Members Report: Sat 06/02/16 (COMPLETE)


(‘tipped’ up yesterday – Thursday- evening, 5/1 still available with WH as I write – 16.12, 05/02/16)

3.00 Sandown

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

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



3.30 Sandown 

La Reve – 1.5 points win – 5/1 (BV/SJ/Coral/WH) WON 4/1

The stats for this one are only helpful until a point. In a way when I look for a ‘winning profile’ based on the stats I want to be able to exclude runners based on negative stats, as a starting point. Those that carried more than 11-5 or more, after considering jockey claims, are currently 0/43, 7 places in this race. That is 23% of runners, producing 13% of places. So, historically, Seventh Sky, Unioniste and Black Thunder have it to do. But, that will be broken one day no doubt. Other than that there were not many other stats I wanted to get too hung up on. 

Le Reve – Well he won this race last year, and while I don’t think there has been a repeat winner of this race, having had a quick flick through past winners I don’t think many have tried. And, as illogical stats/angles in go, that one is near the top! 

I was surprised to see a few judges tip this horse up at Doncaster last weekend. They can’t have checked his record going left handed which in his entire career now reads 0/8, 0 places. All evidence suggests he hates going that way round. 0/4, 0 places in handicap chases – whereas right handed that figure is 2/8, 6 places. He doesn’t run many bad races going this way round and a repeat of his penultimate run at Kempton, behind a horse who could be smart and maybe a future Grand National winner – maybe even this year – would see him right in the mix. He is 2/3, 3 places in handicap chases at the track. So, hopefully he is ridden more handily (Skelton is 1/2, 2 places on trainers runners and that could be a relationship that is in its infancy) and gives us a run for our money…

The BLINKERS…are the only niggle. He has run well and done most of his winning in cheekpieces, but you never know how a horse will react to them on the race track first time. They must have schooled them in them, or galloped him at least, and be happy enough. Now, I checked the trainers record with horses wearing blinkers – 2/80. Oh dear. Her record with those in first time blinkers – 0/23, 0 places. Oh dear…BUT…only 7 of those went off at 7/1 or shorter,with many at big odds.

La Reve is by Milan – so I had a dive in to see how his progeny do in first time blinkers – I think there is a bloodline/dna logic that makes this valid research – his runners, in first time Blinkers, 10/1 or shorter…. 45 bets / 12 wins / 20 places, +31 SP. Interesting. You can have that micro angle on me!  

So, that tipped the balance. It may well be clear early that I have thrown 1.5 points away, but that headgear, going back RH, and a return to this track could see a return to form. Given the fairly small field and the oppo I think 5s is fair enough and he is the one I want onside. His trainer is also 3/16, 8 places in the last 30 days, 2/10, 5 places last 30 days. 

The opposition…

The two Nicholl’s horses have plenty to prove for me at the moment and I just cant have them on their recent profiles/form. Would I be shocked if either won, no. They both have a touch of class and this race is well within reach if putting it all together. They also have the weight stat to overcome. Not for me today. Paul does have a decent record in this race mind. If one was a monster price I would be looking at them for quiet a bit longer, and maybe taking a punt,but happy to leave this time. Black Thunder is the preferred of the two for me. But, he looks like he needs further now, and he can belt a fence. Maybe the smaller field will help and he will be staying on near the end if still in touch. 

Summery Justice is getting on a bit now and his best runs recently have come over more testing trips. He may be outpaced here, and that may lead to errors as he tries to close. But, he is in form and you know stamina is no concern. The break of 63 days would be though – a problem? or is this a prep for another tilt at the Eider in a few weeks. Saroque has been stuffed by the selection at this course before and I dont know if he has the class for this. He also has a brave and grueling run from the Welsh National to get over. Not impossible, but enough niggles for me. Seventh Sky could rightly be knackered from recent efforts and I still have doubts about his stamina, especially around here. Top weight as well which will be tough, historically, esp with no claim to help. I cant have Pete the Feat, I just cant. Now 0/8, 2 places C2 and above and he isnt getting any younger. Also now 0/9, 0 places in Feb/march in handicap chases. 0/16, 0 places in all races – he cant like this time of year! That leaves Knock House who is interesting but I am not sure if he is good enough, albeit he is unexposed enough. He has a bit to prove for me and 57 days is an iffy length of time to be off. Maybe waiting for better ground. He may well hit the frame and if I were in saver mode, he would probably be the one. 

PACE – Saroque, Pete The Feat and Seventh Sky usually like to get on with things. Hopefully La Reve can track them in behind and it is clear early on that he is travelling well. If so, we should at least have something to cheer near the business end. 



3.15 Ffos Las

Red Devils Lads – 1 point win – 8/1 (Betfair Sports- they will let me have £3.15 on,generous! / Coral, not BOG yet) 7/1 (BV) 13/2 (bet365) 6/1 (general) 

No stats or trends for this race yet, hence it is a ‘tip’ rather than a Big Race Preview. 

I will keep this a bit shorter. My notes about this horse say to be interested when he shows up in a smaller field, in a less competitive race. That’s what he gets here. The track, trip and ground pose no problems. Well, he has won in heavy here, but I think heavy varies at this venue and you never know how heavy it really is. 

I think he is a bit of a sulker if he cannot dominate – that is what some of his form suggests. In any case, this race will be much easier than the last two and I hope he can dominate from the front. Bob Ford does like to get on with it also and so does Finish The Story, but I think they may both see him off. It could be that he just likes fresh air, and not many horses around him. Either way at 7s, or 8s if you can get it, I was happy to throw a point at him. Not the most confident bet in the world but I found it hard to dismiss that price. He is unexposed and he has ability. He just needs to put it all together, which a smaller field may help him to do, and may help him get into more or a jumping rhythm – if able to go his pace.

 I can’t work the yard out at the moment. Many of theirs are running poorly again, and their season has a touch of the ‘Emma Lavelle’s’ about it – i hope that’s not too harsh! 

Bob Ford has a chance and won this race last year, where it was 3f further. He wont have any problem in conditions and ran a fine race before untipping in the big one. I just cant touch that price though for a horse with plenty of PUs in his formline. But, he may well be the last one standing. Likewise at the price I cant have Cogry and he has a bit to prove now, albeit unexposed. I struggle to make an overly compelling case for the rest, and many dont have great form in the deep mud. But, it feels like the kind of race where you would be stupid to totally dismiss all of their chances. 


That will be it for ‘Big Race Preview’ Races 



Feb Trainers 

1.35 Weth – Friendly Royal (any odds) UP 3/1 / Katkeau (any odds) UP 3/1

2.05 Ffos Las – Gevrey Chambertin (any odds) Meeting Abandoned 


Saturday TTJs (trainer jockey combos)

1.50 Sand – Bold Henry (14/1<) UP

Harry Fry Mares Micro (10/1< a guide) His have been running ‘in and out’ although bumper winner Wincanton this week. 

1.00 Weth – Secret Door 2nd 2/1

2.45 Weth – Bitofapuzzle UP


That is all on the horses front for today. 



(‘over the shoulder’ of me in my HorseRaceBase account researching a couple of trainer/jockey combos) 



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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26 Responses

  1. Re: horses wearing blinkers for the first time…I am old enough to remember when this was almost always reported as a positive move ‘The trainer has applied the blinkers on horse x today to sharpen him up/make him concentrate and an improved performance is likely’ or some such remark. In the information age when we can actually test these notions out against real world data from past results it is now obvious that putting blinkers on a relatively exposed horse is the last desperate act of a trainer completely mystified by the horse’s attitude or general below par form.

    (See also ‘Outsider of three’ for an idea that nobody takes seriously anymore)

    To be honest Josh, I can’t see why there would be any correlation between Milan’s progeny record in first time blinkers with any physical or mental traits he might pass on. Its more likely that the odds limit you set restricted the runners to those that were relatively well fancied to begin with, but I am willing to be proved wrong!

    1. Yep in general I agree with your points about blinkers. They do work for some horses and some trainers have been better than others and working out which horses to put them on. And you may be right about Milan,although forget the AE figure but they were outperforming expectations,although a small sample admittedly. Lack of concentration/laziness/requiring more focus could be a trait passed down bloodlines. Not an area of strength for me but I wouldn’t say that sounds too barmy!

      With LaReve, I am a bit surprised they are changing it given he returns tonhis fav track and the Kempton run was decent enough. The way he responded to cheekpieces eventually makes me think they should be fine but time will tell. 5s just about big enough for me in context of race to take a chance.

  2. I think anything new can rekindle the fire – new jockey, new yard, new headgear, the other day 66/1 winner at Chelmsford, Teversham – new trip & first time NO headgear!

    1. Yep again agree with that in principle also – and with all things its assessing the price against race conditions/oppo etc etc. I think it was Paul Jones (forget who/what he writes for but remember reading this in a book I have) who said many races are won by a horse doing something different – Mr Pricewise may have also said a similar thing – and that has always stuck in my mind – more so this year than previous actually – before I was a bit ‘wooden’ in just looking at horses suited to conditions, looking to repeat a past performance maybe.

      1. I been umming n arring about this JP McManus owned ‘good thing’ lol in the first @ Leopardstown & straight off as we been talking about it asking myself how many Triumph hurdle winners wore headgear. [* denotes first time]

        Three of the last 10 Triumph winners wore headgear: (think I’ll look back further before big day?)

        2009 Zaynar P*
        2008 Celestial Halo wore ts & twice prior to.
        2006 Detroit City fitted Visor* as hurdler after winning first time used on flat.

        Still can’t decide.. He’s no value today & will need to win well to convince me he’s no Lay for the Triumph ? ?

        AP McCoy was always good with headgear* & look-up Aidan O’Brien’s record in Group races….

        1. With headgear I wouldn’t necessarily be put off atbyhe festival by x stats. Very much horse based. Albeit in the handicaps I have looked at headgear in the guide (out next week!) …in these big field races headgear and restricted vision can be a negative. And also they are a sign that horse may be ungenuine or need some help. In general not the types you want in most competitive races of the year.

          Believe Mullins doesn’t use headgear. Disagrees with it. Of the view that you are either not training them properly or not riding them properly etc etc!

          I doubt I will be betting in triumph (well a fun £2/5 maybe!) and am not a layer.

          O’Brien…believe he has a particularly good record with the Warfront offspring in headgear. Not an angle I have looked at but he clearly knows when to aaply them etc.
          Also in the States,most are born with headgear on are they not!! 😉

  3. Good morning Josh.
    Your blog gets better by the day. It’s appreciated and I would like to chuck £12.00 pm in your direction. I’m not going to do that from your links though as it’s odds-on I’ll forget. That’s the way it is.
    So I’m thinking a direct monthly payment to you through PayPal (or any other method that avoids PayPal’s fees if you like.) Would I be correct is using your email address for this purpose?

    1. Morning Tony. That is very generous of you, and likewise, appreciated.

      I have created some monthly ‘donation’ buttons that i was going to share more widely tomorrow (conscious that i dont want to be banging on about donations all the time!)

      The £12 per month donation option should be accessible at the following link….

      you are correct in thinking that is the right email add associated with my paypal acc – different from my ‘contact’ email of

      thanks again.

  4. La Reve is interesting – trainer has made my HOT list for month already with one runner at a meeting – gained a FoM (figure of meet, beaten less lengths than weight giving to a fast time winner) two runs ago & didn’t have a hard time of it last time. Has won 3 of last 5 starts with a new jockey on board…

    The 3.00 Dickie off a low weight is dangerous but Pricewise killed any value there.

    1. Yep just how he reacts to headgear I think.

      3.00 Yep Hobbs horse he is a danger. ‘Only’ 1.5 points lower than he ever was, not sure how will cope if really soft but could be OK. and Alex Hammond has tipped my one which means I have missed something major…an extra 1st on his back now haha. 1 point down!

    1. Yep it did this time but weight wasn’t what beat my one given how close Yala finished. I thought he would relish trip,looks like I got that wrong. Breeding was iffy,visually thought he may like it. Got that wrong as think that is what did for him. Or he just didn’t run his race unlike all the other Nicholls horses before it! Still,Shortlist of 3 (after nr) found the winner,went with wrong one. Damn.

  5. well done josh again dito dito dito running out of things to say superb dont think i used that one before

  6. Well done again Josh, the blinkers probably helped him to keep his focus, Unioniste ran his best race for some time and Pete The Feat was very well handicapped and ran a good race. Maybe a veterans race for him might be the ticket. Many thanks for highlighting yet another winner at a nice price.

    1. cheers Richard…yep Pete The Feat ran much better and for much further than I thought he would, and you would like to think CL will find a weaker race for him than that. He jumped very well and when he can dominate from the front he is dangerous. Despite his age he showed plenty of zest and clearly still has the ability to win in him. Interesting to follow on next few starts.

  7. Josh
    You did it again, (Le Reve). I did IdR but because of the weight over 10.12 being the benchmark I went with Saddlers Encore(Hobbs Johnson) as a saver and did a trixie on Le Reve, Saddlers Encore and Red Devils Lads(Void). Good day never the less.

    1. Thanks Mike, a perfect example of using the info to benefit. I should have read through everything I researched and my conclusion and then changed my mind! Never mind,next time. Good work with the double.

  8. Well done Josh, I;;ve made a donation. I get a chance to read your blog on a Saturday ad enjoy your prognosis. Keep it up.

  9. Nice one Josh. Gonna donate on a monthly basis (easiest and fairest) after tallying points – mine, not yours lol. Suspect others may do that, so a reminder wouldn’t go amiss!

    1. That sounds fair to me and much appreciated. I hope some days you will ignore my losers and put more on the winners so your points tally is much bigger haha. I will do a monthly reminder,when I send out the monthly results no doubt.

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