Wednesday, 30 November 2011

December Mission Impossible

A recent laptop sale at Dell had me spending vast fortunes on Sunday despite the failure to secure any profit from my betting the previous afternoon. Planet Of Sound ran well but not well enough to win me the £760 tally which is what I required in order to buy my latest toy. Now I am needing December to be kind so that I can recoup my minor Hennessy woes and retrieve my purchasing expenses. Easier said than done but I will make it my mission to succeed.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Latest News

My early Welsh National hope ANY CURRENCY is being targeted at the Otkritie London National (Handicap Chase) (Class 2) at Sandown this weekend. At present with the insertion of Deep Purple as a possible topweight he will carry 10st 10lbs for the contest on what is likely to be good ground.

I am in two minds regarding this entry and what it entails for his Welsh National prospects. However with this contest 30 days prior to the Welsh National it could prove the ideal prep run for a horse that has been off the track some 385 days. I will watch with interest but with 6 of the last 7 previous winners of the London National having already ran once or twice that season the trends are against him making a winning return.

Meanwhile I have been doing some initial homework on the Spinal Research The Atlantic 4 Gold Cup (A Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) which is scheduled for Saturday 10th December at Cheltenham. Another absorbing and competitive field look set to take part which includes the recently selected Quantitativeeasing. He features on my initial shortlist alongside several others which I hope to decipher into a relative small number closer to race day. I will keep you posted if I decide upon a large Antepost bet.

Saturday, 26 November 2011


That is what you get when betting big in a handicap I guess. No matter how much you get absorbed and confident in your selection there is often somethingelse lurking at the foot of the weights ready to kill your chances. Planet Of Sound is the subject this evening of my disappointment but I can take nothing from the effort and class he showed when fending off all the young pretenders in behind him to finish 2nd. The winner was Carruthers who was dangerously handicapped but too prone to erratic jumping to feature heavily in my winning thoughts prior to the race.

I will bounce back, I did end up having a small fund on the place so the loss was not a menacing one but this is not the first time I have just been pipped at the post having punted heavily on Quantatitiveeasing two weeks ago who also finished 2nd in the Paddy Power Gold Cup. Inbetween I suppose I have to be grateful for the wins of Overturn and the miracle Kauto Star performance which was in many ways lucky on my part (only expected that one to place).

There will be plenty to come over Winter as I target specific bets as a quality over quantity approach will be used this season. As things stand ANY CURRENCY in the Welsh National at Chepstow is on my imminent radar but as I discussed earlier this week I need to see him back on track before that race to have more confidence in him. Hopefully he is shaping up well and we see him out in the next fortnight over hurdles then we can start to bet heavily on another selection!

Keep the faith!

Hennessy Gold Cup - Final Thoughts

Earlier this week I made my selections early for the Hennessy Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) and not much has changed over the week to alter my mind. You can read my initial thoughts on the race by clicking HERE and hopefully events will unfold in my favour.

I will not be betting in any supporting events either at Newbury or elsewhere. There is some nice racing action on at Newcastle but the betting offers little angle for value seeking. The supporting contests at Newbury are quite trappy and I am going to spend my time before racing working out a low cost Scoop 6 combination that can help me retire early! If only.......

Best of luck today and just to clarify that despite the present odds that Planet Of Sound is my favoured choice in the Hennessy. I have a huge stake involved which I am letting ride out without a trade. This is a risky play but I feel he is nicely weighted if he can show his best form. It is a gamble as the wind operation may not have been a total success as we have no proof until he is flat out and competing in a tough race like this. Meanwhile Wayward Prince is a tough sort but he offers absolutely no value now in the market and probably has a fractionally less of a chance than Planet Of Sound.

Great Endeavour is the best backed horse as we head in to the race but with stamina questions to answer I am prepared to leave the race and go gung-ho with my two antepost bets.

Good luck to anyone chancing their luck with a Scoop 6 line!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Gentleman Anshan

A subtly intriguing horse named Gentleman Anshan takes to the track on Friday to contest a moderate 2.35PM Stowford Press Handicap Chase. Despite the lack of apparent class in the race this horse is the star of one of the smallest stables currently training National Hunt horses. Trained by Rosemay Gasson the family run stable has only a modicum of horses to brag about but Gentleman Anshan made a satisfactory reappearance earlier this month despite being the last finisher in a 3m Class 4 handicap at Ludlow.

Quick ground at Doncaster will not be an issue on Friday and after his recent spin the handicapper has relented by lowering his mark by 2lb. Considering the run was obviously just a non-triers gallop I feel they will be trying much harder this time around over what is perhaps a more adequate trip for the horse.

There appears to be value at the 10-1 Ladbrokes offer and therefore I am content to release funds from my betting bank for what normally would be a race below the quality threshold that I am happy to get involved in.

Pundit Pointer:


2.35 - Gentleman Anshan (0.5pts EACH WAY @ 10-1 Ladbrokes)

Newbury - 2.45 Leading Contender

One final thought before bedtime has left me in the mindset that LEADING CONTENDER can be the answer to what looks a fiendishly difficult puzzle in the 2.45PM Sportingbet Handicap Chase (Class 3) on Thursday. This gelding has been off the track for 292 days with this likely to be a race connections try to win before heading under a hopeful penalty to Chepstow for an unlikely successful tilt at the Welsh National.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Welsh National - Early Prediction

The Welsh National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) is the final big staying test of the annual calendar unless the inclement weather takes over and the race is abandoned. This year will indeed be the second Welsh National of 2011 due to the original December 27th 2010 date being postponed due to such an occurrence. A few horses chose not to take part in the rescheduled race and as such it was won for the first time in a decade by a horse who had not previously placed in a Graded chase. However the winner Synchronized had won the Midlands National which is a Listed handicap chase so his class was still self evident. The first lesson for punters though as we search for the early value in the market is to only consider horses who have shown a very strong piece of form and who has proven themselves over a National type trip.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Liking the Sound of Planet

After an abolition of the form guide yesterday evening I have spent much of today in contentment by virtue that I could well be on the correct path towards glory this coming Saturday. For this weekend the prize asset for horse racing enthusiasts is finding the winner of the Hennessy Gold Cup Handicap (Grade 3). Whilst Wayward Prince looks a tough sort who has been primed at this race it would appear that I am vividly more excited by the prospect of a returning Planet Of Sound in this feature contest.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Hennessy Gold Cup - Early Thoughts

This weekend all eyes are on Newbury for the Hennessy Gold Cup Chase Handicap (Grade 3). An ultra competitive 20 runner handicap that can sometimes be a good pointer towards the Grand National later in the season. What we need to be successful here is simply find a stayer who does not mind running close to the pace. Second season chasers hold most of the aces as they have accounted for seven of the last ten winners of this race. These have included Diamond Harry (2010), Denman (2007), State Of Play (2006), Trabolgan (2005) Celestial Gold (2004) and Strong Flow (2002). A list of horse names that can at worst be described as of very high quality indeed. My thoughts this year hopefully will point us in the direction of the winner.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Punchestown Could Be Fully Funded

I have decided this season to use the service provided by the Press Association to my advantage this season and add the horses that catch my eye that may either be well handicapped, running in the wrong conditions and running over the wrong trip. There are many other circumstances in which I may add an interest and all runners that I do add to my personal list are to make sure I do not forget when their next outing is! This service is a MUST for all enthusiasts and is totally free. Use it wisely!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Saturday Racing - Betting Plans

In what is just planned as a quick follow up to yesterdays late evening blog update I am now ready to finalise just what bets I feel are worthy of consideration at both Haydock and Ascot. Read on for a quick spotlight style preview of each bet I am planning but do not forget to read Friday's post as a reminder more fully of my main Haydock interests.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Racing Preview - Early Look At Saturday

The big guns are out in force this weekend at both Haydock and Ascot. I am planning my own small excursion to go enjoy the racing on offer where Kauto Star will try and prove his doubters wrong in the BETFAIR CHASE (Grade 1) with retirement lurking in the not too distant future should he fail to find his spark. My own gut feeling is that he could well run his rival Long Run very close indeed having been prepared for this race as his seasonal target. So much so was my interest early this week that I decided that whilst Kauto Star was still available at 8-1 with 8 runners declared he remained a value Antepost offering. With the full knowledge the field would cut up and that the 3 PLACES would remain for Antepost bets placed I now go to the venue knowing a decent run in the top three will generate me a return. It will also be the first time I have  ever placed a bet on the great ex-champion as I have always been a punter looking to get him beat or find the each way value behind him. Whatever the outcome it will be a privilege just to watch him race once more knowing that it may well be his final outing in the North of England and possibly the final outing of his career if things do not turn out as expected. With Diamond Harry, Weird Al and Time For Rupert three aspiring heirs to the thrown it will be difficult for Kauto but his experience, guile and physicality could just keep his rivals at bay. Long Run will be a much tougher challenge but Kauto is undoubtedly a star and could bring the house down with some good fortune.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Racing from Cheltenham and Fontwell

Close but no cigar yesterday with an interesting performance in the Paddy Power Gold Cup from Quantitativeeasing who finished 2nd at 20-1SP. Personally I had been getting more and more confident about his chance as the minutes ticked by and he became one of my biggest ever bets by race time despite his massive odds. When there is value after all you should not be put off by the price! Ultimately I had stood to win 2.5k had he won but it was not to be and due to some place bets and an inrunning win lay I scraped together 1/10th of my intended profit.

Despite not winning it has brought back a confidence that has been AWOL these last couple of months and a renewed enthusiasm for the sport. For Great Endeavour to win as well as he did it perhaps was not a quality renewal but I imagine the first three home (Divers in 3rd) yesterday are well worth following this season when their prices are rewarding.

Today sees us challenged with the Greatwood Hurdle from Cheltenham and an interesting if unspectacular Southern National from Fontwell. There are several high quality support races and some very intriguing Graded events in Ireland this afternoon as an extra bonus. Perhaps this may well be one of the best Sunday's on the UK racing calendar.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Paddy Power Gold Cup (Grade 3) Selection

The Paddy Power Gold Cup (Grade 3) Handicap Chase is a supreme test of speed, agility and temperament with the additional influx of stamina to fight off all challengers up the famous hill finish. It is a blistering race each year full of excitement with notable talking points and the roll of honour includes some greats including the ill fated Exotic Dancer, Our Vic, Celestial Gold and future Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander. Here is how I have found this years best bet and hopeful winner of the race.

Need To Improve

Recent months have been bleak and my enthusiasm at times as dwindled due to the mayhem that seems to have surrounded Horse Racing these last few months. This afternoon though the jumps season offers one of its finest days racing and I am keen to solve the riddle posed more specifically by the Paddy Power Gold Cup (Grade 3) Handicap Chase. I was massively keen on blogging the chances of Cape Tribulation but thought I should wait until final declarations were made in case the trainer Malcolm Jefferson did anything daft.... and as expected with the way events have been going he withdrew the well handicapped gelding as he felt the ground would be too firm. Since that moment it has rained galore at Cheltenham and had Cape Tribulation been involved this afternoon he would have had his OPTIMUM conditions. Some would call it unlucky but it always looked likely to rain Friday / Saturday and so the decision to pull out has to deemed a hopeless one! I was very disappointed and now a new challenge awaits me as I try to find a replacement bet with favourite Mon Parrain at the head of the market suffering from some severe lays this morning. A shock result could be on the horizon but which horse will enjoy conditions best? Which will be race fit? And which is best handicapped?

Hopefully I can find these answers out before racing begins at 2PM! I was out heavily drinking last night so any selections I make this afternoon perhaps will need treating with utmost caution!

Remember to check back later.

Saturday, 5 November 2011


I am going to be analysing the form and providing live updates via my laptop this evening of the Breeders' Cup races from Churchill Downs. Europeans are desperate for a winner but with no easy races and so far a lot of bad luck we begin to wonder whether it will happen............

Remember this post will be getting updated throughout the evening with most of my selections made shortly before each race I plan to bet in.

Wincanton Bets

A couple of National Hunt types catch the eyes this afternoon. None more so than HANDY ANDY in the 2.15PM Rising Stars Novices´ Chase Grade 2 at Wincanton. Ideally I would prefer to bet on this horse over a distance closer to 3m and with definite SOFT ground but the ground this afternoon will be far from riding quick and the trip this afternoon at 2m 5f could still be quite useful given the likely conditions.

November Handicap

There is racing on Saturday across the whole spectrum with flat racing both home and abroad courtesy of Doncaster here and the Breeders Cup at Churchill Downs later this evening. Meanwhile some healthy and likeable action comes from both sides of the Irish Sea with Down Royal in Ireland hosting an early season monster race and Wincanton giving an outing to some interesting types.

Today is a day where racing should prosper so lets hope the same effect can be had on my betting accounts!
Searching for the best bets with so many races will be tough but I will try and narrow down the possibilities to those I am generally quietly keen on who I feel are a favourable price.

Here I start my day with a tilt at the November Handicap from Doncaster. A very interesting race featuring a large field. Favourites usually do very poorly which is just my kind of race to get involved in!

Late Starter Today

As I was awake until late last night I am starting late this aftenoon on my form analysis. Any selections I make for the initial early stages of todays racing will be online prior to Channel 4 starting their television coverage of events. I will also be supplementing my afternoon betting by diving into the minefield of Breeders Cup action this evening. I was terribly close to backing a longshot on Friday night having watched a video of Perfect Shirl's most recent performance I was impressed with the 28-1 shot. I was so impressed I watched it three times but then set about searching for some trainer thoughts. The trainer eventually put me off after he had said in an interview the horse would be "better next year". His enthusiasm for his chances was remote.... I was kicking myself after the event when Perfect Shirl stormed infront of the Filly and Mare Turf (Group 1) event but we live and we learn.

It was noticed too that the trainer was British as Roger Attfield was born in Newbury prior to emigrating. No wonder he put me off I suppose! At least there was one British trained winner on a bleak first night for European raiders. Though that one winner does strictly still belong to the USA.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

OISEAU DE NUIT - Haldoun Gold Cup

There is a fine race in prospect this afternoon with the 2.50PM running of the Betfred Haldon Gold Cup Chase (Limited Handicap) Grade 2 at Exeter. Alot of eyes will be staring closely at the likes of Grade race superstars Captain Chris, Medermit and Ghizao and whilst they have plenty of ability it does need to be confirmed that this is a handicap when all said and done.

I repeatedly have to point this out but in a handicap we want to look for the best 'handicapped' horse and not just the best horse in the race.

Whilst Cornas and Zaarito also both have claims I think that Oiseau De Nuit may surprise a star studded field under the calm guidance of 7lb claimer Stephen Clements. He rode this emerging star in two of his finest runs last season when coolly winning the Grand Annual Handicap (Grade 3) at Cheltenham before suffering ill fortune and only finishing 2nd next time out in the Red Rum Handicap (Grade 3) at Aintree. This may be a step up in class but it could be that his trainer has primed him in the knowledge this could be his only chance to beat the rising stars before him.

The booking of the claimer is a favourable plus having seen Joe Tizzard booked for the ride earlier in the week. If he is anywhere near his best for a debut effort of the season then he surely will not be far away with the aid of his claiming rider and is a rewarding price for those choosing to play.

Pundit Pointer:

2.50 - Oiseau De Nuit (1pt WIN @ 12-1 Betfair)