Members Report: 27/02/16 (COMPLETE)

Tips: 1/3 on day: +7.25 points 


A frustrating day there. No Duffer ran really well, having halved in price – unfortunately bounced into one who returned to form – he was entitled to do that if he did, but that took some leap of faith. Maybe Leo Luna just has to get his own way out in front. No complaints. We got a good run for our money there. The one thing I didn’t expect from the two at Exeter were non completions – that must be strange old ground there – it looked good for Finish The Story turning in, top 3 for sure – and then the legs went. Had one of them managed to complete they would have paid for the day. But, they didn’t. Fourovakind clearly relished conditions – i wasn’t sure if he would – well backed 8/1>9/2. 

Anyway, that’s racing and I will have many more days like that in the months ahead. That’s why you have to enjoy the good days, of which we have had more than our fair share since November time. This game isnt that easy. 


2.50 Newc: Eider Chase 

Russe Blanc – 2 points win – 8/1 (bet365/BV/PP) PU 

Glenquest – 1 point EW – 33/1 (general)  UP 5th (distance from 4th mind) 


I just can’t get away from Russe Blanc here. He has a near perfect trends/stats profile for this (does fall down on number of handicap chase runs – but he did also fall down on a similar stat last time,which I overlooked) and I thought 6s was the best I could hope for, so will have plenty of the 8s I think. He travels well, he jumps brilliantly and he stays well. This is even further than last time but he finished his race so well last time, pulling away and finishing with plenty of zest. I though he could have gone round again! This race is nowhere near as deep as that one was. 10/15 winners came from the top three in the market. Those in the top 5 in the weights have an exceptional record. He owes us nothing but I can see him going really close here, if running his race. He may be even better over this far. 

The doubts? well no-one really knows what the ground will be – under covers all week it may have dried out or be that horrible tacky surface. I would worry if it was on the good side – but it looks set to be soft, which is fine. He also has 1st more on his back – now, he can handle the absolute weight as a horse – some decent handicap chase runs/wins with same weight on back. No problem there, and an extra 1st last time would have made it a real battle last time – but still a massive gap back to the rest. That was a very good race. I think he should be fine – and there is a chance over this trip, and due to quality of field, they go a tad slower. 

If it is clear he is in a rhythm early then he must go close in this. Everything looks in his favour and he could still be getting better over this kind of distance. If runs a shocker then I will know my inevitable cold spell is creeping up on me – and what a good time for that to happen! (not sure what decent racing is on in coming weeks, any ideas?!)

There isn’t much depth to this on paper and there may be one more at a bigger price. I couldn’t justify backing the other three around him in the market on what they have done to date. Horses that have races over fences at the track have a really poor record in this race. Ballyculla is also on the strict trends shortlist of 2. He may be the main danger but will need to step up and he didn’t look like a stout stayer at Cheltenham. Saver material maybe but I would rather be on RB of those near the top of the market.  

Glenquest – well clearly a bit of a left field punt but he is interest. Yes he is 13 but boy does he have some good performances in the book. He ran a fine 3rd in last year’s Welsh Grand National and if he runs to that level of form, or indeed some of the decent big races in Ireland in seasons gone by, then we could have some fun here. I am struggling to see him winning, albeit clearly I think he has a small chance of that, but there is every possibility that he fills one of the other 3 places. At the odds, that is a decent return. He hasn’t done a lot this season, but then you can make excuses, esp for the last day. There is a chance that this has been the plan for quite some time. Peter Buchanan knows him well and was on board for that Welsh National run. This could just be the perfect race for him. 

I also like the fact, like Russe Blanc, that he has never raced over fences here – both have’t raced here at all. Those that have raced once or more over fences here are now 0/88, 12 places – and there are quite a few in here that have. That stat will get broken one day no doubt but it caught my eye. 

The Rest…

Well the Pipe horse is interesting and I will have a nibble as he is a system bet. Pipe hasn’t been doing much in these big Saturday races for some time (Ben Aitken did a great analysis in his weekly catch up post). I also cant for the life of me work out why Tom Scu isnt here. He is at Chepstow! Chepstow. Yes he rides Kings Palace there but the winner of this gets £53K – surely if he was really fancied he would be on him here. Maybe I am thinking too much into that. If you just look at the horse he could well be anything. He stayed well in hunter chases/ptps and he could relish this test – but it is a big step up from that last run,and he has enough to prove. But, not too much I could say to put you off. Bar Ballyculla and the selections I was struggling to make a case for much else. A few ran in this last year and didn’t do too much (bar winner who returns) and I can’t see any obvious reasons why they should now go onto win. 


3.35 Kemp: BetBright Chase 

 Theatre Guide – 1 point EW – 9/1 (BetFred/BV/PP/BetB) WON 6/1

The trends I uncovered for this, and the approach that I like, don’t help too much with shortlisting here. Finishing Top 3 on one of your last 3 starts is a good guide as is Top 2 at least once of last 5. Those with 12 or more handicap chase runs to their name and 4 or more handicap chase wins have struggled – suggesting this goes to one who is more lightly raced and/or may have something in hand. 
I backed Theatre Guide EW in the Hennessy and I still have no idea how he placed. Having tried to take the first fence with him he never got into a rhythm and did well to go as close as he did. He has ran two crackers in that race and repeat of either of those runs would see him in the mix here. He also ran well the last day all things considered and this will be much easier. He has Kempton form, will appreciate this better ground and is now very well handicapped. This could be the race where it all comes together. Brennan knows him better now which should help and I hope they try and ride him closer to the pace. Barring a fall I am struggling to see him out of the frame here. He stays well enough and does have something about him. The stable continues in fine form and I expect a big run. 
Those that go off 12/1 or shorter usually dominate this race, one then that the market generally gets right. Champagne West does have his stamina to prove, which he may well do – but that never makes me comfortable in a race of this quality. Thomas Brown could be anything and have plenty in hand – but this is no small field C4 novice. This is a whole new experience and if he passes it then fair enough but I am happy to leave him. Ziga Boy is a favourite of mine having backed him the last twice but he takes another hike in the handicap and this is a better race. I hope he runs well but he needs another big step forward, and there may be better treated rivals in here. Le Reve had perfect conditions for him last time out and took advantage. He is a bit too exposed now, historically, for this race having had more than 11 handicap chase starts. He is also now 0/11, 3 places above C2, and 0/8, 2 places 12+ runners.He did come second in this race last year but I am not eager to lump on him today. Of the bigger priced ones it is Ruben Cotter that catches the eye. Unexposed, he has won after a long break before – albeit horses running after 121+ days in this are now 0/9, 0 places. Its a tough race to come back in but he may out run his odds. He, along with the rest, do have plenty of questions to answer now. 



Evan Williams rescued a poor tipping day yesterday with a nice winner, well backed. It was about time one of those came to the rescue on a day when it looked like I had never looked at a horse race before 🙂 

Feb Trainers…

2.20 Newc – Heath Hunter (any odds) UP

2.50 Newc – Cork Citizen Fell / Lackamon PU/ Mysteree 4th 20/1 (all any odds) 

3.45 Chep – Batavir 3rd 16/1>5/1 / Gevrey Chambertin UP / Kings Palace UP (all any odds) 

4.35 Newc – Blackmount UP / Final Assault UP (both any odds) 

Jumps Handicappers

2.50 Newc – Wyck Hill (14/1<) UP

4.35 Newc –  Nautical Twilight (12/1<) Fell

4.45 Kemp – De Kerry Man (14/1<) UP


K Lee Chasers (12/1<): 4.20 Chep – Grey Gold 2nd 5/1

Saturday TJ combo(any odds):

-3.10 Chep – Ballyglasheen-  Fell

-3.45 Chep – Allez Vic – UP


That’s all for today. 

Good Luck



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41 responses

  1. Cheers Josh. Think I’ll hang fire and see if the drift continues a touch (Betway out to 9s but they’ve long since been somewhere I can access). Currently 9.8 on Betfair, so assume not many seen this post yet…unless they have and it’s due a bigger drift.

  2. kerry lee quote “I think the weight, combined with the heavy ground, has to be a worry. He’s up a lot in the weights, which obviously makes it a much tougher task.”

    i dont know much about kerry lee at present ,some trainers are just worriers then there charge bolts in and you wonder what all the fus was about lol.

    1. Yep, it does have to be a worry – but record of top 5 weights in this is superb – if this were a 3m chase the weight would be no problem,(proved he can handle 11-7) just whether over this far it drags him down – but you dont know until they try – also ground may not be as bad as LTO. I have judged that 8s is worth a good go and includes that concern. We shall see come 3.05 tomorrow! He wasnt stopping last time.

      1. Josh, if you have read my email from earlier you will know the thoughts of others about Russe Blanc that concur with yours and also the other one fancied. I have a good friend lives in Newcastle and was going to go up there but family commitments dont allow me to, for the record it has been relatively dry up there for 3 days with a strong wind…points to pudding ground I’d say if under covers too.

  3. Hi josh, any view on Glenquest the grandpa of the field. Looks to be brought along with a race in mind this year, first 2 races over hurdles, then a 2 1/2 mile 3 runner chase that he had no chance in, dropped 3lb after it though. Buchanan on board again (rode him when third in last years Welsh National), tongue tie on first time too. Recent form is poor, but does seem to like the staying chases. Thanks

    1. I agree Paul, came to same conclusion and of all those at a price he is the only one that stands out for me. This could well have been the plan and wouldnt surprise me after last years WN that Buchanan got off and told them to target this race! Here’s hoping in any case. He could just be regressive of course, but you have to take the odd chance at 33s. If he places that would do!

  4. I thought the stat referring to LTO at Warwick was covering those that ran in RBs race? Also number of HCP chase runs?

    1. yep quite right Andy, not sure why I said a perfect fit given whats written on my notepad! Warwick LTO is a small enough sample and a couple have placed. Historically he has had too many handicap chase runs, but having said that 9 have placed from the 60 odd to have run with that profile. Given this is only his second try at a real test, and the positives of those in top 5 in weights I just couldnt resist. Maybe that will do for him and the more unexposed Ballyculla will have him, but he has plenty to prove over a distance like this.

  5. Cork Citizen seems an interesting profile from the Pipe yard. I remember his second to Sonny the One at Taunton a few weeks back, looked to have plenty left in the tank closing on the winner without being asked too many questions by Scudamore.
    Has won a PTP over 3m4 so stamina shouldn’t be an issue. Maybe wrong side of the handicap looking at recent profiles but with Noonan taking off 5lb looks interesting with 4 places for a trainer who likes to ready one for a Marathon Chase.

    1. agree. finding him hard to resist. looked to have a touch of class about him, could well stay, jumps tidily enough to handle the stiff fences.

      and that run was after about a year off!

    1. Yep, they are in the ‘other’ sections above. Will continue to post them up. These are first qualifiers since it was researched, now Moloney is back now riding.

  6. Portrait King, easy winner (fav.) in 2012, who had excuses last year, is back for another go at the Eider, off his winning rating. Acts on any ground and this extreme test is ideal and a drop in grade compared to W. National. What really takes my eye is the booking of Brian Hughes as a sign of intent. Not a great price @ 12/1 but a likely drifter as many will have written him off by now.

    1. Yep, you can make a case for him, and he was running well at Aintree before an unlucky fall. He could run his race and place, maybe go one better, but at only 3/4 points bigger than RB that feels a bit tight given his overall profile. GL if you have a nibble!

  7. fascinating to see what the Going is like at Newcastle once the covers come off, I cant believe it will be any better than soft, I think some of the negativity about the seemingly modest and pessimistic tone on Kerry Lee’s comments would be wise to recall 2 things, (1) dad Richard never went OTT about any horse (2) Ms Lee and her brother have both worked extensively for C4 racing and are very media savvy an aware of what to say and when.

    The Kempton race is a real conundrum, I actually had a few bob on the NTD horse as the result of a tip yesterday afternoon, it was then pricewised but not moved much, I did wonder if Astracad was a pace maker but that has now been pulled out, anything could win that race but my few bob is on Ballykan and RocD’Apsis…

    Good Luck everyone

  8. Does anyone know what the ground is actually like at Newcastle? I have been out dog walking and at junior football after a heavy night out!

    Josh, thanks for the detailed analysis of todays races. I am on Russe Blanc and Theatre Guide. My head cannot function to its fullest at present and so will rely on you. I am also on Allez Vic re the interesting micro you unearthed. I had a stable tip re Ballycula but am not on it.

    I am at Fontwell tomorrow and so looking forward to some assistance from you later on that one.

    1. Martin – its described as soft good in places but Going Stick indicates it is soft….have a mate up there who tells me it has not rained for 3 days and he expects it to be “dead” ground….he also says whole place is a “bloody mess” due to AW work….last 3 meetings have been waterlogged off so hard to see how it can be any better than soft after just a few dry days…

  9. Thanks for the update Ian. So no biggish bets at Newcastle today then. I noticed a few short price favourites across the race cards today and a few look beatable. Someone I know is at Kempton today and he thinks the ground is not too bad there. With the frosts we have had in the south and low temps through out the days this last week the ground must have improved a bit. It did not seem too bad at the last meeting that I was at.

  10. Blimey Micro Madness today! Normally I follow them blind but I’ve had to make a few choices on which to leave out so hopefully I havent left the wrong ones out. I couldnt find anything that took my fancy in the Eidar so just went with yours but had to have a bet on Robben Cotter given he ticks a hell lot of boxes and this has been the season target. The other one I had a tiny saver on is Viva Steve.

  11. Went for 2pts on the win rather than the 1pt ew… Happy days Josh
    Tough week but back with a bang get in there TG

    1. Cheers Johnny, yep irony is if only 3 places when ‘tipping I may have gone for 2! My own reaction when I have backed losers in previous race is to put more on sometimes so rather happy with result! 🙂 needed that mentally as much as anything…backing a chase winner on decent ground!!

  12. nice winner for you Josh in the Betbright and I was delighted that my 2 nags came 3rd and 4th – backed at 20/25 respectively, considering both made real jumping errors…

    1. Cheers Ian, yep those two ran well, would have to watch again to see if Roc truly stays. But a nice run,one to keep onside. That was a high quality race run at a very good pace. Solid form I suspect.

      1. I think you are right about the form, Le Reve is a very solid form yardstick round those M25 right handed tracks and a few will be worth following especially as it looked decent Good ground. I can see a c change in form now as the ground starts to turn Good to soft as even if we get rain its unlikely to be the deluges we’ve had since October….

        1. Yep – biggest danger for us punters – I have been in fine mud flying form but it is all starting to change – TCs win one of most satisfying of recent weeks just because of that change – ‘easier’ to look at long distance slogs for me, as you can rule a few out that may really struggle to stay and get the ground – now you have issues of jumping at pace (and it is the pace they will be going that may turn form upside down as much as anything) – and of course looking for those that need good ground – while weighing up whether those with heavy form can transfer it to a sounder surface. Fun times ahead!

  13. great Josh THEATRE GUIDE running a stormer and GLENQUEST a sterling effort managed to get 5th place on Betfair
    so happy days
    blog back to form

    1. Cheers Graham, yep will take what I think is a 0.5 point loss on the week, there will be more losing streaks like that but was rather relieved at TG loomed up! Glenquest ran really well and I thought looked nailed on for top 4, then petrol ran out I think,younger legs in front,but was exciting. Good betting getting the 5th. Was that on exchange? Price?

    1. haha cheers Chris – yep, no hunting around the back from me trying to hide my true ability, always out front and centre!! 🙂

  14. Well done Josh cracking result with Theatre Guide.had a bit ew on Glenquest ran a great race for an old lad,left Russe Blanc alone,could not see him winning.Did not do any of the Micro System bets,to many selections for me.Cheers BoB

    1. Good stuff Bob – yep, Russe was part heart as much as head – I would have backed him 1pt EW at worst so no complaints – never really looked happy – wont put it down to the weight etc – maybe he just does need it hock deep. Not really sure what that ground was there today! Yep Glenquest got me very excited for a time! Yes quite a few micros, I picked a few but all lost. Glad you had a good day!

  15. Excellent run by TG, so well done for that, got 10/1. Russe Blanc seemed to be struggling a bit before unseating but would not have got near the winner.

    Don’t forget I need something good for Fontwell tomorrow. So stay in this evening.

    Keep up the good work

    1. Good stuff Martin…had a look at Fontwell and no 3m+ handicap chase, so no tips – I dont think I will have anything for you there – but I will have the ‘fontwell’ blinkers on to see if I can find some ‘stats of interest’. Off out soon so will be quick! Yep RB never really happy, think i will put it down to ground or not over last run, or a mix of all things. Was cutting out too soon to make a judgement on the weight/rating. Winner did it very well, so easy, didnt expect him to do that over that far. Does like trying to take the last fence with him, caught him out once but just got through it!

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