Members Report: 26/02/16 (COMPLETE)


0/3, 1 place = -6 points on day

3.55 Exeter 

Alpha Victor – 1 point EW – 25/1 (Bet365/BV) 20/1 general Refused/PU 16/1

Finish The Story – 1 point EW – 12/1 (general) *Refused/PU 12/1 

*prices as of 07.45. 16/1 still around as of 09.22

Well well. 

With any luck we have a fun day ahead and we start with two pokes. This race is a real puzzle – very tough – as 7/1 the field would suggest. I suspect professional bettors – those whose winnings pay for food, kids, the mortgage etc – would have a quick look at this and move on! I just couldn’t, despite going full circle in my own mind from ‘leave alone’ to betting 4 points! In the end, the prices drew me in. 

To start with if either of these run their best races they will go close. If either run their best races I would be disappointed if one did not place at worst. At the odds, it was that thinking that led me to 1pt EW bets, albeit only 3 places, but 1/4 points. 

Alpha Victor – is probably the only one with proven stamina over this kind of trip, and in this kind of ground. I am asking him to repeat his run in the Midlands Grand National. If he does, he is no 25/1 shot. He is 11 but this is only his 11th chase start. All indications are that he needs a slog, a real test. On the flip side it may be clear after two fences that we have lost 2 points. That is the risk with him – he is a character – but if he runs to his best, he goes close. If you cant take that sort of chance with 25/1 shots – you never will.

He also has a bit of a ‘profile’ – 5/13,  6 places 16-60 days (3/9,4 places +69 SP, 16-30 days) and in handicaps he is 3/5,4 places OR 130 or below. 0/11,2 places OR 131+. He races off 135 at Uttoxeter, at this time of year, 2 years ago. He was also put in the Irish National 3 starts ago, and ran ok until about 4 out – off 130. He comes here off 122. He is being given every chance to bounce back – and he has near ideal conditions to do so. His record RH needs to be proven but most of those were after a long break, and he has ran well enough for me not to be out off – in any case, if you didnt notice, he is 25/1! You can overlook a lot at those odds! It was nice to see him complete LTO over hurdles, and maybe this has been the plan. Happy to take a chance. 

Finish The Story – well he stays, and finished 4th in this last year. He just always seems to be racing and rarely gets a break. So, I find the break interesting and a positive for him – he has won after a similar time off. All systems go hopefully. He has some decent placed form in staying chases and chased home Royal Night and Lackamon at Sedgefield a couple of starts ago. Its also not as heavy as it was here last year which should help. There were ready excuses for the PU, when well fancied. Apparently he has a horrendous journey up from Somerset. So, a line through that one (nothing physical). I suspect this has been the target for a couple of months and the trainer is in decent enough form. He should bounce out and try and lead, and if he can set his own place hopefully that ensures a place at worst. 

The rest…

Every horse in here has some kind of question or questions to overcome. I would not be shocked if any of them won in truth (not the kind of race to play in too often!). They all have bits and pieces of form which suggests they may go well. I had the winner of this last year (on the blog) and he was a stand out unexposed one from Jonjo’s where you were quite sure he would stay. He bolted up. There isnt one in here this year with that kind of profile. Wizards Bridge may be the closest – and he may improve for this big step up. He may not. I can’t work out from his running style whether he will or not. A lot of weight to carry for a young horse over this trip, if you have stamina concerns. On the fence, but ultimately 6/1 made me more comfortable leaving him, in context of this race. Saraoque – lovely horse who won for us on his first start of the season – he just clung on there in 3m in the mud, it wasnt a staying on performance and I do have stamina concerns. He ebbed away in the Welsh National – now, you could say that was a much better race and give him a chance here – maybe against inferior oppo he will see it out. I am not sure. He has also had a hard season now, and it will have to catch up with him at some point. 

Return Spring has plenty to prove now, has tried these kind of trips four times now, and hasnt done much. Given his form, I cant really justify taking 6/7-1. This is only his 10th chase start, but he only has a small field novice chase win to his name. Happy for him to prove me wrong. Thomas Wild is much better on a sounder surface and has a long break to overcome. I don’t like that generally in races of this nature. His ‘summer form’ ties in with Alberobello – and if you fancy one, you have to fancy the other. Another who I think needs good ground to show his best- both have stamina to prove beyond 3m4f – but that is a lot further than a few in here have form over. Scott’s record at the track could be better also. Nail’M will plod on, and that may be good enough. He needs to bounce back (may not have liked visor LTO) but a repeat of that run here behind Woodford County may see him in the mix. He does have his class to prove now above C4 level, and there could be better horses in here. Would not be shocked if he won though – stable also been very quiet. Merlins Wish has had 2 runs in the last 700 days or so – not sure what to make of him and just happy to watch. He does stay, but enough to  prove, inc at this level. He didnt do much in this race last year, never looking comfortable at any stage. Fourovakind has a few questions to answer as well, inc stamina, 0/5, 2 places beyond 3m, yet to win beyond 26f. Guessing a bit. But, he hasnt proved he wont stay. 

What’s left of the rest also have questions to answer. As I have said I would not be in shock if any of these won, I really would’t. But, if the selections run their races, run to their best, they will out-run their odds. Simple as that. They are generally sound jumpers, they like the mud, and they stay. They have the class for this and their handicap marks are fine. They should be staying on when quite a few in here may have had enough. 

Good Luck (we may need it!) 



4.15 Warwick 

Farbreaga – 1 point win – 15/2 (SkyB/SJ) 7/1 (general) UP

No Duffer – 1 point win – 14/1 (general)  2nd 7/1

I will keep this a bit shorter (or will try) 

Farbreaga ticks plenty of boxes here – indeed ticks every profile box going for race conditions that I can see – he has changed yards which will hopefully spark him back into life – and we saw what this trainer did with Big Society on his first couple of runs for him – he was another tricky character. I found it interesting that he has booked the jockey who best knows him – one who doesnt ride for him in general I believe. He is 4/14 chasing,so knows how to win. He is 4/6, 4 places in handicap chases in Feb/March – 0/8, 1 place after this. He has won well off OR123 so I think 127 should be within range. If it is clear early that he is travelling and jumping we should get a run for our money. He was a bit bigger price last night but I still think 7s is fair, and still underestimates his chance – if he bounces back to form. Ground is fine and so is the days off/rest pattern, historically. 

No Duffer – well he is a silly price for me. If there is no ‘Good’ as Ian points out in the comments, and it is indeed Heavy in places – then that is probably 1 point lost – but at 14s I was happy to take a chance. Soft is no problem for him. He has some very good form in the book, the stand out being his win at Sandown – that was a very good race on paper with good horses in behind, a few of which we have backed to victory in recent weeks/month. Its also interesting that after his last two PUs he won next time… PU – WIN… PU -WIN…PU..???. He looks like he is best fresh, or after a break. Indeed he is 0/5, 2 places 16-30 days, 3/7,3 places 31+. 2/3,2 places 61+ days off. We know from Saint Are’s victory that George can ready them. In the past i have been too quick to dismiss those that havent raced much in the last 90 days or so. He ticks a lot of boxes, including having won around here. Provided it is not too sticky, he should out-run those odds. If he is laboured -we know there is no good/soft at the track! 

You could make some kind of case for What A Good Night – albeit I wonder how his jumping will stack up around here – a clear round and he may not be far away – he is now 0/8, 0 places when carrying more than 11-3 on back in handicaps (albeit was going to win at Stratford off 11-8,so maybe that isnt a factor) Also now 0/6, 0 places when off 31-120 days – best after a longer break or returning quicker, maybe. High Vic is a lightly raced 11yo but his break of 77 days is intriguing. Not sure what his form amounts to. I have been tracking Achimota – as I want to see him over 3m4+ I think, as he runs like he needs a trip – may be tapped for toe again here. If he isnt he could out-run his odds. I was happy to dismiss the rest. As De Fer is 19lb higher than when winning here, and 12lb higher than the last win. Now, while ratings rises don’t bother me too much for unexposed ones – I do take more note when they are above 10lb say. He also has more weight on his back, in absolute terms. Last wins off 9-9 and 10/7, has 11-8 here. That will feel totally different for him. 

So, hopefully these two can give us a run for our money also. Both trainers are in form and they both may sit off what could be a frenetic pace. 




That’s all for tips.



Feb Trainers

3.45 War – Poole Master (any odds) UP

5.30 Exet – On The Road (10/1<) WON 14/1>10/1 (recorded)>5/1

Jumps Handicappers

2.50 Exet – Anda De Grissay (12/1<) DNQ

3.55 Exet – Nail’M (12/1<) Fell 5/1



Nothing much today. 

Mr Red Clubs goes again in 7.45. He is frustrating now, but is 13/2. Yet to look at the race or if there are any progressive ones in there. He is better drawn as Ali points out, and that may make the difference if he can scoot up a gap on the inside. 


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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

48 Responses

  1. Hi Josh

    Looking forward to see what you tip in both races. My early thoughts without having a proper look appear to be towards Fabreaga and Saroque although Coleman going to Warwick puts me off a little. I guess it will be interesting to see money coming in for the former.


    1. Yes, Fabreaga is in my tracker – he just really likes this time of year – Feb esp – interesting that new trainer goes for a jockey who knows horse very well – at odds, probably worth a punt now before I look in much more depth – money may well come – Yet to look at market for either – top 2 in weights looking most interesting at Exeter so far.

    2. I also had a good look at Saroque but have discounted in the end as the way he faded in Le Reve’s race suggests to me that maybe he’s done his job for the season

    Rare birds on Haldon Hill!
    Peter Buchanan
    William Kinsey
    Alpha Victor – second in the Midlands Grand National 2014.

      1. Yep that race started to hurt my head! Been out for dinner, will revisit in morning. It’s a right old puzzle,hard to totally discount many of them.

  3. Interested on your thoughts on the 16.15 Warwick Josh and bloggers. No Duffer seems to have some decent back form. Won a 3m1 chase at the course as novice off 109. Won a 3m chase at Sandown last Feb, beating Russe Blanc by 6 lengths, with Arbeo back in third (ran a decent race at Sandown last week). Finished a decent third at Cheltenham last April behind lamb or Cod and Sire Collanges off a mark of 132. Back down to 125 (1lb above last win mark) and February form of 2/3 for the George/Brennan combo looks well worth a go at 14’s.

    1. I have his ideal conditions as: OR 124 or less; 2m7f to 3m0.5f (although has placed up to 3m5f); Good/Soft ground; 30 days or more since last run; All wins when carrying 11st8lb or more; Class 3 or lower races worth £10k or less; Paddy brennan onboard a bonus. So not too far from ideal conditions although may be a little too soft for him though he has won one the ground once before. Plus he is 2/2 in February. Might have a saver depending what Josh picks tomorrow.

      1. I’ve stopped looking at Going descriptions and started looking at Going Stick ratings and making my own interpretations. It has significantly improved my profit. Being based in the Midlands and a Warwick regular helps too, so when I see the Going stick for today starting with a 5, yet the Going being described as “Good to Soft” in Places, something does not add up.

        I would assess that there may be the odd Good to Soft patch at the top of the hill after the climb out of the straight, but that down the back in to the final bend is genuinely soft bordering on heavy. It has been clear and frosty for 3- 4 days with no rain for 72 hours but don’t forget the impact of dew.

        I expect the Ground to be nothing other than “dead”, and it should therefore suit only those that have won in soft/heavy and those with Course experience in the likely conditions.

        Good Luck all.

  4. Thanks Nick, on second thoughts the ground may be slightly testing for this ones win chances. Nice to see your mention on fabreaga being backed in!

    1. I will be getting to Warwick and you have to cross the track to park the car, that gives a chance to assess the Going just past the Finishing Post, also possible to have a walk down towards the home turn as there are some footy pitches there and just a trundle across those is usually a good guide to how much eater there is….I will hopefully be able to post up some observations at about 12 noon….hopefully it will help.

  5. Mr Red Clubs is running again tomorrow at Wolves.

    This time, he has the inside draw if im not mistaken – could make the difference

  6. Been a surprising amount of interest in On the Road 530E, E Williams stat above, considering its dire runs? Returning fresh may be a plus?

    1. Indeed. Given my approach to stats/trends – a lot dependent on weight carried, ratings, last run etc – I dont bother looking until 2 days/1 day before. Makes for a frantic week but cant really do it any other way – alternative is to try and go through, find bigger priced ones that may get backed – but then you have those + and ‘on the day trends/stats’ bets, then you have 4-6 in one race! I will leave it for now!

    1. Hi Paddy, he was up about 7.45, 25s around for an hour or so I think, 16s still about, 14s Bet365, 12s everywhere else as I write. He may drift again – or be bigger at BFSP, would be surprised if hammered in much more, but who knows.

  7. hi.josh think you will have to tweet a warning to members when they are going up or a group whats app. w.h 365.9.06 baldy and sky 9.15 9 17 what do you think.paddy

    1. still plenty of 14s about (BV for example) and 12s. Up to you. If he goes off at 8s, he is still value…in context that he was 25s then clearly some value has gone – if I was looking at this race now, with current market, and I had no idea he was 25s, I would probably have put up at 1 point win at 14s still – struggling to make a compelling enough case for top 6 in context of their odds, who are all around 6/1.
      Myabe take a risk on BFSP, which is price holds steady now, may be around 16s/18s…guessing though.

  8. I’m off to Exeter shortly but have done your pair on-line this morning. Fingers crossed. They (Exeter Racecourse) have their usual very good Cheltenham Preview this evening – Nicholls, Pipe, Hobbs on the panel and I think Richard Hoiles is hosting this time. I’ll pass on any gems but in truth these events get live-tweeted and heavily reported nowadays and you don’t get much of an edge any more. I remember Philip Hobbs being very confident about Menorah before he won the Supreme Novices(?) a few years ago.

  9. You are right Josh, a serious punter such as I would not want to play the 3.55. However I like your thinking around the race. Re the 4.15 I like No Duffer to an extent but cannot have Farbreaga despite the money for it. I do not mind one P but two, plua 11′ 10”. But what do I know?

    I see that Mr Walford has found some form and Albert Dolivate, although up 6 pounds finished well LTO. Pemba looks a banker to me??

    Good luck today everyone.

    PS The London Racing Club has its Cheltenham Preview evening on March 10th at Holiday Inn, Kensington from 7 PM. Non members welcome. Phil Smith is with us again as is Lydia Hislop and a couple of guys from the enemy, the bookmakers. Lee Mottershead also onsite.

    1. I always find Lydia to be an outstanding source of basic commonsense sadly overlook by Terrestrial TV Racing Channels in favour of bimbos with a fraction of the racing knowledge, a good Brummie lass too!

    2. I would say I am a serious punter 🙂 – not ‘professional’ in strict sense of word,albeit I try and bring a professional mindset to the task! But yes, not a race any pro punter would get overly excited about – but one where the 3m+ chase recreational punter in me just cannot resist – a puzzle too tempting!

      Yep well way in with Farbreaga is change of stables – that is the reason you would overlook the Ps if you liked the price etc. As with all of these, its about whether they run up to their best – if all 4 do that, they will go very close.

  10. OK….Warwick, nice dry sunny day and not as cold as it has been, track looks far less tacky than last 2 fixtures here, definitely no worse than softer up the home straight and I would say no worse than soft down at the bottom end where I went first, hard to find any good ground but I had a brief chat to one of the old boys on the gate to the car park access across the track as I walked down and he says it’ll ride on the soft side of heavy and is drying all the time…hope that helps various conjections…now for a plate of the local chicken curry and chips!

  11. I missed the earlies on Alpha Victor, but him winning would possibly be the best lesson i can be taught: get up earlier!

    1. If you’re going to use GS readings I hope u realise that every course works to a different scale – a 5 at one course might be something different at another, Ayr used to be the worst but they’ve calmed down a bit, probably a different clerk of the course & it is all down to their discretion?

      Different scale is one thing but wholly inaccurate readings [I just did my figures for Market Rasen last Sun & this is what the GS said :GOING: SOFT (Hdl 5.8, Chs 6.2). There is no way on earth the chase course was faster than the hurdle track, slowest hurdle std -30s, fastest chase -50s so ??] is something I have to pull my hair out about nearly every day.

      Consistency is rare, some tracks are worse than others – Doncaster is a bit ? ? imho too

      1. I can only speak as I find and over past 6 months have had far more joy interpreting Going Stick figures as opposed to Going description

  12. You wont be able to do a light weight after the curry and chips! Keep the jockeys off it.

    Looking forward I cannot have Russe Blanc tomorrow. I know that I am nuts opposing Queen Kerry, however its big win was a bit out of the blue to me and I am not confident about a follow up. I am here to be shot down I guess.

    1. Happy to shoot you down Martin 🙂 … not in context of the Eider and his suitability, yet to look (will be doing so shortly)…but. his big win LTO was anything but out of the blue, hence why he was tipped on here at 20/1!!
      I had been waiting and waiting for them to run him over a proper trip, since his first run of this season – I was expectant that he would relish every yard, and he did. Of course you never know until they try an extreme distance for the first time, but it can make all previous form irrelevant. And in these staying races, decent form at C3 level is normally a good enough guide – just whether the horse improves for the distance. And he did, massively – as his running style suggested it may well do.

      Now, you may be right about a follow up (absolute weight on back may be a problem) and yet to go through stats/trends profile. But, in my opinion, his last win was anything but a total shock! 🙂

  13. I am more concerned about the follow up factor with the horse, but will bow to your judgement if you think otherwise later.

    My banker Pemba has gone down! My other bet, apart from yours for a little bit, is Kalamata at Lingfield.

    Good luck with the selections later. I am off to a Poker tournament in London now but will look later to see if we have won today?

    1. maybe- the only bit of your first comment I was disputing was that he was a surprise winner LTO! I dont think he was. I havent made a judgement about him in context of this race yet.

  14. Hope you are noting the form of Daniel Mark Loughnane at the moment Josh. He is on fire. I’m gutted I missed out on Apache Glory as I have him on my HRB systems.

  15. Bit unlucky, there…the two each ways were the last two to stop (unsure if they were pulled up or refused) when only two finished. Then the winner – to our 14/1 second – clouted the second last half way up and managed to force it’s way through, somehow. Onto the next…

    1. yes, have they removed the core of those fences! Anyway, No Duffer was a good bet at the odds. Not sure I would have evern picked out Leo Luna, albeit on handicap terms you could. Shame one of previous two couldnt finish – thought FTS was a sure placed placer there turning in before legs went to jelly – surprised they both didnt finish – clearly wasnt soft, and very heavy/tacky – but thought they would handle, winner not a shock, 8/1>8/2 – clearly the only one to relish the test! Onto tomorrow.

      1. No Duffer ran well definately one to track,I had a terrible start with one of O’Niells in opener still running but ended with a bang with Coolking, one of the few in the race with proven distance form nice touch at 14/1.

    1. Apparently. I assume you are new to these parts Dave. If so, paper trade, and make sure you have a proper betting bank. Hopefully past results would give you some confidence. There will be many more days like that. If you cant handle losers, I would find another past time. We have had a very good November/December/Jan/first half Feb – it couldnt last – 158 points, over 200% ROI in that time – game isnt that easy sadly. You had better copy that comment and get ready to paste it in future posts 🙂

    2. Dave

      You can’t win every race, anyone who claims they can is a liar.

      I think all the regulars on here will vouch that this is the best free service around and better than 99% of the one you pay for too…

  16. hope everybody got a few bob on mr williams/molony touch in the last it will leave sour taste with some if you read the form

    1. yes, the micro angles rescuing a bad tipping day! has been the other way round of late, but that is when the portfolio comes into its own – sometimes form/horses just cannot be explained. That’s racing, and why trainer based micros are good to have ticking along in background.

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