TIPS posted… post complete…

Saturday Review Video 

Thoughts on various races from Aintree- the highs, more lows, horses to note, things to learn etc. What I got wrong in the Becher,where do we go next…  ‘not as good as I thought I was’ …




2.20 Kelso –

KILBREE CHIEF – 1.5 points win – 9/2 (general) UP

HARRY THE VIKING – 1.5 points win – 9/1 (BV/SJ/Betw) 8/1 (general) WON 9/1>5/1 (+12 points race) 


Oh god. It’s happened again. While I wasn’t awake late into the night/early morning as Neil suggests, there is probably more truth in his comment than I care to admit 🙂 What is it with me and this bloody horse, old Harry The Viking.

I am sure the last time I backed him I said that was it- well here we go again – one last hurrah. And given my form 1.5 points the pair is probably too bullish as well. It is these kind of races,the bread and butter, outwith the big Saturday handicaps, where my 3m+ chase tipping destiny will be determined and with any luck I can boost some confidence today.

Old Harry– Well he is becoming very well handicapped and he just keeps running the odd really consistent race which keeps making you think he may have a race in him still, somewhere. Part of me wishes his form would just drop off a cliff so I could put a line through him. He returned the last day after an absence and ran the best race he ever has after a break. Good to Soft is fine- actually all of his winning is on going with good in the description. He goes well here, he clearly goes well for this jockey (who coincidentally is 2/11,5p at the track) – he jumps, he gallops, and.. he stays. He will just keep going for me and this is the easiest long distance chase he has competed in for a while (well,there is the Perth run,where he probably was outpaced on good,but kept ‘plodding’ on) – the cut here will help-as will there being a bit of pace on. Now, he may get out-paced at one stage by younger legs but he is solid. I know he is in form also. He seems to like December – 2/7,3p in this month over fences – 0/21,8p all other times of year.

Maybe it’s a sign of my muddled mind that I have gone in with him again. But from this end of the weights, off this mark, a repeat of many a placed effort of last season would see him right in the mix for me. He is the only proven stayer in this who arrives fit and/or in form.

Everything looks right (i have said that before) and you just know he will probably run 2nd/3rd which will make me look at him next time!

Younger legs..

Kilbree Chief…

Well I wanted a ‘younger/progressive/improve for the trip’ horse on my side in this and the Russell horse gets the vote. He has been backed a tad and I have missed the 6s that was around (maybe 13/2) but I thought 9/2 looked ok still. The booking of Tom Scu catches the eye – it suggests they mean business here. (7/25,15p in handicap chases at the track when teaming up) It also looks as though the last run was a prep – went off big odds, never really put in it, faded a tad. That run at Ayr last season over 3m3f suggests he stays, and is well worth a go at this trip. He was also nothing but consistent last year and is entitled to improve further this year. That final run of the season in that decent enough C2 novice chase suggests he is a better horse than Cultram Abbey and Smooth Stepper. He also beat stablemate One For Arthur that day, who has since hacked up in handicap company and ran a decent 5th in the Becher yesterday. Of course all that means sod all if he doesn’t stay, but it looks as though he could relish it. So, he ticks plenty of exciting boxes.

Pace… well both run up there and I suspect they will track the pace set my the likes of Scotswell and Grover Silver – Carrigdhoun and Smooth Stepper may be up there also. They shouldn’t be held up out the back in any case and I see no excuses on that front. Hopefully both get into a rhythm. We should (those brave souls still following) get a run for our money here.

Of the rest…

Well some stats of interest I suppose… 9/16 (9/37,17p) were Top 2 in the market at the off (4/18 fav), and 12/16 were top 3. 12/16 went off 6/1 or shorter. So, in general, it has been a race the northern market has got right. 9/15 (of those ‘with a run,will be one who had international form no doubt that HRB doesn’t account for) finished in the top 2 LTO also.

Royale Knight would have a chance- he has won this before, he stays, he has a touch of class. Jacob is up which i found interesting and the good Dr is in cracking form. I was just a bit put off by that last run- I am sure that race was a target given he had won that before, with a prep over hurdles before- he ran appallingly, never in it.  For the first time in quite a few years he gets some headgear- it may have a positive effect, but it isn’t a positive that they put them on. A solid horse though,and no shock winner. I would have liked to have seen more LTO- that race wasn’t a prep for this I don’t think.

Millicent Silver- well her best form is in deeper mud than she will get here- she looks like a grinder. But, I was put off by the break. Yes she goes well fresh, and yes the trainer can ready them. But, at 5s, you don’t want to be asking too many questions- I think class, and more importantly going, and that fitness question, were big enough concerns on which to leave at that price. She could win, for sure. Smooth Stepper- he crashed through a fence early the last day and that really knocked him- I want to see more and while unexposed he has a few more questions than some of these now. Even accounting for that error it was still an awful run the last day. On what they have done to date, his form is a bit behind Kilbree Kid for me, with both open to improvement. The selection also has a gutsy/staying on, win over 27f also.

The final horse I want to mention is Cultram Abbey – who having pondered I am happy to leave. His best runs seem to be when fresh and on recent evidence he has been shocking on his second run of the season , for the last two years- both times on the back of very good runs. He can also be inconsistent and can still clout a fence- and is also possibly better on softer ground. He will also come from nearer the back and will have to make up ground at some point. I am not certain some of these in front will be stopping. He is an exciting one and I would kick myself if he went in- he ran the last day as if worth another go at this trip. They put him in the Eider last year so they much think he could stay. His breeding doesn’t look the stoutest- well not some of his closest relatives. He seems to hit the odd flat spot also, and then stay on. We shall see, but something was telling me to leave him here. The one ‘clanger’ in the race.

I suppose I should mention Emperor’s Choice- this could be a prep for the Welsh National again and I would have liked to see some support maybe. He is a slow grinder/plodder and the ground may not be soft enough for him these days. He could out run his odds though – but again even this trip is into the unknown for him and on this ground, there may be a couple with a bit too much toe near the end. Him and Harry may plod home together! (hopefully he isn’t the third Venetia winner in a race I have tipped in, who ‘qualifies’ against the odd micro angle- gulp)

I can’t have the rest for one reason or another.

Right, that will do for today.

If you follow me in, best of luck!


A word on..

Dynatse… Just spotted that he runs in a c2 veterans chase here off top weight- and is 5/2 – without having looked in much depth- couldn’t he make a mockery of this price and this field? Pipe in form, cheekpieces replace blinkers- and he ran ok in Charlie Hall LTO- if he is every going to win again, surely it is in a race like this- he ‘could’ / should? destroy this field of handicappers. We shall see. 




Handicap hurdle/chase portfolio – LIVE TEST


2.20 Kelso- Emperors Choice (VW 60+ days) UP


Venetia Williams Chasers November (tracking into Dec) (16/1<)

2.20 Kelso – Emperor’s Choice UP

2.50 Kelso – Summery Justice UP


December Trainers

12.30 Hunt – Red Admirable – UP

Trainer Track Combos

McCain/Kelso… none.




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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. Paddy Watch

    Paddy had a fairly miserable day at Chepstow but thats Saturday racing,better to have a large whiskey around noon and wake up round 5,be sober and a lot better off

    One for tomorrow,with a health warning that neither O Brien/Brennan having great record at Huntingdon especially in bumpers

    3.00 Huntingdon Oscar Rose 1pt win Bet365

    The one horse I am looking forward to seeing run again is Cultram Abbey 2.20 Kelso.Josh will delve into this more but the way he stormed home over shorter suggests this marathon trip is what he needs BV are best priced at moment at 15/2

      1. Yep he is the one which jumped out on a quick look. That last run etched in memory. No excuse here… just a big unknown the extra 6f. But seems to be getting act together. He is the ‘unexposed improve for the trip horse’ (who could not stay) probably want a hardy slogger to go with him… pondering.

        1. I too have Cultrum Abbey in my tracker. However I do like Kilbree Chief with a real stamina test. I am out all day Sunday; junior football, FA cup football, visiting relatives.

          So good luck.

  2. Thoughts on Sandown Park.

    On Friday I had the first winner and then four seconds and then gave up. I lost 500 quid on Ballyandy thanks to some shoddy hurdling and STD being rusty. I broke even on the other races thanks to More Bucks jumping well in the first and having the best jockey on board. There was a big crowd there and there was a lot of drinking and it became a bit football at the end. I was out in London afterwards and the worse for wear but made it home thanks to pick up from the wife.

    Therefore Saturday was a late start. I did no studying but had in mind to back Charlemar again and Un De Sceuax at 2/1. I did both and so got Friday’s money back. What a race the Tingle Creek was! The first four home need big praise for being true warriors of the game. Ruby did his usual, serene for most of the race and dodgy over the last two fences. Same old Ruby. What with Rocky Creek going in in the last, true value for money for those present.

    Hats off to Aintree as well, spectacular jumping and Many Clouds showing how you jump and stay.

  3. It’s 00:48, and Josh is awake, trying desperately to talk himself out of tipping ol’ Harry the Plodding Viking.

  4. Backed both Kilbree Chief and Scotwell myself in the Borders National. Kilbree Chief appears to be well punted over night but has the question marks over stamina over this 4 mile trip to answer though shapes as a thorough stayer.

    Also, can’t not back Scotwell in this. Finished 2nd in the race twice in 13 & 14, conceding upward of 8lb to the respective winners. Comes in here 2lb higher than its last run in the race off 119, however carries only 10.5 near the foot of the weights today. Had a pipe opener at Kelso over the extended 3m trip staying on a never nearer 6th behind One for Arthur who was a respectable 5th in the Becher yesterday.

  5. Thanks for the video Josh. Always a good listen.

    Nice day for me yesterday with a winner and a couple of seconds although so close to a massive one, although at least I was on the 1st in 12:30 so that one wasn’t as bad. Potters Cross was more painful since I am trying to figure out why Jonathan Moore went to Aintree instead of Chepstow since his ability and 3lbs would have been enough to win.

    Moving on to today I really like the look of Muthabir in the opener at Huntigdon. Form of his last race as worked out really well with the winner following up off 10lbs higher, the 2nd won NTO also (beating a subsequent winner) and than going close in a higher grade and the 5th won at decent race at Sandown on Friday a little cosily. The booking of Richard Johnston is certainly eyecatching. It’s his first ride for the stable in 2016 (1/2 on the horse) so surely a big run is expected.

    In the Borders National I am on Royale Knight. I agree with you that his last run was bad but the trainer was concerned about the fact that the ground was too fast beforehand so I have to forgive him the one time. Plus Powell is 0/5 on him. I still believe he would have gone extremely close in either the 2015 GN (6th) and this year’s Scottish National (4th) with a bit more cut in the ground and given his class I would be surprised if he was out of the first three. Jacob and Newland have gone 1112 (last one in the Sefton) so stable in very good form and jockey getting a lot of their good rides. The horse is also 2/2 at the track.

    1. cheers Nick,
      yep good luck with Royale Knight – I too can’t see him being that far away if all is well- I thought there was the odd decent run on good when you look through (esp run at Stratford and a few over hurdles) to make me think he should have run better than that – but going is a funny thing – there is ‘good’ and there is ‘good’! – maybe it was just far too lively,more so than he has ever faced- but then connections didn’t pull him, maybe he just didn’t put down on it. Seems to me a bit of good in the going today also, but with a bit more cut for sure. Clearly if he bounces back to that Ayr run I may be staring down the barrel again! If he is in touch and travelling well over first few, I may be watching through my fingers!
      I did also have a slight weight niggle actually – would be some performance carrying 11-12 all this way – he does have that to prove,given most of his runs over marathon trips that he has gone very close in he has had around 11s or less on his back,albeit he did win at Sedge with 11-8. But he could outclass them. Should be a great race to watch.

      1. After the fav fell, he was travelling so well I was almost surprised that he actually had to work for it there. Thought he was going to win easily.

  6. Lots of people seem to think extra weight is a problem to horses .
    in the first world war cavalry trials suggested horses ran as fast under any weight until 14 st.
    I personally feel , class has an effect so if they move up a class they may be too slow but not weight .
    Obviously other things too have an effect. Field size. Going , days since run , trainers desire to win today etc but never weight .
    A few pounds to a half ton horse is nothing it sweats more than that off in a race .
    You never make a slow horse fast taking off weight .
    Just my thoughts .

    1. Yep i agree with all of that Norman. I think the exception is looking at a horses record with the weight/size of horse. Some simply can’t carry a big weight for x distance,albeit could be linked to class where find a level where it doesn’t matter. Royale Knight can clearly carry it no problem. Just then a question of carrying it over this far,against some interesting ones with a lot less on back. Just whether it tells in final couple furlongs for me. It may not.

      1. Some trainers exploit top weights in handicaps very cleverly .
        If you look at all runners that are carrying more than 12 st than are running after winning or p.up last time out the following trainers know their onions .
        Jonjo oneil 8 runners 5 won
        David pipe 12 runners 6 won
        Ms williams 18 runners 8 won
        Tidy profits .

    1. Ah no Gerry I though you would have had something on the bigger priced one! I backed the pair and put myself off the other two. Was 14s this morning. Ah. TTP stats needed that this week.

  7. Oi oi!!!

    I think I backed a winner! Well done Harry and well done Josh for casting emotions aside and tipping the seemingly un-backable plodder!

  8. Well done Josh. Second day of profits in a row from you mate.

    You might be right about the weight (although has now had a 3rd and 4th over this sort of distance so he probably handles it better than most). Luckily he will have far less in the Welsh National if he turns up there next as he has an entry.

  9. Waxies Dargle won at Fairyh’, tipped last Cheltenham and ran a blinder

    Wish I’d seen he was running – got dropped in the handicap for that run! Or maybe he goes off a different mark in Ireland, not sure how it works!

    1. Re Waxies Dargle-yes,different handicap marks in Ireland and GB .Higher marks in GB,trainers usually bleating about same but sometimes they manage to overcome that difficulty ! Similarly with sprinters/milers on the flat,GB horses with lower marks invariably in Ireland and ‘outcry’ when they scoot in .

  10. Thanks Josh I thoroughly enjoyed watching Harry the Viking this afternoon, didn’t put a lot on as I backed Kilbree Chief to win (he didn’t run so well) but it warmed my afternoon no end. Your a good lad


  11. Well done Josh,you might just be turning a corner now,at least Paddy delivered to make it good in the end for me

    1. oh god sorry to hear that, yep we have been somewhat a the bottom of the cliff, and have clambered a little way back up- albeit long way to go. Sorry to hear you missed them, I even emailed out as well. Damn.

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