Members Report: 30/12/15 (COMPLETE)


2.00 Haydock

Harry The Viking – 1 pt EW – 8/1 (general) 2nd 11/1

Heavy ground at Haydock is usually hard work with runners strung out all over the North West. I don’t want to be guessing in this race as to whether the horse will stay and/or like the ground. There are only two horses to my eye who are guaranteed to stay and likely to run their race – the selection is one, Rigadin De Beauchene WON 4/1 is the other. In effect this boils down to price. RDB is short enough at 3/1. He may have gone off too fast LTO, given the way he tired, or he may now be a weak finisher. There are a couple of question marks over him but everything looks set for a bold run and he should not be too far away. But, 3s feels about right and not a price I want to lump in on. 

Harry The Viking – 8/1 seems big to me – this feels like his race, it has to be his race. He doesn’t win very often but that is not through a lack of conviction I don’t think. To start with if he completes I can’t see him being out of the top 3, if this is as much of a slog as conditions suggest it could be. He stays further than this and should be there plugging away. 

Earlier this year he chased home Lie Forrit twice in staying chases, which were much better quality than this, finishing within two lengths both times. Back at Kelso he then chased home The Last Samuri and got beat just over 2l, over 26f on decent ground. This season he has chased home the king of sloggers, Emperor’s Choice (a Welsh National winner) over CD, to finish 3rd, and ran well enough LTO over 25f – he gets outpaced over that trip. A repeat of the majority of those runs sees him go very very close here for me. He is well handicapped, and the trainer is 3/9, 5 places in the last month. I can’t work out exactly why he is this price, and indeed looks weak in the market. 

Cyclop and Kingswell Theatre are progressive and unexposed. Both come here in good form having won recent races well. They are both up massively in the weights and there are questions as to what they have beat. They also have stamina to prove in this ground. Maybe it is asking too much for them both to fail here but this kind of race is tough for a young horse. There should be no hiding place and they will have to improve again – which given their profiles is possible. Of course they could improve for the trip as well. Listen Boy is also unexposed but is now 0/6, 1 place in C3, this being a C2 (although not as deep as some) so does have to step up. Stamina is an unknown. I am not convinced this kind of test is up Restless Harry’s street – a couple of niggles over this far, in this ground. The other two have plenty to do. 

So, if this turns into a stern stamina test and a real slog, we are in with a decent chance here. In theory we should get a good run for our money and I would be disappointed were he not top 3 at worst.  


3.25 Taunt

Fine Parchment – 1 point EW (2 pts total) – 16/1 (general) 3rd (distant, non runners, 2 places. Damn) 

I keep saying that I won’t back these old timers but I appear to keep doing it – but, we are getting what I think is a generous price about a horse who looks sure to give his running. His return at Sandown, in a decent veteran’s chase which is deeper than this race, was good. He led for a long way, jumped really well and went with enthusiasm for most of the way, before tiring turning for home. The ground may have been too heavy LTO and he may have bounced. He is the only horse in the race with form in all race conditions (ground, class,distance) and I think he will go well for a long way. The trainer is also in form and has done well at the track. 

Kings Apollo WON 14/1>6/1 (R4) is interesting and I backed him last time out. He does have questions to answer though and is now 0/3, 0 places in C3 handicaps. He didn’t like being held up LTO and a return to leading may see an improved performance but he will need to improve here. Same Difference is 0/5, 0 places on soft/heavy in his career and comes here for a new trainer after a very long time off. Enough questions for a 7/2 shot albeit he has the class to win this well. Royalraide is unexposed, this being his second start over fences. He does have a liking for soft ground to prove and will need to step up. He is another that looks short enough to me. I am happy to take on the rest for one reason or another. 

Good Luck. 


That is all for today. Write ups will be complete asap. 



Jumps Handicappers 

1.10 Taunt – Double Accord (12/1<) UP


Harry Fry has one for his mares micro angle- they are all last time out winners and she faces a Mullins raider WON – at Taunton!

2.50 – Jessbers Dream (10/1< guide) 2nd 8/1>5/1



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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

5 responses

  1. do like your write ups josh I seem to like the races you like betting in kings Apollo is the one I have backed today thought 14/1 was a good price for a horse that likes taunton and the conditions like you say nether won in class 3 but to me this is a weak class 3 if is ever going to win at this level it will be today thought 14/1 worth chanceing not had a look at the haydock race but going to put harry the Viking in a ew double with kings Apollo good luck with fine parchment 16/1 is a nice price antony

    1. Cheers yes good luck – I have now decided to have a saver on Kings Apollo – a perfectly reasonable bet at the prices – and as you say not the strongest c3 – nothing near top of market jumps out at me. Thought 16s was just a bit generous for FP – that run at Sandown showed plenty of life for me, and if gets in a rythm on or near front, he could take some catching – and if he is caught hopefully placing at worst!

      Yes, over jumps you will rarely see my ‘tip’ outside of 3m+ handicap/graded chases. Other than ‘profile’ horses or eye catchers, in additions to any big race previews with trends/stats – they are usually 3m+ races also. I enjoy analysing them, betting in them and watching them. Also, there are usually a few exposed horses who you can rule out who have demonstrated they dont operate in race conditions etc.

      Good Luck,

  2. Ones that I should’ve mentioned yesterday as being interesting numbers-wise:

    N W Alexander’s hurdlers – been firing home loads of winners, especially at Kelso.

    Had two yesterday, and for some reason I backed neither

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