Friday 30th November! – Christmas is coming!



Day 2 of the Hennessy meeting at Newbury today and an interesting card. As I write this there is carnage at Mussleburgh, a further inspection is due at 1pm with racing set to start an hour late….I’m assuming all the horses will be wearing headgear with headlights in the last few races?

I really like the look of PUFFIN BILLY in the last at Newbury today. He is currently 11/8 but he may end up bigger than that as the money is likely to come for the henderson runner. He is close on a maximum bet.

If THE KNOXS has been extensively schooled over the summer then he looks on a really nice mark in the 3.15. The fact that Runy was keen to ride him is a big plus as he was key to his win at Ayr. He is very interesting this afternoon.

Really like the look of a couple of runners at Wolverhampton this evening. FRANS HALS (3.55) looks really interesting to me. He is lightly raced and would have gone close to winning two starts back but for getting checked at a crucial stage. He then ran in an ok race at Southwell last time where he didn’t seem to be too keen on the surface. Dropped another pound in the weights and has the services of Silvestre De Sousa he looks particularly interesting to me at 14/1 this evening and is just about the best value bet of the day.

Later on the card I am also luke warm on the chances of AVONVALLEY (7.25). Unlucky not to have won on his last two starts and as a result has gone up 4lb in the weights. This should be run to suit though and has a very good draw so if the gaps come he should be a big player.

A really busy day, hope you have a winning day!





Thursday 28th November

Morning peeps. A pretty solid day all round yesterday. Was pleased Tinshu finally got his head in front, he has been on the list since an unlucky run at Ascot earlier in the year and it was just a case of finding the right race. Langham Lilly just about managed to land the maximum despite the fact that the race wasn’t run to suit at all. On the evidence of that she may well want 14f+ in future.

The start of the winter festival at Newbury today brings in some decent jumps action. It will be interesting in the first race to see how AAIM TO PROSPER gets on in his first start over hurdles. The dual Cesarewitch winner was highly rated on the flat and if he takes to hurdling, could be a very interesting recruit. I have to say that strictly on what we have seen from the others I think he will be very hard to beat if he jumps well.

The novices handicap hurdle at 1.30 is a really interesting race and might be one to follow for future bets. I backed OTTO THE GREAT at Ascot last time when getting a 9l beating from IVORS KING. He gets an 11lb pull in the weights today which certainly brings them close together but there is no saying how much Ivors King had in hand that day. There are plenty of alternatives in a competitive heat, and it’s a watching brief for me.

My first bet of the day goes in the 12.55 in the form of KRUZHLININ. He made a real impression on me when winning last time despite jumping badly to the left at Carlisle. He won with plenty in hand that day and looks useful. Going left-handed round here today can only bring out a bit more and I think he will win again.

My best bet of the day today however will require some patience as it is in the last race of the day (7.35 Kempton) in the form of KAYLEE. She firmly went into the notebook two starts back when a little unlucky. I backed her last time when she was 2nd at a big price. Given a more patient ride she may well have won and I think she will be cherry ripe for tonight in what is a pretty weak race. Ned Curtis takes over in the saddle as it’s an apprentice handicap so if she wins tonight she can run again without a penalty. StanJames have just gone 3/1 and that will do me lovely jubbly.

Good to see all three ante-post bets for the Hennessy still stand. The closer we get to the race the more confident I am about Hold On Julio who is still freely available at 8/1 today.

I’m on the late show on Coral TV today so a lazy afternoon is in store!

Be lucky today!


Wednesday 28th November

Afternoon campers!

Hope everyone is having a good week. Just made the journey upto Coral Tv Towers for a five day stint! Thank god for the all weather, the sandy action will get us through a lot of the coming weeks judging by the weather forecast that has been sent our way. Fingers crossed things ease off for the weekend so that the Hennessy isn’t run on horrible ground.

I’m a bit rushed for time today so I can’t go into too much detail on what I like, but I’ll give you a quick rundown of what I like today.






The one that stands out again is Art Scholar who has a bit to find at the weights but I get the feeling that this might be run to suit and he is an absolute knocking each way bet at 9/2.  Langham Lilly is a very well handicapped horse and will win. I also really fancy Tinshu and think that Officer In Command is a rediculous price.

I hope that the West Ham players at least turn up at Old Trafford tonight. I watched the game at Spurs on Sunday and it was just about the poorest we have played all year. Having said that we still created plenty of chances. Time to step up lads.

Hope you all have a winning day,


Hennessy Gold Cup Chase – Preview Saturday 1st December

Welcome to my preview for this weeks feature  event in the winter festival at Newbury, the Hennessy.

As things stand the track is currently described as soft and is raceable. The forecast for later in the week is slightly better so fingers crossed that the early season showpiece can go ahead. The five-day decs came out today and there are 22 runners currently confirmed with Tidal Bay topping the weights at 11-12. In the past 25 years top weight has been carried to victory on three occasions, twice by Denman and once by Trabolgan in 2005 suggesting that Tidal Bay will have it all to do. Without doubt though it has to be said that Paul Nicholls seems to have found the key to the enigmatic son of Flemensfirth and he has to be taken seriously. He has form on soft ground including when sluicing to victory in last season’s BET365 Gold Cup at Sandown. That victory came off a mark of 154 and this Saturday he will need to cope with a 12lb rise. You could however have called him the winner a long way out that day. His return over hurdles at Wetherby showed that he is still in good health and Ruby has been booked for the ride. One thing that we can be certain of is that despite his weight, he will be staying on when other are crying for the oxygen tank. I do think he is a major player but winning this off a mark of 166 will be tough with so many whipper snappers on tempting marks.

The major stat against Tidal Bay will be his age. The last 11 year old to win the Hennessy was Rondetto back in 1967, in fact the only other horse in that time period with a double figure age to win was Fulke Walwyn’s Diamond Edge back in 1981 who was 10 at the time. Since that victory the winners ages are as follows:

6 year olds: 5 wins

7 year olds: 11 wins

8 year olds: 7 wins

9 year olds: 7 wins

In more recent times 6 & 7 years olds have had a very good record. Roberto Goldback, Planet of Sound and Lion Na Bearnai are all ten years of age and have the stats against them too.

More recently last years winner will re-appear in the form of Carruthers. He has always been well-regarded and he is a horse I was always sure had a big handicap in him at some stage. He won last year off 146 and this year gets in off just one pound higher. It certainly brings him into the equation especially if Mattie Batch can get him into a jumping rhythm out front. I do just wonder if last year was his day in the sun though. He hasn’t convinced on any of his other starts since that day and although I might throw a few sentimental quid at him I think he will struggle to repeat.

My strong feeling for this year’s renewal is that you want an improving horse that will carry less than 11 stone. The clear ante-post favourite for the race is Nicky Henderson’s Bob’s Worth but I think he is massively under priced and therefore there must be value elsewhere. He won in my opinion a well below par RSA chase at the festival last year. Grand Crus scoped badly after the race. Call The Police who was third was beaten out of sight on his next three starts. First Lieutenant was also well beaten on his final two starts last year before a fair 2nd behind Kauto Stone in the JNWine Chase on his re-appearance. He had been well and truly put in his place prior to Cheltenham by both Invictus at Ascot and Grand Crus in the Feltham at Christmas. Prior to the Paddy Power last weekend the handicapper gave Grand Crus a rating of 157, here bobs worth has got to try to win a very competitive handicap on his re-appearance off 160 (11st6lbs). I for one will be more than happy to take him on.

There has been an awful lot of ranting and raving about The Package being laid out for the race. Personally I just can’t see it. I read a tweet the other day saying he is well handicapped? What was this based on? His highest ever winning mark was last time in the Badger Ales off 139. His only other win over fences came back at Cheltenham in December 2009 off 132. Up 8 pounds for his win at Wincanton in a race where the front two were 41 lengths clear of the rest, there is not enough substance there for me, and this will require by far and away a career best. He generally is a horse that is at his best fresh too. I think there is plenty there to suggest he can be left out.

So where does that leave us? Well for starters I am looking for an improving horse that will carry less than 11 stone. This provides me with the following short list:

Hold On Julio

Duke of Lucca

Harry The Viking

I’ll start with Harry The Viking as he is the least likely basically down to the fact that he is being prepared for a tilt at the Grand National. Paul Nicholls likes to use the big season chases as a prep for the big day in the spring. He does carry some positives though. Firstly he has been lumping big weights around in competitive handicaps so he will feel like he is running free around here off 10-2. He is a certain stayer. Daryl Jacob has been booked for the ride, Daryl has ridden him three times and won on all three occasions. He is just seven and fits the profile of a Hennessy Winner. He may well run a good race without winning but at 25/1 and bigger available you could get a very good run for your money.

Duke of Lucca is particularly interesting as he really fits the profile of a Hennessy winner. An improving seven-year old for the Philip Hobbs team that had a very satisfactory return to action at Ascot when finishing 2nd to Roberto Goldback back on the 3rd November. He had made up good ground that day and was going well when clouting the third last that brought his winning chance to an end. He should have come on a bundle for that re-appearance run and he gets a very healthy 12lb pull in the weights with the winner. Over the last two years he has form lines with the likes of Big Buck’s, Oscar Whiskey, Cristal Bonus and Sir Des Champs that suggest a mark of 144 and 10 stone 4lb could underestimate his ability. Very interesting at a general 20/1.

Hold On Julio is a horse I really like. He progressed quickly last year with wins at Sandown off 117 and 133 before finishing down the field at Cheltenham in the race won by Alfie Sherrin (future Welsh and Grand National winner). His re-appearance this season was a very satisfactory third behind the rapidly improving Balthazar King was a great effort and will have blown away all the cobwebs. He is so lightly raced (7 starts under rules) that there is any amount of improvement left in him this season and a mark of 148 may still under value him. The yard (Alan King) are going much better this year than they have been at any point for the last two seasons and I think he is a huge player and would be my overall selection for the race.

It should be another fascinating renewal. Shouldn’t go without giving 2010 winner Diamond Harry a mention. He just doesn’t look the horse of old to me and I can see him struggling, if of course he does make it to the race. FRISCO DEPOT is a horse that I happen to think is well handicapped and is a general 8/1 shot. The problem is he is probably 8/1 just to get round as he tends to clout at least a couple and for that reason in such a competitive race I would be happy to let him go, but if he jumps round he could be a blot.




Have a great week and let’s hope the weather improves!

All the best


NFL Sunday!

Afternoon campers. A lazy Sunday with no racing and therefore no alarm clock set resulting in waking up at Midday! Cheeky!

Currently watching West Ham at the Spuds. White Hart Lane is so quiet……COYI

Ok on to tonight’s action and it is going to be another late night! Three very intriguing games to get involved with!

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears

A huge divisional rivalry tonight from the NFC North with huge play off implications. There is just one game between these two in the race for the playoffs and the winner tonight will have a huge advantage. The Bears have promised much but in the last few weeks have offered little and with QB Jay Cutler suffering from concussion, it is not yet confirmed he will play. Minnesota are the typical transition franchise. Plenty of up and coming youngsters mixed with a few veterans that are certain to be a real force in the coming years. First things first on the money line Chicago are way too short at 2/5. They are the better team if healthy but they are not 2/5 shots which instantly makes the Vikes interesting on the handicap getting 6.5 points. When we saw Houston play in Chicago two weeks ago Arian Foster had a big day and I can see exactly the same happening today with Adrian Peterson. On his day he is the best rusher in the NFL and his comeback from injury so far this year has been immense as he is averaging 5.8 yards per carry. In a hostile environment I think the Vikes will be keen to stay in the game and will run it a lot which should also open things up for the play action pass.

Minnesota +6.5pts – 1pt @ 10/11


Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants

What a game this is going to be and what an effect this is going to have on the play-offs! Green Bay are scrapping for the NFC North title with the two teams in the live early game whilst the Giants have lost their tight grip on the NFC East lead. If they lose tonight they have the task of going to Washington next week with the prospect of being overtaken by the skins. A massive game that has a lot of recent history.

This is a really tight game to call and with personal preference for an obvious Packers win (big Redskins fan) then I can’t really find any value in the win markets. It could be explosive and with both teams a little short on defence I think the play here is to look for the overs on the points.

OVER 51 points generally available at 10/11.

San Fransisco 49ers @ New Orleans Saints

This should be another cracker. The Saints are on the march after a more than shaky start and if they keep winning, will get themselves into the playoff race. The 49ers are all over the place. Alex Smith (who I do not rate) gets a concussion, so Colin Kaerpernick comes in and plays a blinder! Who do they go with? Who knows. This has got points written all over it as always in New Orleans but I don’t think you can truly trust either side. One thing you can trust though is Drew Brees’s arm and he is the play here as it is very tough to run on the 49ers.


I hope you enjoy another massive night of NFL action and we can continue the winning streak!


Super Saturday!

Afternoon! Well how miserable is this weather? Split day for me today as I’m off to Timeform Radio to host the evening action from Wolverhampton and Stateside so I don’t have much time.

Conditions at all tracks today are very testing indeed, my best bet of the day however comes over at Lingfield park. I’ve had a pretty lumpy each way bet on STATEGIC ACTION (3.35). Linda Jewell’s gelding is lightly raced with only 11 starts in the bag and has shown some improvement of late. He got into a bit of trouble last time at a crucial stage and would have gone very close to winning. I think that went largely un-noticed. He’s a big player if he gets a clear run.

The feature race of the day is the Betfair Chase (3.05 Haydock) and I feel that we have to take on Long Run. For quite some time now I have felt that he is just a one paced out-and-out galloper. He will struggle to win any grade one on decent ground in my opinion if the opposition is up to scratch. Today’s bad ground obviously add to his claims but for me he just doesn’t jump well enough and I have visions on Ruby just tracking him on SILVIANACO CONTI and not pressing the button until as late as possible. He will do for me at 9/4.

I’ve also backed BLACK THUNDER at Haydock (12.55) and ROWE PARK (2.25 Ling). Both to me who look like winning off their current marks, especially Rowe Park who will appreciate this drop in trip today.

Better get myself into gear.

Be lucky!


Friday 23rd November!

Morning campers. Well what a fun day yesterday was! the turkey, spuds and gravy was flowing here as we were treated to a couple of NFL crackers for thanksgiving.

My day started with the treat of popping to my nearest Ladbrokes shop, the kind lady behind the counter kindly told me their shop price for the Redskins was 21/11 when I said “bugger, wish I had more cash on me” she looked a little startled.

The hardest game to watch without doubt was the first as Houston never really looked capable of stopping Detroit. For the neutral it was a superb start to the triple header, first the first leg of the treble it was painful to watch and we probably owe the officials a few quid in commission after some barmy penalty calls.

The Redskins game was just about dead and buried by half time. RG3 was imperious and you have to say with their schedule the Skins are still live runners for the NFC East title. My NFL punting guru (@bickers56) keeps telling me I am mad for thinking this, but the Redskins host the Giants next Sunday which all of a sudden is the classic 6 pointer. I would just like to raise a glass collectively to Skybet, Ladbrokes and the lemmings on Betfair that offered baffling prices. Do your research next time. 😉 Thanks for all your messages, it seems plenty of you followed me in on the Redskins and on the treble so we’ve picked up a nice few quid this morning.

My best bet of the day today comes in the form of THE TATTING (6.10 Wolverhampton) He is a progressive horse and looks to be well in under a penalty to me this evening. I expect him to win again. I will be having a saver on Aragorn Rouge as I’ve backed him the last twice and he probably should have won last week.

I really like the chance of KAYLEE (4.10 Wolverhampton) Gary Moore’s lightly raced three-year old has slowly got the hang of things and actually travelled really well last time before being hampered and being given no real chance of winning. This basement mark of 50 looks very nice indeed.She was only half a stride behind Venetia’s Dream that day yet she is priced up as 3/1 fav? Prices are wrong and Kaylee should run a big race and each way at 10/1 is a pretty solid bet for me!

I have also backed IDOL DEPUTY (7.10 Wolv). Looks progressive and a little over priced.

I should wish my sister a happy birthday! She’s currently sunning herself in Australia so at the time I’m writing this she is almost certainly pissed!

Be lucky today



NFL Thanksgiving Feast! Skybet running for cover!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I trust that today’s blog finds you in good form and you are looking forward to tucking into your turkey and roast spuds (cooked in goose fat of course) later with lashings of gravy and three big divisional rivalries!

Firstly lets touch on the racing. Yesterday was painful. Again I was in the “I’ve backed a winner” camp when getting on Shore Performer at 14/1 in the morning and see it get smashed into 4/1 fav. At this point you generally feel like a very smug punter who is already counting the cash. Well it doesn’t always work out that way does it? She was much too free and finished out the back. Brimestone Hill didn’t add to my elation either. He travelled like a dream, showed the world what a well handicapped horse he is, got stuck on the rail, couldn’t get out and finished on the bridle. Double bugger.

We have lost two of today’s meetings due to this beautiful english weather. Racing goes ahead at Market Rasen but I couldn’t find a single angle there at all. So I’ve gone into detail on the Kempton card in an attempt to pay for tonight’s festivities!

For what it is worth I think ESTEDAAMA (6.40) is still ahead of the handicapper and I think he will win again. Stanjames are sticking their neck out at 7/4 so that will be the target for the bullseye.

The first of my three strong fancies comes in the 4.40 in the form of MY SWEET LORD. He has taken his time to learn his trade but has actually run a bit better than his results suggest. He has been missing the break and struggling to get back on terms. This is probably the weakest race he has contested and if they go quick (which they should) I though he was of major interest tonight to get us off to a winning start.

I do really like the chances of SELKIES FRIEND (6.10) and would just about make him the best bet of the day. Henry Candy’s gelding has only had the one start to date when winning a soft ground maiden at Newmarket back in July. On the back of that he has been given an opening mark of 78 and some of the horses behind him that day have gone on to achieve better (one is rated 93). He is US bred so a switch to an artificial surface is likely to be in his favour. He also gets a 2lb weight for age allowance and sneaks in off bottom weight. Massive chance and a decent bet at 9/2.

SUGARFORMYHONEY (7.40) travelled like a dream last time and almost led them a merry dance from the front. She struggled to see out the mile that day and she could be a very well handicapped animal dropped back in trip and hopefully Charles Bishop can time it just right.

Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys – 9pm

Every now and again a little golden nugget comes along when the odds compilers at all the major firms just show that they don’t know enough about the sports they are betting on. The NFL is one of those sports and tonight we have a mortgage job. Firstly the facts…..the Cowboys and Redskins have played each other six times on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys have won all six. A big factor to this stat is that Dallas have been the home team on all six occasions. This year the Cowboys are 5-5 and the Skins are 4-6. However these records do not tell the full story. The Redkins are really struggling on defense but there offense is very potent under RG3. I watched the Cowboys game against Philly two Sundays back and both teams were dire, it was painful to watch and Dallas eventually came out on top due to a couple of late turnovers. When I priced this game up I had thought the enemy would honestly go 10/11 the pair. So as you can imagine I nearly choked on my corn flakes on Tuesday when I saw SKYBET were going 13/8 Washington and 1/2 Dallas. MAJOR BALLSUP!! I told as many people as I possibly could at the time and needless to say that 13/8 didn’t last too long. They are still readily available at 6/4 which in no uncertain terms is a maximum bet of epic proportions.

Why? Well Dallas have beaten only two teams with winning records. The Giants in week one when New York were too bad to be true and Tampa who are 6-4 but are flattered by a soft schedule. Their other wins have come against Carlolina (2-8) Philly (3-7) and Cleveland (2-8). Three of the worst teams in the NFL by some way. In comparison Washington have beaten New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Philly. They have also lost in tight games to Atlanta (9-1) NYG (6-4) and Cincinatti (5-5) in games you could argue that they probably should have won.

The major outcome of this game lies with the Redksins defence as offensively the Skins will definitely out score Dallas. If the skins D steps up then that 13/8 will be bloody lovely and they actually match up really well against this Dallas team!

I have backed Washington maximum outright and have put them into a treble with Houston and New England!

It should be a cracking night’s entertainment and I hope you enjoy. A big thanks to Skybet……ooooooooosssshhh.

Be lucky today!


Fakenham losing the plot?

Yesterday was one of those days that makes you sick. My first fancy of the day got backed into 9/4 after taking 7/1… feel like you’ve already backed a winner at this point. He then travelled strongly, traded at 1.4 in the run and got beat by a Barney Curley gamble that didn’t even come off the bridle. The second horse I backed was a triumph to watch, just a little right-handed but was always in command and ping the last 15 lengths clear………. well we all know what happened next! Brendan Powell Jnr had a brain blackout and he thought he would like to continue jumping rather than taking in the winning post first. I really don’t understand what good this does for racing? It’s like the Captain Sunshine saga all over again. The only people this benefits are the bookmakers. Something needs to be put in place to aid punters in this situation. £39 matched at 1000/1 on the winner. Two horses traded on the race at 1.01. I have to say that in my opinion Fakenham are surely responsible. How difficult is it to run a tape across the track after they go past the final time. I remember Ruby doing it at Stratford a couple of years ago. It is not rocket science. Still the bookmakers get to keep all the money placed on the heavily backed favourite so all is good.

Fishforcompliments ran well but couldn’t quite get there and was beaten two necks. The each way money didn’t really make me feel any better.

Today’s meeting at Warwick has gone to the elements which is a shame. My main fancies for the day though all come on the all-weather!


Bahri Sheen looks ready to win and is no racing 20lb lower than his original mark of 72. I get the feeling he is a bit of a quirky character but he has a good assistant in the hands of Luke Morris today and the step up in trip around here looks certain to suit provided they don’t go slow early on he should be a big player. Shore Performer has to go into today’s bets too. He made his handicap debut last time off a mark of 57 in a very interesting race that was won by THE TATTING with TARO TYWOD back in third. He got absolutely mullered on the bend as they turned for home and literally had no chance. This seems to have been largely un-noticed by the handicapper as he has dropped him another 3lbs. He is on a very dangerous mark and there would be no surprise to see him go very close today and the 14/1 this morning was extra tasty!


Finally starting to get his act together and would surely have won last time but for getting a clearer run. He remains of huge interest here today off this mark. He has visited Kempton twice and run poorly both times but you can forgive that and it is factored into his price.

On Coral Tv today so better dash, already missed the Costa run. CTV peeps always have extra cheer on a payday!

Be lucky!


Tuesday 20th Novemeber

Morning campers. A little bit rushed this morning as I am off to Coral TV towers for a couple of days.

Jungle Bay got heavily backed yesterday and actually ran really well to finish 2nd. He didn’t quite get the best of runs at a crucial stage but I’m not sure he would have won. A nice each way prize at the early price of 10/1 mind. Pretty impressed but Broadbackbob’s chasing debut, he won with his head in his chest and we didn’t learn a great deal. He will now qualify for the Plumpton/Cheltenham bonus which is an initiative that more trainers should look at. Plumpton is a superb small track and is a great place to introduce a newcomer.

Watching the football last night was difficult. Stoke are such an ugly team to play against. They are big and strong and very untidy. A bit of poor defending from a corner cost us the three points but we really should have buried them when we were on top in the second half. Our next four games are against Spurs, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool……lovely jubbly!

Today’s racing is a little disappointing. I will miss most of it whilst sitting on the M25 though so no qualms. By far the horse that interests me the most today is FISHFORCOMPLIMENTS (3.20 South). He’s on a nice mark and actually travelled really well last time at Wolverhampton before getting run out of it. I think the extended 9f trip there just catches him out and the drop to a mile around here looks a good choice. He goes well at the track and the yard are now in better form. The 11/1 on offer this morning is wrong and I’ve backed him each way.

I thought there were a couple of potential lurker’s in other races. ROCK ME JOHN (1.00 Fake) has shown precious little. He is lightly raced though and showed up well for a long way last time before tiring badly. He’s had a break of four months and more importantly has been dropped 11lbs for that! Could be over priced. As could HONEST STRIKE (12.20 South) who hasn’t won since losing his maiden over C&D two years ago. He has dropped a massive 32lbs in the weights and is potentially very well in but he will need to improve massively, be wary if the money comes.

All the best today, be lucky.