Who wants to be a millionaire?

Proform

Morning peeps. Very best of luck to you if you are having a go at the massive Scoop 6 today. At first glance I thought it wouldn’t be won. Then I thought about putting a syndicate together to have a real crack, then I thought it wouldn’t be won again. My first effort at a perm came to over ¬£2,500 so I banged my head against the desk, trimmed it right down and put up a small play. If I’ve narrowed down all six winners, this may be the last time you read this blog!

I must give a huge shout to all the team at Sussex County Cricket Club. An enthralling finish to the first of the Natwest T20 blast games against Surrey last night saw the Sharks get 17 off the last over including 8 off the last two balls to secure victory. The place went mad and the shark tank was overflowing!

Such a busy day’s racing today, let’s look at some of the Proform stats for today.

These are trainer’s win& place strike rates with more than 10 runners over the past 14 days:

P J Prendergast 69.23% (13 runners)

Robert Cowell 64.71% (17 runners)

Amanda Perrett 57.14% (14 runners)

Warren Greatrex 54.55% (11 runners)

Dan Skelton 54.55% (11 runners)

David Pipe 54.17% (24 runners)

John Gosden 53.85% (39 runners)

Best winning strike rates go to David Pipe 37.5% and Warren Greatrex 36.36%

Such a difficult day today. Every race of the scoop 6 looks difficult. We do have one or two runners from the interesting list.

You are all well aware of me feelings about STOMP (3.30 Newmarket) who won really well for us just over a week ago on an epic afternoon. He is incredibly progressive and beat another very well handicapped rival last time so the 8lb rise is not too harsh and Joey Haynes claims 5lbs of that back. He can emulate his half-sister Mince on route to pattern company here.

STOMP 3 pts win @ 3/1

You would have seen me tweeting after AEOLUS (2.55 Newmarket) got beat last time in the Free Handicap after meeting trouble in running. His form at the back end of last year took a huge boost when Night Of Thunder won the Guineas and he looks a class act to me. If he’s come on for the run last time I would hope that he might be too good for these today.

AEOLUS 3 pts win @ 4/1

I am really looking forward to seeing TOKEN OF LOVE (5.00 Newbury) again this afternoon. She is a beautifully bred daughter of Cape Cross who was pretty green on debut but still managed to win with plenty in hand. She starts life in handicap company today off an opening mark of 77. She has a group 1 entry in the Coronation so she is clearly thought a lot off which means her opening mark today looks very attractive indeed. The 5/2 about her this morning looks very tempting!

TOKEN OF LOVE 4 pts win @ 5/2.

I have a couple to throw out the back of the hand at big prices for you today too. First up is GO GO GREEN (3.25 Thirsk) who I have had to put into my scoop 6 perm despite being 2lbs out of the handicap. He has won off much higher marks in the past so that is no worry and he has shaped like his turn is coming the last twice. He might be better at six furlongs these days but the nature of this race means they are going to go a frantic pace which should suit off bottom weight. Just a small dart at a big one.

GO GO GREEN 1 pts each way @ 25/1 with William Hill

The other big priced arrow to throw later on is PIXIE CUT (5.25 Doncaster). You should all remember my thoughts on her as she ran in the Sirvino race at Hamilton. I am sure she is well handicapped at the moment off 70. This is a weaker race than that and I would actually fancy her quite strong but for the fact that she is really badly drawn in 19. Hopefully the excellent Rob Fitz who is claiming 5lbs can just get her into an ok slot and she might well run a big race at 12/1.

PIXIE CUT 1 pt each way @ 12/1

Given the nature of the prices today I have played a couple of small multiples too.

STOMP, AEOLUS and TOKEN OF LOVE in a treble & trixie.

GO GO GREEN & PIXIE CUT each way double.

Enjoy the action today, really is something for everyone withe the FA CUP final clashing with the La Liga final games! Good luck to Chris and Martin at Wembley!

All the best,

MG

Proform

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Friday blog…T20 is here!

Proform

Apologies. Today’s blog will be very brief indeed as I have a ridiculously busy day. Working Coral TV in the morning before dashing down south to host the opening T20 of the season at Hove as Sussex take on Surrey in front of a sell out!

I can’t even believe to tell you how frustrating Thursday’s maximum bet was. We were miles ahead of the market. Backed form all rates of 7/2 into 11/8 only for the truck to get stuck in traffic and didn’t make it to the track. Our cover has been blown for next time. Bugger.

Tabreek was really well backed and won well. The step up in trip did the trick. Still not sure how Fort Bastian didn’t win…….

On to Friday’s action then and not an awful lot to report in terms of eye catchers.

The 3.50 at York is a race to savor with a host of progressive sprinters. Plenty of winners will come out of this race. I like 6 or 7 of them quite a lot so this will be a race for the video boys.

First bet of the day comes over at Newmarket (4.00) when I will be playing two against the field. First up is BIG BAZ who created a really nice impression when sprinting clear on debut at Lingfield back in December. He hasn’t been as impressive since but did shape really nicely in a very competitive class 2 handicap last time. He got messed about and trapped on heels as they quickened and his jockey quickly saved him for another day. I think he is potentially well handicapped off 84 and should be backed accordingly. I will be having a money back saver in the race on GONE DUTCH who shaped like a middle distance horse to follow this season on his re-appearance.

BIG BAZ – 2 pts win @ 8/1, GONE DUTCH 1 pt win @ 3/1

The second bet of the day is SELLINGALLTHETIME (5.00 York) for Mick Appleby and Andrew Mullen who have already been in winning form this week on the Knavesmire. I am convinced that the son of Tamayuz is well handicapped off a mark of 66 and squeezes in here off just 8 stone 7. The track at Beverley last time would not have suited as he tried to come from off the pace and was forced to switch late on. Conditions here should suit and he could end up being some value as there are a lot of potential improvers in here. He is as big as 20/1 in places and should be backed each way.

SELLINGALLTHETIME 1 pt each way @ 20/1

Enjoy the action and the weather! If you’re at the game tonight, come and say hello!

All the best

MG

Proform

Hennessy Gold Cup Chase – Preview Saturday 1st December

Welcome to my preview for this weeks feature  event in the winter festival at Newbury, the Hennessy.

As things stand the track is currently described as soft and is raceable. The forecast for later in the week is slightly better so fingers crossed that the early season showpiece can go ahead. The five-day decs came out today and there are 22 runners currently confirmed with Tidal Bay topping the weights at 11-12. In the past 25 years top weight has been carried to victory on three occasions, twice by Denman and once by Trabolgan in 2005 suggesting that Tidal Bay will have it all to do. Without doubt though it has to be said that Paul Nicholls seems to have found the key to the enigmatic son of Flemensfirth and he has to be taken seriously. He has form on soft ground including when sluicing to victory in last season’s BET365 Gold Cup at Sandown. That victory came off a mark of 154 and this Saturday he will need to cope with a 12lb rise. You could however have called him the winner a long way out that day. His return over hurdles at Wetherby showed that he is still in good health and Ruby has been booked for the ride. One thing that we can be certain of is that despite his weight, he will be staying on when other are crying for the oxygen tank. I do think he is a major player but winning this off a mark of 166 will be tough with so many whipper snappers on tempting marks.

The major stat against Tidal Bay will be his age. The last 11 year old to win the Hennessy was Rondetto back in 1967, in fact the only other horse in that time period with a double figure age to win was Fulke Walwyn’s Diamond Edge back in 1981 who was 10 at the time. Since that victory the winners ages are as follows:

6 year olds: 5 wins

7 year olds: 11 wins

8 year olds: 7 wins

9 year olds: 7 wins

In more recent times 6 & 7 years olds have had a very good record. Roberto Goldback, Planet of Sound and Lion Na Bearnai are all ten years of age and have the stats against them too.

More recently last years winner will re-appear in the form of Carruthers. He has always been well-regarded and he is a horse I was always sure had a big handicap in him at some stage. He won last year off 146 and this year gets in off just one pound higher. It certainly brings him into the equation especially if Mattie Batch can get him into a jumping rhythm out front. I do just wonder if last year was his day in the sun though. He hasn’t convinced on any of his other starts since that day and although I might throw a few sentimental quid at him I think he will struggle to repeat.

My strong feeling for this year’s renewal is that you want an improving horse that will carry less than 11 stone. The clear ante-post favourite for the race is Nicky Henderson’s Bob’s Worth but I think he is massively under priced and therefore there must be value elsewhere. He won in my opinion a well below par RSA chase at the festival last year. Grand Crus scoped badly after the race. Call The Police who was third was beaten out of sight on his next three starts. First Lieutenant was also well beaten on his final two starts last year before a fair 2nd behind Kauto Stone in the JNWine Chase on his re-appearance. He had been well and truly put in his place prior to Cheltenham by both Invictus at Ascot and Grand Crus in the Feltham at Christmas. Prior to the Paddy Power last weekend the handicapper gave Grand Crus a rating of 157, here bobs worth has got to try to win a very competitive handicap on his re-appearance off 160 (11st6lbs). I for one will be more than happy to take him on.

There has been an awful lot of ranting and raving about The Package being laid out for the race. Personally I just can’t see it. I read a tweet the other day saying he is well handicapped? What was this based on? His highest ever winning mark was last time in the Badger Ales off 139. His only other win over fences came back at Cheltenham in December 2009 off 132. Up 8 pounds for his win at Wincanton in a race where the front two were 41 lengths clear of the rest, there is not enough substance there for me, and this will require by far and away a career best. He generally is a horse that is at his best fresh too. I think there is plenty there to suggest he can be left out.

So where does that leave us? Well for starters I am looking for an improving horse that will carry less than 11 stone. This provides me with the following short list:

Hold On Julio

Duke of Lucca

Harry The Viking

I’ll start with Harry The Viking as he is the least likely basically down to the fact that he is being prepared for a tilt at the Grand National. Paul Nicholls likes to use the big season chases as a prep for the big day in the spring. He does carry some positives though. Firstly he has been lumping big weights around in competitive handicaps so he will feel like he is running free around here off 10-2. He is a certain stayer. Daryl Jacob has been booked for the ride, Daryl has ridden him three times and won on all three occasions. He is just seven and fits the profile of a Hennessy Winner. He may well run a good race without winning but at 25/1 and bigger available you could get a very good run for your money.

Duke of Lucca is particularly interesting as he really fits the profile of a Hennessy winner. An improving seven-year old for the Philip Hobbs team that had a very satisfactory return to action at Ascot when finishing 2nd to Roberto Goldback back on the 3rd November. He had made up good ground that day and was going well when clouting the third last that brought his winning chance to an end. He should have come on a bundle for that re-appearance run and he gets a very healthy 12lb pull in the weights with the winner. Over the last two years he has form lines with the likes of Big Buck’s, Oscar Whiskey, Cristal Bonus and Sir Des Champs that suggest a mark of 144 and 10 stone 4lb could underestimate his ability. Very interesting at a general 20/1.

Hold On Julio is a horse I really like. He progressed quickly last year with wins at Sandown off 117 and 133 before finishing down the field at Cheltenham in the race won by Alfie Sherrin (future Welsh and Grand National winner). His re-appearance this season was a very satisfactory third behind the rapidly improving Balthazar King was a great effort and will have blown away all the cobwebs. He is so lightly raced (7 starts under rules) that there is any amount of improvement left in him this season and a mark of 148 may still under value him. The yard (Alan King) are going much better this year than they have been at any point for the last two seasons and I think he is a huge player and would be my overall selection for the race.

It should be another fascinating renewal. Shouldn’t go without giving 2010 winner Diamond Harry a mention. He just doesn’t look the horse of old to me and I can see him struggling, if of course he does make it to the race. FRISCO DEPOT is a horse that I happen to think is well handicapped and is a general 8/1 shot. The problem is he is probably 8/1 just to get round as he tends to clout at least a couple and for that reason in such a competitive race I would be happy to let him go, but if he jumps round he could be a blot.

HOLD ON JULIO 3 PTS WIN @ 8/1

DUKE OF LUCCA 1 PT WIN @ 20/1

HARRY THE VIKING 1 PT WIN @ 25/1

Have a great week and let’s hope the weather improves!

All the best

MG