Saturday: Big Race Previews


Well we ended up with a 1.5 point deficit and it was one of those days where my judgement was generally good but for one reason or another I couldn’t back what I thought were the most likely winners. First things first, Night In Milan ran his usual gallant race, no complaints there. Grandads Horse was never in it, never jumping and the writing was on the wall very early on. Backing more losers than winners is part of the game but it is frustrating when you don’t get a run for your money. The fact the jockey flew up from Cheltenham and he was trimmed from 12s to 8s suggests they expected better. If the winner jumped well  he was entitled to do that and he made 4s look good. On the first circuit I was glad I hadn’t backed him and as the entered the home straight I was annoyed I hadn’t gone with him. That is racing !

The 2.25 was frustrating . As they jumped the last I was cursing that I only had 5 on BigFellaThanks. As they passed the line I was annoyed I hadn’t backed Annacoty! In truth I thought 6s was about right and he ran well in first time cheekpieces and dug deep. I also threw 5 at Tap Night who flew late but was never going to win. This game plays with your mind but that is why it is so absorbing.

Finally a mention for Many Clouds. I, much like connection it seems, weren’t too sure if his last run had taken anything out him. Thankfully it hadn’t and he simply outstayed them. He should run his race in the Gold Cup and it is hard not to want him to win. He is thoroughly likeable as are his connection and its great to see his jockey having such a renaissance. Dynaste simply doesn’t stay 3m especially at Cheltenham. I thought the slow pace may help him,..clearly not.

I have had better days and I have had worse. Onto tomorrow!




To be honest I cannot remember a time this season where I have looked at a Saturday’s racing, especially the ‘higher class’ chases, and struggled to find a bet. As such caution is advised and I have ended up only  playing (for proper stakes) in one race.

3.15 Doncaster 

Grandads Horse 12/1 – 1 point win 

Night In Milan 10/1 – 1/2 point win 

A right conundrum and the trends don’t help too much. I think this race is between the two selections and the two Philip Hobbs runners. Everything else has too much to prove in my opinion. Most of these haven’t proven their stamina over this distance and/or look to be out of form and/or have fitness questions to answer. Grandads Horses has the least questions to answer. He is improving further than his trainer expected (thought he would just be a summer jumper) , is proven over the distance, on the ground,at the course, will be fit (good record with this rest pattern) and is arguably still open to improvement. He jumps well and needs to be played late. It may well be that he isnt quite up to this level but 12s is worth taking a chance. All in all he looks the most solid bet in the race for me and 12/1 is on the generous side. The ground may have gone against Night In Milan who was pulled up in softer conditions in this same race last year. That is his only real blemish at the track and I expect James Reveley to send him to the front as soon as the tape goes up. He could well be good enough to stay there and is worth a small interest at the odds.

Coincidentally those of you who read and noted by ‘long distance jockeys’ post in November helped yourself to a 20/1 winner today at Donny. James Reveley really is a master of his craft in these 3m+ chases and he proved it yet again.

I digress.

If In Doubt could be anything but I am always happy to take this type of horse on at the prices. He won as he pleased last time in a 4 runner race. He is obviously still learning about the game and made the odd error. It is anyone’s guess as to how he handles these race conditions, with this many runners. If his jumping stands the test then he will most likely win this, especially given that he was decent enough over hurdles. 4/1 isnt a price I would want to take though in a race against hardy handicappers. Royal Player is also on the upgrade and can be given a chance. He is still learning about the game but is going the right way. He will have to improve again but that is possible. He is generally 13/2 chance but I dont think he should be half the price of Grandads Horse. While I would be surprised if something else won this I wouldnt be annoyed.I have been through every runner in depth and there are solid reasons for why I personally wouldnt back anything else in the race.


And that it is really. Nothing at Cheltenham grabs me.(in races i focus on, namely graded/handicap chases,the further the better) I think Dynaste has a decent chance and is priced up accordingly. I dont do forecasts very often but am tempted by the 13/1 for him to beat The Giant Bolster into second. It wont be a big bet but will give me an interest in the race! There was nothing that I could make a real strong case for given the priced – the market seems to be right to me. You could literally make a case for all of them bar Theatre Guide and as such is not really a betting race. Just one to sit back and enjoy. Having backed Many Clouds in the Hennessy it would be good for him to win this well but I wonder if that race has taken anything out of him.

I started looking at the 2.25 confident of finding a decent bet but alas every horse in the race has a serious question to answer which meant I couldnt justify a bet. Tap Night is interesting at a price, having come 3rd in the race last year and is quite a bit lower in the ratings. However that is because his form since then has been horrible. He is one of the few in the race with proven stamina however. The fav is the fav. Not much to say there. He obviously has a decent chance but I wouldnt want to take 3s. Big Fella Thanks could run a big race at 20s but he is 13 now and may just have had enough. I wouldnt be shocked if he snuck a place though. I would like to see Annacoty run well but the PU in the Hennessy is a concern. He will have competition for the lead and he doesnt have his blinkers on. 6/1 is probably about right. If he were 10s+ i would have probably backed him. If, and a big if, Little Jon jumps he could go well. Easter Meteor cannot be backed in his current form and the rest need to prove they stay this trip from what i can see. So all in all, too many doubts and questions and it is probably best to keep your money in your pocket. If you do have a strong fancy I would love to hear it! Small interest bets only for me I suspect. Having looked at the race in depth I will have to throw a fiva at something 🙂

Good Luck with whatever you back tomorrow,



Big Race Previews Results so far…

Many Clouds – WON 9/1 + 4.5 points

Rocky Creek – UP  -1 point

Burton Port – UP -1 point

Oscar Time – 33/1 WON + 20.5 points

Alfie Spinner – 25/1 4th + 2.6 points

Hadrians Approach UP – 1 point

Bold Sir Brian UP -1 point

Kilcooley 11/2 WON +8.25 points

Hey Big Spender 14/1 UP -1 point

Kings Apollo UP – 1 point

Cape Tribulation 9/1 2nd – 2 points

Presented UP -2 points

Silviniaco Conti 3/1 WON + 6 points

Withy Mills – UP – 1point

Kudu Shine – F – 1 point

Cantlow – UP – 1 point

Hawkes Point – 1 point

One In Milan F -1 point

Mountainous PU – 1/2 point

Scotswell 8/1 WON + 8 point

Settledoutofcourt UP – 1 point

Caruuthers UP – 1 point

Hawkes Point WON 14/1 + 14 point

Petit Ecuyer UP – 1 point

Corrin Wood PU – 1 point

Green Flag PU – 1 point

Whispering Harry 3/1 WON +3 point

Chavoy 4/1 2nd – 1 point

Sadler’sFlaure UP 12/1 -1point

The Job Is Right UR 12/1 -1point (decent 2nd when UR last)

7/30    = +40.75




Post Comments

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

13 Responses

  1. Your two horses ran well yesterday Josh in a race which is invariably difficult to call – keep up the good work Sir. Best iof luck with today’s pair – Mal.

    1. Cheers Mal. Yes you can’t complain when you get an exciting run for your money. Bumped into a future star of the game you would think,although time will tell what that form amounted to. Haven’t checked stats but always striking when a 6yo carries top weight over 3m+ in soft ground. Can only go one way hopefully. Good luck with your Saturday punting.

  2. I backed Medermit @ 17.5 earlier in the week as I felt this was his best chance for sometime. Dropped in grade and in a h’cap for the first time for 3+ years, he can beat these underdogs off top weight. Able claimer assists who has served the trainer well this season; seemed to be all the right signals for a value bet.

    1. Decent price Chris and can see your reasoning. I just wonder whether he trule stays this trip in truly run race. 9 tries 2m5+ and yet to win I believe,but some decent place form and at a higher level,and 16s negates that doubt. Given my concern I couldn’t back him at <8s. GL

  3. Wish I was around when you hit Oscar Time, you certainly seem to know your stuff. Keep it up, I will follow all your picks now.

    1. Cheers John. Yes that was a nice win, and I can’t wait to find the next one although they don’t come along very often! I like to think I ‘know my stuff’ when it comes to 3m+ chases and have had a decent couple!e of years in that spehere. I would readily admit the all weather isn’t my thing, nor are non handicap novice/maiden races! Hopefully we get a good run for our money today!

  4. Hi Josh, I will have a go on Tap Night as well as you main selections. TN is being backed. I’ve just got 9/1 on B365

    1. He is a mercurial character but based on run in this race last year and fact he is much lower in ratings he could go well? Russell hasn’t had chase winner at chelts for a while but is in cracking form. I did think gerrahty may have ridden him if fancied but TOB a decent enough jock. We shall see,that is where my 5va has landed. Could be anywhere between first and pulled up!!

  5. Hi Josh, reading through your articles and following you for the first time today I appreciate the thought and effort you put into this. You obviously really love this game, I’m the same. The strike rate of the 3 jocks was a great spot looking forward to reading your thoughts over the next few months .

    1. Cheers Jack. Apologies that I couldn’t make it a winning start for you. Yes everything I put up I back and I don’t like throwing my money away or giving my readers losers! Today was a challenge of price thought If in Doubt and Annacotty most likely winners but for one reason or other didn’t like price.that is how it goes sometimes. Yes those 3 jocks have been consistently good over 3m+,lots of profit to be made.

    1. Hi Andy…I have been waiting to write some thoughts on Chelts… Suffice to say I am not an ante post punter and given I use trends etc and like the handicaps , I tend to wait a few days/night before next days racing. Given number of prep runs etc etc I just don’t get excited about trying to pick a winner now.I know lots of people enjoy looking ahead now but I am not one of them! Having said that I will start to pull trends together soon and go from there. I don’t really bet (not to make money) in the novice races so have no thoughts on that. And a few races loom non betting races already, ie champion hurldle.

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