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.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Please be patient

This week I have started working at a new location and the company IT Dept isn't quite up-to-speed in providing me with email address. As such, I'm not able to post new pages on the blog.

Hopefully, all will be sorted by the weekend. If not, I will be posting a blog page - with any advised selections - this coming Saturday morning before noon.

All the best,
Wayward Lad

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Cheltenham Festival thoughts


Yesterdays Selections were:
Cheltenham 1:15, KATENKO, 1pt win @ 5/1 (Paddy Power, BOG)
Cheltenham 1:50, SOMERSBY, ½pt eachway @ 12/1 (Bet365, quarter-odds 1,2,3 BOG)
Cheltenham 2:25, CAPE TRIBULATION, ½pt eachway @ 9/1 (Ladbrokes – 5th odds 1,2,3)
Cheltenham 3:35, KAUTO STONE, 1pt win @ 15/2 (Stan James, BOG)

Total = 4pts stake

KATENKO romped home a very convincing winner with a performance that, it my opinion, puts him in the Gold Cup picture. Look again at my blog yesterday, and I also said Fruity O'Rooney (2nd) would be placed and that Nadiya De La Vega (3rd) would be involved in the finish. The Tricast paid £374 - this blog I write is gold-dust!

In the next race, Somersby ran a very brave effort to be 3rd, only losing out on the runners-up spot on the run-in from the final fence. He badly needed this race by the looks of it, and I would expect a much better run NTO. Had I known that there were to be a couple of non-runners in the morning then I would not have advised an eachway wager on Somersby, but that is the risk with writing a blog and posting it up on a Saturday morning. 

Order was restored in the big handicap chase of the day when CAPE TRIBULATION stayed-on best of all to capture the Argento Chase. Readers will know that I pointed Cape Tribulation out in my blog on Friday when he was 14/1. I had my money on at those odds but, with no Tidal Bay, he was still great value at 9/1 on Saturday morning with doubtful stayers and outclassed opposition in Grands Crus, Weird Al, and Hunt Ball.  Can we finally put the Grands Crus enigma back in its box now? The horse does not stay 3-mile as a chaser. 

You can't win them all, and Kauto Stone ran well enough for a long way to merit an interest in the Cleeve Hurdle. All-in-all, a great day for the blog - yet another very profitable Saturday - and 8.40pts profit posted. I wager to £40 a point and I ended the day up £336.

My question is, would you have paid £5 for this advice yesterday morning? I think my advice is worth paying for but, do you?

What did we learn yesterday at Cheltenham? I've already said KATENKO is now firmly in the Gold Cup picture, which is what I said after he won at Sandown on 5th January. The horse jumps like a stag and, as Our Mick found out, he's as strong as an ox. Currently 33/1 for the Gold Cup, this horse is worth a tickle at eachway.

SPRINTER SACRE won yesterday without even breaking sweat. I rated it at 154 (via Mad Moose at 140) and we know he can run to 20lb better than that. Honestly, unless he falls (or does not turn up) he can't lose the QM Champion Chase and if I had £5,000 I'd make a quick £2,000 by taking the odds of 2/5 on offer for that race. He should be 1/8, maybe even 1/10.

I'm not sure how to rate CAPE TRIBULATION, but I think courageous Imperial Commander has now had his day. He won't improve for this run and, if he were mine, I'd miss Cheltenham and go to Aintree instead, 

Finally, I don't think we saw the winner of the World Hurdle in the Cleeve yesterday. Oscar Whisky merely matched his World Hurdle run of last year with 160 in my book - and that puts Reve De Sivola on a similar mark, and that's just not good enough as they were all-out. I think I have the winner of this race and I'll be advising those who purchase my Festival Bulletin next month.

So then, yet another profitable Saturday for readers of the blog following a fair few other profitable Saturdays this jump season. Make this blog the first you read every Saturday - you know it makes sense!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Cheltenham Trials Day



I had a look at today's Cheltenham meeting yesterday morning and posted-up my thoughts. I'm going to try and fix the impressions made then and see if there's any value to be had in what looks a highly competitive days racing. The ground at Cheltenham is "Heavy - soft in places".

The "Timeform" novice chase over 2m5f at 12:40 looks a cracker of a race. I feel the top-weight Radjhani Express is fairly priced at 4/1. Yes, he has certainly improved as a chaser and he could be well-in off OR142, but I got the feeling that Rajdhani revelled in the conditions LTO and he outclassed an ordinary field and appeared to look exceptional. John's Spirit will love the soft ground and the trip (he was just outstayed over 3m1f by a very good horse LTO in Katenko) but going left-handed on a course like Cheltenham will be a new experience for him. So far, he's done all his best work going right-handed, and his odds of 9/2 look interesting if he handles this track (not every horse does). I can't see Gullinbursti being involved on what he's shown so far this season, so next in the market is Ballygarvey.  This one is totally unexposed and could be the fly in the ointment following his LTO win. For him tho', it's a case of "the softer the better" regarding the ground. Tom O'Brien keeps the ride having won on him LTO, and that means Richard Johnson is on Sizing Santiago. I like Sizing Santiago and expect him to have a big future. He handles Cheltenham well (was 2nd here in November) and has won on soft ground, but I reckon he'll be a much better horse on better ground and over 3-miles - especially if he takes after his half-brother, Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Take The Stand. The race should be run at a strong pace and so stamina will be a premium requirement and as the market does not have much value in it I'm no having a wager. It was going to be Sizing Santiago, but the ground is against him now. 

Next up is another 2m5f handicap, this time a Class 1, Grade 3 - top class stuff! There are several horses in this that I have followed successfully over the past couple of seasons in Bold Sir Brian, Bless The Wings, and Fruity O'Rooney. Connections are talking of Bold Sir Brian as a Gold Cup horse and if he is then he'll take some beating as he has the ground in his favour. He's up against Katenko tho' who looked very impressive when winning LTO over 3m1f. At the weights, I'd have to favour KATENKO as on form I reckon there's is very little between the market leaders on my own ratings but the handicapper has Bold Sir Brian giving Katenko 8lb.  As the ground will be against Bless The Wings, even tho' he's won over C&D (won the novice handicap chase at this very meeting) he'll need to find plenty of improvement to win this. Pacha Du Polder looks held (by Bold Sir Brian), but Nadiya De La Vega has all in her favour again and if she runs up to here Paddy Power form then she'll be involved in the finish.  Our Mick is interesting as we last saw him coming 3rd in the Festival Handicap last March. If he's fit and well he could go close but, do we know that? As for Fruity O'Rooney, he always runs his heart out and never runs a bad race so it's in his favour that he's come down 6lb to OR139 since running well (but running-out of stamina) in the Hennessey Gold Cup. He's also dropped in trip for the first time in ages, and it could be his trump card. Fruity O'Rooney should be in the 1st-4 (it's a 16-runner handicap, so there are 4 places available), but the winner should be KATENKO on known form. Odds of 5/1 look fair value especially now the ground is heavy.

The Victor Chandler Chase looks good enough to be the Champion Chase, in fact the field looks stronger than last years Champion Chase by a long way. I don't think Cheltenham suits Sprinter Sacre and he may well be troubled approaching the final fence. I'm not going to wager against him, but he is not 12lb better than this field in my opinion. The horse I think will give him most to do is SOMERSBY as he'll be having his first run since moving to Mick Channon and all those that moved to him from Henrietta Knight's stable have improved, mainly in fitness. SOMERSBY goes well fresh and he's twice won on his seasonal debut. On his day, he was a 162-165 2-mile chaser with Knight so, if Channon has found a few pounds, he could be upsides Sprinter Sacre at the final fence and then, who knows? At 12/1 he's worth an eachway tickle.

The Argento Chase at 2:25 is another great race as this day turns into a classic. Tidal Bay is a non-runner. I do not think that Grands Crus is a proven 3-mile chaser at this level, and I don't think he'll stay. If Imperial Commander can run to his OR164 rating (which is about 20lb below his best) then he'll win with just 11st to carry, but that is a big ask. That brings us to Hunt Ball and as much as I admire this horse, I think he won't like the soft ground nor do I think he'll stay this trip. His 3rd at Aintree over 3m1f did not prove his stamina. The one I like the look of is CAPE TRIBULATION who is relatively unexposed as a chaser over 3-mile-plus and he won in a canter LTO on Boxing Day. As such, he comes here in the form of his life, racing on ground and over a course that he'll love. I took 14/1 last night with William Hill and now he's at best 9/1 with Ladbrokes. I reckon he'll be placed at least. 

Finally, KAUTO STONE in the Cleeve Hurdle over 3-mile looks very interesting. If this were a 3-mile chase at these weights he'd be odds-on. Even so, he was mixing-it over 2-miles with Sizing Europe last season, so he's no slouch. Getting 8lb from Oscar Whisky and Reve De Sivola puts him right in the frame and he'll love the soft ground. Paul Nicholls sounded bullish on Morning Line. Odds of 15/2 (Stan James , BOG) look huge!

Selections:
Cheltenham 1:15, KATENKO, 1pt win @ 5/1 (Paddy Power, BOG)
Cheltenham 1:50, SOMERSBY, ½pt eachway @ 12/1 (Bet365, quarter-odds 1,2,3 BOG)
Cheltenham 2:25, CAPE TRIBULATION, ½pt eachway @ 9/1 (Ladbrokes – 5th odds 1,2,3)
Cheltenham 3:35, KAUTO STONE, 1pt win @ 15/2 (Stan James, BOG)
Total = 4pts staked

Thanks for reading this blog to all visitors and I hope that you get enjoyment from it. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Remember! Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose. Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Cheltenham Trials Day - Friday lookahead

No blogs for the past week or so as the horseracing has been curtailed by the weather. Looking back at my last blog, I managed to find a winner in BALLYALLIA MAN but also managed to talk myself out of it by considering his odds not to be value at 7/2. As things turned-out, he won in the proverbial "canter" at the slightly strange odds of 11/5 (a tad shorter than 9/4) and, as he was unchallenged, he could have started at at a lot less than that and still been value. Some fish escape the net!

A combination of hard work by ground-staff and a dose of luck have saved the important Cheltenham "Trials" meeting today, and it is the only jump race meeting to still be on as we lost both Doncaster and Uttoxeter to the weather. We have the added bonus of the Victor Chandler Chase at Cheltenham making it an 8-race card; terrific value for the punter and I sincerely hope all goes well. It means an earlier start to racing with the opener jumping-off at 12:10, and so I've made an early start to reviewing the card on Friday afternoon. The ground at Cheltenham is "Soft".

The "Timeform" novice chase over 2m5f at 12:40 has been won by some decent horses in the recent past, and this field looks a cracker. Top-weight Radjhani Express has certainly improved as a chaser and he could be well-in off OR142, but I got the feeling that Rajdhani revelled in the conditions (heavy ground) and was just too good for the others that day. Others that catch my eye are John's Spirit, Sizing Santiago, and Ballygarvey. John's Spirit will love the ground and the trip (he was just outstayed by a very good horse LTO in Katenko) but going left-handed on a course like Cheltenham is a new experience for him, he's done all his best work going right-handed. Sizing Santiago handles Cheltenham well (was 2nd here in November) and has won on soft ground, but I reckon he'll be a much better horse on better ground and over 3-miles if he takes after his half-brother, Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Take The Stand. Even so, he will relish a strong pace in this which is likely, a rating of OR126 looks very reasonable, and Peter Bowen has booked Barry Geraghty for the ride. Ballygarvey is totally unexposed and could be the fly in the ointment following his LTO win, but the softer the better it is for him regarding the ground.

If I thought the novice chase was a cracker, this next race on the card is a stonker! There are several horses in this that I have followed successfully over the past couple of seasons in Bold Sir Brian, Bless The Wings, and Fruity O'Rooney. Connections are talking of Bold Sir Brian as a Gold Cup horse and if he is then he'll take some beating as he has the ground in his favour. The ground will be against Bless The Wings but he's won over C&D (won the novice handicap chase at this very meeting). As for Fruity O'Rooney, he always runs his heart out and never runs a bad race so it's in his favour that he's come down 6lb to OR139 since running well (but running-out of stamina) in the Hennessey Gold Cup. Throw in Katenko, Our Mick and Nadiya De La Vega and this is some race.

The Victor Chandler Chase looks good enough to be the Champion Chase, in fact the field looks stronger than last years Champion Chase by a long way. I don't think Cheltenham suits Sprinter Sacre and he may well be troubled approaching the final fence. I'm not going to wager against him, but he is not 12lb better than this field in my opinion. The horse I think will give him most to do is SOMERSBY as he'll be having his first run since moving to Mick Channon and all those that moved to him from Henrietta Knight's stable have improved, mainly in fitness. On his day, he was a 162-165 2-mile chaser so, if Channon has found a few pounds, he could be upsides Sprinter Sacre at the final fence and then, who knows?

The Argento Chase at 2:25 is another great race as this day turns into a classic. There is a possibility that Tidal Bay may not line-up. If Imperial Commander can run to his OR164 rating (which is about 20lb below his best) then he'll win with just 11st to carry, but that is a big ask. ~The one I like the look of at long odds is Cape Tribulation who is relatively unexposed as a chaser over 3-mile and won in a canter LTO on Boxing Day, so he comes here in the form of his life, racing on ground he'll love.

This blog is not completed yet, so no selections advised.


Thursday, 17 January 2013

BHA revise ratings

It has been a funny old week for horseracing this week, and it's only Thursday.

There cannot be many horseracing fans who are not aware of the wholesale reassessment of the Official Ratings of top flat racehorses since ratings began in 1977. Take note Frankel fans, Official Ratings began in 1977 and before that there were some incredibly good racehorses that are not caught in the BHA ratings net. I've been watching horseracing since 1967 and my first ever wager (courtesy of my mum) was a shilling or 5-pence eachway on Ribocco in the 1967 Derby at Epsom. Lester Piggott managed to guide that one into 2nd place behind Royal Palace the 7/4 fav; whereas Ribocco was 22/1 and my "2-bob" stake turned into "six & six". That was it, I was bitten by the bug!

As such, I've seen the likes of Nijinsky (the last winner of the Triple-Crown), Brigadier Gerard, Mill Reef, and Roberto (only horse to beat Brigadier Gerard) all run. How would I rate them alongside Frankel? At a mile I'd have Frankel top-rated, but only by a 1lb over Brigadier Gerard who was also unbeaten at the trip, and then only because my memory of the Brigadier fades (it was 40 years ago when he ran). At a mile and a quarter and longer, I'd have the Brigadier and Mill Reef disputing top because at the time (1971-72) they were truly the most superior horses in Europe and we'd seen some good one in the recent past back then. I never saw Sea Bird II on "live" tv, and the recordings of his races do not seem to do the horse justice. But he absolutely sauntered home in the 1965 Arc de Triomphe beating a field chock-full of Group 1 winners by 6-lengths to the 2nd and another 5-lengths to the 3rd, with jockey Pat Glennon patting the horse down the neck for the final 100 yards!

Onto today, and we have a decent meeting at Wincanton which has survived the overnight frost. The handicap chase over 2m5f at 2:20 looks interesting, mainly as the 3/1 race-fav is the topweight Definity , who comes here today off a break of 674-days. This will be only the 5th chase race for the fav and he's only race 7 times under-rules as it is. If he's as good as he was, he'll take some beating as he's been dropped 6lb by the handicapper, but that's a big ask even if his trainer is Paul Nicholls. That said, I can't see him finishing out of the frame (unless he doesn't finish at all) as this looks like a weak class 3 chase. The horse that I reckon will be too good for him in this is BALLYALLIA MAN who comes here in decent form having been racing over 3-miles (or thereabouts) which looks beyond his best. This drop in trip to 2m5f should suit him well as will the soft ground. Unfortunately, I don't think there's any value in his odds either as he's at best 7/2. I may put these two into a reverse forecast or a "swinger".

The next on the card is the 3m3½f Somerset National in which I think the 9/4 race-fav Chartreux is a bit of a plodder. He's found nothing at the business end of his last couple of races, and the extra half-mile today won't help him. The 2nd-fav is Dusky Bob who is on my alert list as I think he's capable of a 120+ performance so, off OR111 he looks well-treated. Thing is, I don't think he's a 3-mile-plus horse. Yes, he won LTO over 3-mile but it was only a 5-runner race and just 2-lengths covered the 1st-3 home. When he was "staying-on" the race before that over 3m4f at Haydock, he was merely passing beaten horses in the final half-mile. Pettifour was unable to hold the well handicapped winner in the Sussex National LTO, and is another that possesses no gears. That brings me to RICHARDS SUNDANCE. I'm going to ignore his last run at Doncaster as all his 4 wins have come when going right-handed. Before that, he won over 3-mile at Exeter off OR123 when he was always "in-the-van" and stayed-on gamely. He's up 6lbs on that winning rating, but claimer Harry Derham is worth every ounce of his 5lb claim and so you could say he'll just be a 1lb worse off today.

Bugger! Just looked and Richards Sundance is a non-runner!

No selections today.

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

Thanks from Wayward Lad



Monday, 14 January 2013

Keevil's chasers can jump

Saturday was not a great day for the blog as neither selection came to the races at all. First up was TRIANGULAR and I had high hopes for this horse as he has the talent to succeed at this level and everything seemed to be in place. It didn't happen and, having watched the way the horse jumped or, rather, didn't jump; my reaction is that somehow this horse has lost all its confidence. The horse lost 3-lengths at every fence and then made-up the 3-length deficit by the next fence whereupon it lost it again. No surprise that the horse was a spent force over a mile out. It was made more painful as the race winner BALLY LEGEND was on my personal alert list. As I wrote on Saturdays blog, having won at trips less than 2m2f as a hurdler and failed at trips beyond that I thought the horse needed to tackle similar trips as a chaser before showing his best form. Now, I still think that as the horse merely had to repeat his previous form as a novice chaser to win this. What we can be sure of with BALLY LEGEND is that he's a safe jumper (as all of Caroline Keevil's chasers are) and he's consistent - but I reckon we won't see the best of him till he's dropped in trip.

My other selection on Saturday was BRADLEY. This horse ran with no verve at all, started making mistakes with his jumping, and was eventually pulled-up about a mile out (maybe more). This was his 2nd race since being beaten by Monbeg Dude at Cheltenham in November and, to me, the horse looks broken. His heart wasn't in it on Saturday, and ita wasn't in it in his previous race either. It could be the horse needs a rest and perhaps be brought back for a handicap chase at Aintree in April.

I'll be updating my personal alert list today, weeding out a few that may have hit their ceiling or who haven't shown the potential that I thought was there, and adding a few replacements. One that will be going into the list is ON TREND. This lightly race 7yo with Nick Gifford ran an eye-catching race to come 2nd to decent yardstick Brackloon High at Kempton over 3-mile. He was off almost a year thru' injury before returning to the track on 1st December 2012 when he fell 5-out in a hot chase at Newbury. He ran again 3-weeks later on 22nd December  when he still looked in need of the race. There was a lot to like about the tenacity he showed on Saturday when he was 2nd and hopefully he won't suffer much at the hands of the handicapper as I think he's a good deal better than the OR127 he ran off.

No selections today.

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

Thanks from Wayward Lad





Saturday, 12 January 2013

Don't forget to donate!


We had a great day last weekend with the 12/1 winner MONBEG DUDE and don’t forget FRUITY O’ROONEY who was 3rd at 10/1 (both advised as eachway selections).  
We have 3 meetings today at Kempton, Warwick and Wetherby so let’s see what we have in store.
At Kempton, the 2:05 has Bally Legend from my alert list running. I actually don’t think he stays much beyond 2m1f and he’s been one-paced at this trip as a chaser. I don’t think he’ll prove me wrong today. That said, he holds Niceonefrankie, and Cruchain can go well on his day but those days are hard to predict. If Cruchain reproduced his Kempton win in this race last January then he’d be hard to beat as he’s come down the handicap 8lb since then. It’s the horse in 2nd that day that interests me, TRIANGULAR. He may be 17lb worse off with Cruchain on that running but he’s improved since then whereas Cruchain has not. He gets this trip and the ground should be acceptable for him to act on it. He was rated OR140 after winning at Newbury in March, and he races off OR132 today after failing to adapt to Aintree’s National fences (no disgrace in that) and probably needing his seasonal debut at Cheltenham in October, and then not staying 3m2f in the “Badger” and refusing when exhausted 3-out. Current odds of 13/2 (Bet Victor, best odds guaranteed) look good value to me. This is Tom George’s only runner at Kempton today, he is in red-hot form with his stable at the moment, and he’s booked Barry Geraghty to ride. What more do you want?
At Warwick, we have the Betfred Classic Chase over 3m5f at 3:35. Nobody would deny that Pete The Feat has been a revelation since moving to Charlie Longsdon but perhaps this is a visit to the trough too many. He’s meeting some decent chasers today in this and having to give just 4lb to BRADLEY will, I expect, be beyond him. I don’t think BRADLEY appreciated the heavy ground LTO, but on soft ground he’s a very good horse indeed and I think the 7/1 on offer (Bet365 and William Hill) is too good to pass-over. There is nothing that interests me at Wetherby.

Selections
Kempton 2:05, TRIANGULAR, ½pt eachway @ 13/2 (Bet Victor, BOG, 5th odds ew 1,2, 3)
Warwick 3:35, BRADLEY, ½pt eachway @ 7/1 (Bet 365 and Hills, both are BOG and ¼ odds ew)
Also,
¼pt eachway double with Bet365 who are ¼ odds on both races, 6/1 Triangular and 7/1 Bradley
Total = 2½pts staked, at £10 a point that's £25 staked

Thanks for reading this blog to all visitors and I hope that you get enjoyment from it. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Remember! Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose. Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Horseracing needs personalities

No blog yesterday as, despite there being only the one jumps meeting at Catterick, I just could not settle on a single selection in the feature race which was the North Yorkshire National Handicap Chase over 3m6f. I eventually had a personal wager on the Donald McCain entry Lively Baron in the "place-only" market on Betfair @ 3.05 which I thought was fair enough value as he was trading at <8.50 in the win-only market at the time. In the race, he was in 3rd and clear of the remainder at the 2nd-last fence when he made a huge blunder which did for his chances. He was given an easy time after that by his jockey as he lost all momentum with the error but, I think, had he cleared that fence he'd have caught and passed Night In Milan and finished 2nd to Chac Du Cadran. After he won, I was a bit miffed about Chac Du Cadran as I tipped him to win on his previous outing (see my blog of 20th December) when he ran 2nd to Shaking Hands over 3-mile at Towcester. He didn't have any like Shaking Hands to fight him for the lead yesterday and, in hindsight, that should have been my cue. This 7yo looks to have a future in the marathon chases over the next 18 months and he should be followed until he finds his handicap ceiling.

There are only a couple of ordinary meetings today over the jumps, at Huntingdon and Sedgefield. There is just the one horse running from my personal alert list and that is HIGHWAY CODE in the 1:10 at Sedgefield. He looks to have found himself a decent race to win here as he's shown himself to be a capable novice chaser who probably would have won LTO but for stumbling on landing after leading at the final fence. That was over 2m4f and he's dropped in trip today to an extended 2-mile which should alleviate any stamina doubts. There are only 5 runners in the race and the main danger could be Jennie Candish's Granville Island, who looked an improving hurdler earlier this year before a summer break, and he may improve a lot on his chasing debut of last month. The best odds available on HIGHWAY CODE are 11/8 and so, as I don't recommend wagers at odds under 9/4, it's a no-bet from me. I would not put anyone off him tho' as he looks the one to beat in this but, even so, the current odds look skinny.

At Huntingdon, trainer Nicky Henderson sends the promising hurdler My Tent Or Yours for the 1:20 which he should win easily, tho' he is an odds-on chance for this at 4/7. Had he not failed to win LTO, when he was also odds-on at 4/11, then he'd probably be at very short odds indeed for this. But, he was given a lot to do that day on heavy ground so, if you're a big-hitter, you may think 4/7 is "value"; not me tho'. I can't see anything else worthy of a wager at the Huntingdon meeting.

Looking to tomorrow, there could be some interesting racing with meetings at Kempton, Warwick (Bradley @ 6/1 for the 3:35 looks interesting), and Wetherby (Havingotascoobydo returns to the scene of his last win for the 2:15). I'll be looking at those cards in more depth when the declarations are made.

There was a lot of media attention on C4 Racing yesterday following John McCririck's announcement that he is sueing the tv channel for £3 million. I've no intention of taking sides in this argument, tho' I do think that horseracing is a place for characters and, whether you love him or hate him, you cannot disagree that John McCririck is certainly a character. The man is 72 and, while he may not have had much value left in him in the studio where he was a bit of a loose cannon, I do think that he could still be useful in the betting ring on a Saturday afternoon. I would have kept him on a retainer just for comment from the betting ring as, given his age, he probably is not far off from calling it a day anyway and, while some may hate him, a large part of the betting public on-course like him. It is early days yet for the new production team at C4 Racing but my early impression is that it was a bit sterile and lacking personality last Saturday. I want to see banter and cut & thrust, challenges and opinion. Who will be the next McCririck? It won't be Nick Luck, that's for sure! Who can replace Barry Dennis and his "Bismark"? C4 Racing has lost 4 racing personalities in Francome, Down, Thompson and McCririck and on first inspection, I can't say there's an outspoken character amongst the replacements.

No selections today.

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

Thanks from Wayward Lad



Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Another profitable day

There was just the one selection yesterday, WIESENTRAUM in the 2:10 at Leicester. Advised as an eachway selection at 7/1, by the "off" his odds had drifted to 10/1, which was a bonus (always place your wagers with a bookie whose terms are "best odds guaranteed" or BOG, in respect of internet wagers). As I expected, the race-fav Lovcen did not enjoy the experience of chasing at all (I did write that he did not look a natural chaser) and he flopped badly having to be ridden-along before 4-out after which he became tailed-off. He was trading at odds-on for the early part of the race too, and you could have laid-him at odds on 1.90 - 1.95 on Betfair in-running. My selection WIESENTRAUM was trading at 14.0 on Betfair before the off (huge odds in my opinion) and went out to 20 - 22 in the early part of the race before coming-in to under 4.00 once the race-fav dropped out with 4 fences to go. So there was plenty of opportunity to profit on the advice I gave for this race, either by following my recommended wager, laying the race-fav, or playing a "back-to-lay" strategy on WIESENTRAUM. My recommended wager of ½pt eachway provided a ¾pt profit at the SP of 10/1 (ie a £10 ew wager would have paid-out £35, or a £15 profit).

Not much feedback on my suggestion yesterday of providing a "only pay if you win" service, but none was unsupportive (which is a positive). I would, of course, take into account the "donation" required in calculating profit margins. However, there has to be a minimum level of stake if, as a punter, you are paying for advice and (at £5 per donation) I'd say the bare minimum wager should be £10 win or £5 eachway. By way of comparison, my wagers are to £40 per point.

Whatever direction the blog selections go in, I will be continuing to write the blog, mainly because I enjoy doing it. I was discussing the World Hurdle yesterday with another respected judge and we both thought that, without Big Bucks, the race is potentially wide open. In today's Weekender, Paul Kealy (the paper's flagship tipster) takes a look at the race and comes to somewhat the same conclusion and opts for an eachway wager on REVE DE SIVOLA @ 10/1. Now, I like this horse and he's been on my personal alert list since the autumn of 2009. I even think he's not a bad chaser, he did (after all) come 3rd in the Festival Handicap Chase off OR140 in 2011 and that's not bad. I expected him to go chasing again after his seasonal debut at the Hennessey meeting when 2nd to Big Bucks at Newbury, as his handicap rating of OR138 in that sphere looks incredibly lenient. What worries me about the horse is that his trainer (Nick Williams) has gone on-record as saying his participation in the World Hurdle is "ground dependent", in other words he will require soft/heavy going. Paul Kealy rightly says in his column today that the horse does not appear ground dependent (ie. needing soft/heavy) as all his best performances have been on "good" ground. As such, I'll be waiting until the 48-hour declarations on the race before having a wager on REVE DE SIVOLA. I'm thinking of having a small eachway wager on a couple of very long-shots for the World Hurdle as I can't see (and I agree with Paul Kealy on this) many of the current market leaders making an impact in the race come March. One that I really like is CAPE TRIBULATION @ 20/1 who won the Pertemps Hurdle Final over 3-mile last March and is in the form of his life having just romped home in the Rowland Meyrick Chase on Boxing Day. Another is CRACK AWAY JACK @ 50/1 who could easily run into a place (unlikely to win as 3-mile is beyond him) in what could turn out to be a very weak Grade 1 hurdle.

No selections today.

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

Thanks from Wayward Lad



Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Future for the blog

There are a couple of meetings today at Chepstow and Leicester.  Not a lot of interest, but there is one horse from my personal alert list running today and I think it looks value at it's current odds and it should stay that way until the off unless there is a non-runner. There is a short-priced market leader for the race but I think that my alert list runner should be trading at under 3/1 for this race, maybe ever at 5/2. He's trading a lot longer than that as I write but, unless the fav is a non-runner, you should be able to obtain longer than 5/1 before the off.

I was going to try an experiment and ask for donations of £5 and then I'd send an email by return with the name of the horse selected, race venue and time, and the recommended wager. However, as I'm operating away from home today I thought that may be a tad difficult to implement if I receive more requests for the selection than I'm expecting. Not only that, but I need to explore the time difference between a donation being made via the blog and the email confirmation being sent to me via Paypal. The intention is that if the suggested wager makes a profit, then I keep the donation; but, if the wager is a loser then I would refund the donation.

Just thinking out-loud now, this scenario would probably best work on a Saturday when I am able to be available at my computer for the whole of the morning - so I won't be doing this today. Before I go any further, the selection I was going to advise is:-

Leicester 2:10, WIESENTRAUM, currently 7/1. Yes, the race-fav Lovcen was a much better hurdler, but he didn't strike me as a natural chaser at Kempton last month and at "evens" he looks no value at all. Minella Class has shown himself to be nothing special tho', coming from Henderson's stable, he will be fit to do his best. Same Difference does not look as good as WIESENTRAUM as a chaser and does not look like he stays this sort of trip either. WIESENTRAUM was not expected to win his chase debut LTO, but he did and over a trip much shorter than he'd prefer (2m3f) and he beat that day a decent looking novice chaser in Vintage Star. Today's 3-mile will suit him well. If he doesn't win then he should be 2nd as I cannot see more than 2 of these finishing in front of him. I'm on to a ½pt eachway.

Anyway, I'd be interested in some feedback as to whether readers of the blog would be willing to donate a small amount, ie £5, on a no profit / no payment basis. The way I see it, there has to be some "return" from the blog to make writing it worthwhile. Looking ahead, I'm starting to write my Cheltenham Festival Bulletin this coming weekend and that will be for sale only - no freebies!

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

Thanks from Wayward Lad



Monday, 7 January 2013

Cheltenham Festival pointers

What a result on Saturday!

MONBEG DUDE hit the spot as the blog selection swooping on the run-up to the final fence of this 3m5f & 110 yards marathon to collar the leader, race-fav Tea For Three, and then holding-on to the line to win at an SP of 10/1. Remember, I tipped this horse on the Thursday before the race at 14/1, and reiterated my support for him again on Saturday morning when he was 12/1. I actually managed to obtain 14/1 at about 10:20am on Saturday morning (about 20-mins after posting-up the blog) courtesy of BetVictor. This was a cracking renewal and Tea For Three ran a gallant race, but he was never going to be able to give 16lb to an improving chaser like MONBEG DUDE. What I like about the winner is he hasn't learnt how to jump properly yet and he made 4 errors over the last 6 fences - any of which would have cost lesser horses their chance in the race. What saved MONBEG DUDE is that he has a colossal engine in him. Watch a replay and how he slices thru' the field when starting to make his move on the back stretch about a mile out. He went off screen when jumping the 6th-last fence and must've made a huge error there as he lost about 4-lengths (his in-running odds moved from <7.00 to 40.0+). I thought before Saturdays race that MONBEG DUDE would be OR145+ by April, but - when this horse learns to jump a fence properly - I think that's more likely to be OR155+. Don't forget TEA FOR THREE, he has Grand National winner written all over him. And what about Triggerman in 3rd? This horse won a "bumper" as a 6yo, and didn't have his hurdle debut until he was a 7yo; he may be an 11yo but there could be a big handicap in him yet.

The were some great performances on Saturday and they have to be noted with the Cheltenham Festival now within sight. At Sandown, altho' I did not advise a wager I gave my support to PENDRA in the Tolworth Hurdle and this very promising horse ran a cracker of a race over a trip half-a-mile too short. This could be a speculative eachway punt (he's 33/1) for the Neptune Hurdle but, next season, he'll make a tremendous novice chaser over 3-mile.

At Chepstow, novice hurdler SWNYMOR fell at the final flight with the race at his mercy and odds of 20/1 for the Triumph Hurdle look tempting. Be careful with antepost wagers on the Cheltenham Festival as if the horse does not run you will lose your stake money. We are probably 6-weeks away from the first bookie offering "non-runner, no bet" (NRNB).

At Sandown, I was hugely impressed with the 3-mile chase winner KATENKO, a 7yo having just his 3rd run - and only 2nd chase race - for Venetia Williams. This horse jumped like a stag and was in total command a long way out in a very competitive race. The runner-up JOHN'S SPIRIT has lots of promise and this was his first attempt at a trip beyond 2m5f so he was tenderly ridden given his stamina was untried. My eachway selection Fruity O'Rooney ran his usual game race to be 3rd and he's a good yardstick, as is the 4th horse home Tartak. Paul Nicholls' Royal Charm and race-fav Alfie Spinner were not far behind them, but KATENKO won this in a canter. I see it that Venetia Williams has 2 races to aim for with this horse at the Festival: the Festival Handicap Chase on Day 1 for which he's currently 14/1 with Hills (only bookie offering odds), or the Gold Cup itself as he's capable of running to a place in the big race. Honest, I think this horse looks 160+.

The other great performance at Sandown was from WILLIAM'S WISHES in the 2-mile handicap chase. This horse is now unbeaten in all his 5 chases to-date (all at 2-mile), and we know he stays 2m4f as a hurdler so the QMCC and a meeting with Sprinter Sacre has to be on the cards. My own personal opinion is that Sprinter Sacre is not a 1/2 chance (some books have him at 2/5).. If Flemenstar were to run, then I think we'd see Sprinter Sacre trade at 11/10 - 11/8 but, I don't think Flemenstar will travel over from Ireland. That leaves the runner-up spot open at least, tho' I reckon if Sizing Europe, Williams Wishes and (possibly) Sanctuaire are upsides Sprinter Sacre at the 2nd-last fence then we could see what the fav really is made of.

Lastly, I think I give good value with this blog.

I post it online well before any of my selections are due to run and I tell readers how much to place, the bet type and which bookie to go to. I send out a "tweet" via twitter as soon as I post the blog so that you don't have to sit by your computer.  You don't need to register or use any passwords to read my blog, and there is no charge for the information. I am not a prolific tipster: I do not post 8 to 10 selections a day hoping 1 or 2 will win and then declare that I've made you a profit of perhaps 2pts on an outlay of 12 to 15 points or more. I don't just provide a list of horse names and race-times, I give a narrative of why I think a horse will win and why I think it is value at the odds available. I understand that the majority of punters out there, like those who filled the stands at Plumpton yesterday when I attended, want to have a "bet" a couple of times a week on a couple of horses on which they can lay-out £20 to £50 with a reasonable likelihood of getting a return.

Had readers of my Saturday blog had £10 eachway on Monbeg Dude and Fruity O'Rooney, plus another £5 eachway on Our Island which were the wagers recommended then, for a total stake of £50, you would have enjoyed a profit of £145.

All I ask is that if you enjoy a profit on the back of what you read on this blog, then share the wealth and make a donation. I had a great response on twitter after Monbeg Dude won and, when I checked the stats, there had been 345 visits to the blog prior to the race. Many thanks to those who did have the good grace and integrity to make a donation.

If you are wanting to get the latest Cheltenham Festival betting odds then make sure you head over to Betfair today!

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

Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Saturday, 5 January 2013

Come on the "Dude"


A great day of horseracing featuring the Welsh National at Chepstow. But first, did you have a successful wager on VIVA COLONIA yesterday?  I did not write a blog, but at about 10am I used Twitter to advise a wager on VIVA COLONIA who went on to win at 5/1. I do not issue tips/selection’s via twitter much – it was my first selection of the week on that medium – but, as per my own rules, the win will not be included in any profit/loss calculation for the blog.
I reviewed the Welsh National earlier this week and my selection of MONBEG DUDE, currently 12/1, stands. There are a lot of front-runners in this race – Tea For Three, Giles Cross, Viking Blond and so on – and I’m expecting them all to cut each other up and leave MONBEG DUDE to snatch victory from off the pace as he did LTO. I also like the chance of OUR ISLAND @ 22/1 as a small eachway wager.
At Sandown, I do like the look of PENDRA in the 2:25 (Tolworth Hurdle) currently 8/1. This horse has a big future, no mistake, and is unbeaten from 3 races. Only 7 runners go to post tho’ so no wager advised as it looks a top race.
Later, the 3:40 looks a cracker of a chase and I’ve already highlighted the chance of Alfie Spinner (see earlier blog on Welsh National) but, as he’s a Pricewise selection, any value has already gone. I like two in this race, FRUITY O’ROONEY and JOHN’S SPIRIT. I cannot believe that Fruity O’Rooney has dropped 3lb for his 7th in the Hennessey, and that form is rock solid. A repeat should see him in the places, but it is JOHN’S SPIRIT that looks well-in if he stays the 3-mile trip. That doubt has put me off him and it is an eachway wager on FRUITY O’ROONEY @ 9/1 with Bet365 (¼ odds a place), tho' the more adventurous out there may want to combine Alfie Spinner, John's Spirit and Fruity O'Rooney in forecast combinations to small stakes.

Selections
Chepstow 3:20, MONBEG DUDE, ½pt eachway @ 12/1 (available generally)
Chepstow 3:20, OUR ISLAND, ¼pt eachway @ 22/1 (Stan James & Hills)
Sandown 3:40, FRUITY O’ROONEY, ½pt eachway @ 9/1 (Bet365, ¼ odds a place)
Total = 2½pts staked

Thanks for reading this blog to all visitors and I hope that you get enjoyment from it. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Remember! Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose. Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Welsh National preview

The Welsh National - run at Chepstow over 3m5f & 110 yards - is one of the "great" handicap chases of the jumps season and, since being moved to Boxing Day in 1979, has been won by some outstanding horses such as Borough Hill Lad who was one of the best Cheltenham Gold Cup winners of all time. Last year's winner Gold Cup winner Synchronised had also won a Welsh National (in 2010) and, going back further, both Master Oats and Cool Ground also completed a Welsh National / Gold Cup double. The race is also a great pointer for the Grand National itself, with Rag Trade, Corbiere, Earth Summit, Bindaree and Silver Birch all completing a National double. This is very much a race for an up-and-coming staying chaser and as such only two 10yo's have won it since 1979, the last being in 1993. Being a race for young improving stayers, it takes a superior horse to carry more than 11st to victory on what is usually testing ground on one of the UK's most demanding tracks. Of the last 4 horses to win carrying 11st or more, 2 went on to win the Gold Cup - Master Oats (1994) with 11st 6lb, and Synchronised (2010) also with 11st 6lb.

For a race with a long history, there are an abundance of stats to assess. Essentially, I am a stats-man but, while others follow stats blindly, I cherry-pick those that I consider to be the most influential. I'm expecting this race to be won by a young chaser (as this year the race is being run in January, "young" means 9yo or less - and 18 of the last 21 renewals has been won by the equivalent of an 8 or 9yo horse). The winner will certainly come into the race in-form (14 of the last 17 winners had finished 1st or 2nd on one of their last 2 starts).

Of those due to carry 11st and more, none of them strike me as potentially "Gold Cup" class which means opposing the favourite Tea For Three (currently appalling value at just 3/1), and also Giles Cross - who has been 2nd in the race for the past 2 renewals. There are 4 outside the handicap and, apart from Our Island, they are all too old. That leaves 14 weighted between 10st - 10st 13lb. Of those, the 2nd-fav Sona Sasta (8/1) won LTO at Chepstow but is now a 10yo and, tho' he'll love the ground, this extreme trip may find him out. Viking Blond (8/1) is very genuine but he'll face a battle for the lead with Giles Cross and I feel he needs an easier task to win. Expect a bold show from him. Alfie Spinner (11/1) ticks a lot of boxes and could be interesting as he's a course winner (16 of last 20 winners had won at Chepstow previously) and he loves heavy ground. He fell early-on LTO in the Hennessey, but his 3rd on his seasonal debut at Ascot was tremendous given as it was on ground quicker than he likes. He would be one for the shortlist, but I've just heard (via twitter) that he's a non-runner as he goes to Sandown instead - shame.

Universal Soldier (14/1) was outclassed by Quartz De Thaix LTO and I feel he's held on OR138, as (I reckon) is Soll who is also 14/1. Next in the betting is Monbeg Dude and followers of my blog will have been on him LTO at 40/1 (one of 3 horses advised, the others being Bradley (2nd) and Any Currency (4th)) when he won at Cheltenham over 3m3f. The ground being heavy could be an issue, but he handled the soft well enough LTO. One for the shortlist.

Master Overseer (14/1) had a tough race LTO on 14-Dec and may not have recovered. He also ran poorly in the race last year off OR130 (now rated OR137). Major Malarkey (25/1) is too old at 10yo and best form is on good ground. Royal Charm (28/1) has no form beyond 2m4f. Katenko (28/1) had a tough race LTO on 22-Dec and I think this will come too soon. The others comprising Jadanli, Mon Mome, Harouet, and Triggerman all look outclassed in a race where 12 of the last 16 winners started at odds no longer than 14/1.

So, the shortlist comprises of just MONBEG DUDE @ 14/1. As there will almost certainly by 16+ runners, I'd be inclined to have a couple of £5 eachway wagers, for instance on OUR ISLAND @ 33/1 who will stay the trip well and enjoy the ground. I was also going to include QUARTZ DE THAIX @ 14/1 who does have a look of class about him, but the rumour amongst the twitteratti is that he'll miss the race on Saturday.

ALFIE SPINNER is worth some attention in the 3:40 at Sandown on Saturday as he's been aimed at the Welsh National for weeks so, to opt-out at this late stage for another engagement, is very interesting - especially as it looks like he had such a good chance in the Welsh National.

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





Antepost Angst

We have a short period of quiet on the horseracing jumps scene before the Welsh National this Saturday. It is well worth taking advantage of such periods to take a look at the antepost markets for the Cheltenham Festival. Antepost betting is not "in-vogue" at the moment, but I cannot understand why after last year's Festival brought news of an outstanding piece of antepost betting from the stablelad at Nicky Henderson's yard. Conor Murphy won a million after placing a £50 accumulator on 5 horses in November 2011 for the Cheltenham Festival the following March. The punter would have won more but his winnings were restricted by the bookie he used to just £1 million.

The races that featured in the wager were:
The Arkle: the novice chase championship race over 2-miles.
The Neptune Hurdle: the novice hurdle championship race over 2m5f.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase: the all-aged chase championship race over 2-miles.
The RSA Chase: the novice chase championship race over 3m1f.
The Ryanair chase. The all-aged chase championship race over 2m5f.

The common factor of these races is that they were all "championship" races, in which all the runners carry the same weight. To these, you can add:-
The Champion Hurdle, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and the World Hurdle

Personally, I would forget about the Neptune hurdle as the winner of this race usually does not emerge as a likely contender until March (altho' PONT ALEXANDRE looks an immense prospect, and is described by Willie Mullins "as nice a horse as I have ever seen"), and focus on the other Championship races. Remember, it is not imperative to find the winner. A successful antepost treble on Simonsig (Arkle) @ "evens", Dynaste (RSA chase) @ 5/2, and Sprinter Sacre (QMCC) @ 1/2 would only return £1,050 to a £100 stake; whereas a £50 eachway treble on Sanctuaire (QMCC) @ 14/1, Oscars Well (Arkle) @ 14/1, and Back In focus (RSA Chase) @ 16/1 would return £5,062.50 should all three be placed. I've not yet placed an antepost wager but I'll be going into the market before the Cheltenham "Trials" meeting on Saturday 26th January.

In the meantime, I'm looking at the Welsh National today and should be able to post up a selection tomorrow (Friday). I've made a "resolution" to reduce the number of wagers I make and increase the stakes to maintain the turnover and (hopefully) generate more profit by weeding out the selections that are not value. As such, you will see more narrative blogs rather than tipping blogs in the coming weeks. It's good to change the way you do things from time-to-time as it keeps the brain fresh

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