Members Report: 14/01/15 (COMPLETE)

Reflection…Top Wood’s run was nothing but interesting. I was taken aback as Tom Scu gunned him to the front and persisted in a pace battle with Paddy The Oscar which looked to take its toll on both of them as they entered the home straight. Tom Scu isn’t that stupid and I am puzzled. I would like to think Richard Hoiles the commentator (I believe it was him) has a good eye when it comes to pace and he commented more than once about how quickly they appeared to be going in the ground. Top Wood has won from the front at Haydock but why oh why he didn’t just drop behind PTO and track him I don’t know.

I don’t get angry at all with any losing bets, or rides etc, far too placid and eyes fixed on the long term prize – and it all evens itself out. But, I don’t know what to think of that. I am sure he went too quickly – he travelled and jumped at pace really well. Maybe they have a plan for him and are protecting his mark – gunning a horse too hard out in front is one way to get away with that! A right conundrum. Or, it was just a poor ride. Nothing more, nothing less. While he clearly wears blinkers for a reason, the horse isnt one to down tools and stop trying and I can only think he was just shattered when asked for more. Strange. 

Maybe that last race took more out of him than they realised. I will get my money back on him, with interest, as he still has an attractive profile and has ability. One for the tracker. 

Maybe that was the betting gods way of slapping me around the face for backing a short enough priced favourite! 🙂 I got the main dangers right and maybe some of you had a saver on the winner. I can’t get these older horses right. Every time I back a horse aged 10+ they drop out the back of the tv, and everytime I leave them they appear to romp home. What a wonderful sport! 



2.50 CATT

Lackamon – 1 point win – 14/1 –  WON 12/1

West of The Edge – 1 point win – 14/1 – UP 17/2 – still running! 

*as always use, to obtain the best price. 


Due to rail movements you can add another 90 yards onto the advertised distance here, making this even more of a thorough test as they go beyond 3m6f. The ground is officially soft, there looks to be plenty of pace, and it will take some getting. 

So, I have gone with two thorough stayers who look likely to relish conditions. 

Lackamon – I think we can ignore that last run. That trip is too short on that ground these days but he kept plugging on. The form of the two races before that is of most interest. With a slightly more conservative ride he may have held on at Sedgefield in their regional National but he put a lot of distance back to the third and was out stayed by a horse with a touch more class. The Haydock run also stands out as he just kept on going when many others couldn’t – again bumping into one too good and a stouter stayer in Emperor’s Choice. All race conditions look find, the stable is in form, and unlike most in here is a guaranteed to stay for me. A poor man’s Mountainous maybe! We may end up having to scan our eyes back through the field to find him in the  last mile or so but he usually just keeps going and I have an image of him forging past tired rivals over the last couple! 14s seemed generous really. A repeat of either of those two runs before Donny and he should be right in the mix. 

West of The Edge – well, he looks to have stamina to burn having won going away over 3m4f LTO, stuffing Barton’s Gift in the process. The horse he beat that day was also progressive and the form looks solid enough. He is just interesting and in races like this stamina, rather than class, is most important for me. You either stay, or you dont and you can rarely get away with it if you are running on fumes near the end. That last race was his first try over a marathon trip and he really enjoyed it. There is a chance he doesn’t get the final 2f but on visual image it looks like he will. The jockey booking was interesting – I thought they would keep the same rider – but, he takes off 7lb, and he has ridden the horse twice before. He is a decent young jockey attached to Hobb’s yard and that claim may help near the end. He has no weight at all and is another who should be staying on near the end, assuming this race doesnt come too soon after the last day – but he looked like he finished with plenty of zest, rather than a tired plod across the line. 

 The Opposition….

Nail’M has an obvious chance but he is short enough at 5/1. He will stay, no problem, and all race conditions look fine. I do wonder though whether he is just a slow plodder, lacking any change of gears. He can also race a tad lazily at times. I did think there was a chance he may get a bit too far back around here and then not have the gears to pick them up. We shall see, if he was 12-14/1 he may well have been in the selections above. But he isnt. The yard is a bit quiet also. 

Gorgehouse LLiege would have a chance if the headgear works – and it needs to as he has looked out of sorts. I find it hard to back a horse with three PUs next to their name. He stays 3m4f well, but is now 0/5, 0 places beyond this distance. Barton Gift is in the notebook as he returned to a bit of form last time. But, he was firmly put in his place by West of The Edge and if they both run their race, I am struggling to see why the result would be different. He did maybe do too much up front that day but on this soft ground I think there may be stronger stayers. He is now 0/5, 1 place in C3, so does need more. But, he does have stamina, 

We are then getting to those horses who are doing something different – mainly a big jump in distance. Beeves, Alto De Mottes and Jack the Legend are all fairly lightly raced over fences and go over this kind of trip for the first time. Beeves runs over 26f as if this will be within range. (he did run in the 4m at Chelts for McCain and didnt do much,but first try for new trainer) But on soft ground it will have to be. Alto D M steps up by 5f or so – I have no idea if that will suit – a tough ask for a 6yo. Jack The Legend has a C4 novice handicap chase win to his name and ran ok LTO, but nothing more, in a C4 handicap chase. He won over 27f over hurdles and this trip may suit over fences. He is lightly raced and it is hard to say he cant win – we you cant say that with any of these three. The rest I am happy to take on for one reason or another. 

PACE…The two selections like to sit mid division usually and that may well be the best place to be here. Last year in this race Scotswell (tipped on the blog) dominated from the front on much better ground. He will try and lead again I hope. Gorgehous L, Pete The Feat/Barton Gift all like to get on with it , and Pinerolo ran from the front LTO. It is hoped that those near the front go too quickly and the selections outstay them all on the run in. Time will tell. 

I think we have two lively outsiders who should at least give us some entertainment for most of the way round. 

That is it for Tips.



Jumps Handicappers

2.50 Catt  – Nail M (14/1<) PU

3.25 Catt – Harvey’s Hope (12/1<) DNQ



(remember these are NOT tips, just horses of interest form a statistical/pace/profiling perspective. I have not looked at other runners in the race in any depth.This section is still in test mode really,but the aim is to find bigger priced value bets)

A couple of handicap debutants catch the eye today…

3.25 Catt – Fair To MiddlingPU – 16/1 (BV/WH) goes for team Bowen. Peter is 5/23, 10 places with his handicap deutants in the last 2 years. In the last 5 years he has only sent 4 runners to the track, one won, a further 2 placed. This horse has been off 70 days which is interesting, gets a tongue tie for the first time and cheekpieces. The issue is the ground, but she has only raced on it once LTO and was tailed off. Plenty of her Sires offspring get Heavy so I think the jury is still out on that. If they thought she wouldnt get it, I would like to think they would pull her out. But, we shall see. The market may well guide. The yard has also returned to some form in the last two weeks after a quiet spell, 2/12, 3 places. 

6.10 Chelm – Lucymai – 12/1 (general) – Ivory is 4/20, 6 places with his handicap debutants in the last 2 years and this horse won a maiden for him – he cant have many maiden winners so that is interesting in itself. The form of that race has worked out very well. She clearly has some ability and could have something in hand in, in conditions that should suit. The only question is fitness, and whether she is ready to go. A big drift and we may well know the answer to that! He can get them fit if he wants to, as with most trainers these days. 


That is all for today, signing off 09.11. 


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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

35 Responses

    1. Cheers Paddy – it was rather nippy! – Thankfully the football was entertaining and it was the best atmosphere I have experienced there in quite a while.

  1. I’ve read recent comment about Scu wasting rides in front so today’s race suggests it has become a deliberate ploy!?

    1. I would never discount anything in this game – but Tom Scu is a horseman and will always look after the animal first, so wouldnt do anything to upset/annoy/put them in danger – going off too quickly over fences is a danger, and he was clearly going a safe enough pace to jump etc – just looked like that was too quick in the race conditions, but as Roddo alludes to below, maybe yard form had a role. But, certainly that would be a tactic – I don’t have any evidence on Tom Scu’s record when front running, not sure if in HRB or where I would find it. Dare say the more pricey systems like Pro Form would have an answer. I may ask Ben at NTF to have a look for me!

  2. Hi Josh,
    I thought the same as you he could have dropped the horse just behind the leader, had a saver on ther winner all about value. Backed Hierachy 6.1. Good game at Anfeld.

    1. Hi Roy,
      Yes value is in the eye of the beholder – if I had known he would get into a pace battle with PTO we may well have been celebrating a winner, and I thought 3s was value for TW as thought he may go off a fair bit shorter. Glad you had some on winner and he was certainly a decent enough price.
      Yes, a very entertaining game and thankfully something to cheer near the end for us reds fans.

  3. This game is all about opinions.Top Wood was beaten over 40 lengths and its my opininion that however it was ridden it wouldnt have been close at the finish. Its certainly possible it has a long term plan and today was to get it fitter. Over history a lot of Pipes (Martin and David) have been ridden prominently usually to take advantage of their superior fitness.
    However,what worries me about the Pipe stable is the current form of it. 26 runners in 2016 and only 3 winners . Its now had 15 consecutive losers. Fancied horses like Stars over the sea, Baraka De Thaix,Gevrey Chambertain, Balgarry and Heath Hunter have all ran below market expectations. It will soon turn around but we have to be aware of current form in my opinion.

    1. it certainly is, that’s what makes it so enjoyable! Yes, I did look at the stable form but just thought they were in a ‘in and out’ phase, a bit like NTD at this time of year. Maybe there is more to it as he did stop rather quickly. I put it down to going too quickly but maybe there was more to it, who knows. The Pipe’s are good on the blogging front so I will keep an eye out to see if anything comes to light. He will win more races over fences, just hope I am on when he does!

  4. quite agree with west of the edge josh backed it last night ew think its got a great chance backed barton gift in that last race edge well beat it even tho gift is closer in the weights today don’t think will turn the tables cant quite see lacamon winning but might be there abouts edge defenitly a good ew bet in this race at 14/1

  5. Re Top Wood Tom Scu is the right jockey for him,good jockey at getting a horse right at the fence,Top Wood is not a good jumper makes the odd mistake and can jump right sometimes.i think he wants a stiff track and further than 3 mls,but he will win a race before the seasons out,so he is one to watch,but he is a bit hard to catch right.Another great write up Josh well done.BoB

  6. Mrs Fife works wonders again at Southwell with Sartori. Glanced over it but thought i’d avoid that race.

    Well done to those who were on board following her Royal Holiday success

      1. well done on Lackamon Josh! Backed West of the Edge before you’d tipped it, but overlooked Lackamon going through the card independently. Backed it given your explanation though and following you has paid off yet again!

        Backing the stayer who battles against the cruiser towards the line is becoming your thing: Cue Card, The Last Samuri, Soll and now Lackamon. Lovely jubbly!

        1. Ah glad you had a piece. Yes it would appear to be! Hadnt thought of it like that but guts and proven stamina counts for a lot in these types of races – which is one of the reasons I enjoy 3m+ chases so much. The choices you have to make are clearer against the market. Great run from the second though, he is one to note also. Probably went too soon and is only six. Albeit if winner had jumped better would have been more comfortable.
          Lovely Jubbly indeed!!

    1. Cheers Kevin, the bugger doesnt help himself with his jumping, 2 or 3 really bad errors – would have been a much more relaxing watch did he not make those. Always getting there..he says!

    1. Thanks Scott, nice when it goes to plan although ideally, for my heart rate at least, he would have passed second just after the last. Jumping was shoddy at best!

  7. Well done Josh,Lackamon how the hell did he manage to win that,some really bad jumping errors but still won,what a gutsy horse he is,i only backed him I left West of the Edge alone,they will be another day for him.Thanks again Josh.

    1. Indeed. I knew he had odd error in him in truth, that is probably why he has so many placed efforts next to name, thankfully they went hard up front, race was extra 90 yards, and he managed to claw it back. He is a trier and a proper stayer. Less said about WoTE the better – not sure what was up – is a small possibility he doesnt like going LH, or track didnt suit. Dont know but that wasnt his true running. Still, 14s was too big on what he had done/profile. Gorgehouse L the one to take out of that. Headgear worked – doesnt quite stay that trip – if he can get an easy lead over 3m4f somewhere could take some stopping – if headgear works again.

  8. Fan blooming tastic Josh it must have been a fantastic finish Lackamon was 100/1 plus in running – you are an absolute star – Warms up a below freezing day in the sunny North East


    1. haha thanks Joe, yep can just about Boom that one, 14s is allowed, today!! Yea I am not an in running player, in hindsight he is a decent in running bet and I knew he would be staying on late (although hoped it wouldnt be that late!)

    1. Ah shame Norrie. Desperate ground can be a good thing – made to look silly in Welsh National – as desperate as you get – but that was officially soft, horse handles deep ground and was best stayer, on paper, in the race. I don’t mind ground like that as quite a few in races like that have usually demonstrated that they cannot handle it.

  9. well done josh with lackamon didn’t back it done wote looking at wote speed ratings after the race hes not put together a good rating going LH might be a case like you said better RH he was nether comfortable at any time in the race will be looking for it when on a RH track antony

    1. Ah sorry that you avoided Lackamon. Yes, I looked at that pre race but concluded it was conclusive, esp as he was with new connections and he had showed his best form over a trip, LTO, and he hadn’t raced LH over a distance really – and had run ok, placing couple of times going LH – but yes, fact he looked so uncomfortable suggests something up – maybe track – maybe he just didnt travel to the races well and it was over before it begun. You never know.

  10. Well Done Josh, Well Done Lackamon. Well Done Danny Cook, Brilliant Ride, how on earth did he manage to keep him up to the job.

    1. indeed, full of praise for the horse and rider. He never shirks, just whether he gets too far behind/detached but was always confident he would definitely stay. Only used stick a couple of times. Just his jumping means he is never destined for greater heights – not only lost a lot of ground, two or three times, but use a lot of energy. Was a thriller.

  11. how did lack get up so so glad he did i was cursing my self not being on ew all the way from the turn in. cheers josh

    1. ah yea of little faith haha – I just hoped he jumped the final two fine, after the last he wasnt half ‘motoring!’ -always looks quicker as other slows down but he had plenty left come the end, some how. Weak C3s, packed full of front runners, in the mud, is his thing. Not sure if they can find something else, Kelso have a distance national I believe. But, will always clout the odd one. Smaller field helps in that regard.
      EW betting interesting, and if 4 places I prob would have gone 1pt EW – learnt a lot last year blogging, main one being I cost myself about 100 points betting 1/2 EW as opposed to 1 point EW – always have at least a full point on win side now, when tipping.

  12. Well done on Lackamon (I was already on following Sue Smith’s stats at the track-now 7/13-10 places with handicap chasers in the past 2 years but always nice to get paid twice). Interesting comment about the EW betting. Considering I very rarely tip up anything below 4/1 and generally go EW on anything 6/1 (unless less than 8 runners) that definely is food for thought.

    1. Ah yes, if I had checked my own stats guide I would have seen her solid 5 year stats! – and given your stats look likes most of those in last two years. Before this season she was 7/33, 12 places with her handicap chases at track. That is something else for me to think about stats wise – 2/3 year stats, opposed to 5.

      Yes, well I have had the habit of finding say 3-8 25/1 – 33/1 winners a year (based on the small sample of previous 18 months or so!!) And a lot of those last year were 1/2 point EW. + a few others at 14-25/1. EW is fine, and I do that when 4 places, or say I like one with 3 places and am convinced will place – main thing for me is always having 1 point on win side as a minimum if I like something. 1/2 EW + 1/2 win is a bet as well that will come out every now and then.

  13. Had a reasonable bet on Lackamon as I couldn’t ignore sue smiths stats at the track and the form of the horse ….good tipping

  14. Great tipping Josh, I had William of Orange in the previous race so I think I’ve used my quota of luck for the year already!

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