Members Report: 12/03/16 (COMPLETE)



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3.10 Sandown

Spice Fair – 1 point Each Way – 28/1 (SkyBet and PP both 4 places) 33/1 general (3 places) * 3rd +6 points

*price as of 18.02 11/03


I managed to get 33s on this with PP but that has just vanished in last 10 minutes. Hopefully the 28/1 for those two above stays around. 33s 3 places is still worth a go also. 

This horse is no 28/1 – 33/1 shot for me. My profile only removes 6, to leave 9 so it doesn’t help too much and I don’t want to start eliminating horses on stats for the sake of it, 

Let’s start with the horse. Firstly, when using my Geegeez Cards his speed figure just smacked me in the face – he is a 164 – the fav is a 144. Now, as I have said before I don’t really know how Dr Peter May compiles the figures for Geegeez, but that is a positive and meant I had to have a closer look at this one. 

He is a 9yo and exposed in the sense of his total career runs. But, this is only his 10th hurdle start and he could have a bit in hand. As you can see from his form he is very consistent, is in great form, in handicap company, and has track form here. We look likely to get a run for our money, if running his race. Deep ground is no problem either. 

The other thing that caught my eye was the pace in this race – there is so much of it, littered with those that like to lead and/or push the pace – Spice Fair is a hold up horse and this could be run to suit. To me it looks like he wants a fast pace to aim at over this trip, which he is sure to get. He should be staying on up that hill when others are throwing in the towel. I couldn’t let him go unbacked at that price. 

His hurdles form to date isn’t any worse than a lot in here. There are a few coming here having won in novice/maiden , making their handicap debut. The form of a few of them hasn’t been franked from the races they have run in. In essence, it looks a weak renewal and open for a surprise. A few of his recent runs have been muddling affairs also, esp the last one. He needs a strong pace and should get it here. 

Clearly a case can be made for the fav but he is short enough for me, especially for one yet to get his head in front. His last run was decent, in a much better race, all things considered and given his profile he is the right fav but I don’t want to be taking 4s. Maybe worth a saver we shall see. If mine places it is like a 6/1 winner – that will do me. 

I would like to think that the handicapper has both Solstice Star and Rayvin Black where he wants them – they also both like to lead and if they continue in that fashion they should ruin each of their chances – in theory. Flying Angel is interesting but has been kept to flat tracks to date and has that to prove – He isn’t really seeing his races out and has been a bit one paced – happy to take on I think. 

The general point here is that there are a lot of unknowns. A lot of unexposed hurdlers, including the selection, who could have improvement to come. 

So, I have gone for an educated poke. He has won when returning within a week on the flat so fingers crossed he is over his last run. If he runs his race I think he will out-run these odds. 


2.35 Sanddown 

Bertie Boru – 2 points win – 6/1 – UR -2

Seebright – 1 point win – 12/1 (Bet365/BetB) 11/1 general- NR

As I found myself looking at this race I became more and more bullish – which is never a bad sign.  I think one of these two is winning this and they are both a shade bigger than I think they should be.

First I will just deal with the Going – hard to know what it will be come race time – Heavy all the way through to good to soft it would appear! It could well be that horrible tacky/holding/drying out ground – some horses handle that, some dont – and you never really know until they race on it. It does mean that you will need to stay though, and as Bertie’s got older that seems to be his thing…

Bertie Boru...Ticks plenty of boxes in here and boy does he have some good form at the track in C2 handicap chases. Last season he was 10l behind Unioniste, from an 8lb higher mark. Have a look at that race and you will see the decent horses around him. Coincidentally, Bertie has faced Relax twice in his career at this track, over fences, and stuffed him twice (he hasnt won those races but has had him well held) He also has that decent run in the London National here, again with decent horses around him, only beaten 5 lengths. He shouldn’t be found wanting for stamina. 

I have started using red pens on my note pad – with Us (unexposed) and D (doing something different) standing out where relevant. Bertie gets a D – he has cheekpieces on here and he has Dickie back in the saddle. The cheekpieces should help, but again you never know. He always tries, and I don’t think he is lazy,  just a case of making him concentrate – I have to trust the trainer that they’ve worked him in them and they made some kind of difference. He can be a scrappy jumper but he rarely loses his rider, and has ran some crackers despite the odd error. I also think he may be a rhythm horse – I think this is the worst race he has contested for some time – given the oppo and the ground (it may dry out but it wont be ‘quick’ I don’t think) I think they may go a pace he can handle more – that, combined with the headgear, may ensure he goes the pace he wants. If it is clear he is jumping and travelling early on, then I think we have the winner. Also, he doesn’t drop tools – his run last time was ok and he ran on again. There was good in the title there and they were good yardsticks ahead of him – Loose Chips took them along at a very good pace (quicker than they may go here) and the winner is potentially very smart. The front 3 were the front 3 all the way round, so coming from right out the back was hard. But he kept on going to the line. 

All in all, I think this is his best chance for sometime. If he runs up to either of those runs in C2 chases here, both this year and last year, he wins this for me, simple as that. Relax is the only one with comparable form in this field. Bertie could out-class them – if running his race. It should be noted also that a couple of his wins have come on the back of perceived ‘poor’ runs, beaten out of sight. He is 3/9 OR 130 or below in handicap chases (0/6, 1 place OR 131+) He is also 2/6, 3 places in this second tier of Class 3 chases (worth less than 10k to the winner). His trainer – well he has never been out of form it would seem and is banging them in again – 4/15 in last 14 days. 

Big. Run. Expected. 

Seebright….well, he is unexposed in this sphere, could still have more to come over fences, the trainer is hitting some decent form and he was 12/1 – a decent price given his profile. This is his 3rd start after a long absence and hopefully he starts coming to himself. I tipped him last time when no money came and he went off at 16/1 – that was a very hot C3, look at the horses in it – much more depth than this race – they also didn’t hang around and I wonder, around Kempton at that pace, whether they were going a step too quick for him. He shouldn’t have that excuse today and the trainer teams up with his old friend Denis O’Regan. This one is a bit more chancy – but the odds meant I had to have a go. He has form at |Fontwell which is up and down with a stiff finish, so that is a good sign for this track. He ticks plenty of boxes..

So, we have one who could still be open to progress and one who if he repeats old form wont be far away. All bases covered, in theory! 

The oppo…I can’t have the fav at those prices. No idea why he has been off 68 days, he has testing ground to prove (an unknown,may dry out), he has a liking for a track like this to prove – undulating/galloping – and this is a tough jumping test for one so inexperienced. He made the odd scrappy error at Muss. That was also a C4, so he needs to step up, which of course he may do. Now, he may win this well, but given those numerous doubts I can’t touch 4/1 – 8/1 maybe, but not 4s. 

Relax – well he could win this but he is getting on now and his three recent runs don’t fill me with promise – jumping errors have started creeping into his game. He isn’t in the best form although was going well LTO – still a way from home though. He has a good record returning within 15 days, and has back class. But, I want to take him on with younger legs here. If the two selections underperform, he would be the next best at the prices, so I expect he will run his race. As I said, Bertie has beaten him comfortably the two times they have met, and hopefully he does so again. 

I can’t have the rest for one reason or another. Dawson City is now 0/4 chasing – which isn’t what puts me off these days! – its just his jumping – his last two runs have had errors in them, some bad, some slow jumps. This is his stiffest jumping test and he now has it to prove for me. But, he is unexposed so you could never say never. Financial Climate is still 8lb above his last winning mark (taking account of jockey claims), is out of form, and looks up against it. Desert Joe has plenty to prove now, as does Moss Park (second in this race last year on Good – ground a concern, break a concern,and trainer has forgotten how to train I think!!) Clearly on that run he could put up a show – happy to take him on. Does that just leave one – St Dominick – another now with plenty to prove. 

PACE – Dawson City/Financial Climate/Relax like like to lead or push the pace – hopefully they all take each other on – I would be more concerned if Relax gets an easy lead (and gets into a rhythm)  – hopefully Dawson ensures that is not the case. Seebright will track them, and Bertie will be held up – but hopefully not too far. He will pick them all of coming up the hill! (as he hold our breath needing a big leap at the last!)




March Trainers

2.00 Sand: Divine Spear (12/1 or shorter ‘<‘) UP

Jumps Handicappers

1.50 Chep – Nail’M (12/1<) UP

4.05 Ayr – King of The Worlds (12/1<) UP

4.10 Chep – Anda De Grissay (12/1<) UP

4.55 Sand – Anay Turge (12/1<) NR


That is all for today. Good Luck







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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

51 Responses

    1. but three places only Gerry (although whether there’ll still be 4 places anywhere by the off is another matter).

      1. I tweeted PP and when there were 15 runners, they were still 4s – so not expecting them to remove a place now! however, just gone to 14 I think – wadham horse out, so suspect may go 3s. Best wait in that case to see if get 33s, 3 places.

    1. Good stuff, cheers Ali. They do have a habit of picking out decent priced winners, Top 3 always a useful guide. But, only that. He is overpriced for me, by a long way.

  1. Mark Usher has said that Spice Fair doesn’t like heavy going, despite the pedigree and the placings. But for that it would have been a bet for me It would be helpful to know under what conditions that speed figure occurred.

    1. I will ignore the trainer on this occasion – form in the book says heavy is no problem- maybe not ideal – although it is drying out also – was fairly soft at MR and Newbury. I wont use that as an excuse, not in context of his price. Can take more chances at 33s.

      1. Reportedly the ground is quickening up at Sandown. It was dry overnight. Believe it’s supposed to be dry and a bit warmer today in the southeast. Wouldn;t be surprised if the ground turns good to soft.

  2. David pipes orbistar is his sole entry at Chepstow and tom scu booked,a long layoff is a plus regards pipe horses and has good record with hurdlers at the track

    1. one of the tipsters I use points this out this morning “Tom Scu takes a trip from Sandown to Chepstow to ride for Tizzard then Pipe in 4.45 and 5.20 races, got to be a pointer as plenty of capable jockeys available and strange thing to do a few days before Cheltenham unless they are seriously confident”…

  3. i ,aint saw this before but betfred will give your stake bet as a free bet if it comes 4th or 5th in the imperial cup,each way included 28-1 atm with them.

  4. There’s an interesting line between Spice fair and Solstice Star through Mr Fickle which brings them very close together. I know these form lines are a bit tenuous at times and Solstice Star has improved a bit since, but Solstice is around 8/1. Spice fair is the obvious value.

  5. I see Nick Pullen and Josh have tipped up Spice Fair so got to be worth a punt at 28’s but the one for me is Ebony Express, done nothing since winning last year but go and look at who he beat in that race and has to be worth a small speculative flutter off the same mark in ideal ground…

    1. yep – agree with thinking on Ebony – he just looks like he has lost his way – if he ran like last year then would be bang there, and suppose you can take that chance of 14s. GL (but not too much!)

  6. Hi Josh
    My only concern about Spice Fair is that only 1 horse out of 157 has won with an SP higher than 20/1. If there is a lot of market support for him then that puts a different complexion on the selection. I also value anything Peter May puts out, I will watch this horse with interest.
    For what its worth my thoughts are “For Good Measure” and “Knockgraffon”
    Good luck to all

    1. Hi Richard…I personally never let those price issues dictate my thinking – 33/1 shot won it last year, 3 of last 4 been 20/1 or bigger – so happy to ignore. Also, I always back a horse expecting it to shorten – so bigger the price the better. I made the judgement that he was way overpriced – time will tell if I am right in that.
      Yep two unexposed, could be anything types there, so, you would have a chance – feels very open – and places are very open if the fav does hack up. GL.

  7. Rayvin Black for me. Obvious class horse in the race (hence his weight) but still a couple of pounds clear on RPR’s. Mixing it with the likes of The New One and irving recently, loves the course ground no probs he can give a stone and a beating to these. 12/1 taken.

  8. I like Bertie Boru in the 2.35 at Sandown.Best odds currently 6/1.
    Richard Johnson is back on board, and cheekpieces have been added. THink they could well help him travel better and improve his iffy jumping. Has form on g/soft which may be helpful if the ground quickens.

    Relax has a chance perhaps. Had been out of form until his latest run when he shaped fine before unseating five out before the race had got serious. Has won a C2 race at Newbury on g/soft off this mark and also won over &D off this mark. Yard tend to do well when they get a horse out quickly after it’s latest run.

    Finncial Climate beat Mosspark last year in this race by a cosy enough three quarters of a length off 6lbs lower on good ground. Financial Climate has been in poor form since but seems to be better on decent ground. If the ground dries considerably he may be interesting. Mosspark’s form suggests he is more at home on soft ground than Financial Climate. However, yard may have given him time off to avoid the really bad ground (or alternatively aimed him at this race).

    Desert Joe has form on decent ground. However, put off by the fact he ran poorly last time on g/soft in first time cheekpieces which have been retained.

    Benenden is interesting as an unexposed favourite. Won easily last time at Musselburgh but in a class 4 race in the north (this is a class 3 race in the south). Musselburgh is also a real speedsters track and his only other good run under rules came at Market Rasen (fairly similar to Musselburgh). Soft ground would probably be too slow for him so the more it dries out the better.

    Seebright is well handicapped on hs win in a class 3 handicap off 134 at Fontwell in May 2014 (130 today). He also seems ground-versatile. However, he was off ages before his two recent poor runs. Victor Dartnall is in better form I believe now.though.

    St Dominik is unexposed and won on heavy ground off 123 in a class 3 at Exeter. Probably didn;t stay next time when shaping quite well but disappointing last time. Small break may have helped him though.

    Think the ground will be too quick for Dawson City. Seems to love it heavy. Overall, I’d go for Bertie Boru.

    1. Yep – clearly came to same conclusion as you! If he runs his race, looks his for the taking to me.

  9. Well the going an hour ago was Soft, Good/Soft in places and Heavy, Soft in places on the chase/hurdle courses respectively so pretty certain there won’t be much in the way of heavy ground left on the off.

    1. I always think that when the weather turns like it has; that for a few days it is neither heavy nor soft but like thick glue, YUK, in some ways a shower can actually make it better….if we have no rain b4 I’d say Cheltenham sure to start in proper NH Soft Going ; going to Good to Soft…been so much rain this winter cant see it being Good ground for a while yet.

  10. I think Kylemore Lough is one to lay in the 4.20 at Sandown. Loves bad ground so quickening could be a worry. Also drops to 2m tday even though he is entered for the Fairyhouse Gold Cup over 2m4f in fifteen days time. This race does not appear to be a target at all.

    Dormello Mo seems a 2 miler that is more at home on quicker ground. Finished last of 4 when last in action but it was a really good novice race at Cheltenham and not beaten that far, No big-race targets so I’d fancy him to beat Kylemore LOugh today.

    1. He was Arkle entered bud Dormello Mo, looks an easier option this & STD 5/12 on him but I think you could be right in Laying KL as the way to go as no course form unlike the other two & K Lee bit out of form & known more for stayers. I think either of the other two could beat him.

      1. Got a target now: QUOTES ” Kylemore Lough is a very good horse and that was a serious performance. He would race every day if we let him and I don´t think he is ground-dependent – he just happens to have won most of his races on this sort of ground. The Manifesto at Aintree is the plan” – Kerry Lee, trainer.

        Cost me a few quid that race – & while he clocked the fastest chase race on card he didn’t come out with best figures as Minella Reception was trying to give Morning Reggie 15lb beaten less than a length. Think I’ll get my money back with one of those two (KL or MR)

    1. and BetBright left BB at 6/1, so I placed the bet there (Seebright said “withdrawn”, fav had no price, everything else did). Now the ******* are saying I placed it at sp. ******* ***** (never seen anyone swear on here, so didn’t want to be the first)

  11. Bertie Boru crosses the line first. Unfortunately he left his jockey several fences back. Would be a good horse if he could jump.

    1. He actually jumped well for me in the main…it was the same fence,twice…didn’t like it for some reason. Annoying as was swinging away when moving into it. Way Johnson sat on ground after said it all. He will be winning a class 3 chase again at some point, easier fences maybe. For him,bar that one fence,that was a good round! Always a slight risk with him,was worth it at 6s in that race.

  12. A little amateurish of the champ, to jump him exactly same place of the fence he horlicked first time round. Might be talking through my pocket !!

    1. Very frustrating indeed,and a good point,jumped him in exactly same place,but then,clearly wanted to race him a bit wider. Annoying as he was going/jumping well bar that one. Johnson looked like he knew.hard to say that far out. But,fences are there to be jumped. Moving on.

  13. Spice Fair. Only 3 nine year olds have won this since 1947. No horse over 9 has ever won. Hope its 4 after today.

    1. Not loads on age stats in context that 8/9 yo are 2/58,9 places since 97, 6yo are 4/112,21 places…so, not much difference there. It is a concern and usually goes to younger progressives , but then that is built into the price. Will find out soon! Is a weak renewal also.

    1. Yep, not sure why he sat on him for so long!! Unless they decided they wanted to ensure place money. Certainly at that trip,given class of some in front he had to be where he was early, would have liked him to ask for effort earlier, Hutch hadn’t moved turning in! Decent ew return mind. +5 point on day or +6 if getting 33s.

  14. Spice Fair I had given up on him at halfway,had a good ew on him so it was great to see him run on to finish third,well done Josh.

  15. Cheers josh you were spot on about spice fair with your write up picking off the stragglers up the hill Nice 3rd adds abit more in the pot next week

  16. Well done on the 3rd Josh. Yeah I am not sure why the jockey on Spice Fair or Sheenan sat so long since were certainly only out for places at that point.

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