Saturday Race Previews + Tips



Well a profitable day for the blog. If you were betting £10 a point, thanks to Kilcooley’s romp, you would have made £67.5. 6.75 points is decent enough on a competitive Saturday and i am glad I could find one winner. Bold Sir Brian looked to be running a massive race and then just seemed to stop. Maybe there is still something wrong with him but given how good he was in his youth I will be keeping an eye on him. Hey Big Spender ran a cracker and just faded late to finish 4th. The Young Master put in an impressive performance and being only 5 fingers crossed we can track his progress for years to come. Hopefully loyal Pace Wins The Race follows backed those horses below, getting back this weeks losses and making a small profit.



2.05 Haydock

Bold Sir Brian 18/1 (bet365) – 1 point win

This is the class horse in the race, being the only class 1 winner in the field. At his highest point he was rated 155 and now runs off 144. He is only 8 and still unexposed, especially at this kind of trip which he has only tried once. He is also 4 from 4 in the month of December. Now, he is 18/1 for a reason and this is clearly a risky bet, but I have seen worse 18/1 shots. His reappearance run in October was his first since the 19th April 2013 and it is safe to assume he has had some problems, possibly caused by his heavy fall at Cheltenham in Jan 13. However, if he were to bounce back to form, he would make 18/1 look a big price. It also helps that there looks to be quite a bit of pace in this race and if good enough he should be able to pick up the pieces.

There is nothing else in the race that I could make a strong case for. The market suggests this is very open and a lot of these horses have something to prove. Firebird Flyer is 0/6 at class 2 level and is on a career high mark over fences. Howard’s Legacy is also on a career high mark and is inconsistent. On a going day he would go very close in this and at least he’s in form. Broadway Buffalo is still unexposed but is now 0/5 over fences and I want to see him get his head in front before backing him. Toby Lerone has to prove his stamina having never won or placed beyond 2m 5f from 9 attempts. Fill The Power can be given a chance but is 2/17 and can be a frustrating sort. Safran De Cotte’s recent form figures read PU, 4, 6, PU, 3, PU. He is not a horse I would take 7/1 about at the moment even though he has the profile to win this being suited to all race conditions. I just want to see more before trusting him. Red Admirable is having only his 3rd chase run and he is open to improvement. However that wasn’t a great race last time and he is taking on proven handicappers here who have form in the book. Given the doubts over most of these he could be given a chance but I am happy to leave him this time. It’s a big step up in class and he needs to prove he handles heavy.

Overall not a race to get too excited about as nothing in here has a bombproof profile. You could make a case for a number of them however I think Bold Sir Brian is overpriced at 18/1. He could be regressive and may never be the same horse again but at the price I will take a chance to find out.



2.40 Haydock

Kilcooley 5/1 – 1.5 point win

There aren’t too many strong trends for this race but 8 of the last 9 winners had never won at the distance, 2m4f. This would suggest that this race goes to a horse that is unexposed at the trip. 7 of the last 9 winners were also in the top 3 in the market suggesting it is a race us punters generally get right.

Non-distance winners would leave a shortlist of Abracadabra Sivola; Kilcooley; Muckle Roe and Taj Badalandabad.

The top 3 in the market are currently Taj Badalandabad, Run Ructions Run and Kilcooley.

At 5/1 I think Kilcooley has a very solid chance in this and 5/1 offers a shade of value. He was beaten by the well handicapped L’Ami Serge last time out in a c1 Listed race at Newbury, who went on to win as he pleased at Ascot yesterday. While he had no chance with the winner that day he beat the rest fairly comfortably. Importantly for me he has demonstrated a fair level of form at c1 level and I would like to think a repeat of that run will see him go very close. Kilcooley is also a prominent runner and may lead which is a positive. With the riders claim he is also 1lb below that Newbury run. Connections have always said this horse loves the mud and his best form has been in soft so fingers crossed he relishes the ground. He is unexposed at the trip having only tried it once and he is related to a few point to pointers and 3m stayers so this trip should be no problem at all. All in all, with the trends, the horses proven form and the price make him the bet in the race for me.

Run Ructions Run has a decent level of form and may improve for his seasonal return. I think he will have too however and he is exposed at the trip, which historically has been a negative in this race. Taj Badalandabad could be anything, this being his first run in a handicap and he has done nothing wrong in his novice races. I think his price is probably right and I prefer the big race experience of Kilcooley.

There are enough question marks over the others in my opinion and I think Kilcooley is a solid option to have on our side in this race.


3.00 Ascot

Hey Big Spender 14/1 ½ point win (EW if you prefer)

I wasn’t intending to bet in this race but I do think 14/1 is too big for He Big Spender as for me he is the third best horse in the race on everything he has done to date. He is inconsistent and is clearly aimed to peak for the race he won last time. However he did demolish the field last time out and has won from this mark before. The jockey’s comments after the race suggest that he thinks the horse is getting better with age. Bar the top 2 in the market all of the others have too many questions for me including form, class, distance and ground. I couldn’t confidently back any of the others on what they have done so far.

The Young Master is entitled to be favourite and may make 3/1 look a big price. However he is only a 5yo and all of these races will catch up with him at some point. He demolished his opposition at Wincanton and on that basis you would think he will handle the rise. However it is a 14lb rise and I would like to see evidence that he handles that mark before taking 3s. He is still improving, he jumps well and could still be ahead of the handicapper. It will be intriguing to see how he gets on.

Houblon Des Obeaux is also entitled to be at the head of the market. He is 9lb higher than when winning this race last year and he ran a cracker in the Hennessy, arguably the best form on offer. The only question is how much that race took out of him. He had a hard race carrying top weight and you simply do not know if that left a mark. 4/1 may be a fair price to find out and being only a 7yo with 17 chase runs he could still be open to improvement. Obviously if he repeats his Hennessy run then he will go very close, and could be battling it out with The Young Master over the last.

Another race this afternoon where every runner appears to have at least one major question to answer and it will be intriguing to see which horse comes out on top. As I said I think 14/1 underestimates Hey Big Spenders chance and I hope that he can roll back the years again. I would like to think he will be in the top 3 if he’s in a racing mood. With him though a PU is possible.


So far this week the betting gods have given me a slap in the face which I expected given I had been on a decent run. Hopefully one of the above can win for a profitable day and another winning run follows!  I will be having a look at the Ladbroke but I have never done that well in competitive handicap hurdles to date and will probably just have a fun bet. We shall see.

Good Luck whatever you back.



Post Comments

Do join in the conversation below, we're a friendly bunch.. all questions welcome, and do share your selections or thoughts

24 Responses

  1. 50/1 ‘mad outsider’ anyone? I have had to pick one for a forum competition in the 3.30 & on my figures Minellaforleisure is among the Top4 (based on his 3rd/4 Grade2 behind The Liquidator last Nov) and after yesterday (L’ami Serge clockin a whopper) his form is looking better still & dropped 3lb since beaten last time. If you read his in-running notes for his last two runs it strikes me he’s not been ridden to full effect? His trainer holds in some regard & might just sneak a place imho.

    Me gotta go work (sad) – Be lucky – Have a good Xmas one n all….

  2. Good Luck with it Andy and with all the value long gone on the favorites it worth looking for a horse at a bigger price to place 🙂

    Have gone for a couple who have gone well in a big field before. – Bayan and Gassin Golf. The latter likes the tempo of big fields and his second in the Imperial Cup which gives him a good place chance. One for the 80/20 place and win market.

    Good Luck All

  3. A suggestion for the Ladbroke is Goodwood Mirage, an under achiever but the LTO win hints at a careful prep. and these conditions look ideal with the strong pace, soft going and stamina track inducing further improvement and enabling the flat speed to tie things up at the finish. Stable form a negative but chances in the first with Spookydooky.

    1. Hi Chris, yes I am just about to dive into that race. When I had a quick look at some trends Goodwood was on my initial shortlist. Price is decent enough to overcome any concerns over the stable. He will come back into form at some point! Good luck

  4. Well played for your honesty Josh (recent results) – that attitude deserves carry you through for a long time to come Sir.

    1. I always like it when my esteemed readers have already backed a selection of mine before I post! – we must be on to a good thing, I think he will run well, would be very disappointed if out of the frame at the very least

  5. hi
    gratefull for your write ups
    i picked the 3.00 at ascot Hey Bg Spender last night so im glad of your write up

    1. Thanks Reggie..i do think he is overpriced and is isnt beyond possibilities that the top 2 underperform. If he runs like he did up at Newcastle he will make 14/1 look a silly price.

  6. Josh, I think Houblin des obeaux had gold cup written all over him. Many years ago Dubicilla followed a similar path of lumping top weights in big handicaps and running well before a good run in The Gold Cup where he was placed behind Master Oats. I’ve just taken the 65 on Betfair before he runs today.

  7. I took Fill the Power, in the 2.05 placed so am happy with that out. However, my bets are not on singular outcomes, so I will be monitoring how the rest of the advised candidates emerge. I have just gone through my longest dry run.

    1. Would be nice if they could all win like that! superb ride, breather down the back and they were never going to catch him. On a tight track, easy lead and mud flying he should go in again in next month you would think.

  8. Great shout with Kilcooley. He skipped the field early doors and as you pointed out he is a prominent front runner and the rest had no chance! A confident 1.5pt stake too. Well done.

    1. Should have been 2 points haha! Yes very pleased with that, if only they could all win like that 🙂 glad you picked up the confidence from the stake amount, great ride from the front and they couldnt live with him. Definitely one to keep onside in that ground, plenty of improvement left over that trip. So so hard to come from the back in a bog if you get a horse with stamina loose on the front.

  9. Well done Josh… I only had a 1pt win Kilcooley but am happy with that. I was saving it all for Bayan and Gassin Golf. Gassin Golf plugged on but could never get into the race but Bayan got a very strong ride from Davy Condon. I love those big field handicaps. i tend to just shortlist horses with proven form in big fields. A few people thought he wasn’t well handicapped but that tends to be irrelevant in these sort of races as they tend to be run at an even pace and the horses have to have the guts to be able to handle the hurly burly of such races.

    Will you be doing a preview of the King George?

    Anyway Merry Christmas and a big well done for a great blog!

    1. Cheers, Merry Christmas to you too.

      Yes great win by Bayan and agree about his big field form, certainly deserved it. In truth I didnt have time to go through race properly so had a couple of fun bets, none on the winner! Well done for picking him out.

      We shall see, if I think there is a decent bet I will write one, although equally i may find a decent horse in a 3m chase somewhere else. A great few weeks of racing ahead. Cant wait!

  10. Hi Josh,
    Late response as I watched Kilcooley win from a hospital bed after an emergency admission on Friday night, home now and all better. Great pick and excellent reasoning. Your pace emphasis has been a bit of a revelation over jumps. I was always keen on it for 2yos but for some reason had convinced myself that a holdup ride was better over jumps.

    1. Hi Hugh, glad you are all better and Kilcooley lifted your spirits. In truth until i started using Geegeez Pace reports I had never really used pace regularly…manly because of the time it takes to go through each runner. Thankfully i can get an idea at a click of a button which helps. Have been reading some interesting observations on Pace over jumps by Alan Potts… essentially there is a safe speed at which to jump, both big fenced and hurdles. Now it is all about whether the pace horses, either front runners, or trackers, can keep going. If they can and you are held up you are in trouble, because the only way to catch them is to run faster- that can mean approaching fences too quickly, which leads to mistakes. Also, if you have more horses in front of you are are at greater risk of being brought down by fallers in front, so the safest place to be is near the front. Anyway, we shall see how the approach develops over the next few months, and i am looking forward to using it on flat handicaps, 5/6/7f.

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