Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Thursday February 1st


This afternoon provided a couple of timely reminders (not that they were needed - but they never harm !) on how important it is, to be price aware – and not to just go searching for winners…

As I said at lunchtime, if there had been a Nap today, it would probably have been Doc Carver at Towcester  - but there wasn’t sufficient in his price to warrant the risk.

3 from home, everything seemed to be going fine for him (he was trading at 1.5 in-running) – but then he stepped at a hurdle and that was that…

It’s a game of fine margins – and you always need something in the price to justify the risk.

The message was the same in the big race of the day, at Wincanton – even if the delivery was a bit different !

I felt that Le Boizelo was the one to beat – but there was nothing in a price of 5/2.

Grand Vision looked the better value at 8/1 – though there was the slight concern that he may not get home (Colin Tizzards horses have appeared not to be in top form).

The race didn’t pan out exactly as I expected, as they went a bit quick for Grand Vision early.
However, he has plenty of stamina – and that kicked in, once they turned for home. A huge jump at the last, sealed the deal for him.

He was the third winner on the day for the Tizzards – so maybe the stable is back firing again…

In the other race of interest at Wincanton, Captain Cattistock contradicted the value argument a little ! – but that will inevitably happen from time to time…

In fairness, Here’s Herbie didn’t seem to run his race at all – which probably helped the favourite…

Finally, neither Black Narcissus nor Try it Sometime were as strong in the late betting as they had been this morning.

As is invariably the case, it was the late market which proved more accurate: with Try it Sometime taking an early fall and Black Narcissus only finishing fifth.

That’s it on the blog for another week, I’m afraid…

There’s a massive weekend ahead – with the inaugural Dublin festival the feature.

Finals declarations for Saturdays races are already out – so I need to start studying !

I’ll be back on the blog early next week – by which point, hopefully conditions will have improved a little (though I won’t be banking on it !!)

Lunchtime Update

Le Boizol has been well backed at Wincanton and is now a best priced 5/2.

That’s a bit too short in such a competitive race – though obviously, it won’t stop him from winning !

A better play in the race, is probably Grand Vision – backed pre-race at 8/1 and layed off in running.

I’m pretty sure he’ll travel well – the question is whether he’ll last home…

In the previous race on the card (3:00), Here’s Herbie has drifted out to 4/1, in the face of support for Captain Cattisrock.

It’s not my style to recommend each way in a 5 horse race – but at 4/1, Here’s Herbie does look something of an each way bet to nothing.

The other option would be to back him to win – and save stakes on Captain Cattisrock.

Over at Towcester, Doc Carver has remained solid in the market – and still looks as if he’ll take the beating.

Whilst in the 2:50, Try it Sometime and Black Narcissus have been just about the best backed horses in the race.

The former was 16/1 last night – but you’ll now struggle to beat 7/1; whilst the latter has been backed in from 12/1 to 8/1…

The ‘value’ in the prices is obviously not what it was – though they do now seem more accurately priced …

The is a slight temptation to issue a Lunchtime Nap today, just to get things moving again !

However, Doc Carver is the one I’d be most inclined to select – and 5/4 about a handicap debutante in a 5 horse race on heavy ground, doesn’t strike me as the greatest bet ever struck…

I think he’ll win – but so does the market – and I’m guessing on whether his price represents value.

As a consequence, I’m afraid that once again, there is no Lunchtime Nap today…

Evening Preview

There are a couple of NH meetings tomorrow: at Wincanton and Towcester.

The theme of small fields, low grade races and desperate ground, continues – and in truth, I could easily have sat the day out (as I’ve done the past 2).
It’s certainly not a day for getting stuck in – but with a bit of effort, I’ve managed to find a few races of interest…

Chief amongst them is the handicap chase at Wincanton, which will be off at 3:35.
It is, by some margin, the best race of the day – but it’s not an easy one to call…

The top 4 in the betting can all be given a chance – and I would only have a slight preference for Le Boizelo (7/2).

He’s an improving sort, who won over course and distance last time – and could be capable of following up, off an 8lb higher mark.

If Colin Tizzards stable were in better form, I would have been tempted by the veteren, Grand Vision.
He’s shown tremendous enthusiasm the last twice he’s run – and if he’s in the same form tomorrow, he will be a tough one to pass.

The only other race of interest on the card, is the handicap hurdle at 3:00.

Captain Cattistock looks the one to beat – though his connections (Paul Nichols and Bryony Frost), plus his potential, may mean that he goes off shorter in the betting than he should…

Here’s Herbie looks a more reliable proposition – and he should relish conditions. He’s the better bet at 7/2.
Captain Cattistock could be different class – but Heres Herbie is a solid bench mark.

It’s low grade stuff at Towcester, with the best race on the card, the handicap hurdle at 2:15.

This is a weak looking contest for the grade – and it will be no surprise if handicap debutante, Doc Carver, is good enough to take it.

He’s pretty short in the betting at 6/5 – but it’s not easy to find something to beat him…

The handicap chase at 2:50 is far more competitive – even if it does lack a bit of quality…

It’s the kind of race where I would be inclined to take a risk on an outsider, who could show improved form.

Black Narcissus and Try it Sometime are the two who catch my eye.

Both are potentially well handicapped, on their best form: with the former sporting first time blinkers – and having his first run after a wind op; and the latter running in the race in which he finished second last year, from a 5lb lower mark.
At 12/1 and 16/1 respectively, they are both worth a small risk…

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Monday January 29th


Town Parks demonstrated the importance of sticking with stables in form (as does Chris, most days in the forum, via his ‘trainers to follow’ threads).

As I said last night, he could have been selected by a process of elimination, based on stable form – and he also had ‘actual’ form to support his claims !

His SP of 3/1 was pretty generous, considering – and did leave me feeling that maybe I should have risked a Lunchtime Nap !

That said, I also fancied Streets of Promise – with the money for her this morning, adding to the attraction.
However, after racing prominently early, she faded out of things quite disappointingly…

Over at Plumpton, Two Hoots ran as if he needs a step up in trip.

He was settled out the back – and never really got into the race – but ran on quite nicely…

Finally, Ballyhague Bay did followers a nice turn by making all in the handicap hurdle.

The race looked ripe for a ‘shock’, with Saucysioux a vulnerable looking favourite.

She drifted all day – making it out to 7/1 on BF at one point, before being backed in late (supply and demand).
However, she never travelled and looked beaten from a very early stage.

Ballyhague Bay in the other hand, travelled very nicely – and under a good ride from Harry Reed, made all.
He was backed in to 9/1 at the off (from 14/1 at lunchtime) – but that was still a decent return…

Lunchtime Update

Town Parks is a drifter in the 3:10 at Hereford – and is now out to 5/2.

That in itself, wouldn’t put me off (he was arguably a bit short last night) – but it’s not a race which can be approached with maximum confidence.

By contrast, Streets of Promise has been well backed in the 3:40 (in to 6/1), which is interesting, as I didn’t see it coming…

In the same race, the market support for Another Venture, Scotchtown and Goodtoknow was far more predictable…

Over at Plumpton, Two Hoots has been relatively weak in the market, which tempers enthusiasm for his chances.

It’s a similar story with Ballyheigue Bay – though that would bother me less.
Saucysioux is now out to 7/2 (from 2/1) – which is presumably a result of it dawning on people that he’s got quite a job on…

It doesn’t really feel like a day for a Lunchtime Nap (I know, I know – there’s not been one for ages  !).

We’re guessing on conditions – and fitness – so it’s more a day for speculative punts – or following the market !

My best bet of the day, would be Streets of Promise – particularly if she stays strong in the market, through to the off…

Evening Preview 

There are a couple of NH meetings tomorrow: at Hereford and Plumpton.

And for a Monday, they aren’t bad cards – though I suspect that both will be run on pretty bad ground !

The first race of interest on the Hereford card, is the novice handicap chase at 3:10.

There are a lot of stables struggling for form at the moment – and a few of them have representatives in this race !

Evan Williams hasn’t saddled a winner for 15 days (22 runners): whilst Ben Pauling hasn’t saddled one for 40 days (34 runners) !
Neither Colin Tizzard nor Venetia are exactly pulling up trees – which suggests that Kerrys Lees representative, Town Park, might be the one to be interested in…

He’s also got good recent form – and has shown himself capable of handling heavy ground.
Carrying top weight, isn’t ideal – but he’s earnt it.
2/1 is probably a fair price – even if it hardly sets the pulse racing !

The following race, is probably the best one of the day…

Houblon des Obeaux is a class act – but he’s not overly big and I wouldn’t fancy his chances of carrying 12 stone + in heavy ground.

In truth, most of the runners can be given a chance of sorts – and I might be inclined to take a small risk on Streets of Promise.

She finished third in the corresponding race 12 months ago – well behind Goodtoknow.
However she has plummeted down the weights since then – and now races from a mark 15lb lower.

She didn’t run too badly on her most recent outing at Haydock and 8/1 seems like a perfectly reasonable price.

Over at Plumpton, there’s another reasonable novice handicap chase at 2:25.

I expected Two Hoots to be favourite for this, on the back of a promising stable debut for Jeremy Scott.
That was over hurdles and he now switches to fences – which is an interesting move…

He’s relatively unexposed (just 6 previous runs), so could be capable of taking a step forward.
There’s a lot of guesswork involved – but 5/1 seems like a fair price…

Finally, I’m inclined to take on Saucysioux in the conditional jockey handicap hurdle at 3:25.
She has been raised 13lb for her last time out win – and steps up 2 classes tomorrow (class 5 to class 3).

She may be up to the task – but it’s a big ask and 2/1 is a short price…

I might be more inclined to tale a risk on Ballyheigue Bay.
He ran well in a similar race on his penultimate outing, before falling early, last time.

He can be backed at 12/1 this evening, and I think there is some value in that price…

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Friday January 26th

Evening Preview 

As I said on Wednesday, with the Thyestes meeting today and a busy Saturday on the horizon, I had no intention of posting on the blog this week.

However, there has been so little decent action recently – and there are some reasonable races tomorrow – so I’ve decided to write up a few thoughts.

My plan is just to offer my views this evening – and not worry too much about updating tomorrow (at Lunchtime – or with a review).

There are 3 official eye catchers running on the day, with the first of them contesting the 2:05 at Huntington

Run Don’t Hide caught my eye last time at Wincanton, and is now running in a very suitable looking race.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to quantify a few of his rivals – some of which are making their handicap debuts (and literally, could be anything).

That said, I would expect Run Don’t Hide to run well – particularly as he’s Paddy Brennans only ride on the card.
You might need to take some direction from the betting on whether to get involved with him – if nothing else seems particularly strongly fancies, he could be worth siding with !

The other one worthy of a mention in the same race, is Rebel Beat.
He was an eye catcher last season – and debuts for Ian Williams tomorrow.

I’m sure he can win off his current mark – just less sure that he will do so tomorrow !

Again, a watching eye on the betting may help…

On the back of 2 decent effort this season, Masterplan should be the one to beat in the 2:40 race.

However, whilst I did think his form was strong, it has suffered some reverses over the last couple of weeks, so that may not be the case.
He’s also edged up the handicap for running well – but not winning (which is never a good thing).

I wouldn’t want to nominate one in particular to beat him – but all 4 of his rivals are potentially dangerous, which limits the appeal of the 2/1 about him…

The Mighty Don is the other eye catcher running on the Huntingdon card (3:15).
He caught the eye at Cheltenham 3 runs ago – and this will be his last run as an eye catcher.

I’m not particularly optimistic that it will be a winning one either – as this looks a tough race.

Protek des Flos is Barry Geraghtys only ride on the card – and he looks a worthy favourite.
Arthurs Gift could also be dangerous – if the race is run to suit (he would benefit from a strong pace).

Taquin du Seuil and Our Kaempfer are both handicapped to be dangerous – though I suspect neither will be fully wound up.
That may also be the case with Easter Day – but if there is money for him, I would take note.

In short, the race looks most likely to go to Protek des Flos - even if a price of 7/4 is a bit tight…

Over at Doncaster, I’ll be keeping a close eye on Lickpenny Larry in the opener (12:50).
I’m sure that he will ultimately prove much better than his current rating of 85 – though whether he will start to do that tomorrow, is a different matter…

He certainly has ability – but he may need more of a trip than the 2m3f he gets tomorrow, to be seen at his best…

Amber Gambler is the final eye catcher running on the day.
He contests the handicap chase at 3:05 – and looks to have a very good chance.

He steps up in trip and drops down in grade from his run last time at Sandown – and both things should work in his favour.

The only issue seems to be that it’s quite a competitive race !
However, I would expect him to run well and he should be in the thick of things.

Finally, One of Us contests the closing handicap hurdle (4:10).
He was a Lunchtime Nap last week at Market Rasen – but was pulled out on account of the very heavy ground.

It shouldn’t be as heavy at Doncaster tomorrow – and whilst he faces a bigger field, I’m not sure the race is any stronger.

There is always a chance of bumping into one in these low grade contests – but I think he sets the standard and 4/1 isn’t a bad price (if you can get it !!)

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Wednesday January 24th


As I’m sure most of you will appreciate, the current weather is making it virtually impossible to take a view on the mid week racing…

The desperate ground is resulting in tiny fields - and with generally low grade horses, the racing is best avoided from a betting perspective (assuming it actually takes place !).

It’s an occupational hazard – particularly at this time of year – and hopefully things will improve relatively soon…

Unfortunately however, it means that I won’t be posting any thoughts on the blog this week – as it’s Thyestes day at Gowran Park tomorrow – and then Cheltenham Trials day (and Skybet chase day) on Saturday.

I’ll be covering those meetings on the Main service – but it will be next week, before I can look to post on the blog again (assuming the weather has improved a bit by then !).


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Thursday January 18th


Vicenzo Mio ran a really good race at Wincanton, just weakening out of the places late on, having been prominent throughout.
He touched 3.15 in running, so anyone who did play him in running, will hopefully have done so with success !

In the same race, Hatchet Jack was backed late and went off at 5/1.
He looked likely to win, approaching the last, but just couldn’t reel in big improver, Savoy Court.

Royal Palladium was disappointing in the following race – and whilst Cyclop ran a fair bit better, he never looked like getting to all the way winner, Themanfrom Minella.

There was nothing wrong with the jumping of Triopas – but the 2m4f trip was too short for him.
He tried to make it into a stamina test, but was outspeeded close home.

I think we can start following him again (Chris) – over fences or hurdles – assuming he is given a trip of at least 3 miles…

Acaro never featured in the 3:20 race and it looks like he has started his life in handicaps from too high a mark.
Todays performance will help a little with that, mind !

Over at Ludlow, Local Show ran a decent race – but was no match for Actinpieces.

Without Local Show in the race, Actinpieces could easily have been todays Nap – but
I just thought Local Show capable of a big run and that put me off the favourite (at the prices).

Finally, Deauville Crystal drifted back out to 20/1 at the off – and whilst she ran a fair race, trying to make all – she was quickly brushed aside when the serious action got underway.

She will drop a few pounds for todays run and will doubtless bounce back to form at some point…

That’s all for the blog this week (don’t the weeks just fly round !).

Due to a variety of circumstances, it has ended up a week with no Lunchtime Naps – but as I’ve said previously, I don’t want to force them.

Hopefully some of you managed to glean a few useful pointers from my daily thoughts.

As always, my focus for the next few days will be on the Main service - and the big races that are taking place over the weekend.

All being well however, I’ll be back on the blog early next week.

Until then…

Lunchtime Update

There isn’t too much to update on, with regard to market moves this morning…

In theory, Vicenzo Mio has been backed in to 12/1 in the 1:40 at Wincanton.
However, as he can still be backed at 19 on BF, I would expect his price to drift, on the opening show.
He’s a strong traveller, so is definitely worth backing with a view to laying in running, at the very least.

In the same race, Contented and Hatchet Jack are now 4/1 and 13/2 respectively, as support has materialised for a few of the other runners.
Hatchet Jack looks a fair bet at that price…

Cyclop has been backed in to 7/2 in the 2:10 race – which is too short, considering how competitive it is.

Royal Palladium is relatively friendless and the 11/1 on him, makes more appeal…

Triopas remains a 7/4 shot in the 2:45 – which may or may not be a good price (time will tell !): whilst Acaro is now an 8/1 shot in the 3:20 – and is probably worth a small risk at that price…

Over at Ludlow, Local Show can still be backed at 14/1 in the 2:00 race – and is definitely worth a risk at that price.
It’s worth saving stakes on Actinpieces at 5/2.

Finally, Deauville Crystal has been backed into 14/1 in the 3:45 – which seems a more accurate reflection of her chances.
She may be worth a small play – with a saver on The Sweeney (at 4/1).

Unfortunately, there is nothing suitable for a Lunchtime Nap today…

Most of the horses of interest, are at big prices and are relatively speculative.

I think that Vicenzo Mio, Acaro, Local Show and Deauville Crystal have all got a chance of winning – and there is definitely ‘value’ in their prices.

Of the 4, I like Local Show best – but that is mainly because I think he’s competing in a winnable race.
He’s still more likely to finish last than first !

Good luck if you do choose to get involved today… 

Evening Preview 

All being well, 2 NH meetings will take place tomorrow: at Wincanton and Ludlow.

It will be interesting to see how the ground is riding, because it looked very soft today, at both Market Rasen and Newbury…

At Wincanton, I can understand why Contented and Hatchet Jack head the market in the 1:40 race.
Both are relatively unexposed: with the former making his handicap debt and the latter, running for just the second time in a handicap, having shaped very promisingly on his first outing.
The question is whether they represent any ‘value’, at 3/1 and 5/1 respectively…

I’m pretty sure that Vicenzo Mio represents value at 20/1 this evening.
He’s a horse who I’ve been watching for a few years – and whilst he’s an under-achiever, he has the talent to win from todays mark.
If the first time cheek pieces have the desired effect, he will make them all go…

Cyclop looks the one to beat in the 2:10.
Generally, I can’t bemoan the luck that the Tips on the Main service, have experienced this season – but he is definitely one that got away when I tipped him at Fontwell and he came second to Cresswell Breeze.

He followed that run up, by winning at Market Rasen on Boxing day and a 3lb rise for that victory may be insufficient to stop him from going in again tomorrow.

That said, it does look quite an open race – in which a chance of sorts can be given to most of the runners.
Royal Palladium looks the other one of particular note, as he’s on a mark he can win from – and he should relish conditions.

Triopas makes his chasing debut in the 2:45 race.
He’s been a repeating eye catcher for most of the season – and not let followers down.
I picked up on him when he won at Chepstow in November – and he’s subsequently won 3 of his next 4 races.
There is no reason why he shouldn’t take to fences – but I’m not sure I’ll be rushing to back him at 7/4, having never seen him jump a fence.

Show the Road is understandably favourite for the 3:20 race.
The form of his win at Exeter on New Years day, was franked when the runner up, Friday Night Light, won the opener at Newbury today.
A mark of 118 looks perfectly fair – and he’s likely to take a bit of beating…

That said, Acaro is even more unexposed – and could also be on an exploitable mark.
Furthermore, he can be backed at 15/2 this evening (as against even money, for the favourite).

Over at Ludlow, Actinpieces looks the solid option in the 2:00 race – even if 5/2 is a bit on the short side.

Local Show is more speculative but he is handicapped to win, if back anywhere near his best.
James Bowen is an eye catching booking – and the 14/1 this evening, is worth a risk…

Finally, The Sweeny is the one of most interest on his handicap debut in the 3:45.
However, a price of 9/2 isn’t overly generous, given he is impossible to properly quantify.

Of more appeal, is the 20/1 about top weight Deauville Crystal.
She didn’t really take to fences earlier in the season – but is potentially well handicapped back over hurdles, if she can re-find her form.
In fact, if you take James Bowens 5lb claim as a gift (which it is !) she is effectively running off the same mark that she was successful from at Warwick last season.

She should have no issue with the ground – and whilst the trip is an unknown, Ludlow is a hardly a demanding course.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Wednesday January 17th


One of Us was a late withdrawal at Market Rasen, on account of the ground – so we’ll have to wait another day, to see if the Lunchtime Naps can get up the 7 timer !

Whilst his absence was obviously a little disappointing, I would much rather connections act and withdraw horses, if they think the ground has gone against them.

Certainly in this instance, I think One of Us would have struggled to cope with Itsnonofurbusiness, who showed massive improvement on his handicap debut.

Later on the card, the jumping of Cougars Gold let him down.

As I said last night, he was mainly a value call in an open race – and his SP of 5/1 was much closer to the price that I had in mind for him.
Not that the shorter price made much difference to his performance !

Over at Newbury, Doitforthevillage, was the other big hope on the day.
He was weak in the betting (returned at 6/1) – but looked like winning when cruising into the lead, early in the straight.

However, he seemed to empty as soon as he got there, appearing very much like a horse in need of the run.
I’m sure he will do much better next time…

Saint Calvados was an impressive winner of the novice handicap chase – looking like a graded horse in handicap company.
The issue with him was the price – though in truth, even 5/4 he returned at, looked good value for most of the contest.

Finally, Kimberlite Candy was backed into 10/3 favouritism in the 3:00 race – but was badly hampered by the fall of market rival, Indy Five at the second fence.
Barry Geraghty persevered with him for a while – but gave up not long after half way.
There should be other days for him…

Lunchtime Update

The meeting at Fairyhouse was indeed lost to the weather: but Market Rasen survived an inspection – and that was more important !

The price of One of Us seems to have bottomed at 5/2 – which I think is fair.
Red Danahar has materialised in the betting as his biggest threat – which is also how I see it.
He is potentially well handicapped – but he hasn’t got the scope of the favourite…

In the 3:10 race, there has been money for Cougars Gold and he is now an 8/1 shot.
That lessens the appeal a little, as he was more a ‘value’ pick (and the value is now longer as great !).

Over at Newbury, Doitforthevillage is weak in the betting and out to 9/2.
The money has come for Percy Street – though that may be because he has James Bowen in the saddle (and is trained by Nicky Henderson).
Bowen is very good – but even he is not capable of offsetting the 2 stone that Doitforthevillage could have in hand of his hurdles make, and he’s a fair bet at 9/2.

Jameson is quite weak in the betting for the 2:25 – and I think it’s a race just to watch:
Whilst Kimberlite Candy remains a 9/2 shot in the 3:00, and that is still about the right price !

There are 2 options for todays Lunchtime Nap: Doitforthevillage and One of Us.

I am tempted by the former, as I think he’s drifted to a good price.
However, he does face a few rivals who are difficult to quantify.

One of Us is the safer bet – and the Lunchtime Nap is all about finding the most likely winner, so he is todays selection.

Lunchtime Nap: One of Us 1:00 Market Rasen (Fair Price 5/2)


Evening Preview 

There are 3 NH meetings scheduled for tomorrow: at Newbury and Market Rasen in the UK – plus Fairyhouse in Ireland, assuming it survives the expected snow.
Regardless, the days best racing takes place in the UK...

There is a varied card at Newbury, which kicks off with a handicap hurdle at 1:20.

It’s not an easy one to assess, as the principals have all got very different profiles.
That said, if Doitforthevillage can replicate his chase form over hurdles, he will win.
On his most recent outing, he took a class 2 handicap chase at Cheltenham off a mark of 135: tomorrow he is contesting a class 4 handicap hurdle, off a mark of 113.
In short, he could have almost 2 stone in hand of his mark – and even if he jumps the hurdles as though they are fences, that should be sufficient for him to win !

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Prairie Town outrun his 14/1 odds – but the race is really all about Doittothevillage…

There may only be 4 runners in the handicap chase at 2:25 – but it’s not an easy one to call.
I’m quite a fan of Jameson – though he might have his work cut out fending off the unexposed pair, Saint Calvados and Tree of Liberty.
Both were impressive winners last time – and could easily be capable of defying their new marks.
I’d have a slight preference for Saint Calvados – as a 4lb rise for his course and distance win, doesn’t look particularly harsh.
The trouble is, he’s a 6/4 shot – and that’s too short in such a tight contest.

The 3:00 is another tough race to call.
Kimberlite King had shown nothing over fences, prior to winning on his most recent outing.
He only scrambled home by a neck that day - and a 5lb rise looks quite harsh.
However, his new mark over fences, is still 6lb lower than his hurdles mark – and Barry Geraghty takes over in the saddle.
He can be backed at 9/2 this evening – and that looks fair.

Over at Market Rasen, One of Us looks very interesting in the handicap hurdle at 1:00.
He won a better race than this at Ascot last time – and a 4lb weight rise or that win, looks very lenient.
He opened up at 7/2 this evening – but you will now struggle to get 5/2.
In theory, that is short in a 12 runner handicap – but I doubt he will be beaten.
Maybe the price will drift a little tomorrow…

Finally, Cougars Gold looks like a value play in the handicap chase at 3:10.
He represents the Peter/Sean Bowen combination and didn’t run too badly on his chasing debut at Ffos Las, last month.
He won on his only previous visit to Market Rasen – and whilst he’s certainly not a good thing, he’s a fair bet at 12/1, in an open looking race.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Tuesday January 16th


Heavenly Promise ran a decent race to take fourth in the 2:00 at Hereford.

She finished behind a couple of ex PTP horses (who were difficult to quantity) and the favourite.
She looks capable of winning a low-grade contest…

Gassin Gold also finished fourth, in the 3:05 – without ever really looking likely to do much better.
Carlos Du Fruitier was pulled up before the second last in the same race, when it looked as if something went wrong (hopefully nothing too serious).

Finally, Born to Size was a big pre-race drifter in the 3:40.
As I said earlier, it’s impossible to side with ones like him, without knowing what the late market thinks.

He was 4.5 on BF – and seemingly strong, half an hour before the off: but out to 8 and friendless when tapes went up.
Needless to say, he ran as if needing it…

On to tomorrow…

Lunchtime Update

The Ayr card has been washed away, leaving just the meeting at Hereford.

However, as I said last night, all of the races look too trappy to consider serious involvement…

Heavenly Promise can still be backed at 11/1 in the 2:00 – and could be worth a small play at that price.

In the 3:05, Gassin Gold and Carlos du Fruitier continue to dominate the market –with both now a touch shorter in the betting than they were last night (when I considered them a bit too short to get involved with !).

Finally, Born to Size appears reasonable strong in the market for the 3:40 – however, the key market moves will come later in the day.
Provided he hasn’t drifted beyond 6 in the betting on BF at the off, I think he’s the one to beat.

Needless to say, there is no Lunchtime Nap today !

Newbury and Market Rasen tomorrow, will hopefully yield better opportunities…

Evening Preview 

There are a couple of NH meetings tomorrow at Hereford and Ayr (assuming the latter survives its early morning inspection) – but both cards look like they should be treated with extreme caution !

The Hereford one looks particularly trappy – with it difficult to quantify runners in most of the races... 

Heavenly Promise is the one I will be keeping my eye on, in the 2:00 race.
I marked her down as one to watch on her penultimate outing at Ludlow - but then watched her unship her rider at the seventh fence !

She did much better on her next run, at Bangor a fortnight ago, when finishing third.
I would have thought that run should give her a fair chance in this (even ignoring any possible improvement), so she would seem a reasonable bet at a double figure price…

The best race of the day, is the handicap hurdle at 3:05 – and it looks most likely to go to one of the market leaders, Gassin Golf or Carlos du Fruitier.

The former is potentially well handicapped – but unproven over the trip: whilst the latter has the greatest potential for improvement.
That said, neither one is bomb proof, so quotes of just over 3/1 make limited appeal…

The 3:40 is a fascinating handicap chase – but again, very difficult to call.
Ratify probably sets the standard on the back of his recent win – but at 14 years old, off an 8lb higher mark – and from a stable not in the best of form, he’s hard to side with.

The ex-Irish Born to Size is the most interesting alternative – though you would really want market support if you were to side with him.
There are 3 or 4 others who could be given a chance – so it will be interesting to see what the market makes of things…

I’m disinclined to spend too much time on the Ayr card – with the doubts hanging over it.

If racing does take place, then the ground will be desperate and I’d be inclined to focus on the lowly weighted horses.

In the handicap chase at 2:15, Benarty Hill fits the bill, with just 10st5lb on his back – excluding his jockeys 7lb claim.
He’s very difficult to quantify, but has been sent over from Ireland to contest the race, which only adds to the interest.
He can be backed at 8/1 this evening – and that seems fair.

In the following race, Orioninverness is the one of most interest.
Again, he gets in with a low weight – and has a claiming jockey in the saddle.
He’s also one of the few in the race with scope for improvement.

He’s 4/1 tonight, which is tight – but probably about the right price…

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Thursday January 11th


Dresden became the sixth consecutive winning Lunchtime Nap, at Catterick this afternoon.

I appreciate that non of them have been huge prices – but it’s still some achievement (even if I say so myself !).

I don’t suppose anyone has, but a £1 roll-up at BOG would now be sitting at £8,186.
My  target is to reach £100K, before the runs comes to an end 😉

I Just Know completed a good day for the blog – as he took the feature event at Catterick in convincing style.

I was only put off by his price – but he had drifted to 4/1 at the off – and I managed to get a bit of 5/1 on BF, about an hour before the off (you just need a little patience !).

Things didn’t turn out quite so well at Leicester

Ballydine ran a fair race, but was no match for Acting Lass.
It was only a 4 runner race – but I suspect it will turn out to be decent form.

Finally, as I feared, Caprice D’Anglais didn’t manage to get home in the 2:50 race.
However, he traded at 3.7 in running – so with a BSP of 16, anyone who did play him in running, should have done OK…

I’m afraid that’s all for the blog this week.
It’s been another short one – but that happens at this time of year.

My focus will now switch to an excellent days racing on Saturday.
I’ll be providing tips and previews for the Main service, from this evening onwards (so those on the Main service need to keep an eye on their in boxes !).

Lunchtime Update

Dresden was backed early this morning – into 5/2 from 7/2.
However the timing and the nature of the market move, suggest it was tipster driven…

He’s back out to 7/2 now, in places – which seems a fair price.

Also at Catterick, I Just Know has drifted a little – and can be backed at 7/2.
That’s still not quite big enough to tempt me in.

Gonalston Cloud is as big as 12/1 in places – and each way, that has greater appeal…

Over at Leicester, I think Ballydine is reasonably strong in the betting – but it’s not easy to say for sure !

Ballyarthur has certainly been backed – whilst Cultivator is very weak – and the conflicting moves for those 2, confuse things slightly…

Finally, Caprice Danglais is definitely weak in the marke t- and I would want to see support for him, if I were to get involved.
That said, he could still make a decent in running play, as I suspect he will travel well, even if he doesn’t get home…

There are 2 possibles for the Lunchtime Nap today: Dresden and Ballydine.

Ballydine is a hard one to put up, because I think he will need to be strong in the late market (and obviously I can’t judge that at this point).
Consequently, the selection has to be Dresden.

Lunchtime Nap: Dresden 1:30 Catterick (Fair Price 7/2)

Evening Preview 

There are 3 NH meetings tomorrow: at Catterick and Leicester in the UK - plus Clonmel in Ireland.

It’s funny how the racing post Christmas, has a very different feel to that of the pre-Christmas period…

Maybe it’s down to the ground – which is now generally heavy: or maybe it’s down to the fact that most of the runners have now had a few runs – and so aren’t likely to show marked improvement.

Whatever the reason, things certainly feel different, which only encourages me to tread carefully ! (as if I need much encouragement !).

There is some reasonable racing tomorrow, with the best of the action at Catterick.

I like the look of Dresden in the handicap chase at 1:30.
He’s dropped in trip – but the booking of Brian Hughes look very significant – and he’s handicapped to win.
I can find reasons for opposing all of his rivals – so whilst he is not bomb proof, he’s probably not a bad bet at 4/1 this evening (bigger in places).

The big race of the day is the North Yorkshire Grand National – and a number of the runners appear to have been aimed at the race (which makes things tricky).

I Just Know was an eye catcher on his penultimate run –and if he stays tomorrows trip, he must have every chance.
However, with that doubt – and in a competitive race, I can’t get excited about a quote of 3/1.

Gonalston Cloud was second in the race 12 months ago – and looks to have been teed up to go one better.
He is potentially a bit of value at 8/1 – as is Itstimeforapint.
He was third last year – and strictly on the book, should just about beat Gonalston Cloud.
He’s a 10/1 chance…

Over at Leicester, I like the look of Ballydine in the handicap chase at 1:45.

There are only 4 runners – and Acting Lass looks the one to beat – but I think Ballydine may be able to beat him.

It will depend on how he’s come out of his recent run at Haydock.
That was his first for 18 months, so there is a chance he will ‘bounce’.
If he doesn’t he is likely to prove hard to beat - and 11/4 is a decent price.

Finally, I’m quite attracted to another Charlie Longsdon horse – Caprice D’Anglais – in the 2:50.
He’s making his debut for Longsdon, having previously been trained by Sam Thomas.

Based on his old form, the step up in trip on heavy ground, looks like it might be an issue – but I suspect that will be countered by the stable change.

The market will likely give some guidance to the Longsdon horses: if they are strong in the betting, I think they could both prove hard to beat...

Monday, 8 January 2018

Tuesday January 9th


The horses of interest today, didn’t do much to set the pulse racing !

At Doncaster, both Ruby Yeats and Hermanus were weak in the betting.

Both showed up early – but Hermanus was beaten when falling; whilst Ruby Yeats just faded out of contention, looking like a horse in need of the run (which is what the betting suggested).

Crystal Lad ran a fair race without ever appearing particularly likely to win.
A few more pounds off his mark will enable him to compete in lower class races and that may result in him getting his head in front…

Over at Taunton, whilst I was right to oppose Relentless Dreamer – I chose the wrong horse, with Sandy Beach…
As with Ruby Yeats, he was relatively weak in the betting and looked as if he needed the run.

Finally, I did think things might get interesting with Bandsman, as he was backed down from 25/1 to 10/1 at the off.

However, he started off in last place – and stayed there !

Here’s Herbie ran much better to finish third – and seemed to be totally unsuited by the lack of pace in the race.
He could be one to be interested in next time (as his finishing position didn’t flatter him).

There will be better days..!!

Lunchtime Update 

Doncaster passed its morning inspection – which was good news !

However, there is precious little to update on at either of todays meetings, as the markets have been very quiet…

At Doncaster, Ruby Yeats has been solid in 2:35.
She’s a general 11/2 shot now – though 6/1 has been easily achievable.

In the same race, there has been no early money for Hermanus, who can now be backed at 28/1.
If she is going to run well, I’m pretty sure money will come…

There has been even less market movement in the following 3:10 race, where Crystal Lad remains a 3/1 shot.
As I said last night, that’s probably fair – though not particularly easy to judge…

Over at Taunton, there has been a bit of money for Sandy Beach and he is now a 7/1 shot.
As with Ruby Yeats however, getting the slightly bigger price shouldn’t have been an issue.

In the same race, Relentless Dreamer is a relatively weak 9/2 shot.

Finally, neither Here’s Herbie nor Bandsman have come in for any support in the 2:45 race.
The former is now an easy 9/2 shot – with the latter available at up to 25/1.

The morning money has been for Fidux and Blairs Cove – and that’s interesting.

Fidux isn’t particularly well handicapped - whilst Blairs Cove is a stablemate of Bandsman.

I would definitely be inclined to follow the market in this race.
Hopefully Here’s Herbie or Bandsman will receive late support…

There will be no Lunchtime Nap today.

I’d like to ease myself back into things this week – and there is no stand-out contender

All of those mentioned yesterday evening, have a chance – but most are ‘value’ plays.

Market support for Hermanus or Bandsman would make them interesting – though Crystal Lad is the most solid option on the day (if not exactly bomb proof !).


Evening Preview 

With the Christmas and New Year period now behind us, it’s back to the mid-week blog…

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks – and whilst it’s great to see a lot of top class racing, there is also an element of relief to be back in the mundane !

Hopefully, there will be 2 NH meetings taking place tomorrow: at Doncaster and Taunton.

The weather is wreaking havoc with the fixture list again, and Doncaster will have to survive an early morning inspection.

I’m disinclined to spend too much time, studying at meetings which may be abandoned – but there is an official eye catcher running at Doncaster, in the shape of Crystal Lad.

All being well, he will contest the novice handicap chase at 3:10.
That will be his third (and final) run as an eye catcher, having originally caught the eye at Plumpton, back in October.
His next run at Sandown, was disappointing – but he ran much better last time at Ludlow, behind 2 decent sorts.
He gets to run off a 1lb lower mark tomorrow – and it’s hard to see him not going well.
The question is simply, whether there is one in the race capable of beating him…

I guess there might be: but he sets a fair standard – and 3/1 is a fair price, in a 6 horse race…

The other race of interest, from a betting perspective, is the mares handicap hurdle at 2:35.
With 16 mainly unexposed runners (though I would lay long odds against all 16 going to post !), there are plenty who can be given a chance.
Ruby Yeats strikes me as the most likely winner – in first time cheek pieces for a stable (Harry Whittington), which is going well at the moment.
She’s 6/1 this evening – but I would hope for a bit bigger tomorrow…

Hermanus is a more speculative shout.
She is the only horse that James Ewart has sent down from Scotland – and she makes her handicap debut off a fair mark, having shown the odd glimmer of ability.
She’s 20/1 this evening – but I could see her being backed – and well backed, if she is expected to go close…

At Taunton, the best race on the card, is the handicap chase at 2:10.

Relentless Dreamer was a winning Lunchtime Nap, on his most recent run – but a 7lb rise in his handicap mark will make it difficult for him to follow up…
That said, this isn’t as strong a race, so I certainly wouldn’t dismiss him.

I’m still inclined to look elsewhere for the winner, with Sandy Beach probably the most attractive option - assuming he’s fit enough to do himself justice.
He’s 8/1 this evening – if he’s ready to go, I would expect his SP to be shorter…

The handicap hurdle at 2:45, is the other race on the card of interest, from a betting perspective…

Paddleyourowncanoe is favourite, but he will have his work cut out confirming the form of his most recent run, with Here’s Herbie.

He beat him 16 lengths that day – but Here’s Herbie was making his seasonal debut and is a stone better off at the weights today.
More than that, he looked likely to hack up next time at Exeter – and races off the same mark tomorrow.

As the Exeter race was only 8 days ago, there is a chance that run will have left a mark – but if it hasn’t he looks the one to beat and 9/2 looks a fair price.

Bandsman is the other one of interest…
He has some decent form in the book from last season – and whilst he showed little on his seasonal return, if that run has brought him on he could go well.

He’s 14/1 this evening and I would expect the market to tell the tale with him…