

Ascot’s card is tremendous and the 3:45 is another exciting race. I could easily name half the field as having realistic chances and with 15 going to post, so only 3 places available, it is too tight a heat; altho’ SA SUFFIT is a horse who looks well handicapped and if the going is softer than advertised he could go well. The 2-mile trip was too short for his LTO even so he was bang there at the finish, and before that he had no chance against Always Right at Kelso over 3-mile on 4th December. He may not have the class to win this but at 14/1 (so long as the going is soft) he is a solid eachway chance.

Unfortunately for Haydock who hold the Peter Marsh Chase, the going there is heavy, and I can see there being more than a few non-runners. I never like betting on heavy going so I’m giving the meeting a miss.

Wincanton has better going, and the class 3 chase at 2:10 could be an interesting opening for ALDERTUNE. Only 3 of the 13 runners are aged under 10yo, so they are all in the main well-exposed and holding no secrets from the handicapper. As such, I reckon the winner will come from one of the other 3 of ALDERTUNE, Zarrafakt and Diamond Brook. I think this 3m1f trip will be too much for Zarrafakt who is probably best at 2m6f. Diamond Brook looks one-paced at this sort of trip and he needs to show improvement. As for ALDERTUNE, he was well thought of as a hurdler by Nicholls and he really should have won more races (has come 2nd 6 times in 15 starts). His form has worked out well this season, especially his close 4th in the Southern National to Giles Cross. LTO he hated the heavy going, but he’s been well rested since then with a 7 week break, and he can improve enough to take this race at rewarding odds.

Selections:
Ascot 2:35, CICERON, 1pt win @ 11/2 (William Hill, best odds guaranteed)
Ascot 3:10, AL FEROF, 1pt win @ 100/30 (William Hill, best odds guaranteed)
These are my early wagers, tho’ depending on how the ground is, there could well be an additional wagers on both SA SUFFIT (14/1 with Paddy Power, BOG) and ALDERTUNE (12/1 with Corals).

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. 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.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Problems with internet


The 422nd edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

I've not been able to post blogs this week as I'm having problems getting onto the internet.

Unfortunately for regular readers of the blog, this is not going to be a short-term problem unless O2 erect a new mast within a hundred yards of my workplace. I cannot seem to work it out as there are 2 masts (both O2) within a quarter of a mile of me, but reception is sporadic. I still have my old phone (which is T-Mobile/Orange) and that has even worse reception here. What really makes me frustrated is that phone can send emails from my email account, but the new O2 phone wont (or can't).

As such, it looks as tho' I am going to have to revert to a weekend blog (probably Thursday evening, Saturday morning and Sunday evening) until I can get something sorted out.

The syndicate horse Chilworth Lass ran on Monday and I'm not sure what to make of the run. Should I be disappointed? Possibly. Altho' she ran prominently (as she did on her hurdling debut) for much of the race, she dropped-out quicker this time (when the challenge came) after the 3rd last flight. As for the factors that caused may that, the going was in my opinion a lot worse than the official Good-to-Soft. In noted Chilworth Lass was changing her legs almost from the off so she was clearly not enjoying the ground. Even so, not lacking fitness, I did expect her to finish not far behind Specialagent Alfie who she met LTO, but that one left her for dead when he went on with the leading pair from the 3rd-last flight. We need another run in the "Lass" to gain a handicap mark and, at this rate, it won't be much above OR70 which will be something Sheena (the trainer) can work with especially when we find better going.

No selections today.

However, there are a few off my alert list running notably POOLE MASTER in the 1:00 at Lingfield for David Pipe who could be a bit special. At Ludlow, in the 2:10 there is FIDDLEDEDEE who made all when winning LTO and looks very interesting at 7/2 for Jonjo O'Neill as finding proper 3-mile hurdlers can prove lucrative. Finally, at Taunton in the 3:20 we have BALLY LEGEND. Trainer Caroline Keevil has a lot of my respect and she has the ability to keep her horses fit and well and improving. BALLY LEGEND could be called the winner a long way out when he won LTO and altho' up 8lb for that win to OR139, he won't be far away and odds of 15/2 look workable.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.



Saturday, 14 January 2012

Frost no help on an ordinary day

The 421st edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

We have 2 meetings over the jumps today, at Kempton and Warwick, as Wetherby has been lost to the weather (frost).

Kempton hosts the William Hill Lanzarote Hurdle and I must admit that I have never been a huge fan of these cavalry charge handicap hurdles. Finding the winner seems to be about finding a horse who has been completely overlooked by everyone other than connections up till the morning of the race and then joining in on the gamble, or finding a horse best suited by the hurly-burly of these huge fields and hoping to sneak a long-odds place. I did the latter last year with ZANIR who was 4th at 16/1, and the horse comes here again on the same rating of OR134 but with a new trainer, having left Tom George. This sort of race is what Zanir relishes but I cannot say that his rider, 3lb claimer Tom Malloy, is the man for the job to steer him home. Will I eat my words? I think DECOY has a helluva chance in this race, and looks fairly treated by the market at 8/1 (William Hill) and you also cannot ignore Featherbed Lane at 11/1 (William Hill).

Warwick has some more interesting racing. The novice chase at 1:25 over 3-mile is intriguing. I’m not sure about Court Victory as he may “bounce”, and this trip may well find out Frascati Park. No such worries with Alfie Spinner who is 7/2 (Paddy Power), but I also think COURT RED HANDED is under-rated at OR129. He didn’t handle the heavy going LTO but, prior to that, his performances suggest he’s a 135+ horse. As such, for me odds of 10/1 look interesting even if he’s giving away 3lb here to Alfie Spinner. The novice hurdle at 3:05 is very interesting and we should see an encounter worth watching when Highland Lodge meets Cotton Mill. Finally, I was going to go for Fortification in the “Classic” chase at 3:40, but he’s a non-runner. As such, I can’t see Sona Sasta staying this trip, and it leaves the way open for NEPTUNE EQUESTER at 13/2 (William Hill).

Selections:
Warwick 3:40, NEPTUNE EQUESTER, 1pt win @ 13/2 (William Hill, best odds guaranteed)

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. 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, 13 January 2012

Raise a glass to an old friend

The 420th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

I've not posted a blog for a couple of days as I received the very sad news on Wednesday morning that a very dear friend of mine who I'd known for nearly 20 years had died aged just 51. It really upset me for a number of reason, not least because such an incident caused me to question my own life and mortality as my friend Grahatm was the first person of my own generation to die. It was no age at which to go, and Graham was 7 months younger than me, but at least I know he died having just come off the pitch fresh from a game of football and amongst friends. I'll raise a glass to him.

Horseracing this coming weekend looks fairly ordinary. First tho' I'd like to advise readers to take note of WAYWARD PRINCE who I reckon could be worth a wager NTO. He was unable to get into contention in the Hennessey, but he ran good race in the Rowland Meyrick on Boxing Day to be 4th and had had the good fortune to be dropped 4lb by the handicapper. He could well take advantage of his revised handicap rating soon.

Today, there are jumps meetings at Huntingdon and Musselburgh. For a Friday, it is disappointing fare and the only horse that catches my eye is Bohemian Rock in the 2:50 at Huntingdon. He won at Towcester on 15th December over 2-mile, but didn't follow-up on Boxing Day at the same course. That was over 2m3½f and while I'm not sure that the trip contributed to his defeat that day, it was probably responsible for the distance he was beaten.  Today's trip is 2m & ½f and that should be in his favour, as will going right-handed. I cannot recommend him as a firm wager, but he may be interesting for a small punt if you can get 4/1 or longer.

The meeting at Musselburgh is more interesting, especially the Kilmany Cup Chase over 3-mile at 3:10. The obvious one to go for is the top-weight Key Cutter following his LTO win, and trainer Paul Webber makes a rare trip north of the border. However, he'll need to give 18lb to ROSSINI'S DANCER who is a course winner and has also won over 2m7f at Kelso. Sue Bradburne's 7yo still has time on his side to find further improvement and, given that most of these are well exposed, he looks value at 6/1 for this.

For those who have made donations to the blog over the past 12 months, I will be sending out an email with an antepost advice for the Cheltenham Festival. I'm hoping to get it out this evening so that you are able to take advantage on Saturday morning. The point with antepost wagers is to endeavour to obtain odds that are significantly greater than what you might expect on the day of the race about your selection. At that point you then have a choice to either "let it ride"  or to lay-off your stake on the exchanges and have a risk-free wager on the selection, or to hedge your bet by wagering on another in the race.

I read a comment in this week's "Weekender" column by Tom Segal (Pricewise) that I don't agree with. He writes "the formbook always gets turned on its head at every Cheltenham and this year will be no different". Sorry, I cannot agree with that statement at all as I find the form at Cheltenham is usually solid – the hard part is sorting the wheat from the chaff!

Hopefully, there will be a fuller blog tomorrow, but the racing looks ordinary and uninspiring.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.



Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Don't Push It retired

The 419th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

No selection yesterday for the blog, but my appraisal of the 2:10 at Taunton – a 2m7f handicap chase – wasn't far off the mark.

As I wrote, I fully expected the front 2 in the market; Rangitoto (SP 5/2) and Master Fiddle (SP 6/4), to be set a searching task by others in the race who may not have the raw ability, but had solid chasing experience – and so it proved. Rangitoto was the first to crack, falling when under pressure at the 12th fence, and Master Fiddle blundered badly at the next – a mistake from which he could not recover. That left the couple I had highlighted on this blog, Vino Griego and Time For Spring disputing the lead along with eventual winner Made In Time. I overlooked Made In Time as he'd lost his rider in his 2 previous races, the first of which was in the same race that Master Fiddle had unseated, back on 26th November. His next start was in the same race that Time For Spring came 2nd in on 21st December. That day he was made the 9/4 fav when in-receipt of 1lb from Time For Spring (SP 3/1), but lost his rider at just the 3rd fence. Time for Spring was raised 5lb for that promising run, which was a tad harsh in my opinion considering he didn't win and, as such, Made In Time met Time For Spring on 5lb better terms yesterday. Given the benefit of this hindsight, it seems reasonable to think that Time for Spring should not have been sent off at an SP of 8/1 as, so long as his jumping held up, with the 5lb pull he had definite prospects prior to the race of beating Time For Spring (SP 6/1). Made In Time is relatively unexposed as a chaser and this performance suggests that a fair bit of improvement could still be to come from this progressive chaser.

One of the more recent developments is the lack of confidence behind Paul Nicholls stable runners during weekdays. Put it this way, when I was in my local betting shop last Friday, one of the dishevelled regulars came out with the statement "don't bet on Nicholls runners on weekdays" – and this bloke looked like he'd have trouble pulling-up his trousers after having a dump! As they say about the stock market, when taxi drivers start telling you to buy, it's time to sell, and I reckon the same could be said about Paul Nicholls. Yes, all 4 he sent to the races yesterday were beaten and none started at longer than 4/1, but I'd say it could pay to be a bit less circumspect about his runners in the next 8 or 9 weeks in the run-up to the Festival.

Thinking of the Festival, it's time to start preparing an antepost portfolio, or at least considering one. For the past 5 years I've put together wagers of 3 or 4 horses in mainly the championship races in the hope of making a killing, but one of my selections has always let me down leaving me with just the place-odds scraps. With surprise results unlikely to happen in either the Champion Hurdle, Gold Cup, World Hurdle or Champion Chase (it would not surprise me to see all 4 champions win again), I'm going to be looking at the Ryanair and the 3 novice chase championship races (Arkle, Jewson, RSA) for my speculative "yankee".

There is a huge amount of decent reading material available on horseracing blogs on the web, so much that I found a really interesting series of articles on professional gamblers (I enjoyed reading about Clive Holt) which I found via a link on twitter – but now I don't know where to find it again. If you posted the links on twitter, or you know who did, either send me the link again via twitter on @wayward_lad or post the link in my comments box. These professional gambler articles are well worth reading.

Nothing much doing today in the racing world. There is just the one horse from my alert list running; Valid Point at Leicester in the 3:10, which is a 2m7f & 110 yards novice chase with just 4 runners. He's having his chasing debut this afternoon, tho' his trainer Jim Old is best with his staying hurdlers. However, he has run several times this season over hurdles so comes here race-fit, and he'll stay this trip with ease. I feel for trainers like Jim Old as he has not lost the ability to prepare a decent horse, indeed he prepared Collier Bay to win the Champion Hurdle in 1996. He doesn't have many runners these days but, even so, pay attention when he does. VALID POINT is currently 10/1 with Vic Chandler and Bet65 and while Baile Anrai is a worthy favourite, I wouldn't have him as an "evens" chance. With both Soir Destruval (100/30) and Larks Lad (4/1) still having it to prove over fences despite having the benefit of chasing experience, I'd have VALID POINT more like 4/1 (on the basis that he's race-fit and will stay the trip) with Baile Anrai at 7/4.

No selection today, but I'll be watching this race with interest.

I've also heard the news that Grand National winner Don't Push It has been retired. He ran a great races both in 2010 when he won and last April when he was 3rd.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.



Monday, 9 January 2012

Qhilimar almost does it at 22/1

The 418th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

It was a disappointing performance from the blog selection on Saturday.
I hoped that PASCO would be good enough to win his race as he's run
consistently well at this sort of trip over the past couple of seasons
(without winning) but it was not to be. The race winner was Consigliere,
a horse that I have followed since he won a decent handicap chase at
Newbury over that tracks odd 2m1f trip off OR135. He had been racing
well without winning at ratings of OR145+ so having slipped top OR136 he
was worthy of some interest. What put me off him was that he's never
looked like staying trips beyond 2m3f well enough to win, so perhaps on
Saturday he found himself in a weak race on going that he enjoyed
(predominantly soft). He is not a horse that I would want to be on again
at this sort of trip once he's been re-rated as we'll probably see him
next at the Cheltenham Festival in a handicap over 2m5f. He will run
well there as he appreciates the track, but the going will be too quick
for him, most likely.

My other selection GALLOX BRIDGE was fading when falling and perhaps he ran a bit too free. I'll keep him on my alert list for another chance NTO.

I gave a big plug on Saturday's blog for QHILIMAR in the feature race at
Sandown as he was a C&D winner who would enjoy the going. I had no idea that he'd set the pace as I expected him to sit just behind the leaders,
nor did I expect his odds to drift from 18/1 in the morning to an SP of
22/1. As I wrote in my blog, I thought he was a 7/1 chance and therefore
he held a decent chance of being placed in what looked a competitive
race. To be fair, a couple of the market leaders didn't perform well,
but he should never have gone off at 22/1 and in hindsight I should have
had a point eachway on him rather than the two win wagers on the other
selection.

We have a half decent meeting for a Monday at Taunton, with what looks
to be an attractive race at 2:10. The market is headed by Nicky
Henderson's Master Fiddle @ 7/4 , with Paul Nicholls' Rangitoto a
short-priced 2nd-fav @9/4; but I feel that  Vino Griego @ 11/2 and Time
For Spring @ 15/2 can give this pair a race.  Rangitoto wasn't pushed
when he won his debut chase, but he wasn't that impressive either.
Master Fiddle unseated in his debut chase so we don't really know how
good he is and his odds are based around his trainer's reputation and
record at this time of year. Vino Griego ran a cracker LTO when 2nd at
Sandown to The Minack and if he runs a similar bold race from the front
today he will put the jumping ability of the market leaders under test.
However, I was on TIME FOR SPRING when he ran LTO, and he was perhaps a little unlucky not to win as perhaps he should have been brought with his challenge a little earlier. He has Sam Waley-Cohen in the saddle and his 5lb claim will be useful and could make all the difference in this race. Obviously, both Rangitoto and Master Fiddle could be rated much higher than OR131 and OR122 respectively at the end of this jumps season, so I'm not advising a firm wager; but at 7/1 generally (as I write, the earlier 15/2 has now gone) TIME FOR SPRING is worth a small
win wager.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that
readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful
wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a
contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those
that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Pasco to hurdle to victory

The 417th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

I always find it interesting, having appraised the Saturday entries on a Thursday evening, just where the horses end up running – if they run at all. We have 3 interesting meetings today at Sandown, Wincanton and Newcastle, and hopefully by the end of this blog I am going to have a wager as I have not posted one since Boxing Day.

At Sandown, if the opening mares hurdle does not go to KAFFIE then something must have gone amiss. The soft going will really suit this front-running mare and if she does not win then she will only have herself to blame. Kells Belle and The Strawberry One both want going quicker than soft to show their best, and the others are outclassed and exposed. You can still get 7/4 in KAFFIE and that looks good to me as I would have her at slight odds-on. In the 2:05, I was going to go with top-weight Tanks For That who meets Rileyev on 5lb better terms than LTO and he looked to have the beating of that horse prior to falling in the race. It is a tight race tho and I am also taken with HOLD FAST who comes here (rather than Wincanton) and has a 12lb pull with Rileyev on their last meeting. Too close to call.
The Tolworth Hurdle looks tricky and, if pushed, I would go for PROSPECT WELLS for whom odds of 7/4 (Blue Square) could seem very generous later on.
For the feature race at 3:10, I cannot believe that QHILIMAR is 18/1 (William Hill). He is a C&D winner who has won on soft going, and while outclassed in the Hennessey off OR142, he races today off OR137 and he is capable of winning off this mark. He had no sort of race LTO on heavy going when unseating and he should enjoy the strong pace that will be set today which will be nothing like that he had to cope with in the Hennessey. I would have him at 7/1 for this race, maybe even shorter.
In the last race on the card we see Havingotascoobydo who I hoped would be chasing over 2m4f, but he runs in this 2-mile hurdle instead. I cannot have a wager on him in this, but he may well be worth a punt.

At Wincanton, as per yesterdays comments, in the opener REDBRIDGE REBEL for Phi Hobbs is worth a “place-only” wager. In the 2:50, PASCO is Paul Nicholls only runner at Wincanton and he could finally do the biz. He has nothing to fear in this race and could end his long losing run of 10 races back to Feb ’09. He should stay this trip and appreciate the going, as such 13/2 (Vic Chandler) looks worthwhile. In the 3:25, GALLOX BRIDGE looks an exciting handicap prospect and he looks thrown-in here off OR120 and Michael Byrne is worth every pound of his 5lb claim. Odds of 6/1 look very generous as I’d have him a lot shorter than that.

The only horse I’ll be watching (wagering?) today at Newcastle is in the last race, the bumper, and it’s MADAME BLAVATSKY who should prove too good for these.

Selections:
Wincanton 2:50, PASCO, 1pt win @ 13/2 (Vic Chandler, best odds guaranteed)
Wincanton 3:35, GALLOX BRIDGE, 1pt win @ 6/1 (Vic Chandler, best odds guaranteed)

I think QHILIMAR is well worth an eachway wager, but this is a tough race and there may be one or two that are too good for him – or he may win!

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it too. 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, 6 January 2012

Weekend whispers

The 416th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

No selections yesterday, tho' in hindsight I missed a winner in GOING
WRONG, my only horse alert runner of the day.

My opinion before the race was that 2-mile was too short, and it
certainly looked that way 3-out when it looked as tho' he'd only stay-on
for 2nd, but the odds-on fav Realt Mor had run himself ragged early on
disputing the lead with the 8/1 chance Laterly, and he faltered on the
run-in allowing GOING WRONG to take up the lead close home and win at
11/4. He went into the race with a rating of OR130, but I've always felt
GOING WRONG was capable of being much better than that, and this race
shows that "class" can prevail when a horse meets lesser opposition on
unsuitable conditions. We won't see the best of GOING WRONG until he
tries a trip in excess of 2m4f and he remains firmly on my alert list as
one to follow.

Today, the Chepstow meeting has already been cancelled due to a
waterlogged course, and the remaining meeting at Bangor is a
hurdles-only meeting as the chase course is un-raceable. I'm giving the
meeting, and the day, a miss.

As such, I'll take a look at Saturday's racing and we have 3 meetings
planned at Sandown, Wincanton, and Newcastle.

Looking at the race programme, there's not much to excite the punter but
it's better jump-racing that we've seen all this week, so we'd best make
the most of it. This time of year is very important with regards to the
Cheltenham Festival as most winning horse at that Festival will have
their last race in the period between Christmas Day and Valentine's Day
(14th Feb) and, as most punters know, the majority of race winners at
the Festival won last-time-out (LTO). So, as with Going Wrong yesterday,
pay particular attention to all race winners and try to put yourself in
the trainer's mind to see if there is the potential for a Festival
winner and antepost touch.

At Sandown tomorrow, pay attention to whatever Paul Nicholls sends to
the track. He has 4 entries (as I write this): Hold Fast, Prospect
Wells, Neptune Collonges, and The Knoxs.  I'm not sure about Hold Fast,
but Prospect Wells should win the Tolworth Hurdle. Neptune Collonges is
probably being prepared for the Gold Cup and a pace-setting role for
stablemate Kauto Star. The Knoxs is on a very lenient handicap mark of
OR139 for the 3-mile class 2 chase at 3:10 if his jumping holds
together.

Nicholls runners also should be noted at Wincanton where he has 7
entries: Hold Fast has an entry along with Pasco in the 2:50, and I like
Pasco in this race, altho' the presence of HAVINGOTASCOOBYDOO could
upset Nicholl's plans. Martin Keighley's horse has a handful of entries
this weekend (hurdles and chases) and he should be noted wherever he
runs. Nicholls won the novice chase last season with The Minack and he
has 2 entries (at time of writing); Doeslessthanme and Garton King.

Other interesting entries at Sandown are: David Pipe's Kazlian (1:35);
Cottage Acre (2:05) who is Tom George's only entry here; Phil Hobbs
Colour Squadron (2:35 who could push Prospect Wells; and Charlie
Longsdon's Qhilimar (3:10).

At Wincanton, Phil Hobbs has 3 of his 6 course entries in the opening
novice hurdle (a race he's targeted in the past). Tim Vaughan has a
great strike-rate at Wincanton, so pay attention to which of his 6
entries take part. Nicky Henderson has 6 entries in the 2m5f novice
chase at 4:00, of which 3 unseated their riders LTO.

I'm not really a fan of Newcastle as it always seems to be a right slog
on soft/heavy going there, but it may be worth noting that David Pipe
has a couple of entries here and it's a helluva long way to travel from
Wellington on the Somerset/Devon border. I'm not follower of "bumper"
races, but the one at Newcastle that close the meeting has a couple of
interesting entries, notably Karen McLintock's Madame Blavatsy, and
Keith Reveley's Oaklands Elise.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that
readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful
wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a
contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those
that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.






Thursday, 5 January 2012

Murphy pulling a flanker?

The 415th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

No blog yesterday, and so no selections.

It was a busy morning at the office so no time to spend on studying the form in depth. I had a few runners from my alert list and they were Heather Royal (won @ 4/9) Kudu Country (2nd beaten a short-head @ 6/4) and Dusky Bob (2nd @ 16/1).

In hindsight, it would have been  a good, profitable blog yesterday.

Heather Royal managed to scrape home at odds-on; and I had a personal wager on KUDU COUNTRY at 9/4 in the morning. I knew that should it come down to a straight speed test in the run-in that the race-fav Eradicate would prevail as he was the better hurdler (by about 20lbs), but I hoped that the jumping ability of KUDU COUNTRY would be enough to win him the race. As it happened it nearly did as Eradicate was floundering under pressure and I would not want to support him on a track with stiffer fences than Southwell.

As for Dusky Bob, I could not understand why he was 20/1 in the morning and started with an SP of 16/1. Readers may remember that I had a fortunate winner in Monsieur Jourdain on 23rd Nov when Dusky Bob fell at the final fence when about to gain the upper hand. That race was over 2m6f and suggested to me that his stamina limit is probably 2m5f and he empties out quickly when going beyond that, hence it was no surprise to me that he failed miserably over 3-mile when last seen on the track at Ascot on 17th December. Yesterday, he was dropped in trip to an extended 2m5f and he ran much more up to his best form. The horse is consistent and handles going from "good" thru' to "soft" and, at trips up to 2m5f, in this grade he should always be considered.

Just the one horse on my alert list runs today, GOING WRONG at Sedgefield in the 2m chase at 1:10. Now, this horse needs 2m4f at least, probably 2m6f, and he was most fortunate LTO when benefitting from the fall of the runaway leader. Much as I like the horse, I cannot help but think that Ferdy Murphy is pulling a flanker here with the horse. In running it, he's keeping the horse race-fit but, as it's a race that it is most unlikely to run well in let alone win, he is protecting it's handicap mark. In my opinion, he's aiming this horse at one of the Cheltenham Festival handicaps as this horse is well handicapped over both hurdles and fences at trips beyond 2m5f.

I received a comment from "The Horseman" regarding my latest blog. I cannot shed any new light on the situation regarding the demise of the Becher Brook blog or it's author. It was an unfortunate occurrence when someone succumbed to temptation and it was a lesson that we are all capable of being "groomed" on the internet by potential fraudsters.  Had I met someone down the betting shop who said they had a horse they were syndicating and would I give them £120 for a 2½% share and £35 a month for its keep, I would have sent them away with a flea in their ear. As the offer came via the internet from someone who I considered a twitter "friend", then more fool me for dropping my guard.

There are no guarantee's in this life and we should all be questioning who we trust and who we should not. I for one would now not send hundred's of pounds to a blogger who says I can have their tips for 12 months at a discount if I pay in advance. When I pay for information, I pay on a daily weekly or monthly basis and always start with the minimum period first.

I don't charge for my advice on this blog at all, and I only ask for a contribution from any successful wagers readers of this blog may have on the basis of what they have read here - much in the way most people leave a tip when they pay the bill at the end of a good meal.

Despite there being 3 jumps meetings today, I can't find a decent wager today so my money is staying in my pocket.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A period of reflection

The 414th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

No selections for the blog yesterday as I was at Plumpton watching
syndicate horse CHILWORTH LASS (I'm a shareholder) on her hurdling
debut.

I thought she ran a cracker on going (heavy) that was a lot worse than
she wants. She led for most of the race only succumbing to a challenge
on the approach to the 2nd-last flight. For a brief moment I thought she
may hold-on to 3rd spot and provide me with a decent return on my
eachway wager at 33/1, but it was not to be.  Realistically, she had no
chance with the odds-on winner Balder Success, who looks half-decent;
nor with the runner-up Jodawes. The 3rd horse home Specialagent Alfie
had been dropped in trip from 2m4f and (benefitting from race fitness)
he outstayed Chilworth Lass on this going, as did the 4th home Excelsior
Academy. But, all-in-all, it was an encouraging run and on better going
she should prove capable of winning in a class 5 handicap.

By coincidence, at Folkestone later in the afternoon, the other horse
that had been "offered" by he-who-shall-not-be-named (prior to Chilworth
Lass being syndicated) also ran for the 1st time since that incident.

KING OF CASTILE had subsequently been purchased by trainer Jim Best of
Lewes, apparently carrying an injury. Well, he showed none of that
yesterday making nearly all to romp home a 16-length winner at 3/1. He
was helped having come into the race fresh from a 6-month break and also
benefitting from a drop in the handicap to a rating of OR95. I should
have had the horse on my alert list as he clearly possesses some ability
and it has to be classed as a missed opportunity, especially as Jim Best
really knows how to prepare a horse for a coup and I expect connections
recouped their purchase price - and more - yesterday.

My biggest wager of the day was in the Sussex National on Rate Of Knots
and my immediate thought when the last of the market leaders fell
mid-race was that all he had to do to win was stand up - and he failed
to do that with an awful jump at the fence in front of the Plumpton
stands. At times like that I wished I were at home, as then I could have
lumped onto Double Dizzy. He may only have one gear, but he is a
resolute galloper who knows how to jump a fence and as he led those who
still stood out onto the final circuit there could only be one winner.

Today's high winds have resulted in the abandonment of the meeting at
Ayr. There is little prospect of any worthwhile wagering opportunities
till Saturday, so I'm going thru' my alert list and giving it a good
prune.

I always give a horse the benefit of at least one run if it makes it
onto my personal alert list, after that it really needs to show
something decent. One that did not make the cut yesterday evening was
Ghizao who has cost me dearly since I managed to win on him a couple of
times in the autumn of 2010. It hurts when you see a horse which has
some talent, not fulfil its potential; and I'm sure that Paul Nicholls
will have another go with the horse. I expect he'll have a wind-op
sometime in the next few weeks followed by a re-appearance hopefully on
a flat track. He ran a cracker when chasing home Finians Rainbow at
Aintree last April and he could well show his best if he returns there
again this coming April.

I've just noticed from my racing calendar that there is a 4-week break
between the Cheltenham Festival and Aintree National meetings (in my
youth it was just 2-weeks) and while that will allow plenty of horses to
race at both meetings, having the Grand National run on April 14th is
not good for that race. When I was growing up in the 1960's, 70's &
80's, the National was run on the last Saturday in March, which would be
the Saturday after the Lincoln handicap was run. Pushing the National
meeting later in the calendar may result in more horses competing in the
other championship races but, for the National itself, it is not a good
idea. It also makes it near impossible for a horse to compete in 2 (or
more) of the major staying chases held at the end of the jumps season
with the Scottish National being run on Saturday 21st April (just a week
after the Grand National), the Betfred Gold Cup at Sandown being run on
the 28th April, and the Irish National being run on Easter weekend (the
weekend before the National). There are not enough top-class staying
chasers to go around, and the other races (notably the Sandown race) are
starting to go into terminal decline.

The racing calendar needs proper organisation, otherwise racing is in
danger of killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors, and I hope that
readers of the blog get enjoyment form it.

The blog takes a lot of effort to maintain. If you have had a successful
wager on the back of what you have read here, then please make a
contribution (via the donate button) as an expression of thanks. Those
that do will be rewarded with occasional supplementary information.

All comments are welcome.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Chilworth Lass runs at Plumpton

The 413th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

The start of a new year and I’m off to Plumpton.
Today, being part of the White diamond Racing Partnership, I’ll be watching our horse CHILWORTH LASS having her first run over hurdles in the opening race.
The going at Plumpton is heavy (soft in places) and that could be tough on the little mare. She is a game and resilient horse tho’, judging by her performances on the all-weather, and she could well handle the ground as her half-bro’ won on very soft going at Saint-Cloud in France over 1m2½f as a 4yo. Her dam’s half-sister also acted on soft going.
It will be a tough “ask” today as Alan King’s Balder Success could be a decent horse based on his sole run – and win – in France. Gary Moore’s Jodawes also looks a capable novice hurdler and comes here with experience. However, the rest of this field look nothing special at all, and the fact that CHILWORTH LASS receives at least 12lb from the others, and 19lb from both Balder Success and Jodawes means that I reckon the current 28/1 is worth a small eachway wager from me on the course.
The next couple of races I reckon I will pass over, but the 2m5f hurdle at 2:15 looks interesting. Most of these look real back-numbers but the latest run from PUR DE SIVOLA, who was a decent horse when with Alan King a few years back, suggests that he may go close in this. He likes to be up with the pace, which is no bad thing on going like today, and he has won on very soft going over 2m4f on hurdles at Taunton. For me, 14/1 looks too long and I’d have him at half those odds considering he’s 49lb below his peak NH rating of OR138.
The Sussex National at 2:45 will be a gruelling race, and so stamina will be the most important requirement. RATE OF KNOTS has won twice (from 3 starts ) on heavy going and can also stay this extreme trip (3rd in Kent National over 3m7f at Folkestone, btn 3-lengths). He is my selection in this race.
After that, if I’m still warm enough to stand up, then I’ll likely have a punt on GORING TWO in the 3:20 before calling it a day. GORING TWO is trained just up the road from Plumpton at Jevington near Eastbourne and Anna Newton-Smith does well with her runners at local tracks like Plumpton.

All the best to my readers, and let’s make 2012 a profitable year.