Grimthorpe Chase


Just when you dont need it, I am in the midst of one of my worst runs I can remember. That is racing and betting I suppose. 

Samingarry was never at the races which was disappointing and Theatre Queen repeated her tricks,but in the end it didnt make much of a difference. I though her last run, in a hood, and her normal start meant 9/1 was worth the risk. There wasn’t a horse in that race that didnt have a one question or another to answer and you have to judge whether you think the price is right. At the moment my judgement is awful and the runs of ‘Big Race Preview’ selections have been crap for some time now. 

I have to hold my hands up… Wayward Prince should have been in the trends shortlist below, I am not sure why I missed that so apologies. He ticked those 4 boxes. That was a poor oversight. Part of the point of these blogs is to provide some info/thoughts that can help you make better decisions – he should have been on the trends shortlist for consideration. In any case I dont think I could have backed him. There will be people that did, and would have thought 33s was a risk worth taking. If you found him then well done. He certainly had the form in the book (1 decent run in ’13, last win 2012) to do that, if you could overlook most of his runs over the last 3 years.

I am going to take a break from betting in the next week and there will be nothing on the blog. I will start to gather my thoughts for Cheltenham and hope to arrest the rot. 


3.45 Doncaster 

Theatre Queen 1 point win 9/1 

Samingarry 1 point win 12/1 

(prices as of 21.30 27/02/15)

I have used a few trends here as usual. I have used…every Friday a free post is uploaded called ‘Saturday TV Trends’ and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Normally I would look through HRB myself but why bother when someone has done it for you 🙂 

Anyway, the four main 11 year trends that stood out were…

10/11 had won no more than 4 times over fences 

10/11 had won over at least 3m fences before

9/11 ran within the last 7 weeks 

9/11 carried 10-12 or less 

Using those trends would leave a shortlist of Samingarry, Theatre Queen (hasnt technically won over 3m under rules), Farbreaga, Aachen

Farbreaga looks like a mudlark and he is taking a big jump in class here, having been winning at C4 level predominantly around lower grade tracks. I would be surprised if he had the ability, on quick ground, to beat a few of these. Aachen is 11 now and while lightly raced over fences needs to prove his stamina. He did win last time out in what looked a fairly weak veteran’s chase (although some of these have been strong races recently) and the rider had to break the whip rules to get him home. He has a fairly light weight again and cannot be easily dismissed. He wont be able to dominate this time however if he stays he could be thereabouts. 

Samingarry has been on my radar since his decent 3rd at Newbury last season. He is a progressive horse over fences who is still unexposed. I am not sure if there was a problem on his first run this season or if they were waiting for the better ground but he ran again at Carlisle on ground probably too soft. His price suggested he wasn’t ready for that. Connections had a winner at the track today and he is one of the few in the race who is still open to improvement and doesnt have fitness questions to answer. To me 12/1 was too big for a horse who will relish the decent ground, normally travels and jumps well, and who is open to improvement, this being his second season chasing. There are no doubt about stamina and I would be disappointed if he didnt out run his odds. I expect him to come on quite a bit from his last run and has a decent record when returning within 15 days.  

Theatre Queen is also open to any amount of improvement and the fact she could be anything made me want to take a chance at 9s. Having hosed up in many points and a couple of decent enough hunter chases she is having her second run under rules. She refused first time, so her last run will have got her spot on. She is a tricky customer and she could plant herself at the start but the hood appears to have sorted that issue. She looks like a mare to follow and is open to any amount of improvement under rules. She could be well handicapped, she will stay and she generally jumps well (although may prefer going RH)…all in all 9s looks a fair price to me. 


This is clearly a competitive Saturday chase and a case could be made for a few. I dont think it is a coincidence that Mon Parrain has won wearing first time cheekpieces and first time blinkers. Whether the blinkers work again is the question. If they do he clearly has the ability to win this however is a bit too exposed for this race if using history as a guide. Night In Milan is 10lb higher than when winning this last year and has a lot more weight on his back. There also appears to be lots of competition for the lead. I will be the first to cheer him home if my two are not challenging as he is a super horse to watch when in a rhythm and it would be some victory. While he could defy this mark he looks to have been well found in the market at 6/1 which is probably about right. He will run is race again and is probably a banker for the top 3 given his current vein of form. 

For me the rest have too many questions to answer. Super Duty would go close if finding some form but he likes to dominate up front and wont be able to do that here. He seems to sulk when not getting his own way and he could bounce, this being his second run after a long break. Drop Out Joe returns after an absence but his price has gone. I couldnt back him at 5/1 given he has his wellbeing and stamina to prove. Those comments also apply to Streams of Whisky and Caulfields Venture. William Money should stay but surely isnt good enough to beat some of these if they run up to form. Wayward Prince seems gone at the game and hasnt shown anything for a while. 


So, all in all what I hope are two live outsiders who will relish the ground and the trip and are open to improvement. They fit the main trends and are a decent price. There looks to be lots of pace on as well with 4 or 5 front runners. I hope they don’t allow KIM an easy time up front. These two shoudl track the pace and be in the right place to pounce if good enough. They will do for me. I am still struggling for form this month and am hoping to end it on some kind of high! 


Elsewhere I have been tempted into a bet on Cantlow in the 3.10 at 8/1. I am probably going mad but as he is running in his ‘rest pattern’ (all career wins 16-30 days) I thought I would give him one more chance. If he wasnt doing anything differently I wouldnt be touching him…but he tries a tongue tie for the first time, wears a hood for the first time and reverts to hurdles. If he is to stage a revival it will be tomorrow. McCoy gets on well with him. It could be that he has gone at the game but I will chance him one more time.


Good Luck




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

9 Responses

  1. Well where going to be either happy or sad tonight!

    I have gone for the same two…. I usually seem to have one of yours in these contests but am all in today 🙂

  2. Dissapointing.. To pick a horse you had doubts about planting itself at the start I felt
    Was foolhardy .. The fact it finished fourth is immaterial josh.. Whilst being one of your biggest fans, You are sadly out of form, let’s hope things are better in the next week or two mate.

    1. Yes and no Michael…I can see you point..maybe it was a race to have no bet in at all, but there were questions over all of them, and with hindsight it is easy to say…I thought 9s was worth the chance given she was ok last time in a hood. Myabe she was too risky..but the top 6 in the market had fitness/jumping/form questions.I am in awful form and I wouldnt back anything I put up at the decision making has been off for a while and I clearly need to step away for a time!

  3. Hi Josh,

    Despite your tipping form taking a dip must say your Cheltenham festival research is excellent. I like your approach of trying to build profiles for horses that are likely to do well in the handicaps for this year’s festival. Could simply be used to draw up shortlists for each handicap to identify likely contenders. The amount of detail in your research is deep and its likely that this sort of detail and depth would be charged for by other services/portals/sites.



  4. Are you sure it’s your judgement that’s the problem Josh, or is the answer in your 2nd sentence, “That is racing and betting I suppose.” ? Take the Grimthorpe, ok you missed WP off your shortlist, that was an oversight, it happens. Of the 4 on the list, you selected the two that performed best, the two you discarded both pulled up, nothing wrong with your judgement there. Of the two others you highlighted, you had NIM as a place banker and it finished 3rd, MP finished 5th. So the 4 you highlighted finished in line behind a shock 25/1 winner and DOJ, no prizes but not exactly a disaster either imo. You were also perfectly in order to suggest WP had gone at the game as well, a look at his last half a dozen runs leads you to no other conclusion, but horses will continue to make monkeys out of even the best of us.

    I really wouldn’t question your judgement, as we all know you’re going to pick far more losers than winners, and the winners aren’t going to come along at convenient regular intervals, if only they would. Long losing runs are inevitable, I could name you one well known pro who once backed 39 consecutive losers, I know because I was betting them alongside him, but he dealt with it and came out the other side. Take a break, but don’t question your judgement, stick with what you know works in the long term, and you’ll be fine.

    1. Hi Keith,
      Thanks for your message. I think you are right…certainly on the ‘big race preview’ side I havent changed my approach, which has been successful for me over the past few years. I suppose when you are in a midst of a poor run you start doubting yourself and second guessing yourself which I shouldnt be doing, as I am confident in how i play the game.
      I dont think I would be questioning myself if I wasnt blogging….it is actually probably more to being disappointed when selections dont give me/others a decent run for my money, knowing that some people may have backed them. But, that is something i need to get used too.
      Onwards we go…your message is a timely reminder that if you are confident in your approach you need to stick with it! Cheers

  5. I would just like to reinforce all the positivity mentioned above, Your doing fine as far as the Blog is concerned,

    Betting is all in the mined if you get the psychology right your in business if you don’t you want!

    I hope you will continue with your big race previews which are excellent and continue to drop some interesting blog post in between. I for one love to see if if you have chosen the same selections as me! I see that as a good thing! 🙂 I would hope that most people coming on here are are not looking for tips to be honest but are using your excellent previews as a guide to shortlisting horses in that particular race.

    Just concentrate on Cheltenham now and am sure it will be a profitable week for you.

    Josh i have to say your approach is as professional as ir get and you have provied al ready many useful insights in improving peoples betting!

  6. Last sentence edited:

    “Josh i have to say your approach is as professional as it gets and you have already provided many useful insights in improving peoples betting!”

  7. Well said Keith. Good analysis Nicely put. Best wishes Josh, support and positivity is out there and with you.

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