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%.


THIS IS A BOOKIES ADVERT FREE ZONE
There are NO affiliate links on this site to bookies from whom the author receives 30% of your lost wagers.

advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

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

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, 3 November 2012

Back with a bang - 13/2 winner!


Did you miss me? Back with a 13/2 winner yesterday (advised on twitter and blog posted at 10am) when BLESS THE WINGS (SP 11/4) romped home.

What a tremendous days’ racing we have in store today with great meetings at Wetherby, Ascot and Ayr plus an interesting race in Ireland at Down Royal. The feature race of the day is the Charlie Hall chase at Wetherby and it’s cut-up a bit with only 6 runners going to post. My money will be on PLANET OF SOUND at 5/1.  Since he stepped-up to 3-mile chasing, he's been a revelation. His best performances are always when "fresh" and last season his 2nd in the Hennessey carrying 11:2 off a rating of OR158 was (IMO) one of the performances of the season. He followed that up with a good 3rd at Kempton, beaten only by course specialist Nacarat and the well-handicapped and improving Helpston. He was my main wager in the Grand National and led them a merry dance in that race losing the lead only 4-out after which Richard Johnson cantered him home safely. With just 11st on Saturday, and receiving 5lb from the 6yo favourite, it will take some performance to stop him winning. He has the best speed-rating by a mile (courtesy of that Hennessey 2nd) and the others – apart from the fav – look held. If Silviniarco Conti can win today then he’s a decent horse, but the odds are no reflection of his chance, he should be 7/2 and not 13/8.
The Grade 2 hurdle over 3m1f at 2:50 looks a cracker, and I couldn’t find the winner of this if I tried. That said, I do think CRACK AWAY JACK could be the surprise package in this race, he has untold potential.

At Ascot, Nicky Henderson has introduced some decent horses to chasing in the 1:25 so I’m expecting Hadrian’s Approach to run well. However, chasing is what ROLLING ACES is bred to do and he may be a different horse in this, his chase debut.   As a member of the White Diamond Racing syndicate, I’ll be watching Ted Spread with interest in the 2:35 as we’ve just bought his half-brother Phantom Ranch. If you are interested in shares contact Tom Castle at White Diamond Racing.
I'm expecting a big run from ACE HIGH in the 3:10. He should have come on a bundle for his recent run (the first in a year) and carries just 10st 2lb. 
Another that I'm looking forward to seeing is KALELLSHAN in the 3:45.  I first came across this horse when having a successful wager on him when he won at Sedgefield back in Sept 2009 beating a useful field. He should have followed-up a few weeks later when trouncing an even better field, but his jockey brought-about a calamitous mistake at the final fence. He was injured in that race and not seen again till the following July - had he not been injured I reckon he'd have been one of the better novice chasers of that season, certainly up to contesting the Arkle. On his return, he needed his first run to blow the cobwebs away and then won 2 hurdles in 4 days at the Galway Festival (that takes some doing), before again succumbing to injury. He was off the course nearly 2-years, returning in June 2012. With a new trainer in charge, he was coaxed back to fitness in 3 flat races during the summer before going on to win another hurdle at the Galway Festival this summer. He then won again on his next outing in a chase at Killarney. I thought he was OR150+ back in 2009 and, having won his last 4 races over the jumps (hurdles and chases), I'd say he's lost none of his ability. He looks to be 10lb well-in running off OR142.

So that’s it for today:-
Wetherby 3:25 PLANET OF SOUND @ 5/1
Ascot 3:10 ACE HIGH @ 5/1
Ascot 3:45 KALELLSHAN @ 6/1

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, 2 November 2012

Return of Wayward Lad

Welcome back readers, I've been away too long – even if I say so myself!

I did say that I'd be back in the autumn, and I've started and not finished a couple of posts over the past few weeks to the blog, but today I'm feeling more positive. Due to work commitments this won't be a daily blog as it has been over the past 3 years or so, but will be more of a weekend blog. Hopefully, that will suit me and those who read it as I tended to get most hits on a Saturday anyway.

As always, you can find me commenting on horseracing on Twitter, where you can find me tweeting as @wayward_lad

Onto the horseracing…

We have a cracking meeting at Wetherby today, ably supported by Uttoxeter. The opening juvenile hurdle at Wetherby at 1:00 has Jonjo O'Neill's only runner at the meeting MR WATSON. This horse was purchased for £215,000 after winning his "bumper" in Ireland and, if you combine that fact with his prolific strike rate at Wetherby with hurdlers (7 wins from 17 runners, or 41%) then you may well be led to thinking that the current odds of 9/4 look generous.

I'm a great follower of trainer trends and stats, and the next race at Wetherby may test those. Both Brian Ellison and Steve Gollings have solitary runners at Wetherby, and they both run in the 2:00 there, Royal Opera and Laterly respectively. Ellison is 5 wins from 31 runners over hurdles (16%), but Gollings is 3 wins from 9 (33%). I couldn't (hand-on-heart) recommend a wager on either, but I reckon they will both run a lot better than their current odds suggest.

One horse I've been looking forward to reappearing this season, is BLESS THE WINGS and he looks to have a winning chance in the 2:00 at Wetherby. He won me a packet when romping home at Cheltenham in January and I'll be having a wager on him at 13/2 as I can see him starting a lot shorter, possibly under 5/1. He won his seasonal debut last season, so we know he goes fresh, and he does travel well in his races which is something I really like. I don't think the going will be quick enough for the fav, Tiger O'Toole, and there are (in my opinion) question-marks over the other fancied runners. One I am keeping an eye on for any market moves is Sue Smith's Gansey as he's clearly the stable "fancy" and Smith has a great record in this race – 4 wins from 8 runners in the last 10 years.
The Class 1 juvenile hurdle at 2:35 is always a good pointer to what's the best around and I'm surprised Alan King hasn't an entry - he usually sends one of his best for this race. Whatever wins will be worth following.

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

If you have 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