Trying to find a golden nugget for the coming weeks…

Evening one and all. Hope this post finds everyone well and full of winners. An interesting week in the racing world with nothing much happening in terms of major news, other than Aidan O’Brien getting ever closer to Bobby Frankel’s record for group one winners. Enable will also stay in training at four, which is fantastic news. Longchamp anyone?

My one note from the action the past week or so would be that I’ve convinced myself that Clemmie is now the real deal. Given her pedigree she is surely going to improve for going up in trip and is very exciting. Whether she goes on to win the Guineas next spring is something we have to wait seven months to find out. One thing I’m pretty sure of though is if she doesn’t run again this season and she turns up at Newmarket in May, she’ll be 6/4 on the day, so if you like long-term investments, the 4/1 around is probably for you.

For those of you that follow my ante-post NFL prop bets it was great to see Leonard Fournette have a big weekend. Through five weeks he now has 466 yards and the each way money at 40/1 for leading rusher is definitely a live voucher. Whilst I still have him outside the top three, the way the Jag’s D keeps them in games, their run first nature can only assist in the rookie having a big first season. Let’s hope he stays healthy.

Right so this week, with little time on my hands I wanted to take a slightly different approach and just see if I could find a little nugget for the upcoming jumps season. I started off playing around with the Proform system builder and looking at the fate of favourites and horses at the front of the market to see if I could see any glaring angles.

Not an awful lot showed up, other than similarly to the flat, there are a handful of tracks where favourites have an excellent record. So I changed tack slightly and given we are at the start of the season I started to look at trainers that have their horses in good nick on the back of a break. So I ran a query in to Proform looking at all trainers performance in National Hunt races (chase, hurdle & NHF) on the back of a minimum 60 day break. This threw up plenty of profitable trainers but almost of them were on the back of the odd massive priced winner that skewed the P&L figures.

So again a bit of trimming down and I decided to limit the next search to handicaps only and now we start to pick up one or two potential angles. Five trainers stood out with exceptional strike rates and a lovely healthy profit. I won’t mention them all but I’ll certainly give a positive mention to Olly Murphy who has had a terrific start to his training career in 2017.

From the above criteria, Olly has had 12 runners and 4 winners. So as the winter progresses, he is certainly someone to keep an eye on.

The trainer that stood out above everyone else though was the excellent KEITH DALGLEISH. These figures are represented as always from Jan 1st 2010.

Keith has had just 26 runners in handicaps chases/hurdles in that time on the back of 60+ days off the track, of which 13 have gone on to win with a profit of 41.26pts to BFSP. That is a 50% winning strike rate. What is just as interesting about these figures is that of the 13 that got beat, 9 of those traded at 50% or less of their BFSP in running. So there is no doubt at all that Keith has his horses bouncing and ready to roll in the national hunt season on the back of a break in handicaps. Certainly an interesting angle for all of you that like to trade pre-race or in running.

One thing I would add in to the argument is that all of the winners were priced between 6/4 and 8/1 which would suggest that they were well fancied too. If we run the system again looking at his runners that had an SP of less than 9/1, suddenly the strike rate leaps to 72.22% (83.33% win & place). A total of 13 winners from 18 runners.

So whilst it’s short and sweet this week, and won’t throw up that many selections. When Keith Dalgleish  has a runner in a handicap hurdle or chase on the back of a minimum 60 day break and is a single figure price, you should probably have it on side.

I’m open to any kind of suggestion for something to look at for next week. Feel free to post in the comments and I will take a look.

Have a top week. Thank god the international break is over!



As winter draws in, let’s tuck in to the good stuff! Southwell anyone?

Firstly thanks for all the feedback on last weeks blog post. It is great to see how many people are taking an interest in not only Proform but also the different approaches you can add to your betting portfolio. Things are going well again in September with winners up to 22/1 so far. The system had a good day on Monday throwing up winners at 9/4, 7/1 and 14/1 as well as a 10/1 winner on Tuesday. Having had a brief conversation with Simon on Friday I can confirm that using the evening before prices makes an enormous difference to the P&L. My estimation was nowhere near as much as reality. As I mentioned Simon only had the evening before prices back as far as May 2016, so for 17 months of data. Having shown a profit of 813.81 from 1st Jan 2010 on the figures I had, Simon confirmed that the actual evening before price profit since last year was +1432.56 which is staggering. There is obviously a deduction to come off this from rule 4’s but it is only minimal in reality. So as things stand, I’m hopefully on to something very interesting. I will continue to monitor this.

As I write this on Tuesday evening this month is currently +35.79 pts in profit. Although not following it as closely, I believe the DTR system is running at about the same sort of figure.

So what next? What’s the next angle to look at? Well given the time of the year and with the flat coming to an end, I thought that I’d have a look at the winter action but hold on, no I’m not like 90% of Twitter. I refuse to start talking about the Cheltenham Festival in September! Although having said that, I do plan to have a look at the festival stats at some point in the next week or two. If you know me well, you know that when it comes to the winter it is all about the all-weather Racing! To narrow my search down I am going to have a good look at Southwell which I’m sure there are a few angles.

So where to start with trying to find a profitable angle when it comes to betting at Southwell. Well my immediate thought is with my own involvement with horses at the track and pals horses that have been shrewdly purchased. We’ve had some wonderful success there, and a lot of it comes from the fact that we managed to get hold of horses that were by Speightstown. Southwell is our only track in the UK that comes close to replicating the conditions of dirt racing in the US and the progeny of Speightstown have an excellent record on the fibresand surface, especially first time up.

So this got me thinking, how do horses perform on the surface based on which country they are bred from. This was my first query into Proform, again using 1st Jan 2010 onwards. The results were as expected, lots of red numbers all over the screen apart from three countries that had the following numbers to BFSP:

France +102.60

Canada +10.73

USA + 649.01

On the back of these numbers I clustered these three countries together and had a look at plenty of the usual variables. Race distance, age etc. The only real variable that had a large impact on the numbers was the race type. Again, lots of red numbers all over the screen, but three very decent plus numbers as follows:

Auction Races: +131.72

Handicaps: +630.34

Maiden Races: +173.34

So once I drilled down all the variables these are the final figures that came out from my system builder results:

Horses from either USA, FRANCE or CANADA, in all AUCTIONS, MAIDENS & HANDICAPS at SOUTHWELL on the AW.

1706 Qualifiers, 292 winners @17.12% strike rate. +£765.48 to £1 at stakes at BFSP and a 44.87% ROI.

Whilst thinking that age and race distance may have an impact on the results, they made very little difference to the outcome.

All in all this equates to an average profit of 109.35pts per year. Which to many people will not seem like a great deal, but remember we are looking at putting together a portfolio of profitable systems that win without you having to do any kind of work other than updating the Proform software and putting the bets on. So this is another one to add to the portfolio and one that I will also monitor over the coming months.

Whilst looking at the above system my mind starting to think about another angle I constantly refer too. It largely comes from an old hunch I used to have that sprinters that ran well and turned up to the track again within a few days seemed to have a good record. Although I never actually had any stats to back this up, was it a myth or reality? So off I went again… searching through Proform System Builder looking for another angle.

My findings were not quite what I hoped but still showed a profitable angle. I basically looked at all horses from Jan 1st 2010 that had finished in the first three of their race and were running again within seven days. Across all racing this showed a very small profit. Once I started to play with all the variables again I managed to start to eek out the negative elements of another potential system.

In the end if you eliminated all races on the all-weather and concentrated solely on turf racing this improved things. Once again, then just using handicaps and removing all other races, the profit grew.

In the end these were the final figures I got too without too much effort since Jan 1st 2010:

12,452 qualifiers, 2,685 winners at a strike rate of 21.56%. +£344.45 to £1 stakes. +2.77% ROI. So this system whilst I think has some legs, doesn’t currently offer enough a profit for me to be interested in it. I will continue to tweek this until I find something more robust and at the moment can be parked on the “in progress” shelf. I also on the back of this started to play around with winners LTO that were returning to the track within seven days. It returned far less qualifiers obviously but very similar figures in the P&L, so this is another one that I will play around with over the coming months.

If anyone reading this has an idea they would like me to look at, I’m more than happy to delve in to the system builder and have a play around.

Hope some of this inspires you to start to have play with Proform yourself. If you have any questions or comments I’m always available on Twitter: @markagrantham. Roll on the fibresand season!

All the best





Tuesday blog update: Couple to watch


Eye Catchers Coming Soon

Morning all! A day in the office doing videos today so we will have plenty in the satchel for you all by the end of the day I would imagine.  I just wanted to bring to your attention a couple of horses that have been served up by Proform this morning. There is nothing at all strong today or running from the eye-catchers but these two should give you an interest.

First up is just a note about TOOT YOUR FLUTE (2.50 Lingfield). The son of Invincible Spirit ran 8th of 9 on debut on the turf course here at Lingfield and was pretty green on very much the first day of school. He should come on a bundle for that effort. The interesting fact about this is the jockey booking. When William Haggas reaches out for Silvestre De Sousa they have a combined strike rate of 38.46% which is incredibly strong. There are some potentially nice horses in this line up and there has been bundles of money for the Godolphin runner (who has a Derby entry) so the 16/1 available on Toot Your Flute is probably fair based on what we have seen so far, but with that experience under his belt, a switch to the all-weather and the assistance of Silvestre, I think he will probably out run those odds quite considerably.

The second one just to keep an eye on today is ALL OR NOW (5.10 Ballinrobe). Now I hardly ever play in Ireland but again Proform has drawn my attention to the jockey booking situation. When Denis Hogan books Brian Cawley they have a very succesful 38.10% strike rate together. Couple that with the fact that based on his hurdles form All Or Now is well handicapped off just 91, he is surely worth a small dart this afternoon. There is some 7/1 available if you shop around.

That’s it for this morning, just a couple of small notes.

Be lucky



Chester is here, stall one please……


46.6pts profit so far in May

It was nice to get a confident selection over the line yesterday. The only real shock was the SP of 2/1. She travelled like the best horse in the race and the decisive kick coming down the hill meant that her rivals had all but been fended off by the furlong pole. This did look a very weak race on paper and to be fair she didn’t smack this time round like a horse that is crying out for 7 or 8 furlongs. We will keep her on side and look closely at her entries. Brighton suits her well. As for Paradise Child I think we can confidently cross her off the list as she doesn’t look to have trained on.

Twenty minutes later and the joy turned to anguish with Glanely. As mentioned in yesterdays notes he is a lazy sod with one long burst rather than a turn of foot. For him he travelled really well under Hughesy and I thought he was the winner turning for home. He got held up ever so slightly in the ruck as they quickened and he had to switch to the inside. Horrible to be beaten a neck. Still another 5 pts profit on the day so we shouldn’t grumble.

Today is the start of Chester’s May meeting with more classic clues about to be dished out. Funny news this morning that StanJames are in trouble with the local council for putting advertising on the pavement. Naughty, but funny all the same.

Here are today’s Proform stats:

Trainers with entries today who’s win & place strike rate is over 50% in the last 14 days (min 10 runners):

Karl Burke 60% (25 runners)

Chris Gordon 60% (10 runners)

John Jenkins 57.89% (19 runners)

William Haggas 55% (20 runners)

Nicky Henderson 52.94% (34 Runners)

Karl Burke, William Haggas, Roger Varian and Chris Gordon all have exceptional winning strike rates too.

First interesting one of the day today is SHWAIMAN (2.45 Chester) in the Chester Cup for James Fanshawe. He has for sometime looked like a colt that would appreciate a real test of stamina. The Gold Cup at Ascot might end up being his ultimate target this season and if that is the case you would like to think he could be competitive off a mark of 97. There are some obvious pitfalls with him in that he is not always foot perfect from the stalls and he generally races in rear, which at Chester can be almost impossible at times. Both of those negatives though are factored into his price and at a general 16/1, you could certainly throw an each way dart at him in the hope that we get some luck in running.


It was just about last chance saloon today for LAMBERT PEN at Brighton but he is now a non runner.

I do really like the chances of TOP BOY (3.15 Chester) this afternoon. We were on when he won very convincingly three starts back and he arguably should have won his next two starts too. Of the horses in this that have already had runs this year he has got the good end of the draw in stall 2 which is a huge bonus. Whilst he doesn’t want to be gunned from the front, he will want to just sit in the two path and pounce late. He is up another 4lbs for his consistency to 86 but he was rated 101 not too long ago so is very much capable and fitness/draw could be key!

TOP BOY 2 PTS @ 8/1

One that has been in the book for 196 days is STYBBA (6.15 Kemp). Given three runs as a two-year old it was obvious after the first two that it was just about getting a handicap mark and a low one at that! Stybba starts life in handicaps off a mark of 56 tonight that could easily underestimate his ability. There has been an early trickle of money for him so I expect he is a very well handicapped horse tonight.


The last one of the day is OGARITMO (9.15 Kempton) who again has been followed for some time. He has been tried over various distances of late and because he travels strongly through his races it seems he can be going better than he actually is. I am convinced that a strongly run 12 furlongs around Kempton suits him perfectly and whilst there is no out-and-out front-runner in this field there are four of them that do like to go forward so we should get a solid pace. If we do and Dane can get him settled towards the rear of the field and pounce as late as possible then he is definitely a big each way player.


Enjoy day one of Chester. I’m off on the road for a couple of days!

All the best,



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.


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.


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.