Fakenham losing the plot?

Yesterday was one of those days that makes you sick. My first fancy of the day got backed into 9/4 after taking 7/1…..you feel like you’ve already backed a winner at this point. He then travelled strongly, traded at 1.4 in the run and got beat by a Barney Curley gamble that didn’t even come off the bridle. The second horse I backed was a triumph to watch, just a little right-handed but was always in command and ping the last 15 lengths clear………. well we all know what happened next! Brendan Powell Jnr had a brain blackout and he thought he would like to continue jumping rather than taking in the winning post first. I really don’t understand what good this does for racing? It’s like the Captain Sunshine saga all over again. The only people this benefits are the bookmakers. Something needs to be put in place to aid punters in this situation. £39 matched at 1000/1 on the winner. Two horses traded on the race at 1.01. I have to say that in my opinion Fakenham are surely responsible. How difficult is it to run a tape across the track after they go past the final time. I remember Ruby doing it at Stratford a couple of years ago. It is not rocket science. Still the bookmakers get to keep all the money placed on the heavily backed favourite so all is good.

Fishforcompliments ran well but couldn’t quite get there and was beaten two necks. The each way money didn’t really make me feel any better.

Today’s meeting at Warwick has gone to the elements which is a shame. My main fancies for the day though all come on the all-weather!


Bahri Sheen looks ready to win and is no racing 20lb lower than his original mark of 72. I get the feeling he is a bit of a quirky character but he has a good assistant in the hands of Luke Morris today and the step up in trip around here looks certain to suit provided they don’t go slow early on he should be a big player. Shore Performer has to go into today’s bets too. He made his handicap debut last time off a mark of 57 in a very interesting race that was won by THE TATTING with TARO TYWOD back in third. He got absolutely mullered on the bend as they turned for home and literally had no chance. This seems to have been largely un-noticed by the handicapper as he has dropped him another 3lbs. He is on a very dangerous mark and there would be no surprise to see him go very close today and the 14/1 this morning was extra tasty!


Finally starting to get his act together and would surely have won last time but for getting a clearer run. He remains of huge interest here today off this mark. He has visited Kempton twice and run poorly both times but you can forgive that and it is factored into his price.

On Coral Tv today so better dash, already missed the Costa run. CTV peeps always have extra cheer on a payday!

Be lucky!



Monday Monday……….

A new day, a new week, hopefully plenty more winners!

Good day at Cheltenham yesterday that was almost very good. Close House ran well and looks better than 133 but he just bumped into one on the day.  Coneygree won really nicely and looks a horse with considerable potential. Really pleased for Matt, he deserves another good un.

A lovely winning treble on the NFL last night too as the Redksins, Packers and the Broncos all did the business. The Patriots and the Colts did indeed turn into a scoring fest so hope you did the overs. The bad news coming out of that game is that Rob Gronkowski is having surgery today and will be out for a month. That whatever way you look at it is a massive loss.

It’s the usual Monday fare on the racing front today. I thought the only interesting horse at Leicester was Ciceron in the 2.10 but you can’t back him with any confidence as his seem to leave with Santa last year….. he would beat these comfortably on his hurdles form and with the yard going so well he could be of interest. He will need to bounce back though. I thought Lord Singer (2.20) was mildly interesting at Plumpton. He might be overpriced but I haven’t convinced myself to back him.

My bet of the day by some way though comes over at Wolverhampton in the form of JUNGLE BAY (4.00). Jane Chapple-Hyam’s gelding has been running with real credit of late in some tough races. Today he gets a drop in class, gets in off bottom weight and is actually on a really nice mark. Ian Burns is going to take off a very handy 7lbs and the draw is spot on. He has had one run at Wolverhampton over this course and distance which resulted in a win. Everything is pointing towards a big run and he is massively overpriced at 10/1 this morning and I have arranged for the turkey, stuffing and mince-pie money to be collected each way.

I can’t really leave today without a little mention for everyone bawling on about the X-Factor. The whole thing is a tv farce. Saturday Tullisa was getting on her high horse about how much of a joke it was etc. I should remind her that two Saturdays ago she had the opportunity to send Rylan home and she kept him in. You play the game it bites your arse. I really wish they would stop referring to it as “a singing competition”. It is no such thing, otherwise half the final 12 wouldn’t even make it to live shows. It is a popularity contest. The majority demographic of people actually voting are probably 85% female and 85% 12-18 year olds. Hence why the young shit males acts always do well. Look at the illustrious list of names that have finished in the top 2 that are now world-wide chart toppers……

Ray Quinn…….Leon Jackson………Joe McElderry……..Matt Cardle……..Marcus Collins….

Yes thats right, it’s a popularity contest. James Arthur is by far the most talented person by a country mile yet he was in the bottom two. Speechless. His saving performance of Falling was incredible so at least one good thing has come out of the show. I actually hope Rylan now goes on to win it so the whole thing becomes a complete farce and ITV give up. The whole judging panel needs changing. Just watch one episode of the USA version and you will see the gulf in difference. Mr Cowell knows it is a dying flower this side of the pond and has quite rightly jumped ship. At least Derm still gives it a little credibility.

I would like to finish todays note by saying….”Come on you irons”!! 3 pts tonight against Stoke will push us up to 5th in the table……….there are no sign of any bubbles bursting here!!!!

Be lucky



NFL Sunday!!!!

A Sunday off with quality racing and a full NFL program! Lovely jubbly! Shame the parents are away or else I could have slipped in a home cooked roast too!

A brief touch on yesterday. I happen to think that Far West’s performance was very impressive and that quotes of 12/1 for the festival are a bit big. I was absolutely delighted with Our Father! He has always been seen as a chaser and he jumped superbly and won incredibly impressively. I’ve had a bit on at 60’s for the RSA and was pleased to see that he is now 8/1 on the back of yesterdays performance. I was cross with myself for not backing Al Ferof…..even my dad took the time to text me from Australia just to let me know he was on the grey beast!

Wolverhampton was interesting. Backed Charming at massive prices on Betfair. Then watched in delight as his price went from 33/1 into 8/1 just before the off……then watched in horror as he ran a shocker. Gotta love the game.

Today is a not of an anti climax racing wise as we have lots the two main attractions in the form of Sprinter Sacre and Darlan due to the ground. I have backed CLOSE HOUSE (1.45 CHELT) his juvenile form is fairly solid as he finished last season with a solid 4th behind Simonsig at the festival. Plenty of much higher rated horses in behind that day suggest his opening mark of 133 might be lenient.

Also backed CONEYGREE (3.25 CHELT) each way. Looked a decent recruit at Uttoxeter and if he was from a more fashionable yard he would be even money for this. Mattie really likes him.


Three really interesting games in their own rights tonight on tv! We kick off with Green Bay at Detroit which is a game I am really looking forward too as I still feel that the packers are huge runners for the Superbowl (currently 9/1). They will be the first leg of my treble tonight as I think they will have too many guns for the Lions. Game two is Indy at New England as the proven class of Tom Brady comes up against the new kid on the block, Andrew Luck. Let’s not mess about, Brady is close to the best there has ever been, but Luck looks the real deal and with the Pat’s defence nowhere near the level of the offence I fancy this could be a high scoring game. The late game is also a belter as the Baltimore Ravens travel to Pittsburgh. This is a divisional rivalry and they absolutely hate each other. I have to say I was far from impressed with the Steelers last week and I think that the ravens will pound it towards the right side of the Steelers offensive line. Look for Ray Rice to have a massive game.

My treble this week is GREEN BAY, WASHINGTON AND DENVER.

Have a wicked day,


Friday 16th November – The Cheltenham Open Meeting

Firstly I’ll touch on yesterday. Isola Verde just had absolutely no chance, so needless to say Christmas has been put back until 25th December. Hayley made a series of split second judgements through the race that meant that she ended up about ten horses wide coming into the straight and the horse almost finished on the bridle. Fingers crossed it went largely un noticed and we will be able to get the turkey money next time.

Today the attention moves onto Cheltenham and the Open Meeting. A great three days racing that gets off to a flying start with the Steel Plate and Sections Novices Chase. We see the re-appearance of both Fingal Bay and Dynaste, two classy hurdlers in their own right. Fingal Bay has already had a pipe opener over fences when winning at Chepstow. He wasn’t flashy that day but after ballooning the first couple he largely jumped very well and has long been seen as a star chaser by the yard. Arguably Dynaste achieved a little more over hurdles and in receipt of 5lbs today actually might just have the edge. It will be a great start to the meeting and I just ever so slightly favour the David Pipe beast.

Some of the handicaps are devilishly difficult. In the 1.50 Free World, Consigliere and Oh Crick all look over priced to me and I’ll be happy to play them at 12/1, 20/1 and 22/1.

The 2.25 (Sharp Novices) is a cracking race with Paul Nicholl’s Dodging Bullets setting the standard so far. River Maigue looks particularly interesting though for Nicky Henderson. I have a feeling his bumper form from Ascot last year will work out really well and could be a big player getting weight today. It will be very interesting to see how Tominator gets on at this higher level over hurdles as he was top class on the level and the yard seemed to have turned the corner.

My best bets of the day come away from Cheltenham though……

Aldermoor – 2.10 Lingfield is the best bet of the day for me. He needs a strong pace to run at (should get it) and is on a winning mark after returning to from last time I expect him to run a big race!

Similar sentiments for ANJAZ 7.15 Wolverhampton. Based on the two wins at the backend of last year there are reasons to believe this mark is very workable. Looks to me like he has been crying out for a drop in trip and finally gets it tonight. this should suit.

You all know about the old boy TARO TYWOD. He goes again tonight (7.45) in a classified contest and comes out much the best at the weights. He should finally get his head in front. I’ve also stuck Archie Steven (12.00) and Layali Dubai (1.35 Ling) in a double.

The last horse of the day to mention is REACH FOR THE SKY (4.45 Wolv). A horse that went into the notebook a long long time ago that is well handicapped on his old achievements. He has been off the track for nearly two years and returns from stall 13 (far from ideal). Will be massive prices on Betfair but is basically just a watching brief this evening to see if the ability is still there……he could be one for the future xmas turkey money.
Enjoy the first day of the Open,

Be lucky!


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.

Sunday 4th November – Breeders Cup Hangover & NFL Sunday!

Must apologise for the lack of posting for the last couple of days. It’s been incredibly busy and I just haven’t had the time in amongst the travelling and working to get anything down. I had five days on the road which has taken its toll. I’m zombie like today.

An interesting few days. Every year I feel divided by the breeders cup. On one hand I think it’s a fantastic spectacle….but on the other I don’t feel it represents truly run top class horse racing. There have been so many hard luck stories over the two days and false results through brain-dead rides it makes it hard to fathom. It is just about the only two days of the year in America that horses run in a pack too which I’m sure adds to the volatility of the results. Mike Smith has got 18 breeders cup wins to his name, so what the hell was he doing on the favourite in the marathon? He is a closer or stretch runner as the americans like to call them, yet Mike gunned him to the lead about 7f out? The poor horse needed an oxygen tank up the home straight. Hughesy was desperately unlucky on Sky Lantern as was Buick on The Fugue. Pretty certain both would have won with a clearer passage.

I am seriously considering a trip next year to take in both the breeders cup and the Melbourne Cup. The problem is that with the time difference and the 15 hour flight between LA and Melbourne it would be very tight. You would need to be flying on the Saturday evening I think, as if you flew Sunday you wouldn’t arrive until Tuesday which is the day of the race.
Anyone that has done this trip, get in touch!


Really interesting NFL action tonight too and I think there is a real quality treble to be had on the live games today.

REDSKINS, GIANTS and FALCONS all to win pays approx 11/4.

Very jealous of my brother James and his girlfriend Hannah as they are on their american road trip and are off to the redskins game later. Lucky gits. Better be getting me a present!
Have a cracking Sunday

All the best


NFL Sunday @ Wembley Stadium! Pats vs Rams!

Morning campers.

Mixed emotions yesterday. Art Scholar ran another cracker to be second and the same with AvonValley. It seems that a lot of you have started putting my big priced selections into each way doubles which has been a right touch. 12’s and 14’s on the early prices. Lovely. Invincible Warrior managed to win nicely, I hope plenty of you managed to get the 5/1 early doors.
Anyway you look at it, it has been a very profitable month!

Off to Wembley today to see the big game! Can’t wait, shame about the weather, looks like I am going to freeze my rocks off!

It’s actually a tough game to call and I don’t think the Rams will get blown away and the points line is a bit high (Pats -7). Rams may well cover that but as I am going to be cheering on the Pats I think there is a decent bet to be had in the first TD scorer market.

Wes Welker & Rob Gronkowski split stakes at 6’s and 8’s!
Hope you all enjoy the day! There are no list horses running today, which is a good thing as it means they can’t finish second!


From Frankel to NFL Sunday!

What a spectacle yesterday was. 38,000 people packed into Ascot racecourse to see the last run from the horse of a lifetime and he didn’t disappoint. After missing the break and giving away five lengths at the start he sauntered through the race and then came alongside Cirrus Des Aigles on the bridle. Ground irrelevant, opposition irrelevant he just takes it in his stride and cruises to victory. I have been cursing myself for the error that meant I wasn’t there. It was great to see so many youngsters in the crowd and hopefully a new generation of racing fans was born at Ascot yesterday. How I wish they had chosen to go to Santa Anita for the Breeders Cup. Imagine the media frenzy and the British following over there.

Frankel the perfect 14 from 14, the best horse I have ever and will ever see. He is off to strut around the stud and do his thing…….happy retirement fella.

After Chelsea and West Ham did the hard work the shorty (Gooners) let the treble down. How on earth were Chelsea 9/5??? West Ham were gravy! Irons!

From a punting point of view we continue to bang our heads against the crossbar. Bold cross drifted out to 12/1 then ran a blinder to finish…..yes you guessed it…..2nd. The same fate fell upon Galaxy Rock (2nd) and Hold On Julio (3rd). They travelled like the two best horses in the race and both looked like winning turning for home. Levi Draper got punted off the boards though and made it a winning day.

You would think I should be in the Bahamas right now with the amount of big priced runners-up I’ve had in the last two weeks.

There is only one notebook runner going today and it requires a large leap of faith in the form of REPLICATOR (5.15 Bath). He hasn’t won for a while but just showed last time that all is not forgotten. He won off 71 a few years back but is now doing his racing off just 42 on the turf which means he is 4lbs out of the handicap today. He is far less exposed on the turf though with only 13 starts compared to 38 on the all-weather. He likes to race with the pace which is a plus around here and has stall 7 which is fine. It might be barmy and on Betfair he could be any price you like but he is generally 33/1 and is worth noting and following. I’ll be having a few quid on each way.

I’m off to splutter my way through the day on Timeform Radio as I’m full of cold and flu again.

I have two selections for you tonight on the NFL live games.

Game one ARIAN FOSTER to go OVER 99.5 yards with SKYBET

Game two TOM BRADY to go OVER 300.5 yards with SKYBET.
Will try to update todays blog with more in-depth NFL review when I arrive in London. This time next week I will be on route to wembley to watch the great master at his best! I simply cannot wait!

Peace out, have a lucky day and listen in to Timeform this afternoon if you get the chance.

MG (@markagrantham)

Sunday Blues – NFL Time!

Yesterday was as tough as we all thought it would be. I feel Countrywide Flame would have won with a better ride. Jimmy was switching in and out for a good half a mile looking for a run, he should have gone on earlier. Brae Hill went about half a furlong then seemed to go wrong. I have no idea what happened to Baltic Prince. Looked the winner three out and stopped to a walk, I think it is fair to say it has been one of those weeks.

Sat and watched the X-Factor for my sins last night. What a load of shite. It is not a singing competition, it’s a popularity contest. The groups are all average and the overs are karaoke singers! I know a lot of it is just done for TV with the judges arguing like little kids but some of it is terrible to watch. Rylan Clark is the joke of the series. Still don’t understand why when what is still ultimately a singing competition, they feel the need to add the novelty act every year that can’t sing. The highlight of the night was Gary Barlow’s comeback on the taxi comment, genius. Ella Henderson however is extremely talented and they have found a star there.

Difficult day on the racing front today. Tough card at Goodwood with plenty of runners. I think that Presto Volante will complete the hat-trick in the first but the price is just a little skinny for a bet. If he touches 3/1 I will probably get involved. He looked better the further he went at Salisbury and I think he is still ahead of the handicapper over staying trips and the extra two furlongs may bring about even more.


The tale of two underachievers at the Linc gets the Sky coverage underway tonight. Michael Vick and the Eagles have real ball security issues. More turnovers than a dj with Insomnia. Whilst the Lions have been struggling on Defence and with their terrible special teams. There is always the danger that the Eagles will click into gear at some point and if that happens, someone is going to get a real hiding. I don’t really see that happening tonight but I do see a lot of offense. If this is the case, the Lions tend to desert the run pretty quickly and start slinging it to Megatron (Calvin Johnson). I think Stafford’s passing yards is a value play.



This is the big re-match of the NFC Championship game from last year and I feel there is a bit of an over reaction to how well the 49ers are doing. Yes granted, their run D is amazing and it is almost impossible to run on them. Will this bother the Giants? No. Manning loves a good 500 yard passing game and also loves the odd shootout. On the flip side I still really don’t rate Alex Smith under centre for the 49ers. He has a good unit around him, but if they had an elite quarterback they would be different gravy. This is a game the Giants will be so pumped up for so watch out for a few special team plays that could swing it. the giants getting 6.5 here is too big in my opinion. They are always in the game with manning.

NEW YORK GIANTS +6.5 pts @ 10/11 generally.

Early start tomorrow so I’m going to have to record the late game. The Texans are amazing at home and should win comfortably.

Be lucky