(UPDATE/REVIEW) Big Race Previews: Eider Chase + BetBright Chase


As one reader pointed out they have been making money laying my selections in the past few weeks…i should probably start laying my own selections as well 🙂 

Fox Appeal fell with no horse around him…i didnt expect his jumping to be an issue and not much we can do about that. I dont think he would have beaten the winner. Rocky Creek clearly handled the track and ,knowing that his aim was the National, I clearly read too much into whether he would be ready for this. Kempton turned into a bog with the heavy overnight rain and the proven, classy stayer returned to form for his first win in over two years. It was nice to see him back to his best…maybe I should just ditch the trends and just back Paul Nicholls on a Saturday. Well done to those that backed him. 

Up at Newcastle it was a right trends buster and given that is my approach in such races I was never going to find the first three. I couldnt ignore the market and odds trends. I wouldnt have backed the winner. Firstly, he had to prove his jumping would hold up having fell last time and he hit a few on his previous victory. He was just below 11-st and his Cheltenham run indicated he would stay. Well done if you picked him out at decent odds. 

Portrait King was badly hampered and never went with much fluency after that although i would have to watch the race again to see if that is a worthy excuse. Shotgun Paddy was still travelling well when he fell. Tucked away on the inside he had jumped well up to that point and given how the pace collapsed I would like to think he would have been thereabouts. Who knows as I would be guessing. It was odd, given how well he was jumping, that he then found himself behind a wall of horses in the middle of the track and was either unsighted or put off. Maybe he didnt have the tactical speed on that ground to hold his position during the race. 

Anyway, 4 points loaned back to the bookies in what has been a poor few weeks now. I hope my form picks up in time for Cheltenam. I dont like tipping, and prefer ‘advising’ hence why I try to explain my selections. If you have been backing them all I can only apologise but this is about the long game and I will make decent profits over the course of the year…all though it doesnt feel like it at the moment! Onwards. 








The first thing to say is that if Emma Lavelle has a good day, then so will I.

While my recent form has been patchy at best I think my record in ‘Big Race Previews’ for 3m+ chases is a respectable:  5/22 (3 further places) for a profit to advised stakes/odds of +35 points.

My previews of those types of races are on a losing run of 7, having not had a winner since Hawkes Point a few weeks ago, and I would like to address that tomorrow…

Starting with the Eider Chase

2.55 Newcastle

Shotgun Paddy – 2 point win 13/2 (bet365)

Portrait King – 1 point win 7/1 (bet 365)


This looks to be a very solid trends race-

HRB goes back for the last 14 renewals…

8/14 finished top 2 LTO

  • 12/14 top 7 LTO (3rd are 0/24, no logic given 4th is 2/27 runners)
  • 2/14 PU LTO

12/14 were 12/1 or below at ISP

  • 12 winners from 99 runners were 12/1 or below. 2 winners, from 91 runners over 12/1.

10/14 were Top 3 in the market

13/14 Age 7-10

  • 7+8 year olds supply 6 winners (43%) from just 25% of the total runners
  • 11 yo 1/26 runners; 12 yo 0/16

11/14 Carried 11 st or above. (inc ALL of last 10 winners)

  • 78% of the winners from just 32% of the runners
  • Below 11 st are 3/14… 22% of winners from 65% of runners

Rated 131+ are 8/14

  • 57% of the winners from just 15% of the total runners

12/14 ran 1-30 days ago

  • 85% of winners from 53% of runners

14/14 had won over 24.5f previously

10/14 had ran over 28f +



We are looking for  a top 7 finish last time out, 12/1 or below, aged 7-10, carrying 11st +

That would leave… Shotgun Paddy, Portrait King and Knockanrawley

Shotgun Paddy is high class at this level and although he falls down on the days since last run trend (ran 42 days ago) you can’t back perfect fits every time. Those carrying 11-12 are also 3/8 with another placing. He is favourite for a reason but I think 13/2 is generous. He bolted up in last year’s Classic Chase at Warwick beating some very good horses. That was off 145 and he runs off 147 here. He then just failed in the 4 miler at Cheltenham and ran another cracker trying to defend his crown at Warwick this year. He is a proven C1 Grade 3 chaser and nothing, nothing in this race can match his form. The slight niggles are that he may prefer softer ground (but that can be said for a lot of these) and he does make the odd blunder. But, he has yet to fall and he looked like getting back to his best last time. Indeed in his 7 chase starts he has been placed in 6 of them.  Even with an error or two I would like to think he will have too much for these. I expect a very big run and with Jacob travelling up to ride him again I would be distraught (bar a fall) if he were not right there at the finish. Surely he has too much class for this moderate bunch!

Portrait King had to be backed as he is a near enough perfect trends fit and he is a previous winner of this race in 2012. He then went off the boil however his last two runs indicate he is right back to his best. His jockey from that glorious day three years ago returns. While Denis O’Regan sometimes frustrates the life out of me he does know how to settle a horse and get them jumping behind a strong pace. And he knows the horse well. He will relish the ground, we know he stays and has the class to win this race. Again, bar an accident, I would be disappointed if he wasn’t right there.

So, who could usurp my two confident selections?

Well Knockanrawley is a decent trends fit. He is young, improving and the trainer is on fire. Post-race comments often reflect that he ‘stays all day’ and he could well give Andrew Thornton a decent pay day. In truth, given he is a double figure price, but still under 14/1, if you fancy him I couldn’t put you off. For me he has to prove his class and he has to prove his stamina against horses who I know have the class and who I know will stay. Some will say 12/1 is worth chancing but not for me. While he is open to improvement he has only won, and very narrowly, moderate class 3 chases. This step up may turn him into a better animal, but it will have to if the selections are firing. For those reasons, not for me today. A win wouldn’t be a shock but I won’t kick myself that I wasn’t on.

Bar age, last year’s winner Wyck Hill looks solid and he is lightly raced. His handicap rating may not be a problem but his liking for a heavy bog may be. He looks like  he enjoys it deep and every indication is that this ground is good to soft, soft in places. He could well be outpaced here. He also had 3 runs before this race last year but has had just the one to date this season. While a big run wouldn’t be a shock being a previous winner, I prefer the two selections. I also don’t like how this race worked out last year. Not many that finished behind him have done anything of note, including Ballypatrick and Saffran De Cotte who have been poor since,

The rest are class 4 and class 3 animals on what they have shown to date. Some are unexposed and could well improve for this step up in trip but given that the trends (and form) have picked out classy, proven stayers, I couldn’t justify backing them. This race goes to those at the top of the market and the weights. This year could well buck that trend but I couldn’t justify backing anything else.

Scotswell will no doubt try and blast off in front but he doesn’t look to see out 32 furlong so 33 may stretch him. I also don’t think he will be good enough if the others perform and he lacks a change of gear. He won for me, and blog followers, last time but I don’t think he will do so here, albeit he will put up a bold show for a long way. There also looks to be quite a bit of pace on here with 5 or 6 recent front runners looking to battle it out. This will hopefully set up the race for those tracking the pace.

Alpha Victor has been backed but he is slow and although he stays he is very inconsistent. If he puts his best foot forward he may compete, especially based on his Uttoxeter 2nd last May. This is a much stronger race however. Herdsman is interesting based on his plugging on second behind Scotswell last time out. However he is inconsistent, wears headgear for a reason, and has been found out on his couple of tries in C2 company. But he is unexposed so could run an ok race.

To conclude if something does improve for the trip and manages to beat an on song Shotgun Paddy and Portrait King (plus Wyck Hill and Knockanrawley) then well done to them. I won’t be annoyed as I cannot justify backing any of them on what they have shown so far. On our side we have a proven classy animal that should go very close to winning if repeating his most recent run. He is also open to improvement and I don’t think Jacob has gone to Newcastle to mess around. No other horse in the race can match the form of both his Warwick runs and his Cheltenham run in between. We also have a previous winner of this race on our side. While no previous winner has repeated the feat only 3 have tried (1 of those 4 years after their victory) and they finished 3rd, 2nd and PU. He should run a very solid race.

You may wish to back both EW with 4 places to play with but I prefer to invest all my money on the nose given the odds.



3.45 Kempton: BetBright Chase

Fox Appeal 15/2 (skybet) 1 point win


15/18 Top 3 LTO

16/18 12/1 or shorter

13/18 Top 4 in market

Not much on Age, but 7 winners (39%) have been aged 8 (from 25% of all runners)


Just using the top 3 last time out stat (which is strong) would leave: Fox Appeal, Le Reve and Tap Night. They also happen to be under 14/1 and in the top 4 in the market.

I like Le Reve as he looks progressive but this is another step up in class and having demonstrated his liking for Sandown and benefiting from the collapse of a strong pace, I thought he was worth taking on. He could well improve again but this is a step up in class and I preferred the proven Class 1 form of Fox Appeal. A big run wouldn’t be a shock though.

Tap Night is a character who doesn’t win very often. He gets outpaced and finishes strongly. You can’t afford to do that around Kempton. I am also yet to be convinced that he stays 3 miles and I find his prominence in the market confusing. If he stays, and can lay up with the pack, he is so well handicapped he would have to go close. But, they are two big questions for me. And he isn’t very consistent.

So, why Fox Appeal? Well his form at the course reads 1,3,1,2. I find it interesting that after quite some time over fences they are stepping him back up to 3 miles. He has stayed this far over hurdles, winning at Taunton earlier in his career. While they alone didn’t prove he truly stayed for me his run in a 3m class 2 hurdle at Haydock did. This step back up, at this track, could unlock further improvement. There is a chance this trip stretches him over fences but he has yet to prove this conclusively and when he puts it all together he has a touch of class. His wellbeing and consistency alone should see him put up a bold show.

The rest have quite a bit to prove. Nicholls runs two here that were disappointing last time. While they have the ability to run well here I have my doubts. I believe Rocky Creek’s aim is the Grand National and this looks like a prep run. He is a big horse and this tight speedy track could find him out. The break of 84 days doesn’t inspire me either. Easter Day has been a bit disappointing and it will be interesting how he performs after his fall last time. It was unlucky but he also has to prove his stamina. A few of these have Ps next to their name and you don’t win these decent races if you are not at the top of your game. I am guessing as to whether they are.  A lot also look to be out of form. Many of them also need to prove their class, having generally been winning at C3 level.

Lost Legend will attract support due to his connections and if improving for the step up in trip may well put in a bold show. The other two of interest are the Tom George pair. He has a good record in this race but will have to step up in this class 1 contest.

All in all Fox makes the most Appeal of all the runners and I expect a bold show. My instinct says he will stay over fences at this track and at least we know he is fit, in form, and has proven class. He is the only horse in the race you can say that about I believe. This is also his only entry for the foreseeable future so we don’t need to worry about targets and prep runs etc. Le Reve may prove to be the biggest danger and I am intrigued, given the money, how well Tap Night runs.

Good Luck with whatever you fancy.


Post Comments

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

12 Responses

  1. Could be a good day for Emma Lavelle I am on both at 7/1.. i will disappointed if one doesn’t go in. Shotgun Paddy run style will suit the race and Fox Appeal has been aimed at this race all season! 😉

    1. His lack of entries suggest that may have been the case.. I may go and put more on. In truth I will be disappointed if Shotgun doesnt win. Everything looks in his favour and if he performs to his best I cant see how he can get beat! I am not normally that bullish for a chase like this but he looks ‘bullet’ proof.

  2. Hi mate,

    Let’s see Kempton 3.45 looks promising… need to up the betting bank, but my strategy is per the email that I send you.
    Just settled which horse can come second; perhaps Rocky Creek? I will go for it! With my type of staking and strategy the potential pay-out is looking good!

    Have a good day.


    1. We shall see, I didn’t anticipate a swampy bog as there has been loads of rain overnight..Fox does have to answer stamina q over fences and not sure if that ground will help…looked hard work..if Rocky tuned up he is a classy proven stayed and should be thereabouts.GL

  3. I’ve been laying your selections for the last month with success. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Thanks.

    1. Well at least someone if profiting from them then 🙂 good job you weren’t laying them before my horrid run otherwise that would have been messy. That is racing , I won’t be changing my approach in these big races.

    1. Yep well done…he was clearly tuned up for this, and he clearly had no problem with the track…galloped them into the ground. Well done.

  4. I laid Rocky Creek today. That was an expensive mistake.

    I should always be wary of laying in-running when Mike Cattermole is the commentattor on Betfair Radio. He does not paint a god picture of how a race is developing…..
    He is on Betfair Radio too often. I don;t rate him as a commentator at all.

  5. Hey Josh, no need to apologise about the recent poor form, I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t have bad runs. I was convinced Rocky Creek was going to win the Henessey and lumped on then telling every I knew to do the same. Fortunately in order to appease the betting gods I had a saver on him yesterday.

  6. I should elaborate on my laying of your selections, Josh.
    I lay them as soon as you post and, if they drift between then and race time, I leave the lay in place. If they shorten, which hasn’t happened a lot, I leave the lay on but am ready to trade out in running if necessary.

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