Monthly Archives: April 2015

AP’s last day – Sandown 25 Apr

The Bet365 Gold Cup (or in its previous guise of the Whitbread Gold Cup) is the last big chase handicap of the season and a traditional send-off to National Hunt racing’s year
The spotlight on the meeting is all the more magnified by it being the final day of riding for 20 time champion AP McCoy. I’m sure coverage will be monopolised by this and not a sentence will go by without some reference to the great jockey.
He has two rides at the meeting but none in the showpiece event.

Here’s a quick rundown of my thoughts for the day’s tv races with some recommendations:
Ground could become a major issue tomorrow and prevents me from getting too heavily involved with this card. On the flat track today the ground was ‘good’ but it was suggested that watering this week had left it on the dead side. We have to assume the jumps track is similar but if some forecasted heavy rain arrives tomorrow afternoon this watered ground could deteriorate quite quickly

2.00 Alzammaar is the early fav and really appreciated a step up in trip last time at Newbury. He’s back to 2 miles here and although the finishing hill is stiff he could need a bit more of a test. Top weight Old Guard interests me more. Paul Nicholls seemed quite sweet on his chances for a longshot in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham until rain came to get rid of the good ground. He’s big enough to carry his weight and ground should be much better if it stays rain free before 2pm. I was hoping for a bit better than the early show of 6/1 however so refrain from putting him up as a recommended bet

2.35 Al Ferof and Menorah have the best form but both have something to prove here. I don’t tfind this a particularly attractive heat for betting but with Jack Sherwood reunited on Rebel Rebellion he makes best appeal of the outsiders with Paddy Power’s early 16/1 quote (as low as 8s with Ladbrokes and Hills)

3.05 McCoy’s mount Mr Mole likely to see support with him on board but the horse remains a bit of an enigmatic customer (although 10x better than he used to be!) Sprinter Sacre would dot up in this on his old form but he’s got a lot to prove now after his Cheltenham failure. His presence in the field does rule out the race as a betting medium for me – it would be great to see him return to past glories but impossible to know what form he will turn up in here.

3.50 The main event the Bet365 Gold Cup.
Former Gold Cup here Bobs Worth has slipped down the weights considerably and I can understand why he was backed for this midweek. At his height he won races by being a supreme trier but I’ve seen several like him where the efforts eventually catch up and then it’s a downhill curve. I think he too may have been ‘broken’
This is often a race for young horses and Le Reve is my ideal type having skipped Cheltenham and Aintree to purposefully wait for this race..
He must be one of the biggest horses in training so it’s no surprise he has taken time to realise his potential and this season has seen him start to do just that. He has already won over the course twice this season (it’s a place that takes some jumping so course experience is important) and this place will suit him much more than Kempton where he was beaten behind Rocky Creek last time (that one has to come back from a very disappointing effort in the Grand National).
Ground shouldn’t be a problem even if some rain falls and the one question mark is stamina – but he shapes like he can handle a test.
With some firms offering 5 places he has to be the recommendation

1pt ew Le Reve 9/1 (Betfair Sportsbook and Paddy Power offering 5 places)

4.25 Box Office is AP McCoy’s last ever ride and while he does hold a good chance he will undoubtedly be overbet to leave him at unattractive odds.
This will increase the odds of the others and I’m siding with Dan Skelton’s Go Odee Go who looks to be an improving type and a bit too big for me at 12/1
Rayvin Black also gets a mention as he gets on very well with Thomas Garner and will put them all to the sword with his front running style. It’s just that I think 2 miles is his trip and he may falter on the uphill finish here
1pt ew Go Odee Go 12/1 (365, Boyles, BetVictor, Hills)

Thanks for reading once more

Enjoy the day and good luck!


Saturday recommendations 4pts staked
1pt ew Le Reve 9/1
1pt ew Go Odee Go 12/1


Le Reve did very little wrong jumping the last in the lead only to be outstayed on the run in finishing 3rd (+1.25 pts)

Go Oee Go might have preferred a bit quicker ground but travelled well out the back and came through late to get 4th and place money – as he returned 14/1 and all mentioned firms are Best Ods Guaranteed I’ll be claiming that price (+2.5 pts)

Profit for the day +3.75 pts

Running balance 67.23 pts from the initial bank of 50 pts (17.23 pts profit and this does not include the 4pts staked on the 2,000 Guineas next weekend)

(prices correct at 1830 UK time 24 Apr – see for current quotes)

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Posted by on April 24, 2015 in AP McCoy, Horse Racing


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Scottish Grand National day 18 April (+ 2000 Guineas Antepost update)

Saturday’s cards see some quality jump racing at Ayr and some high class flat racing at Newbury
Some brief thoughts below with my best offerings for the day:

The main event
Scottish Grand National 3.45 AYR
I have some doubts about effectiveness of Gallant Oscar over this extreme trip and if ground maybe on the quick side for him.
My two against the field are Sego Success and Trustan Times
Sego Success is having a very similar preparation to Alan King’s Godsmejudge who won this 2 years ago. He looks all about stamina and will be much better suited by the pace here than at Cheltenham last time where it all developed into a bit of a sprint. I can see him reversing form with Broadway Buffalo from that run here in race that will be run at a true gallop from the off
Trustan Times has also had a similar preparation to when he came here last year and finished 3rd behind Al Co (latter reopposes but a negative for me that he was probably trained for the Grand National instead last week where he fell at the first). He ran well to a point at Cheltenham and when it was clear he wouldn’t be placed the foot was taken right off the pedal
Both horses should be effective on this ever drying ground in Scotland
I could see Harry the Viking running into a place on this ground as well as he’s been very consistent of late and I have a lot of time for his trainer. He keeps going up in the weights without winning which just puts me of him as a recommendation but wouldn’t put anyone off at 25/1+

1pt ew each
Sego Success 14/1 (take ¼ odds 12345 with 365, Coral or Betfair Sportsbook)
Trustan Times 16/1 (365, Coral)

3.10 Ayr
The preceding race has the best bet of the day for me in Duke Of Navan.
He looked a really good recruit when winning on his debut this season but then seemed to disappoint when beaten at odds-on on the last two occasions. Those defeats don’t look bad at all now as his conqueror Just Cameron easily won a handicap off 140 at Haydock since. That makes Duke of Navan’s mark of 139 look very workable now and he is back on ground that suits him so much better now.
There should be some pace in this race with Strongpoint and Dunraven Storm in the field which will suit his hold up style. Nicky Richards could have upped him in grade at Aintree last week but I think has kept him back specifically for this.

duke of navan
3pts win Duke Of Navan 7/2 (Skybet, Ladbrokes)

3.25 Newbury
A very competitive handicap but Buckstay is so consistent in this grade I have to have a nibble at 8/1 with 5 places being paid out by some.
Lincoln winner Gabrial should be his chief opponent and at bigger prices I give ew squeaks to Santefisio and Mister Music who both have performed well on higher marks. The latter was behind Buckstay last time but travelled well into that race and could have just needed it
1pt ew Buckstay 8/1 (365, Paddy Power both paying 5 places)

2.15 Newbury
Not recommending a bet directly in this race but it’s going to make very interesting watching. Last season’s brilliant two-year old Tiggy Wiggy has stamina to prove and a very interesting rival in Jellicle Ball who had time analysts in raptures on her splits on her debut.
With Ryan Moore booked I wouldn’t be surprised to see the latter run very well and there could be something in 365’s 50/1 for her to win this race and the 1,000 Guineas for those who can get on with that firm

Thanks for reading and best of luck


Saturday’s recommended bets 9pts staked


Duke of Navan 1st 7/2 ( +10.5 pts)

All went beautifully here once the selection just managed to avoid an early disaster with two fallers at the first fence

Buckstay unplaced (-2pts)

A fairly exaggerated hold up ride here and he was ultimately on the wrong side of the course anyway. Never involved in finish

Trustan Times and Sego Success both unplaced (-4pts)

Trustan Times made a few too many jumping errors – he had an outside place chance at the home turn before running into a faller and then it was race over. Sego Success was a disappointment, travelling well until the final circuit and then unable to compete as the heat was turned up

This leaves the blog with a 4.5pt profit on the day and a running balance of 67.48 pts from the initial 50pt bank



There’s a further bet for me to be had now after watching today’s Classics trials.

Despite narrow defeat I was very impressed with Estidhkaar‘s effort from the front in the Greenham. Paul Hanagan was probably aware others may have had more pace in behind over this 7 furlong trip but he beat them all off comfortable except Muharrar and wasn’t done at the finishing line at all. A course record shows the result in very good light and I can see him doing far better over a mile in the Guineas where he should be able to sit just off a decent pace. Improvement must be expected from today and he wouldn’t be the first to be defeated in the Greenham and to come back and win the colts classic. The one thing I wouldn’t want to see is soft ground at Newmarket in 2 weeks time on which he seems to be less effective. He seems definitely to be going for the race from what I have read since and this also leaves the owner’s Zawraq to be free to be aimed at the Derby now he has another bona fide contender for the race.

I would expect Paul Hanagan to be riding again and think he should be a single figure price now. Hence I’m happy to take the 14s generally now offered


2pts ew Estidhkaar @14/1 2,000 Guineas

(Tote/Betfred, Boyles, BetVictor. Corals, Betfair Sportsbook, SportingBet)


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Free Handicap – Newmarket Apr 15

Wednesday’s Newmarket Craven meeting sees the first real clues for home contenders in the forthcoming Classics.
The European Free Handicap doesn’t always have the biggest influence on the 2,000 Guineas but that could change this year with John Gosden’s Faydhan in the line-up.
He’s currently a top price of 5/1 2nd fav for the Guineas and his presence here has frightened off all but 4 opponents over this 7 furlong trip.
All eyes will probably be on him and if he’s as good as his home reputation he may well dot up. It’s the hype in Newmarket that makes him no more than about 4/9 tomorrow – a skinny price for just one win. On paper that 6 length win over subsequent Group winner Dutch Connection is certainly impressive but nearly impossible to rate properly. The second improved drastically afterwards evidenced by the fact that the 3rd and 4th who were just behind were plying their trade in handicaps afterwards from marks in the 70s (Faydhan given 102 tomorrow)
But this race is also seeing the reappearance of another highly promising type in Glenalmond and I think that’s where the value lies in this race.
Glenalmond first sprang to prominence when he was significantly upped in grade for his second start last year and ran very green to finish 4th in York’s Gimcrack Stakes. His inexperience was all too obvious but he looked to me the best horse in the race. He is 3lb better off for a length beating by Jungle Cat in that – but I would have expected him to beat that one again on level weights on what I saw. Gimcrack winner Muharrar later went on to prove the form was not far behind the best of his generation when 3rd in the Middle Park Stakes.
He then ran in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster where a disappointing last behind Estidhkaar. That looked a backward step until it transpired he had pulled a muscle and was practically walking on 3 legs after the race. I’m therefore happy to ignore that run but it seems he has been priced up tomorrow as if that were his true form.
If the Doncaster run had been ignored I really think he would be about the 6 or 7/1 mark for this race.
Of the other two in the race tomorrow, Home of the Brave is also more about potential than form. He was soundly beaten when upped in grade at Kempton after running too freely – something which must be a concern when running fresh on his debut again here – and there must also be some stamina concern over this 7 furlong trip.
Tupi gets weight from all but didn’t do enough to suggest that he was Group race level – something that the selection certainly did to me.
Glenalmond will almost certainly not be 100% ready tomorrow with a possible tilt at the 2,000 Guineas in mind – Karl Burke will have left something to work on with the season ahead. However, the same should probably be true of all 5 runners so they should start on a fairly level playing field here – only paddock inspection will start to reveal which are more forward than others and I can’t build that factor into an early price selection

I think his trainer remains severely underrated – the fact that of his 21 juveniles last season he got 20 of them to win races- is a massive pointer as to his skill. But while he remains underrated the prices on his runners may be over generous.
Toocoolforschool was his highest rated juvenile last season but Glenalmond wasn’t far behind, and this full brother to Group 1 winning Wootton Bassett can start to reveal he is a top quality colt this season.
I remain full of respect for the favourite so only a small bet is recommended on the selection to win the race itself – but it’s the market where we don’t include Faydhan where I think the real value is to be had.
Betting without the favourite markets are usually worked out by automation from the race win odds. But using this method instead of working out manually can give out some anomalies.
As Glenalmond is marked up at over double the odds of the second fav with some firms he comes out far too high for me on this special market (in reality I think he should be fav or joint fav when Faydhan is ignored)
0.5 pts ew Glenalmond 14/1 (365)
2pts Glenalmond @7/2 (Betfair Sportsbook ) – betting without favourite

Thanks for reading and good luck


RESULT: Glenalmond seemed plenty fresh enough on his debut throwing his head around in the first furlong despite a strongly run race. He didnt have the pace to get with the two who raced up front but ran through to the line and I suspect will improve a bit on this performance. The winner Home of The Brave looked to have improved significantly from 2 to 3 but I think we can judge that Hugo Palmer’s team are well forward judged on both his and stablemates runs today. Despite being 4 lenghts behind, my selection was giving at least 5lbs away to those in front and gives me enough reason to think he can improve on that this season – possibly over a mile or over 7 furlongs when the ground isn’t quite as quick

A 3pt loss on the blog today leaves us with a balance of 62.98 pts from an initial bank of 50pts at the start of the year

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Posted by on April 15, 2015 in Horse Racing, Newmarket


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Grand National aftermath

A quick resume of yesterday’s big race and how the blog selections have performed

A re-run of Many Clouds magnificent win can be seen below

It wasn’t the result we wanted from the point of the blog but nothing should be detracted from a superb performance by the winner. He was a young horse in Grand National terms and coming back after an attritional race in the Gold Cup which would have finished off many for the season. Moreover he carried the kind of weight to victory that hasn’t been seen since the days of Red Rum in 1974. All of these were big negatives from a stats view going into the race and so he was never going to be at the forefront of my selections
All in all he must now be considered as one of the very best winners of the race in the modern era considering what he had going against him.
My main tip Rocky Creek looked beaten soon after they started the second circuit and I don’t think was jumping as well as he did last year. It was too far out to give lack of stamina as a reason and unless something comes to light to explain it, must be considered a very disappointing run.
Monbeg Dude was given a terrific ride by Liam Treadwell to secure some place returns for Ante Post followers. For a time at the final fence I thought he might catch them up front as he came with a strong run from the back of the field. The effort was just too much but he ran a great third and might have been a bit closer still but for being hampered by the fall of French outsider River Choice at Bechers first time round.
The Game Changer did give some place returns in a later race after looking the likely winner two fences out.
Aintree was a little disappointing overall slightly mirroring last years results where Cheltenham was also the better meeting for profit.
It’s always a bit of a watershed time for me now with jump racing – the Scottish National next Saturday holds some interest but generally my betting interests will die down with jump racing until November now and Flat Racing will gradually take over

Results from last week:
Thursday 9pts staked , 3.62 pts returned
Friday 10pts staked , 13.05 pts returned
Saturday 16 pts staked 4 pts returned
Previous Grand National Ante Post Bets returned 9.25 pts

So from an initial bank of 50 pts at the start of this year we now have a balance of 65.98 pts (slightly below the balance after Cheltenham but still just under 32% ahead on the year)

It’s an interesting week next week with the first big Classics trials starting on the Flat and the Scottish National on Saturday so the blog may be in action again in the next 7 days

Hopefully back again soon



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Grand National Day 2015

Saturday morning update at bottom of page


The final day of the Aintree meeting and the showpiece event the Grand National is due to start at 4.15pm
There were no withdrawals prior to Friday’s deadline which meant that all reserves miss the race. Subsequent to this Carlito Brigante was taken out after being found lame so 39 runners are now due to start the big race
I listed each horse with remarks about their chances and with a scoring system earlier in the week on this posting
A list of bookmakers odds for the big race can be found here:

Some initial things to note from this odds list.

This is the biggest horse racing shop window of the year for bookmakers when they look to bring in new accounts.
Many will offer enhanced odds and place terms which may well be unprofitable to them. For anyone who doesn’t yet hold an account there will be further carrots dangled with higher odds again on fancied horses (though to limited stakes) and the offer of free bets in the future.
For any newbies out there who aren’t sure of how to take advantage of such offers please feel free to leave a comment or contact me on Twitter (@Senor_Moodoir) and I will endeavour to help if I can

Also if betting online get bets on early. There is unprecedented traffic on betting company sites on this day and some may struggle to handle it! Some have been known to crash as they cannot handle it in the past

And so onto the race:

Lets hope it’s a cleaner race than Friday’s Topham – run over the same course but a shorter trip – where two thirds of the field failed to complete. The fences may be easier nowadays but that may just increase the speed they jump. Loose horses were causing plenty of problems in Friday’s race
The big talking point will undoubtedly be the final appearance of champion jockey AP McCoy which is the reason why his mount Shutthefrontdoor is favourite.
Undoubtedly, this one is a much shorter price than he should be as a result but its market forces that have driven his price so low. Bookmakers predict he will be one of the shortest priced favourites ever with all of the support they expect but I’m not so sure he will get as short as is predicted.
He’s currently hanging around 7/1 though his real odds should maybe be double that. While he fits the bill on stamina he fails on so many other stats – and firms will be aware of this.
If you fancy him I would advise to wait until the shop windows open tomorrow morning and firms may well be competing to be the ones offering the top price on him. I’ll be surprised if you can’t get a bit more than 7/1.
Once on course bookmakers become involved in the hour before the race that price may contract though I think there is another in the race who may well be backed also – and possibly even vying for favouritism.
I can’t recommend backing him myself and on my other post I formulated a shortlist where I think the possible winner will come from.
The first 7 of these all fit the trends of previous winners best in the race and have the form in the book which gives them a serious chance. The last two have a slight failing on the stamina front but I believe have the potential to erase that negative they have.
I have already advised bets on Godsmejudge and Monbeg Dude earlier in the year in January and February.
Godsmejudge would still have been my top selection but for a real dismal run over hurdles three weeks ago. He is a shorter price than I advised now – and I wont be backing him anymore now that I’m already on.
Monbeg Dude was disappointing in his trainers mind last time out where the fitting of a tongue tie was blamed. I’m a bit disappointed that he doesn’t have a jockey who knows him well on board as he needs to be given a patient ride and held up until late. Nevertheless last years 7th (didn’t quite stay after running a bit too freely) is still overpriced in my eyes at 40/1 – especially when 6 places are available. If you haven’t backed already I still rate him as a value outsider to keep with.
Al Co has come if for some support in the last week to around 25/1. He’s one for a saver as he probably is the best stats fit of all. It’s just a bit offputting that he seems to be ridden as if he doesn’t want to many horses round him – a negative if that is applied on this track.
Last years winner and second Pineau De Re and Balthazar King still have place chances. Pineau De Re is now 12 and that may just count against him along with his rise in the weights. Balthazar King also has a slightly higher mark and I think has got a little too short at around 10/1. I can see him running well but again finding one too good.
Royale Knight is improving but needs to be off a much higher mark than he has won off before. It’s the huge jump in class for me that just keeps him off my list to bet.
I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from Soll at around 20/1. He does have some stamina to prove but his new trainer David Pipe seems to have revitalized him and a different training regime could see him a stronger stayer.
The two bets for the day I will suggest at currently available odds come last.
Across the Bay represent the McCain stable who have such a good heritage in this race stemming from the mighty Red Rum. He was very unlucky to be taken out of the race with a circuit to go last year but has proved he likes the course. I hope he can be ridden with a bit more restraint to get home this year but at 50/1 and with 6 places available he is worth an interest.
The main bet is Rocky Creek however. He was 5th last year and jumped around the course with aplomb only to fade late home. I think he can improve on that and am relying on his trainer’s great record at bringing improvement to horses by means of a breathing operation. He looked a stronger finisher last time at Kempton after coming back from his treatment.
While I don’t see a jumping problem some luck is always need at this course. You can be the best jumper in the world but if you run into one in front of you that isn’t so good at the obstacles it can be all over.

rocky creek
He should be the favourite in the race for me and I see him too big with 10/1 offered . Paul Nicholls has become known as ‘Mr Saturday’ this season with such a fine record in landing the big weekend pot. This would be the ultimate weekend result for him and I can see people latching onto this. I don’t expect his SP to be as high as 10/1 and could conceivably see him challenging Shutthefrontdoor as favourite
3pts ew Rocky Creek 10/1 (Betfred/Tote who pay ¼ 12345) or take BetVictor’s 9/1 where they offer 1st 6
1pt ew Across The Bay 50/1 50/1 (BetVictor ¼ odds 123456)

(already advised earlier this year

1.5 pts ew Godsmejudge 28/1 + 1pt ew 25/1

1pt ew Monbeg Dude 33/1)

As for the remaining races on the card there aren’t too many bets that take my fancy for now but here are some thoughts with selections recommended in the last two races:

2.15 Parlour Games and Nichols Canyon are the pricipals and had only a lenght between them at Cheltenham. There shouldn’t be much between them again but both would prefer softer ground and the form hasn’t really been advertised by those behind since. As Der Mee’s form is also on softer ground and while Three Musketeers looks promising he’ll need further improvement here. Days Of Heaven missed Cheltenham and is the one that most takes the eye as he looks to be firmly on an upward curve. The problem is that this distance is new territory for him and that prevents me backing him

2.05 Gods Own has all the best form here and gets his desired ground. There is a reservation about his form on left handed tracks which he put to bed to some degree with his second in the Arkle last time. More critical for betting on this race is that there is no obvious front runner (Solar Impulse maybe) and this could be a tactical affair. Court Minstrel is the one I have my eye on most as track and ground should definitely suit – but I wouldnt want to see Paul Moloney overdoing the waiting tactics if the pace isn’t quick-

2.50 Hard to tell if his serious blunder deprived Zarkandar of victory in the World Hurdle or not. He was certainly going well at the time but ultimately Cole Harden won going away. The latter gets his ground again and should have no competition for the lead up front. Much will depend on who has recovered from that race best. Last year’s winner Whisper should also get closer now he’s had a run under his belt. If there is a shock then Henryville ran a huge race under top weight in the Pertemps final at Cheltenham. That entitles him to mix it with these and he’s the most appealing of the outsiders-3.25 Buywise throws many races away with bad jumping and you have to take that on board if backing at a short price. Vino Griego is a quirky character who hasnt shown much form in his last three races – but now he’s back on good ground. Last year he had similar conditions in this race when touched off by the reopposing Duke of Lucca but is now 10lbs better off. I’d be chancing he is on a going today at around 8/1 but he certainly isn’t the type of horse to risk the life savings on!

5.10 One For The Guvnor could be well in on his handicap debut but has been priced accordingly at an early 5/1. I slightlyprefer two Irish raiders at bigger odds. The Game Changer was well fancied in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham but the rain on the day probably scuppered his chances. He has his ground now and an excellent pilot aboard in young Luke Dempsey. At still bigger odds, Little King Robin, is also back on a surface that suits. She is a trail blazing front runner – a style that is suited by this course – and she has a touch of class. She’s top weight on the back of that but I find her odds to big for this

Find the odds for this race here :


1pt ew The Game Changer @12/1 (365, Ladbrokes, Skybet, Corals)

0.5pts ew Little King Robin @25/1 (generally available)

5.40 Hard to read the form in this Mares Bumper. The Irish challenge looks predictably strong with Whistle Dixie and Babylone des Mottes at the head of the early markets. Sunshine Corner has to be on the shortlist but connections intimated that she may not want the ground this quick after her debut victory. Chocca Wocca is the first foal of the very classy mare Chomba Womba and I’ll be watching her with interest. I’m a sucker for anything the Crawford family send over to this meeting in Bumpers and they won this with Legacy Gold two years ago. They have Verona Opera here at a big price and you can be sure she’ll be trained for this – the connections main aim will be to sell her on the back of it. Her debut run doesnt look good enough but I think she improved plenty next time up when winning easily. Sh’e worth a punt at big odds because of her connections record in bumpers alone

Find the odds for this race here:


0.5pts ew Verona Opera  40/1 (365 – who offer 1/4 odds 123)

(apologies to those who read this before this morning where I accidentaly called her Verona Gold – thinking of Legacy Gold again!)


A small amount of ovcernight rain at the track but nothing that should prevent if being decent racing ground once drying winds take some effect later.

I was looking forward to seeing some value in speical bets markets this morning on the big race but compared to last year the selection is quite poor. There are a lot of meaning less oness out there (star sign of winner, first letter of winner) and it’s very disappointing to see that ‘Top 10 finish’ which was widely available in last few years has been missed out by all so far. Sadly that’s probably a result of too much automation in compiling these days and the program that being built in.

Match Bets are the others that interest me but again there’s a pretty poor selection with many firms.

The standout for me is with BetVictor who offer

5/6 Oscar Time v 5/6 Court By Surprise

I strongly favour the former here. He may be a veteran but he has loads of good course form and in Sam Waley Cohen has the pilot with the best record over these fences on his back. Court By Surprise is a decent horse but has had a long lay off and no experience over these fences at all remain the only major firm offering 6 places for each way punters and that should be the first place to look – if the win odds are available better elsewhere with firms offering 1st 5 then they should be considered intead. There remain a few firms (Betfred, Tote, Hills) only paying 4 places and that really is the last resort for each way betting now. Do try and get bets on as early as possible and take the price – when the shows come in from on course bookmakers later they will supercede these and in majority of cases they might well be less. Most firms do offer ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ so if you do take a price now you will get the final SP price if it happens to be bigger anyway

There is one other bet I have to recommend now from an earlier race

2.50 Aintree

4pts Cole Harden @15/8 (without Zarkandar)

I wasn’t confident enough to pick Cole Harden in the race itself as I thought it would be close between him and Zarkandar. In this special market ofered by a few firms I no longer have to worry what Zarkandar does – he can win and Cole Harden finish 2nd and we stil collect.

I do think his Cheltenham win has been slightly undervalued and no reason he can’t control the race again from the front on a course that should suit him even better. Bet 365 have the same market with him at 5/4 and that’s much more like what price I think he should be – the tip is given in the belief that 15/8 is simply much too big

With regard to previous selections the money has come significantly for 5.10 selection The Game Changer and last night’s 12/1 no longer available. 8/1 is now best.

Pricewise also put up my main Grand National pick Rocky Creek last night. 10/1 has now all gone. 9/1 is still available but I think that wil shorten further through the day

Thanks for reading

Comments on the blog are always most welcome


Total recommended stakes for day of race bets today = 16pts

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Posted by on April 10, 2015 in Aintree, Grand National, Horse Racing


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Aintree – Day 2

Aintree – Day 2

Day 1 of the Aintree Festival wasn’t a great day at the office.
Hargam was very well backed but ran poorly and the Aintree veteran Big Fella Thanks travelled well to a point but was a bit disappointing behind an impressive win fpor On the Fringe and Nina Carberry . The last selection of the day Bellenos ran well and led into the straight before holding on to secure some place money.
So with the 9pts staked on Thursday the place returned 3.62 pts, a loss of 5.38 pts on the day
The best sight of the day was to see Arctic Fire get up safely after a horrid looking fall in the main event.
Onto tomorrows fare – we might get some watering to the course tonight but we can expect similar decent ground:

1.40 2ml 4fur hcap hurdle
Firms have been  very slow to price this race up on Thursday – having said that it is a very tricky affair.
A few notes on some but If I have any selections it will probably be tomorrow now
Mijhaar has seldom shown the talent we know he has but he’s back on the course where he showed his best piece of form this season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run well here but he’s just too frustrating to tip.
Baradari never got into the race at all at Cheltenham and could still be spotted full of running in last place 3 hurdles out. He was too far back to make any impression but is capable of better.
I thought Some Buckle had an attractive mark at Sandown last timewhere he ran well despite some very testing conditions and he’s another for the shortlist but interesting that Paddy Brennan elects to ride stablemate Olofi instead
At 9 he’s the veteran in the field but has shown enough in non handicap races this season to make me think he retains all of his old ability – he’s certainly very nicely in on his 4th to Rock on Ruby at Cheltenham in January. The worry is that the ground may just have turned that little bit quick for him
A Gordon Elliott runner with a low weight and winning recent form immediately stands out in a contest like this and no surprise to see Knights Parade as an early favourite
For now it’s a NO BET race

2.15 2mile novice hurdle
Glingerburn has improved consistently through the season and must be considered the top novice hurdle in the North of England right now. He bypassed Cheltenham for this and is the one to beat with a potent turn of foot.
Qewy ran 5th in the Supreme Novices at Cheltenham, albeit someway behind the front 4. With McCoy on board he looks the stable first string but I am more drawn to his stablemate Commissioned who has been waiting for good ground to return.
It had been reported before his last race at Cheltenham that he disliked soft ground so I’m not really sure why they ran him on it. I’m happy to draw a line through that disappointing run.
He had had a break but was impressive on good ground on his reappearance at Cheltenham – he also ran well at this meeting last year
Commissioned is the marginal selection for now but I’m waiting to see more strength in this market also and maybe a few more firms offering ¼ odds a place before making a bet – check back tomorrow!

2.40 Mildmay Novice Chase 3ml 1fur
This principally revolves around whether World Hurdle runner –up Saphir Du Rheu will reddem himself over the larger obstacles. He went back over hurdles after two non completions in novice chasing earlier this season.
He is surely the best horse in the race but the jumping issue prevents me from getting involved in this race – I would like to see him establish himself as a Gold Cup contender for next season though

3.25 Melling Chase 2ml 4fur
Hard to rule out anything completely here.
Sire De Grugy would be a highly popular victor but this trip is unknown territory for the former two-mile champ and the ground maybe quick enough for him.
Balder Succes seems to prefer single figure fields. Don Cossack and Champagne Fever looked like they were going to run close at Thurles earlier in the season before the former fell 2 out and are tightly matched.
Cue Card has the best form prior to this season – but nothing has really gone right for him and it remains to be seen if he retains all of his old ability.
Simply Ned was 7 lengths behind Sire De Grugy at Cheltenham but was always on the back foot after a bad mistake at the top of the hill when the race was just starting to develop.
I think he’s the value outsider – he’ll like the ground and has run well at this meeting last year. Stamina isn’t proven but he’s starting to look like he needs further than 2 miles as he gets older.

This is a very competitive looking race and surprising that so many firms are quoting 1/5th odds a place right now so ew backers should look to use firms offering 1/4 odds where feasible


0.5 pts ew Simply Ned 20/1 (Skybet, Stan James)

4.05 Crabbies Topham Chase 2ml5fur
The ‘Mini Grand National’ is run over the same big fences but a much shorter trip and draws a 30 runner field.
I was a bit disappointed with Rajdhani Express’s 8th at the Cheltenham Festival where conditions all looked to be in his favour. Ground and trip should be right again but he just appears a bit too short a price hereafter that last run
Eastlake was 3rd here last year giving the impression he stayed this trip – something he hasn’t done since. He still looks like he would prefer a strongly run two miles to me
Bennys Mist has run this course well twice before when the ground is decent (1 length ahead of Eastlake in this race last year and only 1lb worse off). He should be prominent once more but is a few pounds higher in the handicap now and that could just make the difference between a win and a place. I don’t really see why he should be a bit bigger than Eastlake in the markets currently though and take him to confirm that form.
At a bigger price still I like Rathlin who has come down the handicap a bit this season but has performed at the highest level in the past.

He ran well at this meeting this year behind Boston Bob (Rajdhani Express 7 lengths behind him and 2lbs worse off today). He’s been largely disappointing this season on soft ground until showing some sparkle last time.
I think he needs this better ground and represents the best value in the race
Search for firms offering 5 places for a start!
1 pt ew each
Rathlin 33/1 (365)
Bennys Mist 16/1 (Tote/Betfred, BetVictor, Paddy Power)

4.40 Doom Bar Sefton Novices Hurdle 3ml
It would be great to see a win for Coneygree’s younger brother Flintham but the ground isn’t anywhere soft enough to favour this one.
Minella Rocco has looked a bright prospect this season but I wonder if he’s ready yet for this kind of level with a big field on much quicker ground than he’s used to.
Vyta Du Roc is more streetwise and would have finished closer at Cheltenham but for a last hurdle blunder (holds Ordo Ab Chao on that run). He’s closely matched on previous season form with Blaklion but the latter was very disappointing at the Festival
There’s a few potential improvers at bigger prices and there have been some turn ups in this race in the past.
Foryourinformation looked a much better horse on decent ground last time and promises to be better still over this longer trip
Our Kaempfer went straight into my notebook after a close third to Red Sherlock in a Cheltenham bumper last season. He ran much too freely when down the field at the Festival that season and has been slow to show his potential again. The penny seems to be dropping in his latest two runs. This 3 mile trip is new and a bit of a question mark but he’s still overpriced for me


0.5pts ew each

Foryourinformation 18/1 (365)

Our Kaempfer 33/1 (365, Stan James)

(both firms offering 1/4 odds a place 123

5.15 2ml 1fur Bumper
Often a race to sport a star of the future but too many unknowns for me.
I like the way Barters Hill beat off all comers in his Newbury win (Buveur D’Air still a promising 2nd) but the ground will be something quicker than he and many others in the field have so far experienced
I’m too in the dark to be placing a bet on this race

Thanks for reading the blog once more

If you agree or strongly disagree with anything please feel free to leave a comment

Good luck!



A disappointing day in general with the lack of enhanced place terms being offered on some races for such a big meeting. While it can be mathematical suicide for the bookies to give too much away it’s a bit of a shock to see so many still offering 1/5th ods on the main race of the day the 3.25. There isn’t one of the 10 runners you could rule ourt completely and far worse races have been offered with 1/4 odds in the past.

Todays extra bets:

1.40 0.5 pts ew Baradari @20/1 (Skybet, BetVictor). 5 places would have been nice but everyone is paying first 4. I backed this one at Cheltenham where he was given far too much to do and  am expecting better today. The quicker ground shouldnt be a problem as he ran well on it at Ascot before Christmas

2.15 As previously mentioned I like Commissioned’s chances back on ground that suits and he ran well at this meeting last year. I am fearful of the favourite Glingerburn so I think the bet to be had lies in the ‘betting without the favourite’ market

1pt ew Commissioned (w/o Glingerburn) @9/1 (ladbrokes)

(he is as low as 10/1 with some firms to win the race with Glingerburn included)

Friday selections = 10pts staked

UPDATE; Friday results had Rathlin 33/1 and Our Kaempfer 33/1 (but with 20p Rule 4) both placed,  resulting in returns of 13.05 pts – a 3.05 pt profit on the day

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Posted by on April 9, 2015 in Aintree, Horse Racing


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Day 1 – Aintree 2015

The big event may be on Saturday but the Aintree meeting lacks nothing in quality from the offset with a Thursday card strong on quality.

The Cheltenham Festival will be a big source of clues but not all horses may still be at their peak if they were primed for that. There is one race that immediately presents me with a price I think is wrong

2.15 Anniversary 4yo Hurdle 2ml 1fur

Early odds here :

Cheltenham form so often the key to this and this year’s Triumph Hurdle looked a particularly strong renewal with the first three pulling well clear. Hargam couldn’t quite match the first two from the last but should have been inconvenienced by the rain that fell that day. He’s back on better ground now and I see no reason why the 4th Devilment should be able to reverse a 10 length deficit here. I certainly rate Hargam’s chances to win at more than 50% so will happily take the early Evens being offered. hargam

With good ground looking likely the one I like most at bigger odds would be Intense Tango . This strong travelling mare will be one to look out at the right odds later in ‘without the favourite’ markets

Recommendation 5pts win Hargam @EVENS (generally available at 1556 UK time)

* Thursday Update *

The Evens on Hargam didnt last too long into the evening. He’s currently best price of 8/11 and just over 1.8 (4/5) on Betfair. Intense Tango was too short in the ‘betting without the favourite’ markets last night but is getting appealing at 13/2 now. I think she can reverse Kelso form on the likely better ground with Bristol de Mai

And now for the remaining races:

1.40 Josses Hill did something to vindicate Barry Geraghty’s opinion that he would be better with a stronger pace when 3rd in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham – but will he get a strong pace here with no obvious front runner in the field? Vibrato Valtat was 4th in that race when for me he was ridden too forward in the race. I’m not sure the step up in trip is what he wants but if the pace is slow he should be suited to a late pounce. Clarcam and Three Kingdoms were further back in that event. The latter should appreciate this trip more but his jumping is still a concern at this level for me. Clarcam could be the one to be best suited by this race tactically with astute Ruby Walsh on board again there is a slight stamina query though.

A difficult race to solve and I don’t really see any value – NO BET

2.50 Betfred Bowl 3ml 1fur

Aintree’s equivalent of the Cheltenham Gold Cup sees Holywell (4th), Silviniaco Conti (7th) and Smad Place (8th) reopposing. Silviniaco Conti bounced back from defeat at Cheltenham to win this last year but Coneygree really did put them all to the sword this year and I really wonder if it would have left a mark on the vanquished with the ground turning so soft on the day Ma Filleule was 2nd in the shorter Ryanair Chase but that was on better ground. She wasn’t far behind Holywell on last year’s form and is effective over further

Menorah is definitely the one coming in here fresh after missing the Festival with a setback. He has been second in this before (with Silviniaco Conti behind) and shouldn’t be easily dismissed either. There isn’t enough value for me to be betting in what could be another tactical race up front with Holywell and Silviniaco Conti.

Marginal selection is Ma Filleule but it’s a NO BET

3.25 Aintree Hurdle 2ml 4fur

Formerly the main back up race to the Grand National on Saturday’s card and once again we have to ask about the pace angle of this race. Rock on Ruby was another to miss Cheltenham with a setback and this is probably his ideal trip nowadays. He may be forced to make the running here to test out the others properly Arctic Fire improved his earlier season form to prove a superior horse to Jezki in the Champion Hurdle and was the only one to make in-roads on Faugheen’s lead on the run-in. I think he’s the best horse in the race on that run but he’s unproven at this new trip and for that I have to swerve at his 2/1 price It would be a shock if anything outside of the top 3 in the market would be to prevail

Selection is Arctic Fire but again it’s a NO BET

4.05 Foxhunters Chase 2ml 5fur

Today’s only race run over the National fences and I think this could be the best race for Hunter Chasers I have seen for a few years. Tartan Snow won the race as a 13yo 2 years ago but that was a very substandard renewal – it did prove that age isn’t really a barrier in this event.

Last year he returned to find Warne proved much superior and that one is back to defend his crown again. He’s opposed by impressive Cheltenham scorer On The Fringe who has beaten him on regular courses before and appears the superior horse. On The Fringe did seem to benefit from the rain softened ground last time and though he won very easily I think the opposition is stronger here. He has to be favourite based on that run but not having jumped around these fences is a negative.

There is much better previous course form to be seen from Last Time D’Albain (3rd in 2013 Topham) and Big Fella Thanks. The latter is 13 now and there probably isn’t a horse around who has consistently jumped around this course better. He began in the Grand National as a 7yo in 2009 and has been here 6 times since – the only blip being an Unseat in the 2013 National. Stamina always found him out in the big race but he was going as well as anything in the Topham last year until the pace of the principals found him out. BFT

His form this year shows he is no back number yet and with one of the best amateur jockeys in the business (Derek O’Connor ) on board I can see him going as well as anything into the straight again. Something may beat the old boy for toe from there but I doubt that 4 others will and with some firms offering 4 places he is the each way bet for me

Recommendation 1.5pts ew Big Fella Thanks – take 7/1 or better with firms offering 1/4 1234 (365, Ladbrokes, Betfred, Betfair Sportsbook)

*Thursday Update*

On The Fringe is solid in the market at 4/1 (tipped up by everyone on Channel 4 this morning) while Pricewise selection Pacha Du Polder has also contracted. This has served to push out Big Fella Thanks’s price to 8/1 – even better value with those offering the enhanced place terms

4.40 2ml hcap chase

Next Sensation is 8lb higher than when winning a similarly competitive handicap at Cheltenham where his front running was noticeably less frenzied than before (helped by a breathing operation). Over this sharp track a follow up isn’t out of the question (4th home Ned Buntline 8lbs better off for a 6 length beating) but he should have no peace up front with Arnaud also liking to blaze.

Claret Cloak will like the pace of the race and the ground – but we could say that last year as well when he finished 3rd in this off a 7lb lower mark (despite not winning a race since). At a big price I’ll take a chance on Bellenos back on a sharp track and decent ground. He won at Stratford at this time last year in similar conditions and comes here with a 4lb lower rating than he won off then

Recommendation 0.5pts ew Bellenos 25/1 (365, Boyles, Corals, Sporting Bet)

*Thursday Update*

Pricewise followed in on Bellenois last night and all 25/1 promptely disappeared. 20/1 is available in a place right now but he’s generally 16/1

5.15 3ml Hcap Hurdle

The first three home from Cheltenham’s Pertemps final cross swords again. Call The Cops beat Unique do Cotte (1lb better off) by 1.75 lengths with another 3/4 length back to The Tourard Man (2lbs better off). All three have had their ratings raised however by up to 7lbs. That may not be enough to stop Call the Cops winning again and he’s the selection – but I don’t have a good enough feeling about this race to get involved with it. It is noticeable that Wayne Hutchinson deserts The Tourard Man to team up with Ulzana’s Raid instead – but that one may need the run after a 3 month break. No Bet

Thanks for reading the blog today. The Grand National page is now updated as 48 hour declarations are in and there have been now ithdrawals – selections for Friday will appear early evening

Comments are most welcome – and please share the site on Facebook/Twitter if you find the site informative and helpful

Good Luck


Thursday selections

5pts Hargam EVS

1.5 pts ew Big Fella Thanks 7/1 (taking 1/4 1234)

0.5 pts ew Bellenos 25/1

(9pts staked in total)

Initial Bank 50pts

Balance after Thursday bets are placed is 62.06 – (not including 9pts staked for Thursday and 5pts already placed in Ante Post Grand National Bets)

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Posted by on April 8, 2015 in Aintree



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