Members Report: 28/11/15 (COMPLETE)


2.40 Newcastle 

The Last Samuri – 1 point win 6/1 (general) 3rd 5/1 -1

I just spent some time writing out a preview only to just lose it. So, this will now be brief!…This horse is open to any amount of improvement this year, the trainer has a great record with stable newcomers and out of all the unexposed ones in here I found this one the most exciting. If race fit- (market will no doubt guide) and given they pitch him straight in here I would like to think he will be (Bailey has no problem getting them fit at home to win first time up) – i think 6s slightly underestimates his chance. He could be better than this lot. He stays and will relish the ground and I think he should give us a good spin round. 


3.35 Newbury 

GardeFort – 1 point win 7/1 (PP/WH) PU -1

I previewed this for the Daily Punt blog, link to which is in the comments below. I have sent an update which will be emailed out by them tomorrow morning. He fits a lot of trends, Venetia has a decent record in this race and rain is expected. If he is fit I can’t see him being far away here. 



Theatre Guide – 1 point EW 20/1 (Bet365/BoyleS – 4 places) 2nd 12/1 +4 points 

The stats I used to narrow down the field, and that arguably look the most robust are:-

Top 3 LTO; Aged 9<; 11-8<; 0-1 Run in previous 90 days; Placed on at least one of last two statrs. 

I believe that leaves a shortlist of 4: Smad Place- WON The Young Master, Fingal Bay and Theatre Guide 2nd


So, Theatre Guide ticks the main stats that I have used and out of the four on the shortlist is the biggest price. As importantly he came 3rd in this race in 2013, beating the 4th horse by 9 lengths. While weights and measures do not dominate my punting, he is 6lb lower here but more crucially carries 11lbs less on his back. In what is likely to be a slog that may count for a lot near the end. He was a bit in and out after that but had a decent prep in his last race where he plugged on over an inadequate trip. I am not 100% certain he will handle the going here – but, in handicap company – he has yet to prove he can’t handle it. Given he is 20/1 I am happy to take the chance. He has form on soft – if it turns heavy I don’t really know. But, plenty in here would have similar questions to answer. The trainer is in form and it would be a great story for the connections of Cue Card to follow up in another big race. I cant’t help be drawn into the 3rd place in this race in 2013 and I can’t ignore the odds of 20/1, that appears a bit big. Hopefully we get a run for our money, he is in there pitching jumping the last, and we place at worse. 

SDR will have to be a Gold Cup horse to win this off Top Weight given his inexperience and the likely going. It will be some Gold Cup if he does win this, although it looks likely to be a decent race already! But, I cant touch 4/1 – 5/1 and indeed it feels a bit blasphemous touching anything below 10s/12s in a race of this nature – but that is just my personal view. I will sit back in admiration if he puts this filed to the sword but I am happy to just watch him. I am happy to discount all those aged 10+. This race has gone to one more upwardly mobile for a number of years now. The Hobbs pair are interesting but If In Doubt will have to tidy up his jumping. Most winners of this race have had at least 2 chase wins to their name which is a bit off-putting for Fingal Bay and he was a tad disappointing LTO. I do want to see more from him over fences. 

When I first wrote this yesterday Smad Place was 13/2 which I though was short enough. Now 8s he could be getting towards a more tempting price. He ticks a lot of boxes here and I suspect he will run his race. He will relish the ground, he will stay and he will keep galloping. I may be talking myself into a saver at those odds although may see if he drifts further to double figures. The Young Master is interesting but this is his biggest handicap test to date. The jury is out as to whether he wants a true slog in testing ground over fences, and yesterday he was half the price of the selection. He dotted up in a few heavy ground hurdles when out-classing his rivals and he is still open to improvement. He could go well albeit I think there are a few in here with a touch more class. 

Good Luck with your fancies. It should be a cracker. Thankfully there wasn’t a deluge and the ground remains soft, rather than Heavy, which should improve Theatre Guides chance a tad. 



November Trainers 

1.35 Bang – Union Jack Dycy (16/1<) WON 8/1 

3.35 Newb – Gardefort (16/1<) PU

3.40 Donc – Earth Shaker (12/1<) DNQ 

6.45 Wolv – Bionic Indian (12/1<)

7.45 Wolv – Contendit (12/1<)

Jumps Handicappers 

12.30 Newc – Seventeen Black (12/1<) UP

1.30 Newc – Resolute Reformer (12/1<) DNQ

3.00 Newb – The Giant Bolster (14/1<) DNQ





Lady Persephone (King 16/1<)


For Two (7/1<) 


La Vaticane (Pipe 16/1<) 


Saphir De Rheu (Nicholls 7/1<)

If In Doubt (Hobbs)

Fingal Bay (Hobbs)

Ned Stark (16/1<)


Mountain King (Hobbs)




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. Saphir Du Rheu sits at top of the weights off an official rating of 163. Last year the topweight was Houblon Des Obeaux off 157. Coneygree the gold cup winner is rated 172 so S.D.R has a big task to win this but not impossible. Nicholls rates this horse highly and horses in the top two in the market have a good record.So do young improvers. He has a chance but i have a feeling he might not be a strong enough stayer.He is doseage weak.
    For me Theatre Guide has a class bar and has only raced on heavy(could well be heavy) once and was pulled up.. He has won two class 2’s and placed in class ones. I think he will do well to finish in first four.I find this race very hard to weigh up with several being hammered by the handicapper for a previous win. I give Bobs Worth little or no chance. He will not like the ground and horses running in a hurdle l.t.o. have an awful record. I think i will be passing on the race but if i was to give a selection it would be one of the Hobbs pair.

    1. Cheers Roddo – Yes think SDR has a chance but I am not taking those odds and stamina a slight unknown in a slog. Theatre Guide was good enough to finish 3rd in this in 2013 and if he repeats that I see no reason why he cant be in there – it is a price based pick, 20s too big for me. This is only his 16th chase, and he hasnt raced in many handicap chases – and he has never raced in a 3m+ handicap chase on soft/heavy – so it is an unknown, rather than he definitely cant handle it – and again, he is 20s.
      Agree in general it is a bit of a head scratcher – 10yos+ currently 0/38 so will see if they can improve on that as a few in here! Maybe one of the hobbs ones will go well and can see why you would lean towards them.

  2. Josh I think you should remove the price restriction on The Giant Bolster! One has to take the chance that Bridgy has him ready but he will love the slog tomorrow if fit. Only beaten 7l by Silviniano Conti over 3 miles here and second in the Gold Cup in 2013 show that he could muster the form for a race like this. Slight doubt about the field size, I suppose, but 50/1 possible and the stable is an improving one over the last couple of seasons. One last push for glory at this level before his twelfth year?

    1. Price is only ever a guide Chris!! I can lift it for you! 🙂 Would be some ask but you make a case, and he is a rather tasty price, isnt beyond realms that he could grab a place – would be slightly surprised if he won mind.

      1. I omitted to say that this is his first chase h’cap since running in this race 4 years ago. He was only beaten 15l on good after some trouble – but had had two prep races then. I tend to agree that a place is most likely but I don’t think I’ll get 10/1 until near the off.

    1. Ah yes so he is! 10/3 – wont touch that – he will go in at some point at this level – in the right frame of mind he is much better than a C5 chaser – puts it altogether and would win like an evens shot at this level. So many risks! I will leave him again. Maybe today is the day!

    1. Thanks Harold…wasn’t his jumping shoddy, jockey to blame for first few,and in fairness winner set blistering pace but though Brennan would sit him more handy,maybe he couldn’t go pace. But he made a mistake at every fence and if he had jumped like the winner,am sure he would have won. But,the trends/shortlisting doing their job and will land one soon! Small profit better than nothing.

  3. Smad place won the Hennessey easily and Theatre Guide ran on well to finish second. He has done this regularly in grade 1’s including two Hennesseys. I would doubt Theatre following this up unless they lower his sights to class 2’s. It was a very good write up Josh and hope you had a saver on Smad Place. Last season i backed Smad Place each way.Why i didnt this year off the same rating and with a prep run i will never know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *