Monday, 31 May 2010

Forte Dei Marmi Impressive in Zetland Gold Cup Win

Forte Dei Marmi kept up the good form of Oddspundit today with a scintillating performance to take a strong renewal of the Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar.

It was one of my biggest bets but only due to the fact it was highly progressive and priced up slightly wrong in the market.

At 4.45pm on Saturday I was facing a fair deficit on my weekends betting but with the scorching 22-1 winner in Dayia at Haydock followed up by this 9-2 success today it has been a sublime extended weekend.

There is nothing better than researching the form for the feature race of the day only and then being successful.

Epsom and Ascot are on the horizon now. Simply cannot wait!

If you would like to see just HOW EASILY Forte Dei Marmi outclassed his rivals in the Zetland Gold Cup then you can watch the race courtesy of Racing UK and Sportinglife by clicking HERE

(Please note that this will open a new window and take you to an external site)

Zetland Gold Cup is Cumani's For The Taking

Luca Cumani saddles Forte Dei Marmi in the Zetland Gold Cup and it looks the idyllic handpicked recruit from the yard to take this feature race on Bank Holiday Monday at Redcar.

I have had a glance through past trends as per usual to discard the also rans and it came up ultimately by choice as a three runner shortlist between the already named selection with Sweet Lightning and Cairnsmore as the main dangers.

The only negative with betting on Forte Dei Marmi is an issue on stamina. The horse did not appear to stay a fast run ten furlongs at York but the set up for this race looks certain to be more of a speed issue as there is no fast pacesetter in the line up.

Cumani's website offered some telling clues in my research as he declared on there that he had a shortlist of two possible entrants for this race but declared Forte Dei Marmi as his starter on the proviso that this race looked to be more an emphasis on speed rather than stamina.

The price of the selection is nothing to get excited about with 9-2 available with Sportingbet and Skybet only. However I really do consider this to be value as on my book it is a 3-1 favourite with Sweet Lighting the arguable main and likely danger.

I have max bet this one but that could be due to my drunken bones still possessing my mind and body. There is also the argument that only the strongest brain cells survive after drinking abuse which means that I am at my most intelligent when form reading the day after the night before...

The Monstrosity of a Hangover Delays My Betting

In agony at the moment and have ONLY just woken up. I have no recollection of the night before but my eyes have now transfixed themselves on two possible Class 2 handicaps at Redcar and Goodwood that are on later today.

The challenge has been set!

Not to be sick before 5pm and to grab two winners!

I will post an update when I have succeeded in finding the latter.

Keep checking back!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Dayia Ends A Glorious Day at Haydock

Dayia, what a Dayia! I had seen my five earlier Haydock bets drop by the wayside and nothing even place. I was abit disillusioned and tempted to start betting on favourites to place (old habits never die hard). However with the help of my blog to keep me in line I knew I could not bet on random favourites to close the day out as I am strict with my rule that if I bet then I blog!

However after a terrible day I spotted Dayia in the 4.45 and to my astonishment when checking her price she was 22-1! I thought it was a joke at first and something must be "wrong" with the horse for her to be that price in what looked a Good to Firm specialist field all around her.

With the ground turning SOFT for the race it looked an astonishingly good value bet but i was wary by the days lack of winners.

In the end I decided to hammer it and boy was I glad!

The young claimer Simon Pearce set off and got her into a prominent position early before steadily dropping back through the field throughout the race. After 14f the horse was plum last going into the home straight at which point i muttered in disappointment and irritation out loud at what appeared to be another costly bet.

With my chance dropping by the wayside the horse then began to pick up, and pick up very strongly! Mowing down the opposition arriving at the two furlong pole. The commentator was negative stating the horse had two lengths to find when it was as clear as day that she was infact now leading (unless I am blind)! Then as she shot clear into the final furlong the talented Simon Pearce kept her about her business to hold on by a neck as she wandered!

Hallelujah.

Bad news was I lost £250 of my winnings by laying off inrunning under the proviso that what chance did it have with me picking it in my current form since last Sunday? However that may sound alot but it was NOTHING compared to what I actually ended up winning which verged on the magic four figures!

Brilliant.

Thank you Dayia and thank you to the Pearce family who got the job done brilliantly and especially to Simon for a fantastic jockey ride.

And thank you Sportingbet for the generous 22-1!

So to add to my two out of two winners that I selected for the blog last Saturday at Haydock and the 22-1 winner this weekend. I am just very fortunate that I decided to not go due to the rain because had I ended up on the course then I would not have had the tools available to me to pick out such a glorious bet!

You can view the race on Sportinglife by clicking HERE

Please note that the video is an external link and will open in a new window

Dayia to end the Nightmare Haydock Day

Haydock today has been an absolute stormer of a nightmare for me and I am very glad I did not go. One of my betting weaknesses I have known for a long time is my infrequency of backing winners on "SOFT" going. Fancied runners have faired well today in the main and there were no shocks in any of the big races which is frustrating.

However I have come up with a huge outsider bet in the 4.45 at Haydock and that is the selection of Dayia. Ground conditions will be right in her favour by this time when the ground will more than likely be SOFT across all of the track. This mare is capable of further but is often found out due to the lack of a finishing kick to discard her rivals.

As a result of her lack of finishing speed she is winless on turf on the flat from six outings. She is a double All Weather winner and has two NHF races to her name so he is not a complete donkey (before you ask).

An inside draw is a slight advantage despite the trip being over two miles and her most recent start over an insufficient stamina test is likely to have brought her on leaps and bounds. A 5lb claimer rides which gives the mare an ultra competitive weight in my view to take a hand at the finish here.

Obviously luck will play a part but I have cross referenced her form against a few of her rivals and she appears best at the weights so at 22-1 which is available with Sportingbet she is my GET OUT OF JAIL bet for today.

I am staking accordingly to win big as I feel she is overpriced.

However as you will know, I am no longer in any sort of good form!

Beware.

Bollin Felix is a worthy favourite and the only horse I am afraid of. He was last years 2nd in this race and is far better suited to the conditions of this years renewal.

Pundit Selection:

4.45 - Haydock - Dayia 22-1 with Sportingbet

Betting Ideas for Saturday at Haydock and Newmarket

Haydock and Newmarket offer us the best racing on Saturday but the weather as stated in my last post may have some effect on proceedings. I doubt too much whether Newmarket will be affected but Haydock could be in the lap of the Gods and I envisage some healthy priced winners on that card now.

Here are my selections so far:

(My thoughts and selections will continuously be updated until approximately 1.30pm)

At Newmarket in the 2.15 Listed race over 10f we have one of my current favourite horses Green Moon running who won for me recently on this very blog at a whopping 11-1! It was one of only two horses running in the handicap that day that held an entry for a G2 so it did not take much working out on my part and I was grateful for the dozey bookmakers not realising its massive chance. However today it is stepped up to Listed company and while I have absolutely no doubts about its long term potential in this sphere I have to be very respectful towards the chances of Ameer who runs here and concedes weight all round due to a Class 2 win last season. However the penalty is only 3lb and this horse is best on ratings by 3lb over his nearest rival so he is better treated than his other rivals due to this not being a handicap. His form alongside Coordinated Cut is group level so this Listed race could be his for the taking.

Over at Haydock the meeting gets started with a high class Listed sprint at 2.00pm. It looks a race all about speed which means High Standing will have to be very fresh, fit and alert if he is to win as the favourite over a trip he is not sure to be quick enough at. It is with those concerns he is passable in a tight event which looks perfect for Inxile to bounce back after a disappointing run last time out. He has the perfect draw in this to lead the field to the finish. I bet on him last time and I am keen to have him on my side again despite the poor showing. I rarely go in again on a horse after they have lost for me, so take note! He does have to concede weight to his rivals but he is the most capable in ground worse than good so that kind of counters the weight disadvantage in my view. Judd Street could run well also at a big price.

One of the bigger shocks of the day may well come in the 2.30 at Haydock. Corporal Maddox is a very intriguing outsider for this contest and he looks worthy of heavy consideration to at least make the frame in this race. He can be forgiven an inept attempt last time as he was reported by his jockey to have "appeared to swallow his tongue" which meant he could not breathe during the latter stages of the race and thus ran no race at all. On that showing it means he is considerably overpriced here and an absolute must-bet option. Another horse with a fine record on this track is Layla's Hero and he is very decent on his day with a special liking for Haydock. Bewitched a runner from Ireland is expected to progress again here and has Fallon aboard to steer home. She is the only contender from Ireland on the entire card so can be expected to be seriously backed before the off. On form she does have a chance but it relates well to her price so she is no value in my opinion.

Possibly my favourite looking race on the whole card is the 3.00 in which several highly talented fillies and mares take centre stage for a hot looking Listed race and the best renewal of the event for several years. Last year I won loads at this meeting and was successful in this race by backing Suzi's Decision (who disappeared off the face of the earth afterwards, injured maybe?). This year I had similar hopes for Polly's Mark but you cannot ignore the horrible form of Clive Cox's yard who have notched only 2 wins in more than sixty outings in the last two months. Even someone at a healthy yard with no idea could muster a better strike rate and as trainer form is often so important she cannot be the selection here. Make a mental note of her though for races later in the season! Becqu Adoree the french import is a filly that catches my eye and if she was able to convert that form to England then you would need to look no further to find your winner. A short price perhaps but she has no penalty in this for a Listed win and she was less than three lengths off winning a G1 too behind disqualified winner Dar Re Me. Four year olds have won every renewal of this race so that would appear a strong statistic which hinders the chances of two of the market principles who have to carry penalties for Listed successes as well. At a monster price there are far worse bets than to try and see if last years third place Cassique Lady can repeat that run here at 40-1. She should handle the ground but whether she can handle both trip and ground at the same time is the obvious concern. Of the rest the one that is sure to go well at decent odds is Three Moons who is bred for this kind of test and being a filly by Montjeu should handle the probable good to soft ground.

The John Of Gaunt Stakes is the highlight of the days racing and is a Group 3 race over seven furlongs. This race is due off at 3.30 and features two standout Group 1 level performers in Lord Shanakill and Main Aim. Lord Shanakill arguably won a weak Group One in France and Main Aim despite competing well at the top level has no Group One to his name as yet. However he has regressed since being a runner up last summer in a Group One which was after he had won this race last year comfortably. Ground conditions also encourage the possibility of the two big guns being beaten and my bet to give them a race worth thinking about is Mia's Boy. Admittedly he is only a Listed level performer but there was alot to like about his performance last time out when he came ratting home late on to just be denied after getting outpaced early. Softer ground will slow the speed here so he should be able to maintain a healthy position and if still there late on should be keeping on strongly. He is a decent possible at a big price.

They are my only anticipated races to look at today. Any others on television look far too complicated to preview and work out. I am keen on getting a winner but the confidence is reduced when ground conditions are obscure leading to an event. It is still raining at present in the North West so I still anticipate ground conditions deteriorating as the proceedings continue. Bet with caution!

Pundit Selections:

2.15 - Newmarket - Ameer 9-2
2.00 - Haydock - Inxile 9-2
2.30 - Haydock - Corporal Maddox 10-1
3.00 - Haydock - Becqu Adoree 4-1
3.00 - Haydock - Three Moons (cover bet) 12-1
3.30 - Haydock - Mia's Boy 12-1

Saturday Racing Preview - Haydock and Newmarket

The main races this saturday occur at Haydock and Newmarket in what promises to be a day of intriguing action that could quite easily be dominated by the poor weather which is expected to change racing conditions markedly before the action gets into full flow.

My own plans to go to Haydock have been washed out as I did not see the value of going to Haydock in the rain knowing that plenty of shocks would probably occur and I could easily fail with my anticipated early bets. When big priced winners are flying in it pays to place those bets with Betfair.

Therefore I have taken extra time to come to my conclusions for today and I fully expect Haydock to be no better than Good to Soft come race time despite the current ground stating it is Good to Firm.

Unlike the Newspapers and Tipster Lines who just tend to pick a horse at random after two minutes of looking through the form I want to leave it as late as possible today before I show my hand. There is no use betting on fancies early just to see the ground change making it squandered cash. I will be keeping my powder dry and placing my bets today between 1 and 2pm at which point my selections will also be available online.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Been a Quiet Week

Very disappointed with the week so far. Sunday was pretty abysmal with no winners and then the Hilary Needler Trophy did not go to plan at all with both of my selections failing to make the frame. One of them did get gambled in from 16-1 to 10-1 after I had blogged but that was no consolation as it ended up a mile away.

To rub salt into the wounds my recent tip for the PGA Championship at Wentworth Rhys Davies has only gone and shot a -7 round on the opening day of the next tournament the Madrid Open to lead after day one. Ridiculous bad luck but my own doing. I had purposely not bet on him this time in the hope that he would stay quiet and then spring into life next week in his homeland at the Welsh Open at Celtic Manor. However with him having such a fantastic opening round in Madrid I think he will be on most people's radar now and be shorter odds than ideal for the Welsh event. Gutting!

I will keep my eye on him though incase he is backable.

Meanwhile my hopeful trip to Haydock to compensate for last weekends illness looks relatively bleak at the moment with rain on the horizon. The Met Office cannot make up their mind and have changed their predicted forecast for Saturday on no less than four occasions SINCE MONDAY! Why on earth do we even listen to these numpties when it comes to predicting the weather? They have NO clue!

If they are right and it is a wet weekend though then bets will be limited and saved up for a massive racing assault when the weather and conditions mean everything is back at Good to Firm!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Late Additional Bet in the Hilary Needler

Another negative of having a working day means I do not always notice the value during my lunch session but now I am home and have eaten I am appalled that I did not notice earlier the significant value in First Class Favour who runs for Tim Easterby who has won this race on no less than 3 occasions during the last decade.

This horse ran a fine debut and was only a neck behind Malpas Missile who is just 7-2 for this Listed event. First Class Favour did nothing wrong next time out beating a modest field but he only did what was necessary and due to that race being a low grade affair he seems to have slipped the radar with most punters on this occasion.

Tim Easterby knows the time of day with sprinters and ANOTHER big statistic I've noticed is the apparent success of Northern trainers in this race. Southern softies rarely get a look in and that does not bode well for my original fancy. However with Richard Hannon in good form and his horse Inagh River looking pretty smart I am happy enough to bet on both against the field in the hope I can win a nice sum.

Let me just repeat though - First Class Favour is a RIDICULOUS price at 16-1 which can be backed with Victor Chandler.

There have been a few gambles including a major one on Miserere but I would be shocked if that one proved good enough.

Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley Preview

The Hilary Needler Trophy takes place this evening at 7.30 Beverley. It is a two year old 5f sprint race and acts as a decent preparation for a tilt at the Queen Mary at Ascot in June. I never normally have an interest in two year old races but I notice from the betting that people are certain to take a large interest in any horse drawn high because of the noted track bias that favours horses against the stands rail.

However I see this as a chance to find some value as there were originally 16 runners set to race but with the several withdrawals that have already occurred today we are now down to only 12 participants which means the draw has become less of an issue.

It could be feasible to discount stalls one and two possibly but after that I feel anything goes for this race so all the newspaper talk about "only betting those drawn high" is out-of-date nonsense with just a limited field taking part in this affair.

Having had a brief look back over the last decade I noted that two horses won this race on their debut. Of the others they had all won at least one of their last two starts. A RPR of above 80 during their early career is an advantage but if a horse has only ran once and won with a rating less than that do not discount them.

Having considered that this renewal looks very decent I doubt a horse who has not shown solid form already is going to win this time. As stated previously the draw should not be a major issue with so many non runners and any horse with early speed from a low draw could take advantage of this fact.

I feel Richard Hannon's filly Inagh River will love these conditions and from stall 6 she is a bigger price than she should be as people are keen to avoid those drawn low still. With the non-runners she is pushed one nearer the rail but with less opposition to get in her way. With possibilities of further non-runners in the race then it should only improve her prospects but could interfere with her starting price.

6-1 is available with William Hill and Victor Chandler and it is worth noting that Ladbrokes are not interested in having her on their books as they price her up at only 9-2 which is only slightly larger than the 4-1 chance I feel she has.

Worth a punt! Good luck.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Curragh and Longchamp Sunday Special

Curragh hosts the 1000 Guineas today which promises to be a hotly contested affair as well as the Tattersalls Gold Cup. Meanwhile at Longchamp they offer a couple of tasty affairs with the Prix Saint-Alary and the Prix D´Ispahan making it a vintage Four G1 Sunday. I love days like these!

There are other high class races spread across the two cards and I will have quick checks across them to pinpoint any possible value.

This thread will be updated throughout the morning until 12.30pm so make sure you check back and get ready to invest wisely!

The 3.40 Tattersall's Gold Cup offers to be an interesting affair. Noticeably it has been built up in the media as being a two horse race between Cutlass Bay and Fame and Glory. However whilst I agree that Fame and Glory is the most likely winner I think that an in-foal Chinese White who I have always rated very highly can finish in the front two. She has only ever run one bad career race and that was when she travelled abroad for a G1. In Ireland her form at Listed to Group 2 level is solid and she has always won like a good thing. Upped in grade here but the fact she is in foal makes me interested. It seems to happen so often that a mare in the early stages of pregnancy somehow runs better. Research has been done and it is due to several factors that I do not have time to explain. However I will be betting on Chinese White to win and place accordingly and wait for a possible shock result!

In the 4.15 Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh Gile Na Greine was actually due to be my pick of the race but when doing a final price check I was disturbed by the fact both William Hill and Ladbrokes go biggest about her chance. I say it so often, but the big bookmakers rarely get it wrong so they must know something I do not. Well I am hoping they do because I am swerving it on the basis they offer the biggest price.

I was actually struggling on what to write as I had no selection set in stone. However I have done a history check and what is very noticeable is the amount of winners who were sired by a horse with an 8.0f or less average score on Racingpost. Indeed Sadler's Wells also features with three winning fillies and his score was 11.3f but none of those fillies won this on GOOD to FIRM! Two won on Soft/Heavy and the other won when the ground was barely Good. Interesting!

The other strong statistic is the fact that 9 of the last 10 winners of this race had run on at least four occasions previously. That discounts several of the market leaders therefore from my thinking. The only time a horse with less experience won was when Nightime managed it on very heavy ground in 2006. Many of her rivals just failed to handle the ground that day where as today it will be all about speed and any horse not having the experience may flounder under pressure.

The two I am siding with are Music Show and Lillie Langtry. With regards to the latter selection I just feel her price is too big. The ground should be perfect and she fits both trends solidly in terms of breeding and race experience. She should be about 7-1 so the 11-1 on offer is huge. Music Show meanwhile was unlucky at Newmarket but he price on this occasion is accurate so it will be a smaller scale bet on her to cover my other bet costs and make just a little tidy profit.


Over at Longchamp I think Deluxe can prove best in the G1 Prix Saint-Alary over 10f at 1.35. She looks like she could develop into a useful sort as she beat Countless Lemonade on her most recent start who happens to be a half sister to Duke Of Marmelade. It is only a G1 in name realistically this race as often the runners in it overall are not higher than G3 or G2 standard. Last year when Stacelita won the race is possibly an exception but usually a filly only needs to be verging on G2 class to win this event. Therefore Deluxe fits the bill and runs for a trainer bang in form this season.

In the 2.45 Prix D´Ispahan at Longchamp which is another highlight and much more impressive G1 i believe that a fresh Goldikova will come on for this run as she never wins on her seasonal reappearance. There will be a fair amount of hype about her from English bookmakers but do not be fooled as this will more than likely not show Goldikova in her best light. The value selection to beat her is Byword who has improved noticeably in his first two starts this season and looks destined to be even better now stepped up in trip. I would never normally go against Goldikova but there is some realistic value today in betting on the improving and race fit Byword.

If I find any other fancies then I will post them in a new post! Good luck betting.

Pundit Selections:

1.35 - Longchamp - Deluxe at 5-1 (Paddypower)
2.45 - Longchamp - Byword at 4-1 (various)
3.40 - Curragh - Chinese White at 8-1 (William Hill)
4.15 - Curragh - Lillie Langtry at 11-1 (various)
4.15 - Curragh - Music Show at 9-2 (William Hill)

Saturday, 22 May 2010

No Scoop 6 but a few winners still

Out in the first leg of the Scoop 6 after forking out a sizeable chunk (£64 to be precise). What was more annoying is that I went onto win the next three legs including a Goodwood 9-1 shot. However I did not tip that on these pages as that was the leg I was least confident in out of all 6 races and I had no individual bet on it.

Right now I am not feeling very well and todays brilliant idea to combine form reading and sunbathing (without sun lotion until the sun had gone behind the clouds) as led me to become red faced and bodied with a significant itch.

As for my racing picks on Saturday they brought about a decent return. I had some great success with my two Haydock selections who both won cosily. Balducci earned me a few needed pennies with his scintillating win and thanks to William Hill being slow on the uptake in the very early hours I managed to get on that one at 11-2. A very nice price. The funniest part of today was having to sit through the Temple Stakes. I have never seen such overhyped nonsense and Channel 4 were guilty of giving way too much air-time to talk about the chances of Blue Jack. I slated that ones chances on this blog in my preview post and it was scary to wake up Saturday morning seeing that it was practically the same price as my fancy Kingsgate Native at 5-1. Ridiculous odds for a horse that has not even won a Listed race yet! The people that were tipping up Blue Jack seriously need to go back to basics, unbelievable!

Besides Balducci (11-2) and Kingsgate Native (9-2) my only other winner today was in the last leg of the Scoop 6 where I had placed a bet at York on Hamish McGonagall who was very well handicapped to win a decent sprint race and so it proved. I managed to punt him when he was 5-1 which made it a very good day overall considering I was not feeling too well and had aborted my planned trip to Haydock for the day.

I usually fail to concentrate enough when I am not feeling too good but hopefully with a decent sleep I will be back and blogging on the fascinating 1000 Irish Guineas plus the Tattersall's Gold Cup and some world class racing that is on offer from Longchamp where Goldikova makes her reappearance and runs against a very highly rated and multiple G1 winner Stacelita.

It should be a compelling day and there should be a few quid in store if I get my head in gear.

I will be up early and should have any fancies blogged before 11am.

So come back soon and do not forget your wallet!

Late Addition - Freeforaday

I noticed when reviewing my selections I had not picked any horses in any races that were a double figured price even though I do think several of my selections today offer good value despite being shorter priced.

When compiling my Scoop 6 picks and departing with my £64 I was looking for two horses to run for me in each leg and in the 2.15 at Goodwood I had already chosen Mac Gille Eoin who is a proven course performer and almost won a Listed race over C&D last season. However looking amongst the horses I imagined would challenge it I noticed that the race had only been run four times previously and all the winners had only ran once previously that same year. Now four runners is not really a good representation of a trend, I much prefer to look at eight plus, but a stat is a stat all the same and when using this to take out possible winners then I was left with several still to choose from but Freeforaday was popping out at me like a possible good thing. It is hard to envisage him beating Mac Gille Eoin but looking at his past runs and trainer comments he is very well liked by the stable and Kieron Fox claims 5lb today and he is a very capable rider so he could easily be bang in the mix this time after disappointing last time out. Definately overpriced and to me the biggest value in the race.

At least now you know my combination for Leg 1 in the Scoop 6. Hopefully I get to Leg 2 in one piece!!

Pundit Value Selection:

2.15 - Freeforaday (11-1 on Betfair)

Goodwood, York, Haydock, Curragh Saturday Preview

Great British racing on offer today around the country with some fine handicaps, listed races and Group races to look forward to. Then for dessert there is an ultra competitive 2000 Guineas dished up by Ireland at the Curragh. Cannot wait!

I have to write my own word of warning though with so many good quality races on offer and remind myself NOT TO OVER BET!

My fateful mistake of the past has always been to bet in 10+ races on days like today and when you occasionally do not win one of them it can be miserable! Even when I would win one then it usually came at the beginning of the day when my stakes subconsciously tended to be lower. I would increase the stakes late on to no avail and be left with considerable losses despite my winner being decent odds. That is no way to play the game and I am very thankful that those habits have practically eroded now.

Today I think I'll just talk about my most fancied bets and give thoughts on todays 2000 Guineas.

My planned big bets are:

In the 2.30 Haydock it is the Silver Bowl which often attracts a highly talented field and this year is no exception with some rising stars due to appear. I looked at this race initially on Wednesday and had a shortlist of three or four possibles but the horse above all the others that interests me is Balducci. He was runner up behind a runner in todays 2000 Irish Guineas when he raced last time at Newmarket. Obviously the winner that day Oasis Dancer is likely to be pattern class which means Balducci only receiving a 3lb penalty for being a clear second is quite handy as without that other rival he would have won and been punished with a 7lb or 8lb penalty minimum. This to me makes him very well handicapped and he can definately finish in the mix from a low weight in this class 2 handicap which should be run on perfect ground. The one sour note is that Pricewise once again as tipped it today so there is no more 11-2 available (apologies as I probably got what was left of it very early this morning). 5-1 can still be sought and I definately cannot see him being out of the first three today. Therefore make your own choice, Each Way and lose nothing but win less or To Win and go for broke!

Also at 3.10 York there is a very competitive Listed race in which the older horses fight it out in a Listed affair run over 1m 6f. Only a few can be totally discounted and I expect some of the market leaders to show a strong hand but it is the only mare in the race that interests me. Starfala is a talented but not very prolific winning little horse that I first witnessed in person a couple of year ago when she was a strongly staying on 4th in a Listed race at Haydock. She can be abit in and out but I firmly believe that most of her career she has been running over too short a trip and this distance is her cup of tea. She gets a 5lb allowance from the males in this race which is a value addition to her interesting price that can be grabbed. On ratings she ran a career best on her debut this season and hopefully any improvement will see her bang there at the finish. Aajel would have been my interest but I am all about value and his price does not interest me.

In the big race at 3.00 at Haydock we have the Temple Stakes. Initially I got all set early this week to bet on Blue Jack but when his price was revealed at 8-1 I smiled with discontent that it was a stupidly short price. I wake up this morning and find that he is only 11-2 which makes me LAUGH! Michael Owen owns him so no doubt the footballers wage is on it but lets keep it real. The horse is running today against SEVERAL Group 1 winners. Blue Jack is the ONLY horse in the whole field who has not won at least a Listed race. All bar two runners in the whole field have not won a GROUP race previously. I know the horse is an improved runner this season and I really fancied him to improve but 11-2 is a joke and anyone betting on him needs their head testing at that price. He could win, but I am thinking that this is too competitive for him and he will be better back in Listed company.

There have been thirty previous runnings of this race and only once has it been won by a horse older than seven. That gives me a reality check and makes me assume that Borderlescott and Benbaun have it all to do. They are both exceptionally talented but as the statistic is so strong I have to bypass them reluctantly from my thinking. Total Gallery meanwhile is stuck with a 7lb penalty for winning last seasons Prix De L'abbaye at Longchamp which mitigates its chances of winning. I expect him to go close though as he is very talented and looks set to run a great race this summer at Ascot. Equiano a personal favourite of mine having won my the King Stands race at Ascot at silly odds a couple of year ago stands a chance here but his price offers me no interest considering he only beat the ageing Borderlescott by a short margin last time out despite having had a prep run to get him ready which was an obvious advantage. It leaves me with only one horse that I cannot ignore and that is Kingsgate Native who is a special talent on his day and has had success in several Group races. He showed some blistering speed last season at Goodwood and any kind of repeat of that would obliterate his rivals here. 9-2 is not too bad and this price has been on offer much of the week. I was reluctant to take it initially but I plan on doing so now. He is a former Group 1 winner but suffers no penalty as that win was not last season. He did however show Group 1 form last season but only in the Goodwood race which was a Group 3 and therefore does not matter thankfully.

As for the Curragh and the 2000 Guineas the prices keep altering all the time. Steinbeck is not a strong favourite as what seemed earlier in the week and Canford Cliffs is also showing signs of possibly drifting (a horse I do not think is bred for a fast run mile). Xtension meanwhile has become almost a backable price at 13-2 and is looking very interesting. He did not disappoint me by only coming fourth in the English race and that is pretty solid form coming into this. 8 of the last 10 winners of the Irish equivalent have ran in the English 2000 Guineas previously and finished in the first seven! Fencing Master is also a prime candidate judged on that statistic as he did finish in seventh and having had less experience than most you could expect him to improve markedly. The biggest problem I have with Fencing Master though is I think he would be better suited to ten furlongs so this mile does not offer a sufficient test. He could just about manage it but he is not value where as Xtension who is bred perfectly for this mile trip is a better price and therefore shall be my bet for the race. Not a big bet, but one that will interest me enough to enjoy the win! Keep an eye out for Dynasty though who is 25-1. I previously pointed out that this one interested me in the place market and is definately one to keep an eye on this season.

Other bets I noted down when doing research for my Scoop 6 where Mac Gille Eoin in the 2.15 at Goodwood who loves the track and should show a strong hand in the race and Hamish McGonagall who runs in the 5f sprint at York which is leg 6 at 3.40.

SELECTIONS:

2.30 Haydock - Balducci (price been scuppered now by Pricewise)
3.00 Haydock - Kingsgate Native
3.10 York - Starfala
3.45 Curragh - Xtension
3.45 Curragh - Dynasty (to place)

Also consider small bets on

2.15 Goodwood - Mac Gille Eoin
3.40 York - Hamish McGonagall

Lets Scoop 6 at Goodwood, Haydock and York Plus Talk About the 2000 Guineas!

Todays big races include the 2000 Guineas at the Curragh in Ireland and the Temple Stakes at Haydock but on everyone's mind today should surely be - can I be the millionaire winner of the Scoop 6?

I have looked through the Scoop 6 races yesterday evening and what I first noticed is that if nobody at all manages to win the Scoop 6 today then we really are a nation of retards. There is not really one awkward race amongst them unlike when we are invited on occasion to decide the winner of a Class 4 17 runner hurdle or a 30 runner Ascot sprint handicap as part of the Scoop 6 to be victorious.

Albeit though I am not feeling very well so my planned trip to Haydock has to be sacrificed as I know I would not enjoy it to the max, even if I did get a big winner. I will take the positive from not going though and that is being able to study form for a longer period of time and now knowing that I will not miss any televised races.

It should be an exciting afternoon so check back before 11.30am and I will have my full line up of bets ready. I will put my proposed best value bets up as early as possible though if I find any so that the best prices can be grabbed.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Haydock on Saturday? Should I stay or should I go....

With the weather set to be at its most glorious I am debating whether I should sneak off to Haydock to view the Temple Stakes card on Saturday afternoon. The north west is set to witness temperatures creeping above 25c which is outrageous for the month of May. This time last year the card at Haydock was miserable and the going was "heavy", I tell you now - THIS IS GLOBAL WARMING!!!! WE ARE DOOMED!!!

Back to sanity now though and also on Saturday is the Irish 2000 Guineas which I have studied a fair while on and off this week trying to work out the value. I was keen to stick with two of my English 2000 Guineas picks in Xtension and Fencing Master as they ran decent races at Newmarket and they both fit the trends for the Irish version quite nicely. One problem however is their prices! I wanted 7-1 on Fencing Master to compensate for its slight lack of experience and Xtension I wanted the same as Clive Cox the trainer has not won a Group One and I am not keen on betting small odds in the hope that he finally does. Therefore right now it is a no bet race for me. The outsider interesting me in the race however is Dynasty but that ones chance has been mitigated by the draw in which he has been given Stall 1. Irritating in the extreme but 25-1 is kind of value but I would be more tempted on trying to get 8-1 or so on him placing if its possible. I will keep an eye out any way.

Not got a firm fancy yet for Haydock as I will not have carried out my full form check until Saturday morning. There are four very good races on the card so if I do go I would be hoping to win two of those nicely and then get myself home after the fifth race and relax counting my notes. That's the dream anyway!

I am hopeful that the dream will come true!

Tips will be up in full Saturday morning. So please check back then.

PS. My first blog tip on golf is going well. Rhys Davies ended Day One of the PGA Championship at Wentworth on -1 which was not too far off the pacesetters. A decent start for a 119-1 shot! Hopefully he climbs a few places tomorrow now he has more idea about the course.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth

Wentworth hosts the BMW PGA Championship which begins on Thursday and will be contested by the best European Tour players around. The newly designed course designed by Ernie Els (note to self, surely he should be banned from playing something he created) appears to be smoother and more flashy looking than in previous years and so far is receiving approval by the majority of players.

I am definately no golfing expert but I think it is worth a bet on a suitable outsider who is improving at a inevitable fast rate and that is Rhys Davies.

He has already won on tour this season and currently resides in 10th place on the Race To Dubai list. So far this season he has managed his lowest stroke average figures in his PGA tour career to date and he has managed to improve his driving distance by almost ten yards in recent months.

I definately do not think he is being given much respect in the betting and he is currently available at 119-1 on Betfair.

Worth a few quid of anyone's money as you never know. Golf is a funny old game and sometimes all it needs is a little bit of luck and you have done it!

I will keep an eye on proceedings and hope he can challenge for a monster lay off at some stage no doubt to win money either way.

Enjoy.

Golf Bet:

Rhys Davies 120-1 on Betfair

Monday, 17 May 2010

Quiet week expected until I tackle the Scoop 6!

A gigantic Scoop 6 is up for grabs on Saturday with a win fund totalling more than ONE MILLION POUNDS and a bonus fund of well over HALF A MILLION. Time to dream of a massive win once again.

I was asked by a friend to text him my Scoop 6 permutations but lets face facts, when the prize is THAT BIG I want it ALL TO MYSELF! So there will be no blogging or texting of my full bet until AFTER the event! Any fancies that I do have on the day though which are part of the Scoop 6 races will be blogged on as usual because when it comes to value single bets I enjoy sharing them with anyone and everyone.

There are no plans on my part for any bets this week until Saturday so it should be a quiet blogging period until then and will give me a chance to catch up on other matters in the meantime.

I am debating whether to attend Haydock on Saturday 22nd May as it looks like an above average card with the Group Two Temple Stakes being the main attraction and a very decent Class 2 Silver Bowl handicap to back it up. It all depends on what horses are scheduled to run on the day as I expect the 12 runners that are in place for the Temple Stakes may be cut down before race day.

Going to the races can sometimes limit my chances of finding the winners as I revise the form too early and do not pay enough attention to detail on the odd occasion. What I hate most about placing a bet before I set off on my travels is not knowing the full facts on a horses wellbeing. When I am at the racecourse there is no chance of hearing the latest trainer talk on television or on the Internet and there is little chance to take account of any unusual betting patterns. I am hardly likely to walk up to Sir Michael Stoute in the parade ring and say "Stoutey, you got any info for me on your runner?" However sometimes going to the racecourse does have its benefits as once I have made my choices I stick to them, no messing about. Unless ofcourse one of my selections is frantically frothing at the mouth and walking sideways with his handler in the parade ring violently pulling on the reins. In that situation it becomes a quick sprint to the tattersalls enclosure (I'm not County Stand rich as yet) to place a different bet.

What I did notice today is that when I typed in google "Baine French Guineas" looking for some post-race thoughts about the runner the first search engine result was actually my own blog! Well blow me down. That probably means only myself was mad enough to tip up a 25-1 shot in a French 1000 Guineas. It was a mighty unlucky selection as it would have won but for not stumbling with two furlongs left to run. The momentum it lost at that moment was easily the difference between winning and losing by the neck that it did. It would have been a great addition to my current trend of double figured winners that has been going on since this blogs inception. In a way though it was still a winner as it did pay out on the place after all.

If anyone has any ideas on how I can improve this blog then please get in touch. I am open to all new ideas and want it to be a place thats worth re-visiting on a daily basis!

Many thanks.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

French 1000 Guineas Rethink

I have previously made my selections on the French 1000 Guineas but I find myself inclined to have an additional bet having seen the French trainer statistics in full this morning. What is apparent on the French trainer list is that Rouget is having a very strong season again with a 32% winning strike rate. Andre Fabre is marginally behind at 31%.

It is not those trainers though that are convincing me to back them but another in François Rohaut who has won this race twice in recent times and runs two very unexposed runners in this race from very favourable draws. It is alarming really at just how big the prices of his two runners Liliside and Baine are considering he has been in form good enough to win five listed races so far this season already.

I have noted that Pricewise has chosen one of my original bets in Full Steam as his tip of the day which means the value on that selection has now diminished. Ladbrokes currently offer the biggest odds at 14-1 now and they very rarely make the mistake of having to pay out on horses they lay so I think the chance it has now is pretty limited and it is little value any more.

Out of Liliside and Baine it is the latter that interests me the greater. Baine was originally available at 60-1 until bookmakers realised the errors of their ways and she is now down to 25-1 in some parts with Ladbrokes keen to get her off their books by offering just 16-1. She has won over further but is by a sire who was a six furlong specialist so she should have some speed to go with it.

The more I look at the field the more I feel an outsider can spring a surprise in this. I really do not like Special Duty and I have big doubts about Rosanara. Joanna is good but she has already had 6 career starts and improvement is not guarenteed where as some of the lesser knowns are likely to improve here and could improve past her.

Joanna is still on my books for this race as my main bet but I really consider a bet on Baine as a good choice and my original cover bet Full Steam worthwhile too but only if you are already on at 16-1. The current odds on offer are no value now Pricewise has got involved.

Pundit Selection

1.35 - Baine at 25-1 (small each way)

Saturday, 15 May 2010

French 1000 and 2000 Guineas Value Bets

The French 1000 and 2000 Guineas Classics take place on Sunday and have an abundance of talent on show. This year though it looks like there are no world beaters in the line ups and so it has made very interesting research to digest the form and analyse the best value on offer.

French 1000 Guineas

If ever there was a bad value bet then this race has a prime example of one on offer. Special Duty heads the market at a skinny 6-4 price and I keep asking myself, what sort of idiots are going to risk their hard earned on a bet like that? I dread to think. It is easy to swerve this filly even though she was "awarded" the English 1000 Guineas.

The draw bias at Newmarket that day devalues the form tenfold. 3 of the first 4 horses to pass the post were drawn in the bottom three stalls. Special Duty only won the race in the Stewards room against a filly not considered to be Group One standard. To compound negativity on my part against Special Duty's likely chance is the fact she is drawn in the widest stall of all in Gate Ten here. Horses according to trends just do not win when not in stalls one to eight so if you still want to risk your money on Special Duty for a minimal gain then go ahead crazy people!

Anyone with common sense though I feel should be betting on Joanna who looks very capable of landing this less than "Classic" Group One. She importantly is a last time out winner and offers Group One placed form when a staying on third place in last seasons Prix Marcel Boussac behind Rosanara who re-opposes. However Rosanara is very similar to how I see English 2000 Guineas flop St Nicholas Abbey. They were able to win a G1 over a mile as a two year old because they were bred for further and so the trip suited them much better at that age than many of their closest rivals. Therefore with other horses now catching up and having developed their physique these two year old winners of G1's over eight furlong trips have no advantage against their counterparts and so the form can very easily be reversed as we saw the other weekend.

Joanna should have enough speed to win this event having had the perfect prep run for it by winning a Group Three on her last start with a career best effort.

A possible threat to the selection could actually come from the Khalid Abdullah number two horse Full Steam. This filly is a late developing sort and that is the type I fear most in these early season races. She is very well thought of by Andre Fabre the trainer and jockey Maxime Guyon has been quoted saying he really likes her. This could prove the best value in the race but the big negative is the fact she is 2 to 3 months younger than her rivals and that does not bode well. This May foal would be only the second filly in the last eleven years to succeed with such a late birth date and it is on that basis that I will only have a small bet as cover on this occasion. It is highly possible she may improve past many of her rivals later in the season when she has a more level playing field and better experience, so take note!



French 2000 Guineas

I am campaigning for a shock in this race as I am not of the opinion that Siyouni is unbeatable here. He is a very attractive sort and high class but he dithered on his seasonal debut getting beaten by his intended pacemaker Rajsaman who re-opposes here at big odds. I am not particularly keen on either though I would expect Siyouni to improve and be close at the finish bearing in mind he has never been out of the first two yet in his career.

Lope De Vega interested me initially. He was only a half length behind the winner that day in the usually very informative prep race Prix De Fountainebleau. He had less experience than his two rivals that day so put up a solid effort in the circumstances but confidence this time out is tempered by his poor draw in Gate 15.

Other market principals such as Dick Turpin do not appeal as Richard Hannon trains and he has never trained a classic winner of any sort. This horse ran a blinder at Newmarket in the 2000 Guineas last time out but he was beaten by an unconsidered French horse and I think the dawdling pace was perfect for his sprint finish. Therefore I can easily side step him in the betting ring here where pace is likely to be strong throughout.

This leads me onto my big outsider fancy for the race which is Robert Collet's Royal Bench. This horse has been brought along quietly for a tilt at this classic and he will probably slip under the radar with most people. His form has generally been on soft ground but this classy type is expected to prove as good on Good going which it is likely to be on Sunday. His trainer did not want to rush him last year but was tempted by the Group One Criterium International that proved to be fruitless. He showed he had wintered well with a steely display on his most recent start over course and distance to win by eight lengths. This race was in poor conditions and the third placed horse Dibir who was 8 & 1/2 lengths behind holds a Derby entry so it was not too shabby a performance to win so easily at all.

I think Royal Bench offers tremendous value and he will be my main play in the race but I do think Siyouni can improve on his most recent start and is a capable race favourite.


PUNDIT VALUE SELECTIONS:

1.35 - Joanna available at 4-1
1.35 - Full Steam at 16-1
(very small cover bet)

2.45 - Royal Bench at 14-1
2.45 - Siyouni at 3-1
(small cover bet)

Value Selections for the other Longchamp Group races will be available when I blog at Lunchtime on Sunday.

French Guineas Sunday Preview

The French Guineas meeting takes place at Longchamp on Sunday 16th May in what should prove to be a very competitive affair in both the fillies and colts Group One races.

Many superstars of the past have won the French 1000 Guineas including Zarkava, Darjina and Divine Proportions in recent years and Special Duty is going to be the warm favourite here to add her name to the list. However I will obviously be doing a full length form and trends check to find out if anything can improve past the English 1000 Guineas 'lucky' victor. This race is notorious for surprises so there could be some substance in backing a late developing sort.

The following Group One is the colts turn to shine and Siyouni is the very likely favourite despite not being totally convincing when only runner-up last time in the very informative Group 3 trial over course and distance.
I will be trying hard to work this race out as it is arguable as to whether Siyouni does indeed deserve to be the market leader.

Elsewhere on the Longchamp card the supporting Group Three Sprint over five furlongs features some quality entrants and luck may possibly play a part but if feeling confident I will seek a value pundit selection in this race too.

A lot to look forward to on Sunday indeed! Looking forward it.

Green Moon crushes London Gold Cup field

Green Moon led from the gate with Jamie Spencer aboard to book his place in the King Edward VII Stakes next month and what a performance this was. A fantasic ride by Jamie Spencer who got his mount into a cosy lead before cunningly slowing the field before pushing for home three furlongs out unchallenged. It was a deceptive performance by Green Moon made to look better than what it actually was as many of the other runners seemed to have been handicapped by dozey jockeys letting the leader run amok.

There was some interesting betting drifts going on about the horse before the off with its odds drifting from 11's on Betfair to 14.5 and beyond shortly before proceedings began. I have one word for you layers out there - NUMPTIES!

Elsewhere Paco Boy put me firmly in my place by scooting home in the Lockinge Stakes. I would never have backed him at odds on but he proved a very solid proposition for those that did. Zacinto my Pundit Selection was dead last.

Meanwhile the first bet of the day was also a flop and was dead last and annoyingly it was Claremount who was my second choice in the race, but went unbacked, that won nicely. 11-2 the starting price for Claremont was massive but I had already set my bets up for the day.

After my huge win on Green Moon (I had topped up as I noticed it drifting) I did decide to have a mini bet on a horse at Newmarket who was being well supported and who I felt would have an awesome chance - Chiberta King. A fantastic ride once again by Jimmy Fortune who knew he had it in the bag with a massive four furlongs left. This horse though was made to look good by some out of form sorts and one would be abit daft to be betting it large next time out. This private bet recouped my losses on the two tips that lost today, but even without that win it should have been a great profit day for anyone betting on the impressive Green Moon and Jamie Spencer.

Lockinge Newbury Saturday Racing Preview

Highlight of Saturday 15th May is the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury which is a Group One for four year olds and upwards.

This seasons renewal on first glance looks like a one dimensional affair on as the form that Paco Boy represents is superior to any rival in the field. Under the circumstances it is surprising nine have entered the race.

A compelling trend in this race is the frequency of seasonal debutants proving victorious. 7 of the last 10 winners have won when fresh and 2 more were pretty fresh as their last run had been 50+ days ago in the Dubai Carnival. If that trend was to continue which is highly plausible as trends do not lie, then Paco Boy on paper actually looks like an odds on flop just waiting to happen as he has already ran this season.

Sir Michael Stoutes record in this race is quite strong with three of his nine entrants providing him with a win. I have done some research and noticed that the biggest proportion of horses to win were not only fresh but they had managed at least one RPR of 120 during the previous season. It also is worth noting the record of four year olds which is very strong (8/10).

Considering all these trends and the prices available it makes sense to side with Zacinto in this race. It is surprising how opinions of the possible winner can change having previously thought like many a mug punter that Paco Boy is probably unbeatable for this. However when considering all the statistics it would be foolish to bet on Paco Boy at odds on. On Official Ratings Paco Boy is only ahead of Zacinto by 2lbs and Zacinto has a year less experience. It is arguably therefore whether Zacinto is the better horse in anycase, even if we ignore race history.

Could be a decent bet but not at a price I get excited about.

In other races today I am planning bets on -

2.00 - A listed race over a 1m 5f trip is sure to be very competitive but one big trend I am noticing is the high majority of runners that have contested a Group race prior to racing in this. If that trend holds up then it discounts several. Four year olds have the strongest record and if you take out the unlikely out of form sorts you are left with Claremont and Blizzard Blues. It is the latter that interests me though it was available at 7-1 last night with Bet365. No one goes higher than 11-2 now but this horse is very much open to improvement and has been crying out for a trip like this since day one. Could be a good thing and runs for Henry Cecil who is very hot at the moment.

2.30 - This is a competitive handicap with many big trainer entries. It is always won according to trends by horses that have only contested between 3 and 5 career races previously. That wipes out plenty but still leaves me with several to consider here. Perhaps the most taking note that I have made is the fact that only two horses here are entered for the Group 2 King Edwards VII Stakes in June. They are Verdant and Green Moon so it is obvious that these two are held in high regard. Verdant is well related and Main Aim is one of his several high class half brothers but at the odds it could be worth taking a chance on Green Moon who did not have to show his full arsenal last time out to win at a canter and is obviously destined to progress. A handicap mark here of just 82 considering he has a Group 2 entry could be an absolute stormer of a bet at the expected lengthier odds on offer of 9-1.


Pundit Selections:

2.00 Blizzard Blues available at 11-2 with most bookmakers

2.30 Green Moon available at 9-1 with Bet365, Paddypower and Skybet


3.05 Zacinto available at 7-2 with Ladbrokes and Bet365

Friday, 14 May 2010

Non-Runners Galore at York

York's refusal to water the ground this week has suffered the consequences as 21 runners have withdrawn from racing (as at 13:05) due to the very fast ground.

This has disrupted my chances of winning big though as there have been deductions galore but at least the Oddspundit three selections are still set to run.

Seems stupid that they did not water but Lord William Derby is adamant he was informed there would be some rain on the Knavesmire during this week. However I simply looked at the Met Office website on Tuesday to plan my bets and each day of the meeting was scheduled to be Dry, Sunny with some cloud.

William Derby should join the clerk of the course at Haydock as he is clearly as hopeless at judging summer conditions as Kirkland Tellwright is at acknowledging the chills of winter.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Fatanah has a big chance at Newbury

Newbury offers a decent spectacle on Friday with the Swettenham Stud Fillies´ Trial Stakes and Fatanah has been given no respect in the betting so I am acting accordingly and betting big!

8-1 is on offer early and I would take that as this horse is no more than a 4-1 chance and even that is being generous so take note.

Reasons for this aggressive betting stance factor around a few interesting notes. These consist of Richard Hills going for the ride at Newbury on Fatanah rather than ride my other Al Maktoum fancy at York who I believe has a superb chance at shorter odds. Even more telling is the fact this horse won its last race at Sandown without Richard Hills having to get into top gear. On that day the horse won in a time HALF A SECOND quicker than Chabal had won earlier in the day over the same Course and Distance in a Classic Trial. VALUE ALERT! Chabal was FAVOURITE for the Group 2 Dante Stakes yesterday yet this horse who was quicker that day is 8-1 here for a Listed race? Come on people, I really dont need to say anymore. I am keen for a reason and according to trends it looks very much like horses who have raced no more than three times previously tend to hold the upper hand here. That would mean that favourite Pollenator may well be the BIG flop in the race!

PUNDITS VALUE SELECTION:

2.55 - Fatanah at 8-1 with various bookmakers


Do not forget to look at my York fancies for today also which I posted earlier.

York Dante Meeting Day Three Preview

The York Dante Meeting reaches its climax on the third and final day of racing on the knavesmire. Like all big meetings it has gone okay for me from my limited number of bets thanks to Fareer who scooted home from start to finish in yesterdays Hambleton Handicap.

It is quite clear that low draws hold an advantage at this meeting, almost of Chester proportions! Over a mile low drawn runners have the benefit of an immediate bend and a rail to guide them if they race in front and over shorter trips anything that can come out of the gates speedily seems to have practically already won if they can get a prominent position close to the far side. Maybe something worth noting as we go into the final day of racing.

For today I have a few interests. Luckily on this occasion only one selection per race!

1.40 - E B F Marygate Fillies´ Stakes (Listed)

Not my style to bet in these races typically as 2yo's are often a mixed bag and can run inconsistently. However with the low draw stats over 5 furlongs being very telling and having seen a replay of a fantastic debut at Haydock I cannot help but be taken with Turn The Tide. She looked very speedy at Haydock and won like a good thing should. Listed class is by far well within her range and I expect her to progress when stepped up in trip looking at her breeding lines. However a fast five furlongs should suffice by now and 4-1 looks worth taking.

2.40 - Emirates Airline Yorkshire Cup (Group 2)

Probably not a race I will get involved too heavily in as there are a few unknowns here regarding current well-being. I was originally keen to back one of the Godolphin runners but when doing some research I noted that they were both expected to "improve" for the run. Meanwhile Purple Moon flopped last time so confidence behind that runner is muted on my part leaving it very much upto Manifest who has been prepared for this race in meticulous fashion by the shrewdie that is Henry Cecil. His 2nd place on his seasonal debut behind Harbinger is very encouraging form and stepped up in trip here with race fitness on his side he can only improve. He has little to find on the figures with a race fit Kite Wood so the fitness advantage could prove key on this occasion. Not massive odds though so only a small play here from me.

3.10 - Michael Seely Memorial Stakes (Listed)

My final planned bet is on a very talented runner in the form of Hafawa. Second on her most recent run behind an impressive Group class older horse she showed tremendous spirit when outclassing every horse bar the winner. She raced abit keen that day and did well to run as promisingly as she did and looks a very talented progressive filly. I noticed that all four previous winners of this race had achieved a RPR minimum of 99 prior to running in this event. That narrows the field down and I have taken out the penalised Carioca who looks decent on form but will definately not get things her own way on this occasion. I have already placed my bet with Paddypower who were offering mightily generous odds at 9-2 but 4-1 is still available and she is well worth a sizeable bet. Improvement possible now running over a mile on a galloping track and hopefully she will settle better on this occasion.

RECOMMENDED PUNDIT SELECTIONS:

1.40 - TURN THE TIDE 4-1

2.40 - MANIFEST 3-1

3.10 - HAWAFA 9-2
(but you may have to settle for 4-1)

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

York Dante Meeting Day Two Preview

The highlight of the Dante Meeting at York on Day Two is the Dante Stakes which is a Grade 2 run over ten furlongs. This years renewal is limited to just five runners and looks like a race for only the gambling addicts and people in the know to get involved with.

I am neither so I will be keeping my powder dry!

I have my bet planned for one day only on Day Two. The Hambleton Handicap is a Listed class race run over a mile and features several unexposed improvers who look capable of classy things this season. It looks extremely competitive but there could be value amongst the field.

There are three runners that have attracted my attention more than others.
These are Mull Of Killough, Wannabe King and Fareer.

Here is a quick summary of each:

Mull Of Killough
With only eight career starts this horse is very much unexposed. Career best performance came in very similar conditions at Haydock last season over a mile trip and on Good to Firm ground. He beat a very decent yardstick in Light From Mars that day quick nicely who had the same Official Mark of 91 on that occasion. Since then Light From Mars has risen to 100 in the ratings and due to adverse conditions and luck Mull Of Killough finds himself still only rated 96 when he is clearly has the potential to be a 100+ rated contender. Therefore he is very well weighted for this contest and is overpriced. (Last time out can be ignored as he was mauled and blocked from running his race at a very early stage)

Wannabe King
Managed to make my jaw drop last season when he ran an absolutely blinding race to win at Ripon in a race where he had trends very much against him and a terrible draw. On paper he had no prayer but he was backed by people in the know who knew what his actual potential was. Well it proved by the ease of his win that he was a genuine possible Group horse of the future and scored a massive 108RPR for that performance that day. He too has had rotten luck since he put up his career best showing. He ran over 9f at Newmarket in a fast race and clearly did not stay before running in the same race as Mull Of Killough last time at Newbury and being hampered to a huge extent that it cost him any chance he had. He did fantastically well to stay on again after being hampered but he got noticed that day and his odds for today are not overly generous in the circumstances. I am keen on him running well but am expecting him to improve as the season progresses. Definately will win a listed race this season I feel if he stays healthy.

Fareer
Interesting runner with only eight career starts to his name. On the three occasions he has met good to firm going since his debut run he has bolted in each time. Last time it was interesting that connections stepped him up to Group Two company despite him only having a rating of 100. He had a stone to find with many of his rivals and due to racing too keenly he faded and finished towards the rear. Connections obviously think highly of him to have entered him in such a big race last time and therefore back in handicap company he could be very useful. Improvement is practically assured but he does need to settle better this time. Ed Dunlop has won this race previously with a 102 Rated four year old and so it would not be a huge shock if he manages it again for this renewal.

Summary:

Overall I am highly interested in all three runners so selecting my staking plan could be difficult as I think all three can run big races.
It is very tempting to have a mug tricast bet but I will consider that more strongly come race time.

However I am deciding not to have a win bet on Mull Of Killough despite the fact I feel he is very well handicapped. This is because the trainer J L Spearing has not managed a winner on either flat or jumps since last September! She has had more than 90 runners according to the figures since she last tasted victory anywhere. That is simply awful form but if you are an optimist you could argue she is "due a winner". However to save some money I will just concentrate on Fareer (10-1) and Wannabe King (8-1).

Europa League Final Preview - Fulham vs Athletico Madrid

The Europa League Final takes place this evening (Kick Off 7.45pm BST). Athletico Madrid vs Fulham. The final itself has been slightly overhyped considering a very average Middlesbrough team also managed to make the final in 2010 when they were hammered 4-0 by Sevilla. Are the Spanish likely to prove victorious again? Time for some research...

Athletico sit in 9th place in their domestic league. Fulham finished the Premiership in 12th.

As it is a neutral venue in Hamburg I thought it would be interesting to see how both teams compare domestically AWAY from home.

Research shows that Athletico's league away record is ABYSMAL!
Just 2 wins, 5 draws and 12 defeats. Not good form at all!

Fulhams record away from Cravan Cottage is also diabolical. They have managed just 1 win, 7 draws and 11 defeats.

I'm getting the feeling that this could be a terrible game! Anyone else?

Since Round 1 of the Europa League Fulham have managed two wins away from home against Basel and Wolfsburg. They are both very decent teams so Fulhams chance in this final should not be dismissed lightly.

Athletico Madrid entered the competition after failing in the Group stages of the Champions League. Therefore they have played harder matches in Europe this season and as a consequence have only been victorious away from home once. This was against Galatasaray.

Athletico Madrid got through the both the Last 16 and Quarter Final rounds on away goals before dismissing a substandard Liverpool in the Semi Finals.

Fulhams trip to the final has been more exciting with a surprising victory over the reigning champions Shaktar before an exhilarating comeback against Juventus shocked the Italians. They then took on tough German opposition in Wolfsburg and Hamburg beating both in determined fashion.

There is no doubt Fulham will be up for the biggest game of their careers but will they be tired? No way, adrenalin will get them through Normal time. The only way tiredness will affect them is if this game goes to Extra time, but it should not.

Bobby Zamora is a confirmed starter which is crucial to Fulhams chance of winning but the Athletico Madrid line up is strong. Players such as Raul Garcia, Reyes, Simao, Forlan and Aguero all start and any of those would walk straight into Fulhams side with ease.

That is the problem with this game. Athletico Madrid is easily the better team on paper but their form away from their own ground is abysmal.

Roy Hodgson should have the upperhand with regards to match tactics has he has a wealth of experience. The Madrid coach Quique Sánchez Flores only began coaching professionals in 2004 at Getafe and lacks big match European experience.



My selections are as follows:

Danny Murphy First Goalscorer at 17-1

and

Fulham and Athletico Madrid to DRAW at 3.45 on Betfair



*Update - Just realised I've totally messed up and accidently backed Fulham to win! Story of my day. Will definately be a draw now then!

Inxile set for Duke Of York Stakes assault

Roughly 100 minutes to go before the horses will be ready to rock in the Duke Of York 6f Sprint (Group 2). I have put a sizeable bet on Inxile and cannot help but drool over its chance at the current prices still. I find myself needing to strap my hands around my waist to avoid the temptation of a further bet. I must remember I do not have unlimited funds and there will be plenty more value selections throughout summer that will entertain my interest like today.

No matter where I look I cannot find any quotes on the current well-being of Inxile. Dandy Nicholls has been suspiciously quiet about the horses chance and it could be that he is hoping for a huge betting pay day and does not want to spoil the horses price until before they go to post.

All I do know from quotes earlier this season is that Inxile was not expected by connections to win or go close last time and was considered in need of the run. It is therefore highly encouraging that he did manage to win and put in a career best showing despite not being cherry ripe. Something of which he should be today....

Very interesting.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

York Dante Meeting Day One Preview

The York Dante Meeting takes place tomorrow and lasts until Friday. The main feature of the meeting is the Dante Stakes (G2) which takes place on Thursday 13th May and can be considered a very decent Derby Trial. However with only six runners lined up for this seasons renewal it offers to be no more than a "decent" affair and a race in which I will probably bypass from a betting perspective.

With regards to Day One of the meeting I have two bets lined up with possibly a small cover bet to prevent losses.

The main bet that has already been detailed in Yesterdays blog update is Inxile in the Duke Of York Stakes which takes place at 3.10pm. He is an improving horse and has identical qualities to that of Tax Free who is a half brother and stablemate of the Pundit Selection.

Tax Free progressed throughout his career starting off in handicaps and winning several before moving onto better things. He won his first listed race as a four year old before winning his first of three Group 3's as a five year old. He went on to achieve Group 2 success eventually when aged seven. Inbetween the horse was regularly a winner of Listed events and placed several times in Group races including a fourth place in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York.

Inxile has shown similar late developing tendancies by running good races in Listed and above class. He won his first listed race last season as a four year old before winning a Group 3 (but disqualified by harsh French Stewards). He then went onto place twice further in Group company. Then last time out on his first turf start as a five year old he won a Listed event in conditions that were not ideal and in the process recorded a personal best effort on Racingpost Ratings.

Inxile is a 12-1 shot for the Duke Of York Stakes and if showing any improvement on his latest run he will EASILY be the value bet in the race.

The other race that interests me on Day One is the opening 0-100OR Class 2 10f handicap. This features some very progressive and lightly raced types which is a forging trend when looking through past runnings of this race. Ones surely to be involved in the finish appear to be the Sir Michael Stoute trained Imposing and the Luca Cumani trained Forte Dei Marmi. Both are open to improvement and look eventual Listed race winners at the very least. However both are guaranteed to be short prices in the market and whilst being tough to split on potential, form and ability it could be an outsider that provides us with a shock in this race.

With only two winning favourites from the last decade of renewals I am keen to side with current 16-1 chance Changing The Guard. He interestingly already has a course and distance win to his name when winning a very similar affair against his own age group last year. That day he had a BHA rating of 83 and on this occasion he only has a 4lb hike and will run off a mark of 87. Antinori who finished behind in third on that occasion has since gone onto better things and won a classy handicap at Meydan on his most recent start which helps frank the form that the race Changing The Guard won was no shabby affair.

It is also useful to note that Richard Fahey won this with another considered outsider in 2004 when 16-1 hope Vintage Premium triumphed. Also Faheys recent form is well worth considering and jockey bookings for this race should not be taken on face value. Stable number one Paul Hanagan may be riding Red Jade in this race but it was Freddie Tylicki who won with the Pundit Selection when he last rode and he may have been appointed due to his winning form on the horse.

Having a prep run prior to this race has proved to be no advantage in the last decade so from a statistical perspective the lack of a run for 288 days should not be deemed a huge negative. There will obviously be improvement likely after this race but at the current odds of 16-1 he looks to be a valid each way bet and should be backed accordingly. He is not a 16-1 on form and therefore he is the Pundit Selection.


Pundit Selections for Day One Of York Dante Meeting:

1.40 - CHANGING THE GUARD at 16-1 with BET365

3.10 - INXILE at 14-1 on Betfair and 12-1 with several bookmakers

Duke Of York Stakes is an open race

This years renewal of the Duke Of York Blue Square Stakes (G2) is an interesting affair run over the six furlong straight on the Wednesday of the Dante Meeting. There is a mix of experience on offer and some very impressive types but who will infact be the winner?

Well my first part of call with all major races is to analyse the race favourite and look for holes in form. On this occasion the favourite is Main Aim and there are holes a plenty but on official figures then if this horse performs to it's potential like last Summer then he wins nicely. However a consecutive under performing run of three races really does compromise his chances and at just 5-2 odds he is opposable.

Looking at the history of the last 10 years then statistics that could help me find the winner include the fact that no recent winner has managed to win this race having had less than 12 previous career runs. It also highlights the lack of a winner aged three (none having won since 1999). If these trends were to hold up then you can discount prominently backed horses like Showcasing and Mullionmileanhour. If we were to be very strict with this trend then you can also discount Damien and Doncaster Rover who have both raced 11 times previously. I am willing to remove them from the list of possibilities as I feel both are not upto Group 2 level in anycase. No female horse has won since 2001 and so I would take out Angelzarke from the likely winners pot as well. Not to be sexist but I would rather be betting on fillies in the Autumn, not Spring. We can also easily remove Judd Street from the list as no horse older than 7 has managed to win.

I am also not keen to bet on Prime Defender as he has only run 4 days previously. I am never keen on horses so early in the season making their reappearance so quickly. Even at 100% he would need a career best and I imagine him not being at that level having already run at the weekend.

This leaves just four horses to consider.

Starspangledbanner trained by Aiden Obrien.
Sayif trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam
Edge Closer trained by Richard Hannon
Inxile trained by David Nicholls

I have had nicely priced winning bets from two of the above horses in recent past. Sayif was a Group 2 scorer for me last season but he carries a penalty here for that success and so I am put off as I would like to see him show some form and prove he is capable of carrying a penalty against high class rivals before I back him.

Edge Closer has not run a good race since 2008 and was last in this race last season. Even though Richard Hannon is in form I find it hard to imagine he will be primed and ready to run, especially as they have not attempted to get regular rider Richard Hughes in the saddle.

Just two therefore remain and I am interested in the fact Aiden O'Brien has brought over 11 runners to England in 2010 and has yet to win. That could be a pointer towards his stable being abit backward still and so at the prices on offer I would oppose him too.

This leaves Inxile as the only remaining runner not discounted by trends or opinion. On his most recent start this horse scored a career best over six furlongs which previously had not been considered a suitable trip. The horse was very slow to mature by all accounts and so the fact he has only shown his best form now he is five years old means that this may not be a one off run.

It is also telling how good David (Dandy) Nicholls is with training sprinters. Regal Parade excelled last season as a five year old for this trainer winning the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock. The odds of 12-1 are not over exciting but I can imagine them being shorter before the off.

There may still be further improvement and if so then this could be the bet of the race.

Pundit Selection:
Inxile - 12-1 is on offer with various bookmakers.

....but beware of the favourite and the other three runners mentioned in bold (above).

Sunday, 9 May 2010

York Preview

The Dante Meeting at York commences on Wednesday and looks set to be a high quality affair as usual with several Group races planned.

It would be ill advised of me to offer any selections at this stage but it is a big meeting and I thrive on them so expect me to declare at least one value selection each day.

I just hope that the fields do not decimate into less than eight runners as this devalues the betting sensation and lessens the form in some respects.

Monday will be my day of rest as I prepare my best bet for Wednesday and the Dante Stakes itself. It is usually a very informative Derby trial and features horses invariably better than those witnessed in the Chester trial. Although I do have a soft spot now for Ted Spread and think it is the best horse in the world for obvious reasons!!

One Bet Sunday

Despite a sprinkling of Group races on offer today in Ireland I am not getting excited about any of them so I have decided to ignore races that will probably just go with short priced runners.

However when looking to see if anything of value lied elsewhere I came across the 3.35 Property Properly Handicap at Leopardstown. I think I have found a bargain bet in the form of Maximo who is perfectly weighted here for an assault on a trip he is very unexposed at. He has only had one race before over 12f and that was a strong 2nd place on his seasonal debut. On his last two visits to Leopardstown over 2 furlongs shorter the horse has ran well to finish 1st and 2nd so clearly enjoys it here. It is also useful to note that both times the horse carried above 9 stone and today with the help of his well regarded 5lb claimer aboard he will run from a lowly 7st 13lb weight.

This horse was well fancied at 14-1 for the Irish Lincolnshire in March over an inadequate 8f trip in soft ground. He had to race from a rating of 83 as he was out of the handicap proper. He ran a respectable midfield finish but could not go the pace over a trip so short in muddy ground. An extended trip today on quick ground back to his proper rating of 77 means he will have a great chance to run a good race.


SELECTION:
3.35 MAXIMO - 10-1 is on offer at BET365 but I do not imagine that price lasting too long!

Could be a good thing....

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Elnawin at Haydock to shine

Not been a winning day but all but one of the selections have run well so not disappointed. Elnawin can get me back on track and close the day back all square by winning a conditions stakes at 4.45 over at Haydock. Recently been trying his hand at 5f despite clearly being suited better by 6f he finally returns to the 6f trip today at Haydock on ground that will be quick but not too quick for him to win on.

Horse seems to be in the form of his career so the 3-1 available is worthwhile.
If he wins I am level for the day with my own bets and I'll take that.

Onwards and upwards

Castles In The Air can strike at Ascot

Ascot hosts one of its biggest handicaps of the season today in the Victoria Cup. A 7f stamina fuelled dash with as always a massive field taking part.

It could very much pay to side with Castles In The Air who has notoriously always ran poorly on its seasonal debut only to follow up and win next time. Interestingly this season he ran a stormer and personal best first time out so if the form of previous years holds up and he improves again this time he will stand a great chance. Fahey puts a young 7lb claimer on the horses back to give him some relief and should the young lad Topliss not make any significant mistakes then it would be a shock if this horse did not feature in the finish.

14-1 available. Interesting.

Ted Spread those legs....

and he did well and truly as he gained the upper hand in a nerve jangling finish to win big! Phew. Good Chester meeting this year and was not fully expected as, like I always say, I do not tend to come good until the end of May.

Debussy who was also 12-1 on course I had a small bet on too so Thursday was very healthy which added to Wednesdays success. Friday with no advanced computerised form was pretty bleak. Luckily I did not put any fancies up on the blog though.

Anyway, lets not dwell. Today is Saturday and there are some decent races on. Pick of the runners today could well be as follows:

2.10 Lingfield - Chartwell Fillies´ Stakes

A race won by three 3yo's in the last decade and open to horses aged three and above. It is interesting that Reggane comes here as favourite when this is purely a prep run for the Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot in June. A sharp seven furlongs could well not be to the liking of this proven miler and so it looks arguably like a race set up for a another big shock. Golden Stream has a career record over 7 furlongs of 3 wins from 4 runs and ran a respectable race over 6f on her seasonal debut at Ascot. She is trained by Sir Michael Stoute who is hitting form and she looks a very decent prospect as a win bet here. Another one to consider at a big price is Queen's Grace who is a 3yo and received weight here from her elders. She beat Puff last year in a 6f sprint at Newmarket despite being 10lb inferior rated and racing off level weights. She would need to run the race of her life here after a disappointing seasonal debut but the odds on offer are pretty big and as mentioned already - 3 3yo's have won in the last 10 years and so it would not be that much of a shock should she manage it.

3.10 Lingfield - Derby Trial Stakes

These are the soft of races I love to bet on. Top class 3yo races where abit of research can go a long long way. Ted Spread being the most recent example! This race has the recent Desert Myth detractor running as Sir Michael Stoute obviously felt that this would be a better prep run for the Derby for his 33-1 antepost hope. He has only raced once but the form of that race cannot be knocked as both the 2nd and 3rd went onto post easy victories next time out. The odds however cater for those runs and so the 2-1 available is pretty tight. The Cecil trainer runner Bullet Train could well be in the mix and represents better value at 11-4 but only slightly. I still think an upset is possible however and the one that interests me now stepped up in trip is son of Motivator, Hot Prospect. This horse did not settle last time and pulled hard. He still ran a respectable race on his seasonal debut but is clearly capable of better. He remains just a 50-1 shot for the Derby and despite being very unlikely to win that race this horse is capable of winning a Group 3 such as this. 15-2 is great value and despite a significant improvement needed I find myself quite interested in his chance.


SELECTIONS:
2.10
1pt Golden Stream 9-2 with Sportingbet
0.5pt Queen's Grace 14-1 with Various

3.10
1pt Hot Prospect 15-2 with Various

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Chester Day 2 Preview + Summary of Day 1

Not one to keep harping on but GOD I was unlucky yesterday! Won loads but could have been thousands! I had paired up both Desert Sea and Tastahil in the Chester Cup with Masamah in the following sprint handicap and it was the latter each way double that went oh sooo close! Tastahil at 25-1 was done on the nod so only the place aspect of the double went towards the second leg which was Masamah at 12-1. It had a payout of 1850 but at the end of the day I have to be thankful for what I did win. If you read yesterdays preview then you will have noticed I did not think Tastahil could win anyway as I had only backed it to place at 5-1 on Betfair. The each way double was put on because I thought it would place so really the bet went as expected but if it had been just two inches closer I would have been popping the Champagne around chester tomorrow.

The day could have gone better still again but one of my bets on Masamah I layed off inrunning as planned. It meant I gave back 135 of my winnings but still gained roughly 350 from the race despite of this. I will take that I suppose.

I also tipped up Spurs to beat "Mighty" Man City at 3-1 which earned me enough to pay for my two night stay in a Chester hotel. Just hope now I can maintain some form over the forthcoming two days.

Due to circumstances I will not be able to blog for Fridays races as I will be on course with no access to the web. I do not have a laptop nor do I have a high tech mobile phone. Shame!

What I do know though is that there are a few I am interested in again for Thursday and they are as follows:

The opening 1.45 Class 2 handicap looks a good race this year. Looking at historical trends however it tends to be won by horses that aren't that good. The race only has a five year history but has already been won by a 12-1, 25-1 and a 50-1 shot! Madness! My original fancy for this race was the only filly in the field - Leceile who is fairly handicapped and will take the colts and geldings along at a decent clip. I often feel that horses have brains, especially the male ones. If you were a male horse and running behind a female horse, would you pass her or keep looking at her arse? I would do the latter, and that is what bothers me when betting against the only filly in races as so often if they front run they can win. I will definately have some kind of bet on her as she has the form in the bank anyway to run well. The race favourite will no doubt be Almiqdaad who ran some blindingly good races last term but has been handicapped according at 100 for his success. I am not sure Chester will suit his style and therefore he is an interesting one to take on this occasion. The one that could well slip under the radar is the Richard Fahey trained Porgy. He was a listed runner up in France in soft ground behind a horse who went onto run at Dubai and was close behind Lizards Desire who then in turn went onto lose the multimillion Dubai World Cup by a nose. Strong form! 16-1 is available and probably more on the exchanges so Porgy seriously needs to be looked at as it would not be a huge shock to me if it pulled one out of the bag!

The second race is a Group 3 and looks quite interesting. There can be cases made for one or two in this and the ones I am concentrating on are Redwood and Debussy. Redwood looks to have a huge future in pattern races as his recent run in the Gordon Richard Stakes at Sandown was impressive for a horse that lacked experience. Any repeat of that run this time out and I would be shocked in my entirety should it be beaten in this. However should it not run upto its high standards then Debussy is not a shabby outsider. Back from his jaunt to Meydan he can get back to form in this Group 3. Already a placed horse at this track he has the form in the book to go quite close in this. He would be ideally suited for the forecast bet should I decide to do one. I think Redwood is a far better horse but the value lies with Debussy at 14-1. One for me to think about as the race approaches.

The third race catches my eye and is another quality Group 3. The Chester Vase is a decent Derby trial and features a very promising O'Brien horse in Rocket Man. However finding value from an O'Brien runner is often impossible as every idiot and his dog in the bookies are usually on his runners. One though set to run at a big price is the intriguing Ted Spread who is ideally built and bred for a 1m 4f trip run at a strong gallop. Last season he was developing at a reasonable rate but now he is three he should have developed over the winter and could quite easily win this fresh from a big price. 14-1 is available for him to win this race yet the best Derby odds on offer are just 66-1! Even Rocket Man is 100-1 for the Derby and is just 5-2 for this race! It is TOTAL VALUE with a capital T and V! Mark Tompkins runners have been in decent order of late so I expect Ted Spread to go off shorter than the 14-1 that is on offer. I had a look at the trends to notice that no horse has managed to step up from a mile to win this race. That therefore hinders the chances of well fancied runners such as Morana and Critical Moment. Trends are the best way of discarding the red herrings, though occasionally they do win!

Signor Verdi will be running for me at 3.15 in the 7 1/2 furlong handicap. This horse is on the upgrade and won on his re-appearance on the All Weather. His trainer thinks he could be quite smart as he gains experience and I am inclined to agree. I have my doubts as to whether he will have enough speed at the end of the race to win but I am keen to have him as my bet at the price on offer because he will be race fit and that will count for a great deal here.

The rest of the days card is not too exciting but in the 3.55 race it is crucial to take note that no winner has come from outside the first five stalls since the mid 90's. That takes out a host of horses in this and makes it look like a race for the favourite. As some are unraced I will not be declaring my fancy until I've seen the market moves nearer the off.

Tasmeen floats my boat in the penultimate handicap at 4.30. Richard Fahey is quite successful at Chester and this horse has alot more going for it on this occasion than last time. He could definately be the value in the race and should be involved in the finish.

In the last race I plan to side with Fastnet Storm. It would not be a major upset should it win but there should be some decent 9-1 available and that is very favourable. Last time out it never had a chance as it ran over an inadequate mile. This time over 1m 2f with a good draw and race fitness it should fair much better.

SELECTIONS:

1.45 - Porgy or Leceile. I may have a little on both depending on what odds are available.
2.15 - Redwood. Debussy I will bet on if the value is too big to refuse.
2.45 - Ted Spread. This could be the bet of the day!
3.15 - Signor Verdi
3.55 - Nothing above stall 5. They NEVER win this!
4.30 - Tasmeen
5.05 - Fastnet Storm

Best of luck to anyone participating. Hopefully a few drinks will cushion the blow if it is a terrible day.