Midweek Musings

I have had a look at the 3.50 Cheltenham and also have a couple of ‘Flat Handicap Debut’ trainers that have a couple of runners at Newmarket to keep an eye on. 


3.50 Cheltenham 

Allez Vic 8/1 – 1 point win 

Caid Du Berlais – 0.5 point win 6/1 

 UPDATE: Disappointing from both. I was happy to take a chance with Allez Vic at the odds, he jumped pretty well for most of the race, however he belted the first few which meant he was always catching up and those mistakes paid come end of the race. I read that wrong, clearly he is just a dodgy jumper, although I wont lose faith in him just yet.  Caid Du Berlais was never in it either. Anay Turge showed stamina I wasnt sure he had, winning from a career high mark. Clearly he comes alive at Cheltenham and this race was pretty strongly run. Great performance. It says a lot about how the race fell apart that French Opera was the one to run him close! Onto Scotland.  


Allez Vic isn’t my usual type of bet in a race such as this, given he has yet to win a chase. However 9/1 last night, and 8/1 this morning is a bit too big for what, along with CDB, are the most unexposed and potentially exciting horses in the race for me. I find it interesting that on only his fourth chase start Evan Williams pitched him into a £25k C2 Kempton handicap chase. Clearly they like him. But for clouting 4 out he may well have won that race (although a bit too far out to tell) however he battled on well behind a decent horse that went on to run well in the Topham. There are concerns over his jumping but everything points towards him being a left handed horse. His novice chase run at Chepstow was fluent enough and I suspect, given his tendency to jump left, that this is the way he wants to go. Now, there are dangers. He could well clout the odd fence and end his chance but there was just enough room in his price for me. There is no doubt in my mind he is well handicapped over fences and there is more to come. He looks likely to stay 3 miles so when others are floundering up the hill I suspect he will be staying on strongly. There is also always a danger with this jockey. There isn’t loads of pace in this race so I hope he doesnt hold him up too far back. Asking an inexperienced jumper to make up ground near the end of the race could be what causes errors, as well as leaving too much to do. Williams won this last year with Buywise and with a clear round I fully expect this horse to go close. 

Caid Du Berlais  – his trainer has won this race 4 times from 19 runners and the horse himself is very consistent at the track- both new and old courses. He has had only 7 chase runs and is still open to improvement. He had to be a saver given his profile, connections, and some of his form this year. This will be one of his easiest races of the season and he must have a decent chance. 6 year olds are also 4/9, 5 places in this race since 1997 so they clearly do well. 

Attaglance tops the market but I didnt want to take that price about a horse that is now 0/12 in chases. He has yet to prove his stamina beyond 2m4.5f and while he should be fine he still has to prove that he wont be outstayed near the end. He is also 0/3, 0 places at Cheltenham over 25f. 0/6 above listed class. Clearly if he repeats his Festival run of last year he would be right there but I am happy to take this serial loser on. 

Fox Appeal comes from a stable that is very hard to read. Their horses have been running in and out all season, a bit like the yard of Donald McCain. This horse is 0/5 0 places on good ground (better with juice?) and only 1/9 LH. He is yet to win going LH chasing (hasnt had many goes in fairness) or over this far. However, he does have a touch of class and a big run wouldnt surprise me. All in all, with the unseat last time, the form of the stable and a couple of niggles about his profile for this race, I was happy to take him on. 

Pepite Rose makes her first trip to the track and looks sure to run another solid race. She is yet to win a race from a mark above 145 and I suspect there are better handicapped rivals in this race. She has also yet to win above listed class. Venetia does know how to win this race (2/6) and if taking to the track she should go well, albeit hopefully finding one or two too good. 

French Opera and Anquetta look a bit too exposed for me. The former hasnt won since he was an 8yo and is now 0/17, 4 places, since then. He also has to prove his stamina and all in all it is rarely wise to back horses this old in races such as this. Not for me, although he does have the class if refinding any form, and is well handicapped (due to being regressive?). The latter is best going right-handed and is 0/8, 1 place at the track. He is 0/6 Grade 3 so this may be too hot for him. 2/22 LH

I dont think the Phillip Hobbs runner looks good enough on what he has shown on the track to date. The same with Galway Jack. His chance rests on the fact he could well get an easy lead here. However, he has had his perfect conditions the last twice, and was able to lead, but failed to take advantage. This race looks too competitive for me and I would be surprised if he is good enough. 0/8, 3 places rated 131+, 1/13 8 runners+, 0/2 class 2 – in fairness yet to conclusively prove he isnt good enough. Anay Turge needs to prove his stamina and I am not convinced he will stay this trip at this track. He also needs to prove his class although he has a very solid Cheltenham record. He is exposed. Benefit Cut is unexposed and is open to improvement but he is another that looks better going right handed. I suspect there are better horses in this race. 


So, hopefully Allez Vic stalks the pace, pounces, and pulls away like a smart horse, which I suspect, despite his late introduction to chasing, he could be. If the fences get in the way of that run, hopefully CDB is there to pick up the pieces. 

Good Luck 




Luca Cumani

  • Flat Turf Handicaps
  • April – October
  • 12/1 or under 
  • Handicap Debut 

Results 2010- 

105 bets / 35 wins / 33.3% win SR / +55 isp / 57 places / 54% place SR / +67 BFSP / ROI 53% 

(+21 points since 2012 above BFSP by taking opening prices)


William Haggas 

  • Flat Turf Handicaps 
  • April – October 
  • 8/1 or under 
  • Handicap Debut 
  • Ran in a Maiden LTO 

Results 2010- 

130 bets / 46 wins / 35% win SR / +56 isp / 74 places / 56% place SR / +73 BFSP / ROI 43 % 

+15 points above BFSP since 2012 taking opening prices. 


Two selections today, one for each trainer…

5.40 Newmarket 

Spiriting 9/4

Properus 13/2 



So, that is it for this post. I plan to have a look at the Scottish Grand National and write a preview that will be completed Saturday morning. 

I desperately wanted to find a bet in the 2.40 Cheltenham but have struggled and I think it is a race best left alone. Upham Tom interest me at 16/1 but it is a big ask for a 12yo, although he does stay well and will love the ground. In truth, as the market suggests, you could make a compelling case for most of the field. 



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2 Responses

  1. Well done on Spiriting and Properus yesterday. No neither won but 2nd and 3rd ain’t bad as I bet 80/20 style (’tis 20/80 really) so a place is fine for me. I also hate sprints with a vengance. They are puzzles I just don’t want to tackle so anybody who can offer decent tips for same is a welcome guest in my inbox.

    Ellen C.

    1. Thanks Ellen, much appreciated. While my ‘tipping’ is occasionally errant 🙂 i hope the blog offers something of value. Cumani had another second (head 7/1) with a flat handicap debutante today as well, knocking on the door!. I do like a good sprint handicap so there will be plenty on here in the weeks/months ahead and we shall see how we do!

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