Weekly Diary: 15-21/02/16 (COMPLETE)


THIS WEEK…I take a look at the previous week’s results as usual, pose some questions about what I can improve for the future, take an in-depth look at Nicky Richard’s handicap hurdlers (+ micro angles) and look at a few eye-catchers. Hopefully plenty there for you to get stuck into.

Let’s get to it…





BRP: 0/2, 1 places = -2 

Other: 2/6, 4 places = +10.125

weekly total: 8 bets / 2 wins / 5 w|p / = +8.125 


Feb: 1/11 = -3.25 

Jumps ‘Cappers: 1/4 = -1 

Other: 2/4 = +11.5

weekly total: 4/19 = +7.25


Tips: 23 bets / 6 wins / 11 w|P / +26.126 points

Micro Systems: 7/61 = -22.25 points

2016 TOTAL

Tips: 56 bets / 16 wins / 25 w|P / +114.625 points

Micro Systems: 16/107 = -14.25 points

Jumps Season Tips Running Total: +152.875 points



As we know, racing and race analysis is all about asking the right questions, not making hasty decisions and taking some time to have a good think! 

So, what could I do better this week, and for the future?…

  1. If I rewind to Agrapart in the Betfair Hurdle…As reflected on at the time, that was lazy analysis. I pretty much dismissed him on one tentative stat, that was nothing to do with the horse! (record of claiming jocks) I wanted an easy way to reduce my shortlist of 11 even further. Lazy. I failed to consider all of the positives about the horse. So, well, that’s as bad as it gets when looking at any race really! Slap on the wrist there. I don’t say that in the context that I would have tipped him – but I didn’t give myself much of a chance.
  2. Kerry Lee’s Haydock winner, Bishops Road, was also too quickly dismissed by me. I made a rash judgement about his stamina – ‘he hasnt run over this trip, I don’t know if he will stay, I am guessing – no’ That was the simplistic thought process. Even more so given he was a micro system qualifier, was in the stats profile shortlist of 3, and had a Grand National Entry.(also related to some point winners I think – doh!) He also had yet to prove he COULDN’T/WOULDN’T stay – he hadn’t tried. In the context of his price – 8/1 – and the opposition, that was one that got away. I make no apologies for backing Harry The Viking,no problems there – but maybe he should have been added also. For every race you must ask the question – Is the horse doing something different? Those that are deserve very close scrutiny – will they improve for this change. Usually this is a step up in trip, but can be a change/removal of headgear, a new track configuration,class, etc etc. This game is a constant battle between weighing up those that are doing something different/potentially progressive, against those that are proven in conditions….all in the context of price/odds. 
  3. That final point leads me onto Emma Soda. I wanted a proven slogger at Haydock – but at Towcester earlier in the week I picked one who had distance to prove – I was thinking that he may improve for it. I did underestimate how testing it was – and if I had the ‘i want a proven slogger’ mindset, I would have had another winner in Emma Soda 6/1. What a torturous game this is on the mind sometimes!! But,that’s why we enjoy the puzzle so much. 
  4. And Finally – my Sandown tips ran fine races during the week, and no problem with losing out to the Jonjo horse – who was unexposed. Now, I surmised that Sandown was a tough place to come for an inexperienced chaser, and at the prices, + a few more reasons, I was happy to take him on. I would take that type on again tomorrow. No problem there. But, there is a flip side to that thinking…what better place than Sandown to teach a horse how to jump at pace and compete! Maybe that is what Jonjo thought. He has now raced at Cheltenham and Sandown,stayed on his feet both times, jumping improving all the time. Clever training maybe!  Given I had pretty much narrowed it down to three, inc winner, and dismissed him on price grounds- maybe I should have thought more about the 20/1 forecast, Jonjo’s fav to beat my main tip into second.(and the tri-cast!) I am still unadventurous when it comes to punting, and playing different options based on my analysis. That is not the first time that has happened this season, and I have also picked the odd forecast from main bets (coming 1st and 2nd) One was 90/1 – I had nothing on that, although I know one of you did!

So, always something to learn, always areas to improve. I have no problem admitting when I get something wrong. It just makes me more determined to get it right in the future. One day I’ll have this game sussed!! 🙂 (none of us ever will, not fully of course!)



Below is another ‘over the shoulder’ video of me researching a few angles for Nicky Richards.

Rather hilariously, albeit predictably, my initial aim to record a 20 minute video didn’t come to fruition – this one is 54 minutes long! 🙂 But, that is how long it took and I was looking at him for the first time in that depth.

So, that video follows. It goes through the process I use when researching trainer angles. You can dip in and out, or watch the whole thing when you have a spare hour! I would like to think it flows quite well, but you can judge that.  If you like such approaches, do watch it with your notepad as there may be some things you spot that you wish to research further. I haven’t covered everything in the micro angles below. 

This video ends up focussing on his handicap hurdlers and I try and explain my thinking as I go through – and maybe spout the odd thought of interest – Of course there are his non-handicappers to look at, as well as his handicap chasers! But, I didn’t want to bore you to tears too much.

Below the video are a few of the micro angles I uncovered.

For now, make a cup of tea, grab a notepad and pen, and enjoy…




General Rules: –

  • Nicky Richards
  • Handicap Hurdlers
  • 20/1 or shorter SP


  • General Rules
  • Brian Harding
  • Carlisle/Kelso/Haydock/Uttoxeter

38 bets / 16 wins /21 places / 42% WinSR / +51 SP / +58 BFSP / AE 1.96


  • General Rules
  • Aged 4-8
  • November + December

48 bets / 19 wins / 29 places / 40% WinSR / +58 SP / +72 BFSP / AE 1.78


  • General Rules
  • Handicap Hurdle DEBUT

38 bets / 11 wins / 18 places / 29% WinSR / +33 SP / +38 BFSP / AE 1.84

  • Those running over 2m4f or further do best…

22 bets / 9 wins / 11 places / 41% WinSR / +42 SP / +46 BFSP / AE 2.99


  • General Rules
  • Aged 4-7
  • Up 1 Class Only From Last Run (can include a move from Listed to G3)

54 bets / 16 wins / 25 places / 30% WinSR / +58 SP / +77 BFSP / AE 1.6



I didn’t go through these in the video – it was plenty long enough – but I have had a look and there is quite a simple little angle…


  • Handicap Chases
  • Aged 5-7
  • 18/1 or under SP (0/6, 0 places above this, those 10/1 and under very strong)

84 bets / 25 wins / 41 places / 30% WinSR / +54 SP / +72 BFSP / AE 1.52


That is all for Mr Richards.



Only 3 this week, (a few in last week’s diary were technically from the week just gone) plus some other observations…

Bishops Road – well being a long distance chase enthusiasts this one has to be taken seriously. Clearly he stayed. Clearly he relished the mud. Clearly he is going places over distances like this. He didn’t exactly finish ‘drunk’ when crossing the line. Boy can team Lee train, especially chasers. I don’t know if soft/heavy is a necessity, and in any case he hasnt run over a trip on better ground! Guessing 🙂 Whether he is a Grand National Horse I don’t know (my mind hasnt really turned to that yet), but I would be surprised if he is not at next season’s Welsh National! 

Broadway Buffalo – should also be noted, running well in second. He is a tricky customer and after a little break did fairly well here. He has ran well on good, the ground seemingly not bothering him whatever it is. He is still unexposed and could have more wins in him over this kind of trip. He needs coaxing – a Scottish National Type maybe, and it will be interesting if he turns up at Cheltenham. 

Beg To Differ – is the horse of Jonjo’s who beat my two at Sandown. He won this with plenty in hand to my eye. He traveled well to the pace and generally jumped well. Again he is another that looks likely to need some coaxing but is clearly very talented. He is with the right trainer for long distance chases (well if I had plenty of cash I would spread my chasing string between Jonjo, A King,V Williams,K Lee I think) and is an exciting horse for the future. All about his mind maybe. 


The win of Sausalito Sunrise at the weekend made me cast my eye back to the Murphy Group Handicap Chase that he won on the 14th November. 

Since then, he has ran twice, winning at the weekend. Perfect Candidate/Rigadin De Beauchene/Le Reve/Sego Success/Soll have all come out of that and won since – most of them well beaten. 

Upswing of Jonjo’s came a gallant second that day, and he hasnt been seen since pulling up in the Welsh National. I suspect we may see him in better light on spring ground. His next chase start will be his 6th. Knockanrawley came 3rd that day but I believe he is out injured for the season. He could also be a very smart distance chaser if/when returning from injury. 

So, that looks like a strong race, and will be interesting to track next year’s renewal also. 


Phew, I think that is all for this week. 

I hope that has given you plenty to get stuck into. There were a few micro angles/trainer jockey combos mentioned in comments during the week that I said I will look into. I will do, later in the week hopefully, but for now there is enough here for this post. 



Post Comments

Do join in the conversation below, we're a friendly bunch.. all questions welcome, and do share your selections or thoughts

13 responses

  1. Hi Josh

    Interesting thoughts on Sausalito Sunrise who I’ve followed all season and I agree could be quite good. Interestingly enough the race before his Murphy win he was cruising before suddenly stopping very quickly and Hobbs/Johnson couldnt find any explanation. I thought Sternrubin’s run in the Betfair Hurdle looked very simular for the same jockey/trainer so am most interested where he turns up next. Going back to Sunrise. On his 3rd start of the season he was soundly thrashed by Ofaolians Boy during what appeared to be one of the few moments this season when the Curtis runners were going ok. Surely its worth a second with that horse particularly given he has now pulled up on both graded starts on heavy. I know I am rambling a bit but any thoughts?


    1. What is your question sorry- upgrading/following Ofaolins Boy? I cant work out the yard, and want to put his poor runs down to that – I remember backing him to win at The Festival in 2014, winning despite conditions. Connections have always said he wants it soft/heavy, but maybe LTO was just too bad. Likewise it is hard to explain why SS was so bad in that same race. All very confusing. Any horse you back to victory at the Festival always has a place in your heart – so I hop OB bounces back again- maybe there was an issue LTO i havent read about, but that was a really poor run. I have no strong thoughts, but both are worth keeping a close eye on.

      1. Thanks. Yeah that was part of it thanks. I completely agree on the confusing part which I why I wanted to get someone’s opinion on it. The other question was Sternrubin’s run which looked too bad to be true although I guess we could put that down to the ground.

        1. Ah yes sorry … well, the record of Ladbrooke Hurdle winners/those from Ascot not great in that race – and he had a really really hard race at Asot – I suggest he may simply have been feeling it – nothing there when asked. could be as simple as that – they are not machines. Also, never know – may have not traveled up well, not liked the track, or hated the ground. Sometimes you just have to put a line through it and think nothing more….until they do it next time as well! 🙂

  2. Hi Josh,

    I will look forward to watching the video later.

    You did put me off Warrantor and so thanks for that. I did not see the race but saw that he fell again.

    My own efforts with the Fellowes horse paid off at a 28/1 place. He was given far too much to do but would likely have not beaten the winner and now is exposed for its next run? Another man to follow is Mr Whittington but I guess that seems fairly obvious.

    1. Hi Martin,

      Yep i watched it, he was just a bit scrappy. more an unseat than a fall. Its all about price, I just though 3s was short given profile, fall last time etc. Clearly has a bit to learn. Not like he was 8s or something. Havent seen any AW stuff today so cant comment on that one. Yep, Whittnigton gets a mention in the video – market seems to have latched onto his very very quickly!

  3. That Beg To Differ – I can see him winning the Bet365/Whitbred (was going to check OR’s of previous winners, must do, lol)

    Whiskey Chaser who was beaten less than a length by your winning Proud Gamble – should be an eye catcher – he was giving the winner a lot of weight & they ran a fast time.

    Another little tip for you – head on over to the Racing Post & make a note of all the horses entered for the RSA Chase – don’t think you have to be a subscriber to see but you can be sure they’ll be winning (or most of them will) staying chases outside of the festival over the next 2 years or so.

    1. Yep agree about BTD, one to watch for sure.

      Yes, quite correct about Whiskey Chaser – just added to my HRB account! Glad you are on the ball 🙂 You are right at a low level, a lot of weight to give away, returning after a break. Unexposed, he will have 3m chases in him. Good point about RSA, will get looking!

  4. i can see sternrubin turning u at cheltenham in say the vincent obrien county hurdle 2m and running well
    i doubt he will go for the coral cup
    you can get mainyl 16s -20s in both races but a couple of bookies go 25s,, surely the vincent obrien county hurdle for him?

  5. Interesting stuff as always Josh.

    On Emma Soda, I wonder if the big thing that you missed there was the weather forecast? A (very very good) service I subscribe to, the Racing Consultants, read the race in a similar way to you but what made them plump for Emma Soda ahead of others was that there was heavy rain due for Towcester from 11am onwards that day.

    I’m sure the last thing you need is another variable to add in to your analysis though!

    1. Thanks Neil,

      Nope, you are quite correct and quite right to raise that point – i should add that in the slap on the wrist section! When I say ‘ i underestimated how testing it would be’ = in effect that equates to the fact that i forgot, didnt bother, to check the weather forecast, and if I had, I would no doubt would have followed the excellent racing consultants boys in!

      You should always check the weather forecast, even more so at this time of year. I have tried to get into the habit of checking the reports on BHA site – always good and predict forecast rain etc.

      Next time!! 🙂

      -albeit – i should not excuse the fact that I put up the selection that day with expectation that he may improve for a test! it was just very testing!

  6. Great stuff with the Nicky Richards research Josh so thanks for that!!!! About Bishops road being a national horse, just before he won his race Kerry Lee was being interviewed and said that they brought him specifically for the national. Anyway thanks again and look forward to the next video 🙂

    1. Cheers James. Yep a few signs were there and I will be looking out for theirs this weekend! Think our old friend Russe may be lining up at Newcastle.

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