FREE DAILY POST: 17/02/17 (complete)

systems, notes, FORM pick…



tbc. An ok chase at Sandown. I can’t be backing Cogry at a single figure price ever again, given it is Cogry, and the Sandown fences take some jumping. I have only had a flick through as I write and there wasn’t anything initially jumping out but will have another look. I wouldn’t want to be touching that fav at 2s, given the massive step up in trip and this will take some getting. It may be one to leave. We shall see…

UPDATE: None. I will leave this alone for tipping purposes, having had a slightly more in depth look. Nothing at the prices jumps out. Something is going to win but you get the impression it may be by default- in the context of their prices every horse in here has some major question to answer. Venetia’s horse probably looks most interesting but has to prove both hit fitness after 400+ days, and also that he stays. Two major questions and at 9s, happy to leave I think. Venetia’s handicap chase stats here are only ok also. The fav probably wins, if he stays, which he may well do, but his price is short. I just can’t back cogry over fences again I don’t think, and certainly not under 10s. He may appreciate the slightly smaller field but he has a tendency to just close his eyes I think,at the odd fence. There are a few lightly raced ones, a few who need to leave behind poor recent form, and a few who return after longer breaks than ideal, suggesting issues etc. One to just watch with the notepad I think.



Handicap Hurdle/Chase Portfolio– Live Test

4.15 Sand – King of Glory 2nd 12/1



Form! Form! Form!

I am writing this before the first ever ‘test’ pick dots up at 10/1! (given the market my gut says that isn’t happening, but Spirit of Zebedee gave the Newcastle formline a further boost winning at 10/3 on Thursday at Lingfield- clearly I should have gone for him also)*

*update: tailed off it is, the perfect start for the test! Sadly she ran no sort of race, never in it, either not liking the surface or kickback, or just had an off day. Maybe 7f back at Newcastle may be the next port of call. 



5.45 Wolvs

Misu Pete – 1 point win (TEST) 9/1 – 14/1 (lots of 11s,12s) UP 12/1>11/2*

*not much of a run in truth but pales into significance given the carnage. I believe one jockey has been taken to hospital and two others were involved but ok. Fingers crossed they are all fine.

The Form…

On his last start at Wolvs he ran ok, losing his position before running on again, over 6f to finish a well enough beaten 4th. But, the second and third have since come out and won since at their level, the winner, Castlerea Tess, yet to come out again. We are talking about an awful ‘let’s take it in turns’ level here but at least there is some substance to that form.


Well he is doing a few things differently which I like to see. The first thing is the step back up to 7f which seems to be what he wants. Indeed he is 2/7,3p over CD, with two wins in March 2016 off marks of 57 and 60. With the jockey claim he comes here off 47. That was only one year ago. So, that step up is a plus, as is the handicap mark.

I then wondered if he only operates at a certain time of year ‘coming to hand’ as they say. I am not sure who the ‘they’ are, but that phrase will do. A quick jump over to my HRB ‘profile’ tool for this one… in AW handicaps he is 3/7,4p in Jan/Feb/March… April to December a not so good 0/15,3p. So, there could be something of interest there. That last run showed some promise after all.

What about his actual ability, any ratings pointers? Well he is top rated geegeez speed, with a rating in the 70s. Many in here are 50 and below, plenty in the 30s. That may mean sod all, but it is a positive in my book. He is also top 3 HRB. So, there is some more scientific substance to the visuals/’hot form’. It is a weak race, and on those metrics, he is one of the best in here.

The trainer hasn’t had many runners recently but one has placed from his last 4. Trainer/Jockey are 1/4 in AW handicaps.

Finally… he gets the visor on. He wore it once in a nursery in 2014. I like that angle. At this level, with these moderate horses, you need to try different things and that may spark him into a bit more life. He may hate it of course. But, we get a nice price in which to roll that dice.


Nothing too alarming really. This is a moderate bunch and plenty in here have more to prove than the selection. He is probably a good EW bet but I always think everything should be judged on 1 point win bets, and that is what I will stick with.

The jockey is 1/18 here in handicaps- but I am not overly concerned by that really. This is a race for apprentices. He has won and placed at big prices as well, the horse that is, so I may not take much notice of the market/any drift.

The draw may be a negative, not on the stats- they seem to win from all over the place at this trip/this number of runners. Just whether he can get a position. He can race up there and if the visor works you never know, he may make all and never be passed!

Here’s hoping. So, that’s why i like him… Hot form/step up in trip/CD winner/handicap mark falling/ran ok LTO/his time of year/solid on the ratings/headgear on/can race prominently. 10s+ seems decent enough to my faltering sandy eyes.


That will be all for today.

Good luck with any bets, and a Happy Birthday to Nick.



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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

27 Responses

  1. I clearly haven’t got your mental scars Josh since I cant help but go for Cogry tomorrow in the 16:15 at Sandown. (although I am fairly sure its the first time I have tipped him up). Obviously he cant seem to stay up but he has been unfortunate in most of them and tomorrow will be easiest race he has ran over fences in a over 2 years. I honestly think his jumping will be put under considerably less pressure here. Barring Pete the Feat (who arguably brings the best form into the race but is 8lbs higher than LTO) I am struggling to see what can beat him here if he stands up. He is 2/2 in class 3s, 3/7, 4p on Soft, 2/3 in February, 6/9 in fields of 11 or less, 3/8, 5p on Slightly and Undulating tracks. Considering his wins at Warwick I think he will handle Sandown. Nigel is still in good form with 8 of his last 12 runners finishing in the top 3 and 3 of them winning. Willie comes here for just the one ride and has won on the horse over hurdles. I am struggling to make a case for much else. Just have to pray he doesn’t fall. Given its my birthday tomorrow maybe the gambling gods will at least give me that much.

    Earlier on the card I think Raven’s Tower looks overpriced in the 14:15. Is effectively running off 124 with the jockeys 7lb claim. Has been running consistently well in class 2s this season without winning. Is technically 4lbs lower than his win in November. He is best at 2m or less (3/5, 4p over 2m or less-only poor run was in a class 1). His record on class 3 chases is excellent (2/5, 4p). Pauling is 3/11, 4p in the past 7 days and Ferguson is 4/15, 6p for the trainer (and 4/9 in class 3 and 4s). He is still only 7 so I think is still not fully exposed. 14s looked big for such a consistent performer. Obviously he does occasionally jump to the left but that hasn’t stopped him winning right handed. The favourite could hose up but I the jockey is very inexperienced and hasn’t had a victory over fences for over a year and hasn’t won since October (0/7 for the trainer overall). Most of the others have some sort of questions other than Dream Bolt although following the form through Grey Gold our selection is 11lbs better off for a 6 length difference.

    Finally I can’t let Handsome Dude go unbacked in the 17:25 at Newcastle. Form of his last race has worked out very well with the 2nd winning a class 2, 5th winning a class 3-beating 3 subsequent winners, the 4th winning and 6th winning twice. Drops down to a class 4 here. Barron is smoking hot with a record of 102261 from his last 6 runners all at the track. Makin was on board both those winners and is 4/8 for Barron at the track. He is only 1lb above his last winning rating which was in a big field handicap in the summer. There appears to be very little pace on offer here so I am hoping they make all with him. He is drawn high which favours front runners.

    1. Well many happy returns for Friday.

      I think my Cogry scars are deep. That PU LTO a worry also but maybe an excuse/did too much. I can see the case and he really should be beating that field I think. And agree had been unlucky a couple times. First run of season just attacked first too fast,knuckled. When BD (backed) he was jumping/travelling best he had been. On soft. Agree about tempo and the class drop etc. Maybe 7s is ok. But he has made errors when not under much pressure. Maybe small field will be key.
      A clear round and he is the most likely winner. Maybe my scars ensured I thought 7s too short! GL

  2. Hi Josh / All

    Well the nearest I come to a winner yesterday was the non runner and Dragon Dream some how finishing 7th when fighting for the win 1/2F out reset button pressed…….Some good races of interest tomorrow and even two sire selections for anyone with a hardy constitution these first…

    3.25 Newcastle – Petite Jack 2.82
    Champs Elysees 1M 4 1/2F, 9 runs, 4 wins, 5 pl 44.44% win SR 55.56% place SR

    Just the 8 runs 5 on the AW at Lingfield and already amassed 4 wins there including his last 3, has the dreaded curse of sire selection tomorrow though so 2.82 looks awfully short!

    Staking £12.24 – 2% of £611.77

    8.15 Wolves – Heartstone 4.0 Bet365
    Fastnet Rock, 1M 4F, 12 runs, 5 wins, 6 places 41.67% win SR, 50.00% place SR

    Well this one has had favourable sire stats the last twice and failed to deliver and is now a 14 runner maiden and looked one paced over this C & D 2 starts back so they tried front running last time out and she fell away tamely, Only positives are that its a 4 runner race so should have a clear run and Adam Kirby rides her for the first time…

    Newcastle / Tapeta returning course winners minimum 2 wins

    4.55 – Eastern Dragon 15.0 Bet365 /Betvic

    Well with this one a bit like Testa Rossa he is at his best when there is pace to the race and with Shah of Amaan likely to take them along and along with a few others that have lead in the past I’m hopeful that there will at least be some pace to the race ideally a quick pace which would bring Eastern Dragon right into the reckoning

    Staking £18.66 – 2% of £932.76

    Two races of interest at Dundalk tomorrow……

    7.00 The Dancin Lord 10.0 best odds

    Over 1M at Dundalk the selection is 10 runs, 5 wins, 8 places and the last time he won over C & D was off 80 back in March 2015 and unbelievably he has never raced over C & D since until tomorrow and gets in off 65, Whether this has been a deliberate ploy to bring his mark down and then go again or just hasn’t had the opportunity either way makes him of interest tomorrow. All of his wins at Dundalk had been for trainer John Geoghegan and was then shipped to England and had 9 runs for R A Mills and A West before returning to Ireland and Liam Cusack who has ran him once at Dundalk over1M 2 1/2F (a pipe opener maybe) The other interesting fact is that R P Downey now takes the ride and he rode him to 4 of his wins here when under a different trainer so clearly knows the horse well and along with being drawn in 2 looks like a decent play for me.

    8.00 Gentlemen 7.5 best odds Ladbrokes

    What really catches the eye is Phil Mcentee sending this one over the irish sea along with Josey Gordon who has only the 1 ride, she has won 5 times on this fellow up to a high of 93 and although races off 94 tomorrow I don’t think they would be sending the team across just for the Guinness..

    Good Luck with any selections


  3. Josh I think that’s a decent pick, but just a comment on one of your negatives. Lulu Stanford is one of the top claimers out there, on most horses that has to be a positive. You would be in profit on backing all her rides using 1, 2, & 5 year filters with AW figures the best.
    However if you want to critical her figure’s at Wolv’s are her weakest though has ridden a lot of no hoppers. The observation that worries me most is this. I note horses performances when ridden by a lady jockey as opposed to males, you see certain horse mainly fillies that have much better form with a lady in the plate. Anyway looking at Misu Pete I see the opposite. Arguably his worst 2 performances have been the under the 2 previous lady jock’s Haley & Rachel Kneller beaten 15l each time. So the fact Lulu on her only time on him only went down by 3l and is 9lb better off today also say’s it’s worth a chance.
    One I would see as a live danger is Secret Lightning. C&D Winner 4 runs back which is the only time it’s had that C&D, also back down to that winning mark. Drawn next to Misu and the collateral form that run when sticking to horses in behind running since over C&D make that a decent effort so have had a small saver on that as well.

    1. Thanks Gary, some great points etc in that comment, esp how some horses can respond better to lady riders etc. Yep, that wasn’t really a negative, given as you say many of those Wolvs rides have been no hopers and yes I can’t see there being an excuse from the saddle really. There was enough there at the price I felt. We shall see. Unlike yesterday at least I know this one handles the track.

  4. I think the one who could spring back to form in the Sandown race is Willoughby Hedge. Won’t ever fulfil the potential it had pre long term lay off but won nicely at Donny last season off a similar mark, slower to come to hand this time but King horses are flying at the moment and some value at about 10/1 I think. Not sure what the plan is with PTF do they want to win this or just keep him ticking over as they wont want a weight rise for possible end of season/summer jumping targets?

    One other that caught my eye is Improved in 3.35 at Fakenham, has been not quite getting home over 3 miles but this is very easy track, was beaten 8 lengths on Boxing Day by a horse now rated 108 and comes here off 95 less 5lbs claim from excellent Thomas Dowson, hopefully 8 runners start as I’m on at 20/1. Kirby yard when Dowson rides very nice strike rate!

    1. Hi Ian…
      I am tending to agree about Willoughby hedge and can see why you would be interested at 10s.. I think the most important factor may well be the first time visor… King is excellent with 1st time headgear- I remember big Tony Calvin discussing it on RUK and I think his stats, on certain numbers, may be much the best, operating in the 20% range maybe, which is double what you would normally expect. SO, if that works and he runs his best, he would have to go close for sure, in what looks an open race. Given his past form, I can see why you may take a 10/1 roll of the dice on the visor working. As you say, Kings couldn’t be going any better.

      Pete The Feat… well he owes them nothing now but the way they talk about him suggests he still shows plenty at home and acts like a 4yo still. So, retirement can’t be anywhere on the cards. I suspect they will just let him run his race- if good enough etc. The actual weight, + weight rise, is a big difference from LTO and he will have been tuned up to the max for that race LTO. But, he will try and give it a good go from the front. This race has a very odd feel and I wouldn’t be shocked if most of them won/went close. I bottled trying to make a decision!

    2. King said in the Weekender this week that WH might need one more outing before he’s spot on. So irrespective of how he does today next time might be the time.

    3. Nice spot Ian. I’ve noticed Kirby has been flying lately so slightly kicking myself for missing that one.

    4. Nice call Ian….I done Cogry….lol.. My other was impeded at the last at Fakenham…..along with another…lol. O well!, that’s the way it goes.

      Well done mate.

  5. I’ve had a few quid on Ardkilly Witness at 6s in the Royal Military Gold Cup at Sandown. Bought out of Newland’s yard by a few military or ex military guys with the intention to target this race. Came 2nd last year in the race off 130, and now runs off 122. Hurdle race as a prep race and ran well at the track in December and Jamie Snowden’s horses in good form. Can’t have the favourite given Pipe’s current form, my fear is Troika Steppes, so with only 7 runners I’ve had a saver on the forecast for Troika Steppes to beat Ardkilly Witness.

  6. Venita Williams and Liam Tredwell
    2.10 Sandown Cepage

    £10 bets at sp + £170
    31 bets since 26 november 2016

  7. I am with Nick – Cogry has a great chance bar the fences and Pete the Feat will run from the front and might be able to deny the 8lb rise – £15 on each for me

  8. Well he managed to stay up and just about scrape 3rd that’s all I was asking for. Clearly not the horse he was although it did dry out more than I was expecting. Hope you had your two in a double Ian.

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