Sunday, 31 October 2010

Cork Grand National - Sunday Preview

Todays main feature event sees 13 runners compete in what will be a very testing Cork Grand National run over 3m 4f in very soft ground. There are some trends to review so there is a small chance the winner can be found!

This race has only been ran at 3m 4f since 1999 so any previous statistics are ignored due to it being a different challenge. The most notable trend that can be configured from eleven years worth of renewals is that ONLY one horse has managed to win this race when fresh. That was Mattock Ranger in 2007 for trainer Noel Meade and it was his first outing since April. Another noticeable fact is that all the previous winners have been geldings with no mares getting their noses infront. Long distance races very rarely go to mares but three line up today. Those three being Miss Mitch, Bohemian Lass and By The Hour.

Other factors is heavy weights in very soft ground are less likely to win as previous horses weighted above 11st who have managed a success have been in soft or better. Todays race is scheduled to be part heavy due to the severe rain in recent hours. At the moment in writing the track is under permanent inspection incase conditions dictate that the course is unraceable.

It is also advisable after reviewing past race trends that as with all chase handicaps it is better to be looking for an unexposed sort who has not raced more than 16 or so times over fences.

The race favourite for today is Sigma Lifestyle and my early intrigue surrounding this horses prospects evaporated when I realised Ladbrokes were keen for people to bet on the horse with them by offering the biggest price. If a horse is being backed in large numbers then surely it's odds should be shortening if it is likely to win? Best available yesterday evening was 7-2 but this morning it has drifted out to 4-1 and even 9-2 with Ladbrokes. With odds movements like that I would not be a keen participant.

My own personal fancy for this race is JACK THE BUS who despite being aged ten has not been overly raced and has just nine previous chase runs under his belt. The problem is that he has failed to complete on three of those occasions so it would not be a pleasant watch for any backers should you follow me in.

Jack The Bus has a pleasing record in heavy ground and so should not be inconvienced by it despite his trainer recently changing his tune and saying "better ground possibly suits", In the past he has indicated heavy ground is required so my own thinking is that Peter Casey possibly does not have much of a clue as to what is best for his gelding.

The positive news regarding Jack The Bus is that all his three incomplete tries over fences came in his first four attempts over obstacles. In five races since he has completely on all occasions so it is indicative that he has learned from his earlier mistakes. He had a good tune up run last month when running behind race fit rival Streets Of Gold but he should have come on enough for the run to progress past that rival here.

When summarised I think Jack The Bus clearly has claims from his weight of 10st 4lb and with Andrew Lynch aboard you know there is a jockey with solid experience in tow who will hopefully patiently get the horse home infront.

Pundit Pointer:

2.20 - Jack The Bus (1pt @ 8-1 Various)

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Best Of The Rest - Saturday Racing

In addition to todays earlier post I am now able to discuss and preview the rest of todays fancied horses for the racing on Channel 4.

My first bet elsewhere on the televised card comes in the 2.50 The West Yorkshire Hurdle Race (Grade 2). Early betting movements would appear to suggest that Duc De Regnier is in a healthy state and should put up a bold show but his odds are simply too short for a plausible value bet from me. He is unpenalised for this race and despite a decent record fresh I feel that Tiday Bay who suffers a 8lb penalty can win despite that burden at a slightly better price.

Tiday Bay is another fine sort that goes well fresh and in a race where there will be a vast amount of speed on his hold up style could come to fruition. Howard Johnson despite his large stable numbers often has his horses tuned up for a good run at Wetherby so I have no concerns that this horse will need the run. A positively good chance but I will not be over staking just because he is a short price!

The big race of the weekend is up next and that is the 3.25 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2). Eight runners go to post for this 3m 1f competitive affair over fences.

Nicky Henderson possibly holds the key to the winner as he had to choose between whether to put Duc De Regnier in this field alongside his fancied Barber Shop. He chose to give the former a spin over hurdles so that the two did not clash swords but Duc De Regnier would have held claims in this company so it could be that the stable think that Barber Shop can take this field on by himself.

However alarm bells ring in my head because if we are to believe the Racingpost figures then Barber Shop has had a very large number of bets placed on him yet is still a best price 9-2. Bookmakers would appear to be taking plenty of smaller bets about the Queen's horse but nothing of notable value to worry them and contract Barber Shops odds.

There is nothing that can tempt me enough to part with my funds for this race I am afraid. There is such a fine line at the weights between four or five of the eight intended runners that it may well come down to fitness on the day takes the win. Discipline in the feature event for once rules over ambitions to back the winner of another Graded/Group event.

Never to fear there is the best race of the day at Ascot only 15 minutes later to view at 3.40. This is the United House Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Listed Race) run over 3m.

Take The Breeze is the early favourite for Paul Nicholl's but his main career form has come in bottomless ground so the quickish Ascot conditions will not be in his favour enough for me to part with my pennies at favourite prices.

With ground and fitness the two main factors coming into this race I know I am 100% right on one when I select Possol as my selection for this pretty hot contest.

The good ground at Ascot today is ideal for Possol and Henry Daly has been quoted as saying "Good-ish ground should do us well and I'd be happy with that."

Age is on his side at just seven years of age but due to being a French bred he has been racing over obstacles since the age of three so has plenty of experience. His jumps record over fences is above average with a 25% winning strike rate. From sixteen career starts over fences it is noticeable that he has only failed to finish in the places on three occasions.

He is likely to head for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury should he perform well here and should the ground not soften then that would remain a very suitable target.

Back any single winner with bet365 at 4/1 or more on a UK or Irish race televised live on Channel 4 and you can have a free bet to the same stake on the next live Channel 4 race. If your free bet also wins at odds of 4/1 or more, you qualify for a free bet on the next live Channel 4 race. Keep backing those winners and bet365 will keep giving you free bets!

Pundit Pointers:


2.50 - Tiday Bay (1pt @ 3-1 BET365)


3.40 - Possol (1.5pts @ 9-1 BET365)

Earlier Mention:


2.00 - First Cat (9-1 Betfair) READ HERE

Saturday Racing - Channel 4 Racing Selections

The televised action today on Channel 4 comes from Newmarket on the flat for the final day of the turf campaign and also from Ascot on Wetherby for the "REAL" start of the high class jumping action.

Yesterdays pretty shocking selection proves just how tough it is at this time of year. Lease Lend had visited Wetherby NINE times previously before yesterday and never failed to finish in the first THREE! Soon as I touch it - comes home last of the finishers! Something was definitely not right as it ran nowhere near to form. First time out though it probably was not tuned up adequately and the ground most likely was too fast. Would not be surprised though if it won next time at silly odds when it has rained a bit and the handicapper has downgraded him a few pounds.

Today I need to keep my discipline as I will be updating my results this evening for the season so far. I am still OK after one week but that is only thanks to a 2pt prediction on Casamento when he was a healthy 100-30 early on last Saturday.

First up at 2.00 for me is the Casino At Handicap (CLASS 2). This is run over one mile and features some pretty smart handicappers trying to end their turf seasons on a high note. Topweight is Wannabe King who has gone astray since carving up a decent field last season at Ripon in stylish fashion.

Andrew Balding saddles one of the race favourites Brick Red who looks feasibly weighted for a winning run but the stable appears to have downed tools in recent weeks with a recent strike rate of 1 winner from 25 starters.

The horse that catches the eye in almost startling fashion is a horse that was only one length behind Brick Red in September at Ascot. He is 4lbs better off with his rival today and has been given a decent jockey after Frankie McDonald makes way for David Probert who is not adverse to finding winners unlike his colleague.

The horse in question is FIRST CAT who lurks at the bottom of the weights here for a visit to a track he has often ran well on. Most noticeable off todays mark of just 84 it means he runs from a mark just 4lb higher than when he ran Sea Lord a close quarter of a length second back in July. Sea Lord himself progressed and won a GROUP race thereafter so the form of that race would appear very strong.

Punters curious as to why Richard Hughes has jumped off Richard Hannon's runner to ride Brian Meehan's anticipated favourite should consider the fact that Mr Hughes is 0-13 for the owner R Barnett. If I had a jockey riding my horses that had never won previously then I would be asking could Richard please ride somethingelse! The fact Richard Hughes has left the saddle of First Cat means he is the overpriced horse in the race.

So with a healthy handicap mark, a nice low weight, a decent jockey and a track record that reads four visits and NEVER out of the top three then I will happily take this as my opening bet of the day.

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Pundit Pointer:


2.00 - First Cat - 1.5pts WIN / 1pt PLACE (9-1 Betfair)

All my other selections for today will be written up before 12. I am keen to maintain my discipline at such a tough time of year so there will only be 2 or 3 extra bets at most! Possibly just enough for your LUCKY 15's!

Back any single winner with bet365 at 4/1 or more on a UK or Irish race televised live on Channel 4 and you can have a free bet to the same stake on the next live Channel 4 race. If your free bet also wins at odds of 4/1 or more, you qualify for a free bet on the next live Channel 4 race. Keep backing those winners and bet365 will keep giving you free bets!

Friday, 29 October 2010

BET365 Handicap Chase - Wetherby - Preview

The big race of the day on Friday is the 3.20 Bet365 Handicap Chase. This is a Listed handicap and is run over 2m 4f.

There are only nine runners scheduled to race but do not think that this will be run at a crawl with Frankie Figg likely to blaze a trail challenged by Soulard and with My Moment following them closely.

Lurking at the foot of the weights is the syndicate owned Neptune Equestor who has been given anticipated favouritism by the Racingpost. I am not sure that I would agree as this will be by far his toughest challenge to date and his previous form has all been in pretty moderate company. Could grab a place but I would be surprised if he found enough to win over this shorter than usual trip.

Another horse that may find this trip on the sharp side is the quite useful According To Pete who last season looked as if he required every yard of a three mile trip. This inadequate distance may well blow away the cobwebs and he could be interesting when the ground is softer later in the year.

Mister McGoldrick meanwhile is one of the grandfathers of horse racing and a duel winner of this race after successes in 2004 and 2007. Numerically that sequence is ready to continue but at the age of thirteen with a handicap rating slightly more than on both those two occasions it has to be deemed unlikely. He should run a good race though if fit and ready.

One of the big dangers in this race is one of the expected pacesetters Soulard who comes here having ran very well in himself towards the end of last season. With Frankie Figg likely to keep him company he will not get things all his own way and the tough Wetherby fences may induce a mistake big enough to lessen his chance. Previous form indicates he can take chances at some fences and Wetherby can be unforgiving if he has not learned from last seasons silly jumping mistakes.

The one for me here has to be Lease Lend who was thriving since having his racing methods switched to being held up towards the end of last season. Since this change in tactics Lease Lend has won three times in four starts and his winning streak only came to an end when greeted with bottomless ground at Haydock in the competitive Daffodil Chase.

This outing is a fair bit easier and with the severe likelihood of a strong pace he should be able to relax in rear. The ground is marginally on the fast side for him but it should not detract from the likelihood of a possible good run from respectable odds of 13-2. There is a distinct possibility that he can progress from his current mark and develop into an interesting prospect this season in better races.

The David Pipe trained Qulinton can be respected but at the age of just six will find this a test of his jumping and at such a young age it could prove too tough a challenge at this stage of the season.

Star Of Germany is handily handicapped and should be watched for possible betting movements as he has won a Listed handicap off the same mark of 129 previously. He has had things go wrong for him since then and has not shown the same sparkle in his two outings so far this season. Horse racing though is a funny old game and he cannot be fully discounted despite his expected SP.

bet365 offer Best Odds Guaranteed on every horse and greyhound race - every day! Place a bet with bet365, take the price on your selection - and if the SP is bigger you'll be paid out at the bigger odds!

Pundit Pointer: (Updated 12.47)

3.20 - Wetherby - Lease Lend (8-1 Bet365)
Also available on Betfair currently at 9-1
Not alot of prices were available online when I wrote this up but BET365 have drifted Lease Lend to 8-1 from 13-2 now. These are pretty nice odds for a horse that may run well first time out. Betfair beats that price with 9-1 odds on offer!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

New Season - New Logo - New Poster

Out with the old and in with the new. I have given the site logo a new lick of paint after a disastrous first attempt at designing one which only lasted 24 hours on the site live! If you did not manage to see it then you are fortunate!

I've also been in talks with a friend who is a bit wayward with his betting and if he would like to do a weekly blog post regarding his previous weekends goings on, mistakes and successes.

He is not too bad with his golfing selections on both the European and US Tours so I have enquired with him if he would be willing to share his best tip with us on a Wednesday ready for the action each week from Thursday onwards.

His name is Keith, he is thirty-something and he is not electronically tagged so I think it is worth a shot to brighten things up a little and keep you all coming back each week.

He can introduce himself in full next week.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Drill Sergeant - McCoy Haydock Special

Drill Sergeant starred in a fairly average Novices Hurdle in quite unusual circumstances this evening at Haydock Park.

Sent off at a very short 11-10F for the Racing UK Home of Jump Racing Novices' Hurdle Drill Sergeant was positioned at the head of affairs by Champion jockey Tony McCoy and sent more than 14 lengths clear going round the first turn past the parade ring / stables.

What happened next?

Well I won't spoil it if you have not managed to view it yet. Just watch and admire.

Sportinglife offer free RACING UK replays so you can watch a rerun of the race via the link below!

5:10 - Racing UK Home of Jump Racing Novices' Hurdle

This link will open in a new window and is not part of

miracle winner, tried to refuse, stopped racing

Monday, 25 October 2010

Totetentofollow - Where to start?

Well now the Jumps season has begun I am ready for increased bad luck and boy did I get it when my debuting bet over the sticks for the British NH season I'msingingtheblues FELL when looking like he could possibly have a hand in the finish on Saturday in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree. Typical nonsense but as many times as the fences will hinder me this season I assume luck will have evened itself out come the end of April.

Even with not proving successful in my opening two Jumps bets of the campaign I still got that energy boost that I have so desperately needed following a long drawn out flat season campaign. Not to get me wrong as I prefer the flat over jumps from a betting point of view - its just that Jumps racing NEVER gets boring! Even when you I am not having much luck I still thoroughly enjoy watching race replays and reading the form book.

It is due to that fact that I have decided to make my debut this year in the Totetentofollow Jumps 2010-11 competition. I will most likely create a new Blog area dedicated to this seasons entry which I plan to submit before the deadline. I have heralded the help of Oddspundit reader Reg who is quite accustomed to the competition and who will hopefully aid us with some great additions to our squad of ten selections.

The current idea being that Reg will pick five horses that will all be constant winners.
I will also pick five horses - no doubt that three will die, one suffer a career threatening injury and the other refuse to race.

You think I'm joking? Trust me, over jumps my luck is iffy at best except last year which proved quite fruitful. I am not going to lie and suggest you have an increased chance of winning if you follow the Oddspundit ten. This is really just a bit of fun but I am in full acknowledgement that if taken seriously and with some additional good luck it can a very rewarding "long term" bet.

If you are interested in entering the totesport competition yourself it costs £10 for one entry and it could grab you a small fortune should you be a winner. You can enter now by going to the totesport website and signing up / logging in HERE.

It would be useful if you also read the rules for the competition, understand the scoring and how to enter. You can do this by clicking HERE.

The Oddspundit TENTOFOLLOW page will be uploaded and go live by Monday 8th November which will give you five days to submit your own entries thereafter.

Happy punting!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Manchester City can outmuscle Arsenal at Eastlands

At 4PM today Manchester City come up against pass frenzy Arsenal at Eastlands in what looks a six pointer already for the challenge of winning the Premiership.

Arsenal have not gelled on their travels domestically as yet and offer only one win in four matches prior to their Lancashire trip. Meanwhile Manchester City welcome back the free scoring Carlos Tevez in attack after he was rested for their cantering European victory in midweek against Polish outfit Lech Poznan.

When you compare the midfields of De Jong, Barry and Yaya Toure against the likes of Nasri, Fabregas and Wiltshire then it is obvious to see their vast difference in flair. However with Wiltshire serving a suspension and unable to partner Fabregas in midfield the creative balance in the Arsenal side is perhaps marginally lacking. Do Manchester City have enough in their probable five man midfield to overcome the illustrious pass and move Arsenal technique? I think they do and so I am willing to have a small bet on Manchester City to create enough chances for Carlos Tevez to sneak a close game by a single goal.

Simple bet for me though.

Manchester City to win at 6-4 (Paddypower)

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Saturday Preview - Mixed Race Action!

No we are not talking multicultural, we are merely talking about my four selections for the day. Two over the sticks and two on the flat! A perfect mixture and array of prices for those tempted perhaps by a risky but sometimes potentially rewarding Lucky 15!

I am not going to rabbit on today for I am pretty hungry at the moment and need to save my sandwiches that I actually made some 40 hours ago but forgot in taking them to work for my lunch yesterday. Can bread gather mould in the fridge? Probably the turkey really that I perhaps should be more concerned about.

Today strangely all my selections are spread across a single hour so anyone taking the plunge will know pretty quickly if they are to be rich or not.

My first bet comes at Newbury on the flat at 2.40. This is the St Simon Stakes (Group 3) run over 1m 4f. My interest here is the penalty carrying Poet who has never ran at this trip previously but has been a real fighter over 1m 2f in soft ground previously. Poet's win at Haydock was his first and only Group success back in August but that day he looked very capable and not for stopping. That race was the same day that Hot Prospect won a handicap over the same trip. Their winning times were very different with Poet winning his race some 2.3 seconds quicker than Hot Prospect though in fairness Hot Prospect was only a three year old and carrying only 2lb less in weight.

My thinking though is that not only did Poet have far more to give that day and has ultimately impressed and ran well since. He looks ready for the step up in trip and may possibly be suited well to it. Hot Prospect does not particularly appeal as a middle distance type and he was well outclassed in the Derby when trying 1m 4f on his only previous attempt.

Whispering Gallery was my early week fancy for this race but he will be trying to control things from the front and I am not convinced he will have a finishing kick good enough to keep his head infront. The ground is expected to worsen with heavy rain showers likely at Newbury and the more the better if Poet is to prove a gutsy winning selection.

My second bet also comes on the flat at Doncaster where I am touching a two year old televised race for the FIRST TIME this season. Kept away from them in their entirety this year except when I have been having some fun bets at the race track but there was one horse in the field for the 2.55 Racing Post Trophy (Group 1) that ticked all the required boxes to win nicely here.

Run over a mile this race has often been won by a future 3yo middle distance type and it should be no different on this occasion with Casamento the most likely of winners. His career form to date is top notch and Dettori has been asked to ride to give this colt the best possible chance. Casamento is the only previous Group 2 winner in the field and was unlucky not to win a G1 in Ireland when just touched off by the exciting Pathfork. He runs off level weights against the opposition despite noticeably being the best horse in the line up and ready to progress further. 10-3 was a steal and can still be grabbed in a place so this is why he is my biggest staked bet of the day.

My final two bets start off my National Hunt 2010-11 campaign with interests at both Chepstow and Aintree. It is at the latter when my first selection takes his chance at 3.25 in the Old Roan Chase (Grade 2) handicap. I'msingingtheblues runs for the supposedly regressing David Pipe yard and seems to have been ignored in the betting with his amazing 14-1 price tag. Racingpost had him as a 13-2 shot in their SP list and I was surprised a price double that was being given away. The saying that Bookies never give anything away for free needs to be considered but with I'msingingtheblues having previously won when fresh twice before in his career he should not be lacking too much in fitness. He changed hands over summer and was brought into the David Pipe yard from Paul Nicholls' fortress having seemed to have levelled out ability wise.

I'msingingtheblues has never struck me as the type to win over 2m 4f but in a small field I feel it is possible and his current rating of 154 is not insurmountable. A horse like Tartak who flopped in this race last term from a mark 1lb higher than he races from today is a stupid price at 11-4. They reckon he is well weighted based on his close 4th behing Albertas Run last year over C&D but you will easily notice that in four previous handicap chase races Tartak has run in he has never won. He is not rated to be a winner despite what may appear on paper. Poquelin loves to crash out at Aintree and has twice unseated his rider at the venue previously from four course visits. Not the perfect record for a 3-1 shot and with his best form coming at Cheltenham I am happy to avoid him at the price.

Albertas Run has a fantastic record fresh and if anything despite his huge 168 rating he may possibly be good enough to carry his topweight frame to victory. However at the prices I am content to stick with the possibility that I'msingingtheblues has been too readily ignored by the punters looking for an early short priced seasonal winner. Monet's Garden I have dismissed basically upon age but I think he is a fantastic horse and should he prove good enough I will have paid my betting stakes for the privelege of watching this special grey win for the fifth time at Aintree.

My last bet of the day that I have pre-planned comes in the interesting Persian War Novices´ Hurdle (Grade 2) at 3.35. There are some supposed high class types that will be hard to beat lining up here and most notable of those is Captain Chris who has the burden of a 7lb penalty to contend with and a distinctively ugly 11-8 price which corresponds to NIL VALUE!

Of the challengers it is worthy to note the unpenalised Frascati Park who is a three time Grade 2 runner up from last season but appears to struggle in the role as winner having never previously managed to win any hurdling event. The quality of horse is there but the mindset to get ahead is perhaps not and with Sam Twiston Davies in the saddle rather than a Tony McCoy type I am not overly keen on parting with my hard earned on this one.

The one that has grabbed my interest the most is the unconsidered Lidar for Alan King. He is only rated 122 so would be receiving 24lb in a handicap to Captain Chris the race favourite. Instead as it is a Novice Graded event he is in receipt of just 3lb and is a supposed 'no chance' on paper. You have to look into the thought process of Alan King to wonder why a potentially decent horse with a nice handicap mark of 122 is being risked against horses rated considerably better? If he runs well he would surely get his mark eradicated and then not be so nicely rated for future handicaps. My thinking is they see him as a potential graded race prospect and are not interested in the handicap route. He was top class over two miles a couple of seasons ago in NHF races (no hurdles involved). He never quite met expectations when trying hurdles as a 4yo last term but clearly needed to be stepped up in trip. Now he is a year older and stronger this step up in trip could not have come sooner so his current mark of 122 is not actually an accurate illustration of his ability level. I may be overrating his chance but the 14-1 on offer is too good and this horse who notably runs well fresh can prove me right in my thinking..... . . . hopefully!

Pundit Pointers:

2.40 - Newbury - 1pt - Poet (13-2 Bet365)

2.55 - Doncaster - 2pts - Casamento - (100-30 Betfred)

3.25 - Aintree - 1pt - I'msingingtheblues (14-1 Bet365)

3.35 - Chepstow - 1pt - Ludar (14-1 Paddypower/Betfred)

Saturday Update Coming

What I now remember about form reading jumps races is that it generally takes longer as there are far more variables and especially so at this time of year.

I should have my Saturday selections and write up preview all done and dusted before 1PM and perhaps sooner so check back in a short while.

Now I am recording every selection and its performance I need to be on the winning thread early or I could get very embarrassed very quickly!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Looking Forward

Only a couple of days away until the proper start of the National Hunt season begins and I am looking forward to it with great anticipation. However as we know with many horses making their reappearances after a summer out in the fields the level of fitness for each horse is not guaranteed and perhaps some guesswork is required to find out what may possibly run well during October and early November.

There are a couple of basic techniques I use early in the season and they are to see if a horse has run well / won when making a reappearance earlier in its career and to take notice of a stable that appears to be firing in some good runs.

Aintree and Chepstow are the destinations for Saturday and hopefully there will be some success. However now I am analysing my betting stakes and returns with the aid of a results spreadsheet I will be infuriated by losses so I could on some Saturdays only be shouting from the rooftops about one selection in hope of making my money. My approach for finding value will still stay the same so I know there will be a few losers a long the way!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Results To Be Counted!

It has been a terrible end to the flat season for myself overall and now I must plan for the future regarding my methods and keep a track record of them. Otherwise I will lose discipline as I know I can do over the jumps.

I have redone my results page and created an excel file that will be available to download every week at the click of a button for free.

This will essentially help me in seeing what type of events work for me and if there are any biases in my results.

For example it could show me that I have much more success betting on Graded Chases than in Handicaps. It may show me whether I can pick a winner at Kempton or if I have no clue about Newton Abbott. It will also keep me abreast of my All Weather selections over the winter in which there may be several.

I will keep all my horse racing selections on the same results table but I have chosen to keep a running tally of any other sporting bets that appear on these pages on a separate sheet.

Next weekend will be my first proper weekend betting on the jumps action with some interesting racing coming from Aintree. Lets hope we start off well!

To see Oddspundit results take a little look at the "My Results" page on the website for more information.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Pride Stakes - Rumoush Ready To Win

The Pride Stakes is a Group 2 for fillies and mares run over a 12f trip and is set to take place towards the close of play at 4.50 today. It is unlike me to stay with a selection for more than one successive run but I found alot of potential when I backed Rumoush on her most recent outing in Group 2 company where she finished second behind Eastern Aria in the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster. That was a stamina testing 1m 5f trip and arguably the summit of Rumoush's stamina but she ran impressively and only the in-form winner proved too good at the distance. She has been steadily raced this season and always been given time between her races but last time out she showed that perhaps a middle distance trip would show her in best light.

Rumoush has had runs in both the Guineas and Oaks this season which shows what high regard she is held in and so it was hardly a surprise that she was runner up last time out in Group 2 company. I have a genuine feeling that she is the class act waiting to come out of this race and progress if kept in training over 12-14f trips. There is no question that the ground and trip will be perfect for her and she will be thereabouts at the death. With the much fancied Sir Michael Stoute pair both being backed there has to be some worry but Crystal Capella has not run since she last ran in this race last year and her stablemate Eleanora Duse albeit whilst looking classy in her racing I am not sure at all that she is a better prospect and a more progressive filly than Rumoush.

A recap of my days selections for those who need it:

3.00 - Fuisse (previously advised at 8-1, 6-1 now various)

3.40 - Precision Break (19-1 Betfair)

4.50 - Rumoush (11-2 various)

Cesarewitch Preview - Precision Break

It is all pretty much over after today regarding the flat season in my eyes. There is always the intriguing Breeders Cup still to come but with regards to domestic action its pretty much all done and dusted after today realistically.

This years Newmarket Cesarewitch Day looks formidable with some excellent races on offer which at least ends the flat season on a high.

This years Cesarewitch looks a compelling 32 runner affair and is pretty open looking. I must admit I have not blogged antepost on this race for the simple fact that I keep changing my mind as to the best value and likeliest winning result! Understandably I have even changed my mind again this morning as I was preparing last night to bet on My Arch. Ultimately I dithered and left it untouched to sleep on it and this morning with it drifting in the betting my interest has diluted.

My interest this morning fixated itself upon Precision Break and not just because it won for me on this very blog last time out at stupid 25-1 odds but because he looks to be the typical sort that will relish this distance and comes here in peak form at a competitive price.

He can be held up or raced prominently which is an advantage and that recent win at Doncaster had a class field in attendance including Lady Eclair (conquerer of Red Cadeaux) amongst many others who had run well or won previously at Class 2 level or above.

That day at Doncaster I was intrigued by Precision Break's chances not only due to the absurd price but because his Chester run which could have been considered unsuitable on a tight and turning track was actually a pretty decent effort. That run left Precision Break's earlier seasonal appearances well behind and I felt that with the step up in trip he would be bang there for a decent Doncaster effort. He was impressive with that Doncaster run and despite it being 36 days ago he still manages to run in the Cesarewitch with just a 4lb penalty but is due to go up by another 2lb after the race.

The tongue tie crucially has been left on as that has had a major role in this seasons improved performances and thankfully from a trends point of view Precision Break has a pretty decent starting stall in 29. High draws have proved advantageous for many years now so hopefully this proves so again here. Also on a positive spin is that every previous winner during the last decade has previously won over two miles. Initially I thought Precision Break had never raced at the trip which slightly hindered my interest earlier in the week but on second viewing I realise now he has raced once over two miles and WON. This was on the All-weather at Kempton when he was only a three year old. Interesting that he has never been seen at the trip again and last time out at Doncaster was the only occasion since he has raced at close to two miles. The 1m 7f trip last time showed him up in good light with a very high class class win and the extra 3f that will be on offer today may well be within his range.

The most complimentary thing I can say regarding Precision Break is that he will always stick his neck out and never give in. He has run in some strong handicaps over the last three seasons and apart from when on jarring quick ground he has put up some good runs all in all. His winning strike rate is fantastic with 9 wins from 20 career performances with two places added for good measure. It is an added bonus perhaps that Jamie Spencer keeps the mount after his success at Doncaster due to the fact he is two wins from three rides on the gelding. All in all I am as interested as I can be when 32 runners are mentioned. Big bet? Perhaps!

Pundit Pointer:

4.40 - Precision Break (19-1 Betfair and 16-1 elsewhere)

Remember Fuisse is already on my planned betting roll of honour for Saturday as I previously blogged his chances for the Champion Stakes (3.00pm) when 8-1 earlier this week. I will create a new post should I find anythingelse that gives me a firm interest. Lets end the flat season on a high!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Friday Newmarket - One Race Only

Today see's Newmarket host the first of its two day Cesarewitch meeting and there is one race I have my mind focused on. This is the race at 4.05 which is Lanwades Stud Severals Stakes (Listed Race) open to Fillies and Mares.

Last year saw me unexpectedly get the winning formula with a little help from a work colleague who was having a play about with trends himself. He came up with a small shortlist which included the filly Enticement owned by the Queen. The form was deciphered and our bet ended up solely on Enticement at odds of 16-1. She was supported afterwards and given an SP of 12-1 and won by a short head - much to our office's delight!

The strange trend that helped narrow the field down could possibly been a fluke but it had proved consistent year after year so needed to be appreciated. This one perculiar race unscrambling trend was that no horse had won this race having RAN AT THE SAME DISTANCE last time out. Either a horse had been stepped up from a mile or was dropping back in trip from twelve furlongs. My original thought was to ignore the trend as it is not something I would usually appreciate as being a bonified winning trend but the last decade of results had shown that there was some substance behind it for this race.

So earlier this week when the 48hr declarations were revealed I used this trend as well as some minor others to narrow the field down to the expectant few with chances.

The results brought me down to four runners only.

Principle Role
Sea Of Heartbreak

My summary of each is as follows:

Classy filly on her day and showed it by winning a competitive renewal of the Sandringham Handicap during the Royal Ascot meeting. However with a break since of 120 days it does not appeal to be a supporter of her chances for this at just 9-4. With that absence in mind a more realistic price in my own mind is AT LEAST 4-1 so despite her being the bookmaker favourite she is just not a worthwhile bet for me at the price.

Principle Role
Another classy filly and stablemate of Timepiece. Limited race experience of just five outings means she could still be on the upgrade. Her best performance came earlier in the season when she won a Listed event by edging out an in form Fatanah. She then went on to contest the Ribblesdale Stakes but her effort panned out in the final 120yds on this step up to 12f. She comes here on the back of a break but Tom Queally has chosen to adopt Timepiece on this occasion which means there is a gulf in the price between the two similarly matched stable companions. Should the break have helped her she could be great value and a surprise result.

A promising Sir Michael Stoute filly who's best career performance came in the Ribblesdale Stakes when she was a fast finishing runner up to Hibaayeb. However she has failed to progress from that run and comes here trying the 10f trip for the first time. Sir Michael Stoute knows how to get one ready after a break and he was the trainer of last years winner. With just five career outings to her name and having never tried this trip before she is possibly the most interesting runner on the shortlist. One of the minor trends I noted when studying this race last year and this is that past winners have often not ran too well on their latest outing. If that trend was to hold up here then Eldalil's most recent poor showing at York represents ideal winning form here! Strange.

Sea Of Heartbreak
I am devastated by this runner as I placed my bet request on Betfair last night at a whopping 27-1 and had just £4 matched at that price! During my lunch today I have relooked at the latest odds and the best available anywhere is merely 18-1. As a winning candidate Sea Of Heartbreak is possibly unlikely but 27-1 was just too big and it was a price I felt might just be able to negotiate. In the end I was perhaps 0.5pts too greedy on the exchanges which is ashame. The only doubt I have regarding this runner is this step up in class. A lot of recent winners have tested themselves previously AT LEAST at Listed level with many having run in Group races so the worrying fact will be that this one has achieved her success in Class 4 graded handicaps. On the plus side she has looked impressive in her victories and her most recent outing after a small break was promising. Dropped in trip back to her favoured 10f distance here and thriving at present she could have enough about her to sneak a result but I am debating whether the 18-1 is worth my while now. There would be tears if she did manage to win coming from me though.....

Other runners I have discounted on the basis of either a lack of racing experience or the fact they simply look out of their depth or have run at the same trip last time out.

Perhaps in all likelihood the two to concentrate on at the best value prices are Principal Role and Eldalil. It would be very interesting though should one of the four shortlisted fillies prove successful for a trend that is quite suspect to say the least.

Good luck.

Pundit Pointer:

Read the above. 10-1 Principle Role and 15-1 (Betfair) Eldalil look nicely priced individuals that are very capable of winning on their day.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Fuisse - Champion Stakes Awaits

Earlier this week I began my form check on the forthcoming Champion Stakes as it is always a race of supreme quality and early odds can sometimes pay dividends when the ground can be anticipated a few days in advance. However I started my form revision too late to capture the 10-1 initially available on the French colt Fuisse but was still tempted by the 8-1 price tag that was available elsewhere.

Final declarations were today and several have dropped out of which the most notable absentee is the Ed Dunlop trained Snow Fairy. This has brought Fuisse into odds of 7-1 but Skybet are still accepting a No Runner No Bet offer of 8-1 with Fuisse which is worth snapping up.

Fuisse is a three time Group winner including two victories at Group 3 level and a noticeably improved performance last time to win a Group 1 against high class calibre opposition consisting of Paco Boy, Rio De La Plata, Siyouni and Loup De Vega. It was by no means a fluke and more impressive by the fact the horse had got loose beforehand only to run amok for ages avoiding the chasing Frenchmen with breadsticks.

French trainer Mme C Head-Maarek has intimated there are stamina concerns regarding her recruit over this 1m 2f trip but I feel he may well suit it now that he is a four year old. He was last years runner up in the French Derby that is run over 1/2 furlong further than Saturdays race which suggests he has the basics required to run a good race. With a year of race experience under his belt since then it is likely his stamina may have improved sufficiently to not be inconvenienced by the return to ten furlongs.

Hopefully speed plays as much part as stamina and if this was to become a speed test then there is no doubt that Fuisse would prove quickest in a sprint to the line. However it is most likely it will be a strongly run race but if Fuisse can settle behind horses he could be the biggest threat in the closing stages. His only two defeats this season have come in VERY SOFT ground so I am expecting enough of a performance to have placed my money on the counter early!

Now for the Cesarewitch...

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Munster National - The Last Derby

Sunday sees the best racing come as usual from Ireland and the Irish Jumps season gets itself going in full on style with a tantalising card at Limerick including the Munster National. Meanwhile at the Curragh there are a series of high class races to keep the interest flowing.

Yesterday was overall a disappointment. I risked three nicely priced horses who two of which could only muster places. The other selection Able Master is still running even now I think..... HATE it when I bet on a big priced one and they don't offer anything in the race! Suppose it is worse though when it's a favourite!

Arguably today's best race comes in the form of the Munster National at Limerick in which some quietly respectable horses contest the three mile challenge over fences. McCoy appears to have the plum ride aboard Dancing Tornado who makes a quick reappearance after being unlucky inrunning during September's Kerry National. Two things are definitely on his side for this race though. The first of which is the fact he only gets a 5lb penalty for that recent 2nd place which would have been 10lb+ should he have managed to get his head infront. The other positive is the inclusion of the Hourigan stablemate Mossbank who makes his first run for 900 days. This looks a clear attempt to keep the weights down for the much fancied McCoy mount. I would not be totally surprised if Mossbank was withdrawn before the off infact or pulled up after a couple of fences. (It's Ireland after all!)

Despite the clear support behind Dancing Tornado it would not be like me to just follow the peasants and with McCoy's fitness in doubt as he will have to pass a medical pre-race it could be worth taking a different approach. I like to do my own thing and whilst Dancing Tornado is a nice horse his price is not particularly fanciable at 7-2 in a race that often goes to middle to long priced horses. Due to Mossbank being in the race it actually makes a horse I quietly fancy a very tempting proposition. The Last Derby is an extremely talented individual with time on his side at the young age of six. That can be on the young side for a horse racing over fences but The Last Derby won a competitive Listed handicap at Ascot as a five year old when he absolutely hammered a host of older horses off a mark of 130 in similar good ground.

Today sees The Last Derby return to a competitive mark of 131 which is much less than his ability level. He also runs fresh which to me looks crucial to his chances of winning here. A quick review of the last nine runnings of the races sees just one horse having proven successful having had a prep run during September. All the rest ran FRESH! There are not many in this field running here fresh that can be considered a decent chance but The Last Derby definitely fits the criteria of both and will no doubt be one of my bigger bets of the year. Interestingly Barry Geraghty is to take the ride knowing that he will have to be on his biggest Slim-Fast plan ever as this is 1lb lower than his lowest possible riding weight. Cut off a few toes though and he could make it to 10st 3lb. 1lb overweight may not matter hopefully but if The Last Derby loses by a nose - heaven forbid!

Meanwhile a flat selection for those who do not partake in jumps action comes in the 4.15 Listed event at the Curragh. Lady Of The Roses finally has her favoured conditions having been lightly raced on unsuitable ground over summer. She craves soft ground and is a talented little lady when she gets it. Never quite effectively being world class she still managed to be runner up over C&D in the Irish Oaks behind Sariska last season! This is merely a Listed event and many of the field are not even quite up to that standard.

However her 7-2 price is very borderline even though She's Our Mark has been withdrawn. Across the field and Aiden O'Brien runs his main contender Rain Forest but with a limited three races to her name this will make this a tough assignment in the conditions. Perhaps the most opposition may come from the Joseph O'Brien ridden filly Lady Lupus who herself has disappointed this year but herself managed a highly respectable third place in this seasons Irish Oaks. With no penalty attached to her she could be the one at decent odds to spring a surprise. It is worth pointing out for those who do not know that Joseph O'Brien is Aiden O'Brien's son and he is just a few victories behind in the Irish Apprentice's Title race. It could well be that Aiden O'Brien has seen it fit to put his son on Lady Lupus knowing she has the experience and may prove better than her shorter priced stable companion Rain Forest. It would not be uncommon for a trainer to favour his own blood above a leading jockey. Dandy Nicholl's does it with his son every single race! (Only teasing, Adrian Nicholl's isn't THAT bad really)

Pundit Pointers:

4.15 Curragh - Lady Lupus (10-1 various)

4.35 Limerick - The Last Derby (12-1 various)

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Saturday Qualifying Bets

Due to the recent disappointments of hard luck and nice priced selections not quite being good enough to gain victories it has been quite quiet of late on the "winning" scene. My proposal of having a short break has not quite been met but I plan on being very restrictive with my betting propositions this weekend.

As it stands today I have only foreseen two early bets worth an interest and I have further plans to tackle an Heritage handicap race at York which looks interesting.

So today will merely consist of two York picks and one (when I find it) from Ascot.

First up is the 2.15 Stakes at York which is a handicap run over a distance of one mile. Twenty horses are scheduled to go to post which means it will no doubt be run at a brisk pace and will be won by a horse that is capable at the distance and possibly perhaps shown form over further due to the inadequate soft ground.

Drawn instantly to me when reviewing each horse in the early hours was the gutsy mare Medici Pearl who of late has managed to find some form. She won a pretty uncompetitive event at Hamilton in August before having a small break and running in her favoured soft ground at Haydock two weeks ago. However for that race she was lumbered with a 9st 7lb load on her back and for her to lose that race by just 1 1/2 lengths against low weighted opposition was a noteworthy effort. That run should have primed her as it was her first outing for 45 days and considering my much blabbed on about NEED TO RACE within 28 days rule she did exceptionally well. Looking further back to the form of Medici Pearl last season she was a third place in the Spring Cup, third in a Listed event over a tough 10f behind Lady Jane Digby and a winner of the Hamilton event that she was recently successful in again this time around.

Her win in the Hamilton race was off a mark of 87 and her third placing in the Spring Cup was off a mark of 90. She runs today off a mark of 87 and with ground to suit there is absolutely no reason she cannot be amongst the principles at the finish. It is useful that regular jockey David Allan is in the saddle as he is responsible for all her eight career wins. John Egan rode her to place in last seasons Spring Cup and you have to wonder had a jockey who was accustomed to her been in the saddle - would she not have been the winner? Interesting chance and 9-1 odds with BET365 are fair.

The only other affair at York that catches my eye is the Coral Sprint Trophy run over 6f at 3.55. This is a heritage handicap set to be contested by no less than 20 runners. It is worth pointing out that the bulk of runners ran in the Ayr Silver or Gold Cups which relates well to trends as 8 of the last 9 winners had previously run in those races. Of interest is perhaps me pointing out the only winner of this race not to contest a race previously at Ayr was Borderlescott who went onto be a G1 class horse and who incidently was the only 3yo to prove successful in the last decade. That would suggest that for any of the younger entrants to be a winner here they need to be Group class in waiting and its quite plausible to suggest there are none of that age group in this field that fit into that category.

The one I am willing to gamble on at healthy odds is Able Master who has proven his capabilities in the past when on a mark like this. Rated just 95 now having been rated 105 this time last season he looked a noteworthy applicant for a race such as this after his prominent showing in the recent Ayr Silver Cup.

After reviewing that run it was worth noting that he was on the slower paced side of the track as Manassas absolutely blazed a trail on the far side which meant all the horses on the stands side had to play catch up. In the end a lack of fitness told as Able Master was being scrubbed along mid race to try and sustain his pace and it was only late on that he was running on. That was his fit outing in over 90 days so it was very respectable and with a break of just 21 days since he will come to the stalls here in much better health. He seems to prefer ground on the soft side of good and his best career effort came in 2009 when he was able to beat a Class 2 field by a landslide in a handicap on this very track off a mark of 95. His nearest challenger in rain softened ground that day was Kaldoun Kingdom and that rival was rated 89 that day. A year on and Kaldoun Kingdom comes here rated 105 which is a hefty 16lb more. As for Able Master he has been intelligently placed and comes here off exactly the same mark. A chance? Not half! With the dry day in prospect conditions could be absolutely ideal come 3.55!

Over at Ascot it looks a good days racing but only one race gives me an inclination to have an interest in and that comes in the 3.40 Stakes. A race run over 1m 4f which this year will be contested in soft ground which means the stiff Ascot test could prove too much for some of this years runners.

With that imprinted in my mind there is a horse I already made a note of earlier this season featuring here and that is Siberian Tiger. A solid middle distance runner also capable over hurdles. A stiff Ascot 1m 4f will bring no problems for Siberian Tiger off an incredibly low handicap rating of just 91. This horse "powered" away to win a soft ground handicap at Goodwood in 2008 off a mark of 96 and has since run good races off ratings over 100. In 2009 the horse concentrated on hurdles but after improvement in spring over hurdles he has reverted back to the flat for two races prior to the outing today.

In the first of those two outings he was 4th in the Queen Mother's Lady Amateur riders event at York. He had to carry a colossal 10st 7lb around and with an inexperienced lady jockey aboard it was a very strong effort under topweight. Siberian Tiger was then given three months off the track before contesting a Doncaster handicap over the same trip. For this event he was given a mark of just 93 and ran respectably considering his lengthy absence. He was not mentioned by me that day as all his previous wins had come when he had been given a spin less than 40 days previously. It made no sense to be interested in him with the 90 day absence. However he ran very well and could have finished closer but for having his effort hampered late on. The 8th place finish did him little justice but the bonuses were it gave him another 2lb compensation in the handicap and with the ground being good it meant he could race off a lower rating next time out in probable more favourable softer ground. Today is the day that everything fits into place so if the horse is good enough - he wins! Prompter has to be the main danger running for an age group that prosper in this event. He ran a solid race over C&D most recently and Martin Lane takes off 3lb due to his 2lb rise in rating. He will be thereabouts but I am more keen on Siberian Tiger who has a few things going for him here....

Hope you enjoy todays racing - I am off to Gigg Lane today to watch Bury FC who are offering £5 entry to all football fans on production of a SEASON TICKET for any Football League team. I have nabbed someone's Man Utd ticket to get in cheap! If you live within 20 miles and fancy some top of the table lower league action for a Lancashire derby between Bury and Accrington then get yourself to Gigg Lane before 3pm!

Pundit Pointers:

2.15 - YORK - Medici Pearl (9-1 BET365)

3.55 - YORK - Able Master (15-1 Betfair)

3,40 - ASCOT - Siberian Tiger (13-1 Betfair)
Cover with Prompter (7-1 Various)

Friday, 8 October 2010

Quiet Times

Not had a bet this week. I have not even had an urge or a read of the form book since last weekend and I am heavily considering having a rest for my first weekend in ages for the forthcoming weekend. I have made sure I am out Saturday afternoon but it is still plausible that I may have a little review of the form guide in the early morning to see if I can find one or two tasty looking selections.

Not hit the winners enclosure much really since a wicked spell of good fortune / good selecting a few weeks ago. Harrison George was a comforting early priced 12-1 winner the other weekend but in my own mind I am just missing the bullseye. I am not even close to the bullseye in all honesty so perhaps a fresh approach in a weeks time is what is now required.

I had a very brief look at Friday for York and noted Jamie Spencer has a nice book of rides. Three and all are in with chances - even his rank outsider Esprit De Midas in the 3.20 I feel has claims. This horse is noticeably improved when given a soft surface and he is over 50-1 on Betfair due to the fact he was last on his most latest outing at the dodgy, sharp and turning track that is Chester. Many a horse can be forgiven a below average effort there and so any big price is overpriced to me. It is never a favoured tactic to be held up at Chester in any case.

Looking through the form guide it is a consideration that Esprit De Midas has had limited exposure to 7f on turf yet is a TRIPLE winner over the distance on artificial surfaces. One of his more recent starts at Newcastle on turf however over 7f was reacted to with RP commenting

"Esprit De Midas has now shaped well on his last two starts. He was given too much to do after being ridden with more restraint than usual back up in trip. He finished best of all and is one to keep in mind"

Even without those comments the horse is registered with me as an interesting and overpriced selection. Perhaps a small defection from my self imposed betting week long exile could be worthwhile......

Good luck if you play!

Pundit Pointer:

3.20 - Esprit De Midas (54-1+ on Betfair)

Jamie Spencer rides in general look above average at York. Enjoy.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Sunday Longchamp Bets

Further to the bet planned in the Abbaye that I have mentioned in an earlier post this morning I still have three more instances of planned activity.

These are:

2.20 - Qatar Prix De La Foret (Group 1)
3.05 - Qatar Prix De L´Arc De Triomphe (Group 1)
4.35 - NYSE Euronext Prix De L´Opera (Group 1)

In the Prix De La Foret race I have settled on a sizeable bet yesterday evening on Siyouni who has not had things go according to plan this season at the mile trip but who could be seen in better light back at 7f where she is already a G1 winner. The 9-4 price about Goldikova looks quite huge considering her achievements but this is her prep ready for another tilt at the Breeders Cup mile and conditions will hardly suit her here. Also worth pointing out if not already noticed is Goldikova's Longchamp record.

In all Goldikova has raced at Longchamp on six occasions and from those six races her form figures read 221731. Now compare that record to her record AWAY from Longchamp which reads 1131111111112. Notice a slight difference? Considering the ground is also not in her favour today aswell as the track then I will not discuss further why I am resisting to place a bet on her at 9-4 odds.

Special Duty would appear to be a huge price at 14-1 but she has had her time already this year with luck in the Stewards room and I feel that Siyouni in the mud can show she is the better horse on the day. It is a tough fillie's G1 event but the 13-2 still holds some value and is worth a bet.

In the Prix De L´Arc De Triomphe feature G1 event it does not look a vintage renewal but still remains excessively competitive in which a host of horses could feature at the death. Noticeable statistics are the favourable 1-10 draw which normally accounts for the winner unless something special is unearthed. Other statistics are all very strong and include the winner already having been a G1 or multiple G1 winner, a last time out winner and aged 3 or 4.

Stick to those trends and you probably cannot go far wrong in this. My own instinct is to bet heaviest on Planteur (who was only 2nd last time out) but dutch Cape Blanco and Behkabad for a smaller profit return. Historical results sugges that well fancied horses stride to the fore in this race and there is a distinct lack of outsiders that have ever managed a shock result. These are undoubtedly in my mind the most talented individuals in the field at this trip and to split them is very difficult. My own mind just feels that Planteur can finally turn around form with Behkabad whether it be through an improved effort or the latter suffering from bad luck inrunning. However to ignore Behkabad completely would be silly and Cape Blanco has established himself now as the leading contender from Ireland in my view and he has big claims as well.

In the finale Prix De L´Opera a very quick historical check assures me that winners of this race almost definitely have to already been proven at a high level. Previous G1 placed horses or G2 winners have won all the recent renewals and have been aged 3 or 4. Stacelita in soft ground should be difficult to beat and the 2-1 about her chance is value considering there is only Antara in the field that worries me. My own odds of Stacelita proving victorious are more in the region of 5-4 so the 2-1 needs to be snapped up. She could be very useful for a cheeky double or treble bet. Lucky 15 anyone?

Good luck!

Pundit Pointers:

2.20 - Siyouni (13-2 Bet365)

3.05 - Planteur - (13-2 various)
(dutch Behkabad 9-2 and Cape Blanco 11-1)

4.35 - Stacelita (2-1 various)

Longchamp Group 1 Frenzy - Arc Day!

Today see's the creme-de-la-creme of European horses (and some Japanese) take centre stage to fight out the biggest race of the racing calendar in the form of the Qatar Prix De L´Arc De Triomphe. On a day where the race is supported by no less than SIX other Group 1 races it is easy to see why it is the best single day on the racing calendar. Only numpties would argue that Dubai World Cup Day and Breeders Cup Day are bigger events. At least horses that win at Longchamp go on to win again! You listening Meydan?

Today's action starts early and I'll be honest from the start, if you want to bet in the 2yo G1's then do not look to me for advice. I have not watched a single 2yo race this season hardly so I know absolutely nothing on the subject this year. I never made profit on the age group in my whole life as favourites tend to do too well in my mind. However there are still FIVE other Group 1's on show and I am aiming bets in FOUR of those races so lets get started.

My first anticipated bet comes in the Qatar Prix De L´Abbaye De Longchamp (Group 1). Tom Segal has caused a mass gamble on Marchand D'Or and it is not the first time he has tipped it up this season only for it to go and flop. I am going to hope for the same and considering 7yo's have a very sparse success rate in the contest I am content to do so.

The Abbaye has a long historical roll of honour involving UK based trainers. John Hammond who won it for the French back in 2001 was even British born so including himself then 9 of the last 10 renewals were won by the UK.

There is no doubt some very hot speedsters amongst this field but it is worth pointing out the ground will be at its softest after a French deluge this week identical to the one we have been having in most parts of the UK.

There is one electrifying statistic that needs to be observed regarding the fact that EVERY winner of this race in the last decade had managed to win a 6F race in their career already. This is a statistic unlikely to break this year due to the fact that in the soft ground stamina will be at a premium and any horse only capable of 5f should wilt in the final furlong.

With that statistic it is clear to see why Tom Segal has come to his conclusion as Marchand D'Or is capable over both 6f and 7f which is a big advantage. It is on that note that I have placed my biggest bet in the race on European raider Amico Fritz. He is only a young four year old which admittedly is a negative when it comes to this race as 8 of the last 10 winners have been aged 5 or 6. However he has improved this season which is what I was looking for most in my betting recruit. He won a G3 at Hoppegarten in June before he had a tilt at the very competitive Golden Jubilee at Ascot in ground that was way too quick for this animal. As a result he could only grab 5th but it was a taking effort where despite the quick ground he still headed other notable horses such as Marchand D'Or, War Artist, Prime Defender and Total Gallery.

He superceded that effort however last time out which is the biggest reason I am keen to see if he can progress once more here and win his race. His Group 2 win at Baden-baden was an excellent prep run to win quite nicely in a race contested by reopposing rival Gilt Edge Girl. The one iffy factor perhaps is whether the selection will have enough speed considering this is his first attempt at a 5f trip. My thinking though is with the ground as BAD as it will be that this will run like a 6f race so it should not matter and it could end up that his outside stall 20 means he can run on the outside where the ground will not be as cut up. It is only a theory and perhaps some guesswork but 24-1 BETFAIR odds have handsome appeal for me.

My cover bet is on the British improver Prohibit. He is a workmanlike horse who always tries his best and he deserves to be successful on this step up to G1 company. His preparation run at Newbury was excellent and he was a staying on third. This extra 1f trip should not be a negative as he has shown earlier in his career that 6f holds no worries and since he has become an improved horse over the summer he could end up pretty close indeed in this muddy race. Prohibit was going to by my original selection but the German raider does indeed have more in his favour despite the draw so Prohibit has been relegated to my cover bet in those circumstances.

Best of luck.

(Update for rest of Longchamp will appear in a new post before 1pm)

Pundit Pointer:

12.35 - Amico Fritz (24-1 Betfair)

12.35 - Prohibit (27-1 Betfair) *Cover Bet*

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Harrison George Keeps Me Clinging On To Sanity

Just as my confidence was ebbing away and I was beginning to come to the conclusion that I just am not reading the form precisely or consistently at the moment - Harrison George steps up to the plate to win a nice sum for me in decisive fashion. Early Betfair odds of 12-1 made it a pleasurable winning sum but other selections on the day were frankly - same old, same as... bloody awful!

I still believe something is amiss in my brain at the moment and I'm just not clicking with the form guide. Tomorrow should be one of my favourite racing days of the year with no less than SEVEN Group 1's at Longchamp to ponder upon. As it happens though I am wondering whether to quarantine myself from betting as the ground will be at its muddy worst and my access to television pictures is none existent unless I go raid my mothers abode or have a casual jog to and from the local betting shop and look stingy by not placing a bet. (Sorry Totesport but you are cretins at providing me with likable odds).

I will see how I feel and fair in my mindset in the morning but I am reluctant to place any bets unless I am ALMOST certain that my horse will be thriving and putting his/her best foot forward on the day. If I am backing a big price, the worst result I want is "ooouch CLOSE!!"

Check back for an update in the morning!

Happy betting.

Smokey Oakey - Cambridgeshire Surprise?

The Cambridgeshire today run at Newmarket is set to go at 3.40 today with no less than 35 runners declared to race. Thankfully it is a wide track and due to the severity of the pace it takes a horse with proven stamina generally to win and a more often than not a horse that has been patiently ridden for a late surge.

One market mover today is Credit Swap from massive odds but he is unproven over a strongly contested nine furlongs so I will readily ignore him.

My intriguing fancy is Smokey Oakey who is trained by Mark Tompkins. His trainer interestingly writes on his website:

"One runner today, Smokey Oakey in the Cambridgeshire, who has been a marvellous servant to us and is still in good form. He lost his action completely last time at Goodwood and, I don't like to say it, but the ground today will be very similar. They have raced on it for two days and there will be plenty of runners today to open it up before the Cambridgeshire comes under orders. I am just hoping he can run a good race and I have fitted the visors for the first time to help him concentrate."

He has been a top class horse in his time and proved himself a worthy winner of a Group 3 contest over 10f as a four year old. He showed his true liking for cut in the ground when a staying on 4th in the Lincoln handicap earlier this year. He was unwittingly last in last seasons renewal of the Cambridgeshire but it was run on good to firm ground and he was rated 102. It was always going to be an impossible task but rated just 92 for this seasons race and with soft ground assured he could be interesting. A first time visor could bring about the 3 or 4lb improvement that is required to be right in amongst the front runners at the death. 49-1 at Betfair makes it a very tempting bet. It is worth noting that there has been a small trickle of bets being placed on him and he has come down in odds quite steadily from the 79-1 that was matched a couple of days ago.

Pundit Pointer:

3.40 - Smokey Oakey - (49-1 Betfair)

Keep It Simple - Saturday Preview

Not the best of weeks so far and so not very impressed with myself at the moment and obviously had my confidence wilt partially. However it is a new day and today could be the start of another winning streak so I am not to be disheartened yet.

Today the racing on offer worth viewing comes from Newmarket and Recar. Newmarket is SOFT but will not reach heavy thankfully and Redcar is GOOD to SOFT. Not my ideal betting conditions are either track but we shall have to wait and see how we get on.

First up I have decided to study Redcar and once again instantly I notice Racingpost have completely messed up and highlighted the INCORRECT race for the recent winners of the Redcar Straight Mile Championship Final. It is disgusting how there is a membership fee for mistakes that could go unnoticed by some and cost people quite a large sum in losing bets!

For anyone who needs it the actual recent winners are as follows:

2009 - Collateral Damage - 6yo
2008 - Charlie Tipple - 4yo
2007 - Fragrancy - 3yo
2006 - Nanton - 4yo
2005 - Jubilee Street - 5yo

My selection is Celtic Change who may be able to get a lead amongst this field and perhaps set a steady pace in the rain softened ground. Lee Topliss claims 5lb which is very useful. Also worthy of noting that all of the above mentioned previous winners ran within 18 days last time out so you can possibly discard any runner who has not run in the last three weeks. Celtic Change also has a decent C&D record and was indeed second to last years winner Collateral Damage when that one had its warm up run at the track in the qualifier. The selection has won off marks of 78 and 79 previously so with Lee Topliss riding his mark he gets in here off 80 with the claim so its not beyond possibility that it could be his turn to strike. 10-1 to find out is worth it!

There is a fascinating Listed race at 4.35 entitled the Guisborough Stakes which is scheduled to be contested by 11 runners. Sir Gerry bless him comes into this race rated 114 which is absurd as he is no more than a 107 level of horse despite his recent second to an unlikely primed Delegator who was returning to the track after a years absence. He also suffers a Listed penalty for this race too which makes him stinking value at the prices.

There are a couple of talented Godolphin runners in the field but there is some doubt regarding the ground with Skysurfers and the stable's main contender Kingsfort has not run for 385 days and having never run for Godolphin previously with there being no proof that this three year old has trained on from the age of two I would not be keen at 2-1 odds in backing this Group 1 winner.

A horse that I do like and who could achieve much better than he has done of late is Harrison George who is stepping back down to Listed company after two recent Group spins. He looked formidable at Haydock in July in similar ground conceding a lump of weight to a few rivals weight in the early hundreds. Off level weights here and in ground that should not prove a problem he can pose a threat at his odds of 12-1 (Betfair). It would be a delight to see this horse return to his best which was not too long ago.

Over at Newmarket there is a Group 1 treat for fillies on offer which is often a benefit for 3yo's. In the last decade only two older horses have provided us with the winner so it does make me lean towards the younger generation for this 3.00 Sun Chariot Stakes event. Music Show is a honest battler and a real Group 1 performer. Newmarket is also her track and she has shown her career best efforts at the venue prior to today. She was ridiculously unlucky with the draw in the Guineas but put that behind her later in the season with a supreme showing in the Falmouth Stakes to win as cosily as you like. She is a fascinating horse who should not prove too inconvenienced by the very soft going as she has shown previously that she is as good on any ground. Hopefully very soft ground will still show her to be effective here. 5-1 is a fair price.

Next up is the dreaded Cambridgeshire which really is not for the easily petrified as there are 35 runners and you may as well just stick a pin in the racecard to be truthful as proven by Spanish Don at 100-1 in 2004 winning the famous race.

I will however endeavour to spend some time reading through each individual runner and put forward my most fancied and best value selection later on in a new blog post. So come back!

The last race on my agenda is late on in the 4.50 Class 2 handicap. Only two horses older than 4yo have been successful in the last decade so tread carefully would be the advice with ageing horses here. Linnens Star is far from unexposed and is a tempting bet at 19-1 on Betfair. Stall one is offputting but he has form which suggests he could make up into a 95+ rated horse so todays mark of 87 is fair. Questions have to be asked about the ground but he appears to glide rather than pummel the race track so it could be very much in his favour. Stamina for a soft ground mile is perhaps up for debate but at 19-1 you are never certain about anything. Interesting.

Pundit Pointers:


2.45 - Celtic Change (10-1 Bet365)

4.35 - Harrison George (12-1 Betfair)


3.00 - Music Show (5-1 various)

4.50 - Linnens Star (19-1 Betfair)

Friday, 1 October 2010

Newmarket Day Two - Alexandros The Bet

Treacherous yesterday with a stunningly TRAGIC bet on Ted Spread who laboured home a mile behind the winning favourite Harris Tweed. So bad was his performance that the horse was seen signing his deed poll form at the local BHA office to re-establish his name as Ted Dead post race.

However in usual self-importent style I have brushed myself down, realigned my pupils and steadied myself on another bet for Day Two of the Cambridgeshire meeting.

Lets get back on track please.

Today my bet comes in the 1.55 Nayef Joel Stakes (Group 3). A race over a mile contested by some typical improving sorts but some very decent and already establish Group class individuals.

Alexandros is my idea of the winner considering the test that is likely to be on offer. With rain expected it could see it becoming markedly soft though it might just be possible that the rain will have not arrived to its full extent by off time.

People may have forgot but Alexandros was a very unlucky loser last year in GROUP 1 company when Mr Dettori lost his whip close home in the Lockinge Stakes. A Group 3 winner in Meydan earlier in the year showed that a solid level of form remains and unpenalised for that win he could be a solid option in a race that ticks plenty of boxes for him.

Godolphin are worthy of note in this race also as they have scooped a two winners and a second place in the last four renewals. Alexandros is being aimed at better races at the end of the year but back from a break and freshened up he can run a big race for a yard in form.

Pundit Pointer:

1.55 - Alexandros (9-2 with Sportingbet)