The Syndicate

AW Selections Feb 18 Onwards

| February 2, 2018 | 75 Replies



There’s a new page for the 2018 Summer Season:




Selections will be posted here at 6:30pm Monday to Friday and 11am Monday morning. Any selections at any other time will have a text sent first.

Selections for Saturday 14th April

3.05 Lingfield. Secret Return. 1 point win. 5 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower, 4.5 various

7.00 Wolverhampton. Pour L’amour. 0.625 points each-way. 7 various

As usual, there has been a somewhat disjointed start to the Flat season with Doncaster hosting the first meeting of the year on March 24th and then weeks of jumps and All-Weather meetings dominating the schedule thereafter. That’s been exacerbated this year by the weather, resulting in April still waiting for its first Flat race to be run on turf.

However, the amount of All-Weather racing reduces dramatically after Saturday and this makes it the best time for me to have a short break, let some form build up, and get ready for the summer season. The plan is that my next selections will be posted on the evening of Tuesday 1st May for Wednesday’s racing. Meanwhile, there’s still NH action to keep us going, including the Punchestown Festival, running from the 24th to the 28th April.

At the beginning of the winter season, I had in my head that we’d stake around 250 points and was hoping to break 50 points to give a Return On Investment of 20% or more. As it stands, going into the final Friday and Saturday, my side of things has had a few more bets than predicted with 269 points staked and 54 points profit, so a return in line with that rough target and hopefully we can add a few more to the tally in these last couple of days.

That said, at Christmas, after a flying November and December, I was hoping for a few more points in the pocket than that, but the temporary blip at the start of the year held back progress for a while, with the season as a whole serving as a reminder that spells both above and below the norm are to be expected and that as long as they are treated with minimal drama then a return around the long-term norm is likely to achieved over lengthier periods.

Looking ahead, early in the season is a time for some caution. Horses are either returning after long absences or switching surfaces and it takes a while for there to be enough reliability and depth to the season’s form. However, the pace of the action moves up a couple of gears- May begins with a series of days each having five meetings- so that changes quite swiftly and then things start to get busy with the four months from mid-June to mid-October normally containing around half of my bets in a typical year.

Finally, forgive me for a little plug, but… the other service I’m involved in, The Racing Code, also returns at the beginning of May. I know many members of The Syndicate are members of both, but for those who are not, I hope you might be interested in that service too. This year will be its third year- it took great strides forward last year and outperformed my Syndicate selections- and I’m extremely optimistic that both will have very strong seasons. More details will be available when it goes on sale again towards the end of April.

First, though, two for tomorrow…

Secret Return got off the mark on his last run which was also his handicap debut. But, what was particularly noteworthy about that victory was that finishing in behind were Accomplice, Sonnet Rose and Settle Petal who have all won for us since, plus Andalusite who has also won. That form looks so strong that he can go in again despite a 4 lb rise, with further improvement (this will be just his 5th run) and taking to tomorrow’s extra distance likely.

Pour L’amour appears hard to win with but can take credit for a series of near misses lately. He’s been running on late but not quite getting there, mainly over course and distance. Richard Kingscote rides and there should be plenty of pace on which is what he needs and that could be the boost he needs to get his head in front.


Friday 13th April

6.15 Kempton. Kingston Kurrajong. 0.5 points each-way. 13 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower, 12 WillHill

8.45 Kempton. Mime Dance. 1 point win. 5 Bet365, 4.5 SkyBet/Ladbrokes/BetVictor

Under two years ago Kingston Kurrajong was winning a Class 2 handicap but then tumbled down the weights and classes after a trainer change clearly had a negative effect. A further change of trainer could be just what he needed and his two runs since that happened, and the improvement therein, suggest he’s returning to closer to his old ability.

Two runs ago, on a return from a five month absence, he pulled clear but faded like a stone in the final furlong. He was ridden with more restraint by Martin Harley last time out and did well to weave his way through and finished strongest of all.

He’s up in class, but looks to be going the right way now and history tells us he’s more than capable of being a match in this Class 4 handicap if close to his best.

Mime Dance is another last time out winner- doing so in impressive style- and had also fallen down the weights (from 86 to 56) but looks to be returning to form with a new trainer. Two runs ago he wasn’t far behind Ramblow and Settle Petal- form that has played out perfectly- and then made no mistake last time, showing a good turn of foot when asked for an effort.

Adam Kirby, who presumably would have had the choice of a few of his normal rides here, is in the saddle and despite a penalty this looks another winnable race.


Thursday 12th April

3.00 Southwell. Decision Maker. 0.5 points each-way. 11 Ladbrokes (4 places, 1/5 odds), Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower (both 3 places, ¼ odds which will be recorded)

4.15 Southwell. Kingstreet Lady. 1 point win. 6.5 WillHill, 6 various

7.15 Chelmsford. Maratha. 1 point win. 4.5 Bet365/Ladbrokes/Coral

7.45 Chelmsford. Tavener. 0.5 points win. 13 Bet365, 12 various

8.15 Chelmsford. Strictly Carter. 0.75 points win. 7 WillHill, 6.5 various

Plus an each-way double, 0.25 points (total 0.5 points) using Kingstreet Lady and Maratha.

Bet365/Ladbrokes/Coral 6, 4.5, WillHill 6.5, 3.75, Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower 6, 4

Maazel is a non-runner tonight. Two very composed rides from apprentice Paddy Bradley have given us wins this week- Spiritual Star (from the rear) and Settle Petal (from the front end)- and he’s very much one to keep an eye on this season, being well worth his 5 lb claim.

Decision Maker ran well to finish second in two Maidens at Southwell in the winter- finishing around others rated in the 70s but Decision was carrying over a stone more- which suggests his handicap mark of 69 is very workable.

He then ran poorly back handicapping but has had a wind operation since. If that puts him back at the level he was running at prior to is latest run then he’ll stand a great chance- only the inconsistent Archimedes of tomorrow’s opposition has matched his times here- and stall 6 (of 14) is perfect on the straight sprint course at Southwell.

Kingstreet Lady has been very consistent here this season, beating the reopposing Archie Stevens twice and Novabridge three times. Whereas other’s he’s faced have entered the 3.00 sprint (same distance but Class 4), Ruth Carr has opted for the lesser Class 6 sprint. The times read well and he should fare well against a few back from a break and probably here due to the lack of turf options so far this month (all flat turf meetings have so far been cancelled in April).

Maratha has been running consistently well this winter and clearly gets on well with PJ McDonald- form together 1212. He was unlucky to be 2nd last time out- just coming up against a Charlie Appleby improver- but was 7 lengths clear of the highly rated 3rd. His prominent style suits Chelmsford and he looks the pick of those who have been running on the All-Weather, with the field diluted by turf horses being given a run ahead of their main business.

Tavener has got the lead in each of his last eight races and looks likely to make it nine with no obvious pace rival. That’s a great place to be at Chelmsford, especially over the minimum distance. Although he’s markedly up in class and down in trip, if he gets loose on the lead in this small field he could be hard to peg back and it’s not the strongest race for this grade.

In the 8.15, King Crimson is one I think will be winning soon, but there’s a collection who like to make the running in the field and that may favour Strictly Carter who is likely to be just off the pace. He has been frustrating with a series of places to his name, but being dropped to the minimum trip did the trick last time out and he came through late to win in impressive style. With the race likely to be run to suit, he looks generously priced for a repeat.


Wednesday 11th April

5.45 Kempton. Settle Petal. 0.5 points each-way. 10 various

7.15 Kempton. Maazel. 0.5 points each-way. 13 Bet365, 11 SkyBet/BetVictor (will monitor- has dropped elsewhere)

7.45 Kempton. Deduce. 0.5 points each-way. 11 Bet365, 10 various

Settle Petal lost narrowly for us last month (‘Settle Petal is a potential improver who was badly hampered when returning from a long break on her most recent run. She may well come on for that run and is down in class today.’) She runs in the same class tonight and that the form from her latest run has played out well, with several subsequent winners finishing behind her and others running well in defeat. Although not ideally drawn, as long as she doesn’t get stuck wide the need to be prominent is not as strong at Kempton. She was strong in the finish last time and that will be important on the longer run for home here. Any further improvement will see her as a strong contender again.

Maazel is now a non-runner.

Deduce is down in class and drops back a furlong, both of which can see him improve on his 2 length defeat here last time out, last month. He placed here the time before, again over a furlong further and both the 1st and 2nd that day won next time up, along with two subsequent winners finishing behind. A repeat of either of those runs should see him go close as this looks slightly weaker and the slightly shorter trip should enable him to have a little more in the finish.


Tuesday 10th April

7.45 Wolverhampton. David’s Beauty. 0.75 points win. 9 various

Two still to go tonight but Mr Frankie is a non-runner. Sir Lancelott was 4th by a length and a half but was denied a clear run and may have gone close with a clear run. (Racing Post analysis: ‘was just getting going when stopped in his tracks. He rates unlucky not to finish closer.’

A few in the 7.45 tomorrow have been running through the winter and look to have found their level or have peaked. The favourite, Sky Gypsy is an exception having had only one recent run but the 5 furlong course at Wolverhampton goes directly into a bend and it’ll be tough to get out and across into a useful prominent position from stall 11.

David’s Beauty has also only had one recent run, finishing in midfield. However that was over an additional furlong and he has a much better record when running the minimum trip. He’s drawn in stall 2 next to the pacey Cruisetothelimit. That rival returns from a long break and normally needs the run but can tow David into the race.

Luke Morris rides David for the first time on the All-Weather but the pair have built a good relationship on turf- losing by a head in August, winning together in September in a higher grade and finishing 4th of 15 in October. If they can sit on Cruisetothelimit’s shoulder at the front of affairs then he’ll be in prime position to pounce now likely to strip fitter for a comeback run and dropping down in distance.


Selections for Monday 9th April

5.15 Wolverhampton. Sir Lancelott. 1 point win. 8 Betfair Sportsbook, 7.5 SkyBet/PaddyPower/BetVictor

6.45 Wolverampton. Mr Frankie. 0.75 points win. 6 Bet365/BetVictor, 5.5 various

7.15 Wolverhampton. Windsorlot. 0.5 points each-way. 10 Ladbrokes/PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook (plus Sunbets but not BOG until morning)

8.15 Wolverhampton. Spiritual Star. 0.5 points each-way. 11 SkyBet/Ladbrokes/BetVictor

Sir Lancelott won for us I February over course and distance in an Apprentice Handicap. He’s run well without winning over further twice since but the return to that previous distance could give im the boost that’s needed. He’s gone up 4 lbs for that win but with Ben Sanderson’s 7 lb claim applying today in a normal handicap, he’s effectively 3 lbs better off. He’s well drawn to get a prominent position and should be a bi threat again.

(Previous reasoning: ‘Sir Lancelot should be a contender and looks to be priced too highly. He’s 20 lbs lower than his peak and has won 3 times at Wolverhampton. He’s had a couple of changes of trainer in the last year and his current one has tried him at different distances on different surfaces, but he runs 7 furlongs at Wolves again for the first time since putting in his best effort for some time when 2nd here on the third day of the year. He was unfortunate to come up against Spare Parts that day who won a further three times in the following fortnight and is now rated 20 higher, with the reopposing Rising Sunshine, who has also won since, behind in third.

The three who like to push on are drawn low, including Sir Lancelot. But Louis Vee has a debutant rider which may leave it open for Pitch High to push on from stall 2, hopefully being tracked by our selection from stall 1. With the 7 furlong course starting on a shoot going directly into a bend, those drawn low can steal a march on the others and we have the most experienced apprentice in the race riding for us.’)

The selection of Mr Frankie is largely due to the limited ability of those in opposition with little in the way of convincing form on offer. If a runner is able to find some improvement then they’ll go close in this basement Class 7, 0-50 and the selection looks the most likely to do so.

His only win came over course and distance back in October 2016 and that was also the last time he wore cheekpieces, but they are bac on today. Strangely he’s only run course and distance once since then when 7th in December but ran better than that suggests and there was little between a few behind serial winner King Kevin. In other recent races he hasn’t lasted home over further and was staying on, making up ground, over an insufficient trip last time. Off his lowest ever mark today, in much weaker company, with cheekpieces back on and tackling what appears to be his ideal trip, improvement can be expected.

Windsalot was third in that race in December and also 2nd, also behind King Kevin, in another race I the same month. A break then followed and a line can be put through his return run as it was in testing conditions on turf at Doncaster at the end of March. However, he was running his normal race of tracking leaders and with that behind him and returned to Tapeta, he should be sat up there in contention. A repeat of those two runs the last time he was here should see him go close.

Spiritual Star’s mark has plummeted in recent months and he now looks very well handicapped. He’s been getting progressively closer and a further 3 lb drop plus Paddy Bradley’s 5 lb claim should see him a contender today. There should be plenty of pace on for him to chase down and it’s just a year ago that he was winning or placing 5 runs in a row on the All-Weather off marks up to 20 lbs higher than he effectively runs off today.


Final Selections for Saturday 7th April

Two more for today, to add to the one from last night.

2.40 Kempton. Hammer Gun. 0.5 points each-way. 15 various.

8.45 Wolverhampton. Tee It Up Tommo. 0.375 points each-way. 29 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower/BetVictor

Hammer Gun is probably the price he is because he’s become known as a Southwell/Fibresand specialist now running on the faster Polytrack. However, he had to be at the top of his game to win there last time out, beating off Holiday Magic and Volatile who have both proved themselves to be strong performers at that track.

With Hammer Gun’s three wins this winter all coming at Southwell, it’s easy to miss how well he has run away from that track. Four runs ago (his most recent away from Southwell) he was outside of the places but only a length away in a similar Class 2, 0-105 handicap at Wolverhampton when not ideally draw and gaining ground at the finish. Kempton’s longer straight (on the outer loop) should be more to his liking, Swift Approval and Tropics should inject the pace he needs to chase down and now clearly in top form he shouldn’t be this price.

In the preceding sprint (on the inner loop with a shorter finishing straight), A Momentofmadness should be able to reverse form with Tomily. The pair had less than a length separating them at Lingfield a fortnight ago but that was our selection’s first run since October and he wasn’t as sharply away as normal. With that run behind him he should strip fitter and I’d expect William Buick to try to blast out and make the running here with a draw to suit. Much like Chester, 5 furlong sprints here suit those from a low draw who race prominently with it commonly being difficult to get involved from off the pace. A Moment is 2 wins from 2 runs at Kempton, winning both from the front and Buick is unlikely not to have spotted the lack of any other natural front-runners in opposition.

Tee It Up Tommo is worth persevering with as he continues to show improvement for each run while the handicapper continues to lower his mark. If this process continues then at some point he’ll return to winning ways and probably at a decent price. Although out of the frame when we backed him last time, he did make up some ground. It’s also worth noting that he finished ahead of a next time out winner and clocked a faster time that day than today’s favourite (Scribner Creek, price 2/1) could manage the last time he ran over that course and distance earlier in the winter.



Selections for Saturday 7th April

2.05 Kempton. A Momentofmadness.1 point win. 3.75 various

A win, a place and two that were almost uncontrollable today. I’ve been stuck in traffic and taking detours for much of the day and haven’t even started to look at Wolverhampton yet…normal drill, I’ll text if anything in the morning.

Selections for Friday 6th April

2.20 Lingfield. Accomplice. 1 point win. 8 various

3.25 Lingfield. Fanoulpifer. 0.75 points win. 5 Ladbrokes/Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower

3.55 Lingfield. Suwaan. 1 point win. 5.5 SkyBet/WillHill/Ladbrokes

4.30 Lingfield. Medici Banchiere. 0.375 points each-way. 11 SkyBet/BetVictor, 10 Bet365

March finished with a small profit, making it 8 months out of 9 with a ‘+’ to its name, but that still leaves 2018 a few points down. Overall, it was a month in which I was more than happy with many of the selections and think we can count ourselves very unfortunate not to have had a more significant return.

From the singles we had 10 winners, of which 6 won by a length or further and only Something Lucky (head), Made Of Honour (neck), Stringbark Creek (0.5) and Volatile (0.75) won by less than a length.

But, there was a lengthy list of those going close including, Scotch Myst 2nd by under a length, matched at 1.22, Porto Ferro 2nd by a nose, Born To Finish 2nd by a short head, matched at 1.2, Mickey 2nd by under a length, Russian Ream 2nd by half a length, Daleness Express 2nd by a neck, Settle Petal 2nd by a head, matched at 1.27, Roy’s Legacy 2nd by a head, matched at 1.37.

There was also Epitaph 2nd by a length, Summer Icon 2nd at 25/1, Exchequer 2nd by just over a length, matched odds-on, plus a few other seconds, Holiday Magic severely hampered when coming with what looked to be a winning run, Galipoli 3rd by a length after losing ground when blindfold was stuck, Rock On Baileys 3rd by under a length and a few missing out narrowly on place money.

Not a great start to April so far with disappointing runs in defeat, but that can be quickly rectified…

A few at Lingfield tomorrow look to be of interest. Accomplice looks to be going the right way and has twice shown a good turn to foot to finish in the places over course and distance this year. Her chance has gone by taking the final bend on the wide outside but from a low draw she should be taken into it this time and that should put her in position to strike.

Fanoulipifer’s mark has fallen from 93 to 68 in the space of four months and he’s now capable of being a danger in weaker company. He wasn’t far away last time out against some decent yardsticks and a repeat would see him very competitive in weaker plating company.

Ruth Carr has been in unusually good form for this time of year and it’s noteworthy that she sends Suwaan south to run at Lingfield as it’s a journey she rarely makes. The thinking is clearly that the stiff 5 furlongs at Newcastle still stretches her sprinter- twice headed close to home there- but he’ll be harder to pass over the minimum trip at Lingfield.


Selections for Thursday 5th April

3.15 Wolverhampton. Rastacap. 0.75 points win. 6.5 various

3.45 Wolverhampton. I’m A Believer. 0.75 points win. 6 Bet365 (plus SunBets but not BOG until morning), 5.5 various

7.15 Chelmsford. Tom’s Rock. 1 point win. 6.5 Boyles/Coral/Ladbrokes/Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower


Selections for Wednesday 4th April Evening

There will be another post at 9pm with selections for tomorrow.

7.45 Kempton. Magic Approach. 0.5 points each-way. 21 various

8.45 Kempton. Garcon de Soleil. 0.375 points each-way. (11 Unibet/888Sport) 9.5 various

And (same race) General Brook. 0.375 points each-way. 19 various

9.15 Kempton. Spiritofedinburgh. 0.625 points each-way. 8 various


Wednesday 4th April Morning Update (Only for anyone who didn’t place bets last night)

If price has gone, it’s recommended to make a Betfair Exchange SP bet but ONLY WITH AN ODDS LIMIT- click SP then small box within betting box that says ‘Set SP odds limit’ and that will enable you to enter minimum odds. This is because horses backed early often drift back out again and gives another chance to get on. (On mobile, may need to go to ‘AZ Menu’ (at bottom of screen) then scroll down and click ‘Full Site’.)

No change to any of last night’s bets with only minor price changes. Ertidaad was best price 5, now various 4.5. Coiste was 15, now 17. Showboating was 6, now 6.5. Sir Geoff was 8, now 6.5. African was 4.5 (10p deduction taking that to 4.15) now 4.33.


Selections for Wednesday 4th April

There are three AW meetings tomorrow. Here are the bets for Southwell and Lingfield but there may be more to follow for Kempton’s evening meeting either later tonight or early tomorrow evening. After the long weekend there’s a lot to catch up on and I’ll get the result page updated tomorrow and add reasoning again from tomorrow.

1.40 Lingfield. Ertidaad. 1 point win. 5 Bet365, 4.5 BetVictor, 4.33 SkyBet/Ladbrokes/Coral

2.55 Southwell. Coiste Bodhar. 0.375 points each-way. 15 various

3.25 Southwell. Showboating. 0.75 points win. 6 Betfair Sportsbook/BetVictor/Bet365

4.25 Southwell. Sir Geoffrey. 0.75 points win. 8 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower, 6.5 various

4.55 Southwell. African Trader. 1 point win. 4.5 Bet365, 4.33 SkyBet/BetVictor (some still to price)


Tuesday 3rd April

5.30 Lingfield. Widnes. 1 point win. 3.25 various

Monday 2nd April

2.35 Wolverhampton. Akkadian Empire. 0.5 points each-way. 8.5 Bet365/BetVictor (plus SunBets but not BOG until morning), 8 various

4.20 Wolverhampton. Grey Destiny. 0.5 points each-way. 10 various

Sunday 1st April

No selections. Nothing appeals enough at the prices at Southwell today.


Saturday 31st March

No selections from me for Saturday, but there is a meeting at Southwell on Sunday. If there are any selections for that then I’ll text either early Saturday evening or on Sunday morning.


Placepots for Lingfield, Friday 30th March

I’ve gone for two Placepots with main selections in each, plus other bases covered, not least because of the wide open opener. Good luck everyone!

Placepot 1.

48 lines @ 0.01 points per line. (3x2x2x1x2x2=48)

1.30 Galipoli, Early Morning, Silent Echo

2.00 Mountain Bell, Funny Kid

2.30 Summer Icon, Zest

3.05 Gifted Master

3.40 Rock On Baileys, Corinthia Knight

4.10 Second Thought, Arcanada

Placepot 2.

48 lines @ 0.01 points per line. (3x2x2x2x2x1=48)

1.30 Galipoli, Swift Approval, Master Speaker

2.00 Mountain Bell, Watersmeet

2.30 Summer Icon, Diagnostic

3.05 Gifted Master, Kachy

3.40 Rock On Baileys, Never Back Down

4.10 Second Thought

More Selections for Friday 30th March.

There are four singles plus multiples already made (beneath) and here are the final singles, another Trixie and a top-up. Selections for a Placepot will be posted between 10 and 10.30 in the morning (no rush with this as long as it’s made by the time of the first race at 1.30.)

Note that all Lingfield races other than the opener are on ITV with the usual bonuses, including enchanced placed terms with some bookies.

1.30 Lingfield. Galipoli. 0.5 points each-way. 12 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower, 11 Bet365/WillHill

3.20 Newcastle. Lexington Law. 0.375 points each-way. 10 Bet365/Boyles, 9.5 Ladbrokes/BetStars

3.40 Lingfield. Rock On Baileys. 0.375 points each-way. 10 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower, 8.5 WillHill, 8 various

The three above in an each-way Trixie. 8 bets, each 0.125, total 1 point. Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower 12, 9, 10, Bet365 11, 10, 8, WillHill 11, 9, 8.5

Additional 0.375 points win double on Gifted Master (3.05) and Second Thought (4.10). Boyles 4.5, 2.375, Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower/BetStars 4.33, 2.375, Bet365/SkyBet/WillHill 4.5, 2.25

Lingfield opens up with a 7 furlong, Apprentice Handicap which is the only handicap on the card. The ‘apprentice’ element is one to be considered because beyond general experience, which varies greatly amongst the riders, there are some involved who have rarely ridden at Linfield. The tight track is far from the easiest place to ride with any horse stuck wide covering additional ground but potential traffic problems after turning for home if held on the inside or having to come through runners from the back of the pack.

It’s normally an advantage to be prominent over this trip here. Of the six most likely to have that position, there are a few positives and negatives. El Hombre was last seen seven months ago and spent last year running 5 or 6 furlong sprints on turf. Early Morning won from the front over course and distance in November and ran well in better company at Wolverhampton last time out when 4th behind Summer Icon and Second Thought when at a weight disadvantage against most. But, in between those runs, he was 2nd to Swift Approval here in January, with that reopposing victor also winning from the front and from stall 1 should be at the head of affairs again although form since hasn’t been as strong.

Silent Echo is one of the least exposed but will need to improve despite being unlucky in his one run this winter. Take The Helm was 4th in this race last year off 1 lb higher but has only ad a couple of runs since.

Gallipoli has also only run once this season, but was 2nd at Newcastle (well ahead of Swift Approval and Suzi’s Connoisseur), hitting the front in the final furlong before being headed close to home. He’s likely to come on for that run and Lingfield’s 7 furlong is a lot easier than the stiff finish at Newcastle which should see him have a bit more left in the tank. From stall 4 he should be able to track the leaders and be in prime position to strike.

Market leaders Master Speaker and Eljaddaaf are strong contenders but will need things to fall their way from the rear and the former’s jockey rides at Lingfield for the first time.

The 2.00 Marathon has a lot of connected form- Watersmeet has had narrow wins over Funny Kid at Wolverhampton and Curbyourenthusiasm at Kempton and was similarly defeated by Mountain Bell at Newcastle, for example. Watersmeet is likely to run his race and has been gutsy in his three wins since that defeat to Mountain Bell but may be vulnerable to an improver. Neither Funny Kid nor Mountain Bell has been seen since those mentioned runs and could well have been kept fresh with this as a target.

Red Verdon and Rock On Dandy are both up in trip, but last time out the former finished off his race with one of the fastest times for the final two furlongs at Lingfield this season, showing the sort of speed that would beat the majority of sprinters. If he’s able to do that over further then he’ll be tough to beat. The question is how big an ‘if’ that is and there are a few too many variables here to want to be involved and the quartet at the top of the market- Watersmeet, Funny Kid, Red Verdon and Mountain Bell- look the most likely four to my eyes too.

The 2.30 is for Fillies and Mares and the distance is back down to 7 furlongs. Summer Icon placed for us at 25/1 recently in a Listed race recently when disadvantaged by the weights and only finding Second Thought too good (Summer was 10lbs worse off with that opponent than would have been the case in a handicap), but this time the mare has the advantage over all bar one (and that by a mere 2lbs).

She’s drawn nicely in stall 5 between two outsiders but likely pace-makers and they may give her a nice tow into the race. This is also her ideal distance whereas her two likely rivals Diagnostic (6 furlongs) and Zest (a mile) may perhaps have been best suited to shorter or further. This will be tough, but a repeat of her last run or her win earlier in the winter ahead of Diagnostic or at Lingfield in February over a mile when only caught late by Zest, will see her go very close.

The 3.05 is the first of two 6 furlong sprints. Market leaders Kachy and Gifted Master have both won qualifiers over course and distance from prominent positions and wide draws. By coincidence, both have had to battle the very pacey Caspian Prince for the lead. However, with that rival falling away both times, and others running prominently also coming back to the field, Gifted Master kept on to pull clear whereas Kachy allowed others to gain ground. Kachy just held on from the winner of this race last year, Kimberella, and may not have much improvement in him. It may be enough, but with times comparable the suspicion is that Gifted Master could have found a bit more if pushed. We’ll find out tomorrow with the pair drawn in 3 and 5 and likely to contest the lead. The hope (and expectation) is that our selection will find a bit more on the run for home.

The sprint over the same distance at 3.40 is only for 3 year-olds and because of the growth and improvement often shown at this time of year, it can be more of a question about what a horse could do rather than what they have already done.

There’s been a bit of a rumour rumble that Corinthia Knight is a bit special but this tight track is quite different to the long straights at Kempton and Newcastle and with her failure at Wolverhampton in mind, it might be worth opposing him each-way. Rock On Baileys has won five on the bounce. What’s impressive here is that he started over 5 furlongs and improved his time with each run, then was moved up to 6 furlongs and has continued to improve each time, in both senses. As the old saying goes, you can only beat what’s in front of you and there’s the chance that with further improvement he could be a real contender here. This is likely to be a proper burn-up and a battle for position with most liking to race prominently and coming out of stall 2 should help Lewis Edmunds find a position.

In the mile contest at 4.10, Second Thought looks the banker of the day. He won the 3 year-old sprint last year and followed that up by finishing 2nd in a Group 2 sprint only beaten by a certain Harry Angel. He’s now 6 out of 6 on the All-Weather and in a strange sort of way he confirmed his ability on his last run by winning well despite running poorly- he was slowly away, needed persuading early on and then had to circle the field to get a run but once hitting his stride looked a different level to his Listed opponents. Unless Arcanada gets loose on the lead then this is Second Thought’s for the taking.

Many of the runners in the Middle Distance Championship, which closes the cards, have faced each other through the season, often beating each other on one day and having that form reversed on another. Battle of Marathon is certainly one of those- he’s both beaten and lost to Master the World (4/1) and Utmost (7/1) and lost by a nose to Victory Bond (5/2). He’s been third on his last two runs (the Winter Derby Trials and the Winter Derby itself) behind reopposing rivals but not beaten far and not having smooth passages. Yet, he’s 3 or 4 times the price of those he faces again. There’s also the thought that he’s improved as the winter goes on and has had to make his move from deep in the field. This time he has a good draw and Adam Kirby takes the ride. Like most races on the day, this is very competitive and he’s going to have to put in his best performance to date, but at the prices he looks the value choice.

Selection for Thursday 29th March

4.35 Chelmsford. Sonnet Rose. 1 point win. 4.33 various

No more bets for Thursday. Early bets for Friday are below with more to follow in Thursday’s 6.30 post.

Selection for tonight (28th March) and early bets for Friday 30th March

Running tonight (as per the text, sent earlier): 8.45 Newcastle. Windforpower. 0.625 points each-way. 6.5 various (reasoning below)

Now the final declaration confirmations and draws have been made for Friday’s All-Weather Finals Day, I’ve tried to get ahead of the crowd and tackled that today. There will be more to come, but here are a few to start with. Of course, this means I haven’t got to tomorrow yet, but I’ll try to cover the earlier races tonight (texting if necessary) and then tomorrow’s remaining evening races during the day tomorrow. Bets for Newcastle’s meeting on Friday, plus write-ups for Finals Day will follow in tomorrow night’s post.

Running Friday (these are likely to be found under Antepost):

2.30 Lingfield. Summer Icon. 0.75 points win. 7 PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook, 6.5 Ladbrokes/Coral

3.05 Lingfield. Gifted Master. 0.75 points win. 5 BetVictor/WillHill/Ladbrokes

4.10 Lingfield. Second Thought. 0.75 points win. 2.5 PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook, 2.375 WillHill

The three above in win doubles and an each-way treble– 0.2 for each double, making 0.6 points and 0.2 points on the each-way treble (total 0.4 points) making a combined total of 1 point. Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower 7, 4.5, 2.5, Ladbrokes 6.5, 5, 2.25, BetVictor 6, 5, 2.25

4.40 Lingfield. Battle of Marathon. 0.375 points each-way. 21 SkyBet/Boyles/Coral/Ladbrokes/BetVictor


Windforpower really fits into the ‘horses for courses’ expression; his record at Catterick is 0 wins from 32 runs, at Beverley he’s 0 from 15 and yet at Lingfield he’s 3 from 4 and at Musselburgh he’s 3 from 7. He likes Newcastle too and his form here this winter reads 23116621 and in tonight’s field, who have largely been regulars over course and distance this season, Wind has recorded 5 out of the 6 quickest times.

He had the reopposing Spirit of Wedza and Star Cracker behind when winning here earlier in the month and has previously had the better of Gloriux (who was of interest yesterday when 20/1 but is now 4/1), Fly True and Pea Shooter. All his wins at Newcastle have been under Ben Curtis who rides again.


Selections for Wednesday 28th March

No selections. A tricky day with a similar case able to be made for too many and with that in mind prices needed to strongly appeal and they haven’t. Frustratingly I thought I’d found a strong contender for the last race of the day but that price is already only half the price it was initially. If anything changes then there’ll be a text.

Tuesday 27th March Morning Update (Only for anyone who didn’t place bets last night)

If price has gone, it’s recommended to make a Betfair Exchange SP bet but ONLY WITH AN ODDS LIMIT- click SP then small box within betting box that says ‘Set SP odds limit’ and that will enable you to enter minimum odds. This is because horses backed early often drift back out again and gives another chance to get on. (On mobile, may need to go to ‘AZ Menu’ (at bottom of screen) then scroll down and click ‘Full Site’.)

             -Monks Stand was 4.5, now generally 5. Same 1pt win bet.

            -Forecasts/Tricast have drifted and if we get lucky will be a decent payout. Same bets recommended. I did have emails from 6 members last night needing help or clarification and I think all queries were resolved, so please do email if in any doubt- you won’t be alone and will be helped!

            -Holiday Magic was best price 5 but there’s a 15p deduction on that bringing it down to 4.4. Now best price 4.5 and 4.33 widely available. Same bet.

Selections for Tuesday 27th March

2.00 Southwell. Monk’s Stand. 1 point win. 4.5 WillHill/Betfair Sportsbook, 4.33 various

3.00 Southwell. Six Forecasts and six Tricasts, each 0.1 points, total 1.2 points, using Sir Geoffrey, Novabridge and Coiste Bodhar. See below for further details.

4.00 Southwell. Holiday Magic. 1 point win. 5 Ladbrokes (plus Betway but not BOG until morning), 4.5 various

Regarding the forecasts and tricasts for the 3.00, as always with these bets, ideally these should be placed with Bet365 because they will use current prices and then BOG if necessary whereas others only use SPs for their calculations. But, to do this, they need to be entered individually with Bet365. Any problems or questions then do drop me an email

This is a wide open race and although this is speculative, there is the chance of a big payout here that makes this worth a stab with those at the top of the market certainly not nailed on. There isn’t much between the market leaders and our trio in terms of times of historic results at the track. Archimedes has ability but is inconsistent and has been getting worse as the season has gone on. Dapper Man is respected more, but has been beaten by Novabridge over course and distance this month, while Kingstreet Lady is probably the rightful favourite based on her winning run at the beginning of February but both her times since then have been significantly slower.

Meanwhile, our three look to be improving and if continuing to go in the right direction then they could edge this. Sir Geoffrey has been running well over 6 furlongs without seeing it out and the drop back to the minimum distance could be what he needs. Novabridge is on a falling mark and has a 7lb claimer on board. She boasts the 2nd best time in the field this season, bettered only by Kingstreet Lady’s winning time, and could go faster still now on better terms. Coiste Bodhar is another course and distance winner and seems to have hit form in last couple of runs and also drops down in distance.

Current prices for the Forecast range from 32 to 70 and the Tricast varies from 260 to 315.

In the 4.00, Holiday Magic looks worth backing again after not getting any luck last week. He’d previously been a length behind tomorrow’s favourite Volatile, but is 9lbs better off this time around.

Monks Stand should be able to build on his course and distance success earlier in the month- which was a step forward from his previous effort when returning from a break- and the booking of Silvestre De Sousa catches the eye.


Saturday 24th March Morning Update (Only for anyone who didn’t place bets last night)

If price has gone, it’s recommended to make a Betfair Exchange SP bet but ONLY WITH AN ODDS LIMIT- click SP then small box within betting box that says ‘Set SP odds limit’ and that will enable you to enter minimum odds. This is because horses backed early often drift back out again and gives another chance to get on. (On mobile, may need to go to ‘AZ Menu’ (at bottom of screen) then scroll down and click ‘Full Site’.)

                -Sandra’s Secret has gone from 16/1 to 9 or 10/1 and the value’s gone, so no bet. Advise setting up Betfair SP bets of 0.25 pts @ 13.5 (win) and @ 3.5 (place) and 0.125 pts @ 15.5 (win) and 3.9 (place).

                -Cateadans Fury was 9 but 5p deduction brings that down to 8.6. A few places still have 9, so same bet advised.

Selections for Saturday 24th March

There should be a morning update on Saturday but then the next bets will be posted Monday night (no AW racing on Sunday or Monday).

7.45 Wolverhampton. Sandra’s Secret. 0.375 points each-way. 17 various.

8.45 Wolverampton. Catheadans Fury. 0.625 points each-way. 9 various

Always a cheering day, it’s the start of the turf season! However, although it would be entertaining to be cheering on a few charging down the Doncaster track tomorrow, the prime aim of the service is to generate a profit and because of that it will be a while before there are any bets here for races run on grass.

The simple reason is that over the coming weeks, there will be horses last seen on the track in the autumn taking on others who have been running on very different surfaces. Tomorrow’s Lincoln, for example, features 13 horses having their first run of the year, another who has run this year but that was over hurdles, 2 who have run overseas and 3 each who have had a recent run on Polytrack and Tapeta. If anyone can predict the fitness of each participant and how they’ll act in the conditions I’d be surprised and I feel it would be wrong of me to encourage you to put money on what I’d consider to be little more than horse bingo.

But, we are far from finished with the All-Weather. Although we haven’t made giant strides this year, following a purple patch in November and December, we’ve been hitting the frame with encouraging regularity recently and let’s hope for a positive spell in the remaining three and a bit weeks.

Lingfield hosts the All-Weather Finals Day on Good Friday, which is a cracking day to tackle and one we normally do well at, and over the next three weeks it is still the AW that dominates the Flat schedule (10 AW meetings next week, only 3 on turf, then 11 AW, 4 turf and the following week 9 AW, 2 turf).

I think it would be more than an understatement to say we haven’t got our just deserts this week and pausing all three of today’s races with a stride or two remaining would have seen two of the selections fighting out the finish (before both lost in photos) and Strategic Heights set to place (until our other selection sprouted wings after having a tough trip and pipped him on the line). To have a blank on the day after other near misses lately was a bit of a sickener, but when so many are going this close it’s just a matter of time before a few more go our way and perseverance in such a period is highly recommended!



Friday 23rd March Morning Update (Only for anyone who didn’t place bets last night)

If price has gone, it’s recommended to make a Betfair Exchange SP bet but ONLY WITH AN ODDS LIMIT- click SP then small box within betting box that says ‘Set SP odds limit’ and that will enable you to enter minimum odds. This is because horses backed early often drift back out again and gives another chance to get on. (On mobile, may need to go to ‘AZ Menu’ (at bottom of screen) then scroll down and click ‘Full Site’.)

                -Madrinho was 1pt @ 5.5. Now 3.5 and no bet with the value gone. Add Betfair SP bet 0.75 pts@ 4.2 and 0.25 pts @ 5.2

                -Roy’s Legacy was 1pt at best price 4.33. Now 4.33 in various places. Same 1pt win bet.

                -New Bet. 1.35 Lingfield. Settle Petal. 0.75 points win. 9 Bet365/BetVictor/SunBets

                -New Bet. 2.10 Lingfield. Strategic Heights. 0.5 points each-way. 7 Bet365/BetVictor/WillHill/BetBright

Settle Petal is a potential improver who was badly hampered when returning from a long break on her most recent run. She may well come on for that run and is down in class today. The price was slashed before posting last night but has eased again this morning.

Strategic Heights now offers value In the 2.10. He’s been very consistent although we backed him on a rare bad day last month. With the three others at the top of the market all likely to come from off the pace, SH may be in prime position if the race suits those running prominently and now looks a backable price.


Selections for Friday 23rd March

Some late prices tonight. I’d expect there will be more adding with similar prices shortly.

2.10 Lingfield. Madrinho. 1 point win. 5.5 various

3.15 Lingfield. Roy’s Legacy. 1 point win. 4.33 Bet365, 3.75 SkyBet/Ladbrokes

Madrinho has been dropped in distance since having a change of trainer last month. This almost worked at the first attempt but a combination of being too keen and not getting a clear run put paid to that. With that experience in the bag for both horse and jockey, more is possible tackling 6 furlongs again. However, he did manage to demonstrate a finishing kick and switching to Lingfield should make him a danger if in touch turning for home.

Roy’s Legacy has an excellent record with Charlie Bennett- 8 wins from 29 runs together- and they’ve hit another winning spell recently with 3 wins from 7 together since December. They had a similar spell last Spring and yet Roy is now 7 lbs lower than the final win in that previous sequence. He also clocked up a hat-trick in 2016 and a brace in 2015, so it’s clear that when he hits a peak he sustains it over a series of runs.

There’s plenty of pace here, but Roy is tactically versatile and just as capable from the front or chasing leaders. He’s also a battler and that is something lacking elsewhere in a field that finds it hard to win. Equally Fast is unreliable and can be slowly away and Ask The Guru only turns it on once in a while. Unless one of those two are in the right mood and things fall their way, Roy looks a very fair price to add to his seven course and distance successes.


Thursday 22nd March Morning Update (Only for anyone who didn’t place bets last night)

If price has gone, it’s recommended to make a Betfair Exchange SP bet but ONLY WITH AN ODDS LIMIT- click SP then small box within betting box that says ‘Set SP odds limit’ and that will enable you to enter minimum odds. This is because horses backed early often drift back out again and gives another chance to get on. (On mobile, may need to go to ‘AZ Menu’ (at bottom of screen) then scroll down and click ‘Full Site’.)

            -Newstead Abbey has a 5p deduction on last night’s price. Now 6.5 which is just acceptable but drop to 0.375 e/w and add 0.125 pts Betfair SP @ 7.4 (win) and 2.26 (place). If drops further then no bet but add 0.375 pts Betfair SP @ 6.6 (win) and 2.14 (place) along with the 0.125 already mentioned.

            -Sharp Operator now 4.5. Same 0.75 win bet.

            -Pearl Spectre now 6.5. Same 0.625 pts e/w. Drop to 0.5 pts e/w if drops to 6.

Selections for Thursday 22nd March

2.10 Wolverhampton. Newstead Abbey. 0.5 points each-way. 9 PaddyPower, 8.5 various

6.15 Chelmsford. Sharp Operator. 0.75 points win. 5 Bet365, 4.5 various

7.15 Chelmsford. Pearl Spectre. 0.625 points each-way. 7 various

Two still to run tonight.

We were certainly on the right horse with Holiday Magic this afternoon but, unusually for Southwell, he suffered severe trouble in the run- stuck as the meat in a horse sandwich and unable to get out or get through until it was too late. Epitaph hit a flat spot midway and was a well beaten second. Had he run to last week’s time, or a few previous efforts, he would have won by half a furlong but today was his worst run of many this winter.

Both Exchequer and Russian Realm were second at Newcastle on Tuesday, running their race but finding one better on the day/night with clear gaps back to the 3rd placed horses.

A small profit last week thanks to wins from Volatile, who recorded the fastest time over course and distance of any horse this season, Made of Honour- one to continue to watch due to winning a Class 3 despite being able to run in Class 5 and perhaps could do with an extra furlong- and Clergyman who looked to have plenty in hand and will be a threat again if turned out under a penalty. Otherwise, most had a chance with Epitaph and Just That Lord going closest.

The week before got March off to a positive start largely thanks to Zabeel Star who thankfully managed to break on reasonable terms and the week ended strongly thanks to a win from Stringybark Creek and place money from 25/1 shot Summer Icon, while Born To Finish lost out in a photo.

A nose was the difference between a couple of points profit and loss on the Wednesday with Porto Ferro coming off 2nd best in a lengthy photo-finish decision. The winner was Strategic Heights who had run poorly for us the week before.

St James’s Park lost his action and was pulled up but was not found to have any major problems after the race. Despite the urgings of Joey Haynes, Mr Bossy Boots couldn’t get an early position and failed to get involved from off the pace. Camakasi made up some ground late on, but not enough to figure, finishing 5th.

On the Tuesday, Something Lucky travelled well as normal and probably had a little more in hand than the winning margin suggests and it’ll be interesting to see if he can transfer his form onto turf.. He responds negatively to use of the stick so has to be ridden using hands and heels which can appear a little odd. There was a 15p rule 4 bringing the price down to 2.7. Lean On Pete was a well-beaten fourth and can have no excuses having had his desired lead until weakening. Scotch Myst went down by under a length, just finding one better in the finish and was 5 lengths clear of 3rd.

Naralsaif was a convincing winner on the Monday, travelling in midfield and then pulling away when asked to improve. Pushkin Museum was a little slowly away, racing towards the rear rather than front as hoped and could never look like landing a blow.


Wednesday 21st March Morning Update (Only for anyone who didn’t place bets last night)

If price has gone, it’s recommended to make a Betfair Exchange SP bet but ONLY WITH AN ODDS LIMIT- click SP then small box within betting box that says ‘Set SP odds limit’ and that will enable you to enter minimum odds. This is because horses backed early often drift back out again and gives another chance to get on. (On mobile, may need to go to ‘AZ Menu’ (at bottom of screen) then scroll down and click ‘Full Site’.)

                -Epitaph was 0.75 pts win @ 3.25 and is now 2.5. That’s still ok- I’d go as low as evens. If drops beneath evens then no bet but add Betfair SP bet @ 2.04.

                -Holiday Magic was 0.75 pts win @ 3.25, now 3.125. Would go as low as 2.5. No bet but add Betfair SP @ 2.58 if beneath.

                -0.5 pt win double now best price 7.8. Would go as low as 5 with BOG, no bet if less than 5.

                -Tee It Up Tommo was best price 51 but non-runner deductions have brought that down to 43.5. Currently 34 and I’d keep the same bet down to 26, reducing stake to 0.25 pts e/w If dropping beneath 26 in which case also adding Betfair SP bets of 0.125 @ 26 (win) and 7 (place).

                -Major Valentine was 0.375 pts e/w @ 11, now 13. Would increase to 0.5 pts e/w if rising to 15, so advise adding Betfair SP for 0.125 pts @ 15.5 (win) and 4.6 (place).

                -Dallness Express was 0.75pts win @ 6.5. Now 5.5. Would accept 5. Any lower no bet but add 0.75pts win as a Betfair SP @ 5.2.

Epitaph and Holiday Magic were both second at Southwell last week (we were on Epitaph and Volatile who beat Holiday Magic) and both can be counted as unfortunate to have found one better on the day due to posting strong time figures for their respective grades.

Epitaph runs in a small field and with his efforts this winter (of which last week was the quickest) far superior to Acker Bilk’s and with The Lock Master not performing as well in recent outings as at the end of 2017, he should be the best of the three to have run recently. Busy Street returns from a long break and will have to improve from previous runs here to challenge Epitaph if our selection maintains his form.

Holiday Magic’s performances at Southwell have steadily improved through the and is latest runs put him ahead of rivals with experience of the surface while three others make their Fibresand debuts and are surely here in preparation for the turf season otherwise would have run here before.

Tee It Up Tommo is worth chancing at the price. He has an excellent record at a mile in Class 5 or 6 on the All-Weather- 21411511971231- and has those two conditions in his favour for the first time since winning here in May. There should be plenty of pace on which will suit the distictive grey’s running-on style and now he’s 2 lbs lower than is last winning mark and a strong jockey booking, he’s not without a chance.

Selections for Wednesday 21st March 

Three already posted are beneath.

8.15 Kempton. Major Valentine. 0.375 points each-way. 11 Bet365/SkyBet/BetBright/BetVictor

8.45 Kempton. Dalness Express. 0.75 points win. 6.5 various


There might be a text sent later if anything to add- just want to delve a bit more into Kempton. Reasoning for tomorrow will also follow later this evening.

Running tonight (Tuesday):

(Already sent by text) 7.15 Newcastle. Exchequer. 1 point win. 3.5 various

8.45 Newcastle. Russian Realm. 0.75 points win. 6.5 Coral/Ladbrokes, 6 various

Running tomorrow (Wednesday):

2.30 Southwell. Epitaph. 0.75 points win. 3.25 various

3.40 Southwell. Holiday Magic. 0.75 points win. 3.5 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower, 3.25 various

Plus Epitaph and Holiday Magic in a win double. 0.5 points. 10.56 various (3.25 and 3.25)

5.45 Kempton. Tee It Up Tommo. 0.375 points each-way. 51 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower, 34 various

The two mentioned last night as not being acceptable prices have eased enough this afternoon to be backable now.

The Claiming Stakes (7.15 tonight) is the usual riddle of working out the merits of runs in varying quality of racing, revising handicap marks (those involved often have ratings higher than they should, hence not running in handicaps) and throwing in their different weights for each contest. My calculations make Exchequer ahead of the others on tonight’s terms and a run to recent levels should be enough.

Although beaten by 5 lengths on Friday in a similar set-up, he fared poorly at the weights- the winner was rated 5 lower but was carrying 25 lbs less- and tonight rather than being disadvantaged, this time he has the edge. He’s made the frame in three races this winter, following a year off the track, and nothing else here would be fancied in contests of their quality. There must also be a question mark over the form of David O’Meara’s runners (he saddles two in this including the favourite) after failing to get off the mark for 2018 so far in 69 attempts.

Russian Realm has an impressive history, winning a couple of strong Class 2 handicaps and being rated as high as 100 at his peak. Although he’s past his best, he still retains an eye-catching turn of foot and with his trademark late rattle Newcastle is ideal for him.

He looked in good shape last month when running for the first time since September, running on for third, and would probably have won if two gaps hadn’t closed on him, forcing him to be switched.

Three of his five wins have been at 7 furlongs (twice at largely downhill Goodwood) and that makes the stiff 6 furlongs at Newcastle ideal for him along with the course’s record with those coming with a late run. Half the field have their first runs since the last turf season and Russian Realm can take advantage of any rustiness.

Selections for Tuesday 20th March

No selections. Not much on offer at Newcastle tomorrow- a typically slow start to the week with just the one meeting on Monday and Tuesday then two-a-day through to Saturday. I was hoping to put up two selections but one has started off too short and the other has had its price smashed in the last half an hour. If anything becomes acceptable then I’ll text.

A non-runner and a bit of a frustrating loss today with General Gerrard holding every chance in the run for home but sticking to the far rail on the home straight which is not the place to be at Lingfield and hasn’t been for months with winner after winner coming down the centre while those stuck on the inside are running through treacle. I’ll recap the last week or so tomorrow.

Monday 19th March Morning Update (Only for anyone who didn’t place bets last night)

If price has gone, it’s recommended to make a Betfair Exchange SP bet but ONLY WITH AN ODDS LIMIT- click SP then small box within betting box that says ‘Set SP odds limit’ and that will enable you to enter minimum odds. This is because horses backed early often drift back out again and gives another chance to get on. (On mobile, may need to go to ‘AZ Menu’ (at bottom of screen) then scroll down and click ‘Full Site’.)

            -Masquerade Bling is now a non-runner.

            -General Gerrard was 0.375pts e/w @ 15, now the price varies from 12 to 21. I’d leave alone if drops beneath 12 and set up a Betfair SP of .375 pts on both win and place markets @ 12.5 and 3.4 respectively. If able to get the 21 I’d go to 0.5 pts e/w. If backing now at prices in between, I’d make the same 0.375 pts e/w and also add 0.125 e/w at Betfair SP of 21 on win market and 5.2 on place market. Quite a few have chances here but this looks to be offering a price that’s too high.

Selections for Monday 19th March

2.20 Lingfield. Masquerade Bling. 1 point win. 6 various

2.50 Lingfield. General Gerrard. 0.375 points each-way. 15 various

World of Good is odds-on to win the opener at Lingfield on Monday and I simply don’t get that. A contender? Certainly. The most likely? Quite possibly. More likely to win than lose? Definitely not.

He is a last time out winner and did well to win having been very keen early on and made up ground smartly in the run for home. However, he was a difficult ride, taking Luke Morris inside and out and was a little fortunate that a wide gap opened up for him on the inside. He’ll need to be far more temperate to get away with that at Lingfield with the downhill approach and tight turn to the finishing straight. Additionally, the only horse to come out of that race and run well since is Clegyman who didn’t get a clear run that day and several in tomorrow’s field have posted significantly better times over that course and distance in defeat.

Masquerade Bling on the other hand looks generously priced. He’s down in class and distance having been in contention until late on in recent runs. He should be able to sit prominently from the lowest stall and Adam Kirby is booked. Kirby rarely rides for Neil Mulholland but it’s worth taking note of when he does with 3 wins from 10 last year, 2 from 5 previously and 2 from 6 this year.

General Gerrard is a maiden after 11 attempts but now looks to be improving with each run. A mile was just a stretch too far last time out, leading off the final turn but headed inside the final half furlong. From a low draw he should also be able to sit behind the leaders and have something left in the tank now running a furlong less.


Saturday 17th March Morning Update (Only for anyone who didn’t place bets last night)

If price has gone, it’s recommended to make a Betfair Exchange SP bet but ONLY WITH AN ODDS LIMIT- click SP then small box within betting box that says ‘Set SP odds limit’ and that will enable you to enter minimum odds. This is because horses backed early often drift back out again and gives another chance to get on. (On mobile, may need to go to ‘AZ Menu’ (at bottom of screen) then scroll down and click ‘Full Site’.)

                -Akkadian Empire last night was 0.375pts e/w @ 11 or 10, now best price 10 in a couple of places and 9 otherwise. Same bet this morning unless drops beneath 8 in which case do the Betfair SP thing described above with 0.375pts on win market @ 8.2 and 0.375 pts on place market @ 2.5.

                -London Glory now 13 various. Same bet of 0.375 pts e/w. If drops beneath 9 then Betfair SP process as before with 0.375 pts @ 9.2 and 2.6.

                -Made of Honour was 1pt win @ 3.25, now 5 with BlackType, 4.33 elsewhere. Would pause for a little while if possible because above 5 on exchanges and therefore prices likely to join BlackType. Same 1 pt win bet.

                -Tess Graham now 26 with WillHill and 21 various. Would back 0.5 pts e/w at this price (if backed last night could top up with an additional 0.125pts e/w). Reduce to 0.375 e/w if comes back down to  15 and no bet if beneath 12 (adding 0.375 pts Betfair SPs @ 12.5 and 3.3)

Selections for Saturday 17th March

Bet365 are widely out of line with other prices with two selections- I’ll record the others. It could be Bet365 quickly drop theirs or BetVictor, who are yet to add prices, follow suit and this helps bring other prices up. In other words, it’s particularly worth checking the odds on oddschecker!

6.15 Wolverhampton. Akkadian Empire. 0.375 points each-way. 11 Bet365, 10 various

And (same race) London Glory. 0.375 points each-way. (15 Bet365) 11 SkyBet (plus 10Bet/NetBet/SportPesa but not BOG until 9am), 10 various

7.45 Wolverhampton. Made of Honour. 1 point win. 3.25 various

8.15 Wolverhampton. Tess Graham. 0.375 points each-way. (21 Bet365) 15 various

Tess Graham was a selection at 40/1 last month but didn’t get a clean break and was left with an impossible task. To get as close as she did was commendable and if breaking on terms in a not dissimilar race is going to give her a decent chance of at least being involved in the finish. There is the possibility that she’s a hostage to (mis)fortune again, such is her style, but that’s a risk that can be taken at the prices.

Previous reasoning: ‘Tess Graham is a speculative selection, as the price should suggest. Despite being yet to place in 10 career starts, there is some reason for hope. She was 7th of 11 over course and distance last month, racing in last throughout until passing a few on the home straight. But, that was a stronger race and one in which the leaders dominated. Furthermore, that was a first attempt at 7 furlongs and a first run since August. She wasn’t given a hard time and that could have just been a test to see if she’d get the trip.

From a lower draw she may be closer to the pace today but, as mentioned, it may not be a bad thing to be away from a possible pace battle. If showing some improvement for that return and experience of the distance, at the prices she looks worth chancing against a field in which none can be entirely trusted to perform.’

Made of Honour returned from a 4 month break to win in good style in February. Although this is considerably tougher, the clock suggests she should be more than competitive and that she is well ahead of the handicapper. She’s less exposed than most and any further improvement will make her hard to beat here.

Akkadian Empire‘s form takes a bit of picking apart. Although he’s a last time out winner, that run was at a distance 3 furlongs shorter and bares little relevance. Similarly, two of his previous three runs had been on the vastly different surface at Southwell, albeit over tomorrow’s distance, and are also worth ignoring for that reason. However, it’s the other of his four runs this winter that makes him of interest for tomorrow. He was 2nd that day, 5 lengths clear of third against a collection of recent winners and worse off in the weights. A repeat of that effort would be strong enough to be a contender at this level and his most recent run confirms is current condition.

London Glory should also be competitive now back at this distance of his last win after not getting home over further last time out. His run two outings ago reads well when not getting a clear run and chasing home Willyegolassiego, who was winning for a fourth time in six runs, and finishing ahead of a collection who had run well before and since. He’s had a few pounds knocked off, there should be plenty of pace on here from the likes of What Usain and Overhaugh Street which will give him something to aim at and the booking of Andrew Mullen is an increasingly positive one.


Friday 16th March Morning Update (Only for anyone who didn’t place bets last night)

Yesterday was a good example of how the Betfair SP with minimum odds suggestion can come into play- Just That Lord dropped to 4 at its lowest but then came back out and had a Betfair SP of 10.64. Of course, the advice is to take an acceptable price as early as possible but over time this will reduce the number that are missed when the price is only temporarily unacceptable.

Simple enough again today with just one selection- Clergyman still 1 point win  and is now 5.5 with Betfair, B365, Paddy and Victor. (no bet if falls below 3.5, if 3.5 to 4.33 then 0.75 pts and 1 pt if 4.5 or above, topping up with Betfair SP minimum odds back-up to total 1 point if necessary.


Selections for Friday 16th March

I have two more races to look at so may text later if any others appeal.

7.15 Wolverhampton. Clergyman. 1 point win. 5 various

Clergyman was a selection last month (previous reasoning copied below) when the victim of dangerous riding removed any chance he had. That was also a third run in four days and he’s been given a few weeks to freshen up. This, once again, looks within him and the booking of Danny Tudhope is both a positive and appears a strong statement of intent. Clergyman had three of tomorrow’s main rivals well beaten when winning over course and distance last month and stall 4 tomorrow should enable a prominent position and options kept open.

‘Clergyman ran on Friday, again on Saturday and is turned out again on Monday- presumably not running on Sunday due to being a horse of the cloth. He escapes a penalty for Friday’s win due to it being in an apprentice handicap but did so in good style from the front. It was a first run on the All-Weather away from Southwell’s Fibresand for almost a year and a half and the change of surface was evidently a positive.

Things didn’t go his way on Saturday. He couldn’t quite get a share of the lead and was stuck on the inner rail, hampered and forced back several furlongs out and then not getting the breaks in the run for home but plugged on to take third. That was at 7 furlongs which may have been a little bit of a stretch and in a slightly stronger race. Back down to 6 furlongs, nicely drawn in stall 4 and against very moderate opposition he’s the rightful favourite and this appears a perfectly backable price.’


Thursday 15th March Morning Update

One bet still 6 with B365, Victor and William so still find. I’d accept 5 at 1 pt win so currently no change, and drop to 0.75 pts if price drops to 4.33 or 4.5 (plus Betfair SP 0.25 pts @ 5.2) and no bet if lower than that. In the unlikely event it does suddenly drop beneath that then I’d have the Betfair SP back-up with minimum prices 0.75 pts @ 4.5 and a further 0.25 pts @ 5.2.


Selections for Thursday 15th March

7.00 Chelmsford. Just That Lord. 1 point win. 6.5 WillHill, 6 Bet365 (price with other bookies drifting out so particularly worth checking this is still best price if betting later)

The first furlong could be key to Just That Lord’s chances in the 7.00. If he bounces out and gets into the lead then he’ll be hard to peg back over this 5 furlong dash, especially with a collection in opposition perhaps more suited by an extra furlong. He showed great early speed to pull clear on his last run and that built on his previous effort which was off the back of a long break. Prior to his absence he was showing himself to be a threat at this level and a repeat of his last run or any improvement on it should be too good as long as hits that first bend leading or sharing front rank.


Selections for Wednesday 14th March

3.15 Southwell. Volatile. 1 point win. 4 various

Apologies for running behind schedule for today. Just the one selection and back to normal with a post for tomorrow at 6.30 tonight.

Tuesday 13th March (plus two running later tonight, Monday 12th)

There won’t be any posts from me tomorrow at usual times. But, there are two meetings on Wednesday- Southwell in the afternoon and Wolverhampton in the evening- and I’m going to crack on with Southwell tonight (so won’t add any reasoning tonight) so that any bets can be sent at some point tomorrow night- will send a text first- and then bets for Wolves will follow on Weds morning, again preceded by a text.

Running Tonight (Mon):

8.45 Chelmsford. Firesnake. 0.5 points each-way. 8 various

And (same race) Divine Call .0.25 points each-way. 41 various

Running Tomorrow (Tues):

1.45 Southwell. Mr Andros. 1 point win. 11 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower, 10 Ladbrokes

2.25 Southwell. Epitaph. 0.75 points win. 5.5 Betfair Sportsbook, 5 various

3.05 Southwell. Kommander Kirkup. 0.5 points each-way. 9 WillHill/Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower

7.15 Newcastle. Rockley Point. 0.375 points each-way. 15 various

Monday 12th March

No selections. A tricky card at Chelmsford tonight. I was becoming interested in Firesnake each-way in the 8.45 after morning drift but he’s been put up by Hugh Taylor and the price has gone again. I’ll look at that again in the 6.30 post tonight along with Tuesday’s meetings.


Saturday 10th March Morning Update (Only for anyone who didn’t place bets last night)

If price has gone, it’s recommended to make a Betfair Exchange SP bet but ONLY WITH AN ODDS LIMIT- click SP then small box within betting box that says ‘Set SP odds limit’ and that will enable you to enter minimum odds. (On mobile, may need to go to ‘AZ Menu’ (at bottom of screen) then scroll down and click ‘Full Site’. This is because horses backed early often drift back out again and gives another chance to get on.

-Summer Icon. No change- 26 last night and this morning.
-Mickey. Was 4, now 4.5. Same 1pt win bet.
-Stringybark. Was 8, now 5. Change bet to 0.75pt win. Use BOG. Add Betfair SP bet (as described above) 0.25pts win @ 6.3. No bet if current price drops beneath 4.5 (in which case add additional Betfair SP bet 0.75pts @ 4.7). 
-Broughtons. Was 6.5, now 7. Keep same 1pt win bet.


Selections for Saturday 10th March

3.15 Wolverhampton. Summer Icon. 0.375 points each-way. 26 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower, 23 BetStars/Coral

4.25 Wolverhampton. Mickey. 1 point win. 4 various

5.45 Chelmsford. Stringybark Creek. 0.5 points each-way. 8 Bet365, 7.5 various

8.45 Chelmsford. Broughtons Story. 1 point win. 6.5 Betfair Sportsbook, 6 various

Broughtons Story is now steadily progressing. In his first ten runs he barely beat an opponent but then hit some for at the end of the turf season. He’s continued this into the winter season and won last time out, fending off the challenge from Rock Icon and the pair pulled well clear of the rest of the field. That form has played out extremely well with 3rd to 7th all winning or going close next time out. Stormingin is the predictable favourite after living up to his name to slice through the field and finishing second and now running off a reduced mark looks very well handicapped but the concern would have to be that his hold-up style is not ideal for this track.

Google tells me that Stringybark Creek, in the Wombat Ranges in Victoria, Australia, was where there was a shootout between Ned Kelly and police in 1878. The horse of the same name was unlucky at Wolverhampton (where a shootout between locals and police is less likely to result in having a horse named after it) last time out and certainly ran better than the finishing position suggests. Holly Doyle attempted to gain a prominent pitch but failed and was stuck 3 or 4 wide for much of the trip and then 8 or 9 wide off the final bend. That he only went down by 3 lengths was commendable.

Tomorrow he runs a mile for the first time since winning at Lingfield four runs ago in December when once again showing a decent turn of foot to get his nose in front when it mattered. From a decent draw and with Darragh Keenan back in the saddle (rode in the win at Lingfield) taking off 5 lbs, he should be in position to attack and against an unreliable line-up looks generously priced.

At the prices Summer Icon looks worth a small stake. He looks up against it given how the weights work out in this Listed race, but that’s a situation he’s faced a number of times and often given a good account. He was only half a length away last time out having taken them along which is not his normal style and won the last time he ran at Wolverhampton, at the end of last year, with 2nd and 3rd carrying the same weight despite both being rated 11 higher. This might be slightly tougher, but his finishing efforts read extremely well on the clock and he beat an odds-on Haggas horse the last time he was here and it’s not impossible that he could do so again.

Mickey is going the right way and has shown some improvement through his three runs this winter. He’s well drawn and the drop back to 6 furlongs should suit (hasn’t found that little bit extra when challenging the last twice, both over an extra furlong) and his times stack up well against not the strongest of fields for a race of this class.

Friday 9th March

No selections. Only Newcastle to go at and not the easiest set of races to predict. I’d have the same order at the top of the markets as the early prices and can’t have confidence that anything else is overpriced. Saturday looks far more appealing so should be busier. Meanwhile both running later tonight have been very well backed…

(Nothing will be added in the morning unless a text is sent, which is unlikely.)

Thursday 7th March Morning Update (Only for anyone who didn’t place bets last night)

If price has gone, it’s recommended to make a Betfair Exchange SP bet but ONLY WITH AN ODDS LIMIT- click SP then small box within betting box that says ‘Set SP odds limit’ and that will enable you to enter minimum odds. (On mobile, may need to go to ‘AZ Menu’ (at bottom of screen) then scroll down and click ‘Full Site’. This is because horses backed early often drift back out again and gives another chance to get on.

            – Additional Bet. Essential in 2.30 at Southwell was 3.5 last night and despite two non-runners (one the favourite) is now 4 or 3.75 and a backable price. 1 pt win. (Text being sent.)

            – Zabeel Star was 12/1 now as low as 11/2. I wouldn’t back at this price. Advise putting a Betfair SP (as described above) with 0.5 pts minimum odds 8.4 and also 0.5 pts with minimum 10.5 odds.

            -Born To Finish. Was 7, now 5. No bet if under 4.5. Would change bet to 0.75 pts win and add 0.25 pt win as Betfair SP with min odds 6.

Selections for Thursday 8th March

7.15 Newcastle. Zabeel Star. 1 point win.13 Coral/BetBright/Bet365

8.15 Newcastle. Born To Finish. 1 point win. 7 various

It’s taken a long time, but Jamie Osborne finally sends Born To Finish to Newcastle. The fast-finishing hold-up horse has been repeatedly running out of time at Chelmsford on the short straight and it’s a huge positive that he gets to run over a straight course for the first time on the All-Weather. It’s no coincidence that his two wins in the last year have been at Kempton with the longer straight there (than Chelmsford, Lingfield and Wolverhampton).

Osborne only sends one north from Berkshire and it’s only his second runner here this year. He’s also booked Joe Fanning for the ride who has an excellent record at the course since the Tapeta surface was installed a couple of years ago.

Zabeel Star is more talented than his mark and performances, in terms of finishing positions, suggest but his flaw is getting out of the stalls on terms. If he was able to break more effectively then he’d be competing in better races and if and when he does get out well then he’ll be too good for this level.

Despite this problem, he’s still managed to go close several times this year and has been tried over further but not quite seen his races out. Back down to a mile, if he masters the start he will stand a very strong chance. At this price and factoring that in, it’s a chance worth taking.

Wednesday 7th March Morning Update (Only for anyone who didn’t place bets last nigt)

If price has gone, it’s recommended to make a Betfair SP bet but ONLY WITH AN ODDS LIMIT- click SP then small box within betting box that says ‘Set SP odds limit’ and that will enable you to enter minimum odds. (On mobile, may need to go to ‘AZ Menu’ (at bottom of screen) then scroll down and click ‘Full Site’. This is because horses backed early often drift back out again and gives another chance to get on.

            -Camakasi was 34 best price but will be recorded as 19 due to huge gulf in prices last night, unless drifts out. Now 26 with 4 BOG bookies. Same bet 0.375pts e/w bet.

            -St James’ Park was 13, now 15 with 5 BOG bookies. Same 0.375pts e/w way bet.

            -Mr Bossy Boots was 15, now best price 10 with Bet365, 9 elsewhere. Borderline acceptable. Drop to 0.375 pts e/w. Use BOG in case drifts back out. No bet if under 8.5- if so, recommend using Betfair SP advice mentioned above with prices 8.6 on win market, 3 on place market.

            -Porto Ferro was 8.5, now 8.5 BetBright, 8 elsewhere. Same bet. Drop to 0.5pts e/w if 7. No bet below 6.


Selections for Wednesday 7th March

A few bookies are still to price.

4.30 Lingfield. Camakasi. 0.375 points each-way. 34 PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook, 19 various

6.10 Kempton. St James’ Park. 0.375 points each-way. 13 Bet365 (plus SunBets but not BOG until morning) 12 SkyBet (plus 10Bet/Betway/SportPesa, not BOG until morning)

7.40 Kempton. Mr Bossy Boots. 0.5 points each-way. 15 Bet365/PaddyPower

8.10 Kempton. Porto Ferro. 0.625 points each-way. 8.5 PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook, 8 BetBright/WillHill

Luke Morris knows the importance of being prominent at 6 furlongs at Kempton and will be as animated as ever in getting Porto Ferro out and in touch with the leaders. He did the same last month in a higher class and a better race and hit the front inside the final furlong before dropping to third in the final strides.

That was an improvement on his previous run which was the first back from a break and further progress can be expected. With favourite Awesome Allan appearing to have an aversion to being ahead and therefore needing to be delivered perfectly very late and Fareeq having work to do from his draw and possibly having peaked, plus Strategic Heights not threatening last time out, this looks winnable if Porto is able to replicate his previous run.

With Kempton’s Polytrack running on the slow side, which will make things harder for those held in the rear and a collection of hold-up horses in the 7.40 who are also drawn wide, it could be worth giving Mr Bossy Boots another chance. He’s been left with too much to do on occasions but Joey Haynes should be able to have him better placed from stall 5 tomorrow.

Mr BB is down in class- has won 3 from 7 and placed in 6 of those at this level on the All-Weather- and was 2nd over course and distance last month. The longer straight suits his style as he can take a while to hit top gear. With Spare Parts and Titan Goddess now seeming to have peaked after busy and productive winters and their winning sprees have pushed them up in the weights and classes and the likes of Magic Mirror and Nezar going to have to battle to get involved from their normal deep positions, this could be the ideal chance for the selection to return to winning ways.

St James’ Park evidently doesn’t like Southwell’s Fibresand (lost by a combined margin of 40 lengths in two runs there recently) but between visits to Nottinghamshire he’s twice run respectably on Polytrack and returning to this surface is a big positive.

His third here last month reads well- the winner, Ertidaad, was a well-backed winner again on next run, 4th has also won and 5th ran well to place. This is a typically weak Class 7 and although Tarseekh warrants his short-price, favourite Check ‘em Tuesday has been the reverse to St James in that he’s been poor on this surface before bolting up on Fibresand debut.

Camakasi won by 8 lengths in August but then didn’t run on the flat again until last month. That was a better return than the bare result suggests as he was held up in last in a slowely run affair in which the leaders dominated. In the circumstances he did well to plug on for 5th. He runs in the same class again tomorrow off 1 lb lower and if building on that is going to be a threat.

Four of these- Tom’s Rock, Van Huysen, Miss Minuty and Dutch Uncle- finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th over course and distance last week and appear closely matched (if pushed, Miss Minuty would get the vote having gained plenty of ground from a poor position).


Tuesday 6th March Morning Update

I’ve copied the key points regarding the morning updates from last week’s email below.

If price has gone, it’s recommended to make a Betfair SP bet but ONLY WITH AN ODDS LIMIT- click SP then small box within betting box that says ‘Set SP odds limit’ and that will enable you to enter minimum odds. This is because horses backed early often drift back out again and gives another chance to get on.(On mobile, may need to go to ‘AZ Menu’ (at bottom of screen) then scroll down and click ‘Full Site’.) 

            -Something Lucky. Now 2.5 and a rival now a non-runner (Sir Hector) brings last night’s price down to 2.7, but that’s a negative because he was one of the pace horses drawn next to SL. Bet remains as 2.5 is just acceptable but no bet if any lower.

            -Lean On Pete. 5.5 available in a few places, same as best price last night. Bet stays the same. (drop to 0.75 if price 4.33 or 4. No bet beneath 4.)

            -Scotch Myst. 4 widely available (4.33 with BlackType). Bet stays the same. (No bet if below 3.5.)


Key points:

– If you have placed the bets the night before then this isn’t going to add anything for you and you don’t need to check it.

– Any occasional additional bets (such as those brought about by overnight/morning drift, non-runners or going changes) will be sent by text to everyone, just as they are now.

– If you can’t or simply didn’t place the bets the night before then this will act as a guide, reconsidering existing selections against new prices. Examples from Thursday and Friday of last week are below.

– This won’t be at a specified time and this won’t be every single day but the aim will be to add this as regularly as possible and far more often than not. If it’s known in advance that it won’t be added then this will be mentioned the night before, but if nothing has been added by 10am then nothing will be.

– Activating the Push notifications will be a big help with this, which will give a pop-up notification when any comments have been added (you may need to refresh the page once clicking on the pop-up).

– There will be times when the price has gone from the night before, resulting in the advice being to ignore that selection and of course there will be times when that horse then goes onto win. That could be occasionally frustrating but is the right thing to do – long-term profit comes from backing at advantageous prices, win or lose. They’ll be others that lose when the price has gone and there’ll be a bonus temporary drift on others which together will go a long way towards narrowing any difference in results.

– Mondays are tricky. I normally do a session recapping on the week just gone and beginning prep for the week ahead on a Sunday. Now knowing there’s such a preference for early selections means if this yields any selections that are ready either the night before or early on Monday then they’ll be sent as soon as possible. Otherwise, the majority of analysis and posting of selections will have to remain on Monday morning. Therefore, these comments will be an addition on Tuesday to Saturday.

– This has come about due to feedback. Similarly, this may need a bit of tweaking initially and any further comments will be taken on board and will be used to improve the service.

Selections for Tuesday 6th March

As mentioned in last week’s email, tomorrow should have the first ‘morning update’ for anyone not backing these tonight.

2.20 Southwell. Something Lucky. 1 point win. 3 PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook, 2.875 various (being backed and price shortening)

2.50 Southwell. Lean On Pete. 1 point win. (5.5 Bet365 BOG but unlikely to last, 5 SunBets but not BOG until morning) 4.5 various

5.20 Southwell. Scotch Myst. 0.75 points win. 4.33 Bet365, 4 Ladbrokes (plus Sunbets), 3.75 various

We’ve been on Something Lucky before and correctly avoided him on his last visit to Southwell. This was the comment that day: ‘Favourite Something Lucky is, of course, the one to beat in the opener at Southwell. He seeks a four-timer but that’s more than reflected in the price. He beat Archie Stevens here two runs ago (finishing 1st and 3rd), sitting behind the pace and then flying clear when asked to go. However, not many win from high draws on the straight sprint here and from stall 12, Ali Rawlinson is going to have to dip inside to get cover behind the pace and then look for the gaps to appear. The pace is most likely to come from Archie and he’s all the way across in stall 3.’

That was how it transpired, with SL third behind the reopposing Archimedes who came out of stall 1 and the second who came from stall 4. SL meets Archimedes on 9lbs better terms this time around, but more significantly is drawn in stall 3 next door to two speed merchants who should give a tow into the race.

The best three individual times for the final 2 furlongs in this field have all come from SL and as long as he’s well positioned behind the leaders when asked for an effort, which should be the case, then nothing should be able to stop SL recording his 3rd course and distance success of the year.

In the Class 6 handicap over a mile and a half at 2.50, Avocet is sure to have his supporters after a 6 length win the last time he visited the course. However, he may have been flattered by limited opposition that day and runs off 15 lbs higher today.

Preference at the prices is for Lean On Pete who won for us in December at a furlong shorter and then arguably ran even better on his only run since when second over tomorrow’s distance behind Senatus. There’s every chance of a soft lead here and if getting the run of the race is going to prove hard to peg back.

Ochus Rios is also capable but is often slowly away and Go On Gal, who beat Lean On Pete here in August, is not without a chance but will need to improve on recent efforts.

Scotch Myst is Richard Fahey’s only runner on the day and there’s a big clue that Paul Hanagan travels to the course for this ride (although he’s picked up another ride after this race was split into two divisions). Fahey’s main man has ridden the horse here before when tackling a furlong less and staying on but not threatening. He gets the extra distance tomorrow and Hanagan must have seen enough that day to warrant returning making the journey for this low grade race.

Scotch has some respectable collection of runs here from his 2 and 3 year-old days. He looks to have his required distance tomorrow which should see improvement beyond the level of main threats Mimic’s Memory and Hugie Boy who are both far more exposed.


Monday 5th March

5.45 Wolverhampton. Naralsaif. 0.75 points win. 6.5 various

8.45 Wolverhampton. Pushkin Museum. 0.5 points each-way. 9 PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook, 8.5 WillHill (plus SunBets/10Bet/SportPesa not BOG until morning)

It’s unusual on the All-Weather to have a hat-trick seeking horse priced as highly as Naralsaif is today when said horse is running at the same track and in the same class as his latest win. The perceived negative is presumably the drop in distance. This presents a different challenge and its not unusual for the horse to struggle by getting outpaced and/or to pay later on for being taken beyond their cruising speed comfort zone on the way round.

However, in Naralsaif’s case, this might not be a problem. Yes, those two wins came after being stepped up in trip after not winning over today’s distance. But, he was coming into form at this distance and the wins could well have been down to hitting a peak which coincided with the change of distance. Back in November and December, he placed in two runs at 6 furlongs (today is 7f) when looking like further would suit due to staying on well but there wasn’t the issue of being outpaced that would be expected if today would be a struggle and if he is able to replicate recent runs then he’ll stand a favourite’s chance rather than being the third favourite the market has made him.

Pushkin Museum is a consistent performer at today’s course and distance. Recent form here reads 11352235154 but it’s the slender margin of the losing distances that stands out. His wins have been off marks of 54, 60 and 60 and he’s had 5 losses of under a length and a quarter off marks of 65, 66, 66, 64 and 63. He runs off 63 today but Connor Murtagh is brought in today and takes off 5 lbs, effectively making him run off 58. This makes him a serious threat once more and with the 6 furlong course at Wolverhampton giving plenty of time to sort themselves out before the first turn, he should be able to be positioned in his customary position towards the front of affairs.


Sunday 4th March 

4.55 Southwell. Tilly Devine. 1 point win. 7 BetVictor/Bet365/Betfair Sportsbook

Probably because of this week’s weather, the majority running at Southwell today have no Fibresand form of note or are making their debut on this surface, seemingly sent here to get a run in. However, there are a few exceptions and Tilly Devine is one. Although not going particularly close since winning here in December, she has come up against progressive sorts who have taken to this track and her finishing positions and losing distances need this to be taken into account. Her times have been perfectly respectable and that is all that is likely to be needed in an especially weak race today.


2.15 Southwell. Blistering Dancer. 1 point win. 8 BetBright/Ladbrokes (plus SunBets, not BOG until morning), 7.5 various.

Blistering Dancer has been crying out for a drop to the minimum distance. He’s had three runs at Southwell this year, each at an extra furlong, leading at some point in each but also fading close to home. Other than Roy’s Legacy (who ran today, Saturday), Blistering is the one likely to blast out and display early speed. Hopefully Mitch Godwin can edge him left towards the centre and leave the others behind. This is also a drop in class and he runs for Tony Carroll whose charges have continued their resurgence since last mentioned.

Saturday 3rd March Update 11.30am

A second and final bet for today. There’s likely to be bets for Soutwell’s Sunday meeting and will text, probably mid-evening, when ready. Failing that, it’ll be early tomorrow.

8.15 Chelmsford. Strategic Heights. 0.5 points each-way. 10 various

Update 10am

Both Lingfield and Chelmsford are on but littered with small fields. One now for Lingfield. There might be more for Chelmsford’s evening meeting to follow.

2.55 Lingfield. George Dryden. 0.75 points win. 8.5 BetVictor/Bet365, 8 PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook. (Best price dropped to 8 at time of posting which will be recorded.)


Lingfield failed its morning inspection today (Friday) to join Chelmsford on the abandoned list. Both have meetings scheduled for Saturday but again both are in doubt and there will be inspections at each at 8am Saturday morning. If there’s racing and anything appeals then there’ll be a text sent. Southwell on Sunday looks more likely and the same will apply- if there are any bets then a text will be sent.

Friday 2nd March

Both Newcastle and Kempton have been abandoned today (Thursday). Chelmsford has already been knocked on the head for tomorrow and there will an 8am inspection at Lingfield. It looks unlikely that it will go ahead and not surprisingly there have been few entries- only one race has more than 6 horses declared. In the unlikely event there is a race worth considering then a text will be sent. Saturday has lost its jumps meetings already and the two All-Weather meetings are in doubt but an extra meeting has been added at Southwell on Sunday which should be okay.

In other news, Stan James is no more, following a takeover, with accounts transferred to Unibet who will now offer BOG from 10am.

Next update, unless a text is sent beforehand, will be Friday evening.

Thursday 1st March

6.30 Kempton. Divine Call. 0.5 points each-way. 13 Bet365/BetVictor (plus Marathon, not BOG)

A strange afternoon. Compatriot won with any amount in hand under a hands and heels ride and must stand a strong chance if running at Chelmsford on Friday (he has been declared) even under a double penalty. There was a jockey change on King Kevin who was clearly the best horse in the race and just needed little more than Robert Havlin to steer him round without incident. But, far from the first time this winter, Havlin rode into trouble needlessly despite racing in 3rd with only 6 in opposition and then made an even bigger mess of trying to get out of the hole he’d dug himself into.

Most of his other mistakes have come when we haven’t been on him- although some might blame him for his ride on Mezmarr last week- and it’s a possibility that his confidence has taken a dent even from such a seasoned rider and we’ll avoid his rides for a while. Nautical Haven’s saddle slipped early on, giving him no chance and a line can be put through that run.

Newcastle is off tonight but, before it was abandoned, there had been a collection of non-runners, mainly due to travel problems. Tomorrow’s afternoon meeting there must be in doubt again but even if it does go ahead, a similar herd of withdrawals can be expected, making it best avoided.

Kempton has cancelled their market (of the shopping variety) tomorrow on safety grounds and the racing will have an 11am inspection. If it goes ahead then any selections for the 8.00, 8.30 and 9.00 can be dealt with early tomorrow evening, but there’s one from the earlier races that appeals.

Divine Call has had two runs after a 5 month break, both at Kempton, and been drawn very wide each time, causing him to be dropped out the back. On his comeback, over tomorrow’s distance, he made smooth progress through the field to reach the places but the winner had already flown. Daleness Express was the victor that day and is tomorrow’s favourite, but Divine produced a faster finishing time in the run for home. Four of the first five home that day raced prominently and our selection was the only one to (almost) get involved from off the pace. Divine is 3lbs better off than Daleness this time around and their draws are switched, making it likely that Divine can mount his attack from a better position.

His second run on return played out similarly except over an extra furlong with progress made from the rear but his effort slightly petered out close to home. The return to 6 furlongs tomorrow is a positive.

Wednesday 28th February

If Newcastle goes ahead, which is a big doubt, there are only three races of potential interest and the first is at 6.15, so I’ll hold back on those until tomorrow.

At Wolverhampton, after two very open races I’m finding it hard to see who is going to beat the favourite in the next three. Short odds, so let’s put them together…

A win Trixie, 4 bets each 0.5 points, total 2 points, using (all Wolverhampton) 3.20 King Kevin, 3.50 Compatriot, 4.35 Nautical Haven.

Coral/Ladbrokes/Bet365 2, 1.91, 3.5, SkyBet/PaddyPower/BetBright 2, 1.91, 3.25

King Kevin’s record this winter reads 1121122 and his record at tomorrow’s distance is 111 (further 1222). He drops back in distance and down in class. That most recent 2nd was also in a decent race for Class 4, yet tomorrow although technically Class 5, this is really a moderate Class 6 field- to illustrate, the second favourite is a maiden after 15 starts and had no excuses for finishing 9th in a lower grade last time out. King Kevin should simply be too good for this lot. Jamie Spencer, who was giving it everything at Chelmsford today, rides again.

Spencer also rides Compatriot. The horse was a well-backed course and distance winner last time out and did so despite being blocked and shuffled back and then having to wait for a gap to come but sped clear as soon as daylight was found.

That was only his 9th run and his 1st at a mile and a half (previously had run a mile) so there’s plenty of scope for improvement for the gelding. He’s by far the least exposed- all in opposition are 5 year-olds or older- and faces a field that holds no secrets from the handicapper. Trainer Olly Murphy- who recently benefited from an infux of horses after his mother, Annabel, closed down her operation to join forces with her son- is having a purple patch at the moment with 4 winners in his last 8 runs on the All-Weather and 15 winners over jumps so far this year from 66 runs.

Nautical Haven has been 2nd in all 4 runs this winter. That could be a concern, for example for a hold-up horse that travels well but may have a reluctance to go to the front, but less so for a front-runner. He’s just found one better so far but makes a massive drop in class tomorrow. His latest 2nd was in a Class 2, 0-100 and he was only passed in the final strides after battling for the lead.

Tomorrow looks a far easier assignment. This Class 4 contest has a second favourite last seen in the summer and was last in his latest two runs. Third favourite is on a losing run of 22 over 3 years on the All-Weather and has trouble breaking on terms. Additionally, Nautical is likely to get an easier lead than he been used to having this winter and against much weaker company can take full advantage.


Tuesday 27th February

Two more to add to the one sent earlier this morning. There’ll be a post later as normal with anything for Wednesday. Penny Dreadful ran poorly for us last time, but the hope is that, like Best Tamayuz last week, that was a one-off and a repeat of previous runs would see her go very close.

4.15 Chelmsford. Penny Dreadful. 0.5 points win. 13 various. NOTE: A minute after posting there was a new non-runner. Recorded prices will be adjusted.

4.30 Lingfield. Rivers Of Asia. 1 point win. (3.5 BetFred/Totesport, both BOG) 3.25 various

We do have action after all. One bet here now. If there are anymore they’ll follow shortly and be running after 4pm.

2.45 Chelmsford. Tilsworth Lukey. 0.375 points each-way. (23 SportingBet/BWin, neither BOG) 21 various

Tuesday 27th February

We still have one to run tonight at 7.15.

It looks unlikely that either Lingfield or Chelmsford will go ahead tomorrow with heavy snow forecast overnight and again in the morning. If they do, there’s likely to be travel problems resulting in a collection of non-runners. Let’s wait and see and it might be best to have a day off- if there’s anything to go at there’ll be a text sent.

After a slow fortnight- more on that after the end of the month- a good afternoon at Lingfield today reversed that. Both Ertidaad and Renny’s Lady sat in the ideal spot behind the leaders, then kicked on in the home straight. A line can be put through the run of Clergyman who was backed into 11/8 and was the unfortunate victim of irresponsible riding by Megan Ellingworth on Frank The Barber who went for a gap that wasn’t there, repeatedly bumping Clergyman who was trapped against the rail. Thankfully all remained upright but it wasn’t pleasant viewing and could easily have had catastrophic consequences. Ellingworth can consider herself very lucky indeed to have only received a 5 day ban as punishment.

A blank on Saturday. Orvar was perfectly placed but didn’t find enough in the finish. Fearsome ran well from the front and looked a real contender a furlong out, matched odds-on, but was then headed and had no more. With hindsight my mistake was probably in getting involved in a race with that much form and a collection of last time out winners involved. Ballymore Castle never looked a threat at Wolverhampton.

Friday I’ve previously mentioned with Pour La Victoire an unlucky loser. Thursday had Best Tamayuz win for us at a small stake. He’d disappointed when we backed him on his previous run but that was his worst on the clock of the winter. The question was whether he’d peaked after a busy season or if that was just an off day, hence the small stake. Bold Spirit ran well for a long way in the same race and for a while it looked like we’d have the 1, 2, but he didn’t quite sustain it and dropped out of the places in the final strides. Both Samtu and Leonard Thomas were slowly away when they would have liked to have been at the front end. Both kept on but Southwell can be tough to come from off the pace. It was a second time Leonard has blown the start recently and won’t get another chance. Win Lose Draw was 2nd at Chelmsford, giving place money.

Hayadh led the way at Newcastle on Wednesday but was swamped in the final furlong. He’ll be of interest elsewhere or if running again at Newcastle will need to drop back in trip. Al Khan stayed on for place money. Sonnetist was disappointing, well beaten at Kempton without any obvious excuse.

On Monday, Oud Metha Bridge reversed form with Lacan, winning from the front under a well-paced ride by Shelley Birkett. Mezmarr was very well backed and travelled strongly but a gap closed on him at a crucial time. With a clear run he certainly would have placed and probably won. General Brook had the lead but wasn’t given a breather and paid for that late on, finishing well beaten.

Monday 26th February (Part Two)

One for this evening to add to the three posted last night for this afternoon (beneath).

7.15 Wolverhampton. Arabian Oasis. 0.375 points each-way. 23 BetStars, 21 various

Former Godolpin inmate Arabian Oasis hasn’t fulfilled early expectations. Sold for 300,00 gns as a yearling and given an opening mark of 83, he now runs off just 63. He’s been tried over various distance, across the codes and had numerous changes of trainer but all have so far failed to find the key.

However, he now looks to have a more than workable mark and after a period jumping, showed promise returned to the flat earlier in the month. He struggled to find a position from a wide draw and met trouble in the run but battled on for 5th. He has a better draw today and there was clearly an attempt to get him racing prominently last time out and from the inner berth he should be able to achieve that today. He was gaining ground in that run and if starting his attack from a better position today could be able to get involved and outrun these odds.

(Part One)

Due to the cold snap there have been All-Weather meetings added to the schedule over the next few days. These are the bets for Lingfield in the afternoon and any to add for Wolverhampton in the evening (first possibility the 6.15) will be posted at 11am.

2.25 Lingfield. Ertidaad. 1 point win. 5 various

2.55 Lingfield. Renny’s Lady. 0.375 points each-way. 15 various

4.35 Lingfield. Clergyman. 1 point win. 5 Bet365, 4.33 SkyBet, 4 various

Ertidaad was winless in 28 runs for his previous trainer, but has won two out of three since a change of home and there’s scope for further improvement now running off a lowly mark. The latest win was in an apprentice handicap so he’s able to run off the same mark and he also had to battle to gain a position from a wide draw that day but is better drawn tomorrow which should enable him to sit in behind the leaders.

Market leader Darkest Light is also a last time out winner, seemingly benefitting from a wind operation, but is likely to have a battle for the lead this time. Possible pace-maker Be Bold and veteran Mowhoob are place contenders but rarely have enough to win these days. One worth keeping an eye on at a bigger price is She’s Zoff who hasn’t had much luck with the draw or in the run on recent starts but might be more of a threat at 6 furlongs rather than tomorrow’s 7.

Renny’s Lady looks to be overpriced in the 2.55. The unexposed 3 year-old is up in trip, but timings suggest that will be a positive with quick finishes indicating there’s been something left in the tank on her runs this winter. Although out of the places on her last start, she wasn’t far away and was pinned to Lingfield’s far rail where very few come through to win. That was a better race than this and a mixed sex contest and she should find it slightly easier against lower rated fillies, especially if continuing to show improvement.

Clergyman ran on Friday, again on Saturday and is turned out again on Monday- presumably not running on Sunday due to being a horse of the cloth. He escapes a penalty for Friday’s win due to it being in an apprentice handicap but did so in good style from the front. It was a first run on the All-Weather away from Southwell’s Fibresand for almost a year and a half and the change of surface was evidently a positive.

Things didn’t go his way on Saturday. He couldn’t quite get a share of the lead and was stuck on the inner rail, hampered and forced back several furlongs out and then not getting the breaks in the run for home but plugged on to take third. That was at 7 furlongs which may have been a little bit of a stretch and in a slightly stronger race. Back down to 6 furlongs, nicely drawn in stall 4 and against very moderate opposition he’s the rightful favourite and this appears a perfectly backable price.

Saturday 24th February

I’ve had to put these up a few minutes earlier than normal and will record lower prices if they drop by normal posting time of half-six.

2.05 Lingfield. Orvar. 1 point win. 5.5 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower/Boyles, 5 various

4.25 Lingfield. Fearsome. 1 point win. 4.33 Bet365, 4 various

6.15 Wolverhampton. Ballymore Castle. 0.5 points each-way. 9 various

Nick Vedder is a non-runner tonight. An unlucky* afternoon- Pour La Victoire travelled beautifully and turning for home I said to myself, ‘this is perfect,’ but twice he was denied a clear run and would surely have won with a clear passage or possibly if only hampered once. That said*, it’s never entirely unlucky if a hold-up horse meets trouble in the run at Lingfield and why I normally only take the chance on those with that style at larger prices with this factored in. Before that, Adam Kirby reported that Aragon Knight stopped suddenly and was allowed to finish in his own time. I’ll recap on other runners over the weekend, but now onto tomorrow…

In the Listed 5 furlong sprint (2.35), Brother Tiger and Karijani face tough tasks on far worse terms than would be the case in a handicap and take on higher quality opposition than normal. Royal Birth won this last year but hasn’t quite fired at the same level this campaign and will need luck in the finish. Gracious John looks to be out of form having finished last in both runs this year.

Encore D’Or has an excellent record on the All-Weather and Ryan Moore rides, but has been struggling in Meydan recently and is closely matched with a few of these- been beaten 3 times by Royal Birth and twice by Gracious John in the past.

Preference is for Orvar who has looked like an All-Weather natural in winning both of his runs on artificial surfaces so far, both this winter, and beating the reopposing Royal Birth, Tomily and Boom The Groom in the process. He’s drawn widest and Luke Morris will have to try out smartly to get him up close to the leaders. But, in a field of 8 and with hold-up horses Encore D’Or and Tomily in opposition, he shouldn’t be too far away and has a turn of foot to kick on in the run for home. He had wind surgery and was gelded last month (has run once since) and that may enable further improvement although he stands a strong chance regardless. He has a fast leg action and gives the impression he’s capable of pulling out a little more when challenged.

Fearsome is very unexposed having just his second run in a handicap. He’s on a hat-trick after winning a maiden previously and the form from both recent runs has played out very strongly. In the maiden he beat American Giggilo by a head and he’s won both starts since and then Fearsome had the better of Native Suspect on handicap debut and he bolted up earlier in the week. Further progress can be expected. Another positive is that he’s won under different tactics- first from a prominent position and then coming with a sustained late rattle from well off the pace.

The obvious threat is Island Brave who was a comprehensive winner last time but has gone up a total of 19 lbs for three victories at Wolverhampton in the last two months. Royal Reserve can be involved too but often doesn’t quite do enough.

Friday 23rd February

Win Lose Draw sent early today is still to run tonight.

2.45 Lingfield. Aragon Knight. 1 point win. 5.5 SkyBet, 5 various

3.50 Lingfield. Pour La Victoire. 0.375 points each-way. 21 Ladbrokes/Bet365 (plus BetFred/Totesport but not BOG until 8am).

7.15 Wolverhampton. Nick Vedder. 0.5 points each-way. 8 PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook, 7.5 SkyBet/Ladbrokes

Thanks again for all the replies to the questions about when selections should be put up. The majority want it kept how it is and so we will keep it that way! More details will follow, probably next week, but the answers and comments have been very useful and we think they’ve given us a strong pointer about one aspect that we think we can add that will be a help to some. We’ll digest further and report back on that in a few days.

Pour La Victoire has won at Goodwood, Brighton and Lingfield with a combined record at the three tracks of 8 wins and a further 11 places from 34 runs. Elsewhere he’s amassed just 1 win from 38 runs. The significance is that each has a downhill approach to the final straight that suits some and not others and PLV is clearly one of the former.

He won this race 2 years ago and has shown himself to be coming into form on his last two runs when trying to chase down the leaders and not quite getting there, recording strong finishing figures in the process. He’s back up in trip tomorrow to the distance he’s been most successful at and if he’s in touch turning for home and gets the breaks then he could spring a surprise for Tony Carroll’s yard that is coming back to life, as detailed recently.

It’s noteworthy both that Adam Kirby opts to ride Aragon Knight ahead of a couple of his regular mounts in the 2.45 and that Mick Appleby has sought the booking in the first place, rather than use Andrew Mullen who will be at the course tomorrow but isn’t employed in this race.

Aragon has his 3rd run for Appleby and took a big step forward last time out when displaying early pace and holding on to place behind the in form and Kirby ridden Good Business and finishing alongside favourite and last time out winner Fareeq. If Appleby can further his reputation for finding improvement from moderate low grade horses with Aragon- and the jockey booking suggests confidence- then this looks a very winnable race.


Thursday 22nd February

Added Thurs 10.25am: 9.00 Chelmsford. Win Lose Draw. 8 SkyBet/Bet365/BetVictor

A few are adding their prices at the moment, so it could be doubly worth looking at oddschecker. I haven’t quite finished looking at Chelmsford, so there may be a text later this evening if there’s something to add.

2.00 Southwell. Bold Spirit. 0.375 points each-way. 13 Bet365, 11 various

And (same race) Best Tamayuz. 0.25 points each-way. 15 WillHill/Bet365 (plus Betway, not BOG until 9am- see below)

4.20 Southwell. Leonard Thomas. 1.25 points win. 4.33 PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook, 4 various

4.55 Southwell. Samtu. 0.5 points each-way. 15 various

Thanks to everyone who has so far replied to the short questionnaire about posting times and please keep them coming if you haven’t as of yet. I’ll report back on the findings in due course. By the way, please note that the email sent can’t be replied to and that answers do need to be sent to Matt at the BettingRant address stated in the email.

A couple of members have expressed uncertainty about which bookmakers offer BOG and when they do it, so here’s the updated list of the boomakers on oddchecker.

Those offering BOG the night before as well as on the day of racing:

Bet365, Bet Victor, Betfair Sportsbook, BetBright, William Hill, Paddy Power, SkyBet, Ladbrokes, Coral, Boylesports, Betstars (However, BetStars seem to have stopped having odds available the night before, so they may need to be removed.)

Those offering BOG on the day of racing (the time in brackets indicates the time when their BOG begins): BetFred, Totesport (8 a.m.), 10Bet, Betway, SportPesa, SunBets (all 9 a.m.), 188Bet, Stan James (both 10 a.m.), 888Sport (when odds are available on day of racing).

Not offering BOG at any time:

Marathon, Black Type, Winner, Sporting Bet

That leaves Unibet. I can’t find any mention of BOG on their site so I’m presuming they don’t offer it at any time?

We’ll come back to other bookies not on oddschecker next month.

Wednesday 21st February

3.10 Newcastle. Hayadh. 0.5 points each-way. 9 Bet365 (plus SunBets not BOG until morning), 8.5 SkyBet//BetVictor/Coral

5.25 Newcastle. Al Khan. 0.5 points each-way. 7 Bet365/Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower. Some yet to price. Has already started to shorten.

6.45 Kempton. Sonnetist. 0.5 points each-way. 12 BetBright/SkyBet (plus BetFred/Totesport/Betway not BOG until morning). Some yet to price.

Hayadh was a promising 2 year-old, rated 95 and winning for Gosden and Dettori at Newmarket in 2015 but then wasn’t seen until earlier this month. Despite the absence, he was an impressive winner from the front on his return in a 0-95, recording a strong time and holding on well. He hasn’t had the chance to fully realise his potential and he could be expected to improve for that run in any case. If building on that then he’s a name to keep in the head over the coming months.

The 5.25 features a number we’ve backed previously, but Al Khan should stand a good chance. The 9 year-old has been prolific over the years whenever getting a chance to run in the lower classes and, like many of Kevin Ryan’s, has shown improvement recently. There was a clue a few runs ago in a strong claimer that has played out very well. He was a length away along with Dutiful Son who then recorded a hat-trick, ahead of Outer Space who has won twice since and behind winner Unforgiving Minute who was then 2nd in that 0-95 mentioned earlier behind Hayadh.

Al Khan then failed to get involved on his next run before picking up again to win with a trademark late rattle which should make him suited to Newcastle and he’s a real danger in this 0-75. Kevin Stott, who I’m a big fan of, rides and he’s another to keep an eye on- if Ryan can produce a few top class performers this summer then it could well be Stott’s deserved breakthrough year.

The market for the 6.45 is dominated by Sussex Ranger partly through his recent Group 1 placing over hurdles and partly because Ryan Moore takes the ride for this father. However, his form on the flat is not so impressive and this will be his first run without anything to jump over since September. At well odds-on, there’s the chance to back elsewhere at a decent price.

Despite winning last time out, Luv U Whatever has had a very busy winter and the clock suggests he may have peaked. Sonnetist, on the other hand, looks to be going the right way. He was third two runs ago over further after his effort fizzled out in the final furlong and then was 2nd behind a runaway leader who had slipped the field. He’s clearly in decent form and in the same class and off the same mark, he looks the best of the rest.

Tuesday 20th February

No selections. Just the one meeting and a very tricky quartet of handicaps that are probably best avoided.

Monday 19th February

5.20 Kempton. General Brook. 0.5 points each-way. 7.5 BetVictor/Bet365, 7 various

6.20 Kempton. Mezmarr. 0.375 points each-way. 13 Bet365, 12 various

7.50 Kempton. Oud Metha Bridge. 1 point win. 5.5 PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook, 5 various

Oud Metha Bridge was 2nd over course and distance at the end of last month behind Lacan and ahead of Zefferino wo are both in opposition again today. However, he had a wide draw that day and, turning for home, had plenty of work to do to get involved from the back of the pack. He was blocked off when initially moved out, losing momentum, but then kept on well to eventually finish under a length behind the winner.

The selection is 2 lbs better off between the two today and, better drawn, should be in a position to mount a challenge from closer to the pace. That last run was also a first outing since September and he’s likely to take another step forward today. Samphire Coast and Jumping Jack have also both been running well but are both up in class today and will need to improve to be a threat to OMB and Lacan.

General Brook was off the track between April and December and improved on his returning effort to win on his second run after that break. His mark has fallen dramatically from 92 to 46 and it’s likely his true ability lies somewhere in between those two extremes, making him currently very well handicapped. He drops into a basement Class 7 contest today and a repeat of his last run should certainly see him go close. In this Apprentice Handicap he has one of the more experienced riders on board and should be able to sit prominently. He drops back a furlong and if he can get a good position early on, he should have something left in the tank at the business end.

In the 6.20, Mansfield looks the rightful favourite. He let us down at Newcastle last time out but is significantly down in class today. However, he’s a tricky ride requiring plenty of cover and then the gaps to appear. He’s been backed elsewhere this morning and now looks to be a fair price and no more than that at 3/1. A well priced each-way alternative is Mezmarr.

Mezmarr is another now running off a much reduced mark. He has a good record at Kempton and has placed here twice in higher grades recently. Last time out he travelled well for a long way until looking a little stretched in the finish. Down in class and distance today should see an improvement and he’s back to running the distance over which both of his career wins have been achieved which have also both been at Kempton.


Saturday 17th February

4.05 Lingfield. Berryessa. Non Runner

7.15 Kempton. Veena. 0.5 points each-way. 13 Coral/BetBright/Ladbrokes/BetVictor

7.45 Kempton. Gothic Empire. 0.5 points each-way. 15 various

8.15 Kempton. Bluff Crag. 0.5 points each-way. 11 PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook/Bet365

Apologies but I’ve run out of time to add notes tonight but normal efforts have gone into the selections- quite a lot to look at and let’s hope to end the week on a high.

Friday 16th February

UPDATE: One to add to the one from last night (beneath): 8.45 Newcastle. Picks Pinta. 0.5 points each-way. 7 various

We backed Picks Pinta with an increased stake in the summer. Unfortunately that day the horse in stall 2 veered right coming out of the stalls, hampering most of the field in a domino effect and allowing the only horse unaffected (in stall 1) to fly clear and hold on with PP finishing 2nd. After a 3 month break PP has had three runs on Tapeta, improving with each and placing the last twice. He was stretched by an extra furlong last time out but is back at 6 furlongs today. There should be pace here from the likes of Hadley which will help set it up. It may be that favourite Breathoffresair has peaked after recording a hat-trick this winter, but either way PP should be pushing hard off 4 lbs less than when we previously backed him.


3.40 Lingfield. Dream Magic. 1 point win.5.5 Ladbrokes/Bet365 (plus BetFred/Totesport but not BOG until 8am), 5 various

Dream Magic was half of our successful double at the beginning of the month, doing so in emphatic fashion. That 10 length victory was like a replay of his previous win (with a failure on Fibresand in between) and a 6 lb rise is remarkably lenient.

He is up in class but then it’s looked like a mismatch in those two runs and a repeat would see him still have a great chance. Richard Kingscote rides and if able to get a soft lead then that will only increase his chances. King Kevin has been winning over shorter distances and the clock puts our selection ahead of the rest despite not having been fully stretched recently since his upturn after being upped in trip.

Thursday 15th February

8.00 Chelmsford. Evanescent. 1 point win. 6 Betfair Sportsbook, 5.5 PaddyPower, 5 various

8.30 Chelmsford. Tabla. 0.5 points each-way. 12 WillHill/PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook

Tabla’s record of only placing once in 14 runs in handicaps doesn’t look too inspiring, but there are reasons to think that improvement is coming. Her mark has fallen from 68 to 53 in the last year and she drops significantly in class from a 0-75 into a 0-52.

She had a change of trainer at the end of last year and she’s since been dropped in trip. A 4 length defeat last time out at her first attempt at 7 furlongs and finishing 8th of 10 again doesn’t sound too impressive, but she was strong in the finish and this is much weaker. Her cruising speed may have been stretched in that last run, but she’s now had that experience of the shorter distance, and the increased pace that goes with it, and, again, this drop in class should return her to her comfort zone. With stamina on her side, if she’s in touch turning for home then she should outrun these odds.

Trainer Tony Carroll has been desperately short of winners in the last year but it seems his string are now beginning to find some form. Whereas he was winless and only had 12 place in the last quarter of 2017 from 83 runs on the flat, he’s started 2018 with 5 wins and a further 18 places from 58 runs.

Evanescent’s form has mirrored the upturn in the performances of runners from the stable. He failed to beat a horse in two runs in October and December but then improved over an extra furlong when travelling well until around a furlong out and then going into reverse. Dropped back to 7 furlongs (tomorrow’s distance) he led all the way on his most recent run at Lingfield at the end of January but was taken on the bob in the tightest of photos by the reopposing Rising Sunshine. Chelmsford should suit his front-running style, Robert Winston rides and if he keeps moving forwards now, like others from the yard have done recently, then he will be hard to peg back.


Wednesday 14th February

4.20 Lingfield. Billyoakes. 0.5 points each-way. 6 various

4.50 Lingfield. Loving Your Work. 0.375 points each-way. (34 MarathonBet) 26 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower/Bet365

Leonard Thomas was a non-runner today and no joy from the other two who were both well beaten.

Loving Your Work might be worth a modest stake at a large price. The seven year-old runs off his lowest ever mark and has a 2nd run since a four month break. He also reverts to the distance of his last two wins.

Although 13th of 16 in that most recent run, he was only 5 lengths away and travelled strongly, being last off the bridle. He was unable to make up much ground from behind a wall of horses in a race not run to suit and others found more in the final furlong. But, dropping down from a mile and a half to a mile and a quarter should see him stronger in the finish and with that run behind him he looks capable of outrunning these massive odds (although it looks like this has been backed elsewhere too and the price has started to be cut).

With Jason Watson’s 7lb claim taken into account, Billyoakes is also down to a lowest ever mark, over 30 beneath his highest two years ago. He’s a reliable performer, normally at the front end and from a low draw he should be able to be up with the pace and stay out of trouble. Nothing went right for him last time out when stumbling out of the stalls and having to come from behind, then he had gap after gap close on him, being switched and snatched up numerous times. It wasn’t Watson’s finest hour but the horse looked clearly the best in the race and did remarkably well to only lose by a length.

Favourite Pride of Angels along with Strategic Heights are respected, but in this form and off this mark Billy is very likely to at least place and each-way is preferred as a near shot to nothing. Awesome Allan is also one to keep an eye on and will be very much of interest when trainer Dave Evans gives a senior pro, rather than an inexperienced apprentice, the leg up.

Similarly, Joey’s Destiny (running in the 5.15 at Wolverhampton) is one in the notebook but tomorrow has an inexperienced rider with only 4 wins to his name and the widest draw to contend with. In the same race, Air of York is another on the radar but I’d rather a different rider and a race that looks likely to have more pace.

In the 7.15 at Wolverhampton, two of our winners from last week, Great Return and Luv U Whatever go head to head but look fairly priced, currently.

Tuesday 13th February

2.20 Southwell. Leonard Thomas. 0.5 points each-way. 8 Bet365, 7 various

4.00 Southwell. Best Tamayuz. 0.375 points each-way. 13 Bet365, 11 various

5.00 Southwell. Broadhaven Honey. 1 points win. 7 PaddyPower/Bet365, 6.5 various

The 4.00 has a collection of horses that have won at Southwell this season. Sooqan seeks a four-timer at the course (has also won at Wolverhampton), Angel Palanas bids for a hat-trick, while Kommander Kirkup has had two victories here and Queens Royale three. Mister Music won last time out and Powerful Society and Best Tamayuz have also got their head in front, albeit at the end of last year.

With such an unusual amount of winning form in a field, especially at the course, it would normally be a race to avoid. But, most of these have gone up in the weights, up in class and will have to continue their winning spells over an unfamiliar distance. Meanwhile, Best Tamayuz has been running consistently well, placing in 6 out of 7 runs and yet is 3 lbs lower than the beginning of that sequence. In his career he’s placed in all 10 runs at 7 furlongs at Southwell in Class 5 or 6 with 7 of those off higher marks. He doesn’t have a line of ‘1’s next to his name, but on better terms than would have been the case a month or two ago, he’s a strong contender at a decent price.

Leonard Thomas has also run well here, placing without winning, and was narrowly beaten by the favourite in tomorrow’s 2.20, Star Ascending, last month. He’s 10 lbs better off between the two tomorrow and that should help reverse that defeat by a head. Ochos Rios is another threat but has a habit of badly missing the break, while Stoneboat Bill often travels strongly before finding little in the finish. Otherwise, there’s a lack of depth in the field and Leonard looks a strong each-way selection at the prices.

Trainer Ron Harris doesn’t send many to Southwell- he was only represented here on 4 occasions last year- and Broadhaven Honey is his only runner on tomorrow’s card. He won here in November but was then well beaten when attempting to follow up. However, he raced down the unfavoured nearside in that sprint and is better drawn tomorrow to attack the centre of the track. He was behind the reopposing Red Stripes that day but is 13 lbs better off between the two this time around and has beaten the inconsistent Archimedes the last two times they’ve met. At twice the price of those rivals he looks the clear value pick.


Monday 12th February

No selections at the moment, but I will have another look at the 2nd half of Wolverhampton’s evening card and text if there’s anything worth backing. Meanwhile, a catch-up on the last week:

A reasonable profit on the week, continuing the bright start to the month. Pleasingly it was a far more consistent week, leaving us just a couple of good results away from reversing January’s loss.

Towerlands Par was a non-runner on Saturday.

Sonnet Rose was 3rd on Friday, sent into the lead off the final bend and travelling strongly but then headed inside the final furlong. I thought the drop to 7 furlongs might help her see it out, but it appears she’s vulnerable in the finish and one who doesn’t respond to pressure. Penny Dreadful couldn’t get involved after being unable to find a decent position and was well beaten. We finally got a win out of Luv U Whatever at the third attempt this winter. He’d been sent for home too early the last twice, and most recently was only collared in the final strides, but this time was held onto a little longer by the ever-improving Holly Doyle and still had a little in hand at the line.

We also had to wait for the last selection to get a win on Thursday. First up was the farcical race involving Bollihope. As the Racing Post commented,This was wholly unsatisfactory and not great viewing for anyone apart from those connected to the winner, or those who backed him. Presumably the beaten riders thought that the winner would come back to them, but how wrong they were. The winning time was almost three seconds slower than the first division and clearly this form can be taken with a huge mountain of salt.’

Incidentally, Bollihope had a wind operation since last seen. Now that such information is in the public domain, it’ll be interesting to see the effect this has over the coming months. There is a school of thought that it may be in the second or third runs afterwards that show the most benefit because the horse will then have experienced being stretched without a negative reaction and will thus gain confidence to push further thereafter. With this in mind, Bolli may be one to keep an eye on.

Also at Newcastle, King Oswald was given a dreadful ride by Josephine Gordon and may also be worth another look. Gordon has increasingly become a safe pair of hands and this was a rare misjudgement but the leaders had gone at such a crawl that it was going to be tough for anything off the pace to come through and the first four home had been in the front bunch throughout. But, King Oswald was held onto far too long when Gordon could and should have moved him closer earlier and when belatedly asked to pick up could only make minor inroads with seemingly plenty left in the tank.

Things didn’t quite fall Sharp Operator’s way at Chelmsford and he was shuffled back into last place before making some ground close to home, finishing 4th in a blanket finish behind the clear winner. The run didn’t scream out to be backed again unless at a price, but he’ll need respecting. Good Business justified the slightly increased stake by winning by 3 lengths, ahead of the early favourite Fareeq. Adam Kirby gave him prime spot behind the leaders and pushed him on in the final furlong.

The placepot went down in the 4th leg, with Leonard Thomas and Bollihope finishing 4th and 5th- in the 3rd race, Galilee Chapel was a non-runner so that selection was automatically switched onto the favourite who did place- and also failed in the final race. The pay-out was 645.9/1 so would potentially have been worthwhile, particularly if getting multiple lines through.

On Wednesday, Critical Thinking, Lord Murphy and Kelly’s Dino were all third and Touch The Clouds well beaten. Kelly’s Dino was the one to take out of the quartet, finishing like a train but had too much ground to make up in a race not run to suit.

On Tuesday, the only selection, Sir Geoffrey, gave us a good run for our money, battling the winner for a long way and only being defeated close to home, losing by just under a length.

Two winners on Monday from Sir Lancelot and Great Return who won by 7 lengths. Our 40/1 shot Tess Graham lost a lot of ground after a barging match coming out of the stalls and did remarkably well to run on for 5th. Definitely one for the tracker.

The other long-shot of the month so far, Corporal Maddox @ 33/1, is also worth tracking if a similar price again. He ran on but had too much to do from the back of the pack and was also forced very wide off the final bend.

Saturday 10th February

UPDATE: No further bets today (and Towerlands is now a non-runner).

One for Lingfield for tomorrow is here. If there are any for Wolverhampton’s evening meeting then I’ll text tomorrow. A few things have got in the way today and I’m having to put this up a little early. I’ll amend the prices later if they’ve dropped by 6.30.

2.55 Lingfield. Towerlands Park. 1 point win. 5 Bet365, 4.5 various

Friday 9th February

2.00 Chelmsford. Sonnet Rose. 1 point win. 3.75 various

4.15 Chelmsford. Penny Dreadful. 1 point win. 11 SkyBet/BetVictor/Bet365

4.45 Chelmsford. Luv U Whatever. 0.75 points win. 5.5 various

I’ll do a recap in tomorrow night’s post. Meanwhile, it’s worth having a look and shaking your head at the 3.45 today. When doing so, it’s worth bearing in mind that Outlaw Torn ran 3 seconds slower than the other division of the race run today and 9 seconds slower than the standard time for track and trip. In a normally run race, time wise, he would have been last.

Thursday 8th February Placepot Picks for Newcastle.

(Two singles for both Chelmsford and Newcastle are beneath.)

96 lines, each 0.01 points. (This may not fit perfectly into different sized banks with the multiples of 10p per line restriction, but try to get it as close as possible to 1pt.)

2.05 Traditional Dancer AND Pantomime AND Archibelle

2.40 Lexington Law AND Theglasgowwarrier

3.10 Highwayman AND Galilee Chapel

3.40 Bollihope AND Leonard Thomas

4.20 Henpecked AND Rubenesque

4.55 King Oswald AND Newmarket Warrier

It’s certainly a tricky card so could be a decent payout if we can sneak through. Progress can be tracked at

If you have any questions or problems, you can email me at

Thursday 8th February (Part Two)

Placepot picks for Newcastle to follow by midday. This just needs to be made by the time of the first race at 2.05. Two for Chelmsford here and two posted last night for Newcastle this afternoon are beneath.

5.55 Chelmsford. Sharp Operator. 0.75 points win. 5 PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook (plus StanJames BOG, Unibet/SportingBet/Marathon/888Sport, all not BOG)

7.00 Chelmsford. Good Business. 1.25 points win. 3.75 WillHill/BetVictor (plus SunBets), 3.5 various

Good Business was an eased down winner over course and distance last time out. The time was better than today’s favourite Fareeq’s win here last month despite Good Business carrying 20 lbs more (there’s only 2 lbs difference between the two today). His more prominent style is better suited to Chelmsford and Adam Kirby rides. In summary, these two market leaders are the wrong way round in the betting.

Sharp Operator has been lightly raced and tried over various distances, but looked at home running a mile and a quarter last time. There’s scope for further development, he runs for a yard in fine form at the moment and Ben Sanderson, who won for us on Sir Lancelot on Monday, takes off a very useful 3 lbs depsite this being an Apprentice Handicap. Many in opposition are stepping up in trip.

Thursday 8th February

Two tips for tomorrow are below. I’ve got a bit bogged down with Newcastle and consequently am a bit behind schedule, meaning there may be more to come for Chelmsford’s evening meeting. Newcastle also begins with 6 tricky handicaps for older horses so let’s put our Placepot hats on for that. I’ll send a text late morning when bets for Chelmsford and the Newcastle Placepot selections are ready.

3.45 Newcastle. Bollihope. 1 point win. 4 Ladbrokes/PaddyPower, 3.75 various

4.55 Newcastle. King Oswald. 0.5 points each-way. 10 Coral/BetVictor, 9 various

Outlaw Torn hasn’t placed in 9 runs on Tapeta at Newcastle, but has been running well at Chelmsford. This makes sense because he likes to run at the front of affairs, or at least as prominently as possible, and the long sweeping bends and short straight at Chelmsford suits is style whereas the very long straight at Newcastle often makes front-runners sitting ducks.

So, at first glance it seems strange that he’s sent to Newcastle tomorrow by Richard Guest. However, Guest also has Bollihope running for him in the same race- a horse that is often held-up and then keeps on running and running and needs a decent pace to chase down. I can only think that Outlaw Torn is here to ensure there’s enough pace injected and that the race is set-up for Bolli who has won 3 from 6 over course and distance, with two of those in a higher class and off higher marks.

Wednesday 7th February

UPDATE (@ 9.50pm): One more to add to the three below. 4.30 Chelmsford. Touch The Clouds. 1 point win. 3.25 various

Three here for Wolverhampton, but I want to have another look at a couple of races at Chelmsford. If there’s anything else to add I’ll text later tonight between 9 and 10 or once the markets have settled down in the morning.

6.55 Wolverhampton. Lord Murphy. 0.75 points win. 5 Bet365, 4.5 various

7.25 Wolverhampton. Critical Thinking. 1 point win. 4.5 BetBright/Bet365, 4 various

7.55 Wolverhampton. Kelly’s Dino. 1 point win. 4.5 Bet365, 4.33 various

Tuesday 6th February

3.35 Southwell. Sir Geoffrey. 0.75 points win. (5 BetFred/Totesport not BOG until 8am, Marathon not BOG at all) 4.5 various (which will be recorded).

Sir Geoffrey raises his bat tomorrow to acknowledge his 150th run. He first won in 2008 and has added to his tally every year since, with the exceptions of 2009 and 2011. Now a 12 year-old, he came back from a break last week to record his 9th victory at Southwell.

That gives some encouragement because he has never won off the back of an absence before in his long career. He showed plenty of early speed to take the lead last week and laboured slightly towards the finish and with that run behind him may be able to last home slightly stronger.

When he has won or placed he’s often followed that up and he’s one who holds his form over a series of runs. He’s won four from ten runs over course and distance, all within the last 25 months and off marks between 52 and 61, making his current mark of 55 very workable. He’s also won three from three over course and distance with tomorrow’s jockey, Kieran O’Neill.

Market rivals, Archimedes is inconsistent and Shelneverwalkalone makes her Fibresand debut. Her place at the top of the market comes from a narrow defeat at Lingfield, but form rarely transfers across such different surfaces.

Monday 5th February

4.45 Wolverhampton. Tess Graham. 0.25 points each-way. 41 various

5.15 Wolverhampton. Sir Lancelot. 0.5 points each-way. 7 various

6.45 Wolverhampton. Great Return. 1 point win. 6.5 Bet365/Betfair Sportsbook (plus BetWay- BOG at this time- and Marathon, not BOG), 6 various

Two Apprentice Handicaps, both 7 furlong contests, begin the Wolverhampton card later today, open only to riders with 10 or fewer wins to their name. Because of this, there’s a collection of riders with just a handful of rides behind them and it may pay to stick with others who are relatively experienced.

The opener also has a large number of horses more used to sprinting 6 furlongs who may struggle to last the distance- there’s certainly the possibility of them going off at an unsustainable pace, especially in inexperienced hands, and something coming through from the rear.

Tess Graham is a speculative selection, as the price should suggest. Despite being yet to place in 10 career starts, there is some reason for hope. She was 7th of 11 over course and distance last month, racing in last throughout until passing a few on the home straight. But, that was a stronger race and one in which the leaders dominated. Furthermore, that was a first attempt at 7 furlongs and a first run since August. She wasn’t given a hard time and that could have just been a test to see if she’d get the trip.

From a lower draw she may be closer to the pace today but, as mentioned, it may not be a bad thing to be away from a possible pace battle. If showing some improvement for that return and experience of the distance, at the prices she looks worth chancing against a field in which none can be entirely trusted to perform. Aled Beech has his 161st ride and has won 6 Apprentice Handicaps on the All-Weather at a more than respectable 15% strike-rate and blindly backing him each time would have been profitable.

The second division (the 5.15- due to a large number of entries they’ve been split into two races) has turned out to marginally be the stronger of the two fields but has a similar range of (lack of) experience from those in the saddle. It’s unlikely to have too much pace injected and being prominent may be a positive

Sir Lancelot should be a contender and looks to be priced too highly. He’s 20 lbs lower than his peak and has won 3 times at Wolverhampton. He’s had a couple of changes of trainer in the last year and his current one has tried him at different distances on different surfaces, but he runs 7 furlongs at Wolves again for the first time since putting in his best effort for some time when 2nd here on the third day of the year. He was unfortunate to come up against Spare Parts that day who won a further three times in the following fortnight and is now rated 20 higher, with the reopposing Rising Sunshine, who has also won since, behind in third.

The three who like to push on are drawn low, including Sir Lancelot. But Louis Vee has a debutant rider which may leave it open for Pitch High to push on from stall 2, hopefully being tracked by our selection from stall 1. With the 7 furlong course starting on a shoot going directly into a bend, those drawn low can steal a march on the others and we have the most experienced apprentice in the race riding for us.

Trainer Warren Greatrex has spoken positively this morning about his Great Return’s chances later on today in the stayers’ contest. He has only his tenth run today and was stepped up in trip to 2 miles when returning from a 5 month break in December. He placed then and in his one run at this distance since, with those finishing around him running well again subsequently. He gets the trip and can build on those two runs with cheekpieces added to aid his focus in a finish.

Saturday 3rd February

2.00 Lingfield. Mythmaker. 0.375 points each-way. 13 various

2.35 Lingfield. You’re Cool. 0.75 points win. 7 various

3.10 Lingfield. Mia Tesoro. 0.375 points each-way. 15 Coral/BetVictory, 13 various

There’s some decent racing at Lingfield tomorrow with two qualifiers for Good Friday’s All-Weather Finals Day. In the 6 furlong sprint at 2.00, the top two in the market both like to blast out and play catch me if you can.

Caspian Prince is one of the speediest around and is sure to take them along. He’s lasting better as he gets older but still the suspicion is he’s more suited to 5 furlongs. That said, he made a bold effort from the front here over 6 in December, only missing out on the places at the death and then battled all the way to the line to win over Newcastle’s stiff 5 furlongs. Favourite Kachy would like to be on his shoulder but an abundance of pace coupled with a wide draw means that he can’t miss a beat at the start to get to his desired position.

Mythmaker is likely to have a smoother route. He was drawn in stall 2 in December and tracked the pace, moving past Caspian in the run for home and grabbing second with the reopposing Intisaab and Royal Birth behind. He has the same draw tomorrow and it should be set up for him. A case could be made for a few here, but Mythmaker shouldn’t be this big.

Similarly, in the mile and a quarter qualifier, a number will have high hopes but Mia Tesoro looks overpriced. She beat Petite Jack over course and distance in November then couldn’t quite run him down in December with the pair finishing first and second with reopposing Intern and Utmost behind. The wide draw isn’t much of a disadvantage as she’ll be held up and as long as she’s not too far adrift turning for home, looks to have the kick to challenge. The one to beat is the favourite Victory Bond but is a very short price for another who will need a bit of luck in running.

Friday 2nd February

2.00 Lingfield. Outer Space. 1 point win. 4 Coral/PaddyPower/Betfair Sprortsbook

6.45 Wolverhampton. Dream Magic. 1 point win. 3.25 Bet365, 3 various

8.45 Wolverhampton. Corporal Maddox. 0.375 points each-way. 26 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower/SkyBet. Some yet to price

Plus a win double, 0.5 points using Outer Space and Dream Magic

SkyBet/Coral (plus 10Bet, NetBet, SportPesa but not BOG until morning) 4, 3, Bet365 3.5, 3.25, Ladbrokes 3.75, 3. Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower 4, 2.75. Some yet to price one or the other.

With January’s dip, some relatively new members and approaching our third birthday, I thought it’d be a good time to update the biggest ups and downs from my selections over those three years. (This was previously last updated a year ago and has been at the bottom of the User Guide.)

The biggest dips have been:

18th November 2016 to 15th February 2017, -30.936

1st June 2016 to 30th July 2016, -28.198 points

16th December 2017 to CURRENT (as of close of play 31st January 2018), -26.203

26th May 2015 to 4th June 2015, -20.04 points

28th August 2015 to 8th September 2015, -19.858 points

15th September 2017 to 29th September 2017, -18.679

8th September 2016 to 19th September 2016, -17.951

9th October 2017 to 22nd October 2017, -17.931

7th June 2017 to 1st July 2017, -17.148

The biggest increases have been:

4th June 2015 to 25th July 2015, +90.572

15th February 2017 to 7th June 2017, +82.819

19th September 2016 to 18th November 2016, +65.164

22nd October 2017 to 16th December 2017, +60.720

1st July 2017 to 15th September 2017, +55.391

30th July 2016 to 28th August 2016, +51.539

19th Feb 2015 to 26th May 2015, +45.692

8th Sept 2015 to 28th September 2015, +36.682

29th September 2017 to 9th October 2017, +32.225

(Those figures don’t include the 48 points profit from the Jockey Championship in 2016, staked on 6th August and received on 17th October.)

There were some comments added to this in the User Guide and I don’t think there’s a need to add much, except to add that hopefully we’ll be out of this particular dip soon enough and that what the above illustrates is that positive and negative spells are seldom far away, but with the highs far exceeding the lows, it’s weathering these periods that’s key to benefiting from the upturns.

Onto tomorrow and Outer Space won for us nicely in a Claiming Stakes last month and this is no tougher. The main threat, at least in terms of ratings and the early market, is Captain Lars. That rival has been winning at Southwell recently, but does have a good history on Polytrack too. However, he doesn’t have such a record at 7 furlongs and that must be a big question mark over his chances. His relatively recent runs at this distance have seen him weaken close to home and it’s one thing to win over a straight 5 furlong sprint and another to follow that up over an additional 2 furlongs.

Dream Magic also switches surfaces but that’s a big positive. In between struggling on Fibresand, he bolted up at Wolverhampton, winning by an eased down 8 lengths. That was a first attempt at a mile and a half, which was clearly of benefit. He tackles the same distance again, now back at Wolverhampton, and is on better terms with almost all than would be the case in a handicap. This shouldn’t take a lot of winning and anything close to his previous performance should be enough.

A bit of a long-shot to finish with. Veteran Corporal Maddox has been dropping down the weights and classes but still shows some ability. He was rated 86 under two years ago and now runs off 58- a mark he won off on turf in August. Jason Watson takes off a further 7 lbs and is very good value for his claim.

Corporal last ran in a Seller in December when 4th, under 3 lengths behind Dutiful Son who won again on his next start and half a length behind Bridge Builder who has won two handicaps since. Yet, the selection was 7 lbs and 5lbs worse off that day against those two opponents than would have been the case in a handicap. Throw in Watson’s claim tomorrow and he looks on very good terms now taking on weaker company.

Summer Selections