Friday’s selection at a big price

Proform

Just a couple to note today. The first of which I’m quite keen on a big price. I like the chances of Divine Call (5.45 Wolverhampton) who has been running ok in similar races without troubling the judge. Again last time out here he was only beaten 2 lengths in the end despite being last turning for home. Under both of his last two rides I scribbled “would be very interesting under Baker” and hey presto! George is riding today. He will be patient, he will probably need some luck and will certainly need a pace to run at but with Spowarticus in the field, coupled with several young riders, I think they might go a real good clip. If they do and George can time things right then he is surely overpriced off a mark that is 6lbs lower than his last winning one. There are obvious dangers but Risk N Reward has been winning at Southwell and needs a career best on a track he hasn’t sparkled at so happy to take him on. I thought ITALIAN TOM might be the main danger. He has dropped to a very dangerous mark and is probably worth monitoring. All in all Divine Call looks a real interesting each way bet at a swanky price.

DIVINE CALL – 2pts each way @ 12/1 with Bet365 & WilliamHill

The second horse I will back today is LAST SHADOW (2.30 Kempton). Won off 105 on reappearance at Uttoxeter back in November before an average effort off today’s mark on New Years Day. That was right in the middle of Jonjo’s cold snap and with the yard absolutely thriving over the last few days it is not hard to see him continue that potential promise of improvement today.

LAST SHADOW – 2 pts win @ 7/2 generally.

Of the remainder well it will be great to see WEST WIZARD back on course this afternoon. He has hinted on both occasions that he has been beat that a step up in trip might be the making of him. He is 33/1 for the Neptune this morning, that might look a very big price come 2.10 this afternoon. I hope he wins really well. Elsewhere I thought THE FRIARY was very interesting up in trip at Bangor (3.15). Whilst at Wolverhampton tonight I liked the look of TOP COP in the opener (5.15) as there is plenty of pace on there and he might just sit and pounce down in grade. Steve Rogers should win again up in trip and Cookie Ring ran better than the form suggests last time. Stepping up to seven should suit him and he is the least exposed in that race.

All in all good to have a full day’s racing back. Let’s hope George can pull all the string s later on!

Be lucky!

MG

Proform

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Thursdays racing

Proform

Morning peeps.  One of those days today where several horses that I have been waiting for are all going and we seemed to have been found some opportunities.

We will start proceedings with TELEGRAPH (2.55 Wolverhampton) who would surely have won last time out with better luck in running. He is currently down to his last winning mark of 57 (equal lowest) and should really have picked up the prize last time out when being trapped on the inside rail and having to be pulled back by John Egan on at least two occasions. As they turned for home both he and the well backed winner went for the same gap, the winner got it and again Egan had to switch, once he regained momentum it was too late and he went down by half a length. This today is a weaker race and whilst I respect one or two who are down to basement marks, I would be disappointed if Telegraph were not good enough.

TELEGRAPH 2 pts win @ 2/1 with SKYBET (Best odds guaranteed).

I really like the chances of CABAL (4.05 Wolverhampton) to follow up his victory from last week. He won well last week when pulling clear with another notebook horse that is also well handicapped after tanking through the race. This if anything looks weaker than that contest and with only a 4lb rise to contend with it is hard to see him not winning again. There is money this morning for the top two which is good news. They are regularly backed but rarely perform and it has pushed our price right out.

CABAL –  4 pts win @ 3/1 with SportingBet. (BOG).

Another with outstanding claims today is CELESTINE ABBEY (4.35) who with slightly more luck would have gone close to winning last time with a better run. Held up last the race developed around her and she never had a chance to land a blow. That was a 0-65 and she has dropped down to 0-55 company this afternoon with the handicapper also generously dropping her another 3lbs. This puts her just a pound above her last winning mark and she should be up to taking this weak affair.

CELESTINE ABBEY 3 pts win @11/4 with Boylesports/Betway.

I feel inclined to throw a point at LITTLE CHOOSEY (6.40 Chelmsford) who we backed last time. She didn’t have the best of runs, constantly wide and giving away ground. The winner that day was ridden by Ali Rawlinson and it’s interesting he takes this ride today as he is perfect for her. If he can sit as quietly as possible on her till as late as possible then I think she’s likely to go close in a race where several of these have something to find.

LITTLE CHOOSEY 1 pt win @ 11/2 generally (BOG).

The 7.10 at Chelmsford is an interesting contest and case can be made for several of the runners. There is so much pace in here however that I felt it might be worth chancing a point on LONG AWAITED. He ran well in some better races last term and might just find several of these falling into his lap late on if he is ready to go after a break.

LONG AWAITED 1 pt win @ 7/2 generally.

I will also place Telegraph, Cabal and Celestine Abbey in a 1 pt treble. Which pays 39/1 via oddschecker.

Be Lucky

MG

Proform

Wednesdays action!

Proform

Apologies don’t have much time this morning but will quickly blast through today’s selections.

WALK LIKE A GIANT – 2.30 Chelmsford – 1 pt win @ 9/2 generally.

THIRD STRIKE/DUKE OF DUNTON 2.35 Kempton – 1 pt win each @ 10/1 @ 9/2.

WENTWORTH FALLS 3.40 Chelmsford – 3 pts win @ 15/8

RIZAL PARK 4.45 Kempton – 2 pts win @ 9/2

Be lucky

MG

Proform

Tuesday blog!

Proform

More crossbar hitting action again yesterday. Sea Tiger travelled well through the race but got locked in a pocket against the rail as they came down the hill and quickened things up. He barged through to finish fourth without having a hard race and will be of obvious interest over the coming weeks off a basement mark, it was very encouraging how much money came for him.

I’m still not quite sure how Rat Catcher didn’t win. I suspect now that he actually got to the front too soon and is going to be a horse you have to produce on the line. He traded at 1.18 in running. Still he was always going to be an each way certainty in that line up so no damage done and we go again.

We have lost the two jump meetings today so the action revolves around Southwell and Kempton. I’m on Coral TV duties today so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

I’m sure I’m not the only person that added BENNELONG to the horse watcher after his run at Lingfield four days ago. He was held up off a steady pace by his inexperienced rider and never got into the race despite never coming off the bridle. He has dropped to his last winning mark of 59 and has generally saved his best performances for Kempton so in a weak looking race he must come here with outstanding claims. He is a strong traveller that is versatile in his run style but I would exect Amir to have him close to the pace in here.

BENNELONG 3.15 Kempton Park- 2.5 pts win @ 7/2 generally (best odds guaranteed)

I’m sure we have a great opportunity to back ARTIST CRY (4.40 Southwell) this afternoon to get off the mark for Richard Fahey. Progressed with each of three runs in maidens and was actually unlucky not to go close last time after some trouble in running and being well backed. Have the feeling a mark of 60 probably underestimates him and I would be disappointed if he was not good enough to win this.

ARTIST CRY – 4.40 SOUTHWELL – 4pts win @ 9/4 (William Hill – Best odds guaranteed)

Be lucky today

MG

Proform

Big Saturday blog

Proform

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

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

FESTIVE AFFAIR 3 pts win @ 5/1.

2.05 Ffos LasBetway Welsh Champion Hurdle (A Limited Handicap)

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

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

SILSOL – 1 pt win @ 10/1 generally

AWAYWITHTHEGREYS 1 pt win @ 16/1 generally

2.40 Ffos Las – Betway West Wales National

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

GLOBAL POWER – 2.5pts win @ 11/2.

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

WEST LEAKE 2pts each way @ 6/1.

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

KASHTAREE 1.00 Weth

SAMPLE 1.10 Ling

BRISTOL DE MAI 1.15 Sandown

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

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

Enjoy a cracking day and be lucky!

MG

Proform

Friday Blog!

Proform

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SYNAESSTHESIA – 4 pts win @ 4/1 generally.

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

Have an awesome Friday and be lucky!

All the best

MG

Proform

Monday’s blog action…

Proform

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

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

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

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

Colombia 1 pt win @ 4/1 generally

All the best

MG

Proform

The 2015 Challenge & Saturday blog!

Proform

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KODIAC LADY 1 pt each way @ 8/1.

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

Enjoy,

All the best

MG

Proform

Racing Post Arkle Ante-post preview

Proform

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

This is roughly how the market looks as things stand:

Un De Sceaux 9/4

Vautour 8/1

Clarcam 8/1

Josses Hill 11/1

Gilgamboa 12/1

Vibrato Valtat 20/1

Ptit Zig 20/1

Sgt Reckless 25/1

Three Kingdoms 25/1

33/1 Bar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 PT EACH WAY ON SGT RECKLESS at 25/1

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

All the best

Mark

Proform

Wednesday Blog: Crossbar is in pieces…..

Proform

Morning campers. Well yesterday left me feeling like ten rounds with Mr Tyson. Dream Child drifted like a barge on Betfair and was around 8/1 at the off then duly won on the bridle like the well handicapped horse I expected. Anton Chigurgh got smashed all the way down to 11/8 but again there was absolutely no pace on which has cost him as Danny Brock used up loads of petrol to get to the front. Game over. Then Logan’s Lad after being smashed to pieces in the betting again ran a blinder, but was trapped six wide the whole way round and actually went via Milton Keynes to try to win. That effort can firmly be marked up and he is very capable off his new mark. You have to love the game when getting so much right, yet you’re still wrong!

On to today’s action and we have just one runner from the eye-catchers today. A horse that won really well for me last time at Sandown in the form of ONLY TEN PER CENT (5.20 Nottingham). He has taken full advantage of his lower turf mark in recent weeks with two wins from the last three starts. It was the Sandown victory last time that was most pleasing as he actually did it like a horse that is potentially capable of better still. One thing I love in sprinters in form and although he is up 5lbs, this race is no stronger that the Sandown one so I feel he has another good shout today. The early market has spoken in the favour of several others which means he is available to back at 11/1 in most places. Great chance.

1 pt each way at 11/1 generally.

PHILBA – 3.10 Nottingham. Mick Appleby’s son of Cockney Rebel could not have been anymore eye-catching if he tried last time at Sandown. He will relish this step up in trip on handicap debut and in a moderate race I expect him to win well!

4 pts win @ 7/4 generally

BASEM – 3.55 Salisbury. Brother to Farhh that still looks very well treated off 95 now stepping up in trip. He has been well backed but I expect him to win so I will have a few shillings on but the main choice is to double him up with PHILBA.

PHILBA/BASEM 3 pts win double that should pay around 6/1.

Enjoy the day today. All work and no play for me!

MG

Proform