Pace Wins The Race: Selections 27/11/14

Re Cap 

Well sometimes you just have to hold your hands up. That was a clonker and the first selection where I have been disappointed with myself. So, apologies. My instinct said leave alone and it should have been a no bet day. As stated I thought there may be a contest for the lead and when a trainer is that cold you really do need to be cautious. In hindsight 4/5 for that winner was value given the way he won (although unless a system selection I will very rarely bet when odds on- no real logic, just dont like getting back less than I have bet!) and when he learns to jump he could be quite decent. The drift said it all about the selection and all in all it is a race to forget.

What is more galling is that I had a ‘Pace’ shortlist of two.  The Grey Taylor in the 1.20 was very nearly a selection but I was put off by his price last night (2/1) allied to concerns on the ground – his sire being 1/30+ on soft. For me that meant 2/1 was too short – and it was. As it turned out 10 minutes before the race he drifted as money poured in for the favourite. He went to 4/1 at one stage (returned 7/2) and I had 1/2 a point on as that became a decent price given the race wasnt that competitive. While that wont please you as such, it at least demonstrates the approach works 🙂

Now, I try and learn something every day and in future I will write a quick note on the shortlist horses, if there are any i leave out. These will not be official selections but horses i think will get an easy lead. Of course I will say why i dont fancy them.

So, with that said, onto tomorrow,

3.10 Thurles

Hard Bought 1 point win – 7/1

This is an awful race where, based on all known form, not many have a chance of getting into this. In fact I would be slightly surprised if the winner didnt come from the selection, Leave It At Dawn or Broadway Twist. The bit of kit i use to read pace has a great tool that allows me to get a feel for the form at a click of a button. I can see that this is a poor race with only 4 horses having won in soft or heavy, and only 3 horses having won over the distance. There are some poor animals in here and I would expect the winner to come from what looks like the top 3 in the market. There are no out and out front runners in this race however Hard Bought usually chases the leader and races very prominently so I am hoping that with no confirmed pace the jockey sends him forward. His seasonal reappearance was decent and and he is a previous winner over the distance on soggy turf. He has won before (more than most of these!) and is open to improvement and hopefully his track position proves to be the deciding factor. I think he is worth backing and depending on the odds I may have an ‘unofficial’ saver on Broadway Twist.


3.15 Newbury

Kilcooley 16/1  1/2 point EW (1 point total) 16/1 with Bet365 1/4 odds top 3.

On the face of it this is a tough assignment but as ever I am hoping that the pace angle will play some role. Last time out Kilcooley led from the front and with no other prominent runners (based on past runs) in the field I am expecting they will try the same here- at least i hope they do. From looking through his form and reading some of the connections comments from previous victories it’s clear that he loves soft ground and that he will relish a really soft surface. In fact this is arguably the softest he has faced since hacking up in his first novice hurdle. Given he promises stays further and is open to any amount of improvement on this ground I just thought 16/1 (now 20/1) with Bet365 1/4 odds 3 places was worth chancing. Whats more his stable has been under a bit of a cold spell (which along with ground being too firm could excuse previous runs) but has shown signs of turning the corner with some recent winners. I also think you can make a legitimate case against the rest of the field.

Willie Mullins has sent 7 runners to Newbury since the start of 2009 (4 in last 365 days) and doesnt have a single place to show for his efforts. Ruby Walsh hasnt bothered coming over either as he is riding a hot pot or two in Ireland. In all honesty I dont know what game he is playing here but I suspect there are simply not enough races in which to run all of his decent horses back home. Maybe he has changed strategy this year (winners at Ascot weekend) and  these two have been sent to win – but i am not sure. Daneking makes his seasonal reappearance and who knows if he will be fit or if this is a warm up for future assignments. Wicklow Brave has shown very little in his last 4 runs and I wouldnt want to back him until showing some more life. Maybe he needed his seasonal opener but enough doubts for me at the prices.

Nicholls and Henderson both have decent records in this race and you would think that the likely winner will come from their pair. However both have been off the track for a while and are making their seasonal and UK debuts which is enough for me to take them on. You just never know how smart they are and what their seasonal plans are. The market, and race record of the trainers, would suggest they are ready but we shall see. Money has come for the Robert Walford runner and it will be interesting to see how he goes. As with most horses in this race he is open to improvement  but is another whose fitness must be taken on trust.

All in all i think this is a live 20/1 shot. If the jock can build up a lead he will keep galloping and could catch a few of these out. With a 1/4 odds with B365 it will be a decent result if he can at least place.


Two others that were on the shortlist but didnt make the cut (and I wont be betting on either) were Cody Wyoming in the 13.45 – i think he will lead them a merry dance but I dont like putting up horses under 3/1. And the other was Ruapehu in the 13.00  – i think he will lead but I am not confident he will be race fit and didnt want to take the chance. It is also a step up in class in which he must prove himself.

Good Luck


3/7 = +12 points 


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8 Responses

  1. Hi Josh, Just a short line to say I think you are doing a magnificent job and I thoroughly look forward to anything you are sending out. The Pace Selections are great and the writeups that go with them. Keep up the good work and every success to you, you deserve it. Thanks, Malcolm

    1. Thanks Malcolm…a very kind comment and one that makes it all worth it. I am only writing up the thought processes that go through my ‘racing’ brain every single day, and the approach that has made me successful. If others can benefit, either financially or via increasing their knowledge then it will be worth it 🙂

  2. Brilliant work Josh, and many thanks for the winners.
    The results will go against you sometimes so no need to apologise when it goes wrong.
    Profit is what you have given those who follow you.
    Well done

    1. Cheers Philip – yes i wont make a habit of apologising for losers – i will back more of them than winners – just yesterday I almost knew I shouldn’t have been putting him up as i was writing – it is a game of instinct sometimes and mine said leave alone, should have left alone but we live and learn! If i have that feeling again in future it will be a no bet day.

  3. hi josh,thaks for the email re free tips,glad i found your site,you are one of the very few online racing pundits who come up with the goods,like malcolm,i think you are doing great job and its apprecited. regards bill

  4. Cheers gents, much appreciated. Darren is one of the good guys and you will never get any crap from me and of course you have no obligation to back them!

  5. When the field and conditions look similar, why not go for a similar looking exacta? Twelve Tribes got the sort of run he was looking for last time and that run was only good enough for second. He may have needed the race as it was his first since July but it wasn’t a bad effort by any means; the winner showed back up in the next stall though so read into that what you will.

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