Well we can be sure there will be a winner in every race but I will be having no bet today. Tomorrow’s selection – if there is one – will be posted at around 1pm.
Everyone know that prolific owner Dr Marwan Koukash loves racing at Chester and is always well represented at the meetings there, but although today is no exception, i like the chances of one of his runners which today goes north to Musselburgh.
Gabrial The Duke (Musselburgh 2.35pm) has won plenty over the years and has very good form figures at todays track, winning twice and second on its only other visit. The morning price of 14/1 with Bet365 among others seems to ignore those past performances so my tip today is 2pts Each Way Gabrial The Duke. Hopefully we can resume winning ways!
Well my selection on Tuesday came agonizingly close to making it 6 profitable days on the trot, but was just a neck away in fourth having been gambled in from the morning price of 12/1 to 5/1 co-favourite, so the each way gamble just failed. I was surprised at the price shortening so dramatically – either more people read this than I thought or a lot of people came to the same conclusion as me.
Tonight I have just the one, at Haydock, where David Brown sends Ruby’s Day (Haydock 8.45pm) 1pt EACH WAY and is another big priced each way fancy at 14/1. David has been knocking at the door lately and this one is expected to go close tonight.
Good luck and will hope to have another on Saturday but there will be no tip on Friday.
Yesterday saw our 5th consecutive winning day when my sole bet Testa Rossa won at Ayr, going off the 7/2 favourite after trading at the advised price of 5/1 or better in the morning. I managed to grab a bit of 11/2 and went in again at 5/1 around lunchtime. Despite the overnight favourite having been Indian Giver, on the day there was a bit of a plunge for Brian Ellison’s Grandest which went off the 11/4 favourite. I had a good look at that one as it was one of the few to have won a race, but its sole success had been at Southwell way back in 2013. I gather the horse has been gambled in the past and not delivered the goods, so despite it now having tumbled down the weights from a high of 82, when trained by John Gosden, to its current mark of 57, I couldn’t back it even with someone else’s money. It did manage to come second, its best run for a while, but a solid four and a half lengths behind my selection which won comfortably back at its preferred trip.
I find it hard to get excited about many of today’s races but am prepared to take a chance on Sylvester Kirk’s Harmony Bay in the 5.15pm at Salisbury. This filly won her maiden on her second start as a 2yo – in a modest class 6 event at Lingfield. Unfortunately the handicapper obviously must have been on the sherry, because he got it into his head that this must be a very decent animal, and bizarrely saddled the filly with a handicap mark of 77, despite her never having performed to that level. Her next outing was in a Class 2 handicap at Doncaster, where she finished an unsurprising 18th of 19, but I’m sure the owners had a good day out, and who can blame them, what else are you going to do with a filly on that mark? Since then she has steadily come down the rankings and is now on a much more workable rating of 60 so looks a more likely candidate to gain her second career success, particularly in view of an encouraging recent 4th place finish at Lingfield off a 3lb higher rating. Totesport, BetFred, William Hill and Ladbrokes all have 12/1 on offer but it may not last long once they have had their morning cappuccinos. Most of the other layers go 10/1 or 11/1, so you should still have no trouble getting on at a double figure price, but don’t hang about. So today’s recommendation is Harmony Bay (5.15pm Salisbury) 1pt EACH WAY at 10/1 or better.
Another winner on Saturday with Hurry Home Poppa landing the spoils at Doncaster at the healthy price of 9/2. I advised it at 4/1, so that’s what will go on the stats, but hopefully like me you had a bet with a bookie offering a Best Odds Guarantee. Sadly Exchequer couldn’t land the double for us despite running well and disputing the lead for much of the way, and just finishing fourth despite my belief that it wouldn’t be out of the frame. Can’t be right all the time, though, yet still a profit made on the day.
I said on Saturday that I would have no bet on Sunday, and should have stuck to that, but on discovering that a friend had a runner at Goodwood my interest was aroused, and a couple of phone calls later, I was in the game. This only served to demonstrate two indisputable facts 1.Your gut instincts are seldom wrong, and 2. Owners are the worst people to ask about their horses’ chances. Just be grateful I put nothing on here!
Not much to get excited about on Monday 6th so I am posting this early and will have only one small bet. In line with my usual philosophy it will be in a pretty bad race. I am taking Testa Rossa (Ayr, 3.00pm) to get the better of some fairly undistinguished rivals in a race where only a few have ever been able to get their noses in front. The early market seems to have taken a liking to Indian Giver, on the strength of its 3 length second last time out, but it has not won for a good while and is no certainty to build on that. To be fair, there are two or three other past winners in the race, but not much standout form in the recent past, so I will side with local trainer Jim Goldie to take the spoils with his gelding, who has been pretty consistent over this trip, and has only really run below par when upped to a mile and a half. I will be risking only a small amount, so Testa Rossa (Ayr 3.00pm) 1pt WIN is the bet today at the freely available 5/1.
Yesterday’s first selection, Chaplins Bay, ran a creditable race in defeat, finishing fourth, only a short head behind the third horse, having gone off the 3/1 favourite. Let’s hope he takes his chance again soon. The race was won by an 18/1 outsider from the Fahey stable, which I hadn’t fancied myself, but you can never underestimate the man. Wavelet won in fine style with Jamie Spencer looking around for dangers from a long way out, so he knew he had a horse under him. The betting market was a bit confused – with three non-runners there were 9/2 co-favourites of four for a while, in a six horse race, before clever people came to the same conclusion as me. Wavelet went off 7/2 favourite and won as it liked. Advised at 5/1, which I got myself late in the afternoon, so another good day at the office. This has been an unprecedented run, over a short sample of selections, so don’t go mad thinking I will maintain this strike rate – there will be losing days ahead, as sure as eggs is eggs.
Derby Day today, and despite Keiron Fallon telling the newspapers he fancies the outsider he rides today, I will be giving it a swerve. My first selection couldnt be running further away from Epsom, and goes at Musselburgh in the 4.00pm race. EXCHEQUER, yet to win on turf but with some very solid form under its belt, is taken to provide a winner for David Brown, who quietly achieves a very good strike rate from his base in Nottinghamshire. The selection won a Class 3 handicap at Lingfield two runs ago, but didnt handle things at Goodwood last time out, though was only beaten 5-6 lengths in a Class 2. I don’t hold anything against a horse that doesn’t handle Goodwood, and Musselburgh wll be more to its liking. With a 21% strike rate at the track, the trainer knows the score and isn’t going all that way without a live chance. At 7/1 you could afford to have an each way bet for safety, because I don’t see it being out of the frame, but the bet today is 2pts WIN EXCHEQUER (4.00pm Musselburgh).
Another trainer who isnt generally in the spotlight is John Mackie, who trains a comparatively small string in Derbyshire, and seems to do particularly well at the likes of Nottingham and Southwell but has the occasional tilt at Doncaster and his Hurry Home Poppa takes its chance in a 7 runner field in the 3.05pm. The market for this race may be twisted slightly by the presence of a racing club horse, so if their members smash into Christmas Hamper, we may get a decent price on the selection which is currently available (just after noon) at 9/2 with Ladbrokes and Corals but is generally available at 4/1 which you should find no trouble getting. Third and second on its last two outings, Franny Norton takes the ride over from Joe Fanning and I expect it to do the business. 2pts WIN Hurry Home Poppa (Doncaster 3.05pm).
There will be no bet tomorrow (Sunday) so I will hope to have something decent for you on Monday. Good luck, and enjoy the Derby – but bet elsewhere!
Yesterdays’s banker Treasury Notes didn’t let me down, winning a shade cosily at 7/2, only doing just enough to win, and may be one to follow. The other selection, though speculative, ran a cracker to come third, beaten only two necks, so it came very close to us having a 100% strike rate, however temporary!
A couple of late ones for you today. The first of them runs at Catterick in the penultimate race, and although there are others with chances, and I’m wary of some of those forecast at big prices, I have narrowed down the field and the voices in my head have told me to side with Chaplins Bay (Catterick 4.55pm). Ruth Carr had a hard act to follow when she took over the yard from her grandfather David Chapman, but she does very well indeed, has plenty of winners and a very healthy strike rate, primarily with horses aged 4 years and upwards. Chaplins Bay appears to be family-owned, and initially I thought its name might be a homage to the great Chaplins Club, which was a real stable star for David Chapman back in the 1980’s. For a number of years I believe it held the record for the most handicaps won in a single season (9 wins in 1988, I’ve just checked). But my trip down memory lane was a dead end, because the gelding was originally a 180,000gns yearling purchase, and trained in Ireland by David Wachman, so the family had no say in the naming of it, though perhaps that was why the horse caught their eye at the sales. Picked up fairly cheaply at auction by Ruth Carr, he has run three times for the yard this year, coming 2nd at Thirsk, 1st at Hamilton, and 4th at Carlisle, so has lost his maiden tag and is in decent form. That run at Carlisle saw him beaten only 2 lengths, and but he may find Catterick more to his liking. It’s true that he has crept up the handicap as a result of recent performances, but off bottom weight today, I think Chaplins Bay has a fair chance against some beatable opponents and may still have some improvement in him. 2pts WIN, around 4/1 is available and the likely starting price.
Wavelet (Doncaster 6.40pm) disappointed recently at Goodwood but that was a big step up in class, and she was coming back after a three month absence. Not every horse will adapt to Goodwood, and since her other form is very solid, albeit on all weather surfaces, I think she is worth another chance. She is dropping back down in class today as well, and I believe is worth an interest, so 1pt WIN at around the 5/1 mark (Tote, Betfred, Corals) some are shorter but you should have no problem getting 5/1.
Well, yesterday we got off to a good start, with two winners from two tips, and at brilliant odds into the bargain. What a pity that both winners were affected by a rule 4 deduction due to late withdrawals. Bletchley (Nottingham 2.00), which I thought was a stand out each way bet, duly obliged at the surprisingly good odds of 25/1, with a 10p Rule 4, so if you did as you were told and placed your wager with a layer offering a best odds guarantee, we got things off and running in fine style. The second selection held on well to win by a neck, so not as comfortably as I expected, but they all count. Sadly there was a 25p Rule 4 deduction due to the late withdrawal of Ifan so our 4/1 was effectively 3/1. No complaints from me.
I have two for you today, and the first of those is a slightly speculative punt that I might not have put on here if we hadn’t already got some profit in the bank. It runs in a rather trappy race for two-year olds, but there isn’t a huge array of stars taking part. You will hopefully come to realise that I am not averse to trying to find the least-bad horse in a poor race, for much as the racing press tend to look down their noses at some of the races put on for our entertainment and profit, I have always held the view that it can often be a lot harder to find the winner in premium races, where all of the horses have reasonable or exceptional ability, and there is profit to be made analysing the lower grade races.
There are a couple of previous winners in today’s first race which has less than eight runners so we wont be going each way, but have spotted a live outsider. The winners n the race haven’t beaten much, and La Casa Tarifa (Hamilton 2.00pm) is a big priced outsider. Trained by Mark Johnston, it has had only one previous outing, just over a week ago, when it ran very green at Carlisle. The filly will be sure to have come on for that race, and the fact that he has turned her out again quickly would suggest that the trainer is keen to get busy with her. She wasn’t an expensive purchase – nothing in the race was – and since I have lost count of the trainers who came back from the yearling sales full of praise for the physical characteristics of the yearlings her sire Casamento had produced, I am prepared to take a chance on her being better than the bare form so far. So the first selection today is La Casa Tarifa – 1pt WIN which I have spotted at 12/1 generally.
I know a bit more about today’s second selection, because it was a 54,000gns purchase at the breeze up sales a couple of years ago, and was sent to Amazing Racing’s trainer, Mark Loughnane. He thought very highly of this Lope De Vega colt, but it was very backward and didn’t race at two. It was placed early in its three year old career, but was still far from the finished article and was sent home to strengthen up. While it was on its holidays it was sold privately and sent to David O’Meara by its new connections, for whom it won at Hamilton, and has since won again as a four year old over a mile at Ripon. And that is where it is going again today. Treasury Notes (Ripon 3.50pm) is a course and distance winner who it was originally thought would eventually be a very nice animal indeed. O’Meara has taken a little while to settle into his new yard, but took some decent animals with him from his old place, and is coming into a good run of form. Treasury Notes will win more races and should go on to better things. Now rated 87, that is the main selection today – 2pts WIN. There has been a little bit of 4/1 available this morning but 7/2 is generally available and I suggest you grab it with both hands.
My first selection of the day leapt out at me from the first race I took a look at today. A 2yo maiden at Nottingham may not be everybody’s idea of an ideal starting point, but bear with me. Given the slavish devotion of newspaper analysts and tipsters to the top stables and richest owners, there is sometimes a bit of value to be had in applying a little bit more logic than they do to the task of finding a winner. And as I sipped my early morning coffee I was surprised to see my selection listed at the mouth-watering price of 20/1. Got your attention?
To be honest, the selection of Bletchley (Nottingham 2.00) is partly due to her trainer Ralph Beckett, a man who commands some respect even in a race where the likes of Gosden, Stoute and Botti are represented. A top class trainer, with what we might assume is a pretty decent filly, being owned by the mighty Qatar Racing. Yes, I know I am doing exactly what I criticised others for in the last paragraph, by paying homage to a top trainer and owner, but I am motivated by the lack of respect being shown to the horse by the betting market as things stand – it’s purely a question of VALUE.
Beckett has a very acceptable strike rate with two year olds, decent overall results at the track, and the stable is in good form. Added to which the horse is drawn high, so will have the stands rail advantage, and I can see no good reason for it being 20/1. All the focus seems to be on the Gosden and Stoute horses. Gosden’s Reeh is dropping down in class, after disappointing at Ascot, and Stoute’s Parlance, which was a very expensive yearling at 450,000gns, is half-sister to another very expensive filly that hasn’t yet seen a racecourse at three years of age, so that one may need the run.
I think they are worth taking on, so as a value bet, I recommend 1pt EACH WAY, at odds of 20/1 (widely available) or better if you can get it. I will be betting with one of the many bookmakers who offer a Best Odds Guarantee (BOG), so please do likewise – you never know, the price may drift if the market continues to expect Gosden and Stoute to win everything.
Little Choosey (Nottingham 5.00) is my second bet of the day. Again, an apprentice handicap won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but the horse is a course and distance winner, and remains on a winnable mark after winning off 4lb lower at Wolverhampton recently. The mare has a decent apprentice on board in Hollie Doyle, who won on her last time out, and it’s not a great race so I dont expect anything will surprise us. 1pt WIN on Little Choosey.
Good luck till next time!