Another super day! More of the same?

Proform

Running Total +41.6 pts so far in May 2014

Well we continue to roll in cracking form after Money Team was backed into 8/1 from 16’s and won nicely yesterday at Beverley. Real Tigress also won on a track that clearly suits well. The first two however were just as interesting and eye-catching. Let’s start with HAYEK who was again slowly away (by design) and again tanked through the early part of the race. He was then steered right around the outside of the field with plenty of elbow movement but not much else from Rachel Richardson. Clearly he is being lined up for a punt somewhere. His last win came off 71, after yesterday he has been dropped to 50. WATCH THIS SPACE!

Next up was Magical Rose who also was given very little assistance in the saddle. This was her first start for Conrad Allen so this may have been a fact-finding mission of sorts. I think we might see her over seven furlongs very soon with a strong jockey on a more conventional track. Then we will open the shoulders.

Ok let’s look at some trainer form stats for the day from Profrom.

This report is trainers (that have runners today) win and place strike rate who have had more than 10 runners in the last 14 days:

Amanda Perrett 60% (10 runners)

Ralph Beckett 57.14% (28 runners)

Karl Burke 55.56% (27 runners)

Nicky Henderson 55.26% (38 runners)

Michael Dods 54.55% (22 runners)

Chris Gordon 53.33% (15 runners)

William Haggas 52.38% (21 runners)

John Jenkins 52.17% (23 runners)

Jessie Harrington 52.17% (23 runners)

Those with exceptional winning strike rates are as follows:

(Today’s entries in brackets)

William Haggas 38.10% (Lily Junior, Wojha 4.10 Kemp)

Karl Burke 37.04% (Millar Rose 6.00 Catt, Reve De Nuit 6.30 Catt)

So we move on to today’s eye catchers. We start with the second race on the card at Brighton where we should be going for just about a maximum.

CRYSTALIZED (2.50 Brighton) has been in the note-book just about longer than any other horse. She is by Rock Of Gibralter and there is plenty of stamina on the dam side too yet she has raced exclusively so far over six furlongs. With almost every run she has shaped really nicely, got out paced and stayed on. She surely wants a mile plus in my opinion. What this does give us is what looks to be a very well handicapped filly (currently rated 52). If this were a handicap again I would be reluctant to play as she clearly needs further than the six again however, this is a classified race and she comes out much the best of these on ratings. She also should relish the stiff uphill finish here at Brighton and the ground will be fine. I honestly expected her to be about even money this morning and she is as big as 15/8 with SportingBet. That is big bet material in my eyes. There is another runner of the list in the same race but you cannot have any confidence at all and that is PARADISE CHILD for Bill Turner. She started off with some promise last year but her form tailed off badly towards the back-end. She did shape with considerable promise on her third last start before getting hampered and Jimmy Quinn gave up. If she has trained on then she is certainly better than her rating of 45, although ultimately handicaps on the all-weather may see her in a better light. In such a weak race I would be tempted to have the smallest saver on her just in case but do keep an eye on her for the future.

CRYSTALIZED 4 PTS WIN @ 15/8 (BOG) & 1PT SAVER ON PARADISE CHILD @ 12/1 GENERALLY

We move on to Kempton Park for our only other eye catcher and strong fancy in the form of GLANELY (3.10 Kemp). He went into the book on the back of an interesting run at Kempton back in October when being backed into favouritism. He looked a bit lazy if truth be told but also looked as if there was still plenty to work with, giving the impression that he may well be a well handicapped horse. It is very interesting therefore that for his return to action this afternoon that they have booked the services of Richard Hughes. There is plenty of 3/1 available and he is likely to be the best handicapped horse in the race.

GLANELY 3PTS WIN @ 16/5 with BETBRIGHT.

Hope you have a cracking afternoon’s action.

All the best,

MG

Proform

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Wednesday 23rd October!

Proform

A really busy days racing to look forward to this afternoon with a full mix of flat, jumps and all-weather action. Talking of weather I’m surprised my hotel room lasted through the storm here last night. It is regularly described by a few as “Butlins” and I was sure the rain was gonna come in at some point!

Pleased with Jay Bee Blue yesterday, with some clever placing he could win again. The races were not run to suit the others at kempton which was a tad annoying.

An interesting card down at Fontwell today although conditions are likely to be knee-deep. SHANTOU MAGIC (3.25) looks very interesting indeed as does HERONRY (4.00).

At Newmarket DEGLET NOOR (4.45) looks on a really tempting mark in the first time head-gear and should be backed. DEVILMENT (5.20) is also very, very interesting.

For my sins though I have concentrated mostly on the all-weather card at Kempton tonight which is actually a really interesting card.

The 6.50 is a particularly interesting maiden with several million pounds worth of two-year olds racing for less than three grand. Several Derby entries and a few fancy pedigrees. The most interesting of them may well be MOONFAARID for Mick De Kock who cost the best part of half a million pounds. No bet race but a must for the videos.

Playing in two races tonight, first up in the 8.20. Whilst there is no doubt that the short priced favourite (Bold Lass) is on a nice mark, I think there is good value available to take her on with a few of these that are over priced. We start with KING OF MACEDON who was much better than the bare form suggests at Catterick last time. The track didn’t suit, he missed the break when wanting to be up with the pace and ran on really well suggesting that his mark looks well within range. I’ll be having two savers though on big priced runners who both also look capable of their marks in the form of BASIL BERRY and BOOGANGOO. They are both available at massive prices on Betfair (20’s and 32’s) so will save on them,

I will also be looking at FOOTSTEPSINTHERAIN (8.50) who didn’t appreciate the switch to very soft ground at Ascot last time but prior to that had looked very progressive and consistent. He is surely overpriced at around 10/1 this morning and is well worth an each way play.

Good luck with all your bets today!

MG

Tuesdays racing action!

Proform

It was really good to have some action at Plumpton yesterday and I’m pretty sure that will be the last Monday of the winter I will miss!

I’ve made the dash upto Coral TV for a few days so I’ll have to keep this short and sweet as I don’t have much time.

One bet this afternoon is JAY BEE BLUE (4.00 Ling). Been running very well of late and actually did well to finish as close as he did last time with the race not run to suit. Plenty of pace in here and off bottom weight he looks a cracking play.

Two against the field at Kempton in the 6.40. EVIDENT looks well handicapped based on his last effort of Wolverhampton and this should tee up nicely for him. I do think that LUTINE BELL must be backed too. His last run went largely unnoticed as he got trapped behind a wall of horses at a crucial stage. With the blinkers left on he is very much over priced at 10/1.

Bit of a flyer in the last in ROYAL ETIQUETTE (8.10). Been running a little bit better than the form suggests of late and has slipped down to a handy mark for tonight. Gets in here off bottom weight and the 14/1 is wrong. Good each way shout.

For what it is worth, Chelsea look cracking value at 11/8 tonight.

All the best,

MG

Happy Easter! Saturday 30th March Racing!

pro5

A very good morning/afternoon/evening depending on what time you are casting your eyes on today’s ramblings. I hope you are all well and have lots of festivities planned for the weekend. Mine unfortunately will not include any chocolate (well I’ll try) and although I am due to be attending a big night out on Saturday I doubt it will include any alcohol either. Training is still going well, I’ve just had to change things up a little in the last week or so as my weight had plateaued somewhat. Still being incredibly good all round bout I’d only lost 2lbs in the last 3 weeks so a change is required.

A must give a quick mention to Miako who ran really flat on Wednesday. Luke Morris rode him as midge was banned. He is gonna have a month off now and we will look at possible future plans then. There are not many opportunities at Southwell now for him really until the winter so we may give him a go on turf to see how he does.

As we have a day of no racing today I thought I would really get stuck into the card at Doncaster and see if I can find any gems. I’ve just done the usual browsing through the Proform stats for the last two weeks and there are one or two eye catchers.

Trainers win and place strike rates over the last 14 days….

John Gosden 100%

Hans Adielsson 80%

Marco Botti 70%

Richard Fahey 64.71%

Richard Hannon 62.50%

Steve Gollings, Alan Swinbank, Ed Vaughan all 60%

Doncaster 1.20 6f Class 2 William Hill-No 1 Downloaded Betting App Handicap (4yo plus)

A devilishly difficult start to the day at Doncaster. The last 8 running’s of this contest have seen winning SP’s of 33/1, 40/1, 16/1, 16/1 and 66/1, so whatever you find don’t let a price put you off. Fitness will have to be taken on trust as only Thunderball has run within the last 50 days. King of Jazz for Michael Bell is likely to head the betting as he is starting to look attractively handicapped but he hasn’t won since his maiden which is off-putting. Darren Egan will take off a handy 3lbs mind. By far the most interesting one from a handicapping point fo view is David Barron’s COLONEL MAK. He’s on a good mark on some of his old form and with trip and ground ideal the 5lb claim of Luke Mcniff makes him of real interest if he could return to something like his best. You cannot ignore the claims of Richard Fahey’s runners in these early season contests and both FARLOW and ALEJANDRO make some appeal. The former is likely to be towards the head of the betting and the lightly raced five-year old is only a pound higher than his last win. Most of his best form however does come on a firmer surface which would be a slight concern, but if he handles it, he should go close. Jamaican Bolt was progressive last year and bumped into a bang in from Jack Dexter when second on his last start here in October. The ground will hold no fears at all. All his best form is over five so this might stretch him a little but the yards horses are generally running well. There isn’t an awful lot of early speed in here which might play to the strengths of the consistent mare Spinatrix with Connor Beasley taking off 7lbs.

I’ll be backing Colonel Mak with savers on Farlow, Alejandro and Spinatrix on Betfair at inflated prices.

Doncaster 1.55 William Hill Spring Mile (Handicap) (CLASS 2) (4yo+)

A wide open Spring Mile with several potential improvers not least Educate and Nameitwhatyoulike. Dubai Hills has been winning off higher marks around Southwell and comes here in rude health. He does tend to save his best for the fibresand however. This is one fo the races that I like to look for some value and maybe play a few against the field. The first one that jumps off the page at me is PATRIOTIC. Chris Dwyers gelding will be largely ignored in the betting but there is reason to believe that he is a player. Firstly he is fit from the all-weather which includes a win two starts back off a mark of 77. His turf mark is lower than his all-weather mark and he gets in here off 74. The very talented Robert tart will take off a very valuable 5lbs too. His last visit to Doncaster resulted in a win over this course and distance and he has run well on soft ground in the past. The race hasn’t been priced up yet but he’s trading around 32’s on Betfair and I had him in at about 14/1 so that makes him of massive each way interest. I think Extraterrestrial is over priced, as is the race fit Docofthebay. From the front of the market GAUL WOOD makes most appeal. Lightly raced, he is ultra consistent and goes well fresh.

1.5 pts each way Patriotic 33/1, 1 pt win Gaul Wood. 0.5 pts win on Extraterrestrial and Docofthebay.

Doncaster 2.30 William Hill – New iPad App Cammidge Trophy (Listed Race) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)

An interesting renewal with one or two of last years most progressive sprinters. Humidor tends to do most of his winning over 5f and may want a better surface. Captain Ramius and Our Jonathon renew their rivalry and are sure to go well but clear preference is for Jack Dexter who improved leaps and bounds last year and looks set to continue that progress with conditions to suit.

Jack Dexter 1 pt win.

3.05 Doncaster William Hill Lincoln (Heritage Handicap) (CLASS 2) (4yo+)

A fascinating renewal of the first big handicap of the season seven days later than expected. Captain Bertie has been very well backed to continue last years progression and the yard are going very well. I think he’s short enough but he does have a very high strike rate when the ground description includes soft or heavy. Strictly Silver comes here on the back of a deserved victory at Wolverhampton but isn’t sure to go on the ground. By far the most interesting one towards the head of the market for me is LAHAAG. Trip and ground are ideal and the yards horses are running very well indeed (100% win and place strike rate last 14 days). He was beaten by Chapter Seven when last seen at York but he was keen that day and is likely to be bigger and stronger this time around. I like him a lot and think he’ll take some beating. Of the others last years winner BRAE HILL will have very chance again off the same mark with conditions to suit. Chosen Character improved leaps and bounds last year and it will be interesting to see how he fares in this much tougher grade. The two at big prices that look over-priced are DUBAI DYNAMO and BANCNUANAHEIRANN. 65’s and 40’s on Betfair are prices that should be taken. DD always needs a couple of runs to put him right and is feasibly handicapped. Mick Aplleby’s runner was acquired from Jim Bolger last summer and ran some cracking races in defeat in big handicaps. The yard is going great runs at the moment and if he is cherry ripe Bancnuanaheirann could really out run his price.

Lahaag 3 pts win @ 8/1, Dubai Dynao and Bancnuanaheirann 1 pt each way @ 65’s and 40/1.

4.15 Doncaster Harriet Powell Handicap (Div I) (CLASS 4) (4yo+ 0-85)

Nice and straight forward here as I am really keen on the chances of EASTERN DESTINY who ran flat on her last start at the end of last season but has progressed nicely before that. If she’s cherry ripe I think she will go very close!

Eastern Destiny 1pt win.

Away from Doncaster I will be backing PEPITE ROSE over at Haydock (3.15) She still looks on a really attractive mark to me and would surely have won at Newbury last time when falling three out. A recovery mission today.

It is of course DUBAI WORLD CUP night aswell on Saturday and if you are a big fan of your international racing I recorded Timeform Radio’s Dubai World Cup International Racing Podcast alongside Stephen Molyneux which you can listen too via http://www.timeform.com/radio it can also be downloaded from the site and of course through itunes. Stephen had one or two strong fancies on the card and is well worth a listen.

The domestic football action is back and the hammers entertain West Brom at Upton Park tomorrow. Three points is a must to re-establish our mid table position.

Enjoy what is a craking weekend of sporting action.

Be lucky and back plenty of winners.

MG

Monday 25th March

pro5

Morning campers. Well today feels a bit weird. I was hoping to be celebrating Tiger Woods winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational this morning but a tropical Florida storm meant that he only completed two holes of his final round. Play will continue at around 2.30pm our time. He did manage to extend his lead to three shots with an excellent birdie at the second hole mind. Rickie Fowler looks the only conceivable danger, although having said that the course is likely to play a lot slower today.

Just the one selection yesterday and he was a very easy winner indeed. He got absolutely hammered in the market and was backed from 3/1 into 11/8 before winning very easily. I hope many of you put him in your bets!

Only the one meeting today but I’ve been sifting through Proform all morning and come up with some interesting insights.

The Proform stats for the last 14 days have thrown up two trainers with high win and place strike rates:

Richard Hannon 66.67% (Mysterial 4.10) and Gay Kellaway 60% (Conducting 5.10)

PRINCE OF BURMA has been on my horses to follow list for a while. If he doesn’t win the first today, he will firmly be dropped off it!

By far the most interesting horse on the card for me today is KINDIA (5.10) trained by Michael Attwater. She started her career in France before racing here for the first time in November and she has shown steady pieces of form since whilst not really having the pace to win over a mile. Today she steps up in trip for the first time and she looks sure to improve for it. Her 2nd at Kempton on 28th January has worked out well and today she drops into 0-70 company for the first time. This does look a good race for the grade but the 16/1 about her this morning is far to tempting to leave alone and is a very good each way price. The favourite MUBTADI is very solid however and the form of his last win has worked out incredibly well and he may be up to progressing again.

You will know I have been following POLARITY (4.40) for a while. She is a massive price again today (50’s on betfair) but I have that nagging feeling that she will pop up soon at a massive price off a tumbling mark. Thomas Brown takes off another 5lbs today which will help further and whilst she is likely to finish last, she is certainly going to pop up at some point so I will back her small and throw some darts at the place market too.

By process of elimination with regards handicap marks and trip, ELUSIVE HAWK (3.10) should be very difficult to beat under a penalty. He won incredibly easily at Kempton the other night and is expected to do so again today. The bottom weight Sannibel may be the danger.

So a couple of big priced arrows to fire on a quiet day. Miako is entered on Wednesday and it looks a good race. I’m off to get the kettle on to watch the Tiger bring home the bacon!

Good luck today, be lucky

MG

Thursday 21st March

Proform

Good morning. I hope that everyone is well refreshed after last week. It was an up and down week but a really good Friday made it a nice winning one. Thanks for all your messages regarding Miako on Tuesday. Obviously the initial reaction after the race was disappointment that he had been beaten, but on the face of it he actually ran really well on a surface that was riding much slower than his previous run. He travels like a dream and has the ability to get his rivals off the bridle very quickly. If we just ride him with a tad more restraint he will definitely win off his new mark, hopefully next week!

We have lost Huntingdon today so I have concentrated todays efforts onto the all-weather (no surprises there I hear you shout!) I am so looking forward to the start of the flat season. I do love the jumps but by far my most profitable time of year is the summer! Fingers crossed the horrid snow manages to bypass Doncaster over the next couple of days as it seems the meeting could be in doubt.

I found it hard to pinpoint the best bet of the day today as I fancy three horses quite strong. First one or two interesting stats from Proform. Quite a few trainers with very good win and place strike rates floating about at the moment but by far the most interesting of those are the top four!

Ed Vaughan 83.33% (Clapped 9.00 Kemp)

Marco Botti 68.75% (Camachoice 8.30 Kempton)

James Unett 66.67% (Big Sylv (5.50 Wolverhampton)

Laura Mongan 62.50% (Indy Spirit 6.30 Kempton, Divine Rule 9.00 Kempton)

This leads me on nicely to the first bet of the day which comes right towards the end of the day in the form of CLAPPED (9.00 Kempton). He is a horse that went firmly into the notebook when upped from 6f to a mile and a half on handicap debut last time which he clearly didn’t stay. This may well have been used as an experiment to see how far he would travel as he had been running on strongly over 6. He drops back to a mile tonight for the very in form Ed Vaughan and has been given the first time blinkers to try to eek out a bit of improvement. He definitely looks capable of winning off this mark and looks of real interest at a tasty each way price of 8/1 this evening.

I really like the claims of WILLIAM VAN GOGH (5.50 Wolverhampton). Based on his old form he looks incredibly well handicapped and he has given two clear indications the last twice that he is ready to strike. He wasn’t given the best of rides last time so it may be significant that Graham Gibbons takes over this afternoon. This is a better race than last week but based on his old ability and off such a light weight he is of major interest to me this afternoon and must be backed!

The other one which took my eye today was QUALITY ART (2.30 Wolverhampton). By no means as strong a selection as the first two but he is another one that is very well in on his old turf form to the tune of about 20lbs. He showed a spark last time suggesting that the time is not far away. He is a hold up horse so will need the gaps appear at the right times. The application of first time blinkers are also another factor to eek out a bit of improvement. He is very interesting but has been well found in the market at 7/2 this morning and I wouldn’t be surprised if he went off pretty short!

Tiger Woods looks like a bit of a banker back at Bay Hill this weekend but he is very well found in the market and is generally an 11/4 shot. I hope he wins for everyone that has piled in!

Good luck today! Here is to three winners!!

MG

Proform

 

Cheltenham Festival Day 3

pro5

Well if you’re in front after the first two days then you’re doing well. The over ten lengths on Sprinter Sacre saved the day for me yesterday after I had plenty more seconditis. We are effectively only at half time and we have reached a really pivotal day as I fancy a few strongly this afternoon. Must just touch on The New One who was mightily impressive in winning yesterday. That puts to bed any worry about NTD horses that are running.

1.30 Cheltenham – Jewson Novices Chase

A real interesting opener and the opportunity for the David Pipe trained DYNASTE to enhance his already tall reputation. He has done nothing wrong to date with his last run being a 9l beating of Hadrian’s Approach in the Feltham at Christmas. On a line of that form you would think that Dynaste would have gone very close to winning the RSA yesterday. This is probably a slightly easier task today. The one worry about him would be that all of his form is generally before Christmas. He was beaten out of sight in the World Hurdle last year, but he looks a more mature horse this time round and if he runs to his ability today I think he will win. The main danger is likely to be CAPTAIN CONAN who also comes into this race unbeaten over fences. He had to really scrap to beat Third Intention at Sandown last time which was far from impressive but conditions here are likely to be more to his liking and although I think he will certainly play a part, I have always had a nagging doubt about him at the highest level.

AUPCHARLIE comes in next and he has some interesting form lines that have already produced the goods this week. It was however very disappointing that he was beaten at Naas last time and the fact that One Cool Shabra wasn’t at all far behind him is off-putting. I think a likely big danger could be TEXAS JACK who has been a model of consistency this season. He beat Lord Windermere at Leopardstown before finishing a nose behind Boston Bob last time which at double figure odds makes him a player and a solid each way proposition.

I’ve backed DYNASTE but I have also had a saver on TEXAS JACK.

2.05 Cheltenham – The Pertemps Final

This is a race I really like mainly down to the fact I’ve had some massive winners in it in the past. Today’s favourite comes here very well backed after two very interesting runs this season. SAM WINNER was 5th at Sandown on the back of a year off and was fairly tenderly handled by Ruby and stayed on quite nicely late on. He then went on to win a jumpers bumper at Kempton and comfortably beat Peddlers Cross in the process. Now it is never wise to try to weigh up the marks of horses in those contests but you have to think that he is starting to look a seriously well handicapped horse off 140. He comes here with every chance and the step up in trip has promised to suit for some time but he is quite short now.

SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR is progressive and has been winning by the smallest of margins. He is up another 9lb in a much better race but more improvement is possible under tha champ. CLOSE HOUSE comes here in rude health on the back of an excellent 2nd behind the well handicapped Double Ross he went on to comfortably dispose of Rangitoto at Wincanton in a race where the front two pulled miles clear. He’s up another 7lb but must be considered. TOPOFTHERANGE improved markedly to win really easily at Sandown last time and is only 5lb higher today. He is another for the short list and BET365 are really sticking their necks out this morning and going 16/1 about him which is too big! HOLLYWELL is up another 5lbs for another solid 2nd last time. He’s now gone up 21lbs in the weights without winning which is incredibly harsh and he is likely to give you another cracking run for your money at a big price.

I have to give one more chance today to CAPTAIN SUNSHINE. Most of you know the bad luck stories we’ve had with this fella and I must admit I would be a lot more comfortable if we had a different jockey. I’m not going to slag off Dominic Elsworth, he is simply just not my cup of tea and this game is all about opinions. He is definitely capable of winning off this mark but sometimes has his own ideas about things. If he jumps off this race could really suit him and I think he’ll go well.

I’ve backed Sam Winner ante-post so I will play up on Captain Sunshine and Close House for a profit.

2.40 Cheltenham – The Ryanair Chase

Really looking forward to this today. Probably the best renewal we have had in my opinion. Several of these would be near the top of the Gold Cup market and would be each way players there. We all know by now how much I love CUE CARD even though he has never really won me any reddies. I’m sure he will run another cracker here today but I do just worry that something may out stay him up the hill in what could be a cracking finish. The rock solid one is FIRST LIETENANT for Mouse Morris. His form in the Hennessy and Lexus is by far the best on offer this season and he would surely have gone to the Gold Cup with a massive chance. If he runs to form here today I think he will be very hard to beat indeed. The market reflects that now as he is a very well backed 9/4 favorite. Last years winner RIVERSIDE THEATRE comes here on the back of only one run this season in the King George. He will need to be cherry ripe to follow-up but you certainly wouldn’t rule him out. Martin Keighley’s horses are running very well and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Champion Court run a big race and on ground he loves ALBERTAS RUN could be very hard to pass.

All in all this is going to be a cracker. My heart wants CUE CARD to win and I will have a sentimental bet on him but on all form I do think that FIRST LIETENANT will be very very hard to beat and should be backed.

3.20 Cheltenham – Ladbrokes World Hurdle

No Big Bucks this year so this makes the World Hurdle a very attractive betting race. Quite clearly the best horse in the race is Oscar Whiskey and by some way in my opinion. the problem for him comes in the form of the trip and if this track actually suits him. If this race was over 2.5 miles he would be odds on. As it is that extra half a mile makes things very different indeed. The better ground will certainly help him in that respect but I’m still not convinced he will see it out in what is likely to be a fastly run race.

REVE DE SIVOLA has blossomed since returning to hurdles and comes here on the back of two solid victories, including beating Oscar Whiskey here last time. He is without doubt a mud lover though so today’s quicker conditions may not be ideal for him. He should run his usual solid race and be in the mix. Similar sentiments go to BOG WARRIOR who has had an excellent season back over hurdles in Ireland. He has never struck me as a grade one winner though and I would worry about him in here. SOLWHIT has been well backed but would need to improve to turn the tables on Bog Warrior from two starts back. The real interesting ones are SMAD PLACE and WONDERFUL CHARM. Smad Place is very good on his day but has largely had a disappointing season. Both his poor efforts this year have been on bad ground however and he is definitely a horse that appreciates a firmer surface. If he reproduced his form from this race last year he will be bang in the mix. Wonderful Charm is completely unexposed having only had one start in this country when bolting up in the Persian War at Chepstow. He would still need to find something on paper to get involved but there is no knowing how good he could be and is a fascinating runner. Get Me Out Of Here goes well here and if he sees out the three miles has to be a player too.

A cracking race. I have backed Smad Place and Wonderful Charm. If RDS continues to drift I may have a bit on him too.

4.00 Cheltenham – Byrne Group Plate

At last time to let the shoulders go with my best bet of the week. I have been waiting for CANTLOW to go over three miles for some time and he has been absolutely teed up for a big handicap. All three starts over fences have come over much shorter and as a result he gets in here off 143. Paul Webber’s charge was a very good third in the Pertempts final last year so brings festival form to the table. He is a bigger, stronger horse this year and his chase rating completely underestimates his ability. I’m sure he is going to be an out-and-out stayer and this has been the plan for some time. The presence of HUNT BALL means he only has to carry 10-12 which is probably why this race was chosen as his option. I think he will run a massive race and I’ve had 5 pts on each way.

I do massively respect HUNT BALL who travelled very well for a long way in ground he would have hated last time. He is a massive player back on decent ground and will surely trade quite short in running so is an obvious back to lay proposition. I will have to save on him and will look to green up in running. It is just pure guess-work when trying to work out how good BALLYNAGOUR could be. He has a 20lb penalty to deal with on the back of his facile victory at Warwick. That may underestimate his ability but it is pure guess-work and he is a massive player for sure.

VINO GRIEGO has gone up 17lb for his two easy wins and comes here in rude health. Although his is likely to run his race again he may find this a little tougher. Poquelin always runs his race on this course and is a big price.

This is a race that revolves around the front of the market. I am a massive Cantlow fan and he is just about my strongest opinion of the week. I will be looking to play on Hunt Ball and Ballynagour in various ways to ensure a profit. COME ON CANTLOW!!!!

4.40 Cheltenham – Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase

Wide open.  A race that is fiendishly difficult to win. No surprise that I like the look of ALFIE SHERRIN. He did me a massive turn in the JLT last year and he has been running on ground that wouldn’t have suited so far this year. This will be much more his cup of tea and he can take this on route to winning the Grand National! (We can dream being on at ridiculous prices). Two big dangers though in this race could be the improving ROMANESCO under the excellent Nina Carberry and NO SECRETS off bottom weight for David Pipe and Katie Walsh who is a real eye-catching booking!

I’ll be cheering on Alfie Sherrin with side bets on Romanesco and No Secrets.

My thoughts about the Cross Country if it goes ahead are exactly the same as Tuesday and I will be cheering on Alex Hammond in the charity race aboard Mica Mika!

Hopefully the day today where we fly into a big profit! Be lucky, back plenty of winners and come on CANTLOW!!

MG

Proform

Cheltenham Festival Day 2

Proform

What a thrilling start to the week yesterday with Hurricane Fly taking the feature and regaining the Champion Hurdle crown to ecstatic scenes in the stands as the well backed favorite flew up the Cheltenham hill.It wasn’t all plain sailing as Ruby looked far from happy as they reached the top of the hill after a good pace had been set by Rock On Ruby. I was surprised to see on reflection that the Champion was 4 seconds slower than the Supreme Novice Hurdle won by Champagne Fever earlier on the card. Similar scenes also followed 35 minutes later when Quevega overcame tripping and nearly losing Ruby Walsh at the top of the hill to power through the field and win her 5th mares hurdle on the bounce. She is remarkable but I can’t help but think about what if…………World Hurdle?

Simonsig was a fairly comfortable winner of the Arkle in a much less impressive fashion than was anticipated. It is the least fluent I’ve seen him jump but I just think this was down to how quick they went. He looks a surefire Gold Cup horse of the future for me.

We move onto day two and a day that looks like a winnable card.

JOHN OAKSEY NATIONAL HUNT CHASE – 1.30 Cheltenham

Judging by the state of the ground today this is really going to take some getting and could be a real slog. Don’t be surprised if there aren’t many finishers. I have to confess to think that the two horses at the front of the market are absolutely bomb proof and are the likely winners. Both BACK IN FOCUS and BUDDY BOLERO come here with solid credentials. Both strong travelers that jump and stay well they come here with all the right attributes  and I’m sure one or the other will win.

It’s not highly original as they are best priced 3/1 and 9/2 but I will be splitting stakes on them in a hope to get a flyer on day two.

NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES´ HURDLE – 2.05 Cheltenham

A fascinating renewal for the staying novices and a potential high-class one too. Must start with a horse I am very fond of in the form of PONT ALEXANDRE for the Mullins/Walsh combination that had three winners on day one. He comes here with a tall reputation, but that is a reputation that has been backed up thus far. He has been beating horses rated in the high 130’s+ with consummate ease and he is surely going to be very difficult to beat here with conditions and the track likely to suit. The way Ruby talks about him reminds me of the way he used to talk about Kauto in the early days. He could be very good indeed and I think he is a worthy and solid favorite.

Although I think Pont Alexandre will win I have to say that I am also very interested in RULE THE WORLD who has looked every bit a high-class hurdler himself to date. If your after a solid each way bet in the race then he is definitely it at about 7/1 as I write this on Tuesday evening. His form was given a real boost yesterday when Champagne Fever won the Supreme as he gave him a pasting last time out. On that evidence he should be second favorite and therefore must represent plenty of each way value at 7/1. The shrewdies will be out in force to mop this price up overnight I’m sure.

TAQUIN DE SEUIL comes here with every chance after a bloodless win in the Challow last time. His form was also given a boost when My Tent Or Yours ran so well in the Supreme yesterday. On that line of form though you would say on balance that Rule The World may have his measure. THE NEW ONE will have plenty of supporters again tomorrow but he was put in his place by At Fishers Cross last time and the health of the yard would have to be a major worry.

I think that Pont Alexandre will be very hard to beat and I will be having 4 points on him but also must back Rule The World  each way as a saver tonight at 7/1 as I’m convinced he should be second fav.

RSA CHASE – 2.40 Cheltenham

Just about my best bet of the day today will come in the form of Paul Nicholls UNIONISTE in the RSA. He was a very impressive winner of a grade 3 handicap before Christmas off a mark of 143. He followed that up by beating Hadrian’s Approach at Newbury and is better off with that rival at the weights today being the only five-year old in the race. Having only had four starts over fences in this country there is untold potential there and I think he will be very hard to beat.

Boston Bob is a viable alternative for the Irish Challenge but i think the fact Ruby opts for Unioniste is significant. Boston Bob has looked like a dour stayer in the making and so conditions will be up his street. I just worry that there maybe one or two that have too much speed for him at the business end. He looks nailed on to be a Grand National horse to me.

Clear preference is for UNIONISTE and I will be having 5 pts win @ around 7/2.

QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE – 3.20 Cheltenham

Not too much to report here other than to sit back with a cup of tea and watch one of the most exciting jumpers you will ever see be crowned champion. I was lucky enough to be there the day MASTER MINDED thrashed his field in 2008 and I think you might see something similar today. If there are any “how far” markets I will be very interested in the overs as I think today might be the day we see the hand brake taken off. On a side note I am interested to see how Mail De Bierve goes.

THE CORAL CUP – 4.00 Cheltenham

An absolute minefield for punters and we are likely to see 7 or 8/1 the field. There are plenty of concessions available though and most firms are going 5 places so there is lots of scope for some value.

We’ll start at the obvious point of PENDRA who has been at the top of the betting for this since his very good second to Melodic Rendezvous at Sandown last time. Unfortunately the winner didn’t take his place in the Supreme yesterday so we don’t know the strength of the form. The other line through Puffin Billy now looks just fair and you can pick holes in his Plumpton win. ABBEY LANE has been very well backed on the back of the Mullins/Walsh three timer yesterday and will come here with an obvious chance after a convincing win in the Boylesports Hurdle last time. He is up a stone for that win in a better race which means I would be inclined to look elsewhere.

Not being overly convinced by the front of the market means that there must be some value elsewhere (we hope). Cash and Go has been disappointing for me and he needs to improve markedly to be considered. Master Of The Sea is up another 12lbs (52 in total) on his quest for a five timer. This could be a step too far and I would be worried about the yard so that means we have ruled out the top four in the market, which could be very shrewd or very stupid.

As always I will be throwing several arrows at this race in the hope of picking up a tidy profit. The first of those darts is the Irish raider UN BEAU MATIN who is a general 16/1 chance. He is a lightly raced five-year old that ran a cracker in a grade 2 last time that suggests to me that he might be on a feasible mark. Conditions should suit and he will form the first part of my profile. Second dart at the treble twenty is ERICHT who seems to be a new horse all of a sudden. His win off 122 last time was impressive and was greeted with a 12lb handshake from Sir Handicapper. Gary Derwin’s excellent 10lb claim largely offsets that rise in the weights and he must be of major interest in here and is a whopping 16/1. The more I look at this race the more I fancy him. He does have his quirks and may well throw in a stinker, but he looked like a horse at Kempton that had turned a corner and he is much too big a price.

I’m not sure who the man with the mic is tomorrow but I’m sure they have prepared a line for BONDAGE. He will need to have improved since he was last seen to be winning off 145 but the break of three months may well have been just what he needed. I think Carberry will be a good partner too and also at 16/1 he has to be part of the portfolio.

The last one I am going to add is BLACK THUNDER who is definitely capable of winning off this mark and I think the undulations of Prestbury Park are perfect for him. He’s a strong stayer as we saw at Haydock when Ruby was livid with himself for letting the leaders get away. He was messed about last time at Kempton and Harry Derham was not overly hard on him. Daryl Jacob takes over and the 35/1 available on Betfair is as Dizzee Rascal would say……B B B B B  B BONKERS.

A four pronged attack.

ERICHT @ 16/1, UN BEAU MATIN @ 16/1, Bondage @ 16/1, Black Thunder 1 pt e/w @ 33/1!

FRED WINTER JUVENILE HANDICAP HURDLE – 4.40 Cheltenham

This looks an absolute punting minefield unless you have a strong view on a particular runner. There are many unexposed runners in this race. The two that I liked the look of the most were COUNSEL and MEGALYPOS with slight preference for the latter who looks completely unexposed having only had one start in this country on terrible ground at Chepstow. He could be very interesting indeed and would be my overall selection.

WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER – 5.15

It is very rare that I come into this race with a strong opinion but I have to say I was just about the most taken I have ever been with a bumper horse when I watched in amazement how easily REGAL ENCORE won at Chepstow back in October. He looks like a bit of a machine and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th from that race all have so fair form in the book since that race. He’s about a 9/1 chance tonight and will be my only bet in the race.

Another cracking day in prospect and hopefully loads of winners along the way!

Enjoy and be lucky!

MG

Proform

Thursday 24th January

pro5

A very wintry good morning! It has been a few days since the last post and that has been largely the responsibility of the crazy british weather since the weekend! I’ve had some crazy experiences in the car the last few days. Localised snow in my village has caused carnage and I had to give up my shift on Timeform Radio on Tuesday. I’ve arrived up at Coral TV towers and the weather is not really any better up here. Hotel car park is completely covered in snow still but we firmly have our fingers crossed that we are getting warmer and Cheltenham can go ahead at the weekend!

News has come out this morning that Ladbrokes have acquired Betdaq in a deal worth around £25 million. It is an interesting move and I will be keen to see if they try to integrate it in any way but the reality is that Betfair are still a clear industry leader.

Last night’s football was not exactly thrilling for me but exactly what I expected. The only thing that shocked me is that we scored first. I have a lot of respect for Big Sam. He’s done a job for the club and everyone knows what he is about but why would you go to a game like Arsenal, a London derby and rest your three best players when you have a week off after today? Jarvis, Cole (Joe not beanpole) and Diame all left out. Baffling. We got exactly what we deserved for pathetic defending. I have to send all my best to young Dan Potts. A serious prospect and a hammer through and through. Wish you a speedy recovery mate. Oh yeah there was another game wasn’t there. What on earth was the whole ball boy saga about. First Hazard is an idiot for what he did, secondly the ball boy/man (apparently he is 17) is an idiot for going down like Jordan on a first date.

Fingers crossed as I mentioned that the weather is set to improve and we can get some serious racing back on the agenda! There are a couple of runners today from the hot list but they are both a little shorter in the market than I had hoped. The first of them is BAHRI SHEEN (4.00 Kemp) who was a winner last time out off a dropping mark of 53 in a race where he beat the well fancied Norwegian Reward and pulled five lengths clear of the remainder in the process. A 6lb rise is not that excessive on the back of that considering his back form and provided there is some pace to run at I think he could be a player and is available to back at 6.4 on Betfair.

PASTORAL JET (4.35 Kemp) looked a progressive animal to me last year and actually ran a bit better than the form suggests last time. A mark of 56 doesn’t look impossible to me and a continuation of his progression could see him take this a shade cheekily today under the very capable Thomas Brown. There are some really exposed animals in here and the only one that really concerns me is the top weight Hip Hip Hooray who is on a nice mark and has George Baker in the saddle. I think he is a really solid bet later on and will be playing at around 3/1.

Those of you that read regularly will know just how much I love Mick Appleby’s ART SCHOLAR and he makes his second start over at Meydan today in the opening 11f handicap. His run last time was full of promise as he got checked in the run a couple of times. He is currently favourite and I’m not sure he deserves to be so short but I expect a few sentimental quid will be thrown at him. The yard could do with a winner and I hope it’s him! Come on the Scholar!!

The feature race on the card over at Gowran Park is the GOFFS THEYESTES HANDICAP CHASE (3.25). It really is a bit of a punting minefield as there are several plotted up runners as well as some smart ones. I’ve given the race the once over and the pencil has landed on a couple at relatively big prices and I will split stakes on them each way in the hope of a decent return. The two are MURCHU and IN GREAT FORM. The former actually looks fairly treated and will love the light weight and the latter looks to me like he has been being tee’d up for a tilt at a little punt. They are long shots in a wide open contest on bad ground and the 20’s and 21’s available on Betfair will do me fine!

Fingers crossed that we are going to get the go ahead at Cheltenham at the weekend, it looks a belting card! I have been doing my usual late scramble to get accommodation sorted for the festival……..anyone know of anywhere cheap ish hook me up!!

Enjoy a good day! Be lucky! Let’s have some winners!

MG

Saturday 19th January

pro5

19 days into my 151 day marathon and I’m hurting! Things are starting to take shape at the gym and I feel myself getting into a rhythm but its bloody hard work. 10lbs in the first two weeks though has been a cracking result and is a big incentive to really kick on. Already been to the gym for three hours this morning, I nearly nodded off in the jacuzzi after!

One or two things to pick up on from the week. Firstly the FA have decided to punish Sam Allerdyce for his comments about Phil Dowd after the FA CUP replay at Manchester United in the week. Well I hate to think what my punishment from the FA would have been if they had heard my comments. His performance was nothing short of staggering. Now you may think that I am talking through tinted glasses; well of course I am. I bleed claret and blue, but even the united fans I know agreed. He is weak and scared of Fergie. Rant over. It actually was a real shame as United were there for the taking and we just didn’t take advantage. Players panicked in the final third and not taking advantage of some excellent break aways. Carlton Cole had one of those days where he decided to basically not get out of bed. I understand that the guy has no real interest in football and doesn’t really have a desire to play but it was an FA CUP tie against the biggest club in the world under lights……….I would have given my left knee to start!

Another thing to pick up on was a debate the my old pal Paul Jacobs started on Timeform Radio about the current state of the stewarding on British racing and that he believes we should be using full-time stewards. I have to say I totally agree as there is so much brushed under the carpet under the current regime.

Obviously the weather has played havoc with the racing again this weekend with only Kempton surviving this afternoon. It is very average fare aswell with most of the races being class 6 handicaps. On the whole card I have managed to muster up one bet and that is TOGA TIGER (2.20). Jeremy Gask’s gelding has done nothing but improve over the last 12 months and he did very well to win last time back from a break. He has only been raised 2lbs in the weights which is largely offset by the jockeys claim and I think he is worth backing to continue the progress. Light From Mars is a big danger and has to be respected and I may stick a money back saver on him.

Lots of  stuff coming up over the next couple of days. I will be taking a good look at the Conference Championship games in the NFL tomorrow. I will also start to preview the Cheltenham Festival festival race by race. Everyday my eye seems to be drawn to the festival markets trying to see if there is any obvious value anywhere! I will do my best to eek out the best before posting.

Enjoy today. Wish I was with the other members of the family who have all gone to Upton Park to see the hammers get three points.

I’m on the late show on Coral TV.  Be lucky!

MG