Sunday 10th March (2 days to go!)


Good morning! Up bright and early on a Sunday morning as I have an important date with a treadmill and weights! No rest for the wicked. Enjoying being back on a day-to-day basis and the freedom to write whatever comes to mind.

I’ll start today by taking a look back at yesterday’s action and adding one or two runners to the notebook. My first point would be how many horses are running well with a 10lb claimer that is attached to the yard. I will do a bit of research into the facts and figures over the next few days on Proform and report back what I find. This leads me nicely onto the Imperial Cup at Sandown yesterday which was won by 10lb claimer Nathan Adams on First Avenue for Laura Mongan. The form was there to be seen when you looked back after a very good fifth in the Ladbroke behind Cause of Causes on his last start over hurdles. We have to give Tanerko Emery great credit for his performance off top weight. Without doubt though my eye catcher was the horse I backed in the form of Pine Creek. In the end he was beaten nearly 13 lengths as he got tired up the hill but he without doubt travelled the best through the race and actually got messed about a bit as they turned for home and was locked in a pocket. On slightly better ground and possibly on a flatter track he is a sure-fire winner off his current mark.

The listed mares bumper was probably a step too far for Top Totti but she still ran a blinder up to a certain point at a massive price before getting tired late on. She will certainly win races and should be followed!

The highlight of the day for me was certainly the bet of the day Strictly Silver winning the Lincoln trial at Wolverhampton. It was a long overdue success and thoroughly deserved. Once again he travelled really strongly through the race and although for a brief moment I didn’t think he was going to get the splits he was expertly steered through to victory by the rapidly improving Robert Tart. Hopefully plenty of you managed to back him.

I think I have found two fairly solid bets for this afternoon on a quite day as we build up towards the festival.

Without doubt my strongest opinion of the day came in the form of the namesake LORD GRANTHAM (3.50 Market Rasen). I backed him last week when he absolutely dotted up at Huntingdon having travelled really powerfully through the race. I’ve pointed out on more than one occasion over the last few days that the yard are in the rudest of health and there is no way that a seven pound penalty will be the reason for him not following up. I think the slight step up in trip if anything is a plus given the way he went through his race last Sunday. Unfortunately he was taken out this morning due to the ground I assume so we will have to look elsewhere for some value……

The best bet of the day for me comes at Warwick in the 3.30 in the form of Venetia Williams MASSENA. He’s a really interesting son of Marju who is potentially very well handicapped off a mark of 105. He travelled well for a long way over a furlong further before getting tired last time on the back of almost two years off. That was a pleasing return on softish ground at Sandown. If he has come on for that effort he could be a very big player in what is effectively a drop in grade to a 0-105 today. He looks a real player and must be backed. I’ve had 3 pts at an average of 4/1.

The other one that I like the look of today comes just ten minutes later for Jo Hughes. Pensnett Bay (4.00 Warwick) rates as a really interesting bet as he has been running well off todays mark in slightly more competitive races. He is almost certain to get a soft lead in this contest today so should be able to set his own fractions. The addition of first time blinkers could bring about some potential improvement too as well as the yards horses running particularly well over the last couple of weeks. The one imponderable is that this is his first crack at a marathon trip so he will need to be ridden with a little more restraint than normal, but given he’s off ten stone eight provided he doesn’t go too quickly he could be very difficult to catch indeed!

Indicators from Proform show the following stats for the last 14 days:

Trainers with high win and place strike rates to keep an eye on today:

Martin Keighley (66.67%), Jo Hughes (55.56%)

I’m off to the Coral TV studios shortly! Have a good day today, back some winners! Follow me on twitter via @markagrantham

Happy Mothers Day!




Saturday 9th March


Afternoon peeps. Another very busy Saturday afternoon and the countdown continues! Just three more sleeps…….

A good couple of days with Mitchell’s Way winning at Carlisle on Thursday and then Waldon Prince continuing the good run at Sandown yesterday. I only managed to tweet yesterday’s bets as I was away from home in the morning!

My first bet of the day comes in the Imperial Cup at Sandown in the form of PINE CREEK. He’s a solid each way bet now at around 9/1 given the significant money for the jolly. His French flat form indicates that conditions will be absolutely fine and that he is potentially on a very nice mark for this handicap debut. The yard could not be in better form and he represents real each way value with some firms going five places.

Also at Sandown I will be throwing a couple of quid in the direction of TOP TOTTY (3.50) in the mares listed bumper. She will need to improve on her debut effort to be involved but that is highly plausible and the yard are absolutely flying. With several non runners in the race she looks to be massively over priced at 20/1 so I am more than happy with that.

My besty bet of the day however has been saved for the Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton (2.55) where I will be backing STRICTLY SILVER. Alan Bailey’s grey has been a model of consistency of late and hopefully today will be the day for some much deserved reward. The very Talented Robert Tart is taking off a valuable 7lbs and that should put this strong traveller right in the mix. I can’t see him being out of the front three.

No game for the hammers today so I will be far more impartial on Coral TV than usual. Good luck to Biggs and the boys who have travelled all the way up to Bolton to watch the Albion.

Cheltenham run downs will be up at some point tomorrow/Monday!

Have a great Saturday, back plenty of winners!


Greetings Readers! 5 days to go!


Morning peeps. I must start (again) by apologising for the lack of activity on here over the last few weeks. I’ve been involved in a couple of projects that have taken up a lot of my time that are now out the way so I will be back on a daily basis. I know many of you will be keen to hear how the 70lb challenge for Macmillan Cancer Support has been going. Well I am bang on track as after the first two months I am down two stone. I have managed to shed countless chins and many inches so I am now really starting to see the results. Thank you for all of your ongoing support.

I must send my thanks for all your messages about Miako last week. I’ve been involved in racing in one way or another for many years but I can honestly say it was the biggest thrill and best day of my career to become a winning owner. It was a fantastic day. We are very lucky to be in a great team and have an excellent trainer. The Grinch (handicapper) has given him a ten pound rise for the win which on the face of it was expected really. The Racing Post comment the next day of “he won with embarrassing ease” was probably ringing in his ears. Still onwards and upwards, we step up in grade with him now and hopefully he can win a few more times for us. To sum how the rest of that day went, Dicko is still on crutches and most of them are still hungover!

I still have to pinch myself when we say there are only 5 days to go until the festival! amazing how quickly it has all come around. My ante-post book looks like a bit of raw chicken that has been on the sideboard for three months (I ignored the possibility of a horse meat gag). Cinders and Ashes has shortened up in the last couple of days so there is still a glimmer of hope there, but let’s be honest that is really clutching at straws. The only other one I have backed that is shorter or close to the same price is Pique Sous in the Supreme but I honestly cannot see past My Tent Or Yours. He’ll be too short to back on the day but he just oozed class in the Betfair and will surely be too good.

I have spent a lot of time over the last couple of months really getting my teeth into Proform. If you don’t use it or haven’t seen it before then please click on the Proform logo at the top and bottom of the blog and check out the website. It is a truly astonishing piece of kit and a must for anyone that follows racing seriously. Simon will gladly answer any questions you may have.

On we move to today’s racing and there are one or two interesting bets floating about. I’ve just run a system on Proform for the last 14 days and here are the trainers that have an exceptionally high Win & Place strike rate indicating all of their horses are going well……..

Alan Swinbank 83.33%, Julie Fielden 80%, Ed Vaughan 75%, David Nicholls 66.67%, Jeremy Gask 62.50%, Barry Murtagh, Keith Dalgleish and Richard Fahey all 60%.

I would also chuck a couple of others in there with David Simcock (57.14%) as he has a high winning strike rate of 35.71% and do keep an eye on Henry Daly. He hasn’t had many runners but the ones he has had have been flying.

My first bet today is ROYAL BAJAN 5.00 Southwell. He is another one of the horses that has long been on the waiting list for Southwell to re-open. It is a major boost that he managed to win at Wolverhampton two starts back as he is quite clearly going to be a lot better on fibresand as he is by Speightstown. He is 1/1 at the track and he might have several of these off the bridle a long way out. This will require a career best to be winning but he is totally unexposed on the surface and I think he represents a bit of value at 9/2 in this small field.

GLENNACREIM (2.00 Wincanton). Looks particularly interesting off bottom weight in the opener at Wincanton. The Old Vic gelding has been struggling of late but as a result his mark has been tumbling down to a career low of 64. On the pick of some of his old Irish form that makes him a seriously well handicapped horse and whilst he is just as likely to finish last as he is first, the 10/1 available is a reflection of that and therefore I’ll give him a chance.

I like the look of the chances of MITCHELLS WAY (2.10 Carlisle) this afternoon too. He is 4lb higher than his last winning mark but he tends to save his best efforts for this track and the yard could not be going any better as the figures above indicate. This is not as competitive as the numbers actually suggest and he makes plenty of each way appeal at 10/1. He has the assistance of Thomas Garner which is a likely plus in this line up.

The race in which Rudemeister and BALDING BANKER ran in last time looks one to follow and the latter makes definite appeal to me today at the prices. He undoubtedly needs to brush up his jumping but the way he travelled that day suggests to me that he looks a well handicapped horse on paper and he must be backed this afternoon! Rudemeister is an obvious danger given the way he went in that race and quite clearly didn’t see out the trip!  He has been well backed accordingly but I will side with BB and take some of the 5/1 on offer as it reresents a good deal of value.

Hopefully we can bag a few winners and have a nice positive return with the blog! I will of course be previewing all four days of the festival next week.

Be lucky today and back plenty of winners!