Members Report: 05/02/16 (COMPLETE)

I won’t dwell on Bashford Ben’s run for too long. It was decent enough, we got a run for our money and he was staying on again near the end. John in the comments thought he may be outpaced/need further – I didnt think he would at that track, against that opposition -but the way he finished suggested that he may well have been! He got that right, I got that wrong.

He got an easy lead – inconclusive whether he did too much- so no complaints. They were a mediocre bunch and maybe he is not as good as he once was. Hopefully a return to Carlisle over 26f or further may see him back in the winners enclosure. I won’t give up on him just yet. (the cliff is edging nearer!) 

Still, +90 points for the tips in 2016 and we are still in profit this week, just! 

My Stats/Angles of interest trial continues to be dire! The All-Weather is far from a paradise for me  as well as all the other race types/ways in!  Some thinking to do there. 




3.00 Sandown

Ibis Du Rheu – 1 point win – 5/1 (PP – WH – WH are NRNB)

I have previewed this for the Daily Punt Blog, you can read all the stats, trends and my reasoning at the link below…




NO TIPS today. Both C4 handicap chases are poor and not ones I want to get  stuck into, having had a quick glance. Catterick has good to soft ground, which I had forgotten existed. When the weather does dry up a lot of form will go out the window etc and it may pay to be a bit more cautious, esp weekdays where there are not big race trends to help.  



Feb Trainers

3.15 Chep – Forgivienne (10/1<) DNQ

3.50 Chep – Lava Lamp (10/1<) DNQ

4.00 Catt – The Cobbler Swain (any odds) UP 4/1

4.20 Chep – Moorlands Mist (10/1<) UP 5/2



Nope, leaving alone today. 



The following articles/reports/posts may be of interest if you have missed them in the blog or in emails in recent weeks..









TIPS 2016: JAN HERE>>>





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Thanks again



That is all for today.


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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

24 Responses

  1. Some thoughts from ex coach posting here . And that leaves Cue Card… What a season this horse and his trainer Colin Tizzard are having. But, for me, the thing that has left the most indelible impression has been the rapport between the horse and Paddy Brennan. The jockey clearly adores his steed and appears to get the very best out of him. I’ve always thought Cue Card’s best would be good enough to win a Gold Cup one day and I’ve seen nothing to change my mind….

    1. Yep I rather agree. I am not sure how I will be able to resist backing him – probably drift on day as money pours on Irish. CC looks like an out and out stayer now and he can be ridden more conservatively, sitting in 3rd/4th. He may get found out over the last couple, but I wouldnt bet against it. Tizzards could have some Festival. I cant confidently say that Smad Place cant win. He is just a much better horse than previous years and he could lead them if he wants. There isnt a horse in the race I would back dogmatically to win money – and I suspect I will back both of those, sit back, enjoy the race and cheer home whoever wins. Had Coneygree last year,and hopefully it can stay this side of the Irish Sea again! Mullins mania always makes me want to reach for the sick bag as well! haha.

      1. Bit harsh on Willie Mullins there Josh, the man is a goldmine at Cheltenham and I don’t actually care if the Irish win every race at the festival so long as my money is on them…Not really a fan of Horse Racing as a ‘sport’ as such, as you can tell!

        1. Ah haha – that was not a negative about the great man, not in the slightest! I just find the focus, fawning, constant talk about his horses from July, all a bit too much! That is not his fault – well it is his fault for being so bloody good. But then, i find the incessant focus on Cheltenham from November time all a bit annoying anyway, albeit I can understand it. Discussions of how far faugheen will win by rather bore me. But, being a handicap chase punter, my detachment from novice hurdles and chases as a betting medium probably explains that!
          Ah, well I am a fan of the sport/animal first!

          1. I take your point, what happens in National Hunt racing for the other 51 weeks of the year is always reported with the festival in mind, which drives me spare as well! You would think nobody bets on anything over the jumps without one eye on Cheltenham in March, I once had an argument with a NH ‘Purist’ that I would rather be at Hexham on Gold Cup day because there were no queues in the bars and I usually got the winner of the selling hurdle that used to be run straight after the big race…

      2. Don Cossack
        Cue Card & Road To Riches

        That’s my top four rated – Smad Place about a stone behind the best imho

        I’d love Cue Card to win just because he won the Champion Bumper – I think he would be the first! Ah! That’s it!

        Florida Pearl – 2nd & 3rd in the Gold Cup, closest so far I think, can CC be an exception? & he FP trained by Willie Mullins, I was going to bang on about where it all started…..

        1. Yep, Road to Riches is lurking and he was the other I had on side last year. If you do like him best get a little on before Sat maybe? As if he does bolt up his current price wont be available. He is almost the forgotten horse but may not be after the weekend.

          Feel free to bang on about where it all started haha – I like history/anecdotes/reminiscing…just dont go into great detail about how Annie Power is value at odds on for the Mares Hurdle, that’s all I ask!!

          1. I was going to reply to Steve’s comment above but there wasn’t a reply button to it about his 51 weeks of the year revolving around the one – one of the first systems I came across was the Nick Mordin Cheltenham Bumper system – there’s been a few additions since & if you played your cards right or took enough notes from that one week’s racing you could probably make money the other 52 weeks of the year.

            But around 20 years ago there was only one race where you might see a Willie Mullins runner at the festival – the Cheltenham Bumper – now they’re talking him up as Champion trainer on this side of the water!

  2. Josh,

    Have you ever done an angle on how far trainers send their horses. I have been loosely following these when the horse travels over 300miles [ I assume that is a round trip as my paper does not say] and I think there have been about five this year which have all won, not big odds and mostly on the A/W. Last one being today at Chelmsford, Biff Johnson 417 miles.

    Mr T

    1. Hello Mr T! (that has made me smile)

      I have looked at it before, but I dont think in much depth and there will be something in it for some trainers no doubt. I will add it onto the list for consideration and will try and include any findings in a weekly diary post. May be post Cheltenham mind!, my to do list is rather long. keep reminding me.

    2. That 417 miles was one way Mr T (a quick check of Carluke, Dalgleish’s base, to Chelmsford is 382 miles on google)

  3. Some interesting thoughts on Cue Card from Pab and Josh. I was left with a large amount of egg on my face after the King George as i couldnt see Cue Card Staying.Theres no doubt in my mind(watch the replay to confirm) that Don Cossack had just got the better of Cue card when he fell two out.Don’s jumping would be a concern for me.
    Cue Card is a ten year old and the last of that age to win was Cool Dawn in 1999. The 3m 2 1/2 furlongs with an uphill finish will catch him out. The same way it caught Silvianico Conti and Wayward Lad out.
    Smad Place has still to win a grade 1 chase. I cannot remember a previous gold cup winner with that stat. He also has to front run in my opinion and if its decent ground will probably have a superior horse and jumper in Vautour to keep him company upfront. I feel he will fall short to a grade one performer.Who that is i havent made my mind up yet.

    1. All very good points. There is a lot of ‘heart over head’ in my thoughts – being a stats/big race man the age/no G1 would be a concern and I will look into that one. Ground point is very valid as well. In part I think I want them onside because like you I am not sure who I would take them on with! (bar the obvious and I wont be lumping on Vautour or ‘jack Adam’) And, well if I have a tenner on each of those and they are anywhere near the front jumping the last I will have been very entertained. We shall see, my thoughts may well change when I look at it properly in usual way.

      STATS – just had a quick look at the Gold Cup G1 stat and maybe I will make my bet on Smad just a £5 – yep those with no G1 win coming into the race are 2/144, 15 places since 1997 – two win in 97 and 98…since 2010 those with no G1 are 0/37, 3 places.

  4. Smad Place has never been the horse he is now, so his form this season is unique in his career. In my view, he cannot be seen through a stats perspective because his past form is irrelevant to his present prospects. He’s like Coneygree coming into last years race. He could gallop them into the ground come GC day, especially as Djakadam has yet to run well in GB, Vautour’s jumping will be under pressure, Cue Card’s stamina and his other opponents frailties will be under examination. A fair bet in my opinion.

    1. Yes, I agree with that view and the unique way he should be looked at – that was my view on CC going into the KG – a completely different horse than all previous years. I will be having something on both, I just know I will be albeit those stats may make be a bit more sensible! And yep, same with Coneygree, I was quite prepared to ignore various stats. And, stats should never be used black/white, strictly by themselves really.

  5. Something from Ben Aitken TRAFFIC FLUIDE.Gary Moore horse
    The 6yo was sent straight into the heat of the fire on Saturday for his seasonal debut in the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase and came within a short-head of snatching the runners-up spot from his more experienced stable-mate Sire De Grugy, whilst at the same time only finishing 5 lengths behind the beast that is Un De Sceaux.

    Traffic Fluide was never really put into this race until around 3 out, being held up out the back and being allowed to take his time to work into the contest, but when asked for his effort he looked stylish, progressive and certainly well up to Grade 1 leve


  6. Some great contributors on here and some good opinions. Is Smad Place really a different horse this season?
    His form in my opinion is not unique this season. This is horse that finished third in a world hurdle in 2013,then the following season was just touched off in the R.S.A chase. This season he won The Hennessey in style (doesnt look a strong renewal). He then went to run in a grade one chase (strange tactics admittedly) and was beaten over 16 lengths. Last saturday he beat the national winner and very little else. A mid 140,s chaser finished fourth. All of a sudden because of that performance where the odds on shot fell hes now a major player in the Gold Cup where before the race his trainer was aiming him at the Ryanair!!!
    The grade one chase form away from his novice days is still a worry and i cannot have him beating the very strong Irish contingent.

    1. Good points, again. Well he did have the same op as CC i believe over the summer and I am sure King is of belief he is much better, for whatever reason. Also he is clearly best when front running – it is the way that he ‘looked’ to be be pulling away in final couple F in the Hennessey and the weekend that is impressive.

      And I would say – how strong is the form of the other contenders (excluding CC, who has the best chase form this season in KC for me) – I took on DC in KC because I wasnt sure what he had beaten season before – he beat CC over 2m4f at aintree when he clearly wasnt right, and clearly needs much further – and after that at Punchestown he beat ‘jack adam’ – who aged 6 may well not have been over his Gold Cup exertions. Throw into that his poor campaign so far this year, where jumping under pressure, laziness/lack of concentration, have been evident, he is bomb proof – albeit at the odds may be a tempting bet on the day. He looked like he was coming to win the KC in truth, but I am not sure what to expect now.

      cant have Djakadam now – his jumping will be under much more pressure than on Sat as well, and at the odds too risky for me. Vautour also has it all to prove and is short enough. No excuses for me in KC, esp as he was able to go his own fractions for latter half of race and he should not have lacked for stamina – and all evidence suggests he was out-stayed there. Maybe he will blitz them but I am not so sure. Ruby may want to ride him to ensure he gets the trip as well – ie cant see him doing a Coneygree, if there are slight doubts.

      Who does that leave? all Roads lead to Riches??…Or is there a dark horse among the list we are ignoring. If Smad can get an easy lead (and take your valid point about ground) but, better ground makes it easier to quicken from the front, thus putting more pressure on jumping behind – he will be leading them in approach the last 3 I would think — then who knows, maybe class will find him out. Ah, Don Poli as well. Probably a place banker and maybe he is the one to grind and out-stay them all.

      Fascinating race awaits, I doubt I will have a dogmatic view.

  7. I think we are getting a bit carried away with Smad Place(backed him in the Hennesy by the way) what would have happened if Djakadam had not fell,we would probably be having a different discussion there is no way I can see him winning a gold cup..My idea of the winner for what its worth is Don Cossack.BoB

    1. Ah, yep – it is the recency factor, and the fact we all like a bold front runner, and one who is grey at that. And yep having backed him in Hennessy as well, that helps. Good luck with The Don

  8. Hi Josh,
    Had a look through the races to-day and it will be a watching brief maybe have a bet if I hear anything while watching At The Races. Can’t back anything with any confidence.

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