After hauling in +52.75 points across the portfolio up to the 9th November (if backing everything to advised stakes, at prices stated and all systems selections when in price range) I suppose it was inevitable that the following week would be a bit tougher – and so it proved.
Let’s start with the micro-systems. (9th-15th November)
The headline figures:
Monthly Trainers: 2/12, -3 points
Lavelle: 0/1, -1 point
AW Switchers: 1/2, +5.5 points
Jumps Handicappers: 2/13, +8 points
Total: 5/28: +9.5 points
Running Total since start of November: +39 points across all of the systems portfolio, if backing them all when in qualifying range.
The Cheltenham Micro System didnt live up to expectations, but I suppose it was due a bad year and I will keep that on the back-burner for next season. If avoiding the Pipe horses you would have a -4 point loss. (Nicholls and Hobbs) Pipe had 7 losers I believe, none of them getting competitive. Hopefully the obvious poor form of the yard ensured you didn’t back them all to your usual stakes.
Excluding the Cheltenham Micro angle, there were 8 losers that I avoided – and last week was an example of how they are useful as a guide, and if you can look at the horse that is an advantage. As I have said, if I cannot confidently rule out a horse I would usually back it – trusting the research and results over time. Given my judgement can be off I think this is the best appraoch. But, if you did back them all you still made +9.5 points. If backing all Cheltenham qualifiers (including Pipe) that takes the losses to -1.5 points for the week. Hopefully you avoided a few of the losers last week. As I did last week if I am shortlisting or tipping in a race with a micro system qualifier I will say if I don’t fancy it. But, as always, what you do with them is up to you. They will ultimately be judged on backing all qualifiers systematically – after all the idea of systems is to take our judgement out of it, save time etc while still making a profit over time.
Now to my performance, which was a bit underwhelming at times- and has been a bit too up and down since the start of October for my own liking. The Tips and Shortlist had a combined loss of -13.75 points on the week- Leaving a total of +11.75 points since start of October, going into this week.
I think earlier in the week I got a bit trigger happy on the back of a brilliant week before. There were 4 or 5 horses that were a bit short on reflection, 7/2 or so, who had a bit to prove. A few making chasing debut for example and/or returning after a break. Taking chances when there are a few unknowns is ok if you are getting a decent price, but 7/2 / 4/1 was probably a bit skinny. The stats underpinning them were sound and will do fine over time. Bar those 4 or 5 which all finished unplaced (am thinking of Jonjos at Huntingdon and Lavelles at Exeter in particular) I was happy with my approach to the rest.
There were 20 bets (maybe a few too many for an average week), 0 winners, 8 horses placed (including 3 seconds). Carolo Rocks (8/1>7/2) was probably the only one that felt like a winner that got away – looking like the winner turning in, a few sloppy jumps cost him I think. There were also some decent big priced placed horses which gave us some decent runs for our money.
Cheltenham – While it would have been nice to get a winner from the 3 races covered in general they all ran well and at one stage or another had something to cheer – albeit after jumping the last it was more a case of hoping they held on for place money. In general I was happy with my analysis and shortlisting of the races but can clearly do better.
As I write this the tip (fell) and the shortlist horse (25/1>12/1 UP) have added to the losses and leaves the overall portfolio (systems/tips/shortlist) at +48.75 points since the start of November. (Shortlist/Tips now on +9.75 points) (-11 more if backing all of Cheltenham Micro selections) –
There were a few chasers that caught the eye last week that should be kept onside…
Algernon Pazham – This NTD horse was a bit unlucky not to win at Bangor and I believe Sam was disappointed with the ride he gave the horse – not realising how heavy it was he set off and starting racing a bit too far out. It was his first run for some time and he looks a stayer to follow. His jumping was decent, albeit they are not the toughest fences in jumps racing, and he only looks to be going one way.
There are 5 horses to take out of the 3m3f handicap chase for me. I get the feeling that this race could work out quite well and produce plenty of winners in the months ahead.
Black Thunder – having watched this again I am convinced he would have placed at worst here if not making a mistake and slithering on landing two out – he almost stopped to a walk when creeping into it. He could be a Welsh National type if the ground is not heavy (he will have a big weight no doubt) but he has a touch of class and looks like he needs a real test.
Cogry – Another for Twister who looks like he will stay all day. He is young, unexposed, and looks like he could have some nice pots in him moving forward. He could need even further but he looks like a trier.
Knockanrawley – He ran much better than I thought he would proving that he has improved again and can mix it at Gr3 level. He kept on trying up the hill and was probably outclassed by those ahead of him. But, he is another who could have a staying chase pot in him. He was aimed at the Eider last season which may have come one year too soon. It will be interesting if he ends up there again this year.
Sausalito Sunrise / Upswing: Both look upwardly mobile and appear to have plenty more to come. Both made the odd sloppy jump but still had plenty to fight out the finish. SS looks like he could be a very nice horse and his attitude will see him win plenty of more races.
An honourable mention for Rigadin De Beauchene who travelled well for a long way in first time blinkers. He isnt getting any younger but given how poorly VWs generally run at the meeting his run can be marked up. If the blinkers work in the same way again he may have another race in him.
Lough Kent – He looked like coming to win the 2m chase and provide me with a much needed winner. He then made a bad blunder where the rider lost his irons and that was that. Maybe he did need the run and was just starting to empty but he didnt half travel into the race well and it will be interesting to see how he goes next time. He clearly has a bit of speed given how he swooped around them turning in, so maybe a flatter track will help.
In praise of Nicky Henderson…
Credit to Henderson for reviving some old stars lately – namely Simonsig, Bobs Worth and Sprinter Sacre – who lit up Cheltenham on Sunday. I wasn’t sure if would be able to reinvigorate them all – and while it is too early to truly know how much ability remains and whether they can compete at the top table again – at least they are back running well.
I have had a micro system for Hendo on the back-burner for a while and the number of selections has decreased in recent years, so I am not sure how useful it is…
- All Chases
- Class 1 and 2 Only
- 6yo only
- Any odds
Hendo has been quiet with his chasers for some time but he has historically had a decent record with the more unexposed ones.
His strike rate with 5yos is around the 30% mark, with the rules above. But, for a loss of 7 points. His stats for horses that are not 6, with the same rules: 467 bets / 72 wins / 152 places / 15.42% SR / -166 / AE 0.87.
As you can see the last couple of years have been quiet so the next few months will be interesting. His stats with horses 10/1 or below: 34/92, +21 SP – clearly I imagine a lot are well backed. He has the odd big priced winner and they all seem to be worth keeping onside.
In any case, hopefully these stats add some valuable info when looking at these races.
That is all for this week. Thankfully the micro-systems continue to churn out the winners, but I need to up my game a tad with my tips/shortlisting.
Have a great week.