Big Saturday Racing Blog

Proform

It doesn’t matter what your favourite racing blend is on days like today. We have top flat and jumps action as well as the introduction to the new all-weather racing championships at Wolverhampton this evening. If you’re in the area, get yourself along to Dunstall Park. It’s just £10 entry tonight and there is some quality all-weather action http://www.wolverhampton-racecourse.co.uk/horse-racing/fixturedetails/281

Whilst there is some cracking action across the cards today, as per usual my Proform racing horse watcher is alight with runners on the slightly lower graded stuff and I think we may well have found a few decent opportunities. Having said that I do like the look of Edgardo Sol in the Old Roan Chase (3.05 Aintree). He is 2-2 at the track and has far fewer miles on the clock than his rivals this afternoon and is surely overpriced at a general 13/2. I also think that Lamb Or Cod has an excellent chance in the Silver Trophy at Chepstow (4.10). He won this race last year off 6lbs lower before struggling on a couple of occasions when things just didn’t fall right (struck into on second occasion). Off since January he could be a bit better than a 130 animal and the 9/1 available is tasty (of the Nandos variety).

On to the main selections of the day. We’ll go in time order rather than strength of fancy.

4.25 Doncaster crownhotel-bawtry.com Nursery Handicap (CLASS 3)

I will be playing two against the field in on paper what looks an open race. The first is MALACHIM MIST who brings a strong piece of form into this race having been a good third last time at Nottingham. The first two in that race in my opinion are clearly group horses in the making and MM did well to finish nicely clear of the rest in third. Dropped another couple of pounds and given the services of Richard Hughes today he is of major interest at 8/1 (StanJames). I will also be having a saver on ARROWZONE. A horse that has been badly campaigned this year. On the back of his three maiden efforts he was given an opening mark of 55. A mark that was a long way under his ability. Had he been held back for nurseries he would have run up a sequence. As it turns out he was kept to maiden company next time and his mark shot up. He is not handicapped out of this though and I like the race he went close in last time at Catterick. He is a battler and is not an 11/1 chance in my book.

5.10 Newbury – Free Bets freebets.co.uk Handicap (For Lady Amateur Riders) (CLASS 5) (4yo+ 0-75)

An end of season googly for you in the form of SIR BOSS. He caught the eye at Wolverhampton last time when traveling strongly and not getting the best of runs. He gets in here off top weight and is on a winning mark. Whilst it is a lady riders race stakes should be kept to a minimum but the 22/1 (30’s on Betfair) is much too big and I expect you will get a good run for your money.

5.30 Doncaster – Universal Recycling Apprentice Handicap (CLASS 4) (3yo 0-85)

Very very keen on the chances of GLANELY today. He was given a very interesting ride at Kempton last time in a race that didn’t really suit, staying on late in the day when the race had gone. Everything seems in his favour today, the trip, the track and conditions are all likely to play to his strengths and with Lewis Walsh claiming 5lbs he is very interesting indeed. The son of Exceed and Excel has only had 6 starts and I expect him to be much better than a 78 animal in time. Absolute knocking bet at 9/2.

7.15 Wolverhampton – Coral Mobile “Just Three Clicks To Bet” Handicap (CLASS 6) (3yo 0-65)

Another one from out the back of the hand tonight that just strikes me as being overpriced. The race will be made by the favourite (Mystery Drama) who bolted up last time at Southwell but I like the chances of OUR GOLDEN GIRL who has improved for the application of blinkers the last twice. She races a little bit lazy but she does stick to her task nicely and with the way the track has been running the last few nights I just get the feeling that it will suit her this evening. Robert Tart keeps the ride and she is bred to be better than a 55 beast (Dutch Art/ Pivotal Mare). 9/1 is a fair price and I think she is very likely to out run those odds.

8.15 Wolverhampton – 32Red.com Nursery Handicap (CLASS 2) (2yo)

I doubt that today is the day for MONEY TEAM but I couldn’t let this go without at least a mention. The sn of Kodiac was claimed out of Bill Turners after dotting up earlier in the summer. He was given an alarming ride at Pontefract last time which got the button pressing twitchy. Down another pound I am sure that he is being set up for a punt but there hasn’t been a penny about today. I will watch with major interest today and if there is any blue on Oddschecker I will be pleased.

8.45 Wolverhampton – 32Red On The App Store Fillies´ Handicap (CLASS 5) (3yo+ 0-75)

One of the most interesting horses on the whole day goes in the very last contest of the day in the form of IT’S MY TIME. Richard Fahey’s runner caught the eye last time on the back of a break in behind Tatting who was in the form of his life at the time. He is only 4lbs higher than winning at Chester earlier on in the season and the Fahey team have hit a rich vein of form in the last week or so. I think he is very interesting indeed in the lucky last and is ready available in double figures. Cracking each way value.

I hope we have managed to find you one or two bets to get your teeth into today. Enjoy what is going to be a great day!

All the best

MG

Proform

 

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Grand National Saturday!

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Morning everyone. It’s amazing how quickly this day seems to come around each year. We will do well to top last year with Neptune Collonges doing the business for us in grand style at 40/1!! Anyone remembers the hangovers from this Saturday 12 months ago?

4.15 Aintree – John Smith´s Grand National Chase (Handicap) (Grade 3) (CLASS 1) (7yo+)

Another top quality maximum field assembled for the feature jumps race of the year. Let’s hope for a clean start this time around. I’ve narrowed the field down to five and will play them all.

JOIN TOGETHER – For a long time he has looked like a marathon trip will suit him down to the ground. You can safely put a line through his last run and the most eye-catching piece of form is he fast finishing 2nd in the Beecher Chase in December. He got a little out-paced as they upped the pace that day before staying on strongly. There will be no quickening today and all his main attributes will come to the fore especially when they turn for home. If he can steer a clear passage and jump safely he will be a massive player late in the day and is much too big a price.25/1.

ON HIS OWN – Travelling like a travelly thing when coming down at Beecher’s on the second circuit last year. He has been lightly raced since and has been prepared for this with absolute perfection. Ruby rides who knows the course so well and if he jumps round has to be a big player. 10/1.

IMPERIAL COMMANDER – All the stats are against him. He’s missed so much of the last 18 months through injuries that it seems very unlikely that you put the top weight up in the national. On the plus side he jumps like a stag, loves going right-handed, will relish the ground and is so well handicapped on his old form that he actually could make a mockery of this mark. Time and time again the class horses come to the top in this race and even if top weight stops him winning, he will go very very close if he’s fit and well. 16/1.

ROBERTO GOLDBACK – Bought completely with this is mind at the start of the season and duly bolted up on his first start for Nicky Henderson at Ascot. He won so well that day that he looked like a really well handicapped horse. He has run in bottomless ground since then and hasn’t looked the same. There is every chance that he has been completely laid out for this and is actually only 4lbs higher than when winning at Ascot. 25/1.

SEABASS – The last one to creep onto the short list! Ran a blinder in this last year when up with the pace throughout and given a lovely ride by Katie Walsh. He’s up 5lbs this year which makes life tougher but he looks to have been given a perfect prep and I really couldn’t leave him out.

Of the others I thought that Balthazar’s King was likely to go well and it will be fascinating to see how Chicago Grey goes under the patient Carberry. If you were to ask me to name one at a massive price that will give you a run for your money you could do a lot worse than SWING BILL at 100/1 (170’s on BF). He will relish this in amongst horses and will travel way for a long way, he could realistically be in the shake up and I might play him in a few of the special markets.

All in all it should be a classic. Let’s hope they all come back safe and sound and we are cheering home the winner!

Away from the main event I will also be having a decent go on CANTLOW (3.25). Most of you will know how long he has been on my radar and I was hoping to have a thick bet on him at Cheltenham but he bled down at the start and didn’t take part. He has been absolutely crying out for three miles plus and finally gets ot here today. He’s on a really good mark and this type of race should really suit him. This is also a race that JP likes to target and I think he has a massive chance and I’ll be having a decent bet. 3 pts win @ 7/1 generally.

I am a little bit baffled by the entry for VAN DER NEER in the listed race at Lingfield. He is in my top three horses to follow on the flat this year and looks a real exciting prospect. His run in the Racing Post Trophy was so eye-catching on ground that he didn’t seem to appreciate. On a good surface this summer he could prove to be very smart indeed and maybe this is just a prep to put him bang on for the guineas? He’s 1/2 and no sort of bet today but I’ll be watching with real interest as I think he is very high-class.

I have to give one more chance to KINDIA (5.20 Lingfield) who has caught the eye a couple of times since coming over from france. This drop back to seven might suit her a little better today and with the visor swapped for cheek pieces she is starting to look nicely handicapped. She is 25/1 on Betfair but she is likely to pop up at some point. Last chance for me today. 1 pt win @ 25/1 on Betfair.

I will be throwing a few darts at KEEP IT DARK (5.35 Newcastle) too. Mussleburgh clearly didn’t suit last time and has a decent pull in the weights with the winner today too. Completely unexposed and should go well. 1.5 pts win @ 7/1.

The booking of Kieren Fallon on ALBAQAA (9.20 Wolverhampton) looks interesting as he is seriously well handicapped and should be included in your multiples today.

Good luck with all your bets. It is a cracker jack days racing. Fingers crossed for the National winner once again!

All the best,

MG

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Aintree Day One! Thursday 4th April

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A fascinating start to the Grand National meeting at Aintree this afternoon and we kick off with three grade ones.

2.00 Aintree Matalan Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle Grade 1 (CLASS 1) (4yo)

An exciting start to the card which sees the re-match of the two market leaders in the form of ROLLING STAR and IRISH SAINT. The former got the better of the first encounter between the two at Cheltenham but comes here on the back of a disappointing effort in the Triumph after being very well backed. Irish Saint missed the festival and comes here a fresh horse with conditions likely to play to his strengths too. FLAXEN FLARE comes here on the back of a romp in the Fred Winter in first time blinkers. This is a step up in class but if he backs that effort up he certainly comes into the reckoning. Vasco Du Ronceray and Ruacana are the two that potentially may improve significantly for the better ground but the latter would need to improve to reverse the form with Flaxen Flare. Rolling star is likely to be a warm favourite but I like the chances of IRISH SAINT reversing the form.

2.30 Aintree – Betfred Bowl Chase Grade 1 (CLASS 1) (5yo+)

A race that largely revolves around SILVINIACO CONTI who was travelling so well when coming down three out in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham. It remains a mystery whether or not he would have got up the hill. If that fall hasn’t left a mark after just twenty days he is likely to be very difficult to beat indeed on a track that really does play to his strengths. Don’t be put off by the fall at the festival as he is a superb jumper in general. The Giant Bolster will struggle to reverse the form from Newbury with the favourite and First Lieutenant comes here on the back of a solid second to Cue Card in the Ryanair but may find this tougher still despite the step up in trip being in his favour. The favourite will be very difficult to beat.

3.05 Aintree – John Smith´s Aintree Hurdle Grade 1 (CLASS 1) (4yo+)

For me this is the feature of day one and is a brilliant renewal. The young guns and the untapped potential against the proven performers at this level. Last year’s winner OSCAR WHISKEY ran poorly at Cheltenham in the World Hurdle and will have to be forgiven that effort to be backed here. He is a class act at two and a half miles and if he returns to his best he will be a major player. Barry Geraghty has deserted him in favour of GRANDOUET but had he come here and missed Cheltenham he would be a short priced favorite so he is overpriced. Grandouet was another to come to grief at the festival just as the taps were about to be turned on in the Champion Hurdle. He comes here with every chance and the drying ground will be in his favour. I’m not convinced however that he wants two and a half miles. He will undoubtedly travel strongly through the race and for all you Betfair players he is likely to trade short in the run whatever the outcome so there will be an opportunity to trade out.

The current market leader on the back of an impressive win in the Neptune at the festival in THE NEW ONE. He hasn’t done anything wrong to date with his only defeat coming to the equally impressive At Fishers Cross just before the festival. Sam Twiston-Davies will tell you he should have won that day too had he been more patient. Now they have found the key to him he is likely to be a potent force as he has a real turn of foot and he should be hard to beat today.COUNTRYWIDE FLAME comes here on the back of an excellent effort in the Champion Hurdle and the step up in trip is likely to help him here too as will the track. He was a real stayer on the flat and must come into the reckoning here. Zarkander has a few lengths to find with Countrywide Flame and has the addition of blinkers for the first time over hurdles (did wear them on the flat). The step up in trip has looked like it is likely to suit him for some time and he is probably overpriced at around 6/1.

Thousand Stars is likely to run his race again as he usually does and certainly adds even more depth to what is a fascinating race. I think that THE NEW ONE will maintain his progress over hurdles and will be hard to beat but I will have a saver on Zarkander.

3.40 Aintree – John Smith´s Fox Hunters´ Chase (CLASS 2) (6yo+)

Hunter Chases have never been my strong point so I will leave the Foxhunter’s over the national fences to the experts. I am reliably informed that BOLD ADDITION is strongly fancied to run a big race this afternoon.

4.15 Aintree – Matalan.co.uk Red Rum Handicap Chase Grade 3 (CLASS 1) (5yo+)

A devilishly difficult handicap at 4.15 but a race in which I really fancy one. I am strong on the chances of PIRES from the Tony Martin team who hacked up in a couple of handicaps earlier in the season before running a cracker in a very strong race two starts back where the Grand Annual winner Alderwood was in second. That represents strong handicap form and rather than going to the festival he had a spin on the all-weather at Dundalk where he ran well. That was surely a prep for this and he comes here race fit and unexposed over fences. He looks sure to go well and I’ve tucked in at 10/1.

4.50 Aintree – Betfred Manifesto Novices´ Chase Grade 1 (CLASS 1) (5yo+)

Not a betting race for me as CAPTAIN CONAN is by far the most likely winner but he is just a horse that I’m not keen on. Slightly disappointed with the turn out here in truth as there is a nice prize up for grabs. He will probably win but if was in the ring I would want to take him on bigtime.

5.25 Aintree – Silver Cross Handicap Hurdle Grade 3 (CLASS 1) (4yo+)

A minefield to finish the day with 21 of them going to post over the extended three miles. The two I like the most here are EASTER DAY and ERICHT. The former is progressive over hurdles and has won 3/4. He will need to just brush up his jumping in this more competitive race but he looks to be going the right way and should be followed again this afternoon. ERICHT in theory has a tougher task than at the festival where he was a solid 5th. Gary Derwin claimed 10lbs that day so from a handicapping point of view this is harder but he gets on really well with Barry Geraghty and I think he will be really patient on him this afternoon. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him coming there very strongly and played late.

I’ve backed both at 8/1 and 14/1 respectively.

A cracking first day of the National meeting. I hope you enjoy and backed plenty of winners!

I’m off to the Premier League darts at the Brighton Centre tonight which should be cracking fun!

Be lucky!

MG

Saturday 9th December – Tingle Creek!

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Good morning campers. Apologies for the lack of posting the last two days. Very busy and a lack of internet scuppered the roll…

A great day today that I am really looking forward too. I was supposed to be at Sandown for the Tingle Creek meeting but I forgot the car was booked in for the MOT this morning! The upside is the car went through with flying colours so it was a cheap morning!

I can’t go on without mentioning the ride by Connor O Farrell on Tanerko Emery yesterday. I think he knew he was on a particularly well handicapped horse but needless to say he timed it to absolute perfection. A cracking ride.

THE SPORTINGBET TINGLE CREEK CHASE

Not the most strength in-depth for this years renewal but the return of two of last season’s most exciting novice chasers provides us with an early christmas treat that rivals any mince-pie with brandy sauce. It seems that Paul Nicholls has finally found the key to SANCTUAIRE who has been called a few names in his career but has always had untapped ability. Whether or not he has quite enough ability to hold onto a horse like SPRINTER SACRE I’m not so sure. Nicky Henderson’s second season chaser gave me that feeling last year that only Kauto Star has given me in my professional career. His jumping is electric and could you have a better stage to display your skills than around Sandown. Provided that all is well and Sanctuaire does consent to race today then I imagine Ruby is going to pop out in front and attempt to make all and try to get Sprinter Sacre off the bridle. I just can’t see it, if anything I think Sanctuaire will help Sprinter Sacre. He doesn’t really provide any kind of betting medium, but I think he will win easily and it will be a fascinating watch.

Talking of exciting novice chasers and Tim Vaughan has one today at Wetherby (12.45) who looks to have an immense amount of ability. ALAND ISLAND is hovering around even money this morning and I have backed him. I think he is a class act that should be much too good for these. I wouldn’t be surprised that although he has plenty of fancied rides, he is the sole reason AP has gone there.

I’ve also backed KENTFORD GREY LADY (12.55 Sand) who looks to me to be on a really good mark. Yes she has to carry around top weight, but she’s in against her own sex and 135 massively underestimates her overall potential. I don’t need to tell you how progressive IFBUTANDWHYNOT looks. The form was given a massive boost yesterday and the 13lb rise is very unlikely to stop him today in a race that should be run to suit.

My best bet of the day though comes at Lingfield in the form of FONTERUTOLI (2.50) who was given a poor ride two days ago and the team are looking to recoup those losses again today. Different jockey on board today and arguably a better draw in stall 6 which may sound a bit strange for a hold up horse. The reason I say this is that he often travels very well and finishes off well but he constantly gets trapped on heels with nowhere to go. Ideally here today he can just pop out and travel 2/3 horses wide and then come with a run down the outside in the straight. The favourite in the race is a short price based on his unlucky run here on Thursday too but he had twenty races in Norway and Jersey and only won once. His ridiculous price means there is value elsewhere and the 13/2 this morning about Fonterutoli was just massive!!!!!

I’ve also thrown a few quid at Nacarat at Aintree in a race that really should be run to suit him. The Mildmay course is nowhere near as testing as the rest of the tack (good to soft in places).

Someone at BETVICTOR is going to get sacked this weekend. They have priced up West Ham at 85/40 at home to the Suarezless Liverpool tomorrow. I’m sorry but that price is just amazing and it will pay for the Christmas parties this week.

Have a top day today, be on for a good look at tomorrows NFL!

MG

Proform Proform

Super Saturday! – Seconditis……..

I feel a bit lost this morning. My first venture out the flat for three days yesterday after dealing with an epic encounter with man flu had made me think I’d been in doors for two months after realising it was literally baltic outside. I immediately came home and got back under the duvet after purchasing some chicken from the Tesco express over the road. Literally bloody freezing.

I’ve made various comments about smashing crossbar’s to smithereens over the last few weeks. Well I’ve been banned from all parks after yesterday……take a look at why I use this phrase:

Countrywide Flame 2nd 9/1

Art Scholar 2nd 12/1

Nordic Quest 2nd 7/1

Taro Tywod 2nd 12/1

Hold On Julio 3rd 13/2

Galaxy Rock 2nd 7/1

Bold Cross 2nd 12/1

Langham Lily 2nd 11/4 (Actually in my mind the winner still grrrrr)

Tawaasul 3rd 11/4

Archie Stevens 2nd 9/2

Edgware Road 2nd13/2

Fortunate Bid 3rd 12/1

That my friends is what you call smashing the crossbar to pieces. I can’t complain as it has still been a very profitable month, but it just goes to show….one or two better rides and we would be in Barbados rather than freezing our bits off on a train to London.

The ride on Archie Stevens yesterday cost us and plenty of other people the money yesterday. The money was seriously down as he went from 9/2 into 7/4 and effectively almost finished on the bridle. It was painful to watch and things didn’t really get any better on Edgeware Road. Both are effectively winners without penalties but their hands have been well and truly shown, bugger.

Today is an absolute feast of racing. I’m hosting Timeform Radio this afternoon from 1.15pm. With 5 cards plus the 2 big races from Ireland to take in I won’t have to talk too much today which will save the old vocal cords that have been suffering through the week.

As it is Saturday I am going to start the betting column with a facemelter of a bet of the day! This comes in the form of AVONVALLEY (6.15 Wolv). Peter Grayson’s mare has risen a total of 17lbs in this calendar year after some nice performances. You can forget the last run after being pitched in at the deep end from out fo the weights in a big handicap. Back in class today on a course that she generally runs very well she looks way overpriced to me. Was rated as high as 78 a couple of years ago so this mark is potentially still workable. Massive price at 12/1 this morning!

The second best bet of the day is without doubt INVINCIBLE WARRIOR (4.10 Donc). Brian Meehan’s colt was a huge eyecatcher on debut before winning impressively on his second start. He showed a really smart turn of foot that day and looked a colt of considerable potential. This does not look the strongest of listed contests and his opening OR of 85 probably underestimates his actual ability and therefore he doesn’t have as much to find with a few of these as it seems. The 5/1 this morning was an early chilly Xmas present.

I thought BIG FELLA THANKS represented some value this morning too at a general 5/1. He has a long absence to overcome but that is the only negative I could really find. He is potentially very well handicapped on his old form and the trip will suit perfectly. His course record is very good here too (although national course) and there is a lot to recommend him for a big run this afternoon.

Art Scholar runs again today in the 2.00 at Donny. I’m sure he will run well again on the back of a 2lb rise. This is by far the toughest race of the season and the step up in trip asks another question. He should run well and I certainly wouldn’t put you off backing him again each way if you fancy him. I probably will at 12/1, price too big.

Another big day for West Ham today as the boys travel up to Wigan. The home side have been on a poor run and I think it represents another opportunity for us to bag some very much-needed points. We have a brutal 6 weeks coming up against basically the top 6 so every point counts at this stage. 4000 away fans making the trip….blimey that may well be more than the amount of home fans……..minimum of a point please lads “jingle bellls, jingle bells………….”

I’m off to put ten layers on before the trek up to London.

Have an awesome Saturday and back plenty of winners!

MG

@markagrantham