Weekly Diary: 8th-14th Feb 2016 (COMPLETE)

The usual mixture here. Results Re-Cap / Micro System / Eye-Catchers. I will try and add some ‘opinion pieces’ ¬†in future articles, but apart from a few polite disagreements on twitter, and one person who emailed saying ‘If you are so good why don’t you just back everything yourself – you are a FRAUD’ – there wasn’t really much that irked me this week! ūüôā I’m not even going to bother with the first half of that comment – possibly the most illogical/idiotic thing I have ever been emailed. (oh, and as you know,I do back all of my tips myself, ¬£20 per point for now)




An up and down week for the portfolio. The micro systems are having a tough start to the year. Thankfully August-December was rather profitable but if you missed out on that haul, you may be getting jittery. I will get onto them in a moment…



Big Race Previews: 3 bets / 1 win / 1 w|p = +10 points 

‘Other’:5 bets / 1 win / 2 w|p = 0¬†

Total: 8 bets / 2 wins / 3 w|p = +10 points 

FEB Running Total: 15 bets / 4 wins / 6 w|p = +18 points 

2016 Running Total To Date: 48 bets / 14 wins / 20 w|p = +106.5 points 

Jumps Season’ Running Total: +144.75 points¬†



Weekly Total

Month Trainers: 1/16, -11 points 

Jumps ‘Cappers: 1/7, -2.5 points¬†

Other: 0/1, Р1 point 

Total: 2/24, -14.5 points 

Feb Running Total: 3/42, -29.5 points 

Jan 2016 Total: 12/88, -21.5 points 




Well as usual I try and unearth a trainer based micro angle that may be worth following. This week I am going to highlight Pam Sly, who much like Harry Fry, appears to have a knack with the females. Thankfully hers tend to go off at much bigger prices. 

I won’t pretend this was my idea. One of you emailed me a few weeks back – apologies as I forget who it was- and he said I should have a closer look. I did have a closer look and don’t know why I didnt highlight it early as she is now 2/3,+ 11 points since I saved it to my HRB account. And, I haven’t backed either. The latter at 10/1. Idiot.¬†

Anyway, the rules. Fairly simple…

  • Pam Sly
  • Handicaps (National Hunt + Flat Turf Only)¬†
  • Filly or Mare¬†
  • Running over 8 furlong or further (guide, for the Flat runners)¬†

And, well that it is….

  Bets Wins Win% P/L(SP) Places Place% ROI(SP) P/L(BF) ROI(BF) P/L(Plc) MxOdd A/E  
ALL 91 20 21.98 100.5 41 45.05 110.44 191.37 210.3 54.06 51.00 1.73  
2016 3 2 66.67 11.5 2 66.67 383.33 14.53 484.42 3.1 11.00 3.85  
2015 34 5 14.71 4.5 15 44.12 13.24 7.52 22.11 19.72 34.00 1.2  
2014 27 8 29.63 31 15 55.56 114.81 35.68 132.16 14.54 15.00 2.01  
2013 13 2 15.38 6.5 5 38.46 50 7.18 55.25 5.07 41.00 1.37  
2012 14 3 21.43 47 4 28.57 335.71 126.46 903.25 11.62 51.00 2.1  


I have tried to slice and dice but there really isnt much more analysis required, esp given a lot of the numbers end up being small. Her record with all runners, both flat and AW over 6/7f (no runners at 5) is 0/14, 1 place, 0/7, 1 place with the flat turf runners. Maybe she doesnt have the horses for this distance, or just doesnt train them for it. They appear to do better the further they go. Given her overall record with Gelding’s – 14/148, 40 places -24SP AE 0.89, it would suggest finding females and winning with them is important. I am not clued up with the operation but supplying/selling brood mares may be a key part of it.¬†

The record in all female only races is much better, but from a smaller pool. Those running in mixed sex races are 10/78, 28 places. 12% SR, +36.5 SP. 

Focussing on those priced 14/1 or under would improve the SR to 25%. 75 bets / 19 wins / 34 places /+65 SP /+78BFSP. The places is decent and you could do worse than backing them all EW to some degree, if you prefer that to longer losing runs just betting win only. 

Over 14/1 SP are.. 1/16, 7 places, +35 SP… The winner was 50/1 SP, 134 BFSP! – She has had numerous big priced horses go close and place. You could just back them all to BFSP, esp when clear going to go off over 14/1 and they are weak in the market. One will go in every now and then. In general they perform best in classes 4 and 5. But the numbers at C3 and C6 are fairly small and the number of placed horses suggest with a bit more luck the figures would have been improved.¬†

All in all, an interesting little angle that will throw up a few big priced bets and hopefully some winners in the months and year’s ahead.



As usual I’ve focused on races I have bet/tipped in – mainly as I have studied/watched them the closest! Clearly the majority of these are going to be 3m+ chasers…

Let’s start with Catterick where we backed Straidnahanna to victory. I think we should probably note the top 4 in that race, for one reason or another. I think this race could end up working out ok.¬†

Straidnahanna – well we should continue to track this one given I think he won with a bit up his sleeve in the end. He was also giving 15lb to the runner up and looked to be pulling away, out-pacing that rival. He is a strange one because he runs like a galloper – yes because of his prominent running style and clear ability to handle a track like Catterick – is dangerous on tighter circuits. His jumping was generally very good, especially when fired at them by his rider. Cook, much like Paddy Brennan, are not suffering from the ‘Ruby Wobbles’ ūüôā He clearly stays this trip and he has ran with credit C2s. There could be more to come, esp when able to get into a rhythm near the front, or on the front end.¬†

Jac The Legend – ran better than I thought he might and that was only his 6th chase start. As Nick pointed out in one of the comments after the race, his trainer thinks he is a right stayer and will like it deep. He wasn’t stopping here, just the winner pulled out a bit more, maybe demonstrating a touch more ‘class’. He fell when sent over a marathon trip here a couple of starts before so clearly needs to improve his jumping. But he is inexperienced and was better here, surrounded by horses for most of the way and they didnt hang around. Maybe he could be an Eider type one day. He looks like he has a great attitude and I can imagine him being hard to pass if getting near the front, late on, in a stamina test. His hurdles win a few starts back was over 27f and this run suggests he is going to be a much better chaser, albeit one with a lack of gears near the business end. A stiffer finish may ever suit more.¬†

Beeves – is worth noting because he was returning after 66 days and ran very fresh. He pulled hard for a long way and carted his jockey to the front, passed Scotswell, which suggested to me he was maybe doing too much. Some of his best form has also been on a sounder surface. Those two things combined probably did for him. He clearly likes to bowl along in front if he can and generally jumped well here. He didn’t throw in the towel either and kept plugging away. It will be interesting what they do with him next but if he comes out in the next 2-3 weeks, with the fizz knocked out of him, and able to dictate a smallish field, he could go very well. Yet to prove he can’t win from this mark for me.¬†

Distime – is a bit of an old timer now and keeps running a good race every now and then. I still don’t think he really stays this trip but again kept plugging away. To me this run suggested that he was in form and enjoying his job. His recent wins have been at Sedgefield and a return to there, over shorter, would be of interest I think – provided there are not too many upwardly mobile horses in opposition.¬†

Four Hurdlers….

Count Guido Deiro Рwon for us at 14/1 last Saturday, dictating from the front as I hoped he might. He loved the mud and stays well. They clearly sorted out any issues following his last chase run. He is clearly dangerous, as are most horses, when left to dictate matters and it was a fine ride from the young man in the saddle. I do want to see him back over fences as he could be a regional national type РUttoxeter or something. Albeit he may be more of a galloper and you always have to worry a tad about jumping when they keep switching between codes. It will be interesting where they send him next. Sykes, who chased him home is also worth marking up. It looks like he can still win from this mark. The one place you dont want to be when one horse is loose on the front end is held up last! Given Dickie is Dickie, (ie tactically astute) I would suggest they think he has to be ridden like this. He made a few scrappy errors trying to make up ground, in what was testing conditions. Most races were won that day by horses racing handily I believe. There was a decent gap back to the rest. A stronger pace may well help him. 

Agrapart is Agrapart. Not much to say there. He won with plenty in hand and could well have a big future outside of handicaps and indeed over fences one day. That was a smart performance, to pull away like that in that ground, however much you have in hand. He races prominently and I suspect we may seem him at Aintree again next, maybe with a race in between. Williams suggested he isnt a Cheltenham horse. Starchitect is worth noting for team Pipe. Returning after a long break he ran a cracker on ground that I wasnt sure he would like. Well it looked like he did, albeit I suspect he would be better on quicker. This was a decent run, an error at the last when probably getting tired. He could also be an Aintree horse, with his prominent running style and liking for better ground. I have a niggle that he will always find stronger stayers up the Cheltenham Hill, in a strongly run, big field race. But, that is far from conclusive and is just a hunch at the moment. Flatter tracks may be his thing. 

Back to the Chasers…

A Good Skin Рran really well at Kempton, chasing home Silvergrove. That horse ran better than I thought he might and is clearly going to be better than I gave him credit for. He looks a tough horse to pass who will give you everything. He looks a galloper, rather than a nippy type, but is also a front runner who is dangerous when left alone. A solid jumper he could be going places. That makes this run from A Good Skin worthy of noting. He hasnt had many chase runs and was held up for most of the way. Making ground up around this chase track is tricky but he did make a mid race move, suggesting he has some tactical gears. Tom George chasers usually get better the more race/hard fit they are. My micro angle for him focuses on those that have had 2 or more runs in the last 90 days. Well,he had 1 in the previous 97 leading to this race. He may well come on for it. He will also be better on good ground. He is going to win more 3m chases for sure. A more galloping track may help him also. 

Firm Order Рwill be kept onside having been tipped and then unseating at the third fence. He was in  a handy position and was travelling well early here, and I have convinced myself he would have gone close, given the way the race finished! (nothing blew the field away and it was all a bit slow motion). He does like Sandown and maybe they will find a smaller field, veterans chase or something for him. He clearly still shows something at home but of course will always be open to attack from those with younger legs. 

Subtle Grey – a final mention for this one who defeated a micro system bet of Lucinda Russell’s. He was never really happy in this 3 runner race and I don’t know if that is because he is lazy and an idler, or he wants a real test of stamina. Stamina won him the day here, in a race that would not have been run to suit – one horse able to dictate. He generally jumped well and I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he could well be a real slogger – one for marathon trips maybe. He clearly likes the hill at Carlisle and it will be interesting if he can stay further, in a more strongly run race. He may well have to be delivered late, if indeed he does look around a bit when hitting the front.¬†

Right, that is all for this week! 

I hope you have found some of that interesting/useful. 





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5 responses

  1. Hi Ben,

    I dont think there is enough to make it an angle but I have noticed a lot of the recent winners were returning from very long layoffs so she clearly does a good job of getting fit at home which you probably wouldnt expect from such a small yard.


      1. haha, not to worry. Yep, will get this blog redesigned at some point before end of summer and will ensure such bug/niggles are dealt with. For now, it is what it is!

  2. Hi Josh
    I was watching your trainer jockey combo video about Williams and Paul Moloney and it dawned on me about an
    article I read about Moloney moving house to Warwickshire last year and he was travelling up to the Alan Swinbank stable
    riding out a lot which was a long journey.It pointed out to pay special attention when riding for the Swinbank stable
    when they teamed up north of the border or the courses in Northumberland and surrounding areas. Just had a quick
    look on the racing Post website and he has a 34% S/R at Carlisle +17.43 – hurdles 6/17 35% +14.55 – Chase 4/12 33% +14.55.
    Hexham 5/11 45% +6.00 – hurdles 4/7 57% +6.75 and Wetherby 5/22 23% +2.50 – Chases 3/10 30% +8.00.
    Looking at the Alan Swinbank stats with Paul Moloney he has a 17/61 28% S/R 28% +18.26 – hurdles 7/33 – 21% +0.50,
    Chases 4/11 36% +4.88 and NH Flat 6/17 35% +12.88. As you can see they are pretty good strike rates I just wondered whether
    you could dig into your HRB and see if there are any give away clues or just worth backing blind

    1. Great stuff Dave. Yep leave it with me and I will see what I can find. Want to do a video on Nicky Richards, also want to dive into Tizzard/B powel…points you raise interesting, and actually never really looked at how far jockey travells etc or if I can in HRB…should think so. Will look at the Swinbank/Moloney angle. He should be back from injury soon with any luck.

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