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.
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.
3.10 Exet – Dell’Arca / Lady of Lonstone (both any odds)
3.40 Exet – Houston Dynamo / Shotavodka (both any odds)
STATS/ANGLES OF INTEREST
(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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