Members Report: 14/02/16 (COMPLETE)

UPDATE: I take no pleasure in that win and that wasnt enjoyable to watch. If you like the horses first, and winning second, that just wasnt pleasant. Thankfully Golden Chieftan got up after his brave effort from the front. He looked to take a tired fall, asked up off a long stride when he was starting to tire, jock should/could (i’m no jockey) have just tried to clamber him over and he would have won no doubt. That ground was worse than I imagined, summed up by how the Williams horses ran and how tired the leader, a 4 miler+, finished. No horses likes it that testing. Anyway, some more for the pot to take into next week. 



Let’s start with the positives…+ 10 points on the day from the tips and I hope those of you who engaged with my abysmal attempt at the Betfair Hurdle also backed Count Guido Deiro. There was also an easy winner for the micro systems at 4/1, and two of the highlighted ‘Eye-Catchers’, who received positive mentions, won at 3/1 and 3.4/1. (after R4) So, not too bad, taking the yearly haul for the tips to +102.5 points, still over a 200% ROI I think. 

The negatives…well I owe you a slight apology for the Betfair Hurdle. When shortlisting a race like that, however long that shortlist may be, when the 1st and 2nd are left un-backed you have to be critical. That yearly haul to date, mainly in chases, is a result of stern self critique over the last 18 months, in order to improve. It would be safe to say I have some improvement to go in that type of race.

But, the apology is because I didn’t give that winner enough consideration. Firstly it was lazy trends analysis because I was too eager to dismiss him from the shortlist by using another tentative stat (poor record of claiming jocks) Well, that has nothing to do with the horse. Did I look at Agrapart’s form in depth? No. Did I think about that Aintree stroll, no. Did i consider the merit of that G1 form LTO? No. Did I ask whether he was fit? no, whether he would handle the ground (no) Yes to both. Did I look at him and go, by god he could be very progressive, and this being his first run in a handicap think that he could have any amount in hand? No I didn’t. I also didnt mark as a positive his prominent running style. All in all that was a lazy/poor attempt there. So, sorry about that, it won’t happen again. I’m not bothered I put up two losers, but when you are lazy you get what you deserve and while I may still have ignored him, I didn’t analyse the horse in enough depth or ask the right questions. That won’t happen again.

And, those of you who have donated especially, don’t do so for such shoddiness. 



3.40 Exeter

Midnight Prayer – 2 points win…. 5/2 PP/BV * WON 2/1 (after R4 if you got 5/2, plenty of 9/4 about also)

*available at 17.12, 13/02/16

No solid market yet, but if he is anywhere around 5/2, 3/1 (looks like he may be) that is going to be the bet as he looks sure to go close here and I would be struggling to make a compelling case for much else, if he runs his race. It would be on the short end but I think he is going to take some stopping here I would be rather confident of a good run. 

He ran a belter last time out over much further but there is some pace on in here and this race looks sure to be a slog – won by Soll last year who would be a similar type of horse. For an 11yo he is still open to progress and is lightly raced. He had an interrupted prep before his last race and King said he would come on for it. If he does, I struggle to see what beats him here. He is normally a brilliant jumper and will be sure to be staying on near the end. This weight and mark should be fine just because he is a big horse, with a touch of class, who is going the right way. 

He also has the luck of running into a bunch of horses who are out of form and/or have plenty to prove. Bar Golden Chieftan, I am struggling to see what else could beat him here if he runs his race. We backed GC LTO where he was able to dominate at a lower level and was chased home by two poor jumpers. He will need more here and wont get it all his own way up front. MP is open to some progress for his age. He could well chase him home and if MP doesnt run his race may well be the winner.



Feb Trainers

3.10 Exet – Dell’Arca / Lady of Lonstone (both any odds) 

3.40 Exet – Houston Dynamo / Shotavodka (both any odds) 



(as always these are not tips, merely pointers that may help you in your own analysis. Interpret the stats and use them as you please. This is a test section) 

3.30 Navan – No Secrets 12/1 – the trainer and jockey are 4/7 when teaming up here. This veteran looks interesting dropped in grade. He also has track form and it is a track the trainer does well at. In any case, an interesting way in. Martin doesnt book Russell here very often but they seem to do well when he does. 

3.10 Exeter – West Approach – 9/1 – Tizzard is 2/6, 3 places with his handicap hurdle debutants at the track in recent years – albeit he is 0/16 5 places with all handicap hurdlers here in last 730 days. But, this one looks rather interesting at this trip in a handicap with Johnson up. 

5.10 Exeter – Man from Mars – 13/2 – goes for Saturday’s big race heroes who are 4/12, 6 places when teaming up here. Williams is 1/1 with bumper runners here in last 730 days and 3/10, 5 places with all non handicap runners here in the same time. The horse is related to some bumper winners and has stamina if it is a slog. He could give the two recent winners something to think about and as always with this type the market may guide.  


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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

41 Responses

  1. There’s no need to be so self critical about the Betfair Hurdle Josh, Agrapart had obviously been laid out for that for a long time – and Lizzie Kelly isn’t your typical claiming jockey! Its just one result in a lifetime of betting, just keep the long term goal in mind!

    1. Maybe, but I like to be, as that lack of analysis may well have cost me finding the winner, and readers and me, have bet good money on the race. I haven’t taken leave of my analytical senses like that, in a big race for some time. No excuse for not looking at that horse in some depth, which I didnt do, simple as that. No excuse. I don’t mind analysing them and making the wrong decision, that happens plenty! But, I didnt give myself much of chance there to find that one, that’s the issue. The blog has had a good x amount of months because of that self criticism from time to time!

  2. Hi Josh,

    Well done today on Guido and wouldnt worry about the big one (luckily the winner was about the only thing I personally got right today but even than it was a saver). I normally follow the micro system picks to the letter based on the odds cap but can you make any case for the four tomorrow since I am finding it hard to?


    1. Yep, struggling to make a case for any in truth. Yet to look at 3.10 runners in depth but 3.40 def look up against it and both have major question marks and I will be leaving both, happy to get egg on my face! Havent looked at other two but looks like plenty of in form and progressive horses in line up nearer the top end, including Tizzards, so would think up against it Market not positive either!

  3. josh you shouldn’t kick yourself to hard about baby king lost the race after a false start was called in my eyes didn’t get off properly and there after wasn’t ridden to win the race the jockey rode it very tenderly I have put it in my geegeez tracker it will be winning soon might even get dropped a couple of pounds which will make it even more interesting good call on the count antony

    1. Hi Antony…my self critique isnt with the selections, happy enough with my approach for those and that is racing. But I did let myself down with the winner as I simply failed to analyse him in any depth at all – which I did for Starchitect That wasnt good but you live and learn. I would take that profit as an average every Saturday so wont complain! Just the big price ones make a real difference come end of year and that may be one that got away. Yep Baby King received a strange ride, but dont know what paddy felt beneath him, esp after poor start, George is all about the chasing game so interesting what they do with him next,

  4. Wish i’d backed the eye catchers today! Was looking at top gamble as its in my tracker but got put off by the price against dodging bullets lol Also i backed st john spirit in the 1.50 altho i also liked extreme impact but 7/2’s again put me off, thought that was in the bag untill the last few yards when extreme impact sprited past john spirit! Might be worth tracking that one i know i’ve added mcphersons horse to the tracker 🙂 Anyway not a bad day today Josh the betfair hurdle didn’t work out for us but no egg on the face today either!!!! One othe thing i thought id say is you might like to have a look at sc williams on the all weather as there is definately a system there in my opinion. Anyway good luck over the coming week.

  5. No need to beat yourself up Josh, I take tips from some of the very best free tipster (like you) and a few paying tipsters who have excellent long term returns, NOT ONE tipped the winner, only one (who did not tip it) highlighted the progressive form prior to the last run, but discarded it ; like you did. You cannot win them all and the other results and analysis were outstanding again.

    I know that on occasions you think “why didn’t I spot that”; live and learn, self deprecation is a great asset but don’t let it get you down and I’m sure that any genuine punter, as all seem to be on here, will be more than happy with your long term superb analysis and tipping.

    1. yep, I like to beat myself up every now and then, it is needed. I know i just did not look at the horse in any depth. Not like I looked at him and said, nah, dont like his chance. I just didnt really look at him at all, and that is poor. Anyway, have done with that now, lessons learnt, onto tomorrow.

      Yep I wont complain with the profit hall or ROI for this jumps season to date!!

  6. The 3.35 was very competitive on paper and it is hard to find a place let alone the winner. The Whittington horse was unlucky and both the horse and trainer are worth following. I agree re S C Williams on the all weather and a potential system.

    Re the Festival – Dodging Bullets looked fit..ish but was lacklustre and L’Ami Serge ran like a cow! Would not touch either of them.

    Two each way for Sunday – 3.20 So Apache Storm & 3.50 Afkar.

  7. Josh,

    Couple of things on Man from Mars, it had originally been entered also in the listed Newbury bumper on today, so must be highly thought of, the owners give him a good mention, stating that Williams has had him since a yearling and he is very forward. They also indictated on the site that they are very much looking forward to his bumper run in February and thinks he had great potential

    1. Good stuff Paul, good info. Looks like he will be ready to run his race. Bumps into two with winning experience so we shall see. Suspect he may not be too far away!

      1. Hobbs has won this race 3 times with his 5 runners last 5 years & the fav 3 from 5 too. Like Man From Mars’ trainer stats & Lizzie Kelly’s 5lb caim but 4yo’s have only won once in 5 years (odds counter that?). One to take note of for the future especially 3m+ chases Colin Tizzard’s Molineaux, very well bred for the job imho.

        Quite like that West Approach 3.10 think he should be 2nd fav – good Back2Lay prospect?

  8. Best bet at Southwell is Canford Crossing 420, 10/1 with the books and down in trip and grade, with Tom Marquand back again. He’s a 3lb claimer to follow at present and able to ride at 8st.

  9. Have had a bit of shrapnel on The Tourard Man at 16/1 back over hurdles, has been disappointing over Chase Fences and that has destroyed his rhythm, has run well here before and at Cheltenham last March over a similar mark, won very impressively over 2 furlongs further I recall at Warwick last season and if he regains some confidence over smaller obstacles could be a nice each way bet.

  10. Who saw the Arsenal match? I support Millwall and do not care who wins the Premier League. However the referee seemed to change his view on things when he came out for the second half. Interesting if you bet on football and a lot is at stake in the Premier League. The global expansion of this league means that the best business model for the Premier League is for the big clubs to be successful re sales of the product.

    1. hmmm, yep, I mean that just a bit too obvious, esp for a man of Davvys experience, even i could tell he wasnt trying. odd, how he stood still and just let him drop back through field, and didnt really put much effort in. Would have at least liked to see him try and get him prominent, before then dropping away, as may well not be all himself/good enough. But, visually, that leaves a sour taste. prob best reserve betting on his runners for the big handicaps!

  11. I was on West Approach in a dual forecast with the winner Unow…., my original fancy for the day. So well done Josh for highlighting it. I will sort out a donation when I have time in the week.

    1. Good stuff Martin – with WA – hard to tell when they travel like that how much energy they are using/or just going to cart away with race, as it happens think he ran out of gas a bit, but winner is smart. Good punting that, well done.

  12. Midnight Prayer I had a decent bet on him,but I will admit he was beat if the Tizzard horse had stood up,Midnight was legless coming up to the winning line,i hope Pipes horse was okay he took a horrible looking fall 3 out.thanks Josh a winners a winner however they win.Cheers BoB

    1. Yep, no pleasure in that, esp for poor old GC – all I was doing was looking to make sure he got up, and Pipes was just sat in fence. The way the VW runners faded very early says everything about that ground – i underestimated just how testing that was i think, winner clearly better on decent and handles soft, but he was legless, and he stays 4m.

      On the other hand, BP set a ferocious pace in those conditions, and he was starting to niggle him, he fell because he was probably getting knackered, now, if he had jumped, given lead he had they would have plodded at the same pace, with same distance between them. But, you have to jump, and I have and will back horses in GEs position. Thats jump racing. Makes up a tad for Firm Order. Hopefully they all came home safe and sound.

  13. If anybody thinks the jockey Brendan Powell could have done anything about the fall of his horse in the 3:40 Ex they need to form a queue for the men in white coats.
    This is half ton of animal running and jumping on ground that it should never have been asked to do. The horse was struggling as was Shotavodka and Midnight Prayer. Look at poor old Shot and midnight prayer they were out on their feet. No way could the jockey do anything about the fall and Johnson had all on getting his horse to finish the last furlong. It was a shocking spectacle and the meeting should have been called off before it started. Too many people on websites blame jockeys for falls etc. Ruby came in for unjustified criticism for his fall on Valseur Lido last Saturday. I will say it again these are under nourished men and women steering half a ton of beast . . The jockeys need applauding for their bravery not chastising.

    1. Jokey’s are not immune from criticism just because they ride half a tone animal and put their lives on the line. Clearly that is important context, and why criticism should be well balanced, polite, never angry (people betting more than can afford to lose) and in all of that context that you rightfully highlight. I know nothing about presenting a horse at a fence, but a jockey has a role to play in that and I would assume those that know about such things would say that a jockey can be responsible for fall. Would you agree with that? Am sure McCoy has blamed himself public for falls etc in the past. Sometimes, and maybe like today with GE, there is nothing anyone can do, and it is no ones, not even the horses, fault. I don’t have much time for criticising jockeys, for numerous reasons, but I don’t mind people who do, when it is from a sound position – not I have just lost a load of cash and it was the jockeys fault.
      Some undernourished men and women are better than others at steering these beats.

  14. I think there are some days when corporate greed over takes sound and humane logic, looked like a big crowd at Exeter today, no doubt a Valentines Corporate Hospitality fest…..OK for the luvvies to stuff their faces but imho not safe to risk horses and jockeys on borderline un-racable Going…

    1. Agree, should have probably been a hurdles/bumper only card, but it is hard in that position I imagine. That was a horrible sight.

  15. I agree with a lot of what you say josh. Of course jockeys can be responsible for a fall but Golden chieftain jumped the fence and folded on landing. In my opinion that is usually a sign of tiredness. This race today was one minute slower than standard and if Powell is to get any criticism from me it is possibly he went off a bit quick because the last fifth of the race was run in slow motion. I still believe if a horse decides its going to do something ,put down go long theres very little a ten stone jockey can do about it.Balance,judgement of pace,positioning and drive in a finish are some of the attributes that makes the top jockeys stand out.
    As you say nobody is above criticism and it is the ones who have lost money through a fall who tend to fire from the hip.

    1. Yep, agree with everything you have said there. i cant stand the moaners,and there are plenty on twitter, who generally dont come across as very pleasant people! It is an interesting discussion point. With Ruby say – he just stood up, and let horse jump it himself in effect. You compare that to what Paddy Brennan did on George’es winner at Kempton – he fired him at the last and asked for a big jump, and got it – not always the case of course, that approach can lead to errors as well, esp if horse and rider in a different page! In general, it all evens out, and any perceived errors are annoying at the time – and for me for about 60 seconds after the race, before moving on.

  16. this was brutal out there today at exeter, i dont think ive seen a meeting like that one where the times were so far behind standard,midnight prayer 100 secs behind standard is the first time ive ever saw that and the amount of bypassed fences on top as well,i bet the track is in a right state now its over!

  17. I think that in the last 12 months Ruby has fallen into the habit of letting horses fiddle the last over fences? I find him a little bit arrogant at times and may be he needs to reflect on some of these falls? I worry about him and some of the short price runners he will be in at the Festival. Could inadvertently bail the bookies out?

    1. Yep, I think it is a concern. Someone (commentator, ATR, forget who) suggested maybe age + injuries have caught up with him and he has lost a bit of bottle at his fences. If he has, the horses will pick up on it, they will sense it. He is still class but it does seem to happen a lot at the last – anecdotally, not sure if stats back that up! You are right though, he has got in habit of letting the horse jump themselves, rather than him trying to be in more control and instructing his mount on what to do. The festival will be interesting! Best stick to the hurdlers maybe (although, Annie P last year!) UDS may have hearts in mouths!

  18. Hi Josh
    Thanks for the speedy delivery of the Cheltenham Stat report.Youve certainly put some work into it.
    Spending a quiet few hours digesting and reading it.
    Can’t wait for the tapes to rise and get stuck into some juicy priced bets.

    1. hi David, Cheers, yes you and me both. Have tried to pull together a ‘winning profile’ for each race, which should knock a few out while leaving all the past winners in, if that makes sense. Quite a few know out stats spread throughout guide which should help knock a few out.
      But yes, spending some time with it probably best, focussing on angles you like etc.
      Yep not a quick job, every race about 1.5 hours to research/write up, + research for trainers etc. But, all good fun and I would be lost at a big meeting without such an approach!

      Oh and thanks for your donation, much appreciated.

  19. In a perverse way it was just as well GC ( thank goodness he is ok)fell it would have been xx rated the two of them battling to the finish. Surely some action should be taken against Exeter officials it was dreadful to see the Poor animals suffering.
    Don’t want to see that again

    1. yes totally agree with that, and the poor Pipe horse, landed on top of, and got stuck in the fence, literally had no energy to jump it. If he had have stayed on his feet that would have ruined both horses for the next year I suspect, would have bottomed them out no end. Would like to think BHA would look at it. Dont know what went on durng day etc, views of jockys etc

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