Members Report: 02/01/16 (COMPLETE)

A great start to 2016 for the ‘tips’ (including Big Race Previews) with two winners from the two races looked at on New Year’s Day = +11 points to the pot. Perfect Candidate won as I expected Loughalder to do the day before.

That takes the tips to +49.25 points since start of October when my attention switched to the jumping game –  something to try and build on. 

If you check the home page you will see a new ‘January Trainers’ post. There are a good selection there that will hopefully prove profitable for us in the next few weeks. Do take a read through. 



1.50 Sand 

Pearls Legend – 1.5 points win – 11/2 (BetF) 5/1 (general) 


The thought of this horse going in again without carrying any of my money is unpleasant and I cant leave him alone here. I put him in the tracker, and was an eye-catcher, after his seasonal return. I then backed him at Cheltenham where only a strong headwind cost him the race for me. I left him at Newbury and then left him again LTO when he won at 8/1. Damn. 

There are a few trends/stats for this race of interest…

11/12 Top 6 LTO

10/12 Top 3 in market 

NOT -1-15 days ago last run

V Williams: 0/9, 2 places 


In truth they do not help narrow the field down by much, bar being wary of the William’s runners, and esp the fav. He has gone up a lot in the weights and I don’t know what he beat last time out. Given her record I am happy to leave him albeit he looks progressive – but will have to be having gone up 15lbs from his last run. Under 10lb rises I don’t really pay much attention if the price is right, horse looks progressive and/or is in great form, running well in decent races. But, 15lbs is a big rise and you have to notice it. But, he will like a slog and clearly looks likely to run his race. 

Pearl’s Legend – 5/1 is fair enough given his form. He has gone up 6lb to a career high chase mark and that may be enough to stop him but I am happy to take a chance. He is 2/2 over 16f at the track and really likes it soft (not heavy mind). His form is very strong this year, much the best on paper in this race for me. His liking for Sandown and Cheltenham indicates that he prefers a stiff finish. He could get an easy lead here albeit a few pace pushers in the race. However the last race showed he doesn’t have to lead. He showed a great attitude last time and if he is leading at any point over/after the last it will take a very tough horse to get past him. I think he is sure to run his race and won’t be too far away. A Barrakilla or Just Cameron may end up having a bit in hand, but they have it to prove at this level. Given this will be a tough test, I am happy to side with the battle hardened campaigner here. His jumping will stand him in good stead also. 



3.00 Sand 

Reaping The Reward – 1.5 points win – 7/1 (general) 

Soll – 1.5 points win – 8/1 (general) 


This race looks ripe for the taking for one of these and the odds are fair enough. I am struggling to make an overly strong case for anything else, even those at bigger prices. Benbens made my shortlist but NTD is now 1/34 in the last two weeks and I am also not sure just how much of a slog, with a stiff finish, he really wants. He is relatively lightly raced but is also on a career high mark and his jumping is questionable at times. Also 0/6, 1 place 16+ runners. But, he could run his race. Relax looked interesting but Soll has beaten him the last two times they have met and I see no reason – with luck in running and assuming both run their race – why he wont beat him again. A lot have big questions to answer and many have proved they cannot handle conditions. Quite a few don’t appear to like big fields, on what they have done to date and a a few are being asked to do something different for first time in careers. 

Soll – He ran a cracker last time out and a repeat of that will see him go close. He is 4/17 over fences and comes here in good from,  for a trainer who is also now finding some form after a quiet spell. He ticks every box and likes the track. He is a slogger and stays further than this. There is a lot of pace in this race which should suit and he will be able to gallop past tired rivals after the last. He is usually a sound jumper and looks sure to run a big race. 

Reaping The Reward is the only ‘could be anything’ horse in the race – he is unexposed, and I didnt expect to see a profile like his in this race. The booking of Johnson looks significant and he will be able to hunt them up out the back before coming with a run as the many pace pushers start to feel it. This is only his 12th chase start and he looks sure to appreciate race conditions and be spot on from his reappearance. The trainer has had 4 runners here since 2009, one won, and one further placed. He just looks interesting and given his profile, in the context of this race, looks like one to keep onside. 

There is a lot of pace on paper in this with 6/7 horses who like to lead and/or get on with it. It looks sure to be a real test of stamina and we have two onside here who should relish this race. 




JAN Trainers 

1.50 Sand – Bold Henry (11/1<) 

3.35 Sand – Leviathan (any odds) 


That will be all for Saturday. 

Good Luck 







Post Comments

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

24 Responses

  1. One to note for the sussex national at plumpton is Nail M trained by Nigel Hawke.Came second to your selection Woodford County,Has everything in his favour,trip.going,jockey.The only downside is trainers current form and track form but might be worth a look at a price

    1. Cheers Gerry – I will take a look at that tomorrow – dare say I will back him as he looks a plodder all day long, and that was a good run LTO – Russe Blanc also goes over a trip for the first time and I probably wont resist backing him either, depending on price!

  2. Hi Josh….First of all Happy New Year…..Re the 1.50 Its also worth adding that Pearls Legend beat Arthur’s Oak over CD on identical terms back in Feb 2015 by two and half lengths. Think Arthur’s Oak might go a little closer tomorrow, but not quite close enough since that 15lbs rise from his lto run may just do for him up the Sandown hill at the finish.

    Love all the big race trends….which are second to none on the net.



    1. Thanks Martin. Yes AO will have to be on some upward curve to beat this lot after that rise,which he may be,but 4s feels skinny enough in that context. Those making a quick return in this race from last run don’t have a great record to date.

      Glad you like the trends. Have a decent approach now which seems to be working well on the shortlisting front.

  3. hi josh good tipping yesterday two nice winners.I looked at the 1.50 thought pearls has a good chance but deicided on grey gold beat pearls last time they met only 1lb worse off I think the possible pace of the race will play in to golds hands there are a few that like to run up the front which I think will set it up for gold going to be a good race to watch good luck with your tips might split me stakes and back gold and pearls

    1. Yes again GG hard to dismiss,do wonder with that big weight on this more testing track may find him out. Lugging that up this hill,in what is now heavy, would be impressive in a strongly run race. PL doesn’t have to lead,and unsuspecting anything ahead of him will be going to fast! He could take it up down the back,and that will be that!- ever the optimist! GG a decent enough price now. GL

  4. Hello Josh, only discovered your blog recently been reading your thoughts and reasoning behind the selections, I thought the ground was against Perfect Candidate and I backed Rons Dream in Singiefarmpayments race, I am pleased having discovered your site and would like to wish you and all contributors to the blog a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

    1. Hi Edward, welcome and thanks for comment,keep them coming. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to put up own horses of interest,why they like something,why they disagree with me etc! Hopefully you find plenty to get stuck into and esp if you like your stats you should enjoy the blog.good luck with any bets today.

  5. I have to back Keel Haul in the Sandown 1:50 because of a Henry Oliver system I use but carrying 10 stone 4 I would have liked his chances of placing at least under these conditions.He won a more valuable Class 2 over course and distance (well, before it was discovered that 2 miles at Cheltenham isn’t actually two miles) in November and I am surprised at his price to be honest.

    1. Yes can see the case,esp that weight in what is turning into heavy. Do believe PL would have beaten him couple starts ago at Chelt had the wind been the other way..he benefitted from leaders being battered by wind/fading…cant see many excuses for his last run. But,likes a strong run 2m which he will get and could stay on past tired rivals up the hill. GL

      1. Thanks Josh for not pointing out my schoolboy error…Cheltenham is NOT Sandown so the run in November was not C&D 🙁 still fancy Keel Haul to run well though.

    1. Thanks Kevin – yes he does doesnt he, but he needed to, every yard. Rain damaged Pearl’s Legend, but without it I doubt Soll would have got past Aachen. Super race.

  6. Hi Josh, Thanks for the excellent tipping, also backed Bold Henry 9.1 as well as your selection. It is really paying dividends with you concentrating on the hcp chases. Had 2 winners out of five bets and two seconds. Yesterday ten bets five winners. Anybody out there not got Jumps for the season, well worth the money.

    1. cheers Roy, ah glad you had some on Bold Henry- alas I broke my golden rule and didnt back him – i normally have something on when I cant fully discount them – first systems winner that has got away from me! Yes I enjoy the 3m+ handicap chases and it doesnt half help getting to know a group of horses, and having something to focus on.

  7. Great stuff josh my grey gold run no sort of race still good performance from pearls given the conditions soll and reaping reward were two brilliant picks keep up the good work

    1. Cheers Antony – yes best put a line through GG – in a way I dont mind when they run like that as it is just one of those things – simply an off day. Just didnt want to know really, maybe something upset him that day on journey from stables to start etc. That’s animals for you!

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