Monday Monday……….

A new day, a new week, hopefully plenty more winners!

Good day at Cheltenham yesterday that was almost very good. Close House ran well and looks better than 133 but he just bumped into one on the day.  Coneygree won really nicely and looks a horse with considerable potential. Really pleased for Matt, he deserves another good un.

A lovely winning treble on the NFL last night too as the Redksins, Packers and the Broncos all did the business. The Patriots and the Colts did indeed turn into a scoring fest so hope you did the overs. The bad news coming out of that game is that Rob Gronkowski is having surgery today and will be out for a month. That whatever way you look at it is a massive loss.

It’s the usual Monday fare on the racing front today. I thought the only interesting horse at Leicester was Ciceron in the 2.10 but you can’t back him with any confidence as his seem to leave with Santa last year….. he would beat these comfortably on his hurdles form and with the yard going so well he could be of interest. He will need to bounce back though. I thought Lord Singer (2.20) was mildly interesting at Plumpton. He might be overpriced but I haven’t convinced myself to back him.

My bet of the day by some way though comes over at Wolverhampton in the form of JUNGLE BAY (4.00). Jane Chapple-Hyam’s gelding has been running with real credit of late in some tough races. Today he gets a drop in class, gets in off bottom weight and is actually on a really nice mark. Ian Burns is going to take off a very handy 7lbs and the draw is spot on. He has had one run at Wolverhampton over this course and distance which resulted in a win. Everything is pointing towards a big run and he is massively overpriced at 10/1 this morning and I have arranged for the turkey, stuffing and mince-pie money to be collected each way.

I can’t really leave today without a little mention for everyone bawling on about the X-Factor. The whole thing is a tv farce. Saturday Tullisa was getting on her high horse about how much of a joke it was etc. I should remind her that two Saturdays ago she had the opportunity to send Rylan home and she kept him in. You play the game it bites your arse. I really wish they would stop referring to it as “a singing competition”. It is no such thing, otherwise half the final 12 wouldn’t even make it to live shows. It is a popularity contest. The majority demographic of people actually voting are probably 85% female and 85% 12-18 year olds. Hence why the young shit males acts always do well. Look at the illustrious list of names that have finished in the top 2 that are now world-wide chart toppers……

Ray Quinn…….Leon Jackson………Joe McElderry……..Matt Cardle……..Marcus Collins….

Yes thats right, it’s a popularity contest. James Arthur is by far the most talented person by a country mile yet he was in the bottom two. Speechless. His saving performance of Falling was incredible so at least one good thing has come out of the show. I actually hope Rylan now goes on to win it so the whole thing becomes a complete farce and ITV give up. The whole judging panel needs changing. Just watch one episode of the USA version and you will see the gulf in difference. Mr Cowell knows it is a dying flower this side of the pond and has quite rightly jumped ship. At least Derm still gives it a little credibility.

I would like to finish todays note by saying….”Come on you irons”!! 3 pts tonight against Stoke will push us up to 5th in the table……….there are no sign of any bubbles bursting here!!!!

Be lucky

MG

 

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NFL Sunday!!!!

A Sunday off with quality racing and a full NFL program! Lovely jubbly! Shame the parents are away or else I could have slipped in a home cooked roast too!

A brief touch on yesterday. I happen to think that Far West’s performance was very impressive and that quotes of 12/1 for the festival are a bit big. I was absolutely delighted with Our Father! He has always been seen as a chaser and he jumped superbly and won incredibly impressively. I’ve had a bit on at 60’s for the RSA and was pleased to see that he is now 8/1 on the back of yesterdays performance. I was cross with myself for not backing Al Ferof…..even my dad took the time to text me from Australia just to let me know he was on the grey beast!

Wolverhampton was interesting. Backed Charming at massive prices on Betfair. Then watched in delight as his price went from 33/1 into 8/1 just before the off……then watched in horror as he ran a shocker. Gotta love the game.

Today is a not of an anti climax racing wise as we have lots the two main attractions in the form of Sprinter Sacre and Darlan due to the ground. I have backed CLOSE HOUSE (1.45 CHELT) his juvenile form is fairly solid as he finished last season with a solid 4th behind Simonsig at the festival. Plenty of much higher rated horses in behind that day suggest his opening mark of 133 might be lenient.

Also backed CONEYGREE (3.25 CHELT) each way. Looked a decent recruit at Uttoxeter and if he was from a more fashionable yard he would be even money for this. Mattie really likes him.

NFL SUNDAY

Three really interesting games in their own rights tonight on tv! We kick off with Green Bay at Detroit which is a game I am really looking forward too as I still feel that the packers are huge runners for the Superbowl (currently 9/1). They will be the first leg of my treble tonight as I think they will have too many guns for the Lions. Game two is Indy at New England as the proven class of Tom Brady comes up against the new kid on the block, Andrew Luck. Let’s not mess about, Brady is close to the best there has ever been, but Luck looks the real deal and with the Pat’s defence nowhere near the level of the offence I fancy this could be a high scoring game. The late game is also a belter as the Baltimore Ravens travel to Pittsburgh. This is a divisional rivalry and they absolutely hate each other. I have to say I was far from impressed with the Steelers last week and I think that the ravens will pound it towards the right side of the Steelers offensive line. Look for Ray Rice to have a massive game.

My treble this week is GREEN BAY, WASHINGTON AND DENVER.

Have a wicked day,

MG

Saturdau 17th November – Paddy Power Gold Cup Day!

I suppose we could start today’s mutterings by mentioning a few things about yesterday? Bruce Millington still isn’t reading the blog though……..the phone hasn’t rung yet! Come on Brucey!

First and foremost I was very impressed with Dynaste. The way Tom Scu spoke about him afterwards I have a feeling they think he will be a better long-term prospect than Grand Crus. Fingal Bay ran well and jumped fine but his lack of pace over that trip got exposed and I expect him to be a much better horse over three miles plus. The yard also remain a little bit quiet, which is a worry. I thought extra credit should be given to Dodging Bullets who had to make his own pace and still won. He can be marked up for this performance. I doubt however that Paul Maloney will enjoy watching the replay too many times. On that evidence Court Minstrel is a rapidly improving horse and (probably) should have won.

Away from Cheltenham the racing was a joy! Aldermoor the bet of the day won really well at Lingfield, as did Anjaz later on in the evening at Wolverhampton. Then the punting gods really looked down on me. Having backed TARO TYWOD at 4’s in the morning he shortened significantly with the non runners (and the weight of Grantham followers money piling on) into 6/4. So with BetAngel running (Betfair trading software) the few minutes up to the race were awesome as money came for the others he drifted back out to 3/1 and bigger………the xmas money was dripping in lovely. Lays at 1.5, 1.3 and 1.11 were matched a long way out and the big green book was secure. I don’t normally lay off like that it was just an insurance policy because of the way he travels and that I’d kept pressing on whilst he was drifting.

So we move on to today and a real fascinating days racing. In the feature I think, like most that Grand Crus is going to be very tough to beat off 157. As I write this the 9/4 has disappeared and only Bet365 are standing it. He could go off at 6/4 at this rate. I hope he wins, it would be a good result for racing, but I also hope Hunt Ball runs a blinder.

I am really looking forward to the chasing debut of OUR FATHER (1.20 Chelt). He has always been regarded as a chaser in the making so whatever he achieved over hurdles was always going to be a bonus. The way he won at Ascot last year was breathtaking before he was disappointing on his final two starts. Moves over the larger obstacles today and he has enormous potential in this field. Sire Collonges jumped well on debut and will be a tough nut to crack but we are sure he could be something a little bit special and the feeling that the yard have had this in mind for some time. Glad I took the 9/2 last night as he is being smashed up this morning! Also at Cheltenham I have backed THEMILANHORSE (3.05) He looks a nice type and I think the step up in trip will suit big time. Getting 10lbs off Lovecen here could be crucial.

Over at Lingfield I like the look of both ELSIE BAY & EVERGREEN FOREST (12.30 Ling) so will back them both. Elsie Bay’s form behind Boonga Roogeta could not be stronger for the grade and surely goes close today. I think TINSHU is overpriced in the Listed race.

The two best bets of the day however have been saved for good old Wolverhampton. CHARMING (5.50) looks to me a horse that has largely gone under the radar. A real interesting runner for Olivia Maylam.The daughter of Invincible Spirit has only had 7 career starts to date and has some interesting form lines that make us feel that 67 under estimates her ability. She has run in some ok races for the grade recently and was an eyecatcher last time when not quite seeing out the 6f here. She gets the drop to 5 today which makes her of strong interest at an each way price of around 16/1 with StanJames. Lovely!

For the mince-pie collection though I have to say that ARAGOURN ROUGE (8.50 WOLV) still looks incredibly well handicapped on his old form and looks an absolute cracking bet tonight at 9/4. It will be a 9 hour punting marathon but he should be worth waiting for! All aboard!

I will probably spend the early part of the afternoon flicking between the racing and the friendly at the Emirates. For the record I hope Arsenal stuff them! West Ham don’t play till Monday night so a football pain free weekend. Three points against Stoke could put us into the top 4. How crazy is that? Champions league la la la…………..(as if)

Be lucky today, enjoy a great spectacle!

MG

@markagrantham

 

 

Friday 16th November – The Cheltenham Open Meeting

Firstly I’ll touch on yesterday. Isola Verde just had absolutely no chance, so needless to say Christmas has been put back until 25th December. Hayley made a series of split second judgements through the race that meant that she ended up about ten horses wide coming into the straight and the horse almost finished on the bridle. Fingers crossed it went largely un noticed and we will be able to get the turkey money next time.

Today the attention moves onto Cheltenham and the Open Meeting. A great three days racing that gets off to a flying start with the Steel Plate and Sections Novices Chase. We see the re-appearance of both Fingal Bay and Dynaste, two classy hurdlers in their own right. Fingal Bay has already had a pipe opener over fences when winning at Chepstow. He wasn’t flashy that day but after ballooning the first couple he largely jumped very well and has long been seen as a star chaser by the yard. Arguably Dynaste achieved a little more over hurdles and in receipt of 5lbs today actually might just have the edge. It will be a great start to the meeting and I just ever so slightly favour the David Pipe beast.

Some of the handicaps are devilishly difficult. In the 1.50 Free World, Consigliere and Oh Crick all look over priced to me and I’ll be happy to play them at 12/1, 20/1 and 22/1.

The 2.25 (Sharp Novices) is a cracking race with Paul Nicholl’s Dodging Bullets setting the standard so far. River Maigue looks particularly interesting though for Nicky Henderson. I have a feeling his bumper form from Ascot last year will work out really well and could be a big player getting weight today. It will be very interesting to see how Tominator gets on at this higher level over hurdles as he was top class on the level and the yard seemed to have turned the corner.

My best bets of the day come away from Cheltenham though……

Aldermoor – 2.10 Lingfield is the best bet of the day for me. He needs a strong pace to run at (should get it) and is on a winning mark after returning to from last time I expect him to run a big race!

Similar sentiments for ANJAZ 7.15 Wolverhampton. Based on the two wins at the backend of last year there are reasons to believe this mark is very workable. Looks to me like he has been crying out for a drop in trip and finally gets it tonight. this should suit.

You all know about the old boy TARO TYWOD. He goes again tonight (7.45) in a classified contest and comes out much the best at the weights. He should finally get his head in front. I’ve also stuck Archie Steven (12.00) and Layali Dubai (1.35 Ling) in a double.

The last horse of the day to mention is REACH FOR THE SKY (4.45 Wolv). A horse that went into the notebook a long long time ago that is well handicapped on his old achievements. He has been off the track for nearly two years and returns from stall 13 (far from ideal). Will be massive prices on Betfair but is basically just a watching brief this evening to see if the ability is still there……he could be one for the future xmas turkey money.
Enjoy the first day of the Open,

Be lucky!

MG

Thursday 15th November

Days like yesterday are just best put into the trash and left to wilt.

Ayasha ran pretty well but had to finish second to a massive improver that would have won with me on him, he undoubtedly needs seven furlongs now and is a winner waiting to happen . Frans Hal also ran ok. Whilst waiting for the start at Kempton all we needed was Ihtifal to break and she would win. So along with the order of the day she obviously missed the break, was rushed up and beaten a nose. Bugger. To add more misery I backed Keppels Hill at Exeter who was clear at the last when falling….traded 1.01……bugger 2.

I have to say that I felt massive sympathy for everyone that backed Captain Sunshine yesterday. When you went through the race he looked an absolute shoe in and was backed accordingly. I would like someone to explain to me what good it does for racing for the starter to let them go? Yes I understand that the horse was facing the right way when he lifted the tape but what harm would it have done to call them back and go again? Half the jockeys almost stopped anyway. The effort and expense for the owners/trainers to get the horse to the races, the travelling, the preparation? There would have been no harm to anyone in calling them back. The starter in my opinion had them to far apart anyway. I thought it was a shambles, and if you backed Captain Sunshine I felt your pain. Hats of to Paddy Power who immediately refunded punters, I think they were the only ones. There has to be something added to the rules that if these things happen the stewards have the power to deem it a non runner. You have to protect the punter  (job is hard enough anyway) or we won’t have a sport. Rant over.

On to today’s action. Start with the cricket and the moronic England selectors have only picked one spinner, again. It’s turning sideways on the first day. If you’ve backed India in the first test then get ready to get in the payout queue! The selectors are still 2/7 on to pick one spinner in the 2nd test. If that is the case, I will be max laying them all series.

The racing is interesting if not full of superstars.

SUGARFORMYHONEY – 6.25 KEMPTON.

Interesting Dutch Art filly who was given an opening mark of 85 after winning her maiden here last year. She has not gone on from that and has dropped in the weights accordingly. Ran well behind a very well backed and well handicapped rival last time and she looks like she is ready to strike. The 8/1 on offer with SportingBet is an insult and should be lapped up with an early season mince-pie.

ISOLA VERDE – 7.55 KEMPTON

Ok, this one gets the blood pumping. Batten down the hatches. Point one, she is beautifully bred. Point two, she is much better on the all-weather than turf. She has run well in races against some well handicapped rivals that didn’t suit her (Alnoomas). She has been absolutely crying out for a step up to seven furlongs in my very humblest of opinions which she finally gets tonight. Throw into the mix the fact that she gets first time blinkers and gets in off bottom weight and I think that Christmas Day is actually here on 15th November! Does Santa know?? The 9.2 available on Betfair right now is a joy to behold and I’m tucking in! Is available at 7/1 with William Hill. Come on Hayley, bring home that turkey!

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills

Thursday night football returns to our screens tonight and its a bit of a punch up from the AFC EAST. Both teams are very hot and cold and the Bills are without doubt a better side at home. The Bills like to gun it whilst the Dolphins concentrate on the ground game. Provided butter fingers Bush doesn’t fumble it too much I thought this had all the makings of a high scoring game. Both teams have the most outside of outside chances to make it into the playoffs as a wildcard but will need to go on a winning streak starting tonight. The over 45.5 on Betfair looks particularly enticing. Can’t wait till thanksgiving next Thursday! Redskins v Cowboys! Yeehhaaaa.

I’m off to cover Kempton for @TimeformRadio. I will try my very best to be impartial when good old Hayley kicks Isola home in the last!! Go on girl!
Be lucky today, spread the word, let’s get the blog viral.
MG

Wednesday 14th November – What a scholar!

Apologies once again for the last few days. Been run off my feet! Back to normal from today…..I have decided to keep posting my racing stuff on here as it makes the day more fun!

Firstly I have to give a mention from the weekend to Art Scholar! I know a few of you backed him and it was bitter-sweet really. I strongly fancied the favourite and had backed him accordingly in the days leading up to the race. About 3 minutes before the off I had the laptop on in the Coral studio and he drifted out to 30’s on Betfair! I couldn’t help myself…..

I then proceeded to put some lays in at shortish prices to get the stake back and I needn’t have bothered. He won cosily and Mick Appleby is a trainer with immense talent.

This is what I fancy today….

AYASHA – 3 PTS WIN @ 5/1 BET365 & FRANS HALS 1 PT WIN @ 9/1 BETFAIR – 1.50 SOUTHWELL

Two horses that both caught the eye last time for varying reasons but more so Ayasha. She has hinted that she will want further than six furlongs in due course but the switch to fibresand could be a good move. She has dropped 9lb from her opening mark and actually would have gone pretty close to winning but for not getting the clearest of runs at a crucial stage. Down another 2lbs and with Graham Lee booked she should run a huge race. Frans Hals has only had six starts and his mark is continuing to drop. Better effort last time and if the switch in surface brings about some improvement then he is definitely overpriced.

IHTIFAL – 5.25 KEMPTON – 4 PTS WIN @ 9/4 BETFAIR

A very quick daughter of Dansili that in our eyes has been crying out for a drop to the minimum trip. She is obviously a bit tricky given she often wears ear plugs and is taken down early but she ran a huge race last time over six having gone off much too quick. She stayed on well enough to keep third but was never going to win after going so fast. The switch from Mickael Barzalona to De Sousa is a massive plus as is stall 3. She could well be a pattern sprinter and I think she will win well tonight.

I’m off to Timeform Radio this afternoon, really looking forward to a cracking days racing. Really want Irish Jugger to win the first at Southwell too……
Be lucky!

MG

 

Super Saturday 10th November!

I must say the biggest of apologies for the lack of content this week. It has just been the busiest of weeks and I haven’t had time to pee let alone get something down. The jumps season preview is work in progress. Hopefully finished by the weekend with my ten to follow. So much has been going on I don’t really know where to start.

As many of you are aware, with the recent punting success I’ve been badgered into providing my tips on a business basis so I haven’t been putting them up on here, for which I am greatly sorry. I know a few of you were having fun backing my selections! I’ll take this moment to bask in the glory of some of the last weeks highlights!

Really liked Aragorn Rouge at Wolverhampton that won easily, continued to smash the crossbar with big priced runners and places with Taro Tywod at 10/1, Pepite Rose at 9’s, Fonterutoli 2nd at 14/1 but also some lovely winners too. Tatting went in a 9/2 , Archie Stevens landed a right old touch on Thursday at 7/2 as did Layali Dubai on the same card. Then last night backed Diman Waters at 12/1 which trotted up as did Living Leader @ 7’s! So as you can see it has been going very well indeed. Hope the people on the tipping service are enjoying and winning loads. I am potentially looking for some people to help promote the business so if you know anyone that is into racing and knows how to manipulate social media etc then please do tell!!!!

If you are interested then drop me an email or message via Twitter @markagrantham. I don’t know if that is how it will stay as I enjoy writing about them on here but we will see. If the service doesn’t take off then I’ll start putting them back up.

November handicap takes centre stage today alongside the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton. I’m doing the racing shift on Coral Tv today so the day will fly by! How many jobs do you get where you can sit and watch/talk about your hobby all day? Love it.

Be lucky today whatever you are getting involved in

Posting will be daily once again from today!

MG

A new week, plenty more dollars?

Morning campers.

We kick into a new week and there is plenty to look forward too. A day of rest today before a very busy week on the road at Timeform Radio and Coral TV. Looking forward to homemade chilli and jacket spuds at the usual family firework gathering tonight too, splendid.

Last night I stumbled across the Panorama program from 2002 on bent horse racing courtesy of YouTube. For some reason I’d never seen it before and I have to say it didn’t really sit comfortably with me. I know that this was done ten years ago and the game is completely different now but some of the stuff on there was frightening. I hope our game has rid itself of most of these characters, including those that govern the sport. If you haven’t seen it give it a watch…..tell me what you think!

Just looked at the entries for the Haldon Gold Cup tomorrow. Five entries, two of which are a million….so effectively a three-horse race for Exeter’s feature of the season. It is a meeting I attended in 2009 and I must say it was a cracking day. If you’re in the area get along, but seriously 5 entries? Don’t get it?

I promise I am going to put the finishing touches to my jumps season preview and horses to follow over the next few days!

Off to do last weeks videos. Have a good day!

MG

 

Sunday 4th November – Breeders Cup Hangover & NFL Sunday!

Must apologise for the lack of posting for the last couple of days. It’s been incredibly busy and I just haven’t had the time in amongst the travelling and working to get anything down. I had five days on the road which has taken its toll. I’m zombie like today.

An interesting few days. Every year I feel divided by the breeders cup. On one hand I think it’s a fantastic spectacle….but on the other I don’t feel it represents truly run top class horse racing. There have been so many hard luck stories over the two days and false results through brain-dead rides it makes it hard to fathom. It is just about the only two days of the year in America that horses run in a pack too which I’m sure adds to the volatility of the results. Mike Smith has got 18 breeders cup wins to his name, so what the hell was he doing on the favourite in the marathon? He is a closer or stretch runner as the americans like to call them, yet Mike gunned him to the lead about 7f out? The poor horse needed an oxygen tank up the home straight. Hughesy was desperately unlucky on Sky Lantern as was Buick on The Fugue. Pretty certain both would have won with a clearer passage.

I am seriously considering a trip next year to take in both the breeders cup and the Melbourne Cup. The problem is that with the time difference and the 15 hour flight between LA and Melbourne it would be very tight. You would need to be flying on the Saturday evening I think, as if you flew Sunday you wouldn’t arrive until Tuesday which is the day of the race.
Anyone that has done this trip, get in touch!

@markagrantham

Really interesting NFL action tonight too and I think there is a real quality treble to be had on the live games today.

REDSKINS, GIANTS and FALCONS all to win pays approx 11/4.

Very jealous of my brother James and his girlfriend Hannah as they are on their american road trip and are off to the redskins game later. Lucky gits. Better be getting me a present!
Have a cracking Sunday

All the best

MG

Thursday 1st November – Kauto The Legend

There is no other way to start todays blog other than to talk about the legend that is Kauto Star. Clive Smith’s star chaser has been by far and away the horse that has given me the most pleasure from national hunt racing in my lifetime. It was seven years ago today that Kauto Star finished 2nd in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter behind Monkerhostin. Little did we know from that point onwards what he would go onto achieve. The first horse to regain the Cheltenham Gold Cup crown after losing it to his stablemate Denman the year before. He had a total of 31 chase starts on our shores with 19 victories, amassing a total of 2.23million in total prize money.

There are so many memories but the two that stand out for me are the regaining of the gold cup in 2009 and last years 5th King George victory. That was an emotional day for personal reasons and his victory was a real boost as I’d backed him big and played the forecast with long run on the exchanges. Betfair had a RFC market up that day and it was simply a two runner race. I think it was around 3.8-3.9 for the RFC. It was a late but very welcome Xmas present. His stride, swagger and almost brilliant exuberance at his fences were what made him so amazing.

My biggest regret was not being at one of his gold cups or any of his King Georges. A racehorse of a lifetime. A legend. Kauto Star, take a bow son.

Onto today and wiping away the tears we kick off with a new month today and lots of interest.

Todays bet of the day comes in the form of SURPRISE MOMENT (3.20 Ling). The unbeaten daughter of Authorized has improved steadily with each run and looks ready for this slight step up in class this afternoon. She is potentially well treated today as she has an official rating of 95 which I think slightly underestimates her ability and she gets the three-year old allowances in this contest this afternoon. The step up in trip to 13f may well bring about a bit of improvement too. She looks a class stayer in the making and I fully expect her to remain unbeaten and the 2/1 on offer this morning should be taken.

KINGSCROFT (4.20 Ling) must be backed again today on the back of catching a tartar at Catterick the other day. We go in with all the same reasons as we did that day, well drawn in 3 today from bottom weight.

We have the interesting situation of two list horses running in the same race a Kempton in the 6.10. JUST FIVE won twice earlier in the year off marks of 55 and 60. He had a run of average performances on the back of those wins but the thing that makes him of huge interest today is his record when going fresh. He has had a break of 80 days which should have freshened him up nicely and he looks a huge price this morning at 14/1. In the same race we must also be backing VITZNAU. He is a horse that we followed last winter as he is incredibly well handicapped. He was messed about over a variety of trips and given some more than interesting rides. I nearly fell off my seat when I saw that he had been switched to John Butler’s yard. Butler is a master at improving horses from other yards and has a high strike rate with first time out recruits from other yards. The 9/1 with Bet365 is very interesting indeed and should be played 1 pt to win as a saver.

FORTUNATE BID 8.10 Kempton is another one that we backed last week that we have to follow in again for all the same reasons. The drop back in trip should really suit tonight and we fancy him strongly. Take the 6/1 with Totesport and Betfred.

A busy day on the racing and we also have some NFL action tonight as the banged up Kansas City Chiefs travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers. It’s an interesting contest and both defences tend to struggle so I thought the points line was interesting.

Over 42.5 pts at evens with BetVictor

Have an awesome day and be lucky

MG