Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Thursday November 30th


Whos my Jockey ran a good race at Towcester – but was no match for Bastien.
He was one of the nominated dangers – and was well backed early.
Support for him dried up, close to the off – but it didn’t prevent him from coming home a decisive winner…

In the previous race on the card, Some Finish rewarded sustained support.
He was 8/1 early last night: 7/2 first thing this morning: 3/1 at lunchtime – and 9/4 at the off !
Confidence like that is rarely misplaced…

One of Us was a bit keen at Taunton – and paid the price late on.
He’ll be of more interest next time; whilst Captain Buck’s was no match for Lovely Job, in the novice handicap chase.

It was interesting to see that the winner was backed in to 5/4 at the off (the price he was last night), having drifted to 7/4 at lunchtime…

Affair D’Honneur was weak in the market at Musselburgh – which is always a concern when a horse is returning after an issue.
He never looked comfortable in the race and finished well beaten.

You would need to see him show something, before you could consider following him.

By contrast, Silver Concorde was very strong (he too was returning after issues) – and he duly bolted up in the novice hurdle.
There are certain situations, where you really do have to listen to the market…

That’s it for the blog this week, I’m afraid…
It’s not been the best of weeks (racing wise – or preview wise !) – but that can happen when you reach the depths of winter…

There’s a busy weekend ahead - starting tomorrow at Newbury – and I’ll be covering that fully for the main service.

Meanwhile, blog reader have got the joys of  Fakenham, Plumpton, Southwell and Lingfield to look forward to on Monday and Tuesday !

Have a good weekend !!

Lunchtime Update

Whos my Jockey has been surprisingly weak at Towcester.
It is a competitive race – but I suspect the main reason is because he was put in too short, last night.
He’s out to 3/1 now – in the face of support for Bastien and Now McGinty (the latter has been tipped by Andy Holding).
That’s quite a tempting price…

Conversely, Some Finish has been subject to significant support in the 1:10.
He was at least 8/1 in a place, last night – but you’ll struggle to beat 3/1 now.
As always, the key will be whether the support is maintained to the off…

At Taunton, One of Us has been stronger in the market than Silent Steps.
However, the key market movements are likely to come closer to the off.

Captain Buck’s has remained relatively solid in the market, as support has come for Joe Farrell.
I do like him – but Rebecca Curtis is struggling a bit atm – which is off putting.
Lovely Job is weak in the market – but as with Whos my Jockey, that’s probably because he was put in too short, last night.

At Musselburgh, Affaire D’Honneur is in to 11/8 – helped by a couple of non runners.
He looks very solid though.

Similarly, Silver Concorde is now odds on (4/6) from even money last night.
There is no doubt that he could be different class to his rivals – and the market vibes suggest that he’s ready to do a job…

Unlike the past few days, there are a good few options for the lunchtime Nap.
I was hoping to go to Musselburgh for Affair D’Honneur or Silver Concerde – but both have been backed a bit too short this morning (though I do think both are the most likely winners).

Instead, I’m going to go to Towcester and take on the most competitive race of the day !
I think Whos My Jockey is going to take a lot of beating – and 3/1 is now a reasonable price.

Lunchtime Nap: Whos my Jockey 1:40 Towcester (Fair Price 3/1)

Evening Preview 

There are 4 NH meetings tomorrow: at Towcester, Taunton and Musselburgh in the UK – plus Thurles in Ireland.

I was maybe a little harsh in my earlier assessment of tomorrows racing.
It’s reasonable enough, for a midweek – with at least a couple of races of interest, at each of the UK courses (midweek racing in Ireland is generally a minefield best avoided – from a betting perspective, anyway !).

The best race of the day, probably takes place at Towcester, at 1:40.

It’s a really competitive handicap hurdle, in which last time winners of 3 decent events (for the grade), lock horns, in the shape of Brown Bear, Tempuran and Golan Future.
They are opposed by a couple of other interesting sorts, in Bastien and Now McGinty.
However, all 5 could be eclipsed by Who’s my Jockey.

He’s only 4 and carries a fair amount of weight, for winning a novice hurdle at Uttoxeter, last time – however, I suspect he could be up to the job…

It seems significant that Richard Johnson is riding at Towcester, when Philip Hobbs runs a few fancied ones at Taunton – and I suspect Who’s my Jockey, is the main reason…

The previous race on the card 1:10 is a poor event - and Classic Jewel has been installed a short priced favourite.
However, I’m quite interested in Some Finish.
He’s been badly out of form – but his handicap mark has now dropped to a point from which he can win.
The application of cheekpieces for the first time is interesting: as is the booking of Jack Quinlan (replacing a 7lb claimer).
He’s a risky one – but he certainly had the ability to win, if the changes can rekindle the old flame (and interestingly, he’s been backed, this evening).

The best race on the Taunton card, is probably the novice handicap hurdle, at 1:20.

Silent Steps has been installed favourite, on his first run for Paul Nicholls – and on the form of his final outing last season, that’s quite understandable.
That was at Ayr, where he finished second to Beer Goggles in a decent 15 runner handicap.
The winner is now rated 30lb higher than he was that day, so Silent Steps was clearly facing an impossible task.
By contrast, his mark has only been raised 1lb, so if he’s fit enough to do himself justice, he’s likely to take a lot of beating…

The other one of major interest in the race, is One of Us.
He’s also making his seasonal debut – but was very well backed on his penultimate outing last season, suggesting that connections think he’s a well handicapped horse.

I would expect the market to advise on which one of the pair is most likely to come out on top tomorrow…

Chasing debutante, Captain Buck’s interests me most in the next race on the card (1:50).
He’s got some decent hurdles form – and Nicholls horses generally jump well on their chasing debuts – particularly the younger ones (and he’s only 5).

Lovely Job has been installed favourite - but there must be a chance that Fergal O’Brien’s horses will get over backed at the moment, because he is having such a good run (and it can’t last forever !).

There are a couple of very interesting horses running at Musselburgh

The first is Affaire D’Honneur, who contests the novice handicap chase at 2:00.
He finished fourth in both the Betfair hurdle and the Imperial cup, the season before last – before disappointing last season.
However, he apparently had a back issue, for which he received treatment over the summer.
If that’s done the trick, then he should prove far too good for tomorrows opponents, as he’s dropped nearly a stone in the ratings.
It certainly seems significant that Harry Whittington sends him all the way to Musselburgh to run (presumably in search of decent ground).

Silver Concorde makes his debut for Keith Dalgleish in the next race (2:30).
He won the 2014 champion bumper at the Cheltenham festival, when under the care of Dermot Weld.
His career over hurdles hasn’t gone to plan – but he’s still got better form over hurdles than any of tomorrows rivals.
Again, if he’s back to anywhere near his best, I would expect him to win – and win easily…

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Wednesday November 29th


For completeness, a quick review of todays action…

At Wetherby, Secrete Stream was disappointing in the novice chase: never threatening to get to all the way winner, Captain Chaos.
It was a step backwards from his seasonal debut, at Carlisle…

Strawberry Spirit ran a fair race to finish fifth in the bumper – though she never looked likely to win...

At Hereford, Kings Tempest showed virtually nothing in the opener.
Warren Greatrex won’t be sleeping easy tonight !

More seriously, it’s difficult to know where they go with the horse now, as everything appeared to be thrown at him today.
I wouldn’t be surprised, if his next outing was for a different stable…

Tomorrows racing does look a little better – but it’s not the step improvement that I was hoping for !

Roll on the weekend and some decent action..!! 

Lunchtime Update

There’s nothing to report, in terms of price moves this morning, for todays horses of ‘interest’ – all have remained relatively stable in the market...

I don’t honestly feel that any of them warrant being napped – so there’ll be no Lunchtime Nap today – sorry !

I’m sure tomorrow will bring better…

Evening Preview 

There are 3 NH meetings tomorrow, at Wetherby and Hereford in the UK – plus Punchestown in Ireland.

However, there is precious little to get excited about – and if I’d not committed to offering some views on the day, I wouldn’t be bothering !

There is an official TVB eye catcher running at Wetherby – so I guess that’s something.

Secrete Stream runs in the novice chase at 12:55 - however, he only faces 3 rivals…
He ran a nice race on his seasonal debut at Carlisle – and if he can build on that, he has every chance of winning.

However, he’s a best priced 9/4 – and I really can’t get excited about that…

The only other race on the card that grabs me, is the bumper at 3:05 (which shows just how uninspiring it all is !).
In fairness, there are a few interesting runners in the race – headed by Jennifer Juniper and Oscar World.
The former is trained by Fergal O’Brien – and his recent strike rate in bumpers has been phenomenal: whilst the latter ran fourth on her debut in a Cheltenham bumper and this should be a fair bit easier…

That said, there are a few others of interest: particularly Dammit Janet, who is a very rare runner in the UK for Thomas Cooper – and Strawberry Spirit, for Amy Murphy.

I’m quite a fan of the Amy Murphy operation – with her runners generally still going under the radar.
Strawberry Spirit is an 11/1 shot this evening – and may be even bigger in the morning.
She’s the one that interests me most, at the prices…

There may be little of interest at Wetherby – but it’s even worse at Hereford and Punchestown !

In fact, the only other runner of interest that I can find on the day, is King’s Tempest.

He contests the opener at Hereford – and as some of you will recall, is the horse the that Warren Greatrex is relying on winning a race, to avoid him being shot !

I actually think he’s got a good chance of coming home in front tomorrow.
It’s a weak race: he’s having his first run over fences – sporting cheekpieces – and has Richard Johnson on the saddle.

There’s certainty sufficient to give cause for optimism – though Sydney de Baume and Sage Monkey could both prove troublesome rivals…

Aside from that however – it’s a day best left alone.

Hopefully Thursday will be better…

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Monday November 27th


As I said last night, it didn’t look easy to find bets today…

I tried to force a few at lunchtime, based on morning market moves – but that isn’t really the right way to do things.

A shortage of mid week tipping opportunities, was the main reason why I switched the focus of the main service to ‘Big’ races – and is why I cover the mid week races on this blog (just offering a few thoughts)…

The high light of the day turned out to be the victory of Brain Power.
I tipped him for the Arkle, a month ago, so I have been waiting for him to jump a fence in public – and thankfully, he didn’t disappoint.

I was a little concerned with his market weakness at lunchtime – but by the off he had been backed in to 1/2.

I suspect that was because neither of his main rivals actually wanted to beat him (it would have been disastrous for their handicap ratings !) – but he still had to do his part.

He fiddled a couple of fences – and was long at a few others – but overall, his jumping looked good.
Kempton is not as easy track to jump round – and he is very much work in progress – so in the circumstances, you had to be pleased.
Nicky Henderson was quite bullish about him post-race – which augurs well for the future.
His price for the Arkle was halved on the back of the run – with him now a best price of 10/1.

I suspect his main challenge will come from the other side of the Irish sea and I’ll be keeping a close eye on the Irish 2 mile novice chasers…

In the opener, Highway One O One got the better of the unexposed horses, who were  at the top of the market – but he was run out of things, by the horse who was quietly backed this morning…

The bottom line is that it’s very difficult to give away the 6lb winners penalty in these races – and he actually comes out the best horse in the race, at the weights.
However, he wasn’t first past the post (which is all that actually counts !).

I made Midnight Tour the Lunchtime Nap, on the back of a price drift this morning.
However, I think hers was a race where jockeyship made all the difference…

Richard Johnson grasped the nettle on Le Bague au Roi a long way from home and dictated his own fractions.
She’s a tough mare - and given the run of the race, she was always going to be hard to pass.

Meanwhile, Wayne Hutchinson got trapped behind horses, as the pace quickened rounding the home turn.
It probably cost Midnight Tour a couple of lengths - plus momentum.

The result may have been the same regardless – but the margin of victory certainly flattered the winner…

Finally, I found myself going round in circles with the handicap chase – and when that happens, it’s invariably best just to move on…

As it turned out, I was looking in completely the wrong place for the winner – as non of the horses I was interested in, featured at any point in the race…

I’m going to take tomorrow off – as there are just a couple of low key meetings at Sedgefield and Lingfield.

I plan to be back on Wednesday tho – so not too long to wait !

Lunchtime Update 

There have been some quite significant market moves this morning – and most of them not in the direction I was expecting ! (which always makes them interesting)…

In the opener, Highway One O one is very strong in the betting (in to 11/4 from 5/1) – suggesting his unexposed opponents may not be world beaters.
Further support is added to that theory, by the fact that the other well supported horse in the race, is relative outsider, Mister Malarky.

I now think that Highway One o One is likely to go very close…

Brain Power has been weak in the market for the novice chase.
Many of Nicky Hendersons runners have been needing an outing – and maybe that is  going to be the case with him as well.
I hope he’ll get away with it – but I certainly wouldn’t be piling in at 4/6…

Jers Girl has been very strong in the market for the mares hurdle race – but I think her price of 5/4 is now too short.
She has little in hand of Midnight Tour – yet that one can now be backed at 5/1 in places…

Finally, Favorito Buck’s has also been well backed in the handicap chase – again to a price which I think is too short (11/4).
There’s been no money for Gores Island (though I guess it could come late).

There has however been money for Forever Field – and that could be significant…

I was quite interested in him last time he ran, at Ludlow – but he was friendless in the market that day and ran accordingly.
He’s another one of Nicky Hendersons – so he may well have come on for that run.
Provided he doesn’t drift, close to the off, he’s the one I would be most interested in…

Lots of conflicting messages make choosing a Lunchtime Nap, difficult.
Highway One O One is now an option: as is Forever Field.
However, I’ve decided to go with Midnight Tour.
I can see no justification for such a drift – and she’s good value at 4/1 (or bigger)

Lunchtime Nap: Midnight Tour 2:00 Kempton (Fair Price 4/1)

Evening Preview

With Ayr lost to waterlogging, there are now just two meetings taking place tomorrow: at Kempton and Ludlow.

And in fairness, they are not bad meetings - for a Monday. Though finding any potential bets, isn’t easy..!

The better quality action takes place at Kempton - and there’s a TVB eye catcher running in the opening contest (12:50).

Highway One O One caught my eye when winning a maiden hurdle at Plumpton on his penultimate outing.
He’s since finished runner up to an unexposed horse at Fontwell – and it may be a similar story tomorrow…

When I suggested him as an eye catcher, it was in the hope that he would either be stepped up in class – or would run in a handicap.
Instead, he’s been asked to give weight away to completely unexposed horses, on both of his subsequent runs.

Whether he is able to do that, is a lottery – dependant on the ability of his rivals (which can’t be assessed).

Track, trip and ground should be fine for him tomorrow – and at 4/1, he’s almost an EW price. But whether he’ll be good enough to beat Burrows Edge, Potterman and Casterly Rock, is anyones guess…

In the second race on the card (1:20) Brain Power makes his eagerly awaited chasing debut…

He’s the third horse that I’ve tipped ante-post for the Cheltenham festival, to run in the past week or so – and if he can do as well as the first two (Apples Shakira and Lil Rockerfeller), then I’ll not be complaining !

As this will be the first time he’s jumped a fence in public, then everyone is guessing to an extent, with regard to how good he is.
However, he was borderline top class over hurdles – and has the size and scope to make an even better chaser.

It’s interesting that Nicky Henderson has chosen to start him in the same contest that Altior made his chasing debut.
Hopefully Brain Power can produce a novice season to match that of his illustrious stable companion !

As for tomorrow, then it won’t be easy, with both War Sound and Winter Escape, worthy adversaries.
That said, if he’s going to win an Arkle, he really needs to be brushing them aside - with contempt.

No pressure then !

The best race of the day, is the mares hurdle which takes place at 2:00.

I’ll be a bit surprised if the winner doesn’t come from the top 3 in the betting – even though all 3 are trying the trip for the first time.

Jers Girl and Midnight Tour are closely matched on ratings – and whilst Le Bague au Roi has about 7lb to make up on them, she may get the run of the race.

It’s not an easy one to call – but I suspect the market has it right, in making Irish raider Jers Girl the favourite.

I couldn’t really recommend backing her at 6/4 – but if she were to drift to beyond 2/1 tomorrow, then she would become interesting…

I can see myself struggling to find a Lunchtime Nap tomorrow (as was the case at the back end of last week).
In all probability, I will be looking to the handicap chase at 2:30.

I think a few of the runners can be eliminated – and Favorito Bucks appears the most likely winner to me, on the back of a promising run last time.

The other one to catch my eye, is Gores Island.
His recent form makes him risky - but he’s handicapped to just about win.

It’ll certainly be interesting to see what the market makes of his chances…

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Friday November 24th


It ended up quite an exciting afternoon – considering there were only 3 races under consideration…

In the first of them Ballotin was the mother of all drifters – out to 25/1 on BF at the off – and yet he should have won !

He travelled beautifully, but his inexperienced jockey got him racing too soon and he didn’t manage to get home.

He ended up a well beaten – if honourable - second…

The Lunchtime Nap, Antony, consistently jumped to his left in the 3:15 – as if he was feeling something.

Walk in the Mill had no such issues – and a tremendous jump at the last won him the race.
He’d been backed down to 8/1 at the off – a price more in line with his chance of winning…

In the final race of interest (3:50) – a shocking mistake by Midnight Maestro did for his chances at the very first flight.
Considering the race was won by Verdant Blue – and the 2 were handicapped to finish together - you have to think he would have gone very close without it.

The EW call on Eddiemaurice, went very close to collecting, as he finished a fourth.
That said, Skybet paid 4 places – so maybe a few of you backed him with them, and did collect !

That’s it on the blog, until next week – hope you all have a good weekend !

Lunchtime Update

The most significant market development this morning, is the drift on Ballotin in the 2:40 race.
He was 6/1 last night – which seemed fair – but he can now be backed at double that price, in places…

I’m pretty sure that is just an over-reaction to his last time out run in France – and he strikes me as a very good bet at 10/1 or greater…

Antony remains solid in the market for the 3:15 – where the support for Brandon Hill is a little concerning…

Walk in the Mill has also been supported (in to 11/1) – but I suspect that’s just because his price was too big, last night…

There’s not much to report in the 3:50 race – though Eddiemaruice is 25/1 in a couple of places – and that’s a decent EW bet.

Antony was always favourite for the Lunchtime Nap – but the drift on Ballotin coupled with the support for Brandon Hill, has made it quite a close call.

I’ll stick with my original plan – but I’ll definitely be backing Ballotin !

Lunchtime Nap: Antony 3:15 Ascot (fair price 3/1)

Evening Preview 

Generally speaking, I don’t intend to post on the blog on a Friday…

If there are ‘Big races’ taking place (as was the case last week), then I will aim to tip in them and cover them via the write-ups for the Main service.

If there aren’t any ‘Big races’ taking place, then I like to use Fridays to get ahead of the game - as Saturdays and Sundays are invariably manic !

However, I’m making an exception for tomorrow…

There’s a really good card, at Ascot – and whist there aren’t any races which I feel I can tip in, the final 3 contests are good quality handicaps – and there are even a couple of official TVB eye catchers running…

The first of those, is Ballotin – and he contests the handicap chase at 2:40.
He caught the eye, when winning at Wetherby on his UK debut, back in October.
I felt he won that day, despite a few things going wrong - and a 4lb rise in his handicap mark hardly seemed punitive…

He’s since run back in France, and disappointed.
I’m not sure what to make of that – but it does mean that he’s a better price tomorrow, than would otherwise be the case !

Nicky Henderson sets a poser, by running both Kilcrea Vale and Pougne Bobbi.
I’m more a fan of the latter – but he definitely appears to be the second string tomorrow…

Ballotin therefore appears to have Kilcrea Vale to beat – and 6/1 about him doing that, seems a fair enough price…

The second eye catcher to run tomorrow, is Marcilhac - and he runs in the 3:15 race.
He caught the eye last time at Ludlow, when finishing second.

My issue with him, is that I think he needs softer ground than he’s going to get.

Consequently, I prefer the chances of Antony.
I tipped him last time, when he ran a fair race over course and distance.
He’s been dropped 2lb on the back of that run – and wears first time cheek pieces tomorrow.
He’s will also be running from a mark just 2lb higher than when successful – again over course and distance – last November.

In short, he’s handicapped to win – and I think he will take a bit of beating…

At a much bigger price (16/1), I’ll be keeping a close eye on Walk in the Mill.
A few poor runs have seen his mark slip – but I think he’s got untapped potential.
He’s stepped up in trip tomorrow – and if that brings about improvement, he could go very well…

The final race of interest, in the handicap hurdle which closes the card (3:50).
I think the right 3 horses head the market (Midnight Maestro, Verdana Blue and Speredek) – but I’m struggling to choose between them.

The first 2 are very closely matched on last time out form, over tomorrows course and distance.
They are impossible to split on that run: wherever one finishes the other should be inches away ! (a possible forecast ?!)

At bigger odds (14/1), last years winner, Eddiemaurice, is not without a chance.
He’s been running over fences – but reverts to hurdles off the same mark as 12 months ago.
He needs decent ground – but assuming he gets that, he could run a big race….

I’ll aim to produce a Lunchtime Update and a Review tomorrow – but they are likely to be brief (for the reasons stated earlier).

There will definitely be a Lunchtime Nap – any suggestions for which horse I’m targeting ?!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Thursday November 23rd


I was tossing up between Val De Ferbet and Drumcliffe for todays Lunchtime Nap – and managed to pick the wrong one, which was a bit irritating (I blame a lack of time !).

Val de Ferbet finished second at Thurles – and whilst I was initially disappointed with
his effort, he may just have bumped into a really smart horse, in the shape of Bachassson.
That was always a possibility – I just hoped that if Bachasson was strongly fancied, he would be backed accordingly, this morning.

That didn’t really happen, so I took a risk on Val De Ferbet – but it didn’t work out, as he was no match for a very impressive winner.

The main concern with Drumcliffe, was his jumping (on his debut over fences).
In truth, it wasn’t flawless – but it was good enough, and having collared Coeur Tantre on the run to the last, he came away up the run in.
I’m not sure I’d be rushing to back him at short odds – though he clearly has plenty of talent…

I thought Fou et Sage also had plenty of talent, but I’m not quite so sure now…
He ended up being sent off favourite for the 12:50 race – and had 2 chances to win it.
Firstly, by being the best horse in the race – but secondly, by taking advantage when the best horse in the race (Springtown Lake) stumbled, after jumping the last.

The fact that Fou et Sage still wasn’t good enough to win, causes me to have reservations about his ability/resolution…

With short priced favourite, River Frost a non runner, at Market Rasen Cake de L’ilse was another who was seemingly presented with an excellent winning opportunity.

However, I was a little suspicion when the market continued to ignore him (he was 12/1 last night - but still 10/ with River Frost out of the race) – and sure enough, he wasn’t up to the job.

There didn’t seem to be much wrong with his attitude, so the conclusion simply has to be, that he’s not as good as his opening handicap mark suggests.
He’ll drop a couple of pounds for todays run – time will tell whether that is sufficient…

Lunchtime Update

Apologies for the delay in posting: I‘ve had a busy morning and been caught out by the early start…

The options for the Lunchtime Nap are Val de Ferbet and Drumcliffe – and I’m opting for the former…

Lunchtime Nap: Val de Ferbet 1:00 Thurles (Fair Price 3/1)

Evening Preview 

There are again 3 NH meetings taking place tomorrow: at Market Rasen and Wincanton in the UK, plus Thurles in Ireland – but there is a definite improvement in the standard of the action…

The best quality race of the day, is the Listed chase which takes place at Thurles (1:00).
This see the reappearance of former Grade 1 wining chaser, Apache Stronghold, after nearly 3 years on the sidelines.
He is likely to improve for the run.

The Willie Mullins trained Bachasson is the race favourite – but I’m more interested in Val der Ferbet.
I suspect that he’ll be the most wound up of the main protagonists – and that could prove decisive.
He can be backed at 5/1 this evening – and is worth a risk at that price…

The high light of the Market Rasen card, is the class 2 handicap hurdle at 1:10.

Barry Geraghty is over to ride River Frost – and he’s been installed the 6/4 favourite.
I can’t argue with him being favourite - but 6/4 is very short, in a fairly competitive race.

Cake de L’isle is more interesting, at a much bigger price (12/1).
He was still in with a chance on his seasonal debut at Cheltenham, when he lost Aiden Coleman at the second last.
His form isn’t as strong as that of River Frost – but he’s still completely unexposed.

Over at Wincanton, Fou et Sage is the one that interests me most, in the 12:50 race.
He ran reasonably well last time, in a hot race at Ascot – and his handicap mark continues to slip.

It’s impossible to get a handle on favourite Springtown Lake – but he’s been installed at a short enough price.

That said, Fou et Sage has also been backed this evening (in to 4/1) – so there’s not much margin anywhere…

Finally, I like the look of Drumcliffe in the 2:00 race.
He’s another who has been installed favourite – but he does look the right favourite, and 3/1 in a 7 horse race, isn’t too bad.

He has some strong hurdling form – and should be better for his seasonal debut over hurdles at Chepstow.
Jumping round Wincanton is never a formality – but if he can manage it without significant blemish, he should go close…

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Wednesday November 22nd


There was no joy for any of todays mentions – though a big market mover helped recover things (if you were prepared to take a risk on him !).

In the absence of any really strong fancies, I made Millanisi Boy the Lunchtime Nap.
I thought he was sure to run his race – even if he wasn’t up to winning.

However, in the desperately heavy ground at Chepstow, only the fittest survived – and Millanisi Boy wasn't sufficiently fit !

In fairness, he was in good company, as only 5 of the 12 who set off, managed to make it back home.
Ramses de Teille thrived in the conditions and came home a wide margin winner.
It wasn’t easy to foresee such a facile success…

It was similar story in the following race, where Dandy Duke handled the ground better than his rivals – and he came home unchallenged, despite it being his first run for over 700 days.
Waterloo Warrior was a big disappointment. He was under pressure from quite early – and whilst he responded for a while, he eventually cried enough, and was pulled up…

Indian Native ran a fair race at Warwick - but I didn’t feel she deserved to be a 9/4 shot – and sure enough, there were a few too good for her…
In truth, she didn’t do a lot wrong – other than maybe trying to match strides with a very game winner (which she ultimately paid the price for - tiring badly, late on).

Finally, Topham Bay was the one of initial interest at Hexham.
However, last night, I pointed out the significant support for Wig Wam Wiggle, up against him.

That one was backed in from 33/1 to 9/2 yesterday evening – but then drifted out to 9/1 this morning.

I’ve see this happen before: the issue is that when he opens at 9/2 in the morning, nobody is interested, because his price seems too short.
The horse therefore drifts...

I backed him at 12/1 on BF, about half an hour before the off.

His BSP was under 6/1 – so the money came again, late.

He didn’t win easily – but he did win.

Topham Bay on the other hand, ran no kind of race and was pulled up,
He has now been scratched from my unofficial list of eye catchers !

Lunchtime Update

I felt last night, that Indian Native was short enough, at 3/1, at Warwick – but you now can’t beat 9/4 !

That’s purely because Andy Holding has tipped the horse – and that being the case, I’d have to leave it alone (there will be no ‘value’ in the shorter price).

At Hexham, Topham Bay remains a 6/1 shot – but the prices of other runners in the race are bouncing around like crazy !

Wig Wam Wiggle was backed into 9/2 last night – but is now out to 9/1 !
That does happen, when the bookmakers run scared of a potential punt – and overdo the running !

In my experience, the price move this morning, doesn’t mean anything.
The horse is probably fancied by someone – and is still worth keeping an eye on it.

The race is far too tricky to contemplate getting involved with tho..

So that just leaves Chepstow

Millanisi Boy is a slight drifter in the 2:25 – but that wouldn’t put me off.
He’s a decent EW bet at 11/1.

Not surprisingly, there has been money for Grand Introduction – whether that’s instigated by the stable or a tipster, is anyones guess.
If it’s maintained to the off, I’d take note…

Finally, you can back Waterloo Warrior at 5/1 in a place – and that’s another decent EW bet.
Again, I couldn’t be confident he will win – but like Millanisi Boy, he’s got a very good chance of placing…

I had earmarked Indian Native as the Lunchtime Nap, but Andy Holding has done for that…

Instead, I’ll go with Millanisi Boy – EW (I think he has a good chance of placing – though there are plenty of potential dangers).

Lunchtime Nap: Millanisi Boy EW (Fair Price 11/1)

Evening Preview 

There are 3 NH meetings tomorrow: at Warwick, Chepstow and Hexham – however, only 1 of the 21 races that take place, is higher than class 4 (and that’s a 2 runner novice chase at Warwick !).
It’s definitely a case of quantity rather than quality…

That said, there are a couple of eye catchers running: an ‘official TVB’ one – and an unofficial one !

The official one is Indian Native, who contests the mares novice handicap chase at Warwick (1:05).
She caught the eye on her latest run at Carlisle – which was also her seasonal debut…
That was in a hotter contest than she runs in tomorrow (and against geldings) – and she ran really well to finish fourth.
Off the same mark tomorrow, she should take a lot of beating.

The only concern is that she faces a few potential improvers – the likes of Same Circus and Sister Sibyl.
That said, Indian Native really should run her race – and if she does, she will go very close.
She’s 3/1 this evening, which is shorter than I would have liked (isn’t that always the case?!) – but understandable…

The unofficial eye catcher, is Topham Bay, who contests the final race at Hexham (3:40).
She caught the eye back in September (!) when staying on in her first run in a handicap, at Kelso.
She did the same again last time – and whilst that was over a longer trip, I expected her to be stepped up again in distance (possibly to 3 miles).
That’s not happened – but cheek pieces have been enlisted and she will face much softer ground.
As a consequence, she’s less likely to get outpaced (which is what has happened the last twice)…

She may be good enough to win – though it’s impossible to be sure that the changes will have the desired effect.
More than that, she faces a number of rivals who are difficult to get a handle on…

There’s been a lot of money for Wig Wam Willy this evening (33/1 into 9/2 !) – but it really is that kind of race.
Topham Bay might be good enough to win it – but then again..!

The 2 other most interesting races on the day, both take place at Chepstow

There’s a decent novice handicap chase off at 2:25 and I quite like the look of Milanisi Boy.
He ran in some better class races than this last season (over both hurdles and fences)  – and didn’t do too badly.
He’s also won in the heavy at Chepstow and run well on his seasonal debut.
I can see him running a big race – even with top weight – and 10/1 looks a very fair price…

The are plenty of potential dangers, but I’m particularly concerned about Grand Introduction.
He’s not run for nearly 2 years – but is the only runner on the card for Fergal O’Brien  - and he can virtually walk on water at the minute !
I’d certainly want to save stakes on him…

There doesn’t look to be a great deal of strength in depth to the following race (3:00).
The 2 market leaders certainly have least question marks against them – with Waterloo Warrior looking highly likely to run his race.
He can be backed at 5/1 – which makes him an EW bet to nothing.
That will hold appeal to some…

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Monday November 20th


I had limited expectations for today – but things worked out quite nicely, with all 4 mentions running well…

The high light was probably the victory of the ironically name High Expectations !
He absolutely bolted up at Leicester – and in so doing, became the first winning Lunchtime Nap.

It could be argued, that after Cheltenham de Vaige and Forgetthesmalltalk last week, his victory was owed…

Benetar also managed to win, at Plumpton.
He was nowhere near as impressive as he had been at Ascot – but it was all about winning for connections, who will now pocket a nice £60K bonus, if he wins at the Cheltenham festival.

I don’t think the race told us anything about what his Cheltenham target might be: jockey Jamie Moore said after the race, that he could be dropped in trip – but I really can’t see that happening.
He’s most likely to remain at 2m4f (the tricky bit will be find the right race) – or possibly stepped up to 3 miles (for the RSA chase or an open handicap).

The days other to mentions didn’t manage to win – but both ran with credit…

Trojan Start finished third in the opener at Leicester.
There were no obvious excuses – he was just beaten by a couple of better horses on the day.

Invicta Lake was a big eye catcher at Plumpton however…
Following his comeback run, I wasn’t sure how much of the old ability remained.
After today, I’m pleased to report that a fair chunk does !

In truth, he probably could have won, with a more aggressive ride - but the jockey was always likely to ride him considerately.
The horse ran on with real gusto up the home straight, and marked himself down as one to be on next time (assuming he comes out of todays race OK).

All in all then, not a bad day !

Just to add: the racing looks really poor tomorrow (even worse than today !) - so the next post on the blog will be tomorrow evening, for Wednesday...

Lunchtime Update

There’s very little to update on, in terms of market moves, this morning…

The 3 horses of interest: High Expectations, Invicta Lake and Trojan Star, have all had about 20% trimmed off their price, compared to last night.

I doubt it means anything, other than the bookies want to duck horses who have a chance…

I think High Expectations in the most likely winner (and the shortest in the betting !)

So I’ll make him the Lunchtime Nap:

High Expectations 1:50 Leicester 9/4

Evening Preview 

There are 2 NH meetings tomorrow – at Leicester and Plumpton – but it’s pretty uninspiring stuff and if it weren’t for the fact that I don’t plan to post on Tuesday, I probably wouldn’t bother previewing it !

In the opener at Leicester (12:50), I am most interested in Trojan Star.
He disappointed on his seasonal debut at Huntington – but he may have needed that run.
He’s handicapped to win – should have no issue with the ground – and is from a stable in cracking form.
6/1 is a fair price…

High Counsel is also quite interesting – but he likes to front run – and there could be plenty of pace in the race.
That should suit Trojan Star, however – and he looks the most solid bet in the race…

I’m not sure how many runners Gordon Elliott has saddled at Leicester – but I would guess not many !
He brings High Expectations over to contest the handicap hurdle at 1:50 – and has booked Richard Johnson to ride.
The subtle signs couldn’t be much less subtle !
I was interested in High Expectations when he ran at the Cheltenham October meeting – and he was still in with a chance when unseating 3 out.
This looks far easier – and whist 5/2 is short, you couldn’t realistically expect any bigger…

Over at Plumpton, it will be great to see Benetar again in the novice chase at 1:40.
He did the main service a big favour on the first weekend of the season – and with just 2 rivals to beat tomorrow, should be able to follow up…

He’s running at Plumpton, in order to qualify for the bonus offered to any horse that wins there and at the Cheltenham festival.
If he does win tomorrow, the challenge will then be to figure out which festival race he will run in…

My guess is the JLT novice chase (he’s already rated too highly to contest the novice handicap chase) – though there is the chance that he could be stepped up to 3 miles at some point.
Whatever, hopefully he’ll come back safe – and in front !

Invicta Lake is the other one of interest on the Plumpton card (2:40). 
He made his return to the track, at the back end of last month, after a long time on the sidelines.
It was difficult to know what to make of that run – he either badly needed it, or he’s lost most of his old ability !
It’s interesting that he’s been dropped in trip tomorrow – and there’s no doubt he is handicapped to win.

He can be backed at 12/1 this evening – and he might be worth a risk at that price.

The other alternative is to leave it until close to the off, as I’m sure the market will know the score with him…

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Wednesday November 15th


Plenty of todays winners got a positive mention in last nights preview – the tricky bit was figuring out the right ones to back !

As an aside: I’m sure a few of you are wondering how I myself, use the information that I post on the blog…

As you’ve probably figured out by now, most of my betting is done on BF – and from lunchtime onwards…
I tend to give myself a nominal £20 to risk on each race I preview – and I look to spread that money across the horses I’m interested in – balanced by how much I fancy them and the prices I can secure…

Taking the opener at Exeter today, as an example:
The main fancy was Forgetthesmalltalk – so I allocated £10 to him – and managed to get 5.5.
The next one of interest, was Present Time and I allocated £4 to him – and got an average of 22 (he was a drifter).
I didn’t want to lose on Trans Express – so there was £3 on him at 8.
And finally I had a speculative £2 on Bancos De Logos at 70.

I sometimes over-back horses, if I think their odds are too big and I believe I’ll be able to lay them back in-running (which you can normally do, if they race prominently or travel strongly – tho it’s not as easy as it used to be !).

Anyway, that’s the method I use – and it’s served me well for a number of years !

As for today: then Siruh du Lac was an impressive winner of the opener at Bangor.
I said last night that he was of interest at a big price (14/1) – and the money early this morning, simply re-enforced the interest…

I’ve no idea who backs a horse at 7:00 in the morning – but I’ve seen it happen before – and with the same end result !

The horse was a late drifter – which would generally concern me.
However, I suspect that may be explained by the fact he was awash with sweat when he arrived at the post.
He may have been worked up – but it didn’t stop him performing in the race and he won easily…

I suggested last night that The Nipper and Lady Buttons were over-priced in the mares chase.
I had a slight preference for the former – but it was the latter who attracted the most market support…

And the market was right, with her winning very tidily, on her chasing debut…

I was quite keen on Potters Cross in the 1:45 – whilst acknowledging that he might be vulnerable from a win perspective.
And that was how it panned out – with him running a fair race.
He only finished fourth – but was beaten just 5 lengths.
I’m sure he has a good race in him – though he might be the type who pops up when everyone has given up on him…

Noel Fehily gave a master class in riding a front runner, to get Dashing Oscar home in the 2:50.
I thought that Loverboy might be able to turn the tables on him – but Fehily perfectly judged the pace of the race.
There really is no one better in the game, given an uncontested lead…

At Exeter, in the opener, Present Times got the better of the Lunchtime Nap, Forgetthesmalltalk.
I’d marked the winner down as the main danger to the days nap – and hopefully a few of you covered on him, as his SP of 16/1 (BSP 25/1) was very generous…

Timons Tara never really featured in the handicap chase at 2:00 – whilst the jumping of the favourite, Jepeck, wasn’t good enough…

Another Venture ran a really sound race in the novice handicap chase at 2:30 – but bumped in to a better handicapped rival in the shape of Wotzizname.
That was always a distinct possibility.

Finally, Yanworth landed too steeply after jumping the sixth fence and crumpled on landing.
I wasn’t overly impressed by his jumping on his debut – and this did little to convince me that he’s a natural…

I suspect that he best chance of championship honours will be in the Stayers hurdle (though events out of his control are likely to decide whether he even runs in that race).

There will be no more posts on the blog until next week…

The 3 day Cheltenham November meeting starts on Friday – and my preparations for that, will begin in earnest, tomorrow lunchtime.

I know that most of the readers of this blog are already subscribers to the main TVB service – however for those of you who aren’t, I’m offering the opportunity for you to purchase a 3 day pass to the main TVB service, for the meeting.

It will cost £15 for the 3 days – and for that, you will receive a preview for each race, late on the race day morning – plus a review, after the days racing is complete.
I will also be issuing tips for some of the races – either the day before, or early on the race day morning (prior to issuing the preview).

I will only allow 10 people to buy passes – to be fair to the existing guys on the service.

If you would like to buy a pass – and effectively trial the main TVB service for a weekend - please make your payment of £15 via Paypal, to

Payments need to be received before midday tomorrow (Thursday 16th November), if you want to be sure of receiving all of the official tips for the meeting.

For the rest of you – I hope you enjoy your weekend – and I’ll be back blogging next week !

Lunchtime Update

There has been a lot of activity in the morning markets – with a number of the horses that I high lighted last night, coming in for serious support…

Not more so, that Siruh du Lac in the opener at Bangor
He was a 14/1 shot yesterday evening – but money came for him at 7:00 this morning, and his price was quickly halved !

He’s eased back out a little now, in the face of support for Just Georgie – and serious support for Agamemmom.
The later is now just 6/4 – having been 5/2 last night.

My feeling is that Agamemmom will take a bit of beating – but he’s evidently up against some fancied rivals…

In the mares chase, The Nipper has been quite well backed and is now an 11/2 shot.
I think that’s a fair enough price…

Support has continued for Potters Legend in the 1:45 – and he’s now best priced at 11/4.
It’s a competitive enough race and I suspect his price might ease slightly before the off.
I still think he’s the one to beat, however…

Bidbadjohn and Battle of Shiloh are the other 2 who have come in for market support – in line with my thinking yesterday evening…

The most significant market move in the 2:50, has been the support for Leoncavallo…
He was 12/1 last night – but is half that price now.

He’s well handicapped – so it could be tipster driven money.
His market strength close to the off is likely to sign post his fate…

Forgetthesmalltalk has been relatively weak in the market for the opener at Exeter, as support has come in for Trans Express and Albert Dolivate.

I respect the chance of them both – plus Present Times – but I still think Forgetthesmalltalk is the one to beat…

Timons Tara has been very weak in the betting for the 2:00.
I still think she’s a fair back to lay in running proposition – but I’ll be surprised if she comes home in front.

Jepeck has been well supported and remains the one to beat.

Another Venture has been surprisingly well backed in the 2:30 race.
I didn’t think his chance was that obvious – and it looks a very competitive race – so a market move from 10/1 to 5/1 seems significant.

I couldn’t back him at such a short price- so it’s now a watching race for me…

Finally, Yanworth has remained very solid in the betting for 3:00 – suggesting that neither of his 2 main rivals are particularly fancied to topple him…

Potters Legend was the other one under consideration – but todays Lunchtime Nap is:
Forgetthesmalltalk 12:50 Exeter (Fair Price 7/2)

Evening Preview 

There is plenty of NH racing again tomorrow, with 4 meetings: at Bangor, Exeter, Ayr and Fairyhouse.

The best quality racing takes place at the 2 English venues, with both hosting few decent quality - and intriguing - contests…

In the opener at Bangor (12:40), I’ll be interested to see if Truckers Tavern can follow up his last time out win at Worcester…
The booking of 5lb claimer, Alex Edwards, effectively offsets the rise in the handicap that he received for his win – so from a pure handicapping perspective, he’s got a good chance…
However, he’s a horse with breathing issues – so not guaranteed to maintain his form.
Furthermore, the 2m4f trip, may stretch him.
He should make a fair in-running play – but I’d worry slightly about his ability to last home (particularly as Just Georgie could well give him a tough time, up front)…

At a much bigger price, I’m quite interested in Siruh du Lac.
He disappointed on his chasing debut last time at Kempton, but it’s too early to be writing him off…

I think that the mares chase at 1:10, is more open than the betting suggests.
It’s possible to make a case for all 5 runners – and whilst the market probably has them in the right sequence, I think The Nipper and Lady Buttons are both potentially over-priced.
In fairness, neither is proven over a fence – so that is a concern.
However, if the do take to the larger obstacles, they are both good enough to put it up to the market leaders.
Of the 2, I would have a slight preference for The Nipper, who is a 7/1 shot this evening…

The best race of the day, takes place at 1:45 – but unfortunately, the horse I fancy most for it, has already been very well backed…
Potters Legend has some very strong form from last season – and ran well enough on his seasonal debut at Chepstow.
Everything looks perfect for him tomorrow - and the early 6/1 about his chances was a bit of a gift.
You’ll struggle to beat 3/1 now – and that looks about right.
I can’t see him not running his race – though there is a chance that he’ll be vulnerable form a win perspective.

Most of his rivals can be given a chance – with Battle of Shiloh and Bigbadjohn, looking the ones most likely, if Potters Legend is beaten.

At the likely prices, I can see myself getting drawn to Bigbadjohn.
He has a lot of ability – and tomorrows smaller field could prove crucial for him (he’s tended to struggle in big field races).

There’s an interesting handicap hurdle at 2:50 – in which a chance can be given to most of the runners…
Dashing Oscar has been installed favourite - but I’m not sure he’ll confirm last time out Fontwell form with Loverboy…
Certainly the latter makes the greater appeal at respective prices (3/1 and 7/1)…
I could see Bobo Mac out-running his odds (currently 12/1); whilst Leoncavallo is one to keep a close eye on in the betting…

Over at Exeter, favourite Forgetthesmalltalk, looks the one to beat in the opener (12:50).
He finished behind Midnight Request last time, but I would expect him to reverse the form tomorrow.
I’m actually quite keen on his chances – though he does face a few interesting looking rivals.
Present Times heads that list; followed by Trans Express.
I could also see Banco des Logos running better than his odds suggest…

At any price greater than 3/1, I think Forgetthesmalltalk is worth a risk.

In the handicap chase at 2:00, I would expect Timons Tara to run well.
She did so on her seasonal debut at Uttoxeter – and tomorrows softer ground will suit her better.
I have a slight concern over her stamina – but she’s another who should travel well (making her suitable for an in running play).
Jepeck is probably the one to beat – though he’s impossible to assess form-wise, so will have to be monitored in the betting…

There’s a really interesting novice handicap chase at 2:30.
It’s impossible to be categoric about the outcome – but I suspect the line-up contains  plenty of future winners.
As for tomorrow, then I would maybe take a chance on Another Venture.
He ran a reasonable race on his chain debut at Uttoxeter – and I can see him stepping up on that over a longer trip and on softer ground.
He’s a fair price this evening, at 10/1 – particularly considering the form of his stable.

That said, there is a chance that the likes of Longtown, Buster Thomas, Wicked Willie and a few of the others (!), could be a good bit better than their current marks.
I doubt they all will be – but equally, I’ll be surprised if one or two aren’t…

Finally, Yanworth has his second outing over fences in the 3:00 – and he will probably win.
However, he faces a couple of rivals, who on paper at least, should provide a stern test.
His experience and race fitness are likely to be decisive – but I wouldn’t be taking silly odds about him coming home in front…

Monday, 13 November 2017

Tuesday November 14th


Beni Light looked like a horse that would improve for the run, at Lingfield.
His jumping was a little ponderous – and everything seemed to be happening a stride to fast for him.
He was eventually pulled up - but I suspect he’ll leave this form behind, in the fullness of time and he is one to remain interested in…

In the 2:50 race, Un Prophet ran in snatches – and didn’t really build on his reappearance (which was a bit concerning, from Venetias perspective).

De Faoithesdream is of more immediate interest, going forward…
He was well backed late – and whilst the race wasn’t run to suit him, he still ran with credit.
He’ll be dropped a few pounds for the run – and if he finds the right race, he is likely to take it apart…

The early money for Sirop De Menthe had dried up by the off, and he was sent off at 8/1 (10/1 on BF).
He ran a reasonable race – and if he can build on it, he should be back in the winners enclosure before too long…

At Huntingdon, I was a bit aggrieved that I couldn’t find anything to take on Call me Lord – and my uncertainty regarding him, proved well founded.
He was relatively weak in the market and never looked to be travelling particularly well.

The race was ultimately won by the rank outsider, Unison, which maybe explained why I struggled to find one to oppose him with…

I as a little surprised that Cyrname has been backed in to 3/1 at lunchtime – and even more so that he was sent off at 15/8.
However, I was far less surprised that he subsequently came home unchallenged !

When horses are consistently strong in the market, they invariably run very big races (it’s almost as if somebody knows !).

Finally, the Lunchtime Nap, Cheltenham de Vaige was arguably a little unlucky not to win the 3:10 race.
That said, with 14 opponents and 10 hurdles to navigate, you are always going to require a bit of luck.

He managed to avoid a few early fallers – and was slick over most of his obstacles.
However, put under pressure approaching the last, he completely fluffed it – and that cost him the race.

I think his performance shows why it is always dangerous to chase down the price of a horse in NH racing.
There are so many variables (quite a few of them out of your control), you always need something in the odds, to compensate for the element of lottery…

Lunchtime Update

At Lingfield, there has been little movement in the price of Beni Light, who remains an 8/1 shot (best).
I wouldn’t put anyone off a small play on him at that price…

Un Prophet has contracted slightly in price – but I think this is more a watching race (though if he travels as he did on his debut, there should be little damage done by, backing him pre-race with a view to laying in-running).

Sirop de Menthe is the really interesting one on the Lingfield card !
I didn’t expect him to be backed – but 14/1 last night has now become 6/1.
He is potentially well handicapped, so it could be tipster driven money – but if the support is maintained to the off, I would be inclined to take notice…

Call me Lord has remained very strong in the market at Huntington – but as I said last night, that’s probably because options to take him on with, are limited…

Cyrname is another who I’m surprised to see has been backed this morning.
He was 9/2 last night – but you’ll struggle to get 3/1 now.
I’m less attracted to him at the shorter price…

Finally, Cheltenham de Vaige remains very solid in the market for the 3:10.
It appears that he’s only got 2 serious rivals – and neither of those is strong in the market.

Having thought a little more about the Lunchtime Nap, I think my objective should primarily be to find a winner (as opposed to a value bet).

Beni Light and Sirop de Menthe are both worthy of consideration today –
however the honour of Lunchtime Nap, goes to: Cheltenham de Vaige 3:10 Huntingdon (Fair price 6/4)

Evening Preview 

There are 3 NH meetings tomorrow – at Lingfield, Huntingdon and Worcester.

Needless to say, there are plenty of races – but most of them are quite mundane (particularly at Worcester) – and I can’t see many betting opportunities, either…

The best card takes place at Lingfield, and whilst he is speculative, I do like the look of Beni Light in the novice handicap chase at 1:50.
He is making his fencing debut tomorrow, but looks as if he may be a typical Tom George improver…
He ran a couple of decent races in bumpers; 3 low key runs over hurdles to get a mark: and now makes his chasing debut in a handicap…
He’ll be winning sooner rather than later – and George is capable of getting them ready to win first time out…

I’ll be very interested to see how Un Prophet gets on in the handicap chase at 2:50.
Most of Venetias seasonal debutantes have appeared to need the run – and that seems to be the case with Un Prophet at Fakenham.
It will be interesting to see how much that run has brought him on…
In truth, it’s a race where I could make a case for most of the runners – but the other one of particular interest, is De Faoithesdream.
He is handicapped to win – and whilst he may not do so tomorrow – if he were to get an uncontested lead (unlikely with Get Rhythm in the field), he is likely to prove difficult to pass…

Sirop de Menthe is the one I’ll be keeping an eye on in the 3:20 contest.
I was a fan of the horse 2 seasons ago – though my love of him waned a little last season, when he beat a horse I’d tipped, on his seasonal debut !
He runs from a mark 4lb lower tomorrow - so if he returns in the same form, he should go very close.
That said, there are a few unexposed horses up against him, so it’s not a race you could feel confident about…

At Huntingdon, the most valuable race of the day, is run at 2:10.
I’d like to offer something to take on Call me Lord, as he looks very short at 8/11 (particularly as he’s only a 4 year old).
However, the race doesn’t have great strength in depth, so there’s a fair chance he will prove good enough to win.
Certainly the form of his UK debut win at Sandown last spring, is strong – so if he’s improved for that (which you would expect to be the case), he’s likely to be tough to beat…

I could be half tempted to take a risk on Cyrname in the novice handicap chase at 2:40.
I’m sure he has sufficient ability to defy his current mark – though getting him to show it, is proving a bit tricky,
The horse is very keen (which is why he wears a hood) and really doesn’t give himself a chance.
Maybe fences and Sean Bowen will do the trick – 9/2 to find out, is moderately tempting…

Finally, I’ll be surprised if Cheltenham de Vaige is beaten in the 3:10 race.
He travelled supremely well on his debut for Fergal O’Brien last time, but maybe just needed the run.
I suspect he’ll be straighter tomorrow –and the extra half mile will also help.
He’s a best price of 6/4 – which seems crazy in a 15 runner handicap – but I struggle to see him getting beaten.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Monday November 13th


Eyesopenwideawake was sent off 5/1 jt fav at Kempton – and proceeded to make all.
If it hadn’t been for the huge market drift this morning, there would barely be a story to tell !

I guess it just shows that not all market moves are equal !!

Non of the three that I offered against the market leaders, really featured in the 1:50 race.
Duke Debarry did best of the trio (as the market suggested he would) but he could only finish a well beaten fourth…

Somewhat amusingly, You’re so Right returned with a BSP of 470 !
I think it’s fair to say he wasn’t fancied !
In the circumstances, he ran quite well (certainly better than most 470/1 shots !) – and could be one to keep an eye on…

For a horse who was likely to need the run, Le Breuil was surprisingly well backed, in the 2:55.
It’s normally the late money that counts – and the strength of late support (7/1 in to 4/1) led me to believe that he was fitter than connections were suggesting.

He ran a really big race as well – but ultimately, in fairness to Ben Pauling, it did look as if he needed the run.
He’ll be some kind of certainty next time (my guess is at the Newbury, Hennessy meeting).

Kings Tempest was weak in the betting – and never looked likely to win the finale…
Unless there is some rapid improvement, Warren Greatrex may soon be feeling a little anxious..!

At Carlisle, Brio Conti and Nuts Well duly completed a short priced double – though not quite as easily as their odds implied would be the case.

Kings Odyssey ran a very nice race against Nuts Well, and is certainly one to bear in mind next time, over a longer trip…

Despite being very well backed, Danny Cook couldn’t get Dartford Warbler into a race controlling position – and he never really featured.
There will doubtless be a day for him soon – in slightly calmer waters…

Finally, the days Lunchtime Nap, Tepak, was baulked at around half way – and completely lost his position.
In truth, if he had been travelling well enough, it wouldn’t have happened, so he can’t be considered unlucky.

Hopefully tomorrows Nap will do a little better !! 

Lunchtime Update

The movements of the market can be as baffling as they are fascinating – and that has certainly been the case this morning..!

In the 1:20 at Kempton, Eyesopenwideawake was a 4/1 shot last night – which seemed a little short, but not too surprising.
However, he drifted like a barge this morning, out to 11/1 (14 on BF).
That made me feel that someone knew something wasn’t right…

However, at around 11:30, he was backed in from 11/1 to 7/1 at best !
I’ve honestly no idea what is going on (unless he was tipped at around 11:30).
It will be fascinating to see his price at the off…

In the 1:50 race, only Duke Debarry has been backed, of the 3 I mentioned.
I remain mildly interested in Earth Storm however – even if he can be backed at 50 on BF !

Le Breiul drifted a little last night – but has been relatively strong this morning.
If the market strength is maintained to the off, I think he will win.

Nothing to report on Kings Tempest !

At Carlisle, Shades of Midnight is weak – and you have to think that Brio Conti will take a bit of beating (as you would expect of a 1/2 shot !)

Similarly, Kings Odyssey is weak, suggesting that Nuts Well is going to be tough to beat…

Dartford Warbler has been well backed in the 3:10 race.
It certainly won’t surprise me if Danny Cook manages to find a way to get him home in front.

Finally, there hasn’t been as much money as I would have expected for Tepak in the bumper.
He’s been backed a little but 12/1 is still on offer and that seems like fair value…

To help give the mid-week blog a bit more focus, I’m going to introduce a ‘Lunchtime nap’ ! (I think the concept could catch on !).

Based on the study from the evening before – and the market moves of the morning – it will pick out the horse I would be most inclined to back at the odds generally available at lunch time (the Fair Price).

There will only be a Lunchtime nap on days when I post on the mid-week blog – but I will monitor the success of the naps, at Fair Price and at BSP – and post on a monthly basis…

Todays Lunchtime Nap is: Tepak 3:40 Carlisle (Fair Price 12/1)

Evening Preview 

There are a couple of NH meetings tomorrow – at Kempton and Carlisle – and there are races of interest, at both courses…

The card at Kempton is a bit weird, with 3 of the 7 races, virtual matches.
However the other 4 are all competitive events…

I wouldn’t really want to call the novice handicap chase at 1:20 – but if forced, I would opt for Eyesopenwideawake.

He makes his fencing debut under rules tomorrow, but has won a PTP in Ireland (so can evidently jump) – and showed a good attitude when winning a novice hurdle at Southwell.
It’s hard to judge what a fair price would be – but anything above 5/1 would seem reasonable…

In the novice hurdle at 1:50, Black Mischief, Secret Investor and Way Back Then, dominate the betting.
However, there are others in the race at bigger odds, which also look interesting…
Duke Debarry, Earth Storm and Youre so Right all appear to have a chance of sorts – and all 3 are likely to be available at double figure prices…

The best race of the day takes place at 2:55.
Bags Groove was an impressive winner last time at Aintree; whilst Who dares Wins finished third in last seasons Coral cup at the Cheltenham festival.
They set a decent standard - but Le Breuil could easily eclipse it.
He trounced Benetar off level weights at Newbury last season – and that one is now rated 148 over fences.
Le Breiul gets in off 139 tomorrow – and if connections have him ready to go, then he could dot up.
Ben Pauling has issued a warning about the horses fitness - though I'd be more inclined to be guided by the market !

Finally in the 4:00, Warren Greatrex said that if he couldn’t get Kings Tempest to win a handicap off its current mark, then he should be shot.
No pressure then Warren..!!

Over at Carlisle, I could be interested in Shades of Midnight, in the novice chase at 1:30.
However, I suspect he will need the run (unless the market says otherwise), so he’s more likely to be one for next time.
Assuming that is the case, then Brio Conti will be hard to beat.

Similarly, in the 2:35, Kings Oddysey is probably one for next time.
He suggested at huge ability a couple of seasons back – but didn’t deliver last season.
2 miles will be too short for him tomorrow - but a good run could easily see his career back on track.

I could fancy Dartford Warbler in the 3:10 – if I thought he was going to get an uncontested lead.
He won off a higher mark at Market Rasen a couple of seasons back, under a trademark forceful ride from Danny Cook.
However, he will face competition for the lead tomorrow, from both Argentix and Brother Scot.
If Cook can find a way to navigate that issue, he could be too good for his rivals – I  would just be keener on his chances, if he didn’t have that potential issue to overcome.

Finally, Shamilan has been well backed for the closing bumper (3:40) – presumably on account of Ronald O’Learys excellent record in the UK with bumper debutants.
He may well be good enough – but at the prices, I’m far more interested in Henry Dalys Tepak.
Daly does quite well with bumper horses himself – and he’s sent this one a long way (from Shropshire).
The horse was thought good enough to makes its debut in a particularly strong bumper at Newbury – and whilst he never featured in that race, he did still finish mid division.
This will be much easier – and with that experience under his belt, there is no way he should be a 16/1 chance (which is the price he can be backed at this evening).