Tips + Jumps angles + Stats/Angles of interest…


2.25 Chepstow..

REGAL FLOW1 point win – 16/1 (general) UP 8/1

SONNY THE ONE – 1 point win – 10/1 / 11/1 (general- drifting this morning, not a brilliant sign given time off!) UP 12/1

Well, sometimes/very often this game makes me look like a right plonker and that is another 2 points loaned back to the bookies.. Regal Flow was well backed but didn’t really run a race. Sonny The One was weak enough and ran as if needing the run. 

Clearly I wont be rushing to use the HRB ratings in C4 races again anytime soon- the bottom 5 being 0/45,2 places…which is a small sample I suppose for those but I thought some sort of guide. Those 6 included the top 3! Gulp. 

What about the winner? Big price… often you are looking for reasons why a horse may improve on any previous poor form, esp for 10 year olds. Well he had first time blinkers, tongue tie and for the first time in quite some time they decided to boot him right out the front – that change of tactics with the headgear appears to have sparked him into some life again. There was the odd decent runs last year but he never looked to be putting it all in and was pulled up early 4 days ago, suggesting something amiss or he just threw the towel in. I didn’t expect any horse to get an easy lead in this but he did and he kept up his relentless gallop. I wasn’t close to finding him today. The other two were unexposed enough and it was that type of race. Fergal’s continue in fine form, and nice to see Hawke’s chaser run a better race, hopefully he can step forward from that. 

This one is as much of a head scratcher as many a Cheltenham handicap – a real puzzle. My working shortlist is 7, there are probably a couple more with chances also- it is one of those. You can make some sort of case for a few…

NOTE… I had a look back in HorseRaceBase at their handicap chase ratings as a guide… so class 4 handicap chases, Nov-April,2013-,8-17 runners…256 or so races… The Top 5 rated won 74% of races in that period…they are in order… Loughalder / Bartons Gift / Sonny The One / Cheat The Cheater / Regal Flow …

Regal Flow… I just can’t let him go off at 16s here. I think it is way too big against his actual chance and I was happy to take a punt at that price. This one is 2/9,4 places over fences and one of those wins was at Cheltenham in a decent enough 25f amateur rider’s race. He is a solid jumper usually, handles some cut (official going Good to Soft/Soft in places) and he comes here having had a run… he travelled well for a long way in that race the last day before tiring up the hill. He is a C3 winner of 118 and with the 7lb claim is well handicapped. The jockey booking is a slight worry but he is 2/27,7p over fences and maybe they just want some weight off. In theory there should be more to come at some point but at the same time he is hardy enough for a race with this many runners. There won’t be much of a hiding place here. Maybe there is a longer term plan but on only his second start for this trainer, following the ‘retirement’ of his first, he could run a good race here. One to watch anyway as he has a touch of quality around the C3 level and there will be wins in him.

Sonny The One… again he looks of some interest for a trainer whose horses are going well…3/13,3 places the last 30 days. I am not sure if you improve a horse out of Colin Tizzard’s but maybe the fact he is on his bike is more of an indication of the rising quality in the yard. He is with a shrewd trainer and I found it of some interest that on his first start for a while, he employs his regular pilot. Again he is in the ‘unexposed yet hardy’ category , 1/7,5 places over fences. Cut is no problem to him and his best run came over a similar distance at Taunton. They kept buggering about with his trip and I have no idea why. He looks a 3m chaser all day long to me. We shall see. He is inly 6 still and he could have developed further from last season. Left handed is a slight niggle, more so in sense he is unproven and he may just have raced mainly RH as that is where the races were. His run 2 starts ago at Exeter was ok but he may have been feeling the tough race only 14 days before that, and his last start of the season was over an inadequate distance again. The trainer is only 5/50 odd with horses returning 60+ days but I found it interesting that 3 of those were this year, and two of them were in the last month, both with chasers. Maybe he has a new gallop or something but either way if he wants to ready them, he can. He is also 2/11,4 places in handicap chases at the track and the horse has run over hurdles here. All in all, at 9s, I thought he was worth some interest.

He will race prominently, with Regal Flow in mid division I should think…

Of the rest…

Loughalder/Dr Robbin and Farbreaga are lining up to give me a good egg wash- all three are TTP horses and I have a bad record of taking on these stats picks when I tip in a race! I think the former may just be a tad exposed now but of biggest concern is the break  – he has ran ok after a break but does usually need it and he is 10yo now. This race is packed full of lightly races horses. He is the solid one though and any money may have me running for cover. Dr Robbin- was just a bit too tame LTO having watched it back and I have a concern as to the going – all runs mainly on good, and he has ‘summer hurdle’ form. I worry about the soft elements of this going and he seems to have a fairly low action. Again the market may be instructive. He is 16s which has me on the fence a bit. (I have had something on at that price) Farbreaga- well he is bottom rated on HRB ratings… and with the same ‘system rules’ as above with the top 5 rated…those rated 12 or below (bottom 6) are 0/45,2 places in the period, as some sort of guide. He is bottom and others around him are Achimota/Mountain of M/Allez Vic/Calin Du Brizis/Walk On Al. One of them may buck that ratings trends but there are good reasons anyway to put a line through that lot. Farbreaga has a few questions to answer now and his problems can be in the mind. This looks a deep enough race for him although he is becoming well handicapped after a poor run of form.

Loughalder was on my shortlist of 7, along with Dr Robbin, Court Frontier,KilCullen Flem and Paddy The Deejay…

Paddy…his price started to crumble before my eyes and 6s is only ‘ok’ I think given he is now 0/4,0 p in chases, he can hit the odd fence and is usually held up right out the back. He, along with the other joint fav Court Frontier, are going to have to pass the whole field I think, if adopting usual tactics. I think Paddy is crying out for this trip and he may well win this well- and i will be kicking myself for not taking 6s. But I preferred the price of the other two and their chance looks as obvious to my eyes. IF he stays, IF he jumps and if he can close on the leaders up the home straight, he will go close here. That last Fontwell race is working out ok and he stayed on well there. But, they went a pace I think where his jumping should have been better. He can’t afford to make mistakes here. He deserves his place in the market I think but 6s wasn’t a price I wanted to jump at. Could be a clanger and may be a saver.

Court Frontier- is interesting on his 4th start for the trainer and the race should be run to suit for both the horse and the jockey- jumpings Jamie Spencer. He is 1/11 over fences and there could be more to come at some point. That last run suggested the step up should suit but it wasn’t the best of races and it turned into a slog. He still does have to conclusively prove he stays over fences but there is a hurdles run and odd chase run which should give him the benefit of the doubt. Arguably he may want it softer. I don’t know what to make of his Irish form. I wasn’t wanting to jump on at 6s albeit I can see his chance. Not a shock winner.

KilCullen Flem…well I am not sure how good he is and the last day he got outpaced over 26f on similar ground in what was only an OK race. It could be actually that he just needed the run and the trainer is in form. He looks like a proper slogger and the race may set up for him if he can keep galloping. A couple of niggles but is 12s and is another who wouldn’t be a shock were they to win. I think he may need further/softer and as yet he hasn’t proved he can mix it at this level really. One of a handful in here that will annoy me if they win.

I will leave that there for now. I won’t be putting you off something else if you like them but this game is mainly about price and on that basis on my reading of their suitability for this test, they will do. In theory we should get a good run for our money from the pair.

Good Luck.



Handicap Hurdle/Chase Portfolio – live test


4.05 Chep – Gary Charm UP (Pipe 7 days)  / One Cool Scorpion UP (improve for run/fresh)


2.25 Chep – Kilcullen Flem (unexp chaser) UP

3.35 Chep – Azert De Coeur WON 6/1>9/2 (VW 60+ days) / Rock On Rocky (chase,unxp) 3rd 16/1>8/1


V Williams Chasers

3.35 Chep – Azert De Coeur (16/1<) WON 6/1>9/2


Tom George Chasers

1.00 War – Song Saa UP


K Lee Chasers (12/1<)

1.00 War – Aces Over Eights UP


Of Interest

1.35 War – Lady Markby DNQ

(20/1<…old Lavelle system lurking for Oct/Nov… essentially all races, horse aged 3-5,20/1<… 0/2,0p this year, 47/141,73 places in total since 2010. One to keep an eye on for next couple of weeks. Used to be prolific but very few runners last couple of seasons)



Non Jumps/Other

J Fanshawe Kempton 

7.10 – Higher Power




A couple of bonus qualifiers from my AW stats pack for Kempton…

4.10 – Top Diktat- UP

5.10 – Daschas 3rd 16/1


3.15 Warwick… Midnight Jade...UP (one to watch on next few starts, travelled a bit too well,take on a bit,jumped/travelled well, may come on for run) I will be keeping at eye on this one at 7s,for a few reasons… I noticed that in the last 2 years the trainer is 6/17,8 places with his chasers. This one is top of HRB ratings, top 3 geegeez Speed and likes to lead – she should be up there from the off and while there are a couple of others who like to be up there also, she may just be quicker than those- so a pace angle also. She is lightly raced and there could be more to come at this level I think. The only question is fitness- if he is 100% here, she could go very close. If she isn’t, she won’t. I had a small dart to find out in what is a rather poor race and not one to go mad in. The market may guide- if she drifts from 7s I think she may need the run. One to note moving forward as there are more wins in her.


That will be all. Good luck with whatever you go with today.




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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

26 Responses

  1. Looking forward to see what you tip Josh. I am leaning towards the old boy (he really does owe me nothing-even if its a horrible way to bet) and Dr Robbin. Paddy seems to short considering we don’t know he stays and Flem is meant to be a certifiable mud lover. Mountain of Mourne would be interesting if the trainer had shown an inkling of form.

    1. Whilst there is an argument to leave the race alone have gone for Loughalder e/w in the 14:25 at Chepstow 14:25. He just absolutely loves it around here and should trundle along just behind the front runners and would be upset if he wasnt thereabouts at the finish. In the 16:05 I have had e/w bets on Audacious Plan and One Cool Scorpion. The former is down into a class 4 for the first time since wining. Is effectively 8lbs lower than when he finished 3rd over CD. Curtis had a horrible season last year but is in much better form this season. The latter returns to the track where he won 2 starts ago whilst also dropping in class. Looked like he needed it LTO. Richard Johnson is back on board and is 2/2 on the horse. In the past 2 years he is 3/5, 4 places combining with Hobbs in handicap hurdles at the track. Both horses like to race prominantly which is where you need to be in a field like this. My main bet comes away fromt he track since I really like What A Scorcher in the 14:40 at Warwick. Is 1/1 at the track and drops down to a class 4 after running very well at the Cheltenham Open meeting. The winner has since won a listed race convincingly (even if it was a juvinile one) and the runner up filled that same position in a listed race in Ireland. This should be much easier.

      1. GL Nick. Yep he is the top of the egg on my face pile. 12s is decent enough. I stuggled to see him winning this given the time off the track and the number of more lightly raced ones in here. But he will be up there,he will jump and gallop. He has been fit enough to run well on a few season reappearance while always just seeming to fade. This is also a much deeper race than his last win. But, I could have him all wrong and will kick myself if he romps home without 1 point on. GL

  2. Paddy Watch Day 4

    Neither Diamond Fort or Searching For Gold lived up to market expectations
    Tomorrows selections come with severe health warnings as neither trainer or jockey have good records at Warwick,normally would pass these by,nonetheless

    1pm Troubled Soul 1pt win
    There are 2 other runners from the post competing here too
    2.05 Pembba 1pt win
    Unless Top Notch has an off day,or falls this looks one for the odds on fav,maybe Paddy will make the running and make a race of it and who knows what might happen,these small field novice chases are notorious to predict,moderate hurdlers can become top class chasers too
    Runnin total +3.75
    S/R 1/3

  3. Josh,
    GL with tips tomorrow.
    Just wanted to pick your brains regarding the ratings you’ve researched on HRB. I also use this database and seen you mentioned researching historical ratings before. Just wondered how you are searching / building these within HRB? Is this via the v4 system builder within HRB?
    It seems a potentially useful tool so any guidance would be appreciated.

    Cheers, Leon

    1. HI Leon,
      blimey I will need plenty of luck but I think those two are overpriced on balance, we shall see if that is right come race time. One of those where something will win that I thought hard about and where you search for why you didn’t put them! A puzzle of a chase.

      Anyway, the ratings. Yep it is within the V4 system building…so setting up a general system… year (2013-), race class (4 this time), month (nov-april-thought would focus on main season) , handicap chase, field size (this time 8-17) … to the far right hand side you will see a ‘ratings test’ blue button. From there you can interrogate that starting set, I use the HRB standard ratings which I think are the ones in the main race cards. And it orders them by rating 1 down.. , bets , wins, places etc. A useful guide I think. I didn’t look at distance this time actually, so you can add that in I suppose. As always they are only ever a guide but certainly those always near the bottom of their ratings should be treated with caution I think, within the racecards. You can also look at ‘last run’ ratings etc as well I think,.

      I am planning on doing a 3m+ chase research piece this week and will try and get a grip on them…. class does matter- I had a look at G3 handicap level and they were spread all over the shop, taking top 4/5 no guide at all.

      Hope that helps,

  4. Hi josh, have you done a video on how to use HRB as at the moment it is all a bit bewildering , if not could you please think of doing one, thank you

  5. Morning Josh

    Good to see HRB ratings getting an airing on the Forum blog.

    I always start with four of the ratings from the initial race-card….they are : Total : Lr (last run) : Tnr (Trainer) : Tdy (today)….unless someone comes up with an idea about using the other ratings on the race-card page, I leave everything else alone
    I study past patterns for decent priced results and I generally avoid the top 2 rated in the Total column unless they are greater than 5/1…..The important two columns for me are the Trainer & Today columns

    Yesterday from 9 races I studied, I backed the winner in 5 races betting on more than one horse in each race, with variable staking.

    Fly Home Harry 4 4 1 0….. won 8/1
    Taroum 0 0 2 2….. won 7/2
    Aliandy 4 2 3 0….. won 6/1
    Alkhor 0 4 1 0….. won 8/1
    Assassinate 0 0 2 2….. won 7/1

    I use the betting provided by HRB to eliminate those at very big prices so I usually look towards the first 6 in the betting

    I don’t bother with Going, Distance, Poundage over horse A compared to horse B theories

    The answers revolve around Trainer, betting and jockey

    Yesterday I avoided backing Rigoletto ( 0 0 0 0) and Iballisticvin (1 2 2 1)… had nothing going for it at all, other than hype based around form readers assessment of horse A vs horse B analysis……the other one was too highly rated for me, given the top slot by the TOTAL column, which although they win….the price is normally a favourite’s price ( 3/1 or shorter)

    Hope this helps anyone with their studies

  6. of the 256 races wouldnt the majority of them be closer to the 8 than the 17 runners, making the top 5 rated quite likely to win, so 74% SR might actually not be that significant???

    1. Yep a chance of that! As always they are only a guide and I have looked again…
      So, same rules, 12-17 runners… only 27 such races but 344 horses so something to go on… Top 5 win 70% as opposed to 74% , still those 12 down are 0/45,2p.

      If you look at a Flat 8 runners… then yes actually the ratings are ok- but more in sense knowing that Top 3 (still C4) win 54% of races… not so informative for those rated at the bottom, who win enough to not be put off. More a positive uplift for those rated top 3, as opposed to a massive neg for those at the bottom.

      As always they are only a guide and I will always look through all runners in the usual way, and try and throw it all together etc.

  7. I like Wrangler today, 7.10 KP. It has missed some good races lately, 5/1.

    Queens Present, 1.35 War, may show some promise for connections?

    Daschas, 5.10 KP, may run well at a price?

    Good luck.

    1. Oh this game makes me look silly about 8 / 8.5 times out of 10! I am used to that 🙂 Clearly using those HRB ratings as a guide for the bottom 5 didn’t really work there did it.

  8. Out with the washing despite money for Regal Flow – First time blinkers after a shocker 4 days ago strikes again – You would think the game isn’t a level playing field at times !!

    Onward and Upward

    Rebecca Curtis horse may win the Hennnesy – O’Failins Boy

    1. Yep disappointing from Regal Flow given the money – always makes the annoyance worse- not sure I will be so keen to using/paying attention to those HRB ratings!!

      He did do three things differently there from last/many recent runs- blinkers first time, tongue tie on (only second time I think) and they completely changed tactics. Was really put off by his last run, but those changes appear to have sparked him into life and suggests his problems are mainly in the mind. He wasn’t backed, probably surprised connections how he kept galloping! He was 2/8,4 p in C4 handicap chases, but would have taken a leap of faith, suppose around 40s some may have had a dart. Not me.

      Onwards we go!

  9. Also use the ratings to help thin out horses. But i use the going, track or surface. Basically not as big a sample of races but more similar conditions to that of the day. Not only use the ratings i like to try get a profile of the horse likely to win. Simple things like LR placed origin of sire. LR class and many more. Those that are neg stats ie close to or 5 expected winners and not achieved this i take them off. In short i got the bowen horse today DR robin as a gd ew bet + Aliandy yesterday. Wish i could contribute more on here but have pretty bad RSI. Def worth keeping the ratings on side. Keep up the gd work all. Always a gd read.

    1. Yep, he threatened to do that I think- weak race, may have taken time to develop/get used to UK last year. Nice return on race. Hopefully a sign of things to come…important win as shows weather hasn’t affected ability to get them fit at home I think…may need extending into early weeks of December…

  10. Venetia Williams is back ,backed Aso at Cheltenham the other day and he ran a cracker. Today her Azert de Couer scoots home, really loved that soft ground, Welsh National next for that one? Or at least one of the top hcp chases on that day…

    1. yep was possible he would do that…looks like he has taken a while to strengthen up/find his feet over here. Still only 6 he cruised through that. Long way to go before talking C2s/G3s I think but looks like he will like cut like most of them- or appreciated it not being a bog,albeit soft enough- that can be linked to strength though. could be plenty of growth to come next year or so. One to watch, but he wont be 11/2 next time!

  11. A bit late to say now but, the McPherson 90 days system you gave out a couple of years back Josh! Cheers for that, its been sitting in my hrb for a long time now 😉

    1. Hi James, I should have shot myself…..I had Achimota top of my ratings, but couldn’t remember why among other things…anyway lack of courage of ones coviction’s…I never had a penny on a 33/1 shot.

      1. Oh god don’t. Long deleted I think, or is it lurking… appears horse was in my tracker as well from when he won his last race- Hmmmm. Moving on swiftly!!

        Glad it sounds like you had a piece James…I am going to have to look again. Ouch.

  12. Jo,
    O’Failins Boy (best form) prefers Good, Distance 25 Furlongs and needs to be quicker.
    The Hennessey is 26.5 Furlongs.
    My suggestion is a horse like Vicente, won Scottish National, best speed over 32 Furlongs on GS.
    I believe this is the target as he has not run last and the coming weekend though initially entered, also the competition has been dropping away which is helpful.

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