Friday’s action…

Proform

Morning one and all. I hope and trust all is well and that you’ve all been smashing in winners left right and centre. After a dismal day hosting Sussex vs Essex on Wednesday in the Royal London Cup (not due to the cricket, but due to the weather) I finally managed to get back on the horse on the racing front in the last 24 hours or so. Had a good go on Tasleet in the opener at York yesterday. My main bet of the day though was on the Godolphin filly Mistrusting in the last. After her win in the four runner handicap at Newmarket last week I’d convinced myself that she was a potential group horse. I think the way she travelled through the race yesterday lead me to believe that again, it was a nervy last 100 yards but she held on well, possibly just idling in front.

I have started going through the videos, so within a few days we will have a nice big bank of eye catchers and horses to follow. Before we get on to today’s racing, just thought I should give a mention to the test match. It is a really flat pitch. A typical five day Oval pitch. The Aussies showed yesterday that if you get through those early overs, then the afternoon is normally a batters paradise. The next two days are set for very good weather, then there are storms and rain forecast for Sunday and Monday. The draw is available at 7/4 in places this morning. Providing England bat well later on today I cannot see this being anything other than a draw. I think the prices are wrong. I’ve backed the draw. If today follows a similar pattern to yesterday, then I expect the draw will be about 4/7 by the close of play. Tradetastic for all you that like to “cash out”.

I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I can’t click a race replay on RacingPost.com whilst looking at a race. The basic membership is about £14 a month now, and £26 if you include all the tipping pages. Cannot imagine that anyone is paying for that. I use the basic package but only due to the fact that all of my notes are stored on the database. Once I upgrade my office computer, I think I many well transfer all my notes onto the Proform database so that it’s all in one place. Taking the videos off the website I’m sure is a big mistake.

Found the opening race at York difficult. Plenty of possibilities, but nothing that leapt out for a bet. I don’t have a strong opinion in the Yorkshire Cup either. I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone of them won to be honest.

First bet of the day will be Richard Pankhurst in the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes at 3.05. I know he’s only had two starts and has had 426 days off since winning the Chesham last year but that was a really taking victory, one that suggested he was going to be better than listed class. He is in great hands and I’m sure he’ll be ready. He is a general 13/2 chance this morning, if that had been at this years Royal Ascot he’d be 6/4 so I think he represents value and if he is anywhere near his best; I think he’ll be really hard to beat. I will be having a small saver on Short Squeeze. He was given one of the rides of the season in a big handicap here last year by Smullen and he is back on board today. Whilst he is probably better at a mile, there is a good chance this will be frantic. Salateen, Toocoolforschool and Glory Awaits all have double figure pace figures on Proform so I’m expecting a strong gallop and this brings Short Squeeze into calculations. At 12/1 I’ll be saving on him.

On to the feature race of the day the Nunthorpe at 3.4o and I cannot get away from ACAPULCO. She ran to a topspeed figure of 110 at Ascot. Only Muthmir (111) has run anywhere near that this season. She gets a 24lb allowance from her elders here which whatever way you look at it makes her very very hard to beat. Tactics may be important. There is the smallest chance things could get to her jockey Irad Ortiz Jr, who is not guaranteed to get the best of receptions from the patriotic’s. The Nunthorpe is a race that can throw up an odd result too. All things said, I honestly could’t go against her. I hope she wins. Whether she is bankable at 2/1 or not I’ll leave up to you. She might go in a multiple.

acapulco-easton-angel_3315932

I’ll jump to the evening card at Wolverhampton for the next interest. BUSH BEAUTY (8.20) is mildly interesting in the class 6, 6 furlong handicap. Normally better over slightly longer she needs a real test at six to figure but I think we may well get that tonight as Cloak And Degas, Captain Future, Bosham and Indian Affair all like to rattle along. We have to forgive the run last time but she has never shown much on turf. Back on tapeta she is drawn in stall 2 so Rachel Richardson can just pop out and take her time. If they go stupid up front then she will be a big player when they turn for home. She comes out top on the PROFORM  ratings by some way too. She’s 10/1 in places this morning and must represent a fairly good each way bet.

At Sandown in the opener I thought KOMEDY (2.20) may be interesting. She has a piece of form (debut) that would make her particularly interesting off an opening mark of 64. Her last run in a maiden certainly smacked of “nursery type” and the yard are in much better form than earlier in the year. I’ve had a small interest on her at 7/1.

On a totally separate note, the Redskins went 2-0 in pre-season last night after beating Detroit 21-17, that unfortunately though does not tell the story. The first two quarters, the offensive line decided not to block for RG3, he got hit 7 times and sacked 3 more. He ended with a  busted shoulder and a concussion. This is clearly unacceptable and this needs to be addressed as soon as possible. We moved the ball with ease once Colt McCoy came in. It was all too similar a story to last year when RG3 was in. The pocket was collapsing with ridiculous ease. I hope there is no skulduggery going on.

For the first time I’m starting to think that it might be time to trade him as there are clearly some trust issues within the team.

Have a good day today, be lucky.

MG

Proform

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It’s been a while!

Proform

Well it has certainly been a while since the last time I rambled on. The cricket season as always takes up my time in the summer. As well as my frequent visits back to my second home in Zante. Unfortunately, the knee injury I’ve been ignoring for a year has finally taken its toll and I am pretty much done. Waiting for a specialist appointment which I’m told will take 6-8 weeks. We all know the actual spread is 16-18.

My coverage of racing has taken a back seat as per usual over the main summer months. Which is probably not the best idea considering my flat racing far outweighs my jump racing analysis. Looking forward to tackling the racing again with some gusto into the back end of the season and into the all-weather (the boos from the back of the room can be heard all round).

The first thing I’ll touch on will be the beloved West Ham. Overall I have to consider the summer a slight success. Whilst a lot of know it alls will say we were mad to part company with Allerdyce, they are also the people that don’t watch us week in week out. His gusto had gone. We started last season playing much better football, attacking with gusto and going after the better teams. Whilst I knew we wouldn’t sustain our top 4 place, to drop away like we did with such timid and poor performances it was clear the time had come. There were times in his reign that Sam got things bang on. The 3-0 win at White Hart Line was a touch of managerial beauty. There were other times when we had no plan B, selected weak teams because he felt we couldn’t win the game. He also relentlessly picked Kevin Nolan, which meant we had to play 4-5-1 to accommodate his old legs, which other teams worked out and took full advantage of. Nolan is his prime was a master at reading the game and knowing where to be. Last season, he was unfortunately way off the pace. The fact no side (even championship) has shown any interest in him says all you need. He will be Big Sam’s assistant in his next job (NAP).

So we move onto the Bilic era. I think he was the right choice for now. I like his ethos and attitude towards the game and what he wants to achieve at the club. I couldn’t give two hoots about playing kids in the Europa League and an early exit. Means nothing. English teams that get in to the group stages have terrible records in the Premier League. Our sole concentration, should be on going to the Olympic Stadium next year on the back of a top ten finish and progress. A massive positive is the signing of Payet from Marseille. He looks a classy player with the ball at his feet. He can beat a man with trickery, pace and strength. His assist stats are phenomenal. Everyone saw at the Emirates last week what an asset he is going to be. Very pleased with the additions of Obiang and Ogbonna. My one criticism would be that on the back of Enner Valencia’s injury news we should have gone and got a striker straight away. Sakho is streets ahead of the others but cannot play alone all the time. Who knows if Carroll will be back, when he’ll be back and how long he’ll last.

I still think we have the basis of a good squad and I really hope that a top ten finish should be doable comfortably. There are some really very average sides in the league this year. If Sunderland don’t finish bottom I’ll be shocked. They were a disgrace on Saturday. Players walking all over the pitch. Watch Cattermole for the 2nd goal. He don’t care.

Cricket hasn’t been too enjoyable over the summer. Whilst I’m very much at the back end of my career we are playing the highest level we ever have down at Rottingdean. It shows. We are 4/5 players short of where we need to be in all honesty. Playing for a year on dodgy knee ligaments has all but done me in. For Sussex again it’s been disappointing. Thought the squad looked capable of challenging in the Championship this season but they have been poor. Managed to get to the quarter finals of the T20 Blast largely down to Luke Wright, but again a poor home performance (said that on repeat the last two years) meant defeat. Let’s just hope having Chris Jordan back for the final few games means that they can have enough fire power to leapfrog Worcester in the table and stay up.

The positive about the cricket season coming to an end means that the NFL season is just a few weeks away! 25 days to be precise. Literally cannot wait this year. I will run a blog on a season preview at some point in the coming months. Could be all change this year. The Seahawks look like they are going to try and throw the ball. The Patriots have plenty of new faces and don’t look like they’ll have Brady for the first 6 weeks (still be 5-1). The Packers look very good, as do the Colts. There are a couple of cracking bets I’ve lined up at bigger prices but I’ll touch on them another day.

With regards to the racing. I’m hearing from Proform Racing towers that a brand new feature is being prepared for the upcoming jump season called the Cheltenham Trail. It will preview up to 80 of the major races that lead to your Cheltenham Festival bets, with facts, figures, stats and trends. Looks a cracking development and I will give you more details as and when they come through to me.

Looking forward to York this week. The Juddmonte looks an absolute belter with Gleneagles taking on Golden Horn. Time Test is no back number either. Should be the race of the year so far. Very much looking forward to seeing Acapulco in the Nunthorpe. She looked an absolute beast at Ascot and gets more allowances than the cast of benefit street. She might break the track record. Gutted that for the 3rd year in a row I can’t go. Bad planning on my part. I’m hosting Sussex vs Essex on Wednesday then on Coral TV duties the rest of the week.

I must end this edition with a note to my beloved pal Bryn Jones who we tragically lost in a car crash in Zante at the weekend. So many fond memories I wouldn’t know where to start on talking about them. He was an infectious character that just made life great. He was my neighbour for a few years with his Mrs Cat, who for the record is just nothing short of a diamond. My heart goes out to her and all of their family. Bryn was 29 and a massive hammers fan. We went away together and always bumped into each other at Upton Park. We were together just a few days ago celebrating beating the Arsenal and being general boys amongst a crowd of gooners. The Zante family has shown themselves to be nothing short of remarkable in their efforts to support Bryn’s family. Saturday was a particularly tough day. Being so far away has not helped. Rest in piece pal. You know that every time I ever sing bubbles I’ll be thinking of you. Now have a word with the big man upstairs and get us in the Champions League.

Mark

Proform