Woodford County and Highland Lodge, on the back of a 20/1 second in the Hennessy and the strongly mentioned winner have ensured that my ‘tipping’ National Hunt season is up and running. The systems continue to tick along but it was about time I added to the party. As one notable commentator on these here pages has quite rightly reminded me from time to time (and time to time again) when I ‘tip’ I am supposed to be bringing a level of insight to the fore and adding a level of knowledge that should in theory lead to profits over time, and that may add something different/interesting to your own thinking/views on a race. So, it is nice to contribute!
Anyone who has followed this blog since I first ‘tipped’ Many Clouds in last season’s Hennessy, or Oscar Time (33/1) in last season’s Becher chase, or Wayward Prince (33/1) in the Scottish National will know to savour winners like Highland Lodge. There were a few decent enough winners during the flat season but a few short of what I would have hoped for. I have a habit of picking big priced winners in big races every now and then, and they help pay for a lot of losers (and help come out in front)- of which there can be many in big races where I invariably look at those priced north of 16/1.
So, the message is to enjoy that win if you were on and to look forward to the next one! In the meantime my normal ‘tips’, as opposed to big race previews, can hopefully kick on after Woodford County. They should provide a more steady stream of winners and profits over time.
As you know I always like to reflect on my tips. Highland Lodge ran as I hoped (and a bit of me expected) he would and after they jumped the first three I was getting excited. He was in a great rhythm, was travelling well and enjoying himself. Stamina wasnt going to be an issue and it was rather enjoyable from there on in! (minus that little wobble up the home straight – may have just been battered by a gust of wind) He is one to follow if they can keep him sweet as he clearly has ability. Hennessy form (even from 2013) should always be noted because for me it must be the strongest 3m+ handicap chase run all season.
Portrait King looked sure to place – well I am as certain as you can be that he would have placed given his assured stamina) had he not took an unlucky tumble, jumping into the back of one as he landed. He is getting on a bit now but maybe his time will come over these fences in the next few months.
Mwaleshi never really looked comfortable and Bennys Mist was setting a pace he couldnt really handle to my eye. He fell so we will never know but I don’t think anything was beating that winner, who bounced back to form. Those fences, and his liking for them, must have perked him up. A notable performance from Liam Treadwell who also rode the second in the Becher and is of course a Grand National winner – he clearly rides those fences well and his booking on horses in future races over those fences should be noted as a positive.
Rigadin DB ran well at Chepstow for a long way and turning in I thought he may have them at it. But, he emptied quite quickly and just plugged on. I read the main danger correctly and NTD produced another stunning training performance to win with TDC after 600+ days off. The proximity of Firebird Flyer makes me wary about the form, but he could still be progressive and clearly stays very well. One to watch for the remainder of the season. He was a graded level animal, and could be again.
Count Guido Deiro looked good for the first circuit and I was rather excited. He was travelling well and jumping well. I am not sure what then went wrong but he was ridden for a time before dropping away. I can only assume all was not right. There will be other days for him and I dont mind when a tip is PU when it is that early – too early to say it was a shocking selection!
Nick Williams had one of the easiest winners you will see all season at 4/1 with Agrapart- some animal to go what looked a ferocious pace for the whole race and win with his head in his chest. It will be interesting to see how far he will go. That micro system has started the month very well and hopefully a good sign for the next few weeks.
All in all, a very good day and it is nice that the bank is looking healthy again after a few turbulent weeks, and arguably a mediocre few months on the tipping front. I need to update results but I think the shortlist/tips/big race previews are somewhere between +35 and +40 points now since the start of October. Something to build on.
I hope you had an enjoyable day. I always have confidence that I will find these winners over time in 3m+ handicap chases especially, but I was due one, and was probably more relieved than anything when he crossed the line. It was also nice being the only punter in the stand cheering the winner! 🙂
The Bishop – 1 point win – 9/1 (SJ), 8/1 (bet365) , 7/1 (general) UP 8/1
8/1 felt too big for a horse who is the only one in the race who is really doing something different, against quite a few disappointing types and quite a few who have questions to answer over suitability for race conditions (soft ground looks a problem for a few in here)
The horse..he is a point winner and is unexposed. The step up in trip caught my eye and based on that point win and visually LTO (outpaced over 2m4f) there is every chance he could relish 24f here. He also gets cheekpieces for the first time, and after Highland Lodge’s victory they must be my favourite new piece of equipment!
The trainer does well here with his handicap chasers (4/20, 6 places as at time I wrote guide) and importantly he is in form. From his last 7 runners he has had 2 winners and a thirds.
All in all, if he improves for the step up (and it is an educated guess as to whether he stays) he will make 8/1 look a silly price. Those odds allow that chance to be taken.
The two ahead of him are the main dangers. Itstimeforapint is unexposed enough but has been well fancied on his last two runs without doing too much. Now, if the selection doesnt stay/complete, a repeat of his last start may be enough, but I think he needs to step up a tad and can see no obvious reason why he would do that, making 7/2 look ok, but nothing more than that. Benefit in Kind is also a bit similar and is consistent in placing 1/9, 4 places over fences. Ground is a big unknown with his win on good and this is his 3rd start for the trainer. But again, he needs to step up but is a CD winner. He doesn’t jump out at me at the prices.
The rest have plenty to prove. Shadie Sadie is interesting at a price but doesnt like winning that often 1/13, 4 places chasing. He is another where ground is also a big question mark. The rest I have crossed out for one reason or another, ground, class, distance – they have all proven they cannot handle one or more of those conditions so far in their careers.
So, we are banking on an improved show from the step up in trip. He is unexposed, from a yard in form that does well at the track and gets headgear. The opposition all have questions to answer. For me 8s was generous.
4.10 Chelm – Kalon Brama – 11/1 (bet365/Lad/BFsports) UP 16/1
While he will go down as a win only bet in the records (as all Shortlisted horses do, 1 point win) I have backed him EW, as he looks a solid place contender here, with at the same time having a winning chance. Anyone with a stats guide will see why I like him from a trainer perspective, and I won’t repeat that here – just buy the guide 🙂
He dotted up in a C6 race over CD and you could make valid excuses for his next few starts. He then ran in this class but was held up and had to make a challenge wide. That wouldnt have helped and he wasnt beaten far. He then races in C4 where again he ran with credit, over 10f where he probably didnt stay and finally his last run, in a C3 – probably just not at that level. He is still unexposed and if he can get out and track the pace, there is every reason to think he can out run odds of 11/1 – that seems massive to me – which makes me think something may be up – but I will take the chance. I would be disappointed if we didnt get a run for our money here.
The fav could be hard to beat but they remove the hood which is odd, and add a tongue tie, which is odd – given he has won two on the bounce. Maybe he is a tricky customer, and maybe these changes may improve him further – but, they could have a negative affect and evens is short enough – albeit he clearly looks likely to go very close. (a ‘saver/interest’ ‘forecast bet?- although that would be adventurous for me!)
That is all for today. Good Luck. Signing of 10.10.
12.30 Ling – Hearmenow (7/1<) WON 7/2
2.20 Muss – Silver Shuffle (12/1<) UP 7/1