January wrap up and Sunday’s action!

Proform

Well we have arrived at the end of the first week and the end of January. A pretty decent start to our challenge to get us off the ground too. Sixteen bets in total in week one with five winners yielding a 31.25% strike rate. We will happily take that throughout the rest of the year especially as several things didn’t really fall for us this week. We have finished off January with a 12.25 points profit (+£1,225).

Saturday was slightly frustrating. Silsol won really well again in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at a juicy 10/1. I very nearly went a little stronger than the single point on him.

silsol

The last horse I crossed off the list yesterday was Join The Clan at Wetherby. Thought his price was a bit skinny in the morning despite thinking he had a great chance of following up his Warwick win. Well he went off even shorter and won well again. I found Ffos Las slightly uncomfortable viewing throughout most of the afternoon.

On to Sunday’s action and I am going to attempt to kick February off with a couple out the back of the hand as I like the look of a few at prices. I’m writing this on Saturday evening so apologies if some of the prices are a little out of date. I would advise (as always) where possible to be taking best odds guaranteed.

We are going to start with the googly in the form of EASTWARD HO (2.20 Chelmsford City). On recent form he doesn’t cry out as a potential winner but I’m hoping that circumstances of the race may just help. Firstly he is absolutely thrown in on some of his back form, admittedly though it’s been a while since he shown anywhere near that. Now he likes to be handy in his races but with Miami Gator in the field he is likely to have to take a lead. They are drawn alongside each other in 3 and 4 here so hoping we can just get a lovely trail into the race and pounce late. We are getting weight all-round here with Danny Brock taking over from Shelley and provided he doesn’t go mad early and try to chase a silly pace he may well be overpriced at 18/1.

EASTWARD HO 1 pt win 18/1 with SKYBET.

My strongest fancy of the day comes in the 3.20 at Chelmsford with BLACKTHORN STICK. John Butler’s charge did well to come from so far back last time to finish a close second behind a well backed winner. Having come a long way back down the weights he is now on a really attractive mark and could be ready to strike. I am hoping they have a good look at the race and ride him a bit closer to the pace as there is a lack of early toe in here. Ridden handily from a middle draw and kicking off the bend should see him go very close.

BLACKTHORN STICK 2 pts win @ 9/2

BIRCH HILL (3.30 Musselbugh) looks certain to appreciate the step up in trip when tackling three miles under rules for the first time. Mistakes and the wrong trip have been the issue to date but when wining his point last April he was strongest at the finish and with the extra emphasis on stamina here I’m hoping we may finally start to see some of the promised potential. He’s a general 4/1 chance this evening and that is probably too big.

BIRCH HILL 2 pts win @ 4/1 generally.

One more to come late on and again this time we’ll chuck in the doosra. Gonna throw a point at KRUZHLININ at Musselburgh (4.30). The Grand National is likely again to be the target this year for Donald McCain’s charge. He has not been seen since the Beecher Chase in early December where he got behind early but stayed on to finish a creditable 7th. Whilst this is probably a prep run, his hurdles mark is lower than his chase rating and the yard have hugely turned the corner this week. This is the weakest race he has run in for a while and I just thought that he may well out run his odds significantly. You don’t want to get too far behind round here so I will be delighted if he is ridden close to the pace in the early part of the race.

KRUZHLININ 1 pt win @ 16/1 generally.

Have an awesome Sunday and fingers crossed the Patriots do the business for us tonight in Superbowl 49!

Be lucky!

MG

Proform

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Big Saturday blog

Proform

Morning everyone. Another really pleasing day yesterday bagged us two nice winners at Lingfield. Disappointed with the run of SYNAESSTHESIA at Wolverhampton but she is a project to keep an eye on. The market was incredibly negative about her late doors and the horse that was heavily backed most of the day won easily. As expected they didn’t go much of a pace and I think they might have got the tactics wrong on her. Still a nice 12.75pts profit on the day cannot be grumbled at.

We will start with what I consider to be the bet of the day for me in the form of FESTIVE AFFAIR (1.50 Sandown). A frustrating type really for Jonjo O’Neill who has been given some time off after a disappointing return to action at Cheltenham in November (where he was very well backed). His mark of 132 really does look very workable on his beating of Dark Lover last year. I am assuming they were not keen to run him during the yards cold spell and he looks to me to be a type that could thrive in the spring and towards the festival. Very keen on his chances this afternoon and wouldn’t at all be surprised if he was very well backed.

FESTIVE AFFAIR 3 pts win @ 5/1.

2.05 Ffos LasBetway Welsh Champion Hurdle (A Limited Handicap)

A really competitive affair. The first two winners of this race (Medinas & Saphir Du Rheu) have both proved to be very smart animals but I’m not sure there is anything of that class lurking in here. I put a line through at least half this field with comfort though and I think there are two worth backing. First up, top weight SILSOL. Let’s forgive the latest run at Cheltenham behind Rock On Ruby and concentrate on his handicap exploits of which his form reads 2111. Up another 7lb for winning at Newbury off 144, he was going away at the end there and I don’t think the extra 7lb would have stopped him that day. Jack Sherwood gets on very well with him with two wins from three rides and I think he has been slightly underestimated in the market and therefore should be backed.

The other one that interests me is AWAYWITHTHEGREYS for Peter Bowen and Jamie Moore. I think he likes this type of flat track and he ran well in the race last year which was a stronger race than today. The blinkers go on and I think he might just be overpriced.

SILSOL – 1 pt win @ 10/1 generally

AWAYWITHTHEGREYS 1 pt win @ 16/1 generally

2.40 Ffos Las – Betway West Wales National

Really keen on the chances today of GLOBAL POWER. Oliver Sherwood’s gelding hasn’t had much racing over the last couple of seasons but he has given the impression on several occasions that a step up to extreme trips could bring about plenty of improvement. I think he is an out-and-out stayer and the conditions of today’s race will play into his hands. A really solid bet.

GLOBAL POWER – 2.5pts win @ 11/2.

WEST LEAKE (4.05 Lingfield) hasn’t won for two years but seems to be in the perfect race for me today. He’s a hold up horse who would like to be on the bridle as long as possible and with Bertie Blu Boy in the field they are certain to go a crazy gallop. With one or two of these keen to chase the pace he could well just have everything set up absolutely perfectly. I struggle to see him not being in the first three and if all goes perfectly thee race may just fall into his lap. Last win came off 58 so is on a nice mark and should at the very least go close.

WEST LEAKE 2pts each way @ 6/1.

Now strangely for me too there are also a few in today that I like at short prices. So what I am going to do as it is the last day of the month is put a couple of them in a one point treble.  I won’t go in to too much detail but they are as follows:

KASHTAREE 1.00 Weth

SAMPLE 1.10 Ling

BRISTOL DE MAI 1.15 Sandown

This treble pays 22/1 with Sportingbet and I’ve thrown 1pt at it.

So a really busy Saturday with 12.5 pts at Stake. Confident of a decent day.

Enjoy a cracking day and be lucky!

MG

Proform

Friday Blog!

Proform

Mixed emotions really about the action on Wednesday as we had a decent winner at 7/1 that was very well backed and two rather disappointing efforts either side. There was money for Daring Dragon and to be fair the race wasn’t really run to suit so he remains of interest in the short-term. With Dutch S the writing was on the wall before the off as she drifted drastically close to post time. Should always remember not to back against the West Ham theme as Pretty Bubbles won well again.

On to Friday’s action and I have managed to find a few particularly interesting runners to get involved with.

First up we got to Lingfield at 1.30 to back FEB THIRTYFIRST. Sheena West’s six-year-old had five starts on the level back in 2012 and was largely disappointing. A switch to hurdling brought about some rapid improvement and he has shown a fair level of form in most starts over timber on some bad ground. He is lightly raced for his age and is now potentially thrown in here off a mark of 46 (was rated 124 over hurdles). This huge drop in grade should bring about a great winning opportunity back on the level.

FEB THIRTYFIRST 2.5pts win @ 4/1 Bet365/Betfair Sportsbook.

Next on the hit list today is THE WEE CHIEF (2.35 Lingfield). Has gone down the weights like me off the ten metre board on splash! Thus there is an element of doubt attached to this one. He has however run well fresh in the past (back off a 213 day break) and Jimmy Fox has just started to have a few winners. With Luke Morris on board for the first time, he looks primed and ready to run well especially if plenty of money comes for him. On a side note to this race keep your eyes on VOLITO. He is totally being lined up for a winning sequence in my opinion. His habit of missing the break doesn’t help but he is also well handicapped now. Initially they booked George Baker for today but he is now elsewhere. Today probably not the day but I would not put you off having a little saver just in case. Keep your eyes on him in the run.

THE WEE CHIEF 1.5 pts win @ 9/2 with PaddyPower

0.5 pts saver on VOLITO at any price you like on Betfair.

The most interesting horse of the day for me though runs at Wolverhampton in the 6.45 in the form of Lady Cecil’s SYNAESTHESIA. Just four starts in maiden company for the daughter of High Chaparral (out of a Selkirk mare) and shown just modest form. The eye catcher for me though was last time when she ran better than the bare form suggested under an interesting ride. She travelled well enough and when they quickened off the bend Ted Durcan decided to switch her up the inside rail at Lingfield (not advised). He also, never at any point, touched her with the whip. I don’t think the drop back in trip will be an issue as there is not a lot of pace in the race so I can imagine that Adam Kirby will have her handy so he can kick and dictate off the bend. She is certainly bred to be better than 66 and she is very close to maximum bet material for me.

SYNAESSTHESIA – 4 pts win @ 4/1 generally.

Slightly off topic but it seems that Tom Segal came to pretty much the same conclusion to me about the Arkle so hopefully plenty of you managed to get on when we put up up a week or so ago at 25/1. The price hasn’t altered too much since but nice to be ahead of the market and I’m sure he will be much shorter come race time.

Have an awesome Friday and be lucky!

All the best

MG

Proform

The Wednesday Blog

Proform

Morning campers. Just a little recap on Monday. Disappointing that the main bet Master Of Disguise couldn’t win having been in a perfect position all the way round. Columbia won well enough though to make it a winning day.

First interest of the day today comes at Chelmsford in the 2.40 in the form of Derek Shaw’s DARING DRAGON. His form for the past year has been sketchy to say the least but as a result has dropped to a pound below his only winning mark. He switched to Shaw’s yard in August and just had the one run so has now had plenty of time to acclimatise. He has gone well fresh in the past and his better efforts have come on polytrack. I just felt that at morning prices this morning he is probably overpriced and was therefore worth an investment.

DARING DRAGON 1pt each way @ 12/1 generally.

Next up on the interesting list is the Daniel Kubler trained TRIMOULET (4.10 Chelmsford). Handicap debut this afternoon off a mark of 65. There is strong reason to believe that this mark is generous. Giving the impression the last twice that there is plenty of improvement in him. Given the fact that a step up to ten furlongs may also bring about a bit more I think he is clearly very interesting today.

TRIMOULET 1 pt win @ 7/1 generally.

DUTCH S (6.15 Kempton) is really interesting later on. She didn’t quite finish her summer off as expected but has been given a bit of time (a regular feature of Clive Cox) and I expect a big run from her. One or two of her speed figures suggest that she is very capable of winning off 73 and I think she is a really interesting bet tonight and would expect to see money for her with Kirby on board.

DUTCH S 3 pts win @ 7/2 (Stan James)

Have a great day and be lucky,

MG

Proform

Monday’s blog action…

Proform

Not the ideal start to proceedings on Saturday. Both runners a tad unfortunate in the 1.25 and then Kodiac Lady was forced to go up the inside in a race that didn’t really pan out as expected. They all remain of certain interest.

MASTER OF DISGUISE ( 2.40 Wolverhampton) kicks a new week off today. Hasn’t won for three years but as a result has dropped miles in the weights and has been unlucky the last twice. Not a massive fan of backing horses in these amateur races but have no qualms about Serena Brotherton. She is as good as it gets in this grade and from a good middle draw I would be disappointed if he doesn’t win today.

Master of Disguise – 2 pts win @ 7/2 generally

COLOMBIA (3.10 Wolverhampton) caught the eye on handicap debut last time and runs off the same mark here today against her own age group. There is a chance she is going to be a fair bit better in time than 49 and should be backed today.

Colombia 1 pt win @ 4/1 generally

All the best

MG

Proform

The 2015 Challenge & Saturday blog!

Proform

Morning all. Managed to witness Cambridge parking several double deckers in order to secure a 4th round replay at Old Trafford last night. Not the most riveting viewing for the neutral but a scoreline which means that Cambridge United’s financial future is pretty secure. Very much looking forward to our trip to Bristol City on Sunday, although far from impressed by the away allocation due to ground building works.

A couple of you have mentioned about me doing some sort of challenge on the racing front this year in order to keep the blog regular (sorry again), so I have come up with something to keep us all entertained whilst hopefully making you a few quid at the same time. So the challenge is set. The UK’s average salary in 2014 was £26,500. So, can we make the average UK salary in just under a year from backing horses? This is the challenge for the next 11.5 months and is set out below:

I will put up my daily selections on the blog and each horse will be backed on a points system from 1-5 pts depending on the strength of the bet. For the purposes of the challenge, we will bet at £100 a point. This means that on average in need to make 22.5 points profit per month. A sum I am confident we can nail. Keep an eye on the staking, sometimes there will be two against the field which for me is still a very profitable angle in certain races.

Now for the purposes of added incentive maybe if one of our friendly bookmaker representatives or indeed a few of them would like to take on the challenge, maybe we could agree to pay the profits at the end of the year to a few charities? The Injured Jockeys Fund, Racing Welfare & Heros? Maybe a few of you would like to offer even £1 a point or similar for the final points total in December? If anybody outside the bookmaking teams would like to donate then please do feel free to get in contact. My twitter is @markagrantham.

Please feel free to share this with anyone that maybe interested in the head to head and we will see if we can make some money for charity at the same time.

So there really is no time like the present…… let’s get this started!

A superb days racing today with trials day at Cheltenham plus Skybet Chase day at Doncaster. Most of my attention betting wise though will be centered around Lingfield.

First off in the 1.25 we have two interesting runners to concentrate on. Firstly SASKIA’S DREAM went into many notebooks at Chelmsford on the opening day when she stuck to the far rail when most of the winners that day had come up the middle of the track. The negative is she doesn’t win very often but having said that her last win came off 61 and she’s in here off 57 so from a handicapping point of view there is a lot to like. She’s only got 8-13 to carry off bottom weight and is of major interest. The other one in the race that is really interesting is HUMOUR. Looked all over the winner at Wolverhampton last time and traded very short in the run before getting collared on the line by an in-form rival. This drop back to sprinting might just be ideal and should be backed.

SASKIA’S DREAM 1 pt win  @ 11/1 generally, Humour 1 pt win @ 12/1 generally.

Jump to the last race of the day (4.20 Lingfield) and I’m keen on the chances of KODIAC LADY. She hinted on handicap debut last time that a mark of 60 is going to be well within her compass. There is not a load of pace in the race today with several stalkers that will be held up. With Luke Morris up I expect him to just sit in behind the pace and look to make good use of her off the bend. She looks to be overpriced to me at around 8/1.

KODIAC LADY 1 pt each way @ 8/1.

A cracking days racing at Cheltenham today but I failed to feel overly strongly about anything. Really looking forward to seeing Peace and Co again. I know he ran big on all the figures at Doncaster but the thing that lit my fire the most was his hurdling. It was electric. He reminded me of a young Harchibald on how slick he was from one side to the other. I hope he wins really well today.

Enjoy,

All the best

MG

Proform

Racing Post Arkle Ante-post preview

Proform

It is that time of the year again where I’ve started to wander through the festival markets that I’m not already involved in to see if there are any angles to represent a bit of value. Whilst I have mentioned this one to several of you over the last week or so, I thought I would share it with everyone now I’ve built a position.

This is roughly how the market looks as things stand:

Un De Sceaux 9/4

Vautour 8/1

Clarcam 8/1

Josses Hill 11/1

Gilgamboa 12/1

Vibrato Valtat 20/1

Ptit Zig 20/1

Sgt Reckless 25/1

Three Kingdoms 25/1

33/1 Bar

My main selection at this stage for the race is SGT RECKLESS who is best priced at 25/1.

So let’s work our way down and eliminate one or two. Firstly I am happy to take the stance that both Mullins horses won’t go. Vautour is much shorter in the betting for the JLT and the slightly easier tempo of that race will help his jumping a little so I am happy to assume he won’t go at this stage.  Un De Sceaux, I have no doubt, is a machine. I am also sure that with his running style Ruby will have no option on the day but to just let him go. If he stands up and jumps well enough then you can see the course record being in serious danger. The worry with him clearly is that if he does go off at 100 mph and he clouts a couple of the way round, his price on the day of close to even money will be scary to say the least. If he jumps well enough he is though very likely to be the winner, but at the prices, not for me.

Next in is Clarcam who is the solid option at this stage. Think he is very likely to run his race and this has always been the target. He was though readily brushed aside by Vautour when they met at Navan in November so on the day I think he’ll come up just short.

Next on the list to eliminate is Josses Hill. A horse with an incredible amount of talent and class but another who for me does not have the jumping capabilities to win an Arkle that will be run at pace. One mistake can be enough to cost you a race over two miles at the festival and with his skippy type bunny hopping at Ascot and screwing in the air at Doncaster, I just don’t think he will be good enough to recover despite certainly having the class.

Gilgamboa is next on the list. He has looked a natural over fences so far and has certainly done nothing wrong. My angle with him is watch the Supreme video from last season. SGT Reckless thrashed him. One is 12/1 and the other is 25/1. That is too big a discrepancy.

Next on the list are the two Paul Nicholls trained runners. Ptit Zig I think we can put a line through as I’m almost certain he will go for the JLT. For what it is worth I think he is very good and looks to me to be a future Gold Cup winner. As for Vibrato Valtat well he is clearly a bit of a thinker but has done well so far this season since being switched to the larger obstacles. His only defeat coming at Cheltenham behind Dunraven Storm when possibly being given too much to do. I’m not sure how much he will be into a dog fight up the hill mind you but the way the race pans out may suit him better than others. He’ll still be on the bridle when most have given way. I do think that Three Kingdoms (who is a bigger price) might improve past him however.

This all brings us on to Sgt Reckless. Now I know what a lot of you are going to say. Silly campaign, fences, hurdles, all-weather blah blah. It might just be a stroke of genius. On chase debut at Uttoxeter I thought he was outstanding. He barely touched a twig and looked like a complete natural over his fences. Considering he ripped his front two shoes off in the race in the tacky ground that gets an extra tick from me. The Christmas Hurdle experience was a strange one. He hates that sort of ground so I don’t know what that choice was about, I assume just a complete lack of options. The run on the all-weather the other day doesn’t mean a bean. He is well, he is fit but they clearly do not want to run him on bad ground again. He clearly shows his best on good ground. If you need a little nudge about his capabilities then watch the video of last years Supreme. He was 30 lengths last coming down the hill. He finished 4th, absolutely flying home. I expect on the day he will be ridden patiently again which may be sensible in what could be a brutal race, especially if something tries to go with Un De Sceaux and in that scenario, with so many likely not to run I struggle to see him not being in the first three.sgtreck

He’s currently best priced at 25/1 with Victor and Ladbrokes and he is certainly worth an each way shout. I would be surprised, provided that he turns up if he doesn’t go off at around 10/1 on the day.

Similar comments could be made about Three Kingdoms who will appreciate racing on better ground and will also get carried into the race. I just think that Sgt Reckless is classier.

All in all the angle is about price and a race that will be run to suit. If Un De Scauex jumps well he will probably win and in style too. If he tips up mind having set a fast pace. We might have a 25/1 voucher on a 3/1 shot in running.

1 PT EACH WAY ON SGT RECKLESS at 25/1

This is the first of a few angles I have. Will post more soon.

All the best

Mark

Proform

The return to blogging……(again).

Proform

First and foremost I would just like to say a happy new year to all everyone! I hope that the Christmas and holiday festivities treated you all very well and that the waistline didn’t expand too much.

For the umpteenth time I apologise for the lack of blogging over the last couple of months. It’s mid winter and I can’t even use the usual “I was playing cricket” excuse that I normally conjure up in October. This time around I hope to maintain a nice even amount of writing. It may not be every single day but it will certainly be close to it.

I had the pleasure of attending the Lanzarote meeting at Kempton Park on Saturday and witnessed Tea For Two’s demolition job from an opening mark of 134.

IMG_2048

Jumping the last and barely having come off the bridle. He won in a canter and looks a serious prospect. Not entirely sure he will end up at the Festival but if he does he will go there with a serious chance. I would expect the further he goes the better he might be. Credit to Lizzy Kelly too. She gave him a peach.

IMG_2056

Anyway. I will not go on too much this evening. Will be back with daily ramblings in the next day or two!

All the best

MG

Proform